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New ARCs!

Posted on July 15th, 2013 by Mickie.
Categories: Beta Books.

Check it out, BETA Bookers! New A.S. King, new Maggie Stiefvater, new Susan Beth Pfeffer, new Brandon Sanderson….and more! What are you waiting for! Get in here and get the good reads!

The next BETA Books meeting is this Wednesday at 4pm and we’ll have plenty to talk about. Also if you show up at the meeting you’ll earn points for your Summer Reading Team…(GO GNOMES!).  See you there!

0 comments.

New Beta Books Review from Courtney!

Posted on June 11th, 2013 by Mickie.
Categories: Beta Books.

Thanks Courtney for submitting your review! Want to review for our blog? Stop into the Teen Room and get the scoop on joining Beta Books!

Courtney reviewed Ink by Amanda Sun.  This book will be published on July 13…

What did you think of this book, Courtney?

After reading just the back cover of the book I thought it might be a bit cheesy, so I didn’t go into it with high expectations. However, I was very surprised to find a superb writing style and elaborate story behind the beautiful art on the cover. The main character was not a drone of the plot and expressed relatable emotions and chose actions that were realistic. There was a balance of negative and positive atmosphere which made the story very well rounded.

How would you rate it?

4 stars – Awesome. I loved it and would give it to a friend.

Cover Story: What did you think of the cover?

The reason I picked up the book in the first place was the interesting design. It’s straightforward, easy to navigate and artistically designed. As an artist myself the painting drew me in and caused my interest to peak.

Awesome!

Thanks Courtney! If you would like to be first in line for this book when it is published, click here to reserve your copy today!

0 comments.

Ahem….BETA Bookers!

Posted on June 10th, 2013 by Mickie.
Categories: Beta Books.

Look what just came in the mail….

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Wonder what I am talking about? Check it out….

0 comments.

Beta Books Review-The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Posted on May 7th, 2013 by Mickie.
Categories: Beta Books.

One of our Beta Books reviewers has a review for you today! Thanks Jayla for giving us the scoop on this great new read before it has even been published!

Jayla reviewed:

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
This book is being released TODAY! Thanks Jayla! Keep reading!

THE SCOOP:
I think, overall, the book was pretty good. While it was not, to me, exactly five-star quality, I don’t regret reading it. I loved the unexpected POV changes, and how the author never stated who was who. All of the voices for the different characters were distinct and unique. The author also created a perfect amount of tension. Since the ‘Others’ (a name the main character, Cassie, gave the aliens) looked just like normal humans, it really raised the question of who you could trust, since anyone could be the enemy.
Another thing I loved? The story was set in Ohio! I thought that was pretty cool. :)

I definitely wasn’t a fan of the romance, though. The love-story between Evan and Cassie seemed a little too forced and contrived. I also don’t understand how, after Cassie repeated over and over that she couldn’t trust anyone, she was suddenly okay with being cared for by a strange guy who read her diary and undressed her while she was unconscious, amongst other things.

However, I would still recommend The 5th Wave to a friend (especially to a friend who’s a fan of The Hunger Games series), because it’s fast-paced and engrossing, and the story line’s premise is really interesting. At any rate there is a lot of story yet to be told, so I’ll stick around for the sequel to see how it all turns out.

THE STARS:
3 out of 5 stars – Pretty good. I wanted to see how it ended.

THE COVER STORY:
I love the cover design of the book and I wouldn’t change anything about it. Not only is it interesting, and will probably compel people to pick it up, but the cover also fits the story perfectly – especially the ending of the story.

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New Books are Here!

Posted on May 5th, 2013 by Mickie.
Categories: Beta Books, Books.

New books are here! BOOKS that haven’t been published yet and are available for YOU to read before the rest of the world!
(Insert maniacal mad with power laugh). Come get some and be ready for our next meeting!

Have no idea what I’m talking about? Check it out

Welcome to the home base of Beta Books!

Love to read? Want to read books BEFORE they are published? ARCs are Advanced Reading Copies of books, and we’re looking for 6th-12th graders to read them.

The newest books will be revealed at our monthly meetings. Can’t make it? Stop in the Teen Center to sign out a book and share your thoughts online. (NOTE: Not all titles are appropriate for all ages. Use your best judgement to decide if a book is right for you.)

Reviews are posted on this blog in the Beta Books category.

Got questions? Email us!

0 comments.

Love and Other Perishable Items: A Beta Books Review

Posted on December 23rd, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Beta Books, Books, Events.

Airy, another avid reader at Beta Books, our read-’em-before-they-are-published teen book club, has submitted our latest review! Check out her thoughts below. Curious? Get the scoop here, sign out a book from the Teen Center, and mark your calendar for the next meeting!

Reviewer: Airy

Title: Love and Other Perishable Items

Author: Laura Buzo

What did you think of the cover? I think that the cover is okay.

Did you think it matched the story? Okay.

What did you think of the book?

The book was very interesting, and my favorite part is when Amelia and Chris’s relationship intensifies.

How would you rate this book? 4 stars — Awesome. I loved it and would give it to a friend.

0 comments.

Out of the Easy: A Beta Books Review

Posted on November 26th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Beta Books, Books, Events.

Jayla, another voracious reader at Beta Books, our read-’em-before-they-are-published teen book club, has submitted our latest review! Check out her thoughts below. Curious? Get the scoop here, sign out a book from the Teen Center, and mark your calendar for the next meeting!

Reviewer: Jayla

Title: Out of the Easy

Author: Ruta Sepetys

What did you think of the cover? I loved the book cover design of the ARC and definitely wouldn’t change it. It’s artistic and I think the birdcage is a metaphor relating to Josie Moraine’s (the main character) life.

What did you think of the book?

I thought “Out of the Easy” was very distinctive from most YA novels. While reading, it was easy to get lost in the story. I really liked Josie – she was a tough heroine, but also had her flaws which made her seem more real than fictitious. And the setting for the story, New Orleans, was perfect. The only things I disliked were the mystery elements (which were too weak and made me lose a little interest in the story) and the supporting characters could have had much more depth to them.

I would definitely recommend this to a friend who enjoys historical fiction, but not to someone who is use to fast-paced novels.

How would you rate this book? 3 stars – Pretty good. I wanted to see how it ended.

2 comments.

Author Jody Casella rocked as Beta Books guest speaker!

Posted on October 25th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Beta Books, Books, Events.

Those of you who came to this month’s Beta Books meeting got to pick the brain of a special guest speaker: YA writer Jody Casella! Her book Thin Space will be out in September 2013, so she was the perfect person to talk to us about the real world of generating ideas, writing books, revising them (and revising again…and again…and again!), getting published, and — a topic that never gets old with us — what makes the best cover art?!

Jody wrote an awesome post about her visit on her blog — be sure to hop over and check it out. As she writes,

These kids were smart and talkative and interested, with their own stories to tell. We talked about unreliable narrators and books we liked and things that got stuck up our noses. Also, how to come up with titles and unlikely names for killers and what to do if the middle of your story starts getting boring. (Answer: make a character die.)

Aw, shucks! Thanks, Jody, for sharing your book and your wisdom with us (and playing along with our crazy nametags and icebreaker games!). Beta Books will be counting down to the release of Thin Space right along with you…and then, of course, we would love to have you back to gab about the final cover. ;)

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Fame, Fortune, and the Bran Muffins of Doom: A Beta Books Review

Posted on August 31st, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Beta Books, Books, Events.

Edrictheninja, another book fan at Beta Books, our read-’em-before-they-are-published teen book club, has submitted our latest review! Check out his thoughts below. Curious? Get the scoop here, sign out a book from the Teen Center, and mark your calendar for the next meeting!

Reviewer: edrictheninja

Title: Fame, Fortune, and the Bran Muffins of DOOM

Author: Marty Kelley

What did you think of the cover? It definetly made attracted your attention and the way he wrote the title made it clear that it takes place in elementary school.

What did you think of the book? the book was good and also pretty funny but had a lot of big words I understood most of them but i dont know if the target audience (young peaple according to holiday house a part of the marketing campiagn) would understand it. also the title made it sound as though it was more focused on bran muffins of doom versus the fame and fortune part

How would you rate this book? 3 stars – Pretty good. I wanted to see how it ended.

0 comments.

Beta Books: The latest reviews are in!

Posted on August 8th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Beta Books, Books, Events, Words & Writing.

The readers at Beta Books, our read-’em-before-they-are-published teen book club, have been super-busy this summer! Read on for their latest reviews. Curious? Get the scoop here, sign out a book from the Teen Center, and mark your calendar for the next meeting!

Reviewer: Emma D.

Title: October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Author: Leslea Newman

What did you think of the cover? It matched the story because it was the scene of the incident that happened.

What did you think of the book? I loved the format of it being in poems but hearing the feelings of inanimate objects. Yes, I would recommend it, but to someone who could handle it.

How would you rate this book? 4 stars – Awesome. I loved it and would give it to a friend.

 

Reviewer: sema3

Title: The High-Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate

Author: Scott Nash

What did you think of the cover? I think the cover reflected the story well. I don’t think the cover should be changed.

What did you think of the book? My favorite part was the part where the half destroyed ship flew along with gabriel flying in front of the ship. Another good part was when they were steeling weapons from the crows armory. I think I would recommend the book to a friend.

How would you rate this book? 5 stars – Unbelievable! I’d rather read this book than sleep!

Reviewer: edrictheninja

Title: The Classroom: The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet-Epic Kid

Author: Robin Mellom

What did you think of the cover? it helped you imagine all of the characters appearances

What did you think of the book? i thought it was very entertaining and funny, i would reccomend it to a friend, and my favorite part was the end where he dumped orange soda on Coreys head and he ran into the girls restroom

How would you rate this book? 4 stars – Awesome. I loved it and would give it to a friend.

 

0 comments.

It’s a Transformation! Teen ARC Club –> Beta Books

Posted on May 7th, 2012 by Becky.
Categories: Beta Books, Books, Events.

Those of you who have visited our Teen ARC Club have probably heard the news — we’re changing the name! We voted and chose democratically: beginning in June, this group will be known as Beta Books. New name; same great flavor! Not to worry — we’ll still be reading and sharing ARCs (that’s Advanced Reading Copies — preview copies of books that haven’t yet been published!). We’ll meet 4-5 pm in the Activity Center on these days:

Friday, May 25

Wed, June 27

Wed, July 25

Wed, August 22

If you can’t make it to a meeting, never fear! You can sign out a book from the Teen Center at any time, and share your thoughts online. (However, the meetings are pretty hilar. I would recommend stopping by for the laughs and snacks if nothing else…)

Here’s our latest review from reader Maddie (thanks, Maddie!). The book is now out, so you can reserve it:

Title: Hourglass

Author: Myra McEntire

What did you think of the book? I liked everything about the book. It was well written with few if no mistakes, easy to read, and went by fast. My favorite part was when they went back in time to save the professor. I would recommend it to a friend.

How would you rate this book? 5 stars – Unbelievable! I’d rather read this book than sleep!

What did you think of the cover? I think the cover fit the book well. It showed how she’s coming from one place to the other. In my opinion, I’d like it if it showed both where shes going and where she’s coming out of.

 

3 comments.

“A decent read for the bus ride”: The latest ARC review!

Posted on October 11th, 2011 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Beta Books, Books, Events.

Calling all readers! Our next Teen ARC Club meeting is Friday, October 14, 4-5 pm! All the details are here (and you can also find them under Pages on the right of this blog), and we’ve got some awesome book reviews in the comments of that post. The latest is from Erin, and I posted it here as well:

Reviewer: Erin

Book: All These Things I’ve Done

Author of book: Gabrielle Zevin

What did you think of the cover?

The cover is extremely bland: the only artwork is a melting chocolate heart (which, while delicious in my imagination, is rather disappointing considering this is merely a paperback book). Since it’s not something I would usually pick up, I think it could use some work.

What did you think of the book?

(WARNING: LONG post ahead – Sorry! I’m working on it…)

I have this adoration for books that have that “history repeats itself” persona—and that’s the basis of Gabrielle Zevin’s new novel, all these things i’ve done: in %2083, Prohibition has plagued Americans once again, only now it’s chocolate that has been taken off the market (horrifying, right?). Anya Balanchine is the daughter of the long-dead crime boss that was behind the illegal chocolate supply stateside, but is more concerned with her family than her ties to the industry; she dutifully cares for her ailing grandmother, younger sister, and mentally handicapped brother in place of her own happiness. All of this, along with her relationship with a malicious ex-boyfriend, consumes Anya’s time.

Then, when life couldn’t get any more difficult, a new student enters Anya’s school: Win Delacroix, a kind farmhand everyone is immediately enamored with. He quickly grows fond of Anya and, though she would never admit it, she might just like him too. But the chocolate supply the Balanchines direct has recently been tainted, and Anya is at risk to be framed. It probably doesn’t help that Win is the son of one of the nation’s most recognized lawyers…

all these things i’ve done has a bit of action, some mystery, and a lot of romance. Although forbidden romance stories are getting stale, I was intrigued by this one: after all, it involved the mob, so what’s not to like? Well…perhaps a lot, depending on your tastes: the relationship between Win and Anya got rather old quickly. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it seemed as though there was a conflict that never truly existed because our two lovebirds were immune to it. We’re often told that these two can’t be together, but we never really see it. Their relationship is overall very convenient and overly-sentimental—there are those who love these fantastical relationships, I know, but I’m not one of them. I felt it lacked substance, though I know others may argue that it was simply poetic.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the novel; there’s still a lot to praise, though the romance is the core. The characters, mostly, were interesting: Anya is a very fierce and conflicted character when her narrative isn’t about gumdrop romance. Her family, too, was intriguing, particularly her handicapped brother Leo (who is anything but dumb). Most of the characters interact well with their imaginative environment, which I’ll address later. Most, I feel, except for Win. He’s like every clichéd romantic interest rolled into one blob of insufferable kindness. Let me put it in a way many fans of young adult fiction would understand: Win is highly reminiscent of Peeta from The Hunger Games (similarly, Anya reminded me a lot of Katniss). If you liked these two, you’ll probably like Anya and Win. If not, they could grate your nerves, but not enough to ruin your experience.

The novel excels at family drama. Anya’s determination to protect her family was very noble in my eyes, and I really enjoyed this theme. Her situation is made that much more powerful due to the fantastic setting: Zevin crafts a believable future world that is only slightly better than a total dystopia. A small but creative aspect I noticed, for example, is the practice of needing to buy virtual postage to send e-mails. The little details illustrate well how rotten the world has become. Even better, the novel visits what I assume is Ellis Island as a maximum security prison. Overall, these two factors—family life and a dying New York City—were easily my favorite elements.

The action of this novel revolves around the Balanchine crime syndicate and Anya being framed for the contamination, among other things: this plot was entertaining, though not flawless. A lot of this conflict is either ignored in favor of developing the romance or simply rushed through. Because it this, the ending is anticlimactic, though upon reflection I find that it was a sensible conclusion.

all these things i’ve done claims to be the first in a series, but I don’t quite see where the story can go from here. Would I read more if it did continue? Most likely, yes. This is a great book featuring a wonderfully headstrong lead in a extremely inventive environment. Unfortunately, it’s bogged down by a needlessly rushed plot and annoying male lead. So it falls somewhere in the middle of the road—a three out of five, because I was definitely interested to see how it ended. A decent read for the bus ride, mostly for those who appreciate dystopian futures, great heroines, sappy romance, or all three!

How would you rate this book?

3 stars – pretty good. I wanted to see how it ended.

1 comment.

“I had to keep reading”: The latest ARC reviews are in!

Posted on August 8th, 2011 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Beta Books, Books, Events, Words & Writing.

Calling all readers! Our next Teen ARC Club meeting is Friday, August 19, 4-5 pm! All the details are here (and you can also find them under Pages on the right of this blog), and we’ve got some awesome book reviews in the comments of that post. The latest are from Matthew, and I posted one of them here as well:

Reviewer: Matthew Hu

Book: Shelter

Author: Harlan Coben

What did you think of the cover?

The cover of the book matched the story. It had a picture of a shadow in a dark house and the title was almost transparent. I wouldn't change anything to the cover although it seems a little creepy.

What did you think of the book?

There was nothing that made me dislike the book, but what I liked the most was what happened at the end of the chapters. Once I finished the chapter, I had to keep reading. I would recommend the book to a friend.

How would you rate this book?

4 stars - Awesome. I loved it and would give it to a friend.

0 comments.

Read books before they are published! It’s ARC time tomorrow!

Posted on July 14th, 2011 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Beta Books, Books, Events.

Did you know our next Teen ARC Club meeting is TOMORROW, Friday, July 15, 4-5 pm? All the details are here (and you can also find them under Pages on the right of this blog), and we’ve got some awesome book reviews in the comments of that post. The latest is from Matthew, and I posted it here as well:

Reviewer: Matthew Hu

Book: The Project

Author: Brian Falkner

What did you think of the cover?

I think the cover of the book went with the book because the book talks about Leonardo Da Vinci’s great discoveries hidden in the “most boring book in the world” and the cover of that book looks just like the cover of The Project.

What did you think of the book?

The Project is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I liked everything about the book and nothing made me dislike parts of the book. My favorite part of the book is where both kids (not going to say them) go back in time to save the future. I would recommend this book to my best friends.

How would you rate this book?

5 stars – Unbelievable! I’d rather read this book than sleep!

2 comments.

The May ARCs!

Posted on May 23rd, 2011 by Becky.
Categories: All posts, Beta Books, Books, Events.

What’s all this? Find out at our Teen ARC Club!

3 comments.