Saturday, June 30, 2012

Guess Who is a YA Crush Tourney Advocate!?!

Did you guess me? Did ya? Well,  YOU'RE RIGHT!!
I am really excited to announce that I am advocating for Eddie from 
Vampire Academy and the Bloodlines series!
I could not be more excited to be participating and advocating for such an awesome guy from beyond amazing series!

The Tournament starts Friday July 6, The Full Schedule of Matches is HERE 
Eddie's first match is against Sam from Shiver on Monday July 9th!!

This is just going to be a lot of fun, and everyone gets to vote for their favorites. 
If you want to support Eddie, even better!!

If you want to help out #TeamEddie feel free to email me
at unabridgedbookshelf (AT) gmail (DOT) com

I am not the most adapt at making banners or buttons but I tried!

Here are the banner I made

So, I am trying to make a crush button at this time, and if you would like to help it would be greatly appreciated. 

Support Team Eddie and Grab the Button!
YA Sisterhood
I am will also be offering incentives for helping and voting for Eddie during the Tourney! I would love to know what everyone would like to see as an incentive, so shoot me an email or leave me a comment!

I cannot wait for the YA Crush Tourney to start, and I know it is going to be even better than last year!

Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cover Battle: US vs UK

It that time again, when we pit covers for the same book against themselves to see who comes out the reigning victor.
This week TWO US book covers will be going up against their UK counterparts, to find out which one is the winner!

Everbound (Everneath, #2)Fallen in Love (Fallen, #3.5)
Everbound won by a landslide while Fallen in Love came down ONE vote!!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Book Review: Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

Burn Bright (Night Creatures, #1)Title: Burn Bright
Author: Marianne de Pierres
Series: Night Creatures #1
Publisher: Random House Australia
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Number of Pages: 316


Into a world of wild secrets and deadly pleasures comes a girl whose innocence may be her greatest strength.
In Ixion music and party are our only beliefs. Darkness is our comfort. We have few rules but they are absolute . . .
Retra doesn’t want to go to Ixion, the island of ever-night, ever-youth and never-sleep. Retra is a Seal – sealed minds, sealed community. She doesn’t crave parties and pleasure, experience and freedom.
But her brother Joel left for Ixion two years ago, and Retra is determined to find him. Braving the intense pain of her obedience strip to escape the only home she’s ever known, Retra stows away on the barge that will take her to her brother.
When she can’t find Joel, Retra finds herself drawn deeper into the intoxicating world of Ixion. Come to me, whispers a voice in her head. Who are the Ripers, the mysterious guardians of Ixion? What are the Night Creatures Retra can see in the shadows? And what happens to those who grow too old for Ixion?
Retra will find that Ixion has its pleasures, but its secrets are deadly. Will friendship, and the creation of an eternal bond with a Riper, be enough to save her from the darkness?
Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of darkness you also live with creatures of the dark.

Want a book that is unlike any other, Burn Bright is that book. Burn Bright takes the idea of going to a club, and takes that to into a completely new world. On Ixion, the sun never shines, but that is all right, because it is perfect for clubbing. That is all the teens on Ixion do, go from one club to another making life one big party. This all sounds amazing to the teens that seek to escape from their lives, and runaway to Ixion, but that is not Retra. Retra is a seal, a young woman to keep her emotions sealed and her face veiled. Retra does not want to party and have fun, she just want to find her brother who left for Ixion two years previous.

Leaving is not as easy as sneaking out to meet the ship, not for Retra. When Joel ran away, something that does not happen in Seal South, Retra’s family was punished. Retra was forced to have an obedience strip inserted into her leg. The closer she comes to the walls that seal in Seal South, the more intense the pain. Retra works for two years to manage her pain, to push herself closer to the gates of her city, and ignore the pain. After training her body, she is finally able to leave on the boat to Ixion.

Once at Ixion, Retra stands out because she is not like the others. She is not there to party, or to lose herself in all that is offered. This causes Retra to be noticed by the Rippers. The Rippers are the guardians of Ixion, and if you end up on their radar, you may just disappear. Ixion is not safe, never wonder off the paths, because the Night Creatures are waiting for you.

Retra is such a strong female lead, who helps other citizens of Ixion without second thought to her own safety. She does what she can to protect her new friends Suki, and Markes, the handsome musician. While she seeks to find Joel, Retra begins to uncover secrets, secrets that the Rippers would kill to protect.

Burn Bright is one of those amazing books, with characters you fall in love with and you root for no matter the situation. The thing I loved the most is the way Marianne de Pierres has with words. This is not a book that should be published only in Australia, it a book that should be available for everyone around the world to enjoy. The second book Angel Arias has already been released, and the third book in this series, Shine Light releases in September. If you can get a copy of Burn Bright, do yourself a favor and read it.

Just a note: There is drug use and sexual situations in the book so this is a book meant for older teens.

**Unabridged Bookshelf received this as part of a tour, with big thanks to Dani @ Refracted Light Reviews**

This book is amazing!
Is there a book that is not available worldwide that you feel should be?

Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Cursed

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we cannot wait to get our hands on.
I am waiting on:

Title: Cursed
Author: Jennifer Armentrout
Publication: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: September 18, 2012

Dying sucks--and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.
Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't?
But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not've been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

Why am I waiting?
It sounds really good, and it sounds almost like a evil X-Men type scenario. 
I want to see all the scary powers and I want to root for Ember, because how awesome is the name Ember!

What are you waiting on?
Leave me a link, so I can come check it out!

Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: The Immortal Rules

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others!
Make sure to share the title and the author so other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their to be read piles.

This week's teaser comes from:

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)
Title: The Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Number of Pages: 512 
In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.
Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.
Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.
Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.
But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.


"I pulled the blanket over my head and tried to sleep, to forget Ezekiel Crosse. His touch. His warmth. And how badly I wanted to sink my fangs into his throat and truly make him mine." 
Page 279

Have a teaser you want to share?
Leave it in the comments or leave me a link. 

Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wicked Wildfire Read-a-Thon: The Wrap Up

Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon
The Wicked Wildfire Read-a-Thon hosted by Rebecca @ Kindle Fever and April @ My Shelf Confessions

I would like to read 1-2 books a day for a total goal of 5-10 books
at an average of 300 pages that is 1500-3000 pages

I ended up only reading 2.75 Books, which came to a total of 885 Pages
While that is much lower than I hoped, I still had a lot of fun participating!!

  • Something Wicked This Way Comes: CHALLENGE COMPLETED
  • Wicked Title Trouble: CHALLENGE COMPLETED
  •  (That Summer, The Sandcastle Girls were Born Wicked)

Did you participated?
Did you meet your goals, or how close did you get to completing your goals?

Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Stacking the Shelves #6

Stacking The Shelves was created and is hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews. Stacking the Shelves is where I will be sharing the books and goodies I have received for the week. This will include both physical and eBooks that are purchased, borrowed, gifted, or for review

Lonely Souls (The Witch Avenue Series, #1)Traitor (Bridger, #2)Arson (Arson, #1)

I received all this book for review, for future blog tours coming up in July and August. 

Novella Review: Never to Sleep (Soul Screamers #5.5) by Rachel Vincent
Cover Reveal and Excerpt: All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen
Wicked Wildfire Read-a-Thon: Start up and Goals
Wicked Wildfire Read-a-Thon Challenge: Slake Your Thirst
Blog Tour: Spectral by Shannon Duffy
Cover Battle: Who Does It Best?

What did you get this week?
Leave me a link so I can check it out!

Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cover Battle: Who Does It Best?

It that time again, when we pit covers for the same book against themselves to see who comes out the reigning victor.
This week TWO  book covers with similar themes are going up against each other to see who wore it best!

Breathe - Click Image to CloseShatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)
Both New Cover Won, but the New Shatter Me only won by 5 votes!!

This week I chose Similar looking covers to go against each other to see which one does it best!!

Everbound (Everneath, #2)Soul Screamers Vol. 2 : My Soul to Keep • Reaper • My Soul to Steal
Both of these cover were recently released, and they have similar look with the dress.

Blood-Kissed Sky (Darkness Before Dawn, #2)Fallen in Love (Fallen, #3.5)
When I first saw Blood-Kissed Sky and even Darkness Before Dawn, I thought of the Fallen series, So now it is the question who does it best?

This is just for fun, I just want to see who likes what.
Make sure to vote on the form below and I will post the winners next week!

Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Blog Tour: Spectral by Shannon Duffy

Welcome to the Spectral Blog Tour stop at Unabridged Bookshelf!
Thank you to Tribute Books for asking me to take part in this wonderful tour. 
For the full tour schedule, click the banner above


Title: Spectral
Author: Shannon Duffy
Publisher: Tribute Books
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Number of Pages: 334


Convinced she’s a part of the witness protection program, sixteen-year-old Jewel Rose is shuffled around the globe with her family like a pack of traveling gypsies. After arriving at lucky home twenty-seven, she stumbles upon a mysterious boy with magical powers claiming to be her guardian . . . and warning of imminent danger. Despite the obvious sparks between them, Jewel discovers a relationship is forbidden, and the more she learns about dark, brooding Roman, she begins to question who she can even believe — the family who raised her, or the supposed sworn protector who claims they’ve been lying to her all along.
As she struggles to uncover who her family has really been running from, she is forced to hide her birthmark that reveals who she is. With new realities surfacing, unexplained powers appearing, and two tempting boys vying for her heart, Jewel battles to learn who she can trust in an ever growing sea of lies, hoping she’ll make it through her seventeenth birthday alive.

Spectral by Shannon Duffy is a mind-blowing mystery full of witchcraft, and deception. When I picked up this book, I was instantly wrapped up in the story. Jewel and her family have been on the run for as long as she can remember, moving every six months as part of the witness protection program. This last move is different from all the others, because this time whoever is after them almost caught them. At her new school she meet the gorgeous nice guy jock, Chase, who also takes notice of her. She also cannot seem to stop thinking about the new guy, Ramon, who has a bit of a bad boy edge.

When Jewel thinks that her biggest issue is which guy she likes, her extended family shows up. When her Grandmother, Aunt, and Uncle, everything starts to change and Jewel is not sure whom she should trust. Ramon is telling her that her family is dangerous, but Jewel does not exactly know a lot about Ramon. As things become complicated, Jewel digs to the bottom of the mystery surrounding her family looking for answers.

This book kept me on my toes, with its fast pace and quick changing events. Just as I thought I knew what was going on, Shannon Duffy took the story around a corner I did not see coming. I loved both of the love interests; I could understand how difficult it was on Jewel to choose just one. Ramon had a special draw, because of his magical abilities, but Chase was everything normal that Jewel craved.  

I really like Jewel as a character, she starts a little on the meek side, but she grows and changes throughout the story. I like watching and experiencing a character grow and change during the story, because it gives the character depth. Shannon Duffy has done an unbelievable job with Spectral, and I could not be happier I had the chance to explore and experience Jewel’s story. 

**Unabridged Bookshelf received this book from the publisher, in exchanged for a review**


 Shannon Duffy writes young adult and middle grade fiction. She grew up on the beautiful east coast of Canada and now lives in Ontario, Canada. She is the mom of one boy, Gabriel, her angel. She loves writing, reading, working out, soccer, and the sport of champions-shopping. She is the author of the young adult paranormal romance, SPECTRAL. Her upcoming middle grade fantasy novel, GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA is scheduled for a January 2013 release.

I loved this book, so thank you to Tribute Books!
Makes sure you visit Tribute Books at the links below

What would you do if you discovered your entire life was a lie?
Let me know in the comments. 

Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf!

Wick Wildfire Read-a-Thon Challenge: Slake Your Thirst

Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon
This challenge is part of the Wicked Wildfire Read-a-Thon!
There is still plenty of time to sign up and join in on the fun, just click the button.

Drink Recipe
I decided to share a favorite drink for my family. It is a great shake to enjoy on a warm summer day!
It is called a Chunky Monkey Shake
(photo taken from Smuckers Food Service)
(Single Serving)
  • 2 tbsp. Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 3 tbsp. Chocolate Fudge, divided
  • 1/4 cup Milk, 2%
  • 1 cup Vanilla Ice cream
  • 1  Banana, fresh, sliced

To assemble single serving: Combine Creamy Peanut Butter, 2 tablespoons Chocolate Fudge and milk in blender; blend to smooth consistency.
Add ice cream and blend until smooth.
Add banana and mix briefly (shake should have chunky consistency). Pour into glass.
Swirl 1 tablespoon Chocolate Fudge Flavored over shake.

My Summer Read
Wake (Watersong, #1)
I love Amanda Hocking's books! 
This one is the perfect summer read, just look at the cover! 
I am really excited for the Watersong series, because I have not read any books featuring Sirens lately. 

What Summer Read are you looking forward too?

Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon Starting and Goals

Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon
The Wicked Wildfire Read-a-Thon hosted by Rebecca @ Kindle Fever and April @ My Shelf Confessions! This read-a-thon started at 12:01 AM EST and runs until 11:59 PM EST Sunday June 24th. There is still plenty of time to sign up and participate! There is two twitter parties and fun challenges to complete throughout the challenge. 

This is my first Read-a-Thon, I am not sure exactly how much reading time I will get in.
But I am sooo swamped with review books, I need to cram in as many in as possible

I would like to read 1-2 books a day for a total goal of 5-10 books
at an average of 300 pages that is 1500-3000 pages

I will be updating this post with my progress through the challenge, and I will re-post the information in a wrap up post at the end of the Read-a-Thon. 

Day 1: June 20th
  • Books Read: Spectral, 
  • Number of Books Completed: 1
  • Number of Pages Read: 242 Pages

Day 2: June 21st
  • Number of Books Completed:0
  • Number of Pages Read:0

Day 3: June 22nd
  • Books Read: Royal Street
  • Number of Books Completed: 1
  • Number of Pages Read: 336 Pages

Day 4: June 23rd
  • Number of Books Completed:
  • Number of Pages Read:

Day 5: June 24th
  • Books Read: The Immortal Rules
  • Number of Books Completed: .75
  • Number of Pages Read: 307

  • Something Wicked This Way Comes: CHALLENGE COMPLETED
  • Slake Your Thirst: CHALLENGE COMPLETED
  • Wicked Title Trouble: CHALLENGE COMPLETED
  •  (That Summer, The Sandcastle Girls were Born Wicked)
  • Sonnets & Songs SKIPPED
  • Beach Soiree SKIPPED
  • Party Up with Literature SKIPPED
  • Wicked Summer Scorcher SKIPPED

Are you participating?
If you are, what are your goals?

Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf!


The Winner of the Scary School eBook giveaway is

I decided to up my Indie Author Giveaway to TWO winners and those winners are
DEANNA S. who chose The Last Bastion of The Living by Rhiannon Frater
STEPHANIE V. who chose Existence by Abbi Glines


Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cover Reveal and Excerpt: All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen

Thank you to Cindi Madsen and Entangled Teen for letting me participate in this cover reveal!
This sounds amazing, and I cannot wait until December!

Title: All the Broken Pieces
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: December 2012
Length: 304 pages

Pre-Order All the Broken Pieces 
What if your life wasn’t your own?
Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.
Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?
Connect with the Author: Cindi Madsen

Excerpt from All the Broken Pieces
Olivia reached up, feeling the tender spots on her head. Her fingers brushed across a row of—were those little ridges made of metal?
            “Careful. The staples are almost ready to come out, but it’s still going to be sore for a while.”
            Staples?!Her stomach rolled. I have staples in my head? She lowered her now-shaking hand. “Can I get a mirror?”
            Mom looked at Dad, then back at her. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. Not until you’ve healed a little more.”
            Mom patted Olivia’s leg. “You just relax. We’ll be back in a few minutes.”
            The two of them left the room, but when Mom swung the door closed, it didn’t latch. Olivia could hear their voices in the hall.
            “I still think we should…” She couldn’t make out the rest of Dad’s muffled words. “…know if I can do this.”
            “…late for that,” Mom said. “We’d lose everything, including…” Her voice faded as they got farther away. “…have to move.”
Olivia could tell the conversation was tense, but the words were impossible to decipher now. Holding a hand in front of her face, she turned it back and forth. A plastic tube ran from her arm to a machine next to her bed. She peeked into her nightgown and stared in horror at the long red stripe running down her chest.
            You’re alive. You shouldn’t be thinking about looks.

            Lowering her hand, she scanned the room. I wonder how my face looks. From the way Dad stared at me, plus the fact Mom won’t let me see a mirror, it must be bad.
            Brains are more important than looks.
            That’s what ugly people say.
            Olivia put her hands on her head and squeezed. “Stop it,” she whispered to her arguing thoughts, hysteria bubbling up and squeezing the air from her lungs. What was happening to her? Why didn’t she recognize her parents or know where she was? Who she was? Tears ran warm trails down her cheeks. “Just make it all stop.”'

The wait for December is going to long, but it is going to be worth it!
Now the most important part, what do YOU think?
Leave a comment and let me know!
Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Novella Review: Never to Sleep (Soul Screamers #5.5) by Rachel Vincent

Never to Sleep (Soul Screamers, #5.5)Title: Never to Sleep
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Soul Screamers #5.5
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: January 1, 2012
Pages: 61 Pages


Don't Close Your Eyes.
Sophie Cavanaugh is not going to let her freak of a cousin's strange psychiatric condition ruin high school for them both. Not after all the work she's put into cultivating the right look, and friends, and reputation. But then, Sophie sees something so frightening she lets out a blood-curdling scream—and finds herself stuck in a bizarre parallel world where nothing is safe and deadly creatures lurk just out of sight, waiting for her to close her eyes and sleep...forever.
Could this world be real? Or does insanity run in the family...?

Never to Sleep is a novella of the Soul Screamer Series by Rachel Vincent. Never to Sleep takes place during If I Die, and it is told from Sophie Cavanaugh’s point-of-view. Since it does take place during If I Die, it is best read after reading If I Die. If this novella, we get a better view point of Sophie. While I still think Sophie is an egotistical little brat, I have to admit she surprised me in Never to Sleep. The most important event in Never to Sleep is that fact that we meet a new character, Luca. Luca is the new boy at school, and he happens to run into Sophie.

Luca is a curious character, and I am very interested to see the part he is going to play in Before I Wake. With the short length of Never to Sleep, there is not more than a glimpse into his purpose or character. I also am curious to see what is in store for Sophie in Before I Wake, and if maybe, she will stop being so nasty to Kaylee. There are also some other developments, that I need to have answered or explained in Before I Wake. Any Soul Screamer fan waiting for Before I Wake should pick up Never to Sleep. 
**Unabridged Bookshelf purchased this book**

How excited are you for Before I Wake?

Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cover Battle: New vs Old

It that time again, when we pit covers for the same book against themselves to see who comes out the reigning victor.
This week TWO original book covers are going up against their new re-designed counterparts.

The US cover won by a landslide, while the UK cover of Throne of Glass won by just a few votes!
Dreamless (Starcrossed, #2)Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Now for the new Cover Battle!
First up Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)
The Original           versus            The New

The Second Battle is:
Breathe by Abbi Glines
(the new cover was revealed today, so I decided to add it into my Cover Battle)
The Original           versus            The New

Just vote for your favorite on the form below, and I will announce the winners next week!
If you want to win a copy of Breathe, it is one of the choices in my Indie Author Giveaway Hop!
There are a lot of choices so be sure to check it out!
Thank you for stopping by Unabridged Bookshelf!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Guest Post & Review with Giveaway: Scary School by Derek the Ghost

Scary SchoolTitle: Scary School
Author: Derek the Ghost
Series: Scary School #1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: June 21, 2011


You think your school's scary?
Get a load of these teachers:
"Ms. Fang," an 850-year-old vampire
"Dr. Dragonbreath," who just might eat you before recess
"Mr. Snakeskin"--science class is so much more fun when it's taught by someone who's half zombie
"Mrs. T"--break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry "Tyrannosaurus rex"
Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose
The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch
The narrator's an eleven-year-old ghost
Join Charles "New Kid" Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends--including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf--and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky

Scary School is a variety of tales all told from the perspective Derek the Ghost. There is a cast of main characters including Charles Nukid, who just happens to be the “New Kid.” Scary School is a special school where both human children and monster children go to school together. The teachers themselves are scary monsters, like Mr. Dragonbreath who is a dragon, and Ms. Fang the Vampire.

In Scary School, the principal is a human with giant hands, and just happens to be called Principal Headcrusher, and she likes to crush heads. She applied to have Scary School host the Ghoul Games this year. The students of the hosting school get to choose the activities that they will compete against the other monster schools. If they lose, the winning team eats them. While this may sound like a terrible book for a child to read, it is actually funny and not scary at all.

Scary School is not the typical book I usually read, because it is for a middle grade audience. I am glad I was asked to review this book, because I truly enjoyed it. I have to say I thought the book was splendidly hilarious. I really enjoyed it, and I know that I would enjoy reading this book with my children when they are a bit older. I think it would also be a great book to get kids interested in reading. The story changed often, which made it seem like a faster read, and I think it would help hold a child’s attention.

I have to say it was a great book to get me out of my routine, and I could not help but laugh aloud while reading Scary School. Derek the Ghost is the perfect narrator, not just for his sense of humor. As a former student, who haunts Scary School, he knows all the secrets. I would recommend this book to children who are starting to show an interest in Middle Grade reading material, or parents who want to share a good laugh with their children. 

**Unabridged Bookshelf received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review**

The eyes and ears of Scary School, Derek the Ghost has decided to stop by to talk about the importance of Middle Grade fiction. 

The Importance of Middle-Grade Fiction
Why Reading my Book Series Scary School is Guaranteed to Turn your Kid into a Well-adjusted, Ivy League-bound, World-beater Dynamo

By Derek the Ghost

            Let’s start off with this question. Why is reading important for children? Wait. I have better question. Why is absorbing a story in the form of text considered a superior means of story-absorption as opposed to pictures and sound through a television or movie screen?

            Back in the olden days before TV and movies, reading was the numero uno form of self-entertainment. However, like TV of today, using books to take in fictional stories was considered a highly frivolous activity. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only form of reading not considered frivolous was reading the bible.

            So why did the cultural paradigm shift? Television and movies became the dominant form of story dispersion, and suddenly books became the underdog. When books became the underdog, they went from frivolous to intellectually elitist practically overnight. You could argue the same thing happened with theater.

            So, are you actually smarter because you read, or is it just our culture’s perception of reading that merely makes you appear smarter?

            Here’s the answer. You’re actually smarter. 

            It goes without saying that reading requires a basic education. But more importantly, it requires that the brain function in a heightened state of stimulation called Alpha Mode. During Alpha Mode there’s an innumerable amount of split-second decisions taking place. The brain is constantly deciphering letters and interpreting their meaning while at the same time forming imagery to correlate with each phrase. It requires a lot of sub-conscious brain energy and millions of electrical reactions.

            Because reading requires so much brain energy, the brain becomes tired quickly and wants to switch to Beta Mode. Beta Mode is when you are spacing out, vegging out, or just hanging out. You are essentially on autopilot, just taking things in, but not actively participating. When you are driving a car, you are usually in Alpha Mode. But when you suddenly look up and realize you’ve driven ten miles past your freeway exit, that’s right… you switched over to Beta Mode, buster.

            The good news is that reading is like running. When you first start running you can only run a short distance before getting tired. Reading is the same way. The more you read, the more “brain exercise” you’re getting, and staying in Alpha Mode for longer stretches without getting tired becomes much easier. This effect bleeds over into all facets of life. You’ll be able to study longer and more effectively, retain more information, and work more thoroughly and patiently for extended hours. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did this better than anyone.

            Now let me ask you this: Why were kids who had never read anything longer than a 150-page Goosebumps book so eager to read a 750-page Harry Potter book? And why were they able to do it so effortlessly, when reading just one chapter of a schoolbook feels like a Herculean labor?

            Because they loved it. Reading Harry Potter was as enjoyable to most kids (if not more so) than playing video games or watching cartoons. The pleasure of reading those books caused kids’ brains to squirt dopamine into their system, making them feel euphoric and self-confident. There’s something books provide that all their other forms of entertainment cannot – a deep, almost familial bond with the characters. Only books can create that on such a profound level. Remember Kathy Bates in Misery? That’s the dark side of it, but I don’t think anyone went bat-#$#@ crazy when Friends was cancelled.

            The great thing about Harry Potter was the after-shock it created in the middle-grade and YA book market. Kids were addicted to the book. The pleasure they got from the suspense, humor, mystery, and triumph had shot buckets of dopamine into their systems and no other form of entertainment could match that natural high. So, the middle-grade and YA book market exploded with kids seeking their next fix. When the Harry Potter fans grew up, they were naturally attracted to edgier, more adult fare that reflected their changing selves, and the YA market skyrocketed, heralded by Twilight and now The Hunger Games.

            Which brings me to my book series, Scary School. With these books, I had only one goal. I was not trying to write to the best middle-grade series ever. I wasn’t trying to win any Newberry medals for literature.  All I wanted to do with the Scary School series was make kids laugh. That’s it.

            With my background in comedy writing, I felt that I could maybe write the funniest (not the best) middle-grade book ever. Go big or go home, right? I wanted to have at least three laugh-out-loud moments on every page. Did I succeed? You’ll have to tell me, but the most often used words in the reviews of the book have been “hilarious” and “laugh-out-loud funny.” So far so good.

            What will happen when your kids read Scary School will be something very magical. It may very well be the first chapter book your kid reads as well as the first chapter of a life of profound and meaningful achievement. It may also be something a reluctant reader gives a shot because it actually looks fun with that zombie skateboarding kid on the cover. Maybe the only reason your kid gets it is because I’m signing copies at the local bookstore, so you think it would be neat for your kid to have a signed book. Let’s play out that scenario:       
            I sign the inside jacket of Scary School Book One and write him or her a special message with a funny drawing. Your kid is much more excited to receive it than you thought he/she would be.
            That night, you hear laughter from across the house late at night. Your kid is supposed to be asleep but is staying up in bed reading Scary School. You figure that’s okay, so you let him/her keep reading, and you keep hearing laughter until midnight. The laughter is forging an imprint on your kid’s brain that reading=fun.

            After finishing Scary School, you child will seek out more books to try and recreate that boisterous experience.

            In the process, the child will continuing growing up, always reading and seeking that next great story. While other kids are watching TV and living their lives in Beta Mode, your child’s brain will be in Alpha Mode 1,000% more often. The heightened brain stimulation for long hours will increase your child’s cognitive functioning far past his/her peers. Not only that, your child will be armed with amazing moral and practical lessons learned throughout the Scary School book series that helps him/her adjust to new situations, treat people with respect and kindness, and fuel him/her with a yearning to make the world a better place.

            This leads your child into doing community service, building the next great invention, and becoming class president.

            Harvard and Yale both offer your child full scholarships, but he/she chooses to cash in on his new invention money and attends Oxford because Scary School taught him/her the value of seeking adventure and meeting different kinds of people from all over the world.

            You don’t miss him/her as you otherwise might have because in the future there’s holographic communication where it seems like you’re actually sitting and talking in the same room together.

            After graduation, your child comes back home where he/she is probably a DA, a famous architect, a prodigious scientist, or CEO of that hot new startup. He/She comes over for dinner one night and puts a knapsack down on the sofa. It falls over, and amongst the futuristic gadgets, you notice an old, dusty copy of Scary School – that book your child read in one all-nighter back in middle school. That book purchased on a whim because the author happened to be signing at the store. You open it up, and read what is says where I signed the inside of the jacket:

Dear (your kid’s name), Have Fun at Scary School! – Derek the Ghost


For more info the Scary School series, fun and games, and even tour the school and meet the students and faculty, please visit  Scary School #2 – Monsters on the March will be released June 26, 2012 online and in bookstores everywhere.