Libri Dilectio: February 2011

08 February 2011

Series Review: Ruby Oliver

Ruby Oliver Quartet, E. Lockhart
(Gr 7+)
Reviewed from purchased copies

The Boyfriend List: Delacorte 2005
The Boy Book: Delacorte 2006
The Treasure Map of Boys: Delacorte 2009
Real Live Boyfriends: Delacorte 2010

Ruby Oliver’s life is in shambles – her friends all hate her, her boyfriend dumped her for her ex-best friend, and the whole school thinks she’s a big slut. All this adds up to a big panic attack, literally. Ruby has to start seeing a therapist to deal with her attacks. Dr. Z tries to lead Ruby through an analysis of herself and what she wants from life, but Ruby seems to bring everything back to boys. With a lot of humor, an obsessive list making tendency, and, yes, some boys in tow, Ruby finds a way to find herself.

I am in love with Ruby Oliver. She is such a wonderfully real, fully fleshed out character that I feel like she’s a real person! What made me fall in love with Ruby first and foremost is her unstoppable sense of humor. Even when she’s at (what I would deem) an all time low, she still finds a way to laugh at herself. I mean seriously, Ruby should be required reading for all high school girls. She stays true to herself (even when she’s not sure who she is) and finds true friendship, okay, sure, she has the occasional panic attack, but the important part is that she’s dealing with them.

The secondary characters in this series are just as loveable, and unloveable, as Ruby. They’re fully realized and also seem like real people. For example, Ruby’s friend Megan starts out as just the ditzy girl with a serious boyfriend and a coffee habit who drives Ruby to school. However, as the series goes along, the reader learns more about Megan and she really comes into her own as a character. She may have started as a blip on Ruby’s radar, but she ended up as one of my favorite characters.

Okay, so, the boys. Yes, there are boys in these books. I know,  you wouldn’t guess it from the titles… Anyway, I’m pretty sure I have a book crush on Noel. He was smart, funny, and outspoken but also overly analytical, private, and secretive. I love that the characters in these books are so three dimensional! They aren’t just idealized perfect ideas of what teenagers should be. Yes, I know that Noel is 17 and fictional and I’m 26 and married, but I still have hope.

I know I focused A LOT, okay only, on the characters, but I just LOVE them so much! Don’t worry, everything else in this book is fab as well. The prose is light and easy to lose yourself in. The descriptions are so vivid that your imagination really doesn’t have to do any work to see Ruby sitting in her houseboat trying on vintage dresses while her great dane looks on.

Readreadreadread this series! Trust me. I’m obsessed.

06 February 2011

A True Princess Blog Tour

Today I'm featuring a great author of middle grade fiction! Diane Zahler writes fairy tale re-tellings with her own unique spin. She is the author of The Thirteenth Princess and (new this month) A True Princess!

About Diane Zahler

Diane Zahler, author of A True Princess, has loved tales of fairies and magic since before she was old enough to read. She has worked in the children’s room at a public library, in children’s book publishing, and as an elementary and high school textbook writer. The Thirteenth Princess, her first novel for young readers, was published in 2010. She lives with her husband and dog in an old farmhouse in the Harlem Valley that is held together with duct tape and magic spells. Diane’s website is:

About A True Princess

Twelve-year-old Lilia is not a very good servant. She daydreams, she breaks dishes, and her cooking is awful! Still, she hardly deserves to be sold off to the mean-spirited miller and his family. Lilia refuses to accept that dreadful fate, and with her best friend Kai and his sister Karina beside her, she heads north to find the family she's never known. But danger awaits. . . .

As their quest leads the threesome through the mysterious and sinister Bitra Forest, they suddenly realize they are lost in the elves' domain. To Lilia's horror, Kai falls under an enchantment cast by the Elf-King's beautiful daughter. The only way for Lilia to break the spell and save Kai is to find a jewel of ancient power that lies somewhere in the North Kingdoms. Yet the jewel will not be easy to find. The castle where it is hidden has been overrun with princess hopefuls trying to pass a magical test that will determine the prince's new bride. Lilia has only a few days to search every inch of the castle and find the jewel—or Kai will be lost to her forever.

A True Princess is out now and you can get it from the HarperCollins website, your favorite bookstore, or your local library!

Check out the other tour stops

02 February 2011

Iron Queen Winner

Congratulations To…

You’ve won a copy of The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa! 
Congratulations and thanks to everyone who entered! provided a winner for this contest.

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