The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood.

But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat.

Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can’t help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

M: Cover’s decent.

R: I like it for the most part; I mean it’s not bad looking. It fits your typical fantasy novel, which is this book in a nutshell. When you think about it.

M: I liked the font…the castle’s kind of cool looking. From the side it’s very appealing, the cover isn’t terrible it’s just not inspiring enough for me to buy the book.

R: I guess I can see that.

<10 minutes later>

R: Sooooo, lucky readers, we should let you know that this book is horrible to review. It’s not horrible, but it’s not that great either. It’s just okay.

M: Just meh. I think I enjoyed it when I was reading it though. But now, and even then, I have nothing to say about it.

R: I should also point that I read this book at some point since it came out in 2010, but I completely forgot about that until about page 25. But even then I couldn’t recall that much about it.

M: I did want to read the sequel and I tried, but it’s not really a sequel it’s a “companion.” As far as I can tell it’s not even the same kingdom and I’m not sure where she gets off calling it a companion novel.

<10 minutes later, after Rachael and Megan viciously argue about the Fantasy genre>

R: I didn’t like the sorcery that was going on in this book, everyone kept disappearing. It felt like such an easy way out.

M: I feel like Cypess did not explain magic well enough; I feel like when you include sorcery in a book you sort of have to explain how it works.

R: I mean, eh, kind of. But not really. Because oftentimes when an author tries to do that they don’t do it well and so then the book just gets bogged down in details. Boring details.

M: There still need to be set rules, in my opinion.

<10 minutes later>

M: Let’s just end this.

R: Yeah, I feel like it’s safe to say this was not a good one for us. Not that it’s bad…

M: It’s just mediocre.

Book: 3 out of 5 stars

Cover: 3 out of 5 stars.

Poetry is Visual

April is National Poetry month, so I have spent the past couple of days reading poetry and remembering some of my favorites. I picked up a book of haiku by Richard Wright, the author of Native Son.  This one seems particularly apt for today:

public domain clipart106

   Beads of quicksilver
On a black umbrella:
Moonlit April rain.

Hopefully, the sun will be shining again by the time you are reading this!

I like the fact that a haiku has a visual component as well as a verbal one.  Sometimes we think of poetry in terms of meter and rhyme, but some of my favorites, like this one, are visual.

  l(areproduced under Wikipedia Commons licen

by e.e. cummings


I have always loved the way this conveys so much meaning with only four words.

Alice Walker’s poems in Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth are vertical:
This one almost looks like a trophy.

The Award

Though not
A contest
The award
& we
(p. 165)

Sometimes the visual component is more in the words themselves rather than the shape of the poem:

reproduced under Wikipedia Commons license


by Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

First Fighttp://kindred--spirit.tumblr.com/

 by Edna St. Vincent Millay

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light.

Sometimes a poem is meant to be performed and the visual aspect comes from the movement of the person reciting the poem as in Barefooting from the book, Wham! Its a poetry Jam! by Sara Holbrook:


over hot blacktop
electrocutes me on the street,
sense from my eyeballs
and signalling
to my feet.
(p. 31)

Look for the poetry around you this month: in nature, on the walls, in the way people walk and dance and run.  Remember that a poem is alive when it is experienced with all of your senses.  If you like to write poetry, ACPL is having a Poetry Slam next Wednesday evening from 7:00-8:45.  It will be in Meeting Room A at the Main library.  Poets must be in grades 9-12, but it is open to the public, so bring the whole family!

images from public domain or Wikipedia Commons.

Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash. Some work at the Gap. Becca Williamson breaks up couples. 

After watching her sister get left at the altar, Becca knows the true damage that comes when people utter the dreaded L-word. For just $100 via paypal, she can trick and manipulate any couple into smithereens. With relationship zombies overrunning her school, and treating single girls like second class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even her best friend Val has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.

One night, she receives a mysterious offer to break up the homecoming king and queen, the one zombie couple to rule them all: Steve and Huxley. They are a JFK and Jackie O in training, masters of sweeping faux-mantic gestures, but if Becca can split them up, then school will be safe again for singletons. To succeed, she’ll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date and wiggle her way back into her former BFF Huxley’s life – not to mention start a few rumors, sabotage some cell phones, break into a car, and fend off the inappropriate feelings she’s having about Val’s new boyfriend. All while avoiding a past victim out to expose her true identity.

No one said being the Break-Up Artist was easy.

M: I don’t know where they were going with this cover, but it did not work.

R: No, no it did not. The color scheme works, if you take out the two characters on the front. Who are they even supposed to be?

M: Absolutely no idea, they don’t resemble anyone in the story that I can imagine.

R: The story though, was pretty good. Very funny I thought, ya know? We both agreed very Mean Girls-esque.

M: Yes, it really did have some Mean Girls qualities. I also enjoyed that the main character was about as bitter as I am when it comes to love.

R: I loved that element of Becca as well! But you know me, I don’t do romance. At all.

M: True.  It doesn’t bother me that much, but for some reason in contemporary fiction it is a lot more annoying than it would be in other genres.  Mostly because of the whole “you have to be in a relationship to be fully human” aspect that is prevalent in most of them.

R: I know exactly what you mean. It’s sad that so many of the contemporary fiction in YA is so MUST BE IN A RELATIONSHIP. I can’t decide what came first, girls having to be a in a relationship to feel whole or strongly focused romance in YA literature. It’s your classic chicken or the egg scenario.

M: I did like how this book was sort of a departure from that. However, there were parts where I thought it was not going to be.

R: You mean the parts where I wanted to punch her?

M: Exactly! Those parts. For her being so anti-love she falls for a lot of BS really fast. It got pretty annoying.

R: Me too. You know who was also annoying? Her friend Val. I hated that she lied to get her boyfriend. He obviously knew she hadn’t seen any of those movies, but he just went along with it because he wanted someone to make out with.

M: Yeah, Ezra was definitely not my favorite character. I also wanted to punch her sister a few times.

R: I liked that that storyline drove home the point of not marrying someone just so that you can be married.

M: I also liked that it stressed the importance of friendship and how one should be able to lean on your friends for support in times of trouble. Though I completely understood where her sister was coming from, because if someone left you at the altar you would only be able to focus on that and you would imagine that EVERYONE was talking about you.

R: Like Ted from How I Might Your Mother.

M: I will say this, I would not have read this book if we had not chosen it for Bibliomaniacs. It really isn’t my style; however, I did enjoy it. I was curious to see where it was going to go.

R: I feel bad that we can’t tell any of you more than what we’ve said, but to say anymore would give away some very big spoilers.

M: But it was a good book, if you’re in to this thing or even if you’re not. ‘Cause I’m not really, but I liked it.

R: We apologize for this kind of horrible review. But it’s excellent proof that you win some, you lose some.

M: I’m just glad this is over.

Book: 4 out of 5 stars

Cover: 2 out of 5 stars

2014 Day of Silence

The 2014 Day of Silence is approaching on April 11th! Students all over the world take a vow of silence to bring attention to the harmful effects of anti-LGBT bullying. Will you participate and show your support for ending anti-LGBT bullying in K-12 schools? You may register and join the movement.

Break the silence, register @: http://action.glsen.org/page/s/day-of-silence

Want to learn more about why we are silent? Saad explains the significance of silence in this short video: http://youtu.be/Ref-63Dn1Is

The Northeast Indiana LGBTQ Coalition invites you to join them Friday, April 11 at Headwaters Park in Fort Wayne for their 2nd Annual Day of Silence Vigil & Breaking the Silence Rally.   To register for this event go to:  http://www.eventbrite.com/e/day-of-silence-vigil-breaking-the-silence-rally-tickets-10838972659?utm_source=eb_email

People will gather at Headwaters Park main entrance at 7:15pm and begin the walk to the MLK Bridge at 7:30pm for a silent, candlelight vigil. The vigil will be followed by a “Breaking the Silence Rally” in Headwaters Park East where speakers will share stories and thoughts about what the Day of Silence means to them.

April is National Poetry Month so here are some new books this year about poetry…


Poetry Contest ACPL

“To whom it may concern”


Letters About Literature Anthology:

winning letters & poems from young Hoosier writers.


Shaquielle and friend in Studio D

In honor of National Poetry Month, local poet and rapper Shaquielle Coleman contributed the following original poem:

I Be On My Jay-Z

I be on my Jay-z I got to keep it moving I cant be stuck on stupid if you want the old me you look up S-entrepunera, To let you know I drop him and now it’s Shaquielle Coleman call me by my government to give me that confidence of a president, I be on my Jay-z that means I must maintain my potential like a strict principal, I be on my Jay-z this Tom Ford be driving my haters crazy this style that I live got them mad and confuse like I m playing mind tricks they think I’m a Magician quote Jay-Z Blue Magic, Tricks, Get it tricks but tricks are for kids and I m a grown young man on my Jay-z on my way living with the imagination to show up on TV I call
that all eyes on me like I was Tupac Shakur I be on my Jay-Z no need to feed into haters as long as my fans and families praise and adore me!!!!!!!!!!!!

copyright 2013 by Shaquielle Coleman, used with permission

You can see and hear more of his work on his youtube channel.

Speaking of poetry: area high school students are invited to compete in the Poetry Slam to take place on Wednesday, April 16th at 7:00PM at Main Library. Curtis Crisler returns as host. There’s no cost to participate and prizes will be awarded to top finishers. Call 421-1255 to sign up.


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