Saturday, October 31, 2015

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Stephanie Perkins - Lola and the Boy Next Door
Published: September 29, 2011 by Dutton Books
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 3/5

Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Review: Hour of the Bees

Lindsay Eagar - Hour of the Bees
Expected publication: March 8, 2016 by Candlewick Press
Pages: 360
Genres: Magical Realism, Middle Grade
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 5/5

What does it mean to be fully alive? Magic blends with reality in a stunning coming-of-age novel about a girl, a grandfather, wanderlust, and reclaiming your roots.

Things are only impossible if you stop to think about them. . .

While her friends are spending their summers having pool parties and sleepovers, twelve-year-old Carolina — Carol — is spending hers in the middle of the New Mexico desert, helping her parents move the grandfather she’s never met into a home for people with dementia. At first, Carol avoids prickly Grandpa Serge. But as the summer wears on and the heat bears down, Carol finds herself drawn to him, fascinated by the crazy stories he tells her about a healing tree, a green-glass lake, and the bees that will bring back the rain and end a hundred years of drought. As the thin line between magic and reality starts to blur, Carol must decide for herself what is possible — and what it means to be true to her roots. Readers who dream that there’s something more out there will be enchanted by this captivating novel of family, renewal, and discovering the wonder of the world.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: What You Left Behind

Jessica Verdi - What You Left Behind
Published: August 4, 2015 by Sourcebooks
Pages: 358
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 3/5

It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Review: Anna and The French Kiss

Stephanie Perkins - Anna and The French Kiss
Published: December 2nd, 2010 by Dutton Juvenile (first published January 1st, 2010)
Pages: 372
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 2/5

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Dreamiest Boys Ever

Review: Dumplin'

Julie Murphy - Dumplin'
Published: September 15, 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 2.5/5

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.


With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: Underwater

Marisa Reichardt - Underwater
Expected publication: January 12, 2016 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Pages: 288
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 5/5

Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself.

But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school.

When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.

Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Review: Dead to Me

Mary McCoy - Dead to Me
Published: March 3rd, 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 304
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository

LA Confidential for the YA audience. This alluring noir YA mystery with a Golden Age Hollywood backdrop will keep you guessing until the last page.

"Don't believe anything they say."

Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her--and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away.

When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her. But Alice isn't a kid anymore, and this time she won't let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly. The search for those who beat Annie and left her for dead leads Alice into a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets--and onto the trail of a young runaway who is the sole witness to an unspeakable crime. What this girl knows could shut down a criminal syndicate and put Annie's attacker behind bars--if Alice can find her first. And she isn't the only one looking

Evoking classic film noir, debut novelist Mary McCoy brings the dangerous glamour of Hollywood's Golden Age to life, where the most decadent parties can be the deadliest, and no drive into the sunset can erase the crimes of past.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Review: Future Perfect

Jen Larsen - Future Perfect
Published: October 6, 2015 by HarperTeen
Pages: 320
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository

Every year on her birthday, Ashley Perkins gets a card from her grandmother—a card that always contains a promise: lose enough weight, and I will buy your happiness.

Ashley doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the way she looks, but no amount of arguing can persuade her grandmother that “fat” isn’t a dirty word—that Ashley is happy with her life, and her body, as it is.


But Ashley wasn’t counting on having her dreams served up on a silver platter at her latest birthday party. She falters when Grandmother offers the one thing she’s always wanted: tuition to attend Harvard University—in exchange for undergoing weight loss surgery.

As Ashley grapples with the choice that little white card has given her, she feels pressured by her friends, her family, even administrators at school. But what’s a girl to do when the reflection in her mirror seems to bother everyone but her?

Through her indecisions and doubts, Ashley’s story is a liberating one—a tale of one girl, who knows that weight is just a number, and that no one is completely perfect.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

DNF Review: Black Widow: Forever Red

Margaret Stohl - Black Widow: Forever Red
Published: October 13, 2015 by Marvel Press
Pages: 304
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: Um, DNF?

Enter the world of the Avengers' iconic master spy

Natasha Romanoff is one of the world's most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow's infamous academy for operatives.

Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average. The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn't really the big sister type.

Until now.

When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava's dreams. . . .

Black Widow: Forever Red features all the heart-pounding adventure readers expect from Marvel, written by #1 New York Times best-selling author Margaret Stohl. Uncover a new side of the Marvel Universe that will thrill loyal fans and newcomers alike, as Stohl reveals the untold story of Black Widow for the very first time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Review: What We Saw

Aaron Hartzler - What We Saw
Published: September 22, 2015 by HarperTeen
Pages: 336
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 4/5

Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Review: Romancing the Dark in the City of Light

Ann Jacobus - Romancing the Dark in the City of Light
Published: October 6, 2015 by Thomas Dunne Books
Pages: 288
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, GoodreadsBook Depository
Rating: 3.5/5

A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws.

Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.

Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can't shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.

When Summer's behavior manages to alienate everyone, even Moony, she's forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that'll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Review: Anne & Henry

Dawn Ius - Anne & Henry
Published: September 1, 2015 by Simon Pulse
Pages: 304
Genres: Contemporary, Retellings, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 1/5

In this wonderfully creative retelling of the infamous—and torrid—love affair between Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, history collides with the present when a sizzling romance ignites in a modern-day high school.

Henry Tudor’s life has been mapped out since the day he was born: student body president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father’s. But ever since the death of his brother, the pressure for Henry to be perfect has doubled. And now he’s trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who isn’t Tudor-approved.

Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life.

Wild, brash, and outspoken, Anne is everything Henry isn’t allowed to be—or want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, but his desire for Anne consumes him.

Henry is willing to do anything to be with her, but once they’re together, will their romance destroy them both?

Inspired by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, Anne & Henry beautifully reimagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Review: This Raging Light

Estelle Laure - This Raging Light
Expected Publication: December 22, 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 288
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 3.5/5
Can the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she's about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend's brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure's soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Since You've Been Gone

Morgan Matson - Since You've Been Gone
Published: May 6, 2014 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 449
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 2/5

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um...

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review: See No Color

Shannon Gibney - See No Color
Expected publication: November 1, 2015 by Carolrhoda Lab
Pages: 192
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 4/5

Being a biracial girl adopted by a white family didn't used to bother Alex. All that mattered was being her father's baseball star--until that status slips. Now she's questioning her identity. Black or white--where does she fit in?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Review: Don't Fail Me Now

Una LaMarche - Don't Fail Me Now
Published: September 1st, 2015 by Razorbill
Pages: 288
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 2/5

Michelle and her little siblings Cass and Denny are African-American and living on the poverty line in urban Baltimore, struggling to keep it together with their mom in jail and only Michelle’s part-time job at the Taco Bell to sustain them.

Leah and her stepbrother Tim are white and middle class from suburban Maryland, with few worries beyond winning lacrosse games and getting college applications in on time.

Michelle and Leah only have one thing in common: Buck Devereaux, the biological father who abandoned them when they were little.

After news trickles back to them that Buck is dying, they make the uneasy decision to drive across country to his hospice in California. Leah hopes for closure; Michelle just wants to give him a piece of her mind.

Five people in a failing, old station wagon, living off free samples at food courts across America, and the most pressing question on Michelle’s mind is: Who will break down first--herself or the car? All the signs tell her they won’t make it. But Michelle has heard that her whole life, and it’s never stopped her before....

Una LaMarche triumphs once again with this rare and compassionate look at how racial and social privilege affects one family in crisis in both subtle and astonishing ways.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Review: Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song

Sara Bareilles - Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song
Expected publication: October 6, 2015 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 208
Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 2.5/5
A candid and down-to-earth collection of essays by five-time, Grammy Award nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, exploring her life in song; raw, evocative, and utterly unforgettable.

Sara Bareilles shot to fame in 2007 with her hit single; Love Song, and her more recent chart-topping hit; Brave, but her journal as a songwriter started long before. In this candid book of essays, Sara pulls back the curtain to expose her songwriting process, revealing all the struggle and joy inherent in creating great work while staying true to yourself.

Showcasing her stripped down and confessional writing style, Sara's entertaining and inspirational book tells the inside stories behind her most popular songs and offers insights into finding balance between making art for herself and commercial music for her listeners.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Review: For The Record

Charlotte Huang - For The Record
Expected publication: November 10, 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 3/5

If Almost Famous
were a YA novel... a raw, honest debut celebrating music, friendship, romance, and life on the road.

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like... until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything

Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.

Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule... Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

My Sparkly New Blog

Hello, all!

I read, I review, I binge Netflix - a semi-autobiographical novel by ya gurl, Peach.

I kinda wanted to debut this like Beyoncé did with her surprise album, like:


But in all honesty, it's more like:


For those who may not know me, name's Peach. Blogging's my game. I love practically every Disney film inexistence, would undoubtedly endorse a Zoey 101 sequel (if you haven't seen already, please go to YouTube and watch the #WhatDidZoeySay video), and once had goldfish named Otto and Reggie, appropriately named for the surfer siblings in Rocket Power.

For those who do know me, hiiiii.

Tell me what you think of the blog. Is it one big fat flop? Is it mildly snazzy? Is it, at least, semi-snazzier than sliced bread? Give me your opinion and I'll be back to reviewing tomorrow.