Monday, November 14, 2016

Review: The Dead Boyfriend

R.L. Stine - The Dead Boyfriend
Published: September 27, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books for St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Horror, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 276
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4/5

R.L. Stine's Fear Street series is back, and in The Dead Boyfriend, he tells the frightening tale of teenage love - and how it can go terribly, murderously wrong.

Caitlin has never had a real boyfriend before. When she starts seeing Blade, she throws herself into the relationship with fervor. She ignores her friends who warn her that Blade may be a phony and that she is taking the whole thing too seriously. Caitlin is smitten. She doesn't care if she loses her friends. All she wants is Blade. When Caitlin approaches Blade with another girl, she completely loses it. She snaps. Everything goes red. When she comes back to her senses, she realizes that Blade is dead - and she has killed him.

But if Blade is dead, how is he staring at her across a crowded party?

Terrifying from the first page to the last, The Dead Boyfriend is a heart-racing young adult novel from the master of teen screams himself.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Review: Lucy and Linh

Alice Pung - Lucy and Linh
Published: September 6, 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

Gilmore Girls meets Fresh Off the Boat in this witty novel about navigating life in private school while remaining true to yourself.

Lucy is a bit of a pushover, but she’s ambitious and smart, and she has just received the opportunity of a lifetime: a scholarship to a prestigious school, and a ticket out of her broken-down suburb. Though she’s worried she will stick out like badly cut bangs among the razor-straight students, she is soon welcomed into the Cabinet, the supremely popular trio who wield influence over classmates and teachers alike.

Linh is blunt, strong-willed, and fearless—everything Lucy once loved about herself. She is also Lucy’s last solid link to her life before private school, but she is growing tired of being eclipsed by the glamour of the Cabinet.

As Lucy floats further away from the world she once knew, her connection to Linh—and to her old life—threatens to snap. Sharp and honest, Alice Pung’s novel examines what it means to grow into the person you want to be without leaving yourself behind.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Review: The Best Possible Answer

E. Katherine Kottaras - The Best Possible Answer
Published: November 1, 2016 by St. Martin's Press
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

A contemporary YA novel about growing up and learning that loving yourself is more important than trying to be perfect.

AP Exams – check
SAT test – check
College Application – check
Date the wrong guy and ruin everything you’ve spent your whole life working for– check

Ultra-high-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe has always had a plan—and no room to be anything less than perfect. But her quest for perfection comes to a screeching halt when her boyfriend leaks racy pictures of her to the entire school. Making matters worse, her parents are getting divorced and now her perfect family is falling apart. For the first time, Viv feels like a complete and utter failure.

Then she gets a job working at the community pool, where she meets a new group of friends who know nothing about her past. That includes Evan, a gorgeous guy who makes her want to do something she never thought she’d do again: trust. For the first time in her life, Viv realizes she can finally be whoever she wants. But who is that? While she tries to figure it out, she learns something they never covered in her AP courses: that it’s okay to be less than perfect, because it’s our imperfections that make us who we are.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Review: Iron Cast

Destiny Soria - Iron Cast
Published: October 11, 2016 by Amulet Books
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4/5

It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose "afflicted" blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: The Crown's Game

Evelyn Skye - The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game #1)
Published: May 17, 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 399
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Review: When The Moon Was Ours

Anna-Marie McLemore - When The Moon Was Ours
Published: October 4, 2016 by Thomas Dunne
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA, Magical Realism, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4/5
When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review: Sprinkle Glitter On My Grave

Jill Kargman - Sprinkle Glitter On My Grave: Observations, Rants, and Other Uplifting Thoughts About Life
Published: September 6, 2016 by Ballantine Books
Genres: Humor, Nonfiction
Pages: 224
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4/5

Imagine if New York A-lister Nora Ephron had a love child with America’s most-loved comedic scribe, David Sedaris. Their spawn would be Jill Kargman, the bestselling novelist turned satirist and star of Bravo’s break-out scripted comedy, Odd Mom Out. Now Kargman shares her razor-sharp wit and backhanded wisdom in a deeply observed and outrageously funny collection of musings, lists, essays, and outrages. From the life-affirming outlook she got from her death-obsessed family (including the antithesis to her Goth aesthetic, ray of sunshine sister-in-law Drew Barrymore) to the appreciation for land (and limbs) she got from swimming with sharks off the South African coast, to the adrenaline-pumping experience that is a Gay Pride parade, Sprinkle Glitter on My Grave is a book about life, death, and everything that happens in between, that will both entertain and inspire.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Review: Lost in Wonderland (&& Interview with Nicky Peacock!)

Nicky Peacock - Lost in Wonderland (The Twisted and the Brave, #1)
Published: April 14, 2016 by Evernight Teen
Genres: Horror, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 124
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3.5/5

Monsters, serial killers, and imaginary friends—being a Wonderlander can be murder...

Once upon a time, Kayla was lost. Then she found Wonderland, but not the one you know. Run by ex-government agents and funded by an eccentric Silicon Valley billionaire, this Wonderland is the name of a collective of highly trained vigilantes who hunt serial killers. Now Kayla, aka Mouse, works tirelessly alongside her fellow Wonderlanders, Rabbit and Cheshire, baiting dangerous murderers. But even her extensive training hasn’t prepared her for the return of her older brother…

Shilo has spent most of his life in an insane asylum, convinced his mother was abducted by a sinister Alaskan monster who lures the lost away to feast upon their flesh. And now he’s certain that his sister is in the same monster’s crosshairs. But if Shilo is going to save what’s left of his family, he’ll have to convince his sister that maybe, just maybe, we’re all a little mad.
 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Blog Tour Review: Fantastic Mr. Fox

Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake - Fantastic Mr. Fox
Published: June 11, 2002 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published in 1970)
Genres: Middle Grade
Pages: 96
Rating: 4.5/5 (Because it's Roald Dahl. DUH.)
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Fantastic Mr. Fox is on the run! The three meanest farmers around are out to get him. Fat Boggis, squat Bunce, and skinny Bean have joined forces, and they have Mr. Fox and his family surrounded. What they don’t know is that they’re not dealing with just any fox–Mr. Fox would never surrender. But only the most fantastic plan ever can save him now.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Review: All The Ugly and Wonderful Things

Bryn Greenwood - All The Ugly and Wonderful Things
Published: August 9, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books
Genres: Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3/5

As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible "adult" around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Review: P.S. I Like You

Kasie West - P.S. I Like You
Published: July 26. 2016 by Point
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Review: The Graces

Laure Eve - The Graces (The Graces #1)
Published: September 6, 2016 by Amulet Books
Genres: Fantasy, Thriller, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

When a glamorous family of teenage witches brings a mysterious new girl into their fold, they unwittingly nurture a powerful black magic that could destroy them all. This paranormal YA fantasy features intrigue, spells, and a devastating twist. In The Graces, the first rule of witchcraft states that if you want something badly enough, you can get it . . . no matter who has to pay.

Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they’re rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you’re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. But what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.

This fabulously addictive fantasy combines sophisticated and haunting prose with a gut-punching twist that readers will be dying to discuss. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars as well as nostalgic classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 1996 movie The Craft, The Graces marks the beginning of a new wave of teen witches.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Review: Santorini Sunsets

Anita Hughes - Santorini Sunsets
Published: August 2, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Adult, Romance
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

Brigit Palmer is thrilled to be on the Greek Island of Santorini. She's here for her wedding to Hollywood heart-throb Blake Crawford, one of America's most eligible bachelors. Brigit's parents have rented a villa, and soon guests will arrive from all over the world for the intimate ceremony.
Brigit is a New York socialite, and she's just given up her position at a Manhattan law firm to run her father's philanthropic foundation. Things are finally falling into place. Love, career, family. Everything is going so well...until she steps into the garden and sees her ex-husband Nathaniel hiding in the rose bushes.

Nathaniel, a failed novelist, announces that Blake sold the rights to the wedding to HELLO! Magazine for two million dollars (donated to charity), and he is the reporter assigned to write the story. Everyone expects Brigit to have her happily ever after, her mother who taught her how to lead the perfect lifestyle, her younger sister Daisy who impatiently wishes for her own love story, and of course her fiancée. Things are supposed to work out for them. But when Brigit discovers an unsettling secret about Blake, she questions everything she's ever believed about love, and wonders if she's not better off alone.

Told in Anita Hughes' spectacularly descriptive prose, Santorini Sunsets is a story about family bonds, first loves, and the question of when to let go and when to hang on as tight as you can.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Review: Last Year's Mistake

Gina Ciocca - Last Year's Mistake
Published: June 9, 2015 by Simon Pulse
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 1/5

Before:
Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke and everything around her crumbled - including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decided to move away, she couldn’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn't ready to let her go...

After:
Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family relocates to the same town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never let him go. And that maybe she never wants to.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: A Week of Mondays

Jessica Brody - A Week of Mondays
Published: August 2, 2016 by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux (BYR)
Genres: Contemporary, Magical Realism, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 464
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4/5

When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true... 
   
Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!

As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?

From the author 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and The Unremembered trilogy comes a hilarious and heartwarming story about second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances. Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out what you really want.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Review: The Thousandth Floor

Katharine McGee - The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor #1)
Expected publication: August 30, 2016 by HarperTeen
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

New York City as you’ve never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.


A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?

Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Debut author Katharine McGee has created a breathtakingly original series filled with high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, where the impossible feels just within reach. But in this world, the higher you go, the farther there is to fall….

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Review: First Comes Love

Emily Giffin - First Comes Love
Published: June 28, 2016 by Ballantine Books
Genres: Adult, Romance
Pages: 380
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

In this dazzling new novel, Emily Giffin, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & Only introduces a pair of sisters who find themselves at a crossroads.

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.

Emotionally honest and utterly enthralling, First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Review: The Season

Jonah Lisa Dyer & Stephen Dyer - The Season
Published: July 12, 2016 by Viking's Children
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 326
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3.5/5

She can score a goal, do sixty box jumps in a row, bench press a hundred and fifty pounds…but can she learn to curtsey?

Megan McKnight is a soccer star with Olympic dreams, but she’s not a girly girl. So when her Southern belle mother secretly enters her in the 2016 Dallas debutante season, she’s furious—and has no idea what she’s in for. When Megan’s attitude gets her on probation with the mother hen of the debs, she’s got a month to prove she can ballroom dance, display impeccable manners, and curtsey like a proper Texas lady or she’ll get the boot and disgrace her family. The perk of being a debutante, of course, is going to parties, and it’s at one of these lavish affairs where Megan gets swept off her feet by the debonair and down-to-earth Hank Waterhouse. If only she didn’t have to contend with a backstabbing blonde and her handsome but surly billionaire boyfriend, Megan thinks, being a deb might not be so bad after all. But that’s before she humiliates herself in front of a room full of ten-year-olds, becomes embroiled in a media-frenzy scandal, and gets punched in the face by another girl.

The season has officially begun…but the drama is just getting started.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Review: Wax (+ All The Punniest, Waxiest Things I Loved About It!)

Gina Damico - Wax
Expected publication: August 2nd 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genres: Horror, Humor, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3.5/5

Paraffin, Vermont, is known the world over as home to the Grosholtz Candle Factory. But behind the sunny retail space bursting with overwhelming scents and homemade fudge, seventeen-year-old Poppy Palladino discovers something dark and unsettling: a back room filled with dozens of startlingly life-like wax sculptures, crafted by one very strange old lady. Poppy hightails it home, only to be shocked when one of the figures—a teenage boy who doesn’t seem to know what he is—jumps naked and screaming out of the trunk of her car. She tries to return him to the candle factory, but before she can, a fire destroys the mysterious workshop—and the old woman is nowhere to be seen.

With the help of the wax boy, who answers to the name Dud, Poppy resolves to find out who was behind the fire. But in the course of her investigation, she discovers that things in Paraffin aren’t always as they seem, that the Grosholtz Candle Factory isn’t as pure as its reputation—and that some of the townspeople she’s known her entire life may not be as human as they once were. In fact, they’re starting to look a little . . . waxy. Can Poppy and Dud extinguish the evil that's taking hold of their town before it’s too late?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

DNF Alert: The Girls

Emma Cline - The Girls
Published: June 14, 2016 by Random House
Genres: Adult, Romance
Pages: 355
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: DNF. Bah. Wah.
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong—this stunning first novel is perfect for readers of Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.

Emma Cline’s remarkable debut novel is gorgeously written and spellbinding, with razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight. The Girls is a brilliant work of fiction.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Review: The Real Peter Pan

Piers Dudgeon - The Real Peter Pan: The Tragic Life of Michael Llewelyn Davies
Published: July 12, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books
Genres: Nonfiction
Pages: 416
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

The world has long been captivated by the story of Peter Pan and the countless movies, plays, musicals, and books that retell the story of Peter, Wendy, and the Lost Boys. Now, in this revealing behind-the-scenes book, author Piers Dudgeon examines the fascinating and complex relationships among Peter Pan's creator, J.M. Barrie, and the family of boys who inspired his work.

After meeting the Llewelyn Davies family in London's Kensington Garden, Barrie struck up an intense friendship with the children and their parents. The innocence of Michael, the fourth of five brothers, went on to influence the creation of Barrie's most famous character, Peter Pan. Barrie was so close to the Llewelyn Davies family that he became trustee and guardian to the boys following the deaths of their parents. Although the relationship between the boys and Barrie (and particularly between Barrie and Michael) was enduring, it was punctuated by the fiercest of tragedies. Throughout the heart-rending saga of Barrie's involvement with the Llewelyn Davies brothers, it is the figure of Michael, the most original and inspirational of their number, and yet also the one whose fate is most pitiable, that stands out.

The Real Peter Pan is a captivating true story of childhood, friendship, war, love, and regret.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Review: My Unscripted Life

Lauren Morrill - My Unscripted Life
Expected publication: October 11, 2016 by Delacorte
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3/5

Perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Smith and Huntley Fitzpatrick, you'll love this funny and sweet contemporary romance about a Southern girl ready for a ho-hum summer until she meets the boy of her dreams who happens to be an international pop star.

Sometimes love stories go off script.

Another sultry Georgia summer is about to get a lot hotter. Dee Wilkie is still licking her wounds after getting rejected by the precollege fine arts program of her dreams. But if she'd gone away, she wouldn't have been around to say yes to an unbelievable opportunity: working on the set of a movie filming in her small Southern town that just happens to be starring Milo Ritter, the famous pop star Dee (along with the rest of the world) has had a crush since eighth grade.

It's not like Dee will be sharing any screen time with Milo—she's just a lowly PA. And Milo is so disappointingly rude that Dee is eager to stay far away from him. Except after a few chance meetings, she begins to wonder if just maybe there's a reason for his offensive attitude, and if there's more to Milo than his good looks and above-it-all Hollywood pedigree. Can a relationship with a guy like Milo ever work out for a girl like Dee? Never say never. . .

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

My Mad Fat Playlist!

Rae Earl - My Mad Fat Diary
Published: April 19, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Humor, Nonfiction
Pages: 368
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

It's 1989 and Rae Earl is a fat, boy-mad 17-year-old girl, living in Stamford, Lincolnshire with her mum and their deaf white cat in a council house with a mint green bathroom and a refrigerator Rae can't keep away from. She’s also just been released from a psychiatric ward. My Mad Fat Diary is the hilarious, harrowing and touching real-life diary Rae kept during that fateful year and the basis of the hit British television series of the same name now coming to HULU. Surrounded by people like her constantly dieting mum, her beautiful frenemy Bethany, her mates from the private school up the road (called “Haddock”, “Battered Sausage” and “Fig”) and the handsome, unattainable boys Rae pines after (who sometimes end up with Bethany…), My Mad Fat Diary is the story of an overweight young woman just hoping to be loved at a time when slim pop singers ruled the charts. Rae's chronicle of her world will strike a chord with anyone who's ever been a confused, lonely teenager clashing with her parents, sometimes overeating, hating her body, always taking herself VERY seriously, never knowing how positively brilliant she is and keeping a diary to record it all. My Mad Fat Diary – 365 days with one of the wisest and funniest girls in England.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Review: Love + Gelato

Jenna Evans Welch - Love & Gelato
Published: May 3, 2016 by Simon Pulse
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 390
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 1/5

“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Review: Lost in Love

Susane Colasanti - Lost in Love (City Love #2)
Published: May 3, 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3/5

In this second book of the City Love trilogy by bestselling author Susane Colasanti, three girls share a Manhattan apartment the summer before college begins. Lost in Love captures the essence of summer love, self-discovery, and sisterhood, a perfect fit for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Sadie was convinced that Austin was her soul mate, but after discovering his secret she wonders if she even knows him at all. Darcy was all about fun boy adventures with no strings attached . . . until her ex moves to New York City to win her back. Things are getting serious with Rosanna and her boyfriend, but will she be able to break free of her past and let him in? With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, this is the summer that will change their lives forever.

Told from alternating points of view, Lost in Love weaves a story of first love, first heartbreak, and everything in between.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

DNF Alert: The Leaving

Tara Altebrando - The Leaving
Published: June 7, 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: Thriller, Romance, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: A saaaad, maaad DNF

Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back--with no idea of where they've been.

Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.

Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn't come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max's sister Avery, who needs to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Review: My Favorite Manson Girl

Alison Umminger - My Favorite Manson Girl
Published: June 7, 2016 by Flatiron Books
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

She was looking for a place to land.

Anna is a fifteen-year-old girl slouching toward adulthood, and she's had it with her life at home. So Anna "borrows" her stepmom's credit card an runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. But LA isn't quite the glamorous escape Anna had imagined.

As Anna spends her days on TV and movie sets, she engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls—and although the violence in her own life isn't the kind that leaves physical scars, she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present.

In Anna's singular voice, we glimpse not only a picture of life on the B-list in LA, but also a clear-eyed reflection on being young, vulnerable, lost, and female in America—in short, on the B-list of life. Alison Umminger writes about girls, sex, violence, and which people society deems worthy of caring about, which ones it doesn't, in a way not often seen in YA fiction.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Review: Summer of Sloane

Erin L. Schneider - Summer of Sloane
Published: May 3, 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 291
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3.5/5

Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.

These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.

Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.

But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.
  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Review: 26 Kisses

Anna Michels - 26 Kisses
Published: May 24, 2016 by Simon Pulse
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5 (Eh. Meh.)

Breaking up with her boyfriend is not how Veda planned on starting her summer. When Mark makes it clear that it’s over between them, Veda is heartbroken and humiliated—but, more importantly, she’s inspired. And so she sets out on the love quest of a lifetime: use the summer to forget about Mark, move on, and move up. All she has to do is kiss twenty-six boys with twenty-six different names—one for each letter of the alphabet.

From the top of the Ferris wheel at her hometown carnival to the sandy dunes of Lake Michigan, Veda takes every opportunity she can to add kisses (and boys) to her list, and soon the breakup doesn’t sting quite as much. But just when Veda thinks she has the whole kissing thing figured out, she meets someone who turns her world upside down.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Anna Michels’s debut is the story of one girl who realizes that moving on from the supposed love of your life means taking a chance—and having the courage to love again.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Review: His Country Bride + A Playlist!

Debra Holt - His Country Bride
Published: June 11, 2015 by Tulip Romance
Genres: Adult, Romance
Pages: 189
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

"Sheriff's Department! Raise your hands above your head and don't move."

She’s a runaway bride who left her two-timing fiance at the altar. He’s a county sheriff determined to keep the peace in his country and leave city girls alone after his own fiance left him for the bright lights of the city. Neither of them planned on running straight into each other...over a burning wedding dress.

Ellie and Lucas planned on never trusting their hearts to love again. When danger follows her from the city, the sheriff must do his duty to protect her. However, it isn’t long before he discovers the real danger may be to his heart. Ellie just might teach him that even a city girl can be a country girl at heart.

Friday, June 24, 2016

DNF Alert: Flawed

Cecelia Ahern - Flawed (Flawed #1)
Published: April 5, 2016 by Feiwel and Friends
Genres: Science Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: D-N-F.

You will be punished…

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.

In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Review: Afterward

Jennifer Mathieu - Afterward
Expected publication: September 20, 2016 by Roaring Brook Press
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3.5/5

When Caroline's little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself. In the aftermath, Caroline can't help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate for a friend, he can't see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories. But after the media circus surrounding the kidnappings departs from their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan find that they need a friend--and their best option just might be each other.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Review: Breaker

Kat Ellis - Breaker
Published: May 24, 2016 by Running Press Teen
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

Kyle Henry has a new name, a new school, and a new life. A year has passed since his serial killer father’s execution, and it finally looks like he has a chance to escape the stigma and fear that haunts him.

Until he recognizes the girl sitting in the back row in homeroom.

Naomi Steadman is immediately intrigued by Kyle, but she doesn’t know he is the son of the man who murdered her mother. What she does know is she and Kyle have a connection—and a spark that Kyle continues to back away from.

Pretty soon, the death count on campus starts to rise. Someone is set on finishing what the Bonebreaker started, and reliving the horrors of their past may be the only thing that can stop the spree.

Told in alternating viewpoints, Kat Ellis’s tale of mystery and horror is full of broken bonds and new beginnings.
 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Review: Suffer Love

Ashley Herring Blake - Suffer Love
Published: May 3, 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

“Just let it go.”

That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life—her dad most of all—to leave her alone.

Sam Bennett and his family have had their share of drama too. Still reeling from a move to a new town and his parents’ recent divorce, Sam is hoping that he can coast through senior year and then move on to hassle-free, parent-free life in college. He isn’t looking for a relationship…that is, until he sees Hadley for the first time.

Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret that could ruin everything. Should he follow his heart or tell the truth?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Review: Wink Poppy Midnight

April Genevieve Tucholke - Wink Poppy Midnight
Published: March 22, 2016 by Dial Books
Genres: Magical Realism, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 247
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3.5/5

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

Monday, June 6, 2016

DNF Alert: The Dark Days Club

Alison Goodman - The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1)
Published: January 26, 2016 by Viking Books For Young Readers
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 482
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: D-N-F

New York Times bestseller Alison Goodman’s eagerly awaited new project: a Regency adventure starring a stylish and intrepid demon-hunter!

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Review: The Way To Game The Walk of Shame

Jenn P. Nguyen - The Way To Game The Walk of Shame
Expected publication: June 7, 2016 by Swoon Reads
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5


Taylor Simmons is screwed.

Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.

Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.
 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Review: Wanderlost

Jen Malone - Wanderlost
Published: May 31, 2016 by HarperTeen
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Review: The Fall of Butterflies

Andrea Portes - The Fall of Butterflies
Published: May 10, 2016 by HarperTeen
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 386
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3.5/5

We Were Liars meets Looking for Alaska in a uniquely funny and heartbreaking teen novel about a passionate-yet-doomed friendship set against a backdrop of wealth and glamour.

Willa Parker, 646th and least-popular resident of What Cheer, Iowa, is headed east to start a new life. Did she choose this life? No, because that would be too easy—and nothing in Willa’s life is easy. It’s her famous genius mother’s idea to send her to ultra-expensive, ultra-exclusive Pembroke Prep, and Willa has no intention of fitting in. But when she meets peculiar, glittering Remy Taft, the richest, most mysterious girl on campus, she starts to see a foothold in this foreign world—a place where she could maybe, possibly, sort of fit in. When Willa looks at Remy, she sees a girl who has everything. But for Remy, having everything comes at a price. And as she spirals out of control, Willa can feel Remy spinning right out of her grasp.

Andrea Portes, author of the hilarious, heartbreaking Anatomy of a Misfit, spins a similarly incandescent, heartfelt story that explores the meaning of friendship, new beginnings, and the precarious joy and devastating pain of finding home in a place—a person—with wings.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Blog Tour: Meet Lily!

Lily Anderson - The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You
Published: May 17, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352

Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West—and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing—down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben's, including give up sleep and comic books—well, maybe not comic books—but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it's time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie's for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben's best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben's cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie's best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they're on—and they might not pick the same side.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Review: Summer Days + Summer Nights

Summer Days and Summer Nights:
Twelve Love Stories
Edited by Stephanie Perkins
Published: May 17, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Rating: 3.5/5

Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins
, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Review: Exit, Pursued By A Bear

E.K. Johnston - Exit, Pursued By A Bear
Published: March 15, 2016 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 248
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 5/5 (!!!!!!!!)

“I love you,” Polly says suddenly when I’m almost to the door.

“I know,” I say.

Hermione Winters has been a flyer. She’s been captain of her cheerleading team. The envied girlfriend and the undisputed queen of her school. Now it’s her last year and those days and those labels are fading fast. In a few months she’ll be a different person. She thinks she’s ready for whatever comes next.

But then someone puts something in her drink at a party, and in an instant she finds herself wearing new labels, ones she never imagined:

Victim. Survivor. That raped girl.

Even though this was never the future she imagined, one essential thing remains unchanged: Hermione can still call herself Polly Olivier’s best friend, and that may be the truest label of all.

Heartbreaking and empowering, Exit, Pursued by a Bear is the story of transcendent friendship in the face of trauma.

“I love you,” I say, because I really, really do.

“I know,” says Polly.