Sunday, February 28, 2016

Review: Passenger

Alexandra Bracken - Passenger
Published: January 5, 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 486
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 2/5

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.
 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Sneak Peek ARC Review: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

Anna Breslaw - Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here
Expected publication: April 19, 2016 by Razorbill
Pages: 288
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 2/5

Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her pot-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor.

When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them...until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett's stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off.
 

Monday, February 22, 2016

DNF Review: Never Always Sometimes

Adi Alsaid - Never Always Sometimes
Published: August 4th, 2015 by Harlequin Teen
Pages: 320
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: N/A. (A sad, sad DNF.)

Never date your best friend.

Always be original.

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken.


Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they’d never, ever do in high school.

Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never dye your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he’s broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It’s either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they’ve actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Review: Once Was A Time

Leila Sales - Once Was A Time
Expected publication: April 5, 2016 by Chronicle Books
Pages: 272
Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 2.5/5

In the war-ravaged England of 1940, Charlotte Bromley is sure of only one thing: Kitty McLaughlin is her best friend in the whole world. But when Charlotte's scientist father makes an astonishing discovery that the Germans will covet for themselves, Charlotte is faced with an impossible choice between danger and safety. Should she remain with her friend or journey to another time and place? Her split-second decision has huge consequences, and when she finds herself alone in the world, unsure of Kitty's fate, she knows that somehow, some way, she must find her way back to her friend. Written in the spirit of classic time-travel tales, this book is an imaginative and heartfelt tribute to the unbreakable ties of friendship.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Review: Dig Too Deep

Amy Allgeyer - Dig Too Deep
Expected publication: April 1st, 2016 by Albert Whitman
Pages: 272
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 5/5 (Yay!)

It's not just that Liberty Briscoe feels like an outsider in Ebbotsville, Kentucky. She expected it wouldn't be easy to move from the city to her granny's farm during her junior year of high school. Still, Liberty can't shake the feeling that something's not quite right. Everyone says the water's safe, yet nobody drinks it. When Granny becomes sick, like so many others in town, Liberty starts to wonder about the water, the people who tested it, and the coal mining company that took the top off Tanner's Peak.



Now, Liberty must follow her instincts to uncover secrets, despite those who think she's crazy to ask questions, including her own boyfriend. But even as the threats become consequences, she digs deeper. What's more dangerous: the water in the valley or the search for the truth?

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Review: Alive

Chandler Baker - Alive
Published: June 9, 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 368
Genres: Contemporary, Horror, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 2.5/5

Stella Cross's heart is poisoned.

After years on the transplant waiting list, she's running out of hope that she'll ever see her eighteenth birthday. Then, miraculously, Stella receives the transplant she needs to survive.

Determined to embrace everything she came so close to losing, Stella throws herself into her new life. But her recovery is marred by strange side effects: Nightmares. Hallucinations. A recurring pain that flares every day at the exact same moment. Then Stella meets Levi Zin, the new boy on everyone's radar at her Seattle prep school. Stella has never felt more drawn to anyone in her life, and soon she and Levi are inseparable.

Stella is convinced that Levi is her soul mate. Why else would she literally ache for him when they are apart?

After all, the heart never lies...does it?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review: All The Rage

Courtney Summers - All The Rage
Published: April 14, 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 321
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 4/5

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: South of Sunshine

Dana Elmendorf - South of Sunshine
Expected publication: April 1st, 2016 by Albert Whitman
Pages: 256
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 2/5

What is Kaycee willing to risk for the sake of love?

And what will she risk for acceptance?

In Sunshine, Tennessee, the main event in town is Friday night football, the biggest party of the year is held in a field filled with pickup trucks, and church attendance is mandatory. For Kaycee Jean McCoy, life in Sunshine means dating guys she has no interest in, saying only “yes, ma’am” when the local bigots gossip at her mom’s cosmetics salon, and avoiding certain girls at all costs. Girls like Bren Dawson.

Unlike Kaycee, Bren doesn’t really conceal who she is. But as the cool, worldly new girl, nobody at school seems to give her any trouble. Maybe there’s no harm if Kaycee gets closer to her too, as long as she can keep that part of her life a secret, especially from her family and her best friend. But the more serious things get with Bren, the harder it is to hide from everyone else. Kaycee knows Sunshine has a darker side for people like her, and she’s risking everything for the chance to truly be herself.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Review: Emancipated

M.G. Reyes - Emancipated (Emancipated #1)
Published: May 26, 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 400
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 1/5

The good girl, the bad boy, the diva, the hustler, the rock star, and the nerd. Six teens legally liberated from parental control for six different reasons, all with one thing in common: something to hide.

Now they’re sharing a house in Venice Beach, acting like a family, and living their lies. No parents. No limits. No alibis. One witnessed a crime, another might be a murderer—and one’s been spying on them all.

As they cling to a fantasy of freedom and slowly let down their guards, the past creeps up on them. And when one of them gets arrested, everyone’s carefully constructed facade comes crumbling down.

In this steamy, drama-filled series, relationships are tested and secrets revealed as lies threaten to destroy their perfect setup.
 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Review: First & Then

Emma Mills - First & Then
Published: October 13, 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 4/5

Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.