Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Happy Bookish Blitz!: Summerlost

Ally Condie - Summerlost
Published: March 29, 2016 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
Genres: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 272
Find on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GoodreadsIndieboundPenguin Random House

It's the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar.

Infused with emotion and rich with understanding, Summerlost is the touching middle grade debut from Ally Condie, the international bestselling author of the Matched series, that highlights the strength of family and personal resilience in the face of tragedy.
 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Review: Some Kind of Happiness

Claire Legrand - Some Kind of Happiness
Expected publication: May 17, 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Middle Grade, Magical Realism, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 374
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4/5

THINGS FINLEY HART DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT

• Her parents, who are having problems. (But they pretend like they’re not.)
• Being sent to her grandparents’ house for the summer.
• Never having met said grandparents.
• Her blue days—when life feels overwhelming, and it’s hard to keep her head up. (This happens a lot.)

Finley’s only retreat is the Everwood, a forest kingdom that exists in the pages of her notebook. Until she discovers the endless woods behind her grandparents’ house and realizes the Everwood is real--and holds more mysteries than she'd ever imagined, including a family of pirates that she isn’t allowed to talk to, trees covered in ash, and a strange old wizard living in a house made of bones.

With the help of her cousins, Finley sets out on a mission to save the dying Everwood and uncover its secrets. But as the mysteries pile up and the frightening sadness inside her grows, Finley realizes that if she wants to save the Everwood, she’ll first have to save herself.

Reality and fantasy collide in this powerful, heartfelt novel about family, depression, and the power of imagination.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: Every Exquisite Thing

Matthew Quick - Every Exquisite Thing
Expected publication: May 31, 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3/5

Nanette O'Hare is an unassuming teen who has played the role of dutiful daughter, hardworking student, and star athlete for as long as she can remember. But when a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper--a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic--the rebel within Nanette awakens.

As she befriends the reclusive author, falls in love with a young troubled poet, and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion sometimes comes at a high price.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Review: Summer of Supernovas

Darcy Woods - Summer of Supernovas
Expected publication: May 10, 2016 by Crown BFYR
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: (Frankly, it broke the star meter. Love ya, Darcy. ;) ) But, anyway, 4.5/5.

As the daughter of an expert astrologer, Wilamena Carlisle knows that the truth lies within the stars. So when she discovers a rare planetary alignment, she is forced to tackle her worst astrological fear – The Fifth House of Relationships and Love. But Wil must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her mother’s legacy, when she falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the chart.

Debut author Darcy Woods explores love in all its complexities and how to best honor the loved ones who have passed before us, in a novel packed with both humor and heart.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Lights, Camera, Spotlight: Furious

T.R. Ragan - Furious
Expected publication: March 22, 2016 by Thomas & Mercer
Genres: Adult, Thriller
Pages: 305

Faith McMann comes home to a nightmare: her husband is killed and her son and daughter are taken. Although the intruders leave her for dead, she survives. Crippling grief and fear for her children make life unbearable. Until her anguish turns to anger…and she trades victimhood for vengeance. Frustrated with the law’s efforts, she takes action to rescue her children—and wreaks havoc on the brutal criminals who tore them from her. With her family and newfound allies at her side, Faith descends into the hellish underworld of human trafficking, determined to make those who prey on the innocent pray for mercy. The forces she's up against have already proven that their ruthlessness knows no bounds. And there's nothing they won't do to turn Faith's crusade into a suicide mission. But they're about to learn that nothing is more dangerous than a mother fighting for her children—especially one who's earned the nickname Furious.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Review: Once Upon A Dream

Liz Braswell - Once Upon A Dream (Twisted Tales #2)
Expected publication: April 5, 2016 by Disney Press
Genres: Retellings, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? Once Upon a Dream marks the second book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways.

It should be simple--a dragon defeated, a slumbering maiden, a prince poised to wake her. But when said prince falls asleep as soon as his lips meet the princess's, it is clear that this fairy tale is far from over.

With a desperate fairy's last curse infiltrating her mind, Princess Aurora will have to navigate a dangerous and magical landscape deep in the depths of her dreams. Soon she stumbles upon Phillip, a charming prince eager to join her quest. But with Maleficent's agents following her every move, Aurora struggles to discover who her true allies are, and moreover, who she truly is. Time is running out. Will the sleeping beauty be able to wake herself up?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Review: The Haters

Jesse Andrews - The Haters
Expected publication: April 5, 2016 by Amulet Books
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

From Jesse Andrews, author of the New York Times bestselling Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and screenwriter of the Sundance award–winning motion picture of the same name, comes a groundbreaking young adult novel about music, love, friendship, and freedom as three young musicians follow a quest to escape the law long enough to play the amazing show they hope (but also doubt) they have in them.

Inspired by the years he spent playing bass in a band himself, The Haters is Jesse Andrews’s road trip adventure about a trio of jazz-camp escapees who, against every realistic expectation, become a band.

For Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It’s pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It’s three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they’re in Ash’s SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.

In his second novel, Andrews again brings his brilliant and distinctive voice to YA, in the perfect book for music lovers, fans of The Commitments and High Fidelity, or anyone who has ever loved—and hated—a song or a band. This witty, funny coming-of-age novel is contemporary fiction at its best.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Once Upon A Rebel Belle & A Giveaway!

Rachel Hawkins - Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle #1)
Published: April 8, 2014 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 345
Find on: Amazon, Book DepositoryGoodreads
Rating: 4.5/5

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more.
 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Review: Instalove

Lexy Baker - Instalove
Published: March 8, 2016 by Bloomsbury Spark
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 250
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 1/5

Sparks fly in this New Adult romance of celebrity love on a college campus!

A month after losing her mother, Avery Edwards arrives on campus alone and shattered, hoping only to make it through the year and stay under the radar. Until she meets Declan Hargrove, ex-teen heartthrob and campus celebrity, who just so happens to be her Resident Advisor. With dark hair and striking blue eyes, Declan definitely lives up to the rumors.

Unfortunately, so does his reputation.

The night before Avery arrived on campus, Declan was caught with his pants down. Literally. The "Stairwell Video", as everyone dubs the sex tape, only makes Declan more desirable on campus, while it turns the girl into an instant pariah. Livid at the double standard, Avery does everything she can to stay away from him, which is easier said than done since they live in the same building...and considering the rumors definitely weren't exaggerating about his amazing abs either.

But when they finally stop denying the chemistry between them--in a closet at a frat party, no less-- Avery panics and throws Declan under the bus in front of an audience ready to record them for posterity on Instagram. But Avery's mistake on social media will affect more than just their social life. Turns out rumors don't always tell the truth, and when a new movie deal threatens to take Declan away from school, Avery must decide if opening her heart is worth falling for a star.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Review: The Smell Of Other People's Houses

Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock - The Smell of Other People's Houses
Published: February 23, 2016 by Wendy Lamb Books
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 240
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 3/5

In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

DNF Alert: Magnetic Shift

Lucy D. Briand - Magnetic Shift
Expected publication: April 12, 2016 by Spencer Hill Press
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 260
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: N/A. (It's a sad, sad DNF.)

The ability to magnetize and manipulate metal with the flick of her wrist makes seventeen-year-old Lexi Adams a crack mechanic, but it’s a disaster in the making when her stepdad trades her skills to NASCAR team owner Dean Grant for an entire season’s worth of sponsorship ads.

Now Lexi has no other choice but to suck it up and hope she can keep her magnetic impulses under control—that is, until she runs into NASCAR’s hot new rookie, Colton Tayler.

When Carl Stacy, the ruthless team owner of the defending Cup Champion, discovers Lexi’s secret and plots to use it to ruin Dean’s race team for good, Lexi must either expose her ability to save Colton, risking Dean’s career and her own freedom in the process, or watch the only guy she’s ever fallen for race to his death.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Review: You Know Me Well

David Levithan & Nina LaCour - You Know Me Well
Expected publication: June 7, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 3.5/5

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other -- and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour, the award-winning author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments, and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Review: Young Widows Club

Alexandra Coutts - Young Widows Club
Published: November 10, 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 3/5

Seventeen-year-old Tamsen Baird didn’t set out to become a teenage widow. All she did was fall in love and get married. But when her nineteen-year-old husband, Noah, dies suddenly in the middle of the night, her whole life changes. Now Tam is forced to return to the existence she thought she’d left behind—beginning with moving back home and finishing high school. But in order to overcome her loss and find her way forward, she’ll need to reinvent herself and reach out to others in ways she never imagined. She’ll need to open herself up to living—and even loving—again.

In Young Widows Club, Alexandra Coutts depicts a teenager whose struggle with grief and disappointment is heartbreakingly real and, in the end, powerfully uplifting.