Friday, April 29, 2016

Review: Smash & Grab

Amy Christine Parker - Smash & Grab
Expected publication: July 19, 2016 by Random House
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 1/5

LEXI is a rich girl who loves a good rush. Whether it’s motorcycle racing or BASE jumping off a building in downtown Los Angeles, the only times she feels alive are when she and her friends are executing one of their dares. After her father’s arrest, Lexi doesn’t think twice about going undercover at his bank to steal the evidence that might clear his name. She enlists her hacker brother and her daredevil friends to plan a clever heist.

CHRISTIAN is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The local gang has blackmailed him and his friends into robbing banks, and he is desperate for a way out. When the boss promises that one really big job will be the last he ever has to do, Christian jumps at the chance for freedom. In fact, he’s just met a girl at the bank who might even prove useful. . . .

Two heists. One score. The only thing standing in their way is each other.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Review: The Way I Used To Be

Amber Smith - The Way I Used To Be
Published: March 22, 2016 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 3/5

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Review: Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies

Laura Stampler - Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies
Expected publication: July 19, 2016 by Simon Pulse
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4/5

Harper Anderson always believed she belonged somewhere more glamorous than her sleepy Northern California suburb. After all, how many water polo matches and lame parties in Bobby McKittrick's backyard can one girl take? That's why Harper is beyond ecstatic when she lands her dream internship as a dating blogger at the elite teen magazine Shift. Getting to spend the summer in New York City to live her dream of becoming a writer? Harper's totally in.

There's just one teeny, tiny, infinitesimal problem: Apart from some dance floor make-outs, Harper doesn't have a lot of - or, really, any - dating expertise. In fact, she might have sort of stolen her best friend's experiences as her own on her Shift application. But she can learn on the job...right?

From awkward run-ins with the cute neighborhood dog-walker to terrifying encounters with her crazed editor, from Brooklyn gallery openings to weekends in the Hamptons, Harper finds out what it takes to make it in the Big City--and as the writer of her own destiny.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Review: The Museum of Heartbreak

Meg Leder - The Museum of Heartbreak
Expected publication: June 7, 2016 by Simon Pulse
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.

Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.

Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.

Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.

But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Review: No Love Allowed

Kate Evangelista - No Love Allowed
Expected publication: April 19, 2016 by Swoon Reads
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 1.5/5

It's all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.

Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Review: Burning

Danielle Rollins - Burning
Published: April 5, 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: Horror, LGBTQIA, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

Tucked away, deep in the woods, Brunesfield Correctional Facility's cold walls and empty hallways keep dangerous girls away from the world . . . girls like Angela Davis, whose fate was determined by one bad decision. After a few years in juvie, Angela is finally close to her release, but everything changes the day a new warden with dark plans takes over. Angela knows evil when she sees it, and as strange disappearances and frightening incidents happen more and more frequently, it becomes clear that Brunesfield could be the end of them. Angela and her friends must find a way to get out, but how can they save themselves from very place keeping them locked away?

From the author of The Merciless comes an atmospheric thriller rich with secrets and conspiracies that will have readers on the edge of their seats.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Review: Boys of Summer

Jessica Brody - Boys of Summer
Published: April 5, 2016 by Simon Pulse
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

Welcome to Winlock Harbor…
Best friends since they were kids, Grayson, Mike, and Ian were hoping for another epic summer on “The Locks”, filled with clam bakes, bonfires, and late-night swims in the ocean.

But that was before Ian’s dad never returned home from his last deployment. Before Mike had to take on more responsibility in order to help provide for his family. Before Grayson’s accident left him with an injured throwing arm and an uncertain future.

It’s clear this summer on the island is shaping up to be very different from those Grayson, Mike, and Ian have come to rely on. And when the sacred code of dating a friend’s sister or ex is broken, it will push their friendship to the absolute limit, testing their loyalties in a way that could either break them—or save them.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Review: The Girl Who Fell

Shannon M. Parker - The Girl Who Fell
Published: March 1, 2016 by Simon Pulse
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 1.5/5

High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense and volatile relationship—by the new boy in school.

His obsession.


Her fall.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and … terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

DNF Alert: Other Broken Things

Christa Desir - Other Broken Things
Published: January 12, 2016 by Simon Pulse
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: A deserved DNF

Nat's not an alcoholic. She doesn't have a problem. Everybody parties, everybody does stupid things, like get in their car when they can barely see. Still, with six months of court-ordered AA meetings required, her days of vodka-filled water bottles are over.

Unfortunately her old friends want the party girl or nothing. Even her up-for-anything ex seems more interested in rehashing the past than actually helping Nat.

But then a recovering alcoholic named Joe inserts himself into Nat’s life and things start looking up. Joe is funny, smart, and calls her out in a way no one ever has.

He’s also older. A lot older.

Nat’s connection to Joe is overwhelming but so are her attempts to fit back into her old world, all while battling the constant urge to crack a bottle and blur that one thing she's been desperate to forget.

Now in order to make a different kind of life, Natalie must pull together her broken parts and learn to fight for herself.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Fierce and Subtle Playlist

Samantha Mabry - A Fierce and Subtle Poison
Expected publication: April 12, 2016 by Algonquin Young Readers
Genres: Magical Realism, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl--Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers--and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Review: Lucky Few

Kathryn Ormsbee - Lucky Few
Expected publication: June 7, 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4/5

In the tradition of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl comes a hilarious, madcap, and quirky debut novel about a group of oddball teens struggling to find themselves when facing their own mortality.

The life of homeschooler Stevie Hart gets all shook up when she meets a strange boy, Max, who survived a freak near-fatal accident and is now obsessed with death. He enlists her and her best friend, Sanger, to help him complete his absurd “23 Ways to Fake My Death Without Dying” checklist. What starts off as fun begins spiraling downward when Stevie’s diabetes sabotages her fumbling romance with Max, Sanger announces she’s moving out of state, and then death—real death—cuts close to home.