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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Firecracker by David Iserson

Title: Firecracker
Author: David Iserson
ISBN: 9781595143709
Publisher: Penguin
Released: May 16, 2013
Page #: 336
Source: eARC from NetGalley

"Being Astrid Krieger is absolutely all it's cracked up to be.

She lives in a rocket ship in the backyard of her parents' estate.
She was kicked out of the elite Bristol Academy and she's intent on her own special kind of revenge to whomever betrayed her.
She only loves her grandfather, an incredibly rich politician who makes his money building nuclear warheads.

It's all good until...
"We think you should go to the public school," Dad said.
 This was just a horrible, mean thing to say. Just hearing the words "public school" out loud made my mouth taste like urine (which, not coincidentally, is exactly how the public school smells).  

Will Astrid finally meet her match in the form of public school? Will she find out who betrayed her and got her expelled from Bristol? Is Noah, the sweet and awkward boy she just met, hiding something?"
First Lines: (Quotation from the eARC. Subject to change.)

"My grandfather liked to say, 'The only time you are ever truly alone is when you are dead.' And I thought that was perhaps something to look forward to as I sat among my bags and trunks on the steps outside the front door of the Krieger estate."
Page 1

So, I picked up this book because I love New Girl so much. Really. If the person who does that wrote a book, I would assume that it would be amazing. And I can honestly say that I've never read a book like this one.

Astrid got kicked out of boarding school after a cheating scandal. She knows that someone set her up - she just has to figure out how. She's from a family that is rich and powerful, but not in the good way. And she knows she needs to get back to boarding school... but her family has other plans. She gets sent to the local public school and her life is flipped. Now she has to recreate her group, her thinking, and her way of doing things.

I'm not even sure how to describe a character like Astrid. She's super smart, rich, spoiled, clever, crazy, and revengeful. It makes for a fun combination. She cares nothing about other people - except, maybe her grandfather. Any friends she makes are really just tools to help her get what she wants. And what she wants is power over other people. To make them fear her. She succeeded in her boarding school... but the public school is a different story.

This is a fast paced story that really takes you on a journey of Astrid reinventing herself. I didn't like her all that much in the first part of the book. She was too self absorbed and angry. She kept everyone at arms length and just did things because they were expected of her. It's not like she does a 180 at the end of the book, but things really come together nicely. You really start rooting for her.

I think this is the type of book that will appeal to many teen readers - especially those who are a little weird themselves. Astrid is the type of girl I think we all wish we were more like. She's fearless and won't back down from anything or anyone. She's also super snarky. I mean, who doesn't love that, right?!

So even though I only read this book because the cast of New Girl told me to, I'm glad I did. It's a fun story that will be well loved by those who find it. I recommend it to anyone who reads YA - especially adults. I think it will be one that we can latch onto. It's a fun story and I really look forward to whatever Iserson has up his sleeve next. 
Other Blog Reviews:

Word Spelunking
My Library in the Making
The Young Folks
Boekie's Book Reviews
Marsha Lytle's Blog
YA Maven
Birth of a New Witch
Alice Marvels
You Can Read Me Anything

Out This Week (May 26-June 1)

Some awesome covers of the books coming out this week. So pretty!
  •  5.28.13 Goddess (Starcrossed novel) by Josephine Angelini
  • 5.28.13 Of Triton by Anna Banks
  •  5.28.13 Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) by Emmy Laybourne
  • 5.28.13 Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
  •  5.28.13 Dare You To by Katie McGarry
  • 5.28.13 Rebel Spirits by Lois Ruby
  • 5.30.13 On Little Wings by Regina Sirois
  • 5.28.13 Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Title: Forgotten
Author: Cat Patrick
ISBN: 9780316094610
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Released: June 14, 2011
Duration: 6 hours, 19 minutes
Source: Audiobook from my public library

"Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can "remember" are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you'd easily forget, yet try as she might, London can't find him in her memories of things to come.

When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it's time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future."
First Lines:

"Aren't Fridays supposed to be good?
This one started badly.
The note on my nightstand didn't tell me anything useful. My eyelids wanted to stay closed; my favorite jeans were in the hamper; and there was no milk in the fridge."
Page 7

For whatever reason, I actually didn't know what this book was going to be about. But it was available from my library's audio collection - so I gave it a go. I should really start paying more attention to the summaries before I actually read/listen to a book. I still really liked it... but in a different way than I expected :).

London forgets everything at 4:33am every day. She has to leave herself notes and clues about things that have happened and are important. Then one day she meets a guy - someone she really doesn't want to forget. But there's one kicker - she can remember things from the future. She knows what is going to happen to people. And this guy isn't in her future. She can't see him.

I had assumed this book was going to be very mysterious. And while there is a little bit of that element, it's much more than that. In fact, it comes across more as a love story.A girl just trying to be normal and have a normal relationship. But she finds out more about herself than she thought possible. But she has to keep her secret from this guy... What would he do if he found out about her?

Can you imagine not remembering anything from your past? Truly nothing?? That seems amazingly scary. I think anyone would do the same as what London does - take notes. Keep folders of your information. Make sure that everything is written down every night so you can remember it the next day. And the idea of deliberately forgetting something is even more intense. It's also crazy to think that she can scan her future memory for clues about things that have happened in the past. What a trip!

I really enjoyed this story. I think the concept is cool and really blows my mind. And to think that there was a reason for it - and maybe a way to fix it is even more insane. I thought this was well done and the story really pulled me in. I'm definitely a fan of Cat Patrick now and I need to go find everything else she's written. I will definitely be recommending her book on - especially if you like YA romance with a little meat to it.
Other Blog Reviews:

Chapter by Chapter
Turn the Page
The Story Siren
Dreaming in Books
The Book Goddess
Tabitha's Book Blog
Reading Lark
Presenting Lenore
A Dream of Books
Christina Reads YA

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Out This Week (May 19-25)

Marvelous May publications continues... Take a look at these great titles that are coming out this week...

  •  5.21.13 Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown
  • 5.21.13 All I Need by Susanne Colasanti
  •  5.21.13 How to be a Star (Surviving High School #2) by M. Doty
  • 5.21.13 The Dark Shore (Atlanteans #2) by Kevin Emerson
  •  5.21.13 September Girls by Bennett Madison
  • 5.21.13 The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
  • 5.21.13 Absent by Katie Williams
  • 5.21.13 Transparent by Natalie Whipple

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Title: The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
ISBN: 9780547959108
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Released: June 4, 2013
Series: Testing Trilogy #1

Page #: 344
Source: eARC from NetGalley

It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she’ll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.
First Lines: (Quoted from the e-galley - Subject to change.)

"Graduation day.
I can hardly stand still as my mother straightens my celebratory red tunic and tucks a strand of light brown hair behind my ear."
Page 1

I was very intrigued when I got a NetGalley notice that I could view this book for a short period. The concept was right up my alley. I know that since Hunger Games became popular, the dystopian/crazy society books have blown up. Many have been compared, others have been based on it. I'm not sure what the thought process was with this one, but it's almost a carbon copy.

Cia lives in an area outside of the United Commonwelth. Every year, teens are chosen to come to the city for The Testing. They will test their skills, knowledge, and survival ability. The people who pass the testing get to go to the University and will become high ranking officials in the Commonwelth. But Cia didn't realize just what the testing would entail. And she finds herself trying to get the better of the ones in charge - tricking them to get ahead.

I didn't realize how many similarities to Hunger Games until I was over halfway through it. Okay, I know that it's not exactly the same. Some of the details are changed. It's not a fight to the death - but yes, teens do die/kill each other. Cia has a complicated relationship with a guy who goes through this experience with her. There are more, but I think you see what I mean.

There are some readers who are only interested in books that are exactly like their favorites. This book will definitely fill the hole for that kind of reader. It's fast paced and I truly wanted to find out what would happen. It had that feel of a good book - one that you can't really put down. But I had a hard time with the similarities to other titles to consider it fantastic. But it's well written and an engaging story.

When recommending this one, I believe it will come with that caveat. Just be aware of what you are getting into. But I do recommend this one to lovers of Hunger Games. You will find yourself rooting for Cia and her family. And I can only imagine what will happen next. I believe the second book is already being talked about - and I will be very interested to see what direction that goes.
Other Blog Reviews:

Badass Book Reviews
Unconventional Book Views
Teen Librarian Toolbox
Fastidious Reader
Stacked Books
The Page Walker
Istyria Book Blog
Before Midnight
Gliterary Girl
Tangled Up in Books

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Out This Week (May 12-18)

Another big week for YA publications! Take a look at all of these amazing titles...

  •  5.14.13 Out of This Place by Emma Cameron
  • 5.14.13 Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore

  • 5.14.13 The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
  •  5.14.13 Towering by Alex Flinn
  •  5.14.13 Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman
  • 5.14.13 Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green

  • 5.14.13 The Cydonian Pyramid by Pete Hautman
  • 5.14.13 Golden by Jessi Kirby

  •  5.14.13 The Year of Luminous Love by Lurlene McDaniel
  • 5.14.13 Parallel by Lauren Miller

  •  5.14.13 The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan
  • 5.14.13 The Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble
  •  5.14.13 The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles
  • 5.14.13 Winger by Andrew Smith
  • 5.14.13 The Language Inside by Holly Thompson
  • 5.14.13 Under the Light by Laura Whitcomb

Thursday, May 9, 2013

All I Need by Susane Colasanti

Title: All I Need 
Author: Susane Colasanti
ISBN: 9780670014231
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Released: May 21, 2013
Page #: 240
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

"Skye wants to meet the boy who will change her life forever. Seth feels their instant connection the second he sees her. When Seth starts talking to Skye at the last beach party of the summer, it's obvious to both of them that this is something real.

But when Seth leaves for college before they exchange contact info, Skye wonders if he felt the same way she did—and if she will ever see him again. Even if they find their way back to each other, can they make a long-distance relationship work despite trust issues, ex drama, and some serious background differences?"
First Lines:

"'Something's going to happen tonight,' Adrienne says. 'I can feel it."
It would be awesome if she was right. We've been coming to this beach party for seven years. Nothing ever happens."
Page 1

I haven't read anything by Colasanti before, and I figured she was one I needed to sample. So I picked up this latest book on Edelweiss to give her a shot. I don't think I was expecting quite the love fest, but it was an interesting concept. 

Skye and Seth meet on the beach one summer and go their separate ways. They spend the whole next year thinking about each other and wondering if they would ever see each other. They find each other again the next summer and their relationship blossoms. Long distance relationships are hard and they are about to find out what that means. 

This book is all romance all of the time. There's something very interesting about the set up of this story - you only get the bits that are about the two of them.  You know there are whole lives taking place in the months that you don't see. Each chapter or section makes huge jumps. You only get information when they are actively together or making some huge pronouncement about each other. 

I can appreciate that sort of story telling - mostly because there are so many teen books right now where the characters fall in love and devote themselves to each other in the first instant. It's not so logical. And while these two do fall hard, fast... they have time to think things over. Time to realize where they really stand on the relationship. So I give kudos for that. 

But I felt like there was a lot about our two main characters that you never find out. I understand the need for the time leaps, but I don't know how much I felt about the two of them. If we had gotten more in depth on their lives - more info about their friends and family - it might have felt better for me. So, in a way, the story almost felt rushed. Like we were running off to the next part to see what happened with the couple. I guess I would have liked more of the in between parts. 

I know a lot of people really enjoy Colasanti's books. And I'm very glad that I gave this one a go. But I think her style of story telling isn't quite in my wheelhouse. It's a really good story, so the bones are there. And I think a lot of people who love romance will be all about this book. It just wasn't quite right for me. 
Other Blog Reviews:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Out This Week (May 5-11)

This is a huge week for publishing... So I've chosen a bunch to highlight, but this isn't everything! Gotta love weeks like this:
  •  5.7.13 Fall of Night (Morganville Vampires #14) by Rachel Caine
  • 5.7.13 Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
  •  5.7.13 The Savage Blue (Vicious Deep #2) by Zoraida Cordova
  • 5.7.13 Fifteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton
  •  5.7.13 How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
  • 5.7.13 Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield
  •  5.7.13 Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
  • 5.7.13 Maid Secrets by Jennifer McGowan
  • 5.7.13 Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy
  • 5.7.13 Thorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin
  •  5.7.13 The Originals by Cat Patrick
  • 5.7.13 The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher
  •  5.7.13 If I Should Die (Revenants #3) by Amy Plum
  • 5.7.13 Icons by Margaret Stohl
  •  5.7.13 Coda by Emma Trevayne
  • 5.7.13 Reboot by Amy Tintera
  •  5.7.13 The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  • 5.7.13 The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

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