Home     Review Policy      Hot New Titles      Contact Me


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Out This Week (June 30-July 6)

Take a look at some of the awesome titles coming out this week! Several sequel and third books...
  • 7.2.13 Shutdown (Glitch #3) by Heather Anastasiu
  • 7.2.13 Awaken (Abandon #3) by Meg Cabot
  •  7.2.13 Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
  • 7.2.13 Vortex (Insignia #2) by S.J. Kincaid
  •  7.2.13 SYLO by D.J. MacHale
  • 7.2.13 The Twice Lost (Lost Voices #3) by Sarah Porter
  • 7.2.13 A Midsummer Night's Scream by R.L. Stine
  • 7.2.13 The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Out This Week (June 23-29)

Some really interesting books coming out this week. Take a look...
  •  6.25.13 Invisible by Marni Bates
  • 6.25.13 Winterveil (The Secrets of Wintercraft #2) by Jenna Burtenshaw
  • 6.25.13 Hidden (Avena #1) by Marianne Curley
  • 6.25.13 Weather Witch by Shannon Delany
  •  6.25.13 Samurai Summer by Ake Edwardson
  • 6.25.13 Since You Asked by Maureen Goo
  •  6.25.13 The Lost Sun (United States of Asgard #1) by Tessa Gratton
  • 6.25.13 FML by Shaun David Hutchinson
  • 6.25.13 After Daybreak (Darkness Before Dawn novel) by J.A. London
  • 6.25.13 Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Out This Week (June 16-22)

Take a look at the books being published this week in YA. Several that I didn't know anything about! 
  •  6.18.13 Tarnish by Katherine Longshore
  • 6.18.13 Proxy by Alex London
  •  6.18.13 Piece of My Heart by Lynn Maddalena Menna
  • 6.18.13 A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger
  •  6.18.13 Intuition by C.J. Omololu
  • 6.18.13 This Side of Jealousy (an Innocents novel) by Lili Peloquin
  •  6.18.13 Star Cursed (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #2) by Jessica Spotswood
  • 6.18.13 The Watcher in the Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: This is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
ISBN: 9781478978770
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Released: April 2, 2013
Duration: 8.5 hours
Source: Playaway from my public library

"Perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O'Neill meet - albeit virtually - when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. The two seventeen-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don't even know each other's first name.

In a witty and unforgettable correspondence, Graham and Ellie share details about their lives, hopes, and fears. But they don't tell each other everything: Graham doesn't know the secret hidden in Ellie's family tree, and Ellie is unaware of Graham's life in the spotlight.

When Graham seizes an opportunity to spend time in Ellie's tiny hometown of Henley, Maine, he takes their relationship from online to in person. But can two people from such different worlds be together despite the odds stacked against them?"
First Lines:

"It was not all that different from the circus, and it came to town in much the same way. Only instead of elephants and giraffes, there were cameras and microphones."
Page 21

I feel like everyone hopes someone they meet online will turn out to be famous. Or maybe that's just me. :) So the whole idea of this book was super cute and wonderful.

Graham and Ellie accidentally start emailing - just a slip of the fingers made Graham email the wrong person. But then they started talking. And becoming friends... and maybe more. It all changes when he shows up in her tiny town to film a movie. They realize just what it would mean to be together. Not to mention all of the attention they would attract by being together.

I loved the last book by Jennifer E. Smith - the same sort of cute romance that just makes you feel good. That's what I was hoping for with this book and I wasn't disappointed. She weaves a romance that seems both realistic and a little over the top at times. But that's only to make the whole thing more exciting.

Beyond the romance, this book is also about family. Ellie has a secret about her father that just cannot get out into the world. Her mother spends her time protecting Ellie and keeping her from making huge mistakes. Which is something she can't do when Graham is around. But it's sort of a beautiful relationship between a mother and daughter. You can feel how much they love each other and their little family.

I just think there is always a need for heart warming stories like this. No, it's not even remotely reality, but there is something so calming and comforting about this type of story. I will definitely recommend it to any of my chick lit/realistic lovers. They will definitely find this one to fit the bill.

Okay, so I listened to the audio for this book. While everything flowed well and all, I did have one little complaint. And it's nitpicky. But the woman reading Ellie had a way of enunciating things that otherwise would have been drawn out a different way. Some of the letters were too hard, so it wasn't how we would normally speak. I got used to it after a while, but Ellie's voice in my head is a little more robotic. :) Otherwise, it was really well done.

After listening to this book, I've decided I really am a Jennifer E. Smith fan. I'll probably read/listen to anything she writes after these books. She spins a great story that makes me want to snuggle up and lose myself in it. If you haven't read anything by her before, I highly recommend you give it a shot. Especially if you love romance. ;)
Other Blog Reviews: 

The Pretty Books
Chick Loves Lit
Bookshelf Fantasies
There Were Books Involved
Fabbity Fab Book Reviews
Alexa Loves Books
Paper Riot
Consumed By Books
Escaping Through Books
Snuggly Oranges

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Out This Week (June 9-15)

There are a lot of great books coming out this week. Here are a few of those titles...
  •  6.11.13 Burning by Elana K. Arnold
  • 6.11.13 Born of Illusion by Teri Brown
  •  6.11.13  Infamous (Fame Game #3) by Lauren Conrad
  • 6.11.13 Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
  •  6.11.13 The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry
  • 6.11.13 The Sacrifice (The Enemy #4) by Charlie Higson

  •  6.11.13 Linked by Imogen Howson
  • 6.11.13 The Secret Ingredient by Stewart Lewis

  •  6.11.13 Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
  • 6.11.13 Rush (The Game #1) by Eve Silver
  • 6.13.13 How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend by Allyson Valentine
  • 6.11.13 Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

Friday, June 7, 2013

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Title: Openly Straight
Author: Bill Konigsberg
ISBN: 9780545509893
Publisher: Scholastic
Released: May 28, 2013
Page #: 320
Source: ARC from the publisher

"Rafe is from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He hates tofu. He's won skiing prizes. He likes to write.

And, oh yeah, he's gay. He's been out since eighth grade, and he isn't teased, and he goes to schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that's important, all he wants is to be a regular guy. Not that gay guy. To have that be a part of who he is, but not the headline, ever single time.

So when he transfers to an all-boys' boarding school in New England, he decides to become 'openly straight' - not so much going back in the closet as starting over outside it. The transformation works: Rafe revels in a new group of straight guy friends, and the chance to be 'just Rafe' at last. But things get complicated when he falls in love with one of his new friends... who doesn't even know that's a possibility.

A book for anyone who's ever felt trapped within just one part of who they are, Openly Straight is a funny, smart novel about being out, being real, and all the things 'be yourself' can mean."
First Lines: (quote from the ARC - subject to change)

"If it were up to my dad, my entire life would be on video. 
Anything I do, he grabs his phone. 'Opal,' he'll yell to my mother. 'Rafe is eating corn flakes. We gotta get this on film.'
He calls it film, like instead of an iPhone, he has an entire movie crew there, filming me."
Page 1

I picked up this book soully because the concept sounded very interesting. It seems like many teen books about the GLBT experience are about the coming out process. [Take that with a grain of salt, because I haven't read a ton of them.] This book took a whole different course.

Rafe has an awesome life. Great family, great friends, an awesome speaking gig about gay rights, anything he could ever want. But what he wants is to be a normal guy. Not the gay guy. So when he transfers to a new school, he sees this as a totally clean slate. He can be whoever he wants to be. Instead of announcing his sexual preference, he just keeps it all under wraps. And he finds himself having all new experiences. That is, until he falls for one of his new best friends...

Everyone knows what it is like to have one part of your personality completely define you. At least, to people who are only acquaintances. So I sort of feel like this theme is universal. The book talks a lot about labels and how different people fit into them. I really think the author did a great job handling this while keeping the characters lovable and realistic. When people talk about themselves, they would probably attach several labels to encompass every part of their personality. So it's interesting to think about what your one label would be and what you would have to do to change it.

Honestly, I loved everything about this book. The characters are fantastic. I loved how Rafe's parents were painted - sort of the crazy-loving Colorado hippies. Just really fun. And it was great that they were totally okay with anything. It's nice to see parents painted in a happier and supportive light in teen fic. Of course, there's also the super awesome teacher who knows what is going on. Lots of positive adults in this book!

I also would have loved to get a full view of Rafe's life before the big move. I imagine it would be fairly hilarious - considering the friendships he has.Not only does this book deal with the pressure of being openly gay, it also has several characters who are very closeted. It talks a lot about experimentation and trying to figure out who you really are. There is just so much to chew on that I've still been thinking about everything hours after finishing the book. 

I truly want to hand this book to all of my realistic fic fans. I really think it will resonate with many readers. It's a solid story with lots of food for thought. I really hope a book club or GSA/GLBT club in a school will read this book together. There are so many things to discuss! So definitely get this one for your libraries and be sure to hand it around.
Other Blog Reviews:

Waking Brain Cells
The Pirate Tree
In Bed With Books
The Literary Omnivore
Reading Between Classes
In All Series-ousness
YA Guy
Candace's Book Blog
Pass the Chiclets
Lost in a Great Book

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Title: Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality 
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
ISBN: 9780545476997
Publisher: Scholastic
Released: March 1, 2013
Page #: 261
Source: ARC from the publisher

"Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny... but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).

Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.

The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it."
First Lines:

"Applying butt glue to my sister's backside is, without question, not the first way I'd choose to spend a weekend.
However, getting up close and personal is just one of the many glamorous tasks that are involved in being on Team Mackenzie."
Page 1

I laughed. I cried. I swooned. No, seriously. This was really fun - it had a little bit of everything that makes an awesome realistic fiction book for teens. Was it a little predictable? Maybe. But it was fun and definitely worth the read. Plus, how could you pass up a book with a title as awesome as this one?!

So, Lexi's sister is a pageant child. All of their time, money, and effort goes to the pageant - including some of the money Lexi is saving up. They never have enough. She has fabulous friends and wants her life to change, desperately. She's tired of being overlooked by her family and crush... so she makes a bet with one of her best friends. She will start dressing nicely if he will talk to his crush. It works a little too well and things start spiraling.

Lexi was an awesome main character. She has just the right amount of sass and insecurity to really fall in love with her. Her family, on the other hand, needs some work. Only her friends see her for how awesome she is. I really wasn't expecting for her to be as emotionally complex as she ended up being. Plus, she has the whole boy drama that we all know and love. It takes quite the party to help her figure out who is best for her.

There is something so fascinating about pageants. I mean, there are obviously a lot of people who are - considering all the tv shows and such. But I loved getting the whole thing from the perspective of a sister who couldn't care less about the whole thing. This book has a few rah-rah feminist moments that are totally valid. Things like, do pageants really help self esteem... and that sort of thing. So it was interesting to sort of delve into that world. Especially when you're talking about children.

As usual, I'm not going to tell you what happens in the end. In fact, there's something a little shocking that happens in Lexi's family. I may have been a little emotional while reading this book to begin with, but I honestly teared up. The incident is well written and you feel like the author is handling the whole thing with care. I really appreciated that.

See? So this one is more than chick lit. A little less fluffy. But it really does have some great characters and you will find yourself rooting for them all to make good choices. I will definitely recommend this book to my realistic fiction lovers. It's a fast, fun read that will totally pull you in. I haven't read anything by this author before, but I might need to go find the rest of her stuff.
Other Blog Reviews:

Katie's Book Blog
Tabitha's Book Blog
IB Book Blogging
The Closet Library
Rhapsody in Books
Reading Angels
The Book Cellar
Miss Print
Emily's Crammed Bookshelf
Rather Be Reading

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Out This Week (June 2-8)

It's another big week for YA publishing! Take a look at some of the great titles coming out...
  • 6.4.13 Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  • 6.4.13 You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle
  •  6.4.13 The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
  • 6.4.13 The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
  •  6.4.13 Stormbringers (Order of Darkness #2) by Philippa Gregory
  • 6.4.13 Tidal (Watersong #3) by Amanda Hocking
  •  6.4.13 Elegy (Hereafter Trilogy #3) by Tara Hudson
  • 6.4.13 Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin

  •  6.4.13 Phoenix (Black City #2) by Elizabeth Richards
  • 6.4.13 Crushed (Pretty Little Liars #13) by Sara Shepard
  •  6.4.13 When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
  • 6.4.13 Paparazzi Princess by Bria Williams, Reginae Carter and Karyn Langhorn

Search This Blog