Cold Hard Truth: A Review

Cold Hard Truth by Anne Greenwood Brown

My Rating: 3/5 stars!

Cover Rating: 4/10 It’s not my style. A lot of contemporary books have covers that aren’t really my style, but it’s a generic contemporary cover that fits the book for the most part. It is kinda sweet, but still not my thing.

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Publish Date: April 3rd, 2018

Number of Pages: 304

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Emmie O’Brien is a former good girl now on the fringe. She spent a crazy year involved with Nick, her mom’s drug dealer; after her arrest she was lucky to go back to her old life. But she’s haunted by the choices she made—first, to be with Nick, and then later, to testify against him. Max Shepherd is a senior varsity hockey player with serious anger issues. His grief over the death of his girlfriend causes him to see injustice wherever he looks. When they meet in community service, Max is drawn to Emmie’s calm energy, but Emmie knows better than to get too close to anyone. When friends of Nick show up seeking revenge, Emmie is forced to come to terms with her past, while Max has to control his protective instincts. They must trust one another, especially when Emmie’s situation takes a dangerous turn.

Opening Sentence: “Emmie O’Brien knew she was supposed to run.”

Musings:

I may have had a slow start in getting into this story, but that didn’t stop me from not wanting to put it down once stuff really started to get crazy. I did have some minor issues with this book, but I enjoyed it immensely. It was a thrilling read at various parts for sure!

What I Enjoyed:

The action. Towards the end of this novel things get real. The stakes are raised high and I was biting my nails just thinking about what could happen.

The suspense. As far as Emmie’s story goes, her recent past catching up to her and the times where fear is a legitimate feeling made my heart stop more then once. I was always wondering how things were going to get worse for her.

Emmie is tough as nails. So much happens to Emmie and she faces it all with a calm that I don’t know I could ever muster. It helps her handle situations with a greater ease and you can’t help but admire her.

Emmie’s support system. Although she hadn’t been to school for a long time her best friend is still there for her. Once Max comes into her life his protection just by being a strong hockey player with a I always have to act complex was actually cool to see. I liked that his weakness as a person made him the perfect person to be there for Emmie. Also, I love that Emmie’s dad is so protective of her and makes sure that she is always safe.

Emmie’s Truth. I love Emmie’s story and why she did some of the things she did. She was in a situation that sucked and she tried. I didn’t agree with her choices, but she made decisions as she saw was best for her and was forced to live with the consequences.

What I disliked:

Emmie’s and Max’s stories being hidden from each other for so long. I feel like it would have been so much better if they both knew each other’s story a little earlier and by the time the reader knows both of their stories completely you just get frustrated with them for not saying anything. I feel like I understand Emmie taking longer, but Max’s story would at least have been mentioned to her just passing through the hallways in school. It was a little drawn out.

I was simply enjoying the story. I wanted to love this story, but something about it kept me at a distance. I think it could have been much better then it was, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is I really wanted to change.

Final thoughts:

Cold Hard Truth is a not so light contemporary that will keep you on the edge of your seat. With thrilleresque vibes it will keep you reading until all the questions you have are answered.

About the Author:

I am the author of the following Young Adult novels:

COLD HARD TRUTH (contemporary/romance);

GIRL LAST SEEN (contemporary/suspense);

and the paranormal mermaid trilogy: LIES BENEATH, DEEP BETRAYAL, PROMISE BOUND.

I also write adult romance under the name A.S. Green.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

If you haven’t seen it already I am hosting a giveaway for “In Sight of Stars” by Gae Polisner!

Here is the rafflecopter link!

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-Till next time!

Nothing But Sky: A Review

Nothing But Sky by Amy Trueblood

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 2.5/10 I don’t like this cover. Especially because the photoshop is to where I can really tell it was photoshop. Plus I think having a models face here was a poor decision. It could have been a really pretty 1920’s aviation inspired cover.

Publisher: North Star Editions

Publish Date: March 27th, 2018

Number of Pages: 284

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

A 2018 Junior Library Guild selection.

“Trueblood’s action-packed first novel explores the post-World War I époque with visceral period detail, and Grace’s ambition carries the story about fighting for one’s dreams, seeking stability in some form, and a team becoming a family.” —Publishers Weekly

Grace Lafferty only feels alive when she’s dangling 500 feet above ground. As a post-World War I wing walker, Grace is determined to get to the World Aviation Expo, proving her team’s worth against flashier competitors and earning a coveted Hollywood contract.

No one’s ever questioned Grace’s ambition until Henry Patton, a mechanic with plenty of scars from the battlefield, joins her barnstorming team. With each new death-defying trick, Henry pushes Grace to consider her reasons for being a daredevil. Annoyed with Henry’s constant interference, and her growing attraction to him, Grace continues to test the powers of the sky.

After one of her risky maneuvers saves a pilot’s life, a Hollywood studio offers Grace a chance to perform at the Expo. She jumps at the opportunity to secure her future. But when a stunt goes wrong, Grace must decide whether Henry, and her life, are worth risking for one final trick.

Opening Sentence:

“Blue sky, perfect day to fly.”

Musings:

Nothing But Sky was a fun feminist read that I for some reason had a hard time putting down. I had to know what was next with this book so I must say the author did her job and did it well!

What I Enjoyed:

The Barnstorming! I loved seeing a book featuring one of the coolest and most dangerous jobs ever! Women of barnstorming are the most badass women you could ever see and it was super cool to read about.

The Love Story. You’re going to read later on the small exception to this, but I really did like the love story this told. I liked that Henry came back from war with PTSD. Something that ends up bringing Grace and him together in a more natural way. There were some sweet moments in there and I loved all of them.

The Twist. In a book like this I was not expecting a twist like the one I got. It threw me for a loop and I couldn’t help but thinking “No way! No way! No Way!!!” Over and over again.

Her friends. Grace has two friends in this novel and their story together was actually one of the parts of this story I enjoyed the most. I loved that they kept trying to style Grace and the fact that Grace kept rejecting it to be herself.

Feminist Grace. I enjoyed Grace as a main character. She believed in herself every step of the way. No matter who was telling her to be careful or that she couldn’t do something she continued to persist. She was brilliant!

What I Did Not Enjoy:

Henry was a jerk at the beginning. I did not like seeing that for a long while Henry was not a guy that I would have liked to see as a love interest. He came off as a bit cocky and in some ways put down Grace and even though that changes later I still didn’t like seeing it happen in the beginning. (This is still a 4 star read this was the one thing I just couldn’t let go of).

About the Author:

I’m Amy Trueblood and I write Young Adult and Adult fiction. I grew up in Southern California and Arizona. After graduating from college with a degree in journalism, I lived in Los Angeles and worked as an NBC page before returning to Arizona to start a career in advertising.

My wild life has allowed me to live in many places including Nashville (for six years), and it’s true what they say, it’s very easy to pick up the accent. While living in Music City, I worked for Ingram Book Group and fell in love with the world of publishing and writing after reading an ARC (advanced reading copy) of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Shortly thereafter, I started writing my first Young Adult novel and I haven’t stopped writing since!

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

The Price Guide to the Occult: A Review

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 originally I was thinking about putting a 8 or 9 out of 10, but then I saw the pictures of the hardback copies and I realized that this is 100% a 10/10 cover! All I wanted when I saw the picture of Lesley’s book on her twitter was to hold it in my hands. Plus it fits so much of the story so well!

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Publish Date: March 13th, 2018

Number of Pages: 288

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

From the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting maelstrom of magic and murder in the lush, moody Pacific Northwest.

When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona cursed them. Fast-forward one hundred–some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it. In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author — Nor’s own mother — looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.

Opening Sentence: “They have been called many things.”

Musings:

A special sort of magic lives inside Leslye’s books. The Price Guide to the Occult is no exception. It is lyrical, beautiful, and brutal. The subtleties of Leslye’s writing blows me away. Any lover of witches and oddly beautiful writing should pick this book up.

What I Loved:

The Idea. I want to go inside Leslye’s brain just to see where these really unique ideas come from? A book around a magical Price Guide? Where does that come from?

The detail. Leslye is brilliant at creating atmosphere. She uses everything at her disposal to create this lush gem of a story that evokes unease. It’s the little things that you might not even notice but subconsciously while reading that just make the book that much more interesting. I just love how this is written!

It is on par with reality. If someone came out and started granting everyone’s wishes for a price and could prove their legitimacy the world would scramble to get in on the offer. The utter chaos and following that Nor’s mother causes and creates is very accurate and believable.

The magic. I love the varied abilities and how they are used. I love it when a novel is unique with how it creates abilities. Plus my favorite ability, knowing the thoughts of animals, has always been interesting to me.

The story nuance. I really loved that even though there was a main story. The story was layered with subplots that were just as interesting as the main plot. A lot of times sub-plot isn’t done well and I was happy to see how wonderfully it is done in The Price Guide.

Final thoughts:

Both Leslye’s novels could be described as strange and wonderful. The Price Guide to the Occult on its own is layered, rich, and undeniably magical. I loved every single moment of reading it!

About the Author:

Leslye Walton was born in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps because of this, Leslye has developed a strange kinship with the daffodil–she too can only achieve beauty after a long, cold sulk in the rain. She was named a William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist for the publication of her novel The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. The book received several accolades, including the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the Pacific Northwest Book Award, was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award, and was short-listed for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. The book was also number one on the Spring 2014 Kids’ Indie Next List, and was named one of the best books of 2014 by Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, the Boston Globe, Bustle, Hudson Booksellers, Amazon, and more.

Leslye is a full-time writer currently living in Seattle, Washington with her chihuahuas, Mr. Darcy and Doc Holliday. Her next novel, The Price Guide to the Occult, comes out March 2018.

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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-Till next time!

Most Anticipated YA Releases: August 2018

August is upon us and we have some top-tear releases to look forward to. As always with this post your in for a long ride. Get you tbr ready because I have a lot of fantastic books to share with all of you.

August 7th

#Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil

“WELCOME TO THE NEAR FUTURE, where good and honest 8/18 citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society’s most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the suburbanized prison island Alcatraz 2.0.

When eighteen-year-old Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, she realizes she’s about to be the next victim of the app. Knowing hardened criminals are getting a taste of their own medicine in this place is one thing, but Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn’t commit. Can Dee and her newly formed posse, the Death Row Breakfast Club, prove she’s innocent before she ends up wrongfully murdered for the world to see? Or will The Postman’s cast of executioners kill them off one by one?”

This concept is insane enough to actually one day be real. It feels sick in many ways, but when we are removed from our morality when placed behind the safety of a screen bad things happen. I want to see how the characters deal when they are the victim.

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

“When the Bat’s away, the Cat will play. It’s time to see how many lives this cat really has. . .

Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking.

Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing’s undoing.”

I have always adored catwoman. I wanted to be her on halloween. The fact that Maas wrote her story in the DC Universe series is just icing on the cake. I need to read this!

Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

“A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.”

I’ve wanted to read the Remnant chronicles for ages! This new addition that will be a part of a series all its own sounds absolutely incredible! Plus, how could I resist that cover?

Echoes by Alice Reeds

“They wake on a deserted island. Fiona and Miles, high school enemies now stranded together. No memory of how they got there. No plan to follow, no hope to hold on to.

Each step forward reveals the mystery behind the forces that brought them here. And soon, the most chilling discovery: something else is on the island with them.

Something that won’t let them leave alive.”

What is more scary than being on a deserted island with your enemies and having to face an unknown greater danger? If that doesn’t sound like a fantastic read I don’t know what does?

Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

“Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.

Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.”

When I read Little and Lion by Colbert I knew I had to read every other book she ever writes. I love her writing style and I can’t wait for this book to come out!

Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black

“Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer.

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.”

A good old fashioned mystery. Sign me up!

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

“Michael is an atheist. So as he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow nonbeliever at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.

But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom, or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.”

I am not an atheist, but I am alway open to seeing another’s point of view. I went to a Catholic school where several of my classmates were atheist and to kinda see that in book form sounds cool to me.

Let Me List the Ways by Sarah White

“A breezy, sexy contemporary YA about falling in love with your best friend, from Wattpad phenom Sarah White.

Mackenzie Clark has been best friends with Nolan Walker for as long as she can remember. She’s shared everything with him, from adventures with their families and days lounging at the beach, to long talks about their friends and her journey with type 1 diabetes. The only thing she hasn’t shared is the fact that she is in love with him.

Now in their senior year of high school, Mackenzie and Nolan know that in a few short months everything will change as they head off to different colleges. Determined to make the most of the time they still have left, they come up with a list of things they want to do together before graduation. But as they make their way through everything from toilet papering the school bully’s house to having a backyard camp-out like the ones they had when they were kids, Mackenzie can’t help feeling that she’s left the most important thing off the list: telling Nolan how she feels. But when confessing her love could jeopardize the incredible relationship they already have, is honesty really the best policy?”

I love wattpad. I need to read more romantic contemporary. This sounds like a good time.

Nine by Zach Hines

“In an alternate world startlingly close to our own, humans have nine lives—and they can’t wait to burn straight through them.

As you shed lives, you shed your awkward phases: one death is equal to one physical and mental upgrade. Julian’s friends are obsessed with the idea of burning lives, but Julian is determined to stay on his first for as long as he can. His mother, the ultimate cautionary tale, burned through her first eight in just a few years, and Julian has no intention of succumbing to the debilitating rebirth sickness that she inflicted on herself.

But the regime has death incentives aimed at controlling overpopulation, and Julian realizes that he’s going to have to burn at some point—especially when he becomes a target for Nicholas, the manipulative leader of the Burners, the school’s suicide club. And when Julian eventually succumbs, he uncovers suspicious gaps in the rebirth system that may explain exactly why his mother went so far down the rabbit hole years ago. Along with a group of student dissenters, Julian sets out to find answers and is soon on the verge of exposing the greatest conspiracy ever unleashed on the world.

He has just eight more lives to uncover the brutal truth.”

There is A LOT to unpack here. I really want this to be good based on the concept. I hope it is written well.

Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller

“As Opal, Sal finally has the power, prestige, and most importantly the ability to hunt the lords who killed their family. But Sal has to figure out who the culprits are before putting them down. Which means trying to ignore the fact that Elise is being kept a virtual prisoner, and that the queen may have ulterior motives.

And the tales coming out of north are baffling. Talk of dark spirits, missing children, and magic abound. As Sal heads north toward their ruined homeland and the lords who destroyed everything, they learn secrets and truths that can’t be ignored.”

A sequel to a book I really enjoyed.

Someone I Used to Know by Patty Blount

“TRIGGER WARNING: Boys will be boys is never an excuse.

It’s been two years since the night that changed Ashley’s life. Two years since she was raped by her brother’s teammate. And a year since she sat in a court and watched as he was given a slap-on-the-wrist sentence. But the years have done nothing to stop the pain or lessen the crippling panic attacks that make her feel like she’s living a half-life.

It’s been two years of hell for Derek. His family is totally messed up and he and his sister are barely speaking. He knows she partially blames him for what happened, and totally blames him for how he handled the aftermath. Now at college, he has to come to terms with what happened, and the rape culture that he was inadvertently a part of that destroyed his sister’s life.

When it all comes to a head at Thanksgiving, Derek and Ashley have to decide if their relationship is able to be saved. And if their family can ever be whole again.”

This is going to be a HARD read for me, but a necessary one. I hope I can get to it one day eventually. It sounds heartbreaking.

The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

“Something is wrong with Marianne.

It’s not just that her parents have split up, or that life hasn’t been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.

She’s losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close.

Something is after her. But a first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing’s rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. And Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it think it’s owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.”

Yes to all the horror and exorcism! I am so excited for this one!

The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell

“When sixteen-year-old Sylvie’s brother takes over management of their family’s vast estates, Sylvie feels powerless to stop his abuse of the local commoners. Her dearest friend asks her to run away to the woods with him, and soon a host of other villagers join them. Together, they form their own community and fight to right the wrongs perpetrated by the king and his noblemen.”

Sounds like a fun fantasy read!

The Last Best Story by Maggie Lehrman

“Rose Regnero was a star reporter for her high school paper, destined for a career in journalism, when she abruptly quit two months ago, leaving behind her very-nearly-sort-of-boyfriend and editor-in-chief, Grant. Now she is trying to be normal at her senior prom, with a new boy and new interests, and isn’t looking back.

Grant was totally blindsided when Rose walked away from the Gazette. After all, they’d dedicated their lives to it for the past four years, had even planned on majoring in journalism together at Northwestern—which is why Grant is determined to entice Rose back. But whether it’s really to the paper or to him he’s not entirely sure.

When an alarm is set off at prom and the school goes on lockdown, Grant discovers that someone is loose in the building with a gun. But Rose, caught outside of the gym, knows differently. Will her instincts for a good story win out against her resolve to leave Grant and the paper behind?”

Cute contemporary starring writers! I know this would make me smile!

The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby

“Girl Online meets Wild in this emotionally charged story of girl who takes to the wilderness to rediscover herself and escape the superficial persona she created on social media.

Mari Turner’s life is perfect. That is, at least to her thousands of followers who have helped her become an internet starlet. But when she breaks down and posts a video confessing she’s been living a lie—that she isn’t the happy, in-love, inspirational online personality she’s been trying so hard to portray—it goes viral and she receives major backlash. To get away from it all, she makes an impulsive decision: to hike the entire John Muir trail. Mari and her late cousin, Bri, were supposed to do it together, to celebrate their shared eighteenth birthday. But that was before Mari got so wrapped up in her online world that she shut anyone out who questioned its worth—like Bri.

With Bri’s boots and trail diary, a heart full of regret, and a group of strangers that she meets along the way, Mari tries to navigate the difficult terrain of the hike. But the true challenge lies within, as she searches for the way back to the girl she fears may be too lost to find: herself.”

I really love the idea of this. A girl online taking on a persona that isn’t her own and going out to find herself. It is a story I can get behind.

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

“Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.”

Three words: Epic Pirate Fantasy!

This Story is a Lie by Tom Pollock

“A YA thriller described as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time meets John le Carré, about a teen math prodigy with an extreme anxiety disorder who finds himself caught in a web of lies and conspiracies after an assassination attempt on his mother.

Seventeen-year-old Peter Blankman is a math genius who suffers from an extreme anxiety disorder, one that subjects him to intense panic attacks. He only manages to get through his daily life with the constant help of his scientist mom and his beloved twin sister, Bel. But when their mother is nearly assassinated in front of their eyes–during a major awards ceremony in her honor–Pete finds himself separated from Bel, alone, and on the run.

Dragged into a strange world where state and family secrets intertwine, Pete has to use his extraordinary analytical skills to find his missing sister, uncover the mystery of his mother’s life’s work, and track down the people who attacked her–all the while fighting to keep a grip on the fear response that threatens to overwhelm him. Weaving back and forth between his past and present, the novel is an extraodinary testimonial from a protagonist who is brilliant, broken, and trying to be brave.”

The title speaks to me.

August 14th

Fresh Ink by Various Authors

“In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print.

Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.

Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.”

Very excited for this release! I am 100% going to read it soon!

How to Breathe Underwater by Vicky Skinner

“Kate’s father has been pressuring her to be perfect for her whole life, pushing her to be the best swimmer she can be. But when Kate finds her dad cheating on her mom, Kate’s perfect world comes crashing down, and Kate is forced to leave home and the swim team she’s been a part of her whole life.

Now in a new home, new school, and faced with the prospect of starting over, Kate isn’t so sure that swimming is what she wants anymore. But when she decides to quit, her whole world seems to fall apart. But when Kate gets to know Michael, the cute boy that lives across the hall, she starts to think that starting over might not be so bad. There’s only one problem: Michael has a girlfriend.

As the pressures of love, family, and success press down on her, can Kate keep her head above water?”

I love the more emotional contemporaries and this sounds like just that. I love to see families that feel real with their struggles.

My Life Uploaded by Rae Earl

“Girl Online meets Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging in this younger YA novel about a teen who starts an advice vlog—but needs some advice herself.

Millie Porter is sensible. She can’t help it. It’s inherited from her mom and it makes her deeply uncool. That’s why she starts an advice vlog. It’s the perfect way for her to feel like she’s making a difference—and catch the eye of the super-cute new boy in school.

But with Internet fame comes Internet trolls. Putting herself out there has some serious drawbacks for Millie, including a social media war with the school’s Instagram queen. As Millie becomes more and more caught up with her online persona, her role as a good friend and daughter falls by the wayside. Can Millie learn to balance friendship, high school, family drama, dating, and her online life?

This fresh, funny, and clean younger YA novel delves into the world of social media with an accessible heroine and a memorable cast of characters.”

The cover is too adorable not to want in my hands.

See All the Stars by Kit Frick

“Part love story, part thriller, We Were Liars meets Goodbye Days in this suspenseful, lyrical debut.

It’s hard to find the truth beneath the lies you tell yourself.

THEN They were four—Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. Electric, headstrong young women; Ellory’s whole solar system.

NOW Ellory is alone, her once inseparable group of friends torn apart by secrets, deception, and a shocking incident that changed their lives forever.

THEN Lazy summer days. A party. A beautiful boy. Ellory met Matthias and fell into the beginning of a spectacular, bright love.

NOW Ellory returns to Pine Brook to navigate senior year after a two-month suspension and summer away—no boyfriend, no friends. No going back. Tormented by some and sought out by others, troubled by a mysterious note-writer who won’t let Ellory forget, and consumed by guilt over her not entirely innocent role in everything and everyone she’s lost, Ellory finds that even in the present, the past is everywhere.

The path forward isn’t a straight line. And moving on will mean sorting the truth from the lies—the lies Ellory has been telling herself.”

So I have an arc of this that I won’t be able to read on time, but I had no idea that this was both a thriller and a love story. I am so excited to read this soon! It sounds even more enticing than I ever thought.

Saving Adam Meade by Shannon Klare

“Seventeen-year-old Claire Collins has a plan: get into college and leave North Carolina behind. What she doesn’t have is an idea for how to get rid of the local football star and womanizer extraordinaire—Adam Meade, who she can’t even avoid (despite many efforts), because Claire’s dad is the high school football coach.

Seventeen-year-old Adam Meade never fails. He always gets what he wants… until he meets Claire, the new girl who leaves him unnerved, pissed off, and confused. But there’s something about her that he just can’t resist…

With the bite of lemon meringue pie and the sugar of sweet tea, Surviving Adam Meade is a sexy and compelling young adult novel about two strong-willed people who think they know what they want but have no idea what they need.”

Enemies to lovers sounds like the sort of romance I need in my life. This story sounds lovely and I’m happy it’s being released.

The Looking Glass by Janet McNally

“GIRLS IN TROUBLE.

That’s what Sylvie Blake’s older sister Julia renamed their favorite fairy tale book, way back when they were just girls themselves. Now, Julia has disappeared—and no one knows if she’s in trouble.

Sylvie is trying to carry on Julia’s impressive legacy at the prestigious National Ballet Theatre Academy, but Julia, ever the star of the show, can’t stay hidden forever. And when she sends Sylvie a copy of their old storybook with a mysterious list inside, Sylvie begins to see signs of her sister everywhere she goes. She may be losing her grip on reality, but Sylvie has to find out if the strange, almost magical things she’s been seeing have anything to do with Julia’s whereabouts.

With the help of her best friend’s enigmatic brother and his beat-up car, Sylvie sets out to the beat of a Fleetwood Mac playlist, determined to return to New York with her sister in tow. But what Sylvie doesn’t expect to learn is that trouble comes in lots of forms—and that the damsel in distress is often the only one who can save herself.”

I don’t know for sure, but this looks and sounds like magical realism to me… the sole underrated genre that I want to see much more of in the future. There are so few books in this genre of ya and so of course I want to read this book if it is what I think it is.

The Raging Ones by Becca & Krista Ritchie

“From New York Times bestselling authors Krista and Becca Ritchie, comes The Raging Ones, an edge of your seat sci-fi romance with twists and turns that you will never see coming!

In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.”

This sounds like a really cool riveting Sci-fi. I have a feeling I would really love it!

August 21st

Giant Days by Non Pratt

“Based on the hit graphic-novel series from BOOM! Studios, the publisher behind Lumberjanes, Giant Days follows the hilarious and heartfelt misadventures of three university first-years: Daisy, the innocent home-schooled girl; Susan, the sardonic wit; and Esther, the vivacious drama queen. While the girls seem very different, they become fast friends during their first week of university. And it’s a good thing they do, because in the giant adventure that is college, a friend who has your back is key–something Daisy discovers when she gets a little too involved in her extracurricular club, the Yogic Brethren of Zoise. When she starts acting strange and life around campus gets even stranger (missing students, secret handshakes, monogrammed robes everywhere . . .), Esther and Susan decide it’s up to them to investigate the weirdness and save their friend.”

This book sounds interesting, comedic, and mysterious. I’m intrigued.

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

“Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost.

Grace has Asperger’s and her own way of looking at the world. She’s got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that’s pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn’t make much sense to her any more.

Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it’s up to Grace to fix it on her own.”

Sweet is the best word to describe the way this book feels to me. I’m excited to see if it lives up to the beauty that I imagine it to be.

The Truth Lies Here by Lindsey Klingele

“In small town Michigan, Penny, an aspiring journalist, teams up with the nerdy boy-next-door and the town’s star quarterback to find her conspiracy theorist father after he goes missing and several other townspeople turn up dead in the woods.

The deeper she digs, the weirder things start to get. Townspeople repeat the same phrases—verbatim. Men in black suits stroll around Main Street. Chunks of her memory go missing. Pretty soon, Penny’s research leads her to the long-ago meteorite crash in Bone Lake’s woods, and she’s going to have to reconsider her definition of “real” if she wants answers. . .”

This sounds like a spooky on earth sci-fi that is weird, but just enough so to make you want more.

To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

“Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her sister goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats.

Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.”

The synopsis sounds so good! I’m excited for a character that lives her best life even when she struggles from insecurities brought on from the outside.

We Regret to Inform You by Ariel Kaplan

“Mischa Abramavicius is a walking, talking, top-scoring, perfectly well-rounded college application in human form. So when she’s rejected not only by the Ivies, but her loathsome safety school, she is shocked and devastated. All the sacrifices her mother made to send her to prep school, the late nights cramming for tests, the blatantly resume-padding extracurriculars (read: Students for Sober Driving) … all that for nothing.

As Mischa grapples with the prospect of an increasingly uncertain future, she questions how this could have happened in the first place. Is it possible that her transcript was hacked? With the help of her best friend and sometimes crush, Nate, and a group of eccentric techies known as “The Ophelia Syndicate,” Mischa launches an investigation that will shake the quiet community of Blanchard Prep to its stately brick foundations.”

This is a high school seniors worst nightmare. I would so love to see how it all turns out.

August 28th

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

“Darius doesn’t think he’ll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understand that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.

Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.”

I feel this book to be weighted with importance. Reading a book in the eyes of a culture I don’t know much about is something I love and need to do often. It sounds amazing!

Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes

“Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last move…is murder.”

This sounds exciting and thrilling! I need this book!

In Another Time by Caroline Leech

“Love is worth the fight

It’s 1942, and Maisie McCall is in the Scottish Highlands doing her bit for the war effort as a Women’s Timber Corps lumberjill. Maisie relishes her newfound independence and her growing friendships—especially with the enigmatic John Lindsay.

As Maisie and John work side-by-side felling trees, Maisie can’t help but feel like their friendship has the spark of something more to it. And yet every time she gets close to him, John pulls away. It’s not until Maisie rescues John from a terrible logging accident that he begins to open up to her about the truth of his past, and the pain he’s been hiding.

Suddenly everything is more complicated than Maisie expected. And as she helps John untangle his shattered history, she must decide if she’s willing to risk her heart to help heal his. But in a world devastated by war, love might be the only thing left that can begin to heal what’s broken.”

I’ve been looking for a beautiful ya historical novel for a long time and I think I just found it. I am going to make sure I read this!

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

“In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.”

Sci-fi and fantasy all rolled together? Count me in!

Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

“After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?”

I’m all for books that take place on the sea!

That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger

“It’s been three years since the Virgil County High School Massacre. Three years since my best friend, Sarah, was killed in a bathroom stall during the mass shooting. Everyone knows Sarah’s story–that she died proclaiming her faith.

But it’s not true.

I know because I was with her when she died. I didn’t say anything then, and people got hurt because of it. Now Sarah’s parents are publishing a book about her, so this might be my last chance to set the record straight . . . but I’m not the only survivor with a story to tell about what did–and didn’t–happen that day.

Except Sarah’s martyrdom is important to a lot of people, people who don’t take kindly to what I’m trying to do. And the more I learn, the less certain I am about what’s right. I don’t know what will be worse: the guilt of staying silent or the consequences of speaking up . .”

I am both afraid and curious about this book. This is a delicate subject matter that can be messed up really easily and I just hope that it was written with care.

The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart

“Sep, Arkle, Mack, Lamb and Hadley: five friends thrown together one hot, sultry summer. When they discover an ancient stone box hidden in the forest, they decide to each make a sacrifice: something special to them, committed to the box for ever. And they make a pact: they will never return to the box at night; they’ll never visit it alone; and they’ll never take back their offerings.

Four years later, the gang have drifted apart. Then a series of strange and terrifying events take place, and Sep and his friends understand that one of them has broken the pact.

As their sacrifices haunt them with increased violence and hunger, they realise that they are not the first children to have found the box in their town’s history. And ultimately, the box may want the greatest sacrifice of all: one of them.”

Some goosebumps inspired horror fun… I am ready for this book.

The Second Life of Ava Rivers by Faith Gardner

“Ava’s disappearance was the crack in the Rivers family glacier. I wish I could explain to you how we were before, but I can’t, because the before is so filmy and shadowed with the after.

The after is all Vera remembers. When her twin sister, Ava, disappeared one Halloween night, her childhood became a blur of theories, tips, and leads, but never any answers. The case made headlines, shocked Vera’s Northern California community, and turned her family into tragic celebrities.

Now, at eighteen, Vera is counting down the days until she starts her new life at college in Portland, Oregon, far away from the dark cloud she and family have lived under for twelve years. But all that changes when a girl shows up at the local hospital.

Her name is Ava Rivers and she wants to go home.

Ava’s return begins to mend the fractures in the Rivers family. Vera and Ava’s estranged older brother returns. Vera reconnects with Max, the sweet, artistic boy from her childhood. Their parents smile again. But the questions remain: Where was Ava all these years? And who is she now?”

I’m getting great vibes from this synopsis. It sounds really interesting.

The Soul Keepers by Devon Taylor

Death is just the beginning.

“After dying in a terrible car accident, Rhett awakens in the afterlife and is recruited to join the crew of the Harbinger, a colossal seafaring vessel tasked with ferrying the souls of the dead. To where exactly, no one knows. But the crew must get the souls there, and along the way protect them from vicious soul-eating monsters that will stop at nothing to take the ship and all of its occupants.

Rhett and his new friends have a hard enough time fighting back the monsters that grow bolder and more ferocious every day. But then a new threat emerges, a demon who wants something that Rhett has. And if she gets it, it could mean the end of everything… for both the living and the dead.”

Everything about this book sounds COOL! Afterlife. On the seas. Fighting monsters. I WANT!

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

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-Till next time!

Big Water: A Review

Big Water by Andrea Curtis

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10! I love this cover!!! I am such a sucker for illustrative design and this design fits the book itself perfectly! When you look closer you can see the debris coming off from the sinking ship and having the two characters in the life boat on opposite ends for balance just like in the book itself you realize just how much attention to detail there is. It’s a chaotically gorgeous cover!

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Publish Date: March 6th, 2018

Number of Pages: 192

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Christina McBurney, grieving the loss of her twin brother, Jonathan, to consumption, has run away from her Parkdale home. She believes her mother wishes she had been the one to die, and she plans to find work far away as a nursemaid or teacher. Christina’s cousin Peter is the first mate on the Asia, a steamship that transports passengers and freight throughout the Great Lakes, so she seeks him out to secure passage to Sault Ste. Marie.

But when a violent storm suddenly rises, the overloaded and top-heavy steamship begins to sink. Christina, heeding the warnings from her cousin, somehow makes her way to the hurricane deck. A large wave tosses her overboard, but just before she loses consciousness, she is pulled to safety.

Hours later, adrift on the wide-open water of Georgian Bay, in a lifeboat full of corpses, Christina is nervous about being alone with Daniel, a brooding young man with a likely criminal past and the only other passenger left alive. But they both know that working together is the only way they will find the strength to make it to safety.

Big Water is a fictional account of the real-life story of the only two survivors of the sinking of the SS Asia in 1882.

Opening Sentence: “The wind blasts my face.”

Musings:

Big Water is a survivalist story through and through. It’s that mixture of harsh reality mixed with emotional turmoil that keeps you holding on as desperately to each moment as the characters hold on to the small strands keeping them alive.

What I Loved:

Christina is battling her memories as much as she battles the sea. Christina came to be on the ship after loosing her twin brother who was seen in her family to be the better twin. She’s there to prove something of herself and to get over her guilt and wish that she had been the twin to die instead.

Christina’s uncle. Her uncle is with her on the boat and struggles along with her for survival. The little things she does like singing to him to keep him awake as people in the boat begin dying were lovely touches.

Daniel’s backstory. I loved reading about Daniel and his uncle. Especially when there was a lot of mystery surrounding why they had an argument the night before the ship went down. It made Daniel layered as a character in a really great way.

Based in history. I really like that this is a fictional story inspired by real events. It’s something that causes a reader to really think about what they would have done in that situation. It adds a grounded reality to the fiction.

It’s ugly. Survival is never pretty. It’s awful and ugly and sad. It’s ultimately you vs. your demons vs. nature and you have to have the mental strength and will to do what it is necessary to come out of everything alive. The rules when it comes to straight survival are totally different from any other situation. It’s gritty and I loved that this book showcases all of that.

Final thoughts:

Big Water is emotional, edge of your seat, fast paced read based in history. It’s beautifully written and will make you wonder if you would have the grit to survive.

About the Author

Andrea Curtis is an award-winning writer in Toronto. She writes for both adults and children.

Her next book for kids is Eat This! How Fast Food Marketing Gets You to Buy Junk (and How to Fight Back). It will be published in early 2017. It is a followup to her first award-winning children’s book, What’s for Lunch? How Schoolchildren Eat Around the World, published by Red Deer Press.

She is also working on a YA novel called Big Water. It’s based on the true story of a shipwreck on Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, and the harrowing experience of the two teenaged survivors.

Her most recent adult book, written with Nick Saul, is the National Bestseller, The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement. It is published by Random House Canada and Melville House Press in the US and UK. It was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award and won the Taste Canada Award for Culinary Narratives.

Andrea’s critically acclaimed creative nonfiction book Into the Blue: Family Secrets and the Search for a Great Lakes Shipwreck (Random House) won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction.

Andrea’s writing has also appeared in Toronto Life, Cottage Life, Chatelaine, Canadian Geographic, Explore, This Magazine, Utne Reader, The Globe & Mail, The National Post and Today’s Parent, among other periodicals.

She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and two children.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

A Love Letter to All the Books I Haven’t Written Yet

Dear future novels,

You swim in my head haunting my dreams. You take up more note space in my phone then I ever thought you would. You entice me and make me feel gloriously happy when I think of what you would look like as a full story.

Each and every one of you is unique occupying a different part of my heart. I love each and every one of you (even the ones I haven’t thought of yet). Some of you are contemporary, some of you are horror. Those of you who are fantasy or sci-fi you know how much I dream of writing you well. To all the other genres thriller, magical realism, historical, and romance too..you know I have so many dreams of your existences too!

There are times when I toss in turn just thinking about little scenes that would go perfectly in one story and begging to be seen. Sometimes I feel this soaring deep within my bones just imagining the worlds that I had never seen before.

All you characters are inspiring some sassy some serious… some filled with sadness and others might just be delirious. I love those of you who are angry and just want to fix what’s wrong, but those of you who just want to deal with yourselves that just as valid too. Some of you have magic others are subjected to it. Some of you have none at all and that’s just the fun of it. I can’t wait to write your stories and breath into you all some life. Some victims, heroes, protagonists, all just trying to do what’s right (for you).

I know a lot of you are impatient waiting for me to write your story, but all I need is time to make all of your stories the best that they can be.

I love all the places you take me and I love all of your dreams. I love you future novels. I can’t wait to see where else you bring me.

Love,

Tiana

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this little letter. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments.

-Till next time!

The ABC Book Challenge: books are Everything

It’s been a short while since I last did a letter for the ABC Book Challenge and I’m excited to move forward with the letter “E”.

Memorable Book’s that start with “E”:

Eon/Eona

Swordplay, dragon magic–and a hero with a desperate secret

Twelve-year-old Eon has been in training for years. His intensive study of Dragon Magic, based on East Asian astrology, involves two kinds of skills: sword-work and magical aptitude. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye–an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.

But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a boy for the chance to become a Dragoneye. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.

When Eon’s secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic…and her life.

I LOVE this duology! They have such lush storytelling and are full of great adventure.

Eyes Like Stars

All her world’s a stage.

Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.

She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents.

She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.

That is, until now.

Enter Stage Right

NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.

COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARDSEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.

ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.

BERTIE. Our heroine.

Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book, an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family, and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.

Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic, and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience.

When I first read this book years ago I loved it. Filled with magic and theatre. I couldn’t get enough. I want this book back on my shelves someday.

Books I’d love to read that start with the letter “E”:

Every Day

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone A wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Ever since I first heard about this I loved the concept! What would it be like to continually switch bodies and fall in love?

Escaping from Houdini

In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. .

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?

So excited for the third installment in one of my favorite series ever! I’m anxiously awaiting its release and I know I will devour it as soon as it comes to my hands.

Thanks so much for reading! What books do you love that start with the letter “E”?

-Till next time!

Most Anticipated Ya Releases: July 2018

Tomorrow is July 1st and it’s time again to share my most Anticipated releases of the next month. As always there are many incredible new reads to be excited about. So sit back relax and take a look at what’s new next month!

July 3rd

Copycat by Hannah Jayne

“From the author of The Escape, Twisted, and Truly, Madly, Deadly comes a chilling new thriller that asks: what happens if your real life became stranger and deadlier than fiction?

Everyone is dying to read the latest book in the popular Gap Lake mystery series, and Addison is no exception. As the novels biggest fan, she’s thrilled when the infamously reclusive author, R.J. Rosen, contacts her, giving her inside information others would kill for.

Addison’s always dreamed of what it would be like if the books were real…But then she finds the most popular girl in school dead. Murdered. And realizes that life imitating fiction is more dangerous that she could have imagined. As other terrifying events from the books start happening around her, Addison has to figure out how to write her own ending―and survive the story.”

This seems like a guilty pleasure sort of thriller with a unique concept just begging to be read. I’m so glad I started reading thrillers because this one seems to be right up my alley for a plain old fun read.

Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga

“Princess Ivy has one goal―end the war against the Forces of Darkness.

Ivy’s magic is more powerful than any other Royal’s, but she needs a battle partner who can help her harness it. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword should make them an unstoppable pair―if only they could agree on…well, just about anything.

But Ivy’s magic can only fully unlock with Zach’s help, and he’s not exactly cooperating.

Zach believes Ivy’s magic is dangerous. Ivy believes they’ll never win the war without it. Two warriors, one goal, and the fate of their world on the line. But the more they argue, the more they fall for each other. And only one of them can be right…”

Fantasy that is straight up your typical forbidden love with sword fight battle goodness. Sometimes it’s best not to mess with a good thing.

Shadow State by Elyse Brayden

“What Brynn Caldwell can’t remember might get her killed.

Brynn is a promising science student recovering from a major setback: Last year, a bad relationship sent her spiraling into depression. But as she puts the pieces of her life back together, a few don’t fit.

Soon Brynn starts having flashbacks―hazy memories of being abducted and possibly brainwashed. It’s all connected to a wonder drug to treat PTSD that might actually be the ultimate weapon: a tool to control people’s memories. And Brynn can’t trust the people who know the truth―her best friend turned enemy, her genius scientist mother with a secret, and Brynn herself, whose memories might all be lies.

Now, to stop a possible terrorist attack, Brynn has to uncover what she’s been forced to forget―and learn what side she’s really on.

Elyse Brayden’s Shadow State is a pulse-pounding thriller that tackles homeland security, government conspiracy, and obsessive love, with a final-page plot twist you’ll never forget.”

There really aren’t that many reviews for this book and that makes me sad because the premise is super interesting! It’s sci-fi,thriller, and a mix of dystopian in such a way that I can’t resist.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

“A surprising and gripping sci-fi thriller with a killer twist

The daughter of two astronauts, Romy Silvers is no stranger to life in space. But she never knew how isolating the universe could be until her parents’ tragic deaths left her alone on the Infinity, a spaceship speeding away from Earth.

Romy tries to make the best of her lonely situation, but with only brief messages from her therapist on Earth to keep her company, she can’t help but feel like something is missing. It seems like a dream come true when NASA alerts her that another ship, the Eternity, will be joining the Infinity.

Romy begins exchanging messages with J, the captain of the Eternity, and their friendship breathes new life into her world. But as the Eternity gets closer, Romy learns there’s more to J’s mission than she could have imagined. And suddenly, there are worse things than being alone….”

This book is Finally being released in the US and I am ready for it! I remember hearing about it back in 2017 and being super intrigued. I hadn’t read the blurb till now and seeing that it’s a sci-fi thriller and not a contemporary like I thought it was makes me want to devour it all the more!

Zen and Gone by Emily France

“With another aching deep dive into human spirituality, Emily France mines her home state of Colorado in a novel of a teen girl’s harrowing search for her missing younger sister—and her own search for self.

Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, Essence McKree feels older than any seventeen-year-old she knows. Ever since weed was legalized, her mother has been working in a pot shop, high more often than not. Lately it’s been up to Essa to care for her nine-year-old sister, Puck.

When Essa meets Oliver—a brainy indoor type who’s in town for the summer—she is cautious at first, distrustful of the tourist crowd and suspicious of Oliver’s mysterious past in Chicago. But Puck is charmed and pushes Essa toward him. Soon Essa finds herself showing Oliver the Boulder she has forgotten: the mountain parties, the long hikes . . . and at Oliver’s urging, the exploration of Buddhism at the local zendo.

When Oliver agrees to accompany Essa on a three-day survival game in the Rocky Mountains, she feels a lightness she hasn’t known in a long time. Then she discovers that Puck has stowed away and followed them into the wilderness. After spending a night stuck in a mountain storm, Essa wakes to find Puck missing. Now Essa must rely on her newfound spiritual strength if she is to save her sister’s life, and ultimately her own.”

This book could be a hit or miss for me. However the setting and the truly contemporary sort of backwater vibe it has intrigues me. I’m always curious when religion is incorporated in ya. It’s not done enough.

July 10th

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen

“Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen’s multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.

They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier’s cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.”

It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a magical cover. What more can I ask for?

I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain

“From award-winning poet Carrie Fountain comes I’m Not Missing, a debut novel set in Las Cruces, New Mexico, about a half-Latina girl stepping outside of the shadow of her best friend.

“I savored and cherished this funny, tender, poetic novel about yearning, love, loss, ambition, and the big questions of life.” ―Margo Rabb, author of Kissing in America and Cures for Heartbreak

“This book has won my heart.” ―Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Habibi

It’s senior year, and Miranda Black’s best friend, Syd, has run away―suddenly and inexplicably, leaving behind nothing but a pink leopard print cell phone with a text message from the mysterious HIM. Everyone wants to know why Syd left, but the truth is, Miranda has no idea. When Miranda’s mother abandoned her as a child, Miranda had found shelter in her friendship with Syd, who wore her own motherlessness like a badge of honor. Now Miranda’s been left behind again, left to untangle the questions of why Syd left, where she is―and if she’s even a friend worth saving, all while stumbling into first love with the most unlikely boy in school. How do you take on the future when it feels like so much of your past wasn’t even real?”

This book just gives off all the right vibes. I don’t know what it is in particular, but I want to connect with this book. It calls to me and for many that might not be a legitimate thing, but my gut tells me this story is good.

Legacy by Jessica Blank

“Ever since her older brother Andy died, Alison’s life has been just as dark as her home in Tacoma, Washington.

Her mom is in perpetual mourning, her father ran out on them, and after hanging out with Andy’s hard-partying friends for a year, Alison’s reputation is trashed. She planned on taking the path of least resistance during her senior year–hanging out with her punk rocker boyfriend and trying not to flunk out of school–until a massive fight with her mother pushes her over the edge, and she runs away.

At first, joining a group of radical environmentalists who are occupying a Washington State forest is just about having a place to crash. But the ancient woods prove to be as vibrant and welcoming as they are vulnerable, and for the first time, Alison realizes that she might be more powerful than she thought. As tensions in the forest mount and confrontations with authorities get physical, Alison has to decide whether she’s willing to put her own life on the line to fight for what she believes in.”

This book seems so interesting and powerful in a very unique way. I think that reading a book like this would make a very real impact on my life.

Notes From My Captivity by Kathy Parks

“Girl meets boy… and the family holding her hostage.

Adrienne Cahill cares about three things: getting into a great college; becoming a revered journalist like her idol, Sydney Declay; and making her late father proud of her.

So when Adrienne is offered the chance to write an article that will get her into her dream school and debunk her foolishly optimistic stepfather Dan’s claim—no, belief—that a legendary family of hermits is living in the Siberian wilderness, there’s no question that she’s going to fly across the world.

After all, it is the trip of a lifetime.

But the Russian terrain is even less forgiving than Adrienne. And when disaster strikes, nothing—not the flirtatious guide or her stepdad’s obsessively detailed preparations—can protect Adrienne from the sheer force of nature. Now, Adrienne’s being held captive by the family she was convinced didn’t exist, and her best hope for escape is to act like she cares about befriending them, even if it means wooing the youngest son.”

This book screams creepy survival story and it could go many different ways. I hope that it takes a darker route then a lighter one, but only time will tell.

The Supervillain and Me by Danielle Banas

“Never trust a guy in spandex.

In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees—they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind.

That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life.

After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.”

I am so excited for this book! It’s just my sort of fun superhero novel that woo’s me as much as it catches me in its adventure. One of my most anticipated releases of July for sure!

The Unfortunates by Kim Ligget

“When seventeen-year-old senator’s son Grant Tavish is involved in a fatal accident, all he wants to do is face the consequences of what he’s done, but the consequences never come, even if headlines of “affluenza” do. The truth soon becomes clear: Due to his father’s connections, not only will Grant not be held accountable for his actions, he’s going to get away with murder.

When a long Tavish tradition approaches, a cave excursion on the Appalachian trail, Grant seizes the opportunity to take justice into his own hands by staging an accident and never coming back. But before he has a chance to enact his plans, the cave system collapses, trapping him miles beneath the surface with four other teens from much less fortunate circumstances. As they struggle to survive, they share their innermost secrets and fears, and just when it seems they might be on track to finding a way out, they realize there’s something else down there.

And it’s hunting them.”

This book sounds exciting, fresh, and deliciously dark. I’m all about a book that is deliciously dark. I hope it’s as good as I feel it will be.

Things Jolie Needs to Do Before She Bites It by Kerry Winfrey

“Jolie’s a lot of things, but she knows that pretty isn’t one of them. She has mandibular prognathism, which is the medical term for underbite. Chewing is a pain, headaches are a common occurrence, and she’s never been kissed. She’s months out from having a procedure to correct her underbite, and she cannot wait to be fixed.

While her family watches worst-case scenario TV shows, Jolie becomes paralyzed with the fear that she could die under the knife. She and her best friends Evelyn and Derek decide to make a Things Jolie Needs To Do Before She Bites It (Which Is Super Unlikely But Still, It Could Happen) list. Things like: eat every appetizer on the Applebee’s menu and kiss her crush, Noah Reed. Their plan helps Jolie discover what beauty truly means to her.”

What a truly heartwarming novel this seems to be. I can’t help but want to own it immediately. Fear of death and doing all you can to really live while you have time to is so important. It reminds me too that there are so many things I want to experience before I bite it as well.

July 17th

Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie

“Aisha Un-Haad would do anything for her family. When her brother contracts a plague, she knows her janitor’s salary isn’t enough to fund his treatment. So she volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive the harrowing modifications and earn an elite place in the Scela ranks, she may be able to save her brother.

Key Tanaka awakens in a Scela body with only hazy memories of her life before. She knows she’s from the privileged end of the Fleet, but she has no recollection of why she chose to give up a life of luxury to become a hulking cyborg soldier. If she can make it through the training, she might have a shot at recovering her missing past.

In a unit of new recruits vying for top placement, Aisha’s and Key’s paths collide, and the two must learn to work together–a tall order for girls from opposite ends of the Fleet. But a rebellion is stirring, pitting those who yearn for independence from the Fleet against a government struggling to maintain unity.

With violence brewing and dark secrets surfacing, Aisha and Key find themselves questioning their loyalties. They will have to put aside their differences, though, if they want to keep humanity from tearing itself apart.”

I’m super interested in everything this book seems to offer. Enhanced soldiers, political unrest, some lunar battles. Of course I’m looking forward to this book!

Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder

“Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites.

Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful.

Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please.

Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved.

And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got leukemia. Parker didn’t.

But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going better for Parker. She’s landed a prestigious summer internship at the hospital and is headed to Harvard in the fall to study pediatric oncology—which is why the anxiety she’s felt since her Harvard acceptance is so unsettling. And it doesn’t help that her relationship with Charlie has been on the rocks since his diagnosis.

Enter Finn, a boy who’s been leaving strange graffiti messages all over town. Parker can’t stop thinking about those messages, or about Finn, who makes her feel free for the first time: free to doubt, free to make mistakes, and free to confront the truth that Parker has been hiding from for a long time.

That she keeps trying to save Charlie, when the person who really needs saving is herself.”

Any novel that endeavors to discuss mental illness and healing is a novel that interests me. The more I move forward in life the more I see that people no matter how positive and happy to your face can just as easily be suffering something no one knows about behind closed doors. We all need to work on ourselves in order to heal and any book that discusses that is one worth reading.

Like Always and Never by Ann Aguirre

“On a hot summer night, a screech of brakes and shattering glass changes two lives forever.

Liv wakes in the hospital, confused when they call her Morgan. She assumes it’s a case of mistaken identity, yet when the bandages come off, it’s not her face in the mirror anymore. It’s her best friend Morgan’s.

Morgan always seemed to have the perfect life, yet Liv must navigate endlessly disturbing secrets of the criminal and murderous variety—and a romance that feels like a betrayal. Torn between the boy she loved as Liv and the boy she’s grown to love as Morgan, Liv still has to survive Morgan’s last request.”

This book sounds disturbing, angsty, and really creepy. Based off the cover and the plot I’m hoping that when I read this book one day that it lives up to my huge thriller seeking expectations.

Price of Duty by Todd Strasser

“From award-winning author Todd Strasser comes a gripping new novel that explores the struggles of war, the price paid by those who fight in them, and what it really means to be a hero.

Jake Liddell is a hero.

At least, that’s what everyone says he is. The military is even awarding him a Silver Star for his heroic achievements—a huge honor for the son of a military family. Now he’s home, recovering from an injury, but it seems the war has followed him back. He needs pills to get any sleep, a young woman is trying to persuade him into speaking out against military recruitment tactics, and his grandfather is already urging him back onto the battlefield. He doesn’t know what to do; nothing makes sense anymore.

There is only one thing that Jake knows for certain: he is no hero.”

I have a complex set of opinions regarding the military. I almost immediately passed on this book, but I find now that I really want to read it. It feels really raw and really real. I don’t think I can pass on anything that might read to be that real.

When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn

“Sixteen-year-old Shelby Black has spent the past year training to be an exorcist. Her great-uncle Roy—a Catholic priest and Shelby’s guardian—believes she has a gift for expelling demons, and he’s put her through exorcist boot camp hell, but he still doesn’t trust her to do an exorcism on her own.

High school is hard enough without having to explain that you fight demons for a living, so Shelby keeps her extracurricular activity quiet, especially from Spencer, her cute math tutor. Secrets run in Shelby’s family, though: her mother has been missing ever since an exorcism went horribly wrong, and Uncle Roy is tight-lipped about it. But Shelby’s hell-bent on finding her mom, no matter what—even if what it ends up costing her her soul AND a date with Spencer.”

This book sounds funny lighthearted and just all around fun. I am definitely due to read a book along these lines. If only to make my heart feel a bit more free.

Wrong in All the Right Ways by Tiffany Brownlee

“Everything in Emma’s life has always gone according to her very careful plans. But things take a turn toward the unexpected when she falls in love for the first time with the one person in the world who’s off-limits–her new foster brother, the gorgeous and tormented Dylan McAndrews.

Meanwhile, Emma’s AP English class is reading Wuthering Heights, and she’s been assigned to mimic Bronte’s style in an epistolary format. With no one to confide in, she’s got a lot to write about. Emma and Dylan try to constrain their romance to the page–for fear of threatening Dylan’s chances of being adopted into another home. But the strength of first love is all-consuming, and they soon get enveloped in a passionate, secretive relationship with a very uncertain outcome.”

Yeah this on here for it’s cover. No I don’t regret it. I mean look at it! I mean a sort of forbidden romance thing is awesome too, but that cover!

July 24th

Contagion by Erin Bowman

“It got in us

After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

Most are dead.

But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies.

Don’t set foot here again.

As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.”

I love how creepy this sounds. I have mentioned this book before and how excited I am to one day pick it up. It is definitely my brand of horror.

I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall

“After

Jess is alone. Her cabin has burned to the ground. She knows if she doesn’t act fast, the cold will kill her before she has time to worry about food. But she is still alive—for now.

Before

Jess hadn’t seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade. But after a car crash killed her mother and left her injured, she was forced to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness. Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him, a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving her father dead and Jess stranded.

After

With only her father’s dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she’s stronger than she ever imagined.

Jess will survive. She has to. She knows who killed her father… and she wants revenge.”

I can’t say how much I immediately want this book to be a movie. I am all about books with gritty survival elements and though I really haven’t read any but Life of Pi I know that this one in particular is one I would immediately devour.

Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

“Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this thrilling debut novel about prison-guard-in-training, Kenzie, who is taken hostage by the superpowered criminal teens of the Sanctuary space station—only to have to band together with them when the station is attacked by mysterious creatures.

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.”

Creepy, intersteller, alien vibes gallore. Hell yeah do I want to read this book!

Scream All Night by Derek Milman

“A darkly hilarious contemporary realistic young adult novel about growing up and finding your place in the world, perfect for fans of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Running With Scissors.

Dario Heyward knows one thing: He’s never going back to Moldavia Studios, the iconic castle that served as the set, studio, and home to the cast and crew of dozens of cult classic B-horror movies. It’s been three years since Dario’s even seen the place, after getting legally emancipated from his father, the infamous director of Moldavia’s creature features.

But then Dario’s brother invites him home to a mysterious ceremony involving his father and a tribute to his first film—The Curse of the Mummy’s Tongue. Dario swears his homecoming will be a one-time visit. A way for him to get closure on his past—and reunite with Hayley, his first love and costar of Zombie Children of the Harvest Sun, a production fraught with real-life tragedy—and say good-bye for good. But the unthinkable happens—Dario gets sucked back into the twisted world of Moldavia and the horrors, both real and imagined, he’s left there.

With only months to rescue the sinking studio and everyone who has built their lives there, Dario must confront the demons of his past—and the uncertainties of his future. But can he escape the place that’s haunted him his whole life?”

Despite being given a genre in the synopsis I am pretty confused about it still. However, regardless of genre I am really excited for this book! Anything with a cover like this has to have something good inside it…

The Future Will Be BS Free by Will McIntosh

“In this terrifyingly timely tale for fans of The Eye of Minds, a teen and his group of friends find themselves on the run after using a genius lie-detector contraption to expose their corrupt government.

In a Putin-esque near-future America, the gifted and talented high school has just been eliminated, and Sam and his friends have been using their unexpected free time to work on a tiny, undetectable, utterly reliable lie detector. They’re all in it for the money–except Theo, their visionary. For Theo, it’s about creating a better world. A BS-free world, where no one can lie, and the honest will thrive.

Just when they finish the prototype and turn down an offer to sell their brainchild to a huge corporation, Theo is found dead. Greedy companies, corrupt privatized police, and even the president herself will stop at nothing to steal the Truth App. Sam sets his sights on exposing all lies and holding everyone accountable.

But he and his friends quickly realize the costs of a BS-free world: the lives of loved ones, and political and economic stability. They now face a difficult question: Is the world capable of operating without lies, or are lies what hold it together?

Praise for Will McIntosh’s Burning Midnight:

“In an impressive YA debut, adult SF author McIntosh spins an action-packed adventure….An engaging cast and thought-provoking premise help fuel this thriller.” –Publishers Weekly

“With a fascinating premise and likable, underdog protagonists, this is a winner.” –Booklist

“An exciting, fast-paced adventure from start to finish.” –The Horn Book Magazine

“An adventure fantasy thriller . . . with an unpredictable twist.” –TheGuardian.com”

I am super intrigued by this very poltical near future set novel. I am very curious about where the author takes this story and how the fantasy thriller adventure aspects come together.

You May Now Kill the Bride by R.L. Stine

“NEW Fear Street stories with a retro look, perfect for fans of Stranger Things!

Two sisters, divided by time. Each with a terrible resentment she can barely contain.

Two Fear family weddings, decades apart… Each bride will find that the ancient curse that haunts the Fears LIVES ON. It feeds off the evil that courses through their blood. It takes its toll in unexpected ways, and allows dark history to repeat itself.

In this all-new Fear Street story, family ties bind sisters together—till DEATH do they part.”

This haunted blast from my childhood past needs to be read. Featuring one of the most gorgeous covers I have ever seen on a Stine book it’s a book I really wish to have on my shelves.

July 31st

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

“In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace–someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.”

All I can say is, that synopsis is compelling. Plus as I’ve always said, I’m always ready for a good fantasy.

Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton

“In the ancient river kingdom, touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war. Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood.

Not women. Demons. The same demons who killed her mother without a single scratch.

But when Mia’s father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Only after the wedding goes disastrously wrong does she discover she has dark, forbidden magic—the very magic she has sworn to destroy.”

You ever read a synopsis and just sit back thinking about how cool the story sounds. That’s what I am doing now. I am hooked. I can’t wait to pick this one up!

How We Learned to Lie by Meredith Miller

“Violence in the small, suburban town of Highbone, Long Island, is escalating, and best friends Joan and Daisy are finding themselves in the centre of it.

Joan has always been fascinated by the inner workings of living things: dogfish, eels, stingrays. But the more she sees of life outside her microscope, the more she realizes that people aren’t as easy to read as cells on a slide, and no one, not even Daisy, tells the truth.

Daisy’s always wished he had a family more like Joan’s, and that desire has only grown since his dad went to jail. But not even Joan can help Daisy keep his deadbeat older brother from putting everyone close to them in more danger.

When tragedy strikes too close to home, Joan and Daisy need each other more than ever. But no matter how hard they try, their secrets and lies have driven them apart. It’s only a matter of time before their friendship, just like their town, goes up in flames.”

Small town violence you say? Tragedy you say? Sign me up I say.

If Only by Jennifer Gilmore

“Before:

When Bridget imagined her life at sixteen, it didn’t look like this. She didn’t think that her boyfriend would dump her for another girl. And she certainly didn’t think that she would be pregnant. With just a few months until she gives birth, Bridget must envision an entirely new future—one for her baby. But as she sifts through the many paths and the many people who want to parent her child, she can’t help but feel that there is no right decision.

After:

Ivy doesn’t know much about her birth mother. She knows that she is now the same age Bridget was when she placed Ivy for adoption. She knows that Bridget was the one who named her. And she knows that fifteen years ago Bridget disappeared from Ivy’s and her adoptive moms’ lives. Ivy wants to discover more about herself, but as she goes to find Bridget, she can’t help but feel that the risks might far outweigh the benefits of knowing where she comes from and why her birth mother chose to walk away.”

This book looks like it is going to hit me very close to home. I was adopted. My mother and father choose to walk away from me. I know what Ivy must feel like. Even as I can understand where Bridget was coming from.

Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen

“What would you do if the sun became your enemy?

That’s exactly what happens to Viola Li after she returns from a trip abroad and develops a sudden and extreme case of photosensitivity — an inexplicable allergy to sunlight. Thanks to her crisis-manager parents, she doesn’t just have to wear layers of clothes and a hat the size of a spaceship. She has to stay away from all hint of light. Say goodbye to windows and running outdoors. Even her phone becomes a threat when its screen burns her.

Viola is determined to maintain a normal life, particularly after she meets Josh. He’s a funny, talented Thor look-alike who carries his own mysterious grief. But the intensity of their romance makes her take more and more risks, and when a rebellion against her parents backfires dangerously, she must find her way to a life — and love — as deep and lovely as her dreams.”

I can’t wait to read this and see how this story goes. It sounds so emotional and hopeful. I love to read things that are hopeful.

Maiden Voyage: A Titanic Story by Sarah Jane

“Isabella is shocked when her parents book her passage on the incredible Titanic and inform her that she’ll be sailing by herself. She is given an envelope and told the contents will explain everything, but she is forbidden from opening it until the boat reaches the U.S.

Lucille is worried over her mother’s poor health, and her father is always distracted, never around. Left to her own devices, Lucille discovers some dangerous secrets that could tear her family apart.

Abby is desperate. She’s all her little brother has in the world, and her only hope is start a new life in New York. But the only way to do that is to smuggle her little brother aboard the Titanic and hope they can last the week without him getting caught.

Three girls, three different classes on the ship, yet their pasts and futures are more intertwined than they know–and their lives are about to be forever changed over the course of the Titanic’s maiden voyage. That is, if they don’t all drown in secrets first.”

I really like the idea of having three point of views of completely different people who somehow have to come together. That is my reason for wanting to try this book out.

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

“Everyone knows what happens in the end.

A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss.

But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends.

One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

~~~~~~~~~~

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.

The rise of Hans Christian Andersen’s iconic villainess is a heart-wrenching story of friendship, betrayal, and a girl pushed beyond her limits—to become a monster.”

I WANT this book. A mermaid book with the soul of The Little Mermaid at it’s core. I can’t wait to read it!

Storm-Wake by Lucy Christopher

“Moss has grown up on the strangest and most magical of islands. Her father has a plan to control the tempestuous weather that wracks the shores. But the island seems to have a plan of its own once Callan — a wild boy her age — appears on its beaches. Her complex feelings for Callan shift with every tide, while her love for the island, and her father, are thrown into doubt…

And when one fateful day, a young man from the outside world washes up on the beach, speaking of the Old World, nothing will ever be the same.”

Two words: Magical Island. That’s it. That’s all I need.

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

“There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.”

This book is VERY highly rated. I haven’t looked too deeply into it because I know it’s going to be good.

The Girl You Thought I Was by Rebecca Phillips

“No one looking at Morgan Kemper would think she had a secret-at least not one that she’s deeply ashamed of. To everyone she meets, she comes across as sweet, pretty, and put together. But Morgan knows that looks can be deceiving. For over a year, she’s shoplifted countless pieces of clothing and makeup. Each time she tells herself it will be the last, and each time it never is.

But when she’s caught and sentenced to thirty hours of community service, the image Morgan has carefully constructed starts to crumble. She’s determined to complete her punishment without her friends discovering the truth about her sticky fingers, but that’s easier said than done…Especially once she meets Eli, the charming, handsome nephew of the owner of the charity shop where Morgan is volunteering. Soon, Morgan is faced with an impossible decision: continue to conceal the truth or admit that she’s lied to everyone in her life, including the boy she’s falling for.”

I love that a book like this exists. Whatever direction this character takes I am excited to read it. A book full of secrets and a character with a choice who has already made some bad decisions. Just a full on adventure.

The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman

“The last thing Elise wants is to start her senior year in a new town. But after her brother’s death in Afghanistan, she and her mother move from San Francisco to a sleepy coastal village.

When Elise meets Mati, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Mati is new to town too, visiting the U.S. with his family. Over the course of the summer, their relationship begins to blossom, and what starts out as a friendship becomes so much more.

But as Elise and Mati grow closer, her family becomes more and more uncomfortable with their relationship, and their concerns all center on one fact—Mati is Afghan.

Beautifully written, utterly compelling, and ultimately hopeful, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US asks—how brave can you be when your relationship is questioned by everyone you love?”

When I first saw this I just thought it was your typical romance contemporary. However the rating made me look at it a little closer and now I HAVE TO READ THIS! Its topical and heartbreaking and full of goodness. I can’t wait for this to be out in the world!

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! What are you looking forward to seeing released in July?

-Till next time!

Shadowsong: A Review

Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 6 out of 10 Stars I really do like this cover I just have a few design things about it that don’t quite settle right with me. I really like the colors and how they fit really well with the cover of the first book.

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Publish Date: Febuary 6th, 2018

Number of Pages: 379 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc copy in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

The conclusion to the gorgeous and lush Wintersong duology, Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones.

Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.

When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?

“A maze of beauty and darkness, of music and magic and glittering things, all tied together with exquisite writing. This is a world you will want to stay lost in.”—Marie Lu, #1 New York Timesbestselling author

Opening Sentence: “Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.”

Musings:

This slower darker counterpart to Wintersong broke my heart. I ached for Liesl and how lost she ended up being. The poetic and musical soul that is the beating heart of this novel had been broken and trying to get back to herself was a journey I that filled me with emotion.

What I Loved:

Liesl is a character with bipolar disorder in a time where people didn’t know what that was. When I read the authors note before beginning to read and was told that Liesl had Bipolar disorder everything made so much more sense. The way Liesl threw herself into her music in the first book, the self-destruction, the apathy, and the anger. Seeing someone going through the full weight of a mental disorder with no one to understand what they are going through being labeled as mad and having no available medication or therapy or anything to help stable themselves and feeling lost because you don’t even know that your thoughts and moods are not something that come from you being an awful person, but have something very real affecting your brain was both unsettling and heartbreaking.

Music as a muse. For Liesl, music is everything. I love that music is what inspires her and even if she isn’t a performer she gets lost in composition. Her fear and loss makes her loose her music in this book and some of the most achingly beautiful scenes are her trying to make music during a time of pain.

Under-lands leaking into the over-world. The unique magic of this book is much more subtle then the last. Yet the remembrances and subtle additions reminds the reader that that world is still out there. It made the “normal” world feel a bit more otherworldly in a really nice way.

Real relationships. The family relationships were grinding and changing in an authentic way. Liesl’s state of mind changing the way she related with her brother and sister and caused tension. A lot of times authors are too afraid to create that disconnect in a family and when it happens it’s disjointed, but in Shadowsong it is done really well. It’s ego against ego and pain from people’s individual wants and needs in such a fantastic way.

The Slow Burn. The pacing takes the story and lets it settle in your mind. It builds up the emotion and makes you care more then you ever did before. I could feel how much heart the author put into creating this story and I appreciated how everything came together.

Final Thoughts:

I have so much respect for what this story tried and did accomplish. I appreciate a fantasy that reads with the aura of authenticity. The poetic touch to the words and the energy this book holds affected me. I just desperately wish there was more to read of this story. However I am satisfied with the ending. It’s a beautifully written story.

About the Author:

My name is S. Jae-Jones, called JJ. I’m an artist, adrenaline junkie, and author of the New York Times bestselling Wintersong. The sequel, Shadowsong, is available now!

I am a voracious and indiscriminate reader, a cuddler of baby harp seals, avid traveller, and not-so-secret goth.

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or Instagram for nonsense and non sequiturs, wisdom and whimsy, and opinions about the best romanceable characters in Dragon Age.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

Dark Tide: A Review

Dark Tide by Jennifer Donnelly

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 10 out of 10! These covers always look beautifully illustrated, but i know for a fact that they are not, well not completely. I think that it is so evocative and beautiful. Plus, it’s a beautiful look of diversity on this cover. I love it!

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Publish Date: October 13th, 2015

Number of Pages: 392 pages

Received: Christmas of 2016

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Please note this is a book 3

Once a lost and confused princess, Serafina is now a confident leader of the Black Fin Resistance (BFR). While she works on sabotaging her enemy and enlisting allies for battle, her friends face challenges of their own. Ling is in the hold of Rafe Mfeme’s giant trawler, on her way to a prison camp. Becca meets up with Astrid and learns why the Ondalinian mermaid is always so angry: she is hiding a shameful secret. Ava can’t return home, because death riders await her arrival. And it is getting more and more difficult for Mahdi, Serafina’s betrothed, to keep up the ruse that he is in love with Lucia Volerno. If Lucia’s parents become suspicious, his life–and all of Sera’s hopes–will be extinguished. Political intrigue, dangerous liaisons, and spine-tingling suspense swirl like a maelstrom in this penultimate book in the WaterFire saga.

Opening Sentence: “The mermaids sword glinted in the watery twilight of Tanner’s Deeps.”

Musings:

I read this book last moth pretty much a year after I had completed. the first two books and it felt like fitting into the perfect fit of shoes. My memory of what had past came quickly and the world, characters, and development felt better then ever. If that isn’t proof of some fabulous storytelling I don’t know what is.

What I Loved:

It felt brand new. Despite my familiarity with these characters and how they think and act I experienced them as new people, all had been transformed by their previous experience and they each took on new identities in my mind. I loved seeing that every character had grown from there unique fears and personal flaws. They all still remained flawed, but they all made the decision at different points to change and I found that admirable.

The world description. Every single one of thee novels has such lush writing and description. You feel immersed in the novel like it is a place you could go to if only you could swim well enough.

The adventure. I am so attracted to these novels because they always take me on a journey like no other. It makes me feel like a kid dreaming of lost land and hoping for a grand and beautiful destiny for my future. It is a glorious adventure this story tells indeed.

The love. Family, friendship, and romance, you get all kinds of love in this series. The best of all is that it grows and evolves over the course of the novels. It always reads as wholly authentic and genuinely felt.

I always want to know more. I always want to live in this world and see where it takes me. There is one more book in this series and as sad as it is I think I’m ready to take it on.

Final Thought:

Jennifer Donnelly shows that she is brilliant in every book she writes and this book is no exception. I adore Dark Tide and I feel sorry I didn’t read it sooner.

About the Author:

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of eleven novels – Lost in a Book, These Shallow Graves, Sea Spell, Dark Tide, Rogue Wave, Deep Blue, Revolution, A Northern Light, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose – and Humble Pie, a picture book for children. She grew up in New York State, in Lewis and Westchester counties, and attended the University of Rochester where she majored in English Literature and European History.

Thanks for reading! Let me now your thoughts down in the comments.

_Till next time!