ARC Review: Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman



Pub. Date: September 24th, 2013
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Hardcover
288 pgs. 

Synopsis from Goodreads:


What happens when you can’t do the one thing that matters most?

12-year-old Hope lives in White Rock, a town struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. The bombs destroyed almost everything that came before, so the skill that matters most in White Rock—sometimes it feels like the only thing that matters—is the ability to invent so that the world can regain some of what it’s lost.

But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb’s Breath—the deadly band of air that covers the crater the town lives in—than fail at yet another invention.

When bandits discover that White Rock has invented priceless antibiotics, they invade. The town must choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from disease in the coming months or to die fighting the bandits now. Hope and her friends, Aaren and Brock, might be the only ones who can escape through the Bomb’s Breath and make the dangerous trek over the snow-covered mountain to get help.

For once, inventing isn’t the answer, but the daring and risk-taking that usually gets Hope into trouble might just save them all.

          ---------------------------------------------------------------


As a result of foraying into Middle Grade less frequently than I would like, past reading experiences have left me with an unshakable impression of Middle Grade being slower paced, with fairly straightforward narratives, and readers sometimes being talked down to by adult authors. If all Middle Grade novels were like Sky Jumpers, my impression would disappear really quickly. While I would say that Sky Jumpers took it’s time introducing the characters and explaining some of the science behind the Bomb’s Breath prior to any major action occurring, the majority of the novel was fairly fast paced, the back story complex, and there was absolutely no talking down.

On My Wishlist: December 28th, 2013




On My Wishlist is a weekly event highlighting a book that I really want to read. The book may be 20 years old, or the pub date may not be until next year, but either way I'm excited about it, and hopefully you will be too!

ARC Review: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Pub. Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Hardcover
304 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:


Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

           -------------------------------------------------------------

I’m not someone who gravitates towards crime stories. I get creeped out easily, and I have what some may call an overactive imagination. Let’s just say it’s best when I’m not aware of the multitudes of ways people can be murdered. Yet, the premise behind The Naturals intrigued me. I found Cassie’s ‘natural’ approach to reading and profiling people so much more interesting than the scientific approach we usually see. Surprisingly for me, the girl who get’s creeped out, one of my favorite things about the novel is when ‘You’ takes over the narrative. Switching to a criminal perspective really upped the anti on how drawn into the world of The Naturals I became.

On My Wishlist: December 21st 2013




On My Wishlist is a weekly event highlighting a book that I really want to read. The book may be 20 years old, or the pub date may not be until next year, but either way I'm excited about it, and hopefully you will be too!

Because it is the holiday season (and because I had to miss last week's On My Wishlist) I though I would do a supersized edition this week. Instead of one book, I give you three. 

ARC Review: Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter


Pub. Date: November 26th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Hardcover
296 pgs. 

Synopsis from Goodreads:

YOU CAN BE A VII IF YOU GIVE EVERYTHING.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked - surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed, and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From Pawn’s synopsis alone I saw links to the classist society from The Elite series, a single test defining your fate from Divergent, and the fake identity/ impersonation from The Lying Game. I’m not saying those elements are unique to the novels I mentioned, but the number of links I could make to other stories made me worry that Pawn wouldn’t bring anything new to the table. Was I wrong. Almost instantly after starting reading, Pawn’s uniqueness and ability to captivate me as a reader decimated my worries.

On My Wishlist: December 7th, 2013




On My Wishlist is a weekly event highlighting a book that I really want to read. The book may be 20 years old, or the pub date may not be until next year, but either way I'm excited about it, and hopefully you will be too!

On My Wishlist: November 30th 2013




On My Wishlist is a weekly event highlighting a book that I really want to read. The book may be 20 years old, or the pub date may not be until next year, but either way I'm excited about it, and hopefully you will be too!

On My Wishlist: November 23, 2013




On My Wishlist is a weekly event highlighting a book that I really want to read. The book may be 20 years old, or the pub date may not be until next year, but either way I'm excited about it, and hopefully you will be too!

ARC Review: Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always by Elissa Janine Hoole

Pub. Date: November 8th, 2013
Publisher: Flux
Paperback
360 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cassandra fears rocking the family boat. Instead, she sinks it. Assigned by her English teacher to write a poem that reveals her true self, Cassandra Randall is stuck. Her family's religion is so overbearing, she can NEVER write about who she truly is. So Cass does what any self-respecting high school girl would do: she secretly begins writing a tarot-inspired advice blog. When Drew Godfrey, an awkward outcast with unwashed hair, writes to her, the situation spirals into what the school calls "a cyberbullying crisis" and what the church calls "sorcery." Cass wants to be the kind of person who sticks up for the persecuted, who protects the victims the way she tries to protect her brother from the homophobes in her church. But what if she's just another bully? What will it take for her to step up and tell the truth?
_______________________________________________________


Within the first twenty pages of the novel, Cassandra says, (and I’m going to paraphrase because I don’t know whether words or page numbers changed during final edits) she’s ‘going to find herself, even if the cliché of doing so kills her’. Unfortunately, while I didn’t find the action clichéd, I did find the attempt clichéd. Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always is really the story about a girl who doesn’t know how to stand up for herself and her beliefs. She knows who she is. She knows what she believes. She’s just afraid of vocalizing those things. I wish that I could say I connected with Cassandra’s story, but while reading I found myself wishing she would just own up to what she thinks and feels, and stop acting like jerk to everyone, because I was sure ready to move the story along.  

ARC Review: Inhuman by Kat Falls (Fetch #1)


Pub. Date: September 24th, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic
Hardcover
384 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In a world ravaged by mutation, a teenage girl must travel into the forbidden Savage Zone to recover lost artifacts or her father’s life is forfeit.

America has been ravaged by a war that has left the eastern half of the country riddled with mutation. Many of the people there exhibit varying degrees of animal traits. Even the plantlife has gone feral.

Crossing from west to east is supposed to be forbidden, but sometimes it’s necessary. Some enter the Savage Zone to provide humanitarian relief. Sixteen-year-old Lane’s father goes there to retrieve lost artifacts—he is a Fetch. It’s a dangerous life, but rewarding—until he’s caught.

Desperate to save her father, Lane agrees to complete his latest job. That means leaving behind her life of comfort and risking life and limb—and her very DNA—in the Savage Zone. But she’s not alone. In order to complete her objective, Lane strikes a deal with handsome, roguish Rafe. In exchange for his help as a guide, Lane is supposed to sneak him back west. But though Rafe doesn’t exhibit any signs of “manimal” mutation, he’s hardly civilized . . . and he may not be trustworthy.
        ____________________________________________

I’ve been dystopia/ post apocalyptic storied out recently because nothing felt fresh. That was before Inhuman. From the beginning the premise really intrigued me. The twist of human error causing the apocalyptic event – and the apocalyptic event itself – is different. Avarice and vanity have lead to death and destruction, which makes it all the more horrifying. Because the apocalyptic element is so different, there’s a level of unpredictability to the story. You never know if there will be a happy ending, which characters will survive, or what’s going to happen. There’s a huge shocking reveal, and so many little twists and turns, all of which keep you on the edge of your seat while reading.

ARC Review: The F-It List by Julie Halpern

Pub. Date: November 12th, 2013
Publisher: Felwel & Friends
Hardcover
256 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:

With her signature heart and humor, Julie Halpern explores a strained friendship strengthened by one girl’s battle with cancer.

Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.

But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again--Becca has cancer.

So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend--you do it.
          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I trudged my way through The F-It List. I strongly disliked both Alex and Becca from the beginning, and my dislike for the characters quickly turned into a dislike for the story. The opening was very off-putting. We’re given a lot of background and asked to care about two girls, and their friendship, when I can’t imagine ever staying friends with someone who treats you near as badly as Alex and Becca treat each other. Becca’s actions may be more outright brutal, but Alex’s decisions and lack of a filter or common sense, are just as immature.

On My Wishlist: November 16, 2013




On My Wishlist is a weekly event highlighting a book that I really want to read. The book may be 20 years old, or the pub date may not be until next year, but either way I'm excited about it, and hopefully you will be too!

On My Wishlist: November 9, 2013




On My Wishlist is a weekly event highlighting a book that I really want to read. The book may be 20 years old, or the pub date may not be until next year, but either way I'm excited about it, and hopefully you will be too!

ARC: Foreplay (The Ivy Chronicles #1) by Sophie Jordan

Pub. Date: November 5th, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Paperback
320 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.

Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I heard only praise about Foreplay from some of my favorite YA and New Adult authors. Even still, I was slightly apprehensive. The title alone makes the book seem decidedly more adult than NA, which kind of scared me off. I was also not that excited by the whole stereotypical bad boy/ good girl vibe that the synopsis alluded to. Here comes the huge but – but my pre-judgment was ridiculously wrong. Foreplay represents why I love contemporary novels. This novel has loveable and relatable leads, a swoon worthy romance, and a cast of thoroughly entertaining and developed secondary characters, all in addition to a perfectly paced storyline.

One of the things I loved the most about this novel was how subtly the baggage that Reece and Pepper

On My Wishlist: November 2, 2013




On My Wishlist is a weekly event highlighting a book that I really want to read. The book may be 20 years old, or the pub date may not be until next year, but either way I'm excited about it, and hopefully you will be too!

This Week On My Wishlist: 

Rating Scale Update

I've decided to switch up the Rating Scale. Up until now it looked like this:

1/10 - Hated it.
2/10 - Really didn't like it.
3/10 - Didn't like it.
4/10 - Not my favourite.
5/10 - Somewhat liked it.
6/10 - Liked it.
7/10 - Liked it a lot.
8/10 - Really liked it.
9/10 - Loved it.
10/10 - Absolutely LOVED it.

I just found I had given myself too many options, so from now on it will look like this:


5/5 - I Was Blown Away
4/5 - I Really Really Liked It
3/5 - I Liked It
2/5 - Not Horrible, But Not My Favourite
1/5 - Really Didn't Like It

Hopefully that makes the ratings easier to follow! Everything that I have reviewed up to this point will stay with the old Rating Scale, just because I don't think it is fair to re-judge/rate the books.

Happy Reading Everyone!


ARC Review: Backward Glass by David Lomax


Pub. Date: October 8th, 2013
Publisher: Flux
315 pages
Paperback

I’m a chronic note taker when I’m reading something that I will review. A subconscious tell that I absolutely love a book, is when I become so engrossed, that I completely forget to take notes. I didn’t write down a single word while reading Backward Glass.

When Kenny Maxwell’s home flipping parents buy the old Hollerith house – a home notorious for the disappearances of the kids that live there – an entire series of events that have both not happened, and that are decades old, are set into motion. In a broken down wall, Kenny finds a long deceased baby, along with a note written specifically to him. The note asks Kenny to change the past, by stopping Prince Harming from killing the baby. It takes a girl, from ten years in the future, to step out of the Backwards Glass – an old mirror that came with the house – for Kenny to get an idea of how he could possibly prevent a death that already happened.

Backward Glass is constructed the way a seasoned storyteller tells a story. With a clear voice, and engaging tone, you are instantly drawn in and kept in suspense about what will happen next. The entire time I read Backward Glass I was working overtime to solve a puzzle whose pieces were revealed in

Review: Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies #1) by Molly McAdams

Pub. Date: October 29th, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
368 pages
ebook

After a sexual assault, Rachel learns just how true the saying “blood is thicker than water” truly is. Unwilling to believe her cousin capable of rape, Rachel’s best friend Candice is convinced that Rachel has confused her attacker and savior. Worried that pushing the subject will cause a bigger rift between her and Candice, Rachel decides to try and forget the whole thing. For an entirely different kind of assault, career undercover cops Logan and Mase are reassigned to Texas from Florida. With the cover of bartenders, the two are assigned to help track down a serial killer. Logan tries to stay detached from everything while on the job, and Rachel initially is completely uninterested in any kind of relationship, but when the two fall into an easy friendship, they slowly break down their self-imposed walls. Only when their two worlds dangerously collide do they realize how little protection the walls offered.

After the first two chapters I did something I never do when reviewing – I read a bunch of reviews. I was legitimately convinced that I had been sent the wrong book to review, because the beginning of the novel was in no way represented within the synopsis. As a reader I was completely thrown. To make matters worse, I severely disliked everything about the first few chapters. So much happens. From instalove, to assault, I didn’t feel I had a chance to connect with any of the characters before they were polarized. The worst part of the early chapters was the worst representation of “best friends” that I have

On My Wishlist: Oct 26th 2013


On My Wishlist is a weekly event highlighting a book that I really want to read. The book may be 20 years old, or the pub date may not be until next year, but either way I'm excited about it, and hopefully you will be too!


On My Wishlist: Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding

Pub. Date: June 1st, 1999
Publisher: Penguin Books
271 pages
Paperback

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Meet Bridget Jones—a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could:
a. lose 7 pounds
b. stop smoking
c. develop Inner Poise

"123 lbs. (how is it possible to put on 4 pounds in the middle of the night? Could flesh have somehow solidified becoming denser and heavier? Repulsive, horrifying notion), alcohol units 4 (excellent), cigarettes 21 (poor but will give up totally tomorrow), number of correct lottery numbers 2 (better, but nevertheless useless)..."

Bridget Jones' Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget's permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.

Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and — like millions of readers the world round — you'll find yourself shouting, "Bridget Jones is me!"


I'm especially driven to read this book now that book three in the series is being published this Fall. I absolutely love the movies, but I've heard the books are even better. So, what do you think? Is it one you'll add to your Wishlist? Or have you already read it?




ARC Review: Forever Innocent by Deanna Roy


Pub. Date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Casey Shay Press
Paperback
288 pages

For most people, walking into the first day of lectures may cause a little bit of anxiety. But walking into class and seeing your ex-fiancé, adds a little more pressure to the situation. The last memory Corabelle has of Gavin is his back, as he walked out the door at their son’s funeral without a good-bye. Best friends, first loves, fiancés and parents, Corabelle and Gavin’s pasts are inseparably interwoven. But even if they wanted to, can they learn to accept the people they have become, start living in the present, and move past the devastation they faced in the past?

Not only does this novel put a huge spin on what has become typical for New Adult, but it completely changes what a happily ever after means. There can’t be a typical easy breezy fairytale ending when you have faced the devastating experience of becoming parents, being told your newborn wouldn’t live, and then watching him die. The novel balances the lows of just how hard it would be to experience losing a child, with the highs of Corabelle and Gavin's relationship. The grief aspect is never completely consumes the story, which I think consistently makes the novel accessible for all readers. You truly hope that Gavin and Corabelle can learn to lean on each other again. Regain the trust and love they had, and together work through their grief. Their relationship is heartbreaking, but realistic, and one you can actually connect with and rally behind.

ARC Review: Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen #1) by Lisa Renee Jones


Pub. Date: July 22nd, 2013
Publisher: Julie Patra Publishing
Ebook
250 pages

After a mysterious family tragedy, Lara is forced to change her identity and leave her entire life behind. Each new identity controlled by a ‘handler’ she has never met, means a new life to memorize, a new profession, a new home, and all new relationships. Tired of never knowing when her life will be up heaved again, Lara/Amy rebels by putting her trust in a complete stranger, something she knows will only increases the danger she constantly faces. As her new life becomes increasingly entwined with Liam Stone’s, the less sure she is of who is really protecting her – her handler or Liam?

This novel frustrated me more than I can ever possibly say. To begin, I hate how Amy is represented. I am so sick and tired of weak female characters portrayed as needing to be ‘saved’. Amy is not initially a character I would describe as weak, but the second someone walks into her life willing to take control, she doesn’t even blink before giving up all of her independence and strength as a character. She 180s from who she says she is, into the type of character I hate in a few pages.

ARC Review: Red by Alison Cherry

Pub. Date: October 8th, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Hardcover
320 pages

When I first read the synopsis for Red, I thought the idea was different and interesting, but also somewhat insane. I mean a town where your social standing is based on your hair color - not your typical book setting. Red is definitely quirky, funny and unique, but it is also smart, has a lot of heart and a good amount of seriousness thrown into the mix as well.

Felicity St. John has everything she could possibly want - a great group of friends, a coveted leadership role at school, and the chance to win a big pageant /scholarship. But Felicity is one of only three people who know she doesn’t rightfully deserve these things. If her school and her town knew that she was a Strawbie – a strawberry blonde – and not a real redhead, every opportunity she has had would be taken away. In Scarletville, you’re only as important as your (natural) shade of red. When Felicity's bi-weekly dye secret is threatened, there’s no end to what she’ll do to protect herself. 

My biggest fear was that the novel would just be silly without any real depth. I recognize the level of seriousness between being discriminated because of your hair color, compared to your skin color or size is drastically different, but the ways in which the town discriminate and treat non-redheads added a validity and level of seriousness that I wasn’t expecting. Red presents intolerance in such a unique way.

On My Wishlist: October 19th 2013


On My Wishlist is a weekly event highlighting a book that I really want to read. The book may be 20 years old, or the pub date may not be until next year, but either way I'm excited about it, and hopefully you will be too!

On My Wishlist: Looking For Alaska by John Green

Pub Date: December 28th, 2006
Publisher: Speak
Paperback
231 pages

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.



So, what do you think? Is it one you'll add to your Wishlist? Or have you already read it?

On My Wishlist


You may notice a new tab up there near the top called On My Wishlist. Previously On My Wishlist was run by Sarah at Workaday Reads, but I am happy to announce that I am officially taking over. So, click on the tab above or here to see what it's all about!

I would also like to say a big thank you to my friend Avery from Avery's Designs who created the new On My Wishlist image for me. She's a superstar and if you're looking to revamp your blog or website's look, she's the person to see.

 Thanks again for reading everyone!

ARC Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Pub. Date: September 17th, 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Hardcover
288 pages


Elise Dembowski is one of the funniest, most relatable girl next door while being a complete individual, characters that I have had the privilege of reading. Her voice is completely encompassing and this book touched me profoundly.

Everyday for Elise is a struggle. Even when she tries, its obvious that she’s not like everyone else. The take away, avoid being unique and don’t be special, it just makes you lonely and miserable. So, Elise makes the only decision she thinks she has left, to commit suicide. After a failed attempt followed by major support and healing time, Elise finds comfort in listening to music while night walking. Her walking leads her right to where she will heal the most - a warehouse party, with a DJ. Finding a place where people appreciate music as much as she does is like finding Mecca. But when Elise’s natural DJ ability threatens her new friendships, she has to decide if it’s better to fit in, or be true to yourself.

I loved this novel. The realism, humor, and music blew my mind. Within the first few pages there was one of the most descriptive, affecting, ‘practice’ suicide attempts that I have ever read. I felt sick to

ARC Review: Trust in Me by J. Lynn


Pub. Date: October 22nd, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse
Ebook
237 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It’s Wait for You as you’ve never seen it. Trust in Me lets you in on Cam’s side of the #1 New York Times Bestselling story.

Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up. He can’t get the feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.

Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. Will persistence (and some delicious homemade cookies) help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery's life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?
             ____________________________________________________________

Before I start let me just say that I really liked Trust in Me. It holds the same perfect combination of cuteness, seriousness, and realism as Wait for Me held. That being said, I wasn’t completely blown away. I have a really hard time getting drawn in and investing in stories that are snippets/retellings/alterna-perspectives of novels I really loved because in a lot of ways they feel like a tease. We just have enough time to get back into the world and reconnect with the characters, before the story ends.

On My Wishlist #1: Panic by Lauren Oliver

On My Wishlist hosted by Workaday Reads

On My Wishlist is an event held at Work A Day Reads (though it looks like they're in the process of finding someone new to take over). The Wishlist basically highlights a book that has already been published, or has yet to come out, that you are just dying to read. 

I thought - considering my Wishlist/ TBR pile is HUGE, that I would adopt this feature weekly!


On My Wishlist: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Pub. Date: March 4th, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Hardcover
416 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.


Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

 

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.



For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.


So, what do you think? Is it one you'll add to your Wishlist? 


ARC Review: Hush (A Lakeview Novel) by Stacey R. Campbell


Pub. Date: January 23, 2013
Publisher: Green Darner Press
278 pages
Paperback/ebook

Based on the synopsis, I was expecting a Princess Diaries-esque story of a girl finding out that she is royalty, with a darker twist. But, Hush is more of a Princess Anastasia murder story than Princess Mia’s rise to fame.

As far as Blakeley Henry knows there was nothing special about her adoption. British journalism student Max Ryder discovers otherwise. The daughter of a Tamuran Princess and a servant, Blakeley’s existence was kept a secret to avoid a major scandal. When the entire Tamuran Royal Family is killed in what we quickly learn was no accident, Blakeley is the only hope for the family to retain its throne. If Max can’t prove Blakeley’s true identity, convince her to claim her royal heritage, and keep her safe, then the Royal Family’s killers will reign.

I had quite a few issues with this novel. Stylistically my biggest issue was with the number of speakers. Some speakers narrated a single chapter, others multiple, but the overall effect was that the story came off as disjointed and inconsistent. I never felt I had a grasp or connection to any of the characters because we were jumped between speakers, continents and time periods every few pages. I also found the balance of the story to be somewhat uneven. It took a long time to get to the meat of the story. We

Review: Texas Redeemed by Isla Bennet

Pub. Date: May 2013
Publisher: Montlake Romance
406 pages
Paperback/ebook

When you think of Romance as a genre, the usual stereotypes include a female protagonist, lots of dialogue, a very linear story, and a happy ending. Texas Redeemed might be a Romance – but it completely breaks the mould.

Going through med school and traveling the world as part of Doctors Without Borders has acted as a distraction from the rebellious life Peyton Turner ran from thirteen years before. Back in his Texas hometown of Night Sky, Peyton learns the youthful mistake he regrets the most, is one he didn’t know he made. In the years he was gone, he intentionally stayed hidden from his complicated family life, but in his silence, he unknowingly prevented his best friend Valerie from being able to tell him she was pregnant with his twins. In an attempt to come to terms with the experiences he missed out on, Peyton sets out to claim what could have been. But the damage done by leaving may be a cut too deep for the good doctor to fix.  

There are so many novels (especially in the romance genre) where women get ‘rescued’ from their pasts by a man. In Texas Redeemed, first as children and then as adults, Peyton and Val support each other, and that support helps them move past the pain in their pasts – no rescue, just an honest

Updates

Hello Everyone,

I thought I would send out a personal update with new changes/ things going on with the blog.

The first major change should be fairly obvious when you first visit the site - I have a completely new header/avatar thanks to my friend Avery from Avery's Blog Designs! I absolutely love it! Thanks Avery!

The second change is that blogger has a bug and apparently text can't be edited. So, I'm not currently able to edit the 'Books I've Read in 2013' list or the what I'm 'Currently Reading' section. If you want an up to date list, or more info on what I'm reading, you can also follow my GoodreadsTwitter, and/or Facebook pages. You can do that anytime - but right now they'll be much more accurate than the blog. I have also added the Follow option on the blog through Google Friend Connect. So, basically you have a billion choices now about how you want to be updated!

Next month I'm heading to two different conferences/ meetings. The first is through work and it's all about matching readers with books based on their interests, which I am extremely excited about. Talking to people about why they like something and finding them new things to read one of my absolute favourite parts of being a Librarian, so you can always feel free to email me/ comment on a post for book suggestions. I live for that kind of thing! The second meeting I'm heading to is the Ontario Blog Squad meet-up. We get to talk books, meet authors, and have lunch together for an afternoon. It's a book blogger and book lovers mecca. This is my first year going and I can't wait! I'll be sure to update everyone on the meetings (and I'll especially share all of the book info I pull out of people in the know)!

As always please feel free to comment on posts or email me with your thoughts and comments about my reviews. I love hearing from you!

Until next time - happy reading everybody!

- Laura (aka An Adult Teen Reader)

Review: Between You and Me by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus


Pub. Date: First published, June 12th 2012; Paperback pub. June 4th, 2013
Publisher: Atria Books
Hardcover/Paperback/ebook
272 pages

I expected Between You and Me to be a fairly light, summer beach read. It’s not. While there is some humor, the novel and the characters in the novel are not happy. This is a heart wrenching, haunting story that I found powerful and engrossing.

Growing up, cousins Kelsey and Logan Wade were thick as thieves. Fifteen years later, Logan has done the adult thing. Done with college and stuck in an uninspiring job, she’s bored. The last thing Logan expects on her 27th birthday is a call from Kelsey’s mom asking her to LA to visit the recently dumped, and now uber famous, Kelsey. Dropping everything, Logan’s curiosity and need to get out of her tedium, sets an entire train of events in motion. With Logan by her side, Kelsey takes control of her life and career, going for what she wants, and doing what she wants, for the first time. But, when her choices send her life spiraling out of control, the girls have to stick together, or allow Kelsey’s parents to tear them apart, again.

Kelsey Wade is more exposed than a Kardashian. Add in an eventual meltdown and the worst mom/dadager in the world, Between You and Me makes you feel like you’re watching an episode of

Review: Finding It (Losing It #3) by Cora Carmack


Pub. Date: October 15th, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Paperback
320 pages

My love for Cora Carmack’s books is almost annoying. I have yet to take more than a day to finish one of her novels because the characters are just so lovely and real, her writing style is so addictive, and I truthfully just cannot wait for the happy endings.

Jetting off to Europe after graduation, Kelsey wants to find experiences. She needs something that will shake things up and make her feel something real. But, after barhopping and adventure seeking all over Europe, loneliness sinks in, and Kelsey is no closer to finding something real than she was before her trip. It’s only when ex-Army Jackson Hunt walks into her life, pointing out that she can’t expect to have new experiences when every night is the same party in a different place, that Kelsey’s adventure really starts. In Italy, Kelsey and Hunt spend every waking minute together. But, she has to learn the hard way that sometimes, before you can appreciate any new, great experiences, you have learn how to handle your bad ones. 

I don’t know if it was the exotic settings, or the fact that I ultimately related to Kelsey so much more than I have to any of the previous Losing It characters, but Finding It is my favorite Carmack novel to

Review: Witchstruck (The Tudor Witch Trilogy) by Victoria Lamb


Pub. Date: September 24th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Paperback
320 pages

I’m a huge Historical Fiction lover, which makes me very aware of how easy it is to be disappointed in the historical side of Historical Fiction. Thankfully, Witchstruck doesn’t disappoint.

Not every sixteen-year old has figured out that thing that makes them special. But, not every sixteen-year old is a descendant from a long line of witches. In Tudor England, there is an inherent distrust in anything different. Being a maid to the supernaturally interested Princess Elizabeth, offers Meg a small amount of protection, but trying to stay faithful to her families’ history, while trying to stay alive, is a constant juggle. When the stakes start getting too high for Meg to handle everything on her own, she has to figure out if she can trust anyone but Elizabeth with her secret, but risks fatal consequences if she puts her trust in the wrong place. 

My favorite part of the novel is the dynamic between polar opposites Meg and Alejandro – a Catholic Priest in training sent to convert Elizabeth by her sister Queen Mary. Both characters are unique, 

Review: The Truth About You & Me by Amanda Grace


Pub. Date: September 8th, 2013
Publisher: Flux
229 pages
Paperback


From the first page of The Truth About You & Me you make assumptions. Freshman college class – must be 18; Biology – must be fairly smart. As readers we play into exactly the kind of assumptions Bennett – her Biology instructor – would make when Madelyn walks into his classroom. But Maddie is 16, and she makes some really stupid decisions. Brought together by their mutual love for hiking, Madelyn’s classroom crush is not rejected by Bennett like you would expect, but encouraged. Written as an apology and explanation to Bennett through a letter, The Truth About You & Me tells Madelyn’s version of the relationship and it is only as truthful and honest as you believe a character that knowingly deceives someone she claims she loves, for months.

I truly expected that Madelyn would learn a heck of a lot after everything she puts Bennett through. But with the majority of the novel being comprised of a single letter, written almost immediately after the foreseeable end to the doomed relationship, we get very little perspective after the fact. I wanted more growth, and I wanted Madelyn to redeem herself in some way. Instead we get a Madelyn reeling over a lost relationship, justifying her actions. While it’s clear that Madelyn is sorry she hurt Bennett, it’s not clear if she learned a single thing from the experience, and I strongly disliked her for it. I felt extremely sorry for Bennett. He did knowing spend a lot of time with a student, and planned a relationship with her after he was no longer her teacher, but he was kept in the dark about her real age and I felt incensed for him. Bennett comes off as genuine and as likeable as a teacher who has a relationship with a student can be, which made my dislike for Madelyn stronger.

Review: A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison


Pub. Date: September 1st, 2013
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group/ Carolrhoda Lab
320 pages
Hardcover

With sweeping lyricism and expertly woven beauty amongst its tragedy, as a modern retelling from Ophelia’s perspective, A Wounded Name more than does justice to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Since her mother’s death, Ophelia has been considered mildly crazy. With the ability to see ghosts and hear the music of the bean sidhe, even the pills that her father all but forces down her throat, can’t make Ophelia ‘normal’. When Elsinore Academy’s Headmaster dies, everyone is shaken, but no one so much as his son, Dane Hamlet. Dane - devastated by the loss, and furious with the rest of his family - begins to possessively depend and lean on Ophelia. Left with meeting Dane’s needs, her father’s standards, and keeping a promise to her dead mother, Ophelia becomes impervious to her own needs, and suffers greatly for it. When Hamlet starts to act more and more deranged, no one is safe from his wrath, especially not Ophelia.

Though A Wounded Name modernizes Hamlet’s world, the play’s original flow and lyricism is expertly maintained. If a reader were unfamiliar with the play, the creatively interwoven original passages would seem like Hutchison’s words, but for those who know, they are little treats dropped in every once in a while. I was personally not a big fan of Hamlet being reduced from Prince, to son of a school Headmaster, but the majority of the other modernizations worked very well, and I believe they made the story much more accessible and relatable for readers.

Review: Unspoken (Woodlands #2) by Jen Frederick


Pub. Date: September 16th 2013
Publisher: Pear Tree LLC/ Jen Frederick
260 pages
Paperback/ ebook

Having read a fair amount of New Adult lately, I’m finding that there's a bit more ‘rough’ than diamonds in the rough out there. Unspoken is definitely a diamond – but a diamond that needs just a little more polishing until it reaches perfection.

Bo is not your typically college student. At 23 he’s already been a Marine stationed in Afghanistan, and carries more baggage than a sorority house sees on moving day. AnnaMarie, AM for short, carries just as much baggage after a series of rumors involving ‘‘extracurricular activities’’ with the entire Lacrosse team were falsely spread. The only two non-freshman in Biology class, Bo slyly groups the two together. Under the guise of schoolwork, Bo and AM spend increasing amounts of time together, showing the other who they really are beneath the baggage and rumors that they have been brandished with. 

I appreciate NA without Insta-love immensely. Insta-love is so unrealistic and I typically lose interest the second it is introduced. Frederick really proved to the reader the relationship between Bo and AM, and why the two characters connected, long before they actually became a couple. As a reader you had to work towards the Happily Ever After, it wasn’t just handed to you, so you appreciated it that much more. I especially appreciated that once the two are together, they’re together. There is very little of the ‘what is going to break them up before they’re eventually brought back together’ drama. Bo and AMs relationship felt much more true and realistic to real life than most NA relationship do for me.

Review: How to Love by Katie Cotugno


Pub. Date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Hardcover
389 pages

How to Love took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride. I was angered, inspired, annoyed, and overjoyed throughout the reading process because of how relatable Reena’s character is, and because of how realistically her situation is represented.  

With a 4.0, the chance to graduate high school after only three years, a close family with supremely strong religious beliefs, and general anti-social tendencies, Reena is not a teen you would expect to end up pregnant at 16. But she does. How To Love tells Reena’s story ‘Before’ the birth of her daughter Hannah, and ‘After’. Everything that ‘Before’ Reena experiences – from the destruction of a significant friendship, to her budding relationship with long-time crush Sawyer, until the moment she finds out she is pregnant – makes you feel like you're waiting to be propelled into the middle of an intersection, knowing the car speeding up behind you has no chance of stopping before impact. You know something serious and potentially horrible is about to happen, but you're powerless to stop it.

Blog Design Giveaway

Hi Everyone!

Avery's DesignsMy friend and fellow blogger Avery from Avery's Book Nook has started a new venture - Avery's Designs! The goal of her design service is to make blog design easy and affordable- with blog packages, including a header, button, and avatar, for $25. She is having a grand opening celebration and you are all invited! Enter to win one of two complete blog makeovers (including winner's choice of her premade designs and installation of said design- $35 in value)!

This is the perfect opportunity for those who have always wanted to start a blog, but have yet to do so, or for those seasoned bloggers who feel like their blog could use a facelift! Make your blog stand out with her one-of-a-kind, professional designs!

So, enter the draw, and head over to Avery's Designs to check all of the AMAZING blog designs Avery has been working on.

-Laura

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