Thursday, August 28, 2014

Delightful Discoveries #77



Delightful Discoveries are books that I have discovered recently... old, new, just released... from blogs, Goodreads, libraries, friends, or bookstores. 


UnspeakableUnspeakable by Michelle K. Pickett 

  


“Breathe. No one will break me. I’m strong. Breathe. Just breathe.”

On the outside, Willow appears to have it all. She’s beautiful, smart, from an influential family, and she dates the most popular guy in school—Jaden. But she would walk away from it all in a second. Willow is tormented by lies and suffocating guilt, not the hearts and flowers people believe her life is full of.

She carries a dark secret. Plagued by nightmares and pain, the secret dominates her life. If she hadn’t walked away. If she had just…but she didn’t. And now she has to live with her choice. But when someone uncovers her family’s past, they use it against her, crushing her spirit little by little. She tells herself she just has to make it to graduation. Then she can leave Middleton, and her secret, far behind.

When Brody transfers to Cassidy High, he turns Willow’s life upside down. He shows her what it feels like to live again, really live. And suddenly, she isn’t satisfied with just surviving until graduation. She wants a normal life—with Brody—and he wants her. But the closer they become, the more it threatens to unravel the secret she’s worked so hard to hide.

Willow finds true love with Brody. Will she let his love save her, or walk away from him to keep her secret safe?




Better Than Perfect
Better than Perfect by Melissa Kantor 



Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early decision, and live happily ever after.

But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she’s always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated there’s Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous—and who’s totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn't all it’s cracked up to be?

Melissa Kantor once again delivers a tale that is equal parts surprising, humorous, heartbreaking, and romantic. Powerful and honest, Juliet’s story brilliantly portrays the highs and lows of life in high school and will resonate with any reader who has experienced either.





What Waits in the Woods
What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott



An unputdownable thriller with twists and turns the reader won't see coming, from YA talent Kieran Scott.

It's a beautiful, sunny day. Callie Velasquez holds hands with her boyfriend Jeremy as they follow Callie's new BFFs Penelope and Lissa up the trail. The four friends are embarking on a camping trip -- a trip that immediately goes awry. They lose their way on the trail, and encounter a charismatic stranger with questionable motives. And when Callie stumbles upon a dead body, it becomes clear that the danger that lies in the woods is deadlier than she could have ever imagined. Tensions mount and friendships are tested as these teenagers try to survive the most sinister of circumstances.







Kissing Ted Callahan (And Other Guys)



Kissing Ted Callahan and Other Guys by Amy Spalding



  
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist meets Easy A in this hilariously realistic story of sneaking out, making out, and playing in a band.

After catching their bandmates in a compromising position, sixteen-year-old Los Angelenos Riley and Reid become painfully aware of the romance missing from their own lives. And so a pact is formed: they'll both try to make something happen with their respective crushes and document the experiences in a shared notebook.

While Reid struggles with the moral dilemma of adopting a dog to win over someone's heart, Riley tries to make progress with Ted Callahan, who she's been obsessed with forever-His floppy hair! His undeniable intelligence! But suddenly cute guys are popping up everywhere. How did she never notice them before?! With their love lives going from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye, Riley and Reid realize the results of their pact may be more than they bargained for.








The Prom Goer's Interstellar Excursion
The Prom Goer's Interstellar Excursion by Chris McCoay



Just a few days before prom, Bennett pulls off something he never imagined possible: his dream girl, Sophie, agrees to be his date. Moments afterward, however, he watches Sophie get abducted by aliens in the middle of the New Mexico desert.

Faced with a dateless prom (and likely kidnapping charges), Bennett does the only thing he can think of: he catches a ride into outer space with a band of extraterrestrial musicians to bring her back.

Can he navigate alien concert venues, an extraterrestrial reality show, and the band's outlandish egos to rescue his date in time for the big dance? Fans of King Dork and Winger won't want to miss this!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #119




Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



I Can't wait for:


Suspicion
Suspicion by Alexandra Monir




Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.

"There's something hidden in the Maze." Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family's English country manor.

Haunted by her parents' deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin's untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion's aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself--and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

Combining a fresh twist on the classic REBECCA with a spine-tingling mystery and powerful romance, SUSPICION is an action-packed thrill ride.


I love re-tellings, I must admit though that I have never read Rebecca so I didn't put this on my TBR because its a retelling. I think it sounds mysterious and dark and creepy. Just how I like them. The cover is so awesome too. So I can't wait to read this book. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Review: One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington

One Past MidnightTitle: One Past Midnight
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publishing Date: July 22nd 2014
Pages: 352
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audio


  
Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life I prefer. And every night when I Cinderella myself from one life to the next a very small, but definite, piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole.

Until now, that is... 

For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life - a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.

With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking?


I have had my eye on this book since I first spotted the Australian version a year ago. I didn't know it was coming out in the US but I am glad it did. I grabbed the audio, gave it a listen, and loved loved loved it. One of my favorite reads of the year. It was different, it was sci fi, it was romance, it was pretty awesome. 

Sabine has been different all her life. She lives two lives, she always has and she sees no end to it. She has one life where she is the perfect daughter, girlfriend, best friend, and so on. She has the perfect life. In her other life she is the outcast, has a best friend, no boyfriend, and not so perfect life. Since she can remember, midnight hits, she transfers from one life to the other. Lives every day twice. She sees no end until she notices a glitch, a glitch that could lead to one happy life. She only needs to decide what life to live, who to leave behind, and how to say goodbye. She has it all figured out until she meets the boy that changes it all. She isn't just choosing a life now, she is choosing whether to love or leave. 


This book was a killer read. It was a wonderful story, sci fi but it felt like a realistic fiction. It was a story about choices, taking the good with the bad, realizing nothing is perfect and that maybe one's life is about more than their life. The sci-fi part, parallel lives... and that was it. It ended after those two worlds. The rest of the book was romance, realistic fiction, life and death, and family. The writing was beautiful and I was submerged by the second chapter. I fell in love with the characters and I was totally into the happenings of the story. The author did a wonderful job at writing the two lives to feel separate but the same. I was never confused who was who and I could feel the character's differences and similarities. It was very strange how the same and different they are. One thing that I always felt through both lives, Sabine was never her true self. She was somewhere in the middle of the two lives and I was only seeing her show half of herself. It was quite a journey to get to her complete self, with the help from a boy of course. 

Sabine really was a wonderful character. I liked her from the very beginning. I can't imagine what it would be like living two lives. She makes some pretty good points on why it sucks.... twice through everything, hormones, school, growing up... must suck. In adulthood there would be two jobs, to families or no families if you didn't want to do two. It would be difficult to keep everything straight, not sound crazy, and it would very exhausting. I guess two vacations and holidays wouldn't be so bad though. Sabine knows how hard it is and wants to end one life and just have one. Finding the way to do so is hard and seemed hopeless for a very long time, and then of course there is the choosing of which life to choose. This is when Sabine really truly finds out how hard its gonna be. Sabine was pretty steady throughout the entire book for me. I never lost who she really was even when she was switching lives. She was independent, caring, loyal, very intelligent, and determined. She was well loved in both lives but never truly happy or satisfied. She was missing something, the wow factor which is what she found in Ethan. 

Ethan was an amazing character. I loved him. He was perfect and just what Sabine needed. Thoughtful, exciting, a rule breaker when needed. The only problem, he was only in one life, the life Sabine didn't want to keep as her permanent life. Ethan spends his time with Sabine showing her the reason to live, the reasons to embrace both lives. I really liked Ethan. The romance was sweet, slow building, and just right. I found it the highlight of the book, of course, because it was done so right. I felt the realness whenever Ethan and Sabine were together. 

This book had a little bit of everything for me taking my read to perfection. I would read this book again and can't wait to add it to my bookshelf. 


Whether you like Sci-fi, romance, or realistic fiction, this book is a real gem.





Jessica Shirvington
Jessica Shirvington is the author of THE VIOLET EDEN CHAPTERS also known as THE EMBRACE SERIES, stand alone novel, BETWEEN THE LIVES and has an exciting new duology called DISRUPTION on the way in 2014.

An entrepreneur, author, and mother living in Sydney, Australia, Jessica is also a 2011 & 2012 finalist for Cosmopolitan’s annual Fun, Fearless Female Award. She’s also one of the lucky few who met the love of her life at age seventeen: Matt Shirvington, a former Olympian and current sports broadcaster for Foxtel and Fox Sports. Married for twleve years with two beautiful daughters, Sienna and Winter, Jessica knows her early age romance and its longevity has definitely contributed to how she tackles relationships in her YA novels.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #83




Stacking The Shelves is a hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Come join the fun and share all the book you received this week. 

For Review:


Love and Other Unknown Variables
Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

         

Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswered questions. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck.

The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy at the donut shop—until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. But, in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy.

By the time he learns she's ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second squared)



Audio:

The Mirk and Midnight HourIsla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)
Scan (Scan, #1)Curses and SmokeElusion (Elusion, #1)




Bought Borrowed Stole:

The Girl from the WellFiendishSisters' Fate (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #3)What Is HiddenSecrets and Lies (Truth or Dare, #2)


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: After the End by Amy Plum

After the End (After the End #1)Title:  After the End 
Author: Amy Plum 
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Publishing Date:  May 6th 2014  
Pages: 352
Genre:  YA Sci-Fi 
Series:  After The End #1
Source: Audio


  

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.



This book wasn't quite what I expected. There was a slow start and there were times I wasn't so sure I would keep reading but after a bit, half way or so the book did get interesting for me and and I followed through to the end and I am glad I did. It was quite good at the end and I enjoyed it as a whole. I really liked the story more than I did the characters but they character did end up growing on me too. Like I said not what I expected but in the end it was a good read. 


Juneau has grown up believing that the rest of the world didn't exist. It was her little village that survived WWIII and that was that. She lived a very simple life and she and her village survived on basics, hunting, fishing, farming, sewing, and so on. Everyone pitched in and they all worked hard very day. The only difference between the way her village lived now and the old days, the magic that existed inside of them. When her village is attacked and she the only one that was not taken, she embarks on a journey to find the rest of her people and discovers the world is not gone, there was no world, and no one is like her or her people.On top of all that is new she finds out her life is full of betrayals and lies. Even though nothing is as it seems she insists on rescuing those who lied to her, with the help of a boy named Miles, they set out to fight the bad guys.


So I felt I went into this book blind. The summary really doesn't do any good for this book.  I really wasn't expecting a magical element. I didn't mind I just wasn't expecting it. The book was almost a cross between sci fi and fantasy and the fantasy felt old but the sci fi felt modern. Oh and a bit of dystopian too.  I think this book may have a bit of thriller to the story as the main characters are on the run from something unknown, but it didn't really feel like a thriller. It also had a bit of a contemporary feel. The book started off a dystopian with a fantasy feel, went into contemporary, and ended on a sci fi note. That is the way the book read at any rate. I would classify it more of a sci- fi. I think. Its really hard to categorize. I think this may have been the issue with my rough spots. I liked the sci-fi aspect and the fantasy aspect. I didn't like the contemporary feel in the middle. It just didn't fit. So tone of the book and the feel of the book was really hard to get into. 

The characters lacked a bit for me. They did grow after the middle and I liked them for the last part of the book. Well I liked Miles pretty much from the beginning. I liked his attitude and his snark even when his selfishness got in the way. He was a big douche in the begging but he ended up hero of the hour. Juneau was very self involved too. I understood her need to rescue her village and the fear from losing them. I understood her betrayal, I understood her hurt. I did not understand her wallowing and self pity. Grow a pair and do what you got to do or don't. I didn't like the selfless act being followed by whining. Again, she grew and in a way got over it but it took a while. 

What I liked about the book. The story, the actual build up, the back story, the unknown, and the questionable good guys vs bad guys.... .which is which. I liked the suspense. It didn't have much but there was just a bit. I liked the romance too. Believe it or not I think that is what changed the characters and my feels for them. Once they went from hate, to annoyance, to friends, to romance, they were pretty cool. The romance was fast but not really insta love. 

The story really was good and in the end I was so confused... I mean in a good way. I didn't know who to believe or who to trust, or what would happen. It did end on a what happens now, you can't just end it. But in this case it was a good thing. I will want to read the next book when it comes out pretty quickly. I really want to know how it all will end. 

This book had some rough spots for me but I ended up enjoying the read. 



Amy Plum
Amy Plum is the author of the International Bestsellers DIE FOR ME (Indie Next List pick, Romance Times top pick, and recipient of a starred review from School Library Journal), UNTIL I DIE, and IF I SHOULD DIE. The books have been translated into eleven foreign languages. The trilogy is accompanied by an eNovella entitled DIE FOR HER.

Amy grew up in Birmingham, Alabama before venturing further afield to Chicago, Paris, London and New York. An art historian by training, she can be found on most days either daydreaming or writing (or both) in a Parisian café. Visit her at http://www.amyplumbooks.com and check outhttp://www.youtube.com/user/revenantc... for videos and extras.

After being raised in Birmingham, Alabama, in a rather restrictive environment, AMY PLUM escaped to Chicago to an even more restrictive environment at a university that expelled people for dancing. (And where she was called to the dean’s office for “wearing too much black”.) After all of that restrictiveness, she was forced to run far far away, specifically to Paris, France, where she only wore black and danced all she wanted.

After five years in Paris, she ventured to London, where she got an M.A. in Medieval Art History, specializing in Early Sienese Painting (1260-1348) mainly because it promised almost no hope of finding a paying job afterward.

Amy managed to find work in the world of art and antiques in New York. But after almost a decade of high-pressure lifestyle in the Big Apple, she swapped her American city for a French village of 1300 inhabitants.

After signing with HarperCollins for the DIE FOR ME series, Amy left her job as an English professor at Tours University to write full-time. She now lives in Paris with her two kids and big red dog Ella.

She is a huge fan of Edward Gorey and Maira Kalman (and collects both of their books/art), as well as David Sedaris, Amadeo Modigliani, and Ira Glass.
 
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