Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.
Click here for a list of mid-East Coast (PA/NJ/MD/DC/VA/NC) book events! (last update: 1/12/13)
Current Contests- None at the moment but hopefully soon!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Red by Alison Cherry

Red by Alison Cherry
"Felicity St. John has it all: loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she's right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.

Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power--and everybody knows it. That's why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note:

I know your secret.

Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she'd be a social outcast faster than she could say strawberry blond. Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it--money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school.

Felicity isn't about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?"- summary from Amazon

This was an interesting book, but was a little too far-fetched for me at times. I will admit to laughing every time Felicity mentioned the phrase "red cred". I could never really take what she was going through seriously, though the general underlying message is something I do believe a lot of readers will relate to- the struggle to be yourself fully, no matter how scary that idea is.

Felicity is fairly self-centered, though considering the environment she grew up in, it makes sense but that doesn't make it any less easy for the reader to follow her along on her journey. The best scenes, in my mind, were the ones with Jonathon, her art show co-captain, where a more vulnerable and carefree Felicity came through; their chemistry is undeniable and it was sweet seeing them together.

Overall, this debut is worth a look but it definitely requires a suspension of belief. I'm eager to see what Cherry writes next.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
"What if you'd been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, who she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her archnemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger). But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the con­sequences of all that she's said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she caused irreparable damage to the people around her—and to the one person who matters most?"- summary from Amazon

This was a really interesting book- flipping back and forth between Alice and Harvey, and past and present. It got a little confusing at times, trying to keep up with the timeline. It's definitely not a book for everybody; Alice is fairly unlikeable throughout the book, though she has her reasons. But I know other readers couldn't really get past it, especially the hot-and-cold way she treats Harvey. I really liked how Murphy ended the book; it felt really realistic and made so much sense. She also did a good job with the leukemia aspect of the book, clearly having done her research.

Overall, a great debut and I'm excited to read more from Murphy.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Blue Blood by Susan McBride

Blue Blood by Susan McBride
"To the dismay of her high society mother, Cissy, Dallas heiress Andy Kendricks wants no part of the Junior League life—opting instead for a job as a website designer and a passel of unpedigreed pals. Now her good friend Molly O'Brien is in bad trouble, accused of killing her boss at the local restaurant Jugs.

Though no proper deb would ever set foot in such a sleazy dive, Andy's soon slipping into skintight hot pants and a stuffed triple D bra to gain employment there and somehow help clear Molly's name.

But Andy's undercover lark soon brings her into too-close contact with all manner of dangerous adversaries—including a shady TV preacher, a fanatical Mothers Against Porn activist … and a killer who is none too keen on meddling rich girls."- summary from Amazon

I really enjoyed McBride's YA trilogy and so when Witness Impulse (an imprint of Harper) put her adult mysteries on Edelweiss as part of the re-release campaign, I jumped on the chance to read them. This is the first of the Debutante Dropout mysteries (there's 5 books total) and I'm excited to read more. This was a really fun chick-lit mystery and kind of reminded me of the TV show GCB (though this was written before that show aired). Andy is a great main character and I loved following her along on her journey to help out her friend Molly. There's also of course the beginnings of a cute little romance between Andy and the detective Malone, which was very sweet to see.

Overall, a really good start to this fun mystery series and I cannot wait to read more!

FTC: Received e-galley from Edelweiss. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More Than Good Enough by Crissa-Jean Chappell

More than Good Enough by Crissa-Jean Chappell
"Half native. Half white.
One hundred percent nothing.

My mom doesn’t want me. My dad just got out of jail. They want me to go live with him on the reservation, in the Everglades. Trouble is, everybody there just ignores me.

At least I get to work with Pippa on my film project at school. We used to be friends when we were like twelve. Now that we’re hanging out again it’s like old times—except she’s way cuter.

The thing is, I don’t belong anywhere. I don’t fit in on the rez, and I suck at school. My dad thinks I’m an idiot, but Pippa thinks I’m all good.

I don’t know what to think. Am I bad news or am I more than good enough?"- summary from Amazon

I really enjoyed Chappell's debut and have been looking forward to more from her. I own her second book Narc, but couldn't find the time to fit it in though after reading this, I am going to have to make time. I absolutely love Chappell's writing and I feel like she's writing about characters and settings that no one else does but that needs to be written and told. I don't think I've ever read a book from a Native American's point of view; maybe I'm not looking hard enough though. But what I like is that while Chappell does bring in Native American traditions, it doesn't feel like that is all that defines Trent. He's still a regular boy that I think readers will relate to; the main aspect of the book is about finding your place in this world. The book is a quick read, and there is a sweet little romance in it.

Overall, I highly recommend this book along with Chappell's writing in general. Please check her books out; you won't be disappointed.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I See Kitty by Yasmine Surovec

I See Kitty by Yasmine Surovec
"Love that Kitty! The most adorable picture book of the year invites the very youngest cat lovers to find Kitty in the world around them.

Chloe loves kitties. She wants a cat so much that she sees Kitty everywhere she goes: at the bus stop, in her backyard, in the starry night sky, even in her dreams. From debut children's book illustrator Yasmine Surovec comes a story so adorable that if you don't already love cats you will by the time you're done reading it. In the tradition of iconic preschool books like Where's Spot?, I See Kitty uses bright, bold artwork to appeal to very young readers and charm them for generations to come."- summary from Amazon

As I'm sure you all know- at least long-time readers will- I love cats. So when an opportunity to get an ARC of this book showed up in my inbox, I jumped all over it even though I don't usually review picture books. I read it immediately upon receiving it, which wasn't too hard to do since it's a picture book.

I've loved Surovec's Cat vs. Human comics for a long time, and it seems like an ideal idea to write a picture book all about cats. She does wonderfully with it- the artwork is done very well (a more polished and broader look than her comic work) and the story is very easy to follow. In the middle section, it's all about finding the hidden kitty that Chloe sees, which I think will be fun for the young ones reading this book. I particularly enjoyed Kitty City and would like to visit there sometime.

Overall, this is a wonderful book to get your kids (or yourself at any age if you love kitties!) to get them started on the right track of loving kitties and not those dirty dogs. :)

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.