Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Midsummer Night #nofilter by Brett Wright + Macbeth #killingit by Courtney Carbone

A Midsummer Night #nofilter by Brett Wright
Macbeth #killingit by Courtney Carbone
"Imagine: What if the fairies and star-crossed lovers of the forest had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this fun and funny adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays!

Four lovers who can’t decide who they have a crush on.
One mischievous fairy with a love potion.
Total chaos in the fairy world, the human world, and everywhere in between!"

"Imagine: What if that tragic couple, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this fun and funny adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays!

A prophecy from three witches.
A social-climbing couple committing a murder most foul.
A cover-up that spins way out of control."- summaries from Amazon

I absolutely love this new series of books from Random House; they are so much fun and such an interesting, new way of retelling the classic Shakespeare plays. Wright and Carbone have upped their game in their second books from the series, with lots more different emojis, hashtags, slang, and so much more. One of the parts I particularly enjoy was in A Midsummer Night where a character would check in to a bush in the forest, and then another character would check in to a bush a few feet away; that made me giggle a lot whenever it happened.

Overall, these books are awesome and I totally hope that they get kids interested in Shakespeare and his plays because they are the best. I'm excited to read more in this series, and it looks like there's at least two more coming out sometime in the future, which is fantastic!

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

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
"All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It’s the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist; she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed of a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as “troubled waters.”

Now Imogene is seventeen, and her father, a famous author of medical mysteries, has struck out in the middle of the night and hasn’t come back. Neither Imogene’s stepmother nor the police know where he could’ve gone, but Imogene is convinced he’s looking for her mother. And she decides it’s up to her to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of reading her father’s books to track down a woman she’s only known in stories in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life."- summary from Amazon

This was a beautifully written, emotional and poignant debut novel; I absolutely loved it and it was such a great book to start the new year with. Imogene goes on this crazy journey to figure out her parents and her past and who she is as a person. The book takes a few unexpected turns and it's interesting to see what actually happens in the climax. I also liked the parallels with mystery novels and how Imogene would use the formulaic arc of those and apply it to her own life (or, to use it to show that real life is not like a novel).

Overall, Podos has written a fantastic contemporary debut and I'm excited to see what she gives her readers next!

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

Monday, January 25, 2016

Shade Me by Jennifer Brown

Shade Me by Jennifer Brown
"Nikki Kill has always been an outsider. Born with rare synesthesia, she sees the world differently. In Nikki’s eyes, happiness is pink, sadness is a mixture of brown and green, and lies are gray.

To Nikki, Peyton Hollis, the ultrarich it-girl at school, was seemingly untouchable. That is, until Peyton is violently attacked and the only phone number the hospital finds in Peyton’s cell is Nikki’s. Suddenly Nikki is pulled into Peyton’s glittering, fast-paced world as she tries to unravel an unfolding conspiracy.

As Nikki gets closer to the dark truth—and to Peyton’s gorgeous older brother—the only thing she can be sure of is death is a deep, pulsing crimson."- summary from Amazon

I absolutely LOVED this suspenseful thriller from one of my favorite authors, which is a bit of a departure from her previous books. I liked the added element of synesthesia and how it really has a huge role throughout the book and helps Nikki with the case at hand. Nikki is a fantastic lead character and one that readers will root for. The book is extremely hard to put down because the whole thing is so crazy and I wanted nothing more than to find out what happens. What I like about this book is that it answers the main arc in this book but brings up some new questions to end on, leaving readers eager for the next book. Brown writes so amazingly well and keeps the plot clipping along but also really infuses every character with a lot of depth and emotions. I also really liked the arc of the relationship between the lead detective (whose name I can't remember) and Nikki; I'm interested to see where that goes in future installments.

Overall, an amazing start to a new series and I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens next!

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Upside Down Magic by Emily Jenkins, Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski

Upside Down Magic by Emily Jenkins, Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski
"It’s never easy when your magic goes wonky.

For Nory, this means that instead of being able to turn into a dragon or a kitten, she turns into both of them at the same time—a dritten.

For Elliott, the simple act of conjuring fire from his fingertips turns into a fully frozen failure.

For Andres, wonky magic means he’s always floating in the air, bouncing off the walls, or sitting on the ceiling.

For Bax, a bad moment of magic will turn him into a . . . actually, he’d rather not talk about that.

Nory, Elliott, Andres, and Bax are just four of the students in Dunwiddle Magic School’s Upside-Down Magic class. In their classroom, lessons are unconventional, students are unpredictable, and magic has a tendency to turn wonky at the worst possible moments. Because it’s always amazing, the trouble a little wonky magic can cause ."- summary from Amazon

This was the cutest little book imaginable, brought to life by three of my most favorite authors ever. I'm so glad these three are writing another book together, and it's a series at that! I absolutely love reading books about magic and when it's done as a middle-grade by three awesome authors, it's a surefire hit for me! Nory is a great main character and one that little kids will relate to because even though they may not have to deal with wonky magic, everyone has strengths and weaknesses and this book, to me, is about trying to turn those weaknesses into strengths. It's a pretty empowering book.

Overall, a fantastic start to a cute and imaginative new series and I cannot wait to read the next book!

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

Friday, January 15, 2016

Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold by Katie Finn

Revenge, Ice Cream and Other Things Best Served Cold by Katie Finn
"After the humiliating events on the 4th of July, Gemma's trying to grapple with the fact that Hallie knew her true identity all summer, and that she was the one who stole Teddy from her.

Gemma vows revenge, but things immediately get more complicated than she planned. Her dad forces her to get a job, and the only one she can find involves scooping ice cream all day. Ford, Gemma's longtime crush, has arrived in the Hamptons, and is cuter than ever. Josh is refusing to speak to her after finding out she lied to him. And to top it all off, Teddy is back in the picture, and closer to home than Gemma would like.

Gemma and Hallie find themselves locked in an escalating revenge cycle involving everything from strawberry syrup to stolen identities. But just when Gemma thinks she has the upper hand, the biggest bombshell of all is dropped. And it's one that threatens to change her life forever."- summary from Amazon

I am such a huge fan of Katie Finn already and this series is further solidifying that love. I absolutely enjoyed this funny yet emotional page-turning read. It's a difficult book to put down and once you do, you'll be yearning for the next book in the series (the final one comes out this May!). The revenge battle between Gemma and Hallie goes back and forth and it's crazy to read all the different pranks and stuff they do to each other over the course of the novel. And the book takes so many twists and turns and of course ends on a crazy cliffhanger that will make you wish the final book was out already. Plus, the romantic tension between Gemma and both Hampton hotties Ford and Josh is very fun to read as well.

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Kidney Hypothetical by Lisa Yee

The Kidney Hypothetical by Lisa Yee
"Higgs Boson Bing has seven days left before his perfect high school career is completed. Then it's on to Harvard to fulfill the fantasy portrait of success that he and his parents have cultivated for the past four years. Four years of academic achievement. Four years of debate championships. Two years of dating the most popular girl in school. It was, literally, everything his parents could have wanted. Everything they wanted for Higgs's older brother Jeffrey, in fact.

But something's not right. And when Higgs's girlfriend presents him with a seemingly innocent hypothetical question about whether or not he'd give her a kidney . . . the exposed fault lines reach straight down to the foundations of his life. . ."- summary from Amazon

It's been a while since I've read a Yee book but I do enjoy her books when I do read them. This one is no different. It's a very funny, engaging book with a poignant climax about being yourself and doing what you want to do rather than what your parents or what society tells you to do. A lot of things become exposed during this worst week for Higgs and Yee reveals each one deftly and emotionally; Higgs' whole life becomes unraveled and he has to question what really matters in life and how to get it for himself for once. I didn't like how Nick and Higgs' friendship played out throughout the book and how Samantha ordered Nick's life around; it seemed kind of odd and maybe kind of forced to keep Higgs alone and an outsider for the majority of the novel.

Overall though, it is a quick, pleasant read and I do hope Yee writes more YA soon!

FTC: Borrowed book from local library. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Geek Girl: Model Misfit by Holly Smale

Geek Girl: Model Misfit by Holly Smale
"Harriet Manners is a model—but she feels even less popular and more awkward than she did when she was just a geek. So a summer modeling job in Japan sounds like the perfect vacation, even if she has to bring along her crazy grandma Bunty, and even if she might run into Nick, her gorgeous supermodel ex-boyfriend. No one is going to ruin Harriet's fabulous Tokyo adventure—unless she accidentally ruins it herself. . . ."- summary from Amazon

This series is turning into one of my favorites and I love reading a new entry in it when they come out. It reminds me so much of works from Meg Cabot and Louise Rennison and it's so good to find books like those. Harriet is an awesome and hilarious main character, and her adventures in fashion are so funny and crazy that it's extremely difficult to put the book down. I fly through these books even though they're usually close to or over 400 pages long. It amazes me how quickly I read them.

Overall, a fantastic new book in the series. Please read these books if you love funny contemporaries and support them so they can continue to be published here in the US (They're already up to Book 5 in the UK!). But regardless, I will support Smale however I can get the books. She's such a wonderful, hilarious writer.

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

Friday, January 8, 2016

What's Broken Between Us by Alexis Bass

What's Broken Between Us by Alexis Bass
"A year and a half ago, Amanda Tart's brother got behind the wheel drunk and killed his best friend. Today, he's coming home from prison.

Amanda's been the one living with the fallout, made worse by her brother's recent unapologetic TV interview. People think he's a monster. Still, she loves him. It's her dark secret, until she starts getting close to Henry again--whose sister is paralyzed from the accident.

A year and a half ago, her brother destroyed his life. Now Amanda has to decide if she'll let his choice destroy hers."- summary from Amazon

Bass' follow-up novel is even better than her debut, which is crazy to say since I absolutely adored her debut. It was such a fantastic debut, but this new book is just so beautifully written and unflinchingly honest. Amanda's specific situation may not be one that many will relate to, but the underlying themes of being in your older sibling's shadow and perhaps feeling like you need to take on the consequences of their actions will hit closer to home for some readers. Amanda is a character that readers will want to root for and to see where her journey will take her over the course of the novel, to see if she can get to a point where she isn't holding herself back because of what her brother did and continues to do.

Overall, an amazing book and I cannot wait to read more from Bass. If you're a fan of Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman, you'll enjoy Bass' work as well.

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

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
"Grace Mae is already familiar with madness when family secrets and the bulge in her belly send her to an insane asylum—but it is in the darkness that she finds a new lease on life. When a visiting doctor interested in criminal psychology recognizes Grace's brilliant mind beneath her rage, he recruits her as his assistant. Continuing to operate under the cloak of madness at crime scenes allows her to gather clues from bystanders who believe her less than human. Now comfortable in an ethical asylum, Grace finds friends—and hope. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who will bring her shaky sanity and the demons in her past dangerously close to the surface."- summary from Amazon

This is my first McGinnis book, though I have wanted to read her previous books. Reading this novel made me further want to check out her other stuff. It's a creepy, suspenseful read that had me turning the pages quickly and never wanting to put it down, causing me to take longer and longer breaks at work. I'm usually not much for historical fiction, so it's a sign of a good novel that I actually get so engrossed in it. Grace is an interesting main character and McGinnis writes her very well, slowly unraveling her story throughout the book.

Overall, a fantastic stand-alone novel (hard to find these days) and I'm eager to read her earlier two books while waiting for upcoming books!

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

Monday, January 4, 2016

Thicker than Water by Kelly Fiore

Thicker than Water by Kelly Fiore
"Cecelia Price killed her brother. At least, that's what the police and the district attorney are saying. Although CeCe is now locked up and forced into treatment, she knows the story is much more complicated. Cyrus wasn't always a drug-addled monster. He used to be a successful athlete, but when an injury forced Cyrus off the soccer field and onto pain medication, his life became a blur of anger, addiction, and violence.

All CeCe could do was stand by and watch, until she realized an effective way to take away her brother's drugs while earning the money she needed for college: selling the pills. Only she never expected what happened next."- summary from Amazon

This was a really interesting book and a complete 180 from Fiore's previous books, which were romantic comedies for the most part. This is a much more serious and heavy book, but Fiore writes it so well and really gets into CeCe's mindset and voice. It's a fascinating novel that alternates back and forth between the present day and 3 months beforehand (which, as the novel progresses, gets closer and closer to present day). Based on the summary, I had a different idea of what happened to land her on trail for jail and was surprised at what really happened. It was an interesting twist and one that made a lot of sense.

Overall, a fantastic novel from Fiore and a perfect read to start off your year. I highly recommend this to anyone who's a fan of Ellen Hopkins.

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

Friday, January 1, 2016

ARC Purging

So I've been trying to do some cleaning lately and getting rid of ARCs that I either didn't want to begin with or will just never find the time to read. But there's so many that I figured I would see if any of my readers would want any of them. The catch is that you must pay for packaging and shipping- $3 for 1 book, $4 for 2 books, $5 for 3 books and then $.50 for each additional book after that. If a book is in a series, I have the other books on the same line as well, so be sure to read carefully.

Just leave a comment with the books you wish to have as well as your email address so I can contact you about payment and to get your mailing address. I will need payment before I ship the books out. This is for US residents only; if you're international, I may consider it but you would need to pay more for shipping. I moderate comments so some books may be gone by the time you comment; I will do my best to keep up with approving but I work all weekend so it may take some time. It will happen at a first-come, first-serve basis. Now, go forth and comment so I can get these off my hands, lol. If there are any questions too, feel free to leave them in the comments as well.

Dark Energy by Robison Wells
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
Unraveling and Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holtzer
Arcadia Falls and Arcadia Burns by Kai Meyers
Asylum by Madeline Roux
Indelible by Dawn Metcalf
Wasteland by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan
Twinmaker, Crashland and Hollow Girl by Sean Williams
Blackout and Dead Zone by Robison Wells
Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant
Quake by Patrick Carson
On the Edge by Alison von Diepen
The Ward and The Isle by Jordana Frankel
Unremembered and Unforgotten by Jessica Brody
Arclight and Meridian by Josin L. McQuein
The Brokenhearted and The Invisible by Amelia Kahaney
Genie Wishes by Elisabeth Dahl
Natural Born Angel by Scott Speer
Flashes by Tim O’Rourke
Mr. Fahrenheit by T. Michael Martin
Vortex and Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid
Be with Me by J. Lynn
Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood
The Drowning by Rachel Ward
Mila 2.0 and Mila 2.0: Renegade by Debra Driza
Elusion and Etherworld by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam
The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise by Matthew Crow
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Welcome Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell
Temptation by Alisa Valdes
Burning Blue by Paul Griffin
Losers in Space by John Barnes
The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan
The Slayer Chronicles : Second Chance by Heather Brewer
Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie
Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen
What’s Left of Me, Once We Were by Kat Zhang
Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson
The Innocents by Lili Peloquin
Trafficked by Kim Purcell
Wicked Sweet by Mar’ce Merrell
Everything Breaks by Vicki Grove
Dark Eyes by William Richter
How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer
Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton
Snapshot by Angie Stanton
Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart
Don’t Turn Around, Don’t Look Now, Don’t Let Go by Michelle Gagnon
Bzrk: Reloaded by Michael Grant
Night School by C.J. Daugherty
The Far Dawn and The Dark Shore by Kevin Emerson
The Well’s Bequest by Polly Shulman
The Apprentices by Maile Meloy
Frosted Kisses by Heather Hepler
Sanctuary by Jennifer McKissack
The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist
The Look by Sophia Bennett
Under the Spotlight by Angie Stanton
Eternity’s Wheel by Neil Gaiman, Mallory Reaves and Michael Reaves
The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Juba by Walter Dean Myers
Reckless Hearts by Sean Olin
The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen
Taking Aim: Power and Pain, Teens and Guns (anthology) edited by Michael Cart
Breaking Butterflies by M. Anjelais
Encore to an Empty Room by Kevin Emerson
Trouble from the Start by Rachel Hawthorne
Wrong About the Guy by Claire LeZebnik
The World Within by Jane Eagland
To Hold the Bridge by Garth Nix
A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, illustrated by Gris Grimly (graphic novel)
Twisted Fate by Norah Olson
If You’re Reading This by Trent Reedy