Jan 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Blind Spot by Laura Ellen

Blind Spot by Laura Ellen
October 23rd, 2012 from Harcourt Children's Books

How do you clear your name of murder when you can't remember what happened? When a truck driver plunges through the thinning ice on Birch River, Tricia Farni’s body floats to the surface—dead since the night she disappeared six months earlier. The night Roswell Hart fought with her. The night Roz can’t remember. Roz has an eye disease that robs her central vision, so she's used to piecing things together to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name and to find a murderer. Debut novelist Laura Ellen's own experiences with macular degeneration and special needs add powerful authenticity to this suspenseful and emotional page-turner for teens.

Yes! I'm drawn to that cover. I'm supposed to be! I love that the title is small and the the photo is zoomed in to where we really don't see all of the model. It leaves your imagination wide open to picture the protagonist on your own. Something I sometimes miss with all of these gorgeous girls in gorgeous ball gowns on book covers. Also, I love the purple-blue hue and it gives it a grimy and raw feel. I love a good mystery and this one sounds like a must read to me.

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You can find Ellen at her website

Review - Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne + Art Reveal

Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne
February 2nd, 2012 from G.P. Putnam's Sons

We meet Faye as her father is dropping her off at Holbrook Academy. It was supposed to be just campus visit, but when the program director, crotchety old Dr. Mordoch, hands her the daily schedule and her dad drags a suitcase out of the trunk her mother secretly packed, she knows she will be stuck there for awhile. She tries to run, she tries to hide, but only ends up in solidarity confinement. Within days, Faye and other teens at the academy wake up covered in dirt and blood with strange symbols on the floor. No one remembers a single thing from the night before. Faye soon learns that the academy is not what it seems and it is no coincidence that certain people are in residence. *insert boy love*

Jan 30, 2012

Review - Rock God: the Legend of BJ Levine by Barnabas Miller

Rock God: the Legend of BJ Levine by Barnabas Miller
January 17th, 2012 from Sourcebooks

The cover of this book gives us a hint of the craziness that will ensue. Thirteen-year-old BJ's life turns upside down when a big, burly, biker named Merv comes knocking on his door and gets in an argument with his father. BJ is royally confused about the fight and can't make sense of the hushed whispers and sudden outbursts between this giant stranger and his father. When Merv rides off, he drops an old notebook that turns BJ's life upside down. In it, he finds the perfect formula to become a "master in the art of rocking." He decides to ditch the boring life and become a "full-on, fire-breathing MEGALORD OF RRRRROCK!" Not so easy when you can't play an instrument and you basically have the musical talent of a seahorse.

Jan 29, 2012

In My Mailbox - ALA Edition

IMM is a meme brought to us from The Story Siren. Basically, it's a good way to add books to your TBR pile, get a head's up on what is coming soon, and to totally covet books. All cover photos will take you to the Goodreads page.

For review:
A Wrinkle In Time - 50th Anniversary Edition by Madeleine L'Engle
Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

Jan 27, 2012

ALAMW12 Wrap-up

Midwinter was AWESOME! Literary Lonestars stormed the exhibit hall the first night and scored some pretty awesome books! Later that night, we hosted a super fun and crowded blogger/author meetup. I was overwhelmed with the turnout and I don't know the exact number, but we had around.....75-80 people! 

Jan 26, 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Young Adult Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, and Down the Rabbit Hole. Today, I have a few YA goodies for you all. I'll make entering nice and easy, but be sure to follow the rules. 

Jump HERE and check out all of the participants. COVER ART will take you to the Goodreads page of each book. US on books, INT on ebooks. Good luck! 

Giveaway #1 
Banned Books Pin - Alice with Huck
You can find Forsman at her website
Forsman is an ABFFE affiliate so 10% of sales to independent bookstores goes to ABFFE. I love these pins!

Giveaway #2
ARC of Take A Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg
You can find Eulberg at her website

Review - Don't Breathe A Word by Holly Cupala

Don't Breathe A Word by Holly Cupala
January 3rd, 2012 by HarperTeen

We meet Joy as she is staging her own kidnapping. She dyes and cuts her hair and sets the room up just perfectly so no one will know she left her life voluntarily. Joy doesn't want to be followed, to be found. We don't exactly know what Joy is running away from, but then we are introduced to her controlling boyfriend, Asher, through snippets and flashbacks. Joy feels the only way to leave Asher is to leave her entire life. After all, he controls it all. She hits the Seattle streets in attempt to find the one person that offered his help. The one person who saw right through her suffocating life.

The first few chapters of this book will leave you breathless as we jump from just a few days before she runs away to events to the present. Joy vaguely describes how her boyfriend Asher punished her after a quick trip to go visit her brother. Yes, punished... Those beginning scenes hooked me to the story and not only did I want to see what Joy was running away from, I wanted to know how she was punished. Throughout the book as she lives on the dirty, grimy streets of Seattle, we learn how Asher's control turns to abuse and how that changes everything. Changes a normal high school girl named Joy into an eating out of trash bins girl named Triste.

Jan 25, 2012

Diabolical - Interview with author Cynthia Leitich Smith +Giveaway

Diabolical was released this week and I'm happy to have author Cynthia Leitich Smith at the blog today. We live in the same town and she is a big part of the awesome YA and Kidlit community here. Today, we're talking about the Tantalize series and all things devilish! If you haven't seen my review, you can check it out HERE. Welcome, Cynthia!
DIABOLICAL is book four in the TANTALIZE series. When you started to think about writing Quince and Kieren's story, did you think it would go this far?
I had hopes! It didn’t begin as a series, but rather a single title followed by another single title and then another. Now, it’s being repackaged and marketed as a series. My initial concept was to engage in a conversation of sorts with Bram Stoker’s classic novel, DRACULA—to offer a contemporary extension of its mythology with strong romantic elements, some humor, mystery, suspense, a dash of girl power, and a diverse cast. Each of my Gothic novels inches closer to that source material, and in DIABOLICAL, we visit to the legendary Scholomance, where the Count supposedly learned his malevolent magic.

Jan 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams

Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams
May 1st, 2012 from Simon & Schuster

Growing up in Africa and Latin America as the children of missionaries, London and Zach were as close as could be. And then Zach dies, and the family is gutted. London’s father is distant. Her mother won’t speak. The days are filled with what-ifs and whispers: Did Zach take his own life? Was it London’s fault?

Alone and adrift, London finds herself torn between her brother’s best friend and the handsome new boy in town as she struggles to find herself—and ultimately redemption—in this authentic and affecting novel from award-winning novelist Carol Lynch Williams.

Wow! If that synopsis doesn't move you, you must be a robot. I've been trying to find some upcoming contemporaries and I love the sounds of this one. Although, it may break me... Luckily, I scored this one at ALAmw and can't wait to dive it!

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Review - Diabolical (Tantalize #4) by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Diabolical (Tantalize #4) by Cynthia Leitich Smith
January 24th, 2012 from Candlewick Press

When "slipped" angel Zachary and his werewolf pal, Kieren, arrive under suspicious circumstances to a mysterious New England boarding school, they quickly find themselves in a hellish lockdown with an intriguing assortment of secretive, hand-picked students. Plagued by demon dogs, hallucinatory wall d├ęcor, a sadistic instructor, and a legendary fire-breathing monster, will they somehow manage to escape? Or will the devil have his due? Best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith unites heroes from the previous three novels in the Tantalize Series - including Zachary's girl, Miranda, and Kieren's love, Quincie - along with a fascinating cast of all-new characters for a suspenseful, action-packed clash between the forces of heaven and hell.

*Spoilers if new to series
Unlike the other three books in the Tantalize series, Diabolical is told from three perspectives; Kieren (the were), Zachary (the fallen angel), and Miranda (the dead vampire queen). Having three perspectives kept this book moving fast. Not confusing in the least because Miranda is in Penultimate (not an in between world, but similar - a place where the dead "...make peace with their time among the living") and the boys, Kieren and Zachary, are still on Earth and off to find out whats going on inside a mysterious boarding school where Miranda's best friend is shipping off to. Each character has their own story line and unique perspective on the events that take place. Some of you will ask if Quince is around. Yes, Quince and Kieren are still together!

Jan 20, 2012

Incarnate: Interview with author Jodi Meadows +Giveaway

I am ecstatic to have Incarnate author, Jodi Meadows, back at the blog! I was mesmerized with her cover last summer and it went immediately to my TBR pile. Incarnate comes out January 31st, don't miss it! Welcome, Jodi!
We talked about your gorgeous cover reveal back in early June of last year. Does your heart still flutter every time you see Ana even after all of these months?
Oh definitely! I still catch myself staring at her sometimes. She's just so magical, plus it's my first cover!
This is your debut novel! *claps* In three words, describe your publication journey.
Before my agent said yes: Difficult. Discouraging. Worthwhile.
After my agent said yes: Hopeful. Encouraging. Amazing.

What was the working title of Incarnate or has it always been titled that?
For a long time it was "reincarnation book." Yeah, I'm not awesome at titles. *g* By the time I finished the first draft, it was called Erin Incarnate -- because Ana's name used to be Erin. When her name changed, we dropped it from the title, which was just fine with me; I'd been calling it Incarnate in my head for a while.

Jan 19, 2012

Review - Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
January 31st, 2012 from Katherine Tegen Books

Ana (which translates to nosoul) should never have been born into a world of 100 million souls that have been reincarnated over and over again for centuries. Make that 99 million now that Ana was born and a reincarnated soul didn't come back. To say the least, her birth wasn't taken well. Ana is taken from Heart to live with her "snake-hearted" mother far away, ostracized from the others. At 18, she is ready to go out on her own and make her way to Heart to find out who she is and why she was born. Her journey starts out more than rough and she ends up being rescued by a boy named Sam. A boy who doesn't ridicule her for being a nosoul. In fact, he sees her as a newsoul and vows to help her find out what/who she is.

Jan 17, 2012

Review - Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic +Giveaway

Never Eighteen by Meg Bostic
January 17th, 2012 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The title really says it all. Austin is a 17-year-old boy who will never see his 18th birthday. He has decided to spend one of his last weekends mending fences with others and laying his heart on the line. Sickness has taken over his body and he feels that the time to make things right is running out. Old friends, acquaintances, and family members get paid a visit. All the while, Austin works up the nerve to tell his best friend, Kaylee, that he loves her; that he has loved her since the first day they met in third grade.

You know by the synopsis that this one will be a tear jerker, but this story is wrapped in a warm blanket of hope and optimism. Austin isn't struggling to find a cure or begging God to be miraculously healed. He takes a mature approach to his impending death even when others aren't ready to face the truth. Austin is only looking to right some wrongs and find out a few answers along the way before his time runs out. Things don't always go according to plan, but Austin is steadfast and commits to seeing his plan out. Watching him go through this journey is truly inspiring. You can't help but count your blessings and question what might have gone wrong with a few relationships in your life.

Jan 16, 2012

Review - The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, and Nate Powell +Giveaway

The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, and Nate Powell
January 17th, 2012 by First Second Books

Set in Houston, Texas, Silence of Our Friends takes place during a time where racial tensions are high and people's patience is at an all-time low - 1968. Jack is a local television newsman assigned to report on "racial news." After a police officer is shot and killed during a non-violent rally at Texas State University, the town is in an uproar and people start pointing fingers. Actually, all fingers are pointing to five innocent African-American men. Jack and Larry, an African-American professor who recently lost his job on campus, befriend each other at an unlikely time and the two gentleman try to restore hope in their community.

Jan 14, 2012

In My Mailbox

IMM is a meme brought to us from The Story Siren. Basically, it's a good way to add books to your TBR pile, get a head's up on what is coming soon, and to totally covet books. All cover photos will take you to the Goodreads page.

For review:
Lucky Fools by Coert Voorhees
A World Away by Nancy Grossman
Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Jan 13, 2012

Top Five With Unearthly & Hallowed Author Cynthia Hand +Giveaway

I'm happy to have Cynthia Hand back at the blog today talking about her Top Five Things To Do In Jackson Hole! Stay tuned for a giveaway at the end of this post.

1. Get high! There are lots of ways to get way, way up into the sky in Jackson. Go hiking, go skiing, climb up a mountainside! Take a ride to the top of the mountains on the Jackson Hole tram, up in Teton Village. I do this almost every time I go. You take this enormous tram to the top of the mountains and get to look over the entire valley. It’s gorgeous. It’s also about the cleanest air you’re ever likely to breathe.

2. Get wet. I don’t recommend a lot of swimming in Jackson, actually. The water is pretty cold. But you need to get out on the water. There’s a boat tour of Jackson Lake that is really nice, and you can rent boats and canoes and kayaks, too. Go fishing! White water rafting is also really fun.

Jan 12, 2012

Review - Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
January 17th, 2012 from HarperTeen

**Spoilers if you have not read Unearthly**
As far as Clara is concerned, she has failed her mission. Not just an ordinary mission, but her purpose in life. She did not follow through with the visions she has had more than a year and save Christian from the fire. Turns out Christian didn't need saving. Now, Clara is experiencing a different vision...a funeral scene. Who in her life will die and is it a result of her choosing to save her human boyfriend Tucker from the fire and not her heavenly match Christian?

Some of you may know that I am no fan of the angel books (I've been burned too many times), BUT this series is an exception. I was a huge fan of Unearthly (review here) and was chomping at the bit to read book two. Hallowed picks up just days after the fire scene where Clara fails her purpose and is dragged to Hell for a hot minute by a black wing. To be better prepared for the dark wings imminent return, the young angels form a club and try to find the answers that no one is willing to give. They find answers all right! I was surprised at how much information we learn. Turns out one angel is holding out and knows more than they are saying. Secrets....gotta love the tension!

Jan 10, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - A World Away by Nancy Grossman

A World Away by Nancy Grossman
July 17th, 2012 from Hyperion

A summer of firsts
Sixteen-year-old Eliza Miller has never made a phone call, never tried on a pair of jeans, sat in a darkened theater waiting for a movie to start. She’s never even talked to someone her age who isn’t Amish, like her. 

A summer of good-byes 
When she leaves her close-knit family to spend the summer as a nanny in suburban Chicago, a part of her can’t wait to leave behind everything she knows. She can’t imagine the secrets she will uncover, the friends she will make, the surprises and temptations of a way of life so different from her own. 

A summer of impossible choice 
Every minute Eliza spends with her new friend Josh feels as good as listening to music for the first time, and she wonders whether there might be a place for her in his world. But as summer wanes, she misses the people she has left behind, and the plain life she once took for granted. Eliza will have to decide for herself where she belongs. Whichever choice she makes, she knows she will lose someone she loves.

This one is a totally different read for me, but I'm all over it. I don't think I am the only one that is a little fascinated with the Amish lifestyle. My fingers are always on the lapie or on my phone and I can't imagine living in the prairie days or even today as an Amish girl. I can't wait to see Eliza experience everything we take for granted...

What do you think? Do you know any other YA books that address the Amish community? And just before I hit Publish Post, I did a search and came across this list about Amish Teen Fiction. I don't recognize any. I will note that these books are written by the Amish, for the Amish.

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Magic Of the Moonlight - Interview with author Ellen Schreiber

I'm happy to have Ellen Schreiber author of the Full Moon and Vampire Kisses series. Ellen will be on leg one of the Dark Days Tour. Be sure to look below for information on what Harper authors are coming your way. Texas, we have three stops! Be sure to help spread the word!

You were a stand-up comedian in a past life. Can you tell us a joke about your writing process or publishing journey?
I’m not sure how funny it is, but I submitted my book to HarperCollins and a few months later I got a letter back from my future editor. She said she was really interested in Teenage Mermaid and tried to call me but my line was busy. That was the time of dial up computers and I must have been online doing something totally lame like shopping on ebay. So here I was trying to order some trinket from China or Japan to keep me occupied while submitting my ms to HC and here they were trying to contact me! I still crack up when I think of it. :)

Jan 9, 2012

Review - Fracture by Megan Miranda

Once again, I'm happy to be part of a book tour for Bloomsbury. Today, I share my glowing review of Fracture by Megan Miranda. I scored this reader at ALA. My copy is plain baby blue with no picture so I had no clue what this story was about (I don't read book summaries). Luckily, I had started to hear some great things and took a stab at it myself - glad I did! Take a look at this awesome cover! 
Fracture by Megan Miranda
January 17th, 2012 by Walker & Company

I suppose Delaney's rescue from a frozen lake can be called a miracle. She's alive, but for all intents and purposes, she shouldn't be. After waking up from a 6-day coma, Delaney seems to have no lasting effects from that awful day. Well, there is just one. A nagging pull or tug to people she doesn't know, people who are are on the edge of death. How is this possible and why is she drawn to the dying? Delay meets Troy who comes off a little strong and soon, we know he has an agenda. This guy gave me the chills. I couldn't quite pinpoint what I didn't like about him, but I knew something was off. He has an air of suspicion and when he enters scenes my pulse raised. I thought he could either be a mass murder or just a seriously mentally kid. He had me guessing for a long time.

Jan 7, 2012

In My Mailbox

IMM is a meme brought to us from The Story Siren. Basically, it's a good way to add books to your TBR pile, get a head's up on what is coming soon, and to totally covet books. All cover photos will take you to the Goodreads page.

For review:
The Butterfly Clues by Kate EllisonThe Kid Table by Andrea Seigel
Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald
The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina
Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

Jan 6, 2012

Review - A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis

A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis
January 10th, 2012 from Razorbill

**Spoilers if you haven't read AthU**
Remember how Across the Universe took place on a "ship of lies?" Yeah, that is still happening! Elder is now Eldest and Amy is still the only one on the ship from the original Earth. They are all sailing to Sol Earth and should be there at about half past never at the rate they're going. When Elder takes over as Eldest, he decides to let people essentially have their life back. No drugs in the water and no systematically planned Season of Schmexy times (loveeeed that part in the last book!) Without the control, the people on the ship start to get greedy, lazy, and all around dangerous. In just a short amount of time, all hell breaks loose and people end up dead. The people blame Elder and rally for a new leader, but there aren't any other choices. Or are there? (insert menacing music)

Jan 5, 2012

Review - Magic Of the Moonlight (Full Moon #2) by Ellen Schreiber (+Dark Days Tour Kickoff)

I am excited to be a part of HarperTeen's Dark Days 2012 Tour kickoff! This tour will be huge and I highly recommend you going to an event near you. All of the authors participating on the tour have written awesome books and some of them are my favorites. Be sure to read this post to find out who will be near you. First up, a review of  MAGIC OF THE MOONLIGHT  by Ellen Schreiber who will be on Leg One of the tour.

Reading Vacation will be posting on Tahereh Mafi and SHATTER ME January 4th and 9th. I will be posting on Ellen Schreiber and MAGIC OF THE MOONLIGHT on January 5th and 10th, and Supernatural Snark will be posting on Veronica Rossi and UNDER THE NEVER SKY on January 6th and 11th. Check out their awesome sites!
Magic Of the Moonlight (Full Moon #2) by Ellen Schreiber
December 27th, 2011 from HarperTeen

Beware of a bite under a full moon…it will complicate your love life.

Jan 4, 2012

Cover Reveal - City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare
May 8th, 2012 from Margaret K. McElderry

Go HERE to read an exclusive prologue of the book on USA Today, Book Buzz

We can see Clary's whole head this time! Lol! I like her dress a lot better than the yellow one in Fallen Angels too. It definitely looks familiar to the others. That's good. They always look so nice on the shelf side by side. This one is almost 500 pages and longer than Fallen Angels. I'm a huge fan so May seems very far away...

What do you guys think? If you haven't started the series. Get on it! I have read them all on audio and they are terrific!

Waiting on Wednesday - A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Nonaghan

A Girl Named Digit: Underage, Underestimated, and Undercover by Annabel Monaghan
June 5th, 2012 from Houghton Mifflin

Farrah "Digit" Higgins may be going to MIT in the fall, but this L.A. high school genius has left her geek self behind in another school district so she can blend in with the popular crowd at Santa Monica High and actually enjoy her senior year. But when Farrah, the daughter of a UCLA math professor, unknowingly cracks a terrorist group's number sequence, her laid-back senior year gets a lot more interesting. Soon she is personally investigating the case, on the run from terrorists, and faking her own kidnapping-- all while trying to convince a young, hot FBI agent to take her seriously. So much for blending in . . .

I love the sound of this one - girl power! It has a Gallagher feel to it and I really enjoy those books that portray girls as smart and in charge. I think this one will be a good addition to my giant pile of books...

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You can find Monaghan at her website

Jan 1, 2012

In My Mailbox

IMM is a meme brought to us from The Story Siren. Basically, it's a good way to add books to your TBR pile, get a head's up on what is coming soon, and to totally covet books. All cover photos will take you to the Goodreads page.

For review:
Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic
Rock God: the Legend of BJ Levine by Barnabas Miller
In Darkness by Nick Lake
52 Reasons To Hate My Father by Jessica Brody
Chained by Lynne Kelly
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin