Waiting on Wednesday-8/13/14

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

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This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

i'll give you the sun

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
September 16, 2014

From Goodreads:

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and divisive ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant, fully alive, sometimes very funny novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

I am actually reading an e-galley of this one right now and it is amazing. It is heartbreaking and beautiful, and just what I wanted right now. It still qualifies for WoW though because I think there will be artwork in the finished book that I really want to experience as well. I would like to add A.S. King’s name to the above list of celebrity author names. There is so much magic in this book that it reads like Ask the Passengers.

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

 

Top Ten Tuesday-To Read or Not To Read, That is the Question. 8/12/14

toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is all about the books we are not sure about reading. The reasons may vary, but we all have those books that we just aren’t sure about.

I am not sure I want to read…

1. …The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. It has been on my TBR list forever, why haven’t I picked it up yet? At first I thought I would just wait until the series was complete. Well, it is and I still haven’t jumped on it. Is it time to give it the Graceling Treatment (aka, permission to remove a book from the TBR list without reading it, even if everyone says it’s the best thing ever)?

girl of fire

 

2. …Pure by Julianna Baggot. My first thought was, heck yes! Then I read the thing about the doll head fused to the hand and I got nervous. I am back to thinking I do actually want to read it. But the DOLL HEAD?!?

pure

3. …The Program by Suzanne Young. Sometimes I grow weary of YA science fiction. Sometimes, if I don’t start a series when it is fresh and hot and all the rage, I skip it completely. This could end up being a skip for me.

program

4. …After the End by Amy Plum. I do want to read this one, but I have heard it ends on a major cliffhanger and that really drives me crazy, so I will wait until there are at least two books out.

after the end

5.  …The Winner’s Curse by Maria Rutkoski. I have heard such mixed reviews for this one. Also, see The Program.

winner's curse

6. …The F—-It List by Julie Halpern. I have enjoyed other books by this author, but I put a strict ban on the reading of any and all cancer books. Do I make an exception? I haven’t heard of one yet that is worth breaking my own rule.

f list

7. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer. This went on my TBR list shortly after I finished The Interestings. Now I am not so sure.

belzhar

8. …Partials by Dan Wells. Again, am I just a little bit over YA dystopian series? I really hope that isn’t true!

partials

9. …What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I LOVED My Life Next Door and greedily snatched this one up when it came out…and could not get into it. At. All. I don’t know if it was my mood or the book, but I am not sure I will ever try again.

what i thought

10. …Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. This one stresses me out. I LOVED Anna, couldn’t get past the first 20 pages of Lola, and now I have no idea what to do about Ilsa! So torn. I might give Lola a second try.

ilsa

So, do you think I should put some of these back on my TBR list or should we part ways now?

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

Mondays with Megan-Vacation Time! 8/11/14

As summer winds down and kids get ready to go back to school, I am finally getting my own vacation in! I am so excited to be heading to Newport, Rhode Island this weekend for my cousin’s wedding. I have never been and I plan to cram as much in as possible. Some vacation preparation included clear up some of my reading shelves! Check out how many books I finished last week (and then in a totally counterproductive move, look how many I started…*groan*).

mondayreading new monday

Be sure to stop by Books Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for more great reading suggestions.

 

Finished:

hatchet chapel wars mr.mercedes arsonist amity seconds

  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen is the story of how a young teen survives alone in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash. My nine-year old nephew loves this book and told me I just HAD to read it myself. I really enjoyed it and plan to read the rest of the Brian Robeson series-it’s my ticket into his exclusive book club!
  • The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt. When 16-year old Holly inherits the family wedding chapel when her beloved grandfather dies, she has no idea that the future of the chapel is uncertain. She really has her work cut out for her! Add in a romance with the competition’s grandson and you have a perfect summer read. This was just the light read that I needed!
  • Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. The latest offering from King is less horror and more crime thriller. This cat and mouse tale stars a retired detective and the mass killer he failed to catch when he worked the case. Deeply disturbing at times, as is to be expected. I really enjoyed this latest offering and the audio is excellent!
  • The Arsonist by Sue Miller. After spending 15-years doing humanitarian work in Africa, Frankie Rowley has returned to the sleepy New Hampshire town of Pomeroy, where her parents have retired. As the town is besieged by an arsonist, Frankie struggles with her father’s failing health and her own lack of direction. This was my first Sue Miller book, and honestly, I was a little disappointed. The title and description are misleading, as the fires take a back seat the family drama.
  • Amity by Micol Ostow. Check out my review here.
  • Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Katie is a talented young chef with a successful restaurant and a second one in the works. Things are going well, until suddenly, they aren’t. Lucky for Katie, she gets a little help from a mysterious new friend who offers her an easy solution for a “do over.” All would have been fine if Katie had just followed the rules, but the thrill of a fresh start was too enticing. Soon everything is out of whack, nothing is working, and it’s all Katie’s fault. This graphic novel from the author of the Scott Pilgrim is fantastic! A fun, cautionary tale.

Current Audio:

conversion that summer

  • Conversion by Kathrine Howe. To tell the truth, I am having a hard time connecting with this one. We’ll see.
  • That Summer by Lauren Willig. So far, I am enjoying this dual storyline book. It’s reminding me a little of The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, which I really liked.

Currently Reading:

i'll give you the sun romeo redeemed dark triumph gods of newport

  • I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. This is the book I have been looking for all summer. The book that would hook me, suck me in, and not let me go! I am getting an A.S. King vibe from this one and you may recall that I am just a *teeny* bit in love with all things A.S. King.
  • Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay. This is the companion book to Juliet Immortal, which I recently read that the recommendation of a teen reader.
  • Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers. Despite wanting to read this one, I didn’t intend to start reading it last week. This is what happens when you leave your current books at home and have access to the entire library collection! This one might be coming on vacation with me if I don’t finish it by Thursday.
  • The Gods of Newport by John Jakes. Ok, I am really barely reading this one. I just thought it might be fun to read before I head to Newport myself!

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

Amity by Micol Ostow Review 8/9/14

amity
Amity by Micol Ostow
August 26, 2014
EgmontUSA
Hardcover, 368 pages

What it’s about:

Amity is an old house with a long and troubled history.  Connor’s family moved to the quite town where Amity is located in order to escape an unnamed scandal caused by their father. It doesn’t take the already disturbed teen long to realize things are not right with the house. It is almost as if the house is speaking to him, luring him, manipulating him. Ten years later, unaware of the tragic events that have transpired, a new family comes to Amity. Gwen’s family is looking for a fresh start, a quiet place for Gwen to recover from her breakdown. Amity has other plans and they are certainly not peaceful.

Why you might like it:

Do you like stories about haunted houses? Amity is HAUNTED! Are you looking for a disturbing, psychological thriller? Both Connor and Gwen find themselves questioning their sanity the longer they stay in Amity. Do you like parallel story lines that converge at the end? Connor’s and Gwen’s voices are distinct, but their experiences with Amity are frighteningly similar. Do you enjoy an edge-or-your-seat, spooky read? Amity is a great pick, with plenty of references to the classic horror story, Amityville Horror. This reader was thankful that the horror came more from suspense and tension rather than blood and gore, but readers looking for a bloodbath may be disappointed. Nonetheless, Amity should satisfy the reader looking for a creepy book!

Want more like this?

For more haunted houses and ghosts, try The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington, Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Allender, The Turning by Francine Prose, Stone Child by Dan Poblocki, and Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley.com for providing a copy for review!

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

Waiting on Wednesday-Blue Lily, Lily Blue 8/6/14

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

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This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

blue lily, lily blue

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater
October 21, 2014

 

From Goodreads:

The third installment in the mesmerizing series from the irrepressible, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

I LOVE this series so much! I can’t wait for more.

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Recommend If You Never Read X 8/5/14

toptentuesdayThis week The Broke and the Bookish want to know what we would recommend to people who never read X. I solved for X and came of with recommendations in a variety of genres.

If you never read TEEN HISTORICAL FICTION, try these:

1. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. Josie is the seventeen-year old daughter of a prostitute. It is 1950 and the French Quarter is home to organize crime, brothels, and bars. It is also home to the small bookshop where Josie works. The money she earns there will be her ticket out of the Big Easy. Her dreams are close to becoming reality when her mother is implicated in the death of a tourist. Plenty of local flavor, a murder mystery, and a girl with big dreams make this one a winner.

out of the easy

2. In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters. In 1918 Americans were dying at home and abroad. At home the deadly Spanish Influenza pandemic had the nation gripped with fear. Abroad, WWI would eventually claim the lives of 110,000 Americans. In San Diego, sixteen-year old Mary Shelley Black watch as streams of mourners turn to seances and spirit photographers to contact their dead loved ones. The historic photographs only enhance the haunting text. A hint of romance and a whole bunch of creepy!

shadow of the blackbirds

3. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. The year is 1914, and Europe is on the verge of a war. Prince Alek, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne is on the run from the Clanker Army. Deryn Sharp, a girl disguised as a boy, is an airman for the British Air Force learning to fly the genetically engineered air beast, the Leviathan. The two form an uneasy alliance as they struggle to protect their secrets and stay alive. Leviathan will appeal to readers of science fiction and steampunk, but one can argue that it also has a strong historical component!

leviathan

4. In Darkness by Nick Lake. In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, a teenaged boy is trapped alive in the rubble of a hospital. Alone in the dark, “Shorty” counts the story of his life, his involvement with a gang, the family members he lost, and all of the violence he witness and caused. Along side his story, readers learn the story of Toussaint L’Ouverture, a Haitian rebel who led a slave rebellion and helped to drive Napoleon and the French out of Haiti. This powerful story is truly deserving of the Printz Award.

in darkness

If all you know about TEEN CONTEMPORARY FICTION is John Green, you need to branch out and try these:

5. Reality Boy by A.S. King. Seventeen-year old Gerald Faust was the child star of a reality TV show. Twelve years later, Gerald is still haunted by his anger-filled past. Convinced that nothing will ever change, despite the fact that he works so hard to be nothing like that TV boy, Gerald is ready to snap. When a new girl at work shows interest in him, he is naturally weary. He tries to avoid her, with no success. This book is disturbing and heartbreaking, like most A.S. King’s books. However, her characters always manage to find some thread of hope, some form of redemption or have some realization that things can get better.

reality boy

6. Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller. Callie has spent her entire childhood on the run. Kidnapped from her family by her mentally ill mother, she can’t even remember what it is like to be normal. When her mother is finally arrested, Callie is reunited with the father she doesn’t know anymore. Living in a small town with big family is overwhelming as Callie has to learn to live in the present and be a part of a family. This one is gritty and sexy!

where the stars still shine

7. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick. Eighteen-year old Leonard Peacock plans to spend his last birthday on earth saying goodbye to the four people he cares about. Leonard is sad and weird and the target of his former best friend’s torment. He has had enough and he has a plan to put an end to all of the pain he is in. This is a powerful and haunting novel.

forgive me leonard

If you don’t read TEEN SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY because you think it’s all supernatural romance and Hunger Games-type dystopian, think again and try these:

8. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson. In an alternate reality past, the American Isles are being threatened by Wild Chalklings (yes, chalk monsters). Rithmatists have the power to bring two-dimensional figure to life to battle these creatures. Joel, the son of a chalkmaker, must satisfy is desire to learn Rithmatics by sneaking into lectures at the Armedius Academy. When students start disappearing, leaving trails of blood behind, it is up to the Rithmatist to solve the mystery. As the professors work to find the missing students they also discover that Joel, despite not being one of them, has some unique talents of his own. Unique, unusual, steampunk-ish.

rithmatist

9. BZRK by Michael Grant. In a not-so-distant future a battle is taking place. What is at stake? The human mind. Free will. The combatants? On the one side you have the batsh*t crazy conjoined twins, the Armstrong brothers. They want to create utopia. Opposing them is a radical fringe group known as BZRK. The battle ground is the brain and the weapons are nanotechnology. Things end one of two ways: victory or madness. This series is both exhilarating and terrifying.

bzrk

10. Cinder by Marissa Meyer. This fractured fairytale of a story features a cyborg Cinderella, a handsome prince, a wicked stepmother, and an evil Lunar queen. An orphan and a cyborg, Cinder is a second-class citizen, but she is also a gifted mechanic. It this skill that brings the young Prince Kai to her stand at the market. A malfunctioning android, a mysterious plague, and the threat of war loom large and Cinder may be the key to saving everyone. Fans of sci-fi and fairy tales alike will love this fresh twist on a classic story!

cinder

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

Mondays with Megan-Summer Isn’t Over, But Summer Reading at the Library Is! 8/4/14

It was with a little sadness (and honestly, a tiny bit of relief-summer reading is a big project!) that I drew the final summer reading winner. Despite the fact that our contest was shortened by two weeks this year, I had more teen readers sign up! I love keeping stats, so I can tell you that 119 teens signed up and those who went on to read and enter for prizes read a combined 351 books!

In really sad  news, I just learned that L.A. Meyer, the author of my most beloved Bloody Jack series, passed away last week. He had been ill with Hodgkin Lymphoma. The final chapter of Jacky Faber’s saga is scheduled to be published this November. This final reading will certainly be bittersweet. I am forever grateful for this series. Thank you, Mr. Meyer, Jacky is my hero.

Now, on to my Monday reading report. It’s a small one this week. Not because I wasn’t reading. I was. I just can’t say what I was reading. I know, that’s so mean of me. I am sorry. Forget I said anything. Let’s just look at my sad little reading list….

mondayreading new monday

 Be sure to stop by Books Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for more great reading suggestions.

Finished

that night through the woods

  • That Night by Chevy Stevens was a fast-paced thriller/mystery. Toni and her boyfriend Ryan are convicted of murdering Toni’s younger sister. Despite their insistence that they are innocent the pair spend more than 15 years in prison. Upon her release, Toni wants nothing more than to rebuild a life, but Ryan is so sure that he can prove their innocence once and for all. Plenty of twists and turns, this one was exciting and heartbreaking all at once.
  • Through the Woods by Emily Carroll is a new graphic novel full of creepy short stories. The illustrations are stunning and the stories are reminiscent of Poe. Dark and lovely.

Current Audio:

arsonist mr.mercedes

Two more thrillers! Mr. Mercedes is delightfully horrifying.

Currently Reading:

hatchet amity chapel wars memorial

My 9-year old nephew has started a Hatchet Book Club. Members include me, his mom, his younger brother, and my aunt. I love this kid’s enthusiasm! I am still working on Amity. The problem is that it is scary. I can’t read it at home. I almost finished with The Chapel Wars. It is very cute! I also started a new graphic novel, Memorial by Chris Roberson. It’s a pretty interesting concept.

On Deck:

I have no idea!

Happy Reading!

∼Megan