Author Archives: Megan

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson Review 8/28/14

i'll give you the sun

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
September 16, 2014
Dial Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 384 pgs

What it’s about:

Jude and her twin brother Noah have always been close, but the year they are thirteen changes everything. A shy misfit, Noah immerses himself in art as he falls in love with the charismatic boy next door. Meanwhile, Jude strikes out on her own seeking thrills with the popular kids. By the time the twins are sixteen they are shells of their former selves and practically strangers to each other. When an eccentric and reclusive sculptor agrees to mentor Jude, pieces of the past resurface and Jude and Noah slowly realize that they each only know half of the truth about the events that destroyed them.

Why You Might Like it:

I’ll Give You the Sun is a stunningly beautiful story. Noah and Jude are vibrant, complex, and flawed characters. They leap off the page and come alive. The dual narrative provides readers with bits and pieces of the whole story, creating a powerful picture of love and betrayal, secrets and heartaches. While the twins’ journey is painful, there are spots of humor to lighten the mood, a budding romance that inspires hope, and the magic of art to soothe the raw edges of emotions. I truly do not have adequate words to describe this book. It is powerful, magical, and amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed the e-galley provided by Netgalley.com, but I can’t wait to see a finished copy. I am hopeful that is will be filled with Noah’s and Jude’s art. This is one of the best books I have read all year!

Want More Like This?

For more gorgeous writing and powerful stories, try Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Ask the Passengers by A.S. King, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extent.

 

Waiting on Wednesday-8/27/14

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

98a84-waitingonwednesday

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

i'll take you there

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
February 3, 2015

From Goodreads:

“If seventeen-year-old Skyler Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage-months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings them together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

Gritty, romantic, and ultimately hopeful, I’ll MEET YOU THERE explores the complicated lives of an unforgettable cast of characters. This is the story of teens outside the picket fence. It doesn’t soften the edges of adolescence or the individual consequences of war; it’s life on the fringes—maddening, weirdly endearing…and completely screwed up.”

The awesome cover caught my eye, but the description totally sold me.

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

Top Ten Tuesday-Books I Want to Read But Don’t Own Yet 8/26/14

toptentuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is about books we not only want to read, but want to OWN. My bookshelves at home are currently full to overflowing so I am trying to curb my book buying habit (admittedly with little success and I am not actually trying that hard. But I have recently pre-ordered two books that I am very excited about. The rest of the list has titles that I am excited to read and will most likely end up buying at some point in time. Maybe after I get a new bookcase?

1. Mortal Heart by Robin LaFever. This is the third book in the His Dark Assassins trilogy. I am currently reading the second book. I am savoring it.

mortal heart

2. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King. Oh man, I want this one so bad. I am excited to have pre-ordered a SIGNED copy. Apparently Amazon is not taking orders, so I got mine from Aaron’s Books.

glory o'brien

3. We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach. I have heard some rave reviews about this one from some trusted sources. I might have to add it to my collection.

we all looked up

4. The Invaders by John Flanagan. I bought a signed copy of the first book in the Brotherband Chronicles and feel that I should continue building my collection.

invaders

5. The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters. I loved In the Shadow of Backbirds (which I really should own) and will most likely purchase this new on.

cure for dreaming

6. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld. I own all of his other YA books (oh, except for Goliath. I really need to get that). I will definitely be adding this new book to my collection.

afterworlds

7. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. Why, oh why did they change the cover design for book two?!? I am so cranky about that, but I MUST own the book. Even if it won’t match my SIGNED copy of Diviners. Grr.

lair of dreams

8. Raging Star by Moira Young. I have matching paper back copies of the first two books in the series. I may just wait until this is available in paper back to complete my collection. I am nervous to read this last book.

raging star

9. The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin. I know I am not alone with this one. Please, please, please give a book soon. Please?

10. Huh. I don’t have a number 10.

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

Mondays with Megan-Back to Reality 8/25/14

After a week and a half of vacation, it’s finally time for me to get back to work. It’s been a long time since I have had a vacation that has truly felt like a vacation should-fun and relaxing. My cousin’s wedding brought us all together in Newport, RI and I was fortunate enough to build in some extra days before and after, which allowed me to spend some time in Boston as well. I have never to been to either place and had a fantastic time just wandering around with my siblings and eating ALL the seafood. What I didn’t do is read, so my Monday list is tiny! That’s ok, this short report means I have more time to search for the perfect clam chowder recipe. Anyone have one they want to share?

In the meantime, It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

mondayreading new monday

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

Finished:

that summer summer of letting go

  • That Summer by Lauren Willig. Julia is unemployed and in a rut when she receives word that she has inherited a home in England from an unknown great-aunt. With nothing better to do, she heads Herne Hill to sort through the house. When she discovers a painting hidden in a wardrobe, she begins to research the history of the house. With the help of an antiques dealers, she pieces together the story of Imogen Grantham, the lady of the house in 1849. I really enjoyed the dual story lines of this standalone novel. Fans of The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes won’t want to miss this one!
  • The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner. It’s been four years since Frankie’s little brother Simon drowned. She’s nearly sixteen now, but her guilt over the drowning has kept her stuck in the past. Her mother is a shadow of her former self, her father may be having an affair, and Frankie is pining for her best friend’s boyfriend. The only ray of light in her otherwise dismal summer is another Frankie. Frankie Sky is a four-year boy who reminds her so much of her beloved little brother. Spending time with Frankie Sky could be just what she needs to heal. This story was lovely and heartbreaking, but I really had an issue with the romance aspect.

Current Audio:

guy in real life wells end

  • Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
  • The Well’s End by Seth Fishman

Currently Reading:

i'll give you the sun dark triumph romeo redeemed

  • I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson-one of the best books I have read so far this year. It is so heartbreakingly beautiful. I love it.
  • Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers-More assassin awesomeness.
  • Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay-I just had to find out what happened!

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

Waiting on Wednesday-I’ll Give You the Sun-8/13/14

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

98a84-waitingonwednesday

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