Tag Archives: 2014 Debut

Pointe by Brandy Colbert Review 9/11/14


Pointe by Brandy Colbert
April 10, 2014
Hardcover, 352 pgs

What it’s about:

Four years ago Theo’s best friend Donovan was kidnapped, sending her into an out of control downward spiral from which she is only just beginning to recover. Having returned from a treatment facility for an eating disorder, she is focused on her dance training and the few friends that she has. The news of Donovan’s return upsets the tenuous balance she has created in her life. Suddenly Theo is reliving memories from the past, memories that could explain where Donovan has been for all these years. Even though she is not responsible, Theo worries that speaking the truth about the past could cause more harm than good. Or will keeping quiet be what finally destroys her?

Why you might like it:

Are you a fan of contemporary fiction books that are chock-full of issues? Pointe has issues galore! Colbert skillfully addresses everything from eating disorders, rape, mental illness, kidnapping, and more. Despite the abundance of issues, they never feel unnecessary or overwhelming. Are you looking for a strong, but damaged heroine? Theo is so broken it is heartbreaking, but she is one tough cookie! Do you want more main characters of color in your stories? Theo and Donovan are both African-American teens struggling to fit in their predominately white suburb. How about ballet? If you are a fan of dance you will certainly relate to all of Theo’s hard work, but don’t worry if you aren’t interested! This isn’t a book about ballet. The same can be said about the kidnapping. While that event is the catalyst for the story, it’s not actually a story about kidnapping. In short, this book is a powerful, psychological study. The characters are deeply flawed, but strive for improvement. Theo does not struggle and suffer in a vacuum. She has supportive parents and good friends. The events of the past are traumatic and disturbing, but there is healing and hope in the end. This was a magnificent debut and Brandy Colbert is certainly an author to watch.


Want more like this?

You might also enjoy Tease by Amanda Maciel, Far From You by Tess Sharpe, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday-Top Ten Books of 2014…So Far! 6/10/14


As we approach the midpoint of 2014, The Broke and the Bookish are asking for a best of 2014…so far list. One things is clear to me: making an end of the year favorites list is going to be painful! After a little more than five months of reading I had to make two lists to accommodate all of my favorites. I made a best of YA and a best of Non-YA. It is obviously time for some cheating…

Favorite reads so far:

1. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg. I loved this cute YA romance!

better off friends

2. Shadow and Bone & Seige and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. I am late to the Grisha party, but I am so happy that I finally listened to this series. The final book comes out soon and I can’t wait to find out how it all ends.

shadow and bone siege and storm

3. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. This author is officially on my automatically-read-whatever-they-put-their-name-on list.

out of the easy

4. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Two questions. 1. Why did I wait so long to read this book? and 2. Why have I not read the second book yet? Seriously. Excellent stuff.

grave mercy

5. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This book was so unlike all of her other books. So unexpected and awesome.

we were liars

6. Cress by Marissa Meyer. Why do have to wait so long for more? Love, love, love.


7. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. This dark debut sucked me in, kept me guessing, and left me desperate for more.


8. Far From You by Tess Sharpe. This is another intense debut novel. A little mystery, a little heartbreak. Certainly a solid first novel.

far from you

9. Tease by Amanda Maciel. I just finished this debut novel and I am still trying to wrap my head around it. The content is so upsetting, but I think it is a powerful and important book. It is not often that we get the bully’s side of the story.


10. The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence. This is such a special book. It has all the feels.

universe verses

I also LOVED these Non-YA books:

rosie project this is where i leave you attachments vicious stories hyperbole lost lake girl you left behind

Happy Reading!



Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman Review 6/5/14

prisoner of night and fog

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
April 22, 2014
Balzer + Bray
Hardcover, 401 pages.

What it’s about:

It has been eight years since Adolf Hitler’s failed Munich Putsch. It has been eight years since Gretchen Muller’s father was killed while protecting Hitler during his failed coup. Since than Gretchen has grown up under the protective wing of Uncle Dolf, as a valued young member of the National Socialist Party. Gretchen’s world is turned upside down when she catches wind of a rumor saying that her father was actually murdered by own of his own comrades. She desperately wants to dismiss this rumor, especially since the source is a young Jewish reporter. Everything she has been taught about the Jews demands that she be suspicious, but Daniel is persuasive and she reluctantly agrees to assist him in an investigation of the very people who are supposed to be her friends. As she and Daniel dig into Hitler’s past, the secret truths that they uncover not only horrify them, but them both in mortal danger.

Why you might like it:

Do you ever wonder how Hitler managed to convince so many people to blindly follow him? This well-researched book offers readers a glimpse into the mindset of members of the Nazi Party, and it is fascinating. Are you looking for a strong heroine who makes bold decisions? Gretchen, though seemingly naive, evolves into a brave and strong-willed heroine. Are you a sucker for forbidden love? Though not the center-stage of the story, the romance in the book is sweet and perfect. Are you fan of mystery, secrets, and heart-pounding danger? You’ll find all of that here. This beautifully written debut, which is the first in a planned trilogy, will satisfy history and mystery lovers alike!

Want more like this?

For more stunning historical fiction try In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. For books set in the early/mid 1930s try The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Happy Reading!


Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige Review 4/17/14


Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
April 1, 2014
Hardcover, 452 pgs

What it’s about:

Amy Gumm is just another girl living in a trailer park in Kansas. Her life totally sucks. Her mom is an addict, her dad left them, and she is the favorite target of the mean girls. Everything changes the day of the tornado. That’s right, a tornado in Kansas that rips her home off its foundation and deposits her and her mom’s pet rat in the land of Oz. Yes, that land of Oz. Except things are nothing like in the books and movie. Oz is dying and it is all Dorothy’s fault. The remaining witches of Oz have formed an alliance, the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked and they intend to train Amy for her mission. Her mission is simple: Dorothy must die.

Why you might like it:

Are you a fan of The Wizard of Oz series? If so, you won’t want to miss this twisted tale! Love fractured fairy tales? This one is awesome! Do you like your stories dark and deadly? This Oz story isn’t all rainbows and flowers (but then again, L.Frank Baum’s Oz was kind of dark as well). Do you enjoy it when the lines between good and evil are blurred? Well, get ready to find yourself cheering for some wicked witches. Maybe. It’s complicated. Speaking of complicated, I hope you don’t mind when things don’t always go according to plan. There are plenty of twists and turns and shocking curve balls thrown at out poor heroine. Dorothy Must Die was one of my most highly anticipated novels of 2014. I had high expectations and am pleased to report that this debut was as amazing as I had hoped it would be!

Want more like this?

I recently discovered Eric Shanower’s graphic adaptations of the Oz series. It is amazing! You might also try Mark McGiure’s Oz adaptation, the Wicked series. If you like retellings try Marissa Meyer’s Cinder series, Jackson Pearce’s Sisters Red and Sweetly, or Wendy Delsol’s Stork trilogy.

Happy Reading!



Waiting on Wednesday-Dear Killer 3/19/14

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

This week I am so excited about this one:

dear killer

Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell
April 1, 2014

From Goodreads.com:

“Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.”

Um? Yes please! It’s like a female Dexter! Also, the author is a college freshman. I think that’s pretty cool.

What are you waiting for?

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday-2014 Debuts 1/14/14


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday list, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is all about 2014 Debuts. In no particular order, here are just a few that I am excited to read:

1. Far From You by Tess Sharpe, April 2014

far from you

This standalone mystery/thriller looks pretty interesting. I don’t read enough YA mysteries.

2. The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel, April 2014

breakup artist

This contemporary debut sounds like it is cute and funny. I like cute and funny!

3. The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cumming, June 2014

murder complexAnd then we have the opposite of cute and funny! The Goodreads description actually beings with the words action-packed and blood-soaked. I am kind of scared.

4. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord, April 2014

open road summer

I am a complete sucker for a road trip book. The last one I read was a bit of a let-down, so I have high hopes for this one.

5. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige, April 2014.


I am SO EXCITED for this Wizard of Oz retelling! An evil Dorothy? Genius!

6. Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell, April 2014.

dear killer

April is going to be a very busy month! A teenaged, female Dexter? LOVE!

7. Killer Instinct by S.E. Green, May 2014.

killer instinct

Another serial killer tale with a female POV. This is so exciting! 2014, The Year of the Female Serial Killer!

8. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy March, 2014

side effects may vary

As a rule I do not read cancer books. TFIOS was the last straw and I vowed to never do it again. However, this one seems like it may have a happy ending, so I am willing to give it a try. I will even wait for spoilers, just to be sure. So, if anyone has already read it and confirm that there is no cancer death involved, please let me know!

9. Sekret by Lindsay Smith, April 2014


A paranormal, dystopian, historical thriller? Um, sure. Ok. I’ll bite.

10. No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale, January 2014

no one else can have you

This debut mystery is getting mixed review, but I love the cover so much that I just have to check it out for myself.

So, most of these debuts come out in early spring. Have I missed any must-reads? How about things coming out later in the year?

Happy Reading!