Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Teaser Tuesday (93)



I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Books and a Beat. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



"Even if I can't trust Kilorn, Cal, or anyone else, I can trust in ability. In strength. In power. With Cal's fire, my storm, and Shade's speed, nothing and no one can touch us."


Taken from p. 74 of GLASS SWORD
by Victoria Aveyard

Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Book Sketch: A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel


A SEASON FOR FIREFLIES
By: Rebecca Maizel
Published By: Harper Teen
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Series: Nonen
Pages: 256
Genre: Contemporary
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Edelweiss
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: A story of second chances from the author of Between Us and the Moon, which Kirkus Reviews called “what first love is meant to be.”

A year ago, Penny Berne was the star of her high school’s theater department, surrounded by a group of misfit friends and falling in love for the first time. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, her new best friend is the most popular girl in school, and her first love, Wes, ignores her. Penny is revered and hated. Then, in a flash, a near-fatal lightning strike leaves Penny with no memory of the past year—or how she went from drama nerd to queen bee.

As a record number of fireflies light up her town and her life, Penny realizes she may be able to make things right again—and that even if she can’t change the past, she can learn to see the magic where she never could before.

This captivating new novel about first love, second chances, and the power of memory is perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and Katie Cotugno’s How to Love.




First Thought After Finishing: Like Shakespeare said, all’s well that ends well--no matter how you get there.

Some books are quick reads but leave you thinking; others you have to take stretch out over several days. A Season for Fireflies is the former. I read the book in one day, mostly in one sitting, but it’s been on my mind for a few days since then.

Penny lives for theater. She acts in plays year-round and hopes to be an actress, and her best friends are there. However, her best acting job is what she dos every day—hiding how bad her mom’s drinking is from everyone. However, when the effects catch up with her, she’s desperate for a change that gets her out of the spotlight and away from questions. She spends a year hanging out with the popular crowd, balancing partying and studying, as long as it keeps her away from home. But when a lighting strike takes a year of her memory, Penny has to decide how she wants to rebuild her life.

Penny’s struggles hit close to home. Opening up and accepting help can be a challenge. She finds it easier to ignore the problems, to push away others before they can push her away. Wes, who wants to be more than her friend, scares her most of all. But when she has to face how she reinvented herself, she realizes that even though parties are fun, she can’t escape from life for forever. For anyone who has a hard time sharing personal information for fear of reactions, Penny’s story is worth reading.

This story was easy to get caught up in. I wanted to know if Penny could rebuild her relationships and if she would get her memory back. Her friends were also fun to read about. Panda especially made me smile and was someone I wanted to know more about—if there was to be a spinoff story, I would choose him to be the main character. Then there was Wes. He’s the kind of first crush that every girl deserves, and he plays an important role in the story. Finally, I loved the idea through the book of creating a life for yourself. Life didn’t have to be all or nothing; sometimes bold choices work out for the best.

Most Memorable Aspect: I liked the firefly imagery throughout the book. It brought back so many childhood memories and made me wish I’d had some of the same picturesque backdrops. I also loved the theater references throughout the story.




Thursday, June 23, 2016

Book Sketch: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard


RED QUEEN
By: Victoria Aveyard
Published By: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Series: Red Queen
Pages: 383
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Borrowed
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.




First Thought After Finishing: This book has everything a good story needs.

Some books do not live up to all of the hype about them, but Red Queen certainly does. This book has all of the elements of a fantastic story—an interesting world, political hierarchy and intrigue, underground rebellion, and, of course, romance. If there is an aspect of books that you love, it’s probably found in Red Queen.

"What would I give to see my mother looking at me like that, back when I was nothing but a thief? What would I give now? The world is Silver, but it is also gray. There is no black-and-white."

Mare Barrow is a Red, living under the rule of Silvers. All of her brothers have been drafted to the same war that injured her father. She lives as a thief, until the night she tries to rob the wrong person. Soon she finds herself in another life, caught up in a Silver world that she never imagined existed. In the Silver world, the people have a variety of abilities, from healing to super-strength to controlling fire. Nobles from the High Houses jockey for favor in the royal court. A Scarlet Guard threatens to overthrow the government. And in the midst of all of this chaos, Mare must come to terms with who and what she is.

As intriguing as the world is, what made this book was the characters. Mare isn’t perfect, but she us strong and dedicated to what she believes in. Cal and Maven are brothers but like opposite sides of the same coin. Both have their own troubles but their own allure, working their way into my heart. Like Mare, I found myself torn between them, wanting to believe the best of both of them but never quite certain. But make no mistake, this isn’t anything like a normal love triangle. There are secrets and scandals, shifting emotions and tenuous connections. I loved these portions of the story as well as the more adventurous portions.

This book was an emotional journey as well as an exciting one. It was hard to know what characters to trust, what everyone was hiding, and who I was hoping would prove to be the best in the end. I know there is much more to the story to come, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the characters keep developing.

Most Memorable Aspect: This book was constantly full of surprises, which isn’t always common. I loved the twists and suspense that kept me guessing.




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Waiting on" Wednesay


"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



This week's selection is:


THIS SAVAGE SONG
By: Victoria Schwab
Published By: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.




Why it's Wanted:

I've read one of Victoria Schwab's books before and enjoyed it. This book has an interesting premise and a lot of hype, so I'm eager to see what it has in store.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Teaser Tuesday (92)



I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Books and a Beat. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



"It’s better here in a different kind of light—I look up to the moonlight shining down on the water and the dock. The stars twinkle above—far away and untouchable. My gut aches at the memory of Wes’s planetarium. He wants to give me the stars, but I don’t want people to try and fix me."


Taken from p. 27 of A SEASON FOR FIREFLIES
by Rebecca Maizel

Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"Waiting on" Wenesday


"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



This week's selection is:


DEFENDING TAYLOR
By: Miranda Kennally
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: July 7, 2016
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?




Why it's Wanted:

I've loved the other Miranda Kenneally books that I've read. She writes such gripping stories that need to be told, and I can't wait to read more from her.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Teaser Tuesday (91)



I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Books and a Beat. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



"Wishing for all the world I could go with her, I watch Gisa disappear beneath the blue awning. She's gotten me this far. Now it's my turn."


Taken from p. 25 of RED QUEEN
by Victoria Aveyard

Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Book Sketch: How to Disappear by Ann Redisch Stampler


HOW TO DISAPPEAR
By: Ann Redisch Stampler
Published By: Simon Pulse
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Series: None
Pages: 416
Genre: Contemporary
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Netgalley
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed?—and the boy who’s sent to kill her.

Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything...until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear.

Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.

As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.




First Thought After Finishing: Wow. It all makes sense, but wow.

Nicolette Holland—aka Cat—is on the run from the police, determined to make Nicolette disappear. Jack Manx, son of infamous Arthur Manx, is sent to eliminate her. They aren’t used to their new life, but they know that not succeeding could have dire consequences. Every action, reckless or calculated, passionate or desperate, is driven by the need to survive and take care of loved ones. The characters bring us into their world, one most of us will hopefully never live in, and it’s a whirlwind.

There’s a running joke that authors’ Google search history could get them in trouble. That could definitely be the case with How to Disappear. The details of how Cat kept herself hidden were fascinating and made me impressed with her resourcefulness. Jack, on the other hand, is a character that you can’t help but want to put your arms around. He’s trying to move past his past and his family’s reputation, but at times it seems impossible. These are two strong characters who make an impression.

When I started reading How to Disappear, I expected an exciting cat-and-mouse game that spanned the country. I kept turning pages to see what would happen next, wondering the whole time what Jack would do if he found Cat. After a while, however, the book shifted to focus more on the characters’ inner battles. Getting glimpses into Cat and Jack’s minds were intriguing. Even though the book slowed down (and admittedly I missed the fast-paced adventure), I was still curious enough to know how things ended for Cat and Jack. It’s almost impossible to stop reading because there would be so many questions left unanswered. And the answers are definitely necessary.

Most Memorable Aspect: The details in this book made what could have been a glossed-over adventure turn into a vivid survival story. It was almost like a guide about escaping an old life and finding a new identity.




Wednesday, June 8, 2016

"Waiting on" Wednesday


"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



This week's selection is:


HOW IT FEELS TO FLY
By: Kathryn Holmes
Published By: HarperTeen
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: A struggle with body dysmorphia forces one girl to decide if letting go of her insecurity also means turning her back on her dreams.

Sam has always known she’d be a professional dancer—but that was before her body betrayed her, developing unmanageable curves in all the wrong places. Lately, the girl staring back at Sam in the mirror is unrecognizable. Dieting doesn’t work, ignoring the whispers is pointless, and her overbearing mother just makes it worse.

Following a series of crippling anxiety attacks, Sam is sent to a treatment camp for teens struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. Forced to open up to complete strangers, Sam must get through the program if she wants to attend a crucial ballet intensive later in the summer. It seems hopeless until she starts confiding in a camp counselor who sparks a confidence she was sure she’d never feel again. But when she’s faced with disappointing setbacks, will Sam succumb to the insecurity that imprisons her?

This compelling story from Kathryn Holmes examines one girl’s efforts to overcome her worst enemy: herself.




Why it's Wanted:

I love stories about ballerinas. Maybe I'm trying to live a childhood dream vicariously, but I'm drawn to movies or books about ballet dancers. This book also talks about body issues, and I'm curious to see how the story addresses them.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Teaser Tuesday (90)



I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Books and a Beat. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



"I feel so maniacally in power, I can't even sleep anymore. So I sit back in this half-dazed state, scanning the bus for bogeymen and obsessing about where Catherine Grace Davis can get a gun."


Taken from p. 92 of HOW TO DISAPPEAR
by Ann Redisch Stampler

Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

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