Friday, November 30, 2012

Cover: Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

Charm & Strange 
 Sixteen-year-old Winston Winters is awaiting the inevitable.

Stuck at a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of unimaginable tragedy, Win knows it’s only a matter of time until he transforms into something dark, something wolfish, just like his father. Until he hurts people too. So in order to do the least amount of harm to those around him, he masters the art of shutting others out.

But meeting fellow cross-country runner Jordan Herrera thwarts Win's plans for emotional isolation. A scholarship student with secrets of her own, Jordan’s boldness and wit draw him in. And when she asks Win to accompany her to an all-night party in the deep New England woods, he’s torn. Because he’s not sure they should get any closer. He’s not sure Jordan will be safe with him. But she insists. And he goes.

Win wants to believe he’s not dangerous. That he would never hurt someone he cares for. But as he leads Jordan into the wilderness with his father’s blood running through his veins and wild wolves running through his fragile mind, Win knows this is simply not true….

I think this book sounds really good.  I like the cover too, and I'm looking forward to reading it.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #36: How I Lost You


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:

How I Lost You

Grace and Kya always do everything together, and nothing can get in the way of their friendship. They have a pact: Sisters Before Misters. Buds Before Studs.

Only Grace knows what Kya's been through, or how much she needs someone to stick by her. No Matter What. Besides, Kya keeps life exciting-pulling Grace into things she'd never dare do on her own.

But inch by inch, daring is starting to turn dangerous. And Grace will have to decide how far she can go to save her friendship with Kya...before she ends up losing everything else.


This sounds like a really good book.  It sounds like it will explore themes of friendship.  I have enjoyed the other books by Janet Gurtler that I have read.  This book is releasing on May 1st.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry, #3) Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he's scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis is always looking for the next thrill. Nikki Cruz lives her life by certain rules -, don't trust a boy who says "I love you", boys lie to get their own way and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Then she meets Luis at his brother Alex's wedding and suddenly she's tempted to break all her rules. Getting Nikki to give him a chance is Luis's biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by the head of the gang that nearly destroyed his brothers' lives. Will Luis's feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from entering a dark and violent world that could prove to be the ultimate risk?

My Review:

I enjoyed Chain Reaction just as much as Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction.  The narrators were great characters, and I enjoyed the cameos from Brittany, Alex, Carlos, and Kiara.  The story kept me reading the entire time, and I couldn't put the book down.


Luis and Nikki are great narrators.  Nikki has trust issues after her last boyfriend broke up with her, and joined the Latino Bloods.  The boyfriend didn't know it, but Nikki was pregnant at the time.  She ended having a miscarriage and losing the baby.  Luis is originally portrayed as a more of a good guy Fuentes, but he is also cocky.  Like his brothers, he ends up getting involved in the Latino Bloods as well.  He finds out some secrets about his family, including who his father really is.  

The romance is this book is really well done.  Luis likes Nikki from the start, but she ends up kicking him.  This is back at Alex's wedding when Luis and Nikki were both fifteen.  Her boyfriend had just broken up with her, and she was dealing with many issues at the time.  Then, the story fast forwards to three years later, and Nikki and Luis are in school together.  They are also in chemistry together with Alex's and Brittany's teacher.  Nikki still doesn't want to trust a guy again, even though it's been years since her relationship ended.  Despite this, she finds herself falling for Luis, just as he finds himself falling for her.  They go through a few rough patches in their relationship, but they smooth it all out by the end.

The two other Fuentes couples make appearances in this book, and I enjoyed seeing them again.  Alex and Brittany get married at the beginning of the book.  Alex was keeping some secrets from Brittany before the wedding.  Luis does something he probably shouldn't have done.  He stops the wedding to make Alex tell Brittany the things he's been keeping from her.  Carlos and Kiara make an appearance later in the book.  Kiara's there when Carlos tells his ex-girlfriend he's still a bachelor.  Then he ends up proposing to Kiara before he has the ring, so he can prove he loves her.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos

Out of Reach How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? A girl searches for her missing addict brother while confronting her own secrets in this darkly lyrical novel.Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home.

Rachel’s terrified—and she can’t help but feel responsible. She should have listened when Micah tried to confide in her. And she only feels more guilt when she receives an anonymous note telling her that Micah is nearby and in danger.

With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler…and the possibility that Micah may never come home.

My Review:
Out of Reach is a great emotional read.  The characters are well-developed.  The story gives flashbacks so the reader can get a sense of what Micah was like in the past.  


Rachel is a great character.  It is clear that she really cares about her older brother Micah.  She's not sure at first if she should go look for him or not, but she makes the decision to go and find him.  She deals with a lot of difficult situations in this book.  Her brother is suffering from addiction, and she meets some interesting people when trying to find him.  She has to deal with situations like her car being stolen, and she has to meet drug dealers, and she even sees one get into a fight.

Micah is an interesting character.  It is clear that he has become caught in a downward spiral.  He started using meth, and he became addicted to it.  He has been in and out of rehab, but Rachel knows that he was still using drugs before he left home.  I think the Micah shown in the flashbacks before the drugs seemed more likeable than the guy he became after he started using.

Tyler is a great character.  He's Micah's friend, a guy who was in a band with Micah.  He cares about Micah, and he knows some things about Micah that Rachel doesn't know.  He knows that Micah not only uses the drugs; he also started dealing the drugs.  As Tyler and Rachel's journey continues, it becomes clear that he has feelings for Rachel, though there isn't really any romance shown between them during the book.

If you like emotional contemporary YA, read this book.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #35: The Rules for Disappearing


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:

The Rules for Disappearing

She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.


This sounds like an interesting story.  I don't really know anything about Witness Protection, so I look forward to finding out about it in this book.  This book is releasing on May 14th.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

Burning Blue How far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy?

When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in--and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.

Award-winning author Paul Griffin has written a high-stakes, soulful mystery about the meaning--and dangers--of love and beauty.

My Review:

Burning Blue is a great mystery that keeps readers turning the pages to find out what happens next.  The characters are well-developed, and the plot is good with many unexpected twists.


Jay is a great character who is caring and also has many problems of his own.   He has epilepsy, and when he was in ninth grade, he had a seizure at a pep rally in front of the entire school.  After his pep rally seizure, he was homeschooled for two years before deciding to go back to his school.  At school, he is basically a loner.  He's a good guy who is caring and kind.  When he meets Nicole Castro after finding out about her acid attack, he becomes determined to find out who her attacker is.  He uses his hacking abilities to try to find him or her.

Nicole is a great character.  She is clearly quite a bit traumatized by the acid attack on her.  She used to be known for her beauty, and now her face's beauty has been taken from her.  Nicole is a good person, though, on the inside too.  When she meets Jay outside the office of the school therapist, she starts talking to him, and she soon becomes friends with them.  It soon becomes clear that there is more to this friendship on both sides.  Both Nicole and Jay fall for each other.  The romance between the two is sweet and slowly developed.

The mystery aspect was really well done.  I had no idea who had attacked Nicole until it was revealed.  The hacking part of solving the mystery was well done, though I didn't understand so of it.  I'm not as good with computers as Jay, so I didn't understand how he actually did some of the stuff he did.  Despite this, I still enjoyed the book.

If you like YA contemporary mystery, read this book.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Review: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

What Happens Next How can you talk about something you can’t remember?

Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still...), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.

Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect... or so she thinks.

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s stunning debut is a story about moving on after the unthinkable happens.

My Review:

What Happens Next is a great story of friendship, family, and love.  It touches on many important issues, including rape and eating disorders.  The characters in this book are well-developed and fun to read about.  I completely loved this book.


Sid Murphy is a great character.  She's fun and has a great personality, but she also has some issues.  She clearly isn't completely comfortable with her body.  After she is raped at the beginning of the book, she decides she needs to lose some weight.  She becomes bulimic by running excessively, not eating too much, and throwing up after she does eat too much.  At first, she thinks this isn't a problem.  She thinks that losing a bit of weight is healthy, but as the book progresses she learns she is wrong.  She also hasn't told anyone about the rape, and she sometimes has trouble holding that secret.  By the end of the book, she realizes she needs to tell people.

Corey Livingston is a great character.  At the beginning of the book, Sid only knows him as Corey "the living stoner."  She has many misconceptions about him, since he isn't even actually a stoner.  She meets him when she drops her computer class to work in the A/V room.  He is the only other student there, so she gets to know him.  As she gets him, she discovers that he is a really sweet guy who bakes.  Corey and Sid become friends first, but it is clear that there could be something more.  Their relationship develops slowly and realistically.  He is very sweet on their first date.  He even asks if he can kiss her before he does.  It is clear that he really cares about Sid.  Once he tells her that she needs to gain more weight because he is scared of how much she is losing.

Sid's family and friends are also great characters.  Her mom is mad at the beginning of the book when Sid ran off with a guy on her school ski trip, but she forgives her quickly.  She is very caring.  Sid could have told her mom her secret, and her mom would have helped her through it.  Sid's little brother, Liam, is a sweet six-year-old boy.  He is funny in the scene before Sid's first date with Corey.  Her friends, Kirsten and Paige, are not really there for her after the ski trip incident, but they make up with her before the end.  They end up being the first people that she tells her secret to.  The scene where she tells the secret is very emotional.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #34: The Reece Malcolm List


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:

The Reece Malcolm List

Things I know about Reece Malcolm:

1. She graduated from New York University.
2. She lives in or near Los Angeles.
3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week.
4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon.
5. She’s my mother.

Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much.

L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love.

But then the Reece Malcolm list gets a surprising new entry. Now that Devan is so close to having it all, can she handle the possibility of losing everything?


This sounds like a cute and fun story, and I really like the cover.  I'm curious about the surprising new entry to the Reece Malcolm list.  I can't wait to read this once it's released on February 5th.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, November 12, 2012

Cover: Brianna on the Brink by Nicole McInnes


I really like this cover, and the book sounds great too.  What do you think of the cover?  Brianna on the Brink is releasing in early 2013, so I only have to wait a couple more months.

Here's the Goodreads summary:
 Sixteen-year-old Brianna Taylor finds herself lost, alone and with a major surprise in store after a one-night-stand. Just when she’s got nowhere left to turn, help arrives from the one person who is closest to her big mistake, but accepting that help will leave Brianna forced to choose between clinging to the ledge of fear and abandonment – or jumping into the unknown where a second chance at hope might just be waiting. 


Friday, November 9, 2012

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

My Review:

My Life Next Door is a book I've wanted to read for months, but my library hadn't had it yet.  I finally got my copy this weekend and read through the whole book in  two days or so.  The topics of family, romance, and friendship dealt with in this book are amazing.


Samantha is a great character.  Her mom has taught her to stay away from the family next door, but she has always been envious of them.  She wishes she could have a loving family like that.  Instead, she has her older sister, who is away for the summer with her boyfriend and some friends, and her mom, Grace Reed, the state senator.  Grace is only worried about winning the next election.  She starts dating a man named Clay Tucker, who becomes her campaign manager.  It becomes clear to Samantha that he isn't just managing the campaign, he's managing Grace as well.

I loved Jase's family.  They were all such great characters.  From oldest to youngest, his siblings are Joel, Alice, Jase, Andy, Duff, Harry, George, and Patsy.  They all have their own personalities and play into the story in their own way.  Andy experiences her first relationship as a fourteen-year-old.  George watches a lot of Discovery Channel and learns many facts.  Patsy has two words - boob and poop.  Alice is in nursing school.  The parents are loving and care about all of their kids.

The romance that develops between Jase and Samantha is very sweet.  He happens to climb up her trellis one night and meet her.  One day, he asks her over to his house to help babysit the kids.  Soon, the kids love her, and she becomes like part of the family.  At the same time, she begins to fall for Jase.  The two fall in love fairly quickly, yet it also seems sweet and realistic.  They are a great book couple.

If you like contemporary YA, read this book.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #33: OCD Love Story


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

My pick for this week is:

OCD Love Story

When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he's her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.
But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can't stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic... and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a ton about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she's obsessed.
Bea tells herself she's got it all under control, but this isn't a choice, it's a compulsion. The truth is, she's breaking down... and she might end up breaking her own heart.


This sounds like an interesting story.  I can't wait to read it and meet the characters once it's released on July 23rd.  I also like the color scheme of the cover.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, November 5, 2012

Review: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch


A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen-year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey's younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and the girls are found by their father, a stranger, and taken to re-enter the "normal" life of school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must come to terms with the truth of why their mother spirited them away ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won't let her go ... a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn't spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

IF YOU FIND ME is a riveting mix of psychological tension and page-turning mystery that asks profound questions about family, truth and love.

My Review:

I won an ARC of If You Find Me in a contest back in July, and I've been eagerly waiting to read it since then.  I received my signed ARC and immediately made it the next book I would read as soon as I finished the one I was reading.  I had high expectations for this book, and it definitely did not disappoint.  I finished it within a day, loving the story, the characters, and the writing.  


Carey is a great, strong character.  She had to deal with many difficult things while living in the woods, so she matured early.  She grew up having to pretty much raise her younger sister, Jenessa.  Some things that happened in the woods are things she can't forget, and she can't erase them.  She tries to fit into her new life in modern society, but there are many things she doesn't understand.  After so long in the woods, everything is unfamiliar to her.

The family relationships in this book are very well-written.  It is clear from the start that Carey's father really cares about her and Jenessa.  Carey's mom has told her some lies about her father, and she thinks they are true so she has to get past them.  Carey's father cares equally for Carey and Jenessa, despite the fact that only Carey is his daughter by blood.  Jenessa is Carey's half-sister, the daughter of her mom and some man who isn't in the book.  Carey's stepmom, Melissa, is a great parent.  She becomes like a mother to the girls when they move in.  She seems to care about them as much as she cares about her own daughter, Delaney.  The only person who isn't welcoming to Carey and Jenessa is Delaney, Melissa's fifteen-year-old daughter.  She resents them taking attention away from her.

There is also a well-done friendship with hints of romance in the book.  Carey meets Ryan on her first day of school, and he helps her find her way to homeroom.  He comes out to her when she is playing her violin at lunch in the courtyard.  She begins to open up with him, and they become friends, and possibly more.  Later, he tells her that they actually knew each other as kids.  Their relationship is developed slowly, without becoming a romance right away.

If you like emotional contemporary YA, read this book.  It is going to be released in March 2013.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Cover: Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts 

The cover for this book was revealed last week.  The book sounds awesome, and I like the cover too.  This book is releasing on June 4th, 2013, and I look forward to reading it then.  

Here's the description:

 Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider’s Severed Heads, Broken Hearts is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

November Releases I'm Most Excited For

November 13th:
Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman - This book sounds like it will be an interesting.  Also, I enjoyed My Invented Life by the same author, so I hope this one is just as good.
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill  - This looks like a cute read.  I'm hoping it will have good characters and a good romance.

Miss Fortune CookieMeant to Be