Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cover: Bruised by Sarah Skilton


A few days ago, this cover for Sarah Skilton's book, Bruised, was revealed on her blog.  It is being released in March 2013, and I think it sounds awesome.  Now I just have to wait several months for it.

Here's the synopsis:

16-year-old Imogen Malley has spent most of her life in the shadow of her popular older brother, but there is one area in which she excels: martial arts.

As the youngest black belt at her dojang, Imogen loves assistant teaching more than anything in the world, and she plans to open her own martial arts studio one day. Per the Tae Kwon Do student creed, she's come to think of herself as a potential hero, a defender of the weak, and a champion of justice.

Her confidence disappears when she freezes up at an armed robbery that leaves someone dead. Guilt-stricken and numb, Imogen is left to wonder if martial arts failed her, or she failed it. Estranged from her family and friends, who don't understand why she's still beating herself up for failing to act, she struggles to get by on her own, and decides to prove herself by teaching another student how to fight –- no holds barred, no protective gear, no rules.

When the image you have of yourself is shattered, how do you make it whole again?


Friday, September 28, 2012

Cover: Empty by KM Walton


I actually did a cover post for Empty a few months ago, and now I'm doing another cover post for the same book.  The cover of this book has been changed.  I liked the original cover a lot, but I really like this one too.  I like the way the word empty is shown four times, fading each time.  It gives a cool effect.

Here's the book summary:

 Dell is used to disappointment. Ever since her dad left, it’s been one let down after another. But no one—not even her best friend—gets all the pain she’s going through. So Dell hides behind self-deprecating jokes and forced smiles.

Then the one person she trusts betrays her. Dell is beyond devastated. Without anyone to turn to for comfort, her depression and self-loathing spin out of control. But just how far will she go to make all of heartbreak and the name-calling stop?


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #27: Uses for Boys

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

 My pick for this week is:

Uses for Boys
Anna remembers a time before boys, when she was little and everything made sense. When she and her mom were a family, just the two of them against the world. But now her mom is gone most of the time, chasing the next marriage, brining home the next stepfather. Anna is left on her own—until she discovers that she can make boys her family. From Desmond to Joey, Todd to Sam, Anna learns that if you give boys what they want, you can get what you need. But the price is high—the other kids make fun of her; the girls call her a slut. Anna's new friend, Toy, seems to have found a way around the loneliness, but Toy has her own secrets that even Anna can't know.

Then comes Sam. When Anna actually meets a boy who is more than just useful, whose family eats dinner together, laughs, and tells stories, the truth about love becomes clear. And she finally learns how it feels to have something to lose—and something to offer. Real, shocking, uplifting, and stunningly lyrical, Uses for Boys is a story of breaking down and growing up.
This sounds like a good story.  I want to see Anna actually falling for a guy for the first time.  I can't wait to get it once it is released on January 15th.

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday?


Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues

34 Pieces of You A dark and moving novel—reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why—about the mystery surrounding a teenage girl’s fatal overdose.

There was something about Ellie... Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance, and kept watch.

Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are 34 clues she left behind. 34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. 34 secrets of a brief and painful life.

Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they begin to confront the darkest truths about themselves, they will also find out what Ellie herself had been hiding all along....

My Review:

34 Pieces of You is an amazing book that explores family, friendship, and relationships.  It is told in the perspectives of three different characters - Jake, Jessie, and Sarah - and it is easy to tell who is narrating each chapter.  Also, the story often jumps back in time to before Ellie's death.  To keep the reader from getting confused by the time changes, each chapter is clearly marked with "before" or "after" and the month in which the scene took place.


Since the book has such stunning characterization,  I'm going to spend a paragraph talking about each narrator, and his or her relationships with the other characters.  The first one I'm going to talk about is Jessie, my personal favorite of the three narrators.  Jess is a great character.  She is sweet and kind, and everything that happened to her sister and Ellie has begun to break her inside.  This is probably the biggest spoiler I'll give away, so don't read the next few sentences if you don't want to be spoiled.  Before Ellie's death, Jess had begun to have feelings for Ellie, and the two of them had begun a secret relationship.  The night before Ellie died, Ellie had betrayed Jess by sleeping with a boy.  Jess wanted to be with Ellie, but the relationship was hurting her because she couldn't be sure if Ellie felt the same way about her.

Another one of the narrators was Sarah, Jess's older sister and Ellie's best friend.  The friendship between Sarah and Ellie began on Sarah's twelfth birthday party.  As she became friends with Ellie, she began to become involved in things that weren't good for her.  The night Ellie died, both she and Sarah had overdosed on pills.  Sarah survived, while Ellie didn't.  Sarah is confused about her relationships with boys.  She has been interested in Ellie's brother, Jake, for years, ever since she was twelve and he was thirteen.  He hasn't seemed to show much interest in her, though, and his best friend, Tommy, has been pursuing her.  She isn't sure if she should be with Tommy since she has feelings for Jake.  Sarah's mental health is not so good, and she often goes to see a therapist.  She is clearly broken and struggling after Ellie's death.

Jake is Ellie's older brother.  He feels guilty about her death because he left for college when he knew Ellie didn't want him to leave.  He promised her that he would come back right away if she needed him, but, when she called, he didn't come until the next day, and it was too late then.  He doesn't come back home after her death because he's trying to escape his problems.  He begins a relationship with a girl in college, but he finds himself thinking about Ellie's death and about Sarah.  He clearly has some kind of feelings for Sarah, and he realizes that he needs to come to terms with them.  He also feels guilty because he knew a secret of Ellie's.  This secret was one of the reasons that she was not okay, but he didn't try to get help for her.  Instead, he went off to college and left her behind.

If you like dark YA contemporary, read this book.