Month: April 2015

[ARC Review] Cold Burn of Magic – Jennifer Estep

Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)

Author: Jennifer Estep

Series: Black Blade #1

Publication Date: April 28th, 2015

Publisher: K-Teen

Number of Pages: 368

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Mystery, Romance

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

There Be Monsters Here. . .

It’s not as great as you’d think, living in a tourist town that’s known as “the most magical place in America.” Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I’ve got my mom’s bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend’s pawn shop, and I have to make a call–get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn’t. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I’m stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I’m going to end up just like her. . .

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[Review] The Complete Maus – Art Spiegelman

The Complete Maus (Maus, #1-2)

Author: Art Spiegelman

Series: Bindup of both volumes

Publication Date: October 1st, 2003

Publisher: Penguin Books

Number of Pages: 296

Genre: Graphic Novels, Historical, Biography

Source: School library

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Combined for the first time here are Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale and Maus II – the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler’s Europe. By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival – and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. A contemporary classic of immeasurable significance. (more…)

[Review] Winger – Andrew Smith

Winger (Winger, #1)

Author: Andrew Smith

Series: Winger #1

Publication Date: May 14th, 2013

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Number of Pages: 439

Genre: Contemporary, YA

Source: Public library

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids in the Pacific Northwest. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

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[ARC Review] Denton Little’s Deathdate – Lance Rubin

Denton Little's Deathdate

Author: Lance Rubin

Series: Denton Little’s Deathdate #1

Publication Date: April 14th, 2015

Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers

Number of Pages: 352

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Sci-fi

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.

Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that’s tomorrow, the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister. Though he’s not totally sure. See: first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager’s life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on. (more…)

[ARC Review] At the Water’s Edge – Sara Gruen

At the Water's Edge

Author: Sara Gruen

Series: None

Publication Date: March 31st, 2015

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Number of Pages: 368

Genre: Historical Fiction, Adult Fiction, Romance

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

In her stunning new novel, Gruen returns to the kind of storytelling she excelled at in Water for Elephants: a historical timeframe in an unusual setting with a moving love story. Think Scottish Downton Abbey.

After embarrassing themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1942, Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off financially by Ellis’s father, a former army Colonel who is already embarrassed by his son’s inability to serve in WWII due to his being colorblind. To Maddie’s horror, Ellis decides that the only way to regain his father’s favor is to succeed in a venture his father attempted and very publicly failed at: he will hunt the famous Loch Ness monster and when he finds it he will restore his father’s name and return to his father’s good graces (and pocketbook). Joined by their friend Hank, a wealthy socialite, the three make their way to Scotland in the midst of war. Each day the two men go off to hunt the monster, while another monster, Hitler, is devastating Europe. And Maddie, now alone in a foreign country, must begin to figure out who she is and what she wants. The novel tells of Maddie’s social awakening: to the harsh realities of life, to the beauties of nature, to a connection with forces larger than herself, to female friendship, and finally, to love. (more…)

#ReadingYourLibrary Weekly Update: Books To Suggest To My Library

Reading My Library Challenge

Yeah I know this is going up the same day that I’m signing up but I wanted to write this post okay?

As I’d stated in my sign-up post, I had started The Archived and Cabinet of Curiosities. I’d already begun reading some of them before I signed up, but I started them in April, so it’s not like I’m cheating too much.

I’m really liking Cabinet of Curiosities so far. It was a mini-blind book date thing I did with my school book club. I’m not a huge fan of the writing style but I’m really intrigued by the plot. As for The Archived, well, I finished it earlier this morning. And freaking fangirl squeals over Wesley Ayers because he’s my new literary crush. Review won’t be going up until much later, but as of now, the rating is going to be somewhere along 3.5-4 stars. I also think I’m going to be reading The Scorpio Trials next. I’ve read about three chapters but I haven’t really gotten much further.

UPDATE: COMPLETE

Okay now on to part two of this post!

I could suggest so many different books for my library to get. So. Many. I’m of the opinion that the teen section of my library is tiny because they fit all of the books onto like two shelves. If I end up writing the other post for this challenge, you’ll get to see what I mean, but believe me when I say that it’s puny. Like part of the reason I’m probably never going to get around to reading some of the books on my tbr is because I can’t get it from the library and I don’t have the money to buy every book I want to read. So yeah, me suggesting books is going to make me sound really selfish because I’d be telling them to buy books that I want to read. I swear I’m not this bad in person!

I think part of the problem is that I’ve become so immersed into the online YA community (in terms of reading blogs) that I know what books are big in the community. There’s just no parallel of the popularity online and in my town. The library here is more likely to want to purchase books that they know will be checked out rather than take a gamble on some book that nobody has ever heard of.

In no particular order……

Any of Emery Lord’s novels – I’m so intrigued by her books. There are so many reviews praising her novels but I just can’t read it because I can’t find it here!

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – This one would be a suggestion to my school library. I don’t know if the public library has it but my school library doesn’t. And that in itself is a crime because this book is so good.

Victoria Schwab’s adult novels – Like VICIOUS and A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC. School library again. Okay I realize that they probably wouldn’t buy these because high schoolers don’t usually read adult books but I think that these books could be read by teenagers. And they’re fabulous and amazing.

While we’re talking about Victoria Schwab….

The public library should also get a copy of The Archived. To be honest, the library probably used to have this book because I distinctly remember seeing this cover displayed on the shelf. I’m guessing that nobody checked it out, and as a result, the book was yanked from the shelves. It’s a really good book so it’s a shame that they don’t have it.

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger – They made a movie adaptation and the public library doesn’t have it. Really. In this case, the school library wins because they actually have a copy (that’s almost always checked out grrr).

Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson – Besides the fact that I’ve been angsting over not having this book in my hands since a year ago, I honestly think this book has a really interesting synopsis. So why not?

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – Another one where the book had high reviews. And the library has Nelson’s other book, The Sky is Everywhere.

Shadows by Paula Weston – I desperately want to read this book. I love the cover and the synopsis. I have this really good gut feeling about the book. But again, like every other book on this list, the library doesn’t have it.

I could probably go on and on about the things that my library lacks (most notably, popular books that I want to read). But at the end of the day, I still really like my library.

What books do you want to suggest to your library?

[Review] The Forty Watt Flowers – C.M. Subasic

The Forty Watt Flowers

Author: C.M. Subasic

Series: None

Publication Date: May 24th, 2014

Publisher: Winking Owl Publications

Number of Pages: 248

Genre: Adult Fiction

Source: Received for review

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Summary

“High-energy alt-rock fiction with a femme fatale twang.”

A comic novel as colorful and gritty as Georgia red clay, The Forty Watt Flowers gives you a moshpit view of the indie band world of Athens, GA. It is a story written in guitar riffs, sweat and hope.

All Trisha wants to do is create something meaningful. Since she’s living in the indie band capital of North America, she brings four other women together and The Forty Watt Flowers are formed. Unfortunately, making great music isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Rosemarie, on keyboards, has a libido as fierce as a hurricane. Aline, the singer, is a hermit, scratching out poems in her antebellum mansion. Juanita, on drums, has a poison tongue too quick on the draw. Toni, on guitar, made the mistake of heading South to come out of the closet.

More challenging than managing this crew of misfits, Trisha needs to undo the destruction of a family. If she reaches out to her parents after two years of radio silence, will they still blame her for the death of her sister?

From the jock atmosphere of the garage where they rehearse to the beer-soaked bars where they gig, these five young women struggle to find beauty in the mess of notes they try to play and the chaos of their lives.

In a world of quick quips, status updates and 140-character philosophy, this book offers a reminder that anything worth doing requires reflection. That artistry, the truths we all recognize, can only be found when we listen deeply to ourselves and those around us.

A playful and sparkling novel full of characters you’ll love to hate and hate to love, The Forty Watt Flowers explores the liberating powers of rock’n’roll in a notorious music town full of the charm of the New South. (more…)