Posted in Writing, YA book reviews, YA books, YAlit

YA Scavenger Hunt: Stop 72

From June 1-7th, the Alliance of Young Adult Authors is sponsoring a massive (as in $1000 worth of prizes massive)  young adult scavenger hunt.

 

This is a chance to meet some new authors, grab a bunch of free books, and sign up to win a whole bunch of epic prizes! In addition to the $500 grand prize, each of the authors will be offering free books and other prizes.

RULES

Each author will be given a special keyword, which will be bolded and all caps like this: BUTTERFLIES.

All you have to do is visit all the author’s sites in this order, write down the special keywords to discover the short story, then enter the giveaway with the completed secret legend.

There will be one main giveaway for the main prize, but most of the participating authors will also have smaller giveaways for free books, amazon credit and author swag, so make sure you read their post carefully to see what else they’re offering while you’re on their site for the keyword.

My Independent Giveaway

I’ve got 4 copies of the They Call Me Alexandra Gastone Audiobook up for grabs in the rafflecopter below!  If you’ve already read They Call Me Alexandra Gastone, I can then offer the sequel, My Name Is Milena Rokva instead!

What others have been saying about Alexandra Gastone…

“An intricate, debut spy thriller…readers will keep turning pages, and the surprise ending will have them anxiously awaiting a sequel.” —Booklist

“…the intersection of action, espionage, and drama makes for solid…entertainment: readers will gladly sit back and watch Alexandra navigate the obstacle course that comes with playing her role too well. It’s a strong debut for New Zealand author Maclagan.” —Publisher’s Weekly

“Death-threats, global takeover, double-agents, hidden files and a blown cover—by the time you get to the shocking conclusion of this cliff-hanger, you won’t know who to trust…” —Girls’ Life

 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

My word in the scavenger hunt (#72) is:

In case you missed it, my secret word is FATHER!

Join my word with all 140 other fantabulous words and you’ve got the key to the hunt and can be in to win a HUGE prize!

Remember to put together the words in order (from 1 ~ 140) to reconstruct the “Secret Legend.” If you couldn’t find a post, or an author forgot to upload something, 3 blank spaces are allowed.

When you’re done, enter the grand prize here.

If you have any questions, make sure to visit the main post and list of participating authors here. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back at the blog or on social media in the future!

Advertisements
Posted in Writing, YA book reviews, YA books, YAlit

Scythe by Neil Shusterman: A Review

img_4010

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Two teens must learn the “art of killing” in this Printz Honor–winning book, the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

Amazon/Goodreads

My Review:

Scythe is my first book by Neal Shusterman and it won’t be my last! In a world where disease, war and natural deaths are a thing of the past, the Scythes help keep the population down to a manageable size in an otherwise immortal world. The novel’s main characters, Citra and Rowan, are scythes in training and face a harrowing road as they learn to become sanctioned killers, as the best candidates for Scythedom are those who take the least enjoyment from the job. Citra and Rowan quickly learn that not all Scythes are created equal as a fissure in the organization threatens the very fabric of their narrowly balanced society. With a plot that will keep you on your toes, engaging characters and loads of philosophical questions about mortality to engage your mind, Scythe is a seriously fun and fast read.

Verdict: An elegant sci-fi tale perfect for those who want to ponder the bigger life questions while still having a rip-roaring good time.

 

Have you read Scythe? What’d ya think? What should be my next Shusterman novel?

Posted in Writing, YA book reviews, YA books, YAlit

The 20 Books I Can’t Wait to Read in 2017!

A new year means a slew of new books to add to the TBR pile! Here are the top 20 new books I can’t wait to get my hands on this year! I’ve got contemporary, thrillers, fantasy, dystopians and sequels galore. My goal this year…to read 100 books!

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

5139zwihtyl-_sy346_Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.
There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

 

Now I Rise by Kiersten White

51e7vpkgnel-_sx329_bo1204203200_Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.

 

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (cover and synopsis not currently available so posting information about the first in the series. )

41nhwszqa7l-_sx328_bo1204203200_In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

 

Ferocious by Paula Stokes (Synopsis not currently available so I’ve included the synopsis for the first in the series, Vicarious)

51zm0y6s17l-_sx324_bo1204203200_Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together, the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States. But they’ve escaped the past and started over in a new place where no one knows who they used to be.

Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you—for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.

 

The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes

51imtvbkezlMolly Mavity is not a normal teenage girl. For one thing, her father is a convicted murderer, and his execution date is fast approaching. For another, Molly refuses to believe that her mother is dead, and she waits for the day when they’ll be reunited . . . despite all evidence that this will never happen.

Pepper Al-Yusef is not your average teenage boy. A Kuwaiti immigrant with epilepsy, serious girl problems, and the most useless seizure dog in existence, he has to write a series of essays over the summer . . . or fail out of school.

And Ava Dreyman—the brave and beautiful East German resistance fighter whose murder at seventeen led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall—is unlike anyone you’ve met before.

When Molly gets a package leading her to Pepper, they’re tasked with solving a decades-old mystery: find out who killed Ava, back in 1989. Using Ava’s diary for clues, Molly and Pepper realize there’s more to her life—and death—than meets the eye. Someone is lying to them. And someone out there is guiding them along, desperate for answers.

At turns heart-racing, hilarious, and heartbreaking, The Arsonistis an intricate tapestry—of love, loss, and the mysterious connections between us all.

 

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

51gyhx8eidl-_sy346_She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

 

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

51a1jxavdglScarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

 

Exo By Fonda Lee

51nxzemslglIt’s been a century of peace since Earth became a colony of an alien race with far reaches into the galaxy. Some die-hard extremists still oppose alien rule on Earth, but Donovan Reyes isn’t one of them. His dad holds the prestigious position of Prime Liaison in the collaborationist government, and Donovan’s high social standing along with his exocel (a remarkable alien technology fused to his body) guarantee him a bright future in the security forces. That is, until a routine patrol goes awry and Donovan’s abducted by the human revolutionary group Sapience.

When Sapience realizes who Donovan’s father is, they think they’ve found the ultimate bargaining chip. But the Prime Liaison doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, not even for his own son. Left in the hands of terrorists who have more uses for him dead than alive, the fate of Earth rests on Donovan’s survival. Because if Sapience kills him, it could spark another intergalactic war. And Earth didn’t win the last one…

 

Seize Today by Pintip Dunn (The cover and synopsis are not currently available so I’ve include the cover and synopsis for the first in the series)

514kuq3b9alImagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self. 

It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision — a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in prison. The only person who can help is her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years.

Logan breaks her free, but can she trust him? He’s almost the same boy she remembers, but now he’s a whole lot hotter. And he’s got his own past to deal with. Callie’s falling for him, fast, but she soon learns he has secrets of his own. Secrets that mean they can never be together.

Now, Callie’s on the run not only from the government, but also from her fate. If she wants any hope of a future with Logan, she must find a way to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all — herself.

 

Starfall by Melissa Landers

61w5psildjlWhen Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home…but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend…with occasional benefits. Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn’t exactly in need of heroics–she’s claimed her birthright as Eturia’s queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn’t a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia–and is certain she returns his feelings–but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen? When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family’s complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.

 

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman (Cover and synopsis are not yet available. I’ve included the cover and synopsis for the first in the series)

51nu74ojq5l-_sy346_Two teens must learn the “art of killing” in the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

 

The United Continuums by Jennifer Brody

31921412In the epic conclusion to the award-winning Continuum Trilogy, Aero leads a group insurgents from the Second Continuum to overthrow his rival Supreme General Vinick and unite his space colony s military forces, while Seeker takes on a secret mission back to her home colony to reinforce Earth’s defenses and defend the First Continuum against an even greater threat. Meanwhile, Myra s nightmares have become a reality as the Dark Thing hurtles toward Earth with designs on eradicating the planet s fledgling populace. The only thing standing in the way are the three Carriers and those who would join them to fight against a second coming of the Doom.

 

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

51rqfxa5j1l-_sy346_The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

 

Divided by Madeline Dyer (The cover is currently unavailable so I’ve included a cover for the first in the Untamed Series)

51jqdwz0dulHaving been tricked into binding herself to the Enhanced Ones in the War of Humanity, Untamed human Seven Sarr has never felt more exploited or used. When Raleigh forces her to develop her Seer powers and use them on a most innocent target, Seven knows it’s only a matter of time before the Enhanced Ones use her to wipe out the rest of her people.

Certain that the only way to save the Untamed would be to get back full control of her soul, Seven must get the Gods and Goddesses to trust her again. Only they can destroy her Enhanced Promise Marks, and prevent her enemy from controlling her.

But these are the same Gods and Goddesses who have already branded Seven a traitor, and exiled her from the Dream Land, fearing she will cause their deaths. With no way to contact the Gods and Goddesses herself, Seven needs help. And she needs it quickly, before the war is over and she loses Corin, and the rest of the Untamed, for good.

Yet, in a world as dangerous as this, only one thing’s for sure: no one trusts a traitor twice.

 

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

51hd9rvj95lCarver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. But now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, a powerful judge is pressuring the district attorney to open up a criminal investigation.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a “goodbye day” together to share their memories and say a proper farewell.

Soon the other families are asking for their own goodbye day with Carver—but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these goodbye days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?

 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

41ctgemfolInspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

 

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz

618d1qym72lSal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

 This humor-infused, warmly humane look at universal questions of belonging is a triumph.

 

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

51athrglymlGrace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

 

This Is How It Happened by Paula Stokes

51xyd-l3z9lAfter waking up from a coma, Genevieve Grace can’t remember the car crash that killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTuber turned teen music idol. Genevieve knows she was driving, but because of what’s been reported in the media, everyone assumes the other driver, Brad Freeman, is guilty. As she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—what if she’s the one at fault?

While the internet and social media viciously condemn Brad, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house near Zion National Park to hide from curious classmates and intrusive reporters. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident. And eventually, she will have to come to grips with what happened…and her role in it.

 

What books are you most looking forward to?

Posted in Writing, YA book reviews, YA books, YAlit

YA Scavenger Hunt Fall 2016 Begins Soon!

ya_scavengerhunt_webbannerhalloween

It’s coming!

The hunt will run Oct 4th to Oct 9th!

 

detective-walking-90882

There are six teams this year, each with 20 authors! That’s 120 possible books up for grabs!

Check out the teams below to see which teams your favorite authors will be on and what their featured book will be.

This year there is also a Goodreads list of all the featured books, so head on over and vote for your favorite teams!

 

 

blue-team-yash-fall-2016gold-team-yash-fall-2016green-team-yash-fall-2016orange-team-yash-fall-2016

red-team-yash-fall-2016

purple-team-yash-fall-2016

 

___________

 

And in case you missed it…They Call Me Alexandra Gastone is still on sale for $0.99. It’s best described as Veronica Mars Meets The Americans!

available-now-4

Posted in Writing, YA book reviews, YA books, YAlit

Waiting on Wednesday: A Tyranny of Petticoats

 photo NewWoW_zpsd30de423.jpg
Given that books are one of my favorite things in the world, I’ve decided to jump on the Waiting on Wednesday bandwagon because few things bring me greater joy than pimping books I’ve either read or can’t wait to read. In case you haven’t heard of it, WoW is a weekly meme created by Jill from Breaking the Spine where bloggers highlight what books they are eagerly awaiting!

 

My pick this week is A Tyranny of Petticoats, an anthology edited by Jessica Spotswood! I’m loving the cover of this book and they pretty  much had me at ’15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls’! As someone who loved pretending they were a badass as a child (I was totally Wonder Woman all the damn time) and as  a connoisseur of badass babes (Buffy and Nikita are my girls), this book is so up my alley, it’s not even funny!
This is what the big wig reviewers are saying…Brassy bank robbers, brave trailblazers, and ball-busting débutantes make all sorts of noise in this collection of 15 stories…Each individual story is thoroughly researched, and each includes an author’s note explaining the context. The heroines are tough and memorable and full of heart, and the concept is irresistible. Stock up—this one will practically sell itself.
—Booklist (starred review)
A Tyranny of Petticoats

Amazon

 

Crisscross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They’re making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.

Posted in Writing, YA book reviews, YA books, YAlit

Book Recommendations-February Part 2

So way, way back in December I posted the first part of my December recommended books list. This is the second part of that list. Needless to say, time got away from me! Eek! I vow to be better in the future. My current blogging plan is to do a Friday – all things bookish recap, which will include any books I’ve finished that week and would recommend, and what’s been going on in my writing life (ie. upcoming book news, articles I’ve written for BookBub etc.)

Without further ado, here are some wonderful reads that I loved…

 

Made for You by Melissa Marr: A taut paranormal mystery with a deliciously deranged bad guy. I get chills just thinking about him.

Unknown-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pixelated by L.S. Murphy: Pixelated is seriously underrated! It’s an adorably sweet contemporary romance and this is coming from a girl who doesn’t generally like that kind of thing.

Unknown-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossover by Kwame Alexander: Crossover was my first experience of a story told in verse since the epic poems I was forced to read in high school.  Fortunately, this one was much more engaging! I real heartwrencher!

Unknown-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler: One of the best stories about toxic BFFs I’ve read with a great mystery sub-story.

Unknown-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: Oh my freaking God!!! One of my favorite books read last year! One of my favorite books read in the last five years! I loved Simon. I loved his voice! I loved his story of growth!

Unknown-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin: Great execution of a clever proposition…what if we all knew our death dates? Funny as hell!

51-TnUjkcqL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_

 

 

 

 

 

 

Killer Instinct by S.E. Green: A really fun YA Dexter!

Unknown-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman: If you like YA and you like Westerns then check this out! Bowman really captured the essence of the Wild West!

Unknown-15

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vendetta by Catherine Doyle: An atmospheric suspense thriller with a side order of not 1, but 5 hot mafia brothers! Oh la la! Don’t let the so so cover of this one fool you, it’s damn good!

51whsIjXobL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz: Aristotle and Dante deserved every one of those cool metallic stickers on its cover! A great coming-of-age story that was thought provoking as hell! Loved it.

Unknown-11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon: A sweet romance with a light but interesting sprinkling of suspense. Ollie was pretty awesome as book boyfriends go!

Unknown-16

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll: Not YA but still awesome! Very dark with a barely likeable but utterly compelling protagonist. I couldn’t put it down!

51HMfl5xx9L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green: This is probably my least favorite John Green book but in saying that, I still really loved it. I can’t quite put my finger on what makes his books so engaging, but they really are something special.

Unknown-3

Posted in Writing, YA book reviews, YA books, YAlit

Waiting on Wednesday: Girl Against the Universe

 photo NewWoW_zpsd30de423.jpg
Given that books are one of my favorite things in the world, I’ve decided to jump on the Waiting on Wednesday bandwagon because few things bring me greater joy than pimping books I’ve either read or can’t wait to read. In case you haven’t heard of it, WoW is a weekly meme created by Jill from Breaking the Spine where bloggers highlight what books they are eagerly awaiting!

 

This week I’m highlighting Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes, which hits bookstores May 17th! Paula is one of my favorite YA authors. The girl seriously has a gift with words as well as a true knack for plotting. I loved both Liars, Inc. and The Art of Lainey and can’t wait to get my hands on GATU.

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

From the author of The Art of Lainey and Liars, Inc. comes a fresh, contemporary story about one girl’s tragic past and a boy who convinces her that maybe her luck is about to change. Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen or Jenny Han.

Maguire knows she’s bad luck. No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch. But then on her way out of her therapist’s office, she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star, who wants to help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away, but staying away may be harder than she thought.

Amazon | Goodreads

What book is making you pant with anticipation this week? Sound off in the comments!

Posted in Book Reviews, Writing, YA book reviews, YA books, YAlit

Book Recommendations-Dec 2015 Part 1

It’s been a while since I did a book recommendations post, so long in fact, that I’m doing it as a 2 parter because I’ve read so many great things. I’ve been on a real winning streak as of late in the book department. Before I dig in, I’ll point your attention to the rafflecopter below. I’m giving away a $15 gift card to Amazon or B&N to celebrate my book being chosen as a $1.99 Amazon Holiday Deal. Check out the rafflecopter, if you haven’t already!

*********** a Rafflecopter giveaway**********

Now onto the recommendations…

Tracked by Jenny Martin-In my humble opinion this book hasn’t been getting the attention it deserves. On the surface it’s about car racing on a distant, dystopian-type planet but it’s also about so much more than that. It’s about politics, love, loyalty and family and has a first rate heroine in Phee. Tracked is Hunger Games good!

Unknown-10

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes-I’m not a contemporary romance type person but decided to read Lainey because I loved Paula Stokes’ other book, Liars, Inc. I wasn’t expecting much because the genre really isn’t my cup of tea but I ended up being totally charmed. I shipped on Micah, the male lead, hard!
Unknown-7

 

 

 

 

 

Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez-If you like noir style thrillers, you’re going to want to check out Kiss Kill Vanish! It had me from the first chapter. Martinez is a master at creating atmosphere and there were so many awesome twists and turns in KKV. KKV just so happens to also be a $1.99 Amazon Holiday Deal at the moment so grab yourself a copy!

Unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mosquitoland by David Arnold-This book had an incredible voice in Mary Iris Malone, also known as, Mim, and was a really good example of a road trip story. I loved tagging along with Mim on her journey. Mosquitoland was such a believable and heart felt story with a great cast of secondary characters, I’d love to meet in real life.

Unknown-9

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until Beth by Lisa Amowitz-A romping great read about a school for powered people. A Harry Potter meets Super Heroes type affair that was loads of fun! And just look at that beautiful cover! I’ve got major cover envy!

Unknown-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard-Some books get a lot of undeserved hype but Red Queen delivered on all the hype and then some. I can’t wait to read the next in the series! Mare was a great heroine you can really connect with and the court intrigue was…well… intriguing!
41eujsCHOqL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_

 

 

 

 

 

Girl Stolen by April Henry- As per usual, April Henry delivers a great thriller. This one was made all the more interesting with the heroine being a blind kidnap victim.

Unknown-17

 

 

 

 

 

 

Untamed by Madeline Dyer-Katniss Everdeen meets Mad Max! A very unique dystopian novel with a killer heroine. An edge of your seat ride!

Unknown-7

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher-Fisher is an indie author success story and after reading Mud Vein, I can see why. Mud Vein starts off with the two main characters trapped inside a house in a dark, snowed in landscape and Fisher does an amazing  job of creating a sense of claustrophobia to go along with their entrapment. In addition to that claustrophobia, Fisher created two characters who are so beautifully and realistically flawed and broken you can’t help but be intrigued by their journey.

Unknown-5

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Am Her Revenge by Meredith Moore-Moore has a really beautiful writing style and does a great job of creating a uniquely moody atmosphere for her revenge story.

51RkDvIAt3L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 5th Wave and The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey-The 5th Wave and its followup The Infinite Sea are two of the most realistic alien invasion stories I’ve ever read. I was utterly riveted and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. What most surprised me about these books was the level of the philosophical debate. These books aren’t just a fun romp but actually ask meaningful questions about humanity and what it means to be human.  I can’t wait for the final book in the trilogy and the movie!

Unknown

51d3uYwgrcL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

Posted in Writing, YA book reviews, YA books, YAlit

Interview with YA Author Jessica Brody

Jessica Brody, the author of the UNREMEMBERED Trilogy, is visiting the blog today! I loved Unremembered and am super excited it’s being made into a movie. It’s tailor-made for moviedom!

School Library Journal had this to say about Unremembered: “Seraphina’s strong voice, feeling of isolation, and desperate need to understand the world around her will ring true with teens. They will have a hard time putting this book down as they struggle to solve Seraphina’s mystery alongside her.” I couldn’t agree more and I’m not even a teen!

jessicabrody

Unknown Unknown-2 Unknown-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Some memories are better left forgotten 

After a daring escape from the Diotech scientists who created her, Seraphina and Zen believe they are finally safe from the horrors of her past. But new threats await them at every turn as Zen falls prey to a mysterious illness and Sera’s extraordinary abilities make it more and more difficult to stay hidden. Meanwhile, Diotech has developed a dangerous new weapon designed to apprehend Sera. A weapon that even Sera will be powerless to stop. Her only hope of saving Zen’s life and defeating the company that made her is a secret buried deep within her mind. A secret that Diotech will kill to protect. And it won’t stay forgotten for long. Packed with mystery, suspense, and romance, Unforgotten is the riveting second installment of Jessica Brody’s Unremembered trilogy, and delivers more heart-pounding action as loyalties are tested, love becomes a weapon, and no one’s memories are safe.

Let’s dig in and get to know Jessica!

Favorite book(s) read in the last year?

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Favorite movies?

Inside Out

Inception

Sliding Doors

13 Going on 30

Favorite tv shows?

How I Met Your Mother

Friends

Nashville

The Mindy Project

Shameless

Favorite travel destinations so far?

Paris, France

Rome, Italy

Disneyworld!!!

Rio de Janeiro!

 Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 1.41.01 pm

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s me on my last trip to Disney. J

Where in the world would you like to go next?

I would love to visit Asia. I’ve never been!

What are your hobbies outside of writing? 

Well, if you follow me on Instagram, you know this answer! I’m a big fan of doing nail art. I like creating nail art designs around books. Here’s my design for GET EVEN by Gretchen McNeil!

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 1.41.12 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any pets?

Another question my Instagram followers can answer with certainty! I post nothing but nail art and dog photos! Yes, I have four dogs and I love them to death. Here’s three of them with my Unremembered Trilogy.

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 1.41.22 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you tell us one weird fact about yourself?

I’m super squemish about belly buttons. No ONE (including me) can touch my belly button. I once woke up from a dead sleep screaming when my husband tried to touch my belly button! I KNOW!

Everyone has a bit of an inner geek inside them, can you tell us what causes you to geek out?

I’m a HUGE tech geek. I have to have all the latest gadgets, apps, and software.

Unchanged, the third book in your Unremembered trilogy just came out? Did you know going into Unremembered that you wanted to do a trilogy? Was everything mapped out in your head for all three books? If so, did any major changes come about that you weren’t expecting?

I always knew it would be a trilogy! And in fact, I had the general ideas for books 1, 2 and 3 mapped out before I even started writing book 1! Of course a LOT has changed along the way. Particularly the titles. I always knew book 1 and 2 would be Unremembered and Unforgotten. Those two titles just kind of fit together. But with book 3, the title changed 5 times. Ironic since the title is now Unchanged. 

When I first sold the trilogy the title was Unchosen which I never liked but it was a working title. Then I wanted to call it Unloved but everyone thought that was really freaking depressing. Ha! After that it was called Unbroken, but there were too many other stories/songs called that. Then it was Unchained, but my editor worried it sounded too much like Django Unchained. Then we finally landed on Unchanged. PHEW!

Can you fill in this sentence…If people love_______________________, then they’ll love The UnRemembered Trilogy.

I have a few!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Lost (TV show)

Origin by Jessica Khoury

Orphan Black (TV show)

The Bourne Identity

 

What’s next on your writing horizon now that you’ve finished the trilogy?

So much fun stuff! I actually have two books releasing next year (2016) and they’re both contemporaries! Yup, I’m taking a little break from sci-fi and returning to my contemporary roots.

The first is called BOYS OF SUMMER (May 2016) and it’s about three boys who are best friends and have been coming to the same island every summer since they were kids. But this summer, they each bring with them some heavy-duty problems that they’ve been dealing with during the year, which tests the limits of their friendship. It’s just as juicy, dramatic, and romantic as any good beach read, but it’s told from three male points of view!

Then, after that my book A WEEK OF MONDAYS releases (August 2016). It’s a contemporary with a magical twist about a teen girl who lives through the worst Monday of her life (in which her boyfriend breaks up with her) and then wakes up the next day to discover it’s the exact same Monday. She has to keep reliving this horrible day until she figures out how to fix it! This one is definitely more of a comedy.

I’m so excited about BOTH books!

Last question, how are things progressing on the Unremembered movie front? I’d love to see the book make it to the big screen!

The movie is definitely moving forward. They are in full-steam development mode now. They have a screenplay and will soon be casting and attaching a director. It’s SUPER exciting! I can’t wait to see it on the big screen! And I really can’t wait to see who they cast for Seraphina!

Thank you SO MUCH T.A. for such a fun interview!

 

Connect with Jessica via her blog, twitter, tumblr and Facebook!

 

Posted in Writing, YA book reviews, YA books, YAlit

Interview with YA Author Michelle Madow

Today on the blog, a quick and dirty interview with Michelle Madow, the author behind The Secret Diamond Sisters!

Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in The Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” music video. Michelle’s latest YA series, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner, was published in March 2014 by Harlequin Teen. The second book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, released in November 2014, and the third book, Diamonds are Forever, will be coming out in November 2015. Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing.

 

Unknown-2

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 3.38.26 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon Synopsis:

Three sisters. One billionaire father. What could go wrong?

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad–a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite.

Suddenly the Strip’s most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

 

Alright, let’s dive right in!

Favorite book(s) read in the last year?

The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver, Every Day by David Levithan, and The Heir by Kiera Cass.

Everyone has a bit of an inner geek inside them, can you tell us what causes you to geek out?

BOOKS, of course! I’m also a huge fan of Star Wars, Walking Dead, and the reality show Big Brother. I go as far as purchasing the Big Brother Live Feeds so I can watch the houseguests whenever I want!

Can you tell us about your inspiration for The Secret Diamond Sisters trilogy?

I was walking through my favorite hotel in Las Vegas — The Wynn — when I thought, “What would it be like to live here?” From there, the idea for The Secret Diamond Sisters formed! I love how the city bursts with magic and excitement. Vegas does everything as big as possible, so being there is like entering a fantasyland. My favorite part is definitely all the different hotels. Each one is a different theme, and they all have such distinct personalities. A few of my favorite hotels are mentioned in The Secret Diamond Sisters (Paris, the Venetian, and many implications to the Wynn), so hopefully readers are transported into these magical hotels while they’re reading the book!

I’ve always been curious about author’s writing and reading spaces. Would you mind sharing where the magic happens?

I write in my bedroom, on my bed! I’ve never liked working at a desk, because it feels so restrained. It’s so comfy to recline while working. I keep my door closed, because I can’t have any distractions while writing. I can’t even listen to music while I work, because it’s so distracting!

Since I’m a movie addict, would you be willing to indulge me and give us your dream movie cast for the book?

I have my dream cast listed here on my blog!

p.txt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting the blog Michelle!

Connect with Michelle on Facebook (/MichelleMadow), Twitter (@MichelleMadow), and Instagram (@MichelleMadow). Visit Michelle online at www.michellemadow.com.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow’s Street Team on Facebook!