Showing posts from June, 2016

(Review) Vanishing Girls

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver Publication Date: March 10, 2015 Pages: 368 (kindle)  Genre: Young Adult My Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis:
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.
My Review:  I'm going to admit to being a huge Lauren Oliver fan, even though I haven't read her Delirium series. I fe…

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Releases of 2016 (So Far)

I'm super excited about this Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly feature brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. 2016 has been a great year for book releases, so let's get started!

Forget everything you know about Captain Hook (except if you watch Once Upon a Time) and read this book. You won't be sorry. 
While we're talking about pirates...check this out too. 
Do you have a best friend? If so, read this book. Oh, hell, read it even if you don't have a best friend. 
A fluffy-but-not-fluffy about friendship and love. And there's a kitten. 
One of my favorite adult novels, ever. I cried. You will too. 
Seriously amazing story-telling. (Okay, this one doesn't come until next week but it's SO GOOD make sure you read it.) 
Perfect ending to a dark and gritty series. You've got me, Pierce. 
It'd be great if there were sequels to this, like, tomorrow. 
Rick and I have a strange relationship. He writes books, I read them, then I wait years for him to finish…

(Review) Riders

Riders by Veronica Rossi Publication Date: February 16, 2016 Pages: 384 (hardcover)  Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy My Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreds Synopsis:
Nothing but death can keep eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

While recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen—Conquest, Famine, and Death—are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now—bound, bloodied, and drugged—Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for—…

(Review) The Death of Bees

The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell Publication Date: January 2, 2013 Pages: 320 (hardcover)  Genre: Fiction My Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis:
A riveting, brilliantly written debut novel-a coming-of-age story with the strong voice and powerful resonance of Swamplandia! and The Secret Life of Bees—in which two young sisters attempt to hold the world at bay after the mysterious death of their parents.

Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved.

Marnie and her little sister Nelly are on their own now. Only they know what happened to their parents, Izzy and Gene, and they aren’t telling. While life in Glasgow’s Hazlehurst housing estate isn’t grand, they do have each other. Besides, it’s only one year until Marnie will be considered an adult and can legally take care of them both.

As the new year comes and goes, Lennie, the old man next door, realizes that his young neighbors are alone…

(Review) Dumplin'

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy Publication Date: September 15, 2015 Pages: 375 (hardcover)  Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars 
Goodreads Synopsis:  Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the wo…

(Review) When We Collided

When We Collided by Emery Lord Publication Date: April 5, 2016 Pages: 352 (hardcover)  Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars 

Goodreads Synopsis: We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…
Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.

Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.
My Review:  Wow, this book. 
Can that be my review? "Wow!" 
I am a huge fan of Emery's and was definitely anticipating this book. It is full of big characters, bright language, and tough subjects. 
Vivi and Jonah meet in a completely random way and they are both captivated by the encounter. Vivi is differen…

(Review) Wanderlost

Wanderlost by Jen Malone Publication Date: May 31, 2016 Pages: 352 (paperback)  Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult My Goodreads Rating: 3.5 Stars 
Goodreads Synopsis:
Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love…

(Review) This Is Where It Ends

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp Publication Date: January 5, 2016 Pages: 285 (hardcover)  Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult My Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars 
Goodreads Synopsis:
10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.
My Review:  This book has been on my list for a while, but I've just managed to pick it up from the library. In light of recent events I almost set this one aside...but I didn't. 
This is an interesting book. I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. I didn't exactly enjoy it. But I read it and thought abou…

(Review) Something Like Normal

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller Publication Date: September 24, 2013 Pages: 214 (paperback)  Genre: Contemporary My Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars 
Goodreads Synopsis:
Sometimes the best you can hope for is something like normal.
Sometimes what you get might be even better.

After Travis returns home from serving in Afghanistan, adjusting to his former life is anything but easy. Especially since his brother stole his girlfriend (and his car). then he runs into Harper - a girl he wronged who wants nothing to do with him. But there's something different about her now. She's beautiful, smart, strong, and funny... and she might be the only one who can show Travis that there's more to his future than just his past.
My Review:  For a few years now I've seen this book on display at my local Barnes & Noble and I always just kind of pass it by. It was literally everywhere you turned in the store and finally, after buying and reading it, I know why. Trish Doller is from my hometown.…

(Review) The Anatomical Shape of a Heart

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett Publication Date: November 3, 2015 Pages: 304 (hardcover)  Genre: Young Adult My Goodreads Rating: 2.5 Stars 
Goodreads Synopsis:Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive, and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in her family’s closet tear them apart?
My Review:  I don't really have …

(Review) Beneath Wandering Stars

Beneath Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles Publication Date: August 1, 2016 Pages: 272 (hardcover)  Genre: Young Adult My Goodreads Rating: 4.5 Stars 
Goodreads Synopsis:

After her soldier brother is horribly wounded in Afghanistan, Gabriela must honor the vow she made: If anything ever happened to him, she would walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain, making a pilgrimage in his name. The worst part is that the promise stipulates that she must travel with her brother's best friend--a boy she has despised all her life. Her brother is in a coma, and Gabi feels that she has no time to waste, but she is unsure. Will she hesitate too long, or risk her own happiness to keep a promise? An up-close look at the lives of the children of military families, "Beneath Wandering Stars" takes readers on a journey of love, danger, laughter, and friendship, against all odds.
My Review:  This is, in my opinion, what a YA book should be like. Sure, it's a little far-fetched that a seventeen-…

(Review) The Little Paris Bookshop

The LIttle Paris Bookshop by Nina George Publication Date: March 22, 2016 Pages: 416 (paperback)  Genre: Adult  My Goodreads Rating: Did Not Finish

Goodreads Synopsis:  Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the…

(Review) This Side of Home

This Side of Home by Renee Watson Publication Date: February 3, 2015 Pages: 336 (paperback)  Genre: Young Adult  My Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads Synopsis:
Maya Younger and her identical twin sister, Nikki, have always agreed on the important things. Friends. Boys. School. They even plan to attend the same historically African American college.
But nothing can always remain the same.

As their Portland neighborhood goes from rough-and-tumble to up-and-coming, Maya feels her connection to Nikki and their community slipping away. Nikki spends more time at trendy coffee shops than backyard barbecues, and their new high school principal is more committed to erasing the neighborhood's "ghetto" reputation than honoring its history. Home doesn't feel like home anymore. As Maya struggles to hold on to her black heritage, she begins to wonder with whom--or where--she belongs. Does growing up have to mean growing apart?

In a captivating coming-of-age story, RenĂ©e Watson explores …

(Review) With Love from the Inside

With Love from the Inside by Angela Pisel Publication Date: August 9, 2016 Pages: 320  Genre: Adult Fiction My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Angela Pisel’s poignant debut explores the complex relationship between a mother and a daughter, and their quest to discover the truth and whether or not love can prevail—even from behind bars.
Grace Bradshaw knows the exact minute she will die. On death row for murdering her infant son, her last breath will be taken on February 15 at 12:01 a.m. Eleven years, five months, and twenty-seven days separate her from the last time she heard her precious daughter’s voice and the final moment she’d heard anyone call her Mom. Out of appeals, she can focus on only one thing—reconnecting with her daughter and making sure she knows the truth.

Secrets lurk behind Sophie Logan’s big house and even bigger bank account. Every day when she kisses her husband good-bye, she worries her fabricated life is about to come crumbling down. No one knows the un…

(Review) Every Falling Star

Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee, Susan McClelland Publication Date: September 13, 2016 Pages: 336  Genre: Nonfiction My Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
NetGalley Summary:
Every Falling Star
, the first book to portray contemporary North Korea to a young audience, is the intense memoir of a North Korean boy named Sungju who is forced at age twelve to live on the streets and fend for himself. To survive, Sungju creates a gang and lives by thieving, fighting, begging, and stealing rides on cargo trains. Sungju richly re-creates his scabrous story, depicting what it was like for a boy alone to create a new family with his gang, his “brothers”; to be hungry and to fear arrest, imprisonment, and even execution. This riveting memoir allows young readers to learn about other cultures where freedoms they take for granted do not exist.
My Review:  It's always hard going into a nonfiction book or memoir like this and expecting too much from it. Often times I think that we want some big. beautiful story …