Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review: The Sidekicks

Title: The Sidekicks
Author: Will Kostakis
Publisher: Penguin Teen Australia
Date of Publication: February 29th 2016
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Genre: YA Contemporary

Three boys are called to the Principal's office. For one this is a reasonably regular occurrence, but for the others it's a little more unusual, and none of them expected to see the others there. Within they find out that their friend, Isaac, has died. The details are sketchy and none of them can really absorb the news at that point. They can't turn to each other - they weren't friends, Isaac was their common denominator and without him they have nothing to keep them together.

What follows is each of the three, Ryan, Harley and Miles, coming to terms with their loss and trying to find their new normal without Isaac. With no real idea how to relate to each other without the buffer of Isaac, the three struggle to relate to each other, and to fill the hole that Isaac has left.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Book Review: Wild Swans

Wild Swans
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Page Count: 304
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

Ivy Milbourn has lived her entire life in the shadow of her family's legacy. Milbourn women are immensely talented, but often meet tragic ends. Her great grandmother was an award winning poet who was murdered. Her grandmother was a gifted artist who drowned herself in the bay, steps away from her house. The exact same house that Ivy has grown up in. That's a lot to deal with as everyone in town waits to see what Ivy will excel at while waiting to see how she will self destruct. The pressure to find her talent makes Ivy insecure as she feels that she will never be anything more than average. She has decided instead of taking college courses and various workshops for the summer that she wants to be a normal teenager. She plans to spend her time volunteering at the library, soaking up sunshine, and spending time with her friends.

Waiting on Wednesday: Strange the Dreamer

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where she spotlights upcoming releases.

This week I am waiting on:
Strange the Dreamer
By: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: September 27th 2016

 Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy is one of my favourite series so the announcement that she had a new book coming was very exciting. I can't wait for Strange the Dreamer in September. We don't have a lot of information yet, but what we do know is intriguing.

Strange the Dreamer is the story of: 

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Book Review: Dear Emma

Dear Emma
Published By: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Page Count: 320
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Adult - Fiction

Harriet writes the “Dear Emma” advice column of her college’s student paper, and she excels at giving her readers the tough-love advice they need. When Harriet is ignored by Keith, the guy she had been dating, she finds out how hard it is to follow the advice she so willingly dispenses to others. To make things even more complicated, Keith begins dating Remy, Harriet’s new co-worker at the campus library. One guess as to who writes to Dear Emma for help… 

Within the first five pages of Dear Emma, I had developed the hugest crush on this book! I loved the witty back-and-forth between Harriet and her roommates, Logan and Mel. The exchange that ended with: “‘All I’m saying is that if you’re going to willingly participate in our society’s regressive mating rituals, the partner you select should at least bring some survival skills to the table,’ she continued. ‘Keith has no useful skills. He’s a philosophy major.’” (p.8) had me laughing myself to tears. As Harriet flashes back to her first encounters and dates with Keith, I felt giddy and swoony. 

Teaser Tuesday: Summer Days and Summer Nights, Please Don't Tell, & Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature, hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat.

From the first, her hours with Eli had been warm sand islands, the refuge that had made the murky swim through the rest of the year bearable.

~ "Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail" by Leigh Bardugo from Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins, Kindle Location 424 (ARC)

The thing about feelings is that they're not separated into neat packets you can open one at a time. They're snarled up in a big ball of string. If you pull on one string, everything comes apart. Levi's pulling hard and I'm about the unravel.

~ Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims, Kindle Location 4021 (ARC)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Titans

Top Three Reasons This Looks Like a Great Spring Read:

1. I love historical fiction and the early 1900's is particularly fascinating.
2. My knowledge of Texas history is lacking.
3. I love novels that focus on relationships and I'm interested in how these main characters find themselves intertwined.

Cover Crazy: The Things I Didn't Say

The purpose of Cover Crazy is to feature a cover each week for us to admire its beauty. I really like this idea since there are so many great covers out there! Cover Crazy is a meme that was started by The Book Worms.

This week I'm featuring The Things I Didn't Say by Kylie Fornasier

The protagonist in The Things I Didn't Say has selective mutism and is unable to speak in most situations, other than with very close friends and family. I love the way this is represented on the cover with her mouth appearing to be torn out of the picture. I also find her expression intriguing. Is that sadness, or regret?

I'd love to know what you think of the cover.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Magic Lamp Sunday 5/1/16

We discovered this feature at Ya-Aholic, where it ran on Fridays. It sounded like a fun addition to our lineup, but fits better here on Sundays. It's based on the basic Magic Lamp = 3 wishes idea. Since there are so many of us, though, we're just taking one wish each per week. 

If we had a Magic Lamp, we'd wish:  

Julie: I wish I had a personal stylist. Inspired by Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong.

Nicole: I wish I could dream magical items. Inspired by The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater.

Andrea: I wish I had Claire's healing and plant knowledge - inspired by Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Friday, April 29, 2016

Book Review: The Season of You & Me

The Season of You & Me
Published By: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Page Count: 352
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

I love Robin Constantine's work, but I was slightly hesitant about this one due to the male main character. Bryan is in a wheelchair after an accident that left him paralyzed. As someone who is married to a man in a wheelchair, I have high standards for how paralyzed characters should be written. I wanted Bryan's experiences and behaviors to be realistic and not used as ploy to make this book stand out among other YA romances. I haven't read a ton of YA novels where one of the main characters has a physical disability so I was nervous, but Constantine has done Bryan justice and presented him a realistic way that brings him to life and doesn't tie him to his disability. Bryan is not a cause or someone to feel sorry for, but rather, he is someone who is learning to live differently and is seeking people who can support him in that endeavor.
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