Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Review: Nantucket Red

Nantucket Red (Nantucket #2)
Published By: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Page Count: 288
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

I honestly thought Nantucket Blue was a standalone novel so I was surprised to see this one pop up on NetGalley. I enjoyed the first one so much I knew that I needed to continue with Cricket's story. Nantucket Red is a little odd because unlike the first novel, this one begins in Rhode Island and not at the beach. Cricket has just had one of the best summers of her life: she fell in love, worked for a talented writer, made new friends, and began to mend some old fences. As summer fades away and real life invades, Cricket realizes that sometimes perfect summers do not translate when the crisp fall air begins to blow. Everything seems to be changing and Cricket isn't sure she likes that, but the worst possible thing happens when Zack decides to go away to boarding school. Cricket can't stand the thought of not being with him, but she isn't sure a long distance relationship is a great idea. She convinces Zack that they need to take a "pause" in their relationship. She doesn't realize that might mean that the two of them will grow apart.

The Shopping Lark #114

Each Friday, Reading Lark is going to feature some new releases each week to help give you some ideas of what to buy next. This is not an exhaustive list of this week's releases - just some novels that caught our eye. Feel free to share what books you're excited about that came out this week in our comments section.

YA Releases for the week of 4/14-4/20:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review: Bright Before Sunrise

Bright Before Sunrise
Published By: Walker Childrens
Publication Date: February 28, 2014
Page Count: 288
Source: Library
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

Tiffany Schmidt has done it again…written a book that has completely entranced me! I loved her first book, Send Me a Sign, and was thrilled when I found out she had another book out. Bright Before Sunrise is just as wonderful! 

Brighton is a Junior in high school who is coming up on her father’s memorial service. She is a nice girl that everyone likes. Everything about her is nice – the way she dresses, her house, her personality, etc. Enter Jonah. He’s a transfer student from Hamilton, a school from “the other side of the tracks”. Brighton tries to be nice to Jonah, but he’s not having any of it. But a twist of fate in the nail salon begins a spiraling chain of events that will connect Brighton and Jonah in ways they never would have imagined. 

Throwback Thursday: Julie of the Wolves

 Throwback Thursday is a new feature at Reading Lark. We'll still be doing some Book Boyfriend Posts and Book BFF Posts on Thursdays as well, but the Larks wanted a little variety on Thursdays. Throwback Thursday will allow us to celebrate some of the reads we loved way back when...

Julie of the Wolves
By: Jean Craighead George
Release Date: 1972

With the popularity of books like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and the Harry Potter series, there is no shortage of strong, smart, and independent young female leads in books these days, but as a young reader in 1979 my options were more limited. Nancy Drew and Anne Shirley were pretty much all I had (I was never a Little House on the Prairie fan, I hadn't been introduced to Jo March just yet, and I was too young for Lizzy Bennet), until I read Julie of the Wolves.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: The Art of Lainey

The Art of Lainey
Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 20, 2014
Page Count: 384
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

I had no idea when I first snagged my e-ARC of this one that Paula Stokes was the same person as Fiona Paul. I haven't finished the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series, but I did enjoy the first novel, Venom. Once I made the connection I was even more excited to read this one. I was interested to see how Stokes would tackle a contemporary romance after writing such a vivid historical fiction. I found in many ways that I enjoyed The Art of Lainey even more than Venom. I think contemporaries are a great place for Stokes to spend her time; the characters are complex, the romance is realistic and sweet, and the relationships are multi-faceted. I devoured The Art of Lainey and was left wanting to spend more time with Lainey, Micah, and Bee.

Waiting on Wednesday: Goodnight June

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. . . 

Goodnight June
By: Sarah Jio
Publisher: Plume
Release Date: May 27, 2014

The New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter imagines the inspiration for Goodnight Moon 

 Goodnight Moon is an adored childhood classic, but its real origins are lost to history. In Goodnight June, Sarah Jio offers a suspenseful and heartfelt take on how the "great green room" might have come to be. 

 June Andersen is professionally successful, but her personal life is marred by unhappiness. Unexpectedly, she is called to settle her great-aunt Ruby’s estate and determine the fate of Bluebird Books, the children’s bookstore Ruby founded in the 1940s. Amidst the store’s papers, June stumbles upon letters between her great-aunt and the late Margaret Wise Brown—and steps into the pages of American literature.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Book Review: Half Bad

Half Bad
Published By: Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Page Count: 380
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy, Magical Realism

Half Bad was a lot more engaging than I expected it to be. From reading the blurb, I expected a run of the mill tale of a boy search to figure out who he is - a good witch or a bad witch. This was the basic premise of the book, but there were a lot of thought-provoking Nature vs Nurture moments. 

 Nathan is treated horrendously by his white witch community. They call themselves the good guys, but honestly, with friends like that, who needs enemies?! He is shunned his entire life, by almost everyone - bullied, and even tortured by some. He is increasingly persecuted by the white witch governing body, and he finds himself imprisoned in a cage as the book begins. His recaps of failed escape attempts and how he came to be there were a little heart breaking. 

Teaser Tuesday: The Unbound, Pawn, Bright Before Sunrise, & Girl Interrupted

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Da thought of people as books to be read, but I've always thought of them more as formulas - full of variables, but always the sum of their parts. That's what their noise is, really: all of a person's components layered messily over one another. Thought and feeling and memory and all of it unorganized, until that person dies. Then it all gets compiled, straightened out into this linear thing, and you can see exactly what the various parts add up to.

~ The Unbound (The Archived #2) by Victoria Schwab, Kindle Location 270

There is only so much food and drinking water. There are only so many teachers, so many doctors, and so many scientists. The mediocre and dim vastly outnumber the intelligent, and it has been that way for far too long. We outgrew ourselves. Our economy suffered, and so did our people.

~ Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter, pg. 123

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: Bitter Sweet Love

Bitter Sweet Love
(The Dark Elements #0.5)
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date:  December 1, 2013
Page Count:  105 pages
Buy it at:  Amazon
Source:  Kindle Novella Kindly Offered Free by the Publisher Through Amazon
Audience:  Mature Young Adult Paranormal

Picking up Bitter Sweet Love, a prequel novella to White Hot Kiss, immediately after completing White Hot Kiss, I wasn’t altogether super excited reading about one of the side characters introduced to me in the first full book of The Dark Elements series.  We briefly met Jasmine in Layla’s story…and all didn’t go very well during that reunion between Layla and Jas.  I, myself, already felt a bit protective of Layla so Jasmine’s knee-jerk reaction to something Layla did, sort of put me off her.  But this back story not only told us Jas’s story and how Jasmine met Layla and Zayne, but served as a foundation to explaining the culture of the Wardens, a race of protectors that could shift between human form and Gargoyle form…and setting the stage for White Hot Kiss.

Female Wardens have become a rarity and are thus highly protected to ensure the future of the Warden race.  While they do have choices in the matter of mating (marriage), they are strongly encouraged to do so early because the life of a Warden is traditionally not very long…and women often die in child-birth.  None of this was an issue with Jasmine really…because she already had her heart set on Dez, and their intended mating was sanctioned by her father.  Following that sanctioning, however, Dez took off without word or trace for three years, leaving Jasmine heart-broken and angry…and with a lot of questions.

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