Top Anticipated February Releases!

Young Adult

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Starflight by Melissa Landers

Starflight #1

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, look dirty, approved hard existence, recipe and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She’s so desperate to reach the realm that she’s willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he’s been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe…

Release Date: February 2nd, 2016

My Thoughts: I’ve already read it. Already love it. Melissa Landers rocks at these science fiction romances, seriously she’s quickly becoming a favorite. This had a nice Firefly feel to it and I loved every minute of it.

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen #2

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Release Date: February 9th, 2016

My Thoughts: It took me ages to sit down and read Red Queen but it absolutely blew my mind once I did. I literally canNOT wait until this novel comes out.

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

The Reckoners #3

When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when Prof struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Once the Reckoners’ leader, Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back…

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

Release Date: February 16th, 2016

My Thoughts: I really really need to read Firefight before I read this one. Obviously. I’ve had Firefight in my TBR pile since the day it came out. I fail.

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years — a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes. 

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

Release Date: February 23rd, 2016

My Thoughts: Ever since Jessica announced she was writing this book, I’ve been so so so ready for it. I’m dying. I tried so hard to get my hands on an ARC to no avail. Sad. But I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Gimme, gimme, gimme.

Titans by Victoria Scott

Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she’ll ever touch.

She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.

But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about.

Release Date: February 23rd, 2016

My Thoughts: I’m about halfway through and absolutely loving it. Victoria Scott is such a great writer and I really want a Titan.

*****

New Adult

*****

The Power by Jennifer L Armentrout

Titan #2

With any great change, there is always strife, and the Covenant University has become the frontline between pure-bloods who want the Breed Order reinstated and the half-bloods who want the right to control their own destinies.
Fate has other plans.

The violence is escalating and war between the races seems inevitable, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. Hyperion may be out of commission, but Josie and Seth know they have only earned a reprieve. Seth must get Josie fully prepared, which means controlling her newfound abilities, and they need to find the other demigods before the Titans do.
But the gods are sensing a greater threat.

Only one thing is more dangerous than a bunch of starved Titans, and that’s an out-of-control Apollyon. The aether in Josie is drawing Seth in deeper, and when lust mixes with love and gives way to power, he knows being close to her is not only dangerous to her, but to everyone around them, but letting her go requires a level of selflessness that just isn’t Seth’s style.

The paths taken in the past are becoming the roads of the future.

Just as chaos breaks out, familiar faces from the past return, complicating the already strained bond between Josie and Seth, and when the danger from the Titans erupts with devastating consequences, the dark allure of power calls to Seth again, but this time Josie might not be able to pull him back.

And when the struggle between power and love becomes the deadliest battleground, there may be no salvation.

Release Date: February 23rd, 2016

My Thoughts: I mean, its Seth. For some reason, that guy just doesn’t get out of your head…

*****

What books are you looking forward to in February?! Did I forget some! Leave them in the comments!

Top Anticipated August Releases!

There are SO many amazing books coming our way this August but I’d like to share with you, pill today, the ones that I’m highly anticipating! I have read some of them but there are a lot I haven’t and I’m ready to read them. Check them out, add them to your TBR list, and share what books you’re looking forward to this month!

Young Adult: 

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

The Diviners #2

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to “read” objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners’ abilities…

Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer?

Release Date: August 25th, 2015

My Thoughts: I cannot believe this book is finally coming out. The Diviners came out THREE years ago and I’ve been dying for a sequel since then and I’m so excited that I will finally have this book in my hands by the end of the month!

How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo

Words are strong. Love is stronger.

When Jordyn Michaelson’s autistic brother joins her at her elite school, she’s determined not to let anyone know they’re related. Even if that means closing herself off to all her closest friends, including charming football stud Alex Colby. But despite her best intentions, she just can’t shake the memory of kissing Alex last summer, and the desire to do it again.

Can Jordyn find the courage to tell Alex how she really feels—and the truth about her family—before he slips away forever?

Release Date: August 4th, 2015

My Thoughts: I have already read this book, and I’m so incredibly behind this book. Its a beautiful romance and a great story about having a brother with a disability and I just love it all.

Not After Everything by Michelle Levy

Tyler has a football scholarship to Stanford, a hot girlfriend, and a reliable army of friends to party with. Then his mom kills herself. And Tyler lets it all go. Now he needs to dodge what his dad is offering (verbal tirades and abuse) and earn what his dad isn’t (money). Tyler finds a job that crashes him into Jordyn, his former childhood friend turned angry-loner goth-girl. She brings Tyler an unexpected reprieve from the never-ending pity party his life has become. How could he not fall for her? But with his dad more brutally unpredictable than ever, Tyler knows he can’t risk bringing Jordyn too deeply into the chaos. So when violence rocks his world again, will it be Jordyn who shows him the way to a hopeful future? Or after everything, will Tyler have to find it in himself?

Release Date: August 4th 2015

My Thoughts: This is an absolutely amazing debut novel by a dear friend of mine. She was awesome enough to give me an ARC of it a few months ago and I devoured the hell out of it. You need this book in your life. You need it.

Jubilee Manor by Bethany Hagen 

Landry Park #2

In Landry Park, Madeline turned her back on her elite family, friends, and estate to help the Rootless. Now, in Jubilee Manor, she struggles to bring the Gentry and the Rootless together. But when Gentry heirs—Madeline’s old friends—are murdered, even she begins to think a Rootless is behind it, putting her at odds with the boy she loves and the very people she is trying to lead. If she can’t figure out who is killing her friends and bring them to justice, a violent war will erupt and even more will die—and Madeline’s name, her estate, and all the bonds she’s forged won’t make any difference.

Release Date: August 11th, 2015

My Thoughts: I have had this book in my pile since May and I haven’t had a chance to read it yet and that makes me incredibly sad because the first book, Landry Park is just incredible. Its hailed as a sort of Hunger Games meets Gone with the Wind and that is just a winning combination for me.

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

Release Date: August 25th, 2015

My Thoughts: Oh Abbi Glines. I adore her as a person so much but I haven’t been caught as a fan of hers yet. I’m excited about this one a lot though. Football and romance is a weakness for me so I’m not giving up on her. I am very excited for this one.

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To:
– find the liquor cabinet blindfolded
– need a liver transplant
– drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To:
– well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle.

Release Date: August 18th, 2015

My Thoughts: I adore Huntley and I’ve loved everything she’s written so far so I’m excited to read more of her books. This is definitely one that will end up in my pile.

New Adult:

Better When He’s Brave by Jay Crownover 

Welcome to the Point #3

Titus King has always seen his world in black and white. There is a firm right and wrong in his mind, which is why as a teenager he left behind the only family he’d ever known to make a better life for himself. Now a police detective in one of the worst cities in the country, he can’t deny his life has turned into a million different shades of gray.

The new criminal element in The Point has brought vengeance and destruction right to Titus’s front door, and walking the straight and narrow seems far less important now. The difference between right and wrong is nothing compared to keeping those he loves alive. To add to his already strained moral compass, the beautiful and mysterious Reeve Black has made her way back to town. This girl might be as dangerous to Titus as the guy trying to destroy the Point but he can’t walk away because he needs her—in more ways than one.

Reeve knows all about the threat trying to destroy The Point. She knows how ruthless, how vicious, and how cruel this new danger can be… and instead of running away, she wants to help. Reeve knows that she has a lot to repent for and saving the city, plus the hot cop that she hasn’t been able to forget might just be the only way she can finally find some inner peace.

With an entire city poised on the brink of war, Titus and Reeve stand in the crossfire—and it will take two brave souls to fight for the ultimate love.

Release Date: August 11th, 2015

My Thoughts: Okay, lets be real. I haven’t even read this first two yet. But I’m planning on that in the next couple weeks and then hopefully I will get to read this one too. I finished the Marked men last month and it WOWed me so I’m excited for this series.

Childrens/Middle Grade: 

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan 

Who cut off Medusa’s head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy, ( I’ve had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I’m going to tell you about were the original old school hard luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. . .) and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan’s legions of devoted fans–and for anyone who needs a hero. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you’ve got arrows in your quiver. We’re going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we’ll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let’s do this.

Release Date: August 18th, 2015

My Thoughts: If its Percy Jackson, its in my mailbox, its in my arsenal. I loved the first one of these that was released last year so I’m definitely excited to having this come my way!

The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

I’m not sure what it is about this kid Duncan, but his crayons sure are a colorful bunch of characters! Having soothed the hurt feelings of one group who threatened to quit, Duncan now faces a whole new group of crayons asking to be rescued. From Maroon Crayon, who was lost beneath the sofa cushions and then broken in two after Dad sat on him; to poor Turquoise, whose head is now stuck to one of Duncan’s stinky socks after they both ended up in the dryer together; to Pea Green, who knows darn well that no kid likes peas and who ran away—each and every crayon has a woeful tale to tell and a plea to be brought home to the crayon box.

Release Date: August 18th, 2015

My Thoughts: If you haven’t read the first one, you are missing out. It is one of the cutest kids books I’ve ever read and Drew Daywalt was kind enough to do an interview for this blog, and was just awesome as hell. I can’t wait for the sequel ;)

General Fiction: 

X by Sue Grafton 

Kinsey Millhone #24

X:  The number ten. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. A kiss.

X:
 The shortest entry in Webster’s Unabridged. Derived from Greek and Latin and commonly found in science, medicine, and religion. The most graphically dramatic letter. Notoriously tricky to pronounce: thinkxylophone.


X: 
The twenty-fourth letter in the English alphabet.

Release Date: August 25th, 2015

My Thoughts: I’ve been reading these books since I was a kid, probably before I was actually mature enough to read these books haha. But I’m excited to read the next installment and I’m ready for this series to finally come to an end one day LOL.

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What are your most anticipated releases of August! Share in the comments below!

Tuesday Top Ten – Most Anticipated Winter Releases!

Welcome to the new year everyone! Its a brand new beginning and all of that sort of thing. But the best part of the new year is this: NEW STUFF. All that stuff that was “next year” is now THIS year. And that includes books.

Now its time to talk about the top ten books that I’m getting excited for this winter! Check them out, troche and let me know what books YOU’RE excited about!

10. The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson

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The third installment of the series, price and I’ve been waiting for it for so long. I feel like I’ve been waiting for so so so long for this book that I absolutely need to reread the first two books to remember what the hell is supposed to be going on in the third book.

Release Date: February 10th, 2015 

9. Dead to Me by Mary McCoy

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I am so excited for this debut novel…I think its my most anticipated debut novel of the year. I absolutely adore Mary, she’s a librarian for the Los Angeles Public Library and has always been a dear friend and supporter of me and this blog, and I can’t wait for her book. Its set in the 1940s, amidst the glitz and glamour of the film age and it sounds deliciously thrilling. I can’t WAIT.

Release Date: March 3rd, 2015 

8. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

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I am so so excited for this new novel by Emery Lord. I had NO idea who she was until she was on a panel with…I think Stephanie Perkins at the Festival of Books and I just loved everything about her. Plus she was so cute and I don’t know haha, I wanted to read her book. I absolutely LOVED Open Road Summer. She has a fresh teen voice and a total knack for addicting romance and I can’t wait for this one. Max sounds amazing.

Release Date: March 31st, 2015

7. I Was Here by Gayle Forman 

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Gayle Forman is a QUEEN of contemporary YA lit. She blows my mind with everything that she writes, especially Just One Day/Just One Year (which were optioned for film!!). I’m VERY excited for a brand new release from her, especially since the synopsis makes it sound like another emotional roller coaster. Oh Gayle.

Release Date: January 27th, 2015 

6. Salt and Stone by Victoria Scott

Salt & Stone Hardcover

This one would be much lower on the list but I’m spoiled as hell and I already read it and know how absolutely amazing it is. But now that I know its great, I’m dying to get that book with that beautiful cover in my hands, and for everyone else who loves the first one, you’re going to love the second one even more. Its a truly heartbreaking.

Releases: February 24th, 2015

5. Fairest by Marissa Meyer

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I know! A novella on the list. For those that don’t know me, I’m usually not a massive fan of novellas, and find most of them are unnecessary. But…but…I think Fairest is going to be spectacular. One, because Marissa Meyer is a fantastic writer. Two, Levana is SUCH a mystery and maybe some of this will shed a little light, and maybe it’ll open up new possibilities for Winter. Either way, I’m excited for it.

Release Date: January 27th, 2015

4. Invaded by Melissa Landers

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This is another winter release that I’ve already read. And one that I totally absolutely love. But I think I’m really excited about this because I KNOW how good it is and I get to meet her this year! Plus, if I can have more Aelyx and Cara in my life, I’m totally okay with that! And maybe if we all show love to Invaded and buy it, we WILL get more!

Release Date: February 3rd, 2015

3. The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith  

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I mean. Duh. I want my hands on this book so badly. I’ve been trying to get my hands on an ARC of this thing for MONTHS and have not been able to do that. I am dying for this book. Every single thing about this book sounds amazing and Andrew is an incredible author. When I interviewed him last year and he described the book as “It’s about a ship that gets stuck in ice, a fifteen-year-old kid, a schizophrenic who thinks he can speak to Joseph Stalin, a summer camp for kids who are addicted to technology, the de-extinction of a species of crow, and there’s a bigfoot in there, too. You know…the typical stuff.” Come on. I’m sold.

Release Date: March 10th, 2015

2. Unchanged by Jessica Brody

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I’M DYING TO READ THIS BOOK. I need to know what happens next. Unforgotten left on such a crazy, heartbreaking, emotional note and I’m dying to see what happens next for Sera and Zen and Kaelen. It hurts just to even think about it because of allllll the crap that went down in the second book and I need this book in my hands. You hear me, Jessica? Give me the book and no one gets hurt ;)

Release Date: February 24th, 2015

1. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead 

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Yes. Please. More Adrian Ivashkov. Oh and of course Sydney too. But definitely Adrian. And after that ending in Silver Shadows, I basically wanted to scream, get in a car and drive up to Richelle’s house and demand that she tell me everything that was going to happen next. Luckily, I’m a patient girl (ha!) and its nearly upon us to find out the ending to this fantastic series! AND I’m finally going to meet Richelle! AGH

Release Date: February 10th, 2015

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What are some the books that you’re looking forward to releasing in January, February and March? Make sure to share them in the comments!

Book Review: 100 Sideways Miles (ARC) by Andrew Smith

20493997This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through the ALA Convention at the permission of Simon and Schuster. This is in no way had an effect on the integrity of my review. Please note that published novel will differ from this ARC.

Genre: 

Young Adult, remedy Contemporary Fiction

Pages: 

288

Part of a Series?:

Standalone Novel

Release Date: 

September 2nd 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, viagra 60mg and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, advice the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.

Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.

My Review:

I will never stop being grateful to the Ontario Teen Book Fest in 2013 for turning me to this author. I don’t know that I would have never read him without that, I’d like to think I would have eventually discovered his brilliance but thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

When 100 Sideways Miles became available on Edelweiss, I requested it over and over and over again, getting rejected so many times before they finally told me yes. I think they just wanted me to go away…and then just a couple months ago, I got my hands on a copy of it at the ALA Conference in Las Vegas and was satisfied that I would be able to reread it in order to write my review. This book comes out on Tuesday and this is a MUST pick up.

What has always struck me as the most wonderful thing about Andrew Smith’s books is that they can be weird, wacky, straight up confusing and out of this world. There’s always a little something about his book or his story that is just a little weird. But it never feels that way. You never really think about it while you’re reading. Actually, I usually only ever think about it when I’m trying to convince other people to read his books. “I know, it sounds so weird, but trust me, this book will change your life!”

But that’s the beauty of it. He writes such incredible, realistic, relatable characters that the story is always believable from beginning to end. His characters are some of the richest characters I’ve read in a book before. They have all stayed with me as some of the most memorable characters. They’re so incredibly real, and I need that a lot for teen characters. They have their faults, and they make mistakes and they think some of the most incredibly stupid things but they’re also clever, and emotional and full of so much potential. This is true of Finn Easton.

Finn is basically on a journey to figure himself out. He’s the boy out of his father’s novel. He’s the boy plagued with seizures. He’s the boy who is best friends with Cade Hernandez. There are so many labels but none of them really tell us who he is. Its the journey he takes in this book, both with his relationship with Julia and his actual venture to go see her, that we really see him come into his own. A coming of age story is not a new thing and yet Andrew Smith manages to make each and every one he writes seem unique and entertaining. I was rooting for Finn the entire way, hoping that he figured out what he wanted, and that he would make his way back to Julia.

And there’s just always that little fact that Andrew Smith’s books can make me laugh like no one else. Its just the smallest little things, little quips that just make me crack up. Sometimes I don’t even know if its intentionally funny but its just great. He writes as if you’re really and truly in the head of the character and its brilliant, because you get all of those side thoughts that you normally don’t get in books, and it just makes me laugh and it makes his story and his characters better, more genuine and more authentic. I absolutely love it.

Bottom line is this, if you haven’t read an Andrew Smith book, what are you waiting for? You definitely should! In the past year-ish, he’s released Winger, Grasshopper Jungle and now 100 Sideways Miles and they’ve all been so fantastic. If there’s a book that you’re going to pick first, do this one! Its funny and real and beautiful and you’re going to laugh and you’re going to get emotional and you’re going to love every minute! And its not too long and its a standalone and there’s just about a bajillion (that’s a real number, I swear) more reasons to read it so just do it already! It hits bookstores Tuesday :D

Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Love and Other Unknown Variables (ARC) by Shannon Alexander

20757521This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through NetGalley at the permission of Entangled Publications. This is in no way had an effect on the integrity of my review. Please note that published novel will differ from this ARC.

Genre: 

Young Adult, visit web Contemporary Fiction

Pages: 

352

Part of a Series?:

Standalone Novel

Release Date: 

October 7th, 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswered questions. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck. 

The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy at the donut shop—until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. But, in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy. 

By the time he learns she’s ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second squared).

My Review:

When I saw this title on edelweiss, it immediately caused me to pause. Math things like that always kind of catch my eye because my boyfriend has a bachelors degree in math and he actually likes reading books about math. For fun. I know, he’s weird. But by extension, math things catch my eye too now. Not because I particularly love math but it reminds me of him. I also saw that it was an Entangled publication and immediately hit request. I love Entangled to death.

I love the characters so much. I think characters are the most important part of a novel and that is exactly what brings me into this book. Charlie and Charlotte both seem incredibly real to me. Charlie especially so because even though he’s kind of too smart for his own good and it almost gets irritating, he’s also incredibly genuine. He can figure out these weird crazy math problems but…he can’t figure out how to act around a girl, and he’s still a total teenager. I love that. I also love Charlotte because she’s full of life and full of sass and literally brightens up a room, which is why finding out she’s so ill is such a damper. Seriously. I was like, oh come on, but she’s awesome, she can’t be sick!

What really caught me in this book is that it could just run into other books. Romance is not new. Cancer is not new. Kids with cancer with romance laced into it is definitely not new (The Fault in Our Stars anyone?) What easily could have been a book that I tossed aside because of a simple “been there, done that” was actually proven quite wrong when I pushed past the revelation of Charlotte’s illness and kept reading.

Because there’s so much more to the book. The book is centered on Charlie and while his romance with Charlotte is incredibly important, its also the effect that she has on the rest of his life. She shows him the beauty of other things besides math and science. She unintentionally brings him to his elderly neighborhood, who teaches him so much and leaves an incredible impact on his life. She brings him to her sister, his literature teacher, and helps him develop a new love for reading. And she also brings him closer to his own sister. I think that’s the biggest part of the book that I love. This book could be wrapped up simply as a book about kids with cancer but its so much more than that. Its a book about how much a person can impact our lives in such a short amount of time and how beautiful and sometimes incredibly devastating it is.

Plus, its just funny. I related to Charlotte so much and Charlie reminded me of my boyfriend and their initial runaround each other is just so sweet and believable. They kind of fumble their way through their friendship and more and I loved it. It was more than just about everything going on around them. Their romance was sweet, genuine and addicting and I was rooting for them the entire book.

Basically, it comes down to this: I stayed up until 2 am to finish reading this book. And I had to read it on my phone because my Nook wasn’t charged…which is NO easy feat. But I super enjoyed it and I’m anxious for it to be published so that I can share it with others. It hits bookstores in early October so make sure to get your hands on a copy!

Rating: 

4 out of 5 Stars

Rating:

Tuesday Top Ten: Best Books I Discovered at a Book Event

Often times, tadalafil I’ll go to events to see an author or two, but I’ll end up discovering new ones. Sometimes I go to an event not having read any books by the authors on the list and I end up discovering a whole group of amazing authors to dive into. I think that’s what beautiful about book events. You always leave with a sudden urgency to dive into these new books.

So that’s what this week’s top 10 is all about. Its all about the books that came into my life because of book events. WIthout book events, I may not have ever read them but I am so glad that I met these authors and I could jump into these awesome books! Check out the top ten books I’ve read that I discovered at a book event :)

Yes, I know there are 12. It was SO hard to narrow it down haha.

12. Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler

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Aaron Hartzler was an author I first encountered at the LA Times Festival of Books this year, and then a week later at the Pasadena Teen Book Fest. He was funny and charming and his book sounded SO good. I’ve never been much into memoirs and non-fiction books but I felt like I had to give this a chance because I just loved Aaron so much. It tells the story of Aaron’s life growing up, and how he is raised in a very conservative family and what that was like, and that sort of thing. It reads like a novel and its just so honest and beautiful and funny, and I love every bit of it.

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11. Noggin by John Corey Whaley  

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The first time I saw John Corey Whaley was at the LA Times Festival of Books back in April. I had heard of him, vaguely before, and had purchased his debut novel for his appearance at Ontario Teen Book Fest but I hadn’t really heard of him. After attending a panel with him, Andrew Smith, Rainbow Rowell, Aaron Hartzler and E. Lockhart and I knew immediately I had to read Noggin. I just read it recently and its SO good, and I’m so glad I read it. Its about a boy who has his head cryogenically frozen because he’s dying of cancer, and he’s woken up just five years later, in a world where he’s famous but his best friend and girlfriend have moved on from him. Its awesome, and I don’t know that I would have read it had I not seen him at FoB and TBF.

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10. Also Known As by Robin Benway 

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The first time I came into contact with Robin Benway was at the LA Times Festival of Books last year, 2013. She was in a panel with Sarah Dessen (!!), Morgan Matson (!!!!!), and Gayle Forman (!!). I had Gayle Forman’s books in my TBR pile so the new author to me was Robin and I loved her. She was so encouraging and she really believed in pushing yourself and not giving up and I knew that I had to read her. She was just so inspiring. I read Also Known As last year, I can’t remember when, and I adore it. Its so fun and light and adventurous and it has a cute boy and kissing and its awesome. I love Robin too, she’s SO sweet :) I ran into her at Disneyland once, which was kind of creepy because I knew she was there (Twitter!) and had been looking for her. Total creeper status! But its okay, because we laugh about it now. And she’s just awesome and I can’t wait for her next book!

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9. Parallel by Lauren Miller 

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Okay, this is KIND of cheating. A little. I was sent Free to Fall in the mail by a publicist friend of mine and had been about halfway through it before I met Lauren Miller at the Ontario Teen Book Fest. I immediately went home and needed to finish it because she was SO fun, and smart, and I had a good time meeting her. Then I saw her about a week ago at a Girls Gone Sci-Fi event and knew that I had to get Parallel. So technically I was brought to this book, and to my love of Lauren Miller, through a signing. I finished this book about a week ago and it blew my mind. I started it with the intention of finishing it the next day. Instead, I stayed up all night to read. Lauren writes a beautiful love story, wrapped up into this intricate and heart pounding sci-fi phenomenon of parallel worlds. Its brilliant.

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8. Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

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THIS BOOK BLEW MY MIND. Seriously. Its been almost a year since I read it and I still just get tongue tied just thinking about it. Its just SO good. I discovered Jennifer Bosworth at the Ontario TBF last year, in 2013, and she talked about her life in a small town, and how she grew up in a religious family and how she sort of turned away from that, and it just resonated in me a lot. Then I read this book, and I was just floored. It makes you think so much, and she’s not afraid to write something that probably makes a lot of people’s jaws drop. It was beautiful and I’m so glad that I found this through that event. I only wish to write something as thought provoking as this.

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I discovered Carrie Arcos there too, but sadly I haven’t read her books yet. They are both in my TBR pile haha!

7. A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka

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I had no idea who Catherine Linka was or of this book at all until I was looking at the author lists for Pasadena Teen Book Fest and Ontario Teen Book Fest. Since she was an attendee at both, I knew that I had to check her out, and I realized that this book had yet to be released…and then I got my hands on an e-galley! Yay! And I love it. It takes place in Los Angeles (wee!) and its about a world where the female population is controlled almost entirely due to the fact that majority died because of something wrong in the beef supply. Its sort of futuristic but Catherine Linka raises a lot of attention toward the fact that women are constantly being controlled, our choices, our freedoms, our bodies, etc. Its a great book and I was glad to hear a sequel is coming! I can’t wait to read more! Plus, she’s the sweetest lady :)

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6. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis 

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I literally read this yesterday. YESTERDAY. I’m currently reading the sequel, which I found as an e-galley on edelweiss, yes, yes, yes. Sadly I do not have a picture with her, nor a signature because I just didnt’ realize it at the time. I’ve met Mindy once, at a signing in Las Vegas, when I basically dragged my dad, brother and boyfriend out there so I could meet Rae Carson. Because I’m awesome that way. But anyway, one of the authors that was there was Mindy and I’ve been thinking of this book ever since. I wish I had the money at the time to buy this book but its remained on my radar ever since. I received it as a gift this week and immediately dove into it. Its SO good, and I have so much inspiration from it to make the survival bits of The Awakened better. This book is all about survival and I think its brilliant. I hope I can meet her again one day, to get this book signed because I just loved it.

5. Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott 

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Okay, this is SO cheating. But kind of not. I said book event and that doesn’t necessarily mean that I had to meet them in person. Jessica Brody was having an online chat thing for the release of Unforgotten, the second book of the Unremembered trilogy, and she had Victoria Scott with her, whose new book, Fire and Flood was releasing as well. I adore Jessica and I really loved Victoria after that. She was funny, and fresh and she made her book sound like so much fun. I also won a small swag prize pack, that included a signed bookmark, so I knew I had to get this book. When it released just a few days later, I picked up immediately and went home and read it, and was SO glad I did. I think its brilliant and I’ve been literally dying since February to have the sequel. Any day now, Victoria, I’m ready for it ;)

4. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan 

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Another person I sadly do not have a picture with, even though I technically met her. Last year, when I met and interviewed Cassandra Clare, just after Clockwork Princess had released, I also met Sarah and Maureen Johson, who were her tour buddies. I had read a bit of Maureen Johnson, so she wasn’t new to me but Sarah was. I added both Unspoken and the Demon’s Lexicon to my TBR. I am not a huge fan of the Demon’s Lexicon BUT Unspoken was just brilliant. Jared Lynburn is one of my favorite book boyfriends ever. He’s beautiful and him and Jace Herondale should be best friends. For real. Sarah has this really fun main character, and she has diversity and her characters are real and I’m constantly laughing but also clutching the pages with fear. I keep trying to get my hands on a galley of the third book but no such luck…

3. Unremembered by Jessica Brody

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I had bought Unremembered and read about 30 pages when I met Jessica Brody for the first time. However, after meeting her, I knew I had to finish this book, and I did. I went home from WonderCon that day and literally finished the book that night. And now I’m a huge fan, and I kind of stalk her but I think we’re friends so that’s all good then, now isn’t it? But I think Unremembered is awesome, a sort of girl version of Jason Bourne, and following Sera on her crazy adventure is so fun. Watching her recite the most incredible knowledge and discover grilled cheeses for the first time and fall in love and all of it. I love it. Jessica was super funny, and I enjoyed meeting her that first time, and every time since. She said something about allowing yourself to write badly and I always remember it “Don’t be afraid to write crap; crap makes good fertilizer.” I try to remember that when I’m trying to write. She also told me, after I told her I was trying to be a writer, “Don’t try, just be one.” She’s awesome, basically, and I ADORE all her books, but especially this one.

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2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 

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AGH! I love you, Leigh and your books and you BLOW my mind. I first encountered Leigh Bardugo at the Ontario Teen Book Fest in 2013, when she was on a panel with Marie Lu, Jessica Brody, Jennifer Bosworth and Morgan Matson. All amazing fantastic authors. It is still one of my favorite panels ever. But anyway, the moderator had said something along the lines of there being very little strong female characters in the past and Leigh immediately went “Uh, Alanna?”, like, duh! Alanna, for those of you who don’t know, is from Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series, which is brilliant, by the way. Any time someone mentions Tammy, I’m sold. I bought Shadow and Bone, and fell in love with her and her books. She writes epic fantasy, and its beautiful written and the characters are wonderful and the entire trilogy is just amazing, and without TBF, I don’t know if I would have ever picked it up.

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1. Winger by Andrew Smith 

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If you know me at all, even in the slightest, I’m sure you could have guessed at my number one answer to this. This is legitimately one of my favorite books ever, and I only read it just over a year ago. It crawled straight into my heart and stayed there, stuck. It blew my mind. I first came into contact, literally, ever, with Andrew at the Teen Book Fest in Ontario last year, 2013, and he made such a massive impression. He was funny and inspiring and I just knew that I needed to read his book. All the authors kept telling me that we needed to read Winger and I bought it almost immediately after the Fest, and just…it was just SO freakin’ good. I love it so much. I am SO glad that I met him at TBF because I have read so many other books by him since then and I just love everything he’s written. (I mean, Grasshopper Jungle…blew my mind! Craziest book ever). He also is such a great person that I’ve gotten to know, and he’s been so amazing, recommending me for different things, and that just makes me want to fangirl like crazy.

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Basically, the purpose of this post was this: discover new authors! buy new books! Get out there, and get to book events, even if you don’t know the authors because you never know when you’ll discover someone new, or discover a new favorite book. Its incredible and I’m grateful for the many events that I’m able to attend and all the authors I’ve discovered :)

What are some of your favorite books that you’ve picked up after meeting the author? Share in the comments!