Tuesday Top Ten-Most Anticipated Fall Releases

Can I just say…every single time that I do a Tuesday Top Ten where I narrow down the books that I’m most excited for (insert season), check I have the hardest time doing it? I think the hardest thing is that I look up the list of YA books coming out in the next three months and I’m like “OHMYGOD, approved that’s coming out? Oh and that too? Ohmygod, I’m going to go so broke.”

That’s pretty much the conversation that occurs in my head. So naturally its hard for me to narrow it down to just ten books that I’m most excited about. I’m literally addicted to buying books. I can never stop reading.

But alas, I was able to do so, with one minor cheating moment, while I included an honorable mention. These eleven books are all hitting bookstores between now (some of them today!) and the month of November.

I recommend all of them, even the ones I haven’t read yet because I just know they are going to be fabulous and you all MUST add them to your to-be-read list.

Here we go!

Honorable Mention: Anomaly by Tonya Kuper

20559783

What if the world isn’t what we think? What if reality is really only an illusion? What if you were one of the few who could control it?

Yeah, Josie Harper didn’t believe it, either, until strange things started happening. When this hot guy tried to kidnap her, shouting about ultimate observers and pushing and consortiums hell-bent on controlling the world… Well, that’s when things got real. Now Josie’s got it bad for a boy who weakens her every time he’s near and a world of enemies on her tail who want to control her gift, so yeah, she’s going to need more than just her wits if she hopes to survive much longer.

Einstein never saw this coming…

I met Tonya very very very briefly at the ALA conference back in July. I was in line for…Holly Black, I believe, and I passed by the Entangled booth and Tonya was just finishing up her signing. She was so sweet and obviously passionate about her debut novel that she immediately started pitching it to all of us in line. I loved that. As a girl who is working hard on her novel, and sending out queries, I could seriously appreciate that. I took some bookmarks and pens advertising her books and since then have become friends with her on FB and IG. I adore her and I am honestly SO SO SO excited for her debut novel. Entangled knows their way around good books so I have every faith that Tonya is just going to blow my mind!

Release Date: November 4th, 2014

10. Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

18309803

Who will be the sacrifice?

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

The first time I read Unspoken, and then Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan, I was just blown away. These books are…dramatic and full of action and full of romance and they’re dark and sexy and funny and they’re everything I would have wanted in a book. I hadn’t been massively impressed with her before this but these books sold me on her. I’ll marry her, wine her, dine her, whatever, because she gave me this absolutely incredible series. I’m counting down the days to get my hands on this finale because I’m just DYING to find out what happens next!

Release Date: September 23rd, 2014

9. Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

20613491

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

Okay, I admit it. I’ve already read this. In fact, I read this in my hotel room in Vegas when I was there for the ALA conference where I picked up a copy of this novel. And I absolutely loved it. It was so beautifully written and the characters were so rich and the magical element was so dark and unexpected and I just loved it. She blew me away with it. I was about halfway done with it and I went up to her at ALA and was like, “I can’t wait to get back to my hotel to finish it!” So now I’m excited to get my hands on an actual copy of the novel, and to see her again on Thursday to tell her how much I absolutely adored it and can’t wait for the next one!

Release Date: Today!

8. Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

16005219

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process. 

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

Another novel that I’ve already read :) I tracked down (read: stalked) Gretchen at WonderCon because she said she had an ARC of this with her and she’d give it to the first person who found her. Which happened to be me. Because I kind of stalked her. But I was SO excited about this book. The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars? Gretchen kept saying how much John Hughes, and his movies and the music from said movies influenced the book and I just had to read it. And I loved it so much. SO wicked. I can’t wait to get my hands on a real copy of this baby!

Release Date: September 16th, 2014

7. In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis 

20359647

The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

I had wanted to read the first novel of this series so badly for so long but for some reason, just could never convince myself to pick it up at the bookstore. Finally, I received as a gift and on the day it arrived in the mail…I finished it. I was blown away by Mindy’s story and the gritty survival aspect of it and all the love that it encompassed, which surprised me. There was romantic love and familial love and the discovery of both and I just loved it. This novel is more a companion than a sequel though I do recommend reading the first book before this, and I’m just dying to read it. I’ve downloaded the eARC, which I got through edelweiss, but I’ve been kind of not feeling the Nook lately so I can’t wait to get my hands on a hard copy!

Release Date: September 23rd, 2014

6. The Young Elites by Marie Lu

17984141

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt

That is the longest synopsis EVER. Ohmygod. Sorry about that. Oh well. It gives you quite a nice idea on what the book is going to be about, which I can say with the highest authority is ABSOLUTELY brilliant. Marie Lu  blew my mind when I picked up Legend about two years ago and she’s doing it again with this book. Absolutely incredible. I got my hands on an ARC at ALA, the last one, and I was so giddy and excited that as soon as I finished Trial by Fire, I immediately started this one and finished it just as quickly. Its so much darker than Legend and I love how its in this completely fictional world and it really does feel like a mix of Assassin’s Creed and XMen, in the best way possible.

Release Date: October 7th, 2014

5. Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

20613470

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. 

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

I feel terrible because I’ve had this ARC since July and this released today and I have NOT read it yet. I’ve started it multiple times but I’m just kind of addicted to contemporary novels right now so its been an ordeal. That being said though, I’m excited for this because I NEED to know what happens next and I hope my desire for fantasy kicks in VERY soon. I’ll be seeing Sarah on the 13th and I want to be able to talk about the book with her! Its HUGE and daunting and I saw it at the bookstore last night (oooh, out a day early…) and I just was blown away at how large it is. I’ve got my ARC and I’ll have my hands on a physical copy VERY soon and I’ll be ready to dive in!

Release Date: Today!

4. The Sorcerer Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

18469705

The delicate peace between Wizards and the underguilds (Warriors, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers) still holds by the thinnest of threads, but powerful forces inside and outside the guilds threaten to sever it completely.

Emma and Jonah are at the center of it all. Brought together by their shared history, mutual attraction, and a belief in the magic of music, they now stand to be torn apart by new wounds and old betrayals. As they struggle to rebuild their trust in each other, Emma and Jonah must also find away to clear their names as the prime suspects in aseries of vicious murders. It seems more and more likely that the answers they need lie buried in the tragedies of the past. The question is whether they can survive long enough to unearth them. 

AGH. I literally can’t HANDLE how excited I am for this book. I’ve searched all over for ARCs and eARCS and its been impossible and its truly bumming me out that I’ll have to wait until NEXT MONTH to read this book. Cinda Chima has a handle on this fantasy thing and as soon as I read The Demon King about two years ago, I was completely sold on her as one of my favorite authors. The Enchanter Heir was absolutely incredible and left me basically panting for this one so I’m glad its finally getting closer to releasing! I believe that the Heir Chronicles is finally coming to a close with this novel so I’m excited to see how it all wraps together. And then I will go into a despair because I’m not sure when her next book will be released!

Release Date: October 21st, 2014

3. The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

16131484

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

People ask all the time who influenced me for The Awakened. Now the list is really long because I’m inspired by SO many authors and people but a huge influence on the story, the way it was written and that sort of thing, comes from this book right here. I had heard about it and finally picked it up. It took a bit to get into because it starts off a bit slow but once I was hooked, I was just so addicted. He writes incredibly real science fiction stories with such human characters and I just love it. I’m literally DYING to read the next book, and my search for an ARC has proved quite fruitless! But its coming out soon so I’m just waiting anxiously for it!

Release Date: September 16th 2014

2. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

18705209

Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it “might” be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

My excitement for this book has tripled into interstellar lengths because he’ll be heading to California to promote this book which means I can meet him for the first time ever, which means I’m basically dying of excitement. Its the end…FOREVER. No more Percy after this. Its done, over, completed. This is the culmination of years, the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus and its huge and daunting and I don’t know whats going to happen or who is going to survive or who is going to live or what ships will sail or sink and its driving me mad! I need to know what happens next! I’m nervous and anxious and both ready and not for the end! Its going to be interesting. 

Release Date: October 7th 2014

1. 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

20493997

Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, 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, 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.

I can say with complete authority that this book absolutely blew my mind. Absolutely. Blew. My. Mind. I got my hands on an ARC of this ages ago, and was super excited to get my hands on a physical ARC at ALA so that I could reread it before it came out. If you’ve read a book by Andrew before, you know what to expect. If you haven’t, then pick this one up, read it and then come back to me so I can tell you all the other books to read. This book has come out today so its hardly anticipated because you can literally go out to a bookstore at this very moment and pick it up but its number one because its just absolutely brilliant and you need to go out right now at this very moment and pick it up. If there’s one book you buy this fall, make it this one.

Release Date: Today!

*         *          *         *         *

What books are you looking forward to this fall? Share them in the comments!

Book Review: Falling Into Place ARC by Amy Zhang

18163646

 

This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through Greenwillow Books at the American Library Association Conference for free. 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, side effects Contemporary Fiction

Pages: 

304

Part of a Series?:

I believe this is a standalone

Release Date: 

Sepetember 9th, 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. 

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

My Review:

The synopsis reads: for fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman and Jay Asher. I’ve admittedly never read Jay Asher, but I’ve read everything by LO and GF and you can definitely tell that Amy was influenced by them. The novel reads as a cross between Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and Gayle Forman’s If I Stay. Because of this, I had a struggle to read through the entire novel. It felt like a sort of “been there, done that” plot line and I struggled to keep reading the book. The flashbacks, the coma, that sort of thing, all sort of felt like the previous two books I mentioned. If I Stay and Before I Fall are both favorites of mine so it just felt too close to me to make an impact.

I think what would have made this a stronger book is a stronger main character. In Before I Fall, Samantha is popular and hated, even though she doesn’t want to be and I felt that sort of connection with Liz as well. But Liz didn’t jump off the page nearly as well as Sam did so it felt hard to connect with her. She felt cruel, really truly cruel, and it was hard to connect with her when she started to pull back, when she felt bad. It wasn’t really toward the end, when I started getting flashbacks into the minds of some unlikely characters (trying to be as spoiler free as possible), that I finally seemed to feel for Liz.

What I do think is strong about this novel are two things: Amy’s writing and the beginning sentence.

First off, Amy’s writing is incredible, especially when you stop to think that she’s a teenager. I am still learning to make my writing better and better as I write more but I would most definitely have not published my writing as a teenager. I’ve had to write more and get better as time went on. I think Amy will be the same. But already at such a young age, she is able to write very beautifully, and in a very compelling way. I think that as she learns more and strengthens her story telling, she’s going to be a force to reckon with.

I also think her opening line is just absolutely incredible. That line in its own will be the one that captures you.

On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. 

There is so much about that that immediately pulls you in and immediately makes you want to read the rest and so I think she has that going for her. You can immediately get sucked into the story just by reading that line and I do think fans of Gayle and Lauren will enjoy this novel. I struggled with the similarities between those novels and Amy’s but I think she’s a strong writer and will only become stronger as she develops more skills.

Rating:

3.5 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Timeless by Alexandra Monir

8100422Genre: 

Young Adult, health  Contemporary, Time Travel, Romance

Pages: 

290

Part of a Series?:

Yes; the sequel, Timekeeper, was released in 2013

Release Date: 

January 11th, 2011

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist.And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.
 
Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.

My Review:

I met Alexandra just a few weeks ago at the Girls Gone Sci-Fi event, the last time I was in my favorite book store, Mysterious Galaxy. They sadly closed their doors just a few days later (RIP) but I’m glad I was able to attend that last event there and meet some great authors.

I had never read anything by Alexandra before, so I immediately bought Timeless, and the premise of it sounded so fun, and I knew I had to read it.

I loved the premise of the novel, and the history that was brought in. I think that’s what made me so compelled to read it in the first place. I LOVE history. I love old times, and I loved learning about what it was like, and what people wore, and what politics were like. I really should be an American Studies major or something because I’d probably love it all. Anyway…I loved the idea of traveling back in time and I loved that Michele was able to connect back with her mom through her ancestors. It was beautiful, and I loved all the women in the past that she met. It kind of felt like…you knew all these girls were family. They were all feisty and bold and clever and I really grew attached to all the girls we met in Michele’s travels to the past.

I also adored Philip as well. While he seemed to be a little too perfect, sometimes that’s exactly what we need in a love story like this. Michele and Philip are starcrossed lovers, stuck in two completely different time periods, unable to really be together. Its tragic and so a perfect Philip didn’t feel wrong. I loved his strength and his musical ambitions (I’ve been dating a musician for nearly seven years…I have a weakness) and there’s just something about a guy that plays the piano…

The thing about this book boiled down to one really important thing: I wanted more. I loved the idea of it, I loved the drama of it, I loved both of the characters, but I felt like I just needed more. More detail. More story. I wanted it to be longer. It just felt insanely rushed to me. I felt like the two main characters fell in love really quickly and maybe I’m cynical or something but I was like, whoa, why are they in love so fast? It threw me off. I really wanted the characters to spend some time together. I really loved the inclusion of various family ancestors, and I loved that Michele was exploring the past and doing amazing things but I really wanted more.

The truth is, I didn’t get massively caught up in the story until the end, when Michele was sort of racing through time, trying to find Philip again, and we end with a cliffhanger. That cliffhanger actually kind of made me get all anxious. I hate cliffhangers in that I love the way they make me feel. They make me feel anxious and excited and like I’m suddenly going to burst into a panic attack or something. That’s when I really was like, whoa, wait, but what happens next? So while I felt the story of Michele and Philip felt massively rushed, I’m eager to see where it continues in the sequel and hopefully I’ll be getting my hands on that soon!

Rating:

3.75 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

18049084Genre: 

Young Adult, treat Contemporary, visit this site Light Sci-Fi

Pages: 

356

Part of a Series?:

No

Release Date: 

April 8th, 2012

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Listen — Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.

Now he’s alive again.

Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.

My Review:

Look, its hard for me to give a 5 out of a 5 on a book. I used to just hand it out like it was free candy or something. But once I became a blogger, and really started reading books, not just for pleasure, but to really see what books were good, I started handing them out less. You have to earn that five out of five. You have to show me you deserve it.

John Corey Whaley did just that. I had seen him at a panel at the Festival of Books with Andrew Smith (literary god), Rainbow Rowell (the FEEEELS), E. Lockhart (I gotta get my hands on her new book) and Aaron Hartzler (can he be my best friend?). He was funny, his book sounded amazing and I was like, I gotta do this. I developed a massive crush on him that day.

And okay, he’s awesomely gay and has a boyfriend and whatnot, but whatever, people. I can so have a crush on him. I have a best friend crush on him. Or something. Moving on.

I saw him again at Ontario Teen Book Fest, and since I was the resident blogger for that, I was able to spend a bit of time with him, and he was just awesome. He was SO funny, and he told me that Godzilla was his fictional crush, and that Grasshopper Jungle would be the book he wished he had as a teen and I was like, this man is beautiful and I need to read his books.

So when my sister brought home Noggin from the library, I grabbed it from her, and proceeded to read it. She was angry because she’s the one that got it, but I told her I’d finish it before she would even crack it open and I was right.

This book is BRILLIANT. The whole time that I was in Travis’ head, I was a mess of emotions. This kid has it totally rough and I was on his side the whole time. So many people were getting angry and mad at him, getting upset at the way he was acting but they didn’t understand. He was pushing best friend and his girlfriend for things that seemed strange and wrong to them but it felt right to him. Imagine going to sleep tonight, and waking up, and everyone you knew was five years older, and had moved on without you. That’s pretty much exactly what happens with Travis. He never expects to wake up, and if he does, its going to be long after the people he’s known has been gone. He never expects to feel like it was a nap. He still wants his best friend in his life, he still loves his girlfriend incredibly and to have them moved on without him is so hard and I was on Travis’ side the whole time.

When you first read the synopsis, you’re thinking its a sort of science fiction book but its definitely not. Travis’ head is frozen, and they figure out a way to reawaken it on another body just a mere five years after his “death”. That’s where the science fiction ends. The story is of Travis struggling to find his place in the world where he is a rare thing, and where the world has moved on without him. He literally has to tackle this, without the people he’s always relied on, and they’ve done it already, they know who they are, they’ve moved past and its incredible and real. Corey writes this book so well, and there are parts when I want to laugh, and there are parts where I want to cry and there’s more than one part where I’m like, I would hate to be him. I would both love that idea of a second chance at life but hate that everyone had moved on without me. How hard, how emotional for anyone.

John Corey Whaley is an incredible author, and I have his first novel in my TBR pile, waiting for me to come and dive in soon. I can’t wait to read more by him because he tells a great story, and he has a way of balancing humor and romance and basic human emotion in one gigantic beautiful story.

Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars

Let’s Talk About…New Adult Literature

So I’ve decided to start a new segment. Called “Let’s Talk About…” 

Let's Talk About

Its not going to be a weekly segment. We’ve learned pretty well that I’m TERRIBLE at keeping up with weekly segments, unhealthy although I’m ready to get back on board with blog writing. I really am.

That being said, welcome to the new segment. Basically this is a segment that I’ll write whenever I just feel like talking about something in the nerd world. It could be about cosplay. It could be about internet bullying. It could be about anything really.

The point of it is, I want to talk about it. I want to share my opinion and start a conversation on a subject that’s on my mind.

So the very first “Let’s Talk About…” is about the emergence of new adult literature and my opinion of it.

For those of you who may be unaware, new adult is a fairly recent term used to describe young adult literature thats for mature audiences. Think Jennifer L. Armentrout and Cora Carmack, as some famous ones.

When I first heard the term, I was skeptical of it, but I wasn’t too against it. The idea of a more mature young adult literature really appealed to me actually. I’m twenty-five years old, which means, technically, I’m not the intended age group of young adult literature.

Bear with me, I know that even though we are not the intended audience, adults are reading more and more YA literature. It just makes sense. That’s a whole ‘nother “Let’s Talk About….” so I won’t address that here. I just didn’t want you all jumping down my throats.

Moving on, the idea of a book that would be written in that sort of young adult style but be more mature really appealed to me. I honestly think what I write tends to more “new adult”. Now I always just assumed it was “mature young adult” because I didn’t know that there was an actual term for it. My characters tend to have more sex than characters do in YA, and I don’t cushion it, I give you the full scene. They deal with more adult issues, like going to college, growing up after high school, getting jobs and having adult relationships. That sort of thing. They don’t hold their language back. That was the kind of idea that I had about new adult literature.

Now, the more involved I get into middle grade, young adult and new adult literature with this blog, the more I’m disappointed at what new adult essentially is becoming, and I’m not pleased with it.

I took a screen shot of the “new adult” page on Net Galley. Net Galley, for those of you who don’t know, is a website where you can go (mostly as a blogger or reviewer) to request upcoming novels for review before their release-digital ARCs, basically. I went to the “new adult” page to sort of give you an idea of what it is.

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 8.52.06 PM

What does it look like to you? Really take a look at it.

Yeah, it all looks like romance novels right?

Disclaimer before I begin: I have nothing against romance novels. I’m not a fan of them, but if that’s your cup of tea, the more power to you.

But the fact is: I didn’t think the whole point of “new adult” was just young adult with sex. Because that’s what it seems like. Most new adult books I’ve seen have racy covers, with half-clothed people. It seems less plot heavy, less character driven. It also seems there aren’t a lot of care taken in the new adult genre for actual good books and talented writers. It doesn’t seem to matter if its actually good, just thought its a bit more racy than actual good literature.

And that sort of thing really bothers me. Obviously I have no problem with sex in novels. I write sex into my novels. Sex is an important part about being an emerging adult. But I want more new adult about the idea of being…well a new adult.

Like Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for instance. I would consider it YA with a hint of NA. The only reason its not full NA is that you definitely could be younger and read it. But I enjoy the newness of the story. I enjoy reading about a girl in college, struggling on being away from home and navigating a new world. Its refreshing to get a different world from high school. We see Cath go from a teenager to an adult in college, and I love that kind of story.

So what I really think new adult should be is emerging adult stories. People from the ages of 18-25ish, coming into the world. Going to college, traveling, getting jobs, all the sort of stuff that I’m going through now, and have been going through since leaving high school. Throw some more serious themes in there, throw some sex in there, and maybe some foul language. That’s okay, that’s realistic. I want to see those kinds of stories in new adult. I could really get behind the idea of new adult, if that’s what it represented.

Instead, I find myself with a group of books that basically seem to YA with sex. A lot of sex. And a lot of it is definitely not well written. This is incredibly disappointing and really puts a bad name on those of who want to write quality new adult literature that has more to it than just sex.

I’m hoping in the future, that there will be more quality new adult literature and that hopefully there won’t be a negative connotation when you write new adult. A lot of NA authors tend to be self-published because most publishers don’t accept it. They have seen the same sort of things I’m seeing: books that aren’t really well-written, with a ton of sex. They really should be going in the romance section.

I have read good NA though. I think Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl could be considered NA. I’ve heard good things about Cora Carmack’s books, but I haven’t had a chance to dive into them yet. Tammara Webber’s Between the Lines  series and her standalone, Easy, are definitely NA and I absolutely love those books.

I think there could be really great stuff in the new adult genre but I must admit that, for the most part, I tend to avoid it. Its starting to sort of lump together, in a mess and its really hard to find the quality ones in the mess of pretty bad ones.

I have a lot of hope for the genre but until I really start seeing some good stuff, and on actual shelves, instead of all the self-published stuff, than I really think I”ll get into the ‘genre’. Until then, I am just disappointed that the potential of it is just not being utilized. Young adult has a hard enough time being taken seriously as real, quality literature and the emergence of new adult literature doesn’t seem to be helping because of the lack of quality in it. I hope this changes soon, and that publishers start printing really good, well written new adult lit soon.

What do you think? Share in the comments!

Remember, everyone is open to their opinion. You may not necessarily agree, and that’s okay. But we show respect, and we discuss things, we don’t argue, ridicule or treat people with disrespect because of differing opinions. Thank you!

Ten by Gretchen McNeil Book Review

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

11958033

 

 


You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., site the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

My Review:

I have to make one thing very, very clear: I don’t like horror or scary or thriller type of stories, for the most part. Its just not my cup of tea. I can’t even begin to count the amount of times I went to go see a scary movie with friends in high school, and being asked to leave because another moviegoer complained about me laughing so hard during the movie. I find scary movies/novels hilarious. My boyfriend and I watched the old school Evil Dead the other day, and I just couldn’t stop laughing.

So its not easy for me to jump into a horror novel. BUT I absolutely LOVE Gretchen McNeil; she is a fabulous person, and a seriously inspiring author and I loved her novel, 3:59. I bought Ten when I met her at 3:59 release in Redondo Beach, so I knew I had to dive into it.

And I was pleasantly surprised at how much I LOVED this novel. Maybe these kind of stories are meant to be told in written form, and not in a visual format, because not once did I laugh…at the story. I laughed at the intentional humor, but I was generally addicted to the story, scared of what was going to happen next or who was going to die next, and I know there is NO way I could have read this in the dark.

Gretchen made this book feel so REAL. It felt so much like a movie plot line BUT just so much more real. She had the story thought out so much that each and every step, every small detail added up to an incredibly story and an incredible reveal that I did NOT see coming in the slightest. I kind of pride myself in knowing the “whodunnit” before they reveal it but I didn’t see this at all. When it was revealed, I literally gasped out loud. I couldn’t believe it! A really good scary story will surprise you like that, and this is one of the first to do that!

I was also genuinely scared. The murders that happened in this book were all vicious and scary, and gruesome. I was shocked at all. I think because I don’t really read horror and there isn’t a lot of YA horror, I just wasn’t prepared for it. Every time a person died, I was gasping. I couldn’t believe it, and I was usually fairly grossed out too. Like, really, Gretchen, you killed him/her THAT way? Way to be as gruesome as possible. But it was perfect. Everything about it felt real and disgusting and scary. She had the right amount of thrill and anticipation throughout the entire novel that made it so hard not be scared.

It was also the perfect choice for Halloween week as well. It really put me in a creepy mood and it also made me more likely to dive into scary novels again. I think being able to experience the tension through words instead of visuals worked a lot better for me. I think, since I’m such a visual person, I can see those foreshadowed moments and the hidden clues better in a movie than in a book and so I was completely captivated by this book, from beginning to end.

I can’t wait to read more from Gretchen. Her books have completely impressed me thus far, and she truly is an amazing person. I will add also that I love that she includes diversity like its the easiest thing in the world, because it SHOULD be. Beautiful. Definitely pick up this book.

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

*      *      *      *      *     *