Sunday, June 28, 2015

Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher & ARC: Delacorte
ISBN: 978055353556
Ages: 10+

Off the Page is the companion novel to Between the Lines (2012), but if you haven't read Between, no worries here as the book works well on its own. Delilah found Between the Lines in her high school library, and like many of us who love to read, she quickly fell in love with the characters. Except here, I mean literally fell in love, with Oliver, the book's prince charming. And get this, Oliver loves her back.

Stepping into Off the Page, I was completely enthralled with the inventive, metafictional premise: characters inside a book who actually live, eat, and breathe there. Every day they rehearse their plot in hopes of playing for a Reader, and usually that means Delilah. The book opens with Delilah waiting on Oliver at school. Magically, Oliver has switched positions and worlds with Edgar, his real-life likeness and son of the book's author. Making their dreams come true, Oliver is now a part of reality while Edgar is learning the ropes in the book.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

Release Date: June 9, 2015
Publisher & ARC: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 9781250052599
Ages: 12+

Grace Wilde knows what it's like to be famous. He father is a famous country music producer, and her brother was at the top of the country music charts for years. Her life is a constant frenzy of photographers, interviews, and adrenaline. This excitement is also the reason why she couldn't save her brother, at least in her mind. Grace found her brother in his own vomit, and since then, she blames herself for not recognizing signs that he was depressed. Her mother also seems to blame her, so there's nothing left for Grace to do but get away.

Grace leaves Nashville, Tennessee for a completely different life in Korea, simply because it was the first country that came up in her Google search of international boarding schools. Leaving everything familiar, and painful, to her behind, Grace arrives at the Korean School for Foreign Studies. Completely unfamiliar with the culture and the language, Grace makes her way to her dorm room where she meets Sophie, a meek Korean girl who has actually lived in America and can speak perfect English, which is good to spoiled, Caucasian, blonde Grace. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sourcebooks Fire Book Trailer Reveal for The Six by Mark Alpert

The Six
By Mark Alpert
Sourcebooks Fire

July 7, 2015

Advance Praise for Mark Alpert

“Adam is an unusual hero—and he faces a frightening question: Computers can’t kill—CAN they? I’m still shaken by the answer. Will the near-future really be this terrifying?” —R.L. Stine, bestselling author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series

“An exciting action story chock-full of characters you’ll love. The Six is full of big ideas, big questions, real science, and things that will make you think and wonder and lie awake late at night.” —Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of the Gone series

“The Six are introduced as terminally-ill teens, but there’s plenty of high-speed action in which they engage. Their physical disabilities and limitations through disease are forgotten as the teens’ hearts, minds, and personalities shine through...questions of principle, power, and possibility keep this look at our modern, hardwired existence fresh and fascinating.” STARRED Booklist

“Alpert's exploration of neuromorphic electronics raises interesting questions about ethics, technology, and human nature…a haunting ending scene will leave readers pondering the line between progress and loss. A thought-provoking clash between humanity and machinery.”- Kirkus Reviews

“A well-researched, hardcore science-fiction joyride, great for fans of first-person shooter video games like Halo and Destiny. Highly recommended” –School Library Journal
“Do not just read The Six; make your friends read it too.” –VOYA Magazine

Avatar meets The Terminator in this thrilling cyber-tech adventure…

Book Info:

Adam’s muscular dystrophy has taken his motility, his friends, and in a few short years, it will take his life. He takes solace in playing video games he’s programmed to reflect the life that he used to have. Virtual reality is the one realm where he can be the hero, and it’s where he chooses to spend his time, until an entity called Sigma tries to kill him.

A dangerously advanced artificial intelligence program created by Adam’s computer-genius father, Sigma has escaped its cyber prison and is threatening global destruction and domination. But Adam’s father has a plan. He will stop Sigma by using the technology he developed to digitally preserve the mind of his dying son.
Adam’s consciousness is uploaded into the body of a weaponized robot, along with a group of five other gifted teens who are terminally ill. Together, they must learn how to manipulate their new mechanical forms and prepare for combat before Sigma destroys humanity. Adam can finally play the hero for real, but will his new body be worth the sacrifice of his human existence?

This innovative and thought-provoking young adult debut, from the critically acclaimed author of adult thrillersFinal Theory and The Omega Theory, questions what it means to be human and whether we are destined to be defined by our physical bodies or our intellect.  

Mark Alpert:

Mark Alpert is a former editor at Scientific American, and the author of several adult thrillers. He’s been praised by Douglas Preston as the “heir to Michael Crichton.” Visit Mark online at

Excerpt from The Six:

Shannon rears back in her seat as if she’s been slapped. “And where are you going to store the copies of our brains?” Her voice is furious. “In a supercomputer? A big electronic prison?”
Dad doesn’t take offense. He answers her calmly. “The scanning process converts human intelligence to a digital form, allowing it to run on any neuromorphic computer that has enough memory and processing power. But in the initial stage right after the transfer, we believe it’s important to connect the intelligence to a machine that can move around and sense the outside world. A human intelligence is accustomed to controlling a body, so if we want to preserve its sanity, we’d better give it something to control. Here, let me show you.”
He puts the vial of nanoprobes back in his pocket and pulls out something else, a small remote--control device. He points it at the doorway beside the stage, and a moment later I hear a loud clanking. The noise startles the soldiers standing by the doorway. They step backward, flattening themselves against the wall. Then a seven--foot--tall robot emerges from the doorway and brushes past them.
The robot strides across the stage. It has two arms and two legs, but otherwise it isn’t very humanlike. It has no head or neck. Its torso is shaped like a giant bullet, with the rounded end on top. Its legs angle downward from the base of its torso and rest on oval steel--plate footpads that clang against the floor.
The machine marches briskly past the podium and stops in front of my dad, who presses a button on his remote control. This command extends the robot’s arms, which telescope to a full length of six feet. They look like multi--jointed tentacles. The machine’s hands, though, resemble human hands, with dexterous mechanical fingers and thumbs.
Dad presses another button, and the robot’s rounded top starts to turn like a turret. “The cameras and acoustic sensors are up here,” Dad says, pointing at the top end. “But the neuromorphic electronics are deep inside the torso, encased in armor plating. These robots were originally designed for the war in Afghanistan, so they’re pretty sturdy.” He raps his knuckles against the torso. “All in all, it’s an excellent platform for a newly transferred intelligence, but really it’s just the beginning. The whole point of the Pioneer Project is to bridge the gap between man and machine, and that means the human intelligences must explore their new environment. The Pioneers will have to learn how to use their new capabilities, and that includes transferring their intelligences from one machine to another.”
His voice grows louder again, full of enthusiasm. “Once the Pioneers have mastered these tasks, our hope is that they’ll be able to establish a connection with Sigma. If all goes well, they’ll start communicating with the AI before it launches any of the Russian missiles. And then the toughest challenge will begin. At the same time that the humans are learning how to be machines, they’ll have to teach Sigma how to be human.”

Rafflecopter Giveaway for Sourcebooks Fire Sci-Fi Book Pack including a copy of The Six by Mark Alpert (Runs June 11-June 23rd) US and Canada only:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Release Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher & ARC: Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9780373211425
Ages: 14+

Having just finished watching the entire Sons of Anarchy series, I felt entirely prepared for the lingo and general plot of McGarry's novel. I even chuckled at the digs at TV shows like Sons for motorcycle clubs that are too violent or illegitimate. I would definitely venture to say that this book is like the CW version of SOA, in a good way.

Emily, 17, loves Florida. She loves her mother and the man she married who adopted Emily before the wedding. She carries no knowledge of her real father's way of life in Kentucky. Her mother doesn't speak of it, and she only sees Eli once a year, out of curiosity. 

While her adopted father Jeff tries to encourage Emily to seek happiness beyond Florida's borders, Emily is completely content to stay near the comfort of everything she has known her entire life...for three main reasons. The biggest reason is that Emily fell into a hole when she was eight and spent an entire night with a corpse. Since then, she is incredibly afraid of anything that resembles death. So when Eli's mother dies, and Emily has to go to the wake, her childhood fears flare and anxiety settles in.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Release Date: June 9, 2015
Publisher & ARC: Random House Children's
ISBN:  9780553536515
Ages: 12+
It's not often I read a book in one sitting, but I could not put this book down. It did help that I'm on a two-day train trip and have a ton of time to read since there's absolutely nothing to look at in Texas once you get past Houston. Either way, Finding Audrey is one of the most unique and witty books I've read in a long time. I can totally see it as a film adaptation and be as popular as The Fault in Our Stars. 

Fourteen-year-old Audrey is no longer in school, the bullied victim of a group of mean girls. Kinsella skirts around detailing the actual incident (and in various humorous ways), but it is so effective that the scene is unnecessary. Since the incident that took Audrey out of her school, she has been seeing Dr. Sarah and taking medication to deal with her anxiety and depression disorders. She doesn't feel like she's good enough for anything, and she wears dark sunglasses at all times because she fears eye contact.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Adrift by Paul Griffin

Release Date: July 28, 2015
Publisher & ARC: Scholastic
ISBN: 9780545709392
Ages: 12+

Matt and John are best friends and have decided to leave Queens and head to the beach for the summer--to work. Pushing ice cream carts in humid, hot, salty air might not seem luxurious, but it keeps the boys tan and their eyes out for girls. Not a bad a gig after all.

Matt and John are almost complete opposites--Matt has his sights set on Yale while John doesn't really have any plans for his future, at least not the Ivy League kind. But they have one thing in common: tragedy. John lost his father in a drive-by shooting when the boys were on their way home from a baseball game. This tragedy made the boys even closer than they were before, solidifying their friendship forever. But there's always a girl that comes along to test any friendship.