Thursday, August 3, 2017

(Best of 2017 So Far) Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

Check out http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/ for all of the new releases!




Orphan Black meets Lord of the Flies in this riveting new thriller from the co-author of the Virals series. 

It's been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.

Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.

For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.
Overall Thoughts

This definitely isn't your average YA book and borderlines on horror (which is great, in my opinion). The premise that Min is murdered every two years on her birthday (and comes back) is a pretty original YA plot these days. The frightening part isn't necessarily that she knows it's going to happen so much as she can do absolutely nothing to stop the man in black. As if the plot wasn't unique enough, there's also an impending asteroid heading toward Earth, which makes Min's anxiety surrounding her "death" even more imminent (and also helps to keep the pace of the novel at a fever pitch). The structure of the novel varies between Min's narrative (including flashbacks that serve as pieces to the overall puzzle) and switching points of view with Noah (who has issues all his own but that are more connected to Min than either of them realize). In the end, and knowing there's a sequel coming next year, Nemesis becomes part of one of the YA series that you can't wait to re-read while waiting on the next journey.


About the author



Brendan Reichs was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2000 and The George Washington University School of Law in 2006. After three long years working as a litigation attorney, he abandoned the trade to write full time. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Nemesis, and co-author of the Virals series, written with Kathy Reichs. Brendan lives in Charlotte with his wife, son, daughter, and a herd of animals that tear up everything.



"Prepare yourselves for greatness." -James Dashner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner series.

Can the Fire Lake sophomore class survive in a world without consequences?

Noah Livingston knows he is destined to survive. 

The 64 members of Fire Lake's sophomore class are trapped in a place where morals have no meaning and zero rules apply. But Noah's deaths have trained him-hardened him-to lead the strongest into the future ... whatever that may be. And at any cost. 

Min Wilder knows that survival alone isn't enough. 

In a violent world where brute force passes for leadership, it's tempting to lay back and let everyone else battle it out. But Min's instincts rebel against allowing others to decide who lives and who dies. She's ready to fight for what she believes in. And against whomever might stand in her way.

Lord of the Flies meets The Matrix in Brendan Reichs's follow-up to the instant New York Timesbestseller Nemesis.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Review: Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Check out https://www.sterlingpublishing.com/ for all of Sterling's new releases!




“Aven is a perky, hilarious, and inspiring protagonist whose attitude and humor will linger even after the last page has turned.” —School Library Journal (Starred review)

Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.

Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven’s about to discover she can do it all . . . even without arms.
Overall Thoughts

There are not enough books out there that deal with the sensitive subjects that Bowling covers in her new debut Middle Grades novel. Aven (what an awesome name by the way) is as unique and charming as the Stagecoach Pass setting. Middle grades readers will love the mysteries surrounding the Stagecoach Pass as Aven and Connor bond over their disabilities. Aven's eclectic personality enhances the stories she tells as she meets new people, making it impossible not to fall in love with her. Middle school is one of the toughest parts of growing up, and Bowling sheds light on dealing with disabilities and finding peers who are truly caring and supportive. While the ending does become a bit predictable, the characters carry an endearing quality all the way through. 


About the author

Dusti Bowling grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, where, as her family will tell you, she always had her nose in a book. Dusti holds a Bachelor of Psychology and a Master of Education, but she eventually realized that her true passion was writing. The Day We Met, her self-published YA novel, has sold over 20,000 copies. She currently lives in Carefree, Arizona, with her husband, three daughters, one bobcat, a pack of coyotes, a couple of chuckwallas, several rattlesnakes, and a few herds of javelina.






Thursday, July 27, 2017

Spotlight: Windwitch by Susan Dennard (Best of 2017 so far)


Have you read Windwitch (sequel to Truthwitch) yet? What are you waiting on? Don't forget to check out http://www.torteen.com/ for all of Tor Teen's new releases!




Susan Dennard returns with a follow up to New York Times bestselling novel Truthwitch.
After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak―which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.
When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her―yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?
After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge―especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.
Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

About the author

Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. As a marine biologist, she got to travel the world—six out of seven continents, to be exact (she’ll get to you yet, Asia!)—before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor.

She is the author of the Something Strange and Deadly series as well as the New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, and when not writing, she’s usually slaying darkspawn (on her Xbox) or earning bruises at the dojo.

She lives in the Midwestern US with her French husband, two spoiled dogs, and two grouchy cats. Learn more about her crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on her blog, newsletter, Twitter, or Instagram.


Check out The Witchlands Official Website for the latest updates and news!



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Three Favorite Books from Harlequin Teen in 2017


Here are my three favorite books of the year so far from Harlequin Teen! Check out https://www.harlequin.com/shop/brand/harlequin-teen.html for all of Harlequin Teen's new releases!




"It's not like I never thought about being mixed race. I guess it was just that, in Brooklyn, everyone was competing to be unique or surprising. By comparison, I was boring, seriously. Really boring." 
Culture shock knocks city girl Agnes "Nes" Murphy-Pujols off-kilter when she's transplanted mid–senior year from Brooklyn to a small Southern town after her mother's relationship with a coworker self-destructs. On top of the move, Nes is nursing a broken heart and severe homesickness, so her plan is simple: keep her head down, graduate and get out. Too bad that flies out the window on day one, when she opens her smart mouth and pits herself against the school's reigning belle and the principal. 
Her rebellious streak attracts the attention of local golden boy Doyle Rahn, who teaches Nes the ropes at Ebenezer. As her friendship with Doyle sizzles into something more, Nes discovers the town she's learning to like has an insidious undercurrent of racism. The color of her skin was never something she thought about in Brooklyn, but after a frightening traffic stop on an isolated road, Nes starts to see signs everywhere—including at her own high school where, she learns, they hold proms. Two of them. One black, one white. 
Nes and Doyle band together with a ragtag team of classmates to plan an alternate prom. But when a lit cross is left burning in Nes's yard, the alterna-prommers realize that bucking tradition comes at a price. Maybe, though, that makes taking a stand more important than anything. 

About the author

Liz Reinhardt was born and raised in the idyllic beauty of northwest NJ. A move to the subtropics of coastal Georgia with her daughter and husband left her with a newly realized taste for the beach and a bloated sunscreen budget that exist right alongside an intense longing for the bagels and fast-talking foul mouths of her youth. She loves Raisinettes, even if they aren’t really candy, the Oxford comma, movies that are hilarious or feature zombies, any and all books, but especially romance (the smarter and hotter, the better), the sound of her daughter’s incessantly wise and entertaining chatter, and watching her husband work on cars in the driveway. You can read her blog at www.elizabethreinhardt.blogspot.com, like her on Facebook, or email her at lizreinhardtwrites@gmail.com.




"My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning." 
With her last living breath, Tenley "Ten" Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences. 
Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right?  
But Ten's competition is Killian, the boy she can't forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she's never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory.

About the author 
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld, Otherworld Assassins, and Angels of the Dark series, as well as two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series.  In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine.  She was interviewed on Nightline and has been mentioned in Orange is the New Black.  Her books have been translated in multiple languages.
She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees.



His whole life has been mapped out for him… 
Carlos Portillo has always led a privileged and sheltered life. A dual citizen of Mexico and the United States, he lives in Mexico City with his wealthy family, where he attends an elite international school. Always a rule follower and a parent pleaser, Carlos is more than happy to tread the well-worn path in front of him. He has always loved food and cooking, but his parents see it as just a hobby. 
When his older brother, Felix—who has dropped out of college to live a life of travel—is tragically killed, Carlos begins hearing his brother's voice, giving him advice and pushing him to rebel against his father's plan for him. Worrying about his mental health but knowing the voice is right, Carlos runs away to the United States and manages to secure a job with his favorite celebrity chef. As he works to improve his skills in the kitchen and pursue his dream, he begins to fall for his boss's daughter—a fact that could end his career before it begins. Finally living for himself, Carlos must decide what's most important to him and where his true path really lies.

About the author
Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City, then studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in class, he mostly read fiction and continuously failed to fill out crossword puzzles, so it's no surprise that after graduating, he did not go into business world but rather packed up his apartment into his car and escaped to the California coastline to become a writer. He's now back in his hometown, where he writes, coaches high school and elementary basketball, and has perfected the art of making every dish he eats or cooks as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he's lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas, and Monterey, California. A tingly feeling in his feet tells him more places will eventually be added to the list. Let's Get Lost is his YA debut.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Feature: My Favorite Three Books from Sky Pony Press in 2017

Here are my favorite three books of the year so far from Sky Pony Press! Check out http://skyponypress.com/newreleases for all of Sky Pony Press new releases!



For as long as she can remember, Laney’s been having “future flashes”—visions of the future that she sees when she makes physical contact with another person. Left on a doorstep as a baby, Laney’s past has always been cloudy to her, despite the clarity with which she can see the future. Her caretaker, Walt, claims to be her father, but Laney has a nagging suspicion that he isn’t quite telling her the entire truth. And when a new kid, Lyle, moves to her small town, Laney is dreading meeting him—she almost always gets a future flash when first meeting someone new and they aren’t always good. Unfortunately, her meeting with Lyle isn’t just bad; it’s painful. Engulfed in flames, Lyle’s future flash is the worst Laney’s ever experienced. But what does it mean? Is there anything Laney can do to change the future? And will she be able to save Lyle not only from a firey death but also from the merciless class bully without becoming a victim of his antics herself?

In this thrilling and imaginative middle grade novel from author Kita Helmetag Murdock, follow Laney as she works against the clock to understand her past and prevent the disaster looming in the future. Aimed at readers ages 8 to 12, the book encompasses important themes such as identity, bullying, friendship, family relationship, and more. Kids will identify with Laney, who is a bit of an outsider but also has a good moral compass, and will love her supernatural abilities. Parents, teachers, and librarians will see the value in the themes discussed and in the positive outcome of the book with a very hopeful tone.

About the author
Kita Helmetag Murdock is the author of Francie’s Fortune and Cecily Cicada. She has an English degree from Boston College and a Master of Arts in Teaching from American University. She lives with her husband and three daughters.
 



This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget. 

Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can't she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below—dead?

As Maggie's memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

McBride delivers a novel of secrets that packs an emotional punch, perfect for fans of Sara Zarr and Gayle Forman.

About the author 
Kristina McBride is a former English teacher and yearbook advisor. She dreamed of being a published author since she lived across the street from a library as a kid. She is also the author of The Tension of Opposites and A Million Times Goodnight, and lives with her husband and two young children in in Centerville, Ohio.


It’s July 1940 on the south coast of England. A plane crash-lands in the marsh, and sixteen-year-old Peggy finds its broken pilot—a young Polish airman named Henryk. Afraid and unwilling to return to the fight, Henryk needs a place to hide, and Peggy helps him find his way to a remote, abandoned church.

Meanwhile, Peggy’s eleven-year-old brother Ernest is doing his best to try to understand the war happening around him. He’s reading all the pamphlets—he knows all the rules, he knows exactly what to do in every situation. He’s prepared, but not for Peggy’s hidden pilot. 

Told in alternating points of view, this is a beautifully written story about growing up in wartime and finding the difference between following the rules and following your heart.

About the author 
Lydia Syson is the author of A World Between Us and Liberty’s Fire. She is a fifth-generation North Londoner who started her career as a BBC World Service radio producer. A frequent contributor to The History Girls blog, she is also a member of the Scattered Author’s Society, the Society of Authors, the Historical Writers Association, and Children’s Writers and Illustrators in South London. She lives in London, England, with her partner and four children.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Review: Serafina and the Splintered Heart by Robert Beatty


Release Date: July 4, 2017
Publisher & ARC: Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 978-1484775042
Ages8+


The storms are coming....Something has happened to Serafina. She has awoken into a darkness she does not understand, scarred from a terrible battle, only to find that life at Biltmore Estate has changed in unimaginable ways. Old friends do unthinkable things and enemies seem all around. 
A mysterious threat moves towards Biltmore, a force without a name, bringing with it violent storms and flooding that stands to uproot everything in its path. Serafina must uncover the truth about what has happened to her and find a way to harness her strange new powers before it's too late. 
With only days to achieve the impossible, Serafina fights to reclaim herself as the Guardian of Biltmore, friend of Braeden, daughter of her Pa, and heroine of the Blue Ridge Mountains and all the folk and creatures that call it home. 
In the epic third installment of Robert Beatty's #1 bestselling series, Serafina takes her rightful place among literary champions as she battles fiercely to defend all she loves and become everything that she is meant to be.





Review

I have been eagerly awaiting the highly anticipated third book in Robert Beatty's hit Serafina series, and today is the day! [HIT THE JUMP FOR MORE]

Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Be the One: Six True Stories of Teens Overcoming Hardship with Hope


Be the One by Byron Pitts

Release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster


Emmy Award–winning ABC News chief national correspondent and Nightline coanchor, Byron Pitts shares the heartbreaking and inspiring stories of six young people who overcame impossible circumstances with extraordinary perseverance.

Abuse.
Bullying.
War.
Drug Addiction.
Mental Illness.
Violence.

None of these should be realities for anyone, much less a young person. But for some it is the only reality they have ever known. In these dark circumstances, six teens needed someone to “be the one” for them—the hero to help them back into the light. For Tania, Mason, Pappy, Michaela, Ryan, and Tyton, that hero was themselves. Through stirring interviews and his award-winning storytelling, Byron Pitts brings the struggles and triumphs of these everyday heroes to teens just like them, encouraging all of us to be the source of inspiration in our own lives and to appreciate the lives of others around us.
Hit the jump for more!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Best From the First Half of 2017: Delivery by Aaron Meshon


Delivery by Aaron Meshon


Release Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster



A grandmother goes to great lengths to send her grandson a care package in this heartwarming and playful picture book. 

By truck… 
by train… 
by boat… 
by rocket… 
love can travel any road, ride any track, cross any ocean, and soar through any sky. 

Award-winning author-illustrator Aaron Meshon’s tender, whimsical, and almost wordless story celebrates love that knows no bounds.
Hit the jump for more!

The Best From the First Half of 2017: Pen Pals by Alexandra Pichard


Pen Pals by Alexandra Pichard


Release Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster



An octopus and an ant are paired up to write letters for a school project in this charming picture book in the tradition of Dear Mr. Blueberry

For an entire school year, Oscar the ant and Bill the octopus send letters to each other as part of a school project. 

Oscar loves table tennis, and Bill loves modelling clay. 

Oscar does judo, while Bill has a garden. 

Despite their differences, the two new friends find shared interests…all leading up to one final surprise!
Hit the jump for more!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: The Go-Between by Veronica Chambers

The Go-Between by Veronica Chambers


Release Date: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte


This hilarious, honest, and realistic coming-of-age novel set in mega wealthy Mexico City as well as Hollywood, skewers perceived racial stereotypes as well as highlights how the immigrant experience unites those who share the American dream. Through her Afro-Latina heritage, Veronica Chambers brings her own experiences, in fictional form, to these issues while dealing with them in an authentic voice.
  
With humor and humanity, Veronica Chambers offers a universally appealing coming-of-age novel that poses complex questions of identity and assimilation every immigrant must wrestle with: Who were we back there? Who are we here? Who does everyone think we are here? And how do we meld all those selves together into a new life?
Hit the jump for more!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Blog Tour (Spotlight): MISSING by Kelly Armstrong

Crown • Hardcover • April 18, 2017 • ISBN: 0399550321

The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve's End is that soon she'll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There's nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They're better off taking a chance elsewhere.

What Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree.

But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they're all missing?


Click here to see the first eight chapters!


About the Author


Kelley Armstrong is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Darkest Powers (The Summoning, The Awakening, and The Reckoning), Darkness Rising (The Gathering, The Calling, andThe Rising) and Age of Legends (Sea of Shadows, Empire of Night, and Forest of Ruin) trilogies for teens, and most recently the YA thriller The Masked Truth. Kelley lives in southwestern Ontario with her family. You can visit her online at kelleyarmstrong.com.







Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Windfall Blog Tour: Exclusive Q & A with Jennifer E. Smith

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Price: $18.99, Ages 12+




Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for the last few years, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. She and he are alike: both are outsiders, both know tragedy. She lost both her parents when she was nine and now lives with her cousin. 

Teddy’s mother is barely able to hold it all together, forced to grapple with the weight of gambling debts incurred by his father, who abandoned them years ago.

Then, on Teddy’s eighteenth birthday, Alice buys him a lottery ticket, and to their astonishment, he wins $145 million. In an instant, their lives are completely upended. But what at first seems to be a blessing soon starts to feel like a curse. As Alice and Teddy deal with the ripple effects caused by that one little ticket, they learn more about themselves than they ever could have imagined, and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect. Now if only Teddy can see through his windfall and back to the ones who love him.
Hit the jump for an exclusive Q and A!