Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #201 - Instructions for the End of the World & Passenger

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Be sure to post a link to your Waiting on Wednesday below!

This week's pre-publication "We can't wait to read it!" selections are...

Author: Jamie Kain 
Release Date: December 8, 2015 
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin 

He prepared their family for every natural disaster known to man - except for the one that struck.

When Nicole Reed's father forces her family to move to a remote area of the Sierra Foothills, one without any modern conveniences, it's too much too handle for her mother, who abandons them in the middle of the night. Heading out to track her down, Nicole's father leaves her in charge of taking care of the house and her younger sister, Izzy. For a while, Nicole is doing just fine running things on her own. But then the food begins to run out, the pipes crack, and forest fires start slowly inching their way closer every day. Wolf, a handsome boy from the neighboring community, offers to help her when she needs it most, but when she starts to develop feelings for him, feelings she knows she will never be allowed to act on once her father returns, she must make a decision. With her family falling apart, will she choose to continue preparing for tomorrow's disasters, or will she take a chance and really start living for today? (Summary from Goodreads)

Seems like an interesting twist on a survivalist story. I'm hoping the main character emerges strong! 

(Passenger, Book 1)
Author: Alexandra Bracken 
Release Date: January 5, 2016 
Published by: Disney-Hyperion 

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she's inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she's never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods - a powerful family in the colonies - and the servitude he's known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can't escape and the family that won't let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas' passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them - whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods' grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home...forever. (Summary from Goodreads)

This. Sounds. SO. Dang. Good!  

What are you waiting on this week?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Review: Ballet Cat: Dance, Dance Underpants!

Ballet Cat: Dance! Dance! Underpants! 
Author: Bob Shea
Series: Ballet Cat
Release date: February 2, 2016
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Poor Butter Bear is afraid to dance until Ballet Cat says no one will be mean just because your underpants show while dancing.

My thoughts: I just LOVE these! They are SO darn fun, sweet, and adorable!! The colors, the characters, and the story are all perfectly fantastic. 

The girls thoughts: WE LOVE IT! These books are so fun and funny too! We can't wait for the next one. 

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #200 - The Trouble with Destiny & Thicker Than Water

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Be sure to post a link to your Waiting on Wednesday below!

This week's pre-publication "We can't wait to read it!" selections are...

Author: Lauren Morrill 
Release Date: December 8, 2015 
Published by: Delacorte 

It's not about the destination, it's about the journey...

With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm - the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize.

Liza can't imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She's therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she's especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens to be Liza's ex-best friend and leader of the Athens, a show choir that's the band's greatest competition.

But it's not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza's best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she's about to find herself lost at sea. (Summary from Goodreads)

Okay, this sounds like a really fun read. Can't wait to get it in my hands! :)

Author: Brigid Kemmerer 
Release Date: December 29, 2015 
Published by: Kensington Books 

On his own.

Thomas Bellweather hasn't been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad's cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there's any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she'd like a couple answers.

Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden... (Summary from Goodreads)

WOW! This sounds SO GOOD! And, I LOVE Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental series SO MUCH!!

What are you waiting on this week?

Audiobook Review: All Fall Down

All Fall Down 
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Embassy Row, Book 1
Release date: January 20, 2015
Published by: Scholastic
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Grace is an adrenaline junkie who has been dragged from place to place as an Army brat over the years. She's also the granddaughter of a very powerful ambassador. Grace grew up exploring every corner of Embassy Row each summer visiting her grandfather. Now, when she has no where else to go, she's back to stay with him for good. Will she be able to fit back into Embassy Row? Or will she go completely off the planned itinerary about the past?

My thoughts: This was an interesting one, that I listened to back and forth to and from work. The twists and turns were full of intrigue that kept me listening to the end. Full of teen drama, angst and the pain of extreme loss. 

I had a hard time liking, or connecting with the main character of Grace. She was too teenager for me and did things that were the opposite of what was the best idea. Of course, it's written for teens so it will be interesting to see what my students think of it. I was also worried about the storyline since I kept getting closer and closer to the end and there wasn't any hint of clearing up the plot drama. Plus, the fact that the "country" they're in really isn't a country at all in real life really bothered me for some reason. I don't know what my deal was with that, but boy did it drive me nutty. Maybe it was a visualizing thing.

As for the audiobook: I liked the reading that was done. Her voice fit with the character very well and also did a great job with all of the accents too. The other thing I really liked was the speed at which she read the story which was nicely done. 

Conclusion: Good luck guessing the ending ahead of getting there! Wow are there ever twists and turns! I cannot wait to listen to book 2! I have to know what happens next! 

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #199 - Rules for 50/50 Chances & Not If I See You First

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Be sure to post a link to your Waiting on Wednesday below!

This week's pre-publication "We can't wait to read it!" selections are...

Author: Kate McGovern
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Published by: Farrar, Straus and Giroux 

Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she's going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take a test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington's disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother. With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family's genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she'll live to be a healthy adult - including going to ballet school and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool, and gets an audition for a dance scholarship in California, Rose begins to question her carefully-laid rules. (Summary from Goodreads)

It will be interesting to see how the main character faces life -- what an interesting topic. 

Author: Eric Lindstrom 
Release Date: December 1, 2015 
Published by: Poppy

The Rules: 

Don't deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public. 

Don't help me unless I ask. Otherwise you're just getting in my way or bothering me. 

Don't be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I'm just like you only smarter. 

Parker Grant doesn't need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That's why she created the Rules: Don't treat her any differently just because she's blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there's only on way to react-shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that's right, her eyes don't work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn't cried since her dad's death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened--both with Scott, and her dad--the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken. (Summary from Goodreads)

This sounds great...the drama, the tension, and more! 

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #198 - Just Visiting & Soundless

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Be sure to post a link to your Waiting on Wednesday below!

This week's pre-publication "We can't wait to read it!" selections are...

Author: Dahlia Adler 
Release Date: November 17, 2015
Published by: Spencer Hill

Reagan Forrester wants out--out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas.

Victoria Reyes wants in--in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn't go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won't stand out for being Mexican.

One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they're staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn't look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective...only to learn she's set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants...only to realize everything she's looking for might be in the very place they've sworn to leave.

As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don't know about each other's pasts. And when each learns what the other's been hiding, they'll have to decide whether their friendship has a future. (Summary from Goodreads)

Oh, this one sounds like a lively story about friendship and growing up. Can't wait! 

Author: Richelle Mead 
Release Date: November 10, 2015 
Published by: Razorbill 

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei's home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon. (Summary from Goodreads)

Thoroughly enjoyed her VA series, and I cannot wait for a new one. Plus, this sounds so very different and interesting. Mysterious too. I'm in!

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: Illusive

Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Series: Illusive, Book 1
Release date: July 15, 2015
Published by: Little, Brown Book for Young Readers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ciere is a thief who has very special skills...she can blend in with her surroundings so well that you could be standing right in front of her and not see her. Pretty handy! When the MK virus got a vaccine to control the epidemic, there were side effects for some. They gained special abilities. Ciere is one of them; she's an illusionist. But when a job goes bad, she teams up with a group of people/criminals to do another job that might just fix everything, or make everything much worse.

My thoughts: I think with this book my hopes for it were so much higher then what I feel like I got. I LOVED Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series and have been hoping and waiting for something that's as amazing as that one ever since. This just wasn't it. I did like the idea of what was happening with the "Heist Society" + "X-Men" plot, but it just didn't get pulled off completely for me. Now, ask me if I'm going to read book 2 = YES! I'm still hoping for more! I was just underwhelmed with this I guess...

I thought the abilities were interesting. The fact that they only could get them if they'd gotten the vaccine was a cool idea. I also thought that how there were only a certain set of abilities that had manifested was an interesting way to go too. 

The characters are where I had a hard time. Ciere was not someone I could connect with which made things difficult for me as a reader. She froze up, wasn't brave, wasn't an empowering female like I'm always looking for in female lead characters. I get that teenagers don't want to listen to adults. I get that completely, but it was rather overdone with this character. It made Ciere seem a bit ridiculous since blowing them off for her meant that she was then completely out of other options because she was terrible in a fight scene. 

Like I said, I AM going to read book 2 and I'm looking forward to it because I'm hoping that Ciere is going to grow out of some of this junk that really bothered me. Perhaps that has been Lloyd's plan all along. Plus, the general plot and ideas are pretty cool! I saw that Andye @ReadingTeen.net thought the Audiobook was good so I might try that out too. 

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