Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #162 - Liars, Inc. & The Girl at Midnight

"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: Paula Stokes
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help pf his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn't think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up--terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston's body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn't commit? (Summary from Goodreads)

I don't read a ton of mysteries but this one sounds like a good one for my first mystery of 2015. :)

Author: Melissa Grey
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Published by: Delacorte Press

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.

Legend has it that their is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, bit if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants...and how to take it.

But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire. (Summary from Goodreads)

WHOA!!! THIS. SOUNDS. AMAZING! This was the one ARC I did not get at ALAMW15. I was SO bummed. I didn't even SEE it there! :( But then I just got it on NetGalley this week. Yay! I cannot wait to give it a try.

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Review: The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

The Clockwork Scarab 
Author: Colleen Gleason
Series: Stoker & Holmes, Book 1
Release date: September 17, 2013
Published by: Chronicle Books
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Evaline Stoker + Mina Holmes + a mission from "Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales" which is facilitated by Irene Adler = ADVENTURE! Young women are going missing, socialites, and these two are bound and determined to save them no matter the cost to themselves or to their reputations.

My thoughts: This was fun, fun, fun! A great escape from what I've been reading lately. Plus, it had STEAMPUNK elements in it as well. Woot! Woot! I'm in love with that whenever I find it. There was also time travel which was an interesting twist of events I didn't think I was going to be ok with in the plot, but I kept going and it worked out just fine.

What was most fun in my opinion was that the chapters were in alternating voices of Mina and Evaline who are very different young ladies. If you are looking for a main character to connect with, you get two chances in this story. Evaline is part of high society, but not a fan of it always hoping to avoid it somehow. Mina is a thinker and a rather reclusive inventor who is a bit confused by social interactions. I loved her awkwardness!

Final thoughts: There were just SO MANY layers in this story to unravel that I never got bored with it! The perfect middle grade book for those into mysteries! Bring on book 2! I'm SO glad I grabbed it at ALAMW15!

View all my reviews

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Review: Orphan Train by Christine Baker Kline

Orphan Train 
Author: Christina Baker Kline
Release date: April 2, 2013
Published by: William Morrow/HarperCollins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Molly Ayer has just months before she "ages out" of the system when she gets kicked out of her foster home. What is she going to do? Now she's become EXACTLY what her boyfriend's mom thinks she is. A loser. Vivian Daly has been living a quiet life in Maine until Molly walks into her life to work off her community service hours. As Molly and Vivian sift through the attic filled with Vivian's life they realize that maybe they are the only two people who can truly understand the loss and betrayals each has had to endure. Maybe, just maybe they can begin to heal each other...

My thoughts: We read this one a while ago for our book club, and it was good. I liked it. I knew about the orphan trains that had come to the Midwest because I've come across books here and there in the libraries when I've been working on the collections. What I didn't know was that it was a mostly unorganized, and "don't ask don't tell" type of operation once families took on a child. At least that's how the author portrays it here. The stories that she told were based on true stories, and I'm sure there was truth in the fiction she wrote. Of course, it was bad luck for the great depression to hit around that time as well but still a mostly unacceptable practice in the end leaving children mostly with people who you think do not check up on regularly. When you read about it, it's considered the beginning of the national foster care system which is an interesting way of looking at it I suppose. It makes sense I suppose, but boy did it need work! 

To have the dual stories of Molly and Vivian in there different times and in their dual brokenness was a good idea. Having Vivian flash back with their attic "cleaning out" sessions was a fascinating thing. The thing that kept it all from being great instead of good for me was that it was so incredibly predictable from the very first few chapters. I knew exactly what was going to happen, and it did. I detest that. Oh well.

Non-fiction element: At the end there's a section all about the actual Orphan Trains, which is excellent for those who want to learn more or for those who don't know much at all about them. Here's a link to learn a bit more if you are interested: 

Final thoughts: If you like historical fiction, or broken people then THIS is for you! Give it a try ASAP!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #161 - Perfect Ruin & Miss Mayhem

"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 DeStefano 
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream, unless you approach the edge. Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close can lead to madness, like her older brother Lex, a Jumper. She takes solace in her best friend Pen, and Basil, the boy she's engaged to marry. When she investigates the first murder in a generation, she meets Judas. The suspect was betrothed to the victim, but Morgan believes he is innocent. Nothing can prepare Morgan for the secrets she will find - or whom she will lose. (Summary from Goodreads)

Wow! What an intriguing world concept. Looks like it's the right time to read this new paperback version because the second book comes out in March, too. 

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Published by: Putnam Juvenile

Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.

Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they'd rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can't stay David's Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her...or connect her to David for life. (Summary from Goodreads)


Check out my review of...
Book 1, Rebel Belle

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #160 - We All Hooked Up & Kin

"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: Tommy Wallach
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth.

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried "they" might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can't wait to escape Seattle--and her reputation--and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn't understand all the fuss about college and career--the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future us hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors--along with the rest of the planet--wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they're going to spend what remains of the present. (Summary from Goodreads)

Interesting, right?!? I love that Wallach is playing on the idea that high school seniors are at one of the "crossroads" moments in life. It will be interesting to see how throwing in the possible end of the world affects these teens choices.

Author: Lili St. Crow
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Published by: Razorbill

Full moon. Glowing eyes. Red lips. And such sharp, sharp teeth...

In the kin world, girls Ruby de Varre's age are expected to play nice, get betrothed, and start a family--especially if they're rootkin, and the fate of the clan is riding on them. But after a childhood of running wild in the woods, it's hard to turn completely around and be demure. Even if your Gran is expecting it.

Then Conrad, handsome and charming, from a clan across the Waste, comes to New Haven to seal alliance between their two families. The sparks fly immediately. Conrad is smart, dominant, and downright gorgeous. Yet as Ruby gets to know him more, she starts to realize something's...off.

Then, the murders start. A killer stalks the city streets, and just when Ruby starts to suspect the unimaginable, she becomes the next target. Now Ruby's about to find out that Conrad's secrets go deeper than she ever could have guessed--and it's up to Ruby to save her Gran, her clan, and maybe even herself... (Summary from Goodreads)

I cannot believe I still haven't read any of these! Shame on me!! Not only do they have GORGEOUS covers, but they always sound SO GOOD!! Has anyone read them? Are they as good as I think they'll be?

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: Dove Arising by Karen Bao

Dove Arising 
Author: Karen Bao
Series: Dove Chronicles, Book 1
Release date: February 24, 2015
Published by: Viking Books for Young Readers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Phaet has lived her whole life on the Moon on Base IV, and most recently spending all of her extra time in Greenhouse 22 with her best friend. That was before the young man from Medical showed up and hauled her mother off claiming she was so sick she might contaminate others! Phaet is left with her young brother and sister to care for along with very little money. Will she be able to do continue as the highest in her class and on to her planned schooling even though her mother is sick now? But then, they receive the worst news of all...their mother isn't going to be coming home from Medical because she's being taken to Jail! What is Phaet going to do now!? And how is she going to make sure they all stay out of Shelter now?

My thoughts: This was a surprisingly fast read! I started it on Saturday and finished it on Sunday morning! That rarely gets to happen these days with 2 kids, a hubby, a job, etc.! I especially loved how I thought I was Ms. Smarty and knew all that was going to happen and then really didn't know it 100% in the end!

I also really liked how their little "family" of two families was so good at helping each other. I was really worried I was going to hate Phaet and find her awful or annoying. Instead I found her to be incredibly brave and intelligent as she gave up on her entire dream for her life that she had built and early enrolled as the youngest person into the Militia for the money to support her family on her own in her mother's absence. One thing that was rather interesting was that Phaet was extremely quiet...which works for her but not really for others unless they really like to just talk while she listens.

Here's something that was rather fun in the book - there were a bunch of bits about stars and constellations! They were everywhere in the book! So if you're a fan of that then you'll really like this one. Oh, and everyone is named after a star, or comet, or something in space! That was fascinating to learn about as well. 

Final thought: I CANNOT WAIT for book 2! Plus, I'm getting this for MMS LMC ASAP! :D

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #159 - The Distance Between Lost and Found & Razorhurst

"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: Kathryn Holmes
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Published by: HarperTeen 

Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher's son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her she was silent. When her friends abandoned her...silent.

Now, six months later on a youth group retreat in the Smokey Mountains, Hallie still can't find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn't aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn't know who to trust.

On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie's former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.

With past betrayals and harrowing obstacles in their way, Hallie fears they'll never reach safety. Could speaking up about the night that changed everything close the distance between being lost and found? Or has she traveled too far to come back? (Summary from Goodreads)

I don't always pick stories that I know will make me sad, but this one sounds similar to Speak, one of my all time favorite books with the premise that this young woman needs to find a way to make her voice heard and that's a powerful message worth reading. 

Author: Justine Larbalestier
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Published by: Soho Teen

Sydney's deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, 1932. Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson, two ruthless mob bosses, have reached a fragile peace--one maintained by "razor men." Kelpie, orphaned and homeless, is blessed (and cursed) with the ability to see Razorhurst's many ghosts. They tell her secrets the living can't know about the cracks already forming in the mobs' truce.

The Kelpie meets Dymphna Campbell, a legendary beauty and prized moll of Gloriana Nelson. She's earned the nickname "Angel of Death" because none of her beaus has ever survived knowing her. Unbeknownst to Kelpie, Dymphna can see ghosts, too, and she knows that Gloriana's hold is crumbling one henchman at a time. As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens the two girls at every turn, Dymphna is determined not only to survive, but to rise to the top with Kelpie at her side. (Summary from Goodreads)

Doesn't this sound interesting and original!? 

What are you waiting on this week?