Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #231 - Chasing Impossible & Nevernight

"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: Katie McGarry 
Release Date: July 1, 2016 
Published by: Harlequin Teen

Tough and independent, 17-year-old Abby lets very few people into her inner circle. It's common knowledge in her Kentucky town that she deals drugs, but not even her closest friends know why. But when a deal goes south and Abby's suddenly in danger, she finds herself reluctantly forced to lean on daredevil Logan--a boy whose restless spirit matches her own.

Logan has his own reasons for wanting to keep Abby at arms' length. But he never expected to find in her the one person who might help him face the demons he's tried so hard to run from.

Together, Abby and Logan will have to make a decision: let their current circumstances weight them down forever...or fight for the future they both thought was impossible. (Summary from Goodreads)

Oh my goodness! I love Katie McGarry. I want it, I want it, I want it!! :)

Author: Jay Kristoff 
Release Date: August 9, 2016 
Published by: Thomas Dunne Books/St.Martin's Press 

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledging killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father's failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father's former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is appreciated to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic--the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she'll be inducted among the Blades of Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church's halls, the bloody secrets of Mia's past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge? (Summary from Goodreads)

After reading Illuminae, I cannot wait to try something else by Kristoff! And THIS sounds awesome! 

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: The Terrible Two

The Terrible Two 
Series: The Terrible Two 
Authors: Jory John & Mac Barnett 
Illustrated by: Kevin Cornell 
Release date: 
Published by: Abrams 

This book is full of mischief, wows, laughs and cows. Lots of cows. This book's Principal Barkin main goal is to suspend Miles. Miles' main goal is to fit in and be the prankster he was in his old school. Then there is Niles, and his goal is to become The Terrible Two with Miles. It's prankster v. prankster. So that means excitement, mischief and lots of pranks. 

My thoughts: This book is awesomely insane. I loved it because the pranks are hilarious and funny. The pictures tell the story for you because they have a lot of character to them. 

I totally recommend it to all ages, especially boys and pranksters. I can't wait to read the next one. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #230 - This Savage Song & Invincible

"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: Victoria Schwab 
Release Date: July 5, 2016 
Published by: Greenwillow Books 

There's no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains--and friends or enemies--with the future of their home at stake.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city--a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent--but he's one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who's just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August's secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. (Summary from Goodreads)

August's problem of being a monster intrigues me. I want to see how Kate and August's story develops.

(The Twixt, Book 4)
Author: Dawn Metcalf 
Release Date: July 26, 2016 
Published by: Harlequin Teen 

Love must be stronger than fear, stronger than fate.


The future of two worlds depends on it.

Joy Malone has learned to live between two realities, surviving mortal threats and agonizing betrayals. And she's found true love. But the world of the Twixt is in chaos, and the Council wants someone to blame...Facing a danger greater than any she's ever known, Joy must find the strength to rely on herself as her allies fall away, because Joy must find the strength to rely on herself as her allies fall away, because Joy is no longer sure just who--or what--she is. She knows only that her deepest secret is also her greatest vulnerability and the key to saving them all.

As she fights to protect her friends and family and to unite two disparate worlds, Joy has to trust that some bonds are stronger than magic.

 (Summary from Goodreads)

I am so completely in love with the series! The characters feel like home to me.

Check out my review of:
Book 1 - Indelible
Book 2 - Invisible 

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: Me Before You (Book & Movie)

Me Before You 
Author: Jojo Moyes
Series: Me Before You, Book 1
Release date: December 31, 2012 
Published by: Penguin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Louisa Clark just needs a job. She suddenly has no job and no plans for her future. When the job agency talks her into trying a job that pays quite a bit more then she's been getting even at the restaurant to be a caregiver for a man in a wheelchair, she has no idea it's going to change her forever. 

Will Traynor is stuck in this wheelchair forever only able to move his head and his hand a bit. He's in pain every day now and just wants it all to end, but when the vibrant and clumsy Clark bursts into his life he has no idea how much it's going to change him. 

My thoughts on the book: This one that was chosen as a book club book with the intent to go to see the movie all together. We didn't have much time from when we decided to read it, which is a bit off from how we usually do things because we usually take a couple months to read something and get together. This was a couple weeks I think! What's funny is that even though this is especially a wildly busy time of year for the teachers in our group, almost everyone from the group read it and went on our little road trip to see the movie! Too fun! 

First of all, you are going to need tissues for this one. I won't ruin the ending in case you are trying to avoid spoilers, but tissues really are a must. The author did such a nice job of writing the characters, both the lead and the secondary ones, so that I was very sucked into a story I was truly not that interested in. Nicely done. I kept thinking, "What is it that is dragging me through this so quickly?" I really think it was these characters who I became rather addicted to. 

Clark and Traynor are both so damaged in their own ways, and dealing with it in such nontraditional ways, that I think I was fascinated in a way that car crashes are sadly fascinating on the side of the roadside. I couldn't seem to get enough of them. Then there was everyone else: his mom and dad, his nurse, his "friends", her sister and nephew, her mom and dad, and her boyfriend. These were all characters that I honestly couldn't stand at all except for the nurse, Nathan, of course who was a very good human being. Everyone else is written in ways that made my skin itch. They are all sucking the life out of Clark and Traynor in their own disgusting ways. Of course, this makes it all the more better to get through those parts so that you can read about Clark and Traynor who literally light up each other's world when they begin to engage. 

As a whole the book was very middle of the road for me. I'm glad I read a book that's "HOT" right now, but could have lived without it too in the end. I'm also glad because I tend to have a hard time reading books like this: contemporary, romance, quadriplegic, etc., so this was outside my traditional "boxes" I stay in far too often. Anytime I can try something outside my "boxes" and actually read it through until the end is more of a win for me. 

My thoughts on the movie: The first thing I must say is that I LOVED the casting! It was SO close to the way that I pictured characters in my head it was rather shocking honestly. I did picture the sister differently for some reason, but oh well. 

As for the plots - they did stay pretty close to the book, but did take pieces out here and there so it was a bit like looking at Brick cheese (not Swiss.) Ok, for those of you NOT from the land of beer and cheese: Brick Cheese = small holes & Swiss Cheese = large holes. So there were lots of little holes all over the place, but nothing that severely messed with the major plot. I will say that I was disappointed that the domestic violence issue that is in the book isn't in the movie and I honestly think it wouldn't have been much to add it in creating a different element to understanding Clark, AND anytime that light and awareness can be cast on violence against women it should be. It almost felt like it was brushed under a rug like it is in real life. Sad. 

Lou Clark's clothes = AWESOMESAUCE! Too fun! 

Tissues are still a MUST! Seriously. A must. 

The annex and Traynor residence wasn't at all what I pictured for some reason, but as a whole the settings were nicely done as well. Even pretty at times. I loved that in the red dress scene when they are at the symphony, she is literally the only person in the entire room wearing color drawing your eye and emphasizing her. Gorgeous. 

Final thoughts: I'm very happy to have read it and now watched the movie because it's a great way to connect with patrons in my libraries, but do not plan to read book 2. Every thing was just middle of the road for me. I know. I can hear the growling from the crowd. Sorry. I didn't say it was bad, just not great. 
What did you think? 
View all my reviews

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #229 - Run & And I Darken

"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: Kody Keplinger 
Release Date: June 28, 2016 
Published by: Scholastic 

Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who's not exactly sober most of the time. Everyone in town knows the Dickinson's are a bad lot, but Bo doesn't care what anyone thinks.

Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents' overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally blind daughter--protect her from what, Agnes isn't quite sure.

Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it's the sort of friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else.

So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn't hesitate to take off with her. But running away and not getting caught will require stealing a car, tracking down Bo's dad, staying ahead of the authorities, and--worst of all--confronting some ugly secrets. (Summary from Goodreads)

Doesn't this sound like a crazy powerful friendship building story? These girls are going to be very interesting to get to know as I'm already intrigued by the synopsis descriptions of them!

(The Conquerors Saga, Book 1)
Author: Kiersten White 
Release Date: July 7, 2016 (paperback)
Published by: Corgi Childrens/Delacorte Press

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.

Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan's courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.

Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan's son, Mehmed, and everything changes. No Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point. (Summary from Goodreads)

Oh how this sounds chilling and dramatic. I cannot wait to try this one! 

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: Copper Gauntlet

The Copper Gauntlet 
Author: Holly Black
Series: Magisterium, Book 2 
Release date: September 1, 2015
Published by: Scholastic 
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Callum Hunt and his wolf pup are not having a good summer with the added scare of his dad possibly trying to destroy them both. They are thankful to head back to the Magisterium in the fall but things aren't quite what they'd hoped there either. Will Callum and his friends be able to save the day again?

My thoughts: I have no idea why I waited so long to write this, but cannot wait for the 3rd book as its publication day nears. So darn good. This 1st book in the series along was the first one that made me feel even close to what I felt when reading the Harry Potter series.

Book two was just as fantastic and magical as the first. I was not disappointed. There were so many twists in the plot in this one that had me hanging on every word. I'm not going to give anything away, so I'll just say that I truly adore the characters in this series. Callum, Havoc, and the others. His friends are loyal and helpful, while the foes are truly bad people. 

Again, I cannot wait to read book 3! This series is a MUST READ!

View all my reviews

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #228 - Lady Jane, Never Ever, Shadow Hour & 738 Days

"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: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows 
Release Date: June 7, 2016 (Yesterday!)
Published by: HarperTeen 

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows have created a on-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history--because sometimes history needs a little help. 

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren't for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be Queen of England. (Summary from Goodreads)

Oh my goodness, this story sounds like fun. I've read books by Hand and Ashton, so I can't wait to see what these three authors do together. (Plus, I love the humor of The Princess Bride and can't wait to see what kind of funny stuff goes on in this story!) 

Author: Sara Saedi 
Release Date:June 21, 2016 
Published by: Viking Books for Young Readers 

Wylie Dalton didn't believe in fairy tales or love at first sight. 

Then she met a real-life Peter Pan.

When Wylie encounters Phinn--confident, mature, and devastatingly handsome--at a party the night before her brother goes to juvie, she can't believe how fast she falls for him. And that's before he shows her how to fly.

Soon Wylie and her brothers find themselves whisked away to a mysterious tropical island off the coast of New York City where nobody ages beyond seventeen and life is a constant party. Wylie's in heaven: now her brother won't go to jail and she can escape her over-scheduled life with all its woes and responsibilities--permanently.

But the deeper Wylie falls for Phinn, the more she begins to discover has been kept from her and her brothers. Somebody on the island has been lying to her, but the truth can't stay hidden forever. (Summary from Goodreads)

Cool--a twist on the Peter Pan story. I love the sound of the mystery hidden in this story and the idea that what may seem like a wonderful world and a perfect place may still have secrets lurking about.  

Author: Melissa Grey 
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Published by: Delacorte Press

Everything in Echo's life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace.

The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart.

Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she's already overcome.

She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight.

Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature--or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what's left of her world to the ground?

Welcome to the shadow hour. (Summary from Goodreads)

I have been waiting FOREVER for this one!!! I read the 1st book from NetGalley far before the pub date, and now have been waiting for book two for so long it feels like. I was absolutely pulled into Echo's world in book 1 and cannot wait to dive in again. I bought this for our high school library as soon as it was out and have been promoting it ever since. It's just gorgeous and original = AWESOME!

Author: Stacey Kade  
Release Date: July 7, 2016
Published by: Forge Books 

At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers--Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the tor  poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, year later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She's not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn't change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to superstardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase's publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase's new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they sand together or fall apart? (Summary from Goodreads)

Doesn't this sound like a good "broken person" story? If you follow us at all, you'll know by now that the only contemporary that I find acceptable is a broken girl or boy story and this sounds like they are both broken. I'm in. 

What are you waiting on this week?

Review: All In

All In 
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Naturals, Book 3 
Release date: November 3, 2015 
Published by: Disney-Hyperion 
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Vegas is being hunted and there have been three killings in three days! The Naturals are on the case, but without anyone showing up in the tapes for the casinos even though the killings were public how are they going to figure this one out? Plus, there's been a break in the case of Cassie's mom's killing. Will it lead to anything? Will the team be able to figure this one out? Or will it end up being impossible?

My thoughts: This series is a home-run for me. I love to read about "scooby gangs", suspenseful mystery, and all that is a crime drama: forensic science; profiling; and the hunt of the criminal. This is a book I read quite some time ago as a eGalley from NetGalley. LOVED it just as much as the first two. I was so darn worried about that, but I was pleasantly surprised again by these and read this one in about a day an a half. Nice! 

This series is a great one to get my high school students hooked on because when they read book 1 they need more and more of these characters and the intense drama that surrounds them. I don't know that I've read another series that even comes close to this one. 

The "scooby gang" of Cassie, Dean, Michael, Lia and Sloan are a fantastic combination of teenage angst, terrible personal histories, and crime solving prowess. There is just something about how honest the stories and characters feel. Barnes is so darn good at making them feel real with every terrifying detail. There was of course sweetness and warm fuzzies too, but it was the depth of them that got to me. 

I liked learning about the characters more in this installment, especially Sloan's family background. Plus, with the added drama of Cassie's mother's case I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time. 

If you like the TV show Bones or Criminal Minds, you are in luck because this is right up your alley!! Try book 1 and let me know what you thought! 

Check out my reviews of book 1&2: 
Book 1 - The Naturals 
Book 2 - Killer Instinct 

View all my reviews

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Review: Diva and Flea

The Story of Diva and Flea 
Author: Mo Willems 
Illustrator: Tony DiTerlizzi 
Release date: October 13,2015 
Published by: Disney/Hyperion 

This is a really cute book about a cat named Flea and a dog named Diva. When their personality's lead them to great adventures things grow wonderfully beautiful. They face fears, make new adventures, and redo old ones. It's a dog and a cat unlikely adventure. 

My thoughts: It's absolutely beautiful. I recommend it to kids and adults. Wonderfully full of excitement. I loved it. It has beautiful pictures that make you be able to visualize it. I like to visualize with every story.

The drawings are so realistic and have lots of different colors. I also like how you can tell what it's made of. I'm going to recommend this to my librarian for our school library.