Saturday, February 28, 2015

ARC Review: How to Win at High School by Owen Matthews

How to Win at High School
Author: Owen Matthews
Publication: HarperTeen (March 3, 2015)

Description: Adam Higgs is a loser, and he's not okay with it.

But starting as a junior in a new high school seems like exactly the right time to change things. He brainstorms with his best friend, Brian: What will it take for him to take over Nixon Collegiate? Adam searches for the A-listers' weak spot and strikes gold when he gets queen bee Sara Bryant to pay him for doing her physics homework. One part nerd, two parts badass, Adam ditches his legit job and turns to full-time cheating. His clients? All the Nixon Collegiate gods and goddesses.

But soon his homework business becomes a booze business, which becomes a fake ID business. Adam's popularity soars as he unlocks high school achievements left and right, from his first kiss to his first rebound hookup. But something else is haunting him—a dark memory from his past, driving him to keep climbing. What is it? And will he go too far?

How to Win at High School's honest picture of high school hierarchy combines with an over-the-top, adrenaline-charged story line, and Adam's rocket ride to the top of the social order (and his subsequent flameout) is by turns bawdy and sweetly emotional.

My Thoughts: HOW TO WIN AT HIGH SCHOOL shows the rise and fall of Adam Higgs. Adam is a self-proclaimed loser with the self-esteem to go with his perception. When he enters a new school as a junior, he decides that he wants to be part of the in-crowd. He wants to make his older brother Sam proud of him. His older brother was on his way to high school popularity when he was injured in a hockey accident and paralyzed. Now he's in a wheelchair and working at a donut shop.

Adam begins his rise to fame and fortune by starting a homework business. He'll do assignments for the in-crowd at $10 a page with a $20 bonus for an A. His business booms. In fact, it expands so quickly that he recruits other students as employees to help ease the load. But that isn't enough for Adam so he starts dealing booze and fake IDs. Pretty soon he has met a sophomore girl named Victoria who actually likes him and he's being invited to all the right parties. The he decides to start dealing pills and things start changing. He begins to use a lot of the product he's selling. He has the outward success that he always wanted but it costs. He isn't happy; he loses Victoria who can't deal with the drugs; he damages his relationship with his brother.

As I read the short chapters - most of which were less than a page long and several which were only a sentence - I could feel Adam spiraling out of control and getting farther and farther from what he really wanted out of life. I could also see that there had to be a major crash before he could find his way out of the life he had built.

The story was fascinating and fast-paced. I think it would also be best for older YAs because of the themes of the story.

Favorite Quote:
He's supposed to take Victoria out again on Saturday, and he has to visit Sam, too.

But Adam can't tell the gods he won't do their homework. Gods don't know the word no. It's not in their vocab.

And Adam isn't going to be the guy to teach it to them.
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Memes: How to Win at High School by Owen Matthews

Happy Friday everybody!!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week I am spotlighting How to Win at High School by Owen Matthews. I got this eARC at Edelweiss. Here is the description of this March 3 release:
Adam Higgs is a loser, and he's not okay with it.

But starting as a junior in a new high school seems like exactly the right time to change things. He brainstorms with his best friend, Brian: What will it take for him to take over Nixon Collegiate? Adam searches for the A-listers' weak spot and strikes gold when he gets queen bee Sara Bryant to pay him for doing her physics homework. One part nerd, two parts badass, Adam ditches his legit job and turns to full-time cheating. His clients? All the Nixon Collegiate gods and goddesses.

But soon his homework business becomes a booze business, which becomes a fake ID business. Adam's popularity soars as he unlocks high school achievements left and right, from his first kiss to his first rebound hookup. But something else is haunting him—a dark memory from his past, driving him to keep climbing. What is it? And will he go too far?

How to Win at High School's honest picture of high school hierarchy combines with an over-the-top, adrenaline-charged story line, and Adam's rocket ride to the top of the social order (and his subsequent flameout) is by turns bawdy and sweetly emotional.
Beginning:
Adam Higgs is a loser. That's the first thing you have to know.
Friday 56:
Adam's lying, of course.
He's busy.
He's really busy.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

ARC Review: The Memory Key by Liana Liu

The Memory Key
Author: Liana Liu
Publication: HarperTeen (March 3, 2015)

Description: Lora Mint is determined not to forget.

Though her mother's been dead for five years, Lora struggles to remember every detail about her—most important, the specific events that occurred the night she sped off in her car, never to return.

But in a world ravaged by Vergets disease, a viral form of Alzheimer's, that isn't easy. Usually Lora is aided by her memory key, a standard-issue chip embedded in her brain that preserves memories just the way a human brain would. Then a minor accident damages Lora's key, and her memories go haywire. Suddenly Lora remembers a moment from the night of her mother's disappearance that indicates her death was no accident. Can she trust these formerly forgotten memories? Or is her ability to remember every painful part of her past driving her slowly mad—burying the truth forever?

Lora's story of longing for her lost mother—and for the truth behind her broken memories—takes readers on a twisty ride. The authentic, emotional narrative sparks fascinating questions about memory and privacy in a world that increasingly relies on electronic recall.

My Thoughts: This is a science fiction story which takes place in a future United States. Since the outbreak of Vergets Disease, which is a form of Alzheimer's, most people have been implanted with memory keys which preserve memories. Lora's mother worked for Keep Corp until her death in a car accident five years earlier. Since then it has just been Lora and her absent-minded professor of a father. Lora is still grieving her mother's loss and sad that the memories she had of her mother are fading.

Then she has an accident in which she bumps her head and now her memory key is malfunctioning. All of a sudden she is remembering things about the time her mother disappeared which makes her think that her mother was the victim of foul play. But can she trust her new memories? Lora is also subject to memory cascades and crippling headaches which she self-medicates. She becomes determined to find out what really happened to her mother.

The basic theme of the story - a massive corporation more concerned with the bottom line than doing good - is not new. However, the execution of the story was very well done. Lora's relationships with her best friend Wendy, with Wendy's brother Tim, with potential new boyfriend Raul are all complex and interesting. I enjoyed the twists and turns in this tale.

This book will appeal to science fiction fans, mystery fans, and fans of stories with strong relationships.

Favorite Quote:
I'm surprised: I didn't know Keep Corp was able to track each individual memory key in this way. I'm unnerved: it's sort of disturbing that Keep Corp is able to track each individual memory key in this way. So the secret I thought was mine alone is actually a secret I'm sharing with a huge corporation.
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WoW: Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She has a linky widget at her site each week for your post and to make it easy to find posts by other people.

The purpose of the meme is to spotlight books that we are eagerly anticipating. It is fun to take a look at what others are waiting for. I have noticed that it has expanded my wishlist though. Be warned!

I am eager for Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly. Here is the description for this March 24 release:
Future rock star, or friendless misfit? That's no choice at all. Apple Yengko moved from the Philippines to Louisiana when she was little, and now that she is in middle school, she grapples with being different, with friends and backstabbers, and with following her dreams.

Apple has always felt a little different from her classmates. Her mother still cooks Filipino foods, speaks a mix of English and Cebuano, and chastises Apple for becoming "too American." It becomes unbearable in middle school, when the boys—the stupid, stupid boys—in Apple's class put her name on the Dog Log, the list of the most unpopular girls in school. When Apple's friends turn on her and everything about her life starts to seem weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music. If she can just save enough to buy a guitar and learn to play, maybe she can change herself. It might be the music that saves her . . . or it might be her two new friends, who show how special she really is. Erin Entrada Kelly deftly brings Apple's conflicted emotions to the page in her debut novel about family, friendship, popularity, and going your own way.
How does this one sound to you?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: The Memory Key by Liana Liu

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
Wendy is always setting me up with her new boyfriend's friends, and it always ends one of two ways. Either I like the friend and we all double-date until Wendy and her boyfriend break up. Or I don't like the friend and we all double-date until Wendy and her boyfriend break up.
This week my teaser comes from The Memory Key by Liana Liu. I got this eARC at Edelweiss. Here is the description of this March 3 release:
Lora Mint is determined not to forget.

Though her mother's been dead for five years, Lora struggles to remember every detail about her—most important, the specific events that occurred the night she sped off in her car, never to return.

But in a world ravaged by Vergets disease, a viral form of Alzheimer's, that isn't easy. Usually Lora is aided by her memory key, a standard-issue chip embedded in her brain that preserves memories just the way a human brain would. Then a minor accident damages Lora's key, and her memories go haywire. Suddenly Lora remembers a moment from the night of her mother's disappearance that indicates her death was no accident. Can she trust these formerly forgotten memories? Or is her ability to remember every painful part of her past driving her slowly mad—burying the truth forever?

Lora's story of longing for her lost mother—and for the truth behind her broken memories—takes readers on a twisty ride. The authentic, emotional narrative sparks fascinating questions about memory and privacy in a world that increasingly relies on electronic recall.

Monday, February 23, 2015

State of the Stack (Feb. 23, 2015)

This is my monthly State of the Stack post. It is my way to keep track of my review books and to hopefully reduce the stack that I have waiting for me. I take a look at my review commitments on the last Monday of each month. Please feel free to join in and let me know the state of your stack.

Here is my Review Books Spreadsheet. Yellow highlighted books are ones past their publication date that I still haven't read and reviewed. I use pink highlights for reviews due in even numbered months so that I can see at a glance how many I have for each month. Ideally, this keeps me from over-committing to review books.  


I also do this post because sometimes (frequently) review books sit on my stack for a while before I read and review them. I try to read and review books within two weeks of publication date. Sometimes I can't, though, if too many books are releasing on the same date or if the book arrives too near its publication date and my calendar is already full. 

I am very grateful to the authors and publishers who support my reading habit. 

My Review Pile

March
The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer (March 30)
Solitaire by Alice Oseman (March 30) - Finished; review scheduled for March 26
Holding Strong by Lori Foster (March 31) - Finished; review scheduled for March 26

April
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre (April 7)
Skandal by Lindsay Smith (April 7)
Lies I Told by Michelle Zink (April 7)
Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier (April 14)
Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt (April 14)
The Pretty App by Katie Sise (April 14)
Archie Greene and the Magician's Secret by D. D. Everest (April 21)
Every Last Promise by Kristin Halbrook (April 21)
Darkmouth: The Legend Begins by Shane Hegarty (April 21)
Ferals by Jacob Grey (April 28)
The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver (April 28)
Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan (April 28)
Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy (April 28)

May
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (May 5)
The Novice by Tarah Matharu (May 5)
Heat of the Moment by Lauren Barnholdt (May 12)
Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu (May 12)
The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman (May 12)
The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak by Brian Katcher (May 19)
A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith (May 19)
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb (May 26)
The Fog Diver by Joel Ross (May 26)
The Cage by Megan Shepherd (May 26)

June
 Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman (June 2)
Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer (June 2)
 Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu (June 2)
Our Brothers at the Bottom of the Sea by Jonathan Kranz (June 9)
 The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen (June 16)
Blood Will Tell by April Henry (June 16)
 Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat (June 16)
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway (June 23)
The Leveler by Julia Durango (June 23)
Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel (June 30)

July 
 Don't Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom (July 7)
Can Anybody Help Me? by Sinead Crowley (July 7)
 Paperweight by Meg Haston (July 7)
Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson (July 14)
Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo by Brian Falkner (July 14)
Lost by S. A. Bodeen (July 28)

August
School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough (August 4)

I Read This Month

These are listed in the order I read them. Links go to my reviews for all that have been posted already. Otherwise, the date the review is scheduled for is listed.
  1. The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski (March 5)
  2. Bridged by Kendra Elliot (Feb. 11) 
  3. Lost Boy by Tim Green (March 7)  
  4. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (March 11) 
  5. Boys Don't Knit by T. S. Easton (March 12) 
  6. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (March 14)
  7. Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly (March 19)  
  8. First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan (March 19) 
  9. Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes (March 21) 
  10. Holding Strong by Lori Foster (March 26) 
  11. Solitaire by Alice Oseman (March 26) 
Read Previously, Reviews Posted This Month
  1. Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen (Jan. 28)
  2. Cut Me Free by J. R. Johansson (Jan. 29) 
  3. The Stolen Moon by Rachel Searles (Jan. 31) 
  4. Since You've Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne (Feb. 5)
  5. I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (Feb. 6)
  6. MarEvacuees by Sophia McDougall (Feb. 12)
  7. Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor (Feb. 14)
  8. Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King (Feb. 19)   
  9. Stone in the Sky by Cecil Castellucci (Feb. 18) 
  10. No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss (Feb. 19)
  11. The Secret Cipher by Whitaker Ringwald (Feb. 21)
  12. Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder (Feb. 21) 
I Added These Books

These are listed in the order I received them. Links go to Amazon. Date received and date published are listed in parentheses.
  1. Bridged by Kendra Elliott (Feb. 10) 
  2. Our Brothers at the Bottom of the Sea by Jonathan David Kranz (June 9)
  3. Blood Will Tell by April Henry (June 16) 
  4. Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman (June 2) 
  5. Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo by Brian Falkner (July 14) 
  6. Lost (Shipwreck Island) by S. A. Bodeen (July 28) 
  7. School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough (Aug. 4) 
  8. Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu (June 2) 
Next Month's Plan

I am currently reading the last of my March releases and then will be immediately begin my April books. I wasn't paying enough attention and chose 13 that have April release dates. All of them are young adult books. I usually post reviews on Thursday and Saturday but 4 of the 5 Wednesday in April will also have book reviews (if I can get everything read.) May looks even worse with reviews planned for every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday all month.

I foresee a lot of review book reading in my future.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Stacking the YA Shelves (Feb. 22, 2015)

Tynga of  Team Tynga's Reviews hosts this meme to spotlight the books we receive each week. I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow when you see all the wonderful books everyone gets.

This week was a combination of Keeper copies and new additions to my TBR mountain. Here are the Keepers:
I had to get copies of Gail Carriger's YA series when they were offered as Kindle Daily Deals. I have already read them all but didn't have copies on my Kindle. 

Here are the new arrivals:
Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton has been getting a lot of buzz and is in a genre I like.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George was a Kindle Daily Deal.

I am soon going to be having my 4th graders do some research on the states and thought this book - Wacky, Wild, and Wonderful: 50 State Poems by Laura Purdie Salas - might add something different to the unit. 

What did you get this week?  

Saturday, February 21, 2015

ARC Review: The Secret Cipher by Whitaker Ringwald

The Secret Cipher
Author: Whitaker Ringwald
Series: Secret Box (Book 2)
Publication: Katherine Tegen Books (February 24, 2015)

Description: The Secret Cipher is the sequel to The Secret Box, a rollicking adventure full of family rivalry, magic, questing, and laugh-out-loud humor that's perfect for fans of Dan Gutman, Wendy Mass, and Trenton Lee Stewart.

Jax Malone and her cousin Ethan Hoche were not expecting one of Jax's birthday presents to contain a dangerous magical object from a mythical past: an urn with the dark power to suck hope out of the world.

Though the first urn is safely hidden, there are two more urns that could rid humanity of both faith and love. And powerful enemies who want to find them and use them to control the world. Now, even though they were never meant to open the present and discover its secret, Jax and Ethan must race to find and destroy the two remaining urns before it's too late.

My Thoughts: Jax, Ethan, and Tyler return in a second adventure. Since they returned the urn of hope to their great-aunt, things have been quiet. But then a mysterious girl shows up at a comic book store where Tyler in taking part in a tournament, they get a phone call that an unidentified woman had a stroke and had Jax's phone number on her, and Jax gets emails from the father she has never met.

The kids learn that the urn they found was one of three and an evil genius named Ricardo wants to gather them all so that he can rule the world. They need to find the other urns before he does. Searching for it takes them to a comic book convention complete with Klingons and a myriad of other costumed characters.

Like the first book, this book is also told in alternate chapters by Jax and Ethan. But this time, Tyler gets a couple chapters too. All of the characters reveal themselves in their chapters. I have to admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for Ethan who is cautious, shy, and anxiety-ridden. I like the way he tries to be the voice of reason between fantasy-obsessed Tyler and hyperactive Jax.

The story is fast-paced and inserts just the right amount of mythology for a middle grade audience. My only complaint is that the ending is a major cliffhanger and now I have to wait for the next book.

Favorite Quote:
"I have no idea," Jax said. "But we'll figure it out. You ready to do this, Batman?"

I felt like we were about to jump off a bridge without a bungee cord. I tugged on my mask. "No."

She smiled. "That's the spirit. Let's go get our hope-sucking urn back."
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Memes: The Secret Cipher by Whitaker Ringwald

Happy Friday everybody!!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week I am spotlighting The Secret Cipher by Whitaker Ringwald. I got this eARC at Edelweiss. Here is the description for this February 24 release:
The Secret Cipher is the sequel to The Secret Box, a rollicking adventure full of family rivalry, magic, questing, and laugh-out-loud humor that's perfect for fans of Dan Gutman, Wendy Mass, and Trenton Lee Stewart.

Jax Malone and her cousin Ethan Hoche were not expecting one of Jax's birthday presents to contain a dangerous magical object from a mythical past: an urn with the dark power to suck hope out of the world.

Though the first urn is safely hidden, there are two more urns that could rid humanity of both faith and love. And powerful enemies who want to find them and use them to control the world. Now, even though they were never meant to open the present and discover its secret, Jax and Ethan must race to find and destroy the two remaining urns before it's too late.
Beginning:
It's still hard for me to use the word magical. Until one month ago, I would have bet my life on the fact that magic doesn't exist.
Friday 56:
"Guess we're going," I said with a sigh.

Tyler looked equally unhappy about the situation. He grumbled something about Jax and her stupid secret-box birthday present, then crammed another egg roll in his mouth.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

ARC Review: No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss

No Parking at the End Times
Author: Bryan Bliss
Publication: Greenwillow Books (February 24, 2015)

Description: Abigail's parents believed the world was going to end. And—of course—it didn't. But they've lost everything anyway. And she must decide: does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.

Abigail's parents never should have made that first donation to that end-of-times preacher. Or the next, or the next. They shouldn't have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there for the "end of the world." Because now they're living in their van. And Aaron is full of anger, disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right.

But maybe it's too big a task for one teenage girl. Bryan Bliss's thoughtful debut novel is about losing everything—and about what you will do for the people you love.

My Thoughts: This is a story about a sixteen-year old girl named Abigail. Abigail's parents sold everything they owned in South Carolina, packed a van, packed Abigail and her twin Aaron, and headed to San Francisco following the call of a preacher named Brother John who is preaching the end of the world. Their father is the most fervent in his support of Brother John. He didn't lose faith when the world didn't end as Brother John predicted.

The family is living in the van and going from church to church for their meals. Aaron has lost faith both in Brother John and his parents and has begun sneaking out at night to hang out with other homeless kids. Abigail is torn between her parents' beliefs and her brother. She tries to be a good kid but she misses home and a more settled life and she is rapidly losing her faith in God.

The final straw for her comes when her brother runs off, the van is towed, and her father gives money that a church donated to them to Brother John. Her parents don't make any effort to find Aaron, so she runs off to find her brother. She learns that, as bad as it is for her and her family, it is even worse for many of the other homeless kids. Aaron has met a girl named Jess who has been homeless for three years. Jess and Aaron have also run afoul of another homeless guy who has something on Jess.

This book was very well-written and brings up lots of points for discussion - faith vs. fanaticism, parental responsibilities. I can't wait to talk about this one with my students.

Favorite Quote:
I can't bring myself to tell him that Mom and Dad did nothing when he left. They sat in the church, praying—asking God to do something when every moment of the past week should've told them that number was disconnected. And while I'm sure they're worried—Mom is probably sick with it—I know they didn't call the police when they found me gone this morning. The only thing they're doing right now is staring at the ceiling and hoping whatever magic they believe in will still change the world.
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

ARC Review: Stone in the Sky by Cecil Castellucci

Stone in the Sky
Author: Cecil Castellucci
Series: Tin Star (Book 2)
Publication: Roaring Brook Press (February 24, 2015)

Description: Brother Blue.

His name, even the color, filled me with a furious fire of pure hatred.

Years ago, Tula Bane was beaten and left for dead on a remote space station far from Earth, her home planet. She started with nothing and had no one, but over time, she found a home, a family, and even love. When it's discovered that the abandoned planet beneath the station is abundant with a rare and valuable resource, aliens from across the galaxy race over to strike it rich. With them comes trouble, like the man who nearly killed Tula years ago—the man she has dreamed of destroying ever since.

In this sequel to Tin Star, Cecil Castellucci takes readers on an extraordinary adventure through space in a thrilling and thoughtful exploration of what it means to love, to hate, and to be human.

My Thoughts: This sequel to TIN STAR begins shortly after the actions in that book. Tula Bane is living on the space station, the Yertina Feray, and has opened a water, sweets and salts store which welcomes aliens of all kinds. While Tournour, the alien sheriff and Tula's love, has been good at keeping the station under the radar of the new Imperium, things change when a ship crashes on Quint, the planet the station orbits, and discovers alin. Alin is a pollen that is very scarce and very much in demand among all sorts of aliens. This discovery initiates a rush and draws the attention of the Imperium.

The first official from the Imperium to arrive is Tula's enemy Brother Blue. Brother Blue wants Tula dead because she is one of the few who know that Brother Blue is running a scam. He says that he has settled five planets with human outposts but Tula knows there are no settlements. Tula is forced to flee from the station to save her life.

Tula wanders the galaxy looking for her friend Caleb. For his safety, she had sent him to the edge of the galaxy where he intended to recruit help to improve Earth's place in the government of the worlds. Along the way, she finds groups of humans who are called Wanderers. They were among the first groups to leave Earth and are not allowed back. Tula tries to convince them to avoid Brother Blue's attempts to recruit them as colonists for his worlds.

Tula finally finds her way back to the Yertina Feray and Quint but she still has to deal with Brother Blue who still wants her dead. Tula also has to decide between her love for Tournour and her love for Reza, a human who was the one who discovered alin on Quint. She has to finally decide what future she sees for herself after spending years wanting only revenge on Brother Blue.

This was an interesting science fiction story. This one still had lots of different alien species but less emphasis was placed on Tula interacting with them and more emphasis was placed on the bigger political problems.

Fans of science fiction will enjoy this one but should definitely read TIN STAR first.

Favorite Quote:
Truth be told, I was jealous. It bothered me that he was down there. When I looked at Quint, instead of seeing the oceans, the clouds, the rust belt, or the landmasses, I imagined his shadowy figure lumbering across what I had begun to feel was my special place. My lonely world. My stone in the sky.

Now with all those people down there, it was as though my own heart was being invaded.

And I preferred for my heart to be untouched.
I got this ARC from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
"We've been invited to church here," Dad says.

These seem to be the only words he knows anymore, and I look at the plates again, wondering what he'd do if I threw one across the kitchen—if I made a scene and refused to stop.
This week my teaser comes from No Parking at End Times by Bryan Bliss. I got this eARC from Edelweiss. Here is the description of this Feb. 24 release:
Abigail's parents believed the world was going to end. And—of course—it didn't. But they've lost everything anyway. And she must decide: does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.

Abigail's parents never should have made that first donation to that end-of-times preacher. Or the next, or the next. They shouldn't have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there for the "end of the world." Because now they're living in their van. And Aaron is full of anger, disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right.

But maybe it's too big a task for one teenage girl. Bryan Bliss's thoughtful debut novel is about losing everything—and about what you will do for the people you love.