Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Lies I Told by Michelle Zink

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. 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:
It was the other stuff that was hard. The pretending to be someone else. The being careful not to let slip who we were, where we came from, what we'd done.
This week my teaser comes from Lies I Told by Michelle Zink. Here is the description from Amazon:
Grace Fontaine has everything: beauty, money, confidence, and the perfect family. But it's all a lie.

Grace has been adopted into a family of thieves who con affluent people out of money, jewelry, art, and anything else of value. Grace has never had any difficulty pulling off a job, but when things start to go wrong on the Fontaines' biggest heist yet, Grace finds herself breaking more and more of the rules designed to keep her from getting caught . . . including the most important one of all: never fall for your mark.

Perfect for fans of Ally Carter and Robin Benway, this thrilling, high-stakes novel deftly explores the roles of identity and loyalty while offering a window into the world of the rich and fabulous.

Monday, March 30, 2015

State of the Stack (March 30, 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

May
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (May 5)
The Novice (Summoner Book 1) by Taran 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
 The 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 and Oliver by Robin Benway (June 23)
The Leveller 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 28)
Lost by S. A. Bodeen (July 28)
August
School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough (August 4)
Public Enemies by Ann Aguirre (August 4)
Daughter of Dusk by Livia Blackburne (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. Lies I Told by Michelle Zink (April 2) 
  2. The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre (April 4)
  3. Echoes by Laura K. Curtis (March 12) 
  4. Skandal by Lindsay Smith (April 9) 
  5. Every Last Promise by Kristin Halbrook (April 15) 
  6. Archie Greene and the Magician's Secret by D. D. Everest (April 18)
  7. Darkmouth #1: The Legend Begins by Shane Hegarty (April 22)
  8. The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver (April 23) 
  9. Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan (April 25) 
  10. Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy (April 30)
  11. Shadow of Doubt by P. A. DePaul (April 15)
Read Previously, Reviews Posted This Month
  1. Vampires Never Cry Wolf by Sara Humphreys (Feb. 26)
  2. The Memory Key by Liana Liu (Feb. 26)
  3. How to Win at High School by Owen Matthews (Feb. 28)
  4. The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski (March 5)
  5. Lost Boy by Tim Green (March 7)  
  6. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (March 11) 
  7. Boys Don't Knit by T. S. Easton (March 12) 
  8. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (March 14)
  9. Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly (March 19)  
  10. First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan (March 19) 
  11. Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes (March 21) 
  12. Holding Strong by Lori Foster (March 26) 
  13. Solitaire by Alice Oseman (March 26) 
  14. The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer (March 28) 
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. Public Enemies by Ann Aguirre (August 4)
  2. Echoes by Laura K. Curtis (March 17)
  3. The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For edited by Kate White (March 24)
  4. Daughter of Dusk by Livia Blackburne (August 4)
  5. Shadow of Doubt by P. A. DePaul (April 21)
Next Month's Plan

I am managing to stay one month ahead in my reading. I will finish the last book on my calendar for reviews in April later today. All of my April book reviews are read, written and scheduled for posting.

I'll be starting to fill my May calendar with reviews with the next book I finish. As shown above, I currently have ten books for May review. 

My review pile actually shrunk this month. I got five books and read eleven. I have only one book on my NetGalley reading list and eighteen on my Edelweiss list. 

What is the state of your stack?  

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stacking the YA Shelves (March 29, 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.
A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey was a Kindle Daily Deal this week. I have like everything I've read by the author and decided to add this one to my stack. I got the audiobook as an add-on for cheap too.

What did you get this week?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

ARC Review: The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

The Cemetery Boys
Author: Heather Brewer
Publication: HarperTeen (March 31, 2015)

Description: When Stephen is forced to move back to the nowhere town where his father grew up, he’s already sure he’s not going to like it. Spencer, Michigan, is like a town straight out of a Hitchcock movie, with old-fashioned people who see things only in black-and-white. But things start looking up when Stephen meets the mysterious twins Cara and Devon. They’re total punks–hardly the kind of people Stephen’s dad wants him hanging out with–but they’re a breath of fresh air in this backward town. The only problem is, Cara and Devon don’t always get along, and as Stephen forms a friendship with the charismatic Devon and something more with the troubled Cara, he starts to feel like he’s getting caught in the middle of a conflict he doesn’t fully understand. And as Devon’s group of friends, who hang out in a cemetery they call The Playground, get up to increasingly reckless activities to pass the summer days, Stephen worries he may be in over his head.

Stephen’s fears prove well-founded when he learns of Spencer’s dark past. It seems the poor factory town has a history of “bad times,” and many of the town’s oldest residents attribute the bad times to creatures right out of an urban legend. The legend goes that the only way the town will prosper again is if someone makes a sacrifice to these nightmarish creatures. And while Stephen isn’t one to believe in old stories, it seems Devon and his gang might put a lot of faith in them. Maybe even enough to kill for them.

Now, Stephen has to decide what he believes, where his allegiances lie, and who will really be his friend in the end.

My Thoughts: This is story of a young man named Stephen who comes with his father to the town where his father grew up. This is a place of last resort for both of them. His father has lost his job and there are masses of bills to pay since Stephen's mother is in an asylum since she is seeing visions and is a danger to herself and others. Stephen and his father are not welcomed by Stephen's grandmother who is a private, emotionless woman who is obsessed with keeping things tidy.

The first people Stephen meets are Devon and his twin Cara. Devon invites him to hang out with him and his friends in the Playground - otherwise known as the cemetery - where they spend their nights drinking. Stephen is attracted to Cara with her Goth clothes and tarot cards. He feels that he has something in common with Cara because her mother also seems to be crazy.

But there is a dark underside to the town. There's a long-standing legend about winged creatures who require sacrifices to keep the town prosperous. Stephen becomes convinced that Devon and his gang are planning another sacrifice to appease these winged ones. However, most of the adults are in denial about the whole legend and don't believe Stephen when he tries to get help.

The story is exciting and fast-paced. Stephen is an interesting character. I think readers who like a little scary in their books will enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote:
And belief was a funny thing. It made people do things that theories and ideas couldn't. Beliefs made people associate with certain people or not. Beliefs made people give money to certain causes or avoid them altogether. Beliefs made people sacrifice, be it luxury or lives. Ideas could be changed. Theories could be modified. But beliefs were hard-core. They were solid. They were something that the believers took very, very seriously. And the notion that Devon, Markus, and the others believed in something I expected to encounter only on late-night TV scared the hell out of me. 
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Memes: The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

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.

The week I am spotlighting The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer. I got this book for review from Edelweiss and chose it because I have never read anything by the author. Here is the description from GoodReads:
When Stephen is forced to move back to the nowhere town where his father grew up, he’s already sure he’s not going to like it. Spencer, Michigan, is like a town straight out of a Hitchcock movie, with old-fashioned people who see things only in black-and-white. But things start looking up when Stephen meets the mysterious twins Cara and Devon. They’re total punks–hardly the kind of people Stephen’s dad wants him hanging out with–but they’re a breath of fresh air in this backward town. The only problem is, Cara and Devon don’t always get along, and as Stephen forms a friendship with the charismatic Devon and something more with the troubled Cara, he starts to feel like he’s getting caught in the middle of a conflict he doesn’t fully understand. And as Devon’s group of friends, who hang out in a cemetery they call The Playground, get up to increasingly reckless activities to pass the summer days, Stephen worries he may be in over his head.

Stephen’s fears prove well-founded when he learns of Spencer’s dark past. It seems the poor factory town has a history of “bad times,” and many of the town’s oldest residents attribute the bad times to creatures right out of an urban legend. The legend goes that the only way the town will prosper again is if someone makes a sacrifice to these nightmarish creatures. And while Stephen isn’t one to believe in old stories, it seems Devon and his gang might put a lot of faith in them. Maybe even enough to kill for them.

Now, Stephen has to decide what he believes, where his allegiances lie, and who will really be his friend in the end.
Beginning:
My fingers were going numb, my bound wrists worn raw by the ropes, but I twisted again, hard this time. 
Friday 56:
They continued down the sidewalk a ways before crossing the street. My dad joined me beside the Beetle, a little too chipper for my tastes. "Are those the guys you were out with last night? Making new friends?"

Thursday, March 26, 2015

ARC Review: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Solitaire
Author: Alice Oseman
Publication: HarperTeen (March 31, 2015)

Description: In Solitaire, Alice Oseman has brought to life a vivid, clever, and heartfelt portrayal of what it's like to be a teenager today. This stunning debut novel—which the Times (London) called "The Catcher in the Rye for the digital age"—is perfect for fans of Melina Marchetta, Stephen Chbosky, and Rainbow Rowell.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year—before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of exams and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people—I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that's all over now.

Now there's Solitaire. And Michael Holden. I don't know what Solitaire is trying to do, and I don't care about Michael Holden. I really don't.

My Thoughts: This was a very hard book for me to read. I didn't like the main character at all. Tori Spring tells the story and it would be hard to find a more pessimistic, self-absorbed character in fiction. She doesn't care about anything and all the people around her are just wallpaper for her boring, depressing life.

We learn that her younger brother Charlie has gone through some mental health issues. He went from being obsessive to being anorexic to hurting himself. He is out of the hospital now but the family still has to force him to eat. I think Tori's parents are so concerned with Charlie's problems that they don't have the energy to notice that Tori is falling into a deep depression.

Things get even more difficult for Tori when two boys enter her life. Lucas was her best friend when they were in primary school but she hadn't seen him for years until he transferred to her school. Michael Holden is also a new transfer to her school who wants to be her friend. He is another awkward, socially maladjusted teen.

Then there is the new blog Solitaire which intrigues people. Solitaire instigates a series of pranks at Tori's school that all seem connected to her in some way. The pranks escalate from the annoying to the dangerous. But it isn't until someone gets hurt that Tori decides that she is going to find out who is behind Solitaire and stop them. She finally gets out of her own head a little bit.

Reading this one was hard but I was encouraged at the changes Tori managed to make through the course of the book.

Favorite Quote:
There is a line that you cross when making relationships with people. Crossing this line occurs when you transfer from knowing someone to knowing about someone, and Michael and I cross that line at Becky's seventeenth birthday party.
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

WoW: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

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'm waiting for The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver. Here is the description of this April 28 release:
A girl takes over her twin sister's identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters."

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.

When--after a heated argument--Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options--confess her deception or live her sister's life.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. 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:
I hate the phone. It's the worst invention in the history of the world, because if you don't talk, nothing happens. You can't get by with simply listening and nodding your head in all the right places. You have to talk. You have no option. It tales away my freedom of nonspeech. 
My teaser this week comes from Solitaire by Amy Oseman. Here is the description from Amazon:
In Solitaire, Alice Oseman has brought to life a vivid, clever, and heartfelt portrayal of what it's like to be a teenager today. This stunning debut novel—which the Times (London) called "The Catcher in the Rye for the digital age"—is perfect for fans of Melina Marchetta, Stephen Chbosky, and Rainbow Rowell.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year—before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of exams and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people—I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that's all over now.

Now there's Solitaire. And Michael Holden. I don't know what Solitaire is trying to do, and I don't care about Michael Holden. I really don't.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Stacking the YA Shelves (March 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.

Just one new addition this week...

For my Review Stack...
  Daughter of Dusk by Livia Blackburne. This sequel to Midnight Thief will be released on August 4.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

ARC Review: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Liars, Inc.
Author: Paula Stokes
Publication: HarperTeen (March 24, 2015)

Description: A dark and twisted psychological tale that will keep readers guessing, perfect for fans of I Hunt Killers and Gone Girl

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. So with the help of his friend Preston and his girlfriend, 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 it. But then Preston never comes home. And the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead to Preston's body.

Terrifying clues that point to Max as the killer….

My Thoughts: Now, I haven't read I HUNT KILLERS or GONE GIRL, both of which this book has been compared to, but I do know something about them. So I was expecting twists and potentially unreliable narrators and spent a lot of time analyzing everything that was happening as I read. I came to like the main character and narrator Max Cantrell so much that I really, really hoped that he was telling the story straight.

So, here's the story. Max was adopted by Darla and Ben Cantrell as a nine-year-old after his parents died and he spent some time living alone on the beach. He was almost mute, had PTSD, and didn't know how to love or trust. Nine years of love and support by Ben and Darla have helped but he is still reluctant to trust and to talk about love.

Max has, however, found two good friends. Preston DeWitt is the son of a senator and the high school golden boy with a checkered past. He was expelled from a private school and met Max when he began taking the surfing lessons Max was teaching. They hit it off but don't talk about the past. Parvati Ames was Preston's pal at the private school and was expelled along with him. She wants to work for the CIA when she finishes school. She and Max are dating - secretly - because her soldier father doesn't think Max it right for her.

The three of them come up with a way to liven up their senior year. The start a business called Liars, Inc. which supplies alibis and other services, like forging signatures on permission slips and fake parental calls about absences, So, when Preston needs an alibi to take a quick trip to Las Vegas to meet a girl, Max doesn't think twice about providing one. Then Preston disappears....

Things quickly spiral out of control for Max when he is interviewed by the FBI. Things get even worse when he and Parvati find Preston's phone in the trunk of Max's car and what looks like blood spots. This section of the story was so tense that I had to keep putting the book down for breaks. Things reach the peak of tension when police find Preston's body in a burned building and arrest Max for murder.

But things aren't quite what they seem. I really enjoyed this story. It had a great main character and the tension that was built couldn't have been higher. I liked the resolution and Max's new realizations too. Fans of mysteries will enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote:
"No way. She paid you?" Parvati's eyes widened. "Who knew lying could be so lucrative?"

"Lawyers," Preston said.

Parvati smirked. Her mom was a defense attorney. "And politicians," she shot back. Preston's dad was a U.S. senator.
I got this ARC from the author via Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Memes: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

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 Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes. I was approached by the author to review this one. Here is the description from Amazon for this March 24 release:
A dark and twisted psychological tale that will keep readers guessing, perfect for fans of I Hunt Killers and Gone Girl.

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. So with the help of his friend Preston and his girlfriend, 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 it. But then Preston never comes home. And the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead to Preston's body.

Terrifying clues that point to Max as the killer….
Beginning:
I don't make to-do lists, but if I did, today's would have gone something like this: 1. get drunk, 2. get laid, 3. go surfing (not necessarily in that order). Noticeably absent from the list: get arrested.
Friday 56:
"You are weird in the best possible way." I kissed the top of her forehead. "And I think it's cool that you don't like all that boring girly stuff."

Thursday, March 19, 2015

ARC Review: Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

Blackbird Fly
Author: Erin Entrada Kelly
Publication: Greenwillow Books (March 24, 2015)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: This is the story of middle schooler Apple Yengko. She and her mother emigrated from the Philippines after her father's death when Apple was four. She is the only Filipino in her Southern Louisiana middle school. And middle school is one of her main problems.

Middle school can often be a time of casual cruelty when every kid wants to be just like all the other kids and every kid is sure that everyone is watching them all the time. It can be especially cruel if a kid is outside of the norm in some way. Apple's best friend Alyssa has bought into the myth and is determined to have a boyfriend and be one of the popular crowd. When Apple finds herself on the Dog List - the list of the ugliest girls in school - Alyssa dumps her in a very cruel manner.

Apple wants to be a musician. She is a huge fan of the Beatles and wants to play the guitar like George Harrison. However, her mother refuses to get her a guitar and wants her to concentrate on her schoolwork and getting a good education. Americanized Apple is sometimes embarrassed by her mother who still speaks with an accent, still cooks Filipino foods, and still spouts her Filipino values. 

Apple's attitude starts to change when she meets a new boy in school from California named Evan Temple. Evan isn't swept up in the middle grade desire to be life everyone else. He accepts her just like she is and doesn't want her to change. Well, except maybe, to stop letting the crowd influence her. Apple also gets a chance to get to know another girl on the Dog List. Helena has been hiding the fact that she has an amazing voice.

I felt all of Apple's pain as she tried to make a place for herself in her middle school. I also felt a lot of happiness when I saw her deciding to stop letting the crowd set her value.

Middle graders - misfits or not - will see a lot they recognize in Apple's story.

Favorite Quote:
"My name is Analyn Yengko," said the girl in the mirror.

I pulled up my hair into a ponytail like Gretchen's.

Analyn Yengko: popular and funny. Analyn Yengko: the prettiest girl in school. Analyn Yengko: lots of friends and boyfriends. Analyn Yengko: does not eat dogs for dinner.

"Good-bye, Apple," I said. "Hello, Analyn."

But what was the point of a new name when everyone knows who you really are?

I was Apple Yengko: none of the above. And everyone knew it, including me.
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WoW: Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt

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 waiting for Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt. It sounds like a sweet historical fiction story. Here is the description from Amazon:
It’s 1948 in Rippling Creek, Louisiana, and Tate P. Ellerbee’s new teacher has just given her class an assignment—learning the art of letter-writing. Luckily, Tate has the perfect pen pal in mind: Hank Williams, a country music singer whose star has just begun to rise. Tate and her great-aunt and -uncle listen to him on the radio every Saturday night, and Tate just knows that she and Hank are kindred spirits.

Told entirely through Tate’s hopeful letters, this beautifully drawn novel from National Book Award–winning author Kimberly Willis Holt gradually unfolds a story of family love, overcoming tragedy, and an insightful girl learning to find her voice.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Burnt Bones by Darby Karchut

I am pleased and excited to be among the blogs revealing the cover for Darby Karchut's next book in her Finn Finnegan series. I have enjoyed all of her urban fantasy stories for middle graders. The Burnt Bones is the fourth and final installment of Darby Karchut's Adventures of Finn MacCullen series.

It will be released next March from Spencer Hill Press.


Jacket copy:

Just when Finn MacCullen thought fate couldn’t kick him any harder after the events of the Festival of the Hunt, it does. Now, he must overcome a series of nearly impossible trials to prove his worth as an apprentice, or lose his place at his master Gideon’s side.

But, Finn and Gideon, and their friends, are determined to boot fate right back. They’re going to do whatever it takes to succeed, including teaming up with a sorceress and a certain teen angel.

However, Finn’s life has as many twists as a Celtic knot, and master and apprentice find themselves in their ancestral homeland of Ireland with only their wits—and a fair bit of the Black Hand’s charm—to protect them from the vengeful Celtic goddess known as the Sc├íthach.

In this heart-stopping finale of the award-winning series, it’s going to take every scrap of Finn’s Irish luck and pluck to save himself, and his master, from death. Or worse.

Bio:

Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. She's been known to run in blizzards and bike in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy writing urban fantasy for tweens, teens, and adults. Visit her at www.darbykarchut.com

This book is on my wishlist. Is it on yours?