Archive | April, 2014

May 2014 New Releases

May 2014 New Releases

 

Below are just some of the new releases coming out this month! Readers, authors, agents, and publishers are welcome to send information about upcoming releases for future months by commenting below or emailing me at shaelit [at] gmail [dot] com. Continue Reading →

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Top 10 Tuesday – If You Like X, Try Y

It was so difficult not to go completely fangirl about all my favorite TV shows. Rather than focus on one particular genre or style, I just picked shows and movies and  made them play nice with books I enjoyed. But OH how tempted I was to derail the entire conversation to wax poetic on some of these TV shows. THEY NEED TO BE WATCHED! (As the books need to be read, but then you already know that.) Continue Reading →

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Review: THE TAKING by Kimberly Derting

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

This is not the book I’m supposed to be reviewing today. There are other books that came first in my queue, but I just finished The Taking the night before starting this review, and I have thoughts that need to be shared. Continue Reading →

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Rewind & Review (47)

Rewind and review

Blog Posts You Might Have Missed

It was a busy week on the blog but not so much elsewhere. I didn’t receive anything this week, so the only thing left to report are the books that I read.

Books I Read

  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein audiobook – Still listening. Still loving.
  • The Dyerville Tales by  M.P. Kozlowsky – Wasn’t connecting so had to set it aside for a bit.
  • The Taking by Kimberley Derting – Not bad! Review to come tomorrow.
  • Paranoia by J.R. Johansson – Also not bad. Review to come… at some point?
  • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin – Just started. Love that it’s set in an archipelago!

 

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Review: SCORCH by Gina Damico

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home.

To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop Zara once and for all—but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara’s killing spree?

Note: This review was written over a year ago. I am posting it just as it was written then, though I hope to someday revisit Scorch and change my own opinion. Also, this is a sequel, so SPOILERS!
Continue Reading →

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Cover Love #53

CoverLove1

Expelled from yet another boarding school for hacking, sixteen-year-old Rebecca “Bec” Jackson is shipped off to Rome to intern for Parker Phillips, the editor-in-chief of one of the world’s top fashion magazines. But when a mysterious accident lands Parker in a coma, former supermodel and notorious drama queen Candace Worthington takes the reins of the magazine. The First Lady is in Rome for a cover shoot, and all hands are on deck to make sure her visit goes smoothly.

Bec quickly realizes that Parker’s “accident” may not have been quite so accidental, and when the First Lady’s life is threatened, Bec is determined to uncover the truth. On top of that, Bec must contend with bitchy models, her new boss, Candace, who is just as difficult as the tabloids say, and two guys, a hunky Italian bike messenger with a thousand-watt smile and a fashion blogger with a razor-sharp wit, who are both vying for her heart.

Can Bec catch the person who’s after the First Lady, solve the mystery of Parker’s accident, and juggle two cute boys at the same time? Blonde Ops is a fun, action-packed romp through the hallways of a fashion magazine and the cobblestone streets of Rome.

Once again, I have to thank Christina and Cover Snark for keeping in the cover loop, because this book comes out next month and I’m not exactly sure how it slipped past me. And that would have been a tragedy, because LOOK AT THE CUTENESS! I don’t even know where to start.

How about the colors? The red of those heels, the pop of yellow from the cute little motorbike-scooter thing, the black and white stripes on the dress, the cool grey stone beneath her feet, and the fresh green awaiting her are all perfect. It looks warm but not hot, just cool enough to be refreshing without being chilly, like… well, like a dip in the Mediterranean. And isn’t it interesting how Italian (or at least how European) this cover comes off without falling into stereotypes? My my. Also, a round of applause for how cute her clothes are. It makes the cover visually appealing in addition to giving off the proper “fashion blogger” vibe. Then round it all off with the crosshairs “O” to signify danger and spies, and voila!

Perfect cover!

What do YOU think of this cover? Have you read the book yet? Is it as cute inside as it is on the outside? 

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Visiting Friends

I have discovered a quirk in myself. Not that finding a quirk is in any way surprising, as I have several, but this particular quirk is amusing to me. When I go to a bookstore or library, I need to make sure the location’s collection is curated properly. After all, why would I waste my time in a place that doesn’t know middle grade from young adult? In the case of bookstores, things such as prices and the helpfulness of the staff come into play as well, but for libraries and bookstores alike, I always have to check that it stocks specific books.

This rule applies to both new locations and home favorites. I worked at Books-A-Million for over a year and still visit on a semi-regular basis. This store is a known entity. I have been over every inch of it, and I know the people who run it. It’s a good store. But literally every time I visit my old bookstore (or any bookstore) or drop by the library, I have to make sure my favorites are there. My favorite books are like the literary canaries in a coal mine. Their presence proves that those in charge, at the very least, know what’s important. If they’re missing, something is wrong. Even if they’re missing only because stock is running low, I’m uneasy. What if someone comes in and wants that book? They’re too good to be withheld. GET THE BOOKS!

To be a passable store or library, the location in question must have at least one copy of The Thief (Megan Whalen Turner), Grave Mercy (Robin LaFevers), and Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein). Sadly, it is a rare breed of place that will have the entire series of anything, much less all three authors, so I generally settle for seeing the first book in each series. I know that if they have the first book, new readers will get hooked and request the rest. I don’t know what I would do if I entered a library or store to find one of my required books missing, as all the places I frequent have excellent taste. (Actually, when I worked at BAM, the MWT selection was piddly, so I would “order” two or three copies of The Queen of Attolia and then put them on the shelves to make sure that those looking for a new read could get both The Thief and QoA together. But I don’t know what I would do now.)

To truly win my love and devotion, I also require proof of the other books in each series, as well as Ms. Robin’s middle grade books, Ms. Elizabeth’s Lion Hunters series, a healthy Agatha Christie collection, at least two different Tamora Pierce series, The Hunger Games, comic strip collections in something other than Garfield and Peanuts, and a robust crime section (preferably with titles on crime scenes, serial killers, and criminal psychology rather than lurid “true crime” tales.)

I kid you not. Last time I visited a new library, I even tweeted pictures.

That is a picture of excellence, my friends.

So what about you? Do you have stocking requirements for bookstores and libraries? Any particular “friends” you look for when you visit?

 

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Top 10 Tuesday – Characters I Want To Protect

Today’s prompt from the girls at TBatB is “Top 10 Characters Who X” with “X” being whatever we wanted. I decided to make “X” be character I want to protect. Be honest, I’m not the only one who feels the urge to wade into the middle of a story to guard the back of some sweet character. Whether it’s because they’re being picked on, because they get a bad deal in the end, because one horrible thing comes along and knocks them over, or just because they have a rough life, here are some character (not ten) that I want to save. Continue Reading →

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Review: MERIDIAN by Josin McQuein

Marina thought that she had solved all of the Arclight’s mysteries. She had found her own history—that she was one of the Fade, that she never should have been human. She knows that the Fade who surround the Arclight don’t want to be the humans’ enemies at all. She knows that the leader of those inside the Arc, Honoria Whit, never told the whole truth.

But there is so much more that Marina is just discovering. There are more survivors out there. Only Marina—and her friends, all of whom have connections to the Fade they’d never known about—can lead her people to them. But there are also darker dangers, things that even the Fade fear. And Marina slowly realizes she may never have been “cured,” after all. The sequel to Arclight,

Meridian is an intense, action-packed page-turner about the lines we draw between right and wrong, light and dark . . . and the way nothing is ever that black and white.

Well… this was a thing. It was… it was a story-shaped thing, to be sure. It had all my favorite characters from the previous book, more tension, and more spookies. Huzzah! And yet I’m not 100% sure what happened. [Note: As this is a review for a sequel, within the review may contain spoilers for the previous book.] Continue Reading →

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Rewind & Review (46)

Rewind and review

 

Blog Posts You Might Have Missed

Ah, another lovely week. I especially like how well-received this last BEA Tips post was. Remember, you can ask questions via email or in the comments!

Stuff I Won

  • Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor (from the author)

Stuff I Read

  • Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike – Interesting. Still mulling. Review to come.
  • Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan – Finally finished! Oh my word, best of the entire series. Can’t wait to move on to the next series!
  • Insomnia by J.R. Johansson – A reread in prep for Paranoia.
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein – Listening to the audiobook, and it has to be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. Ever. Also, when I finish, this will be my 50th book read this year, if you include DNFs!

Happy Easter, everyone!

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