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"Waiting On" Wednesday (#92) Daughters unto Devils by Amy Lukavics


“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm picking:

Daughters unto Devils by
Expected publication: September 29th 2015 by Harlequin Teen

From Goodreads: 

When sixteen-year-old Amanda Verner's family decides to move from their small mountain cabin to the vast prairie, she hopes it is her chance for a fresh start. She can leave behind the memory of the past winter; of her sickly Ma giving birth to a baby sister who cries endlessly; of the terrifying visions she saw as her sanity began to slip, the victim of cabin fever; and most of all, the memories of the boy she has been secretly meeting with as a distraction from her pain. The boy whose baby she now carries.

When the Verners arrive at their new home, a large cabin abandoned by its previous owners, they discover the inside covered in blood. And as the days pass, it is obvious to Amanda that something isn't right on the prairie. She's heard stories of lands being tainted by evil, of men losing their minds and killing their families, and there is something strange about the doctor and his son who live in the woods on the edge of the prairie. But with the guilt and shame of her sins weighing on her, Amanda can't be sure if the true evil lies in the land, or deep within her soul.

Why I'm Waiting:

AHHH!  I get chills even reading the description, this looks so unbelievably creepy, gross, and weird that I can't even.  And that cover!  My goodness whoever wrote the copy for the description and came up with that cover needs a raise.  At the same time, I can't wait to read it!

"Waiting On" Wednesday (#91) Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul


“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm picking:

Underneath Everything by
Expected publication: October 27th 2015 by Balzer + Bray

From Goodreads: 

Mattie shouldn’t be at the bonfire. She should be finding new maps for her collection, hanging out with Kris, and steering clear of almost everyone else, especially Jolene. After all, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social scene the summer after sophomore year for a reason.

But now Mattie is a senior, and she’s sick of missing things. So here she is.

And there’s Jolene: Beautiful. Captivating. Just like the stories she wove. Mattie would know; she used to star in them. She and Jolene were best friends. Mattie has the scar on her palm to prove it, and Jolene has everything else, including Hudson.

But when Mattie runs into Hudson and gets a glimpse of what could have been, she decides to take it all back: the boyfriend, the friends, the life she was supposed to live. Problem is, Mattie can’t figure out where Jolene ends and she begins.

Because there’s something Mattie hasn’t told anyone--she walked away from Jolene over a year ago, but she never really left.

Poignant and provocative, Marcy Beller Paul’s debut novel tells the story of an intoxicating—and toxic—relationship that blurs the boundary between reality and fantasy, love and loyalty, friendship and obsession.

Why I'm Waiting:

I keep singing the song Jolene in my head when I think about this book.  Besides that, it looks like it will be sad and really good. Having once had a toxic friend in my life, I imagine I will relate to this one.

Top Ten Tuesday (#92) (05/19/15) Top Ten Books I'd Want on a Deserted Island


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books I'd Want on a Deserted Island

This week is a freebie, so I looked back at the list of topics and picked one I hadn't read before.  I am putting books on this list that I loved enough to read over and over again.  I don't reread many books, just because I don't have the time, but those that I do re-read are really special to me.  So I am excluding the obvious survivor type books (though from a practical viewpoint, I really should have a bunch of those) and limit this to books I want to read again, and again.

This one kind of surprised me.  I think about this book all the time, and I have read it so many times I have lost count.  It has an insanely unlikable MC, but at the same time is totally compelling.  Every time I think about it, I want to read it again.  I'm actually fighting the urge to go grab it.

This is the only one of the series that I would want on a deserted island with me.  Not the the others are bad, it's just that this one is my favorite by far.  I think it has a lot to do with the relationship between Seb and Lydia.  They remain one of my favorite book couples.

Top Ten Tuesday (#93) (05/26/15) Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer

I think I will keep it light this summer and read some fun summer books. I sometimes get bogged down in books that are way too serious for the summer, so my goal is to pick books that are light, just fun, or invoke a summer state of mind.  Here are my top 10.

"Waiting On" Wednesday (#90) Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus


“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm picking:

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by
Expected publication: October 6th 2015 by Thomas Dunne Books

From Goodreads: 

A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws.

Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.

Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on the right track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can't shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.

When Summer's behavior manage to alienate everyone, even Moony, she's forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that'll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.

Why I'm Waiting:

I kind of need this book in my life now.  It sounds SO good.  Plus, PARIS.  I love books set in Paris.

Top Ten Tuesday (#91) (5/12/15) Ten Authors I REALLY Want To Meet


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Ten Authors I REALLY Want To Meet

I am so blessed, in that I have been fortunate enough to meet a ton of authors.  Being a librarian, I get to attend ALA for work, and I am able to sneak down to the exhibit hall floor to meet tons of authors that are signing.  I've also been to BEA, which is an author extravaganza, and I live in a major metropolitan area, so lots of authors come here on tour, so I get to meet them at book signings.  If meeting authors is your thing, I really suggest BEA.  It's kind of rushed, so you don't get to talk to them very long, but it really gives you a chance to tell them how much you love their work, plus you get to meet a bunch of debut authors.  Even with the number of authors I've met, there are a few that I still can't wait to meet.

She doesn't really tour for her books, so I don't know when I would ever get a chance to meet her.  It makes me sad because I really adore her books.

I really love her books.  She's an author where I'm not sure why I haven't met her, I will at some point I'm sure. I just need her to come to an ALA conference and I'm set.

I don't know why I haven't met her yet.  She's one of those authors where I've read almost everything they've written, but somehow have missed meeting her.  I will try to rectify that at some point.

I had a chance to meet her in November, and I MISSED IT.  I was so upset. She was at NCTE last year, and I was late getting to the conference, and by time I got there they had cut the line off.  I really hope I do get to meet her at some point.

I've read a couple of her series now and I've really enjoyed them.  I would love to meet her and get my books signed.

I may get my chance to meet her this year.  She'll be at ALA since she won the Printz and they will have a ceremony for her.  I hope she will be doing a signing in the exhibit hall as well.  I will take a break from being in session to get a chance to meet her.

I have no excuse for not meeting her.  I had a chance last year, but I missed it. When she comes back to DC, I won't miss my chance again.  I have a stack of book by her just waiting to be signed.

This is an obvious one. I would love to hear her speak in person, and then get all my books signed.  She made readers of so many kids, it would be amazing to meet her.

He's a YA rock star. He was actually at the first ALA conference I ever went to, I was just clueless about what was going on, and I missed seeing him.

I want to meet her because she's JUDY FRICKIN' BLUME.  I mean, come on.  She's such a huge part of my childhood and teen years.  I don't know what my life would have been like without her books to help get me through some really weird times.

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh

Putnam Juvenile
Expected publication: May 12th 2015

You know those books that you start reading and then you just can’t put down? No matter what is going on in your life, all you really want to do is just go back to reading that book? How when it’s over all you can do is howl and say “no!”? That’s how I feel about this book. I am obsessed. I never wanted it to end. I need the next book now!

Full disclosure, I love a good fairy tale retelling. Going in I was aware of the One Thousand and One Nights tale, but I held no love for it. Really, what was to love? The male lead (The King) is a serial killer, and yes he pardons his wife, and yes, she’s much smarter than him, and girls rule, and all that. However, he’s still a serial killer. So I went into this book very curious to see if there was an effort to make the King more likable. It’s a very rare book where one of the male leads is largely reprehensible, and yet the story remains a good one.

Well this one totally worked for me. The King (Caliph), Khalid, is human, and there is a reason behind the killings. There is an effort to sympathize with his struggle. There are really no major villain in this story, although there are some shady minor characters who will most likely play a bigger part of being bad, bad, men in the next book. All the major characters have flaws, and that’s o.k - it makes them a bit more real.

The book is told in the third person, which both helps and hurts. It helps in that while the book mainly follows Shahrzad (Shazi), you do get to check in on what everyone else is doing, and get an inside into events the main character is unaware of. The only other way to have this happen would be to jump around to various first person accounts, and I just don’t think it would have worked for this book. Khalid, is a very reserved and stoic character, and getting inside may have revealed a bit too much as the book needs him to remain a bit of a mystery. At the same time, you don’t really get a chance to understand him or his motivations, so it’s hard to root for him. Likewise, I think not getting into Shazi’s head also helps tremendously. When you know too much about a character, and realize all the stupid things going on in their head, the tendency can be to dislike the main female character. With that bit of distance, Shazi becomes an awesome, strong and fearless female, which is a good thing. Yes, she changes her mind, and yes she has a major internal struggle, but not knowing her every thought makes it all a bit more believable.

This all leads to the love triangle portion of the book. Of course there is one, but it’s a very interesting one. Both love interests have some major flaws, and without being in Shazi’s head, it’s hard to tell which one she should be with. Is Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, and the one willing and ready to rescue her at all costs the right one? Or is Khalid, her husband, who is willing to give up everything for her the perfect choice? Is her love for Tariq based on habit and childish notions? Although, I hope it’s not is her love for Khalid the result of Stockholm Syndrome? We just don’t know, and while I usually grit my teeth at these triangles, this one has me very curious to see the outcome. I just hope she picks one, because there is NOTHING that annoys me more than introducing a triangle and leaving it unresolved.

My only slightly negative commentary would be the writing itself. There is no question that the book itself is incredibly well written. My only hesitation is in some of the vocabulary. I am all for including tough and challenging words into books for Teens. However, there were several occasions while reading this book, when I had to pause and contemplate the word choice. I almost think that the author in an attempt to toss in these high-level vocabulary words loses the purpose and pacing of the scene.

Bottom Line: This is easily one of the best books I’ve read this year. I absolutely loved it.

"Waiting On" Wednesday (#89) Instructions for the End of the World: A Novel by Jamie Kain


“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm picking:

Instructions for the End of the World: A Novel by
Expected publication: December 8th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin

From Goodreads: 

From the author of The Good Sister comes a gripping novel about two sisters who learn that there are things in life—love, loss, and self-discovery—that you simply can't prepare for.

He prepared their family for every natural disaster known to man—except for the one that struck.

When Nicole Reed’s father forces her family to move to a remote area of the Sierra Foothills, one without any modern conveniences, it's too much too handle for her mother, who abandons them in the middle of the night. Heading out to track her down, Nicole’s father leaves her in charge of taking care of the house and her younger sister, Izzy. For a while, Nicole is doing just fine running things on her own. But then the food begins to run out, the pipes crack, and forest fires start slowly inching their way closer every day. Wolf, a handsome boy from the neighboring community, offers to help her when she needs it most, but when she starts to develop feelings for him, feelings she knows she will never be allowed to act on once her father returns, she must make a decision. With her family falling apart, will she choose to continue preparing for tomorrow’s disasters, or will she take a chance and really start living for today?

Instructions for the End of the World is a gripping, young adult novel that explores family, friendship, and love in the midst of the most difficult and dangerous circumstances.

Why I'm Waiting:

This looks like it will be a really sweet yet heartbreaking story.  I like the idea that it's set out in the middle of nowhere.