ARC Review | True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan

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Title: True Letters from a Fictional Life
Author: Kenneth Logan
Publication: June 7th 2016 by HarperTeen
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
ISBN: 9780062380258

Are You Still There


synopsis

If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy.
But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world–letters he never intends to send–he spills the truth: he’s trying hard, but he just isn’t into Theresa. It’s a boy who lingers in his thoughts.
He feels trapped by his parents, his teammates, and the lies they’ve helped him tell, and he has no idea how to escape. Is he destined to live a life of fiction?

review

I received a digital review copy of this book from HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
“If you ain’t scared standing up for what’s right, then you ain’t standing up for much.”
– Not Mark Twain
True Letters from a Fictional Life is about James Lidell, a closeted jock who is having a difficult time with coming out to his family, friends and his sort of girlfriend, Teresa. All his life, James believed he is straight but not until he started to like boys. Coming out isn’t easy especially for James who prefers to keep his thoughts to himself. Aside from his “secret identity”, he never really voices out his opinion about most things but instead, he writes them down through letters he never intends to send to whom they’re addressed to.
And of course, it goes out in the world anyway because life is ironic.
James is a reliable narrator. I love the transparency of his voice through his thoughts and his letters. He might not be as “transparent” when it comes to certain things and to certain people, but everything behind the facade is made clear the readers, making this book such an enjoyable and engaging read.
The pacing was quick and never boring, every part was kept interesting and that’s with the help of such a diverse set of characters. I love how not everything was about James. There were also the struggles of the minor characters that affects the whole plot and how it reflects through James’s letters.
True Letters of a Fictional Life is a great read. It deals with different issues. Aside from it being a coming out story, it also deals with stereotyping, bullying, friendship, family relationships and more.
P.S. I’m hating myself for writing such a short review for this book and that I haven’t gone through a lot of things so I’ll just have to give you reasons to read this book:
1.) James is a sweetheart.
2.) Awesome friends = awesome characters
3.) Engaging writing style.
4.) It’s something you haven’t read before.
5.) If you’re still not convinced, that’s the best reason to pick up this book.
Rating:

4


whatiliked

  • Quotes
“It’s only out of tune if you accept someone else’s definition of what’s in tune.”
I’ve always wanted to wake up one day in a world where I liked the right people, and they liked me in return. I worry it’ll never happen.
I’ve always been told that I’m straight. And that’s the story I was trying to make happen. I didn’t come up with the lie. It wasn’t mine. They handed the lie to me, and I tried like hell to make it work for a while.”
  • Overflowing emotions – The wave of emotions that surged through me while I was reading this book is just too much to handle.
  • James – I ADORE this guy right here! He’s such an authentic male narrator that YA books need more of. His voice and his wit, his compassion and fears… everything about him is too damn real.

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Book description and cover image from Goodreads

Book Review | Signs of You by Emily France

27272341Title: Signs of You
Author: Emily France
Publication: July 19th 2016 by Soho Teen
Format: Finished copy in Hardback
Source: Provided by the publisher
ISBN: 9781616956578

Are You Still There


synopsis

Since sixteen-year-old Riley Strout lost her mother two years ago, her saving grace has been her quirky little family in the grief support group she joined as a freshman. Jay, Kate, and Noah understand her pain; each lost a loved one, and they’ve stuck together in spite of their differences, united by tragedies only they understand.
When Riley thinks she spots her mother shopping in a grocery store, she fears she is suffering some sort of post-traumatic stress. Then Jay and Kate report similar experiences. Only Noah hasn’t had some kind of vision, which is perhaps why he’s become so skeptical and distant.
When Noah disappears, Riley fears she’s lost another loved one. As they frantically search for him, she, Kate, and Jay are drawn into the mystery surrounding a relic that belonged to Jay’s dead father and contains clues about the afterlife. Riley finds herself wrestling with her feelings for both Noah and Jay—which have become clear only in Noah’s absence. If Riley is to help those she loves, and herself, she must set things right with the one she’s lost.

review

received a finished copy of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
Signs of You is a book that can’t be shelved into a single category. It’s a mix of a lot of things that it needs it’s own genre. And you will never really know what to expect with this one.
When I first saw the cover of this book, I actually thought that it was YA Contemporary – Romance, little did I know that it’s far from that. I’m quite surprised to see this book in the #ThrillerThursday line up but still decided to give this book a go. (As if it’s a tough decision!😛 ) I instantly wanted to find out the mystery that envelops the plot as to why Riley, the main character, and her friends have visions of their loved ones that were long gone. It didn’t take long to pin down what was behind their sightings but it’s only the beginning of what they’re about to discover. It’s by that time that I realized why the book’s title is “Signs of You”.
I really appreciate the amount of research the author did for the “spiritual” and historical aspect of the story and how she turned her inspirations into something imaginative with the blend of history and fiction. The writing style was spot on too. I love how it was free flowing and easy to follow + the awesome chapter titles! The characters were equally incredible, I’m glad that they weren’t neglected with such a unique plot.
All in all, Signs of You is a book that will touch your heart. Yes, it had some “thriller” in it but like I said, it’s a mix of a lot of things; it deals with friendship, family, high school, slight romance, grief and more. I guarantee that this book is something you haven’t read before and you definitely need to pick it up!
Rating:

3h


end

Book description and cover image from Goodreads

 

My Bookstagram (Do Over) and a Giveaway!

go explore

Hello there! This is really random but I just wanted to post about my recently made over bookstagram! I’ve been bookstagramin’ for quite a while now since I first had my book-related Instagram account even before this blog (I started on January of 2015, I just checked), but then, I haven’t really “established” my profile for various reasons. So, I decided that a little do-over might change things up.🙂

Before everything else, let’s take trip down to memory lane and see the evolution my Instagram account…
I first started with the username @readescape_ /@read.escape
(Check out my 1st bookstagram pic!)

atbp

The reason behind that name is by that time, I only just discovered the world of reading and it has become my “escape” from reality, hence the name. But aside from that, I picked a username that didn’t include my name because I didn’t want anybody to know that I have a book-related Instagram account. I kept it a secret to my friends and family. I guess I didn’t want to be judged or something? I always had to take pics when no one is around and it was very difficult. The funny thing is that my mom eventually discovered it, (I still don’t know how) and even said I take good pics! Silly, silly me.
Eventually, I changed my name to @beatricereads after I made a blog and a twitter account. But then I stumbled through an “identity crisis” when I couldn’t settle for a theme. I always kept a theme for my feed since the beginning stage of my account because I wanted my feed to organized and pretty looking like all the other accounts I see and of course, I wanted to gain followers too.
I kept changing themes, trying something different then deleting everything again until I just got tired and decided, that’s it. I need to make up my mind!
I checked out a lot of different accounts on bookstagram and got some inspration on how to be creative on taking great photos. I also downloaded photo editing apps that most bookstagramer use. For my photos, I first edit them on Snapseed (Thank God for Snapseed!) and add filters with VSCO. You don’t need to edit much if you have great lighting so I always take my photos during day time. Shoutout to my favorite bookstagram accounts (@ejmellow, @readingoncloud9@alice.in.wonderbookland, @alybooksandcoffee, @aenteereads)
And now, here’s a glimpse of my new Instagram feed! I promise that I’ll try to keep it like this and maintain it as it is.
What do you think?🙂
Another thing, I have an ongoing giveaway on my bookstagram to celebrate my birthday! I decided to celebrate it on IG since it’s where my bookish world journey began! Head over to my Instagram account (@beatricereads) for full mechanics. Open INTERNATIONAL. Ends 7/27 (MY BIRTHDAY!)

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Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. Comment below your bookstagram accounts!

Most Anticipated Reads | July 2016

july2016I am waaaayyyyyy behind with everything in the blogosphere and the book community. *sobs* But even though it’s half way through the month already, it’s still worth sharing my most anticipated reads for July!

Signs of You by Emily France
Publication: July 19th 2016 by Soho Teen

27272341Since sixteen-year-old Riley Strout lost her mother two years ago, her saving grace has been her quirky little family in the grief support group she joined as a freshman. Jay, Kate, and Noah understand her pain; each lost a loved one, and they’ve stuck together in spite of their differences, united by tragedies only they understand.

When Riley thinks she spots her mother shopping in a grocery store, she fears she is suffering some sort of post-traumatic stress. Then Jay and Kate report similar experiences. Only Noah hasn’t had some kind of vision, which is perhaps why he’s become so skeptical and distant.

When Noah disappears, Riley fears she’s lost another loved one. As they frantically search for him, she, Kate, and Jay are drawn into the mystery surrounding a relic that belonged to Jay’s dead father and contains clues about the afterlife. Riley finds herself wrestling with her feelings for both Noah and Jay—which have become clear only in Noah’s absence. If Riley is to help those she loves, and herself, she must set things right with the one she’s lost.


Cruel Heart Broken by Emma Haughton
Publication: July 1st 2016 by Usborne

29920139Laurie is a good girl – so everyone thinks. But seven months ago she did something that she can’t undo and it’s tearing her apart.

Charlie used to be her best friend. He’s done something he regrets too…and now someone has died.

Two impulsive decisions. Two toxic secrets. Too many hearts broken. Partly inspired by a true story, this is a heart-wrenching novel about impulsive mistakes, and their devastating consequences.


The Killer in Me by Margot Harrison
Published July 12th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

26095500Seventeen-year-old Nina Barrows knows all about the Thief. She’s intimately familiar with his hunting methods: how he stalks and kills at random, how he disposes of his victims’ bodies in an abandoned mine in the deepest, most desolate part of a desert.

Now, for the first time, Nina has the chance to do something about the serial killer that no one else knows exists. With the help of her former best friend, Warren, she tracks the Thief two thousand miles, to his home turf—the deserts of New Mexico.

But the man she meets there seems nothing like the brutal sociopath with whom she’s had a disturbing connection her whole life. To anyone else, Dylan Shadwell is exactly what he appears to be: a young veteran committed to his girlfriend and her young daughter. As Nina spends more time with him, she begins to doubt the truth she once held as certain: Dylan Shadwell is the Thief. She even starts to wonder . . . what if there is no Thief?


What the Dead Want by Norah Olson
Publication: July 26th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

2721729716 -year-old Gretchen takes photographs to understand the world around her, a passion her mother Mona fostered and encouraged when she was still around. Since her mom disappeared years ago, Gretchen and her dad have lived on their own in New York City, haunted by Mona’s absence.

When Gretchen’s great aunt Esther calls unexpectedly to tell her that she has inherited the pre-Civil War mansion on her mother’s side of the family in upstate New York, Gretchen understands nothing except that her aunt needs her help. But what she finds there is beyond her imagination. The house is crumbling apart, filled with stacks of papers and journals from decades, even centuries past, and it’s crawling with rodents. It’s also full of secrets and a legacy of racism and violence so reprehensible that the ghosts of the past are exacting revenge on the living.

Somehow the mystery of Mona’s disappearance and the atrocities that happened on the land during the Civil War are inextricably intertwined, and it’s up to Gretchen to figure out how…before even more lives are lost.


P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Publication: July 26th 2016 by Point

25486998 (1)What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she’s flustered — and kind of feels like she’s falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer — but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

From beloved author Kasie West (The Distance Between Us) comes an utterly charming story about mixed messages, missed connections, and the magic of good old-fashioned secret admirer notes.


The Lost & Found by Katrina Leno
Published July 5th 2016 by HarperCollins

23253261A charming and imaginative new novel about getting lost before you can be found.

LOST:
Frannie and Louis met in an online support group when they were both younger. They have never met face-to-face. They don’t even know each other’s real names. All they know is that they both have a mysterious tendency to lose things. Well, not lose them, exactly. Things just seem to…disappear.

FOUND:
They each receive news in the mail that sets them off on a road trip to Austin, Texas, looking for answers—and each other. Along the way, each one begins to find, as if by magic, important things the other has lost. And by the time they finally meet in person, they realize that the things you lose might be things you weren’t meant to have at all, and that you never know what you might find if you just take a chance.

The Lost & Found is a bighearted novel about connections (missed and found), family (the kind you’re born with and the kind you make for yourself), and unexpected journeys (on the road, and of the heart), from an author who Publishers Weekly called “a fierce new presence.”


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany
Publication: July 31st 2016 by Arthur A. Levine Books

29056083Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.


Share your July TBR in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by!
Cover images link out to respective Goodreads page.
Click and add them to your shelves.😉
Book description and cover image from Goodreads

Book Review | The Merciless by Danielle Vega

1595147225Title: The Merciless (The Merciless #1)
Author: Danielle Vega
Publication: June 12th 2014 by Razorbill
Format: Finished copy in Paperback
Source: Provided by the publisher
ISBN: 9781595147233

Are You Still There


synopsisForgive us, Father, for we have sinned

Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.

Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.

Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . .

In this chilling debut, Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?


reviewreceived a finished copy of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
The Merciless is a different kind of thriller that will make you stop and *cringe* with it’s vivid and uberly detailed story telling.
The moment I saw The Merciless, I immediately had second thoughts about reading it. But the cover got me really curious in knowing what’s it about. If I’m not already creeped out, I already knew that the symbol involves something “religious”. Also, I haven’t read a lot of books in that theme so I just had to give it a go.
The story started of as a normal contemporary with slight hints of weird. It then transitioned into a dark thriller loaded with gore. I really wasn’t expecting the detail loaded exorcism torture scenes. I did skip a lot a few pages because of how vivid everything was. The Merciless was more of a psychological thriller than a horror. It’s not really something that will not make you sleep at night but it’s something that will make you lose your appetite.
One thing I noticed in The Merciless though is the amount of cliché used in the whole story, particularly with the characters. There was the typical “new girl in school” set up that I wasn’t surprised to see and then there’s the almost Mean Girls spin off set of characters. I’ve been seeing a lot of reviews comparing it to the movie that I can’t help but think that it’s a spin off of Mean Girls.
Overall, The Merciless didn’t really scare me that much but it scarred my thoughts with it’s brutality. It’s a fast paced read with an ending you will not expect.
Rating:

3


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Book description and cover image from Goodreads

Book Review | Never Missing, Never Found by Amanda Panitch

26117389

Title: Never Missing, Never Found
Author: Amanda Panitch
Publication: June 28th 2016 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Format: Finished copy in Hardback
Source: Provided by the publisher
ISBN: 9780553507645
Are You Still There

synopsis
Some choices change everything. Scarlett chose to run. And the consequences will be deadly.
Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she’s starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends, and the chance to finally have a normal life.
Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it’s too late?

review
received a finished copy of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
Last year, Amanda Panitch’s debut novel, Damage Done, blew my mind away with such a plot twist that caught me off guard and so I had always been on the watch for what’s next for her. I must say that one of the reasons that I wanted to read Never Missing, Never Found was because of the author herself.
It’s difficult not to compare this book from her previous title which is also in the mystery/thriller category because Damage Done really set the bar for me. (You know what they say, “You’re only as good as your last game/performance/success/whatever”) and that’s why I was expecting a lot more from Never Missing, Never Found.
The thing is, Never Missing, Never Found became a bit more complicated for my expectations. In the book, the story is told in Scarlett’s POV. The readers get to have a glimpse of her past where she was taken and kept in a basement for years, the present, where she spends most of her time working at an amusement park, or trying to win her sister back and then, there were bits from the Skywoman comics (which I personally think took a lot away from what’s really going on in the actual story). The narration is uncomplicated but it’s the continuity that made everything a little vague.
But of course, there’s the ever present plot twist that I was waiting for every page I turn. Ms. Panitch is starting to have a reputation for writing unreliable characters and I think that’s what she was aiming for with Never Missing, Never Found. The “thriller” that’s lingering in this book weighs more on the characters rather than the plot. She also mentioned in my previous interview with the author that she likes to write dangerous girls and it’s evident in this book.
Overall, Never Missing, Never Found will keep you turning the pages, and when you reach the end, you’ll be turning them back to the start to see WTF JUST HAPPENED. It’s really messed up (in a good and effective way).
Rating:

3h


whatiliked

  • Plot twist – It’s always the plot twist. It may have been a little less “explosive” than my expectations, but still, it’s crazy surprising. I swear, you will never see it coming.
  •  Back story – I personally  wanted to read more about what happened in Scarlett’s stolen years. The scenes in the past somewhat felt “gray” if not dark and that’s what I was looking for. And aside from that,
  • Dangerous girls theme – Can’t say much. Just read the book.

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Book description and cover image from Goodreads

Cover Reveal | The Destined by E.J. Mellow

Hello guys! It’s been a long time since my last post, blame #adulting for that but that doesn’t mean that I’ll skip sharing with you the cover for The Destined, the 3rd and final book for The Dreamland Series. NOT A CHANCE. It’s so gorgeous and beautiful (like every E.J Mellow book covers) and all I’m really saying is you need to see it!!!

The Destined_cover_blog

Title: The Destined (Dreamland #1.5)
Author: E. J. Mellow
Publication: October 17th, 2016

How Hard Can Love Be? (Normal, #2)


synopsis

“I searched for you in the stars tonight.
But I found none
that burned as bright as you.”
—Part of a letter from Dev to Molly
With the loss of Terra’s greatest weapon, the war against darkness escalates rapidly, and time is on no one’s side. While Dev struggles to keep his home and hope alive, Molly and Rae find themselves forced to confront a desperately kept secret and quickly learn that a life-altering sacrifice is the asking price to restore order.
Nightmares, betrayal, the fate of two worlds, and one man’s hunger for vengeance lead Molly down a twisted and dark path she fears she might never come back from. Cornered into making a heart-wrenching decision, Molly teeters between deliverance and damnation. Who is worth saving most—a nation or the one she loves?
In this breathtaking conclusion of The Dreamland Series, The Destined will take you on a spine-tingling and gripping ride through self-sacrifice, the true power of love, and the importance of friendship.

abouttheauthor
ejE.J. Mellow is the Award Winning author behind the NA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series. With a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, E.J. Mellow splits her time between her two loves – visual design and writing. Residing in NYC, E.J. is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter. She has no animals but loves those who do.

www.ejmellow.com
TwitterInstagram | Facebook | Goodreads


Purchase links for The Destined:
Amazon (US) | Amazon (Canada) | Amazon (AU) | Amazon (UK) | Book Depository
Check out the covers of the other books in the series! Aren’t they all dreamy?🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Book Review | What I Couldn’t Tell You by Faye Bird

13217469_1341059192587552_2562368766160405729_o

Title: What I Couldn’t Tell You
Author: Faye Bird
Publication: May 1st 2016 by Usborne Publishing
Format: Finished copy in Paperback
Source: Provided by the publisher
ISBN: 9781474903073
Are You Still There

synopsis
When love turns to jealousy, when jealousy turns to rage, when rage turns to destruction…
Laura was head over heels in love with Joe. But now Laura lies in a coma and Joe has gone missing. Was he the one who attacked her?
Laura’s sister Tessie is selectively mute. She can’t talk but she can listen. And as people tell her their secrets, she thinks she’s getting close to understanding what happened on that fateful night.

review

I received a finished copy of this book from Usborne in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
What I Couldn’t Tell You is as straightforward as its synopsis when it comes to telling what you’re about to read when you pick up this book. From love to jealousy that turned into rage that eventually lead to destruction, What I Couldn’t Tell You is a book that will keep you turning the pages with its magnetic storytelling.
The book immediately jumps in to the night of Laura’s attack. Although the chapters for Laura and Joe were kept short, it was already enough to create a build up for where the story will be heading. Then the story follows through with Tessie, Laura’s sister who is selectively mute.
Tessie’s disorder is what made me interested in reading this book. Aside from the fact that it’s a mystery/thriller story, I’ve never read anything where a character is selectively mute and to have that play a big part in the story made everything a lot more gripping.
The mystery was depicted effectively making sure that it’s readers won’t put the book down until you reach the end but personally, I was expecting a lot more with the reveal. I already saw it coming so it wasn’t mind blowing for me but it’s still surprising in a way since it’s not really about the who did what but more of the “why” it happened. But aside from the mystery, What I Couldn’t Tell You is a lot of many things. It’s about coping and the struggle of having to live normally at a time of crisis. It also dealt with bullying. Tessie is an easy target, with her condition, she’s put into a place where it’s difficult to stand up for herself.
It also talked a lot more about “love” or the characters perception of it. I just don’t get Tessie’s feelings for Billy. It strike me as “insta-love” and blind love. I can’t say much but I’m really not buying whatever Tessie feels for him. #sorrynotsorry  But all in all, What I Couldn’t Tell You is an effective thriller book that will keep you on your toes and a definite pick-me-up book for those who are looking for a quick, intense read.
Rating:

3h


whatiliked

  • The Cover – I don’t know why but I just love the cover of this book. It’s not something that I really find attractive at first glance but you wouldn’t really notice the details if you don’t scrutinize. But anyway, I like how there are 2 people in the cover that I guess represents Laura and Joe. I just love books that incorporate their covers with the story. Not to mention that it already gives off the thriller vibe.
  • Selective Mutism – I don’t remember where I first heard of Selective Mutism but I’m aware that there are really people who are selectively mute. What I didn’t know about it are the things that they go through. It’s not like they just chose not to speak; it’s an actual disorder. And the fact that the book’s major POV is in the shoes of Tessie who suffers from the condition is really eye-opening.
  • Narration – The narration was effortless. It was easy to read and understand, and the transition is thoroughly fluid.

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Book description and cover image from Goodreads

Most Anticipated Reads | June 2016

june2016

I can’t believe that it’s June already! Time is flying and books are piling up! Why is time going so fast and I’m not reading any faster???

Never Missing, Never Found by Amanda Panitch
Publication: June 28th 2016 by Random House Books for Young Readers

26117389Some choices change everything. Scarlett chose to run. And the consequences will be deadly.

Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she’s starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends, and the chance to finally have a normal life.

Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it’s too late?


The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone
Publication: June 7th 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

27161846Seventeen-year-old Maddie O’Neill Levine lives a charmed life, and is primed to spend the perfect pre-college summer with her best friends and young-at-heart socialite grandmother (also Maddie’s closest confidante), tying up high school loose ends. Maddie’s plans change the instant Gram announces that she is terminally ill and has booked the family on a secret “death with dignity” cruise ship so that she can leave the world in her own unconventional way – and give the O’Neill clan an unforgettable summer of dreams-come-true in the process.

Soon, Maddie is on the trip of a lifetime with her over-the-top family. As they travel the globe, Maddie bonds with other passengers and falls for Enzo, who is processing his own grief. But despite the laughter, headiness of first love, and excitement of glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram. She struggles to find the strength to say good-bye in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, loss, and the power of forgiveness.


All the Feels by Danika Stone
Publication: June 7th 2016 by Swoon Reads

29222548College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.

Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.


Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi
Publication: June 14th 2016 by HarperTeen

25263136Family.

It’s always been a loaded word for Maude. And when she is given a senior photography assignment—to create a portfolio that shows the meaning of family—she doesn’t quite know where to begin. But she knows one thing: without the story of her birth mother, who died when Maude was born, her project will be incomplete.

So Maude decides to visit her best friend, Treena, at college in Tallahassee, Florida, where Maude’s birth mother once lived. But when Maude arrives, she quickly discovers that Treena has changed. With a new boyfriend and a packed social calendar, Treena doesn’t seem to have time for Maude—or helping Maude in her search.

Enter Bennett, a cute guy who lives in Treena’s dorm. He understands Maude’s need to find her mother. And as Bennett helps Maude in her search, she starts to find that her mother’s past doesn’t have to define her own future.

Lauren Gibaldi has crafted a beautiful and timely coming-of-age story that poses the question: Is who we are determined at birth, or can we change as we grow?


The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
Publication: June 7th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

26073074Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.

Until today. Today five of those kids return. They’re sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn’t really recognize the person she’s supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they’re entirely unable to recall where they’ve been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn’t come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max’s sister Avery, who needs to find her brother–dead or alive–and isn’t buying this whole memory-loss story.


With Malice by Eileen Cook
Publication: June 7th 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers

26153925A read about a teenage girl who wakes up in a hospital bed and cannot remember the last six weeks of her life, including the accident that killed her best friend–only what if the accident wasn’t an accident?

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be. She comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident while on a school trip in Italy three days previous but was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.


The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
Publication: June 7th 2016 by Swoon Reads

25721507Taylor Simmons is screwed.

Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.

Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.


How It Ends by Catherine Lo
Publication: June 7th 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers

22608764There are two sides to every story.

It’s friends-at-first-sight for Jessie and Annie, proving the old adage that opposites attract. Shy, anxious Jessie would give anything to have Annie’s beauty and confidence. And Annie thinks Jessie has the perfect life, with her close-knit family and killer grades. They’re BFFs…until suddenly they’re not.

Told through alternating points of view, How It Ends is a wildly fast but deeply moving read about a friendship in crisis. Set against a tumultuous sophomore year of bullying, boys and backstabbing, the novel shows what can happen when friends choose assumptions and fear over each other.


Change Places With Me by Lois Metzger
Publication: June 14th 2016 by Balzer + Bray

27064372Rose has changed. She still lives in the same neighborhood with her stepmother and goes to the same high school with the same group of kids, but when she woke up today, something was just a little different than it was before. The dogs who live upstairs are no longer a terror. Her hair and her clothes all feel brand-new. She wants to throw a party—this from a girl who hardly ever spoke to her classmates before. There is no more sadness in her life; she is bursting with happiness.

But something still feels wrong to Rose. Because, until very recently, Rose was an entirely different person—a person who is still there inside her, just beneath the thinnest layer of skin.


True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan
Publication: June 7th 2016 by HarperTeen

24485772If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy.

But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world–letters he never intends to send–he spills the truth: he’s trying hard, but he just isn’t into Theresa. It’s a boy who lingers in his thoughts.

He feels trapped by his parents, his teammates, and the lies they’ve helped him tell, and he has no idea how to escape. Is he destined to live a life of fiction?


The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash
Publication: June 14th 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

3P JKT Geeks_Guide.inddJohn Hughes meets Comic Con in this hilarious, unabashedly romantic, coming-of-age novel about a teenager who is trying to get his best friend to fall in love with him from the author of Three Day Summer.

Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy…
Archie and Veronica…
Althena and Noth…
…Graham and Roxy?

Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.

But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.

When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be…even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.


Look Both Ways by Alison Cherr
Publication: June 14th 2016 by Delacorte Press

21825761The story of a girl hoping she’s found a place to belong . . . only to learn that neither talent nor love is as straightforward as she thinks.

A summer away from the city is the beginning of everything for Brooklyn Shepard. Her theater apprenticeship at Allerdale is a chance to prove that she can carve out a niche all her own, surrounded by people who don’t know anything about her or her family of superstar performers.

Brooklyn immediately hits it off with her roommate, Zoe, and soon their friendship turns into something more. Brooklyn wants to see herself as someone who’s open to everything and everyone, but as her feelings for Zoe intensify, so do her doubts. She’s happier than she’s ever been—but is it because of her new relationship? Or is it because she’s finally discovering who she wants to be?


Share your June TBR in the comments!
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Author Interview | Jessica Spotswood ft. Wild Swans + Giveaway!

27015393

“One of my favorite quotes from the book is: If you’re not any good, what’s the point? Milbourn girls don’t do mediocre. Because that’s messed-up thinking, but it’s also so relatable, I think.” shares Author Jessica Spotswood as she shares some personal experiences that inspired some scenes of her new book, Wild Swans. Read along and find out more!

qna

Tell us something about your recently published book, Wild Swans!
Wild Swans is a contemporary YA novel about a complicated family, fierce female friendships, and first love, set on the Chesapeake Bay. Ivy Milbourn has been raised by her granddad after her mom walked out when Ivy was two. Now, the summer before Ivy’s senior year, her mom is coming back home with the two half-sisters Ivy’s never met.
How different is this book from your previous works?
It’s a contemporary book with no magical elements, whereas my anthologies are historical fiction and fantasy and my trilogy, The Cahill Witch Chronicles, was historical fantasy. But I think readers will find similar elements. There’s still a mix of sibling rivalry and love, a diverse cast of fiercely loyal girl friends, and a bookish boy (this time he’s a biracial poet with tattooos of poems). My new heroine, Ivy, is like the CWC’s Cate in that she’s struggling against high expectations and often doubts her abilities – but the stakes aren’t whether Ivy will be hung for witchery, it’s whether she’ll succumb to the mental illness and addictions that her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother struggled with.
How did you come up with the book’s title? Is there a meaning behind it?
The title is based on the poem “Wild Swans” by Edna St Vincent Millay. To me, the poem really fits Ivy’s mom, Erica, who is desperate to escape this small town, her father, and the family legacy that she finds suffocating.
Are there certain personal experiences you’ve drawn from that inspired some parts of the book?
Absolutely. I’ve written very openly about feeling like my trilogy didn’t live up to the publisher’s high sales expectations and how that made me feel like a failure for a while. I absolutely used that experience to write Ivy. Because the women in her family have all been incredibly talented artists, and because her granddad pushes her to discover her own extraordinary talent, Ivy feels like she’s not enough. One of my favorite quotes from the book is: If you’re not any good, what’s the point? Milbourn girls don’t do mediocre. Because that’s messed-up thinking, but it’s also so relatable, I think. For instance, it’s so easy in the publishing industry to compare your career to other writers’ and feel inadequate if you’re not a bestseller, with a movie deal, with a book tour, etc. But, like Ivy, I’ve learned to try to focus on what I want for myself and not let others’ expectations be the measure of my self-worth.
Which character from Wild Swans do you particularly see yourself in? Why?
Ivy! She’s such a perfectionist and desperate to please, and that’s something I struggle with, too. I think a lot of girls do, because we get a lot of pressure from society to be nice and put other people first. We’re taught that putting ourselves and our own needs first is selfish, but that’s so untrue! Over the course of the book, Ivy starts to stand up for herself more, starting with telling her best guy friend (who has a crush on her) that she can kiss whoever she wants and he doesn’t get a say in that, to eventually standing up to her mom and her granddad.
How did you celebrate Wild Swans‘ pub day?
It happened to be my birthday as well as my book birthday, so I spent a lot of time online thanking everyone for their good wishes! Then I went out to dinner with my best friend and my husband, and had a cocktail and some really great Brussels sprouts. (I am super into Brussels sprouts lately!)

abouttheauthor
jsJessica Spotswood is the author of the contemporary novel WILD SWANS and the historical fantasy trilogy The Cahill Witch Chronicles. She’s also the editor of the feminist historical anthology A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS. Jess grew up in a tiny, one-stoplight town in Pennsylvania, where she could be found swimming, playing clarinet, memorizing lines for the school play, or—most often—with her nose in a book. Now she lives in Washington, DC, where she can be found working as a children’s library associate for the DC Public Library, seeing theatre with her playwright husband, or—most often—with her nose in a book. Some things never change.
www.jessicaspotswood.com
Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

27015393The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?

But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past….

Cut Both Ways

Purchase links for Wild Swans:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound

Giveaway!
Win 1 of 3 swag pack (sets of bookmarks for the Cahill Witch Chronicles, A Tyranny of Petticoats, & Wild Swans plus signed bookplates) from Jessica Spotwsood!
Open Internationally!
Enter via Rafflecopter (click here or the image below) and/or Twitter!
3 winners will be randomly picked – 2 from the blog and 1 from Twitter.
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