On My Radar – Recently Downloaded (6)

I have been trying to be so good when it comes to requesting ARCs or downloading eGalleys. I have stuck to my “only buying Kindle books” ban since last fall which has been nice (not that I haven’t added any physical books to my collection, but I haven’t bought any). But then there was a recent drop of available books on Edelweiss and I saw all the new shiny and I just couldn’t help myself.

On My Radar – Recently Downloaded (6)Little Wrecks by Meredith Miller
Published by HarperCollins
Published: June 27th 2017
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Ruth, Magda, and Isabel are different from everyone else. They can see beneath the seemingly perfect, cookie-cutter exterior of their small town of Highbone, Long Island. They know that below the surface, each house is filled with secrets, indifference, and violence.

These girls refuse to become willing participants of these fake lives. Instead, they are determined to fight every condescending comment, every unwelcome touch, and every lie they’ve been told.

When the opportunity to commit the perfect crime appears, the girls finally start to see their way out of Highbone. But for the first time, Ruth, Magda, and Isabel are keeping secrets from each other. As they drift apart, the weight of reality starts to set in. These girls can’t save each other. They might not even be able to save themselves.

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On My Radar – Recently Downloaded (6)16 Ways to Break A Heart by Lauren Strasnick
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
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Natalie and Dan were electric from the moment they met. Witty banter and sizzling chemistry made falling in love easy—even inevitable. He was in awe of her subversive art and contagious zest for life; she was drawn to his good-guy charm and drive to succeed as a documentary filmmaker.

But that was before. Before hot tempers turned to blowout fights. Before a few little lies turned to broken trust. Before a hundred tiny slights broke them open and exposed the ugly truth of their relationship.

And now Natalie wants Dan to know just how much he broke her.

Over the course of one fateful day, Dan reads sixteen letters that Natalie has secretly, brilliantly hidden in places only he will find. And as he pieces together her version of their love story, he realizes that she has one final message for him. One that might just send his carefully constructed life tumbling down.

Unfolding through letters, texts, and chats, Lauren Strasnick’s smart, sexy, page-turning new novel is the ultimate he said/she said breakdown of a relationship gone wrong.

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On My Radar – Recently Downloaded (6)Changes in Latitudes by Jen Malone
Published by HarperTeen
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A "road" trip romance that takes place at sea!

All Cassie wants is to get some solid ground under her feet following the shock of her parents' divorce. So when she learns of her mom's plans to take Cassie and her brother, Drew, on a four-month sailing trip from Oregon to Mexico, she's stunned. There is absolutely nothing solid about the Pacific Ocean.

Cassie is furious. And nervous. It's been hard enough keeping Drew sheltered from what Cassie knows about her mother's role in breaking their family apart, but living in such close quarters threatens to push her anger past its tipping point. Enter Jonah, a whip-smart deckhand who's as gorgeous as he is flirtatious. Cassie tries to keep him at a distance, but the more time they spend together--wandering San Francisco, riding beachside roller coasters, and exploring the California coastline--the harder it is to fight the attraction.

​Cassie wants to let herself go, but her parents' split has left her feeling adrift in a sea of questions she can't even begin to answer. Can she forgive her mom? Will home ever feel the same? Should she take a chance on Jonah? With life's unpredictable tides working against her, Cassie must decide whether to swim against them... or dive right in.

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On My Radar – Recently Downloaded (6)How To Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat
Published by HarperTeen
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Vicky Decker has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight, quietly navigating the halls of her high school undetected except by her best (and only) friend, Jenna. But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable.

So she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures, posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious. Instantly, she begins to get followers, so she adds herself to more photos from all over the world with all types of people. And as Vicurious’s online followers multiply, Vicky realizes she can make a whole life for herself without ever leaving her bedroom. But the more followers she finds online, the clearer it becomes that there are a lot of people out there who feel like her— #alone and #ignored in real life.

To help them, and herself, Vicky must find the courage to face her fear of being “seen,” because only then can she stop living vicariously and truly bring the magic of Vicurious to life.

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On My Radar – Recently Downloaded (6)This Is How It Happened by Paula Stokes
Published by HarperTeen
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Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened.

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.

Incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully told, Paula Stokes’s story will compel readers to examine the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.

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On My Radar – Recently Downloaded (6)These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips
Published by HarperTeen
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Before:
Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.

After:
It's been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn't racked with guilt over her role in her best friend's death. Dara thought nothing could be worse than confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn't half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey's brother, every day. Not just because he's a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she's betraying her best friend one final time.

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Guest Review: Wanderlost – Jen Malone

Today on the blog we have a guest review done by Sarah (palmys05 on Twitter). Some of you have met Sarah and some of you may know her from social media. When we were at ALA together she mentioned she wanted Wanderlost so I offered to let her read it and review it on my blog. Here I give you here review!

Guest Review: Wanderlost – Jen MaloneWanderlost by Jen Malone
Published by HarperTeen
Published: May 31st 2016
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Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe. A romantic and charming YA debut perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.

The lovely Andi asked me to review Wanderlost for her and I was so happy to take her up on her offer. 

Jen Malone’s Wanderlost was a just a feel good read.  It made me wistful and long for my semester abroad days in college.

Due to wacky hijinks, Aubree, a recent high school graduate who is babied by her parental units, winds up spending her summer vacation leading a group of seniors on a bus tour through Europe in place of her sister, Elizabeth.

The set-up to the tour was a bit clunky. After graduation, Aubree was hosting a party that got a bit out of hand while mom and dad were away.   Due to the noise, angry neighbors called the police. Aubree’s overachieving (and overbearing) older sister, Elizabeth, tried to diffuse the situation, which didn’t go over so well! Elizabeth ended up getting arrested and was unable to leave the country to lead the senior tour.  This tour guide position was supposed to be Elizabeth’s in to pursue a career in politics.  To save face, Elizabeth begged Aubree, a self-professed homebody with no desire to travel, to lead the tour as Elizabeth so that she could still get recommended for a desired internship.  WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

I hope I got that right….this set-up to the plot was just SO convoluted and ridiculous.  Anyone with Elizabeth’s smarts would have never gone with this plan or even thought it up in the first place.  I’m so glad I kept reading, but the whole beginning was a major turn-off.  If it had gone on much longer, it probably would have led me to DNF the book. The end result was adorable, but still, I wish the beginning wasn’t so plot pointy.

Now, let me get to the good stuff.  Aubree’s tour group was just delightful.  There was an outspoken couple from Texas who wouldn’t stop making out in the back of the van. Also, Emma and Mary, longtime best friends who wanted to see the world together, and Mr. Fenton, an adorable retired history teacher constantly sharing factoids about every spot they were seeing.   At first, Mr. Fenton seemed like he would out Aubree’s true identity to the rest of the crew, but he quickly befriended her which resulted in some great heart to hearts.  Rounding out the crew was Delores.  From day one, Aubree could tell she wasn’t enthused about being on the tour, but learned quickly that due to her connections, she was the one that needed to be impressed the most.  Aubree’s relationship with her tour group was a delight to read.  She both had to keep up the charade as Elizabeth, and be a responsible leader.  Both being stretches for her. She went from not wanting to leave Ohio to declaring every new city as her “favorite.”

Lest I forget to mention the adorable Sam.  As Aubree’s contact with the tour company in the states, Aubree talked to him on the daily.  This quickly led to phone flirting.  Aubree didn’t think twice about chatting with him as “Lizzie” since he was so far away.  When an emergency causes Sam to join their tour, Aubree must confront their attraction headfirst and wrestle with coming clean with him while lie after lie continues to pile.

I loved Aubree’s growth throughout the book.  She went from being dependent on her family, whiny, and entitled to resourceful, content, and eager to learn from her new surroundings and those around her.   The combination of Aubree’s character growth, her romance with Sam, and her relationship with her tour created a very sweet YA about finding yourself.

 

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