TBR: Recently Added (2)

A lot of good books have been brought to my attention and like any good book nerd I have added them to my TBR. I mean let’s be honest, we all want to keep our TBR down to a minimum, but in this reading world it is almost impossible to do. I have learned to embrace it and just go with it. Here are 6 books I have recently added to my TBR from direct suggestions or tweets that I happened to catch:

TBR: Recently Added (2)The Girl with the Red Balloon (The Balloonmakers, #1) by Katherine Locke
Published by Albert Whitman Company
on September 1st 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process.

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TBR: Recently Added (2)The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Published by Flatiron Books
on January 30th 2018
Amazon, Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

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TBR: Recently Added (2)All Rights Reserved (Word$ #1) by Gregory Scott Katsoulis
Published by Harlequin Teen
on August 29th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent rather than pay to speak, and her defiant and unexpected silence threatens to unravel the very fabric of society.

Speth Jime is anxious to deliver her Last Day speech and celebrate her transition into adulthood. The moment she turns fifteen, Speth must pay for every word she speaks ("Sorry" is a flat ten dollars and a legal admission of guilt), for every nod ($0.99/sec), for every scream ($0.99/sec) and even every gesture of affection. She's been raised to know the consequences of falling into debt, and can't begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she's unable to afford.

But when Speth's friend Beecher commits suicide rather than work off his family's crippling debt, she can't express her shock and dismay without breaking her Last Day contract and sending her family into Collection. Backed into a corner, Speth finds a loophole: rather than read her speechrather than say anything at allshe closes her mouth and vows never to speak again. Speth's unexpected defiance of tradition sparks a media frenzy, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps, and threatens to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them.

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TBR: Recently Added (2)Follow Me Back (Follow Me Back, #1) by A.V. Geiger
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
on June 6th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…


Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts.

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TBR: Recently Added (2)Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
on April 4th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

In a thrilling fantasy that’s equal parts Prison Break and Frozen, Valor attempts the impossible—breaking her sister out of prison.

When Valor is arrested, she couldn’t be happier. Demidova’s prison for criminal children is exactly where she wants to be. Valor’s sister Sasha is already serving a life sentence for stealing from the royal family and Valor is going to help her escape . . . from the inside.

Never mind that no one has escaped in three hundred years. Valor has a plan and resources most could only dream about. But she didn't count on having to outsmart both the guards and her fellow prisoners. If Valor’s plan is to succeed, she’ll need to make unlikely allies. And if the plan fails, she and Sasha could end up with fates worse than prison.

This fresh and exciting middle-grade debut effortlessly melds an unforgettable protagonist, a breathless plot, and stunning world-building—and is impossible to put down.

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TBR: Recently Added (2)Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Published by Simon Pulse
on April 3rd 2018
Amazon, Goodreads

In this romantic dramedy from the author of Alex, Approximately, a teen girl’s way-too-ordinary life is driven off the beaten path when she’s abandoned in the wilderness with her worst adversary—the boy who broke her heart.

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

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What have you recently added to your TBR? Have you read any of these?

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Giveaway – Lifeblood by Gena Showalter

The second book in Gena Showalter’s series, Lifeblood, was released at the end of February.  I am lucky enough to be able to give away a copy to one lucky reader. Please see the entry form to enter! Good luck!

Giveaway – Lifeblood by Gena ShowalterLifeblood by Gena Showalter
Published by Harlequin Teen
on February 28th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning.

With her last living breath, Tenley "Ten" Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.

Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right?

But Ten's competition is Killian, the boy she can't forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she's never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

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About Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated all over the world. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”. 

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Giveaway: US ONLY. Ends March 24, 2017 @ 11:59PM EST

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On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)

As book bloggers and readers we have a ton of books. At any given time I have about 100 books I want to read at once which we all know isn’t possible. But with those 100 books I usually have a few in mind that I want to read (unless I’m in a mood reading phase). Currently I have 6 books that I have my eye on to read next, and one that I am desperate to show up on Edelweiss so I can download it and the read the crap out of it.

On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
Published by Delacorte Press
on April 5th 2016
Amazon, Goodreads

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.

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On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)Wait for Me by Caroline Leech
Published by HarperTeen
Amazon, Goodreads

Set on a Scottish farm in the spring of 1945, Wait for Me begins as Paul, a severely burned German prisoner-of-war, is sent to the farm to work. Lorna, the farmer’s teenage daughter, soon discovers that in wartime, your family and your allies might not actually be your friends, and your enemy might turn out to be the love of your life. Lorna’s friendship with Paul, and their developing love for each other, is challenged by Lorna’s own prejudices and by the intolerance of her soldier brother and her friends in the village. Ultimately, the events which bring peace to Europe will tear Lorna and Paul apart. What will Lorna have to give up in order to find Paul again?

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On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)Caraval (Untitled, #1) by Stephanie Garber
Published by Flatiron Books
Amazon, Goodreads

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

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On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Harlequin Teen
Amazon, Goodreads

For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

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On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)For This Life Only by Stacey Kade
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Amazon, Goodreads

A young man struggles to move forward after the death of his twin brother in this gripping, coming-of-age tale about loss, redemption, love, and the moment you begin to see the world differently.

Three minutes.

Jacob Palmer died for three life-changing minutes.

And when he woke up, nothing was the same. Elijah, his twin brother, is dead, and his family is broken. Jace’s planned future is crushed, along with his pitching arm. Everyone keeps telling him that Eli’s in a better place, but Jace isn’t so sure. Because in those three minutes, there was nothing.

Overwhelmed by guilt and doubt, Jace struggles to adjust to this new version of the world, one without his brother, one without the certainties he once relied on. And then Thera comes into his life.
She’s the last girl he should be turning to for help.

But she’s also the first person to truly see him.

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On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)Wrecked by Maria Padian
Published by Algonquin Young Readers
Amazon, Goodreads

Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school’s investigation. But conflicting interests fueling conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible--especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.

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This is the book I am desperate to show up on Edelweiss. I’m about half way through the first and I need more!

On my Radar: Top TBR Books (and a dream book)Corruption (Disruption, #2) by Jessica Shirvington
Published by HarperCollins
Amazon, Goodreads

The thrilling finale to bestselling author Jessica Shirvington's Disruption series.

How do you live with yourself when you've deceived the one you love?
How do you move on when the person you've been fighting to save betrays you?
Two years ago, Maggie Stevens began the hunt.
Four weeks ago, Maggie's world fell apart, when she finally found what she'd been looking for. And when Quentin, who had blindly trusted her, unravelled her web of lies.
Now, Maggie lives in the dark. But she's not about to stay there. Not when she still has to bring M-Corp down. Not when there is still a chance she could win him back.
In the exhilarating conclusion to Disruption, Maggie must do whatever it takes to show the world the truth. And the price for her quest?
Everything.
But for who?

What are the books on your radar?

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Review: Never Always Sometimes – Adi Alsaid

Review: Never Always Sometimes – Adi AlsaidNever Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
Published by Harlequin Teen
on August 4th 2015
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon, Goodreads

Never date your best friend
Always be original
Sometimes rules are meant to be broken

Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they'd never, ever do in high school.

Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he's broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It's either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they've actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review

The thing I love most about Adi Alsaid’s books is the passion he has for them. The first time I met him he was doing press for his debut book Let’s Get Lost. When he talked about the book you could tell he genuinely loved his book and what he does. Because of this (and because I enjoyed his debut) I was really excited for Never Always Sometimes. And truth be told, I really enjoyed this one too. Did I think it had some flaws? Sure. But when it came down to it I thought the story and emotions were strong.

Never Always Sometimes is about Dave and Julia. They have been friends for a long time and refuse to turn into a cliché when they enter high school. So they make a list of things they will never do, a list that they have managed to stay away from for 3 full years. But as the navigate Senior year and life begins to feel too mundane Julia suggests they do all the nevers. Suddenly feeling like they are in a rut Julia decides it to time they do all the nevers. But as the rules they had abided by for 3 years start to disappear boundaries open and things change. Dave and Julia find themselves in uncharted territory and have no clue if they will make it out intact on the other side.

action

I’m a sucker for list stories. Anything that has a list and I’m in. I like the structure of it. I like how you can see things be crossed off and have a feeling of accomplishment. The plot of Never Always Sometimes is based solely on a list and that list changes the path of the main characters. In all honesty that was my favorite part of the book. I loved seeing how each item changed things between the main characters. Even something as simple as dying hair sent them on a path that was unexpected and that was fantastic.

backdrop

This story took place in a lot of different settings. It almost felt like a road trip where the reader was never in one place for two long. We were in high school and in a tree house and on a beach and at the water front. I felt like the backdrop was constantly moving but not at a way that was overwhelming. It actually fit the story in a perfect kind of way.

characters

I guess this is where the struggle came in and it happened for 2 reasons. 1) Never Always Sometimes suffered from a dual POV. The book was really strong in the beginning when it was just told from Dave’s side. I liked him as a character, I liked him as best friends with Julia, I liked him as a person. He was a good narrator/story teller and I found it refreshing to see the inside of his head and what he was thinking. But then after about half the book was done we were given a dual POV of Julia and Dave. This didn’t work for me. It didn’t see natural or organic. I really just wanted to know what Dave was thinking and feeling more than Julia. Which brings us to reason 2; Julia. She wasn’t as developed as Dave. I didn’t like her as much because I didn’t know her as much. I didn’t understand why she did some of the things she did. I had no idea why she wanted to work on the Nevers list. And I sure as hell didn’t understand her attachment to a certain family member. By having me listen to her POV without knowing her it kind of took away from what I loved about the book.

final

All in all I did enjoy Never Always Sometimes. It used a familiar troupe (I won’t say what it was) but did something a little different with it, something I hadn’t read in other books. Even not liking some aspects I enjoyed it for what it was and enjoyed Dave as a character. Are there things I would have changed? Definitely. But I think it is one giving a shot. You never know, what bugged me you may love. A solid second book.

other1letsget

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Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin Talley

Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves – Robin TalleyLies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Published by Harlequin Teen
on September 30th 2014
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon, Goodreads

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever. Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily. Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town's most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept "separate but equal." Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another. Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review

This book has been on my radar since sometime in May. I was fascinated by the idea behind it as I haven’t read many like it in YA. It was a book that was taking a chance in my opinion and that excited me. And now after finally reading it I can say that although I wasn’t blown away, it was a hard book to read and I imagine to write. It was a slap in the face with culture shock at the way things were in the US what wasn’t that long ago and how easy fear and hatred can turn ugly. But even with something slightly off for me in the story, more on that in a bit, I really thought it was a strong emotional read.

Lies We Tell Ourselves is a harsh look at integration in the south in the late 1950s. It’s the story of Sarah, one of the 9 black students enrolled in an all-white school, and Linda, the popular white girl with a father that is for segregation. Sarah and Linda are from two different worlds and know nothing about each other. They have different views on everything and have very different school experiences. Sarah is constantly abused and picked on at school while Linda is snobby and uppity. And then one day the two of them are paired on a project together. What starts out as the two of them debating on the right and wrong of integration turns into something they never saw coming and can change everything they know.

I’m not gonna lie, reading parts of this book was hard and shameful. A few years ago I was lucky enough to go to Memphis and The Civil Rights Museum. Seeing how people were treated because they were perceived as different was hard. And knowing it didn’t happen all that long ago was even harder. So reading Lies was tough. The name calling, the torment, the blatant disrespect of a human, felt like a punch in the gut. I was actually embarrassed that people thought this was okay behavior, that you could treat human beings like they were nothing. It bothered because I know it was truthful. What Sarah and the other characters went through was difficult to read because it was so unfair. And that their parents had them do this just killed me, but I understood.

What I really liked in the book was Linda and Sarah’s relationship. From the get go it was strained. They didn’t see eye to eye on anything. They were stubborn and pigheaded and fought one another on principle. But there was a respect that was there hidden under the surface. Linda had yet to make-up her own mind on anything and Sarah was getting her to do that. Add on top of all of that their attraction and their relationship was brought to another level. They had so much going against them yet they couldn’t fight what they felt for one another. It really was a beautiful part of a rough story.

I guess my problem was that between the segregation/integration part of the story and the ‘taboo’ love story I felt like there was just a tad too much. Neither of these important parts were focused on fully and the book suffered some in my opinion. I almost wish the focus had been on one or the other instead of both. I 100% get what the author was trying to do. I just wish it was done somewhat differently. It’s really hard for me to put this into words. Basically something felt off.

But all in all I enjoyed Lie We Tell Ourselves. It was a hard look at our history and what fear of different can do. It showed the struggles of two teenage girls living in that time and what they were both up against. Definitely one you should pick up.

 

 

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