Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan

InvisibilityStephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.

Words cannot accurately convey how excited I was to read this. I love Andrea Cremer, and it’s no secret that David Levithan is one of my all-time favorite writers. So when Invisibility arrived on my doorstep, there was a lot of screaming. Once I actually read the book, I discovered that Invisibility more than met my expectations. Going into it, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. What I found was a beautiful paranormal book that captured my heart and wouldn’t let go.

Stephen immediately grabbed my attention. His voice was powerful, and I loved it. Though I can’t personally relate to his situation (yay for not being invisible!), it was still really to empathize with him. I couldn’t relate to Elizabeth as much as I could relate to Stephen. However, I still loved her as a character. Both Cremer and Levithan do an impeccable job of writing their character’s.

Invisibility takes you on an unforgettable journey through New York to find the answers to Stephen and Elizabeth’s mystery. No matter how hard I tried to do other things while reading (hello, homework), I couldn’t bring myself to put the book down. Cremer and Levithan are an incredible duo. I don’t know if there’s going to be one, but I really want there to be an Invisibility sequel. You should go out and read Invisibility as soon as possible. It isn’t your average paranormal book.

FTC- Received from publisher.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bay Area Book Events!

Hey everyone!

I’m dropping in real quick to tell all of my California Bay Area readers about two awesome upcoming book events.

Summer Lovin' YA Pizza PartySummer Lovin’ YA Pizza Party

Sunday, May 19th at 3pm.

Shannon Messenger, Sarah Ockler, Suzanne Young, Jessie Kirby, Morgan Matson and Kimberly Derting

Copperfields in Montgomery Village (Santa Rosa)

You can learn more about the event, and the address of Copperfields by going here.

I am SUPER excited for this event.


Super Summer Sampler YA Pizza Party!Super Summer Sampler YA Pizza Party

Friday, June 7th at 7pm.

Marissa Meyer, Suzanne Winnacker, Debra Driza, SJ Kincaid, Shannon Messenger, Daisy Whitney, and Melissa Buell

Copperfields in Petaluma.

You can learn more about the event, and the address of this Copperfields by going here.

I’m not 100% sure that I’ll be able to make it for this event, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to come meet all of these wonderful authors.


If you live in the Bay Area, you should totally come to these events. They’re going to be great!

Waiting on Wednesday (72)


Waiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

This Song Will Save Your LifeThis Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

September 17, 2013

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Golden by Jessi Kirby

GoldenSeventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.
Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.
Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

Golden has turned out to be one of my favorite books of 2013 so far. I’ve read both of Jessi Kirby’s previously published books, and I loved them both. Because of this, I had super high expectations for Golden. It managed to surpass even my highest expectations. Golden was fantastic. I fell in love with the story, the characters, and the prose.

Parker was such an amazing character. As the book went on, I loved watching her creep out of her shell and start doing things a little daring. She was smart, witty, and an overall fantastic character. When Parker finds the journal of a Julianna, teen who (along with her boyfriend) went missing from her town ten years prior, she doesn’t plan to investigate it any further. However, her curiosity gets the best of her and she forces herself to reevaluate the evidence surrounding Julianna’s mysterious disappearance. Parker then goes on a journey with her friend Kat her classmate Trevor to find out more about what happened in her town ten years ago. Kat is hilarious and her parts in the novel were fantastic. Trevor was adorable and awesome and I loved him.

As the mystery unfolded, I just became more and more amazed with Kirby’s writing. Though I wouldn’t completely call this a mystery book, it still definitely had a really well written mysterious aspect. Golden captured be from the very beginning. It’s the type of book that I would be glad to reread on a moments notice. Jessi Kirby is an extremely talented writer. Her books never fail to amaze me. You will not regret reading Golden at all. It is beautiful.

FTC- Received from Edelweiss.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

The Lucy VariationsLucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.
That was all before she turned fourteen.
Now, at sixteen, it's over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano -- on her own terms. But when you're used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?

This is the first Sara Zarr book that I’ve read in a long while. I never read her last one (How to Save a Life), but when I read the summary of The Lucy Variations, I just had to get my hands on it. Sara Zarr, like always, amazed me with her writing.

Lucy was breathtaking. I loved how she wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself, and what she believed in. Even though she had her whole family and most of the music world pushing her to do more, she still resisted the urge to please them, in order to do something that would benefit herself. Lucy had guts, which is extremely admirable. Gus was adorable. He was a completely realistic little brother, and I loved him. Gus’s music teacher, Will, however was a huge pain. I started out liking him. He was cute and nice and artsy. However as the book progressed, he got more and more deceptive and gross. I hated what he did to Lucy, and though he kind of spoiled a bit of the book for me, I understand why it was necessary for him to be how he was.

I will never stop singing Sara Zarr’s praises. Reading The Lucy Variations made me want to go read How to Save a Life, and reread all of Zarr’s other novels. Her writing is absolutely enchanting. All of the characters were well written, and even the ones I didn’t like- I kind of liked. The Lucy Variations is a quick, meaningful read.

FTC- Received for review.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (71)


Waiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

3:593:59 by Gretchen McNeil

September 17, 2013

Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.
Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.
Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo.
Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.
But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.
By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Absent by Katie Williams

AbsentForever is a long time to be stuck in high school.
Seventeen-year-old Paige is dead, the victim of a freak fall from the roof during Physics class. Now she’s a ghost, permanently bound to the grounds of her high school. It isn’t all bad, she can find out everyone’s secrets, which can be amusing—for a while.
But then Paige hears something that isn’t amusing at all: the rumor spread by the most popular girl at school that her death wasn’t an accident—that she supposedly jumped on purpose.
Paige is desperate to stop the gossip, but what can a ghost do?
Then Paige discovers something amazing. She can possess
living people when they think of her, and she can make them do
almost anything. Maybe, just maybe, she can get inside the girl
who’s responsible for the stories. . . and have a little fun turning the tables while she’s at it.
Katie Williams’s second novel is a suspenseful page-turner full of eerie wit and a touch of the otherworldly

Before picking it up, I hadn’t really heard anything about Absent. Someone at the local indie bookshop gave me their ARC and told me it was really good. So when I started reading, that was all I really heard about Absent (but that’s probably because I read the book and am writing the review a few months before it’s being posted.) Absent was really original, and is a book that I wish I would have seen in the YA world earlier.

I loved Paige. Her voice was great, and I loved how real she was. It’s hard for me to say that she got annoying at times because what she was going through was huge. But I did find her annoying at times. It’s short book but I feel like her voice made Absent seem way longer (in a bad way). That’s really my only complaint about the book, though.

Williams surprised me at the end, and caught me totally off guard- I could never have guessed what was going on. Overall, I really liked Absent. I read it in a day, and honestly enjoyed reading it. I haven’t read Katie Williams first book, but after reading Absent, I really want to go check it out.

FTC- Received as an ARC from an indie bookshop.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy

CriminalNikki’s life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can’t imagine herself without him. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There’s nothing Nikki wouldn’t do for Dee. Absolutely nothing.
So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime—a crime that ends in murder—Nikki tells herself that it’s all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him.
But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about? Nikki’s love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional…but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.

This was the first book I’ve read by Terra Elan McVoy, and it definitely made me want to read more of her books. Though this book was at times slow, it was beautifully written. From the very first page, I was interested in Criminal. The story automatically drags you in, and demands to be read.

Nikki is not an easy character to read though. Her obsession with Dee is beyond annoying. However, I was kind of expecting her to be at least a little bit obsessed with him- so I suppose I was partly prepared for what I was getting into. That being said, Nikki did make it harder for me to get through Criminal. Nikki seems totally brainwashed through a lot of the book. At one point, I started to actually feel sympathy for her. She was so obsessed with Dee that she let him control her- and it was just because she thought he loved her, and she wanted to be loved. Ultimately, she ends up doing the right thing. Though even then, she tries to protect Dee.

This book is more character-driven, even though the actions between the characters play a huge part in the story. Ultimately, Criminal is a coming of age story revolving around Nikki. She has to learn how to break herself away from Dee, and pay the price for her careless actions.

Criminal was a great read. It made me want to check out other books written by Terra Elan McVoy. Though I don’t think Criminal is for everyone, I definitely recommend it.

FTC- Received via Edelweiss.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (70)


Waiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

Some Quiet PlaceSome Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

July 8, 2013

I can’t weep. I can’t fear. I’ve grown talented at pretending.
Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one—Fear. He’s intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth’s life as she is herself.
Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?