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The Compulsive Reader: March 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George

The only thing that budding activist/misfit Jesse and perfectly polished student council member Emily have in common is how much they both enjoy kissing each other, every Tuesday afternoon in an out-of-the-way corner of the public library. No one knows about their weekly rendezvous and Emily plans on keeping it that way, despite Jesse’s desire to be open about her feelings for Emily. When Emily manages to hook a corporate sponsorship for school events and a number of the student body protests—led by Jesse—the relationship between the girls becomes more about their differences than about the few things they share.

The Difference Between You and Me is a thoughtful, funny, and memorable novel. The story alternates between the Jesse's and Emily's perspectives and although their romantic entanglement is what brings them together, it isn't the focal point of the book. With an excellent balance between humor and gravity, George explores how Jesse and Emily handle standing up and speaking out about their beliefs, how they each deal with conflict, and how far they are willing to go to be themselves. For the protagonists, their reactions to the conflict mirror how they view their sexuality and how much they each value their relationship with each other. George resists putting a label on any person or situation while posing an important question to readers: Is it harder to go with the flow and live with the consequences, or to stand up to stifling ideas and people, no matter the consequences? All of the characters are vibrant and multi-dimensional and the dialogue rings true, making for a smart, humorous, and important book that demands to be read in one sitting.

Cover Comments: I like the use of the shoes to illustrate the difference between the protagonists (Jesse's trademark footwear is big, green fishing books), and I like the cover color. It really jumps out at you, especially on the shelf.

Review copy purchased.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Non-YA Books I've Read Lately, Part II

To see my first installment of Non-YA Books I've Read Lately, click here.

As you can probably tell by my sporadic postings, I'm right in the middle of my final semester of undergrad and things have been a little crazy. I'm writing essays, reading tons, putting the final touches on my senior thesis, and getting ready to present it in front of the department faculty. It'll be a rough couple of weeks. In the meantime, here are a few non-YA books I've had to read (if you hate these posts, don't worry, they'll pretty much go away for two years starting in July):

City of Women by David Gilham

I'm fascinated by World War II historical fiction, and I especially love reading about the war from unique perspectives. This book is about Sigrid, wife of a Nazi soldier in Berlin.. Sigrid is unhappy with her life, and has memories of a Jewish lover she once had before the war. When he resurfaces, she is pulled into the secret world of dissent and resistance, where her entire world view is challenged. This is an excellent book, very fascinating, and very chilling as you read about Sigrid's day-to-day life, not dissimilar from other women on the other side of the war, and her ignorance of what the Nazis are really doing to the Jewish people and countless others.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

I was really surprised at how easily I was pulled into Jacobs's writing, and in awe of all that she had to endure--she lived in the crawlspace of her grandmother's house, unable to hardly move, for YEARS to fool her sadistic owner into thinking she had fled for the North, waiting until she could get her children to safety and then escape safely herself. This is a wonderfully written account, and though it sounds cheesy to say, inspiring.

The Passage by Justin Cronin

This book has been buzzed about for a while, so I was happy to get a chance to sit down and dig into...and dig and dig and dig. It's a hefty 700+ pages, but it was very fascinating, and I loved that spanned such a long period of time. There were times when I felt it was a bit too long, and I definitely will need a little bit of a break before I pick up sequel, The Twelve, but I was fascinated by the biological experiments, the "vampirism," and the characters. If you have some time (maybe this summer, or a long weekend with a lot of free time), definitely pick up The Passage!

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

The truth is...I would read Rowling's grocery lists. I am a die-hard Harry Potter fan and anything that its creator writes, I'm there. That aside, I had a hard time liking The Casual Vacancy, and it's not because it's not Harry Potter. I hard difficulties seeing where Rowling was going with the story, and the plot doesn't move quickly, yet I was so intrigued by all of the characters and the (slowly) unfolding events. Intrigued ans saddened and sometimes amused, but my interest in Pagford was like the interest one has in a car wreck. I wanted to know what was happening, but I wasn't particularly eager to know every lurid detail. Rowling sucks you in, though, and despite the fact that there are very few likable characters, there is an emotional connection that I can't deny. I'd recommend it, but make sure you know what you're getting into!

When It Happens to You by Molly Ringwald

I read this book as a part of the Sony Reader Book Club, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Ringwald is a good writer and I liked how she explored her theme of betrayal and forgiveness through short, interconnected stories. My favorite was "My Olivia" but there really wasn't a story in this books that I disliked. Ringwald looks at all sorts of people from all backgrounds and in all different stages of life, and the result is something that is beautiful, a bit heartbreaking, and very human.

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

I am a reluctant Dickens fan. I had a bit of a bad experience in high school with Great Expectations, but I really enjoyed A Christmas Carol (who doesn't?) and I was optimistic with Hard Times. The title isn't particularly thrilling, but the novel was interesting as social commentary, still holding a lot of relevance for today (Hard Times for These Times). It's one of Dickens's shorter novels, I believe, and once you are able to keep the characters straight, the story moves pretty quickly. I would recommend it if you are interested in reading something by Dickens but you find the length of most of his novels a bit daunting.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

This book...I don't know how to talk about this book. There is no easy way to describe it, which may be way it seems daunting to so many people. I watched this Youtube video (spoiler-free) to understand how Mitchell wrote it. I think that it's really representative of Mitchell's talent and flexibility in writing (there are pretty much six genres in this book), and it's pretty entertaining to watch how these threads come together in all of the stories. I really do recommend it of you're looking for something new and different, or if you are a writer. You'll find it fascinating.

What non-YA books have you enjoyed lately?



Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Color of Rain by Cori McCarthy

Rain White will do whatever it takes to jump planet and get her brother the medical technology he needs before the authorities catch up to them, and she meets Johnny, captain of a starship, at just the right time. Unfortunately for Rain, she doesn’t quite realize the full meaning of “whatever it takes.” On Johnny’s ship, girls are nothing more than a commodity to be bought and sold, and Rain walks right into his trap. Now stuck in the Void, Rain and her resourcefulness will be tested to the limit, not only to survive, but to work with Ben, another outsider on the ship, to uncover the darker dealings on Johnny’s ship.

Riveting, dark, heartbreaking, challenging, and romantic are only a few of the many words that could attempt to describe Cori McCarthy’s wonderful debut. Rain is an admirably tough character. She’s daring and determined, and reading about her fall into Johnny’s trap is difficult. He is a truly despicable character; slick and manipulative for his own entertainment, and yet at times he almost elicits sympathy, from both the read and Rain. Rain’s interactions with Ben, although tense and distrustful at first, soon morph from a tentative alliance to something more than friendship as the two characters work to do what’s right and free themselves from the emotional and physical constraints they’ve been trapped in. At its heart, this novel is a love story, as full of possibility as it is of darkness.

Reading The Color of Rain feels a lot like hurtling through the darkness of the Void; Rain’s story is breathtaking in its brutality and moments of tenderness, yet exhilarating in its moments of triumph and unexpected bursts of compassion that bring color and light to Rain’s world. And with surprising twists, candid romance, and beautiful language, McCarthy will catch readers before they fall.

Cover Comments: I really love that this cover has a model with such beautiful and vibrant red hair, as Rain's hair color is pretty important to the story. I love that the background is very futuristic and starry, and the title font is sort of edgy. Very beautiful!

ARC provided by the author.

The Color of Rain will be out on May 14th, 2013!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

17 & Gone Blog Tour!

I have Nova Ren Suma on the blog today to talk about her newest book, 17 & Gone, and some of her inspirations for the story!
___________________________

Last year, when I was deep into writing 17 & Gone, I discovered an exciting new distraction and way to collect images that fascinated me: Pinterest. What started off as maybe one more thing to keep me from writing turned into a great source of inspiration, and my 17 & Gone inspiration board was born. I’d often write with the images up on my screen, staring at them in pauses between paragraphs. On each stop on this blog tour I’m highlighting one of the photos that spoke to me and helped me find my way through the darkness of writing this book.


Source: flickr.com via Nova on Pinterest


This photo, “Everything Escaped Me” by Brooke DiDonato, turned out to be integral to the shape and feeling of the story I was writing. My narrator, Lauren, is often confused between the world she’s walking around in and the dreamscape marring up her head, which feels just as (and sometimes even more) real to her.
Soon I’d know this dream wasn’t about anyone dying—it was about living on, forever. The house was a place where you could be remembered, even visited. A home for you when you lost your own. If you ran away. If you got taken. If you steered your bike down the wrong dark road.
—from 17 & Gone, page 27
It’s the force of motion in the photo that spoke to me, the way she’s trying to shake something loose out of her head. I could see Lauren doing that, trying to see straight, trying to decide once and for all what she should believe. But she’s still surrounded by this dark cloud made of her recurring urgent dream. Not even waking up in the light of day will make it stop.

For spotlights on more images from my 17 & Gone inspiration board on Pinterest, keep following this blog tour!

Blog tour schedule:
Monday, 3/18: Mundie Moms
Tuesday, 3/19: Confessions of a Readaholic
Wednesday, 3/20: The Compulsive Reader
Thursday, 3/21: The Mod Podge Bookshelf
Friday, 3/22: Anna Reads

Monday, 3/25: The Story Siren
Tuesday, 3/26: A Good Addiction
Wednesday, 3/27: Radiant Reads
Thursday, 3/28: Presenting Lenore
Friday, 3/29: Book Chic

To learn more about 17 & Gone, read on!
"Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And . . . is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cover Talk: Seraphina Goes Purple

One of my favorite fantasy reads of 2012 was Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. The writing was beautiful (I dare you to read the first page and stop reading), and I love, love, love Hartman's unique dragons in the story. When I saw the cover, I was initially hesitant, but I grew to love it.


Here's what I originally said in the Cover Comments:
"I'll admit, I wasn't so sure when I saw this cover that this would be a book I'd like. I've gotten to used the flashy covers with models and weapons and action. But, I have come to adore this cover; I think it captures the essence of the setting and is just as artistic and sophisticated as the book behind it. I love it."
So, time passed, Seraphina won the William C. Morris Award (yay!), and then I noticed that a new cover had started appearing online, even though my bookstore stocked copies with the original cover.


I think that covers make it seem a little more exciting and eye-catching, and I like that the "s" is sort of dragon-like as well! I really love that they kept the artwork from the original cover because it is just so beautiful (but I am also really glad that my copy has the original cover).

What do you all think of the change?

And the sequel has been announced--it'll be called Dracomachia, which doesn't sound very good for any of the dragons I've come to love. Goodreads says we'll have to wait until February 2014. You're killing me, Rachel Hartman. 
 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wanderlove Giveaway!

One of my favorite books about traveling abroad is Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. It's a story about traveling in Central America, yes, but it's also a story about being brave and healing and finding beauty and love and figuring our where you're going next--literally and figuratively. This wonderful book is out in paperback now, and to celebrate, I have one copy up for grabs in a giveaway!

More about Wanderlove:
"Eighteen-year-old Bria wants to be a Global Vagabond. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. So when Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspoken sister, Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path. Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel through Mayan villages and remote Belizean islands, they discover they're both seeking to leave behind the old versions of themselves. The secret to escaping the past, Rowan's found, is to keep moving forward. But Bria realizes she can't run forever. At some point, you have to look back."
Click here to read my review!

All you have to do to enter to win is fill out the form below!


Friday, March 15, 2013

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

It is Emaline’s last summer before she heads off to college, and she's spending it in her hometown of Colby, working for her family's realty company and spending time with her long-time boyfriend, Luke. But her quiet summer suddenly gets much more interesting when her estranged father and half-brother show up in Colby for the summer, and she unexpectedly breaks up with Luke...only to immediately start dating Theo, the opposite of Luke in almost every way. Emaline is attracted to the pull and promise of new experiences and an exciting life outside of Colby, but can she balance that desire with a need to stay attached to her family and small town roots?

Sarah Dessen returns once more to the beach town of Colby with her latest novel, which is the perfect setting both because of its charm and its duality that mirrors Emaline's conflicted feelings over her future. Emaline is easily drawn into the glamour of the life that her father wants for her at an Ivy League university and Theo's ideas of culture and excitement, but she still wants to feel connected to her townie roots and dislikes how easily they are dismissed by outsiders. The depiction of the setting is a lot of fun—previous characters and favorite settings from Dessen's earlier works are revisited and fleshed out even more alongside new places. Dessen's narrative is fluid and drifts between past and present rather pleasantly. Her pace feels a lot like the progression of summer; alternately meandering and rapid. Dessen writes about Emaline's relationships really well, and explores the nature of complacent relationships that are easy, and those that jolt you out of complacency. Through her romantic and familiar connections, Emaline becomes more independent and confident, and the book concludes with the perfect imperfect ending. The Moon and More is both a great beach read and a thoughtful exploration of the nature of mistakes, expectations in life, and finding a balance between where you are going and where you come from.

Cover Comments: This cover is so pretty! I love the beachy scene and the brought colors, and I like how it appears that the cover model is attempting to keep her balance, as balance is a big theme throughout the book. Very nicely done!

The Moon and More will be released on June 4th, 2013!

ARC provided by publisher.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Riffle!

I'm pretty low-key when it comes to social media. I love my blog, and I love Twitter for connecting to so many fantastic readers, and I like Facebook for my personal life. I'm not crazy about Goodreads or Pinterest, but I figure it's better to focus on a few sites that I enjoy than half-heartedly trying to keep up with a bunch of websites because they're popular--it about quality and not quantity, right?

So when I was invited to try Riffle, I was a bit hesitant (do I really need another site to update?), but I gave it a shot anyway and I am SO GLAD that I did! Riffle is very image-based, so in a way I guess it's a lot like Pinterest, and it appears on the screen as a collage. To keep things organized, you can put books into lists and search by categories, and each genre has an editor that culls lists of books so you can keep up to date with new releases and old favorites. In addition, you can mark books as "read," "recommended," "interested in," and "currently reading." Then, you can follow users to see what they're reading, recommending, and view their lists.

It's a great interface, and so easy to use without demanding a lot of time or mental effort. And because it's linked to Facebook, you can easily set up an account and recommend books to friends!

Screen shot of what my Riffle account looks like:



If you want to try it out, click here for a special access code (the site is still in beta stage)! And I hope you find me and check out my lists!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Don't Turn Out the Lights: Six YA Thrillers

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am an absolute wimp when it comes to horror movies. I usually avoid them, but when I do watch them, I am an obnoxious mess; cowering under blankets, asking a million questions, and jumping and shrieking at the slightest thing. In short, I am rather pathetic.

But...there is something about a nice, creepy, chilling book that I can't get enough of. Maybe I secretly love these genres, but I can only handle them when I can take the story at my own pace and build the scene in my head. Either way, I like those sorts of books a LOT, and here are a few of my favorite YA thrillers (some super creepy, some subtly so) that will keep you up at night!

Frost by Marianna Baer

Click here to read my review. This is one of my absolute favorites on this list, and I think I like it so well because the fear and uncertainty of what's going on in Frost House really gets into both the characters' minds and the readers'. It's not your typical haunting/boarding school story, and that makes the book even more creepy. Plus, Marianna Baer is an excellent writer--you'll be hooked right away!

What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Click here to read my review. The teens of this novel are forced to live out their lives at night due to a deadly skin allergy, and what better setting for creepy, murderous activities? When the protagonist's love for extreme sports leads her to witness something so terrifying that she isn't quite sure what she saw, everyone she knows it thrown into danger. This book is intense from the beginning to the very end!

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Click here to read my review. This book begins with an epigraph from "Second Coming" by William Yeats--"And what rough beast, its hour come at last / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?" Those two stanzas set the creepiest vibe for the entire book. The excitement, fun, and jazz of the Roaring Twenties is contrasted nicely against this darkness that is rising in the book, and it makes for an intense read!

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Click here to read my review. What's creepier than an old school desk talking to you while teenagers are going missing in your small town? The "evil force" at work here might not be the most innovative one you've ever heard of, but how the protagonist deals with it is fascinating, and the story is no less intense because of it.

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Click here to read my review. Ten teens in one huge house on a secluded island, and no one knows that they're there. And when the power goes out and people start showing up dead, they realize that someone has a thirst for revenge. If you're a fan of the TV show Harper's Island, then pick up this book!

Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Click here to read my review. Pfeffer is the author of Life As We Know It, and its sequels. In this book, the protagonist must deal with her family troubles and tensions when her estranged and abusive father kills his new wife and children and she finds out she and her mother are next on his list. This book is unsettling in how realistic it is, and it will keep you thinking long after you finish.

What are your favorite thrillers/horror novels?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Starting From Here by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

Colby has always been a bit of a lone wolf. Her mother is dead and her father is on the road a lot as truck driver. And now her girlfriend Rachel has just dumped her for a guy, making her feel more isolated than ever. Then Colby rescues Mo, a three-legged mutt, and he exposes her up to new people and new relationships. But it's up to Colby to decide if she can risk heartbreak by being open and truthful.

Starting From Here is a candid and endearing look into Colby's life, fears, and vulnerabilities. Bigelow shows the power that unconditional love can have through Colby’s dog Mo. He is more than a rescue dog, but a bridge to reconnection for Colby. Because of Mo, Colby meets Robyn, Mo's veterinarian and a new friend, and Amelia, a potential more-than-friend. However, it is Colby's relationship with her father that is neglected the most, and Colby's eventual cross-country journey with him is the most gratifying section of the book as she finally is completely honest about herself and her feelings. Colby learns how to bridge the gap between the person she was before her mother died, and the person she is becoming with Mo at her side, and plenty of support. Everything about this story is charming and true, and Colby's voice is extremely memorable—it’s difficult to let go of all of these wonderful characters at the close of the novel. Lisa Jenn Bigelow definitely needs to be on your author radar.

Cover Comments: I like the simplicity of this cover, and the bright colors. I love that there is a truck and dog on the cover for Mo and Scarlett, Colby's red truck. Very cute!

Book purchased from my independent bookstore! (Note: This book is published by Amazon Children's Publishing, but that doesn't mean you HAVE to order online--independent bookstores can get it in, too! You just might have to ask them to order it for you--don't worry, it's totally worth it!)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Looking Ahead: Cori McCarthy and The Color of Rain!

 Looking Ahead is a feature in which new upcoming books and their authors are featured! Take a minute to read the interview, get to know them, read about their book(s), and find them on the internet!

Today I have Cori McCarthy, author of The Color of Rain, on the blog! The Color of Rain is an awesome sci-fi thriller that will be out on May 14th, 2013!

TCR: How would you describe your book in ten words or less?

CM: An emotional, edgy YA sci-fi thriller with space prostitutes!

TCR: What was your reaction when you first saw your cover? 

CM: I shrieked and slammed my laptop shut. Not because I disliked it, but because it was so weird to see my name on it like it was a real book. After I’d danced around for a few minutes, I looked at it again and was very excited by the dark moodiness of it.

TCR: What's one important writing lesson that you learned while writing The Color of Rain?
CM: To take dares. This book wouldn’t have existed if I didn’t take a dare to experiment with this edgy concept, and then it would have been very different if I hadn’t taken my agent’s dare of turning what was a dark, quiet novel into the thriller it became.

TCR: Where is the best place for readers to stay up to date on you and your books?
CM: I tend to spend the most time on www.facebook.com/authorcorimccarthy but I also tweet @CoriMcCarthy. And I have a bare bones website: www.corimccarthy.com

Thanks so much, Cori! If you want to learn more about The Color of Rain, read on!
"If there is one thing that seventeen-year-old Rain knows and knows well, it is survival. Caring for her little brother, Walker, who is "Touched," and losing the rest of her family to the same disease, Rain has long had to fend for herself on the bleak, dangerous streets of Earth City. When she looks to the stars, Rain sees escape and the only possible cure for Walker. And when a darkly handsome and mysterious captain named Johnny offers her passage to the Edge, Rain immediately boards his spaceship. Her only price: her "willingness."

The Void cloaks many secrets, and Rain quickly discovers that Johnny's ship serves as host for an underground slave trade for the Touched . . . and a prostitution ring for Johnny's girls. With hair as red as the bracelet that indicates her status on the ship, the feeling of being a marked target is not helpful in Rain's quest to escape. Even worse, Rain is unsure if she will be able to pay the costs of love, family, hope, and self-preservation."
Look for my review of this AWESOME book soon!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

BYOB

Story of my life.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Interview with Sherri L. Smith

I'm excited to kick off the blog tour for Sherri L. Smith's new book, Orleans! To celebrate, I have an interview and a giveaway for a copy of the book and a Delta Relief Kit! But first, here's more about the book:
"First came the storms.
Then came the Fever.
And the Wall. 
After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct…but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.

Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival. 
Sherri L. Smith delivers an expertly crafted story about a fierce heroine whose powerful voice and firm determination will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page."
And here is Sherri!

TCR: Can you describe your book in ten words or less?

SLS: Escape from New Orleans, with a baby.

TCR: What was your reaction when you first saw your cover?

SLS: I loved it. There was actually a preliminary version that I quite liked, but it was more impressionistic. Then my editor sent me the current version. I think it's super cool.

TCR: What was the hardest part about writing Orleans? The easiest?

SLS: The hardest part was getting it all in there. I had so many ideas about the world and character's motives and relationships. It was a struggle to simplify without dumbing it down. The easiest part? The title. The main character of Fen popped into my head one day and I was like, “Of course! ORLEANS.”

TCR: This might sound like a silly question, but what was the draw to setting your book near the Gulf Coast?

SLS: That's not a silly question. The reason is simple, though. My mother was a native New Orleanian and she was trapped in the city during Hurricane Katrina. The whole idea for the book came out of our experience—from the ordeal of the storm and the destruction of the city as we knew it, to the insane difficulty we had getting her out safely. Her truck was flooded. She was rescued by swamp boat (in the middle of a city street!). I was researching clear roads into town, planning some sort of infiltration to a city that had been essentially closed by Nature and the authorities. It took a week, a desperate call to the Coast Guard, an ambulance, a kind cabbie and two airplanes to get her out. I suppose that almost impossible evacuation is at the heart of ORLEANS. You can't forget these things too quickly, or you will never learn from them. So, I wrote a book!

Thanks so much, Sherri!

More about Sherri: Sherri L. Smith has written several award-winning novels for young adults. Flygirl (2010) won the California Book Award, was a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, and has received fourteen State Award nominations. She lives near Los Angeles. For more information, visit her website at http://www.sherrilsmith.com/index.htm or her blog, The Middle Hundred, at http://middlehundred.blogspot.com/.

I hope you pick up a copy of the book, and enter to win the giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a Delta Relief Kit, complete with a signed ARC, a blood type ID dog tag, a glow stick, and the ever-crucial Snickers bar—everything you need to navigate ORLEANS, at least from the comfort of your armchair! 



Follow Sherri on her blog tour!

Mon, Mar 4 - The Compulsive Reader
Tues, Mar 5 - The Story Siren
Wed, Mar 6 - The OWL for YA
Thurs, Mar 7 - GreenBeanTeenQueen
Fri, Mar 8 I - Read Banned Books
Mon, Mar 11 - Poisoned Rationality
Tues, Mar 12 - The Book Smugglers
Wed, Mar 13 - Charlotte's Library
Thurs, Mar 14 - Literary Escapism
Fri, Mar 15 - Cari's Book Blog

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Invisibility by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer

Elizabeth is having a hard time adjusting to her new life in New York City. Her mom has a new job to keep her occupied, and her little brother Laurie is busy at his new school, leaving Elizabeth home alone in their new apartment during the hot summer days. But she thinks she just might have a new friend (and perhaps something more) in her neighbor, Stephen. Stephen is a loner in the extreme; he is completely invisible, and not always corporeal. When he discovers that Elizabeth can see him—the first person to ever do so—his life is turned around in unexpected, wonderful ways. Their connection will reveal darker truths in the city, almost invisible to everyone else but Elizabeth and Stephen.

Invisibility is a fascinating and unusual take on a modern love story with a whimsical, timeless romance vibe. Invisibility is, unsurprisingly, a major theme throughout the book as Elizabeth, Stephen, and Laurie each deal with their own issues concerning their perceptions of themselves and the power they have to make a difference. The book moves into the realm of the magical as the characters discover that Stephen is in fact cursed, but Levithan and Cremer keep the story anchored in the real world. Elizabeth is still reeling from the violent reactions of her peers in Minnesota when Laurie decided to come out, and the siblings are trying to figure out their new family dynamic with an absent father and workaholic mom. The mysteries of curse casters and spell seekers leads the trio to a mysterious comic book shop and eccentric characters who may hold the answers they seek, and the drama that ensues is emotionally-charged with high stakes for the characters and the nameless people caught in the crossfires of a twisted battle of good vs. evil. There is a lot to like about Invisibility; the romance is sweet, the dialogue is fast-paced and funny, and the conclusion is unusual but thought-provoking. This is a modern, magical tale with a unique feel that will certainly appeal to readers with varying tastes.

Cover Comments: I really like this cover! I love how the title font is arranged, and I like how the city is a blur behind the characters, even as the guy is fading out. I think it's pretty representative of the story, even if it does seem a bright for a story that gets pretty dark pretty quickly. Nonetheless, this is a very eye-catching cover.

Invisibility will be out in May 7th, 2013.

ARC provided by publisher.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cover Reveal: Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta

I am very, very excited about Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta...I included it in my list of 2013 books that I'm excited for, and I've had many fun conversations with Amy Rose about writing and YA books. (She also graduated from VCFA! I haven't even started there yet and I am loving everything about that place!) I am so happy to reveal the cover of her book today!


I love this cover. I like how it looks a bit edgy and dangerous, and the green eye is so striking. While I'm not normally a fan of people on covers, this image is beautiful, and I love, love the stars in the corner. All of the little details are subtle and so pretty, and I am now even more excited about this release, if that is possible!

Amy Rose has this to say about the cover: 
"I think my favorite part is that I can see my sixteen-year-old self being completely drawn in by this cover. The hints of sci-fi peeking out behind the mysterious, bad-ass girl? Yes! Thank you.

This cover was actually part of a mock-up that my editor Kate made to show me how excited she and HMH were about the book. I fell in love with their excitement, and how well Kate understood the book. It’s basically the same cover she sent me on offer day!" 
About the book:
"Alone was the note Cade knew best. It was the root of all her chords. 
Seventeen-year-old Cade is a fierce survivor, solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar. Or so she thought. Her world shakes apart when a hologram named Mr. Niven tells her she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan.
Cade’s quest to locate Xan joins her with an array of outlaws—her first friends—on a galaxy-spanning adventure. And once Cade discovers the wild joy of real connection, there’s no turning back."
What do you think about the cover?  Entangled comes out on October 1st, 2013!