Friday, November 6, 2015


I know I've been absent from the blogosphere for quite some time (grad school + teaching for the first time are both keeping me busy), but I'm hoping to start easing my way back into blogging this month. And what better way to jump back into blogging than with a post on some (mostly) recent covers?

RemembranceYESSSSSS! So this is actually an adult novel that continues the YA series....I cannot wait to see what happens next for Suze! Also, I'm loving the cover for The Raven King and Before We Go Extinct (very fun use of font). 

What are your thoughts? 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (169): PS I LIKE YOU

WOW is hosted by Breaking the Spine

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
July 26th, 2016 from Point

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.

West's books always tend to be charming / adorable, so I'm sure this will be a delight to read!

What are you waiting on?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Review: EVERY LAST WORD by Tamara Ireland Stone

Title: Every Last Word
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Published: June 16th 2015
Series: N/A
Genre: YA contemporary
POV: 1st person
Pages: 368
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Format: electronic ARC
Source: Netgalley / Publisher
Rating: Loved

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling. 
Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off. 
Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

Highlights: Beautifully written and powerful, Every Last Word is an exceptional story. Mental illness can be difficult to write, but Tamara Ireland Stone does so in a respectful, realistic way. Sam is such a realistic character, and an easy narrator to like. The rest of the characters are vibrant, and I love the idea of a hidden high school poetry society. I tend to be excellent at guessing twists, but this novel took me by surprise in the end. I especially appreciate the fact that Every Last Word encourages seeking professional help - that's a message that isn't always included in novels dealing with mental illness, so I'm glad to see it here since it is so important. 

Lowlights: I can't think of anything that really stuck out in a bad way. I enjoyed this book from start to finish. 

Final ThoughtsEvery Last Word  is a special story that will make you laugh, cry, and wish you had your own secret poetry society (I WANT ONE SO BADLY). I'd recommend giving it a chance and checking it out!

I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher for review consideration. 
This is no way affected my opinion of the novel. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (168): The Museum of Heartbreak

WOW is hosted by Breaking the Spine

2016 Simon Pulse

Pitched as Eleanor & Park meets Why We Broke Up, the YA novel tells the story of 17-year-old Penelope Marx, whose first love ends their relationship unceremoniously. She decides to curate the artifacts of their time together to help tell her story and heal her broken heart.
So that's a small summary for now, but I am still intrigued. Can't wait to see a more detailed summary!

What are you waiting on? 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Review: THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: The Boy Most Likely To
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published: August 18th 2015
Series: N/A
Genre: YA contemporary
POV: 1st person, dual
Pages: 432
Publisher: Dial Books
Format: electronic ARC
Source: First to Read
Rating: Great

Surprises abound and sparks ignite in the highly anticipated, utterly romantic companion to My Life Next Door

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To:- find the liquor cabinet blindfolded- need a liver transplant- drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To:- well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard. 

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle. 

Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this return to the world of My Life Next Door is a story about failing first, trying again, and having to decide whether to risk it all once more.

Tim Mason is a boy with many problems - he's trying to stay sober, he's being kicked out of his house, he's totally crushing on his best friend's sister, and his past is about to come back and with quite the surprise. Alice Garrett, meanwhile, is the girl who pulls the strings. When it comes to relationships, she's in charge, and she always knows when to cut loose. But once these two collide and their worlds intertwine, nothing about their lives will ever be the same.

This is a difficult book to talk about, if only because the biggest part of the story isn't revealed for a few chapters (and I won't say anything, since the summary avoids mentioning it). BUT, that aspect of the story makes this an interesting story. Tim and Alice have amazing chemistry for such a strangely matched couple. Their voices are distinct, with both POV's coming off genuinely different. I think I prefer Tim's voice, if only because he's a slightly more unusual main character. Things do get a little soap-opera dramatic in regard to Tim's storyline, but that was likely unavoidable. Romantic, dramatic, and amusing, The Boy Most Likely To is a great story with excellent voices and a fabulous cast of characters. 

Highlights: Tim. He's a complex guy, full of imperfections and plenty of charisma. While Alice was a great main character as well, Tim is the standout for me. The Garrett family make plenty of appearances, and they are as lovely and amusing as ever. But what I loved the most was that book tackles tough subjects and moments in life. Nothing is easy for any of these characters, and I appreciate that authenticity. 

Lowlights: I felt like the storyline became a bit over the top / dramatic for my tastes. It also felt slightly too long. 

Final ThoughtsIf you're looking for a summertime read with romance and the harsher side of reality, this story is sure to entertain you while tugging at your heartstrings.

I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher for review consideration. 
This is no way affected my opinion of the novel. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Cover Changes: There Will be Lies, Speechless, & More


Anya's War

There Will Be Lies



Some interesting changes! I really love the new cover for Anya's War (has anyone read this? Is it good?) and the paperback of Six Feet Over It captures my interest more than the HC.  But I'm really sad to see Speechless change, the original cover is so striking, daring, and completely perfect for the story. 

What do you think? 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Review: REBEL MECHANICS by Shanna Swendson

Title: Rebel Mechanics
Author: Shanna Swendson
Published: July 14th, 2015
Series: Rebel Mechanics #1
Genre: YA steampunk/historical
Pages: 320
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher
Rating: Really Liked

A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children's young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.
Highlights: Rebel Mechanics plays with history and gives it a delightfully alternate twist, where magic powers nineteenth century life and the wealthy families who wield it will do anything to keep the normal citizens from using more creative, mechanical methods to gain some power of their own. An incredibly fun and magical steampunk story, Rebel Mechanics is sure to entertain readers with its many curious inventions, secrets, and deceptions (not to mention Lord Henry, he is quite charming and I wish there had been so much more of him in the story). 

Lowlights: I wanted to love this book - steampunk! Rebels! Magic! But despite all the pros, I felt like something wasn't quite there. As a narrator, Verity can be pretty naive, which can get a bit frustrating at times. Characters, overall, while interesting, were not developed enough to really have a spark - there wasn't enough about them to capture my interest or attention. I think it's merely a matter of writing style, and this book being enjoyable enough but not entirely to my preferences. Additionally, the story was incredibly predictable, so all of the "surprises" were not very surprising.

Final Thoughts: My lowlights make it sound like I didn't enjoy the story - quite the opposite, I was entertained throughout the entire novel. But, as much fun as the story proved to be, it didn't make a memorable impression. However, many readers are falling head-over-heels for this story, so I'd recommend checking it out if you're a YA steampunk / historical fan! 

I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher for review consideration. 
This is no way affected my opinion of the novel. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: THE ACCIDENT SEASON by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Title: The Accident Season
Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Published: August 18th, 2015
Series: N/A
Genre: YA Paranormal
POV: 1st person
Pages: 304
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Format: electronic ARC
Source: First to Read
Rating: Great

Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably accident-prone. Some years it’s bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it’s just a lot of cuts and scrapes. They know what they need to do—stock up on bandages and painkillers, cover sharp table edges with padding, banish knives to locked drawers, switch off electrical items. They buckle up, they batten down.

But this accident season—when Cara; her ex-stepbrother, Sam; and her best friend, Bea, are seventeen—none of that will make a difference.

Because Cara is starting to ask questions. And the answers were never meant to be found.

A haunting, untethered, addictive read that perfectly captures that time in our lives when our hearts crack open and the raw secrets of our true selves burst forth—whether we are ready or not.

Scrapes, cuts, bruises, bumps, broken bones, and even death - with October comes the accident season, and this year, it's a bad one. Cara, the narrator, has a penchant for seeing more than others do, her best friend Bea is skilled in (and mocked for) reading tarot cards, Sam is in love with a girl he can't have, and Alice is hiding secrets from everyone around her. But in October, their world turns upside down as they fall prey to accident after accident, and as they try to find a missing girl who might have something to do with it all. 

Decidedly different, and with a touch of magical realism cutting through the pages, The Accident Season is an eerie tale of friendship, family, love, and, of course, secrets. Moira Fowley-Doyle writes this story in a darkly enchanting voice that draws you in and leaves you wishing for more. The point-of-view mostly sticks with Cara, but every now and then, it shifts and gives readers a glimpse into the past of this curious family. And while some parts of the story are easy to see coming, this novel is undeniably intriguing and captivating. 

Highlights: The settings, especially the old house Cara and her friends find, are so atmospheric and haunting. Fowley-Doyle's vivid writing style made everything easy to envision. The characters are quirky and unique, and their normal everyday lives have just enough magical realism to make every page intriguing. The Accident Season is like a daydream - vivid, magical, short enough to leave you wanting more. 

Lowlights: Some aspects are predictable, and I feel like there could have been a bit more development with the characters. While I was fascinated by this story and the writing style, I didn't care for the characters as much as I wanted to.

Final thoughts: While the characters and story didn't  end up being as developed as I hoped, the daydream & nightmarish quality it brings was enough to keep me curious and entertained. This is a quick, fascinating story to curl up with for a few hours. 

I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher for review consideration. 
This is no way affected my opinion of the novel. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Title: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line 
Series: Veronica Mars #1
Authors: Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
Narrator: Kirsten Bell
Publisher: Random House Audio
Genre: Adult mystery
Time: 8 hrs, 42 min
Source: Audible (Purchased)
Rating: Loved

From Rob Thomas, the creator of groundbreaking television series and movie Veronica Mars, comes the first book in a thrilling new mystery series.

Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She's traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.

Now it's spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is not a simple missing person's case. The house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica's past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

Story: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line is a gripping mystery with a few shocking surprises thrown in to keep readers guessing. Veronica Mars is back, with as much snark and wit as ever, and the story picks up soon after the events of the Veronica Mars movie. In The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, Veronica's simple case of finding a missing spring breaker soon becomes a tangled web of lies and secrets, making this story wonderfully unpredictable and exciting. 

Performance: Kristen Bell is an outstanding actress, so it shouldn't have surprised me to find she makes for a highly impressive narrator. She captures Veronica's personality with ease (obviously), while somehow managing to also evoke Mac, Keith, Wallace, and others seemingly effortlessly. Bell brings everyone to life with their own distinct tone and voice. I had to remind myself a few times that it was still only Bell speaking, and not a cast of narrators. 

Highlights: I had previously read and enjoyed the kindle version of The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, but Bell's narration is infinitely superior to the print / ebook versions. She brings every character to life, and the story seems better suited to being heard versus read. 

Lowlights: The writing style became slightly repetitive, uneven, and a little too information heavy at certain points. I noticed this less, however, while listening to Bell's narration.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Top Ten Books That Would Be On My Syllabus if I Taught "YA Literature 101: Sex(uality) and Society"

Taking another quick time-out from my blogging break (I'm starting to think I'm really bad at blogging breaks) to do this fun topic! I'll be commenting later this week, since I have classes to attend and one of my own to teach (English Composition)! 

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

If I was going to teach a class, any class of my choice, it would be on YA lit. But, I'd choose a controversial topic within the YA umbrella, like Sex(uality) and Society (the title is a bit off, because while it's about sex, sexuality, and society, it's also about sexual assault). I've taken enough classes to know that topics like that tend to get the best, and most thoughtful, discussions. Some of my best papers were written in classes dealing with sexuality in literature. And I feel like YA literature gets a bad reputation when it comes to sexuality, so it would be nice to place this novels in an academic setting and really think about them. 

YA Literature 101: Sex(uality) and Society

My (imaginary) course books: 

Sex, Sexuality, & Society
THE GIVER (okay, this is MG, but whatever. It's still too good to leave off the list)

Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse, & Society

What's in your top ten? What type of class & books would you  want to teach?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Illuminae Files website & bonus content

(I'm supposed to be on a short blogging break, but I couldn't resist posting this information) 

Every month around the 20th, new content about ILLUMINAE by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman is revealed as the release date approaches. And trust me, you'll want to take a peek, because this book is going to quickly become your new obsession.  You want a story with action? Romance? Artificial intelligence? Unique writing style? Humor? Heartbreak? And everything you could ever ask for???? Well, Illuminae has got it all. This book is thrilling!

This month you can visit to watch a video featuring Ezra’s court martial. 

And there's even more to look at that's already been released, such as: 

Ezra and Kady profiles recently announced Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s ILLUMINAE tour dates in November. See the dates here: 

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers | On sale October 20, 2015 | $18.99

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.
This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But pursuit by battleship is the least of their worries. Their fleet’s artificial intelligence—which should be protecting them—may actually be an enemy. And a plague is slowly ravaging the fleet with terrifying consequences. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking in search of the truth, she realizes that there’s only one boy who can help her bring everything to light . . . and of course, it’s her ex-boyfriend, Ezra.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—ILLUMINAE is a ground-breaking, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride that will draw teen and adult readers of James Dashner, Rick Yancey, and Veronica Roth yet stands on its own with Kaufman and Kristoff’s unique storytelling.

« “…a stylistically mesmerizing tale, where story and art are interchangeable, and words act as pictures. The more experimental sections may require extra effort on readers’ parts, but the result is worth it.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Not only is ILLUMINAE a twisting, heart-pounding story moving at the speed of light, but it is a truly beautiful novel that redefines the form. I have never read anything like it. And it certainly filled the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA shaped hole in my heart."
Victoria Aveyard bestselling author of Red Queen

« “Ambitious, heartbreaking, and out-of-this-world awesome.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"An edge of your seat thrill ride that left me breathless. 
Genre: Undefinable. Novel: Unforgettable."
Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures & author of Unbreakable

“An exuberant mix of space opera, romance, zombies, hackers, and political thrills, told with eccentric aplomb.  ILLUMINAE is both the weirdest and most heartfelt thing you'll read this year. ”
—Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies and Zeroes

Thanks to Aisha at Random House for the info! 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Blogging Break

Hi everyone!

I'm going to take a couple weeks off from blogging while I try to figure out my schedule for college this semester. It's going to be busy - taking classes, working on my thesis, and I'll even be teaching a first-year college composition class for the first time in my life (speaking of this, if you're an English teacher who teaches in a high school / college, I would greatly appreciate any online resources you may have - please send me an email or link below if you do have any, or even any advice)!

Once I get my schedule figured out and settle into a routine, I'll be back with more reviews, interviews, and fun bookish giveaways! 

Hope you are all doing well and having a wonderful summer,


Mini-Review: CHALLENGER DEEP by Neal Shusterman

Title: Challenger Deep
Author: Neal Shusterman
Published: April 21st, 2015
Series: N/A
Genre: YA contemporary
POV: 1st person
Pages: 320
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: electronic ARC | Hardcover
Source: Edelweiss | Purchased
Rating: Highly Enjoyed
Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.

Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.

Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence, to document the journey with images.

Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.

Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.

Caden Bosch is torn.

A captivating and powerful novel that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by one of today's most admired writers for teens.

An unflinchingly honest, Challenger Deep delves into the shadowy and murky depths of mental illness, and does so in a creative yet respectful way. Chapters switch between what readers might call reality (Caden's everyday life | life in a hospital) and fantasy (Caden's fantastical journey to Marianas Trench, traveling on an ominous ship with quite the group of characters), but both are very real to Caden. The short chapters offer abrupt, brief glimpses into the mind of a young man who is struggling to navigate the world and his thoughts. This is a story unlike any other, and Challenger Deep is truly an incredible novel.

Highlights:  Caden's personality shines, his struggle is prominent, and I felt for him so much. The side characters are equally well written. While the ending is one of optimism, I appreciate that Shusterman also acknowledges the fact that mental illness is a battle - sometimes you end up right where you began, starting from scratch. But other times, you do get better (and I especially loved the support system that Caden has in this story - friends, family, doctors). The drawings, by Shusterman's son, add an even more authentic touch to an already impressive story, 

Lowlights: It takes a little time to adjust to the style of this story, since the chapters are so short and the switches happen regularly. The writing style is probably going to frustrate some readers, but if you can get into it, this story is incredible.

Final thoughts: Challenger Deep is an important story that expertly uses creativity to explore mental illness. I highly recommend this novel, it truly is excellent. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Library of Souls #StayPeculiar Tour Sweepstakes + Enter to win a Tote & Book!

Ransom Riggs, the author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City, is going on tour for his upcoming novel, Library of Souls. And, Quirk Books is hosting a #StayPeculiar Tour Sweepstakes, where one lucky reader will win a VIP trip for two to meet Ransom! Visit Quirk Books to find out how you can enter this fantastic sweepstakes, and to check out more information on the tour dates / locations.

BUT BEFORE YOU LEAVE, one lucky reader will win a cool #StayPeculiar tote here on YA Book Queen (thanks to the lovely Nicole from Quirk Books)!


And, because the paperback versions of the first two novels are so cheap, I'll add to this awesome giveaway by throwing in a paperback copy of either Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children OR Hollow City (winner's choice).

So, to sum things up, one winner will receive a tote from Quirk Books and a book from me!

This Giveaway is US ONLY

a Rafflecopter giveaway