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.