Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #95

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: The Accident Season
Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Release Date: August 18th, 2015
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books

Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably 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. This accident season--when Cara, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, are 17--is going to be a bad one. But not for the reasons they think. 

Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There's a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises. This is the year Cara will finally fall desperately in love, when she'll start discovering the painful truth about the adults in her life, and when she'll uncover the dark origins of the accident season--whether she’s ready or not.

This book sounds so mysterious and unique!  I can't wait to find out more.

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?
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Saturday, May 16, 2015

May Book Haul

Instead of posting weekly book hauls, as I was before my hiatus, I'm going to try posting monthly.  I've gotten a great stack of books since I've been back, as well as some exciting eARCs for review!


Bought
-The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Gift
-The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
-Two The Wrath & The Dawn themed scarves

Review
-Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
(Hardcover from Amulet Books)

-Love is Red by Sophie Jaff
(Hardcover from Harper)


-Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
-Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern
(ARCs from Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

NetGalley


-The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
-Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
(eGalleys from Bloomsbury)


-Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
(eGalley from Harlequin Teen)

-Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
(eGalley from Sourcebooks Fire)

-Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
(eGalley from Delacorte Books for Young Readers)


-The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis
(eGalley from Disney-Hyperion)

Edelweiss


-The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester
-Mirrored by Alex Flinn
-The White Rose by Amy Ewing
-A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern
-A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
(eGalleys from HarperCollins)

-After Hours by Claire Kennedy
(eGalley from Simon Pulse)

The highlight of my month has definitely been meeting Renee Ahdieh this past Thursday.  The Wrath & The Dawn is an incredible story, and it's one of the best I've read so far this year.  I got my book signed as well as an extra copy to giveaway on the blog, so keep an eye out for that post soon!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

Title: Proof of Forever
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: June 2nd, 2015
Pages: 352 (eGalley)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

BEFORE: It was the perfect summer of first kisses, skinny-dipping, and bonfires by the lake. Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe knew their final summer at Camp Okahatchee would come to an end, but they swore they’d stay friends. 

AFTER: Now, two years later, their bond has faded along with those memories. 

THEN: That is, until the fateful flash of a photo booth camera transports the four of them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen—the summer everything changed. NOW: The girls must recreate the past in order to return to the present. As they live through their second-chance summer, the mystery behind their lost friendship unravels, and a dark secret threatens to tear the girls apart all over again. 

ALWAYS: Summers end. But this one will change them forever.

Although these four best friends have gone separate ways since camp ended, one mysterious photo booth will transport them back to relive the summer they'll never forget.  Proof of Forever starts with an introduction of Zoe, Tali, Luce and Joy, showing that they're all completely different people.  When they were 15-years-old, they were inseparable, but by now, no one could really remember what tore them apart.  Was it Joy, who fell off the face of the earth when camp came to an end, Tali who left her friends behind to become popular, or something else entirely?

These four girls try to recreate their last summer together in order to return to present day, but what happens when they do even the slightest thing in a different way?  Proof of Forever is a great summer contemporary mixed with a little time travel.  That aspect mixed things up and made this a refreshing read.  I loved learning the differences between each girl and seeing how they fit together like mismatched puzzle pieces.  They all had their issues, both personal and with each other, but this second-chance summer may bring them closer than ever before.

I'm very satisfied with the character development.  Each of them are going through so much internally, and the more they try to keep it a secret, the bigger mess they tend to make.  Zoe and Joy may have been my favorites of the bunch, but there were also pretty well-written secondary characters involved, as well, such as Tali and Joy's love interests.  When the girls realize that following that summer exactly as they did in the past is impossible, they learn to let go and enjoy the time they have together, even if it means having to live the past two years over again.  As far as they know, it may be their last summer as best friends.

Filled with hope for a new future and a bittersweet ending, Proof of Forever is a cute read that's perfect for the upcoming summer months.  The story itself can be a little predictable at times, but I still loved taking this journey with the girls as they discover more about themselves and each other.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #94

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: The Next Together
Author: Lauren James
Release Date: September 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Walker

How many times can you lose the person you love? 

A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about reincarnation and the timelessness of first love from a talented young writer. 

Teenagers Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. 

But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? 

Maybe the next together will be different...

Ahh, more love stories!  I can't get enough.  This one sounds like it'll be packed full of emotion, so I'm excited to dive in.  

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Title: The Cage
Author: Megan Shepherd
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Science Fiction
Release date: May 26th, 2015
Pages: 400 (eGalley)
Rating: 3 out of 5
Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone. 

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans. 

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

The Cage will captivate readers from the beginning, with Cora waking up in another world, completely alone.  Soon she finds others her age, an even mix of boys and girls, if you include the dead girl on the beach.  Without knowing what happened or who to trust, everyone is kept on their toes.  As they get used to the environment, exploring each area for a way out, they realize that no matter what, each direction leads them directly to the town in the center of it all.  Eventually, the five of them realize that there is no getting out, but Cora never gives up hope.

I loved the premise of this one, and I was so intrigued to find out more.  It was unlike anything I've read up until this point.  The only complaint is that the characters weren't very likable.  Usually I can empathize with at least one, but out of the five people trapped in the cage, I didn't really care about anyone.  The rules were simple, according to the captor- or as he called himself, the Caretaker- they were to get along, maintain their health, and procreate within a certain amount of time or they would be removed with no guarantee that they would return home.  For the first few days, everyone put their heads together in order to find a way out, but as time went by with no results, some of them gave in and began to pair up just as the captors wanted.  While I didn't care for Cora, I did like her persistence when it came to trying to figure a way out, even when everyone began to turn against her.

This was one story I was hoping not to see a romance form, and that's saying a lot.  I just felt that the story was so good without one, but from the beginning, you could see a hint of attraction between Cora and the alien Caretaker named Cassian.  It actually made me a little uncomfortable, because the way I was picturing him isn't something that most people would typically find attractive, with completely black eyes and metallic skin.  There's also the fact that you never know who he really is, and while you get to read everyone else's perspectives, he remains a mystery.

Overall, The Cage was interesting and imaginative, but I still can't put my finger on what I'm feeling after finishing it.  It does end on a cliffhanger, which left me curious, but maybe not curious enough to continue with the series.  I suppose we'll see if that changes once a sequel comes out.