Sunday, June 30, 2013

Book Review - Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz

In the wake of the post-9/11 sniper shootings, fragile love finds a stronghold in this intense, romantic novel from the author of Break and Invincible Summer.  It's a year after 9/11. Sniper shootings throughout the D.C. area have everyone on edge and trying to make sense of these random acts of violence. Meanwhile, Craig and Lio are just trying to make sense of their lives.

Craig’s crushing on quiet, distant Lio, and preoccupied with what it meant when Lio kissed him...and if he’ll do it again...and if kissing Lio will help him finally get over his ex-boyfriend, Cody.

Lio feels most alive when he's with Craig. He forgets about his broken family, his dead brother, and the messed up world. But being with Craig means being vulnerable...and Lio will have to decide whether love is worth the risk.

This intense, romantic novel from the author of Break and Invincible Summer is a poignant look at what it is to feel needed, connected, and alive.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #10 - Favorite Books I've Read So Far In 2013

The weekly meme hosted by The Broke And The Bookish
I've been seriously neglecting my TTT posts the last few weeks, but since 2013 has already given me so many amazing reading experiences, I knew I had to make time for this week's.  For the most part, these are listed in no particular order.

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cover Reveal And Exclusive Excerpt - Chasing Dirt Roads by Pixie Lynn Whitfield

You may remember a recent cover reveal by Mrs. Whitfield for her upcoming Across The Stars And Ashes, the conclusion to her Guardians Of The Night trilogy.  While I'm obviously excited for that one as well - I mean, it's not every day that one of your best friends finishes a trilogy they've sweated over and bled into for years - CDR has a huge majority of my Pixie-release excitement.  I have the pleasure to be an early beta reader for the novel (and occasional spot-check editor) and it's clear that her contemporary writing skills are even more awesome than her urban fantasy.  I also know that Whitfield is seriously, bullet-sweating, late-night agonizing, sleep-deprived excited for this book's release, so I ask my fellow bloggers to give it a shot!  More often than not, you can ask for a free copy in exchange for an honest review, so if you're even the teensy bit interested, I encourage you to contact the author and try to set that up!

Anyway, time to end the rambling and show you lovely people the gorgeous cover for the upcoming Chasing Dirt Roads.  (Drumroll please...!)

It's got a horse.  Seriously, how can you not read this book?
It's the last place I wanted to be during the most important summer of my potential photography career. I was used to this though. Mom and I have been running the roads since I was thirteen while I stood by quietly and let her take me wherever. Cans and bottles littered our junked-out old Buick with the boxes. But something was different about the place this time. His name was Cooper Reed...

When eighteen-year-old Kenley Brooks moves to Lovely Heights, she's tired. Tired of moving around the country. Tired of taking care of her drunk mother. She just wants to finally settle down, live a normal life and get back into pursuing her photography dreams. After meeting Cooper and his friends, she thinks she could. But she has deep secrets and people are starting to gossip.

      I heard him before I saw him, but when my eyes adjusted, I saw the young man standing on the inside of the fence, slightly off to the side. When I turned my head toward his voice, he came forward. I swallowed the lump forming in my throat and took a quick step backward. I couldn’t make out all of his features in the darkness.
“No, no. I’m sorry.” I heard my voice stutter out in a hurry. My mouth felt dry. He stepped up to the fence, placing his hands over the wood, and let out a friendly laugh. It rolled out in gentle baritone waves.
“It was a joke. Yeah, this is our property, but we let everyone come by and go swimming in the pond. Just clean up any trash—cans, bottles, wrappers. That’s all we ask.”  
“Oh.” I was barely choking out syllables. I’d always struggled talking with strangers, especially guys. Most especially good-looking guys. Which I realized he definitely was as he got closer.
“You’re new…the new neighbor from down the road, aren’t you?”
I nodded, this time not even uttering a word, and hoped he could see my head bobbing. A goofy grin spread across his cheeks. His teeth were straight, with a slight gap between his front teeth giving him a more youthful, boyish appearance. He couldn’t be much older than me. His hair looked brown, but it was hard to tell which shade in the dark. And he was tall, at least a foot taller than me.
He leaned against the fence and I stepped further back into the road. I turned to head back to the house with nothing else to say to the stranger. It was embarrassing in a way really.
“Welcome to the neighborhood,” I heard him shout behind me as I started to walk away.
“Thanks,” I muttered. My cheeks flamed.

Find Pixie at these sites:
Author blog:
Twitter: @addiction2books
Book Blog:

So there you have it!  Chasing Dirt Roads is high on my 2013/2014 TBR list, add it to yours!  And drop the author a line on GR or Twitter, she loves hearing from her readers.  Thank you all for taking the time to check out this much anticipated cover reveal and exclusive excerpt, and I hope it was enough to whet your appetite for more!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book Review - The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

This book is impossible to rate properly, and damn near impossible to review.  I have never had so many warring thoughts, emotions and opinions about a single book in my entire reading career.  (Which, if you’re completely new to the entire concept of book blogging, is a very long career.)

Indie Spotlight Book Review - Harvest Moon by Megan McCooey

A year after Lexie Stone lost her sister Angela to a brutal murder, Lexie's self-obsessed mother walks out, leaving her with her alcoholic father. When Lexie becomes the target of her father's physical abuse, she makes a life changing keep her secret from everyone.

But, on the night marking five years since Angela's death, the secret Lexie has kept almost kills her, forcing her to face the aftermath of her decisions.

However, while in the hospital, Lexie receives an unexpected diagnosis and again chooses to keep secrets - denying what the doctors have told her to be true, regardless of the consequences.

Torn by her love for her sister, her three best friends and the inescapable feeling that unless she can let go of the past she may not survive...

But to do so, may mean leaving behind everything she has ever known.

I’ve been warring with myself for the past week, ever since I finished Harvest Moon.  Warring with the decision between honesty and sugar-coating, between expressing my deep admiration for the author and my…not-so-deep admiration for her novel.  In the end, of course honesty won out, but please know that I write this review with the heaviest of hearts, because the author, Megan McCooey, is one of the sweetest authors I’ve ever had the honor to talk to.  Her bright enthusiasm and kind words are going to ensure a week-long guilt binge after I post this review, but here it goes

Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review - Teach Me by R.A Nelson

Teach Me invites readers inside an experience that fascinates everyone—an affair between a teacher and student—and gives an up-close-and-personal answer to the question: How does this happen?

Usually I get a really good idea of a book by goodreads’ rating system.  Usually a book rated in the lower half of three-point-whatever is a book I’m not going to like.  Usually I’m the reviewer warning readers away from a much-loved book, not the other way around.

Teach Me is one exception to that rule.  With a current goodreads rating of 3.41 and many of the top reviews one or two stars, I feel like this book is extremely underappreciated.  Now I know that not all books are for everyone, and in no way am I trying to say that my bookish opinions are more valid than anyone else’s.  But if you know what the book is about and are okay with its subject matter, I honestly feel like Teach Me delivers what it promises, and does so in an intense, believable, entertaining way.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Book Review - Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz

Be careful what you believe in.

Rudy’s life is flipped upside-down when his family moves to a remote island in a last attempt to save his sick younger brother. With nothing to do but worry, Rudy sinks deeper and deeper into loneliness and lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house.

Then he meets Diana, who makes him wonder what he even knows about love, and Teeth, who makes him question what he knows about anything. Rudy can’t remember the last time he felt so connected to someone, but being friends with Teeth is more than a little bit complicated. He soon learns that Teeth has terrible secrets. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother’s life.

If there was ever a book written for avid YA readers looking for something fresh in their favorite genre, this is that book.  The writing is easy and compulsively readable, the characters relatable in that Young Adult trademark way, and the relationships built and maintained throughout the novel are its greatest assets, so it’s got all the best things about YA.

It’s also got no love triangle in sight, a male protagonist, and the driving “relationship” is the bromance between Rudy and fishboy/mermaid thing, Teeth.  On a secretive island inhabited by old and dying people who keep themselves alive by eating magical, all-curing fish.  Magical fish that the fishboy calls his brothers, fish that Rudy’s brother needs to eat on a daily basis to be able to keep breathing.

Friday, June 7, 2013

YA Epidemics #10 - Reverse Week: Why I Love YA

YA Epidemics is an original feature in which I rant about discuss a different one of the
numerous trends and cliches plaguing the YA genre. The Epidemics are posted most Saturdays.

Comments and discussions are encouraged!

This is my tenth YA Epidemics post, which seriously amazes me because I had no idea I could keep coming up with so many relevant topics to discuss.  So it's kind of a big deal for me to have these posts officially number in the double digits now.

I've been wanting to write a reverse Epidemics post for quite some time, highlight what I love about YA instead of list things that annoy me.  What better time to do this Reverse Week than for the tenth post?  So here it is, YA Epidemics #10; Reverse Week - Why I Love YA.

You know....

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Book Review - But I Love Him by Amanda Grace

Sometimes at night, I wake up and stare at the heart for hours. I think of how I collected each piece from the beach, how I glued it all together into one big sculpture. I wonder if Connor realizes what it means, that he'll always have a piece of me no matter what happens. Each piece of glass is another piece of myself that I gave to him.

It's too bad I didn't keep any pieces for myself.

At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved - and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything - and everyone - in its path.

This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.

Any avid or long-time follower of my blog or reviews knows how I feel about abusive relationships, and how YA has gotten into the habit of glorifying them.  So many popular books play on the “He’s just misunderstood” idea and twist very real signs of danger into a bad-boy angle that is supposed to entice when it should warn away.  But I Love Him is chock full of some of these very signs, but unlike so many in the genre, this novel shows the realistic, gritty consequences of an abusive relationship.  For that reason alone, I would recommend this novel to every single girl who finds herself drawn to the bad boys of YA.