Coming Soon: May 2016

WHO’S GOING TO GO BROKE AND BUY ALL THE BOOKS?

Samantha Reed!

EXCITED AND DYING AND HAPPY IS SHE!

Samantha Reed!

IF FANGIRLING BE SOMETHING YOU WISH,

Samantha Reed!

THEN BUCKLE UP AND PREPARE YOURSELF!

Samantha Reed!

Ready?

I bring to you my failed rendition of the Sponge Bob Square Pants song because I love me some Sponge Bob. And books. Yea, I love me some books too – and that’s what this post is all about. YAY!  Check out my super-duper long list of all the books I want. Yay for bankruptcy!

1.Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

Summary from Goodreads:

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

May 3rd 2016 by HarperTeen 

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2. The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson

Summary from Goodreads:

Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West–and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing–down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben’s, including give up sleep and comic books–well, maybe not comic books–but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it’s time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie’s for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben’s best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben’s cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie’s best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they’re on–and they might not pick the same side.

May 17th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin

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3. Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman

Summary from Goodreads:

Six years have passed since England’s King Charles II returned from exile to reclaim the throne, ushering in a new era of stability for his subjects.

Except for Elizabeth Milton. The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by her father’s side. By day she helps transcribe his latest masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, and by night she learns languages and sword fighting. Although she does not dare object, she suspects that he’s training her for a mission whose purpose she cannot fathom.

Until one night the reason becomes clear: the king’s man arrive at her family’s country home to arrest her father. Determined to save him, Elizabeth follows his one cryptic clue and journeys to Oxford, accompanied by her father’s mysterious young houseguest, Antonio Vivani, a darkly handsome Italian scientist who surprises her at every turn. Funny, brilliant, and passionate, Antonio seems just as determined to protect her father as she is—but can she trust him with her heart?

When the two discover that Milton has planted an explosive secret in the half-finished Paradise Lost—a secret the king and his aristocratic supporters are desperate to conceal—Elizabeth is faced with a devastating choice: cling to the shelter of her old life or risk cracking the code, unleashing a secret that could save her father…and tear apart the very fabric of society.

May 3rd 2016 by Balzer + Bray 

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4. The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Summary from Goodreads:

This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It’s a little bit like a black hole. It’s a little bit like infinity.

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she’s hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie’s past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone’s heart is about to be broken.

May 3rd 2016 by Roaring Brook Press 

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5. The Way Back To You by Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott

Summary from Goodreads:

Six months ago, Ashlyn Montiel died in a bike accident.

Her best friend Cloudy is keeping it together, at least on the outside. Cloudy’s insides are a different story: tangled, confused, heartbroken.

Kyle is falling apart, and everyone can tell. Ashlyn was his girlfriend, and when she died, a part of him went with her. Maybe the only part he cares about anymore.

As the two people who loved Ashlyn best, Cloudy and Kyle should be able to lean on each other. But after a terrible mistake last year, they’re barely speaking. So when Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn’s organs were donated after her death and the Montiel family has been in touch with three of the recipients, she does something a little bit crazy and a lot of out character: she steals the letters and convinces Kyle to go on a winter break road trip with her, from Oregon to California to Arizona to Nevada. Maybe if they see the recipients—the people whose lives were saved by Ashlyn’s death—the world will open up again. Or maybe it will be a huge mistake.

With hundreds of miles in front of them, a stowaway kitten, and a list of people who are alive because of Ashlyn, Cloudy and Kyle just may find their way to back to her…and to each other.

May 3rd 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

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6. Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake

Summary from Goodreads:

Hadley St. Clair’s life changed the day she came home to a front door covered in slips of paper, each of them revealing the ugly truth about her father. Now as her family falls apart in the wake of his year-long affair, Hadley wants everyone-her dad most of all-to leave her alone.

Then she meets Sam Bennett, a cute new boy who inexplicably “feels like home” to Hadley. Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret about his family that could ruin everything.

Funny and passionate, Suffer Love is a story about first love, family dysfunction, and the fickle hand of fate.

May 3rd 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
7. The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
Summary from Goodreads:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia comes a fast-paced teen series where one girl learns that in a world of intrigue, betrayal, and deeply buried secrets, it is vital to trust your instincts.

It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help. Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice but to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?

In this breakneck tale, New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight brilliantly chronicles a fateful journey that begins with a single decision—and ends up changing everything.

May 3rd 2016 by HarperCollins
8. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Summary from Goodreads:

A big-hearted novel about being seen for who you really are.

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. She’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him in. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself–including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

Will the truth cost Amanda her new life–and her new love?

If I Was Your Girl is a universal story about feeling different–and a love story that everyone will root for.

May 3rd 2016 by Flatiron Books 
 9. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Summary from Goodreads:

Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing – if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

May 3rd 2016 by Simon & Schuster 
10. Ruined by Amy Tintera
Summary from Goodreads:

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

May 3rd 2016 by HarperTeen
11. The Last Time We Were Us by Leah Konen
Summary from Goodreads:

A passionate summer love story about a girl, her childhood best friend recently released from juvie, and the small-town lies that have kept them apart. A teen romance debut with a dark edge.

Liz Grant is about to have the summer of her life. She and her friend MacKenzie are getting invited to all the best parties, and with any luck, Innis Taylor, the most gorgeous guy in Bonneville, will be her boyfriend before the Fourth of July.

Local teen convict released early.

Jason Sullivan wasn’t supposed to come back from juvie. A million years ago, he was her best friend, but that was before he ditched her for a different crowd. Before he attacked Innis’s older brother, leaving Skip’s face burned and their town in shock.

“Everything is not what you think.”

Liz always found it hard to believe what they said about Jason, but all of Bonneville thinks he’s dangerous. If word gets out she’s seeing him, she could lose everything. But what if there’s more to that horrible night than she knows? And how many more people will get hurt when the truth finally comes out?

“You’re the one person who believes in me.”

Leah Konen’s southern romance swelters with passion as it explores the devastating crush of lies, the delicate balance of power and perception, and one girl’s journey to find herself while uncovering the secrets of so many others.

May 10th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
12. Even If The Sky Falls by Mia Garcia
Summary from Goodreads:

All she needs is one night to be anyone she wants.

Julie is desperate for a change. So she heads to New Orleans with her youth group to rebuild houses and pretend her life isn’t a total mess. But between her super-clingy team leader and her way-too-chipper companions, Julie feels more trapped than ever.

In a moment of daring, she ditches her work clothes for DIY fairy wings and heads straight into the heart of Mid-Summer Mardi Gras, where she locks eyes with Miles, an utterly irresistible guy with a complicated story of his own. And for once, Julie isn’t looking back. She jumps at the chance to see the real New Orleans, and in one surreal night, they dance under the stars, share their most shameful secrets, and fall in love.

But their adventure takes an unexpected turn when an oncoming hurricane changes course. As the storm gains power and Julie is pulled back into chaos she finds pretending everything is fine is no longer an option.

May 10th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
13. Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods
Summary from Goodreads:

When zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love.

But when Wil falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the astrology chart, she must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy and the very system she’s faithfully followed through a lifetime of unfailing belief.

May 10th 2016 by Crown Books for Young Readers
14. The Fall of Butterflies by Andrea Portes
Summary from Goodreads:

We Were Liars meets Looking for Alaska in a uniquely funny and heartbreaking teen novel about a passionate-yet-doomed friendship set against a backdrop of wealth and glamour.

Willa Parker, 646th and least-popular resident of What Cheer, Iowa, is headed east to start a new life. Did she choose this life? No, because that would be too easy—and nothing in Willa’s life is easy. It’s her famous genius mother’s idea to send her to ultra-expensive, ultra-exclusive Pembroke Prep, and Willa has no intention of fitting in. But when she meets peculiar, glittering Remy Taft, the richest, most mysterious girl on campus, she starts to see a foothold in this foreign world—a place where she could maybe, possibly, sort of fit in. When Willa looks at Remy, she sees a girl who has everything. But for Remy, having everything comes at a price. And as she spirals out of control, Willa can feel Remy spinning right out of her grasp.

Andrea Portes, author of the hilarious, heartbreaking Anatomy of a Misfit, spins a similarly incandescent, heartfelt story that explores the meaning of friendship, new beginnings, and the precarious joy and devastating pain of finding home in a place—a person—with wings.

May 10th 2016 by HarperTeen 
15. Unrivaled by Alyson Noel
Summary from Goodreads:

Everyone wants to be someone.

Layla Harrison wants to leave her beach-bum days for digs behind a reporter’s desk. Aster Amirpour wants to scream at the next casting director who tells her “we need ethnic but not your kind of ethnic.” Tommy Phillips dreams of buying a twelve-string guitar and using it to shred his way back into his famous absentee dad’s life.

But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her bitch a long time ago.

She’s Hollywood’s hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone’s lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.

That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the glamorous and gritty world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and lured into a high-stakes competition where Madison Brooks is the target. Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.

Unrivaled is #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël’s first book in a thrilling suspense trilogy about how our most desperate dreams can become our darkest nightmares.

May 10th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
16. Girl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes
Summary from Goodreads:

Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

May 17th 2016 by HarperTeen
17. Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories
Summary from Goodreads:

Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

May 17th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin
18. The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Summary from Goodreads:

For some people, silence is a weapon. For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield. Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with the lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory faces a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

May 17th 2016 by Harlequin Teen
19.  The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
Summary from Goodreads:

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love… or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear… the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

May 17th 2016 by Balzer + Bray
20. Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims
Summary from Goodreads:

Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it.

What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice.

In this darkly compelling narrative, debut author Laura Tims explores the complicated relationship between two sisters, and what one will do for the other. It’s a story that will keep readers turning pages and questioning their own sense of right and wrong.

May 24th 2016 by HarperCollins
21. Outrun The Moon by Stacey Lee
Summary from Goodreads:

San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the ‘bossy’ cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

May 24th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
22. Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
Summary from Goodreads:

Nanette O’Hare is an unassuming teen who has played the role of dutiful daughter, hardworking student, and star athlete for as long as she can remember. But when a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bugglegum Reaper–a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic–the rebel within Nanette awakens.

As she befriends the reclusive author, falls in love with a young troubled poet, and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion sometimes comes at a high price.

May 31st 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
23. Wanderlost by Jen Malone
Summary from Goodreads:

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe. A romantic and charming YA debut perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.

May 31st 2016 by HarperTeen
24. Frannie and Tru by Karen Hattrup
Summary from Goodreads:
When Frannie Little eavesdrops on her parents fighting she discovers that her cousin Truman is gay, and his parents are so upset they are sending him to live with her family for the summer. At least, that’s what she thinks the story is. . . When he arrives, shy Frannie befriends this older boy, who is everything that she’s not–rich, confident, cynical, sophisticated. Together, they embark on a magical summer marked by slowly unraveling secrets.
May 31st 2016 by HarperTeen
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Tone Deaf

“You’re the best kind of pain I’ve ever felt. I’ve always worked so hard to avoid pain, but as much as you hurt, I don’t want to leave you.”

Title: Tone Deaf

Author: Olivia Rivers

Series: Standalone

Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Sky Pony Press

Pages: 288

Source: Author in exchange for a honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retired cop fighting his own demons, and the bruises are getting harder to hide.

When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she’s swept back into the world of music. Jace Beckett, the nineteen-year-old lead singer of the band, has a reputation. He’s a jerk and a player, and Ali wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to Jace than the tabloids let on. When Jace notices Ali’s bruises and offers to help her escape to New York, Ali can’t turn down the chance at freedom and a fresh start. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nationwide tour. With the help of Jace, Ali sets out to reboot her life and rediscover the music she once loved.

My Thoughts:

I am in love. It’s official. Tone Deaf was the perfect read, I mean, I started it the other morning and then finished it that night – and I had time left over to screw around with pastels and attempt to be artistic. Let me tell you this, though, Tone Deaf is true artistry – not some half ass attempt at a YouTube tutorial sketch. It might be about a lead singer of a boy band falling in love with a girl from nowhere, as I’m sure all of us have fantasized about at one point in our lives, but it is so much more than that. Tone Deaf is a story of love, discovery, bravery, and friendship. It is about escaping the darkness and finding light within something or someone else. It is about second chances and trust. It was beautiful.

Ali Collins. Deaf. Genius. Abused…. and not a fan of the band Tone Deaf. I loved Ali, I loved, loved, loved Ali. I loved the chapters from her point of view. I loved her voice, her thoughts, everything about her. She might have been timid and shy, but she was also oh so brave. She was terrified, and yet she did what she had to do. She also didn’t put up with Jace’s shit in the beginning, or at the end – for that matter – and it was awesome. She might have some issues, but she sure as hell puts up a good fight for what she believes in. I also really liked how smart she was, I mean, how could I not? She thought things through, she wasn’t impulsive, and she was witty despite her fear. I really don’t know what else to say about her without repeating myself over and over again. She was full of life, she had a fiery personality that took no shit from anyone even when it was all she could do to put one foot in front of the other and keep on truckin’. She was… amazing, for lack of a better word.

Then we have Jace. I have a serious love/hate relationship with Jace. I hated him for the first few chapters of the book, I mean, I had good reason. I’m like Ali in a way, I don’t start liking or trusting someone until they can prove they’re worthy of being trusted. Jace did not prove that until a pivotal part in the story… and I have to tell you, I went back and reread those pages because it gave me all the feels and it was wonderful. Jace is… I don’t know. Jace is abrasive, an asshole, arrogant, but also completely broken. He cared about his band, his band mates, and Ali’s safety. He grew on me, he really did. By the end of the book I think I loved him just as much as Ali did. He was horribly wonderful. It was torture.

The romance in Tone Deaf was sheer perfection. It was slow, it was sweet, and it was a process both characters had to work towards. Ali had to learn to trust and Jace had to learn to care. It was a beautifully choreographed dance that I would love to read over and over again. It was a romance built on deeper feelings than just attraction, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want more from them. I WANT MORE AND I WANT IT NOW! Just, when they finally got together my entire brain was just screaming “yes” and I don’t know how to describe how much I freaken’ loved them.

One of the points that shines the brightest in Tone Deaf, though I loved it all, was how Rivers handled both the sensitive topic of abuse and her protagonist being deaf. The abuse in this book isn’t sugar coated or described lightly. It was real, it was heartbreaking, and seeing the characters react to it made it unforgettable. It is a rare thing, in my mind, to find a book that handles abuse or disability in such a way that shows it’s not just there for effect. It was a raw, honest telling of something horrific that happens every day to some people in the world. It was an eye-opening view on something best handled with a delicate touch, and Rivers did just that. She managed to pack such meaning into the smallest things. Then we have Ali’s deafness, which was also wonderfully handled. Ali is deaf, but she is also Deaf. She is part of a culture that not many people know about or get to experience. I loved seeing how Ali handled her deafness, but she didn’t let it define her. The use of ASL (American Sign Language) in the writing, the use of texting, the use of twitter, the lip reading – all of it. It was handled with grace and portrayed more accurately than I have ever seen before. It was an irreplaceable part of the story and of Ali’s growth and character arc.

Overall, Tone Deaf has made a place for itself on my forever favorites list. It is a story that I adore and will never forget. It is a story about friendship, about love, and about how even the smallest things we do can change someone else’s life. This is a book of discovery and strength even in the darkest of times. It is about standing up for yourself and others. I can’t praise it enough.

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Devil and the Bluebird

“Old stories meant nothing or everything, depending on whom you asked. “

Title: Devil and the Bluebird

Author: Jennifer Mason-Black

Series: Standalone

Publication: May 17th 2016 by Amulet Books

Pages:336

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

“Devil-at-the-crossroads” folklore finds its way to YA via this moody, magical tale

Blue Riley has wrestled with her own demons ever since the loss of her mother to cancer. But when she encounters a beautiful devil at her town crossroads, it’s her runaway sister’s soul she fights to save. The devil steals Blue’s voice—inherited from her musically gifted mother—in exchange for a single shot at finding Cass.

Armed with her mother’s guitar, a knapsack of cherished mementos, and a pair of magical boots, Blue journeys west in search of her sister. When the devil changes the terms of their deal, Blue must reevaluate her understanding of good and evil and open herself to finding family in unexpected places.

In Devil and the Bluebird, Jennifer Mason-Black delivers a heart-wrenching depiction of loss and hope.

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books where I don’t really know how I feel about everything as a whole. I liked it… I didn’t like it. Some parts and the idea was yay, and other parts and the execution at some points was nay. Devil and the Bluebird is a lyrical fable about making a deal with a devil, but I think it bit off a bit more than it could chew – if you know what I mean.

While Devil and the Bluebird has some serious potential to be amazing, it ended up falling a bit short. I can’t pinpoint why, not exactly. I don’t know if I was expecting something other than what I got, because I went into it with no knowledge and practically no expectations. I guess I was thinking of something out of Supernatural (because I’m sure all of you know how obsessed I am with the show). I was hoping it would be something like the crossroads demons in the show… but no. It’s hard to explain.

My biggest problem with the book, and the only issue I can really pinpoint, is Blue’s personality – or lack thereof. She was so, so dull. Blue made Bella Swan look like a shining gold coin. Blue was all “woe is me” and I was sick and tired of it by the end of the first chapter. She really needed to get over herself. She was stubborn, self-centered, and a hoarder of emotional baggage.

Overall, Devil and the Bluebird was predictable, flat, inconsistent, and a waste of time. I did like some parts, like I said – but it was so few and far between that it really doesn’t help to improve my overall opinion. The mythology was sound and, quite frankly, very interesting – but on the larger scale of the book it boosted it only slightly over my DNF mark.

 

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released.

This week’s Waiting On Wednesday is A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas!

Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Summary from Goodreads:

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court–but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future–and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

WHAT IS CALM!?!? There is no calm. I need this book and I need it now! Ugh.. I am dying over here.

Goodreads

Amazon

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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Books and A Beat

This week’s Teaser Tuesday is for Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton!

“The world makes things for each place. Fish for the sea, Rocs for the mountain skies, and girls with sun in their skin and perfect aim for a desert that doesn’t let weakness live.”

“Haven’t you ever wanted something so bad that it becomes more than a want? I need to get out of this town. I need it like I need to breathe.”

“I don’t mean to worry you and all,” I said, trying to keep my voice calm, “but have you noticed that you’ve been shot?”
“Ah.” Looking at him closer now, I could see he was clutching the counter to stay upright. “I’d almost forgotten about that.”

Goodreads

Amazon

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Don’t Get Caught

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“This is what happens when you try to write your name in the wet cement of the universe. It hardens, trapping you in place, then begins downpouring shit on you.”
Title: Don’t Get Caught
Author: Kurt Dinan
Series: Standalone
Publication: April 1st 2016 by Sourcebooks
Pages: 340
Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club

When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he’s Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He’s Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it’s also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust…

Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students-who also received invites-are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security “catches” them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It’s time for Rule #7: Always get payback.

Let the prank war begin.

My Thoughts:

I have no thoughts… just..whhaaaattttt? Now, don’t take that the wrong way, folks. I’ve hit the point where I’m sitting here trying to sort out the good and the not so good and then the really not so good, and all I can bring myself to think is how immature this book was but how much it made me laugh. I’m having a conundrum here, SOMEONE BRING ME SOME CHOCOLATE.

Wait… now I have thoughts.

This book is immature, silly, and pointless – but it is sure as hell funny and entertaining. Prank war? Count me in. I’m pretty darn good at those myself, especially because I’m the quiet one that always gets away with it… shh… So, anyways,  book review. Don’t Get Caught is sort of like The Breakfast Club.. but not. It’s a prank war after a prank gone bad hits a goody-two-shoes. While it starts out as all fun and games, as things usually do, the plot takes a turn for the dark side and turns into a revenge story that took away from the earlier light-heartedness which turned me onto the book in the first place. Say goodbye to regular teen mischievous deviancy, say hello to the dark side (where we have cookies but also bad plot lines, apparently).

Beyond the shenanigans and overall chaos, I don’t remember much else. Main character is named Max and he’s in a prank club… that’s about it. Also, the book itself was extremely predictable and at times, downright uncomfortable to read. I enjoy pranks, I don’t enjoy crimes or bullying. That crosses the line for me, just as this book did at its halfway point.

A cliche ridden revenge story gone awry, that’s what this is. If you want to try it, fine. Be my guest and I hope it works out for you… as for me? I’ll steer clear and pretend none of that ever happened. Oops?

Snippet Sunday

Hey all you lovely people! It’s Sunday, guess what that means? It’s Snippet Sunday time! WOOHOO! Who else is excited?

Snippet SundayI want to thank everyone, again. The response to this whole adventure has been overwhelmingly awesome, better than I could have hoped actually. I can’t wait to see what you guys do for this week’s snippets. Let me know what you do down in the comments below.

How to participate in Snippet Sunday:

  • You share a snippet of your current work in progress or whatever else you are working on. A scene, dialogue, a whole chapter, a poem – anything goes. 
  • Link your Snippet Sunday back here, and we can watch the world burn in our amazingness together
  • Ta da! Snippet Sunday complete

This week I’m going to share a scene out of my short story. I haven’t completed the story yet, but I hope to do so soon. So, without further ado, I bring you a scene from “This Is Not A Pipe”

Too many people. That was all I could think about. Too many people, not enough space. Too much movement, not enough calm. Too much… just…too much and also not enough.

My fingers twitch an uneven rhythm against my thigh. The roar in my head smothers the jagged taps and steady beating of pounding feet followed with whirling buzzes. I can’t stop moving just like the rushing crowd – I can’t keep still and I can’t focus.

 I was never this nervous before. Two tours prior to this one and I had never been this uneasy. I am out of sorts, my heart flutters in my chest and butterflies seemed too tame a word for how my stomach violently jolts. My skin is cold, at least I think it is cold. I can’t quite tell. Cold, not cold… too much, not enough. I am happy, I know I am happy – and I know happy is not an adequate word to describe what I feel running through my veins. I am so happy it is making me sick. I am content, I am uneasy. I am all things and also nothing.

It is infuriating to not know. I prefer the knowing, the categorization. It is easier to say I am one thing when I am only slightly the one, rather than be all things and nothing more. It is easier to know. I wish I knew a lot of things. I wish I knew why I couldn’t sit still. I wish I knew why there was so many people when there should not have been any. I wish I knew why I hadn’t heard from him in weeks.

Schrodinger’s Cat: that is what this is. He had to be alive, I would have been victim to an unwelcome visit if that weren’t the case. But I would also know. Maybe he was hurt – that would explain why he had not called me and the lack of letters. I checked the mailbox every day and there was nothing new.

But I would know that, wouldn’t I? You knew, when someone you loved was hurt or gone. You were supposed to know. There was supposed to be this gaping hole in your chest that was unexplainable even though you knew the answer already – at least, that was what the books always told me. Maybe there was something wrong with me and he is fine.

I love him, I would know. I should know.

I don’t know.

There is nothing worse than not knowing something everyone thinks you should.

A tan flash passes through my peripheral vision and I turn. I see them, coming down the escalator while still in formation though off duty and off base. I see them, but I don’t see him. Not yet.

I stand, clinging tightly to my purse strap that hands over my left shoulder. I am sweating now and my hand slides over the leather as though it were made of butter. There.

I recognize the curve of his scalp first, then the broad slope of his shoulders. He might be in utilities like everyone else, but all I see is him – he has never shone brighter.

I do not realize I am running until I am already there and the crowd parts before me. They know, they all wait for their own reunions – mine is nothing special. Not to them.

It is like running head first into a brick wall, but the wall is warm and gives beneath my weight. Arms snake around my waist and suddenly I am flying. I cling, he holds – we are one though we are also two.

I bury my head down into his shoulder, into musk and cedar, and he walks forward with me still in his arms. I do not complain, we have no need for words – not yet, anyway. All I need is him, all I have is him. He feels different in my arms, but still I hold. I know that’s what happens. You change, the world doesn’t change with you.

I only know when he stops because there is a light squeeze accompanying the loss of movement and followed by a cool breeze. My blouse provides no resistance and I shiver.

My feet hit the ground and only then do I look up. He looks the same, but feels different. His eyes are the same light hazel, his downy curls invisible after the razor, his skin smooth. A soft smile curls his lips, revealing the single dimple in his right cheek. I kiss it and he holds me against him. This – this is familiar.

This is not our first time. The first time, I cried. He cried. We couldn’t be more than five feet from each other without losing it. But now, it is saying hello to an old friend. It is bringing a piece of your soul back into being simply due to proximity. Nothing else is needed.

“Where’d you park, Love?” He asks. I love that voice – that half asleep, gravelly voice you hear in those precious seconds after waking up. I missed that voice, I missed him. I always miss him.

“You’re still on the wrong side of the street.” A whisper lost in the coarse fabric my cheek rests against.

There is a chuckle, a low, husky laugh and then we are moving once more. I forget how easy it is to float when he’s not here. But now I fly, I hover. I am weightless and he is everything.

The air changes as we enter the parking garage, the dryness morphing into a damp chill that gives way to gooseflesh.

“Where to?” He asks me again, his grip tightening before I am released. I do not let go, I will never let go – not anymore. I won’t have to again and I will hold myself to that.

Instead of answering, I reach into my bag for the keys while he patiently waits, watching. I find them and click. A beep echoes off to the left.

There are no words, just movement. Always movement. I can’t wait for it all to be still, I need it to be still. I can’t focus on him, on this, if everything else takes over. He leads our small party to the car and has the keys out of my hands and the trunk open – I still haven’t processed that he is here, standing less than a foot in front of me. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that I can reach out and touch him – that if I reach, he’ll be there. Solid. Real.

It is silent and I realize he is staring at me much in the same way I am staring at him. I am memorizing his face even though I know it more than I know my own. I see the little things and I keep them as my own. I see the little chip in his front left tooth, I see a reddened pimple on the underside of his chin. I see him. All I see is him and I want nothing else.

“Will you drive, Bryn? I’m exhausted.” He holds out the keys and I take them. The metal is cool against my skin despite both of us holding them.

I go to get into the car, a silver Prius, and a hand reaches out and opens the door. I freeze, glancing up over my shoulder to see him standing there – smiling, an expectant look on his face. I feel an answering smile mold my face into the expected image, but inside I am screaming. Jensen never did that, he never opened the door for me. He was perfect, but he didn’t do things like that. He never had.

He clears his throat and I blink in surprise, feeling fire in my face as I duck into the car. The door shuts behind me and the passenger side opens before I can count to ten. A Prius isn’t very big, and he has long legs that make up for his thicker torso. I’ve always loved his legs, too.

The car is silent as I start it, and then we are moving. Still moving, always moving. I want it to stop.

I look over at him after I back out of the spot. “Did they put you in manners class this time, Jensen?” I tease as I drive.

He doesn’t answer.

“Jensen?” I repeat. “You haven’t fallen asleep on me already, have you?”

I look at him again. His eyes are closed.

That’s all folks. Sound off you Snippet Sunday posts in the comments below.