Coming Soon: January 2016

Happy New Year guys! A new year means new books and the amazing opportunity to start your 365 page novel over from scratch. Guess what? There are a crap ton of amazing books hitting the shelves during this new year, but for this post I’ll be focusing on those coming within reach during the month of January. Check out this list of eleven of my most anticipated new releases this month!

1. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

 

Summary:

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

January 5th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

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2. This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Summary:

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

January 5th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire

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3. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Summary:

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

January 5th 2016 by Tor Teen

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4. Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandiera

Summary:

In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

January 12th 2016 by Spencer Hill Contemporary

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5. The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

January 5th 2016 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

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6. Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

Summary:

Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself.

But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school.

When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.

Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

January 12th 2016 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux

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7. Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

Summary:

Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.

January 19th 2016 by HarperTeen

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8. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

Summary:

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

January 26th 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers

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9. Frontlines by Michael Grant

Summary:

Perfect for fans of The Book Thief and Code Name Verity, New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant unleashes an epic, genre-bending, and transformative new series that reimagines World War II with girl soldiers fighting on the front lines.

World War II, 1942. A court decision makes women subject to the draft and eligible for service. The unproven American army is going up against the greatest fighting force ever assembled, the armed forces of Nazi Germany.

Three girls sign up to fight. Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schulterman are average girls, girls with dreams and aspirations, at the start of their lives, at the start of their loves. Each has her own reasons for volunteering: Rio fights to honor her sister; Frangie needs money for her family; Rainy wants to kill Germans. For the first time they leave behind their homes and families—to go to war.

These three daring young women will play their parts in the war to defeat evil and save the human race. As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, they will discover the roles that define them on the front lines. They will fight the greatest war the world has ever known.

January 26th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

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10. The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

Summary:

In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.

January 26th 2016 by Simon Pulse

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11. The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

Summary:

All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It’s the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn’t come back. Neither Imogene’s stepmother nor the police know where he could’ve gone, but Imogene is convinced he’s looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of her father’s books to track down a woman she’s never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life.

Rebecca Podos’ debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us – the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.

January 26th 2016 by Balzer & Bray

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What books are you guys looking forward to this month? Are there any big ones that I missed?

Rules for 50/50 Chances

“Life still happens the way it’s going to happen, with its instantaneous, irrevocable shifts, and you can’t stop them so there’s no point in even thinking about them. Unfortunately for me, that message hasn’t sunken in very well.”

Title: Rules for 50/50 Chances

Author: Kate McGovern

Series: Standalone

Publication: November 24th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Pages: 352

Source: Publisher at ALA Annual

 

Summary From Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that tells her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother.


With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult-including her dream career in ballet and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool and gets an audition for a dance scholarship across the country, Rose begins to question her carefully laid rules.

My Thoughts:

Rules for 50/50 Chances is an eye opener of a book. Not only does it tackle hard hitting and heartbreaking issues of genetic diseases within families and how it can change everything, it also brings to light issues of race, desire, and what it means to make one’s own choices. The magic of Rules For 50/50 Chances is a subtle one – one that won’t hit you until you’re finished and thinking back on what you’ve just read. I am so grateful I got the chance to read this book – trust me, you’re going to want to grab a copy as soon as you possibly can. It’s worth it.
This book is about a girl named Rose who is living with the possibility of being diagnosed with Huntingtons disease. Her mother has it, is living with it, and therefore, Rose has almost a fifty/fifty chance of getting it herself. Prior to starting this book, I had never heard of Huntingtons before. I’d heard of some of the other genetic diseases, like Sickle Cell. The majority of this book is Rose trying to figure out whether or not she wants to take the test so that she can learn if she will develop the genetic mutation that would lead to her ending up like her mother. Not only is her decision a difficult one, the process is stacked against her. Think about it for a second, if you had the chance to know you would develop cancer or some other disease, would you take it? Is knowing you are going to die worse than not knowing?
Rose was a very interesting character. She’s a dancer, a ballerina to be exact. It was awesome. This book focuses heavily on the impact of genetic disease in a family, but there was also a lot of dance and focus on making your own choices. Some of my favorite scenes were when Rose was dancing, thinking about how she loved to dance, and watching the ballet. Dance is such an integral part of her life – and it is partially the reason she wants to take the test. Like I said, Rose was very interesting. She is stubborn, strong willed, but also very fragile and seemingly in need of attention. To be completely honest, despite how much I loved this book I have no idea if I actually really like Rose. She doesn’t seem to be able to grasp that other people have stuff going on in their lives, she’s always constantly playing the one-up game with those around her. She just doesn’t seem very empathetic, it’s just “me, me, me” all the time. Surprisingly, my startling dislike of the main character in no way affected how I feel about the book as a whole. She was the driving force, sure, but even with what I didn’t like about her she still told a captivating and gut-wrenching story.
The relationships in this book are vivid, intense, and extremely emotional. The ones that tore me up the most was Rose’s relationships with her mother and father – her mother most of all. It ripped me into little, tiny pieces. Seeing Rose’s reaction to her mother’s degeneration was horrible – I think I had to put the book down multiple times to let myself cry.
Now, you’ll have surely noticed by now that I didn’t bring up the romance aspect of this book – but I did that for a specific reason. The romance is there, but it isn’t really important to the story in the same way that Rose’s personal journey is. Also, I feel like the romance between Rose and Caleb causes more problems than it does good things. On top of that, it almost felt like it was a second thought – like it was hastily added in. The relationship was adorable at times, but it just didn’t feel genuine enough to hit as hard as it should have.

There is one part that bothered me. Rose sort of shocked me right from the get go. Her first reaction – I’m talking about ten pages into the book – when she meets Caleb is shock at the fact he is black. I mean, I get it, but that’s such a strange thing to focus on when you first meet a person – being surprised that an African American was participating in a walk for genetic disease. It wouldn’t have stood out to me so much, if it didn’t become a reoccurring theme throughout the book. It was handled beautifully, don’t get me wrong, but it made me sort of dislike Rose in a way that’s hard to describe. It wasn’t just Rose, though – and that’s the strange part. Both Rose and Caleb are extremely judgmental, especially towards each other. I don’t know what it was about the two of them, but this was one couple I could not get behind and ship. It just went downhill for them after their first date.
Overall, Rules for 50/50 Chances is an emotional train ride that you won’t want to miss. Despite some of the things that bothered me, the book itself was an amazing journey through what it’s like to have to choose whether or not you want to know how and when you are going to die. It is about the unbreakable bonds of family and the different stages of love and friendship. This book is a delightfully heart breaking contemporary that you won’t want to miss.

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Coming Soon: November 2015

Get ready to add these 10 upcoming young adult novels to your bookshelf! I went down the rabbit hole of Goodreads and my bookshelf to see which books our community is most excited to read and carefully crafted this list!

  1. Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young

Summary:

When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief.

Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn’t have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past.

The more Audrey learns about the new people she’s met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between life in a place that is so much more than it seems…

Welcome to the Ruby.

November 3rd 2015 by Simon Pulse

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2. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

Summary:

Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Leonardo da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?

November 3rd 2015 by Feiwel & Friends

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3. The Lies About the Truth by Courtney C. Stevens

Summary:

Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she’s unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she’ll always be trapped in the past.

November 3rd 2015 by HarperTeen

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4. Need by Joelle Charbonneau

Summary:

Teenagers at Wisconsin’s Nottawa High School are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need . . . regardless of the consequences. Soon the site turns sinister, with simple pranks escalating to malicious crimes. The body count rises. In this chilling YA thriller, the author of the best-selling Testing trilogy examines not only the dark side of social media, but the dark side of human nature.

November 3rd 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers

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5. All In by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Summary:

Three casinos. Three bodies. Three days.

After a string of brutal murders in Las Vegas, Cassie Hobbes and the Naturals are called in to investigate. But even with the team’s unique profiling talents, these murders seem baffling: unlike many serial killers, this one uses different methods every time. All of the victims were killed in public, yet the killer does not show up on any tape. And each victim has a string of numbers tattooed on their wrist. Hidden in the numbers is a code—and the closer the Naturals come to unraveling the mystery, the more perilous the case becomes.

Meanwhile, Cassie is dealing with an equally dangerous and much more painful mystery. For the first time in years, there’s been a break in her mother’s case. As personal issues and tensions between the team mount, Cassie and the Naturals will be faced with impossible odds—and impossible choices.

November 3rd 2015 by Disney-Hyperion

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6. Soundless by Richelle Mead

Summary:

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever…

November 10th 2015 by Razorbill

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7. Da Vinci’s Tiger by L.M. Elliott

Summary:

Young, beautiful, and witty, Ginevra de’ Benci longs to take part in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence. But as the daughter of a wealthy family in a society dictated by men, she is trapped in an arranged marriage, expected to limit her creativity to domestic duties. Her poetry reveals her deepest feelings, and she aches to share her work, to meet painters and sculptors mentored by the famed Lorenzo de Medici, and to find love.

When the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, arrives in Florence, he introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers—a world of thought and conversation she has yearned for. She is instantly attracted to the handsome newcomer, who admires her mind as well as her beauty. Yet Ginevra remains conflicted about his attentions. Choosing her as his Platonic muse, Bembo commissions a portrait by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them—one Ginevra can only begin to understand. In a rich and enthralling world of exquisite art, elaborate feasts, and exhilarating jousts, she faces many temptations to discover her voice, artistic companionship, and a love that defies categorization. In the end, she and Leonardo are caught up in a dangerous and deadly battle between powerful families.

November 10th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books

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8. Unforgiven by Lauren Kate

Summary:

High school can be hell.

Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes.

Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails…there’s a special place in Hell just for him.

Tick-tock.

Spread your wings and cry as bad boy dark angel Cam finally reveals his anguished heart in the epic new FALLEN novel, UNFORGIVEN.

November 10th 2015 by Delacorte Press

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9. Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

Summary:

Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.

After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

November 10th 2015 by Simon & Schuster

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10. Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern

Summary:

A heartrending but ultimately uplifting debut novel about learning to accept life’s uncertainties; a perfect fit for the current trend in contemporary realistic novels that confront issues about life, death, and love.

Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother. With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult—including going to ballet school and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool, and gets an audition for a dance scholarship in California, Rose begins to question her carefully-laid rules.

November 24th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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Tonight the Streets Are Ours

“If you live long enough, your reward is that you get to watch everyone you love die or leave you behind”

Title: Tonight the Streets Are Ours

Author: Leila Sales

Series: Standalone

Publication: September 15th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Pages: 342

Source: Publisher at ALA Annual

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

My Thoughts:

Unpopular opinion time. In my review policy, I specifically state that I am going to be honest with my reviewing – and this is going to be one of those times when it hurts. You know the pain when you’re excited for something and then it lets you down faster than your partners in a group project ever could? Yea, well, this was one of those times. I had such high hopes for Tonight the Streets Are Ours, the cover is gorgeous, the synopsis was intriguing, and there was some serious marketing going on before this book was released – but the book itself failed on epic proportions. I hate giving bad reviews, I have this inadvertent need to love every single book, so when I can’t make myself like it – tolerate it even – no matter how hard I try, it either throws me into a rampage or makes me want to curl up into a ball and cry for loss of faith in the world. You see where I am going with this? When it comes to this book, I find myself stuck somewhere between the two. I rage quit during the middle of my work shift (one benefit of working at the library: you get to read until someone asks for help). But now, sitting here and trying to write this, I find myself edging more towards the side of sadness.
I desperately wanted to like this, but I just couldn’t force myself to get into it. The characters were seemingly one dimensional, the story line a complete disappointment, and the overall organization was way off.
The characters, oh how I wanted to kill them all. I hate Lindsey, I mean, what kind of idiot stores pot in their locker that they share with their honor roll, perfect best friend? I mean, seriously? Lindsey was pathetic, I understand Arden’s need to protect her, but that girl does not deserve Arden as a friend if she can’t even take responsibility for her actions. Arden gets suspended and Lindsey goes on like nothing ever happened. What a bitch. Personally, if my friend ever did that to me you could count that friendship over. Arden herself wasn’t that great either. At first, I tolerated her and her constant need to care for everyone else. It was understandable, but it also pissed me off to no end. Enough is enough. That girl seriously needed someone to hit her over the head with a brick. There is a certain line you don’t cross when it comes to protecting your friends or whoever else it may be – Arden was beyond the point of selfless, she was just an idiot. Being selfless means being kind without any thoughts about what could happen to oneself, but Arden took that to an entirely different level. Best friend who doesn’t give a shit about you stores pot in your locker? Sure, I’ll take the fall for it just so my friend can keep running on the track team, college isn’t that important anyway. Basically, that was Arden throughout what I read of the book. There came a point when I couldn’t stand it anymore and I had to walk away. Also, her obsession with loving people more than they could ever love her was annoying. She had no sense of self-preservation when it came to her feelings, which I both pity and hate.
The idea of going on a road trip to find the man behind the blog/journal/website Tonight the Streets Are Ours was somewhat ridiculous. Arden feels as if this man will understand her because he seems to feel the same way she does about people. She finds his website on a google search when asking “Why don’t people love me as much as I love them?” and his site pops up with the exact quote. Now, I’m all for cheesy romance and cutesy novels – but this was borderline creepy. She decides to take a road trip to go and hunt down the writer behind this blog, which is stalking. Honestly, if anyone ever did that to me I would call the cops and run. That’s terrifying. I get that the whole thing was supposed to be cute and out of the box for her, but it was just creepy as hell.
The organization, shoot me now. This book jumps all over the place like Tigger on a Pogo stick while on crack. Each chapter was something different, a few years in the past, present day, a couple months or even a couple hours ago. It was so frustrating! There was no indication about what the hell you were going to be reading unless you read the chapter titles – and boy, let me tell you, those did not help in the slightest. They were so vague! Chapters like “Arden Realizes that the Grass is Always Greener” and “Things With Chris Weren’t Always Like This” were the norm, and it made me want to tear the pages out and burn them to fuel my hate fire. It was so confusing, I don’t even know what else to say about it without wanting to bang my head against the wall. I don’t know if Leila Sales’ other books are like this, but I hope not.
Tonight the Streets Are Ours is the epitome of disappointment. Like eating at the school cafeteria because you are poor, it makes you want to puke, hide in the bathroom, and vow never to make the same mistake again.

Teaser Tuesday # 2

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

This weeks Teaser Tuesday is for Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales!

“Hurting people, really, deeply hurting them – that isn’t something you do on purpose. It’s just a by-product of living.”

“But that’s the thing: when you swear to take someone’s side no matter what, sometimes you have to go to war for them.”

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