Coming Soon: June 2016

It’s that time of the month my lovelies, more books are coming out soon. I have no idea what to do with myself, THERE ARE SO MANY AMAZING BOOKS COMING OUT! Argh, I need them all. I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these beauties.

1.738 Days by Stacey Kade

Summary from Goodreads:

At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he’s sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?

June 7th 2016 by Forge Books

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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

Girl In The Blue Coat

“Finding this girl is not who I am anymore. That action is soft; I am practical. That action is hopeful; I am not. The world is crazy; I can’t change that.

So why am I still thinking about Mirjam Roodveldt?”

Title: Girl In The Blue Coat

Author: Monica Hesse

Series: Standalone

Publication: April 5th 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 320

Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion.

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person–a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.

Meticulously researched, intricately plotted, and beautifully written, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary, gripping novel from a bright new voice in historical fiction.

My Thoughts:

I know I have said this before and that I will probably say this again, but this book has left me at a loss for words. I sit here, trying to type this, and all I can think right now is: wow. The Girl In The Blue Coat has completely blown me away. I do not know what or how to say what needs to be said. This book is heartbreaking, awe-inspiring, and worthy of every award known to man. I don’t know whether to try and explain just what makes this book so wonderful or to make another gif montage because I can’t sort through my thoughts but I can show you what I felt. So, without further ado or explanation, please enjoy the physical expression of the emotions running through my brain:

In all honesty, that just about sums it up. But, I also know you’re not here to see various particles of the internet explain what I mean by amazing – so, lemme shed some light on this situation.

The Girl In The Blue Coat is a story about what it means to be brave. It is a story of friendship, of love, the power of choices, and fighting back against innumerable odds in the smallest ways you can even when all else fails. It is a story about war and how we survive it by whatever means necessary. It is a story of decisions, of courage, and of ingenuity. Is is the story of what happens when the monster in your closet comes out to play — and it is beautiful, terrifying, and gut wrenching. It builds and builds and just keeps on building until all you can do is hold on and power through. It is unforgettable. In The Girl In The Blue Coat, Monica Hesse has taken horrific events in our world’s history and has created something powerful that deserves to be read. This book is stunning and it is something I will never forget.

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Coming Soon: April 2016

HEY! HEY! HEY! It’s the start of a new month, you know what that means? That’s right. MORE BOOKS. Yippie! Check out fifteen of my most anticipated releases for this month.

1. Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs

Summary from Goodreads:

Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life–or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporation selects her for a top-secret project, she can’t say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future to bring back data, and she’ll be set for life.

Elena joins a team of four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy with his own reason for being there. But when the time travelers arrive in the future, something goes wrong and they break the only rule they were given: do not look into their own fates.

Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future from unfolding. With time running out and deadly secrets uncovered, Elena must use her eidetic memory, street smarts, and a growing trust in Adam to save her new friends and herself.

April 1st 2016 by Albert Whitman & Company

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2. Eleven Things I Promised by Catherine Clark

Summary from Goodreads:

Catherine Clark has crafted a poignant story about the distances one girl is willing to go in the name of friendship that is at once funny, heartbreaking, and utterly romantic.

Seventeen-year-old Frances wouldn’t describe herself as adventurous. Until now . . .

Frances has one week—while she’ll be away from home competing in a high school bike race—to do every single thing on the Fix-It List. Ten crazy, totally out-of-character ideas her best friend, Stella, came up with to make the bike ride unforgettable. However, as each item on the F-It List opens Frances up to new adventures, new friends, and possibly even a new romance, it becomes increasingly difficult for Frances to keep the one promise that she knows she absolutely must obey—her promise to not tell anyone the truth about the accident that left Stella broken and angry, and started Frances on her quest to complete the list.

When it comes to friendship, Frances must decide what distances she’s willing to go, and what risks she’s willing to take, for the person she cares about the most.

April 5th 2016 by HarperTeen

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3. Boys of Summer by Jessica Brody

Summary from Goodreads:

Welcome to Winlock Harbor…

Best friends since they were kids, Grayson, Mike, and Ian were hoping for another epic summer on “The Locks”, filled with clam bakes, bonfires, and late-night swims in the ocean.

But that was before Ian’s dad never returned home from his last deployment. Before Mike had to take on more responsibility in order to help provide for his family. Before Grayson’s accident left him with an injured throwing arm and an uncertain future.

It’s clear this summer on the island is shaping up to be very different from those Grayson, Mike, and Ian have come to rely on. And when the sacred code of dating a friend’s sister or ex is broken, it will push their friendship to the absolute limit, testing their loyalties in a way that could either break them—or save them.

April 5th 2016 by Simon Pulse

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4. Burning by Danielle Rollins

Summary from Goodreads:

After three years in juvie, Angela Davis is just a few months shy of release, and she’ll finally be free from the hole that is Brunesfield Correctional Facility. Then Jessica arrives. Only ten years old and under the highest security possible, this girl has to be dangerous, even if no one knows what she did to land in juvie. As strange things begin happening to Angela and her friends that can only be traced to the new girl’s arrival, it becomes clear that Brunesfield is no longer safe. They must find a way to get out, but how can they save themselves when the world has forgotten them?

April 5th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

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5. Alight by Scott Sigler

Summary from Goodreads:

Alight reveals to readers the further adventures of Em, Spingate, O’Malley, Bishop, and the other young heroes introduced in Alive. In Alive, Em fought to assert herself as leader and her friends tried to comprehend their own mysterious identity; now she must wrestle not with the challenge of winning power but the grave responsibility of having assumed it, and she and her friends must contend with a grim fact: the revelation of their identity is not an answer but another question—and one with terrifying implications.

April 5th 2016 by Del Rey

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Review of Alive

6. Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

Summary from Goodreads:

An unforgettable story of bravery, grief, and love in impossible times

The missing girl is Jewish. I need you to find her before the Nazis do.

Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion.

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person–a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.

Meticulously researched, intricately plotted, and beautifully written, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary, gripping novel from a bright new voice in historical fiction.

April 5th 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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7. When We Collided by Emery Lord

Summary from Goodreads:

Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn’t be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi’s zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there’s something important Vivi hasn’t told him.

April 5th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

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8. Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Summary from Goodreads:

Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.

April 5th 2016 by HarperCollins

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9. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Summary from Goodreads:

For a select group of girls, the Glittering Court offers a shot at a life they’ve only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. To high-born Adelaide, whose wealthy family is forcing her into a loveless marriage, the Glittering Court represents something else: the chance to chart her own destiny, and adventure in an unspoiled, prosperous new land across the sea.

After a chance meeting with the dazzling Cedric Thorn, Adelaide poses as a servant to join the crop of impoverished girls he promises to transform into proper ladies. But her familiarity with upper class life comes with a price: she must hide her identity from her new friends, mysterious refugee Mira and fiery former laundress Tamsin, and most importantly, from Cedric himself—even though she’s falling in love with him.

Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide’s ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn’t leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else’s property. But nothing is as daunting—or as wonderful—as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths.

April 5th 2016 by Razorbill

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10. The Memory Jar by Elissa Janine Hoole

Summary from Goodreads:

Since the accident, Taylor’s memory has been fuzzy. But at least she’s awake. Who knows what her boyfriend, Scott, will remember when he comes out of the coma. Will he remember that Taylor was driving the snowmobile when it crashed? Will he remember the engagement ring? Her pregnancy?

Will he remember that she tried to break up with him?

Taylor doesn’t know. And she doesn’t know if she wants him to remember. Plenty of things happened that night and before—secrets wrapped in secrets—that she’d prefer be forgotten.

Facing choices she’d rather ignore, Taylor searches for something more solid than whispers and something bigger than blame to face the future and forgive herself.

April 8th 2016 by Flux

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11. The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

Summary from Goodreads:

Buried deep within the archives of a convent in medieval France is an untold story of love, loss, and wonder and the two girls at the heart of it all.

Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl with a secret lover and an uncanny gift. Branded a heretic, she’s on the run from the friar who condemned her mother to death by fire, and wants Dolssa executed, too.

Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to keep herself and her sisters on the right side of the law in their seaside town of Bajas.

When their lives collide by a dark riverside, Botille rescues a dying Dolssa and conceals her in the tavern, where an unlikely friendship blooms. Aided by her sisters and Symo, her surly but loyal neighbor, Botille nurses Dolssa back to health and hides her from her pursuers. But all of Botille’s tricks, tales, and cleverness can’t protect them forever, and when the full wrath of the Church bears down upon Bajas, Dolssa’s passion and Botille’s good intentions could destroy the entire village.

From the author of the award-winning All the Truth That’s in Mecomes a spellbinding thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page and make you wonder if miracles really are possible.

April 12th 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers

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12. Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Summary from Goodreads:

There’s a reason they say “be careful what you wish for.” Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for “balls of steel” and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.

These are things Lennie only learns when it’s too late-after she brings some of her uncles’ moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.

Lennie didn’t mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles’ moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their “important family legacy,” she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.

As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.

Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…

April 26th 2016 by HarperTeen

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13. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Summary from Goodreads:

Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk – it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

April 26th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin

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14. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Summary from Goodreads:

The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

April 26th 2016 by Scholastic Press

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15. Soldier by Julie Kagawa

Summary from Goodreads:

A fighter dedicated to saving humankind from dragons in strictest secrecy.

That was what Garret Xavier Sebastian thought he was part of as a soldier of the Order of St. George. What he learned from a fiery dragon hatchling twisted all he believed in and set him on a collision course with certain death-but not without a chance to put things right.

Betrayed and on the run again, Ember and rogue dragon Riley discover an unthinkable truth about Talon and St. George. They’ll need Garret’s skills and insider knowledge of the Order to negotiate an impossible deal-and if they fail, there will be no way to stop all-out war.

April 26th 2016 by Harlequin TEEN

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Not If I See You First

 

“Every night I get to add a gold star if I earn it. Tonight’s makes eighty-one gold stars. Eighty-one consecutive days without crying.”

Title: Not If I See You First

Author: Eric Lindstrom

Series: Standalone

Publication: December 1st 2015 by Poppy

Pages: 320

Source: Author signing at ALA Annual

 

Summary from Goodreads:

Parker Grant doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.

When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there’s only one way to react-shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that’s right, her eyes don’t work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened–both with Scott, and her dad–the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.

 

The Rules:

  1. Don’t deceive me. Ever. Especially using my blindness. Especially in public.
  2. Don’t touch me without asking or warning me. I can’t see it coming, I will always be surprised , and I will probably hurt you.
  3. Don’t touch my cane or any of my stuff. I need everything to be exactly where I left it. Obviously.
  4. Don’t help me unless I ask. Otherwise you’re just getting in my way or bothering me.
  5. Don’t talk extra loud to me. I’m not deaf. You’d be surprised how often this happens. And if you’re not surprised, you ought to be.
  6. Don’t talk to people I’m with like they’re my handlers. And yes, this also happens all the time.
  7. Don’t speak for me, either. Not to anyone, not even your own friends or your kids. Remember, you’re not my handler.
  8. Don’t treat me like I’m stupid or a child. Blind doesn’t mean brain damaged, so don’t speak slowly or use small words. Do I really have to explain this?
  9. Don’t enter or leave my area without saying so. Otherwise, I won’t even know if you’re there. It’s just common courtesy.
  10. Don’t make sounds to help or guide me. It’s just silly and rude, and believe me, you’ll be the one who looks stupid and ends up embarrassed, not me.
  11. Don’t be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I’m just like you only smarter.

Rule # Infinity. There are NO second chances. Violate my trust and I’ll never trust you again. Betrayal is unforgivable.

 

My Thoughts:

This book is the epitome of all the right feels in all the right places. Honestly, Not If I See You First is an absolutely amazing read that will both rock your socks off and gut punch you all at the same time. In this unforgettable debut, Eric Lindstrom has crafted something that has tethered itself deep into my veins –  the very roots of everything I am. I don’t know how to describe what this book did to me. At first I thought it was just meh, but as soon as I started to think about it I realized just how much I was connecting to each and every tiny detail this book had to offer.

Not If I See You First is a story of navigating heartbreak and redemption. It is a story of love, friendship, loss, and inner turmoil. It was breathtaking. I think I fell in love with Parker, our protagonist, from the very fist page – and by the end of the prologue I was complexly hooked and unable to put it down. I read through more than half of the book on Saturday alone and I finished it early Sunday morning. Guys… I read through the book basically for the duration of Reed Family Christmas – that once a year event that makes my heart hurt and my head go pitter patter – wait, did I put that in the right order? Who cares, you get the picture. I think I sat with my nose in this book for the entire night save for the gift exchange and when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer – I thought my Nana was going to take the book from me and make me socialize (the horror).

Parker Grant. Oh my goodness, Parker Grant is the perfect, most astounding, unlikable lovable character in existence. She is complex, complicated, crazy, and…. I was trying to come up with six C words like her soda ( C-6), but nope. She has become one of my favorite characters of all time, not just because I can relate with the fact that she can’t see (Reminder, I am legally blind in one eye). Parker is a very interesting character, and like I said, she isn’t really likable – but I love her for it. She’s a bitch really; a brutally honest bitch that can’t tell when you flinch so she doesn’t care – and I respect that. Of course she is still kind/tender-hearted and all that jazz, but it isn’t a main part of her character. If anything, her usual lack of empathy is a huge part of her character development throughout the course of the book. Now, Parker has her reasons, and her rules, for the way she acts. She had her heart broken in the eighth grade – and I mean broken: ripped out of her chest, stomped on, and crushed by someone she whole-heartedly loved. Or so she thinks – more on that later. But, because of what happened (which I’m not going to describe) she has virtually shut every person out except for a select few, and I don’t blame her one bit. Parker has a razor sharp wit and she isn’t afraid to use it on anyone that crosses her path, which makes for some extremely entertaining encounters. She is a lot of things really – witty, hilarious, stubborn, untouchable, broken inside – but above all, she is a fighter. I think that was part of what I identified with most, how much she fought just to be normal when she and what was going on around her was everything but. That big break down she finally has? Yup, I’ve done that, in public, in the middle of the freaken quad too. It’s nice to know you’re not alone.

As for the other characters in this book, holy guacamole I need me some of them. Sarah, Molly, Faith… ugh, ultimate squad goals right there folks. I have my own squad, rest assured, and I love them all to pieces – but Parker’s squad is literary gold. Each and every supporting character in this book is well rounded, complex, and a necessary component to the story itself. I always hate it characters are there just to be there – but that is not the case here. These guys are key players in every way, shape, and form possible. Considering that friendship is a huge part of this book, they sort of needed to be essential players – and Lindstrom killed it, knocked it out of the park, and any other euphemism you can come up with meaning he kicked its ass into last week in such a way that it enjoyed the trip.

Considering pretty much the entire conflict in this book is centered around Parker’s broken heart, I might as well talk about the romance – or the lack thereof. This book doesn’t need the romance to keep it afloat, if anything, I think it would have weighed it down with its unnecessary tropes. There is still faint hints of romance, don’t get me wrong or anything, but it’s so minuscule that it might as well have never existed at all. This book is entirely about Parker and her relationships with others, but it mostly focused on her internal healing after everything she’s been through. The faint hints of romance with Scott and Jason is something that helps her along the way. It isn’t overly cheesy, or overly anything really – it’s just right and the only way it should have been. Mr. Lindstrom deserves a round of applause for that folks. There is this one part that makes me squeal, and it’s where I am assuming the title comes from. Scott, he’s the main man squeeze here, has been friends with Parker since forever basically. After she went blind, instead of saying goodbye – they now have this thing where when one of them says “I’ll see you later”, the other responds with “Not if I see you first.” And, ugh, the feels. That’s all I have to say about that.

Not If I See You First shares an amazing message about the path of healing: the first step towards healing begins with yourself. Nothing about this book is contrived, each and every tiny little aspect on the pages are balanced and illustrated in such a way as to bring about the closest form of perfection possible. This book is satisfying in all the ways a good book should be. If there is one thing to add to your last minute Christmas wish list, this is definitely it.

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Wolf By Wolf

“Her self reflection was no reflection at all. It was a shattered mirror. Something she had to piece together, over and over again. Memory by memory. Loss by loss. Wolf by wolf.”

Title: Wolf by Wolf

Author: Ryan Graudin

Series: Wolf by Wolf #1

Publication: October 20th 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 400

Source: Publisher at ALA Annual

Summary from Goodreads:

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

My Thoughts:

I don’t even know what to say right now because this book was so amazing. It blew my mind for all intents and purposes. You know it’s a good book when I put off writing the next chapter in my own just to finish it. Wolf by Wolf you tear you apart and leave you salivating for the next book when you finally reach the end (and trust me, you won’t want to reach the end). Not only is Wolf by Wolf lyrically beautiful and elevated, it also contains one of the most heartbreaking stories of strength I have ever seen.
Yael, Inmate 121258ΔX and Experiment 85, is out for revenge. A survivor of one of the Nazi death camps, Yael has witnessed horrors beyond imagining. She lost her home, she lost all of her possessions, her culture, her family, and herself. Experiment 85 was meant to be a test, a question of whether or not it was possible to bleach the skin, hair, and eyes into the perfect Aryan specimen. It was a success, and not only that, it gave Yael the ability to skinshift – she can transform her face and body into any other person. She is virtually invisible. She is on a mission to kill Hitler.
The plan is a very elaborate scheme, if you ask me, which only made this book more fun. After Hitler’s triumph, he and Emperor Hirohito created the Axis Tour – a tournament of motorcycle racing that is meant to showcase the great honor and strength of both countries. The previous year, a female won the race – Adele Wolfe – and was granted the opportunity to dance with Hitler himself. Yael, bless her heart, disguises herself as Adele to win the race so that she can get within striking distance. What she doesn’t count on is Adele’s twin and former love interest joining in the race alongside her. Let’s just say that it gets pretty chaotic.
Wolf by Wolf is an alternate fantasy novel, the first of its kind I have ever read. What if Hitler won World War Two? What if he defeated Britain and Russia? What if the United States never stepped in to help? This book explores that, and it is absolutely terrifying. The world as we know it today never existed, our history entirely different. Wolf by Wolf takes place in the year 1956 – more than ten years after the start of the war, fifteen years since the start of the Holocaust. If you guys know me, you know that I love history – especially the two world wars. They were my favorite topics in class back in high school and that love carried over till today. And, let me tell you, Wolf by Wolf does not disappoint on the historical front – on any front actually. Not only is it accurate in the historical details of what actually happened, it predicts a future based on those events that is almost undeniably what would have happened.
Okay, enough about how much I love history and the fangirling part of me that spazzed over the amazingness laid out before me. Yael. Oh my goodness, I love Yael. She is so, so strong. She is fierce in her own right and she isn’t afraid to show it. But, she isn’t perfect. She is terrified, she can’t stand to look at the mark on her wrist, she is terrified of the sound of trains. She is perfectly imperfect, and it was wonderful. Yael’s ability to skin shift is partially a driving force in this book, though it is mostly her desire for revenge on Hitler for what he did to her and her people. Yael is brave, but not in the “in your face kind of way”. There are subtle things at work in her character, especially at the end when she holds the gun in her left hand. If you’ve read it, you know exactly what I am talking about.
The other characters are just as amazing, at least the main two I’m concerned with – that is. Felix Wolfe and Luka Lowe. Felix, Adele’s twin, is the most amazing brother. He is kind, compassionate toward his sister and the rest of his family, he protects her – but he also doesn’t put up with her shit. There are more than a few scuffles along the way, but it never stops him from his mission: protect Adele at all costs so she can come home. It is quite sad, really. He stays overnight in the desert to fix her bike, he rides with her even when her pace is pushing him, he supports her in all things – except Luka Lowe.

Luka… what to say about Luka? Goodness, well, he’s a heart throb for one. A previous victor of the race, he is arrogant, cocky, attractive (and he knows it), infuriating, and a bunch of other words I could possibly get in trouble for saying. But, he is also kind – to a certain degree. He protects Adele, he loves her to be completely honest. There is animosity and some distrust, but for good reason – might add. Don’t worry, though, he is pretty chill about it – once he gets her back, all is said and done. It was kind of funny actually, at least his attitude about it I mean. I did really like him, it was hard not to.
Wolf by Wolf is pretty fast paced. It is told through “Now” and “Then” sections, which makes the story fly by. Now, as you might assume, is the race. Then is Yael’s life and how she came to be who she is when the book starts. It details her journey of surviving the death camp, how she escaped, how she lived after, and how she joined the resistance. It details every person she lost, each of her five wolves. It was heartbreaking, I found my eyes watering more than once.
Overall, Wolf by Wolf is one of the best books I have read this year. It stands high up on my list with Illuminae and Six of Crows. A book filled with lyrical language, horrifying truths, and a twist at the end that will leave you clinging to your seats – Wolf by Wolf is a must read for any self-respecting lover of books. It is the kind of book that will keep you up at night, that will keep you thinking for weeks after reading it. It is revolutionary. I am honored to have gotten the chance to read and review an early copy.

“She-wolf. An interesting choice.”
“I didn’t choose it,” she told him. “It chose me.”

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Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined

“Try not to get caught up in antiquated gender roles.”

Title: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Series: The Twilight Saga # 5

Publication: October 6th 2015 by Little Brown

Pages: 442

Source: My bookshelf

Summary from Goodreads:

Celebrate the tenth anniversary of Twilight! This special double-feature book includes the classic novel, Twilight, and a bold and surprising reimagining, Life and Death, by Stephenie Meyer.

Packaged as an oversize, jacketed hardcover “flip book,” this edition features nearly 400 pages of new content as well as exquisite new back cover art. Readers will relish experiencing the deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful love story of Bella and Edward through fresh eyes.

My Thoughts:

Okay, so for this review, I’m going to do something a little bit different. If you don’t know already, while I was reading this book I was live tweeting my reactions as I went. For this review, I am going to use the screenplay of my reactions. I tried to do screenshots first, but I couldn’t make them big enough. I don’t really know how else to showcase what this book did to me. I love Twilight, I always have and I always will. When I found out about this book, I flailed and screamed and raged. I was so excited!

I got the book two days later in the mail, and boy, let me tell you, it was so worth it. I was afraid, and somewhat skeptical about starting it, but as soon as I did, I remembered why I loved Twilight so much in the first place. Not only that, but while reading this, I completely fell in love with it all over again. In fact, if I were to be completely honest, I love this book so much more than the first Twilight. I love Beau and Edythe more than Bella and Edward and I am not ashamed in any way, shape, or form to admit it. So, without further ado, feast your eyes on the  my sarcastic commentary running through the wee hours of the night.

“Well, I just got a giant paper cut when I went to start #TwilightReimagined Coincidence? I think not”
10/08 page 0 0.0%
10/08 page 1 0.0% “@SamanthaReedsYA: So James is a chick? Awesome. I love female villains “
10/08 page 3 0.0% “Ohhh… New metaphor about Forks being a prison. Nice. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/08 page 3 0.0% “And our new Beau admits that he is melodramatic and has an overactive imagination on the first page. Sweet #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/08 page 4 0.0% “His eyes are blue? WTF? What happened to the “gorgeous chocolate brown”? #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/08 page 6 0.0% “Entertaining confrontation at the airport that was previously nonexistent. Nice touch. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/08 page 10 1.0% “Nice dig at Charlie, Beau. Way to be an ass. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/08 page 11 1.0% “So even the lady at the front desk of the high school is now a dude. Interesting… #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/08 page 14 1.0% “So that’s why his name is Beaufort. It’s pathetically tragic but it makes sense. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/08 page 15 1.0% “Enter Edythe… And so it begins. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/08 page 15 1.0% “Rosalie’s man persona has a man bun! I repeat, Rosalie has a man bun! #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/08 page 18 2.0% “So Bella’s old school, Eve, is Adam for Beaufort. Funny Stephenie, real funny. #SparkleFest #TwilightReimagined”
10/09 page 24 3.0% “At least Beau is aware that people are into him… and he calls a girl “sort of pretty and everything” #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 24 3.0% “But he is redeemed! He knows he can’t base reactions off of outward beauty. Brownie points for Beau. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 25 3.0% “So The Rock would not dare whistle at female Kellan Lutz (AKA Eleanor) ? Please “
10/09 page 26 3.0% “*puts on Grammar Police badge* confusing comma splice alert! Code Red!”
10/09 page 26 3.0% “Beau is significantly more athletic than Bella considering he takes the stairs 2 at a time. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 31 4.0% “Beau goes for soda rather than lemonade, I’m disappointed. Lemonade is the bomb. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 33 4.0% “Edythe has “long eyes”. WTF? Is that supposed to mean sad? “
10/09 page 34 4.0% “Beau at his finest: “Why couldn’t my blood just stay in my veins where it belonged?” #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 34 4.0% “Why is there so much emphasis on Edythe’s handwriting? #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 35 4.0% “Cue the ship… Oh no! Save me! I’m starting to catch the feels “
10/09 page 37 4.0% “”Not a good enough reason to use the word penetrate” – Fat Amy meets #TwilightReimagined page 37. #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 38 5.0% “Beau’s got some snark in him. Page 38: “I repeat… And?” #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 53 7.0% “Beau calls himself stalkerish when it comes to his obsession with Edythe. At least he is self aware. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 56 7.0% “Beau admits once more that his obsession with Edythe is pathetic and unhealthy. I like him more than Bella #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 61 8.0% “”She was fantasy and I was the very most mundane kind of reality” Beau again aware of his boring nature. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 63 8.0% “Haha Beau… “Was she sadistic?” Close enough “
10/09 page 66 8.0% “I have noticed that instead of saying blushed, Beau says patches of red appear on his face. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 70 9.0% “Oh my god, Beau getting “blotchy” is really freaken annoying. Stop it already!! #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 83 11.0% “Edythe makes a joke about Beau warming her “cold heart”. Yay! #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 83 11.0% “Haha..”The smooth roll of her hips was just as hypnotic as her eyes.” #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 86 11.0% “Annnd Edythe is light fingered. She stole the key to the truck out of Beau’s pocket, lol. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 89 11.0% “I like guy Lauren more. He’s actually teasing Beau, it’s quite entertaining #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 92 12.0% “Jacob is Julie… And I find the crush a lot creepier now that Beau is a 17 year old guy & Julie is 14/15 #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 96 12.0% “Wolf Sam = 19 year old female Samantha. I am officially in Twilight bitches! #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 101 13.0% “*sews Grammar Police badge into shirt* Stephenie Meyer, you are under arrest for using too many commas. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 107 14.0% “I’m really liking the way Beau is trying to figure out if Edythe is a vampire. He is smart & rational. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 108 14.0% “Beau admits that he doesn’t know how to feel the right kind of fear. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 108 14.0% “Haha, foreshadowing. Beau opens his window and finds that it opens soundlessly. Hmm… #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 110 14.0% “It’s bro code, Beau. Not man code. Get it right. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 110 14.0% “It’s bro code, Beau. Not man code. Get it right. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 111 14.0% “I was unsure of how Beau would end up in Port Angeles. Cue bro movie date & corsage hunt. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 117 15.0% “So Beau getting attacked in Port Angeles makes so much more sense with how it plays out in this version. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 118 15.0% “Haha, Pirates of the Caribbean reference. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 121 16.0% “Cue the feels..”You’re not going anywhere without me.” Just turn me into a fangirl puddle, why don’t you? #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 125 16.0% “”No ones ever accused me of hypnotism by dimples before.” = Edythe dazzling the host. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 128 17.0% “Edythe gives Beau her scarf = Edward giving Bella his jacket. Cue the D’awwws #TwilightReimagined #Reign”
10/09 page 133 17.0% “This is killing me with all the feels. Like, DAMMIT! I’m not supposed to feel this way. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/09 page 135 17.0% “Edythe: “Try not to get caught up in antiquated gender roles.” Yaass. Edythe=feminist=awesomeness #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 153 20.0% “Instead of Jess wanting to know if they’re dating, Jeremy wants to know what base Beau has gotten too. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 154 20.0% “Why is tasered capitalized? WTF? Don’t make me break out the grammar police badge this soon #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 154 20.0% “I hate McKayla a lot more than I ever disliked Mike Newton. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 156 20.0% “”Man up, Beau. Or rent a tux. Your choice.” Haha…I liked that one. McKayla gets some points back. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 159 21.0% “Beau’s attempt at chivalry did not go as planned. Edythe 1, Beau 0. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 170 22.0% “Beau in class: “You couldn’t just go around touching people because the lights were off.” #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 176 23.0% “Wait, what? Did Beau just have a naughty dream about Edythe? Haha. I didn’t think he had it in him. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 179 23.0% “Beau has a backbone. Nice improvement from Bella. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 180 23.0% “Beau is now having naughty thoughts while conscious. Nicely done, haha. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 183 24.0% “Dude… Beau needs to control his hormones. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 192 25.0% “Archie is still described as walking like a dancer, nice to see some things stay the same – not. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 197 26.0% “Beau is 90% sure things won’t end badly. Cue Clary slapping him for the other 10%. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest #Shadowhunters”
10/10 page 197 26.0% “Beau does not think real vampire attacks are like Hollywood depicts. *slow clap* #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 199 26.0% “I wonder what said mix of ice and acid actually sounds like. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 200 26.0% “I can die in peace now, Beau has officially described Edythe’s breasts. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 200 26.0% “I can die in peace now, Beau has officially described Edythe’s breasts. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 218 28.0% “Beau refuses the piggy back ride because Edythe is so tiny, so she chucks a boulder. Lol. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 239 31.0% “Beau just implied that he wants to do very naughty things with Edythe… Lol. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 242 32.0% “Now Edythe is giving Beau the run down on vampire sex… OMG #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 243 32.0% “Annnnd Edythe just asked Beau about his sexual prowess and if he was a virgin. I think I might die. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 245 32.0% “Edythe: “Your hair also has the ability to defy gravity. It’s like your own superpower” #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 250 33.0% “Beau yelling at himself to be careful while making out with Edythe is pretty entertaining. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 253 33.0% “Archie’s nickname for Edythe is Edy. That’s adorable. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 260 34.0% “Dude… Carine/Carlisle’s new backstory makes me want to cry. WTH Stephenie? #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 270 35.0% “Haha, instead of Edward holding Bella in his arms Edythe pins Beau down and straddles him. Bring it on. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 278 36.0% “Beau being a guy has totally changed the dynamic with Charlie when it’s time to meet Edythe. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 282 37.0% “Damn, Edythe is a little seductress… #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 292 38.0% “Lauren = Laurent, Victoria = Victor, and Joss = James. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 306 40.0% “I like that add in about how Edythe doesn’t fight fair. She seems much more badass now, lol. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 318 42.0% “Archie: “I like to believe that if I was a criminal, I was both a mastermind and a prodigy.” #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 343 45.0% “That last line on page 343… Haha, poor cheeseburger. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 345 45.0%
10/10 page 345 45.0% “Beau’s arm is broken by the tracker, not his leg. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 347 46.0% “And now we actually get a detailed description of the tracker biting Beau, awesome. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 347 46.0% “And he smashes the camera so no one will ever see the video of his torture. Aww.. Beau can be a hero, lol. #TwilightReimagined #SparkleFest”
10/10 page 352 46.0% “Duuuuddeee…. That ending though. Why couldn’t actual Twilight end like that? Oh my god “

So, what did I really think about it as a whole? Well, I fucking loved it. As I have already said, this book made me fall in love with Twilight all over again while reminding me why I loved it so much in the first place. Edythe is amazing, I swear. I love her ten times more than I ever loved Edward. She is a hardcore feminist and she hates being treated like the small female she is, it was amazing. Beau was also a breath of fresh air. The biggest difference, besides the fact that he is a dude and now thinks with the brain between his legs half the time is this: he isn’t a whiny bitch. Bella whined about exiling herself to Forks and about how horrible it all was, about how she wasn’t normal and never would be. Beau, on the other hand, gives us detailed explanations of his old life and how he used to take care of his mother. We get to see how he feels useless now because of it. Beau is also amazingly self aware, he knows that he is being creepy, stalkerish, obsessive, and pathetic while mooning over Edythe. A huge improvement over Bella if you ask  me.

Also, don’t get me started on the ending. OH MY GOD! Okay, like…. holy shit. Why couldn’t Twilight end like that? Saved us all the money and three more books? Jeesh, I don’t think I will ever be able to look at it the same way again. Also, Beau is just so much better than Bella – simple as that.

Overall, this gender-bent Twilight was hilariously entertaining and a wonderful use of my time. It took the things I hated the most about Twilight and turned it on its head. If you are as big as a fan as I am, I highly recommend reading this version. You will find yourself dying of the feels just as much as I did (ask my roommate if you don’t believe me). This is also perfect if you have never read the original book before in your life. This revamped (haha, see what I did there?) version of the old story is such a wonderful way to introduce yourself into the world of Forks, Washington and its vampire inhabitants.

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