Tag Archives: 4.5 stars

Book Title:
Baby Teeth
Book Author:
Zoje Stage
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
July 17th, 2018
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Date Read:
August 2nd, 2018
Source:
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Sweetness can be deceptive.

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette's husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

My Review

Wow.  This book.  Just…wow. I’m not going to lie – writing a review for this book is going to be a bit difficult, because my feelings on it are a bit conflicted.  I really enjoyed Baby Teeth, because I absolutely … Continue reading

4.5 stars
1 Comment
Book Tour
Book Title:
Lovely, Dark, and Deep
Book Author:
Justina Chen
Page Count:
352
Publishing Date:
July 31st, 2018
Publisher:
Arthur A. Levine Books
Date Read:
August 1st, 2018
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

What would you do if the sun became your enemy?

That's exactly what happens to Viola Li after she returns from a trip abroad and develops a sudden and extreme case of photosensitivity -- an inexplicable allergy to sunlight. Thanks to her crisis-manager parents, she doesn't just have to wear layers of clothes and a hat the size of a spaceship. She has to stay away from all hint of light. Say goodbye to windows and running outdoors. Even her phone becomes a threat when its screen burns her.

Viola is determined to maintain a normal life, particularly after she meets Josh. He's a funny, talented Thor look-alike who carries his own mysterious grief. But the intensity of their romance makes her take more and more risks, and when a rebellion against her parents backfires dangerously, she must find her way to a life -- and love -- as deep and lovely as her dreams.

My Review

I knew I was going to enjoy this book when I first read about it – I’m drawn to books that focus on teens dealing with realistic issues, whether they be medical issues, social issues, etc.  When I came across … Continue reading

4.5 stars
3 Comments
Book Title:
By a Charm & A Curse
Book Author:
Jaime Questell
Page Count:
300
Publishing Date:
February 6th, 2018
Publisher:
Entangled Teen
Date Read:
March 15th, 2018
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

My Review

By A Charm & A Curse by Jaime Questell was one of those super highly anticipated books that I pretty much threw down everything and started to read the second it arrived in the mail.  I was looking forward to … Continue reading

4.5 stars
1 Comment
Book Tour
Book Title:
P.S. I Miss You
Book Author:
Jen Petro-Roy
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
March 6th, 2018
Publisher:
Feiwel & Friends
Date Read:
March 6th, 2018
Source:
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

In this epistolary middle-grade debut novel, a girl who's questioning her sexual orientation writes letters to her sister, who was sent away from their strict Catholic home after becoming pregnant.

Eleven-year-old Evie is heartbroken when her strict Catholic parents send her pregnant sister away to stay with a distant great-aunt. All Evie wants is for her older sister to come back. But when her parents forbid her to even speak to Cilla, she starts sending letters. Evie writes letters about her family, torn apart and hurting. She writes about her life, empty without Cilla. And she writes about the new girl in school, June, who becomes her friend, and then maybe more than a friend.

As she becomes better friends with June, Evie begins to question her sexual orientation. She can only imagine what might happen if her parents found out who she really is. She could really use some advice from Cilla. But Cilla isn't writing back.

My Review

P.S. I Miss You was probably one of the most heartwrenching books that I have read not only so far in 2018, but all time.  It was a tearjerker, it was inspirational, and it was so beautifully written and emotionally … Continue reading

4 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Nice Try, Jane Sinner
Book Author:
Lianne Oelke
Page Count:
416
Publisher:
HMH Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
January 25th, 2018
Source:
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.

Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don't know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she'll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight.

As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She'll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world—or at least viewers of substandard TV—that she has what it takes to win.

My Review

I heard that Nice Try, Jane Sinner was funny, but I wasn’t expecting to fully enjoy it and laugh as hard as I did.  From the very first page I caught myself laughing, and as the book went on, I … Continue reading

7 Comments
Book Title:
The Afterlife of Holly Chase
Book Author:
Cynthia Hand
Page Count:
400
Publishing Date:
October 24th, 2017
Publisher:
HarperTeen
Date Read:
December 17th, 2017
Source:
eARC from publisher via Edelweiss - Thank you!

Synopsis

On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she'd become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn't.

And then she died.

Now she's stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge--as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly's afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .

My Review

I haven’t seen that many reviews about this book, but it was one of the ones that I most wanted to read this winter.  The plot just sounded like the perfect holiday read, and while I was excited for it, … Continue reading

4.5 stars
11 Comments
Book Title:
The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures
Book Author:
Aaron Mahnke
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
October 10th, 2017
Publisher:
Del Rey
Date Read:
November 27th, 2017
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

A fascinating, beautifully illustrated guide to the monsters that are part of our collective psyche, from the host of the hit podcast Lore, soon to be an online streaming series.

They live in shadows--deep in the forest, late in the night, in the dark recesses of our minds. They're spoken of in stories and superstitions, relics of an unenlightened age, old wives' tales, passed down through generations. Yet no matter how wary and jaded we have become, as individuals or as a society, a part of us remains vulnerable to them: werewolves and wendigos, poltergeists and vampires, angry elves and vengeful spirits.

In this beautifully illustrated volume, the host of the hit podcast Lore serves as a guide on a fascinating journey through the history of these terrifying creatures, exploring not only the legends but what they tell us about ourselves. Aaron Mahnke invites us to the desolate Pine Barrens of New Jersey, where the notorious winged, red-eyed Jersey Devil dwells. He delves into harrowing accounts of cannibalism--some officially documented, others the stuff of speculation . . . perhaps. He visits the dimly lit rooms where seances take place, the European villages where gremlins make mischief, even Key West, Florida, home of a haunted doll named Robert.

In a world of "emotional vampires" and "zombie malls," the monsters of folklore have become both a part of our language and a part of our collective psyche. Whether these beasts and bogeymen are real or just a reflection of our primal fears, we know, on some level, that not every mystery has been explained and that the unknown still holds the power to strike fear deep in our hearts and souls. As Aaron Mahnke reminds us, sometimes the truth is even scarier than the lore.

My Review

It seems as though podcasts are popping up all over as of late – and since I haven’t typically been one to jump on the podcast bandwagon, it’s nice to see that many of the creators of those podcasts are … Continue reading

4.5 stars
6 Comments
Book Title:
Spellbook of the Lost and Found
Book Author:
Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Page Count:
368
Publishing Date:
October 20th, 2017
Publisher:
Kathy Dawson Books
Date Read:
August 22nd, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

If you’re not careful, you can spend your whole life looking for what you’ve lost.

One stormy summer in a small Irish town, things begin to disappear. It starts with trivial stuff—hair clips, house keys, socks—but soon it escalates to bigger things: a memory, a heart, a classmate.

Olive can tell that her best friend, Rose, is different all of a sudden. Rose isn’t talking, and Olive starts to worry she’s losing her. Then diary pages written by someone named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing development. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they’re holding tightly to painful secrets.

When a tattered handwritten spellbook falls into the lives of these six teenagers, it changes everything. The spellbook is full of charms to conjure back that which has been lost, and it lists a part for each of them to play in the calling. It might be their best chance to set everything back to rights, but only if they’re willing to pay the price.

My Review

“If you don’t get lost, you’ll never be found.” Spellbook of the Lost and Found is one of those books that I honestly didn’t expect to find myself enjoying nearly as much as I did.  I tend to stay away … Continue reading

4.5 stars
2 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Gray Wolf Island
Book Author:
Tracey Neithercott
Page Count:
336
Publishing Date:
October 10th, 2017
Publisher:
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
October 19th, 2017
Source:
eARC from publisher via NetGalley - Thank you!

Synopsis

Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.

With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.

As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.

From debut author Tracey Neithercott comes a darkly compelling tale of profound friendship, adventure, and finding the strength to tell the truth.

My Review

I went in to Gray Wolf Island not knowing too much of what it was about – I mean, I read the synopsis and all, but this was months and months ago, so when I started reading it, I didn’t … Continue reading

2 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
The Cresswell Plot
Book Author:
Eliza Wass
Page Count:
288
Publishing Date:
Paperback Publication - October 10th, 2017
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Date Read:
October 2nd, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark.

Castella Cresswell and her five siblings-Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem- know what it's like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.

Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they're still the freaks they've always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice

Castley's world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father's grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father's lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.

My Review

I had heard about The Cresswell Plot back when it was first published last year, and I didn’t really have the chance to read it, and I guess part of me forgot about it being on my to read list.  … Continue reading

6 Comments