Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Book Review: The Winter People

The Winter People
Published By: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Page Count: 320
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Genre: Fantasy - YA

As a child, Salome Montgomery fell into the frozen pond on her grandparents’ property and was narrowly saved from drowning. Convinced that there were terrifying creatures in the water who saved her, and left with a phobia of wintery conditions, Salome has endured years of therapy and medication. 

 Now 17, she is left in charge of her grandmother’s garden for the winter. The strange ritual of leaving gifts in the garden, and the need to ensure the gate is secured and threaded with pieces of rowan wood don’t ease Salome’s fears. The voices that haunted her childhood return and she finds herself fighting for her life against a mysterious evil. 

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: This Is Where I Leave You

The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman clan has congregated in years. There is, however, one conspicuous absence: Judd's wife, Jen, whose affair with his radio- shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the demise of his father and his marriage, Judd joins his dysfunctional family as they reluctantly sit shiva-and spend seven days and nights under the same roof. The week quickly spins out of control as longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed and old passions are reawakened. Then Jen delivers the clincher: she's pregnant. 

Teaser Tuesday: Kiss Kill Vanish, The Circle, Snow Like Ashes, & The Queen of the Tearling

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

When he pulls away, I'm lost. For a few seconds I was Valentina, and now I'm nothing. He brings me close to him again, puts his cheek on mine, his lips besides my ear. "I want to be with you. Every time I imagine what my life would be like if it was really mine, you're in it. You are it."

~ Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez, Kindle Location 1284 (ARC)

“You know how you finish a bag of chips and you hate yourself? You know you’ve done nothing good for yourself. That’s the same feeling, and you know it is, after some digital binge. You feel wasted and hollow and diminished.”

~ The Circle by Dave Eggers, Audiobook

Monday, September 1, 2014

Book Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves

Lies We Tell Ourselves
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Page Count: 304
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Historical Fiction

I went in expecting this to be another heart wrenching story about integration - and it was - but it is so much more. Robin Talley not only tackles history and race conflict, but she also chooses to have her main characters questioning their sexual orientation. This was a huge undertaking for one book and presented a side of integration that I had never considered. 

The story is told from two perspectives. The narration begins with Sarah as she becomes one of the first African American students to integrate an all white high school in small town Virginia. Reading her portions was difficult and heartbreaking. I cannot imagine a time when people were treated so differently based on the color of their skin. Sadly, racism hasn't been eradicated and still thrives in places throughout the world. One only has to turn on the news to see a race or ethnic group being persecuted. One would think that our society would have learned by now that we need to embrace diversity rather than fight against it. The second narrator, Linda, is a white student at the high school and she is a staunch segregationist. She claims that it's part of the Southern culture to abide by separate but equal. These two girls are worlds apart, but they find that they have more in common than they ever imagined when a teacher forces them to work together on a French project. 

Book Blast: Shadow on the Highway

Please join Deborah Swift as she tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for Shadow on the Highway (The Highway Trilogy, Book One), from August 25-September 15, and enter to win your own copy!

01_Shadow on the Highway

Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Endeavor Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback; 200P
Series: The Highway Trilogy
Genre: Historical Fiction/YA (14+)

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May 1651. England has been in the midst of a civil war for nearly ten years. The country has been torn in two, and the King is getting ready to make his last stand against Cromwell's New Model Army.

Abigail Chaplin, a young mute girl, has lost her father to the parliamentarian cause. But with her family now in reduced circumstances, she is forced to work as a servant at a royalist household - the estate of Lady Katherine Fanshawe.

Cover Crazy: We Are Not Ourselves

The purpose of Cover Crazy is to feature a cover each week for us to admire its beauty. I really like this idea since there are so many great covers out there! Cover Crazy is a feature that was started by The Book Worms.

This cover reminds me of the opening credits for Weeds. If you've never seen it, click on that link I just gave you and check it out. The song goes like this: "Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes made of ticky tacky. Little boxes on the hillside. Little boxes all the same." You'll see what I mean by 0:15; it IS this book cover. 

I love the cover image image because the perfect, suburban, American Dream neighborhood has (literally) been turned on its head. And it's off kilter, even after being turned sideways. And half of the picture is missing. And the sky looks like a storm is coming. And when you read the blurb for We Are Not Ourselves, that all makes total and complete sense.

What are your thoughts on this cover?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Magic Lamp Sunday 8/31/14

We discovered this meme at Ya-Aholic, where it ran on Fridays. It sounded like a fun addition to our lineup, but fits better here on Sundays. This is based on the basic Magic Lamp = 3 wishes idea. Since there are so many of us, though, we're just taking one each per week. 

If we had a Magic Lamp, we'd wish:   

Paula: I wish I had grown up sparring with a gorgeous future king. Inspired by Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch.   

Michele: I wish sometimes that I could mute or dampen my emotions. Inspired by The Giver by Lois Lowry.  

Julie: I wish I knew more about the Victorian era symbolism of flowers so I could communicate with people I love by giving them specific and meaningful flowers. Inspired by The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.   

Andrea: I wish that I had gone to Dartmouth- inspired by Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Eternal Night Blog Tour: Review

Eternal Night
Published By: The Studio
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Page Count: 319
Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult/New Adult - Mythology, Fantasy

I was intrigued by the premise of this novel. I’ve read a few other novels based on Greek mythology and was excited to see what Eternal Night had to offer. 

 Eternal Night starts out with the apparent suicide of Nadia, the Goddess of Hope. After her death, other supernatural phenomenon begin to occur. The other gods realize that something big is coming and they must not only discover what it is, but stop it before it destroys human civilization. 

The Shopping Lark #132

Each Friday, Reading Lark is going to feature some new releases each week to help give you some ideas of what to buy next. This is not an exhaustive list of this week's releases - just some novels that caught our eye. Feel free to share what books you're excited about that came out this week in our comments section.

YA Releases for the week of 8/25-8/31:

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