Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review: Rumble

Published by: Simon & Schuster
Release date: August 26, 2014
Genre: YA contemporary
560 pages
Source: ARC kindly provided by publisher

Confession: This is my first time reading Ellen Hopkins. Yes, I know who she is and how strongly many teen readers feel about her work. I've even met her in person at an event last fall. I've almost picked up one of her books several times. I feel very lucky to have gotten the chance to read this one before publication, because I know how popular her books are. And I'm glad to be able to now say that I've read her work.

The Shopping Lark #128

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 7/21-7/27:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Book Review: How to Fall

How to Fall (Jess Tennant #1)
Published By: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Page Count: 352
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Mystery

I love to read mysteries in the fall when the temperature starts to drop, the rain starts to fall, and the leaves change colors. There is something about reading a murder mystery as nature is transitioning that I find immensely appealing. How to Fall is set in the summer so I decided maybe it was time to see if mysteries have the same allure in a different season. I had high expectations for this one since the author has written numerous works and the summary was intriguing. I also was drawn to the setting. I've always wanted to spend the summer in a seaside village in England; this seemed like the perfect ticket for a mental vacation on the English shore.

Throwback Thursday: Forever

Throwback Thursday is a new feature at Reading Lark. We'll still be doing some Book Boyfriend Posts and Book BFF Posts on Thursdays as well, but the Larks wanted a little variety on Thursdays. Throwback Thursday will allow us to celebrate some of the reads we loved way back when...

By: Judy Blume
Published: 1983 

I'm not sure whose copy of Forever I read, but it wasn't mine. It was a friend's copy with a worn spine and corners, from being shoved into backpacks, purses, and under covers and textbooks whenever parents were around...and I was probably the 10th girl to read it. This one isn't like Judy Blume's usual fare, it's filled with intense love and fairly explicit sex, which was the attraction for a high school girl and the reason Forever was forbidden at my house. It was a book I felt like I shouldn't be reading, but loved every minute of my taboo and forbidden time with it before I passed it on to another friend. 

What's amazing is the story still stands up, even 30 years after it was published (the updated cover looks like a Sarah Dessen cover). I have students who read this every year and love it. And they're usually impressed, then appalled, ;) that their teacher (OMG! Ewww!) has read it.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Book Review: Let's Get Lost

Let's Get Lost
Published By: Harlequin Teen, Harlequin Teen Australia
Publication Date: July 29, 2014 (US), August 1, 2014 (Australia/NZ)
Page Count: 352 (US Hardcover), 336 (Australian Paperback)
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

More an anthology or series of vignettes than a novel, Let’s Get Lost follows Leila, who is travelling across North America in order to see the Northern Lights. Along the way she meets and befriends four people who are all lost in their own way. Hudson is about to have the most important meeting of his life, which will determine whether or not he goes to medical school. Bree has run away from home and is floating aimlessly through life, wanting only to “seize the Tuesday” and hoping that the next driver to pick her up won’t be a psycho. Elliot is in love with his best friend who has just rejected him at the prom and he can’t see any point in going on. And Sonia is a bridesmaid at her dead fiancĂ©’s sister’s wedding. Can she admit to his family, and herself, that she’s ready to move on? 

Waiting on Wednesday: One Kick

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where she spotlights upcoming releases.

This week I am waiting on. . . 

One Kick
By: Chelsea Cain
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: August 19, 2014

Kick Lannigan, 21, is a survivor. Abducted at age six in broad daylight, the police, the public, perhaps even her family assumed the worst had occurred. And then Kathleen Lannigan was found, alive, six years later. In the early months following her freedom, as Kick struggled with PTSD, her parents put her through a litany of therapies, but nothing helped until the detective who rescued her suggested Kick learn to fight. Before she was thirteen, Kick learned marksmanship, martial arts, boxing, archery, and knife throwing. She excelled at every one, vowing she would never be victimized again. But when two children in the Portland area go missing in the same month, Kick goes into a tailspin. Then an enigmatic man Bishop approaches her with a proposition: he is convinced Kick's experiences and expertise can be used to help rescue the abductees. Little does Kick know the case will lead directly into her terrifying past…

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Review: The Swap

The Swap
Published By: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Page Count: 400
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Middle Grades - Magical Realism, Contemporary

I'm not typically a middle grades reader. In fact, I loved the cover of this one so much I snagged it before I realized it was a middle grades novel. I really should take a chance on more of these as they are something I could talk to my students about more than some of the upper YA stuff. The Swap was an excellent way to dive into middle grades and get a feel for this age group. Also, after teaching 7th and 8th graders for so long, I can firmly say that this novel portrays middle schoolers in a realistic and authentic way. Shull has captured the essence of the middle school experience beautifully in all of its bittersweet glory.

The Swap is Mean Girls meets Freaky Friday with a dash of The Mighty Ducks. Seriously, if this novel had existed when I was in middle school, I would have been all about it. No friend of mine would have gotten away with not reading this one. I did find that as an adult, I didn't love this one the way I love YA novels, but I did enjoy it. I love that there is a female main character, Ellie, and a male main character, Jack. It's so hard to find novels to hand to my male students from time to time. I think this novel will appeal to both genders and I love the messages it contains on topics such as bullying, giving your best, and finding true friends.

Teaser Tuesday: The Jewel, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, & Promiscuous

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

Sometimes parents try to hide their daughters, or pay off the doctors who test them. The blood test that indicates surrogacy is mandatory for every girl in the Marsh once she reaches puberty. They don't know why only girls from the poorest circle have the strange genetic mutation that causes the Auguries, but the royalty won't let anyone slip through the cracks. If you're caught trying to avoid the test, the sentence is death.

~ The Jewel by Amy Ewing, Kindle Location 436 (ARC)

I could hear our friendship dying right there. Hit by a truck so big, going so fast, there was nothing left. Not a shred of our childhood, not a splinter of our tree house, not a bit of our New Year's Eve kiss. Nothing. Jenny Flick had managed to take from me the only person I ever let in and replace me with beer, sex, and pot.

~ Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King, pg. 54

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: Voices of the Sea

Voices of the Sea
Published By: WiDo Publishing
Publication Date: July 22, 2014
Page Count: 245
Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy

Voices of the Sea is Bethany Masone Harar's debut novel. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy and I'm happy to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Voices of the Sea is a captivating book about a Siren clan in Pacific Grove, CA. The book begins with the brutal murder of one of the clan members by a man named Ortho. The Sons of Orpheus seem to be hunting the remaining sirens on Earth and the Pacific Grove clan must protect itself.

Cover Crazy: Royally Lost

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 is a great summer read and I love the feel of the cover. The giant map keeps the faces of the guy and girl hidden. I like that because it allows me to picture the characters without having a preconceived idea. I love the fun nature of this cover. It makes me want to travel and spend time under the blue skies.

What are your thoughts on this cover?

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