Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Title: Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Publisher: Scholastic
Release date: May 1st 2011
Pages: 396
Genre: YA
Source: Bought
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The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.
What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I was so excited to read Beauty Queens. It sounded like such a fun, superficial-in-a-good-way contemporary. And everyone seems to love Libba Bray. But it just didn't work. I didn't hate the book or anything, but I didn't love it like I'd hoped I would.

Beauty Queens turned out to be very different from what I'd expected. I'm not even sure it's contemporary; it's somewhere between contemporary and dystopian, taking today's society's values to extremes. I was surprised by how much of this is social satire - I'd expected it to be ridiculing the whole beauty-queen thing, of course, but I thought it'd be more a part of the story. In Beauty Queens, it felt like social satire came first and story came second, and I think some parts, like the character development, suffered from that. For example, the novel is embedded as something the Corporation - the company that produces everything and pretty much rules the world Beauty Queens is set in - is giving to consumers, with comments from the Corporation and advertisements in between the chapters. The idea is fun, but it doesn't make much sense, because the story is very anti-Corporation. While the social satire and taking everything to extremes is entertaining, I wish the characters and their story would have been focused on more instead.

Then there's the craziness factor, which is a lot higher than I'd expected. I knew Beauty Queens would be weird, of course, since it's about a plane of beauty pageant contestants crashing on a deserted island. But the craziness doesn't stop there. I can't really talk about this without spoiling anything, but things get a lot - and I mean a lot - crazier after that. And not necessarily in a good way. The ideas by themselves are fun, but I thought it was just too much. It just got ridiculous, at some point, and I found some parts hard to follow because there's so much going on.

The social satire and the crazy plot twists left little room for character development. Most of the girls have something about them that makes them stand out, and I do like how many different groups of people are represented. But we never got to go deep enough to really explore their characters; there's no emotion. There are a lot of POVs, and it was kind of hard to keep track of  all the girls, especially because they're sometimes referred to by the states they're representing instead of their names. Not really getting to know any of the characters means I never got fully invested in the story. And things just got worse when the "sexy pirates" showed up because I did not like the romance at all - a lot of it is insta-love and it just felt forced.

All of that said, Beauty Queens does have the entertainment factor. Parts of it are laugh-out-loud funny, and I did like seeing our society taken to the extreme like that, just because it's so ridiculous. I also liked the empowering, feminist message and the whole girl-power feel of the novel. But that got in the way of character development, and some of it was too out there for me, making Beauty Queens just an okay read for me. I will have to check out some of Libba Bray's other books, though, to see if I click with one of those.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: Ten Things We Did by Sarah Mlynowski

Title: Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: June 7th 2011
Pages: 368
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Source: Bought
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2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house - parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have.
If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn't jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe "opportunity" isn't the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: "Lied to Our Parents"). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up "Skipping School" (#3), "Throwing a Crazy Party" (#8), "Buying a Hot Tub" (#4), and, um, "Harboring a Fugitive" (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I kind of have no idea how to write this review because there's only one word to describe this book: fun. It's simply a cute, entertaining read, and I loved it.

Sarah Mlynowski's fun style and our main character April work really well together. I loved April's sense of humor, and her honest voice had me laughing out loud. April is real - she thinks like a real person would, and Sarah Mlynowski's writing brought her to life. I don't even know what it is about the style - I just loved it so much. It's not like it's the most beautiful writing I've ever read; it just flows really nicely and had me immersed in the story throughout.

To add to the writing and humor, there's an awesome plot. I loved the whole idea of the two friends living together! The way they trick their parents into letting them live together without supervision is hilarious. And then there's the ridiculous stuff they do - the situations they get themselves into with their irresponsible ways are crazy without getting too unrealistic, and they are so, so fun to read about. I liked the crazy stuff a lot better than the everyday stuff because it bugged me how little April knows about taking care of herself - who's never loaded a dishwasher or been grocery shopping!? And who doesn't know electricity costs money!? But it's not like that's a huge part of the story, so I didn't mind that much.

What made this story even better are the three-dimensional characters - all of them are awesome! They each have a distinct personality and are very real - they feel like real people because Sarah Mlynowski's writing made them come to life. I loved getting to know all of them. I even liked the romance - despite the cover, romance isn't a huge part of Ten Things We Did, but what we do get to see, I loved.

But really, the fun-ness is what it all comes down to. Ten Things We Did is simply a book that I enjoyed reading. It's the kind of drama-filled contemporary that never takes itself too seriously. The laugh-out-loud funny humor and the fantastically entertaining writing style make this one of my favorite feel-good reads. and now I'm off to read everything else that Sarah Mlynowski has written!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley

Title: A Little Wanting Song
Author: Cath Crowley
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Release date: April 28th 2005
Pages: 272
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought
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CHARLIE DUSKIN loves music, and she knows she's good at it. But she only sings when she's alone, on the moonlit porch or in the back room at Old Gus's Secondhand Record and CD Store. Charlie's mom and grandmother have both died, and this summer she's visiting her grandpa in the country, surrounded by ghosts and grieving family, and serving burgers to the local kids at the milk bar. She's got her iPod, her guitar, and all her recording equipment, but she wants more: A friend. A dad who notices her. The chance to show Dave Robbie that she's not entirely unspectacular.
ROSE BUTLER lives next door to Charlie's grandfather and spends her days watching cars pass on the freeway and hanging out with her troublemaker boyfriend. She loves Luke but can't wait to leave their small country town. And she's figured out a way: she's won a scholarship to a science school in the city, and now she has to convince her parents to let her go. This is where Charlie comes in. Charlie, who lives in the city, and whom Rose has ignored for years. Charlie, who just might be Rose's ticket out.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I fell in love with Cath Crowley's writing in Graffiti Moon, and it's what I loved most about A Little Wanting Song, too. Cath Crowley has a style that makes the words jump off the page, that makes everything feel... alive. Her writing is gorgeous, making me stop to marvel at the beauty and honesty of it all throughout the novel.

A Little Wanting Song is told in alternating points of view, switching between Charlie and Rose. Charlie is a character I loved with all my heart. Her voice is honest and raw; it has a very vulnerable feel to it. Charlie's character growth is tremendous, and I loved being with her on this journey. I loved what Charlie's interest in music brought to the story, especially because the chapters are interspersed with her song lyrics. I commend Cath Crowley for perfecting the balance between having the lyrics fit to Charlie's character and making them stunningly beautiful.

Rose is a very different character; Cath Crowley gave her characters very unique voices. She's more of the troublemaker-type, not exactly something I'd relate to, but I liked seeing the different sides to her, seeing the differences between how Charlie sees her and how Rose sees herself. I didn't love Rose's storyline as much as Charlie's, though - I just thought her character growth wasn't as developed.

What struck me most about A Little Wanting Song was the setting, the atmosphere Cath Crowley has created here. I always love books set in Australia - there's just something about them. The small-town setting is vivid and just really well done.

The only part I didn't like is the romance. I'm never a fan of forcing romance on a story that doesn't need it, and it felt sort of like that in A Little Wanting Song. Dave's a nice guy, but I didn't feel any real chemistry between him and Charlie; that whole storyline is underdeveloped, in my opinion.

Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this book. It doesn't have the same spark as Graffiti Moon, that feeling that would make it an instant favorite, but I really liked it. It's the subtle and poignant story of two very different girls finding themselves in an unlikely friendship.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield

Title: Ameila Anne is Dead and Gone
Author: Kat Rosenfield
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release date: July 5th 2012
Pages: 277
Genre: Contemporary YA; mytery
Source: Bought
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On the night of Becca’s high school graduation, the discovery of an unidentified dead girl left to bleed out on the side of a dirt road sends the town—and Becca—into a tailspin. Becca has always longed to break free from her small home town, but as the violence of the outside world creeps into her backyard, she withdraws and retreats inward, paralyzed for the first time in her life. Short chapters detailing the last days of Amelia Anne Richardson’s life are intercut with Becca’s own coming-of-age summer, unfolding into the parallel stories of two young women struggling with self-identity and tense romantic relationships as the summer’s tumultuous events twist Becca closer and closer to the truth about Amelia’s murder.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

You can be sure you're reading a great book when you like what you're reading but know you'll enjoy it even more each time you re-read it. And that's what Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone was like for me; the compelling mystery and the enthralling atmosphere kept me turning the pages this time, and the lush writing ensures that I'll go back to this novel time and time again.

The writing is what makes this book so special. Kat Rosenfield's style is gorgeous like you wouldn't believe. The keen attention to detail is simply stunning. She can spend an entire page describing one little, every-day type thing, but because of Kat Rosenfield's way with words, it doesn't get boring. The style is enchanting; you'll be hanging on her every word. I had to re-read so many paragraphs because I simply could not get over their beauty.

The small-town atmosphere is incredibly well-done. The town Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone is set in feels like a character in and by itself, and I love when that happens. The descriptions of small-town life have a dark, mysteriously thrilling and eerily realistic feel to them; I was waiting for the town to come to life, somehow, throughout the book. All of it reminded me of Nova Ren Suma's Imaginary Girls - both books are eerily atmospheric and gorgeously written.

I love how mature everything in Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone is. Becca just graduated high school, and Amelia just graduated from college. But even more than the characters' ages, something about the style is just very adult. The sex, the violence, the language and the whole story felt very explicit for YA. To be honest, I'm a little surprised this even got published as YA. Not that any of this is a bad thing - I love anything that pushes the boundaries between Young Adult and adult, and it makes me happy this got published as YA, because the market does need it. Still, I'm surprised.

But even without the maturity, there is something undoubtedly weird about Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone. The narrative took some getting used to - some of it is Becca's first-person narrative, while other parts use an omniscient narrator, transitioning seamlessly. Not to mention the way the story switches between Becca's and Amelia's. And the general weirdness about everything in this book. I loved how different and unique all of it is, but you definitely have to be in the right mood for this kind of thing, so I can see how it wouldn't work for some people.

I'm not sure what to make of the ending. While reading, I was a little disappointed, but the more I think about it, the more I understand its subtle brilliance. It's not the most shocking revelation to the mystery - the suspects are narrowed down to three pretty early on - but I love what this shows about the characters, how it stretches the boundaries, our good-and-evil way of thinking. I still think the ending should have incorporated some more of the smaller storylines, though - I kept waiting for some kind of connection between those and the main story, other than what they added to the atmosphere.

There's a quote from Ellen Hopkins on the back of the book that sums it up better than I could - she called it "lush, mysterious, utterly compelling." Those four words capture perfectly what Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone is all about. The compellingly weird mystery, the eery atmosphere, and the stunningly gorgeous writing make this a book I know I won't soon forget.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review: The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Title: The Probability of Miracles
Author: Wendy Wunder
Publisher: Razorbill
Release date: December 8th 2011
Pages: 360
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought 
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Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I hate when this happens. When I read a book everyone loved and end up disappointed, feeling like the only person in the world that didn't end up falling head-over-heels in love with a book. And sadly, even though I really wanted to love it, that's what happened with The Probability of Miracles.

Objectively, I could see that a lot of aspects were very well-done. For example, sarcastic, cynic Cam is a character I could have loved; I can see how she appealed to a lot of readers. But I personally just never connected with her. Her cynicism didn't turn out to be the humorous, entertaining type I'd been hoping for; Cam is just hopeless in a very stoic way. While her personality is realistic, I just never grew to love her like I'd hoped I would.

I could also understand what a lot of people loved about the writing - there really are some beautiful gems in this book. But for the most part, those were hidden within a writing style that just didn't work for me. I'm not even sure why, but the style felt very all-over-the-place to me; it switches quickly from scene to scene, leaving me very disoriented. I often had no idea what was going on and had to check back where they were now, what was going on and when it had switched from where I thought they'd been. Whatever the reason, I felt very removed from the story, and I always had to force myself to keep reading, making The Probability of Miracles very hard for me to work my way through.

The secondary characters never really came to life for me. The cast is quite large, and it ended up being too large for me - I had trouble keeping track of who's who. Other than Perry, whom I loved, no one really stood out; none of them were memorable. Even the romance felt formularic to me; I never felt the connection between Asher and Cam.

Really, I think that's what it comes down to - The Probability of Miracles felt formularic to me. All the ingredients are there, but it didn't make me feel anything. It didn't make tear up once, and I'm usually the first to start crying at books and movies. I don't discourage you from giving it a try, since this book touched so many others, but The Probability of Miracles fell flat for me.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

My New Treasures #13

My New Treasures is a weekly feature here at Paperback Treasures to showcase all the books I received over the previous week. I do not take credit for this idea.

I finally did a book haul! *expects applause* Soo this is the result of me suddenly wanting to make a book haul in the middle of the night, even though I was completely exhausted and sick, for whatever reason. And it definitely shows in the rambly-ness and uncoordinated-ness of this video. You have been warned!


Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
Audition by Stasie Ward Kehoe (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
Awkward by Marni Bates (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)


Famous Last Words by Annie Sanders (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
The Oxford Book of Death (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)

For review:

The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
The Wedding Cake Girl by Anne Pfeffer (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)


Burning Blue by Paul Griffin (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)

What books did you get this week?

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Interview with Mindi Scott (Live Through This Blog Tour)

Today we have Mindi Scott here for an author interview! This post is part of The Teen Book Scene's blog tour for Live Through This by Mindi Scott. You can find out all about the tour here

1. I loved your debut, Freefall! How, would you say, does Live Through This compare - are the two books similar in style or more different? How was the writing process different for your sophomore novel?
Thank you! I think these books will attract a similar, but not necessarily identical audience. Different narrators call for different things style-wise, and the main characters in these books are about as different from each other as two people can be. Interestingly, Seth in Freefall was kind of a loner with a prickly persona at school, but he was overall pretty confessional and willing to clue readers in to his every thought. Coley in Live Through This is a girl with a very bubbly persona at school, but I think she is less “chatty” with readers. Of course, that makes sense given that she is always keeping secrets, even from herself. 

The writing process for writing my sophomore novel was very different from the first. I spent a year and half (somewhat) leisurely writing and revising Freefall. But Live Through This sold on proposal, which meant that my agent submitted only a detailed outline and around 40 pages to the publisher. After that, I had basically four months to write the entire draft. (I did get more time for revising and adding scenes later, of course.) It was frenzied and the deadlines weren’t as comfortable as I was used to. Between my day job and writing/revising my second book, I worked almost non-stop from January 2, 2011 to November 20, 2011.
2. Without spoiling anything, could you tell is what was your favorite scene to write in Live Through This?
This might sound weird, but all of my favorite scenes to write in this book were those containing the most devastating events. (The exception was Chapter 27; that was my absolute least favorite chapter to write ever in my life so far.) It isn’t that I get enjoyment from making my characters suffer, but emotion and tension in writing just flow so easily for me.
3. What is the best writing advice you've ever received?
I guess it would have to the one about how first drafts don’t have to be perfect? I’m getting better about following that advice, but it’s still something that I struggle with.
4. I read that you wrote diaries throughout your teen years. How does that help or affect your writing today? 
My diaries are a big reason why I write for YA versus another fiction market. My teen diaries were detailed for a few years. Having easy access to them means that it’s impossible for me to forget what it felt like to be a teen.
5. Freefall's narrator is male while the one in Live Through This is female. Which point of view do you prefer to write?
This is hard. I think that I prefer male, for one reason: When I’m writing a guy, I can make sure that the voice and point of view always stay true to him. When I write a girl, it’s easier to let my own voice and perspective creep in.
Thanks for the great interview answers, Mindi!

Make sure to check out all the other stops of the tour, and keep your eye out for Live Through This, which has already been released. 

Live Through This by Mindi Scott
(Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)

Sometimes hiding the truth requires more than a lie . . . From the outside, Coley Sterling’s life seems pretty normal . . . whatever that means. It’s not perfect—her best friend is seriously mad at her and her dance team captains keep giving her a hard time—but Coley’s adorable, sweet crush Reece helps distract her from the annoying drama. Plus, she has a great family to fall back on—with a stepdad and mom who would stop at nothing to keep her and her siblings happy and safe.
But Coley has a lot of secrets. She won’t admit—not even to herself—that her almost-perfect life is her own carefully-crafted façade. That for years she’s been burying the shame and guilt over a relationship that crossed the line. Now, Coley and Reece are getting closer, and as Coley has the chance at her first real boyfriend, a decade’s worth of lies are on the verge of unraveling.

Monday, October 01, 2012

New Releases October 2012

New releases:

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 1st 2012

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.
Now Parker wants a new life.
So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?
But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 1st 2012

She never thought a kiss could kill…
Samantha didn’t mean to hurt anyone. She was just trying to fit in...and she wanted to make Zee a little jealous after he completely ditched her for a prettier girl. So she kissed Alex. And then he died—right in her arms.
Was she really the only person in the entire school who didn’t know about his peanut allergy? Or that eating a peanut butter sandwich and then kissing him would be deadly? Overnight Sam turns into the school pariah and a media sensation explodes. Consumed with guilt, abandoned by her friends, and in jeopardy of losing her swimming scholarship, she’ll have to find a way to forgive herself before anyone else will.

Skinny by Donna Cooner
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 1st 2012

About a girl whose obesity and negative thoughts stand in the way of her dreams of becoming a singer and finding love, until she begins a long, hard journey of self-discovery and reinvention culminating in gastric-bypass surgery, only to find that love was never dependent on her size.

League of Strays by L. B. Schulman
(Amazon | Godreads)

Release date: October 1st 2012

When Charlotte Brody, a lonely 17-year-old student at a new school, receives an invitation to join The League of Strays, she's intrigued by the group's promise of "instant friendship." The League does provide companionship--and even a love interest--but Charlotte grows increasingly uncomfortable with its sinister mission to seek revenge against the bullies of Kennedy High. When escalating acts of vengeance threaten to hurl her down a path of remorse, Charlotte must choose between her new friends and the direction of a future she's never fully considered.

Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 2nd 2012

Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the pain meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.
The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become, and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.

Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 2nd 2012
Mia’s used to being the perfect teenager: pretty, popular, smart, caring. But that was before she was diagnosed with leukemia. Now, her father has become Captain Cancer Facts and her mother is obsessed with maintaining Mia’s image. Her maybe-more-than-a-friend, Gyver, is judging her decision not to tell the other cheerleaders that she’s sick. Her life’s about to change and she’s terrified by the loss of control.
Mia’s always been superstitious, but as her body starts to feel like it belongs less to her and more to the doctors and their needles, she becomes irrationally dependent on horoscopes, fortune cookies, and good luck charms. As chemotherapy replaces cheerleading and platelets replace parties, Mia just wants normal back. But despite searching for clues in everything from songs on the radio to her Magic 8 Ball, her future is coming up Outlook not so good.

Live Through This by Mindi Scott
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 2nd 2012
Sometimes hiding the truth requires more than a lie . . . From the outside, Coley Sterling’s life seems pretty normal . . . whatever that means. It’s not perfect—her best friend is seriously mad at her and her dance team captains keep giving her a hard time—but Coley’s adorable, sweet crush Reece helps distract her from the annoying drama. Plus, she has a great family to fall back on—with a stepdad and mom who would stop at nothing to keep her and her siblings happy and safe.
But Coley has a lot of secrets. She won’t admit—not even to herself—that her almost-perfect life is her own carefully-crafted façade. That for years she’s been burying the shame and guilt over a relationship that crossed the line. Now, Coley and Reece are getting closer, and as Coley has the chance at her first real boyfriend, a decade’s worth of lies are on the verge of unraveling.
What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: Ocotber 9th 2012
How can you talk about something you can't remember?
When sixteen-year-old cheerleader Cassidy "Sid" Murphy ends up on a ski lift next to handsome college boy, Dax Windsor, she's thrilled; but Dax isn't what he seems. He takes everything from Sid - including a lock of her perfect red curls - and she can't remember any of it. Back home and alienated by her old friends, Sid forms an unlikely friendship with Corey "The Living Stoner" Livingston (slacker, baker, total dreamboat) and finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now if she can just shed the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect... or so Sid thinks.

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 9th 2012
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett’s unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna’s life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility.
As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate—and what consequences they can bear in order to stay together.

All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 9th 2012

Alex has it all—brains, beauty, popularity, and a dangerously hot boyfriend. Her little sister Thea wants it all, and she's stepped up her game to get it. Even if it means spinning the truth to win the attention she deserves. Even if it means uncovering a shocking secret her older sister never wanted to share. Even if it means crying wolf.
Told in the alternating voices of Alex and Thea, Adele Griffin's mesmerizing new novel is the story of a sibling rivalry on speed.

The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 9th 2012
Caro Mitchell considers herself an only child—and she likes it that way. After all, her much older sister, Hannah, left home eight years ago, and Caro barely remembers her. So when Caro’s parents drop the bombshell news that Hannah is returning to live with them, Caro feels as if an interloper is crashing her family. To her, Hannah’s a total stranger, someone who haunts their home with her meek and withdrawn presence, and who refuses to talk about her life and why she went away. Caro can’t understand why her parents cut her sister so much slack, and why they’re not pushing for answers.
Unable to understand Hannah, Caro resorts to telling lies about her mysterious reappearance. But when those lies alienate Caro’s new boyfriend and put her on the outs with her friends and her parents, she seeks solace from an unexpected source. And when she unearths a clue about Hannah’s past—one that could save Hannah from the dark secret that possesses her—Caro begins to see her sister in a whole new light.

The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 16th 2012
Amelia is used to being upstaged by her charismatic younger sister, Charly. She doesn’t mind, mostly, that it always falls to her to cover for Charly’s crazy, impulsive antics. But one night, Charly's thoughtlessness goes way too far, and she lands them both in serious trouble.
Amelia's not sure she can forgive Charly this time, and not sure she wants to…but the situation is even worse than either of them realizes. Amelia has no choice but to give up everything--her friends, her future, her dream--in order to cover for Charly’s huge mistake. Amelia doesn't understand how her sister could have done this to them both. What she doesn't know is that Charly is hiding a terrible secret—one with the potential to change everything.

Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 16th 2012
When Micah disappears from home, his sister Rachel decides to secretly take matters into her own hands. Armed with Micah's best friend Tyler, she travels from the hazy, lazy suburbs of Southern California to the seedy side of San Diego's beach communities following the clues that Micah left behind. As each lead arrives at a dead end, she is left to piece together the puzzle that is her brother's life. And the sketchy characters Rachel and Tyler encounter make Rachel wonder if she can reach Micah before it’s too late.
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 23rd 2012
Astrid Jones copes with her small town's gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she's sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. Maybe they'll know what to do with it. Maybe it'll make them happy. Maybe they'll need it. Her mother doesn't want it, her father's always stoned, her perfect sister's too busy trying to fit in, and the people in her small town would never allow her to love the person she really wants to: another girl named Dee. There's no one Astrid feels she can talk to about this deep secret or the profound questions that she's trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love--and asking the right questions--will affect the passengers' lives, and her own, for the better.
In this unmistakably original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's boxes and definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking and sharing real love.

Blind Spot by Laura Ellen
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 23rd 20122
There’s none so blind as they that won’t see.
Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni’s body floated to the surface of Alaska’s Birch River six months after the night she disappeared.
The night Roz Hart had a fight with her.
The night Roz can’t remember.
Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name . . . to find a murderer.
This unflinchingly emotional novel is written in the powerful first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else.

Burning Blue by Paul Griffin
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 25th 2012
When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that—he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in—and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.

New in paperback:

Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 2nd 2012
I’m pushing aside
the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana
and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.
Finding Somewhere by Joseph Monninger
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 9th 20122
Two girls: Best friends Hattie and Delores feel that life in their small New Hampshire town is a dead end.
One horse: Old and about to be put down, Speed gets a reprieve when Hattie and Delores decide to save him.
A road trip: Determined to set Speed free, Hattie and Delores drive him west in search of rangeland. But the road takes some unexpected turns as the girls get their own taste of freedom—and as they confront the reasons they left home.

Flyaway by Helen Landalf
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 23rd 2012
Stevie Calhoun knows how to take care of herself. It’s not like her mom hasn’t disappeared before. So why is Aunt Mindy making such a big deal of it now? It’s not like Mom’s really doing meth. Stevie makes sure of that. Whatever. She’ll go home with Aunt Mindy if it will keep her from calling Child Protective Services—but it doesn’t mean she’ll stay. Mom will come back. Mom always comes back. And Stevie will be there when she does. But when Stevie meets Alan—frustrating and fascinating and so-different-from-everyone-she-knows Alan—and she starts helping out at the bird rehab center, things begin to look different. Even the tutoring and the ridiculous outfits Aunt Mindy’s forcing her into might not be so bad. Not that Stevie would say it out loud. She can’t. Because how can anything be good if it doesn’t include Mom?

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: October 30th 2012
Jill MacSweeney just wants everything to go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she's been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends--everyone who wants to support her. You can't lose one family member and simply replace him with a new one, and when her mom decides to adopt a baby, that's exactly what it feels like she's trying to do. And that's decidedly not normal. With her world crumbling around her, can Jill come to embrace a new member of the family?
Mandy Kalinowski knows what it's like to grow up unwanted--to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, she knows she wants a better life for her baby. But can giving up a child be as easy as it seems? And will she ever be able to find someone to care for her, too?

What October releases are you most looking forward to? 
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