Saturday, November 24, 2012

Review: The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin

Title: The Waiting Sky
Author: Lara Zielin
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release date: August 2nd 2012
Pages: 242
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought
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Seventeen-year-old Jane McAllister can't quite admit her mother's alcoholism is spiraling dangerously out of control until she drives drunk, nearly killing them and Jane's best friend.
Jane has only one place to turn: her older brother Ethan, who left the problems at home years ago for college. A summer with him and his tornado-chasing buddies may just provide the time and space Jane needs to figure out her life and whether it still includes her mother. But she struggles with her anger at Ethan for leaving home and feels guilty--is she also abandoning her mom just when she needs Jane most? The carefree trip turned journey of self-discovery quickly becomes more than Jane bargained for, especially when the devilishly handsome Max steps into the picture.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I've been in a huge reading slump lately. Ever since starting college, I just haven't felt like reading - it's been hard to force myself to be anti-social and just read when my friends are right outside my door. But somehow, The Waiting Sky managed to defy my reading-slumpy ways! There was just something about it that made me want to keep reading forever - I locked myself in my room one night and just read. The Waiting Sky reminded me of why I love reading so much, and it made me enthusiastic about bookish stuff again - for that alone, I want to declare my love for Lara Zielin.

Jane is a great main character - I connected with her so easily. With stories like these, it's easy for me to get frustrated with a character that just won't stand up for herself. But with Jane, it works. Her blindness concerning the seriousness of her mom's issues is understandable - I could have easily gotten annoyed by her insistence on trying to save her mom again and again, but Lara Zielin's writing made it work. The portrayal of Jane's journey towards finally understanding that she cannot solve her mom's problems and that she has to take care of herself more than of her mom is realistic and compelling.

We also have a great supporting cast that adds a lot to the story. I loved reading about the brother/sister relationship between Jane and Ethan. Victor is an ass, but his story is interesting to read about, and I loved the parallels between his situation and Jane's. And Cat, Jane's best friend from back home, is the definition of a kickass best friend - that's the kind of friendship I'd like to see more of in YA!

When I first heard about The Waiting Sky, I was wary of the whole tornado storyline. I thought the TorBros just chased tornadoes for fun and for the thrill of it, which would've bugged me. But they chase them for research; they're collecting data on how and why tornadoes develop, in order to better protect people from them. And that's much more understandable. The tornado sotryline is fascinating, and it adds a lot to the emotional side of things.

And then there's the romance, which is just adorable. We have just the right amount of cute romance - it's always there, but it's subtle, and it never tries to take the main focus from the family story. It stays innocent and sweet, which was really refreshing to read about.

The ending is perfect - bittersweet, hopeful without being unrealistically happy, just the way I like it.

I loved everything about this book! The cover is gorgeous, and the actual book doesn't disappoint. I'm really impressed with Lara Zielin's storytelling and character development - I'll have to check out some of her other books! And of course I'm hoping The Waiting Sky helped me get out of this reading slump. Either way, I definitely recommend it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review: Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates

Title: Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You
 Joyce Carol Oates
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: August 21st 2012
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought

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It wasn't like she had not warned us.
It wasn't like she had not prepared us.
We'd known that something was wrong those last several months.
But then, Tink hasn't actually vanished. Tink is gone, and yet—she is here somewhere, even if we can't see her.
Tink? Are you—here?
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

I really hate my terrible memory. I thought Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You sounded like something I'd like, but the name Joyce Carol Oates sounded familiar, and I didn't know why. If I'd thought about it more, instead of going with the "Ooh. Want. Buy." instinct, I would have remembered that I'd read Big Mouth & Ugly Girl by this author and that I didn't like it. I probably wouldn't have read Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You knowing that, and that would have been a good thing, because I had more of the same issues with Two or Three Things that I'd had with Big Mough & Ugly Girl.

Joyce Carol Oates's style just doesn't work for me. Somehow, I found the writing both immature and confusing. The sentences feel overdramatic and just really, really weird. I can't even explain it, so I'll give an example - this is how the book starts (page 3):

"Merissa! Congratulations!"
Hannah's excitement was genuine. Hannah's happiness for Merissa was genuine. Merissa could see.
Merissa had been afraid - just a little, putting herself in Hannah's place - (for Hannah Heller's grades were inevitably just slightly lower than Merissa Charmichael's, not to mention the fact that Merissa was associate yearbook editor, Drama Club president, and cocaptain of the girls' intramural field hockey team as well; and Hannah had applied to virtually all the same colleges and Merissa) - that Hannah would be hurt, and envious, and even resentful, for it is not nearly so easy to be happy for your closest friend's good news as it is to (secretly) rejoice in your closest friend's bad news.

I don't usually like using quotes in reviews, but that shows it better than I could explain. The writing is like that the entire time. If you don't have a problem with that style, it might be a good read for you, but for me, the writing was just frustrating.

Asides from the writing, the story and the characters didn't work for me, either. To be honest, I didn't really see the point of it all. I hate saying that, because I'm not someone who thinks that literature always has to have a "point," that it always has to teach you something. But I just mean that for me personally, I didn't see the point, because the story didn't really go anywhere. It sort of circled around Tink's suicide, but not really. Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You is about three of Tink's friends, after Tink's suicide. It's split into three parts, with each of the girls telling their story individually, and none of the three really worked for me.

I never felt like I really got to know any of the characters, and that's a big part of why I didn't end up liking this book. They each have their problems, and there's some pretty messed-up stuff going on, but I don't feel like we got to go deep enough to explore those issues in any meaningful way. The way it is, they're just kind of... there. I don't feel like any of the characters are fully developed, and there was none of the character growth or resolving of issues that I'd hoped for.

I also struggled with seeing how these three stories tied in with each other; other than Tink, I didn't see a connection. And everything about Tink is just sort of weird. Tink, like, visits them in their dreams, or her ghost visits them, and she gives the girls advice. I didn't get what all of that was about, and since it's never addressed what's really going on with Tink, it felt kind of pointless to me.

Somehow, I just felt removed from the story throughout. I've been having a hard time getting into books lately, so it might have to do with my reading slump, but I think it was at least partly the book's fault. The weird writing style, the lack of character development, and the plot that didn't go anywhere made it really hard for me to enjoy this book. I guess Joyce Carol Oates just isn't for me.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bookish Anticipation #19

Bookish Anticipation is a feature I do every once in a while to spotlight future releases I'm excited for. It was inspired by Breaking the Spine's Waiting on Wednesday. You can check out more of my Bookish Anticipation posts here.

The Language Inside by Holly Thompson
(Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)

Release date: May 14th 2013
Emma Karas was raised in Japan; it's the country she calls home. But when her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, Emma's family moves to a town outside Lowell, Massachusetts, to stay with Emma's grandmother while her mom undergoes treatment.
Emma feels out of place in the United States.She begins to have migraines, and longs to be back in Japan. At her grandmother's urging, she volunteers in a long-term care center to help Zena, a patient with locked-in syndrome, write down her poems. There, Emma meets Samnang, another volunteer, who assists elderly Cambodian refugees. Weekly visits to the care center, Zena's poems, dance, and noodle soup bring Emma and Samnang closer, until Emma must make a painful choice: stay in Massachusetts, or return home early to Japan.

Operation Oleander by Valerie O. Patterson
(Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)

Release date: March 15th 2013
Ninth-grader Jess Westmark had the best of intentions when she started Operation Oleander to raise money for a girls’ orphanage in Kabul. She named her charity for the oleander that grows both in her Florida hometown and in Afghanistan, where her father is deployed. But on one of her father's trips to deliver supplies to the orphans, a car bomb explodes nearby and her father is gravely injured. Worse, her best friend’s mother and some of the children are killed, and people are blaming Operation Oleander for turning the orphanage into a military target for the Taliban. Is this all Jess’s fault?

Panic by Sharon M. Draper
(Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)

Release date: March 12th 2013
Diamond knows not to get into a car with a stranger.
But what if the stranger is well-dressed and handsome? On his way to meet his wife and daughter? And casting a movie that very night—a movie in need of a star dancer? What then?
Then Diamond might make the wrong decision.
It’s a nightmare come true: Diamond Landers has been kidnapped. She was at the mall with a friend, alone for only a few brief minutes—and now she’s being held captive, forced to endure horrors beyond what she ever could have dreamed, while her family and friends experience their own torments and wait desperately for any bit of news.

Pivot Point by Kaesie West
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Release date: February 12th 2013
Addison Coleman's life is one big "What if?" As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It's the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie's parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with–her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the "Norms," or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it's not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school–but she never wanted to be a quarterback's girlfriend. When Addie's father is asked to consult on a murder in the compound, she's unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she's willing to live through...and who she can't live without.

The Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble
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Release date: May 14th 2013
“I found out two things today. One, I think I’m dying. And two, my brother is a perv.”
So begins the diary of 14-year-old Jenna Samuels, who is having a very bad eighth-grade year. Her single mother spends all day in bed. Dad vanished when she was eight. Her 16-year-old brother, Casey, tries to hold together what’s left of the family by working two after-school jobs— difficult, as he’s stoned all the time. To make matters worse, Jenna is sick. When she collapses one day, Casey tries to race her to the hospital in their beat-up Prius and crashes instead.
Jenna wakes up in the ER to find Casey beside her. Beatified. Literally. The flab and zits? Gone. Before long, Jenna figures out that Casey didn’t survive the accident at all. He’s an “A-word.” (She can’t bring herself to utter the truth.) Soon they discover that Jenna isn’t just dying: she’s being poisoned. And Casey has been sent back to help solve the mystery that not only holds the key to her survival, but also to their mother’s mysterious depression and father’s disappearance.

Pretty Sly (Pretty Crooked #2) by Elisa Ludwig
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Release date: March 12th 2013
Willa Fox was told to stay out of trouble. In fact, it was an order from a very serious juvenile court judge.
However, that was before Willa found her house ransacked and a mysterious email from her mother telling Willa she had to leave Paradise Valley for a while and not to come looking for her. Willa knows her mom’s in danger and that no one at school will miss her after her recent sticky-fingered stunts with the Glitterati. So with the help of her pal Tre and with her degenerate crush Aidan as her wingman, Willa violates her probation and hits the California highway in search of her mom.
But when Willa and Aidan’s journey turns dangerously criminal and they wind up being the focus of a national manhunt, they realize it’s sometimes easier to escape the law than the truth—and that everything Willa thought she knew about her mom, and her life, was wrong.

Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols
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Release date: February 26th 2013
Wendy Mann loves her job rescuing celebrities from public relations scrapes. She grew up with nothing, and now she’s drawn to glitz, glamour, and a lighthearted lifestyle. She speaks her mind, so she’s just the tough cookie to tell stars the truth about how other people see them, even when they don’t want to hear it. But after six years at the top of her game, Wendy crosses the line. A star she was sent to save rebels against her and nearly gets her fired. To salvage her job, she must rehabilitate the career of a singing starlet with a penchant for posting inappropriate photos of herself and arguing online with her famous ex. Problem is, the ex is represented by Wendy’s arch nemesis from college, the hot and haughty Daniel Blackstone. And both stars are scheduled for a collision course on national television, broadcast live from Las Vegas.
Daniel’s uneasy when he hears Wendy Mann from his firm’s most hated competitor has been brought in to revive the career of his client’s ex-girlfriend. Daniel must win at any cost. And if he has to seduce Wendy to smooth the way to their partnership, he’s willing to sacrifice himself for the cause. But Daniel doesn’t count on the scorching heat between them—and when they get to Vegas, all bets are off.

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg
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Release date: March 1st 2013
Don't mess with a girl with a Great Personality.
Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny...but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).
Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.
The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it.

The Murmurings by Carly Anne West
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Release date: March 5th 2013
A teen girl starts hearing the same voices that drove her sister to commit suicide in this creepy, suspenseful novel.
Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.
As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not…

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

Title: Where I Belong
Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: February 8th 2011
Pages: 289
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Won from Jen
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Corrinne Corcoran’s upscale Manhattan life is perfectly on track—until her father announces he’s been laid off and she’s shipped off to Broken Spoke, Texas, to live with her grandparents. All alone in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the glamorous life she’s supposed to be living. But as she grudgingly adjusts—making new friends and finding romance along the way—this city girl begins to realize that life without credit cards and shopping sprees may not be as bad as it seems....
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

It might be my own fault that I didn't like this book. I haven't been reading much ever since starting college, and I always felt like I had to force myself to keep reading. So I feel a little bad judging this book. But, to be honest, I'm pretty sure I would've disliked it either way, because every little thing about it just bugged me.

The main reason Where I Belong didn't work for me, is Corrinne; our main character pissed me off throughout. She's a brat in the worst way and pretty much does everything possible to piss off readers. I get that you're not supposed to like her in the beginning, so I tried to keep an open mind. But I just thought it was too much; Corrinne was just too much of a spoiled, selfish brat for me to handle. She does grow over the course of the novel; that's the point of the story. But it wasn't enough. She isn't quite as terrible at the end as she was in the beginning, but I still didn't like her. I didn't feel like she learned enough to really become a better person; there's no active character growth; just the natural way things develop when Corrinne has to leave behind her life. I wanted her to gradually grow, but it seems like she just suddenly isn't as terrible anymore. I just didn't buy the character growth.

None of the storylines or relationships were explored thoroughly enough for me. We barely scratch the surface of the family storyline. I have no idea what Corrinne's relationship with her parents is like, and the relationship with her grandparents is underdeveloped, too. When they got along and when they didn't just seemed very random to me. In the beginning, there's some hinting at drama, a family secret, but that's never really explored later on; the storyline just kind of... stops. I didn't even like Corrinne's little brother - little siblings are always cute in books, but this one was so cliched, I couldn't even enjoy that.

I didn't see the point of the romance, either. There's a love triangle, and even though I'm not someone who always automatically condemns love triangles, this one did not work for me. It's entirely predictable - there's a hot, rude guy that the MC likes and a sweet guy Corrinne doesn't pay attention to; guess who she ends up with. Neither of the love interests is a fully developed character; I never felt like I knew either of them. The whole thing felt kind of pointless, since as soon as Corrinne makes up her mind, the book is over.

Life in a small town for a big-city girl could have been fun to read about, but it's way too cliched. The descriptions of Broken Spoke had me rolling my eyes throughout; just... UGH. Life there doesn't even make sense; supposedly, the town is tiny, the type where everyone knows each other and the town has two restaurants, nothing else. But it's also a big theme how Corrinne has to go to this huge public school instead of the small private ones she's used to. But how does such a tiny town have such a huge school!? Little things like that just bugged me.

If I had to sum up Where I Belong in one word, it would be basic. All the storylines and characters are basic and cliched; there was no originality or surprise in this book, for me. That, combined with the annoying main characters, frustrated me to no end. I'll probably end up reading A Long Way from You since I already own a copy, but I can't really recommend Where I Belong.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My New Treasures #14

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.

Won (thanks, Carmen!):

Past Perfect by Leila Sales (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)


Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
If I Lie by Corrine Jackson (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)
What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton (Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Review: League of Strays by LB Schulman

Title: League of Strays
Author: LB Schulman
Publisher: Abrams
Release date: October 1st 2012
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: NetGalley
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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.
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Despite my issues with this book, I have to set one thing straight: League of Strays is not a gay-bashing novel. There's been some drama around this book, people saying that it bashes gays, but that is not the case. There is an openly gay character in League of Strays, and he has to deal with a lot of crap from his classmates because of that. There's also a scene where one guy beats up another guy because he thinks the other one is gay. But League of Strays as a book does not bash gays; the message is not homophobic or anything of the sort. I didn't love this book, but it's wrong to accuse LB Schulman of hating gays or anything like that because League of Strays doesn't convey that kind of message at all, and I think it's important to discern some characters' opinions from the author's views and the book's message.

But despite those accusations being false, a lot of other stuff in League of Strays did not work for me, especially the characters. Charlotte is a pretty boring MC. She's an outsider, supposedly, but we never really get to see that. League of Strays starts when Charlotte joins the League, so we don't get to read about her normal life. To relate to her and to understand why she would join the League, I would have needed to read about her life at school before, about her loneliness and desperation, which is never really developed. I found Charlotte's character to be very underdeveloped; we don't see her as anything other than the self-conscious type so overused in YA. (Complete with the MC believing she's ugly and others continuously marveling at her beauty. And ARGH, I just have so much hate for that cliche.) The character growth didn't sit right with me, either; the motivation behind Charlotte's decision of what to do with her life didn't make much sense to me.

The secondary characters had a lot of potential - each member of the League has issues that I would have liked to read about. We have one girl whose mom is an alcoholic, one girl whose sister committed suicide, and one gay guy who has to deal with being bullied. But sadly, these characters fall flat; they're basically just cardboard cutouts of the issues they're representing, and we never get to look beneath the surface.

***This paragraph sort of has mild spoilers, but the story is completely predictable and I don't see how any could not know where this is going, so I don't think it'd matter to read on.***
Then there's Kade, the character that pissed me off the most. He's the leader of the League, the one who organizes everything. He's supposed to be mysterious and intriguing, but to me, it was always obvious that he'd turn out to be a bad guy. The only thing he has going for him is that he's hot, making Charlotte immediately start pining for him, even though he treats her like crap. To me, he was nothing but creepy. A story like this one would have needed gradual development; he should have seemed like a good guy at first, and then his revenge plans should have gradually gotten more and more extreme until getting completely out of control. But that's not the case; what he wants the League to do is messed up from the start, and it doesn't even make sense. That made it kind of hard for me to see the point of the whole story. I also didn't like how, in the end, it's just decided that Kade is now a bad guy and that now everyone accepts it; we never get to know why he does what he does.

Despite all of the issues I had with the characters, I did like LB Schulman's writing. The style flows really nicely, making League of Strays a very quick read. The pace is good and moves the story along quickly.

All in all, League of Strays was a very underwhelming read for me. I liked the set-up, but underdeveloped characters and a very predictable plot made it hard for me to enjoy the story. It's a relatively quick read, but it doesn't handle the issues in a way that would have made the reading experience worthwhile for me.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Cover Reveal: Pieces by Michelle Davidson Argyle

Today is the cover reveal for Pieces by Michelle Davidson Argyle!

Pieces is coming from Rhemalda Publishing on February 14th, 2013. It's the companion to The Breakaway, but can be read independently. Here's what it's all about:
Two years after watching her kidnappers go to prison, Naomi Jensen is still in love with one of them. Jesse will be released in a few years, and Naomi knows college is the perfect distraction while she waits. But when her new friend Finn makes her question what is right and what is wrong, she begins to wonder if Jesse is the one for her … until she discovers he's out on parole. Naomi must sort through her confusion to figure out where love and freedom truly lie—in Finn, who has no connections to her past, or Jesse, who has just asked her to run away with him.
This book sounds creepy in the best way possible. You can add it on Goodreads, pre-order it from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and stalk the author on her website or Twitter.

Also, check out the awesome book trailer for Pieces:

What do you think of the cover and trailer?

Thursday, November 01, 2012

New Releases November 2012

New releases:

Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: November 8th 2012

Colin Fischer cannot stand to be touched. He does not like the color blue. He needs index cards to recognize facial expressions. But Colin is Wayne Connelly's best--and only--hope of proving his innocence after Wayne is accused of blowing up a birthday cake in the school cafeteria. Colin and Wayne quickly set off on a journey to prove Wayne's innocence, but neither realizes just how far their investigation will take them or that it will force Colin to consider the greatest mystery of all: what other people are thinking and feeling.
Colin Fischer is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. He's a boy with Asperger's syndrome who sees clues in the unlikeliest of places, and whom readers will root for right up until the case is solved . . . and beyond.

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: November 13th 2012
It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for - gasp - the wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's the queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her ... well, pocket. Julia also believes in fate, and that Mark, her childhood crush, is her MTB - her meant-to-be.
But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts ... from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to live a little along the way. And thus begins a wild-good chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.
Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

My Beautiful Failure by Janet Ruth Young
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: November 13th 2012
The haunting account of a teen boy who volunteers at a suicide hotline---and falls for a troubled caller.
Billy is a sophomore in high school, and twice a week, he volunteers at Listeners, a suicide hotline. Jenney is an “incoming,” a caller, a girl on the brink.
As her life spirals out of control, Jenney’s calls become more desperate, more frequent. Billy, struggling with a deteriorating relationship with his depressed father, is the only one who understands. Through her pain, he sees hope. Through her tears, he feels her heart. And through her despair, he finds love. But is that enough?

Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: November 13th 2012

When the sensibly timid Erin starts an advice column inspired by fortune cookie wisdom, no one at her ultra-competitive high school guesses her identity. This gives Erin the freedom to write whatever makes her laugh. Until someone actually takes her advice.

 Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamora
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: November 13th 2012

About a high-school senior, who, in the aftermath of a car accident that kills her boyfriend and throws her carefully planned future into complete upheaval, retreats to the deep woods of Maine to live with the artist father she barely knows and meets a boy who threatens to pull her from her safe, hard-won exile.

New in paperback:

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: November 6th 2013
Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.
Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

The Sharp Time by Mary O'Connel
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Release date: November 13th 2012

Sandinista Jones is a high school senior with a punk rock name and a broken heart. The death of her single mother has left Sandinista alone in the world, subject to the random vulnerability of everyday life. When the school system lets her down, her grief and instability intensify, and she ponders a violent act of revenge.
Still, in the midst of her crisis, she gets a job at The Pale Circus, a funky vintage clothing shop, and finds friendship and camaraderie with her coworker, a boy struggling with his own secrets.
Even as Sandinista sees the failures of those with power and authority, she's offered the chance to survive through the redemptive power of friendship. Now she must choose between faith and forgiveness or violence and vengeance.

What November releases are you most excited about?
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