Monday, October 28, 2013

Review: Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton

Title: Sixteenth Summer
Author: Michelle Dalton
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: May 3rd 2011
Pages: 283
Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance
Source: Bought
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Anna is dreading another tourist-filled summer on Dune Island that follows the same routine: beach, ice cream, friends, repeat. That is, until she locks eyes with Will, the gorgeous and sweet guy visiting from New York. Soon, her summer is filled with flirtatious fun as Anna falls head over heels in love. But with every perfect afternoon, sweet kiss, and walk on the beach, Anna can’t ignore that the days are quickly growing shorter, and Will has to leave at the end of August. Anna’s never felt anything like this before, but when forever isn’t even a possibility, one summer doesn’t feel worth the promise of her heart breaking…
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Straight-up romances are a hard sell for me. I do like romance, but I usually prefer it as a secondary storyline, with something else taking the main focus. I just have too many pet peeves about romance to enjoy books that focus only on a love story. I keep reading YA romances, though, because when there is one that doesn't use any of my pet peeves, I enjoy it all the more. Sadly, though, that was not Sixteenth Summer for me - while there were parts of it that I enjoyed, there were just too many cliches and little things that frustrated me about the novel.

The romance frustrated me throughout the novel. Anna and Will's relationship starts in a love-at-first-sight kind of way, which always bugs me. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's insta-love, because they do take some time getting to know each other. But the whole getting-to-know-each-other thing didn't work for me because I thought the characters by themselves were lacking; they exemplified the places they came from, but there wasn't all that much else to their personalities. Their relationship seemed more about the things they did than an actual emotional connection - the things they did were fun tor read about, since they're part of the great beach-town atmosphere of the novel, but they weren't enough to warrant the emotions and the drama. And the drama these two have is so completely unnecessary - I wanted to shake Anna and tell her to stop being so stupid throughout the entire novel. That made it hard for me to care enough about either character or their relationship.

But even if I didn't like the romance all that much, the setting saved the book for me. I love books set at the beach, and Sixteenth Summer conveys the beach theme perfectly; I loved the whole island-y, beach-town atmosphere, along with all the little quirks and events. I especially liked the scenes set at Anna's parents' ice cream place - if you're not craving ice cream by the end of this book, there is something wrong with you. The secondary characters are great, too; I loved reading about Anna's friends Sam and Caroline, as their relationship provided a nice contrast to Anna and Will's.

So, really, the romance was the only part of the novel I didn't enjoy. But with a romance novel, that's a pretty big part, which is why I can't say I liked the book all that much. If you're someone with better tolerance for cheesy romance stories, though, I can see how Sixteenth Summer could be a cute, entertaining read for you, so I don't discourage you from giving it a try.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bookish Anticipation #29

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.

Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano

Release date: March 25th 2014 
Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.
Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next.

Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
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Release date: March 18th 2014
What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?
When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.
Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?
Ink Is Thicker than Water by Amy Spalding
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Release date: March 12th 2014
For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.
But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.
It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
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Release date: March 12th 2014
From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.
Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell
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Release date: April 1st 2014
Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.
Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.
But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith
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Release date: April 15th 2014
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.
Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder
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Release date: April 10th 2014
Hannah and Zoe haven’t had much in their lives, but they’ve always had each other. So when Zoe tells Hannah she needs to get out of their down-and-out New Jersey town, they pile into Hannah’s beat-up old Le Mans and head west, putting everything—their deadbeat parents, their disappointing love lives, their inevitable enrollment at community college—behind them.
As they chase storms and make new friends, Zoe tells Hannah she wants more for her. She wants her to live bigger, dream grander, aim higher. And so Zoe begins teaching Hannah all about life’s intangible things, concepts sadly missing from her existence—things like audacity, insouciance, karma, and even happiness.

Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas
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Release date: March 11th 2014
Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there's only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.
Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother's best friend really be?
Tails: The theater geek...with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart's interests--even if he wants to share all his feelings?
Heart's simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Review: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Title: The Moon and More
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release date: June 4th 2013
Pages: 435
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: Bought at Sarah Dessen's signing!
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Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.
Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.
Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?
Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I can't decide whether I should review The Moon and More as A Book or as A Sarah Dessen Book, since the second category brings with it a whole new set of expectations. As A Book, I loved it, but as A Sarah Dessen Book, I'm not sure - there's a certain scheme to Sarah Dessen's books, and Emaline's story strays from it, and I can't decide whether or not that is a good thing.

Sarah Dessen's books usually have very strong romance storylines - she writes the most swoonworthy love interests and realistic relationships. But The Moon and More... doesn't. Neither love interest brings the swoon we have come to expect; they can't even come close to Wes, Dexter, Owen, etc. Honestly, I found both Luke and Theo kind of annoying. But for the most part, I didn't mind too much, because as much as the description focuses on romance, that is definitely not the main storyline in The Moon and More; it's simply Emaline's coming-of-age story. In any other book, I would love the independence of the main character and how much the focus strays from the romance. But since this is Sarah Dessen, I can't help but be a little disappointed, too, if only because I was expecting another swoonworthy love interest.

In every aspect but the romance, though, The Moon and More is classic Dessen. Her writing is in a whole new category, and I'm sure I will love anything she writes. Emaline is another great narrator: she seems more mature than most Dessen girls, which I really appreciated. And as always, the secondary characters are amazing: I loved reading about Emaline's friends Morris and Daisy, as well as her unusual family situation.

I still can't decide whether I like the way The Moon and More strays from Sarah Dessen's trademark style - I love the message of independence, but missed the swoon we have come to expect from her novels. So The Moon and More might not be my favorite of her books, but if I disregard my special Sarah Dessen expectations, it is definitely a great novel.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review: Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Title: Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)
Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: February 1st 2013
Pages: 309
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: BEA - I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
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Blaze is tired of spending her life on the sidelines, drawing comics and feeling invisible. She's desperate for soccer star Mark to notice her. And when her BFF texts Mark a photo of Blaze in sexy lingerie, it definitely gets his attention. After a hot date in the back of her minivan, Blaze is flying high, but suddenly Mark's feelings seem to have been blasted by a freeze-ray gun, and he dumps her. Blaze gets her revenge by posting a comic strip featuring uber-villain Mark the Shark. Mark then retaliates by posting her "sext" photo, and, overnight, Blaze goes from Super Virgin Girl to Super Slut. That life on the sidelines is looking pretty good right about now...
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Despite the unusual set-up and quirky comic-book aspect, Blaze is a very typical contemporary YA story. The novel is entertaining but very basic: there are aspects I enjoyed but also aspects that frustrated me about Blaze, making this an average read for me.

The storyline that frustrated me the most is the romance, for its predictability and cliches. Blaze is incredibly naive in all things concerning Mark; I wanted to shake her and make her realize what is completely obvious to the reader. The romance isn't quite the predictable love triangle because the second love interest doesn't really appear until Mark and Blaze are over, but Mark and Quentin do perfectly personify the bad-guy/good-guy stereotype, and that kind of story always frustrates me to no end. The way Blaze acts in all things concerning Mark... just, ugh. How much she believes Mark to be a good guy isn't exactly unrealistic, but I just can't deal with narrators as naive and starry-eyed as Blaze.

Another aspect that bugged me is the slut-shaming. In the first half of the book, Blaze does not hold back on her contempt for the school slut Catherine Wiggles. I had assumed this would be to show how her opinion changes once she sees what its like to have people talk about you like that. And in a way, that is the case -  she stops hating Catherine once she finds out that nothing people have said about her is true. My problem, though, is that her fundamental attitude doesn't change - Blaze still believes that if someone had done what people accuse her and Catherine of, they would be a slut and would deserve to be ridiculed. The point that even if a woman embraces her sexuality and has done the things Blaze and Catherine are been accused of, there is nothing wrong with that, is never addressed, which frustrated me and felt like a form of slut-shaming by itself.

The family storyline is okay. My favorite part of the novel, by far, is Blaze's relationship with her younger brother Josh - they have a strong brother/sister bond that I would like to see more of in YA. The relationship between Blaze and her parents, though, I wasn't sure about. The set-up is interesting, but the later developments are predictable, and I thought the ending, in this storyline, was way too abrupt - I wanted to know more about the further implications of what Blaze figures out about her relationship with her dad.

I know my review has been mainly negative but Blaze is not a bad book. Laurie Boyle Crompton's writing flows nicely, making this an entertaining read even when some of the storylines frustrated me. And the whole comic-book thing is quirky and fun. There were quite a few things that frustrated me personally, but if you don't mind predictable plots, I think Blaze can be an entertaining read.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Review: Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Title: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: March 31st 2003
Pages: 243
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: Bought
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Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians, a boys' school that's pretends it's coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas who specializes in musical burping to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can't seem to stop thinking about.
Then there's Francesca's mother, who always thinks she knows what's best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Saving Francesca is another great novel from Melina Marchetta! That's really all there is to say - Melina Marchetta's books are perfection, and Saving Francesca is no exception. I can't explain what makes them so great - there's no set thing, it's just the honesty and beauty of her stories. Saving Francesca isn't about any one topic - I don't think I could give a summary of this novel because it's just a simple, honest and realistic story, and it totally works.

Melina Marchetta's characters are always great. I wouldn't be able to explain Francesca's character with a couple of adjectives because she's too complex and real for something like that. I loved the secondary characters, too, especially Francesca's group of friends: unlike most fictional groups of friends that sort of blend together and all represent the same character type, the group of friends in Saving Francesca are individuals with individual personalities that complement each other perfectly. The family storyline is great, too; it works in a very subtle, drama-free way, with real things happening to real people. I love the part the romance plays in the story; it's always there, but never takes the main focus. There's no unnatural drama, just the realistic progression of a relationship, and it's sweet without trying too hard.

It's impressive how well Melina Marchetta balances darker issues with lighter moments. Saving Francesca is so full of emotions of all kinds: there were times I wanted to cry and times I wanted to laugh. The story isn't the saddest or funniest I've read, but Melina Marchetta's writing makes every moment shine and brings out the raw, honest, beautiful emotion of it all.

I don't even know what else to say. There's no one thing that makes this novel amazing; it's simply a beautiful coming-of-age story, portraying the process of finding yourself in an honest, raw, and engaging way. Melina Marchetta really is one of the queens of YA.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Review: Cracked by KM Walton

Title: Cracked
Author: KM Walton
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: January 3rd 2012
Pages: 311
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: Bought
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Victor hates his life. He has no friends, gets beaten up at school, and his parents are always criticizing him. Tired of feeling miserable, Victor takes a bottle of his mother's sleeping pills—only to wake up in the hospital.
Bull is angry, and takes all of his rage out on Victor. That makes him feel better, at least a little. But it doesn't stop Bull's grandfather from getting drunk and hitting him. So Bull tries to defend himself with a loaded gun.
When Victor and Bull end up as roommates in the same psych ward, there's no way to escape each other or their problems. Which means things are going to get worse—much worse—before they get better…
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

I love the idea for Cracked. Portraying both sides of a bullying incident, and pushing bully and bullied together in such an unlikely situation sounds fascinating. But the actual book didn't work for me; Cracked turned out to be too melodramatic and unrealistic for me to enjoy the novel.

Cracked starts out describing both Victor's and Bull's lives and how horrible everything is, which already didn't work for me. I don't want to sound insensitive, but it seemed like their stories were made up simply to make their lives as miserable as possible, instead of describing their issues in an honest kind of way. Their situations at home seemed too extreme to work with the later development of the story.

What happens later on, in the psych ward, didn't work for me either. The description makes it sound like the main focus will be the confrontations between Bull and Victor and the development of their relationship, but that turned out to be only a small part of the story. It makes sense this way, and it's realistic that Bull and Victor would avoid each other and interact only on a very minimal basis. But it bugs me that the description focuses on their relationship so much, using that as a hook when it doesn't end up taking the main focus.

Even without the relationship between Bull and Victor, their individual therapy and development could have been interesting. But that isn't the main focus, either. Instead, we focus on Bull's and Victor's relationships with other people, and that's where the novel got unrealistic. Of course they both find a girl at the ward to befriend, and of course it's a great idea not to care about therapy or working on yourself when you can fall in love with someone you met 24 hours ago instead. The whole mentality of instalove fixing your life just pisses me off.

The ending is too happy and unrealistic. Of course they both end up having people in their lives who care for them whom they didn't have before, meaning they never had to actually work on their problems because they just solved themselves. Especially Patty coming into Victor's life is just ridiculously unrealistic and cliched.

This novel had a lot of potential, but it went in a very different direction than I'd hoped. Instead of getting to see the main characters confront each other and their individual problems, we saw their lives being fixed by romance and the sudden appearance of supportive people, which, to me, made Cracked cliched, melodramatic, and unrealistic.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

New Releases October 2013

New releases:

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
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Release date: October 1st 2013
After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.
Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

Six Months Later by Natalie D Richards
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Release date: October 1st 2013
Chloe didn't think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life. Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.
What happened to her? And why can't she remember?

Stained by Cheryl Rainfield
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Release date: October 1st 2013
In this heart-wrenching and suspenseful teen thriller, sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for "normal." Born with a port-wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It’s that—or succumb to a killer.

Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell
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Release date: October 1st 2013
Rebecca Blue is a rebel with an attitude whose life is changed by a chance encounter with a soon-to-be dead girl. Rebel (as she’s known) decides to complete the dead girl’s bucket list to prove that choice, not chance, controls her fate. In doing so, she unexpectedly opens her mind and heart to a world she once dismissed—a world of friendships, family, and faith. With a shaken sense of self, she must reevaluate her loner philosophy—particularly when she falls for Nate, the golden boy do-gooder who never looks out for himself. 

 Premeditated by Josin McQuein
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Release date: October 8th 2013
A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.
Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.
Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.
Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.
Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.
Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.
By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.

The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr
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Release date: October 8th 2013
Life in the Heights has never been easy for seventeen-year-old Riley Frost, but when she's publicly dumped and outed at the same time, she becomes an immediate social outcast at her high school. So Riley swears off romance and throws herself into solving the shocking murder of her favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn.
Riley turns to her best friend, budding filmmaker Desmond Brandt, for help. What she doesn't know is that Dez has been secretly directing her life, blackmailing her friends, and hoping his manipulations will make her love him. When his schemes go too far, Dez's web of lies threatens to destroy both of their lives.

Tandem by Anna Jarzab

Release date: October 8th 2013
Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather's stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real--until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will.
To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she'll be trapped in another girl's life forever. As time runs out, Sasha finds herself torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for her love--one who knows her secret, and one who thinks she's someone she's not.

Anywhere But Here by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
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Release date: October 15th 2013
Ever since his mom died, Cole just feels stuck. His dad acts like a stranger, and Lauren, his picture-perfect girlfriend of two years, doesn’t understand him anymore. He can’t ditch his dad, so Cole breaks up with Lauren. She doesn’t take the news very well, and Cole’s best friend won’t get off his case about it.
Now more than ever, Cole wants to graduate and leave his small, suffocating town. And everything is going according to plan—until Cole discovers the one secret that could keep him there…forever.

Reclaimed by Sarah Guillory

Release date: October 15th 2013
Jenna Oliver doesn’t have time to get involved with one boy, let alone two. All Jenna wants is to escape her evaporating small town and her alcoholic mother. She's determined she'll go to college and find a life that is wholly hers—one that isn't tainted by her family's past. But when the McAlister twins move to town and Jenna gets involved with both of them, she learns the life she planned may not be the one she gets.
Ian McAlister doesn't want to start over; he wants to remember. Ian can’t recall a single thing from the last three months—and he seems to be losing more memories every day. His family knows the truth, but no one will tell him what really happened before he lost his memory. When he meets Jenna, Ian believes that he can be normal again because she makes not remembering something he can handle.
The secret Ian can’t remember is the one Luke McAlister can’t forget. Luke has always lived in the shadow of his twin brother until Jenna stumbles into his life. She sees past who he’s supposed to be, and her kiss brings back the spark that life stole. Even though Luke feels like his brother deserves her more, Luke can’t resist Jenna—which is the trigger that makes Ian's memory return.
Jenna, Ian, & Luke are about to learn there are only so many secrets you can keep before the truth comes to reclaim you.

Meet Me at the River by Nina de Gramont

Release date: October 15th 2013
Stepsiblings Tressa and Luke have been close since they were little…and when they become teenagers, they slip from being best friends to being something more. Their relationship makes everyone around them uncomfortable, but they can’t—won’t—deny their connection. Nothing can keep them apart.
Not even death. Luke is killed in a horrible, tragic accident, and Tressa is suddenly and desperately alone. Unable to outrun the waves of grief and guilt and longing, she is haunted by thoughts of suicide. And then she is haunted by Luke himself.
He visits only at night. But when he’s with her, it’s almost like the accident never happened. Oh, there are reminders, from the way she can only feel him when he touches the scars on her wrist, to how she can’t seem to tell him about life since he’s been gone. As long as they’re together, though, the rest…it fades away.
But during the day it is Tressa who can’t grasp hold of the people around her. The same people who never wanted her and Luke together in the first place are determined to help her move on. Determined to help her heal. They just don’t understand—one misstep, one inch forward, could leave Luke behind forever.

The Vow by Jessica Martinez
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Release date: October 15th 2013
No one has ever believed that Mo and Annie are just friends. How can a guy and a girl really be best friends?
Then the summer before senior year, Mo’s father loses his job, and by extension his work visa. Instantly, life for Annie and Mo crumbles. Although Mo has lived in America for most of his life, he’ll be forced to move to Jordan. The prospect of leaving his home is devastating, and returning to a world where he no longer belongs terrifies him.
Desperate to save him, Annie proposes they tell a colossal lie—that they are in love. Mo agrees because marrying Annie is the only way he can stay. Annie just wants to keep her best friend, but what happens when it becomes a choice between saving Mo and her own chance at real love?

Reality Boy by AS King
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Release date: October 22nd 2013
Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.
Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.
Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth
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Release date: October 22nd 2013
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.
But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

New in paperback:

Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You by Joyce Carol Oates
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Release date: October 1st 2013
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?

I Swear by Lane Davis
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Release date: October 1st 2013

Leslie thought she had no other options. After years of abuse from her classmates, Leslie took her own life. Now, her abusers are dealing with the fallout, even though, in their eyes, they are not to blame that she couldn't handle another day. Leslie chose to take her life. She chose to be the coward they always knew she was. Even as criminal proceedings look into the systematic cyber bullying and harassment, the girls vow to keep their stories straight and make Leslie seem weak. But as the events leading up to her death unfold, it becomes clear that although she took her own life, her bullies took everything else.
Told in alternating perspectives and through flashbacks, this timely novel sheds light on the victims of bullying and the consequences bullies face.

The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab
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Release date: October 8th 2013
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.

Anything But Ordinary by Lara Avery
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Release date: October 8th 2013
Bryce remembers it like it was yesterday. The scent of chlorine. The blinding crack and flash of pain. Blood in the water.
When she wakes up in the hospital, all Bryce can think of is her disastrous Olympic diving trial. But everything is different now. Bryce still feels seventeen, so how can her little sister be seventeen, too? Life went on without her while Bryce lay in a coma for five years. Her best friend and boyfriend have just graduated from college. Her parents barely speak. And everything she once dreamed of doing—winning a gold medal, traveling the world, falling in love—seems beyond her reach.

But Bryce has changed too, in seemingly impossible ways. She knows things she shouldn’t. Things that happened while she was asleep. Things that haven’t even happened yet. During one luminous summer, as she comes to understand that her dreams have changed forever, Bryce learns to see life for what it truly is: extraordinary.

All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin
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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.

Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos
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Release date: October 15th 2013
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.

Dare You To (Pushing The Limits #2) by Katie McGarry
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Release date: October 29th 2013
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all... 

What September releases are you most looking forward to? 
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