Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Title: Out of the Easy
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Speak
Release date: February 12th 2013
Pages: 368
Genre: Historical Young Adult
Source: Bought
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It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.
Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

After Ruta Sepetys's debut novel, Between Shades of Grey, I was expecting another heartbreakingly tragic story. Out of the Easy is definitely tragic in some ways, but this tragedy, much more than in Between Shades of Grey, is balanced out by humorous moments that made me laugh and a sense of hope that prevails throughout the story. But being less depressing doesn't make Out of the Easy any less powerful than Between Shades of Grey - Out of the Easy is a another inspiring and unforgettable read from Ruta Sepetys.

The worldbuilding is what I loved most about Out of the Easy. I don't read too much historical fiction, but this novel made me question why. The atmosphere of New Orleans in 1950 really comes across in this novel; it is vibrant and vivid, and I felt like I was there alongside Josie. There is drama, there is intrigue, and there are terrible things happening at the same time as Josie is just trying to figure out where she belongs. I absolutely loved this unique and vivid setting.

This setting is made even better by the rich cast of characters. Josie is a character that is easy to connect to, and I felt for her throughout the novel. My favorite character is probably Willie; she's an amazing woman, and I love the role she plays in Josie's life. The rest of the women working at the brothel are fascinating to read about, too, and I love how they're portrayed as real people with diverse backgrounds and personalities. Then there's Patrick and Jesse, both of whom I loved; but even more so, I loved how they - and their relationships with Josie - never take center stage. Even though I really liked reading about Josie's interactions with both of them, I appreciated that Ruta Sepetys did not turn this into the typical love triangle and instead focused simply on Josie's story.

The only thing that sort of bothered me about Out of the Easy was the message about prostitution that readers can take from this. I'm conflicted on what to make of it: on the one hand, I appreciate how Ruta Sepetys portrayed the prostitutes (other than Josie's mother) as good-hearted people, and Josie never judges them for what they do. On the other hand, the entire story revolves around Josie trying to not get hung up in such a life of prostitution, which refutes that message. If the story is trying to fight against the stigma of prostitution, and the only way for Josie to do this is to distance herself from that lifestyle, then I don't think it's really fighting the stigma at all. I don't really know how to feel about that: of course I wanted Josie to live her dream of going to college, too, which makes it impossible for the story not to send a message like that, but it still didn't sit right with me.

Despite this one issue with the novel's message, I absolutely loved this story. With a vivid atmosphere and a rich, dynamic cast of characters, Out of the Easy presents the hardships of Josie's life without ever losing its sense of humor or hopeful message. Out of the Easy is a must-read.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My New Treasures #31

My New Treasures is a semi-regular feature here at Paperback Treasures to showcase all the books I received over the previous week (or however long it's been since I've last done one of these). It was inspired by Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

NetGalley & Edelweiss:

No One Needs to Know by Amanda Grace
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release date: September 10th 2013
Pages: 448
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: Bought
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In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? Open her heart to someone? Or will she just go on living inside somebody else’s fiction?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I'd been hearing all this hype about Rainbow Rowell, and after she appeared on everyone's best-of-2013 lists, I knew I had to give her a try. Fangirl sounded right up my alley, but I was still a little scared I wouldn't love it as much as everyone else did. Luckily, though, there was nothing to worry about - Fangirl is amazing, and I loved everything about it.

Of course, I love that it's set at college. Fangirl is everything I had been hoping the new adult genre would be and - a book with older characters in situations after high school, dealing with more "adult"  issues, but one that is still a Young Adult story at heart. I loved the realistic portrayal of the various aspects of college life - I don't think I've read a new adult book that captures this experience quite so well. The only thing I thought was weird is that Cath has an upperclassman as a roommate - is that normal at other schools? I thought you could only live with people in your own year...

What really made this novel work, for me, is Cath. I connected with Cath so easily because, in many ways, Cath is me - or the me I was a year and a half ago, when I first started college. I recognized my own awkwardness in so many parts of Cath, and it was really reassuring to read about someone who had the same experiences I did starting college. Cath is awkward and anti-social, and I loved it. I also loved her obsession with fanfic, since I went through a fanfic phase, too, and definitely know what it's like to spend all your time on the internet, talking about books...

I loved everything about this story. Cath's relationship with her roommate, Reagan, is so much fun to read about, and the family storyline is really well-developed. And, for once, I absolutely loved the romance! I don't want to talk about this too much, since I really appreciated how you don't know who - if anyone - Cath will be involved with (even though I guess it doesn't matter, since everyone else has already read Fangirl). The story is the opposite of insta-love, it's ridiculously adorable, and I loved everything about it.

The only thing I'm not sure about is the fanfiction. In a way, I liked it - it's really well-done, and I liked getting a glimpse into that part of Cath's life. But it still felt kind of pointless - we only get to read fragments of both the real Simon Snow story and Cath's take on it, which means we never really get to understand the whole story. That's why I didn't really see the point in having them, even if I did enjoy seeing this spectrum of Rainbow Rowell's writing.

I really don't know how to explain my love for Fangirl. I connected with Cath on such a personal level, and I loved being there along with her during her first year of college. Fangirl is a new favorite of mine, and I can't wait to read more by Rainbow Rowell!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: May 8th 2012
Pages: 480
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Source: Bought
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Taylor's family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along fine. Then they get news that changes everything: Her father has pancreatic cancer, and it's stage four – meaning that there is basically nothing to be done. Her parents decide that the family will spend his last months together at their old summerhouse in the Pocono Mountains. Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven't actually gone anywhere. Her former summer best friend is suddenly around, as is her first boyfriend. . . and he's much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.
As the summer progresses, the Edwards become more of a family, and closer than they've ever been before. But all of them very aware that they're battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance – with family, with friends, and with love.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I loved Morgan Matson's debut, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, so I'd been waiting to read Second Chance Summer for a while now. And luckily, Morgan Matson's sophomore novel lived up to my expectations - Second Chance Summer is another great summer read that will tug at your heartstrings!

What I loved most about Second Chance Summer is the family storyline. I loved all of the characters, especially Taylor's siblings: Warren and Gelsey are both fully-developed and fun to read about, and I enjoyed seeing how their relationships developed over the course of the novel. And even if 'liked' is the wrong word to use here, I really appreciated the story of the approaching death of Taylor's father. I loved the moments she got to share with him, and I also really liked how we got to be there with Taylor and to see her dad's health deteriorate every day. Most grief-related books I've read start after someone has died, so I really liked actually getting to witness this process in Second Chance Summer.

I also loved reading about Taylor's friendship with Lucy. The subtle and reluctant way these two start to forgive each other brought a smile to my face. I especially liked their relationship in the first half of the novel, when they are reconciling and getting to know each other again; in the second half, sadly, their friendship is no longer the focus and Lucy's character loses some of her dynamics. 

This loss of focus on Taylor's friendship with Lucy is mainly because, in the second part of the novel, the romance takes center stage. And unfortunately, the romance is the only part of the novel I didn't enjoy as much as I had hoped. Honestly, Henry's character seemed kind of bland to me: we are told that he's a nice guy and that him and Taylor share some kind of special connection, but we are never shown this in a way that would make me really understand what makes the two of them click. I also found the drama in their relationship towards the end of the novel kind of unnecessary formularic.

Despite my issues with the romance, I really enjoyed Second Chance Summer. With beautiful writing and the perfect balance of lighthearted and emotional scenes, Second Chance Summer is a great summer read. I can't wait to read Morgan Matson's next book, Since You've Been Gone!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My New Treasures #30

My New Treasures is a semi-regular feature here at Paperback Treasures to showcase all the books I received over the previous week (or however long it's been since I've last done one of these). It was inspired by Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson *signed*
How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bookish Anticipation #35

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.

Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn
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Release date: June 24th 2014
Two years ago, fifteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor's fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else.
But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.
Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know this one simple truth: she’s not the crazy one and never has been.
He is.

Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
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Release date: June 17th 2014
Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.
As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?

Wicked Games by Sean Olin
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Release date: June 10th 2014
To all the locals in the small beach town of Dream Point, Carter and Lilah seem like the perfect It Couple-but their relationship is about to brutally unravel before everyone's eyes.
Carter has always been a good guy, and while Lilah has a troubled past, she's been a loyal girlfriend for the last four years. When smart, sexy Jules enters the picture at a senior-year bash, Carter succumbs to temptation. And when Lilah catches wind of his betrayal, she decides that Jules needs to pay.
By the end of the summer, the line between right and wrong will be blurred beyond recognition. Blood will be shed. Nothing in Dream Point will ever be the same.

Vivian Divine Is Dead by Lauren Sabel
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Release date: June 3rd 2014
When a death threat arrives with teen celebrity Vivian Divine's fan mail, Vivian has no choice but to go on the run to Mexico. She soon discovers, though, that her Oscar-nominated performance killing villains on-screen did nothing to prepare her for escaping a madman in real life. Some people say he's a hero, others tremble in his presence, but one thing is clear: he won't stop until Vivian is in his grasp. Why didn't she pay more attention during those judo lessons for her role in Zombie Killer?
Vivian finds an ally in the mysterious and charming Nick. He is everything Hollywood boys are not-genuine, kind, and determined to see Vivian for who she really is. But even he seems like he can't be trusted-what could he be hiding?
Beat up, hungry, and more confused than ever about who she's running from, Vivian is living in a real-life blockbuster horror flick. But there's no option to yell "cut" like there is on set....

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
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Release date: June 3rd 2014
Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party. When Healy High star quarterback, Brandon Fitzsimmons, dies in a car crash, it was because he was sexting with Alice. Ask anybody. Rumor has it Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the "slut stall" in the girls' bathroom: "Alice had sex in exchange for math test answers" and "Alice got an abortion last semester." After Brandon dies, the rumors start to spiral out of control. In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students tell all they "know" about Alice--and in doing so reveal their own secrets and motivations, painting a raw look at the realities of teen life. But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn
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Release date: May 13th 2014
Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long?
When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it.
Gemma's plan is working (she's finding it hard to resist Josh), but she's finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is?

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
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Release date: June 3rd 2014
Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.
When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
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Release date: May 15th 2014

 A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still.
A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.
Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

What releases are you looking forward to this Wednesday? 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release date: May 13th 2014
Pages: 240
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: NetGalley - I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
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A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This is a hard book to review, since its success depends so much on not knowing the secrets beforehand. I can't even really tell you what it's about; I think it's best to go into We Were Liars without knowing anything at all. The ending changes everything, so it's going to be hard to talk about without spoiling anything. But I'm going to keep it vague and try to explain what worked for me and what didn't anyways.

As is to be expected with a book like this, the suspense is what I liked best. Not understanding what was going on and trying to piece together what had happened captivated me throughout the novel. I was genuinely shocked at the end, so that's one way that the novel definitely succeeded.

I also really enjoyed E. Lockhart's writing. This is my first E. Lockhart book, but it definitely won't be my last - you can tell she has a distinct style and a keen eye for imagery that will resonate with readers. I can see how this style of writing might not work for every reader - it's rather choppy and sparse - but I thought it worked really well with Cady's voice.

What I didn't love, though, were the characters, because all of them seemed underdeveloped to me. It's partly because this book is so short, but I just wanted more. The whole family dynamic isn't elaborated on enough for me to fully invest in the development of their relationships: each family's story is mentioned a couple of times, but only in passing, so I never got a full grasp of the situation. I was especially disappointed by the Liars' characters - as the bond that ties this whole story together, I expected more from their relationship. We never really get to know them, or understand why they're so close, asides from the outside circumstances that have brought them together. To me, the ending would only make sense with a very strong bond and complex relationship between these four Liars, and since their relationship is underdeveloped, the whole story kind of fell flat for me.

The main problem, for me, is how much this book relies on shock value. Yes, I was shocked by the ending, but I still didn't love it. Again, this might be because of the short length - I wanted more of a development after the big revelation. I wanted to know what it all meant, how the revelation would affect Cady and the rest of the family later on. But instead of elaborating on that at all, the book just ends once we find out what happened.

I didn't love this book as much as I'd hoped, because of the underdeveloped characters and the lack of a story after the big revelation. But I still encourage you to give this book a try - I did love the suspense and the writing, and it's definitely a unique story. I have E. Lockhart's earlier release, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, on my TBR, so I'm going to see if that one is a better fit for me.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: Canary by Rachele Alpine

Title: Canary
Author: Rachele Alpine
Publisher: Medallion Press
Release date: August 1st 2013
Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: Bought
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Kate Franklin’s life changes for the better when her dad lands a job at Beacon Prep, an elite private school with one of the best basketball teams in the state. She begins to date a player on the team and quickly gets caught up in a world of idolatry and entitlement, learning that there are perks to being an athlete.
But those perks also come with a price. Another player takes his power too far and Kate is assaulted at a party. Although she knows she should speak out, her dad’s vehemently against it and so, like a canary sent into a mine to test toxicity levels and protect miners, Kate alone breathes the poisonous secrets to protect her dad and the team. The world that Kate was once welcomed into is now her worst enemy, and she must decide whether to stay silent or expose the corruption, destroying her father’s career and bringing down a town’s heroes.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Even though I hadn't heard all that much about this book, I was really excited to read Canary. Issues of like sexual assault and consent are really important to me, so I really appreciate when YA books talk about these topics. I was disappointed to see, though, that these issues aren't the focus of the story for the main part of the novel, and I didn't enjoy the other storylines as much. That's why Canary turned out to be only an okay read for me.

The pacing of Canary is really strange. The first part is on the slow side: we get to read about Kate's life at her new school in tons of detail. I kept waiting for the assault to take place, but it didn't happen until about 350 pages in. And since there are only about 50 pages left, the last part - the one that I was most interested in - is very underdeveloped. The themes that the description hints at, and Kate's decision with whether or not to go public about the assault, aren't explored enough. Everything is rushed, which made the ending seem too happy and unrealistic, since we don't get to witness the growth the characters undergo. I really wish the first part had been cut short, and Kate's struggle with the assault had been elaborated on more.

Instead of focusing on the assault mentioned in the description, the novel tells readers about Kate's new life and friends at the elite private school. That whole setup seemed stereotypical to me, and the plot is very predictable. None of Kate's classmates are fully developed characters, and I guess that their superficiality is sort of the point, but I still would have liked to see a more human side to Kate's friends Ali and Jenna and her boyfriend Jack. The only characters I really enjoyed reading about are Kate's brother Brett and his girlfriend Julia.

But even if I didn't enjoy the plot all that much, I did like Rachele Alpine's writing. When the story dragged, the writing is what made me keep reading. I especially liked Kate's blog posts, which are partly poetry and partly just random pieces of writing. That gave some variation to the writing, which I really liked.

Canary isn't a bad book: it's an interesting, if predictable, story of figuring out who your real friends are and where you belong. But it isn't what the description promises, since it doesn't really address the important issues of consent and sexual assault. That's why Canary was kind of a disappointment for me.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Review: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

Title: In Honor
Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: May 8th 2012
Pages: 235
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Source: Bought
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Honor receives her brother's last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn's celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her.
Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn's last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn's best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn't seen him in ages, thanks to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn. . . and ruggedly good looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn't. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn--but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

In my review of Jessi Kirby’s debut, Moonglass, I talked about how it seemed like she had written the book just for me, making everything exactly the way I like it. And she’s done it again with In Honor. In Honor is perfect in every way, and I think I might have loved it even more than Moonglass.

Like in Moonglass, Jessi Kirby’s writing is what makes everything work. I don’t even know what it is about her style that I love so much, but it’s so, so good. Jessi Kirby’s writing is vivid and beautiful, and I felt like I was there alongside Honor and Rusty the entire time. She really has a knack for balancing dark topics with some lighter moments: even though I felt Honor’s grief throughout the story, it was mainly a happy one, and I laughed more than I cried while reading. Any book that can make me laugh as well as cry, though, is a good one. (Even if I would have preferred not to have done either, since I read this on a plane and earned some stares when I was alternately laughing and crying.)

Books with road trips get an automatic bonus point from me, especially when they’re well-done, like in In Honor. Honor’s physical journey works perfectly with her emotional or spiritual one, and I loved reading about all the unusual things she got to do along the way. Road trip books like this one make me wish I wasn’t too boring to go on a trip like that.

I loved the romance in In Honor, and I loved it even more for not taking center stage. Both Honor and Rusty are characters I loved individually, so I really appreciated how the novel focuses on how they both heal, and help each other heal, instead of putting their individual growth second to their relationship. I always enjoy understated, bittersweet romances like this one, much more than melodramatic, unrealistic ones.

With vivid and evocative writing, dynamic characters you can’t help but love, and a story that I know will stay with me for a while, In Honor was everything I’d hoped it would be. Jessi Kirby is quickly turning into a new favorite author of mine, and I can’t wait to read her newest release, Golden!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Title: Requiem
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publihser: HarperCollins Children's Books
Release date: March 5th 2013
Pages: 391
Genre: Young Adult dystopian
Source: Bought
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They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past. But we are still here. And there are more of us every day.
Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.
After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.
Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings. Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it. But we have chosen a different road. And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose. We are even free to choose the wrong thing.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Delirium is one of my favorite dystopian series, so of course I was both excited and scared to see how it would end. And like many other readers, I was satisfied with the novel as a whole, but really disappointed by the ending.

The pacing is fast like in Pandemonium, keeping me riveted throughout the novel. I really liked seeing what life is like for Lena in the Wilds, and the hardships of the life she has chosen are even more obvious in this book than in Pandemonium. I enjoyed the plot, but I wasn't always satisfied with Lena's character: I think Requiem undid some of the character growth Lena had experienced in Pandemonium, and she frustrated me especially in regards to the romance.

Even more so than Lena's, I loved Hana's chapters. It was fascinating to see what life is like on the other side, seeing Hana struggle with combing her own identity with what the cure has turned her into. Even though her life is filled with a lot less danger and violence than Lena's, of course, it still has plenty of drama and threats. I really enjoyed seeing how this dystopian world works through Hana's eyes, and I like how it shifted the focus towards Hana's and Lena's friendship, or what it has turned into.

One thing I didn't love is the love triangle. I thought Lauren Oliver might escape the stereotypical love triangle with her superb writing and character development, but that wasn't really the case. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm just going to say I found the romance predictable and underwhelming.

And of course, the ending. The ending is what brought down the rating to three stars, really. I know a lot of people are disappointed by the open-ness of the ending and by how you don't know what happens to any of the characters. To me, that part wasn't even so bad: I don't usually mind open endings where you are left to decide what you think will happen to the characters. What frustrated me is that we don't get to see anything about the effect of the fighting and the revolution: we don't find out it anything changes, or if the revolution in Portland has any effect on the rest of the country. That made all of the fighting and all of the violence seem really meaningless, since we don't get to know enough about the greater cause.

Even if I'm disappointed by the outcome of Requiem, I'm still a huge fan of the Delirium trilogy. With an intriguing premise and beautiful writing, Delirium is one of my favorite series, even if I would have liked to see further development of the story towards the end.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

My New Treasures #29

My New Treasures is a semi-regular feature here at Paperback Treasures to showcase all the books I received over the previous week (or however long it's been since I've last done one of these). It was inspired by Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews.


Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
Bleed Like Me by Christa Desir

What books did you get this week?

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Review: Boys Like You by Juliana Stone

Title: Boys Like You
Author: Juliana Stone
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: May 1st 2014
Pages: 288
Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance
Source: NetGalley - I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
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For Monroe Blackwell, one small mistake has torn her family apart –leaving her empty and broken. There’s a hole in her heart that nothing can fill. That no one can fill. And a summer in Louisiana with her Grandma isn’t going to change that…
Nathan Everets knows heartache first-hand when a car accident leaves his best friend in a coma. And it’s his fault. He should be the one lying in the hospital. The one who will never play guitar again. He doesn’t deserve forgiveness, and a court-appointed job at the Blackwell B&B isn’t going to change that…
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Boys Like You sounds right up my alley - I love romances about messed-up people! And I did really enjoy the novel. Predictably, I loved each character's individual story and getting to read about Monroe's and Nathan's difficult past. Just as predictably, though, I didn't love the romance as much as the individual stories; it just seemed to perfect and unrealistic to me.

Monroe is a character that I immediately liked. Her story is intriguing because you don't find out until about halfway through what her "mistake" is; yes, there's hints and you can sort of assume what happened, but you don't find out what really happened until the second half of the novel. I was kind of scared that not finding out until later would mean that her story wouldn't be fully developed, but that isn't the case at all: even when you don't know the details, Monroe's pain is palpable, and I really felt for her. And once we find out what happened to her family, her story is even better. I easily related to Monroe throughout the novel and really enjoyed her story.

Towards Nathan, though, I had ambiguous feelings. I really liked his story, too, and I felt for him in the context of what happened to his best friend. But there were other things that really upset me about him, like the way he treats his girlfriend Rachel and his sexist ways of thinking. For the most part, though, I was able to see past that and enjoy Nathan's storyline, too.

The romance started out okay, too. For once, the way that Monroe and Nathan meet and then slowly transition from animosity to romance feels realistic. The two of them have really good chemistry while they're getting to know each other, and they're fun to read about. Once they get together, though, they started moving waaay too fast for me. I wouldn't call it insta-love because they don't like each other right away, but their feelings for each other do develop too fast for my liking. I understand that they've been through a lot and are bonding by helping each other, but I still thought it was melodramatic how much they come to depend on each other.

In that same way, the very happy ending bothered me. The story completely disregards the idea that, even though they're long-distance, things might not work out in the long-term. Another part of the ending (that I can't talk about without spoiling things) seemed unrealistic to me, too. I understand why the author decided to end the story in this way, but I'm just not a fan of unrealistically happy endings.

I did have some issues with this novel, particularly Nathan's character and the unrealistically happy ending. Still, though, I really enjoyed this book, especially Monroe's story. If you like darker stories and don't mind too-perfect-to-be-true romances, you should definitely give Boys Like You a try!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

New Releases April 2014

New releases:

The Summer I Wasn't Me by Jessica Verdi
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Release date: April 1st 2014
Lexi has a secret.
She never meant for her mom to find out. And now she’s afraid that what’s left of her family is going to fall apart for good.
Lexi knows she can fix everything. She can change. She can learn to like boys. New Horizons summer camp has promised to transform her life, and there’s nothing she wants more than to start over.
But sometimes love has its own path…

The Last Forever by Deb Caletti
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Release date: April 1st 2014
Endings and beginnings sit so close to each other that it’s sometimes impossible to tell which is which.
Nothing lasts forever, and no one gets that more than Tessa. After her mother died, it’s all she can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, her happiness from slipping away. And then there’s her dad. He’s stuck in his own daze, and it’s so hard to feel like a family when their house no longer seems like a home.
Her father’s solution? An impromptu road trip that lands them in a small coastal town at Tessa’s grandmother’s. Despite all the warmth and beauty there, Tessa can’t help but feel even more lost.
Enter Henry Lark. He understands the relationships that matter. And more importantly, he understands her. A secret stands between them, but Tessa’s willing to do anything to bring them together—because Henry may just be her one chance at forever. 

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.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
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Release date: April 1st 2014
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell
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Release date: April 1st 2014
Seventeen-year-old Cricket Montgomery was born with a silver spoon in her mouth (though Tiffany Platinum would have been preferred). So when her father rips her from her cashmere comfort zone and ships her off to work at a rural Michigan summer camp, she is less than thrilled. Adding to her horror is the arrival of two short buses and the realization that she will be a counselor to teens with special needs.
What puzzles Cricket more than just a world without Vuitton bags and four-star dining, is why these "strange-faced” kids are so happy, despite their obvious differences. But between being force fed a hearty dose of reality (by a very cute co-counselor) and organizing the end-of-summer talent show, Cricket might be able to survive this summer one wheelchair spoke at a time.

Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown
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Release date: April 1st 2014
Ashleigh's boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he'll forget about her while he's away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh's friends suggest she text him a picture of herself -- sans swimsuit -- to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits "send." 
But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone -- until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he's the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh's photo -- and didn't look.

Learning Not to Drown by Anna Shinoda
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Release date: April 1st 2014
There is a pecking order to every family. Seventeen-year old Clare is the overprotected baby; Peter is the typical, rebellious middle child; and Luke is the oldest, the can’t-do-wrong favorite. To their mother, they are a normal, happy family.
To Clare, they are a family on the verge of disaster. Clare: the ambitious striver; Peter: the angry ticking time bomb; and Luke: a drug-addicted convicted felon who has been in and out of jail for as long as Clare can remember—and who has always been bailed out by their parents.
Clare loves Luke, but life as his sister hasn’t been easy. And when he comes home (again), she wants to believe this time will be different (again). Yet when the truths behind his arrests begin to surface, everything Clare knows is shaken to its core. And then Luke is arrested. Again.
Except this time is different, because Clare’s mom does the unthinkable on Luke’s behalf, and Clare has to decide whether turning her back on family is a selfish act…or the only way to keep from drowning along with them.

This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready
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Release date: April 1st 2014
Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.
Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.
But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined...

Far from You by Tess Sharpe
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Release date: April 8th 2014
Sophie Winters nearly died. Twice.
The first time, she's fourteen, and escapes a near-fatal car accident with scars, a bum leg, and an addiction to Oxy that'll take years to kick.
The second time, she's seventeen, and it's no accident. Sophie and her best friend Mina are confronted by a masked man in the woods. Sophie survives, but Mina is not so lucky. When the cops deem Mina's murder a drug deal gone wrong, casting partial blame on Sophie, no one will believe the truth: Sophie has been clean for months, and it was Mina who led her into the woods that night for a meeting shrouded in mystery. 
After a forced stint in rehab, Sophie returns home to a chilly new reality. Mina's brother won't speak to her, her parents fear she'll relapse, old friends have become enemies, and Sophie has to learn how to live without her other half. To make matters worse, no one is looking in the right places and Sophie must search for Mina's murderer on her own. But with every step, Sophie comes closer to revealing all: about herself, about Mina and about the secret they shared. 

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.

Pointe by Brandy Colbert
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Release date: April 10th 2014
Theo is better now. She's eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor. Donovan isn't talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn't do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she's been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse. 

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.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
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Release date: April 15th 2014
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos
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Release date: April 15th 2014
Mark knows grief. Ever since the accident that killed his twin sister, Grace, the only time he feels at peace is when he visits the bridge on which she died. Comfort is fleeting, but it’s almost within reach when he’s standing on the wrong side of the suicide bars. Almost.
Grace’s best friend, Hanna, says she understands what he’s going through. But she doesn’t. She can’t. It’s not just the enormity of his loss. As her twin, Mark should have known Grace as well as he knows himself. Yet when he reads her journal, it’s as if he didn’t know her at all.
As a way to remember Grace, Hanna convinces Mark to complete Grace’s bucket list from her journal. Mark’s sadness, anger, and his growing feelings for Hannah threaten to overwhelm him. But Mark can’t back out. He made a promise to honor Grace—and it’s his one chance to set things right. 
Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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Release date: April 15th 2014
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.
Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.
But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
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Release date: April 22nd 2014
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik
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Release date: April 22nd 2014
Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook. Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life. All Anna wants is a chance to relive their last kiss again (and again and again). But Finn obviously hasn’t forgotten how she treated him, and he’s made it clear he has no interest in having anything to do with her. Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn’t care about Finn either, but even though they’ve both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he’s the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too.... 

Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley
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Release date: April 22nd 2014
All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on THAT blog.
Imogene's mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. Hundreds of thousands of perfect strangers knew when Imogene had her first period. Imogene's crush saw her "before and after" orthodontia photos. But Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her, in gruesome detail, against her will.
When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online...until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she's been waiting for to tell the truth about her life under the virtual microscope and to define herself for the first time.

Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
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Release date: April 29th 2014
Nothing ever happens in Little, CA. Which is just the way Carter Moon likes it. But when Hollywood arrives to film a movie starring former child star turned PR mess Adam Jakes, everything changes. Carter's town becomes a giant glittery set and, much to her annoyance, everyone is starry-eyed for Adam. Carter seems to be the only girl not falling all over herself to get a glimpse of him. Which apparently makes her perfect for the secret offer of a lifetime: playing the role of Adam's girlfriend while he's in town, to improve his public image, in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Her family really needs the money and so Carters agrees. But it turns out Adam isn't at all who she thought he was. As they grow closer, their relationship walks a blurry line between what's real and what's fake, and Carter must open her eyes to the scariest of unexplored worlds - her future. Can Carter figure out what she wants out of life AND get the guy? Or are there no Hollywood endings in real life?

Tease by Amanda Maciel
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Release date: April 29th 2014
Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault.
At least, that's what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma's shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who's ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media.
During the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her role in an undeniable tragedy. And she'll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

Exile by Kevin Emerson
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Release date: April 29th 2014
Catherine Summer Carlson knows how to manage bands like a professional—she’s a student at the PopArts Academy at Mount Hope High, where rock legends Allegiance to North got their start. Summer knows that falling for the lead singer of her latest band is the least professional thing a manager can do. But Caleb Daniels isn’t an ordinary band boy—he’s a hot, dreamy, sweet-singing, exiled-from-his-old-band, possibly-with-a-deep-dark-side band boy. And he can do that thing. That thing when someone sings a song and it inhabits you, possesses you, and moves you like a marionette to its will.Summer also finds herself at the center of a mystery she never saw coming. When Caleb reveals a secret about his long-lost father, one band’s past becomes another’s present, and Summer finds it harder and harder to be both band manager and girlfriend. She knows what the well-mannered Catherine side of her would do, but she also knows what her heart is telling her. Maybe it’s time to accept who she really is, even if it means becoming an exile herself. . . . 

New in paperback:

All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry
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Release date: April 1st 2014
Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
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Release date: April 1st 2014
The story of a girl figuring out the truths and illusions of life and love, both in the nostalgic past and in the very real now. Laugh-out-loud humor combines with a hint of romance in this delightful contemporary novel.
The cure for a broken heart? Go vintage and live like it’s 1962!
Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, isn’t just cheating on her. He’s cheating with an online girlfriend. So Mallory decides to swear off boys and modern technology. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory decides to “go vintage” and return to a simpler time. She sets out to complete grandma’s list: run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous.
The list proves to be trickier than it looks. Obviously finding a steady is out . . . no matter how intriguing she finds Oliver (er, Jeremy's cousin). But with the help of her sister, Mallory will finish the list and find peace. Somehow.

Burning Blue by Paul Griffin
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Release date: April 3rd 2014
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.

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
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Release date: April 8th 2014
A broken-down camper at the Obed Scenic and Wild River National Park - dubbed the Hundred Acre Wood - is the only home fifteen-year-old Carey has ever known.
Sure, coping with a bipolar mother on meth is no picnic, but beneath the sun-dazzled canopies of Hickory and Walnut, Carey's violin transports her from their bare-bones existence in the same way her little sister, Jenessa, finds comfort in her stash of second-hand Pooh books.

Life is dependable that way, until Mama goes into town for supplies and vanishes off the face of Tennessee, sending social services in her wake with a one-way ticket back to their father - a stranger in an even stranger world. 

Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy
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Release date: April 8th 2014
What would you do for love? Nikki helps her boyfriend commit murder in this “dark, devastating, and realistic portrait of a girl in over her head” (Publishers Weekly).Nikki’s life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can’t imagine herself without him. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There’s nothing Nikki wouldn’t do for Dee. Absolutely nothing.
So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime – a crime that ends in murder – Nikki tells herself that it’s all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him.
But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about?
Nikki’s love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional…but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.

Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Release date: April 10th 2014
Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a tragic car accident—including her memory of the event. All she has left are the scars and a sneaking suspicion that the crash wasn’t an accident after all. When the police reopen the investigation, it quickly turns on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around their small town. As the threats begin and the survivor’s guilt sets in, Allie’s memories collide with a dark secret about Trip she’s kept for too long. Caught somewhere between her past and her future, Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free?

White Lines by Jennifer Banash
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Release date: April 10th 2014
Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream—she has her own apartment on New York’s Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when her real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream. The sounds of the city grate against Cat’s nerves, she shrinks away from human touch, and can barely think the words “I love you” even when she feels them. Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father who’s found happiness in another woman, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But then someone comes along who makes her want to stop escaping her life and actually live it, only she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control. Both poignant and raw, White Lines is a gripping tale and the reader won’t want to look away. 

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
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Release date: April 22nd 2014
On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished. A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon. Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese's fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
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Release date: April 22nd 2014

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.
Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…
September Girls by Bennett Madison
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Release date: April 22nd 2014

In September Girls, Sam is spending the summer in a beach town filled with beautiful blond girls who all seem inexplicably attracted to him. But that's not the only reason why he thinks the Girls are strange. They only wear flats because heels make their feet bleed. They never go swimming in the water. And they all want something from him. Sam finds himself in an unexpected summer romance when he falls for one of the Girls, DeeDee. But as they get closer, she pulls away without explanation. Sam knows that if he is going to win her back, he'll have to learn the Girls' secret.

What April releases are you most excited for?
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