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Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving ARC Grab Bag!

Happy Friday and Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrated.

No, these ARCs are not Thanksgiving leftovers. If you follow me on Instagram (look for the icon in the top right of my blog) you can get a sneak peek of some of the ARCs that are up for grabs...

Due to shipping costs, this is US only, but if you live outside the US, you can enter Hot Off the Presses!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And stay tuned, because I have some great giveaways coming up next month: The Debut Author Giveaway Hop, the Best of 2014 Hop and a special giveaway of the third book in the Falling Kingdoms series!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hot Off the Presses: New YA Releasing Nov 25-Dec 1

Hot Off the Presses -- brand new YA releases!

Welcome to Hot Off the Presses!  

Tuesday is book release day, so every Tuesday I tell you about all the great new YA books you can buy in the week to come. If you're a reviewer, you can also link your blog or Goodreads reviews of any YA book publishing in the current month so we can all check them out!
Enter the November giveaway! This month's winner can pick any book up to $15 on either Amazon (for US winner) or The Book Depository (for international winner.) Enter by linking your November YA reviews or commenting on other people's linked reviews. 

Hot Off the Presses aims to include every traditionally published YA. Please let me know about books I might have missed! Some titles may have different release dates outside the US.

Another quiet week -- did I miss anything? -- but next week picks up a bit. Click on the covers to find out more...

Captive Misdirected When Kacey Left
Captive (Blackcoat Rebellion #2) by Aimee Carter (Harlequin)
Misdirected by Ali Berman (Triangle Square)
When Kacey Left by Dawn Green (Red Deer Pres)

On the Edge Anomaly Girl Online
On the Edge by Allison van Diepen (Harper)
Anomaly by Tonya Kuper (Entangled)
Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (Atria)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 24, 2014

Just Finished Reading ... Top Ten Clues You're Clueless

Top Ten Clues You're Clueless
by Liz Czukas
To be published by Harper Teen
on December 9, 2014

Source: eARC from the publisher

Synopsis from Goodreads: Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day
5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market
4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi
3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm
2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)
1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000
Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

My take: Since this book is about a girl who makes lists, I will make my Top Ten points about this book:

1)  I always like YA books in which the teen characters have real (non-exciting) jobs. I worked jobs like this in high school, and this story really brought me back to those times.

2) I liked that this book took place around the holidays, which is a weird time to work at a store. The endless loop of holiday music is enough to drive you insane, all the while you are supposed to act all merry and jolly.

3) I loved the lists. I make lots and lots of lists.

4) Yes, this did feel a bit like a PG-rated Breakfast Club, with the five kids locked in the breakroom toward the middle of the book, but at that point the book got a bit dialogue-heavy.

5) Not so much romance in this one. It started off seeming that there'd be romance, but not really.

6) Without the romance, I was hoping for a bit more of a mystery.

7) Without romance and mystery, it was more of a friendship book. A really-getting-to-know-people-you -were-kind-of-judgey-toward book. That took a while to kick in, but once it did, I liked that aspect.

8) I thought the fact that Chloe was a diabetic was interesting, and I wished her feelings about that had been incorporated more into the story rather it than seeming like a "ticking clock" for plot purposes.

9) To me, this book felt on the very young side of YA. It had a bit of a Disney Channel feel. Not that that's a bad thing, but just saying. It would be a great pick for tween readers.

10) All in all, a contemporary YA on the young side that emphasizes friendship over romance and mystery.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Extra! Extra! Death and Knitting

Extra! Extra!

Extra! Extra! is my weekend post featuring brand new additions to my TBR pile as well as a summary of what's new on the blog.

This weekend I'm linking to Stacking the Shelves @ Tynga's Reviews and/or to Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. 


You can enter Hot Off the Presses by linking reviews of November books or commenting on linked reviews.

I'll have great new giveaways coming up in December!


Huge thanks to Disney-Hyperion, Macmillan and Bloomsbury! xoxoxo!

Dead to Me Boys Don't Knit Start of Me and You

Dead to Me by Mary McCoy
Boys Don't Knit by T.S. Easton
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord


Goodreads wants me to know about this YA book. Have you heard of it? I will have to check it out!

What's new with you? Let me know in comments and leave me a link so I can visit you back.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Freebie Friday: Fall ARC Grab Bag 4

Happy Friday! 

One final giveaway is for the winner's choice of fall ARCs. There's a lot of ARCS left --  a romantic contemporary, a fantasy-ish thriller... All came out in October or November.

Due to shipping costs, this is US only, but if you live outside the US, you can enter Hot Off the Presses!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And stay tuned, because I have some great giveaways coming up: The Debut Author Giveaway Hop, the Best of 2014 Hop and a special giveaway of the third book in the Falling Kingdoms series!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WDYT Thursday: Are You a Peeker?

Welcome to What Do You Think Thursday, a periodic discussion post on my blog!

Last week we discussed happy endings. This week, I'm curious: if you need that happy ending, do you peek to make sure it's there?

Confession: I am a peeker, a spoiler-seeker, someone who thinks it's totally okay to look at the last page of the book before I actually get there.

This may be shocking to some of you. If you aren't shocked, you probably peek too. (I call it peeking because I do it fast. Just a tiny little peek...)

I've been thinking about my habit. I don't peek under every circumstance. Sometimes I do it if I'm not enjoying a book and want to see where it's going to end up. But most of the time,  I tend to peek when I am very, very invested in a particular outcome. If I'm happy with any outcome, I don't peek. For instance, when I was pregnant, I told the doctor I didn't want to know the baby's gender. I truly didn't care if I had a boy or a girl, so I was fine with not knowing. (My husband knows my curious, snoopy tendency and the fact that I didn't want to know this time drove him nearly insane. His rationale: it's a surprise whenever you find out.)

However, if I AM invested in an outcome, I peek. If I'm reading a book with a love triangle in which I detest one of the members, or if I sense something very bad coming and I need to know if I'm right,  I peek. I think that it helps me be more emotionally prepared for disappointment and/or sadness. And, hey, it's a surprise whenever you find out. Or so I hear...

I confess to taking a quick peek at the ending of these books:

Boundless by Cynthia Hand 
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

(I've peeked at waaaay more. Trying to remember. Will add to the list.)

Are you a peeker? A spoiler-seeker? Or are you someone who thinks I should:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just Finished Reading .... For Real by Alison Cherry

For Real
by Alison Cherry
To be published by Delacorte Press
on December 9, 2014

Source: e-ARC from Netgalley

Synopsis from Goodreads:  Shy, cautious Claire has always been in her confident older sister’s shadow. While Miranda’s life is jam-packed with exciting people and whirlwind adventures, Claire gets her thrills vicariously by watching people live large on reality television. When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just after her college graduation, it’s Claire who comes up with the perfect plan. They’ll outshine Miranda’s fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer by competing on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million bucks. Revenge + sisterly bonding = awesome.  But the show has a twist, and Claire is stunned to find herself in the middle of a reality-show romance that may be just for the cameras. This summer could end up being the highlight of her life . . . or an epic fail forever captured on film. In a world where drama is currency and manipulation is standard, how can you tell what’s for real? 
My take:  Sometimes you read exactly the right book at exactly the right time, and this was that book for me. I was grumpy and out-of-sorts, and this book put me in a much better state of mind.

I wasn't sure that would be the case. Because, even though I do watch reality TV -- including The Amazing Race, which some of this book is definitely modeled on -- I haven't found much success with YA books that take place on reality shows. A lot of books like that use the reality TV premise to create a lot of manufactured drama. Because reality TV = manufactured drama.

I loved that this book had a sense of humor about reality TV drama -- there are some hilarious made-up shows mentioned in the book -- then delved deeper. Both Miranda and her sister Claire have something to prove. Miranda's been dumped by her boyfriend, Claire has always been in her sister's shadow. (I also have a sister. And -- ahem -- she might say that I am the domineering one.) When the girls are accepted as a team on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million dollars, the fun begins....

I also loved that this book used the backdrop of reality TV to raise interesting questions about the nature of "reality" on TV ... and in life. Claire thinks she's an expert on the ins and outs of being the perfect contestant, but she finds that she has a lot to learn about herself, her sister, and her competitors.

I loved the ending. I'm willing to wager that not everyone will, but I thought it was quite perfect.  For me. This book was fun and funny, with enough just enough depth to satisfy me. If you're a fan of reality TV and/or sister stories, definitely give this a try.
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