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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hot Off the Presses: New YA Releasing September 2-8

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!
New September 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 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.

Yay -- fall book season is in full swing!!  Just take a look at all these...

Heir of Fire Trial by Fire Mary: The Summoning Starry Night
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas (Bloomsbury)
Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini (Feiwel and Friends)
Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan (Disney)
Starry Night by Isabel Gillies (FSG)

Words and Their Meanings Always a Catch Zac and Mia The Secret Sky
Words and Their Meanings by Kate Bassett (Flux)
Always a Catch by Peter Richmond (Philomel)
Zac and Mia by A. J. Betts (HMH)
The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi (Philomel)

Anatomy of a Misfit Feuds Hider, Seeker, Secret-Keeper Practice Makes Perfect
Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes (Harper)
Feuds by Avery Hastings (St. Martin's)
Hider, Seeker, Secret Keeper by Elizabeth Kiem (Soho)
Practice Makes Perfect (Varsity #3) by Melanie Spring (Poppy)

The Boy I Love Sealed With a Lie A New Darkness Don't Touch
The Boy I Love by Nina de Gramont (Atheneum)
Sealed With a Lie (Two Lies and a Spy #2) by Kat Carlton (Simon & Schuster)
A New Darkness by Joseph Delaney (Greenwillow)
Don't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson (Harper)

Girl Defective The Jewel 100 Sideways Miles All Those Broken Angels
Girl Defective by Simone Howell (Atheneum)
The Jewel by Amy Ewing (Harper)
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith (Simon & Schuster)
All Those Broken Angels by Peter Adam Solomon (Flux)

Destined for Doon Shattered Puppy Love
Destined for Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon (Blink)
Shattered by Mari Mancusi (Sourcebooks)
Puppy Love by A. Destiny and Catherine Hapka (Simon Pulse)

The Dolls The Lonely Winter People No One Needs to Know
The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan (Harper)
The Lonely by Ainslie Hogarth (Flux)
The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy (Entangled)
No One Needs to Know by Amanda Grace (Flux)
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Monday, September 1, 2014

September is for Sequels Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop on the September is for Sequels Giveaway Hop! 

This is at least my second year participating in this great hop.  I love the idea of a giveaway that focuses on sequels, since I think all of us intend to finish series, but get sidetracked.

My winner can choose one of these sequels:

Sisters Fate Sealed With a Lie Blood of My Blood

Sisters' Fate (Cahill Witch Chronicles #3) by Jessica Spotswood
Sealed With a Lie (Sealed With a Kiss #2) by Kat Carlton
Blood of My Blood (Jasper Dent #3) by Barry Lyga

I'm sorry, but this giveaway will be US only. If you live outside the US, you can always enter Hot Off The Presses. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Just Finished Reading .. Starry Night by Isabel Gillies

Starry Night
by Isabel Gillies
To be published on September 2, 2014
by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Source: e-ARC from the publisher for review

Synopsis: Sometimes one night can change everything. On this particular night, Wren and her three best friends are attending a black-tie party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of a major exhibit curated by her father. An enormous wind blasts through the city, making everyone feel that something unexpected and perhaps wonderful will happen. And for Wren, that something wonderful is Nolan. With his root-beer-brown Michelangelo eyes, Nolan changes the way Wren’s heart beats.

My take: This is going to be another "in defense of" review -- some points I'd like to make about a book that's received some pretty hard knocks on Goodreads. In this review, I'd like to look at some of the complaints and present a different take...

If you missed my In Defense Of review of Anatomy of a Misfit, you can read it here.

As with that review, I cut and pasted some Goodreads reviews of Starry Night and came up with this wordle:

Okay, so let's tackle some of these criticisms one by one:

Young characters:  Yes, the characters in this book are fifteen, and it is a truth universally acknowledged among YA readers  that 14 and 15 year-old protagonists can be problematic. Not because there's anything inherently wrong with being that age, but perhaps because there is something unnerving about watching 14 and 15 year olds do things that characters do in YA novels -- drinking, having sex, sneaking around behind their parents' backs, saving the world, discovering they have superpowers, and, of course, falling into undying and eternal love. Why are these things plausible when 16 or 17 year olds do them? I don't know. I did a post a while back that discussed "young" YA and while I think that this book does have a bit of a young voice (more on that below), some of the things that the characters in this book do are quite mature. Perhaps that dissonance is what has bothered some readers.

Writing: Wren's voice is definitely unique. She jumps around in time and goes off on tangents. She's an impulsive storyteller. She has some learning differences -- she's dyslexic and dysgraphic and also has ADHD. I admired the way this book tried to capture the mental processes of someone whose mind works a little differently. Yes, I can see that Wren's narrative could be all over the place at times, but I got used to it. Yes, Wren uses some unfortunate turns of phrase, like root beer brown Michelangelo eyes and Mozart of Mozarella.

Privilege: This book was pitched as a "New York book." This is a book about New Yorkers who get to attend black tie galas at the Met. At times, Wren and her friends feel like 15 going on 30. They go to an expensive, exclusive private school. Some of them are driven around the city in town cars. Wren borrows her mother's designer gown to go to a gala at the Metropolitan Museum. Writing about rich, privileged characters like this can be a minefield -- are you playing on readers' wish fulfillment fantasies, or showing them characters that don't seem very sympathetic or relatable?

Romance: It seems like some readers went into this expecting a fluffy romance. I'd read a 2009 adult book by Gillies,  It Happens Every Day, an autobiographical story of how Gillies' first husband suddenly dumped her to marry a colleague and how emotionally and financially devastated she was in the aftermath. So I guess I wasn't shocked that -- and this isn't a spoiler; it's revealed by Wren in chapter one -- the romantic aspect of this story involves some heartbreak. I liked that. The whole "I met you at fifteen and will love you forever" is a reality to some people, but not to most of us.

In sum, this book has some quirks. But maybe you're also willing to give it a chance. If so, let me know what you thought!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Extra! Extra! Where Did Summer Go?

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 or to Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. 


Thanks SO much to Scholastic and Random House for these first two :)

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Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson
For Real by Alison Cherry
Sealed With a Lie by Kat Carlton


On Monday, I reviewed Heir of Fire and explained why, though it's a super-amazing, incredibly well-written book, I feel like this series and I might need to part ways :(

On Thursday, I discussed Liar books -- their history in YA and why I think they've exploded over the past few years. And WHAT was with that PLL finale?!?!


An "in defense" review of Starry Night by Isabel Gillies

My kickoff to my super-mysterious red notebook for the #FallIntoBelzhar campaign...

My (sad) thoughts about potentially kickass YA girls who get sidetracked by pretty boys and pretty dresses...

What are you doing for the end of summer? (In the northern hemisphere at least...)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Freebie Friday: Liars!

Happy Friday!  

Yesterday I posted about Liar Books, so today I thought I'd have a liar themed Freebie Friday.

If winner is a US resident, she or he can choose one of the following ARCs. Click on the covers to find out more!

Big Little Lies We Were Liars

Signed ARC of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
ARC of We Were Liars by e. lockhart

If my winner lives outside the US, s/he will receive a paperback copy of We Were Liars.  (US residents can choose this option, but their book will come from the Book Depository.)

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Trending Thursday: Liars

Welcome to Trending Thursday, my sometimes-weekly post in which I pick a YA trend that we can discuss.  Today's topic is in honor of this week's Pretty Little Liars finale.

But first I will just take the briefest moment to say: what was that PLL cliffie? I'm not buying it!

Okay, back to LIARS. I have to believe that the current popularity of YA books about lies and liars is a direct result of the success of Alloy Entertainment's Pretty Little Liars, with books written by Sara Shepard and published starting in 2006, and an ABC Family show which premiered in June 2010.

In general, liar fiction can draw on the timeless trope of the Unreliable Narrator.  However, the PLL concept also has ties to the Group Tied Together by a Dark Secret trope, which may have entered the YA sphere with I Know What You Did Last Summer (the 1973 book was by Lois Duncan, and the movie adaptation released in 1996).  Pretty Little Liars (the show) also incorporates some other popular YA tropes: high school cliques, mean girls, not-quite-dead, teacher-student romancepolice are useless, and seriously-this-is-still-going on?

There have been plenty of recent YA books inspired by the sneaking and backstabbing of PLL. But let's take a look at some recent YA books that specifically reference liars:

Liar Lying Game Liar Soceity Two Lies and a Spy
Perfect Lies We Were Liars Liars Inc Trust Me, I'm Lying

Liar by Justine Larbalestier (2009)
The Lying Game by Sara Shepard (2010)
Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker (2011)
Two Lies and a Spy by Kat Carlton (2013)
Perfect Lies (Mind Games #2) by Kiersten White (2014)
We Were Liars by e. lockhart (2014)
Liars, Inc by Paula Stokes (2015)
Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer (2015)

What do you think of this liars trend? A fad, or just an iteration of a timeless trope? Do you like books about unreliable or amoral characters?

Tomorrow's Freebie Friday will be Liar Inspired -- be sure to stop by!
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