Archive for the ‘Young Adult (YA)’ Category

Apr

10

2014

Bookanistas Review: BRAZEN by Katherine Longshore

Filed under: Book Reviews, Bookanistas, Check-it-out, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

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Katherine Longshore keeps getting better and better. In my opinion, BRAZEN (The Royal Circle, Book 3) is her best book yet!

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Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?

Kimberly’s Review of BRAZEN:

I’ve never been one to lean in the direction of historical fiction until I started reading Katherine Longshore’s books and BRAZEN is my favorite to date. Her writing just keeps getting better and better. It’s so rare to find a book that is historically educational while also as tantalizing and swoon worthy as a very popular romance. An amazing read.

Mary Howard and Henry FitzRoy are chess pieces in the very real and dangerous games being played in King Henry VIII’s court. But love has a power all it’s own and Longshore gives us front row seats to the danger and intrigue. You do not want to miss your chance to be a part of this. Read BRAZEN–better yet–read GILT, TARNISH and then BRAZEN asap!

 

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You can pre-order BRAZEN by Katherine Longshore here…

*Amazon

*Barnes & Noble

*IndieBound

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Having spent time as a freelance travel writer, travel agent, coffee shop barista, bookseller, ship’s steward, construction company contracts manager and Montessori preschool teacher, I have finally found my calling. I write historical fiction for young adults. I am represented by Catherine Drayton of InkWell Management.

You can find out more about Katherine Longshore and BRAZEN here…

 

*Website

*Twitter

*Facebook

*Goodreads

*YA Muses

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Want to know what other must-reads the Bookanistas have been consuming? You’re in for a treat…

Lenore Appelhans is nuts for NOGGIN by John Corey Whaley

Tracy Banghart swoons for STAR CURSED by Jessica Spotswood

Rebecca Behrens raves about PUSH GIRL by Bookanista Jessica Love

Christine Fonseca is riveted by SEKRET by Lindsay Smith

Jessica Love sings the praises of OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord

Katy Upperman is crazy for THE SYMPTOMS OF MY INSANITY by Mindy Raf

 

If you could read a historical fiction about any time period in history, what time frame would you like to see between the pages of a good book? I want to hear more about the Berlin Wall and what that felt like for families separated and trying to get home to each other. Okay historical fiction writers–get on that for me.

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Apr

3

2014

Win One of SIX Signed Copies of TOUCHING THE SURFACE for Your Favorite Library!!!!

Filed under: Check-it-out, Community, Touching the Surface, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

It’s been a long time since I’ve run a contest for signed copies of TOUCHING THE SURFACE.

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Last weekend one of my dear friends and a fabulous children’s librarian, Cathy Nuding, volunteered her time to come speak to my local SCBWI Shop Talk. It was two hours of amazing. I’d like to recognize Cathy’s awesomeness and help out even more hard working librarians. I’ll be giving Cathy another signed copy of TTS for her library (along with some other goodies) but I’ll also be giving away SIX more signed copies. You don’t have to be a librarian to enter. Just tell me about the library you believe should have a copy of TOUCHING THE SURFACE. If Rafflecopter pulls your name–I’ll send a signed copy right to their front door.

 “Soulful and inventive. A thoroughly original vision for what happens next.” –Daisy Whitney, author of The Mockingbirds

“This gorgeous, lyrical read will sweep you away.” –Jessica Verday, bestselling author of The Hollow trilogy

“Sabatini creates an exquisitely tangible alternate reality, ordering the cosmos with impressive authorial derring-do, crafting answers to ontological questions with grace, disarming simplicity, and nary a trace of dogma. All while believable teens–teen souls, that is–tangle with affection, selfishness, and doubt. Thought-provoking and romantic, Touching the Surface takes risks with narrative and form, and succeeds on multiple levels.” –RBW (Chronogram)

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Mar

27

2014

Bookanistas Review: LADY THIEF by A. C. Gaughen

Filed under: Book Reviews, Bookanistas, Check-it-out, Reading, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

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 Squee!!!!! It’s SCARLET #2 aka LADY THIEF by A. C. Gaughen. I’ve been waiting forever to sneak back into Scarlet’s world and hang out with my boyfriend Robin. <3

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Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.

Kimberly’s Review of LADY THIEF:

Dear A. C. Gaughen,

The sheer awesomeness of this book is driving me crazy. Scarlet is a serious badass, but sweeter than ever at the exact same time. How did you manage to pull that off? And that thing you did with Gisbourne–too many feels for a character I dislike as much as him. He’s such the perfect creeper. And about my favorite band of merry men. I still love them all *crushing hard* but how could you??? It was amazing it was awful. It was shocking–yes that’s what it was–it was shocking!!!! So this leaves me with one BIG question–WHEN DO I GET TO READ SCARLET #3??????

Love,
Me

 

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You can order LADY THIEF by A. C. Gaughen here…

*Amazon

*Barnes & Noble

*IndieBound

 

 

 

 

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ok, no, AC does not stand for ACCUWEATHER.  but last time i tried googling myself, the first thing that comes up when i type “ac” is “accuweather.”  go figure. 

i’ve been madly in love with writing since I was in kindergarten.  not kidding–some of my earliest memories revolve around books and writing, like reading in front of the class, reading with my mother, and writing a story in first grade that was so funny (it dealt with a gorilla finding someone naked in the shower, and was, sadly, the culmination of my humor writing skills) it got me kicked out of class.  which was also the first and last time for that.

no that’s a lie. in third grade i got detention for ripping bark off a tree.

i know, i’m a rebel.

from there, it was a long road.  i wrote all through middle school and starting submitting novels (I hope I still have those very kind, gentle rejection letters somewhere) when I was thirteen.  ACK you have no idea how bad those novels looked.  All through high school I was writing in a notebook instead of taking class notes (explaining the less than perfect GPA).  It was always novels for me–the first time I seriously wrote short stories was at the end of my college career, to get into my graduate program, and it felt awkward and weird.

but i got in to grad school, wrote like a fiend, and when i graduated i spent three miserable years as a freelance writer while working on several different novels.  I wrote them, prepped them, submitted them, and kept on working, because as far as I can tell, the actual writing is the only thing that i can control, and it’s the part that really makes me happy. oh, and i have two dogs.  because every writer should have dogs. 

 

 

You can find out more about A. C. Gaughen and LADY THIEF here…

*Website

*Blog

*Tumblr

*Twitter

*Facebook

*Goodreads

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Want to know what other badass books the Bookanistas are reading? Here’s a list…

Jessica Love is captivated by LIV, FOREVER by Amy Talkington

Katy Upperman praises PANIC by Lauren Oliver

Christine Fonseca applauds DANGEROUS by Shannon Hale

Lenore Appelhans is riveted by THE GLASS CASKET by McCormick Templeman

 

 

Scarlet is a wiz at getting in and out of tight places undetected. If you could be really good at one Navy Seal style skill (no super powers please) what would you choose? I think I’d have to go with absolutely NO fear of heights with some really good balance for extra measure. LOL!

 

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Mar

13

2014

Bookanistas Review: 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Reviews, Bookanistas, Check-it-out, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

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It’s time for some Bookanista thrills and chills and no one does it better than my fellow Apocalypsie Gretchen McNeil. She makes me crazy giving me characters I fall in love with and then putting those people I now care about in heart pounding situations. Meanie!

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Josie Byrne’s life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she’s betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can’t get worse.

Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.

Jo’s life is everything Josie wants: she’s popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they’re just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo.

Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo’s perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.

But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo’s boyfriend, he hates her. Jo’s mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.

By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

From master of suspense Gretchen McNeil comes a riveting and deliciously eerie story about the lives we wish we had – and how they just might kill you.

Kimberly’s Review of 3:59: 

This was my favorite Gretchen McNeil book to date!!! I’m more of a thriller reader than a horror aficionado and things like overlapping universes, doppelgängers and portals just make all my neurons fire. Add in intrigue, characters behaving unexpectedly and shadowy creatures and you’ve got an absolute page turner. And the ending???? I WANT MORE!!!!

You can find 3:59 here…

*Amazon

*Barnes & Noble

*IndieBound

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Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown. Her YA horror POSSESS about a teen exorcist debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Her follow up TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic TimesTop Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012″ by Romantic Times.  Gretchen’s 2013 release is 3:59, a sci-fi doppelganger horror about two girls who are the same girl in parallel dimensions who decide to switch places.

In 2014, Gretchen debuts her first series, Don’t Get Mad(pitched as “John Hughes with a body count”) about four very different girls who form a secret society where they get revenge on bullies and mean girls at their elite prep school.  The Don’t Get Mad series begins Fall 2014 with GET EVEN, followed by the sequel GET DIRTY in 2015, also with Balzer + Bray.  Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.

Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4′s Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. Gretchen blogs withThe Enchanted Inkpot and is a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels. She is repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

 

Want to find out what the rest of the rest of the Bookanistas have been reading? You don’t have to go far…

 

Jessica Love is out-of-this-world excited about ALIENATED by Melissa Landers

Tracey Neithercott is loving BETTER OFF FRIENDS by Elizabeth Eulberg

Katy Upperman is riveted by NIL by Lynne Matson

 

And of course I need to know. If you had the chance to visit a parallel universe, who would be the one person in your life (besides yourself) that you’d want to check out and see what they were like?

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Feb

13

2014

Bookanistas Review: PUSHED by Corrine Jackson

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Book Reviews, Bookanistas, Class of 2k12, Reading, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

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It’s time for another Bookanistas Review!!!! As you guys know, I’ve moved recently and all the moving related stuff has tried to cut into my reading time, but I am still listening to audio books in the car and while I’m unpacking and of course I’s still crawling into bed each night with my book light. I just finished PUSHED by my friend and fellow Class of 2k12/Apocalypsies author, Corrine Jackson. Just in time for her Valentines Blog Tour.

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She didn’t know how far she’d go—until she was pushed.

Remy O’Malley was just learning to harness her uncanny healing power when she discovered the other, darker half of her bloodline. Now she lives trapped between two worlds, uneasy among her fellow

Healers—and relentlessly hunted by the Protectors.

Forced to conceal her dual identity, and the presence of her Protector boyfriend Asher Blackwell, Remy encounters a shadow community of Healers who will put her loyalties to the test.

Pushed to the limit, with the lives of those she loves most on the line, Remy must decide whether to choose sides in a centuries-old war—or make the ultimate sacrifice and go to a place from which she may never return…

This is Book Two in the Sense Thieves trilogy.

Publisher: Kensington/KTeen

ISBN-10: 0758273347

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PUSHED EXCERPT

Gabe Blackwell never saw me coming.

In the tick of a hummingbird’s wings, I had launched myself at his back, taking him down in a tangle of arms and legs. Our bodies hit the blue mat in the middle of the Blackwells’ gym with a thud that shivered from my teeth to my backbone.

Gabe’s breath hissed out when Asher, leaning against a rack of weights, laughed at his older brother’s defeat at the hands of a gangly girl half his size. I took advantage of Gabe’s distraction to wrap an arm around his neck, putting the whole of my weight into pinning him. My height rivaled his, with me close to six feet and him just over, but he had a good sixty pounds of muscle on me. Unwilling to loosen my hold for even a second, I considered biting him in retribution for the thousand times he’d insulted me. And then I wondered if I might have given away my abnormal speed. I really hoped not.

“What is it you’re always yelling at me?” I pretended to think about it, enjoying my little victory over my boyfriend’s brother. With his sculpted features, Gabe never lacked for company, and he never let anyone forget it. I savored any opportunity I had to take his ego down a notch. “Oh right. I remember now. Never turn your back on the enemy, Protector.”

Gabe cursed and cut my amusement short when his muscles tightened and gathered under me. He might look twenty to my eighteen, but Gabe had lived more than a century, and his experience with our powers surpassed mine. Too late, I tried to strengthen my grip. The thought had scarcely occurred to me when I found my face planted in the mat with his knee bending my spine like a bow.

“I also told you to concentrate instead of getting cocky.” The cheer in Gabe’s proper British voice grated on my nerves. “Now, be a good little mortal, and say it.”

His humiliating version of saying “uncle,” he meant. Ten minutes ago I’d bet him that I could take him down in a fair fight, and he’d agreed with terms of his own if I lost.

“Come on, Healer. Say it. Tell me I’m the greatest Protector who ever lived.”

His knee pressed harder, as he settled in with more of his weight. Grunting, I tested my range of motion and felt an electric storm of agony gathering inside my body. Powerful energy, but not enough to turn the tables. Almost there, you smug jackass.

“All right.” Defeat colored my tone, and my body went limp. “You win. I’ll say it.”

I could picture the smirk on his carved, handsome face, and I used the anger to steel myself against the coming pain. In an explosion of movement, my body jerked backward, forcing his knee to dig in that little bit more I needed. A disk popped in my spine and slid sideways. The tempest exploded out of me, firing my pain into Gabe. Another pop and he collapsed with a thump next to me, his back now screwed up, too. Poetic justice. In the quiet that followed, I pressed my cheek into the cushioned mat and studied my nemesis, curled up in the fetal position next to me.

My voice came out weaker than I intended when I declared, “I am the greatest Protector who ever lived.”

 

Buy the Book:

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Add to Your Shelf: Goodreads

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Kimberly’s Review of PUSHED:

I don’t say this very often, but this is one of those occasions where I liked the second book in the series even more than the first. (And I really enjoyed TOUCHED) Jackson has gone out of her way not to rush the development of the characters and the storyline as she dolled out the first two books in the Sense Thieves trilogy, but she also hasn’t wasted my time or dangled me over any unnecessary cliffs to wait for the next installment. You get both satisfaction and anticipation.

By the end of TOUCHED, I’d become attached to not only Remy and Asher, but also to her family. Reading PUSHED, I was very happy to see Jackson hadn’t sacrificed all the things I love about her new family just to create drama. By adding a new twist, there was lots of brand new action and nail-biting involved and it was interesting and fresh–nicely weaving in the world building for healers and protectors.

Remy continues to be a well created mix of confidence and insecurity. She’s not too strong and not too weak–a really great balance in my opinion. She’s refreshingly honest for a heroine and that comes across the clearest in her devotion to her boyfriend Asher. They are a great couple.

BUT…it’s time to get to the part I LOVED about PUSHED…Gabe. I ended TOUCHED with negative/ambivalent feelings about Asher’s older brother, Gabe, but I LOVED him in this story. I want more Gabe and I want it now. I also want to write more and more sentences about him, but if I do I will spoil all your reading fun and I’m determined not to do that. So…*zips lips*

 

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Young adult author Corrine Jackson lives in San Francisco and has over ten years experience in marketing. She has bachelor and master degrees in English, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. Her novels include If I Lie (Simon Pulse) and the Sense Thieves trilogy (KTeen), comprised of Touched,Pushed, and Ignited (5/27/14). Visit her at CorrineJackson.com or on Twitter at @Cory_Jackson.

Want to win 20 signed copies of PUSHED or 2 signed copies of IGNITED? Enter to win at this Rafflecopter giveaway…

 

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Want to know what the rest of the Bookanistas have been reading? Check this out…

 

 

 

I hope I’ve pushed you into reading PUSHED! *grin* As you might have guessed from my review–I wouldn’t mind having Gabe as my Book Boy Valentine this year. Who would be your Book Boy/Girl Valentine?

 

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Jan

30

2014

Read a Sample of TOUCHING THE SURFACE on Wattpad

Filed under: Check-it-out, Reading, Writing, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Hey everyone–I’m on Wattpad! Or at least I’m working hard to figure it out and find my place there. If you’re anything like me, you’re saying watt what? So let me fill you in…

 

Great stories bring people together!

Wattpad is the world’s largest community for discovering and sharing stories. It’s a new form of entertainment connecting readers and writers through storytelling, and best of all, it’s entirely free. With thousands of new stories added every day, an incredibly active community of readers, and the ability to read on your computer, phone, or tablet, Wattpad is the only place that offers a truly social, and entirely mobile reading experience.

 

And you can check out TOUCHING THE SURFACE on Wattpad HERE

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Anybody else on Wattpad? Have any tips for me on how to navigate it better?

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Jan

7

2014

Goals: You Have to Talk Nicely to the Universe Before You Disturb It

Filed under: Community, Pondering, Publishing, Writing, Writing for Children, Young Adult (YA)

In typical fashion, the new year kicks off conversations about goals and fears–particularly the fear of not achieving said goals. I imagine this to be true for the majority of folks that breath, but I KNOW its a hot topic for writers. Writing and selling books is like asking people to expose their soft spots to the world and then letting everyone take pot shots at them. Sometimes you get high fives, but mostly you get snickers and frowns. Sometimes you get worse. Even when everything is handled professionally, being critiqued can cause a bucket load of insecurities to rise to the surface.

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In a recent conversation with some of my closest writing buds, I reminded everyone that we had to go into 2014 with the right attitude. Some people may think it’s hokey, but I believe there is a difference between saying…

a) I want an agent.

and

b) I will get an agent when my writing and my understanding of the publication process is good enough.

In one sentence, the universe hears you say want and you get WANT, which wasn’t really what you were after with that statement. In the other sentence the universe hears WILL and that is a whole different animal. You’ve planted a seed. Now you have to give it time to grow roots. I’m a big fan of deadlines, they motivate me to stop procrastinating and get things done, but I’ve learned to never attach deadlines to the aspects of my success I’m unable to control. There is a difference between saying…

a) I will sell a new book every year.

and

b) I will continue to sell books. I won’t stop writing and I won’t stop trying. Good books will sell, so I need to write good books.

One of those sentences is a lot more attainable than the other.

I also try to remember that the next new thing is always a freaking weird thing first. What the heck am I talking about? Hindsight is not so easy to spot the first time around. All the GREAT new books and authors–the break-out stars, whether they were overnight successes or years and years in the making–came from an uncomfortable uniqueness that most people anticipated would be a big pit of failure. The very same weird thing that makes writers impossible to see coming, is what also makes them visionary. Everyone is looking for the next NEW thing. New is the operative word.

There is a big difference between saying…

a) I’m going to be the next Laurie Halse Anderson

and

b) My name is Kimberly Sabatini and there is not another person out there that can write the books in my heart and my head. My goal is to have a long and successful career, like Laurie Halse Anderson, where I  write award winning books and where I’m an advocate and role model for teens, librarians, teachers and my fellow writers.  I want to WILL help Laurie disturb the universe. <3

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That’s MY story and I’m sticking to it. I know it works because it’s gotten me here so far. Take a moment and think about your goals for the future and if you haven’t already been doing it…

*phrase them in the positive.

*take off all the crazy deadlines that run the risk of making you think you’re a failure. If you have big plans–give them room to unfold.

*know  your role models and separate who they are from what the do.

*understand what it is that makes you freaking weird and then then ride that pony to the finish line. No one else has YOUR voice. Use it to disturb the universe.

You’ve got this!

 

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Jan

2

2014

Bookanistas Review–BREAKING GLASS by Lisa Amowitz

Filed under: Book Reviews, Bookanistas, Check-it-out, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

It’s a brand new year and I’ve got more great books that you might be missing. Time to kick of 2014 with something to keep your pulse racing.

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Here’s a little bit about BREAKING GLASS by Lisa Amowitz…

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BREAKING GLASS

by Lisa Amowitz

On the night seventeen-year-old Jeremy Glass winds up in the hospital with a broken leg and a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, his secret crush, Susannah, disappears.

When he begins receiving messages from her from beyond the grave, he’s not sure whether they’re real or if he’s losing his grip on reality. Clue by clue, he gets closer to unraveling the mystery, and soon realizes he must discover the truth or become the next victim himself.

Kimberly’s Review of BREAKING GLASS:

There is so much to love about this book!!!  It was a thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat from cover to cover. I was trying to guess plot right up until the end, but it was hard because there were tons of twists and turns to keep me on my toes. But even though there was lots of nail biting and adrenaline flowing through BREAKING GLASS, there was also a wonderful sense of balance because of the romance. Interesting relationships occurred in more than one thread of the story and while the “best” relationships were fabulous, some were dysfunctional, but in a great way. I also really enjoyed Jeremy Glass’ voice. I think Amowitz has a natural talent for writing teenage boy. There were multiple times through out the book where I muttered “stupid boy” under my breath, while acknowledging how spot-on my aggravation with Jeremy was. Additionally, I really loved the small town dynamics that were at play during the entire novel. While not every small town has all the politics, social hierarchy issues and corruption that Jeremy’s town does, I certainly could see more than a few truths about human nature breaking through.

And when you rush right out to pick up your copy of Amowitz’s debut novel, don’t forget to ogle and admire the fabulous cover for BREAKING GLASS, designed by the author herself. You can check out more of her fabulous design work HERE.

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The BREAKING GLASS Book Trailer

http://youtu.be/J6i6lOM48Kw

BREAKING GLASS is available here…

* Amazon

* Barnes & Noble

* IndieBound

Lisa Amowitz

Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot. She is a professor of Graphic Design at her beloved Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly seventeen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children. Lisa is represented by Shannon Hassan of Marsal-Lyon Literary Agency. shannon@marsallyonliteraryagency.com
You can find out more about Lisa Amowitz and BREAKING GLASS here…
*Blog
* Facebook
*Goodreads
*Google +
*Pinterest
*Twitter
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Looking for more Bookanistas reviews to kick off 2014? I’ve got them right here for you…

 

 

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Dec

19

2013

Bookanistas Review: SPLIT SECOND by Kasie West

Filed under: Book Reviews, Bookanistas, Wolf Pack, Wolfson Literary, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

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I LOVE it when I get the opportunity to write a FABULOUS Bookanistas review for a member of Michelle Wolfson’s Wolf Pack. I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it is to be one of Michelle’s pups. Not only are my pack sistahs sweet and fun people, but they are fabulous authors too. Ahwooooooooo…..

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SPLIT SECOND — February 11, 2014 

Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

PRE-ORDER Split Second here…

*Barnes & Noble

*Amazon

*Other online options

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Kimberly’s Review of SPLIT SECOND:

Kasie West did everything right! SPLIT SECOND is a fabulous and worthy follow-up to her first book. I really loved PIVOT POINT for it’s thoughtful and exciting creativity. I get really pumped about a well executed book with a great premise–especially if it has characters that really work. I love books that make me think long after I’ve closed the cover. Without a doubt, PIVOT POINT delivered everything I wanted in a debut novel, but not all second books know the secret to taking characters and plot to the next level.

Kasie West has it all figured out. SPLIT SECOND gave me all of the things I loved about PIVOT POINT, but didn’t rest on the familiar. She expanded the plot, extrapolated on earlier characters, brought in new ones and gave me Connor to swoon over. (In my humble opinion, that boy stole the show and I want more of him and Laila ASAP!) Additionally, I was also really impressed with the twists and turns involving Duke. I like my characters a little messy. And then West’s world building makes me want to crawl into her head to see what’s really going on in there. I love the way she thinks. I’m hoping that someone makes a TV series out of PIVOT POINT/SPLIT SECOND so I can see everything come to life on the screen.

While I hated flipping to the last page, at the end of SPLIT SECOND, West left me blissfully satisfied while still wanting more. *sigh* I can’t wait to read what she writes next. If you haven’t read PIVOT POINT, don’t waste a split second because SPLIT SECOND is almost here and it’s a must read!

You can find out more about Kasie West and SPLIT SECOND here…

*Kasie’s Blog

*Twitter

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I love to write–too much. It’s a sickness really. My debut novel, PIVOT POINT, is out now with HarperTeen. (And will be followed by its sequel, Split Second on February 11, 2014.)

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, my contemporary YA novel, was published July 2, 2013 (HarperTeen).
My agent is the talented, funny, and sometimes crazy, Michelle Wolfson.
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Nov

21

2013

Bookanistas Review: YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE by Jennifer Castle

Filed under: Book Reviews, Bookanistas, Check-it-out, Community, Reading, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

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Today’s Bookanistas Review comes to you with a side dish of local author love. Jennifer Castle lives pretty darn close to me, so we get lots of opportunities to hang out at author and writer events together. Yay me!!!! I love Jennifer and adore her books. Today I’m reviewing YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE.

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For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they’re real life.

The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There’d be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star.

Now sixteen, Justine doesn’t feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who hardly know one another. And Justine, who was so funny and edgy in the first two movies, feels like a disappointment.

But these teens have a bond that goes deeper than what’s on film. They’ve all shared the painful details of their lives with countless viewers. They all know how it feels to have fans as well as friends. So when this latest movie gives them the chance to reunite, Justine and her costars are going to take it. Because sometimes, the only way to see yourself is through someone else’s eyes.

Smart, fresh, and frequently funny, You Look Different in Real Life is a piercing novel about life in an age where the lines between what’s personal and what’s public aren’t always clear.

Kimberly’s Review of YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE:

I immediately developed a soft spot for Justine even though she’s a bit of a snarky character who has moments of being unlikable. I’m personally drawn to a character with that kind of dimension. Perhaps it’s because a flawed MC is comforting to me, I’m loaded with my own chips and cracks. Or maybe it’s the complexity of character that keeps me so interested. More likely a combination of both, which in my humble opinion is even better. Additionally, all of Castle’s supporting roles had range and depth of character that held my attention the whole way through.

But I have a favorite reason for loving this book. It made me think and rethink about reality television, particularly the role of media fame on children. In fact, I think I’m still digesting it, even though it’s been a few weeks since I turned the last page. What does it mean to grow up in the public eye of reality TV? This is a harder and harder question to answer as our media opportunities are casting an ever widening net.  Maybe watching Miley Cyrus, Brittany Spears, Amanda Bynes, and Lindsay Lohan, to name just a few, really illustrates why a book like this so important. It feels to me as if those young girls are the unreliable narrators in their own life story. We only see parts of their story and some of those pieces do not give us the complete picture we need. Castle’s book gives a deeper look into what can happened when a child’s life becomes too transparent.

YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE is a fabulous, richly-textured, thought provoking read that you shouldn’t miss.

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YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE is available for purchase here…

*Barnes & Noble

*Amazon

*IndieBound

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Jennifer Castle received her B.A. in Creative Writing at Brown University and worked as a celebrity publicist’s assistant, an advertising copywriter, and a struggling screenwriter (yes, that’s an actual job) before falling into a niche producing websites for kids and teens. Her first novel, THE BEGINNING OF AFTER, was a 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection as well as a Chicago Public Library “Best of the Best” book. Her most recent novel is YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE from HarperTeen–June 2013. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and daughters.

You can find out more about Jennifer Castle and her YA novels here…

*Jennifer’s Website

*Facebook

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Tumblr

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Any thoughts on reality TV’s effect on today’s children? I personally think we have yet to see the full ramifications for the actors or the audience. What do you think? What should be changed? What is a positive that is often over looked? Do parents have a greater responsibility in this process? Lots to talk about with this one.

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