Tuesday, June 30

Between Us And The Moon by Rebecca Maizel

Between Us And The Moon by Rebecca Maizel
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult

Summary: A luminous young adult novel that evokes Judy Blume’s Forever for a new generation.

Ever since Sarah was born, she’s lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. But this summer on Cape Cod, she’s determined to finally grow up. Then she meets gorgeous college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl who’s older than she is. A girl like Scarlett.

Before she knows what’s happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself.

Fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins are destined to fall for this story about how life and love are impossible to predict.

My Thoughts: Sarah has always been in her sisters Scarletts shadow. Everyone always seemed more interested in Scarlett. This summer, Sarah wants things to be different. The family goes to Cape Cod like most years and things are different in Sarah’s life. Her boyfriend from home has broken up with her, she wants to be more fashionable and she wants her world to be bigger than the telescope she’s used too.  She wants to step outside her comfort zone.

Sarah meets a boy named Andrew. Andrew is a few years older but she doesn’t tell him. She lies about her age. She starts to really like him and fall for him. Andrew feels the same way but at times Sarah feels a little guilty since she’s not being truthful to him.  Sarah spends the days with her family and focusing on her astronomy scholarship but most days she can’t stop thinking of Andrew so she runs off to see him.

I loved the setting and the astronomy bits. I loved hearing about the comets. I loved that Sarah was a science nerd.

I really liked Sarah as a person and I loved Andrew. At times, I felt like I was right there on the beach with Sarah and I wanted to be! I want nice weather! I want sand beneath my toes!

I really wanted to love this one! A sweet and romantic contemporary. But, I hated that Sarah lied to him about her age. This just turned me off quite a bit.  I still enjoyed the book enough to keep reading though.

Overall:  I liked it. Probably more of a 3.5 cupcake rating. I just think the age thing turned me off. Not really that they were a few years apart but that she didn’t TELL him. I hated knowing he had no clue. I did love the setting though.

Cover: Like it! Looks cute and romantic.  Love the water!

What I'd Give It:

Sunday, June 28

The Leveller by Julia Durango

The Leveller by Julia Durango
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 256

Summary: Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.

Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them.

But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?

Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they’ve encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?

Gamers and action fans of all types will dive straight into the MEEP, thanks to Julia Durango’s cinematic storytelling. A touch of romance adds some heart to Nixy’s vivid, multidimensional journey through Wyn’s tricked-out virtual city, and constant twists keep readers flying through to the breathtaking end.

My Thoughts:  I wasn’t sure what to think as I started The Leveller. I don’t play video games but my boyfriend likes them! So, I wasn’t sure just how much I was going to really enjoy this one. But I was pleasantly surprised because I did like it enough and found it interesting, but weird.

We are introduced to Nixy who goes into video games and grabs the person out of them. In this reality, people who are in video games basically give themselves up to them and go into kind of a sleep mode. Its hard to explain but the book does a great job explaining it, much better than I could do.

Nixy gets an offer to go in and grab a well known guy’s kid.  The catch, everyone think he is trying to kill himself and he’s been in the game way too long.  I liked seeing Nixy go in and what she had to face to even get to him. Worst fears, scary moments, it was full of surprises. And things aren’t what they seem to be once she gets inside. There is more to the story than what she knows.

I really liked getting to know the boy Nixy goes in after. His name is Wyn and he seemed really smart and sweet both. He had a great personality and he made me laugh and smile.

I liked the plot of this one even though it was a little bit odd. At first, I wasn’t so sure about this one but I did end up liking it. And Nixy was a great character!

Overall:  I hope you give this a chance even if you don’t think its your cup of tea. I liked the plot, and the characters. I’d say this is probably more of a 3.5 cupcake rating. It was odd but once you get past that its interesting and fun.

Cover:  Like it! Love the girls ponytail. I’d want to know what it is about!!!

What I'd Give It:

Thursday, June 25

Divided (Dualed #2) by Elsie Chapman

Divided (Dualed #2) by Elsie Chapman
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 320

Summary: The hunter becomes the hunted. . . .

West Grayer is done killing. She defeated her Alternate, a twin raised by another family, and proved she’s worthy of a future. She’s ready to move on with her life.

The Board has other plans. They want her to kill one last time, and offer her a deal worth killing for. But when West recognizes her target as a ghost from her past, she realizes she’s in over her head. The Board is lying, and West will have to uncover the truth of the past to secure her future.

How far will the Board go to keep their secrets safe? And how far will West go to save those she loves? With nonstop action and surprising twists, Elsie Chapman’s intoxicating sequel to Dualed reveals everything.

My Thoughts: I remember really liking Dualed so I was looking forward to reading the sequel Divided. And I liked it just as much.

We are back with West Grayer and her boyfriend Chord. They are more in love than ever and things have been going better for them. West is no longer a Striker and she teaches and hangs out with Chord most of the time. She does what she’s supposed to and lives her life. Until one day she’s contacted by the Government to do some dirty work for them. They want her to kill three teens to protect their kids. And in addition to this, West gets a good deal on her end. She gets a few things that are beyond priceless to her really.

I really liked this one, and I liked how when she goes after the teens things don’t go as planned. I also really liked the character of Auden. I found him to be funny and I really did like his personality.

I also liked the idea of the new weapon even though that is hecka scary! I would be scared of it for sure! I just love seeing West fight for what she wants and believes in even if things don’t always go as she hopes they will.

I don’t want to say much else but I flew through this one. Finished it in a day! It was a very fast read for me and I enjoyed it.

Overall: Is there going to be a third one or is this it? I really liked it and I think it concluded good enough. If there is another, I will read it! I really enjoyed it. Probably more of a 4.5 for me!

Cover: Like it.  It makes me want to pick it up!

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, June 23

Emmy And Oliver by Robin Benway

Emmy And Oliver by Robin Benway
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352   

Summary: Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.

My Thoughts:  Oh man, I really enjoy Benway’s books. I always jump right on them! They make me happy.

I enjoyed Emmy And Oliver from the first page.  I loved getting to know Emmy and how her mind worked. I also loved getting to know Oliver as a kid and as a teenager.

When Emmy and Oliver were young, Oliver was kidnapped. By his father. The cops have spent years looking for him with no luck.  One day, Oliver takes takes things in his own hands and ends up back with his mother and her new family.  WOW! What a plot! Oliver was such a nice guy even though he’s had a rough life or at least everyone thinks so. In reality, its all Oliver has ever known. He doesn’t hate his father. Its is father!

Emmy and Oliver get thrown back together as friends and I enjoyed it. I loved seeing them get to know one another again.

I also loved all their friends and their families. I loved seeing Oliver’s sisters and I really enjoyed their childhood friends. This was such a fun and cute read. It had deeper lessons too but I stayed up all night reading because I needed to know what was going to happen.  

Overall:  I really enjoyed this one! Highly recommend if you like contemps! Cute and entertaining!

Cover: Like it! I’d pick it up to see what its about! 

What I'd Give It:

Saturday, June 20

Joyride by Anna Banks

Joyride by Anna Banks

Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel And Friends
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 288

Summary:  A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh

My Thoughts: This was a very fast read for me and I liked it.  We are introduced to Carly who lives with older brother. Her mom and dad are in Mexico and the two siblings are saving up money to smuggle them over the border. Carly works and keeps to herself. Until one day when she gets thrown in Arden’s world.

I loved how this happened. I didn’t love the “exact” way but I liked how he was drawn to her like he never has been to anyone before. They start talking and Carly wants nothing to do with him but after what Arden saw in Carly he knows he has to be her friend.

I really liked this one. Some parts were sad and I wanted things to be different but I really enjoyed reading about Carly’s life. Her life wasn’t perfect but she truly did love her family and wanted to do the right thing. I also liked Arden. He wasn’t what everyone expected him to be. There was a lot more depth to him.

I loved Arden’s uncle. What a character! He made the book more delightful for me just by reading about him!

This was an enjoyable read!

Overall:  This was a real fast read and I blew my way right through it. It helped that I really liked the plot and the story line! From the title I thought maybe this was a road trip book but it wasn’t. I didn’t know what to expect when I started it, but I really liked this contemp of Anna Banks!

Cover:  Love it! Its sweet and cute!

What I’d Give It:

Monday, June 15

In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

Release Date: February 8, 2012
Publisher: Flux
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 228

Summary:  Carter didn't rape me. People at school think he did. Suddenly, new friends are rushing to my side, telling me that Carter hurt them, too. They say he's getting what he deserves.

Maybe I don't want to fix this.

Sam is in love with her best friend Nick, but she can't seem to tell him. So she decides to flirt with golden-boy Carter Wellesley, hoping Nick will see it and finally realize his true feelings for her.

On Monday, everyone at school is saying that Carter raped Sam. He didn't, but Sam can't find the words to tell the truth. Worst of all, she's afraid she'll lose Nick if he finds out what really happened.

As graduation approaches, Sam discovers that living the lie isn't as easy as her new friends make it sound--and telling the truth might be even worse.

My Thoughts:  I liked this one enough, I just didn’t love it like I thought I would. And, I guess its because I just hoped things would be perfect with her but books are never that way. I hoped she’d have someone there to support her even when things got tough.

We are introduced to Sam who is a smart nice girl. She’s in love with her best friend Nick and she hopes he’ll eventually realize his feelings for her too. But, then when it does start to happen, things suck for Sam. Because Sam was just at a party and everyone is saying a guy named Carter raped her. Carter was the town hero. Popular and all the girls wanted him. Of course, things got twisted around and out of hand.

I liked this one enough, I just never really felt drawn to it even though I did basically fly right through it. Only took me a few hours to read it on a sunny day outside. It was a very fast read for me! I never really liked Carter much at all. Even though he was supposed to be the golden boy he was kind of a jerk. And, Nick. I liked Nick but he bailed pretty fast when things changed with Sam.

Overall:  I don’t know. I liked this one but I never really got into it very well. Just didn’t feel that connection I like to get with books. I think some will really love this one but I like more happy contemps. This wasn’t a real light read in the subject matter!

Cover:  Like it! Its dark and haunting!

What I’d Give It:

Saturday, June 13

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368

Summary: New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

"Alarming and uplifting, a rare psychological thriller that has a kind heart at its center. Read it with all the lights on." -- E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars.

My Thoughts:  I adore Lauren Oliver! I always seem to find myself reading her books and enjoying them.

Vanishing Girls was a difficult read for me. I didn’t get immersed like I usually do. We are introduced to Dara and Nick. Sisters. They used to be close but now Nick finds herself drifting from Dara. Ever since the accident the two sisters just can’t connect to one another. And we also meet their friend Parker. I really liked Parker and the place Nick worked with him. It felt very laid back and enjoyable there.

I think I liked Nick more than Dara. But even she at times got annoying. I just didn’t connect very well with the girls or the plot. And, the plot confused me at times. I understand why now but it seemed like it jumped around too much for me to really keep track of what was going on. And it showed us some of Dara’s writings too and I just didn’t care about what she said. HAHA!

I finally figured out what was actually going on about ¾ of the way through and things came together. But by than I was almost done reading.

Overall:  I can see where some people will love this book and give it 5 stars. For me, I just had a hard time with it, BUT I still adore Oliver! I have enjoyed the rest of her books so far so hopefully this was just a miss with me and I’ll be right back to loving her next one. Maybe it was just my reading mood or I just have a hard time with mystery or books that deal with this subject.

I did finish it and I thought it was just okay.

Cover:  I do like the cover. Very neat and I’d definitely pick it up to see what it’s about.

What I’d Give It:

Thursday, June 11

The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

My Thoughts:  I just adore Rachel Vincent! I always jump at reading her books. I’ve liked her young adult and adult novels both. Her worlds are just so amazing!

We are introduced to Nina who is just a girl. She goes to school, has a sister named Mellie, and has a mother. She isn’t very close to her mother since her mother has been in a downward spiral and sleeps a lot.  The girls barely make ends meat and sometimes Nina has to steal and do things she’s not proud of just to get a can of soup.

Nina has a plan. She’s going to join the church and go from there. But when Mellie changes that plan, Nina gets thrust into a war she didn’t even know really existed.  I don’t want to say much about the plot because it’s so interesting and confusing at the same time. I did like it though. It spiced things up.

Nina also meets a boy named Finn. That was one weird situation. I thought it was interesting but it was crazy! Took a while to get used too. I really liked Finn from the minute I met him. He was so fun loving and just cute! I also loved all the other side characters as well. I was happy to get to know them and learn about their stories.  Violence does happen in this one and it’s not all rainbows. I almost cried a few times.

I was so sucked into this story. It had amazing characters and a great plot.

I can’t wait to read more about Finn and Nina!

Overall:  I really loved this one! Read it quickly in just a few days. When I wasn't reading, I wanted to read. Thats how good it was.

Cover:  Like it! Like the colors and the butterfly!

What I’d Give It:

Tuesday, June 9

Even When You Lie To Me by Jessica Alcott

Even When You Lie To Me by Jessica Alcott
Release Date:  June 9, 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages:  352

Summary:  Fans of John Green's Looking for Alaska as well as Lauren Oliver and Sarah Dessen will embrace this provocative debut novel, an exploration of taboo love set against the backdrop of a suburban high school.

Charlie, a senior, isn't looking forward to her last year of high school. Another year of living in the shadow of her best friend, Lila. Another year of hiding behind the covers of her favorite novels. Another year of navigating her tense relationship with her perfectionist mom.

But everything changes when she meets her new English teacher. Mr. Drummond is smart. Irreverent. Funny. Hot. Everyone loves him. And Charlie thinks he's the only one who gets her.

She also thinks she might not be the only one with a crush.

In this stunning debut, Jessica Alcott explores relationships-and their boundaries-in a way that is both searingly honest and sympathetic.

My Thoughts: I was extremely looking forward to this one! I thought it sounded really good and interesting. I know we’re not supposed to want these plots but we always need to know what happens to the people in them.

We are introduced to Charlie who is a teenager. She goes to school, lives with her parents and joins the newspaper. She isn’t a very athletic or social person. She has her best friend and a small group of people she does things with.  And, she’s mostly ok with that.

A new teacher starts at the school and he’s a big flirt. Or at least it seems like it. He encourages the students and I could see the chemistry between him and Charlie. I don’t know exactly how old he was, but he seemed really young.

I knew I shouldn't like Mr. Drummond but I did.  There was something comforting and cute about him. And that's probably why all the girls liked him.

I don’t know. I really wanted to love this one but I didn’t really love it. I liked it enough to read it, and finish it. But I felt like nothing really happened. Charlie went to school, came home, and did it all again the next day. It only started getting really good near the ending I just didn’t connect to the characters or the story very well I guess.

And, some will love this one because it goes a different way than I thought it was going too. The only thing I can really say is to go into it with an open mind.

Overall:  It was just ok. I did like it but I didn’t really fall in love with any of it. There were parts I really liked, and then parts I didn’t like much. Probably more of a 3.5 cupcakes for me.

Cover:  Like the cover. I’d pick it up!

What I’d Give It:

Saturday, June 6

First There Was Forever by Juliana Romano

First There Was Forever by Juliana Romano
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher:  Dial Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 400

Summary: Perfect for fans of Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door, Juliana Romano's expressive debut is an absorbing and bittersweet story about first love, first loss, and the friends that carry us through it all.

Lima and Hailey have always been best friends: Lima shy and sensitive, Hailey funny and free-spirited. But Hailey abandons Lima to party with the popular kids and pursue Nate, her disinterested crush. As their friendship falters, Lima and Nate begin spending more time together. And before Lima knows what she’s feeling, she and Nate do something irreversible. Something that would hurt Hailey....if she knew it happened.

Lima thinks she’s saving her friendship by lying, but she’s only buying time. As the secrets stack up, Lima is forced to make a choice: between her best friend forever, and the boy who wasn’t meant to be hers.

My Thoughts: I was extremely excited for this one and looking forward to it for months. It was compared to Jenny Han and Huntley Fitzpatrick. Those are two of my favorite authors. I liked First There Was Forever to an extent.

We are introduced to Lima and Hailey. They have been best friends forever. Hailey was the loud outspoken one while Lima was usually quiet and reserved. Hailey has had a crush on Nate forever. She dreams about him and imagines what it will be like when he finally likes her back. But, Lima ends up liking him too eventually. It just happens. She doesn’t plan on it or even want to really like him. But it happens. And he likes Lima back.

Usually I like love triangle books. I’m drawn to them. I know I shouldn’t but I usually do. And, while I did like this one, I just never really felt the connection between Lima and Nate. Usually I would be rooting for them, but I felt like I didn’t care either way which girl ended up with him. Maybe I just didn’t like him very much either.

While, I enjoyed seeing how much Lima and Hailey changed I just didn’t find myself loving this as much as I wanted. I finished it within two days but I never really felt connected I guess.

Overall:  I just felt like I had mixed emotions with this one. I liked it enough to finish it, and some parts were even really great but I was never truly sucked in I guess. I think this one is more of a 3.5 for me I guess.  I liked the writing style but never really connected with either girl.

Cover:  I adore the cover! It’s super cute! Love it!

What I’d Give It:


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