Spotlight Friday (77)

What’s happening, guys?  It’s Friday!  And I definitely have new books to share!  And for many people, this is the end of their school year this week, so enjoy your summer, my friends!  Check out some of these books while you lounge by the pool.  🙂

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads)Filled with humor, raw emotion, a strong voice, and a brilliant dog named Sandy Koufax, When You Were Here explores the two most powerful forces known to man-death and love. Daisy Whitney brings her characters to life with a deft touch and resonating authenticity. 

Danny’s mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation-the one day that she was hanging on to see.

Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn’t know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore.

When he gets a letter from his mom’s property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with his mother’s memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There, among the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harajuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.

What’s To Like: I’m a sucker for books that I know are going to be sad, but are also supposed to be funny.  Mostly because I think there needs to be a certain amount of humor in bad situations or we’ll all go crazy.  (I’m that person who tries to make people laugh when they’re sad.)  I think Danny’s got a real struggle ahead of him, but I want to see where his story takes him.  I feel like there will be a lot of wisdom in this book too.

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

Release Date: June 11, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads)When Maude Pichon runs away from provincial Brittany to Paris, her romantic dreams vanish as quickly as her savings. Desperate for work, she answers an unusual ad. The Durandeau Agency provides its clients with a unique service—the beauty foil. Hire a plain friend and become instantly more attractive. 

Monsieur Durandeau has made a fortune from wealthy socialites, and when the Countess Dubern needs a companion for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, Maude is deemed the perfect foil.

But Isabelle has no idea her new “friend” is the hired help, and Maude’s very existence among the aristocracy hinges on her keeping the truth a secret. Yet the more she learns about Isabelle, the more her loyalty is tested. And the longer her deception continues, the more she has to lose.

What’s To Like: This book sounds really interesting.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.  And it doesn’t say when it’s set, but I’m going to guess turn-of-the-century based on her outfit in the cover and the fact that there’s still an aristocracy that won’t socialize with anyone of lower class.  But it’s definitely interesting, right?  A normal girl gets hired to be friends with an aristocratic girl?  Secrets and trouble to come…

My review of Belle Epoque.

Born of Illusion (Born of Illusion, #1) by Teri Brown

Release Date: June 11, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads)Anna Van Housen is thirteen the first time she breaks her mother out of jail. By sixteen she’s street smart and savvy, assisting her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, and easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums and mentalists in 1920’s New York City. Handcuffs and sleight of hand illusions have never been much of a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic mother, who will stop at nothing to gain her ambition of becoming the most famous medium who ever lived. But when a strange, serious young man moves into the flat downstairs, introducing her to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, he threatens to reveal the secrets Anna has fought so hard to keep, forcing her to face the truth about her past. Could the stories her mother has told her really be true? Could she really be the illegitimate daughter of the greatest magician of all?

What’s To Like: I know I normally stay away from books about the Roaring ’20s, but I’ll make an exception to this because it not only has ghosts and seances, but it has magicians and tricks.  And I’m a sucker for magic tricks,  mostly because I’m trying to figure out how they did it.  I’m very interested to see how the mother is written, considering she’s supposed to be so awful.  And I want to know who this guy downstairs is.

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