Spotlight Friday (159)

Hey guys!  So I know I haven’t done one of these in a while and I thought it was definitely time to talk about what’s coming out this month.  You ready for this?  We’re going to get dark and creepy in preparation for Halloween next month.

a-shadow-bright-and-burning-by-jessica-cluessA Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire, #1) by Jessica Cluess

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads)Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

What’s To Like: I always love a good twist on history.  Some books do it really well, which leads me to be hopeful that this one can as well.  And it’s also pretty rare to read about characters who can spontaneously combust.  So I’m really interested to see how that turns out.

28962906Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1) by Kerri Maniscalco

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads)Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

What’s To Like: I’ve always been weirdly drawn to the mystery of Jack the Ripper, perhaps the most sensationalized serial killer in history.  I think this book could be really interesting because A) famous serial killer, B) we’re talking about the early history of forensic sciences, which could be super interesting, and C) we’re stepping back into the Victorian era with is full of oddities.  No matter what, I really can’t see this being bad.

the-female-of-the-species-mindy-mcginnisThe Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads): Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

What’s To Like: If you remember, I’ve already read this book.  You can find my review here, but I can assure you it’s a dark read with characters that you’ll come to enjoy even if their circumstances are horrible and tragic.

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Hey!  It’s Friday once again (and my last free Friday before school starts once more), so we’re going to just sit back and enjoy this.  Oh, and the Olympics start tonight!  That’s something else to look forward to.  KEEP THE GOODNESS COMING!

26514517The Flame Never Dies (The Stars Never Rise, #2) by Rachel Vincent

Release Date: August 16, 2016

*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*

Summary (from Goodreads): ONE SPARK WILL RISE. Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth—that the war against demons is far from over—seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant younger sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn’t about to let that happen . . . even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

What’s To Like: Admittedly, at the moment I’m having a hard time remembering the first book.  But Rachel Vincent is really awesome, so I’m sure that this will also be awesome.  I remember parts of it, the weird religious regime that took over the country and all that.  Should be fun.

Screenshot 2016-08-05 08.48.54Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Penaflor

Release Date: August 23, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads): Hollywood critics agree. Joss Byrd is “fiercely emotional,” a young actress with “complete conviction,” and a “powerhouse.”

Joss Byrd is America’s most celebrated young actress, but on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called The Locals, Joss’s life is far from glamorous. While struggling with her mother’s expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off a performance worthy of a star. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss must go off-script to stay true to herself.

What’s To Like: When it comes to movies and acting, I’m always just as interested in what goes on behind the scenes as what happens on screen.  (I was in drama club; there’s a ton of stuff that happens backstage that no one tells you.  Things get weird when late nights are involved.)  So I love that this looks into that and I really want to see what Joss does to stay true to herself.

empire-of-thrones-usEmpire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5) by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: September 6, 2016

*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead.  For real.*

Summary (from Goodreads): The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

What’s To Like: Given how book 4 ended, I’m really curious to see what happens in this book.  Because while things seem to sort of be falling back into place, Aelin’s mission is far from being over.  And if the rest of this series is any indication, there’s a lot of trouble coming.  And boy, is it going to be delightful for us readers.

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Hey-o!  It’s FRIDAY!  And that means more books!  Also, I made a banner for Spotlights in my free time.  Let me know if you like it or not.  🙂  It looks so excited.

Screenshot 2016-07-25 14.50.16

a-week-of-mondays-jessica-brodyA Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody

Release Date: August 2, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!

As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?

From the author 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and The Unremembered trilogy comes a hilarious and heartwarming story about second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances. Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out what you really want.

What’s To Like: I think of this as a fluffier version of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver or like a YA version of Groundhog Day.  And I mean, we’ve all had those days that we wish we could do over.  Ellie gets her chance and I’m totally hoping I can laugh my way through this.

how2bto2bkeep2brolling2bafter2ba2bfallHow To Keep Rolling After A Fall by Karole Cozzo

Release Date: August 2, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads): After a cyber bullying incident turns her life upside down, a handsome wheelchair rugby player shows a former mean girl that everyone deserves a second chance.

The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That’s all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl’s suicide. Now Nikki’s been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can’t look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates – almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it’s like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance… and everyone deserves to be loved.

What’s To Like: I always like these stories of second chances and meeting people who change your perspective on life.  And I’m always a fan of stories that go dark and personal, and this definitely looks like it’s headed that way.  This is published by Swoon Reads, so we’re definitely guaranteed a love story.  Dark love stories are my favorite.

the-beauty-of-darkness-mary-e-pearsonThe Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3) by Mary E. Pearson

Release Date: August 2, 2016

*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*

Summary (from Goodreads): Lia and Rafe have escaped Venda and the path before them is winding and dangerous – what will happen now? This third and final book in The Remnant Chronicles is not to be missed.

Bestselling author Mary E. Pearson’s combination of intrigue, suspense, romance and action make this a riveting page turner for teens.

What’s To Like: I’m actually a little shocked that this summary is this short, but I’m not surprised that it says virtually nothing.  The previous books were very secretive too.  And I kind of like that because I have no idea where the story is going to go.  I really like this series, and I really like Lia.  I’m interested in seeing how this series wraps up.

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Hello my lovelies!  For some reason my greeting today reminded me of this gem:

mrs20doubtfire20hello

This is kind of horrifying, the more it loops…Anyway, we have books to discuss!  So let’s get looking, shall we?  We’ve got some amazing ones coming our way soon!

22840374Never Ever by Sara Saedi

Release Date: June 21, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads): Wylie Dalton didn’t believe in fairy tales or love at first sight.

Then she met a real-life Peter Pan.

When Wylie encounters Phinn—confident, mature, and devastatingly handsome—at a party the night before her brother goes to juvie, she can’t believe how fast she falls for him. And that’s before he shows her how to fly.

Soon Wylie and her brothers find themselves whisked away to a mysterious tropical island off the coast of New York City where nobody ages beyond seventeen and life is a constant party. Wylie’s in heaven: now her brother won’t go to jail and she can escape her over-scheduled life with all its woes and responsibilities—permanently.

But the deeper Wylie falls for Phinn, the more she begins to discover has been kept from her and her brothers. Somebody on the island has been lying to her, but the truth can’t stay hidden forever.

What’s To Like: I always have a soft spot for Peter Pan stories.  And I can totally see why Wylie would want to escape her reality for a while.  I’m curious about this Phinn, though, because something about him already doesn’t sit well with me, like he’s really a weasel or something.  Guess we’ll see.

25324111And I Darken (The Conquerors, #1) by Kiersten White

Release Date: July 7, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads): No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.

Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.

Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.

The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.

What’s To Like: First of all, I adore Kiersten White as a person (well, her Twitter account anyway) and a writer.  So I figure this will be fabulous.  It’s her twist on the actual historical figure of Dracula (Lord Dracul, I think was his real name, but does it matter?), not the vampire.  Anyway, also from her Twitter account, Lada is supposed to be this anti-heroine (as you might expect when a character is based on one of the more ruthless killers in history).  I’ve heard from people who have ARCs that Lada is infuriating at times, which kind of makes it fun.  I’m kind of interested to see just how ruthless she is.

p-s-i-like-you-kasie-west-2016-ya-books-by-authors-we-love-e1448935598556P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Release Date: July 26, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads): What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she’s flustered — and kind of feels like she’s falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer — but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

What’s To Like: This has a kind of You’ve Got Mail theme to it.  But I like it.  Well, I like any contemporary romance Kasie West comes out with.  She’s always stunning.  So I have high hopes for this.  Also, I’m feeling rather stylish because I just bought those shoes the girl on the cover is wearing.  But that’s neither here nor there.

Spotlight Friday (155)

Hello my lovelies!  It’s Friday once again, which means more new books!  I’m hoping I can have a very special post tomorrow or Sunday, but we’ll see, won’t we?  For now, enjoy!

29222548All The Feels by Danika Stone

Release Date: June 7, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads): College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.

Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.

What’s To Like: You know what this is?  Fangirl with an extrovert as a heroine.  While nothing is going to match Fangirl for me, I also like that this has the twist of adding cosplay.  That’s different.  I don’t think I’ve read a book that looks at cosplay without looking down its nose at it, you know?  Anyway, we’ve all been where Liv is, dealing with the death of a favorite character.  I’m interested to see what she does.

book-cover-how-it-feels-like-flyHow It Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes

Release Date: June 14, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads): The movement is all that matters.

For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her.

The change was gradual. Stealthy.

Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: crippling anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope.

What I really need is a whole new body.

Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the anxiety that imprisons her?

What’s To Like: I like that this feels real, even just from this.  I think all girls, whether they’re training to be ballerinas or not, have to deal with unrealistic body standards.  Sometimes those we love and trust push those on us, sometimes we push them on ourselves.  So I like the premise of this and how it seems to be pushing not only a female’s perspective, but maybe also a male’s?  (Boys have these standards too.  Every wrestling season at school, I wince when the boys talk about not eating in order to make weight.)

covers_371395Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

Release Date: June 7, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads): A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.

What’s To Like: This book had me a “prehistoric”.  Then my next thought was “Bring on the cavemen.”  I’m weird.  But you’ve got to admit that there are very few books out there with a setting like this.  I’m already in love with this.  I’m desperately hoping it lives up to my expectations, because this had the potential to be absolutely amazing.

Spotlight Friday (154)

Hello my lovelies!  As the school year comes to an end (only 5 more days!) I find that my work load has increased incredibly.  And beyond that, I needed a fix of Jamie Fraser, so I started rereading Outlander…but I promise I will get back to YA soon.  Finals for my students is a time when I get a ton of reading done.  Until then, here are new books to keep an eye out for!

51yoqtizt1l-_sy291_bo1204203200_ql40_Exile for Dreamers (Stranje House, #2) by Kathleen Baldwin

Release Date: May 24, 2016

*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*

Summary (from Goodreads): Tess can’t run far enough or fast enough to escape the prophetic dreams that haunt her. Dreams bring nothing but death and grief, and Tess refuses to accept that she may be destined for the same madness that destroyed her mother. Until her disturbing dreams become the only means of saving Lord Ravencross, the man she loves, and her friends at Stranje House from Lady Daneska and her lover, the Ghost-agent of Napoleon, who has escaped from Elba. Can the young ladies of Stranje House prevail once more? Or is England destined to fall into the hands of the power-mad dictator?

What’s To Like: This is the kind of book with strong women in a time when women weren’t considered strong.  I’m drawn to that, since I love history and I know there had to be women out there like this.  They just were seen as quirky or–at worst–insane.  Still, the previous book had some interesting action, some interesting love scenes, and some interesting characters.  I’m…interested.

my-lady-jane_gallery_largeMy Lady Jane by Cythia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Release Date: June 7, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads): For fans of The Princess Bride comes the comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.

Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.

What’s To Like: Ok, this book had me at “Lady Jane” for sure, since she’s one of the more tragic figures to reach England’s throne, but I’m also won over by the fact that this is supposed to be funny, fantastic, and romantic.  I’m actually really looking forward to this, even if they change the history.  And as a history buff, I don’t say that very often.

the-way-to-game-the-walk-of-shame-jenn-p-nguyenThe Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen

Release Date: June 7, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads): Taylor Simmons is screwed.

Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.

Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.

What’s To Like: You know what this sorta reminds me of?  Easy A.  I’m not entirely sure why, except maybe the way the girl is lying to the whole school about her reputation.  Otherwise, it doesn’t seem to have a lot in common with the movie.  Anyway, it sounded kind of charming.  Also, I have to meet this surfer dude.