Atlantia by Ally Condie
Can you hear Atlantia breathing?
For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.
Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.
My love for Ally Condie’s poetic writing has followed her from the Matched Trilogy to her latest book, Atlantia. Atlantia shows us the bond between two sisters Rio and Bay in an underground city. The residents are safe from the toxins in the air from above, but it comes at a price. Those that live above are taking care of the ones safe below. After the death of their mother, the sisters promised one another that they would stay together, in the below.
After Bay chooses Above, Rio works to unravel the mystery of her mothers death and what exactly is going on with the Below and the Above. Atlantia is a truly magical read from beginning to end with mystery, intrigue and a beautifully written relationship between two sisters.
Given that most books nowadays seem to be trilogies, I was surprised to find out that Atlantia will be a stand alone. After finishing the book I so wanted another chance to explore the world that Ally built. I’m thankful that everything was able to be wrapped up in one book though, and cannot wait to see what Ally comes up with next.
About the Author:
Ally Condie is a former high school English teacher who lives with her husband, three sons and one daughter outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, running, eating, and listening to her husband play guitar.
As part of Team Above we had the chance to interview Ally!
What was the world building process like for you while writing Atlantia?
To celebrate this book’s release, we are giving away an advanced copy of Atlantia and an exclusive Atlantia necklace!
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Release Date: 07/01/14
Summary from Goodreads:
feels like she’s doing time at her high school in Chilton, Virginia. She has
her friends at her lunchtime table of nobodies. What she doesn’t have are
possibilities. Or a date for Homecoming. Things get more interesting at night,
when she spends time with the boy of her dreams. But the blue-eyed boy with the
fairytale smile is just that—a dream. Until the Friday afternoon he walks into
her chemistry class.One of friends suspects he’s an alien. Another is pretty sure it’s all one big
case of deja vu. While Annabelle doesn’t know what to think, she’s willing to
believe that the charming Martin Zirkle may just be her dream come true. But as
Annabelle discovers the truth behind dreams—where they come from and what they
mean—she is forced to face a dark reality she had not expected. More than just
Martin has arrived in Chilton. As Annabelle learns, if dreams can come true, so
Boy explores the mysterious world of dreams, where we access our deepest
desires…the authors expertly weave fantasy and the real world in a perfect
Erica Orloff, author of In Dreams
twisty, fast and funny, Dream Boy will forever change the way you see your
dreams–and your nightmares. An exciting, imaginative look at what might happen
when people from the corners of your mind suddenly show up in your real
Lois Metzger, author of A Trick of the Light
perfect book to add to your summer reading list. An awesome balance of love,
humor and action, this new read may just be your dream come true!” – GirlsLife
the chick-lit and romance buttons, adding suspense and an intriguing idea as
well for nicely rounded entertainment.” — Kirkus Review
original, twisty paranormal romance.” — Booklist
stars… Perfect writing, perfect characters … perfect plot.” — Paperback
Mary Crockett likes turtles, licorice, and the Yankees. Madelyn Rosenberg
likes cats, avocados, and the Red Sox. Luckily they both like the weirdness of
dreams (and each other) enough to write novels together. The friendship has
survived three moves, six kids and countless manuscript revisions. Madelyn
lives just outside of Washington, D.C. Mary remains in the mountains near their
hometowns in southwestern Virginia.
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WHY I DON’T “CAST” MY BOOKS
There are certain questions a writer gets asked again and again — How did you get started? Where do you get your ideas? What’s your favorite book? Those questions get asked because they’re good questions, the sort of thing anyone might want to know.
But there’s one question I get asked a lot that I don’t like answering. In fact, I always try to get out of answering it whenever I can. That question is: What actors do you want to play your characters in the movie of your book?
I understand that people love the movies. And I love the movies too. Some of my books have been made into movies, and it’s fun when it happens. But the thing is: I don’t write my books to be movies. I write them to be books.
I love books (more than movies, if I have to tell the truth). When I’m creating a character, I’m not thinking about some actor who would play him, I’m thinking about the character. I’m inventing him, making him look like I think he would look and act as I think he would act. I don’t want to limit his looks only to the looks of which actors are popular, and I don’t want to limit his character and his behavior only to those traits a certain actor might be able to play. More than anything, I don’t want my readers to be stuck with some actor’s face in their heads. I want them to be free to imagine the characters as they see them.
About the Author
Andrew Klavan is a best-selling, award-winning thriller novelist whose books have been made into major motion pictures. He broke into the YA scene with the bestselling Homelanders series, starting with The Last Thing I Remember. He is also a screenwriter and scripted the innovative movie-in-an-app Haunting Melissa.
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Release Date: 07/09/14
Summary from Goodreads:
Before college, before responsibilities, Hadley Beauman and best friend Lily are determined to have a summer to remember. There will be all the usual dramas – ex-boyfriends who don’t seem to know what ‘ex’ means, pesky younger brothers with unrequited crushes, but what Hadley didn’t anticipate was the out-of-the-blue return of the seriously hot boy-next-door, Will Carson. The boy who broke her heart when he skipped town two years ago.
Will may have shot up a foot and filled out (oh yes), but inside he carries the weight of guilt – for leaving, for coming back… Now he’s just passing through to tie up loose ends but it’s clear the old chemistry still crackles between him and Hadley. Trouble is, it’s built on two years of lies…
About the Author
Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.
Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.
Excerpt #3: Will & Hadley’s reunion
I enter the hallway, making a point to relax my shoulders. Lily still knows how to push my buttons. I make my way to Mr. Beauman’s office and just before I knock, I hear Hadley’s voice. It’s wrong but I lean closer to the door, listening.
“A little warning would have been nice, Dad.”
Mr. Beauman says something, but I can’t make it out.
“Well,” Hadley continues, “don’t expect him to stick around longer than he chooses.”
Her form nears the door and I don’t have a chance to move just as the door flings open.
A version of the sixteen year old girl I left two years ago stands in front of me. I was right, her braces are gone.
“Hey,” I say.
“Hi,” she says with a shake of her head.
We stand frozen in place for a few seconds before Mr. Beauman speaks. “You all set?”
Hadley jolts and steps aside.
I brush past her. Her scent follows me. Strawberries. I place the application and waiver down on Mr. Beauman’s desk.
“Great,” he says. “I’ll see you in a few.”
I turn to the door and she’s still there, her lips parted. I open my hand, signaling for her to go down the hallway first. I struggle to keep my eyes on hers, fighting the urge to move across every inch of her body. She turns and scurries down the hall in front of me, granting my wish. She’s grown into her curves since I saw her last. Her long legs carry her quickly.
She stops at the double doors leading to the front part of the office and turns around. “Did you hear—I didn’t mean—”
“I heard you,” I say, watching her face crumble. “But you’re right. I need to get back.”
My teeth grind together. Aunt Mabel did give Mr. Beauman a version of the truth, but I can’t help but wonder what Hadley knows. “Yes.”
She nibbles on her lower lip. She nods twice before freeing her lip. My gaze drops to her mouth. She leans against the door and opens it. I hold it for her, my arm grazing her shoulder.
She offers a polite smile. “Then I guess we should make the best of it while you’re here.”
I lean closer. “Sounds good to me.”
She turns around, entering the room.
“Who left last minute to open up the position?” I ask, not wanting to stop talking to her.
“My—” She shakes her head, strands of her hair falling across her face. She pushes them back behind her ear. “Carter Daniels.”
I clench my jaw. “I just saw him.”
“He’s on the pool staff now apparently,” she mumbles.
People mull around the room, eating off paper plates. Hadley halts, staring at the back of the room. Carter and about a dozen people I don’t recognize have gathered around the table. My hands fist at my sides, looking for any excuse to knock him out.
“I’ll be right back.”
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It’s taken me a little while to finish my review for this book mostly because I put off reading it. It took me a while to read the Selection and I was immediately hooked into the story. I think I didn’t want to read the One right away because I didn’t want this series to end. Of course I couldn’t put off reading this one because inside I was totally dying to find out what was going to happen with America, Maxim and Aspen.
My time was pretty limited when I wanted to read this book, so I signed up for a free Audible trial membership (thanks FeaB Podcast for the promo code for this!) and chose The One as my free audiobook. I’ve only listened to a couple of audiobooks in the past and I almost always dislike them. I have a hard time relaxing to the voice of the person reading these books and The One wasn’t really any different. So a couple of chapters in I gave up the audiobook and went out and bought a copy, which was thoroughly devoured in an evening. I seriously could not put this down. I craved chapter after chapter!
The One follows America’s journey after being selected as one of the Elite, still competing for Maxim’s love, attention and affection while the country is under a curtain of fear from the rebels. While there were moments that had me on the edge of my seat throughout the book, I felt that there wasn’t as much action and suspense as I was anticipating. This didn’t lessen my love for this book or the series, but with the whole rebel situation, I felt like I was being built up for some mega fighting scenes which didn’t really happen. That isn’t to say there wasn’t action (there was) but it felt a little short lived.
The One rounded out an amazing trilogy filled with action, adventure, romance, jealousy- pretty much everything was in this series. While I’m sad that it’s over with, The One was a perfect conclusion to this series and I couldn’t have wished for it to end any better than it did.
Release Date: 07/01/14
Entangled TeenSummary from Goodreads:
Perfection comes at a price.
As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.
Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.
But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.
For fans of Keira Cass’s Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.
About the Author:
Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids. To learn more visit www.katejarvikbirch.com
The inside of Penn’s room didn’t look a thing like the rest of the house. Maybe at one point his mother had had a hand in decorating it, but it was hard to tell because of the lengths he must have gone to cover it up. The bones of the room were strong and masculine: solid, wooden furniture stained a dark, deep cherry. But besides the furniture, the rest of the room appeared to be one giant battle against any influence of his mother.
The walls, which had once been painted a soft shade of green, were plastered over with posters of people and old, rusty road signs. The far wall above his bed was almost entirely covered with instruments. I didn’t recognize most of them, but there were a few of them that I could name: a couple of guitars, a mandolin.
“Do you play those?” I asked, pointing to the wall.
“Yeah, most of them… at least a little,” Penn said, glancing up from his speakers. “But I’m only really good at a few. Mostly I play the guitar.”
I looked around for a place to sit, but most of the surfaces were covered in discarded clothes and towels. Apparently Rosa didn’t pick up the laundry in his room the way she did for everyone else.
I stood awkwardly amidst the mess, glancing at the photographs that covered the mirror above the gigantic set of dresser drawers. There were pictures of Penn at the beach, and of him playing the guitar in front of a roaring bonfire. There were pictures of him clustered amid groups of his friends. I searched their faces, trying to recognize the girl from the swimming pool, but none of them seemed familiar.
“Okay,” he finally said, “I’m starting you out with Amos Lee since you liked Ray LaMontagne so much.”
He hit a button and music started playing, sounding as if it was coming from all four corners of his room.
I closed my eyes to the soft sound of the piano, both familiar yet totally new. It was always enchanting to hear a new composition after hearing the same ones year after year, and this one was no exception. The notes were lonely, full of melancholy that reminded me a bit of one of Beethoven’s sonatas. But I wasn’t prepared for the ache I would feel once the singing started. I took a shuddering breath.
“Are you okay?”
I nodded, afraid that if I opened my mouth I wouldn’t be able to speak. I closed my eyes again and let myself drift into the music. It wasn’t until the song faded out and I opened my eyes again that I realized Penn was sitting next to me. He was staring at me again, that same puzzled expression on his face.
“That was beautiful,” I choked out, before he could ask me again if I was all right.
“Yeah.” He smiled. “It’s one of my favorites. Who would have guessed I’d have the same taste in music as a pet from Greenwich Kennels?” It was the first time he’d mentioned my past without sounding angry.
“You can play me something else if you want.”
Penn put on another song and flopped down on the bed next to me, pushing a notebook and a pair of pants onto the floor.
“Sorry about the mess,” he said. “Here, you can scoot over if you want.”
I scooted closer to him, settling into the music. Both of us sat perfectly still and listened to the strum of the guitar and the beat of the drums that played underneath like a heartbeat. Next to me, I could feel the heat of Penn’s leg seeping through the fabric of my dress, making my thigh burn.
He leaned in. This close I could see the bursts of gold inside his eyes, but all I could think about was that kiss, the way his lips had felt against mine. So soft. So warm. I wanted to feel that again. I closed my eyes.
There was a knock at the door and Penn scooted away from me, but not fast enough. His father threw the door open.
“Thank God,” he said, striding over to us. “I looked all over the house for you, Ella. Didn’t you hear me calling?”
“With the music playing, I must not have heard you,” I said, “I’m terribly sorry, Master.”
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Penn cringe. I should have remembered that I wasn’t to use that word, but I was so nervous, and the Congressman’s face was flushed and red, distracting me. I couldn’t think straight.
The Congressman turned on Penn. “What were you thinking, taking her up here?”
“I was just playing her some music. It’s not like I—”
“Your music is the last thing I want you to introduce her to. If I remember correctly, you need to be focusing on catching up on your school work, not wasting time listening to songs.”
“Dad, I—” Penn started to say, but the Congressman didn’t seem at all interested.
“Not now. I’ve got two campaign donors waiting in the conservatory to meet Ella. I’ve wasted ten minutes looking for her, so I really don’t have time for your excuses right now.”
As the Congressman took me by the elbow and led me from the room, I chanced one last glance back at Penn.
He had already turned away.
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On the Fence by Kasie West was a quick, darling read for me just like her previous books were for me as well. Charlie has been surrounded by a family of men ever since her mother passed away when she was younger. This has lead Charlie into a bit of a tomboy lifestyle where she is left to her own devices a bit to figure out the world of womanhood. Makeup, girly clothes and boy talk is completely foreign to her until she is forced by her cop dad to get a job to help pay off her speeding tickets and her car insurance.
Filled with clichés, Charlie has to navigate the teenage experience- getting her first job, going on her first date, all while leading a bit of a double life. So yes, parts of On the Fence were a bit of cheesy and are reminiscent of a romance novel. Do I care? Not a single bit. I read this book in a single afternoon, I couldn’t devour the words on the pages quick enough.
Charlie has an incredibly strong voice and I love how well written she is. The guys aren’t half bad either and I really love the interactions between all the characters. Seeing how Charlie handles quite difficult situations was empowering and inspirational. For this reason, I could easily overlook some of the formulaic clichés hidden throughout the book and had an enjoyable reading experience with On the Fence.
Goodbye To You
Release Date: 07/01/14
Summary from Goodreads:
Europe? Nope. Mexico? Nope. Key West?Not me. This summer, I’m playing nursemaid to my sister. Yeah, I know. Relatively good looking twenty-two-year-olds don’t spend the summer bedside in the cancer ward, but that’s the plan – until my sister threatens me with bodily harm unless I get on the plane.
That’s when I met him. He likes me. Really likes me. But more than that, he loves my boobs — like can’t get enough. I have no idea how to tell him that they’ll be gone soon. Courtesy of a preventative double mastectomy. Yep. That’s what testing positive for the breast cancer gene mutation will do to a girl.
But don’t feel sorry for me. I’m enjoying him, holding on until the last possible minute, while I muster up the strength to tell him, and watch him walk away.
About the Author
I wrote my first book at six. A retelling of The Three Little Pigs, illustrated by my grandmother, the book was never picked up and was self-published instead, glued to cardboard with a cover fashioned from wallpaper scraps.
Today, I write stories featuring nice guys (or nice guys in-the-making) in between my other jobs writing research reports for a commercial real estate company, refereeing two young daughters, navigating the teen waters with a too-cute-for-his-own-good son, spoiling a neurotic cat, and making my darling, patient husband shake his head. I’m also an autism mom, chocolate enthusiast, sports-watcher, nacho-eater, and beer-drinker.
by Sarah Tregay
Release Date: 06/17/14
Summary from Goodreads:
When the picture tells
the story…Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not
college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst
problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.
As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his
This book is about what happens when a picture reveals what we can’t say, when
Raised without television, Sarah Tregay started writing her own middle grade novels after she had read all of the ones in the library. She later discovered YA books, but never did make it to the adult section. When she’s not jotting down poems at stoplights, she can be found hanging out with her “little sister” from Big Brothers Big Sisters. Sarah lives in Eagle, Idaho with her husband, two Boston Terriers, and an appaloosa named Mr. Pots. Her next book, Fan Art, will be released in June.
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Title: Facade of Shadows
Author: Rick Chiantaretto
Genre: YA, dark fantasy
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Good Choice Reading Blog Tours is currently organizing a review tour for Facade of Shadows from July 21st – 25th. You can sign up for the tour HERE.
When she got to class, Dominique was glad to find another new student; she always felt more comfortable when she wasn’t the only new one. The teacher seemed nice enough too. Dominique handed her the schedule to prove she was in the class and the teacher, anxious to begin, quickly made seating assignments for the two new students.
“Why don’t you sit over there?” she suggested to Dominique, gesturing to a seat in the back corner. “And you can sit over here.” The teacher pointed out a desk to the other student. Dominique took one step toward her seat and noticed… her. The girl was paying strict attention, even though the teacher wasn’t saying anything that concerned her. Dominique wondered if she was taking notes on the new seating arrangement, as she feverishly moved her pencil. The other new student noticed the discomfort on Dominique’s face.
“Don’t worry,” he said in a calm but confident tone, “I’ll sit there, and you can have the one by the window.”
Dominique felt a wave of relief. There was something about that girl that she just didn’t like. “Thank you,” she said to the student. She felt him brush her arm as he pushed past her; he felt like iron. This was the first time she had been able to get a good look at him. His arms were impressively muscular. He was dressed completely in black and looked back at her with stunning blue eyes.
“No, thank you,” he said.
Maybe this class won’t be so bad after all, Dominique thought, feeling herself melt under his gaze. He smiled, as if he knew what she was thinking.
“I’m Lucas, but most of my friends call me Luke,” he said, pushing his hair out of his eyes with one hand and thrusting his other at her. She took it firmly.
“And may I call you Luke?”
That made his smile widen, “You may call me anything you wish.”
“Well, Luke, I’m Dominique,” she stated with a sheepish grin, slightly embarrassed as she felt her cheeks turn warm.
“I know,” he said, his cold hand penetrating the warmth of Dominique’s own.
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