Posted on Jul 29th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Uncategorized

Today Nyrae Dawn and Entangled Teen are revealing the cover for SEARCHING FOR BEAUTIFUL, which releases on March 4, 2014. Also enter below for a paperback of the book or an eBook!

On to the reveal!

Before, Brynn had a group of best friends, a loving boyfriend, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And after…she had none.

When Brynn lost the boyfriend who never loved her, the friends who feel she betrayed their trust, and the new life just beginning to grow inside her, she believes her future is as empty as her body. But then Christian, the boy next door, starts coming around. Playing his guitar and pushing her to create art once more. She meets some new friends at the local community center, plus even gets her dad to look her in the eye again…sort of.

But can Brynn open up her heart to truly find her life’s own beauty, when living for the after means letting go of the before?

Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble/

About Nyrae Dawn:

Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn’s passion. There have been times in her life where she wasn’t able to chase that dream the way she desired, but she always found her way back to telling stories. One of her loves has always been writing about teens. There’s something so fresh and fun about the age that she loves exploring. Her husband says it’s because she doesn’t want to grow up. She doesn’t think that’s such a bad thing and luckily for her, he doesn’t either.

Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. She loves going on emotional journeys with characters whether it be reading or writing. And yes, she’s a total romantic at heart and proud. Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids. When she’s not with her family, you can be pretty sure you’ll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her.

She writes for Entangled Publishing, Grand Central Publishing and is self-published.

Nyrae is represented by Jane Dystel of Dystel and Goderich Literary Management.

Website/Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads

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Posted on Jul 25th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Ally Condie

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MATCHED and Ally Condie is the winner of the 2012-2013 California Young Reader Medal for the Young Adult Category. Congratulations Ally!

The California Young Reader Medal (CYRM) program encourages recreational reading of popular literature among the young people of our state. Since its inception in 1974, millions of California children have nominated, read, and voted for the winners of the California Young Reader Medal.

 

Posted on Jul 25th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Contest

It’s Christmas in July and that means you have a chance to win this huge stack of books! Some are finished copies, some are advanced copies and some are even signed! The contest will go on for 10 days, and we will be adding some extra goodies along the way so don’t forget to keep checking back!

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Posted on Jul 10th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Uncategorized

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Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and gives us a chance to feature a book we’re waiting to read.

This week I’m dying for Cress by Marissa Meyer. From Goodreads:

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker – unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

I fell in love with Cinder and Scarlet and absolutely cannot wait for Cress- especially with a Rapunzel theme!

Pre-Order: Amazon|Barnes & Noble| Indiebound

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What are you waiting on this week?

 

Posted on Jul 9th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Society's Bookshelf, Top Ten Tuesdays

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations (you could pick best or worst OR split it in half) I have a love hate relationship with movies based on books. It was easy for me to think of 5 bad adaptations, but was harder for me to think of good ones, but I wanted to be able to split them in half.

Best:

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Perks of Being a Wallflower: I was so very impressed with the movie version of this book. The screenplay, the casting, everything was so great to me. It’s one of the only adaptations I don’t find any issue with.

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The Great Gatsby: I’m sure this version will appear on a lot of people’s worst lists, but I really enjoyed it. The cast was perfect to me, and visually you couldn’t get any better to me. I also LOVED the contemporary soundtrack which gave it a really interesting feel to it.

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Bridge to Terabithia: This book killed me as a kid, and the movie was no different. I haven’t watched this in a long time, but the acting is from the two leads is phenomenal, and really stuck with me as being a great adaptation.

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The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe: How could I not? Again, this was a great adaptation with great actors, effects and the important parts of a very large book were handled quite well for a film adaptation.

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The Outsiders: What an absolutely incredible book and movie. I remember having to read this book in middle school, and while other kids wanted to claw their eyes out while both reading the book and watching the movie I was entranced.

Worst:

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Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: There really are no words for these two. There are so many things I dislike about them that I honestly do not know where to start, so I won’t. I’ll just say there was no question they would end up on this list.

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City of Ember: I really enjoyed this book, it reminded me a lot of The Giver which was one of my favorite books growing up. I couldn’t absorb the series fast enough. So I was very excited for the book to come out. I think there was a bit too much for them to capture in the movie and I know that things have to cut and fall to the wayside when adapting into a movie, but I think a lot of the general book suffered by being turned into a movie.

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Twilight: I will admit that I actually loved the books. Harry Potter got me to read again in college, and Twilight got me reading again post-college. I really enjoyed the books. I just think this first movie was really bad. The weird blue tint is just the start of things I really didn’t like about it. Dialogue was just… hit or miss. Too campy in some parts, too serious in others. What I will say is that I think the characters looked their best in this movie compared to later movies. And some of the later movies were pretty good. This one? Not a fan.

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The Hunger Games: I think I might get flamed for this one, but I left the theater watching this and just not really liking it. I won’t single out which ones but I really disliked some of the casting choices, which pulled me out of the story because I just didn’t feel like it worked. I loved the books dearly, and hope I like Catching Fire more than I did this one.

 

 

Posted on Jul 8th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Review, Society's Bookshelf

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Book Title: Some Quiet Place
Author: Kelsey Sutton
Release Date: July 8, 2013
Publisher: Flux

I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, except beautiful Fear, who sometimes torments her and other times plays her compassionate savior. He’s obsessed with finding the answer to one question: What happened to Elizabeth to make her this way?

They both sense that the key to Elizabeth’s condition is somehow connected to the paintings of her dreams, which show visions of death and grief that raise more questions than answers. But as a shadowy menace begins to stalk her, Elizabeth’s very survival depends on discovering the truth about herself. When it matters most, she may not be able to rely on Fear to save her.

Some Quiet Place is one of the most exquisite, unique books I’ve read this year. From the cover to the pages, this book was phenomenal. The cover initially drew me in before I even read the synopsis. It’s thoroughly haunting and beautiful at the same time, much as the actual story as well.

The idea that Elizabeth can’t feel emotions, but also she can see their physical manifestation in the form of people no one else can see was groundbreaking to me. In a world of very similar YA books, Some Quiet Place broke the mold completely. Throughout the book, Elizabeth is put to the task of solving her missing memories after a car accident, along with a bit of game with Fear. Things get out of control when a new element rears its nightmarish head and things come to a head for all involved.

It was extremely refreshing to see such a strong female protagonist without a huge love triangle or angst ridden storyline. Even though Elizabeth couldn’t feel emotion, it seemed to heighten my emotion. Sutton’s ability to pull that emotion from me as a ready was remarkable. Now, there was a bit of a love triangle, but I feel that it was written in a very unique way, which didn’t pull me out of the story like most love triangles do.

Some of the hardships that Elizabeth faces were extremely difficult to read, intensified by Sutton’s fantastic way of crafting a scene. Elizabeth lives in a very cold home, and doesn’t get to experience a traditional loving family that so many other kids have. I do have to say this is one of the reasons I had a slightly difficult time with this book, only that I didn’t realize it was going to be such a dark read. I like to be in a certain headspace when venturing into dark reading spaces such as this, and didn’t really go into this book expecting this.

Some Quiet Place was an emotional, wonderfully developed book that I couldn’t recommend more.

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Posted on Jul 7th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Ally Condie

Ally Condie will be one of many amazing authors featured on the “When Grrls Fall in Love” panel at the now sold out San Diego Comic Con! Ally will be on the panel along with Cassandra Clare, Veronica Roth, Holly Black, Marissa Meyer, Lissa Price and Veronica Wolff. Will you be there?

UPDATE: Ally will also be doing a signing Friday from 6:00-7:00 at the Mysterious Galaxy Signing, booth #1119.

For more panel information check out PageToPremiere or SDCC.

Posted on Jul 7th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Review, Society's Bookshelf

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Book Title: A Midsummmer Night’s Scream
Author: R.L. Stine
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Get ready for laughter to turn into screams in R.L. Stine’s re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Everyone knows that Mayhem Manor is cursed. After production on the horror film was stopped due to a series of mysterious deaths, it became a Hollywood legend–which makes it perfect for Claire and her family. If they can successfully finish the film, it should be enough to save their ailing movie studio.

Sure, the old haunted house is creepy, and strange stuff has been happening, but this is Claire’s chance. Her chance to become the movie star she’s always dreamed and her chance to finally convince her friend Jake that she is girlfriend material. Of course, the fact that Jake thinks he’s in love with her best friend, Delia, who is crushing hard on Jake’s friend Shawn, who insists on following Claire around, could be a problem, but Claire is sure she can figure it out. After all, the course of true love never did run smooth.

But once shooting starts, “creepy and strange” morph into “bloody and deadly,” as the lines between film and reality begin to blur…

It’s been a very long time since I’ve read anything by R.L. Stine so it could be that I just had high expectations for this one. Sadly, I was extremely disappointed. I’ve been really into re-imaginings lately, but this was one that just fell flat for a variety of reasons.

We start off with a group of teenagers getting killed in unfortunate circumstance, which becomes the set up that carries the rest of the movie. Claire and her best friend are cast in a horror movie remake thanks to Claire’s parents involvement in the movie industry. However, things start going horribly wrong when the deaths of the first movie start happening on the remake as well.

I think R.L. Stine is very out of touch with teens and this showed in the writing. The party scenes that the teens attend come across extremely awkward to read especially on the topics of sex, drinking and drugs. He really missed the mark on getting the character’s voices down, which made the book hard to read.

A vast majority of the book was too simple. The plot and storyline was a bit jagged and didn’t come across as very well developed. Everything seemed to go  way too quick without a lot of development along the way as the story progressed. I understand where the basis of the story came from, but where the story ended up going was a bit too jumbled for me.

I did enjoy the main character Claire and her best friend Delia. They really made the book a fun and quick read. I honestly probably would have stopped reading this book if it hadn’t been for that small connection I had with them. Overall, the book was a fluffy horror book that perhaps Goosebumps fans will enjoy, but sadly I did not.

Posted on Jul 2nd, 2013 by audra
In these categories Review, Society's Bookshelf

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Book Title: Whistling Past the Graveyard
Author: Susan Crandall
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books

The summer of 1963 begins like any other for nine-year-old Starla Claudelle. Born to teenage parents in Mississippi, Starla is being raised by a strict paternal grandmother, Mamie, whose worst fear is that Starla will turn out like her mother. Starla hasn’t seen her momma since she was three, but is convinced that her mother will keep her promise to take Starla and her daddy to Nashville, where her mother hopes to become a famous singer—and that one day her family will be whole and perfect.

When Starla is grounded on the Fourth of July, she sneaks out to see the parade. After getting caught, Starla’s fear that Mamie will make good on her threats and send her to reform school cause her to panic and run away from home. Once out in the country, Starla is offered a ride by a black woman, Eula, who is traveling with a white baby. She happily accepts a ride, with the ultimate goal of reaching her mother in Nashville.

As the two unlikely companions make their long and sometimes dangerous journey, Starla’s eyes are opened to the harsh realities of 1963 southern segregation. Through talks with Eula, reconnecting with her parents, and encountering a series of surprising misadventures, Starla learns to let go of long-held dreams and realizes family is forged from those who will sacrifice all for you, no matter if bound by blood or by the heart.

While I’ve seen others compare Whistling Past the Graveyard to The Help, I think it would be closer to The Secret Life of Bees. Bottom line for me? I loved it. Normally I’ve only reviewed young adult books, but I enjoyed this book so much I felt compelled to review it. The cover and title were the first things to draw me in and the story made me fall in love. It looked like it would be a fun lighthearted read.

Whistling Past the Graveyard turns out to be far from lighthearted. Starla is put through quite the ringer as a nine year old. Her mother left when she was only three years old, and her father is off for work, leaving her with her awful grandmother. Starla’s punishments get increasingly worse for smaller infractions, leading her to finally decide to runaway from her. Her adventurous decision nosedives quick when she meets Eula. This book becomes a coming of age story not only for Starla, but also Eula.

It’s hard not to get swept up on Starla and Eula’s worldwind adventure. Susan’s writing is amazing and does a fantastic job of setting the time period of the 60′s in the South. It’s amazing that on one page I could be laughing, and the next, tearing up. Starla is such a wonderful character to read and it was eyeopening to read of her experiences. And Eula? I feel that Eula is easily the star of this story. I can’t ignore the fact that this does have “white savior” tones to it.

Aside from Starla and Eula, Susan’s writing is the star of this show. It has been a long time since I read an adult novel that I loved as much as this one. From the cover, to the title, to the story I was swept up and in love.

Posted on Jul 1st, 2013 by audra
In these categories Review, Society's Bookshelf

Disneylanders cover

Book Title: Disneylanders
Author: Kate Abbott
Release Date: May 12, 2013
Publisher: Theme Park Press

In DISNEYLANDERS, 14-year-old Casey Allison, on the brink of starting high school, struggles to find a new identity on her family’s annual summer vacation, but with the help of an outgoing boy she meets while waiting in line, she discovers that Disneyland is the one place where her overprotective parents let her have the freedom to grow up.

As someone who became a massive fan of Disneyland a bit later in life, I knew I had to read this book as soon as I heard about it. Acacia, Casey for short, is on her annual summer vacation to Disneyland with a couple of big differences. This is her first Disneyland trip before high school. This is her first Disneyland trip without her former bff. This is also her first Disneyland trip where she meets a boy!

Overall this was a magical read that gave me everything I wanted and more. I used to live a mere 20 minutes from Disneyland and was an annual passholder. Getting to visit the parks weekly was an adventure. Now that I live over 1,000 miles from it, I treasure our yearly trips to the park dearly. And getting to read Disneylanders felt like getting to experience one of those trips all over again.

It was easy to get swept up in this book as it flooded back all of my wonderful memories of being at Disneyland. I can’t imagine anything more magical than what happens to Casey. Her adventures on this particular trip to Disneyland was a bit of a life changer for her. She was able to grow up a bit, and get to live outside her parent’s protective bubble.

There were a few things that were a bit irritating. I’ve said before that for some reason I get irritated when every book character has a nickname. For me, it doesn’t really sound realistic. If the character spends 95% of the book going by Casey, why not just have her name be Casey? Also, as a bit of a Disney aficionado, the book was dated slightly due to changes that Disneyland has gone through. Of course this is bound to happen, but it’s been years since the McDonalds fry cart has been there. Finally, as romantic a notion of meeting a boy at Disneyland and flitting about the parks with him on a family vacation, it didn’t feel realistic. I can’t see a mother letting her 13 year old go around unsupervised with a boy she had just met.

Disneylanders was truly a magical read. I loved the cover design and loved getting to reminiscence of my past trips to Disney, and feel hopeful for the next ones to come.