Feb 25, 2015

Review: The Replaced by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Replaced
Author: Kimberly Dertin
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 4.28.2015
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult, SciFi, Romance
Series: The Taking #2
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: 3 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Kyra hasn't been the same since she returned from her mysterious five-year disappearance. Now, on the run from the NSA, Kyra is forced to hide out with others who, like her, have been Returned. Yet she is determined to find Tyler, the boy she loves who was also abducted—all because of her. When her group intercepts a message that Tyler might still be alive but is in the hands of a shadowy government organization that experiments on the Returned, Kyra knows it's a risk to go after him. What if it's a trap? And worse, what if the returned Tyler isn't the same boy she lost? 

Perfect for fans of The Fifth Wave and the Body Finder series, The Replaced is both chilling and explosive, with creepy, otherworldly elements and twisty, psychological thrills that will have you questioning what exactly it means to be human. 

After the heart-stopping ending of THE TAKING, I was desperate for more. More Kyra, more Tyler, more alien crazy, more EVERYTHING. But I have to admit, I'm a little let down by this book.

Let's start with what I loved: I loved Kyra in this book (OK, she makes a few bonehead mistakes, but she's a teenager who was abducted by aliens and Returned 5 years later - cut her a break). She's a fantastic narrator and Kimberly Derting writes her in a way that you cannot help but root for her.

The entire Replaced element ... I loved it. It is a total game changer, and that is all I'll say without spoiling you. But trust me - it's EPIC.

My biggest let down: The romance. I'm not going to get into specifics but a couple of things happened here that made me wonder why Tyler and Kyra ever got together in book 1. Because what happens here? Total 180. It's not a BAD decision, mind you. I enjoyed the romance, but it made the romance in book 1 fell invalidated, and since so much of Kyra and Tyler’s relationship played a part in THE TAKING, it kind of made the book feel like a waste of time.

Confused yet? Good. So am I - and I read the book.

I will read the last book because I'm curious to see how it ends, but I do fell a little let down and my expectations for the ending are now more of a mild curiosity than a burning desire to dive back in.

Feb 23, 2015

Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Title: Scarlet
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Walker Children’s
Publication Date: 2.14.2012
Pages: 292
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Romance, Historical
Series: Scarlet #1
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance. 

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for. 

Why, oh why, did it take me so long to read this book? I tried reading SCARLET back when it was in ARC format, but I couldn’t get into the language and I set it aside. But I recently decided to give it another go, and it absolutely blew me away. A.C. Gaughen is a master story teller and her debut is brilliant.

I’ve always been a fan of the Robin Hood mythology, but this is such a new and fresh way of telling it—Will Scarlet is now just Scarlet and a girl disguised as one of Robin’s men. Oh, and did I mention she and Robin have some serious chemistry?

Even if that was all this story was, it would be enough for me, but Gaughen ups the ante even more by layering in more of the tale of Robin Hood and giving Scarlet a twist that had my jaw dropping. It is a phenomenal book with action and romance and mystery and thrills. The descriptions are lush and vivid, putting the reader firmly in the middle of the story with lifelike characters.

This is a very promising start to Gaughen’s series and career.

Feb 19, 2015

Review: The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes

Title: The Distance Between Lost and Found
Author: Kathryn Holmes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 2.17.2015
Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Series: N/A
Source: eARC from publisher

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher’s son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her, she was silent. When her friends abandoned her … silent.

Now, six months later, on a youth group retreat in the Smoky Mountains, Hallie still can’t find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn’t aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn’t know who to trust.

On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie’s former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.

With past betrayals and harrowing obstacles in their way, Hallie fears they’ll never reach safety. Could speaking up about the night that changed everything close the distance between being lost and found? Or has she traveled too far to come back?

Odds are at least one person (likely more) reading this review won't know a thing about THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND. It's not a block buster book and sadly Kathryn Holmes is not a household name (this is her debut), so it's easy to see how this book would get lost in the shuffle of big name and largely hyped books in the beginning of 2015.

Which is a shame, because this is a really good book.

Hallie (whose full name is Hallelujah - yeah, clearly her parents didn't really think this through) has had a craptastic year, culminating in this wilderness trek with her youth group. You know from the way Hallie is bullied and a lot of her musing that something bad happened to her, but it's not very clear until the end.

This is not a bullying book. This is a book about a young woman finding herself and finding what she's made of when put to the test. When Hallie and her new friend/acquaintance Rachel along with Jonah (a guy she new before she became the group pariah) get lost in the woods, all the bets are off.

What I love is the simple danger of this book. There is no psycho with a knife hunting them or even a pack of wolves stalking them through the woods. This is basic danger, but that's what drives this. I think we forget that nature can be more dangerous than a room full of Charles Mansons.

I loved watching these three fight to survive against the odds while also breaking down what really happened with Hallie. It all boils down to nature and human nature and this is a great story that doesn't need any frills or fluff to work.

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND is a quiet book, one that almost slipped by my radar. But it a very fast read with intriguing characters and a lot of suspense. Don't be too quick to dismiss this book.

Feb 18, 2015

Cover Reveal: BECKON ME by Cindy Thomas


BECKON ME by Cindy Thomas

Available April 13, 2015

Everything nineteen-year-old Karina Mitchell knows about death changes the instant that she and her best friend, Rainey, are shot. For one, souls don’t die. They cross over. Only, Rainey’s soul hasn’t, and her ghost is hell bent on haunting Karina.

When Karina begins her sophomore year of college and moves into the apartment that she was supposed to share with Rainey, she learns a few shocking truths from her mysterious and gorgeous blue-eyed neighbor, Eli.

One: Karina has been chosen to become a Beckoner—an immortal conduit of the dead who helps safely guide souls to the other side.

Two: She’s the reason that Rainey’s soul can’t cross over—Rainey followed her back from death and missed her window to be at peace.

Three: Eli is hot. As in swoon-worthy, to-die-for, will-make-you-forget-yourself hot. And it turns out, Eli is a Beckoner, too.

Despite her attraction to Eli, the decision to become a Beckoner isn’t an easy one—it would mean giving up her own mortality … her own soul. But if she doesn’t, her best friend will be left to suffer an eternity at the hands of the evil Ceptors, dark creatures that feed on the souls left behind. After all, it’s her fault Rainey is haunting her.

Time is running out, and Karina needs to decide: Are love and loyalty worth sacrificing her soul?

BECKON ME is a dark but sweet NA paranormal romance for both NA and upper YA readers, ages 16 and up.


Available April 13, 2015

Pre-Order BECKON ME on Amazon

Add BECKON ME to Goodreads

About the Author:

Cindy has dreamed of being an author since third grade when she won a writing contest for a story she wrote about her deceased great aunt. She hasn’t been able to ignore that dream since and chooses to spend most of her free time listening to the voices in her head and writing their stories.

tmF9mt0LOutside of her writing and working for Spencer Hill Press, Cindy is happily married and has three young boys. She lives in PA, but was born and raised in NC. Even though she’s lived in the northern half of the US for ten years, she still very much misses grits for breakfast and every now and then goes on a country music binge.

You can find her online in these places:

Website / Newsletter / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

P.S. Sign up for Cindy's newsletter and you'll receive the first four chapters of BECKON ME for free!

Feb 15, 2015

ApollyCon Featured Author: Laura Kaye

ApollyCon Featured Author: Laura Kaye

About the Author

Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink, Heroes, and Hearts of the Anemoi series. Laura's hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


Recent Release

Caught between desire and loyalty…

Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team—sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the beautiful woman he found there.

When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man he's become. Derek’s easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up, igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn’t trust.

As the team’s investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives are lost. Because love is too hard to come by to let slip away…

Other Titles

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Feb 14, 2015

ApollyCon Featured Author: Jeaniene Frost

ApollyCon Featured Author: Jeaniene Frost

About the Author

Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series and the Broken Destiny series. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her.


Recent Release

Leila’s years on the carnie circuit were certainly an education. What she didn’t learn: how to be a vampire, or how to be married to the most famous vampire of them all. Adjusting to both has Leila teetering on a knife edge between passion and peril, and now the real danger is about to begin…

Vlad must battle with a centuries-old enemy whose reach stretches across continents and whose strength equals his own. It isn’t like Vlad to feel fear, but he does…for Leila, because his enemy knows she is Vlad’s greatest weakness. As friend and foe alike align against him—and his overprotectiveness drives Leila away—Vlad’s love for his new bride could be the very thing that dooms them both…

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Feb 13, 2015

Review: Only Everything by Kieran Scott

Title: Only Everything
Author: Kieran Scott
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 5/6/2014
Pages: 326
Genre: Young Adult, Mythology, Retelling
Series: True Love #1
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Sometimes the gods can be so unreasonable.

Like Zeus, the king, who thinks the proper reaction to finding me kissing a mortal is to threaten my boyfriend Orion's life, banish me to Earth, and force me to inspire true love between three couples without my powers. I know! Elders! I'm Eros, a.k.a. Cupid. The Goddess of Love. Until this morning, anyway.

Now I'm stuck on Earth with no clue how to function as a human, and I can't even conjure up my magical bow and arrows to help me do my job. I've already met this amazing guy—Charlie, a new kid in school like me—but matching him up isn't as easy as I thought. Turns out opposites don't attract, nearly identicals don't attract, and giving a guy what he seems to want is just one big disaster. My sweet new friend Katrina might work, but she's got more complications than Medusa's hair, and a live-in boyfriend with a serious mean streak. Probably not the best idea to go there.

If I don't make a match, I may never see Orion again. I have so much to lose, and only everything to gain. 

When I was approached about reviewing this series since Valentine’s Day was around the corner (and the series is about Eros, Goddess of Love AKA Cupid), I figured why not? It sounded kinda fun and I like Greek Mythology. I never expected it to kickstart an obsession with all things Kieran Scott and one of the funnest, most original characters I’ve read in a long time.

ONLY EVERTHING is unique in the way it’s told. It has 3 points of view—the first is True (Eros) who has been banished to the Earth by Zeus after falling for a mortal. Her punishment says she has to make 3 human couples find true love … but without the use of her goddess abilities. Trust me when I say taking a thousands of years old goddess and thrusting her onto Earth in human form is a recipe for hilarity. From her awkward encounters with other students that had me laughing out loud to her trying to find a job to pay for things, True is one of the funnest characters I’ve read in a long time.

The other two points of view are Charlie and Katrina—the couple fated to fall in true love. But there’s isn’t a picturesque high school love story. Katrina is still reeling from the sudden death of her father the previous year compounded with an ass of a boyfriend. Charlie is struggling to live up to the expectations of his parents (who are all about sports while he is all about music) while fitting in at a new school.

It all combines in a witty but poignant romance that is sweet and sincere and totally True. As soon as I put this book down, I reached for the next one and you will, too. So this Valentine’s Day, spend it with Cupid and Kieran Scott.
Buy: Only Everything

Feb 11, 2015

ApollyCon Featured Author: Mary Lindsey

ApollyCon Featured Author: Mary Lindsey/Marissa Clarke

About the Author

Mary's writing is a natural expression of her love of reading and a fascination with the flexibility of the human imagination. Books make the impossible possible.

Prior to attending University of Houston Law School, Mary received a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Drama from the University of Houston. She has taught drama and playwriting in a large public high school and English in a private school.

She serves as Vice-President of Communications of the West Houston RWA Chapter, and is a founding member of Houston YA/MG Writers and the QueryTracker.net Blog. Mary is represented by Kevan Lyon of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Mary lives in Houston with her husband, three kids, two dogs, her daughter's pet rats, an Australian Bearded Dragon and dozens of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. (The roaches are long story—don't ask.) Mary loves connecting with readers.


Recent Release

Medical research scientist Elena Arcos has always lived her life under the radar, which is not easy to do when you live with the craziest woman in the world. But eccentric Aunt Uza is a picnic compared to the other people who enter her orderly life after she is shot in a convenience store robbery.

Elena finds herself rocketed from comfortable predictability to supernatural insanity courtesy of her own private angel of death who happens to have the sexiest accent on earth and a body to match. Her death angel is convinced she’s some kind of freaky half vampire thing and that her deceased dad was the real deal: a blood sucking monster.

Yeah, right. She’ll play along, but then she doesn’t have much choice seeing how as the guy claims to be some immortal law enforcer and has taken her prisoner.

* * *

Nikolai Itzov had expected to fight the urge to torture the progeny of his father’s murderer, but he’d never anticipated battling the urge to kiss her her.

As a Slayer, an elite law enforcer descended from Azrael himself, his charge from the Underveil General is clear: Kill her or die. He has been told she is one of them--an Undead. Nothing but a parasite to be destroyed. But he has been told wrong.

Nikolai and Elena find themselves in a life and death battle to stop a plot designed to lift the Underveil and enslave humans.

With her analytical mind and his centuries of training and experience, they might be able to foil the plot with their lives and maybe their hearts intact. But in order to succeed, he must help her become the very thing he hates the most: an Undead.

Other Titles

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Feb 10, 2015

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 2.10.2015
Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy, SciFi
Series: Red Queen #1
Source: ARC from NYCC

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

It's not a secret that RED QUEEN is this year's Divergent. It seems like it's all anyone is really talking about, which made me a little hesitant to start it because sometimes when I book is hyped A LOT, I just don't get it or it falls flat or something goes wrong, but this book ... Oh, wow, this book. It's everything they say and more.

As soon as I finished this book, I immediately started texting/tweeting/messaging people to read it because it is THAT good. I was that excited to tell the world about it.

In her debut novel, Victoria Aveyard launches herself into the YA fray and starts kicking ass and taking names. This book reads like something from a seasoned pro with tight plots and compelling characters and world building skills to make George RR Martin sit up and take notice.

I absolutely loved Mare. I loved her quirks and problems, her pigheadedness and convictions. She is one of the strongest female heroines I've meet in a long while. If I had to pick Katniss, Tris or Mare as an ally in any fight, I'm going Mare all the way.

Mare is flanked by the dual hotness of princes - Cal and Maven are two sides of the same coin, but driven by different motives and affecting Mare in different ways. I spent the bulk of the book wondering who I liked more and loving them both equally.

You want this book. I daresay you NEED this book. I love saying that I knew Bella before she was famous. I hung out with Katniss before the rest of the world. And Tris? We go way back. I can't wait to be standing in line for the RED QUEEN movie premiere and telling people that I've known Mare since the beginning.

Buy: Red Queen

Feb 8, 2015

ApollyCon Featured Author: Megan Erickson

ApollyCon Featured Author: Megan Erickson

About the Author

My first stories written in crayon-scrawl on loose-leaf notebook paper were about my childhood pet — a deaf cat with dandruff. And after covering real-life dramas as a journalist, I decided I liked writing my own endings better and switched to fiction. My romance novels full of humor and heart are a far cry from those early scribblings about my hygiene-deficient pet.

I live in southern Pennsylvania, with my husband, two kids and two cats. I like a good pint of beer, a greasy bacon cheeseburger, homemade mac and cheese, and a great book with a happily ever after. When I’m not tapping away on my laptop, I’m probably listening to the characters in my head who just. Won’t. Shut. Up.


Upcoming Release (1/6/15)

After graduating from Bowler University, the last place Cam Ruiz ever expected to find himself is his hometown. A bad job as a bouncer and worry over his mom’s health make living in Paradise anything but. There’s only one thing that can make his return any harder—running into the only girl he’s ever loved.

Tate Ellison made a mistake when she was eighteen, one that cost her the best thing she’s ever had. She’s always hoped the regret of losing Cam would fade over time. Too bad it’s only grown. She took comfort in the fact she’d never have to face him again, so his presence in Paradise throws her for a loop.

The pull between them is instant and when the truth of what happened years ago tumbles out, they share a mind-blowing kiss...which leads to more. But the past has a way of repeating itself. When all the cards are on the table, Cam and Tate must decide what they are willing to do to make it last.

Other Titles

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Feb 7, 2015

ApollyCon Featured Author: Page Morgan

ApollyCon Featured Author: Page Morgan

About the Author

I’m the author of The Beautiful & The Cursed, a young adult novel about two sisters who, on their mission to find their missing brother, discover a veiled world of gargoyles and demons in the city of Paris.

I never gave gargoyles much thought until I came across an old image of a Notre Dame gargoyle with the city of Paris in the backdrop. My first impression was that this stone effigy was somehow keeping watch over Paris. To satisfy my curiosity, I did a little research and discovered that my first impression wasn’t that far from the truth.

Some gargoyles are simply decorative waterspouts, but others are symbols of protection, their faces and bodies purposely grotesque in order to scare off evil spirits. Any building with a gargoyle upon it is said to be a protected place, and the people inside safe from whatever evil lurks beyond those walls.

The first glimmer of a story came to me right then. I knew that my gargoyle lore would have a new twist, that the story would unfold in Paris at the turn of the 20th century, and that a human girl would discover the truth about a very handsome, very dangerous—and totally inhuman—young man.

For the next few years I let my characters and plot percolate and evolve, and at long last I was ready to write—and sell—the series. I’m currently at work writing the second and third novels for Delacorte Press, an imprint at Random House that I have long admired and wished to be a part of. Every day I make new discoveries about my characters and their world, making this the best job I could ever ask for!

I live in New England with my husband and our three children, an English Pointer puppy, an arrogant cat, two bearded dragons, and way too many chickens.


Recent Release

Ingrid and Gabby survived the Underneath. They saved their brother, Grayson, from a future of dark servitude and exposed a plot to undermine the Alliance. But danger still lurks in the streets of Paris, and the Dispossessed, perched on the city's bridges and rooftops, might not be able to save their human wards this time.

Other Titles

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Feb 4, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday: Jubilee Manor

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly waiting to get into our hands.

This week I'm waiting on....

Jubilee Manor
By: Bethany Hagen

The thrilling conclusion to Landry Park is full of love, betrayal, and murder--perfect for fans of Divergent, The Selection, and Pride and Prejudice 
In Landry Park, Madeline turned her back on her elite family, friends, and estate to help the Rootless. Now, in Jubilee Manor, she struggles to bring the Gentry and the Rootless together. But when Gentry heirs—Madeline’s old friends—are murdered, even she begins to think a Rootless is behind it, putting her at odds with the boy she loves and the very people she is trying to lead. If she can’t figure out who is killing her friends and bring them to justice, a violent war will erupt and even more will die—and Madeline’s name, her estate, and all the bonds she’s forged won’t make any difference.
This conclusion to Landry Park, which VOYA dubbed "Gone with the Wind meets The Hunger Games,” is a richly satisfying, addictive read.

Jubilee Manor will be released Aug. 11, 2015

Feb 3, 2015

Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Title: Geek Girl
Author: Holly Smale
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: 1.27.2015
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humor
Series: Geek Girl #1
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: 3 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Geek + runway = a hilarious runaway hit! This bestselling UK debut is full of humor and high-fashion hijinks—and now it’s coming to America.

Harriet Manners is tired of being labeled a geek. So when she’s discovered by a modeling agent, she seizes the chance to reinvent herself. There’s only one problem: Harriet is the definition of awkward. Does she have what it takes to transform from geek to chic?

Geek Girl is the first book in a hilarious new trilogy. It was also the #1 bestselling YA debut of 2013 in the UK, where it was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for Best Book for Teens. With all the humor and fabulous shenanigans of Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson and Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries, Geek Girl is about to become an international superstar.

Finding out this book is a smash hit across the pond (where it’s set), both fascinated and worried me. Admittedly, GEEK GIRL sounds like fun. Something cute and light and relaxing. I was excited to read this and see why British readers are all about Holly Smalle.

Harriet is an odd duck. This is nothing new—she freely admits in in the beginning. In fact, the first chapter is an adorable glimpse into her always working brain where she explains why she’s a geek and owns it. That part I love—own your geek! But then it continues into the next chapter. And the next. And the—you get where I’m going with this? There are some hilarious moments that had me laughing out loud and Harriet is truly an endearing character.

I can see why teens love this book and why it’s such a hit over in England. I just worry it will have a hard time finding an audience in the US because there’s a lot of British humor, and it reads young. Yes, I realize I’m an adult reading young adult novels, but Harriet feels and sounds young. This isn’t a bad thing—she’s fresh and innocent and sweetly dorkish (the way I imagine I was at her age).

I hope younger readers will give this a go. Adult may want to be a bit wary of it because Harriet very much sounds like a teen (perhaps even a preteen). But there’s an inherent sweetness to this story I think will appeal to a wide range of readers. I would happily hand this off to my 13 year old cousin to read. 

Feb 2, 2015

Review: I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Title: I’ll Meet You There
Author: Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Publication Date: 2.3.2015
Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Military, Issues
Series: N/A
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

Several months back I had the pleasure of helping organize the YA Author/Blogger Party at BEA 2014. One of the things I did was pair authors with a blogger to chat with. I buddied up my friend Danny at Bewitched Bookworms with an author she said she loved, Heather Demetrios. Danny was beyond excited, and I never quite got it until now.

Because Heather Demetrios is my hero, too.

When I sent out a tweet trying to find a great book with solid characters and some yummy romance, I never expected Jamie from The Broke and The Bookish (along with a bunch of others) to respond with I’LL MEET YOU THERE, but I was bored and feeling whatever, so I started it.

I just finished it minutes ago, but I can already tell this is a book that will linger in my heart for years to come. Dynamic characters, powerful writing, and heated romance fuels this beautiful book in every single one of its 400 pages.

I loved how absolutely real this story read. From Josh’s issues returning home with one less limb than he left with, to Skylar’s struggle to maintain the balance between being true to herself and saving her mom from herself, to the colorful array of secondary characters (seriously, can Blake and/or Dylan get a spinoff here?). Every situation was something real people are facing every day. And Demetrios didn’t take the easy way out by making quick excuses and apologies—if a character here made a mistake (I’m looking at you, Josh), they had to earn forgiveness.

I’ve had Heather Demetrios’s other books sitting on my shelf for a while and they’ve sat untouched; pretty decorations on my shelf. I can’t wait to pull them off and find more of her characters to love.
Buy: I'll Meet You There