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From Goodreads: Boy Nobody (Boy Nobody #1)
Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends, and doesn’t stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend’s family to die-of “natural causes.” Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.
But when he’s assigned to the mayor of New York City, things change. The daughter is unlike anyone he has encountered before; the mayor reminds him of his father. And when memories and questions surface, his handlers at The Program are watching. Because somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and parents; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s mission.
In this action-packed series debut, author Allen Zadoff pens a page-turning thriller that is as thought-provoking as it is gripping, introducing an utterly original and unforgettable antihero.
Boy Nobody is really somebody quite EXTRAORDINARY!
This has become one of my most favorite YA series, and yeah, I know it’s just begun! Absolutely get your hands on it! Boy Nobody is a fast-paced, heart-pounding thriller YA novel, which reminds me of Matt Damon and the Bourne Identity. Fascinating, fabulous characters and NYC setting. Lots of intrigue, twists, turns and who did it? Who is the real boy nobody? Assassin, orphan, friend or foe? Ohhhh, did I get sucked in and totally entranced in the storyline and characters. Even got misty-eyed at the end. Allen Zadoff is a master storyteller, simplistic yet so, so, so effective! Less is more, perfect for reluctant readers. It’s great to read such an amazing male character, so boys will love this book as much as girls! I believe the movie rights were sold. I can’t wait to see how this novel will translate onto the screen.
Put Boy Nobody on your must read list!
DON’T MISS IT! DON’T MISS IT! DON’T MISS IT!
Learn more about Allen Zadoff
If you need one more reason to read Boy Nobody, then take a look at this amazing book trailer!
Reviewing my Goodreads “read” page, I was surprised to see how many novels I’ve read this year were a part of a series. It made me think about my reading choices. Sometimes, it’s agony having to wait for the next book in a series when I’m living to find out what happens next. I mark my calendar, hope for an ARC, and often pre-order! Once in awhile, I actually wait for the series to be completed, especially a trilogy) before I read book two. There are plenty of exceptions-The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater, for example, will be one of them.
I didn’t start the Lux Series by Jennifer Armetrout until recently. I gobbled up books 1-3, but now I’m longing for the next one. I loved being able to read three books back-to-back. Now I’m waiting, waiting, waiting along with other fans.
Because I devour so many novels, I don’t want to reread or skim to remind myself what happened. So I don’t. I’ll dive into the next book in the series and get caught up quickly. But this comes at a price. It’s possible I miss some of the author’s nuances that carry through a series.
It’s nice to have a little relief from the waiting. You gotta love the stand alone novels. Beginning, Middle, End. Done! So here’s a few I recommend:
OUR SONG by Jordanna Fraiberg is a hauntingly beautiful, mysterious, and captivating romantic page turner. Masterfully crafted.
For all those YA who have been deeply confused by their relationships when they suddenly take a huge plunge without obvious warning signs, OUR SONG is an eye-opener. What’s been missing? Is the perfect boy really so perfect? How does he impact your self-esteem? Wake up!
The novel opens with Olive recovering from a horrible car crash. She’s only alive because paramedics resuscitated her. Many rumors surround the circumstances behind the accident that just might not have been an accident, but a cry for help. Was it? The circumstances of that rainy night unfold as readers wonder about Olive’s mental state. Immediately, you will know something occurred with her ex-boyfriend Derek because Olive was driving his car. He comes across as heartless and selfish. It’s hard to understand what Olive saw in this jerk. What I deeply appreciate about this character is knowing that there are plenty of girls who go out with guys similar to Derek and take their crap. I hope this novel will be insightful. Who doesn’t know someone who has gone out or hooked up with guys just like this?
As Olive tries to deal with the circumstances behind the accident and her near-death experience, she joins an interesting support group. There, she meets a boy named Nick who helps Olive become more grounded. As they learn to trust each other, they share many adventures. Still, there’s lots of mystery behind Nick. Finding out his story is definitely a highlight.
There are lots of interesting family dynamics going on for both Olive and Nick. Olive’s parents seem to be struggling with their relationship. Her mother has an obsession with gardening and baking. Her father is a workaholic and spends a lot of time away from the family. I love her eight-year-old brother Noah. Despite the large age gap between them, Olive and Noah have a special, sweet bond. Nick has absent parents and readers will wonder why this bright young man has so much time on his hands.
The book unfolds beautifully, weaving words to a song that plays over and over again in Olive’s mind. A message? A warning?
She has a lot to learn about love, life, friendship, and her family. Sometimes a person has repeat experiences/bad choices in order to get it right and find the courage to be their best, strongest self.
This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Clever, fun, sweet, romantic!
I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this novel about an accidental slip of one letter that leads to an email exchange between Graham, a Hollywood star actor and Ellie, a girl with her own secrets. She lives in Henley, a small town in Maine. She shares life in Middle-of-Nowhere as he tells her about life in Middle-of-Everything, CA. When Graham has the opportunity to arrange for part of his next movie to be filmed in Henley, he goes in search of of Ellie. At this point, each has kept their identities secret from the other. This changes quickly when Graham comes to town. The connection to Ellie runs deep, but it’s not so easy for her to let him in. The boy she communicated with and revealed so much of herself to doesn’t quite jive with this big-time star. He has his own wounds and self-preservation keeps him from pursuing her after the paparazzi go crazy over his new “love” interest. With time running out, they can’t bare to stay apart. This leads to an interesting adventure and some tender moments, capturing “what happy looks like.”
This Is What Happy Looks Like is another wonderful book by the talented Jennifer E. Smith.
An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green. YA - This John Green novel was published in September 2006. It won the Printz Honor Award.
My husband and I listened to An Abundance of Katherines on a road trip. It’s the perfect YA novel to share with family (if you don’t get embarrassed with an occasional sex reference.) – 1. Male narrator. 2. Lots of humor they guys can relate to. 3. Brilliant writing. 4. Male characters who are hysterical and quirky. 5. Incredible story – strong values, insightful.
Colin Singleton has dated nineteen Katherines – not Kat or Catherine or Katie or Kate – and when the last one dumps him, he’s devastated. During the summer between high school and college, Colin goes on a road trip with his BFF, Hassan. Their adventure is a powerful experience as Colin – boy prodigy and anagram expert – discovers where he’s gone wrong with his nineteen Katherines relationships. There are also insightful moments that help define friendship.
Narrated by Jeff Woodman. He did a great job switching from one character to another, changing voices and adding a special touch to their personalities with his intonation. <3 it.
This novel will make you lol, smile, and appreciate the what makes each of us unique. Highly recommend.
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turage – MG, won the Newberry Honor (2013)
I absolutely LOVED this audio! The change of voices was spot on and captured the essence of the story. There were many lol moments. The story is about Mo (aka Moses), an eleven-year-old girl who was found as a baby after a hurricane without any trace of her parents. She writes letters and sticks them in a bottle to her “upstream mother.” She has a best friend Dale and they have a detective agency. With the agency, they find lost dogs and investigate a murder! The circumstances are funny and touching. I love the Lavender, Dale’s older brother. Mo has a crush on him and it’s quite sweet. Miss Lana raises Mo as her own, and I have to say that I am deeply touched by their closeness. There’s also the Colonel who found Mo during the hurricane and is a father figure in Mo’s life. I love the suspense, the mystery, and the eccentric characters. This is a wonderful book for middle graders. The audio is perfect for a road trip with MG kids. The entire family will love it
Thank you to Boswell Books for hosting our book club! For more info on this fantastic indie books store, check out Boswell Books.
For more info: Goodreads
In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.
Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.
Intense, powerful, suspenseful. Kids are committing suicide left and right. It’s an epidemic. Certain kids are more at risk than others – those who lost a family member or a friend. The Program will make sure that you’ll be okay. Except no one comes out the same. Good memories, bad memories will vanish. You’ll have holes in your life, but hey – if it keeps you alive, it’s so much better than the alternative, right? Or is The Program what’s driving kids to kill themselves?
I read this this ARC for our book club and we all agreed that THE PROGRAM is a fantastic book for discussion. Our conversations about the characters, their relationships, The Program and its impact really made me think. I hope that others will read this with a group, and if not, that there are online discussion groups to add your perspective and to get others’ thoughts. Does suicides breed more suicides? Would you want to lose your memories? Do antidepressants help or add to the problem? All fascinating questions.
At times, I found the book to be quite dark – after all, it is about suicide. The suspense and sweet romance balances some of that out.
Suzanne Young is a terrific writer. Guaranteed to have you hooked.
Heidi from YA Bibliophile showing us her cool nails and the “ring” connected to the book!
We truly had lively discussion and enjoyed sharing our perspectives. One thing that we all thought was interesting is that this novel has a dystopian feel, but we wouldn’t necessarily categorize it that way.
HUGE THANKS TO: The awesome Heidi @ YA Bilbliophile for putting this event together for our group. She is so creative and organized. Her enthusiasm is contagious! <3 her!
Heidi from YA Bibliophile, our awesome organizer! Look at the awesome bags, pretzels, cupcakes she made! Oh and we had jelly beans for our “pills.”
When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road? A poignant and romantic novel from the author of Bittersweet and Twenty Boy Summer.
Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.
Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?
Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?
Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.
My thoughts: This book sounds amazing. What I would expect: rich, fascinating, memorable characters – and oh so romantic. I am definitely a Sarah Ockler fan. I have loved her other novels and highly recommend that you check them out on her website or her Goodreads page.
“Bono met his wife in high school,” Park says.
“So did Jerry Lee Lewis,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be,” she says, “we’re sixteen.”
“What about Romeo and Juliet?”
“Shallow, confused, then dead.”
”I love you,” Park says.
“Wherefore art thou,” Eleanor answers.
“I’m not kidding,” he says.
“You should be.”
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under
I was fortunate to hear Rainbow speak at an April 4th event through Boswell Books. I must say, Rainbow is hilarious, dynamic, and quick with a quip. She had the crowd laughing and smiling. I absolutely loved Eleanor & Park and I think many people will be able to relate to her characters on a deep level: emotional pain and fear, love and longing, feeling out of place and wishing so much to be seen and not seen. In my opinion, Eleanor & Park is the best of the best – incredible characters, incredible dialogue. It’s a heartfelt, heart-wrenching story that will leave you gasping and holding on to a thread of hope. Something we all need, especially when things are tough.
And if Rainbow Rowell has her way, readers will be blessed to find out her vision of what happens to these characters when they’re thirty! Personally, I can’t wait to read that book!
1. There are many phrases that people use to explain beauty like: Beauty is not only skin deep. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Both these seem to be an underlying theme of Eleanor & Park. Though I wouldn’t exactly call these definitions of beauty a theme of this novel, it is prevalent. What is it that compelled you to guide your readers to think about these concepts?
I never say in the book whether Eleanor is beautiful or Park is handsome. I don’t really believe in universal beauty or attractiveness — attraction is the magic that happens between two people.
Park thinks Eleanor is breathtaking. Eleanor thinks Park is perfect. And so they are.
That isn’t a fantasy world that I’m portraying; that’s how the world really is. It’s a painful waste of time trying to be the sort of beautiful that everyone can agree on.
2. Your characters often are faced with difficult situations that leave them powerless. I don’t think anyone hasn’t felt this way at some point in their lives. What is important for YA, especially, to know or to do when they feel this way?
Hmm. That’s a good question, but not one I’m sure I can answer. You really are almost powerless when you still live with your parents. If your home life sucks, there’s not much you can do about it. (I say that from experience.) I think it’s important for young people to realize they’re going to inherit their own lives very soon. You won’t always be stuck inside someone else’s dysfunction. In a way, your job is to keep yourself sane and whole, to the best of your ability, until your life is your own.
Also, I think it’s important to remember that no one gets by on their own. You have to ask for help sometimes. You have to trust other people.
3. True love and loss also permeates this story, as does hope. Why was it so important for you to give hope to your characters and how do you feel that translates for anyone who is in the midst of tremendous despair?
I think I just believed that there was hope. For all of them. (But I tend to always err on the side of hope.) (How I roll.)
4. Celebrate individuality is another one of those underlying themes of Eleanor & Park. But often times people strive so hard to conform. Why is individuality so important to you and for your readers?
When I was younger, I remember really wanting to fit in — but also really wanting to distinguish myself. That’s the tension both Eleanor and Park feel. That fear of standing out, but also that desperate need to be recognized as an individual … I’m not sure I ever got over those feelings.
I wasn’t intentionally celebrating individuality in the book. Or trying to teach any lessons. These are just the characters that came to me. This is what felt real to me.
5. Your characters live in a tough community – yet there is a richness to it that most people probably wouldn’t see just driving by. What is it that people can learn from this?
I think most communities are much richer than outsiders realize. You have to live inside of a community to understand the rules and the hierarchy, the connections. That’s something Eleanor struggles with, as an outsider. Even though Park, as one of the only Asian people in the neighborhood, looks different — he was born and raised there. He knows how it works.
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From Goodreads: Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. “Dance with me, Beth.”
“No.” I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again….
“I dare you…”
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does….
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him.
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all.
Why I’m looking forward to this novel: I really enjoyed Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits. She writes strong, deep, emotional characters that keep readers interested. It’ll be exciting to see where she takes Beth, a secondary character from Pushing the Limits, who is now in the spotlight as the main character. Here’s another reason: I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have issues or problems they’ve had to face in their lives. Katie takes them on in her books and gives readers hope for something good to come. I love that. I think it’ll inspire others too!
For more information about these two books and more, check out Katie’s Goodreads page. Or her website.
Filled with humor, raw emotion, a strong voice, and a brilliant dog named Sandy Koufax, When You Were Here explores the two most powerful forces known to man-death and love. Daisy Whitney brings her characters to life with a deft touch and resonating authenticity.
Danny’s mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation-the one day that she was hanging on to see.
Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn’t know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore.
When he gets a letter from his mom’s property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with his mother’s memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There, among the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harijuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.
Why I can’t wait to read this novel: I’ve heard a lot of my blogger friends talking about this book, and even though a few read it months and months ago (they were fortunate to receive an ARC), they still say it was unforgettable. That’s more than good enough for me! Besides, doesn’t the idea of Tokyo as a setting sound amazing? I’m certain this will be quite heart-wrenching, but I’m looking forward to learning about Danny and his mom. Death is never an easy topic to write about or to read about, but it’s an inevitable human experience. From what I’ve heard from my blogger friends, Daisy Whitney shares a powerful story with her readers. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to it.
The Darkest Mind, By Alexandra Bracken, Bunheads, By Sophie Flack, When You Where Mine, By Rebecca Serle, The Things We Did, (SIGNED) By Sarah Mlynowski, The Farm, By Emily McKay, Time of My Life, By Allison Winn Scott
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From Goodreads: Violet thought she’d made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers…that is until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team Violet works for have no intention of letting her go.
When someone close to Violet becomes a suspect in a horrific murder, she finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a madman with an army of devoted followers. Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself.
My thoughts: I read The Body Finder, the first book in this series, back in August 2010 and couldn’t put it down. It was intense, fast-paced. I was hooked! Violet Ambrose and Jay Heaton are two fabulous characters and a wonderful novel couple. With Violet’s special ability to sense the echoes of the dead, Jay has had to come to terms with her special skills. And these two have chemistry. The series has plenty of danger, terrifying characters, and gripping story lines. Violet gets introduced to some quirky gifted teens/interesting characters in the second and third installments including forensic psychologist Sara Priest whose job is to track down serial killers. Together, they work to find murderers and their victims.
I’m looking forward to finding out what happens to Violet and Jay in this fourth installment, which should wrap up this series. (I looked at Kimberly’s website and there doesn’t seem to be any plans for a fifth.) If you haven’t read them, this would be the time to start! Definitely recommend!
For more information about this series and other books by Kimberly Derting, check out her website: Kimberly Derting
For more information on the books, check out Goodreads.
The stakes have risen even higher in this third book in the Hourglass series.
The Hourglass is a secret organization focused on the study of manipulating time, and its members — many of them teenagers -have uncanny abilities to make time work for them in mysterious ways. Inherent in these powers is a responsibility to take great care, because altering one small moment can have devastating consequences for the past, present, and future. But some time travelers are not exactly honorable, and sometimes unsavory deals must be struck to maintain order.
With the Infinityglass (central to understanding and harnessing the time gene) at large, the hunt is on to find it before someone else does.
But the Hourglass has an advantage. Lily, who has the ability to locate anything lost, has determined that the Infinityglass isn’t an object. It’s a person. And the Hourglass must find him or her first. But where do you start searching for the very key to time when every second could be the last?
My thoughts: I love this series, which begins with Hourglass, then Timepiece, and now the second installment. Once again, Egmont did a fabulous job with the cover. Gorgeous. Here’s what I had to say about Hourglass: Hourglass is a fabulous YA novel that involves fascinating characters, time travel, adventure, and romance. Plenty of good versus evil. And for a pleasant surprise, a cover that fits beautifully with the storyline of the book. McEntire’s writing draws you into the story and the pace keeps you turning the pages. I highly recommend this one!
And Timepiece: Read the ARC, which was loaned to me by a friend. And all I can say for now is WAY TO GO Myra McEntire! Was so surprised to discover that Kaleb narrated this second book in the HOURGLASS series. Loved it. Since the novel isn’t coming out until June, 2012 I will wait to update my review until then. But let me urge everyone to get their hands on and read HOURGLASS asap!!! and add TIMEPIECE to your “to-read” list. This series will completely suck you in.
Oh, and isn’t the cover just gorgeous??? The designer nailed it!
So, now I can’t wait to find out what happens with all the amazing characters and the Hourglass organization!