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Cover Reveal: SEEK ME IN SHADOWS by Danielle Ellison (BOOK 2 in the BOUNDLESS series)
Mar 23rd, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

About SEEK ME IN SHADOWS:

Neely Ambrose thought she was done with secrets. When she escaped the Compound, she also believed she’d escaped a future built on lies and deceit. She was wrong; the world outside isn’t much better. In fact, it may be worse.

All Neely wants is to safely deliver the people of the Compound into Remnant camps so she can go start a life of her own with Thorne. But that’s before the Remnants start dying around her, before camps are destroyed just after she’s left them, before she notices a strange bird carving at the site of each attack, and before Thorne is taken.

The Mavericks believe Thorne is dead, taken by the Elders who will stop at nothing to find Neely, but she’s determined to prove them wrong.

But the only clue she has to find him is a bird carved into the last place where anyone saw Thorne. As she starts a journey to find him, she learns the birds are a symbol for a secret group that’s made a home in the shadows. A group that even Xenith doesn’t know about, that the Remnants won’t talk about, and that Neely feels may have a plan of their own — and that plan may involve her.”

Praise for Book 1:

Book 1 in the BOUNDLESS series

Book 1 in the BOUNDLESS series

“A heart-stopping adventure with characters you will follow anywhere.” ~ Marie Rutkoski, The Winner’s Curse

“A tense, thrilling journey through a richly layered world. The start of what is sure to be a fascinating trilogy.” ~ Kristen Simmons, Article 5 series

“This has a dark, dystopian feel. Incredible world building, clever plot, and swoony romance. I look forward to the next book in the series.” –Liza Wiemer, ​Hello?

“This fast-paced dystopian thriller shoots off like a rocket from the first chapter and doesn’t stop until the the final page. While Neely’s plan unfolds at breakneck speed, Ellison seamlessly weaves in flashbacks of Neely’s past–including the boy she loves. Follow Me Through Darkness delivers one jaw-dropping twist after another, and the pace is so fast, your page-flipping fingers will hardly be able to keep up.” — Lelia Nebeker, bookseller

“Well written and addictive, I would definitely highly recommend this for fans of the YA Dystopia genre.” — Liz, Liz Loves Books

“Engrossing, thought provoking, action packed.” — Jeanz Books​​

ABOUT DANIELLE: WEBSITE | GOODREADS | TWITTER | SIGN UP FOR HER NEWSLETTER

ADD SEEK ME IN SHADOWS TO YOUR TBR LIST ON GOODREADS

AND NOW FOR . . .

THE BEAUTIFUL, ENTICING . . .

COVER . . .

FOR BOOK 2 . . .

SEEK

ME

IN

SHADOWS

SMIS

Flashback Friday: THE NEAR WITCH by Victoria Schwab
Mar 20th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

flashback-friday-featured

This meme is hosted by Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare 

THE NEAR WITCH

by Victoria Schwab

Buy it here: IndieBoundAmazon | B&N

Connect with Victoria: Goodreads | Twitter | Website

From Goodreads:

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know-about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

My review:
The Near Witch (The Near Witch, #1)The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch is absolutely FANTASTIC! Victoria Schwab did a masterful job creating a full-length Brothers Grimm style fairy tale or Hans Christian Anderson style fairy tale. A little scary (for small children, perhaps), plenty of intrigue, a lot of adventure. Cole is an interesting stranger who comes to Near and is accused of snatching children out of their beds without a trace. The story unfolds and comes to life with witches and plenty of mystery. The MC Lexi is a wonderful heroine who doesn’t allow fear to keep her away from the unknown. I really appreciate a strong female character, one who goes against the majority for the good of society. Definitely add The Near Witch to your reading list. You won’t regret it.

View all my reviews

Blog Tour: POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL by Wendy Mills – Guest Post and Giveaway
Mar 13th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

PositivelyBeautiful_blogtourbanner

POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL

by Wendy Mills

Hardcover, 368 pages

Pub date: March 3, 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Buy it here: IndieBound | B&N | Amazon | Audible | Book Depository

Connect with the author: Goodreads | Twitter | Website

Guest Post:

Books that make us cry. Why do we love them?

Positively Beautiful Cover

I’m going to preface this post by saying I am a happy person. I am, I swear. I love laughing more than about anything. I like funny people. I like hilarious movies and videos. I absolutely adore those epic auto-correct fails that have me laughing out loud in wildly inappropriate places.

However, having said that, I also like books that make me cry, preferably a good ugly cry with lots of snot and hankies. In fact, I wrote a book that has made me cry every time I read it, all three thousand five hundred and twenty-one times. (But who’s counting?) However, at no time during my thought process leading up to writing Positively Beautiful did I think: I know! I’m going to write a tear-jerker! I want to make people SUFFER! (Hands rubbing together in maniacal glee.) No, it all kind of happened on accident.

I did not start out to write a “cancer” book. When I first started writing Positively Beautiful, I was thinking about the BRCA gene, and what it would be like for a sixteen-year-old to know she could have a gene mutation that could give her up to an 80% chance of getting breast cancer in her lifetime. But the more research I did, the more I realized that this type of knowledge would not happen in a vacuum. Most of the people who carry the BRCA gene have a strong family history of cancer and would have experienced cancer first hand, over and over again. Of course this would color their attitude toward death and cancer. Of course this would play a role in how they decided to handle their own mutation. I set out to write a book about a gene mutation, and by necessity, it turned into a book that included cancer, because this is the natural progression of this type of gene mutation.

But even though there were parts in this book that I dreaded writing, that I actually sat shaking at my keyboard as I wrote, they were a necessary part of this story. And there is no getting around the fact that to some readers (including me), crying over a book is enjoyable in a weird, possibly masochistic way. Not like, why yes, I think you should staple my private parts to the headboard kind of way, but masochistic in the fact that we are doing something that makes us hurt and ENJOYING it at some level. It has forced me to think a lot about why I like books that make me cry and what it says about us as humans.

Why We Like Books That Make Us Cry:

  1. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of catharsis is “purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) primarily through art.” So basically, we have all these different emotions running though us, and by crying, we expel them like salmonella-coated chicken.
  2. Trying on emotions for size. It’s a subconscious way of preparing ourselves for a time when we may be going through something similarly tragic. We get to feel all the intense emotion of a particular situation, with the benefit of a safety net. We can close the book and start the pot roast.
  3. Reminding us that we are human. Crying for emotion is a unique symptom of the human condition. If we can cry at another person’s pain, then we are empathizing with them on a level that is virtually unknown anywhere else in the animal kingdom.
  4. The addictiveness of connecting with a book. The holy grail of reading is finding that book that you can connect with on such a deep level that you feel raw, visceral emotion about the plight of a character.
  5. Sometimes you just need to cry. There is actually a Wikihow article on “How to Cry and Let it All Out,” (I kid you not, check it out), so evidently I’m not the only one who enjoys a fugly, messy crying session every once in a while. I know I’ve always felt hollowed out and somehow “clean” after a good crying jag.

 

Why do you like books that make you cry?

 

POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL Blog Tour Schedule

March 2nd Jenuine Cupcakes

March 3rd  YA Bibliophile

March 4th  Book Revels

March 5th  The Hardcover Lover

March 6th  Bookiemoji

March 9th  Dana Square

March 10th  Lovin Los Libros

March 11th  The Book Belles

March 12th  Adventures in Reading

March 13th  Who Ru Blog

Wendy Mills Author Photo

Author Biography

WENDY MILLS was born in Virginia and spent several years in North Carolina, but now lives with her family on the tropical island of Bokeelia, off the south-west coast of Florida where she spends her time writing and dodging hurricanes. She has published adult mysteries with Poisoned Pen Press, and Positively Beautiful is her first young adult novel. Visit her online at www.wendymillsbooks.com or on Twitter @WendyMillsBooks.

 

Giveaway: US only -

1 hardcover of

POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL

by Wendy Mills. Entrants must be 13 years or older.

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Flashback Friday: STAY by Debbie Caletti
Mar 13th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

flashback-friday-featuredFlashback Friday is a weekly meme by Swoony Boys Podcast & Fiction Fare featuring novels that are over 2 years old.

Stay8527904

by Deb Caletti

Hardcover, 313 pages

Pub. date: April 5, 2011

Published by Simon Pulse

Buy it here: IndieBound | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Connect with the author: Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

From Goodreads:

Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.

Now Clara has left the city and Christian behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough….

My review:

StayStay by Deb Caletti (Read in August, 2011)

Finished this amazing book in one sitting. Wow. Every person who is not in a relationship should read this book, those of you who are in an unhealthy relationship should read this book! Oh heck, everyone should read this book, there is so much to learn and it might save someone from experiencing the kind of hell the main character Clara went through. It’s a cautionary tale of what one person’s obsession can do to another human being. I loved how Deb Caletti brought light out of darkness. I love how she interwove so many secrets into this book, painful and traumatizing yet also revealing and freeing. Clara gets involved with Christian, a boy who at first seems like the most perfect guy. What unravels is shocking and way realistic. I loved the father, flaws and all, I loved Finn and his family. This is a rich, emotional YA novel. Highly recommend.

View all my reviews

Flashback Friday: HATE LIST by Jennifer Brown
Mar 6th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

flashback-friday-featured

Flashback Friday is a meme created by Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare.

HATE LIST7893725

by Jennifer Brown

Hardcover, 405 pages

Published September 1, 2009

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Purchase here:

IndieBound | Amazon | Book Depository B&N

Literary awards:

School Library Journal Best Book of the YearMilwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee (2011)Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award (2010)The White Ravens (2010)Voya Perfect Ten (2009)

To read the interview I conducted with Jennifer Brown about Hate List, check out this April 28, 2010 post.

From Goodreads:

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

My review:
Hate List

My thoughts today: School shoots are still taking place, so this novel is still (sadly) relevant. The novel is brutally honest, eye-opening, emotionally heart wrenching, powerful, memorable. This is an important, insightful novel that should be read by anyone who cares about topics such as bullying, education, friendship.

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Originally read and reviewed April 7, 2010)

This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read. Teens, teachers, parent MUST read this book. Hate List shows the fragile line between being bullied and bullies and the horrendous consquences that can occur when an individual has had too much or has been pushed over the edge. I’d love to see this as required reading for middle school and high school students.

View all my reviews

Blog Tour: LITTLE PEACH by Peggy Kern, Q & A and Giveaway
Mar 4th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

LITTLE PEACHLittle Peach-1

by Peggy Kern

Q & A and Giveaway

Buy it here: IndieBound | B&N | Amazon | Audible | Book Depository

Connect with the author: Twitter

 
Synopsis:

What do you do if you’re in trouble?

When Michelle runs away from her drug-addicted mother, she has just enough money to make it to New York City, where she hopes to move in with a friend. But once she arrives at the bustling Port Authority, she is confronted with the terrifying truth: she is alone and out of options.

Then she meets Devon, a good-looking, well-dressed guy who emerges from the crowd armed with a kind smile, a place for her to stay, and eyes that seem to understand exactly how she feels.

But Devon is not what he seems to be, and soon Michelle finds herself engulfed in the world of child prostitution where he becomes her “Daddy” and she his “Little Peach.” It is a world of impossible choices, where the line between love and abuse, captor and savior, is blurred beyond recognition. 

 
Author Peggy Kern

Author Peggy Kern

About Peggy Kern:

Peggy Kern was born and raised in Westbury, New York. There she attended the local public elementary and middle schools, where she was one of the few white students in a predominately black and Latino community. Peggy didn’t realize what a unique and valuable experience that was until she transferred to a private high school.

“I was miserable in high school,” she says. “I couldn’t understand why my classmates only hung out with people who looked just like they did. To me, that was a foreign concept.” Peggy worked a variety of jobs through her teenage years, including switchboard operator at a country club, cashier at a clothing store, and the night-shift in a bakery.

In 1992, Peggy enrolled at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, where she discovered her love of literature and writing. However, the financial stress of paying for college herself – coupled with the painful divorce of her parents – proved overwhelming. She moved back to New York and took a full-time job as a secretary. Determined to finish her degree, she began taking night classes at a local community college and eventually landed a partial scholarship at Long Island University. She continued working full-time and taking classes until she graduated in 1998 with a B.A. in English.

Though it took her almost seven years to obtain her college degree, Peggy says she would do it all again. “The adversity made me work even harder. I never forgot how lucky I was to have a chance at an education.”

In 2001, Peggy completed a Master’s degree in English and Writing at Southampton College. She also coordinated the Southampton Writers Conference, where she had the chance to meet some of her literary heroes and assist young students in pursing their dream of writing. While at Southampton, she taught English Composition, tutored undergraduate students and published several short stories.

Q&A:

NOTE: Little Peach addresses the sexual exploitation of young girls and women. Abuse of this kind occurs to boys as well, but for the purposes of this post, the author is primarily focused on female victims.

Q: For the person growing up in a stable home reading this novel, what are some of the big life lessons you would like readers to take away from reading Little Peach?
 
Many of us grow up in what you might call unstable homes and turn out ok. I think the bigger issue is poverty. If you are poor, and you happen to be faced with a crisis such as addiction (like Peach’s mom), you have no safety net at all. You are at much greater risk for catastrophe. 
 
So, for those of us with resources, I guess I’d say, do not judge anyone for their poverty. Do not underestimate the literal life-and-death risk it creates. Peach didn’t choose her life. In America, we like to believe that you can be anything if you only work hard enough. I wish that was true, but the reality is the poor in our country face near-insurmountable odds.   
 
Compassion. We need more compassion. And we need more outrage on behalf of our most vulnerable citizens.


Q: Who influenced you the most growing up? Why or How?
 
My dad. He was a psychologist with an activist’s heart who spend his career fighting for those who need the most help: the poor, the addicted, the homeless. He was also very active in the Civil Rights Movement (he was arrested on a semi-regular basis for protesting in the ‘60s). My dad was one of the most moral people I’ve ever known and I always hope I’m making him proud. 
 
Q: Sexual exploitation, whether from a boyfriend, a stranger, an adult happens all the time. Do you have any advice to young adults to help prevent this situation or do you have suggestions after something has occurred?
 
This is a great question because, while Little Peach is a radical example of sexual exploitation, we have an across-the-board crisis with sexual assault going on. I believe that statistic is now that one out of every four females will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18. 
 
For us girls, this isn’t breaking news. We learn, from a very young age, that this is our reality – whether we’ve experienced it ourselves, or if we have a friend who has. We learn how to take care of each other as best we can. I remember, in my younger years, when my friends and I would go out to a club for the night, we constantly looked out for each other. Especially in college, we had rules: Nobody goes home with a guy we don’t know. Don’t leave your drink on the bar. No, you’re not going upstairs with that dude to see his dorm room. We understood the threat of sexual violence was a part of our reality on the planet, and we navigated accordingly. 
 
This is insane, now that I think about it. Why on earth should we have to live like that?
 
So, I think women are pretty well versed in sexual violence and what they can do to protect themselves. It’s young men who need the talking to. I think we need to start having direct conversations with young men about consent. We need to start talking bluntly about assault, and we should start in, like, middle school.  


Q: Victims often blame themselves. What’s your perception on blame and how does one move forward?
 
Victims blame themselves because they are so often blamed. We see it in the media all the time. When a women accuses someone of rape, she frequently becomes the suspect. Had she been drinking? Did she have a history of going to “those” parties? Did she contact the person who assaulted her after it occurred? (Which is not uncommon because people deal with assault in many different ways). I remember an incident a few years back, when a girl was assaulted at a party while she was unconscious from drinking; the boys took a video and passed it around and eventually it became a news story. So many people said things like, Well, yes, the boys were wrong but why did she put herself in that position? Or, where were her parents?
 
Women have a right to safety under all circumstances. Even if we’re drunk. Even if we’re stone-cold sober and change our minds at a moment our partners deem inconvenient.
 
To get back to the last question, this is why we need to talk frankly about consent. You hear enough folks imply that a drunk girl is asking for it, and you begin to think it’s true. Just like Peach after she’s first assaulted, it does not take much to convince her that the entire incident was her fault. She absolutely accepts the blame, and therefore, doesn’t even recognize that she’s been raped.
 
In the case of sex trafficking, once girls like Peach turn 18, they are officially viewed as “prostitutes”. They are seen as criminals who are fully consenting to this life. The laws are changing somewhat, but they’re changing slowly – and society’s attitudes will take much longer.  Of course, the girls feel deep, deep shame as a result – shame that is only reinforced by how they are treated by our criminal justice system, and by our culture.
 
We must stop blaming ourselves for our assaults. And we must start talking openly – and loudly – about the issue.

Giveaway – One copy of the novel (US & CA only)

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Last List Blog Tour: HISSY FITZ (MG novel) by Patrick Jennings – Q & A & Giveaway
Mar 2nd, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

last-list_blog-hop-300x300

 

To support Egmont authors, Cuddlebuggery set up this blog tour. I’m thrilled to be participating. I was assigned a middle grade novel titled: Hissy Fitz by Patrick Jennings. For more information, please check out the Cuddlebuggery Page

HISSY FITZ by Patrick JenningsHissy Fitz Book Cover

EGMONT USA • ISBN: 978-606845967  

Buy it here: IndieBoundAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

http://www.patrickjennings.com/tigers-books/

Follow Hissy Fitz’s twitter feed! @TheHissyFitz

 

“With its short chapters, snappy dialogue, and fast-moving plot, this book will be popular with newly independent readers.” —School Library Journal

 

“Hissy’s drily delivered complaints and observations (“Humans are the noisiest creatures alive. I’m not sure there is any escape”) entertain, while Hissy’s frustration at his dependence on large humans who annoy him will likely resonate with many a reader.”

Publisher’s Weekly 

Q & A with author Patrick Jennings

1. What inspired you to get into the mind of a cat?

I lived with cats for twenty years and felt I was beginning to understand the creature. I don’t mean I communicated with the cats. I just watched. I saw patterns in their behavior, especially when interacting with humans. It seemed to me what people wanted from the cat did not match what the cat wanted, which, mainly, is sleep.

When a group of middle-graders suggested writing a story about a cat that couldn’t sleep, an insomniac cat, I heard a character’s voice in my mind. (My stories often begin this way: a character starts talking to me. Interesting that hearing voices is typically either a sign of mental illness or business as usual for a fiction writer.)

2. What is one of your favorite lines or paragraphs in the novel?

It’s as if a light has been turned on inside me, and it’s shining out through my eyes. I feel the urge to go outside, to go hunting. It’s not something I want to do, or need to do. It’s something I am. 


3. If you could talk to a cat, what would you say to it?

If it deigned to listen, I’d ask if it would prefer to live with people or strike out on its own.


4. Who was your favorite author when you were in middle school and why? Or, what was your favorite book in middle school and why? 

I’m not sure if you mean middle school (which we called junior high) or middle-grade, which is the level I write for. In my middle grades (3-6), I loved Beverly Cleary’s books. I started with Henry Huggins, but eventually read all of the books she’d written up to that time, except Socks (I didn’t like cats then) and Fifteen (I didn’t care for teenagers, either). I still love Cleary’s books. She took the fears and challenges of childhood seriously, especially those that adults tend to wave away as trivial: a scary dog on the way to school, worrying that the stray dog you adopted will be reclaimed. Ramona Quimby is an incredible nuanced character, as real a girl as one can find in literature.


5. Do you have any pets? If so, what kind, how many, and what are their names? 

My cat streak ended two years ago when my daughter developed an allergy to our current cat, Lila. Since finding a home for Lila, I’ve considered getting a new animal, but have worried how it would affect my daughter. So, for the time being, we’re petless.


6. What was your favorite activity during middle school and why?
The middle-grade years were an excellent time for me. I was a Renaissance kid really, as comfortable writing a play as I was reigning on the tetherball court. I loved my bike, my friends, baseball and dodgeball, drawing, even schoolwork. I acted in the play I wrote, The Half-True Story of Jesse James, by the way, and directed it, too. The world was my oyster.


7. What’s your favorite food? Movie? Fun activity? Recipe?

Ice cream. The Apartment. Riding my bike. Potato-kale soup.

Bio: Patrick JenningsAuthor Photo

Patrick Jennings’s books for young readers have received honors from Publishers Weekly, The Horn Book, Smithsonian Magazine, the PEN Center USA, the Woman’s National Book Association, and the Chicago and New York Public Libraries. The Seattle Public Library awarded his book, Guinea Dog, the Washington State Book Award of 2011. His book, Faith and the Electric Dogs, is currently being adapted for the screen. His new book, Hissy Fitz, was published in January 2015. He currently writes full time in his home in Port Townsend, Washington.

email: patrickpending@mac.com

website: patrickjennings.com

blog: patrickjenningsesquire.blogspot.com18209507

twitter: @PJenningsWrites

Giveaway: US only – a copy of  Odd Weird & Little by Patrick Jennings, plus swag.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2015 Real Book Challenge – Year-to-date
Mar 1st, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

15realbookchallengenewsletter

Real Book Challenge is hosted by Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare:

*If you’re an Author or Publisher who would like to sponsor our challenge by donating a book, swag, or doing a fun interview for the newsletter- email us at realbookchallenge@gmail.com.

Got questions?

There’s no such thing as a bad question! If something doesn’t make sense, we want to hear from you! You can leave your question in the comments below, tweet @SwoonyBoys@JaimeArkin, or @Erinlee20, or email us at realbookchallenge@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

Liza’s 2015-real-book-challenge book montage – my goal – 100 books. I’ve read 30 already since January 1st.

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 1.25.30 PM

WHEN REASON BREAKS by Cindy L. Rodriguez – Review #WeNeedDiverseBooks
Mar 1st, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

 WHEN REASON BREAKS by Cindy L. Rodriguez – Review

Hardcover, 304 pages

Published February 10, 2015

Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Buy it here: IndieBound | Amazon | Audible | B&N | Book Depository

Connect with the author: Goodreads | Twitter

From Goodreads:22032788

13 Reasons Why meets the poetry of Emily Dickinson in this gripping debut novel perfect for fans of Sara Zarr or Jennifer Brown.

A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls grappling with demons beyond their control.

My Review:

When Reason BreaksWhen Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez Highly recommend. (Plus an amazing cover that fits well with the novel.)

WHEN RESAON BREAKS is a deeply moving story that addresses the issues of depression and suicide. Teacher Ms. Diaz introduces her students to Emily Dickinson, and her poetry has a tremendous influence on the characters in this novel. Emotionally charged issues of true friendship, dating, sex, and betrayal combined with overpowering parents for one character and a parent grieving from her divorce for another, impact this story.

Beautifully written, people will feel Elizabeth’s anger and Emily’s struggle with her identity and the emotions that come with it, the confusion that comes with sadness and loss, developing relationships and those relationships that break. I love the complexity Cindy Rodriguez brings to all her characters.

I definitely recommend this novel for anyone who likes a serious contemporary YA. I’m certain the characters will remain with readers long after they finish. Bravo, Ms. Rodriguez for shining a new light on tough issues. In addition, the Dickinson references and Ms. Rodriguez’s explanation of those references will introduce Dickinson to young adults—some for the first time. They’ll learn more about her life and poetry, which I am certain will get some to explore Dickinson’s work further!

Thank you to Bloomsbury for providing the ARC.

View all my reviews

Flashback Friday: SEA CHANGE by Aimee Friedman
Feb 27th, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

flashback-friday-featured

Flashback Friday is a meme created by Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare. More more details check out their posts.

SEA CHANGE

by Aimee Friedman

Hardcover, 292 pages

Published June 1, 2009

Published by Point

Purchase here: IndieBound | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Connect with the Aimee: Goodreads | Twitter | Website

From Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science. . .and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she’s happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother’s estate.

There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can’t make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship. . .and reality.

Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?

My review:
Sea ChangeSea Change by Aimee Friedman

I read Sea Change nearly 5 years ago, but I can still remember the details of the island, the ferry, the house, the mystery, the girls Miranda met, so different from her, Miranda getting saved by Leo, the beach, even the meal they shared together – there was seaweed. And the ending! Oh how I still would love a sequel. I loved that Miranda was a strong female character. I loved Leo’s gentleness balanced with strength. If I can remember all these things after all these years, then Sea Change is definitely a worthwhile read. Will you have all the answers by the last page? No. But after all these years, I can imagine what happened with Miranda and Leo. Miranda graduated summa cum laude from a top university (with some kind of degree in science). She hasn’t returned to the island, but Leo is still on her mind. She hasn’t forgotten him at all. This is her summer to go back. Is the magic still there? Is he in a relationship? Do they have a chance at a future? Will Miranda solve the mystery of the island and Leo? *Sigh*
My rating: 5 of 5 stars (Originally read/reviewed this novel March 1, 2010)

When I picked up Aimee Friedman’s book I had no idea what it was about…but I just knew I had to read it. From page one I was absolutely hooked. Extraordinary characters with depth, mystery, and intelligence. The only disappointment was reaching the last page. I hope these characters will continue in a sequel. I don’t want to spoil this review or the joy of reading this book with any details. If you want them, check out other reviews or Amazon. Friedman’s description, characterization, prose, settings, etc are, in my opinion, masterful! I wish I could give this book 10 out of 10 stars.

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