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Flashback Friday: SPLIT by Swati Avasthi
Aug 22nd, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

flashback-friday-featuredFor more information on FLASHBACK FRIDAY, check out Fiction Fare

6270483SPLIT by Swati Avasthi

Hardcover, 280 pages

Published March 9, 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Buy Here: (prices from $5.99 - $8.07) IndieBoundAmazon  | Barnes & Noble |Audible | Book Depository

Awards:

Georgia Peach Book Award Nominee (0)ABA Indie Next Book for Children’s Spring (2010)Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee (2011)Parents’ Choice Silver AwardInternational Reading Association Award for Young Adult Fiction (2011)

From Goodreads:

A riveting portrait of life after abuse from an award-winning novelist.

Sixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist), $3.84, and a secret.

He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind—his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret.

At least so far.

Worst of all, Jace realizes that if he really wants to move forward, he may first have to do what scares him most: He may have to go back. Award-winning novelist Swati Avasthi has created a riveting and remarkably nuanced portrait of what happens after. After you’ve said enough, after you’ve run, after you’ve made the split—how do you begin to live again? Readers won’t be able to put this intense page-turner down.

My review posted in June, 2011:

Split is an extremely important YA novel about child abuse and spousal abuse told from the point-of-view of the MC Jace. There is no doubt that Swati’s has been placed in the elite category of brilliant authors such as Laurie Halse Anderson, Cheryl Rainfield, and Jay Asher. It is more than well-deserved and so are the awards Split received. Jace is one of the most unforgettable male YA characters I have ever read. The story he narrates is raw, honest, heartbreaking, revealing. I will be haunted by his experiences. 
****spoiler*****
One of the most troubling scenes was a flashback of Jace beating his girlfriend, but the way he recognizes his mistake and takes responsibility shows tremendous growth and insight. The hardest part for me was lumping Jace in the “category” of abuser when he had been victimized, but Swati does a phenomenal job of showing the reader how easy that line can be crossed.
*****end of spoiler*****
Ultimately, this is a novel about hope. One of breaking free – making the split – from the past and moving on to building a future. The title reveals many “key” moments, plot points in the the book that readers should ponder the meaning of the word and the different scenes that it represents.
Split is a do-not-miss-YA novel! I will be recommending it over and over and over again.

Waiting On Wednesday – FOREST OF WHISPERS by Jennifer Murgia
Aug 20th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

Waiting On Wednesday:

FOREST OF WHISPERS18506004

by Jennifer Murgia

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Publication Date: September 9, 2014

(Waiting on Wednesday was started by BREAKING THE SPINE)

Find it here: Goodreads | IndieBoundAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Blurb from publisher:

Raised by an old fortune-teller within the dark veil of the Bavarian Black Forest, Rune has learned two valuable lessons: only take from the forest that which you can use, and never, never look anyone in the eye in the village. For something terrible happened in the forest long ago… and now, the whispers of a long-dead mother with a vengeful secret have come haunting.

Forced to flee all she has ever known, Rune soon learns of a legacy she is bound to–one that is drenched in fear, witchcraft and murder–a birthright that stretches beyond the grave to the trees where Rune is no longer safe.

Early Praise for FOREST OF WHISPERS:

“NOT your average teenage witch! Jennifer Murgia’s FOREST OF WHISPERS is a dark, brooding mystery/thriller that captures the paranoid, plague-driven frenzy of 17th Century Europe with the speed and power of a galloping stallion. Rune, a 16-year old with formidable abilities that she herself can barely understand, must fight her own inner demons as well as what seems to be a whole world gone awry with bloodlust for her kind. This is a thrilling read.”

~ Molly Cochran, author of LEGACY & POISON

“An interesting and compelling love story, with plenty of mystery and intrigue — I devoured FOREST OF WHISPERS and will be first in line to read anything else from Jennifer Murgia!”

~ Cyn Balog, author of FAIRY TALE, SLEEPLESS, STARSTRUCK, TOUCHED & DEAD RIVER

Why am I looking forward to it?

A historical fiction novel with witches? I’m intrigued by the legacy and what secrets the forest holds!

About Jennifer Murgia:SHP Author Photo - Jennifer Murgia (updated headshot)

Jennifer Murgia has long loved the dark and speculative — and it’s from these dark places that she weaves fantastical stories, often hoping to find truth in them. Her Young Adult novels include the upcoming Historical Fantasy FOREST OF WHISPERS (9/9/14 — Spencer Hill Press), BETWEEN THESE LINES, ANGEL STAR, LEMNISCATE & THE BLISS. She is the co-founder and coordinator of YA FEST and currently resides in Pennsylvania.
Jennifer is available for book signings, book fairs, interviews, library and school visits. Please contact
her directly for scheduling at: jennifermurgia8@gmail.com.

Giveaway:

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SHARING THE LOVE #GIVEAWAY – ARC/Books/Swag! – US Only
Aug 19th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

SHARING THE LOVE GIVEAWAY – ARC/Books/Swag! (US Only)

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PS. I love the IF I STAY tattoos. They say: LIVE TO LOVE!

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Review: LOCKED by Parker Witter – a YA e-novella
Aug 18th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

LOCKED (by Parker Witter)cover50812-small

An end-of-summer beach read!  E-novella is $1.99!

B&N

Kobo

Google Play

Information about the novella provided by the POPPY:

It had always been the three of us, and then it was the two of us-Ed and August. There was not, nor had there ever been a chance of a Noah and August. And that was fine. Because the truth was I had known Noah forever but I still had no idea who he really was. Especially not now. 
In this sizzling novella, one girl must choose between loyalty and love. 
August had the two best guy friends a girl could ask for in Noah and Ed. Then Ed confessed he felt more for her – and their new relationship changed everything. She had hoped it would be Noah that she’d end up with someday, but it’s clearer than ever that Noah’s just not interested in being a one-girl guy. 
When the small seaplane the three of them are on crashes, August finds herself injured and marooned on an island with … Noah. Unsure of what’s become of Ed, August and Noah do their best to not lose hope as they fight to survive on an island that is not as deserted as they first believed. But fighting the elements – and their attraction to each other – becomes a losing battle. 
Soon, a secret from Noah’s past that could bind them to the island forever is revealed, and August must choose between giving into her feelings for him, or struggling to make it back home.

My 5 star review:

Received an e-book copy through Little Brown (Poppy!) Thanks!

It’s romantic, mysterious, and a fast read!

One girl. Two boys. All great friends. Girl dates boy 1 and loves him. Feels a connection with boy 2, who seems to avoid her at every turn . . . .

Meet Ed. He’s an awesome guy. Kind, thoughtful, sympathetic, sensitive, and madly in love August.
Meet August. She loves Ed, but wants some space. Her need for space, her need to go out on her own and not be at the same college with Ed, creates a rift between them.
Meet Noah. He’s the best friend, who has been in love with August for a long time. He stepped aside, though, because Ed is much better for her than he is.
Meet Maggie, August’s sister. She needs August. Their mom is dead, their father is absent a lot.
Together these four get on a small plane that will take them college hopping.

Until . . . CRASH!!!!

Noah saves August, dragging her to an island. Ed and Maggie are nowhere to be found. This is when the magic begins. Noah has some pretty powerful healing skills. Readers will learn a lot about the power of love, the power of friendship, and the power of second chances. What purpose do we have in life? What is your role? LOCKED will open up some new channels and get readers thinking about where they fit in. Who, if anyone, would you give up your life for? Readers will be intrigued by the island. The island is definitely its own “character” in this novella.

LOCKED is romantic, mysterious, and a fast read. I am so intrigued by this story and can’t wait to get more from this author!
For those of you who love a romantic novella that will suck you in and have you wondering, what next? Definitely pick this one up!

 

Review: SAVING CeeCee HONEYCUTT by Beth Hoffman – 5 star MUST READ!
Aug 18th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

SAVING CeeCee HONEYCUTT

by (the incredibly talented storyteller) Beth Hoffman

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Buy it here: IndieBoundAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible |Book Depository

From Goodreads:6617928

Twelve-year-old CeeCee is in trouble. For years she’s been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille— the crown-wearing, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. Though it’s 1967 and they live in Ohio, Camille believes it’s 1951 and she’s just been crowned the Vidalia Onion Queen of Georgia.

The day CeeCee discovers Camille in the front yard wearing a tattered prom dress and tiara as she blows kisses to passing motorists, she knows her mother has completely flipped. When tragedy strikes, Tootie Caldwell, a previously unknown great-aunt comes to CeeCee’s rescue and whisks her away to Savannah. Within hours of her arrival, CeeCee is catapulted into a perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricities—a world that appears to be run entirely by women.

While Tootie is busy saving Savannah’s endangered historic homes from the wrecking ball, CeeCee encounters a cast of unforgettable, eccentric characters. From the mysterious Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who bathes in an outdoor tub under the watchful eyes of a voyeuristic peacock, to Oletta Jones, the all-knowing household cook, to Violene Hobbs, the loud-mouthed widow who entertains a local police officer in her yellow see-through peignoir, the women of Gaston Street keep CeeCee entertained and enthralled for an entire summer.

 

My review:

Some of the most memorable characters you’ll ever read are found in Saving CeeCee Honeycutt! Perfect for bright MGers to adults, this novel is an adult New York Times Best Seller! And it should be! Read it and love it and never forget these characters. This will be on my ’14 top-read list!

Here’s what impressed me about this novel:
1. Mrs. O’Dell is one of my heroes. What she does to help CeeCee when she suffers until her mother’s mental illness is remarkable. She provides love, a safe haven, and nurtures her through difficult times.
2. CeeCee suffers so much because of her mother’s mental illness. Her father abandons them and CeeCee ends up holding the heavy burden of dealing with her mother’s crazy antics – dressing up in prom dresses, which help her to recall the moment when she was a beauty queen. The way Beth Hoffman portrayed CeeCee’s mom will tear at your heart. It’s so raw and revealing and emotional.
3. SPOILER: When CeeCee’s mom is struck and killed by a truck, her aunt Tootie comes and takes her away to Savannah, Georgia. Aunt Tootie is one of the kindest, most loving women one could ever encounter. She gives CeeCee the life that she deserves and helps her cope with loss.
4. The cast of characters in Savannah. Real Southern belles, who are wild and eccentric. Who wouldn’t want to grow up around these crazy, fun ladies?
5. OLETTA! Wow, I fell in love with Oletta. She had me drooling for cinnamon buns and everything else. I absolutely adored her relationship with CeeCee. Aunt Tootie was her family and vise versa. The portrayal of this family was one of the most important, beautiful portrayals of racial relations. This reminded me so much of our own family. My grandma was a Southerner. We had Barbara McCray. Love knows no color!
6. Beth Hoffman takes the reader to Savannah. You will live it, breathe it, taste it. The setting jumps off the page.
7. Addressing racism in an honest, powerful, emotional way. The huge divide between our people. Here are some of the accurate portrayals addressed: financial, educational, health care, place of residence.
8. Definition of family is a key theme of this novel. Beth Hoffman nailed it by showing that LOVE is the ultimate.
9. This is a novel with a huge range of appeal. I could see a bright middle grader read this. High school students for sure. Even though Pamela Dorman Books is an adult publisher, this novel is the perfect crossover novel! Smart young adults, this is a must read!

While I read this novel, I ACHED for my grandma. I miss her calling me ‘darlin’. I missed her “tomata, potata.” I miss Barbara McCray’s “Bless her heart.” I felt wrapped up in her love. And readers, you will feel wrapped in love by this novel!

I WANT A SEQUEL! Where is CeeCee now? 538342_372652756166083_753612637_n
A must read!

PS. There’s a “cat” fight that is so hysterical, you don’t want to miss it. Karma’s a bitch. It really is!!!

The spider and the slugs are awesome too!

About Beth Hoffman:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

 

Flashback Friday: BLINK ONCE by Cylin Busby
Aug 8th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

flashback-friday-featuredFor more information on FLASHBACK FRIDAY, check out Fiction Fare

13416087BLINK ONCE by Cylin Busby

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, Pages: 288

Find Cylin here: WebsiteGoodreads | Twitter

Buy BLINK ONCE here: Amazon $2.99 ebook, $13.42 Hardcover  | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Book Depository

Awards: Junior Library Guild Selection for Fall (2012)

From Goodreads:

West is a high school senior who has everything going for him until an accident leaves him paralyzed. Strapped down in his hospital bed, slipping in and out of consciousness, West is terrified and alone. Until he meets Olivia. 

She’s the girl next door-sort of. A patient in the room next to his, only Olivia can tell what West is thinking, and only Olivia seems to know that the terrible dreams he’s been having are not just a result of his medication. Yet as West comes to rely on Olivia-to love her, even-certain questions pull at him: Why has Olivia been in the hospital for so long? And what does it mean that she is at the center of his nightmares? But the biggest question of all comes when West begins to recover and learns that the mysterious girl he’s fallen in love with has a secret he could never have seen coming.

My review:

Cylin Busby’s Blink Once is an engrossing, mysterious novel that will keep you guessing. In many ways, it reminded me of Megan Miranda’s outstanding novel Fracture. The reader learns quickly that West has been in a biking accident and is now paralyzed and unable to speak because of a breathing tube. The description of his hospital experience is at times heart breaking and touching. As the story unfolds, we are introduced to Olivia, a sick girl who’s room is next to West’s. Olivia, a vivacious, sad, bold girl who helps bring West out of his shell. She devises a plan of communication. Blink once means yes, blink twice means no. Her visits provide friendship and courage and hope. And in time, West and Olivia fall in love. 
With every page, the reader is pulled deeper and deeper into the mystery of West and his paralysis. Will he recover? What will happen between Olivia and him?
I loved this novel and I think it is perfect for reluctant readers. Guaranteed to draw them in. 
Definitely a winner, put it on your must-read list!

 

Cover Reveal: BONE DEEP by Kim O’Brien
Aug 7th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

Bone Deep

by Kim O’Brien

Release Date: March 2015

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Find it and add it on: Goodreads 

Synopsis:When Paige Patterson travels to Arizona to spend the summer with her archeologist father, she expects answers. Why did her parents divorce? Why did her father choose his career over family? She doesn’t expect to be reunited with her best friend Emily Linton, a girl she has always admired and secretly wanted to emulate, or to find herself falling for the project manager’s son, Jalen Yazzi.

But the summer takes a terrible turn when Emily vanishes. As the police struggle for answers, Paige sets out to find the truth.

The search takes Paige from the Cliffside ruins of prehistoric Native Americans to the Navajo Nation to the horrifying possibility that the answer is much closer to home. Emily, it turns out, was not the only one good at hiding things.

Her father has no alibi for the night Emily disappeared. An intern with the motive insists he’s innocent. And Jalen has some secrets of his own.

Old bones might not be the only things buried in the ruins. As Paige digs deeper into Emily’s disappearance, she realizes that uncovering the truth may cost her everything—even her life.Kim_Obrien_Author

Author Bio:

Kim O’Brien grew up in an old Victorian house in Bronxville, NY. Her mother loved telling her bedtime stories, especially ones about the ghost in their attic. Kim not only believed the house was haunted but also fell in love with books and the art of storytelling.

At Emory University in Atlanta, Kim earned a B.A. in psychology. She then attained a M.F.A in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. She worked for many years as a writer, editor, and speechwriter for IBM before becoming a full time fiction writer. She lives in Texas with her husband, daughters, and four-legged friend Daisy.

Kim is the author of eight inspirational romances and seven non-fiction children’s books. She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website, Facebook, and Twitter (kimobri).

 

And . . . here . . .

it . . .

is . . .

THE COOL COVER . . .

. . .

. . .

BoneDeep-OBrien-frontcover-web

Cover Reveal: DATE WITH A ROCKSTAR by Sarah Gagnon
Aug 1st, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

Date With a Rockstar

By Sarah Gagnon

Release Date: June 2015

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Add it to Goodreads!!!

Scroll down . . . to see a the new cover! I’ve already fallen in love with this book! 

Add it to Goodreads!!!

Synopsis: Only one girl will win the cash prize…and a chance at love with Jeremy Bane.

Monet isn’t just another lust-struck teenager trying to win the heart of Rock God Jeremy Bane–she needs the prize money from his new reality show to cure her illness.

Monet has Fluxem, a contagious disease that’s spread through saliva. It’s completely curable if you have enough money, which she and her single mother don’t. Now that she’s on the show, Monet has to work harder to keep her Fluxem hidden. She only has to keep the secret long enough to woo Jeremy Bane so he picks her as the winner. She doesn’t even care about the love part; the prize alone will change her life.

But the real Jeremy Bane is nothing like she imagined. Monet finds herself fighting against feelings that make her want to give in to her attraction and Jeremy’s attempts for a kiss. The further she goes in the competition, the more impossible it becomes to resist him–and when the producers turn the tables and start digging up dirt on the contestants, Monet fears her secret will be revealed before she’s ready and ruin everything.

The only way to win Jeremy’s heart is to tell him the truth, but confessing her disease could cost her the competition, the prize money, and him.

 

Sarah_Gagnon_AuthorAuthor Bio:

Sarah Gagnon grew up in the frigid woods of Maine amidst snow and animal skins. As a small child she wrote ship-wrecked romances all while being stared down by a taxidermied duck. She has a BFA in photography and a minor in writing from the University of Southern Maine. She’s the mother of two tiny, feral children and two ill-behaved dogs. For fun she’s taken up kickboxing workouts and fancy cooking. She currently resides with her computer-genius husband in Delaware, the home of tax-free shopping.

Author Social Media Links:

Website  | Twitter

 

SCROLL DOWN . . . 

 

SCROLL DOWN . . . 

SCROLL DOWN . . . and here it is!!!!

I LOVE IT! 

Date-Rockstar-Gagnon-coverfinal-Full

 

 

 

 

Flashback Friday: IN YOUR ROOM by Jordanna Fraiberg
Aug 1st, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

flashback-friday-featured

To learn more about Flashback Friday, check out

Fiction Fare!

Flashback Friday:

IN YOUR ROOM by Jordanna Fraiberg

Published by Razorbill

Pub Date: October 16, 2008

Pgs: 204

 

Buy it here: ppb as little as $7.30, ebook $5.99

Amazon |Barnes & Noble |IndieBound | Book Depository

To learn more about the author, Jordanna Fraiberg

Twitter | Tumblr |Goodreads

 

From Goodreads:3231008

Molly and Charlie have fallen head over heels in love, although they’ve never met. Molly is a fashion-conscious city girl in L.A., and Charlie is an earthy, mountain-biking dude from Boulder, Colorado. Each of them has big plans with their respective friends for the summer until they discover that their parents decide to swap houses! Luckily there’s no amount of homesickness that a bit of snooping can’t cure. Charlie and Molly begin crawling under beds and poking around in closets to find out a little more about each other. Can Charlie and Molly’s long-distance romance survive jealousy, misunderstandings and the thousand miles between them?

My Review:

A sweet, meaningful, romantic read, perfect for reluctant readers. Embraces diversity. 

Meet Charlie: he’s a outdoorsy guy, who loves to ride his dirt bike and is living in Boulder, CO with his moms and his sisters.

Meet Molly: she’s a talented clothing designer living in LA with her parents and is has several very close friends.

When Charlie and Molly’s parents decide to swap homes for the summer, Molly and Charlie end up in each other’s bedrooms. Through series of emails and IMs, Charlie and Molly begin to communicate a lot. The more they “talk” the more comfortable they are with each other. Charlie encourages Molly to ride his bikes. He ends up sending Molly maps of some of his favorite places to explore in Boulder. They share some deep, personal stuff that they haven’t shared with other people. Their support and encouragement for one another makes a big difference in each other’s lives.

Things I love about IN YOUR ROOM:

1. The communication. Molly and Charlie talk to each other over deep issues. They’re honest and it comes through in their words to each other.
2. Their relationship builds into something more meaningful, from strangers to people who care deeply for the other.
3. Cheese the cat.
4. Charlie and Molly each have their personal struggles, but when they “talk” to each other, they no longer seem insurmountable. They help each other work through them.
5. The ex-girlfriend.
6. Exchange of bedrooms and their exploration of them.
7. Suggestions of things to do in each other’s cities.
8. Miscommunications and fixing them.
9.Diverse characters.
10. Stars!!!!!
11. Second Chances!!!!

I spoke with my friend Heidi from YA Bibliophile. She’s a middle grade librarian. And even though IN YOUR ROOM is YA, she has this book in her library. We both agreed it’s perfect for girls who are reluctant readers. It’s fast-paced, has strong, interesting characters, a sweet romance appealing to people of all ages.

So, even though this novel has been out for awhile, it’s definitely one to pick up and read. The story passes the test of time! Loved it.

Thank you to Jordanna for sending me an ARC copy for review.

MEGA-AWESOME Giveaway: HAVE A NICE GUILT TRIP by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella
Jul 31st, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

WinAll5

I’m please to share a fantastic giveaway with my readers. Mother-daughter author team @Lisa Scottoline and @Francesca Serritella have HaveANiceGuiltTrip-1a new essay collection just out called HAVE A NICE GUILT TRIP through St. Martin’s Press.

Soooooooo . . . . let’s CELEBRATE!

I have a copy of this book–plus their FOUR previous books–to give away to one lucky winner. (Yes, the winner gets all 5 books!)

CLICK on each book to learn more about it!

 

Find the authors here:

Lisa’s Facebook
Lisa’s Twitter
Francesca’s Facebook
Francesca’s Twitter

GIVEAWAY: (US Only)

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You can also enter to win this awesome “Guilt Trip Giveaway” prize pack worth more than $1,000! Visit this page on Lisa’s website for full details and the entry form: GUILT TRIP GIVEAWAY!

ScottolineGiveaway2

 

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