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Celebrating the Paperback Release of NYTBS ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes with a Giveaway
Jul 31st, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

Celebrating the Paperback Release ofJojo Moyes C Phyllis Christopher

ME BEFORE YOU

by Jojo Moyes

Published by Pamela Dorman Books

See my five star review below. This novel is unforgettable.

When I finished this novel, I didn’t want to review it: I wanted to reread it.” —New York Times Book Review, Liesl Schillinger

“Me Before You is the kind of book you simply can’t put down—even when you realize you don’t want to see it end.” —Bookpage

“A lovely novel, both nontraditional and enthralling.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Me Before You.Cover

From Goodreads:

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time

My review:

BRILLIANT! With its unforgettable characters, breathtaking storyline, and unconventional romance, ME BEFORE YOU will leave you standing with your mouth gaping. Expect to laugh, expect to cry, and expect to scream out “Jojo Moyes, how could you? Nooooo!” Most of all, expect a thought-provoking read that might challenge your perspective and definition of the quality of life. I absolutely loved ME BEFORE YOU. Don’t miss it!

This is the perfect crossover novel for older (YA) young adults—eighteen and older.

Some additional thoughts:

ME BEFORE YOU is a novel about changing perceptions and pushing the limits to maximize personal potential. It’s about inner growth and identity, what shapes and defines us. Many will be able to identify with the inner transformation of twenty-six-year-old Lou Clark from waitress to assistant of the once take-charge-of-the-world wonder boy, Will Traynor.

Another extraordinary highlight of this novel is the dynamics of Lou Clark’s and Will Traynor’s families. There were times I hated how Lou’s family treated her, reinforcing her faults instead of helping her and having faith in her to make good choices. But there were also plenty of moments where they rallied, pleasantly surprising me with their generosity and love. With Will’s family, I was in awe of Jojo Moyes’ portrayal of the internal struggles Will’s mother faced and how her hard-shell exterior would occasionally crack to allow the reader to empathize with her.

This novel is not only character driven, but plot driven — a perfect combination of the two. Even the secondary characters will make you think about your personal dynamics with others. For example, Lou’s boyfriend Patrick will make you think about love and relationships. Lou’s sister Treena will evoke thoughts about your siblings and the importance and influence they have had in your life.

Best of all, I was deeply moved by the relationship between Lou and Will. I refuse to spoil it for you. Read ME BEFORE YOU. Enjoy the journey and allow yourself to be swept away by this unforgettable novel.
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Review & ARC Giveaway (US/Canada) of THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US by Lauren Myracle
Jul 29th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US157676

by Lauren Myracle

Pub. date: August 20, 2013

Publisher Amulet Books, pages: 336

From Goodreads:

For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now… not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?

Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.

And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them…

Sexy, romantic, and oh-so-true to life, this is an unforgettable look at first love from one of young adult fiction’s greatest writers.

 My review:

TIMofUThe intensity of love, finding your soulmate and fumbling through that deep connection.

This is a novel about the confusion of what it takes to get to know a person whom you not only find attractive, but touches your soul. Trust, faith, true love, sex. A forever relationship.

THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US was a strong story from the perspective of what it takes to fumble in a relationship and to forge the bonds emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically. In order to forge those bonds to have a forever relationship, it takes a lot of work!!!!!!!! (Forever is my term. There is no promise of that, but I think it’s implied that this is what Wren and Charlie are trying to build/create with one another.)

There is a tremendous amount of value to this novel for both girls and boys who feel unsure of their connection with a person that they love. When do you take the next step? How do you know you’re ready? What does it mean to be soulmates? Do you believe in soulmates? (For the record, I absolutely do!)

Strengths of this novel:
1. The way Wren and Charlie communicate with each other. It’s not perfect, they make mistakes, but I think it’s authentic and a lot of YA can learn from them.
2. Wren’s overpowering parents and her incredible determination to step out of their shadow.
3. Charlie’s “unique” family.
4. Learning to accept a person’s strengths and weaknesses and to be honest about your own.
5. The beauty of the soul, the beauty of the body – one that shouldn’t be “shared” lightly. Sex is a very powerful connector. It also can be very damaging and unhealthy. I think the distinction is made very clear in this novel.
6. Charlie’s brother is an amazing person.
7. The tough decisions Wren has to make about her future.
8. Charlie finally realizes that he deserves true love in his life. It’s an important message.
9. Relationships–soulmates, family, friendships–can be messy. But with true love/ a soulmate, one can overcome a tremendous amount of pain and difficulty.
10. I admire that Wren asked Charlie to go get tested before they took the next step in their relationship. And that she took responsibility for the birth control.

In my opinion, THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US is a healthy novel that will help many YA who don’t have anyone to discuss finding a soulmate, true love, the mechanics of sex etc. It’s only one perspective. Could it have be done differently? Sure, and it has. There are many amazing books about true love and soulmates and sex with a different storyline. (Some of the best, in my opinion, are EASY by Tammara Webber, PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles, MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by HUNTLEY FITZPATRICK, and Katie McGarry’s novels PUSHING THE LIMITS and DARE YOU TO, and IF I STAY, WHERE SHE WENT, and JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman. There’s also Susane Colasati’s ALL I NEED or STAY by Deb Caletti.)

The point is, THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US is its own story and will speak to YA. But it’s not for everyone and that’s okay. There’s more to gain than to lose and if it makes people uncomfortable, I think it’s good that it evokes healthy discussion about relationships and sexuality, with or without reading the novel. I hope parents will take notice and discuss love, sex, soulmates, relationships in a positive, less clinical way that is often heard in sex-ed classes. You don’t have to read this novel. That’s the beauty of living in America and free speech.

I have a feeling that this novel will make some adults very uncomfortable, a lot more uncomfortable than teens. That’s too bad. I hope adults will read it. After that, if they’re not comfortable having their child read it, then talk with their YA about the issues that come up in this book: true love, soulmates, sexuality. Sadly, I expect, like Myracle’s other novel SHINE, there will be people who will want to ban it. Go for it. Teens will want it more than ever. Thank G-d I live in America!!!!

To learn more about Lauren Myracle, check out here website.

I WAS DEEPLY TOUCHED by Lauren Myracle’s response to this review:

For “Leave a Blog Post Comment” below in the RAFFLECOPTER – What characters from a novel do you feel are soulmates? You only need to leave one. I could name so many, but here are a few of my favorites: Lucas and Jacqueline from EASY by Tammara Webber and Nastya and Josh in THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fictionators & Fan Fic Readalong & Review: THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay
Jul 26th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

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This was my first time participating in a Readalong with the wonderful people of The Fictionators, Kassiah and Caren, and of Fan Fic, Jaime and Erin. We tweeted to #TSoTreadalong and posted on a special link on Facebook, sharing our thoughts. And oh what a novel they choose!

The cover: The design is brilliant – that’s melted ice cream that helps to outline the faces on pavement. It has the perfect connotation for the novel. Bravo to the cover designer!

The summary from Goodreads:

16151178

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

My review, also posted on Goodreads:

An exceptional story.

I am NOT going to talk about Josh. Or Sunshine. Or what happened to her in THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY by Katja Millay. I am not going to discuss the unfairness of what Josh faced over and over again. Many others have done so and done it extremely well. I second, third, fourth my agreement.
I will say this: THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY begs the reader to take action, to make a change, or a choice, even a small one like picking up the phone and calling a loved one to say “I love you.” Or even bigger steps – taking a hard look at oneself and making a decision to begin to heal a past wound. Just. One. Step. Because a novel like this cannot be read without the reader going through some type of transformation. You can’t read it and do nothing. At the very least, one must think. One must examine his or her own life and recognize ones own struggles. No one is perfect or close to it. There are always dark shadows. Perhaps they’re not as deep or traumatizing as what occurs in this novel, but they’re there and they can’t be diminished in comparison to someone else’s.
An exceptional story does exactly what TSoT does – it pulls you in, grabs you by the heart, makes you think, makes you feel. It changes you and, hopefully – please, please, gives you the opportunity to take action. Perhaps just recommending this novel to someone else might save a life.
Today, TSoT reminds me once again to be thankful for having survived. For having another moment to say I’m grateful for the immeasurable blessings in my life.
Thank you Katja Millay for writing an breathtaking story. And thank you to Kassiah and Caren of Fictionators and Jaime and Erin of Fic Fare for putting this readalong together. I read this novel because of YOU! xxxx

Highlights from the School Library Journal #TeenSummer Online Event #SLJST
Jul 24th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

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Today, I participated in the online School Library Journal SummerTeen event, which I would describe as an outstanding, informative, dynamic, interactive event with live web broadcasts, panel discussions, chats with authors, publishers, a film director & fellow YA enthusiasts-teachers, librarians, writers. Besides the online site through SLJ, we used the hashtag #SLJST to connect with others. It was a productive time and I found myself glued to the computer and actively participating and listening. It took me over an hour to prepare the omelet I made for lunch because I kept turning back to my computer.

Here were some of my favorite tweets I posted or RT
today:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17262252While visiting the Candlewick booth, I learned about FALLOUT by Todd Strasser. The publication date is September 10, 2013 and there are 272 pages. I think it will be a fascinating historical fiction novel and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Here’s the description from Goodreads:
What if the bomb had actually been dropped? What if your family was the only one with a shelter?

In the summer of 1962, the possibility of nuclear war is all anyone talks about. But Scott’s dad is the only one in the neighborhood who actually prepares for the worst. As the neighbors scoff, he builds a bomb shelter to hold his family and stocks it with just enough supplies to keep the four of them alive for two critical weeks. In the middle of the night in late October, when the unthinkable happens, those same neighbors force their way into the shelter before Scott’s dad can shut the door. With not enough room, not enough food, and not enough air, life inside the shelter is filthy, physically draining, and emotionally fraught. But even worse is the question of what will — and won’t — remain when the door is opened again. Internationally best-selling author Todd Strasser has written his most impressive and personal novel to date, ruthlessly yet sensitively exploring the terrifying what-ifs of one of the most explosive moments in human history.

I also was fascinated by this YA book trailer for Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen, which is being published by Blink YA Books:

Another highlight was Penguin’s Authors Stand Up for Free Speech video, which talks about banned books:

My tweet:

Over at Disney, I participated in a wonderful chat with Tamara Ireland Stone (see tweet above about the video I discovered) and am thrilled to have been able to download onto my iPad her newest book TIME AFTER TIME! I absolutely LOVED her first novel, TIME BETWEEN US! I had posted about it on my blog here: http://www.whorublog.com/?p=1374

Here’s the video:

At Scholastic, I chatted with Katie Alender, author of Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer. I learned that she spent quite a bit of time in Paris researching this novel and took  forty-five minute tour of the Catacombs. When I asked her what her most surprising discovery was while doing research for this novel, she said that Paris was the perfect location for a murdering ghost! And since I’ve been to Paris, I’d have to agree. Lots of old buildings, nooks and crannies, and, of course, the Catacombs!

I listened to several webinars, including Tamora Pierce who was the keynote speaker. (See tweets above.) I loved Allen Zadoff, author of Boy Nobody who was a part of the Real Life Mysteries and Thrillers Panel. (See tweets above.) Technology in Teen Lit and Humor Me! Panel were great too. (See tweets above.) I had no idea that Paul Rudnick was so funny!
I can’t thank SLJ, the publishers, authors, and participants enough for this free event. I look forward to participating next year.

Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Covenant Series is a Winner: Waiting on Wednesday (13) Book Five: Sentinel
Jul 17th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Covenant Series is a Winner:original-1

Waiting on Wednesday (13) Book Five: Sentinel 

360 pages

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Pub. Date:  November 2, 2013

From Goodreads: Summary of Half-Blood,  book 1 in the Covenant Series:

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals–well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck

MY REVIEW FOR THE ENTIRE SERIES (also posted on Goodreads):

Adventure, romance, heart-pounding action, and Greek mythology rolled into a captivating, unforgettable series.

Jennifer Armetrout created an fascinating world you’ll appreciate and visit on each page. I can’t imagine anyone not falling in love with Aiden and Alex.

Click on each cover to enlarge:

Thank you, Jaime, from FictionFare for sharing the first three books with me and for raving about the series. Thank you to Spencer Hill for the fourth book APOLLYON and the novellas.

I read all four books in THE COVENANT series plus two novellas DAIMON and ELIXIR over the past five days. That should say EVERYTHING. I was completely sucked into the Greek mythology and the incredible storyline told by the hyper, daring, courageous, snarky Alex (short for Alexandria). Alex is a half blood – someone who is born to a pure blood parent (from the Greek gods) and a mortal parent. Pure bloods and half bloods don’t mix. They’re forbidden to love and they’re most definitely a lower class. Half bloods can become slaves to pure bloods, losing themselves by being forced to drink elixir that takes away their ability to think and act on their own freewill.
Alex falls in love with pure blood Aiden, one of the most awesome male characters I’ve read in a fantasy novel, because trust me I’m married to a really awesome guy and the love of my life, but Aiden WoW . . . he’s is mythical. Well yeah, he’s a pure blood!
Throughout the series, Alex has to deal with some horrific challenges, including traveling to the underworld, killing her daimon mother, and being put on trial for a list of crimes she didn’t commit. Loving Aiden isn’t easy either and it sure isn’t easy for him to love her. Despite the odds and the potential for death if they’re caught, the two become an incredible couple.

As the story progresses, Alex becomes one of two apollyons – I won’t explain what an apollyon is because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say being one is extremely rare and special. There’s only supposed to be one in every generation, but during Alex’s time there are two. She’s one and Seth is the First. He’s an awesome character with an ego so huge, it doesn’t fit in this hemisphere.

I absolutely recommend this series for anyone who appreciates Greek mythology, an excellent fantasy novel, and/or a swoon-worthy, intense romance.

Ten things I love about this series:

1. I love how Alex develops as a character from a snarky, reckless girl to a thoughtful, caring, courageous young woman (with a healthy dose of snark).

2. Aiden takes the suffering he’s endured and turns it into a strength. He’s protective of Alex and fiercely devoted to her and his brother. He’s calculating, cautious, loving, compassionate. The path to loving Alex isn’t an easy one, but he puts love above everything else.

3. Seth – oh the EGO!

4. Apollo – love how he watches over Alex. He ‘s behind-the-scenes, especially in the beginning, yet oh so present. He’s a key part of the story, which makes it even more interesting.

5. The novella ELIXIR was from Aiden’s point of view and it was deeply touching to read how he felt about Alex and the choices he had to make to help her.  A definite WINNER!

6. The concept of the apollyons. Wow – the battle with the Greek gods starts even before Alex’s awakening. (You have to read the series to appreciate how amazing this is and what it means for her to “awaken!”)

7. The chemistry between Aiden and Alex puts these novels in the category of over-the-top fabulous!

8. The training at the Covenant. To become a sentinel takes tremendous strength, physical endurance, fighting skills, agility. The descriptions of the training jumps right off the page.

9. Good versus evil. The evil characters keep your blood pumping. The lines between good and evil are often crossed. The scenes are intense, heartbreaking, and filled with so much action, it’ll be hard to catch your breath.

10. Mythology, mythology, mythology.

Why am I excited to read SENTINEL? 

If my review for the series doesn’t say it all, this should: I cannot wait to find out the fate of Alex and Aiden.

Jennifer Echols Week – Hosted by Katelyn Torrey of Tales of Books and Bands (My fav female character)
Jul 11th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

Jennifer Echols Week

Jennifer Echols Week July 9-16

 Thanks, Katelyn, for putting this together.  Check out her posts at Tales of Books and Bands. Add your input on Twitter: #JenniferEcholsWeek

MOST MEMORABLE FEMALE CHARACTER:

12989112The winner: Leah Jones from Such a Rushpublished July 10, 2012 by MTV Books

Here’s why:

Out of all Jennifer Echols’ female characters, Leah stands out the most in my mind. I love that fact that she’s been intrigued with flying since she was a little girl. I love that she pursues her dream to fly and took the initiative to make it happen. What impresses me the most about Leah is that she’s been dealt some very tough hands in life—an absent mother and a father she’s never known—and yet instead of feeling sorry for herself, she creates a life for herself. The trials and tribulations she’s faced give her a sharp edge. She won’t let anyone take advantage of her and she sets boundaries. Her heart isn’t easily won, either, especially since she’s learned from past mistakes. She’s tough and vulnerable, determined and persistent. She takes on a male world (flying) with a fervent desire to succeed because she loves it, and nothing is going to stop her-not male chauvinists, not even her lack of money.

Who is your favorite female character from a Jennifer Echols’ novel? I’d love to know, so feel free to comment. :D

From Goodreads:

A sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers. 

When I was fourteen, I made a decision. If I was doomed to live in a trailer park next to an airport, I could complain about the smell of the jet fuel like my mom, I could drink myself to death over the noise like everybody else, or I could learn to fly.

Heaven Beach, South Carolina, is anything but, if you live at the low-rent end of town. All her life, Leah Jones has been the grown-up in her family, while her mother moves from boyfriend to boyfriend, letting any available money slip out of her hands. At school, they may diss Leah as trash, but she’s the one who negotiates with the landlord when the rent’s not paid. At fourteen, she’s the one who gets a job at the nearby airstrip.

But there’s one way Leah can escape reality. Saving every penny she can, she begs quiet Mr. Hall, who runs an aerial banner-advertising business at the airstrip and also offers flight lessons, to take her up just once. Leaving the trailer park far beneath her and swooping out over the sea is a rush greater than anything she’s ever experienced, and when Mr. Hall offers to give her cut-rate flight lessons, she feels ready to touch the sky.

By the time she’s a high school senior, Leah has become a good enough pilot that Mr. Hall offers her a job flying a banner plane. It seems like a dream come true . . . but turns out to be just as fleeting as any dream. Mr. Hall dies suddenly, leaving everything he owned in the hands of his teenage sons: golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson. And they’re determined to keep the banner planes flying.

Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.

My review of Such a Rush as posted on Goodreads on August 15, 2012:

Let me be clear. I am a huge Jennifer Echol’s fan and Such a Rush is one of my absolute favorites. The entire premise of this novel is absolutely stunning. Take a girl who lives in a trailer park next to the airport, infuse a love for airplanes and flying, a negligent single mother, snarky friend, adorable boys and hand it over to Jennifer Echols and you get YA contemporary, romance perfection. The writing is outstanding: vivid, descriptive, distinct with an incredible setting, interesting characters, tons of drama, romance, and emotion. Not only that, but I learned a lot about aviation, which only added to the already fantastic storyline. Contemporary YA romance lovers will adore this novel.
Way to go Jennifer. Another winner!

Jennifer Echols Week – Hosted by Katelyn Torrey of Tales of Books and Bands (My fav male character)
Jul 9th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

Jennifer Echols Week

 

Jennifer Echols Week July 9-16.

 Thanks, Katelyn, for putting this together.  Check out her posts at Tales of Books and Bands. Add your input on Twitter: #JenniferEcholsWeek

MOST MEMORABLE MALE CHARACTER:

The winner: Officer John After

This was a tough one. I loved Grayson from SUCH A RUSH, but after some internal debate, he’s a close runner-up. Out of all Jennifer Echols’ novels I think Officer John After from GOING TO FAR is the most memorable male character. He’s got an incredible heart, a tough exterior, and a strong desire to make a difference. Life hasn’t been easy for him, but what he does to change it around is admirable, and his relationship with Meg is what love ultimately should be!

I reviewed GOING TO FAR in September 2010, and, in my opinion, it says a lot about Jennifer Echols’ writing and storytelling since I still recommend it to others!

Who is your favorite male character from a Jennifer Echols’ novel? I’d love to know, so feel free to comment. 😀

4570679Summary of GOING TO FAR From Goodreads:

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO?

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far…and almost doesn’t make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won’t soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won’t be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge — and over….

My very brief review from September 2010: (Posted on Goodreads)

I am dazzled by Jennifer Echols’ YA novels. I loved the characters in this book, especially Officer After and Meg. These are characters you will come to care about deeply and cheer on. So many surprises and what a powerful story line. You want some clues on what true love is? This is it! Snatch this one up and don’t let it go!

Check out other blogs posting for Jennifer Echols Week: 

Reading Wishes: http://readingwishes.blogspot.com/

Actin Up with Books: http://actinupwithbooks.blogspot.com/

Sash and Em: http://sashandem.com/

YA Biblophile: http://www.yabibliophile.com/

Jessie Marie Reads: http://jessiemariereads.com/

Gone with the Words: http://gonewiththewords.com/

ExLibris Kate: http://exlibriskate.com/

G Reads Books: http://www.greadsbooks.com/

FictionFolio: http://www.fictionfolio.com/

Rather Be Reading: http://ratherbereadingblog.com/

Jenuine Cupcakes: http://jenuinecupcakes.blogspot.com/

Waitng for Wentworth: http://waitingforwentworth.blogspot.com/

Dana Square: http://danasquare.blogspot.com/

Tabitha’s Book Blog: http://tabithasbookblog.com/

YA Author, Jamie Mann: http://jmanni32.blogspot.com/

The Book Cellar: http://thebookcellarx.com/

Turning Pages: http://www.turningpages2011.blogspot.com/

Jany’s Book Blog: http://janysbookblog.wordpress.com/

Helen’s Book Obsession: https://www.facebook.com/helenas.bookobsession

Alexa Loves Books: http://www.alexalovesbooks.com/

Bookish Musings: http://bookishmusings.com/

Itching for Books: http://www.itchingforbooks.com/

Nightly Reading: http://nightlyreading.wordpress.com/

Living Fictitiously: http://living-fictitiously.blogspot.com/

Allodoxophobia: http://allodoxophobia.wordpress.com/

 

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton Blog Tour
Jul 5th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

Some Quiet Place Banner ButtonSome Quiet Place

by Kelsey Sutton

Blog Tour Presented by

Modge Podge Blog Tours

About Some Quiet Place from Goodreads:

I can’t weep. I can’t fear. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one—Fear. He’s intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth’s life as she is herself.

Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?

For more information on Kelsey Sutton, check out her website.

Name: Joy

A Typical Summons: He gives me the assignment, his eyes saying more than his words ever could. Joy and Courage stand by him, both touching his shoulders. Joshua’s face is a mask of mischief, but the presence of the Emotions shows me the truth.
Physical Traits: Her hair is even redder than Joshua’s, almost orange, and she’s one of the more heavyset Emotions.
Joy
Quote from SQP: “You make him so happy!” she chirps, hugging him. The fat in her arms jiggles. “I’m so glad, because I haven’t seen too much of this one since, well, you know. It’s really interesting that you’re the one who brought me here, isn’t it?” She giggles.
Some Quiet Place 6425045 copy
by Kelsey Sutton
July 1st-August 4th
1st: Fear & Interview @ Icey Books
2nd: Fog @ Novel Idea Reviews
3rd: Moss @ The Book Hook-Up
4th: Longing @ Lust For Stories
5th: Greed @ Eater Of Books
6th: Joy @ Who R U Blog
7th: Winter @ Winter Haven Books
8th: Anger @ Books Beside My Bed
9th: Sorrow @ Fae Books
10th: Courage & Author Interview @ A Dream Within A Dream
11th: Guilt @ Falling 4 YA
12th: Love @ Chapter By Chapter
13th: Apprehension @ Library Haunt
14th: Relief @ Book Briefs
15th: Fall @ Little Library Muse
16th: Envy @ Best Books Ever
17th: Confusion @ Over Yonder Lit
18th: Death & Author Interview @ Reading Teen
19th: Loneliness @ Kelsey Dickson
20th: Elizabeth @ The Mod Podge Bookshelf
21st: Worry @ Book Whirl Wind
22nd Desperation @ Jessabella Reads
23rd: Joshua & Author Interview @ Hobbitsies
24th: Hope @ Reading Nook
25th: Rain @ Bookish Things And More
26th: Resentment @ Book Galaxy
27th: Curiosity @ Book Haven Extraordinaire
28th The Girl in the Woods @ Two Chicks On Books
29th: Grief @ In the Best Worlds
30th: Disbelief @ Leanna
31st Regret @ Paperback Princess
1st: Grief @ Movies In My Head
2nd: Compassion @ Curling Up With A Good Book
3rd: Life & Author Interview @ Fire & Ice
4th: Villain @ The Mod Podge Bookshelf

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Review: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, by Matthew Quick
Jul 3rd, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

13477676Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pub date: August 13th 2013, pages: 288

 

Summary from Goodreads

In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I’m sorry I couldn’t be more than I was—that I couldn’t stick around—and that what’s going to happen today isn’t their fault.

Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.

My review:

Powerful and unforgettable. I suspect that I’ll be thinking about Leonard Peacock for years to come.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a novel that imagines some of the pain that might be in the mind of a young adult who makes the decision to kill another person, and then himself. Murder/Suicide. Leonard Peacock’s story is revealing, heartbreaking, ultra-charged with enough emotional power it could light up a city. It’s a warning to parents, teachers, friends. It’s a mirror, reflecting perhaps someone we know or just a nameless person in our society who has the potential to become a headline. For me, this novel shows us our responsibility to not just care, but to take action. Like Herr Silverman did. Do not ignore children! Pretty much every adult did, even those who were concerned weren’t equipped to help. Not easy.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is important. Perhaps if parents, teens, and teachers read this book it would show them that there are options, that there is a responsibility to not turn away, to see warning signs. Ultimately, this is a novel about hope. That there is a way to get out of the hell of darkness and find some light, even when people you love fail you. There is HOPE. There is still LOVE, even if it hasn’t been found yet. That might sound a little trite, but read this novel and you’ll understand the full impact of what it means.

Put Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock on your must-read list. It’s an important book.

Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood – A modern, authentic retelling of Sense and Sensibility
Jul 1st, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

15754481Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood

by Abby McDonald,

Published by Candlewick, April 9, 2013

Description as posted on Goodreads:

Abby McDonald gives L.A. the Jane Austen treatment in this contemporary take on Sense and Sensibility.

Hallie and Grace Weston have never exactly seen life eye to eye. So when their father dies and leaves everything to his new wife, forcing the girls to pack up and leave San Francisco for a relative’s house in shiny Beverly Hills, the two sisters take to their changing lot in typically different styles. Shy, responsible Grace manages to make friends with an upbeat, enterprising girl named Palmer but still yearns for her old life — and the maybe-almost-crush she left behind. Meanwhile, drama queen Hallie is throwing herself headlong into life — and love — in L.A., spending every second with gorgeous musician Dakota and warding off the attention of brooding vet Brandon. But is Hallie blinded by the stars in her eyes? And is Grace doomed to forever hug the sidelines?

For more about Abby McDonald, check out her Goodreads page or her website.

My review, posted on Goodreads:

An authentic retelling of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood follows the original plot, but with a modern twist.

This was my first Abby McDonald novel and her writing and character development was definitely strong and captivating. Every SENSE AND SENSIBILITY fan knows the story, so I can’t imagine that it was an easy task for McDonald to make this novel sound fresh and interesting. But I liked the way McDonald changed the reason why the main characters Hallie and Grace Weston ended up being destitute when their father dies. I appreciated how Hallie didn’t dive into a relationship and held back while her sister Grace dived in. I think this book shows that there is a way to find balance. Brandon was probably one of my favorite characters and his silent and respectful attraction to Grace is appealing. I’m not exactly sure why he likes her so much, especially when she’s so unpleasant to him. Is it physical? Her passion for life? Perhaps both. Even as he watches Grace make a fool of herself over the fame-grabbing rising star singer Dakota, Brandon is patient. In the end, their connection deepens and they find they’re both really good for each other, understand each other through the different types of losses that they’ve experience in their lives.

The fake attitudes, user friendships, over-the-top parties and nightclubs portrayed in this novel is what you would expect from Hollywood. But McDonald shows another side with the compassion of the Weston’s relative who takes them in. Yes, there’s still lots and lots of money, but these characters are more relatable with their acts of kindness. They’re not clamoring to get ahead or to show off to anyone. They use their wealth to be generous, not to prove that they’re something they’re not or that their worth is based on materialistic things.

The pairings:
Hallie and Theo. (Hallie’s in HS, Theo is getting ready for college and wants to study philosophy.)
Theo and Lucy. (Lucy is a nanny from England and is definitely not respected by Theo’s wealthy family.)
Grace and Dakota. (The rising star musician that Grace falls madly in love with.)
Grace and Brandon. (Brandon served our country and watched some of his friends die. Grace mistakes him as a stalker – it’s a crazy, lol moment.)

Things that I loved:
1. The different ethnic backgrounds brought out in this novel.
2. Theo’s gentle patience with his nephew.
3. San Francisco!
4. Brandon and his passion for photography.
5. Hallie and her strong sense of identity and inner strength when faced with circumstances beyond her control.
6. The ending of the novel and the glimpse into the futures of each of the characters.

Thank you, Candlewick, for providing a review copy of this novel to me.

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