Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays: July 31, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Each Tuesday, you grab the book you're reading, open to a random page, and share 2 teaser sentences from anywhere on the page. NO SPOILERS - make sure the sentences you pick don't give too much away!





Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

There had to be something they could do, something to stop this terrible thing from happening. But the more upset she felt, the weaker her limbs, the more frantic her heartbeat, the less clear her head.

{hardcover, page 56}


Glow
by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Available as: hardcover, paperback, Kindle edition, ebook, audiobook
Pages: 307
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication date: September 13, 2011
Suggested tags: young adult, science fiction, dystopia, romance


First in the Sky Chasers series. From Goodreads:
"What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.
"

Monday, July 30, 2012

New Release Round-Up: July 30-August 5, 2012

Young Adult


Survive
by Alex Morel

Release date: August 2, 2012
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 272
Publisher: Razorbill
Suggested tags: young adult, realistic fiction, survival



From Goodreads:
"Hatchet meets Lost in this modern-day adventure tale of one girl's reawakening

Jane is on a plane on her way home to Montclair, New Jersey, from a mental hospital. She is about to kill herself. Just before she can swallow a lethal dose of pills, the plane hits turbulence and everything goes black. Jane wakes up amidst piles of wreckage and charred bodies on a snowy mountaintop. There is only one other survivor: a boy named Paul, who inspires Jane to want to fight for her life for the first time.

Jane and Paul scale icy slopes and huddle together for warmth at night, forging an intense emotional bond. But the wilderness is a vast and lethal force, and only one of them will survive.
"


The Waiting Sky
by Lara Zielin

Release date: August 2, 2012
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 224
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Suggested tags: young adult, realistic fiction, contemporary



From Goodreads:
"One summer chasing tornadoes could finally change Jane's life for the better.

Seventeen-year-old Jane McAllister can't quite admit her mother's alcoholism is spiraling dangerously out of control until she drives drunk, nearly killing them and Jane's best friend.

Jane has only one place to turn: her older brother Ethan, who left the problems at home years ago for college. A summer with him and his tornado-chasing buddies may just provide the time and space Jane needs to figure out her life and whether it still includes her mother. But she struggles with her anger at Ethan for leaving home and feels guilty--is she also abandoning her mom just when she needs Jane most? The carefree trip turned journey of self-discovery quickly becomes more than Jane bargained for, especially when the devilishly handsome Max steps into the picture.
"

Other YA new releases for this week:



Middle Grade


The Ghost of Graylock
by Dan Poblocki

Release date: August 1, 2012
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 258
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Suggested tags: middle grade, horror, ghosts



From Goodreads:
"What dark secrets haunt this abandoned asylum?

A spooky, standalone ghost story a la John Bellairs and Mary Downing Hahn.

Everyone’s heard the stories about Graylock Hall.

It was meant to be a place of healing—a hospital where children and teenagers with mental disorders would be cared for and perhaps even cured. But something went wrong. Several young patients died under mysterious circumstances. Eventually, the hospital was shut down, the building abandoned and left to rot deep in the woods.

As the new kid in town, Neil Cady wants to see Graylock for himself. Especially since rumor has it that the building is haunted. He’s got fresh batteries in his flashlight, a camera to document the adventure, and a new best friend watching his back.

Neil might think he’s prepared for what he’ll find in the dark and decrepit asylum. But he’s certainly not prepared for what follows him home . . .
"


Dear Blue Sky
by Mary Sullivan

Release date: August 2, 2012
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 256
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Suggested tags: middle grade, realistic fiction, contemporary



From Goodreads:
"A timely, eye-opening novel showing how war affects families on both sides

Ever since her brother Sef left for Iraq, Cassie has felt like her life is falling apart. Her parents are fighting over her brother having gone to war. Her smart, beautiful sister is messing up. Her little brother, who has Down syndrome, is pretending he's a Marine. And her best friend no longer has time for her. In her loneliness Cassie turns to a surprising source of comfort: Blue Sky, an Iraqi girl she meets through her blog. The girls begin a correspondence and Cassie learns that when Blue Sky says "I want my life back," she means something profound, as she can no longer venture out in her destroyed city. Cassie takes strength from Blue Sky's courage and is inspired to stop running away from the pain, and to reclaim her life.
"

Other Middle Grade new releases for this week:

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review: Blackwood


Blackwood
by Gwenda Bond

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 416
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release date: September 4, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, romance



From Goodreads:
"On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island's most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can't dodge is each other.

Blackwood is a dark, witty coming of age story that combines America's oldest mystery with a thoroughly contemporary romance."

{ I received this as an ebook ARC from NetGalley. }


It kills me that I didn't like Blackwood more. It sounded so amazing in the synopsis - a historical mystery, recurring in the present? And two teens who have a bit of the paranormal about them, solving the mystery and falling in love along the way? Told in a "dark, witty" voice? What's not to love??

Well, for me, quite a lot, unfortunately.

I guess my main problem with Blackwood is that I feel like the synopsis really built up the book, and the book just didn't deliver. At the beginning, we kind of get a rushed backstory for Miranda, letting you know that *something* terrible happened to her, and it was Phillips' fault, and he left town. But it's hard to figure out exactly what Bond is trying to get you to deduce... Did Phillips call her names? Did he do something to her physically? Was she just embarrassed or was this a serious attack? It doesn't seem to matter, because despite the build up that Phillips is a bad boy and that something potentially unforgivable happened between them, they still start forming their relationship almost instantly when they're reunited.

The historical aspect wasn't nearly as strong as I had hoped. The disappearance of the 114 was exciting, and the flashes told from the perspective of the missing were well done. But those flashes almost seemed like they were written by a different author; the tone was different, more serious, and the writing itself seemed more sophisticated. When it goes back to Miranda and Phillips' point of view, the writing becomes kind of juvenile: choppy sentences, snarky one-liners at inappropriate times, and over-explanations of the character's thoughts and actions. The over-explaining is a big pet peeve of mine. As an author, if you have to tell your readers why your character just thought or acted the way they did, you're doing something wrong. Either you're underestimating (and insulting) your audience by thinking they're too dumb to follow along, or you're not writing well enough to get your story to carry itself.

The book is sold in the synopsis as "dark," but the teenage sarcasm that Bond tries to squeeze in at every possible opportunity keeps the book from becoming anything serious. Fear never edges the story, and that "dark" feeling never creeps in, because the characters are always reacting inappropriately. Towards the end of the book, as the action is reaching the climax in the midst of what could be an exciting, tense moment, as people are being attacked around him and federal agents are on his heels, Phillips casually throws back a sarcastic half-apology for his actions earlier in the book. (SPOILER - highlight to read: And at one point, Miranda is face to face with John Dee, the devil, and they have what could be a really creepy and striking scene where they dance together. Miranda is literally dancing with the devil. This should be a serious moment in the book, right? Bond should be able to make her readers feel something here. It starts out pretty well... Bond writes, "Her hand vibrated with invisible ick she would never get rid of. He touched it. He danced with her. He wanted her." Alright, I'm there, I'm in Miranda's head, and then-- "She officially had devil cooties." ... COME ON. That's how you're going to end this moment?? It might as well have never even happened.) It just ruins everything. If you're trying to write a dark story, don't inject "humor" into every other sentence. Let your characters show some fear and emotion. If they don't, your readers won't either. I sure didn't.

Unfortunately, Blackwood was just honestly nothing more than "ok" for me. I couldn't even find any quotes I liked (which is unheard of for me as a reader; I usually have an issue with over-highlighting). Maybe my problem with this book is that I came into it with the wrong mindset, thinking this was going to be a thrilling, darkly told reimagining of the Roanoke Island mystery. But instead it was a light read where the pace was good but the action was prevented from being anything too serious. The alchemy aspect was kind of hard to follow and left me with lots of questions (SPOILER - highlight to read: How exactly would the gun have granted immortality, if it had gone off? Did the fish and insects come back to life too after John Dee died, like all the missing did? What happened to the spirits? Are they dead for good now or are they back in the in-between?). The end of the book, with Miranda and Phillips in the car, was pretty powerful well written, but I would have liked that tone and writing style throughout the rest of the book too. It was a serious, meaningful ending that mismatched the casual, "witty" story that preceded it.

(ps. I could do without reading the fake-curse "frak" ever again. Miranda said it pleeennnty of times for me.)


Overall rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

I was surprised this week with a very nice email from Henrietta of Leisure Reads, letting me know that she nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award! It's for new bloggers that have less than 200 followers and I'm so honored to have been chosen! Thanks, Henrietta! :)


Here are the rules for the award...
Award winners share 11 facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who tagged them, come up with 11 of their own questions and tag 11 more bloggers with the award.
So, without further ado...


11 facts about me...
1. I'm an aspiring YA novelist - lots of books in the works, none near completion. :/
2. If I could be an Olympic athlete in any summer sport, I'd pick Archery.
3. I love rainy days.
4. I've recently developed an obsession with mango iced tea. (Frozen is even better!)
5. If I got the chance, I'd move to Europe in a heartbeat.
6. I've thought about becoming a vegetarian, but I just love bacon too much.
7. Typos in a book stand out to me so clearly, they might as well come with their own flashing neon sign.
8. My dream jobs growing up: dolphin trainer, Disney animator, or teacher/writer.
9. More recent dream jobs: travel writer, graphic designer, editor/proofreader (see #7).
10. I'm a girl, but I do not like to go shopping. At all.
11. I love learning languages. My latest course was in American Sign Language and I'd love to continue it!


11 questions from Henrietta...
1. What are you currently reading?
Blackwood by Gwenda Bond. I was so excited for this book because it sounded like it combined history (the lost colony of Roanoke Island) with some sort of paranormal edge, which is like my dream combination (historical fiction + paranormal = a very happy PidginPea). But unfortunately the writing is really not great and the combination is not nearly as spectacular as it could have been. I'm 87% through it and still waiting for it to pull me in. Overall a pretty "meh" book, I hate to say.

2. Name one YA contemporary novel that’s on your wishlist.
The one I'm looking forward to most right now is Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams. Shameful confession: I love reality TV. And I never wanted to be a chef (nor do I even really enjoy cooking) but for some reason I love watching cooking competitions like Chopped and Top Chef. I'm really intrigued to see how reality TV crosses over into contemporary YA, especially with the cooking competition theme.

3. Do you have an e-reader? If so, is it a kindle, nook, or …?
I have a Kindle. I was anti-e-reader at first, and I still really do prefer having a hard copy in my hands. For me, nothing can beat the feeling of flipping the pages and seeing the real print and smelling that wonderful booky smell. But my fiance's family gave me a Kindle for Christmas and I have been hooked ever since. It's handy to carry a whole bunch of books with you all at once, and I love being able to highlight digitally without defacing my hard copies. (I could never highlight in a hard copy. Folding over the corners are a big no-no also.)

4. How many books did you buy last month?
Last month I put myself on a book budget. NO new books! Too many still waiting to be read. But this month Barnes & Noble had some fantastic sales and I just could not resist...

5. Do you borrow books from the library? If so, which library do you go to?
I do! I go to my humble little county library. Nothing fancy, but plenty of books. :)

6. What’s your favorite book cover?
Oh gosh. How do I pick just one?? ... I'm going to go with my favorite book cover at the moment, the one that's calling to me incessantly to pick up the book and give it a try. That's Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Something about the bright colors against the black background and those scratchy fonts just beg me to read that book.

7. Do you tweet about books online?
If so, what’s your twitter handle?

I have *just* started tweeting this week. I feel so lame saying this, but I'm still trying to figure out exactly how one properly tweets. When do I use @ and when do I use #? When do I reply and when do I retweet? I never used Twitter before because... well, my life is kind of boring and I didn't really have anything personal to tweet about. But now I feel like tweeting kind of goes hand in hand with blogging, so I'm finally joining in!
I'm @PidginPea - follow me! (And help me learn how to do this. lol.)

8. What type of memes or features, if any, do you include in your blog?
I love memes! Right now I've got I Heart YA hosted by Suze Reese, Teaser Tuesdays and Friday Finds hosted by Should Be Reading, "Waiting On" Wednesdays hosted by Breaking the Spine, and In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren. I'm thinking about hosting a few of my own too, whenever I find the time to start them up.

9. What’s the title of your first blog post?
"Welcome to the Book Nook!" Ha. So original.

10. If you could live the life of a fictional character, who would you become and why?
I have to go with Hermione Granger. She's a lot like me - studies hard, follows the rules, but still headstrong. And what Harry Potter reader didn't dream about getting their own acceptance letter from Hogwarts?? Years later, well over my Harry Potter obsession, I still would happily run away to Hogwarts to learn how to be a witch! :)

11. What will you be reading next?
Next up is Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan. I entered the Goodreads First Reads giveaway for it because it sounded interesting, and I was lucky enough to win a copy. I've heard great things about it so I'm excited to read it for myself.


11 bloggers I nominate:
1. Tara @ YA Magic Pages
2. Brittan @ Written By Brittan
3. Sarah @ Total Teen Fiction
4. Raya @ midnight coffee monster
5. Helene @ Helene's World of Books
6. Sandee @ Sandee Loves Books!
7. Ly @ Ly's Reviews
8. Jill Marie @ Little Hyuts
9. Lilly @ Lilly Road
10. Suze Reese
11. Book Travels


11 questions for the lovely nominees:
1. What started your love of reading?
2. What was your favorite book growing up?
3. Do you remember your first YA book? If so, what was it?
4. What's your favorite place to read? Your "book nook" of choice, if you will. ;)
5. Do you have a favorite author?
6. If you could rewrite the ending of any book, what would it be and how would you change it?
7. What was the last book you read?
8. What are you reading now?
9. What are you reading next?
10. What's the best book you've read this year?
11. Just for fun... If you could be an athlete in the summer Olympics, what would your sport be?


Thank you again, Henrietta, for the kind nomination! I happily pass on the Liebster Blog Award to the 11 wonderful bloggers above! :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Freebies: July 27, 2012

Click on each title to go to the Amazon Kindle edition listing. Be sure to double-check the price before you download!



Awakening
by Karice Bolton

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 322 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Bulldog Press
Publication date: September 27, 2011
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, romance



First in The Watchers Trilogy. From Amazon:
"Alone in snowy, remote Whistler village, Ana tries to build a new life since losing her parents. With a cozy condo, a sweet-faced bulldog and an evening job to leave the days free for the slopes, life slips into a great routine. If only she could shake the guilt for not remembering anything about her parents and banish the night terrors that haunt her every dream.

On a whim, Ana goes out with Athen, a guy she’s just met in the Grizzly Pub... The only problem is that she feels like she already knows him.

Within 48 hours of meeting Athen and his family, Ana’s world implodes. She falls for Athen quickly and before she knows it, a past life begins to resurface. As thrilling as the revelations appear at first, she fights against the chilling information that Athen is from the underworld. Soon she begins to struggle as her own supernatural gifts are slowly unveiled, and she realizes that the nightmares she’s been having might be premonitions and not dreams at all.

It is up to Ana to decipher between fact and fiction before it is too late, and her new love, Athen, follows in her same fate - one that is lost between two worlds.
"


Clockwise
by Elle Strauss

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 295 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: ESB Publishing
Publication date: October 17, 2011
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, time travel



First in the Clockwise series. From Amazon:
"Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 19th century! And now this --she's accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Awkward.

Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just "brotherly" protectiveness?

When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.

Which of course, she does.
"


Into the Shadows
by Karly Kirkpatrick

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 280 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: DarkSide Publishing
Publication date: October 19, 2010
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, thriller



First in the Into the Shadows series. From Amazon:
"Paivi Anderson has it all—friends, a spot on the varsity basketball team, wonderful parents, and quite possibly, her first boyfriend. It was everything a freshman in high school could ask for. Her perfect life begins to crumble when she discovers her name on a list distributed by a power-hungry presidential candidate. How could anyone think of Paivi as an Enemy of the State? Could it be because of her special powers? No one was supposed to know about them, but the mysterious messages in her tater tots say otherwise. In INTO THE SHADOWS, Paivi quickly learns who her friends are and is forced into a reality she didn’t see coming."


Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble
by D. Robert Pease

Available as: Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 321 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Walking Stick Books
Publication date: August 12, 2011
Suggested tags: middle grade, science fiction, time travel



First in the Noah Zarc series. From Amazon:
"Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth's animals from extinction. Life couldn't be better. But the twelve-year-old time traveler learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is kidnapped and taken to Mars; his dad is stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying Earth... for the second time."

Friday Finds #20


Friday Finds is hosted by Should Be Reading. Each Friday, you share the great books you heard about or discovered over the past week: "books you were told about, books you discovered while browsing blogs/bookstores online, or books that you actually purchased."




Alaska
by Sue Saliba

Available as: paperback
Pages: 185
Publisher: Penguin
Publication date: June 27, 2011
Suggested tags: young adult, realistic fiction, romance



From Goodreads:
"Mia's heart made a sound that no one heard except for Mia late one night when she woke from dreams into darkness.

Ethan was asleep beside her, and Em was a forest away. Outside it was night and dark and Alaska. The sky was upside down.

When Mia follows her sister halfway across the world to Alaska, she discovers that love can be found in the most unexpected and beautiful of places. But can Mia find the courage to follow her heart in Alaska? And what if the one you love is not all that you wish them to be?
"


Flutter
by Gina Linko

Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 320
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release date: October 23, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, time travel



From Goodreads:
"All Emery Land wants is to be like any other 17-year-old--to go to school, hang out with her friends, and just be normal. But for as long as she can remember, she's suffered from seizures. And in recent years they've consumed her life. To Emery they're much more than seizures, she calls them loops--moments when she travels through wormholes back and forth in time and to a mysterious town. The loops are taking their toll on her physically. So she practically lives in the hospital where her scientist father and an ever-growing team of doctors monitor her every move. They're extremely interested in the data they collect when Emery seizes. It appears that she's tapping into parts of the brain typically left untouched by normal human beings.

Escaping from the hospital, Emery travels to Esperanza, the town from her loops on the upper peninsula of Michigan, where she meets Asher Clarke. Ash's life is governed by his single-minded pursuit of performing good Samaritan acts to atone for the death of a loved one. His journey is very much entwined with Emery's loops.

Drawn together they must unravel their complicated connection before it's too late.
"


A Pocketful of Eyes
by Lili Wilkinson

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition
Pages: 311
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication date: May 16, 2011
Suggested tags: young adult, mystery, contemporary



From Goodreads:
"Bee is in her element volunteering in the taxidermy department at the Museum-but her summer job turns out to be full of surprises including: A dead body in the Red Rotunda. A mysterious Museum benefactor. A large stuffed tiger in the catacombs. A handsome boy with a fascination for unusual animal mating habits. And a pocket full of glass eyes. Can Bee sift through the clues and discover if her colleague committed suicide or if there's a murderer in their midst?"


Shift
by Em Bailey

Available as: hardcover, ebook
Pages: 320
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publication date: May 22, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, thriller, contemporary



From Goodreads:
Olive Corbett is not crazy. Not anymore.

She obediently takes her meds and stays under the radar at school. After "the incident," Olive just wants to avoid any more trouble, so she knows the smartest thing is to stay clear of the new girl who is rumored to have quite the creepy past.

But there’s no avoiding Miranda Vaile. As mousy Miranda edges her way into the popular group, right up to the side of queen bee Katie – and pushes the others right out – only Olive seems to notice that something strange is going on. Something almost . . . parasitic. Either Olive is losing her grip on reality, or Miranda Vaile is stealing Katie’s life.

But who would ever believe crazy Olive, the girl who has a habit of letting her imagination run away with her? And what if Olive is the next target?

A chilling psychological thriller that tears through themes of identity, loss, and toxic friendship, Shift will leave readers guessing until the final pages.
"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays: July 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Each Tuesday, you grab the book you're reading, open to a random page, and share 2 teaser sentences from anywhere on the page. NO SPOILERS - make sure the sentences you pick don't give too much away!





Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

"Truth was Miranda's face - then, now - had transformed the flickering uncertainty inside him into a strong, sure flame. He was certain she was in danger."


{ebook ARC, 12%}


Blackwood
by Gwenda Bond

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 416
Publisher: Strange Chemistry (Angry Robot)
Release date: September 4, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, romance



From Goodreads:
"On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island's most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can't dodge is each other.

Blackwood is a dark, witty coming of age story that combines America's oldest mystery with a thoroughly contemporary romance."

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Release Round-Up: July 23-29, 2012

Young Adult


Drain You
by M. Beth Bloom

Release date: July 24, 2012
Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 400
Publisher: HarperTeen
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, vampires



From Goodreads:
"Every night I'd lie there in bed and look out at the hills behind our house, listening. I knew there'd be consequences.

Actions meant reactions. Sunrises meant sunsets. My fear was too permanent, lasting longer than eyeliner, something I wore every day and didn't wash off.

Quinlan Lacey's life is a red carpet of weird fashions, hip bands, random parties, and chilling by the pool with her on-and-off BFF Libby. There's also her boring job (minimum wage), a crushed-out coworker (way too interested), her summer plans (nada), and her parents (totally clueless). Then one night she meets gorgeous James, and Quinn's whole world turns crazy, Technicolor, 3-D, fireworks, whatever.

But with good comes bad and unfortunately, Quinn's new romance brings with it some majorly evil baggage. Now, to make things right, she has to do a lot of things wrong (breaking and entering, kidnapping, lying, you name it).

There's normal, and then there's paranormal, and neither are Quinlan's cup of Diet Coke. Staying sane, cool, in love, and alive isn't so easy breezy.
"

Something Strange and Deadly
by Susan Dennard

Release date: July 24, 2012
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 400
Publisher: HarperTeen
Suggested tags: young adult, historical fiction, paranormal, zombies



First in the Something Strange and Deadly series. From Goodreads:
"The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.
"

Other YA new releases for this week:



Middle Grade


Heart of Stone
by M.L. Welsh

Release date: July 24, 2012
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 416
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Suggested tags: middle grade, fantasy



From Goodreads:
"After a wonderful summer of sailing, Verity Gallant just wants life to stay the same forever. But as she should know by now, not everything in life turns out as we would like. The land is shifting beneath the ancient harbour town of Wellow, causing mysterious caves to appear in cliff faces, terrifying rock falls, and dangerous landslides. And the earth isn't the only thing crumbling . . . Verity is thrilled that Jeb has returned, but their feelings for each other threaten her friendship with Henry and Martha.

Verity and her friends are embroiled in a tale of evil, intrigue, and lost love, as a powerful force works its way towards Wellow, hell-bent on putting an end to all happiness. The Heart of Stone is the key, and the race is on to find it.
"


Of Giants and Ice
by Shelby Bach

Release date: July 24, 2012
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 352
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Suggested tags: middle grade, adventure, fairy tales



First in the Ever Afters series. From Goodreads:
"When Rory realizes fairy tales are the real deal at Ever After School, she embarks on a classic quest to fulfill her destiny.

Rory Landon has spent her whole life being known as the daughter of a famous movie star mom and director dad. So when she begins a new after-school program and no one knows who her family is, Rory realizes something is different. And after she ends up fighting a fire-breathing dragon on her first day, she realizes the situation is more unusual than she could have imagined. It turns out the only fame that matters at Ever After School is the kind of fame earned from stories Rory thought were fictional. But as Rory soon learns, fairy tales are very real—and she is destined to star in one of her own.

This first installment of The Ever Afters series reimagines classic fairy tale characters in a modern context, merging familiar fantasy with the everyday realities of middle-grade existence.
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Other Middle Grade new releases for this week: