Monday, January 28, 2013

New Release Round-Up: January 28-February 3, 2013

Young Adult

The Madman's Daughter
by Megan Shepherd

Release date: January 29, 2013
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 432
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Suggested tags: young adult, historical fiction, retellings

First in The Madman's Daughter series. From Goodreads:
"In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

Nobody But Us
by Kristin Halbrook

Release date: January 29, 2013
Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 272
Publisher: HarperTeen
Suggested tags: young adult, romance, contemporary

From Goodreads:
"Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.

Other YA new releases for this week:

Middle Grade

Never Say Die
by Will Hobbs

Release date: January 29, 2013
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 192
Publisher: HarperCollins
Suggested tags: middle grade, adventure

From Goodreads:
"When the motto of your village is "never say die," you have a lot to live up to. . . .

At home in Canada's Arctic, Nick Thrasher is an accomplished Inuit hunter at fifteen. About to bring home a caribou for his ailing grandfather, Nick loses the meat to a fearsome creature never before seen in the wild. It's half grizzly, half polar bear. Experts will soon be calling it a "grolar bear."

Returning to his village, Nick receives a letter from the half brother he's never met. A former Grand Canyon river guide, Ryan Powers is now a famous wildlife photographer. He'll soon be coming to Nick's part of the world to raft the remote Firth River in search of huge herds of migrating caribou. Ryan also wants to learn what Inuit hunters are saying about climate change in the Arctic. He invites Nick to come along and help him find the caribou.

Barely down the river, disaster strikes. Nick and Ryan are both thrown into the freezing river and find themselves under a ceiling of solid ice. With nothing but the clothes on his back and the knife on his hip, Nick is up against it in a world of wolves, caribou, and grizzlies. All the while, the monstrous grolar bear stalks the land.

Other Middle Grade new releases for this week:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Review: The Infects by Sean Beaudoin

The Infects
by Sean Beaudoin

Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook, audiobook
Pages: 384
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: September 25, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, horror, zombies

From Goodreads:
"A feast for the brain, this gory and genuinely hilarious take on zombie culture simultaneously skewers, pays tribute to, and elevates the horror genre.

Seventeen-year-old Nero is stuck in the wilderness with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents on an “Inward Trek.” As if that weren’t bad enough, his counselors have turned into flesh-eating maniacs overnight and are now chowing down on his fellow miscreants. As in any classic monster flick worth its salted popcorn, plentiful carnage sends survivors rabbiting into the woods while the mindless horde of “infects” shambles, moans, and drools behind. Of course, these kids have seen zombie movies. They generate “Zombie Rules” almost as quickly as cheeky remarks, but attitude alone can’t keep the biters back.

Serving up a cast of irreverent, slightly twisted characters, an unexpected villain, and an ending you won’t see coming, here is a savvy tale that that’s a delight to read—whether you’re a rabid zombie fan or freshly bitten—and an incisive commentary on the evil that lurks within each of us.

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

This one was not for me. With bizarre plot twists, generic minor characters, and a writing style that was more off-putting than intriguing, this was actually a chore to get through. I gave it 2 stars because I did keep reading just see how strange it got, which I guess may have been the author's intention? I don't know.

On top of all that, there were major formatting issues in my ARC. (Seems like a lot of other ARC readers had this issue too.) Symbols and random letters would show up in the middle of words or in place of other letters; sometimes I could decipher it, but there were some words where I had absolutely no idea what was actually written. I'm sure none of this is an issue in the final version. But it did make it harder to read a book I was already not enjoying.

I'm sure there are lots of readers who would enjoy this book and the author's style (and the graphic zombie feasts). Unfortunately, I'm not one of them.

Overall rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Release Round-Up: January 21-27, 2013

Young Adult

The Archived
by Victoria Schwab

Release date: January 22, 2013
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 336
Publisher: Hyperion
Suggested tags: young adult, dystopia, paranormal

First in The Archived series. From Goodreads:
"Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

Cinders & Sapphires
by Leila Rasheed

Release date: January 22, 2013
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 400
Publisher: Hyperion
Suggested tags: young adult, historical fiction, romance

First in the At Somerton series. From Goodreads:
"One house, two worlds...

Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name—but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting . . . at Somerton.

Other YA new releases for this week:

Middle Grade

Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong
by A.J. Low, Adan Jimenez, & Felicia Low-Jimenez

Release date: January 21, 2013
Available as: paperback
Pages: 112
Publisher: Epigram Books
Suggested tags: middle grade, mystery

From Goodreads:
"Meet Sherlock Sam, Singapore's greatest kid detective. With his trusty robot Watson, Sherlock Sam will stop at nothing to solve the case, no matter how big or small! In Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong, Auntie Kim Lian's precious Peranakan cookbook disappears, and Sherlock Sam cannot eat her delicious ayam buah keluak anymore! Will Sherlock Sam be able to use his super detective powers to find this lost treasure?"

The Worm Whisperer
by Betty Hicks

Release date: January 22, 2013
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 192
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Suggested tags: middle grade, realistic fiction

From Goodreads:
"You've heard of Horse Whisperers and Dog Whisperers, but Ellis thinks he might be a Worm Whisperer!

Ellis Coffey loves animals. He spends so much time outdoors that sometimes he thinks he can talk with them. When he discovers a caterpillar that seems to follow his directions, he knows he has a chance to win the annual Woolly Worm race. The prize money is $1,000--exactly the amount of the deductible for his dad's back surgery. If Ellis is right and he can train his woolly worm to be the fastest in the county, he's sure can solve all his family's problems. But when you're trying to talk to insects, nothing is as simple as it seems.

From Betty Hicks, author of the Gym Shorts series for new readers, comes a story of friendship, family, and hidden talents that might be more useful than they first seemed.

Other Middle Grade new releases for this week:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Freebie Alert: My Own Worst Frenemy by Kimberly Reid

The Kindle edition of Kimberly Reid's My Own Worst Frenemy is currently available for free on Amazon!

My Own Worst Frenemy
by Kimberly Reid

Available as: hardcover, paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 289 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication date: August 30, 2011
Suggested tags: young adult, mystery

First in the Langdon Prep series. From Amazon:
"Straight outta the Mile High City, Chanti Evans is an undercover cop's daughter and an exclusive private school's newest student. But Chanti is learning fast that when it comes to con games, the streets have nothing on Langdon Prep.

With barely a foot in the door, fifteen-year-old Chanti gets on the bad side of school queen bee Lissa and snobbish Headmistress Smythe. They've made it their mission to take Chanti down and she needs to find out why, especially when stuff begins disappearing around campus, making her the most wanted girl in school, and not in a good way. But the last straw comes when she and her Langdon crush, the seriously hot Marco Ruiz, are set up to take the heat for a series of home burglaries—and worse. . . .

Friday Finds #32

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."

The Art of Wishing
by Lindsay Ribar

Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 314
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers
Expected release date: March 21, 2013
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, djinn

From Goodreads:
"He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.

Margo McKenna has a plan for just about everything, from landing the lead in her high school play to getting into a good college. So when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the chance to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Why should she put her life into someone else's hands?

But Oliver is more than just a genie -- he's also a sophomore at Margo's high school, and he's on the run from a murderer. As he and Margo grow closer, she discovers that it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A whole lot more.

Broken Moon
by Kim Antieau

Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 192
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication date: February 27, 2007
Suggested tags: young adult, realistic fiction, cultural

From Goodreads:

Nadira is spoiled goods. Scars from a beating she received for a crime that her older brother allegedly committed tell the world that she is worth less than nothing -- except to her little brother, Umar, who sees beauty in her scars and value in her.

But Umar is gone -- perhaps kidnapped or maybe sold. All Nadira knows is that Umar has been taken into the desert to ride camels for rich sheiks. He could be lost to her forever.

For Umar, Nadira will risk everything. So she disguises herself as a boy and searches out the men who took him. They are not hard to find, and soon she, too, is headed to the desert to be a camel jockey.

Life in the desert is more brutal than Nadira imagined. All she has to protect her and the boys she meets are a bit of chai tea, some stories, and the hope that she has enough of both to keep going until she finds Umar.


Lost In Thought
by Cara Bertrand

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 324
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication date: December 8, 2012
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal

First Book of the Sententia. From Goodreads:
"Lainey Young has a secret: she’s going crazy. Everyone else thinks she has severe migraines from stress and exhaustion. What she really has are visions of how people died—or are going to die. Not that she tells anyone that. At age sixteen, she prefers keeping her crazy to herself. When doctors insist she needs a new and stable environment to recover, Lainey’s game to spend two years at a private New England boarding school. She doesn’t really think it will cure her problem, and she’s half right. There is no cure, but as she discovers, she’s not actually crazy.

Almost everyone at Northbrook Academy has a secret too. Half the students and nearly all the staff are members of the Sententia, a hidden society of the psychically gifted. A vision of another student’s impending death confirms Lainey is one of them. She’d like to return the crappy gift of divining deaths with only a touch, but enjoys spending time with Carter Penrose—recent Academy graduate and resident school crush—while learning to control it. Lainey’s finally getting comfortable with her ability, and with Carter, when they uncover her true Sententia heritage. Now she has a real secret. Once it’s spilled, she’ll be forced to forget protecting secrets and start protecting herself.

The Splendor Falls
by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Available as: hardcover, paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 518
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication date: September 8, 2009
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, mystery

From Goodreads:
"Can love last beyond the grave?

Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.

Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand.

Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

2013 Debut Author Challenge

I'm so excited to be participating in the 2013 Debut Author Challenge, hosted by Tara at Hobbitsies! The goal is to read 12 young adult or middle grade books from debut authors, meaning this is the first YA or middle grade book they've written. You can share your reviews with others participating in DAC and enter to win monthly prizes too!

You can find more DAC details here. Also, there's a Goodreads group to help you stay connected and a Goodreads Listopia list to help you find books.

Here are the 12 books I hope to read this year: