Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pinterested in Books #9

You can check out my Pinterest, where I've got bookish boards as well as lots of other assorted collections. Feel free to share links to your own bookish pins and boards in the comments!

Monday, August 18, 2014

New Release Round-Up: August 18-24, 2014

Young Adult

by Edith Pattou

Release date: August 19, 2014
Available as: hardcover, paperback, Kindle edition
Pages: 392
Publisher: Skyscape
Suggested tags: young adult, realistic fiction, contemporary

From Goodreads:
"On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.

Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness, this is an unforgettable, haunting tale.

Storm Siren
by Mary Weber

Release date: August 19, 2014
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook, audiobook
Pages: 320
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Suggested tags: young adult, fantasy

First in the Storm Siren series. From Goodreads:
" “I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

Other YA new releases for this week:

Middle Grade

Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor
by Jon Scieszka

Release date: August 19, 2014
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook, audiobook
Pages: 192
Publisher: Amulet Books
Suggested tags: middle grade, science fiction, robots

From Goodreads:
"Frank Einstein loves figuring out how the world works by creating household contraptions that are part science, part imagination, and definitely unusual. After an uneventful experiment in his garage-lab, a lightning storm and flash of electricity bring Frank’s inventions—the robots Klink and Klank—to life! Not exactly the ideal lab partners, the wisecracking Klink and the overly expressive Klank nonetheless help Frank attempt to perfect his Antimatter Motor . . . until Frank’s archnemesis, T. Edison, steals Klink and Klank for his evil doomsday plan! Using real science, Jon Scieszka has created a unique world of adventure and science fiction—an irresistible chemical reaction for middle-grade readers."

The League of Seven
by Alan Gratz

Release date: August 19, 2014
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 352
Publisher: Starscape
Suggested tags: middle grade, steampunk, alternate history

First in The League of Seven series. From Goodreads:
"The launch of a middle grade fantasy trilogy set in an alternate 1870s America, where electricity is a dangerous and forbidden science, Native Americans and Yankees live side-by-side as a United Nations, and eldritch evil lurks in the shadows beyond the gaslights...

Young Archie Dent knows there really are monster in the world. His parents are members of the Septemberist Society, whose job it is to protect humanity from hideous giants called the Mangleborn. Trapped in underground prisons for a thousand years, the giant monsters have been all but forgotten -- but now they are rising again as the steam-driven America of 1875 rediscovers electricity, the lifeblood of the Mangleborn.

When his parents and the rest of The Septemberists are brainwashed by one of the evil creatures, Archie must assemble a team of seven young heroes to save the world.

Other Middle Grade new releases for this week:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Review: Find Me by Romily Bernard

Find Me
by Romily Bernard

Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 307
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date: September 24, 2013
Suggested tags: young adult, mystery, thriller

First in the Find Me series. From Goodreads:
" “Find Me.”

These are the words written on Tessa Waye’s diary. The diary that ends up with Wick Tate. But Tessa’s just been found . . . dead.

Wick has the right computer-hacking skills for the job, but little interest in this perverse game of hide-and-seek. Until her sister Lily is the next target.

Then Griff, trailer-park boy next door and fellow hacker, shows up, intent on helping Wick. Is a happy ending possible with the threat of Wick’s deadbeat dad returning, the detective hunting him sniffing around Wick instead, and a killer taunting her at every step?

Foster child. Daughter of a felon. Loner hacker girl. Wick has a bad attitude and sarcasm to spare.

But she’s going to find this killer no matter what.

Because it just got personal.

{ I received a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. }

Find Me follows Wick, a skilled teenage hacker, as she tries to solve the mystery of a classmate's death. There are some complex issues in the story including rape and abuse, as well as the added elements of foster parents and a biological dad on the run from the law... but I wish I could say the mystery itself had more complex elements. It seemed like the killer was obvious pretty early in the story, but I was hoping I was wrong. (SPOILER - highlight to read: I wasn't.) Despite that, Find Me still kept me hooked and reading fast to see what would happen next, as Bernard has a talent for writing suspenseful scenes. So while I wasn't floored by the mystery at the heart of the story, I still enjoyed the story itself.

Before starting Find Me, I was afraid I might feel a little alienated by the hacking, as I know relatively little about how computers work and zero about hacking. Actually, though, I thought that the hacking gave an interesting edge to the story and that it was handled quite well for readers who are not familiar with it. I didn't understand all the terms or programs they were referencing, but I still understood what they were trying to do. Was it complex enough for actual hackers (or readers with an understanding of computers more advanced than my own) to enjoy? I don't know... I'd have to guess maybe not, since I had no problem following along.

I'm not sure I feel about this as a series. Find Me could have been a standalone, right up until a messy final paragraph. Find Me wraps up with a neat ending, but then it tags on an extra paragraph implying there will be another book and another mystery to solve. That last paragraph read to me like an afterthought, like, "oh wait, we need to remind everyone there will be a second book..." But maybe I'm being too picky. I knew going in it was a series; I just wish they had put a little more effort towards leading into the next book, or otherwise just left it out entirely.

Otherwise though, all pickiness aside, this was a satisfying read from a storytelling aspect, if not from the mystery aspect. I'll be tempted to pick up the next book, Remember Me, but I'm hoping it's very different from Find Me. Find Me was a good story, but I don't know if I'd want to read a sequel that follows a very similar pattern of solving a mystery implied by a note using hacking. Hopefully Remember Me will throw some new twists and turns in.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars

{ Find Me book trailer }

More about Romily Bernard }

Romily Bernard's Goodreads profile
Romily Bernard's website
Follow Romily Bernard on Twitter
Follow Romily Bernard on Facebook

{ The Find Me series }

Book 1: Find Me 

Book 2: Remember Me 
Expected release date: September 23, 2014

Book 3: Trust Me
Expected release date: Fall 2015

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

{ bon voYAge! } August 2014

The destination for July 2014 was

Alaska, USA }

And here are the YA & MG books we found...

The destination for August 2014 is...

{ Wales }

Some examples of YA & MG books set in Wales:

Please send me links to your posts and reviews by Saturday, August 30 so I can add them to the next { bon voYAge! } post!

Want to play? Here's how it works...

{ } At the beginning of each month, I'll post the name of a destination: a city, state, region, province, country, etc.
{ } Throughout the month, you can:
       1. look for a YA or MG book (or books) set in that destination to share.
       2. read a YA or MG book (or books) set in that destination and write a review.
{ } You can post the books you found or the reviews you wrote any time during that month. Just send me a link so I can link back to your post!
{ } At the beginning of the next month, I'll share everyone's books and reviews. Then I'll post another destination and we can start again! :)

Want to check out the books we've already discovered? Browse all the locations that we've explored on the { bon voYAge! } tab above!

Have a location you'd like to explore? Let me know in the comments here or on the { bon voYAge! } tab above, or email me at pidginpea (at) yahoo (dot) com!

Want to put a { bon voYAge! } button on your blog? I'd love that! I made it using deviantART stock resources from SneakyTomato and artist00 and fonts from