Waiting on Wednesday: Down with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Waiting on Wednesday is a topic hosted by Breaking the Spine, where bloggers post about books that they are looking forward to being published in the near future 🙂

New WoW

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 3.55.08 PM

Lennie always assumed that when her uncles referred to the “family business” they were talking about bootlegging. Unfortunately they were talking about the wish granting effect that their homemade moonshine has.  Because of this misunderstanding, chaos erupts as Lennie grants more wishes in one night than her uncles would grant in an entire year.  This includes Lennie’s personal wish, the return of her best friend who was kidnapped and murdered just six months ago.  She must find a way to fix this mistake, when the rules state that a wish can’t be unmade.

This sounds like it is going to be a really eerie book, that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

Down with the Shine comes out April 26th, 2016, and is published by HarperTeen.

Waiting on Wednesday: Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Waiting on Wednesday is a topic hosted by Breaking the Spine, where bloggers post about books that they are looking forward to being published in the near future 🙂

New WoW

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 4.37.58 PM

Wanderlost centers around 17 year old Aubree, who is spending her summer in Europe impersonating her sister.  After getting into trouble, Aubree’s sister, Elizabeth, asks Aubree to take her place at her new job.  It is because of this that Aubree finds herself serving as a guide on a tour bus across Europe.    Aubree is now experiencing her first adventure and seeing things that would not have been possible back home under her parents roof.

This sounds like a great summer time read with a laid-back feel.  From the description I feel like this could have the same atmosphere as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series.

Wanderlost comes out May 31st, 2016, and is published by HarperTeen.

Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 12.22.40 PM

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

by E. Lockhart

Rating: 5/5 stars

     Upon entering Sophomore year at a competitive boarding school, Frankie is not the same girl as the previous year.  After pending a summer in the sun and growing into some of her more awkward features, she is the girl that everyone is beginning to notice.  After the year kicks off with her dating a popular senior, Frankie thinks she has high school figured out.  However, she soon realizes that she doesn’t love the way she is treated as a trophy without independent thoughts or that she is excluded from the school’s secret society just because of her gender.

     It doesn’t take Frankie long to come up with a plan to show everyone that she is just as capable as one of the boys.  Leading to an infamy filled school career, Frankie is willing to sacrifice everything to place herself on equal footing with the Boys’ Club at her school.

Review: I love this book that’s filled with all sorts of Girl Power goodness!! I most appreciated how Lockhart chose to take on the more subtle occurrences of sexism and misogyny that girls face.  The frustration that Frankie feels when her words are disregarded simply because they are coming from her, or that they need to be validated by a male in the group in order to be considered valid is written so clearly that the reader becomes equally frustrated.  Even with something as innocent as a male friend “looking out for her” and warning her off certain guys because people think she looks better than last year, Lockhart drives home the point that there is something inherently wrong with that being necessary.

While this book does primarily highlight Frankie’s discontent, I also appreciated the inclusion of other female perspectives on these issues.  It shows that sexism is not a clear girls against boys problem.  There are some girls in this book who are fine with the established norm regardless of the inequality, and their feelings are just as justified as Frankie’s.

I think this is a contemporary book that should be on every school library shelf, and wish it was one I had read when I was in high school.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

Waiting on Wednesday is a topic hosted by Breaking the Spine, where bloggers post about books that they are looking forward to being published in the near future 🙂

New WoW

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 4.38.46 PM

The Leaving begins when 5 kids who were taken when they were Kindergarteners and return to their hometown at 16 years old and are physically fine.  The problem with their return is that they cannot remember where they have been or what happened to the 6th child that went missing with them 11 years earlier.  This story unfolds as the kids try to cope with a return to their lives, while trying to remember where they have been, and the still missing boy’s sister works harder than ever to find her brother.

The Leaving comes out June 7th, 2016, and is published by Bloomsburg.

Waiting on Wednesday: Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

Waiting on Wednesday is a topic hosted by Breaking the Spine, where bloggers post about books that they are looking forward to being published in the near future 🙂

New WoW

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 4.39.18 PM

After burning through The Silver Linings Playbook, I’ll give anything by Matthew Quick a shot.

In Every Exquisite Thing, Nanette has always met the expectations of those around her.  From her excellent grades and star performance in sports to her following all the rules set out by her parents.  That is until she comes across a cult-classic novel that changes her view of the world and her place in it.  As Nanette befriends new people and begins to discover who she wants to be, she must also learn that breaking out of the roles she has been placed in for so long has a cost.

Every Exquisite Thing comes out May 10, 2016, and is published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers.

Before and After: The Girl From Everywhere

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 7.19.01 PM

The Girl From Everywhere

By: Heidi Heilig

Rating: 2.5 stars

   Nix is a 16 year old girl who has had a very unusual upbringing.  Due to her father’s gift of traveling by ship to any time on Earth, in reality or myth, Nix has seen firsthand what many people only read about.  Unfortunately for Nix, her father only uses this skill in an effort to return to a time before Nix was born in order to save her mother from dying in childbirth.  While Nix wishes to see her father happy, she can’t help but fear for her own life and what will happen if events are altered too much so close to her birth.  While life aboard a ship and spending time with her closest friend Kash has helped lift her spirits in the past, Nix spends more time focusing on her mortality as her father’s success seems more imminent.  On top of these issues, Nix is starting to notice a change in her friendship with Kash just as she meets and begins to develop feelings for another boy.

Review: When I first heard about this book, I was really excited for an adventure, almost pirate-esque book that had the unique twist of being able to take place at any point in history.  And that is what I got, in the very beginning and the very end.  Much of the rest of the book was pretty stationary on land and seemed to focus a great deal on the new love triangle in Nix’s life.

The things I loved:  It is very obvious that Heilig put a lot of research into making sure that the time periods and the places she was portraying were accurate, which was greatly appreciated.  I also loved the idea that the ship had the ability to travel into mythic realms as well as reality.  I thought this was really creative and would have loved to see more of that.

Things I didn’t get on board with:  The love triangle.  For me this was a really intriguing story all on its own, and the issues Nix is already facing would have created a great story.  I also felt like one of the love interests didn’t really feel like a character to me so much as a plot device to reveal key information to Nix.

Final Thoughts:  I love the premise of this book, but would have loved to see more traveling and adventures.  At times TGFE almost felt like a prequel for all the traveling Nix could do in future books.  TGFE was an alright read for me, I might pick up future installments, but I’m not in a huge rush to see what happens next.

Review: The Prince of the Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 12.42.37 PM

The Prince of Mist

by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Rating: 5/5 stars

    It’s Spain during WWII and 13 year old Max Carver is forced to move with his family to a beach house in order to avoid the conflict from the war.  No one in the family besides Max’s dad is excited about this move, but their lackadaisical attitudes are snapped to attention when strange occurrences begin.  Soon after, Max begins questioning his surroundings he learns that the previous owners had a son who drowned in the ocean, and Max is certain his death is connected to his family’s experiences.  With the help of a native boy named, Roland, Max and his sister set out to find answers.  They soon discover that their is a malicious spirit terrorizing their family, until he collects a debt he was promised many years before.

Review:  To begin with a disclaimer.  Had I read this book, rather than listening to the audiobook, I probably would have been more likely to rate it as a 3-3.5.  But the recording was so well performed, that I sped through this entire book in a single day!  This story was super creepy and I think it is a great Middle Grade book, that anyone could enjoy.  The music and sound effects did wonders in creating a spooky atmosphere and I would love to know if the other audiobooks were recorded in a similar format.