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 🙂

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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.

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Review: Me Before You By Jojo Moyes

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Me Before You

By Jojo Moyes

Rating: 5/5 Stars

     Louisa Clark has lost her job after working for six years at a local cafe.  Now after leaving or turning down multiple temp jobs and her family beginning to feel the financial strain of losing her income, Lou takes the next available job.  She begins working as a companion for a young man who is a quadriplegic as the result of an accident.

     Will Traynor, no longer recognizes the life he is living, after a tragic accident has forever taken his lavish and adventurous lifestyle away.  He no longer sees the point of living, until Louisa sweeps in and makes it her mission to show him how much he still has to live for.

Review: From watching the trailer for this upcoming movie, it is pitched as mainly a love story, but for me, the love aspect in this book takes a back seat to so many more important themes.  How do we measure someone’s quality of life?  If someone is rendered incapable of ending their own life, is it the duty of those who love them to assist in their efforts? Or disregard their wishes in favor of life and the law?

Even the love story turns traditional portrayals on their head.  In this story Lou’s boyfriend has the qualities most people would say make him ideal.  He is attractive, charming, sociable. However, Lou is drawn to Will, whose body is breaking down and never seeks to make others feel comfortable in his presence.  I think Moyes does a great job of taking a heart felt story and leaving the readers with a lot more than simple entertainment.

I highly recommend reading Me Before You before seeing the movie, and can’t wait to read its sequel and watch how the adaptation plays out.

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 🙂

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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.

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 🙂

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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 🙂

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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.

Waiting on Wednesday: Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood

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 🙂

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In Wild Swans, Ivy has spent her life inventing outrageous stories about the women in her family, specifically her mother who she hasn’t seen since childhood.  According to Ivy’s grandfather, the Mildbourn women are known for their tragically short but utterly amazing lives.  While all Ivy wants to do is ignore this legacy and enjoy the summer of her senior year, all plans and expectations are sidetracked when Ivy’s mother returns in an unexpected way.  When her mother returns with two more young daughters in tow, Ivy is further heartbroken by her mother’s abandonment.  Ivy now spends the summer replacing the adventurous mother she’s imagined, with the actual woman who has finally come home.

I am very excited about this book describing the realities of growing up and leaving childhood behind in order to face harsh reality.  This has lots of potential to pull at some heartstrings and I can’t wait!

Wild Swans comes out May 1st, 2016, and is published by Sourcebooks Fire.

Review: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

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Challenger Deep

by Neal Shusterman

Rating: 3/5 Stars

    Challenger Deep is a truly unique story depicting Caden Bosch and his struggle with mental illness.  Half of the novel takes place aboard a ship that is headed towards Challenger Deep, the deepest part of the ocean.  On this ship Caden is struggling to determine who is his ally and who is using him in order to put forth their own agenda.

     The chapters alternating between those on the ship show Caden’s experiences at school and home, where the people closest to him are starting to notice his odd behavior.  In order to cope with their questions and the threatening looks he is getting from strangers, Caden begins walking for hours everyday after school.

Review:  Shusterman depicts mental illness in such a unique but very personal way within Challenger Deep.  I have never been able to better understand the confusion, fear, fogginess, and frustration, that someone dealing with mental illness experiences than when I was reading this book.  When I was reading about how Caden felt when he was on medication everything became clearer about why someone may not want to take medication despite the fact that it could help them.

Parts of the novel were really confusing, and I had to push to get through them.  But this wasn’t due to poor writing, it was because Caden felt just as confused by his experiences.  This confusion as a reader began to clear up as Caden’s experiences on the ship began to match up with his experiences in the hospital.  Despite half of the novel taking place on a ship in Caden’s mind, this book is a very realistic depiction of mental illness, and makes me appreciate the struggle people experience to overcome this difficulty so much more.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian

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 🙂

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This week’s WoW book is The Last Boy and Girl in the World!

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After disaster strikes, Keeley Hewitt seizes the opportunity to finally take the risk on the boy she has always liked.

When a massive storm decimates Keeley’s town, everyone she knows is getting ready to start over far away from each other.  With nothing left to lose, Keeley feels a sense of bravery and decides to finally approach her longtime crush, knowing their will be almost no social blowback or heartbreak with her leaving town so soon.  With so much up in the air already, is adding more uncertainty to her life really what Keeley should be doing though?  Would it be better to just cut all ties with the town, and start anew somewhere else?

This novel reminds me a lot of We All Looked Up, the idea that social embarrassment and rules are negligible when faced with your own mortality and sense of physical security.  It will be interesting to see if Keeley’s bravery will pan out or if it will make any difference with her and the boy she likes having to relocate.  I also wonder if this will be a story where Keeley’s social concerns get pushed aside or put in perspective, with all the destruction caused by the storm.

The Last Boy and Girl in the World comes out April 26th 2016, and is published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

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Second Chance Summer

Author: Morgan Matson

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Having gone several years without spending the summer at their lake house, Taylor’s family has slowly drifted apart after getting caught up in the everyday grind.  Now with her father facing an aggressive cancer diagnosis, its his wish to return to their summer home once more.  While Taylor clearly understands her father’s reasoning behind this decision it is something she is not looking forward to.

5 years earlier, Taylor left the lake on bad terms with the only friends she had there.  She tries not to think about the poor decisions she made, but upon arrival is immediately confronted with all of her awful memories.  While trying to patch things up with the people she has wronged and getting the hang of working her first summer job, Taylor constantly has her dad’s condition resting in the back of her mind.

Review:

Second Chance Summer is a story of redemption and making up for lost time, that constantly had me reaching for a new tissue.  While Taylor’s time with her friends is important within the story, it is the familial interactions that had me coming back for more.  I think this is my favorite depiction of family that I have read in a YA novel so far.  The balance in the sweetness of watching Taylor’s family reconnect after so long mixed with the reality of the entire family watching their family patriarch’s declining health is utterly heartbreaking.  I feel like most YA I read picks up after the tragedy has already struck and it is about the protagonist moving through grief and healing.  Matson’s novel however, dives right into the gritty reality of sickness and packs a punch to readers’ emotions.

The Ben ‘n’ Jerry’s Book Tag

I stumbled across the Ben ‘n’ Jerry’s Book Tag on the Bookshelves & Paperbacks blog and loved the idea instantly!  So here are my ice cream themed reads 🙂

Vanilla Caramel Fudge: Pick a light, fluffy contemporary

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Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally is a really cute, light contemporary read for days when you don’t want your book to drag your mood down.

Mint Chocolate Cookie: a new release that you wish everybody would read

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A Step Toward Falling is a book I can’t promote enough! It gives a super accurate depiction of people with disabilities, has a great storyline, and ends takes on tough issues while still being able to have light and sweet moments.

Karamel Sutra Core: a last book in a series that you were completely satisfied with

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The One is an example of over eating something super sweet.  Everything wrapped up so perfectly with little conflict that I was a little disappointed.  Even the love triangle ended up not really being a thing because one of the guy’s had one foot out the door.  This book is an example of overindulgence in this ice cream metaphor 🙂

Cherry Garcia: an ending that was bittersweet

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Harry Potter was “the series” of my childhood. I loved how it ended, but was sad to see it was all over.

Strawberry Shortcake: a book containing your OTP of OTPs

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Mac and Sydney’s relationship is one of my favorites. They don’t have instant chemistry that jumps off the page from the moment they meet and their relationship isn’t the sole focus in either of their lives.  I like how they look out for each other, and their relationship feels a lot more natural than some depicted in other YA novels.

Milk & Cookies: two authors that if they collaborated, they would go perfectly together

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If Laurie Halse Anderson and John Green wrote a book together, I would have that thing preordered months in advance.  I think their writing would compliment each other really well, and would love to see them work together someday.

Boston Cream Pie: a book that had you turning pages late into the night

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I’ll have a review of this book up soon! With the alternating chapters from different times and perspectives, I’ll Give You the Sun does a great job of keeping information from readers until the perfect moment, making this an ideal page turning read.

Chocolate Therapy: a book that makes you feel better after a long day of life

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Having read this before and knowing how things turn out, Ugly Love is the perfect book to make me laugh, cry, and just expel all my nonsense emotions after a long day 🙂

Coffee, Coffee, buzzbuzzbuzz!: a book not yet released that you can’t wait to get your hands on

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I read Ink and Bone earlier this fall and really enjoyed it.  I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens to these characters in Paper and Fire.