Thursday, February 23, 2017

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego-- and My Favorite Authors??

Sorry this really isn't about my girl Carmen-- it's about authors who don't have upcoming books.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not really a patient person.  I tend to get antsy if an author I like publishes a book and doesn't have another one on deck-- at least one that's been sold and announced.  Once their newest book comes out, I go into Goodreads stalker mode and check their page way too many times to see if I missed hearing something.  I have issues.

My Opinion: Authors should publish a book every year.  

In a pure and perfect world, all my favorite authors would publish a book per year (or at least every 18 months).  But Michelle, you say, books take time to perfect.  You can't rush art, you say.  And I'm sure that's true and all-- but I WANT THE BOOKS!!!

Here are some authors that are currently MIA and therefor TORTURING ME:

Huntley Fitzpatrick
  • Last Book Released: The Boy Most Likely To-- August 2015
  • I LOVE Huntley Fitzpatrick.  I follow her on Facebook (which is unusual for me, but she puts up really interesting content about her family and writing process and life in general), and she sometimes talks about how she is writing something... but WHAT??  I need to know what and WHEN???

Lynn Weingarten
  • Last Book Released: Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls-- July 2015
  • I read Suicide Notes and Wherever Nina Lies and both were super interesting mysteries-- and I want to read more and I want to know when that more is coming.

Anthony Breznican
  • Last Book Released: Brutal Youth-- June 2014
  • This author is originally from Pittsburgh, so when Brutal Youth came out, I was all over it.  It was so unique and dark and ughhhh I need more like that.  I was impressed and can't wait to see what else he has up his sleeve.

Lauren Saft
  • Last Book Released: Those Girls-- June 2015
  • I know not everybody liked Those Girls as much as I did... but honestly it was probably my favorite book that I got at BEA 2015.  I really hope she writes more (and soon).

Bethany Neal
  • Last Book Released: My Last Kiss-- June 2014
  • So, I didn't love this book, but I liked it enough to want more-- and now it's been almost 3 years!!

Abigail Haas aka Abby McDonald
  • Last Book Released: Dangerous Boys-- August 2014
  • I admit I haven't read Dangerous Boys yet (I was supposed to read it with Cassi, & she knows what she did), but I own it, and I will read it soon enough.  The thing is, Dangerous Girls was SO good!!  Like the BEST YA Mystery I've ever read.  SO PLEASE MISS HAAS/MCDONALD, GIVE ME MORE OF YOUR GENIUS!!

Sarah Ockler
  • Last Book Released: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids-- June 2015
  • The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is the only Sarah Ockler book that I have left to read-- after that ?????  What am I supposed to do with myself.  Also, I miss her terribly and am getting anxious knowing there's no new release to pine over!

Jody Casella
  • Last Book Released: Thin Space-- September 2013
  • This was another book that I didn't LOVE, but thought it had a super interesting concept.  I'd definitely like to read more by her, so ???  It's been over 3 years!

Michael Hassan
  • Last Book Released: Crash and Burn-- February 2013
  • This is one of my favorite books of EVER.  I fell completely in love with it and I really don't know what's up with this author.  His Twitter is abandoned & I'm really starting to think this is the only book I'll ever get from him.  Which is sad, but I'm happy I at least got this one perfect book.

Louise Rozett
  • Last Book Released: Confessions series--June 2013
  • Oh how I LOVED this series.  The final book was only released as an ebook, so that has me nervous.  Are there more Rose books in her future??  Are there other stories??

John Green
  • Last Book Released: The Fault in Our Stars-- January 2012
  • I know what this guy's been busy doing (getting every book he's ever written or thought about made into a movie), but 2012 was a long time ago Mr. Green!!  Can you maybe write some more books and do less executive producing???

Kat Ellison
  • Last Book Released: Notes from Ghost Town-- February 2013
  • I just realized that Kat Ellison has another book that came out in 2012 called The Butterfly Clues-- and I am definitely adding that to the TBR-- but other than these books, there's been nothing.

Erica Lorraine Scheidt
  • Last Book Released: Uses for Boys-- January 2013
  • Wow, Uses for Boys was so powerful, gritty, and dark.  It was so honest and brave.  I was fully expecting lots more from this author, but where has she been??

Laura Buzo
  • Last Book Released: Love and Other Perishable Items aka Good Oil-- December 2012
  • This is an Aussie writer and I SUPER loved this book-- but OMG it usually takes a while for the US to publish Australian books, so that means even if she does publish something in the near future, I'm not going to be able to read it.

Stephen Chbosky
  • Last Book Released: The Perks of Being a Wallflower-- February 1999
  • Seriously dude, you dropped this gem on the world almost 20 years ago-- and then NOTHING ELSE??  I know that he's busy with movie stuff (he's directing Wonder and wrote the screenplay for the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie), but still....

Amy Efaw
  • Last Book Released: After-- August 2009
  • This book blew me away-- somehow the author was able to take a main character who did something TERRIBLE and make me have sympathy for her.  I thought it showed so much talent.  But she's been MIA ever since :(

Honorable Mentions:

  • Jandy Nelson (Goodreads SAYS there's a book from her coming in 2017, but I have my doubts), Rainbow Rowell (nothing since Carry On), Jesse Andrews (okay, he had a book out in 2016, but I still want something to look forward to), Nova Ren Suma, Courtney Summers (I know she's working on something, but WHAT???), Gillian Flynn (another John Green situation, but I need more fucked-upness in my life).

So just because I don't KNOW about the books doesn't mean there aren't any that are being whipped up-- but until I KNOW, I'm going to be anxious to know.  Do you get panicked when authors go MIA?  Which authors do you want to come out of hiding?

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage-- GIVEAWAY

Beautiful Broken Girls
by Kim Savage
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: February 21st 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary

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Mira and Francesca Cillo—beautiful, overprotected, odd—seemed untouchable. But Ben touched seven parts of Mira: her palm, hair, chest, cheek, lips, throat, and heart. After the sisters drown themselves in the quarry lake, a post-mortem letter from Mira sends Ben on a quest to find notes in the seven places where they touched. Note by note, Ben discovers the mystical secret at the heart of Mira and Francesca's world, and that some things are better left untouched.

Kim Savage is the author of AFTER THE WOODS, a debut psychological thriller for young adults coming on Feb 23, 2016 with Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan. Her second thriller for young adults comes from FSG is 2017. Before writing fiction, she worked as business journalist, pitching stories along the lines of “Stigmatized Properties: When Murder Kills Property Values”. You get the idea.

Comfort Books - Review 
Bibliobibuli YA - Q&A 

A Reading Nurse - Review 

Win 1 of 5 Copies of Beautiful Broken Girls
US/Canada only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday-- Unexpected Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (February 21st) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Books I Like More Than I Thought I Would

1.  Heartless by Marissa Meyer- It's not that I didn't expect to like this-- but I was wary because HYPE!!  And because I loved her previous series so hard.  Then I read Heartless and loved it just as much :)

2.  Those Girls by Lauren Saft- I had seen a lot of negative reviews for this book, so I was kind of expecting it to be MEH.  The thing is, I really really really liked it.

3.  Me & Earl & the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews- I was expecting this to be sad, but it was FUNNY.  I also hadn't heard that much about it, so I didn't think it would become a favorite, but it IS one of my favorites now.

4.  Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles- I had mediocre experiences with 2 of this author's other books, so I didn't have big hopes for this.  I was so happy I decided to stick with her though because I did really like this book.

5.  I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson- I liked The Sky is Everywhere, but it didn't make a HUGE impression on me.  I definitely was not expecting what I got with IGYTS-- definitely not.

6.  The Diviners by Libba Bray- I don't read a lot of historical fiction, so when this came up as a book club book, I didn't know if I would be into it or not.  I LOVED IT!!

7.  Cinder (#1) by Marissa Meyer- HYPE!!!  Plus a cyborg??  I didn't think it would be my cup of tea at all!!  It was so good!

8.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- I didn't read this until 2 years ago because until then I was SO sick of hearing about it.  Finally when the hype died down, I decided, why not??  But I still wasn't expecting to like it because if everyone else likes it-- I usually don't.

9.  Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas- Okay, so I LOVE a good mystery, but at the time I read this I was having a hard time finding ones that were A+.  I wasn't expecting much from this--- and then !!!!!!  It was so great, and I'm still trying to find something to equal it in the YA Mystery category.

10.  Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight- This is categorized as Adult, and since I really don't read a ton of Adult, I just didn't know if it would work for me or not.  It read very much like YA (thanks to a partial YA character narrator), and it definitely did work for me.

What books did you like more or less than you thought you would??

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Monday, February 20, 2017

DNF Mini Reviews-- 2 Books That I Was Sure I Would Like, But Didn't

I don't DNF a lot, but when I do I usually like to share a little bit about why.  Here are 2 recent DNFs and a mini-review of each one:

1.  The Girls by Emma Cline

Goodreads Synopsis:

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. 

Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

How Far I Got: 100 pages

Why I DNF'd: The writing.  When I first heard about this book I was ALL about it.  I don't read a lot of Adult books, but fictionalized true crime and cults are 2 of my INSTANT YES books.  I wasn't sure if the "charismatic leader" was Charles Manson or not (it was the latter), but it was obviously going to be based on that whole event.

So, the book goes back and forth between an adult Evie, who clearly does not have her shit together-- and a teenage Evie, who is looking for someone to pay attention to her.  She ends up seeing this group of girls digging through a dumpster and is instantly intrigued with them-- especially Suzanne, a girl that Evie has an instant crush on.  From there she goes to the ranch and the rest is sort of/kind of history??

I think this was a story I really could have gotten down with, except MY GOD WOMAN HOW MANY ADJECTIVES DO YOU NEED TO USE??  It was so poetic and wordy and not plot-y or exciting.  I don't think I'm incapable of liking poetic books, but the when they border on trying too hard and being pretentious, I'm out.

Also, this book reminded me why I don't read Adult.  Why is it that Adult books always have to give me TMI gross-out moments?  I'm not a prude, but every single time I try to read an Adult book, I inevitably get to the part where the author overshares about the character's bodily functions/desires/weird-ass gross thoughts.  If it's something that is needed to be told to tell the story, fine-- but when almost all the Adult books do it, it feels like it's part of a writing formula, and I HATE those.

So, basically this book was ZZZzzzZZZ and FLOWERY AS F.

2.  The May Queen Murders by Sara Jude

Goodreads Synopsis:

Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. 

The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.

How Far I Got: Halfway

Why I DNF'd: It was too weird.  I guess I didn't read the synopsis on this one too well, because I was super shocked when the characters in this book lived so primitively.  Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but since I was expecting some kind of beauty queen slasher murder/mystery in regular-old small town America, I had a hard time transitioning my mind to be in the mood for this one.

Obviously, that's not the book's fault at all.  I am a SUPER mood reader and pretty much HAVE to be in the mood for the book I'm reading or it feels like a chore.  I really did try to power through this one, but animals were dying and there were all these superstitions and rituals-- and I just was not in the mood for it.  I also thought it was super weird to have these kids growing up without modern conveniences, yet go to school with regular teens.  I feel like it just would not work-- either the Glen kids would rebel from their simple lives, or they would hate every single moment of their regular school and drop out.

Since I didn't finish it, I really can't comment on if the mystery was any good or not.  It didn't get me excited about it in the first half, so I can only hope it heated up towards the end.

This book was gory animal death, bland characters, and not super interesting plot.

Have you read either of these books?  I'm usually a black sheep, so don't hate me if you loved these!  

I'd love to hear thoughts-- do either of them get better as they go on?  Or was I right to quit when I did?

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Instant TBRs-- Things That Make Me Say YES To A Book

Last week I talked about topics or words that make me say NO to adding a book to my TBR.  It got me thinking about what I do like, so I decided to do an opposite post this week.

Sometimes I pick books based on pretty covers.  Lots of times I just pick books based on authors-- but since there are always new authors and new-to-me authors, sometimes I pick based on random things.  Of course, I do like YA Mysteries and YA Contemporaries (that aren't super romancey), but there are a lot of those and I have to narrow them down, right?

Here are some of the reasons I instantly hit WANT TO READ:

The "I don't remember" or Amnesia Trope- I think maybe it's the mystery aspect of this trope, but I'm not sure what it is that hooks me.  I know it's overdone, but there's just something about the character NOT remembering and then having to work through what happened with the reader that just GETS ME.

Mean Girls- Sometimes I get sick of girls being mean to each other, but if there's a mean girl or 2 in the book, done right, I will usually be ALL ABOUT IT.

Unhealthy Friendships- Again, sometimes I really yearn for healthy girl friendships in books, but if they're not going to be healthy, then I want them to be extreme levels of messed up-- nothing in-between.

SUPER Healthy Awesome Friendships (super rare)- Ohhh how I love and need more kick-ass friendship books.

Secret Relationships- I love a relationship that has to be kept on the down-low for REASONS.  I don't know why, I just find it thrilling.

Romance Gone Wrong- I'm not into Romance books that much-- but I do really like to read about the dark side of romance.  I've been involved in a sketchy relationship in the past, so I can usually relate.

Prom- I'm not into this AS much as I used to be.  A few years ago if the word Prom was mentioned in the blurb it was an INSTANT ADD.  Now, I am becoming more picky about them, but it's still a guilty pleasure.  (I'm not sure why considering I didn't even go to my own Prom-- that's weird, right?)

Cults- Excuse my language, but I am just fucking FASCINATED by cults.  It's so interesting to me how people get caught up in them and how the leaders can get these people to do almost anything for them.

The Dark Side of Social Media/Internet- So much can go wrong with the internets and it is super interesting to me because I mostly grew up in a time where we didn't have online lives (and I'm kind of really glad of that).

Bad Reputations- I instantly get interested in books that want to delve into the issue of girls having "reputations" when they hook up-- but you know, it's super cool when guys do it :(

True Crime Fiction- One of my biggest obsessions used to be reading True Crime books-- and following court cases on Court TV.  Reading YA has kind of taken over that obsession, but if a book comes along that COMBINES my two obsessions??  I'm so in!

Sole survivor- This is another one that is kind of overdone, but I'm a sucker for them.  Maybe it's because I liked that movie Unbreakable with Bruce Willis??

Woods- Woods are creepy as hell and I love settings that involve people getting lost in the woods, people going missing from the woods, crimes being committed in the woods, etc.

Islands- Like woods, islands can be creepy because of the isolation-- or they can be fun because it's an ISLAND.  For whatever the reason, I definitely like to add these to my TBR.

Twins- Maybe it's because all of Sara Shepard's books tend to feature twins??  Maybe I like twins because I've always thought it would be like being born with a built-in best friend-- and that sounds pretty cool to me!!

Coming of Age- Being a YA Contemporary lover, I'm gonna come across a lot of coming-of-age books.  The thing is, I LIKE them because they're usually about more than just a romance.  I'm still trying to figure out who I am and how I fit into this world, so reading about someone else figuring it out (no matter the age) definitely appeals to me.

Serial Killer- This is a lot like the True Crime one-- but I'm morbidly fascinated by serial killers.  I don't even have to read the synopsis, if I see the words serial killer, I'm IN.

Diaries or Letters- I am a huge sucker for books that are written in diary or letter format.  I don't know why because they really don't end up reading all THAT different from a regular book.

______ meets _______- When one of the blanks is something I'm all about like: Clueless, The Breakfast Club, Mean Girls, Pretty Little Liars, Can't Hardly Wait, 10 Things I Hate About You, Gone Girl.  The thing is, those comparisons are usually always disappointing, but that doesn't stop me from falling for it every damn time.

The Boyfriend Dumps the Girl for Her Best Friend- Oh man, I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this one because it's SO angsty & stuff-- but sometimes I just love the drama.  Also, SO MUCH BETRAYAL.

Let's Talk
What are your weird/random/embarrassing reasons for TBRing a book?

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