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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Extra! Extra! Death and Knitting

Extra! Extra!

Extra! Extra! is my weekend post featuring brand new additions to my TBR pile as well as a summary of what's new on the blog.

This weekend I'm linking to Stacking the Shelves @ Tynga's Reviews and/or to Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. 


You can enter Hot Off the Presses by linking reviews of November books or commenting on linked reviews.

I'll have great new giveaways coming up in December!


Huge thanks to Disney-Hyperion, Macmillan and Bloomsbury! xoxoxo!

Dead to Me Boys Don't Knit Start of Me and You

Dead to Me by Mary McCoy
Boys Don't Knit by T.S. Easton
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord


Goodreads wants me to know about this YA book. Have you heard of it? I will have to check it out!

What's new with you? Let me know in comments and leave me a link so I can visit you back.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Freebie Friday: Fall ARC Grab Bag 4

Happy Friday! 

One final giveaway is for the winner's choice of fall ARCs. There's a lot of ARCS left --  a romantic contemporary, a fantasy-ish thriller... All came out in October or November.

Due to shipping costs, this is US only, but if you live outside the US, you can enter Hot Off the Presses!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And stay tuned, because I have some great giveaways coming up: The Debut Author Giveaway Hop, the Best of 2014 Hop and a special giveaway of the third book in the Falling Kingdoms series!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WDYT Thursday: Are You a Peeker?

Welcome to What Do You Think Thursday, a periodic discussion post on my blog!

Last week we discussed happy endings. This week, I'm curious: if you need that happy ending, do you peek to make sure it's there?

Confession: I am a peeker, a spoiler-seeker, someone who thinks it's totally okay to look at the last page of the book before I actually get there.

This may be shocking to some of you. If you aren't shocked, you probably peek too. (I call it peeking because I do it fast. Just a tiny little peek...)

I've been thinking about my habit. I don't peek under every circumstance. Sometimes I do it if I'm not enjoying a book and want to see where it's going to end up. But most of the time,  I tend to peek when I am very, very invested in a particular outcome. If I'm happy with any outcome, I don't peek. For instance, when I was pregnant, I told the doctor I didn't want to know the baby's gender. I truly didn't care if I had a boy or a girl, so I was fine with not knowing. (My husband knows my curious, snoopy tendency and the fact that I didn't want to know this time drove him nearly insane. His rationale: it's a surprise whenever you find out.)

However, if I AM invested in an outcome, I peek. If I'm reading a book with a love triangle in which I detest one of the members, or if I sense something very bad coming and I need to know if I'm right,  I peek. I think that it helps me be more emotionally prepared for disappointment and/or sadness. And, hey, it's a surprise whenever you find out. Or so I hear...

I confess to taking a quick peek at the ending of these books:

Boundless by Cynthia Hand 
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

(I've peeked at waaaay more. Trying to remember. Will add to the list.)

Are you a peeker? A spoiler-seeker? Or are you someone who thinks I should:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just Finished Reading .... For Real by Alison Cherry

For Real
by Alison Cherry
To be published by Delacorte Press
on December 9, 2014

Source: e-ARC from Netgalley

Synopsis from Goodreads:  Shy, cautious Claire has always been in her confident older sister’s shadow. While Miranda’s life is jam-packed with exciting people and whirlwind adventures, Claire gets her thrills vicariously by watching people live large on reality television. When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just after her college graduation, it’s Claire who comes up with the perfect plan. They’ll outshine Miranda’s fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer by competing on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million bucks. Revenge + sisterly bonding = awesome.  But the show has a twist, and Claire is stunned to find herself in the middle of a reality-show romance that may be just for the cameras. This summer could end up being the highlight of her life . . . or an epic fail forever captured on film. In a world where drama is currency and manipulation is standard, how can you tell what’s for real? 
My take:  Sometimes you read exactly the right book at exactly the right time, and this was that book for me. I was grumpy and out-of-sorts, and this book put me in a much better state of mind.

I wasn't sure that would be the case. Because, even though I do watch reality TV -- including The Amazing Race, which some of this book is definitely modeled on -- I haven't found much success with YA books that take place on reality shows. A lot of books like that use the reality TV premise to create a lot of manufactured drama. Because reality TV = manufactured drama.

I loved that this book had a sense of humor about reality TV drama -- there are some hilarious made-up shows mentioned in the book -- then delved deeper. Both Miranda and her sister Claire have something to prove. Miranda's been dumped by her boyfriend, Claire has always been in her sister's shadow. (I also have a sister. And -- ahem -- she might say that I am the domineering one.) When the girls are accepted as a team on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million dollars, the fun begins....

I also loved that this book used the backdrop of reality TV to raise interesting questions about the nature of "reality" on TV ... and in life. Claire thinks she's an expert on the ins and outs of being the perfect contestant, but she finds that she has a lot to learn about herself, her sister, and her competitors.

I loved the ending. I'm willing to wager that not everyone will, but I thought it was quite perfect.  For me. This book was fun and funny, with enough just enough depth to satisfy me. If you're a fan of reality TV and/or sister stories, definitely give this a try.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hot Off the Presses: New YA Releasing November 18-24

Hot Off the Presses -- brand new YA releases!

Welcome to Hot Off the Presses!  

Tuesday is book release day, so every Tuesday I tell you about all the great new YA books you can buy in the week to come. If you're a reviewer, you can also link your blog or Goodreads reviews of any YA book publishing in the current month so we can all check them out!
Enter the November giveaway! This month's winner can pick any book up to $15 on either Amazon (for US winner) or The Book Depository (for international winner.) Enter by linking your November YA reviews or commenting on other people's linked reviews. 

Hot Off the Presses aims to include every traditionally published YA. Please let me know about books I might have missed! Some titles may have different release dates outside the US.

VERY slow week -- did I miss anything??? Click on the covers to find out more...

Unhappening of Genesis Lee I Wish Stolen Bright Coin Moon
The Unhappening of Genesis Lee by Shallee McArthur (Sky Pony Press)
I Wish by Elizabeth Langston (Spencer Hill)
Stolen (Frozen #2) by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston (Penguin)
Bright Coin Moon by Kirsten Lopresti (Sky Pony Press)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 17, 2014

Just Finished Reading ... Half Lies by Sally Green

Half Lies (Half Bad Trilogy #.05)
by Sally Green
Published on November 13, 2014
by Penguin

Source: from publisher for review

Synopsis: Set in the months before Half Bad, Half Lies takes the form of a diary written by Michele, the sister of Gabriel, Nathan’s Black witch friend. Having fled Europe for Florida, Michele falls in love with a local White witch boy. There, she finds that the divide between the Black and White witch communities is just as dangerous as it was in the life she's left behind.

My take: I'm not always a fan of novellas, but I was intrigued by this one because it features my very favorite character from Half Bad, Gabriel. He's such a charming enigma of a guy. This novella, which takes place at the same time as Half Bad (a book which actually spans a number of years) features Gabriel and his younger sister, Michele.

For more information about why author Sally Green wrote the novella, why she chose the diary format, and why Gabriel (though I didn't wonder that) you can check out the series website, HalfBad

So ... Half Lies served to confirm a few things that I'd tentatively decided after reading Half Bad:

1) White witches and Black witches are pretty interchangeably scary and violent
Whoa -- this short novella starts out with not one, not two, but three violent murders. Things settle down a bit after that, but then the White Witch/Black Witch blood feud -- which apparently also exists in Tampa, Florida -- moves into high gear. Still not sure why they hate each other so much, but bad stuff happens.

2) Gabriel is awesome
We all knew that. It's sweet to see him with his sister. She calls him "Gab" which I thought was cute. We get to see him receive his gift, figure it out, and then see things go wrong (which you already know if you read Half Bad.)

3) These books have some of the coolest covers in all of YA

4) When you think something good is going to happen in one of these books, you might be dead wrong
Don't want to say much more than that without spoilers. But I will say under spoiler protection (highlight to read) that you never know if someone is really dead if there is no body.

If you haven't read Half Bad, now's the perfect time to try it, since ... drumroll ...

Half Wild comes out on March 24.  And if you have read Half Bad, or after you do, please be sure to check out the half and half book discussion that I did with Lauren from Love is Not a Triangle.

My half of the discussion is HERE.

Lauren's half is HERE.

Let us know what you think about the book, the romance, or whatever else is on your mind!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Extra! Extra! Recipes, Anyone?

Extra! Extra!

Extra! Extra! is my weekend post featuring brand new additions to my TBR pile as well as a summary of what's new on the blog.

This weekend I'm linking to Stacking the Shelves @ Tynga's Reviews and/or to Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. 


You can enter Hot Off the Presses by linking reviews of November books or commenting on linked reviews.

I'll have great new giveaways coming up in December!


The Distance Between Lost and Found Magonia Finding Paril

The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes (Harper, February 2015)
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley (Harper, April 2015)
Finding Paris by Joy Preble (Balzer + Bray, April 2015)

What's new with you? Is there anyone who celebrates American Thanksgiving and has new recipes for me to try? I can't make good stuffing to save my life...
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