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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hot Off the Presses: New YA Releasing July 22-28

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 grab 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!

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 reviews, commenting on other people's linked reviews, or tweeting :)  

Hot Off the Presses aims to include every traditionally published YA. You are also welcome to link your reviews of YA books that were self-pubbed this month. Some titles may have different release dates outside the US.

Strange and Ever After Extraction Fire Wish Endless
Strange Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly #3) by Susan Dennard (Harper)
Extraction by Stephanie Diaz (St. Martin's)
Fire Wish (Jinni Wars #1) by Amber Lough (Random House)
Endless (Shadowlands #3) by Kate Brian (Disney-Hyperion)


Just Like the Movies Welcome to the Dark House Dissonance
Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore (Walker)
Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz (Disney-Hyperion)
Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke (Simon & Schuster)


Like No Other The Burnouts The Year of Chasing Dreams One Past Midnight
Like No Other by Una LaMarche (Razorbill)
The Burnouts (Quarantine #3) by Lex Thomas (Egmont)
The Year of Chasing Dreams (The Year #2) by Lurlene McDaniel (Delacorte)
One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington (Bloomsbury)


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Monday, July 21, 2014

Just Finished Reading ... Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks #5)
by Miranda Kenneally
Published by Sourcebooks
on July 15, 2014

Source: bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race. But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.
My take:  It's always a happy day when there's a new Miranda Kenneally book to read. I love the way that all her books have a main character who is trying to find herself in some way or another, but that every book feels completely different. Breathe, Annie, Breathe borders on New Adult, as Annie has graduated from college, and Jeremiah's in college, so if you enjoy YA books with a bit more maturity, give this one a try.

Annie's going through a lot -- she's about to leave for college, she's training for a marathon ... and her boyfriend died. I loved the way that Annie's struggles had both a physical and an emotional component. She's using the marathon training as a test, as a tribute, as a distraction.  Then she meets a guy -- the absolute wrong guy at the wrong time. What could be worse? What could be better?

I've seen some people comment on the fact that Annie's alone on this cover, when the rest of the Hundred Oaks books have couples on them. Now that I've read the book, I think that fits. Yes, there's romance in the book, but it's really Annie's story, and I loved that.

Jeremiah. If there was a fictional character more opposite to me, more puzzling to me, I can't imagine one. And yet, a talented writer can make me understand a character like that, even though we have zero in common.

I love companion novels with cameos!  I didn't make a list, but it feels like just about every Hundred Oaks character makes an appearance in this book. And I loved the way that the characters weren't just suspended in time, but they'd aged. Still, if you've never read a Miranda Kenneally book, Breathe, Annie, Breathe works as a standalone.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Extra! Extra! Silver Shadows

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 or to Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. 

NEW BOOKS:

If you're a diehard Richelle Mead fan like I am, you know that it IS possible to get her books a little early.  I found Golden Lily early, and this past week I also found ... Silver Shadows!!



Silver Shadows Peter Facinelli

I hadn't noticed how much that Adrian model looks like Peter Facinelli, and now I think I have to take the dust jacket off...

Next week, Patrick from The Bookshelves and I are doing a special Silver Shadows giveaway -- Bloodlines series trivia and a chance to win your own copy of the book.

In the past couple weeks, I also received these:

pic name Can't Look Away Oh Yeah Audrey

Winterkill by Kate Boorman (Abrams)
Can't Look Away by Donna Cooner (Scholastic)
Oh Yeah, Audrey! by Tucker Shaw (Amulet)

ALSO ON THE BLOG NEXT WEEK: 

A review of Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally.

A rundown of the fourteen (at last count) new YA books coming out next week.

And the Silver Shadows giveaway...

How's your summer going? What are you reading? Leave me a link to your blog so I can visit you back!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Freebie Friday: July ARC Grab Bag!


Happy Friday!  

I love surprises, so this week's winner can choose a prize from an assortment of great July 2014 YA ARCs. There's a thriller in there, some horror, two contemporary romances -- something for everyone!  This is US only, but next week, I'll be doing a special giveaway that's open internationally. And everyone can enter Hot Off the Presses :)


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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Just Finished Reading: Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

Of Metal and Wishes 
by Sarah Fine
To be published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
on August 5, 2014

Source: Borrowed ARC from Around the World ARC Tours

Synopsis from Goodreads: There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally. Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her … for a very long time. As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it.
My take: Of Metal and Wishes tells a story that's doesn't fit perfectly in any genre. Aspects of the book feel historical, and it is set in an invented -- yet Asian-inspired -- country. The story includes some steampunk elements, and also feels a bit Gothic. In addition to all that ... it's a retelling. You probably wouldn't guess the inspiration right off, and since I think I might have enjoyed this retelling slightly more without knowing what book it was based on, I'll put the name of the original book under spoiler protection here: Phantom of the Opera. 

Wen was a fantastic heroine. The daughter of a family that has fallen on hard times, Wen misses her dead mother and assists her physician father as he cares for the workers in a slaughterhouse. Wen can't help but notice how cruelly the laborers -- men from a different province and ethnic group -- are treated by the factory bosses. One day, Wen is taunted by one of the laborers, and she angrily makes a wish for vengeance to the mysterious Ghost, who grants it. This sets off a chain of events that leaves Wen wracked with guilt, but also draws her closer to Melik, one of the workers. When Wen sets out to discover the Ghost's secrets, she is drawn into his mysterious underground world.

I learned that Of Metal and Wishes was a retelling about half way though my reading. It was a big "a-ha" moment for me, but then it also became somewhat of a distraction -- and also a little bit of a spoiler. While the time and place and some plot points have changed, Of Metal and Wishes stays pretty true to the emotional core of the source material. (The original story does have a bit of a love triangle feel, though it's not one of those back-and-forth triangles.)

I really enjoyed Of Metal and Wishes. It was beautifully-written, imaginative and unique, with a story world and a heroine I won't soon forget. After I finished, I checked out the author's Pinterest board for the book, which explains some of the inspirations behind her story.  If you like stories that are dark and Gothic, or are just looking for something a little different to read, definitely check this one out!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July YA Mini-Reviews!

 photo MiniReviews_zps77a64c62.jpg

In a surprising twist, I found a YA amnesia book that was for me, an adult fantasy that I found to be a bit of a mix and YA contemporary that, while too fluffy and sweet for me, could be a great fit for another reader.

The Half-Life of Molly Pierce
by Katrina Leno
Published by Harper Teen
on July 8, 2014

Source: ARC giveaway at ALA

Mini-synopsis adapted from Goodreads: For all of her seventeen years, Molly feels like she’s missed bits and pieces of her life. Now, she’s figuring out why. Now, she’s remembering her own secrets. And in doing so, Molly uncovers the separate life she seems to have led…and the love that she can’t let go.
My mini-take: Amnesia stories in YA are about as overdone as insta-love and love triangles. That said, if amnesia is used as a way to explore identity issues and not just as a convenient plot device, I can get on board. The Half Life of Molly Pearce was a little spare, but that was partly because of its length -- only 240 pages. But I don't think the story that was being told needed more any more pages. It started dramatically and kept my interest throughout. It was a unusual sort of "finding yourself" story, compellingly told. If you have enjoyed other twisty books of summer 2014, books like We Were Liars or Complicit, definitely give this one a try!


Queen of the Tearling
by Erika Johansen
Published by Harper
on July 8, 2014

Source: e-galley from the publisher via Edelweiss

This is an adult book. The reading level is appropriate for YA but there is adult content.
Mini-synopsis adapted from Goodreads: On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

My mini-take: I had seriously mixed feelings about Queen of the Tearling. The retro-futuristic-sci-fi-medieval mash-up of a story world was pretty intriguing but also in need of much more explanation. The main character also annoyed me to no end. The synopsis claims that Kelsea isn't vain, but I found her appearance-obsessed internal monologue hard to take -- she didn't let up, even when she was running for her life, There are some scenes that felt strongly reminiscent of other blockbuster books, like The Hunger Games (the lottery) and Game of Thrones (the scene where Kelsea insists on executing a guy because it's her duty). Many of the book's characters feel one-dimensionally good or evil, though there are a few interestingly shifty ones and a female villain with a lot of potential.  Curious to see what develops in the next book and hope that Kelsea will be start focusing on saving her kingdom instead of worrying about what everyone looks like.


Wildflower (Wildflower #1)
by Alecia Whitaker
Published on July 1, 2014
by Poppy

Source: e-galley from the publisher via NetGalley

Mini-synopsis adapted from Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Bird Barrett has grown up on the road, singing backup in her family's bluegrass band. One fateful night, Bird fills in for her dad by singing lead, and a scout in the audience offers her a spotlight all her own. Soon Bird is caught up in a whirlwind of songwriting meetings, recording sessions, and music video shoots. She's even caught the eye of her longtime crush, fellow roving musician Adam Dean. With Bird's star on the rise, though, tradition and ambition collide. Can Bird break out while staying true to her roots?
My mini-take:  Wildflower is the first installment in a squeaky-clean YA Cinderella trilogy about a sixteen year-old who, in the blink of an eye, goes from traveling around in an RV with her musical family, Partridge-style, to being a bona fide country star. While I have nothing against nice or sweet, especially in real life, Wildflower was like cotton candy topped with marshmallow fluff and sprinkles. As I read, I kept hoping for some -- any!!-- hint of conflict to arise.  I love Cinderella stories as much as the next girl, but Cinderella have plenty of tension and I was feeling the need for some of that in this modern day fairy tale. While Wildflower wasn't a perfect fit for me as a reader, it would make a great choice for tweens or any reader who is feeling the need for a book that's 100% sweet and upbeat.

Do you have any favorite July YA books to share? Tell me in comments!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hot Off the Presses: New YA Releasing July 15-21

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 grab 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!

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 reviews, commenting on other people's linked reviews, or tweeting :)  

Hot Off the Presses aims to include every traditionally published YA. You are also welcome to link your reviews of YA books that were self-pubbed this month. Some titles may have different release dates outside the US.

WHERE are all the books this week? If I missed anything, please let me know in comments!


Illusive Dirty Wings Breathe, Annie, Breathe The Rain
Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones (Little, Brown)
Dirty Wings (All the Pretty Songs #2) by Sarah McCarry (St. Martin's)
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally (Sourcebooks)
Rain by Virginia Bergin (Macmillan)



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