Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016


1 The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
2 The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins
3 Tragedy Girl by Christine Hurley Deriso

4 Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
5 My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul


6 Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace
7 Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
8 Night Speed by Chris Howard

9 The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
10The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth

Sunday, December 20, 2015

2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge Sign-Ups!


Welcome to the third annual Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge!

Have you ever logged on to Edelweiss or Netgalley with the intention of "Just Looking" and then logged off having requested 5 new titles even though your TBR is a mile long? This challenge will (hopefully) give you the incentive to tackle your review books, stumble upon new ones, and get your Netgalley percentage to the desired 80%!
Challenge Guidelines
  • The challenge will run from Jan 1, 2016 – Dec 31, 2016.
  • Anyone is welcome to join. You do not need to be a blogger, just post your reviews and come back every month to link them up. 
  • Any genre, release date, request date, length, etc. counts so long as it came from Edelweiss or Netgalley.
  • At the beginning of each month there will be a roundup post for you to add your reviews.
  • If you forget to link up one month it's not a problem. Add your reviews next month or go back to the month your review was posted and link to that list.
  • If you would like to move up or down levels that is completely fine and at your discretion.
  • If you have any questions tweet me @FallingForYA or e-mail Emisbookblog@aol.com!
Levels
Bronze - 10 Books
Silver - 25 Books
Gold - 50 Books
Platinum - 75 Books
Diamond - 100 Books

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Every Word by Ellie Marney

Every Word
Author: Ellie Marney
Publisher: Tundra Books
Publication Date: September 8, 2015
Goodreads

Review:
I loved the first book in this series. Mycroft and Rachel were such a fresh take on Holmes and Watson and the mystery dazzled me. I expected this novel to be the same but, while I enjoyed this book, I also felt a little bit underwhelmed.

Every Word largely took place in London, England. An accident took place there and it largely resembled the accident that killed Mycroft’s parents so he sets off to learn more. The problem is he left Rachel behind and she isn’t going to take that sitting down. So Rachel jets off to London to force Mycroft to talk to her.

Mycroft was a jerk in this book. I’m just gonna call it how I see it. He got on my last nerve for the first third of the book and I couldn’t stand that Rachel was willing to drop her own life just to chase him halfway across the world. They seemed like different characters than the ones I met in Every Breath. Luckily, as the novel progressed I did get to see the characters that I loved but it was too little too late.


Overall, Every Word left me underwhelmed. I enjoyed the story, after I was finally able to get in to it, but it didn’t have the dazzle of the first novel. Still, I will read the third book in the series…I’m just not clamoring to get my hands on it. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Top 10 New-To-Me Authors I Read for the First Time in 2015


If I'm being honest this year hasn't been the best in books for me. I don't know if it's because I'm being more critical of the things I read or if I've just read so much YA over the last four years that I can spot a trope a mile away. I've read nearly 100 books and I've only awarded seven 5 stars. These though are the standout new authors I've read this year! 

1 Heather Brewer (The Cemetery Boys)
2 Laura Ruby (Bone Gap)
3 Martine Leavitt (Calvin)

4 Ellie Marney (Every Word & Every Breath)
5 Susan EE (Angelfall)

6 Vengeance Road (Erin Bowman)
7 Sandy Hall (A Little Something Different)
8 Melissa Grey (The Girl at Midnight)

Image result for return once more trisha
9 Trisha Leigh (Return Once More)
10 Rosamund Hodge (Crimson Bound)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios Cover Reveal + First Chapter Teaser

Blood Passage
Author: Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: March 1, 2016

Synopsis:
A jinni who’s lost everything.
A master with nothing to lose.
A revolutionary with everything to gain.

When Nalia arrives in Morocco to fulfill Malek’s third and final wish she’s not expecting it to be easy. Especially because Malek isn’t the only one after Solomon’s sigil, an ancient magical ring that gives its wearer the power to control the entire jinn race. Nalia has also promised to take Raif, leader of the jinn revolution, to its remote location. Though Nalia is free of the bottle and shackles that once bound her to Malek as his slave, she’s in more danger than ever before and no closer to rescuing her imprisoned brother.

Meanwhile, Malek’s past returns with a vengeance and his well-manicured faade crumbles as he confronts the darkness within himself, and Raif must decide what’s more important: his love for Nalia, or his devotion to the cause of Arjinnan freedom.

Set upon by powerful forces that threaten to break her, Nalia encounters unexpected allies and discovers that her survival depends on the very things she thought made her weak. From the souks of Marrakech to the dunes of the Sahara, The Arabian Nights come to life in this harrowing second installment of the Dark Caravan Cycle.

Blood Passage Chapter 1
1

Raif wondered how many times you could cheat death before it wizened up.
Any minute now, he expected to hear the harsh cry of an Ifrit soldier cutting through the laughter, singing, and buoyant voices that filled the Djemaa-el-Fna, Marrakech’s main square. He gripped Nalia’s hand as he scoured the crowded expanse for the crimson glow of Ifrit eyes. He was taking the name of the square seriously: Assembly of the Dead. Malek had told them how, not so long ago, the square had been used for public executions.  As soon as Raif had stepped out of the taxi that had brought them into town from the airport, he’d felt the malicious presence of the jinn who hunted them. Ifrit chiaan made the air heavy, covering the energy of the bustling North African city like lava. Hot and destructive, their magic would incinerate everything if it could.
“I thought you said you knew where this place was,” Raif said.
Malek shot him an annoyed look. “I said my driver knew where it was. Usually when I come to Marrakech I don’t have jinn babysitters who think it’s a good idea to throw my cell phone out of a moving plane.
Raif forced himself to keep his temper in check. It would only give Malek more excuses to point out Raif’s comparative youth. He’d had enough of the pardjinn’s snide commentary on the plane. All that mattered was that Raif got Solomon’s sigil before Malek did. Otherwise, Nalia’s former master would have a ring that would allow him to control every jinni on Earth—including Nalia, Raif, and Zanari.
“Don’t be so dramatic, Malek,” Nalia said. “The plane was still on the runway and we couldn’t risk anyone being able to track us.”
“I hardly think the Ifrit know how to use advanced GPS technology,” Malek snapped.
“Wanna keep it down, pardjinn?” Zanari said. “I was hoping to avoid capture until we at least got some dinner.”
Malek ignored her, pushing through the throng of people that crowded the square.
“This place is nothing like your angel city,” Raif said to Nalia.
Morocco wasn’t just a different country—it felt like an entirely new realm. And yet it was full of wishmaker humans and dirt in the sky and iron that made him sick.
“Los Angeles,” she corrected, smiling. “I prefer Morocco. It’s more like home.” 
“We’ll be in Arjinna soon,” he said, squeezing her hand. First the ring, then home. The words had become a prayer, a mantra, a shot in the dark.
Nalia tightened her hold on his hand. “I hope so.”
The square was all shadows and smoke, the inky night kept at bay with small lanterns set on the cobblestones. Smoke from hundreds of food stalls filled the night air, mixing with the incessant beat from the drum circles that lay scattered around the Djemaa el-Fna. Storytellers cast spells and magicians passed around hats after each trick, hoping for a few dirhams for their trouble. The souks bordered the northeast end of the square, a huge swath of labyrinthine alleyways filled with shops selling everything from love potions to rusted scimitars. Most of the Djemaa’s perimeter was taken up by restaurants where diners lounged at tables laden with tagines and pots of sweet Moroccan mint tea.
Raif’s stomach growled at the scent of lamb and spices that wafted over from a nearby table under one of the food tents in the center of the square. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d eaten. Dinner didn’t sound like such a bad idea, but he wanted it in the privacy of the riad, where he could finally relax. He was still drained from the unbinding ceremony he’d performed to free Nalia from her bottle, less than twenty-four hours before. Being in those horrible human planes hadn’t helped much, either. It was unnatural, spending so many hours in the sky.
“Nalia, does that street look familiar?” Malek asked. He pointed to an alleyway leading away from the Djemaa.
“I’m afraid I can’t help you, Malek,” she said, her voice cold. “The only time you brought me here, I was in a bottle around your neck.”
“Nice, sister,” Zanari said. She gave Nalia an appreciative nod and Malek cursed under his breath in Arabic.
Raif fell back as Nalia and Malek continued to bicker about which direction the guesthouse was in. “Anything?” Raif asked Zanari.
She shook her head. “A lot of Ifrit are searching for Nalia, my voiqhif told me that much. But nobody knows where she is yet.”
Having a sister with the ability to psychically view any place or person in the realms was incredibly useful…when it was accurate, anyway.
“Do they know what she looks like?” Raif asked.
“They know about the birthmark,” Zanari said. “That’s all I can see.”
Nalia had already made sure to glamour her eyes, turning them Shaitan gold instead of the tell-tale Ghan Aisouri violet that would get them all killed. Likewise, the tattoos snaking over her hands and arms had been covered, although those would not have been so out of place in Marrakech. Already, several women had called out to her and Zanari from behind the veils covering their faces, waving around cards with henna designs that looked very much like the tattoos hiding under Nalia’s glamour. But the birthmark on her cheek was something she wouldn’t disguise; it wasn’t the best time, Nalia reasoned, to offend the gods by covering up a sign of their favor.
Raif frowned. “I’ll feel a lot better once we stop moving.” 
“No chance of that anytime soon,” Zanari said, with a nod at Malek.
The pardjinn had promised that the riad he was taking them to was safe: a discreet hotel with only eight rooms, hidden in the folds of the medina’s confusion of narrow alleyways and streets. The ancient sector of Marrakech was the perfect hiding place for them, but what made it ideal was also the thing that was keeping them from finding their way around it themselves. They’d only been in the square for fifteen minutes, but that was long enough to be ambushed by the enemy.
“I can tell you this much,” Zanari continued. “Calar wants Nalia to disappear. I don’t think we should expect an all-out battle. She’ll want to do this quietly.”
The Ifrit empress had her very best killers scouring Earth. But after killing Haran, Nalia had proven that highly skilled assassins—even ghouls with dark powers—weren’t enough to take down the last of the royal Ghan Aisouri. 
“This place is crawling with Ifrit,” Raif said.
Zanari nodded. “Can’t see any, though.”
“Probably disguised. But if we feel them, they feel us.”
Raif’s eyes swept the crowded square. Nobody seemed to be paying Nalia any attention, but it would only take one mistake to alert the Ifrit. 
As Malek turned to say something to her, Nalia’s headscarf slipped down. His hand reached out to adjust it. In seconds, he’d secured the scarf so that it twisted around Nalia’s neck and head like the Moroccan women in the square.
“He’s a man of many talents, isn’t he?” Zanari said wryly.
“Half the time, I don’t even think Malek’s touching her on purpose,” Raif said. “He’s just so used to doing what he wants with her.”
It bothered him that sometimes Nalia didn’t seem to notice Malek’s closeness. The way they moved in tandem, how she always came when he called: he wondered how long it would take for her to realize she wasn’t Malek’s slave anymore.
Raif quickened his steps and threaded his fingers through Nalia’s, rubbing his thumb against the scar around her wrist, where Malek’s shackles had once been. She raised her other hand to the headscarf, self-conscious.
“I look silly, don’t I?” she asked.
It was a lucky thing the women in this part of the world wore such clothing—it allowed Nalia to hide the identifying birthmark on her cheek that had helped Haran find her. The ghoul had killed six jinn before he got to Nalia, including her best friend, Leilan. He’d nearly killed Nalia herself.
Raif shook his head. “Not silly at all. Beautiful as always.” He leaned in to kiss her, but Malek’s voice stopped him.
“PDA isn’t approved of in Morocco,” he said. “You kiss her out here and you’ll attract way more attention than you want.”
“PDA?” Raif asked.
Nalia shot Malek a glare. “Human thing,” she said, turning back to Raif. Later, she mouthed with a tiny, secretive smile. His breath caught a little as he thought of the room they’d share, just the two of them.
Raif pulled his eyes away from her mouth and cleared his throat. He had to stay focused. “No luck?” he asked, nodding at the street Malek was dragging them toward.
Nalia shook her head. “I don’t know what’s safer: staying in the square or walking through the medina. At least here it’s open. Gods, why did the sigil have to be in the Crossroads?”
To jinn, Morocco was known as The Crossroads, the country on Earth with the highest concentration of jinn and the location of the portal between the human realm and Arjinna. Full of refugees, slaves on the dark caravan, and expatriates, the city was a hub of jinn activity. Raif knew it would be difficult to blend in with the human population. He was too recognizable as the face of the Arjinnan revolution and no doubt word had gotten out that the Ifrit had increased their efforts to capture him. The sooner they got out of here, the better.
“This would be a good time to say, once again, what a terrible idea it was to take all my guns from me,” Malek said.
Nalia had emptied the plane of Malek’s firearms by throwing them onto the tarmac before taking off from Los Angeles—a  necessary precaution after Malek hypersuaded Zanari, controlling his sister’s mind so that she put a gun to her own head. Raif wasn’t sure what had kept Malek from killing Zanari that night; he’d just seen Raif kiss Nalia and help free her from the bottle—to say Malek was enraged would be an understatement. Emerald chiaan sparked at Raif’s fingertips and he closed his fists over it, staunching the flow of magic. There’d be time enough to make the pardjinn’s life miserable.  
“Malek, I trust you about as much as the Ifrit looking for me,” Nalia said. “And I certainly would never arm one of them.”
Malek placed his hand against his heart. “You wound me.”
Nalia ignored him, pulling Raif toward the circle nearest them that had formed around a band of musicians. Drums and tambourines accompanied the high lilt of an old man dressed in a traditional kaftan, a robe of homespun cloth with a pointed hood that lay flat against his back. The music made Raif think of campfires in open fields, women dancing barefoot in rich Arjinnan soil, and the feel of his tavrai around him. A pang of homesickness hit Raif as the words of the song became clear to him: so long, so long have I journeyed. He glanced at Nalia and saw his longing reflected in her own eyes. Gods willing, they’d be there soon, restoring their ravaged homeland together.
“If we had my cell, we’d be there by now,” Malek muttered to Nalia as he stared at the map in his hand for the hundredth time.
“You control the CEOs of every Fortune 500 company,” Nalia said, her eyes never leaving the weathered faces of the musicians. “I’m sure you can manage to read a map.”
“I haven’t had to read a map in seventy-five years,” Malek said. Though Malek didn’t look much older than Raif, he’d been alive for over a century. Being half-jinn, Nalia’s former master aged incredibly slowly, much like his full-jinn counterparts.
Malek crumpled the map and threw it to the ground. Raif closed his eyes and took a breath. He wished he could discipline Malek like he would a tavrai: extra guard duty or a few rounds in the training ring with his most brutal fighters. But Raif wasn’t in the Forest of Sighs and Malek certainly wasn’t under his command.
“Nalia, you know Earth better than I do—what are our options?” he asked, drawing her away from Malek and Zanari. 
 “Get out of the Djemaa right away, for one. I can feel the Ifrit, but I can’t—” Nalia stiffened. “There,” she whispered.
 She inclined her head slightly to the left and Raif’s eyes slid to where an Ifrit soldier was making his way through the crowd. He was dressed in a kaftan, the hood up, but even from here Raif could see the glow of the jinni’s scarlet eyes. Raif turned away—he’d be recognized in an instant.
“Is it just the one?” he asked.
“I think so,” she said. Nalia pretended to drop something and when she stood, Raif noticed the glint of her jade dagger in her hand.
“I’ll try to be quick, but be ready, just in case,” she said.
There was no question who would fight—Nalia was four times stronger than he was, the only surviving member of a royal knighthood, with access to all the elements instead of just one, like most jinn. It wasn’t time to be proud. Raif caught Zanari’s eye and she nodded. She’d seen the Ifrit, too.
Just as the Ifrit neared them, his eyes narrowing as he took in Nalia’s face, Zanari bolted toward Nalia. “There you are!” she said loudly.
Nalia turned, startled. Zanari wrapped her arms around her and pressed her lips to Nalia’s. Raif’s eyes widened. He hadn’t been expecting that, but then, neither had the Ifrit. The jinni stopped just a foot away, confused.
Zanari pulled away. “I thought I’d lost you,” she said, her voice soft and seductive. She’d turned more than a few heads, but all that mattered was those precious seconds that distracted the Ifrit.
Nalia swallowed. “N-no. I’m…here.” She smiled and dipped her head toward Zanari, whispering something in her ear.
His sister laughed, but from where Raif was standing, he saw her flex her fingers, ready to use her chiaan. Nalia dove to her left, the jade dagger winking as it sliced into the Ifrit’s skin. One cut of the charmed blade and he was paralyzed. The humans nearby screamed.  Zanari manifested a shadowy barrier around them to put some distance between the humans and the body on the ground.
“So much for flying under the radar,” Malek said.
“You need to get us out of here,” Raif ordered. “I don’t care how, but make it happen pardjinn.” He rushed over to where Nalia kneeled over the Ifrit. The jinni’s eyes were wide with terror.
She held the blade over the Ifrit’s chest, her face pale. Raif took the knife out of her hand and drove it into the jinni’s heart, pulled the blade out, then wiped the blood on his pants’ leg before giving it back to her.
“Let’s go,” Raif said. He pulled Nalia up with him.
“They’re coming.” Zanari was clutching at her head. “They don’t know it’s us, but they know something happened here.”
They raced toward the dark, serpentine streets of the medina. Malek grabbed a Moroccan man who stood on the fringes of a circle surrounding a cobra who swayed back and forth to his charmer’s hypnotic tune.
“I’ll give you five hundred dirhams to take me to Riad Melhoun,” he said in rapid-fire Arabic.
“Eight hundred,” the man responded, his eyes no doubt taking in the cut of Malek’s wool coat and the expensive watch on his wrist.
Malek glared. “Seven hundred. That’s too damn much and you know it.”
“This isn’t exactly the time to be bargaining, Malek,” Nalia growled.
Yalla,” the man said, waving his hand with weary resignation. Let’s go.
Raif grabbed Malek’s arm. “Why didn’t we do this from the start?”
“I hate being cheated,” was Malek’s reply. He shrugged off Raif’s hand and followed the guide.
“Humans,” Raif muttered.
They plunged into the medina as the square behind them filled with the sound of police sirens.




Exquisite Captive Paperback Cover Reveal 


Exquisite Captive
Author: Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: October 7, 2014

Synopsis:
Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.
Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?
Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.

About the Author
When she’s not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real. Her other novels include Exquisite Captive, the first in the Dark Caravan Cycle fantasy series, and I’ll Meet You There. She is the founder of Live Your What, an organization dedicated to fostering passion in people of all ages and creating writing opportunities for underserved youth. Find out more about Heather and her books atwww.heatherdemetrios.com and www.darkcaravancycle.com, or come hang out with her on Twitter (@HDemetrios) and any number of social media sites.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge - December Review Link-Up


Welcome to the December Review Link Up for the 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge. Before linking your reviews make sure you are signed up for the challenge here.
  • When submitting a review please do it in this format: Title of Reviewed Book (Name of Blog). Author names are not necessary. 
  • This link up will be open until December 31st
  • If you have and questions feel free to ask in the comments, email Emisbookblog@aol.com, or tweet me @FallingForYA

I want to give a special thank you to everyone who participated in the challenge throughout the year! I loved to see what everyone was reading and hopefully this motivated you to tackle your Netgalley & Edelweiss reading pile!

December Review Link Up

Saturday, November 28, 2015

4 Year Blogiversary Celebration + Giveaway!


Oh my goody goodness! Welcome to my 4 year Blogiversary Celebration & Giveaway! I can not believe it has been 4 years already. It seems like just yesterday I was reviewing The Hunger Games (the review that started it all) and the final movie in that series just released this week. How crazy is that?


My life has changed a lot since I began this blog. I started Falling For YA as I was finishing undergrad. Right now I am finishing up my first semester in the Law Librarianship program at the University of Washington. This blog actually led me to Twitter which is where I met other Law Librarians and led me on my current career path. 

I can't say enough how Thankful I am for this blog, for my followers, for the authors/publishers/publicists who have made blogging for the last 4 years a great experience. 

Here's to 4 more years!



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Stacking The Shelves 154

New on the Shelf
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
Stormbringers by Philippa Gregory
Ironskin by Tina Connolly

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
Dead to You by Lisa McMann
The Weight of Souls by Byrony Pearce 

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How To Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras Blog Tour & Giveaway!

How to be Brave
Author: E. Katherine Kottaras
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Goodreads

Synopsis:
An emotional contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and having the courage to chase the life you truly want.
Reeling from her mother's death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave - all the things she's wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she's always been afraid to do - including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn't always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most - and you learn that you're stronger and braver than you ever imagined.

About the Author 
E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, but now she writes and teaches in the Los Angeles area. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. She is at her happiest when she is either 1) at the playground with her husband and daughter and their wonderful community of friends, 2) breathing deeply in a full handstand, or 3) writing

Kathy’s Year of Living Bravely! 
Georgia isn’t the only one with a bravery to-do list. As a debut novelist, Kathy has declared 2015 the year of living bravely and is tackling many of her own fears. She’s chronicling her adventures on her website and encouraging readers to share their own experiences using #HowToBeBrave.

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 13, 2015

Calvin by Martine Leavitt

Calvin
Author: Martine Leavitt
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux
Publication Date: November 17, 2015 
Goodreads

Review:
This year there seems to be a trend regarding books about schizophrenia. In 2015 alone I’ve read four books featuring schizophrenic main characters. I don’t think this is a bad thing, quite the opposite. I think for too long mental illness has been largely ignored, by both society and in fiction. I’m glad that publishers are filling this void and publishing wonderful books like Calvin by Martine Leavitt.

Calvin follows the story of seventeen year old Calvin who shares a lot of similarities with the famous Calvin & Hobbes comic strip. Both have best friends name Susie, and both have companions named Hobbes…although Calvin’s Hobbes may not be entirely real. In order to cure himself Calvin sets off on a winter trek across Lake Erie to track down the author of the comic Bill Watterson. 

I loved Calvin. He came across as such a real person to me. He understood that what is happening to him, and his thoughts, are not real but he can’t stop his delusions from taking over. He was a character you really wanted to be ok. I also liked how much he cared about Susie and Hobbes. 

Part of the reason I loved Calvin so much was because of how the author handled Calvin’s schizophrenia. Martine really took the time to explain how this mental illness changed Calvin’s life. I especially enjoyed how she explained things as being either real or true because, with the disease, Calvin is never really sure if he just thinks something is real or if it is a true thing.

This novel was written in a unique writing style. It was almost like a cross between a letter and a screenplay. It gave the novel immediacy and made the read really quick.

Overall, I really enjoyed Calvin. The author handled Calvin’s schizophrenia in an honest and forthright manner. The writing style made it a unique and quick read. This novel has made me a Martine Leavitt fan and I can’t wait to read her other works!