Sunday, October 25, 2015

Stacking the Shelves 152

Week in Review
Review: Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

New on the Shelf
Squeels!! I'm so excited for the adorable journal, luggage tag, and passport holder from Disney-Hyperion and Big Honcho Media. I can't wait to read Passenger by Alexandra Bracken!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

Confessions of a Murder Suspect
Author: James Patterson & Maxine Paetro & Emma Galvin
Publishers: Little, Brown & Company
Publication Date: September 24, 2012
Goodreads  Amazon

I’ll just come out and say it, I thought I was going to hate this book. I checked it out from the Library for the sole reason that I needed a new audiobook for my commute and this was the only one on the YA shelf that I hadn’t already read. I was seriously surprised when I ended up not only enjoying the story but loving the narration by Emma Galvin!

Confessions of a Murder Suspect begins with the murder of Malcom and Maud Angel, two of New York’s elite. I thought this was your basic closed room murder. The Angel’s were murdered in their bedroom and the only people that were in the locked house were their children, so you were instantly suspicious of all of them. I thought the tension was great in this story and although there was a limited cast of characters who could have committed the murder I didn’t have it figured out until near the end.

This story is told from the perspective of Tandy Angel. She is a middle child and, since her older sisters passing, is the only girl. Tandy is smart, intuitive, and I liked that after she took on the task of solving the murder she never stopped questioning if she could have been the one who committed the crime. I also liked that she occasionally addressed the reader. I have seen this done in other books and it kind of weirded me out and took me out of the story. In this situation it further drew me in and did make me like Tandy more.

Emma Galvin did a wonderful job narrating this novel. Her reading speed is just right and I loved all of the tension she created. This is my fourth audiobook since starting library school (in September) and she has been my favorite narrator so far. I am definitely going to seek out more audiobooks read by her.

Overall, Confessions of a Murder Suspect surprised me in a good way. I enjoyed the tension in the story, the characters, and especially the narration. I actually enjoyed it so much I’ve already requested the next Audiobook from the Library. Fingers crossed that the sequel is just as good as the first!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Stacking The Shelves 151

The Last Couple Weeks
So I haven't actually done a Stacking the Shelves post for the last 6 weeks. I didn't realize it had been that long! Usually in this section I would tell you about the posts I've had in the last few weeks but instead I'm going to tell you why I haven't done a Stacking the Shelves post: I started Library school!

Later this week I will be doing an official post about Library School but for now let me tell you it is keeping me busy and I plan to incorporate the things I'm learning at Library School in to the blog.
Netgalley & Edelweiss
Return Once More by Trisha Leigh
An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet
Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley

Shade me by Jennifer Brown
Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
It's a Wonderful Death by Sarh J. Schmitt

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Grudging by Michelle Hauck Cover Reveal + Giveaway

Today Michelle Hauck and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for GRUDGING, Birth of Saints Book One series which releases November 17, 2015! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win a copy if the eBook!

On to the reveal!

Author: Michelle Hauck
Pub. Date: November 17, 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Format: eBook

A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.
The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.
On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.
The Women of the Song.
But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power. And time is running out.
A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.
About Michelle 
Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Two papillons help balance out the teenage drama. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.

She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query Street, and Sun versus Snow.

Her epic fantasy, Kindar's Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing. Her short story, Frost and Fog, is published by The Elephant's Bookshelf Press in their anthology, Summer's Double Edge. She's repped by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.
3 winners will receive an eBook of GRUDGING. International

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Outpost by Ann Aguirre

Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Goodreads  Amazon

I have never been a big audiobook fan. Usually the narrator is too slow or I have trouble getting in to the story. I think Outpost just may have changed my opinion of audiobooks though!

From the instant I started Outpost I was transported in to Deuce’s new world. She has arrived in Salvation but the high walls aren’t just keeping the freaks out, they’re also keeping Deuce in. Forced to be something she’s not Deuce feels like a fish out of water and with Fade distant, Salvation is starting to look like it is anything but.

What I really loved about this audiobook was all of the action and the vivid freak descriptions. From the outset this story had me keyed up and on edge. I never knew when the next Freak attack would come, or if the attack was going to come from a human threat. This was something I also enjoyed about the first book in this series, Enclave.

I ended up rating this book a full star higher than its predecessor, and I can wholly contribute that extra star because I listened to the audiobook. The narration by Emily Bauer was truly well done and I found myself actually looking forward to my morning commute just because I’d get to listen to Outpost in the pre-dawn light. It added an extra layer of creepiness listening to freak attacks while driving through fog.

Overall, Outpost was a really fun listen. I enjoyed the non-stop action and the spot on narration. After reading the first book, and listening to the second, I can easily say that I plan to finish this series on audio. If you’re on the fence about whether audiobooks are for you the Razorland series is a great novel to test the waters with.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: September 22, 2009
Goodreads Amazon

I’ve avoided John Green for a while now. I wasn’t a huge fan of Looking For Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars made me cry so I’ve always thought of John Green books in terms of either loving or hating. There was no in between. For me, Paper Towns was in between. I enjoyed the novel but I didn’t love it.

Paper Towns follows High School senior Quentin “Q” Jacobson who has had a crush on Margo Roth Spiegleman since childhood. After a whirlwind night of pranks and debauchery Margo disappears and Q begins his search for her believing she left behind clues for him.

I really liked Q he wasn’t the popular kid or a total loser. He was somewhere in between and I liked this about him. He is the kind of person you can connect to. I also really enjoyed his witty dialogue, especially with his friends.

This wouldn’t be a John Green novel though if I didn’t remark on the writing. I like the way John Green puts words together but it comes off sounding not at all like actual teenagers actually sound. It sounds like John Green writing for teenagers which is something completely different. Still, his novels shine in terms of depth of voice.

Overall, I enjoyed Paper Towns. It was an interesting story from start to finish but I didn’t love it. It was a solid middle of the road read and the first John Green novel I’ve read that I didn’t have intense feelings for. We’ll see if my feelings for his work change as I actively try and read more of his novels this next year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean Blog Tour + Giveaway

We'll Never Be Apart
Author: Emiko Jean
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 6, 2015

That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.
Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.

Murder. Fire. Revenge. This book definitely had those. We’ll Never Be Apart was part memory loss story and part story of recovery. It takes place in a mental ward on Savage Isle. Alice has been committed after a file killed her boyfriend Jason…a fire her sister Celie set. It is at Savage Island that Alice decides she has to kill Cellie.

This novel was written partly in flashbacks told through journal entries. The journal entries made it feel like I was reading two stories at once. It also helped to create tension and made We’ll Never Be Apart a very quick read.

Alice was an interesting and often contrary character. I really enjoyed the fact that she was totally unreliable. The Alice we saw in journal entries was a little different than the Alice on Savage Isle and although I guessed the twist early on I was interested to see how this story would end for her.

Chase was my other favorite character. I was always really suspicious of his motives and backstory even when I wasn’t given reason to suspect him of anything. I could’ve read an entire book just about him.

My only qualm with this novel was that I saw the big twist ending coming a mile away. I don’t know if there was too much foreshadowing or if I have just read too many similar books but this one was too easy to figure out. Still, I enjoyed the ride and Alice was interesting enough that I wanted to keep reading about her. 

Overall, We’ll Never Be apart was a great, creepy, October read. I really liked the characters and although I figured out the twist early it didn’t take away from this well told debut novel.

About the Author
Emiko Jean is an elementary school math teacher, whose work with children in foster care inspired her debut novel, We'll Never Be Apart. Aside from reading, writing, and teaching, Emiko is passionate about bugs. She can often be found in the remote forests of the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband, hunting giant moths and cataloguing rare insect colonies.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet Blog Tour + Giveaway

An Inheritance of Ashes
Author: Leah Bobet
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: October 6, 2015

The strange war down south—with its rumors of gods and monsters—is over. And while sixteen-year-old Hallie and her sister wait to see who will return from the distant battlefield, they struggle to maintain their family farm.
When Hallie hires a veteran to help them, the war comes home in ways no one could have imagined, and soon Hallie is taking dangerous risks—and keeping desperate secrets. But even as she slowly learns more about the war and the men who fought it, ugly truths about Hallie’s own family are emerging. And while monsters and armies are converging on the small farm, the greatest threat to her home may be Hallie herself.

About the Author
Leah Bobet is a bookseller, publisher, and editor as well as a Pushcart-Prize nominated author. She lives in Toronto.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sourcebooks Chills & Thrills Tour + Giveaway!

Halloween is on the horizon, and for many of us that means binge watching and reading all the scary stories that we can get our hands on! To help you get in the spirit YA horror and thriller authors Rin Chupeco, Natalie Richards, Patty Blount, and Allan Stratton share what scene from their books they would use to cast leads for the film versions.

Rin Chupeco (The Suffering)

For Okiku, it would always be THE GIRL FROM THE WELL's first chapter. Okiku technically doesn't speak throughout that scene, and my criteria for any actress playing her is to see if she can express Okiku's intent – not just with the murder she commits during this, but also what comes after - without the need for words. For Tark, I'd be looking for a teenage Dr. House, so I'd use the scene he had with his therapist, when he was at his grouchiest. For Callie, it would be the third chapter, when she's teaching her class. Callie's the one source of normal throughout the book, and I want her to look and feel natural.

Natalie Richards (My Secret to Tell)
Oh, man, wouldn’t that be a bummer. My book is a movie. And now I have to cast the leads. Woe is me! ;-) Please, I beg you, bring me this problem anytime.

One of the pivotal early scenes in My Secret to Tell is when Emmie comes into her bedroom and finds Deacon with blood on his hands. Emmie has just received a frantic phone call from her best friend, and Deacon’s sister, Chelsea, so she’s just learned that there was an attack on Chelsea and Deacon’s father. She’s also just learned that Deacon’s missing.

Except he totally isn’t.

Because he’s in her bathroom covered in blood.

It was an intense scene to write and I went over it countless times because it was so critical for both characters. This isn’t just a scene that reveals a catalyst and launches the whole thing into action—it’s also the first raw portrait of their relationship. It reveals who Deacon and Emmie really are at their core and what roles they’ve played to each other.

I think it would be the perfect scene to determine chemistry and characterization. Thirty seconds of that scene would probably tell me everything I needed to know.

Patty Blount (Nothing Left to Burn)
If NOTHING LEFT TO BURN were a movie, I think the best scene would be when Reece and Amanda are at the fire academy practicing their training and win that month’s award. It’s the first time Reece felt part of something instead of on the sidelines looking in. I could picture the look on the actor’s face who’d win the role. It has to be the right expression – part pride, part shock, part awe, and part kiss-my-ass.

Allan Stratton (The Dogs)

I’d use the scene where Cameron first sees Jacky. It’s the middle of the night and Cameron should be alone, but there’s a strange boy sitting on his desk dressed in clothes from fifty years ago. This can’t be real, can it?

The actor playing Cameron needs to try to stay calm. But as his vision of Jacky becomes more real, he loses his grip. Is he off the rails?

This scene also tests the young actor playing Jacky. Whether he’s a murdered ghost boy or a creation of Cameron’s mind, he exists. He’s been alone for years in this abandoned farmhouse. When Cameron tells him to go away, it hurts. “What did I do wrong? I thought we’d be friends.”

Jacky is vulnerable. He thinks his mother abandoned him. He knows about the pack of wild dogs and the truth about his father’s horrible death. He longs to have a friend. This scene is key in that struggle.

Finally, this scene tests the actress playing Cameron’s mother. She knows Cameron is humiliated by the night terrors that come every time his father has stalked them down and they’ve run to a new place. How does she comfort and reassure him, while knowing that there’s no escape from their situation?

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge - October Review Link-Up

Welcome to the October 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 October 31st
  • If you have and questions feel free to ask in the comments, email, or tweet me @FallingForYA
October Review Link Up