Sunday, July 14, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (7): Catch Up Edition

I wanted to post the books I've gotten over the last month or so since I haven't done a Stacking the Shelves post in awhile! I've already started reading a few of these and will have some reviews up ASAP! 

The first set of books I picked up at BEA. I was only able to make it to one day of the event, but I had an amazing time and am so excited to read all of these books!


BEA:

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Reboot by Amy Tintera 
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson 
Hero by Alethea Kontis 
Margot by Jillian Cantor 
Find Me by Romily Bernard 
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan 
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau 
All The Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry 
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas 
The Waking Dark by Robin Wasserman 


Awaken by Meg Cabot 
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg 
Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt 
Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan 
Stormbringers by Philippa Gregory 
Changeling by Philippa Gregory 
The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler 
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans 
Fearless by Cornelia Funke 
Because of Low by Abbi Glines
Breathe by Abbi Glines
The Impossibility of Tomorrow by Avery Williams 
The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford 
Precious Blood by Tonya Hurley 
Thin Space by Jody Casella 
Shadow of the Mark by Leigh Fallon 
The Field of Wacky Inventions by Patrick Carman 

What have you gotten recently?

Stacking the Shelves is Hosted By Tynga's Reviews 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review: My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi

My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi
Lucy just had the worst week ever. Seriously, mega bad. And suddenly, it's all too much—she wants out. Out of her house, out of her head, out of her life. She wants to be a whole new Lucy. So she does something the old Lucy would never dream of.
And now her life will never be the same. Now, how will she be able to have a boyfriend? What will she tell her friends? How will she face her family?
Now her life is completely different...every moment is a gift. Because now she might not have many moments left.




Review: 

My Life After Now is a novel that should be read by everyone. While it isn't perfect, it tackles an issue that I have never encountered before in young adult fiction and will both educate and engage the reader throughout. My knowledge of HIV and AIDS was very slim before I read My Life After Now and I think that is definitely an issue with our education systems. Most teenagers never imagine that they could be affected by HIV or how life-changing a diagnosis can be. 

Lucy was such an inspiring and likable character. She was layered and well-developed; everything about her from her personality to her narrative to her experiences was very real. Lucy made mistakes, but one big one that would change her life forever. Seeing the "before" Lucy and the "after" Lucy was such an interesting, and heart-breaking, experience. Her life completely fell apart in a matter of days and there was nothing she could do to change it. The reactions of her friends and family were realistic and a mix of good and bad. I loved her fathers, it is rare that parents have such a large role in today's YA novels, but both of Lucy's fathers played key roles in her life and the story. 

HIV and AIDS awareness is an important, and current, issue that Jessica handles extremely well in her debut novel. When I first picked this up, I had no idea what to expect, but I finished it with a mix of understanding and sadness. It is not very often that I read a book that leaves me so emotional, but My Life After Now certainly did that. 

The only issue I had was with the ending, because I wish we got more closure. I would really like to know what is next for Lucy and the other characters. 

My Life After Now is definitely worth a read and is a novel that should be shared with every and any teenager. I picked this up planning on reading a few pages, and was soon completely sucked into Lucy's story. It is an emotional and realistic read that also educates the reader. I am eager to see what is next for this exciting new author and am curious to see if she will tackle another serious issue. 

Overall: 4.25 out of 5 

April 2, 2013/Sourcebooks Fire/287 Pages/Young Adult

Source: NetGalley 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (91)


Uninvited by Sophie Jordan 
You can’t change your DNA…even when it says you’re a murderer.
When Davy tests positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, aka “the kill gene,” she loses everything. Once the perfect high school senior, she is uninvited from her prep school and abandoned by her friends and boyfriend. Even her parents are now afraid of her—although she’s never hurt a fly. Davy doesn’t feel any differently, but genes don’t lie. One day she will kill someone.
Without any say in the matter, Davy is thrown into a special class for HTS carriers. She has no doubt the predictions are right about them, especially Sean, who already bears the “H” tattoo as proof of his violence. Yet when the world turns on the carriers, Sean is the only one she can trust. Maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.
March 2014/HarperTeen/Young Adult 

-- I loved Sophie's Firelight series and Uninvited sounds fantastic, yet completely different. This plot is something fresh and new and I'm interested to see how everything will play out, especially with the mystery guy Sean.

Links: Author's Website/Goodreads

 Waiting on Wednesday Is Hosted By: Breaking the Spine

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Review: Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Vixen by Jillian Larkin
Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.
Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?
Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .

From debut author Jillian Larkin, VIXEN is the first novel in the sexy, dangerous, and ridiculously romantic new series set in the Roaring Twenties . . . when anything goes.

Review: 

I loved, loved, loved this book! In my attempts to tackle my TBR shelves from a few years ago I have been picking up some of the older titles I own and this was one of them. I have no idea why I took so long to read it because everything about Vixen seems like the perfect book for me. I am extremely happy I finally read Vixen as it was a heart-pounding, romantic, and dramatic read that left me eager to get a copy of the sequel. 

Vixen was told from the point of view of three different girls: Gloria, Clara, and Lorraine. Each of them had very different personalities and experiences. Gloria was the rich-girl engaged to one of the most eligible bachelors in Chicago: Sebastian Grey. The only problem is Gloria longs for the freedom and adventure of the flapper lifestyle. Then there is Clara. Clara is Gloria's cousin who everyone thinks is a lowly farm girl with no fashion sense or lust for adventure, but Clara has much more to her than meets the eye. Finally, the third point of view comes from Lorraine. Lorraine wants everything that Gloria has and will do most anything to prove that she is better than Gloria. All three of these girls were fascinating characters to read about and I never found myself wishing it was only told from one of their perspectives. I loved seeing how all of their stories tied together.

The setting was one of the best parts of Vixen: the 1920s in Chicago. The combination of speakeasies, gangsters, romance, and deception made for an impossible-to-put-down read. There was a lot of action and plot twists that kept the story moving and the last few chapters were especially intense. There were a variety of secondary characters introduced and no one was ever as they seemed.

This is definitely a series I wish got more attention because not only is it action-packed with an awesome setting and characters, but it is also extremely well-written. I enjoyed seeing how Larkin incorporated the popular phrases and slang from the time and the description of the fashion was a ton of fun. Vixen was a powerful first book and I am eager to see where Larkin takes things in book two. I highly recommend this series even if you are not usually a fan of historical fiction because there is so much more to Vixen than that. I've already put Ingenue on hold at my library and cannot wait for it to arrive so I can dive back into Gloria, Lorraine, and Clara's worlds.

Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars

December 14, 2010/Delacorte Books for Young Readers/421 Pages/Young Adult/Book One

Source: Publisher (ARC)
Other books in this series: Ingenue (Book Two) and Diva (Book Three)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Return (and some updates!)

Hello everyone!

I realize I have been MIA for the past two months, but the end of senior year is by no means easy! As I worked through all my college plans, started a summer job, and made plans for graduation, I took a short break from blogging. Now that the year is winding down, I'm ready to get back to posting regularly again and can't wait to catch up on all the great books I've had to set aside.

Here are just a few updates I wanted to share with everyone:

- I will be attending the University of Florida in the fall! 
    I cannot wait to move down to Gainesville and start enjoying the warm weather! My major is going to be Wildlife Conservation and Ecology.

- My graduation is June 19th!
  I only have a couple more weeks of school left and it seems so surreal! I'm looking forward to enjoying my last summer as a non-college student before moving down south in August!

- I attended BEA!
  I was able to make it to BEA for one day this year and had a great time. I'll be posting about my experience some time soon!

It has been a busy last few months and until graduation I'll still have a lot on my plate, but I'm excited to get back into blogging!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Guest Post: Jessica Veri on My Life After Now


Jessica has close ties with the HIV/AIDS world. How has this affected her and her friend’s lives personally, and how does Jessica think MY LIFE AFTER NOW will contribute to ongoing HIV awareness initiatives?


Thank you so much for the opportunity to write a guest post for your blog! I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to talk a little bit about My Life After Now.

Though I don’t have HIV personally, I feel like it’s always been around me. When I was little, I had a family member who died from AIDS. I didn’t know much about what that meant at the time, but I knew how sad it made my family.

Then, for a while, HIV/AIDS was everywhere in pop culture. It seemed everywhere you looked during my teen years the entertainment industry was referencing the AIDS crisis. Salt-n-Pepa’s “Let’s Talk About Sex,” Janeane Garofalo’s character waiting for her test results in Reality Bites, the musical Rent (which I was obsessed with—okay, still am), Pedro on The Real World: San Francisco, Jenny in Forrest Gump, Stone and Robin on General Hospital… But then that all kind of dropped off.

In the early 2000s, it seemed people kind of stopped talking about it. At least, they weren’t talking about it as much or with the same vehemence as they had in the ’80s and ’90s. That’s probably because, thanks to advancements in medication, people aren’t dying from AIDS at the rate they used to. So the whole issue is a little “out of sight, out of mind.”

A few years ago, someone close to me found out they were HIV-positive, and suddenly the issue was brought back into the spotlight for me. When’s the right time to go on medication? What do you tell someone you’re dating? Should you tell your co-workers or not? Will you ever be able to have children of your own? People with HIV/AIDS have to think about all these questions, and so many more, every single day.

I decided to write My Life After Now because I wanted to do something to help get the HIV/AIDS conversation going again, especially with teenagers. It’s a subject that’s gone largely ignored in YA literature up until now, yet it’s a huge part of our world. Hopefully this book will be a step toward filling that gap.

~~~

Thank you so much for stopping by, Jessica! My review will be posted soon. Be sure to add My Life After Now on Goodreads and check out Jessica's website