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Courtney Summers

    Blog Tour Review: SADIE by Courtney Summers

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    Title: SADIE
    Author: Courtney Summers
    Release date: September 4, 2018
    Publisher: Wednesday Books
    Pages: 320
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

    But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

    When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLAN | GOODREADS

    NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.


    The Review

    An incredibly powerful and heart-rending and timely story, SADIE takes readers on a dark and gripping and emotional ride. It is a murder mystery that is instantly heartbreaking, at times horrifying, and always hopeful. It is the story of one sister’s love and unfailing determination to find her sister’s killer and the story of one journalist’s reluctant investigation into that sister’s disappearance.

    West McCray didn’t want to head back to Cold Creek to dig deeper into the disappearance of Sadie Hunter. Her sister, Mattie’s murder the year before was tragic, but he didn’t think that a story about a missing teenager would be all that exciting. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

    As he attempts to follow the events that led up to the Farfield police’s discovery of Sadie’s abandoned car and personal belongings, he finds himself putting together the pieces of a story that is far more ominous and complex than he could have imagined.

    Told through West’s podcasts, interviews and conversations and from Sadie’s point of view, Courtney Summers offers a unique way for readers to get to know Sadie and some of the others who played an important role in Sadie’s life, and to unravel both the mystery of Sadie’s disappearance and the mystery of Mattie’s murder.

    The author penned a story that is nail-biting, enraging, and deeply touching. Her character, Sadie, is strong and courageous and loyal and loving and sympathetic. The journey she asks readers to take is not an easy one – it’s disturbing and heart-achingly sad. But it is an important one.

    From the very beginning, SADIE will grab hold. It will tear at your heartstrings as you mourn for all that has been lost. It will remind you of both the goodness and the evil in this world. It will keep you riveted as you learn what West learns and find out whether Sadie succeeded in her search.

    It is a beautifully and hauntingly written tale that will be unforgettable.

    The Rating


    Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.


    About Courtney Summers

    Photo Credit: Megan Gunter

    Courtney Summers was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada in 1986 and currently resides in a small town not far from there. At age 14, and with her parents’ blessing, Courtney dropped out of high school to pursue her education independently. At age 18, she wrote her first novel and never looked back. Her first book, Cracked Up to Be, was published in 2008, when she was 22. To date, she has authored five novels and is best known for her unapologetic, difficult female protagonists. In 2016, Courtney was named one of Flare Magazine’s 60 under 30.

    WEBSITE | TWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | MACMILLAN | GOODREADS


    About The Girls Podcast

    THE GIRLS: Find Sadie is the first-ever YA thriller podcast. The Serial-like show is based off the novel Sadie by Courtney Summers. In a brilliant move, Summers scripted periodic chapters of the novel like a podcast script, hosted by fictional radio personality West McCray. The six-part podcast series brings these chapters to life with a 30+ person cast, music, and sound effects and was a collaboration between Macmillan Audio, Macmillan Podcasts, and Wednesday Books. Episode 1 launches on August 1st, and the show will air seven weekly episodes available on all the major podcast platforms. The final episode will feature a bonus interview with Courtney Summers and her editor Sara Goodman.

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    Top 10 of 2015: Best Contemporaries of 2015

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    Welcome to Day Three of the Top 10 of 2105

    A WEEK OF LOOKING BACK…

    …AND LOOKING FORWARD

    As I mentioned previously…

    This is my fifth year co-hosting this event with Jaime of Two Chicks on Books, my fourth year co-hosting with Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and my second year co-hosting with Nancy of Tales of a Ravenous Reader. Wow that’s a lot of years. But this event is so much fun, that I’m thrilled to be able to do it again in 2015.

    If you haven’t yet heard of the Top 10 of 2015 week-long event, in a nutshell it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours over the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    Once again, we’re each hosting our own giveaways on four of the five days of this challenge – I’m hosting Day One’s giveaway, Two Chicks on Books is hosting Day Two’s giveaway, Tales of a Ravenous Reading is hosting today’s Day Three giveaway, and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads is hosting Day Four’s giveaway. So be sure to check in with each of our blogs this week.


    Best Contemporaries of 2015

    Today’s topic is:

    Best ________ of 2015

    Today is blogger’s choice and this year I decided to break with tradition and instead of debuts I have chosen to share my favorite contemporary reads of 2015 since I read so many of them this year. And while I may be stretching things a bit I am including contemporary thrillers in this list.

    If you want to know why they’re my favorites, just click their titles to check out my bookish thoughts and ratings.

    My Top 10 Favorite YA Contemporaries

    #1 BRUTAL YOUTH by Anthony Breznican – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #2 EVERY LAST WORD by Tamara Ireland Stone – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #3 PROOF OF FOREVER by Lexa Hillyer – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #4 THE TRAGIC AGE by Stephen Metcalfe – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #5 I AM THE TRAITOR by Allen Zadoff – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #6 ALL THE RAGE by Courtney Summers – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #7 FIRST & THEN by Emma Mills – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #8 PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD by Michelle Falkoff – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #9 FIRST THERE WAS FOREVER by Juliana Romano – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #10 LIARS, INC. by Paula Stokes – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    And instead of listing honorable mentions, though I had many of those, I am sharing…

    My Top 5 Favorite Non-YA Contemporaries

    I wish they didn’t have to be books I’d read in 2015 because I totally would have had MAYHEM by Jamie Shaw on this list. But while my review posted in 2015, I read it in 2014 so I can’t sneak it in.

    #1 MISSING DIXIE by Caisey Quinn – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #2 SWEET by Tammara Webber – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #3 BOUNCE by Noelle August – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #4 FROSH: FIRST BLUSH by Mónica B. Wagner – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    #5 RULES OF SEDUCTION by Jenna Mullins – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Well, those are my picks. What topic did you choose for blogger’s choice? And what are your favorites?


    Leave a link to your Best *BLANK* of 2015 posts in the Linky List below…



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    ALL THE RAGE Blog Tour: Interview, Review + Giveaway

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    I am super excited to be a part of the ALL THE RAGE Blog Tour and to be able to share a short Q&A with Author Courtney Summers, my thoughts about the book, and a giveaway.

    I think Courtney Summers is an amazing writer and I have loved every story of hers that I’ve read. So I was very interested in reading her latest release – even though I knew how tough the subject she was tackling in her story would be to read – as I was confident she would handle it in the right way, give it the weight it needs, and not shy away from the emotions it would bring up.

    For those not familiar with ALL THE RAGE, some information about the book is immediately below. The interview with the Courtney Summers and links to places she can be found online is next. And my thoughts about the book follow.

    If you have a US or Canada mailing address, be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book, courtesy of St. Martin’s Griffin. And if you’d like to check out a few of the stops on tour so far to take a peek at the quote graphics, hear what other bloggers had to say about ALL THE RAGE, read a few interviews with the author, and enter other bloggers’ giveaways for more chances to win a copy of the book, the partial schedule is at the bottom of this post.


    About ALL THE RAGE

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    Title: ALL THE RAGE
    Author: Courtney Summers
    Release date: April 14, 2015
    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
    Pages: 336
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Description…

    The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything-friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time-and they certainly won’t now-but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

    With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women in a culture that refuses to protect them.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | BOOKS-A-MILLION | iTUNES | GOOGLE PLAYINDIGO | KOBO | GOODREADS

    Note: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


    The Interview

    Q&A with Courtney Summers

    Q. What was your favorite and/or most challenging aspect(s) of writing ALL THE RAGE?

    When you write about a topic like rape culture, you want to be very aware of what your work is adding to the larger conversation. That creates a lot of pressure on an author. But it’s a very, very necessary pressure because these kind of topics should be approached with an extreme level of awareness and care.

    Q. When researching for ALL THE RAGE, what was the most interesting/ shocking/ chilling/ fascinating thing you learned about the culture of violence against young women?

    I think one of the hardest things to keep coming across in my research was apathy. There are many people who care about rape culture, about support and justice for victims and survivors—and those people give me hope—but whenever I came across people who couldn’t bring themselves to care, it was always like a punch in the gut every time.

    Q. If readers could take away one thing from reading ALL THE RAGE, what would you hope it might be? And why?

    I hope All the Rage makes them angry about rape culture. I hope they channel that anger into being a part of the conversation because we need to keep this conversation going if we want anything to change.

    Thank you so much for stopping by!

    Thanks for having me on your blog!


    About Courtney Summers

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    Courtney Summers lives and writes in Canada, where she divides most of her time between a camera, a piano and a word processing program. She is also the author of What Goes Around, This is Not a Test, Fall for Anything, Some Girls Are, Cracked Up to Be, and Please Remain Calm.

    WEBSITE | TUMBLR | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


    The Review

    ALL THE RAGE is an emotional and powerful and difficult read. It’s a story that will make you feel everything that Romy is going through – her pain, anger, hurt, denial, numbness, her need for normalcy and control and escape, her desire to find and hold on to that one good thing that will allow her to feel like the girl she used to be before. It will make you angry. It will make you uncomfortable. It will make your heart break. It will leave you wrung out. It is a story that will be remembered. It’s a story that will leave its mark.

    Courtney Summers introduces a character who has been victimized by not only the boy who raped her, but by her friend who should have stood by her, the community that should have supported her, her parents who should have fought for her, and the law enforcement officials who should have protected her. The author tells her story, and it is real and raw and messy and ugly but it is not without hope.

    Romy is fracturing, on the verge of falling apart, but still fighting to keep herself together. She is fragile but has more strength than even she might have realized. But when her former friend Penny goes missing, her disappearance threatens to destroy the tenuous hold she has on herself, her emotions, her self-control.

    With everyone in shock and looking for an outlet for their anger and for someone to blame, Romy provides an easy target. She absorbs their hatred without fighting back. She accepts the guilt they say should belong to her. She believes her life’s worth less than that of her former friend.

    ALL THE RAGE is an important and well-written and poignant story that promises to incite outrage at what happened to Romy and at how she was treated. It will evoke sympathy for Romy, for Penny, for Leon, for Romy’s mother, and for everyone who was suffering. It will bring you into Romy’s personal hell and allow you to better understand her, make a stronger connection with her, ache for her. And it will leave you feeling as if your every last emotion was run through a cheese grater.

    Courtney Summers dug deep to tackle the issues presented in ALL THE RAGE and held nothing back. She created a story that has the potential to open readers’ eyes to the harm in victim blaming, victim shaming, and staying silent, and to get them talking about a subject that they might otherwise shy away from. This is not a light read meant to entertain or serve as an escape, but it is a significant and necessary one.

    The Rating

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    The Giveaway

    Courtesy of the publisher, I have a copy of ALL THE RAGE to giveaway to ONE winner – US/Canada ONLY

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • Giveaway is US/Canada ONLY
    • There will be ONE winner
    • Giveaway ends on May 5th at 11:59 p.m.
    • Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter
    • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
    • Winner has 72 hours to respond
    • Prize will be sent directly by the publisher

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    A Few Stops on the Tour So Far

    Apr. 14th – Bibliophilia, Please – Q&A + Image Quote
    Apr. 14th – The Social Potato – Review, Image Quote + Giveaway

    Apr. 16th – Hollywood the Write Way – Review + Image Quote

    Apr. 17th – Books with Bite – Giveaway

    Apr. 18th – Andi’s ABCs – Review + Giveaway
    Apr. 18th – My Friend Amy – Q&A + Image Quote

    Apr. 19th – The Writer Diaries – Review + Giveaway

    Apr. 20th – The Windy Pages – Review + Giveaway

    Apr. 21st – Snuggly Oranges – Review + Giveaway
    Apr. 21st – The YA Kitten – Image Quote
    Apr. 21st – A Midsummer Night’s Read – Q&A + Giveaway

    Apr. 22nd – The Reading Date – Q&A + Giveaway
    Apr. 22nd – YA Love – Review + Image Quote

    Apr. 23rd – Dark Faerie Tales – Giveaway
    Apr. 23rd – Stacked – Image Quote + Giveaway
    Apr. 23rd – Into the Hall of Books – Review + Giveaway

    Apr. 24th – Nick’s Book Blog – Q&A, Image Quote + Giveaway
    Apr. 24th – Paperback Treasures – Q&A

    Apr. 25th – The Bookshelves – Review

    Apr. 26th – Pink Polka Dot Books – Review + Giveaway

    Apr. 27th – Xpresso Reads – Review, Image Quote + Giveaway
    Apr. 27th – Lost in Literature – Review

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #140

    Below are the YA books releasing this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.

    These are books for the week of September 3rd-September 9th that I have pre-ordered.

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    The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

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    THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by Holly Black will be released in the U.S. on September 3, 2013 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    A paperback edition will be released on September 17, 2013.

    Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 432 pages.

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    I am such a huge fan of author Holly Black that anytime she releases a new book I’ll automatically pre-order it. But THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN would have been on my pre-order list regardless, as it sounds awesome.

    Any story that’s described as being about “rage and revenge” and “guilt and horror” and “love and loathing” is one that will appeal to me. And any story that promises such a fascinating world of walled cities housing quarantined humans and monsters is one I just have to check out.

    I’m curious to know what happened in Tana’s Coldtown, why her ex is infected and just what this mysterious boy’s secret is. As I have avoided any and all ratings and reviews for this book I have no idea what its reception is, but I cannot wait to read it and hopefully fall in love with it later this week.

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    All Our Yesterdays

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    ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill will be released in the U.S. on September 3, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Disney-Hyperion, the print edition is 368 pages.

    ALL OUR YESTERDAYS is the first book in author Cristin Terrill’s Cassandra Chronicles. The second book in the series, currently untitled, is slated for release in 2014.

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    Since the moment I first saw ALL OUR YESTERDAYS on NetGalley I knew that this would be a book I’d want in my collection. Even before I got the chance to take a peek at it for review I pre-ordered it.

    And while I did receive an eARC, I only just got the chance to start reading it. But what little I did read leads me to believe that I’m going to love this book. Yes, right from the start it was just so easy to get caught up in the story, which for me typically means that it will be a book I adore.

    I love stories involving time travel and can’t wait to find out if what I think is going to be revealed based upon the description is actually going to happen. I have my suspicions, but as they are potentially spoiler-y I don’t even want to voice them here.

    I hope to finish reading this today, so I’ll know whether I was wrong or right, but as I’ve heard whispers about the impact this book had on readers, I have a feeling….

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    Takedown

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    TAKEDOWN by Allison van Diepen will be released in the U.S. on September 3, 2013 in hardcover, paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Simon Pulse, the print edition is 288 pages.

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    I’ve been a fan of Allison van Diepen for quite a long while and I can’t wait to add TAKEDOWN to my collection this week. I love that this author writes stories that are dark and gritty and I’m excited that this newest release sounds like one of those stories.

    It’s not often that I read stories about characters that serve as informants to the police. I don’t typically read books about drug rings, turf wars or vendettas. And I rarely read these types of stories where it’s a teen that’s the central character.

    But I am curious about what happens to Darren and whether he’ll be able to do what he needs to do for the police and still keep Jessica safe. The description promises a story that is “fast-paced” and I can’t wait to check it out in a couple of weeks.

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    Conjured

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    CONJURED by Sarah Beth Durst will be released in the U.S. on September 3, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Walker Children’s, the print edition is 368 pages.

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    I love author Sarah Beth Durst’s writing and I can’t wait to add CONJURED to my collection this week. I just recently received an eARC for review, though I’ll probably end up reading the finished copy on my Kindle.

    The description promises a story that sounds dark, creepy and totally awesome. A magic-wielding serial killer, a hidden but horrifying memory, terrifying visions and dreams that sound more like nightmares.

    I cannot wait to meet Eve and find out just why she’s dreaming of “a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin.” I can’t wait to find out just what dark memory she’s hiding and what truth might be “more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.”

    If I don’t get the chance to read CONJURED this week, I’m definitely going to try and sneak a read in next week, because this sounds way too amazing to keep on the pile.

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    Scorched

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    SCORCHED by Mari Mancusi will be released in the U.S. on September 3, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Sourcebooks Fire, the print edition is 352 pages.

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    I love Mari Mancusi’s Blood Coven series and I can’t wait for my pre-order of SCORCHED to download. It was one of those books I automatically purchased because I adore the author’s writing, but after having read the description I’m super excited to check it out.

    I have always loved stories about dragons, whether they’re ones where the dragons should be protected or ones where they should be destroyed. And I’m curious to find out whether the dragon in SCORCHED is worthy of Trinity’s protection.

    I am also curious as to why Trinity is hearing a voice in her head and what that means for her in this story. Based upon the description I have a feeling this story will be told from three POVs – Trinity, Connor and Caleb – and I can’t wait to meet them all.

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     Eternity

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    ETERNITY by Elizabeth Miles will be released in the U.S. on September 3, 2013 in hardcover, paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Simon Pulse, the print edition is 336 pages.

    ETERNITY is the third and final book in author Elizabeth Miles’ The Fury Trilogy.

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    I own the previous books in this series but I have yet to get the chance to read them. Now that this third and final book in the trilogy, ETERNITY, is releasing this week and will be downloading to my Kindle on Monday Midnight I hope to be able to read the entire series back-to-back-to-back.

    I can’t wait to meet Em and Crow and JD. I can’t wait to find out just what games the Furies are playing. And I can’t wait to find out just what is happening with Emily – yes, I took a peek at the description.

    The description mentions “secrets and revenge” and “desperate measures” and “fateful choices” and I cannot wait to find out how all of these things come together in this final book in the series. And I can’t wait to see whether Emily will be saved or whether the Furies will be victorious.

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    Sweet Legacy

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    SWEET LEGACY by Tera Lynn Childs will be released in the U.S. on September 3, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Katherine Tegen Books, the print edition is 384 pages.

    SWEET LEGACY is the third, and final, book in author Tera Lynn Child’s Medusa Girls trilogy.

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    I did not know this was only a trilogy when I pre-ordered SWEET LEGACY. While I have yet to get the chance to read either of the previous books in this series I own them both and can’t wait to read this series in its entirety.

    When the first book in the series was released I managed to read the first few chapters so I knew I’d enjoy it. I just didn’t get the chance to finish, even after book two was released. But now that the series is available to read from start to finish I am super excited to read it all at once.

    I can’t wait to meet Grace, Gretchen and Greer. I love Greek mythology and cannot wait to discover this author’s interpretation of the myths. As I haven’t read the description for SWEET LEGACY I don’t know what will be happening to the characters in this final book. I don’t even know if this series is told in multiple points of view or if each book is told from a different character POV.

    But I love surprises and I can’t wait to be surprised by this series, hopefully, next month.

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    Eternal

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    ETERNAL by Kristi Cook will be released in the U.S. on September 3, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Simon Pulse, the print edition is 416 pages.

    ETERNAL is the third, and final, book in author Krist Cook’s Haven trilogy.

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    I am so behind on this series by Kristi Cook, a situation I must remedy. I read the first book when it was released and loved it, but when the sequel was released a bit later I didn’t have the time to pick it up, though I do own it and plan on reading it. Especially now that ETERNAL, the final book in the series, is set to download to my Kindle this week.

    I can’t wait to find out just what has been happening with Violet and Aidan. The description for MIRAGE makes me nervous about whether Aidan and Violet have a future together. But it makes me more nervous about whether Aidan even has a future.

    I have no idea what truths will be uncovered in the second book in the series. I have no idea whether Aidan even exists in this third and final book – no I didn’t read the description. But this book’s title, ETERNAL, gives me a little bit of hope that maybe, just maybe, he does.

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    Gold

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    GOLD by Talia Vance will be released in the U.S. on September 8, 2013 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in paperback format at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE. (The eBook is available as of today, September 1st.)

    Published by Flux, the print edition is 408 pages.

    GOLD is the second book in author Talia Vance’s Bandia series. No information is yet available about a sequel.

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    I was so surprised when GOLD downloaded to my Kindle on the 1st. I forgot that sometimes this publisher makes the electronic copies available a week before release date on Amazon. But I am super thrilled to have the finished copy in my collection.

    I had the chance to read GOLD super early and fell madly in love with it when I read it way back when. I never thought I’d have been as okay as I was becoming Team Austin, especially after that thing with the horse in SILVER, but the author made it just so easy in this book.

    As is typical, as I have already spotlighted GOLD for my Book Watch post a couple of weeks ago, I won’t ramble on about it here. But I will just say that this sequel was amazing and a little bit heartbreaking. And if a third book isn’t on the horizon I think it will kill me. Because I am not at all ready to say goodbye to these characters.

    Although I have already read GOLD, I do plan on re-reading it soon. I also plan on re-reading SILVER. They are two books that are totally guilt-free guilty pleasure reads and I cannot wait to rediscover them, hopefully, at the end of this month.

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    The Truth About You and Me

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    THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU & ME by Amanda Grace will be released in the U.S. on September 8, 2013 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in paperback format at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE. (The eBook is available as of today, September 1st.)

    Published by Flux, the print edition is 264 pages.

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    I was super surprised when I saw that THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU & ME downloaded to my Kindle on the 1st. I’d forgotten I pre-ordered it and that this publisher releases the eBooks a week prior to the stated publication date.

    But I cannot wait to read this story told in letters. I am curious as to whether I’ll feel heartbroken for these characters or disturbed by the fact that Bennett can’t recognize just how young Madelyn truly is. I suppose it might depend on just how wide the age gap is between the two.

    The description already reveals that it is an ill-fated love story and with the fact that there is an apology I’m curious as to just how much trouble Bennett will be in. It leads off with the line that “[s]mart girls aren’t supposed to do stupid things” but at sixteen I can’t imagine how much of a choice Madelyn had about falling in love.

    I am more curious to see how I’ll react to this story of forbidden romance as an adult. I know as a teen I would have seen it as romantic and tragic and would not have seen anything wrong with an older man in a position of authority falling in love with a young girl. Now I’m not sure I’ll be able to look past the fact that Bennett should have known better in order to be able to connect with this story, even if I could relate to Madelyn.

    And because I’m wildly curious, I may just have to read THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU & ME later this week.

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    Other Books of Note

    Starry Nights

    STARRY NIGHTS by Daisy Whitney

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    The Social Code

    THE SOCIAL CODE (The Start-up #1) by Sadie Hayes

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    The 100

    THE 100 by Kass Morgan

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Dead is Just a Dream

    DEAD IS JUST A DREAM (Dead Is #8) by Marlene Perez

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Two Lies and a Spy

    TWO LIES AND A SPY by Kat Carlton

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    The Ghost in the Glass House

    THE GHOST IN THE GLASS HOUSE by Carey Wallace

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Clarion Books

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Are You Experienced

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? by Jordan Sonnenblick

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    When the World Was Flat

    WHEN THE WORLD WAS FLAT by Ingrid Jonach

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Strange Chemistry

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Dead Ends

    DEAD ENDS by Erin Jade Lange

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    I Am Alice

    THE LAST APPRENTICE: I AM ALICE (Wardstone Chronicles #12) by Joseph Delaney

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Greenwillow Books

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Leap of Faith

    LEAP OF FAITH by Jamie Blair

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    The Outside

    THE OUTSIDE (Hallowed Ones #2) by Laura Bickle

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Project Cain

    PROJECT CAIN by Geoffrey Girard

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Bind-up: Cracked Up To Be & Some Girls Are

    What Goes Around

    WHAT GOES AROUND by Courtney Summers

    Pub. Date: September 6, 2013

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Somebody Up There Hates You

    SOMEBODY UP THERE HATES YOU by Hollis Seamon

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Projection

    PROJECTION by Risa Green

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Soho Teen

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    The Lord of Opium

    THE LORD OF OPIUM (Matteo Alacran #2) by Nancy Farmer

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Athaneum Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Into That Forest

    INTO THAT FOREST by Louis Nowra

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Skyscape

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Night Witches

    NIGHT WITCHES by L.J. Adlington

    Pub. Date: September 5, 2013

    Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

    (AMAZON)

    ***

    elements26

    With ten books pre-ordered and nineteen other books releasing this week, a few of which I just know I’m going to order, this week is almost as insane as last week.

    I am now officially buried under books.

    And with eight of those pre-orders in the TBR pile and one book currently being read, I don’t think I’ll find myself unburied for a long, long time.

    Last week I thought I’d only be adding six books to my collection this week. I was so very, very wrong. And with so many more books releasing in September and October that I’m excited to read, I don’t know if I’ll ever get caught up.

    I’d like to say that in 2014 I’ll try to avoid discovering any new debut authors. But if I made that promise to myself, it’s one I know I’d break the instant a new book caught my eye. So I’m not going to even bother.

    But I may just have to try and wish list a few books in the coming years if I keep blogging rather than ordering them all for “someday.” Because, at the rate I’m going, I’m not sure if someday will be any day soon.

    For now, though, I shall continue to buy every book my heart desires even if that desire exceeds my ability to read those books in the very near future.

    Anyway… If you’ve been as eager to read THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN as I’ve been or if there are any other of this week’s releases that you’ve been dying to read, I’d love to know!

    elements26

    As always, I would love to hear what you’re hoping to add to your collection this week!

    And if you have any great suggestions of “must read” books to buy that are releasing this week, please let me know!

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    The Extras: Teasers #12

    There are so many amazing books out there – released or soon-to-be-released – that have certain passages that just captivate.

    Here are just a few of those that caught my attention in the past few months.

    ***

    I have so many favorite passages in Unravel Me that if I were to include them all I’d practically be reprinting the book. Which, contrary to popular belief, would not be good. So I had to choose just one favorite, which proved impossible to do.

    And so I chose two. Both with just enough to tease, but that are not too revealing – though my very favorites are the most spoiler-y of them all. And both that definitely made me sigh.

    And yes, I left off just who was sharing either or both moments with Juliette.

    “Hey, you,” he whispers, right up against my neck.

    I bite back a shiver as the blood rushes up to blush my cheeks and for a moment, just for this moment, I drop my bones and allow him to hold me together. “Hey.” I smile, inhaling the scent of him.

    Luxurious, is what this is.

    And because one just wasn’t enough….

    “Let go of me.”

    “No.”

    I feel his breath on the back of my neck and it’s killing me to be so close to him. It’s killing me to know that I have to rebuild the walls I’d so carelessly demolished the moment he came back into my life.

    I am so in love with this sequel to Wildefire. Embers & Echoes is definitely a book I’d call epic. But it’s so much more than that. There are so very many passages that are absolutely gorgeous.

    My favorites, of course, are completely spoiler-y. Especially the one about… Oops. Nope. Sorry.

    So I chose this one from a scene I absolutely adore that is beautiful and intriguing.

    The song released its explosive last breath, and the band trickled into a slower song. Ash tried to latch on to the ghost of a memory; to dig further for a vision like the ones she’d been having over the last few nights. But the phantom slipped away from her, and she was left only with Wes holding her, unmoving, watching.

    This Is Not a Test is a surprisingly beautiful and heartbreaking story for a book that involves zombies. I never anticipated finding a passage to love let alone the very many that I did.

    One of my most favorite is completely spoiler-y and one of them I included with my review. But as there were so many to choose from, I couldn’t help but tease this one. Though I am not going to reveal the two people in the scene.

    …[S]uddenly everything is just slow and tender in a way it wasn’t before. The energy in the room shifts. They’re kissing still, but now they’re really kissing. It’s so open and so honest and so end-of-the-world and I can feel it from where I’m standing. I feel the absence of it from where I’m standing. I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this.

    Still here. Still here. Still here.

    There is so very much to love about Demon Eyes. Talk about a seriously amazing follow-up to a wickedly awesome book. And with the way this book ends…. Well, that’s the biggest teaser of them all, so I couldn’t possibly reveal that here.

    I have a ton of passages that I think are beautifully written that teased me throughout the read. But I think this one is the perfect one to tease with. Especially since I know who is asking the question and I know what happens next.

    “WHAT DID YOU DO?!”

    I don’t know. I could barely hold the thought together.

    Visions continued to freight train through my head, thousands and billions of snowflakes that crashed into me, lighter than feathers but harder than steel.

    He yowled in a voice that wasn’t human–sounds I don’t think even animals could replicate.

    I have nearly fifty passages marked as favorites in Before I Wake. Most of them are total spoilers for If I Die so I’ve been hesitant about talking about them. But it’s long past release date for IID and Before I Wake has been out for a couple of weeks, so I figure I can be just a tiny bit spoiler-y for If I Die.

    Of course choosing a passage to tease with was oh so tough. I already teased one with my review that was intense and beautiful. So I thought I’d go with something just a little bit more fun and a lot more grin-worthy.

    “I signed on for the role of ‘boyfriend,’ not ‘conscience.’ If you want wholesome and ethical, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But I promise that won’t be half as much fun as this is….”

    His hand slid down my side and over my hip, and my heart beat faster.

    I expected Cold Fury to be a story with action-packed sequences and so I did not anticipate finding one, let alone several, passages that I could call favorites. But the way the author talks about Chicago throughout the book is absolutely beautiful and I found so many passages that pulled me in simply from the pictures he painted.

    I have one of my favorite passages earmarked for my review that talks of betrayal, but this passage just clings to me.

    The room was so beautiful and comfortable, so desolate and remote, that it felt like the end of a life. I wanted to get up, pack my few things, and continue on my desperate journey to nowhere, but my body was dead weight.

    I tried to lift an arm but it wouldn’t move.

    I willed my leg to bend but it was paralyzed.

    I turned inward to my aloneness and cried until I was unconscious.

    I am reading Onyx right now and I can say with absolute certainty that there are so many awesome passages in this book. I think I already have at least twenty marked down and I’m not very far along in the read. This bodes very, very well.

    Of course the passage I chose just has to include Daemon Black. It wouldn’t be a teaser without him. And I decided to tease this one for just a little bit longer.

    I came off the desk swinging. My knuckles only brushed his face before he caught my hand. Wowzers, he was fast. Daemon pulled me up against his chest and lowered his head, eyes snapping with restrained anger. “Don’t hit, Kitten. It’s not nice.”

    “You’re not nice.” I tried pulling back, but he kept my wrist secured in his hand. “Let me go.”

    “I’m not sure I can do that. I must protect myself.” But he dropped my hand.

    “Oh, really, that’s your reason for–for manhandling me?”

    “Mandhandling?” He pressed forward until my lower back was against the cubicle desk. “This isn’t manhandling or whatever the hell that is.”

    Visions of me against the wall at my house and Daemon kissing me danced in my head…

    Grave Mercy is an absolutely beautifully written book. I found myself lost in the words and the world from the very start. And I knew from the author’s writing that I’d be enchanted by nearly every word that was written. And I was.

    I had an absolute favorite passage, which I included with my review, along with another passage I loved. But they were most definitely not the only ones. Passages like this one also held me captive.

    And yes, the very next paragraph is even more….

    His eyes never leave mine, but his hand comes up and brushes a strand of hair away from my collarbone. Without even realizing what I am doing, I lean toward him.

    His hand moves up to cup my face. Slowly he draws me closer, lowering his head to meet mine. His touch is careful, as if I am fragile and precious. And then his lips are on mine, firm and warm and impossibly soft.

    This was my most challenging teasers post yet. All of the eight books I chose to tease from had writing that was just so amazingly awesome that almost every word was a tease. So selecting just a few favorites was impossible.

    Add to that the fact that I wanted to tease and not spoil made creating this post almost cruel.

    For me that is. I hope the passages I chose aren’t too torturous for you.

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    Review: This Is Not a Test

    This  Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers was released in the U.S. on June 19, 2012 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, the print edition is 336 pages.

    ***

    Goodreads description:

    It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

    To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

    But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.

    When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

    ***

    When the end of the world comes, what will you do? Will you fight to stay alive or will you just give up?

    When all hope seems lost, when everyone you love is gone, when the end seems inevitable will you give in to despair? Or will you fight with everything you have to survive, even if it’s just for one more day?

    And if the end is coming for you, will you stand up to it or will you put someone else in its path? If it’s you or them, who will you choose?

    When surviving is all you have left and your humanity is put to the test, is it a test you will fail or one you will pass?

    ***

    Author Courtney Summers’ This Is Not a Test is a gorgeously written, hauntingly beautiful, chilling and heartbreaking story of survival in the face of incredible odds where only the faintest glimmer of hope remains.

    Set in a world that may very well be at its end – where the dead have risen, driven only by their mindless hunger, where just one bite will infect the living, turning them into zombies with the same need, and where the only way to survive is to be strong, to be smart, to have luck on your side, to be willing to sacrifice someone else to save yourself, and most important of all to have the will to live – this story is riveting, fragile, gruesome and unendingly sad.

    Through each of the six characters in the story, This Is Not a Test shows humans at their best and worst. It shows their strengths, their cruelty, their kindness, their fears, their determination, their need for togetherness, their loyalty and their capacity for both love and hate. And it shows just how delicate that balance is between being willing to fight to survive and being ready to give up.

    The story is told through the eyes of the main character, Sloane Price, a girl who is full of sorrow and despair and who has already lost the will to live at the outset of the story, before the world has fallen to pieces. A girl who is willing to give up her own life, but does not want to be responsible for costing someone theirs. Especially if that someone has something to lose, has someone to love, who still has hope and is willing to fight to stay alive.

    This is not your typical zombie story. There are no obvious heroes. There are no characters who go down in a blaze of glory. This is not an action-packed, zombie-filled adventure with a blistering pace. The characters are real. They’re young. They’re afraid. They’re vulnerable. The story has a realistic quality to it. It is frightening. It is horrific. And the end of the world setting provides a bleak and chilling backdrop. But its focus is on the characters and their reactions to this new reality they find themselves in.

    Courtney Summers does an exceptional job in developing her characters, on creating the dynamic and then changing that as circumstances change, and on writing a story that connects readers to a main character who could be seen as difficult to relate to, to understand. Her writing style is achingly beautiful and haunting, with passages that are drenched with the emptiness, confusion and loneliness of the main character. Passages that don’t shout, but nevertheless deliver their messages loud and clear.

    The easy flow and simply stunning writing are a wonderful contrast to the horrors in this story and world. And within this incredibly popular genre with so many stories that lack originality, the author has managed to create one that is wonderfully different and truly sets itself apart.

    This Is Not a Test is an absolute must read for fans of zombie stories with a bit more depth, contemporary young adult fiction with a darker edge, and for readers who are simply looking for a brilliantly written, character-driven story of just what people will be willing to do to survive when the world falls down around them.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

    On a personal note:

    This book was such a complete and total surprise. I expected it to be amazing. I didn’t expect it to be as amazing as it was. Or the kind of amazing it was. I expected horror. I expected fear. I expected it to be gruesome and terrifying.

    I did not expect it to have the kind of brilliant writing it did. I did not expect to make a connection with this story. I did not expect to be left with the feeling that I do when reading those contemporary stories that have an underlying misery, sadness, depression, despair. I did not expect to feel the kind of hopelessness I felt for the main character, Sloane, as I did. And I did not expect to be hopeful for her.

    While this story’s setting was a world overrun by the dead, it was much more a character story than I thought it would be. Even with all the hints that the description gave. But I had not read this author’s writing before, so I didn’t know her style when I started reading. And I didn’t know it would be the kind of style that resonates with me. Clings to me.

    I read this book in one sitting. I couldn’t get enough. When I put it down, all I could say was, “Wow.” I was stunned. My mind was blown. I was utterly drained, wrung-out, desolate, forlorn. Yes, I did feel a sense of emptiness when I finished reading this book. And I still feel that emptiness.

    I cannot get over how incredibly amazing and brilliant this story was. With the typical framework for a zombie story – a small group of people, trapped and fighting for survival – I did not expect it to stand out. I just expected it to be entertaining in a gory sort of way. That’s it.

    But the writing took me so far away from noticing that the structure was similar to those other stories. The dynamic was so very different between the characters because of the main character’s distance. And this story made me so sad in the way that contemporary stories with tragic and broken characters do. I did not anticipate that element in a story about the world coming to an end.

    So, yeah, this book was beautiful and horrific. It was gruesome. It was tragic. It was devastating and heartbreaking. And this story will stick with me because of the writing, because of the main character, for a very long time.

    ***

    Favorite passage:

    I fell in love with the author’s writing. There were way too many passages that stuck with me to say that I have just one favorite. And quite a few were just too revealing to spoil them here. But this one I find to be absolutely gorgeous…

    They also don’t tell you about how you can share your deepest secrets with someone, kiss them, and the next hour it’s like there’s nothing between you because not everything can mean something all the time or you’d be crushed under the weight of it. They don’t tell you how you will float through days. You autopilot, here but not really here, sleepwalking, and then every so often you are awake.

    ***

    And because I love this book trailer, which is completely awesome in a totally different way….

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #77

    Below are the YA books coming out this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.

    These are books for the week of June 19th-June 25th that I have pre-ordered.

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    This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers was released today, June 19, 2012, in the U.S. in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, the print edition is 336 pages.

    ***

    Finally! I am so excited that This Is Not a Test is out today. I’ve been dying to read this for weeks and weeks. I even tried to start reading it late last night after my pre-order downloaded, but sleep won out. I will definitely be reading it tonight, though. This is not a book that will sit on the pile.

    As I spotlighted it – and all the reasons I wanted to read it – in my Book Watch post a few weeks back, I won’t do so again. Well, not too much anyway….

    But I will just highlight the things I’m most excited for from the description. “It’s the end of the world.” The dead are “pounding on the doors.” All it takes is “one bite” to turn you into a monster. And of course the fact that there are “unpredictable and violent bids for life–and death.”

    Yeah. Definitely exciting. And with that parting line – “When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?” – I couldn’t help but become hooked. There is no doubt that I will be reading this book tonight. I just hope I’ll be able to finish it tonight, too.

    Blood Moon by Alyxandra Harvey was released today, June 19, 2012, in the U.S. in hardcover, paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Walker Childrens, the print edition is 320 pages.

    Blood Moon is the fifth book in author Alyxandra Harvey’s Drake Chronicles. The sixth book, Blood Prophecy, is slated for release in January 2013.

    ***

    I am such a huge fan of author Alyxandra Harvey. I have loved her Drake Chronicles for awhile and I loved Haunting Violet. And I am so excited that this series is continuing with another installment.

    I pre-ordered it ages ago and I saw that the next book is available to order but not yet in eBook format, so I’ll have to wait for just a bit for that. Yes, I’m already excited for the next book and I haven’t even read this book. But I love the series, love the author’s writing and love, love, love the cover.

    I have to catch up on this series as I haven’t read the previous book, but I’m super excited to hear that this book is told by Solange, Lucy and Nicholas’ point of views. Which is even more motivation for me to read. I love those characters and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. And I am super curious to learn all about the Blood Moon ceremony.

    The book’s brief description promises a “mysterious stranger,” “secrets” and “forbidden magic” which are more than enough to have piqued my curiosity about this installment. So much so that I will definitely be reading Bleeding Hearts and Blood Moon in July.

     Soulbound (Legacy of Tril #1) by Heather Brewer

    Pub. Date: June 19, 2012

    Published by: Dial

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    ***

    It is a quiet release week. At least in terms of books I’m adding to my collection. Though next week isn’t nearly as quiet, this week I only have two new books for the pile. But I am seriously tempted to buy Soulbound by Heather Brewer and make that number a three. I have an ARC that I received through a trade and wanted to check that out first before buying, but I think I may not be able to avoid making that one click purchase.

    This Is Not a Test won’t be sitting on the TBR pile as I will be reading it tonight. And this latest installment of the Drake Chronicles also won’t be there for long because I miss the world and characters and don’t want to get any further behind on the series.

    I really hope I didn’t miss any “must buy” books, and I will take a peek around to see if I have, but for now it’s just the two. But if you know of something and want to share….

    ***

    As always, I would love to hear what you’re hoping to add to your collection this week!

    And if you have any great suggestions of “must read” books to buy that are releasing this week, please let me know!

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All reviews on this website are unbiased and reviewers are in no way compensated for their reviews by the author, publisher, or any other agencies. While some reviews may be based on receipt of ARC copies of an authors work, a fair and impartial review is always given by the reviewer. Most of the reviews, however, are based upon books purchased after publication date.