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Hannah Moskowitz

    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #105

    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 January 1-January 7th that I have pre-ordered.

    05

    Altered

    ALTERED by Jennifer Rush will be released in the U.S. on January 1, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 336 pags.

    ALTERED is the first book in a new series of the same name by author Jennifer Rush.

    ***

    As soon as I saw this cover around the blogosphere I ran to Amazon to pre-order my copy and I’m so excited it’s downloading this week. It may seem shallow but I had instant cover love for ALTERED and bought it just because of its cover.

    Then I read the description. And it sounded even more amazing. Chilling. But amazing.

    I can’t wait to find out just how the Branch is genetically altering the boys they’re treating and to see just what secrets the Branch has been keeping from them. As this is the first book in a series, I’m sure that not every secret will be revealed.

    But I am super excited to see just how Sam and Anna escape and to find out just how they are connected. I really hope they don’t get caught, but I have the feeling that this book may end on just that cliffhanger.

    I am so excited to be able to read it and find out. I’m hopeful of sneaking it in later this week.

    Splintered

    SPLINTERED by A. G. Howard will be released in the U.S. on January 1, 2013 in hardcover and paperback formats and on January 15, 2013 in eBook format. It is currently available to pre-order in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Amulet Books, the print edition is 384 pages.

    ***

    I am so thrilled that SPLINTERED is releasing this week and that everyone will have the chance to read it. Because it’s seriously awesome and I want to talk to everyone about it.

    I’d seen photos of the print edition, which is stunning, so I’ll be picking up a copy at my local bookstore this week, but my Kindle copy won’t be downloading until the 15th. *Sobs.*

    As I’ve already read it and rambled about it on The Annex, and I spotlighted it for my Book Watch post a few weeks back, I won’t go on and on and on here. Though I really could.

    Because the world is amazing. It’s dark. It’s twisted. It’s familiar. The main character is interesting and likable. The story is captivating. And the two boys in Alyssa’s life are nearly impossible to choose between. Jeb is a hero and Morpheus is more the antihero. But… well… I’ll leave that for you to decide.

    Whichever “team” you choose, or if you just opt for Team Alyssa, taking the journey into A.G. Howard’s version of Wonderland is a magical and enchanting escape. I will say no more. But if you want a peek at some of Alyssa’s adventures, click the cover above to read the description on Goodreads.

    I can’t wait until I have that beautiful printed edition in hand on Tuesday.

    The Dead and Buried

    THE DEAD AND BURIED by Kim Harrington will be released in the U.S. on January 1, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Point, the print edition is 304 pages.

    ***

    I am reading THE DEAD AND BURIED right now and it’s awesome. I can’t wait until the eBook downloads so I can have it in my collection, but I’m just so happy I got the chance to read it a little bit early.

    The description calls it a thriller and I agree that it totally is. I love Jade and well… okay, I better not talk about things that are not revealed in the description. So I will just say that there is a captivating mystery, a ghost that is most definitely angry and Jade’s friends do have their share of dark secrets.

    I can’t wait to finish writing this post so that I can go back to reading – and finishing – this book. But I am so happy it’s releasing in a couple of days to that it can live in my eBook collection forever.

    The Essence

    THE ESSENCE by Kimberly Derting will be released in the U.S. on January 1, 2013 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, the print edition is 352 pages.

    THE ESSENCE is the second book in Kimberly Derting’s The Pledge series. The third book in the series, currently untitled, is due out in 2014.

    ***

    I am madly in love with both covers in this series. It’s what drew me to them in the first place, though I would have bought both because the author is Kimberly Derting. And while I haven’t yet had the chance to read THE PLEDGE, I have THE ESSENCE pre-ordered and will be reading both books for my TBR challenge this year. Because I want to be all caught up before book three is out in 2014.

    I almost read the description, but after the quote which mentions “[d]anger, dread, mystery, and romance” in this sequel, the words “[a]t the luminous conclusion” stopped me in my tracks. Because I don’t want to be spoiled since I will be reading both books soon.

    I want to meet Charlaina and find out exactly what happens without knowing in advance what has. I want to learn what happens between Charlie and Max and find out whether Charlie is really the key to her country’s freedom. I don’t want to discover how it all concludes until I read it.

    But I am excited that this next book is releasing this week and I hope to read both books in March.

    Falling for You

    FALLING FOR YOU by Lisa Schroeder will be released in the U.S. on January 1, 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 368 pages.

    ***

    I have yet to read a book by Lisa Schroeder but I own two of her titles. And on January 1st I’ll own three. But I really, really want to read this one. Which sounds like it will be a total tear-jerker.

    My heart is already breaking a little bit for Rae, who just wants to find someone nice to counter her not-at-all nice stepfather. And instead she gets an overly jealous and possessive boyfriend who ends up making her fearful.

    I am hopeful she’ll have the strength to fight when her life is on the line. And I hope the tragedy that lands her in the hospital is not one brought about by her stepfather or Nathan. But I have a feeling it is.

    I definitely plan on reading this book this year. And hopefully I can squeeze it in later this winter. Because it sounds amazing.

    Teeth cover

    TEETH by Hannah Moskowitz will be released in the U.S. on January 1, 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.

    ***

    I am so intrigued by this book. I have no idea what TEETH is about but I just had to pre-order it to find out. The description mentions it’s a “gritty, romantic modern fairy tale” but I’m super curious as to just what tale it is.

    I have not listened to any chatter around the blogosphere because I don’t want to know. I love the idea of reading a story completely unaware of just what it’s about. I have no idea if Teeth is a boy or a girl. If Teeth is human. Or just what “terrible” and “violent” secrets Teeth has.

    The cover has me even more intrigued. Is it rope? Is it snakeskin? I don’t know. But I cannot wait to find out. And no, I don’t want to know until I read it. So I’m going to have to keep my head buried in the sand, avoid all Tweets from the author and squint my eyes if I see a review pop up.

    So I better read this soon. Because going in blind is half the fun.

    Other Books of Note

    Love Is All You Need

    LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED by Deb Caletti

    Pub. Date: January 1, 2013

    Publisher: Simon Pulse

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Prophecy

    PROPHECY (The Dragon King Chronicles #1) by Ellen Oh

    Pub. Date: January 2, 2013

    Publisher: HarperTeen

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Empty

    EMPTY by K.M. WALTON

    Pub. Date: January 1, 2013

    Publisher: Simon Pulse

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Victoria Rebels

    VICTORIA REBELS by Carolyn Meyer

    Pub. Date: January 1, 2013

    Publisher: Simon & Schuster

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Ali's Pretty Little Lies

    ALI’S PRETTY LITTLE LIES (Pretty Little Liars) by Sara Shepard

    Pub. Date: January 2, 2013

    Publisher: HarperTeen

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    02

    There are so many amazing books releasing this week. It is the PERFECT start to the New Year! I am totally stoked to finally be able to read ALTERED. I think I’m the ONLY person who doesn’t have an early copy. As I have a giftcard for Barnes & Noble I may even buy a print copy just so I can see that cover in print. Because it’s wicked cool.

    And SPLINTERED. Ahhh, that book is gorgeous. I want to read the finished version before I post my review in case there are any differences from the ARC. So I’m thinking I’ll be standing in line at the Barnes & Noble on New Year’s Day waiting for it to open so I can grab my copy. Okay… well… maybe I won’t be awake that early. But if they don’t open until 11:00 a.m. I am so there.

    I don’t think I’m going to be able to wait very long to check out TEETH either. Because I’m so curious about that book. Whoever wrote up that description knows exactly how to tease a book. I am most definitely teased.

    But I’m also super excited about all the rest of the releases I have pre-ordered and I may end up taking a peek at a few of the books I’ve listed as “of note,” especially EMPTY. Because I love, love, love that cover and title.

    For now, though, I’m headed back in to THE DEAD AND BURIED, which may just be my final read of 2012. Unless I end up devouring SPELLCASTER later tonight and tomorrow. That, of course, remains to be determined.

    Anyway…

    I hope there are a few titles that you’ve been pining for releasing this week to help start off your New Year with a smile. And if there are any titles I should be ashamed for not knowing about, let me know in the comments.

    Happy Reading, Happy Book Buying and almost Happy New Year!

    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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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #68

    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 April 17th-April 23rd that I have pre-ordered.

    ***

    Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis was released in the U.S. today, April 17, 2012, in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of Harper Collins, the print edition is 352 pages.

    ***

    I can’t believe Glimmer released today. I’ve been dying to read this book for months and now my pre-order has downloaded to my Kindle. This book sounds so creepy and awesome. Definitely my kind of read.

    As I spotlighted it a few weeks ago for my Book Watch post, I will refrain from rambling endlessly, but I can’t wait to find out just what Marshall and Elyse discover in the town of Summer Falls.

    Between their missing memories, the “intense relationship” they form, the zombie-like residents of the town and the darkness lurking beneath the surface, this book sounds insanely good. And definitely chilling.

    I can’t wait for May, because I will be reading this one just as soon as my schedule frees up.

    The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell was released in the U.S. today, April 17, 2012, in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Harcourt Children’s Books, the print edition is 288 pages.

    The Springsweet is the companion novel to author Saundra Mitchell’s The Vespertine.

    ***

    I absolutely adored The Vespertine. I wasn’t sure there was a sequel planned, but I was hoping. And while not a sequel, I was just as thrilled when I heard about this companion novel. So much so that I bid on an early copy of The Springsweet in a charitable auction and won it. I wasn’t able to read it early and now my pre-order has downloaded to my Kindle, so I will likely be reading the finished copy.

    I thought The Vespertine was beautifully written. I am not typically a fan of historical fiction, but I was absolutely captivated by the way the story was presented and I loved the paranormal elements the author included.

    I am super excited to read this next book about Zora Stewart. Life in Oklahoma is bound to be vastly different from life in Baltimore and I can’t wait to see how the author approaches this new frontier setting. Zora’s ability to sense water is one that is incredibly important to survival and one that I hope doesn’t become a danger to her.

    And I can’t wait to find out if she finds love and has a happily ever after ending to her story. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz was released in the U.S. today, April 17, 2012, in hardcover, paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, the print edition is 288 pages.

    ***

    I heard about Gone, Gone, Gone ages ago and have been dying to read it ever since the publisher offered it up through their Galley Grab newsletter. Of course when I switched computers and eReaders I couldn’t get the file to transfer. So, I am super glad it’s finally out and that I’ll be able to read it on my Kindle.

    I have only read one book by author Hannah Moskowitz, Invincible Summer, but I found that the story just stuck with me. Long after I’d read it. There was this feeling of melancholy to the characters’ lives that wasn’t readily apparent at the beginning but by the story’s end it was there, draped over everything. And those kind of stories are ones that I love because they just cling to me.

    Which makes me slightly hesitant to read Gone, Gone, Gone even though at the same time I just can’t wait to read it. I haven’t been able to read any stories involving anything about 9/11 but as this one promises an intense romance and a “poignant look at what it is to feel needed, connected, and alive,” I find myself drawn to it.

    I can’t wait to meet Craig and Lio and find out if their connection truly helps Lio recover from all he’s lost. I hope that Lio thinks that love is worth the risk and that they find some kind of happiness together. And while I don’t expect a sappy happy ending, I am hopeful that there will be enough sweet to balance out the sorrow. The author is a brilliant writer and I am looking forward to seeing how she approaches this story.

    The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting was released in the U.S. today, April 17, 2012, in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by HarperCollins, the print edition is 368 pages.

    The Last Echo is the third book in author Kimberly Derting’s Body Finder series. The fourth book, as yet untitled, is slated for release in 2013.

    ***

    I have got to catch up on this series. I own all three books now that The Last Echo has downloaded to my Kindle so I have no excuse not to read them back-to-back-to-back. And although I am not caught up, I have taken a peek at each book’s description. Especially since I thought this was the final book in the series and I was just so curious.

    According to the description, in this installment of the series Violet is trying to track down a serial killer called “the girlfriend collector.”  And instead of just being a part of the team investigating the crime, this time Violet may be the criminal’s next victim.

    I love all things paranormal and I am a huge fan of murder mysteries and the author’s The Body Finder series sounds so incredibly fascinating. I love the idea of Violet’s ability and I can’t wait to see how it helps… or hurts her… in The Last Echo.

    I hope to be able to catch up on the series in May and add this one to the top of my reading pile in June.

    ***

    It wasn’t too crazy of a release week. I have added only four new books to the pile. Of course I haven’t yet read any of them, so they’re all going on the TBR pile. And with the next two weeks being as insane as they are for new releases, I hope to be able to read at least a few of them in May so they don’t get buried.

    And although it’s not releasing until the 24th, I already have my copy of The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King and have been fighting the urge to read my special order Grant edition. It has not been easy. At all.

    I’m sure I’m missing some amazing book that released this week. But maybe that’s a good thing. The balance of read versus unread books on my Kindle is shifting in favor of those unread….

    ***

    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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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #51

    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 December 20th-December 26th that I have pre-ordered.

    ***

    Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey will be released in the U.S. on December 20, 2011 in hardcover, paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in all formats.

    Published by Walker Books for Young readers, the print edition is 304 pages.

    Bleeding Hearts is the fourth book in the Drake Chronicles by author Alyxandra Harvey.

    ***

    I love the Drake Chronicles series by author Alyxandra Harvey. I fell in love with it before I started blogging so it has an extra special place in my heart because I discovered it on my own.

    And I love this cover for Bleeding Hearts, though apparently Amazon downloaded the other – possibly UK – version for me back in October. I’ve been trying to get this version to pre-order but it won’t let me as it says I already own it. I am going to keep trying.

    I can’t wait to read this installment about Connor Drake and Christabel – Lucy’s cousin. In Bleeding Hearts, Christabel is taken by the Hel Blar who mistake her for Lucy and is infected by them.

    I really hope that Connor is able to save her, even if her new existence is as a vampire and not a human. And I hope we get a peek at Lucy and Solange and all the rest of the yummy Drake boys in this next book.

    To read an excerpt and for a link to download the full prologue from the publisher, CLICK HERE.

    Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne will be released in the U.S. on December 20, 2011 in paperback 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 240 pages.

    ***

    Still Waters sounds like an eerie book and one I can’t wait to read. I had heard about it a month or so ago when I was offered it in a trade, but as I knew I wouldn’t get to read it before release, I pre-ordered the finished copy for my Kindle.

    Any book with a description that has the phrase “what lies beneath” always gives me the heebie-jeebies. But this just sounds so unbelievably awesome. I wish I had heard about it sooner so I could have requested a review copy, as this sounds like a perfect book for me.

    Hannah and Colin head off to a remote lake house for a romantic weekend before he goes to college. And of course things take a turn for the worse almost immediately. According to the description the town doesn’t appear on any map, the house looks lived in yet it’s supposed to have been unoccupied and Colin starts acting weird.

    I can’t wait to find out about Colin’s dark side and just what ends up haunting Hannah. I hope to squeeze this book in among my packed schedule for January reads because this is one that I won’t want to miss.

    On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane will be released in the U.S. on December 20, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Harlequin TEEN, the print edition is 320 pages.

    The official release date for On a Dark Wing is December 27th, 2011, but it will be available for purchase on the 20th. I’ve included it in this week’s Book Watch post as I’ll be receiving my copy on the 20th.

    ***

    I can’t wait to see the finished copy of On a Dark Wing both electronically and in print. I have the eARC courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley and I’m dying to find out whether each new chapter has an increasing number of ravens like the eARC does.

    My Kindle version downloads on the 20th, so I’ll be checking that out, but I have got to get my hands on the print edition to see if it differs in any way. I just think it’s a really cool touch. Especially as the ravens are important to the story.

    I have almost finished reading On a Dark Wing, so I have no need to guess what this story is about, but I still don’t have the first clue how it will all end. It’s a complete mystery. Which is a good thing.

    As I don’t want to say too much here about what I already know, I’ll just stick with what is revealed in the description.

    Abbey Chandler nearly died in a car accident that she was in with her mother. While her mom died, she survived. But Death became fascinated with her. And because of this, Death stalks a boy Abbey has been crushing on – Nate Holden.

    With Death and his ravens having set their sights on Nate, his life is now at risk. And Abbey must figure out what she can do to save him.

    I really can’t wait to get back to reading this book so that I can find out exactly how everything ends. While I know some more about the story than what’s been revealed, I don’t know what happens to Abbey or Nate at the story’s end.

    To read an excerpt from the prologue on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.

    Zombie Tag by Hannah Moskowitz will be released in the U.S. on December 20, 2011 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

    Published by Roaring Book Press, the print edition is 240 pages.

    Zombie Tag is a Middle Grade book by author Hannah Moskowitz for children age 9 and older.

    ***

    I decided I had to read Zombie Tag the second I heard about it during its cover reveal a few months ago. It just sounded so odd and quirky and yet heartbreaking. And, as soon as I was able, I pre-ordered it for my Kindle.

    I don’t read a lot of middle grade books, but this one just seems so interesting. Funny and sad, but definitely interesting. Plus, the author has such a wild imagination and after reading Invincible Summer I had to check out something from her that is aimed at a younger audience.

    The story is about a young boy named Wil Lowenstein whose older brother died. To cope with his loss he plays a game with his friends called Zombie Tag. Which is clearly a big influence on him – he wishes his brother could come back from the dead, even if it means he comes back as a zombie. Well, Wil’s wish somehow comes true.

    And, of course, Wil’s brother is not the same.

    I have a feeling that this book will make me laugh and cry and my heart will break just a little bit for young Wil. But as this book is meant for a middle grade audience, I hope there will be more smiles than tears.

    It seems like forever ago when I first heard about Zombie Tag and I can’t wait to finally get the chance to read it.

    To read an excerpt of Zombie Tag, courtesy of the publisher, CLICK HERE.

    ***

    Flyaway by Helen Landalf

    Pub. Date: December 20, 2011

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Legacy by Molly Cochran

    Pub. Date: December 20, 2011

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide by Michelle Rowen and Richelle Mead

    Pub. Date: December 20, 2011

    (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

    Torn by Cat Clarke

    Pub. Date: December 22, 2011

    (The Book Depository)

    ***

    {Note: All covers link to the books on Goodreads}

    ***

    I am so happy – you have no idea – that I’ll be getting four new books this week. And I’m seriously adding the Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide to my holiday gift list, and if I love it in print I will definitely be buying it for the Kindle.

    I also wish I could get Torn by Cat Clarke because it looks amazing, but I’m not risking The Book Depository during the holidays so it will definitely have to wait.

    It felt like the world tipped on its axis last week when there was not one traditionally published book available for download. But I’m so glad to have new books to add to my collection this week.

    ***

    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 #4

    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 month.

    ***

    There were quite a few passages in this story that stuck with me, haunted me. I chose a completely different one for my review, and had several I had bookmarked that I loved just as much, if not more than the one I originally chose to include. The writing was just that good.

    This is another of my favorites and is a bit longer of a teaser, but it really says a lot about Chase.

    Chase’s thoughts:

    Being grown-up should feel like a big transition. It can’t be something that, despite my best efforts, I’ve been drifting closer and closer to every summer. It needs to be a shock. I need to know at what point to stop holding on. And that moment will suck, and probably every moment after that will suck, but at least I’ll know that everything that came before really was valid. I really was young and innocent. I wasn’t fooling myself.

    One of my favorite things about this story was the humor. Much of it isn’t quite as “G” rated as I’d feel comfortable with posting on the blog. But this is one of the lines, and it’s a quote, not a passage, that had me chuckling.

    It might not mean quite as much out of context, but it’s silly nonetheless and reveals a lot about society in this dystopian future.

    Melody to Freya in the delivery room:

    “Now, now. With an attitude like that, you’ll never win the FedEx ‘We Live to Deliver’ Scholarship….”

    There are so many passages from Aunt Peg’s letter that are my favorites. But I decided to choose a quote that really stood out to me, instead.

    It’s one that has quite a lot of meaning to the story but doesn’t give away anything.

    Aunt Peg to Ginny:

    “People always say they can’t do things, that they’re impossible. They just haven’t been creative enough. This pool is a triumph of imagination. That’s how you win at life, Gin. You have to imagine your way through. Never say something can’t be done. There’s always a solution, even if it’s weird.”

    This is another book with so many beautiful passages. As I don’t want to spoil anything for those who might not have read it yet, I’m including one which highlights the author’s beautiful style but doesn’t reveal too much.

    Anna’s thoughts:

    The sand had been swept clean; no wood or glass, seaweed or bits of shells. The ocean had washed away everything, leaving behind a calm that spread out in me as I breathed it in. Beyond it all lay the expanse of the ocean, just beginning to sparkle beneath the rising sun as a new day unfurled itself. She’d captured it all perfectly in her frame, and in the pale morning light, it felt like peace.

    I know I already included this passage with my review, but it is still my favorite from the book, so I’m including it here.

    It’s the very first passage in the book and is such a powerful way to introduce and begin the story.

    From the prologue:

    The war had been raging for centuries; a war that breathed beneath human reality, lost in the labyrinth of their legends and folklore. It was a silent war of soundless screaming and invisible bloodshed.

    I don’t yet have the final copy of this as the U.S. release isn’t until May 24th, so this passage and quote are from the eARC and may be changed in the final version.

    I chose a shorter passage for the review, but this one is much more steamy and a definite teaser and is one of my favorites from this book.

    Willow’s thoughts and conversation with Alex:

    There was no way that I wanted him to stop touching me, even for a few hours. My pulse thudded as I glanced across at the camp bed. I cleared my throat. “Well . . . is there a reason we can’t both take the bed? The sleeping bags zip together, don’t they?”

    Alex stared at me without moving. “Would that be OK?” I asked, feeling nervous suddenly.

    I’d already included my favorite passage with the review. But here’s another one about Jacob and Malini that caught my attention and is a definite tease.

    Jacob’s thoughts about Malini:

    Her breath came in huffs as she looked at him. There was a question in her eyes that he couldn’t read but he desperately wanted to be the answer. He wanted to be the thing that made this world better for her.

    There were a lot of very powerful passages in this book. I had only included a short one in my review, but here are two others, with very different messages, that really show just how well the author uses her words to paint a picture.

    Missy’s thoughts:

    Missy’s mouth twitched into a smile as she imagined Death running his long, cold fingers over her, making music on her body. Would his kisses be cold? Or would they be hot enough to burn away her fears, to turn her dead face to ash and reveal her soul to the world.

    (and)

    Yes, she thought, a smile blooming on her face. Trust. It was stronger than power, subtler than influence. She could simply let herself feel, acknowledge the bad and embrace the good – and between the two, come to an acceptance.

    I know I just posted my review and included a short passage that was one of my favorites. But now that I have the finished copy, I thought I’d include one that’s just a bit longer, but won’t be spoiler-y.

    Aura’s thoughts and a brief quote from Logan:

    The music seemed to fade with Logan’s smile as he stared at me with full understanding. I wondered if knowing the truth would change his mind. If knowing the truth would change everything.

    For a moment, his eyes grew inexplicably sad. Then his face relaxed back into a smile. “At least now you know.”

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    Review: Invincible Summer

    Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz was released in the U.S. on April 19, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. It is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

    Published by Simon Pulse, a division of Simon & Schuster, the print edition is 288 pages.

    Goodreads description:

    Noah’s happier than I’ve seen him in months. So I’d be an awful brother to get in the way of that. It’s not like I have some relationship with Melinda. It was just a kiss. Am I going to ruin Noah’s happiness because of a kiss?

    Across four sun-kissed, drama-drenched summers at his family’s beach house, Chase is falling in love, falling in lust, and trying to keep his life from falling apart. But some girls are addictive….

    Not your typical beach read.

    ***

    When you’re young, summer is a time of freedom – from school, from schedules, from the repetitiveness of everyday life. It’s a time for family and friends. A time for relaxation. A time to be carefree and careless.

    But summer isn’t always about beaches and sunshine and fun. Sometimes it’s in summer when the moments that define your life happen. Moments that will shape the rest of the year and take you through the seemingly infinite months until summer rolls around once more.

    Sometimes it’s during that short span of time that is summer, as the sun beats down and the days seem endless, that your world can fall apart. That what you were so sure of in fall and winter and spring can reveal itself as fragile and as fleeting as time itself.

    And as you pass through those long, hot days, with a backdrop of light and laughter, summer’s cruelty can mock you. It can expose you as insignificant and powerless and breakable while summer itself remains invincible.

    ***

    Invincible Summer is a subtly powerful, immensely sad and beautifully written story about relationships and family and loss that will continue to resonate long after the final word has been read and the book has been closed.

    Author Hannah Moskowitz has penned a sorrowful tale about one teenage boy’s life and observations over the course of four summers. Summers that had a much more profound effect on his life than any of those times in between.

    Readers get just a peek at Chase’s life during the summers of his fifteenth through eighteenth birthday as he watches his family grow and change and ultimately collapse around him as he tries so hard to keep everything together.

    Above all else, family is what is important to him. It is the core of who he is. And over those four summers he learns just how much his own happiness is tied into his family and how little control he has over either.

    Invincible Summer is not a light or superficial read. Readers should not expect a light-hearted summer romance or a story of fun in the sun. There is depth to the story that becomes apparent as each summer fades into fall, growing darker with each passing year and as the innocence of youth is lost.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

    On a personal note:

    I could tell right from the start that I loved the author’s writing, but it took one summer before I began to feel a connection to the story and two full summers before I was hooked.

    It was the third summer that turned everything around for me with this story and made me feel that there was meaning for me hidden in the pages. The third summer worked its magic and entranced me with the beauty of the words and the underlying despair. And the third summer allowed me to relate to some of the things going on with the main character and his family.

    I might have engaged much sooner, but for the considerable spouting of Camus. While I grew to understand how his writing related to the characters and the story, at first I didn’t and it wasn’t made clear at the outset as to why a fifteen-year-old boy felt so connected with him that he would memorize passages and relate them to his life.

    For the first summer I asked myself why I should care about the character and couldn’t quite come up with an answer. I often love when I feel disconnected from a character, but then I need something in the story to make me want to find out more, and in the first summer I didn’t find that foothold. It came slowly, but it did finally hit, and was actually rather powerful once I sat with this story for awhile.

    I was on the fence about my rating and I’m glad I didn’t post my review immediately upon finishing the book. It actually began to affect me the longer I sat with it, thought about the characters and felt what Chase truly lost.

    This may not be a story to everyone’s taste – although I grew to at first appreciate and then to love it – and the description is so misleading that it could turn people off the story. If they are expecting a drama-filled summer romance with two brothers battling for the affection of a girl, this is definitely so far from that. I don’t usually like to criticize, but it doesn’t seem that the person who wrote that description actually read this book. This is a story about family, and a highly dysfunctional one at that, and not about some love triangle with a summer girl.

    As I was reading this story it reminded me of some of John Irving’s books and his interesting familial relationships. There were other parts that reminded me of Herman Raucher’s Summer of ’42. But in the end the author’s voice was her own and the story came together in that third and fourth summer.

    At the end, I was left empty, hollowed out and feeling a great sense of loss – maybe not for Chase, but for the loss of innocence, the loss of family and the loss of what could have been.

    ***

    I actually have two favorite passages, but one is much too revealing. Here’s the other:

    When you’re grieving, the times you’re happy are so much more tragic than the times that you aren’t. Because being happy feels fake and it feels temporary and it feels meaningless.

    To read an excerpt of chapter one from the publisher’s website, click here.

    Book trailer for Invincible Summer:

    This review is based on an eARC I received as part of Simon & Schuster’s Galley Grab program.

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #16

    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 April 19th-April 25th that I have pre-ordered.

    Defiance is the fourth book in the Strange Angels series by Lili St. Crow. It will be released in the U.S. on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats.

    It is currently available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

    Published by Razorbill, a division of the Penguin Group, the print edition is 259 pages.

    I have had this book on my watch list for awhile and continued to check back week after week until I could pre-order it for my Kindle. I love the author’s writing and her young adult series has me hooked. And, of all the books in this series, this one has my favorite cover.

    I am slightly ashamed to admit that I haven’t yet read the third book in the series, Jealousy, as I started to read it and discovered that I definitely needed to go back and re-read the first two books as I felt a bit lost. Although I have a clear memory of the characters and the major events, some of the minor details slipped my mind and I didn’t want to lose anything important by reading it without having all details firmly in place.

    Of course I ended up reading the description for this book, which I will not put here, as it does have spoilers. Drat! But this definitely sounds like an exciting adventure filled with danger for Dru, so I am going to attempt a four book read-a-thon soon so that I can get all caught up.

    Book trailer for Defiance: (Definitely has that kick a**, hard-edge background music which fits the story perfectly)

    The Coven’s Daughter is the debut young adult novel for author Lucy Jago. It will be released in the U.S. on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 in hardcover format and was previously published in the UK in May 2010 by Bloomsbury under the title Montacute House.

    It is currently available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble in hardcover format only.

    Published by Hyperion Books for Children, the print edition is 256 pages.

    The Coven’s Daughter is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

    Although I don’t have this book on pre-order since it’s not yet available in eBook format, I am expecting to receive an advance copy this week that I acquired through a trade. I am always looking for new debut author’s to discover and the description I’d read made this sound like something I’d be interested in.

    It is certainly something different from what I’ve been reading lately and at only two hundred and fifty plus pages it looks to be a quick read. The story is set in Elizabethan times in the 1500’s and promises “[w]itchcraft, politics and religious ambition” which sound like a very dangerous mix. Plus, apparently Montacute House is a real place, which I had not known when I first added this book to my TBR pile. Check out the details here on the author’s website.

    I can’t wait to take a peek at this book and I’m so glad they re-titled it for an American audience. I would definitely have passed it by with the UK title as it immediately conjured up a vision of Dickens’ Bleak House which I can say – loved it, but been there, done that and not ready for a third read.

    The first chapter of The Coven’s Daughter is available to read on the author’s website, HERE.

    The Goddess Test is the debut novel for Aimée Carter. It is scheduled for release in the U.S. on April 19, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. It is available for pre-order online in both formats at Amazon and in paperback at Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Harlequin TEEN the print edition is 304 pages.

    The Goddess Test is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

    I’ve already spotlighted this for my Book Watch post so I won’t go into endless detail here. Also, I’ve recently finished reading this book and it’s as amazing as everyone has been saying and since my review will be up soon – either on release date on the 19th or the wider distribution date on the 26th – I don’t want to reveal too much here. But this is definitely not a book to miss.

    Even before I read it, this was on my watch list, but I only just added it as a pre-order because it wasn’t available for the Kindle until very recently.

    As with most books I read based on advance copies, I wonder just how different the finished copy is and hope I get a chance to re-read it soon.

    Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz will be released in the U.S. on April 19, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. It is available for pre-order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

    Published by Simon Pulse, a division of Simon & Schuster, the print edition is 288 pages.

    This was another book that had a lot of buzz so I decided to pre-order it quite awhile ago. I then noticed it on Simon & Schuster’s Galley Grab program and downloaded it to read and review. I’m in the middle of reading this book as I write this post, so I’m trying not to let my opinion after-the-fact influence why I wanted to purchase this book in the first place.

    Aside from what I heard about Invincible Summer through the blogosphere, I am a huge fan of contemporary YA fiction – almost as much as paranormal YA stories – and I wanted to check out this book, written by a young author, to see what her viewpoint and style are. I hadn’t yet read anything by the author, so I thought this would be a great introduction.

    I like summer stories, and ones that take place over time as the characters grow and change always appeal to me. The author mentions that her stories tackle familial relationships, which are also always of interest. So I knew before even starting to read the eARC that I’d definitely want this one for my collection.

    I haven’t seen a trailer, but the author talks a bit about Invincible Summer in this video from Simon & Schuster:

    ***

    Thankfully – for both my wallet and my TBR pile – this is another fairly quiet week for releases. It seems that HarperTeen is waiting for April 26th to release a slew of new “must reads,” so I have a bit more time to catch up on my reading.

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

    And please let me know if I missed purchasing something that is a “must read.”

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    My Reading Pile #5

    Yes it’s still the same picture and I’ve read the ones on top of the pile, but until I get through this whole pile I won’t add a new photo. I actually have a few new books that I received this week, which you might have seen on my Facebook page, but as some of them aren’t out for a bit I haven’t added them to the pile to read just yet.

    I’ve gotten a little better with my reading this week, but still have a few reviews to write and post here on the blog. But in the meantime…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (April 17-April 23, 2011)

    ***

    I received an ARC of Enclave through a trade. I also pre-ordered the book, but will be reading the printed version for review.

    I know this came out last week but I knew that I wouldn’t get a chance to read it until this week and so I didn’t add it to the pile until now.

    It sounds pretty fierce and I’ve watched the trailer so I can’t wait to see what the world looks like in this new series by author Ann Aguirre. I’ve also heard great things on Twitter, but I’ve decided not to read any reviews until after I’ve had a chance to read it.

    I received an advance electronic copy of Invincible Summer through Simon & Schuster’s Galley Grab program. It’s coming out on Tuesday and I’m hoping to read it by then, but I might not get a chance to start reading until Tuesday or Wednesday.

    But it is definitely one for my pile this week as it sounds like a really powerful story and one that I will thoroughly enjoy. I really love contemporary fiction that spans a number of years to give a larger picture of the character’s lives.

    I’m also really interested to see how the title of the book fits in with the story and the characters. I was definitely excited to get this from the publisher and just wish I had a chance to read it sooner.

    I heard about Sleight from some of the amazing bloggers that I Tweet with. I decided to purchase an eBook from Amazon and added it to my ever-growing pile.

    I’ve since “met” the author on Twitter and from all the good things I’ve been hearing about this book have moved it up to the top of my TBR pile. I was hoping to read it this weekend, but I may end up reading and reviewing it during the week instead.

    Sleight sounds like it will be a very different book from anything I’ve read recently, but with characters that I will love.

    ***

    Again, I’ve kept things simpler this week so that I could get caught up with my reviews and with my reading. I think I’m finally starting to get a handle on what I can reasonably add to my pile each week, especially given the fact that I just don’t write my reviews too quickly.

    Wishful thinking reads:

    I have three wishful thinking reads this week. The first is Abandon by Meg Cabot. The ARC is just staring at me, beckoning me to read it. I will be reading it by release date, but I really, really, really want to read it this week.

    I also want to read the two remaining books in the Tale of Lunarmorte series – River Cast and Blood Solstice – by author Samantha Young. I just finished the first book in the series and I can’t wait to find out what happens in the two subsequent books.

    Those left behind:

    So, I didn’t really leave anything behind from last week although I don’t have all my reviews done. They’ll be posted this weekend and during the week along with the new books I’ll be reading, except for Original Sin which I’ll be reviewing a bit closer to release date.

    And yes, I still haven’t finished reading City of Fallen Angels and have been hiding from any and all reviews so that I don’t read any spoilers, but it’s getting very difficult to avoid them. I may just have to pull an all-nighter this weekend to finish!

    ***

    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your pile this week?

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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.