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Invincible Summer

    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.


    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.”


    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.


    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

    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

    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.”


    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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