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Lauren Oliver

    Giveaway: A ‘Recent Reads’ Pile of Books #9

    Recent Reads 9

    As before…

    In an effort to keep my book tower from overflowing, every so often I will be passing along a few of my recent reads. Some will be finished copies. Some will be ARCs. But each of the books I will have reviewed or have reviewed a future book in the series. And all of the books are ones I have in my eBook collection.

    As always, there will be no follow requirements for the blog. But I have added a few extra entry opportunities to follow the authors on social media or add their books to Goodreads.

    giveaway

    Giveaway is for the 4 books/ARCs shown in the picture.

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • Giveaway is US only
    • Books will be sent by media mail with tracking
    • Winner will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter
    • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
    • Winner will have 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen
    • Giveaway ends December 22nd at 11:59 p.m. Pacific

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Interview with CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD Authors Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester + Giveaway

    CuriosityInterview

    I am so thrilled to be able to welcome to the blog the two amazing authors of CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD – Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester. They were kind enough to answer my many, many questions in an interview that has turned out to be my most favorite one I’ve conducted here on the blog.

    If you are able to read through their answers without cracking a smile, grinning like a loon or laughing out loud you’ve got me beat!

    CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD releases next week on September 29th. It is a wonderful story that while aimed at a Middle Grade audience is a story that readers of any age will enjoy. From its quirky characters, to its delightful setting, to its fantastic writing, to its captivating mystery, to its incredible illustrations, it is an engaging and enchanting and funny and exciting and positively adorable read.

    If you’d like to know what else I thought, my review is HERE. And if you’d like to know more about the book, the series, and author, visit The Curiosity House website, HERE.

    Some information about the book and authors follows the interview. And if you’d like the chance to win a copy of CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD, I’m offering up one for giveaway – just enter in the Rafflecopter at the end of the post.


    The Interview

    TheAuthorsCuriosityHouse

    Q&A with Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester

    Q. If you/each of you had to describe CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD in 15 words or less, how would you describe it?

    LO: CURIOSITY HOUSE is the story of four extraordinary children and the fantastical place they call home.

    HCC: I would describe it thusly: “A thrilling mystery set in a colorful era of bygone New York City and involving one of the most fabled rarities of all time–the shrunken head of the legendary Amazonian chieftain, Ticuna-Piranha!”  (I am cognizant of the fact that this description exceeds the prescribed length.  However, so exceptional is our book–if I may be permitted to say so–that a mere “fifteen words or less” cannot do it justice!)

    Q. What was the collaborative experience like?

    LO: I certainly learned a lot! Mr. Chester was definitely particular and expressive about how he thought the story should be brought to life. I could always count on him to point out any holes in the narrative or inconsistencies in tone or setting.

    HCC:  I am, of course, unaccustomed to the collaborative process, having been the sole author of such classic volumes as The Complete Collector’s Guide to Pre-Columbian Eating Utensils and Assyrian Pottery Shards for Dummies.  Indeed, I am unaccustomed to dealing directly with any other living being whatsoever, apart from my faithful canine, Trudy.  I must confess, however, that I found my work with Ms. Oliver so gratifying that I have recently been tempted to interact with other human beings and have been giving serious consideration to saying “hello” to my mail carrier at some point in the future, should the occasion arise.

    Q. What was the best part of working together? Your least favorite part of working together?

    LO: The best part, for me, was getting a chance to see Mr. Chester’s vast array of relics, knowing I was one of the few people who has ever been admitted to his house. Also, I really enjoyed meeting his dog Trudy. She’s pretty adorable.

    HCC: For myself, it was always delightful to see how warmly Trudy greeted Ms. Oliver during the latter’s visits to my home.  The worst part, paradoxically, was also seeing how warmly Trudy greeted Ms. Oliver, since my attachment to my canine companion is such that any display of affection on her part for another human being cannot help but plunge me into a state of “Othello”-like jealousy.

    Q. What was your/each of your favorite scene/s to write? Your/each of your most challenging scene/s to write?

    LO: My favorite part of the book was simply mapping out and conceiving of the museum and its various inhabitants. I’ve never written a book that felt like such an ensemble, as if I were working on a giant group number for stage. I loved it. Action is always the most challenging part for me, and there is a lot of action in this book.

    HCC: I must admit that my role in our collaboration had less to do with the actual writing of scenes than with providing Ms. Oliver with the raw material with which, through the alchemy of her own stylistic genius, she so marvelously brought to life.  Each of the episodes in our book is so rich with action, excitement, and suspense that it would be difficult for me to single out a “favorite.”

    Q. Who is your/each of your favorite character/s – and why are they a favorite?

    LO: That is so hard to answer! I love so many of the characters. I really like Goldini, the not-so-accomplished magician, because I feel sorry for him. I love Smalls, the aspiring poet; he reminds me of some people I went to grad school with. And of course I love all four of the children, especially Max, because she’s such a firebrand.

    HCC:  I feel a special affinity for Horatio Dumfrey, proprietor of Dumfrey’s Dime Museum. Like myself, he is a connoisseur of the weird and unusual who has devoted himself to assembling a world-class collection of rare and astounding artifacts. To be sure, I do not share his interest in sharing my collection with the public.  On the contrary, apart from Ms. Oliver, to whom I granted the privilege of viewing a portion of my collection, no living being has ever been permitted to view it.   Indeed, ever since she got her (admittedly adorable) jaws on the priceless fossilized leg bone of a prehistoric wallaby and chewed it to pieces, I have made large sections of my private museum off-limits even to you-know-who.

    Q. To H.C. Chester – You’ve been called a “notorious relics collector.” What is your favorite relic that you’ve collected and why is it a favorite?

    HCC: A very difficult question, since my collection includes so many extraordinary items.  Is it the hammered-silver ring John Smith gave to Pocahontas upon their engagement?  The ancient leather sling unearthed by a Middle Eastern archaeologist and said to be the one used by David when he slew the Philistine giant, Goliath?  The two-headed Peruvian fruit bat?

    For many years, a particular favorite of mine was a magnificent specimen of an ancient Incan funerary vessel that I purchased, by mail, from a highly respected dealer in South American antiquities.  One day, while examining this surpassingly beautiful object, I noticed some strange hieroglyphic symbols at its base.  Inspecting these markings under a high-powered magnifying lens, I saw that they spelled out the words “Made in Taiwan.”  Needless to say, I immediately sent a highly indignant letter to the dealer, who not only refused to refund my payment but responded in a most impolite manner.

    Q. To Lauren Oliver – You’ve written for a wide range of audiences. What is it that you love most about writing Middle Grade stories?

    LO: I think middle grade novels afford opportunities for creative freedom and for humor that feel really satisfying to me. Kids will follow you anywhere. They’re up for anything. As an author, that feels incredibly liberating.

    Q. What can you tell us about Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders?

    LO: Dumfrey’s Dime Museum, as Mr. Dumfrey would have told you himself, was truly one of the greatest museums in the world. Its collections varied from the rare to the straight-up strange, from the legitimate to the patently fake, and from the divine to the grotesque. Wax figurines, mermaid skeletons, historical relics, hideous murder weapons–it was a cornucopia of the weird and the wonderful.

    HCC:  Since even the most educated individuals of today are often unfamiliar with the definition of a “dime museum,” I will address your question by saying something about the institution in general. The dime museum, which flourished in our country from the late decades of the nineteenth century until the early years of the twentieth, was a popular showplace, offering both entertainment and edification to the great American public.  For a modest admission fee–ten cents originally, though eventually rising to as much as twenty-five–a visitor could view a wide assortment of wonders. These establishments, appealing to the timeless human appetite for the marvelous and miraculous, drew thousands upon thousands of ordinary men, women, and children, seeking escape from the humdrum dullness of their workaday lives.  Gradually, however, these palaces of wonder were replaced–or more accurately, killed off–by the cheap technological amusements of the modern world: radio, motion pictures, television. Though I myself have never owned a radio or television and have not attended a movie since a 1951 showing of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, to which I was dragged by my late father, I cannot imagine that the experiences they offer can begin to match the sublime pleasures of an afternoon at Dumfrey’s Dime Museum.

    Q. Of all the collectibles, how did you decide upon the Amazonian shrunken head to be the focal point of the story/mystery?

    LO: We were inspired by a real-life shrunken head currently in Mr. Chester’s possession, which allegedly was to blame for some mysterious and deadly occurrences of its own, decades before it passed into his hands.

    HCC: Indeed, as Ms. Oliver suggests, the shrunken head in my collection exudes a singularly dark and sinister aura.  Indeed, I attribute to its nefarious influence several heartbreaking tragedies that have befallen my household in recent years, such as the time Trudy’s favorite rubber chew toy went missing, sending my poor, devastated canine into a severe depression that lasted nearly 48 hours. Happily, she recovered at once when “Mr. Squirrely” turned up beneath the horsehair settee in our front parlor.

    Q. What can readers expect from this and future books in the Curiosity House series?

    LO: Rollicking fun, old-fashioned adventure, a dash of mystery, murder, and mayhem, and at least one talking cockatoo!

    HCC: And more author photos featuring close-ups of Trudy!


    About CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD

    CuriosityHouseCover

    Visit the Website

    Title & Series: CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD
    Authors: Lauren Oliver & H.C. Chester
    Illustrator: Benjamin Lacombe
    Release date: September 29, 2015
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Pages: 368
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Description…

    Despite being blessed with extraordinary abilities, orphans Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have never felt anything but normal in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders: Philippa is a powerful mentalist, Sam is the world’s strongest boy, and Thomas can squeeze himself into a space no bigger than a breadbox. But when a fourth child, Max, a knife-thrower with deadly accuracy, joins the group, it sets off a dramatic chain of events that will threaten the only place they’ve ever felt at home.

    When the museum’s most prized possession, an Amazonian shrunken head, is stolen, the four are determined to get it back. But their search leads them to a series of murders and an explosive secret about their pasts.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | HARPERCOLLINS | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    About Lauren Oliver

    Lauren Oliver photo

    Lauren Oliver is the author of the YA bestselling novels Before I Fall, Panic, and Vanishing Girls and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages and are New York Times and international bestselling novels. She is also the author of three novels for middle grade readers: The Spindlers; Liesl & Po, which was an E. B. White Read Aloud Award nominee; and Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head, co-written with H. C. Chester, and a novel for adults, Rooms. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU’s MFA program, Lauren Oliver is also the cofounder of the boutique literary development company Paper Lantern Lit.

    WEBSITE | TWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBEGOODREADS


    About H.C. Chester

    H.C. Chester photo credit Kimiko Hahn

    Like other boys, I spent many happy hours engaged in a favorite hobby: in my case, taking my mother’s discarded kitchen aprons and making them into historically accurate costumes for my pet Rottweiler, Buster. I still recall the perfect hours I spent roaming the woods and meadows around our house with Buster, dressed in his Marie Antoinette coronation gown, trotting happily at my side.

    The turning point in my childhood–indeed, in my life–occurred when I was six, when during a routine visit with my parents to an antique shop my eyes fell upon a wondrous sight: a taxidermically mounted specimen of a large Peruvian fruit bat. Stuffed Peruvian fruit bats became the ruling passion of my life. Before long–through postal correspondence with the various dealers who advertise in the pages of the bi-monthly Peruvian Fruit Bat Fanciers Newsletter–I had acquired a dozen more preserved specimens of these endlessly fascinating creatures.

    It was the seed of what was to grow into the H. C. Chester Relics Collection, the largest private assemblage of its kind in the entire country, if not indeed the world! Now I live happily with my best friend and companion, my dog “Trudy”, in the ancestral home in which I grew up, surrounded by all of the wondrous and strange items I have collected over the past six decades.

    To read H.C. Chester’s full bio visit The Curiosity House Website.


    The Giveaway

    giveaway

    I am offering up for giveaway…

    A hardcover copy of CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD to ONE (1) Winner

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • Giveaway is International (to anywhere The Book Depository ships)
    • There will be ONE winner
    • Giveaway ends on September 29th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
    • Prize will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Share

    Review: CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD

    CuriosityHouseCover

    Visit the Website

    Title & Series: CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD
    Authors: Lauren Oliver & H.C. Chester
    Illustrator: Benjamin Lacombe
    Release date: September 29, 2015
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Pages: 368
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Description…

    The book is about, among other things: the strongest boy in the world, a talking cockatoo, a faulty mind reader, a beautiful bearded lady and a nervous magician, an old museum, and a shrunken head.

    Blessed with extraordinary abilities, orphans Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have grown up happily in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. But when a fourth child, Max, a knife-thrower, joins the group, it sets off an unforgettable chain of events.

    When the museum’s Amazonian shrunken head is stolen, the four are determined to get it back. But their search leads them to a series of murders and an explosive secret about their pasts. This sensational new series combines the unparalleled storytelling gifts of Lauren Oliver with the rich knowledge of the notorious relics collector H. C. Chester.

    What you will find in this book:

    • A rather attractive bearded lady
    • Several scandalous murders
    • A deliciously disgusting Amazonian shrunken head
    • Four extraordinary children with equally extraordinary abilities
    • A quite loquacious talking bird

    What you will NOT find in this book:

    • An accountant named Seymour
    • A never-ending line at the post office
    • Brussels sprouts (shudder)
    • A lecture on finishing all your homework on time
    • A sweet, gooey story for nice little girls and boys

    Learn more about the series online at www.thecuriosityhouse.com.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | HARPERCOLLINS | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS

    NOTE: This review is based on an ARC received from the publicity agency in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


    The Review

    CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD is an engaging, charming, and positively delightful read. It is fun and funny. Its characters are quirky and adorable. The mystery is captivating and exciting. The setting is interesting and enchanting and imaginative. The illustrations are remarkable. The writing is fantastic. It’s a story that readers of any age will enjoy.

    Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders is the last of its kind. But even without any competition, it’s having a hard time keeping its doors open. People just aren’t as interested in the kinds of attractions that a dime museum has to offer anymore. Until, that is, the museum’s latest acquisition, an Amazonian shrunken head, becomes headline news.

    An object that is said to be cursed is certainly interesting enough to draw in the looky-loos. When its disappearance coincides with a murder, people can’t stay away. But when suspicion is cast on the four extraordinary children of Dumfrey’s Dime Museum – Thomas, Pippa, Sam and Max – and even Dumfrey himself, the police order them to close up shop until further notice.

    Without the museum, Thomas, Pippa and Sam will lose the only home they’ve ever known and the newest arrival, Max, will lose the place she was just beginning to call home. So they are determined to do whatever they can to solve the mystery, clear their names, and catch a killer. No matter what the risk.

    Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester have penned an incredibly entertaining and quite spectacular first book in a series that promises to be amusing and sweet and totally bewitching. They’ve written a story that both literally and figuratively invites you in to meet its unusual characters and explore what Dumfrey’s has to offer right from the start.

    The authors deliver a marvelous adventure that takes readers and characters alike through a wonderfully imagined version of Old New York. They created a mystery that requires some sleuthing but have dropped enough hints along the way to help in putting the pieces together. They introduced a few characters that will definitely prove problematic for Thomas, Pippa, Max, Sam and Dumfrey in future books in the series. They set the stage for new characters to make their entrance. And they revealed secrets that open up a world of possibilities for whatever is to come.

    CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD is an unputdownable, feel-good read that brings you into a museum packed full from a treasure trove of bizarre, sometimes humorous, sometimes a little bit dangerous, finds. Its curator is odd but lovable. Its residents range from the phony to the gifted, all of whom are unique.

    And with a few outsiders looking to take what Dumfrey has, any number of peculiar items that Dumfrey’s Dime Museum might acquire or lose, and the possibility for Thomas, Philippa, Sam or Mackenzie’s powers to grow, there are sure to be many riveting capers to come in this already wildly appealing series.

    The Rating

    05


    About Lauren Oliver

    Lauren Oliver photo

    Lauren Oliver is the author of the YA bestselling novels Before I Fall, Panic, and Vanishing Girls and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages and are New York Times and international bestselling novels. She is also the author of three novels for middle grade readers: The Spindlers; Liesl & Po, which was an E. B. White Read Aloud Award nominee; and Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head, co-written with H. C. Chester, and a novel for adults, Rooms. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU’s MFA program, Lauren Oliver is also the cofounder of the boutique literary development company Paper Lantern Lit.

    WEBSITE | TWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBEGOODREADS


    About H.C. Chester

    H.C. Chester photo credit Kimiko Hahn

    Like other boys, I spent many happy hours engaged in a favorite hobby: in my case, taking my mother’s discarded kitchen aprons and making them into historically accurate costumes for my pet Rottweiler, Buster. I still recall the perfect hours I spent roaming the woods and meadows around our house with Buster, dressed in his Marie Antoinette coronation gown, trotting happily at my side.

    The turning point in my childhood–indeed, in my life–occurred when I was six, when during a routine visit with my parents to an antique shop my eyes fell upon a wondrous sight: a taxidermically mounted specimen of a large Peruvian fruit bat. Stuffed Peruvian fruit bats became the ruling passion of my life. Before long–through postal correspondence with the various dealers who advertise in the pages of the bi-monthly Peruvian Fruit Bat Fanciers Newsletter–I had acquired a dozen more preserved specimens of these endlessly fascinating creatures.

    It was the seed of what was to grow into the H. C. Chester Relics Collection, the largest private assemblage of its kind in the entire country, if not indeed the world! Now I live happily with my best friend and companion, my dog “Trudy”, in the ancestral home in which I grew up, surrounded by all of the wondrous and strange items I have collected over the past six decades.

    To read H.C. Chester’s full bio visit The Curiosity House Website.

    Share

    ROOMS Blog Tour: Interview with Lauren Oliver, Review + Giveaway

    Rooms_BT

    I am thrilled to be today’s stop on Lauren Oliver’s ROOMS Blog Tour. The author is an incredible writer and manages to do amazing things with each of the genres she’s written for. And her debut adult novel ROOMS is no exception.

    ROOMS releases next week and is definitely a must read whether you’re a fan of the author or you just like beautifully written stories that have depth, will make you think, will make you feel, and will stay with you. The description wasn’t wrong when it called this story “haunting.”

    For my tour stop, in addition to sharing my thoughts about ROOMS, I was able to ask the author a few questions about writing, about ROOMS and about ghosts. If you’d like to check out both, they follow just a bit further down in this post.

    And because I love this book I am offering up a copy of ROOMS for giveaway. So if you’d like the chance to win a finished copy, just enter in the Rafflecopter form.

    The tour continues on through October 1st, so if you’d like to follow along, the schedule is at the bottom of the post and I’ll be updating it with direct links to all the stops.

    Divider

    About Rooms

    Rooms_Cover

    Add to Goodreads

    Title: ROOMS
    Author: Lauren Oliver
    Release date: September 23, 2014
    Publisher: Ecco
    Pages: 320
    Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

    Description…

    The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition of The Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane—a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways.

    Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.

    But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.

    The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

    Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNESINDIEBOUND | KOBOGOODREADS


    The Interview

    Q. You’ve written novels for both YA and MG audiences and now you’ll be making your adult debut with ROOMS. What have been some of your favorite aspects about writing for each of the different audiences? What were some of the challenges?

    The great thing about writing for different age groups is that you can tackle different themes, certainly, but you can also tackle similar themes in very different ways. So in my next YA book, VANISHING GIRLS, I also explore themes of family and the way families fall apart and reconfigure after tragic events, as I do in ROOMS, but in a way that is completely different, and in a tone that’s different. It gives me the ultimate ability as a storyteller to pursue whatever it is I want to do, which is the greatest blessing I can think of. In terms of the challenges–all stories are challenging, in their own ways. I’m not sure that it has much to do with the audience, per se.

    Q. Did you have to change your approach when writing ROOMS? If so, what adjustments did you make, i.e., to style, voice, character development?

    I don’t think I consciously changed my approach, any more than I do when tackling a new book or a new set of characters for the first time. Methodologically, it was still the same–I “wrote my way in,” meaning I just started playing in the world for a while before determining what should actually happen from a narrative perspective. And then, as always, I took a step backward and tried to nail down the story I wanted to tell.

    Q. ROOMS has been described as “haunting” – and not simply for the fact that it’s a ghost story – and it’s not the first novel you’ve written that has been characterized as such. What is it that appeals to you about this quality in a story? And how are you able to bring this quality out in each of the books you write?

    I definitely like books that stay with you. I think that’s what people mean when they say my books are haunting–that they linger with you, engage you, and force you to think about them afterward. I’m not sure how I achieve this effect, actually–it certainly isn’t conscious–but I know that I try to make hard or unconventional choices, and that I only tackle themes, stories, and characters that feel important to me for some reason, and that allow me to ask questions I think are important to ask.

    Q. What made you choose to use both the living and the dead to tell this story? What were the challenges, if any, in creating each of their worlds and having them intersect?

    It was a process I found my way into organically. I started, really, with two separate ideas: the idea of the family in crisis; and the idea of the house as a living, breathing, entity. I had numerous fits and starts, and multiple trashed drafts, before I found a way to unify both ideas into a workable novel.

    Q. If you lived in a house that was haunted by ghosts, which of the ghosts in the Walker’s house would you not mind haunting yours – and why?

    Oh, lord–I would hope none of them! I do actually have an old house and several of my guests have reported strange experiences–so it’s possible I do have ghosts. But hopefully our lives won’t converge in such…explosive ways.


    About Lauren Oliver

    Lauren_Oliver

    Lauren Oliver is the author of the New York Times bestselling YA novels Before I Fall, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem. Her books have been translated into thirty languages. She is also the author of two novels for middle-grade readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po, which was a 2012 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee. Lauren’s first adult novel, Rooms, will be published in September 2014.

    A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU’s MFA program, Lauren Oliver is also the co-founder of the boutique literary development company Paper Lantern Lit. You can visit her online at www.laurenoliverbooks.com.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE | GOODREADS 


    The Review

    Lauren Oliver’s ROOMS is a beautifully written story that is powerful and moving and dramatic and richly developed. Told from several points of view, each character’s story unfolds in a rather unique way, room by room. The description promises a story that is haunting and ROOMS lives up to that promise – it will make readers think and feel not only throughout the read but for a long time after the story’s end.

    The author created characters who have vastly different personalities, traits and backgrounds, yet she managed to bring each of their individual voices to life in her novel. And while initially it might seem they have nothing in common, they have a connection that extends beyond the fact that at one point in time in their lives they resided in what is currently the Walker home.

    ROOMS is an absolutely heartrending tale. Each of the characters – Alice, Sandra, Caroline, Minna, Trenton and even Richard Walker – have secrets that weigh them down and sorrow that is destroying them. Each of them yearns for an escape. Every one of their stories is so very sad.

    I loved getting to know the living, barely living, and the no-longer-living characters in ROOMS. Each one of them was completely different from the other, which made this an incredibly engaging, at times fun and quirky, at others dark and disturbing, read. I connected with each character in a different way, but I did make a connection with them all. I empathized with what they were going through, what they went through and their inability to move beyond what was trapping them.

    Lauren Oliver crafted a story that will stay with me for quite some time. It was filled with passages and thoughts and ideas that I want to revisit, think about for a bit longer. It put me through an emotional wringer. It left me feeling scooped out and empty. All I could think was “wow” when I read those final words and thoughts.

    The author’s first attempt at a novel aimed at an adult audience was hugely successful. ROOMS has gorgeous writing and depth of characters and plot. The way the story is presented is creative and original. The residents of the Walker home are interesting, their stories fascinating. It is a story filled with secrets, mystery, tragedy, sorrow, loss and ultimately freedom. It is a story that is an absolute must read.

    05


    The Giveaway

    I’m giving away a hardcover copy of ROOMS by Lauren Oliver to ONE winner.

    • Must be 18 or older to enter
    • There will be ONE winner
    • Giveaway is International
    • Book will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
    • Giveaway ends on October 1st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
    • Winner will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter
    • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
    • Winner has 48 hours to respond with their details or another winner will be chosen

     Just enter in the Rafflecopter below…
    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Sept. 15th – Andrea of Reading Lark – Interview

    Sept. 16th – Wendy of Midnight Garden

    Sept. 17th – Hafsah of Icey Books – Interview

    Sept. 18th – Melissa of I Swim for Oceans – Review

    Sept. 19th – Rachel of Fiktshun – Interview & Review

    Week Two

    Sept. 22nd – Jaime of Fiction Fare – Interview & Review

    Sept. 23rd – Jessica of Read My Breath Away – Review

    Sept. 24th – Gaby of Queen Ella Bee Reads – Interview & Review

    Sept. 25th – Stephanie of A Dream Within A Dream – Review

    Sept. 26th – Anna of Anna Reads – Review

    Week Three

    Sept. 29th – Katie of Katie’s Book Blog – Review

    Sept. 30th – Valerie of Sweeps4Bloggers – Review

    Oct. 1st – Gabrielle of The Mod Podge Bookshelf

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    My Reading Pile #183

    MyReadingPileIt was an awesome week at the mailbox this week. A book I am so unbelievably excited to read showed up and a surprise book I’ve been hearing some amazing things about also showed up.

    MRP 183

    I received an ARC of ROOMS by Lauren Oliver courtesy of the publisher, Ecco, in anticipation of the tour I’ll be on this coming week. I plan on reading and reviewing it for my stop on the 19th and I have an amazing interview to accompany my post. I’m totally stoked and can’t wait to start reading.

    I also received a surprise finished copy of A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT by Sandy Hall, courtesy of the publisher, Swoon Reads. I’ve been seeing this book everywhere and it sounds awesome and the cover is gorgeous and I can’t wait to meet all the characters. It looks to be a super quick read and I’m thinking I just might take it with me on my mini sailing vacay later this week.

    And if you can believe it, I did not request a single eARC this past week. Nope, not one. I’m kind of surprised, but at the same time very happy to not add more to my never diminishing eARC collection on my Kindle.

    But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a couple of books that I am dying to read this week. And so…

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

    {September 14, 2014 – September 20, 2014}


    Made for You

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    First up on the pile is MADE FOR YOU by Melissa Marr. I received an eARC in anticipation of its tour, and I can’t wait to read it. While I am only sharing an excerpt for my stop, and my pre-order will arrive on Tuesday, I cannot wait to dive in just a few days before its release.

    I love Melissa Marr’s writing and I love YA contemporary and this book sounds so very, very awesome. I can’t wait to read this “twisted southern gothic tale,” meet Eva Tilling, and find out who is obsessed with her and why she awoke from an accident with the ability to foresee people’s deaths.

    The description promises murder, romance and an enthralling and wild ride. And I cannot wait to be taken along this weekend.

    The Description…

    Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

    When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

    For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.


    Rooms

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    Next up on the pile is ROOMS by Lauren Oliver. I received an ARC from the publisher this past week for the book’s tour and I cannot wait to dive in on Sunday or Monday. Lauren Oliver is an amazing writer and I cannot wait to see how she tackles her adult debut that promises to be “haunting.”

    I may have already peeked at the answers the author gave to my interview questions, which makes me that much more excited to meet these characters, find out what happens with the ghosts that share the Walkers’ home, and what the “cataclysmic results” are when the spirit and human worlds collide.

    I just know I’m going to love the writing, I’m already intrigued by the story, so I have a feeling this will be one of those reads I’m not going to want to put down. If I can’t get to it late Sunday night, I’m going to clear my schedule on Monday evening so I can devour it in one sitting.

    The Description…

    The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition of The Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane—a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways

    Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.

    But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.

    The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

    Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.


    Wishful Thinking Reads

    I really want to finish reading THE WITCHES OF EAST END by Melissa De La Cruz. I just binge watched the entire TV series and am all caught up and I really want to finally finish reading this first book and all currently released sequels. But as I have a ton of books sitting in my living room just begging to be read, I can’t go totally off-pile to read the series, as much as I desperately wish I could.


    Those Left Behind

    I am still reading INVISIBLE as I write this post. I will be finished by the time it goes “live” on the blog, but for now I’m not quite done reading. I plan on writing a review after my tour stop, but I will be posting it on Reading YA Rocks where I’ll be posting most of my YA reviews from now on.

    But I did post my review for FALLING INTO PLACE and have written my review for GET EVEN which I’ll be posting over on RYAR on its release date, Tuesday.

    And I did end up finishing and loving THE GIFTED DEAD and I hope to have a review written for it here on its release date, the 23rd.

    I also managed to write and post my reviews for BLACK ICE by Becca Fitzpatrick and ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins over on RYAR. And I should have my review for BLIND by Rachel DeWoskin on that blog either today or Sunday.

    Things were a lot less crazy this week at work, but I took the time to completely veg and binge watch The Witches of East End and catch up on Teen Wolf. So I didn’t get much reading done. (Yes, I’m glad I only added one book to the pile!)

    But I’m back to adding two books to the pile and I hope to read more than that. We shall see.


    NetGalley Pile Adds & Finds

    I didn’t request a single eARC from anywhere or anyone this week. I’m very proud of myself. Though I really want to search through old MRP posts to request some of those books I wanted to request but didn’t.

    Trying. To. Refrain.

    Anyway… there are a few interesting-sounding books on NetGalley this week.

    Here are this week’s finds…

    THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING by Rachel Harris (Spencer Hill Contemporary, Sep 30 2014)

    EVERY UGLY WORD by Aimee Salter (Alloy Entertainment, Jul 29 2014)

    IMITATION by Heather Hildenbrand (Alloy Entertainment, Jul 29 2014)

    SHADOW CREATURES (Lost Worlds #2) by Andrew Lane (Pan Macmillan, Sep 11 2014) **UK Reviewers Preferred**


    I did not take the opportunity to blog a few hours each night this past week. While I did put some time into updating my features and review pages and writing a few reviews, I did not get ahead of things. I still have a ton of reading and a ton of post formatting to do for the upcoming tours I’m on.

    But part of the reason for my slacker-like qualities was that both the tweaks to Reading YA Rocks and the final design elements were completed. So I couldn’t resist spending some time figuring things out over there.

    It’s tough preparing to say goodbye to the blog that is Fiktshun. It’s a place I’ve been blogging at regularly for the past (almost) four years. It’s kind of crazy to even think about blogging somewhere new, especially with a viable blog here that I love. But a fresh start, something a bit less serious, with (hopefully) zero plagiarism incidents is something that I desperately need. And when the time comes to walk away for good, it might be just a little bit easier to say goodbye.

    I haven’t decided yet whether or not to move My Reading Pile over to the other blog or just post a sort of “Book Haul” and list my current reads. But in the next couple of weeks I’ll decide… I hope.

    Anyway… I hope you had as amazing a week at the mailbox as I did, that you read way more than I did, and that the books you read were awesome. And if you’d like to share what you’ve been reading and what you received, leave a comment or link so I can check it out.

    Happy reading!

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    Do you create a reading pile?

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

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #166

    bookwatchRELEASE

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

    These are books for the week of March 4th-March 10th that I have pre-ordered.

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    Panic_HC_JKT_des4.indd

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    PANIC by Lauren Oliver will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperCollins, the print edition is 416 pages.

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    I am so excited for PANIC‘s release this week. I love Lauren Oliver’s writing and I can’t wait for everyone to get the chance to read her latest release. I was stoked to get the chance to read this early, which I did ages ago. But it’s been awhile, so I’m thinking it’s time for a re-read.

    I’ve had this pre-ordered from the moment it was available to buy for the Kindle and I’m anxiously awaiting its download. I’m curious to see if there were any changes to the story from the eARC. Especially as regards the way things ended.

    This book was every bit as awesome as what I’d expected from the author. However I was totally surprised by just how the story ends. Of course I won’t reveal in what way I was surprised, just that I was.

    But I will say that it was a fantastic read, and I hope to be able to re-read it this month.

    Description…

    Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

    Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

    Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

    For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

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    The Winner's Curse

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    THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), the print edition is 368 pages.

    THE WINNER’S CURSE is the first book in Author Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Trilogy. A prequel novella, BRIDGE OF SNOW, was released on January 28th. The second and third books in the series are currently untitled.

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    I just recently read and love, love, loved THE WINNER’S CURSE and am now eagerly awaiting the finished copy to download to my Kindle. This is one of the books I was excited for long before I got the chance to read it, and now that I have, I’m that much more anxious for its release.

    As I spotlighted it for my Book Watch post the other week and I’m hoping to post a review this week, I won’t ramble on too much about what I loved about it. But I can say that it was even better than I hoped it would be. I loved the world the author created. I can’t believe the way things ended. And I’m dying to read the sequel.

    Since I just finished reading it last week, I won’t be re-reading it when my copy arrives, but I will definitely be re-reading it. It’s one of my favorite reads this year and I am kind of madly in love with it right now.

    Description…

    Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

    As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

    One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

    But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

    Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

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    Steadfast

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    STEADFAST by Claudia Gray will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 352 pages.

    STEADFAST is the second book in Author Claudia Gray’s Spellcaster series. The release date for the third book in the series, SORCERESS, is not yet set.

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    I love Author Claudia Gray’s writing and I love the Spellcaster series, so I am totally stoked that STEADFAST is releasing this week and that the finished copy will be downloading to my Kindle.

    I got the chance to read this sequel pre-release and I loved it even more than the first book in the series and hope to post a review later this week or next week. So I don’t want to talk too much about what happens with Nadia, Verlaine and Mateo. And as the description is just a tiny bit spoiler-y for the first book in the series as regards a certain character, I don’t want to talk ramble about it here.

    But I’ll just quickly say it’s a little bit darker, a whole lot more twisty-turny and a totally exciting addition to this crazy addictive series. Of course waiting for the next book in the series is going to annihilate me.

    Description…

    Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine have saved Captive’s Sound from the dark Sorceress Elizabeth…or so they thought. Despite their best efforts, a crack opened and a new, greater evil seeped through. With Mateo as her Steadfast, Nadia’s magic is magnified and she is more powerful than ever. But there is still so much she doesn’t know about the craft, leaving her open and vulnerable to a darker magic…which has begun to call Nadia’s name.

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    Death Sworn

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    DEATH SWORN by Leah Cypess will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Greenwillow Books, the print edition is 352 pages.

    DEATH SWORN is the first book in a new series of the same name by Author Leah Cypess. The second book in the series is currently untitled.

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    I am super excited for DEATH SWORN‘s release this week. I fell in love with the cover and was totally lured in by the description that I just had to pre-order it for my Kindle.

    And as I got the chance to read this early and already know that I love it, I’m even more stoked to have the finished copy for my collection. But I really can’t wait to see what is going to happen in the sequel, so the wait’s not quite over.

    As I have read DEATH SWORN and already shared my review, I don’t want to ramble on and on and on here. But I loved this first book in Leah Cypess’ new series, I can’t wait to see what happens with Ileni and Sorin and while I won’t be re-reading DEATH SWORN in the coming weeks, I hope to be able to re-read it closer to the sequel’s release.

    Description…

    When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.

    But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.

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    Wayfarer

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    WAYFARER by Lili St. Crow will be released in the U.S. on March 6, 2014 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Razorbill, the print edition is 304 pages.

    WAYFARER is the second book in Author Lili St. Crow’s Tales of Beauty & Madness series.

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    I cannot believe that WAYFARER is releasing this week and will be downloading to my Kindle on Monday Midnight. I also cannot believe I haven’t yet had the chance to read the first volume in this trilogy.

    Though, as this book is a Cinderella story, I may just have to dive into this one first. Because I can’t wait to learn about Ellie Sinder’s abilities as a Charmer. I can’t wait to meet her “prince” Avery Fletcher. I can’t wait to read this story the description calls “stirringly romantic” and “deliciously spooky.”

    And I can’t wait to see just what happens with Ellie’s soul. Something I will hopefully have time to discover during the second half of this month. Because I love this author’s writing and it’s been ages since I had the chance to read something she’s written.

    Description…

    New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow thrilled legions of fans with her dark paranormal series Strange Angels. Now she has created a stirringly romantic, deliciously spooky update of Cinderella, the alluring second volume in her trilogy Tales of Beauty and Madness.

    Ellie Sinder is a Charmer—the most powerful of her age that St. Juno’s Academy has ever seen. But Ellie’s stepmother, Laurissa, wields manipulation and abuse to force Ellie to work her spells ever more intensely, for Laurissa’s profit.

    Then a train from over the Wastelands arrives in New Haven, bearing on it golden boy Avery Fletcher, newly returned from prep school, wearing a sweater Ellie’d love to bury her face in and a smile as bright as his blond hair. Avery’s arrival sets Laurissa off on a dark and dangerous scheme—and this time the soul up for grabs is Ellie’s.

    New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow has created a stirringly romantic, deliciously spooky update of Cinderella, the alluring second volume in her trilogy Tales of Beauty and Madness.

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    Nil

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    NIL by Lynne Matson will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), the print edition is 384 pages.

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    From the very first moment I read the description for NIL I knew I must have this book. And I’m so excited for it to download to my Kindle so that I will not only own it but finally get the chance to read it. I feel like I’ve been waiting forever and ever.

    I’ve been very much in the mood for this sort of book as of late – stories that are action-packed, suspenseful, nail-biting. And I can’t wait to meet Charley and Thad and see whether they’ll be able to escape the island of Nil.

    While I really shouldn’t read this book right away, as I have so many books I need to read for review, I just don’t think I’ll be able to wait. Scratch that. I know I won’t be able to. Though I will have to wait until this weekend to sneak it onto the pile as I am currently reading three books I need to finish.

    Description…

    On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days–to escape, or you die.

    Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field.

    Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with dangers, their greatest threat is time.

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    Half Bad

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    HALF BAD by Sally Green will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and in hardcover and eBook formats at BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Viking Juvenile, the print edition is 416 pages.

    HALF BAD is the first book in Author Sally Green’s Half Life trilogy. The second book in the series, HALF WILD, is slated for release in 2015 and the third book is currently untitled.

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    I hadn’t heard of HALF BAD until a copy showed up for review. But when I read the description on the back of the ARC I knew this would be a book I’d want in my collection and so I pre-ordered it. And while I have it on the pile to read this week, I haven’t decided whether to read the ARC or the finished copy or both.

    Either way, I can’t wait to meet Nathan and see just how being half bad affects his life. I’m curious to see whether he’s able to escape from his imprisonment and whether being treated cruelly will turn him toward the darker or lighter side of his nature.

    The description promises a gripping story of a character whose will to survive is strong and I can’t wait to dive in on Tuesday.

    Description…

    A stunning, magical debut. An international sensation.

    In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

    In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.

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    Let the Storm Break

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    LET THE STORM BREAK by Shannon Messenger will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 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 400 pages.

    LET THE STORM BREAK is the second book in Author Shannon Messenger’s Let the Sky Fall series. The third book in the series is currently untitled.

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    I feel like it was just yesterday that the first book in this series was releasing, so I’m totally surprised that LET THE STORM BREAK is releasing this week and that my copy will be downloading to my Kindle on Tuesday. LET THE SKY FALL was one of the books I was anxiously awaiting and I’m heartbroken that I haven’t had the chance to read it yet.

    But now that the sequel is releasing there’s no way I’m going to wait much longer to read both of these books. I want to meet Vane and Audra. I want to find out whether Audra is able to keep him safe from their enemy. I want to find out what the consequences of their forbidden romance are.

    Even though I have this book pre-ordered, I have not read the description for fear of spoilers. But if it sounds half as exciting as the first book does, then I will be totally stoked to be able to read both books back-to-back later this month.

    Description…

    Whirlwind romance and breathtaking action continues in the sequel to Let the Sky Fall, which Becca Fitzpatrick called “charged and romantic.” 

    Vane Weston is haunted. By the searing pull of his bond to Audra. By the lies he’s told to cover for her disappearance. By the treacherous winds that slip into his mind, trying to trap him in his worst nightmares. And as his enemies grow stronger, Vane doesn’t know how much longer he can last on his own.

    But Audra’s still running. From her past. From the Gales. Even from Vane, who she doesn’t believe she deserves. And the farther she flees, the more danger she finds. She possesses the secret power her enemy craves, and protecting it might be more than she can handle—especially when she discovers Raiden’s newest weapon.

    With the Gale Force weakened by recent attacks, and the power of four collapsing, Vane and Audra are forced to make a choice: keep trusting the failing winds, or turn to the people who’ve betrayed them before. But even if they survive the storms sent to destroy them, will they have anything left to hold on to?

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    16ThingsIThoughtWereTrue

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    16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in paperback 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 304 pages.

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    I only recently learned that Janet Gurtler’s latest novel, 16 THINGS I THOUGHT WERE TRUE was releasing this week. But when I did, I immediately ran to Amazon to pre-order it for my Kindle.

    This story sounds absolutely delightful and sweet and a little bit sad. I love the hashtag and am curious to learn what 13 other things Morgan thought were true.

    It’s been awhile since I read a road trip story and I’m so in the mood to do so right now. Plus, I’m really curious to find out about this “fake girlfriend” the description mentions. So I hope I’ll be able to sneak this onto the pile next week.

    Description…

    Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue

    When Morgan’s mom gets sick, it’s hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn’t as far away as she thought…

    Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue

    Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan’s getting to know the real Adam, and he’s actually pretty sweet…in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?

    5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue

    With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She’s not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend…and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can’t imagine living without.

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    Dangerous

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    DANGEROUS by Shannon Hale will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens, the print edition is 416 pages.

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    DANGEROUS is a book I only just discovered is releasing but one I just had to pre-order for my collection. While I haven’t yet read anything by Author Shannon Hale, I was intrigued by this book’s title and its description.

    I am curious about just what this plot is that killed Maisie’s friends, that threatens her life and that is “changing life on Earth as we know it.” I want to know what role she plays and why she’s the only thing keeping “danger and annihilation” at bay.

    The description is very cryptic, which is probably the main reason this has piqued my interest. But the fact that Maisie’s middle name is Danger is also something that has made me super curious about this story. Of course, the cover being really awesome plays more than a small part in why I just had to have this book, knowing so very little about it.

    I hope to change that early next month when I think I have some time to sneak this onto the pile.

    Description…

    Maisie Danger Brown just wanted to get away from home for a bit, see something new. She never intended to fall in love. And she never imagined stumbling into a frightening plot that kills her friends and just might kill her, too. A plot that is already changing life on Earth as we know it. There’s no going back. She is the only thing standing between danger and annihilation.

    From NY Times bestselling author Shannon Hale comes a novel that asks, How far would you go to save the ones you love? And how far would you go to save everyone else?

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    The Assassin's Blade

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    THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE by Sarah J. Maas will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens, the print edition is 464 pages.

    THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE is a bind-up of all five of the Throne of Glass novellas. HEIR OF FIRE, the third full-length novel in the series, is slated for release on September 2, 2014.

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    I probably own all five of the Throne of Glass novellas already, but I just had to pre-order this bind-up, THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE, for my Kindle. Because I haven’t yet had a chance to read them all, and this way I’ll be able to read them all back-to-back without having to search.

    Which also means I’ll be more likely to read all of them.

    I love this series by Author Sarah J. Maas. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, which is coming this September. But this release of the novellas in one full volume, which is apparently over 450 pages, will be the perfect way to tide me over until then… or make me more anxious for its release. The latter statement being more likely.

    And while I would love to read these the instant they download, I think I should probably wait just a bit longer, so that the wait for the next book in this series won’t be nearly as torturous. Though with the eclectic reading mood I’ve been in, I have a feeling this will be on the pile very, very soon.

    Description…

    Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, she’s sworn to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer for hire, Sam.

    In these action-packed prequel novellas to Throne of Glass, Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and avenge tyranny. But by acting on her own terms, will Celaena truly free herself from her master, or will she suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery?

    This bind-up features all five e-novellas, available in print for the first time!

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    Novellas

    The Blue-haired BoyTHE BLUE-HAIRED BOY (A Faking Normal Story) by Courtney C. Stevens

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: HarperTeen

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Set before the events of Courtney C. Stevens’s debut novel, Faking Normal, this digital short story focuses on Bodee Lennox, otherwise known as the Kool-Aid Kid.

    Bodee Lennox has secrets. About where he got the four-inch scar on his leg. About the bruises on his back. About what it’s really like to live in the Lennox household. These are things he doesn’t share with anyone . . . until he meets Gerry, a girl with bright-green hair and a smile the size of Alaska. When Gerry falls out of a bus in Rickman, Tennessee, and lands at Bodee’s feet, she gives Bodee two things he desperately needs: a friend and a chance to leave Rickman behind, even if it’s just for a few hours.

    He joins Gerry on her epic bus trip for as far as his money will take him. And by the end of the day, more of Bodee has changed than just the color of his hair.

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    The Art of GoodbyeTHE ART OF GOODBYE (Where I Belong #1.5) by Gwendolyn Heasley

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: HarperTeen

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    The heroine of Where I Belong is back in The Art of Goodbye, a romantic digital original novella about first loves and second chances.

    It’s Corrinne Corcoran’s last night in town before heading off to college, and she’s determined it’ll be the most epic night ever. She’s planned every detail of each hour of the night, from what dresses she’ll wear, to what parties she’ll hit, to which of her best friends will be with her. But Corrinne’s perfect plan for her last night in New York goes awry when she runs into a ghost from her past, and the boy she’s never been able to forget—her ex-boyfriend, Bubby, from Broken Spoke. And Corrinne starts to wonder if her expertly planned goodbye to New York City was as perfect as it seemed. . . . Set over the twelve-hour period before Corrinne sets off for college, The Art of Goodbye will make you believe that true love can find you when you’re least expecting it . . . again.

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    Other Books of Note

    CuredCURED (Stung #2) by Bethany Wiggins

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: Walker Childrens

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Now that Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, are no longer beasts, they set out to find their mother, with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor, Jacqui. Heading for a safe settlement rumored to be in Wyoming, they plan to spread the cure along the way–until they are attacked by raiders. Luckily, they find a new ally in Kevin, who saves them and leads them to safety in his underground shelter. But the more they get to know Kevin, the more they suspect he has ties to the raiders. He also seems to know too many details about Jacqui and her family—details that could endanger them all. For the raiders will do anything they can to destroy the cure that would bring an end to their way of life. Bethany Wiggins’s reimagining of our world after an environmental catastrophe won’t fail to stun readers.

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    The Nightmare DilemmaTHE NIGHTMARE DILEMMA (The Arkwell Academy #2) by Mindee Arnett

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: Tor Teen

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn’t make her life even remotely easy. When one of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school’s jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime, Dusty’s as shocked as everybody else. Lance needs Dusty to prove his innocence by finding the real attacker, but that’s easier asked than done. Eli’s dreams are no help, more nightmares than prophecies.

    To make matters worse, Dusty’s ex-boyfriend has just been acquitted of conspiracy and is now back at school, reminding Dusty of why she fell for him in the first place. The Magi Senate needs Dusty to get close to him, to discover his real motives. But this order infuriates Eli, who has started his own campaign for Dusty’s heart.

    As Dusty takes on both cases, she begins to suspect they’re connected to something bigger. And there’s something very wrong with Eli’s dreams, signs that point to a darker plot than they could have ever imagined.

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    The HavenTHE HAVEN by Carol Lynch Williams

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    For the teens at The Haven, the outside world, just beyond the towering stone wall that surrounds the premises, is a dangerous unknown. It has always been this way, ever since the hospital was established in the year 2020. But The Haven is more than just a hospital; it is their home. It is all they know. Everything is strictly monitored: education, exercise, food, and rest. The rules must be followed to keep the children healthy, to help control the Disease that has cast them as Terminals, the Disease that claims limbs and lungs—and memories.

    But Shiloh is different; she remembers everything. Gideon is different, too. He dreams of a cure, of rebellion against the status quo. What if everything they’ve been told is a lie? What if The Haven is not the safe place it claims to be? And what will happen if Shiloh starts asking dangerous questions?

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    Broken StringsBROKEN STRINGS by Maria Farrer

    Pub. Date: March 6, 2014

    Publisher: Scholastic

    Find It: AMAZON

    Description:

    It is the story of a brilliant young violinist, her determination and struggle to achieve her dreams and the discovery that she is at the center of an extraordinary secret that has pulled apart her family for two generations. Jess, a talented 17-year-old violinist, suffers from stage-fright as she auditions for a place at a prestigious music school. Her family do not have enough money for her to continue to study so when she fails, she vows not to play again. Until her wealthy grandmother – estranged from her family since Jess’s mother fell pregnant – shows up at their doorstep and promises six months of tuition in exchange for Jess moving to live with her. Once ensconced in her grandmother’s rich, but empty, life she starts to uncover the mystery of why her grandmother never spoke to her mother again, and the secret which tore her family apart.

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    Wicked Little SecretsWICKED LITTLE SECRETS (Prep School Confidential #2) by Kara Taylor

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Anne Dowling becomes entangled in a web of secrets involving a missing student and a conspiracy at Wheatley Prep in this fast-paced, juicy follow-up to Prep School Confidential

    Anne Dowling—a fresh, original, and funny new YA heroine whose knowing, irreverent voice will remind readers of Pretty Little Liars and Private—is back for her second semester at Wheatley Prep. Although things have settled (somewhat) since her roommate Isabella’s death, Anne’s still kind of obsessed with the disappearance of Wheatley student Matthew Weaver thirty years ago, since she found a picture of him and his crewmates with the words “they killed him” scrawled on the back among Isabella’s things.

    When Anne learns that her boyfriend Brent’s dad is one of the now-powerful Wheatley alumni who rowed crew with Matthew, and that the crew team continues to induct new members with a creepy-sounding ritual called “The Drop,” she knows further investigation could put her relationship with Brent in danger. Determined to discover the truth, she reaches out to Anthony, Isabella’s townie brother, who helps her delve deeper into the secrets in Wheatley’s past. Secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. As the school’s Spring Formal—and its notorious afterparty—approaches, Anne sees the perfect opportunity to do some off-campus digging into the lives of Wheatley’s VIPs in this thrilling, unputdownable read—but if she’s not careful, she’ll be the next student who never comes back.

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    A Death-Struck YearA DEATH-STRUCK YEAR by Makiia Lucier

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    A deadly pandemic, a budding romance, and the heartache of loss make for a stunning coming-of-age teen debut about the struggle to survive during the 1918 flu.

    For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country–that’s how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode–and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can’t ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can’t help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

    Riveting and well-researched, A Death-Struck Year is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history. Readers will be captured by the suspenseful storytelling and the lingering questions of: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?
    An afterword explains the Spanish flu phenomenon, placing it within the historical context of the early 20th century. Source notes are extensive and interesting.

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    Searching for BeautifulSEARCHING FOR BEAUTIFUL by Nyrae Dawn

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: Entangled Teen

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Before, Brynn had a group of best friends, a loving boyfriend, a growing talent for pottery. She had a life. And after…she had none.

    When Brynn lost the boyfriend who never loved her, the friends who feel she betrayed their trust, and the new life just beginning to grow inside her, she believes her future is as empty as her body. But then Christian, the boy next door, starts coming around. Playing his guitar and pushing her to create art once more. She meets some new friends at the local community center, plus even gets her dad to look her in the eye again…sort of.

    But can Brynn open up her heart to truly find her life’s own beauty, when living for the after means letting go of the before?

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    Sing Sweet NightingaleSING SWEET NIGHTINGALE by Erica Cameron

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Mariella Teagen hasn’t spoken a word in four years.

    She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

    Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

    Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

    Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella’s life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.

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    Knight AssassinKNIGHT ASSASSIN by Rima Jean

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: Entangled Teen

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Seventeen-year-old Zayn has special powers she cannot control—powers that others fear and covet. Powers that cause the Templar Knights to burn Zayn’s mother at the stake for witchcraft. When a mysterious stranger tempts Zayn to become the first female member of the heretical Assassins, the chance to seek her revenge lures her in. She trains to harness her supernatural strength and agility, and then enters the King of Jerusalem’s court in disguise with the assignment to assassinate Guy de Molay, her mother’s condemner. But once there, she discovers Earic Goodwin, the childhood friend who still holds her heart, among the knights—and his ocean-blue eyes don’t miss a thing. Will vengeance be worth the life of the one love she has left?

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    Divergent Illustrated Movie CompanionDIVERGENT Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Kate Egan

    Pub. Date: March 4, 2014

    Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

    Find It: AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    The #1 New York Times bestselling novel Divergent is soon to be a major motion picture in theaters March 2014!

    With never-before-seen photos; personal interviews with the directors, actors, and writers; and exclusive extras, this lush, oversize volume is a true behind-the-scenes look at the filming of Divergent.

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    Other Releases

    DIVERGENT THINKING: YA Authors on Veronica Roth’s Divergent Trilogy by Leah Wilson

    MAFIA GIRL by Deborah Blumenthal

    EMILIE AND THE SKY WORLD (Emilie #2) by Martha Wells

    THE RAVEN QUEEN (Feral Child) by Che Golden

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    I have eleven books and two novellas pre-ordered this week. So it’s another insane week for releases and a cruel week for my wallet. But at least this week I’ve read four of the books being added to my collection. So that’s just six full-length novels, a five novella bind-up and two novellas for the TBR. That’s not too bad… right?

    Of course, as THE HAVEN sounds amazing and I’m really curious about A DEATH-STRUCK YEAR, I think I’ll be adding at least two more books to the collection this week. So… maybe not so good for the TBR. Oh well.

    Anyway, as this post is crazy long already and is more than a little bit late getting posted, I will stop rambling now. But as ever, I wish you a happy bookish acquiring and reading week this week!

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    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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    My Reading Pile #123

    It was a very quiet, but very awesome, week at the mailbox. I’ve been hoping the books I traded for would arrive, but sadly I guess they were not yet shipped. Which is a huge bummer.

    And I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll receive a book for an upcoming tour I’m on. Though I’m not entirely certain one is forthcoming. But at least it gives me incentive to check the mailbox, which, given its proximity to my home, I don’t check all that frequently.

    But the book I did receive was awesome. Amazing. Of the OH EM GEE variety. One of my best mailbox weeks all summer.

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    [Credit for mailbox sharing goes to The Story Siren]

    Thanks to Kt of A Book Obsession, I have a copy of BITING BAD by Chloe Neill. And I was so unbelievably thrilled I received it and didn’t have to wait for its release that I may have shoved all books off the pile to devour it this week.

    I do not make Merit and a certain Master Vampire wait on the pile. Never. It is not an option.

    I didn’t get any new approvals for eARCs from either NetGalley or Edelweiss, though I did get one rejection for a request I put in months ago due to quotas being met.

    And I was absolutely thrilled to see a book I’m very much interested in available on Edelweiss on Friday – Gena Showalter’s THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS. Though my approval status on that is still TBD. It happens to be one of the books I traded for, but as it’s very possible I’ll never see that copy, I had to try for the eARC. A request which, in my haste, I mucked up by hitting send without adding in the additional message. Great.

    It’s also very possible that Friday’s mail delivered all sorts of good things. But as I hadn’t checked it at the time of preparing this post, anything I might have received will have to wait for next week’s post. My fingers are still very much crossed.

    ***

    As the book I received this week had already been added to the “currently reading” pile and moved to the “read” pile, I found two new books to read. And they are…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.
    (July 21, 2013 – July 27, 2013)

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    First up on the pile is PANIC by Lauren Oliver. I received the eARC from HarperCollins via Edelweiss last week and I know I should wait to read it, but I can’t. I went so far as to peek inside, got to reading the letter from the author and found myself devouring the first few pages.

    And now I can’t stop. I have to keep reading. I have to know more. I have to find out what happens to Heather and Dodge. I have to see how things will play out in this game of Panic.

    I may be a little bit obsessed. Of course because this book isn’t releasing for ages, I won’t be sharing my thoughts in the form of a review any time soon. But sometimes reading just to enjoy an amazing book is all that is needed. And that’s exactly what I plan on doing with PANIC this week.

    Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

    Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

    Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

    For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

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    Right of Way

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    Next up on the pile is RIGHT OF WAY by Lauren Barnholdt. I know I have a million and one review books that I should be reading this week, but I don’t want another week to pass by before I check out this companion book by the author. When it downloaded to my Kindle the other week it was a fight not to read it immediately.

    It’s summer and I need to take a road trip with Peyton and Jace. I need to find out if being stuck together on their journey will help to fix whatever has gone wrong between them. I need to find out whether they are ready for whatever it is that’s “coming on the road ahead.”

    I need to find out whether their love story does end happily or if whatever broke them in the first place is too much to overcome. And I need to find this out later this week.

    Can a road trip repair a romance gone wrong? Find out in this standalone companion to Lauren Barnholdt’s Two-way Street.

    Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.

    Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.

    Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead…

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    Wishful Thinking Reads:

    DECEPTION by C.J. Redwine is my wishful thinking read this week. I ended up going off-pile last weekend and reading DEFIANCE and I fell madly in love. And of course I wanted to continue the story. After the way things ended in that book, how could I not want to? But as I don’t have this sequel just yet, reading it is only a wish. A wish I keep making every single day.

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    Those Left Behind:

    As I might have just mentioned, I went a little bit off-pile this past week. I read DEFIANCE by C.J. Redwine and BITING BAD by Chloe Neill instead of the two books I had on the pile last week. Though I am currently reading OF BEAST AND BEAUTY, which I hope to finish this weekend or at the very latest on Monday.

    But I got little else done. Due to some rather ill-timed health issues – are they ever well-timed? – I found myself unable to read or spend any real time on the computer for much of this week. And as my brain was all sorts of fuzzy, I couldn’t even blindly type my reviews on my Mac Air. I can only imagine how dreadful they’d be if I was able to sit and compose them.

    I’m so thankful for Good Books and Good Wine’s Book Blogger Challenge this past week, or I might have had a very empty blog. But I’m hopeful that this week I’ll be able to write and post a few of those lingering reviews and catch up on a few books I’ve been anxious to finish – CONSUME, 3:59, WILD CARDS.

    I am, ever and always, hopeful.

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    NetGalley Pile Adds & Finds:

    I stayed away from NetGalley this past week. I was offline for most of the week, actually. But I did check in so that I could prepare this post and found a few titles that sound interesting. And they are…

    WATER by Natasha Hardy (Harlequin UK Limited, Aug 16 2013)

    THE OUTSIDE by Laura Bickle (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group, Sep 3 2013)

    LIVING WITH JACKIE CHAN by Jo Knowles (Candlewick Press, Sep 10 2013)

    CHERRY MONEY BABY by John M. Cusick (Candlewick Press, Sep 10 2013)

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    When feeling poorly I don’t feel guilty for not reading and reviewing. I don’t feel bad for neglecting my TBR pile. That was me this past week. Though I have a feeling I’m going to feel awfully guilty when I feel better next week. And then panic will set in.

    But that’s okay. Because maybe reading PANIC will keep my mind off the lower case panic I’ll be feeling, before it gets too bad. Anyway….

    I am super stoked to have two amazing books on the pile this week. I’m just as excited to finish my current read and potentially catch up on some past due reads. And if I’m lucky I’ll get the chance to write a review or three before the week ends. But that remains to be determined.

    I hope that your bookish week was awesome and that your plans for the week ahead are even more so. And I hope that your mailbox wasn’t empty and that the books on the pile are ones you want to read.

    If you’d like to share your bookish plans or your bookish good fortune, leave a comment. I’d love to know what you’ve received and are reading this week!

    ***

    Do you create a reading pile?
    If so, what’s in your pile this week?

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