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Sarah Beth Durst

    Review: JOURNEY ACROSS THE HIDDEN ISLANDS

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    Title: JOURNEY ACROSS THE HIDDEN ISLANDS
    Author: Sarah Beth Durst
    Release date: April 4, 2017
    Publisher: Clarion Books
    Pages: 352
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    The traditional Emperor’s Journey is meant to be uneventful. But as the princesses Seika and Ji-Lin—twin sisters—travel to pay respects to their kingdom’s dragon guardian, unexpected monsters appear and tremors shake the earth. The Hidden Islands face unprecedented threats, and the old rituals are failing. With only their strength, ingenuity, and flying lion to rely on, can the sisters find a new way to keep their people safe?

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    Note: This review is based on an ARC received from the author in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.


    The Review

    JOURNEY ACROSS THE HIDDEN ISLANDS is an absolutely wonderful, magical, and heartwarming tale that takes readers on an epic, perilous, monster-filled adventure with two sisters and a winged lion. It is exciting and enchanting and amusing and imaginative. It delivers a number of positive messages about conquering fear, growing up, letting go, being understanding, and being responsible. It is a gripping and enthralling story that can and will be enjoyed by readers of any age.

    Ji-Lin missed her sister desperately. As much as she loved training to become a warrior so that she could protect Seika, she wished they didn’t have to be separated for so long. So when she first learned that she would get to go home for a visit, she was thrilled. But when she discovered that the reason for the visit was so that she could accompany Seika on the Emperor’s Journey, her excitement turned to anxiety. Because she wasn’t quite sure she was ready for such an important task.

    Seika followed every rule and did everything she was asked, unlike her sister, Ji-Lin. But when her father, the emperor, told her that it was time for her to do her duty for Himitsu and take the journey to the island’s guardian to renew their bargain, she wasn’t certain she was adequately prepared to honor tradition. She was told the path would be easy, but she had never been away from home before. And she certainly never had to come face-to-face with a dragon.

    Sarah Beth Durst created a story that is delightful and interesting and fun and funny. She introduces two very likable twin sisters with very different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. She tests their fortitude, their ingenuity, their compassion, and their loyalty. And she takes them on a trek through a world that is fraught with danger – but she doesn’t make them go on it alone.

    They are joined by Alejan, Ji-Lin’s friend and protector, an incredibly adorable winged lion who is equally as interested in sharing stories about his idol, Master Shai, as he is in talking about his next meal. And by a boy who they can’t decide whether he’s more of an interloper or a valuable traveling companion.

    Sea monsters and pirate-like ships, earthquakes and abandoned villages, bargains and betrayals, heroes and princesses, JOURNEY ACROSS THE HIDDEN ISLANDS has it all and then some. And with a few unexpected twists thrown in, it promises to be a thoroughly engaging and immensely entertaining read.

    The Rating


    About Sarah Beth Durst

    Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of eleven fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults, including Drink Slay Love, the basis for the upcoming TV movie of the same name, airing on Lifetime in 2017. Her latest book for adults, The Queen of Blood, came out in September 2016 from Harper Voyager, and her next book for kids, Journey Across the Hidden Islands, comes out in April 2017 from HMH/Clarion Books. Sarah won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times.

    Sarah was born in Northboro, Massachusetts, a small town that later became the setting for her debut novel. At the age of ten, she decided she wanted to be a writer. (Before that, she wanted to be Wonder Woman, except with real flying ability instead of an invisible jet. She also would have accepted a career as a unicorn princess.) And she began writing fantasy stories. She attended Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat.

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    Review: THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM

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    Title: THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM
    Author: Sarah Beth Durst
    Release date: November 3, 2015
    Publisher: Clarion Books
    Pages: 384
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    Sophie loves the hidden shop below her parents’ bookstore, where dreams are secretly bought and sold. When the dream shop is robbed and her parents go missing, Sophie must unravel the truth to save them. Together with her best friend—a wisecracking and fanatically loyal monster named Monster—she must decide whom to trust with her family’s carefully guarded secrets. Who will help them, and who will betray them?

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


    The Review

    THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM is a positively delightful, imaginative, sweet, funny, and incredibly entertaining read. From its interesting premise, to its quirky and eccentric and amusing characters, to its captivating mystery and its exciting adventure, it is an enchanting story that will appeal to readers of all ages.

    And with an adorable, cupcake-loving, furry, tentacled and oh-so-clever monster, a brave, determined, and strong-willed heroine, a glittery and haughty, but helpful pegasus who poops rainbows, several ninja bunnies, and a boy whose dreams could change everything, there will be smiles, laughs, and even a few tears.

    Add in a dream shop hidden beneath a bookstore, two lovable, if a little bit silly, parents, a suspicious customer who calls himself Mr. Nightmare, a theft, a kidnapping, and a few nightmarish creatures come to life, and you have a slightly creepy, totally thrilling, absolutely heartwarming, utter gem of a read.

    Sarah Beth Durst created a marvelously outlandish world in THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM filled with some wonderful and rather unusual creatures and some truly bizarre and disturbing ones. She introduced positive messages throughout her story, about family and friendship, about letting people in, about being different, about making assumptions and judgments, about being brave and doing the right thing.

    Sophie may be the story’s heroine, but it is only with her best friend, Monster, her new friend Ethan, an unlikely ally, and several non-threatening creatures that she will be able to find out what happened to her parents and find a way to save them. The author shows that working together is better than going it alone, and that being different doesn’t mean being unlikable.

    THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM is inventive. And magical. And smart. And humorous. And unique. It will make you wish you were a non-dreamer like Sophie who could dream a best friend like Monster into your life. It will make you wish your family had their very own secret dream shop filled with all sorts of bottled dreams.

    It is a fantastic, one-sit-read that will make you want to read it again and again.

    The Rating

    05


    About Sarah Beth Durst

    DURST_AuthorPhoto_HighRes

    Sarah Beth Durst is the author of nine fantasy novels for children, teens, and adults, including ConjuredVessel, and Ice. Her next middle-grade novel, The Girl Who Could Not Dream, is scheduled for release in fall 2015 from HMH/Clarion Books, and her next novel for adults, The Queen of Blood, comes out in fall 2016 from Harper Voyager. Sarah was awarded the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times.

    Sarah was born in Northboro, Massachusetts, a small town that later became the setting for her debut novel. At the age of ten, she decided she wanted to be a writer. (Before that, she wanted to be Wonder Woman, except with real flying ability instead of an invisible jet. She also would have accepted a career as a unicorn princess.) And she began writing fantasy stories. She attended Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and two children.

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    Interview with THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM Author Sarah Beth Durst + Giveaway

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    I am thrilled to be able to welcome Author Sarah Beth Durst to the blog for a Q&A on the release day for her newest novel, THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM. It is an absolutely delightful and engaging and fun-to-read middle grade story with an easy to love heroine and an adorable monster.

    The cover alone may be enough to make you want to read this book. But once you read what the author has to say about her story and characters in the interview, you will definitely want to find out more about the dream shop, meet Sophie and Monster, and discover what sorts of adventures they have.

    As I loved this book – my review to post later this week – I am offering a copy up for giveaway. So if you’d like the chance to win, after checking out the Q&A, scroll down to enter in the Rafflecopter.

    First, though, here’s some information about THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM.


    About THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM

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    Add to Goodreads

    Title: THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM
    Author: Sarah Beth Durst
    Release date: November 3, 2015
    Publisher: Clarion Books
    Pages: 384
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Read an EXCERPT

    Description…

    Sophie loves the hidden shop below her parents’ bookstore, where dreams are secretly bought and sold. When the dream shop is robbed and her parents go missing, Sophie must unravel the truth to save them. Together with her best friend—a wisecracking and fanatically loyal monster named Monster—she must decide whom to trust with her family’s carefully guarded secrets. Who will help them, and who will betray them?

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


    The Interview

    Q&A with Sarah Beth Durst

    Q. How would you describe THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM in 15 words or less?

    A girl, her best friend (a loyal and cupcake-loving monster), and a secret dream shop.

    Q. What are the most valuable dreams that are bought and sold in the dream shop?

    The more vivid the dream, the more expensive.  Crystal-clear happy dreams sell the best: strolling beside a jewel-blue ocean, taking a curtain call as a Broadway star, landing on the moon…  Flying dreams are always in demand (extra bonus if the dreamer didn’t crash into a mountainside).  Food dreams sell well.  People even buy bad food dreams: pizza with live fish, peanut butter and ketchup smoothies, spaghetti that transforms into worms.  And exquisitely-scary monster dreams are very popular with the horror-moving crowd.

    Q. What is it about Monster (or about Sophie) that makes Sophie want to befriend him versus run screaming from him when they first meet?

    She’s lonely.  Her family owns a secret dream shop, and Sophie has been keeping this massive secret her entire life.  It’s hard to make friends when you feel as though you aren’t allowed to ever fully trust anyone.  So when she meets Monster inside a dream (he’s from a classic monster-in-the-closet dream), she’s thrilled to have someone to talk to who already knows her secret.

    Plus he’s really fuzzy.  Kind of like a large house cat.  With six tentacles.

    Q. Aside from Sophie, who was your favorite character to create and write about in THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM and why were they a favorite?

    Definitely Monster.  I knew his voice from the instant I sat down to write this book.  Usually I discover characters as I write, developing their voice and so forth, but with Monster… he came fully formed.  And hungry.

    Q. If you knew of a hidden dream shop, would you have only stolen one dream like Sophie did or might you have been more curious?

    If there were a dream shop near me, I’d be there daily, buying up any dream with a dragon or a griffin or a unicorn or a magical-whatever.  I love dreams, especially the fantastical ones that come with plots and villains and victories.

    Q. What was your favorite aspect of writing a middle-grade novel?

    I love that you can be silly and sincere at the same time in a middle-grade novel.  You can laugh and cry without any of the self-conscious self-awareness that often comes with an older protagonist.  I do love writing for teens and adults as well and they come with their own unique joys, but this is something special about writing MG.

    Q. What was the biggest challenge you faced when writing THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM?

    Saying goodbye.  I know I’m supposed to feel victorious when I finish a novel, but by that point I have fallen so in love with the characters and feel so immersed in the world that letting go is surprisingly hard.  I always feel this sense of loss when I’m done.  My solution is to dive into the next story.  And console myself with the thought that soon other people will get to meet Sophie and Monster too!

    Thanks so much for interviewing me!

    Fiktshun: Thank you so much for answering all my questions about your lovely new book!


    About Sarah Beth Durst

    DURST_AuthorPhoto_HighRes

    Sarah Beth Durst is the author of nine fantasy novels for children, teens, and adults, including ConjuredVessel, and Ice. Her next middle-grade novel, The Girl Who Could Not Dream, is scheduled for release in fall 2015 from HMH/Clarion Books, and her next novel for adults, The Queen of Blood, comes out in fall 2016 from Harper Voyager. Sarah was awarded the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times.

    Sarah was born in Northboro, Massachusetts, a small town that later became the setting for her debut novel. At the age of ten, she decided she wanted to be a writer. (Before that, she wanted to be Wonder Woman, except with real flying ability instead of an invisible jet. She also would have accepted a career as a unicorn princess.) And she began writing fantasy stories. She attended Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and two children.

    WEBSITE | BLOGTWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


    The Giveaway

    giveaway

    I am giving away a copy of THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM to ONE winner

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • There will be ONE winner
    • Giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships
    • Prize will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
    • Giveaway will be open until November 13th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
    • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and notified by email
    • Winner has 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

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    Interview with CHASING POWER Author Sarah Beth Durst + Giveaway

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    I am so excited to welcome Author Sarah Beth Durst back to the blog on CHASING POWER‘s release date, with a Q&A in which I ask her a number of questions about her new (and awesome) book. I absolutely loved CHASING POWER – its characters, the story, the writing – and I am thrilled that it is releasing today and that everyone will get the chance to read it and meet Kayla, Daniel and Selena and embark upon an exciting quest.

    If you’d like to take a peek inside, the author has an excerpt on her website. The link is included just below the book’s description.

    And, if you’d like the chance to win a copy of CHASING POWER, I am offering up a copy for giveaway. The Rafflecopter follows at the end of the post.

    I can’t thank Sarah Beth Durst enough for allowing me to ask so many questions and for answering them all. If you’d like to hear about CHASING POWER’s characters and their abilities, why quests are so appealing to write about, and more, be sure to check out the interview which follows below the book’s description.


    About Chasing Power

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    Title: CHASING POWER
    Author: Sarah Beth Durst
    Release date: October 14, 2014
    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
    Pages: 376
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook

    Description…

    Sixteen-year-old Kayla was born with the ability to move things with her mind-things like credit cards and buttons on cash registers-and she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again . . . which would mean grave danger for them both.

    When she’s caught stealing by a boy named Daniel-a boy with the ability to teleport-he needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel’s kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family-and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive . . . or survive.

    To read an EXCERPT on the author’s website, CLICK HERE.

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    The Interview

    Interview with Sarah Beth Durst

    Q. The main characters in CHASING POWER have two very interesting abilities – telekinesis and teleportation. What are some of the benefits and drawbacks for Kayla and Daniel in having these powers? Have they been more harmful or helpful to them?

    Benefits: the awesomeness. Move things with your mind? Travel anywhere in the world in mere seconds without any airline fees? Yes, and yes.

    Drawbacks: the danger. Any time anyone has an unusual power, it opens them up to being exploited by others. Remember “Escape to Witch Mountain”? (And if you don’t, go watch. Just try not to be too critical of the special effects.)

    Q. Are there any other characters with abilities in the story? And if so, could you give us a tease as to what we might expect?

    Yes. Kayla’s mother Moonbeam projects a very flighty kind of image. But all the cheesy amulets and charms are the perfect disguise for the bits of magic that really work. She’s cultivated this image quite deliberately, to hide from Kayla’s father.

    Q. Your characters in CHASING POWER embark upon a quest. This is not the first story you’ve written in which you send your characters on a mission. What is it about a quest that holds an appeal for you as a writer?

    I love quests! Always have. For me, reading a book always feels like going on a journey, and a quest deliberately mirrors that. Plus quests are fun. And I think books should be fun.*

    (* Not all books, of course. People read for lots of different reasons, and books exist to fill lots of different needs. But I think one of those reasons and one of those needs is to have fun and to escape whatever in life is hurting you, at least for a little while.)

    Q. The description for CHASING POWER reveals three things that define Kayla’s life – “lies, secrets, and magic.” Can you give us a hint as to what some of those are or how and why they do?

    Kayla’s life is built on all three things. She’s living with her mother under false identities, hiding from her father. They fled from him after he killed Kayla’s older sister. Lies, secrets, and magic are what keeps her safe — and what puts her in danger.

    I know, I know, I’m being cryptic, but I don’t want to give away spoilers. 🙂

    Q. For those who have not yet met Kayla and Daniel, could you tell us a little bit more about each of them?

    Kayla has telekinesis (the ability to move things with her mind) and a very loose grasp on the concept of personal property. In other words, she’s a thief and very good at it.

    Daniel can travel instantly anywhere in the world that he’s seen. He keeps photos all over the wall of his bedroom of all the places he’s been and all the places he wants to go. We meet him when he tries to blackmail Kayla into helping him save his kidnapped mother. (He doesn’t trust that she’ll help him out of the goodness of her heart.)

    Q. What was your most challenging scene to write in CHASING POWER and what about it presented a challenge?

    The most challenging scene was the climax because I wanted it to feel just right. Revising it required spreading the pages out over the carpet and drawing huge arrows over all the pages…

    Q. The worlds you create in your stories are rich with detail and incredibly imaginative, and CHASING POWER is no different. How did you develop it? Was it something that you added to as you wrote or did you have it built from the outset?

    Thanks! I try to imagine my worlds before I begin writing, but it’s through the act of writing that I really discover them. I tend to write a lot of drafts, and in each draft, I develop more details.

    I think of it as looking into a room — first, you’re looking through a peephole. Next, you’re looking through a window. Then the door is open, and you’re peering inside. And then, in the final draft, you’re in the room and part of the story, inside the world.

    Q. I imagine there was a bit of research involved in writing this story. What was the most interesting thing you learned from your research? And were there any challenges that came up due to limitations of the characters’ abilities?

    I love research! Great excuse to read more about catacombs beneath European churches and the tombs of the Chachapoyas in Peru — I’d been wanting to use those tombs for a while now, ever since I ran across a National Geographic article about the People of the Clouds and saw pictures of tombs carved impossibly high into cliffs.

    As far as challenges… I tried to be very, very clear and careful to lay out limitations to Kayla and Daniel’s powers. Kayla can only lift very light objects, and Daniel can only travel to places he’s seen before or can see in the distance. I’ve found that setting limitations on magic can paradoxically be tremendously freeing, because it’s the limitations that give rise to possibilities for the plot.

    Q. If you could have either Kayla or Daniel’s ability, which one would you like to have, and why?

    Practically speaking, I should choose Daniel’s ability, if only to save on airfare, but Kayla’s power is so very fun…

    Q. What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

    Writing. Seriously, writing makes me happy. It’s fun. Usually. Sometimes. Okay, maybe not always “fun,” but it’s GOOD. It feels right. Even when it’s going poorly (which happens), it makes the world feel more balanced. It’s both how I define and understand myself and the world.

    Other benefits: it’s a great excuse for people-watching, researching anything, and reading everything. And if you write at home, there’s easy access to the refrigerator.

    Thanks so much for interviewing me!


    About Sarah Beth Durst

    DURST_AuthorPhoto_HighRes

    Sarah Beth Durst is the author of eight fantasy novels for teens and adults. Her YA titles include ConjuredVesselDrink Slay LoveEnchanted IvyIceOut of the Wild, and Into the Wild. Her first book for adults, The Lost, came out in June 2014 from Harlequin/Mira, and her next book for teens, Chasing Power, comes out in October 2014 from Bloomsbury. She was awarded the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times.

    Sarah was born in Northboro, Massachusetts, a small town that later became the setting for her debut novel. At the age of ten, she decided she wanted to be a writer. (Before that, she wanted to be Wonder Woman, except with real flying ability instead of an invisible jet. She also would have accepted a career as a unicorn princess.) And she began writing fantasy stories. She attended Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and two children.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | TUMBLRGOODREADS


    The Giveaway

    A hardcover copy of CHASING POWER to ONE WINNER

    • Must be 13 or older to enter
    • There will be ONE winner
    • Giveaway is international to anywhere The Book Depository ships
    • Prize will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
    • Giveaway ends October 21 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
    • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
    • Winner as 72 hours to respond or another winner will be selected

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Author Interview: Sarah Beth Durst + Giveaway

    The-Lost-Interview

    I am so excited to be able to welcome Author Sarah Beth Durst to the blog for an interview today, which just so happens to be her book THE LOST‘s release date.

    THE LOST is the first book in a new series by the author and it sounds absolutely amazing. I can’t wait for my Kindle copy to download so that I can meet Lauren Chase and learn more about this utterly fascinating world the author created.

    And I’m thrilled that I was able to learn just a little bit more about the book and its characters in today’s interview with the author. Though I’m even more delighted to be able to share this interview with all of you.

    Because I love this author’s writing and I’m so excited about this new book and series, I am offering up a copy of THE LOST for giveaway at the end of this post.

    But first – because I just can’t wait to share it – is…

    The Interview

    Q. If you had to describe THE LOST in 15 words or less, how would you describe it?

    THE LOST is about a woman trapped in a town full of only lost things and lost people.

    Q. You’ve written several books for a Young Adult audience. What made you decide to write a novel (and series) aimed at an adult audience with THE LOST?

    The story decided for me.

    Okay, yes, I know that sounds kind of mushy artsy. But I wanted to write about loss (and hope), and to tell this story, I needed a protagonist who felt empty, who had lost, who was at that point in her life where her dreams had failed to happen. So I made her in her late twenties, and that automatically made it an adult novel.

    Q. Already a successful YA author, were there any challenges in finding a home for your non-YA series? Do you feel it was more or less difficult to break into a market different from the one you were already established in?

    I feel very fortunate that I found a wonderful home for my non-YA series and a wonderful editor whom I adore. My editor, Mary-Theresa Hussey, had already read some of my YA books when I approached her with THE LOST. I submitted a chunk (I think it was 50 or 70 pages?) of the manuscript so she’d be able to see what I had in mind for the voice of the story. And luckily, it clicked with her!

    Finding the right home for any book is always a mix of research and luck.

    Q. Was the writing experience, or the approach you took, any different than how you write for YA? And if so, how?

    No different. I try very hard not to worry about whether the story is YA or adult or whatever. I find if you think about the reader too much, you can lose touch with the world you’re creating. I try to approach each story as its own world and tell it as true to the character’s voice as possible.

    Q. The description only gives a hint about the town, Lost, and its residents. What more can you tell us about Lost and the people trapped there?

    Lost is filled with only lost things and lost people… which means it doesn’t have anything that isn’t lost. So to live, people need to scavenge through the mounds of lost keys and lost socks, and then barter for what they need. I loved creating all the little details of living in a town like this. Ice cream, for example, is nearly impossible to find. But there’s no shortage of half-eaten sandwiches. Mail piles up in the post office but has no place to go. Dogs roam the alleyways. And a single red balloon always floats over the town.

    Q. Who was the most challenging (or interesting) character to write in THE LOST? And why?

    The most fun character to write was Claire, the six-year-old girl who shows up holding a teddy bear and a very sharp knife.

    The most challenging… probably Peter, the Finder. He’s been in Lost for a very long time, and he doesn’t want to care about the lost souls who come and go, but he can’t help but care. Since he’s been in Lost the longest, he is the most changed by it. In a way, he is both the most inhuman and most human of all of them.

    Q. What was your favorite scene to write in THE LOST and why?

    Probably the one where Claire first shows up, walks blithely through the mob that’s ready to kill Lauren, and guides Lauren out. I loved writing a character that’s unfazed by all the creepiness around her.

    Q. What is your favorite quote from this first book in the series? And why?

    I don’t know my favorite, but I’m fond of this moment from the first chapter, because I think it says a lot about Lauren:

    I feel like I could drive for hours… and hours and hours until the car runs out of gas in the middle of nowhere and I slowly die of dehydration while the cows lick the remaining moisture from my limp body.

    That would make for a humiliating obituary.

    Half my funeral audience would consist of family and friends, a few aunts and uncles I’d never met, neighbors who had never spoken to me (except to complain about how I always parked my car askew), friends I’d meant to have lunch with… The other half would be heifers.

    One of the joys of writing is that moment when a character’s voice just clicks for you and suddenly you know this nonexistent person. She’s real. When I wrote those rather-inconsequential lines, Lauren came to life for me.

    Q. What role does fate play in THE LOST?

    Not much, really. I believe you choose your fate.

    THE LOST is, quite literally, about being lost and finding yourself. And I think that has everything to do with what’s in a person’s heart and soul. You shape… or fail to shape… your own destiny.

    Q. As THE LOST is a series, can you give us a hint as to what we can expect not only in THE LOST but in the coming books, THE MISSING and THE FOUND?

    I don’t think you’ll expect what happens in THE MISSING and THE FOUND. I didn’t, and I wrote it. 🙂

    Seriously, these were books that didn’t follow their original outlines. They evolved as I wrote them. In THE MISSING and THE FOUND, you can expect a widening of the world inside the void. You can expect a lot more questions… and you can expect answers.

    Thanks so much for interviewing me!

    Thank you so much for answering all of these questions about your writing, your book and series. The idea of this town filled with lost people and things is so intriguing. And I love that this story is about finding oneself. I really hope that happens for Lauren.

    Claire sounds so interesting. I cannot wait to meet her. And I can’t wait to see what happens in the next two books, especially as you promise more questions and more answers.

    And I hope that today is the happiest of book birthdays for you and THE LOST.


    About Sarah Beth Durst

    DURST_AuthorPhoto_HighRes

    Sarah Beth Durst is the author of eight fantasy novels for teens and adults. Her YA titles include ConjuredVesselDrink Slay LoveEnchanted IvyIceOut of the Wild, and Into the Wild. Her first book for adults, The Lost, came out in June 2014 from Harlequin/Mira and will soon be followed by The Missing, in December 2014, and The Found, in April 2015. Sarah’s next book for teens, Chasing Power, comes out in October 2014 from Bloomsbury.

    She was awarded the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and children. Visit her at sarahbethdurst.com.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE | PINTEREST | GOODREADS


    About The Lost

    TheLostCover_HiRes

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    Series: The Lost #1
    Release date: May 27, 2014
    Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
    Pages: 352
    Formats: Paperback, eBook

    Description…

    Lost your way?

    Your dreams?

    Yourself?

    Welcome to Lost.

    It was supposed to be a small escape. A few hours driving before turning around and heading home. But once you arrive in Lost… well, it’s a place you really can’t leave. Not until you’re Found. Only the Missing Man can send you home. And he took one look at Lauren Chase and disappeared.

    So Lauren is now trapped in the town where all lost things go — luggage, keys, dreams, lives — where nothing is permanent, where the locals go feral and where the only people who don’t want to kill her are a handsome wild man called the Finder and a knife-wielding six-year-old girl. The only road out of town is engulfed by an impassable dust storm, and escape is impossible….

    Until Lauren decides nothing — and no one — is going to keep her here anymore.

    To read an excerpt, CLICK HERE.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | GOODREADS


    Other Books in the Series

    THE MISSING (The Lost #2) – releasing November 25, 2014 – AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | GOODREADS

    THE FOUND (The Lost #3) – releasing in 2015 – GOODREADS


    The Giveaway

    A paperback copy of THE LOST to ONE (1) Winner

    • Must be 18 or older to enter
    • There will be one winner
    • Giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository will ship
    • Prize will be ordered from either Amazon or The Book Depository
    • Winner will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter
    • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
    • Winner has 48 hours after notification to respond with their details

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #178

    BW-RTWnew

    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 May 27th-June 2nd that I have pre-ordered.


    City of Heavenly Fire

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    CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE by Cassandra Clare will be released in the U.S. on May 27, 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 Margaret K. McElderry Books, the print edition is 752 pages.

    CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE is the sixth and final full-length book in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series.


    CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE is my most anticipated read this week. I have been waiting forever and ever for this book’s release and I cannot wait until it downloads to my Kindle on Monday Midnight. I will be reading it the moment it arrives.

    I love this series, and I am totally heartbroken that it will be ending. But at the same time I can’t wait, as I feel like I’ve been waiting forever.

    I have not read the description, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t want to know until I read about it in the book. And while I normally take forever and ever to read a series-ending book, I don’t want to have this series’ ending spoiled for me, so I hope to be able to read it in one sitting. No matter how late I’ll have to stay up to do so.

    Description…

    ΕRCHOMAI, SEBASTIAN HAD SAID.

    I am coming.

    Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series!


    Take Me On

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    TAKE ME ON by Katie McGarry will be released in the U.S. on May 27, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Harlequin Teen, the print edition is 544 pages.

    TAKE ME ON is the fourth full-length novel in Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits series. A novella, BREAKING THE RULES, is slated for release on December 30, 2014.


    love this series by Katie McGarry. I hope it never ends. I got the chance to read TAKE ME ON just a little bit early and I love, love, loved it. So of course I can’t wait for the finished copy to download and get added to my permanent collection.

    I would love to talk about West and Haley but as I plan on posting a review just after my tour stop next week, I don’t want to ramble on here. But I will just quickly say that Katie McGarry brings her amazing writing and characters to this fourth book in the series. And it’s every bit as awesome as I’d hoped it would be.

    I adored West before I read this book, but now I adore Haley too. And while I won’t be re-reading it just yet, I will definitely be re-reading all the books in this series some day soon.

    Description…

    Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means.

    Champion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help.

    West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future.

    Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.


    The Girl with the Windup Heart
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    THE GIRL WITH THE WINDUP HEART by Kady Cross will be released in the U.S. on May 27, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Harlequin Teen, the print edition is 400 pages.

    THE GIRL WITH THE WINDUP HEART is the fourth full-length novel in Author Kady Cross’ Steampunk Chronicles.


    I had the opportunity to read THE GIRL WITH THE WINDUP HEART early but I just couldn’t bring myself to (possibly) say goodbye. As much as I want to know what’s going to happen with Finley, Griffin, Jack, Emily, Sam, Jasper and even The Machinist, I am just not ready for these characters’ stories to end.

    The finished version will be downloading to my Kindle this week and I am planning on buying a print copy for my collection. But it may take a few more weeks for me to be ready to part with this series.

    I am excited about learning more about Mila who we briefly got the chance to meet in the previous book. I’m not sure whether I’ll like her, given that Jack seems to have taken a fancy to her. But if this is really the series-ending book, I hope he gets a happily ever after. I just kind of still wish for it to be with Finley.

    I know I won’t be reading it this week, but I hope to read it in June. I really don’t want to risk having this ending spoiled for me. So I might just have to be brave. We shall see.

    Description…

    In 1897 London, a final showdown is about to begin.

    London’s underworld is no place for a young woman, even one who is strong, smart and part-automaton like Mila. But when master criminal Jack Dandy inadvertently breaks her heart, she takes off, determined to find an independent life, one entirely her own. Her search takes her to the spangled shadows of the West End’s most dazzling circus.

    Meanwhile, taken captive in the Aether, Griffin King is trapped in an inescapable prison, and at the mercy of his archenemy, The Machinist. If he breaks under the hellish torment, The Machinist will claim his powers and control of the Aether itself, and no one in either world will be safe-especially not Finley Jayne and her misfit band of friends.

    Finley plunges headlong into the Aether the only way she knows how, by temporarily dying. But she cannot parry The Machinist’s maneuvers for long. To defeat him for good, Griffin will have to confront his greatest fear and finally come face-to-face with the destructive power he wields.


    The Dark World Cover
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    THE DARK WORLD by Cara Lynn Shultz will be released in the U.S. on May 27, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Harlequin Teen, the print edition is 384 pages.

    THE DARK WORLD is the first book in Cara Lynn Shultz’s series of the same name.


    I love Cara Lynn Shultz’s writing and can’t wait for THE DARK WORLD to download to my Kindle on Tuesday. When I first heard that the author was writing a new series and that it involved demons and demon slayers, I immediately pre-ordered a copy.

    The description, which is somewhat vague, totally piqued my curiosity. But it revealed enough to make this read a must. Magic and warlocks and demons and a Dark World sound so totally awesome.

    It sounds like such a “me” book. And I can’t wait to dive in. So I hope I can manage to sneak it in next week. If not, it will definitely be the week thereafter.

    Description…

    Paige Kelly is used to weird–in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn’t fazed by Paige’s propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she’ll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that’s overrun by demons-and she might never make it home.


    Guardian
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    GUARDIAN by Alex London will be released in the U.S. on May 29, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Philomel, the print edition is 352 pages.

    GUARDIAN is the second book in Alex London’s Proxy series.


    I can’t believe that GUARDIAN, the sequel to PROXY, releases this week. I had every intention of reading the first book just before its release so that I could read both books back to back when this book downloads to my Kindle on Monday Midnight.

    I definitely have some catching up to do.

    As I don’t want to risk spoilers by reading the description, I don’t know what happened with Knox and Syd. I don’t know what happens during their flight across the country. I haven’t met the rebels.

    But I can’t wait to do so, especially now that this sequel is out. And I hope to be able to read both books in a couple of weeks.

    Description…

    The pulse-pounding sequel to Proxy! Inspired by The Whipping Boy and Feed, this adrenaline-fueled thriller will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent.

    In the new world led by the Rebooters, former Proxy Syd is the figurehead of the Revolution, beloved by some and hated by others. Liam, a seventeen-year-old Rebooter, is Syd’s bodyguard and must protect him with his life. But armed Machinists aren’t the only danger.

    People are falling ill—their veins show through their skin, they find it hard to speak, and sores erupt all over their bodies. Guardians, the violent enforcers of the old system, are hit first, and the government does nothing to help. The old elites fall next, and in the face of an indifferent government, Syd decides it’s up to him to find a cure . . . and what he discovers leaves him stunned.

    This heart-stopping thriller is packed with action, adventure, and heroics. Guardian will leave you breathless until the final page.

    A fast-paced, thrill-ride of novel full of non-stop action, heart-hammering suspense and true friendship—just as moving as it is exhilarating. Fans of Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series, James Dashner’s Maze Runner, Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking series, and Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy will be swept away by this story.


    The Lost
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    THE LOST by Sarah Beth Durst will be released in the U.S. on May 27, 2014 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Harlequin MIRA, the print edition is

    THE LOST is the first book in Sarah Beth Durst’s series of the same name. The second and third books in the series, releasing in 2014 and 2015, are entitled THE MISSING and THE FOUND.


    I am so excited about this new series by Author Sarah Beth Durst. I love her writing and can’t wait to read THE LOST when it downloads to my Kindle on Tuesday.

    While this isn’t a YA series, it sounds every bit as fascinating and thrilling as the books she’s written for the genre. I can’t wait to find out more about this town called Lost. I can’t wait to see whether Lauren is able to escape.

    The setting sounds amazing and I love stories that involve fate. And if all goes as planned, I’ll be able to get this on the pile next week.

    Description…

    Brilliantly riveting. * Thought-provoking and stirring. *

    Award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst has been praised for her captivating novels that merge the darkly imagined with very real themes of self-discovery and destiny. In The Lost, we’ll discover just what it means to lose one’s way….

    It was only meant to be a brief detour. But then Lauren finds herself trapped in a town called Lost on the edge of a desert, filled with things abandoned, broken and thrown away. And when she tries to escape, impassible dust storms and something unexplainable lead her back to Lost again and again. The residents she meets there tell her she’s going to have to figure out just what she’s missing—and what she’s running from—before she can leave. So now Lauren’s on a new search for a purpose and a destiny. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll be found….

    Against the backdrop of this desolate and mystical town, Sarah Beth Durst writes an arresting, fantastical novel of one woman’s impossible journey…and her quest to find her fate.


    Meridian
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    MERIDIAN by Josin L. McQuein will be released in the U.S. on May 27, 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 Greenwillow Books, the print edition is 464 pages.

    MERIDIAN is the second book in Josin McQuein’s Arclight series.


    I was told that I must read the first book in the series, so I added it to my collection and pre-ordered MERIDIAN. Now that both books are out I will definitely be reading them back-to-back.

    I haven’t yet met Marina, Tobin or Anne-Marie, so I don’t know whether they all survive an encounter with the Fade. And while it seems that Marina might have, I don’t know what she has become.

    I refuse to peek at the description for this book, though I am super curious. I’ll just have to wait until I can get both books on the pile to find out. I’ll just have to be patient.

    As things are a little crazy IRL and with required reads for the blog, I will have to wait just a bit before I can try to get this on the pile. But I hope to be able to do so before the end of June.

    Description…

    Marina thought that she had solved all of the Arclight’s mysteries. She had found her own history—that she was one of the Fade, that she never should have been human. She knows that the Fade who surround the Arclight don’t want to be the humans’ enemies at all. She knows that the leader of those inside the Arc, Honoria Whit, never told the whole truth. But there is so much more that Marina is just discovering. There are more survivors out there. Only Marina—and her friends, all of whom have connections to the Fade they’d never known about—can lead her people to them. But there are also darker dangers, things that even the Fade fear. And Marina slowly realizes she may never have been “cured,” after all.

    The sequel to Arclight, Meridian is an intense, action-packed page-turner about the lines we draw between right and wrong, light and dark . . . and the way nothing is ever that black and white.


    Divided
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    DIVIDED by Elsie Chapman will be released in the U.S. on May 27, 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 Random House Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 320 pages.

    DIVIDED is the second book in Elsie Chapman’s Dualed series.


    I have had DIVIDED pre-ordered since the moment I noticed it was available to order it for the Kindle. While I haven’t yet read DUALED, it was one of my most anticipated releases. So of course I had to order the sequel.

    And while I received an invite for an eARC of DIVIDED, I wasn’t able to get both books on the pile prior to DIVIDED’s release. But this is another series where I definitely plan on reading both books back-to-back, and I hope to do so mid-June.

    I can’t wait to discover this world, meet West and find out whether she’s met her Alt. I can’t wait to learn what misstep caused her to lose confidence. And I can’t wait to find out why not only her Alt, but love, can destroy her.

    Description…

    The hunter becomes the hunted. . . .

    West Grayer is done killing. She defeated her Alternate, a twin raised by another family, and proved she’s worthy of a future. She’s ready to move on with her life.

    The Board has other plans. They want her to kill one last time, and offer her a deal worth killing for. But when West recognizes her target as a ghost from her past, she realizes she’s in over her head. The Board is lying, and West will have to uncover the truth of the past to secure her future.

    How far will the Board go to keep their secrets safe? And how far will West go to save those she loves? With nonstop action and surprising twists, Elsie Chapman’s intoxicating sequel to Dualed reveals everything.


    Novellas

    Just One NightJUST ONE NIGHT (Just One Day #2.5) by Gayle Forman

    Pub. Date: May 29, 2014

    Publisher: Viking Children’s

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    After spending one life-changing day in Paris with laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter, sheltered American good girl Allyson “Lulu” Healey discovered her new lover had disappeared without a trace.

    Just One Day followed Allyson’s quest to reunite with Willem; Just One Year chronicled the pair’s year apart from Willem’s perspective.

    Now, back together at last, this delectable e-novella reveals the couple’s final chapter.


    The Best Things in DeathTHE BEST THINGS IN DEATH (The Memory Chronicles #1.5) by Lenore Appelhans

    Pub. Date: May 27, 2014

    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    In this Memory of After e-short story, Felicia and Neil share their favorite memories of falling in love with each other.

    Having recently saved Level 2 from the Morati and been reunited with her boyfriend, Felicia decides to make up some lost time with Neil before moving on to the mysterious Level 3.

    In this e-short story, Felicia and Neil share their favorite memories of falling in love with each other from their past lives on Earth.


    Tiger's PromiseTIGER’S PROMISE (The Tiger Saga #0.5) by Colleen Houck

    Pub. Date: June 1, 2014

    Publisher: CreateSpace

    Find it: AMAZON

    Description:

    Before the curse, there was a promise.

    A prequel to the bestselling Tiger’s Curse series, this much anticipated novella recalls the beginning of Ren and Kishan’s story. Before Kelsey there was a girl, raised by a villain, whose love for a hero changed the course of history.

    Trapped under the thumb of her abusive and powerful father Lokesh, Yesubai struggles to keep her own magical abilities secret while evading his dark powers. When Lokesh promises Yesubai to the prince of a neighboring kingdom, she becomes the central pawn in his plot to destroy the ruling family and take power for himself. Yesubai is trapped by her father’s threats and desperate to protect the man she comes to love, but she knows that any decision she makes will have dire consequences. As dark forces gather around her, Yesubai must decide if she’s willing to reveal that somewhere deep within her she has the power to change everything.


    Other Books of Note

    We are the GoldensWE ARE THE GOLDENS by Dana Reinhardt

    Pub. Date: May 27, 2014

    Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Nell knows a secret about her perfect, beautiful sister Layla. If she tells, it could blow their world apart.

    When Nell and Layla were little, Nell used to call them Nellaya. Because to Nell, there was no difference between where she started and her adored big sister ended. They’re a unit; divorce made them rely on each other early on, so when one pulls away, what is the other to do? But now, Nell’s a freshman in high school and Layla is changing, secretive. And then Nell discovers why. Layla is involved with one of their teachers. And even though Nell tries to support Layla, to understand that she’s happy and in love, Nell struggles with her true feelings: it’s wrong, and she must do something about it.


    PlayedPLAYED (Hooked #2) by Liz Fichera

    Pub. Date: May 27, 2014

    Publisher: Harlequin Teen

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    This Game Is Getting All Too Real

    He said: I like to keep under the radar and mostly hang out with my friends from the rez. But when I saved Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, that rich suburban princess decided to try to save me.

    She said: If I can help Sam Tracy win the heart of the girl he can’t get over, I’ll pay him back for helping me. I promised him I would, no matter what it takes.


    While We RunWHILE WE RUN (When We Wake #2) by Karen Healey

    Pub. Date: May 27, 2014

    Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Abdi Taalib thought he was moving to Australia for a music scholarship. But after meeting the beautiful and brazen Tegan Oglietti, his world was turned upside down. Tegan’s no ordinary girl – she died in 2027, only to be frozen and brought back to life in Abdi’s time, 100 years later.

    Now, all they want is for things to return to normal (or as normal as they can be), but the government has other ideas. Especially since the two just spilled the secrets behind Australia’s cryonics project to the world. On the run, Abdi and Tegan have no idea who they can trust, and when they uncover startling new details about Project Ark, they realise thousands of lives may be in their hands.

    A suspenseful, page-turning sequel to When We Wake that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and make them call into question their own ideas about morality – and mortality, too.


    Circa NowCIRCA NOW by Amber McRee Turner

    Pub. Date: May 27, 2014

    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Twelve-year-old Circa Monroe has a knack for restoring old photographs. It’s a skill she learned from her dad, who loves old pictures and putting fun digital twists on them. His altered “Shopt” photos look so real that they could fool nearly anybody, and Circa treasures the fun stories he makes up to explain each creation.

    One day, her father receives a strange phone call requesting an urgent delivery, and he heads out into a storm. The unimaginable happens: a tornado, then a terrible accident. Just as Circa and her mom begin to pick up the pieces, a mysterious boy shows up on their doorstep, a boy called Miles who remembers nothing about his past. The only thing he has with him is the photograph that Circa’s dad intended to deliver on the day he died.

    As Circa tries to help Miles recover his identity, she begins to notice something strange about the photos she and her father retouched-the digital flourishes added to the old photos seem to exist in real life. The mysteries of the Shopt photos and Miles’s past are intertwined, and in order to solve both, Circa will have to figure out what’s real and what’s an illusion.

    With stunning prose, captivating photographs, and a hint of magic, Circa Now is a gripping story full of hope and heart.


    Allies & AssassinsALLIES & ASSASSINS (Enemies of the Prince #1) by Justin Somper

    Pub. Date: May 27, 2014

    Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Sixteen-year-old Jared is the newly crowned Prince of All Archenfield, ascending the throne after his older brother’s mysterious death. But Jared feels reluctant and unprepared to rule the Princedom and its dangerous and powerful court. Like each Prince of All Archenfield before him, Jared must rely on the Council of Twelve to advise him. But he knows he can just as easily be at their mercy–especially when it appears that one of the Twelve might have orchestrated his brother’s untimely death. Propelled by his rage over the loss of his brother and wary of all his advisors, Jared can trust only Asta: a clever, strong-willed girl from the settlements, currently serving as the Physician’s apprentice. Asta and Jared take it upon themselves to hunt down his brother’s assassin–though the assassin may be hunting them, as well.

    Murder, betrayal, and intrigue abound in Justin Somper’s thrilling YA series debut. Exploring the political machinations of the medieval-esque court and the lives that hang in the balance, Allies & Assassins is a gripping tale of a teen torn between duty and revenge.


    OblivionOBLIVION by Sasha Dawn

    Pub. Date: May 27, 2014

    Publisher: EgmontUSA

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Lisa McMann’s Dead to You meets Kate Ellison’s The Butterfly Clues in a psychological thriller full of romance, intrigue, and mystery.

    One year ago, Callie was found in an abandoned apartment, scrawling words on the wall: “I KILLED HIM. His blood is on my hands. His heart is in my soul. I KILLED HIM.” But she remembers nothing of that night or of the previous thirty-six hours. All she knows is that her father, the reverend at the Church of the Holy Promise, is missing, as is Hannah, a young girl from the parish. Their disappearances have to be connected and Callie knows that her father was not a righteous man.

    Since that fateful night, she’s been plagued by graphomania — an unending and debilitating compulsion to write. The words that flow from Callie’s mind and through her pen don’t seem to make sense — until now.

    As the anniversary of Hannah’s vanishing approaches, more words and memories bubble to the surface and a new guy in school might be the key to Callie putting together the puzzle. But digging up the secrets she’s buried for so long might be her biggest mistake.


    IgnitedIGNITED (Sense Thieves #3) by Corrine Jackson

    Pub. Date: May 27, 2014

    Publisher: K-Teen

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Nobody hides forever.
    Ever since Remy O’Malley discovered her dual identity as a Healer and a Protector, she’s kept alive by staying one step ahead of both sides in this centuries-old war. Now someone’s trying to draw her out of hiding, using her kidnapped father as bait.

    To save him, Remy will need every friend she’s got. But as new alliances form, old bonds fray. Her boyfriend Asher is losing his powers, becoming more mortal every time she touches him. Meanwhile, Remy finds herself growing closer to Asher’s brother Gabe, even as a family tragedy drives her sister Lucy farther away.

    On a rescue mission to London, Remy decides she’s tired of being the hunted. It’s time to end this war once and for all, as Protectors and Healers alike hurtle towards a final, violent confrontation that not everyone will survive.


    Perfectly MessyPERFECTLY MESSY (Effortlessly With You #2) by Lizzy Charles

    Pub. Date: May 27, 2014

    Publisher: Swoon Romance

    Find it: AMAZON

    Description:

    Popularity isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Justin Marshall knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business owner, and son of Minnesota’s next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for the man he’s trying to be.

    But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen kisses and whispered promises just aren’t enough. That is, until scandalous photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal during Justin’s dad’s gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect her: he breaks her heart.

    For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.

    Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can’t live without.


    Other Releases

    GUY IN REAL LIFE by Steve Brezenoff

    GIRLS LIKE US by Gail Giles

    SURROUNDED BY SHARKS by Michael Northrop

    THE TRUTH AGAINST THE WORLD by Sarah Jamila Stevenson

    BAD LUCK GIRL (The American Fairy #3) by Sarah Zettel

    CHORUS (Coda #2) by Emma Trevayne

    BLUR (Blur Trilogy #1) by Steven James

    CURSES AND SMOKE: A Novel of Pompeii by Vicky Alvear Shecter


    It is another insane week for releases and it seems that I have eight books and two novellas pre-ordered. Only one of which I’ve read pre-release. Plus there are a couple of other books of note that I really want to add to my collection, which means even more dollars and an even bigger TBR Pile.

    And with a ton of releases coming out through early June, I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to read them all. Ack!

    Anyway… as this post is long enough already, and it is a holiday weekend and a gorgeous day outside, I’ll stop rambling. But I hope that one or two of your long anticipated reads is releasing this week and that you’ll get the chance to add them to your collection.

    And I hope that if one of those books is a series-ending book, it won’t be too tough to say goodbye.

    Happy release week and happy reading week!

    DotsDiv2

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

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

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    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #140

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

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

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    The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    All Our Yesterdays

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Takedown

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

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

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

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

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

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    Conjured

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Scorched

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

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

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

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

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

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     Eternity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Sweet Legacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Eternal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Gold

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

    Published by Flux, the print edition is 408 pages.

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

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

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

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

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

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    The Truth About You and Me

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

    Published by Flux, the print edition is 264 pages.

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

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

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

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

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

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    Other Books of Note

    Starry Nights

    STARRY NIGHTS by Daisy Whitney

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    The Social Code

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

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    The 100

    THE 100 by Kass Morgan

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Dead is Just a Dream

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

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Two Lies and a Spy

    TWO LIES AND A SPY by Kat Carlton

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    The Ghost in the Glass House

    THE GHOST IN THE GLASS HOUSE by Carey Wallace

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Clarion Books

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Are You Experienced

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? by Jordan Sonnenblick

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    When the World Was Flat

    WHEN THE WORLD WAS FLAT by Ingrid Jonach

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Strange Chemistry

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Dead Ends

    DEAD ENDS by Erin Jade Lange

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    I Am Alice

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

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Greenwillow Books

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Leap of Faith

    LEAP OF FAITH by Jamie Blair

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    The Outside

    THE OUTSIDE (Hallowed Ones #2) by Laura Bickle

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Project Cain

    PROJECT CAIN by Geoffrey Girard

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

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

    What Goes Around

    WHAT GOES AROUND by Courtney Summers

    Pub. Date: September 6, 2013

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Somebody Up There Hates You

    SOMEBODY UP THERE HATES YOU by Hollis Seamon

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Projection

    PROJECTION by Risa Green

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Soho Teen

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    The Lord of Opium

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

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Athaneum Books for Young Readers

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Into That Forest

    INTO THAT FOREST by Louis Nowra

    Pub. Date: September 3, 2013

    Publisher: Skyscape

    (AMAZONBARNES & NOBLE)

    ***

    Night Witches

    NIGHT WITCHES by L.J. Adlington

    Pub. Date: September 5, 2013

    Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

    (AMAZON)

    ***

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

    I am now officially buried under books.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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