It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 4/6/20

It’s Monday and welcome to April!

This week I’m going to be reading a book that I ordered from an Indie Book Store, a book that I picked up at ALA Midwinter, and a book that I requested from NetGalley.

What are you reading this week?

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Cold as Marb;e- Zoe Aarsen

43822646Look out for the original series—starring Peyton List, Brent Rivera, Liana Liberato, Ajiona Alexus, and Dylan Sprayberry—now streaming on Hulu!

McKenna’s mission to save her friends from their predicted deaths continues in the second installment in the Light as a Feather series that’s perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina!

The deadly game continues…

Olivia and Candace are dead, both casualties of Violet’s deadly game of Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board. McKenna and Mischa are the only ones left, and having failed to locate and destroy the source of Violet’s power, her curse still abounds, eager to claim more lives.

What does Violet want? And how can she be stopped? Armed with a mysterious package containing clues, as well as a little help from the beyond, McKenna hopes to end this once and for all…before it’s too late.

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The Comeback- Ella Berman

51941088. sx318 sy475 A deep dive into the psyche of a young actress raised in the spotlight under the influence of a charming, manipulative film director and the moment when she decides his time for winning is over.

At the height of her career and on the eve of her first Golden Globe nomination, teen star Grace Turner disappeared.

Now, tentatively sober and surprisingly numb, Grace is back in Los Angeles after her year of self-imposed exile. She knows the new private life she wants isn’t going to be easy as she tries to be a better person and reconnect with the people she left behind.

But when Grace is asked to present a lifetime achievement award to director Able Yorke–the man who controlled her every move for eight years–she realizes that she can’t run from the secret behind her spectacular crash and burn for much longer. And she’s the only one with nothing left to lose.

Alternating between past and present, The Comeback tackles power dynamics and the uncertainty of young adulthood, the types of secrets that become part of our sense of self, and the moments when we learn that though there are many ways to get hurt, we can still choose to fight back.

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The Mall- Megan McCafferty

50148657. sy475 New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty returns to her roots with this YA coming of age story set in a New Jersey mall.

The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 2/3/20

Happy Super Monday!

It’s that great Monday after the Super Bowl and I’m sitting at work wondering why this Monday isn’t a holiday? I think it should be.

This week I’m going to read two arcs that I picked up at ALA in Philadelphia and a book that I won from Flatiron Books.

What are you reading this week?

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The Honey-Don’t List- Christina Lauren

46779178. sy475 Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate, and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on a book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.

From the New York Times, bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” (Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author) The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own. 

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Anna K.: A Love Story- Jenny Lee

42119168. sy475 Every happy teenage girl is the same, while every unhappy teenage girl is miserable in her own special way.

Meet Anna K. At seventeen, she is at the top of Manhattan and Greenwich society (even if she prefers the company of her horses and Newfoundland dogs); she has the perfect (if perfectly boring) boyfriend, Alexander W.; and she has always made her Korean-American father proud (even if he can be a little controlling). Meanwhile, Anna’s brother, Steven, and his girlfriend, Lolly, are trying to weather a sexting scandal; Lolly’s little sister, Kimmie, is struggling to recalibrate to normal life after an injury derails her ice dancing career; and Steven’s best friend, Dustin, is madly (and one-sidedly) in love with Kimmie.

As her friends struggle with the pitfalls of ordinary teenage life, Anna always seems to be able to sail gracefully above it all. That is…until the night she meets Alexia “Count” Vronsky at Grand Central. A notorious playboy who has bounced around boarding schools and who lives for his own pleasure, Alexia is everything Anna is not. But he has never been in love until he meets Anna, and maybe she hasn’t, either. As Alexia and Anna are pulled irresistibly together, she has to decide how much of her life she is willing to let go for the chance to be with him. And when a shocking revelation threatens to shatter their relationship, she is forced to question if she has ever known herself at all.

Dazzlingly opulent and emotionally riveting, Anna K.: A Love Story is a brilliant reimagining of Leo Tolstoy’s timeless love story, Anna Karenina―but above all, it is a novel about the dizzying, glorious, heart-stopping experience of first love and first heartbreak.

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Diana: Princess of the Amazons- Shannon Hale & Dean Hale

45143759From New York Times, bestselling authors Shannon Hale and Dean Hale comes a heartfelt story about making mistakes, learning the hard way, and growing up to become a hero.

Eleven-year-old Diana leads an idyllic life on the island of Themyscira. Cut off from the rest of the world, she’s beginning to feel more and more isolated. Though she has a loving mother and many “aunties,” she is an only child. THE only child on the island, in fact.

After an escapade goes wrong, Diana gets in trouble for not living up to the Amazonian standard. She just can’t seem to measure up no matter what she does. Every other person on the island is an adult proficient in their trade and mighty in body, while she is gangly, sometimes clumsy, and not particularly good at anything. She’s not Wonder Woman … yet. What Diana needs is a friend; someone her own age whom she can talk to. But when she decides to take matters into her own hands, she may just make a monster instead of a friend.

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 12/2/19

It’s December already! Where has this year gone?

This week I’m going to read two arcs that my friends picked me up at ALA, and a book that was donated to me from a library patron.

What are you reading?

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A Heart So Fierce and Broken- Brigid Kemmerer

42952728In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

Find the heir, win the crown. 
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom. 
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

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Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things- Jacqueline Firkins

43261131In this charming debut about first love and second chances, a young girl gets caught between the boy next door and a playboy. Perfect for fans of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Mansfield, Massachusetts is the last place seventeen-year-old Edie Price wants to spend her final summer before college. It’s the home of wealthy suburbanites and prima donnas like Edie’s cousins, who are determined to distract her from her mother’s death with cute boys and Cinderella-style makeovers. Edie has her own plans, and they don’t include a prince charming.

But as Edie dives into schoolwork and applying for college scholarships, she finds herself drawn to two Mansfield boys who start vying for her attention. First, there’s Sebastian, Edie’s childhood friend, and first love. He’s sweet and smart and . . . already has a girlfriend. Then there’s Henry, the local bad boy, and all-around player. He’s totally off-limits, even if his kisses are chemically addictive.

Both boys are trouble. Edie can’t help but get caught between them. Someone’s heart is going to break. Now she just has to make sure it isn’t hers.

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The Saturday Night Ghost Club- Craig Davidson

42378784A short, irresistible, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of “Stranger Things” and “Stand by Me” about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends.

Growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls–a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place–Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, a kind but eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts and conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turns twelve, he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and so Calvin decides to initiate them all into the “Saturday Night Ghost Club.” But as the summer goes on, what begins as a seemingly lighthearted project may ultimately uncover more than any of its members had imagined. With the alternating warmth and sadness of the best coming-of-age stories, The Saturday Night Ghost Club examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become.

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Top Ten Tuesday 2/19/19

Happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This weeks topic is Books I LOVED with fewer than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads.

These are my top ten and they are in no kind of order.

Which books made your list?

Unnatural Deeds- Cyn Balog

28755323     Some secrets are worth killing to protect.

Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, not that she cares what anyone thinks. She and her homeschooled boyfriend, Andrew, are inseparable. All they need is each other. That is, until Zachary Zimmerman joins her homeroom. Within an hour of meeting, he convinces good-girl Vic to cut class. And she can’t get enough of that rush.

Despite Vic’s loyalty to Andrew, she finds her life slowly entwining with Z’s. Soon she’s lying to everyone she knows and breaking all the rules to be with Z. She can’t get enough of him—or unraveling the stories of the family he’s determined to keep hidden.

Except Z’s not the only one with a past. Straight-laced Vic is hiding her own secrets…secrets that are about to destroy everything in her path.

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Die Young With Me- Rob Rufus

29093776    The true story of a teenager diagnosed with cancer and how music was the one thing that helped him get through his darkest days.

Punk’s not dead in rural West Virginia. In fact, it blares constantly from the basement of Rob and Nat Rufus—identical twin brothers with spiked hair, black leather jackets, and the most kick-ass record collection in Appalachia. To them, school (and pretty much everything else) sucks. But what can you expect when you’re the only punks in town?

When the brothers start their own band, their lives begin to change: they meet friends, they attract girls, and they finally get invited to join a national tour and get out of their rat box little town.

But their plans are cut short when Rob is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has already progressed to Stage Four. Not only are his dreams of punk rock stardom completely shredded, there is a very real threat that this is one battle that can’t be won.

While Rob suffers through nightmarish treatments and debilitating surgery, Nat continues on their band’s road to success alone. But as Rob’s life diverges from his brother’s, he learns to find strength within himself and through his music.

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Naked ’76- Kevin Brooks

29058349     London, 1976: A summer of creation, destruction, and blistering heat.

Lili Garcia stands at the edge of London’s growling punk scene, playing bass with Naked, one of city’s wildest bands. The group’s success has only strained things between Lili and Curtis Ray, her cool, rebellious boyfriend and band mate. A born rock star, Curtis Ray’s got it all: talent, charisma, and hunger for excess.

As the year rushes on, Lili meets William Bonney—a guitarist from Northern Ireland known as “Billy the Kid.” William is as reserved as Curtis Ray is loud, haunted by the life he left behind, but he’s every bit as brilliant a musician. In a scene full of spit, violence, and feedback, William’s quiet confidence moves Lili to search for what she really wants. But the secrets of William’s past could mean danger for both of them…

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Where Did You Sleep Last Night- Lynn Crosbie

23269048     Lynn Crosbie’s new novel is a fantastical love story about a teenage girl who embarks on a relationship with the dead spirit of Kurt Cobain.

Evelyn Gray is a miserable sixteen-year-old girl from Carnation, Washington, who is in love with Kurt Cobain. When Evelyn is taken to the hospital after a drug overdose, Cobain’s spirit reanimates itself in the body of a young man who is convalescing in the bed next to her.

Evelyn and the man — now named Celine Black — escape the hospital and run off together, determined to become famous. They find the musical success they seek, but despite their mutual devotion, they are tormented by their passion and jealousy. As their fame grows, their relationship becomes more excessive and an episode of sexual violence explodes into a shocking murder.

This is a highly original work of haute fan fiction, written in Crosbie’s poetic and emotionally evocative prose.

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The Nerdy and the Dirty- B.T. Gottfred

27779274    Pen Lupo is sick and tired of hiding who she is. On the outside, Pen is popular, quiet, and deferential to her boyfriend. On the inside, however, Pen is honest, opinionated—and not quite sure that she’s like other girls. Do they have urges like she does?

His classmates may consider him a nerd, but Benedict Pendleton knows he’s destined for great things. All he has to do is find a worthy girlfriend, and his social station will be secured. Sure, Benedict is different–but that’s what he likes about himself.

When fate intervenes, both Pen and Benedict end up at the same vacation resort for winter break. Despite their differences, the two are drawn together. But is there such a thing as happily ever after for a nympho and a nerd?

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Feel Me Fall- James Morris

35094517     Secrets and survival in the Amazon

Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.

But can she carry the burden of the past?

Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.

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The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky- Summer Heacock

33198766    A humorous novel about a cupcake shop owner with a physical ailment that’s kept her from having sex for two years, and the desperate antics that ensue as she tries to overcome it.

Having sex wasn’t a big priority while Kat Carmichael’s successful cupcake shop was taking off. But when she realizes that it’s been nearly two years since she and her boyfriend, Ryan, have been intimate, she makes a pact to break her dry spell-and cure her vaginismus, a muscular condition that can make sex physically impossible.

Out of guilt, Kat calls for a break in her relationship with Ryan, so that he can see other people while she attempts to fix the issue on her own. She throws herself into physical therapy, but soon discovers her solo mission is more complicated than she anticipated. Fortunately, Ben Cleary, the shop’s best (looking) customer, is also a physical therapist, and volunteers to help out.

As time goes on, however, the boundaries Ben and Kat have set between friendship and love quickly become blurred, leaving her more confused than ever about what to hang on to and what to let go.

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Rosie Coloured Glasses- Brianna Wolfson

37548443     Sometimes even all the love in the world is not enough to save someone.

Willow Thorpe knows friction… The friction between her parents, Rosie and Rex. The friction inside herself as she tries to navigate two worlds since their divorce.

But life has not always been like this.

When Rosie and Rex first met, theirs was an attraction of opposites. Rosie lived life for those heightened moments when love reveals its true secrets. Rex lived life safely, by the rules. Common sense would say theirs was a union not meant to last, but it was genuine love.

Now Willow just wants to be with Rosie, to bask in her mother’s outsize glow and, she thinks, protection. Because Rosie is the only person who can make Willow feel totally alive and completely loved.

But as Willow and Rosie and Rex try harder and harder to stay connected as a family, Rosie’s manic tornado of love continues to sweep up everyone in sight, ultimately to heartbreaking results.

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The Falling Between Us- Ash Parsons

35440777    All-consuming fame and fortune prove too much for a teen popstar who suddenly goes missing–Eddie and the Cruisers for the Justin Bieber era.

After 15-year-old Joshua Blackbird posts a performance of an original song on YouTube, he becomes an overnight sensation, catapulting to the dizzying heights of celebrity. Joshua is plucked from his middle-of-nowhere small town to pursue a pop star career complete with million-dollar record deals, international tours with sold-out crowds, and a diehard following who call themselves “Birdies.” But it’s not long before the never-blinking eye of fame begins weighing this bird down–the constant hunger of managers, record execs, paparazzi, even family, all leeching onto him. Then there is the staged romance with a teen pop princess and the unsettling fear brought on by a stalker. Everyone reaching out, determined to grab their piece of stardom, forgetting that an actual person–a kid nonetheless–is on the other side their grasp. It’s all too much.

Until, that is, Joshua Blackbird disappears. Was it a suicide? An accident?

Narrated from the perspective of Joshua’s girlfriend from home, Roxie, The Falling Between Us presents every wannabe teen heartthrob’s dream come true . . . only to realize it is a nightmare.

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Nightingale- Amy Lukavics

37004950     At seventeen, June Hardie is everything a young woman in 1951 shouldn’t be–independent, rebellious, a dreamer. June longs to travel, to attend college and to write the dark science fiction stories that consume her waking hours. But her parents only care about making June a better young woman. Her mother grooms her to be a perfect little homemaker while her father pushes her to marry his business partner’s domineering son. When June resists, her whole world is shattered–suburbia isn’t the only prison for different women.

June’s parents commit her to Burrow Place Asylum, aka the Institution. With its sickening conditions, terrifying staff and brutal “medical treatments,” the Institution preys on June’s darkest secrets and deepest fears. And she’s not alone. The Institution terrorizes June’s fragile roommate, Eleanor, and the other women locked away within its crumbling walls. Those who dare speak up disappear…or worse. Trapped between a gruesome reality and increasingly sinister hallucinations, June isn’t sure where her nightmares end and real life begins. But she does know one thing: in order to survive, she must destroy the Institution before it finally claims them all.

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Happy Reading!

stacy