Thursday, June 30, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness: July sign-up

I missed participating in Book Soulmates Random Acts of Kindness in June. So I'm back and am looking forward to sharing the book love with everyone. I'll be checking out your wish lists and I hope that you will share the book love too. Anyone can participate. Check out how below.

From Book Soulmates:
  • Sign up each month that you'd like to participate.
  • Show off your participation by grabbing our RAK button :)
  • Create a wish list (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog etc) and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
  • If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
  • At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!  Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)
Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

Easy breezy!!

Sign up for July [HERE]
See who else is participating in July [HERE

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Book Soulmates via the following:
Vanessa at Twerd413[at]gmail[dot]com or @booksoulmates
Isalys at booksoulmates[at]gmail[dot]com or @isabooksoulmates
(Twitter is prob fastest method)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review: Fanfare by Renee Ahdieh

by Renee Ahdieh
Published by Revolution Publishing
Available: May 2011

Cris Pereira hates starring in a cautionary tale. Alas, her recent heartbreak relegates her to this unbecoming fate. The only good thing about being dumped a foot from the altar is the newest layer to her punchy sarcasm. All she wants is a do-over, but this is not your average fairy tale, and wishes don't come true in the real world. One Sunday afternoon, she meets a movie star. Tom Abramson is intelligent, charming, and impetuous. In other words, he plays the role a bit too well. She isn’t falling for it. She knows better. All British men are not descendants of Fitzwilliam Darcy, and movie stars are genetic mutations gone awry: X-Men with statistical disadvantages and emotional handicaps. Keep your knight in shining armor. A modern girl can rescue herself, thank you very much. After all, dreams are for the foolhardy, nightmares are just a part of life, and . . . this is not your average fairy tale. (from Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Cristina is no stranger to heartbreak, unfortunately - and the last thing she is looking to do is fall in love. So when she escorts her two nieces to a celebrity meet and greet, she never believed that this chance encounter to one of the wildest rides of her life. Always weighing the pros and cons in making every decision of her life, she decides what harm could come from becoming friends with Tom. He did only want a friendship. Right?

Renee Ahdieh's debut novel Fanfare is a fun read that is easy to get swept up in. Just like Cris, it was so for me to fall of Tom. He was a nice guy from the beginning, so warm and welcoming and gave Cris all the space she needed as she was dealt with a part of her life that was too painful for her to talk about. He was impulsive, sometimes to a fault, but everything he did was with good intentions. And just like Cris, I was always a bit cautious. Tom seemed too good to be true and I wondered when the rug was going to be pulled out from under her (and me too).  

Fanfare is filled with lots of laughs, a ton of love and a bit of hope that some times exactly what you need is completely within your grasp. You just have to reach out and take it.  

I received Fanfare for review from Revolution Publishing and this review is based on the Advanced Reading Copy.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In My Mailbox (37)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by Kristi at The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Displacement by Thalia Chaltas
The Lost Summer by Kathryn Williams
After the Kiss by Terra Elan McEvoy
It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han (e-book)
We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han (e-book)
Between the Lines by Tammara Webber (e-book)

I spoiled myself with all of these books this week. I was on vacation and instead of buying souvenirs, I bought books. I've already read Jenny Han's Summer books and loved them!! 

I can't wait to see what everyone else got this week! Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: Max and Menna by Shauna Kelley

Max and Menna
by Shauna Kelley
Published by: Lucky Press, LLC
Published: November 1, 2010

Shauna Kelley has written an incredible story of wanting love and hope and redemption from a life of unforgiving circumstances. Max and Menna is the story of a brother and sister who live a life of poverty and neglect with their alcoholic mother and promiscuous, older sister. Without any guidance or nurturing, Max and Menna must rely on each other to live each day, day by day - uncertain where their meals will come from and what state their mother will be in when the come home. Each morning they seek salvation outdoors and return in the late hours of the night, hoping to avoid the drunken mess of their mother. Their lives are altered the day they meet Nick, a Native American, who is different from them, but in so many ways, is the same.

Told in alternating perspectives, Max and Menna return to the summers of their childhood and begin to explain what happened to them, revealing the significant parts of their lives that they have never shared. Experiences that have left them broken and why they never want to remember them.

Max best explains this in his private writing:
          "I had hoped since I left home that childhood itself wasn't essential, 
          that I could easily walk away from it and bury it in the back of my mind.

          I can't." (pg. 5)
Just like Ordinary Beauty which I recently read and reviewed, this book has left me forever changed. My eyes are open to an experience that I am so thankful is not my own. I was heartbroken as I read the story of Max, Menna and Nick and how they were just children forced to suffer because of their circumstances. Shauna Kelley is thoughtful in her storytelling allowing me to experience the want and need that Max and Menna felt - wanting something better than what their families and townspeople wouldn't allow them to have.

Ok, I am honestly stumped in writing this review, because I feel like I can't adequately express why I think you need to read Max and Menna. It has moved me in a way that I can't quite explain. It's a story that you need to know, you must know. I want you to know. It's that good.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Love My Indie with author Shauna Kelley

Love My Indie is a feature where fellow bloggers, readers, and authors tell me about their favorite independent bookstores. I love the feeling I get when I go into an independent bookstore - like it is filled with hidden treasures just waiting for me to find them. Maybe one day I will have the chance to visit these amazing bookstores.

Showing some Indie Love today is:

Shauna Kelley, author of Max and Menna

When the Kindle version of my novel Max and Menna went live June 1, I felt I had joined the digital age. I was tech savvy, I was with it, and in the now… and I really wanted to go to a bookstore.
Please don’t misinterpret, I have much love for the Kindle, but there is nothing quite like the atmosphere and camaraderie, and, well, even the smell of a bookstore. And though I have nothing against chain retailers, none of these wonderful elements can be found in as great an abundance as you will find them at a really great independent bookstore, like one of my favorites—Main Street Books in Frostburg, Maryland.
I have, very sadly, not gotten to visit this store very often—it is about three hours from my house. And, in the interest of full disclosure, they were the first bookstore to host a signing event for Max and Menna, so I am a bit biased, but my bias cannot taint the true awesomeness of this place!

Main Street Books is in a big space on (you guessed in) Main Street, right in the center of the “hub bub” of town. Clean, organized, and almost disciplined in set-up, their assortment of books is extensive and easy to find. But what I really love about it are the great spaces open for reading, and the quiet murmur of people discussing books. Owner Fred Powell VERY clearly does what he loves, and he is one of those great people whose eyes light up when he talks about good books.
You should check out Main Street Book’s page on Facebook. It’s a community of true bibliophiles, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to visit such a wonderful place. 
Thanks Shauna for sharing your favorite independent bookstore with me.  
Shauna Kelley's novel Max and Menna is available now from Lucky Press. You can check out Shauna's blog at Please check back tomorrow for my review of Max and Menna.
If you're interested in participating in this feature, please send me an email at - I'd love to hear from you and discover your favorite indie bookstore! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Lola and the Boy Next Door

 Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


Lola and the Boy Next Door
by Stephanie Perkins
Published by Dutton
Release Date: September 29, 2011

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
(from Goodreads)

I finished Anna and the French Kiss this week and loved it. I don't know why I waited so long to read it. It was fabulous. I am now a huge fan of Stephanie Perkins and will read anything she writes. So much fun! I'm sure Lola and the Boy Next Boy will be just as awesome.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (36)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by Kristi at The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.
For Review:
 Little Black Dress by Susan McBride
Proof of Heaven by Mary Curran Hackett
courtesy of HarperCollins

The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells (e-book)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (audiobook)

Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
Thank you Terry Lynn Johnson!

Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski
Thank you Random House/Random Buzzers

Crashing by Chris Wooding
Paperback Swap

More great books this week. I'm extremely happy to be on vacation so I can relax and read. That's the plan anyway - to eat, sleep, read and breathe.

I'll be checking out your mailboxes. I hope you received some great books too!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Trailer: Crush

I'm going on vacation next week and the only thing I've packed to so far are my books. Stuffed in my beach bag (ok lake bag) are my nook, The Summer I Turned Pretty, Max and Menna, and Crush: 26 Real Life Tales of First Love. I am so excited to dive into these books.

If you haven't heard about Crush yet, check out this book trailer:

Crush: 26 Real Life Tales of First Love
Edited by Andrea N. Richesin
Published by Harlequin
Available: Now

Readers will fall head over heels for this nostalgic and irreverent collection.

Twenty-six bestselling authors return to the teenage bedrooms, school hallways and college dorms of their youth to share passionate essays of love lost and found and lessons learned along the way. Whether heartbreaking or hilarious, their soul-baring honesty reminds us to keep reaching for true love wherever we can find it and for as long as it takes. Their intimate reflections will fascinate and move any reader who remembers her first love. (from Goodreads)

The introduction alone will have you craving to read the essays by Jacquelyn Mitchard, David Levithan, Emily Franklin and Lauren Oliver as well as the other contributing authors. I wish my vacation was starting RIGHT NOW! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Scene of the Blog @ Kittling: Books

The week Actin' Up with Books is featured at Scene of the Blog at Kittling: Books. You can read about and see where I do most of my blogging. Many thanks to Cathy for hosting me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess

How can you make someone love you when they won’t?
And what if that person happens to be your mother?
Sayre Bellavia grew up knowing she was a mistake: unplanned and unwanted. At five months shy of eighteen, she’s become an expert in loneliness, heartache, and neglect. Her whole life she’s been cursed, used, and left behind. Swallowed a thousand tears and ignored a thousand deliberate cruelties. Sayre’s stuck by her mother through hell, tried to help her, be near her, be important to her even as her mother slipped away into a violent haze of addiction, destroying the only chance Sayre ever had for a real family.
Now her mother is lying in a hospital bed, near death, ravaged by her own destructive behavior. And as Sayre fights her way to her mother’s bedside, she is terrified but determined to get the answer to a question no one should ever have to ask: Did my mother ever really love me? And what will Sayre do if the answer is yes? (from Goodreads)

Ordinary Beauty has left me a wreck. Never have I been left so emotionally drained from reading a book. While this may sound negative to some, it is one of the best feelings I can great from reading. I know this book and Sayre's story will be with me for a long time.

Laura Wiess has written a heartbreaking and gut-wrenching story of a young girl who has lived a life of abuse, abandonment and neglect with very few moments of hope. The novel begins just as Sayre learns that her mother has been admitted to the hospital once again and is forced out of the house to walk miles in the ice and snow to visit her. In an attempt to avoid being hit on the snow-covered road, she actually causes an accident and must try to save the severely injured driver. It is during the hours of waiting for help to arrive that Sayre begins to lend her voice, bit by bit, to all of the horrors she has endured growing up with an addict for a mother and break away from a past that has had a stranglehold on her for her entire life.

This was a tough story to read but I was pulled in immediately and couldn't stop until I knew that Sayre was going to be okay. The emotional struggles that she went through while retelling her memories to her mother on her death-bed had me in knots time after time. Just when I thought I knew the worst of it, there was always something else even more devastating. And I think what got me the most was seeing, very vividly, this young child experience all of this pain. This is a testament to Wiess's no holds barred writing to reveal a truth that many people willingly ignore. 

Even though I am now a mess from reading this book, I recommend it to anyone who doesn't shy away from the harsh truths of the world of addiction and wants to read a story so real that it haunts you to your core. 

Ordinary Beauty is the fourth novel by Laura Wiess and is now available from MTV Books/Simon and Schuster. You can visit Laura's website at

Monday, June 13, 2011

Book Signing/Author Sightings: Books of Wonder

Last weekend I was in NYC for a Girls Weekend with my friend Lisa. Weeks prior to our trip, we were planning our itenarary. We knew for sure that we were going to see Wicked (we already had our tickets), visit Chinatown and go to the Empire State Building. We went there on our last visit, but it is a must for us every time. So while she is looking for sights to see, I spent my time looking for author events and book signings. I wasn't too sure what would be going on the week after BEA. I would check the websites for The Strand and Books of Wonder, but nothing called out to me until I saw the announcement for the book launch of Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) by Sarah Mlynowski. I was familiar with Sarah's adult novels Milkrun and Fishbowl, and I'd seen Ten Things all over the blogosphere (and had it on my wish list) so this was a no-brainer for me. It didn't take much for Lisa to agree to go, she's that great of a friend, and was excited about going because I was. She really is the best.

So on Sunday, we figured out which train to take downtown and head to Books of Wonder. As soon as we walked in, there was the display of all of Sarah's YA novels. I snatched mine up and started browsing the shelves. I stopped in my tracks and turned to Lisa and said, "Um yeah, that's Kody Keplinger (author of The Duff), another author whose book I've read." Lisa had no idea who Kody was, so she just kind of looked at me funny (because I was acting to silly for my age) and went off to buy her own book for the signing. After a few minutes of thinking about how much of a dork I am I that I can't even go up and say hi and introduce myself, I did. Why not, right? Kody was kind of shocked that I recognized her, but I did. I follow her blog and YA Highway and I've seen her on other blogs, but once I saw her shoes, I knew for sure. Let me just say that I hope any other author meetings I have are as awesome as meeting Kody. She was so nice and we talked about books we were reading, wanted to read and being all fan-girly about authors we love. She recommended some books - Simone Elkeles (which I have and am moving closer to the top of my TBR pile) and told me about being on an author panel sitting between Elizabeth Scott and Gayle Forman. I wished we could have talked more, but the signing was about to begin and I still needed to pay for my book. She did let me snap a quick picture.

When I sat down, Lisa was already seated waiting for me. Sarah was waiting a few minutes before starting since people were still coming in. I looked around to see who all was coming in and I nearly lost it. There was David Levithan! I am a huge fun. HUGE! Love him! I knew that he was going to be a Books of Wonder on Wednesday for a book signing of Crush, but I never thought he would be here on this day. Since the reading wasn't going to start for a few more minutes I went searching for a copy of Crush (I had planned to buy a signed copy and have it mailed to me after the event on Wednesday), but if I could get one now I better do it with the hopes of having David sign it. I didn't find it so I went back to my seat just as Sarah began to read.

She started out telling us that the book was inspired by a true event in her life and then read some if the first chapter. After she finished reading, she took questions from the audience. We all acted a little shy at first, but then we got on a roll. I think that a lot of people were curious about the inspiration, that they were asking more questions about her life event that inspired to book rather than the book itself. She did saw that it was the most realistic ya novel that she as written. Some of her other books have paranormal or magical elements to them. Sarah also told us about her upcoming chapter book series that she is writing and the differences in writing for the various age groups.

After the question and answer portion, she invited us to enjoy the snacks and beverages and started signing our books. Lisa told Sarah about how we were from Virginia visiting NYC for the weekend and how her book launch was near the top of our list. She signed my book and was gracious enough to pose for a picture. Her adorable daughter tried to sneak into the shot too.

That is a heart by my name, just so you know
It was great meeting Kody and Sarah. They were both so nice and welcoming and appreciative to meet their readers. It made this experience so much fun. I felt a little silly at times and even broke out into a sweat ( I can't deny it) from a small level of embarrassment. Authors are just people too. 

I hadn't completely convinced myself of this, but I just knew that I would kick myself if I didn't even go over and meet David Levithan. I mean is that something that you do at another author's signing? Why, yes Joli, it is. You just did it when meeting Kody, silly. (I was having all of this inner dialogue with myself, by the way). But I had to have a reason and went searching for that copy of Crush that I wanted to buy. With the help of two fabulous Books of Wonder salespeople (thank you!), they found a copy for me in their stockroom. I purchased my book, took a swig or two of liquid courage (okay it was more like a glass, but whatever), and after Lisa told me to be a grown-up, I went up and introduced myself and asked David to sign my book. He was more than happy to do so. Who knew? and he indulged me by telling me that this was the first copy of Crush that he has signed. Pretty cool, at least I think so.
I thanked him and turned to go and who did I see? Susane Colasanti! Ok this was too much! I didn't go up and meet her, but maybe next time, right?!

The book launch was one of the highlights of my trip and I was really impressed that so many authors came out to support Sarah. It sure is a great crowd to run with and I was honored to be in it, even for just few moments.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In My Mailbox (35)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by Kristi at The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

Then Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) by Sarah Mlynowski (signed)
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Crush: 26 Real-life Tales of First Love Andrea Richesin (signed)
The Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin (signed)
Dead End by Jason Myers
Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach

This was another awesome week in books for me. I was in New York last weekend and went to the Ten Things We Did book launch at Books of Wonder. I will have a separate post about that coming up where I will shamelessly do some major name dropping. It was really exciting and I can't wait to tell everybody about it! 

Some books I got this week have been featured on previous Waiting for Wednesdays - Stupid Fast and Dead End. I also bought myself a copy of The Summer Before Boys. I've already read the e-galley of this (review coming soon) and wanted to own a copy. I found out that Nora was doing a book signing the week of BEA at The Voracious Reader (recently featured on my Love My Indie), so I purchased a copy from them. The shipping was a bit more than I expected, but I wanted to put my money where my blog is and give them some of my business.

Oh and if you haven't added this to your wish list, put Crush at the very top. The introduction alone is enough to take you back to your first love, your first crush and make you want to live it all over again. I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorite books of the year!

I can't wait to see what you got in your mailbox this week. Happy Reading!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Love My Indie with author Mariela Kleiner

Love My Indie is a feature where fellow bloggers, readers, and authors tell me about their favorite independent bookstores. I love the feeling I get when I go into an independent bookstore - like it is filled with hidden treasures just waiting for me to find them. Maybe one day I will have the chance to visit these amazing bookstores.

Showing some Indie Love today is:
Mariela Kleiner, author of Meet Einstein

Growing up in the small city of Palo Alto, California, the local hangout was Cafe Borrone's and the bookstore right next to it, Kepler's Books ( It was a combo deal- you'd go get some coffee or a treat with friends and wonder into Keplers to browse for books. Now, I find myself living in Palo Alto with my husband and two kids, and going to Kepler's to read my children's book, Meet Einstein, during the story hour. Out of all the bookstore readings I've done for my book, this was the most meaningful, since Kepler's was MY bookstore growing up. I had a special connection to it, and I didn't expect to get all choked-up when I walked in to do my reading, but that's exactly what happened. 

I managed to get through the story hour without tears, but I truly felt honored to be there as an author. All Palo Altans hold Kepler's in high regard for holding great author events and having a big selection of books, but we also appreciate its lasting factor that its been THE local (and independent) bookstore for 56 years. I look forward to going to Kepler's with my coffee and bringing my kids with me to share in the experience as they grow up in Palo Alto. 

I've also had the great treat of reading at the bookstore that is just blocks from my house, Books, Inc. ( in Palo Alto. Books, Inc. is the strong independent bookstore that has managed to spread through the Bay Area. What I love about this store is the bookstore employee comment cards that are next to some of the books. Through these comment cards, the bookstore offers a very personal review of many of the books displayed, which highlight the strengths of the book and why it was an "employee favorite." I love readings these cards, and often base my buying decisions on them, since it feels like a friend just
 recommended it!
 They are a great supporter of local authors, as well, and were so welcoming to me for my reading of "Meet Einstein." I love coming with my kids and browsing for new and recommended books, and its quickly become one of our family's local favorite hang-outs.
Thanks Mariela!  I bet it was an amazing experience for you to read at Kepler's - the sense of coming home. I admit I am completely jealous that you have grown-up with this bookstore and can continue sharing it with your family.

If you're interested in participating in this feature, please send me an email at - I'd love to hear from you and discover your favorite indie bookstore!  

Sunday, June 5, 2011

In My Mailbox (34)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by Kristi at The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

Going Bovine by Libba Bray
(Random Buzzers Buzz Bucks)
Welcome to Bordertown ed. by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner
I Will Save You by Matt de la Pena
Thank you Random House for both of these!
I had a great week in books to Random House and Random Buzzers. I won Welcome to Bordertown through a Twitter contest. If you aren't following them yet, you are missing out - they have links to reviews, author events, upcoming books and contests. Thank you, thank you for a great week in books!
I'm excited to see what you got in your mailbox this week!   

Friday, June 3, 2011

Love My Indie with Holly from penny laine

Love My Indie is a feature where fellow bloggers, readers, and authors tell me about their favorite independent bookstores. I love the feeling I get when I go into an independent bookstore - like it is filled with hidden treasures just waiting for me to find them. Maybe one day I will have the chance to visit these amazing bookstores.

Showing some Indie Love today is:

Holly from penny laine

Blacksburg Old & Used Book Co. is a fairly new book store in Blacksburg, Virginia (a town known to most people simply as Virginia Tech). The inventory is made up of the owner’s personal collection of books. Their selection primarily falls into science fiction, history, and fiction genres. Independent bookstores in our area are few and far between so I was happy to see this shop spring up conveniently located between my house and where I work.
The modest sized shop is no bigger than an average dorm room, but every available bit of space is used to fill the room floor to ceiling with stacks of neatly organized literary treasures. There is little room to walk around if other customers are in the store. Unfortunately it is not a place where you can sit in the shop and read, but with the farmer’s market right outside the entrance there is plenty of outdoor seating.

I have visited the shop only a couple of times since I discovered it about a month ago in search of a well-loved copy of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. On my most recent trip I took Joli along with me because she loves books more than anyone else that I know. While we were there I picked up a copy of a Jack Kerouac book that contains On the Road, The Dharma Bums, and The Subterraneans. The ambiance is lovely and so is the shop owner. I will return again and continue to share this hidden treasure with anyone willing to take a look.

If you're interested in participating in this feature, please send me an email at - I'd love to hear from you and discover your favorite indie bookstore!  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Splash Into Summer Giveaway Winners

And the Winners Are . . .

#287  Tracy

#33 Lindsey

They have both won a copy of Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols. 
There were 304 entries in this giveaway and the winners were selected using The winners have been contacted and confirmed.

Thank you to all who entered my giveaway and welcome to all of my new blog followers. There are more giveaways to come!

Waiting on Wednesday - The Eleventh Plague

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Eleventh Plague
by Jeff Hirsch
Published by Scholastic Books
September 1, 2011

The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new.

Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time.

Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler's Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler's Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost.
(from Goodreads)

Contemporary YA has been my thing for quite a while, but I love that I am branching out and reading different genres. I came across The Eleventh Plague on the League of Extraordinary Writers website. If you are a fan of YA dystopian, you definitely should check it out.


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