Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: SOME OF THE PARTS by Hannah Barnaby

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:

by Hannah Barnaby
Publication Date February 16, 2016
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
304 Pages

Sometimes bad things happen, and we are not the same when they are over.

For months, Tallie McGovern has been coping with the death of her older brother the only way she knows how: by smiling bravely and pretending that she's okay. She’s managed to fool her friends, her parents, and her teachers so far, yet she can’t even say his name out loud: “N—” is as far as she can go. But when Tallie comes across a letter in the mail, it only takes two words to crack the careful façade she’s built around herself:


Two words that had apparently been checked off on her brother’s driver’s license; two words that her parents knew about—and never confided to her. All at once, everything Tallie thought she understood about her brother’s death feels like a lie. And although a part of her knows he’s gone forever, another part of her wonders if finding the letter might be a sign. That if she can just track down the people on the other end of those two words, it might somehow bring him back.

Hannah Barnaby’s deeply moving novel asks questions there are no easy answers to as it follows a family struggling to pick up the pieces, and a girl determined to find the brother she wasn’t ready to let go of.

Why I'm Waiting
  • Some of the Parts caught my attention a few months back when the cover was revealed. I loved the gorgeous cover. It is definitely one I would pick up in the bookstore
  • I love YA contemporary and stories about families and love and loss
  • Early readers are saying this is a book that will make you cry. BRING ON THE TEARS

What book are you waiting for?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: UNFORGIVABLE by Amy Reed

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:

by Amy Reed
Publication Date May 3, 2016
Published by Katherine Tegan Books
272 Pages

In this raw, gut-wrenching, and beautifully written sequel to Invincible, Marcus continues Evie’s story of their intense romance, a la Gayle Forman’s Where She Went, after saving her life only to find his life—and their relationship—falling to pieces.

Marcus knows pain. The kind that swallows you like a black hole. His brother committed suicide, his mother left him, and his dad mostly ignores him. Relief only seems to come from drugs, alcohol, and secret acts of self-destruction.

Until he met Evie. Together, they lived in the moment. They fell in love—hard—creating their own beautiful world. But they each had their own secrets, their own pain, hovering like a thick fog, suffocating them in a world too small to share.

Unforgivable takes off where Invincible left us—with Evie drowning in San Francisco Bay. Marcus finds her just in time, but her survival is not the happy ending he was hoping for. Forbidden from seeing Evie by her parents and unable to reach her, Marcus learns of a pain that might break him completely.

Marcus spirals into an even deeper darkness and is forced by new events to face the demons of his past. The pain of losing Evie becomes tangled with the loss of his mother and brother, and he must finally face the ghosts he has been trying so desperately to outrun or risk losing Evie forever.

Why I'm Waiting:

  • I found out there was a sequel to Invincible at Amy Reed's book signing before I'd even read Invincible and I knew I would have to Unforgivable. 
  • Invincible left me with asking so many questions. I need answers!
  • I'm a fan of Amy's books so of course Unforgivable is going on my TBR list.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: NOT AFTER EVERYTHING by Michelle Levy

by Michelle Levy
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Published by Dial Books
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Purchase Amazon / B&N / Indiebound

from Goodreads

Tyler has a football scholarship to Stanford, a hot girlfriend, and a reliable army of friends to party with. Then his mom kills herself. And Tyler lets it all go. Now he needs to dodge what his dad is offering (verbal tirades and abuse) and earn what his dad isn’t (money). Tyler finds a job that crashes him into Jordyn, his former childhood friend turned angry-loner goth-girl. She brings Tyler an unexpected reprieve from the never-ending pity party his life has become. How could he not fall for her? But with his dad more brutally unpredictable than ever, Tyler knows he can’t risk bringing Jordyn too deeply into the chaos. So when violence rocks his world again, will it be Jordyn who shows him the way to a hopeful future? Or after everything, will Tyler have to find that future for himself?

My Thoughts

I should have been better prepared for the heartache captured within the pages of this book. Not After Everything involves suicide, verbal and physical abuse, and bullying, and even knowing these things prior to starting the book, I still wasn't prepared for all of the emotions I would experience. Once I started reading it, I didn't want to stop because I had to know that Tyler was going to make it out okay. 

Not After Everything shows that we all deal with grief in different ways. When you top that off with fear and guilt and shame, you can get a confused, lost, sad, person who acts out like Tyler did. What he experienced was too much to handle on his own and it overwhelmed him. It was overwhelming to read. The scenes with Tyler and his father were the hardest to read. They were unimaginable and devastating, but quite often they are someone's reality. I found myself fighting back tears. Other times, I just let them flow. 

Throughout the story, there are people who enter Tyler's life who show him compassion and want to help him. They offer him some hope. Once he begins to be more honest with all that his is experiencing, he becomes vulnerable is able to embrace the generosity and sincere concern. 

I loved Jordyn's character. There was such an honesty to her in the way she interacted with Tyler. Knowing his reputation and their shared history, she was guarded in offering him her friendship. She has her own story to tell and we get to know it as she begins to grow closer to Tyler. As they became closer and their friendship started to become more, it's apparent that their love story wasn't going to be simple, but I was enthralled reading every page of it.

From this review, one would think that this is the saddest book that I'd ever read and one might question why would anyone want to pick up such a sad book. To that I would say, I like sad books. I like books that make me feel vulnerable and emotional and overwhelmed. And I would also say that Not After Everything isn't just sad. There is humor and hope, and SO MUCH LOVE that it is also overwhelming. And maybe, just maybe, I couldn't find the correct words to express that here.  It's a book that I'm glad to have read and hope it finds its way into the hand of readers just when they need it. It is definitely a recommended read!

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, November 9, 2015

THE SECRETS WE KEPT by Lily Velez - Excerpt and Giveaway

The Secrets We Kept
Lily Velez
Publication date: November 8th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

One year. That’s how long it’s been since childhood sweethearts Sully Graham and Cadence Gilbertson broke up, since one adoption and one out-of-state move turned their worlds upside down.

Suddenly, Cadence is back in New York City, but something’s different about her. The light in her eyes, the music in her laughter, the warmth in her smile—all of those things have entirely vanished. In their place stand the makings of a girl Sully can’t even begin to recognize, much less understand. 

Still, despite the collective history of heartbreak between them, he’s convinced he can win her trust again, and he’s committed to proving the invincibility of their love no matter what it takes.

But Cadence is quietly harboring secrets of her own. Dark secrets. Ugly secrets. Secrets that could break a person. And though broken herself and unbearably lonely, she’s determined to protect Sully from her terrible, biting truths. Even if it means locking him out of her life forever. 

The only problem is it seems her heart hasn’t quite received the memo. One glimpse of him is all it takes for her to trip into familiar (and, she’ll admit, addictive) feelings that threaten to all but consume her. Now her biggest fear is that her secrets will begin to slowly unravel one by one…long before Sully’s resolve ever does. 

The Secrets We Kept is a moving story about first love, friendship, and forgiveness, and the enduring bonds that forever connect us and give us our strength.

Read an Excerpt
The rooftop memory revisited her. Sully had first brought her there on their six-month anniversary, where they celebrated their romance with an afternoon picnic of peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and barbecue-flavored potato chips. Dessert was a melting sundae pie from Burger King.
She remembered the way the sun felt on her skin, like it was painting her with fire. She remembered the way the light reflected off the metal steamers, making them glow like pillars of white. She remembered the look in Sully’s eyes. So gentle, so soft. His fingertips ghosted down the length of her arm to her wrist, and then he raised their hands and pressed their palms together before interlocking their fingers. He held her eyes for a long time, saying nothing. There came a point when they didn’t really need words anymore. They could read each other so easily, say so much simply by being in each other’s presence.
He touched a lingering kiss to the back of her hand, the one he held, and then smiled at her in a dreamy way as he said, I think I’m in love with you, Cadence Livingston.
It was the first time he’d used the L-word, and her heart had beat as rapidly as a hummingbird’s wings, so rapidly in fact that for a moment, she wondered if it was possible to die from happiness. She remembered smiling so hard that her cheeks hurt, but it was worth it. So was reciprocating his sentiment and watching his eyes light up like twin fireflies in response. Drunk on their love for each other, they’d spent the rest of the afternoon pointing out the shapes in the clouds, laughing, making heart shapes with their hands and holding them up against the sunlight.

Author Bio:

Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she’s not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at

Lily’s debut novel, The Secrets We Kept, comes out November 8, 2015.

Hosted by:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Review: THIRD BASE by Heidi McLaughlin

The Boys of Summer
by Heidi McLaughlin
Publication Date: November 4, 2015
Source: Author / Purchased
Purchase Amazon / B&N / i-Tunes

from Goodreads

Ethan Davenport is already Boston’s most eligible bachelor. In his second season with the Boston Renegades he has set his eyes on the girl behind the visitors’ dugout.

That girl is Daisy Robinson, a journalism student at the University of Boston and a die-hard Renegades fan.

But with new found love comes challenges and Ethan and Daisy have to deal with his crazy schedule, school finals and his presence on her campus for some much needed media training. 

For Ethan nothing can come between him and Daisy, until a secret that she’s been keeping threatens to destroy them both.

My Thoughts

I'm always excited when Heidi McLaughlin comes out with a new book. When THIRD BASE was announced it immediately went on my TBR list. I don't read many sports themed books, but when I do they are usually about football which I think is funny because I don't really like football. But growing up, I was a fan of baseball because it was one of the few sports that I understood. THIRD BASE is heavy on the baseball (it's not just about a guy who happens to play baseball) and readers who have some understanding of the game will appreciate the effort put into the story to make it authentic. 

Ethan Davenport is one interesting character. He's young, athletic, funny, and there is a sweetness to him too. He has his hang-ups which can turn him sour, but overall he's a guy you'd like to know. Some of my favorite scenes were the bantering, bickering, razzing times between Ethan and his teammate Travis "Kidd". They had me laughing out loud with their jabs at each other.  

I liked reading about the relationship between Ethan and Daisy. At times, it was passionate and intense, but other times it was touch and go and even heartbreaking. I could feel the mutual admiration between them and when things went on the downward slope, all I could hope for was for them to fix it. While Daisy wasn't Ethan's first love, their love was still a young love and real. 

I missed the alternating character perspectives that I'd come to love in Heidi's books because I found myself wanting to know more about Daisy. Ethan was intrigued by her and in awe of her while I did get to know her through Ethan, I wanted to know her thoughts about everything that was happening between them. 

Reading THIRD BASE makes me want to rekindle my enjoyment of baseball and go back to the ballpark and catch a game or a few. I really liked reading Ethan and Daisy's story and while THIRD BASE is a stand-alone, it does come with the tag line THE BOYS OF SUMMER. I can only hope that I'll get to meet more players on the team! 

A GREAT read!

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from author in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. I've also purchased a final copy for my personal library. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's Release Day! THIRD BASE by Heidi McLaughlin

Third Base Release Day Banner

Happy Release Day to Heidi McLaughlin and her new book THIRD BASE!

Amazon US →
Amazon UK →
Amazon CA →
Amazon AU →
BN →
Kobo →

third base amazon
Ethan Davenport is already Boston’s most eligible bachelor, in his second season with the Boston Renegades and has eyes for the girl behind the visitors’ dugout who has been staring at him for a year.
That girl is Daisy Robinson, a journalism student at the University of Boston, a die-hard Renegades fan and determined to give Ethan a run for his money. He knows in order to have a chance with her, he needs to change his ways but he may just need her to wait until the off-season.
But with new found love comes challenges and Ethan and Daisy have to deal with his crazy schedule, school finals and his presence on her campus for some much needed media training. For Ethan nothing can come between him and Daisy, until a secret that she’s been keeping threatens to destroy them both.

Release Date: November 4th


Cover by: Sarah Hansen at Okay Creations
Photography: Eric Battershell
Cover Model: Blake Farley


TBNumberJersey copy

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]


Heidi Bio Pic

Heidi is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.
Originally from Portland, Oregon and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup, and their newest addition of a Highland Westie/Mini Schnauzer, JiLL.

During the day Heidi is behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, she's writing one of the many stories planned for release or sitting courtside during either daughter's basketball games.


Other Books by Heidi McLaughlin

Forever My Girl - The Beaumont Series #1

My Unexpected Forever - The Beaumont Series #2

Finding My Forever - The Beaumont Series #3

Finding My Way - The Beaumont Series #4

My Everything - A Beaumont Series Novella

12 Days of Forever - A Beaumont Series Novella

Lost in Us - A Lost in You Novella

The Archer Brothers

Here with Me

Choose Me

The Reeducation of Savannah McGuire

Monday, November 2, 2015

Review: TRAFFICK by Ellen Hopkins

by Ellen Hopkins
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 528
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase Amazon / B&N / Indiebound


Five teens victimized by sex trafficking try to find their way to a new life in this riveting companion to the New York Times bestselling Tricks from Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank.
In her bestselling novel, Tricks, Ellen Hopkins introduced us to five memorable characters tackling these enormous questions: Eden, the preacher’s daughter who turns tricks in Vegas and is helped into a child prostitution rescue; Seth, the gay farm boy disowned by his father who finds himself without money or resources other than his own body; Whitney, the privileged kid coaxed into the life by a pimp and whose dreams are ruined in a heroin haze; Ginger, who runs away from home with her girlfriend and is arrested for soliciting an undercover cop; and Cody, whose gambling habit forces him into the life, but who is shot and left for dead.
And now, in Traffick, these five are faced with the toughest question of all: Is there a way out? How these five teenagers face the aftermath of their decisions and experiences is the soul of this story that exposes the dark, ferocious underbelly of the child trafficking trade. Heart wrenching and hopeful, Traffick takes us on five separate but intertwined journeys through the painful challenges of recovery, rehabilitation, and renewal to forgiveness and love. All the way home.

My Thoughts

I've always thought that Ellen Hopkins's books were important, necessary, and relevant. Tricks and now, Traffick, definitely fall into those categories. When I first read Tricks years ago, I remember feeling the harshness of the stories and the horrors of what the characters Eden, Seth, Ginger, Whitney, and Cody had to experience. While it may have been difficult for me to read, I reminded myself that it was inspired by true stories of real teens who experienced them, and my discomfort didn't matter. 

It had been five years since I'd read Tricks and I decided to read it again before reading Traffick to reacquaint myself with the characters. As I reread, I found that it wasn't necessary because the characters had a lasting effect on me. Even after all that time, I'd remembered each of their stories and who they were. While Traffick could be read as a standalone (if the reader wanted to), details of their lives portrayed in Tricks are revisited, I really think the books should be read together.

One thing that I liked about Traffick were the poems before each character section. Many of them were from the perspective of a family member, partner, or friend of the main character. It offered more insight to what they thought about what was happening with the main characters Eden, Seth, Ginger, Whitney, and Cody. Tricks was very much about the individual, and Traffick is more about the community the character exists within. This change is paramount in each of the character's individual stories because they are learning that they can rely on other people. People who want to help and who can be trusted really do exist.

Traffick included more characters who are victims and survivors of sex trafficking. While some of their stories seem similar, the details are individual, the people are individual, and that makes each of their voices relevant. They are relevant. They are not just a statistic. They are not just part of a larger issue. They are important and they matter.

When I finished reading Tricks years ago, I didn't realize how much I needed to know what happened to Eden, Seth, Ginger, Whitney, and Cody. But after finishing Traffick, I'm glad to see their stories come full circle and find out how their situations have changed. I'm sure that it will have a lasting effect on me just as Tricks did. Traffick is an important book that I hope ends up in the hands of many readers. It is a necessary, highly recommended read.

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

About Ellen
Ellen Hopkins is a poet, freelance writer, and the award-winning author of twenty nonfiction titles and five NY Times Bestselling novels-in-verse. She has published hundreds of articles on subjects ranging from aviation to child abuse to winegrowing.
Ellen mentors other writers through her position as a regional adviser for the Nevada chapter of the Society of ChildrenÕs Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
She is a regular speaker at schools; book festivals and writers conferences across the US, and now throughout the world.
Social Media Links:



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Imagination Designs