Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

This is something you've got to check out! Today I'm helping to reveal the cover for Jennifer Salvato Doktorski's new YA contemporary, out March 2015. Jen is one of my favourite authors and I'm so happy for her that THE SUMMER AFTER YOU AND ME got such a beautiful cover. I love it! What do you think? 




Here is the summary to go with it:


Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?



Where to find Jen Doktorski and her books: www.jendoktorski.com | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook
  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Huge Pre-Order Giveaway - Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

I've got a very special post for you today! Kimberley Griffiths Little is giving away a ton of fabulous goodies to you wonderful readers. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!


On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.





Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate. See below for full details on how to enter.


 
TO ENTER:

* You must preorder Forbidden through an online retailer or your local bookstore, then email a photo of your receipt to forbiddengiveaway@gmail.com.

* Fill out the rafflecopter below

* US/Canada Only

* Ends at midnight EST on November 3, 2014

* Optional entries: share the trailer on your own site or social media, follow Kimberley on twitter, and tweet about the giveaway (can be repeated daily for extra entries!)
 
* Winners will be announced and contacted November 4th (release day!)

* If the winner does not respond with their mailing address within one week, a new winner will be chosen.



PRIZES:

(1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER:

1. NEWLY RELEASED Kindle Fire HD6 Tablet with 6" HD Display, Wi-Fi, Front and Rear Cameras, 8 GB -- choose your color! (Black, Magenta, White, Citron, or Cobalt)
2. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson
3. CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White
4. Satin Belly Dance Skirt
5. Belly Dance 150-Coin Hip Scarf
6. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
7. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
8. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
9. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
10. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
11. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)



(1) SECOND PLACE WINNER:

1. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson
2. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
3. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
4. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
5. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
6. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
7. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)









(13) RUNNERS-UP WINNERS:

1. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
2. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
3. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
4. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)










Good luck!



Preorder: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

About Forbidden: In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.



Follow Kimberley:
About Kimberley: Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. You can visit her online at www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com.



Share your thoughts on the trailer in the comments!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Behind The Pages #9 - Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer


Welcome to my new Behind The Pages post! You can find last month's post of this feature, with Adi Alsaid and Let's Get Lost, here. Today I'm sharing pages Mary Elizabeth Summer annotated from her debut novel TRUST ME, I'M LYING. Have you read it yet?

What is Behind The Pages all about? I asked some of my favourite authors and a bunch of promising 2014 debut authors to annotate a scene, page or more of one of their books. I see the feature as a chance to show readers what's behind a page. Authors can share their favourite writing memories, the music that influenced a certain scene or anything else that comes to their mind. We might get hints to what the characters were thinking and feeling that exact moment or other fun details about their story. Hope you enjoy Behind The Pages as much as I do. I'm intending this feature to be a monthly post here on the blog.

Thanks to all the incredible authors who took the time to annotate a page or scene for us, your comments are always so insightful and fun to read. When readers can't get enough of a book and its characters it only shows how much the author's work means to them, to us. Thank you!

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Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.

  
 
Mary Elizabeth Summer is an instructional designer, a mom, a champion of the serial comma, and a pie junkie. Oh, and she sometimes writes books about teenage delinquents saving the day. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her daughter, her partner, and her evil overlor–er, cat. TRUST ME, I'M LYING, a YA mystery, will be released by Delacorte in Fall 2014. (Author bio found on www.mesummer.com). Follow Mary Elizabeth on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.  


 
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Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer 






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Snap Shots
 
Here are a few pictures Mary Elizabeth Summer took of the actual racetrack she went to for "research" purposes. 


 


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Soundtrack

Mary Elizabeth Summer has mentioned a few songs in her annotations that are her characters' theme songs. 'Ain't No Rest For the Wicked' by Cage The Elephant is one of Julep's songs. I hope you enjoy it!
 
 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book Review: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare


Title: The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1)
Author: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books
Publishing Date: September 11th 2014
Length: 320 pages
Keywords: MG, friendship, magic school, elements
Source: Publisher

Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .


Summary by Goodreads






Callum, our protagonist, is such a kind and lovely boy. He is also a lonely boy. That is, until his life changes radically when he is accepted into the Magisterium, the one place on earth he's always wanted to avoid at all costs. 
   He has a disability and has been an outsider all his life. So even if he didn't want to attend the new school, this opportunity means a new start for him. It's his chance to make new friends and prove the world that he can be good at something, maybe even the best. 
   The character of Callum is a character who represents all the kids who are struggeling with a disability themselves. He shows that many things are possible when you believe in yourself. Call will encourage many readers to be as brave as he is.

Together with his new friends Aaron and Tamara, Call introduces readers to a new generation of magic apprentices at the Magisterium. THE IRON TRIAL kind of reminded me of the Harry Potter world. Yet Cassandra Clare and Holly Black's book has so many bewitching peculiarities that are solely Magisterium-made that you can't but think of it as its own magical world. I'm sure many readers will enjoy this new and different brand of magic. 

The three kids are only getting to know the Magisterium and its rules. As part of their apprenticeship Callum and his friends are presented with little tasks and small missions to develop their magic skills.  They are mostly harmless missions, so the story comes along less adventurous than expected. It is a very innocent kind of magic the kids are practicing. And they are learning to control the elements with the help of their mentors.
   Despite the big author bonus and the friendship story that works great I am not fully content with the rather slow pace of the story. The introductory part was longer than necessary and it was a while until I felt at home in the Magisterium.

This Middle Grade read is suitable for younger readers. The friendship part of the story is very important. Cassandra and Holly go into detail how such a strong bond of friendship between Callum, Tamara and Aaron develops over time and how trials are mastered together. I really like this wizard trio!






3,5/5 ***/* THE IRON TRIAL - Readers all over the world will fall in love with Callum's story of bravery, magic and friendship!  
 
Two beloved authors of mine teamed up to write a new magic school series, and now that I know there will be five books in this series I am an even happier reader. Clare and Black's writing is rich in detail and very strong in creating lovely atmospheric background settings to every chapter. I would recommend THE IRON TRIAL to younger readers but older fans of magic schools will definitely get their money's worth, too.








"As he bent closer, he realized they were words - words his wife had carved into the cave ice with the last of her dying strength.
As he read them, he felt them like three hard blows to the stomach. 
KILL THE CHILD" p.4-5








THE IRON TRIAL you might enjoy HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins, THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL by Soman Chainani and THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan. These are YA and MG reads with a good portion of magic.








* Check out the German cover for THE IRON TRIAL. 

* THE COPPER GAUNTLET, the second book in this series comes out 2015.

* Click here to watch the THE IRON TRIAL book trailer.

* Here's an excerpt of THE IRON TRIAL for you to read.

* For more information about the authors and their books visit www.blackholly.com and www.cassandraclare.com.

* Thanks to Random House UK for sending me a proof copy of THE IRON TRIAL for review!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Book Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil


Title: Get Even (Don't Get Mad #1)
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: September 16th 2014
Length: 320 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, thriller, mystery, romance, friendship, bullying
Source: Edelweiss

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.


Summary by Goodreads






Kitty, Margot, Bree and Olivia couldn't be more different. Olivia is the theater girl, Kitty the sporty type, Margot the tech pro and Bree is the daughter of a Senator. They are in the same high school and know how hard trying to be oneself can be. It is not friendship that connects them, but something bigger, something stronger. Revenge and justice.
   The four girls formed the group DGM in order to protect other students who have become victims to bullying and oppression. Together they have to withstand an accusation of murder themselves and find out who killed bully Ronny. This constellation kind of reminded me of Pretty Little Liars. But in comparison GET EVEN would make a much better Tv show since Gretchen McNeil's girls are  stronger, smarter and more independent than Aria and her friends.

While GET EVEN is about proving the girls' innocence, Gretchen McNeil throws in hints, clues and evidence that make you suspicious of all four girls in some way, too. Very sneaky!
   The story switches back and forth between all four girls and their perspectives. Bree was by far my favourite person to follow around with her best friend John and her growing feelings for him. Friendship becoming romance, yes, I really liked that and the way Bree started to realize her true feelings at some point. The other girls have interesting romances and friendship stories, too.

I am so glad that Gretchen McNeil decided to bring out the girls' story as a duology, with the first book releasing in September 2014 and the second in summer 2015. This way there was much writing space to form a believable story background, and especially with a murder investigation going on. Gretchen considered love stories for each girl and one big part of GET EVEN is about the possibility of them becoming friends in the end despite the big differences between the girls.
   It was hard to put the book aside when it ended and now wait a few months until I can pick up its sequel. Hope that it starts right where the first ended. There are still a few questions and problems to solve so I'm looking forward to the second book.






4/5 **** GET EVEN - Gretchen McNeil's best book so far!

The words "dying for the sequel" really fit in the case of GET EVEN. Bree and John's relationship is by far my favourite and the way things ended for them was so mean. It's been a long time since I read something so suspenseful and with so much teen drama. I can't wait for GET DIRTY!








"Bree rolled her eyes. Most days John's geeky instance that there was a Star Wars quote for every occasion was relatively entertaining, but today is was about as welcome as a raging case of the herps." p.2








GET EVEN you might enjoy PRETTY LITTLE LIARS by Sara Shepard, THE DOLLS by Kiki Sullivan and DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas. There's lots of girl drama and murderous plotting going on in these three books. Perfect for fans of Gretchen McNeil's newest book.





* Have you read TEN by Gretchen McNeil? 

* GET DIRTY, the sequel to GET EVEN is scheduled to release June 2015. 

* Click here to read an excerpt of GET EVEN.

* For more information about Gretchen and her books visit www.gretchenmcneil.com


Monday, October 13, 2014

Frankfurt Book Fair 2014 - Book Haul

After my regular book haul and the US book haul, now comes my Frankfurt Book Fair haul. I've got no idea where to put all the books I got in the past month. I need new shelves...haha. I attended the fair on Saturday and Sunday and met a few of my favourite German bloggers. On Saturday we went to an event with Libba Bray who promoted the release of her The Diviners in Germany. She was so funny and signed my (still unread) UK copy of The Diviners. It was a fun weekend and I'm already looking forward to Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015!

Thanks to Libba Bray for signing my copy of The Diviners!


Books, Books Books...


 Harper Collins

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis
The Taking by Kimberly Derting

Sourcebooks

Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards
See Jane Run by Hannah Jayne



 Penguin

Half Bad by Sally Green
Paper Towns by John Green
Sophomore Year Is Greek To Me by Meredith Zeitlin

Harlequin Teen

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
Crash Into You by Katie McGarry



Scholastic

Famous Last Words by Katie Alender
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Books Crossing Borders

Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams
Winterspell by Claire Legrand



Macmillan

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Scotland Publishers

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion



Giveaway

The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship.

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together....


a Rafflecopter giveaway

* You enter for a chance to win a copy of A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
* INTERNATIONAL (please check if The Book Depository ships to your country)
* The giveaway starts on October 14th and will end on October 31st
* Enter the rafflecopter form!
* Good luck :) 

Friday, October 10, 2014

New Books On My Shelf #69

Here's what showed up while I was in the US. So many wonderful books. Can't wait to read all of them. I've already started with THE JEWEL.


For review. A bunch of Harper Collins International ARCs. Thank you!!



A limited, signed copy of THE BODY ELECTRIC by Beth Revis. A huge thanks to Beth for sending me a copy for review and for the beautiful swag pack! x




Bought. I had a copy of NOT IN THE SCRIPT pre-ordered that showed up while I was gone. Of course I couldn't resist to get the Divergent Blu Ray and I'm really looking forward to the second season of Grand Hotel.