Thursday, November 28, 2013

Review: Reality Boy by A.S. King

Reality Boy by A.S. King
Little, Brown and Co.
On shelves now!
Reviewed by: Honorary Sis Sarah P.
Sisters say: Awesome premise, inventive voice. Another important book from A.S. King.

Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.

Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.

In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.

A.S. King is the prizewinning author of Please Ignore Vera Dietz and other serious YA fiction. And when I saw that her newest book was about a teen-aged former reality TV "star," I knew I would read it. No liemy little nerd heart was waiting for a hard hitting YA take on our culture's obsession with reality TV. It seemed like a topic overripe for the plucking. Musically, my favorite take in the subject is Jack Johnson's Good People. When he sings "we got heaps and heaps of what we sow," I'm right there with him.

Reality Boy delivers on the darkness of its premise. And even though a nanny show is premise enough for a novel, the author does it one better. The true cause of Gerald's miserable life is not what the cameras captured, but what they missed. Gerald's psychopathic sibling was the root of the evil, and neither his mother nor the in-and-out production team would take the time to call it what it was.

This book is a great read, but the middle of it is necessarily grim. In the depths of his journey, it is easy to despair along with Gerald. Nothing is likely to change for him, because more than a decade of evidence suggests that nothing can. I had to push through those parts (much as the character does) to reach the powerful and very poignant ending. Along the way, King's writing sparkles with wit and dark humor. Her take on a teen-aged boy and his high school setting feels very fresh and real, without a cliche in sight.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Origin (Lux, #4)

Origin (Lux #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Entangled
On shelves now!
Reviewed by: AmyG (big sis)
Sister's Say: Original, Outstanding and Overwhelmingly Amazing

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.


Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything. 

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on? 

And will they even be together?



I'm back!!!  I know it's been awhile since I've posted a review here, but I do have a good reason.  We have a new little one to add to our sisterhood ranks.  His name is August, and he is such a little joy.  For some crazy reason, I had absolutely no desire to read when I was pregnant.  Then the week after I had him, I was dying to have a book in my hands!  I have been putting away the books like crazy these past 3 months. Crazy how hormones are sometimes!  It's good to be back in the reading world, and what a good world that it is at the moment!  I have read SO MANY good books lately and am dying to talk about all of them.  Plus, I have 9 months worth of catching up to do!  Enough about myself, lets move on to Daemon, a much yummier topic!

I know you know what I am going to say, but I have to say it!  Origin is the best in the series yet!  Origin has freakin' everything and then more.  I'm not quite sure where I was expecting this story to go, but it definitely did not stay on the straight and narrow.  JLA does not pull her punches in this one.  She lets it all fly and didn't hold anything back.  You may think you know what is going to happen, but trust me, you don't!

Origin picks up right where Opal ripped out hearts out.  It opens in Kat's POV but switches back and forth between her and Daemon.  So all of you ladies that have been dying to catch a glimpse into Daemon's mind, you get plenty of it.  I loved every second of his POV.  He's exactly how I imagined him, but possibly a little more cocky...if that is even possible!  There's so many great and poignant moments amidst all all the incredible action and we're able to see them through Daemon's eyes.  It's what we've all been waiting for!  We also get all the gushiness!  Gone are the days of the reserved with love words Daemon.  He knows what he wants now and he's not shy about it either!  Honestly, you might all be surprised about just what all Daemon wants and how far he is willing to go to get it!  But, that's the reason why we love him.  He will move heaven and hell along with all the planets to get to what he loves!  I also think the heat in our house picked up a degree every time I read, "I love you."

The action, sweet baby origins (you'll get this joke if you've read the book), the action--it's phenomenal!  I felt like OPAL was the calm before the storm.  And, the storm in ORIGIN causes all hell to break loose, like the dark, crazy, really hot kind of hell!  I felt like I was watching some Alien action movie.  I was waiting for Will Smith to pop out and say, "Welcome to Earth!" after he punches some evil alien!  JLA has a way with description that makes the pages jump to life right in front of your eyes.  I could see it all so clearly as if the action was taking place right in front of my eyes instead of just in my imagination.

Get ready to meet some great new characters.  Some will quickly become some of your favs and others will make your blood boil.  But all in all, JLA is a master at characterization.  Even those you hate with the greatest of passions, you have to admit, they are pretty great characters!  I'm even hoping with all hope that there will be a spin-off novel or 2 for some of these characters!

There are plenty of surprises too!  Some things I saw coming, but other's I was left with my jaw on the floor!  There was one thing in particular that I did not see coming at all, but it left me in a fit of girlish giggles!  On the other hand, Jen doesn't hold anything back.  There's a war going on in Origin and the results are realistic.  This isn't one of those books where it's WWIII but somehow all the characters survive!  Don't get to close to anyone because they might not make it out.  I like that though.  I like that we see the truthful, painful side of war even though it left my heart heart hurting in the end.  All choices have consequences, and I loved seeing how far the characters are willing to go for the choices they have made.

This was my favorite novel of the series to date.  I am dying for the finale of this story, but then again I really don't want it to be over!  So, all I can say as usual with all JLA books, is read it!  You will love it and come away with more book boyfriends!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Little Too Hot by Lisa Desrochers Cover Reveal and Giveaway

If you have not started reading this series, you need to like yesterday!  These books are moving, beautiful and you will fall in love with these characters!  We are so excited for book #3 in this series, and this cover is definitely flaming hot!  Add this to you TBR and follow Lisa Desrochers on her Facebookher blogand her twitter.

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal: Seeking Her by Cora Carmack

How gorgeous is this cover!?!?  I love it so much!  We cannot wait to get our hands on this, but be warned that if you haven't read Finding It then this will be spoiler.  You have been warned!:)

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ABOUT SEEKING HER by Cora Carmack

A few months after being honorably discharged from the military, Jackson Hunt is still struggling to adjust back to the real world. He needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he’s going to keep his own demons at bay. The job that falls into his lap, though, is anything but normal.

Bodyguard (and baby-sitter) to spoiled-rich-girl Kelsey Summers isn’t exactly what he’d been looking for, but it’s a chance to travel, to get away from the home that has felt stifling ever since his return. It would be a pretty sweet gig if it weren’t for the fact that Kelsey’s father doesn’t want Kelsey to know she’s being followed. Hunt feels guilty (and a little bit creepy) as he watches her from afar. She’s vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar. When he sees her falling into the same patterns that he suffered years ago, he decides it’s time to stop watching and help her instead. But getting to know her is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her,the more he wants her.
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!

To participate all you have to do is:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)

 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 
Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Available NOW!!!
 
 
"Well, at least we know what Ares wants.  He's looking for a war," Aiden said, addressing the room like the leader he was and I so obviously hadn't quite learned to be.  'And we're going to give him one.'"  PG 23
 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Finding It by Cora Carmack On Sale for $1.99

Just a quick heads up to all our readers that Cora Carmack's newest book, Finding It, is on sale for $1.99!!!  This is the 3rd book in the Losing It series.  It's a story about finding yourself even if in that finding, you must face some gut wrenching obstacles.  Because we all know that discovering ourselves frees us no matter the trials that come our way.  Plus did I mention, Hunt? Yes, there is a super sexy guy in the mix!  We loved this book and you definitely don't want to miss this one!  Get it now before it goes back to it's normal price!  I'm not sure how much longer it will be on sale, so don't wait!


Finding It (Losing It, #3)

Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong...

Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She's having the time of her life . . . or that's what she keeps telling herself.

It's a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you're afraid you won't like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey's loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey's mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.

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Cora Carmack
Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry


Crash Into You by Katie McGarry
Published by Harlequin Teen
On Shelves November 26, 2013
Reviewed by:  YA Sisterhood's Mom

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

Much awaited! Much elated! Katie McGarry shows once again why she is a favorite. Hot guys and hot cars--but this time our female protagonist, Rachel, is just a savvy on cars as the hot tattooed hero, Isaiah! I love that she is smarter than most guys when it comes to cars and how to fix them.

But both are racing for time in more than just their cars. Isaiah is running from the foster system and a mom with a record. Rachel  is running from a family that expects her to live for her dead sister, who died before she was even born. Now they are both running from the local leader of the illegal street racing ring.

Meshed among all this hot paced excitement is a characterization that totally enthralls you. The novel may be fiction, but the panic is real and you will definitely feel that you are living through the lives of the characters.  There is no way out and you'll keep turning those pages as frantically as the characters move, only to crash into another problem.

Did I mention that Rachel has four hot brothers? Each one has his own faults, but they all stand strong in protection of Rachel. Definitely hoping McGarry creates a story for each of them!

McGarry created some sweet scenes!  Especially the texting between Rach and Isaiah, but three will absolutely have you oohing and ahhhing. Isaiah turns a migraine into something more romantic than the balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet. Passing his ASE certification leads to one of the most precious lines in the book. And finally, for fear of spoilage, I cannot reveal the last, but let's just say that the climax is such an antithesis, melding complete terror into an ultimate love scene.

Some favorite lines that will make you melt for Isaiah:

"People don't attach themselves to me, Rachel."

"It's strange, my entire life I've had doors closed on me and now that one's open, I'm not sure how to enter."

Katie McGarry--definitely at the heart of YA!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Guest Post: Sophie Jordan on her "Dying to Read" NA Books

Do you ever wonder what books your favorite authors are dying to read??  If you are like me, you certainly do!!! 

So, we asked Sophie Jordan, author of the recent NA Foreplay, what books are on her "Dying For" List.
 
1) BE WITH ME by J Lynn -- can't wait for the next installment of the Wait For You series.
 
2) ALL LINED UP (Rusk University) by Cora Carmack -- so excited for the first book of Cormack's new series.
 
3) Noelle August’s BOOMERANG -- sounds fab!
 
4) HARD AS IT GETS by Laura Kaye -- premise sounds hot ... gotta love forbidden love and hot, tatted military heroes !
 
So, there you have it!!!  Make sure you look up all these books and add them to your Goodreads shelves, and be sure to check out Sophie Jordan's Foreplay (it's fantastic!)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine. What books are you waiting on?

I'm looking forward to Lady Thief, which follows A.C. Gaughen's Scarlet. These gorgeous books are a reinterpretation of the Robin Hood stories.

In book two, Scarlet's true identity has been revealed, but her future remains uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet's future together, and as the royal court descents upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people hope that Prince John will choose their beloved Robin Hood.

But, seriously, what this reader wants to know is... will Scarlet get another kiss from Robin?

The book comes out on February 11th, 2014.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Gift from the Publisher of Racing Savannah by Miranda Kennealy

Happy Tuesday! Sourcebooks has a new title coming soon, and with it a special offer. Read on about the pre-order gift for Racing Savannah.


They’re from two different worlds, but Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules. . . get the next contemporary novel from blockbuster YA novelist Miranda Kenneally: RACING SAVANNAH!

Right before her senior year, Savannah’s father whisks the family off to Tennessee to work as head groom at fancy Cedar Hill Farms. Savannah finally sees it as the perfect opportunity to earn extra money as an exercise rider—no matter how many others don’t want a girl around the barn.  But she’s also caught the eye of Jack Goodwin, the owner’s son. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries. With her dream of becoming a jockey, Savannah is not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack.

Sourcebooks Says:

We’ve put together a fun campaign to thank readers for pre-ordering: send us your proof of pre-order and we’ll send you this fabulous horseshoe key chain!



A Gift for You, for Pre-Ordering RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kenneally

We have a special offer for U.S. and Canada YA fans for the release of RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kenneally in stores in a little over three weeks! If you pre-order the book, we will send you an exclusive horseshoe key chain—perfect for any busy teen on the go! You have until December 2 or until quantities run out.

Here’s how to get your charm:
1. Pre-order the book (print or eBook) through any retailer (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, your local independent bookseller/Indiebound, Books-A-Million, Hastings, etc.)

2. Email your proof of purchase (receipt or picture of the receipt) to teenfire@sourcebooks.com. Put “Racing Savannah Pre-Order” in the subject line. Don’t forget to include your home address (US & Canada only please) so we can send you the horseshoe key chain! If you’ve already pre-ordered this book—not a problem! Send us your receipt!

3. You will get an email back confirming when the items have been sent out. 

4. Enjoy Racing Savannah when it comes out in December!

Optional: take a pic of you and your horseshoe key chain and share it with Miranda Kenneally or Sourcebooks Fire on Twitter! You can find Miranda @mirandakennealy and Sourcebooks Fire @sourcebooksfire.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Available Now

Reviewed by: Honorary Sis Sarah P.

The Sisters Say: Beautifully moving and incredibly original. David Levithan's finest work.

New York Times  bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS. 

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

The very best books are the hardest to review. Because I'm always anxious that I can't possibly do the thing justice. But here goes:

I'm a big fan of David Levithan's work. The opening page of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is one of my all time favorites. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is one of the most warmhearted books I've read in the past couple of years. And while I usually eschew paranormal plot lines, One Day is the sort of book you have to read to understand its genius.

And although the premise for Two Boys Kissing (a Guinness Book record?) and the unusual narrative voice (a bunch of dead guys?) did not spark my interest, I decided to give the book a try.

I'm so glad that I did!

The genius of Two Boys Kissing is that it's not really a book about the difficulties of being a gay teenaged boy. It's a book about the difficulties of being human. Levithan's impeccable observance of human nature drives an unlikely plot forward.

I found the Greek Chorus narrative voice to be distracting until, oh, perhaps page 3. And then they made me cry about fifty times in quick succession. Because dead narrators have instant credibility and poignancy. (Think of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones.) And if, like Levithan, the author is careful not to overplay the grief card, that credibility can lead the reader forward with strong hands:
“We gather the things we learned, and they don't nearly add up to fill the space of a life.
You will miss the taste of Froot Loops.
You will miss the sound of traffic.
You will miss your back against his.
You will miss him stealing the sheets.
Do not ignore these things.” 
And like the reader herself, a dead narrator is omniscient, but also powerless to affect the action on stage. Levithan uses that helplessness to up the ante. Together, we can only watch the train wrecks occur. This is a "medley book," where the reader is asked to keep track of its cast of characters. And all these characters are teenaged boys in various states of happiness, but somehow it's not confusing. As the Guinness hopefuls' drama plays out, we get glimpses of the other characters' foibles. And the whole tangle comes to a satisfyingly dramatic conclusion before the last page.

Disclaimer: it's very unusual to find a YA book narrated by voices older than the teen years. I am (*cough*) a bit past my own teenaged years, too. So this book had special resonance for me. Those men who died of AIDS in the early nineties? I knew those men. I heard the echo of their voices in this book. So if you're younger than me, perhaps this narrative will reduce you to tears twenty times instead of fifty.

Nonetheless, this is the sort of book I'd like to hand out on street corners. My goal in doing so wouldn't be to teach tolerance. It would be to pass on the experience of reading a narrative of true originality and real genius.

I sure hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Blog Tour Guest Post: Blythewood by Carol Goodman

 
At seventeen, Ava Hall is already orphaned and working at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory when her life is turned upside down by the horrific fire that kills her best friend and leaves her questioning her sanity.  After a summer locked away in a mental institution, Ava is sent to Blythewood, the boarding school where Ava's mother spent the happiest years of her life.  But Blythewood is no ordinary finishing school for young ladies:  it's a training ground for magical warriors who form the mortal world's only line of defense against the evil world of Faerie.  

As Ava develops her own powers, she seeks to solve the many mysteries in her life:  Who was the handsome young man who helped save her from the fire-- and why does she remember him having wings?  Why did her mother commit suicide?  Who is the sinister stranger who's been following her from the city, and what's his connection with the deaths and disappearances that are plaguing Blythewood?  When evil broadens its scope beyond the Blythewood campus to impact world events, Ava must decide whom to align herself with, and figure out how to stop the dark forces, even if that means going against everything she’s been taught.

Set in New York's Hudson Valley in the early 1900s, the gothic Blythewood Trilogy vividly portrays a world-- both real and imagined--on the brink of change, and one girl's quest for the truth about her world, her school, and herself. 
 
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Carol on Blythewood:
 
One of my favorite things about writing BLYTHEWOOD was writing an all-girls school.  I went to Vassar which is one of the Seven Sisters, which are the Colleges that were the female counterparts to a lot of the elite colleges from the days when schools like Harvard or Yale would not allow women.  So, the idea of an all-female institution has been floating around my head for a while.  There are a few all-girls high schools and colleges still around (Smith and Mount Holyoke both only accept women and Miss Porter’s is probably the most famous all-girls high school still around) but I feel like they in many ways are emblematic of an era that ended in the early 20th century.  What’s so special about Blythewood being a girls school is that women are in charge of everything and can’t be sidelined like they very much were in the world at that time.  Blythewood is a school run by women for training girls into guardians of the magical world.   Having Blythewood by a girls school also allows me to develop the girls’ dynamics with each other better.  My three main girls, Ava, Helen, and Daisy, all have romantic entanglements but those relationships are not the same as the friendship they have with each other, and those friendships are really the focus of BLYTHEWOOD.
 
 
About Carol Goodman:
Bestselling author Carol Goodman’s books have been nominated for the IMPAC award twice, the Simon & Schuster/Mary Higgins Clark award, and the Nero Wolfe Award. Her second novel, The Seduction of Water, won the Hammett Prize in 2003. Visit her at carolgoodman.com. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Blog Tour: Breakable by Aimee L. Salter- Five Favorite Quotes

Today the YA Sisterhood is excited to host a stop on the blog tour for Aimee L. Salter's Breakable. This was one of those books that gripped hold of my heart, and stayed with me until long after I'd put it down. As a former high school teacher, I thought this book was so authentic and realistic. The voice was excellent, the plot in turns was unpredictable and heart-breaking. 

I recommend it for fans of John Green, Jandy Nelson, and Lauren Oliver. All in all, I can only say that this is one of my favorite books I've EVER read. The best compliment I can give it to say is that this book is going on my Harry Potter shelf. 

Here's the book blurb: 

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

When seventeen-year-old Stacy looks in the mirror she can see and talk to her future self. “Older Me” has been Stacy's secret support through the ongoing battle with their neurotic mother, relentless bullying at school, and dealing with her hopeless love for her best friend, Mark.
Then Stacy discovers Older Me is a liar.
Still reeling from that betrayal, Stacy is targeted again by her most persistent tormentor. Only this time, he's used her own artwork to humiliate her - and threaten her last chance with Mark.
She’s reached breaking point.
Literally.

"Original. Authentic. Heart-breaking. BREAKABLE has officially become one of my favorites!" -New York Times Bestselling Author of Losing It, Cora Carmack

What a cool cover, too! It fits so perfectly with the book, which is predominantly about art and self-image. 

The author was kind enough to stop by today, and give us a sneak peek at the book with look at her favorite quotes! This book was one of those where I could have easily highlight a favorite line on every page, so I was super excited to get to see Aimee's favorite.

Here they are!

Five Favorite BREAKABLE Quotes
As a novelist, every book is a story from the heart. There’s a connection with every word you write. But when Brittany asked me to offer up my favorite quotes from Breakable, I couldn’t pass up the chance.
See, even though I love the whole story, there are definitely moments – moments that make me laugh, or make me feel – where I have to stop and savor when I’m reading back through the manuscript.
I hope you’ll read the book and enjoy these moments as much as I do!
FAVORITE QUOTE #5: Stacy’s mother is, unfortunately, one of the people in Stacy’s life who contribute to her eroding sense of self-worth. I love this moment, because in it, Stacy shows her dry-side as an internal self-defense:
I met Older Me’s gaze, trying not to be obvious about my questions, while Mom prattled on about how to walk into a room like you owned it. Strange, I’d always thought she was born walking around as if her farts were gold-plated. I hadn’t realized she’d cultivated the talent.

FAVORITE QUOTE #4: Stacy is an artist, struggling for inspiration for a major competition. There’s a moment when she considers painting the people who make life hardest for her. I always enjoyed that passage because it felt like she took her pain and turned it into something productive:
I flipped back to the image of Finn and imagined turning the idea into a painting – using a spatula for hard lines to depict the sharpness of his features, heavy thick paint for his rhinoceros skin, fat brush strokes for his eyebrows, like caterpillars over his eyes, his long mouth a venomous slash of red and purple.
For Karyn I’d use glossy pastels – waxy crayons that shone on the paper. They’d do justice to her hair. I could layer red and white and beige and cream to make her cheeks blush. Then, when everything was done, use a tool to scrape her eyes out of the heavy wax so they cut through the viewer like they did through me. Her dimples would be hard to get right. I’d need to cut them into the acrylic, like her eyes. Holes in a poisonous blanket.
As her face came to life in my mind, I sniggered and pulled out the crayons to give it a shot. My hand moved quickly, inspired. A snapshot of possibilities sprang up on the paper in minutes – a shiny, waxy, plastic face that hid the darkness beneath.
I’d run a candle flame along the edge of her paper so it burned unevenly. The sooty remains would leave a dark stain on anyone who touched it.
My imagination ran away with me…
FAVORITE QUOTE #3: In this scene, Stacy’s adult self (called “Older Me”) offers her some insight. I don’t usually go in for “moral of the story” stuff, but this was a lesson I learned that it seemed like Stacy needed to learn too. And Older Me was just the person to teach it to her…
Older Me kept talking. “You think the way these people treat you is the end of the world. But I can tell you, it isn’t what happens to you in your life that destroys you. It’s what you do about it.”
“Are you trying to say it’s my fault everyone–?”
“No. I’m saying that you’ve had crap thrown at you. You can either clean yourself up and keep going and prove everyone wrong -- show them you didn’t deserve to get it in the first place. Or you can roll around in it and think you deserve it, and start acting like you do.”
Oh. “Is that what you did?”
She nodded. “Crappy things happened to me and I gave up. And believe me, when you give up, the crap just piles on thicker until pretty soon you don’t even realize it’s crap anymore.” She inched closer to me, her eyes piercing mine. “Stacy, if I had the chance to go back and live it again – to be in your shoes – I’d do it in a heartbeat. Because you’re going to walk away from this and figure out it wasn’t your fault.
“One day you’ll look back and realize that everyone you grew up with didn’t get it right. They didn’t actually know you. They didn’t really hear you. They were just so messed up, they threw all their own crap on you.
“But the thing is, if you can understand that it’s their problem, you’ll brush it all off and walk away clean. While they’ll still be looking for someone to dump on. You’ll win. It’ll be worth it.”
I couldn’t look away from her. “I don’t know…” Her words seemed so right. But I didn’t want to believe them because it meant I had to fight. And I was so tired of fighting.
FAVORITE QUOTE #2: There’s one line that always make me giggle. Something Stacy thinks to herself during her session with the Psychiatrist:
Doc raises his hands. “We’ll move on in a moment. But let me ask you one more question: If you walked out of here today and someone you admired – say, someone like Mark – were to ask you to get involved in a secret relationship now. Would you do it?”
Totally. But I say, “No.”  I’d have hair implants and call myself a cat if it meant Mark would stroke me one more time.
FAVORITE QUOTE #1: My very favorite quote in the book, though it covers an incredibly painful moment in the story, is Stacy’s analysis of her physical ordeal. I can’t tell you how she got to this point, or what happens afterwards, without ruining the story. But for me (and for Stacy) this moment always stands alone, crystallized:
There’s a special kind of pain reserved for dancing with shattered glass. It comes in stages:
The initial assault is fear; you see the glass coming and you know it’s going to hurt.
Then there’s the moment everything explodes and the glass tears at your skin, catching, peeling, shaving you away and you think, I might die.
Then the pieces fall and break into new pieces. You’re heading to the floor too, but they beat you there and all the tattered parts of you land on all the splintered parts of it. They are needles in open wounds. Knives on raw flesh.
And then the fire arrives – hot, burning flames that lick the wounds. And every time you move, the tiny pieces that stuck with you cut a little deeper and the flames roar higher.
In short, it sucks.
If only it ended there.
So there you have it! Thanks for taking a peek inside Breakable. If you decide to read the whole book, I’d love to hear from you at www.aimeelsalter.com or on Twitter (@AimeeLSalter) with your favorite quote!


This is one book that you guys don't want to miss! Everyone that I've pushed this book on has come back calling it one of their favorites. So pick up your copy (Available now from Amazon and Barnes and Noble), and prepare for THE FEELS.

Monday, November 4, 2013

How to Be Alone, by Tanya Davis and Andrea Dorfman

How to Be Alone: poem by Tanya Davis, illustrations by Andrea Dorfman

Available Now

Reviewed by: Honorary Sis Sarah P.

The Sisters Say: beautiful picture book for grownups (!) with some courageous things to say about the way we live now

If you are at first lonely, be patient.
If you're not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren't okay with it, then just wait . . .

From a solitary walk in the woods to sitting unaccompanied on a city park bench to eating a meal and even dancing alone, certain activities can feel strange when you're on your own. We rarely treasure those moments, even though there are abundant possibilities and delights waiting to be discovered when we have the time to just be with ourselves. Tanya Davis's words and Andrea Dorfman's beautiful illustrations soothe the disquiet that accompanies this fear of aloneness, and celebrate the power of solitude to change our views of ourselves and the world. How to Be Alone reveals how, removed from the noise and distractions of other lives, we can find acceptance and grace within.

For those who have never been by themselves, or for those who relish being on their own, this moving work encourages us to recognize and embrace the possibilities of being alone—and reminds us of a universe of joy, peace, and discovery waiting to unfold.

This beautiful little hardcover book grew out of a 4.5 minute video sensation with five million YouTube hits. The question this poem asks is beautifully subversive. Why is it sometimes so difficult to be alone? How nonsensical to feel awkward or ashamed when we are not surrounded by a gaggle of friends.

But it isn't easy, is it? What a dope I feel like, just admitting it.

The book posits that feeling comfortable being alone is a skill worth acquiring, and it's hard to disagree. The poem, just a few words on each page, starts out with the assumption that being alone is not easy. "We could start with the acceptable places: the bathroom / the coffee shop / the library." And it builds from there, finding many new ways to be comfortable all alone.

My favorite page comes about 1/3 of the way through, and it's an important enough sentiment that it might as well be the book's subtitle. "Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone." Surely that's this generation's greatest challenge, no? With our shiny digital friends, we can always bow our heads and shut the anonymous world out. In fact, if this were my book, I'd cut to the chase and title it: How to Put Down Your Phone.

This pretty book (which would probably make a lovely gift, come holiday time) wants us to try to find the real joy in our solitude. "Dance like nobody's watching. Because they're probably not."

Aside from the beautiful poem, the book's painted art, its handwritten text and its matte cloth cover are are gorgeous. Read it, and then pass it on to someone you love.

A picture book for grown-ups!

Disclaimer: the publisher provided a hard copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Champion by Marie Lu Trailer and Giveaway

The time is almost here!  It's bittersweet for a final book to finally be here!  It's been years in the waiting, but it's always sad to say goodbye to the characters we love!  Especially June and Day because they are some of my favorites!  To help hold you over those last few days, we have the official trailer for Champion and a special giveaway! 
  
Champion (Legend, #3)

The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.


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I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. :)

I graduated from the University of Southern California in '06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.


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Be sure to keep up with all of Penguin Teens new releases and book news by following them on Twitter and Facebook.

Here is what's up for grabs from Penguin Teen for this giveaway.