Books, reading, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling me That I MUST Read

It’s been forever since my last Top Ten Tuesday. FOREVER. Glad to be back 🙂 Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created  at The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling Me That I MUST Read

in no particular order, all covers link to Goodreads.com

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Since you’ve been gone by Morgan Matson
Under The Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi

The Mortal Instruments serie by Cassandra Claire
Pointe by Brandy Colbert
Something like normal by Trish Doller

And a few books by author friends, that I didn’t have time to read yet, despite the glowing recommendations by many people on the Twitterverse

Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler
The Eighth Guardian by Meredith McCardle
Fierce by L.G. Kelso

Which one should I read first out of this list? Any other recommendations?

Books, Giveaway

ALIENATED Launch & NOOK Giveaway!

Today I have the pleasure of hosting Melissa Landers and her book ALIENATED for her book launch and a NOOK Giveaway! I loved this book and hope you will too 🙂

ALIENATED Launch & NOOK Giveaway!

Alienated-newcvr

Hey, fiction lovers. I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce that my debut YA sci-fi romance, ALIENATED, is finally available from Disney-Hyperion! Cue the dancers and toss the confetti, because it’s been a long wait!

In a nutshell, ALIENATED is the story of valedictorian Cara Sweeney, who gets more than she bargained for when she agrees to host the nation’s first intergalactic exchange student, the gorgeous but emotionally-stilted Aelyx (pronounced A-licks) from planet L’eihr. The tone is light and humorous, but I explore some deeper themes as well.

What do reviewers have to say?

“The storyline is out of this world and character development paired with authentic voice is superb. Filled with intrigue and suspense, this book will appeal to both sci-fi and contemporary YA fiction fans.” –VOYA

“Interstellar relations heat up in this start to a new romantic science fiction series. Landers [explores] larger social, ecological, and ethical issues in this tense, fast-paced read.” –Booklist

“The perfect blend of sizzling romance, action, and suspense.” –#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

“Smart, funny, and epic. I am now awaiting contact from planet L’eihr.” Julie Cross, bestselling author of Tempest.

“Intergalactic exchange students? Yes, please! I fell in love with this story and couldn’t put it down.” Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate

If you like hot, swoony science fiction as much as I do, I hope you’ll give ALIENATED a try. It’s now available in stores and online.

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a Nook Simple Touch. I’ll even throw in a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble so you can fill your new e-reader with whatever you want!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now for the fine print: This giveaway is open to US residents only. (Sorry, international friends, but you need a US billing address to buy digital content on the Nook.) Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

Melissa1Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds.

A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information, or just to say hello, visit http://www.melissa-landers.com.

Books, reading, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten 2014 Debuts I’m excited for…

It’s been forever since my last Top Ten Tuesday. FOREVER. But I’ve been browsing the topics and since planning blog posts seems to be one way for me to make sure this blog doesn’t soon resemble an abandoned house. The type someone asks you to enter on a dare or that has fueled campfires stories for decades. The moon reflects on the broken window and even spiders think twice before entering. Anyways…You get what I mean.

This Top Ten Tuesday feature is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and I first came across it on Jaime´s blog.

Top Ten 2014 Debuts I’m excited for

I am very excited about a lot of 2014 Debuts but some of them are especially close to my hearts because those are by people I know. And I CANNOT WAIT TO HOLD THEIR BOOKS IN MY HANDS…

The list below is organized in publication order. Because you know organizing lists is an important task 😛

Out on February 4th 2014

  • WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE by Rebecca Behrens: First Daughter Audrey Rhodes is convinced that living in the White House is like being permanently grounded. Except with better security. What good is having your own bowling alley if you don’t have anyone to play with? After the Secret Service cancels the party she’d spent forever planning, Audrey is ready to give up and spend the next four years totally friendless–until she discovers Alice Roosevelt’s hidden diary. Alice was a White House wild child, and her diary tells all about her outrageous turn-of-the-century exploits, like shocking State visitors with her pet snake and racking up speeding tickets in her runabout. Audrey starts asking herself: What Would Alice Do? The former First Daughter’s outrageous antics give Audrey a ton of ideas for having fun . . . and get her into more trouble than she can handle!

Out on March 18th, 2014

Out on April 8th 2014

Out on April 29th, 2014

Out on May 6th, 2014

  • The Eighth Guardian by Meredith McCardle: Amanda Obermann. Code name Iris. It’s Testing Day. The day that comes without warning, the day when all juniors and seniors at The Peel Academy undergo a series of intense physical and psychological tests to see if they’re ready to graduate and become government operatives. Amanda and her boyfriend Abe are top students, and they’ve just endured thirty-six hours of testing. But they’re juniors and don’t expect to graduate. That’ll happen next year, when they plan to join the CIA—together. But when the graduates are announced, the results are shocking. Amanda has been chosen—the first junior in decades. And she receives the opportunity of a lifetime: to join a secret government organization called the Annum Guard and travel through time to change the course of history. But in order to become the Eighth Guardian in this exclusive group, Amanda must say good-bye to everything—her name, her family, and even Abe—forever. Who is really behind the Annum Guard? And can she trust them with her life?
Out on June 3rd
  • PUSH GIRLS by Jessica Love and Chelsie Hill: An inspiring, real, and fresh young adult novel about how life can change in an instant by Chelsie Hill, one of the stars Sundance Channel’s unscripted series Push Girls, based on her own life.

Out on June 24th, 2014

  • BEHIND THE SCENES by Dahlia Adler: High school senior Ally Duncan’s best friend may be the Vanessa Park – star of TV’s hottest new teen drama – but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs. Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.

Out on August 5th, 2014

  • THE GIRL FROM THE WELL by Rin Chupeco: You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

Out on August 26th, 2014

  • AT YOUR SERVICE by Jen Malone: Thirteen-year-old Chloe Turner wants nothing more than to follow in Dad’s footsteps as a respected concierge in a posh NYC hotel. After all, living at a hotel is heaven, and perks like free concert tickets and all-access passes to boutiques, restaurants, and attractions aren’t too shabby either. When the spoiled brat child of an important guest is only placated by some quick thinking on Chloe’s part, Chloe is awarded the role of Junior Concierge. But she might be in over her head when tasked with tending to the every whim of three royal guests: a twelve-year-old princess who can’t stand Chloe, a cute fourteen year-old prince(!), and their ten-year-old sister, who has a nasty knack for getting herself lost. After the youngest princess slips Chloe’s care, Chloe and the remaining royals must embark on an event-filled hunt for her through NYC’s best tourist spots.

Out in October 2014

  • DAMSEL DISTRESSED by Kelsey Macke: Kelsey Macke’s DAMSEL DISTRESSED, about 17-year-old Imogen Keegan and her struggle with obesity, self-harm, and the infuriatingly perfect stepsister who makes her want to drown herself in a vat of Nutella, with accompanying soundtrack of original songs written and performed by the author’s band, Wedding Day Rain, in an innovative mash-up of prose, technology, drawings, and music, to Danielle Ellison at Spencer Hill Contemporary, for October 2014, by Jessica Sinsheimer at The Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency

No exact release date yet but coming to bookstores near you in 2014 too

Let’s face it I’m also excited for many more than just 10 Debut Books. My current Goodreads Debut list has  If you want to see more amazing MG/YA debuting this year, don’t hesitate to check OneFour KidLit 

So tell me which books do you want to get your hands this year?

Book Review, Books

Five reasons to fall in love with ALIENATED by Melissa Landers…

Get ready for a book that won’t let you go even after you turned the last page! Thank you NetGalley and Disney Hyperion for allowing me to read an advanced copy!

Summary from Goodreads.com: Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket. Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

Before even getting into the five reasons to fall in love with ALIENATED, let me take a second to say that I’m still giddy about this book, I’m still thinking about it even though I’ve read it weeks ago.

As a writer, yes it does make me go through moments like OMG I JUST CANNOT…to those realizations…

I can totally do it!

So, why fall in love with ALIENATED?

  1. The. Voice. This is one example where I would follow the character everywhere because I have the feeling I know them so well. Because their voices leap through the pages, despite being in third-person. It flows naturally and finds a spot by your heart.
  2. Cara and Aelyx—and the entire cast of characters. All of them individually and together. Their interaction and how they were all their own individuals. I could see them hanging out outside of the pages, because they had their own hobbies, their own interests. And I wanted to spend more time with them.
  3. The plot. The idea of an exchange between aliens and humans and everything that it implies: fear of the unknown, of the “other”, learning about oneself, the adventure for both teenagers but also the weight they carried on their shoulders.
  4. The blogging element: It’s not the most important element of the novel but I have to say as soon as Cara mentioned she was going to blog about the exchange and about everything she learns about Aelyx and L’eihr traditions, a little part of me just connected with her even more.
  5. The romance. There are some serious swoony moments in this book. But there’s more than that. Just like the voice and all the rest of this book: nothing feels forced. It doesn’t feel like Melissa tried to put romance into the plot because it would help the intensity of it all. Nope, the romance develops and becomes part of the characters.

Please, please, please read it as soon as it comes out, because I need to talk to someone about it 🙂

You can add it on Goodreads here:

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)

 And should you wish to pre-order a copy, all links are on Melissa’s website.

Tell me, what is the last book you read?

Book Review, Books

An MG book to fall in love with: SKY JUMPERS by Peggy Eddleman

It´s been forever since I read Middle Grade books. And I have never reviewed one on this blog. But let me tell you something, when I got pre-approved for SKY JUMPERS by Peggy Eddleman on Netgalley, I jumped up and down. See, Peggy was one of the first bloggers I followed and interacted with.

Her blog´s always delightful and she´s so very nice that I thought the blogging community was going to be a great place to be (and I was right!).

You know when you start reading a book and you´re nervous because you want to love it but you´re not sure if you will. Well, as soon as I finished the first page of SKY JUMPERS, all doubts went out of the window. I fell into the story right at the beginning, the characters grew on me and I wanted to know what would happen to them.

What happens when you can’t do the one thing that matters most?

12-year-old Hope lives in White Rock, a town struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. The bombs destroyed almost everything that came before, so the skill that matters most in White Rock—sometimes it feels like the only thing that matters—is the ability to invent so that the world can regain some of what it’s lost.

But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb’s Breath—the deadly band of air that covers the crater the town lives in—than fail at yet another invention.

When bandits discover that White Rock has invented priceless antibiotics, they invade. The town must choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from disease in the coming months or to die fighting the bandits now. Hope and her friends, Aaren and Brock, might be the only ones who can escape through the Bomb’s Breath and make the dangerous trek over the snow-covered mountain to get help. For once, inventing isn’t the answer, but the daring and risk-taking that usually gets Hope into trouble might just save them all

Five reasons to love SKY JUMPERS

  • Hope is my kind of characters, she´s trying so hard to be perfect, not realizing that what she sees as weaknesses are seen by others as strengths. Really, there is a moment at the beginning of the book when I wanted to pull Hope into a hug and tell her that she´s special, despite not being good at inventing things.
  • The secondary characters are not secondary. The relationships of Hope with all of them makes them special, and makes them leap off the page.
  • The Bomb´s breath turns into a character of its own – the descriptions are vivid…
  • The adventures. SKY JUMPERS is full of them. Between the bandits arriving in town, the need for medicine, the jumps, protecting their loved ones, Hope and her friends embark on scary adventures. It´s a page turner!
  • Like the name of the main character, this story is full of hope. Hope in people, hope in the world…despite the hardships and all that they´re going through.

If you end up picking it up, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Books, Giveaway

The winner of my ROSE UNDER FIRE giveaway is….

Balloons and confetti

About a month ago, I held a giveaway for a copy of the wonderful ROSE UNDER FIRE….

While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?

 

And the winner (based on my husband´s innocent pick) IS:

ALISON MILLER

Alison, I´ll send you the copy of your book today!

Thanks to everyone who entered and HAPPY READING!

 

 

Books

YA Book Club: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson…

Picture1This is a copy of a post from July 2012 but since the YA Book Club of the wonderful Tracey  is discussing SECOND CHANCE SUMMER today, I had to repost it 🙂

Did you read this book? Do you participate in “offline” book clubs?

You know when emotions run wild while you´re reading and you´re feeling ALL the feelings?

That was me on Saturday night at 2am. I was supposed to be sleeping. Really, I was supposed to try to beat jetlag but that was impossible to do once I got into that story. I even thought of hiding under the covers with a flashlight or in another room if hubby happened to wake up to tell me I really should sleep because of that jetlag thing. Hubby just doesn´t understand when I cannot put a book down…

Summary from Goodreads: Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.
Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.
As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

I really really enjoyed Morgan´s debut (yes she doesn´t know we´re on first name basis :D) AMY AND ROGER´s EPIC DETOUR but I loved this one.

Maybe it was because of the family dynamics which were much more present into this book or because Taylor is trying to deal with the illness of her father without really knowing how to or because I came to love the secondary characters so much I wanted to hug them through the pages.

The book includes flashbacks into past summers. Getting a glimpse into Taylor´s life as she was younger such as how her first kiss unfolded was so adorable, cute and at the same time so sad and so hopeful.

Source: favim.com via Emi on Pinterest

The relationship of Taylor and her dad felt real to me, just like the relationship she had with her mother and her siblings. I could hear them and see them. Taylor and her dad made me laugh and made my heart squeeze. So many times in that book, I tried to detach myself but couldn´t because the raw emotions running through me were too real. The gestures Taylor and her dad have for each other, their struggle to find a balance, his reminders to her throughout the book about how much he loves her, the hints she gives him are very powerful.

Taylor and her mom appear to not be as close but she recognizes it is also a result of all the walls she built around herself. I choked up at one thing Taylor says because it just felt so real. Taylor and her siblings pretty much discover each other during the summer and there are parts of this discovery that had me laughing (not too loud because of the sleeping hubby). But at the same time, you wonder just like Taylor if it´s ok to laugh in these moments. And then, there are Henry and Lucy….yes you should dicover yourself about Henry and Lucy. I think we all have a friend like Lucy, the childhood friend who knows you inside and out. And Henry, well…You´ll have to see for yourself.

This book is indeed about family, love, loss, friendship, growing up and about love. After all just like Taylor´s dad explains:

“And I’ve realized that the Beatles got it wrong. Love isn’t all we need—love is all there is.”