Review: No Angel by Helen Keeble


No Angel
Helen Keeble
Series: None
Released: October 8, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: BAHAHAHA
Reviewed by: Mel

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Rafael Angelos just got handed the greatest gift any teenage boy could ever dream of. Upon arriving at his new boarding school for senior year, he discovered that he is the ONLY male student. But what should have been a godsend isn't exactly heaven on Earth.

Raffi's about to learn that St. Mary's is actually a hub for demons-and that he was summoned to the school by someone expecting him to save the day. Raffi knows he's no angel-but it's pretty hard to deny that there's some higher plan at work when he wakes up one morning to discover a glowing circle around his head.

Helen Keeble's debut novel, Fang Girl, has been praised for its pitch-perfect teen voice, and VOYA called it "refreshing and reminiscent of Louise Rennison's Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series." No Angel brings you angels and demons like you've never seen them-complete with the wry humor of Vladimir Tod, sinfully irreverent romance, and some hilariously demonic teenage dilemmas.

Demons and angels and now magic kisses...I didn't ask for any of this.

Review: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys


Between Shades of Gray
Ruta Sepetys
Series: None
Released: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Philomel Books
Rating: 4.5 stars
Word Rating: What do I do with my life now?
Reviewed by: Mel

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Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk--documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

"We'd been trying to touch the sky from the bottom of the ocean."

Interview with Lydia Kang (author of CONTROL)

Debut Authors Bash at

Hey, guys! Guess what? Today on the blog we have another interview for you (did I tell you I was coming back with a bang or what?)! This time I am thrilled to have Lydia Kang, author of the upcoming (and likely-to-be-awesome) Control, stop by for an interview as part of YA Reads' 2013 Debut Authors Bash. I hope you enjoy my interview with Lydia below, and be sure to check out the other posts by bloggers and debut authors participating in this event, as well! 

Lydia Kang
Series: Control, #1
Released: December 26th, 2013
Publisher: Dial BFYR
Genre: Science fiction/dystopian

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An unputdownable thriller for fans of Uglies.

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.

A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

Once We Were Blog Tour: Interview with Kat Zhang

Hi, guys! Long time, no see. (This is Blythe here, and, as you may or may not have known, I took a break from Twitter, reading, blogging, etc for reasons that are behind me as of now.) However, I like to think that I'm coming back with a bang, because today I have an interview with the lovely Kat Zhang for you guys as part of the blog tour for Once We Were (which is released tomorrow!). And then tomorrow I have another interview for you all! But anyway, if you haven't read Zhang's What's Left of Me yet, you should really get to that because both that, and Once We Were, are really just great. 

Now, let's welcome Kat to the blog!

Review: The Collector by Victoria Scott


The Collector
Victoria Scott
Series: Dante Walker, #1
Released: April 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Rating: 2.5 stars
Word Rating: Ugh
Reviewed by: Kate

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He makes good girls...bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

Waiting On Wednesday- The House of Hades

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine where we post upcoming releases we're highly anticipating. My pre-publication selection for this week's Waiting on Wednesday is The House of Hades by Rick Riordan.

The House of Hades
Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus
Release Date: October 8th, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Waited on by: Mel

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At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman


Where She Went
Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay, #2
Released: April 5th, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Rating: 5 stars
Word Rating: Uncontrollable sobbing
Reviewed by: Kate

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It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

Review of If I Stay by Gayle Forman


If I Stay
Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay, #1
Released: April 2nd, 2009
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Not that heartbreaking...
Reviewed by: Mel

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In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”

Review: All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry


All the Truth That's in Me
Julie Berry
Series: None
Released: September 26th, 2013
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Rating: 4.5 stars
Word Rating: Different in a VERY good way
Reviewed by: Mel

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Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.

Review: Finding It by Cora Carmack


Finding It
Cora Carmack
Series: Losing It, #3
Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: Angsty Goodness
Reviewed by: Kate

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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.

Review: Once We Were by Kat Zhang


Once We Were
Kat Zhang
Series: Hybrid Chronicles, #2
Released: September 17th, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: Slow, but good
Reviewed by: Blythe

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"I'm lucky just to be alive"

Eva was never supposed to have survived this long. As the recessive soul, she should have faded away years ago. Instead, she lingers in the body she shares with her sister soul, Addie. When the government discovered the truth, they tried to “cure” the girls, but Eva and Addie escaped before the doctors could strip Eva’s soul away.

Now fugitives, Eva and Addie find shelter with a group of hybrids who run an underground resistance. Surrounded by others like them, the girls learn how to temporarily disappear to give each soul some much-needed privacy. Eva is thrilled at the chance to be alone with Ryan, the boy she’s falling for, but troubled by the growing chasm between her and Addie. Despite clashes over their shared body, both girls are eager to join the rebellion.

Yet as they are drawn deeper into the escalating violence, they start to wonder: How far are they willing to go to fight for hybrid freedom? Faced with uncertainty and incredible danger, their answers may tear them apart forever.