Review: Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding

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Ink is Thicker Than Water
by Amy Spalding
Series: Standalone
Released on: December 3rd, 2013
Published by: Entangled Teen
Rating: 4 stars
Word rating: FUN
Reviewed by: Ellis

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For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.

But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.

It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.


Waiting on Wednesday - Dissonance

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme 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 Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke.

Dissonance
by Erica O'Rourke
Series: Dissonance, #1
Released on: July 22nd, 2014
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Waited on by: Ellis

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Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed - all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.

Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.

But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide - a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.


Coming Attractions: The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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Coming Attractions is inspired by The Perpetual Page Turner's Save The Date. Coming Attractions showcases a book that is not released for a while that I've read, and gives you a sneak peek (like a pre-review) as to what I thought about the book, since I can't post the review until closer to the release date.


The Vanishing Season
by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Series: Standalone
Released on: July 1st, 2014
Published by: HarperTeen
Rating: 4 stars
Word rating: BRB crying because Jodi Lynn Anderson
Reviewed by: Ellis

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Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig. I am looking for the things that are buried.

From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind.


Review: 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

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17 First Kisses
by Rachael Allen
Series: Standalone
Released on: June 17th, 2014
Published by: HarperTeen
Rating: 5 stars
Word rating: !!!!!!
Reviewed by: Blythe

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No matter how many boys Claire kisses, she can’t seem to find a decent boyfriend. Someone who wouldn’t rather date her gorgeous best friend, Megan. Someone who won’t freak out when he learns about the tragedy her family still hasn’t recovered from. Someone whose kisses can carry her away from her backwoods town for one fleeting moment.

Until Claire meets Luke.

But Megan is falling for Luke, too, and if there’s one thing Claire knows for sure, it’s that Megan’s pretty much irresistible.

With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose. And what she learns—about her crush, her friends, and most of all herself—makes the choices even harder.

In her moving debut, Rachael Allen brilliantly captures the complexities of friendship, the struggles of self-discovery, and the difficulties of trying to find love in high school. Fans of Sarah Ockler, Susane Colasanti, and Stephanie Perkins will fall head over heels for this addictive, heartfelt, and often hilarious modern love story.


Now and Forever by Susane Colasanti Book Trailer

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Now and Forever
by Susane Colasanti
Released: May 20th, 2014
Published by: Penguin

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What if your boyfriend was the world's biggest rockstar?

Sterling is crazy in love with Ethan. Not only is he the sweetest boy she's ever met, but he's an incredibly talented guitarist, singer, and songwriter. And since forever, he's believed he has what it takes to be a star.

When Ethan becomes an overnight sensation, he's thrown head-first into the glam world of celebrity-and so is Sterling. Before she knows it, she's attending red-carpet premieres, getting free designer clothes, and flying around the country to attend Ethan's monumental sold-out concerts.

It's a dream come true...but whose dream is Sterling living? And what do you do when "forever" comes to an end?


Lately I've been reading all the contemporary romances I could get my hands on (as has been and will be further evidenced by the reviews on the blog this week), so when I got an email about the trailer for Susane Colisanti's new Now and Forever, I jumped at it; this book looks really cute, and I've heard really good things about this author. Also you guys, the love interest is a hugely famous rock star which I am so excited for because that makes way for a lot of relationship conflict, which you all know I eat up. Plus, the trailer makes it look like it'd be just the swoony read I've been craving lately. AND, the trailer has some lost shirts of the male variety. So. 


Review: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

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Say What You Will
by Cammie McGovern
Series: Standalone
Released on: June 3rd, 2014
Published by: HarperTeen
Rating: 4.5 stars
Word rating: MY EMOTIONS
Reviewed by: Blythe

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John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern's insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.


Release Day Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

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The Art of Lainey
Paula Stokes
Series: Standalone
Release Date: May 20th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4 stars
Word rating: A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.
Reviewed by: Ellis

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Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is used to getting what she wants, and when her boyfriend Jason breaks up with her for no reason, what she wants is to win him back before the start of their senior year. Lainey and her friend Bianca check the interwebz for tips and tricks, but the online dating advice is all pretty lame.

Then the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. Didn't someone once say that love is a battlefield? Jason isn't going to stand a chance once Lainey and Bee go all Zhou Dynasty on him...

Old school strategy and subterfuge meet modern-day dramarama in the story of a girl who sets out to win at all costs and ends up discovering what's really worth fighting for.

Review: Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

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Lady Thief
A.C. Gaughen
Series: Scarlet, #2
Release Date: February 11th, 2014
Publisher: Walker Children's
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word rating: Intense
Reviewed by: Ellis

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Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood.

But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves.

With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.

Review: Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon

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Take Back the Skies 
Lucy Saxon
Series: Take Back the Skies, #1
Release Date: June 3rd, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Rating: 3.5 stars
Word Rating: Romance of doom
Reviewed by: Blythe

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Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya. She’s one of the privileged – she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever.

So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all . . .

Review: One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

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One Man Guy
Michael Barakiva
Series: Standalone
Release Date: May 27th, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Rating: 4.5 stars
Word Rating: Pure, pure joy
Reviewed by: Blythe

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Funny and heartfelt, One Man Guy serves up the raucous family humor and gentle romance of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, as told with David Sedaris–style wit.

Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. Everyone knows that Armenians never eat out. Between bouts of interrogating the waitress and criticizing the menu, Alek’s parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades. Alek is sure this experience will be the perfect hellish end to his hellish freshman year of high school. He never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan.

Ethan is everything Alek wishes he were: confident, free-spirited, and irreverent. He can’t believe a guy this cool wants to be his friend. And before long, it seems like Ethan wants to be more than friends. Alek has never thought about having a boyfriend—he’s barely ever had a girlfriend—but maybe it’s time to think again.


Review: The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

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The Assassin's Blade
Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass, #0.1 - 0.5
Released: March 1st, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Rating: 4 stars
Word Rating: SHIPSHIPSHIPSHIP
Reviewed by: Mel

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Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

Waiting on Wednesday - Trial by Fire

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme 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 Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini.


Trial by Fire
Josephine Angelini
Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy
Released: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Waited on by: Ellis

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Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem - one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?


Review: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

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Second Star
Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Series: Standalone
Release Date: May 13th, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Rating: 1.5 stars
Word rating: WENDY, NO
Reviewed by: Blythe

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A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer

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The Secrets of Lily Graves
Sarah Strohmeyer
Series: Standalone
Release Date: May 13th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Rating: 2 stars
Word rating: this European is whelmed
Reviewed by: Ellis

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Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.

But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.

As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.

Review: Life By Committee Corey Ann Haydu

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Life By Committee
Corey Ann Haydu
Series: None
Released: May 13th, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating: 2.5 stars
Word Rating: Eeh. Whatever.
Reviewed by: Mel

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Some secrets are too good to keep.

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?

DEEP BLUE Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway

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If you follow me on Twitter or have read my review, you know how much I enjoyed Jennifer Donnelly's Deep Blue. It was just the read I needed: fun, well-written, and puntastic. With that having been said, I am excited to have Jennifer Donnelly on the blog today for an interview about Deep Blue, mermaids, magic, and more! Below you will find information about the novel, and then after the jump, the interview with Jennifer Donnelly and two chances to win Deep Blue, which the publisher was generous enough to provide. Enjoy! 


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Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin's arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence. 

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