New Book Releases April 2017

New Book Releases for April 2017

April 2017 is the most epic month for new book releases. There is something for everyone. So, what are you waiting for? Get creating that to-read list!!! Click on the covers for more information and full reviews.

Adult Fiction

The Hideaway – Lauren K. Denton – Thomas Nelson – Published 4 April 2017

Deep in the heart of the South is a dilapidated, quirky, and much-loved old home. The Hideaway is a shelter for those who are lost or want to escape society. For Sara, growing up there with her equally quirky grandmother, the Hideaway was embarrassing and as a young adult she quickly escaped to New Orleans to start her own business. Now her grandmother is dead and Sara has been left with the Hideaway, its remaining occupants, and the task of refurbishing the house. But the longer she stays, the harder it is to imagine leaving. She also begins to uncover the secrets her grandmother closely guarded and starts to fall in love with the charming contractor refurbishing what is quickly becoming her home.

Adult fiction: Women’s, Contemporary


Young Adult Fiction

The Secret Science of Magic – Melissa Keil – Hardie Grant Egmont – Published 1 April 2017

Fact: Sophia is smart. As in, certified-child-prodigy, breezing-through-uni-subjects-even-though-she’s-only-in-year-twelve smart. This terrifies her, because geniuses have a tendency to end up as recluses and weirdos – and with her current social ineptness, she’s halfway there already.

Truth: Joshua is good at magic tricks, ignoring most things about year twelve, and not thinking at all about life after high school.

Fact: Sophia can’t even talk to her best friend Elsie about her anxieties, because Elsie is firmly focused on her own future – and on plans that will mean leaving Sophia behind.

Truth: Joshua has had a secret crush on Sophia since forever, but he doesn’t have forever to act on it.

Fact: There are some things no amount of genius can prepare you for … and the messiness of the real world is one of them.

Truth: Timing is everything.

Young adult fiction: Contemporary


The Football Girl – Thatcher Heldring – Delacorte Press – Published 4 April 2017

The summer before Caleb and Tessa enter high school, friendship has blossomed into a relationship…and their playful sports days are coming to an end. Caleb is getting ready to try out for the football team, and Tessa is training for cross-country.

But all their structured plans derail in the final flag game when they lose. Tessa doesn’t want to end her career as a loser. She really enjoys playing, and if she’s being honest, she likes it even more than running cross-country. So what if she decided to play football instead? What would happen between her and Caleb?

Young adult fiction – Contemporary, Sport


The End of Our Story – Meg Haston – HarperTeen – Published 4 April 2017

Bridge and Wil have been entangled in each other’s lives for years. Under the white-hot Florida sun, they went from kids daring each other to swim past the breakers to teenagers stealing kisses between classes. But when Bridge betrayed Wil during their junior year, she shattered his heart and their relationship along with it.

Then Wil’s family suffers a violent loss, and Bridge rushes back to Wil’s side. As they struggle to heal old wounds and start falling for each other all over again, Bridge and Wil discover just how much has changed in the past year. As the fierce current of tragedy threatens to pull them under, they must learn how to swim on their own—or risk drowning together.

Young adult fiction: Contemporary.

Continue reading

New Book Releases March 2017

New Book Releases for March 2017

Need something new to read? Well, take note, because March is your month. Some fantastic new releases are being launched into the world. Here are a few that have caught my eye.

Young Adult Fiction

Optimists Die FirstOptimists Die First – Susin Neilsen – Penguin/Random Aus/UK – Published 2 March 2017 (Aus)

Petula knows death is lurking around every corner. She is a pessimist and she knows her vigilance will keep her alive longer. She wasn’t always like this. She wishes she had been, because then her baby sister might still be alive. She carries the weight of this tragedy, trying to keep her family from fracturing further. She has been assigned to the school’s art therapy, where a miss-matched group of teens are meant to express their fears and troubles through juvenile art projects. But Jacob, a new addition to the group, shakes them up, gives them a boost of creativity, and might even bring them together.

Young adult fiction: Contemporary


Proof of Lies

Proof of Lies – Diana Rodriguez Wallach – Anastasia Phoenix #1 – Entangled:Teen – Published 7 March 2017

Three years ago, Anastasia lost both her parents in a horrific car crash while they were on one of their research development trips. Three years on, Anastasia is living with her sister, Keira. But one morning, Anastasia discovers her sister has disappeared and the bathroom filled with blood. The police seem to be doing nothing and, consumed by grief, Anastasia isn’t sure what to do until her sister’s friend and roommate (and amateur hacker) discovers that maybe there was more to Keira’s disappearance. Anastasia begins a globe-trekking hunt for clues.

Young adult fiction – Mystery/Thriller.

Goodbye Days


Goodbye Days – Jeff Zentner – Crown Books – Published 7 March 2017 (April in Aus/UK)

Can a text message destroy your life?

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths.

Then Blake’s grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, along with Eli’s bereaved girlfriend Jesmyn.

Young adult fiction: Contemporary.

Continue reading

New Book Releases February 2017

New Book Releases for February 2017

February 2017 is another exciting month for new book releases. Here are the books that are on my list for this month.

Young Adult Fiction

Lessons In FallingLessons in Falling – Diana Gallagher – Spencer Hill Press – Published 7 February 2017

When Savannah Gregory blows out her knee –and her shot at a gymnastics scholarship – she decides she’s done with the sport forever. Without gymnastics, she has more time for her best friend, Cassie. She’s content to let her fun, impulsive best friend plan a memorable senior year.

That is, until Cassie tries to kill herself.

Savannah wants to understand what happened, but Cassie refuses to talk about it and for the first time, Savannah has to find her own way. The only person she can turn to is Marcos, the boy who saved Cassie’s life. Being with him makes her see who she could be and what she really wants: gymnastics.

Young adult fiction – Contemporary.


Continue reading

Book List: Transport in Fiction

Transport in Fiction

I was approached by the car sharing company Turo (you can view their available rentals on their website) to write a post about my favourite cars in books. I decided to expand that to my favourite transport vehicles. Transport can be so much more than getting from a to b in books. Just take the Orient Express, for example, and who wouldn’t want to ride the Hogwarts Express. And yet, one could argue that every book has some sort of vehicular transport in it, but it takes a memorable experience to make it stand out. Here is my list of stand-out modes of transport in books. But let’s be honest, its just a chance to highlight some of my favourite books.

This list also ties in nicely with the upcoming release of Margaret’s Stohl’s YA novel Royce Rolls, which sounds amazing.

Royce Rolls Royce Rolls – Margaret Stohl – Freeform – Published 4 April 2017

Sixteen-year-old Bentley Royce seems to have it all: an actual Bentley, tuition to a fancy private school, lavish vacations, and everything else that comes along with being an LA starlet. But after five seasons on her family’s reality show, Rolling with the Royces, and a lifetime of dealing with her narcissistic sister, Porsche, media-obsessed mother, Mercedes, and somewhat clueless brother, Maybach, Bentley wants out. Luckily for her, without a hook for season six, cancellation is looming and freedom is nigh. With their lifestyle on the brink, however, Bentley’s family starts to crumble, and one thing becomes startlingly clear–without the show, there is no family. And since Bentley loves her family, she has to do the unthinkable–save the show.

Cars

whitegt-1 White 2005 Mustang GT

For total coolness I would have to choose Rachel’s Mustang GT from Crash Into You. I’m not sure she would let me drive it, though.

Crash Into YouCrash into You – Katie McGarry – Harlequin Teen – Published 26 November 2013

The girl with straight A’s and the perfect life—that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy family…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 after the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.


ford

Ford Anglia

With flying mode, of course. Hard to choose whether to put this one under cars or flying vehicles. Harry Potter has so many, very amazing modes of transport to choose from – apparition, Thestral-drawn carriage, even dragon. But the flying car is still cool.

harry-2
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling – Bloomsbury – Published 1998

Harry, Ron and Hermione are back in their second year at Hogwarts. This time Ron and Harry make a rather impressive entrance in the Weasley’s flying car.



jeep-liberty-red-5

Red Jeep Liberty

You can’t have a list of cars in fiction without a road-trip novel.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour – Morgan Matson -Simon and Schuster – Published 2010

Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

Continue reading

New Book Releases January 2017

New Book Releases for January 2017

What’s the best way to ring in the new year? New books, of course. January 2017 has a great range of new titles, something for everyone to enjoy. Here are the books that are on my list for this month.

Adult Fiction

Dawn StudyDawn Study – Maria V. Snyder – Harlequin Teen – Published 25 January 2017

Despite the odds, Yelena and Valek have forged an irrevocable bond and a family that transcends borders. Now, when their two homelands stand on the brink of war, they must fight with magic and cunning to thwart an Ixian plot to invade Sitia.

Yelena seeks to break the hold of the insidious Theobroma that destroys a person’s resistance to magical persuasion. But the Cartel is determined to keep influential citizens and Sitian diplomats in thrall and Yelena at bay. With every bounty hunter after her, Yelena is forced to make a dangerous deal.

General fiction: Fantasy


Young Adult Fiction

Love and First Sight

Love and First Sight – Josh Sundquist – Little, Brown Books – Published 3 January 2017

Will is blind. So going to his local high school for the first time is a big deal. And the first day really couldn’t have gone much worse. But as Will settles into school and begins to make friends he has the chance to partake in a rare and dangerous surgery that offers him the tantalising possibility of seeing for the first time in his life.

Young adult fiction – Contemporary.


Continue reading

New Book Releases December 2016

New Book Releases for December 2016

Well, it looks like December 2016 will be a lean month for me in terms of new books. But those book that are celebrating their release in December more than make up for it with great stories and fantastic authors. Here are the books that are on my list for this month.

Young Adult Fiction

Split The SunSplit The Sun – Tessa Elwood – Inherit The Stars #2 – Running Press Kids – Published 6 December 2016

Kit has achieved a status of notoriety thanks to her mother blowing up their planet’s archive. Kit is left feeling both guilt and hopelessness, despite her ignorance about her mother’s deadly plans, despite what the rest of the planet chooses to think about her. But it seems like no one will let Kit fade into the obscurity she craves – not the crowds who lay blame, the government who seek answers, a rebel group of protestors that think Kit might live up to her mother’s apparent glory, her family who only want to take from her, nor the boy who lives in the apartment above Kit. Kit will need to decide what she will fight for – if anything.

Young adult fiction – Science fiction.


Continue reading

New Book Releases November 2016

New Book Releases for November 2016

Due for release in November 2016, this is a list of books that have made it on to my to-read list – and there are some very exciting new releases!

Young Adult Fiction

The Best Possible AnswerThe Best Possible Answer – E. Katherine Kottaras – St Martin’s Griffin – Published 1 November 2016

Is this book:
A) about family, family implosion and how to ride the chaos of family
B) a story of strong friendship and how it can hold you together
C) about second chances and learning to trust yourself again
D) a fun story of summer friendship and romance
E) all of the above

“Hint: test-prep research shows that you should actually always pick E.”

Young adult fiction – Contemporary.


Continue reading

Display: Emoji Reading

Emoji Reading Display

emoji-reading-display

Emoji seem to be everywhere, on our phones, in our messages to one another, even on the front cover of books. I decided to takes these ever-present little faces and create a display that could be interactive.

I downloaded and printed a collection of emoji. Reusing some of my cover photocopies I had some student volunteers suggest emoji-book pairings. I then encouraged other students to choose a book from the shelf, perhaps a favourite, and stick on an emoji before placing it on the display table. Some colour-appropriate wording and a cute emoji-for-readers list complete the display.

The students have loved this display. Many have made recommendations and turn-over of titles has been good. Other students have suggested I add different emoji. The display is bright, eye-catching and a crowd pleaser.

Book Review: The Best Possible Answer

The Best Possible Answer

The Best Possible Answer – E. Katherine Kottaras – St. Martin’s Griffin – Published 1 November 2016

♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

AP Exams – check
SAT test – check
College Application – check
Date the wrong guy and ruin everything you’ve spent your whole life working for– check

Ultra-high-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe has always had a plan—and no room to be anything less than perfect. But her quest for perfection comes toa screeching halt when her boyfriend leaks racy pictures of her to the entire school. Making matters worse, her parents are getting divorced and now her perfect family is falling apart. For the first time, Viv feels like a complete and utter failure.

Then she gets a job working at the community pool, where she meets a new group of friends who know nothing about her past. That includes Evan, a gorgeous guy who makes her want to do something she never thought she’d do again: trust. For the first time in her life, Viv realizes she can finally be whoever she wants. But who is that? While she tries to figure it out, she learns something they never covered in her AP courses: that it’s okay to be less than perfect, because it’s our imperfections that make us who we are.

My thoughts

Is this book:
A) about family, family implosion and how to ride the chaos of family
B) a story of strong friendship and how it can hold you together
C) about second chances and learning to trust yourself again
D) a fun story of summer friendship and romance
E) all of the above

“Hint: test-prep research shows that you should actually always pick E.”

It is funny how a writing style can change everything. In anyone else’s hands this novel could have been run of the mill. But instead it is a charming book of friendship, family and mistakes and secrets that shake one’s trust in others. I was charmed from the first page. I loved the chapter headers. I loved how this wasn’t a simple romance where love fixes everything, but instead a story of what love is, how it hurts and when it is worth the risk to reach out and trust another person, whether that’s a romantic interest, your best friend, your family members or yourself.

Continue reading

Book Review: All In Pieces

All In Pieces

All In Pieces – Suzanne Young – Simon Pulse – Published 8 November 2016

♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

“Anger-management issues.”

That’s how they classified Savannah Sutton after she stuck a pencil in her ex-boyfriend’s hand because he mocked her little brother, Evan, for being disabled. That’s why they sent her to Brooks Academy—an alternative high school that’s used as a temporary detention center.

The days at Brooks are miserable, but at home, life is far more bleak. Savvy’s struggling to take care of her brother since her mom left years ago, and her alcoholic dad can’t be bothered. Life with Evan is a constant challenge, but he’s also the most important person in the world to Savvy.

Then there’s Cameron, a new student at Brooks with issues of his own; a guy from a perfect family that Savvy thought only existed on TV. Cameron seems determined to break through every one of the walls Savvy’s built around herself, except if she lets herself trust him, it could make everything she’s worked so hard for fall apart in an instant.

And with her aunt seeking custody of her brother and her ex-boyfriend seeking revenge, Savvy’s fighting to hold all the pieces together. But she’s not sure how much tighter she can be pulled before she breaks completely.

My thoughts

I thought All In Pieces read like a cross between Simone Elkeles and Sarah Dessen. It had a tragic backstory and tough current circumstances but with a good dash of family, romance and hope. It was incredibly enjoyable to read, and ran the whole gamut of emotions from anger, outrage, swooniness (yes, I think that can be classified as an emotion), sadness and just a bit of joy.

Savannah stabbed her ex-boyfriend through the hand with a pencil. He totally deserved it. But it means Savannah has to attend a special detention school, which makes caring for her little brother that much harder. But she has great friends and a crush on her new classmate, the ridiculously handsome and very out of place Cameron. So it makes singlehandedly balancing her alcoholic father’s rants, her brother’s tantrums and her aunt’s distaste a little easier.

Savannah can take care of herself, as she so eloquently proved to her ex. But she has a lot to handle and it’s not easy for her to let people into her life. She doesn’t trust easily, and for good reason. That’s why she runs so hot and cold with Cameron. Sure, he seems nice and talks to her (and only her), and her best friend is all for encouraging Savvy to give him a chance, but letting him into her life will mean revealing all her secrets and vulnerabilities.

Continue reading