The War Outside by Monica Hesse – Review

The War OutsideThe War Outside by Monica Hesse has an expected publication: September 25th, 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and is a young adult historical fiction novel. It’s 1944, and World War II is raging across Europe and the Pacific. The war seemed far away from Margot in Iowa and Haruko in Colorado–until they were uprooted to dusty Texas, all because of the places their parents once called home: Germany and Japan. Continue reading

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan – Review

The Astonishing Color of AfterThe Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan has an expected publication date of March 20th, 2018 by Little, Brown Books. Synopsis: Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life. Continue reading

Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray – Review

Instructions for a Secondhand HeartInstructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray has an expected publication date of December 5th, 2017 by Poppy and is a young adult novel. Synopsis: A moving novel about grief, guilt, and the unpredictability of love, for fans of Everything, Everything and All the Bright Places.
Jonny knows better than anyone that life is full of cruel ironies. He’s spent every day in a hospital hooked up to machines to keep his heart ticking. Then when a donor match is found for Jonny’s heart, that turns out to be the cruelest irony of all. Because for Jonny’s life to finally start, someone else’s had to end.  Continue reading

Tool of War: Ship Breaker Book #3 by Paolo Bacigalupi – Review

Tool of War (Ship Breaker, #3)Tool of War: Ship Breaker Book #3 by Paolo Bacigalupi was published on October 10th, 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Synopsis: This third book in a major series by a bestselling science fiction author, Printz Award winner, and National Book Award finalist is the gripping story of the most provocative character from his acclaimed novels Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities. Continue reading

Invictus by Ryan Graudin – Book Review

33152795.jpgInvictus by Ryan Graudin has an expected publication date of September 26th, 2017 by Little, Brown Books and is a young adult novel. Time flies when you’re plundering history. Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.  Continue reading

The Arrangement: A Novel by Sarah Dunn

cover98254-mediumThe Arrangement: A Novel by Sarah Dunn was released in March 2017, by Little, Brown and Company. This book as an intriguing premise about a married couple’s agreement to have an open marriage for six months. The couple who have dinner with their friends who tell them that they are experimenting with having an open marriage is where they get the idea. Dunn creates a unique story line with an outstanding list of characters that have very intriguing backstories. I think that the plot line benefits more from the backstories. However, just because a couple can create a list of rules it does not mean they can stick to them and this is where the story gets interesting. I found that the grass is not always greener for some but others may disagree. This book was a fun read! **I received this book for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.**

SYNOPSIS: Lucy and Owen, ambitious, thoroughly-therapized New Yorkers, have taken the plunge, trading in their crazy life in a cramped apartment for Beekman, a bucolic Hudson Valley exurb. They’ve got a two hundred year-old house, an autistic son obsessed with the Titanic, and 17 chickens, at last count. It’s the kind of paradise where stay-at-home moms team up to cook the school’s “hot lunch,” dads grill grass-fed burgers, and, as Lucy observes, “chopping kale has become a certain kind of American housewife’s version of chopping wood.” When friends at a wine-soaked dinner party reveal they’ve made their marriage open, sensible Lucy balks. There’s a part of her, though-the part that worries she’s become too comfortable being invisible-that’s intrigued. Why not try a short marital experiment? Six months, clear ground rules, zero questions asked. When an affair with a man in the city begins to seem more enticing than the happily-ever-after she’s known for the past nine years, Lucy must decide what truly makes her happy-“real life,” or the “experiment?”

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

not if I see you first

I recently read Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom and felt that this is a wonderful and great read. Lindstrom does an outstanding job in creating the character Parker Grant making her both hilarious and realistic. Even though Parker is blind, she can still sense things and manages to do things that most blind people should not or would not even try. To Parker, being blind does not limit or slow her down. This book does deal with a lot of ups and downs most teens do not have to deal with, like Parkers mom was drinking and driving the car causing the accident killing her mom and causing Parkers blindness. Because of this, she is left with her dad who years later dies from an accidental drug overdose from the medications for anxiety and depression. Parker then ends up living with her aunt and her family who moves into Parkers house in order to keep things more normal for Parker. This way she does not have to change or relearn her daily routine. She already knows her way around the house, to school and the route of her morning run. All of this allows Parker to be more independent. I will not give the ending away but you will love it! This book is definitely worth reading, you can get your copy HERE.

(from amazon.com) Parker Grant doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart. When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there’s only one way to react–shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that’s right, her eyes don’t work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, an d giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened–both with Scott, and her dad–the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken. Combining a fiercely engaging voice with true heart, debut author Eric Lindstrom’s Not If I See You First illuminates those blind spots that we all have in life, whether visually impaired or not.

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