Hello readers! Today's trailer is for a book with a… confusing summary. The trailer's perfectly fine, nothing as huge as the filmed pieces, but very charming. But on reading the summary after the trailer, I find that it's a bit deeper than expected- take a look yourself:

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. 

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. 

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.


      First order of business: why in the world would a parent allow their child to go off with a father who left them to participate in a motorcycle club? I mean, either the dad was devoted enough to the club that he intentionally left, or the mother divorced him because of ignoring the family. No matter how good that club is, I'd still be a bit unwilling to let my daughter suddenly hang out with daddy after so long. Secondly, how many hardcore motorcycle clubs are in this area? There's the good one with the father, and a bad one who seems like it's willing to hurt people to settle scores. Any choice on police intervention, or are they both types of motorcycle mafias with power over the police? Thirdly, who wants them apart? The dad seems chill with it, at the very least, and we don't really know of anyone else there. Never mind all that, though. The trailer is a neat little video, with a punk/rock/country theme and some nice visuals- though it does make mention of several clubs again (now I'm imagining a Boy Scout style motorcycle club for the delinquents of tomorrow.) Anyway, we'll be riding out to read this on its release of May 26th. See you all on Monday!

                  Title: Dangerous Boys                  Author: Abigail Haas
  Pages: 336
               Published: August 14, 2014               Ranking: 4/5    

"It all comes down to this: Oliver, Ethan, and I." 

Three teens venture into an abandoned lake house one night. Hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding. The other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? 

Or murder? 

Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece the story together - a story of jealousy, twisted passion and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful faces.
I have to really like a book before I even remember the name of the author. I have to really, really like a book before I even think of seeking out more by that author because normally I'm just too lazy to do anything but wander up and down the library aisles aimlessly, picking out novels at random.

But I adored Abigail Haas' other book, Dangerous Girls, so I figured I'd give this one a shot too. And I went in with really high hopes. When your other book seamlessly weaves past and present together into one coherent story, centered on a murder trial and the haze of guilt or innocence or psychopathy, it stands to reason anything else you write is going to be pretty freaking amazing.

Except this wasn't.

Don't get me wrong, the book is passable. The plot line is interesting, the main character is mildly relatable (especially if you're in the same position I am of wanting to leave for college )(1000 more hours until graduation) but the magic I've seen from Haas before just wasn't there. This book just didn't enthrall me. There was always something about the storyline that just seemed out of place and the characters never attracted my heart or my sympathy. The revelation came too early which didn't help with the anticipation for the rest of the story. It wasn't bad... It just had the potential to be so much better.

Some books are disappointing, not because they're the worst thing you've ever read but because you know the author is capable of so much more. Maybe my expectations were far to high and I would have enjoyed the book if they hadn't been there. Maybe if I had taken my time while reading it, I would have liked it better. But either way, I won't be rushing back to read it anytime soon.

--Sarah

Both the synopsis of the book and the picture of its cover come from Amazon. I mean absolutely no copyright infringement and use both, with proper credit given, under fair use policies.  



                  Title: Mosquitoland                 Author: David Arnold
  Pages: 336
 PublisherViking Children's
               Published: March, 2015                 Ranking: 4/5    

        "I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange." 
            After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the "wastelands" of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland. 
So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane. 
          Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, "Mosquitoland" is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.

         Hello readers! Today's book is a charming little cross-country road trip (I seem to be reading a lot of those lately) that can't help but be both cute, charming, AND ABLE TO MAKE ME CRY, DARN IT. It's a little heavy on the dosage of chic, but it ends up doing its job just as well. 
         The first and best part of this book are the letters that Ms. Mim Malone writes during the course of her journey. In writing to her correspondent Isabel, the style of the book is the most clear, being a mix of all things cynical and sympathetic, with a liking for the odd thrown in for good measure. The letters also are able to mostly be kept separate from the story- you won't get any rehashing of whatever you just read/ will read in a few pages, instead getting a quick summary followed by a memory of Mim's life pre-travel. Mim herself is both interesting and flawed, so none of that stuff about being perfectly unique to the world. It does grind, however, when she takes being individual over having common sense- apart from, you know, the moments where she reasonable doesn't have full mental capacity. Maybe your father wouldn't be so obsessed about your mental health if you took a moment to stop cussing him and his chosen doctor out, hmm? This doesn't show with any of the other characters though, most likely because we aren't in their heads the whole book. The rest of the cast is positively eclectic, having a dozen stories that we barely hear about and would very much like to (except for Mr. Poncho Man whom we meet early in the book- we want to keep a good thirty feet between him and us). The plot is excellent, both being notable in its ambiguity (Mim and Co. use a good half-dozen odd names for events we don't know of until the very end), but still giving us enough incentive and Reasons (capital R for this book) for the story we see now- but that does leave the fact that it gives maybe twenty pages to wrap up the whole book, background events and most.
         A book can have too much of its good elements, and that's shown well in this fashionably-unfashionable, nearly-too-nailbiting story of Mosquitoland. See you all on Friday for my next article!



Both the synopsis of the book and the picture of its cover come from Amazon. I mean absolutely no copyright infringement and use both, with proper credit given, under fair use policies.  

               From “one of the most real, honest, and still funny male voices to come around in a while” (YALSA) comes a brand-new cast of quirky characters.
Gabe Johnson is having a rough week. In spite of the popular kids and some teachers calling him names because of his weight, and even his own friends calling him “Chunk,” Gabe is normally the funny kid at school. But he’s on edge from trying to kick his soda addiction. So when news breaks that his beloved marching band camp has been canceled due to lack of funding, he’s furious. What makes him even madder? The school’s vending machine money, which had previously been collected by the band, is now sponsoring the new cheer squad.

The war is ON. And Gabe is the high school underdogs’ champion. No one will be safe from the Geeker’s odd brand of wrath—not the principal, the band teacher, the local newspaper, and certainly not the cheerleaders and their jock boyfriends.

GABE JOHNSON TAKES OVER is the story of Gabe’s fight against injustice, but also his fight to reclaim himself. For years he has played along while the popular kids bully him, but no more. With the help of friends and unexpected allies, Gable learns about power, politics, and himself. A funny, touching, and insightful story, GABE JOHNSON TAKES OVER will appeal to any kids who feel like they just don’t fit in.
                                                                                                                                                     Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM |!ndigo |IndieBound | Kindle | Kobo | Nook
Hi readers!! 

Do any of you remember my review of the excellent book, Fat Boy vs the Cheerleaders? If you don't, go check it out!! I'm really excited to get to announce they'll be releasing the book in paperback with a brand new name, GABE JOHNSON TAKES OVER. This is a ridiculously fun read of a book and you all should make sure to get it (it came out just April 7). Don't believe me? See the bottom of the post for an excerpt from the book, OR if the synopsis already sold you (as it should) enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until next time!!
Sarah 



        Hello, readers! You might have heard about his author from one or two of my older pieces, but Neal Shusterman was the author of the Unwind series, which also has plans for a movie. Intrigued by the author (and all the pretty drawings in the trailer), I decided to look around for a bit more info:

       Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.
         Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.                               Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence, to document the journey with images.
         Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.
         Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.
         Caden Bosch is torn.
         A captivating and powerful novel that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by one of today's most admired writers for teens.


       Oooowch, that's heavy- and I'm not talking about the thousands of gallons of seawater pushing down on them. Having a mentally unstable boy in an extremely confined space for a decently long amount of time? Pretty bad move, though it seems no one realized that he was sick. The book, like the trailer, is said to have a bunch of "Caden's" illustrations, as done by Shusterman's son (since it's featuring in a story by a mentally ill person, does that make them good or bad drawings?). The trailer itself? Pretty good! It's in the style of the book itself, can explain a bit of the premise ( although scuba diving to the bottom of the ocean wouldn't be the best plan), and has a good voiceover, what more could you want? It looks like it'll shape up into a very deep piece, with plenty of exploration, so it'll be a real catch when it's released on the 21st of this month. Sea you all on Monday!

                  Title: French Coast                   Author: Anita Hughes
  Pages: 304
 PublisherSt. Martin's Griffin
               Published: April 7, 2015                 Ranking: 4/5    

Serena has the job she's always dreamed of and Chase, the man her heart never dared to. As a new editor at Vogue, she bags the biggest interview of the year with Yvette Renault, the infamous former editor of French Vogue, in The Carlton-InterContinental Hotel during the Cannes Film Festival. She eagerly jets off to France while Chase stays home, working with her father, a former senator, on his upcoming mayoral campaign.

Everything feels unbelievably perfect...until it doesn't. The hotel loses her reservation hours before her big interview. Serena fears that she'll have to go home without her story, but then she meets Zoe, a quirky young woman staying in the suite below Yvette's who invites Serena to stay with her. Serena is grateful for her mysterious roommate's generosity, but it seems that there's more to her story than meets the eye. To make matters worse, soon after arriving in Cannes, Serena learns a shocking secret about her parents' marriage, and it isn't long before she begins to question her own relationship.With her deadline looming and pressure mounting, Serena will have to use her investigative journalism skills, new friendships, and a little luck to get her life and love back on track. 
For once in my life, I am on vacation. And for someone who's lazily lounging by the pool, sitting in the sun at the beach, and just generally enjoying my time doing anything but school work, what do I need?

If you said a good beach read, you'd be right.

French Coast  is one of those books perfect for vacation. The writing has an infectious quality about it, something that makes you want to turn page after page just to immerse yourself in the world Hughes has created. The scandal and intrigue swirling around the characters and left in their footsteps is enough to draw anyone into the book. And that's completely outside of the fact that Hughes weaves two different settings, one in the present and one seen only in flashbacks, to bring two remarkably strong women together. It's amazing to watch the way the storylines diverge, converge, and entangle.

To be fair, though, this really does have to get relegated to the category of 'guilty pleasure read.' Serena has very little personality or internal growth throughout the book. The romance, while steamy, makes very little sense outside of daydreams and there's very little that will stick with you from this book after you close the last page. Fun read? Certainly. Thought provoking, insightful material? Not quite.

 Go into this book realizing what it is- an enrapturing read with a fun plot that will keep you occupied for hours. It's a good summer read, a good read for a day when you're exhausted and need something distracting in which to immerse yourself. It's a fun read. And we all need one of those once in a while.


-- Sarah


This book is a ARC given to me by Saint Martin's Press While I love getting free books and am eternally grateful to the author and the publisher, all above opinions are mine and mine alone. 
Both the synopsis of the book and the picture of its cover come from Amazon. I mean absolutely no copyright infringement and use both, with proper credit given, under fair use policies.  
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