Sorry this is so late coming out. I had a bad weekend and was curled up in bed all hopped up on painkillers for two and a half days. I don’t often bring up my lovely auto-immune disease but this weekend it reared its ugly head in a big way and reminded me that I sometimes need to slow down. This was mostly written but I had no spoons left to finish. So a few days late, here is my weekly wrap-up.
Welcome to my weekly wrap-up! Here is where you can see my books read during the past week, books to be read next week, books I have added to my shelves, any bookish happenings and the like. I have linked to Stacking the Shelves, the Saturday Situation, the Saturday Review of Books, Talk of the Town, Bought, Borrowed & Bagged, The Sunday Salon, Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Wrap-Up, It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday. So check out what I’ve been up to this past week.
Books Added This Week
We Own the Night by Ashley Poston – As a candy store employee by day, and mysterious deejay “Niteowl” by night, eighteen-year-old Ingrid North is stuck between rock ‘n roll and a hard place. She can’t wait to get out of her tiny hometown of Steadfast, Nebraska (population three hundred and forty-seven) to chase her dreams, but small-town troubles keep getting in the way. She can’t abandon her grandmother with Alzheimer’s, or her best friend Micah–who she may or may not be in love with. But for one hour each Saturday, she escapes all of that. On air, she isn’t timid, ugly-sweater-wearing Ingrid North. She’s the funny and daring Niteowl. Every boy’s manic pixie dream girl. Fearless. And there is one caller in particular– Dark and Brooding–whose raspy laugh and snarky humor is just sexy enough to take her mind off Micah. Not that she’s in love with Micah or anything. Cause she’s not. As her grandmother slips further away and Micah begins dating a Mean-Girls-worthy nightmare, Ingrid runs to the mysterious Dark and Brooding as a disembodied voice to lean on, only to fall down a rabbit hole of punk rockstars, tabloid headlines, and kisses that taste like bubble tea. But the man behind the voice could be surprising in all the right, and wrong, ways. And she just might find that her real life begins when Niteowl goes off the air.
The Stand-In by Steve Bloom – When Brooks volunteered to be a stand-in for Burdette’s cousin who got stood up for Homecoming, it was with the noblest of intentions-helping a fellow human being, free of charge. But when he gets a tip of more than three hundred bucks, word spreads quickly and Brooks seizes the opportunity to offer his impeccable escort services to super-wealthy parents who want their daughters to experience those big social events of senior year.
Besides, Brooks could use the cash to hire a tutor to get admitted to Columbia University. So what if along the way he goes along with a few minor deceptions and cuts a few moral corners? What could be the harm?
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst – Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden. Now Denna has to learn the ways of her new kingdom while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine, sister of her betrothed. When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, they discover there is more to one another than they thought—and soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more. But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.
Girls in the Moon by Janet McNally – Everyone in Phoebe Ferris’s life tells a different version of the truth. Her mother, Meg, ex-rock star and professional question evader, shares only the end of the story—the post-fame calm that Phoebe’s always known. Her sister Luna, indie rock darling of Brooklyn, preaches a stormy truth of her own making, selectively ignoring the facts she doesn’t like. And her father, Kieran, the co-founder of Meg’s beloved band, hasn’t said anything at all since he stopped calling three years ago. But Phoebe, a budding poet in search of an identity to call her own, is tired of half-truths and vague explanations. When she visits Luna in New York, she’s determined to find out how she fits in to this family of storytellers, and maybe even to continue her own tale—the one with the musician boy she’s been secretly writing for months. This soul-searching, authentic debut weaves together Phoebe’s story with scenes from the romance between Meg and Kieran that started it all—leaving behind a heartfelt reflection on family, fame, and finding your own way.
The Boomerang Effect by Gordon Jack – A hilariously subversive YA debut that explores the meaning of friendship and loyalty, and also why you should avoid being trapped in a small space with an angry chicken. Perfect for fans of Andrew Smith’s Winger and Frank Portman’s King Dork. It all started with a harmless prank. But now high school junior Lawrence Barry is one step away from reform school unless he participates in a mentorship program. His mentee? Spencer Knudsen, a Norwegian exchange student with Spock-like intelligence but the social skills of the periodic table. Then disaster strikes. Homecoming Week. When someone dressed as the school Viking mascot starts destroying the fairytale-inspired floats, all suspicion falls on Lawrence. Add to the mix a demon Goth girl, a Renaissance LARPing group, an overzealous yearbook editor, and three vindictive chickens, and Lawrence soon realizes that his situation may be a little out of control. But Spencer seems to have some answers. In fact, Spencer may be the one friend Lawrence never knew he needed.
Girl Mans Up by M-E Girad – All Pen wants is to be the kind of girl she’s always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? They think the way she looks and acts means she’s trying to be a boy—that she should quit trying to be something she’s not. If she dresses like a girl, and does what her folks want, it will show respect. If she takes orders and does what her friend Colby wants, it will show her loyalty. But respect and loyalty, Pen discovers, are empty words. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships, and strong feelings for other girls drive Pen to see the truth—that in order to be who she truly wants to be, she’ll have to man up.
Replica by Lauren Oliver – Replica contains two narratives in one: Lyra’s story and Gemma’s story. The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. The two distinct parts of this astonishing novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey. Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape. Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions. While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.
I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil – Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She’s starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying. So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it’s time to use The Formula for herself. She’ll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game. Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she’s messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?
Pushing Perfect by Michelle Falkoff – How far would you go to be perfect? Kara has the perfect life. She gets perfect grades. She never messes up. Until now. Because perfection is an illusion, and Kara has been struggling to maintain it for as long as she can remember. Which is why she does something she never thought she’d do. Something risky—and illegal. Before she knows it, Kara’s life veers wildly off its perfect course, and she’s thrown headlong into a world of new friends, wild parties, alluring romance, and dark secrets. She’s forced to confront how far she’s willing to go to be perfect—and in the end, if that’s something she really wants to be.
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown – Joanna meets the perfect girl for her and must decide whether to break a promise that could change everything for her and her family or lose out on love in this charming young adult romance that’s perfect for fans of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ and Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees. Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?
The Fixes by Owen Matthews – Eric Connelly is crumbling under the weight of his dad’s expectations. He can’t seem to live up to the “Connelly Man” standards—but when he meets the mysterious, free-spirited Jordan Grant, his dad’s rules seem so much less important than they used to. Jordan and Eric—now “E”—join up with two of the most popular girls in school to combat their rich-kid boredom. But as Jordan seduces E further, the group starts to kill time in more nefarious ways. It’s Jordan who escalates the pack’s dares from mostly harmless jaunts like joyrides in boosted cars and Bling Ring–style luxury shoplifting sprees into more violent activities. Eric is intoxicated . . . swept up in the pack’s activities, even as Paige and Haley start to have reservations about what they’ve been doing. When Jordan starts talking bigger—what’s a little bomb building between friends?—E must decide if he’s just too far down the rabbit hole to back out. From the author of How to Win at High School comes a wicked, irreverent story of rich kids gone amok that will leave readers at the edge of their seats.
How to Make Out by Brianna Shrum – Sixteen-year-old Renley needs three thousand dollars for the math club’s trip to New York City, and she knows exactly how to get it: she’s going to start a how-to blog where people pay for answers to all of life’s questions from a “certified expert.” The only problems: 1) She doesn’t know how to do anything but long division and calculus. 2) She’s totally invisible to people at school. And not in a cool Gossip Girl kind of way. So, she decides to learn to do . . . well . . . everything. When her anonymous blog shifts in a more scandalous direction and the questions (and money) start rolling in, she has to learn not just how to do waterfall braids and cat-eye makeup, but a few other things, like how to cure a hangover, how to flirt, and how to make out (something her very experienced, and very in-love-with-her neighbor, Drew, is more than willing to help with). As her blog’s reputation skyrockets, so does “new and improved” Renley’s popularity. She’s not only nabbed the attention of the entire school, but also the eye of Seth Levine, the hot culinary wizard she’s admired from across the home-ec classroom all year. Soon, caught up in the thrill of popularity both in and out of cyberspace, her secrets start to spiral, and she finds that she’s forgotten the most important how-to: how to be herself. When her online and real lives converge, Renley will have to make a choice: lose everything she loves in her new life, or everyone she loves in the life she left behind.
Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down by Anne Valente – The lives of four teenagers are capsized by a shocking school shooting and its aftermath in this powerful debut novel, a coming-of-age story with the haunting power of Station Eleven and the bittersweet poignancy of Everything I Never Told You. As members of the yearbook committee, Nick, Zola, Matt, and Christina are eager to capture all the memorable moments of their junior year at Lewis and Clark High School—the plays and football games, dances and fund-drives, teachers and classes that are the epicenter of their teenage lives. But how do you document a horrific tragedy—a deadly school shooting by a classmate? Struggling to comprehend this cataclysmic event—and propelled by a sense of responsibility to the town, their parents, and their school—these four “lucky” survivors vow to honor the memories of those lost, and also, the memories forgotten in the shadow of violence. But the shooting is only the first inexplicable trauma to rock their small suburban St. Louis town. A series of mysterious house fires have hit the families of the victims one by one, pushing the grieving town to the edge. Nick, the son of the lead detective investigating the events, plunges into the case on his own, scouring the Internet to uncover what could cause a fire with no evident starting point. As their friend pulls farther away, Matt and Christina battle to save damaged relationships, while Zola fights to keep herself together. A story of grief, community, and family, of the search for understanding and normalcy in the wake of devastating loss, Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down explores profound questions about resiliency, memory, and recovery that brilliantly illuminate the deepest recesses of the human heart.
Books Read This Week x 2
Frannie and Tru by Karen Hattrup
The Wedding Sisters by Jamie Brenner
Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan
People Who Knew Me by Kim Hooper
Never Too Real by Carmen Rita
Jerkbait by Mia Siegert
It’s Okay to Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort
The Children by Ann Leary
26 Kisses by Anna Michels
Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell. Don’t Tell by Liane Shaw
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
Books to be Read Next Week
This Week in Review…
Stuff I Enjoyed This Week…
Grace at Rebel Mommy Book Blog – Six Moments I Remember Best in Books
Tonyalee at Lilybloombooks – Community Trends + Blog Growth
Up Next – May 24, 2016 – Kenneth Logan author of True Letters from a Fictional Life. A physical copy will be up for grabs (US only).
June 7, 2016 – Emily Albright author of The Heir and the Spare
My Weekly Posts
- [8 May] The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay ★★★★½
- [9 May] April Wrap-Up Round-Up Giveaway
- [9 May] United States of Books – Close Range by Annie Proulx
- [10 May] Author Tuesday Interview and Giveaway – Becky Jerams author of Reasons To Love a Nerd Like Me
- [10 May] Stirred by Tracy Ewens ★★★★
- [10 May] Waiting on Wednesday – Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy
- [11 May] The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye ★★★★
- [12 May] 100 Days of Cake by Shari Goldhagen ★★★★
- [13 May] Don't Tell, Don't Tell, Don't Tell by Liane Shaw ★★★½
- [13 May] Super Quick BEA16 Wrap-Up
- [15 May] B. S., Incorporated by Jennifer Rock, Michael Voss ★★★★
- [16 May] Faerie by Eisha Marjara ★★★
- [16 May] The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey ★
- [17 May] Author Tuesday Countdown – Kenneth Logan
- [17 May] 26 Kisses by Anna Michels ★★★
- [17 May] Waiting on Wednesday – The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger
- [18 May] It's Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort ★★★★
- [19 May] The Children by Ann Leary ★★★★
- [20 May] Jerkbait by Mia Siegert ★★★★½
- [21 May] Two Weeks, One Post
- [21 May] Before the Fall by Noah Hawley ★★★★
So how was your bookish week?