Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Girl Giant by Kristen den Hartog

The Girl Giant by Kristen den Hartog
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Publish Date:  June 5, 2012
ISBN:  978 - 1451656176
Pages:  240

James and Elspeth met in England at the end of WWII.  After the war, she traveled by ship to Canada with the other girls going to marry their Canadian boyfriends.  She had little left in England, her immediate family had all perished in the war.

In 1947 James and Elspeth had a healthy baby girl weighing just over eight pounds.  In the next year, Ruth began to grow at a rapid rate.  So fast, that Elspeth couldn't keep up making her clothes.  Ruth spends her time feeling alienated by her peers and longs for friendship.  By Kindergarten she no longer wants to go out to see other children, she knows she'll be ridiculed and teased.

It's easy to belive that when a girl moves in next door, unsavory as she is, that Ruth makes friends with her and loves her unconditionally.  When Elspeth has to return to England for family business, her family falls apart. 

Ruth wants to believe that Suzy is her friend, but more and more Suzy seems to be doing things and denying things to make Ruth distrust her.  She'll tell Ruth a story and then Ruth will say something and she won't remember the story she told.  But Ruth continues to try to believe in Suzy.  

Meanwhile, James has taken to finding comfort somewhere else entirely.  It seems that he believes Elspeth is above him and he doesn't deserve her.  But he loves her so much and isn't sure how to tell her or show her.  Elspeth has lots of time to think about their marriage while she's gone and she believes that James is above her and she doesn't deserve him.  They've gone so long without really sharing themselves, that it might be too hard to start over.

The story is narrated by Ruth, but for some reason she's privy to the thoughts, feelings and actions of her parents.  It was odd, but effective.

Altogether it's a very sweet story of a girl who grew too much, too quickly and just wants to be normal.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Books out this Week: June 25 - July 1, 2012

Dust Girl (American Fairy #1) by Sarah Zettel
Publish Date:  June 26, 2012
I've reviewed this one, go check it out!

From Goodreads:  Callie LeRoux lives in Slow Run, Kansas, helping her mother run their small hotel and trying not to think about the father she’s never met. Lately all of her energy is spent battling the constant storms plaguing the Dust Bowl and their effects on her health. Callie is left alone when her mother goes missing in a dust storm. Her only hope comes from a mysterious man offering a few clues about her destiny and the path she must take to find her parents in "the golden hills of the west": California.

Along the way she meets Jack, a young hobo boy who is happy to keep her company — there are dangerous, desperate people at every turn. And there’s also an otherworldly threat to Callie. Warring fae factions, attached to the creative communities of American society, are very much aware of the role this half-mortal, half-fae teenage girl plays in their fate.

 A Want So Wicked (A Need So Beautiful #2) by Suzanne Young
Publish Date:  June 26, 2012

From Goodreads:  Elise is a normal seventeen-year-old girl until the day she wakes up in a desert park, with no idea who she is.

After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose effect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates.
Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really?

 A Midsummer Tights Dream by Louis Rennison
Publish Date:  June 26, 2012

I reviewed the first book, it was awesome, go check it out!

From Goodreads:  It’s the hotly anticipated sequel to the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, WITHERING TIGHTS – laugh your tights off as Tallulah Casey and her bonkers mates return for a new term at Dother Hall performing arts college. Boys, snogging and bad acting guaranteed!
Yaroooo! Tallulah’s triumphant Heathcliff in ‘Wuthering Heights’ the comedy musical was enough to secure her place at Dother Hall performing arts college for another term. She can’t wait to see her pals again, Charlie and the boys from Woolf Academy and maybe even bad boy Cain…
When an international visitor comes to stay could the bright lights of Broadway be calling? And for who? Find out in the next Misadventures of Tallulah Casey.

 Secret Letters by Leah Scheier
Publish Date:  June 26, 2012

From Goodreads:  Inquisitive and observant, Dora dreams of escaping her aristocratic country life to solve mysteries alongside Sherlock Holmes. So when she learns that the legendary detective might be her biological father, Dora jumps on the opportunity to travel to London and enlist his help in solving the mystery of her cousin's ransomed love letters. But Dora arrives in London to devastating news: Sherlock Holmes is dead. Her dreams dashed, Dora is left to rely on her wits--and the assistance of an attractive yet enigmatic young detective--to save her cousin's reputation and help rescue a kidnapped heiress along the way. 

 Blackwatch (Secrets of Wintercraft #2) by Jenna Burtenshaw
Publish Date:  June 26, 2012

From Goodreads:  Ten years ago Kate Winters' parents were taken by the High Council's wardens to help with the country's war effort. Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane ' the High Council's most feared man ' recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council's experiments into the veil, and he's convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft ' a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume . But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. To help Artemis, Edgar and herself, Kate must honour her pact with a murderer and come face to face with the true nature of death.

 One Moment by Kristina McBride
Publish Date:  June 26, 2012

From Goodreads:  Maggie remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party. She remembers climbing the trail with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can't she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below-dead?
As Maggie's memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

 Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
Publish Date:  June 26, 2012

From Goodreads:  Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren't the most popular girls in school, they aren't too worried. They know their "real" lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents) But when an unexpected event shows them they're missing out on the full high school experience, it's time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge--and they will totally "rock" it.
Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she'll have to get over her fear of public speaking--and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed. It could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes--until now.
These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want--but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . .

 Quince Clash (Border Town #2) by Malin Alegria
Publish Date:  July 1, 2012

From Goodreads:  In Dos Rios, Texas, life is all about borders -- and what happens when you cross the line. A fresh new series in the tradition of Bluford High explores what it's like to grow up on the edge.   A quinceanera for the record books?
If Fabiola Garza had her way, her quinceanera would be as simple and as non-traditional as possible-just two airline tickets to New York City and her best friend in tow. Sadly, things hardly ever go Fabi's way.
After mean girl Melodee lays down a quinceanera challenge in front of the entire school, Fabi is forced to upgrade her party plans. Melodee is rich and popular-her quinceanera will be effortlessly epic. Fabi is at a loss as to how to make her party remotely as fun and fabulous as Melodee's is sure to be. Younger sister Alexis steps in with a scheme to get Fabi on the TV show Quince Dreams-but Fabi isn't convinced she won't end up in a quince nightmare instead.

 Choke by Diana Lopez
Publish Date:  July 1, 2012

From Goodreads: 
A heartfelt novel about the disturbing "choking game" trend -- and one girl's struggle for self-acceptance.

If she could -- if her parents would let her -- eighth-grader Windy would change everything about herself. She'd get highlights in her hair, a new wardrobe; she'd wear makeup. But nothing ever changes. The mean girls at school are still mean, and Windy's best friend Elena is still more interested in making up words than talking about boys.

And then one day, Windy gets the change she's been looking for. New girl Nina -- impossibly cool, confident, and not afraid of anyone -- starts hanging out with Windy! Nina even wants to be "breath sisters." Windy isn't sure what that means, exactly, but she knows she wants to find out. It sounds even better than a BFF.

Windy is right, at first. Being a breath sister gains her a whole new set of friends, girls she feels closer to and cooler with than anyone else. But her inclusion in the new crowd comes at a dangerous price. Windy wants to change everything about her life ... but is she really willing to give up everything in the process?


Friday, June 22, 2012

Do you see what I see?

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

This one is being made into a movie!!  I'm so excited! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book Giveaways and Contests


The Lateiner Gang is giving away an audio book of HUNT by Andrew Fukuda.

I Love YA Fiction has two giveaways scheduled right now.  #1 - JL Armentrout's Covenant Series Swag Pack Giveaway and #2 - Alicia Kat Dillman's Daemon's in the Mist ebook.

Loves Book Reviews is giving away two books! #1 - Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols #2 - Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Glimpse by Claire Merle

Glimpse by Claire Merle
Publisher:  Faber & Faber
Publish Date:  June 7, 2012
ISBN:  978-0571280537
Pages:  432

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Set in the future, people are segregated depending on their genetic disposition to mental illness.

Ana is 17 years old and it was discovered that she's been living in Pure society due to an error in her DNA test.  However, she's been promised to a Pure boy, Jasper.  Jasper still agrees to the marriage, but they have had to promise not to produce children and Ana can stay in Pure society until her illness manifests.  Then she'll be cast out with the Crazies.  Oh yeah, they have to marry by her eighteenth birthday.  The date is coming up fast, then Jasper disappears.

First thing to remember:  we all know that genetics are only a portion of diagnosing mental illness.  However, this is a STORY and that entails suspension of belief.  So...suspend belief and carry on.

In my opinion, it was easy to see that the Crazy world was a better one to live in - more artistic, freer and friendlier.  Whereas in the Pure world, you had to watch yourself and 'behave' constantly.

I felt that this book was not about segregated people with a predisposition to mental illness, but really a plan the government put into place to segregate the rebels or free thinkers.  The mental illness test appears to be a cover up, but it's never said.  Of course the story is left open for a second book.

The characters:

Ana (Ariana) - smart but smothered, her personality built up as the story carried forward, sometimes she just seemed stupid, but for good reason...I think.

Cole - one of the Crazies, rebel, handsome, risk taker

Jasper - set to marry Ana, involved in something...

Ana's Dad - he developed the DNA test to determine mental illness predisposition.  What else is he involved in?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Books Out This Week: June 18 - 24, 2012

Blood Moon (Drake Chronicles #5) by Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date:  June 19, 2012

From Goodreads:  When the vampire tribes convene for the rare Blood Moon ceremonies, Solange’s fight with her feral nature, a mysterious stranger, family secrets and forbidden magic put all of the Drakes in danger.

 This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Release Date:  June 19, 2012

From Goodreads:  It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

 Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
Release Date:  June 19, 2012

From Goodreads:  When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

Soulbound (Legacy of Tril #1) by Heather Brewer
Release Date:  June 19, 2012

From Goodreads:  What's worse than being blackmailed to attend a hidden school where you're treated like a second-class citizen? How about nearly getting eaten by a monster when you arrive? Or learning that your soulmate was killed in a centuries-old secret war? And then there's the evil king who's determined to rule the world unless you can stop him...

Meet Kaya, a young woman with the power to heal and the determination to fight. But struggle as she will, she remains tied to three very different men: a hero who has forsaken glory, a tyrannical ruler who wants to use Kaya, and a warrior who's stolen her heart. Kaya learns the hard way that some ties can't be broken...and blood is the strongest bond of all.

 Violins of Autumn by Amy McAuley
Release Date:  June 19, 2012

From Goodreads:  When the Germans begin bombing London in World War II, Betty is determined to do her part. Instead of running air raid drills like most girls her age, she lies about her age and trains to become a spy. Now known by her secret agent persona, Adele Blanchard, she finds herself parachuting over German-occupied France under the cover of darkness to join the secret Resistance movement. Prepared to die for her cause, Adele wasn’t expecting to make a new best friend in her fellow agent or fall for a handsome American pilot. With the brutality of war ever present, can Adele dare to dream of a future where the world is at peace and she is free to live and love of her own accord?

 The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary, Queen of Scots by Carolyn Meyer
Release Date:  June 19, 2012

From Goodreads:  Mary Stuart was just five years old when she was sent to France to be raised alongside her future husband. But when the frail young king dies, eighteen-year-old Mary is stripped of her title as Queen of France and set adrift in the harsh world, alone. Determined to reign over what is rightfully hers, Mary returns to Scotland. Hopingthat a husband will help her secure the coveted English throne, she marries again, but the love and security she longs for elude her. Instead, the fiery young queen finds herself embroiled in a murder scandal that could cost her the crown. And her attempts to bargain with her formidable “sister queen,” Elizabeth I of England, could cost her her very life