Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Black Butterfly by Shirley Reva Vernick

 
Published: May 6th, 2014
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
Pages: 226
Copy: Publisher through Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads 


Penny is furious, and who can blame her? She has to spend Christmas break alone at the Black Butterfly, an old inn at the coldest, bleakest edge of America—the coast of Maine. This "vacation" is the brainchild of Penny's flaky mother, who's on the other side of the country hunting ghosts. Penny most definitely does not believe in spirits. Or love. Or family. Until, that is, she discovers two very real apparitions which only she can see…and meets George, the handsome son of the inn's owner…and crashes into some staggering family secrets. If only Ghost Girl didn't want Penny dead. If only George were the tiniest bit open to believing. If only she could tell her mother. Then maybe this could still be a vacation. But it's not. It's a race for her life, her first love, and her sanity.

Shirley Reva Vernick is rapidly becoming the new hot item in young adult fiction. Her first novel, The Blood Lie, won the Simon Wiesenthal Children's Book Award, was silver medalist for the Sydney Taylor Book Award, and was an ALA 2012 Best Book for Young Adults. Her second novel, Remember Dippy—a feel good adventure about a fourteen-year-old boy shepherding his older autistic cousin through his summer vacation—was released in spring 2013 and won the Dolly Gray Literature Award from the Council For Exceptional Children. This time around, Shirley wanted to let loose with a page-turning coming-of-age romance mixed with ghosts and adventure. Shirley is the creator of the much visited storytelling website storybee.org. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
 

Penny arrives at the Black Butterfly Inn mad at her mother and the world and seemingly determined not to give anyone a break.  I could understand why she was mad at her mother, but that didn't make her behavior any more palatable for me.  She did redeem herself a little as the story went on, but not quite enough.  Her almost insta love with George was another factor that puzzled me.  When she first met him, she was utterly unimpressed, then wham, all we hear about are his dimples and nice eyes.  Still, in the end I was able to accept it, so it can't have been all bad.

The ghosts?  Well, look at the cover of the book - does it say scary ghost story to you?  The Black Butterfly was a quick and easy read that unfortunately never quite hit the 'creepy' scale for me.  Perhaps it is written for younger teens and that is why, but somehow that sense of malevolence that I expect with my ghost stories was somehow missing.  Blue was basically just a nice guy hanging around, and Starla to my mind just needed a swift kick.  The real sense of dread did not materialize.

When all is said and done, The Black Butterfly was only an OK read for me, however I can see its appeal for some younger teens, and I can already think of a few of my regulars who would enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Double header!


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine,  that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile.  This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is


Summary (by Goodreads)
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Everyone has a list of crushes.  Or at least everyone I know has a list of secret crushes.  Can you imagine if they all knew how you secretly felt??  Sounds like a shockingly delicious read!


Summary (by Goodreads)

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend. 

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash. 

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

YA mysteries...love them.  I normally don't promote so many contemporary novels but lately I've started to expand my horizons.  Good idea to step out of your comfort zone every now and then, don't you think?
- Christinabean


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Grim edited by Christine Johnson


Published: 25th, 2014
Publisher: Harlequine Teen
Pages: 480
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today:

Ellen Hopkins
Amanda Hocking
Julie Kagawa
Claudia Gray
Rachel Hawkins
Kimberly Derting
Myra McEntire
Malinda Lo
Sarah Rees-Brennan
Jackson Pearce
Christine Johnson
Jeri Smith Ready
Shaun David Hutchinson
Saundra Mitchell
Sonia Gensler
Tessa Gratton
Jon Skrovan


Ok, I have to confess, I haven't had the time to get to this one yet.  I brought it home from work, and then had to take it back as there was a hold on it.  I'm back on the waiting list and I will get to it - eventually.  Some of my favourite authors are featured here, and I'm really quite looking forward to it. It has a four star rating on Goodreads, so it must be pretty good.  Has anyone out there in fairytale lovers land read this one yet? If you have, let us know what you thought.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Stacking the Shelves


Stacking the Shelves allows us to share the books we have added to our collections - physical, virtual, borrowed, bought or received. 

This week I received - 


Summary (by Goodreads)

A new series returns to the world of Beautiful Creatures. Some loves are cursed...others are dangerous.

Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she's a bad girl. She's Dark. She's a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she's around. Lucky for her, Wesley "Link" Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn't hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.

Beautiful Creatures is one our our favourite series (both on Curlypow and my lists).  Although I wasn't keen on the movie, it didn't dissuade me from loving the original story (always seems better in your head, don't you think?).  Dangerous Creatures is a spin-off from the original. Thanks to NetGalley, I get to take a sneak peek!
- Christinabean

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Generation V by M L Brennan



 
Published: May 2013
Publisher: ROC
Pages: 319
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.

But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.

But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.…


This title crossed my desk at work and to be honest, what drew me to it was the names.  I mean, any  book with a main character called Fortitude has to have some staying power! Right? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)  'Generation V' introduces the reader to an entirely new vampire mythos that is well thought out, and does not fall into the usual 'bite me and I'll turn' category.  Creating new vampires in this world is a messy, nasty business and is very rarely successful.

Fortitude was one of these successes, but  he is still only part vampire, even though he was born one.  He has to mature into the role. This was mostly what I enjoyed about the book - Fort's character growth.  He changes from a moody, resentful, 26 year-old kid, into a thoughtful, caring, responsible vampire.  Sounds a bit weird doesn't it?  But it works. 

With virtually no help from his older vampire siblings, Prudence and Chivalry, (don't you just love those names?)  Fort sets himself up against the interloper and learns a few things in the process - not the least of which is that kitsune (shape changing foxes) can't always be trusted, even if they are kick-ass gorgeous and have a habit of saving your life.

Be warned though, there is a disturbing adult theme in this that is not what I would consider appropriate reading for younger teens.  That said, this was an enjoyable read for me and I'll happily be recommending it to my vampire loving patrons.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover A short review for a short story.


Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, #2.5)


Published: October 14th, 2013
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 105
Copy: Free download from Amazon
Summary: Goodreads


A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.

Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

 
I picked up Finding Cinderella when I was offered the chance to review a different book by Colleen Hoover.   I was in the mood for something quick, and knowing my penchant for fairy tale retellings I thought I'd give this a try.  Well first of all it isn't a retelling, but it was kind of cute. 

As you can expect from the title, it's going to have a happy ending, and it did, so there weren't many surprises.  I was able to anticipate most of what was going to happen in the story, and I have to admit that most of it was highly unlikely.  But you know what?  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I certainly wouldn't mind meeting Daniel!  A quick, enjoyable read for fans of contemporary romance.

 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Follow Friday


Friday Follow is a blog hop that was started by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  Each week a different question is posted by our hosts and we will answer!  This is a great opportunity for bloggers to network and interact. 
This week’s question –

Tell us about a book that you didn’t like and why we shouldn’t read it (as nicely and respectfully as possible)

Hmm....I would never tell someone NOT to read a book because we all have different ideas and opinions.  One book that I was not able to get through at all was Orleans by Sherri L Smith.  I LOVED the premise of it but the writing format drove me bananas.  From what I remember (and it has been a long time), the slang used and the punctuation is what did me in.  I couldn't even read 20 pages without thinking - HUH???!!



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