Book: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

23341894Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publish Date: June 16th 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1484705278
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis: If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

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Book: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

TWTDThe Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Publisher: Putnam/Penguin
Publish Date: May 12, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0399171611
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis: A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.


This book owns me. As well as Renée Ahdieh.

I have always been fascinated with stories set in West/South Asian cultures: Arabian Nights, Sinbad the Sailor, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp. To me, growing up, they offered a diversity from the norm. To me, it was like listening about stories of family. When Stacee and Christina told me that I had to drop everything to read Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn, I immediately did so.

The Wrath and the Dawn is a story about love, revenge, and the grey line that separates the two. It is a story about sacrifice and pleasures, but don’t they all correlate one way or another? The Wrath and the Dawn begins with a death. But while some death scenes can be written in black and white, Ahdieh wrote the scene in a way that had me question the harshness of it. And that’s when her words mesmerized me.

A young woman, Shahrzad, makes a sacrifice and volunteers to be the next calipha. She volunteers to marry the one that is said to be horrific and the monster of her nightmares, the Caliph, Khalid. As hatred fuels her, she waits to look in the eyes of not only her king, but also a murderer. But there is a catch. At dawn, her life will be forfeit. At dawn, she will no longer be anything. Shahrzad’s ill feelings toward Khalid give her courage to do what others have not been able to do: survive.

Shahrzad is a heroine that takes action. Given her circumstances, she isn’t just a damsel in distress. Instead, Shahrzad is the white knight in shining armor. She demands attention from death, and will gladly stare him in the eyes. I love her, for her hopes and dreams, her gusto and bravado. She is someone you want to look up to and become all in the same swoop.

Ahdieh adds memorable characters to the fiction world. Khalid, a horrific king with immeasurable power, whom has become my favorite. He is one of the most complicated characters I have met. To even try to figure out his enigmatic personality is a task in itself. Tariq, a heroic love who will stop at nothing to rescue his fair maiden. Where love can be measured as a strength could become his downfall. Jalal, the loyal guard and cousin, will do whatever he must to save his king. Even if he must befriend someone whom he should not.

The Wrath and the Dawn’s world is exquisitely filled with wonderful and complex characters. You cannot simply love them, nor can you hate them. Instead, you have to invest your time and emotions into them, and allow them to live with you forever. It’s complexity upon mystery upon mystique. Words haunt you and they make you fall in love. Characters make you cheer for the bad and jeer for the good. Everything is skillfully crafted, binding each detail to another, making one large cycle of intricacy and book awesomeness.

The Wrath and the Dawn is amazing, and I highly urge you to read it as soon as you can.

 

Book: Captive by Brighton Walsh

22537691Captive by Brighton Walsh

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin
Publish Date: March 24, 2015
Series: Captive, Book 1
ISBN-13: 978-1250059635
Genre: Fiction – New Adult, Contemporary 

Synopsis: He’s the most dangerous man she’s ever met…and she’s falling in love with him.

Madison Frost is desperate to escape her life. Daughter of a prominent businessman, she has everything a girl could ask for. Except for a family who’s present in her life, and anyone to talk to outside the four walls of the prison she calls home. Madison dreams of one day leaving her life behind. She never thought being kidnapped is how it would happen.

Now she’s being held captive by a man who’s as frightening as he is sinfully gorgeous. Enormous, muscular, and filled with secrets, the man they call Ghost is an enigmatic mercenary, and Madison is trapped with him. She doesn’t know who hired him or why, but the more time she spends at his mercy, the more she realizes he’s not what he seems. Beneath his rough exterior lies an unexpected gentleness and a heart as broken and battered as her own.

But as Madison lets down her walls, Ghost holds tight to his, hiding secrets that could destroy everything.

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Book: My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp

20783745My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date:  March 3, 2015
ISBN-13:  978-0316324786
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Synopsis: You say it was all meant to be. You and me. The way we met. Our secrets in the woods. Even the way it all exploded. It was simply a matter of fate.

Maybe if you were here to tell me again, to explain it one more time, then maybe I wouldn’t feel so uncertain. But I’m going back to the beginning on my own. To see what happened and why.

Luisa “Lulu” Mendez has just finished her final year of high school in a small Virginia town, determined to move on and leave her job at the local junkyard behind. So when her father loses her college tuition money, Lulu needs a new ticket out.

Desperate for funds, she cooks up the (definitely illegal) plan to make and sell moonshine with her friends, Roni and Bucky. Quickly realizing they’re out of their depth, Lulu turns to Mason: a local boy who’s always seemed like a dead end. As Mason guides Lulu through the secret world of moonshine, it looks like her plan might actually work. But can she leave town before she loses everything – including her heart?

The summer walks the line between toxic and intoxicating. My Best Everything is Lulu’s letter to Mason – though is it an apology, a good-bye, or a love letter?

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Book: First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan

22859490First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan

Publisher: HQN Books
Publish Date: February 24, 2015
Series: Puffin Island, Book 1
ISBN-13: 978-0373785049
Genre: Fiction – Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis: Windswept, isolated and ruggedly beautiful, Puffin Island is a haven for day-trippers and daydreamers alike. But this charming community has a way of bringing people together in the most unexpected ways…

It’s been a summer of firsts for Emily Donovan. From becoming a stand-in mom to her niece Lizzie to arriving on Puffin Island, her life has become virtually unrecognizable. Between desperately safeguarding Lizzie and her overwhelming fear of the ocean—which surrounds her everywhere she goes!—Emily has lost count of the number of “just breathe” pep talks she’s given herself. And that’s before charismatic local yacht club owner Ryan Cooper kisses her…

Ryan knows all about secrets. And it’s clear that newcomer Emily—with her haunted eyes and the little girl she won’t let out of her sight—is hiding from something besides the crazy chemistry between them. So Ryan decides he’s going to make it his personal mission to help her unwind and enjoy the sparks! But can Puffin Island work its magic on Emily and get her to take the biggest leap of trust of all—putting her heart in someone else’s hands?
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Book: Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

16085457Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: March 10, 2015
Series: Seraphina, Book 2
ISBN-13: 978-0375866579
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis: The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.

As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?
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Book: Dearest by Alethea Kontis

17155793Dearest by Alethea Kontis

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: February 3, 2015
Series: The Woodcutter Sisters, Book 3
ISBN-13: 978-0544074071
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis: Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this delightful third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?
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