Category Archives: 2015 Books

2015: The Books

January:

1)  All the Rage by Courtney Summers (1) (2015)

2) Changing Teams by Jennifer Allis Provost (2) (beta read)

3) The Tragic Age by Stephen Metcalfe (3) (2015)

4) Yes Please by Amy Poehler (4)

5) The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner (5) (beta read)

6) The Witch of Carpathia by Rhys A. Jones (6) (beta read)

7) The Book Thing by Laura Lippman (7)

8) Five Fires by Laura Lippman (8)

9) Her by Harriet Lane (9) (2015)

10) Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (10)

11) Another Day as Emily by Eileen Spinelli (11)

12) Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff (12)

13) Sophie Simon Solves Them All by Lisa Graff (13)

14) Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson (14)

15) One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin (15) (2015)

16) American Murder Houses by Steve Lehto (16) (2015)

17) Peace Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson (17)

18) Witness by Karen Hesse (18)

19) Double Dog Dare by Lisa Graff (19)

20) The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff (20)

21) Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord (21)

22) The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods (22)

23) Rules by Cynthia Lord (23)

24) Extraordinary Guidance by Liza Weimer (24)

25) My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (25) (2015)

26) The Price of Blood by Patricia Bracewell (26) (2015)

27) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (27) (2015)

28) May B. by Caroline Starr Rose (28)

29) The Lonely Hearts Club Band by Elizabeth Eulberg (29)

30) We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg (30) (2015)

31) Oh Yeah, Audrey! by Tucker Shaw (31)

32) The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng (32)

33) The Third Twin by CJ Omololu (33) (2015)

February:

1) Split Second by Kasie West (34)

2) Canary by Duane Swierczynski (35) (2015)

3) Something Real by Heather Demetrios (36)

4) I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (37) (2015)

5) When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds (38)

6) Vaquero Summer by Darby Karchut (39) (beta read)

7) Matriarch by Shauna Kelly (40) (beta read)

8) Shattered Angel by Carrie Beckort (41) (2015)

9) Gallowglass by Jennifer Allis-Provost (42) (beta read)

10) Riding Tandem by Liza Wiemer (43) (beta read)

11) The Other Side of Home by Renee Watson (44) (2015)

12) The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (45)

13) Rumble by Ellen Hopkins (46)

14) Ask the Dark by Henry Turner (47) (2015)

15) Undertow by Michael Buckley (48) (2015)

16) Camp Crush by J.K. Rock (49) (2015) (beta read)

17) Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon (50) (2015)

18) The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold (51)

19) A Work of Art by Melody Maysonet (52) (2015)

20) The Shining Avenger by Rhys A. Jones (53) (beta read)

21) The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (54) (2015)

22) Dreamfire by Kit Alloway (55) (2015)

23) My Secret Guide to Paris by Lisa Schroeder (56) (2015)

24) How to Fall by Jane Casey (57)

25) Bet Your Life by Jane Casey (58) (2015)

26) Boarding School Girls by Helen Eve (59) (2015)

27) Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff (60) (2015)

28) The Stranger by Harlan Coben (61) (2015)

March:

1)  Follow Me Through Darkness by Danielle Ellison (62)

2) Duplicity by N.K. Traver (63) (2015)

3) Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver (64) (2015)

4) We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach (65) (2015)

5) Dead Wake by Erik Larson (66) (2015)

6) The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord (67) (2015)

7) The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand (68) (2015)

8) The Color War by Jodi Picoult (69)

9) Guns by Stephen King (70)

10) The Apex Predator by Michael Koryta (71)

11) Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn (72) (2015)

12) Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (73)

13) Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey (74) (2015)

14) Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke (75)

15) This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready (76)

16) Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian (77)

17) Don’t Stay Up Late by R.L. Stine (78) (2015)

18) Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor (79)

19) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (80) (2015)

20) Seek Me in Shadows by Danielle Ellison (81) (2015)

21) The Truth About Us by Janet Gurtler (82) (2015)

22) On the Fence by Kasie West (83)

23) Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight (84) (2015)

24) The One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth (85)

25) The Chance You Won’t Return by Annie Cardi (86)

26) Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt (87)

27) Above by Isla Morley (88)

28) I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora (89)

29) Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway (90) (2015)

30) Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (91) (2015)

31) The Drop by Dennis Lehane (92)

32) The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day (93)

33) The Moment of Everything by Shelly King (94)

34) Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova (95) (2015)

April:

1) Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger (96) (2015)

2) Days Like This by Danielle Ellison (97) (2015)

3) Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (98) (2015)

4) Eeny Meeny by AJ Arlidge (99) (2015)

5) The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdiah (100 (2015)

6) Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper by Hilary Liftin (101) (2015)

7) If You’re Reading This by Trent Reedy (102)

8) Life On Mars by Jennifer Brown (103)

9) Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard (104) (2015)

10) Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone (105) (2015)

11) Shirley, I Jest by Cindy Williams (106) (2015)

12) All the Answers by Kate Messner (107) (2015)

13) The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (108)

14) Blessed are Those Who Weep by Kristi Belcamino (109) (2015)

15) Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham (110) (2015)

16) Funny Girl by Nick Hornby (111) (2015)

17) Hallie Hath No Fury by Katie Finn (112)

18) Revenge, Ice Cream and Other Things Best Served Cold by Katie Finn (113) (2015)

19) Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore (114)

20) Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor (115) (2015)

21) Dead to Me by Mary McCoy (116) (2015)

22) Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky (117) (2015)

23) The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (118) (2015)

24) Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (119) (2015)

25) Saving Lucas Biggs by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague (120)

26) Bird Box by Josh Malerman (121)

27) 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen (122)

28) Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson (123)

29) None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio (124) (2015)

30) Absolutely True Lies by Rachel Stuhler (125) (2015)

May:

1)  Sophomore Year is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin (126) (2015)

2) The Boy Vanishes by Jennifer Haigh (127)

3)  Julian by RJ Palacio (128)

4)  The Devil You Know by Trish Doller (129) (2015)

5) Joyride by Anna Banks (130) (2015)

6) The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower by Lisa Graff (131) (2015)

7) The Heir by Kiera Cass (132) (2015)

8) The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West (133) (2015)

9) Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn (134) (2015)

10) Guyliner by J. Leigh Bailey (135) (2015)

11) The Status of All Things by Liz Fenton (136) (2015)

12)  Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu (137) (2015)

13)  Shattered Glass by Gail Giles (138)

14) All Played Out by Cora Carmack (139) (2015)

15) Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby (140) (2015)

16) Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (141) (2015)

17) Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (142) (2015)

18) The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes (143) (2015)

19) The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes (144) (2015)

20) Local Girls by Caroline Zancan (145) (2015)

21) Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan (146) (2015)

22) Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine (147) (2015)

23) Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay (148) (2015)

24) A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes (149) (2015)

25) It’s Just a Jump to the Left by Libba Bray (150)

26) Happy Again by Jennifer E. Smith (151)

27) Just One Night by Gayle Forman (152)

28) Disconnected by Jennifer Weiner (153)

29) Recalculating by Jennifer Weiner (154)

30) Monster by Bridget Clerkin (155)

31) Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave (156) (2015)

32)  PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han (156) (2015)

33) More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (157) (2015)

June:

1)  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (158)

2) Finders Keepers by Stephen King (159) (2015)

3)  A Memoir of Grief (Continued) by Jennifer Weiner (160)

4)  In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume (161) (2015)

5)  Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff (162) (2015)

6)  Truly Madly Famously by Rebecca Serle (163) (2015)

7)  Disclaimer by Renee Knight (164) (2015)

8)  Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin (165)

9)  Summer Secrets by Jane Green (166) (2015)

10)  Those Girls by Lauren Saft (167) (2015)

11)  Survive the Night by Danielle Vega (168) (2015)

12)  The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker (169) (2015)

13)  Hello I Love You by Katie M. Stout (170) (2015)

14)  The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell (171) (2015)

15)  A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (172) (2015)

16)  Let Me Die In His Footsteps by Lori Roy (173) (2015)

17)  Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel (174)

18)  A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery (175) (2015)

19)  Exquisite Corpse by Penelope Bagieu (176)

20)  The Lives Between Us by Theresa Rizzo (177) (2015)

21)  365 Days of Wonder by RJ Palacio (178)

22)  Armada by Ernest Cline (179) (2015)

23)  Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine (180)

24)  My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula L. Freedman (181)

25)  Jessica Darling #3 by Megan McCafferty (182) (2015)

26)  The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard (183)

27)  The Good Girls by Sara Shepard (184) (2015)

28)  Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas (185) (2015)

29)  Weightless by Sarah Bannan (186) (2015)

30)  Everybody Knows Your Name by Andrea Seigel and Brent Bradshaw (187) (2015)

31)  All We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder (188) (2015)

July:

1)  Brush Back by Sara Paretsky (189) (2015)

2)  Random by Tom Leveen (190)

3)  Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (191) (2015)

4)  Loving Dallas by Caisey Quinn (192) (2015)

5)  If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison (193) (2015)

6)  Two Across by Jeff Bartsch (194) (2015)

7)  Every Day by David Levithan (195)

8)  Another Day by David Levithan (196) (2015)

9)  Love, Santa by Martha Brockenbrough (197)

10)  Who Do You Love? by Jennifer Weiner (198) (2015)

11)  Last Words by Michael Koryta (199) (2015)

12)  Map to the Stars by Jen Malone (200) (2015)

13) Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly (201) (2015)

14)  Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (202) (2015)

15) The Best of Enemies by Jen Lancaster (203) (2015)

16)  The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (204)

17) The Snatchabook by Helen Doherty (205)

18)  X by Sue Grafton (206) (2015)

19) My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick (207)

20)  The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick (208) (2015)

21)  Becoming Maria by Sonia Manzano (209) (2015)

22)  Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash (210) (2015)

23)  A Little In Love by Susan Fletcher (211) (2015)

24)  George by Alex Gino (212) (2015)

25)  The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian (213)

26)  Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine (214) (2015)

27)  Trust No One by Paul Cleve (215) (2015)

28)  The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle (216) (2015)

29) The Yeti Files: Monsters on the Run by Kevin Sherry (217) (2015)

30)  The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis (218) (2015)

31) Never Never by Brianna Shrum (219) (2015)

32) Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler (220) (2015)

August:

1)  Until Beth by Lisa Amowitz (221) (2015)

2)  Clara’s Room by Kimberly McCreight (222)

3)  UR by Stephen King (223)

4)  Say Something by Jennifer Brown (224)

5)  Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (225) (2015)

6)  Play On by Michelle Smith (226) (2015)

7) Max the Brave by Ed Vere (227) (2015)

8) What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick (228)

9) Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (229)

10) Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales (230) (2015)

11) Rome in Love by Anita Hughes (231) (2015)

12)  Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (232) (2015)

13)  The Killing Kind by Chris Holm (233) (2015)

14)  State of Grace by Hilary Badger (234)

15)  The End Or Something Like That by Ann Dee Ellis (235)

16)  The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis (236) (2015)

17)  Not After Everything by Michelle Levy (237) (2015)

18) The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon (238) (2015)

19)  Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler (239)

20) Stella & Charlie: Friends Forever by Bernadette Peters (240)  (2015)

21) Switchblade by Michael Connelly (241)

22)  Kissing in America by Margo Rabb (242) (2015)

23)  When Everything Feels Like the Movies by Raziel Reid (243)

24)  Things You Won’t Say by Sarah Pekkanen (244) (2015)

25)  Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt (245) (2015)

26)  Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center (246) (2015)

27)  Infinite In Between by Carolyn Mackler (247) (2015)

28) Chadwick the Crab by Priscilla Cummings (248)

29) Chadwick and the Garplegrungen by Priscilla Cummings (249)

30) The Invisibles by Cecilia Galante (250) (2015)

31) The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow (251) (2015)

September:

1) Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes by Jules Moulin (252) (2015)

2) Days of Awe by Lauren Fox (253) (2015)

3) Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (254) (2015)

4) All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (255) (2015)

5) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (256) (2015)

6) The Crossing by Michael Connelly (257) (2015)

7) Chadwick’s Wedding by Priscilla Cummings (258)

8) Chadwick Forever by Priscilla Cummings (259)

9) Jem and the Holograms: Showtime by Kelly Thompson (260) (2015)

10) After You by Jojo Moyes (261) (2015)

11) I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan (262)

12) Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan (263)

13) Locked in Time by Lois Duncan (264)

14) Don’t Look Behind You by Lois Duncan (265)

15) They Never Came Home by Lois Duncan (266)

16)  Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan (267)

17) Mary Unleashed by Hillary Monahan (268) (2015)

18) Among the Dolls by William Sleator (269)

19) Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (270) (2015)

20) Alive by Chandler Baker (271) (2015)

21) Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano (272) (2015)

22)  The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich (273) (2015)

23)  Took by Mary Downing Hahn (274) (2015)

24)  Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett (275) (2015)

25)  Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski (276) (2015)

26)  Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (277) (2015)

27)  The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy (278) (2015)

28)  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (279)

29)  Daughters unto Devils by Amy Lukavics (280) (2015)

30) The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright (281) (2015)

31) The New Girl by RL Stine (282)

32)  Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (283)

33) Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick (285) (2015)

October:

1)  Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin (285) (2015)

2)  What We Knew by Barbara Stewart (286) (2015)

3)  Need by Joelle Charbonneau (287) (2015)

4)  The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler (288) (2015)

5)  10% Happier by Dan Harris (289)

6)  What We Left Behind by Robin Talley (290) (2015)

7)  Don’t Fail Me Now by Una LaMarche (291) (2015)

8)  Breath to Breath by Craig Lew (292) (2015)

9)  Smoke by Catherine McKenzie (293) (2015)

10) Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler (294) (2015)

11)  The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe (295)

12) Traffick by Ellen Hopkins (296) (2015)

13)  Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Khizhnik (297) (2015)

14)  First and Then by Emma Mills (298) (2015)

15)  Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (299) (2015)

16) Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (300)

17)  Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume (301)

18)  It’s Not the End of the World by Judy Blume (302)

19)  Blubber by Judy Blume (303)

20) Deenie by Judy Blume (304)

21) Then Again, Maybe I Won’t by Judy Blume (305)

22) Iggie’s House by Judy Blume (306)

23)  Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume (307)

24)  Forever… by Judy Blume (308)

25)  Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume (309)

26)  This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (310)

27)  Thicker Than Water by Kelly Fiore (311)

28)  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (312)

29)  How to be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras (313) (2015)

30)  Hillary Rodham Clinton: Do All the Good You Can by Cynthia Levinson (314)

31)  The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine (315)

32)  Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (316)

33)  Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed (317) (2015)

November:

1)  Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner (318)

2) Sinful Longing by Lauren Blakely (319) (2015)

3) This Song is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin (320)

4)  The Grownup by Gillian Flynn (321) (2015)

5)  The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (322) (2015)

6)  The Borden Murders by Sarah Miller (323)

7)  Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker (324)

8)  Shade Me by Jennifer Brown (325)

9)  Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan (326)

10)  The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald (327)

11)  Up to this Pointe by Jennifer Longo (328)

12)  Front Lines by Michael Grant (329)

13)  Dumplin’  by Julie Murphy (330) 2015)

14)  The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos (331)

15)  The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin (332)

16)  The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (333)

17) Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savrit (334)

18) Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan (335)

19) The Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa (336)

20) Wolverton Station by Joe Hill (337)

21) Twittering from the Circus of the Dead by Joe Hill (338)

22) Missing Dixie by Caisey Quinn (339) (2015)

23) The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson (340) (2015)

24) Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira (341)

25) The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes (342) (2015)

26) Instructions for the End of the World by Jamie Kain (343) (2015)

27) My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins (344)

28) His Country Bride by Debra Holt (345)

29) El Deafo by Cece Bell (346)

30) Dark Sparkler by Amber Tamblyn (347) (2015)

December:

1) My Name is Mahtob by Mahtob Mahmoody (348) (2015)

2) Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (349)

3) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (350)

4) Mercy’s Rescue by Debra Holt (351) (2015)

5) When We Collided by Emery Lord (352)

6) Holding Out For Forever by Brooke DelVecchio (353) (beta read)

7) The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood (354)

8) Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe (355)

9) Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace (356)

10) The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston (357)

11) Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf (358)

12) Pax by Sara Pennypacker (359)

13) Brambleheart by Henry Cole (360)

14) The Pages Between Us by Lindsey Leavitt and Robin Mellom (361)

15) The Word For Yes by Claire Needell (362)

16) Breakfast Served Anytime by Sarah Combs (363)

17) Just My Luck by Cammie McGovern (364)

18)  Unholy Blue by Darby Kaye (365)

19)  The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry (366)

20) My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul (367)

21)  The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (368)

22) The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight (369)

23)  Find Her by Lisa Gardner (370)

24)  Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (371)

 

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Don’t Get Caught

Don’t Get Caught is by Kurt Dinan and will be out April 1.  Click here to add it to your Goodreads.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Max Cobb is sick of being “Just Max”—the kind of guy whose resume boasts a measly 2.5 GPA and a deep love of heist films. So when an invitation appears in his locker to join the anonymous, untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, Max jumps at the opportunity.

Except that the invite is really a setup, and Max, plus the four other misfits who received similar invitations, are apprehended by school security for defacing the water tower. Max has finally had enough. It’s time for payback. Time to unmask Chaos. Let the prank war begin.”

Why I’m Excited:

THE BREAKFAST CLUB MEETS OCEAN’S 11.  Heist stories are one of my most favorite things and friendship stories are another and the two together? TAKE MY MONEY.

Also, seriously? Max and I would be best friends.

My True Love Gave To Me

Finished My True Love Gave to Me, edited by Stephanie Perkins.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

This is absolutely perfect for the holiday season.  These 12 stories are sweet and funny (some) and creepy (some) and a little sad.  In short, no matter your mood, you’ll find something here that perfectly suits it.  (And if you’re not exactly in a celebratory frame of mind, you’ll find something that will cheer you up.)

In case you’re not a huge fan of contemp YA, you’ll be happy to know there are a few of a paranormal bent (although most are contemp).

It’s probably not surprising that my favorite one is the Gayle Forman one, but so many of these are just phenomenal.

Recommended.

Six of Crows

Finished Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.”

I don’t read very many paranormal books anymore, and this book was almost an impulse grab at BEA. (I had a linejump pass and two of my friends were obsessed with getting this book and one mentioned that it was compared to Ocean’s 11, and I was like, REALLY?!)

I mention that to make sure you know that I came very close to not reading this book at all.  That would’ve been a huge mistake on my part.

I love everything about this book (except for the fact that the sequel won’t be out until NEXT FALL.)  The world that Leigh Bardugo created is amazing.  (I didn’t read her earlier Grisha trilogy, but you don’t need to do that to love this book.  I do plan to go back and read them eventually, though, because if they’re anything like this, I am going to love them beyond all reason.)

There is so much tension in this book.  Part of it is romantic (I ship two different couples here and I have to believe they will each get it together) and most of it is just the question of whether these six people will be able to do what is essentially impossible.

Highly recommended.

How to Be Brave (review, excerpt and giveaway!)

How To Be Brave

Finished How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.  I’m happy to be offering a giveaway of this novel; to enter, please leave a comment!

Click here to see the trailer.

EXCERPT:

This is what it was like:

I didn’t want you to come. I didn’t want you there.

The day before school, the very first year,

we waited in line for my schedule.

They stared. Those in line around us—

the other girls and their moms,

the ones who were my year,

who were never my friends—

They saw how you were big, planetary, next to them.

Next to me.

The girl in pigtails, someone’s sister,

asked: Is there a baby inside?

Her mother, red now, whispered in her ear.

 

But the girl didn’t mind:

Oh, so she’s fat.

 

The other girls, the ones who were my year

who were never my friends—they laughed at you, quietly.

At me.

 

Her mother said she was sorry, so sorry,

And you said: It’s fine. It’s fine.

But it wasn’t.

 

You squeezed my hand, and then to the girl in pigtails,

you said: I am big, yes. But I am beautiful, too.

And so are you.

 

Her mother pulled her child away.

She left the line and let us go first.

 

I didn’t say: You shouldn’t have come.

I didn’t say: I don’t want you here.

 

But I also didn’t say: I love you.

Or: Thank you for being brave.

 

Later that night, I cried:

I don’t want to go. I don’t want to face them.

And every year after.

 

You’d look at me like I was that girl,

and you’d say, as though it were true:

You are possibility and change and beauty.

One day, you will have a life, a beautiful life.

You will shine.

 

I didn’t see it. I couldn’t see it,

not in myself,

not in you.

 

Now, it’s not like that anymore.

This is what it’s like:

It’s quiet in our house. Too quiet. Especially tonight. The day before my first day of senior year.

The A/C hums, the fridge hums, the traffic hums.

I’m standing at my closet door, those old knots churning inside my stomach again.

I don’t want to go tomorrow. I need to talk to her.

Instead, I’ve done what she always did for me the night before the first day of the school year. I’ve picked out three complete outfits, hung them on my closet door.

It’s a good start, I guess.

Outfit #1: Dark indigo skinny jeans (are they still considered skinny if they’re a size 16?), drapey black shirt, long gold chain necklace that Liss gave me, and cheap ballet flats that hurt my feet because they’re way too flat and I hate wearing shoes with no socks.

Outfit #2: Black leggings, dark blue drapey knee- length dress (draping is my thing), gold hoop earrings that belonged to my mom, and open-toed black sandals, but that would mean a last-minute half-assed pedicure tonight. A spedicure, if you will.

Outfit #3: A dress my mom bought for me two years ago. The Orange Dress. Well, really more like coral. With embroidered ribbons etched in angular lines that camouflage my flab. Knee-length (not too short/not too long). Three-quarter-length sleeves (to hide the sagging). It’s perfectly retro. And just so beautiful. Especially with this utterly uncomfortable pair of canary-colored peep-toe pumps that belonged to my mom.

I begged her for the dress. I made her pay the $125 for it. I knew my parents didn’t have the money, but I couldn’t help crying when I saw myself in the mirror. It fit (it’s a size 14), and I think she saw how pretty I felt because I did feel pretty for the first time, so she charged it.

But I’ve never worn it.

The day after, she went into the ER, her heart acting up again. She needed another emergency stent, which meant more dye through her kidneys, which meant dialysis a few weeks later, which meant the beginning of the end of everything.

I never put it on after that.

It’s just so bright. So unlike everything else I wear.

I could wear it tomorrow.

I could. And if she were here, she would tell me to.

I really need to talk to her.

It’s just so quiet in this house.

HOW TO BE BRAVE by E. Katherine Kottaras. Copyright © 2015 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin.

Summary (from Goodreads):

An emotional contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and having the courage to chase the life you truly want.

Reeling from her mother’s death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave – all the things she’s wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she’s always been afraid to do – including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most – and you learn that you’re stronger and braver than you ever imagined.”

I don’t know what it is but I am drawn to books about grief.  I also love books that focus on friendship and ones that focus on personal growth.  (I like character arcs, basically.)  And so a book that does all three? YES PLEASE.

And honestly, I love Georgia.  I love her so, so much.  She’s a plus-sized lady (and in high school, so God love her for that) and she doesn’t really focus on her weight.  She is okay with the fact that she has curves and she never really obsesses about it.  She wants to lose a few pounds but that’s to be healthier, not “prettier.”

At the same time, though, she has the same body issues that I’m pretty sure almost literally every woman ever has.  (One of her life list items is to go skinny dipping, which is fine until she realizes that will mean being naked in front of people.)

The only reason this book isn’t five stars is because, at 288 pages, I thought a few things seemed really rushed.  But those 288 pages were all wonderful and I cannot wait to read everything E. Katherine Kottaras ever writes, ever.

How to Be Brave sets out to make statements on dealing with grief and body image and self-acceptance and that time where you’re trying to figure out what to do with the rest of your life AND dealing with crumbling friendships.  There is a lot going on and it would be so easy to let one (or many) of those balls drop.  That doesn’t happen in this case; everything is handled masterfully.  (So masterfully, in fact, even Olivia Pope couldn’t have handled it better.)

Highly recommended.

Sinful Longing

Finished Sinful Longing by Lauren Blakely.  I received a copy for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

He’s the inked brother. The one you’re wondering about. The bad boy of the family.
Colin Sloan has a past. He’s done things he’s not proud of, but he’s living differently now. Making changes in his life. Working hard, working out harder, and trying to win over one woman. He’s utterly crazy about Elle Mariano, and though the sex is epic, their friends-with-benefits arrangement just isn’t cutting it anymore. He wants all of her, and is determined to prove he’s what she needs in her life.

Elle is fiery, loyal, and in major lust with Colin Sloan. He’s everything she craves in a man — smart, sexy, kind — and a rock star between the sheets. But his past hits too close to home for her, and the people she has to protect. There isn’t room in her life for a relationship with Colin. Especially when she’s forced to keep a secret that could tear his family apart…

SINFUL LONGING is the third book in the steamy, sexy, suspenseful New York Times Bestselling Sinful Nights series from Lauren Blakely, author of the wildly popular Seductive Nights series…This high-heat, high-stakes romance series follows the Sloan family as each sibling falls madly in love against the backdrop of sin, money, greed, passion, mystery and suspense...”

I haven’t read the first two books in this series, but it’s easy to follow anyway.  (I think it would’ve been better if I had, though, just because of the subplot with Colin’s father’s murder. I’m guessing I’d have a more complete picture if I had read the first two books.)  But the main plot with Colin and Elle? Yeah, that’s easy to love even with no background.

(I think these are more connected books than an actual series, though; it seems like each book focuses on a different member of Colin’s family.)

And I definitely do want to bingeread the first two books (maybe before the last one comes out?) but I’m not sure when that can happen.  I have to say, though, I am going to miss Colin and Elle.  (Colin probably makes a cameo but Elle probably doesn’t.)

Which reminds me, probably my favorite thing about Lauren Blakely’s books is the way that she writes these flawed characters who still fit together so perfectly.  Her books are just amazing, and if you haven’t read them by now, you really should.

This is basically everything I’ve come to expect from Lauren Blakely: hot sex, sweet scenes and now insane amounts of suspense (well, okay, that last one is new).

Highly recommended.

First & Then

Finished First & Then by Emma Mills.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.”

I try to read a variety of different books, but my favorite (at least for now) is contemporary YA and this book is a great example of why.  It’s sweet and fun, but also there’s a lot of emotional depth.

Devon is a high school senior.  She doesn’t know where she wants to go to college and she’s dealing with the fact that her cousin is now living with them (Foster’s dad is dead and his mom has substance abuse issues) and Foster is…we’ll go with quirky.

That’s enough to deal with but Devon also loves her best friend (the feelings are most definitely not requited) and there’s this new guy in school who is basically EVERYWHERE and that’s confusing too.

I love this book.  It made me care about football (sort of, almost) and it made me smile.  I love Dev and her family and especially Ezra.

(And all I want in the world is a Foster-centric sequel.)

Recommended.

Notorious RBG

Finished Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Khizhnik.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

You can’t spell truth without Ruth.
Only Ruth Bader Ginsburg can judge me.
The Ruth will set you free.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never asked for fame—she was just trying to make the world a little better and a little freer. But along the way, the feminist pioneer’s searing dissents and steely strength have inspired millions. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, created by the young lawyer who began the Internet sensation and an award-winning journalist, takes you behind the myth for an intimate, irreverent look at the justice’s life and work. As America struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stays fierce. And if you don’t know, now you know.”

I knew before I read this book that I liked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  But I wasn’t very familiar with her before she became a justice on the Supreme Court.  (Given her age and the fact that she was only the second female justice—and the fact that there have only been four—I knew she was a trailblazer, but I didn’t understand just how amazing her life has been.)

The book includes excerpts of opinions she’s written and has  a lot of pictures, but the real joy (for me) is in learning more about her personal life.  Her marriage to Marty GInsburg is an actual inspiration and if I could find a lady like Marty (or like Ruth, that’d be pretty awesome, too), I’d be incredibly lucky.  Their marriage was fantastic and I love the fact that they each didn’t seem to have an ego where the other was concerned.  Neither of them felt the need to be the one in charge.  (I also love the fact that Marty pitched in at home while Ruth was working.  It seems like that’s still rare now, so you can imagine how rare it was decades ago.)

If you need or want to know more about “Notorious RBG,” this is the book for you.

Highly recommended.

Traffick

Finished Traffick by Ellen Hopkins.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Five teens victimized by sex trafficking try to find their way to a new life in this riveting companion to the New York Times bestselling Tricks from Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank.

In her bestselling novel, Tricks, Ellen Hopkins introduced us to five memorable characters tackling these enormous questions: Eden, the preacher’s daughter who turns tricks in Vegas and is helped into a child prostitution rescue; Seth, the gay farm boy disowned by his father who finds himself without money or resources other than his own body; Whitney, the privileged kid coaxed into the life by a pimp and whose dreams are ruined in a heroin haze; Ginger, who runs away from home with her girlfriend and is arrested for soliciting an undercover cop; and Cody, whose gambling habit forces him into the life, but who is shot and left for dead.

And now, in Traffick, these five are faced with the toughest question of all: Is there a way out? How these five teenagers face the aftermath of their decisions and experiences is the soul of this story that exposes the dark, ferocious underbelly of the child trafficking trade. Heartwrenching and hopeful, Traffick takes us on five separate but intertwined journeys through the painful challenges of recovery, rehabilitation, and renewal to forgiveness and love. All the way home.”

I’ve been a huge fan of Ellen Hopkins for years and her books pretty much always break my heart.  This one is no exception.  It’s a sequel to her book Tricks and it’s not a spoiler to say that just because the teens have escaped from prostitution, it doesn’t mean that their lives are any easier.

Between them, their difficulties range from medical problems, drug withdrawal and self-esteem issues, but there are a lot more difficulties below the surface.  It’s a lot to overcome—especially for a few of the teens, who don’t even really have support systems.

Still, they are determined to survive.  Their resilience and drive is actually inspiring (and I know that word tends to inspire eyerolls, but seriously, these are amazing teens).  As with all her books, this is a must-read.

Highly recommended.

The Sound of Letting Go

Finished The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe.

Summary (from Goodreads):

For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?”

I really enjoyed this novel.  Daisy has always been the good child—really, the easy child—since her little brother has autism.  And her brother is mostly non-verbal and has a tendency to become aggressive (harming himself and others) so her parents really rely on her as another caregiver for him.  (As a result, she’s basically the third adult in the house, as opposed to one of the two children.)

When her parents decide to institutionalize her brother, she freaks out.  It’s not even that she necessarily thinks it’s a bad idea—it’s that she hates the fact that they’re asking her opinion.  (I think it’s that she doesn’t want to be at all responsible for Steven being sent away.  She wants the decision to be entirely out of her hands…which it should be, really, since she’s just a kid.)

And now that she DOES have more freedom—no more babysitting three nights a week—she starts to behave like a normal teenager.  She stays out late and starts dating a “bad boy” who she’s known essentially her whole life.

Even when I didn’t really agree with her choices, it’s impossible not to root for Daisy.  This is a fantastic novel and I can’t wait to read Stasia Ward Kehoe’s next book. Recommended.