Monday, March 24, 2014



The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
by Leslye Walton
Hardcover Giveaway
Released 3/25/2014

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

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Drama Queens in the House
by Julie Williams
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
Roaring Brook Press
Released 3/25/2014

All of Jessie's world is a stage, and she's determined to become a player, in Drama Queens in the House by Julie Williams.

Sixteen-year-old Jessie Jasper Lewis doesn’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t surrounded by method actors, bright spotlights, and feather boas. Her parents started the Jumble Players Theater together, and theater is the glue that holds her crazy family together. But when she discovers that her father’s cheating on her mother with a man, Jessie feels like her world is toppling over. And on top of everything else, she has to deal with a delusional aunt who is predicting the end of the world. Jessie certainly doesn’t feel ready to be center stage in the production that is her family. But where does she belong in all of this chaos?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Drama Queens in the House?

I’m drawn to Jessie’s wildly crazy theatrical family. I can see why she doesn’t want to go away to college yet. I’m with her. I want to keep hanging out with all those actors and dancers and chefs and singers and costumers and . . . well, you know . . . THEATRICAL folks. As an author, I never know when I begin a story exactly where it’s going to go or how the characters will turn out. Now that DRAMA QUEENS IN THE HOUSE is done, I have to say I like Jessie’s sense of humor, the way her view of the world helps her cope when things get tough. It makes me want to hang out with her at one more rehearsal, one more dance class, one more opening night theatre party.

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The Edge of Falling
by Rebecca Serle
Simon Pulse
Released 3/18/2014

WINNER: Michelle Lee

Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.

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by D.J. MacHale
Released 3/25/2014

From #1 New York Times bestselling author D.J. MacHale comes
—the exhilarating, action-packed sequel to

"Absolutely un-put-downable, more exciting than an X-box and roller coaster combined."—Kirkus, starred review

"With this extremely high-octane story that's the equivalent to a summer movie blockbuster, MacHale kicks off an apocalyptic trilogy sure to leave readers demanding the next installment."—Booklist

"An entertaining and creepy tale."—Publishers Weekly

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Storm?

It's hard to say something specific about STORM without putting it in the context of the overall trilogy. Though each book in The SYLO Chronicles trilogy holds a unique story with its own rhythm, each book is also one part of the larger whole. So I’ll offer two answers. My favorite thing about the entire trilogy is that it presents a slowly unfolding mystery that (I hope) will keep readers guessing as they try to solve it. As to STORM in particular, I like how all of the characters evolve (especially Tucker) as they are not only forced to cope with life and death challenges, but also with each other. (I also like the action scenes. They rock)

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Nearly Gone
by Elle Cosimano
Kathy Dawson Books
Released 3/25/2014

Bones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly-plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end.

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next.

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by Chris Wooding
Scholastic Press
Released 3/25/2014

The final exam is survival.

Paul is the new kid at Mortingham Boarding Academy, and he has a dark secret.
Caitlyn admires Paul from afar and resents that he only has eyes for Erika.
Erika thinks that she and Caitlyn are best friends, but she's wrong.
Adam is a bully with a major chip on his shoulder.
Mark is outgrowing his old friends but doesn't know how to make new ones.

In a few short hours, none of this will matter. Without warning, a horrifying infection will spread across the school grounds, and a group of students with little in common will find themselves barricaded in a classroom, fighting for their lives. Some will live. Some will die. And then it will get even worse.

Fast-paced and frightening, Silver is a tale set on the fringes of science and horror - a story about the struggle to survive in the face of impossible odds.

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The Cracks in the Kingdom
by Jaclyn Moriarty
Arthur A. Levine Books
Released 3/25/2014

The second in Jaclyn Moriarty's brilliant, acclaimed fantasy trilogy, THE COLORS OF MADELEINE!

Princess Ko's been bluffing about the mysterious absence of her father, desperately trying to keep the government running on her own. But if she can't get him back in a matter of weeks, the consequence may be a devastating war. So under the guise of a publicity stunt she gathers a group of teens -- each with a special ability -- from across the kingdom to crack the unsolvable case of the missing royals of Cello.

Chief among these is farm-boy heartthrob Elliot Baranski, more determined than ever to find his own father. And with the royal family trapped in the World with no memory of their former lives, Elliot's value to the Alliance is clear: He's the only one with a connection to the World, through his forbidden communications with Madeleine.

Through notes, letters, and late nights, Elliot and Madeleine must find a way to travel across worlds and bring missing loved ones home. The stakes are high, and the writing by turns hilarious and suspenseful, as only Jaclyn Moriarty can be.

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by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan
Released 3/25/2014

The Emmy Award-nominee and Edgar Award-winning duo bring readers back to the Wasteland in this thrilling sequel.

Karin Slaughter, bestselling author of Criminal, called Wasteland, "A Lord of the Flies for future generations. An irresistible page-turner."

The former citizens of Prin are running out of time. The Source has been destroyed, so food is scarcer than ever. Tensions are rising…and then an earthquake hits.

So Esther and Caleb hit the road, leading a ragtag caravan. Their destination? A mythical city where they hope to find food and shelter-not to mention a way to make it past age nineteen.

On the way, alliances and romances blossom and fracture. Esther must rally to take charge with the help of a blind guide, Aras. He seems unbelievably cruel, but not everything is as it seems in the Wasteland.…

In this sequel to Wasteland, the stakes are even higher for Esther, Caleb, and the rest of their clan. They're pinning all their hopes on the road...but what if it's the most dangerous place of all?

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Where the Rock Splits the Sky
by Philip Webb
Chicken House
Released 3/25/2014

The moon has been split, and the Visitors have Earth in their alien grip. But the captive planet? That's not her problem. Megan just wants to track down her missing dad...

The world stopped turning long before Megan was born. Ever since the Visitors split the moon and stilled the Earth, permanent sunset is all anyone has known. But now, riding her trusty steed Cisco, joined by her posse, Kelly and Luis, Megan is on the run from her Texas hometown, journeying across the vast, dystopic American West to hunt down her father. To find him, she must face the Zone, a notorious landscape where the laws of nature do not apply. The desert can play deadly tricks on the mind, and the quest will push Megan past her limits. But to solve the mystery of not just her missing father but of the paralyzed planet itself, she must survive it--and an alien showdown.

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  1. Drama Queens sounds so good! LOVE Theater culture and the family aspect seems perfect :)

    Thank you :)

  2. I'd love to read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender.

  3. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender has been on my wish list since I first saw a review. Drama Queens sounds great too!

  4. There's something about Drama Queens that interests me. Sounds great!

  5. I am so excited for The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender! Absolutely can't wait to read it! :)

  6. Nearly Gone intrigues me, along with your feature book, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. Kind of a long title though...!

  7. They all sound so good - but I think Drama Queens pulls at me the most :)

  8. So many good books! Ava Lavender sounds wonderful!! Thanks.

  9. Love the blurb for Nearly Gone, and Cracks in the Kingdom sounds fantastic!

  10. Congratulations to Michelle! I love the cover of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. Since we've had some actors in the family, I really, really want to read Drama Queens in the House. Thanks for telling me about all these new books.

  11. Ava Lavender, Where the Rock Splits the Sky, & Nearly Gone look fantastic!!

  12. I've been waiting on NEARLY GONE for what seems an interminable amount of time .... now to get myself to the bookstore (where, admittedly, one or more of the other titles may find their way into my shopping basket).


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