New Release: Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

famous

 

Sixteen-year-old Samantha D’Angelo has death on the brain. Her summer internship at the local newspaper has her writing obituaries instead of soaking up the sun at the beach. Between Shelby, Sam’s boy-crazy best friend; her boss Harry, a true-blue newspaper man; and AJ, her fellow “intern scum” (aka the cute drummer for a band called Love Gas), Sam has her hands full. But once she figures out what–or who–is the best part of her summer, will she mess it all up?

As Sam learns her way around both the news room and the real world, she starts to make some momentous realizations about politics, ethics, her family, romance, and most important–herself.

  • Age Range: 12 – 18 years
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (July 28, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250063124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250063120

Purchase here!

’89 Walls by Katie Pierson

89-Walls-3

’89 Walls by Katie Pierson is a must read for young adults who want a moving, emotional read that speaks to issues that were important then and remain so today.

Quinn has a charmed life. She’s a beautiful, upper middle class young woman from a conservative family, and has a bright future ahead. Oh, and she has a great boyfriend too. It’s that cynical, liberal guy from her social studies class that could derail all that.

Seth knows college is just a dream. Between working his minimum wage job to put groceries on the table and caring for his mother who has MS, there isn’t time to think about anything else. He knows Quinn is out of his league, but he can’t help but carry around that frayed love note he wrote so long ago.

Their romance takes them by surprise, and when politics becomes personal, neither one of them is sure their love will survive.

As I said earlier in the week, this book has beef. Late ’80s politics plays a big role in this book, and I feel the author did a superb job of handling those issues and making them relate to all the characters. This is when the Cold War is ending, Apartheid is in the news, and the Berlin Wall comes crumbling down. This is an intense book both for the characters and for the world as it was back then.

By the end, I was crying. And I have to admit, the author made me consider an issue in a different light. I can’t share it without revealing an important plot point, so I’ll just tell you that this is a fabulous novel and I would highly recommend it.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing (June 8, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1940014557
ISBN-13: 978-1940014555

I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

'89 Walls banner

’89 Walls by Katie Pierson

89-Walls-3

Today was supposed to be my review of ’89 Walls by Katie Pierson. I’m only about halfway through with it, because I was playing catch up with reviews on vacation. Since we’ve returned home, I’ve been working crazy hours. Here’s a bit about the book:

College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity.

Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite.

Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.

Let me just say that my lack of progress has nothing to do with its content or ability to engage the reader. I love what I’ve read so far. Not only does the story take place when I was a mere twenty-one years old (making it nostalgic), but it reminds me of what school used to be like before standardized exams turns educators into unimaginative zombies teaching to a test. There’s “beef” to this book. It’s not just boy likes girl but it will never work. Real conflict is involved: personal conflict and societal conflict.

I’m eager to keep reading and see what happens between Seth and Quinn. Hope you’ll check back on Friday to read my complete review.

Katie Pierson freelances for local non-profits, using her background in public policy and grassroots organizing to overthrow the patriarchy one introverted step at a time. When she’s not writing fiction, she returns library books, makes soup, and tries to be cooler than she really is by hip-hopping at the YMCA. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in American History from the University of Pennsylvania (where she dabbled briefly in being a College Republican) and a Master’s in American History from the University of Minnesota. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and now lives with her family in a suburb of Minneapolis. ’89 Walls is her first novel.

For More Information

'89 Walls banner

Free for Kindle: True Calling by Siobhan Davis

true

TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS. ONE SHARED DREAM

Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17-year-old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.

As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.

 

File Size: 961 KB
Print Length: 410 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Siobhan Davis; 2 edition (January 28, 2015)
Publication Date: January 28, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00SX1PG2A
Purchase here!

Book Review: Escape Through The Wilderness by Gary Rodriguez

Escape Through the Wilderness cover

Action, adventure and friendship fill the pages of this debut young adult offering by Gary Rodriguez.

Escape Through The Wilderness finds Savannah (Savi) Evans, Jade Chang, Rico Cruz, and Conner Swift in peril when a white-water rafting adventure at Camp Arrowhead separates them from their guide. When they finally pull themselves out of the water, the bruised, beaten, and lost teens must traverse twenty-five miles of wilderness to make it back to camp; complicated by the threat of Vexel, a vicious animal that Savi believes is stalking them.

This is one of those books that I could easily see as a movie. Action and adventure fill its pages, while the difficulty of four diverse teens trying to work together to get back to safety provides plenty of conflict. And let’s not forget about Vexel, whose pursuit of the teens as they traverse unfamiliar territory adds suspense.

Though not new to publishing, Rodriguez is new to the YA market. It seems a natural fit for him. His character development and plot will attract many. It would be great if he could find some way to turn this into a series: either keeping the same four teens and using their summer vacations to set them up for additional adventures, or using Camp Arrowhead as the place for new adventures by a different group of teens.

I would definitely recommend Escape Through The Wilderness if you like adventure, action, suspense, and stories surrounding legends.

For More Information

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Escape-Through-the-Wilderness-banner

Books to Film

grunge film background with space for text or image

Every once in a while, I get to thinking about my favorite television or movie adaptations of books. Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, The Chronicles of Narnia, Little Women, and Matilda come to mind.

For this generation, perhaps it is The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Harry Potter.

But whatever books we are talking about, when a popular book or book series is made into a movie(s), controversy surrounds it. Which characters did they change? What characters did they leave out? How much did they alter the story for film?

I remember the Lil’ Diva complaining for days because a certain character, and therefore, her favorite scene, were cut from Divergent. Gasp! How dare they?

What are some of your favorite television and movie adaptations? Were you ever irked in how they changed it for film?

New Release: Super Bad by Kai Strand

2cfcd-superbadcover-finala

Super Bad (Super Villain Academy Book 3)

The world is in chaos. Violence and thievery reign. And with the supers still balanced, it’s only getting worse. Without good versus evil, the supers care less and less. In order to restore purpose, the world needs its super heroes and its super villains, but the one who balanced them in the first place is missing.

Sandra’s concern over finding her brother Jeff, isn’t her only problem. Her pathetic excuse for super powers has left her needing a new ankle. And though she’s still very much committed to her boyfriend, Source, she’s growing unreasonably attracted to Set, the boy who double-crossed Jeff by stealing his girlfriend.

When Sandra is taken and held as bait by some kids who want to unbalance the super world, it becomes the inciting event that changes things for supers everywhere and forces them to answer the question, “Hero or villain?”

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Whiskey Creek Press

Kai Strand writes fiction for kids and teens. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was an a061e-kai2bstrandEPIC eBook Finalist. King of Bad soared to the publisher’s #1 spot its second month. She is a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, “Do your dishes!” Kai and her family hike, geocache and canoe in Central Oregon, where they call home.

Kai organized the free, themed, multi-author, short story blog, Lightning Quick Reads. She is available for personal appearances, workshops, and classroom or school visits. Feel free to contact her directly to discuss availability and request references.

Visit Kai online at www.kaistrand.com