Saturday, November 14, 2015

Congratulations to the 2015 Fall Giveaway Winners!

Thanks, everyone, for your patience waiting for me to announce the winners of our latest giveaway. I was out of town when the contest ended, and it's been a busy week since my return. But now the winners have all been notified via e-mail so... *Drumroll, please*

  Mary G.-  After the Red RainThe Dead House
  Dawn O.- FishbowlDead Wake
  Devin S.- Illuminae, Another Day, Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly
  Sarah J.- Anna and the Swallow Man, The Madman of Piney Woods, Sleeping Giants
  Karen- Sleeping Giants, Dear Killer
  Greg N.- Blood Guard, The Glass Gauntlet
  Marie W.- Deceptive, Currents
  Rebecca S.- The Beekeeper's Ball, The Game of Lives
  Denise- Everything Everything, Drift & Dagger
  Misty J.- Truly, Madly, Famously, The Road to You
  Trish C.- Unforgiven, The Traitor
  Darlene H.- A Memory of Violets, Empire of Night
  Tiffany B.- The Court of Fives, The Crossover
  Miss L. Spooky- Slade House
  Tiffany H.- The Haunting of Sunshine GirlLove by the Morning Star
  Laura D.- Those Girls, Diamond Boy

As to the Last-Chance Giveaway that has become a traditional bonus for these winner announcements... This time around, I decided to try something a little different. We had a few participants with incomplete entries, so in thanks for their efforts I decided to offer them first crack at the unclaimed titles. However, if we still have leftovers later, there may still be a Last-Chance Giveaway later this month. And then when spring rolls around (which can't be soon enough for me), be sure to watch for our next giveaway opportunity here at Book News & Reviews!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

BCPL's Ultimate Teen Booklist: 2015 Updates, Part 2

To wrap up our Teen Read Week celebration at Book News & Reviews, here are our final additions to our Ultimate Teen Booklist for 2015:

New to the List:

Infernal Devices (series) by Cassandra Clare (2010–2013)
In this companion series to Clare's Mortal Instruments sagas, readers discover more Shadowhunter history. Set in a steampunk London, the series centers on Tessa Gray, an orphaned young woman who travels from New York in search of her missing brother and the secrets of her past. Along the way, she learns more of the mysterious world of demons, discovers her own unusual unique magical abilities, and becomes entangled in a complicated romantic triangle. High School.

Lumatere Chronicles (series) by Melina Marchetta (2008–2012)
Like Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, this series features a historical-style setting with hints of magic. Exiled from his homeland after the royal family was slaughtered and a dying woman cursed the land, Finnikin is determined to find a new home for his people. He was only a child at the time of the murders of his friend Prince Balthazar and the rest of the royal family, but Finnikin struggles with feelings of guilt related to a cryptic prophecy. Then he meets a young novice who goes by the name of Evanjalin who says the prince lives and there is hope of reclaiming Lumatere from the impostor king who butchered the royal family. Finnikin is skeptical, but Evanjalin remains stubbornly committed to her course and the two set off on a mission that takes them across kingdoms, collecting allies and exiles along the way back to Lumatere. While the story begins with the journey of  Finnikin and Evanjalin, each successive book adds depth and intrigue to the story, bringing in new characters and gradually revealing unsuspected secrets to hold readers rapt until the final conclusion. High School (mature).

Night by Elie Wiesel (1955)
In this candid account of the horrors of World War II, Elie Wiesel recounts the atrocities he both experienced and witnessed as a young teen who survived two Nazi concentration camps. But this powerful memoir is far more than a recitation of events; it is a poignant exploration of the evils that that lurk in the human heart and the impact of that evil on the human spirit. High School.

The Pact by Jodi Picoult (1998)
Growing up as neighbors and the children of best friends, Chris and Emily have been inseparable all of their lives. Their happy future together seems inevitable, so when an apparent suicide pact leaves Emily dead and Chris alive, both families are left shaken to the core and doubtful of Chris's story, Suspense and heartwrenching family drama combine for a riveting read until the full story of Emily's death and her relationship with Chris is finally revealed. High School.

Paper Towns by John Green (2008)
Just a few weeks before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin, the quintessential nerd, gets a midnight visit from Margo, the wonderfully exciting classmate he's been desperately in love with since childhood. The mission is to play a series of score-setting pranks on the kids in the popular crowd. After their spree Margo suddenly disappears and Quentin's next mission is to find out if she's run away—or worse, done something more permanent. High School.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (2011)
Every November, someone dies in the Scorpio Races, a dangerous horse race unlike any other because the horses are unlike any others. The water horses, both terrible and beautiful, rise from the ocean every autumn to terrorize the people of Thisby. And every year, the people—both awed and afraid—prepare for the traditional race along the beach. This year, Puck—the first female to ever enter the Scorpio Races—is determined to win even though it means taking on the four-time champion, Sean Kendrick. This is an eerie, romantic adventure that is completely original and unforgettable. Middle School (mature)/High School.

The Stand by Stephen King (1978)
Following massive death tolls from the accidental release of a weaponized flu virus, the survivors find themselves drawn into an epic battle between good and evil. This post-apocalyptic horror classic is considered by many to be King's greatest work. High School (mature).

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (2014)
A story of love, lies, secrets, and deep family dysfunction, We Were Liars is a gorgeously written psychological thriller full of drama and mystery. The tale centers on Cady, a young woman with no memory of the summer that changed her life forever but determined to uncover the secrets her wealthy, Kennedy-like family try to keep hidden. Middle School (mature)/High School.

Friday, October 23, 2015

TEEN GUEST REVIEWS: Teens Take on the Classics

We have one more round of teen guest reviews in honor of Teen Read Week! Of course teens (or any BCPL patron or blog reader!) is always welcome to submit a guest review at any time. You can contact me at for details.

In the meantime, here are reviews of two literary classics from local teens!

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Reviewer: Denise
Denise's Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romanticism
Audience: Adult
Summary: In 17th century Boston, Hester Prynne, a young Puritan woman, is accused of adultery and ostracized after conceiving a child outside of her marriage. Hester refuses to name her lover despite pressure from her husband, who hides his true identity from the rest of the community and becomes obsessed with getting revenge against Hester's lover.

Denise's Review: Nathaniel Hawthorne, an author known for a few classics (The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables) surely spent vigorous hours in the process of writing The Scarlet Letter as he takes space in his pages to describe in great detail one or two objects at a time. Based in Puritan times, Hester Prynne lives out her life, looked down upon for committing adultery. Hester besides raising Pearl, her daughter from the sin, does a lot for the town. By the end of the novel a lot of secrets are revealed. The book as a whole, I strongly recommend for high school students only.

Extra: Tracy's Thoughts: I actually read this book in 7th grade at the behest of a friend who LOVED it. I was a bit less enthusiastic, but I did enjoy it though much of it probably went over my head. By the time I was in high school and it became assigned reading, I was better able to appreciate the rich symbolism of the book, especially in relation to the guilt felt by Hester's secret lover. Of course, the overt emphasis on symbolism tends to detract from character development, as Henry James famously pointed out in his essay "Hawthorne":
The faults of the book are, to my sense, a want of reality and an abuse of the fanciful element–of a certain superficial symbolism. The people strike me not as characters, but as representatives, very picturesquely arranged, of a single state of mind; and the interest of the story lies, not in them, but in the situation, which is insistently kept before us....
Personally, I love layered books that are brimming with symbolism. However, rich, multi-dimensional characterizations are often the key element to my very favorite books, as I have noted in several previous reviews. And though it's been a while since I picked up The Scarlet Letter, I must agree with James that the characters are a bit flat. Perhaps that is why I've always been somewhat ambivalent about this particular classic.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reviewer: C.W., Age 16
C.W.'s Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: Coming-of-Age Story/Southern Gothic
Audience: Adult/YA Crossover

Summary: In this classic tale of courage and morality in a small, Southern town, a young tomboy tells the  story of the summer her father defends a black man accused of raping a white woman. This is a  powerful look at discrimination and an emotional exploration of human instinct, as viewed  through the eyes of a child.

C.W.'s Review: I did like reading this. It was told from the eyes of Jem and Scout, which is different from what you normally read from the perspective of an adult. I had to ask my mom about some of the storyline because it was written around some subjects I didn’t understand at first, because I am 16 and didn’t live through them. It was easy to read, and it was surprisingly well made into a movie.

So... that is our teen take on two popular classics, with a brief interjection from me. Now we're wondering, what it your opinion of the featured titles?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

BCPL's Ultimate Teen Booklist: 2015 Updates, Part 1

Our Teen Read Week celebration continues as promised! We called a wrap on our 2015 Ultimate Teen Booklist Committee today, and now it's time to share our latest additions and updates. This year's committee added a number of new and previously overlooked titles, so I've decided to post them here in two parts, with Part 2 to come later this week.

New to the List:

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (2014)
This unique novel of two stories told in alternating chapters will especially appeal to perceptive readers interested in the myriad ways authors’ lives influence their work. In the “real” world,  eighteen-year-old Darcy Patel is struggling to build a life as a writer in New York City and falling in love for the first time. Meanwhile, Lizzie—the fictional protagonist of Darcy’s novel—has survived a terrorist attack by posing as a ghost and slipping into a nebulous Afterworld. Realistic fiction meets fantasy meets romance meets thriller in this surprisingly cohesive tale as Darcy navigates the ins and outs of the publishing world and Lizzie comes into new powers and connects with a hunky spirit guide in the ghost world. High School.

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (2004)
In this high-octane steampunk adventure, a young cabin boy aboard an airship and a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone team up to prove the existence of mysterious winged creatures that reportedly live hundreds of feet above the Earth's surface. Featuring daring rescues, brave acrobatics, and even pirates, the plot of this novel centers on adventure over romance—though there is a little of that too! Middle School/High School.

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (2005)
This inventive, darkly humorous fantasy centers on Fat Charlie Nancy, a young twenty-something who is haunted by his father’s annoying taunts and embarrassing death. But following Mr. Nancy’s death, Charlie learns that his father was really the African trickster god in human form and that he has a brother—Spider—with otherworldly powers. Before he knows it, Charlie finds himself surrounded by the chaos his brother creates and immersed in a surreal, mythological journey. High School.

Black Butler (manga series) by Yana Toboso (2006–Ongoing)
In Victorian-era London, an orphaned young earl named Ciel and his faithful servant bide their time until they can track down the mysterious organization responsible for his parents’ murders and Ciel’s subsequent kidnapping and torture. To outsiders, Earl Phantomhive’s loyal servant seems extremely capable but otherwise unremarkable. In truth, Sebastian is actually a demon contracted to help the young earl avenge his parents’ deaths. To date, there are 20 volumes in the series. High School (mature).

Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin (2012)
History and science converge in this engrossing tale of the real-life espionage and secret military operations taking place as scientists secretly worked to split the atom and create the first atomic bomb. Middle School/High School.

A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life by Dana Reinhardt (2006)
Sixteen-year-old Simone has always been perfectly happy with her adoptive family and never really wondered about her birth parents. But when she is asked to meet her birth mother, a Hasidic Jew who is dying of cancer, Simone’s once simple life is suddenly full of complex questions about life, love, family, and her belief in a God she never thought existed. High School.

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman (1997)
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this visually and emotionally rich tale of the Holocaust reimagines the author’s parents’ deportation to Auschwitz and their post-war experiences in America in a world where the Nazis are represented as cats and Jews are symbolically portrayed as mice. Includes My Father Bleeds History (1986) and And Here My Troubles Begin (1991). Middle School (mature)/High School.

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger (2011)
Bianca loathes Wesley Rush and his playboy ways. But while coping with the return of the boy who broke her heart and her parents' crumbling marriage, Bianca is desperate for a distraction... So she kisses Wesley. It's stupid and she hates herself, but they start hooking up secretly. The plan is to keep everything on a strictly physical level, but then the impossible happens: she actually starts to like Wesley and is horrified to discover that she could actually be falling for the guy she hated more than anyone. This edgy novel is nothing like the watered-down movie adaptation, so if you expect an ugly-duckling makeover story, think again. The DUFF is a sexy, sharply funny novel that examines teen self-esteem and the social labeling of others all in the compelling package of a modern love story and family drama. High School (mature). Read my review from September 2011!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)
In this dystopian classic set in a totalitarion society, a “fireman” who burns books for a living begins to question his beliefs and dares to defy the rule that all books must be destroyed. Middle School (mature)/High School.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
It may be an assigned-reading staple, but there’s a reason this Jazz-age tale of thwarted love, greed, and revenge in a wealthy seaside community has become a classic. High School.

His Fair Assassin Trilogy (series) by Robin LaFevers (2012–2014)
In fifteenth century Brittany, three young women seeking refuge at the convent of St. Mortain are blessed by Death with dangerous gifts and trained as assassins. As each leaves the convent—whether on a mission for Death or for her own purposes—she must navigate a dangerous web of intrigue and deceit to decide what her path will be. High School.

A Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos (2002)
In the summer of 1971, Jack Gantos was an aspiring writer on the hunt for adventure and college tuition money. A few wrong turns later, he's smuggling drugs and doing time in prison. Darkly funny, insightful, and unflinchingly honest, A Hole in My Life is the true account of the uneven path one of today's most celebrated authors for children and teens took to reach his dream. High School.

House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (2002)
In a future no-man's land situated between the United States and what was once Mexico, a powerful drug lord known as El Patrón rules ruthlessly. Young Matteo has grown up isolated, but when he is brought to live on the estate of El Patrón, Matt quickly grows to idolize the man he thinks of as a father figure. However, as he grows older and wiser, Matteo begins to see that El Patrón's protectiveness has a selfish motive and Matt is viewed as nothing more than a commodity meant to keep El Patrón alive. Middle School/High School.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb (2013)
The Taliban tried to silence 14-year-old Pakistani student Malala Yousafazi, but she refused to be give up her demand for an education. In the process, she survived an assassination attempt, became a global inspiration, and became the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. Middle School (mature)/High School.

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (2014)
Stunning and full of passages readers will want to revisit again and again, I'll Give You the Sun is the story of fraternal twins Noah and Jude. Three years ago, Noah and Jude were so connected that they communicated without words. Now sixteen, they are practically strangers—to each other and even to themselves. Their closeness has been shattered by secrets and lies and tragedy, but perhaps there is a chance to regain what was lost if first each can face what went wrong before. The novel is narrated jointly between the two siblings, weaving in an out of time seamlessly, Noah in the past and Jude in the present. This is an unforgettable novel, kooky and heartbreaking, full of art and love and even a ghost or two. High School.


Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
Insurgent and Allegiant were added to the first installment. For now, we're sticking to the core trilogy, but what do you think... Does Four belong on the list next year?

Joining me on the committee this year were representatives of several BCPL departments. Thanks for participating, ladies!

Richelle Browner - Teen/Adult Specialist, Outreach/Programs Dept.
Beth Downs - Assistant Branch Manager (Lebanon Junction)
Crystal Neace -  Circulation Clerk
Stephanie Simmons - Reference Clerk

So what do you think of our additions, and what titles do you hope to see on Part 2 of our 2015 updates? What are your favorite titles from this year that we should consider for the next update?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


It's Teen Read Week! Teen Read Week is a national literacy initiative to encourage teens to read for the fun of it. To celebrate here on Book News & Reviews, throughout the week we will be posting guest reviews contributed by local teens. Plus, we will soon be announcing the latest updates to our Ultimate Teen Booklist! To kick us off, tonight we have three honest (sometimes painfully honest!) reviews of recent releases from three different teens. Thanks to all of our guest reviewers for sharing!

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Reviewer: C.W., Age 16
C.W.'s Rating:
3.5/5 Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction
Audience: Adult/YA Crossover
Series: Companion novel to To Kill a Mockingbird

Summary: When a now adult Scout returns to Maycomb, Alabama twenty years after the trial of Tom Robinson, she struggles with her own personal beliefs and the prevailing opinions of her hometown in the midst of the political upheaval of the mid-1950s.

C.W.'s Review: I didn’t like this as much as To Kill a Mockingbird, but it was still good. It was kind of a good history lesson, and it shows some ways we have changed in society and a lot of ways we haven’t. I think that Atticus’s character changed too much between the two. He was open-minded and against racism in To Kill a Mockingbird, but he changed and I didn’t see him as the same person. What I do think was done well was that the author was able to warn readers about placing people too high on a pedestal.

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters
Reviewer: Samantha, Age 16
Samantha's Rating: 2/5 Stars
Genre: Science Fiction/Apocalyptic Fiction
Audience: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Rule of Three Trilogy #1

Summary: Civilization quickly begins to crumble following a sudden global technology crash. Sixteen-year-old Adam is stunned by the local chaos, but with the guidance of his police-captain mom and his neighbor—a retired government spy—Adam is determined to do whatever is necessary to survive and rebuild civilization.

Samantha's Review: This wasn’t too great a read. I had trouble making myself read it, because in parts, it droned on. And on. And on. It was a pretty good set up for the storyline, when Adam realized that something was wrong besides the cell phones not working all of a sudden. But, it didn’t seem very realistic that his mom was the Police Captain and his neighbor used to be a spy. Adam didn’t stand out as a very strong character. It was almost written like he was a bystander in his own life, but then the author made it seem like he was responsible for bigger things all of a sudden.

Minders by Michele Jaffe
Reviewer: Ashleigh, Age 16
Ashleigh's Rating:
4.5/5 Stars
Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller
Audience: Teen/Young Adult

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Sadie is a privileged overachiever destined for success. But when she joins the elite Mind Corps Fellowship program as an observer monitoring the inner thoughts of an unsuspecting teenage boy, she finds herself falling for a troubled, possibly homicidal boy she has never met.

Ashleigh's Review: I loved it! There was romance, crime, murder, peer pressure, and a thriller.

I like the idea of a teen mind-reader. And Sadie was so quick to fall for the bad boy, which happens a lot in real life. Then she finds out he might have committed a crime and wonders if she should turn him in to the police. It was kind of scary to think that she had to decide whether or not to turn him in, since the crime was so big, but I know girls who probably wouldn’t do it. I like the way the author describes what Sadie is seeing while in Ford’s mind—especially about the colors coming together into pictures. And the twist is awesome!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fall 2015 Giveaway

It's fall giveaway time, and this season we have one of our best giveaway lineups yet!

We have over thirty titles to give away, including in-demand advance reading copies like David Mitchell’s Slade House (released 10/27/15) and not one but TWO advance copies of Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (released 4/26/16). Neuvel’s debut novel is already generating buzz and being compared to World War Z and The Martian, and you’ll have a chance to read it months before it hits bookstores or library shelves!
As always, the rules of entry are at the end of the post. Please note that all prizes must be picked up at a BCPL location within two months of notification or they will be returned to the stockpile for the next giveaway. Contest runs through the end of Tuesday, November 3rd. No entries will be accepted after midnight.

So without further ado, here are our giveaways for Fall 2015:

Advance Reading Copies (ARCs), in order of publication:

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Themis Files #1

 *ARC -
Expected Book Release Date: April 26, 2016 *
17 years ago: A girl in South Dakota falls through the earth, then wakes up dozens of feet below ground on the palm of what seems to be a giant metal hand. Today: She is a top-level physicist leading a team of people to understand exactly what that hand is, where it came from, and what it portends for humanity. A swift and spellbinding tale told almost exclusively through transcriptions of interviews conducted by a mysterious and unnamed character, this is a unique debut that describes a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts
. –Publisher

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
 *ARC -
Expected Book Release Date: January 26, 2016 *
A stunning, literary, and wholly original debut novel set in Poland during the Second World War perfect for readers of The Book Thief.

Kraków, 1939. A million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. This is no place to grow up. Anna Łania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father, a linguistics professor, during their purge of intellectuals in Poland. She’s alone.

And then Anna meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall, a skilled deceiver with more than a little magic up his sleeve. And when the soldiers in the streets look at him, they see what he wants them to see.

The Swallow Man is not Anna’s father—she knows that very well—but she also knows that, like her father, he’s in danger of being taken, and like her father, he has a gift for languages: Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, even Bird. When he summons a bright, beautiful swallow down to his hand to stop her from crying, Anna is entranced. She follows him into the wilderness.

Over the course of their travels together, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgment, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, everything can prove dangerous. Even the Swallow Man.

Destined to become a classic, Gavriel Savit’s stunning debut reveals life’s hardest lessons while celebrating its miraculous possibilities. –Publisher

The Game of Lives by James Dashner
Mortality Doctrine #3

 *ARC -
Expected Book Release Date: November 17, 2015*
Michael used to live to game, but the games he was playing have become all too real. Only weeks ago, sinking into the Sleep was fun. The VirtNet combined the most cutting-edge technology and the most sophisticated gaming for a full mind-body experience. And it was Michael’s passion. But now every time Michael sinks, he risks his life.

The games are over. The VirtNet has become a world of deadly consequences, and Kaine grows stronger by the day. The Mortality Doctrine—Kaine’s master plan—has nearly been realized, and little by little the line separating the virtual from the real is blurring. If Kaine succeeds, it will mean worldwide cyber domination. And it looks like Michael and his friends are the only ones who can put the monster back in the box—if Michael can figure out who his friends really are.  –Publisher

Unforgiven by Lauren Kate
Fallen #5

 *ARC -
Expected Book Release Date: November 10, 2015*
It’s the book FALLEN fans have been waiting for: Cam’s story, the brooding, bad-boy dark angel readers love.
High school can be hell.
Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes.
Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails…there’s a special place in Hell just for him.

Tick-tock. –Publisher

The Traitor House by Sydney Horler
*ARC -
Expected Book Release Date: November 3, 2015 *

August 1918. On his way to the Western Front, Captain Alan Clinton spends a night in Paris with a young Frenchwoman, Marie Roget. Seduced by Marie’s charms, Clinton discloses British military secrets – with disastrous consequences.Seventeen years later. The central European state of Ronstadt is ruled by the ruthless dictator Kuhnreich, and Europe is inching towards another war. Clinton’s son Bobby travels to Europe as the political situation grows tenser, and seems dangerously close to repeating the sins of his father – leaving only his girlfriend to prove his innocence in a race against time.This new edition of The Traitor gives contemporary readers a long overdue chance to rediscover an early thriller that is plotted with dash and verve – a novel that helps to explain the author’s phenomenal popularity in his own time. –Publisher

Slade House by David Mitchell
*ARC -
Expected Book Release Date: October 27, 2015 *

From “one of the most electric writers alive” (The Boston Globe) comes a taut, intricately woven, spine-chilling, reality-warping short novel. Set across five decades, beginning in 1979 and coming to its electrifying conclusion on October 31, 2015, Slade House is the perfect book to curl up with on a dark and stormy night. –Publisher

Illuminae by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff
Illuminae Files # 1
*ARC -
Expected Book Release Date: October 20, 2015 *

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.
This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes. –Publisher
Truly, Madly, Famously by Rebecca Serle
Famous in Love #2
*ARC -
Expected Book Release Date: October 13,2015*

Lights, camera, love!

After being plucked from obscurity, Hollywood's newest starlet, Paige Townsen, has a hit film to her name and Rainer Devon on her arm. But being half of the world's most famous couple comes with a price, and soon Paige finds herself dodging photographers; hiding her feelings for her other costar, Jordan Wilder; and navigating tabloid scandals that threaten to tear her and Rainer apart-and end her career as quickly as it began.

Rebecca Serle's sequel to Famous in Love is filled with the kind of celebrity drama and swoon-worthy romance fit for the silver screen. –Publisher

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
*ARC - Book Release: September 2015*
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster. –Publisher

Drift & Dagger by Kendall Kulper
*ARC - Book Release: September 2015 *
I’ve always been a monster. And monsters destroy things. Things like magic and friendships and futures.

Mal used to have a home, a best friend, and a secret. But he lost all three on the day Essie Roe exposed him as a blank. Blanks cannot be cursed or saved or killed by magic. And everyone is afraid of them—even Mal himself.

Now Mal travels the world in search of dangerous and illegal magical relics, never stopping in any one place too long. When his partner in crime, Boone, hears of a legendary dagger that can steal magic, Mal knows he finally may have found a way to even the score with Essie. Crossing oceans and continents, Mal and Boone travel from Boston to Paris to Constantinople in search of the dagger. Finding it would mean riches, fame, and revenge—but only if Mal can control the monster inside him. –Publisher

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
*ARC - Book Release: September 2015 *
On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they'll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever? –Publisher

Currents by Jane Petrlik Smolik
*ARC -
Book Release: September 2015 *

This middle-grade historical novel follows three young girls living very different lives who are connected by one bottle that makes two journeys across the ocean.

It's 1854 and eleven-year-old Bones is a slave on a Virginia plantation. When she finds her name in the slave-record book, she rips it out, rolls it up, and sets it free, corked inside a bottle alongside the carved peach pit heart her long-lost father made for her. Across the Atlantic on the Isle of Wight, motherless Lady Bess Kent and her sister discover Bones's bottle half-buried on the beach. Leaving Bones's name where it began and keeping the peach pit heart for herself, Bess hides her mother's pearl-encrusted cross necklace in the bottles so her scheming stepmother, Elsie, can't sell it off like she's done with other family heirlooms. When Harry, a local stonemason's son, takes the fall for Elsie's thefts, Bess works with her seafaring friend, Chap, to help him escape. She gives the bottle to Harry and tells him to sell the cross. Back across the Atlantic in Boston, Mary Margaret Casey and her father are at the docks when Mary Margaret spies something shiny. Her father fishes it out of the water, and they use the cross to pay for a much needed doctor's visit for Mary Margaret's ailing sister. As Bess did, Mary Margaret leaves Bones's name where it belongs. An epilogue returns briefly to each girl, completing the circle of the three unexpectedly interconnected lives. –Publisher

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
Court of Fives #1
*ARC -
Book Release: August 2015 *

On the Fives court, everyone is equal. And everyone is dangerous.
Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.

Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege. –Publisher

After the Red Rain by Barry Lyga, etc.
*ARC -
Book Release: August 2015 *

On the ruined planet Earth, where 50 billion people are confined to megacities and resources are scarce, Deedra has been handed a bleak and mundane existence by the Magistrate she works so hard for. But one day she comes across a beautiful boy named Rose struggling to cross the river--a boy with a secretive past and special abilities, who is somehow able to find comfort and life from their dying planet.

But just as the two form a bond, it is quickly torn apart after the Magistrate's son is murdered and Rose becomes the prime suspect. Little do Deedra and Rose know how much their relationship will affect the fate of everyone who lives on the planet. –Publisher

Another Day by David Levithan
Every Day #2
*ARC -
Book Release: August 2015 *

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person…wasn’t Justin at all.

In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you. –Publisher

Fishbowl by Bradley Somer
*ARC -
Book Release: August 2015 *

A goldfish named Ian is falling from the 27th-floor balcony on which his fishbowl sits. He's longed for adventure, so when the opportunity arises, he escapes from his bowl, clears the balcony railing and finds himself airborne. Plummeting toward the street below, Ian witnesses the lives of the Seville on Roxy residents.

There's the handsome grad student, his girlfriend, and his mistress; the construction worker who feels trapped by a secret; the building's super who feels invisible and alone; the pregnant woman on bed rest who craves a forbidden ice cream sandwich; the shut-in for whom dirty talk, and quiche, are a way of life; and home-schooled Herman, a boy who thinks he can travel through time. Though they share time and space, they have something even more important in common: each faces a decision that will affect the course of their lives. Within the walls of the Seville are stories of love, new life, and death, of facing the ugly truth of who one has been and the beautiful truth of who one can become.

Sometimes taking a risk is the only way to move forward with our lives. As Ian the goldfish knows, "An entire life devoted to a fishbowl will make one die an old fish with not one adventure had."

In the tradition of Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain and Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, Bradley Somer's Fishbowl is at turns funny and heartbreaking. –Publisher

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
*ARC -
Book Release: August 2015*

Part-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers.

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, THE DEAD HOUSE is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you've finished reading. –Publisher

The Glass Gauntlet by Carter Roy
Blood Guard #2
*ARC -
Book Release: August 2015*

Ronan Truelove barely survived his first encounter with his father and the Bend Sinister. Now, he’s determined to become one of the Blood Guard, a sword-wielding secret society sworn to protect thirty-six pure souls crucial to the world’s survival.

Eager to prove he’s got what it takes, Ronan is sent on his first mission with his friends Greta and Sammy to visit a weird-sounding school and take a series of tests called the Glass Gauntlet. Paper and pencils and nerdy scholarship—where’s the life-or-death challenge in that?

But the Glass Gauntlet is actually something much more dangerous: head-to-head competitions against ruthless opponents. Nothing and no one are what they seem. Who can he trust, and who will kill him? Ronan has to figure it out fast because his enemies are multiplying, and soon he will have to pass the ultimate test: facing his father again and standing up to those who threaten not only him and his friends but also the world. –Publisher

The Road to You by Alecia Whitaker
Wildflower #2
*ARC -
Book Release: July 2015*

Bright lights... Screaming fans... Cute roadies... Country music sensation Bird Barrett is officially on tour. The months flash by in an exciting whirlwind, due--in no small part--to a certain dreamy lighting tech named Kai.

After the tour wraps up, Bird makes the move to LA, finding herself at the center of a trumped-up rivalry with another country music starlet she barely knows. Meanwhile, Kai's out on tour again with an indie rock band and growing distant, and Bird has the label breathing down her neck for a new hit song. Finding true love is supposed to be inspiring, so why does penning the next great country pop ballad suddenly feel so hard? –Publisher

Deceptive by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Illusive #2
*ARC -
Book Release: July 2015*

You don’t belong with us.
These are the words that echo through the minds of all immune Americans—those suffering the so-called adverse effects of an experimental vaccine, including perfect recall, body manipulation, telepathy, precognition, levitation, mind-control, and the ability to change one’s appearance at will.

When immune individuals begin to disappear—in great numbers, but seemingly at random—fear and tension mount, and unrest begins to brew across the country. Through separate channels, super-powered teenagers Ciere, Daniel, and Devon find themselves on the case; super criminals and government agents working side-by-side. It’s an effort that will ultimately define them all—for better or for worse. –Publisher

A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery
*ARC -
Book Release: July 2015 *

Perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks, this breathtaking story of love and loss is guaranteed to break your heart and sweep you off your feet.

When high school senior Kelsey's identical twin si
ster, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn't know about the tragedy is Michelle's boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can't bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want. –Publisher

Those Girls by Lauren Saft
*ARC -
Book Release: June 2015 *

Some girls will always have your back, and some girls can't help but stab you in it.

Junior year, the suburbs of Philadelphia. Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls: they're the best of friends and the party girls of the school. But how well does everybody know them--and really, how well do they know one another? Alex is secretly in love with the boy next door and has joined a band--without telling anyone. Mollie suffers from a popular (and possibly sociopathic) boyfriend, as well as a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved--literally, figuratively, physically....she's not particular. Will this be the year that bonds them forever....or tears them apart for good?  –Publisher

Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall
*ARC -
Book Release: June 2015 *

Overweight seventeen-year-old Sugar is the object of ridicule everywhere she goes until she meets Even, a boy who sees her for who she is inside. –NoveList

Cassidy's Guide to Everyday Etiquette (and Obfuscation) by Sue Stuaffacher
*ARC -
Book Release: June 2015 *

Eleven-year-old Cassidy has just inherited a gift from her late great-grandmother. Unfortunately, that “gift” turns out to be a summer trapped in etiquette school. What good are manners, anyway, for a girl who dreams of living life on the road as a hobo—er, “knight of the road”?

As if trying to remember to keep her elbows off the table isn’t bad enough, Cassidy’s best friend, Jack, suddenly seems more interested in doing chores for the new teenage girl who’s moved in next door than in fishing with Cassidy down by the river. Not even her classic epic pranks seem to be saving Cassidy from having her worst summer ever. It’s time to face facts: growing up stinks.

Veteran middle-grade author Sue Stauffacher returns with a cranky, pranky, laugh-out-loud tomboy heroine who might just learn the hard way that manners do matter, and that people can change. –Publisher

Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong
Age of Legends #2
*ARC -
Book Release: April 2015 *

Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Or at least, they were.

Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, the emperor has sent them on a mission to rescue the children of Edgewood—accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of imperial warriors. But the journey proves more perilous than they could have imagined. With treachery and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on all their influence and power to overcome deadly enemies—not all of them human—and even avert an all-out war. –Publisher

Dead Wake by Erik Larson
*ARC -
Book Release: March 2015 *

In cinematic terms, this dramatic page-turner is Das Boot meets Titanic. Larson has a wonderful way of creating a very readable, accessible story of a time, place, and event. We get three sides of the global story--the U-boat commander, British Admiralty and President Wilson--but what really elevates this book are the affecting stories of individual crew and passengers. -- Robert Schnell for LibraryReads.

Diamond Boy by Michael Williams
*ARC -
Book Release: 2014 *

A high-stakes, harrowing adventure set in the diamond fields of Southern Africa, from the critically acclaimed author of Now Is the Time for Running.
"Diamonds for everyone."
That's what fifteen-year-old Patson Moyo hears when his family arrives in the Marange diamond fields. Soon Patson is working in the mines himself, hoping to find his girazi--the priceless stone that could change his life forever. But when the government's soldiers comes to Marange, Patson's world is shattered.
Set against the backdrop of President Robert Mugabe's brutal regime in Zimbabwe, Diamond Boy is the story of young man who succumbs to greed but finds his way out through a transformative journey to South Africa in search of his missing sister, in search of freedom, and in search of himself. –Publisher

The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis
*ARC -
Book Release: 2014 *

Benji and Red couldn't be more different. They aren't friends. They don't even live in the same town. But their fates are entwined. A chance meeting leads the boys to discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. Both of them have encountered a strange presence in the forest, watching them, tracking them. Could the Madman of Piney Woods be real? In a tale brimming with intrigue and adventure, Christopher Paul Curtis returns to the vibrant world he brought to life in Elijah of Buxton. Here is another novel that will break your heart -- and expand it, too. –Publisher

Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly by Conrad Wesselhoeft
*ARC -
Book Release: 2014 *

Winner of the "Reading the West" award for young-adult fiction. Seventeen year-old dirt-bike daredevil Arlo Santiago catches the eye of the U.S. military with his first-place ranking on a video game featuring drone warfare, and must reconcile the work they want him to do with the emotional scars he has suffered following a violent death in his family. ADIOS, NIRVANA author Conrad Wesselhoeft takes readers from the dusty arroyos of New Mexcio to the skies over war-torn Pakistan in this young adult novel about daring to live in the wake of unbearable loss. –Publisher

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
*ARC -
Book Release: 2014 *
"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I'm delivering," announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he's got mad beats, too, that tell his family's story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood. Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story's heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family. –Publisher

Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell
*ARC -
Book Release: 2014 *

Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe. –Publisher

Cheesie Mack Is Not Exactly Famous by Steve Cotler
*ARC -
Book Release: 2014 *

Cheesie and his best friend, Georgie, are exploring a construction site when they find a weird-looking . . . thingie . . . sticking out of the muddy ground. Whatever it is, it’s very old. And very valuable! Before they know it, Cheesie and Georgie discover they’re in possession of an object that dates all the way back to pre-Colonial times. They’re instant celebrities! At least at school. Will Cheesie and Georgie hold on to the ancient artifact and the fame it brings, or give it away for the good of all? Only time will tell! –Publisher

The Beekeeper's Ball by Susan Wiggs
Bella Vista Chronicles #2
*ARC -
Book Release: 2014 *

Isabel Johansen, a celebrated chef who grew up in the sleepy Sonoma town of Archangel, is transforming her childhood home into a destination cooking school—a unique place for other dreamers to come and learn the culinary arts. Bella Vista's rambling mission-style hacienda, with its working apple orchards, bountiful gardens and beehives, is the idyllic venue for Isabel's project…and the perfect place for her to forget the past.

But Isabel's carefully ordered plans begin to go awry when swaggering, war-torn journalist Cormac O'Neill arrives to dig up old history. He's always been better at exposing the lives of others than showing his own closely guarded heart, but the pleasures of small-town life and the searing sensuality of Isabel's kitchen coax him into revealing a few truths of his own.

The dreamy sweetness of summer is the perfect time of year for a grand family wedding and the enchanting Beekeeper's Ball, bringing emotions to a head in a story where the past and present collide to create an unexpected new future.

From "one of the best observers of stories of the heart" (Salem Statesman-Journal), The Beekeeper's Ball is an exquisite and richly imagined novel of the secrets that keep us from finding our way, the ties binding us to family and home, and the indelible imprint love can make on the human heart. –Publisher

Final Published Copies

The Blood Guard by Carter Roy
Blood Guard #1
* Hardcover *

When thirteen-year-old Ronan Truelove's seemingly ordinary mom snatches him from school, then sets off on a high speed car chase, Ronan is shocked. His quiet, nerdy dad has been kidnapped? And the kidnappers are after him, too? His mom, he quickly learns, is anything but ordinary. In fact, she's a member of an ancient order of knights, the Blood Guard, a sword-wielding secret society sworn to protect the Pure—thirty-six noble souls whose safety is crucial if the world as we know it is to survive. Now all those after-school activities—gymnastics, judo, survival training—she made him take, make sense. For suddenly Ronan is swept up in a sometimes funny, sometimes scary, but always thrilling adventure—dashing from one danger to the next, using his wits to escape the Bend Sinister, a posse of evil doers with strange powers. Falling in with two unlikely companions, Greta, a scrappy, strong-willed girl he's never much liked and Jack, a devil-may-care teenage pickpocket, Ronan is left with only his wits and his mom's last words of advice: Trust no one. That's a lot for an ordinary kid to deal with. But then again, maybe Ronan's not ordinary at all. –Publisher

A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor
* Trade Paperback *

In 1912, twenty-year-old Tilly Harper leaves the peace and beauty of her native Lake District for London, to become assistant housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. For years, the home has cared for London’s flower girls—orphaned and crippled children living on the grimy streets and selling posies of violets and watercress to survive.

Soon after she arrives, Tilly discovers a diary written by an orphan named Florrie—a young Irish flower girl who died of a broken heart after she and her sister, Rosie, were separated. Moved by Florrie’s pain and all she endured in her brief life, Tilly sets out to discover what happened to Rosie. But the search will not be easy. Full of twists and surprises, it leads the caring and determined young woman into unexpected places, including the depths of her own heart. –Publisher

Rules of Entry

1. To enter the drawing, you must complete two tasks:

Entry Task #1
First, you must leave a comment at the bottom of this post stating which titles you would like to receive. To do so, you will need to click on the "Post a Comment" link below the Rafflecopter widget. If you do not leave a comment at the bottom of the post, I will not know which prize(s) to give you if you win the drawing. You may choose as many titles as you like; you are not guaranteed to win your top choices, but I do my best.

Entry Task #2 Second, you must log in to the Rafflecopter Widget with your e-mail address or Facebook account and click on "Leave a comment on this blog post." Answer the confirmation question and click on "ENTER" at the bottom of the widget only if you have posted your comment as described in Entry Task #1 . After completing the first widget task, you can also earn bonus entries by following the directions in the widget.

2.  All ARCs must be picked up at a Bullitt County Public Library location. Contest ends at the end of the day on Tuesday, November 3rd.Winners will be notified via e-mail and will be posted on this blog. Winners will have up to two months from the time of notification to collect their prizes. If items have not been picked up at the end of this period or if I have not been contacted to request an alternative arrangement, unclaimed prizes will be retained for future giveaways.

Rafflecopter Widget: Enter the Giveaway Drawing Here
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