Saturday, June 29, 2013

Stacking and Unstacking the Shelves: Letters from Skye A Novel by Jessica Brockmole

This week's Stacking the Shelves features a new ARC, Letters from Skye: A Novel by Jessica Brockmole. I cannot wait to read it, but first I need to unstack my shelves--pictured at right. I am moving for the next 2 months to RI, before my new NYC apartment is ready for me. GAH- Moving after 5 years...The bookshelf is only the don't even want to know about the two pirate swords we found behind the couch....How!? Why!?

Letters from Skye: A Novel by Jessica Brockmole
A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.

March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.

June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.

Sparkling with charm and full of captivating period detail, Letters from Skye is a testament to the power of love to overcome great adversity, and marks Jessica Brockmole as a stunning new literary voice.

Thanks is due to Tynga's Reviews for hosting Stacking the Shelves, a way to highlight the new reads we have picked up!  What is new on your shelves this weekend?

Friday, June 28, 2013

YA Movie Procrastination: Buzzfeed's 14 Books to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen

In case you weren't catching up on high caliber news (cough cough trolling Buzz Feed) you may have missed the post "Buzzfeed's 14 Books to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen"

The moral? We are about to get a plethora of YA novels made into movies, an especially high percentage starring Shailene Woodley...and that us ladies here at YAF&WS are big fans of! Here is a selection of the 14 we are interested in.

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth (our reviews)

Image by Summit Entertainment
Why you should read it: This will be the next Hunger Games, mark my words. A dystopian society with five factions and a courageous teen ready to change the future. Tris is the kind of protagonist you really want to root for, and there are no love triangles! You will not be able to put this trilogy down.
Movie release date: March 21, 2014 /Who’s starring: Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, and Theo James
3. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (our excitement over the movie)

Image by Sony Pictures
Why you should read it: A story about a girl who discovers she has a supernatural bloodline after her mom is abducted by demons. It’s a very long series, but totally worth it. Let’s hope Hollywood does it justice!
Movie release date: Aug. 21, 2013/ Who’s starring: Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower
4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (are you even questioning our love at this point)
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Why you should read it: A terminally ill girl unexpectedly falls in love despite her inevitable fate. Grab the tissues, guys.
Movie release date: Unknown/ Who’s starring: Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort Source:
5. The Maze Runner by James Dashner 

Image by Christopher Polk / Getty Images
 Why you should read it: A bunch of boys are trapped in a maze filled with deadly creatures ready to kill. Their home is a ticking time bomb, and you’ll race through the book to find out if they ever escape. P.S. The movie stars DYLAN O’BRIEN, ladies and gents.
Movie release date: Feb. 14, 2014/ Who’s starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, and Patricia Clarkson
9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (our review)


Image by Music Box Films
Why you should read it: During WWII, a young girl named Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. Under the stairs in her home, a Jewish refuge is being sheltered by her adoptive parents. The book is narrated by Death, so it will be interesting to see how this translates to film.
Movie release date: Jan. 17, 2014/ Who’s starring: Sophie Nélisse and Geoffrey Rush
13. The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp (we ARE excited)


Image by A24

Why you should read it: This is a classic I-unexpectedly-fell-in-love high school story that will have you rapidly flipping through the pages. The movie premiered at Sundance and received rave reviews, saying, “John Hughes would be proud.”
Movie release date: Aug. 2, 2013/ Who’s starring: Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

HOW DID I WAIT SO LONG TO READ THIS?  The cover [pretty girls in fancy dresses] threw me off for some untold reason.

Stop what you are reading and GO GET THIS BOOK.

Originality: 9+.  Disillusioned with distopian YA novels? Not this one.  This distopia is fresh ( if not very well fleshed out ) and the climate aspect is too believable.

Absurdity: 9+.  High levels of unknown potential, powers, fancy dresses and insta-love. And a teenage girl who hasn't looked in a mirror for over three years??  That may be the most absurd part of this story, but again, she has been going through some tough family/personal/asylum times.

Paranormal Romance: 9+.  I hate instalove but man I could not help it for this one.  Adam? highly swoon worthy (though at times I debated his loyalties).  lots of rippling muscles, long looks, and actually some pretty heavy petting that I was not about to say no to.

Level of Harry Potter-ness: 9+.  The writing in this book was different, evocative, and full of great images and feelings, but conveyed in a way that didn't seem cliche in anyway.  It felt like Juliette's thoughts, her confused, highly over stimulated teenage emotions and it was awesome. The strikethroughs? loved them as a technique for a teenagers confused and rapidly changing mind.

GO READ THIS BOOK.   I hope that Tahereh can keep up the tone through the next book, if so, its going to be a great series. [NOTE- people on GoodReads straight up hate on this book, but man, I don't get it. You will have to decide for youself and as always, hater gonna hate.]

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: The Best Books We Read in Spring 2013

Its Tuesday, which means  its Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week;s theme isTop Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2013! This is a pretty long list- we have had a good 6 months of reading. What made your list of favs for Spring 2013?
Grad Student AND Crazy Camper
Outcast by Adrienne Kress. DO IT. 

Grad Student
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan. Again--Do it! Delightful.

Anna and the French Kiss AND Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. And then I fell down the rabbit hole of contemp YA romance.

Crazy Camper
For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund: This was probably the most I've swooned in a long time. And the title, love it.
Veronica Roth's Insurgent Series (esp book 1- love me some world-building).

The Book Thief by Mark Zuzak. This is almost like saying I "like" John Green. LOVE.

Goosie Mama:
Truth or Dare by Jacqueline Green was great, such a great summer read too!

 An Abundance of Katherine's and that was, as CC mentions, fabalamadingdong. I mean John Green, 'nuff said.

Also, I haven't mentioned it yet on the blog but I read Dreamland by Sarah Dessen about this teenager who was in an abusive relationship and I couldn't put it down. It was strangely engrossing, like a car wreck you can't look away from.

Finally, Princesses of Iowa was sooooooo good. Nothing supernatural and not as lighthearted as the title might imply but SUCH an honest coming of age story I lived for it!!

Check out our reviews of Outcast by Andrienne Kress, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green,Unspoken by Sarah Reese Brennan, Divergent by Veronica Roth (Grad Student’s review, Goosie Mama’s review) and  Insurgent, For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (and Crazy Camper's addendum), The Book Thief by Mark Zuzak, and Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. So many books to love.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfield

I have not read  The Uglies, but have seen it everywhere, so I jumped on the chance to read this Scott Westfield novella, Stupid Perfect World which looked to me more interesting the the whole Uglies concept....

In this future-set novella by bestselling author Scott Westerfeld, Kieran Black lives in a "perfect" world. Disease and starvation have been eradicated, sleep is unnecessary, and it takes no time at all to go from the Bahamas to the moon. But now Kieran has to take Scarcity, a class about how people lived in the bad old days. And as if sitting through an hour of Scarcity every day wasn't depressing enough, it's final projects time. Each student must choose some form of ancient hardship to experience for two whole weeks. Kieran chooses having to sleep eight hours a night, which doesn't seem too annoying.

Maria Borsotti has never thought much of Kieran, but she decides to take pity on him and help him out with his project. Soon, Kieran is sleeping and having vivid dreams, while Maria, whose Scarcity project is to give up all teenage hormone regulation, is experiencing emotions she never knew she had. As their assignments draw them closer together, they begin to wonder if the olden days weren't so bad. Maybe something has been missing from their perfect lives after all? (GoodReads).

So... I missed the "novella" aspect of this until Grad Student pointed it out to me.  sigh, where has my head been lately?  Either way, I actually enjoyed this little mini story, though lets be clear, character development in a YA novella is LOW.  This is no O'Henry here.  The concept and cover were so cool... I just wish there was more!  Accepting that....

Originality: 10- the sad thing is this world is so cool, and this CONCEPT even cooler that I wish it was a full book!

Absurdity: 8- the poetry writing.. yawn/ gag me/ glad I am not a teenager anymore, so glad.
Paranormal Romance: 4- I wish it was more, but again, the book is so short, and we spend so much time on the sci fi aspect of awesomeness there isnt much development of the love.
Harry Potter-ness: 4- Again, such a cool idea.  Mr Westerfield, take this idea and write us a full book!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stacking the Shelves!

It is finally a beautiful Saturday in NYC! I hope you all enjoy today where ever you are. Happy first Saturday of summer!  Stacking the Shelves, is hosted by Tygna's reviews. Yay! Thanks for making a way to share what is new to our bookshelves.What did you get this week?

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books,  #1)

I bought myself Shadow and Bone  by 

The Shadow of the Wind by 

And last but not least for review Gold byTalia Vance:

Friday, June 21, 2013

YA Movie Procrastination: The Spectacular Now

The Spectacular Now
I can no longer put off reading The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp because it is going to be a movie! It looks great. Apparently no YA books can become movies unless Shailene Woodley is in them. I don't really mind, since it is helping erase the terribleness of The Secret Life of an American Teenager from my mind. I love the shady summer vibe and, and, AND Coach Taylor is in it! It has to be good.

SUTTER KEELY. HE’S the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever (GoodReads).

Review: This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith:

If fate sent you an email, would you answer? When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds. 
Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs? 

This Is What Happy Looks Like

Level of Originality: 5. Girl sees through the glamour of the movie star to find the real the theme of 1 out of every 2 Disney Channel original series. Or at least that is how I think of all Disney Channel movies. 
Level of Absurdity: 9. It is absurd that movie stars can just choose any old location for wild goose chases for love. But then again, I am not a movie star. Perhaps this is a real thing.
Level of Paranormal Romance: 5. My biggest complaint is that we don't get to see the feelings develop here. All the buildup happens "off screen" via emails which have already been sent. We just drop into the relationship. Also, all I could think was "PREDATORS LURK FOR GIRLS ON THE INTERNET!!!" Perhaps because teens these days were not exposed to AIM A/S/L chats, they are not as skeeved out by the way this relationship starts. But lordy, I am totally skeeved. 
Level of Harry Potter-ness: 3. This book fell flat for me. I couldn't get behind the romance or the challenges the characters faced. I did, however, liked the mixed-media of the texts/emails that fit into the start of each chapter. Overall, I much prefer Smith's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight --click for my review!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I downloaded Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes on a whim... my library didn't have a blurb for some reason online, but I liked the cover, so I went for it.  Living life on the EDGE everyday.

Every other day, Kali D’Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She argues with her father. She’s human.

And then every day in between . . . she’s something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her, and unfortunately she’ll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive . . . and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process. (GoodReads).

Sometimes this life of wild choices really does pay off!

Originality: 7- paranormal as a species discovered by Darwin?  Interesting.  Cross breeding new paranormal species in a creepy lab?  Very interesting.  Throw in a high school loner/hunter/teenager and here we go.

Absurdity: 5- considering the above, very low.  I found this easy to believe, and just fell right into the story, the fast moving plot, and high school cheerleader antics.  
Level of Paranormal Romance: 8- Zev, I'm looking at you!  I liked him, but am still not sure of his allegiences vs feelings vs destined emotions.  Paranormal teenage romance is so confusing.
Level of Harry Potterness: 7- I wonder if Jennifer Barnes has read the Strange Angel series? Kali is a bit like Dru, and we all know Dru kicks but. Some good plot twists along the way, kept me guessing (and maybe a few gasps outloud...).

Guys, its summer, there is 100% humidity, put on some AC and give this a try, you too will be  surprised!