In My Mailbox (Let's Play Catch Up!)

I've been a horrible blogger lately :( School has been really rough on me this year, mostly stupid drama, but I'm gonna be better at it starting now! Thanks for still being there for me guys. (:

Lots of books to post about because I haven't done an IMM in SOOO long. So this week we're just gonna play a game of catch up. (:

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. If you want more details, click here. In My Mailbox explores all the books that I get in a week, whether it's in the mail, borrowed from a friend, borrowed from the library, or bought from a bookstore.


No Right Turn by Terry Trueman (Paperback/ September 2009/ HarperTeen)

Suicide is never pretty but Jordan has no qualms about describing the day his father shot himself three years earlier. Angry and traumatized, he is slow to heal, especially since he refuses to discuss his feelings. Now 16, the teen has isolated himself from everyone and all of his former interests. When his mom begins dating again, he is barely cordial to her new boyfriend, Don, but is nevertheless intrigued by the mans vintage Corvette. Jordan becomes hooked on the thrill of riding with Don and risks the budding friendship by borrowing the car without permission. Bolstered by the adrenaline rush and sense of freedom, his joyriding becomes addictive and rewarding when he catches the attention of the girl of his dreams. He continues taking the car at every opportunity, and readers fear what his friend Walt has warned all along: Jordan is finally busted after speeding. Reclaiming his girls and Dons trust requires uncorking bottled emotions about his fathers death. The first-person point of view works well here, as Jordan acts upon gut feelings, rationalizes his behavior, and waffles back and forth with guilt. The description of the suicide scene is realistic and powerful, and great dialogue and car details keep the plot moving for reluctant readers.

Beating Heart by A.M. Jenkins (Paperback/ August 2009/ HarperTeen)

Evan, 17, doesnt think much of his creaky, fixer-upper new home. His mom seems to be spending more time on it than she does at work or with his five-year-old sister. In addition to the three of them, the rickety house is inhabited by the ghost of Cora, a teen who lived there nearly 100 years earlier, and whose effervescent, whispery poetry makes up much of the novels text. Most of her thoughts are about Evan, how beautiful he is and how much he reminds her of a past lover. Her words are hauntingly erotic as she admires him from a distance, in his bedroom, in the bathroom while he showers. He is intrigued by her story, especially when he examines a box of her familys files and photographs found hidden in the walls of the house. She begins to appear in his dreams, causing him to question whether he truly loves his girlfriend, Carrie, with whom hes had an intimate relationship for over a year. Jenkinss novel is subtly eerie–a razor-sharp plot enfolded in a bed of feathery down, and a coming-of-age story about two teenagers–one dead, one alive–who learn that the lines between love and sex are much more blurred than they could have ever imagined.

Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani (Hardcover/ September 2009/ HarperTeen/ Signed)

I'm marooned.


Left to rot in boarding school . . .

Viola doesn't want to go to boarding school, but somehow she ends up at an all-girls school in South Bend, Indiana, far, far away from her home in Brooklyn, New York. Now Viola is stuck for a whole year in the sherbet-colored sweater capital of the world.


There's no way Viola's going to survive the year—especially since she has to replace her best friend Andrew with three new roommates who, disturbingly, actually seem to like it there. She resorts to viewing the world (and hiding) behind the lens of her video camera.

Boarding school, though, and her roommates and even the Midwest are nothing like she thought they would be, and soon Viola realizes she may be in for the most incredible year of her life.

But first she has to put the camera down and let the world in.

The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols (Paperback/ September 2009/ Simon Pulse/ Signed)

Brace yourself for the battle of the exes....

Hayden and Nick used to be a hot item, but their brief affair ended with a highly publicized breakup. Now the two are "just friends," excluding the occasional flirtation.

When Hayden wins the girls' division of a local snowboarding competition, Nick is unimpressed, claiming that Hayden wouldn't have a chance against a guy. Hayden calls Nick's bluff and challenges him to a head-to-head boarding contest. Their mutual friends quickly take sides, the girls on Hayden's and the boys on Nick's, making for an all-out battle of the sexes. This friendly competition is bound to get heated -- and they might end up igniting some old flames.

I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six Word Memoirs by Teens Famous and Obscure (Paperback/ September 2009/ HarperTeen)

The New York Times bestseller NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING made six-word memoirs an international phenomenon, as people around the world embraced this pithy new format. The editors of the collection found that some of the most poignant entries were coming from teens-and so this newest collection is entirely by and for those smart, sassy, and angst-filled truth tellers. From navigating the hazardous halls of high school, to dealing with extreme situations at home, these writers may be young, but their stories will resonate with people of all ages. A few sample memoirs: I live bigger than your labels. Aspiration: Colonize Mars. You-re not invited. Fifteen and my mom has cancer. Homecoming king with a septum ring. Friend. Boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend. Friend. Friend's Boyfriend.

Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison (Hardback/ March 2009/ Razorbill/ Signed)

Leesie Hunt has many rules: No kissing. No sex. No dating outside the Mormon faith.
When Michael Walden—a deep-sea diver who lost his parents in a violent hurricane—arrives in town, Leesie sees someone who needs her. They fall for one another, even though his dreams are tied to the depths of the ocean and hers to salvation above.

Will their intense chemistry be too strong to resist?

Leesie and Michael must make the hardest choice of their lives: whether to follow their beliefs or their hearts.

Readers will be swept away by this tale of forbidden romance told in online chats, Leesie’s chapbook poems, and Michael’s dive log. It’s as steamy as Twilight and just as clean.

Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison (ARC/ March 2010/ Razorbill/ Signed)


Beth has always been “The Beast”—that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.


When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion—for music, and for Beth—leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.


When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?


The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her …one that could shatter everything.

Secret Society by Tom Dolby (Hardcover/ September 2009/ HarperTeen)

Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone. . . .

An eccentric new girl. A brooding socialite. The scion of one of New York's wealthiest families. A promising filmmaker. As students at the exclusive Chadwick School, Phoebe, Lauren, Nick, and Patch already live in a world most teenagers only dream about.

They didn't ask to be Society members. But when three of them receive a mysterious text message promising success and fame beyond belief, they say yes to everything—even to the harrowing initiation ceremony in a gritty warehouse downtown and to the ankh-shaped tattoo they're forced to get on the nape of their necks. Once they're part of the Society, things begin falling into place for them. Week after week, their ambitions are fulfilled. It's all perfect—until a body is found in Central Park with no distinguishing marks except for an ankh-shaped tattoo.

Tom Dolby makes his teen fiction debut with this riveting novel about a dangerous society so secret that once you get in, you can never get out.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (Paperback/ October 2009/ HaperTeen)

These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which, as they kiss, consume.

When Romeo first lays eyes on the bewitching Juliet, it's love at first sight. But though their love runs true and deep, it is also completely forbidden. With family and fate determined to keep them apart, will Romeo and Juliet find a way to be together?

William Shakespeare's masterpiece is one of the most enduring stories of star-crossed love of all time. Beautifully presented for a modern teen audience with both the original play and a prose retelling of the beloved story, this is the must-have edition of a timeless classic.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (Paperback/ October 2009/ HarperTeen)

I cannot live without my life!

I cannot live without my soul!

When Catherine and Heathcliff's childhood friendship grows into something so much more, what ensues is one of the greatest love stories of all time. Even as fate conspires against them and passion consumes them, nothing can keep Catherine and Heathcliff apart. Not even death . . . for their forbidden love is unlike any other.

Emily BrontË's masterpiece remains as compelling and thrilling as ever. Beautifully presented for a modern teen audience, this is the must-have edition of a timeless classic.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Paperback/ October 2009/ HarperTeen)

"Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her."

With all the forces of the world conspiring to keep Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet apart, how will fate manage to bring them together? It certainly won't be easy if they're fighting it every step of the way. But theirs is a love that was meant to be, despite all the odds against them.

One of the most captivating love stories of all time, Jane Austen's enduring masterpiece is beloved by generation after generation. Beautifully presented for a modern teen audience, this is the must-have edition of a timeless classic.

Switch by Carol Snow (Paperback/ August 2009/ HarperTeen)

Claire Martin has some serious body issues.

Ever since Claire hit her teens, electrical storms have been making her switch bodies. Usually she's back to her old self in no time. But when something goes terribly wrong, she finds herself stuck in the fabulous body—and life—of Larissa, the icy blonde beauty who has caught the eye of Nate, Claire's longtime crush.

Will Claire ever figure out how to get her old life back? And, more importantly, will she even want to?

Snap by Carol Snow (Hardback/ August 2009/ HarperTeen)

Madison Sabatini thought she knew who she was: an almost-sophomore with a bright future. The newest photographer on her school paper. A shopaholic with great hair and a fabulous wardrobe. Then, in a flash, everything changed.

Now she's stuck in Sandyland, a gloomy beach town in the middle of nowhere, living with her parents in a crappy hotel "suite." Instead of spending the summer with her friends at home, she's hanging out with pink-haired Delilah, an artist who works in a shop called Psychic Photo, and a skater boy named Duncan who's totally not her type. Except, maybe he is . . .

Determined to make the best of things, Madison throws herself into her one passion: photography. But when strange figures start appearing in her pictures—people who weren't there when she snapped the shots, people who are later reported dead—she begins to question everything about who she is . . . and who she wishes she could be.


Hunger by Michael Grant (Hardback/ May 2009/ HarperTeen)

In the second in a planned six-book series, the children of Perdito Beach, CA, have survived without adults for three months following the FAYZ, a nuclear event that caused everyone over the age of 14 to vanish and an impenetrable barrier to rise for 20 miles around the town. Now their food is almost gone, and in their desperation and fear, the young people are beginning to sort themselves into factions; those without special powers opposing those who have them. To add to the suspense, a terrifying presence that calls itself the Gaiaphage, a being of overwhelming hunger, is insinuating itself into the minds of the susceptible. Like Gone (HarperTeen, 2008), this novel is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. Nonstop action and recurring scenes of graphic violence, death, and torture will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they race toward the climactic cliff-hanger ending.

Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt (Paperback/ June 2007/ Simon Pulse)

There are two sides to every breakup.

This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation.

Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet.

It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care.

But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot.

Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other.

Take Me There by Susane Colasanti (Paperback/ May 2009/ Speak)

This tale has likable and realistic teen characters. It takes place over an event-filled week, with Rhiannon, Nicole, and James telling the same story from their individual perspectives. Rhiannon is devastated by her recent breakup with Steve. Nicole has broken up with Danny for no apparent reason, and he is determined to win her back. James, who has always been Rhiannon's best friend, is finding his feelings for her undergoing a dramatic change. Many humorous events occur, including Rhiannon's surefire plan to get Steve back that backfires. Readers will be intrigued by how the same incidents can be seen in so many different lights. They may also gain perspective on how one action can have very different consequences for people. The story also addresses several difficult and all-too-common problems that many teens face. Nicole realizes that Sheila is being physically abused by her boyfriend and is able to get her some professional help. Nicole has her own dark secret—her father is sexually abusing her. It's through her interactions with her friends that she is finally able to acknowledge the abuse and start to get on with her life. Teens who are dealing with their own problems will benefit from the hopeful resolution of this story.


Kate said...

Wow you had an amazing week! Hadn't heard of Beating Heart, but it looks really good. Happy reading.

stargirlreads said...

you got a ton!!! wow

The Story Siren said...

wowzers! what a ton of great books this week! they all look great! happy reading!


great books! happy reading :)

reviewsbylola said...

Tons of books! I am interested in reading Two Way Street--I thought it looked good.

ReggieWrites said...

wow! loads of books! i got taken by storm and sing me to sleep this week as well :-) happy reading~

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Wow! So many amazing books! Hope you enjoy them all!

bookalicious said...

Just discovered your blog when I was googling IN A HEARTBEAT and saw that you've already received an ARC - so jealous! How do you get all these amazing books??? :)

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