In My Mailbox (11/16 to 11/28)

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.


Raiders' Ransom by Emily Diamand (Hardback/ The Chicken House/ December 2009)

It's the 22nd century and, because of climate change, much of England is underwater. Poor Lilly is out fishing with her trusty sea-cat when greedy raiders pillage the town--and kidnap the prime minister's daughter. Her village blamed, Lilly decides to find the girl. Off she sails, in secret. And with a ransom: a mysterious talking jewel. "If I save his daughter," Lilly reasons, "the prime minister's sure to reward me." Little does Lilly know that it will take more than grit to outwit the tricky, treacherous piratical tribes!

Hourglass by Claudia Gray (Paperback/ HarperTeen/ March 2010)

Bestselling author Claudia Gray’s Evernight series continues. In Hourglass, Bianca and Lucas have found a way to be together. But it means lying to the people who care about them the most.

After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school, Bianca and Lucas seek refuge with Black Cross, the elite group of vampire hunters led by Lucas’s stepfather. When Bianca’s close friend—the vampire Balthazar—is captured by Black Cross, Bianca knows she has to do whatever it takes to save him. But at what cost?

Hourglass, the third book in this gripping vampire series by the author of the New York Times bestseller Stargazer, has all the romance, suspense, and page-turning drama that have made Claudia Gray’s books runaway successes.

Girl on the Other Side by Deborah Kerbel (Paperback/ Dundurn Press/ October 2009)

Tabby Freeman and Lora Froggett go to the same school, but they live in totally opposite worlds. Tabby is rich, pretty, and the most popular girl in her class. But behind closed doors, her 'perfect' life is rapidly coming apart at the seams.

On the other side, Lora is smart, timid, and the constant target of bullies. While struggling to survive the piranha-infested halls of her school, she becomes increasingly nervous that somebody might discover the unbearable truth about what's been happening to her family.

Despite their differences, Tabby and Lora have something in common - they're both harbouring dark secrets and a lot of pain. Although they've never been friends, a series of strange events causes their lives to crash together in ways neither could have ever imagined. And when the dust finally settles and all their secrets are forced out into the light, will the girls be saved or destroyed?

Love and Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson (Hardback/ HarperTeen/ November 2009)

After a not-quite-peachy year apart, three Georgia peaches come home to Darlington Orchard

When Murphy chose New York City, she left her first love behind. Now, a summer in Bridgewater means trading subway trains for pickup trucks and facing the boy she turned her back on.

Leeda expects her trip home to be over faster than her new Manhattan boyfriend can hail a cab—until a surprising inheritance saddles her with a huge responsibility.

Birdie's heart led her all the way to Mexico, and heartbreak brings her back to the orchard. But when the Darlington family decides to leave peach trees for palm trees, Birdie gets a crash course in letting go—and learning when to hold on.

Together for another juicy summer, carefree Murphy, perfect Leeda, and big-hearted Birdie return to the place that allowed them to bloom. Brimming with all the charm, humor, and heart of Peaches and The Secrets of Peaches, this satisfying conclusion to the series reunites three unlikely best friends for a final sweet farewell.

Numbers by Rachel Ward (Paperback/ The Chicken House/ Febuary 2010)

Ever since she was child, Jem has kept a secret: Whenever she meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die. Burdened with such awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. The two plan a trip to the city. But while waiting to ride the Eye ferris wheel, Jem is terrified to see that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today's number. Today's date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem's world is about to explode!

Snow Queen by Emma Harrison (Paperback/ HarperTeen/ November 2009)

Chamberlain Ski Resort and Spa

Welcome to the 10th Annual Snow Queen competition!

I can't believe I got roped into this.

Snow Princesses must attend all pageant rehearsals, with appropriate outfits.

Well, no matter what it takes, I'm going to wipe that smirk off Layla Chamberlain's face.

Our rehearsal space can be booked to practice your talent.

Um, does "looking dumb in a dress" count as a talent?

See Grayson Chamberlain, the assistant director, with any questions.

If you insist! First question: How can someone so sweet (and hot!) be a Chamberlain?

Good luck! One of you will soon be our new Snow Queen!

Oh joy.

Unless Grayson comes with the tiara . . .

Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood (Paperback/ Berkley Trade/ March 2007)

Being sent to your room is one thing. But being sent to another country?

Morgan's boyfriend dumped her on the last day of school-it seemed the only thing to do was to hack off her hair and dye the stubble orange. Unfortunately, Morgan's parents freaked and decided a change of scenery would do her good. So they're sending her off on a bike tour of Ireland.

But Morgan gets more than she bargained for on the Emerald Isle-including a strange journey into some crazy, once upon a time corner of the past. There, she meets fairies, weefolk, and a hunky warrior-dude named Fergus, and figures out that she's got some growing to do-and she doesn't just mean her hair.

How I Found The Perfect Dress by Maryrose Wood (Paperback/ Berkley Trade/ May 2008)

Maryrose Wood follows up her hilarious hit Why I Let My Hair Grow Out with another irreverent, teen angst-filled, girl-power romp.

On a bike tour of Ireland last summer, Morgan Rawlinson fell for Colin, the hunky guide, and entered a portal that turned her into the goddess Morganne. Now she’s back to her painfully normal life and her relationship with Colin has fizzled to the occasional e-mail…until he writes saying he’s coming to Connecticut—just in time for the prom.

But when he arrives, he’s exhausted. It seems that when Morgan crossed the portal as Morganne, a spell was cast on Colin. In his dreams he’s being forced to dance ’til dawn with the faeries, who want to boogie with him for eternity. Somehow she has to break the spell on her date, help plan the prom, and find the perfect dress. Oh, what a night…

Prom and Party Etiquette by Cindy Post Senning, Peggy Post and Steven Salerno (Paperback/ HarperCollins/ January 2010)

No Summary for this book yet.


Shadowland (The Immortals Series) by Alyson Noel (Hardback/ St. Martin's Griffin/ November 2009)

Ever and Damen have traveled through countless past lives—and fought off the world’s darkest enemies—so they could be together forever. But just when their long-awaited destiny is finally within reach, a powerful curse falls upon Damen…one that could destroy everything. Now a single touch of their hands or a soft brush of their lips could mean sudden death—plunging Damen into the Shadowland. Desperate to break the curse and save Damen, Ever immerses herself in magick—and gets help from an unexpected source…a surfer named Jude.

Although she and Jude have only just met, he feels startlingly familiar. Despite her fierce loyalty to Damen, Ever is drawn to Jude, a green-eyed golden boy with magical talents and a mysterious past. She’s always believed Damen to be her soulmate and one true love—and she still believes it to be true. But as Damen pulls away to save them, Ever’s connection with Jude grows stronger—and tests her love for Damen like never before…


Burned by Ellen Hopkins (Paperback/ McElderry/ October 2007)

Once again the author of Crank (S & S, 2004) has masterfully used verse to re-create the yearnings and emotions of a teenage girl trapped in tragic circumstances. Poems in varied formats captivate readers as they describe a teen's immobilizing fear of her abusive father, disgust with a church hierarchy that looks the other way, hope that new relationships can counteract despair, joy in the awakening of romance, and sorrow when demons ultimately prevail. Pattyn Von Stratten is the eldest of eight sisters in a stern Mormon household where women are relegated to servitude and silence. She has a glimpse of normal teenage life when Derek takes an interest in her, but her father stalks them in the desert and frightens him away. Unable to stifle her rage, Pattyn acts out as never before and is suspended from school. Sent to live with an aunt on a remote Nevada ranch, she meets Ethan and discovers forever love. Woven into the story of a teen's struggle to find her destiny is the story of her aunt's barrenness following government mismanagement of atomic testing and protests over nuclear waste disposal. Readers will become immersed in Pattyn's innermost thoughts as long-held secrets are revealed, her father's beatings take a toll on her mother and sister, and Pattyn surrenders to Ethan's love with predictable and disturbing consequences. Writing for mature teens, Hopkins creates compelling characters in horrific situations.

Purge by Sarah Darer Littman (Hardback/ Scholastic Press/ April 2009)

Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge eat and then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That's what the doctors and psychiatrists at Golden Slopes hope to help her discover. But first Janie must survive everyday conflicts between the Barfers and the Starvers, attempts by the head psychiatrist to fish painful memories out of her emotional waters, and shifting friendships and alliances among the kids in the ward.

Liar by Justine Larbalestier (Hardback/ Bloomsbury/ September 2009)

Micah will freely admit that she’s a compulsive liar, but that may be the one honest thing she’ll ever tell you. Over the years she’s duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents, and she’s always managed to stay one step ahead of her lies. That is, until her boyfriend dies under brutal circumstances and her dishonesty begins to catch up with her. But is it possible to tell the truth when lying comes as naturally as breathing? Taking readers deep into the psyche of a young woman who will say just about anything to convince them—and herself—that she’s finally come clean, Liar is a bone-chilling thriller that will have readers see-sawing between truths and lies right up to the end. Honestly.

-Lexi (:

FTC: All links and excerpts are from I am NOT getting paid to link to them.

In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth

Pub Date: February 2010

Summary: During one of her skating competitions, Eagan’s slight mistake cost her, her life.

Eagan looks back on all she’s done and all she wishes she could change.

Like reconciling her relationship with her mom.

She watches memories from heaven.

Her heart is still beating in the world.

Amelia, a fourteen-year-old girl receives Eagan’s heart.

At first she feels guilty.

One family has to suffer so she can live.

Soon, Amelia slowly starts to change.

She dreams of figure skating. She starts to prefer grape flavored candy. She develops and attitude towards her mother.

Amelia knows that she needs to know about her donor’s life.

Once she starts digging, she can’t stop.

Her need leads her to her Eagan’s grieving family.

Amelia learns more about herself and Eagan, while also bringing closure to many others.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Review: In a Heartbeat was a lot more than I expected it to be. The characters were very complex, but were able to see inside both Amelia’s head and Eagan’s. As the book grew closer to the end, one could see that the two girls were getting closer to knowing more about themselves and each other. This novel was an easy read, only 195 pages, but making it a little longer might have added a little more. At some parts, I really wanted it to go more in depth and tell more of a story, which was kind of a drawback for me. This was the first novel I have read by Loretta Ellsworth, so I didn’t really know what I expected from her, but I think over all she met my expectations. A few times while reading In a Heartbeat, I wanted to actually jump into the book and be there for everyone involved, but I knew I couldn’t. To me, that feeling can make a book better then more. I’m glad I had the chance to read this book and if you have the time and the chance, read In a Heartbeat.

-Lexi (:

FTC: I received this novel from it's publishing company with the understanding that I would provide an honest review. I am not getting paid in any way for writing and posting this review.

Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

Pub Date: August 2009

Summary: Can I ever feel okay about myself?

Five teenagers: three girls, three guys.

Four straight, one gay.

Poor vs. Rich

People who care, no one at all.

All of them live differently but ultimately they’re all looking for the same thing.

Safety. Freedom. Love. Family.

When three little words, I love you, are said for all the wrong reasons, everyone can get hurt.

Five separate stories come into one.

The difference between love and sex often get blurred.

Sometimes though, the experiences help one un-blur those difference.

Growing up. Falling down. Picking yourself back up. Making decisions. Taking a leap of faith.

Those are all factors into how we live our lives, how we find out how we are, and ultimately how we all become truly happy.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: There hasn’t been a book yet by Ellen Hopkins that I haven’t loved! Tricks was no exception. The way Ellen writes really just amazes me. She can tell a story in so little words. Her characters always have so many sides but she depicts them all so clearly. Whenever one picks up a novel by Ellen Hopkins, they can expect to be surprised by the content and the topics. Ellen isn’t afraid to tackle something new and controversy and she has yet to repeat a topic. Tricks was mainly about prostitution and how easily people can get sex and love confused. I’ve always been able to relate to novels by Ellen, but this one definitely hit home more than any other one has. Don’t be surprised if you walk away from this book balling, because I did. But it doesn’t change that fact that this book really just quite amazing. I recommend this book to everyone!

-Lexi (:

FTC: I did not received the novel from any publishing company or author. It is my own personally copy that I bought, but still I am not getting paid in any way to do this review.

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard

Pub Date: January 2010

Summary: If you weren’t with someone to being with, shouldn’t be easier to get over them?

Julia and Colt were with each other for a year.

Just not in the normal sense, no one knew about them.

Julia lived on Black Mountain.

She was rich.

Colt on the other hand, didn’t come from Black Mountain.

People would have never understood what kept Julia and Colt together, but it didn’t matter to them.

When Julia suddenly dies right before her senior year, Colt is the only one left who knows their secret.

He now has to live his life like he didn’t even know Julia existed.

It’s easier said than done for Colt; he’s being haunted by memories of Julia.

Once Julia’s journal is given to Colt, he looks for answers to all of his questions.

He searches every entry, every sentence.

Did Julia really love him?

Was he somehow to blame for the terrible accident?

Not only are these questions answered, Colt finds out more then he bargained for when all of this started.

Rating: 5 Stars

Review: I LOVED THE SECRET YEAR! I literally screamed when I received this book in the mail. I was so excited to read it. Everything I heard about this book just made it seem so amazing, and trust me, it was! It’s only 192 pages long, but those pages definitely pack a punch. I read this whole book in one sitting. Nothing could make me stop reading. I was sucked into Julia and Colt’s romance right when they shared their first kiss. The plot of this book has a lot of different elements in it, like Romeo and Juliet, but Jennifer Hubbard really adds her own spin to everything. Her writing style is impeccable. I usually can’t get into books that are told from a male’s point of view, but this one book that I completely adored. I really don’t think The Secret Year would have been the same if it was written from Julia’s point of view. Getting inside Colt’s head was breathtaking, he just had so many thoughts and his feelings towards Julia and his friends were just so genuine. The Secret Year is now one of my favorite books of all time. By just reading this book you really experience something new and different. I love a book that you can learn from and take something away from it when you read it. I could actually just go on and on about the Secret Year, but I don’t want to give anything away. Everyone should really take the time to read this novel because you will never think of love and passion in the same way again.

-Lexi (:

FTC: I received this book from Viking Publishing Company with the understanding that I would provide an honest review with no benefits for myself, just the opportunity to read this novel.

I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoris

Pub Date: September 2009

Summary: I lost more than my innocence.

Life’s full of “awkward turtle” moments.

Note to all boys: I quit.

God has him. I miss him.

Always helping others. Never helping myself.

Fake Smile. Hidden Tears. Real Laughter.

Skinny girl in a fat body.

You chose pot, I chose poetry.

Freshman: first love. Sophomore: first heartbreak

I won’t need photographs to remember.

Broken. Loved anyway. I’m so thankful.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: Open to any random page in I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets and you will find something you can relate you. This book was just 600, six word memoirs, from 600 authors but it was very touching. I found so many things that I could relate to, it was almost unreal. Sometimes we don’t always remember that there are a lot of people out there who are going through the same things we are. This novel can help many people remember that very thing. Everything suffers from something someone else does. I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets was surprisingly a lot better than I expected it to be. It was something one could read within 30 minutes and not be able to forget. It’s very touching. I really think more people should take the time to read this novel. I really don’t think they will regret it.

-Lexi (:

FTC: I received this novel from the publisher with the understanding that I would provide and honest review. I am not getting paid in any way for this review.

Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison

Pub Date: March 2009

Summary: Leesis Hunt has rules.

No making out. Feet must stay on floor. No sex. No falling for a non-Mormon.

Poetry becomes Leesis way of releasing her feelings.

All she wants to do it get out of her little town and go to college at BYU.

Then, Michael Walden enters the picture.

Michael survived the storm that caused his parents’ death and changed the world for him, forever.

Leesis knows that she and Michael couldn’t be more different.

That doesn’t stop her from being drawn to him.

Jealousy. Rules. Memories.

They all try to tear them apart, Leesis won’t let it.

Michael is drowning on the inside.

It’s Leesis job to save him, even though she has no idea how.

When the time comes though, who will be there to save Leesis?

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Review: From the very first chapter, I fell in love with Taken by Storm. It surpassed every expectation I had! Every character was beautifully written, they all fit together amazingly. This was definitely a new kind of romance novel in a way, but it was different in a good way. The plot was very unique, just like each character had a very unique background. One couldn’t want anything other than for Leesis and Michael to be together. The way they felt about each other was tell-tailing from the very beginning. It was almost is if they suffered from love at first sight. Really all Leesis wanted to do was to get to know Michael better and help him through. Going into it, she never really expected to end up with him because he was a non-Mormon but she knew she couldn’t hide her feeling from him forever. Their relationship started under hard circumstances but they both made it work. Taken by Storm was a beautifully written novel. I’m happy to say that I read this novel! One lucky person will be able to win a signed copy of this book, so keep a look out for the contest.

-Lexi (:

FTC: I received this book for the author with the understanding that I would provide and honest review. I am not getting paid for this review.

In My Mailbox (10/26 to 11/14)

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.


The Exile of Gigi Lane by Adrienne Maria Vrettos (Paperback/ HarperTeen/ April 2010)

I couldn't find a summary for this book, sorry guys!

Stupid Cupid by Rhonda Stapleton (Paperback/ Simon Pulse/ December 2009)

Felicity's no ordinary teen matchmaker...she's a cupid!

Felicity Walker believes in true love. That's why she applies for a gig at the matchmaking company Cupid's Hollow. But when Felicity gets the job, she learns that she isn't just a matchmaker...she's a cupid! (There's more than one of them, you know.)

Armed with a hot pink, tricked-out PDA infused with the latest in cupid magic (love arrows shot through email), Felicity works to meet her quota of successful matches. But when she bends the rules of cupidity by matching her best friend Maya with three different boys at once, disaster strikes. Felicity needs to come up with a plan to set it all right, pronto, before she gets fired and before Maya ends up with her heart split in three.

Envy: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen (Paperback/ HarperTeen/ January 2009)

Jealous whispers.

Old rivalries.

New betrayals.

Two months after Elizabeth Holland's dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. When Elizabeth refuses to rejoin her sister Diana's side, however, those watching New York's favorite family begin to suspect that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park South.

Farther uptown, Henry and Penelope Schoonmaker are the city's most celebrated couple. But despite the glittering diamond ring on Penelope's finger, the newlyweds share little more than scorn for each other. And while the newspapers call Penelope's social-climbing best friend, Carolina Broad, an heiress, her fortune—and her fame—are anything but secure, especially now that one of society's darlings is slipping tales to the eager press.

In this next thrilling installment of Anna Godbersen's bestselling Luxe series, Manhattan's most envied residents appear to have everything they desire: Wealth. Beauty. Happiness. But sometimes the most practiced smiles hide the most scandalous secrets. . . .

Splendor: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen (Hardback/ HarperTeen/ October 2009)

New beginnings.

Shocking revelations.

Unexpected endings.

A spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father's death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.

Carolina Broad, society's newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father's rule extends well beyond New York's shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.

In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York's most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city's oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap (Paperback/ Bloomsbery/ March 2010)

“Will I never see you again either?” I asked, feeling as though I was about to jump off a high mountain peak and hope to land without hurting myself. That’s how impossible everything seemed at that moment, no matter what I did.

“Perhaps we will meet again,” Sasha said, softening his voice. “But you must see that it does not matter. You have so much ahead of you. It’s your choice now. Choose the future! Choose life!”

For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia’s last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. But even while the rebels debate the family’s future with agonizing slowness and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood. But will the strength of their love be enough to save Anastasia from a violent death?

Inspired by the mysteries that have long surrounded the last days of the Romanov family, Susanne Dunlap’s new novel is a haunting vision of the life—and love story—of Russia’s last princess.

Girls Acting Catty by Leslie Margolis (Paperback/ Bloomsbury/ November 2009)

What's harder to deal with than a group of boys who act like dogs? How about a clique of catty mean girls? Annabelle has just figured out how to survive in junior high school. She's made great friends, her teachers are nice, and she's got lots of tricks up her sleeve for taming those pesky boys. But now she and her friends must confront a whole new brand of headache-- the mean girl clique. At first Taylor and her friends were out to get Annabelle's bff Rachel, but soon the whole group is involved. Their friendship is getting tenser by the minute -- unless Annabelle can save the day again?

DupliKate by Cherry Cheva (Hardback/ HarperTeen/ September 2009)

To Do List:

Ace SATs

Ace finals

Ace AP physics project

Avoid murdering lab partner

Submit Yale application

Resolve possibly evil twin situation
Due date: December 15th
Countdown: 11 days

By the time Kate Larson accidentally fell asleep at three a.m., she'd already done more work in one night than the average high school senior does in a week. Getting into Yale has been her dream for years—and being generally overworked and totally under-rested is the price of admission. But when she opens her eyes the next day, she comes face-to-face with, well, her face—which is attached to her body, which is standing across the room. Wait, what?

Meet Kate's computer-generated twin. Kate doesn't know why she's here or how to put her back where she belongs, but she's real. And she's the last thing Kate has time to deal with right now. Unless . . .

Could having a double be the answer to Kate's prayers? After all, two Kates can do more work than one. Or will keeping her twin a secret turn her dream future into a living nightmare?

What I Wore To Save The World by Maryrose Wood (Paperback/ Berkley Trade/ December 2009)

Senior year's coming up fast and Morgan still has no clue about college, or a career-the whole rest of-her-life thing is basically a blank. Maybe it's because she spent her junior year obsessing about Colin, the hot Irish guy she fell for last summer (that was right around the same time she discovered she's a half- goddess from the days of Irish lore... you had to be there). She even saved Colin from a nasty enchantment, but he doesn't know that. Colin doesn't believe in magic, not even a little.

But then a mysterious message reunites her with Colin, who turns out to be caught up in the biggest faery-made disaster ever. We're talking the end of reality-not just reality TV. To save the world, she's going to have to tell Colin the truth about her half-goddess mojo. But if he doesn't believe in magic, how will he ever believe in her?

By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters (Paperback/ Hyperion Book CH/ January 2010)

Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she's determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for "completers"-

While she's on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she's not on the Web, Daelyn's at her private school, where she's known as the freak who doesn't talk.

Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she's waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she's made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won't give up. And it's too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life.isn't it?

National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters shines a light on how bullying can push young people to the very edge.

Rock 'N' Roll Soldier: A Memoir by Dean Ellis Kohler with Susan VanHecke (Hardback/ HarperTeen/ September 2009)

"During a time when none of us knew for sure if we would live or die, I came to know the true power of music."

Dean Kohler is about to make it big—he's finally scored a national record deal! But his dreams are abruptly put on hold by the arrival of his draft notice. Now he's in Qui Nhon, Vietnam, serving as a military policeman. He keeps telling himself he's a musician, not a killer, and that he's lucky he's not fighting on the front lines. When Captain orders him to form a rock band, it's up to Dean to find instruments and players, pronto. Ingenuity and perseverance pay off and soon the band is traveling through treacherous jungle terrain to perform for troops in desperate need of an escape—even if it's only for three sets. And for Dean—who lives with death, violence, and the fear that anyone could be a potential spy (even his Vietnamese girlfriend)—the band becomes the one thing that gets him through the day. During one of the most controversial wars in recent American history, this incredible true story is about music and camaraderie in the midst of chaos.


Hold Still by Nina LaCour (Hardback/ Dutton Juvenile/ October 2009)

An arresting story about starting over after a friend’s suicide, from a breakthrough new voice in YA fiction.

dear caitlin, there are so many things that i want so badly to tell you but i just can’t.

Devastating, hopeful, hopeless, playful . . . in words and illustrations, Ingrid left behind a painful farewell in her journal for Caitlin. Now Caitlin is left alone, by loss and by choice, struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend’s suicide. With the help of family and newfound friends, Caitlin will encounter first love, broaden her horizons, and start to realize that true friendship didn’t die with Ingrid. And the journal which once seemed only to chronicle Ingrid’s descent into depression, becomes the tool by which Caitlin once again reaches out to all those who loved Ingrid—and Caitlin herself.

Suicide Notes by Michael Thoman Ford (Hardback/ HarperTeen/ October 2008)

Jeff, the irreverent, sarcastic, and utterly terrified 15-year-old narrator, wakes up on New Year's Day in a psych ward with bandages around his wrists. He copes with his therapy by using extreme denial and avoidance, attempting to one-up his therapist, Dr. Katzrupus, or Cat Poop, with flippant, deflective wordplay and outrageous stories of faux Sugar Plum Fairy fantasies. Jeff spends the rest of his time with the other teens, including suicidal Sadie the sociopath and the gay teen in jock's clothing, Rankin. While Sadie encourages Jeff's resentment toward the program, it is Rankin's actions that force Jeff to come to terms with his suicide attempt and his own sexuality. This is a story of warped self-perception, of the lies that people tell themselves so they never have to face the truth. Ford is most successful in his withholding of Jeff's secret, a disclosure not made until the last third of the book. While the book could be named Gay Boy, Interrupted due to many similarities to Susanna Kaysen's characters and depictions of the mental-health community, Jeff's wit and self-discovery are refreshing, poignant, and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny. Readers will relate to Jeff as a teen bumbling through horrible embarrassment and the shame that follows, and they will be inspired by his eventual integrity and grace.

Glass by Ellen Hopkins (Hardback/ McElderry/ Reprint: April 2009)

Kristina Snow was a 17-year-old with high grades and a loving family. In Crank (S & S, 2004), one summer in California with a meth-addicted boyfriend destroys her life. Addicted, she's raped, and goes back home to Reno pregnant. Glass picks up a year later. She lives with her mother and works at a 7–11. Depressed about her post-baby figure, she goes back on speed to lose weight. Her mother kicks her out and gains custody of the baby. She continues to spiral to the last page, which sets readers up for a third novel. Glass is even more terrifying than Crank in its utter hopelessness; meth's power is permanent and Kristina is an addict whether she uses or not. Though her recount of events in the first book is dry and self-indulgent, the pace snowballs as soon as she takes her first toke of rock meth, and one desperate, horrifying measure or decision follows another. Like Crank, this title is written in verse, but certainly not poetry. Hopkins's writing is smooth and incisive, but her fondness for seemingly random forms is distracting and adds little to the power of the narrative. Minor characters are flat, and Kristina's overblown self-pity elicits little empathy. The author tries but fails to present meth itself as a character; her descriptions of "the monster" are precious and overwritten. Kristina's story is terrible, and even when she's high, the narrative voice and mood are sobering. Teens, including reluctant readers, may appreciate the spare style and realism of Kristina's unhappy second chapter.

-Lexi (:

FTC: All links and excerpts are from I am NOT getting paid to link to them.

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

Pub Date: August 2009

Summary: It’s been months, and Viola still isn’t over her boyfriend.

Ever since Lawrence ended their relationship, Viola hasn’t been able to focus on anything.

All she wants is to belong again and to have someone love her.

When Viola accidentally summons a genie into her world, she finds herself able to make three wishes.

Jinn, the young genie, only wants to return home.

Viola, on the other hand, wants to make sure she makes the right three wishes.

She wants the wishes to finally make her happy.

But, as Jinn and Viola spend more time together, they find themselves growing closer.

Soon, Jinn realizes that he’s falling for a human girl; he’s falling fast for Viola.

For Viola, it takes more time for her to realize her true feelings for Jinn.

After her first wish, she knows that she’s falling in love with Jinn.

With only two more wishes left, Viola spends all of her time, not wishing.

The sooner she makes those final wishes, the sooner Jinn will leave.

And the sooner Viola will be forced to forget about him.

Rating: 3 Stars

Review: For me, As You Wish was just an average book with a bigger than life plot. I really expected more from this novel and from Jackson Pearce. I’m not saying this book wasn’t good; it definitely had its moments. The friendship and relationship that developed between Viola and Jinn was really cute and you could tell that they cared for each other. Since As You Wish is written from alternating points of view, I think it could have flowed better or just been told by one person. Nonetheless, this was an enjoyable and light-hearted novel. If you don't think you'll be interested in As You Wish, you should still give it a try!

-Lexi (:
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