Thursday, October 8, 2015

Review: P.S. I Still Love You

 * Book 2 in the Love Trilogy *
Lara Jean isn't happy that her fake relationship ended with Peter. She misses him. So on New Year's Eve, she writes him a letter. The letter works like magic and they're back together. Lara Jean couldn't be happier.

Until a video of her a Peter in the hot tub goes viral. She's so embarassed that everyone knows. She's deveestated. Peter defends her. But they aren't saying awful things about him.

Lara Jean knows her ex best friend and Peter's ex-girlfriend is behind the video, but she can't prove it. Peter defends Gen. What starts out as friction between the two of them leads to drama.

Can a fake relationship turned real actually work?
My Thoughts: I loved this sequel.

I love the power of words and letters. I love that Lara Jean wrote on New Year's Eve, to create an understanding for the new year. I liked learning about Lara Jean's family cultural traditions for New Year's. 

I felt horrible for Lara Jean and dealing with the fallout from the video posted. I can't imagine going through anything like that. 

I like the game the old friends play and Lara Jean's chats with John.

I love Kitty -she's funny, sharp, and wildly entertaining. I love her schemes, especially trying to set up her father on date. 

I can't wait to see what happens next.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library

Final Thoughts: Jenny Han captures contemporary romance perfect - the highs and lows combined with drama, friendship, and family. If you haven't read this yet, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Upcoming Review: Hello?

Tricia's grandmother dies leaving a hole in her heart. She can't contemplate living with out. Tricia and her longtime boyfriend break up after months of her depression. One night, in despair, she calls her grandmother's old phone number.

A boy picks up the phone. Tricia and Emerson have a great conversation about everything and nothing. He gives her courage and hope - enough to pull herself back into the land of the living.

Can strangers come together and change each other's lives?
My Thoughts: I really loved this book. I loved the set-up: five characters and their stories woven together in an amazing way.  I was surprised by the format of this book. Some of the characters wrote in prose, others in screenplay format or poetry. It worked really well and will entice reluctant readers.

Each of the five characters deal with drama: lies, secrets, abuse, grief, break-ups, secrets, friendship troubles. But they all seem to have hope and change in their lives.

Cover Thoughts: Love it!
Release Date: November 10th 2015 by Spencer Hill Contemporary
Source: ARC signed at BEA

Final Thoughts: If you like books with connections (think Love, Actually) - this is the perfect book for you.  Drama runs deep in these characters lives, along with hope. Pick this one up, you won't regret it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review: Black Window: Forever Red

Natasha Romanov doesn't like to think of her past, especially Ivan. SHIELD sent her back to Russia years ago to kill him. She did - but she also rescued Ava. She promises to look after Ava, but it's too painful.

She leaves Ava in the care of SHIELD, but Ava doesn't enjoy her time there. She escapes and lives on the streets. When she and her friend start taking fencing lessons, things change. They find a tournament. Trouble follows them.

Turns out Ivan didn't die and he's coming for both Ava and Natasha. Together with a friend of Ava's, they go on the run. Can they face their past and work together to make a better future?
My Thoughts: I LOVE Black Widow from the MARVEL movies and was so happy to see this book! 

I liked how both heroines had to face their horrible past and learn how to move past it. I loved the strength of both Ava and Natasha. Natasha was bold. She made choices and didn't look back, even though the choices were tough. She did was did to survive. I liked the inclusion of the classified documents. I liked their different reactions to family, friends, and trust. I really liked the moments between Ava and Alex, from how they met to their relationship. I wasn't prepared for that ending! I hope there are more Black Widow books coming soon

Release Date: October 13th
Source: BEA galley
Cover Thoughts: Full of action
Similar Reads:

Final Thoughts: Lots of action and two fantastic heroines make this book one you don't want to miss!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Review: All We Have is Now

The end of the world is coming - Emerson and Vince are counting down the minutes. They've lived on the streets together for years and they want to die together. They make a choice about how their lives will end, by jumping off a bridge together.

But they meet a man who changes their mind. He talked about helping people with his last moments. He gives the two teens his wallet in hopes that they pay it forward.

That moment changes Everything.

Instead of jumping, they do as he requested helping a couple find romance, rescuing kids, and brightening lives. Vince wants Emerson to find and reconnect with her family, He also wouldn't mind sharing his feelings for Emerson with her. Can the end of the world really change your life?
My Thoughts: I Loved this book. It had many fantastic passages. I thought I had taken a picture of them, but it turns out that didn't happen.) The two that struck home for me were about the library and the carousel. 

I loved the idea behind this book - choosing who to spend your time with and what to do with your potentially last hours alive. I loved the Paying it forward idea. Emerson and Vince made connections that made me heart melt.

I liked thinking about their choices and what my own would have been. I liked learning people's dreams and their biggest hopes. And also their biggest regrets.

I love how the lives were connected in the story.

I felt bad for Emerson and Vince and their struggles that forced them to live on the streets, but I'm glad that they had each other. I like how they were able to make each other laugh, even in the darkest of times. 

Cover Thoughts: Love it!
Source: My Library
Similar Reads:

Final Thoughts: A fantastic book that made me think of my hopes and dreams and what I want out of life. And maybe more importantly, what I can do to make lives better for others. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Display Ideas for October

Welcome to October. Fall hit with a vengeance of colder weather and rain here in New England. It gave me the perfect excuse to curl up with a book or two and snuggle with the puppy. One of things I miss about being a YA Librarian is making displays. So I thought maybe I'd write up a few posts about display ideas and create a monthly blog post.

October is:
* National Pizza Month
* National Diabetes Month
* National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
* Computer Learning Month
* Cookie Month
* Domestic Violence Awareness Month
* National Vegetarian Month
* Sarcastic Month

All of these don't work with teen books, but all of them have touched teen lives in their own way.

John Green's Pizza shirt

Pizza: Books similar to John Green or books that the author himself loves

symbol for diabetes

Diabetes: Characters who have diabetes

Breast Cancer Awareness library book display:

Bernardsville, NJ

Breast Cancer: Maybe characters who have been touched by cancer
Cute bulletin board!:
From Pinterest
From Pinterest Pin
Computers: Hacking or coding books

Book Bakery
Cookie: characters who bake or work in a bakery/coffee shop

Domestic Violence: Books about Abuse (I have a booklist brochure that I created - shoot me an email if you'd like it. My email address is on the book in the upper right corner of the blog)

March is national #nutrition month!
Fruits and Veggie Love
Vegetarian: Books with vegetarian characters or vegetarian cookbooks
Grumpy Cat and Happy Bunny were favorites at the library with teens
 Sarcastic: Sassy characters

And of course horror/thriller books for Halloween
Haunted House I created from cardboard for the Halloween Display at @Otis Library:
Spooky house, a volunteer and I created at the library

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Happy 7 Years

YA BOOK NERD turns 7 today! I've been blogging here for 7 years. It's hard to believe - where does all the time go? I've had so many amazing things happen because of my blog and met so many amazing authors, bloggers, and librarians. I just want to say, Thank You. Thank you for reading my blog and being a part of my bookish world. I appreciate each and every one of you! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Blog Tour: The Devil’s Dreamcatcher

Photo Credit: Emily Hosie

Joan of Arc: Writing Historical Characters into a Fictional Tale from Donna Hoise

As a time-travel author, one of my favourite activities in the writing process is the research. I’m a bit of a history buff, (which is probably the English in me), but I think the world already travelled is a melting pot of ideas, scenes, and characters just waiting to be explored and used.

My latest novel, THE DEVIL’S DREAMCATCHER, follows on from the first book in the series, the critically-acclaimed, THE DEVIL’S INTERN, and features several characters from book one and times past. There’s Alfarin the Viking from 970AD, Elinor the peasant who died in the Great Fire of London in 1666, and the enigmatic Septimus who is a former Roman General. But book two in my DEVIL’S series introduces several new characters, including Joan of Arc, who is known in this novel by her original name, Jeanne d’Arc.

Joan of Arc is such a symbolic person, and you have to delve deep into the history books to separate fact from fiction. What is well known is that she was captured by the English and burned at the stake when she was nineteen years old. What I wanted to explore was the personality behind the martyr. How was a young woman, in a medieval, misogynistic time, able to command a French army, even though she had no military training?

Whether you are researching for a novel, an essay, or just for fun, you must first understand how to categorise your sources. Primary sources are first-hand accounts written during the actual time or event you are studying. A secondary source will be from a record that discusses information presented elsewhere.

After researching mainly secondary source material, (because there is little primary source documentation from 1431), I came to the conclusion that Jeanne must have been a formidable woman – strong, opinionated, and devout to her cause. But because my DEVIL’S series steers clear of religious imagery, allegory and opinion, I had to do the same with my interpretation of Jeanne. I decided to incorporate my thoughts on her strengths – and weaknesses – into her overall characterisation. Jeanne d’Arc in THE DEVIL’S DREAMCATCHER takes no nonsense from anyone, but she also has frailties, such as an absolute fear of fire because of the way she died. I’ve made her distrusting of others, but that is more than just a plot device. Joan of Arc was betrayed and tortured before her death. In my world-building, the dead souls who reside in the Afterlife keep their personalities and memories of living. It is more than plausible to suggest that the soul of Joan of Arc is fractured. But that in turn makes her interesting with lots of room for development. Fiction is make-believe, but an author needs to make the fantastical believable. By taking a detail from a historical character’s past, evolving it into a fictional yet potential truth, you make the character believable. But I am also strongly of the opinion that if you are incorporating real historical characters into a fictional tale, you owe a duty of care to that person.

The historical Joan of Arc commanded a French army. The fictional Jeanne d’Arc is quite capable of doing the same in the Afterlife!

Links to Checkout:
The Devil’s Dreamcatcher book page
Donna Hosie’s website
Donna’s Twitter account

 One copy of The Devil’s Dreamcatcher for giveaway.
1. U.S. Only
2. 18 and older please

a Rafflecopter giveaway