Waiting on Wednesday: Run by Kody Keplinger

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Run newPublisher: Scholastic Press

Author: Kody Keplinger

Release date: June 28, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who’s not exactly sober most of the time. Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn’t care what anyone thinks.

Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents’ overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally blind daughter — protect her from what, Agnes isn’t quite sure.

Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it’s the sort of friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else.

So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn’t hesitate to take off with her. But running away and not getting caught will require stealing a car, tracking down Bo’s dad, staying ahead of the authorities, and — worst of all — confronting some ugly secrets.

Why I’m excited: Dahlia Adler said on Goodreads: “This is totally a YA Thelma and Louise and even when it hurts it’s so much fun.” Which pretty much sold me right away. YA Thelma and Louise. I’m totally here for that. Plus the synopsis sounds like this one could be a lot of fun, and I’m a sucker for best friend stories. Can’t wait!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

The Unexpected EverythingPublisher: Simon & Schuster

Author: Morgan Matson

Release date: May 3, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing – if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

Why I’m excited: How I know I’m going to love this one:

Morgan Matson? Check

Friendships? Check

Family feels? Check

Really looking forward to this one, and I’m so excited that I have an eARC to start soon! I love Morgan Matson’s writing, especially when it comes to friendships. Plus, add in some family and boy drama, and this one sounds like the perfect summer read. And look at that adorable cover!

Blog Tour | Interview with Mia Siegert, author of JERKBAIT + My Review

Jerkbait-blog-tour-banner (1)

Hi, lovelies! I’m super excited to be hosting Mia Siegert, author of JERKBAIT, for an interview as part of the blog tour. I’ll be sharing my short review of the book and then the interview. Enjoy!

ABOUT THE BOOK

JerkbaitJerkbait by Mia Siegert
Jolly Fish Press | May 3, 2016

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Even though they’re identical, Tristan isn’t close to his twin Robbie at all—until Robbie tries to kill himself.

Forced to share a room to prevent Robbie from hurting himself, the brothers begin to feel the weight of each other’s lives on the ice, and off. Tristan starts seeing his twin not as a hockey star whose shadow Tristan can’t escape, but a struggling gay teen terrified about coming out in the professional sports world. Robbie’s future in the NHL is plagued by anxiety and the mounting pressure from their dad, coach, and scouts, while Tristan desperately fights to create his own future, not as a hockey player but a musical theatre performer.

As their season progresses and friends turn out to be enemies, Robbie finds solace in an online stranger known only as “Jimmy2416.” Between keeping Robbie’s secret and saving him from taking his life, Tristan is given the final call: sacrifice his dream for a brother he barely knows, or pursue his own path. How far is Robbie willing to go—and more importantly, how far is Tristan willing to go to help him?

MY REVIEW

I read this book in one day. It is compulsively readable, exciting, horrific, emotional, not at all an easy book, but easy to read.

I really love books that have flawed characters because they are real, and everyone in Jerkbait is flawed, multi-dimensional, and I really appreciated that. My favorite character is probably Tristan, the narrator, because he’s never really had a chance – following in his twin brother’s shadow. But Tristan’s growth throughout the novel is gradual but powerful. But then you have Robbie, his twin brother, who is such a sad character. He’s tormented by who is he is and he feels he must decide between that and his hockey career. I just wanted to reach in and hug him.

I think my only complaint is that the novel felt rather predictable at times and I figured out the overall story pretty easily, but in the end, I still really liked the book and I think it handles its many serious topics well and with sensitivity. I think the fact that the book not only deals with sexuality but also the struggles that teen athletes and teens in general face is what makes this book important.

THE INTERVIEW

Describe yourself in 6 words.

Ambitious, workaholic, competitive, intense, loyal, literal.

Describe your book in 6 words.

Intense, relentless, far-reaching, scary, mixed resolution

What is the best memory from your journey to becoming an author?

Oh jeez, pick a hard one, why don’t you? J Honestly, it’s hard to say the absolute best, but definitely getting the email from Travis Pennington (my agent). I had 208 rejections over three years on three manuscripts, so that just… meant everything.

Tell us something interesting that we won’t find out in the book about each of your MCs, Tristan and Robbie.

Before getting into musicals, Tristan listened to a lot of old school rap and R&B because of the storytelling.

Robbie actually really enjoys reading but, because of hockey, he doesn’t really know what’s out there. A few of Tristan’s books might have ended up in Robbie’s room.

I ask this of everyone – what’s your favorite book? 

ONCE YOU GO BACK by Douglas A. Martin and LORD OF MISRULE by Jaimy Gordon.

Other than your own, who is your favorite fictional character?

It’s hard to say because fictional characters run across so many medians and there are so many great ones. From a book, probably Clarice Starling from THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS by Thomas Harris. For anime, General Cloud Nine from D.Gray-man and Amano Ginji from Getbackers.

Favorite hockey team?

Number one favorite hockey team: New Jersey Devils (as if that wasn’t obvious!!!)

For western conference, I’m a fan of the Anaheim Ducks.

I also like any team who beats the Rangers. [/Obligatory Trash Talk]

Anything else you’d like to tell us about you or your book?

JERKBAIT was my first attempt at writing first person or YA. I wrote the story because I needed to, but I knew very little about the genre as I concentrated on literary fiction. It’s been a steep learning curve, but really enjoyable, and I’m thrilled to find a place where I can somewhat belong since I got a lot of crap from folks for my decision to do something more mainstream and accessible.

ABOUT MIA

Mia Siegert.jpgMia Siegert received her MFA from Goddard College and her BA from Montclair State University where she won Honorable Mention in the 2009 English Department Awards for fiction. Her debut JERKBAIT will be released May 2016 by Jolly Fish Press. Siegert has been published in Clapboard House, Word Riot, The Limn Literary & Arts Journal, as well as a few other small presses.

Siegert currently works as an adjunct professor and a costume designer. She enjoys training horses and watching hockey.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

Waiting on Wednesday: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

If I Was Your GirlPublisher: Flatiron Books

Author: Meredith Russo

Release date: May 3, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A big-hearted novel about being seen for who you really are.

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. She’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him in. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself–including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

Will the truth cost Amanda her new life–and her new love?

If I Was Your Girl is a universal story about feeling different–and a love story that everyone will root for.

Why I’m excited: I’ve never read a book about a transgender person – woman or man. And I’ve definitely never read a book about a transgender woman actually written by a transgender woman. I honestly couldn’t be more excited to do so. Reading, for me, is all about learning about people and experiences different from my own. The fact that this story is written by someone who’s actually been through this experience means that it’s going to be real and honest and powerful. Plus, when Dahlia Adler says a book is good, I take note. And thanks to Dahlia, I now have an ARC of this one waiting on my shelf. I cannot freaking wait to pick it up. (Thanks again, Dahlia!!)

Waiting on Wednesday: Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Suffer LovePublisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Author: Ashley Herring Blake

Release date: May3, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Hadley St. Clair’s life changed the day she came home to a front door covered in slips of paper, each of them revealing the ugly truth about her father. Now as her family falls apart in the wake of his year-long affair, Hadley wants everyone-her dad most of all-to leave her alone.

Then she meets Sam Bennett, a cute new boy who inexplicably “feels like home” to Hadley. Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret about his family that could ruin everything.

Funny and passionate, Suffer Love is a story about first love, family dysfunction, and the fickle hand of fate.

Why I’m excited: I’ve been hearing nothing but AMAZING things about this book from everyone – bloggers, authors, booksellers. Plus, the description sounds wonderful. There’s definitely going to be a lot of feels and I’m here for that. I feel like this one is going to be really honest and emotional and complicated. Bring it on, May!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Ten Books On My Spring TBR

THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater

THE GREAT AMERICAN WHATEVER by Tim Federle

MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS by Brooks Benjamin

INTO THE DIM by Janet B. Taylor

WINGER by Andrew Smith

VICIOUS by V.E. Schwab

WRITTEN IN THE STARS by Aisha Saeed

NOGGIN and WHERE THINGS COME BACK by John Corey Whaley

IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo

THE WAY I USED TO BE by Amber Smith

What books do you want to read this spring?

Waiting on Wednesday: The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

The City of MirrorsPublisher: Ballantine Books (US) / Orion (UK)

Author: Justin Cronin

Release date: May 24, 2016 (US) / June 16, 2016 (US)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In “The Passage “and” The Twelve, “Justin Cronin brilliantly imagined the fall of civilization and humanity s desperate fight to survive. Now all is quiet on the horizon but does silence promise the nightmare s end or the second coming of unspeakable darkness? At last, this bestselling epic races to its breathtaking finale.

“The world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place?”

The Twelve have been destroyed and the hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew and daring to dream of a hopeful future.

But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy humanity s only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him.

One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.

Why I’m excited: You guys have no idea how excited I am for this book, and I’m not sure I can properly express that excitement in words. I have been waiting for this third book for three and a half years, and I am DYING to read it. The first two books in this trilogy (The Passage and The Twelve) are fantastic; creepy, dark, strange, and utterly unique. I devoured them both and my copies are 963 pages and 564 pages respectively. A little over two months to go until The City of Mirrors is released. I can’t wait. Right? *breathes into a bag*

Waiting on Wednesday: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

The Raven KingPublisher: Scholastic Press

Author:  Maggie freaking Stiefvater

Release date: April 26, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Why I’m excited: As I was sitting down to do my WoW post this week, I checked to see if I’d done TRK yet and FREAKED when I hadn’t. How is that even possible? Maybe I just assumed everyone knew I was waiting on the edge of my seat for this one. Either way, I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED FOR THE RAVEN KING YOU GUYS OMG. This book is going to end one of my absolute favorite series ever and SPOILER the lives of one of my favorite characters. It’s going to destroy me, but I cannot freaking wait. Honestly considering taking off work to read it.

Also, you guys, THIS. Because if it is what I think it is, ASDFJKL;ASGO9UW3TEOU DEAD BUT DEAD FOR GOOD REASONS. But hopefully not dead like Gansey’s going to be. *cries for days*

Author Interview: Gary D. Wilson, Getting Right

Hey guys! Today I’m hosting author Gary D. Wilson for an interview! Let me tell you more about his latest book GETTING RIGHT before you check out our interview.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Getting RightPublisher: Roundfire Books // Publication Date: January 29, 2016

Getting Right, Gary Wilson’s eagerly-anticipated second novel, is a masterful fusion of imagination and memory. Although this powerful family drama is drawn from close personal experience, the story that emerges is far more moving than any purely factual account could ever be.

Suppose, for instance, that your more than mildly irritating leech of a sister calls you, as she usually does wanting money, only this time she says she has cancer and in the course of the conversation challenges you to write the story of her life. You say, sure, you’ll do that…but only on the condition that you can tell it the way you see it.

The novel starts with the sister, Connie, and soon involves brother Len and “me,” the sibling narrator who discovers that Connie’s story isn’t so simple after all.  In order to tell it, “me” realizes that he has to include the accounts of other family members as well. By the end, the escalating swirl of memory and imagination leaves open the question of whether the truth of Connie’s life – or of anyone’s for that matter – can ever be known.

Getting Right is a tale of love and loss, leavened with humor, that readers will no doubt take directly to heart as they recognize themselves and their own families in it.

Goodreads | Amazon

THE INTERVIEW

Describe yourself in 6 words.

Loveable, creative, smart, funny, loyal, cantankerous.

Describe your book in 6 words.

Original, engaging, worthwhile, droll, energetic, moving.

How did the story of Getting Right develop?

I went to the hospital to visit my sister who had undergone surgery for lung cancer.  She had a PICC line in her arm, and the skin around the entry point of the line had puckered in such a way that it looked like a mouth.  That image haunted me, even after I returned home, so much so that I decided to write it out of my system, which only led to more writing and more writing, until I found myself in the midst of a new novel with a new voice and vision that was so compelling I couldn’t stop, despite the fact that I was deep into writing another novel I simply had to put aside until I finished this new one.

What is the best memory from your journey to becoming an author?

“Best” is a difficult concept in this question, since I have lots of memories.  But one that the question conjures up is of me as a young boy sitting on the floor beside my grandfather as he told some story about his family living so far back in the hills of Arkansas (or Missouri or Virginia) that you had to travel three days by grapevine to visit them.  And there were always fishing stories or stories about his days as a section chief on the railroad.  And there were ones about his tomatoes or the proper way to wrap and store fresh-picked pears.  What I came to realize as I got older was that for Grandpa the story—not the subject matter—was the thing.  It was the telling that he loved.  The power that a well-told story had to capture and hold an audience.

Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?

Physically, I try to maintain a fairly strict work schedule.  I get up, have coffee and a light breakfast and read two newspapers (an old, unbreakable habit) before going to my study to clear emails and my head and get down to my work.  Writing may involve pacing, bathroom breaks, more coffee and so on, but as a friend says, real writing takes a lot of butt in the chair time.  I try to maintain that for four or so hours.  I then have lunch and read the funnies and take a break for errands or shopping for the night’s dinner.

Mentally, I let whatever it is I’m writing take me where it wants.  I believe it was Stephen King who said the story is boss.  I try to remember that.  I was writing another novel when Getting Right took over my life.  I couldn’t ignore it and went along for the ride.  I’m now finally getting back to the book I was pulled away from.

Many times something I’ve read or heard or seen will generate a new story or novel.  It’s not that I actively say, oh that’d make a great story.  But whatever the impetus is gets inside me and roils around and eventually comes out as writing, and I let it.  At that point I become an active participant in the process.

What’s been your best experience as an author so far? 

Every author I know likes being published, so there’s that.  But what I like from that experience is to hear readers’ honest reactions to my work, even if it isn’t all positive.  It’s not only a rush but gratifying to think I’m in a business where I can actually move someone, intellectually and/or emotionally.

Being part of a writing community—and on a larger scale, an arts community—has been a wonderful experience for me as well.  The people I know in that community are not only smart, they’re also engaged in life and are generally engaging as people.

I ask this of everyone – what’s your favorite book? 

That’s such a hard question, but if I have to say just one, it’s Joseph Heller’s Catch 22, a book that, by taking on life at its most absurd, helped define the human condition.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about you or your book?

I would like to invite anyone who’s interested to visit my website at www.garydwilson.com to find out more about me and my work.  You might also want to take a look at my blog on that site.  And, of course, I’d like for you to read my writing and let me know what you think.

ABOUT GARY

Gary WilsonGARY D. WILSON’s best-selling first novel, Sing, Ronnie Blue, appeared in 2007. He has taught fiction and short story writing at both Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago. His work has been recommended for a Pushcart Prize, and he was a finalist for the Iowa Short Fiction Award and the Drue Heinz Literary Prize. He currently lives with his wife in Chicago and is working on his next novel The Narrow Window.

Waiting on Wednesday: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

A Gathering of Shadows FinalPublisher: Tor

Author: V.E. Schwab

Release date: February 23, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.

Why I’m excited: MORE KELL. MORE LILA. MORE LONDONS. MORE MAGIC. MORE RHY. I fell in love with V.E. Schwab’s A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC more than a year ago and I cannot wait to get more of this world and its fantastic characters. Plus, we finally get to meet Black London, which is both terrifying and exhilarating. I am so exciting for A GATHERING OF SHADOWS. I even pre-ordered it, and there’s only a few books I pre-order. So soon, you guys! SO. SOON.