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Tag Archives: publisher: disney hyperion

22537367Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Netgalley
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.

These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.

Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.

But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself. – Goodreads

Review:

It’s hard for me to review this book, because of how much I adored it. Summer of Sloane is that perfect summer contemporary beachy read that I happened to read in the middle of December. Thankfully my winters are not snowy and blustery cold but still, I was swept up by the story that Schnedier produced. From the first line, I was enthralled in the story.

The condom must’ve broke. — 1% eARC

And with that we meet Sloane’s BFF Mick. Sloane’s other half for the past fifteen years who has always been there. Mick fucked up. Mick’s pregnant with Sloane’s boyfriend, Tyler, baby. Within the few pages of Summer of Sloane Schenider makes it clear that shit is going to get real. Sloane’s world is nothing what she thought it was. Mick makes it clear it was just a mistake, but it’s now turned into tangible mistake.

Asthma is bad enough on its own, but I’m the lucky victim of these stupid attacks brought on by my own anxiety — 1% eARC

As someone with anxiety, I understood Sloane. I understand what happens when the world seems like its caving in on you and you have absolutely no control about it. And instead of texting her BFF, she can’t because her BFF is the cause of her world caving in.

My best friend. My boyfriend. It dawns on me that within a matter of minutes I no longer have either. — 5% eARC

Sloane needs to change something and that change involves her visiting her mother in Hawaii. We quickly go from rainy Seattle to sunny Sloane. But right before Sloane heads to Hawaii she breaks her arm punching Tyler. In a glorious moment she punches him and because she didn’t punch properly she messes up her hand and requires a cast. But Sloane doesn’t let that slow her down. She still plans on distance and goes to Hawaii where her mother lives, post separation from Sloane’s father.

Sloane and her mother do not have a good relationship since her mother left Seattle for Hawaii, if anything Sloane feels like her mother is constantly trying to buy her love. Over a short period of time, Sloane deals with a lot of shit. More than just the normal teenage stuff, she is really dealing with a lot. But all of her troubles are relatable and not once did I want to slap her for being “dramatic.” And here’s the thing, even if she was being “dramatic” I wouldn’t have gotten upset with her, because that’s being a teenager! Family! Friends! Being a teeanger in general is exhausting and add everything that Sloane had going on in her life, she deserved a breakdown.

Maybe deep down inside, the betrayal hurts more coming from her, because she knows me better than anyone else. — 29% eARC

The amount of growth that Sloane had in this book was amazing. While she was very much the same character from the first page of the book, she had also completely changed my the last page. While this is Schneider’s first novel, I sure hope it’s not the last. I look forward into seeing what’s next from her.


23310714Finding Fortune by Delia Ray
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: ARC from publisher
Rating: DNF
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Running away from home isn’t as easy as Ren thinks it will be. At least she isn’t running very far-just a few miles to the ghost town of Fortune . . . or Mis-Fortune as everyone else calls it. Mis-Fortune on the Mississippi. Supposedly, there’s an abandoned school on the outskirts with cheap rooms for rent. Ren knows her plan sounds crazy. But with only a few more weeks until Dad comes home from his tour of duty in Afghanistan, she also knows she has to do something drastic so Mom will come to her senses and stop seeing that creep Rick Littleton, the creep she promised she would stop seeing but didn’t, for good.

From the moment she enters the school’s shadowy halls, Ren finds herself drawn into its secrets. Every night old Mrs. Baxter, the landlady, wanders the building on a mysterious quest. What could she be up to? And can Mrs. Baxter’s outlandish plan to transform the gym into a pearl-button museum ever succeed? With a quirky new friend named Hugh at her side, Ren sets out to solve the mystery that could save Fortune from fading away. But what about her family’s future? Can that be saved too?– Goodreads

Review:

I feel Finding Fortune could have been really, really good, but it just didn’t work for me. From pacing, to characters, to setting I could not find myself able to get through it. I wanted to know the answers to the questions that had been posed. But after two months of trying to read Finding Fortune I decided it was time to put it aside. I may come back to it later because I was enjoying it. Just not enough.


21947304 (1)Star Wars: Episode IV a New Hope: Being the Story of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and the Rise of the Rebellion (Star Wars Illustrated Novels #1)
by Alexandra Bracken
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Disney LucasFilm Press
Source: Audio from library
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

The galaxy is at war.

Although the Rebel Alliance has won a few battles against the Empire, hope is fading. The Empire is about to unveil the greatest weapon the galaxy has ever seen–the Death Star. The Rebels’ only chance to defeat it now lies in the unlikely hands of a princess, a scoundrel, and a farm boy….– Goodreads

Review:

I’m going to say something…taboo. I’m not a big Star Wars person. I know. Sacrilege. How can I live this life. However, this past summer when I had a chance to go to LucasFilms when I was in San Francisco, HECK YES I went. And I got it. I got the love of Star Wars. I also got excited about Alexandra Bracken’s newest book in the universe.

Star Wars: Episode IV a New Hope: Being the Story of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and the Rise of the Rebellion is a retelling of Episode IV, from four points of view. Where this story shined for me is the fact I listened to this as an audiobook. With two narrators and sound effects I felt like I was there, in the middle of all the action and I wanted more. I think this story will be good for people who are beginners of the series.

 


20409231Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: ALA2014
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.

But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father—a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?

With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel. – Goodreads

Review:

I was so excited to find out that The Naturals series was continuing on. I loved and adored the first book, and while it was very much Criminal Minds in book form, I didn’t care. I ate it up and wanted more AND THEN THERE WAS MORE. Sadly from there it all went downhill.

While the characters were all still there, the story did not flow the same way as the first for me. I spent most of the novel confused about what was going on and trying to figure out why there were so many characters and then trying to keep track of all of them. I consider myself to be a fairly smart character, but I spent so much of my time trying to figure out who was who that I never could pick up the actual story with the murder. Which disappointed me, particularly after the first book, which hooked me right away. The plotting throughout Killer Instinct seemed off. I was interested in the new serial killer, which sounds super weird to type out, and I was interested in learning more about the Naturals, but I was never invested in them throughout Killer Instinct.

I was fine that the main focus on this novel was Dean and not Cassie, which makes sense as the new serial killer is a copy cat of Dean’s father, a man Dean wants nothing to do with. Of course to solve the crime, Dean will need to work with his father. A man he never wanted to see again. While I found the relationship dynamics between the characters to be fascinating, I spent so much of my time trying to keep up with the characters that the relationships often fell to the side for me and left me wanting more.

If there is a third book in the series, it will not unfortunately be because of the writing and the first book in the series, not Killer Instinct.


18459190Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: ALAMW2014
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.

By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run – Goodreads

Review:

I have been a fan of Laurie Faria Stolarz from the moment my bff put her books into my hands. They are not my typical light fluffy reads, but I still adore them. That also isn’t meant to be as negative as it sounds! Promise! They just are not my usual reads, but it is good for me to spread my reader wings!

I was thrilled when I got a chance to read Welcome to the Dark House, as someone who watches a lot of Criminal Minds this sounded right up my alley. While this book had a lot going for it, what didn’t work, in my opinion was the fact there were so many points of view. The author makes it work for the story to a point, but after about 30% of the novel, I started to get confused about who’s mind I was in and what they were bringing to the story. Ivy and Parker were the clear stand out to Welcome to the Dark House and the book could have gotten away being just from their views.

I wanted more from them, less from the other four. There is more to Ivy that I want to know. About her family, her past and while Welcome to the Dark House touches upon it there so, so, so much more that Stolarz could have delved into that she seemed to skip over to concentrate more on the six characters as a whole, sadly to me however, it didn’t work. It wasn’t nearly fleshed out as it could be. A lot of questions I asked that never got answered (and maybe they will be in book two?) As much as I make it sound like this book was wrong, there was a lot of good going for it. Stolarz knows how to write realistic teens who you may not relate to, but you know. She also knows how to write to the point you are gripping the book and you need to know what happened next. I was intrigued, even when I was annoyed, I was intrigued. I cannot wait to see what comes next.


In a weird turn of event, I started to DNF books this month. Because of that, I am going to do a round up this month, because maybe you read one and enjoyed one and could tell me WHAT DID I MISSSS?!

crownThe Ring & The Crown by Melissa De La Cruz
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: NetGalley

DNF at 7% I lost interest. I found nothing fascinating about this book no matter how hard I tried. And I should of! History! England! Unfortunately all I know is one day I put it down for another book and I never came back to it.

maze The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Library

The IT book of the past so many years, and this year with the movie coming out. Finally I decided to read it. And I was bored. I ended at Chapter 17 because there was so much information and none of it was fascinating to me. I understand that was part of the mystery to the story, but I needed something to keep me hooked and none of that was there. Which is why I put it down and sent it back to the library. I didn’t care to see where the story kept going.

royal

Royally Lost by Angie Stanton
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: Edelweiss

DNF at 34% was not grabbing my attention. Went to the end to see how it ended, but I really didn’t care. Which is weird for me when it comes to something like this. Royals! Europe! Wisconsin! But I got bored. Hated most of what was going on. Only went to the end to make sure it ended how I thought it would. I think it will be a good book for the right person. That person wasn’t me at this time. 17684323

The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel
Release Date: April 29, 2014
PublisherHarlequin Teen
Source: Netgalley

DNF at 18%. There was nothing wrong with this book persay. I was just bored and life is too short I’ve decided for boring books. This is a book I may pick up at a later date, but at the moment it did not hold that special spark for me.

18049000

Hung Up by Kristen Tracy
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Library

I love stories that are told in unique ways. Meg Cabot’s stories told in all emails are my thing. So this story should have been gold for me. It wasn’t. I didn’t connect to either character and I didn’t care to connect to either one. Very upsetting for me.


13597723The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: ALA 2013
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive. – Goodreads

Review:

I was actually really excited to get this book at ALA. It was not on my must have list or anything but once I read the synopsis, I had to read it. And I did. On the train from Chicago to Milwaukee. Recommendation, do not read a murder mystery on a train when sitting backwards. Of course I’m paranoid, that probably didn’t help my situation at all.

This is the story of Cassie, an average American teenager who is trying to live her life. Of course Cassie has a gift that allows her to be able to read people. Cassie doesn’t treat this as gift, or a skill, but instead treats it as something that she was born with and deals with it. Like being born with the need to wear glasses, she just deals with it. She deals with it by working at a restaurant and torturing the customers in her brain. While they take 20 minutes to order, she already knows what they are going to order and has to looked shocked when they finally order.

Cassie then goes to live at a house with a mix of people who all have skills, including two very nice attractive boys. I mean, it is a YA novel, there has to be the romance aspect. And there is and it ends with Cassie having to find herself before she finds a love interest, which personally, I always love and adore. I would always rather have a girl be alone but find herself than be with a man/woman and have no idea who she truly is.

Barnes is also able to end this book on the perfect time of cliffhanger where it really isn’t one, but at the same time it is so shocking you can’t help but want the next book now.

One day a gentleman comes into the restaurant and knows far more about her than he is letting on. He lets it drop that he works for a classified program in the FBI and she should come work with them. She has no interest in working with them. None. And I love her for that. She gives no shit about what the FBI thinks and is fine with the life that she has. Until they bring up her mothers unsolved murder. Then she cares. That is always a part of her life that no one has been able to understand and she wants to finish that part of her life. Who can blame her?


16250900Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Release Date: February 6, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.– Goodreads

Review: Actual rating: 4.5/5

I was actually never going to read this book. I know, I just heard your gasps. I wasn’t going to read it though for various reasons, mostly one: I wrote my undergrad thesis on women, France and World War II. My dear best friend lived with me while I wrote this thesis. She heard me yell many times about France, World War II and women in the resistance movement. By the time this book came out I was over any combination of those three phrases. There was not enough booze in the world that would make me want to tackle that topic for a really long time.

Then I went to ALA 2013 in Chicago. At ALA, I went to the YALSA coffee klatch with Tina. We spent most of our time beforehand discussing what a coffee klatch was (thank goodness for smartphones). The coffee klatch worked like this: you sit at BOs6AAqCMAE0NEM.jpg largerandom tables with people, a spot stays open, and an author sits down and discusses their book for four minutes. Those four minutes go by really fast, but you get to meet a great random group of authors. Well, one of our authors was Elizabeth Wein. Although I had not read the book, I knew enough about it to get excited when she sat down. I mean, this book is a big deal in the YA world. And after she discussed the book, the research, and the thought process that went into this book, I knew I needed to get over myself and read it.

Then Tina and I found out that Disney at ALA was going to be giving out Rose Under Fire, the companion novel to Code Name Verity, and the lovely Dina and those working the booth with her, along with running around trying to get everything worked out, could not stop discussing this book, how awesome not only the book is but how awesome the companion was. I was sold. SOLD. And not just because I talked Tina into standing in line for this book for over an hour. Here is a sign you have the right friends. They will stand in line with you for an hour for an author. 1063542_10102612808812091_1856199368_nThat is dedication to a friend, FYI. (While our ALA post is coming, you’ll notice that I did a lot of “WANT THIS” and Tina going “If you feed me, we can stand in line” a lot.)

But yes, thank you Dina for not only talking to the two crazy girls at the front of the line, but actually talking to us about books and things that are coming out to the point that my TBR list got really long. Thankfully Disney had copies available to purchase and I still had room in my suitcase!

Then Elizabeth came and we discussed the breakfast. “Did four minutes seem fast to you?” “YES! It seemed really fast to me, too!” She was lovely and gracious and took a photo with me. I was really glad I stood in line for an hour. (Again, thank you Tina for humoring me!)

I’m so glad I listened to everyone. I read it on a plane from Milwaukee to the Twin Cities and then part of the way from the Twin Cities back to Phoenix. It was so intriguing that I could not put it down. The fact that I had to get off my plane and get on a new one upset me because I was in the middle of a turning point and I couldn’t believe I had to stop. I have enough problems walking; I didn’t think walking and reading at the same time in a busy airport was a good idea.

There is nothing I can say about this book that hasn’t been said, but really you need to read this ASAP. I do need to give a warning that the first 100 or so pages are extremely hard to get through, but once you do there is no turning back.