Friday, December 27, 2013

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

Publisher: Viking Juvenile 
Number of Pages: 372
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel, age 18

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (4)

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews
We received a lot of fun books this week and last week, especially from HarperCollins! We happened to get duplicates of most of these, and will be sharing extensively on Twitter and the blog. So stay tuned!

Panic by Lauren Oliver

On the Fence
Wicked Games
Fan Art
The Tings You Kiss Goodbye
Guy in Real Life
Say What You Will
Sleep No More 
The Murder Complex
After the End 
The Art of Lainey
The Half Life of Molly Pierce
The Vanishing Season 
Prisoner of Night and Fog
(Don't You) Forget About Me
The Taking
Life by Committee
Free to Fall
Talker 25
The Secrets of Lily Graves
17 First Kisses
Sweet Reckoning
The Last Best Kiss 
Don't Call Me Baby
Royally Lost
Born of Deception
Vivian Divine Is Dead
The Eighth Day
Strange and Ever After
How to Meet Boys

Thank you HarperCollins! Our team can't wait to get started.

Also, Stacee from Too Fond of Books sent us signed copies of Prodigy and Champion by Marie Lu, which is a favorite trilogy among the reviewers. So thank you, Stacee! If you haven't already, you should check out her blog and Twitter account. She's a sweetie, with some spunk!

What did you get this week? 

Happy reading!
The (YA) Bookcase Team 

P.S. Want to win some of these books? Check out our Blind Date with a Book giveaway and enter to win! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

All that Glows by Ryan Graudin

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.
When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 480
Type: Paperback

Reviewed by Lily, age 13

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.
Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.
But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.
Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller that explores the thin line between good and evil, and the messiness of that inevitable moment when life contradicts everything you believe.

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Number of Pages: 228
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Lily, age 13

Monday, December 16, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Blind Date with a Book!

Happy Holidays fellow book lovers! We were inspired by these posts to do our own "Blind Date with a Book" to give back to the awesome blogosphere. Read on to learn how you can enter our six-book giveaway! 

How to Enter: 
  • U.S. Only! (We're sorry!)
  • Which book would you rather go on a date with? Pick your top contender listed by number  
  • Enter the Rafflecopter for that number (you can enter as many or as little as you'd like) 
  • Want 10 extra entries in the giveaway? Order ANY book from our online store and email the confirmation receipt to yabookcase AT gmail DOT com
  • Wait. We'll announce winners on the 26th of December! 
Romantic, Tech-y, Futuristic
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sensual, Dark, Thrilling
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gothic, Historical, Deadly
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dystopic, Thrilling, Cold

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Vengeful, Sexy, Wicked
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stark, Heartbreaking, Uplifting, Quirky
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! 
The (YA) Bookcase Team

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand… 
Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guest house behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.
Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more?
Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery... who makes you want to kiss back. 
Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it. 

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

Publisher: Dial 
Number of Pages: 360
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel, age 18

Friday, December 6, 2013

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.
Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.
As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.
As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 432

Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel, age 18

Monday, December 2, 2013

Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton

One day while watching the Interstate exit for her dad’s long awaited return, Libby’s life is rocked when Peter Jamieson steps off his tour bus and into her life. After a couple chance meetings with Peter, Libby breaks away from her rule abiding behavior and her life changes course.
Peter longs for normalcy away from the screaming fans who know nothing about the real him. He is amazed to discover Libby has never heard of him or his band. Soon their friendship turns to love. While Peter battles his family's growing interference so he can spend time with Libby, she struggles with her eccentric aunt who turns more bizarre each day.
Their lives are torn apart when Peter's family intrudes and Libby disappears. Peter’s desperate search for her comes up empty. Can they find their way back to each other while the world plots against them?

Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 224
Type: Paperback

Reviewed by Amanda, age 17

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bite-Sized Magic by Kathryn Littlewood

This third book in Kathryn Littlewood's acclaimed Bliss trilogy mixes the down-home heart-punch of Ingrid Law's Newbery Honor Book Savvy, the always-on-the-edge-of-chaos comedy of Cheaper by the Dozen, and a humorous magic all its own to create a thoroughly original confection, a delicious guilty pleasure for readers of all ages.
Rose won back her family's magical Cookery Booke in an international baking competition in A Dash of Magic, the second novel in the series. Rose is now world famous—so famous, in fact, that Mr. Butter, head of the Mostess Corporation, has kidnapped her so that she can develop new-and-improved magical recipes for his company's snack cakes. With the magically enhanced Dinkies and Moony Pies, Mr. Butter plans to take over the world.
Together with her brothers, their talking cat and mouse, and an unlikely team of bakers, Rose must overthrow Mr. Butter before he destroys civilization, one magically evil snack cake at a time.

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Number of Pages: 432
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Lily, age 13

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Defy by Sara B. Larson

A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.
Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Number of Pages: 336
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Lily, age 13

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell

When a mysterious parcel arrives at her family’s new home, eleven-year-old Lin Rosenquist has a curious feeling she’s meant to discover what’s inside.
Much to Lin’s surprise, the ornate key contained in the parcel unlocks a spellbinding world called Sylver, hidden behind the cellar door. Sylver is an enchanting land of eternal winter, inhabited by animals that shared a special connection with children in the real world, either as beloved pets or tamed wild animals. In death, they are delivered to Sylver, where they take on a curiously human-like form and still watch over the children they cherish. While Lin is overjoyed to be reunited with her beloved pet, Rufus, she soon learns that the magic of the Petlings and Wilders is failing, and snow trolls want to claim Sylver for themselves. Lin must discover a way to stop them and save this enchanted world.
Full of charm, suspense, and heartfelt emotion, this memorable classic in the making will leave readers breathless.

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 356
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel, age 18

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Reasons to Shop Indie

Because independent bookstore buyers personally meet with sales representitives from each publishing house to discuss what books are most anticipated and why. 

Because each bookstore offers a slightly different inventory of books depending on its readership and its employees' personal choices. 

Because independent bookstore employees personally read as many of the books in their store as possible, in advance, to recommend to you. 

Because independent bookstores can know you by name, what books you like, and keep you updated on new releases tailored to your personal interests. 

Because independent bookstores will spend time finding the right book for you

Because each independent bookstore has its own aesthetic and vibe. Barnes & Noble is corporate and similar and Amazon is removed and impersonal. 

Because buying from the independent bookstore supports the local economy. 

Because independent bookstores offer you a chance to feel the book and see it for yourself. Instead of online, like Amazon.  

Because independent bookstores allow you to stumble upon books you might not otherwise consider. 

Because an independent bookstore offers its city a certain vibe it can't get any other way. And let's face it, they're awesome. 

Do you shop indie sometimes or all the time? Why or why not?


Happy reading! 
The (YA) Bookcase Team 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (3)

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews

This week Penguin Young Readers was very nice to us! We received three titles from authors we love.

What did you get this week? Please share! (At the store, we are redoing our inventory and I would love to know what you consider MUST-HAVES for books this upcoming winter season!) 

Happy reading,
The (YA) Bookcase 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

A meme created and hosted by Breaking the Spine

Today we're waiting on a LOT of books. But we picked The Taking by Kimberly Derting. Many of the reviewers are fans of her Body Finder series and, once I heard the disturbing plot and saw the beautiful cover, I knew I had to read it. We are also waiting on Panic by Lauren Oliver and Starling by Fiona Paul. What about you? 

Coming April 2014 from HarperCollins!

Happy reading!
The (YA) Bookcase Team 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way—by stealing her heart.
Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom--all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.
With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 352
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Ellie, age 17

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies . . . a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas—and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her—and her loved ones—in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers 
Number of Pages: 310
Type: Hardccover 

Reviewed by Zack, age 13

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay

Seductive companion to the popular Juliet Immortal, in which former lovers—Romeo and Juliet—meet, not as true lovers, but truly as enemies.

Cursed to live out eternity in his rotted corpse, Romeo, known for his ruthless, cutthroat ways, is given the chance to redeem himself by traveling back in time to save the life of Ariel Dragland. Unbeknownst to her, Ariel is important to both the evil Mercenaries and the love-promoting Ambassadors and holds the fate of the world in her hands. Romeo must win her heart and make her believe in love, turning her away from her darker potential before his work is discovered by the Mercenaries. While his seduction begins as yet another lie, it soon becomes his only truth. Romeo vows to protect Ariel from harm, and do whatever it takes to win her heart and soul. But when Ariel is led to believe his love is a deception, she becomes vulnerable to Mercenary manipulation, and her own inner darkness may ultimately rip them apart.

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
Number of Pages: 384
Type: Paperback  

Reviewed by Ellie, age 17

Monday, November 4, 2013

How to Love by Katie Cotugno

Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.
After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice

Publisher: Balzer + Bray 
Number of Pages: 389
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Rachel, age 18

Friday, November 1, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Only in Dreams by Wendy Owens


Today is the cover reveal for Only In Dreams by Wendy Owens!

Only In Dreams Cover

Only In Dreams is releasing in November 2013

Paige Parker thinks she has everything figured out. Even though her heart is broken, she manages to find love again, and she’s sure this time it’s for keeps.

 Between planning her wedding and working on garments for her upcoming debut fashion show, Paige is overwhelmed. When her fiancĂ©, Henry, suggests a couple months away from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple to focus, she is thrilled to use the opportunity to reconnect with her best friend, Emmie. 

Paige heads to Texas, ready to spend some quality time with Emmie and her baby girl. When she arrives, she is shocked to find herself face-to-face with Christian Bennett, the man who broke her heart. 

She finds herself confused. Is she truly over her first love? Is she making a mistake marrying Henry? Paige follows her heart, but this may be the most painful decision she ever makes. It leaves her wondering if true love is possible ONLY IN DREAMS.

Have you read Stubborn Love yet?

Stubborn Love

Life for Emmie Hayes hasn't been easy. After her reality is rocked by tragedy, she heads to New York City in hopes of finding herself again.

With a new school and a new outlook on life, Emmie is determined to not let anything distract her. Everything begins to fall into place around her until her roommate, Paige, shows up with the very distraction she desperately needs to avoid, and he has no intention of being ignored.

His name is Colin Bennett, and he isn't part of her new plan. But with his smoldering eyes and perfect body, it would be difficult for any girl to ignore him. The problem? Emmie isn't any girl. With her tragic past, there may not be any way into her stubborn heart.

About Wendy Owens

Wendy Owens is a 34 year old author, born in the small college town, Oxford Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went onto a career in the visual arts. For several years she created and sold her own artwork. In 2011 she gave her true love, writing, a try. Her first novel flowed from her in only two weeks time, as though it had been fighting to get out. That moment was when she knew she had found her calling. Wendy now happily spends her days writing the stories her characters guide her to tell, admitting even she doesn’t always know where that might lead. Her first series, The Guardians, will be concluded with the fifth and final book in 2013.

When she’s not writing, this dog lover can be found spending time with her tech geek husband, their three amazing kids, and two pups, lovingly nicknamed stinks and chubbs. She also loves to cook and is a film fanatic.

For more info on Wendy’s young adult fiction visit

If you want to follow her on social media you can visit:



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Fragile Brilliance by Tammy Blackwell

FB CROPToday is the cover reveal for Fragile Brilliance (Shifters and Seers #1) by Tammy Blackwell!

Fragile Brilliance Cover lr

Maggie McCray has worked her whole life for the opportunity to attend Sanders College. It’s her one chance at becoming a world-renowned artist, and she’s determined nothing will get in her way. But when a murder brings Maggie and her powers to the attention of the Alpha Pack and the tragically handsome Charlie Hagan, her carefully planned future hangs in jeopardy.

Charlie Hagan isn’t happy when the Alpha Female assigns him as Maggie McCray’s personal bodyguard. Just being near the Thaumaturgic threatens to unleash the primal instincts he’s been suppressing for so long. Charlie knows if the coyote is uncaged, then the person he’ll most need to protect Maggie from is himself.

Fragile Brilliance is the first book in the Shifters & Seers series by Tammy Blackwell, bestselling author of the Timber Wolves trilogy.  It releases on Tuesday November 26, 2013.  Add it your want to read list on Goodreads.

About Tammy Blackwell

Tammy Blackwell

Tammy Blackwell is a Young Adult Services Coordinator for a public library system in Kentucky. When she's not reading, writing, cataloging, or talking about books, she's sleeping.




What do you think of this cover? I love the coloring and the font, but am not so crazy about the fake-looking girl walking. However, overall this cover is awesome! Share your thoughts in the comments! Happy reading, The (YA) Bookcase Team

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (2)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme created and hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

This week we received some awesome new books from HarperCollins and Scholastic. Please share with us if you have read or plan to read any of these books - we'd love to learn more about them! Happy reading! 

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty
Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

What did you get this week? Please share in the comments!

Happy reading,
The (YA) Bookcase Team 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.
Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 342
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Amanda, age 17

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Lost Kingdom by Matthew J. Kirby

A remarkable adventure by award-winning author Matthew J. Kirby brings a fantastical American West filled with secrets and spies and terrifying creatures to vivid life.
In this extraordinary adventure story, Billy Bartram, his father, and a secret society of philosophers and scientists venture into the American wilderness in search of the lost people of the Welsh Prince Madoc, seeking aid in the coming war against the French. Traveling in a flying airship, the members of the expedition find their lives frequently endangered in the untamed American West by terrifying creatures, a party of French soldiers hot on their trail, and the constant threat of traitors and spies. Billy will face hazards greater than he can ever imagine as, together with his father, he gets caught up in the fight for the biggest prize of all: America.

THE LOST KINGDOM is an epic journey filled with marvelous exploits, courage and intrigue, and a bold reimagining of a mythical America. Matthew J. Kirby brings his signature storytelling prowess and superb craft to this astonishing story of fathers and sons, the beginnings of a nation, and wonder-filled adventure.

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Number of Pages: 352
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Lily, age 13

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Relic (The Books of Eva) by Heather Terrell

The truth will test you...
For fans of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games: high fantasy and dystopia meet in this high-stakes tale of a civilization built on lies and the girl who single-handedly brings it down.
When Eva’s twin brother, Eamon, falls to his death just a few months before he is due to participate in The Testing, no one expects Eva to take his place. She’s a Maiden, slated for embroidery classes, curtseys, and soon a prestigious marriage befitting the daughter of an Aerie ruler. But Eva insists on honoring her brother by becoming a Testor. After all, she wouldn’t be the first Maiden to Test, just the first in 150 years.
Eva knows the Testing is no dance class. Gallant Testors train for their entire lives to search icy wastelands for Relics: artifacts of the corrupt civilization that existed before The Healing drowned the world. Out in the Boundary Lands, Eva must rely on every moment of the lightning-quick training she received from Lukas—her servant, a Boundary native, and her closest friend now that Eamon is gone.

But there are threats in The Testing beyond what Lukas could have prepared her for. And no one could have imagined the danger Eva unleashes when she discovers a Relic that shakes the Aerie to its core.

Publisher: Soho Teen 
Number of Pages: 288
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Lily, age 13

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sweet Legacy by Tera Lynn Childs

The stunning conclusion of Tera Lynn Childs's Greek mythology–based Sweet Venom trilogy is perfect for teen fans of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series.
The girls cannot hesitate as they seek the location of the lost door between the realms, even as monsters and the gods of Olympus descend on San Francisco in battle-ready droves.
Greer must use her second sight to step up and prevent anything from stopping her sisters' mission, even though a god is playing with her mind. Grace wants to trust her adopted brother, Thane; but will his secret put the girls in even more danger? And Gretchen has trained her sisters to stop the monsters, but her role as a huntress comes with more responsibility than she ever imagined. What will the girls' immortal legacy be? Three teenage descendants of Medusa must unite to restore balance to the world in this action-packed series with plenty of romance.

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Number of Pages: 384
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Amanda, age 17

Monday, October 7, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Find Me by Romily Bernard

These are the words written on Tessa Waye’s diary. The diary that ends up with Wick Tate. But Tessa’s just been found . . . dead.
Wick has the right computer-hacking skills for the job, but little interest in this perverse game of hide-and-seek. Until her sister Lily is the next target.
Then Griff, trailer-park boy next door and fellow hacker, shows up, intent on helping Wick. Is a happy ending possible with the threat of Wick’s deadbeat dad returning, the detective hunting him sniffing around Wick instead, and a killer taunting her at every step?
Foster child. Daughter of a felon. Loner hacker girl. Wick has a bad attitude and sarcasm to spare.
But she’s going to find this killer no matter what.
Because it just got personal.

Best of luck!
The (YA) Bookcase Team 

Upcoming Reviews: How to Love by Katie Cotugno, Sweet Legacy by Tera Lynn Childs 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

BOOK CLUB INTERVIEW: Leanna Renee Hieber

One of our young adult book clubs read Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber. Ms. Hieber was kind enough to do an interview with us and explore the world and creation of Darker Still. For those of who haven't read/don't know about the book, it's fantastic. It's in diary format, with stellar writing, and is inspired by Gothic Literature. The book itself is set in the 19th Century with a protagonist who has Selective Mutism. But the story begins when a very peculiar painting arrives at the 10 year old Metropolitan Museum... 

I was obsessed.
It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I'd ever seen--everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable...utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.
There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I've crossed over into his world within the painting, and I've seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked--bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.


Author, actress and playwright, Leanna grew up in rural Ohio, graduated with a BFA in Theatre, a focus in the Victorian Era and a scholarship to study in London. She adapted 19th Century literature for the stage and her one-act plays have been produced around the country. She is a 4 time Prism Award winner for excellence in Futuristic, Fantasy, or Paranormal Romance.

In our last book club meeting, a topic that came up was repetitiveness in YA-literature. We picked Darker Still because it was a little something different than the average supernatural/paranormal romance. Do you see the same repetitiveness the girls do? Do you try to steer clear of those plot lines? 

LRH: I do. And I get just as tired of the same trends. What I try to do, as there's no "new" story really, (Shakespeare pretty much wrote every basic plot-line one way or another, he stole from the classics before him) all of us are just trying to apply our unique voice to the same basic tropes and great tales of all time. But there shouldn't be just one common formula. (The prevalent love triangle for example. Darker Still is entirely devoid of it). I introduce characters that interest Natalie in the sequel but it never becomes a love triangle. Anything that appears 'overdone' should be avoided and instead I try to apply my unique spin to the classics instead. I pay homage to stories that have come before me, like The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula, the tales of Poe, but I do so inserting strong women into that picture and making sure their stories are heard.

The girls really like when authors drop clues throughout the book, but they aren't able to guess the mystery until the very end. Do you have a technique for dropping clues without making things too obvious, or does it just come naturally while writing the story through your protagonist's eyes? 

LRH: I try to be conscious of dropping hints but not to over-think it. I knew Natalie's nightmares would be the key to a lot of the plot so that was the thing I tried to always keep in mind, and that's been consistent even as I'm currently writing and serializing book 3 chapter by chapter on my site. We all know everything is leading to a big confrontation, it's the how we get there that for me is the most thrilling part to discover. Natalie is such a strong heroine that once I built and created her and knew her spirit and feisty nature, she really ran the show on her own and I just followed along writing it all down. :)

Was there anything special or opportune about picking this time period to write in for Darker Still? Or do you just like the late 1800's? 

LRH: I've been obsessed with the 1880s since I was a kid. I can't explain it other than I believe I had several past lives in the 19th century. Nothing else explains my obsessive draw to the era and the way I feel I can make sense of it for a modern audience. It's an era I studied extensively in school, college and in my years as a professional actress, the time period is my muse. It's a difficult time full of conflict and innovation, grit and grandeur, of science and spiritualism, of romance and horror, a time of great change and new ideas, of progress at the same time of oppressions. It's a bipolar age of extremes that is endlessly fascinating to me.

What was your favorite part about writing this book? 

LRH: I think coming up with Natalie's nightmares. Her last nightmare really scared me. When you can scare yourself and you're the one writing it you know you've got something. Also, I just love Natalie and her relationship to Mrs. Northe, and how that's just as important a relationship as the one she develops with Jonathon. It's not only about falling in love. Life is a lot more than that. I love that Natalie knows that and can bring that to light for the reader.

What was the most difficult part about writing this book? 

LRH: Writing Jonathon so that he's empowered and interesting because I've done him the disservice of being trapped in a painting, he doesn't have a lot of opportunity to prove himself. He gets to in the sequel, but in book one he's really the inversion of the 'damsel in distress', he's the 'knight in distress' as it were and its up to the damsel to save him. :) I love that aspect of the book but I did have to make sure that Jonathon takes an active part in helping solve the mystery and give him whatever action items I could as he's so limited by his situation.

Why did you decide to make Natalie mute? 

LRH: It came to me as a part of the conflict. I always wanted to write a haunted painting story where there was a world on the other side of a canvass, and so creating a place where my heroine could have access and gifts in a way she couldn't outside was important. I don't think enough stories, TV shows, movies, etc, feature people with any kind of disability often enough. Disabled persons of any kind deserve to be a part of popular culture just as much as anyone, unquestionably. The theme of "finding your voice" literally and metaphorically is so important to me and Natalie's Selective Mutism was a way to bring out that theme and explore the conflict of a young woman without a voice in an era that did not respect her voice even if she could use hers. Despite these doubled obstacles, her strength and determination conquers all.

What do you like most about Gothic Literature? 

LRH: I love the extremes and the sweeping, intense nature of it. Horror and beauty can share such intimate spaces, I feel such freedom to explore the darkest places because I know there's love and passion on the other side. There's a bit of reckless abandon you get in Gothic, and I love playing with that kind of delicious fire. I can't get enough of it. However what I wanted to do was infuse stronger women into the traditional Gothic trope, story and framework because a lot of the traditional Gothics feature women more as victims rather than the active heroes.

What kinds of things can we look forward to in the sequel, The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart? (That sounds so ominous!) 

LRH: It picks up exactly where DARKER STILL leaves off with the following excitements: Trains! Escapes! More dark magic! New exciting characters! More pretty dresses! More danger! Reanimation! Nightmares! Thrills! Kissing! Carriage rides! Seances! Epic battles of will! Crazy demon stuff! And for you Minnesotans, a trip to St. Paul! - Are you excited yet? ;)

Was there any fun deleted scene or aspect of the book that was cut during edits but you wish could have stayed? 

LRH: Not really in Darker Still, I ended up adding more than subtracting really. In the sequel I had to cut a few rhapsodic passages about historic St. Paul that I'd love to have kept but slowed down the plot. (But don't worry, my Minnesota friends, St. Paul is still a part of the book!)

Anything else you'd like to tell us? 

LRH: Yes! Firstly, thanks for reading, you folks are the reason I do what I do and I love you for it. Never stop reading, never stop dreaming. If you're writers too, never stop writing.