Sunday, June 30, 2013

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

There are some things you can’t leave behind…
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.
Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Number of Pages: 256
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Amanda, age 17

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Adult Books for Young Adult Readers

Lately, we've been hearing about a lot of good adult to young adult crossover books. All three of these sell well at our store, so we thought we'd share them with you!

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker | $26.99 (we have signed limited edition copies at the store!)
In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.
Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.
Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

Why is this one great for young adults? The content is suitable, and these two creatures are experiencing the world for the first time, both as foreigners and as mythical creatures, which is a common young adult theme. It's relatable in a strange way. Very fun tale! 

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt | $15.00

In this striking literary debut, Carol Rifka Brunt unfolds a moving story of love, grief, and renewal as two lonely people become the unlikeliest of friends and find that sometimes you don’t know you’ve lost someone until you’ve found them.
1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.
At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.
An emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.

Why is this one great for young adults? The content is suitable, the girl is a young adult and it deals with her internal struggles. A beautiful story! 

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker | $15.00
“It’s never the disasters you see coming that finally come to pass—it’s the ones you don’t expect at all,” says Julia, in this spellbinding novel of catastrophe and survival by a superb new writer. Luminous, suspenseful, unforgettable, The Age of Miracles tells the haunting and beautiful story of Julia and her family as they struggle to live in a time of extraordinary change.

On an ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia awakes to discover that something has happened to the rotation of the earth. The days and nights are growing longer and longer; gravity is affected; the birds, the tides, human behavior, and cosmic rhythms are thrown into disarray. In a world that seems filled with danger and loss, Julia also must face surprising developments in herself, and in her personal world—divisions widening between her parents, strange behavior by her friends, the pain and vulnerability of first love, a growing sense of isolation, and a surprising, rebellious new strength. With crystalline prose and the indelible magic of a born storyteller, Karen Thompson Walker gives us a breathtaking portrait of people finding ways to go on in an ever-evolving world.

Why is the one great for young adults? The content is suitable, and the girl is a young adult, plus she's dealing with normal teenage strife despite her changing world. It seems like it'd have some big, extravagant plot, but this book's themes are very applicable and relatable. Great writing! 

Have you read any of these?

Happy reading!
The (YA) Bookcase

Friday, June 28, 2013

My Weird Writing Tips by Dan Gutman

The ability to put thoughts into writing is an essential skill vital to success in school—from elementary school through college. Bestselling author Dan Gutman helps kids master this important skill with his fun, informative writing guide, My Weird Writing Tips.
Dan offers tricks for spelling hard words, understanding the difference between similar words like “its” and “it’s,” and conquering grammar stumbling blocks like commas and apostrophes. He also teaches readers how to write an engaging story, in line with the grades 2–5 Common Core goals for writing a narrative. 
With illustrated appearances from A.J. and Andrea, stars of his bestselling My Weird School series, and with his trademark wacky sense of humor, Dan makes learning the writing and storytelling basics so fun kids will forget they’re learning.

Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of Pages: 160
Type: Paperback

Reviewed by Lily, age 12

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What We're Reading!

We haven't updated you on what you can expect to see review-wise on the blog lately. This time, we received a lot from Random House, a few from HarperCollins, one from Macmillan, and one from Penguin. We're going to begin getting the rest of our fall and some of our winter ARCs soon, so stay tuned for those! If there's anything you're especially excited about, let us know in the comments! 

Middle Grade
The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell 

Young Adult
Snapshot by Angie Stanton 
Rock and a Hard Place by Angie Stanton
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider 
Teardrop by Lauren Kate
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner 
Steelheart Brandon Sanderson 
Promise Bound by Anne Greenwood Brown
Resist by Sarah Crossan 
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Asylum by Madeline Roux 
Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott 
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater 

Adult but Young Adult Crossover
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt 
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Kiss Me First by Lottie Maggach 
Alex by Pierre Lemaitre 
Night Film by Marisha Pessl 

What will you be reading?

Happy reading!
The (YA) Bookcase

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Whatnot by Stefan Bachmann

"Oh, the Sly King, the Sly King, in his towers of ash and wind."  
Pikey Thomas doesn’t know how or why he can see the changeling girl. But there she is. Not in the cold, muddy London neighborhood where Pikey lives. Instead, she’s walking through the trees and snow of the
enchanted Old Country or, later, racing through an opulent hall. She’s pale and small, and she has branches growing out of her head. Her name
is Henrietta Kettle.
Pikey’s vision, it turns out, is worth something.
Worth something to Hettie’s brother—a brave adventurer named Bartholomew Kettle. Worth something to the nobleman who protects him. And Pikey is not above bartering—Pikey will do almost anything to escape his past; he’ll do almost anything for a life worth living.
The faeries—save for a mysterious sylph and a mischievous cobble faery or two— have been chased out of London. They’ve all gone north. The army is heading north, too. So Pikey and Bartholomew follow, collecting information, piecing
together clues, searching for the doorway that will lead them to Hettie.
The Whatnot is the enthralling, surprising, and unforgettable companion to Stefan Bachmann’s internationally bestselling debut novel The Peculiar.

Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Number of Pages: 368
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Lily, age 12

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cover Reveals We're Excited About

There's been lots of fun cover reveals lately, and we want to repeat the cover love and share with you some of the ones we've been most excited about. 

Her Dark Curiosity by Meghan Shepherd

1) I love the title! It's ominous and it matches the title of the first book. 

2) This cover also matches the first book! The change from a white dress to an elegant black dress alone adds a creepier message. 

3) The fact that it's inspired by The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde makes me excited! I didn't love that story, but man was it creepy and strange. 
Starling by Fiona Paul

1) If you've been reading the blog this year, then you know that I loved Venom by Fiona Paul. I love the history, I love the mystery, I love the writing, I love the romance! Can you get any better?

2) The covers did a switch. Now it's more words with just background pictures. The first book is now blue and the third book is purple. Although thought the original covers were gorgeous, I see that these are definitely more versatile! 

3) I'm reading Belladonna now. Yes, if you're wondering, it is just as good so far!

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

1) Like everyone else in the blogosphere, we're super excited for the final installment of the Under the Never Sky trilogy! We even devoted a whole 20 minute Book on the Hot Spot to explain how much we loved the first book. 

2) To be honest, I don't love these covers at all. They're cheesy and they don't do the book justice, but that's just my opinion! The biggest thing is that Perry looks like a 40 year old man...and that's just not right. 

3) One of our YA book clubs is reading Under the Never Sky now! 

The House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

1) I don't know about you, but I usually love covers with a really crazy font that takes up the whole front! A good example would be Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke. I'm  a bit of a font freak! 

2) I love the green and I'm a total plant person! Whether I knew about Natalie Whipple before or not, I would totally pick this up! 

3) This is going to come out immediately in paperback! 

What cover reveals have you seen and loved lately? 

Happy reading,
The (YA) Bookcase Team

Monday, June 24, 2013

COVER REVEAL: The Year of the Great Seventh by Teresa Orts

Sophie has always felt out of step—an outsider, even amongst friends in her high school with all the hype about celebrity culture. Her life in L.A. seems to have been already written for her, but when her junior year starts, it all takes a drastic turn. When she crosses paths with the school's heartthrob, Nate Werner, they fall for each other in a way neither can understand. What they don’t know is that by giving in to their desires, they are unlocking an ancient Egyptian prophecy that threatens to return Earth to the dark ages.

To undo the curse, Nate and Sophie embark on an adventure that takes them across the country. But their quest is not only to save the world as they know it. It is also a fight for their very survival. Behind the scenes, there are those that are counting on them to fail.

Unlike most authors, I didn’t start writing books when I was five years old. In fact, I’d never been too interested in reading or writing. Hanging out with friends in the small Spanish town where I grew up always seemed more appealing than anything a book could offer. It took about twenty-seven years and a global financial meltdown for me to discover the magic world of writing.

At the time, I was living in New York City, and one morning I discovered I was no longer expected at my sixty-hour-a-week investment banking job. Most of my friends had very demanding jobs, so I spent my days wandering around on my own.

Like other unemployed people, I started living through the nights and sleeping through the days. New York is known as the city that never sleeps for a good reason! One night, tired of surfing the web and watching TV, I opened a Word document and started typing a short story, which I saved in my computer with little interest. That was the day Nate and Sophie were born.
Days later, since the financial industry seemed to be going into a downward spiral, I decided to spend three months traveling through Southeast Asia and New Zealand. I thought, na├»ve me, that by the time I returned, the financial crisis would have come to an end.

Something really strange happened to me during that trip. No matter where I went, I couldn’t stop thinking about the story. Nate and Sophie followed me everywhere. No matter how hard I tried to forget about them, they just wouldn’t go away. At the beginning, I thought I was losing my mind, but soon after, I realized I had to continue writing the story.

When I came back to New York, I went right back into it, and that’s how The Year of the Great Seventh was created. Unfortunately, halfway through the novel, I received a letter from the immigration department informing me that, with no job, I was no longer welcome in the United States. Without much of a choice, my boyfriend and I decided to pack our lives, along with my half-drafted manuscript, and begin another exciting adventure in London, where we now live.

To learn more about the author and her novel, visit her website here.

Admitting I wasn’t going to fall asleep, I emerged from under the bed covers, went over to the windows, and sat on the floor. They say if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Well, if the city lights were going to keep me awake, I might as well enjoy the view.

Crossing my legs in the lotus position, I admired the city skyline. The other glass tower across from us seemed to be private apartments. Most of the floors had their lights on. The energy of this city was captivating. Life continued on through the night in the city that never slept.

It was starting to snow. The frosty flakes resembled white cotton candy. They seemed to be defying the laws of gravity as they were suspended on the air and then swirled up into the sky. It was probably due to the air current caused by the tall buildings. But as things stood in my life at the moment, anything seemed possible.

The traffic was as dense as rush hour in downtown L.A. Cars jammed around Columbus Circle, and no one thought twice about leaning on the horn, even though it was past midnight.

In one of the apartments opposite, a man was sitting by the window, typing on a laptop. The room was dark, but the reflection of the computer screen lit up his face. I could see him clearly. It was as though we were sitting across from each other. I was sure he could see me, too. We were so close, but at the same time, so far. This must be the big city syndrome where you can feel so alone amongst so many people. And knowing that Nate was just across the wall only enhanced the feeling.

I had to start blocking any thoughts of Nate. I had to give myself a break or I was going to start losing my mind. Unfortunately, I was aware that ignoring a problem wasn’t likely to make it go away. I couldn’t believe Nate had planned to hide the stain on his back from me. How long did he think he could pretend everything was going to be fine?

Dad taught me to only believe what could be proved by science, but this lulled me into a state of denial. Nate was vanishing with the tick of the clock, and I had to help him. I wasn’t sure how yet, but I couldn’t fail him. I wanted to slap myself to throw myself into action. How could I be so passive when I was losing the only thing I wanted?

The man in the apartment across from me was drinking from a cup and flicking through the pages of a book that he had next to the laptop. After scanning a few more pages, he continued to type. I wondered what he was doing. I wanted to think he was writing a detective novel based in 1950s Manhattan.

The man stopped typing and stared openly at me, as if he also needed to share his secrets with a stranger. It was snowing hard, and thousands of snowflakes playfully spiraled up into the sky, proving reality had many dimensions. The simple stare from a distant stranger was appeasing that loneliness that was taking hold of me.

 I couldn’t stop staring back. Here, sitting on the floor of this grandiose room, in the epicenter of the madness of this city, I just felt so small. How was I, this tiny, fragile girl, going to make the world change its course?

The man with the computer—as if he could hear my thoughts—smiled at me and nodded. Without uttering a word, and with the power of our surroundings, this stranger confirmed that, yes, I could do whatever I gave myself to. It was probably a coincidence, but there were moments like this when the universe conspired to prove that life was full of magic moments. You just needed to learn to see past what was in front of you.

The man went back to typing on his computer, unconscious that with just one stare he’d provided me with the courage I lacked. I was beginning to fall in love, but in this case, with New York City. There was something about the anonymity of this city that brought us closer as humans.

Copyright 2013 Teresa Orts. 

Originally published in the United Kingdom, The Year of the Great Seventh by Teresa Orts ties together the drama of modern day high schools to the intriguing history of Ancient Egypt.

All Sophie wants is to escape California, and her ticket out of  is her love of history. However, this knowledge is tested when Nate, her school’s resident “It” boy, brings her a secret that has roots in Ancient Egypt. Racing against time and breaking all the rules in order to uncover the secrets that Cleopatra left behind, Sophie and Nate travel from sunny LA to the exciting city of New York where romance, drama, and new chances for discovery await them.

If you are looking for a new drama to read by the pool this summer, this might be a good option for you. I didn't personally love this book, but The Year of the Great Seventh is indeed full of thrills ranging from a huge Hollywood premiere party to the ravages of an ancient curse. However, the action isn’t the whole story--there is also a romance between Sophie and Nate that tests them both, though in different ways.

This book is perfect for fans of Ancient Egypt or people who grew up with the Percy Jackson series or the Twilight Saga and are looking for a new, mature series to follow!

Comments? Thoughts? Looking forward to this one? Let us know!

Happy reading!
The (YA) Bookcase 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Deep Betrayal by Anne Greenwood Brown

It's been thirty days, two hours, and seventeen minutes since Calder left Lily standing on the shores of Lake Superior. Not that she's counting. And when Calder does return, it's not quite the reunion Lily hoped for. Especially after she lets her father in on a huge secret: he, like Calder, is a merman. Obsessed with his new identity, Lily's dad monopolizes Calder's time as the two of them spend every day in the water, leaving Lily behind.
Then dead bodies start washing ashore. Calder blames his mermaid sisters, but Lily fears her father has embraced the merman's natural need to kill. As the body count grows, everyone is pointing fingers. Lily doesn't know what to believe—only that whoever's responsible is sure to strike again. . . 

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 352
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel, age 17

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson

Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle? Caroline Carlson's hilarious tween novel The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society.
Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword.
There's only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.
But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn't exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.

Written with uproarious wit and an inviting storyteller tone, the first book in Caroline Carlson's quirky seafaring series is a piratical tale like no other.

Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of Page: 256
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Lily, age 12

Monday, June 17, 2013

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Number of Pages: 320
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Amanda, age 17

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Book on the Hot Spot (12)

Welcome to our twelfth Book on the Hot Spot! Are you sick of vampire books? Because they've been over done, are old news, or you think you've read them all? Well, read on to learn about the two vamp books we tried out this year and absolutely loved, despite all of the above! Then, sign up to win Deception by C. J. Redwine and a special adult ARC from our Random House Rep Night. 

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa | $9.99
The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs | $14.99

~Canadian and U.S. Residents only
~Ages 13 & up 

What vamp books have you read? Which was your favorite?

Happy reading!
The (YA) Bookcase Team

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

Violet thought she’d made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers…that is until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team Violet works for have no intention of letting her go.

When someone close to Violet becomes a suspect in a horrific murder, she finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a madman with an army of devoted followers. Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself.

Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of Pages: 389
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel, age 17

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Northern Frights (Scary School #3) by Derek the Ghost

In The Northern Frights, the third book in the spooky Scary School series, Charles “New Kid” Nukid and his friends, including Lattie, a girl ninja, must fight an epic battle with an ice dragon to save their school. But first they must survive going to Scream Academy as exchange students. And that may be hard, because the Academy has an abominable snowman for a principal, a Headless Horseman as one of the teachers, and the students are yetis, trolls, and ogres!
Will Charles survive to make an ancient prophecy come to pass and save everyone? The illustrated Scary School trilogy by Derek the Ghost, with its mix of humor, scares, and adventure, is a perfect pick for middle-grade readers of the Wayside School series and the Zach Files books.

Publisher: HarperCollins 
Number of Pages: 272
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Lily, age 12

Saturday, June 1, 2013

GIVEAWAY: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

From Novel Sounds
Publisher: Viking Juvenile 
Number of Pages: 435
Type: Hardcover

Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

Sarah Dessen's devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.

Buy Hardcover | $19.99

Sarah Dessen grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, graduating with highest honors in Creative Writing. She is the author of several novels, including Someone Like You, Just Listen and Along for the Ride. A motion picture based on her first two books, entitled How to Deal, was released in 2003. Her eleventh novel, The Moon and More, will be published in June 2013. She lives in North Carolina.

Win a galley of The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen! Open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. 
To come. 

Happy reading!