Saturday, August 31, 2013

Waiting for the Queen by Joanna Higgins

A surprising friendship develops between Eugenie, an escapee from the French Revolution, and Hannah, a Quaker girl, when they unite in the cause against slavery in this adventuresome tale of true nobility set amidst the rugged, eighteenth-century, Pennsylvania wilderness.
Fifteen-year-old Eugenie de La Roque and her family barely escape the French Revolution with their lives. Along with several other noble families, they sail to America, where French Azilium, as the area came to be known, is being carved out of the rugged wilderness of Pennsylvania. Hannah Kimbrell is a young Quaker who has been chosen to help prepare French Azilum for the arrival of the aristocrats. In this wild place away from home and the memories they hold dear, Eugenie and Hannah find more in common than they first realize. With much to learn from each other, the girls unite to help free several slaves from their tyrannical French owner, a dangerous scheme that requires personal sacrifice in exchange for the slaves' freedom.
A story of friendship against all odds, Waiting for the Queen is a loving portrait of the values of a young America, and a reminder that true nobility is more than a royal title.

Publisher: Milkweed
Number of Pages: 256
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Lily, age 13

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.
Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.
Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo.
Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.
But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.
By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

From master of suspense Gretchen McNeil comes a riveting and deliciously eerie story about the lives we wish we had – and how they just might kill you.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 368
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel, age 17

Monday, August 26, 2013

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.
But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.
Nobody fights the Epics... nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.
And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.
Publisher: Delacorte Press 
Number of Pages: 384
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Jack, age 14

Friday, August 23, 2013

COVER & BLURB REVEAL: Stealing Promises by Brina Courtney


Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 26, 2013

Book Blurb:
What if love was like gasoline? Light a match and become engulfed in it's flame. Chase Harper is a little bit of a bad boy, but he's good for Hannah and she knows it. Their childhood crush quickly ignites into attraction and takes over their entire lives. But when disaster strikes, what can Hannah do to keep her world from falling into the darkness? Her life could fall apart at any moment, just one match and everything goes up in the blaze. Don't get too close to the flame, or you're bound to get burned.    

About Brina Courtney
Brina Courtney is a young adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She's spent the last few years as an elementary teacher and a high school cheering coach. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs. 

You can visit her here: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

What do you think? 
Happy reading! 
The (YA) Bookcase

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Anyone But You by Amy Helmes and Kim Askew

Authors Kim Askew and Amy Helmes are excited to offer a sneak peek at the third book in their “Twisted Lit” series of Shakespeare-inspired YA novels. This time around, they’ve put their unique spin on Romeo & Juliet. Published by Merit Press, Anyone But You will be released in January, and is currently available for pre-order at, Barnes & NoblePowell’s and Bookcase of Wayzata if you call ahead. 

Anyone But You: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet
by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
(Book #3 in the Twisted Lit series)

Two Italian restaurants, both alike in dignity, in Chicago’s Little Italy where we lay our scene... After her family’s struggling eatery, Cap’s, falls prey to another of the Monte clan’s vicious and destructive pranks, sixteen-year-old Gigi Caputo finds herself courting danger during a clandestine encounter with Roman Monte, the very boy whose relatives have brought her family such grief. When the daughter and son of these two warring factions fall for each other, their quest to mend this bitter family feud turns out to be a recipe for disaster. Their story is irrevocably linked to the summer of 1933, when two twelve-year-olds, Benny and Nick, hop the turnstile at the Chicago World’s Fair. While enjoying some of the fair’s legendary amusements, Nick has a “love at first sight” encounter with Stella, a young girl who unintentionally causes a lasting rift between the two boyhood pals. Deftly winding its way through past and present day, this modern take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet has much to do with hate — but more with love.

You should also checkout Amy and Kim's other books in the Twisted Lit series, Exposure and Tempestuous.

The authors were kind enough to share Hannah's favorite of their first two novels, Tempestuous, with you all! Enter the giveaway for a chance to win an AUTOGRAPHED, FINISHED copy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
What do you think of the cover? Have you read any of the other Twisted Lit novels?
Happy reading!
The (YA) Bookcase

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

GIVEAWAY: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Movie Swag!

The Mortal Instruments Movie Swag Giveaway!

-You must be 13 years or older
-You must live in the U.S. (we're so sorry internationals!) 
-The winner has 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen
-There will be three winners
-We cannot guarantee that you get your first choice prize pack (the first person to respond gets dibs!)

Prize Pack 1:
-one each of the different tattoos 
-one packet of the Shadowhunters protection pins 
-TMI: City of Bones Official Illustrated Movie Companion
-TMI: City of Bones t-shirt 

Prize Pack 2: 
-one each of the different tattoos 
-one packet of the Shadowhunters protection pins 
-TMI: City of Bones Shadowhunters Guide
-TMI: City of Bones MASSIVE movie poster (the ones you see in movie theaters) 

Prize Pack 3: 
-one each of the different tattoos 
-one packet of the Shadowhunters protection pins 
-City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (movie cover) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Happy reading!
The (YA) Bookcase

Monday, August 19, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Retribution by Amy Thompson


Regan Edison has just moved from California, to enter her first year at Georgia Liberty College, the place where jacked up Chevy trucks and hunting are a way of life. Regan hopes to start a new life for herself and she thinks that Georgia is just the place to do it. That is until she meets an unexpected stranger. Colter Hayes is a member of the Collectors, a group of wrongfully punished lost souls. Colter and the rest of his team, Finn, Kaiden and Devon, work for the Requiem Council who pass judgment on those souls that are neither tagged for Heaven nor Hell. The Council has charged the Collectors with finding the lost in exchange for a chance at redemption. When an ex-councilmember known to pass Retribution on lost souls sets his sights on Regan, the Requiem Council dispatches the Collectors to Georgia to work as protectors for Regan. The Collectors must fight to save Regan from a fate they know all too well, but can they work to earn back their chance at redemption or are their fates sealed forever? Who is meant for Heaven? Who is meant for Hell? And who is just lost?

About The Author
Amy Thompson graduated from Randolph-Macon College with her B.S. in Biology. She currently works as a high school mentor and is earning her M.S. in Higher Education from Drexel University. Amy is a first time, self-published author of Retribution, a new adult paranormal romance novel that is the first in the Lost Souls series. She lives in Southern Virginia with her family and two lazy cats. Amy Thompson is currently working on the next book in the Lost Souls series and continues to be an avid reader of all things books. 

What do you think of the cover? Have you heard of this one? 
Personally, I like its clean-cut, mysterious look with a nice big font. Very blue and very pretty!

Happy reading!
The (YA) Bookcase

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Counting by 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan

In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

Publisher: Dial
Number of Pages: 384
Type: Hardcover

Dee Dee, age 14

Friday, August 16, 2013

In the After by Demitria Lunetta

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.
After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.

Publisher: HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 455
Type: Hardcover
Reviewed by Amanda, age 17

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Today we are waiting on the Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. We absolutely loved the first two because they are such compelling, "odd" fantasies. On top of that, Ms. Taylor has a very unique storytelling voice. Between blue-haired artists, angels and monsters set in Prague, Czech Republic, these books seem to have it all! Both adults and young adults enjoy this trilogy at The Bookcase.

"not official cover"
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

Buy Daughter of Smoke & Bone | Paperback | $9.99
Buy Days of Blood & Blood and Starlight | Hardcover | $18.99

What books are you waiting on?

Happy reading!
The (YA) Bookcase

Sunday, August 11, 2013

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Don't Look Now by Michelle Gagnon

The jaw-dropping sequel to breakout YA thriller Don't Turn Around, which Kirkus Reviews named a Best Book of the Year, calling it "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens, a surefire hit"
Noa Torsen is on the run. Having outsmarted the sinister corporation Pike & Dolan, Noa and her friend Zeke now move stealthily across the country, protecting runaways before they become test subjects for P&D's horrific experiments. Noa knows all too well what that feels like: Whatever they did to her has left her exhausted and scared.
Back in Boston, Peter anxiously follows Noa's movements from his computer, using his hacker skills to feed her the information she needs to stay alive. But he's desperate to do something more, especially when he learns what P&D has done to his ex-girlfriend Amanda.
Then, in an explosive confrontation, Noa and her team are trapped in the one place they thought was safe. It will take everything Noa and Peter have to bring down the corporation before it gets them first. And with no one to trust and enemies hiding at every turn, they may be the only people alive who can.

This stunning second book in the critically acclaimed Don't Turn Around trilogy raises the stakes to their absolute limit and will leave readers begging for the exciting conclusion, Don't Let Go.

Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of Pages: 336
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel, age 17

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Free from bonds, but not each other.
It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers 
Number of Pages: 384
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Ellie, age 17

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.
But all that changes when the Lynburns return.
The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?


Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 370
Type: Paperback

Reviewed by Ellie, age 17

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Book on the Hot Spot (13)

Welcome to our 13th Book on the Hot Spot! Today instead of talking about an actual book, we thought we'd discuss book trailers with you. Do you like them? Would you prefer not to have them because they don't do the book justice? Which ones are good, bad, etc? Most of our discussion will be in this post, but we did make a short video explaining what we'll discuss and showing you our reactions to a really freaky adult book trailer! 

To view the Kiss Me First trailer, click here.

First off, we split book trailers into two groups. Word book trailers and acting book trailers. Usually, we've found that we don't like book trailers where they're acting and speaking and we prefer that the trailer stays within the book's medium--words. Do you agree? 

Why do we like word trailers over acting trailers?

  • If you hire someone to act out a character, chances are they aren't going to look anything like what you imagined. Why put the wrong picture in the reader's head? Words allow you to still make up what you envision the characters looking like.
  • If the book is fantasy, sci-fi or supernatural, then making a short film on the summary of the plot on a low budget will likely make the book seem cheesy. In our opinion, just stick with words, moving pictures and intense music! 
  • Words are the easiest to not get wrong. The book is created by words, so making a trailer with words is pretty risk-free.
Having said all this, there are some really good acting book trailers out there! But we've found that, overall, the majority have a cheesy vibe that would not make us want to pick up the book! But what do you think? Do you disagree? Or do you like the cheesiness and think it's fun?

Here are a few examples of book trailers that we think do not live up to the book (but of course, what trailer would live up to a book?!) 

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi 
(you can't recreate the aether sky...and the acting?) 
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
(here's a speaking trailer that is just...boring! We love this book, but the trailer is not so good...) 
The Gathering by Kelly Armstrong
(this one is just...awkward to watch...)

Here are a few examples of book trailers that, though both acting and words, were pretty good

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
(there was acting, but it was all voice-overed. We think that helps with making the trailer less cheesy!)
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd 
(all in words, and still so intense!) 
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
(again, this is voice-overed and has words! The perfect combo!) 

The Rising by Kelly Armstrong 
(the sequel became much better! since it's voice-overed, we found that to be less cheesy. And it had cool tech-y CGI-ish stuff!) 

Prodigy by Marie Lu (they covered up Day's face with a hood and they had cool moves! Again, it was voice-overed. I think we're finding a theme here...)

As always with Book on the Hot Spots...enter to win...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
What kind of book trailers do you like? Words, voice-overs, acting, a combo? Do you have any that you love or find too painful to watch?? Let us know! 

Happy reading!
The (YA) Bookcase 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

On Little Wings by Regina Sirois

Jennifer is an only child, and so were her parents—at least that's what she thinks, until she finds an old photo in the back of one of her mother's books. The woman in the photo looks just like Jennifer, down to the smattering of freckles across her nose. And her mother refuses to talk about it.
Compelled to find answers, Jennifer embarks on a quest that takes her from the wheat fields of Nebraska to the fishing town of Smithport, Maine, home to the one person who can help her solve this family secret—the woman in the photo. But Jennifer learns that it takes the entire village of Smithport to piece together the story of her mother's hidden past. She needs help from Nathan, the genius with the reluctant smile from across the cove; Little, the elderly town matriarch and former movie star; and The Jacks, three weathered fishermen who dabble in pyrotechnics. As Jennifer discovers the lost chapters of her mother's life, she unwittingly begins to write a few chapters of her own.

Elegantly written, On Little Wings is an evocative debut novel about self-discovery, first love, and the power of family.

Publisher: Viking Juvenile 
Number of Pages: 432
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Rachel, age 17