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Friday, March 24, 2017

Freebie Friday: Beauty and the Beast Lost in a Book!




Happy Friday!

For today's giveaway I have a finished copy of Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book.

Maybe you're a lifelong Beauty and the Beast fan. Or maybe you've seen the new movie and are ready for more of the story! Or both!



Open to US/Canada addresses. Have a great weekend!


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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Trending Thursday: Rain(bow) Drops and Torn Paper


Hey, welcome (back) to Trending Thursday. I haven't been trend-watching much lately, but I've noticed a few things and decided to share.

I was making my Hot Off the Presses post for this week and noticed this:

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Two covers of books releasing the same day featuring a cut/torn paper effect. Interesting! And maybe inspired by these popular book, but maybe not...

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THANKS to Joy from Joyous Reads for helping me remember where else I'd seen the torn paper cover before --on the Goldfinch, which is on my kindle and therefore kind of coverless. xoxo!

Another trend I'm noticing is rain(bow) drops. At least three recent releases have featured this trend:


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Thoughts? I actually love all these covers, though I think the two rainbow drops are too similar. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hot Off the Presses: New YA Releasing March 21-27

Hot Off the Presses -- brand new YA releases!

Welcome to Hot Off the Presses!  

Tuesday is book release day, so every Tuesday I tell you about all the great new YA books you can buy in the week to come.

Enter the MARCH giveaway! Each month's winner can pick any book up to $15 on either Amazon (for US winner) or The Book Depository (for international winner.)

Hot Off the Presses aims to include every traditionally published YA book. Please let me know about books that came out this week that I might have missed! Some titles may have different release dates outside the US.


Hidden Memory of Objects Ten Miles One Way Shadow Run Redux
The Hidden Memory of Objects by Danielle Mages Amato (Balzer + Bray)
Ten Miles One Way by Patrick Downes (Philomel)
Shadow Run by Adrianne Strickland and Michael Miller (Delacorte)
Redux by A.L. Davroe (Entangled)

Pyromantic Nemesis Hellworld
Pyromantic by Lish McBride (Henry Holt)
Nemesis by Brendan Reichs (Putnam)
Hellworld by Tom Leveen (Simon) 


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Monday, March 20, 2017

Just Finished Reading ... Vigilante

Vigilante
by Kady Cross

To be published
on March 28, 2017
by Harlequin Teen

Note: this review is based on an advanced reader copy.
Synopsis from Goodreads: It's senior year, and Hadley and her best friend, Magda, should be starting the year together. Instead, Magda is dead and Hadley is alone. Raped at a party the year before and humiliated, Magda was driven to take her own life and Hadley is forced to see her friend's attackers in the classroom every day. Devastated, enraged and needing an outlet for her grief, Hadley decides to get a little justice of her own. Donning a pink ski mask and fueled by anger, Hadley goes after each of the guys one by one, planning to strip them of their dignity and social status the way they did to Magda. As the legend of the pink-masked Vigilante begins to take on a life of its own, Hadley's revenge takes a turn for the dangerous. Could her need for vengeance lead her down a path she can't turn back from? 

My take: I really think this book had good intentions, but I feel like it also included a lot of mixed messages about rape, violence and relationships between men and women.

First off, if you're sensitive to discussions of sexual assault, please proceed with caution in this review and with this book.

The book's premise is that Hadley's best friend Magda went off with a guy she liked at a Halloween party and ended up being raped by multiple guys, with pictures of her rape later showing up on social media. Despondent after the charges agains the guys got dismissed and that people either blame her for what happened or think it was consensual, Magda commits suicide. (This isn't a spoiler; it's on the back of the book.) Then Hadley decides to avenge Magda's rape and subsequent death.

So my first problem with the story is that one of the people who sort-of-kind-of blamed Magda for getting raped was none other than ... Hadley. Before Magda's suicide,  Hadley tells Magda that she was raped because she made "a stupid mistake" and "picked the wrong guy." To give the book the benefit of the doubt, maybe the goal was showing that Hadley's vengeance journey starts out from a place of ignorance about rape. Then again, who would say that to their best friend who was gang raped and is now being slut-shamed?

So Magda is dead and Hadley is distraught. But she's also getting closer and closer to Magda's brother because he's the only one who can understand. They visit Magda's grave together and she's thinking about how good he smells and.... ugh.  I could see a romance coming, and to me it felt icky and out of place.

Hadley is also into martial arts and joins a women's self-defense class. I think it's great if women want to learn self-defense. And I'm guessing this stuff is in the book to explain some of the things (fighting and such) that Hadley is able to do as part of her revenge plot. But I also think that some of the ways the self-defense classes are framed are problematic. Hadley says: "If Magda has learned how to protect herself, maybe it would've helped."

To me, that sounds judgmental. Yes, maybe a self-defense class could prevent a rape, but spending so much time on this class and having Hadley say that about her friend also seems to me to suggest that women have an obligation to learn self-defense and fight back rather than expect not to be raped. And if you don't learn to fight back or don't manage to fight a rapist off, that's on you. I don't agree.

So, onto the revenge plot, which for me also had a bunch of issues, mostly that it glorified the exact kind of anger and sexual violence that the book seems to want to condemn. Hadley finds one of Magda's rapists passed out at a party, and decides to get some revenge. I have no issues with what she actually does (spoiler) writing "rapist" on his forehead in lipstick and taking pictures for social media (spoiler) but before that she also thinks about raping him. WHAT?!?!  Finally she decides, "I couldn't rape him. Even if it were possible, I wouldn't."

Hadley continues to take revenge on the rapists, but her violent thoughts and actions also seem to drive her into her arms of Magda's brother. Yes, that relationship continued to develop and it made me uncomfortable. Things hit a low point when she goes to his house and says "I know you probably saw video of what happened last night." (One of her revenge plots was filmed.) He says "you're reckless and brave and ... so fucking incredible" and grabs her and starts making out with her. Watching her take revenge on his sister's rapists is making him hot for her? I guess they're perfect for each other.

Finally, the rapists do get what's coming to them. Not because of Hadley, but (spoiler) because a group based on Anonymous (the hacktivists) releases video of the rape. (spoiler) So that was good at least.

For me, Vigilante was a mixed bag. It did offer what (to me) seemed like positive messages about female empowerment. But I also thought there was also a lot of weirdness there, stuff that made it hard for me to get behind the entirely of the book's message.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Freebie Friday: February/March Grab Bag!


Happy Friday and Happy St Patrick's Day! This weekend's winner can choose from a selection of February and March YA ARCs. 

Check out my Instagram for a sneak peek of the books that the winner can choose from!

OPEN to US and Canada (Joy!)

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hot Off the Presses: New YA Releasing March 14-20

Hot Off the Presses -- brand new YA releases!

Welcome to Hot Off the Presses!  

Tuesday is book release day, so every Tuesday I tell you about all the great new YA books you can buy in the week to come.

Enter the MARCH giveaway! Each month's winner can pick any book up to $15 on either Amazon (for US winner) or The Book Depository (for international winner.)

Hot Off the Presses aims to include every traditionally published YA book. Please let me know about books that came out this week that I might have missed! Some titles may have different release dates outside the US.


White Road of the Moon Enemy Exposure Bad Blood
The White Road of the Moon by Rachel Neumeier (Knopf)
Enemy Exposure (Raven Files #2) by Meghan Rogers (Philomel)
Bad Blood by Demetria Lunetta (Delacorte)


Heartbeats of Wing Jones Psalm for Lost Girls Echoes of Memory
The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber (Delacorte)
A Psalm for Lost Girls by Katie Bayers (Putnam)
Echoes of Memory (Ravenborn #2) by A. R. Kahler (Simon Teen)


End of Oz Freya Maid of the King's Court
The End of Oz (Dorothy Must Die #4) by Danielle Paige (Harper)
Freya by Matthew Laurence (Imprint)
Maid of the King's Court by Lucy Worsley (Candlewick)


Hunted Queens of Geek Shadows We Know By Heart
Hunted by Meagan Spooner (Harper)
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde (Swoon)
The Shadows We Know By Heart by Jennifer Park (Simon Teen)


Renegade Red These Ruthless Deeds Who Killed Christopher Goodman
Renegade Red (Light Trilogy #2) by Lauren Bird Horowitz (Papaloa)
These Ruthless Deeds (Vicious Masks #2) by Tarun Shanker  and Kelly Zekas (St Martins)
Who Killed Christopher Goodman by Allan Woolf (Candlewick)


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Monday, March 13, 2017

Just Finished Reading: Radio Silence

Radio Silence
by Alice Oseman

To be published
on March 28, 2017
by Harper Teen

Synopsis from Goodreads: What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong? Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside. But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken. Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…She has to confess why Carys disappeared…Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets. It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.
My take:  LOVED this. Frances has always been, as her friends say, a "study machine." She's Head Girl at her school and aiming for Oxford. Bus Frances has a secret - she has an alternate-ego online, where she can be herself, which includes sharing her obsession with an obscure podcast called Universe City (a pun on University). When she figures out the identity of the mysterious creator of the podcast, she can't help but try to get closer to him - a move that may endanger the anonymity they both cherish and force them out of their emotional comfort zones.

There are four main characters in this book: Frances, her former best friend Carys, Carys' brother Aled, and Aled's best friend (and Head Boy) Daniel. I loved that the characters first seemed like stereotypical YA novel characters: overachiever, nerdy head boy, quirky genius, rebellious girl. But all of these characters came to reveal things about themselves and their relationships with one another that prove that you shouldn't judge anyone on a superficial first impression. I also loved how real-life messy their relationships were. The writing is interesting too -- chapters are short and incorporate a few Universe City transcripts.

All in all, can't say enough good things about this. It was a fantastic coming-of age story with interesting characters, complex relationships and a great message about being true to oneself. Hope you will give it a try!

 
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