Friday, December 30, 2016

Book Trailer Friday [@HarperChildrens @SimonSchusterCA @henryhneff @AravindAdiga]

This week, again, I have two trailers for my Book Trailer Friday post, one's an adult fiction novel set in India and about cricket (and much more) and the other is a Middle Grade fantasy, the start of a new series . . . 




about Selection Day by Aravind Adiga (coming January 3, 2017 from Scribner)

Manju is fourteen. He knows he is good at cricket - if not as good as his elder brother Radha. He knows that he fears and resents his domineering and cricket-obsessed father, admires his brilliantly talented brother and is fascinated by CSI and curious and interesting scientific facts. But there are many things, about himself and about the world, that he doesn't know . . . Everyone around him, it seems, has a clear idea of who Manju should be, except Manju himself.

But when Manju begins to get to know Radha's great rival, a boy as privileged and confident as Manju is not, everything in Manju's world begins to change and he is faced by decisions that will challenge both his sense of self and of the world around him.

As sensitively observed as The White Tiger - Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2008 - was brilliantly furious, Selection Day reveals another facet of Aravind Adiga's remarkable talent.
On Goodreads // buy from Amazon // RT +SimonSchusterCanada's tweet with the trailer





about Impyrium by Henry H. Neff (published October 11, 2016 by Harper Collins)

In the first book of Henry Neff’s new high-stakes middle grade fantasy series, two unlikely allies—the Faeregine princess Hazel and the servant boy Hob—confront a conspiracy that will shake the world of Impyrium to its core.

For over three thousand years, the Faeregine dynasty has ruled Impyrium. But the family’s magic has been fading, and with it their power over the empire. Whether it’s treachery from a rival house, the demon Lirlanders, or rebel forces, many believe the Faereginese are ripe to fall.

Hazel, the youngest member of the royal family, is happy to leave ruling to her sisters so that she can study her magic. But the Empress has other plans for her granddaughter, dark and dangerous plans to exploit Hazel’s talents and rekindle the Faeregine mystique. Hob, a commoner from the outer realms, has been sent to the city to serve the Faeregines—and to spy on them.

One wants to protect the dynasty. The other wants to destroy it. But when Hazel and Hob form an improbable friendship, their bond may save the realm as they know it…or end it for good.

on Goodreads  // buy from Amazon // RT +HarperCollins Publishers tweet with the trailer

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Museum of You ~ Carys Bray (earc) review [@CarysBray @HutchinsonBooks]

The Museum of You
Hutchinson
June 16, 2016
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon UK

Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she’s not sure. She’d like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories.

Darren has done his best. He's studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want - everything he can think of, at least - to be happy.

What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother's belongings. Volume isn't important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be.

But what you find depends on what you're searching for.

"[G]rowing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. "  It was the cover that first made me notice The Museum of You but it was that particular part of the book's description that really made me want to read it. It wasn't just the wonderful phrasing I loved, but how you feel like you know Clover a little bit just from that. It's an incredibly sad thing to think, to feel but also so matter-of-fact.

The Museum of You can be heartbreaking: "When asked by the careers teacher to list ten things he wanted to get out of life, [he] didn't think to include happiness," and the cover image perfectly illustrates how Clover and Darren really are separate from each other, both impacted by the loss of Clover's mother but dealing with it on their own.  The more of Darren's story we learn and the more of Clover's item explanations we read, the more you feel for both of them and the more you want them to talk to each other, to help each other heal.

At the same time, it's funny, Mrs. Mackerel and her confused, wrongly worded phrases and sayings somehow still get the point across but are moments of levity.

It is also a hopeful story. Even as you're aware of Clover and Darren's pain, of how not knowing her mother has affected her and how remembering their past has affected him, it's clear how much they both do love each other. You want for them to be able not only talk to each other, but to move forward with their lives, as well. (And their are hints that they just may be able to do both.)

I loved the writing of The Museum of You, the way we got both Clover and Darren's narratives, how their loss has impacted them both (the more obvious outward ways and the inner ways both), the different characters in their lives (most of whom truly were characters) and how their story came together.




digital review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday [@ibizoboi @harperteen @BalzerandBray]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



AMERICAN STREET by Ibi Zoboi

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?



published February 14, 2017 by Blazer + Bray

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


Why?

I enjoy books that show us different cultures or countries and/or those that give us characters adapting to somewhere new. When the character is adapting to life somewhere more familiar to me, their thoughts and feelings about how it's different from where they're from, from home really give me an idea of what their home (in this case Port-au-Prince) was like, while connecting me with the character.

I also really appreciate books that handle current and pertinent issues, too - like Fabiola's mother being detained by immigration.

I look forward to seeing how this story deals with its character, her life and the changes in that life along with all of the choices she must make.


That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Debuts


This week's Ten:
My Top 10 2016 Debuts Reads

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Into the Dim (#1) by Janet B Taylor

Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy
Goodreads//review

Blackhearts (#1) by Nicole Castroman

These Vicious Masks (#1) by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas

Love, Lies & Spies by Cindy Anstey

A Fierce & Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner



Please leave a comment and let me know your favorite 2016 reads - whether they're debut novels or not!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Happy Boxing Day, Happy second day of Christmas Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, or just Happy Monday! 

via GIPHY

Enjoy the holidays and Book Sp(l)ot Reviews will be back with all new reviews and bookish posts soon.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Book Trailer Friday [@epicreads]

The trailer I'm sharing today is for King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard, the third book in the Red Queen series, it will be published February 7th, 2017 by Harper Teen.




Have a great weekend and enjoy the holidays!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Civilianized ~ Michael Anthony (earc) review [@warvetauthor @ZestBooks]

Civilianized: A Young Veteran's Memoir
Pulp
December 27, 2016
192 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

After twelve months of military service in Iraq, Michael Anthony stepped off a plane, seemingly happy to be home—or at least back on US soil. He was twenty-one years old, a bit of a nerd, and carrying a pack of cigarettes that he thought would be his last. Two weeks later, Michael was stoned on Vicodin, drinking way too much, and picking a fight with a very large Hell’s Angel. At his wit’s end, he came to an agreement with himself: If things didn’t improve in three months, he was going to kill himself. Civilianized is a memoir chronicling Michael’s search for meaning in a suddenly destabilized world.

I really appreciated and enjoyed the honesty in Michael Anthony's Civilianized memoir.

"I'd had enough. It wasn't that I wanted to die; it was just that I didn't want to live." (pg 13)

Back home now after a year spent in Afghanistan, it's not exactly the joyous, celebratory homecoming many would expect. Being in a war, Anthony had to find certain ways to adapt, ways to fit with that life. Now, back home with everyday life, it's hard to adjust. Those things that make you a good soldier in awar, don't make for a good guy down the street at home.

Those were things I had heard and/or read before but in Civilianized we're given examples, the chance to see how the little things (talking to girls, dinner with family, going to bars, etc) can be different and difficult. This book - and its author - do a really nice job showing us what can be hard about a veteran's return home, things not necessarily unique to Anthony but also giving us his specific story, the things that happened to and with him.

This book was under HMH Children's Books (Zest Books and its imprint Pulp are distributed by HMH Books) but it is much more of an adult or, really, New Adult non-fiction read. It doesn't gloss over the author's difficulties upon returning home, in fact, they are much of the story, and that may be a bit much for younger readers. Michael Anthony is twenty-one at the time the book takes place, though, he joined the military at age seventeen and his former classmates and friends are college-age, it's something NA and older YA readers should read. And really think about.

I liked being able to read about Michael Anthony's return home from Afghanistan and war, his struggle to move back into civilian life, seeing how others treated him, learning from the facts and anecdotes both included.

The United States has had members of our military serving in war zones and/or other areas of conflict (nearly continuously, but in larger numbers) for over a decade but we often don't know much about the individual people or what life is like for them once they come home. Civilianized, through Michael Anthony's story, gives us a glimpse into that.







received for review from publisher, via NetGalley

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday [@TiffanyPitcock @SwoonReads]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



JUST FRIENDS by Tiffany Pitcock

Jenny met Chance for the very first time when she was assigned as his partner in their Junior Communications class. But one clever lie to rescue a doomed assignment later, and the whole school was suddenly convinced that Little-Miss-Really-Likes-Having-A's and the most scandalous heartbreaker in school have been best friends forever.

It’s amazing how quickly a lie can grow—especially when you really, really want it to be the truth. With Jenny, Chance can live the normal life he’s always kind of wanted. And with Chance, Jenny can have the exciting teen experiences that television has always promised her. And through it all, they hold on to the fact that they are 'just friends.' But that might be the biggest lie of all.



published August 01, 2017 by Swoon Reads

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


Why?

The description of this book sound so cute and fun. I want to know what that lie was, how it was supposed to help - and if it did! - and why it convinced people htey were best friends. Then, I want to see how it impacts Jenny and Chance's lives . . . and what happens between them.

(Plus, it's from Swoon Reads and I have loved everything I've read from this imprint and the forthcoming 2017 books from them look so good.)



That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books from Santa


This week's Ten:
Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree

I decided to focus on Nonfiction Books - mainly biographies - because I have been listening to a lot of them lately but I hate that when I'm listening it's so hard to highlight/bookmark/otherwise note quotes, facts, etc  would like to remember. I think having some print (or ebook) copies of these for reading would be great.




Fever by Mary Beth Keane



The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters (aka Take Six Girls) by Laura Thompson



The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale


Eleanor Roosevelt, Vol 1, 1884-1933 by Blanche Wiesen Cook


Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story by Barbara Leaming


Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott

and number ten will require some sort of Santa magic because I can't remember/figure out the title or subject (oops!). I know it's written by a woman, it's a biography, it's about a man and I read about it somewhere and thought it sounded really interesting. Not much at all to go on but I'll figure it out sooner or later. (I thought I'd added it to Goodreads but maybe not.)




Please leave a comment and let me know what books you'd like to receive this holiday season!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Book Trailer Friday [@epicreads @nbluer]

It's Friday and that means another book trailer for you to check out!

Rules of the Game (Endgame #3)
Harper Collins
December 27, 2016
352 pages
on Goodreads/pre-order from Book Depo/or Amazon

The revolutionary Endgame trilogy concludes in this explosive finale to the series. One key remains—can the Players find it before the end of the world?

The strongest are left.
One final key remains.
The fate of the world is in their hands.

The world of Endgame is populated by twelve ancient bloodlines. In each line, a Player trains for a catastrophic event that has not yet happened—until the Calling. Once they were called, the Players set off on a journey in search of three ancient keys that will save not just their line, but the world. Two keys have now been found, and the remaining Players must find the final key—before Endgame brings about the ultimate destruction.

Each book in the trilogy features an interactive “super puzzle” comprised of clues and riddles layered into the story.

The last book in the Endgame Trilogy by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton is out on the 27th and here's the trailer, posted this week:


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wrecked ~ Maria Padian (earc) review [@AlgonquinYR @mpadian]

Wrecked
Algonquin Young Readers
October 04, 2016
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Everyone on campus has a different version of what happened that night.

Haley saw Jenny return from the party, shell-shocked.

Richard heard Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with.

When Jenny accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard are pushed to opposite sides of the school’s investigation. Now conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible—especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.


Wrecked is a very relevant story that manages to not seem preachy, like a PSA or judgmental.  There is a variety of characters - including Haley who's always been the soccer star but may not be looking at a different future; Jenny, the premed, quiet, focused student; Richard, the math tutor; Carrie the super eco-conscious senior.  It works for providing different perspectives on the alleged assault but also money, relationships.

Most of the characters do have a 'name' the other characters call them, usually unbeknownst to them, and this felt unnecessary, if not a bit cliche. (Possibly because the names are all introduced in such close proximity to each other.) Though the monikers are used, the book doesn't rely on them and really does develop its characters beyond those first impressions or perceptions.

I liked that there were relationships beginning, ending, or otherwise developing parallel to the investigation. Everyone was involved, somehow, in the investigation so nothing was ever really separate from it but things did take place concurrently. Two characters in particular were pretty adorable which seemed like it should feel wrong next to something so not but it worked. The relationship was a nice bit of lightness in the story but had the weight that the investigation and why there was an investigation called for.

One other thing I liked was the way that the flashbacks/earlier timeline were included. Pieces of Jenny's night, that night, are at the end of each chapter and readers slowly get that story as they read Wrecked. It was interesting, as a reader, to be in the same place as the characters, having to choose what and who to believe without really knowing the truth.







review copy received via NetGalley, from publisher

Waiting On Wednesday [@av_geiger @FollowBackBook @SourcebookFire]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



FOLLOW ME BACK by A.V. Geiger
When a disguised pop star and his #1 Twitter fan arrange to meet in real life, fake identities are revealed, and what should have made for the world's best episode of Catfish turns deadly. Follow Me Back is a romantic thriller for the online generation, told through a combination of police transcripts, Twitter DMs, and a dual POV narrative.

published June 01st by Sourcebooks Fire

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


Why?

I really enjoy books that use different narrative formats and Follow Me Back has DMs, two narratives and police transcripts. Then there's the fact that it is a 'romantic thriller' and I do love thrillers and there's a pop star and I do like novels with celebrity characters.

This one sounds like a fun read, combining a lot of elements I love.



That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: 2017 Reads [@torbooks @DelacortePress @delreybooks @fluxbooks @simonteen @penguinteen @swoonreads]


This week's Ten:

 Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward To For The First Half Of 2017


This week I really couldn't narrow it down to ten books, so there are thirteen (I thought I had it down to eleven which seemed great . . . only to realize I'd forgotten two I couldn't not include, so thirteen.):

Seeker (Riders #2) by Veronica Rossi
I am really, really looking forward to seeing where this story (and series) go now that we have the general setup, know the characters, they know each other and some of what's at stake. Not to mention how the book ended . . . 

The Adjustment (The Program #3) by Suzanne Young

I loved The Program as soon as I read it - Sloane and James are still two of my favorites from any book. At first, I was sorry that the characters wouldn't be carried over into the other books (The Remedy, The Epidemic) but once I read them, I really didn't care. (Or much, I do really like Sloane and James.) I love how the different books, different characters and different points in time all work together so well to create the world of the Program.

Now I Rise (The Conquerer's Saga #2) by Kiersten White

The 'Vlad the Impaler' as a girl concept is till so much fun (and hold so many possibilities). Now that I know about Leda's childhood and her character, I'm curious to see what happens as she gets older and how close to history/legend it is.

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis

It is never too soon for another Mindy McGinnis book to read. I love her characters, that there are girls, young women who aren't what you would expect - either because of the time period, because of society and what they think girls should be, or some combination of all of it. Plus, this one's a fantasy!

Blacksouls (Blackhearts #2) by Nicole Castroman

In Blackouls, I get those fantastic characters we met in Blackhearts and more pirate-ness? What culd be better? (Not a lot, that's the answer.)

The Edge of the Abyss (The Abyss Surrounds Us #2) by Emily Skrutskie

It's sea monsters, pirates, ships and now we can get even more into the story, the characters and the world!

Daughter of the Pirate King by Trish Levenseller

It's pirates! I kind of love pirates. Especially girl pirates and this one has a romance, a father-daughter relationship and sounds like a great read!

Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta
Goodreads // In the After review

In the After and In the End are two of my favorite books. I love Amy and Baby and the wold imagined in those two books. Something new from Demitria Lunetta is an absolute, absolute must read for me, this one can't come out soon enough.

Wires and Nerves, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer, illustrated by Douglas Holgate

It is a graphic novel and it's about Iko, what more do you need to know to need to read it? (Nothing, hopefully.)

Duels & Deception by Cindy Anstey

Love, Lies & Spies was such a fun read and I really am looking forward to more from Cindy Anstey (maybe just a bit more than I originally was because of the suggestion of 'duels.' Maybe.)

Alone (The Generations Trilogy #3) by Scott Sigler
Goodreads // Alive & Alight reviews

I don't want to be too specific with this one because I really don't want to accidentally spoil anything, at all! This series has been full of brilliant surprises and unbelievable endings. I thought Alive has an ending that couldn't be beat but oh did Alight's ending. So much happens in these books and I enjoy them so much, I really want to read Alone!  

The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend

I enjoyed Where You'll Find Me so much more that I had ever expected to. I thought it was going to be sweet and cute and nice but there was so much more to that story. The characters (honestly, I really did love Marnie) were amazing and the way difficult subjects were tackled was really well done. It all has me excited to read The Other F-Word (not to mention it has an awesome title).

Traveler by L.E. DeLano

Traveler's alternate worlds, alternate versions of the main character's life and I haven't read an alternate realities book is a while. I am especially drawn to the fact that it isn't just one alternate world, but several. (That and the streampunk pirates bit, of course.)





Please leave a comment and let me know your most anticipated reads from the first half of next year!
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