Saturday, October 1, 2011

New This Week!

New This Week! is a weekly feature in which I showcase some of the titles released in the Young Adult world throughout week. Each picture is linked to its respective Goodreads page, so if a cover appeals to you be sure to click on it to learn more about the book.

Week of: September 25th - October 1st, 2011










This is a list of the books that come out through the week. This list is NOT in chronological order, but instead alphabetized. To see the books on the date that they are actually published, please be sure to "like" Missy's Reads & Reviews on Facebook.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Double Clutch Review


Double Clutch (Brenna Blixen #1)
by Liz Reinhardt
Released September 6, 2011
What happens when you fall for the perfect guy...twice...in one day?

Brenna Blixen spent her freshman year homeschooling in Denmark; now that she's back in the States, she's determined to make her sophomore year unforgettable. And by unforgettable, she imagined awesome classes, fun friendships, and maybe a little romance.

What she got was a whole lot of romance, and all at once.

The same day that dark, brooding Saxon Maclean charmed her with his killer good looks and whip-smart wit, Jake Kelly stole her breath away with his heart-wrenching smile and intelligent, thoughtful focus.

But Saxon is a proud player who makes it clear that he doesn't know why he can't get Brenna off of his mind and out of his system, and Jake's sweet and humble attitude hides a secret past life that might be darker and more complex than Brenna is willing to deal with.

Complicating the matter is the fact that Saxon and Jake were once best friends and are now arch-enemies...and the more Brenna finds out about their connection to each other, the more intrigued and worried she becomes.

Between keeping the peace with her lovingly over-protective parents, designing t-shirts for her high school's rising punk band, keeping up her grades in classes split between academic and technical high school, and running the track like a maniac, Brenna has enough to worry about with out juggling two guys who make her heart thud and drive her crazy all at once.

She has to make a choice, but how is she supposed to do that when giving her heart to one of them might mean breaking the other's?

When people ask me why I review self-published works as well as works published by major houses instead of just reviewing for major houses only, I want to point them in the direction of fabulous books like this one. If I just reviewed for publishers only, then I would miss out on some really incredible stories.

Double Clutch is not a book that is driven only by its plot. As a matter of fact, the plot takes the backseat to character development. Sometimes in stories, this is a downgrade because the story tends to drag and there always seems to be too much brooding and melodrama. Thankfully, this is not the case AT ALL with this book. The funny thing is that Brenna starts out as a strong character to begin with - she's pretty confident and sure of herself with a nice dose of independence. However, we get much more from her as we proceed through the novel. She grows significantly, maturing and adapting to everything that comes along with being a teen, as well as having a boyfriend and feelings for a guy that seems to be a little more than just a friend.

Normally, this is where I post my doubts about how a love triangle could possibly be good for a story.. but I just can't do that with Double Clutch. This is one of those instances where there are two guys that are attracted to Brenna that are both flawed but inevitably both nice guys who show their adoration in different ways. Relating to the main character and trying to figure out which guy is best for her really keeps you turning the pages in this because it isn't a typical cookie cutter love triangle. This is one of those rare instances where there's no clear "better" choice for Brenna and that really turns the intrigue up. Jake and Saxon are both great guys in their own ways with their own sets of pros and cons. Add to that a history and story between THEM as well (not romantically), and your head is spinning from all of the revelations and swoon-worthy moments between the three of them.

As far as romances go, I give this book an A+ and then some. I would have loved to see a little more to the plot - maybe a little more conflict. Like I said though, the story keeps you so hooked with everything going on with the main characters, there's no way I could give this anything less than 5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed Double Clutch and cannot wait to read more in its sequel, Junk Miles.

(Note: Older YA)

Rating: ★★★★★
Source: Purchase



Buy The Book
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday



May 22, 2012
Emma and her friend Chloe are spending vacation in Florida. When Emma (literally) runs into a hot guy named Galen on the beach, little does she know he’s a prince of the Syrena. Galen and Emma both feel something strange – is it attraction? – and Galen suspects that Emma might well be the girl he’s heard of – a human who can communicate with fish.

What follows is a deadly scene with a shark in which Galen witnesses Emma’s gifts. He must know more about her, and follows her back to New Jersey, and high school, to find out for sure if she’s the key to saving his kingdom. Soon, Emma can’t deny her feelings for him, but can’t explain them, either – and both she and Galen must learn more about where she comes from and what her powers are before they can trust one another and their feelings.


Vacations, a hot guy, talking to fish ... and said hot guy following you back home? Okay, the last part is a wee bit creepy but the premise of this book definitely has me intrigued! The only problem now is waiting for May 2012 to arrive!

What are you waiting on??

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


This Week's Topic:
Top Ten Books I Want To Reread

1. Breaking Dawn, by Stephenie Meyer - This is more in preparation for the release of the movie. I always like to re-read books before I watch the movie.
2. Hex: A Witch and Angel Tale, by Ramona Wray - It's one of my favorite YA reads, so I'd like to revisit the world soon.
3. Of Bees and Mist, by Erick Setiawan - There's so much going on in this book, it took me a while to read.. yet, it made me feel so amazing afterwards that I would like to relive that amazing feeling.
4. The Chronicles of Narnia, by CS Lewis - I haven't read these in YEARS, so why not?
5. Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side, by Beth Fantaskey - I absolutely fell in love with this book and could not put it down when it first came out.
6. The Harry Potter series, by JK Rowling - Actually, this is more of a "really read it this time" instead of "reread it" because I started but never finished.
7. The Wicked Years series, by Gregory Maguire - The last book in the series comes out soon and this makes me sad. But I would like to read this series over again because it is so amazing.
8. Arson, by Estevan Vega - It's a great book... do I need any more reason?
9. Wynter Chelsea series, by Becca Ritchie - I'm having Amanda and Dustin withdrawals, so I'll have to just reread the first two books until the next comes out!
10. Halo, by Alexandra Adornetto - This is the only book I've ever given less than three stars to and I seem to be one of the very few that didn't enjoy it. I feel like I'm missing something, so maybe a second chance would help out?

What's on your Top Ten this Tuesday?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shut Out Review


Shut Out
by Kody Keplinger
Published by Poppy
Released September 5, 2011

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

Inspired by Aristophanes' play Lysistrata, critically acclaimed author of The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) Kody Keplinger adds her own trademark humor in this fresh take on modern teenage romance, rivalry and sexuality.

Even though I do own Kody Keplinger's debut, The D.U.F.F., Shut Out is the first book that I have read by her. Having said that, I went in with very little knowledge on the author (other than knowing people sing their praises for her debut) but finished the book with much respect for the author.

I like Lissa as a main character because she's very easy to relate to, yet there was something there that held me back from absolutely falling in love with her. I can't quite put my finger on what it is, though I'm pretty sure that it has to do with something that can't be mentioned anyway because it would be slightly spoiler-ish. She has the right idea in the book though and she executes it seemingly well with the help of some of the other female characters. I actually kind of like all of the girls that was part of the group in the book because they do develop a sense of camaraderie throughout this whole debacle that they've put themselves into when they normally would probably never get along. It was... sweet. I'm also probably going to be one of the only girls to review this book and say this, but I really don't think that Randy was as bad as Lissa made him out to be. She did break promises to him and any normal guy would be a little ticked, even though those promises should have never been made in the first place. Cash is obviously very swoon-worthy, so there's no need to spend unnecessary time singing his praises - just trust me when I say he's a great character.

While I normally cringe at books that have themes like female empowerment, this book was sprinkled with just enough to where you know it's there but it's not completely extreme nor overwhelming. I'll also be honest and say that I expected to see more dealing with the strike itself... or at least, I wanted to see more that dealt with the strike and the battle that followed.


Overall, this was a great read that deals with real life issues not always touched on in the Young Adult genre. Although it's loosely based on a Greek play, it most definitely stands strong with its own plot and voice. If you like a good YA Contemporary read, you'll want to pick up Keplinger's Shut Out.

Rating: ★★★★✩
Source: Purchase





Sunday, September 25, 2011

In My Mailbox


Hosted By: The Story Siren
Inspired By: Pop Culture Junkie


Author Request:
Ashes (Arson #2), by Estevan Vega
More than three months have passed since Arson and Emery were taken. Taken and then separated.

And experimented on.

Salvation Asylum is more like a prison than a psychiatric facility. Unknowingly, Arson has become a vital instrument in a campaign set to genetically alter mankind. Enraged, confused, trapped, and unable to fully manifest his abilities, he wonders if he will ever see Emery again. His new existence is one crawling with questions. Is Grandma alive? Where does the fire come from? Can he become more than a monster?

In Ashes, book two of the ARSON series, nightmare and reality collide as Arson must embrace what he is and the haunting realization that there may be others out there, others like him.



Author Request:
Double Clutch, by Liz Reinhardt
What happens when you fall for the perfect guy...twice...in one day?

Brenna Blixen spent her freshman year homeschooling in Denmark; now that she's back in the States, she's determined to make her sophomore year unforgettable. And by unforgettable, she imagined awesome classes, fun friendships, and maybe a little romance.

What she got was a whole lot of romance, and all at once.

The same day that dark, brooding Saxon Maclean charmed her with his killer good looks and whip-smart wit, Jake Kelly stole her breath away with his heart-wrenching smile and intelligent, thoughtful focus.

But Saxon is a proud player who makes it clear that he doesn't know why he can't get Brenna off of his mind and out of his system, and Jake's sweet and humble attitude hides a secret past life that might be darker and more complex than Brenna is willing to deal with.

Complicating the matter is the fact that Saxon and Jake were once best friends and are now arch-enemies...and the more Brenna finds out about their connection to each other, the more intrigued and worried she becomes.

Between keeping the peace with her lovingly over-protective parents, designing t-shirts for her high school's rising punk band, keeping up her grades in classes split between academic and technical high school, and running the track like a maniac, Brenna has enough to worry about with out juggling two guys who make her heart thud and drive her crazy all at once.

She has to make a choice, but how is she supposed to do that when giving her heart to one of them might mean breaking the others?

Comments:
We all know from my review of Arson and When Colors Bleed that Estevan's books rock my socks, so it should be no surprise that I was beyond excited when I got an e-mail from him about Ashes. I'm desperately flying through several books right now in an attempt to get to this one ASAP. ;)

Double Clutch looks like something that is just too good to pass up, so I did what any sane book reviewer would do... uhh, I didn't pass it up. I'm currently working through it and, although I can't say much until I finish, I can say that I am very impressed with it so far!
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5/26/2013: If you're here and you're reading this.. thanks for sticking around! I know I've been gone for a while but I am definitely coming back. This blog will be going through some crazy transitions (layout and such) for the next few days, but I should be back up and ready to review VERY soon. Thanks so much for your patience and support!! xoxo, Missy
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