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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

AudiobookSync Summer Audiobooks!

Just a quick heads-up reminder: the annual Sync Summer Audiobook program from Audiofile is about to start up again for the summer, and it. Is. AMAZING.

If you're unfamiliar, every year, audiofile gives away 2 FREE audiobooks every week, ususally a YA fiction and non-fiction tie-in, in an effort to get teens reading (or listening) to more books over the summer.  The program is entirely free, and entirely amazing, so I'd suggest signing up and setting yourself weekly reminders!

The whole thing begins April 26th, and runs weekly for 13 consecutive weeks. Prepare to LISTEN TO ALL THE THINGS!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

GIVEAWAY & GUEST POST: The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix!

A quick note: joining us today is Margaret Peterson Haddix, one of the few (there were a grand total of 2) authors my non-reading sister has ever enthusiastically read and pushed on me. In addition to this guest post and giveaway, Margaret will be hosting a Twitter Takeover on @YoungEntMag on April 23rd, from 7-9pm ET. Margaret will be discussing some of her “firsts” and answering reader questions about her books, so make sure to stop by and check it out!

Welcome to Day #2 of The Summer of Broken Things Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The Summer of Broken Things on April 10th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Margaret Peterson Haddix and 10 chances to win a copy of the book! 

Atocha Memorial

My daughter and I were lost.

We were holding a map of Madrid in our hands, and we knew both the name of the street we were on and the nearest intersection. So our problem wasn’t exactly that we were geographically lost, but that the landmark we expected to see before us—a memorial to the victims of train bombings in 2004—was nowhere in sight.

So maybe the problem was that the memorial was lost?

It was the hottest day of our August 2015 trip to Spain for me to do research for my book, THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS. The two of us were already sweaty and thirsty and exhausted from hours of walking around looking at other sites I intended to use in the book. 

“Maybe the map’s just a little off, and it’s actually in the next block,” I suggested.

“If we ever find this place and then your editor makes you cut that scene from your book, I’m going to be so mad,” my daughter groused.

And… that made me give up. Because I didn’t know for sure if I was going to mention the Atocha train station memorial (also known as the 11-M Memorial) in my book. I wasn’t entirely certain which of the sites we’d visited would find their way into the first draft of the book, let alone stay around for the final version. That’s the nature of research trips, at least the way I do them—I never entirely know what’s going to be important, so I try to see and do as much as I can.

But that afternoon I decided it was time to be kind to my daughter and go get something cold to drink instead of continuing our search. She was along as my combination tour guide and translator, since her Spanish skills are far superior to mine and she’d actually spent a semester studying in Spain only a year and a half before. And amazingly--given the pace of our trip and our jet lag and all the other things that can go wrong during travel--we really only had that one moment of grouchiness with each other.

That evening back in our (air-conditioned) Airbnb apartment, I doubled down on my internet research, and re-convinced myself that the Atocha memorial could end up playing a vital role in my book. And the next morning, better rested and less grumpy, we walked right to it.

The secret was that it was mostly underground, which I saw as a perfect metaphor for both grief and the underlying problems my main characters, Avery and Kayla, have in THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS. The only way to get into the memorial is to first walk through the train station. And I really do not blame the people who run the train station for not having a lot of signs directing visitors to the memorial—I took several trains in and out of Atocha station myself that week, and I didn’t want to be reminded every time that it had been the site of a terrorist bombing killing 191 people not that long ago.

But I found myself in awe of the memorial itself. In one sense, it is only a dark, empty room, sealed off from the rest of the train station by thick, mostly soundproof glass that makes the ordinary scene outside seem surreal. Isolated in that room, I wondered if that’s what it might feel like to be a ghost, to hover near the living but not be able to reach or speak to them. 

The main light in that memorial comes from above, from a funnel of words on translucent plastic. The words are the expressions of grief in multiple languages that flowed into Madrid after the bombing. They make a twisting spiral of sorrow and condolences, woe and comfort.

The morning we were there, my daughter and I had the memorial to ourselves; nobody else visited. I wondered if that was a sign that, after more than a decade, the grieving survivors of those who died in the 11-M bombing have less of a need for the memorial.

But the room’s stillness and condolences might still serve as a beacon for others who are lost or in pain.

And s of course I ended up placing the Atocha memorial in my book. It becomes an important place for Kayla at a time when she’s also lost and struggling and in need of comfort. And then eventually Avery finds solace there, too.

Some lost places are worth searching for.


Blog Tour Schedule:

April 16th — BookhoundsYA

April 17th — The Book Rat

April 18th — Book Briefs

April 19thParajunkee

April 20th — A Dream Within a Dream

April 23rd — Crossroad Reviews

April 24th — I Am a Reader

April 25th — Page Turners

April 26th — Once Upon a Twilight

April 27th — Tales of the Ravenous Reader

Follow Margaret: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

From New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes a haunting novel about friendship and what it really means to be a family in the face of lies and betrayal.

Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.

But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.

Margaret Peterson Haddix weaves together two completely separate lives in this engaging novel that explores what it really means to be a family—and what to do when it’s all falling apart.

About the Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including the Children of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio.


  • One (1) winner will receive a finished copy of The Summer of Broken Things
  • US only
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter
  • Please do not leave any sensitive info (addresses, emails, etc) in the comments!
  • Ends April 24 at 11:59 EST
  • Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 16, 2018

Feed Your Reader (2): mid-April, 2018

I dunno how frequently we're going to have new FEED YOUR READER posts -- it'll likely be dependent on how many awesome books are available at even awesome-er prices -- but if it's too frequently, feel free to let me know.
But. . . is there any such thing as TOO MANY book sales?
I think not.

Anyway, some of these are time-sensitive and ending soon, so I thought I'd pop up a round 2 of potentially awesome books for you to stock your ereaders, phones, and generally bookish Clouds with, on the cheap!
Make sure to click through for the full post!

***All covers are clickable and lead directly to the deal***

Save the date! This one goes on sale for 99¢ April 19-26!
Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she's been pretending to be something she's not, using her sister's magic to hide her own loss and prevent being sent away.

When she's finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister's help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find "her" demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He's cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope's impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter's not telling her everything, and it's starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they're far too interested in her.

I know I mentioned The Falconer in the last deals post, but there's been an update: it's dropped down in price even further, and is now on sale for 60¢! That's crazy talk.
Edinburgh, 1844. Beautiful Aileana Kameron only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. In fact, she's spent the year since her mother died developing her ability to sense the presence of Sithichean, a faery race bent on slaughtering humans. She has a secret mission: to destroy the faery who murdered her mother. But when she learns she's a Falconer, the last in a line of female warriors and the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity, her quest for revenge gets a whole lot more complicated. The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller blends romance and action with steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.

This one garnered all the accolades.
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...
But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.
A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.

This one has Labyrinth vibes and is only on sale until the 20th!
While trying to save her brother from the witch three years ago, Greta was thrown into the fire herself, falling through a portal to a dangerous world where humans are the enemy, and every ogre, goblin, and ghoul has a dark side that comes out with the full moon.

To survive, 17-year-old Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she's good at what she does. So good, she's caught the attention of Mylena's young Goblin King, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her determination to escape.

But Greta's not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. The full moon is mere days away, and an ancient evil being knows she's the key to opening the portal. If Greta fails, she and the boys she finds stranded in the woods will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back . . .

Reader Routines | Lunch Chat

Join me for lunch?

I really want to do a nice, relaxing #readervibes video for you, so allow me to pick your brain on your routines and ideal reader vibes by telling me ALL THE THINGS in the comments. I want details, people! Set the scene. =D

If you have topics you'd like to see covered in a lunch, book, or tea chat, please let me know!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Cover Love (1): Children of Blood and Bone

Having my little 28 Days of Book Love back in February made me aware of a few things:
  1. My love of design, and specifically bookish design, runs deep. The tiniest detail can be make or break for me, but man, do I love those tiny details.
  2. I don't feature book design nearly enough on this blog anymore.
  3. I really, really want to.
Some of you may recall, I used to do a regular feature called Friday Face Off, where I showed different versions of the same book, or 2 (or more) different books that used the same basic cover or style, and asked you to weigh in on which was the best.*  And though it was always one of my most popular posts, it was a lot to keep up with, and so it kind of fell by the wayside, as so many things do.

And though I've always meant to incoporate design discussions in more posts, I've always had this weird little negative voice in the back of my head that tells me "You can't do that" if it's not something substantial, like some of the design-based Book Chats. But I CAN DO THAT.

So from here on out, I want to just feature some of my favorite book designs, pore over all of their intricacies and the things that make them so good, and hear your thoughts on the same, in a new series I'm -- aptly -- calling Cover Love.
And we'll start today with a recent love, and one that's on my most-anticipated list for 2018:

Children of Blood and Bone Tomi Adeyemi book cover

I mean, just. . .

Just look at it. My god. So simple, so striking.
Rich Deas' art is just... *kisses fingertips* PERFECTION.

I'd love to know your thoughts! Do you love it? Hate it? Seen one that's very similar? Let me know in the comments!
I'd also love to hear about some of your favorite covers -- you may be seeing them in an upcoming Cover Love post!

about the book:
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

BTW, did you know you can read a sneak peek of this one? Because Amazon informs me that you can.

*Do we miss FFO? Do we want it to come back?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton | Review

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton
Magical Realism / Contemporary / Fantasy, 288 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by Candlewick Press
From the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting maelstrom of magic and murder in the lush, moody Pacific Northwest.

When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona cursed them. Fast-forward one hundred–some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it. In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author — Nor’s own mother — looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.

I cannot tell you how many times I've read and fallen in love with a book that I found to be nicely plotted and paced and plenty compelling, only to pop over to Goodreads and find that people are describing it as slow. . . So add this to the list of books I champion under the heading of "SLOW PACING IS NOT THE SAME AS EVEN PACING AND DEVELOPMENT, PEOPLE," along with faves like All These Things I've Done, Tin Star, Tess of the RoadThe Accident Season...
aka, Slow Burn Books (apparently).

(And wouldn't you know, these are coincidentally also my cold fish books. Could it be that what some readers consider slow is being in the head of a female character they don't love unreservedly? There may be a future Book Chat in there, somewhere...)

The Price Guide to the Occult lured me in thoroughly and immediately.  It's darker and more complex than I was expecting; more no-holds-barred than one generally meets with in YA (which is no slight to the vast array of YA that is out there, whether it 'goes there' or not, but Price Guide frequently and immediately insists it will pull no punches).

Yes, it could be cheesy, and yes, it could be over the top -- as a book I just finished reading proclaims, most good books are -- but against a magical realistic backdrop of intergenerational witches on a windswept island, a bit of over the top works. I felt connected to the story from nearly page one; there are some stories that make you feel not just as if you can visualize the place and characters, but as if you know them. Books that make you feel you have spent a considerably larger amount of time within their pages than you actually have. This owes a lot to an author's handle on their story and world, I think -- even when you don't have all of the information, you can tell when an author does. You can tell when their brain has been half-within their story world for quite some length of time. Everything feels realized. Characters act as only they would. There is consistency, through and through.

Price Guide gave me that, along with healthy doses of some of my favorite things -- family sagas about strong, magical women; internal and external conflict; quirky small towns; actual real-world conseqeunces; tall tale vibes -- wrapped up in a story that is both light and dark, simple and complex, fast and slow.  It had its flaws, certainly (the end is too messy and fast-paced to suit the build up that came before, and the build-up in general definitely satisfied me more than the resolution), but there's no denying that I tore through it, (mostly) loved it, and didn't want to be finished when I was. I would very much love stories about the previous Blackburn women of Anathema island. And I very much think I need to finally get around to picking up Walton's other novel, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender.

Maybe you'll disagree with my fondness for this book and these characters, just as maybe you've disagreed with the handful of other books that I've thoroughly loved and ate up, only to see other's call it boring. But either way, I recommend The Price Guide to the Occult just as I've recommended those cold-fish others, and am very curious to hear your thoughts, if and when you read it.

Major trigger warning for themes of abuse, self-harm, and everything surrounding such weighty topics.

Friday, April 13, 2018


I mentioned in another post recently (actually, maybe this is going up first, so maybe I will mention in another post... I've been writing and scheduling in so many posts - for me - that I don't honestly know!) that I have a goal of featuring more books more often, and in more ways, as a general rule on this blog. One of those ways -- and let me know if you like this idea -- is to do a monthly post highlighting some of the books that are coming out that month, that would be my top picks if someone handed me a bookstore gift card and said, "Go crazy."

So here are my picks for April. Some are already out, and some will be out very soon. A couple of these are either on my shelves, or will be featured in some other way around these parts very soon. (Ahem, giveaway of one of these coming soon and/or possibly already up, depending on when you're reading this, and when I've scheduled things for! See note above... ;D)

Take a look, let me know what you think, and if I've missed any April, 2018 releases that I DEFINITELY need to have, please tell me in the comments!

And of course, each cover is >clickable< so you can find out more or pick a copy up!

This is in my TBR for this month!
A captivating novel about two extraordinary teens, and the unsolvable problem of life after high school.

Sophia is smart, like genius-calculator-brain smart. But there are some things no amount of genius can prepare you for, and the messiness of real life is one of them. When everything she knows is falling apart, how can she crack the puzzle of what to do with her life?

Joshua spends his time honing magic tricks and planning how to win Sophia’s heart. But when your best trick is making schoolwork disappear, how do you possibly romance a genius?

In life and love, timing is everything.

Published April 1st 2018 by Peachtree Publishers

I mean... everyone's buzzing about this.
Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Published April 3rd 2018 by Balzer + Bray

I was a big fan of McCarthy's You Were Here.
Fandom and first love collide for Iris on the film set for her grandmother’s famous high-fantasy triology—perfect for readers of Fangirl!

Unlike the rest of the world, Iris doesn't care about the famous high-fantasy Elementia books written by M. E. Thorne. So it's just a little annoying that M. E. Thorne is her grandmother—and that Iris has to deal with the trilogy's crazy fans.

When Iris gets dropped in Ireland for the movie adaptation, she sees her opportunity: if she can shut down production, the Elementia craze won't grow any bigger, and she can finally have a normal life. Not even the rascally-cute actor Eamon O'Brien can get in her way.

But the crew's passion is contagious, and as Iris begins to find herself in the very world she has avoided her whole life, she realizes that this movie might just be amazing…

Published April 3rd 2018 by Sourcebooks Fire

*tries not to want book solely based on cover*
*reads synopsis and still wants book, is happy*
*realizes book is only in AUS, is sad*
Two very different girls, and one giant hoax that could change – or ruin – everything.

Harriet Price has the perfect life: she's a prefect at Rosemead Grammar, she lives in a mansion, and her gorgeous girlfriend is a future prime minister. So when she risks it all by creating a hoax to expose the school's many problems – with help from notorious bad-girl Will Everheart, no less – Harriet tells herself it's because she's seeking justice. And definitely not because she finds Will oddly fascinating.

But as Will and Harriet's campaign heats up, it gets harder for them to remain sworn enemies – and to avoid being caught. As tensions burn throughout the school, how far will they go to keep their mission – and their feelings for each other – a secret?

Published April 2nd 2018 by Hardie Grant Egmont

I don't know that I've ever come across a more unique-sounding book.
In an alternate reality a lot like our world, every person’s physical size is directly proportional to their wealth. The poorest of the poor are the size of rats, and billionaires are the size of skyscrapers.

Warner and his sister Prayer are destitute—and tiny. Their size is not just demeaning, but dangerous: day and night they face mortal dangers that bigger richer people don’t ever have to think about, from being mauled by cats to their house getting stepped on. There are no cars or phones built small enough for them, or schools or hospitals, for that matter—there’s no point, when no one that little has any purchasing power, and when salaried doctors and teachers would never fit in buildings so small. Warner and Prayer know their only hope is to scale up, but how can two littlepoors survive in a world built against them?

A brilliant, warm, funny trip, unlike anything else out there, and a social novel for our time in the tradition of 1984 or Invisible Man. Inequality is made intensely visceral by an adventure and tragedy both hilarious and heartbreaking.

Published April 3rd 2018 by Amulet Books

Welp. I need it.
The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, Princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.

The people of Mide have thankfully always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately, a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn, but the entire world.

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle the two might have a chance to save their world.

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.

Published April 10th 2018 by HarperTeen

Sometimes I just really crave romances that are fraught with tension and obstacles and SO MUCH HEADBUTTING.
A teen werewolf finally meets her destined soulmate only to discover that he's not quite what she expected in this steamy debut romance.

She's met her mate . . . and he's met his match.

Megan Ross has been waiting her whole life for her mate to come and sweep her off her feet. But the wolf she meets on the beach is NOT the sweet gentle boy she's been dreaming of. Instead, he's a warrior, one whose suffering has led him to lock his heart away in a prison as cold and hard as a diamond, who fights to resist the bond and their deep sexual attraction.

Far from home, with a soulmate who is still a stranger, Megan learns that the path to true love isn't quite as straight and easy as she thought . . .

Published April 10th 2018 by Swoon Reads

Spare, windswept, western -- these words didn't make it into my buzzwords list. But they should have.
Ten years ago, a horrifying disease began spreading across the West Texas desert. Infected people—shakes—attacked the living and created havoc and destruction. No one has ever survived the infection. Daisy Wilcox, known as Willie, has been protecting her siblings within the relatively safe walls of Glory, Texas. When Willie’s good-for-nothing father steals a fortune from one of the most dangerous shake-hunters in town, she finds herself on the hook for his debt. With two hunters, including the gruff and handsome Ben, to accompany her, she sets out across the desert in search of her father. But the desert is not kind to travelers, and not everyone will pass through alive.

Western meets horror for this riveting story about survival, family, and inner strength. Tense, short chapters propel readers from one action-packed scene to the next, while Willie’s distinctive, introspective voice deepens the emotional stakes with every turn of the page. High concept and character-driven, Emma Berquist’s debut will satisfy fans of The Magnificent Seven, Rae Carson’s Walk on Earth a Stranger, and HBO’s Westworld.

Published April 10th 2018 by Greenwillow

Psst! You can enter to win this!
Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.

But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.

Published April 10th 2018 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

I am just so. damn. fascinated. by everything about this.
How do you live after death?

Julie Nolan is a pretty average girl with pretty average problems. She’s been in love with her best friend, Lorelei, ever since they met in grade three. Only Lorelei doesn’t know about it — she’s too busy trying to set Julie up with Henry, her ex, who Julie finds, in a word, vapid.

But life gets more complicated when Julie comes home to find her mother insisting that her heart is gone. Pretty soon it becomes clear: Julie’s mom believes that she has died.

How is Julie supposed to navigate her first year of high school now, while she’s making midnight trips to the graveyard to cover her mother with dirt, lay flowers and make up eulogies? And why is Henry the only person Julie feels comfortable turning to? If she wants to get through this, Julie’s going to have to find the strength she never knew she had, and to learn how to listen to both her mom’s heart and her own.

Published April 10th 2018 by HarperCollins

Again, love the cover, only in AUS. =/
Kit Learmonth would rather die than grow up and leave Neverland …

When she was twelve, Kit Learmonth watched her parents drown in a storm as their boat sailed over the Tranter Sink Hole. Now seventeen, Kit doesn’t remember the incident, and she doesn’t want to. In fact, her only clear memories from before her parents’ death are of the fantastical stories of pirates and mermaids that she and her dad invented about the small island where she grew up, a place she calls Neverland.

Following Kit’s parents’ deaths, her uncle and guardian, Doc, transformed the island into a boarding school for mentally ill teenagers and sent Kit away to school on the mainland. But when Kit tries and fails to end her life, Doc brings her home to the island and places her in the care of his colleague, Dr Hannah Ward.

Resisting her treatment, Kit instead pulls her friends deeper into her world of make-believe. It’s only when Kit and her new boyfriend, Rohan, take the fantasy too far and land themselves in very real danger that her faith in Neverland is shaken, and Kit must find a way back to reality.

Published April 1st 2018 by Penguin Random House Australia

Am I the only one getting serious dark fairy tale retelling vibes from this?
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she's not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who's been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart's sister, Cress.

Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice to become queen.

Expected publication: April 24th 2018 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Did I miss anything amazing? Or is there a book coming up in the next few months that you're dying for? 
Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

VLOG: #30DayBookBinge round 4, week 1

This is the LONGEST VLOG EVER. I am sorry about that, but if you mke it all the way through, 10 points to your house of choice! (Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Stark... you do you.)

I'd love to hear how your month of reading is going so far, whether or not you're participating in the Binge! Let me know in the comments! And if you've printed off any of the printables and are making use of them, make sure to tag me on instagram or twitter, because I'd love to see!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Backlist Love (3)

I like dem, you should read dem.


Everybody Sees the Ants
Lucky Linderman didn't ask for his life. He didn't ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn't ask for a father who never got over it. He didn't ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn't ask to be the target of Nader McMillan's relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.

But Lucky has a secret--one that helps him wade through the daily mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos--the prison his grandfather couldn't escape--where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It's dangerous and wild, and it's a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside?

THE SECRETS OF the past meet the shocks of the present.
Aslaug is an unusual young woman. Her mother has brought her up in near isolation, teaching her about plants and nature and language - but not about life. Especially not how she came to have her own life, and who her father might be.

When Aslaug's mother dies unexpectedly, everything changes. For Aslaug is a suspect in her mother's death. And the more her story unravels, the more questions unfold. About the nature of Aslaug's birth. About what she should do next.

About whether divine miracles have truly happened. And whether, when all other explanations are impossible, they might still happen this very day.

Addictive, thought-provoking, and shocking, Madapple is a page-turning exploration of human nature and divine intervention - and of the darkest corners of the human soul.

Thirteenth Child
Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent -- and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Feed Your Reader! | April 7, 2018

For ages now, I've been meaning to start a regular(ish) feature here on The Book Rat, that would highlight ebook (and occasionally physical book) deals for you to fill your ereader (and bookshelves) with.  I know that scrawling through endless pages of books in search of the best deals is not only time consuming, but bad for my budget, but eh -- what can you do?

So hopefully I'll save you some scrolling, and some bank notes, by highlighting any picks that I happen to come across!  (Fingers crossed I can keep this an ongoing thing! 'Cause we all know, consistency is not always my forte...)  Here's to the first of many glorious ebook deals, free books, and kindles filled with gorgeous covers...  *swoon*
This first round is pretty fantasy heavy, 'cause I was feeling it. But there's lots more to be had!

FYI: Some of these are free. None are over $5.
(Actually, come to think of it, none are over 4, and most are under 3. ^_^ )

*each cover is a clickable link to the deal!

(That last one is part of Kindle in Motion, which I had never actually seen -- check out the cover on Amazon! It moooooves!)

(I just really love the series design as a whole on this one.)

That should be enough to get you started, eh? Happy reading!
And if you come across any awesome book deals, send 'em my way!

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you end up purchasing any of these books, Amazon may pay me a referral fee; your cost is the same, I just get a slice of that sweet, sweet Amazon pie. (But the free books are just free, so...)
Prices may -- and are likely to -- vary, so no deal is guaranteed for any length of time, or outside of the US.


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