Countdown Pick #1: The Future of Us by Jay Asher (11/12/2011)
It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.
Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM. Josh is her best friend.
They power up and log on and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.
Everybody wonders what their destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.
If you're not familiar with Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why, please do yourself a favor and go out and buy yourself a copy. It's an emotional roller coaster and at times hard to read, but is overall so worth it. I wouldn't even need to read the description to be interested in this one. If Jay Asher wrote it, I'm on board and expecting greatness. However, I did read the description and can't help but get excited over the details. How cool would it be to see where and how things end up for you in the future? I can't wait!
Countdown Pick #2: The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.
Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.
The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.
Reading prose in college as an English major honestly made me want to cringe. It was just never my favorite thing. So when a fellow blogger suggested Schroeder's Chasing Brooklyn, which is written in prose, I was less than enthused to jump in and seriously doubtful I'd make it to the end. I was an idiot! Schroeder takes prose and creates works of art. Readers will forget they're even reading the uncommon format. After Chasing Brooklyn became close to my heart I decided anything Lisa wrote I wanted to read. Amber and Cade's story sounds like it could be a tear jerker, but one I'm anxious to check out. I've got my tissues ready for sure.
Countdown Pick #3: Starstruck by Cyn Balog
Gwendolyn "Dough" X doesn't think she has much going for her—she carries a few extra pounds, her family struggles with their small bakery in a town full of millionaires, and the other kids at her New Jersey high school don't seem to know that she exists. Thank the stars for her longtime boyfriend, Philip P. Wishman—or "Wish." He moved away to California three years ago, when they were 13, but then professed his love for her via e-mail, and he's been her long-distance BF ever since.
At the beginning of her junior year, though, Wish e-mails that he's moving back to Jersey. Great, right? Well, except that Dough has gained about 70 pounds since the last time Wish saw her, while Wish—according to his Facebook photos—has morphed into a blonde god. Convinced that she'll be headed for Dumpsville the minute Wish lays eyes on her, Dough delays their meeting as long as she possibly can.
But when she sees Wish at school, something amazing happens. He looks at Dough like she's just as gorgeous as he is. But Wish is acting a little weird, obsessed with the sun and freaked out by rain. And the creepy new guy working at the bakery, Christian, is convinced that there's more to Wish's good looks than just healthy eating and lots of sun. He tells Dough that a mark on Wish's neck marks him as a member of the Luminati—an ancient cult of astrologers who can manipulate the stars to improve their lives. Is Wish and Dough's love meant to be—or are they star-crossed?
I've met and hung out with Cyn and she's in a word, fabulous! Her writing is no different. It made me laugh, cry, tense up and turn pages as quickly as possible just to find out what would happen next. When I got this one in the mail, work was unfortunately keeping me crazy busy and reading was hard to squeeze in. I'm hopeful that as things have slowed down a notch, Gwendolyn, Philip and the rest of Balog's characters and I will get the chance to get to know each other. I can't imagine that Starstruck won't live up to my high expectations, so I'm excited to have a good book to curl up with now that summer is drawing to a close.
Countdown Pick #4: Fins Are Forever (Fins, #2) by Tera Lynn Childs
On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mergirl, true, but signing the renunciation will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being-human thing once and for all.
Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, the waves start to get rough. Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?
The seafoam on the raging surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up—Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her own dreams?
Lily and Quince finally got together at the end of TLC's series opener and the sequel was so far off, that had I not been content with the ending, I might not have made it to it's release date. Now I find this installment starting at me from my bookshelf and I'm wondering what I'm waiting for. So with trouble following Lily on land and a new guy thrown into the mix, I'm worried that my period of contentment is now over. I can only cross my fingers and hope that I leave the last page of this installment as happy and content as I did with the series opener.
Countdown Pick #5: All You Desire (Eternal Ones, #2) by Kirsten Miller
Haven Moore and Iain Morrow have been living a blissful life in Rome, an ocean way from the Ouroboros Society and its diabolical leader. But paradise is not to last. The mysterious disappearance of Haven's best friend, Beau, sends the pair running back to New York, where they encounter the Horae, an underground group of women who have spent centuries scheming to destroy Adam Rosier. Only they can help Haven uncover the secret to Beau's whereabouts in one of her past lives. But their help comes at a price: Haven must infiltrate the Ouroboros Society, charm Adam Rosier, and lure him into a trap. It's a plan the Horae believe will save the world-but Haven and Iain fear that it may destroy the happiness they've been chasing for two thousand years.
Haven and Iain are yet another couple I was excited to see in fictional bliss at the end of Miller's series opener. And Miller seems to be another author who doesn't appear ready to let their bliss last. I'm still a fan, but Miller's making me nervous with the secret plans which lead to traps, missing persons and lives in jeopardy. The reprieve seems to be over, so I'm looking forward to seeing what she's got up her sleeve. I'd like to see Beau safe, Have and Iain together and Adam Rosier to get what he deserves. Is it likely to go my way? Probably not, but a girl can dream, right?