I always appreciate the help and most importantly the distraction from the REAL countdown to be able to see how they've transformed Suzanne Collins' masterpiece, The Hunger Games to the big screen. I know we're all crossing our fingers that the movie holds true to the book, and that it lives up to our expectations (or at least as much as any film can) so that we can have yet another excuse to relive the amazing novel over and over again!
Countdown Pick #1: Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker (05/22/2012)
Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life.
Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now.
Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart?
Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.
I'm already on Clem's side aren't you? I know it happens more often than not, but there's always some kind of love triangle going on and relationship drama sprouts up everywhere no matter how badly everyone tries to avoid it. But regardless of the reason and the regularity, someone always gets hurt and unfortunately most of us have been there ourselves. So while I'm rooting for Clem to mind her broken heart and hurt feelings, I'm already liking the idea of a sailing trip. Who wouldn't want the opportunity to sail away your summer? I would for sure, so if anyone's looking for someone to stand in for them on a future summer long sailing trip please let me know and I'm on board...pun intended!
Countdown Pick #2: Lost Girls by Ann Kelley (07/10/2012)
No parents. No rules. No way home.
Fourteen-year-old Bonnie MacDonald couldn't be more excited for a camping trip on an island off the coast of Thailand with her fellow Amelia Earhart Cadets-the daughters of the men and women stationed there during the Vietnam War. But when a strong current deposits the girls on what their boatman calls the "forbidden island," things take a turn for the worse: A powerful storm comes to destroy their campsite, the smallest of the junior cadets is found dead, and their boatman never returns. What once seemed like a vacation in paradise has become a battle against the elements.
Peppered with short, frantic entries from Bonnie's journal, Lost Girls is a page-turning, heart-pounding adventure story about a group of teen girls fighting for their lives.
I am all about a nice vacation on some remote island...but let's be serious here, there's no way this sounds like any trip I'd want to take part in at any point in my life. Not to mention an island full of girls doing whatever it takes to survive...scary much? Let's not kid ourselves, girls can be vicious when necessary...and some just because they like it. But I've just got to say it, has everyone run out of places to have bad things happen around...I mean Thailand has been getting a bad rap as far back as I can remember. I hope at some point in the future someone writes a book or a movie where good things happen in Thailand, because at the moment, I'm not sure how many people put that destination at the top of their list for vacation spots despite how beautiful and wonderful I'm sure it is.
Countdown Pick #3: The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland (05/10/2012)
Elizabeth Margaret—better known as Em—has always known what life would contain: an internship at her father’s firm, a degree from Harvard and a career as a lawyer. The only problem is that it’s not what she wants. When she gets the opportunity to get away from it all and spend a month with the aunt she never knew, she jumps at the chance. While there, Em pursues her secret dream of being a chef, and she also learns that her family has kept some significant secrets from her, too. And then there’s Cade, the laid-back local surfer boy who seems to be everything Em isn't. Naturally, she can’t resist him, and as their romance blossoms, Em feels she is living on her own terms for the first time.
I think I'm just in the mood for summer novels because it seems like I've come across quite a few lately that are all about vacations, summer getaways, and adventures that take place outside of the dull and chilly fall and winter seasons. When I found this one I was excited for Em and all the fun she might end up having during her Summer trip to visit her aunt. I have been lucky enough to have two great parents that have always been supportive whichever direction the tides took me and whatever passions I wanted to explore. But it doesn't sound like the case for Em. So I'm hoping for her fictional sake that she has some fun and that as a reader I'll get to enjoy the ride right along with her.
Countdown Pick #4: Reached (Matched Trilogy, #3) by Ally Condie (November 2012)
After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising–and each other–Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.
In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.I just love love love this series! I can't wait for November to roll around and get the chance to see how Condie is going to continue this series and then of course wrap things up. Now that I've gushed about how much I've come to love this series...it was instantaneous, I'm now able to say how sad I am that it's ending. I can't believe it's going to be over and only wish she'd decided to extend the series instead of just making it a trilogy. Three books just doesn't seem like enough, right? So while I really wish this wasn't the end, it was such a stellar series I'm sure I'll be coming back to it again and again and can only hope Condie writes another series equally as amazing.
Countdown Pick # 5: The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) by Libba Bray (09/18/2012)
Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.
Again, not always instantly drawn to the historical novels but this one I'm give a shot for one reason; Libba Bray. Her writing just has this romantic and flowing quality about it that makes it so you readers feel as if they're transported to the very place she's writing about. You'll feel as if you're right there beside the characters she's woven her world around, and it amps up the fun that her writing brings to the table. For the same reason I was a fan of Midnight in Paris, I think I'll equally enjoy The Diviners, simply because the era represented has always pulled me in and left me wishing that I had grown up then instead of now.