Thursday, May 31, 2012

Countdown: 2012 Releases (18)

This weekend is going to be a blast, I can just feel it! I've got my older sister's bridal shower on Saturday and in the meantime, a whole bunch of her friends and family will be streaming in left and right for the party and many of them will be staying with me in the city. It's definitely going to be a full house, but what better way than to celebrate B's upcoming big day, right? We've got the shower Saturday afternoon and a fabulous girls' night out in the city later that night....and what's looking like a huge slumber party with the girls back at my place afterwards!

So with all the planning and coming together of last minute details I haven't had much time to catch up on my reviews for the great reads I've gotten through lately. Sorry about that but it looks like you'll have to make due with a few more countdown posts in the meantime. Eventually I'll get my act together again and will make up for it with some reviews of wonderful titles that I couldn't resist recommending to all of you readers! Plus there just seems to be no end in sight to the long list of titles that are scheduled to release before the year is out, so on with the countdown!

Countdown Pick #1: Smashed by Lisa Luedeke (08/21/2012)

A field hockey star grapples with addiction in this riveting debut that will appeal to fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak.

Stay out of trouble for one more year, and Katie Martin can leave her small town loneliness behind forever. She is a field hockey star on the fast track to a college scholarship, but her relationship with alcohol has always been a little questionable. Then trouble finds her. Alec is the most popular guy in school, and also the biggest bully—with his sights set firmly on Katie. When Alec turns on the charm, Katie thinks she must have been wrong about him.

Except that she wasn’t. On a rain-soaked, alcohol-drenched night, one impulsive decision leaves Katie indebted to Alec in the worst possible way. This debut novel is a fast-paced and compelling story of addiction, heartbreak, and redemption.

Knowing going into this one that it won't be a fast paced fun read I think is the way to go. While the pace may be a quick one, a fun read it does not sound like. These are high stakes that the author describes, but it's a title that I won't be able to pass up. I will admit that the first line of the description drew me in before I even got any future. I was a big field hockey player in high school and still love and miss the sport years later. So while I know this story won't be one surrounding the sport, it's still unique to see the main character playing a sport other than soccer or softball or something around those lines. Hopefully she'll be able to turn things around and hold on to that college scholarship she has lined up.

Countdown Pick #2: Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate (10/02/2012)

Sixteen-year-old Evening Spiker lives an affluent life in San Francisco with her mother, EmmaRose, a successful geneticist and owner of Spiker Biotech. Sure, Evening misses her father who died mysteriously, but she’s never really questioned it. Much like how she’s never stopped to think how off it is that she’s never been sick. That is, until she’s struck by a car and is exposed to extensive injuries. Injuries that seem to be healing faster than physically possible.

While recuperating in Spiker Biotech’s lush facilities, she meets Solo Plissken, a very attractive, if off-putting boy her age who spent his life at Spiker Biotech. Like Evening, he’s never questioned anything... until now. Solo drops hints to Evening that something isn’t right, and Emma-Rose may be behind it. Evening puts this out of her mind and begins her summer internship project: To simulate the creation of the perfect boy. With the help of Solo, Evening uncovers secrets so big they could change the world completely.

What have the authors cooked up with this one? Genetic testing, fast healing abilities and a scientific lab with secrets that go on forever...awesome is the word you guys are looking for here. I'm not sure how the authors have this planned out or what's really in store for their readers to uncover, but I am almost positive that it will be filled with twists and turns and revelations that will be impossible to predict. And what kind of reader doesn't love a challenge?

Countdown Pick #3: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han (09/18/2012)


Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, May left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste

I wonder how far these three girls are willing to go and what they feel will suffice as far as retribution is concerned? I guess we'll all have to pick this book up if we want to find out the answers to those questions, won't we? I'm curious to hear more about what exactly happened in detail to these three girls to get them to the point they've reached and how they plan on correcting the wrongs that were done to them. I also can't wait to see if they succeed. I'm not sure if I believe in the old saying, 'An eye for an eye' but I'll admit to not having any problem reading and cheering on fictitious characters while they try to emulate that very saying.

Countdown Pick #4: The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab (10/09/2012)

Caro Mitchell considers herself an only child—and she likes it that way. After all, her much older sister, Hannah, left home eight years ago, and Caro barely remembers her. So when Caro’s parents drop the bombshell news that Hannah is returning to live with them, Caro feels as if an interloper is crashing her family. To her, Hannah’s a total stranger, someone who haunts their home with her meek and withdrawn presence, and who refuses to talk about her life and why she went away. Caro can’t understand why her parents cut her sister so much slack, and why they’re not pushing for answers.

Unable to understand Hannah, Caro resorts to telling lies about her mysterious reappearance. But when those lies alienate Caro’s new boyfriend and put her on the outs with her friends and her parents, she seeks solace from an unexpected source. And when she unearths a clue about Hannah’s past—one that could save Hannah from the dark secret that possesses her—Caro begins to see her sister in a whole new light.

This one sounds a little intimidating to me, but I'm going to give it a go. I haven't read any of Jarzab's previous work, but I've heard only good things, so I've got my fingers crossed that I'll like what I read. I'm already trying to think of possible reveals that could come out of Caro's search to find out what really happened to her sister Hannah, and what those revelations will mean for both Caro and everyone else around her....most especially Hannah herself. Curiouser and curiouser.

Countdown Pick #5: Blink Once by Cylin Busby (09/04/2012)

West is a high school senior who has everything going for him until an accident leaves him paralyzed. Strapped down in his hospital bed, slipping in and out of consciousness, West is terrified and alone. Until he meets Olivia. She’s the girl next door—sort of. A patient in the room next to his, only Olivia can tell what West is thinking, and only Olivia seems to know that the terrible dreams he’s been having are not just a result of his medication. Yet as West comes to rely on Olivia—to love her, even—certain questions pull at him: Why has Olivia been in the hospital for so long? And what does it mean that she is at the center of his nightmares? But the biggest question of all comes when West begins to recover and learns that the mysterious girl he’s fallen in love with has a secret he could never have seen coming.

Yikes, right? I'm not sure what to think of this future release to be honest. And despite being so confused, I'm also strangely excited and looking forward to figuring this one out for myself. It's got the makings of one of those reading challenges where the reader can try and figure things out before they're actually revealed. No one ever wants to see everything coming, but every once in a while it's awesome when you solve a puzzle before the answers have been given, and you're able to give yourself a little pat on the back, so to speak. This one has me wanting to do just that!

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