Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Countdown: February 2013 (4)

February is a short month but it seems to be packed with great new titles that will hit the shelves in that small amount of time. A few series sequels and a bunch of new titles and authors to check out and I'm excited for each one of them. For some reason outside of Valentine's Day there usually isn't much else going on with everyone in February. It's always a great time to unwind and decompress as much as possible after the holidays, and also a perfect time to get cozy at home with a few of the great books that I've gotten from friends and family. 

So I'm hoping that the tradition stands this year and come February the countdown will have been worth it and I'll be able to squeeze as many books as possible into that month and to pump out as many reviews for the blog as possible. So here are just a few of the titles that come out in February that I'm looking forward to diving into.

Countdown Pick #1:  Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood (02/14/2013)

Iris Dancy’s free-spirited mum has left for Tunisia, her dad’s rarely sober and her brother’s determined to fight anyone with a pair of fists. 

When a family of travelers move into the overgrown paddock overnight, her dad looks set to finally lose it. Gypsies are parasites he says, but Iris is intrigued. As her dad plans to evict the travelling family, Iris makes friends with their teenage son. Trick Deran is a bare knuckle boxer who says he’s done with fighting, but is he telling the truth? 

When tools go missing from the shed, the travelers are the first suspects. Iris’s brother, Sam, warns her to stay away from Trick; he’s dangerous, but Iris can no longer blindly follow her brother’s advice. He’s got secrets of his own, and she’s not sure he can be trusted himself. 

Infinite Sky is a family story about betrayal and loyalty, and love.

I'm curious to see what this one is all about.  I can't say that I've read many stories involving gypsy families but there's a first for everything and I think this one sounds like it could be a real winner.  I've seen some early reviews and it seems heartache awaits all readers who try this one out, I'm just hoping that along with all that there may be a chance for a happy ending as well.

Countdown Pick #2:  Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco (02/12/2013)

Bee is an orphan who lives with a carnival and sleeps in the back of a tractor trailer. Every day she endures taunts for the birthmark on her face—though her beloved Pauline, the only person who has ever cared for her, tells her it is a precious diamond. When Pauline is sent to work for another carnival, Bee is lost.

Then a scruffy dog shows up, as unwanted as she, and Bee realizes that she must find a home for them both. She runs off to a house with gingerbread trim that reminds her of frosting. There two mysterious women, Mrs. Swift and Mrs. Potter, take her in. They clothe her, though their clothes are strangely out of date. They feed her, though there is nothing in their house to eat. They help her go to school, though they won't enter the building themselves. And, strangely, only Bee seems able to see them.

Whoever these women are, they matter. They matter to Bee. And they are helping Bee realize that she, too, matters to the world--if only she will let herself be a part of it.

This tender novel beautifully captures the pain of isolation, the healing power of community, and the strength of the human spirit.

My curiosity has run away with me on this one.  I can't imagine who these women could be and why only Bee can see them.  Are they real?  If they're not than are we to think that this girl is raising herself?  Not quite sure what to expect with this read but I'm looking forward to seeing if I can get my questions answered one way or another.

Countdown Pick #3:  Revel by Maurissa Guibord (02/12/2013)

There’s an island off the coast of Maine that’s not on any modern map.

Shrouded in mist and protected by a deadly reef, Trespass Island is home to a community of people who guard the island and its secrets from outsiders. Seventeen-year-old Delia grew up in Kansas, but has come here in search of her family and answers to her questions: Why didn’t her mother ever talk about Trespass Island? Why did she fear the open water? But Delia’s not welcome and soon finds herself enmeshed in a frightening and supernatural world where ancient Greek symbols adorn the buildings and secret ceremonies take place on the beach at night.

Sean Gunn, a handsome young lobsterman, befriends Delia and seems willing to risk his life to protect her. But it’s Jax, the coldly elusive young man she meets at the water’s edge, who finally makes Delia understand the real dangers of life on the island. Delia is going to have to fight to survive. Because there are monsters here. And no one ever leaves Trespass alive.

I have always been fascinated with all things Greek and Roman mythology.  While I understand that this book doesn't spell it out that it may or may not have anything to do with the topic, hearing about ancient Greek symbols was enough to sell me on this future release, and I can't wait to dive right in.  Not to mention the fact that the description hints at a possible love triangle, and we all know I have a hard time resisting those, right?

Countdown Pick #4:  The Whole Stupid Way We Are by N. Griffin (02/05/2013)

What happens when everything you’ve got to give isn’t enough to save someone you love?

It’s Maine. It’s winter. And it’s FREEZING STINKIN’ COLD! Dinah is wildly worried about her best friend, Skint. He won’t wear a coat. Refuses to wear a coat. It’s twelve degrees out, and he won’t wear a coat. So Dinah’s going to figure out how to help. That’s what Dinah does—she helps. But she’s too busy trying to help to notice that sometimes, she’s doing more harm than good. Seeing the trees instead of the forest? That’s Dinah.

And Skint isn’t going to be the one to tell her. He’s got his own problems. He’s worried about a little boy whose dad won’t let him visit his mom. He’s worried about an elderly couple in a too-cold house down the street.

But the wedge between what drives Dinah and what concerns Skint is wide enough for a big old slab of ice. Because Skint’s own father is in trouble. Because Skint’s mother refuses to ask for help even though she’s at her breaking point. And because Dinah might just decide to…help. She thinks she’s cracking through a sheet of ice, but what’s actually there is an entire iceberg.

I think I'm going to like this one.  It doesn't sound like it will be an easy, quick and fun read that would be perfect for a nice relaxing Summer day, but that's not the point.  I think we all know someone that we've either been friends with, call family, etc...that means well and never sets out to makes things worse, but sometimes no matter what you do, things just happen and they can't be helped.  There are always going to be people that think they can solve any problem and fix whatever's the matter, but we know deep down that reality has something different to say to that.  So I'll be interested to see just how bad and difficult things actually get and what will become of these characters that are so desperate to fix the situations that are obviously out of their control.

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