Friday, November 18, 2011

Countdown: 2012 Releases (2)

You guys know the drill by now...I'm always on the lookout for new finds and exciting new reads and below are just a few that I've come across lately. With how busy everyone gets if I don't write the titles down immediately I'll never be able to remember them later when I'm ready to download a new book to my kindle, or in the store wondering which shelf to look through first. So by posting these countdowns I give myself one more place to look when I need to be reminded of the titles I'm looking forward to.

And as always if you guys hear of any that you haven't seen me post let me know. Like I said, I only have so much time to search for future reads on my own, and to be honest, the majority of my favorite titles I owe to friends/bloggers/author recommendations. So leave a comment, shoot me an email, etc... if there are any books or authors you think I should have on my radar.

Countdown Pick #1: Bewitching (Kendra Chronicles) by Alex Flinn (02/14/2012)

Bewitching can be a beast. . . .

Once, I put a curse on a beastly and arrogant high school boy. That one turned out all right. Others didn’t.

I go to a new school now—one where no one knows that I should have graduated long ago. I’m not still here because I’m stupid; I just don’t age.

You see, I’m immortal. And I pretty much know everything after hundreds of years—except for when to take my powers and butt out.

I want to help, but things just go awry in ways I could never predict. Like when I tried to free some children from a gingerbread house and ended up being hanged. After I came back from the dead (immortal, remember?), I tried to play matchmaker for a French prince and ended up banished from France forever. And that little mermaid I found in the Titanic lifeboat? I don’t even want to think about it.

Now a girl named Emma needs me. I probably shouldn’t get involved, but her gorgeous stepsister is conniving to the core. I think I have just the thing to fix that girl—and it isn’t an enchanted pumpkin. Although you never know what will happen when I start . . . bewitching.

I know I was wishing for a little more of Kendra in Beastly and was disappointed when I didn't get my way. But now that Flinn has created a series for her alone I'm on board and no longer pouting. She's a dark and mysterious girl and her past seems riddled with fairy tales she can contribute to. So Flinn has got me counting down to hear more about his spin on what sounds like Cinderella maybe? And that's not even to mention finding out her involvement with the Titanic and all the other momentous and often catastrophic events that she was around and involved in.

Countdown Pick #2: Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry (January 2012)

A year after graduating from high school, nineteen-year-old Emma Ward feels lost. She has spent most of her life trying to please her frigid, miserable mother - studying hard, getting good grades, avoiding the whole teenage rebellion thing - and now she feels she has no identity beyond that. Because she spent so many years working hard and planning every moment of her life, she doesn't have any friends, has never had a boyfriend, and basically doesn't know who she is or what she really wants from life. Working two part-time jobs to save money for college hasn't helped her make decisions about her future, so she decides it's time for a change. She leaves home to live with her free-spirited, slightly eccentric Aunt Daisy in a small town that makes Emma feel like she's stepped back in time.

When Emma meets Nicholas Shaw, everything changes - he's unlike anyone she's ever met before, the kind of man she didn't even know existed in the 21st century. Carefree and spirited like Daisy, Nicholas teaches Emma to appreciate life, the beauty around her, and to just let go and live. Between Daisy and Nicholas, Emma feels like she belongs somewhere for the first time in her life, and realizes that you don't always need a plan - sometimes life steers you where you're meant to be.

Life is wonderful, an endless string of blue sky days, until Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, and life changes once again for Emma in ways she never thought possible. Now it's time for her to help Nicholas the way he's helped her. Emma will have to use her new-found strength, and discover along the way if love really is enough to get you through.

While I'm putting this title down on my countdown, I might wait a little while before actually picking it up. It sounds like one of those great stories of love and discovery, but then reality is slammed into all of us by giving one of the characters a terminal disease and destroying the idyllic picture readers have created. I'm not sure if I can handle such a realistic work and endure the roller coaster of emotions that is sure to come with such heavy topics. Only time will tell if I can handle it.

Countdown Pick # 3: Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols (07/10/2012)

The wildly popular author of Going Too Far, Forget You, and Love Story returns with a sexy and poignant romantic tale of a young daredevil pilot caught between two brothers.

High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.

But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business--until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers--and the consequences could be deadly.

She has quickly become one of my favorite and most reliable authors out there. Every book she writes I can't seem to get through fast enough and I love them all to death. They're always romantic, deep and poignant, but also good for a few laughs too. I'm not sure how she does it but I only want her write more, more, more! And this next release sounds like it could be her best yet! Now I just wish there was a cover to go with this awesome write up.

Countdown Pick #4:
Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay (12/27/2012)

My wish
is to fall
cranium over Converse
in dizzy, daydream-worthy

When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father.

By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "vacation" has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up. But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? can you even know it until you've lost it?

Love and Leftovers is a beautifully written story of one girl’s journey navigating family, friends, and love, and a compelling and sexy read that teens will gobble up whole.

Tregay sounds like she's going to deliver a story that is sweet as much as it is refreshing. We all wonder what love will really feel like when it happens to us before we've gone through it ourselves. And while I'm sure that it's different for everyone, it sounds like Tregay's got a great story in the works. I'm anxious to see what her characters must go through and what they discover about themselves and with each other along the way.

Countdown Pick #5:
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller (06/19/2012)

A powerful debut novel about a young Marine's return home from Afghanistan and the new life and love he finds while fending off the ghosts of war.

When Travis Stephenson returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are on the brink of divorce, his brother has stolen his girlfriend and his car, and nightmares of his best friend getting killed keep him completely spooked. But when he runs into Harper Gray, a girl who despises him for trashing her reputation with a middle school lie, life actually starts looking up. As Travis and Harper see more of each other, he starts falling for her and the way through the family meltdown, the post-traumatic stress, and the possibility of an interesting future begins to emerge.

His sense of humor, sense of his own strength, and incredible sense of honor make Travis an irresistible and eminently lovable hero in this fantastic and timely debut novel.

I think this is another one that may take me some time before I can work up the nerve to read it. I have a very good friend who is currently serving in the military and so this hits pretty close to home. With what I know, and all that I don't know (and I know that far outweighs the other) I'm sure this will make for a very difficult read. However it does sound like Doller may give us a version of a happy ending so I'm adding it to my list and I'll work on getting up my nerve to read this one for myself.

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