Waiting on Wednesday: THE GIRL WITH THE RED BALLOON

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke.  There’s time travel, someone’s using dark magic to change history, and it’s set in Berlin before the Wall came down?  Count me in for what sounds like it will be a truly unique read.

The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke

Publication Date:  September 1, 2017

From katherinelockebooks.com:

Ellie Baum feels the weight of history on her when she arrives on a school trip to Berlin, Germany. After all, she’s the first member of her family to return since her grandfather’s miraculous escape from a death camp in 1942. One moment she’s contemplating the Berlin Wall Memorial amidst the crowd, and the next, she’s yanked back through time, to 1988 East Berlin when the Wall is still standing.

Nobody knows how she got there, not even the members of the underground guild–the Runners and the Schopfers–who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall. Now as a stranger in an oppressive regime, Ellie must hide from the police with the help of Kai, a Runner struggling with his own uneasy relationship with the powerful Balloonmakers and his growing feelings for Ellie. Together they search for the truth behind Ellie’s mysterious travel, and when they uncover a plot to alter history with dark magic, she must risk everything–including her only way home–to stop the deadly plans.

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your WoW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Read the Day Away

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Read In One Sitting Theme: ten of the shortest books I’ve read, top ten books I read in one sitting, ten books to read when you are short on time, top ten books that will make you read the whole day away, etc.  I had a total brain freeze and could only think of about 3 short books I had read, so I ended up going the ‘books that will make you read the day away’ route.  It was easy to think of books that were so good I completely lost track of time and ended up reading the entire day away.  I tend to get sucked in by World War II stories and by survival stories of any kind because I find them so riveting, and I feel the same way about suspenseful murder mysteries.  On the other hand, however, I’ve also been known to lose myself in emotionally driven stories and even in the rich language of poetry.  Here are just a few titles that once I got started on them, I got so caught up in the story that I read on and on, even beyond the point where my butt had fallen asleep from sitting for too long and my legs were so stiff that I could barely walk!

Top Ten Books That Will Make You Read The Day Away

 

1. THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah

Goodreads Synopsis: Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.  (Read more…)

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2. THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky

Goodreads Synopsis: Read the cult-favorite coming of age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Now a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic.

The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.  (Read more…)

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3. UNBROKEN: A WORLD WAR II STORY OF SURVIVAL, RESILIENCE, AND REDEMPTION by Laura Hillenbrand

Goodreads Synopsis:  On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.   (Read more…)

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4. THE SURGEON by Tess Gerritsen

Goodreads Synopsis:  IN BOSTON, THERE’S A KILLER ON THE LOOSE…A killer who targets lone women, who breaks into their apartments and performs terrifying ritualistic acts of torture on them before finishing them off. His surgical skills lead police to suspect he is a physician – a physician who, instead of saving lives, takes them.

But as homicide detective Thomas Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli begin their investigation, they make a startling discovery. Closely linked to these killings is Catherine Cordell, a beautiful doctor with a mysterious past. Two years ago she was subjected to a horrifying rape and shot her attacker dead.

Now the man she believes she killed seems to be stalking her once again, and this time he knows exactly where to find her…  (Read more…)

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5. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir

Goodreads Synopsis: A mission to Mars.  A freak accident.  One man’s struggle to survive.

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.  Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, Mark won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive.  But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.   (Read more…)

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6. MAYA ANGELOU:  THE COMPLETE COLLECTED POEMS

Goodsreads Synopsis:  Maya Angelou’s poetry – lyrical and dramatic, exuberant and playful – speaks of love, longings, partings; of Saturday night partying and the smells and sounds of Southern cities; of freedom and shattered dreams. Of her poetry, Kirkus Reviews has written, ‘It is just as much a part of her autobiography as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together in My Name, Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas, and The Heart of a Woman’. (Read more…)

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7. MY SISTER’S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult

Goodreads Synopsis:  Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues, My Sister’s Keeper is the story of one family’s struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time.  (Read more…)

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8. THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS by John Boyne

Goodreads Synopsis:  Berlin, 1942 : When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences. (Read more…)

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9. THE COLOR PURPLE by Alice Walker

Goodreads Synopsis:  The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name.

Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence. (Read more…)

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10. AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie

Goodreads Synopsis:  First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.  (Read more…)

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Question:  What books have made you completely lose track of the time while reading?

Waiting on Wednesday – Spotlight on DEFY THE STARS by Claudia Gray

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray.  I’m a big sci-fi fan anyway, but I have to admit the fabulous cover is what initially drew me to this book, but once I read the starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly where they mention religion, terrorism, love, free will, and high stakes action (just to name a few things!) I knew this one had to go on my TBR.

Defy the Stars

by Claudia Gray

Publication Date:  April 4, 2017

From Amazon:

Noemi Vidal is a teen soldier from the planet Genesis, once a colony of Earth that’s now at war for its independence. The humans of Genesis have fought Earth’s robotic “mech” armies for decades with no end in sight.

After a surprise attack, Noemi finds herself stranded in space on an abandoned ship where she meets Abel, the most sophisticated mech prototype ever made. One who should be her enemy. But Abel’s programming forces him to obey Noemi as his commander, which means he has to help her save Genesis–even though her plan to win the war will kill him.

Together they embark on a daring voyage through the galaxy. Before long, Noemi begins to realize Abel may be more than a machine, and, for his part, Abel’s devotion to Noemi is no longer just a matter of programming.

Advance Praise for Defy the Stars:

*”Nuanced philosophical discussions of religion, terrorism, and morality advise and direct the high-stakes action, informing the beautiful, realistic ending. Intelligent and thoughtful, a highly relevant far-off speculative adventure.”―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

*”Poignant and profound…a tale that examines the ethics of war and tackles questions of consciousness, love, and free will. Gray’s characters are nuanced, her worldbuilding is intelligent, and the book’s conclusion thrills and satisfies while defying expectations.”―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Replete with rebels, bots, and battles, this top-notch space adventure features a well-developed plot and an unexpected, satisfying ending. This is a complex and well-told tale about loyalty, love, and the meaning of life. A must-buy for sci-fi readers.”―School Library Journal

“The story plays with themes of destiny, honor, and faith, while ultimately asking readers to consider what makes one human. Recommend to fans of The Lunar Chronicles and The Illuminae Files, or to romance readers wanting a sci-fi entry point.”―School Library Connection

“This first-rate STEM-packed adventure explores what it means to be human and whether people are truly their brothers’ keepers.”―Booklist

“With a love story that sweeps across the galaxy and a heart-racing high-action plot, Defy the Stars brilliantly explores what it means to be human. This book shines like the stars.”―Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe series

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your WoW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books on my Spring TBR

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is  Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR.  This topic came along at just the right time because I’ve just been trying to decide which books I want to prioritize for spring reading.  Here’s my tentative list, always subject to change since I’m such a mood reader.  These titles are a mix of 2017 releases that I either already have ARCs for or am just planning to read as soon as they release as well as titles that I’m hoping to knock out as part of the Beat the Backlist challenge I’m participating in this year.

Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR

1. DEFY THE STARS by Claudia Gray

Goodreads Synopsis: Noemi Vidal is a teen soldier from the planet Genesis, once a colony of Earth that’s now at war for its independence. The humans of Genesis have fought Earth’s robotic “mech” armies for decades with no end in sight.

After a surprise attack, Noemi finds herself stranded in space on an abandoned ship where she meets Abel, the most sophisticated mech prototype ever made. One who should be her enemy. But Abel’s programming forces him to obey Noemi as his commander, which means he has to help her save Genesis–even though her plan to win the war will kill him.

Together they embark on a daring voyage through the galaxy. Before long, Noemi begins to realize Abel may be more than a machine, and, for his part, Abel’s devotion to Noemi is no longer just a matter of programming.   (Read more…)

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2. THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY by Hannah Tinti

Goodreads Synopsis: A father protects his daughter from the legacy of his past and the truth about her mother’s death in this thrilling new novel from the prize-winning author of The Good Thief.

After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter, Loo, to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife’s hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother’s mysterious death. Haunting them both are twelve scars Hawley carries on his body, from twelve bullets in his criminal past; a past that eventually spills over into his daughter’s present, until together they must face a reckoning yet to come. This father-daughter epic weaves back and forth through time and across America, from Alaska to the Adirondacks.

Both a coming-of-age novel and a literary thriller, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley explores what it means to be a hero, and the cost we pay to protect the people we love most.  (Read more…)

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3. THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED by Becky Albertalli

Goodreads Synopsis:  Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?   (Read more…)

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4. THE NAMES THEY GAVE US by Emery Lord

Goodreads Synopsis:  Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?  (Read more…)

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5. WE ARE OKAY by Nina LaCour

Goodreads Synopsis: You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.  (Read more…)

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6. UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES by Louise Gornall

Goodsreads Synopsis:  At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes? (Read more…)

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7. SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads Synopsis:  Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.  (Read more…)

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8. A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING BY JESSICA CLUESS

Goodreads Synopsis:  I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city–and the one she loves? (Read more…)

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9. JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta

Goodreads Synopsis:  I’m dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.

Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs – the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor’s only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother – who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

The moving, joyous and brilliantly compelling new novel from the best-selling, multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca. (Read more…)

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10. THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater

Goodreads Synopsis:  “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before. (Read more…)

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Question:  What books are you planning to read this Spring?

Diversity Spotlight Thursday # 1

Diversity Spotlight Thursday was created by Aimal at  Bookshelves and Paperbacks.  The idea behind this feature is to create “a weekly spotlight that illuminates diverse literature specifically.”  I’ve been looking for a Thursday or Friday meme for a while now but just couldn’t settle on one that appealed to me.  This one sounds perfect though, so I’m going to give it a go.  Thanks so much to Aimal for coming up with such a great idea!

Here’s how the meme works.  Basically you select three books to spotlight each week, using this format:

  1.  A diverse book you have read and enjoyed.
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read.
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released.

 

A Diverse Book I have Read and Enjoyed

Goodreads Synopsis:  Solimar Castro Valdez is eighteen and dazed with optimism when she embarks on a perilous journey across the US/Mexican border. Weeks later she arrives on her cousin’s doorstep in Berkeley, CA, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. But amid the uncertainty of new motherhood and her American identity, Soli learns that when you have just one precious possession, you guard it with your life. For Soli, motherhood becomes her dwelling and the boy at her breast her hearth.

Kavya Reddy has always followed her heart, much to her parents’ chagrin. A mostly contented chef at a UC Berkeley sorority house, the unexpected desire to have a child descends like a cyclone in Kavya’s mid-thirties. When she can’t get pregnant, this desire will test her marriage, it will test her sanity, and it will set Kavya and her husband, Rishi, on a collision course with Soli, when she is detained and her infant son comes under Kavya’s care. As Kavya learns to be a mother–the singing, story-telling, inventor-of-the-universe kind of mother she fantasized about being–she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else’s child.

Lucky Boy is an emotional journey that will leave you certain of the redemptive beauty of this world. There are no bad guys in this story, no obvious hero. From rural Oaxaca to Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto to the dreamscapes of Silicon valley, author Shanthi Sekaran has taken real life and applied it to fiction; the results are moving and revelatory.

Why I’m Spotlighting Lucky Boy:  I literally just finished this book – haven’t even written my review yet – but it’s just such a beautifully written, moving, and relevant book that I couldn’t wait to share it with my fellow readers.  The main characters are Solimar Castro Valdez, who is an illegal immigrant from Mexico, and Kavya and Rishi Reddy, who are Americans of Indian descent.  When Solimar is detained because of her illegal status, her infant son Ignacio, who was born in the U.S., is taken from her and put into foster care with the Reddys.  The Reddys have been desperately trying to have a child for a long time and instantly fall head over heels for Ignacio and are very hopeful that they’ll be able to keep him.  It’s an incredibly gut-wrenching read because you, of course, want Solimar to get her son back, but then you also see how loved and well cared for he is by Kavya and Rishi and so it’s just an impossible situation because no matter how it plays out, someone will end up with a broken heart.  It really got to me, both as a mother and as someone who hates seeing how deportations  literally rip families apart.

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A Diverse Book That Has Already Been Released, But I Have Not Read

Goodreads Synopsis:  The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.

Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

Why I’m Spotlighting Homegoing:  I purchased Homegoing a few months ago because of all of the rave reviews it has received but somehow it got shuffled down my TBR and I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.  I’m planning to read it soon though as part of the Beat the Backlist challenge I’m participating in.

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A Diverse Book That Has Not Yet Been Released

Goodreads Synopsis:  Seventeen-year-old Delilah Green wouldn’t have chosen to do her last year of school this way, but she figures it’s working fine. While her dad goes on a trip to fix his broken heart after her mom left him for another man, Del manages the family cafe. Easy, she thinks. But what about homework? Or the nasty posse of mean girls making her life hell? Or her best friend who won’t stop guilt-tripping her? Or her other best friend who might go to jail for love if Del doesn’t do something? But really, who cares about any of that when all Del can think about is beautiful Rosa who dances every night across the street. . . . Until one day Rosa comes in the cafe door. And if Rosa starts thinking about Del, too, then how in the name of caramel milkshakes will Del get the rest of it together?

Why I’m Spotlighting Get It Together, Delilah!:  The few early reviews I’ve read about this book describe it as a fun and light-hearted read.  They make it sound a lot like Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which was one of my favorite reads from last year.   It features an LGBT romance and a focus on family and friendships.  Get it Together, Delilah! released on April 4, 2017.

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Have you read any great Diverse books recently?  Or do you have any upcoming releases that you’re looking forward to?

Waiting on Wednesday – Spotlight on One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.  This one had me at “The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars.”  The Breakfast Club is one of my all-time favorite movies and Pretty Little Liars is my ultimate guilty pleasure TV show, so this just sounds like the perfect read for me.  It sounds positively scandalous!

One of Us is Lying

by Karen M. McManus

Publication Date:  May 30, 2017

lying

From Amazon:

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

 Advance Praise for One of Us is Lying

“An addictive, devour-in-one-sitting thriller with so many twists and turns you’ll be wondering until the very end: Who really killed Simon?”—Kara Thomas, author of The Darkest Corners and Little Monsters

“This fast-paced blend of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and classic John Hughes will leave readers racing to the finish as the try to unravel the mystery on their own.”—Kirkus Reviews

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your WoW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top 10 Favorite Quotes from Harry Potter

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Top Ten Tuesday is currently on hiatus, so I decided to make this a FREEBIE week for myself.  I’ve spent the past year or so re-reading the Harry Potter series with my 9-year old son.  It has been a lengthy endeavor because he likes me to read aloud and those last few books in the series are huge, but I have to admit it has been a labor of love. My son adores the series just as much as I do and it has really provided us with lots of quality mother-son time as we make our way through the series together.  We’re nearly finished with the final books now, so I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite quotes from the series.  Some were quotes that made us giggle while we read, while others we found to just be incredibly moving and inspiring.  Harry Potter really is one of the best series out there for readers of all ages.

Top Ten Favorite Quotes from the Harry Potter Series

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1. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

(Albus Dumbledore, speaking of Neville Longbottom, Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone)

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2. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” 

(Albus Dumbledore,  Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone)

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3. “Because that’s what Hermione does…When in doubt, go to the library.”

(Ron Weasley, speaking of Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

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4. “Oh, honestly. Don’t you two read?”

(Hermione Granger, speaking to Ron and Harry, Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone)

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5.  “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

(Albus Dumbledore, speaking to Harry, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

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6. “You look in excellent health to me, Potter, so you will excuse me if I don’t let you off homework today.  I assure you that if you do die, you need not hand it in.” 

(Professor McGonagall, speaking to Harry, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

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7. “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

(The key to accessing the awesome Marauder’s Map, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

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8. “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and above all, those who live without love.” 

(Albus Dumbledore, speaking to Harry, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)

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9.  “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”

(Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

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10.  “Are you quite sure you wouldn’t like a cough drop, Dolores?” 

(Professor McGonagall, being awesomely snarky to Delores Umbridge, who keeps interrupting her with her annoying little coughs, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

 

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Question:  What are your favorite quotes from the Harry Potter series? Do any of these make your list?

Waiting on Wednesday: Spotlight on A Court of Wings and Ruin

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas.  Why?  Because I just finished the second book last week and I’m now dying to know what happens next in this incredibly addicting series!  Thank goodness I have tons of other books to keep me busy because May is just so far away…

A Court of Wings and Ruin

by Sarah J. Maas

Publication Date:  May 2, 2017

From Amazon:

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your WoW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Books I Just HAD to Buy…But Still Have Yet to Read

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Top Ten Tuesday is officially on hiatus until March 7th, so I decided to go back and do an older topic that I hadn’t yet completed.  The one I selected is “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Just HAD to Buy…But Still Have Yet to Read”.  This one is perfect for me because I’m the worst impulse buyer on the planet when it comes to books.  I could have 1,000 books on my TBR, but if I see a book I want on sale, I can’t help myself.  I really blame the Kindle Daily Deals for many of these purchases because $1.99 is just irresistible to me, haha!  Anyway, here are 10 books that I couldn’t stop myself from buying but still have yet to read yet.  I swear I’m going to though!

Top Ten Books I Just HAD to Buy…But Still Have Yet to Read

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1. AND I DARKEN 

by Kiersten White

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2. THIS SAVAGE SONG

by Victoria Schwab

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3. THE SUMMER THAT MELTED EVERYTHING

by Tiffany McDaniel

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4. A LITTLE LIFE

by Hanya Yanagihara

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5. RUINED

by Amy Tintera

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6. THE RAVEN BOYS

by Maggie Stiefvater

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7. MY BRILLIANT FRIEND

by Elena Ferrante

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8. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK

by Neil Gaiman

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9.  IN A DARK, DARK WOOD

by Ruth Ware

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10.  WHEN WE COLLIDED

by Emery Lord

Question:  Are you an impulse buyer when it comes to books?  What books did you just HAVE to buy but somehow still haven’t gotten around to reading yet?

Waiting on Wednesday – Spotlight on Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts. What first caught my eye about this book was of course the title, which made me chuckle as soon as I saw it.  Reading the synopsis really sealed the deal for me because it has me envisioning this book as perhaps something similar to My Lady Jane – a humorous, yet exciting and dangerous adventure.  I’m curious to see if I’m right, but regardless, I’m looking forward to reading Royal Bastards.

Royal Bastards

by Andrew Shvarts

Publication Date:  June 6, 2017

From Amazon:

Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.
At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.
Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.
Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead–with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.
The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart-if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . . .

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your WoW selection for this week. 🙂