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Waiting on Wednesday – Spotlight on Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

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 Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. I’m always interested in coming of age stories and in stories that show how mental illness can impact an entire family, and Little & Lion caught my eye because it sounds like it has both and that it will also be a diverse read. I also like the focus on the sibling relationship.  Books about families always appeal to me, so yes, I’m really excited about this book.

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Publication Date:  August 8, 2017

From Goodreads:

A stunning novel on love, loss, identity, and redemption, from Publishers Weekly Flying Start author Brandy Colbert

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.

 

Advance Praise for Little & Lion

Little and Lion is beautifully insightful, honest, and compassionate. Brandy’s ability to find larger meaning in small moments is nothing short of dazzling.”  ―National Book Award Finalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicola Yoon

“Brandy Colbert further establishes herself as one of contemporary YA’s biggest talents in this thoughtful and thought-provoking examination of identity, loyalty, and what it means to live with integrity. Little & Lion is a stunningly good novel.”  ―Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken

“Brandy Colbert takes us on an emotional and gorgeous journey with a protagonist who is trying to figure out where she fits in with her family as well as in the world. A book full of overwhelming love and courage.”―Sara Farizan, author of Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel

“This superbly written novel teems with meaningful depth, which is perfectly balanced by romance and the languorous freedom of summer.”―Booklist, starred review

*”Colbert sensitively confronts misconceptions about mental illness, bisexuality, and intersectional identity….A vibrantly depicted Los Angeles.”―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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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. 🙂

Waiting on Wednesday – Spotlight on SAINTS AND MISFITS by S.K. Ali

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 Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali.  This book first caught my eye when I saw that it had been awarded a Kirkus Star, which is awarded to books of exceptional merit.  Reading the description and especially the advance praise convinced me that this is a book I really need to read.  I think it has the potential to be a best of 2017 read.

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Publication Date:  June 13, 2017

From Goodreads:

Saints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.

How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?

Advance Praise for Saints and Misfits

“Set in a multicultural Muslim family, this book is long overdue, a delight for readers who will recognize the culture and essential for those unfamiliar with Muslim experiences…readers will be glad to make space in their hearts—and bookshelves—for Janna Yusuf.”  Kirkus, starred review

“An amazing, heartfelt, gorgeously written, deeply meaningful book…there was so much wisdom in it, so much truth, so much heart. I want to hug it to myself.”  Ausma Zehanat Khan, Author of The Unquiet Dead, Language of Secrets, Among the Ruins and The Bloodprint

“SAINTS AND MISFITS is a beating heart inside a book…[It] takes us on a powerful journey as we watch our heroine find her place in her community and find herself in the process.”  Aisha Saeed, Author of Written in the Stars

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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. 🙂

Waiting on Wednesday – Spotlight on Calling My Name by Liara Tamani

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 Calling My Name by Liara Tamani.  I first saw this book listed on Edelweiss and what caught my eye and got me really excited about it was that it was described there as being “ideal for readers of Jacqueline Woodson, Jandy Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Sandra Cisneros.”  These are all authors that I enjoy so I definitely want to see what Calling My Name is all about. I also love a good coming of age story and it sounds like this will fit the bill on that front as well.

Calling My Name by Liara Tamani

Publication Date:  October 24, 2017

From Amazon.com:

Taja Brown lives with her parents and older brother and younger sister, in Houston, Texas. Taja has always known what the expectations of her conservative and tightly-knit African American family are—do well in school, go to church every Sunday, no intimacy before marriage. But Taja is trying to keep up with friends as they get their first kisses, first boyfriends, first everythings. And she’s tired of cheering for her athletic younger sister and an older brother who has more freedom just because he’s a boy. Taja dreams of going to college and forging her own relationship with the world and with God, but when she falls in love for the first time, those dreams are suddenly in danger of evaporating.

 

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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. 🙂

Waiting on Wednesday: Spotlight on Hunting Prince Dracula

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 Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco.  I just finished reading Stalking Jack the Ripper, the first book in this series,  over the weekend and absolutely LOVED it.  (I’ll be posting my review tomorrow so be sure to stop back by and check it out!)  The way that the first book ended had me just dying for more Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell, so I was thrilled to see that a second book is already slated to come out later this year and that it focuses on Audrey Rose and Thomas traveling to Romania together. And don’t even get me started on the book being about Vlad the Impaler.  As if Jack the Ripper wasn’t notorious enough!

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Publication Date:  September 19, 2017

From Amazon.com:

n this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

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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. 🙂

Waiting on Wednesday: Spotlight on How to Make a Wish

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 How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake.  I became interested in this book after learning that it is a coming of age story that explores different kinds of relationships, both romantic and familial.  Specifically, How to Make a Wish explores the relationship between two young women, Grace and Eva, who fall in love with each other, and that their healthy and organic relationship is contrasted with the very unhealthy and complicated that Grace has with her mother.   Based on those early reviews, it sounds like the book will cover a lot of heavy topics, but that it will do so in a beautiful and moving way that will bring you to tears but then will still fill you with hope.  I think it sounds wonderful!

Edited to add:  Since drafting this post, I’ve received an ARC from the publisher so I’ll be reading and reviewing this very soon!  

How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Publication Date:  May 2, 2017

From Amazon.com:

All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

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Check out the Advance Praise for How to Make a Wish

“Blake (Suffer Love) skillfully assembles a complex story about the wonders of first love while exploring challenges all teenagers face, such as growing up and gaining independence… a story written with realism and sensitivity.” —Publishers Weekly

“This organic, moving romance juxtaposed with a messy, complex mother-daughter relationship is passionately told, with glimpses of optimism appearing through Grace’s unshakeable bonds of loyalty. Blake clearly illustrates the impact of adult decisions that disregard the lives of teens, guaranteeing an emotional and relevant read.” — Booklist

“Despite the heavy topics addressed, the story never feels hopeless or depressing, as the author writes with nuance and care about her cast of admirably strong, loyal, and resilient teens who face head on the challenges life throws at them.” —Kirkus

“A solid romance within a moving portrait of a dysfunctional mother/daughter relationship. Recommended for YA contemporary fiction collections.” —School Library Journal

“This is a gorgeous and moving novel of love, connection, romance, mother-daughter relationships, and the way pain inextricably links them all.” —Dahlia Adler, BN Teens

“A beautiful book about two girls trying to hold on: to themselves, to each other and to the pieces of their shattered lives. Heartbreaking, hopeful and honest. Blake has written one of most wrenching portrayals of a messy, complicated mother/daughter bond I’ve seen in Young Adult fiction. Bravo!” —Tess Sharpe, author of Far From You

“A beautiful story about love’s paradoxical ability to be the most difficult yet most effortless thing in the world. Ashley Herring Blake breaks your heart for these girls and then stitches it back together with starlit magic.” —Dahlia Adler, author of Under the Lights and Just Visiting

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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. 🙂

Waiting on Wednesday: Spotlight on “When Dimple Met Rishi”

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 When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon.  Okay, so I don’t typically go for any read that is classified as a romantic comedy.  Romance just isn’t my go-to genre.  I’m making an effort to expand my reading horizons a bit, however, so I’m actually quite excited about this book.  The synopsis sounds wonderful and the book is also receiving high praise from many of my favorite bloggers, so I’m sold on giving it a shot when it comes out next month. 🙂

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Publication Date:  May 30, 2017

From Amazon.com:

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

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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. 🙂

Waiting on Wednesday: Spotlight on Once, In Lourdes

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 Once, In Lourdes by Sharon Solwitz.  I just unexpectedly received an ARC of this book from the publisher yesterday, along with a message saying that if I enjoyed Emma Cline’s The Girls, then I should enjoy this book as well. That piqued my curiosity because even though The Girls has had very mixed reviews, I loved it. It was one of my favorite reads from last year.  Reading the synopsis and the advance praise for Once, In Lourdes makes me think that I could easily love this book as well.

Once, In Lourdes by Sharon Solwitz

Publication Date:  May 30, 2017

From Amazon.com:

In the turbulent summer of 1968, four high school friends make a pact that will change their lives forever.

As the Vietnam War rages overseas, four friends make a vow. For the next two weeks, they will live for each other and for each day. Then, at the end of the two weeks, they will sacrifice themselves on the altar of their friendship.

Loyal Kay, our narrator, dreams of being an artist and escaping her stifling family—the stepmother and stepsister she gained after her mother’s early death, and the father she no longer feels she knows. As she struggles with her weight, her schoolwork, and her longing for her mother, she feels loyalty only to her three friends, determined to keep their group together at any cost. Brilliant, charismatic CJ appears to have everything—though even those closest to him can’t see him as he really is. Steady, quiet Saint wants to do right by everyone, trying not to let his emotions destroy himself and those around him. And beautiful Vera’s family secrets are too dark to share, even with her closest friends; caught in a web of family dysfunction, she can only hope the others won’t get tangled up in the danger she senses around her.

In the two-week span in which the novel takes place, during the summer before their senior year of high school, the lives of Kay, CJ, Saint, and Vera will change beyond their expectations, and what they gain and lose will determine the novel’s outcome. Once, in Lourdes is a gripping, haunting novel about the power of teenage bonds, the story of four young people who will win your heart and transport you back to your own high school years. As the heady 1960s shift the ground beneath their feet, all of them must face who they are—and who they want to be.

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Praise for Once, In Lourdes 

“After writing a spate of short stories, [Sharon Solwitz] returns to the longer form with a ravishing sense of place . . . and a heightened, almost surreal, feel for how intense emotions alter our perception of the world, especially in youth. Solwitz’s surging, many-threaded, complexly insightful tale dramatizes not only personal crises, but also the violence of the infamous 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. Timely and timeless.”—Booklist (starred review)

“What makes Once, in Lourdes such a moving read is how deeply and finely Sharon Solwitz has observed and portrayed her characters. They are recognizable teenagers with recognizable desires and miseries and hardships, but they are so well rendered in their particulars that we follow them less and less as familiar types and more and more as the actual friends with whom we attempt to struggle through this part of life, making promises and pacts, breaking and keeping them, living and dying by them.”—Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Tinkers and Enon

“This is a story that reads achingly true to young angst, then, now, and always. It’s an achievement of remarkable empathy—and gorgeous prose.”—Janet Burroway, author of Raw Silk and Writing Fiction

“Sharon Solwitz has an ear so attuned to teen speech, teen humor, and, finally and most convincingly, teen angst that her novel crackles with urgency. She follows the rise and fall of adolescent moods, patient with their extremes and sympathetic to the neediness her characters struggle to hide. Once, in Lourdes will make you think you’re eavesdropping on what you’re not supposed to hear.”—Rosellen Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Before and After

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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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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. 🙂