Waiting on Wednesday #8

I’m currently working my way through several ARCs that are due out around September and October, all of which share a common theme – being super creepy! I’m sure the release date timing has something to do with getting readers in the mood for Halloween, but I’m the type of person who loves a good thriller or horror story any time of year. Even in the bright sunshine of summer, I crave stories that are dark and haunting, which makes me even more excited that I don’t have much longer to wait for this week’s Waiting on Wednesday selection:

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The Telling

By Alexandra Sirowy

Publication Date: August 2, 2016

 

Summary (via Goodreads)

Lana used to know what was real.

That was before when her life was small and quiet.
Her golden step-brother, Ben, was alive, she could only dream about bonfiring with the populars, their wooded island home was idyllic, she could tell the truth from lies, and Ben’s childhood stories were firmly in her imagination.

Then came after.

After has Lana boldly kissing her crush, jumping into the water from too high up, and living with nerve and mischief. But after also has horrors, deaths that only make sense in fairy tales, and terrors from a past Lana thought long forgotten: Love, blood, and murder.

Why I’m Waiting

First of all, check out that gorgeous cover! It’s the first thing that drew me to this book. It’s mysterious, haunting, and somewhat similar to some other covers that take up residence on my shelves. I’m a major fan of horror/thrillers within the YA genre, and I can’t wait to add this one to my collection.
Alexandra Sirowy is one of those authors I keep meaning to read, and this time, I’m determined to check her out. Her first book, The Creeping, has an incredibly gruesome premise (check it out on Goodreads), and I’ve heard great reviews from other readers.
I’m looking for hair-raising twists, chilling characters that will live on in my nightmares, and enough mystery to keep me guessing till the last pages. The Telling sounds like it will certainly fit that bill.

Add The Telling to your To Be Read Shelf on Goodreads

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.

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Waiting on Wednesday #7

I’ll admit, when I read the description of Local Girl Swept Away by Ellen Wittlinger on teenreads.com, I pictured a somewhat different story. The summary began “They are four best friends who’ve shared joy and secrets, love and memories, and since the beginning, Lorna was the one who held them all together”. In my head, that sentence conjured up memories of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a series which my childhood friends and I had enjoyed greatly. Obviously, as the summary continued, the book described clearly wouldn’t be as light hearted as the Sisterhood series, as it deals with the circumstances of the presumed drowning of Lorna and how the three surviving friends cope with their grief and questions about Lorna’s death. When I read the teenreads summary, I assumed that all of the survivors were female, which probably lead to my connecting it with the Sisterhood series, but it was enough to strike my interest and for me to seek out the title on Goodreads – at which point, I found something even better than what I originally expected.

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Local Girl Swept Away
By Ellen Wittlinger

Publication Date: June 15, 2016

Summary (via Goodreads)

Stark, uncompromising, seductive, beautiful – this describes the tourist town of Cape Cod, where a young woman’s body remains to be found. Three friends struggle to come to terms with their missing leader and with the secrets each endeavor to hide.

Set in the Cape Cod village of Provincetown, Massachusetts, this is the story about 17-year-old Jackie’s struggle to overcome her grief and confusion after her best friend is carried out to sea during a storm. Lorna had been the dynamic leader of a tight-knit group of four friends – Jackie, Lucas and Finn – and her disappearance changes the dynamics between the surviving three. Jackie is still hiding her feelings for Finn, who had been Lorna’s boyfriend, and Lucas has withdrawn to the point where Jackie wonders if he is keeping a secret even larger than her own. Meanwhile the future looms, and Jackie fears leaving the only life she has known.

Why I’m Waiting:

This story seems to be less about Lorna the Leader and more about Jackie, the best friend with conflicted feelings. As the friendship dynamics shift, I’m interested to see how certain suspenseful twists build and questions start to arise. Did Lorna fall? Was she pushed? Did she jump? Or is Lorna even really gone at all? I suspect that there’s loads of potential for this story in the mysteries that surround Lorna’s death. Will this group of friends support each other through their grief or will their secrets tear them apart?

Also, I have to give a major shout out to Ellen Wittlinger. She’s essentially living my dream. If you read her bio, you’ll find out that Ellen was once a children’s librarian, and now, she has several award-winning novels under her belt. The idea behind this blog’s name – Among the Authors – is that I adore my job as a Youth Services librarian, but that I also hope to one day have my own books published and shelved among the authors I admire on the library’s shelves. Congratulations, Ellen, I can’t wait to check this one out!

Add Local Girl Swept Away to your To Be Read Shelf on Goodreads
Pre-Order via Amazon
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Waiting on Wednesday #6

You might be expecting that for this week’s Waiting on Wednesday I would choose The Raven King. I did just finish reading all of the Raven Cycle books, and the final one is being released next week, but NO! That would be too easy. You already know how much I’m looking forward to that one, so let me tell you instead about another book being released very soon that I’m excited about.

Everland

By Wendy Spinale

Publication Date: May 10th, 2016

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Synopsis (via Goodreads)

Forget the story of Peter Pan you know. Because in Everland, the only way to grow up is to survive.

London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders — the German Army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England’s borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a mysterious boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?

Why I’m Waiting

When I first found this book, it had the same release date as Raven King. At first I was bummed that it has been pushed back to May 10th, but then I realized that gives me plenty of time to devour the last Raven Cycle book, come to terms with however it ends, and move on to something pretty, shiny, and new – in this case, Everland.

Not too long ago, I tossed around the idea of writing my own fairy tale retelling. I love retellings with every fiber of my being, but the first one I ever did (my very first NaNoWriMo project) was a big pile of slop with nothing even remotely usable. I really wanted to try again, focusing on one specific tale rather than trying to incorporate so many, and I wanted to make it dark. Really dark. I’d performed in our high school play of Peter Pan (I was Tiger Lily, Wendy’s understudy, a pirate, the Stage Manager, makeup artist, and really any part they could throw me into – we didn’t have much of a theatre group at the time). So doing a retelling of Peter Pan was one of my first thoughts. I hadn’t really found anything in the YA genre that had done that before. Unfortunately, the idea never came to fruition, BUT luckily, Wendy Spinale has filled that gap with her debut YA novel – Everland. I’m sure it will be everything that I’m hoping for in a Peter Pan retelling.

Also, you should definitely check out Wendy Spinale’s site, especially more about her personally. She was an actress for Disneyland, and yes, her real name is actually Wendy – it’s not just a pen name since her book deals with Peter Pan.

I think Everland will have all of the dark, dystopian elements that I love, but there’s one more reason that I’m really looking forward to it: Spinale has set the story in an entirely steampunk world. I hadn’t really considered a steampunk approach to a fairy tale before, but now that the thought is in my head, I’m dying to see how she approaches it. Imaginative ideas like this in the YA genre make me truly want to never grow up!

Add Everland to your To Be Read Shelf on Goodreads
Pre-order Everland via Amazon
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Waiting on Wednesday #5

I have some pretty exciting personal news to reveal…

Later this year, I will actually get to meet one of my idols – Cat Winters! Every other year, the library I work for hosts the Ohio River Festival of Book (ohioriverbooks.org), which is a free event that connects the public with some pretty amazing authors. In the planning stages, I had suggested Cat for the young adult audience, and you can’t even begin to imagine my excitement when this actually panned out. October 1st, I’ll actually get to meet her and see her speak, and you better believe I’m counting down the days.

Another thing I’m counting down the days till is the release of this week’s featured Waiting on Wednesday read…

The Steep and Thorny Way

By Cat Winters

Publication Date: March 8, 2016

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Synopsis (via Goodreads)
A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.

Why I’m Waiting

If you’ve never read one of Cat Winters’s books before, prepare for mass amounts of mystery mixed with heaps of history and a dash of mysticism. If In the Shadow of Blackbirds and The Cure for Dreaming are any indication of just how talented Cat Winters is, The Steep and Thorny Way is going to be the one book this year that you DO NOT want to miss!
We all know I’m a sucker for retellings, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen anyone in the YA game approach Shakespeare with a new look. BUT this is exactly the kind of innovated idea that I expect from the author. I read the summary aloud, and then had to shout, “WHERE does she come up with this? I want to have such brilliant ideas!”
The Cure for Dreaming made such a lasting impression on me that, when asked to write a book review for the local newspaper last year, it was a clear choice what book I needed to tell the public all about.

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It’s a fabulous book, and one all of you should check out.

Oh, and before I forget…Cat Winters currently resides in the cultural and creative epicenter of America – Portland,  Oregon. Portland also happens to be home to one of the coolest book stores in the world, Powell’s, where Cat will be doing a signing on March 10th. Know what the coolest part is though? You can preorder one of her signed copies directly from Powell’s – which of course, I did.
 Have I mentioned she’s really receptive to talking to fans on Twitter? Cause she is. I can’t wait to meet this incredible woman! Hopefully, she’ll have a tip or two for writing YA fiction for me.

Add The Steep and Thorny Way to your To Be Read Shelf on Goodreads
Pre-Order via Amazon
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Waiting on Wednesday #4

The plots that tend to get stuck in my head usually are of the thriller genre. My on-again-off-again work in progress is tentatively titled Captive, and is about a young girl who has spent the majority of her life imprisoned by her abductor and who must make some very difficult choices in order to save herself. While I was sitting at lunch the other day, an idea struck me for a different story about two friends, self-destruction, a disappearance, and guilt. Won’t reveal too much about that one just yet… BUT I can say that once I saw the synopsis for After the Woods, I knew I would have to read it for the inspiration to tell the story I want to tell. That’s why it earns this week’s Waiting on Wednesday.

After the Woods
By Kim Savage
Publication Date: February 23, 2016

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Synopsis (via Goodreads)

“Would you risk your life to save your best friend?

Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.”

Why I’m Waiting

Well, if you read the opening of this post, then you know I’m looking for inspiration for my own story. This book sounds right up the alley of what I like to write. I want mystery. I want suspense. I want to see the power of friendship facing the evils of the world.
From the reviews I’ve read (which seemed to consistently be 5 star reviews), it’s looking like Julia will shape up to be a fantastic heroine, strong and self-sacrificing. I’m looking forward to all of the twists, turns, and complications she will encounter.
This is the author’s debut novel, and if it’s as good as I think it will be, then I think Kim Savage will definitely be one to watch in the future. Her next thriller (title TBD) will be available in 2017, so we will have a bit of a wait to see what’s next from her.

Add After the Woods to your To Be Read Shelf on Goodreads
Pre-order via Amazon
Pre-order via Barnes & Noble

Waiting on Wednesday #3

February is such a good month! Know why? Well, yes, it is the month of my birthday, but know why else February is so great? The day after my birthday is the release of Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan! There was no debate here, this book definitely tops my Waiting on Wednesday list.

Reign of Shadows

By Sophie Jordan

Publication Date: February 9th

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Synopsis (via Goodreads)

“Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.”

Why I’m Waiting

Do you SEE that cover? I have no shame in judging a book by its cover – and this one is going to be good!
Also, by now you know my undying love for dark retellings of classic fairytales. This one here is playing off of Rapunzel, which you don’t see very often. There are all sorts of Cinderella or Alice in Wonderland retellings, but Rapunzel, not so much. I’m excited to dig in and see what fairytale elements have been included.
Another reason I’m waiting for this release is that, if you’ve read any of my recent reviews, you’ll know that most of the books I’ve read lately haven’t had a romantic plot. I’m getting in the mood for a book that will pull at my heartstrings.
I’ve already pre-ordered this one for the library’s collection, so I’ll be anxiously awaiting its arrival. If you happen to get ahold of it first, leave me a comment to let me know what you think of it!

Add Reign of Shadows to your To Be Read Shelf on Goodreads
Pre-order via Amazon
Pre-order via Barnes & Noble

Waiting on Wednesday #2

A new year is just around the corner, which means all sorts of new releases! I, for one, can’t wait. I fully expect this winter to be an outrageously snowy one, so I’m planning on plenty of days spent inside with the heat turned up high, a giant mug of coffee, and something good to read.

At work, I keep a document on my computer that is a calendar for the entire year. When a book description strikes my fancy, I enter the book’s release date on the calendar. For January, my first notable release date happens to be for the 12th. What book is it?

Bookishly Ever After

By Isabel Bandeira

Publication Date: January 12, 2016

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Synopsis (via Goodreads)
In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

Why I’m Waiting

Hold up…what? A book about a girl who loves books? I’m a girl who loves books!  This book seems like it might be the perfect fit for me, as well as any other girl who has ever had a crush on the fictional boys in books. I’m dying to know what characters Phoebe turns to for advice (Elizabeth Bennet, perhaps?). Ratings from those who have received ARCs are altogether positive, but nobody seems to be revealing additional snippets or details from the book yet, which makes me all the more excited to get my hands on it come January 12th. Goodreads has this marked as Ever After #1, which is a good indicator that this is the start to a new series. Also, I feel I just have to mention this… if you’re browsing Goodreads, you might see the author, Isabel Bandeira’s, profile picture. Is she or is she not dressed like Belle from Beauty and the Beast?! No wonder she wrote a book about a girl who loves books.

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Add Bookishly Ever After to your to-be-read shelf on Goodreads

Pre-order via Amazon

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