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Magan’s Most Anticipated November YA Releases

My to-read list on Goodreads is out of control. I have so many more to-be-released books saved than I do books that are already published. I thought it might help me stay organized and on top of my most-anticipated books if I shared new releases that are coming out this month that I cannot wait to get my hands on.  All links below take you to Goodreads, where you can find full summaries for each book.

november 2011 most anticipated young adult releases Matched by Ally Condie was one of my favorite 2010 new releases. It was the first dystopian book that I’d read in a long time and it kick-started by must-read-everything-in-sight craze.  Crossed is the sequel the Matched. It was released November 1st. Go get it now! I’ll be doing a review of this one soon.









most anticipated november 2011 new young adult releases A broken-hearted girl with a punk rock name, a vintage clothing shop, a guy with secrets, and a story about friendship – that’s what The Sharp Time by Mary O’Connell is about.  All of those things sound like a recipe for a perfect book. I’m also in LOVE with that cover – the tones + the mood = perfection!  This book will be released November 8th.








november 2011 young adult new releases that are highly anticipated I admit – this cover looks really silly and super corny.  However, the idea of applying training tips for dogs to the social queen bees at school sounds downright hilarious.  It puts a whole new spin on the phrase ‘alpha-dog’.  Fetching by Kiera Stewart also comes out on November 8th.









november 2011 new young adult releases I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy of this book. I hope the cover has some sort of texture because it looks so awesome!  This girl, Juliette, hasn’t touched anyone in 264 days because the last time she did, The Reestablishment locked her in a cell for murder. The world is falling apart around them – will Juliette be able to use her gifts to help save people?  This book is being compared to the Hunger Games, which sit HIGH on my radar. I hope Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi lives up to my expectations. It comes out November 15th.







november 2011 books to pine for young adult releases This must be the month for new dystopian releases; this is the third in my list of that category.  One girl from the Republic (i.e. the straight and narrow) is never supposed to come in contact with one guy from the slums. When her brother is murdered, our bad boy is the number one suspect.  Together they discover the truth behind their country’s secrets.  Legend by Marie Lu is the first in a series and comes out November 29th.







What November releases are you lusting over? Do any of my picks strike your fancy?  I can’t wait to cuddle up with these!  Looks like it’s going to be a month full of suspense, thrill, and dystopias.

November 5, 2011 - 10:41 am

Hemborgwife - I love this list of books, I am going to keep it bookmarked for my next amazon order!

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Estelle: The Gap Year by Sarah Bird

The Gap Year by Sarah BirdThe Gap Year by Sarah Bird ( web | tweet )
Release Date: July 5, 2011
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Pages: 320
Target Audience: Adult Fiction
How I found out about it: A scrap of paper in my purse.

Summary: Cam used to have a close relationship with her daughter, Aubrey. But ever since she started dating Tyler, Aubrey doesn’t seem very interested in anything anymore. Namely, college – something Cam has worked very hard to make happen for her daughter.

Once in awhile I am lucky enough to read a book I cannot stop thinking about. I want to send carrier pigeons and take out an ad on TV just to inform people of its pure genius. After reading over 90 books so far this year, The Gap Year easily fits in my Top 5 of 2011.

First, writing style – Bird alternates chapters between Mom (Cam) at present day and daughter (Aubrey) exactly a year before. The imagery is crisp and the sentence structure flows perfectly in its simplicity. (While this book is description heavy — something I normally don’t love, it is engrossing here.)
Second, the mystery of how these two stories will end remains until the very end. It doesn’t seem like the kind of book that would remain predictable for so long but Bird has carefully created these characters and their histories so much that the drive to discover them is always existent.

Mother and daughter relationships are never easy, and to watch Cam obsess over the navigation of her daughter’s life – and for Aubrey to have some major life epiphany during her senior year of high school – is completely intense. From start to finish. As a reader, I could relate to both on many levels and at the same time I was frustrated by their actions.

And regret. Many write it. It can easily fall into the realm of cliché. But both of these women (and the other characters we meet throughout the course of the novel) have their own unique responses to it. That’s what makes The Gap Year so real: Bird is able to take the complexities of this trying year in this particular household and consistently express them in such a down-to-earth manner.

Easily a favorite for life, I’m looking forward to reading more of Bird’s work, as well as urging everyone I pass on the street to pick it up n o w!

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February 28, 2014 - 8:00 am

Something Old & Something New (Big Kids' Table) - […] I Loved: The Gap Year | New Title: Above the East China Sea (May […]

November 8, 2011 - 9:36 pm

Estelle - So glad all of you are going to give this book a try. I wish I can remember just where I heard of it because I sincerely have to thank that person! With candy!

Jamie, I love a good mix of reading. I try not to do that many YA in a row, although it’s hard now because there is so much YA out there I want to read! Look for a nice combo of just about every kind of book on RBR, for sure! Also happy to hear you have a Nook. So do I! 😉

Sam, this is definitely a book I would have really related to in my teen years so I would suggest picking it up and giving it a test drive. I know that I would have really understood where Aubrey was coming from, and maybe even gave my mother a break for once. (Sorry Mom!)

Meg, I totally agree. I’m 26 as well and I think “a gap year” sounds very tempting. Would be nice to sort of go off and explore without responsibility. Although I was surprised the daughter in the book, who is 18, was already in need of her own gap year. You’ll see when you read it!

November 7, 2011 - 3:57 pm

Meg - Love the premise of this one, and any book that gets such a glowing recommendation definitely grabs my attention! Like Jamie, too, the idea of a “gap year” really intrigues me… though I’m 26 years old and graduated from college four years ago. Ha!

November 3, 2011 - 1:55 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - You’ve definitely made a convincing case for this book! I want to read it now 🙂

November 3, 2011 - 2:01 am

Samual @ Books For All Seasons - I like this book cover! The book sounds very interesting. I’m a big fan of mother and daughter relationship, but it is an Adult novel. Hmm…I might have my friend to read it and tell me how she thinks about the book since my policy states I won’t read Adult book. My friend loves Adult novels. Thank you for sharing this lovely book here! Great pick!


November 2, 2011 - 6:31 pm

Jamie - So I saw the title of this and I clicked right over here because I totally want to take a gap year…even though I’m graduated from college. lol. I’ve been reading travel blogs like crazy lately so I’m itching to go travel for a year. ANYWAYS…that was my initial reason for clicking on the review to see what it was about. And I have to say that I love you ladies even more because I LOVE ADULT FICTION TOOO. I feel like I’m in the minority in the YA blogosphere but I read both so YAY. Also, this sounds amazing and I’ve never heard of it. I’m always so ticked that I can never find good college/twenty something MCs so I’m EXCITED. And mother/daughter relationships are something I LOVE LOVE LOVE reading about. THey are just so complex! Not going to lie, I’m buying this on my Nook right after I get off here! For serious, this sounds right up my alley!

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BOOK REPORT: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Hi! Welcome to our shiny, new blog: Rather Be Reading. We’re so excited to be coming to you live after a month of preparation, and a few months of brainstorming!

Before we get into our individual book reviews, we wanted to launch with our first BOOK REPORT, a feature that will be recurring every month. Basically we read the same book, chat about it and post it here. Because we are sort of experimenting with this format and double-reviewing a book, this is subject to change. But for today, with minor spoilers, we discuss:

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ocklerjoint book review of twenty boy summer by sarah ockler, discussion of twenty boy summer book, young adult books dealing with death
Release Date: June 1, 2009
Pages: 290
Target Audience: YA
Format: Library book for Magan; Estelle owns a hard copy.

How Estelle found out about it: Found it by chance on the YA table at Barnes & Noble.
How Magan found out about it: Browsing for more books by Sarah Ockler; I’d already read Fixing Delilah and wanted more!

Summary: Anna has been best friends with siblings Frankie and Matt forever. She’s also been in love with Matt for as long as she can remember. On her fifteenth birthday, it seems like her dreams are coming true — Matt kisses her and she discovers he likes her too. Before they can tell Frankie about their “whatever-it-is”, Matt dies in a car accident. A year later, Frankie and her family, along with Anna, are still reeling from this loss and Anna still hasn’t divulged her secret to Frankie. On a trip to California, Frankie decides the two girls will meet 20 guys and that Anna should lose her virginity. But Anna still cannot forget Matt…

Magan: Let’s go!  I’m just opening my notes.  My first thoughts were that Anna was so hung up on Matt that it made me really connect with him.  I liked his character and I really felt sad that he died, leaving no chance for there to be a future between the two of them.
Estelle: Me too. It was sort of like an ache that didn’t leave me throughout the whole book.
Magan: Yes!
Estelle: I was really upset we didn’t get to see more of their stolen moments, but happy when they were sort of woven throughout the book. It also really brought me back to my first relationship, too.
Magan: Yes! Stolen moments – when she wrote her first letter to Matt, I had tears streaming down my face… and when she met other boys, I felt so disappointed. I think I compared all of them to Matt and never really connected with Sam as much.
Estelle: With Sam, I liked him immediately but still felt sad that she would never get to talk to or spend more time with Matt again. I felt proud of her for taking the plunge with a new guy and not buying into Frankie’s mission too much.
Magan: Yeah, and repeatedly throughout my notes, I kept writing “Just tell Frankie! Just tell her about Matt!”  I wanted Frankie to understand why she wasn’t jumping into all those relationships.
Estelle: Frankie wouldn’t have wanted to understand anyway.  The family dynamic post-death was very terrifying to me. Anna was totally the anchor for everyone.
Magan: Oh, yeah.  My heart felt so heavy for Anna. The way she kept saying, “Don’t worry about me. I’m fine.”  That was hard.  She was so not fine.
Estelle: I agree. I think Anna’s character was so well-developed and even though she was the most rational, the way she dealt with death was avoidance and sort of burying it.
Magan: …but at the same time, she wasn’t really moving forward.  Granted, I didn’t want her to have moved on beyond Matt, but I felt like she was stuck.
Estelle: She was. I think about her age though. She was young when that happened.  Maybe an older person would have moved on more swiftly; her head would have been in a different place. Like if she was distracted by college or something.
Magan: I think that’s why Frankie’’s challenge bothered me the most.  They were so young, Frankie was dealing with something tragic irrationally, and all she cared about was Anna losing her virginity.  It made me hate Frankie’s character. I knew I was supposed to laugh at all of the words she mixed up, but I really, really disliked her character.
Estelle: I thought Frankie had a learning disability.  Honestly.  The effects of a traumatic event occurring in her life. I didn’t get it really.  I thought we were going to find out just how messed up she was especially because they kept pointing out how she was failing all the school stuff. But it ended up being nothing.
Magan: Right, but in actuality she just LIED about everything.
Estelle: Maybe it would have worked better if we got another moment between Anna and Frankie before the accident. We only got Anna and Matt.
Magan: I agree. I wish we had seen more of Anna and Frankie pre-accident.  We didn’t really see as much of how Frankie had changed. We were told, but I didn’t feel it was convincing.  I just thought Frankie was an airhead.
Estelle: She wasn’t a character I was that invested in. I was just waiting for her to quit playing her game.
Magan: Not at all. In fact, Anna and Matt were the only two I cared about.
Estelle: I wondered when the breaking point was going to be.
Magan: Me too.
Estelle: You know what bugged me?
Magan: What?
Estelle: They never went full circle with the mom/aunt conversation [As in Frankie & Matt’s mom].
Estelle: I was hoping Anna would have a chance to talk to Jayne again or even resolve it later, but nothing comes out of it.  It just sort of hangs there.
Magan: I typed at the end of my notes that I wished they’d talked again. I wrote, “Part of me feels like she needs motherly love and for someone to tell about she and Matt’s relationship.”  Anna told Sam, but like that conversation would have really went down like that.  I don’t think so.  Anna: “Oh, hey Sam. I’m dealing with some really heavy stuff. I lied about Frankie not having a sibling. She had a brother. I kind of dated him and then he died, but Frankie just found out. And she’s mad at me now.” Sam: “Oh, that sucks. Must have been hard. Who cares that you lied? Let me comfort you.”  Yeah right!
Estelle: He [Sam] really didn’t bother me.
Magan: No, but I didn’t care about him at all.  I didn’t like him. I didn’t see the appeal.  I wanted to. I wanted Anna to meet the best boy and for me to love him. But, I didn’t.
Estelle: She couldn’t meet the best boy though.  She was leaving.
Magan: Yeah, the best boy died.
Estelle: Ha! You can’t make it seem like she would never meet another boy again.
Magan: Oh, I know.  And I know that I would’ve been ticked if there had been a perfectly happy ending with butterflies and rainbows and promises to stay together.  So during the huge climax where Frankie finally finds out – who were you rooting for – Anna or Frankie?
Estelle: Umm, definitely Anna.
Magan: Yeah, me too.  I wanted to punch Frankie so hard.
Estelle: The journal thing was heartbreaking. I would have gone nuts.
Magan: Oh gosh.  I would have, too. I would have tried to save that thing.  I probably would have pushed Frankie in the ocean.  I just couldn’t help but dislike Frankie even more after that. All I could think about was how bratty and immature she was.

Estelle: They were just a bunch of extremes of how they dealt with Matt’s death, I guess.   I think Anna was a loyal friend even if she couldn’t tell Frankie about Matt. She stuck with her even if she was a totally different person.
Magan: I loved that. I have a really hard time with change, so I hope that I could respond in the same way if something in my life happened like this. With a huge life altering change – to be so loyal.
Estelle: Especially when that person you are loyal to is 1) acting like a nut 2) was the sibling of the dead boy you loved. Tough stuff.
Magan: Yeah.  I kind of wish that the whole journal thing hadn’t been dealt with the way it had. I wish maybe Anna had given Frankie the diary to say, “This is what I’ve been going through. This is what happened and I want you to know.”  Especially since Frankie was being so selfish. Maybe Anna had been able to draw some attention to her pain for once.
Estelle: I think they needed a drama.  What else would have been the climax?
Magan: Frankie would have still blown up, but maybe the diary wouldn’t have been tossed into the abyss of the ocean. Ha!
Estelle: I still think they needed something big like maybe the parent’s found out they had been sneaking out and there’s a big shakeup.
Magan: Oh, yeah. I didn’t like that they got away with that stuff.
Estelle: They may not have gotten away with it. I still feel like my mom [sorry Mom!] knew all the times i snuck out even if i thought I was being crafty.  So it’s Sarah [Oakler]’s debut novel, would you consider reading more of her writing?
Magan:  Hmm. I think I would. I do hope that more of the characters would be fully developed in her future novels. I loved Anna so much and just wanted that from all the characters.  What about you?
Estelle: I think I definitely would. Her style… with the italics … and the shifts in time totally reminds me of something I would like to write or have experimented with in the past.
Magan: *laughs*  Yeah, good call. Any final thoughts on the book?  What would you rate this one?  I’d say it’s a 3 for me. I’m glad I read it, but I won’t re-read it.
Estelle: I would probably say 3 also. I think it would be a book I would take with me on vacation and read again. It felt like a Baby-Sitter’s Club book to me sometimes too, specifically any time the gang traveled to Sea City. Either way, I’m a sucker for a beach/summer vacation setting.
Magan: I am, too.  I guess I’d just pick something a little less heavy for a beach read.
Estelle: I still thought it was light even if it was heavy, if that makes sense.
Magan: *laughs*  Yes, it does.
Estelle: I liked all the associations with the sea glass too. I liked that she got to hear a final moment about Matt from Frankie and get the necklace.
Magan: Ah.  That was a nice wrap-up.  Have you read Moonglass by Jessi Kirby?
Estelle: No!  I’m looking it up now!
Magan:  You should read Moonglass if you liked this book.  A beach setting. A cute love story. A bit of family drama.  Oh, and sea glass references.
Estelle: Perfect! Added to the list!
Thank you all for joining in on our first BOOK REPORT chat. We hope you’ll think about adding Twenty Boy Summer to your must-read list!
November 3, 2014 - 8:00 am

Rather Be Reading Turns Three! (Plus Giveaway!) - […] On November 1st, Rather Be Reading turned three! (Flashback to our first post/book report — a review of Sarah Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer.) Celebrate with us by reading a few then/now comparisons and entering two giveaways below! We thank […]

April 22, 2013 - 9:01 am

YA Review: The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler - […] Ockler is always going to have a special place in my book lovin’ heart because her novel, Twenty Boy Summer, was the first review Magan and I ever put up on RBR — our launching post! Then (almost a […]

November 1, 2012 - 10:19 am

Rather Be Reading Blog Celebrates the Big One: Fun + Giveaway - […] If you’re curious, revisit our very first post, a joint review of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. […]

November 1, 2011 - 8:33 pm

Jamie - I have this on my shelf waiting to be read! Cool idea for the book report with the format! Also, your site is gorgeous! Very clean and pretty looking!

Welcome to the blogosphere, ladies! I’m always here if you need anything! 🙂

November 1, 2011 - 3:23 pm

Sherry - Congrats! I love reading and I have read a lot more books since I met Magan! I am so excited to have somewhere to go if I need a recommendation! Great idea ladies- good luck! : )

November 1, 2011 - 12:24 pm

Samual @ Books For All Seasons - Nice chat post! I am looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for sharing!

Welcome to the book community!


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