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Tag Archives: 2011 Book Release

Estelle: Paradise by Jill S. Alexander

Paradise by Jill S. Alexander Publication Date: July 5, 2011 Publisher: Feiwel and Friends Pages: 256 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: country music, Texas, pressure from parents, siblings, romance Format read: Borrowed from library. Summary: The only think Paisley has ever wanted to do was be a drummer. Right now, she’s playing in a country […]

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February 17, 2014 - 3:46 am

The Bookish Manicurist - You have me so intrigued about the ending now, Estelle! Plus this sounds different to most YA I read

February 15, 2014 - 12:44 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - Ok, this sounds really good. Why have I never heard of it before? You’re scaring me with the talk of the twist at the end, but I guess I’ll have to read it and see what I think because of rest of it sounds like I’ll really enjoy it.

February 13, 2014 - 6:59 pm

Ellice - Yet another thing you and I have in common (cowboys!). I have always been attracted to them (we have quite a few around here though!). And also? Country music!! I grew up on it, so any book that sounds even remotely country-related, I snatch it up. This one is going on the TBR for sure. Great review 🙂

February 13, 2014 - 2:21 pm

Annette - Blindsided — totally. I just didn’t think that ending was at all necessary….Enjoyed the rest of the book, though. It’s been a while. Thanks for the reminder.

February 13, 2014 - 11:40 am

Alexa S. - PARADISE sounds like such a fun read! I love that fact that the relationship between the sisters, and within Paisley’s family, is an important part of the story. Plus, I can never resist a story set in the South OR one with country music these days 🙂

February 13, 2014 - 10:23 am

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I have a thing for Cowboys, too. I think I just like the idea of really laid back guys. Hard working guys, but laid back, too. Also, I think of them as really manly.

Oh, and yeah, The Naked Cowboy doesn’t do it for me either.

I’m not sure if I would like Paradise, but I’m really curious about the BIG TWIST at the end.

February 13, 2014 - 9:22 am

Lena @ Addicted 2 Novels - Awesome review, hon! I really liked this book up until I got to the ending. The ending made me want to vomit all over myself, hahaha.

Estelle: Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: June 14, 2011 Publisher: Random House Pages: 349 Target audience: Mature YA/adult Keywords: friendship, marriage, secrets, traveling pants Format read: Paperback I bought. Summary: A return to the friendship of Lena, Carmen, Tibby, and Bridget — four girls connected by their long history […]

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June 19, 2013 - 4:42 am

Maggie, Young Adult Anonymous - This series surprised me so much and I ended up loving it. I was worried about this book after reading Sweet Valley Confidential, but I thought Brashares did such a wonderful job, even with the shocking (to me) plot twists. It just hit me in the heart and the gut. Loved the friendships and how they evolved throughout the series. Great review, Estelle. And judging from your Instagram pics, the wedding was gorgeous too!

June 17, 2013 - 10:46 pm

Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life - I remember reading these books a reeeally long time ago, but I don’t remember which book I stopped on (I think is the one right before this one, actually!). It’s so sad how these friends have really grown apart, but I think that’s realistic, actually. Some of the characterization does seem off (Carmen was always a bit proud of her curves- I don’t see her as being a size 0!), I think this is a great book on friendship, in general. I’m definitely going to have to pick this one up to see how things end with this lovely group of girls.

Amazing review, Estelle! <3

-Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

June 17, 2013 - 4:42 pm

Alexa Y. - I haven’t read this one yet, mostly because I felt wary about it. But I trust your judgment – and I’m curious to see what’s become of all four girls. There’s something interesting about seeing them grow up and be adults and I feel like I might find it very easy to relate to.

June 17, 2013 - 4:41 pm

Annie - Oh dear, how much this book made me cry! The Sisterhood felt so real to me and it was heartbreaking to finally see it come to an end. And I love thinking back on all the adventures Lena, Tibby, Carmen and Bee had together. It’s so uplifting and makes me have hope that I’ll still be close to my friends even through all the obstacles and challenges.

June 17, 2013 - 12:17 pm

Sharon @ The Book Barbies - Wow! This book sounds completely different than I expected! While I was initially very excited at the prospect of another Sisterhood book, I wound up chickening out and not reading it. If I remember correctly, I wasn’t that crazy about the fourth book. didn’t know if this book would make it better or worse, and I didn’t want to risk it.

While it seems like this book is definitely a little more difficult to read than the others, I think I’m going to put it back on the TBR. 🙂

June 17, 2013 - 11:54 am

Jen - It’s hard to believe that the first novel in the series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, was published twelve years ago. Does that ever make me feel old! Like you, I can still remember being glued to the pages when I read the first novel in the series all those years ago. I didn’t realize that there were third and fourth instalments, although I remember quite a lot of publicity surrounding the publication of Sisterhood Everlasting when one of the major plot developments in the novel was spoiled online. It sounds like this novel may hit a little too close to home for me. I’m definitely at the age where I’m finding it a struggle to nurture old friendships while also trying to make new ones. I think that’s definitely a common theme for many people in their 20’s. You desperately try to hold onto your old friends with both hands but sometimes it doesn’t seem like there’s anything you can do to keep them from slipping away. Like you, I wasn’t fond of some of the character developments I had heard about, particularly regarding Carmen’s character. I’m not sure I can work up the interest to read the final three novels in this series, although it would be nice to have a sense of closure for the characters.

June 17, 2013 - 10:21 am

Candice @ The Grown-Up YA - First off, I LOVE that you’re still friends with someone you’ve known since you were 5! So sweet! I haven’t read any of the Sisterhood books, despite owning the first two and LOVING the movies. I really would love to get into this series and connect with the girls, especially knowing there’s so many in this series! Great review!

June 17, 2013 - 8:44 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Ya know, I have never read these books, but I did see the movie. When they were published, I was a bit older (plus I wasn’t exactly reading at the time either). “Growing up is hard on friendships” is very true. I remember thinking I’d always be close to the girls I was inseparable with in high school. 14 years later, I only talk to two of the girls — and it’s not as often as I’d like. It’s hard to keep relationships, especially friendships, when everyone grows in such different directions. I really admire people who can keep friends from their childhoods. It’s rare and oh so special.

Estelle: Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

Small Town Sinners by Melissa C. Walker ( web | twitter ) Publication Date: July 19, 2011 Publisher: Bloomsbury Pages: 259 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: religion, prejudices, parents and their children Format read: Borrowed from library Summary: Lacey has been looking forward to auditioning for top billing of her church’s Hell House since as […]

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September 30, 2014 - 11:50 am

Fifteen Must-Read Tough Subject Books - […] Small Town Sinners — discovering one’s own religious beliefs apart from what parents have taught you to believe […]

January 29, 2013 - 3:01 am

Jasmine Rose - I grew up in a small town with the same smalll-minded views. The church I attended liked to believe it was progressive, but homosexuality was viewed as a “hate the sin, not the sinner” thing. It was also kind of a hush hush thing nobody really talked about. Same for all the other major hot button issues. Sadly, growing up in this I shared the same opinions until I started dating my (now) husband. I’m really glad he helped me grow and form my own opinions :]
Also, this book is fantastic!

January 25, 2013 - 6:16 am

Lori - I love this review, Estelle! I went into this book with a lot of trepidation. I’m a very liberal person living in the bible belt, so I feel like I get enough of this stuff on a day to day basis. I found myself really enjoying the book, though. It was nice to see Lacey start her new path.

January 24, 2013 - 2:02 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - OH YAY YAY YAY!!!

I absolutely LOVED this book x 1000. I think when I read this last summer I remember tweeting about it and you may have tweeted back that you liked it, Estelle, and I was so happy. I think I may have had a little back-and-forth between a few people about this book because I live in the middle of Hell House country, the Bible-Belt South. I grew up in a place much-like Walker wrote about, with a family almost exactly like Lacey’s. As an adult, I have a faith of my own and I absolutely LOVE the way Walker doesn’t get preachy but still presents this story so accurately. I agree with the above commenter (Kristen) when she mentions that the author wrote with grace and non-judgment. I was a little scared going into it, because I was scared my childhood and what I grew up in would be mocked, but I did not feel that at all. Because of her way of presenting this story and the fact that she *could have* been judgmental about such a topic, I just had such a big respect for her. I read this book and Unbreak My Heart back-to-back and decided that I was absolutely a Melissa C. Walker fan for life.

LOVE this one. So much. I love it even coming from the smack-dab middle of a scene just like it. I grew up in this family, Estelle! They’re still this exact way. These places are pretty huge events around here. I want to have coffee with Melissa Walker and read parts of HER OWN BOOK back to her. That’s how great a job she did with it. I’m totally gushing. I’ll stop now. Yay for your thoughts and yay for this book! 🙂

January 24, 2013 - 12:23 am

Kristen Evey - I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I love how Walker handled everything in this book. I think she wrote the issues with grace and non-judgement, which is something I don’t think I would have been able to do. I come from a very conservative/church background, and most of the things about Lacey and her friends baffled me as well. I’d never heard of hell-houses before this book, but I totally get/relate to a lot of the other stuff in the book. I could also see how for awhile now, like Lacey, I’ve been questioning a lot of things. This was a very thought provoking book for me, and I loved that about it. 🙂 Great review Estelle!

January 23, 2013 - 7:15 pm

Leah - Oh wow.. This sounds like it’d be a tough book for me to read. I have my own beliefs and even though I’d try to keep an open mind, just the Hell House alone would be enough to make me want to walk away.

That said, it does sound like this book would be a great coming-of-age story and I applaud both the character for questioning her beliefs and the author for tackling the subject.

January 23, 2013 - 11:45 am

Cynthia - I tried reading this one and coulnd’t get into it, I think it was all the religion stuff. It sort of pissed me off. Or maybe I was just in a reading slump, that’s happened to me a lot and my views of the books are so different than everyone else’s when I read them during a slump. Now I’m glad I still have this book because your review has made me want to go and give it a second chance. I think I will try reading it again. Thanks for the review Estelle! =D

January 23, 2013 - 10:48 am

Alexa Y. - I love the fact that this books does that ping pong thing where the character has to contend with what she chooses to believe, while considering what she’s been taught growing up and what she’s currently experiencing. That mirrors a struggle that many of us face or have faced or will face, and I think that’s why this book will probably end up resonating with me when I read it.

Great review E! Sounds like this one’s a book I need to check out for sure.

Estelle: Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky Publication Date: May 30, 2011 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children Pages: 309 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: technology, digital age, dystopian Format read: Borrowed from the library. Summary: The year is 2060 and the world and everyone’s life is basically run by a computer. Maddie lives her life on a […]

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November 19, 2012 - 9:02 am

YA Review: Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky - […] my review of Awaken from a few weeks ago, I talked about how much I loved the premise of this series. What happens when technology completely takes over our lives? Sure it seems like […]

October 7, 2012 - 9:29 pm

Kristen - I hadn’t heard of this one yet. The premise definitely sounds eerily plausible, and I’ve actually been thinking about these very same themes recently. When I spend too much time on my computer and not enough time in the outside world I feel strangely depleted and incomplete. I also haven’t read a dystopian in awhile, so I’ll be checking this out soon. Great review, Estelle. 🙂

October 4, 2012 - 10:52 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - I must say, the premise of this book is SO DARN INTRIGUING. I love that, to me, it feels very realistic – it is possible that the world will devolve into that state after years of exposure to all these technological advancements. It’s a little scary, and also, it’s something that I really DO NOT want happening. I want to be able to impart to my own kids and the future generations that there is significance in actual contact with the physical world and with others.

Okay, getting off my little soapbox now, but only to say that I’m definitely going to have to read this book for myself. Thanks for the awesome review!

October 3, 2012 - 1:51 pm

Anna - Wheee I love it!

October 3, 2012 - 10:25 am

Annette - I love the premise of this one and I’ve had it on my list for quite a while. I really enjoyed your review. Made me want to read it now!

Magan: Stay with Me by Paul Griffin

Stay with Me by Paul Griffin Release Date: September 8, 2011 Pages: 304 Target Audience: Young Adult How I found out about it: It was on the new releases shelf at my local library. Format: Hardcover from the library. Summary:  Cece and Mack are the two most unlikely fifteen-year-olds to fall in love; Cece is a motivated, brilliant […]

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October 10, 2012 - 8:04 am

Burning Blue by Paul Griffin - […] I very much enjoyed Griffin’s Stay With Me, I felt he tapped into something completely unique, dark, and suspenseful with Burning Blue. I […]

August 3, 2012 - 6:39 am

VeganYANerds - I’ve always wondered about this book because it’s so animal focused so I was really pleased to find you’d read, reviewed it and enjoyed it! I really like the comparison between Mack’s life as well as the dogs he rescues 😉

August 1, 2012 - 7:33 pm

Melissa Walker - I just read this one too, and I LOVED it! I thought Paul was so brave to really go there with what happened… ack! It tore me up, and felt really emotionally on-point. Glad you liked it too!

August 1, 2012 - 3:44 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - You are killing me here, just like Elena, and I want to know what Mack did! The curiosity may just get to me and I may have to borrow this book from the library!

August 1, 2012 - 3:41 pm

Beatriz @ AWWIP - This book sounds lovely… the premise of something as “simple” as two teenagers falling in love and dealing with these issues is very alluring! 😀 Great review!

August 1, 2012 - 1:56 pm

elena - I’ve seen this book before and now the burning curiosity of what Mack did comes back to me. I want to knowwwww. May or may not been like, “TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS!” and then I saw, “I can’t tell you what happens. I just can’t.” Maybe my curiosity will lead me to actually read the book.

Estelle: The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy

The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy Publication Date: May 3, 2011 Publisher: Simon Pulse Pages: 423 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: summer camp, sisters, first love, independence Format read: Hardcover borrowed from the libary. How I found out about it: Featured at my B&N this summer. Summary: Sisters Calla, Violet, and Daisy […]

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July 2, 2014 - 9:00 am

In Deep by Terra Elan McVoy (YA Review) - […] just about how I felt about Brynn, a supporting character from Terra McVoy’s 2011 novel, The Summer of First and Lasts, who steps to the forefront in the addicting and complex In Deep. (Note: I didn’t much […]

June 29, 2014 - 6:55 pm

Rather Be Reading Blog Shelve It: Pre-4th of July - […] of Yesterday by Gina Triana The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy Behind the Scenes by Dahlia […]

August 16, 2013 - 9:00 am

Young Adult Review: The Lost Summer by Kathryn Williams - […] Terra Elan McVoy’s The Summer of Firsts and Lasts made me fall hard for summer camp, Kathryn William’s The Lost Summer had be practically smelling […]

July 22, 2012 - 2:35 am

Jasmine Rose - How the heck did I not know this was summer camp book?! I checked it out from the library once but I never got around to reading it because it’s so dang huge. After reading your awesome review I’m thinking I definitely need to give it another chance :]

July 20, 2012 - 11:44 am

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - (I’m sad my first comment, which was nice and long and rambly, didn’t post. But here’s a new comment – hopefully long and rambly – to make up for it!)

So, I was standing in a Barnes & Noble the day before this review. I saw this book and immediately knew I wanted to read it, based on the title alone. I couldn’t buy it, being on a book ban, but it was added straight onto my Goodreads TBR.

Imagine the pleasant shock when I saw the review here the next day? I feel like it was meant to be.

The fact that this book is about (a) camp and (b) sisters is what really makes me want to read it. Summer camp was a big part of my childhood; and my sisters, of which I have two, are always missed.

YAY for this review!

July 20, 2012 - 6:23 am

Hemborgwife - I also loved camp, I went to any I could convince my mom to send me to then was a counselor a couple times! I think maybe we just need to make up our own adult summer camp!

July 19, 2012 - 11:44 pm

Maggie @ Young Adult Anonymous - Estelle, this is such a great review. I’ve been looking for more summery reads and I’m moving this to the top of the list. Cute camp counselors…. swoon. And why aren’t there more summer camps for 27-year-olds, damn it?

July 19, 2012 - 7:19 pm

Terra Elan McVoy - Oh my goodness! What a wonderful, amazing, sweet and thorough review! I’m glad you enjoyed SOFAL on so many levels. It means a lot to me when readers seem to get exactly what I hoped they would from the book! Thank you so much!

July 19, 2012 - 5:59 pm

Shanyn - I really loved this one too! Definitely invoked the happy camp feeling for me too.

July 19, 2012 - 2:57 pm

elena - This book has ice cream on the front cover so I’m in. Add in the fact that is seems like such a sweet, summer story with sisterly bonds? Yes! I’m totally adding this to my TBR.

July 19, 2012 - 9:44 am

Arielle - Oh the nostalgia! I went to church camp three times. It was so great. Thanks for such a great review.