Magan: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication Date: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Pages: 240 Target Audience: (Maturer) Young Adult
Keywords: summer job, divorced parents, opposites attract, sexually driven female
Format Read: Purchased e-book for my kindle.

Summary: Gwen wants to get away from Seashell after she graduates high school, but she’s got this overwhelming feeling she’ll be stuck there forever. She lusts after the fancy lives of the weekenders while falling for the summer lawn boy, Cass, whose life is completely opposite hers in nearly every way.


Tension galore. Some mysterious backstory. Two people who “shouldn’t” be together. That sums up What I Thought Was True in the tiniest nutshell. Gwen lives on a tiny island where her family definitely isn’t the wealthiest. In fact, she lives in a quaint home with her mom, grandfather, cousin, and younger brother (who has something like autism, but it’s never named specifically in the story). Her father owns a restaurant that Gwen chooses not to work at when another opportunity arises; she’s to care for an elderly, wealthy islander who is recovering from an accident. Aside from the pay being better, she’s trying desperately to separate herself from her parent’s destiny. She doesn’t want to be stuck in Seashell forever.

Unbeknownst to Gwen, Cass, the boy she’s severely attracted to but wants to stay far from, gets a job as the island lawn boy for the summer. With her new job, this means she’ll be seeing a lot of Cassidy Summers. Cass and Gwen begin bumping into one another in random locations. She is confused by the boy she begins to get to know because the friends he chooses to hang around seem to contradict the sweet, gentlemanly guy he appears to be. The one thing she can’t quite get past is her reputation and the decisions she’s made. This was the area I really felt could have used a bit more character development; Gwen comes across as a promiscuous girl, but I wanted Fitzpatrick to really make a point and not allude to it. Was Gwen the type of girl who was sexually explorative or had she made decisions because she thought that’s what she was supposed to do?

My thoughts are that Gwen was very sexually driven, but that also caused me to not relate to her as much because it seemed she was hypocritical. It would be okay for her to want to jump Cassidy’s bones, but if he tried to make a move on her, she was ready to bail a split second later. There was always an internal struggle for Cass and Gwen because they were terrible communicators, but for the sake of wanting to relate to Gwen on a deeper level, I needed to understand why she was so finicky. (Cass was more relatable and down-to-earth; I quite possibly would have enjoyed the story more if it had been from his perspective.)

Much, much, much of the story is focused on Cass and Gwen’s tango of a relationship. So much so that the interesting side-stories get watered down and when the big climax happens, things don’t quite click because not enough details were there for things to fall into place. Gwen’s cousin, Nico, and his girlfriend/Gwen’s best friend, Vivian, have pretty significant roles in the story, but like in My Life Next Door when the giant SURPRISE OH MY GOSH moment happens, I felt a little derailed again because I just didn’t see it coming. (In hindsight, I’m wondering if this is a technique Fitzpatrick employs or if it’s from a lack of developing those secondary stories. I’d like to read a story of hers that doesn’t make me feel like I missed all the big clues along the way.)

Don’t get me wrong — there are some wonderful (Cass teaching Gwen’s brother how to swim) and juicy (ahem, that tension builds, y’all) moments, but they felt overshadowed by what seemed to be lacking from the story. I didn’t walk away with a light and happy feeling, nor really feel like Gwen had gone through the major transformation I was expecting. When it comes right down to it, maybe I just really missed all of the rambunctious Garrett family members from My Life Next Door. They’re pretty darn hard to beat.

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Shelve It: In Which We Buy All the Books

weekly feature to share the books magan and estelle are adding to their bookshelves each week

Howdy, friends! We’re both checking in to confess how many books share the books we’ve purchased lately with another Shelve It. It’s been a good, good month for reading and we both, um, went a little overboard. Our wallets are feeling quite depleted, but we’re really excited about all of these and we hope you are, too!


First up is this glorious book I received from Macmillan, Unremembered by Jessica Brody. (Thank you so much, you guys!) It’s been optioned for film by Reliance Entertainment and Kintop Pictures. I have been wanting to read Unremembered FOREVER and I’m super excited about this! (PS — Congratulations, Jessica!)

Unremembered optioned for film - macmillan publishing

And my (super incriminating) purchases: a screenshot from my amazon orders page. Ooops?!

Books Purchased by Magan

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Pointe by Brandy Colbert (per Estelle’s amazing blurb on Goodreads)
Noggin by John Corey Whaley
There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos (again because Estelle gave this 5 stars!)
The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle
Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski
Panic by Lauren Oliver

*Not pictured because I pre-ordered it (but it was also delivered last week): To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (because, duh. It’s Jenny.)

ARC e-galley approvals:

Edelweiss Approved ARC books

Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt
Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley
On the Fence by Kasie West


Well, it was a marathon of a book event week last week. THREE IN FIVE DAYS. Insane. Normally I just pick one but they were just too good to pass up — Jennifer E. Smith, Sara Benincasa, and Jenny Han — so I skipped the gym, bought a lot of books, and even had a beer in Books of Wonder in NYC. (Thanks to Jenny Han’s great launch setup. The goodies were amazing.) Here are some pictures from the week:

Jennifer E Smith Jackson McNally April 2014

Sara Benincasa Books of Wonder April 2014

Jenny Han Books of Wonder April 2014

A few highlights:

  • Jen E. Smith reminiscing about first moving to New York during the 2003 blackout. She was ATM and suddenly nothing was working.
  • Sara Benincasa is hilarious, and I loved hearing her read from GREAT. It’s always so interesting to hear the inflections in the author’s voice compared to your own. Her next book is going to be a re-telling of Lord of the Flies starring the ladies. Looking forward to that one!
  • And Jenny Han made me a little weepy talking about how close she is with her sister and how she finds her sister always worms her way into her books. She also mentioned how she realized how much things were changing when her sister got married and they wouldn’t be spending Christmas mornings together like they used to. This is a feeling I struggle with a lot and I’m glad I wasn’t the only one.

I was a little tricky and fit all my books into one picture. Hopefully it looks less severe?

Shelve It April 22 2014

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly (from Disney Press; thanks!)
After Hello by Lisa Magnum (sent to me by Kelly for a super secret project!)
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (my pre-order came six days late!)
What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick (thanks to Emily @ohmagichour for my #AndiSpringExchange gift!)
Shug by Jenny Han (this is a middle grade book)
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland (I needed the paperback! There’s chevron inside!)
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Great by Sara J. Benincasa

I’m definitely cut off, right? As you can tell, I’m going to be busy for awhile. I think M + I both are. So what about you? Anything fantastic make its way on to your shelves lately? Let us know! We are curious and nosey and we probably need to add more books to our TBR — because that’s what we do!

Happy Wednesday — we’re halfway there, folks!

Psst! Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for an ONLY EVERYTHING signed arc (U.S. + Canada) and check out reviews of Don’t Call Me Baby by Gwen Heasley; The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jess Verdi; Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu.

On a Personal Note: Magan in High School

Magan and Her High School Best Friends

My high school best friends and me before my senior prom. I’m in the maroon dress on the right.

There have been a few books that have really hit home for me or elements of them that I’ve related to so, so well. Just last week, I couldn’t stop thinking about Eleanor and Park because so many of Eleanor’s thoughts felt like I lived them. They felt real to me. This made me start thinking about what kind of character I would be if I pieced together all those different aspects of me.

So, hello from high school Magan. (With more pictures included, I promise.)

If you’ve been a Rather Be Reading follower for a while, you might remember the post I wrote about meeting my husband in honor of our 8th wedding anniversary. I met Dustyn when I was 16 years old. Before dating him, I had this touch and go relationship with my best guy friend. I would like him. He would think we should just be friends. I would move on. He’d want to date me. Things were complicated. (HA! If Facebook were around then, I wonder what my status would have said?)

why i related to the summer i turned pretty by jenny han

I think maybe because of that boy (who shall remain nameless), I related to Belly so well in The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. I met this boy when I was in fourth grade. I went to a tiny, tiny school where my high school graduating class was all of 23 people. We saw each other all the time. I loved his mom. I knew he had kind of a wild side, but I liked him in spite of it. I would go so far as to say that sometimes he knew more about me than anyone else did.

There was this strong push and pull of — how is this ever going to work? There’s so much chemistry, but is it right?

I remember these aching moments of seeing him with other girls and feeling so helpless. (Conrad kind of made Belly feel the same way, yeah?) For us, the stars never did align, but all of those emotions are so relevant when I read YA. So many nerves and so much anxiety can be wrapped up in relationships, and it felt all-consuming.

relating to catching jordan on a personal levelSometime during my fall semester of my junior year of high school, I decided I would quit fretting about making that relationship work. If it was meant to be, it would work out. I spent more time focusing on my girlfriends, school, and sports. I was pretty actively involved in sports. I mean, when you’re in such a small school, you can’t help but participate in everything — even if you’re not the best at it. All tightly wrapped up in one book, Miranda Kenneally captured the tension and unease of loving your best friend in Catching Jordan as well as what it’s like to be a sporty girl. Now I wasn’t, by ANY means, as kick ass or awesome as Jordan. What I did relate to was the sense of belonging and community. My sports teams were always filled with much more drama and cattiness over playing time, but the bus rides home singing music at the top of our lungs always pulled us back together.

magan's high school sports banquet

Leslie (one of my BFFs, even today) and me at a Sports Banquet

book cover of My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Given that our school was so small and we all played on every team, it was only natural that my best friends also played with me. And even better than that…

Two of my best friends were sisters.

They came from a family of five kids. Going over to their house was always so much fun — an older brother that teased them, older sibling drama, having a sister super close in age, etc. I didn’t really know how that felt because I was the oldest and my younger brother and sister were 4 and 6 years younger than me. I soaked up every bit of time I could with them because I love, loved the dynamics of their family. While My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick was definitely more dramatic than Leslie and Anne’s house, it did make me reminisce about those days together at their house.

Fast forward to Christmas of my junior year and that’s where Dustyn comes in.

You can read all about how we met in my anniversary post, but I’ll just simply state that young love can be lasting love. I was super young when I met him (16) and super young when we got married (almost 19 – the summer after my freshman year of college). People were super worried I was making a big ol’ regrettable mistake, but I can honestly say, I’ve never made a better decision before. I don’t know how I had the backbone to stand up and do what I wanted at that age, but I did. And here we are.

Dustyn and Me: On a Trolley in San Francisco

Dustyn told me very early in our relationship (um, second date) that he loved me.

He was very aware of how he felt about me, but my mom was telling me, “You’re too young to say I love you!” For a long while, I told Dustyn I loved him in Spanish (“Te amo.”). He knew how I felt, but I needed some time to develop more than just a physical “hey, he’s cute” response to him. The lady who I think writes about this so, so well is the one and only Stephanie Perkins.

In Anna and the French Kiss, Anna and St. Clair obviously have an attraction. The conversation is great and their interests are so similar. He’s better for her than that d-bag she left back in the States. (See where I’m going here?) I related to the slow build of Anna and St. Clair’s relationship. I always said I wanted to marry my best friend. It took time to learn all those details about Dustyn, but just like St. Clair and Anna — we stayed up later than we ever should have talking, went to movies together, toured cities together, etc. (Above: We were on a vacation with Dustyn’s family that took us road trippin’ all over California that summer.)

Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door

And guys, much like Lola (in Lola and the Boy Next Door), I was pretty experimental with my hair. (Maybe you guys have picked up on that? I still am. For the majority of my life I was a blonde. Now I’ve played with my hair so much I have zero idea what color it naturally is anymore.) I remember dying my hair in my parent’s bathroom (when they weren’t home, mind you) and having no idea how it was going to look. Also: Lola is much more fashionable than I was, but um, I really tried to rock the bohemian look a lot back in high school. (Was that a “thing” back in the early 2000s or was I just really unfashionable?) I cringed a lot at some of the photographs I just looked at of myself, guys.


The Glass Castle and Eleanor and ParkFor much of high school, I wasn’t allowed to have a lot of friends over. We grew up in not the nicest house and we didn’t have a lot of room or money to feed tons of extra people. That’s definitely not a highlight of this period of my life, but it has made me very appreciative for everything I’ve got now. And even more appreciative for Dustyn. He came into our home and would help me cook and clean. I’m pretty sure every Friday started with him helping me tidy something up even though there were other more fun things we would have wanted to do. He never judged. He never said a word. It just was.

Looking through my entire list of read books, I don’t feel like many stick out as having gone deep into these nitty gritty details of a low-income family in a way that really hit me hard. But The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell certainly stand out from the crowd. I cried big, fat tears through some parts of these because of how well I understood. (Oh, and yes — The Glass Castle IS a grown up book! Also! It’s a memoir … and really, really good if you haven’t read it.)

For the most part, I was a really big nerd. I knew I had to study hard to get into college. (Meeting Dustyn who is … SUPERSMART … was a challenge because I always had to prove that I didn’t need his help with my calculus even though inside I was going “PLEASE DO THIS FOR ME.”) I was that girl who didn’t need much punishment other than being told someone was disappointed in me. That phrase right there, “I’m disappointed in you” did. me. in. It killed me. I walked a straight line and hated getting in trouble. I tried to be in every club and participate in every sport and make perfect grades. To be honest, I’m not sure how I survived putting all that pressure on myself. All of these girls had mountains of pressure on them, too, so I was very much like, “Yeeeeaaaah, girl. I understand!” (Pictured below: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill, Just One Day by Gayle Forman, and Golden by Jessi Kirby)

Meant to Be, Just One Day, and Golden

So, that kind of wraps up who I was back then. I was a girl who had a close group of friends that didn’t have the nicest house or the coolest gadgets, who fawned over a boy who she never dated (probably because she was just too nerdy and studied too much), but fell in love at 16 with the boy she’d marry.

Oh, but I promised you more pictures. Fine. Here you go:

High School Magan

Left: Dustyn and I on vacation with D’s family (again), Right: Dustyn and I dancing at my senior prom.

Hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane and seeing me in high school.

Tell me a few books that reminded you of pieces of your high school self!

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick 
Publication Date
: June 14, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books
Pages: 395
Target Audience: Mature Young Adult
: Young love, next door neighbors, traumatic event
Source: eBook received from NetGalley for review.

Summary: Sam has watched the Garrett family from her rooftop for ten years. Her mother has kept her at a distant from the large, chaotic family, but once she begins running for political office, she loosens her tight grip on Samantha. One evening Jase climbs up the trellis to Sam’s rooftop and the two quickly become friends.

I’m going to sound incredibly hypocritical when I admit this to you guys, but here goes nothin’. I have been anxious to read Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door since I saw the cover. I had visions of a great girl falling in love with her swoon-worthy next door neighbor. And oh, did this book deliver one heck of story when it came to that. What I didn’t expect were the million other amazing details that made me fall even more in love with Samantha and Jase.

Ten years ago, Jase’s (rather large) family moved next door to Samantha. For ten years, Sam has listened to her mother harp about how many children the Garrett’s have, how incapable they are of keeping up their house, how atrocious it is that they have toys scattered all over their lawn (and on and on and on). During those years Sam’s secretly watched the family from afar, intrigued by them. One night Jase climbs up the trellis of Sam’s house to keep her company; the two become fast friends and the barrier between Sam and the Garrett family crumbles to pieces.

Sam balances a fine line between making her uptight mother happy and falling in love with the boy next door. Her mother’s overprotectiveness drove me crazy but her outright ignorance for what a d-bag her new political campaign advisor, Clay, (who doubles as her boy toy) was really left me speechless. I often find myself cringing when teens make bad decisions and go against their parents wishes, but in Sam’s case, I was delighted she was finally breaking the mold her mother had so firmly cast around her. Sam is responsible to a fault – it’s summertime and she’s working two jobs and trying to help her friend Tim kick his drug habit and taking an SAT prep class with her friend Nan. Busy much? I think it’s safe to say that Sam needed a little excitement in her life.

One of the most beautiful aspects of My Life Next Door was watching Sam and Jase fall in love. Their relationship was an exploration of honest teenage emotions that relate to sex and experiencing so many things for the first time. Fitzpatrick approached this topic with such authenticity and tenderness. But not without a hefty amount of steaminess, mind you. So many of Sam’s internal dialogues conjured up questions and feelings my seventeen-year-old self also felt or thought.

Add in little side-helpings of Jase’s crazy, enormous, chaotic family and Sam’s friend, Tim, who needs all the help he can get kicking his drug dependency and you’ve got a lot of people to fall in love with. Fitzpatrick doesn’t just make us fall in love with her main characters – she gives us siblings with adorable quirks and unique fears. She makes us laugh when Sam adopts “Super Sailorgirl” as her super hero nickname. We understand the complexities of Tim and how flawed he and his sister Nan are. With so many people swiftly moving in an out of this story, Fitzpatrick does an incredible job of making us understand each and every one of them to grasp the big picture.

Everything in the story progresses beautifully until a very big event occurs. It’s a game changer. A curveball. A punch in the gut.

The best comparison I can offer is Looking for Alaska by John Green. If you’ve read this book, you’re aware that there’s a rather large event that changes the course and tone of the book. It takes the reader by complete surprise. The happy-go-lucky feel of the book suddenly becomes much heavier and depressing. While the event is not the same in My Life Next Door, I did have the same feelings as the result of the turn of events. My emotions became even more wrapped up in the story and I probably appeared more than a little agitated to all the passengers aboard my same flight that day. The pacing intensified as I waited for everything to implode – so many loose ends, so much drama, so much pain.

While I wholeheartedly believe this is a book you must read, there were a couple of details that I wish had been further explored. Perhaps a few more pages would have granted me the peace I was seeking after such a big event. I do recommend that you have a friend on standby who has read My Life Next Door because if I hadn’t had my pals Estelle and Ginger, I think I would’ve gone crazy.

Goodreads | Buy on Amazon 

Sweet Summertime Reads: June 2012 Young Adult Book Releases

Oh, wow! Another month down. I’m especially excited for June because I’m going to be traveling and reading and going to ALA at the end of the month! Here’s to hoping this is the month I can catch up on my reading goal. As promised, here’s a list of our most anticipated June 2012 Young Adult book releases.

june 01.

Divine Intervention
by Martha Brockenbrough
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Goodreads | Amazon


There is a great legend of the guardian angel who traveled across time and space for the human girl he loved, slaying those who would threaten her with a gleaming sword made of heavenly light.

This is not that story.

Jerome Hancock is Heidi Devine’s guardian angel. Sort of. He’s more of an angel trainee, in heaven’s soul-rehabilitation program for wayward teens. And he’s just about to get kicked out for having too many absences and for violating too many of the Ten Commandments for the Dead.

Heidi, meanwhile, is a high school junior who dreams of being an artist, but has been drafted onto her basketball team because she’s taller than many a grown man. For as long as she can remember, she’s heard a voice in her head – one that sings Lynyrd Skynyrd, offers up bad advice, and yet is company during those hours she feels most alone.

When the unthinkable happens, these two lost souls must figure out where they went wrong and whether they can make things right before Heidi’s time is up and her soul is lost forever.

Martha Brockenbrough’s debut novel is hilarious, heartbreaking, and hopeful, with a sense of humor that’s wicked as hell, and writing that’s just heavenly.

Surrender (Possession #2)
by Elana Johnson
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Goodreads | Amazon


The thrilling and seductive sequel to Possession puts love on the line in a dystopian struggle for independent thought.Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…     Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.     All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn.      Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque….


june 05.

A Midsummer’s Nightmare
by Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy
Goodreads | Amazon


Whitley Johnson’s dream summer with her divorced dad has turned into a nightmare. She’s just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée’s son? Whitley’s one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin’ great. Worse, she totally doesn’t fit in with her dad’s perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn’t even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she’s ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn’t “do” friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn’t her stepbrother…at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.


by Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Goodreads | Amazon


Megan survived the plane crash—but can she survive the aftermath? An intense, emotional novel from the author ofThe Unwritten Rule and Between Here and Forever.

Megan is a miracle. At least, that’s what everyone says. Having survived a plane crash that killed everyone else on board, Megan knows she should be grateful just to be alive. But the truth is, she doesn’t feel like a miracle. In fact, she doesn’t feel anything at all. Then memories from the crash start coming back.

Scared and alone, Megan doesn’t know whom to turn to. Her entire community seems unable—or maybe unwilling—to see her as anything but Miracle Megan. Everyone except for Joe, the beautiful boy next door with a tragic past and secrets of his own. All Megan wants is for her life to get back to normal, but the harder she tries to live up to everyone’s expectations, the worse she feels. And this time, she may be falling too fast to be saved…


june 12.

by Amy Reed
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Goodreads | Amazon


He’s falling in love—and she’s falling over the edge of sanity. From the author of Beautiful and Clean, a heartwrenching exploration of a romance marred by mental illness.

Connor knows that Izzy will never fall in love with him the way he’s fallen for her. But somehow he’s been let into her crazy, exhilarating world and become her closest confidante. But the closer they get, the more Connor realizes that Izzy’s highs are too high and her lows are too low. And the frenetic energy that makes her shine is starting to push her into a much darker place.

As Izzy’s behavior gets increasingly erratic and self-destructive, Connor gets increasingly desperate to stop her from plummeting. He knows he can’t save her from her pain…but what if no one else can?


Flirting in Italian
by Lauren Henderson
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Magan’s Review
Goodreads | Amazon


Four girls. One magical, and possibly dangerous Italian summer. Family mysteries, ancient castles, long hot nights of dancing under the stars . . . and, of course, plenty of gorgeous Italian boys!



Timpiece (Hourglass #2)
by Myra McEntire
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Goodreads | Amazon


Kaleb Ballard’s relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb’s powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he’s stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough…

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts.

june 14.

Tokyo Heist
by Diana Renn
Publisher: Viking Children’s Books / Penguin
Goodreads | Amazon


Sixteen-year-old Violet loves reading manga and wearing scarves made from kimono fabric, so she’s thrilled that her father’s new painting commission means a summer trip to Japan. But what starts as an exotic vacation quickly turns into a dangerous treasure hunt.

Her father’s newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone’s lives are in danger — including Violet’s and her father’s.

Violet’s search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet’s not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery — before it’s too late.


My Life Next Door
by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers
Goodreads | Amazon


A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase’s family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

june 19.

This is Not a Test
by Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Magan’s Review
Goodreads | Amazon


It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually wantto live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what doyou hold on to?


Something Like Normal
by Trish Doller
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Goodreads | Amazon


When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.


june 26.

Smart Girls Get What They Want
by Sarah Strohmeyer
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Goodreads | Amazon


Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren’t the most popular girls in school, they aren’t too worried. They know their real lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents)! But when an unexpected event shows them they’re missing out on the full high school experience, it’s time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge—and they will totally rock it.

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she’ll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed. It could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but always stayed behind the scenes—until now.

These friends are determined to show that smart girls get what they want—but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for…


by Karen Ann Hopkins
Publisher: Harlequin
Goodreads | Amazon


Your heart misleads you.  That’s what my friends and family say.  But I love Noah. And he loves me.  We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other’s arms. It should be  ROSE & NOAH forever, easy. But it won’t be. Because he’s Amish. And I’m not.



A Want So Wicked (A Need So Beautiful #2)
by Suzanne Young
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray
Goodreads | Amazon


After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose affect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates.

Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really?

One Moment
by Kristina McBride
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Goodreads | Amazon


Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below—dead?

As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

The latest novel from the author of The Tension of Opposites, One Moment is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.


 june 28.

Zoe Letting Go
by Nora Price
Publisher: Razorbill
Goodreads | Amazon


A girl’s letters to her best friend reveal two lives derailed by anorexia in this haunting debut that’s Wintergirls meets The Sixth Sense

It’s not a hospital, a spa, or an institution. That’s what they told me–that’s what the brochures promised.

But no matter what the brochures promised, Zoe finds that Twin Birch is a place for girls with a penchant for harming themselves. Through journal entries and letters to her best friend, Elise, she tries to understand why she was brought there, and how she could possibly belong in a place like this. But Zoe’s letters to Elise remain unanswered. She wonders why her best friend would cut her off without a word, reliving memory after memory of their beautiful, rocky, inescapable friendship. But everyone has secrets–including Zoe–and as her own fragile mental state hangs in the balance, she must finally learn to come to terms with what happened to Elise before she’s able to let go.

Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Girl, Interrupted will race through this hauntingly emotional debut novel with the pacing of a psychological thriller.


My Life in Black and White
by Natasha Friend
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Goodreads | Amazon


Lexi has always been stunning. Her butter-colored hair and perfect features have helped her attract friends, a boyfriend, and the attention of a modeling scout. But everything changes the night Lexi’s face goes through a windshield. Now she’s not sure what’s worse: the scars she’ll have to live with forever, or what she saw going on between her best friend and her boyfriend right before the accident. With the help of her trombone-playing, defiantly uncool older sister and a guy at school recovering from his own recent trauma, Lexi learns she’s much more than just a pretty face.



So, tell us, what are you guys looking MOST forward to in June?

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2012 Releases I’m Anxious to Read

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic is ten books we’re anxious to read this spring. You might see a trend in my books below (just by glancing at the covers).

I’m anxious for warmer weather, though not Texas heat-wave hot, and some sweet love stories. I have a few unexpected titles thrown in, Divergent, Timepiece and Crazy, but those are because a) I love me some Veronica Roth and Myra McEntire and b) I’ll need something to break up the love stories so that they don’t all blur together and I can fall in love with the dreamy boys in each book.

Summer doesn’t technically begin until June 20th, so I listed books that range from March through mid-June. (And YES, I cheated by including Where it Began because spring doesn’t begin until March 20th. Ha! Oh, well!)


Where it Began
by Ann Redisch Stampler
Release Date: March 6, 2012
[Goodreads | Amazon]

The Story of Us
by Deb Caletti
Release Date: April 24, 2012
[Goodreads | Amazon]



The Selection
by Kiera Cass
Release Date: April 24, 2012
[Goodreads | Amazon]

by Veronica Roth
Release Date: May 1, 2012
[Goodreads | Amazon]




Second Chance Summer
by Morgan Matson
Release Date: May 8, 2012
[Goodreads | Amazon]

The Summer My Life Began
by Shannon Greenland
Release Date: May 10, 2012
[Goodreads | Amazon]



Unbreak My Heart

by Melissa Walker
Release Date: May 22, 2012
[Goodreads | Amazon]

by Amy Reed
Release Date: June 12, 2012
[Goodreads | Amazon]




by Myra McEntire
Release Date: June 12, 2012
[Goodreads | Amazon]

My Life Next Door
by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Release Date: June 14, 2012
[Goodreads | Amazon]



So, friends, tell us what you’re anxious to read! Are you hoping to catch up on older releases or are you anxious for some shiny, new books like I am? Leave us a comment with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post and I’ll go check out your list!