young adult books that come out in november 2012

November 2012 Young Adult Book Releases

young adult books that come out in november 2012

Photograph courtesy of Favim



I bet you guys thought I was going to choose a photograph of a turkey or some delicious Thanksgiving treat for my November 2012 Young Adult Book Releases post. I just couldn’t do it. I thought that might be too cruel. I don’t know about you, but my stomach is growling just thinking about the upcoming feast.

Until then, let’s take a look at all the amazing books that will captivate us and drain our wallets this month…





november 06

book review and book cover Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2) by Laini Taylor
Goodreads | Amazon
Magan’s Review


Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Ar student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is–and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

november 08

november 2012 young adult book releases

Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Amy McNamara
Goodreads | Amazon


A resonant debut novel about retreating from the world after losing everything—and the connections that force you to rejoin it.

Since the night of the crash, Wren Wells has been running away. Though she lived through the accident that killed her boyfriend Patrick, the girl she used to be didn’t survive. Instead of heading off to college as planned, Wren retreats to her father’s studio in the far-north woods of Maine. Somewhere she can be alone.

Then she meets Cal Owen. Dealing with his own troubles, Cal’s hiding out too. When the chemistry between them threatens to pull Wren from her hard-won isolation, Wren has to choose: risk opening her broken heart to the world again, or join the ghosts who haunt her.


november 13

young adult book releases november 13 2012

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Goodreads | Amazon
Magan’s Review


Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It’s one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she’s queen of following rules and being prepared. That’s why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that’s also why she’s chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB (“meant to be”).

But this spring break, Julia’s rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she’s partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

My Beautiful Failure by Janet Ruth Young
Goodreads | Amazon


A haunting account of a teen boy who volunteers at a suicide hotline and falls for a troubled caller.Billy is a sophomore in high school, and twice a week, he volunteers at Listeners, a suicide hotline.

Jenney is an “incoming,” a caller, a girl on the brink.

As her life spirals out of control, Jenney’s calls become more desperate, more frequent. Billy, struggling with the deteriorating relationship with his depressed father, is the only one who understands. Through her pain, he sees hope. Through her tears, he feels her heart. And through her despair, he finds love. But is that enough?

Acclaimed author Janet Ruth Young has written a stunning and powerful story with no easy answers; it is about pain and heartbreak, reality and illusion, and finding redemption and the strength to forgive in the darkest of times.

Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie
Goodreads | Amazon


After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

The Future We Left Behind (Point 4 #2) by Mike A. Lancaster
Goodreads | Amazon


Thousands of years in the future the divide between humanity and technology has become nearly unrecognizable. Each thought, each action is logged, coded, backed up. Data is as easily exchanged through the fiber-optic-like cables that extend from fingertips as it might be through ordinary conversation. It’s a brave new world: A world that the Straker Tapes say is a result of many human “upgrades.” But no one is sure whether the Straker Tapes are a work of fiction or an eerie peek into an unimaginable past.

Nearly sixteen-year-old Peter Vincent has been raised to believe that everything that the backward Strakerites cling to is insane–an utter waste of time and potential. Since his father is David Vincent, genius inventor of the artificial bees that saved the world’s crops and prevented massive famine, how could Peter believe anything else?

But when Peter meets Alpha, a Strakerite his own age, suddenly the theories about society-upgrades don’t sound quite so crazy, especially when she shows him evidence that another upgrade is imminent. And worse, there may be a conspiracy by the leaders of the establishment to cover it up. A conspiracy spearheaded by Peter’s own father.

Gripping and full of unexpected twists, The Future We Left Behind takes the unsettling questions raised in Human.4, and flips them entirely. What if we knew that the very way we live was about to be changed in an instant, and we could stop it? And what if everything we are sure we know is entirely wrong?

Sacred by Elana K. Arnold
Goodreads | Amazon


Growing up on Catalina Island, off the California coast, Scarlett Wenderoth has led a fairly isolated life. After her brother dies, her isolation deepens as she withdraws into herself, shutting out her friends and boyfriend. Her parents, shattered by their own sorrow, fail to notice Scarlett’s pain and sudden alarming thinness. Scarlett finds pleasure only on her horse, escaping to the heart of the island on long, solitary rides. One day, as she races around a bend, Scarlett is startled by a boy who raises his hand in warning and says one word: “Stop.”

The boy—intense, beautiful—is Will Cohen, a newcomer to the island. For reasons he can’t or won’t explain, he’s drawn to Scarlett and feels compelled to keep her safe. To keep her from wasting away. His meddling irritates Scarlett, though she can’t deny her attraction to him. As their relationship blossoms into love, Scarlett’s body slowly awakens at Will’s touch. But just when her grief begins to ebb, she makes a startling discovery about Will, a discovery he’s been grappling with himself. A discovery that threatens to force them apart. And if it does, Scarlett fears she will unravel all over again.

Miss Fortune Cookie by Lauren Bjorkman
Goodreads | Amazon


Meet Erin. Smart student, great daughter, better friend. Secretly the mastermind behind the popular advice blog Miss Fortune Cookie. Totally unaware that her carefully constructed life is about to get crazy.

It all begins when her ex-best friend sends a letter to her blog—and then acts on her advice. Erin’s efforts to undo the mess will plunge her into adventure, minor felonies, and possibly her very first romance.

What’s a likely fortune for someone no longer completely in control of her fate? Hopefully nothing like: You will become a crispy noodle in the salad of life.

 november 20

Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky
Goodreads | Amazon


In this provocative cautionary tale for teens, the sequel to Awaken, seventeen-year-old Maddie’s rebellion against the digital-only life grows dangerous. Maddie is in Los Angeles, trying to stay out of trouble. But one night, a seemingly small act of defiance lands her in the place she fears the most: a detention center. Here, patients are reprogrammed to accept a digital existence. Maddie is now fighting for her mind, her soul, and her very life. Once again, Katie Kacvinsky paints a disturbing picture of our increasingly technology-based society.

And that, my friends, wraps up November’s 2012 Young Adult Book Releases post. I hope you found lots of great books to oogle over the next month.

book review and book cover Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Magan: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

book review and book cover Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and Starlight (Book #2) by Laini Taylor [twitter | website]
Daughter of Smoke and Bone Review
Publication Date: November 6, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 528
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: angels, book series, animal humans, war, forbidden love
Format read: e-book received from Little, Brown (Thank you!)

Summary: Akiva has burned portals and caused much of the Chimaera population to die. Karou went in search of her family via a remaining portal. The Chimaera and Seraphim are in the midst of a destructive war.

Oh, friends. I’m trying so hard to gather my thoughts and compose myself (and my words) after finishing Days of Blood and Starlight. What a beautiful, wonderful, incredible book by Laini Taylor. I’m going to try to be as spoiler-free for this book, but I will mention a few things from Daughter of Smoke and Bone because I just don’t see a way to properly write this review without doing so.

Laini’s writing is so different, so unique; though her story isn’t at all like Harry Potter, I do feel her character development and world building feels much like what we’ve read and loved by J.K. Rowling. For this very reason, when I first began reading Days of Blood and Starlight I realized I would need to go back and refresh my memory on the final details of book one in the series. I re-read approximately the last third of the book and I’m so glad I did. Here are a few refreshers for you if you need them:


  • Karou puts the pieces together and realizes she is the resurrected, human version of Madrigal. Madrigal was a Chimaera that fell in love with a Seraphim, Akiva. Seraphim and Chimaera are enemies and are at war with one another. Madrigal was publicly beheaded for her relations with Akiva.
  • Brimstone, the resurrectionist, gave Madrigal life in the human world as Karou.
  • Karou learns that Akiva is responsible for burning hand prints on portals and for killing Chimaera (we’re uncertain if this includes Brimstone, Issa, and Yasri at the end of book one).
  • Though Karou and Akiva were falling in love again, once she knows the truth about his mission, she leaves him in search of another portal.
  • (Here’s a really cool resource for finding out more about Daughter of Smoke and Bone.)

There are a lot of unknowns going into Days of Blood and Starlight. We mostly see Akiva’s perspective in the beginning because he’s unsure of Karou’s whereabouts and if she’s even alive. He’s brokenhearted and helpless. The nature of this book is heavier and more melancholy because our lovers are separated and their world is in the midst of a devastating war. My hopeless romantic self had a hard time processing how Karou and Akiva’s relationship could ever be rekindled, if at all.

While most of book one took place in the human world, our setting fluctuates a lot between there and the Seraphim/Chimaera world. Laini blew my mind by continuing to develop the story further by so incredibly crafting the details of the war. While still told from third person, expect to fluctuate a lot between characters: Akiva, Ziri (a Chimaera who long ago crushed on Madrigal), Jael (the Seraphim Emperor’s cousin with a nasty face scar), Silverswords (guards that protect the Emporor), etc. Very minor characters are given their moment and the impact of this was great. I found myself reeling from the gamut of emotions because of some of these unexpected scenes. The changing point of view only added to the well-roundedness of the story and enhanced my reading experience.

For whatever reason, I was not able to read through Laini’s work at breakneck speed (though not for lack of wanting to). With both books, I felt the need to tread slowly and really take in all the details. This allowed me to wallow in some of the events so much so that I felt like if I walked outside, I might be stepping into their world.

It’s not often that I feel a middle book in a series is as fulfilling as (or even better than) the first book. Friends, I am here to declare that I feel even more dedicated to Laini and her beautiful story. Expect to have your heart broken a few times, to fall in love with characters that were only on the perimeter in the first book, to be in awe of Laini’s imagination, and to feel empowered by the time you read the final words of Days of  Blood and Starlight.

own it now -- highest ranking from Rather Be Reading Blog

Goodreads | Amazon

weekly feature focusing on the books we bought, borrowed, and received from publishers

Estelle + Magan: Shelve It (10/21/2012)

weekly feature focusing on the books we bought, borrowed, and received from publishers

Happy Sunday, friends! We decided to do a joint “Shelve It” this week because someone was a little preoccupied with a move last weekend. Lots of fun books to look forward to for both of us!


Hi. Hi. Hi. Last week, I had a bunch of fun hanging out with Elena (Novel Sounds) and Alexa (Alexa Love Books). It was my first time meeting Elena, and I’m here to tell you the truth: she is super sweet in person yet has a terrible sense of direction. But a great taste in books and clothes. We met up last Sunday, shared a cupcake like we were on a date, and walked around to shop and find some dinner. After a stressful and emotional weekend (saying goodbye to a house is not easy…) it was nice to take a break and hang out with two girls who make me laugh and force me to buy books. FORCE ME. Okay, maybe they didn’t force but it’s hard not to get excited about books when you are hanging out with people who are so passionate about them.

Here are some pics from our adventures:

Rather Be Reading Blog meets Novel Sounds

So much fun! I hope Elena comes back to visit soon!

As far as buying books, the three of us visited the Strand and I went a little crazy:

Rather Be Reading Blog Shelve It 10/21/2012

Bunheads by Sophia Black (Goodreads)
Virtuosity by  Jessica Martinez (Goodreads) — I knew Magan was a big fan of these two so the price was right & I picked them up.
Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols (Goodreads) — a hardcover to add to my collection was a must!
Violet & Claire by Francesca Lia Block (Goodreads) — an oldie but goodie that I haven’t read in forever.

I also bought that cute Kate Spade Strand bag! It’s been great to bring to work!

Very excited about some recent packages I received in the mail!

Rather Be Reading Shelve It 10/21/2012

Thanks to Hachette for the copy of Winter White, the second book in the BELLES series by Jen Calonita. I recently read the first book and really liked it so I’m anxious to check out what these characters are up to. (Goodreads)

Where You Are by J.H. Trumble, comes to bookstores in January 2013. I have high expectations for this particular novel because I loved J.H.’s debut, Don’t Let Me Go. Thanks to Kensington Publishers for this paperback! (Goodreads)

Rather Be Reading Shelve It 10/21/2012

Ginger (GReads!) was awesome enough to lend me her copy of Live Through This by Mindi Scott. Ginger and I had been talking as she read it, and I was very intrigued. (Goodreads)

Magan sent me a copy of Dear Teen Me, a collection of authors’ letters to their teen selves. I can’t wait to get cracking on this one. (Goodreads)

Thanks ladies!


Hi, friends! Oh my goodness, it’s been an awesome weekend here on the homefront. We got a little bit of work done in our house yesterday. My husband and I have lived in our house for over a year and a half and I’ve been reallllllly slow about putting things up on the walls. I’m a DIY kind of girl (something E and I also majorly have in common — we love crafts and projects!) so I’ve been collecting things for the house. My latest project has involved me doing all of the mat cutting and framing myself for the art work I wanted to hang. The husband finally helped me hang these yesterday:

katie daisy prints and note cards hung on the wall

Most of the art work (the one on the top right is a large print, and the three square doily-looking ones were a note card set) is by Katie Daisy (Estelle and I LOVE her work!) and the other print is a gift from my sister-in-law.

But back to books…

The amazing Katie at Mundie Moms gifted me with the books above! Katie — you’re awesome! Thank you so, so much!

The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab (Goodreads)
34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues (Goodreads)
The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (Goodreads)
The Blessed by  Tonya Hurley (Goodreads)

A few weeks ago was the Austin Teen Book Festival (YIPPIE!). I didn’t get to go for very long, but I did purchase one book!

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone (Goodreads) — it’s been a while since I read a time travel book (we did see Looper, the time travel movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this weekend though!) so I can’t wait to read this one!

Sometimes I’m terribly bad at remembering to mention NetGalley books in vlogs because I don’t have the physical copy to show. Here’s what we received from publishers this week:








Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (Goodreads) — we are kind of in love with the covers for this one. AND it sounds fabulous!
Uses for Boys by Erica Lorianne Scheidt (Goodreads) — I’ve heard this one is pretty deep and dark! Whoa .. cannot wait to read it!
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (Goodreads) — A very big thank you to Little, Brown for allowing me to read this! I spent some time re-reading the end of Daughter of Smoke and Bone today to freshen up!


on the blog.

A review of Good For You by Tammara Webber

A review of One Pink Line by Dina Silver

A review of Death & the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

A review of Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill


We hope you’ve had the best weekend! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! Let us know what books you got this week!

Top Ten Tuesday: In Which the Worlds Felt Real, Yo.

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! The topic chosen by the awesome peeps over at the Broke and the Bookish is vivid worlds and settings in books. For me, that means things GOT REAL. I could picture myself in the world, imagine the city or the journey — whatever it may be. World building is incredibly important to me as a reader.

Let’s get started!

P.S. You’ve been warned – welcome to the craziness that is my mind and the chaos of what I read.

vivid world building and good book settings

1. ALANNA: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (Goodreads | Amazon)

Alanna was the first “fantasy” series I read in high school. Somehow I got caught up in the world of classic “old” books for high school required reading and a friend recommended I read the Alanna series. I DEVOURED these. I saw them when Border’s was closing and bought myself the whole set. I re-read it last year, I think, and still really enjoyed it. Alanna is young in the beginning books and she grows up – similar to Harry Potter – throughout the rest of the series. She falls in love, she becomes a badass heroine, and there are two very different, but great guys vying for her attention.

2. THE BOOK THIEF by Marcus Zusack (Goodreads | Amazon)

I read The Book Thief with my girlfriends back when we were trying to start a book club. I did NOT know what to expect when I started this one, but I was swept away into World War II. I cried, my heart broke, and I was incredibly touched. I should re-read it, but it’s one of those that has left such a definite lasting impression…

books with great world building and vivid settings

*Honestly, these two are kind of my “freebies” on this list because um, it’s not possible to have a list without them. J.K. Rowling is the queen of world building. And Suzanne Collins re-ignited the dystopia trend that has hit the YA world full force. These books deserve some mad props. (Also, I pictured my favorite of each series.)

3. HARRY POTTER and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (Goodreads | Amazon)

4. THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins (Goodreads | Amazon)

books with incredible world building and vivid settings

5. FORGOTTEN by Cat Patrick (Goodreads | Amazon)

I felt so deeply connected to London, a girl whose brain “reset” every single night. She would forget everything that happened the day before and would have to read the pages of notes she wrote for herself to “remember” her life. She could see things from the future, but couldn’t remember the past. LOVED this book!

6. DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver (Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)

ALL of Lauren’s books should be on this list. I am continuously blown away by her writing. From the way the society felt in Delirium to experiencing Lena’s journey in Pandemonium (purposely being vague so those of you who haven’t read this won’t have anything ruined) — I felt like I experienced every. single. moment.

vivid world building or amazing settings in books

7. DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor (Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)

I haven’t read tons of books involving angels and demons or crazy animals that can talk – but if Laini Taylor is writing it, sign me up. I wanted to tread lightly through Daughter of Smoke and Bone because I didn’t want it to be over. Anxiously awaiting the sequel to dive back into her world!

8. THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers (Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)

I am a HUGE, HUGE Courtney Summers fan. I read Some Girls Are and subsequently consumed the rest of her books (in like…a week). I was nervous to read about zombies (because I’m not really a “zombie” kinda girl), but you know what? That was okay. The story is bigger than the zombies. Courtney’s writing is ah-mazing!

books with incredible settings or vivid world building - setting with airplanes and book set in london

9. SUCH A RUSH by Jennifer Echols (Goodreads | Amazon |E’s Review)

Forget fear of flying — I think everyone will want to take off in a plane or head to an airplane hangar to hang out with the Hall boys after reading this one. Jennifer did an INCREDIBLE job of explaining how things operated and I felt so empowered on behalf of Leah.

10. MEANT TO BE by Lauren Morrill (Goodreads | Pre-Order on Amazon)

I like books that can take me to new places – places I’ve never been. I felt like I was on my own spring break in London (btw, why was my high school not this amazing? — pretty sure we just went to Six Flags for trips!). This is one to keep your eye out for – I know I’m a tease for sharing it, but the setting (and characters) are ones you will LOVE.

So that’s what I’ve got for your world building and vivid settings books. What’s on your list? 

Magan: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

cover with a mask, daughter of smoke and bones cover, book review daughter of smoke and bones, rather be reading blog

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Pages: 418
Target Audience: Young Adult
Format: Library book
Why I picked it up: It was brand new at my library!
Summary: Karou is studying art in Prague; she has no family to speak of except for the monsters (that really exist) she draws in her notebooks. Black handprints begin to appear on the portals that take her to friends’ world – they lead her to question who she is and she gets caught up in an otherworldly war.

This book has been buzzing all over the Internet – bloggers everywhere have been singing its praises. Though I would say it’s not my typical kind of read, I knew that I should pick it up so I could understand what everyone was talking about.  (I think this is probably a book that should be added to my list of books that took me out of my comfort zone).

I was captivated from the very beginning with Karou’s world – she is an artist with a fascinating best friend and she’s trying to ditch her cheating ex-boyfriend. I realized immediately that I’d have to pay careful attention to all the names so I could keep track of who everyone was. Karou keeps a sketchbook on hand at all times that she fills with drawings of monsters. Though she’s jokingly told her friends that they’re real, no one believes her. When I was introduced to everyone in the book – both through the drawings she’d done and when she really does visit them – I had to flip back and forth between a few sections so I could imagine exactly what these characters looked like.

They were combinations of humans and animals and in order to find them, they had to give Karou special access to their portal. She grew up without any parents and spends much of her time questioning who she is; the monsters are the only family she’s ever known. I loved the beauty of a girl who was adopted by people (I feel weird continually referring to them as monsters) so different than her. Though this was a completely fictional story, I think it made a beautiful point of how family is who we surround ourselves with and it isn’t necessarily defined by blood.

The heart of the story is about the forbidden love between Akiva, one of the guys who is burning his handprint on the portals around the world, and Karou. There is something deep and gravitational between the two. They’re supposed to hate one another and become enemies; however, their past runs much deeper than Karou knows. When he is reintroduced to her life, she begins to peel away the mystery of her past to find out who she is.  My heart pounded with such intensity while I read the parts where these two were together – their love was so fascinating. It made me excited for them, but yet my stomach was in knots because I didn’t know how their story would progress.

Karou and Akiva tell parts of the story – it alternates from each of their perspectives and from past to present day. Because I was given so much information, I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to believe. I rooted for both of them and hoped that their love would prevail. The story is extremely meaty, meaning that there is a ton of detail and description. There’s a lot to be learned, and mixed with the multiple points of view, I found I couldn’t speed read through the book. I took my time and appreciated it so much more.

Taylor’s writing is absolutely wonderful. I think this is the first book I’ve read since the Harry Potter series that I thought, “WOW. She put a lot of effort into completely developing this world.”  I feel like she 100% immersed herself in it. When I first began the book, I thought it was going to be about an angel and a devil who were forbidden to fall in love. That was definitely the wrong assumption (you know what they say about people who assume) and I couldn’t have been more intrigued by how rich and new the world was.  While it seems like the story is set in Prague, there are so many places to travel to and learn about.

In a nutshell – it’s a story about a forceful attraction between a guy and a girl, a world with so much war going on, and a girl discovering who she is for the first time.

Doesn’t that sound like a recipe for amazing? I definitely vote yes.

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