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Twice as Nice: Belles & Winter White by Jen Calonita

Belles (#1) by Jen Calonita ( website | twitter ) Publication Date: April 10, 2012 Publisher: Poppy Pages: 356 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: family secrets, mean girls, campaigns Format read: Borrowed from library Summary: Izzie and Mira couldn’t be more different. For years, Izzie has grown up in Harborside, hanging out at the Boardwalk, and working as a lifeguard […]

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December 1, 2012 - 1:48 am

Kristen Evey - I’ve been wanting to read Belles since I saw the cover when it came out. I really want to love stories like this, but I don’t always end up doing so and I can’t figure out why. That you compared this to both Cinderella AND Mean Girls gives me high hopes for this one though. 😉

November 8, 2012 - 5:23 pm

elena - awww this seem like such qt contemps! i was suppose to be sent this for review but welp, it never came. the first one is at my library though, i think. i like the comparison of belles to mean girls & cinderella. eesh to the curveball ending in the second book though. great reviews, estelle!

November 7, 2012 - 4:25 pm

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) - Okay, I’m not sure if I needed to skip book two’s review or not, but I did. I have Belles but I haven’t read it yet. I REALLY WANT TO, though, because I seem to remember that it is set in Eastern North Carolina, which is where I live. (I love reading books set close to me for some reason.)

Also, the cover is super pretty. I really need to make the time for this one so I can get to book two as well!

November 7, 2012 - 9:32 am

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - You make me want to immediately go out and get these books STAT. Honestly, from the summaries alone, I could already tell that they would be the kind of books I’d find interesting, and I’m intrigued to meet both Mira and Izzie!

November 6, 2012 - 8:48 pm

Tara - Can I just say how happy I am that we could talk this out on GChat lol. I feel a readalong coming on when book 3 comes out 🙂

Dear Teen Me: A Letter By Estelle

Today Magan & I are celebrating the upcoming release of Dear Teen Me, a collection of letters written by authors to their teen selves. It’s available from Zest Books on Halloween, October 31! ( Amazon | Goodreads ) Dear Teen Me, Here are a few things you need to know: Katie Holmes married and divorced […]

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October 30, 2012 - 4:20 pm

April Books & Wine - Dawson’s Creek forevs.

Also.

I love that you are a fighter. I think teen Estelle would be proud of just how kick ass adult Estelle is.

October 28, 2012 - 8:03 pm

Estelle: Shelve It from Rather Be Reading Blog (10/28/2012) - […] Review: Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole + Dear Teen Me: A Letter From Estelle + Dear Teen Me: A Letter From Magan + Review: Better than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts + Helping […]

October 27, 2012 - 3:22 pm

elena - estelle, this letter is so wonderful and so perfect because it’s so YOU. i love that it’s so hopeful and kind and HEE at being better dressed. i am so glad you shared this, i <3 you.

October 27, 2012 - 2:58 am

Kristen - I. love. this. This letter is beautiful in every way. Thank you for sharing, Estelle. So different to have the perspective of time and age and wisdom (hopefully!) to look back on.

October 27, 2012 - 12:20 am

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - Reading your letter made me smile. Because while we all have to deal with a ton of bad things in our lives, there’s always HOPE – that things will get better, or surpass our expectations, or surprise us. I love how you expressed your feelings about how sometimes, things that don’t necessarily look “good” are actually the perfect catalyst for things to fall into place as they should. *hug*

October 26, 2012 - 4:43 pm

Lisa - This is beautiful and sad and encouraging and so full of truth.

Thank you for sharing.

oxoxo

October 26, 2012 - 11:01 am

Kelly - There’s always that guy that we hold on to for too long, eh? I would love to tell teen me to steer clear, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without having gone through that heartbreak – and coming out stronger because of it!

I love this series; both you and Magan have made me a little weepy today, so I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to write this, and then share it with us all.

You are one brave, beautiful lady!

October 26, 2012 - 6:14 am

B. Hemborg - Such a great post!

October 26, 2012 - 5:56 am

Lori - I love, love, love this!

October 25, 2012 - 9:22 pm

Tara - Estelle, you had me tearing up, then laughing, then back to tearing up. You’re amazing! This was such a great letter and I’m so happy we’ve gotten the chance to know each other more over the past few months.

PS – I have lots of questions for you for GChat tomorrow 😉

October 25, 2012 - 8:29 pm

Allison L - I love this 🙂 Thanks for sharing it with us Estelle!

October 25, 2012 - 8:04 pm

Jamie - LOVED THIS! Also Dawson’s Creek opening FTW! Love you lady!

October 25, 2012 - 5:50 pm

anna - Love this letter — gorgeous! Hugs to teen (and adult) Estelle xo

October 25, 2012 - 4:48 pm

Ghenet Myrthil - I loved reading this! Our teen selves would definitely have been friends because I was obsessed with Dawson’s and Felicity back then too. I’ve also had not-so-great moments in high school/college that formed who I am today. So no regrets! I love the idea of Dear Teen Me. 🙂

October 25, 2012 - 4:39 pm

Jess @ Gone with the Words - Dear Teen Estelle,

Today you really DO listen to country a lot…and share the best songs (that go perfectly with some books!) with your friends, who you chat with on the internet. No, not AOL, it’s GChat now. AOL is nonexistent.

You are awesome, and this letter really touched me. 🙂

October 25, 2012 - 1:31 pm

Elizabeth - Love, love, love this.
How insightful we all are with 20/20 hindsight…..oh, if I could tell my teenage self a thing or two.
It would be one long letter.
Starting with: Drop the loser. He never amounts to anything and you will go on to find the most surprisingly perfect soul mate. The sooner you get over the first “love” you thought you had the sooner you can meet the man that will provide you with laughter and a lifetime of love. Not to mention three pretty great kids.

October 25, 2012 - 1:09 pm

Mary @ My Sisters Bookshelf - Estelle, you had me at Dawson’s Creek! I was the perfect age for that show – I lived high school alongside them!

What a fabulous concept. I think teen me was pretty strong but I’d tell her she’s smarter than she realizes! And she has lots of time…

October 25, 2012 - 12:44 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - PS – I laughed at the Dawsons Creek references in the beginning, but the quote at the end made me have an “aww” moment 🙂 Nicely done.

October 25, 2012 - 12:42 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - Estelle, I could read what you write every day, any day. Your words are always full of heart, truth, and humor. I love this letter to your teenage self. We tend to want to go back and re-do things (usually make the bad things right again), but what you’ve captured here is the importance of living through those adventures is what makes you YOU today.

Thank you for sharing this part of yourself, xoxo. You are such a beautiful person Estelle!

Estelle: All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin

All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin ( website | tweet ) Publication Date: October 9, 2012 Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers Pages: 240 Target audience: Mature young adult Keywords: siblings, re-marriage, insecurity Format read: ARC from NetGalley (Thanks!) Summary: Sister relationships are never easy, but ever since their mother’s remarriage to a wealthy […]

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November 20, 2012 - 12:08 am

Top 10 Tuesday: Ten Books We're Thankful For - […] 1. All You Never Wanted: A review copy that set me on a rampage to read any Adele Griffin I could get my hands on. This book is about sisters, lies, and secrets when a family is torn apart by their new money and pressure to fit in. I fail to come up with the right words to classify Adele’s writing but it’s crisp and to the point. But not impersonal. Her stories are complex, kind of dark, and full of hidden treasures. (My review.) […]

October 28, 2012 - 8:03 pm

Estelle: Shelve It from Rather Be Reading Blog (10/28/2012) - […] + Review: Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole + Dear Teen Me: A Letter From Estelle + Dear Teen Me: A Letter From Magan + Review: Better than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts + Helping Books of Wonder in NYC  + Review: All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin […]

October 26, 2012 - 10:49 am

Kelly - It seems totally justifiable that a family could be at odds without even knowing it, nostalgic about the way things used to be but ignoring the reality of their current situation.

THIS! Yes! Pretty much perfectly sums up this book.

And like you, I’d love to give this another go, just to see what I missed the first time around!

Oh, and thanks so much for mentioning my review Estelle!

October 25, 2012 - 12:49 pm

Estelle - April, so jealous you got a signed copy! I’m hoping Adele will be in NYC sometimes soon! Backstabby is a good word. Very good.

October 25, 2012 - 12:46 pm

Estelle - Kristen, thanks so much for your comment (as always)! I definitely think you should give it a shot too + look into Adele’s other books. I haven’t been disappointed yet!

October 25, 2012 - 12:33 pm

Estelle - Alexa, this is probably unlike any sister book you have encountered. (At least I think so.) The dynamics are so interesting. I do hope you pick this up.

October 23, 2012 - 7:21 pm

Jess @ Gone with the Words - This cover is such a stand out..it looks like nothing out there right now, and reading what the story is about makes it so dang intriguing!! I hadn’t planned on reading this one, but I’m totally adding it to my wishlist after your review, Estelle. 🙂

October 23, 2012 - 5:44 pm

elena - Dark and twisty, ooh! This book sounds so intriguing and one I need to keep in mind if I want a darker, compelling read. Fantastic review, E! <3

October 23, 2012 - 12:53 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - I definitely have a soft spot for books about sibling relationships, especially sisters. I’ve had my ups and downs with my own sisters, and there are definitely things I wish I had or was capable of that they are. I’d definitely be interested in learning more about Thea + Alex and seeing how things work out for them in this novel.

October 22, 2012 - 9:50 pm

Kristen Evey - The synopsis on Goodreads makes it seem like I wouldn’t like it, but your review makes me want to give it a shot. It sounds very… complicated, but intriguing. Great review, Estelle. 🙂

October 22, 2012 - 11:51 am

April Books & Wine - I’m glad to see All You Never Wanted is excellent, because I purchased a copy at full price from a signing and this sounds SO good.I feel like I didn’t waste my money haha.

ALSO. I love complex backstabby stories and dysfunction so I’m on tenterhooks to read this!

October 22, 2012 - 9:18 am

Lori - I’ve been really curious about this book, but now I must read it! I have a sister so I always find sister books fascinating and easy to relate to.

Estelle: Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt ( website | tweet ) Publication Date: October 2, 2012 Publisher: Walker Children’s Pages: 384 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: cancer, popularity, secrets, superstitions Format read: ARC from NetGalley (Thanks!) Summary: For a person who is always prepared and fighting to excel in just about everything, Mia is […]

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October 18, 2012 - 8:00 pm

elena - looking for little signs from the universe is my LIFE but i don’t know how accurate it actually is. i’m sorry this didn’t quite make the emotional impact you wanted but great review! <3

October 15, 2012 - 2:12 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - The fact that Mia looks for signs everywhere was the thing that drew me towards this book – I love doing that on occasion, or trying to reinterpret things in my life as “signs”. And it did sound like such a great story! I’ll probably still read it, but at least I’m going in forewarned about the lack of breakthrough in Mia’s journey.

October 14, 2012 - 6:46 pm

Tara - Sigh… you know how I feel about this one (as it’s the same way you feel). I had high, high hopes for this book and sadly, it just fell short. I think a few tweaks in the major story lines could have made the book great, but they just didn’t happen.

October 14, 2012 - 5:22 am

VeganYANerds - This one sounds interesting, I definitely want to read it but I know I will probably have mixed feelings, too!

October 13, 2012 - 5:44 pm

Kristen Evey - Hmm… this may or may not be one that I’ll read. I’m drawn to the cover (I have this thing for dandelions), but judging from what you’ve said about it I’m just not sure if it’s the book for me. I totally agree with you. I don’t care if the characters are similar to me, but I want to see them learn and change and grow throughout the story. The fact that she is looking for little signs from the universe intrigues me though. Maybe I’ll pick it up if I see it at the library. Great review Estelle!

October 13, 2012 - 6:04 am

Lori - Yes, yes, yes to everything you said! I’m so happy to see that I’m not the only one that felt this way. I just didn’t like Mia much and I loathed her friends. I really wanted to see her come to some great realization about her life, but alas.

October 12, 2012 - 9:43 pm

Estelle - I’m glad that you had some of the same feelings as I did. I felt like I was beating myself up over how and why this didn’t work for me. There were some little details I really liked (like the beach at the winter scene and the almost end) but… you make some really great points about how we lean on men for their “protection”. It’s a genius idea that I didn’t even start to think about. Maybe Mia almost felt more trust for men because the relationship with her mom was so shakey? It’s possible. Hmm…

October 12, 2012 - 9:40 pm

Estelle - I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts. It’s a shame because I think some tweaks structurally could have made this book very moving… and it just wasn’t there.

October 12, 2012 - 9:21 pm

April Books & Wine - I liked The Probability Of Miracles, so I think I’d dig Send Me A Sign.

I’m sorry Mia didn’t do it for you and that the breakthroughs kind of weren’t there. Alas.

October 12, 2012 - 11:05 am

Jamie - I just finished this one and felt pretty similarly! Like I really enjoyed it but I was so frustrated with some of her decisions and I SO wanted her to also have a girl friend to lean on during this time. Putting everything in the hands of one person (especially when it’s a guy) is not a good idea. I mean I could kind of identify…when my mom was sick it was so much easier for me to let a guy be the one I went to. You kind of feel safe with them..like they can protect you..even though clearly they could have done nothing about the cancer growing in my mom’s brain. SO on one hand, I could identify but I really was hoping she would open up to somebody! AND I agree with you..I loved that little parts with some of the nurses. I just felt so SAD for her that she wouldn’t tell people and had to really go it alone.

Great review! I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who had thought I’d be emotionally somewhere else with this novel but didn’t end up there.

Estelle: Endangered by Eliot Schrefer

Endangered by Eliot Schrefer  [ website | tweet ] Publication Date: October 1, 2012 Publisher: Scholastic Press Pages: 272 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: Africa, Congo, mother/daughter relationships, revolution, survival Format read: ARC from NetGalley. (Thanks!) Summary:  It’s summer break and Sophie has returned to the Congo, where her mother lives, running a sanctuary for […]

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July 27, 2015 - 12:04 pm

Estelle - It’s present day. 🙂

July 24, 2015 - 3:07 pm

jordan - when does this book take place?

May 29, 2014 - 9:01 am

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer (YA Review) - […] Estelle: Endangered by Eliot Schrefer […]

December 20, 2012 - 9:02 am

Estelle: 2012 End of the Year Survey (Yay!) - […] You Are by J.H. Trumble What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton Stealing Parker by Miranda Kennealy Endangered by Eliot Schrefer Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly […]

December 7, 2012 - 12:02 pm

The Big Kids' Table: Holiday Edition - […] by Eliot Schrefer [ my review] lush setting, solid writing, mothers/daughters, […]

September 30, 2012 - 10:54 pm

October 2012 Young Adult Book Releases - […] by Eliot Schrefer Amazon | Estelle’s Review Description: The compelling tale of a girl who must save a group of bonobos–and […]

September 30, 2012 - 10:07 pm

Estelle: Shelve It from Rather Be Reading Blog (9/30/2012) - […] October is a pricey month for books! So many new releases! A review of Starring Me by Krista McGee. Magan adored Sweethearts by Sara Zarr. Our long distance “Pitch Perfect” date: a movie review + giveaway! A review of Endangered by Eliot Schrefer. […]

September 28, 2012 - 7:01 pm

Kristen - Wow. This sounds fantastic. Definitely different than a lot of stuff out there right now, which is good! Also, comparing it to Bridge to Terabithia is an automatic must check it out for me. Great review!

September 25, 2012 - 3:26 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - I LOVE that this one sounds so different from anything out there! It will be interesting to see how this particular story unfolds, plus I’d love to learn more about the bonobos. (And of course, the fact that David Levithan gave it a shout out definitely gives me more reason to read it!)

September 25, 2012 - 12:20 pm

Jamie - OK OK OK so this weekend David Levithan totally gave this book a shoutout in his suggestions for books coming out to read and it sounded intriguing! I was just talking to Alexa how I feel like there hasn’t been a lot of talk about this one.

I think this means I am destined to pick it up! I love off the path kind of books!

September 24, 2012 - 3:15 pm

Lisa - Despite your glowing review, I kept thinking mehhhhh.

But then I saw your comparison to Lord of the Flies and Bridge to Terabithia. Both of which I adore so FINE I will add this to my tbr and I have no doubt I will love it as much as you did!

Thanks for giving this book off the beaten path a bit of attention. I like reading reviews for books I haven’t seen around much.

Estelle: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirsten Cronn-Mills

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirsten Cronn-Mills Publication Date: October 8, 2012 Publisher: Flux Pages: 288 Target audience: Mature Young Adult Keywords: music, LGBT, bullying, life after high school, acceptance, radio, Elvis Format read: eBook from NetGalley (Thanks!) Summary: Gabe is so looking forward to the end of high school and starting fresh. He […]

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May 14, 2013 - 12:00 am

Top 10 Tuesday: The Hard Stuff (in Books) - […] Beautiful Music for Ugly Children and The Miseducation of Cameron Post are two beautifully written books that not only deal with gaining acceptance from others, but also finding it for themselves. Beautiful Music was one of my top reads last year; Gabe is a vivacious character who just came out as transgender to his parents. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is about a girl who thinks she caused her parents death because she kissed a girl; her aunt soon sends her to a school to get reformed. […]

January 6, 2013 - 1:55 am

Estelle's Shelve It: 1/6/2013 - […] Cousins + Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe are two books I requested from Flux Books, the publisher of Beautiful Music for Ugly Children — a book I absolutely loved from last year. So I have high hopes for these two reads. […]

December 16, 2012 - 8:21 pm

Jess - Even though I’m not really into music, This book sounds amazing. This is one I certainly want to check out.

December 16, 2012 - 9:03 am

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children Themed Gift Pack - […] Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills is so sweet, so endearing, so inventive yet tackles a pretty unconventional subject in the young adult genre. I’m skimming through to refresh my memory of the little details, and I keep getting distracted because I love the main character, Gabe, so much. He was born Liz but has just told everyone he is Gabe. His parents don’t take it too well, his best friend Paige is accepting, and the only place he can be himself is when he broadcasts the program “Beautiful Music for Ugly Children”. This character is like a walking music encyclopedia. I love it. […]

November 1, 2012 - 10:18 am

Rather Be Reading Blog Celebrates the Big One: Fun + Giveaway - […] Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills 2. Lexapros and Cons by Aaron Karo 3. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill 4. […]

September 29, 2012 - 8:01 am

October 2012 Young Adult Book Releases - […] Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills Amazon | Estelle’s Review Description: The lives and loves of a teenage transboy music geek Gabe has always identified as a […]

September 24, 2012 - 12:20 am

Shelve It -- September 24, 2012 - […] Malinda Lo + We’ve got a new rating system so we can highlight books that are great deals! + A review of Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kristen Cronn-Mills + A review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer Posted in Giveaways, Magan, Memes by Magan, Shelve It, […]

September 21, 2012 - 8:02 am

Leah - I LOVED this book! 🙂 So, so beautiful. I’m not a huge fan of contemporaries, but something about this book made me want to dive right in and I’m so glad I gave it a shot.

September 20, 2012 - 1:21 pm

elena - EEE Estelle, I know how much you love this book so it’s exciting to read your review of it. This sounds really intriguing and music can be a hit or miss in books for me and I definitely like this would be a hit. Beautiful review! <3