Magan: Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell

book cover for Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell

Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell (website | twitter)
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 320
Target Audience: Young Adult
Keywords: death of a classmate, bucket lists, social outcast
Format Read: ARC received via Netgalley. (Thank you!)
Other Books Read by Author: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe

Summary: Rebel Blue is detached and rough-around-the-edges. That is, until she’s taken aback by Kennedy Green’s death, a do-gooder girl who had a very deep conversation with Rebel just before her death. Unable to get rid of Kennedy’s bucket list, Rebel sets out to complete it for her and makes life-changing decisions along the way.

Remember last year when Estelle and I couldn’t stop gushing about Shelley Coriell’s Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe in Estelle’s Attention, Attention post, my review, and the book-themed gift pack? Truth be told, I prolonged reading Goodbye, Rebel Blue until I needed that absolute win, the guaranteed love affair with a book I was certain I would be granted. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the same affection for Rebel that I did for Chloe, leaving me a little disappointed and underwhelmed.

Rebel Blue comes across as a distanced and troubled teenager; she doesn’t care about making good grades, often finds herself in detention, and is less than affectionate with her aunt, uncle, and cousin (with whom she lives after the death of her mother). She adorns her backpack with shark teeth and wears chunky blue streaks in her brown hair. Rebel is not a member of the popular crowd.

One day she finds herself in detention (again), but this time goody-two-shoes Kennedy Green also finds herself stuck in the counselor’s office for a few hours. Kennedy and Rebel have a very distant relationship; they’re aware of who the other is, but wouldn’t be considered friends by definition. When the counselor tells them to make a bucket list of twenty things they want to do before they die, chatterbox Kennedy abruptly scribbles down her list and overwhelms Rebel with conversation. For two near-strangers, they have a very deep conversation about being in the right place at the right time.

The next day, Rebel finds out that Kennedy died in a car accident.

Feeling a bit taken aback by Kennedy’s sudden death, Rebel races to the detention room to find the discarded bucket lists. There’s a bit of speculation about if Kennedy committed suicide. Surely her list would be an indicator, but Rebel finds it to be a reflection of the happy-go-lucky girl Kennedy was and cannot discard it. Instead, she decides to tackle the list and complete the things Kennedy aspired to do.

The majority of my struggle with Goodbye, Rebel Blue lies in the overall execution of completing the bucket list. There were twenty items on the list, and oftentimes, I felt like just as Rebel was making a bit of progress toward completing an item and overcoming huge obstacles, the stage would fade to black and the next scene would be her facing the next obstacle. The transitions often seemed a little bit jarring, as if I had missed a few paragraphs, because there were so many hurdles to jump. I felt little closure and maybe if the list had been shortened, more time would have been allotted to each task. I strongly feel this would have a) given me a better sense of time as it passed, and b) allowed me to accept the character changes Rebel was going through without feeling as if the story was being rushed.

There’s quite a large can of worms that is approached by Rebel near the end of the novel that I also felt was completely neglected when I finished the book. I’m not sure if there will be a continuation of this story, but it seemed rather huge to introduce and then leave it hanging. And the message, while a good one, is definitely reiterated over and over, and quite possibly too literally, leaving little room for interpretation. I really love strong, positive messages, but again, a little more finessing may have made this aspect a little less forced and more organic.

While it was lovely to be distantly reconnected with old friends, Chloe and Clem, via their cameos, I wish I was able to feel as excited and inspired by Rebel’s story as I was Chloe’s. One lovely addition to Goodbye, Rebel Blue was definitely Nate, the go-gooder boy who is intrigued by Rebel, and his huge My Life Next Door-esque family that will melt your heart.

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Sweet Summertime Reads - Summer Beach Reads Feature with Fiction Folio and GReads!

Sweet Summertime Reads: The Yearbook

Sweet Summertime Reads - Summer Beach Reads Feature with Fiction Folio and GReads!

Welcome back for another Sweet Summertime Reads post. As summer winds down, stores fill up with huge school supplies displays that make us yearn for the days we’d be doing our school shopping and prepping for our first days of school. So this week, Ginger, Tara, and the two of us are focusing on going back to school. Estelle and I thought we’d celebrate the new school year with some of our favorite books and aspects of going back to school.

making new friends.

winger by andrew smith and the reece malcolm list by amy spalding

Winger by Andrew Smith: Goodreads | Amazon | Magan’s Review
The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding: Goodreads | Amazon | Estelle’s Review

M: In my tiny little town, there wasn’t a lot of people turnover. Friends from year to year pretty much stayed the same and since my school included Pre-K through 12th grade, there was no changing campuses and fretting over who I would meet. New people were scarce. Maybe that’s why I get nostalgic when I read about YA characters venturing into new schools. It seems like such an opportunity — a fresh start. However, it also seems frightening and kind of scary! I loved how Ryan Dean was taken completely out of his comfort zone by having to live with guys he had preconceived notions about. Definitely changed his perspective and life. Read Winger, y’all!

E: My town wasn’t really THAT tiny, and I don’t remember every starting a school year thinking “oh yay! I can’t wait to make new friends!” Probably because I just couldn’t wait to see my old ones. In high school it was a little different when we were able to choose our own electives (creative writing, journalism) and started to get paired up with different people in our class. (I graduated with 742.) I remember making some special friends in those classes just like Devan was trying to / starting to make with some of the theatre kids at her school.

new clothes.

going vintage by lindsey leavitt and queen of kentucky

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt: Goodreads | Amazon | Magan’s Review
The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker : Goodreads | Amazon

M: Clothes shopping was something that was a favorite, favorite part of my going back to school experience. I would plan out my outfits for weeks. We didn’t shop at the nicest stores or have tons of money to splurge on tons of new things, but I was really excited about the experience. I love, love, loved going with my mom. If only my taste was an ounce as awesome as Mallory’s in Going Vintage. I wasn’t nearly that brave or cool.

E: The best part of back to school was definitely buying new fall clothes, and then picking out what I would wear the first day back. So so exciting. (As I got older, I did stop wearing the dresses and tried to be cooler by wearing jeans.) Queen of Kentucky is such a great book in general because it deals with fitting in with a new group of kids but also maintaining who you are. Ricki Jo is a hilarious main character and she has some fun makeover moments that I loved experiencing with her!

after school activities + clubs.

BOOKS FOCUSED ON AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES AND CLUBS

Band Geek Love by Josie Bloss: Goodreads | Amazon
Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell: Goodreads | Amazon | Magan’s Review | Themed Gift Pack

E: I’ve talked about it on here plenty of times, but I was a band geek. I was a majorette (twirled a baton) but I went to band camp, had practice after school every day, went to every single high school football game (home and away), and performed at other events too. It was like a full-time commitment, and I loved the friends that came along with it. But there was drama and a lot of romance and a lot of gossip, and Band Geek Love gets that so so right.

M: Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe made me really wish my school had it’s own little radio show. I desperately wished I could have been spending time with the mismatched crew after school trying to save the radio from being cut off. Despite not having that experience, I could visualize every moment of it.

sports + athletics.

dairy queen by Catherine Gilbert Merdoch and Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdoch: Goodreads | Amazon
Dare You To by Katie McGarry: Goodreads | Amazon | Estelle’s Review

M: Dairy Queen is my current audiobook read and oh. my. gosh am I loving it. DJ is so full of personality and my, oh, my does it make me want to do another rewatch of Friday Night Lights. The football rivalry runs so deep in DQ. DJ knows her stuff and definitely knows how to stand up for herself, even around pig-headed football players. This is one book that definitely had me more alert than listening to music as I drove to photograph a wedding.

E: I used to play softball in a league not related to school, but I did play with a few classmates and we always invited our teachers to come to our games. (Such suck ups, we were.) My high school “team” was really the marching band (see above and YES it is a sport) but when I’m reading books now of kids this age playing sports, I really wish I would have had the guts to play for the softball team. Ryan in Dare You To was an amazing baseball player and so motivated to make it big. I loved seeing that side of his character.

« »

Did you see the awesome kindergarten and high school photos Ginger shared in her back to school post?

Make sure you check out Tara’s blog later this week for her back to school post, too! Can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

Tell us what your favorite back-to-school book recommendations would be…

themed gift idea for welcome caller this is chloe book

Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe Themed Gift-Pack

 

Welcome, readers! Estelle and I are so excited to be doing something fun over the next couple of weeks to help you guys get creative with your gift purchases. We’re choosing books that we loved and pairing them with items you could give along with it. The items we’ve chosen are drawn from the books — the character’s style, activities, musical preferences, etc. We hope you love it as much as we’ve loved putting these together.

First up is a book Estelle and I have both loved, Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell. (My Review) Chloe is a spunky character with a lot of personality. She made us laugh out loud and really feel for her as she went through a bad breakup with her friends. We loved her grandmother and swooned over her love interest, Duncan. Pick up a copy of the book and maybe an item or two from below and gift this Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe themed gift-pack to a friend!

themed gift idea for welcome caller this is chloe book

01. MMM… Burritos Shirt, $21.00 — Chloe works in a fast-food Mexican restaurant. She spends a bunch of time dressed up like a burrito, on the streets passing out coupons to passerby. Any Chloe-themed gift pack would need a burrito t-shirt. Some of the scenes where Chloe was at work had my mouth watering for Mexican food.

02. Blue Retro Headphones — This Chloe-themed gift pack would be perfect for a music lover. Chloe works at the school’s dying radio station and has to fight to keep it from being shut down. Inspired by the awesome blue headphones she’s wearing on the cover, I think these would be awesome to include as a gift.

03. iTunes Gift Card — If you’re not sure what kind of music your friend is into, gift cards are awesome. You can customize your gift cards from Apple and they have really cute Christmas-y ones available right now.

04 and 05. The Lumineers Album, Mumford and Sons’ Babel — Maybe you need some music recommendations and would rather include albums instead of a gift card (I always prefer giving something I’ve chosen instead of handing over a gift card. It feels more personal, like I put more time into purchasing the gift.) These are a few of my current favorites I’m sure Chloe would approve of.

06. Dainty Dramatist Heel in Cream, $80.00 — So these aren’t true vintage like the ones Chloe scours for, but um, I kind of love them. They have these shoes in cream or in fun a fun mint color. Want, want, want. Please notify my husband. Size seven and a half, please.

07. Red Loofa, Pink Light Up Rubber Ducky, Stress Relief Bar Soap, and Bubble Bath — Chloe and her grandmother (whom she’s extremely close to) keep up with their soaps. Maybe you could include these and see if your friend could figure out their significance after reading the book?

08. Microphone iPhone Case Cover, $8.85 — Chloe is a girl who likes to talk. She gives advice to callers and helps them fix their problems. Sometimes her talking gets her in trouble, but she’s overall kind and extremely thoughtful.

May 2012 Young Adult Book Releases

 

Happy May, friends! I know we’re a few days into May now and several of these books came out already (holy batman, was May 1st a huge release date!). HOWEVER, there’s so much goodness I didn’t want to gloss over the May 2012 young adult book releases. I am so tempted to place an order from Amazon right now. It’s taking a TON of willpower not to buy everything here. Here are a few (okay, many) books Estelle and I are excited about this month:

(Photograph: Steven Errico/Corbis)

 

 May 01

book cover for insurgent by veronica roth, 2012 young adult book releasesInsurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Magan’s Review
Goodreads | Amazon

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

 

book cover for When You Were Mine by Rebecca SerleWhen You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

In this intensely romantic, modern recounting of the greatest love story ever told, Romeo’s original intended—Juliet’s cousin Rosaline—tells her side of the tale. What’s in a name, Shakespeare? I’ll tell you: Everything.     Rosaline knows that she and Rob are destined to be together. Rose has been waiting for years for Rob to kiss her—and when he finally does, it’s perfect. But then Juliet moves back to town. Juliet, who used to be Rose’s best friend. Juliet, who now inexplicably hates her. Juliet, who is gorgeous, vindictive, and a little bit crazy…and who has set her sights on Rob. He doesn’t even stand a chance.     Rose is devastated over losing Rob to Juliet. This is not how the story was supposed to go. And when rumors start swirling about Juliet’s instability, her neediness, and her threats of suicide, Rose starts to fear not only for Rob’s heart, but also for his life. Because Shakespeare may have gotten the story wrong, but we all still know how it ends…

 

book cover for this is so not happening by kieran scott, may 2012 young adult book releasesThis is So Not Happening (He’s So/She’s So #3) by Kieran Scott
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

After their long summer apart, Ally and Jake were hoping for a drama free senior year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like things will work out that way…again. — It turns out that Chloe is pregnant and says that Jake is the father. Hammond is pissed at his best friend, but mostly can’t believe that Ally would stay with Jake. But Ally is tired of being apart from Jake and is willing to make it work. But that is easier said than done when Jake starts blowing Ally off to go to doctor’s appointments with Chloe and Ally joins the school play and meets a new cute guy.

But as graduation approaches, things get more complicated as new secrets come out and Ally realizes maybe Jake isn’t the guy she thought he was. After everything they’ve been through can Ally and Jake get out of Orchard Hill with their relationship intact?

 

book cover for welcome caller this is chloeWelcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Magan’s Review
Goodreads | Amazon

Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.

 

book cover for While He Was Away by Karen SchreckWhile He Was Away by Karen Schreck
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

“This is just something I have to do, okay?” I hear David say. “The right thing.”

He cradles my face in his hands. He kisses me hard. Then he lets go of me. His eyes dart from me to whatever’s next.

All she wants is for him to stay. She’s been doing pretty well, pretending he doesn’t have to go. But one day, after one last night to remember, she wakes up and there’s no denying it anymore. He’s gone.

When Penna Weaver’s boyfriend goes off to Iraq, she’s left facing life without him. As summer sets in, Penna tries to distract herself with work and her art, but the not knowing is slowly driving her crazy. Especially when David stops writing.

She knows in her heart he will come home. But will he be the same boy she fell in love with?

 

book cover for Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoyBeing Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

Charlotte and Oliver have been friends forever. She knows that he, Abe, and Trip consider her to be one of the guys, and she likes it that way. She likes being the friend who keeps them all together. Likes offering a girl’s perspective on their love lives. Likes being the behind-the-scenes wordsmith who writes all the lyrics for the boys’ band. Char has a house full of stepsisters and a past full of backstabbing (female) ex-best friends, so for her, being friends with boys is refreshingly drama-free…until it isn’t any more.

When a new boy enters the scene and makes Char feel like, well, a total girl…and two of her other friends have a falling out that may or may not be related to one of them deciding he possibly wants to be more than friends with Char…being friends with all these boys suddenly becomes a lot more complicated.

 

book cover for Waiting by Carol Lynch WilliamsWaiting by Carol Lynch Williams
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

Growing up in Africa and Latin America as the children of missionaries, London and Zach were as close as could be. And then Zach dies, and the family is gutted. London’s father is distant. Her mother won’t speak. The days are filled with what-ifs and whispers: Did Zach take his own life? Was it London’s fault?

Alone and adrift, London finds herself torn between her brother’s best friend and the handsome new boy in town as she struggles to find herself—and ultimately redemption—in this authentic and affecting novel from award-winning novelist Carol Lynch Williams.

 

May 08

book cover for the princesses of iowa by m molly backes

The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Estelle’s Review
Goodreads | Amazon

Paige Sheridan has the perfect life. She’s pretty, rich, and popular, and her spot on the homecoming court is practically guaranteed. But when a night of partying ends in an it-could-have-been-so-much worse crash , everything changes. Her best friends start ignoring her, her boyfriend grows cold and distant, and her once-adoring younger sister now views her with contempt. The only bright spot is her creative writing class, led by a charismatic new teacher who encourages students to be true to themselves. But who is Paige, if not the homecoming princess everyone expects her to be? In this arresting and witty debut, a girl who was once high-school royalty must face a truth that money and status can’t fix, and choose between living the privileged life of a princess, or owning up to her mistakes and giving up everything she once held dear.

 

book cover for revived by cat patrickRevived by Cat Patrick
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger — and more sinister — than she ever imagined.

 

book cover for second chance summer by morgan matsonSecond Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

Taylor’s family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along fine. Then they get news that changes everything: Her father has pancreatic cancer, and it’s stage four – meaning that there is basically nothing to be done. Her parents decide that the family will spend his last months together at their old summerhouse in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former summer best friend is suddenly around, as is her first boyfriend. . . and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses, the Edwards become more of a family, and closer than they’ve ever been before. But all of them very aware that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance – with family, with friends, and with love.

 

book cover for in honor by jessi kirbyIn Honor by Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Magan’s Review
Goodreads | Amazon

Hours after her brother’s military funeral, Honor opens the last letter Finn ever sent. In her grief, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously decides to go to California to fulfill it.

Honor gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen Rusty in ages, but it’s obvious he is as arrogant and stubborn as ever—not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Despite Honor’s better judgment, the two set off together on a voyage from Texas to California. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn’s memory—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?

 

book cover of jersey angel by beth ann baumanJersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Estelle’s Review
Goodreads | Amazon

It’s the summer before senior year and the alluring Angel is ready to have fun. She’s not like her best friend, Inggy, who has a steady boyfriend, good grades, and college plans. Angel isn’t sure what she wants to do yet, but she has confidence and experience beyond her years. Still, her summer doesn’t start out as planned. Her good friend Joey doesn’t want to fool around anymore, he wants to be her boyfriend, while Angel doesn’t want to be tied down. As Joey pulls away, and Inggy tours colleges, Angel finds herself spending more time with Inggy’s boyfriend, Cork. With its cast of vivid and memorable characters, this tale from the Jersey shore is sure to make some waves.

 

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past – and hers?

 

May 10

book cover for The Summer My Life Began by Shannon GreenlandThe Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
Publisher: Speak, Imprint of Penguin
Release Date: May 10, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

Elizabeth Margaret—better known as Em—has always known what life would contain: an internship at her father’s firm, a degree from Harvard and a career as a lawyer. The only problem is that it’s not what she wants. When she gets the opportunity to get away from it all and spend a month with the aunt she never knew, she jumps at the chance. While there, Em pursues her secret dream of being a chef, and she also learns that her family has kept some significant secrets from her, too. And then there’s Cade, the laid-back local surfer boy who seems to be everything Em isn’t. Naturally, she can’t resist him, and as their romance blossoms, Em feels she is living on her own terms for the first time.

 

May 15

From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer, Valerie Thomas
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

KYLIE: Tijuana WHAT? I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY, and is this a wedding band on my finger.

MAX: It all started with Kylie’s laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics Okay, it was kind of hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we’re stranded in TIjuana. WIth less than twenty-four hours before graduation. Awesome.

WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring thier passports across the border–but there’s no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.

LILY: I just walked in on my boyfriend, Max Langston, canoodling with Kylie Flores, freak of the century. Still, I can’t completely hold it against him. He NEEDS me. It’s even clearer now. And I’m not giving him up without a fight.

 

book cover for kiss the morning star by by Elissa Janine HooleKiss the Morning Star by  Elissa Janine Hoole
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

The summer after high-school graduation, a year after her mother’s tragic death, Anna has no plans – beyond her need to put a lot of miles between herself and the past. With forever friend Kat, a battered copy of Kerouac’s DHARMA BUMS, and a car with a dodgy oil filter, the girls set out on an epic road trip across the USA. Maybe somewhere along the way they’ll prove or disprove the existence of God. Maybe they’ll even get laid . . .

It’s a journey both outward and inward. Through the Badlands and encounters with predatory men and buffalo. A crazy bus ride to Mexico with a bunch of hymn-singing missionaries. Facing death, naked in the forest with an enraged grizzly bear . . . Gradually, Anna realizes that this is a voyage of discovery into her own self, her own silent pain – and into the tangled history that she and Kat share. What is love? What is sexual identity? And how do you find a way forward into a new future – a way to declare openly and without fear all that lies within you?

 

May 22

book cover for unbreak my heart by melissa walkerUnbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Magan’s Review
Goodreads | Amazon

Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life. Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now. Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart? Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.

May 31

book cover for Keep Holding On by Susane ColasantiKeep Holding On by Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: May 31, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

A romantic and empowering book about bullying

Noelle’s life is all about survival. Even her best friend doesn’t know how much she gets bullied, or the ways her mom neglects her. Noelle’s kept so much about her life a secret for so long that when her longtime crush Julian Porter starts paying attention to her, she’s terrified. Surely it’s safer to stay hidden than to risk the pain of a broken heart. But when the antagonism of her classmates takes a dramatic turn, Noelle realizes it’s time to stand up for herself–and for the love that keeps her holding on.

 

So, that wraps up our list of May 2012 young adult book releases. Is there anything on your list we may have overlooked or should take special notice of? Let us know!