Estelle: In Deep by Terra Elan McVoy

In Deep By Terra Elan McVoyIn Deep by Terra Elan McVoy ( web | tweet )
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Simon Teen
Pages: 368
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: swimming, competition, grief, addiction
Format read: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss. (Thanks!)

Summary: School work, friendships, family, romance — nothing is going to get in the way of Brynn’s swimming. Living for practice and not caring too much about everything else, all Brynn wants to do is best her times in the pool and land a scholarship for college. But is her training and focus a bit out of control?

A theme in many of more effective books I’ve read this year lately is complicated main characters. I like to remind myself that I am never going to agree with or understand why any one person does something. Not even some super close to me. That’s just about how I felt about Brynn, a supporting character from Terra McVoy’s 2011 novel, The Summer of First and Lasts, who steps to the forefront in the addicting and complex In Deep. (Note: I didn’t much remember Brynn from an earlier reading of TSOFAL but, FYI, In Deep takes place before it.)

Brynn is a risk taker. She loves to egg on her best friend, Grier, and, in turn, loves to do stupid shit herself. She basically fills up her time with anything she can before returning to the place she feels the best — in the pool — working to perfect for times and feel like a winner. With her dad suddenly dying a few years ago and her unhappiness with how her mom handled the entire situation, she has basically shut everyone out. Sure, she says hi and bye and allows herself to play silly games with her stepdad in the car but, despite the title, it doesn’t go deeper than that.

It’s hard for me to explain why Brynn acted the way she did. Was she jealous when Grier met a new guy and completely ditched her? Why couldn’t she let Charlie be good to her and accept that he wanted more from her than just sex? All of this work focusing on swimming, not caring about schoolwork, not being honest with Grier — it was all bound to come to explode at some point, right? I mean, that’s the thing. In Deep felt like a ticking time bomb. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what all of this debauchery was leading up to, but, at the same time, completely charmed by Brynn sometimes too. Like the way she dispensed useful advice to her school friend, Kate. Or how admirable her work ethic was when it came to swimming.

But that’s the thing. Our life can’t be just one thing. No matter how good it makes us feel, balance is key to our well-being. I worried that Brynn was filling up her time with some very damaging habits because she was hiding from her mom, hiding from the death of her father, and never truly dealing with any of it. Just like McVoy did with Criminal, she completely immersed me in a world that felt dangerous: emotionally and physically. But there were also so many layers to Brynn’s behaviors and routines, so many shades of gray, that I found myself wanting so badly to be able to discuss all my thoughts with someone. My mind was all over the place — in a good way.

I love to be challenged in my reading, and I’ve grown to love McVoy’s writing with every book I experience because not one of them is the same. She is constantly stretching my limits as a compassionate reader, and introducing me to characters and situations that make me consider possibilities  in my reading I never have before. Sure, there is something to be said about knowing what to expect from an author, but being surprised and satisfied? There’s nothing like it.

In Deep is dark and messy; it’s a story about how we can abuse control and routine, using it to shield us from the moments that catch us off-guard and what we do to fill an impossible void. Terra Elan McVoy continues to deliver memorable, authentic characters (leading and supporting) and moments that cause you to question your own convictions and press pause on just about everything in life until you reach the last page. (And then you won’t be able to stop thinking about it so… it’s never ending — in a good way.)

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Shelve It: A Pre-July 4th V-Log

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

Hello! I know, two weeks in a row of Shelve It? What?!? I find it motivates me more when I do these + it’s been forever since I’ve done a v-log. (Don’t ask me about Instagram videos though… I am a wreck at those. How how how do you say anything in just a few seconds? M is my hero.) Anyway…

Good weekend, so far? I can’t believe it’s Sunday evening. I did so much walking yesterday, did a little reading, and I’m excited to settle in for the evening and also share what’s been hitting my mailbox this week. Some very exciting details that are making me wish for a reading vacation. Do those exist?

Before you check out the v-log, we wanted to wish Rachel (you may know her from Hello Chelly) a very very very happy birthday! She’s one of the sweetest, loveliest people in the world! Yay Rachel! xo

Bought:

Summer of Yesterday by Gina Triana
The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy
Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler

From Atria Books:

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Out 7/1)
The Price of Inheritance by Karin Tanabe (Out 8/5)
Charlie Glass’s Slippers by Holly McQueen (Out 8/5)
For Once in My Life by Marianne Kavanagh

From Harlequin:

The Beekeeper’s Ball by Susan Wiggs
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica (Out 7/29)

From Scholastic/Chicken House:

Breaking Butterflies by M. Anjelais (Out 8/26)

From Random House/Crowne:

Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele

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On the blog this week:

The Promise by Robyn Carr: lovely small town + sweet romance!
A favorite of 2014: My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter
Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker: Nashville, country music, families, oh my!
Fan Art by Sarah Tregay — not exactly what I was hoping for.
A collaborative country music OPEN ROAD SUMMER playlist for your enjoyment!

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Thanks so much for checking out my Shelve It v-log today! I actually did that one in 2 tries! Woo hoo!

So now it’s your turn. There’s ONE question you can answer from my vlog and now here’s another: what did you buy this week??

Shelve It: Estelle Talks End of Summer, Books + More

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

Hi! It’s Labor Day weekend, already! I changed my calendar to September! Where is this year going?

Hope all of you had some fun and/or relaxing plans for this weekend! We’ve been sort of just hanging around and it’s been so nice not have to rush off to do anything so yay for that!

I made a video today talking about the books I’ve gotten in the mail, bought lately, and also so fun other things like the holiday I am most looking forward to. Also is my head just crooked or is it my glasses? I really need to get these adjusted. I keep fixing my head and nothing works.

I should also say (another) happy birthday to Magan on here because she is one of the strongest, most selfless, funny, creative, and talented people I know. I’m so grateful to know her and work on this blog with her. But most of all, she is one of the best people in my life and I am so so appreciative of whatever strange fate-like thing made that happen. THANK YOU UNIVERSE.

Enough about me, on with the show:

Books in the mail:

Jessica Darling’s IT List by Megan McCafferty (September 3) — thanks Little Brown!
New Money by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal (September 10) — thanks St. Martin’s Press!
Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando (December 24) — thanks Elena!
The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech (September 3) — thanks LitLushes!

Books I bought:

After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy — thanks to Tigerlily Rachel’s Teen Week series!
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

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On the blog this week:

Fun facts about Magan + a surprise birthday giveaway!
Reviews of Fire with Fire, The Returned, Crown of Midnight, The Hero, and Counting by 7s.
Ginger told us all the fun and snazzy details of her summer.
You can win some of our top summer reads! Giveaway open to U.S. and Canada!

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What’s up with you, friends? Come say hi!

top ten tuesday hosted by the broke and the bookish

Top Ten Tuesday: Five and Five Favorites

top ten tuesday hosted by the broke and the bookish

Oh hi! It’s Top Ten Tuesday Day thanks to the geniuses at Broke and Bookish! Today we’re teaming up to share with you the top reads we’ve experienced so far this year — no easy task! At all! It’s just so hard to choose when you fall in love with so many things for different reasons but we’re going to try very hard to get you excited about these titles today!

estelle.

Estelle's Top Five Favorites of 2013 So Far with a Bonus

1. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas (July 16 release): To call this book a page turner is just about the understatement of the year. A spring break turned murder and conviction totally changes the dynamic of this group of friends. The story is told from Anna’s perspective as she awaits her trail in the brutal death of her best friend. So sinister, so twisty, surprisingly sexy, and well-done. I finished this two weeks ago and still can’t stop thinking about it.

2. Starstruck by Rachel Shukert: One of the most literary, multi-dimensional young adult books I’ve read ever. Rachel takes us back to 1930s Hollywood and focuses on the lives of three very different young ladies. The secrets behind the glamour, the unexpected friendship, the romance, and politics all play a part. This is the first in a three-book series and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next. (Esp. with the WTF ending.)

3. Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy: So (strangely?) proud when an author I love takes a risk with her work and blows me away. McVoy says bye bye to high school bands and summer camps and wraps us up in a story of a love so full of devotion, it spells disaster for Nikki. She ends up in jail when the love of her life gets her involved in a murder. Secrets, growth, frustration make up this succinctly written masterpiece. You will not be able to put it down.

4. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland: A beautiful setting with a not so happy story attached to it. Cricket has no idea what is going on with her best friend, Jules, and why she has suddenly turned her back on her. Hoping to somehow fix whatever it is, Cricket follows her to Nantucket, gets a job at a neighboring in, and falls in love with the most surprising person. This book is so honest when it comes to conflicting feelings of friendship and I think that’s why I love it so much.

5. Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham: A big kids book to round out the list… Frannie is in her late 20s and still trying to figure out what to do with her life. She has a few months left in her own goal to make it as an actress, and when a mistake lands her an agent… she thinks it might actually be happening. This book talks about the path least taken, the one where you go out for your passions and don’t follow the crowd. I loved that so much and was rooting for Frannie the whole time. (This is also the first book in a series.)

Surprise pick: Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia: All my picks above are 2013 releases, and Fingerprints of You came out last year and it’s one of those… “why did I wait so long to read this?” picks. Lemon is pregnant and decides to go with her best friend to California to find out more about the dad she never knew. Madonia has written a fast-paced, gorgeous book with an awesome best friendship, a difficult mother, and amazing discoveries.

magan.

best young adult books of 2013 so far

1. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell: Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite 2013 books. I never wanted it to end. I felt so emotionally invested in the story because Rainbow’s writing is so spot-on. She made me feel emotional over the simplest of things (the hand-holding scene had my heart beating so fast!). I am positive Rainbow Rowell is an auto-buy for me from here on out.

2. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella: I just finished this one this past weekend and really, really enjoyed it! Sophie Kinsella has been kind of hit or miss for me. The main character in the Shopaholic books really grated on my nerves (would she never learn her lesson?). BUT — I found Poppy to be funny and intelligent and I laughed out loud so much my husband wanted to know what was going on.

3. Winger by Andrew Smith: There’s nothing about Winger that I didn’t absolutely love. I wish I could experience it over and over and over again for the very first time because I want to swim in Andrew Smith’s words. I loved the main character, Ryan Dean, more than I can possibly express in words. (Got any other awesome male POV young adult book recs for me?)

4. manicpixiedreamgirl by Tom Leveen: Surprise! Another male POV book! I loved Zero last year by Leveen and really fell more in love with his work after reading manicpixiedreamgirl because he made the complex love scenario so understandable — even if you haven’t been in the exact situation, I think it’s still relateable. Leveen’s writing is just … killer.

5. Golden by Jessi Kirby: My review of Golden was practically one big gush fest, but that’s because Jessi so, so deserves a standing ovation for this one. I’ve enjoyed her stories in the past, but when I finished the last page of Golden, I felt like I was suffering through a break-up I just didn’t want to end. (This is probably why I own three copies of the book…)

Mom pick: I don’t really want to infuse Rather Be Reading with lots of kids stuff, but let me be honest for a second and say I read a bazillion kids books every day to our foster daughter. Some of them are so repetitive and boring (to me, an adult, but great for kids development, of course). My favorite, hands down, has been Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin because it’s comical and intelligent. And! The illustrations are impeccable.

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Looking forward to seeing everyone else’s picks! It’s going to be a good week!

Blog Tour: A Poem about CRIMINAL by Terra Elan McVoy

Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy

Thanks to Shanyn at Chick Loves Lit for organizing such a fantastic blog tour!

Hello there, friends!

Just about a month ago I shared my review of CRIMINAL by Terra Elan McVoy with you. Since starting Rather Be Reading, Terra has become one of my go-to authors, and I was so excited to see her go in a new direction with CRIMINAL: a book about a crime, crazy/passionate/self-destructive love, and a main character who needs to hit an ultimate low before she learns anything. CRIMINAL tops my list of books I’ve read this year so far; I am so impressed with the research that Terra did to make this book work and just how succinct, fast-paced, and emotionally charged this book feels.

If I didn’t convince you to drop everything and get a copy with my review, here for your viewing pleasure, is a poem:

Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy - Acrostic Poem

Luckily, this blog tour is giving YOU the opportunity to win a copy of Terra’s book! What are you waiting for… go enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find CRIMINAL on Goodreads | Amazon | B+N | IndieBound + Follow TERRA on Facebook | Twitter | Web

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Keep up with the rest of the tour!

monthly young adult book releases

May 2013 Young Adult Book Releases

monthly young adult book releases

Holy almost-summer, Batman! HOW IS IT MAY? Hello warmer weather and lazy days lounging outside with a good book! Let us know which of these May 2013 young adult book releases you’re looking forward to most!

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MAY 1

zara zarr, cat patrick, and Lindsey Scheibe books

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

Goodreads | Amazon | Magan’s Review
Description:

Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.

That was all before she turned fourteen.

Now, at sixteen, it’s over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano — on her own terms. But when you’re used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr takes readers inside the exclusive world of privileged San Francisco families, top junior music competitions, and intense mentorships. The Lucy Variations is a story of one girl’s struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. It’s about finding joy again, even when things don’t go according to plan. Because life isn’t a performance, and everyone deserves the chance to make a few mistakes along the way.

The Originals by Cat Patrick

Goodreads | Amazon | Magan’s Review
Description:

A riveting new story from Cat Patrick, author of Forgotten and Revived.

17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets… until they discovered a shocking family secret. They’re actually closer than sisters, they’re clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life…

Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she’s not a carbon copy of her sisters; she’s an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.

Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe

Goodreads | Amazon | Estelle’s Review
Description:

Grace has one summer to prove she’s good enough.

For Grace Parker, surfing is all about the ride and the moment. Everything else disappears. She can forget that her best friend, Ford Watson, has a crush on her that she can’t reciprocate. She can forget how badly she wants to get a surf scholarship to UC San Diego. She can forget the pressure of her parents’ impossibly high expectations.

When Ford enters Grace into a surf competition—the only way she can impress the UCSD surfing scouts—she has one summer to train and prepare. Will she gain everything she’s ever wanted or lose the only things that ever mattered?

MAY 7

david levithan, amy tintera, nantucket blue, terra elan mcvoy

How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

First she lost her heart. Then she lost her mind. And now she’s on a road trip to win back her ex. This debut novel’s packed with drama and romance!

Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious.

To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But her determination starts to dwindle with each passing mile. Because Rosie’s spark of anger? It may have just ignited a romance with someone new…

Invisibility by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.

The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher

Goodreads | Amazon | Estelle’s Review
Description:

First it was SLUT scribbled all over Lizzie Hart’s locker.

But one week after Lizzie kills herself, SUICIDE SLUT replaces it—in Lizzie’s looping scrawl.

Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she’s caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, Lizzie takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie’s own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.

Debut author Chelsea Pitcher daringly depicts the harsh reality of modern high schools, where one bad decision can ruin a reputation, and one cruel word can ruin a life. Angie’s quest for the truth behind Lizzie’s suicide is addictive and thrilling, and her razor-sharp wit and fierce sleuthing skills makes her impossible not to root for—even when it becomes clear that both avenging Lizzie and avoiding self-destruction might not be possible.

Our Song by Jordanna Fraiberg

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Olive Bell has spent her entire life in the beautiful suburb of Vista Valley, with a picture-perfect home, a loving family, and a seemingly perfect boyfriend. But after a near-fatal car accident, she’s haunted by a broken heart and a melody that she cannot place.

Then Olive meets Nick. He’s dark, handsome, mysterious . . . and Olive feels connected to him in a way she can’t explain. Is there such a thing as fate? The two embark on a whirlwind romance—until Nick makes a troubling confession.

Heartbroken, Olive pieces together what really happened the night of her accident and arrives at a startling revelation. Only by facing the truth can she uncover the mystery behind the song and the power of what it means to love someone.

Reboot (Reboot #1) by Amy Tintera

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams.

Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t.

When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer.

But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on–most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits–that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.

A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue.

Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy

Goodreads | Amazon | Estelle’s Review
Description:

A searing and gripping read that explores the depths of desperation true love can inspire, from the author of Being Friends with Boys.

Nikki’s life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can’t imagine herself without him. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There’s nothing Nikki wouldn’t do for Dee. Absolutely nothing.

So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime—a crime that ends in murder—Nikki tells herself that it’s all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him.

But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about? Nikki’s love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional…but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.

 Art Girls Are Easy by Julie Klausner

Goodreads | Amazon | Magan’s Review
Description:

Fifteen-year-old Indigo Hamlisch is an art prodigy looking forward to her last summer at the Silver Springs Academy for Fine and Performing Arts for Girls. But her BFF Lucy Serrano is a C.I.T. this year, and that means she doesn’t have to hang out with Indigo and the other campers anymore: she can mingle with the counselors — including Indigo’s scandalous and unrequited crush, paint-splattered art instructor Nick Estep. But it’s not like anything is going to happen between Lucy and Nick… right?
As Indy becomes more and more paranoid about what’s going on between her best friend and her favorite counselor, Indy’s life — and her work — spin hilariously out of control. Funny and bold, Art Girls Are Easy is a comedy of errors filtered through the wry, satirical eyes of a girl who’s been there, done that, and is just looking for a little inspiration.

True by Erin McCarthy

Goodreads | Amazon
Descrition:

When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…

MAY 8

15 days without a head by dave cousins may release

15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins

Goodreads | Amazon | Estelle’s Review
Description:

A compelling US debut about family, forgiveness, and hope.

Despite having a depressed alcoholic mother and a little brother who’s convinced he’s a dog, fifteen year-old Laurence Roach is trying to live a normal life. But when his mom doesn’t come home after work one night, Laurence is terrified that child services will find out she’s gone and separate him from his brother.

For two weeks, Laurence does whatever he can to keep her disappearance a secret. Spinning a web of complicated lies for friends, neighbors, and the authorities, Laurence even dresses like his mother to convince everyone she’s still around. By following clues, the brothers are finally able to track down their mother’s whereabouts. And that’s when the real trouble begins in this powerful story about what it means to be a family.

MAY 14

Golden by Jessi Kirby

Goodreads | Amazon | Magan’s Review
Description:

Love, tragedy, and mystery converge in this compelling novel from “an author to watch” (Booklist).

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.

Winger by Andrew Smith

Goodreads | Amazon | Magan’s Review
Description:

A teen at boarding school grapples with life, love, and rugby in a heartbreakingly funny novel.

Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

Filled with hand-drawn infographics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

Parallel by Lauren Miller

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She’d go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she’s in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it’s as if her past has been rewritten.

With the help of Caitlin, her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby’s life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her parallel is living out Abby’s senior year of high school and falling for someone Abby’s never even met.

As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn’t choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that’s finally within reach.

MAY 16

May 16 Young Adult Book Releases

Five Summers by Una LaMarche

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Four best friends, five summers of camp memories.

The summer we were nine: Emma was branded “Skylar’s friend Emma” by the infamous Adam Loring…
The summer we were ten: Maddie realized she was too far into her lies to think about telling the truth…
The summer we were eleven: Johanna totally freaked out during her first game of Spin the Bottle…
The summer we were twelve: Skylar’s love letters from her boyfriend back home were exciting to all of us—except Skylar…
Our last summer together: Emma and Adam almost kissed. Jo found out Maddie’s secret. Skylar did something unthinkable… and whether we knew it then or not, five summers of friendship began to fall apart.

Three years after the fateful last night of camp, the four of us are coming back to camp for reunion weekend—and for a second chance. Bittersweet, funny, and achingly honest, Five Summers is a story of friendship, love, and growing up that is perfect for fans of Anne Brashares and Judy Blume’s Summer Sisters.

MAY 21

sarah ockler, harperteen, simon and schuster

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Goodreads | Amazon | Estelle’s Review
Description:

When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road? A poignant and romantic novel from the author of Bittersweet and Twenty Boy Summer.

Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.

Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?

Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?

Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.

All I Need by Susane Colasanti

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

The last night of summer is only the beginning.

Skye wants to meet the boy who will change her life forever. Seth feels their instant connection the second he sees her. When Seth starts talking to Skye at the last beach party of the summer, it’s obvious to both of them that this is something real. But when Seth leaves for college before they exchange contact info, Skye wonders if he felt the same way she did—and if she will ever see him again. Even if they find their way back to each other, can they make a long-distance relationship work despite trust issues, ex drama, and some serious background differences?

Teen favorite Susane Colasanti returns to the alternating-voice style of her beloved debut When It Happens in this Serendipity-inspired story about summer, soul mates, and the moments that change our lives forever.

Transparent by Natalie Whipple

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

September Girls by Bennett Madison

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

When Sam’s dad whisks him and his brother off to a remote beach town for the summer, he’s all for it– at first. Sam soon realizes, though, that this place is anything but ordinary. Time seems to slow down around here, and everywhere he looks, there are beautiful blond girls. Girls who seem inexplicably drawn to him.

Then Sam meets DeeDee, one of the Girls, and she’s different from the others. Just as he starts to fall for her, she pulls away, leaving him more confused than ever. He knows that if he’s going to get her back, he’ll have to uncover the secret of this beach and the girls who live here.

MAY 28

wild awake book release may 28

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Goodreads | Amazon | Estelle’s Review
Description:

Things you earnestly believe will happen while your parents are away:

1. You will remember to water the azaleas.
2. You will take detailed, accurate messages.
3. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong.
4. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands.
5. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams.

Things that actually happen:

1. A stranger calls who says he knew your sister.
2. He says he has her stuff.
3. What stuff? Her stuff.
4. You tell him your parents won’t be able to—
5. Sukey died five years ago; can’t he—
6. You pick up a pen.
7. You scribble down the address.
8. You get on your bike and go.
9. Things . . . get a little crazy after that.*
*also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.

Both exhilarating and wrenching, Hilary T. Smith’s debut novel captures the messy glory of being alive, as seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd discovers love, loss, chaos, and murder woven into a summer of music, madness, piercing heartbreak, and intoxicating joy.

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Who is going broke in May? *raises hand*
What will your first purchase be this month or what have you already pre-ordered?