Book Cover Reveal: The Collector: A Dante Walker Novel by Victoria Scott

Coming Spring 2013, From Entangled Teen

About The Collector:

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

Victoria Scott is a YA writer with a die-hard affection for dark and humorous books. Her work is represented by the fabulous Laurie McLean of Larsen-Pomada literary agency. She has a master’s degree in marketing, and is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas and Teen Shiver.

Her first YA book, THE COLLECTOR, will be published by Entangled Teen in 2013. And her short story, FOUR HOUSES, is available now through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

She currently lives in Dallas with her husband, Ryan.

Add On Goodreads
The Collector: A Dante Walker Novel
Victoria Scott Website
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Review: Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Keep Holding OnKeep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Publication Date: May 31, 2012
Page Count: 224
Published by: Viking Juvenile
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis From Goodreads:
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.

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Keep Holding On deals with some very serious issues. The protagonist, Noelle, is bullied at school on a daily basis. At home, Noelle suffers terrible neglect from her mother. None of it is deserved. I really felt bad for Noelle and her situation and I wanted things to get better for her. But it takes a lot of courage to learn how to stand up for yourself and to not let yourself be bullied anymore.

Noelle is a pretty good character. She is caring and has a huge heart. She is obviously strong to have made it this far, but also weak because she doesn't attempt to stop the bullying against herself and some of the other students. The bullying scenes are tough to read. I kept wanting any of the observers to take a stand and do the right thing to put a stop to it. I felt proud of Noelle when she eventually managed to dig up enough strength and self-worth to stand up for herself against the bullies AND her mother.

I really liked Noelle's friends. Sherae is her best friend. Then Noelle becomes friends with Simon when he asks her to help out with the school's literary magazine. And Julian is the boy who Noelle has had a crush on since forever. They all like Noelle for who she is. My main concern with them is that none of them stood up to the bullies, even though they knew how miserable Noelle was. I admit there was a small moment where Julian confronted another boy over mistreating Noelle, and he told Noelle he wanted to protect her, but overall he really didn't do anything to stop the bullying. That was disappointing to me because I really wanted her friends to not only stand up for Noelle, but for all of the other students who were bullied.

Noelle's mother was pretty awful. I didn't like her at all. The neglect that Noelle suffers at her mother's hand is beyond ridiculous. The sad thing is that there is no real reason for her mother to be so cold and uncaring. After seeing the effect that these moments had on Noelle I couldn't help but feel sorry for her and her situation.

A smaller aspect of Keep Holding On is the romance. Matt is the boy that Noelle has been secretly seeing. Julian is the boy that Noelle has had a crush on for years, but she doesn't feel worthy of him because of her circumstances. When Julian finally shows an interest in her, she is afraid he won't like her if he knew the truth about her home life. I couldn't wait for her to open her eyes and see who was (obviously) the better choice for her.

Keep Holding On is such a great read and comes really close to being a perfect book. It should definitely spark some serious discussions about bullying. It was a short book, but that doesn't lessen the impact it will have on you. I really love the message that things will get better if you just keep holding on. I feel this is an important book, and everyone who reads it will take something from it or maybe even be inspired by it.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Waiting On Wednesday (28) After Hello

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

My choice for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

After Hello by Lisa Mangum

Hardcover, 272 pages
Expected publication: September 4th 2012 by Shadow Mountain

Synopsis From Goodreads:

What if the first day of your relationship was the only day you had?

Seventeen-year-old Sara is a seeker. She’s always on the lookout for the perfect moment to capture with her ever-present, point-and-shoot camera, especially on her first trip to New York City.

Sam is a finder. He has a knack for finding what other people can’t — a first-edition book or the last two tickets to a sold-out Broadway show. In New York, there is always something interesting to find.

When Sam and Sara’s paths cross, neither one of them is prepared for what they will find out about each other — and about themselves when they form an unlikely partnership in search of a seemingly elusive work of art. They have one day to find the impossible. Fate brought their talents together, but what happens when time runs out? Will love be able to overcome fate? This new novel from award-winning author Lisa Mangum explores what happens after hello.

I haven't heard any buzz about this book, but from the synopsis it sounds like something I might enjoy reading. What book are you waiting on?
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Review: Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1) by Anne Greenwood Brown

Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1)Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1) by Anne Greenwood Brown

Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Page Count: 303
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistible good looks and charm on unsuspecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

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I really enjoyed reading Lies Beneath, especially because it is told from a male's POV. More specifically, a male mermaid - or merman. How intriguing! The idea that mer-people exist in Lake Superior was fascinating. But the mermaids in Brown's story are not like any mermaids you have read about before. They are dark, dangerous, and most disturbing - they are killers. It was amazing to read how treacherous and deadly they were, while at the same time beautiful and very seductive.

Calder White and his 3 sisters gather to exact revenge against an unknowing victim, Jason Hancock. Each of the siblings has their own agenda and their own reasons for wanting revenge. The reader gets a good look at the rivalry and jealousy between them as they set their plan into motion. Calder shows that he has a conscious, while his 3 sisters are willing to do whatever is necessary to carry out their plot, even if it hurts innocent people. I liked seeing how different Calder is from his sisters, and learning just why he is so different and why he feels that he doesn't belong.

I enjoyed the initial interactions between Calder his love interest, Lily Hancock. I loved that he was so perplexed that she was immune to his 'charm'! How refreshing to have the female lead not fall all over the hot, new guy in town. Lily seems to have a good head on her shoulders and has a likable personality. The harder Calder tries to get close to Lily, the more she backs away from him. Which is exactly what she should do since she knows very little about him and he comes off as creepy and stalkerish. Because of this, the 'romance' between Calder and Lily progressed at a nice pace. No insta-love, which is always a plus when reading YA.

It was fascinating that Lies Beneath featured vengeful killer mermaids, but I thought it could have had a little more action and suspense. The story was a little slow in parts, especially at the beginning, but overall the storyline held my attention right up to the end. Calder and Lily had good character development throughout the book. It's hard to get a good feel for Calder's sisters as we only have his perspective to judge them by. I really wanted to know more about the 3 of them, as they were very intriguing.

Brown does a wonderful job describing the settings in a way that makes it easy to visualize. She also describes the mermaids and the underwater scenes so beautifully. Lies Beneath was a very interesting and entertaining read. I highly recommend it, and I can't wait for the next book in the series.

I had my eye on this book for a while, so I jumped at the opportunity to read it.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Sunday Update

I am participating in the May New Release Giveaway Hop. Be sure to enter to win your choice of one May New Release book.

Book I Bought (new):
The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols

Books I Bought (used):
The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols
The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols
Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma
Wake by Lisa McMann
Waiting For You by Susane Colasanti
When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

Books I Read This Week:
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky

Book I Am Reading Currently:
Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Coming Up May 29: My Review For Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
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Review: Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Breaking BeautifulBreaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Page Count: 354
Published by: Walker Childrens

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Allie lost everything the night her boyfriend, Trip, died in a horrible car accident—including her memory of the event. As their small town mourns his death, Allie is afraid to remember because doing so means delving into what she’s kept hidden for so long: the horrible reality of their abusive relationship.

When the police reopen the investigation, it casts suspicion on Allie and her best friend, Blake, especially as their budding romance raises eyebrows around town. Allie knows she must tell the truth. Can she reach deep enough to remember that night so she can finally break free? Debut writer Jennifer Shaw Wolf takes readers on an emotional ride through the murky waters of love, shame, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

My Thoughts:

Breaking Beautiful is a wonderfully emotional book. It is a dramatic contemporary story with a very dark mystery involved. It deals with a tough subject, but is handled by the author with such care. The story grabbed my attention from the beginning. It is mostly believable and truly heartbreaking, and at times intense and emotional.

I thought most of the story was amazing. I loved the way the details are revealed as the story progressed. We didn't get all of the pertinent facts upfront, instead we are fed bits and pieces until the overall picture is revealed.

The protagonist, Allie, is portrayed as a weak character after her ordeal with Trip. She ends up being scared of remembering, scared of admitting the truth, and scared to move on with her life. Her own self worth is decided by what those around her think of her. The entire town perceived Trip as a good person and everyone had expectations of how Allie should mourn Trip. This sort of behavior added to the drama, but it didn't really help me feel anything more than annoyance at the narrow mindedness. However, there were several related instances where Allie displayed more strength than I thought she had - I wanted to applaud her decision to take charge of her own life.

Many other characters play important roles in Allie's story. Her overprotective parents, her ultra-sensitive and very perceptive twin brother, her dependable friend Blake, Trip's over bearing parents, even the irrationally cruel kids at school. Her mother's unwavering (and misplaced) allegiance and gratitude to Trip's parents for her employment grated on me.

I wasn't overly fond of the ending. I felt a little cheated out of Allie's recovery. After spending so much time with Allie and all of the angst and drama of her situation, I would have loved to follow Allie as she healed and learned to deal with her issues, and not be told about her recovery process after the fact.

Breaking Beautiful deals with some very serious issues. I thought it was very well written and I loved reading along as the mystery unfolded. I highly recommend Breaking Beautiful to fans of dramatic contemporary stories.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Waiting On Wednesday (27) Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

My choice for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: October 9th 2012 by Hyperion

Description from Goodreads:

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett’s unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna’s life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate—and what consequences they can bear in order to stay together.

Time travel! And the cover is gorgeous.
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Monday Update

Week in Review: Posts
Read about me and why I decided to start a book blog TGIF (4)

Borrowed From The Library This Week:

Books I Read This Week:

I Am Currently Reading:

What I Am Reading Next:
One of these books - I haven't decided yet!
Please let me know if you have read any of these books and if you would recommend them.

I am participating in the May New Release Giveaway Hop. Be sure to enter to win your choice of one May New Release book.
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Blog Tour and Review - Spectral by Shannon Duffy

Today is Waiting For Wentworth's turn on the Spectral Blog Tour!!

Spectral by Shannon Duffy

ebook, 242 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Tribute Books

Convinced she’s a part of the witness protection program, sixteen-year-old Jewel Rose is shuffled around the globe with her family like a pack of traveling gypsies. After arriving at lucky home twenty-seven, she stumbles upon a mysterious boy with magical powers claiming to be her guardian . . . and warning of imminent danger. Despite the obvious sparks between them, Jewel discovers a relationship is forbidden, and the more she learns about dark, brooding Roman, she begins to question who she can even believe — the family who raised her, or the supposed sworn protector who claims they’ve been lying to her all along.

As she struggles to uncover who her family has really been running from, she is forced to hide her birthmark that reveals who she is. With new realities surfacing, unexplained powers appearing, and two tempting boys vying for her heart, Jewel battles to learn who she can trust in an ever growing sea of lies, hoping she’ll make it through her seventeenth birthday alive.

My Review:
3 Stars

Before reading Spectral I had no idea what a 'spectral' was. The author does a great job with the reveal. Learning about Jewel and what it means to be a spectral was quite intriguing. I thought it was very unique and I loved the mystery behind that part of the story.

Jewel was likable, for the most part. She was understandably upset when she found out she wasn't who she thought she was. The reader gets to follow along as she learns who she can trust on her way to discovering the truth. Jewel starts off being a bit naive and dependent on others, but that definitely changes towards the end of the book when Jewel becomes more self-sufficient and realizes she can take care of herself.

I wasn't overly fond of Jewel's family. They were vague and cryptic and very secretive, and you just knew something weird was going on. I did love Jewel's relationship with her younger brother. She was very close to him and very protective of him, which I found believable due to their lifestyle.

There was a bit of a love triangle, which I didn't mind in this story. But I wasn't a fan of the insta-love with not just one guy, but two. In the same day. At least she liked them for different reasons, but still... their relationships could have developed a little more slowly. However, both guys were great stand up take charge sort of fellas, and I can understand why Jewel was drawn to both of them.

Spectral is very exciting, with plenty of action packed scenes and quite a few plot twists that kept the story interesting. Want to know what else it has? Plenty of witchcraft and ass kicking characters! The story itself moves along at a nice pace. It's never dull or boring around Jewel! She had so much happening in her life and so many changes going on around her, yet she learned to be brave and strong throughout it all. Overall I thought this was a great paranormal book.

I received a copy of Spectral in exchange for an honest review courtesy of Tribute Books Blog Tours and Shannon Duffy.

Purchase Spectral:
Kindle / Nook / Google / Smashwords / PDF / iBookstore

Spectral Website
Shannon Duffy Blog
Tribute Books
Shannon Duffy on Twitter
Tribute Books on Twitter
Spectral Twitter hashtag: #Spectral

Shannon Duffy's Bio:

Shannon Duffy writes young adult and middle grade fiction. She grew up on the beautiful east coast of Canada and now lives in Ontario, Canada. She is the mom of one boy, Gabriel, her angel. She loves writing, reading, working out, soccer, and the sport of champions-shopping. She is the author of the young adult paranormal romance, SPECTRAL. Her upcoming middle grade fantasy novel, GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA is scheduled for a January 2013 release.
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TGIF (4)

TGIF is a weekly feature hosted by Ginger over at GReads. It’s a fun way to end the week by recapping posts and answering the question of the week.

A Book Blogger is Born: What made you decide to start your very own book blog?

I have always read a lot - different things, whatever caught my interest at the time. But when I started getting into YA I found that I had no one to share my interest with. I still get weird looks from people about my reading preferences (and NO ONE knows about this blog.) THAT is why I had to seek out support online - and discovered a great big world of book bloggers! They inspired me to start my own blog so I would have a personal space to voice my opinion and to post my reviews.

My reviews are not professional quality - but they are honest and real and reflect what I think about a book. But book blogging itself has turned out to be way more time consuming than I thought it would be - I've had my own personal blog for years and it's always been a fun outlet for me. I have found that it is challenging coming up with new and interesting thoughts - or at least interesting enough that I don't run everyone off. There are so many great book blogs out there, and while I don't personally feel like I am in competition with them, I still strive to do the best that I can. Book blogging has also opened my eyes to so many great books that I would have overlooked.

What made you decide to start your book blog?

This Week At Waiting For Wentworth:
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Waiting On Wednesday (26) Easy

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

My choice for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Easy by Tammara Webber

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: May 25th 2012


When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, stalked by her ex’s frat brother, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Her econ professor gives her an email address for Landon, the class tutor, who shows her that she’s still the same intelligent girl she’s always been. As Jacqueline becomes interested in more from her tutor than a better grade, his teasing responses make the feeling seem mutual. There’s just one problem—their only interactions are through email.

Meanwhile, a guy in her econ class proves his worth the first night she meets him. Nothing like her popular ex or her brainy tutor, Lucas sits on the back row, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. At a downtown club, he disappears after several dances that leave her on fire. When he asks if he can sketch her, alone in her room, she agrees—hoping for more.

Then Jacqueline discovers a withheld connection between her supportive tutor and her seductive classmate, her ex comes back into the picture, and her stalker escalates his attention by spreading rumors that they’ve hooked up. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

Young Adult - Mature (language, drinking, sexual situations)
How many guys are in this book? From the description it sounds like a lot!
For some reason the book cover reminds me of this scene from The Breakfast Club...

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May New Release Giveaway Hop

Hosted by Book Twirps and Refracted Light Reviews

There are so many wonderful books being released in May. One of my lucky followers will win one of the following books:

While He Was Away Karen Schreck
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams
Summer Of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond
Wrecked by Anna Davies
The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova
Body and Soul (The Ghost and the Goth 3) by Stacey Kade
Until I Die by Amy Plum
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky
In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti
Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

Giveaway is International as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. Giveaway ends on May 31st.

Be sure to check out the linky below and visit all of the participating blogs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday Update

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day. I'm doing my own thing here and trying to keep readers up to date on what's happening with me and on my blog.

Books I Received:

Borrowed From The Library:
A Breath of Eyre Eve Marie Mont
Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins
Past Perfect by Leila Sales

ebooks via NetGalley:
The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee
What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor
Something Like Normal Trish Doller

Last Week's Blog Posts:

Review: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley (4 Stars)
Tune In Tuesday
Waiting On Wednesday: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Review - Zero by Tom Leveen (Great Book!)
My Thoughts While Reading Zero by Tom Leveen
Book Tour and Guest Post - Knee Deep by Jolene Perry
Review - Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

Coming This Week:

May New Release Giveaway Hop Begins May 15
Blog Tour Spectral by Shannon Duffy May 19
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Review: Pretty Amy (Pretty Amy #1) by Lisa Burstein

Pretty AmyPretty Amy (Pretty Amy #1) by Lisa Burstein

Paperback 304 Pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Entangled Publishing
Contemporary YA
Source: eArc provided for review by Entangled Publishing

Purchase Pretty Amy: Book Depository /Barnes & Noble /Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she's somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands--earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx--Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating"rehabilitation techniques" now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing--like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it's worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.

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Wow. I completely misjudged this book by it's cover and pre-release hype. Pretty Amy dealt with some very serious issues and would not qualify as a light read. However, I felt that there was enough of Amy's inner snark and humor that kept this from being too heavy of a story.

Pretty Amy follows Amy as she goes on a journey of self-discovery and what it means to grow up and be your own person. The story has drama and angst and deals with some very difficult situations. Amy really struggles in her search to find out who she is.

Amy's desire to belong and to fit in blinds her to her friends faults and weaknesses. She was willing to give up her freedom for these so called friends who quite obviously (at least to the reader) weren't willing to do the same for her. They were definitely not worth Amy sacrificing her future for. Ditto for the boy showing such a sudden interest in Amy. She needs to figure out his motivations before he drags her down so far that she can't get back up.

I could not relate to Amy's parents AT ALL. Maybe because my parent's never acted that way. But mostly because as a parent of a 17 and 14 year old, I myself have never acted that way. Nor do I plan to.

Maybe it's just due to my age, but I found Amy to be immature, whiny, and self pitying. I really didn't like her much as a character. Although I did enjoy reading this story from her perspective, and at times I truly felt sorry for the situation that she was in. But I also felt that most of her problems were of her own making. I really couldn't understand Amy's refusal to help herself. At times she seemed naive and I wanted to tell her to get over it already and figure out who your real friends are.

I must mention Joe, a minor character who I thought was the most interesting person in Pretty Amy. Sadly, there wasn't enough of him to even call him a secondary character. I thought he had the most depth and potential. I wish he had a larger role so we could have spent more time with him.

Overall, Pretty Amy was a very interesting read. A bit heavy for a contemporary, it definitely deals with a more mature subject matter. And even though I couldn't make a more personal connection to Amy, I felt this was a well written and mostly believable story.

The following quote is what made me want to read Pretty Amy. You get a little look at Amy's messed up life and a sneak peek at Joe.

I was a block away from my house when I saw Joe walking toward me. I threw my cigarette in the gutter. His suit jacket was off, his purple tie around his head like a headband. His cummerbund was missing. Maybe Leslie had kept it as a souvenir.

I looked down and walked faster.

“Where’s your dress?” he asked. I could tell he was still drunk, which was probably the only reason he even bothered to stop. It was the most he had said to me in three years—well, not counting last night.

“Where’s yours?” I asked, channeling Cassie. Afraid that if I let my guard down, he would be able to tell what had happened, would be able to break me right in two.

“You used to be nice,” he said, putting his hands in his pockets. He did that when they started to shake. That was why he loved playing volleyball. I wished he’d never told me that.

“Go away, Joe,” I said.

“Exactly,” he said. His pupils were big; big black moons in his hazel eyes. He shook his head. “You used to be you.”

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
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Why, oh why, are there so many good books that are being released in May? I know, not really a problem. Except I want to read them all NOW and I simply don't have enough time. Here is a list of the books that I really WANT to read that are being released in May. That doesn't mean I will actually get a chance to read them in May, but definitely soon.

Are any of these books on your tbr? If you have already read any of the books on my list, please let me know if you liked them.

May 1st - 7th
While He Was Away Karen Schreck
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams
Summer Of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond
Wrecked by Anna Davies
The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova
Body and Soul (The Ghost and the Goth 3) by Stacey Kade

May 8th - 14th
Until I Die by Amy Plum
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky
In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

May 15th - 21st
From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas

May 22nd - 28th
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

May 29th - May 31st
Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

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Book Tour and Guest Post - Knee Deep by Jolene Perry

I am pleased to welcome Jolene Perry, author of Knee Deep, who is stopping by to share a guest post and excerpt as part of the Knee Deep Blog Tour by Tribute Books.

Published May 1st 2012 by Tribute Books

Purchase Knee Deep:

Shawn is the guy Ronnie Bird promised her life to at the age of fourteen. He's her soul mate. He's more uptight every day, but it's not his fault. His family life is stressful, and she's adding to it. She just needs to be more understanding, and he'll start to be the boy she fell in love with. She won’t give up on someone she’s loved for so long.

Luke is her best friend, and the guy she hangs with to watch girlie movies in her large blanketopias. He's the guy she can confide in before she even goes to her girlfriends, and the guy who she's playing opposite in Romeo and Juliet. Now her chest flutters every time he gets too close. This is new. Is Ronnie falling for him? Or is Juliet? The lines are getting blurry, but leaving one guy for another is not something that a girl like Ronnie does.

Shawn’s outbursts are starting to give her bruises, and Luke’s heart breaks as Ronnie remains torn. While her thoughts and feelings swirl around the lines between friendship and forever, she’s about to lose them both.

About The Author:

Jolene grew up in Wasilla, Alaska. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in political science and French, which she used to teach math to middle schoolers.

After living in Washington, Utah and Las Vegas, she now resides in Alaska with her husband, and two children. Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible.

She is also the author of Night Sky and The Next Door Boys.

Guest Post by Jolene Perry

Sometimes a story is more personal than you expect it to be.

I read an article in an online newspaper that talked about the YA books coming out that year which dealt with abusive relationships.

I'd part mapped one out a while back, and thought maybe I'd work on it - all evidence that the market had just gotten an influx of them didn't sway me the way it should have…

The more I wrote in the story, the more personal it became.

I was not ever hit by my boyfriend in high school. He never screamed and yelled at me - though I heard him trashing his room a few times when I left after an argument, and he didn't hesitate to show me when he was pissed about something.

He'd pick fights with me over the phone and hang up, knowing it meant I'd sneak out to "straighten things out."

There was one really horrible night with him that I'd blocked from my mind for a long time, that I remembered when I was writing, so I used it.

I see these cases my husband talks about with women who are beaten and bruised and making up excuses and going back over and over. One ended in murder a couple of weeks ago. A case my husband will be prosecuting when it goes to trial.

The abuse story I told is nowhere near that dramatic, but so much of Ronnie's story was mine. WAY more than I realized while I was writing it. When I got to the end, and started writing down the parts of her story that were real (I always do this for my author site), I realized more and more how much of me was in that girl.

I stared at my computer screen in shock.

I had one of my best friends, who was a guy, who I shared more with than I probably did to most of my girlfriends - (like Luke from Knee Deep) and a boyfriend I'd known since I was a kid (like Shawn from Knee Deep) And I felt this draw to my boyfriend, only because I'd known him for so long, not because we really had anything left in common.

I felt more like I was stuck in this relationship, and didn't even realize I didn't want to be there until I visited a friend in college and saw how much more LIFE was out there. It was just that the idea of this one person had been in my head for way too long.

And where did I end up? Married to the best friend.

People talk about writing what you know, and then talk about keeping yourself out of your books. But you know what? I KNEW that situation - and I know I'll get some bad reviews (like you always do - ESPECIALLY when you tackle a tough topic) that are going to say that Ronnie's actions weren't believable.

But here's the thing - I told her story, the best way I knew how. Ronnie's reactions with pieces of my truth. And there are some drastic differences, but there are also some startling similarities. So, to me, Ronnie's actions were completely and totally understandable.

And that's the story of how Knee Deep came to be.

Knee Deep Excerpt

My front door opens. “Hello?” Shawn calls.

“In here!” I say back. Suddenly this feels weird. Why would this feel weird? This is just what happens when one of us is stuck at home. Why would today be any different? But my heart’s beating against the inside of my ribs, trying to tell me this is different.

Luke scoots away from the couch. Does he feel it too? That maybe him and me hanging out alone for the day might not have been the best idea?

Shawn steps through the hallway and scowls when his eyes meet mine and then pass to Luke. This shouldn’t be a big deal. Except...I’m so stupid. I was just thinking how I needed to make Shawn’s life outside of his house less stressful, and part of me knew it was weird that Luke was here without Shawn. I thought it, and did nothing. But again, it is just Luke.

“What’re you doing here?” Shawn asks. His dark eyes fix on Luke.

“I figured you’d be here, man.” Luke stands up. “It’s like we always ditch together, right?”

Romeo and Juliet kissing in the pool on the TV screen probably isn’t helping anything. Maybe Shawn won’t notice, or maybe it’s just sending my heart into crazy flutters because this tension between Shawn and Luke and, I guess, me, is happening during the most romantic scene of the movie.

“Uh, I don’t know.” Shawn’s still scowling, his brows pulled low and his jaw tight.

“You would’ve hated it,” I say. My eyes catch his, but his are as black as his mood seems to be. I’m so stupid. Why did I have to let Luke stay?

“Yeah, maybe.” Shawn’s narrowed eyes go from Luke to me, back and forth, as if judging the situation. Really? What did he think could possibly happen between Luke and I? Even if this is suddenly on my top three ‘most awkward moments’ ever. I can’t even think about what the other two might be. Maybe I’ve just found number one.

“Romeo and Juliet all day.” Luke laughs, but I know him well enough to see he’s trying really hard to be relaxed. His shoulders are too stiff, and his normal stance is too rigid. I wonder if Shawn sees it too. “Guess I’ll leave you two alone.” Luke’s trying hard to keep his voice light.

“Yeah.” Shawn has yet to return Luke’s smile. “I almost never see my girl anymore.”

It’s like I’m on the edge of my seat, tension pinpricking every part of me. I’ve never seen Shawn like this.

“Well, I should get my ass to rehearsal anyway.” Luke gives Shawn a friendly pat on the shoulder before heading outside.

I don’t watch him go. My eyes are on Shawn, trying to figure out what to expect next.

“What the hell was that?” His sharp gaze is now pointed directly at me.

I stand up and lean to the side, trying to be relaxed. “It didn’t seem like a big deal this morning.” Maybe if I play it off as nothing Shawn won’t be so mad. He knows Luke and I are friends. No big deal, I tell myself again. But I don’t know if I’m trying to convince myself or Shawn.

“Was he here when we were texting?” he asks. His voice may be low, but not in a good way. It’s low in a way that makes him sound like he’s past the edge of reasonable anger.

My body’s screaming for me to take a step back, which makes no sense. This is Shawn. My Shawn. “No.” But I’m weakening by the second, almost shaking inside. His jaw tightens again.

My eyes close as I remember, and dread fills my chest. “He got here as I sent my last one.” Is that bad? Good?

“And you didn’t think to tell me? What the hell is that?”

I jump at the sharpness of his voice. Shawn doesn’t need this stress. I know this. I reach forward to put my arms around him. We just need to hold one another for a minute, then it’ll all be fine.

He stops me, grabbing my arm—hard—just above my wrist.

“This is not okay.” His jaw is set.

“Hey.” My voice shakes. My body shakes. I’m actually scared of Shawn for the first time ever. I jerk my hand once, but he tightens his grip...impossibly tight. My lungs can’t pull in a breath; there’s just not enough air in the room anymore. “Shawn, you’re hurting me.” He can’t mean to hurt me. He can’t.

His face is stuck in a sharp scowl.

“He’s your friend.” My voice is crying. I want to try and pull my shaky arm out of his grasp again, but I’m afraid to; he’s squeezing so hard. Tears are hot against the back of my eyes, threatening to spill over.

“How would you feel if I spent all day with some chick?” The words come out as angry spit from between his teeth.

I open my mouth to answer but can’t, the lump in my throat has taken over. All I can think about is that I need to find something to say so he’ll let me go. Some way to get the air through my throat to form words. “It’s just Luke,” I plead, sucking in a breath.

“Whatever.” He throws my arm back at me, turns, and walks out the door, slamming it hard behind him. My body jumps at the sound.

I stumble backward onto the couch. I’m like a leaf battered about in the wind. Nothing’s working right. I need to sit. Normally I’d run after him, but I have no idea what to expect. And I’m afraid. Of Shawn.

He’s never been that way before. Ever. He’s moody and particular, but this seems...extreme. I’m cradling my wrist with my other hand, afraid to look at any possible damage. It hurts to move it. What just happened here? How did it happen?

It’s like there suddenly must be something fundamentally wrong with the universe. But the TV’s still on. My house looks normal and quiet. I’m still breathing, but Shawn, my Shawn, just hurt me. Lying down seems so anti-climactic, but I can’t bring myself to do anything else.

When Juliet realizes Romeo’s dying the sobs take over, and I pull my knees to my chest as if making myself smaller will somehow dull the pain.

It doesn’t.

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My Thoughts While Reading Zero by Tom Leveen

I'm going to put this out there, so think of it what you will.

The entire time I was reading Zero by Tom Leveen I had a song on repeat in my head because it fit the beginning of the book so well. Wait. On second thought, maybe the reason I thought about it so much is because I actually heard it quite a few times while reading... cuz you know, I have 14 year old daughter, and it's a hot new boy band thing... and hearing a song 10 times in a row is just SO COOL!!! (I don't know where she gets it from.)

You're insecure,
Don't know what for,
You're turning heads when you walk through the door,
Don't need make-up,
To cover up,
Being the way that you are is enough,
Everyone else in the room can see it,
Everyone else but you

Yes, those are the lyrics for "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction.
Imagine my daughter's absolute horror when she realized I know all the words to this song. And then I had to go on and tell her that Hairy Harry is, like, my favorite. [insert eye roll] And that I prefer listening to "Tell Me A Lie" and "Taken"... In an overly dramatic and possibly traumatized voice she says "Mommmmmmm, you did NOT listen to my music!" So I lied and told her I would never listen to a boy band. Not me. I am completely innocent.

I loved reading Zero. I am so glad that I enjoyed it because it was on my virtual tbr for a really long time. I highly recommend reading it! Some of you may prefer foregoing the song coma, and that's okay. The book is still really good!

You can read my review for Zero HERE.
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