#ReadADessen campaign: Keeping the Moon review

Today I'm really excited to be part of the #ReadADessen campaign Penguin is putting on in honor of Sarah's 13th book, Once and For All! Each week, a group of bloggers are focusing on two Dessen titles in release order. This week my group is sharing the love for Dessen books 3 & 4: Keeping the Moon and Dreamland! Everyone has a different post topic so you'll find playlists, reviews, fancasts, and more at all the different stops. Be sure to check them all out and enter to win the grand prize: a full paperback set of all of Sarah's books! I posted the schedule below, but first: my review of Keeping the Moon + some fun picks for sunglasses collector extraordinaire Norman might have hiding away. Enjoy!

Rating: 3.5 stars
Release Date: September 1, 1999
Publisher: Viking Books
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: hardcover, from the library
Status: standalone

While her mother, aerobics queen Kiki Sparks, spends the summer touring Europe, fifteen-year-old Colie Sparks is stuck in sleepy Colby, North Carolina. But she's not complaining. For one thing, her Aunt Mira is a sweet, laid-back eccentric; for another, no one knows that back home in Charlotte Colie is seen as a formerly-fat "golf-course slut," the school scapegoat. 

Then, by fate or by accident, Colie lands a waitressing job, where she meets Morgan and Isabel. The two wisecracking—and wise—20-something waitresses help her turn her life around, and realize the potential that has been there all along. 

Blog Tour: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Welcome to the blog tour for the Illuminae paperback! As you all know, I ADORE this series, and I love to share it with readers and non-readers alike. I've reviewed both the book and the audiobook, and although I had the option to repost one of those reviews, I decided to do something more fun. I got to suggest several post options. It was tough to pick among them (because they were all topics I love!), but I went with the one I thought most fans would like. So keep reading for some cool Illuminae Files-themed merch including cookies (!!!), clothes, jewelry, stuff for your home, and yes, candles!

Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Ember
Genre: young adult science fiction
Format/Source: arc/publisher & hardcover/Amazon

Read the New York Times bestselling blockbuster that critics are calling -out-of-this-world awesome.- The first in an epic sci-fi series unlike anything else out there.

Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she'd ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what's really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents--including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more--Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Praise for Illuminae:
"It certainly filled the Battlestar Galactica-shaped hole in my heart." — Victoria Aveyard, bestselling author of The Red Queen

"Brace yourself, because you're about to be immersed in a mindscape that you'll never want to leave." — Marie Lu, author of the bestselling Legend series

"Prepare yourselves for Illuminae." — EW.com

"You're not in for an ordinary novel experience. . ." — Bustle.com

"A truly interactive experience. . . . A fantastically fun ride." — MTV.com

Review + Giveaway: Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Genre: young adult realistic fiction, contemporary romance
Format/Source: ARC, ALA mw conference
Status: standalone

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

Review: Wires & Nerve by Marissa Meyer & Doug Holgate

Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: young adult science fiction graphic novel
Format/Source: hardcover, from the library
Status: Volume 1 of the Wires & Nerve series,
companion to The Lunar Chronicles series

In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new,action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold.When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder, Cress, Scarlet, Winter, and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.

Review + Giveaway: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Genre: young adult contemporary romance, realistic
Format/Source: ARC, from the author
Status: standalone
(but related to Simon vs / in the same universe)

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back. 

There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. 


Book Blitz + Giveaway: The Dead Inside by Cyndy Etler

Author: Cyndy Etler
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: nonfiction, memoir
Status: standalone
Summary: For readers of Girl Interrupted and Tweak, Cyndy Etler’s gripping memoir gives readers a glimpse into the harrowing reality of her sixteen months in the notorious "tough love" program the ACLU called “a concentration camp for throwaway kids.”

All Cyndy wanted was to be loved and accepted. By age fourteen, she had escaped from her violent home, only to be reported as a runaway and sent to a “drug rehabilitation” facility that changed her world.

To the public, Straight Inc. was a place of recovery. But behind closed doors, the program used bizarre and intimidating methods to “treat” its patients. In her raw and fearless memoir, Cyndy Etler recounts her sixteen months in the living nightmare that Straight Inc. considered “healing.”

Available from:

Praise for The Dead Inside:
"Etler channels her younger self's voice with pitch-perfect verisimilitude as Cyndy goes from wide-eyed disbelief to acquiescence, having finally found a place where she feels like she belongs. An epilogue offers a redemptive conclusion, and an author's note provides chilling context for Straight's history and Cyndy's story. Raw and absorbing, Etler's voice captivates." - Kirkus

"Etler weaves her story with conviction, self-deprecating humor, and hard facts... Readers will come to respect the fighter that Etler is and the advocate she became for other teens in similar situations." - Booklist

"[An] unnerving and heartrending memoir... readers may be stunned that a place like Straight could exist, let alone that a parent would willingly send a child there." -  Publishers Weekly

About the Author:
Cyndy Etler was homeless at fourteen, summa cum laude at thirty. In her current work as a teacher and teen life coach, Etler happily teaches teens that books work better than drugs. She lives with her husband and dogs in North Carolina. Find her at CyndyEtler.com.

Author Links:


Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: October 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: paperback, my own copy
Status: book 2 of the Hundred Oaks series

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

Blog Tour: Spurt by Chris Miles

Rating: 3.5 stars
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult contemporary, realistic fiction, humor
Format/Source: finished copy, from the publisher
Status: standalone

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was organized & hosted by Jean Book Nerd Blog Tours. The full tour schedule can be found HERE. Go check out all their posts!

Balls and all!

Jack Sprigley isn’t just a late-bloomer. He’s a no bloomer: an eighth grader, and puberty is still a total no-show. Worse yet, he hasn’t heard from his friends all winter vacation. He assumes they’ve finally dumped him and his child-like body—until he finds out it’s much worse than that. His friends are now so far ahead of him that they’ve started dating. Jack is out of luck. But then he comes up with a plan to catch up and win his friends back. And his plan is perfect: he just has to fake puberty.

Cover Reveal: There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Every year there are a handful of books that everyone seems to be dying to get their hands on. This year, one of these books is also one people will be dying in! Stephanie Perkins, queen of contemporary swoons, will become scream queen with her hotly anticipated fourth novel There's Someone Inside Your House. I love that Steph always participates in #31HorrorFilms31Days (see her hilarious 2014 blog post about it here) and recaps her scary movie adventures, and of course I'll always read everything she writes, so I'm THRILLED (and chilled. Haha, see what I did there?) that we finally get to have this amazing Stephanie Perkins slasher book that she first told us about FIVE WHOLE YEARS AGO

Stephanie teased us with this manip when she announced the title but assured readers we'd get to see the real cover soon. Honestly, I'd read a book with this cover too, but I was definitely also excited to see what the cover designers would come up with. Scroll down for info about the book, add it to your TBR, and then check out the official, newly-revealed cover!

Release Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Genre: young adult contemporary horror
(aka a SLASHER. But it's Steph so also kissing)
Status: standalone

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

Image result for add to goodreads button

Pink! Scary broken up words! Something about that E in the corner being long and the broken R reeaaally freaks me out. But it's also pretty and will fit in nicely with my copies of Anna, Lola, and Isla! Check out EW's article about the cover reveal with behind-the-scenes info from Steph and designers Lindsey Andrews and Sean Freeman about the design process and how the got this cover juuust right!

What do you think of that cover? Will you be ordering There's Someone Inside Your House? If so, preorder links are right here. And check out B&N and Amazon. Both have it for preorder for only $10!

Preorder Links:

About the Author:
Stephanie Perkins is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. She has always worked with books--first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. She and her husband live in the mountains of North Carolina. Every room of their house is painted a different color of the rainbow. She is best known for her novels Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author Links: