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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Trailer: Now That You're Here by Amy K. Nichols

The book trailer for Amy K. Nichols' upcoming scifi romance was released today. It's short and sweet but I think it offers a compelling sneak peek at the novel... I've read this one and I can tell you that it is so good! It has romance, really cool scifi elements (like parallel universes), and even some mystery.  I'll be featuring Now That You're Here in December with a review, interview, and giveaway, so keep an eye out!

More about the book:

In a parallel universe, the classic bad boy falls for the class science geek.

One minute Danny was running from the cops, and the next, he jolted awake in an unfamiliar body--his own, but different. Somehow, he's crossed into a parallel universe. Now his friends are his enemies, his parents are long dead, and studious Eevee is not the mysterious femme fatale he once kissed back home. Then again, this Eevee--a girl who'd rather land an internship at NASA than a date to the prom--may be his only hope of getting home.

Eevee tells herself she's only helping him in the name of quantum physics, but there's something undeniably fascinating about this boy from another dimension . . . a boy who makes her question who she is, and who she might be in another place and time.

And, coming soon, Duplexity, Part II: While You Were Gone flips this story on its head and tells the tale of the alternate Danny and the alternate Eevee, living in Danny's parallel world.

Praise for Now That You're Here:

"The perfect blend of sci-fi and swoons, Now That You're Here is like no other book I've read. Riveting, romantic and utterly original, it kept me up late!" --Amie Kaufman, author of These Broken Stars

"Dynamic, dizzying, and downright daring, Now That You're Here kept me guessing until the end, and ready for the next." --Shannon Messenger, author of Let the Sky Fall

"Nichols infuses the story with a smattering of science fiction and science fact, while making a welcome departure from the stereotype of the book-smart outcast trying to fit in. These geeks own their intelligence like a badge of honor, using science to help a friend and explore strange new worlds. Riveting in its own right, the story sets the stage for a mirror-image sequel, which will follow the other Danny and Eevee." -- Publishers Weekly, STARRED

"While the world-jumping is fantastical, the personalities and characters (fully individual, without reaching trying-too-hard levels of quirkiness) ring true.... A debut with great characters and huge nerd appeal." -- Kirkus Reviews

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Books into Movies: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Today the movie trailer for the upcoming film The DUFF was released. I've been waiting for this trailer for awhile now because I so loved Kody Keplinger's debut novel, which the movie is adapted from. Now I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty positive that, no matter how good this movie is, the book is still going to have it beat. Guys, I know this book is a bit older, but it is so worth checking out! 

I read it back in 2010 and I still think about it. I'm planning on doing a reread very soon, but, in the meantime, you can check out my original review - and my old formatting! - here. You can find more reviews on Goodreads or buy yourself a copy from your favorite bookstore or from Brilliant Books, free shipping included!

More about the book:
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "the Duff," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. And eventually, through this realization, Bianca begins to see how harmful her unhealthy way of dealing with her problems has been, and finds a way to confront them head on.
Check out the movie trailer below! Are planning on seeing this one in theaters? Have you read the book yet? Let me know in the comments!

Find out more about the movie:

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Storytime: New & Notable Picture Books (8)

Storytime is a new(ish) feature at The Hiding Spot in which I share some of my favorite new, old, & overlooked picture books.
Not a parent, teacher, or librarian? Picture books make fantastic gifts, from baby showers to birthdays and holidays. As bookworms, we all know how important books are – be the one who hands that special kid in your life the book that will make them fall in love with the magic of reading!

New & Notable

Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Letters for All the Stories
Written & Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
If you still haven't discovered the wonder and fun of Oliver Jeffers' books, you're seriously missing out. Right now I'd say Jeffers is best known for having illustrated the bestseller The Days the Crayons Quit, so you've likely seen his illustrative style, but his writing is just as good. In this newest book, Jeffers takes readers through the alphabet with a story for each letter. The stories are silly and weave together; characters pop up in multiple stories and pictures and the would-be astronaut from letter A returns for letter Z. I'm a longtime fan of Jeffers' work, so it goes without saying that I loved this one.

The Mitten String
Written by Jennifer Rosner; Illustrated by Katrina Swarner

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
When Ruthie's family takes in a deaf woman named Bayla and her infant for the night, she's amazed by the woman's ability to communicate with her son using her hands, moving them as if she were working an invisible spinning wheel. At night, Bayla's uses string to connect her wrist to her son's, waking when he needs to be comforted or warmed. Inspired by Bayla creativity and love, Ruthie begins knitting mittens connected by a string, her very first pair a gift for Bayla and her son. This beautiful story of kindness, love, and overcoming difficult circumstances, be it the frequent loss of mittens or a disability.

Sebastian and the Balloon
Written & Illustrated by Philip C. Stead

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'On a boring day, on a dull street, Sebastian sat high atop his roof—something he was never supposed to do. When he launched himself into the air in his balloon made of Grandma's afghans and patchwork quilts, his journey took on a life of its own and his boring day turned into the adventure of a lifetime.' I spend a lot of time looking at and working with picture books, so when I can't get a book out of my head, it really means something. This newest from Stead is so beautiful and enchanting that I find myself wanting to look through it every time I see it on the shelf at the store. I'm not sure if it's possible to not to fall in love with this book.

This Book Just Ate My Dog
Written & Illustrated by Richard Byrne

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'When her dog disappears into the gutter of the book, Bella calls for help. But when the helpers disappear too, Bella realizes it will take more than a tug on the leash to put things right.' I love books that are interactive and physically engage the reader, like Count the Monkeys, so new one from Byrne quickly won me over. After various characters, including the narrator disappear into the gutter of the book, the reader must aid in the rescue. This will be one your little reader will ask for again and again!

Remy and Lulu
Written & Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

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Lulu, a small, smart dog, lives in the studio of a great artist until the day the studio is sold and she is left to fend for herself. Leaving the city for the countryside, she meets Remy, an abstract artist with poor eyesight but a clear vision. Unfortunately, Remy's unique style isn't in high demand. After three days with no food, Lulu secretly helps Remy with his most recent commission. Her portrait is a success and, soon, Remy's work gains acclaim. All is well until Remy is gifted with a new pair of spectacles and sees, for the first time, the quality of Lulu's work. In comparing his own style to Lulu's, he loses confidence in his work and his paints grow hard and dry as he shuts himself away. It's Lulu's friendship that gives Remy strength, reminding him that, when you paint from the heart, you can't ever go wrong. A celebration of art, friendship, and staying true to your own vision, Remy and Lulu is a wonderful new story from Kevin Hawkes!

Love any of the books featured this week? Want to see a certain theme explore, author, or illustrator explored in an upcoming Story Time post? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cover Reveals (That Made Me Swoon) Part VII

One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart
Set in Florence, Italy, One Thing Stolen follows Nadia Cara as she mysteriously begins to change. She's become a thief, she has secrets she can't tell, and when she tries to speak, the words seem far away.
Island of Shipwrecks (Unwanteds #5) by Lisa McMann

A risky decision endangers both Artimé and Quill in book five of the New York Times bestselling Unwanteds series, which Kirkus Reviews called “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.”

Alex and his friends from Artimé are stranded on a newly discovered island after barely surviving a storm that destroys their ship. And it turns out they’re not alone…

Back in Quill, Aaron’s power base grows as he aligns himself with an unlikely ally. Together, the two enact a drastic, risky plan to finally conquer Artimé—a plan that could ultimately leave everyone in both Artimé and Quill in far more danger than Aaron realizes.
 Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
Gone Girl meets 13 Reasons Why in this stylish, sexy, and atmospheric story about friendship packed with twists and turns that will leave you breathless.

They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather's shed. They say it was suicide.

But June doesn't believe it.

June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else; before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, tying them together like thin silk cords.

But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia, and June's boyfriend Ryan were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this: things would never be the same again.

And now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth, which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

Sexy, dark, and atmospheric, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls will keep you guessing until the very last page.

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now . . . Henry and Flora.

For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.

Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?

Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured — a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.

The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Achingly romantic and brilliantly imagined, The Game of Love and Death is a love story you will never forget.
I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
Best friends, big fans, a mysterious webcomic, and a long-lost girl collide in this riveting novel, perfect for fans of both Cory Doctorow and Sarah Dessen, & illustrated throughout with comics.

Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure.
Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.
Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window.
Princess X?
When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There's an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at IAmPrincessX.com. The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby's story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon---her best friend, Libby, who lives.
The Notorious Pagan Jones by Nina Berry
Pagan Jones went from America's sweetheart to fallen angel in one fateful night in 1960: the night a car accident killed her whole family. Pagan was behind the wheel and driving drunk. Nine months later, she's stuck in the Lighthouse Reformatory for Wayward Girls and tortured by her guilt, not to mention the sadistic Miss Edwards, who takes special delight in humiliating the once-great Pagan Jones.

But all of that is about to change. Pagan's old agent shows up with a mysterious studio executive, Devin Black, and an offer. Pagan will be released from juvenile detention if she accepts a juicy role in a comedy directed by award-winning director Bennie Wexler. The shoot starts in West Berlin in just three days. If Pagan's going to do it, she has to decide fast and she has to agree to a court-appointed guardian, the handsome yet infuriating Devin, who's too young, too smooth, too sophisticated to be some studio flack.

The offer's too good to be true, Berlin's in turmoil and Devin Black knows way too much about her; there's definitely something fishy going on. But if anyone can take on a divided city, a scheming guardian and the criticism of a world that once adored her, it's the notorious Pagan Jones. What could go wrong?
Which new covers are your favorite? Any that you dislike? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Giveaway: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly + Matching Nail Polish

Catch up on Deep Blue and prepare for your holiday parties with the Principessa colors!

Prizing & samples courtesy of Disney-Hyperion.

Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin’s arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the Mer nations.

Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.
And, coming January 6, 2015, Rogue Wave:

In this exciting sequel to Deep Blue, the mermaids are on an exceedingly important and dangerous quest. Their journey is testing their skills and their friendships, forcing them to grow and take on new challenges, and will alter their lives forever.

Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava, Becca, and Astrid, six mermaids from realms scattered throughout the seas and freshwaters, were summoned by the leader of the river witches to learn an incredible truth: the mermaids are direct descendants of the Six Who Ruled–powerful mages who once governed the lost empire of Atlantis. The ancient evil that destroyed Atlantis is stirring again, and only the mermaids can defeat it. To do so, they need to find magical talismans that belonged to the Six.

Serafina believes her talisman was buried with an old shipwreck. While researching its location, she is almost discovered by a death rider patrol led by someone familiar. . . . The pain of seeing him turned traitor is devastating.

Neela travels to Matali to warn her parents of the grave threat facing their world.  But they find her story outlandish; a sign that she needs to be confined to her chamber for rest and recovery. She escapes and travels to Kandina, where her talisman is in the possession of fearsome razormouth dragons.

As they hunt for their talismans, both Serafina and Neela find reserves of courage and cunning they didn't know they possessed. They face down danger and death, only to endure a game-changing betrayal, as shocking as a rogue wave.

Win It!

Ends November 28, 2014. 1 winner. Open to US addresses only.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Goodreads / Buy It
Title: Black Ice
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Pub. Date: October 7, 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Rec. Age Level: 14+
Pages: 392
More by this author: Hush, Hush series


Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

Black Ice is a departure for Becca Fitzpatrick, who made a name for herself with the supernatural love story Hush, Hush. Though there are no supernatural heartthrobs in Black Ice, readers will still find a mysterious, good looking bad boy and plenty of action.

Personally, I'm a bit divided about Black Ice. I will say that I enjoyed it more than Hush, Hush, but that's probably because supernatural romance isn't really my thing.

Black Ice is primarily a thriller, with a bit of romance and mystery mixed in. Like the main character, I was never sure who to trust or what was going to happen next; I loathed interruptions during especially tense passages. There's something about this novel that has me recommending it as the YA Gone Girl - it has the same psychological twistiness.

Fitzpatrick's descriptions of the harsh, deadly weather in the Tetons are especially well done. This element alone makes me want to recommend Black Ice as a cold weather read. Curling up on a bitterly cold winter night and delving into this one would be a chilling experience in more ways than one.

My one quibble regarding Black Ice was Britt's reactions to a few situations. I can't say much about this without risking spoilers, but there were a couple instances in which Britt fell a bit flat and her reactions didn't feel at all realistic. Luckily, this small issue didn't distract much from my overall reading experience.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Giveaway: Shutter by Courtney Alameda

Like shows like Supernatural? Love a heroine who can take care of herself and can handle herself in crazy (and crazy scary) situations? Answer yes to either or both of those questions? Then you're going to love Courtney Alameda's debut, Shutter!

Horror has a new name: introducing Courtney Alameda.

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.
Intrigued? My arc will go to one lucky entrant here at The Hiding Spot. 

Win It!

Ends November 24, 2014. 1 winner. Open internationally.

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Storytime: New and Notable Picture Books (7)

Storytime is a new(ish) feature at The Hiding Spot in which I share some of my favorite new, old, & overlooked picture books.
Not a parent, teacher, or librarian? Picture books make fantastic gifts, from baby showers to birthdays and holidays. As bookworms, we all know how important books are – be the one who hands that special kid in your life the book that will make them fall in love with the magic of reading!

New & Notable

George in the Dark
Written & Illustrated by Madeline Valentine

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
George is brave - he stands up to bullies, swings the highest, and will eat things that make other kids shudder - but at bedtime, when his mom and dad turn out the light, George is terrified. With Bear stranded in the scariest and darkest place in his room, George must face his fear of the dark to rescue his friend. George in the Dark is a fun, lighthearted read, perfect for before bedtime and inspiring courage against the dark.

Ten Rules of Being a Superhero
Written & Illustrated by Deb Pilutti

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
This newest read aloud from Deb Pilutti features Lava Boy and Captain Magma, a heroic duo who follow ten superhero rules. The duos antics and the rules, from using their super powers for good to always having a dependable sidekick, make this humorous offering a great pick for story time!

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads 
Written by Bob Shea; Illustrated by Lane Smith

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
When Kid Sheriff Ryan slowly rolls into Drywater Gulch on his tortoise, a bit of creativity and imagination allow him to rid the town of the meddlesome Toad brothers, who are constantly up to no good. The boastful Toads are no match for a bit of clever thinking, imagination, and this little lawman. It's near impossible not to adopt rolling, cowboy-inspired accent while reading this one aloud, which just makes it that much more fun. This new offering from Bob Shea and Lane Smith is surefire storytime fun.

Hunters of the Great Forest
Written & Illustrated by Dennis Nolan

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In Hunters of the Great Forest , a fantastic new wordless story, readers follow a band of curiously tiny hunters as they embark on a journey full of adventure and danger. Small details lead to big surprises, delighting readers as they guess what will happen next. Wordless picture books can be daunting for some, but Nolan's illustrations naturally lead to questions and discussion that make this wordless read accessible to all.

Albie's First World: A Tale Inspired by Albert Einstein's Childhood
Written by Jacqueline Tourville; Illustrated by Wynne Evans

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This gorgeously illustrated story about the young Albert Einstein plays on the little known fact that Einstein was a bit of a late bloomer. Tourville introduces readers to Albie, a normal, inquisitive boy who is very loved and happy, but never speaks. Albie's parents are instructed to take Albie to see marvelous things, like the symphony and to hear a brilliant lecturer, with the hope that Albie will be inspired to speak. In the end, it is Albie's unquenchable curiosity that prompts his first word.


Love any of the books featured this week? Want to see a certain theme explore, author, or illustrator explored in an upcoming Story Time post? Let me know in the comments!