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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Win a copy of FORGOTTEN by Cat Patrick!

Little, Brown has kindly provided two copies of Cat Patrick's FORGOTTEN for two lucky winners at The Hiding Spot!

About the Book

What if every day when you woke up, you had no recollection of the days before?

Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can “remember” are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you’d easily forget, but try as she might, London can’t find him in her memories of things to come.

When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it’s time to learn about the past she keeps 
forgetting – before it destroys her future.

Check out one of London's video diaries:

Find out more about FORGOTTEN here.

About the Author

On a rainy November morning, new baby sleep deprived, Cat Patrick forgot what she was doing. She retraced her steps but instead of remembering, the idea for Forgotten was born.

Cat lives near Seattle with her husband and twin daughters who now, thankfully, sleep through the night. Forgotten is her debut novel.

The Giveaway
2 winners will receive:
(1) finished copy of FORGOTTEN

How to Enter:
You MUST leave a comment on this post with an email address so I can contact you if you win.

Contest will close July 10th, 2011. Open to the US only! You must be age 13 or older to enter.

Good luck!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

Title: Sean Griswold's Head 
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pub. Date: 3.1.2011
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Romance, Family, Acceptance, Friendship
Pages: 288
Description (from Goodreads):

According to her guidance counselor, fifteen-year-old Payton Gritas needs a focus object-an item to concentrate her emotions on. It's supposed to be something inanimate, but Payton decides to use the thing she stares at during class: Sean Griswold's head. They've been linked since third grade (Griswold-Gritas-it's an alphabetical order thing), but she's never really known him.
The focus object is intended to help Payton deal with her father's newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And it's working. With the help of her boy-crazy best friend Jac, Payton starts stalking-er, focusing on-Sean Griswold . . . all of him! He's cute, he shares her Seinfeld obsession (nobody else gets it!) and he may have a secret or two of his own.
In this sweet story of first love, Lindsey Leavitt seamlessly balances heartfelt family moments, spot-on sarcastic humor, and a budding young romance.

SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD is my first Lindsey Leavitt novel, but it won't be my last.

This book is cute and funny. I'd heard lots of great things about it before deciding to pick it up, but was worried it'd be more middle grade than YA. Instead, I'd say it's more upper MG - it's definitely MG appropriate - and YA-friendly. 

When Payton chooses her classmate's head as a focus object, she isn't taking the assignment very seriously, but her journal entries about it are hilarious. It doesn't take Payton long to realize that there's more to Sean Griswold than a big head... and that that big head is actually kind of cute.

Eventually, Payton's father's MS becomes more apparent and she realizes she needs to face her fears and feelings about the situation... because sarcasm and anger isn't going to make it go away. Her focus object actually ends up being more help than she'd imagined - considering she basically chose Sean's head to be rebellious - and Payton realizes that it isn't always about fixing a situation, but rather how you react and respond to the problem.

Annnnnd this cover is adorable. I don't think it appeals to guys in any way, but it fits the book perfectly!

If you're looking for a relatively quick read that has humor and shares a worthwhile message, pick up this latest offering from Leavitt.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review: My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody

Title: My Life Undecided
Author: Jessica Brody
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux BYR
Pub. Date: 6.7.2011
Genre: Contemporary YA
Keywords: Blogging, Decisions, Family, Friends, Love, High School
Pages: 320
Description (from Goodreads):

Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.

Oh, Jessica Brody, you've done it again... 

I adored Brody's THE KARMA CLUB and have been anxiously awaiting MY LIFE UNDECIDED for months. After all, MLU combines a teen girl, cute boys, bad decisions, funny decisions, and a BLOG. Really, the blog alone (okay, and maybe the boys) would have done it for me, but Brody goes above and beyond, which is always a good thing in an author...

At first, I worried that Brooklyn's age, 15, coupled with this particular plot would make the novel feel a bit too immature for my tastes, but I shouldn't have worried. While Brooklyn does, for the most part, act like a 15 year old, Brody's use of humor provided a healthy balance and served as a distraction. I never felt like the story was slowed... she was able to just be a confused 15 year old girl, even if the reader is a few years older. Additionally, I would feel comfortable handing this novel to a younger reader as well... Perhaps not any younger than Middle School, but there wasn't anything particularly scandalous.

I love the whole concept of this novel. It may not be entirely realistic, but, as a real life blogger, I can say there are parts of this novel that ring true. I've never had an entire blog dedicated to my life decisions, but I can't tell you how many times I've utilized Twitter when making a decision... Should I buy this? Did anyone see this movie and like it? I'm bored... what should I do? Brooklyn takes this idea to a whole new level... and learns quite a few things in the process.

The endeavor might have been slightly misguided, but many teens will empathize with Brooklyn. She's really screwed up this time around... And making the wrong decision is sometimes entirely too tempting. Having someone else make your decisions takes all the pressure off you. If it's a good decision, great! If it's a bad decision, hey... I didn't make it! At some point in your life, you'll realize that, ultimately, only you can make your decisions - it's just the way the world works - but it was an adventure to watch Brooklyn discover this for herself (and in a much more fun and exciting way than most of us do)!

I can't wait to read Brody's next offering... I fully expect it'll make me laugh... and think.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Title: Hourglass
Author: Myra McEntire
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pub. Date: 6.14.2011
Genre: Paranormal YA
Keywords: Time Travel, Romance, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 397
Description (from Goodreads):

One hour to rewrite the past . . .
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.
So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

I fell in love with the cover of HOURGLASS the first time I saw it and thought there was a good chance I'd like the novel, but I was entirely unprepared for just how much I would love it.

Myra McEntire's debut novel is absolutely fantastic. I haven't read all the many time travel novels other than HOURGLASS, but, if other authors can do it half as well as McEntire, I feel I should make this a priority.

Time travel is such a crazy, whimsical idea and I'm pretty confident that most people have had time travel fantasies, so a novel in which a character, who has experienced great tragedy in her life, discovers that it isn't impossible to jump back in time - and perhaps even change the past -  is a very, very good idea. The entire premise is incredibly seductive. 

One of the best things about this novel? The romance. Hands down. At times, the whole 'we're ridiculously drawn to one another but are forbidden to actually pursue out feelings' thing can be annoying, but I really enjoyed it in HOURGLASS. I think it helped that Emerson and Michael weren't kept apart just because Michael had some deep, dark secret, but also for normal, teenage reasons - like Emerson's brother/guardian insisting she and Michael keep their relationship professional.

Plus, this novel is twisty. It has an epic air about it and just as soon as the reader gets comfortable, McEntire throws in a totally unexpected element. Readers won't sit back and casually enjoy the ride with this one - this author keeps you on your toes.

Sometimes I feel like I need a break from paranormal YA, but then I pick up one like this and I remember just why this genre is so wonderful!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Win a copy of CUT by Patricia McCormick!

Big Honcho Media has kindly provided two copies of Patricia McCormick's CUT for two lucky winners at The Hiding Spot in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the novel's release.

About the Book
A tingle arced across my scalp. The floor tipped up at me and my body spiraled away. Then I was on the ceiling looking down, waiting to see what would happen next.
Callie cuts herself. Never too deep, never enough to die. But enough to feel the pain. Enough to feel the scream inside. Now she’s at Sea Pines, a “residential treatment facility” filled with girls struggling with problems of their own. Callie doesn’t want to have anything to do with them. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with anyone. She won’t even speak. But Callie can only stay silent for so long…

The 10th Anniversary edition of Cut includes a brand-new afterword from author Patricia McCormick, an author Q&A, and added resources.

About the Author
Patricia McCormick spent three years researching and writing her first novel, Cut. She is also the author of the National Book Award finalist Sold, as well as Purple Heart and My Brother’s Keeper. She lives in Manhattan. Learn more at

The Giveaway

2 winners will receive:
(1) finished copy of CUT

How to Enter:
You MUST fill out this FORMIf you neglect to fill out the form, you will not be entered to win.

Contest will close July 4thth, 2011. Open to the US only! You must be age 13 or older to enter.

Good luck!

For more great books check out the This is Teen Facebook page!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fantastic Five: New in Paperback

Fantastic Five is a new feature at The Hiding Spot! These posts will always feature five of something - whether it be forthcoming novels, favorite authors, books with a common theme, or newly released covers. Whatever the topic, there will always be five featured items and they will always be fantastic! 

Sorta Like a Rockstar by Matthew Quick
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Amber Appleton lives in a bus. Ever since her mom's boyfriend kicked them out, Amber, her mom, and her totally loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy (aka Thrice B) have been camped out in the back of Hello Yellow (the school bus her mom drives). Still, Amber, the self-proclaimed princess of hope and girl of unyielding optimism, refuses to sweat the bad stuff. But when a fatal tragedy threatens Amber's optimism--and her way of life, can Amber continue to be the rock star of hope? With an oddball cast of characters, and a heartwarming, inspiring story, this novel unveils a beautifully beaten-up world of laughs, loyalty, and hard-earned hope.

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Simon Pulse
Sarah and Brianna have always been friends, and it's always gone like this: guys talk to Sarah in order to get closer to Brianna. So even though Sarah met Ryan first, she's not surprised that he ends up with Brianna (even though Sarah has a massive crush on him). The three of them hang out, and Sarah and Ryan's friendship grows until one night an innocent exchange between them leads to a moment that makes Sarah realize that Ryan might be interested in her after all. But if there's one unwritten rule, it's this: you don't mess around with a friend's boyfriend. So Sarah tries to resist temptation. But with the three of them thrown together more and more, tension builds between Sarah and Ryan, and when they find themselves alone together at one point, they realize they just can't fight how they feel anymore....

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June by Robin Benway
Three sisters share a magical, unshakeable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents' divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?
April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone's but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they'll always have each other.
Because there's one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.

The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
It’s been two years since Noelle disappeared. Two years since her bike was discovered, sprawled on a sidewalk. Two years of silence, of worry, of fear. 

For those two long years, her best friend Tessa has waited, living her own life in a state of suspended animation. Because how can she allow herself to enjoy a normal high school life if Noelle can’t? How dare she have other friends, go to dances, date boys, without knowing what happened to the girl she thought she would share everything with? 

And then one day, someone calls Noelle’s house. She’s alive. 

Siren by Tricia Rayburn
Vacationing in Winter Harbor, Maine, is a tradition for Vanessa and Justine Sands, and that means spending time with the Carmichael boys. This summer, Vanessa is determined to channel some of her older sister’s boldness, get over her fear of the ocean, and maybe turn her friendship with Simon Carmichael into something much more.
But when Justine goes cliff-diving after a big family argument, and her body washes ashore the next day, Vanessa is sure that it was more than an accident. She is more certain of this, when she discovers that her sister was keeping some big secrets and Caleb Carmichael’s gone missing. Suddenly, the entire oceanfront town is abuzz when a series of grim, water-related accidents occur, with the male victims washed ashore grinning from ear to ear.
Vanessa and Simon team up to figure out if these creepy deaths have anything to do with Justine and Caleb. But will what Vanessa discovers mean the end of her summer romance, or even life as she knows it?

Have you read any of these titles? 
Four of these titles have new covers to accompany their new form, which cover do you prefer - hardcover or paperback?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Book Trailer: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Henry Holt & Co./5.10.2011
Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon, the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

inkpop Weekly Writing Challenge: Divergent

From the Forum:

Honest, Brave, Selfless, Peaceful or True, those are the only type of people you can be in the world of DIVERGENT and you can only be ONE! So what happens when a character, like Beatrice Prior, finds themselves embodying more than one of these persona? Who are you when you are not what society expects you to be? 

That is the challenge! Write a short story or poem that explores a character that does not quite fit into the world around them. Like Divergent you can create a dystopian environment where everyone is supposed to act a certain way or you can explore a world much closer to your own, like a high school where someone just doesn't quite fit in. 

Two writing winners, selected by author Veronica Roth, will receive a free copy of DIVERGENT as well as three books of their choice from HarperTeen. Two comment winners will be selected at random to win a copy of DIVERGENT as well as three books of their choice from HarperTeen. 

This challenge/contest closes June 9th, 2011. For more details and information regarding how to enter this challenge, go here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review: Die for Me by Amy Plum

Title: Die for Me
Author: Amy Plum
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub. Date: 5.10.2011
Genre: Paranormal YA
Keywords: Zombies, Revenants, Romance, Undead, Mystery
Pages: 352
Description (from Goodreads):
When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life--and memories--behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

In this incandescent debut, newcomer Amy Plum has created a powerful paranormal mythology with immortal revenants. The Paris setting comes enchantingly alive as a relentless struggle between good and evil takes place in its streets. Rich with romance, atmosphere, and thrills, Die for Me will leave readers breathlessly awaiting its sequel.

Amy Plum's DIE FOR ME has a gorgeous Parisian setting, a unique mythology, and engaging characters.

I'd read that DIE FOR ME did not feature zombies in the traditional sense, so I prepared for what I found, but I think it's a bit unfair, or at least difficult, to classify this novel as a 'zombie book.' I feel that, in ways, it's being promoted as such, which is really too bad because I think revenants are actually a bit more interesting than zombies. Plum's zombies revenants are paranormal beings that save the lives of humans by dying in their place and then return to life days later, making them, more or less, immortal.

I've come to find that I have a bit of a thing for books set in Paris... or maybe just richly historic settings with a romantic atmosphere... Either way, I think the Parisian setting had a distinctly positive effect on my feelings toward this novel. I would have liked it regardless, but the setting was definitely captivating.

I did, however, dislike some aspects of this novel. I suppose you can only do YA paranormal romance so many ways before you run out of unique twists, but Vincent and Kate's romance held very little magic for me. It was predictable and, at times, cheesy. I'm hoping for more depth in the next book, but the romance was not an aspect of the novel that shone for me.

Also, some of the dialogue seemed a bit off. There was one scene in particular, a fight scene, where the two opponents exchange various insults. The fighting and whatnot was great, but the back and forth was almost painful for me to read. To me, it read like one of those scenes where the writer is poking fun at Shakespeare and the verbal parrying that always accompanies his characters into skirmishes - except I'm pretty sure this scene wasn't meant to be funny...

Despite my complaints about this novel, I really did enjoy it. It's one that I'll be adding to my bookshelf. I'll be reading Plum's subsequent novels as well... I feel that the issues I had with this first installment will fade away in the next books.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fantastic Five: Forthcoming Novels

Fantastic Five is a new feature at The Hiding Spot! These posts will always feature five of something - whether it be forthcoming novels, favorite authors, books with a common theme, or newly released covers. Whatever the topic, there will always be five featured items and they will always be fantastic! 

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18B. Hadley's in 18A. 

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

Lie by Caroline Bock
St. Martin's Griffin/8.30.2011
A gripping and incredibly important story about a tight-knit town torn apart by a vicious hate crime.  

Everybody knows, nobody’s talking… Seventeen year-old Skylar Thompson is being questioned by the police.  Her boyfriend Jimmy stands accused of brutally assaulting two young El Salvadoran immigrants from a neighboring town, and she's the prime witness.  Skylar is keeping quiet about what she's seen, but how long can she keep it up?  Jimmy was her savior.  When her mother died, he was the only person who made her feel safe, protected from the world.  But when she begins to appreciate the enormity of what has happened, especially when Carlos Cortez, the victim's brother, steps up to demand justice, she starts to have second thoughts about protecting him.  Jimmy's accomplice, Sean, is facing his own moral quandary. He's out on bail and has been offered a plea in exchange for testifying against Jimmy.  Sean must decide whether or not to turn on his friend in order to save himself.  But most importantly, both must figure out why they followed someone like Jimmy—someone who bullied people and advocated violence against others—in the first place.    

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Cameron Cooper, a cynical teenage girl dying of cancer, is told by her doctors she needs a miracle to survive. In a last-ditch effort to save her daughter’s life, her mother takes her to a small town in Maine rumored to be magical. If there’s a shot for Cameron, her mom believes, it’s here. But for Cameron, believing in miracles would mean believing she has another chance at life ... and that’s dangerous for someone who knows better than to get her hopes up. As the girls settle into Promise, amazing things start happening: it snows in August; there’s a rainbow when it doesn’t rain; a flock of flamingos takes residence in the pond behind the high school, even though they’re not supposed to live this far north. Cameron, a scientist at heart, searches for explanations for these bizarre occurrences, refusing to believe they’re miracles.
But soon, the magic of the town—and her feelings for Asher, a local boy who seems to know Cam better than she knows herself—become impossible to deny. Over the course of the coming months, Cameron lets go of her cynicism and opens herself up to life and the world. In the end, Promise is a magical place, but for Cameron becoming a believer might just be the biggest miracle of all.

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
Sixteen-year-old Laurel's world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all, there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel's life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss, a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways. 

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Sourcebooks Fire/12.1.2011
What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starting position... suddenly she's hoping he'll see her as more than just a teammate.