Tell Me Tuesday-A List of Cages and The Inexplicable Logic of my Life

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Tell Me Tuesday is a weekly blog post put on by La La in the Library.  It is where we discuss what books we have been reading and why.

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What I Read Last

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Wow! Wow! Wow! This book was so beautiful and amazing. Mr. Saenz has done it again. I loved every one of his characters. They are so real and raw and honest. Also, the imagery was superb and the writing lyrical. “You saw me. You’ve always seen me. And I think that’s all that anyone wants…Seeing someone. Really seeing someone. That’s love.” This book, I believe, is about family and love. The overriding theme is that families can look like anything and in this case it ends up being three seventeen year olds and a single gay man. The three teenagers, Samantha, Salvador, and Fito have all had a rough start in life. Fito is homeless and Samantha is living in a bad situation so Salvador’s dad takes them in. Salvador is dealing with his Grandma’s cancer diagnosis and bullying at school because his dad is gay. “Some people were just born into the wrong family or adopted by the wrong family, or they were born with something broken inside them. There wasn’t anything broken inside my dad, even though some people thought there was because he was gay. But those people were wrong. They didn’t know him.” This coming of age story pulls at the heart strings and focuses on the fact that you don’t need the same DNA or a legal document to be a part of a family. Love is what makes a family.

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This book totally blew me away. There were times I had to just stop and put it down because it was so good.  This debut book will break your heart and punch you in the gut.  It is beautifully written about a topic that is so important to be aware of.  With that being said, I would recommend this book for older teens since there are some graphic parts that involve physical abuse.  Many years ago, Adam and Julian used to be foster brothers until Julian’s uncle takes him away to live with him.  The boys are reunited in high school.  Adam can tell right away that Julian is not the same kid he was and so he takes him under his wing.  I think these are some of my favorite scenes in the book;  Adam, a senior, helping a freshman from being bullied by including him in his group of friends.  The last third of this book is so shocking and I couldn’t put it down.  I highly recommend this amazing book of perseverance and forgiveness.

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My favorite books celebrating Black History Month

This post is linked up with The Sunday PostStacking the Shelves, and Saturday Situation.  Be sure to check out their latest reads.

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In honor of Black History Month, I am sharing just a few of my favorite books that celebrate the achievements of black Americans and  recognize the role of African Americans in U.S. history.

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I was not expecting this book to be so amazing! It has gorgeous illustrations, historic photographs, and copies of unbelievable documents and quotes that show the laws and thoughts of that time period that were against interracial marriages. The book touches on the segregation of schools in the U.S. at the time but it’s main focus is on Richard and Mildred Loving and their fight to have their marriage legal in the state of Virginia. I was flabbergasted at the way they were treated. They married in Washington D.C. but once they crossed the line into Virginia, they were outlaws. The story is written in verse form and the illustrations and photographs are intermixed throughout.

There was a movie recently based on the Loving vs. Virginia case.  It was simply called Loving.  Click  HERE to see a clip of the movie.

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Book Blurb by Goodreads


Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

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Book Blurb by Goodreads

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African-American women who lived through the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.

This too was recently a movie and it was excellent!  Click HERE  to see a clip.

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Book Blurb by Goodreads

In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

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lopez

Book Blurb by Goodreads

The inspiring true story of Lopez Lomong, a Sudanese “lost boy” who achieved his dream of?becoming an American citizen and Olympic athlete.He was abducted. He was beaten. And he was nearly forced to become a boy solider in his war-torn homeland, Sudan. But he escaped in the night, ran three days, and was taken into a refugee camp in Kenya. He never owned a pair of shoes. He never owned a pen?or paper and did schoolwork in the dust with his fingertips. His boyhood was the daily struggle of an orphan, and each day he would run an eighteen-mile lap around the refugee camp just to play a game of soccer. In his wildest dreams, Lopez Lomong couldn’t even conceive that Nike would one day be his official sponsor, that he would graduate from college, and that he would represent his new home and bear the American flag in the Summer Olympics.Running for My Life is Lopez Lomong’s harrowing story of loss, overcoming, triumph, and redemption. It is the once-in-a-lifetime story of a Sudanese lost boy who became an American citizen and Olympic athlete. His life is a powerful picture of the fact that we can overcome, that what seems out of reach is within our grasp if we’d believe and if we’d only try.

New book reviews-Tell Me Tuesday

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Tell Me Tuesday is a weekly feature put on by La La in the Library. It is where we discuss our latest reads.  Be sure to check them out!

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My Latest Reads

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This was such a funny and quirky read. It took me a few chapters to understand the dry and sarcastic humor. There were many times I laughed out loud which is rare for me when I read books. There were also some sad and heart breaking moments. Ove wants to kill himself, which I know sounds terrible and depressing. However, every time he tries, he is interrupted by the new family that moves in next door. This frustrates Ove greatly!  This story really made me think about problems of the elderly and those that live alone. I highly recommend this book and look forward to watching the movie that is based on this book.

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roanoke

“I dream of the Roanoke girls, lost and broken. Staring eyes and crumpled bodies. Jane. Sophia. Penelope. Eleanor. Camille. Emmeline. Allegra. They are calling for me, begging me to help them. I search and search, but never find a single one.” This book fascinated me and I couldn’t stop turning pages or should I say swiping the screen? It is about Lane Roanoke, who has to go live with her Grandparents. Her cousin, Allegra, also lives there. It is uncanny how much they look alike. But Lane doesn’t have time to try and figure that mystery out because she is fighting her own demons. Her mom committed suicide and just like the other Roanoke girls who have died, there seems to have been a dark secret as to the reason why. “Sometimes it’s a revelation, even to me, how much more comfortable I am with cruelty than with kindness. ” Allegra mysteriously goes missing, just like all the other Roanoke girls. As Lane tries to uncover where Allegra could have gone, she also uncovers disturbing family secrets. The author created wonderful characters that you can’t help love and hate at the same time. The writing was beautiful and lyrical. “I’m not running. I know running doesn’t get you anywhere. You can’t outrun what’s inside of you. You can only acknowledge it, work around it, try to turn it into something better.” Each Roanoke girl’s story is told throughout the book to help give clues as to how and why Allegra is gone. I highly recommend this mystery thriller.
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Currently Reading

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Goodreads Book Blurb

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited with the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kindhearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.
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My Next Read

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I have no idea what I am going to read next.  Too many choices!!!!

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Have A Great Week Reading What Makes YOU Happy!

Before I Fall Review

This post is linked with Saturday Situation, Stacking the Shelves, and The Sunday Post. Be sure to check out their latest reads.

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What I Read Last

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Goodreads Book Blurb

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. It makes you realize how much one person, knowingly and unknowingly, can affect another person and events. This is a great read on bullying and trying to make yourself a better person. The author does a great job showing different perspectives of characters Samantha interacts with during the day.  This book reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Groundhog Day.

Movie News

This book has been made into a movie and will be out in theaters March 3rd. Click  HERE to see a trailer for the movie.

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I FINALLY FINISHED BOOK 5!!!

I really struggled with this book.  It took me forever to get into it but after about 300 pages, it picked up.  I knew I had to keep going because the other books were so good.  I am so glad I did because this is such a great series and I didn’t want to stop in the middle of it!

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What I Am Reading Now

I have been hearing a lot of buzz about this book and I think it is going to be a movie.  I am enjoying it so far.

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Goodreads Book Blurb

A grumpy yet lovable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

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My Next Read

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I am headed to London in March so I really need to start planning all the things I want to do and see.

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Book Haul

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I bought this for my Kindle.  It is a novella from book 3 in the Outlander series.  However, don’t let the word novella fool you.  It is still 534 pages!!!

Waiting on Wednesday

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature put on by Breaking the Spine. It is where we talk about what upcoming book we are eagerly waiting for.

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Goodreads Summary

Lauren Watt took her 160-pound English Mastiff to college—so of course after graduation, Gizelle followed Lauren to her first, tiny apartment in New York. Because Gizelle wasn’t just a dog; she was a roommate, sister, confidante, dining companion, and everything in between.

Together, Gizelle and Lauren went through boyfriends, first jobs, a mother’s struggle with addiction, and the ups and downs of becoming an adult in the big city. But when Gizelle got sick and Lauren realized her best friend might not be such a constant after all, she designed an epic bucket list to make the absolute most of the time they had left.

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My Review

I adored this book! It was heartfelt, hilarious, and sweet. As the owner of two smaller dogs, it was so interesting to read about how life with an extremely large dog is, especially in a big city like New York City. I can’t imagine the amount of food, slobber, and poop. Of course it was hard to read about Gizelle getting sick and eventually passing away but since the title talks about Gizelle’s bucket list I knew this would be the outcome. Even though it was sad, it was fun to read about Lauren and Gizelle’s last adventures together. The author does a great job reflecting on how important Gizelle has been to her and the great love that they had for each other. I highly recommend this book for dog lovers.

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Even though I have already read this book, thanks to an ebook provided by NetGalley, I am looking forward to this book publishing on March 7th to add to my collection.

My Top Ten Books for Valentine’s Day-Tell Me Tuesday Edition

Tell Me Tuesday is a weekly feature put on by La La in the Library where we discuss what books we have been reading. This week, since Tuesday is Valentine’s Day, I am also linking up with The Broke and Bookish to tell you 10 of my favorite books that feature love.

(All book blurbs provided by Goodreads)

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“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

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Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

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eleanorand park

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

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When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

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black

Ten years ago, a chance meeting on a plane brought two people together who could not deny the instant connection. A whirlwind romance whispered promises of forever. However, when one of them is forced to make a choice between responsibility and love, the choice made drives them apart. Years later, the summer spent together under the stars still burns deep within them.

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Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

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It’s not that far from Evanston to Naperville, but Chicago suburbanites Will Grayson and Will Grayson might as well live on different planets. When fate delivers them both to the same surprising crossroads, the Will Graysons find their lives overlapping and hurtling in new and unexpected directions. With a push from friends new and old – including the massive, and massively fabulous, Tiny Cooper, offensive lineman and musical theater auteur extraordinaire – Will and Will begin building toward respective romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most awesome high school musical.

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anna

Anna has everything figured out – she was about to start senior year with her best friend, she had a great weekend job, and her huge work crush looked as if it might finally be going somewhere… Until her dad decides to send her 4383 miles away to Paris. On her own.
But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna finds herself making new friends, including Etienne, the smart, beautiful boy from the floor above.

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They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

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Ninety seconds can change a life — so how will the ninety seconds of Gretchen and Phoenix’s first encounter change theirs?

Told in alternating first person points of view, The Radius of Us is a story of love, sacrifice, and the journey from victim to survivor. It offers an intimate glimpse into the causes and devastating impact of Latino gang violence, both in the U.S. and in Central America, and explores the risks that victims take when they try to start over. Most importantly, Marie Marquardt’s The Radius of Us shows how people struggling to overcome trauma can find healing in love.

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What are some of your favorite reads involving romance?

 

One Day Giveaway and Reviews

This post is linked with The Sunday PostSaturday Situation, and Stacking the Shelves. Check out their latest reads.

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Be sure to click the link below to read about this amazing book by Jeff Giles and a chance to win a copy of the book.  Hurry, contest ends soon!

 

The Edge of Everything Blog Tour and Giveaway

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My Reads This Week

 

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Book Blurb

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.  In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

My Goodreads Review

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Book Blurb

A Futuristic Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.  Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.
To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.
Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

[This novel contains adult situations and is only suitable for readers who are 18+]

My Goodreads Review

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Currently Reading

Blog Tour-The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

 

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I am very pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for the recently released, The Edge of Everything, by Jeff Giles. Thank you to Mr. Giles and Bloomsbury for inviting me on this tour. I met Jeff in Chicago last year and became an instant fan. He is definitely one of the nicest guys around.  Be sure to read all the way to the end for your chance to win a copy of the book and a keepsake metal bookmark. (US/Canada only)

 

Guest Post from the author himself, Jeff Giles!

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How did The Edge of Everything come about? What inspires you to write?

I had been a journalist for a long time, and I’d gotten pretty good at writing reviews and profiles of beautiful people, but I really wanted to create something from scratch. Honestly? I didn’t even know if I could. When I first thought of the idea for “The Edge of Everything,” I imagined more of a campy, funny novel—something with a title like “The Devil’s Girl” or “Boyfriend from Hell.” But the minute I started actually writing the book, I found I cared too much about the characters to play the story for laughs. There’s definitely humor in the novel, but it’s used as comic relief in a story that can get pretty intense.

Did you always want to be an author?

I always wanted to be some kind of writer, and I was never good at anything else. You seriously do NOT want to hear me play guitar.

Favorite author?

There are always half a dozen people battling it out in my head. If I could only stand in ONE place in a book store, I’d head for the M’s: Alice Munro, Haruki Murakami, Lorrie Moore. If I was allowed to roam freely, I’d visit Kazuo Ishiguro and E.M. Forster next.

Last book you read?

It’s hard to read when you’re writing because, even when you’re not sitting at your desk, your brain is busily trying to figure out what happens next in your novel. You’re just sort of perpetually distracted. The last “grown-up” novel I tore through was Maria Semple’s latestnovel, “Today Will Be Different.” I worshipped her last book, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” and just getting to hear her voice again— her acerbic, self-loathing humor and her pitch-perfect observations about the way we live now—was a real gift.

In terms of YA, I was incredibly moved by Robin Roe’s novel about the power of friendship in the face of abuse, “A List of Cages,” and Anna-Marie McLemore’s gorgeous transgender fairy tale, “When the Moon Was Ours.”

I’m dying to read Jeff Zentner’s next novel, “Goodbye Days,” and Angie Thomas’s “The Hate U Give.” They feel like authors who are going to be around a long time.

What do you want readers to get from your books?

My hope is that they’ll be carried away for a while, that they’ll laugh when they didn’t expect to, and that they’ll feel good about our capacity for taking care of each other. I also hope they’ll want to buy the next one.

Thanks so much Jeff for joining us today!

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Summary of the Book

It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods–only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.  X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker and others like him. Forbidden to reveal himself to anyone other than his victims, X casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As X and Zoe learn more about their different worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future. But escaping the Lowlands and the ties that bind X might mean the ultimate sacrifice for both of them.

 About the Author

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Jeff Giles grew up in Cohasset, Massachusetts. Most recently, he was Deputy Managing Editor of Entertainment Weekly, where he oversaw all coverage of movies and booksincluding the magazine’s championing of YA fiction. Jeff has written for Rolling Stone and The New York Times Books Review. He also co-authored The Terrorist’s Son, a nonfiction book that won an Alex award from the American Library Association. While reporting on the Lord of the Rings movies for Newsweek, Jeff was invited to be an extra in The Return of the King. He played a Rohan soldier. Jeff lives with his family in Montana. Visit him on Twitter at @MrJeffGiles.

Enter to win a copy of the book and a keepsake metal bookmark. (US and Canada only)

 

 Click here >>>>RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!!!

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Tell Me Tuesday

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Tell Me Tuesday is a weekly blog feature put on by La La in the Library.  It is where we talk about the books we have been reading and will be reading and why. So, tell us.

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NOW (JUST FINISHED)

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This was such a raw and powerful book about sixteen year old, Pea (a nickname) struggling and dealing with the monster within herself.

“I have a monster living inside me that constantly tells me what to do, what to think, how to behave, who to love, how to act, how to react, what and when I should eat…He makes me depressed, he makes me anxious, He controls my moods and my emotion, my anger and my sadness. I’ve had it, or him, my whole life.”

Pea has an unusual eating disorder that basically is an aversion to food. It controls her life and affects her relationship with her parents and friends.  When Pea meets Ben, things seem to get better.  The monster seems satified and quiet so Pea decides to go off of her medication. A downward spiral occurs. Pea starts to hurt herself and is sent to a psychiatric hospital.  Reading about her experiences there and hitting rock bottom was gut wrenching and heart breaking.  Through this experience, Pea, realizeds that she does need help.  

“Only you can do this…You want to be free of the monster…free so you can have a better life, a good life, and be able to do the things normal girls can do, and be free from the constraining feelings you have all the time.”

This book was honest and gritty and showed the many struggles that teens have to deal with on a daily basis.

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SOME EXCITING NEWS!!

I will be participating in my first blog tour on Thursday so be sure to stay tuned to learn more about this book and it’s amazing author.

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The Handmaid’s Tale and more!

This post is linked up with The Sunday Post ,Saturday Situation ,and Stacking the Shelves.  Be sure to check out their latest reviews.

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I had the privilege of meeting Margaret Atwood last year and found her to be brilliant. Because I really enjoyed Margaret Atwood’s book Hag-Seed, I wanted to read something else by her.  I saw on Twitter that The Handmaid’s Tale was being made into a TV mini-series on Hulu so my decision on what to read next was made.

Click Here to see a promo for the tv mini-series.

Book Blurb via Goodreads

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable.

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gildedcage

 I love the world this author created! There are the haves and the have nots; the people (Equals) that have Skill (magic) and those that don’t. The Equals are basically the royalty of the country and the other people, the commoners, go about their days. However, one twist is that everyone must serve 10 years as a slave to the Equals. Luke and Abi are siblings and are unexpectedly sent to different slave camps. Abi is trying to find a way to get Luke back with the family. What ensues is a wonderful story of rebellion, love, family, and revenge. There were some great characters in this book. The evil characters were colorful and easy to hate. It was easy to cheer for the good guys and then there are some characters that I am still unsure of their allegiance. I look forward to reading more of this story in the next book of the series.

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beautiful

Unfortunately, I did not finish this book.  Even though, the story sounds interesting, this book just fell flat right away.  I was hooked at the beginning by the girls’ murder and the clues left behind by one of them.  However, as the story went on it became increasingly boring, confusing, and disturbing.  I think this book had potential but just couldn’t keep my interest.