Tuesday, August 28, 2012

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

If I Lie
Corrine Jackson
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Released: August 28, 2012
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 288
Source: Cavalier House Books
Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.
I received this ARC months ago and sort of put it on the back burner. Then Memorial Day came around and several other bloggers were talking it up bringing it back to the forefront. I skimmed the back cover, which I almost never do, and had a terrible thought. What if what I think might be "the big secret" is actually "the big secret?" Maybe I watched a few too many episodes of Scandal* recently, but when I thought I already figured out the big reveal I was a bit deflated. Thankfully, the point of this novel wasn't so much about the exposure but of its repercussions.

Quinn is alone. After two years of dating Carey, the object of the entire town's affections, she is repulsive after what she's done. What's worse than pictures of Quinn kissing another boy being leaked on Facebook and sent to the entire school board? Finding out a few weeks later that Carey is missing in action. So while he's off fighting and probably dying for our country, Quinn is found half-naked in the arms of another. Her friends have abandoned her and taken to publicly humiliating her; the first thing her principal does is call her father, a Marine himself; and Carey's parents who were always like a second family make it clear that her mere existence is an abomination. Sounds pretty terrible, doesn't it? What's worse is that Quinn didn't do anything wrong. But bound by her promise to Carey, she cannot - and will not - tell the truth because it isn't hers to tell.

Two, no three, things made this novel amazing. I loved the way it wasn't about the secret. Like I said, I figured it out, which didn't at all matter because this was about what happened to Quinn. I loved that it wasn't always just about Quinn. We find out about her own family history which plays into how she's treated, and we find out that one of her "punishments" was one of the things that saved her. (I don't want to even name the side character who stole my heart for fear it won't blindside you the way it did me - in a good way, of course.) And I loved the way Cory wasn't afraid to use the F-word. Words like "heck" and "dern" can make a novel too sugary while flinging screams of curses across every page feels like watching Phone Booth. Cory placed every word with extreme thought - expletive and not - making her an author I definitely want to watch out for.

The only negative thing I can say about this book is that it made me ugly cry, and the masochist in me loved it all the more.

*Have you guys watched this show?! Ohmygosh, put the first season on your summer watch list!

FTC: I received an ARC of this novel from Simon & Schuster via Cavalier House Books in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (2)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, the lovely ladies (and guy) at The B&B pick a topic and participants create their appropriate lists.

This week's theme: Top Ten Posts On Your Blog That Would Give The BEST Picture of YOU! I picked five reviews that say a lot about me as a reader and five other posts that feature personal quirks, experiences, and other info you might like to know!

Do Bloggers Sell Books?
- This was my very first discussion and one of my most viewed posts. I am very proud of the experience I've had selling books, and I am especially proud of this post.

How to Fall in Love with YA
- All credit for this post belongs to Jordyn of Ten Cent Notes. I had a lot of fun creating this checklist of sorts, and I would love to see other bloggers post similar guides.

- 'Cause bloggers be crazy. Also, if you're not a John Green fan, you may want to leave now because this will not be the last reference to him.

Reflection and Resolution
- I'm really glad I went through all my posts because I'd already forgotten about my goals for the year. Oops. This post also has a few personal tidbits thrown in.

John Green Recap
- Told ya you'd be seeing more of him. This was easily a highlight of my life. I won't say the highlight, because Josh would be majorly offended, but definitely a highlight.

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
- Book me a ticket to Central America now, please.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
- Even a sap like me has to address insta-love sometimes.

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
- The review in which I cuss and give Kody major props.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
- This addresses my inner crazy that for a minute believed this book would be bad.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
- See! I don't just love contemporary! I am a Myra cheerleader for life.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Waiting Sky by Lara Zeilin

The Waiting Sky
Lara Zeilin
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Released: August 7, 2012
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 224
Source: Cavalier House Books
One summer chasing tornadoes could finally change Jane's life for the better.

Seventeen-year-old Jane McAllister can't quite admit her mother's alcoholism is spiraling dangerously out of control until she drives drunk, nearly killing them and Jane's best friend.

Jane has only one place to turn: her older brother Ethan, who left the problems at home years ago for college. A summer with him and his tornado-chasing buddies may just provide the time and space Jane needs to figure out her life and whether it still includes her mother. But she struggles with her anger at Ethan for leaving home and feels guilty--is she also abandoning her mom just when she needs Jane most? The carefree trip turned journey of self-discovery quickly becomes more than Jane bargained for, especially when the devilishly handsome Max steps into the picture.
I needed this book to be good. I picked up three others in as many days and nearly threw them in frustration. I needed this book to be good. But I was skeptical. Tornado chasers? Right. So I picked up this book and didn't put it down until I was finished. I did get a little excited when I first opened this and realized it was written by the same author as The Implosion of Aggie Winchester*, but I really was not prepared for what I was about to read.

Jane is a girl living in denial. As addicted to keeping things together as her mom is to booze, she doesn't realize just how deep she's in until her best friend steps in with an ultimatum. Jane decides, against her better judgement, to spend the summer with her older brother chasing tornadoes across the open plains. Jane feels equally guilty for leaving her mother to fend for herself and angry with Ethan for walking out on their family. As Jane spends time away from home and getting to know her brother better, she wonders if her judgement may have been clouded by her mother's false assurances.

I love contemporary fiction. It' definitely something to think up different worlds and creatures and societies, but making the every day issue good - that's a talent I've come to know and love. Jane's story isn't new. Her mom's a drunk, her brother left to make something of himself, and she's stuck cleaning up the mess. She spends more time managing her mother's life than living her own. When she finally gets out of town with a shove from her always-looking-out-for-her friend, she almost doesn't know what to do with herself besides contemplate her existence. It's a life-changing trip for Jane, and getting to watch her make the trek was fantastic.

I thought Jane was a sympathetic character from the start. Although it was easy to see the mistakes she was making, making them to protect her mom was more than conceivable. I loved that Cat, Jane's friend, was strong enough to tell Jane what she didn't want to hear. I liked hearing Ethan's story and knowing his actions weren't as selfish as they seemed. I liked that Ethan made Jane really think about what was really best for their mom. I also really enjoyed the weather factor. It was extremely interesting to learn a bit of the science of it all and to get a glimpse of the dangers people actually face for research.

I think this novel will appeal to any contemporary fan with its relatable main character, everyday premise with an exciting twist (literally), and the stunning writing. It certainly puts Zeilin's backlist titles, along with any future works, on my radar.

*I still have not read Aggie, but I really must remedy that soon. I have heard such good things about it.

FTC: I received an ARC of this novel from Penguin via Cavalier House Books in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (42)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week's pick is...
Coming January 29, 2013 - Preorder it below

It's been seven months, but I still remember the shock of Incarnate's ending. The last several chapters were so good it kept my attention while sitting in traffic headed to a John Green signing. Let me break that down for you: instead of crying and squealing and acting out other forms of hysteria at the reality of meeting one of my idols, I read this book. I can haz Asunder now, please.

Monday, July 23, 2012

When I'm Not Blogging (4)

Last Monday I went across the river and through the sugarcane to the place I call home. I grew up in a small town along the bayou, where I do not visit nearly enough. I made time last week to attend a memorial mass for my aunt who recently passed away. It was definitely a bittersweet day: sadness brought us all together, but visiting with long-lost family is always nice. Josh even got a few stories I'd never heard. I also spent some time wandering the cemetery where I used to ride my bike as a kid, saying hello to loved ones of the past as I made my rounds. Since then, I haven't been much in the mood for blogging. But I am reading. Hopefully I'll have some new posts for you soon.

Friday, July 13, 2012

TGIF - Quotes That Make Me Swoon

TGIF is hosted by the lovely Ginger at GReads! It is not a meme I have ever participated in; however, this week's question caught my eye.

You see, I am a freak for quotes. Be it from a book, a song, or a line in a movie. Nothing gets my heart fluttering more than a good line, so I had to join in on Ginger's fun this week and share a few favorites.

Quotes That Make You Swoon: What are some of the most swoon-worthy quotes you've experienced in a book?

“Kissing him, being with him like that … it was cool lemonade with a long straw, sweet and measured and pleasurable in a way that felt infinite. The thought crossed my mind that I never wanted him to stop kissing me. I could do this forever, I thought.” Jenny Han, It’s Not Summer Without You

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.” John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“If you stay, I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll quit the band, go with you to New York. But if you need me to go away, I’ll do that, too. . . maybe coming back to your old life would just be too painful, that maybe it’d be easier for you to erase us. And that would suck, but I’d do it. I can lose you like that if I don’t lose you today. I’ll let you go. If you stay.” Gayle Forman, If I Stay

“We stood there, looking at each other, saying nothing. But it was the kind of nothing that meant everything.” Jenny Han, It's Not Summer Without You

“A hug should be a full embrace - as I wrap my arms around Tony, I am not just holding him, but also trying to lift off his troubles for a moment so that the only thing he can feel is my presence, my support.” David Levithan, Boy Meets Boy

“I want to believe there is a somebody out there just for me. I want to believe that I exist to be there for that somebody.” David Levithan, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

And another, not so swoonworthy but one I wanted to share:

“Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.” John Green

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (41)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week's pick is...
Clockwork Princess
Coming March 19, 2013 - Preorder it below

I literally JUST saw this cover and died a little. It's freaking gorgeous! Nevermind the fact that I've yet to read the second book in this series. I want this one NOW.

*It is not yet available for preorder on Indiebound, so I just linked to Cassie's page.
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