Hitting the Shelves (3): March 2013 Debuts

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hitting the Shelves is a feature created here at A Passion For Books to showcase the-neverending-list of awesome novels that we've all so patiently waited for. (*Note: Not all YA novels will be listed, only those that I find myself intrigued by.)

Hitting Shelves This Week...

Bruised by Sarah Skilton
On Shelves: March 5 from Amulet/Abrams
When Imogen, a sixteen-year-old black belt in Tae Kwon Do, freezes during a holdup at a local diner, the gunman is shot and killed by the police, and she blames herself for his death. Before the shooting, she believed that her black belt made her stronger than everyone else -- more responsible, more capable. But now her sense of self has been challenged and she must rebuild her life, a process that includes redefining her relationship with her family and navigating first love with the boy who was at the diner with her during the shootout. With action, romance, and a complex heroine, Bruised introduces a vibrant new voice to the young adult world -- full of dark humor and hard truths.

Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
On Shelves: March 5 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
“I hate myself but I love Walt Whitman, the kook. Always positive. I need to be more positive, so I wake myself up every morning with a song of myself.”

Sixteen-year-old James Whitman has been yawping (à la Whitman) at his abusive father ever since he kicked his beloved older sister, Jorie, out of the house. James’s painful struggle with anxiety and depression—along with his ongoing quest to understand what led to his self-destructive sister’s exile—make for a heart-rending read, but his wild, exuberant Whitmanization of the world and keen sense of humor keep this emotionally charged debut novel buoyant.

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
On Shelves: March 5 from Simon Pulse
Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.

Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them.

The Nightmare Affair by Minder Barnett
On Shelves: March 5 from Tor Teen
Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.


Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

The Murmurings by Carly Anne West
On Shelves: March 5 from Simon Pulse
A teen girl starts hearing the same voices that drove her sister to commit suicide in this creepy, suspenseful novel.

Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not…

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
On Shelves: March 12 from Katherine Tegan
Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.

Poison by Bridget Zinn
On Shelves: March 12 from Disney Hyperion
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

Pretty Girl 13 by Liz Coley
On Shelves: March 19 from Katherine Tegan
Reminiscent of the Elizabeth Smart case, Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological mystery about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity.

Angie Chapman was thirteen years old when she ventured into the woods alone on a Girl Scouts camping trip. Now she's returned home…only to find that it's three years later and she's sixteen-or at least that's what everyone tells her.

What happened to the past three years of her life?

Angie doesn't know.

But there are people who do—people who could tell Angie every detail of her forgotten time, if only they weren't locked inside her mind. With a tremendous amount of courage, Angie embarks on a journey to discover the fragments of her personality, otherwise known as her "alters." As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: When you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the parts of yourself that are responsible?

Liz Coley's alarming and fascinating psychological mystery is a disturbing-and ultimately empowering-page-turner about accepting our whole selves, and the healing power of courage, hope, and love.

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar
On Shelves: March 21 from Dial
He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.

Margo McKenna has a plan for just about everything, from landing the lead in her high school play to getting into a good college. So when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the chance to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Why should she put her life into someone else's hands?

But Oliver is more than just a genie -- he's also a sophomore at Margo's high school, and he's on the run from a murderer. As he and Margo grow closer, she discovers that it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A whole lot more.

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
On Shelves: March 26 from St. Martin's Griffin

A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen-year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey's younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and the girls are found by their father, a stranger, and taken to re-enter the "normal" life of school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must come to terms with the truth of why their mother spirited them away ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won't let her go ... a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn't spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

Waiting On Wednesday (50)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, features upcoming books that you are itching to get your hands on.

I'm Waiting For...

Born of Illusion by Teri Brown
June 11, 2013 from Balzar & Bray
Anna Van Housen is thirteen the first time she breaks her mother out of jail. By sixteen she’s street smart and savvy, assisting her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, and easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums and mentalists in 1920’s New York City. Handcuffs and sleight of hand illusions have never been much of a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic mother, who will stop at nothing to gain her ambition of becoming the most famous medium who ever lived. But when a strange, serious young man moves into the flat downstairs, introducing her to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, he threatens to reveal the secrets Anna has fought so hard to keep, forcing her to face the truth about her past. Could the stories her mother has told her really be true? Could she really be the illegitimate daughter of the greatest magician of all?

What Are You Waiting For?

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Buy Authors

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week features a different topic, and you make a top ten list about that topic.

This week's topic is...Top Ten Authors On My Auto-Buy List

1. Richelle Mead - Mead is one of my all-time favorite authors. Every story I have read by her had me instantly hooked from beginning to end. I absolutely just love her stories...Mead is the ultimate story teller. I have yet to get my hands on her adult series, but when I do, I know I will devour them in no time!

2. Alexandra Bracken - I was hooked with Brightly Woven...and then came The Darkest Minds. I will buy anything Bracken writes. She writes some of the most beautiful and vivid stories I've ever read.

3. Cassandra Clare - I first fell in love after reading The Mortal Instruments series.

4. Jeaniene Frost - Love her stories, especially her Night Huntress series...Cat & Bones...need I say more?

5. Michelle Zink - This lady has got a way with words. Her narrators have such beautiful, almost lyrical, voices that just grip me into the story.

6. Larissa Ione - I first discovered Ione after picking up, and devouring, Pleasure Unbound (the first book in her Demonica series).

7. Ellen Hopkins - She can write about some real life shit like nobody's business. I think her stories should be read by everyone!

8. Jennifer Echols - Everything this girl comes out with just blows me away!

9. Veronica Rossi - I adored her debut Under the Never Sky so much so that she made the list.

10. Rachel Vincent - Her adult series, Shifters, is one of my favorites out there. Action packed and full of witty dialogue...Faythe is one kick-ass heroine. I haven't finished her young adult series, Soul Screamers, but what I've read so far, I've enjoyed.

What authors do you love so much that you would buy their books regardless of genre or content? What is it about that author that you love so much?

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Waiting On Wednesday (49)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, features upcoming books that you are itching to get your hands on.

I'm Waiting For...

The Falconer by Elizabeth May
September 19, 2013 from Chronicle Books
Lady Aileana Kameron can sing, paint prettily, and murder the fae as easily as dancing a waltz. But how far is she prepared to go for vengeance . . . ?

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

18-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined to a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery kills her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season. Between a seeming endless number of parties, Aileana slaughters faeries in secret. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, every night she sheds her aristocratic facade and goes hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But she never even considered that she might become attracted to one. To the magnetic Kiaran MacKay, the faery who trained her to kill his own kind. Nor is she at all prepared for the revelation he’s going to bring. Because Midwinter is approaching, and with it an eclipse that has the ability to unlock a Fae prison and begin the Wild Hunt.

A battle looms, and Aileana is going to have to decide how much she’s willing to lose – and just how far she’ll go to avenge her mother’s murder.

The heroine...a lady by day, but a fighter at night! This just sounds like a fun, adventure filled read. And how awesome is that cover...very fierce.

What Are You Waiting For?

Book Review: Blood Feud

Monday, February 18, 2013

Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey 

Released: June 22, 2010
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 272
Series: The Drake Chronicles #2
Rating: 4 stars
The action and romance continue as the Drakes face a new vampire with a 200-year-old grudge. It’s been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she’s made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That’s if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks. The clans are gathering for Helena’s royal coronation as the next vampire queen, and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha’s reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmarte—a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange to marry him and usurp the power of the throne for himself—the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy.

This is the second installment of the Drake Chronicles, picking up two weeks later where Hearts at Stake left off. The plot was a little bit predictable, but overall this is an addicting and satisfying series.

The writing was enjoyable. Blood Feud is much like its predecessor, but narrated by Logan and Isabeau instead. I loved Logan’s voice and personality. He was funny, sarcastic, and at times insane. Isabeau was an interesting character, but she had a weak voice and I found it difficult to fully connect with her. I did enjoy the glimpses of Isabeau’s life before she was turned when she had to survive the French Revolution.

Blood Feud carried some of the action, humor, and drama from Hearts at Stake, but I felt that it lacked the romance, which seemed a bit rushed and unrealistic to me, and the crazy Lucy, who didn’t have a huge part this time around. I did enjoy this novel, but I wasn’t as enthralled by it as I was with Hearts at Stake. If you’re a vampire fan and is looking for something fun and entertaining to read, then this is a series for you.

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