Review/ Olive & Beatrix: The Not So Itty Bitty Spiders

Review/ Olive & Beatrix: The Not So Itty Bitty SpidersOlive & Beatrix: The Not So Itty Bitty Spiders on August 26, 2015
Pages: 80
Source: Book From BEA 2015

Meet twin sisters Olive and Beatrix! One is a witch. One is totally not-a-witch.

This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

Twin sisters Olive and Beatrix don't often get along. Olive is "ordinary" and loves science. But Beatrix is a witch! She has a brain full of tricks, and she uses her magic powers to play pranks on Olive and her best friend, Eddie. In this first book, Beatrix ruins Olive and Eddie's latest science project. So Olive and Eddie play a prank on Bea. They rig up a bucket of spiders over her bedroom door. But when the spiders crawl into one of Bea's magic potions...WHAM! Giant spiders are on the loose! These sisters will have to work together to shrink the not-so itty-bitty spiders down to size!

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I picked up this cute little book from #BEA15 this year.

This is the perfect book for the kids who are just a little too old for picture books but yet a little too young for chapter books. The book has some great illustrations that go along with the story really well.

I loved Olive & Beatrix. They were cute girls who loved to play off each other. Beatrix is the witch and loves playing all kinds of tricks on her sister and Olive is just your regular girl who is getting a little tired of being the one getting pranked on so with the help of her friend they set out to prank Beatrix. While Olive be able to pull it off?

This is the first book in the series and I have to say it was a fun and very quick read. We really enjoyed it and are looking forward to the other books in the series.

Review/ Where’s Walrus and Penguin?

Review/ Where’s Walrus and Penguin?Where's Walrus and Penguin? on August 25, 2015
Pages: 32
Source: Book From BEA 2015

When Walrus escapes the zoo with his new friend Penguin, their adventures are twice the fun!

In this sequel to the acclaimed WHERE'S WALRUS?, author Stephen Savage doubles the fun when Walrus escapes the zoo with his mischievous pal, Penguin. Will the zookeeper find them? Or will these clever runaways stay one step ahead disguised as subway riders, baseball players, and even grand opera performers? Hiding in plain sight, they elude the clueless zookeeper until a fly ball at a baseball game leads Walrus and Penguin to a chance encounter with surprising results!

This is another picture book I picked at #BEA15.

This is the sequel to Where’s Walrus? We haven’t read the first book but have a request in at the library to get one.

Walrus and Penguin have escaped from the zoo. They are spotted by the security guard of the zoo and he is attempting to catch them but walrus and penguin are blending in with their surroundings so its make it hard to catch them.

The wander all over the city and doing various things and its not until the end that they are caught.

This is a super cute book and I think the young kids would love this. It was so much fun to flip through the pages to see what walrus and penguin were doing and I have to say they they blended in.

Review: Dancing Through Life: Steps of Courage and Conviction

Review: Dancing Through Life: Steps of Courage and ConvictionDancing Through Life: Steps of Courage and Conviction on August 1st, 2014
Pages: 224
Source: Book From BEA 2015

Candace Cameron Bure has grown up before our eyes and we've watched as she's balanced life in Hollywood with her faith for many years. But that all reached new heights when she was given the opportunity to join the cast of Dancing With the Stars. Being on the show was one of her dreams come true; and with that dream came the opportunity to display her Christian faith in front of millions of people, through an intense season of stretching beyond her limits, and to run the race God gave her with joy and perseverance.

Join Candace as she reflects on the self-discovery that came through leaping out of her comfort zone. Go behind the scenes and experience the highs and lows, the roadblocks, and the personal victories. Hear straight from her heart on tough lessons learned about grace, rejection, perfectionism, disappointment, accountability, dealing with criticism, and more. Through God’s strength, and with the help of endless support from her family and friends, see how Candace stayed true to herself and publicly lived out her faith in Christ all the way to the finale.

How do you stand with conviction in your world? Where does your courage come from when faced with challenges? How do you live out your faith on a daily basis despite opposition? Your stage probably isn't in Hollywood and the challenges you are facing may not be on live television, but they are no less real. Come along with Candace as she shares how she found the courage to stand with conviction on one of the largest platforms of her life.

Dancing Through Life is Candace Cameron Bure’s third book. Her other two are Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness and Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose.

I didn’t realize that this book was going to be at BEA until I walked by the B & H Publishing Group booth. When I saw it on the table I need I had to pick it up to read.

Dancing Through Life is all about Candace’s time on Dancing With the Stars season 18. The book offers behind the scenes stories that you might not know and her struggle throughout the course of the show to remain true to her beliefs. I have to applaud her for doing this. She has never sold herself out for ratings and stuck to her beliefs.

The book begins when Candace gets the email about being on the show which was a long life dream of hers. As she is writing the book she admits that she didn’t think she would end up in third place. As of fan of hers I was happy to see that she got as far as she did.

I really enjoyed reading this book because to watch Dancing With The Stars is one thing but to read behind the scenes is a whole other thing. So much goes on that we aren’t aware of especially in Candace’s case because she struggled every day.

I think Dancing With The Stars opened Candace’s eyes and took her out of her comfort zone on a daily bases. Every day was a struggle for her but she got through each hurdle and grew along the way. Its not easy trying to  remain true to yourself and what you belief but she managed to do it with grace and dignity.

I managed to read this book in pretty much one sitting and I enjoyed reading it. I can’t wait to flip through the finished copy to see the photos that would be included in the book.

I think after reading this I have a whole new appreciation for Candace. I really think I need to pick up her previous two books to read.

 

Book Spotlight/ Buzz Books 2015 Young Adult Fall/Winter

Book Spotlight/ Buzz Books 2015 Young Adult Fall/WinterBuzz Books 2015 Young Adult Fall/Winter on May 2015
Source: ARC From Publisher

This edition of Buzz Books: Young Adult provides substantial pre-publication excerpts from 20 forthcoming young adult and middle grade books. Now everyone can share the same access to the newest YA voices the publishing industry is broadcasting for the fall/winter season. Extensive publishing information, including promotion plans and publicity contacts, are included in this NetGalley version. At the end of most excerpts, you will find a link to the full galley on NetGalley!

Excerpts include new work from established leaders in the field (James Dashner, Jennifer Donnelly, Patrick Ness, and Lauren Oliver), authors best-known for their adult books (Eleanor Herman and Cammie McGovern), and newsmaking titles such as the highly graphic History of Glitter and Blood, Illuminae, and The Thing About Jellyfish.

You will find a full range of YA titles previewed here —dystopian, romance, fantasy, sci-fi, humor, literary and more — and you will find some works for tweens and middle-grade readers. As always, many are sure to make bestseller and “best of” lists.

Four of our titles will be featured at this year’s Book Expo America convention on their own YA or Middle Grade Editors Buzz panels: Everything Everything, Nightfall, This Raging Light, and The Thing About Jellyfish. Plus, half of our 20 Buzz Books: Young Adult authors will be in attendance at BEA.

I really can’t believe that I am sitting here writing about upcoming fall/winter books when its only been a few weeks of summer.

I am always so happy when Publishers Lunch put out there Buzz Books for the upcoming seasons especially for the young adult books and that they expanded it to include more books. This is the third young adult Buzz Book and I enjoyed reading this and getting the chance to get a sneak peek into the upcoming young adult books that are coming out very soon.

The Buzz Books 2015 Young Adult Fall/Winter edition features 2o exclusive excerpts of new young adult titles. Each title includes the cover of the book, summary and a few chapters. Just enough to suck you into wanting to read the book or books asap.

Just from reading these 20 snippets I have to say that I think this Fall/Winter there is a ton of great young adult books coming out that I am pretty excited to read.

Here is the list of books that were mentioned:

  • This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
  • **Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom
  • **A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern
  • A Story of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz
  • **Dumpling Go Big or Go Home by Julie Murphy
  • The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  • **This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
  • Curiosity House The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver & H.C. Chester
  • Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between by Jennifer E Smith
  • The Game of Lives by James Dashner

Here are a few of the titles that peaked my interest:
** This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Gabriella Mallory, AP student and perfect-daughter-in-training, stands barefoot on a public toilet for three hours while her school is on lockdown. Someone has planted a bomb and she is hiding. The bomb is defused but the would-be-bomber is still at large. And everyone at Central High School is a suspect. The school starts a top-secret crisis help line and Gabi is invited to join. When she does, she is drawn into a suspenseful game of cat and mouse with the bomber, who has unfinished business. He leaves threatening notes on campus. He makes threatening calls to the help line. And then he begins targeting Gabi directly. Is it because her father is the lead police detective on the case? Is the bomber one of her new friends. Could it be her new boyfriend with his complicated past? As the story unfolds, Gabi knows she is somehow connected to the bomber. Even worse she is part of his plan. Can Gabi reach out and stop him? Or will she be too late?

** A stunning debut about how grief can open the world in magical ways.

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory–even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe…and the potential for love and hope right next door.
From Jennifer Donnelly, the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of A Northern Light and Revolution, comes a mystery about dark secrets, dirty truths, and the lengths to which people will go for love and revenge. For fans of Elizabeth George and Libba Bray, These Shallow Graves is the story of how much a young woman is willing to risk and lose in order to find the truth.

Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort shot himself while cleaning his pistol. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was a partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo hears about her father’s death, the more something feels wrong. Suicide is the only logical explanation, and of course people have started talking, but Jo’s father would never have resorted to that. And then she meets Eddie—a young, smart, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. But now it might be too late to stop.

The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and this time the truth is the dirtiest part of all.
**  Three royal houses ruling three interplanetary systems are on the brink of collapse, and they must either ally together or tear each other apart in order for their people to survive.

Asa is the youngest daughter of the house of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She thinks she can save her family’s livelihood by posing as her oldest sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the throne of the house of Westlet. The appearance of her mother, a traitor who defected to the house of Galton, adds fuel to the fire, while Asa also tries to save her sister Wren’s life . . . possibly from the hands of their own father.

But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?

Author Tessa Elwood’s debut series is an epic romance at heart, set against a mine field of political machinations, space adventure, and deep-seeded family loyalties.
For fans of We Were Liars and How I Live Now comes a haunting, sexy, magically realistic debut about a famiy caught between a violent history, a taboo romance, and the mysteries lurking in their own backyard.

Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably accident-prone. Some years it’s bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it’s just a lot of cuts and scrapes. This accident season–when Cara, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, are 17–is going to be a bad one. But not for the reasons they think.

Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There’s a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises. This is the year Cara will finally fall desperately in love, when she’ll start discovering the painful truth about the adults in her life, and when she’ll uncover the dark o
A story where edge-of-your-seat horror meets post-apocalyptic thriller, perfect for fans of Lois Lowry and The Mazerunner

On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours—it comes every twenty-eightyears. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long.

Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.

Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.

Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and  Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.

And it may already be too late.
** Critically acclaimed memoirist Aaron Hartzler, author of Rapture Practice, takes an unflinching look at what happens to a small town when some of its residents commit a terrible crime. This honest, authentic debut novel—inspired by the events in the Steubenville rape case—will resonate with readers who’ve ever walked that razor-thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

The party at John Doone’s last Saturday night is a bit of a blur. Kate Weston can piece together most of the details: Stacey Stallard handing her shots, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early. . . . But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same questions: Who witnessed what happened to Stacey? And what responsibility do they have to speak up about what they saw?

** Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains, and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedon’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world, but finds himself drawn to a newcomer…

Katerina must navigate the dark secrets of court life while keeping hidden her own mission: kill the queen. But she doesn’t account for her first love…

Jacob will go to unthinkable lengths to win Katerina, even if it means having to compete withHephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince.

And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet betrothed, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the shocking details of real history, New York Times bestselling author ofSex with Kings Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known, Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.
** For fans of Marie Lu and James Dashner comes the first book in an epic new series.

“Brace yourself. You’re about to be immersed in a mindscape that you’ll never want to leave.”
—Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

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The books that are marked like this ** are titles that I have that I was able to pick them up at BEA and I will be reading and reviewing them on the blog in the next few months. I a

Do any of these books interest you? What would be your first book to read from the list?

The Mailbox Post June 29th to July 4th

Its hard to believe its that time of the week for another mailbox post.
The hosts of the mailbox memes are:

Tynga's Reviews

Tynga’s Reviews is the host of Stacking the Shelves and the other host is Mailbox Monday which now has its own blog.

Mailbox Monday will no longer be hosted monthly by different bloggers.

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Good Morning everyone and Happy 4th of July to all my American friends and followers.

This week its really quiet in book as you can see. My friend, Jennifer, who I have been meeting up with on Friday’s is away on vacation so I didn’t really go to Chapters apart from a quick run to the Coles book store because I needed book two in the V.C Andrews series so this is all that came home with me:

momsweeklyplanner1516

This is the Owls Forest 2016 Mom’s Weekly Planner. It was super cute so I had to pick it up. I need to get back on track with organizing myself.

The book I went into Coles for was:

 I use to be a huge fan of the V.C Andrews books and I would buy them as soon as  they came out but in the last 15 years or so I continued to buy them and just  never read them and I need to get back into reading them.

Have you read anything by VC Andrews? If so do you still read them?

 

 

 
For Review I got this book:

The Santagelos by Jackie Collins came from Simon & Schuster UK. Thank you S&S for sending this. I have never read anything by Jackie Collins before so I am a little curious about the book. Do you need to read the previous books or can you jump right into this one?

This is what I got this week, what about you?

Are you an organizer/planner?

June Book Unhauling #6

BookUnhauling

Good Morning and welcome to my June Book Unhauling post.

I decided in January that I wanted to document how many books I was giving away each month to see if I was making any kind of dent in my book collection. As of right now it seems like I am buying more then I am unhauling but at least its making me aware that I am reading and passing my books along which is a good thing.

Perhaps next year I need to document monthly my book haul purchases, that might be the thing that could scare me and stop myself from buying so many books each month because realistically I add them to my well mailbox post and I never give it a second glace and don’t really see it but  perhaps at a months glace it could be an eye opener. Something to think about right?

So here is what I unhaulded this month:

  1. Olive & Beatrix: The Not so Itty Bitty Spider (this was a BEA book that I passed to my friend)
  2. Where’s Walrus & Penguin (another BEA book that I passed onto my friend)
  3. Even Monsters Say Goodnight (another BEA book that I passed onto my friend)
  4. Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone (another BEA sampler that I passed to to my friend)
  5. Magnus Chase & The Gods of Asgant (a BEA sampler that I passed along to a friend)
  6. Dancing Through Life by Candance Cameron Bure (a BEA book that I passed along to a friend)
  7. Unslut (a BEA book that I passed along to a friend)
  8. This is Where it Ends (BEA book that I passed along to a friend)
  9. Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson
  10. The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Anya Blau
  11. Two Lies and a Spy by Kat Carlton
  12. The Book of Someday by Dianne Dizon
  13. The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick
  14. Roxy’s Story by V.C Andrews
  15. Awake by Natasha Preston (BEA Book that I am passing along to a friend)
  16. Devilish by Maureen Johnson
  17. Meeting Mr. Wrong by Stephanie Snowe
  18. Confessions of a Beauty Addict by Nadine Haobsh
  19. Sleepwalking in Daylight by Elizabeth Flock
  20. The Unit by Ninni Holqvist
  21. The Pretend Wife by Bridget Asher
  22. A Match Made In High School by Kristin Walker
  23. Thea Stilton and the Dragon’s Code
  24. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

*All the BEA books in the beginning have been read and reviews are scheduled to post on release date of the books.

So today I have released  24  books and my total to date is 113 books. I am slowly making progress.

Do you have a hard time passing your books along?

Book Spotlight/ St Martin’s First Spring-Summer 2015 Sampler

Book Spotlight/ St Martin’s First Spring-Summer 2015 SamplerSt Martin's Spring-Summer 2015 Sampler on July 31st, 2015

I believe this is the second time St. Martin’s has put together a sampler of its debut titles for the spring and summer of 2015.

I love when publishers do this because it allows us the reader to get a snippet of what new and exciting books are coming out plus it gives you the chance to read a bit to peek your interest. For me this is a great way to discover a new author that I might normally pass up when your at the bookstore plus it allows me to perhaps dig into a book that I might not normally pick up otherwise.

This was the case with this sampler. I have discovered a few hidden gems that I think I would have missed out on otherwise. There is fifteen debut books talked about in this sampler.

Here is the books that were in the sampler:

  • Make Your Way HOme Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet
  • Murder at Barclay Meadow by Wendy Sand Eckel
  • Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey
  • The Devils Making by Sean Haldane
  • The Evidence Room by Cameron Harvey
  • The Casualties by Nick Holdstock
  • The Secrets of Lake Road by Karen Katchur
  • Between The Tides by Susannah Marren
  • Fishbowl by Bradley Somer
  • Hangman’s Game by Bill Syken
  • Three Rivers by Tiffany Quay Tyson
  • The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan

Here is the books that peeked my interest and have been added to my wishlist of books to get.

I am actually excited because I got to pick this up at #BEA15.

“A masterful tale of social climbing and entrenched class distinctions, as seen through the eyes of an outsider who desperately wants in. Tense, hilarious, and bursting with gorgeous language. Stephanie Clifford is a 21st-century Edith Wharton.” -J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of The Engagements

It’s 2006 in the Manhattan of the young and glamorous. Money and class are colliding in a city that is about to go over a financial precipice and take much of the country with it. At 26, bright, funny and socially anxious Evelyn Beegan is determined to carve her own path in life and free herself from the influence of her social-climbing mother, who propelled her through prep school and onto the Upper East Side. Evelyn has long felt like an outsider to her privileged peers, but when she gets a job at a social network aimed at the elite, she’s forced to embrace them.

Recruiting new members for the site, Evelyn steps into a promised land of Adirondack camps, Newport cottages and Southampton clubs thick with socialites and Wall Streeters. Despite herself, Evelyn finds the lure of belonging intoxicating, and starts trying to pass as old money herself. When her father, a crusading class-action lawyer, is indicted for bribery, Evelyn must contend with her own family’s downfall as she keeps up appearances in her new life, grasping with increasing desperation as the ground underneath her begins to give way.

Bracing, hilarious and often poignant, Stephanie Clifford’s debut offers a thoroughly modern take on classic American themes – money, ambition, family, friendship – and on the universal longing to fit in.

When Walter Stahl was five-years-old, his mother drove away in the family’s blue Volvo and never came back. Now seventeen, living in the dregs of Las Vegas, taking care of his ailing father and marking time in a dead-end job along the Strip, Walter’s life so far has been defined by her absence. He doesn’t remember what she looks like; he’s never so much as seen a photograph but, still, he looks for her among the groups of tourists he runs into every day, allowing himself the dim hope that she might still be out there, somewhere.

But when Walter meets Chrysto and Acacia, a brother and sister working as living statues at the Venetian Hotel, his world cracks wide open. With them he discovers a Las Vegas he never knew existed and, as feelings for Chrysto develop, a side of himself he never knew he had. At the same time, clues behind his mother’s disappearance finally start to reveal themselves, and Walter is confronted with not only the truth about himself, but also that of his family history.

Threading through this coming-of-age story are beautiful, heart-wrenching graphic illustration, which reveal the journey of Walter’s mother Emily: how she left everything to chase a vision of Liberace across the country; and how Walter’s father Owen went searching for her amongst the gondolas of the Venetian Hotel.

In James Sie’s debut novel, Still Life Las Vegas, the magical collides with the mundane; memory, sexual awakening and familial ties all lead to a place where everything is illuminated, and nothing is real.

Grace Wilde is running-from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can’t stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can’t deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she’ll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, Katie M. Stout’s Hello, I Love You explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

“Dazzling…[a] quirky, raucous, and bewitching family saga.” –Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants

Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off six years ago and now reads tarot cards for a traveling carnival.

One June day, an old book arrives on Simon’s doorstep, sent by an antiquarian bookseller who purchased it on speculation. Fragile and water damaged, the book is a log from the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things, including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Since then, generations of “mermaids” in Simon’s family have drowned–always on July 24, which is only weeks away.

As his friend Alice looks on with alarm, Simon becomes increasingly worried about his sister. Could there be a curse on Simon’s family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he get to the heart of the mystery in time to save Enola?

In the tradition of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian, The Book of Speculation–with two-color illustrations by the author–is Erika Swyler’s moving debut novel about the power of books, family, and magic.

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Most of these books are released and are available to purchase.

Its looking like this summer will be great for reading. Do any of these books interest you?

I am excited to pick up a few of these titles to read.