Tag Archives: debut author 2013

Book Trailer Thursday (10): Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

I have to say, I love the cover. When I watched the book trailer, I thought the imagery reflected the image on the cover. I can’t wait to read Not a Drop to Drink.

Not a Drop to DrinkTitle: Not a Drop to Drink

Author: Mindy McGinnis

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Published: September 24, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads)Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.


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Waiting on Wednesday: Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.  It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.

 Wild AwakeTitle: Wild Awake

Autor: Hilary T. Smith

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: May 28, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads)

1. You will remember to water the azaleas.
2. You will take detailed, accurate messages.
3. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong.
4. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands.
5. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams.

Things that actually happen:

1. A stranger calls who says he knew your sister.
2. He says he has her stuff.
3. What stuff? Her stuff.
4. You tell him your parents won’t be able to—
5. Sukey died five years ago; can’t he—
6. You pick up a pen.
7. You scribble down the address.
8. You get on your bike and go.
9. Things . . . get a little crazy after that.*
*also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.

Both exhilarating and wrenching, Hilary T. Smith’s debut novel captures the messy glory of being alive, as seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd discovers love, loss, chaos, and murder woven into a summer of music, madness, piercing heartbreak, and intoxicating joy.

I can’t wait for this book to hit stores. I’ve been hearing such great things about it. Plus, I love the cover!

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Review: 45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson

45 PoundsTitle: 45 Pounds (More or Less)

Author: K.A. Barson

Publisher:Viking Juvenile

Publishing Date: July 11th 2013

Source: Netgalley

Summary (from Goodreads): Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

Review: 45 Pounds is a book every woman (young adult or adult) should read. The message about body image is impactful and yet light. There were several times that I was laughing out loud. Ann has a great voice that feels real and not forced. If I were still in high school, I would want Ann and especially Regina to be my friend.  Barson did an excellent job developing each character. Even the characters who were mean and awful people, were characters I loved to hate. She captured the insecurity of so many women but did it in a way that you could laugh at yourself, Ann and her crazy family.

Not only is this about the woes of body image but it also shows the imperfections of families, no matter how perfect they seem on the outside. From the crazy grandma to the absent brother, there is a family member that I’m sure everybody can compare to their own imperfect families.

I especially liked that there was a love interest but it wasn’t the main plot line. In fact, that plot line takes a back seat for much of the book until Ann is capable of really handeling it. I like that she is more interested in herself, her family and her friends than a boy.

I loved these characters so much I would love to see a sequel of some sort  Maybe a book written from Regina’s point of view.

The pacing of the book is perfect and the ending brought tears to my eyes.

I can’t wait to put this book on the Bookshelves of Room 918!

About the Author

K.A. Barson graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts with an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She and her husband live in Jackson, Michigan, surrounded by kids, grandkids, unruly dogs, and too many pairs of shoes. 45 Pounds (More or Less) is her debut YA novel.

Want to know more about the author? Visit her website.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.  It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.

 FangirlTitle: Fangirl

Autor: Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Release Date: September 10, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads)

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

Or will she just go on living inside somebody else’s fiction?


I absolutely loved Rowell’s Eleanor & Park  and can’t wait for her next novel to come out. It’s going to be a long summer filled with anticipation.


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Waiting on Wednesday: The Symptoms of My Insanity by Mindy Raf

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.  It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.

The Symptoms of My Insanity

Title: The Symptoms of My Insanity

Author: Mindy Raf

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers

Release Date: April 18, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads): A laugh-out-loud, bittersweet debut full of wit, wisdom, heart, and a hilarious, unforgettable heroine.

When you’re a hypochondriac, there are a million different things that could be wrong with you, but for Izzy, focusing on what could be wrong might be keeping her from dealing with what’s really wrong.

I almost raised my hand, but what would I say? “Mr. Bayer, may I please be excused? I’m not totally positive, but I think I might have cancer.” No way. Then everyone at school would know, and they would treat me differently, and I would be known as “Izzy, that poor girl who diagnosed herself with breast cancer during biology.”

But Izzy’s sense of humor can only get her so far when suddenly her best friend appears to have undergone a personality transplant, her mother’s health takes a turn for the worse, and her beautiful maybe-boyfriend is going all hot and cold. Izzy thinks she’s preparing for the worst-case scenario, but when the worst-case scenario actually hits, it’s a different story altogether—and there’s no tidy list of symptoms to help her through the insanity.

I love supporting and discovering new authors. Mindy Raf is a writer, comedian, and musician. You can learn more about her at her website.

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Review: The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

The Tragedy PaperTitle: The Tragedy Paper

Author: Elizabeth LaBan

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Published: January 8, 2013

Source: NetGalley

Summary (Goodreads): Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim’s surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.

Review: The Tragedy Paper is an amazing debut novel. Told from two view-points (Duncan & Tim), this novel pulls you in from the very first page. I enjoyed the fact that the two main characters were males since so many YA books have been female dominant lately (not that I don’t enjoy those books, but this was a nice change from what I’ve been reading lately). What I enjoyed even more is that there is) a love story (two, in fact) told from the male perspective. The plot is revealed by jumping from the past to present back to the past and it gets so twisted that reader can’t possibly escape from it. The ending felt a little open, which has me hoping for a sequel but sometimes that’s just the way life goes.

I love that YA literature is so smart; the characters are intelligent and value school and still are very much teenagers. I think that sometimes people forget how smart young adults are and LaBan did an excellent job capturing real teenagers. I like the reference to Shakespeare and the fact that the whole story stems from an epic assignment given to all seniors. LaBlan’s writing style and plot points reminded me of John Green (who I love) and I look forward to more of her writing.

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