Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book of the Week 5/31

Here is the YA book you should be paying attention to, due in bookstores tomorrow...

Ashes, Ashes (Jo Treggiari) - In this post-apocalyptic novel, 99% of the population has been destroyed by plague and environmental devastation, and one teenaged girl joins a group of survivors in future Manhattan, at the same time as she is stalked for the secret she harbors.

Other Noteworthy Releases

Queen of the Dead (The Ghost and the Goth series) (Stacey Kade)
Starcrossed (Josephine Angelini)
The Vampire Stalker (Allison Van Diepen)
The Midnight Palace (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
Nightspell (Leah Cypess)
The Ivy: Secrets (Lauren Kunze)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Claimed (Witches of Santa Anna #1)

Lauren Barnholdt & Aaron Gorvine

The synopsis, from the authors:

"The first book in The Witches of Santa Anna series of novellas...

Natalia Moore is the new girl at Santa Anna Prep, and all she wants to do is fly under the radar -- get to her classes, meet a few friends, and try not to make a total fool of herself in the meantime. But when handsome and popular Campbell Elliot goes out of his way to be nice to the new girl, Natalia's plan to go unnoticed flies out the window.

Cam’s hot, but he’s completely off-limits. Raine Marsden, the most popular and meanest girl in school, has had her eye on him ever since the summer. And Raine doesn’t like competition.

When Cam goes as far as inviting Natalia to the exclusive weekend party at Raine's house, Raine sets her sights on a new victim. But what Natalia doesn't know is that Raine and her friends are no ordinary mean girls. They have powers most people can only dream of, and nobody will stand in the way of what they want. And what Raine wants is Campbell.

Claimed, the first book in The Witches of Santa Anna series of novellas, proves just how far true love will go and that nothing--not even pure evil--can change your destiny…."

This is definitely a novella.  I knew from the customer reviews on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble's sites that this would be short, so maybe it prepared me for what I was getting here.  This first novella in the Witches of Santa Anna series is 38 pages long, but is only .99 to purchase, so you decide if it's worth the price.  Otherwise, there are versions of this story available out there that include seven of the novellas together for a higher price, but is probably more along the lines of a novel-sized story.

I was actually kind of surprised, given the poor reviews on-line, by how much I enjoyed this title.  I think the length had more to do with the ratings than anything, but even beyond that, there are copious amounts of grammatical errors.  This is one of many things that give self-publishing a bad wrap, and in a novella that's only 38 pages long, so many errors is unforgivable.  I think the authors just needed to spend a little more time smoothing things out and having other people read their work before putting it out there in a botched form.  Perhaps errors were corrected in later versions of the stories that complied the novellas, but either way, this is a poor first impression.  I think a little more time spent with this first chunk of the story would have helped to smooth out some of the awkward dialogue as well, which really took me out of the story in some spots.

But given these glaring negatives, this was a pretty entertaining story.  I think some things could have been made clearer, especially when it came to the intentions of Cam, the love interest, whose character just seemed very confused and contradictory, but for the most part, the story was pretty satisfying.  The authors had a nice balance to the scenes and knew how to build suspense throughout the story, ending with a pretty dramatic cliffhanger.  Given a little more attention, this could have been transformed from a "decent" story to a "great" story, if more detail were added and the creators just slowed down a bit with the writing process.  This might be one of those examples of the writers just needing a little time to grow into their craft, and perhaps began putting their work out there a little too early.  But I imagine that some readers, at least, enjoyed this story, even with its blatant flaws.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Book of the Week 5/24

Here is the YA book you should be paying attention to, due in bookstores tomorrow!

The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) (Michael Scott) - The fifth book in the popular fantasy adventure series is finally released!

Other Noteworthy Releases

Beauty Queens (Libba Bray)
Something Deadly This Way Comes (Kim Harrison)
The Girl In the Steel Corset (Kady Cross)
My Sweet Audrina (V.C. Andrews)
Blood Magic (Tessa Gratton)
Angel Burn (L.A. Weatherly)
Lark (Tracey Porter)
If I Could Fly (Judith Ortiz Cofer)
Wrapped (Jennifer Bradbury)
Notes From the Blender (Brendan Halpin)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Night Cries

The second Hunters of the Dark novel, Night Cries, is now available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon!!!

Here's the description:

An unexpected attack on Shanna Hunt and her new friends prompts the team of monster hunters to venture to Greece, where they encounter an abandoned city, ancient ruins, and a haunting mystery. Something has caused a mass evacuation of the city, something sinister that will stop at nothing to get what it wants. And if the powerful force lurking in the wings isn't enough to tear the team apart, perhaps the secrets they are keeping from each other are.

And a sample after the jump...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Book of the Week 5/17

It's kind of a light week, but here is the YA book you should be paying attention to, due in bookstores on Tuesday...

The Dark City (Relic Master series) (Catherine Fisher) - A new series begins from the bestselling author of the excellent fantasy Incarceron.

Other Noteworthy Releases

Cryptic Cravings (A Vampire Kisses novel) (Ellen Schreiber)
Top of the Feud Chain (Alphas series) (Lisi Harrison)
I'll Be There (Holly Goldberg Sloan)
Mercy (Rebecca Lim)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Read my guest blog post!

I did a guest blog post on gay paranormal teen fiction over at Denise Verrico's Immortyl Revolution.  Read it and post any follow-up questions you may have in the comments for me!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Book of the Week 5/10

Here is the YA book you should be paying attention to, due in bookstores on Tuesday...

What Happened To Goodbye (Sarah Dessen) - Bestselling author Sarah Dessen releases a new book just in time for Summer.  This new title follows Mclean, who has followed her father from town to town since her parents divorced, reinventing herself with each move.  But now she just wants to stay in one place.

Other Noteworthy Releases

The Daughters Take the Stage (Joanna Philbin)
Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever. (Caissie St. Onge)
My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies (Allen Zadoff)
My Not-So-Still Life (Liz Gallagher)
Incredibly Alice (Phyllis Reynolds Naylor)
Tempest Rising (Racy Deebs)
Die For Me (Amy Plum)
The Sweetest Thing (Christina Mandelski)
You Don't Know About Me (Brian Meehl)
Bitter End (Jennifer Brown)
Kiss of Death (Lauren Henderson)
Ruby Red (Kerstin Gier)
The Pull of Gravity (Gae Polisner)
Pretend You Love Me (Julie Anne Peters)
The Lucky Kind (Alyssa Sheinmel)
A & L Do Summer (Jan Blazanin)
OMG (Amy Fellner Dominy)
Tighter (Adele Griffin)
Then (Morris Gleitzman)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Upcoming Covers

Here are the covers for some more upcoming teen releases!

The Death Cure (Maze Runner Trilogy #3) (James Dashner)

Goliath (The Leviathan Trilogy #3) (Scott Westerfeld)

Deadly Little Voices (Touch series #4) (Laurie Faria Stolarz)

The Fox Inheritance (The Jenna Fox Chronicles #2) (Mary E. Pearson)

Twisted (Pretty Little Liars series #9) (Sara Shepard)

The Fallen (Volume 3): End of Days (Thomas E. Sniegoski)

Night Cries (Hunters of the Dark series #2) (Dave Ferraro)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Book of the Week 5/3

Here is the YA book you should be paying attention to, due in bookstores on Tuesday...

Divergent (Veronica Roth) - I really loved this fantasy title, which I'm sure will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games.  Read my review here.

Other Noteworthy Releases

Shine (Lauren Myracle)
Illusions (Aprilynne Pike)
I'm Not Her (Janet Gurtler)
The Cellar (A.J. Whitten)
Moonglass (Jessi Kirby)
The Magnolia League (Katie Crouch)
So Much Closer (Susan Colasanti)
Everfound (The Skinjacker Trilogy) (Neal Shusterman)
Dead Is Not An Option (Marlene Perez)
Sixteenth Summer (Michelle Dalton)
The Demon's Covenant (Sarah Rees Brennan)
The Discovery (The Ghost Huntress series) (Marley Gibson)
Bite Club (The Morganville Vampires series) (Rachel Caine)
The Summer of Firsts and Lasts (Terra Elan McVoy)
The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries (Volume 3): The Craving (L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec)
Compulsion (Heidi Ayarbe)
Girl Wonder (Alexa Martin)
Shift (Jeri Smith-Ready)