Some people, when they are stressed, go for the chocolate. I tend to bake. And read. In the months of June, July and August, I have baked cheesecake, cookies, baguettes, challah, and countless other treats that my skinny jeans are already protesting about. I've also read 42 books. Yeah. It's been quite the binge. At least the reading binge won't show up on my hips :P
I've discovered some fantastic books this summer, and one that I'm going to give away. Read on for your chance to win.
Sarah Addison Allen
I adored this book.
in a quirky North Carolina town, these characters are as rich and tasty
as the southern barbecue they all enjoy. Told from alternating
viewpoints, the novel follows Julia, who left as a teenager and returned
after her father died to run his restaurant, and Emily, a teenager sent
to live with a grandfather she's never met in a town she'd never heard
of until her mother died. Secret pasts, mysterious lights and forbidden
friendships keep the story moving along. But the beautiful descriptions
and palpable emotions of every character made me slow down to
savor each page. The touch of magical realism (and romance) didn't hurt either.
Even though The Girl Who Chased the Moon is
marketed to adults, I can see it having crossover appeal. And certainly,
readers who enjoy paranormal YA will be more open to the fantastical
elements of this story. One of my favorite books of the summer. I'll be
reading everything this author has written.
Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
Expected Publication October 2011
So much to love about this book!
Martinez does an excellent job of capturing the intensity of child
prodigy musicians. Carmen is feisty, ready to push beyond the boundaries
and expectations her equally intense stage mother has set. While she's
drawn to Jeremy, her own competitive streak pushes her to make hard
I fell for these characters right away and sacrificed
sleep to finish the book. It was incredibly readable and an exciting
glimpse into the world of competitive classical musicians. I couldn't
give it the full five stars because a couple of turning points pulled me out of the story. Completely. But maybe that's just me. And in spite of that, I still
highly recommend this book. I'm looking forward to reading whatever
Jessica Martinez publishes next.
The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
Published May 2011
This is another book that I think has crossover appeal, though it's not a YA. Told
in alternating viewpoints in third person, I wasn't sure if I would
feel close to the characters from that distance. I did.
I loved seeing
how much these characters evolved because of a short encounter that
changed their lives. Beautiful story, beautiful writing. I loved everything about Beautiful Girl.
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
Published November 2010
I don't know how I even managed to stumble across this book, but I'm so glad I did. Great characters with depth, great premise (Deaf girl managing a band?
Hello!) and wonderfully realistic situations. To top it off, it's set in
one of my favorite places: Seattle, the birthplace of grunge and Jimi Hendrix (and both play an important part in the story).
Piper is a wonderful character, full of determination, pride,
intelligence and humor. I love how the band comes together, how they
grow together. Definitely made me want to plug in an amp and start
wailing to Nirvana :D
The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni
Published March 2010
Another story featuring a high school rock band. (I must have a thing for these!) I checked this book out from the library and loved it so much I had to buy my own copy. The weird and wonderful characters aren't just randomly odd for the sake being eccentric. These are fully
realized people, delightfully complex and full of all the strange
foibles that make us human. Set in Iowa, this coming of age story borrows philosophy from Buckminster Fuller and several punk rock gods. Yeah, it sounds strange. But trust me, the book is awesome.
This was Bognanni's debut novel. I can't wait to read what he comes up with next.
And now, the book I'm giving away my ARC of...
Published July 2011
Lexi suffers from a curse, handed down for generations, that turns her
into a siren on her 16th birthday. Unaware of the power of her voice,
she accidentally kills someone and ends up shunned by all her former
friends. Things start to change when a new boy shows up at school, and
one of her old friends reaches out to her. Soon Lexi is torn between
keeping her secret and walking away from love. Talk about a deadly love triangle...
You can read my full review at Shelf Awareness for Readers.
If you'd like to win my copy of Ripple, leave a comment. You have through August 29 to enter.
What great books have you read this summer? I'm off to bake some banana bread :)