Posts Tagged: 2011 YA releases

YA Content Review – After Obsession

03 Oct, 2012 by in Steven E Wedel Leave a comment

After Obsession

by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published:   September 13th 2011
by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
ISBN   1599906813
Book Source: Publisher
2.5 Stars
Book Summary From Goodreads:  
Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can’t stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone- is haunting them. They’re wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it’s neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It’s Alan’s cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life-and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.

Filled with heart-pounding romance, paranormal activity, and rich teen characters to love-and introducing an exciting new YA voice, Steven Wedel-this novel is exactly what Carrie Jones fans have been waiting for. Meet your next obsession.

Review by ephrielle: It felt like a game. A couple of kids facing down an ancient demon and thinking they have a chance. Of course they are the right people for the job, as they are super prepared.
  • Special demon exorcism training and experience (A few internet searches)
  • Popourri
  • Make shift tent
  • Native American blood
  • Whole bunch of bravado
They can’t possibly go wrong.

I enjoy some good Native American lore and story. Unfortunately the poor young man in this story is alienated from his birthright and, by extension, proper knowledge of the lore. He sure doesn’t lack the desire or the gumption. I felt sorry for him. It was so painfully clear that he was stumbling around in the dark. Sometimes his youth really hurt the power of the lore over the story. Even his rock solid proof didn’t seem like a proper foundation upon which to stake his “helpful delusions”.

The ending was rather cheesy for my taste. I just didn’t think the several parts worked well together. Not a terrible read, but it was definitely a book about three kids facing off against all odds and definitely being out of their depth.

Favorite Quote: “Mom, I promised to behave. It wasn’t easy. I mean, she couldn’t help herself. She was all over this hunk of Navajo manhood and I had to keep telling her I’d promised not to let her violate me. Eventually she wore herself out and fell asleep.”

Content: Moderate violence

About Carrie Jones: Carrie Jones likes Skinny Cow fudgsicles and potatoes. She does not know how to spell fudgsicles. This has not prevented her from writing books. She lives with her cute family in Maine, but she grew up in Bedford, NH where she once had a séance with cool uber-comedian Sarah Silverman.

The Meyers brothers are from Bedford, too, so you’d think it would make Carrie funnier, coming from Bedford N.H. Obviously, something didn’t work.

Carrie has a large, skinny white dog and a fat cat. Both like fudgicles. Only the cat likes potatoes. This may be a reason for the kitty’s weight problem (Shh… don’t tell). Carrie has always liked cowboy hats but has never owned one. This is a very wrong thing. She graduated from Vermont College’s MFA program for writing. She has edited newspapers and poetry journals and has recently won awards from the Maine Press Association and also been awarded the Martin Dibner Fellowship as well as a Maine Literary Award.

Here’s the lowdown about Carrie…

1. Carrie can not drink coffee. It makes her insane. Do not give her caffeine.
2. Carrie is very responsive to loving strokes on the hair, kind of like a puppy. However, do not do this without asking first unless you are a ridiculously handsome man or an editor who is about to offer her a trillion dollars for the first draft of her novel.
3. Carrie is secretly really, really shy even though she’s pathetically outgoing in person. She has a very hard time calling people. So, if you want to talk to her, make the first move. And, if you’re her in-Maine female best friend, Jennifer, do NOT get mad at her because she is so bad at returning emails.
4. Carrie sometimes wears mismatched socks, if you do not think this is cool, do not tell her. You will hurt her feelings.
5. Carrie really, really wants you to like her books. Please like her books. PLEEEAASSSEEEE. She’ll be your best friend forever. That is, if you want a friend who is shy about calling and emailing and who wears mismatched socks and can’t drink caffeine and likes being pet on the head. Hhmmm….
6. Carrie is not above begging.
7. Carrie, like Belle in TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (ex) BOYFRIEND drinks Postum. It’s for the same reason, too.
8. Carrie loves Great Pyrenees dogs. They are huge and white, and furry and it looks like they have white eyeliner and mascara on, which is way too cute. Do you have one? Send a picture!
9. Carrie lives in Maine. She has a hard time with this in the winter. It is bleak in Maine in the winter. Imagine everything shades of gray and brown and no green anywhere except for in people’s noses. This is Maine in Winter. Maine in summer is the best place in the world, so it’s a trade-off. Feel free to invite Carrie to your house in the winter, but not if it’s in Greenland, Canada, or anywhere north of Florida.
10. Forget that. She’d still probably come.

About Steven E. Wedel: Born and raised an Okie, Wedel typically sets his stories somewhere in Oklahoma’s diverse landscape. He began writing in high school in the early 1980s and never stopped. He currently lives in central Oklahoma with his wife and four children. Besides writing, he earns his living as a high school English teacher. 

Find more about author Carrie Jones on:  Website / Twitter

Find more about author Steven E. Wedel on:  Website / Twitter

Book Review- Between

26 Jan, 2012 by in walker 1 comment

by Jessica Warman
Hardcover, 464 pages
Publication Date: August 2nd 2011
by Walker & Company
ISBN   0802721826
Book Source: BEA
3 Stars

Elizabeth Valchar-pretty, popular, and perfect-wakes up the morning after her eighteenth birthday party on her family’s yacht, where she’d been celebrating with her six closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, what she finds will change everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and everything in between. As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances surrounding her birthday night, she will find that no one around her, least of all Liz herself, was perfect-or innocent. Critically acclaimed author Jessica Warman brings readers along on a roller-coaster ride of a mystery, one that is also a heartbreaking character study, a touching romance, and ultimately a hopeful tale of redemption, love, and letting go.

Review by ephrielle:
A lie is a powerful thing.  An in depth look into why you should tell the truth.  Guilt destroys all it touches.

An extremely intense story.  There were several times I just wanted to put this book down and walk away.  Everything seems so harmless and normal at first look.  But as the truth starts to leak out one fragment at a time what once appeared normal takes on a decidedly darker aspect.  This poor girl shouldn’t have had to face what she did.  We can’t pick those things that will happen to us, only what we will do about them.  I feel like this book perfectly illustrates almost worst case scenario what could happen if you tell a lie to cover something up.  I could hear my mother’s voice of warning.  “Be careful the friends you pick since they will have great influence over you.” “Don’t drink.”  But most of all this book illustrates how we teach our children.  When you do something wrong don’t tell.  You don’t want to get in trouble.  It should be more along the lines of fess up so you can get the consequences over with.  If not it could get way worse.  And it seemed that every time she tried to reach out for help no one was there or willing. The communication barriers between adults and teenagers are far more vast than they should be.  It causes such trial to the younger generation that we aren’t there for them when we need to be.

Content: intense swearing, nudity, underage drinking, anorexia, and exploitation of minors including pornography

About the author: Jessica Warman is the author of Breathless, which received three starred reviews and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and Where the Truth Lies. The idea for Between came from an incident in her childhood, when a local boy went missing after a party on a yacht (he was eventually found, alive).

Find more about author Jessica Warman on Goodreads/ TwitterWebsite

Book Review- Cold Kiss

21 Jan, 2012 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Cold Kiss
by Amy Garvey
Hardcover, 304 pages
Publication Date: September 20th 2011
by HarperTeen
ISBN  006199622X
Book Source: BEA
3 Stars

It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.
Suddenly Wren was alone and shattered. In a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, Wren decides that what she wants—what she must do—is to bring Danny back.
But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy Wren fell in love with. His touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it.
Wren must keep Danny a secret, hiding him away, visiting him at night, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school, and Wren realizes that somehow, inexplicably, he can sense the powers that lie within her—and that he knows what she has done. And now Gabriel wants to help make things right.
But Wren alone has to undo what she has wrought—even if it means breaking her heart all over again.

Review by ephrielle: From the beginning this book has started in such a way as to make it unique.  Instead of following the cause and effect model we are going backwards.  Something has already happened and now we are going to figure it out in reverse.  A great use of the unexplored areas of the English language.  
Basically, you have a teenage girl getting carried away by her feelings.  Everything at that age seems so permanent and intense.  In the throes of her undying love she makes a mistake, a huge mistake.  As most teenagers find that intense lasting emotion was more of a growth pain.  Now she finds herself not liking the consequences and needing a way out.  Sprinkle in some zombie and magic and you are good to go.  A relatively quick read.

Content: intense swearing

About the author: I’ve always been a reader. I’ve also been a movie theater ticket taker, a nanny, a camp counselor, and a romance editor. Now I’m a wife and a mom and a writer who still spends most of my free time reading (when I’m not watching too much TV).

After starting off in romance with books like Hot Date and Pictures of Us, I’m writing in the genre I’ve always loved most, young adult fiction. (My very first completed novel, which will live forever under my bed, was a young adult novel!) 

Find more about author Amy Garvey on Goodreads/ Twitter/ Tumblr/ Facebook/ Blog/ Figment

Book Review- Bloodlines

13 Jan, 2012 by in paranormal YA fiction, razorbill, richelle mead Leave a comment

by Richelle Mead
Hardcover, 421 pages
Publication Date: August 23rd 2011
by Razorbill
ISBN 1595143173
Book Source: BEA
5 Stars

When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive – this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

Review by ephrielle:
If you loved the Vampire Academy Series you will adore this one as well.  But don’t write it off as more of the same.  It is the same world but from the perspective of an Alchemist, namely Sydney Sage.  We get an insiders view of the Alchemist world as well as Sydney’s changing views of those they think abominations.  Don’t judge a book by its cover as well as people.  You might be surprised they aren’t what they seem.  Not only that but there is something deeper going on with Sydney.  And you will have to read to find out what.

I and so excited for this series.  It will be thrilling to find out where everything will lead.  In the last series Richelle Mead broke across boundary lines and it seems she will do it again.  After finishing this book I had a hard time sleeping since my mind was roving over all the possibilities.  An added bonus for this book is the lack of swearing.  Since the book is told by Sydney Sage there are some rather awesome moments of complete misunderstanding. For one super great example of this turn to page 229. Sage is so sure she is interpreting the moment right that she gets it so completely backwards.  I suppose knowledge isn’t all it is cracked up to be.  She is such a refreshing character.  It seems so many of the females right now are hormonal sex fiends.  So the books follow the lines of girl sees guy and almost immediately wants to get in his pants.  I love how we are watching her discover herself and the possibilities.  The pace of this discovery is slow enough as to be a sweet building torture.  I just must have more and can’t wait to get the next book.

Content: violence

About the author: Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy.

A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She’s a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.

Find more about author Richelle Mead on Goodreads/ Twitter/ Website/ Facebook/ Blog

Best I’ve Read Day 1- Hourglass by Myra McEntire

11 Dec, 2011 by in myra mcentire 14 comments

Our very First Best I’ve Read book for 2011 is Hourglass by Myra McEntire. We have her here today at AFire and Ice for an exclusive interview and giveaway!
by Myra McEntire
Hardcover, 397 pages
Published: June 14, 2011
by EgmontUSA
ISBN 1606841440
5 stars

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

I have been anticipating this book since I very first heard author Myra McEntire announce it on twitter, and can I just say what is there not to love about Hourglass? It is a-ma-zing. From the cover to the first page which contains my favorite quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, to the end which left me reeling with a mind full of impossible possibilities.

Snarky, sarcastic Emerson has just moved from a boarding school in Arizona to the deep south town of Ivy Springs. She’s sent there to her brother/guardian Thomas, who is a well known architect in the area and his wife Dru. Thomas’ historic renovation sites are layered in history and as a result begin to trigger visions that only Emerson can see of people from the past.

Enter in Michael Weaver, a secretive and angtsy consultant hired by her Thomas from a foundation called Hourglass. Michael’s hired under the agreement that things are to stay strictly business and must not get personal, But not getting personal could prove dangerous for these two. And things get even more complicated when Emerson has to pick between the three men who suddenly take an interest in her: Michael who is fully understanding, Kaleb who is sexy-bad but offers more than meets eye, or Jack- the man who Emerson’s not even sure is real.

Oh my Myra. I was messed up (in a good way) after reading Hourglass. She masterfully explores the issues of grief and depression with skill I have never before seen in young adult fiction. McEntire takes a heroine from a broken fragile past and gives her some black belt hard core sass. Then she adds in Southern charm, and supernatural sci-fi elements. This is a book that will surely soar to the tops of the bestseller list as the best in time slip YA romance. Hourglass struck me deeply and had me in tears which very few books have ever had power to do. It’s gutsy, intelligent and inspiring with a voice you will never forget. I can’t wait for you all to read it!

To learn more about the book Hourglass visit Myra McEntire’s website/ Tumblr/ Twitter/ Goodreads/ YouTube/ Facebook

The Interview:
Tell us a little bit about how Hourglass came about and what inspired you. It started as a prompt for a writer’s club, and when I got to the end of the first five pages, I knew I had to go on!

Have you always been interested in time travel? What kind of research did you have to do for Hourglass? I haven’t! Really! I always loved Doctor Who, but I guess I thought of it as more of a crime fighting/alien show. For research, I read a lot of internet articles on scholarly type websites, and then I started watching Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman!

Your main character struggles with thinking she is crazy. Does depression or emotional illness play a part in her personality? And what do you hope teens/ readers take away from her experience? Yes, depression totally does. Her humor is a defense mechanism. If a real life person had bounced back the way she did, they’d be super human. I want people to take HOPE away from her story.

Who do you see as the perfect cast members for your main men and women? I really can’t say. I think I’d like all unknowns cast if Fox ever makes the movie! But Ryan Gosling could be anyone. Heck, he could be EM!

What has been the most rewarding part of this whole process of being published? Any other projects works you can tell us about besides book two- Timepiece? I can’t. I have more Hourglass books in my mind, but Egmont bought two. I’m working on a story with the code name Aggie. That’s all I can say!

Favorite all time reads? Snacks? I love cozy mysteries. I can read those without thinking. And right now I have a thing for Peppermint Hershey Kisses!

Who is your hero? My husband. I wouldn’t be where I am without him!

About The Author: Myra McEntire knows the words to every R and B hit of the last decade, but since she lives in the country music capital of America where her lyrical talents go sadly unappreciated, she chose to channel her mad word skills into creating sultry Southern timeslip novels.

But if you catch her at a signing, she can probably be convinced to rap with you anyway. We are giving away one signed copy of Hourglass. To enter click here and fill out the form. Open to U.S. addresses only. No PO boxes. Good Luck and be sure to head over to our home site for another Best I’ve Read Giveaway of Haven by Kristi Cook.

Best I’ve Read 2011 Blogger Line Up- #BIR2011

10 Dec, 2011 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Fire and Ice together with 10 other book blogs have combined to bring you our favorite books of 2011. The Best I’ve Read celebration starts tomorrow and runs for one week. Each site will be featuring our top 7 reads with guest posts, interviews and giveaways. Also we’ve combined our votes to bring the very best reads of 2011 which will be highlighted on the BIR2011 home site.

Be sure to stop by all the participating blogs for your chance to win a new book every day this week!

•Best I’ve Read
A Good Addiction
Amethyst Daydreams
Books Complete Me
Fire and Ice
I Am a Reader, Not a Writer
Late Bloomer Online
Mundie Moms
Once Upon a Twilight
Page Turners Blog
.Portrait of a Book
Reading Lark

Book Review- Chime by Franny Billingsley

30 Nov, 2011 by in Uncategorized 1 comment

by Franny Billingsley
Hardcover, 361 pages
Published March 17th 2011
by Dial
ISBN 0803735529
source: bought
4 stars

Before Briony’s stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family’s hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it’s become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He’s as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she’s extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn’t know.

Chime is one of the most interesting, oddest books I’ve ever read. It took me a good while to get used to the dialogue that main protagonist Briony carries on between others and herself as well as the quirky little side traits of each supporting character. But by the end I was impressed by the creative and rich storytelling. The style feels like a mix of bedtime stories and children’s folklore set in Victorian England near an eery swamp.  It’s narrated by Briony who is the Parishioner’s daughter as she grapples with hating herself and the fact that she’s a witch. She has spent most of her young adult life blaming herself for her step-mother’s death, her sister’s mental incapacity and her unnatural ability to see the Old Ones.

Along comes Eldric, the Alehouse owner’s son returning home after a failed attempt at the University in London to live with Briony, her twin sister Rose and their father. Briony is expecting a child, when in actuality Eldric is a man of 22 who reminds her of a lion. The friendship between the two of them unfolds in a charming way and Eldric is a perfect gentleman (which is why the last chapter of the book really threw me for a loop and led me to some trouble suspending disbelief.) I truly enjoyed Eldric. As a mother of autistic children I loved the way author Franny Billingsley portrayed Briony’s sister Rose as well as the fidgets Eldric is always carrying and creating in his hands. The setting and world building is fascinating as it was to see fairy tale creatures like Brownies, the buggy mun and mucky face come to life for Briony. Quite honestly this book is brilliant. Once you get a sense of the true meaning behind Briony’s actions in the end, it leaves you going back through the entire plot to unravel what happened. If you enjoyed The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab you’ll like Chime. Now I’m curious to read more of what Franny Billingsley has to offer!

Content: mild swearing, moderate violence, discussion of the effects of drugs and drinking, attempted sexual assault. For ages 16 or older.

Trailer Thursday-YA Book Releases Late 2011/2012

15 Sep, 2011 by in new YA fiction Leave a comment

I was out to dinner last night with author Brodi Ashton, whose debut Everneath is coming in January from Balzer & Bray/ Harper Collins and since her book is going to be made of awesome, I wanted to give you another glance at the cover. Luckily, I stumbled upon this trailer from BookLovingMcFlyFan. There are some gorgeous books coming out this year and next. Fire and Ice will be on the tour schedule for Everneath as well as Tempest by Julie Cross. So stay tuned! Meanwhile enjoy these beautiful book covers.