Saturday, September 28, 2013

Me on This Week's Book Week (71)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

Fall. Time passing. Year slowly ending. It all feels strange. But then January will come with the massive high of a new year and everything will feel different. Also, it's my mom's birthday today. We got her some cool stuff. :)

Last week's Raincoast Books Teens Read Winter Preview was awesome. It's always fun to talk books with bookish people and gush over titles and bemoan over cover changes. :) Cress was gushed over greatly... but there were only 2 ARCs and I missed out. Fangirl was also gushed about. Some ARCs I picked up include AlteredThe Winner's Curse, Tin Star, 16 Things I Thought Were True, and Strange Sweet Song.

Ever read a book when you know you shouldn't because you've got dozens of others you need to read before it but you can't resist it because you've had so many people tell you it's really good and one of the best books they've read all year, and then you read it and you're kicking yourself because it was so good and you realize after reading the last line a few times that you've just read a book in September that isn't out until March so the wait for books 2 and 3 will be a bit long? Yeah. *sigh* But... that book was so good.

Reviews for this coming week will feature Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (Tuesday) and 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil (Friday). :)
Pawn by Aimée Carter (from Harlequin Teen through NetGalley)
White Space by Ilsa J. Bick (from Egmont through Edelweiss) (I found it when I searched through the e-galleys that don't require any approval.)
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis (e-book from the library)
Fierce Reads Anthology 2 (free on the Kobo e-book store)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Me on Vicious

Title: Vicious
Author: V.E. Schwab
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Tor

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates, brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find, aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge, but who will be left alive at the end?

Vicious is a dark and twisted tale, a story of two men who started as friends and became something more. Schwab takes the comic book-style battle of hero versus villain and turns it all around in so many different directions you're no longer sure which is which, or if there's even a difference between the two. The complexity of good against evil, the sticky in-between shades of grey, were well-explored in enthralling characters with curious abilities and moments of clever wit.

Victor is determined. Determined to catch up to Eli, determined to stop him, determined to make him understand that those with powers aren't instantly or innately evil. Victor is different than his old friend, I don't think he necessarily sees those with abilities as good or evil. He's more practical than Eli, more calculating, and perhaps more willing to accept what's happened to the both of them. Not good, not evil, but different. Useful, depending on what the ability is. Perhaps that's what draws him to his young sidekick.

Eli is determined as well, but in a different way. He's determined to find every person with superpowers, to search them out, and to stop them. To kill them. To Eli, they're monsters, evil creatures, less than their former human selves. Perhaps more, instead. More dangerous and destructive. What happened to him was terrible, but he sees himself as the saviour of mankind, as a hero, and it's up to him to save society from their evil.

What makes a person a hero or a villain? What defines them? Is it their actions and how those actions affect the people around them, the society around them, or is it something less tangible? Is it instead intention? Is it the belief that what they're doing will save, or destroy, the world? Both Victor and Eli straddle the line throughout the book, caught between intention and action, between what they hope their actions will do and what they actually do.

As dark as this book is, as weird and twisted, it is, I also found it to be fun and hugely entertaining. I do wonder what that says about my own tastes, though. Still, I believe this to be an interesting and intelligent book, one that re-imagines and explores heroes and villains, good and evil, morality, loyalty, and life and death.

(I received an advance copy to review from Raincoast Books.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Me on Books I Never Reviewed (1)

Books I Never Reviewed is a new segment (for lack of a better word, maybe a series of some sort) all about those books I've read that I never got around to reviewing for any number of reasons. I'm thinking of making it a once every couple of months kind of thing.

So, what's going to happen is something like flash reviews. I'll mention a few books, give a few thoughts, and that's it. This sort of came from me trying to write reviews in the past for books I've bought or borrowed and couldn't think of enough to say for a normal Me on Books style of review. I've written/posted 282 reviews here over the past few years, but I've read almost 650 books since the start of 2011.

Sweet Legacy by Tera Lynn Childs. I reviewed both Sweet Venom and Sweet Shadows, but after reading this I felt I'd be repeating myself again (possibly because my review of Sweet Shadows went up in July). This is the conclusion to a series filled with action, mythology, and three teen girls discovering what fate has in store for them. The sisters are coming into their own. Gretchen, Grace, and Greer all have different skills, and together they make a team. This is like the end of their journey in discovering who they are and what they can do, and whether or not they can defeat those who are trying to kill them. They also have their three different and curious boys. Not counterparts, necessarily; the girls are their own counterparts. But the boys aren't just there for romance, they have their own skills, their own secrets and regrets, and at the end they all come together. A big part of why I've enjoyed this series is how the author has re-imagined the myth of the Gorgon and made it something new. I'd love to see more Greek mythology re-tellings that are more than Persephone/Hades or Cassandra and her seeing into the future (Antigoddess by Kendare Blake is, currently, my only exception to the Cassandra rule because of its vast range of characters).

Stolen by Lucy Christopher. This is certainly an extremely powerful book, very moving but also very dark and twisted. It's a rather intriguing sort of book, and definitely one I wouldn't have picked up if it weren't for other bloggers reading it and reviewing it. Again, not the sort of cutting deep contemporary YA that I normally read, if I happen to want to read contemporary YA, but I still liked it.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. This has to be one of the most heart-wrenching and emotional YA novels of the year according to most bloggers. But I wasn't as interested in it and I'm not totally sure why. Maybe it's because it's very much one of those contemporary (although because of its 80's setting it could be historical) YA novels that cut deep, and I'm not as into those as other readers and bloggers. From my non-review on Goodreads (that I wrote not long after reading this): A sweet and sad book about two misfits who find a place to belong when they're together. Not my cup of tea when it comes to contemporary romance, but I'm sure those who enjoy contemporary YA will enjoy it more than I did. I did love the author's second contemporary YA novel of 2013, Fangirl (even with it being on the YA/NA border), but I think that's because I could see part of me being a fangirl in Cath.

So, did you like this? Which books have you read that you never reviewed but always thought about it? Post #2 will be up at the end of November. :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (146)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: The Inventor's Secret
Author: Andrea Cremer
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Publisher: Philomel (Penguin imprint)

From Goodreads:

New from Andrea Cremer, the New York Times bestselling author of the Nightshade novels, comes an action-packed alternate-history steampunk adventure.

In this world, sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth, they have their health (at least when they can find enough food and avoid the Imperial Labor Gatherers) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp he brings new dangers with him and secrets about the terrible future that awaits all those who have struggled has to live free of the bonds of the empire’s Machineworks.

The Inventor’s Secret is the first book of a YA steampunk series set in an alternate nineteenth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery. Perfect for fans of Libba Bray's The Diviners, Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel, Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan and Phillip Reeve's Mortal Instruments.

More steampunk. I hope it's good steampunk. I'm slightly wary of the American setting, but there's an adult steampunk series I've been slowly reading and they travel outside of the UK, so it can work. The world-building here will have to be spot-on.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Me on Inheritance

Title: Inheritance
Author: Malinda Lo
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette Book Group imprint)

Reese and David are not normal teens, not since they were adapted with alien DNA by the Imria, an extraterrestrial race that has been secretly visiting Earth for decades. Now everyone is trying to get to them: the government, the Imria, and a mysterious corporation that would do anything for the upper hand against the aliens. Beyond the web of conspiracies, Reese can’t reconcile her love for David with her feelings for her ex-girlfriend Amber, an Imrian. But her choice between two worlds will play a critical role in determining the future of humanity, the Imria’s place in it, and the inheritance she and David will bring to the universe.

Inheritance is thrilling, mysterious, and ever so complex. This book is an exploration of many things, of being a teenager, of sexuality and attraction and the emotions behind them, of the other and the unknown, and, most importantly, of trust. The transition between this and its predecessor is seamless and fluid. The tension is just as high and the stakes are even higher.

Now the truth is out for Reese and David. Now the public knows that aliens are real, that they have been on Earth for some time, and that the two teens are different because of their encounter. Now comes the backlash from this information getting out, now comes the fear and the hatred and the confusion. But things are still being kept from them, hidden away in secret, and soon they'll learn that everyone from the US government to the Imria to covert groups have an agenda.

Reese is struggling to keep a hold on every part of her life. She has new abilities gained from the addition of the Imrian DNA, she has the government keeping her mouth shut tight to keep from exposing anything that might harm their credibility, and she has people both wanting a piece of her and wanting to hurt her. Plus, some hurdles have arisen in her love life. She really likes David, just as much as he likes her, but she can't forget Amber Gray, her Imrian ex-girlfriend. Reese doesn't know what to do anymore. All hopes of a normal life have been quashed, ruined by that car crash in Nevada. No decision she makes will please everyone. But she's spreading herself too thin trying to learn as much as she can about what's happening, and everything could explode around her as a result.

In literature, in YA, there is often an other, be it a character or creature or something more. The other is often feared, often not accepted, and often hated because it represents what the majority are not. As much as we promote openness and individuality now, our past is filled hatred towards those who didn't look like us. Racism and sexism still run rampant through society. Here, the other is a being not even from our planet. It's alien, it's unfamiliar, it's not human. What are their intentions? Will they be peaceful, reaching out to connect with other worlds and learn, or will they come with plans of domination and destruction? First encounters are complicated, first impressions are crucial, and trust will not be given easily. Reese and David have a slightly different problem in that they have become the other. What are they supposed to do now?

Just like with the other, this book explores sexuality. Reese's, in particular. In Adaptation, Reese was moving away from her crush on David and towards her attraction and connection with Amber. Here in Inheritance it's slightly the opposite with her and David together, trying to have a relationship, while Reese resents Amber for lying to her. But Reese still has the connection to Amber, it's still there no matter how much she'd like it to go away. I like how there were moments of Reese exploring her sexuality, trying to figure it out. I also liked the foray into sex versus gender. Sex is biology, what we come into the world as, while gender is more connected to sociology, what we identify as and how we want the world to see us. But what if the lines were blurred? What if there was no differentiation between genders, between sexes?

This is a thrilling book about a teenager trying to figure out a lot of things in order to have something that resembles a normal life, things like high school, her sexuality, her abilities post-alien experimentation, and one or two government cover-ups. A big part of this duology is that, yes, it's science fiction, but it's also about Reese and her discovering who she is, her identity and humanity, and that keeps the book grounded. It makes her sound more like a real teenager with real problems.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Hachette Book Group Canada.)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Me on This Week's Book Week (70)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

I might be updating this post later today because I'm off at a blogger/pub meetup with awesome teen publicity girls Crystal and Melissa from Raincoast Books (plus others). I wonder what awesome winter releases will be discussed (5 bucks says Cress), or if first we'll gush about some fall ones like Fangirl or Vicious. :)

If you're interested in the latest Goodreads drama... feel free to Google it. As far as I know, none of my reviews or shelves have been deleted, but I avoid drama like the plague. I'm at Riffle and BookLikes, if you've moved to either site, but I don't know how often I'll be there. As always, Twitter is the best place to talk to me. :)

Reviews for this coming week will feature Inheritance by Malinda Lo (Tuesday, LGBTQ sci-fi) and Vicious by Victoria Schwab (Friday, adult paranormal superhero thriller with YA crossover appeal). Also, on Thursday I'll be starting a new 'segment' called Books I've Never Reviewed. It's the home for all those books you read and never had the time to review. :)
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (Oh finished copy, how gorgeous are you. Crossing my fingers that I'll get to get it signed when Maggie's at the Van Writers Fest in a month.)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (I'm so jealous of you Toronto people that get Rainbow visiting in early October. I enjoyed this book so much.)
Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce (from Scholastic Canada)
Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow (from Scholastic Canada) (Canadian author :))
The Opposite of Geek by Ria Voros (from Scholastic Canada) (another Canadian author :))
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender (from Scholastic Canada)
Kobo Aura (from Kobo) (I was so surprised when a large box showed up, but then I opened it and found a gift basket inside. I'll be fiddling around with it, trying it out and seeing what's different from the Kobo Aura HD I was sent earlier in the year, but since I'm still using and enjoying the previous one, this new one's with my mom.)

UPDATE! So the Raincoast Books Winter Preview was so much fun. I didn't get Cress (they only had 2 ARCs that went quickly) but I got a bunch of other amazing books. I'm not going to write out all the titles, I think you can see them all from the picture.
Of course, now I have 2 copies of Fangirl. Oops.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Me on Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl

Title: Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl
Author: Emily Pohl-Weary
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill Canada (Penguin Canada imprint)

Eighteen-year-old rock star Sam Lee isn’t like other girls. She’s the super-talented bass player and songwriter for an all-girl indie band and an incurable loner. Then one night after a concert in Central Park, she’s attacked by a “wild dog.” Suddenly, this long-time vegetarian is craving meat, the bloodier, the better. Sam finds herself with an unbelievable secret and no one she trusts to share it. So begin the endless lies to cover up the hairy truth. When a new girl gang appears in the city, with claws and paws, Sam suspects there’s a connection to her own inner beast. Trapped in a tug-of-war between her animal and human selves, forced to choose between the guy who sparks her carnal appetite and the one who makes her feel like a normal teenage girl, Sam has to unravel the mysteries of the werewolf world before her bandmates, the media, and her mother catch up to her.

Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl is fast-paced, thrilling, and clever, a story all about Sam and her struggle to continue being an ordinary girl while craving copious amounts of meat. This is a quick and clever combining of genres, moments of contemporary mixed with the paranormal, with a narrator scrambling to keep her life as normal as possible under the trickiest and most impossible of circumstances.

Sam is a rock star who avoids the spotlight, a walking contradiction. Writing amazing songs and playing the bass like a musical genius gets her recognized and adored by fans of her band, but she's far more at home in the shadows, riding her bike through the park alone. After the attack in the park everyone is coming at her, her bandmates, her friends, the guy she's been crushing on, wanting to know what's happened. Or, in the case of one mysterious boy, wanting to help her through it.

Throughout the book, the moments where Sam catches a break and isn't racing around at near-breakneck speed is rare. She's still living her normal life, still playing bass with her bandmates, still avoiding the paparazzi, still being a teenage girl with a complicated crush, but she now has to deal with some strong wolfish instincts and a new craving for meat. Pohl-Weary keeps increasing the number of issues and secrets Sam has, increasing the amount of pressure she's under. Pressure to continue to write music and play bass, pressure to keep her werewolf side a secret, pressure to pick a guy out of the two she's attracted to. The chance of both sides coming together in a potential explosion increase over time, forcing Sam to stay on her toes.

Before the attack, Sam is a slightly fragile girl being forced into the spotlight, panicking over every tiny slip-up that someone might expose to the world. Afterwards, she fights to keep it hidden. No one can know what happened to her, what's still happening to her, and her fear over being exposed increases tenfold. As the book goes on, as Sam goes from concerned to panicked to frantic, it comes across so clearly in Pohl-Weary's writing. The pace of the book gets quicker and quicker and the tension grows higher and higher.

It seems that this is a book about a girl who wants to live an ordinary life while keeping so many things hidden. Some of those things aren't her fault, but she still has to work through them and keep on living. Her initial reaction is to avoid and lie, to keep it bottled up, but she doesn't necessarily cry foul and whine about it. She runs and lies in order to regroup and come at it on her own. She needs to handle all of it on her own because she has no idea who to trust. There are some spaces and openings that could hint at a potential second book, but whether or not there will be more of Sam, this was still an entertaining and exciting read.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Penguin Canada.)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (145)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Infinite
Author: Jodi Meadows
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins imprint)

From Goodreads:

The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions.

This has been such a surprising series. It's got action and suspense, but it also has a lot of human problems. It's about not being accepted by the majority, about finding your own place, about figuring out who you are. There was also a tweet I saw after Asunder came out that's kept me thinking about this series that had to do with sex and gender and love. It had to do with souls being reborn over and over, in male bodies and in female bodies, and how sex and gender weren't necessarily a factor in romantic relationships. Male, female, it didn't matter. What mattered was the person, what mattered was what's inside.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Me on This Song Will Save Your Life

Title: This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (Macmillan imprint)

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

This Song Will Safe Your Life is both refreshing and brutally honest about what it is to live as a unique semi-misfit teenager who's slowly figuring out who she is. This book is about finding friends who will actually be friends, about connecting with other people, and about coming to terms with being different.

At the beginning, Elise is depressed and ready to give up on life. She doesn't see the point in being special or being different because of the ways her classmates have reacted to her during their school years. Basically, what Elise does isn't cool/is different from how they do it and they don't like it/she should change everything about herself. And so she gives up on being different. It never got her the friends or the popularity she thought she would get.

Elise's problem is that years of bullying have left her with the inability to like herself, to appreciate her quirks and interests. Getting over that big a hurdle will be difficult, but she'll have to do it if she wants any kind of opportunity to make friends and finally be happy. If she really wants Vicki, Pippa, and Char in her life. If she really wants to DJ.

The book is peppered with flashbacks of the bullying Elise suffered during her school years. Classmates laughing at her for using complicated words, talking behind her back, stealing her things. This kind of bullying is all too familiar and common. It seems to be part of being a kid that, when someone does something different (meaning not the way they do it) it's funny. Talking different, wearing different clothes, liking different music. Elise's differences unfortunately make her an easy target, both as a child as as she attempts to navigate the complex social cliques that make up high school. Their bullying leaves her to see life as hopeless. It's sad that it hurts her so much as a child, and it's sad that it still hurts her as a teenager, but unfortunately, bullying like that is common.

It's all about Elise figuring out who she is and where she fits into the massive train wreck that can be life. It's not necessarily about fixing all of her flaws because they make her the weird, honest, precocious, confused, music-loving girl she is, but more of her understanding them. More of her understanding that popularity isn't all it's cracked up to be. More of her realizing that maybe she's okay the way she is. More of her learning how friendship can be messy with all its unwritten rules and the ways it can save you.

I found this book to be complicated and sad and painful, but those are the teenage years. As unfair as they are, as torturous as they are, as revealing as they are. It wasn't hard to see bits and pieces of my own high school experience in Elise's, which meant it wasn't hard for me to follow her so closely throughout this book, from the first page to the last. For everyone who felt like a misfit in high school, I would recommend this book.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Macmillan through Raincoast Books.)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Me on Tumble & Fall (DNF)

Title: Tumble & Fall
Author: Alexandra Coutts
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (Macmillan imprint)

The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world, the question is what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family, all with the ultimate stakes at hand.

I didn't finish Tumble & Fall. The premise was intriguing, it drew me in, but it's the way in which Sierra's, Zan's, and Caden's stories are told that put me off. It felt very much like someone was recounting the story of these three teens, telling me about them as if it happened in the past, and so it didn't feel like there was anything for me to react to.

Because I didn't finish this book, this is by no means a proper review. This is just my opinion at this moment, which could change. It's possible that, at a later date, I will read the entire book.

(I received an e-galley of this title from Macmillan through NetGalley.)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Me on This Week's Book Week (69)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

So, a bunch of awesome books came out on Tuesday, books like Thornhill and Fangirl and Antigoddess. Then came the news that Maggie Stiefvater's doing a standalone companion novel to the Shiver series, Sinner, about Isobel and Cole and that Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl are writing a Beautiful Creatures spin-off series called Dangerous Creatures featuring Link and Ridley. New book Tuesday, indeed. ;)

So I was searching for books to put holds on on my local library website and kept seeing the e-book option for a lot of them. So I went to the library's e-book website and downloaded all the YA. Well, not all the YA. It was more that I was browsing the 'E-books for Teens' section and found a lot of books I'd added to my to read list at some point over the last few years but had never gotten around to borrowing, buying, or reading. And so I went a little crazy. I would've gone crazier if there wasn't an 'only 5 e-books at a time' limit. All of the books would've been mine! *maniacal laugh* Well... some of the books would've been mine... for 3 weeks. ;)

Reviews for the coming week will feature This Song Will Save Your Life (Tuesday) and Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl (Thursday, as part of a blog tour arranged by Penguin Canada). Also, the first DNF/did not finish 'review' of sorts goes up on Monday (it's not a proper review).
Cracked by Eliza Crewe (from Strange Chemistry through NetGalley)
Alienated by Melissa Landers (from Disney Book Group through NetGalley)

Borrowed from the library:
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (e-book)
If I Should Die by Amy Plum (e-book)
Sweet Legacy by Tera Lynn Childs (e-book)
Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (e-book)
Spark and Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer (e-books)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Me on Thornhill

Title: Thornhill
Author: Kathleen Peacock
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins imprint)

Mac can’t lose another friend. Even if he doesn’t want to be found. The ripple effect caused by Mac’s best friend Amy’s murder has driven Mac’s new love, Kyle, to leave Hemlock and disappear from her life forever. But Mac knows that Kyle plans to enroll in a rehabilitation camp, where he can live with other werewolves. She refuses to accept his decision, especially since the camps are rumored to be tortuous. So she sets out in search of Kyle with a barely sober Jason, and Amy’s all-seeing ghost, in tow. Clues lead Mac to find Kyle in a werewolf den in Colorado, but their reunion is cut short by a Tracker raid. Now Mac and Kyle are trapped inside the electric fences of Thornhill, a camp for young werewolves. As she devises an escape plan, Mac uncovers dangerous secrets buried within the walls of Thornhill, and realizes that the risk to the people she loves is greater than ever before.

Thornhill is a return to a familiar world with a new danger to face. It's not necessarily always fast-paced, but Mac in constantly on her toes. She's walked into something complicated, something bigger than she expected, and she's off again trying to save everyone. But there are secrets in Thornhill, secrets that could and will do anything to keep from being exposed.

Mac's involved in something bigger now, bigger than one girl's murder in a small town. This is something that could impact all werewolves, not just the few that she knows and cares about. This is something sinister, and, like in Hemlock, Mac's the girl pushing to get to the bottom of it. But as a normal human in a camp filled with werewolves, she's also in danger. She's weaker than them, she won't be able to stand up to any physical abuse the camp deals out to the others, but she isn't affected by some things the camp uses to control them, by bloodlust or by the camp's own devices.

There's a constant underlying tone of danger and unease rippling throughout the book, which leads to a lot of Mac, Kyle, and Jason moving as quickly as their able to. There's a lot of problem solving for Mac to do, a lot of secrets for her to uncover, which is rather amusing since Mac's keeping a fair amount of secrets on her own. But that's how Mac is, she's selfless and devoted and helpful. She puts everyone's well-being above her own. In a book like this, it could get her hurt. Or worse.

This book, like Hemlock, plays on a fear of the other, fear of those who look and act different. As those infected with the werewolf virus/disease, they're stronger, faster, and heal quicker than normal humans. It's, unfortunately, become ingrained in us to label people. Male, female, straight, gay, black, white, abled, disabled, cis, trans. We're still all people, still human beings. The werewolf aspect makes the difference between them and normal humans more obvious, exaggerates the difference with baser instincts, bloodlust, and sharp teeth and claws. With those, they're seen as 'inhuman,' as 'monsters,' and, for the good of those not infected and 'normal,' they need to be locked away. Which isn't good, it will only lead to conflict and potential bloodshed.

As the second book in a trilogy, it has to keep Mac's overall story going, her ongoing issues with Amy's death, her complicated relationship with Kyle, and her complicated friendship with Jason. And it does, it introduces a new bigger problem with a more dangerous enemy, one who believed that what they were doing was right, than through pain and suffering and death a solution would be found. Considering how this ended, I'm curious as to how Mac's story will end. Not easily, of course, but I wonder how painful it will be for her.

(I received an advance copy of this title from the author.)

Blog Tour: Thornhill by Kathleen Peacock

Like I wouldn't be a part of a blog tour for this author. ;) I'm the last stop on the blog tour set up by HarperCollins Canada and HCC Frenzy for Kathleen Peacock's second book, Thornhill. I really like this series, Mac is the kind of girl who will do whatever it takes to figure out the truth and to keep other safe, but it makes her slightly reckless and rather stubborn. Being the only girl in a camp full of werewolves, she's the most fragile, but that doesn't really factor into any of her plans. Mac wants to save everyone.

For the blog tour, Kathleen was awesome enough to write up a guest post. Enjoy! Then head to HCC Frenzy's Tumblr for a giveaway. :)
Topic: The historical events that led to how those infected with the werewolf disease are seen or treated.

The idea for Hemlock came to me in the flash of a scene.

A girl lying in a hospital bed. Small and blond and tougher than she looks.
Two boys fighting. One dark, the other light.
Accusations of betrayal as one boy learns the other is a werewolf.
Disbelief that something so big could have been kept secret for so long but not a shred of incredulity at the idea that werewolves could be real.

In whatever world my shiny new idea took place, one thing was clear: everyone knew that werewolves existed.

From there, it was a matter of working my way backward.

Say werewolves suddenly began turning up on street corners and in hospitals and on the nightly news. How would people explain it? Not as magic. They would look to science and try to find rational explanations—even for something as impossible as a man turning into a wolf. Doctors would call it a virus and try to keep it from spreading as they searched for a cure.

But what about the government? What about the general population? How would they react?

When it came to both groups, historical events and personal experience shaped the world Hemlock became.

During World War II, a large number of Japanese immigrants and American and Canadians of Japanese descent, were relocated to camps in both countries. In America alone, almost 120,000 people were removed from their homes and shipped to internment camps. When I thought of the fear that would accompany an epidemic like the one in Hemlock, it was easy to imagine the government might pass legislation similar to Executive Order 9066, the order which authorized the relocations and internments during World War II.  Thus, the idea of the werewolf rehabilitation camps—camps which didn't rehabilitate at all—was born.

As for the level of public fear and paranoia in Hemlock, some of it was based on general history and speculation, but some of it was influenced by my own recollections of the emergence of HIV as well as family stories of tuberculosis.

Growing up in the 1980s and early 1990s, AIDS was a terrifying new thing. Blood, needles, unprotected sex—we were told that was how the virus spread, but we were still paranoid. We wondered if you could get it from kissing. My best friend lived near a vacant lot that was often strewn with discarded condoms  (so unbelievably gross) and I remember being terrified that I would accidentally step on one. If AIDS got on my sneakers, could it get on me? If it got on me, would I catch it? Those fears are beyond ridiculous and embarrassing now, but we really worried about things like that—at least I did. Even sitcoms tried to reassure and educate us. In an episode of The Golden Girls, Rose learns that she may have contracted HIV through a blood transfusion. Dorothy and Blanche explain to Sophia that it's safe to use the same washroom and the same dishes as Rose, and when Rose wonders how she could have become infected when she's a good person, Blanche tells her, in no uncertain terms, that AIDS is not a punishment or a bad person's disease.

"I know, intellectually, there's no way I can catch it, but now that it's so close to home, it's scary." ~ Sophia in The Golden Girls

And things really are scarier the closer to home they are. In Thornhill, Mackenzie and her friends enter one of the werewolf rehabilitation camps—a camp that was built on the grounds of an old sanatorium where tuberculosis patients were sent for treatment. It wasn't a random or whimsical decision. My grandmother grew up in a time when tuberculosis was common. Her aunt died from the disease and her sister was sent to a sanatorium. Each letter sent home was quickly read and then burned on the instructions of a local doctor, and the fear of contamination and gems lingered long after the disease left. That bit of family history is why the grounds of the camp (which were loosely inspired by Danvers State Hospital) became a former sanatorium.

All fictional worlds—no matter how fantastical—are influenced by the world around us. Margaret Atwood said, of The Handmaid's Tale, "I made a rule for myself: I would not include anything that human beings had not already done in some other place or time, or for which the technology did not already exist. I did not wish to be accused of dark, twisted inventions, or of misrepresenting the human potential for deplorable behaviour."* For me, the world in Hemlock is one I can easily imagine because it was partially shaped by things that have already happened.

* Quote from "Haunted by The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood in The Guardian, on January 20, 2012 (

Thanks so much to Kathleen for this guest post, and thanks to HarperCollins Canada for asking if I'd take part in the blog tour. :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Me on The Clockwork Scarab

Title: The Clockwork Scarab
Author: Colleen Gleason
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Chronicle Books

Two young women of similar age and standing have disappeared: one found dead and the other still missing. The only clue to connect them is a small Egyptian clockwork scarab. Only Miss Stoker and Miss Holmes are well-positioned enough, similar in age and stature as they are to the victims, to investigate. An unlikely pair, the fierce Evaline Stoker and logical Mina Holmes must follow in the footsteps of their infamous families, Miss Holmes has inherited her Uncle Sherlock’s keen investigative skills while Miss Stoker has accepted her family calling as a hunter of the undead. The partners must find a way to work together, while navigating the advances of a strange yet handsome American, a clever Scotland Yard investigator, and a cunning thief, to solve the mystery of the clockwork scarabs.

The Clockwork Scarab is intriguing, a unique twisting together of Victorian intrigue and secrecy, steam, Egyptian mythology, and even a bit of time travel. Two intelligent and resourceful heroines follow hidden clues and their own curiosity in order to expose a dangerous group responsible for the deaths of young, privileged women, hoping to keep anyone else from disappearing or dying.

Mina and Evaline, while brought together in order to uncover the truth, are by no means friends. In some situations, they're barely civil towards each other. To Evaline, Mina is an awkward but bossy young woman who spends too much time with her nose in a book, constantly taking charge and analyzing the situation just like her uncle would. Alternately, Mina sees Evaline as head-strong and impatient, more inclined to show off her fighting skills and toss caution to the wind, jumping in straight away without thinking of consequences. Both see the other as foolish and unnecessary, perhaps with potential skills that could assist the investigation. They're forced to work on the mystery with each other, two girls who exist both in and out of polite society because of their skills, and they must learn to work together to keep the rest of London safe.

I'm often pulled into books by creative and intriguing world-building. Here is a re-imagining of a known setting, the past setting of London in the late 19th century, but this isn't the London I'm familiar with. This is a new but old London that runs on steam and gears, that exists in different street levels one on top of the other. It implies a different sort of evolution of the UK, that this, perhaps, isn't the past we are familiar with, that this is more of an alternate history sort of book.

The author has paid a great deal of attention to the grandeur of the setting, the details of the new steampunk machines and vehicles, the thought-processes of a well-bred but unconventional young woman living in London. She is polite but head-strong, intelligent, inquisitive, resourceful, thoughtful, and witty, her corset hiding a strong will and a spine of steel. She is easily dismissed by male counterparts and authority figures but is willing to push forward, to break through society's norms and take matters into her own hands. Mina Holmes and Evaline Stoker are the only ones able to unravel the mystery and they will not stop, even with inquisitive young men following them, poking their noses in unwanted places.

This is similar to Gail Carriger's Finishing School series, both in genre and it connecting to a previous adult series. This book is set some 60 to 70 years after Gleason's The Gardella Vampire Chronicles, but I'm not sure how loosely or tightly connected this series will be to it.

With re-tellings and re-imaginings, a certain amount of suspension of disbelief is required on behalf of the reader. In this book, with Sherlock Holmes being a real person, with Bram Stoker writing of vampires because he knew they were real, with London running on steam and mechanical devices, with someone travelling through time and ending up in this steam-filled city, I was both entertained and confused. As thrilling as the mystery and the plot are, as compelling as the characters are, as intricate as the world-building is, I still had a little bit of trouble suspending that much disbelief.

That being said, I did find this thoroughly enjoyable. The mystery and intrigue, the new-old London, the ways in which Mina and Evaline clash and work off each other, all of that worked for me. Considering where the book went and how it ended, I'm rather curious as to what will happen next, what mystery Mina and Evaline will have to uncover while keeping the bossy men in their lives at bay.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (144)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Altered
Author: Gennifer Albin
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (BYR)

From Goodreads:

Life. Possibility. Choice.
All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.

But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.

In this thrilling sequel to Crewel, Adelice is about to learn how tangled up her past and future really are. Her parents ran to protect her, but nothing can save her from her destiny, and once she uncovers the truth, it will change everything.

I enjoyed Crewel so much, it was so different and so interesting, and so I'm really looking forward to reading this. Not totally sold on the new covers, though. I love the abstract-ness of Crewel's original green cover.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Me on The Dream Thieves

Title: The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after... Ronan, for one, has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself. One secret is he can bring things out of his dreams. And sometimes he's not the only one who wants those things. He's one of the raven boys, a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead Welsh king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan's secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface, changing everything in its wake.

The Dream Thieves is just as mystical and enchanting as its predecessor and even more dangerous than I expected. The search for the long dead Welsh king hidden somewhere along the ley lines continues, but new and more deadly figures are coming out of the shadows, searching for something impossible and coveted. Things have changed for the raven boys, and things are coming together, ready to collide in a mix of fire and dreams.

This book takes readers back to Henrietta, back to Blue and her raven boys, her complicated and battered boys. If The Raven Boys was curiosity, if it was magic, if it was the unveiling of something, The Dream Thieves is the aftermath, the effects of what happened at and after Cabeswater. It's the nightmares and the monsters. There are new dangerous things they must face, new faces and new forces are coming into play with their own motives. The pieces of a larger story or event are falling into place with this book. Not completely, but a picture is slowly forming.

First they were a curious group of four raven boys, a group bolstered by the sensible addition of Blue. Now, they have problems they need to face on their own. Ronan's secrets and dreams. Gansey's continuing search for Glendower. Adam's coming to terms with who he is now after Cabeswater. Blue's future and what it will bring. Even Noah's existence. As much as they're forced apart, they'll have to come together in order to fix what's gone wrong.

There's a tone running through this book that differs from the first. Here, everything feels infinitely more dangerous than previously expected. It feels rougher, harder, heavier, deadlier. Everyone's place in the world feels slightly more precarious than previously thought.

Looking at the series so far, Stiefvater knows how to craft a story that will keep readers reading, how to create flawed and impossibly complicated characters for readers to cheer on, how to build worlds filled with magic for readers to lose themselves in, and how to write and ending that both satisfies the reader while leaving them wanting more. Wondering what's to come, wondering what will happen next to Blue and the raven boys, is just as exciting as reading what's already happened to them.

(A book review blogger sent me an advance copy she picked up at Book Expo America.)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Me on This Week's Book Week (68)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

There was the weirdest thunderstorm here Thursday afternoon/evening. It started around 3:30 and was just thunder. Then lightning struck nearby. We think nearby because the crack of it made us think something in the backyard has exploded. Then the rain started and it kept thundering until about 7:30. It was very bizarre, thunderstorms never last that long out here. We never lost power or anything, which was nice.

General public tickets for the Vancouver Writers Fest go on sale on Monday. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be able to get tickets to the events I want to go to. I think I might go to 2, call it my birthday present to myself. :)

Three reviews a week for the rest of the month! Reviews this week will feature The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (Monday), The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason (Wednesday), and a special blog tour posting for Thornhill by Kathleen Peacock (Friday). :)
Audacious by Gabrielle Prendergast (e-galley from the author)
Waterfell by Amalie Howard (e-galley from HarlequinTeen)

Natural Selection by Malinda Lo (e-book)
Saga Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples

Friday, September 6, 2013

Me on Antigoddess

Title: Antigoddess
Author: Kendare Blake
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen

Old Gods never die… or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health. Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra, an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. These days, Cassandra doesn't involve herself in the business of gods. In fact, she doesn't even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don't just flicker out. Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath. The Goddess War is about to begin.

Antigoddess is unique and dangerous, a Greek mythology re-imagining with high stakes and even higher levels of tension. This book stands out in a slightly overwhelmed market, introducing different characters and gods almost lost and long forgotten. The gods and goddesses are dying in their own unique way, and they must find a way to stop it, hunting down human allies in order to aid their quest. The consequences if they fail are already on them, slowly eating away at them, and this makes them move even faster.

Athena and Hermes are dying even before the book starts, battered, broken, wasting away or filling with feathers. They're losing power, but they're stubborn, nowhere near willing to give up, and so they continue their near impossible search across dangerous lands for someone who will help them in their battle for survival. What a curious thing, immortal gods searching for a way to keep from dying. One would think that, being immortal, they couldn't die, but something is different. Perhaps this was fated to happen. Perhaps their time was meant to end. But it won't, not if Athena has something to say about it. She will fight until the end.

On the other side of the coin, the unknowing side, is Cassandra. She is a normal 21st century teenage girl, completely unaware of the gods searching for her and the assistance she can provide. But she knows something will happen, she knows something is coming. She can see the future. But will she take sides in a war she doesn't know is heading straight for her?

Something, or someone, has decided it's time for the gods and goddesses to die, but what or who made such a decision? And what will come when the last has fallen? Will something new rise up, or will it be something more horrific then benevolent? This is such an intriguing re-imagining, it's not just a retellling of a myth or a figure in particular, it combines multiple stories, bringing so many different, and at times rather abrasive, voices together. The idea of gods dying makes them fallible, makes them flawed, makes them almost fragile. There are real consequences at work, they could die real deaths, and to a group thought to live forever through hundreds of millennia, it's frightening.

What is an antigoddess? One idea I have is that it's the opposite of a goddess, not immortal, not all-powerful or all-knowing. Human. Another idea stems from how the gods were once acknowledged by the Greeks, how they were revered, how they were remembered and honoured each and every day. The opposite here could be a god no longer remembered, not longer honoured with gifts or sacrifice. In these modern times, who prays to the Greek gods? The world is vast, filled with so many different cultures, religions, and faiths. Perhaps their time is coming to an end.

This book is filled with the author's clever use of humour, horror, description, and unique characters with unique personalities. The story itself is sharp, quick, action-packed, and headed straight for a battle of epic proportions. Blake doesn't pull punches, she doesn't sugar-coat. Every single character will have to fight, fight to the point of death and perhaps beyond, for the chance to survive.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Macmillan through NetGalley.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (143)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Tin Star
Author: Cecil Castellucci
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

From Goodreads:

On their way to start a new life, Tula and her family travel on the Prairie Rose, a colony ship headed to a planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy. All is going well until the ship makes a stop at a remote space station, the Yertina Feray, and the colonist's leader, Brother Blue, beats Tula within an inch of her life. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station.

When three humans crash land onto the station, Tula's desire for escape becomes irresistible, and her desire for companionship becomes unavoidable. But just as Tula begins to concoct a plan to get off the space station and kill Brother Blue, everything goes awry, and suddenly romance is the farthest thing from her mind.

This just sounds so cool, like a proper science fiction novel with aliens and space stations and humanity and being human. Why are all the cool-sounding books coming out next year??

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Me on Fangirl

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

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? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Fangirl is a humourous, entertaining, emotional, and compelling book. It's all about growing up, moving on, and living your own life instead of someone else's. It's okay to wonder what would happen if you could live inside the world of a book, if you could re-write it, but you can't forget your own life. It's the only one you'll ever get.

Cath is a very curious but very intriguing character. I fell for her awkwardness and her bookishness. This time at college, this time away from her sister and her father, is supposed to be about change. She's (sort of, because she's in a dorm) on her own, living her own life, but is she really? Can she move away from constantly spending time away from her twin and their father? Can she move away from Simon Snow and fanfiction? What intrigued me most about Cath was her staunch unwillingness towards most kinds of change. As the world around her changes, she retreats into herself, finding solace in fanfiction, in a world already created that she can manipulate. It's a coping mechanism, something familiar to turn back to when everything is frightening, when she can't control things. Like her sister. Like her father. Like her strange roommate and her boyfriend.

Fandom, being part of a fandom, is something I know, and so the book felt rather personal. I never lived in a dorm during university, I was never devoted enough to write fanfiction, but I've escaped from reality in order to immerse myself in books about world not my own. There's a certain kind of joy in having so much fun in a world someone else has created and meeting people who feel the same. It lessens the sting of feeling alone. Currently, it feels like fandoms are bigger than what they used to be, that the immediateness of the internet and social media has changed things. That science fiction and fantasy and comic book conventions (San Diego Comic Con, Fan Expo Toronto, WonderCon, LeakyCon, World Fantasy Con, Dragon*Con) are growing at a rapid rate. With this growth and popularity, it's no longer 'nerdy' or 'geeky' to be part of a fandom, no longer just for nerdy guys living in their parents' basements watching reruns of Star Trek over and over.

But being part of a fandom, living vicariously through fanfiction, isn't healthy. As a way to escape, to calm down after a stressful day, as entertainment, as a creative outlet, yes. For Cath and Wren, it became a coping mechanism for them after the abrupt departure of their mother. About a third of the way through the book, one character suggests that if you fall in love with the world you discover in a book, you can just write fanfiction in order to keep on living there. Another character replies, saying they "wouldn't call that living," and they're right. It's not. But sometimes it's hard to draw the line and separate fandom from reality.

When you hit college, when you're living in a dorm away from your parents, when you're suddenly gifted these new freedoms, it can be rather overwhelming. New routines, new people, new ideas, new places. Sometimes, it's new everything. Some can handle the change, some leave, some self-destruct. Everyone's time at college is different, and this is Cath's time.

This book is all about Cath, Cath figuring out the strange new world that is college, Cath figuring out boys and how they work, Cath figuring out that sometimes identical twins aren't that identical, Cath figuring out that change sucks and hurts but it has to happen. It's time to grow up, time to take that next step towards the rest of her life.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from St. Martin's Press through NetGalley.)