Google+ YA Romantics

Friday, April 28, 2017

Freebie Friday: And We're Off!




Happy Friday!

Today's giveaway is a finished copy of a new YA book about a summer road trip -- perfect since summer is around the corner!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 27, 2017

#ReadaDessen Dreamland



Dreamland
by Sarah Dessen

Originally published on September 1, 2000
by Penguin Speak

Synopsis from Goodreads: Ever since she started going out with Rogerson Biscoe, Caitlin seems to have fallen into a semiconscious dreamland where nothing is quite real. Rogerson is different from anyone Caitlin has ever known. He's magnetic. He's compelling. He's dangerous. Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else--her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life. But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him?
Source: library

My take: I'd actually never read this Sarah Dessen before.  Probably because I use her books as escape reading and this seemed like a darker book than I wanted to read. Yes, it's darker and less romantic than the rest of her books, but I thought its portrayal of an abusive relationship was gripping.

Caitlin's family is in turmoil after her perfect, Yale-bound older sister Cassie runs away from home. While Caitlin's parents focus on trying to find their older daughter and bring her back, Caitlin flounders. Her friend Rina convinces her to join the cheerleading squad. And she meets a guy named Rogerson. At first he seems like just what he needs -- a rebellious private school student who's the exact opposite of the perfection that Cassie ran away from.

I'm not an expert on domestic violence or the psychology of abusive relationships, but I thought the way that the book portrayed Caitlin's slow descent into the nightmare of abuse felt real to me. Rogerson begins to isolate Caitlin from her friends and family, to blame her for his violence and anger. And I was happy that the book took the time to show what happens to Caitlin after she leaves the relationship and seeks counseling.

This post is not officially part of #ReadaDessen, but be sure to enter to win the Penguin contest for a full set of Dessen books here!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hot Off the Presses: New YA Releasing April 24-May 1

Hot Off the Presses -- brand new YA releases!

Welcome to Hot Off the Presses!  

Tuesday is book release day, so every Tuesday I tell you about all the great new YA books you can buy in the week to come.

LAST CHANCE to enter the April giveaway! Each month's winner can pick any book up to $15 on either Amazon (for US winner) or The Book Depository (for international winner.)

Hot Off the Presses aims to include every traditionally published YA book. Please let me know about books that came out this week that I might have missed! Some titles may have different release dates outside the US.


Saint Death Lucky Girl Sunkissed Wonder of Us
Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick (Roaring Brook)
Lucky Girl by Amanda Maciel (Balzer + Bray)
Sunkissed (Ladybirds #4) by Jenny McLachlan (Feiwel and Friends)
The Wonder of Us by Kim Culbertson (Point)


North of Happy This Is Really Happening Looking for Group
North of Happy by Adi Alsaid (Harlequin)
This is Really Happening by Erin Chack (Razorbill)
Looking for Group by Rory Harrison (Harper)


Legion The Whole Thing Together Maud Between Two Skies
Legion (Talon #4) by Julie Kagawa (Harlequin)
The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares (Delacorte)
Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery by Melanie Fishbane (Razorbill Canada)
Between Two Skies by Joanne O'Sullivan (Fewer and Friends)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 24, 2017

#ReadaDessen Keeping the Moon + Trivia



Keeping the Moon
by Sarah Dessen

Originally published
on Sept 1, 1999
by Penguin Speak

Synopsis from Goodreads: Colie expects the worst when she's sent to spend the summer with her eccentric aunt Mira while her mother, queen of the television infomercial, tours Europe. Always an outcast -- first for being fat and then for being "easy" -- Colie has no friends at home and doesn't expect to find any in Colby, North Carolina. But then she lands a job at the Last Chance Cafe and meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel, best friends with a loving yet volatile relationship. Wacky yet wise, Morgan and Isabel help Colie see herself in a new way and realize the potential that has been there all along.

Source: Library

My take: Keeping the Moon retains some of the cynicism toward romance of That Summer and Someone Like You but adds a new theme: self-image. Colie was formerly overweight and her mom is an infomercial exercise guru. Since her mom's traveling, Colie goes to Colby to live with her aunt Mira. (This is also the first Dessen set in Colby!)

Mira is eccentric and, since Colie was bullied in high school, it's painful for Colie to watch the locals mock Mira's weight and crazy outfits. She can't believe that Mira doesn't care what others think of her. Some other major characters are Morgan and Isabel, two polar opposite best friends who wait tables with Colie at the Last Chance Bar and Grill.  Isabel is pretty and pragmatic, while lanky Morgan hides her vulnerability under a cranky exterior.

When Colie meets a cute, preppy visitor to Colby, she wants to date him just to prove to her bullies that she's worthy of love. But maybe she's really attracted to Norman, an artist who's more on the unconventional side, like Mira.

Having worked in food service, I loved the scenes at the Last Chance. And though this romance takes the whole book to really get started, it was sweet.

This post is not officially part of #ReadaDessen, but be sure to enter to win the Penguin contest for a full set of Dessen books here!


KEEPING THE MOON quiz: how much do you remember?

1. What is Aunt Mira's job?
A. She writes jingles for commercials
B. She writes condolence cards
C. She writes games for the back of cereal boxes
D. She writes fortunes for fortune cookies

2. What is the band Norman listens to on the radio?
A. The Vixens of Varina
B. The Bros of Biscoe
C. The Sweethearts of Shalott
D. The Fierces of Fuquay

3. What type of athlete is Morgan's boyfriend?
A. Baseball player
B. Racecar driver
C. Hockey player
D. Golfer

4. What do Morgan and Isabel order in the mail?
A. The Thighmaster
B. A Topsytail
C. Columbia Records and Tapes
D. Rejuvenique Electric Face Mask

The answers and more quizzes are on my Sarah Dessen trivia page!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017

#ReadaDessen Someone Like You + Trivia!

Someone Like You
by Sarah Dessen

Originally Published May 1, 1998
by Penguin
Synopsis from Goodreads: Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she's carrying his baby, she was devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it'll never break--because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever.
Source: library

My take:  After my re-read, I think this book fits into what I call "early Dessen": a younger character learning about life and love with a minimum of romance and a hint of disillusionment.

Scarlett and Halley are best friends, but the summer before their junior year, Scarlett's boyfriend is killed. A few months later, Scarlett discovers she's pregnant and has to figure out what to do. Halley has problems of her own: Macon, the new guy she likes, seems to have a lot of ex-girlfriends and he's pressuring her to get more physical.

Given that this book has a more serious aspect, with the teen pregnancy plotline, I expected it to feel angstier than it did. Yes, the pregnancy is a major part of the story, but it felt to me like just another thing that the girls had to deal with, along with boy trouble and annoying parents. But overall, it's a great friendship story.

Be sure to enter to win the Penguin contest for a full set of Dessen books here! Giveway courtesy of Penguin Random House.


SOMEONE LIKE YOU Quiz: how Much Do You Remember?

1. Lakeview, the town where Halley and Scarlett live, has a motto. What is it?
A: Lakeview: One Community Around the Lake
B: Lakeview: Live Where You Play
C: Lakeview: A Community of Friends
D. Lakeview: Gateway to the Lakes

2. In what situation does Macon suggest that Halley use the Jedi Mind Trick?
A: Her school schedule is completely messed up
B: She's turning her homework in late
C: She's missed curfew again
D: She needs a day off from her job at Milton's Market

3. What does Halley's father call the family lawnmower?
A: Old Rusty
B: Chopper
C: The Green Machine
D: The Beast

4. What's the name of the pregnancy book that Scarlett reads throughout the story?
A: You're Pregnant - What Now?
B: The Pregnant Mother's Companion
C: The Expectant Mother
D: Yeah, Baby!

5. Scarlett goes into labor during 
A: Graduation
B: Prom
C: The school musical
D: The SATs

Find the answers and more Dessen quizzes on my #ReadaDessen page!





Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hot Off the Presses: New YA Releasing April 18-24

Hot Off the Presses -- brand new YA releases!

Welcome to Hot Off the Presses!  

Tuesday is book release day, so every Tuesday I tell you about all the great new YA books you can buy in the week to come.

Enter the April giveaway! Each month's winner can pick any book up to $15 on either Amazon (for US winner) or The Book Depository (for international winner.)

Hot Off the Presses aims to include every traditionally published YA book. Please let me know about books that came out this week that I might have missed! Some titles may have different release dates outside the US.

Bang Grendel's Guide to Love and War Meg & Linus Fireworks
Bang by Barry Lyga (Little, Brown)
Grendel's Guide to Love and War by A. E. Kaplan (Knopf)
Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski (Swoon)
Fireworks by Katie Cotugno (Harper)


Missing The Adjustment Sky Throne Vincent and Theo
Missing by Kelley Armstrong (Crown)
The Adjustment (The Program #3) by Suzanne Young (Simon Pulse)
The Sky Throne by Chris Ledbetter (Month(Books)
Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heligman (Henry Holt)


a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Blog design by Imagination Designs