Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Where She Went

Jill over at Breaking the Spine created the Waiting on Wednesday meme for us bloggers to showcase books we're waiting on.

This week the book I've been waiting on for a long, long time is Where She Went the highly anticipated sequel to Gayle Forman's If I Stay.

Is that cover not GORGEOUS! Simple but so powerful from the model's expression to the background.

In case you aren't familiar with the first book, here's the blurb about If I Stay from Publishers Weekly

The last normal moment that Mia, a talented cellist, can remember is being in the car with her family. Then she is standing outside her body beside their mangled Buick and her parents' corpses, watching herself and her little brother being tended by paramedics. As she ponders her state (Am I dead? I actually have to ask myself this), Mia is whisked away to a hospital, where, her body in a coma, she reflects on the past and tries to decide whether to fight to live. Via Mia's thoughts and flashbacks, Forman (Sisters in Sanity) expertly explores the teenager's life, her passion for classical music and her strong relationships with her family, friends and boyfriend, Adam. Mia's singular perspective (which will recall Alice Sebold's adult novel, The Lovely Bones) also allows for powerful portraits of her friends and family as they cope: Please don't die. If you die, there's going to be one of those cheesy Princess Diana memorials at school, prays Mia's friend Kim. I know you'd hate that kind of thing. Intensely moving, the novel will force readers to take stock of their lives and the people and things that make them worth living.

And then here's the blurb for Where She Went

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

If I Stay was AMAZING! I found myself laughing and crying through the story. The way Forman captures the essence of grief and loss and love and romance is phenomenal. The characters were so memorable from Mia and Adam to Mia's grandparents. I also enjoyed that we got to know the parents and brother in reverse through the flashbacks. It made the pain of their deaths all the more evident.

With that said, I can't wait to see what happens in Where She Went....Frankly, I'm gonna pitch a fit if she and Adam don't end up together in the end.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Hourglass

Jill over at Breaking the Spine created the Waiting on Wednesday meme for us bloggers to showcase books we're waiting on.

There are a lot of books I'm waiting on, but there's one that's *cues the Pet Shop Boys and/or Willie Nelson* Always on My Mind. Just kidding.

Here's a summary of Hourglass.

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?

If after reading that summary, you're not completely stoked and pumped, then let me give you a few more reasons!!

(1). Kickass Cover....I mean, how does that not just suck you in?

(2). A Southern setting and Allusions to the old South. I'm a life-long Georgia native, and I love the culture of the South--both new and old. Books like Beautiful Creatures & The Magnolia League really rock my socks with the Southern cultures of cultured ladies, sipping sweet tea, and old family skeletons.

(3). The Author....srsly, this should probably be the first reason because Myra is so amazing. When I first started on Twitter, Myra was a very approachable and hilarious author. I had the pleasure of meeting Myra at the Decatur Book Festival. She's just as funny and approachable in person. She's also got a great heart because she was one of the organizers of the Do The Right Thing for Nashville auction to help benefit flood victims.

So, there you have it. The reasons why May 24 can't come fast enough!!

What books are you waiting on this fine Wednesday?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Must Read Reviews: Wither

*I received this arc through Simon and Schuster....and boy am I grateful!*

Here's a quick plot summary for Wither in case you've been under a rock and not heard about the premise!!!

When scientists engineered genetically perfect children, everyone thought it would ensure the future of the human race. Though the first generation is nearly immortal, a virus causes all successive generations to die early: age 20 for women, 25 for men. Now, girls are kidnapped for brothels or polygamous marriages to breed children. Rhine is taken from her hardscrabble life and sold with two other girls to Linden Ashby. Though they live in a palatial Florida home surrounded by gardens and treated like royalty, the girls are sequestered from the outside world, and Rhine longs to escape. Her growing affection for her sister wives, her pity for Linden, and her fear of Housemaster Vaughn, Linden's manipulative father, keep her uncomfortably docile, until she falls for servant Gabriel.

I'll have to admit when I first started reading Wither, I wasn't sure exactly what to think of it. It hooked me in from the first chapter with a Dystopian edge...the next chapter moved into a more Historical novel feel. Then it yo-yoed between Dystopian, Sci-Fi, and Historical. While I do think there could have been a wee bit more development with the "world" of Wither, it didn't effect my appreciation of the story. In fact, it might have aided it a bit since we're just as clueless as Rhine is. I loved the aspect of "sister-wives" and a love quad, rather than triangle. It's just a different kind of book than I've read in a long time.

DeStefano has a great grasp of character development. Rhine is an easy MC to embrace, to have empathy for, and to want a better future for. I found myself rooting for her each time she got manipulative and devious, lol. There were times when I loathed Linden and others when I found myself very drawn to him. The evolving of Cecily's role as a Sister Wife, as well as Jenna's, was also very well done. I found myself really caring for these characters....there's an OMG moment where I had to fight my tears. There's also lots of roller coaster moments where you'll be sitting on the edge of your seat.

I'm totally stoked for the sequel!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Prayers for Japan

My heart is very heavy with the sad news from Japan. At times, watching the television reports felt like reading the pages of a Post-Apac novel. And after all the horrible things that have transpired from the earthquake, aftershocks, and tsunami, there are all the nuclear threats and fears as well.

So, in my heart, I stand united with the people of Japan.
I send them my thoughts and prayers along with some relief money.