Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday Fun Post: An Upcoming TBF Book I'm Dying to Read

What's up fellow book lovers! Katie C. is here with the next Friday Fun Post!

There are a lot of authors coming to TBF this year, which means so many books to read before this may. But out of all the books on my forever growing TBR pile, i'm pretty excited to read The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton.

Image result for the belles coverCamellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orleans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orleans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful

But it's not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite, the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orleans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land.

But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie, that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision

With the future of Orleans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide: save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles, or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

(Also feel free to Adore the beautiful cover, but just keep in mind it might not be final)

Dhonielle Clayton is an author that i just discovered this year and i am so glad that i did! The Belles seems like such an interesting book to me, especially since it's based on the concept that beauty is something that people are born without and must be obtained later in life. In addition to such a cool idea, The Belles also looks to be filled with danger, high stakes, and saving the world, all things I can spend hours with my head inside a book for. But on a personal level, Clayton's novel reminds me of The Uglies, a book I read for school back in sixth grade and loved! I guess that's why, out of all the upcoming releases in 2018, this one really stuck out to me. This book will be released February 6, 2018, and I cant wait to read a book that will bring back good nostalgia but be entirely new at the same time!

So if you're as intrigued by The Belles as i am, make sure to get it as soon as it comes out and say hi to Dhonielle Clayton this May at TBF! this is book blogger Katie C., signing off!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Book Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Hello everybody, it’s Amy. Today I’ll be reviewing Brigid Kemmerer’s novel, Letters to the Lost. This book is amazing- deep and hauntingly beautiful, yet realistic and light at the same time.

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

Letters to the Lost
is one of the most heartfelt and touching books I’ve ever read. The author did an amazing job not only telling, but showing the situations and mindsets of the characters in such an emotional way. The voice in this novel, whether it is Juliet or Declan, is so realistic, raw, and honest. Juliet’s grief is palpable- you can sense her hopelessness, and even if you’ve never experienced grief like her’s, you can strangely understand. She’s not ready to move on, and that can be applied to so many situations in life. Her half of the story is extremely compelling, but it was Declan's that truly drew me in.

“You know what sucks? If you pick on someone weak at school, you end up suspended [...] But people can say whatever they want to a guy with a reputation, and no one cares. People actually root for it.” 

Being in Declan’s mind is especially thought-provoking- he’s fully aware of his reputation and knows he’s on a seemingly inevitable path to self-destruction. He’s bitter, abrasive, and unruly towards others, and people expect the worst from him in turn. But as in all things, there's more to the story- almost nothing in his life is present in mine, but by the end of the novel, I understood. In addition, this book has great character development as the bond between Juliet and Declan strengthens them both. They push each other to do “unexpected things,” and, unintentionally at first, begin to heal. The story unfolds so naturally, and the storytelling is so honest and heartbreaking while still being entirely realistic. Given the plot, you might think it’s emotionally heavy, but somehow it’s the perfect balance of bittersweetness. Just like life is, not all of it is centered on one thing, and their high school experience and friends are so relatable. 

At its core, this book is about two teenagers on two completely different orbits deciding to share their grief, thinking that no one else would understand. This is also the story of the few people who didn’t give up on them, but more importantly, it’s about the special connection they forge with each other that helps them redirect their lives onto paths of their own choosing.

So I’ll leave you with this quote, and hope you decide to pick this book up,

“We’re all united by grief, and somehow divided by the same thing.”


Letters to the Lost in the Monroe County Library System , Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Fun Post: An Upcoming TBF Book I'm Dying to Read

Trying to choose one book of the many upcoming TBF releases is hard, but after going through the lists of soon to be amazing reads, I think I have to say that I'm most excited for Tamora Pierce's Tempests and Slaughter.

Cover may not be Final
Arram Draper is on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram realizes that one day–soon–he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

Earlier this blogging season I had the privilege of reading Tamora Pierce's Wild Magic, which takes place in the same universe as this upcoming book and series. In this installment, instead of following Daine and her adventures in Tortall, we'll get to enjoy the rise and inevitable adventures of wizard, Numair Salmalin, one of my favorite characters from Wild Magic. I'm excited to read and enjoy his path to power. 

Tempests and Slaughter is set to release on February 6th. Hopefully all of you will go out and read as soon as it's available. I know I will!


TBF 2018 Design Contest

Hello TBF readers!

Are you creative? Are you an inspired artist? Are you an inspired songwriter and performer? Are you a TBF fan? We are looking for YOU!

It is time for the TBF Design Contest. We are looking for program designs, T-shirt designs, and a TBF theme song.

Here is all the information:

We are looking forward to your creations!

Happy designing and singing!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Book Review: The You I've Never Known

Happy 2018! We're just five short months away from TBF and I bet you all are counting down like we are. This month I read Ellen Hopkin's most recent novel The You I've Never Known which came out in February 2017.

For as long as she can remember, it's been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel's mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire. Maya's a teenager who's run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she's isolated with a baby on the way, and life's getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined. 
Ariel and Maya's lived collide unexpectedly when Ariel's mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn't abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago. What is Ariel supposed to believe? Is it possible Dad's woven her entire history into a tapestry of lies? How can she choose between the mother she's been taught to mistrust and the father who has taken care of her all these years?

The thing that stood out to me the most about this novel was the incredible writing. The story is told mostly in verse with some excerpts in prose mixed in throughout. The true raw emotions of these characters were portrayed through the writing that leapt across the page, both literally and figuratively. Despite the fact I have never experienced a lot of the experiences Ariel and Maya went through I still felt everything they felt because of the beautiful verse. And alongside these heartfelt and emotional moments were occasional pages full of friendships both old and new. Each character felt real to me, whether it was one of the two protagonists or their families or even the secondary characters and I loved that. And no spoilers, but there's several incredible twists in here that kept me guessing until the end. All in all I really enjoyed this novel and recommend it to those who love a story about self discovery, growing up, and finding your real family. Make sure to check out Ellen Hopkins at TBF this year!


check out the book here

Saturday, December 23, 2017

An Upcoming TBF Book I'm Dying To Read

Hello everyone! Happy Holidays!

*Cover not final
When Lizzie Lavenza enrolled at Ingold as its first female medical student, she knew she wouldn't have an easy time. From class demands to being an outsider among her male cohorts, she'll have to go above and beyond to prove herself. So when she stumbles across what appears to be a faulty Bio-mechanical--one of the mechanized cadavers created to service the school--she jumps at the chance to fix it and get ahead in the program.

Only this Bio-mechanical isn't like the others. Where they are usually empty-minded and perfectly obedient, this one seems to have thoughts, feelings...and self-awareness.

Soon Lizzie realizes that it is Victor Frankenstein--a former student who died under mysterious circumstances. Victor, it seems, still has a spark of human intelligence inside him, along with memories of things he discovered before his untimely death...and a suspicion that he was murdered to keep that information from getting out.Suddenly Lizzie finds herself intertwined in dark secrets and sabotage that put her life, and the lives of Victor and their friends, in danger. But Lizzie's determined to succeed--even if that means fighting an enemy who threatens the entire British Empire.

I cannot believe that it is already December, which means that Teen Book Fest is only five months away! Going to TBF is always a pretty awesome experience and each year it is unique and amazing. This year I am dying to read Cadaver and Queen by TBF author Alisa Kwitney. 
It comes out on February 27, which can’t come soon enough. The first female medical student at a selective school and a mechanized cadaver Frankenstein? Sign me up! The book description has the perfect mix of mystery and feminism that promises an enticing story. And an enemy that threatens the entire British Empire? That sounds like it’s going to be an interesting and fast paced story. I first heard about this when I was doing some research on the TBF authors and their books. I have to admit that when I heard about this book I freaked out and immediately started wishing I could get my hands on a copy. Of course, there’s not much longer to wait now. And isn’t Lizzie Lavenza such an awesome name? 

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and stay warm! Enjoy the break and read a few books. See all of you at TBF! 

Until next time.





Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Porcupine of Truth book review

Happy Holiday season!  The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg is the perfect book to read over break. This year I am trying to read books outside of my usual genres(science fiction and fantasy). When I heard about this book I thought "why not" and I am so glad I did.

Carson Smith is resigned to spending his summer in Billings, Montana, helping his mom take care of his father, a dying alcoholic he doesn't really know. Then he meets Aisha Stinson, a beautiful girl who has run away from her difficult family, and discovers a secret regarding his grandfather, who disappeared without warning or explanation decades before. Together, Carson and Aisha embark on an epic road trip to try and save Carson's dad, restore his fragmented family, and discover the "Porcupine of Truth" in all of their lives.-Amazon

Image result for the porcupine of truth

I flew through this book. That could have something to do with the fact that I couldn't put it down or the fact that it was a pretty quick read. I laughed a ton. The two main characters, Aisha and Carson, are both into improv and that led to many funny moments. There were also some not so funny moments(I might have cried once or twice...).

There was a bit of a history lesson, although not as much as I expected. It is told in an intriguing way that made it feel very unlike history class. I loved how messy all the families were. The small town aspect was great as well. My grandparents live in a small town and even though the one in the book is in a totally different location I kept picturing all the town scenes happening in my grandparents town. Both of the main charecters were interesting, and I related to both of them in different ways.

I can't wait to read more of Bill Konigsberg's books. I honestly don't know what it is like because like I said I don't really read realistic fiction. So I will just suggest it to anyone wanting a light, funny, quick read over break that will make them think a little. Oh and sorry for the weird highlight thing on the summary, can't figure out how to get that to go away!

Happy Holidays,