Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What's New: July YA Release List & Giveaway

Summer is in full swing around here--temps are up in the 100s UGH. I really need to move somewhere that doesn't get over 85. That sounds heavenly. We're getting ready for our regular 4th of July bash here and we also just did ALA in San Francisco, which was a blast--but also not. More on that in my ALA recap post :)  Its July, people, and my brain is melting in this heat, so that's all I'll say for now LOL. 

So if you're new to Stories & Sweeties, here's a little run-down of this feature: at the start of each month, I do a little thing called the "What's New List & Giveaway" where you'll find a full list of the new releases in YA for the month, and entry to the giveaway. At the end of each month, one lucky winner will get to choose any new release as their prize!

First things first! The winner of June's giveaway is Yun-A! Congrats!
July 2015 Releases:
Just like previous months, I've put a little lve by those books that I am really anticipating!

(I'll be linking these up a little later! Sorry for the delay, but my internet was down all day yesterday.)

Darkness Brutal by Rachel A. Marks
Secret of the Sevens by Lynn Lindquist
Storm by Amanda Sun

Fearless by Marianne Curley 

Don't Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom
The End or Something Like That by Ann Dee Ellis
The Escape by Hannah Jayne
Faces: The Masks of Aygrima by E.C. Blake
The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Forever for a Year by B.T. Gottfred
Hallowed by Tonya Hurley
Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Jessie's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery
Naked by Stacey Trombley
Paperweight by Meg Haston
Renegade by Kerry Wilkinson
Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
The Six by Mark Halpert
Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
Survive the Night by Danielle Vega
A Tale of Light and Shadow by Jacob Gowans
Trollhunters by Guillermo Del Toro & Daniel Kraus
You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison

Mania by J.R. Johansson

About a Girl by Sarah McCarry
Alive by Scott Sigler
The Blind Wish by Amber Lough
Deceptive by Emily Lloyd-Jones
From This Moment by Lauren Barnholdt
The Golden Specific by S.E. Grove
The Harvest by Chuck Wendig
The Haunting of Sprigett Hall by E.B. Wheeler
No Such Person by Caroline B. Cooney
Outrage by John Sandford & Michele Cook
Queen of Tomorrow by Sherry Ficklin
Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
The Road to You by Alecia Whitaker
Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams
The School for Brides by Patrice Kindl
Show and Prove by Sofia Quintero
Stone Rider by David Hofmeyr
What We Knew by Barbara Stewart

Damage Done by Amanda Panitch
Geek Girl: Model Misfit by Holly Smale
The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani
Noble Warrior by Alan Laurence Sitomer
Pretending to be Erica by Michelle Painchaud
Resonance by Erica O'Rourke
Return to the Dark House by Laurie Stolarz
Torn by Avery Hastings

Adrift by Paul Griffin
All We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder
Every last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Minutes before Sunset by Shannon Thompson
Oblivion by Kelly Creagh
Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton

(I'll be linking these up a little later! Sorry for the delay, but my internet was down all day yesterday.)
Please feel free to email me if you notice any YA titles missing! :)

Giveaway Details:
One winner will win a YA July release of their choice! *see note below
• Contest ends July 31st
, 2015 at 11:59 PM
• Must be 13 or older.
• Open internationally. *International winners will be required to choose a book that is available through
•Extra entries can be earned by commenting on
June or July reviews, and can be done once per review. Come back throughout July whenever you comment on my reviews and get your extra points!    
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.
by Brittany Cavallaro

hitting shelves March 1st, 2016
from Katherine Tegen Books
The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John Watson–wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else.

Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.

Equal parts tender, thrilling, and hilarious, A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy brimming with wit and edge-of-the-seat suspense.

My thoughts:
SO...this book has the great-great grandkids of Holmes & Watson and a clever play-on-words title to boot. My need for this book is a given. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

First Impression Review: The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

 First Impression Reviews is a new feature here at Stories & Sweeties where I give my first thoughts at 50-100 pages into a book. For a details about this feature, go here!

where I'm at:  pg 105

first impressions: OH such gorgeous writing. The atmosphere of this story drew me in right away---there's something haunting and almost ethereal about Brockenbrough's storytelling.  It starts off with the characters of Love and Death carefully picking out their players in a game they've played against each other many times before.  Then we're introduced to Henry and Flora, get wrapped up in their story as their paths finally cross.  Everything stands in their way from family expectations to racial tensions, to Love and Death themselves stepping in in sneaky guises in an effort to sway the game.

 The late 1930s era is absolutely brought to life as these characters stories play out in a world of jazz clubs, zepplins, and Hoovervilles. I also love how Henry and Flora's personalities seem to each be shaped by their "sponsor's" influence: one is unfailingly kind and can see connection in all things, one is determined to escape and is all about a means to an end.  But more than anything, there's just such a unique tension to this story, I suspect that it's propelling toward something either beautifully triumphant or horribly tragic.  I'm absolutely captivated!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Waiting on...

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.
by MarcyKate Connolly

hitting shelves February 9th, 2016
from HarperCollins Children's Books

A witch has come to the city of Bryre. She travels in a hut that has chicken feet, and is ravenous for children. And once she gets what she desires, she never lets it go.

But when the witch captures Hans, Greta’s little brother, Greta refuses to let her have him. The two strike up a bargain. Greta will retrieve something the witch desires in exchange for her brother’s freedom.

To get the prize Greta must travel to Belladoma—a city where she was once held captive—which brings back terrible memories. With the help of a new friend, Dalen, a magical half-boy and half-horse, Greta embarks on the journey and tries to overcome both foes and her own weaknesses.

For fans of Monstrous and new readers alike comes the story of an epic quest and a heroine who will stop at nothing to save the one she loves most.

My thoughts:
Sigh...this cover. SO beautiful, just the like the first book in this wonderful fantasy world, Monstrous.  I loved Monstrous (my review's here) and I can't wait to get back to this world and a second taste of MarcyKate Connelly's writing. Thanks, Carina, for posting about this one recently! I didn't even know a second book was in the works!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

New Shelf Goodies & The Weekly Nutshell {130}

For New Shelf Goodies, I'll be showing you what lovely books I acquired this week, whether from publishers, or the library, or from whatever half-crazed book-buying binge I happened to go on. :D (Inspired by Tynga's Stacking the Shelves) The Weekly Nutshell will be just week here at Stories & Sweeties, in a nutshell. (inspired by Ginger @ GReads and her recaps at the end of the TGIF posts)

This week I let my full geek-flag fly :D
Books for review: 
The Geeky Chef Cookbook by Cassandra Reader
Guys this is such a cool cookbook! Includes recipes from HP, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, and tons more! 
The Tide Watcher by Lisa Chaplin
About a woman risking her life as a spy to stop Napoleon! Interesting!
This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
Looks so creepy and steampunky! Can't wait to read this!

Other stuffs: 
Pop Vinyl Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor
I've been waiting SO long for the Doctor series of these figurines to come out! Finally!
Sherlock "Bored" t-shirt 
Guys, I signed up for Nerd Block this month especially because they were doing a British theme--this shirt was definitely my fave thing in the box.  Box also included Doctor Who, Mr. Bean, and Monty Python stuff. It was pretty cool! :D

The Weekly Nutshell:  
{Monday} Sweetness on Sunday: Blueberry Almond Cream Scones
{Tuesday} Waiting on Wednesday: The Love That Split the World
{Saturday} Review: Siren's Fury by Mary Weber

Just a quick note or I'll sleep through Daddy's Day breakfast tomorrow and be in big trouble LOL.  This week I started Game of Love and Death---gorgeous gorgeous writing. Loving so far.  Also hoping to read Beastly Bones this week before meeting the author at ALA (eeeeee!).  And about that...ALA is a mere five days away gahhhhhh! I am so excited for the books, the authors, chatting with publishers, and hitting a few awesome places to eat in San Fran.  As close as I live to the city, I don't really go there that often.  The traffic getting in and out is such a headache that we usually stay away.  So staying there for the weekend will be a fun little treat. Plus my best friend flies in Friday morning!! YAY! :D

Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Siren's Fury by Mary Weber {review}

Siren's Fury
by Mary Weber
♦publisher: Thomas Nelson Books
♦release date: June 2nd, 2015
♦hardcover, 352 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: The Storm Siren Trilogy, book 2
  review of book 1: Storm Siren
♦source: from publisher for honest review
"I thrust my hand toward the sky as my voice begs the Elemental inside me to waken and rise. But it's no use. The curse I've spent my entire life abhorring—the thing I trained so hard to control—no longer exists."

Nym has saved Faelen only to discover that Draewulf stole everything she valued. Now he’s destroyed her Elemental storm-summoning ability as well.

When Nym sneaks off with a host of delegates to Bron, Lord Myles offers her the chance for a new kind of power and the whispered hope that it may do more than simply defeat the monster she loathes. But the secrets the Bron people have kept concealed, along with the horrors Draewulf has developed, may require more than simply harnessing a darker ability.

They may require who she is.

Set against the stark metallic backdrop of the Bron kingdom, Nym is faced with the chance to change the future.

Or was that Draewulf’s plan for her all along?

Review: I'm not even sure where to begin with this one! An awesome sequel, for sure, but so many surprises at risk of getting spoiled!  How to even express my shock and wonder and awe without giving anything away?? Mary Weber is my new official "queen of punch-in-the-gut moments". If you read book one, you know this well.  And I will say that THANK GOODNESS this book starts the next moment after Storm Siren ends, because the last sentence of that book nearly killed me.  

Even without her powers, Nym is just as fierce as ever. And while she makes a seriously dark and risky decision to take matters into her own hands, you can see her desperate motivation clear as day. Nym gets torn emotionally in so many directions, stretched thin by guilt, helplessness, desire, fear, self-consiousness, don't trust this person, defend that person---you can see her constantly at war with herself.  She seems to have found a faithful friend in Rasha, and I love that this character has a bit of fire in her, too. Lord Myles is shady as ever, his "helpful" intention constantly in question, and Draewolf is power-hungry and monstrous--- but I love that Weber writes even her darkest of characters with enough complexity that the reader develops just the tiniest doubt of what lies beneath the evil intent.

While there were one or two moments that I found my attention waning, the intensity and excitement and danger that runs through most of the story more than makes up for it.  Here's how my emotions ran through it all:  hope instilled, hope dashed to pieces, hope reawakened, hope smashed with a hammer, absolute distress as a favorite character falls into dangerous clutches, absolute heartbreak and devastastion turns to joy as ...well. No spoilers! ;)  Once again, we're left with a killer ending and a long, torturous wait to find out what happens next! 

Find Mary Weber online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Instagram

Purchase Storm Siren:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Waiting on...

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It lets us all gush about what soon-to-be released books we are jumping-up-and-down excited for.
by Emily Henry

hitting shelves January 26th, 2016
from Razorbill
Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

My thoughts:
This is the kind of synopsis that I love, not too much given away, but the kind of thing that makes you think "WHAT the heck is going on??" But there's magic, there's weird apparitions, there's football and the hint at an epic romance.  Just with this very vague description, I think it sounds amazing! :)