Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold

Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold by Katie Finn is book two in the Broken Hearts and Revenge series.  Gemma has sworn to get revenge on Hallie but Hallie is proving to be harder to beat than she originally thought.   To make things even more challenging, Teddy (her ex-boyfriend who is currently dating Hallie) is in town and Gemma’s long time crush Ford is visiting his father.  As Gemma and Hallie continue to spar (often in outlandish and devious ways), Gemma finds her summer being much more interesting than a quiet time lounging on the beach.

I love this series!  First of all, Finn’s titles are so witty and whimsical.  They perfectly capture the plot and the playful nature of the story.  The characters are entertaining and believable.  I love how hard Gemma tries to correct the mistakes of her past even when she knows it is next to impossible.  You get lost in the chaos of the story and filled with a sense of friendship and new love.  This is an absolutely perfect summer read.

Vanishing Girls

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver is a fantastic read with layers of intrigue and suspense.  Driving home from a party one night Nick (Nicole) crashes her car leaving her sister, Dara, seriously injured and herself with amnesia.  On top of the horrendous accident Nick’s parents have decided to get a divorce and her sister refuses to speak once she is out of the hospital.  Needless to say, it feels like everything in her life is changing and not for the better.  Nick tries to move forward, but all she really wants is to get Dara to start talking to her and to remember what really happened that caused her to run off the road.  Towards the end of summer Dara goes missing and Nick knows that she is the only one who will be able to find her.

Oliver captures the complicated sister bond so well: love, loyalty, jealousy, admiration, competition, and anger.  Nick’s voice is authentic and real and before long you find yourself halfway through the book.  The underlying mystery around the car accident and then the disappearance of Dara really keeps you  immersed in the book .  You want to know what happened to Dara as much as Nick does and are as stunned to discover the truth as she is.  I was so SHOCKED and never saw it coming.  Yet there is so much more to this book than the mystery of that fateful night.  Nick has to work her way through her dysfunctional parent issues, her love issues, and then find a way to move forward.  This is a book you let linger a moment before you rush off to your next read.

I Was Here

I love Gayle Forman’s books.  She always creates engaging characters that you want to read about.  Her latest book I Was Here is no exception, it was wonderful.  The book is about a girl, Cody, whose best friend, Meg, commits suicide leaving everyone stunned, hurt, and confused.  Cody feels incredibly guilty that she was unable to help her best friend,  or even notice that she was so depressed.  Thus begins her investigation into why her best friend committed suicide which leads to past boyfriends, college friends, and an encrypted laptop.

Forman did such an amazing job with her character development. Cody begins her quest in the thick of her grief and as she continues to try to understand why Meg died she finds that she can finally move forward with her life.  Forman’s books are so true to life and genuine. Her captivating stories pull you forward until suddenly you have reached the end of the book.  If you are looking for a new contemporary young adult fiction author to read her books would be a perfect choice.

 

The Impossible Knife of Memory

Laurie Halse Anderson’s The Impossible Knife of Memory is a remarkable book that looks at the impact of post traumatic stress disorder not only for the person with it but for the family members around them.  After jumping from place to place, Hayley and her dad have decided to attempt to settle down in upstate New York.  After returning from Iraq Hayley’s dad  struggles with demons making it next to impossible to keep a steady job or pay bills.  In fact, some days he can’t even leave his room because he is  stuck in his nightmares of war.  However, Hayley is optimistic that she can have a normal life here, perhaps even a boyfriend.

“You could drive a truck through the amount of space between forgetting and not remembering.”  This  is one of my favorite lines in this book and it captures the essence of the story.  Anderson is an amazing writer who captures the sensitivity and compassion between  a father and daughter both dealing with PTSD.  The characters are wonderful and the plot is fast-paced and intriguing.  This is a book I highly recommend.

July’s Book Clubs

Here are our book clubs for the month of July:

In-Store Book Clubs

July 23rd Mystery Group (7 PM):  A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry

 

Online Book Clubs:  Click here to join our conversation for the month of July

                                               Theme:  Beach Reads

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn

To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

 

Hollow City

After finishing Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children a while back, I was saddened to be left adrift along with Jacob, Emma and all the other peculiars from the island. I was ecstatic when Hollow City finally came out and thrilled that the story  picks up right where the first one left off with Jacob and his friends heading to London.

The whole world that Riggs creates for the peculiars to discover is fascinating.  I really enjoyed watching all of the children grow into their powers and discover other peculiar children as they traveled.  The photos are just as unusual as in the first book and follow the story well…almost as if Riggs sat down with a pile of bizarre photos and created stories to explain the unique children in them.

I really hate waiting for the next installment, since we discover Jacob’s hidden talent at the very end of this one. But I’m sure it will be well worth the wait. Loved. This. Book.

Earthbound

Aprilynne Pike’s latest novel Earthbound is a fantastic beginning to what is sure to be a great series.  Tavia is hiding-out with her aunt and uncle after being the only survivor of plane crash.  She lost both of her parents and is now just trying to piece her life back together.  On the plus side, she met a cute boy at the library who seems to be the only one pulling her out of her haze of grief and recovery.  Things are starting to go back to normal – whatever that is – until Tavia starting seeing a mystery boy who is dressed in clothes dating back to the 1800’s.  However all of this is only the beginning of “strange new occurrences” for Tavia and before long she and Benson, her library boy, are fleeing from her aunt and uncle.

I am so excited for this new series.  Pike has  a very lush and dynamic language that made it very easy to escape into her story, specifically when describing the cold.   I felt like I was walking outside in the bitter colds of the arctic.  Her characters are engaging and believable.  I really like Tavia.  She is an amazingly well developed character and I found her to have a unique voice that immediately pulls you into the story.  I also liked that she isn’t a petty shallow character, but is a girl who is already thinking for herself before the crisis happens.  Although surviving a plane crash does seem like it would make you more grown-up than simply going to school and learning that you have a cool supernatural ability. Needless to say, I am eagerly awaiting book two.

Autographed copies are available in the store.  Stop in or call to get your copy.  (Click here for store location and phone number.)