Every Last Word

9781484705278_p0_v4_s192x300Every Last Word

Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Series: Stand-alone Novel
Publisher: Disney – Hyperion
Publication Date: 6/16/15
Pages: 368
Source: Purchased

Read All About It:
Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear. Continue reading

The Dead House

9780316298681_p0_v1_s192x300The Dead House

Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Series: Stand-alone Novel
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 9/15/2015
Pages: 432
Source: Borrowed from library

Read All About It:
Welcome to the Dead House.
Three students: dead.
Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace.

Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, “the girl of nowhere.”

Kaitlyn’s diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn’t exist, and in a way, she doesn’t – because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson.

Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It’s during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it. Continue reading

The Hunger Games

9780439023481_p0_v4_s192x300The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: Hunger Games Series, #1
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication Date: 10/01/2008
Pages: 384
Source: Borrowed from library

Read All About It:
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before – and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Collins delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Continue reading

Vanishing Girls

22465597Vanishing Girls

Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: Stand-alone Novel
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 3/10/2015
Pages: 368
Source: Borrowed from library

Read All About It:
Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before – before Dara kissed Parker, before Nick lost him as her best friend, before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred.

Now the two sisters, who used to be so close, aren’t speaking. In an instant, Nick lost everything and is determined to use the summer to get it all back.

But Dara has other plans. When she vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl has vanished, too—nine-year-old Elizabeth Snow—and as Nick pursues her sister, she becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances may be linked.

My Opinion:
A lot of times I’ll pick up a mystery/thriller book and get sucked in until about halfway through when I realize how the rest of the book will play out. This was not the case with Vanishing Girls! It was a bit slow at first, but once I got caught up in the action, I could not put it down. Continue reading

Graceling

9780152063962_p0_v1_s192x300Graceling

Author:  Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm Series, #1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: 10/01/2008
Pages: 480
Source: Purchased

Read All About It:
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more. Continue reading

Trash

9780385752169_p0_v3_s192x300Trash

Author: Andy Mulligan
Series: Stand-alone Novel
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Publication Date: 10/11/2011
Pages: 240
Source: Purchased

Read All About It:
In an unnamed Third World country, in the not-so-distant future, three “dumpsite boys” make a living picking through the mountains of garbage on the outskirts of a large city.

One unlucky-lucky day, Raphael finds something very special and very mysterious. So mysterious that he decides to keep it, even when the city police offer a handsome reward for its return. That decision brings with it terrifying consequences, and soon the dumpsite boys must use all of their cunning and courage to stay ahead of their pursuers. It’s up to Raphael, Gardo, and Rat—boys who have no education, no parents, no homes, and no money—to solve the mystery and right a terrible wrong. Continue reading