Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Delightful Discoveries

Delightful Discoveries are books that I have discovered recently... old, new, just released... from blogs, Goodreads, libraries, friends, or bookstores. 

Optimists Die First
Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

Beware: Life ahead.

Sixteen-year-old Petula de Wilde is anything but wild. A former crafting fiend with a happy life, Petula shut herself off from the world after a family tragedy. She sees danger in all the ordinary things, like crossing the street, a bug bite, or a germy handshake. She knows: life is out to get you.

The worst part of her week is her comically lame mandatory art therapy class with a small group of fellow misfits. Then a new boy, Jacob, appears at school and in her therapy group. He seems so normal and confident, though he has a prosthetic arm; and soon he teams up with Petula on a hilarious project, gradually inspiring her to let go of some of her fears. But as the two grow closer, a hidden truth behind why he’s in the group could derail them, unless Petula takes a huge risk. . .

Nemsis by Brendan Reichs

It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.

Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.

For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.

Dead Little Mean Girl
Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows 

A proud geek girl, Emma loves her quiet life on the outskirts, playing video games and staying off the radar. When her nightmare of a new stepsister moves into the bedroom next door, her world is turned upside down. Quinn is a queen bee with a nasty streak who destroys anyone who gets in her way. Teachers, football players, her fellow cheerleaders—no one is safe. 

Emma wants nothing more than to get this girl out of her life, but when Quinn dies suddenly, Emma realizes there was more to her stepsister than anyone ever realized. 

A meaningful and humorous exploration of teen stereotypes and grief, Dead Little Mean Girl examines the labels we put on people and what lies beyond if we're only willing to look closer.

Overturned by Lamar Giles 

Nikki Tate is infamous, even by Las Vegas standards. Her dad is sitting on death row, convicted of killing his best friend in a gambling dispute turned ugly. And for five years, he’s maintained his innocence. But Nikki wants no part of that. She’s been working on Operation Escape Vegas: playing in illegal card games so she can save up enough money to get out come graduation day.

Then her dad’s murder conviction is overturned. The new evidence seems to come out of nowhere and Nikki’s life becomes a mess when he’s released from prison. Because the dad who comes home is not the dad she remembers. And he’s desperately obsessed with finding out who framed him—and why.

As her dad digs into the seedy underbelly of Vegas, the past threatens everything and Nikki is drawn into his deadly hunt for the truth. But in the city of sin, some sinners will do anything to keep their secrets, and Nikki soon finds herself playing for the biggest gamble ever—her life.

Hellworld by Tom Leveen

Five years ago, Abby Booth’s mom, co-host of a ghost hunting reality show, went missing while filming in a ‘haunted’ cave in Arizona.

Since then, Abby’s life has all but fallen to pieces, most notably because of her dad’s deep depression and how they’ve drifted further and further apart.

But now, at seventeen, Abby has decided that things will change. She plans to go to the same cave where her mom and the crew went missing and to find out, once and for all, what happened there.

With the help of the co-host’s son Charlie and two of his friends, Abby sets off on a quest for answers…but what the group ends up finding, what they stumble across in that dark, primordial cave in Arizona, is nothing they could have ever imaged.

Abby was investigating a possible haunting… she never expected that there could be something worse.

Waiting on Wednesday: Denton Little's Still Not Dead by Lance Rubin

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Jenn's Pick :I Can't wait for:

Denton Little's Still Not Dead (Denton Little #2)
Denton Little's Still Not Dead by Lance Rubin
November 8th 2016
You only live once—unless you’re Denton Little!

The good news: Denton Little has lived through his deathdate. Yay! The bad news: He’s being chased by the DIA (Death Investigation Agency), he can never see his family again, and he may now die any time. Huh. Cheating death isn’t quite as awesome as Denton would have thought…

Lance Rubin’s debut novel, Denton Little’s Deathdate, showed readers just how funny and poignant imminent death could be. Now in this sequel, he takes on the big questions about life. How do we cope, knowing we could die at any time? Would you save someone from dying even if they were a horrible person? Is it wrong to kiss the girl your best friend is crushing on if she’s really into you instead? What if she’s wearing bacon lip gloss?

So I just loved the first book and it ended on a to be continued note. So yes I need this book. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Review: Replica by Lauren Oliver

Replica (Replica, #1)Title: Replica
Author:  Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publishing Date: October 4th 2016
Pages: 544
Genre: YA Sci- Fi Thriller
Series:  Replica #1
Source: Audio

Two girls, two stories, one epic novel

From Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity. Replica is a “flip book" that contains two narratives in one, and it is the first in a duology. Turn the book one way and read Lyra's story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma's story. The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. The two distinct parts of this astonishing novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey. Even the innovative book jacket mirrors and extends the reading experience.

Lyra's story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family's past and discovers her father's mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.
I have been trying to picky over my reads lately as my time to read and review has suffered significantly. This was a risk for me. I wanted to read this book but I haven't always enjoyed books from this author. I read this book...listened to it on audio and loved it. There was a bit of a slow start but it didn't last and when it did pick up, I couldn't put it down. It was everything that I was looking for in a read. It had science fiction, thrilling moments, chases, secrets, romance, moral dilemmas and more. It was pretty awesome. 

This book is the story of two girls. Their stories are their own but are intertwined. Each has their own story to tell. Lyra has grown up on an island with other replicas. Created, studied, poked and prodded with no rights. One day her world changes as her home is destroyed. Gemma is a girl of privilege and no freedom. Her parents' are very over protective. One day her world changes when she discovers her father's past is full of secrets. Both girls set out on a journey that changes their lives dramatically. 

This book was pretty awesome for me. Lauren Oliver has been a hit or miss for me but for some reason I always want to read her books. This one has been my favorite by far. The emotional and moral reality in this book is really intenese. The sci fi was pretty good but it read more like a realistic fiction. Strange I know but I felt the book was more about what the girls had and are going through the injustice of it the emotions of it the moral realization of the entire thing. So it really hit hard and deep for me. I throughly enjoyed it on the emtional level. 

The sci fi was there but it felt like something that could be going on now so it wasn't extreme sci fi. There were sci fi elements and that was nice. I did like it more because it wasn't far fetched. The read also had a thriller and mystery aspect which I loved. Those are my kind of reads. A tiny bit of romance that was light and fun. This book basically had all the nessecities that I need in a read. 

I connected to the characters pretty quickly and on completely different levels. I did read the story in a flip flop version so I didn't always know what the girls were going to figure out or see. I do recommend reading it this way. I think it helped me connect easily with the girls. Gemma was a stronger connection at first. I really felt for her from the very beginning. I felt her lonliness, her outsider status, her longing to belong and to be accepted and her strenght  and will to survive. She was amazing to me. She was a true tropper even when her world was flipped upside down. 

Lyra was a bit more stand offish at first. Although that was her character. She didn't know how to bond and find connections with others. Once she was introduced to the idea of being a part of something bigger and someone else's life- she blossomed and I just grew to love her. 

The love interests in both stories were just spot on for me. I loved how one was slow and steady and the other more intense. I loved both boys and just well it was all good for me. Actually one of the boys was my favorite character. The way they all connect into each others lives was just brilliant. loved it. 

I really just could not put this book down. It had me quickly and I just loved it more the more I read it. 

Awesome read for me. I can't wait for more.

Lauren OliverLauren Oliver is the cofounder of content development company Paper Lantern Lit. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of the YA novels Replica, Vanishing Girls, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. The film rights to both Replica and Lauren's bestselling first novel, Before I Fall, were acquired by AwesomenessTV; a major motion picture adaptation of Before I Fall was announced by Open Road Films in 2016. Her novels for middle grade readers include The Spindlers, Liesl & Po, and the Curiosity House series, co-written with H. C. Chester. She has written one novel for adults, Rooms.
A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver divides her time between New York, Connecticut, and a variety of airport lounges. You can visit her online at

Monday, December 5, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Nice to Meet you in 2016!

Top Ten is an original feature/weekly meme created here at
The Broke and the Bookish that features a great bookish top ten every week.

These were my favorite new authors in 2016. I love discovering new authors and this was a good year for me.

1. Kerri Mannsicalo- Jack the Ripper was so awesome. I love historical fiction but I am picky over it and this book hit all the dos and missed all the donts. Can't wait for more!
Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)

2. Eileen Cook- With Malice was one of my top reads of 2016. Loved it. I almost passed this book up until a blogger friend said it was awesome! 

With Malice

3. Lindsay Ribar- Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies was not even on my radar, didn't know about it until a blogger friend again mentioned books with great names. I picked it up and loved every moment of it. 

Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies

4. Sarah Jude- May Queen Murders had me from hello I see you on Goodreads. I loved the sound of this read from the beginning. I read it I mean I devoured it and yup it was awesome. 

The May Queen Murders

5. Erin L. Schneider- I am not all about contemporary read but this cover and title stood out to me. I read Summer of Sloane and just loved every moment of the read. 

Summer of Sloane

6. April Genevieve Tucholke - loved Winky Poppy Midnight so so much. Its hard for me to find great magical realism and this one was a great one. 

Wink Poppy Midnight

7. Goldy Moldavsky - Kill the Boy Band just wowed me. It was a very dark humor read but I just ate it up. It had me so into the read and I just didn't want it to end. 

Kill the Boy Band

8. Eric Lindstrom- I really didn't know if I would enjoy Not if I See You First, but I did  I loved it and I recommend it to everyone for a great contemporary feel good read. 

Not If I See You First

9. E.K. Johnston - Another book with a difficult subject but the subject and the story was well handled and well told. great book 

Exit, Pursued by a Bear

10. Kurt Dinan - I love a great funny laughing book with some depth. Don't get Caught was this book for me. It was so fun. 

Don't Get Caught

What about you? What were those great and new authors for you this year?


Review: Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca

Black Flowers, White Lies
Title: Black Flowers, White Lies
Author:  Yvonne Ventresca
Publisher: Sky Pony Press 
Publishing Date: 
Pages: October 4th 2016
Genre: YA Psychological Thriller
Series:  Stand Alone
Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a supernatural connection. Since her mother discourages these beliefs, Ella keeps her cemetery visits secret. But she may not be the only one with secrets. Ella’s mother might be lying about how Dad died sixteen years ago. Newfound evidence points to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not as a result of a tragic car accident as her mother always claimed. After a lifetime of just the two of them, Mom suddenly feels like a stranger.

When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, at first she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger as he did once before. If it’s not a warning, could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible for the strange occurrences? Or maybe it’s the grieving building superintendent whose dead daughter strongly resembles Ella? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her.

Soon the evidence points to someone else entirely: Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.

Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Timesbestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home

I was drawn to this book by so many things. I just adore the cover, it's pretty and eye catching. The title was interesting and the synopsis, long, but intriguing. The publisher sent me this book and I started to read it. I enjoyed it. It was a great read for what I needed at the time. 

Ella lost her father before she was born but always thought she had a connection with him in death. When visiting the grave she senses that he is with her and on this particular day, she feels he is trying to communicate with her. This is the start of very strange things in Ella's life. Bloody handprints, questionable events and a few strangers that enter into her life. All of leads Ella to believe something is wrong but is it all in her head or a life full of lies and deception?

This book was good. At no fault of the book, it took me longer to get through than I had anticipated. It was hard to put it down at times but life really got in the way of this one. The beginning was a tiny bit slow for me but it didn't take too long to take off and I was hooked. This was a very fast-paced book once the crazy came out.  There were a few things I would have liked to see more of but all in all it was a good read. It kept me interested and involved. I was pretty unsure what was really happening until the very end when it was really revealed. 

The mystery was really good. This is what had me really hooked. At first, the book started as a supernatural that read like a contemporary but then it quickly changed into a mystery than a thriller. It flowed well, It didn't feel disconnected and didn't read like it was three different books. It slowly changed, morphed into what the author wanted and it really read well. 

I would have liked more connection the character. My main issue was just that it wasn't deep or well done in the character building department. I can say it didn't take away from my enjoyment but I think it would have been a bit more intense with a better connection to the main character. This may have been intentional for the unreliable narration part of the book but I think it would have helped a bit if I had felt the connection to the main character and the people in her life. I didn't feel it and I didn't feel the connection between the Ella and the others in her life. 

Ella wasn't a bad MC. She was sweet but sometimes a little whiny. She didn't stand up for herself and seemed to love those around her. She felt like a normal teenager and I just adored her quirkiness. She loved cats and loved cat tees. I kind of liked this. I did feel though in the emotional department she was a little flat. I would like to see more of her, see her open up and let others in. She didn't do this well. She seemed to be there for others more than allowing others to be there for her. Which was sweet but didn't help me get to know her mind. 

It felt much like the scary suspenseful movies I watched as a teen. It kept me guessing, I never knew what to expect, and it had me on the edge of my seat a bit. 

I did feel that there was an ending but it could be continued. I feel it was left open for more but if there isn't there was a conclusion. I would definitely read another book to continue this story. I was kind of a little sad at the end when there wasn't more. 

If you are looking for a fast paced psycholigcal mstery thriller. Pick this one up.

Yvonne Ventresca

Yvonne Ventresca’s latest young adult novel, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES was published by Sky Pony Press in October. Justine Magazine said "This one will keep you guessing" and according to BuzzFeed, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES "definitely won't disappoint."
Her debut YA novel, PANDEMIC, won a 2015 Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. “This fast read will appeal to fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s LIFE AS WE KNEW IT," Booklist said.
Yvonne’s other works include the short story “Escape to Orange Blossom,” which was selected for the dystopian anthology PREP FOR DOOM, along with two nonfiction books, PUBLISHING (Careers for the 21st Century) and AVRIL LAVIGNE (People in the News). You can learn more about Yvonne and her books at Yvonne

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