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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Awesome New Books!

I've never pretended to be a good book reviewer. There are awesome review blogs that can say it so much better than I can. But every once in a while, I like to write up a quick post of the books I've been enjoying lately, and what I've enjoyed most about them. These are all brand new or about-to-be released books. I hope you'll check some of them out!

Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook

18051087Friendship is a bond stronger than secrets in this novel from the author of The Almost Truth and Unraveling Isobel.

As first graders, Avery and Nora bonded over a special trait they shared: they were both adopted.

Years later, Avery is smart, popular, and on the cheerleading squad, while Nora spends her time on the fringes of school society, wearing black, reading esoteric poetry, and listening to obscure music. They never interact...until the night Nora approaches Avery at a party, saying it's urgent. She tells Avery that she thought she found her birth mom, but it turned out to be a cruel lie. Avery feels for Nora, but returns to her friends at the party.

Then Avery learns that Nora overdosed on pills. Left to cope with Nora's loss and questioning her own actions, Avery decides to honor her friend by launching a search for her own birth mother. Aided by Brody, a friend of Nora's who is also looking for a way to respect Nora's legacy, Avery embarks on an emotional quest. But what she's really seeking might go far deeper than just genetics.

What I loved about this book: It's a little darker than Eileen Cook's usual style, but still contains so much wit and humor. My husband was adopted, so I've been through many conversations about birth parents, and I can see how the subject could cause a slew of complicated emotions, especially during the teen years, when ALL emotions are complicated. Not only that, though. I also really enjoyed how this book explored the topic of deep and real friendships. The situations were never easy, but Avery came out on the other side a much stronger and more enlightened person. I love that.

Flesh and Bone by Lee Strauss

She can’t remember. He can’t forget.

Eva Bauman is invisible. Sebastian Weiss is famous. In a perfect world Eva would be fearless and Sebastian would be guiltless. 

It’s not a perfect world.

Includes MP3 links to original music recorded by Canadian singer-songwriters Trisha Robins and Bryan Steeksma,

The Minstrel Series is a collection of contemporary romance novels set in the singer/songwriter world. The books are companion novels, with shared settings and characters, but each is a complete stand-alone story with a HEA (happily ever after) and no cliffhangers!

What I loved about this book: I admit it, I'm a sucker for books about fame. I love to see how different characters (and people) handle fame, and how they balance the limelight with their personal lives. So I was particularly attracted to Sebastian, and later Eva, when she was being brought into his world. Another wonderful thing about this book (and their companion novels) is the music that goes along with it. I've always loved the idea of joining the arts and creating new combinations of expression. I love the idea of music and literature (especially in a book about a musician!) that Lee Strauss has come up with.

Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? by Sara Hantz

Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she’d rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job.

Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly’s gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi's completely smitten. In fact, she’s so in love with her new life, it isn’t long before she doesn’t have time for her old one.

But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn’t quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?

What I love about this book: Again, I'm a sucker for books about fame. When Abi first entered her audition, I was hooked. Not only that, but I love to read about characters who are extremely talented and have trained at something for most of their lives. I went into this book knowing next to nothing about kickboxing, but came out on the other side feeling like I had truly experienced Abi's sport with her, and even a new side of her sport as she took on stunt work. I'm not actually a sports fan (at all) so any book that can make me love reading about a sport has certainly more than done it's job! 

I hope you'll check some of the above books out. What new books have you enjoyed lately? I'm always up for suggestions...


  1. I'm looking forward to reading Eileen's book! And glad to hear about the others, as well. Always room on my pile for more good stories! :)

    I just finished a really well done YA verse novel, FORGET ME NOT, by Carolee Dean -- not a new book. 2012, I think. Great variety of poem structures and a compelling story.

    1. Thanks for the rec, Shari! I've read (and enjoyed) something else by Carolee, though I can't remember the name right now. It was a road trip book, I think. Anyway, I'll look for FORGET ME NOT.

    2. Take Me There... Was that one in verse, too?

    3. I don't think it was verse, Shari. But it was good!

  2. Year of Mistaken Discoveries has been on my radar for quite awhile. I hope I can get to it soon!