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Mar 2 2015

The Spotlight Book Club March Selection: All the Bright Places

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The Spotlight Book Club is one of the most exciting things we do on the blog! As avid teen readers, it’s hard to find a book online book club with readers like us all over the world. Each month we choose a book, and we will give you the entire month to read it. On the last Saturday of the month we will post a selection of mini-reviews (ranging from one of us to all of us) along with (we hope) an author interview, giveaway, or something else fun! Throughout the month, you can start threads on our Goodreads group to interact with other book club members. The only rule is you can’t spoil the book for everyone else!

March’s selection is All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven!

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Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

All of us at Lit Up Review love a good emotional contemporary, and I’m particularly excited about this one since it takes place in Indiana, which is where I live. I can’t wait to discuss it with everyone, so if you’ve read it or plan to read it this month, let us know in the comments.

Mar 1 2015

The Weekly Blaze {78}: February 21-March 1

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weeklyblaze

Happy March, Litlets! The start of this new month means spring break is quickly approaching, and we could not be more excited. In the meantime, here are the posts you may have missed this week:

Wednesday, February 25: Jessica’s Waiting on Wednesday Selection of Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes: “I loved Paula Stoke’s The Art of Lainey, and though it’s completely different from this book in almost all possible ways, I’m sure I’ll love this just as much, if not more.”

Thursday, February 26: Ten Illuminations on High Fantasy: “Today we’re recommending some high fantasy books because, in the words of a blogger we love (Summer from Blue Sky Bookshelf), fantasy is fantastic.”

Saturday, February 28: The Spotlight Book Club Presents: The No Place to Fall Showcase: Read Willa’s mini-review of this fun contemporary!

Emily
0 COMMENTS
Feb 28 2015

The Spotlight Book Club Presents: The No Place to Fall Showcase

posted by: • in: The Spotlight Book Clubpermalink

spotlightbookclub

The Spotlight Book Club is one of the most exciting things we do on the blog! As avid teen readers, it’s hard to find a book online book club with readers like us all over the world. Each month we choose a book, and we will give you the entire month to read it. On the last Saturday of the month we will post a selection of mini-reviews (ranging from one of us to all of us) along with (we hope) an author interview, giveaway, or something else fun! Throughout the month, you can start threads on our Goodreads group to interact with other book club members. The only rule is you can’t spoil the book for everyone else!

February’s selection is No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown!

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Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.

And now for the reviews!

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Let me start out by saying: I’m not a fan of the good girl turned bad books. Or the stereotypical good girl. Because let’s be real – there is no such thing. (But that’s an entirely different topic so let’s stay on track here.) So I went into this book with some decent expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised.

I L-O-V-E loved the music element of this book, especially because it was done so well. I loved Amber’s passion for music, her tenacity to achieve her goals, and the unique spin she put on her audition. Also – the plot! Fast-paced and easy to read, I read this book in a matter of two hours. So two thumbs up on pacing from me! Not so awesome: Some of the characters I was not hot to trot on. Devon (as much as I adored him) felt a bit all over the place with his emotions and personality I couldn’t really tell what was up. And his encouragement of the possibility of a relationship between Amber and his brother Will felt a bit… weird. Like I think if your best friend and older brother started dating you’d be a little angry at first, right? Idk. Maybe that’s just me. Another character I was not too fond of: Kush. And this was not because of his dislikeable personality – this was because of the, yet again, weird development of his character.

This book was surprisingly enjoyable, despite some of my issues, and I would recommend it, but definitely for someone needing a fun read, and not someone looking for a deep, life-changing book.

You can find my full review coming March 17th on Willa’s Ramblings here.

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Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get my hands on a copy of the book. I look forward to reading it at some point though!

Feb 26 2015

Ten Illuminations {22}: High Fantasy

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Ten Illuminations is a bi-weekly feature hosted by Lit Up Review where we recommend our ten favorite books that fit under one topic. Inspired by The Broke and The Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday, Ten Illuminations gives you five people’s recommendations in one!

Today we’re recommending some high fantasy books because, in the words of a blogger we love (Summer from Blue Sky Bookshelf), fantasy is fantastic.

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Note: When we Lit Up Reviewers were planning out Ten Illuminations topics and Willa suggested “high fantasy,” a bit of an issue came up – I don’t really read high fantasy. I do love a good light fantasy story, one that blends the supernatural with real-world issues, but I cannot remember the last time I read an intensely fantastical story set in an unrecognizable world full of  dragons and whatever other creatures reside in high fantasy. So I’m just going to recommend the highest fantasy I’ve read, and we can all laugh at my lack of experience with the genre.

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The Archived by Victoria Schwab | Goodreads

This book has such a fascinating concept – it’s about a library that houses the souls of the dead and a girl who helps capture spirits when they become restless. Part of the story may take place in the real world, but the part that is set in the halls of the Archive reads like I imagine high fantasy would – full of action and high stakes.

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Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood | Goodreads

Fantasy may not be one of my favorite genres, but historical fiction definitely is, so historical fantasy tends to work well for me. This story about three sisters who are witches is a relatively light fantasy, but magic does play a huge role in the plot’s events. There’s romance that gets complicated by the protagonist’s abilities, a faction of men determined to exterminate all witches, and a spellbinding New England setting.

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas | Goodreads

I was trying to think of books/series that I could use that weren’t already well known in the blogosphere or with most people, but I realize that’s harder than I anticipated. I also really didn’t want to use Harry Potter or something. Throne of Glass is really well known already, but it’s the first one that came to mind. This series is just amazing. Celaena is a kickass character, and everything is so well written. Sarah J Maas crafted this story and this world amazingly well. It’s not perfect, but it’s one of the best fantasy/high fantasy books I’ve read in a while. I highly recommend the series.

EragonEragon by Christopher Paolini | Goodreads

Oh look, another very well known series! This is such a throwback, but besides Harry Potter, I think Eragon was the first book to really get me into fantasy. I admit I haven’t finished the series yet, but anyway. Another book with great world building; plus, there are dragons! There’s a bit of everything in the series, and it’s a great introduction (Throne of Glass is as well) to the fantasy genre if you’re like Emily and haven’t read much in the genre.

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6719736Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta | Goodreads

I successfully got a Melina Marchetta book in! SCORE. This is one of my all-time favorite series, fantasy or not. Melina Marchetta is one of the best authors out there, and Finnikin of the Rock just blew me out of the water. If you’re in the mood for an incredibly well-written and beautiful high fantasy, give this one a read. (Plus, you know, it’s a series so you can have your heart ripped out of your chest multiple times.)

10194157Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Goodreads

I got this book as an ARC and from the get-go I knew this series was going to blow me out of the water. And it did. If you somehow haven’t read this book/series, please do. Please just go read and absorb the beauty that is this book. Then come and fangirl to me. It’s just. NO WORDS.

Emily
2 COMMENTS
Feb 25 2015

Waiting on Wednesday {58}

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Waiting On Wednesday is originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, but we just love this meme so much we had to tag along! Each Wednesday, one of the Lit Up Review writers will post a book she is looking forward to, along with the summary and cover. You can find all of these posts by clicking on the category button and selecting “Waiting on Wednesday, and fill up your Goodreads shelves with great books to get excited about!

Liars, IncLiars, Inc. by Paula Stokes | Goodreads
Release Date: March 24th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called “Captivating to the very end,” Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

I loved Paula Stoke’s The Art of Lainey, and though it’s completely different from this book in almost all possible ways, I’m sure I’ll love this just as much, if not more. Her writing is straightforward and to the point, which is something I always enjoy. While I also like “pretty” writing, my writing style is more to-the-point like Paula’s. In addition, she’s great at weaving in a diverse cast of characters, and I know how much work she puts into the research in the hopes of getting it as close to correct as possible.

Add to that the fact that I love a good murder mystery (though I’m the person that will skip to the end to find out who the murder is) and my love for crime shows, and this is right up my alley. I can’t wait for this book, and I’ll definitely be reviewing it here once I finish reading it.

jessica
3 COMMENTS

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