The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

19370304The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2016
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Family, Alaska

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BLURB:

In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger. Continue reading

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

25614492Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016
Publisher:Philomel Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, World War II

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BLURB:

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope. Continue reading

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

25902198The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: April 12th, 2016
Publisher:Viking BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Alterbative
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Friendship, Religion

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BLURB:

Dolssa is a young gentlewoman with uncanny gifts, on the run from an obsessed friar determined to burn her as a heretic for the passion she refuses to tame.

Botille is a wily and charismatic peasant, a matchmaker running a tavern with her two sisters in a tiny seaside town.

The year is 1241; the place, Provensa, what we now call Provence, France—a land still reeling from the bloody crusades waged there by the Catholic Church and its northern French armies.

When the matchmaker finds the mystic near death by a riverside, Botille takes Dolssa in and discovers the girl’s extraordinary healing power. But as the vengeful Friar Lucien hunts down his heretic, the two girls find themselves putting an entire village at the mercy of murderers. Continue reading

The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn

30841908The Arrangement: A Novel by Sarah Dunn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 21st, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Point of View: 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Adult, Contemporary, Relationships

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BLURB:

Lucy and Owen, ambitious, thoroughly-therapized New Yorkers, have taken the plunge, trading in their crazy life in a cramped apartment for Beekman, a bucolic Hudson Valley exurb. They’ve got a two hundred year-old house, an autistic son obsessed with the Titanic, and 17 chickens, at last count. It’s the kind of paradise where stay-at-home moms team up to cook the school’s “hot lunch,” dads grill grass-fed burgers, and, as Lucy observes, “chopping kale has become a certain kind of American housewife’s version of chopping wood.”

When friends at a wine-soaked dinner party reveal they’ve made their marriage open, sensible Lucy balks. There’s a part of her, though-the part that worries she’s become too comfortable being invisible-that’s intrigued. Why not try a short marital experiment? Six months, clear ground rules, zero questions asked. When an affair with a man in the city begins to seem more enticing than the happily-ever-after she’s known for the past nine years, Lucy must decide what truly makes her happy-“real life,” or the “experiment?” Continue reading

No Good Deed by Goldy Moldavsky

323094041Eat Dirt by Goldy Moldavsky

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Publisher: Point
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Humor, Camp

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BLURB:

He’s not asking for much. All Gregor Maravilla wants to do is feed all of the starving children on the planet. So when he’s selected to join Camp Save the World, a special summer program for teenage activists from all over the country to champion their cause, Gregor’s sure he’s on the path to becoming Someone Great.

But then a prize is announced. It will be awarded at the end of summer to the activist who shows the most promise in their campaign. Gregor’s sure he has the prize in the bag, especially compared to some of the other campers’ campaigns. Like Eat Dirt, a preposterous campaign started by Ashley Woodstone, a famous young actor who most likely doesn’t even deserve to be at the camp. Everywhere Gregor goes, Ashley seems to show up ready to ruin things. Plus, the prize has an unforeseen side effect, turning a quiet summer into cutthroat warfare where campers stop focusing on their own campaigns and start sabotaging everyone else’s. Continue reading

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

30285562Lucky in Love by Kasie West

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: July 25th, 2017
Publisher: Point
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Very fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Money

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BLURB:

Maddie doesn’t believe in luck. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment —  She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret? Continue reading

Me and Marvin Gardens by A.S. King

25753099Me and Marvin Gardens by A.S. King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 31st, 2017
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 9+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Animals, Environment, Friendship

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BLURB:

Obe Devlin has problems. His family’s farmland has been taken over by developers. His best friend Tommy abandoned him for the development kids. And he keeps getting nosebleeds, because of that thing he doesn’t like to talk about. So Obe hangs out at the creek by his house, in the last wild patch left, picking up litter and looking for animal tracks.

One day, he sees a creature that looks kind of like a large dog, or maybe a small boar. And as he watches it, he realizes it eats plastic. Only plastic. Water bottles, shopping bags… No one has ever seen a creature like this before, because there’s never been a creature like this before. The animal–Marvin Gardens–soon becomes Obe’s best friend and biggest secret. But to keep him safe from the developers and Tommy and his friends, Obe must make a decision that might change everything. Continue reading