Books To Pine For (67)

Hey! Nice to see you again!

Basically “Books to Pine For” are books not yet released, that I can’t wait to get my hands on (or books I’ve recently gotten my hands on… but are still pine-worthy)! These books are ones that should be on your radar, because I know they are on mine!

If this is your first visit to the blog, I do “Books to Pine For” sporadically, it’s a regular feature but it doesn’t have a set date I post every month or what not.

You can check out all the books to pine for posts, they start chronologically from the most recent. In case you want to check out some earlier ones I’ve done. Okay I’ve rambled enough, on to the goods!

Just a note.. all the links in the titles go to their Goodreads page… easier to add to your wish list!

*ALL SUMMARIES ARE FROM GOODREADS OR AMAZON!

Slated by Teri TerrySlated by Teri Terry

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Release Date: January 24, 2013

Kyla has been Slated—her memory and personality erased as punishment for committing a crime she can’t remember. The government has taught her how to walk and talk again, given her a new identity and a new family, and told her to be grateful for this second chance that she doesn’t deserve. It’s also her last chance—because they’ll be watching to make sure she plays by their rules.

As Kyla adjusts to her new life, she’s plagued by fear. Who is she, really? And if only criminals are slated, why are so many innocent people disappearing? Kyla is torn between the need to know more and her instinct for self-preservation. She knows a dangerous game is being played with her life, and she can’t let anyone see her make the wrong move . . . but who can she trust when everyone is a stranger?

Debut author Teri Terry has written a brilliantly compelling, original and thought-provoking novel about an uncomfortably plausible future.

Out of The Easy by Ruta SepetysOut of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Publisher: Philomel
Release Date: February 12, 2013

It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

The Gathering Dark by Christine JohnsonThe Gathering Dark by Christine Johnson

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: February 12, 2013

A mysterious teen boy knows the secrets of Keira’s dangerous hallucinations in this gripping romantic fantasy from the author of Claire de Lune.
Keira’s hallucinating. First it’s a door hovering above the road; then it’s a tree in her living room. But with her parents fighting and her best friend not speaking to her, Keira can’t tell anyone about her breakdown.

Until she meets Walker. They have an electric connection, and somehow he can see the same shadowy images plaguing Keira.

But trusting Walker may be more dangerous than Keira could have ever imagined. The more she confides in him, the more intense—and frightening—her visions become. Because Walker is not what he appears to be. And neither are her visions.

Dance of Shadows (Dance of Shadows #1) by Yelena BlackDance of Shadows (Dance of Shadows #1) by Yelena Black

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: February 12, 2013

Vanessa Adler isn’t so sure she really belongs at the School of American Ballet. But dance runs in her family. It’s been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Her grandmother and mother were prima ballerinas, and her older sister Margaret was, too. That is, until Margaret mysteriously disappeared from school three years ago. Vanessa is heir to the family’s gift and the only person who can fulfill her sister’s destiny. She has no choice. But she never could have guessed how dangerous the school is. The infamous choreographer, Josef, isn’t just ruthless with his pupils, he guards a sinister secret, one in which the school’s dancers-prized for their beauty, grace, and discipline-become pawns in a world of dark, deadly demons.

The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen FinneyfrockThe Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen Finneyfrock

Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: February 21, 2013

That’s the day the trouble started.
The trouble that nearly ruined my life.
The trouble that turned me Dark.
The trouble that begs me for revenge.

Celia Door enters her freshman year of high school with giant boots, dark eyeliner, and a thirst for revenge against Sandy Firestone, the girl who did something unspeakable to Celia last year.

But then Celia meets Drake, the cool new kid from New York City who entrusts her with his deepest, darkest secret. When Celia’s quest for justice threatens her relationship with Drake, she’s forced to decide which is sweeter: revenge or friendship.

This debut novel from Karen Finneyfrock establishes her as a bright, bold, razor-sharp new voice for teens.

Operation Oleander by Valerie O. PattersonOperation Oleander by Valerie O. Patterson

Publisher: Clarion Books
Release Date: March 5, 2013

When Jess’s dad ships out to Afghanistan, she wants nothing more than to feel close to him once again. So, she rounds up her friends, Sam and Meriwether, to form the Order of the Oleander, a club that collects school supplies for Afghan orphans. But Jess’s delight in the Order’s success turns to horror as breaking news reveals that as the soldiers unloaded the latest shipment of supplies, a bomb went off near the orphanage, killing troops and civilians alike. Jess is relieved to discover her father was only injured, but dismayed to hear that Meriwether’s mother was killed….and Meri believes it is Jess’s fault.

Abandoned by her friends, shunned by the community, and commanded by the general to shut down the Order, Jess is suddenly thrust into political media firestorm with no backup but her father’s emails. Valerie O. Patteron’s literary prose is deeply evocative and emotional, conveying Jess’ agony as she struggles to reconcile her affection for Afghan orphans with her love and loyalty to the American armed forces in this stunning contemporary drama.

The Shadow Girl by Jennifer ArcherThe Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer

Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 9, 2013

For as long as Lily Winston can remember, she has never been alone. Iris, a shadowy figure who mimics Lily’s movements and whispers in her ear, is with her always — but invisible to the rest of the world. Iris is Lily’s secret. But when Lily’s father is killed in a tragic accident, his cryptic final words suggest that he and Lily’s mother have been hiding secrets of their own. Suddenly, Iris begins pushing Lily more than ever, possessing her thoughts and urging her to put together the pieces of a strange puzzle her father left behind. As she searches for answers, Lily finds herself drawn to Ty Collier, a mysterious new boy in town. Together, Lily and Ty must untangle a web of deception to discover the truth about her family, Iris — and Lily’s own identity.

The Shadow Girl is a chilling, mind-bending mystery filled with stunning twists, haunting reveals, and a realistic setting with a supernatural touch that’s perfect for fans of Before I Fall and If I Stay.

Tides by Betsy CornwellTides by Betsy Cornwell

Publisher: Clarion Books
Release Date: June 4, 2013

When high-school senior Noah Gallagher and his adopted teenage sister, Lo, go to live with their grandmother in her island cottage for the summer, they don’t expect much in the way of adventure. Noah has landed a marine biology internship, and Lo wants to draw and paint, perhaps even to vanquish her struggles with bulimia. But then things take a dramatic turn for them both when Noah mistakenly tries to save a mysterious girl from drowning. This dreamlike, suspenseful story—deftly told from multiple points of view—dives deeply into selkie folklore while examining the fluid nature of love and family.

The Elementals by Saundra MitchellThe Elementals by Saundra Mitchell

Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
Release Date: June 4, 2013

In 1917, war spells the death of one age in Europe; the rise of motion pictures heralds the birth of a new one in America. Caught between both are two extraordinary souls, bound by destiny.

Kate Witherspoon has lived a bohemian life with her artist parents, and she’s infused with their wanton disregard for social norms. She’s determined to become a film director, and she doesn’t intend to do that in a corset.

Meanwhile, midwestern farm boy Julian Birch has inherited the tenacity and wanderlust that fueled his parents’ adventures. War calls, yet not for him—but he refuses to let his disability define him.

Strangers driven by a shared vision, Kate and Julian set out separately for Los Angeles, the city of dreams. There, they each struggle to find their independence. When they finally meet, the teenage runaways realize their true legacy: the ability to triumph over death, over time. But as their powerful parents before them learned, all magic comes with a price.

In this sweeping companion to The Vespertine and The Springsweet, the teenage children of the heroes of the previous novels confront a decades-old tragedy still unfolding. At the crucial moment, will Kate and Julian have the courage to embrace their gifts?

My Chemical Mountain by Corina VaccoMy Chemical Mountain by Corina Vacco

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 11, 2013

Rocked by his father’s recent death and his mother’s sudden compulsion to overeat, Jason lashes out by breaking into the abandoned mills and factories that plague his run-down town. Always by his side are his two best friends, Charlie, a fearless thrill junkie, and Cornpup, a geek inventor whose back is covered with cysts. The boys rage against the noxious pollution that suffocates their town and despise those responsible for it; at the same time, they embrace the danger of their industrial wasteland and boast about living on the edge.

Then on a night the boys vandalize one of the mills, Jason makes a costly mistake–and unwittingly becomes a catalyst for change. In a town like his, change should be a good thing. There’s only one problem: change is what Jason fears most of all.

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth RossBelle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 11, 2013

When Maude Pichon runs away from provincial Brittany to Paris, her romantic dreams vanish as quickly as her savings. Desperate for work, she answers an unusual ad. The Durandeau Agency provides its clients with a unique service—the beauty foil. Hire a plain friend and become instantly more attractive.

Monsieur Durandeau has made a fortune from wealthy socialites, and when the Countess Dubern needs a companion for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, Maude is deemed the perfect adornment of plainness.

But Isabelle has no idea her new “friend” is the hired help, and Maude’s very existence among the aristocracy hinges on her keeping the truth a secret. Yet the more she learns about Isabelle, the more her loyalty is tested. And the longer her deception continues, the more she has to lose.

Inspired by a short story written by Emile Zola, Belle Epoque is set at the height of bohemian Paris, when the city was at the peak of decadence, men and women were at their most beautiful, and morality was at its most depraved.

Author Interview: Ruta Sepetys & Giveaway

Ruta Sepetys

Books:

  • Between Shades of Gray
Website | Facebook | Buy the Book


Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.


Between Shades of Gray is beautifully written, but there are times that the novel is absolutely heartbreaking. Were there times when you were writing that it became unbearable? Did you ever doubt your strength to tell this story?

RS – Yes, there were definitely times that I had to take a break and step away from writing. So many of the scenes were full of such unimaginable cruelty. I really tried to balance the horror with a sense of hope but at times it was difficult.

This story has a personal connection with you, can you tell readers a little bit about that and why you chose to tell it.

RS – My grandfather was an officer in the Lithuanian military and would have been on Stalin’s extermination list. So my father and grandparents fled prior to the deportations. Unfortunately, members of our extended family were deported to Siberia. I didn’t learn that, however, until a meeting with relatives during a visit to Lithuania.

Is there a reason that you choose to tell the story though the eyes of 15 year old Lina, rather than her mother or father?

RS – Many of the survivors I met were young when they were deported and I was very affected by the things they told me they experienced during their teen years in Siberia. I hoped that making the main character a young girl might add additional dimension to the story.

What has been your greatest moment so far with the publication of Between the Shades of Gray and having this untold moment in history finally find a voice?

RS – I am overjoyed about so many aspects, but one of the things I’m most grateful for is that the book has sold in over 22 countries. If I think about all the countries who are bringing this piece of history out of the dark I get all emotional!

What books are you excited to read this year?

RS – Oh, great question. There are so many! Here are a few:

Strings Attached by Judy Blundell
Dead Rules by Randy Russell
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander
Chime by Franny Billingsley
Selling Hope by Kristin Tubb
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard

Thank you so much for having me here at The Story Siren!!
I’ve included my links below. I will be visiting some bookstores in the near future and would love to meet your readers!

-Ruta

www.rutasepetys.com
www.betweenshadesofgray.com
www.facebook.com/rutasepetys


I have a Between Shades of Gray prize pack to give away. It includes:
  • A finished copy of Between Shades of Gray with a signed bookplate
  • A BSG bookmark
  • A BSG soundtrack download

Official Contest information:

  • to enter, please fill out the form below
  • entrants must be 13 years of age or older
  • contest deadline is April 6, 2011
  • contest open to US Residents Only*
  • ONE ENTRY PER PERSON!
  • check out my Contest Policy/Privacy Policy

*Thanks Penguin for providing the prize!

03/23/11



Book Review

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Philomel
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Source: ARC from Publisher
Interest: Debut Author
Challenge: YA Historical Fiction Challenge
Buy the Book: Amazon

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

I’ll admit it. I was sort of afraid to read this book. Well…. not really afraid, but just watching the video about the book had me bawling, and I was afraid to be in that set of mind again. I don’t know about you, but books can tend to evoke strong emotions with me that will last for days… weeks, months even.

I wish I hadn’t waited for so long. Unfortunately I don’t think my review will do this novel justice.

I don’t want to say that this book wasn’t heartbreaking or that watching the disturbing journey that these people had to endure was not upsetting, I’ll admit it, it was hard to read. Yet I could NOT put it down.

I think the most disturbing thing of all, was that I never knew that this happened. And I know that I’m not alone in that. Read this book, be aware of a untold milestone in history, learn about the strength and compassion humans can possess in the face of extreme adversity. Lina was the perfect narrator for this story. I loved how she captured their journey in her art and despite her situation she always treasured hope, no matter how small it may be.

Sepetys is an absolutely amazing writer. To evoke such emotion not just because of what is happening, but because of how involved you become as a reader to this story and to these characters, it’s not an easy feat. The research and time that Sepetys invested in this novel is apparent in every page.

Between Shades of Gray is a must read.



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