Shelf Sitters

Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant is acquainted with “campers.” These are the people who come, eat their meal, and then sit at table, taking up needed seats– for HOURS. Their allotted time is over. Hostesses and servers need those seats, dammit!

I have books like this– ones that take up space on my shelf, long after I should have finished them. I call them ‘Shelf Sitters.’ And these are my biggest culprits at the moment.

shelf sitters

Which books are your ‘Shelf Sitters?’

 

Dangerous Boys Release Day Blitz

As Abigail Haas’ DANGEROUS GIRLS was AMAZING, we’re super excited for the opportunity to review Dangerous Boys which is out today! While our review will be up next week, for now enjoy this teaser. Or be disturbingly intrigued by it. Or confused. Whatever you like. (FYI, Steph and I are still talking about this scene that the teaser is from). After that, you can scroll below and find more information on the book, as well as how you can add it to your library! READ IT. It’s so good.

FirstKill

Out Now!

August 14th, 2014

Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Three teens venture into the abandoned lake house one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense?

Or murder?

Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…

Purchase Now!

Amazon: amzn.to/1wrph3u

iBooks: bit.ly/1mS0PXB

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dangerous-Boys-Abigail-Haas/dp/1471119165/

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1AYM77B

 

Early Praise

“Dangerous Boys is a taut, compelling thriller balanced on the razor’s edge of suspense. I could not put it down, and could not stop grinning wickedly as I raced through the pages.” — Leah Raeder, USA Today bestselling author of Unteachable

“Abigail Hass is a master at her craft! This is a special book and a special author. This is the kind of storytelling and writing that stick with you no matter how much time passes.” — The Book Geek Blog

“As with Dangerous Girls, the closing left me with a huge, admittedly rather twisted smile on my face. I don’t know how Haas manages to turn me into such a gleefully evil creature.” — Dahlia Adler, blogger.

“Dangerous Boys was an intense, psychological read which was full of suspense and drama,…Abigail Haas has a way of writing books which reel you in and keep you there, hooked and addicted until the very last page.” — Goodreads.com

 

About Abigail Haas

Abigail Haas has written two adult novels and four young adult contemporary novels under the name Abby McDonald. Dangerous Girls is her first young adult thriller. She grew up in Sussex, England, and studied Politics, Philosophy & Economics at Oxford University. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Book Review: #scandal by Sarah Ockler

#scandalBook Review: #scandal by Sarah Ockler
Release Date: 6/17/14
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Edelweiss
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Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation. 

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love…

Review:

I was quite unsure how I’d feel but #scandal by Sarah Ockler, to be honest with you. These types of stories– the ones where the main character becomes ostracized at school– don’t have a history of resonating with me.

But I’ll be damned if I didn’t enjoy the hell out of #scandal.

Let’s get this statement out of the way: if you are looking for a book in which the main characters hold long conversations about the meanings of their lives, look elsewhere. But if you’re looking for a book that is fun–  a book where the characters’ relationships change around their situations– you might find yourself enjoying #scandal.

I used to watch both Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, and I found that #scandal appealed to the part of me that was into those shows. There’s the element of feeling a bit watched, feeling reported on, like there are eyes and ears everywhere– and yes, trying to take down the mastermind behind the drama. It’s exciting– especially in an age where social media is more and more pervasive in our society and does, in fact, infiltrate the lives of students at school. Some parts are certainly far-fetched (I did not quite buy the student organization against social media, for instance), but I derived pure enjoyment from them.

My main quibbles were 1) that I saw coming– and was disappointed by– the social media “tattler.” And 2) that Cole, the boy whom this drama revolves around, did not make me swoon. I did not get why Lucy would be willing to take the risk of a friendship on him.

Still… this book was a fast, light read and while I don’t think it will have much staying power after a couple of Facebook platform updates, it’s enjoyable in the meantime.

#scandal was #justplainfun

 

Book Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

west-onthefence Book Review: On the Fence by Kasie West
Release Date: 07/01/14
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Edelweiss
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She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she’s got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she’s falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Review:
So…when can I start living in a Kasie West novel? I’ve read all of her books so far and I’ve found that, even the ones that are 100% contemporary, are completely full of magic. Her writing pulls me into her books so easily that it’s impossible not to read them in one sitting.

While perhaps not Charlie’s exact experience growing up, I grew up with three brothers, too, so it was easy to fall into the dynamic that Kasie West set up between her and her siblings. It was a lot of fun seeing their antics, their playful competitiveness, and their teasing. Plus, their protectiveness definitely kicked in, too. It’s still a rare occasion when I see a focus on family life in YA, so it was really nice to have Charlie’s featured so well. In addition to the sibling relationship, Kasie West wrote such a sweet relationship between Charlie and her dad, and I enjoyed how Charlie was able to come to terms with things from her past as well.

The romance aspect of On The Fence was simply adorable. Charlie and Braden have known each other for most of their lives and it was thrilling to see their friendship evolve into something more. Although Charlie and Braden already know plenty about each other at the beginning of the novel, I really loved how Kasie West had them discover even more during their late night chats, managing to deepen their feelings. Wonderful stuff, let me tell you.

Kasie West’s writing is so full of heart and feeling and I can’t wait to read everything of hers in the future. She has become a reliable go-to for swoony, comfort reads and I have no doubt she will continue to deliver.

can kasie west write a cute boy next door into my life?

Mortal Danger Blog Tour: Interview with Ann Aguirre and giveaway

Hi everyone! The Bevy has the pleasure today of welcoming the author of Mortal Danger, Ann Aguirre to our blog. Ann’s visiting us as part of the blog tour for Mortal Danger and has been kind enough to answer a few questions!

About Mortal Danger:

mortal danger

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly… bad things are happening. It’s a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what–she can trust. Not even her own mind…

Mortal Danger will be released Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

Jen: There are so many different themes present in Mortal Danger, perhaps chief among them revenge. What are some of your favorite revenge plot-lines, either from classic film, television, and literature, or modern day mediums?

Ann: Payback, Dead Man Down, Taken, Harry Brown, Man on Fire, Count of Monte Cristo, Oldboy, The Crow, Gladiator… these movies all have in common the revenge trope. I enjoyed all of the above for various reasons. Generally, someone has been murdered or kidnapped, so that’s how the revenge quest begins, though in Count he was betrayed by his best friend. It’s such a darkly tempting thought, isn’t it? Imagining wrongdoers getting their comeuppance. But a quote from Nietzsche seems apt here, something about staring into an abyss. If you do terrible things for the right reasons, how long before that darkness infects you completely, until you can’t even remember why you’re committing such horrific acts? I’d be afraid I would lose myself if I started down that road.

Jen: Similarly, there’s the Faustian Bargain that the main character Edie makes. The Faustian Bargain has been popularized through many different television shows, books, and films (such as the 1997 film The Devil’s Advocate, for example). Would you say that any of these inspired you in writing Mortal Danger? In what ways?

Ann: Obviously the idea of selling your soul to the devil for power or beauty or success is a tale as old as time. It wasn’t new, even when Marlowe wrote about it in Faustus. I saw that play performed once in college and it made great impact on me. Since then I’ve imagined reinventing the idea, modernizing it, and for me, corporations are sort of the megalithic, faceless villains that I can imagine doing dreadful things behind closed doors. So I guess you’d say I took my inspiration from Marlowe himself.

Jen: Do you think that Edie sees an element of karma to her revenge? Or, for that matter, to revenge in general?

Ann: She’s worried about becoming as bad as or worse than the people who tormented her. It takes a particular sort of person to truly revel in another’s pain. Even if they’re bullied you, most people can’t completely shut off their empathy and just laugh maniacally at pain. That sounds a bit sociopathic, to be honest. So when she was at her most wounded, that sounded appealing, but the reality of it turned out to be much more awful than she expected. Sometimes you think you want something, but once you get it… well, we say be careful what you wish for, don’t we? As for karma, it’s not much on Edie’s mind. She’s very scientific and she’d want to break down any karmic system, make it track rationally. How many bad thoughts equal a bad luck day, that sort of thing. If it can’t be readily quantified, it’s hard for her to deal with, which makes the messy, inexplicable Game so much worse for her.

Jen: Although Edie was obviously wronged by her classmates, how did you balance her good traits with her bad traits (i.e. the morality of revenge) in order to keep from alienating readers?

Ann: I think people want to root for the underdog so I would’ve had to write her as cold and remorseless to lose a lot of readers from the start. No protagonist is a perfect fit for everyone, though; some will find her boring and cautious. Others will judge her silly or shallow. Some people will misunderstand her goals because they can’t know the big picture. I don’t ever write a character while weighing what a reader will think of him or her. That’s a perfect way to paralyze yourself and make it impossible to work. I’m writing about Edie Kramer as a whole person: awkward, shy, scientific, nerdy, quiet, angry, wounded. She’s all of those things and more, just as we all are. Some days I’m cranky and I just want to be left alone. That doesn’t mean I’m generally a terrible person. I’m not sure how readers would feel about me if I was written directly into a book… but I suspect they’d find most aspects of my life implausible. So basically, I tell the story and let the chips fall as they may.

Jen: In addition to writing Young Adult fiction in a variety of genres, you also write Adult fiction in a variety of genres. Do you ever find it a challenge switching gears– from one audience and genre to a totally different one?

Ann: I enjoy both, very much. I have genre ADD, which means I need to switch it up frequently so I’m always tackling something new. YA was a new mountain to climb, but now that I’ve done it, I am eager to keep writing it.

For me, it’s not different. I don’t change my style or pull punches. I use all the same storytelling, worldbuilding, and characterization techniques from writing fiction for adults. The primary difference is the age of the protagonists, which informs their levels of personal experience and emotional development. Other than that, I write the same kind of book; my work tends to be gritty, dark, and action-packed.

The most difficult thing about it is that sometimes I really want to be writing one genre when I have a contract that says I have to finish this book before I can move on to the shiny new idea.

Jen: What do you hope readers will take away from Mortal Danger?

Ann: High school can be devastatingly difficult, but you can make it through and come out stronger at the end. I also hope they’ll be eager to read the sequel.

Thanks for stopping by, Ann!

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