Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Passionate Selection Series Rant

So, let me just say that I absolutely cannot stand The Bachelor, so it could be implied that I would absolutely hate The Selection since it has a Bachelor theme running through it.  Surprisingly, I didn't hate The Selection.  Heck, I liked it enough that I picked up the second book, The Elite.  Now that's where my passion-fueled rant is coming from.

AMERICA, YOU CANNOT SUCK FACE WITH ONE GUY AND THEN SUCK FACE WITH ANOTHER GUY THAT YOU'RE "TOTALLY OVER."  IT JUST DOESN'T - AND WON'T - WORK.  Seriously!  America's like the guy on Sister Wives when he can't decide which of his wives he wants to have a child with!  Messed up.  It was all good with Maxon and then BAM.  Here comes Mr. Past Lover.

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Don't even get me started with America's incessant crying!  
America: Oh, Maxon!  I can't decide between you and Aspen because I'm horribly indecisive, and therefore am incapable of making a decision because I CAN'T STOP WALLOWING IN MY SELF-PITY.  I'm seriously so full of myself that it's really THE ONLY THING I can think about!
That's basically the gist of the middle part of The Elite.  So damn irritating.

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Oh, and when America finally makes a decision on who she wants to be with and something tragic happens BECAUSE OF HER to that person, she doesn't get him.  Serves you right, bitch!  Goodness, I have to calm down and remind myself that this is a fictional story.  But then the ending had to come along and make everything happy and jovial.  NO.  OH MY GOSH, NO.  America needs to become a hermit cat lady because that would make me very, very happy.

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~ Does anyone agree with me, or am I that awkward 1%?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Breathing Ghosts

Title: Breathing Ghosts

Author: Laekan Zea Kemp

Genre: YA/Contemporary

Release Date: September 30, 2013

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:

She is a winding cosmos, bleeding and bursting into night.  She is a dream.  She is dead. 

River has just lost the one thing that matters most to him—Nia—and all she's left behind is a pile of scribbled love notes detailing their past and a pin-holed map planning out their future.  Hopes and dreams confined to one dimension now that she's gone and River’s too afraid to leave his hometown, crippled by the same anxiety that’s plagued his mother for as long as he can remember.  

But after a strange encounter with the only girl he ever loved a week after laying her to rest, River, armed with nothing but her map and his memories, decides to finally leave and never look back. And with the help of a pair of eccentrically named siblings as well as a mutt with three legs, he sets out to do the very thing Nia always knew how to do better than he ever could—live.  

From the moonlit beaches off of Florida's east coast, to the forests of Mississippi, to Bourbon Street, Cadillac Ranch, and the Arizona desert, River is faced with not only Nia's ghost but his own and he learns that in life there are no accidents, only miracles.

~ Goodreads

Holy guacamole!!  I think I've just found my newest favorite author!  Breathing Ghosts is a whirlwind of emotions, incessantly sucking the reader into a vortex of absolute rawness.  River's story is just so intense and alluring, and I loved every minute of it.

River is alone; his girlfriend - Nia - is gone, his mother barely speaks to him, let alone defends him when her "boyfriend" turns to River in a drunken rage.  River is lost.  He doesn't know who he is or what he wants, and his life starts to fall apart after the only person anchoring him to this life is taken away in a flurry.  River wants to escape.  He wants to escape his haunting town, his decrepit life as a loner, and the part of him clinging to fear.

As River takes on a journey Nia planned for the both of them, he starts to catch glimpses of her ghostly form.  His life is turned upside down as his adventure turns into something he never expected - a journey leading him to explore the utter breathlessness of life.

What I Liked:
The writing.  It's so lyrical and beautiful and just wow.  I'm not sure how Laekan did it, but she made every sentence sound gorgeous with surgery-like precision.  Every sentence and thought wrapped around my mind like a symphony, creating a perfect cacophony of emotions.

River!  I absolutely loved River, even though he was such a mess.  I feel like the fact that he was searching for himself throughout the entire book gave him sort of a vulnerability that most people can't help but feel empathy toward.  Especially when it came to Nia, oh my gosh, River was so lost!  He's like the wandering soul that doesn't know where to call home.

Nia.  Nia's sort of the mystery character in B.G., the one character you're dying to know more about, but only receive brief glimpses of her relationship with River.  She was the one lone star that has to escape the confines of ordinary and live life on the edge.  The scenes including Nia were so heartbreakingly difficult to read because River and Nia's relationship was so tangible and electric and real that you could practically feel it in the air.

Oh my gosh, the CAR CHASES.  So, I'm a little obsessed with watching high-speed chases on TV, so when I read the first car-chase scene in B.G., I was so happy out of my mind that I was practically delirious - in a good way.  Terror, anxiety, and a wild instinct to escape flooded my mind as I attempted to flee the bad guys with River in a hulking monstrosity of a truck.  It was seriously perfection in a chapter.

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What I Didn't Like:
Only one itsy-bitsy downside: So.  Much.  Sadness.  I adored River and Nia, but it felt like there was this bubble of sadness surrounding both of them.  Especially the brief flashbacks, goodness, some of those scenes tore at my heart.

Overall, I'm giving Breathing Ghosts a 5/5 because it's a gorgeous story of the little - and large - things in life that can mend even the most broken hearts.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Feature and Follow

~ Feature and Follow is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, allowing bloggers to gain new followers and expand their scope in the blogging world.

This week's question is: Photograph your fave read in a funny place

Well, here's a photo of Pushing The Limits (A.K.A. THE BEST BOOK EVER) in my bathroom.  As you can see, Bath & Body Works is an integral part of every 17 year-old's bathroom.  Oh, and nail polish.  Red nail polish, just because it's (*insert breathy voice*) smexy.  And a bit Halloween-ish.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jaime Morrow allowing bloggers to connect with their readers and catch up.  What's Up on your Wednesday?

Hey, guys!
I haven't done a WUW in a while, so I thought it'd be nice to do an update post on my amazingly intriguing life... I wish.

What I'm Reading: 
Oh, gosh....ummm, I'm currently reading The Elite, Breathing Ghosts, and Tattoo Thief.  I'm not very far into any of them, so that's a problem.  Like I've said before: too much homework!  I never have enough time to finish a book in one sitting!  One of the downsides of attending a private school, but I guess you get what you give, whether it be academics or actions.

What I'm Writing:
THIS POST. *Insert sarcastic smiley face*  Haha, just kidding!  Well, I am writing this post, but you get my drift.  I'm not writing anything at the moment, but I do have some reviews to write.

What Else I've Been Up To:
Today was my senior class's Service Day Project.  Basically, we went to a day camp and assisted in fun activities for mentally handicapped adults.  It was very... eye-opening.  It made my eyes water seeing the adults get so excited over such trivial things, like winning a Mardi Gras necklace at a carnival game.  It was truly amazing.

What Inspires Me Right Now:
Seriously, Halloween.  Halloween is my favorite holiday and I'm super-duper excited that I will have less than a week's wait after tomorrow!  I'm going to get my ghoul on!  Was that too nerdy.....?
Also, a sweet Great Pyrenees dog with haunted eyes and a matted white coat, silently begging for attention in an isolated barn.

~ What's up on your Wednesday?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Program

Title: The Program (The Program #1)

Author: Suzanne Young

Genre: YA/Romance/Dystopia

Release Date: April 30, 2013

My Rating:

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone.  With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment.  Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive.  She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

 Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can.  The only person Sloane can be herself with is James.  He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything.  But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth.  They are both growing weaker.  Depression is setting in.  And The Program is coming for them.

~ Goodreads

Holy cow!  The Program completely blew my socks off into another galaxy!  I had very high expectations for The Program partly because I loved Young's first book, A Need So Beautiful.  Oh my gosh, guys, The Program is eons ahead of A Need So Beautiful.  So.  Much.  Better.  If that's even possible...

Sloane lives in a controlled world, a world where The Program monitors all teenagers from 14 to 17 to check for any signs of them having caught the worldwide epidemic - suicide.  The only person she can confide in without worrying about being turned in is her boyfriend, James.  Death seems to surround James and Sloane, slowly unraveling their grips until they can't take it anymore.  Turmoil and dread become stronger and stronger in their mind's.  And The Program knows.

The Program is emotionally riveting, while also keeping up a steady love story of two teenagers battling the world to keep their lives intact.  I definitely fell hard for James; he's smooth, sweet, gentle, and gorgeous.  Blue eyes are all it takes to turn him into a total hottie.  Oh, and a nice body ;)
Sloane was a fascinating - and slightly aggravating - main character.  At times, I liked her, and other times, I couldn't stand her (SPOILER?) *cough Realm cough*  I sort of wanted to slap him... like, not really hard, but enough to knock some sense into his impossibly stubborn brain.

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The Program.  Oh my gosh, I felt a compelling need to knock over glasses every time I read a scene with it involved.  It's so incredibly controlling and I totally felt for Sloane and James when they were forced to go through The Program.  The pills.  The therapy.  The Wellness Center.  It was all so convoluted and wrong and sick.  I understand that they were trying to help teenagers thinking about committing suicide, but that is not how you deal with it.  Haha, I love how I'm getting so worked up over a fictional program.  But the fact that The Program elicited all of these intense emotions from me just shows how good of a book it is!  Seriously, throughout the entire book I was alternating between maddeningly incensed and blissfulness.
So this basically sums up the unstable emotions I experienced while reading The Program...

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The romance in The Program is so sweet!  I've noticed that Young has written all of her books so that they start out with an already established relationship.  Personally, I'm not a fan of it and I prefer for the romance to develop as I get farther into the book.  Although, the established relationship worked in The Program, whereas it was bland in A Need So Beautiful.  James and Sloane are the perfect couple, and when The Program threatened their relationship, they did everything in their to keep seeing each other, which was admirable!  I loved the fact that they were so incredibly devoted to each other that they wouldn't let anyone - or anything - keep them apart.

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Just a Blathering Note: I feel like the whole 'suicide epidemic' is pretty relevant to society today, so I think it's important for teenagers to read this book.  I mean, really, our government is already very far gone over the edge, and it wouldn't surprise me if they thought up something similar to the Program.

Teenagers: Read The Program!  It's accurate to society today, plus it's a wonderfully awesome book!

Overall, I'm giving The Program a 5/5 because it was one intense ride!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rules of Attraction

Title: Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry #2)

Author: Simone Elkeles

Genre: YA/Romance

Release Date: April 27, 2010

My Rating:

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado.  Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did.  Then he meets Kiara Westford.  She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways.  As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him.  But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

~ Goodreads

Oh my gosh!  I love Rules of Attraction!  Carlos is now my favorite Fuentes brother (but I still love you, Alex!).  Ahhh, me and my fictional boyfriends...  I have 22, to be precise ;)

Carlos Fuentes - a bad-ass who's not afraid to stand up to a challenge - has just left Mexico, his mother, and his younger brother only to move in with his older brother, Alex, in Colorado.  It seems like everything he loves has been forced away from him.  Until he meets his host family and their daughter, Kiara.

Kiara isn't the bubblegum cheerleader who flaunts her body in excessively tight clothes.  In fact, she's quite the opposite.  With clunky hiking boots, a baggy t-shirt, and hair pulled up in a conservative ponytail, Kiara is the last girl Carlos expects to fall for.  But he does, and it's a fall down the Grand Canyon.  It's that deep.  But when nefarious drug lords pop into the picture, Carlos knows that he will do whatever it takes to keep his family - related and unrelated - out of harm's way.

Every book that I have read by Elkeles has given me goosebumps!  Let me tell you guys, the Fuentes brothers go on some very wild rides, and not all of them are pleasant.  Some of them are downright bloody.

What I Liked:
C a r l o s.  Who doesn't?  In the beginning of Rules of Attraction, I wanted to throw an egg at his thick head, but he matures so much in such a short span of time.  It's amazing, really, how much my love for Carlos grew throughout the book, compared to how much I hated him in the beginning.  He goes from a cocky, arrogant, gang-banger to a sweet, protective, young man who cares too much for others.
K i a r a.  Kiara was a great switch from Brittany.  Don't get me wrong, Brittany was cool, but I just find Kiara easier to relate to.  She's cute, adorable like a puppy, and strong.  What else could you ask for in a heroine?
The whole damn story!  I love the theme of a family related story; all three of the Fuentes brothers get to tell their own unique story in their own perspectives.  And now I'm itching to start Chain Reaction because I just know it will live up to - and hopefully surpass -P.C. and R.O.A.'s expectations!

What I Didn't Like:
This is a really minute factor I recognized while reading Rules of Attraction, but I feel like Carlos didn't have his own voice.  Throughout the entire book, I could have easily misidentified Carlos as Alex because their narrative voices are so darn similar!  It would have raised my rating of Rules of Attraction to 5 hearts if Elkeles had just given Carlos more of an edge in his narration.

Overall, I'm giving Rules of Attraction a 4.5/5 because I absolutely love this book and I'm now salivating for Chain Reaction!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Point of Retreat Mini-Review

Title: Point of Retreat (Slammed #2)

Author: Colleen Hoover

Genre: NA/Romance

Release Date: February 25, 2012

My Rating:

Hardships and heartache brought them together…now it will tear them apart. 

 Layken and Will have proved their love can get them through anything; until someone from Will’s past re-emerges, leaving Layken questioning the very foundation on which their relationship was built.  Will is forced to face the ultimate challenge…how to prove his love for a girl who refuses to stop ‘carving pumpkins.’

~ Goodreads

I absolutely adored Slammed; it was intense, emotional, and addictive.  It was pure and raw poetry that I had stuck in my head for days.  Compared to Slammed, Point of Retreat was just meh.

Lake and Will have gone through many hardships in the past year, but there's one more obstacle coming their way that will test the strength of their relationship.  Will's past comes back with a thunderous force, catching him completely off guard... and not in a good way.  Lake starts to question if  she and Will are together for the right reasons and what is really tying them together.  Can Will make her see how much he loves her, or will they dip into the point of retreat?

Honestly, I liked this book.  I like Will, I like Layken, I like Kel and Caulder.  Their story is very heartbreaking and the fact that they find comfort and a family in each other is as humbling as it is heartwarming.  But Point of Retreat wasn't as.... exciting as Slammed.  In Slammed, there was action, the adventure of finding true love, and the destitution of Will and Lake's impossible relationship.
Point of Retreat was a sweet ending to Will and Lake's story, but I wish it had more impact.

Overall, I'm giving Point of Retreat a 4/5 because it was a sweet book, but I wanted more intensity.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #3

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that allows us to showcase our recently received books.  Let the 'To Be Read' lists pile!

So, like I said in my last post, I went a tad bit crazy on Amazon and purchased some books that I couldn't wait to get my hands on.  And now I'm staring at them in longing, because I can't start reading until tomorrow... drat.
Most of these books have been out for a while.  Have you all read any of them?

~ The Elite 
~ Point of Retreat
~ The Program
~ Rules of Attraction
~ Chain Reaction
~ The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Sunday, October 6, 2013

My Endless Tower of Books

Hey, guys!

So, I think I have a problem.  Every time I get a book haul, I tell myself 'I will not get anymore books until I have read every single book in this pile!'
Yeah, right.  That state of mind lasts for about a week.

Whenever I go to B&N or BAM, it's like all the new arrivals in the YA section are taunting me with their gorgeously appealing covers.... and my resolution quickly dissipates.
Take, for example, the current state of disarray of my bookshelf.

Even though I have yet to read the books on my bookshelf, I just ordered 7 books on Amazon.  I know, I'm so undisciplined!  But I feel like so many other book bloggers also do this... so, I'm not alone.

Someday, I'm going to get through all of the TBR books in my house and it will be a w e s o m e!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Endless Knight

Title: Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles #2)

Author: Kresley Cole

Genre: YA/Dystopia

Release Date: October 1, 2013

My Rating:

In the second book of the Arcana Chronicles Evie has now fully come into her powers as the tarot Empress.  And Jackson was there to see it all. In the aftermath of killing Arthur, the tarot Alchemist, Evie realizes that a war is brewing between the other teens that, following the apocalypse, have been given powers and its kill or be killed.

 Things get even more complicated when Evie meets Death, the mysterious, sexy Endless Knight.  Somehow the Empress and Death share a romantic history - one that Evie can't remember, but Death can't forget.  She is drawn to the Endless Knight, but is in love with Jack.  Determined to discover why she's been granted these powers, Evie struggles to accept her place in a prophecy that will either save the world, or completely destroy it.

~ Goodreads

Oh....wow.  I loved Poison Princess, but I never thought the sequel would top it of like Endless Knight did.  Endless Knight is so earth-shatteringly fantastic!  I'm still dazed from the intensity.  This is the type of book that will make you squeal with excitement, whimper with empathy, and cry, cry, cry.

Taking off right where Poison Princess ended, Evie is more unsure than ever about her alliances, her relationship with Jack, and her trust in her own abilities.  The game Evie, Matthew, Finn, Selena, and the other Arcana are playing is deadly, and it doesn't help that Death is now in Evie's mind, torturing her with destructive images of how he plans to kill her.  But does Death really loathe Evie as much as he shows, or is he trying to hide his true feelings from her.  As Evie becomes closer to the man she has sworn to hate, her relationship with Jack is strained.  Forced to face bagmen, savage militia, bloodthirsty cannibals, and her crumbling liaisons, will she make it out alive?  Or will it be an endless night?

Endless Knight literally blew my socks off.  I was not expecting this gut-wrenching thrill ride, but that's exactly what I got.  And I loved every single minute of it.

The Writing:
Cole is an absolute genius who knows exactly what to say in times of peril, romance, and deafening action.  She is seriously one of my favorite authors just because she has the skill to draw the reader in and let them gasp in air only during short breaks.
I loved Evie's narration!  She did seem a bit older than a 16 year old girl at times, but I guess the apocalypse'll do that to you.  Evie's sweet, spunky, audacious, fierce, everything that makes up a totally bad-ass heroine.

The Plot:
I love the fact that the series is based around tarot cards!  It's actually spurred me on to work with my own deck at home (lol).  But seriously, the whole apocalyptic, X-Men teenagers theme is pretty cool, especially during the vivid fight scenes.
Death and Evie's story is unraveled is Endless Knight, and there are so many shocking secrets that completely took me by surprise!  There is one in particular that had me squealing and my eyes bulging, mostly from happiness and some shock!  There's just so much mystery surrounding Death; I couldn't get over it!

I just had to do a section on Death!  He's the character that you both love and hate.  Well, in my case I love him!  His story is so horribly heartbreaking and you get a chance to see through his tough exterior and into the lonely man he really is.  He's a bit cold in the beginning, but you'll want to cozy up to him in the end.  I know I did!  As you all probably know, there's a love triangle that becomes much more noticeable on Endless Knight.  It IS one of the best love triangles in 2013 YA, in my opinion.  So, so good.  I am definitely on Team Death!!  Wow, that sounds frightening...

Overall, I'm giving Endless Knight a 5/5 because it totally rocked my world and left me salivating for the third book.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Good (Too Good #1)

Author: S. Walden

Genre: NA/Romance

Release Date: August 26, 2013

My Rating:

Cadence Miller is a good girl. She just happens to make one terrible mistake her junior year in high school which costs her ten months in juvenile detention.  Now a senior, she’s lost everything: her best friend, the trust of her parents, driving privileges, Internet access.  It’s a lonely existence. 

 But there is one bright spot: Mark Connelly, her very cute, very off-limits 28-year-old calculus teacher.  She falls hard for him—a ridiculous schoolgirl crush headed nowhere.  She can’t help it.  He’s the only good thing at Crestview High.  She doesn’t expect him to reciprocate her feelings.  How inappropriate, right?  But he does.  And he shows her. 

 And that’s when her life goes from bad to good.

~ Goodreads

Oh.  My.  Freaking.  Gosh!!  How have I gone this long without having read Good?!

Cadence Miller was raised to follow the rules.  Attend Church every Sunday.  Respect her parents.  Always radiate perfection.  That is, until she does something wrong.  One mistake is all it takes to sever Cadence from her old life and everything it contained.  No friends.  No love.

Mark Connelly is like a bright beacon shining through Cadence's dark tunnel.  He gives her butterflies and warmth and love and everything she's been starving for.  But there's a catch: he's her teacher.

I've had this odd infatuation with teacher-student romances for quite some time.  It's mainly the risk factor and the adrenaline rush that comes along with it.  There's also the element of forbidden romance; the two lovers having to plan clandestine meetings behind closed doors, always on the watch.  Good is a perfect example.

I love, love, looooove this book!  I couldn't stop thinking about it for weeks on end.  So much intensity! I loved the romance, but Cadence and Mark were pretty reckless at times.  I mean, really?

Cadence was a little difficult to read as a main character.  Is she a friendly bitch, a good Christian girl, or a rebellious teen?  I'm really not sure, but I would use all of those descriptions to characterize her.  There were so many funny moments between Cadence and Mark, mostly because of Cadence's inane urges to blurt out the first thing that pops into her mind, which led to my face turning a deep shade of tomato and incessantly repeating "Good Lord, shut up, Cadence!"  But her young mind and wittiness are what make her such a quirky and lovable character.

Oh my gosh, don't even get me started!  I fell head over heels for the teacher/hipster/total hottie/gorgeous/brilliant/sweet man.  The main factor that caused me to like him so much is the fact that he truly cared for Cadence.  He did not use her.  He did not abuse her.  He simply loved her.
I was totally swooning over him.  Although, Mark does have his weak moments that make you want to shake him and slap some sense into that gorgeous (In my mind, he's very attractive.  Have I already said that...?) head of his.

The Romance:
There is some explicit content in this book, so I only recommend this to anyone 15+!
There is so much intense romance in Good that it's a little overwhelming at times.  Yes, I did have to read it in segments, but that just made it even better!  I'm a tad bit awkward at describing romance (And the majority of Good is romance), so I'll just say this: I seriously could not stop blushing.  Like, at all.

Teacher-Student Romance:
Like I said earlier, the adrenaline rush and severity of Cadence and Mark's relationship really add to the sparks of the whole situation.  They do some risky things on school property, so it was very.... exciting?  No, it was e l e c t r i c.  Mark and Cadence's relationship went far beyond chemistry and into full on painful love.

If you're a sucker for teacher-student romances, then Good is a must read!

Overall, I'm giving Good a 5/5, because I absolutely adore this book with all of my forbidden-romance-loving heart.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Goodbye, Rebel Blue Blog Tour & Author Interview

~ Refer to Book Nerd Tours for the complete Goodbye, Rebel Blue blog tour schedule!

Rebecca Blue is a rebel with an attitude whose life is changed by a chance encounter with a soon-to-be dead girl.  Rebel (as she’s known) decides to complete the dead girl’s bucket list to prove that choice, not chance, controls her fate.  In doing so, she unexpectedly opens her mind and heart to a world she once dismissed—a world of friendships, family, and faith. With a shaken sense of self, she must reevaluate her loner philosophy—particularly when she falls for Nate, the golden boy do-gooder who never looks out for himself.  Perfect for fans of Jay Asher’s blockbuster hit Thirteen Reasons Why, Coriell’s second novel features her sharp, engaging voice along with realistic drama and unforgettable characters.

About the Author

I’m a former newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and restaurant reviewer. These days I write smart, funny novels for teens and big, edgy romantic suspense. A six-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist, I live and love in Arizona with my family and the world’s neediest rescue Weimaraner. When I’m not behind the keyboard, you’ll find me baking high-calorie, high-fat desserts and haunting local farmers markets for the perfect plum. Hugs!

An Interview with Shelley Coriell!

~ What inspired you to write Goodbye, Rebel Blue?

The dedication for Goodbye, Rebel Blue simply reads, to the three who died. Now here’s the rest of the story. Warning: Sadness ahead.

In November of 2010 I lost my father in a horrific accident. He died in a fire. One month later the twenty-six-year-old director of my daughters’ dance company died of lung failure while waiting for a lung transplant. Picture a ballerina strapped to and dancing with an oxygen tank. Three months after that a sixteen-year-old girl at my daughters’ very small, close-knit school died unexpectedly of Valley Fever. Sixteen. Years. Old.

These three deaths—so close together and so intensely personal—profoundly changed my life and the lives of those I love. In the aftermath of these deaths came big, existential questions: Why do bad things happen to good people? Is there life after death? Are our lives controlled by chance or choice? Does God exist? And ultimately…if I had limited time on this earth, am I living the life I truly want to live?

~ What authors have had the most profound effect on you and your writing?

I have so many influences, but I’ll pick the two biggies in contemporary young adult. Number one is E. Lockhart who writes wonderfully messy characters with breathtaking and painful honesty. Close behind is Sarah Dessen who writes characters who stick with me long after I reach THE END.

~ What is your favorite book?

You’re kidding, right?

~ How long did it take you to write Goodbye, Rebel Blue?

Three months for the first draft, a raw, messy “discovery” draft. Eleven months in the writerly dungeon. Two months of brutal revisions. As an interesting aside, this was initially Kennedy Green’s story, written in Kennedy’s POV with Rebecca “Rebel” Blue supposed to die at the end of chapter one (hence the title), but Rebel showed up in detention and would have none of that.

~ Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write. Edit. Repeat. I wrote seriously for five years and wrote five manuscripts before I sold to New York.

~ What would you like readers to take away from Goodbye, Rebel Blue?

Warning: Cliché ahead. Live…and love…like you are dying.

Giveaway Time!

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