Blog Tour Book Review–Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

Summer Days and Summer NightsTitle: Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories

Editor/Author: Stephanie Perkins

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Release Date: May 17th, 2016

Interest: Short Stories / Authors

Source: e-ARC provided by the publisher

Summary (From Goodreads):

Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

To start, I’m not well-versed in short story anthologies, but after reading Summer Days and Summer Nights, I am eager to read more! Not only are the majority of the stories in this anthology absolutely delightful, it was so liberating being able to bounce from story to story and still feel that sense of accomplishment when I was done even though I skimmed over a couple stories that weren’t really for me.

I love that Stephanie Perkins included a range of authors who write different genres and that some of the stories include not only racially diverse characters, but LGBT characters, too. Because of this range, I know I can hand this book to a large variety of readers in my classroom.

And speaking of LGBT characters, Nina LaCour’s addition to the anthology was one of my favorites. She drew me in right away with Flora in “The End of the Love.” It impressed me that within such a small span of time I knew so much about Flora’s troubled life at home and also saw a relationship blossom. I would love it if Nina LaCour turns Flora’s story into a novel.

When it comes to wanting more, I need more of “In Ninety Minutes, Turn North” by Stephanie Perkins. I already know that I’m feeling lost without a new Perkins novel to read, but that feeling intensified while I read Marigold’s and North’s story. I’m not sure how many pages this story is since I read it on my Kindle, but seriously, I fell in love with both of them and it couldn’t have been more than thirty pages long! This is another one that I hope to see as a complete novel one day. They’re both so earnest and real and sweet.

Overall, I highly recommend reading Summer Days and Summer Nights, especially if you want to expose yourself to some new authors. I haven’t read anything by Tim Federle (yet) and thoroughly enjoyed his short story. I also discovered that I really like Brandy Colbert’s writing as well. This is not only a good addition for a class library, it’s an excellent anthology to read while enjoying the sun this summer.

Book Trailer Thursday (186)–Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Book Trailer Thursday

I’ve read mixed reviews for Wink Poppy Midnight, but I’m still interested in reading it because my students and I love a good mystery. It will be interesting to hear what they think about the book trailer after showing it since it’s so simple compared to other book trailers. If you’ve read this already I’d love to know what you think!

Wink Poppy MidnightSummary (From Goodreads):

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

Book Trailer Thursday (185)–Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Book Trailer Thursday

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley released yesterday, May 10th, and it has already received many positive reviews and quite a bit of buzz. I haven’t been able to read it yet, but there is an audiobook that I plan on listening to soon. Julia Whelan, who is one of my favorite audiobook narrators, is one of the narrators which is an automatic win. I’m looking forward to showing my students this trailer and buying a copy of the book so they can read it as well. If you’ve read Whaley’s latest release, I’d love to know what you think of it.

Highly Illogical BehaviorSummary (From Goodreads):

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But how can she prove she deserves a spot there?

Solomon is the answer.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa thrusts herself into his life, introducing him to her charming boyfriend Clark and confiding her fears in him. Soon, all three teens are far closer than they thought they’d be, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse, as well.

Waiting on Wednesday–When We Was Fierce by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo

wow

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.  It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.

The book I’m spotlighting today not only has an attention-grabbing cover, it has an attention-grabbing title. I love the bold splash of red against the black and white. I also like that the title isn’t the standard; it reflects the characters and their voices. I’m also excited that this is a novel in verse! More of my friends should have this on their Goodreads TBR.

When We Was FierceTitle & Author: When We Was Fierce by e. E Charlton-Trujillo

Release Date: August 9th, 2016

Publisher: Candlewick

Summary (From Goodreads):

In an endless cycle of street violence and retribution, is there any escape? A powerful verse novel by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo.

We wasn’t up to nothin’
new really.
Me and Jimmy, Catch and Yo-Yo.
We just comin’ down the street keepin’ cool.
We was good at stayin’ low
Especially around the Wooden Spoon.
Guys hang around there, they got teeth on ’em
Sharper than broken glass.
Words that slit ya’from chin to belly. And that’s just their words.

Fifteen-year-old Theo isn’t looking for trouble, but when he and his friends witness a brutal attack on Ricky-Ricky, an innocent boy who doesn’t know better than to walk right up to the most vicious gang leader around, he’s in trouble for real. And in this neighborhood, everything is at stake. In a poignant, unflinching novel of survival told largely in street dialect, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo enters the lives of teenagers coming of age in the face of spiraling violence among gangs, by police, and at home.

Waiting on Wednesday–The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

wow

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.  It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.

Why am I so often drawn to books featuring grieving characters? I know I’m not purposely seeking them out, but I have read and loved so many! Regardless, The Square Root of Summer really grabbed my interest because there’s also a time travel element. And I’m extra excited because as I was looking for more audiobooks to listen to via Audible, I discovered that Roaring Brook Press had an audiobook made for Harriet Reuter Hapgood’s debut!

The Square Root of SummerTitle & Author: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Release Date: May 3rd, 2016

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Summary (From Goodreads):

This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It’s a little bit like a black hole. It’s a little bit like infinity.

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she’s hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn’t even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie’s past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone’s heart is about to be broken.

Trending Books

Jack’s playing and distracted at the moment, so I’m taking advantage of it to write a quick post. I’m trying my best to carve out more blogging and reading time at this point in my crazy school year.

Anyway, as always I’ve been working hard to draw my students’ attention to more books. I’ve been keeping up with my daily book talks, which has been a huge help in this process. Earlier in the school year I decided to use my display book case for student recommendations. I encouraged students to place a book they’ve enjoyed on the shelf along with a notecard with a brief recommendation. It didn’t go as well as I hoped. I mostly had to specifically ask students to place something there because for some reason they weren’t doing it on their own. I grew tired of seeing the shelf which quickly became wallpaper in my room, so I decided to change it a couple weeks ago.

My students often read the same books as friends pass one book to another. They also often ask me what other students are reading. So I decided to use my display shelf to feature “trending books” in my classroom. It’s already been much more successful than when it featured student recommendations; I’ve already switched out many of the books because they’re so often borrowed by students.

During state testing a couple weeks ago, our media specialist was in my classroom and saw my display. It made her think about an area in the library that is rarely, if ever, used. She talked to me about it and she’s going to make that space a trending books area as well. I’m excited to see how hers turns out!

How do you draw attention to books in your classroom? I’d love to see your pictures or hear about your spaces!

So far Everything, Everything, Things We Know By Heart, Perfect Chemistry, The Serpent King, Legend, and Ghosts of Heaven have continued to be popular choices. Which books have been trending in your classroom or library?

 

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw Blog Tour + Character Playlist

ScarlettEpstein-BlogTour

Let me first and foremost start by apologizing for this post being a day late. I received my blog contents on Monday afternoon and woke up yesterday morning to create my post only to discover that my internet at home is down (and still is!) and to top it off our internet at school failed. Yesterday in general was a major fail of a day. Anyway, I’m super thankful the internet at school is working and that I have time this morning to compose this post because it’s a fun one!

I have for you today a playlist that Anna Breslaw created for this post with Scarlett Epstein in mind. She is such a fun character to read and this playlist suits her perfectly. At the end of the post I’m also including a few of my favorite funny lines from the book because there were multiple moments that either made me laugh out loud or snort. Gotta love that!

 

 

“Valerie,” Amy Winehouse
Scarlett’s mom blasts this in her bedroom when she gets ready for OK Cupid dates. (Scarlett can hear it through the wall.)

“Why Can’t I,” Liz Phair
And then blasts this in her bedroom when she comes home from a good OK Cupid date. (The walls are thin.)

“Hurt,” Johnny Cash
And then blasts this in her bedroom when he doesn’t text her again. (The walls are VERY thin.)

“Put Yourself First,” Crazy Ex-Girlfriend OST
Scarlett’s getting into this show now that Lycanthrope College has been cancelled—and this song is the perfect mix of cuttingly feminist, funny, and catchy AF.

“Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”
She listens to this on the train back to New Jersey from visiting her dad in Brooklyn.

“Whole Wide World,” Wreckless Eric
Scarlett’s dad and her new stepmom (who is, by the way, far superior to her real mom) danced to this song at their wedding. She now thinks it’s the most romantic song ever.

“A Milli,” Lil Wayne
Scarlett does a stupid dance to this song to cheer up her friend Avery when she gets a B on a test.

“Royals,” Lorde
Singing-in-the-shower song.

“Circumambient,” Grimes
She listens to this when she’s writing.

“A Certain Romance,” Arctic Monkeys
The lead singer’s description of his town reminds Scarlett of her own.

“Hello,” Adele
When she’s sad about Gideon.

“Ghost,” Halsey
See above.

“Going Down For Real,” Flo Rida
I mean, it’s just impossible to avoid this song. This song is everywhere.

“Empire State of Mind,” Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys
When she’s daydreaming about graduating and moving to New York to become a writer.

“Walk On The Wild Side,” Lou Reed
Her dad used to listen to this when she was little, and she puts it on when she misses him.

And here are some of my favorite lines:

“Ave is pretty, too, but she’s like a wilted version of Ashley with braces and slightly duller hair. If they had been fetal twins, Ashley definitely would’ve consumed Avery for nutrients, and all that’d be left of Ave would be a tumor with a few teeth in it.”

(Taken from a conversation between Scarlett and her elderly neighbor)
“What’s your teacher’s name?”
“Mr. Radford.”
“What’s he like?”
“Uh, young,” I thought. “Enthusiastic.”
“You should do him!” She said it with the same tone of wholesome encouragement you’d use to say You should do yoga! or You should visit Lake Placid!
What?!
“Don’t look at me like that. Every great writer has ‘turned the screw’ with a professor. Obviously it would be better if his balls hung a little lower, if he was older, more established, but. . .” She shrugged.

About the novel:
Title & Author: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw
Release date: April 19th, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Find it: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Scarlett Epstein Hates It  HereSummary (From Goodreads):

Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her pot-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor.

When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them…until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett’s stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off.

Waiting on Wednesday–Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

wow

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.  It’s designed for bloggers to spotlight the upcoming releases that they simply can’t wait to read.

For the past few weeks I’ve been swamped with grading and planning as I try to recover from all of the snow days we had within a two week timespan, plus I’ve been focusing a lot on my nutrition and fitness via the 21 Day Fix. Consequently, I’m super behind on book reviews and have mostly been posting WoW posts, book trailers, and interviews. I promise to get caught up and let you know my thoughts on what I’ve been reading and listening to!

Anyway, I need to go back to challenging myself with genre binges because I’ve been sticking mostly to contemporary again (it’s my favorite!). If I had a copy of Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake I would be reading it right now. Blake is a talented author and this sounds like a really edgy and engaging fantasy that my students and I would love. I’m certainly in no rush for next school year and skipping over summer, but I’m looking forward to this September release.

Three Dark CrownsTitle & Author: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Release Date: September 20th, 2016

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary (From Goodreads):

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Bloodwill devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. 

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown. 

Book Trailer Thursday (184)–Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie trailer

Book Trailer Thursday

I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs years ago, but honestly, it didn’t hold my attention like I wanted it to. The movie trailer, however, makes me think I’ll enjoy the movie more than I enjoyed the book. Despite my personal opinion of the book, my students love it. Those that haven’t read it yet want to now that I’ve shown them the movie trailer, and those that have already read the book have strong opinions about the trailer. It’s going to be fun once September 30th rolls around.

miss-peregrines-home-movie-poster1Summary (From Goodreads):

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Students Want to Know Jessica Love, author of In Real Life / Blog Tour + Giveaway

Students Want to Know

Jessica Love

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jessica Love is a high school English teacher in Los Angeles, California, where she met her husband and her two tiny dogs online. She is the co-writer of Push Girl with Chelsie Hill.

SOCIAL LINKS
Author’s Website
Facebook
Twitter
Tumblr
Instagram
Snapchat

When I was offered the opportunity to interview Jessica Love about her novel In Real Life, I jumped at the opportunity because I knew my students would love it. I decided to take it one step further and get them even more excited about her book by having them come up with the interview questions. They immediately asked me if I would be buying a copy for them to read; of course I will!

In Real LifeABOUT THE BOOK (Goodreads):

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, Skype all the time, regularly send each other presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There’s just one problem…Hannah and Nick have never actually met.  

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she’s supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker at school, she decides to finally break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, with her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-a-friend feelings for him.

Hannah’s romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick’s girlfriend, whom he failed to mention to Hannah for the past three months.  And it turns out his relationship status isn’t the only thing he’s been lying to her about.  Hannah knows the real Nick can’t be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

PRAISE:

“A sweet, honest story that begins as so many of our relationships do: online.” —Emery Lord, author of Open Road Summer

“Love expertly creates a timely and entertaining story set on the glamorous Vegas strip, complete with rock and roll, gambling, love, and drama.  Readers will relate to the characters in this book and their effortless use of technology to support relationships.” —School Library Journal

“[A] sweet story ideal for contemporary teens whose lives play out in similar computer-and-text-message-related ways.” —Booklist

“The story manages to find its heart when it focuses on Hannah and Nick’s relationship. The warmth and intimacy of their friendship is convincing, and readers sighing over their long history will root for their relationship.” —Kirkus Reviews

“As Hannah and Nick work out the kinks of having to interact in person, they discover the advantages of taking things to the next level in this sweet, straightforward romance.” —Publishers Weekly
“A witty and entertaining story of friendship and secrets with a sparkly Vegas backdrop.  Jessica Love knows love!” —Kristin Rae, author of Wish You Were Italian

 

Here’s what my students wanted to know about Jessica Love and her book:

  1. Does Hannah consider the idea that Nick may be “catfishing” her?
    She doesn’t really, because she’s very trusting. They have known each other for so long and have really grown up together, so since they have shared so many things, this doesn’t really cross her mind. They have video chatted, so she knows he is the person from his pictures, and they met because their older siblings (who have met in person) introduced them online, so she feels pretty confident that he’s the real deal.
  1. Jessica, what’s your favorite roadtrip music?
    Cold War Kids. They have a bunch of albums and every single one of their songs is so fantastic. I can just put all their albums on shuffle and I’ll have fantastic driving music for hours and hours and hours.
  1. Do Hannah’s parents know about her relationship with Nick? Are they supportive of the relationship?
    They know she has an online friend she texts a lot, but she insists they’re just friends, so her parents don’t worry too much about it. They trust Hannah…it’s her older sister Grace they don’t trust.
  1. Now that we’re in the year 2016, do you think online relationships have become less taboo than in years past? Is that how you came up with the idea to writeIn Real Life?
    Oh yeah. I met my husband online in 1998, and it was super taboo back then. It was so weird that we actually made up a fake story about how we met because we didn’t want to admit the truth. Now it’s no big deal at all, and we finally let everyone know the truth.I decided to write this book in part because I have so many great friendships with people I’ve met online! I like to show people that real connections can happen with people you’ve never met in person.
  2.  Do you know anyone who has gone through a similar situation as Hannah or has it happened to you?
    No, this has definitely not happened to me. Not with a romance, anyway. I have traveled to meet people I only knew online, but they were just friends, and it was all very drama-free. I was inspired to write In Real Life by some people I saw on a reality show – they had been talking on the phone for five years and had never met in person. I loved that idea and I thought it would make a cool book.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Must be 13 or older to enter and have a U.S. or Canadian mailing address
One winner will be selected
Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

St. Martin’s Griffin
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Tumblr

BUY LINKS
Amazon
B&N
Indiebound
iBooks
Google Play

%d bloggers like this: