Waiting on Wednesday–Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

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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.

I discovered Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer the other day when Time featured a list of YA novels that should be made into movies. I have some opinions on that list, but we’ll save that for another day. Anyway, Belzhar was featured and piqued my interest because it’s said to be inspired by Sylvia Plath’s life. I haven’t read any of Plath’s books, but I’ve read some of her poems and I read and loved Your Own, Sylvia by Stephanie Hemphill. For whatever reason I find myself drawn to books that connect to her in some way. I’m really looking forward to reading this debut this fall.

BelzharTitle & Author: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Release Date: September 30th, 2014

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Summary (From Goodreads):

If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey with her sweet British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a breathtaking and surprising story about first love, deep sorrow, and the power of acceptance.

Waiting on Wednesday–Swim That Rock by John Rocco & Jay Primiano

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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.

I’m always searching for books that will appeal to my male readers in class; Swim That Rock sounds like a great book for many of them. I’m curious about it being written by two authors when it appears to be told by only one point of view (based on the summary). If you’ve read it already, I’d love to know what you think!

Swim That RockTitle & Author: Swim That Rock by John Rocco & Jay Primiano

Release Date: April 8th, 2014

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Summary (From Goodreads):

 A young working-class teen fights to save his family’s diner after his father is lost in a fishing-boat accident. 

When his dad goes missing in a fishing-boat accident, fourteen-year-old Jake refuses to think he may have lost his father forever. But suddenly, nothing seems certain in Jake’s future, and now his family’s diner may be repossessed by loan sharks. In Narragansett Bay, scrabbling out a living as a quahogger isn’t easy, but with the help of some local clammers, Jake is determined to work hard and earn enough money to ensure his family’s security and save the diner in time. Told with cinematic suspense and a true compassion for the characters, Swim That Rock is a fast-paced coming-of-age story that beautifully and evocatively captures the essence of coastal Rhode Island life, the struggles of blue-collar family dynamics, and the dreams of one boy to come into his own.

Waiting on Wednesday: There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos

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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.

Told from a guy’s point of view? Loss and grief? A twin sister? A bucket list? Yep, I’m intrigued!

There Will Come a TimeTitle & Author: There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos

Release Date: May 6th, 2014

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Summary (From Goodreads):

Mark knows grief. Ever since the accident that killed his twin sister, Grace, the only time he feels at peace is when he visits the bridge on which she died. Comfort is fleeting, but it’s almost within reach when he’s standing on the wrong side of the suicide bars. Almost.

Grace’s best friend, Hanna, says she understands what he’s going through. But she doesn’t. She can’t. It’s not just the enormity of his loss. As her twin, Mark should have known Grace as well as he knows himself. Yet when he reads her journal, it’s as if he didn’t know her at all.

As a way to remember Grace, Hanna convinces Mark to complete Grace’s bucket list from her journal. Mark’s sadness, anger, and his growing feelings for Hannah threaten to overwhelm him. But Mark can’t back out. He made a promise to honor Grace—and it’s his one chance to set things right.

Waiting on Wednesday–Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga

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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.

My life has been a little overwhelming as of late (mostly in good ways), which is why I haven’t been reading or posting anything. Christmas break felt like the first time I was able to relax since getting back from NCTE in Boston, but then I came back to school and was swamped with the end of the semester and midterm exams. I’ve noticed that I always go through a blogging/reading slump in January, however, and end up picking right back up where I left off in February. I sure hope that’s the case this year! Do any of you go through blogging/reading slumps at this time of year?

Anyway, I’m SUPER excited about the upcoming release of Barry Lyga’s newest book in the Jasper Dent series. This cover is fantastic, although a little different than the first two books’ covers. Regardless, it’s eye-catching and going to intrigue my students. Blood of My Blood doesn’t release for a while, but I couldn’t resist posting about it. I would avoid reading the summary if you haven’t read this series.

Blood of My BloodTitle & Author: Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga

Release Date: September 22nd, 2014

Publisher: Little, Brown

Summary (From Goodreads):

Jazz Dent has been shot and left to die in New York City. His girlfriend Connie is in the clutches of Jazz’s serial killer father, Billy. And his best friend Howie is bleeding to death on the floor of Jazz’s own home in tiny Lobo’s Nod. Somehow, these three must rise above the horrors their lives have become and find a way to come together in pursuit of Billy. But then Jazz crosses a line he’s never crossed before, and soon the entire country is wondering: “Like father, like son?” Who is the true monster?

The chase is on, and this time Jazz is the hunted, not the hunter. And beyond Billy there lurks something much, much worse. Prepare to meet…the Crow King.

Waiting on Wednesday–The Break-up Artist by Philip Siegel

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.

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First of all, this cover is great! I love how bright and eye-catching it is. Second, the synopsis makes it sound like a really engaging story. I love the idea of schemes and mystery. Overall, this sounds like a fun book to read this spring!

The Break-Up ArtistTitle & Author: The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel

Release Date: April 29th, 2014

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Summary (From Goodreads):

Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash. Some work at the Gap. Becca Williamson breaks up couples. 



After watching her sister get left at the altar, Becca knows the true damage that comes when people utter the dreaded L-word. For just $100 via paypal, she can trick and manipulate any couple into smithereens. With relationship zombies overrunning her school, and treating single girls like second class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even her best friend Val has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.

One night, she receives a mysterious offer to break up the homecoming king and queen, the one zombie couple to rule them all: Steve and Huxley. They are a JFK and Jackie O in training, masters of sweeping faux-mantic gestures, but if Becca can split them up, then school will be safe again for singletons. To succeed, she’ll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date and wiggle her way back into her former BFF Huxley’s life – not to mention start a few rumors, sabotage some cell phones, break into a car, and fend off the inappropriate feelings she’s having about Val’s new boyfriend. All while avoiding a past victim out to expose her true identity.

No one said being the Break-Up Artist was easy.

Waiting on Wednesday–Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

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.

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Gail Giles is an excellent YA contemporary author. Her upcoming release sounds like one that my students and I will love. I like that it appears to fit the New Adult category while also being about special education students. I need more titles in my class library with special ed characters. Also, I like the cover and that this is a Candlewick title. I hope I find an ARC at NCTE this year!

Girls Like UsTitle & Author: Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

Release Date: May 27th, 2014

Publisher: Candlewick

Summary (From Goodreads):

With gentle humor and unflinching realism, Gail Giles tells the gritty, ultimately hopeful story of two special ed teenagers entering the adult world.

We understand stuff. We just learn it slow. And most of what we understand is that people what ain’t Speddies think we too stupid to get out our own way. And that makes me mad.

Quincy and Biddy are both graduates of their high school’s special ed program, but they couldn’t be more different: suspicious Quincy faces the world with her fists up, while gentle Biddy is frightened to step outside her front door. When they’re thrown together as roommates in their first “real world” apartment, it initially seems to be an uneasy fit. But as Biddy’s past resurfaces and Quincy faces a harrowing experience that no one should have to go through alone, the two of them realize that they might have more in common than they thought — and more important, that they might be able to help each other move forward.

Hard-hitting and compassionate, Girls Like Us is a story about growing up in a world that can be cruel, and finding the strength — and the support — to carry on.

Waiting on Wednesday–Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding

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.

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It’s parent/teacher conferences week, so I’m sticking to only the basics in this post. Last week I was a grading machine and this week I’m just tired and busy. I will say, however, that this book sounds like something that would put me in a good mood after the last couple weeks I’ve had.

Ink is Thicker Than WaterTitle & Author: Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding

Release Date: December 3rd, 2013 (in paperback!)

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Summary (From Goodreads):

For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.

But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.

It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.

Waiting on Wednesday–The F– It List by Julie Halpern

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.

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I’ve said it plenty of times: Cancer books aren’t always for me. I do make exceptions, however, and I think I might with Julie Halpern’s upcoming release. I like the spin on this one because it’s not from the point of view of a cancer patient. I haven’t read any of her books, so hopefully this one will be a good one to start with.

The F-It ListTitle & Author: The F– It List by Julie Halpern

Release Date: November 12th, 2013

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Summary (From Goodreads):

With her signature heart and humor, Julie Halpern explores a strained friendship strengthened by one girl’s battle with cancer.

Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.

But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again–Becca has cancer.

So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend–you do it.

Waiting on Wednesday–The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle

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.

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Many of my seniors this year are on a dark/edgy kick and seeking out titles to satisfy that. They’re looking for books dealing with grief, tough situations, suspense, etc. so this book sounds like something they’ll love. I’m currently working on a list of books to request/find at NCTE this year. The Edge of Falling is on that list.

The Edge of FallingTitle & Author: The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle

Release Date: March 18th, 2014

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Summary (From Goodreads):

Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumors are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realizes that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.

Waiting on Wednesday–Fake ID by Lamar Giles

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.

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Fake IDTitle & Author: Fake ID by Lamar Giles

Release Date: January 21st, 2014

Publisher: HarperCollins

Summary (From Goodreads):

Nick Pearson is hiding in plain sight…

My name isn’t really Nick Pearson.

I shouldn’t tell you where I’m from or why my family moved to Stepton, Virginia.

I shouldn’t tell you who I really am, or my hair, eye, and skin color.

And I definitely shouldn’t tell you about my friend Eli Cruz and the major conspiracy he was about to uncover when he died—right after I moved to town. About how I had to choose between solving his murder with his hot sister, Reya, and “staying low-key” like the Program has taught me. About how moving to Stepon changed my life forever.

But I’m going to.

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