What Should I Read Next?

I need your help. I’m currently suffering from Too Many Books to Choose From syndrome. I’m currently reading and about to finish Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder. I started Reality Boy by A.S. King and stopped mid-way so I could read a few NetGalley books before they archived. I’m probably going to finish that next, but I’m wondering what I should read after that. I’m including a few of the books I’m considering, so I’d love to know which book you think I should pick up next!

Smoke

Smoke by Ellen Hopkins

**Beware of spoilers in the summary!**

Summary (From Goodreads): Pattyn Von Stratten’s father is dead, and Pattyn is on the run. After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that night, but she is stuck at home with their mother, who clings to normalcy by allowing the truth to be covered up by their domineering community leaders. Her father might be finally gone, but without Pattyn, Jackie is desperately isolated. Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life, but is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you’ve known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth?

I went to Ellen’s signing for this in Ann Arbor this week. I’ve been hoping/waiting for a sequel to Burned for years now. One of my seniors just read Burned and made sure I knew that he gets to read Smoke after I finish it.

How to Love

How to Love by Katie Cotugno

Summary (From Goodreads): Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

This is an Edelweiss title I have on my Kindle so I feel obligated to read it soon, although I really do want to read it (not just because I requested it and need to write a review).

The Space Between Us

The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez

Summary (From Goodreads):

From the author of Virtuosity, a novel about two sisters and the secrets they tell, the secrets they keep—and the secret that could tear them apart.

Amelia is used to being upstaged by her charismatic younger sister, Charly. She doesn’t mind, mostly, that it always falls to her to cover for Charly’s crazy, impulsive antics. But one night, Charly’s thoughtlessness goes way too far, and she lands both sisters in serious trouble.
     Amelia’s not sure she can forgive Charly this time, and not sure she wants to . . . but forgiveness is beside the point. Because Charly is also hiding a terrible secret, and the truth just might tear them apart forever.

I loved Jessica’s debut Virtuosity so I automatically want to read this one. I finally bought a copy today when I found it at a library sale.

More Than This

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Summary (From Goodreads):

From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life — or perhaps afterlife — of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.

A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . . .

I love Patrick Ness and this book sounds great.

Waiting on Wednesday–The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez

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 positively loved Jessica Martinez’s debut Virtuosity, so I can’t wait to read her new release The Space Between Us.  Have you read it yet?  I’d love to know what you think!

Title & Author: The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez

Release Date: October 16th, 2012

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Summary (From Goodreads):

From the author of Virtuosity, a novel about two sisters and the secrets they tell, the secrets they keep—and the secret that could tear them apart.

Amelia is used to being upstaged by her charismatic younger sister, Charly. She doesn’t mind, mostly, that it always falls to her to cover for Charly’s crazy, impulsive antics. But one night, Charly’s thoughtlessness goes way too far, and she lands both sisters in serious trouble.

Amelia’s not sure she can forgive Charly this time, and not sure she wants to . . . but forgiveness is beside the point. Because Charly is also hiding a terrible secret, and the truth just might tear them apart forever.

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Jessica Martinez Virtuosity

304 pp.  Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster )  2011  ISBN: 978-1-4424-2052-6

Interest: 2011 Debut Author

Release Date: October 18, 2011

Source: ARC received from the publisher

Summary (From the publisher’s website): Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen’s whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn’t just hot…what if Jeremy is better?

Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can’t end well, but she just can’t stay away. Nobody else understands her–and riles her up–like he does. Still, she can’t trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what’s expected.

Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall….

I’ve read some pretty good books this summer, but Virtuosity is one of the few that I read in one sitting.  The book begins near the end of the story and it had me hooked because Carmen appears to be at a crossroads in her musical career.  From there we transition to the present and Carmen isn’t stalking, or so she says, her competition.  Paralleling these two very different, but very intriguing scenes piqued my interest and didn’t let me go.

Carmen is a phenomenal violinist who has records out and has even won a Grammy.  Now she’s preparing for a very prestigious competition, but she’s worried that Jeremy is better.  This is probably my ignorance, but I kept thinking, Carmen, you won a Grammy! You’re obviously awesome, so don’t worry about Jeremy so much.  I’m guessing if Carmen was a real person and knew I was thinking that, she’d probably scoff at my ignorance and be really annoyed with me.  The kicker is that Carmen isn’t only feeling the pressure from herself, but she’s feeling the heat from her teacher and her mother.  She’s become a jumble of nerves and is relying too heavily on her anti-anxiety drugs to calm her down so she can be a better performer.

Like I said, the anxiety and pressure Carmen’s feeling stems quite a bit from her mother.  Her mother is her manager, and Carmen doesn’t even call her mom; she’s called by her first name, Diana.  Obviously, there are some serious mother-daughter issues in this book.  They are layered and twist in an excellent element to the plot.  Diana is written so well that she was making me anxious.  I kept feeling this urge to yell at her to back off and give Carmen some room to breathe.

Another relationship that really made the story come to life is Carmen’s relationship with Jeremy.  In some ways it reminded me of Adam and Mia’s relationship from If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman.  It isn’t nearly as steamy and angsty, but I don’t think it’s meant to be.  Virtuosity focuses more on Carmen finding herself and whether she truly enjoys the violin anymore.  It’s more about her recognizing her strengths and weaknesses and the true colors of those around her.  I enjoyed their relationship because it made for an interesting twist in their rivalry and focus.

This is an early review, but Virtuosity is an awesome book that deserves some glowing, early buzz.  I hope you’ll remember to pick it up in October or pre-order it now.  Jessica Martinez is an author to watch; I’m already looking forward to her second book when her first hasn’t even officially released.

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