Spelled

by Betsy Schow
Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: June 2, 2015
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Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks--like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the not-so-charming prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future. 

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.


Oh my stars is Spelled such a fun read. Spelled is a mash up of all fairy tales and Dorthea is the belle of the ball so to speak. She is about to unleash something so big and all heck is about to break loose. This book is so puny/funny with all the puns sprinkled in, and your going to be laughing a lot while reading this little gem. 

This book really shows how one mad childish wish in the fit of anger can really go all wrong. The saying be careful what you wish for is the main theme of Spelled. Dorthea goes from spoiled mean girl to a girl who realizes just how much she had. If you have a teen girl who use to love a good old fairytale story than Spelled is for her. If you liked reading those sweet fairytale picture books to her when she was little than Spelled is for you. Really even if you or your teen was never really a princess girl you will still love this hilarious story! This book is 100% perfect for some light hearted summer reading. Great characters, great story, story with a good message, puns like you wouldn't believe!

thank you Sourcebooks Fire and Besty Schow for allowing me to read Spelled. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book. 

Things We Know By Heart

by Jessi Kirby
Harper Teen



After Quinn's boyfriend, Trent, dies in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the fragments of her now-unrecognizable life. But whoever received Trent's heart has mysteriously remained silent. The essence of a person, Quinn has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent's, then in a way she still has a piece of him.
Risking everything to find peace once and for all, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she's falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she's lost . . . and all that 
Things We Know By Heart starts off right away with the accident that takes Trent away from Quinn. While the author talks a little about him you don't really get to know him. Things We Know By Heart would be a sweet happy ending The Fault In Our Stars for this summer. This is the second book I've read about heart transplants and organ donation. Guess the authors are trying to make people aware of this issue and cause.  Over all Things We Know By Heart is a sweet summer read that YA girls will be sure to love. Colton is that surfer guy with a heart of gold that all girls would love to fall for. Quinn is the girl conflicted and not sure if she is falling for Colton or still in love with Trent's heart. Quinn's family is starting to unravel and if this summer is going to turn out half way decent she needs to get it together, figure out what she really wants for her life and go for it! She also needs to tell Colton the truth and that she found him because he has Trent's heart. That's not going to go well, but if their love is true than they can overcome this right?!
Grab a copy of Things We Know By Heart and really any of Jessi Kirby's books they are all great. This is perfect for some sweet romance summer reading. 

The Forgetting

by Nicole Maggi
Sourcebooks Fire



When Georgie Kendrick wakes up after a heart transplant she feels...different. The organ beating in her chest isn't in tune with the rest of her body. Like it still belongs to someone else. Someone with terrible memories...memories that are slowly replacing her own. A dark room, a man in the shadows, the sharp taste of adrenaline—these are her donor's final memories. Pieces of a deadly puzzle. And if Georgie doesn't want them to be the last thing she remembers, she has to find out the truth behind her donor's death...before she loses herself completely.

The Forgetting is a very raw book that tackles a very taboo subject. It has language and it has some very sensitive topics and not for the tender hearted. However it is a very good book that I think will open teen's (and adults) eyes to a problem that is going on every where in America as well as the world: Human Trafficking. At first glance you will be thinking what no this books about organ transplants and it is about that but the real story in The Forgetting is about all the lost teens on the streets and how so many of them are used and sold in human trafficking rings. There is language in this book and  the F work is used quite a bit and I usually won't even continue a book with that word. However in this book it didn't bother me. Nicole Maggi does a great job at presenting a very scary issue. Georgie and Nate are on a mission to save as many girls as they can and finish what Anna started. To quote the author " Trafficked children are hiding in plain sight" and they are! The organization she has Nate and eventually Georgie volunteering at FAIR girls is a real organization with chapters in almost every big city. If you would like to support this worthy cause they sell lots of really pretty jewelry at their store JewelGirls .

The Forgetting is a book you won't forget about, the issue and cause that the book explores is one that will stay with the reader well after they turn the last page. While this definitely isn't light summer reading it is one that I would put on a list of must reads this summer.  My soon to be 9th grader is reading this one right now and while I usually don't let her read stuff like this it was one she wanted to read and I'm OK with that. I've read it so I'm here is she has any questions or things she'd like to talk about. 

Some Kind Of Normal

by Juliana Stone
Sourcebooks Fire

Praise for Juliana Stone
“Just what readers need.” –School Library Journal
“A contemporary romance with a conscience…Stone writes it with confidence and style.” –Kirkus
“The classic miscommunication, the emotional pushing and pulling, the ‘will she?’ and ‘won’t he?’ of the destined-to-be-in-love. Readers of Miranda Kenneally, Jenny Han, and Susane Colasanti will enjoy Stone.” –VOYA
“A story of family, first love, and forgiveness. I couldn’t stop reading. I loved it!” –Miranda Kenneally, author ofCatching Jordan

Book Info:
What is normal? For Trevor, normal was playing fast guitar licks, catching game-winning passes, and partying all night. Until a car accident leaves him with no band, no teammates, and no chance of graduating. It’s kind of hard to ace your finals when you’ve been in a coma. The last thing he needs is stuck-up Everly Jenkins as his new tutor, those beautiful blue eyes catching every flaw.
For Everly, normal was a perfect family around the dinner table, playing piano at Sunday service, and sunning by the pool. Until she discovers her whole life is a lie. Now the perfect pastor’s daughter is hiding a life-changing secret, one that is slowly tearing her family apart. And spending the summer with notorious flirt Trevor Lewis means her darkest secret could be exposed.
This achingly beautiful story about two damaged teens struggling through pain and loss to redefine who they are, to their family, to themselves, and to each other is sure to melt your heart.
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Juliana Stone:
USA Today bestselling author Juliana Stone fell in love with books in the fifth grade when her teacher introduced her to Tom Sawyer. A tomboy at heart, she split her time between baseball, books, and music—three passions that carried over into adulthood. When she’s not singing with her band, she’s thrilled to be writing young adult and adult contemporary romance, and does so from her home in Canada.
My Short but Sweet Review: 
I wasn't to sure about this one when I first got it. I'm not a big fan of the back and forth stories where every chapter is told from a different characters perspective. However Some Kind of Normal was pretty good. While the character's are each battling their own issues and trying to heal from them this book is not a heavy book. I would place Some Kind of Normal in a realistic fiction genre since it is based on real life issues. While not every child will go through these issues I'm sure the reader would know someone who has to some degree. Good solid character development and fast flowing story makes this a good summer reading book. 

Excerpt from Some Kind of Normal: 
“You got any?” he asked.
“Any what?”
“Tattoos?”
“Me?” I had to laugh at that. Wow. Before last year that would have been grounds for major punishment. Heck, up until my senior year, I hadn’t been allowed to wear lip gloss. Now I wasn’t so sure that my mom would even notice, and since I avoided my dad whenever I could…

“No,” I said, shaking my head. “My skin is untouched.”
His eyes widened a bit, and I felt heat creep up my neck. Great. Now I was blushing again.
“Untouched,” he said with that lopsided smile that made my stomach dip. “I like that.”
“You do?” “Yep. A clean slate. There’s something almost poetic about that, you know? Tragic too. How many people get a do--over?”

Trevor reached for my hand, and though my first instinct was to snatch it back, his long fingers enveloped mine before I had the chance. He turned my hand over so that my palm faced up and then traced the little blue lines that ran down my wrist.
I can’t lie. It felt weird and good, and my heart took off once more, so fast that I was surprised he couldn’t hear it.

“This is…kind of…like ink,” he said, his words a little slow as if he was thinking hard. “But it’s alive.”
He glanced up again, and all I could do was nod before my eyes dropped to his hand. Mine was still there, small and pale next to his large palm and tanned skin. I saw the thin blue veins that ran down my wrist, the ones that carried blood from my heart, electrifying my cells and feeding my body.
His thumb rested just beneath my pulse, and I swallowed thickly. Crap, he was going to feel how fast it was, and that would be embarrassing.

“Your fingers are rough.” I blushed harder and thought that there was no way I could sound any more like an idiot. Not even if I was trying.
“Yeah,” he answered. “It’s from playing guitar. I practice a lot so my calluses are nice and strong.”
“I used to play piano.”
Wow. Good comeback. I guess it was better than a clarinet or trombone, but really. Dork much?

…Had he always looked this intense?
“What?” he asked. He smiled again and I thought that on a scale of one to ten, his smile was a total eleven. “You’re into the classics. That’s cool. Didn’t picture that.”
“Really. What exactly did you picture?” Shoot. Did I really want to hear this?
“I don’t know. PBS and that Jane Austen?”
Okay. First off, I was impressed that he knew who Jane Austen was, and secondly…he knew who Jane Austen was!

I dropped my eyes, because I was pretty sure that my cheeks were as red as the roses planted just outside the library. Trevor Lewis wasn’t anything like what I thought he’d be. He wasn’t stupid and he wasn’t arrogant. He wasn’t slow or weird.

He seemed pretty normal to me. You know, for a guy with tattoos and blue hair.


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thank you Sourcebooks Fire for allowing me to review Some Kind of Normal. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are no way influenced by the free book. 

Also by Juliana Stone:
NEW IN PAPERBACK!
Boys Like You
Sourcebooks Fire

Two Broken souls…one hot summer
Nate Everet’s life was all about acoustic guitar, girls in short shorts, and hot Southern nights.Until the accident.
Monroe Blackwell’s life was full of soccer goals, flirty skirts, and bright city lights. Until the accident.
Now Nate has a best friend who might never wake up, a summer of community service, and enough guilt to drown him. Monroe has a family that’s falling apart, a summer of banishment to her grandma’s, and a choking grief that makes it hard to breathe.
Nate and Monroe are two lost souls struggling with grief and guilt. But together, they have a chance at acceptance and finally finding the forgiveness they crave.
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