Map of Bones

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Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the arc of The Map of Bones by Francesca Haig! The Map of Bones is the second book in The Fire Sermon series. Radiation destroyed the world and created defects and oddities, as well as everyone alive having a twin. The strong twin is the Alpha and the different twin is the Omega. The Omegas are persecuted, but if one twin dies, they both die. Secrets of life after the blast are discovered and the race is on between the council and the resistance to see who gains and uses the knowledge first. Cass has grown wiser through her trials and experiences with others. The suspenseful and interesting world building make this a good read!

Never Always Sometimes

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Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for the arc of Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid! This charming book begins on a cheerful, hopeful note of two teenagers trying to stay unique as they enter high school. They write a Never’s list of cliches that they don’t want to take part in. Fast forward to senior year of high school beginning with Dave’s story. Julia and Dave have a wonderful friendship, but they believe their relationship won’t go any further. The two of them start working on completing the Never’s list by taking part in all of the cliches. In the meantime, Dave hangs out with Gretchen and they become more than friends. Life becomes more complicated for the three of them, but eventually works out. I’m very impressed with the writing, the characters and the humor which made me chuckle too many times to count.

The Society

 

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I have already posted a review of The Society by Jodie Andrefski, but I wanted to share some thoughts of the author’s.

 

  • I love how you placed a quote at the beginning of each chapter.  The quote gives the reader a hint of what is to come.  What is your favorite quote, whether it’s used in your book or not?

 

One of my favorite quotes is probably one we have all seen many times over. But I believe it is one that still holds true if we actually take it and apply it. “Be the change you wish to see in this world.” ~ Ghandi
It is so easy to wish for change, or to complain about what things are like. But we each have it in our power to make a difference. We can start with small things, in our schools, in ourselves, in our workplace, in our family, to bring about big change.

 

  • Dealing with bullying is a main part of The Society.  How did you come up with the storyline?  Have you had personal experiences with bullying?

 

In high school I was lucky, I can’t say I was really “bullied.” Not like kids are today. But then again, today, there are so many more ways to bully—social media allows kids to be cruel to each other and it is seen by thousands instead of just a few in a playground or at a lunch table. There is so much more pressure on teens today than there was years ago. In my time doing crisis work and meeting with teens in crisis, the one thing that really stood out for me was how all of them felt the same way—that they didn’t quite fit in. It didn’t matter which circle they ran with—they all felt the same. The pain and hurt is universal. It is real. And it needs to stop.

Please share an excerpt from the part of the book that you feel shows future readers what The Society is about.

I’d be happy to! Thank you so much for having me on your blog today!

 

THE SOCIETY by Jodie Andrefski

Sneak Peek Excerpt

If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

—William Shakespeare

 

I pushed through the heavy oak doors leading into Trinity Academy, ignoring the groups of students milling around the wide steps of the ornate brick building. Not like it mattered. They were all busy talking, laughing, and fist-bumping each other, mostly jocks and their adoring fans, none of whom I had the time or interest to speak with.

“Out of my way.”

Bren Fessler—bedazzled toady to my ex-best friend Jessica—shoved past, leaving me gagging from lingering fumes of eau de bitch. I rolled my eyes, hacked through the last of the stench, and headed toward my locker.

Trinity was founded like a hundred years ago, and if buildings really do have a personality, this one had the snooty air of old money. I mean, it was a beautiful campus; it just sucked that I couldn’t stand the majority of the kids who went there anymore. But since Trinity had a stellar academic program that looked great on college applications, I’d remained, even after everything that happened. Besides, my creative writing teacher, Ms. Kemper, had pretty much assured me a shining recommendation to Columbia, her alma mater. I think she felt sorry for me. So I stayed. I wasn’t about to blow my chance at getting into my dream school even if everything around me sucked.

As I neared my locker, five or six members of the golden crew sashayed in a little blond bubble across from me, confident toothy smiles all over their faces. Since it was the start of Rush week, they were probably all certain they’d find a typed note covertly slipped through one of the vents in their locker, an invitation to rush our high school’s hallowed cloak-and-dagger Musterian Society.

Even the name sounded decayed, like a musty blanket you’d find rotting in your grandmother’s attic. I’d looked it up once. Musterian. Turns out it’s Greek for “a mystery confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals.”

There would obviously be no note in my locker. I was way too ordinary, and mortal was putting it mildly. My hair wasn’t blond and shiny enough. I didn’t prance around in a cutesy little uniform with TA emblazoned across my not-quite-big-enough boobs.

The cheerleaders seemed to miss what just about everyone else recognized. The irony in the fact that our school’s initials also stood for a completely different phrase. Then again, they’d probably be just as proud to wear the label, Tits and Ass. Yet these Einsteins were usually the ones chosen to pledge, at least to meet the female initiates quota.

Just about every kid at school dreamed of being invited to rush. Invitation to the Society wasn’t only a guaranteed boost to your social standing, although that was a given. No, being in the Society offered even more tangible, life-changing perks. It pretty much guaranteed acceptance to the college of your choice—past members served on the admissions boards of some of the best schools in the country. Dream jobs tended to follow. The Society members helped their own.

We weren’t supposed to know all that, but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out when you saw school acceptance letters roll in. The Society was a who’s who of the in crowd, guaranteeing a life we all fantasize about.

They didn’t ask people like me to join. I wasn’t cool enough, at least not anymore.

Steps away from my locker, the golden crew parted like the Red Sea. Whispers and giggles engulfed me—dark as smoke, and just as acrid.

“Oh my God, it’s perfect.”

“…her expression.”

I tried to ignore them, just another day in Trinity paradise.

Until I saw it. Jessica. She’d gone too far this time.

 

Sidelined

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Wow! I absolutely loved reading Sidelined by Kendra C. Highley! I can see my library students enjoying this story also. Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the arc and the opportunity to read and review this amazing book! It has everything a realistic fiction reader could want: sports, romance, struggles, inspiration and overcoming extreme obstacles.

Genna is a basketball player with sports scholarships on the horizon. A supportive father and a controlling, pushy mother make up her family. Jake Butler and Genna have been secretly crushing on each other and now began to have a relationship. Genna injures her leg during a playoff game and then her life seems to spiral out of her control. Highly recommended!

Cogling

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Here is my posted review from Goodreads: Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek is a fantasy in a steampunk world with a fairy tale touch! A hag steals a boy and replaces him with a machine, all unbeknownst to his family. As the children (Edna and Harrison) walk to the park, they pass vendors, beggars and storytellers. The story they hear explains the existence of the hags and other creatures. While listening to this story and watching her brother’s actions and pallor, Edna realizes Harrison is not himself and soon learns he was stolen by a hag and taken to a work factory. While trying to find her brother, she meets the mysterious Ike. Ike vows to help Edna rescue Harrison and many adventures ensue! Ike conceals secrets and so does Edna, but their relationship becomes more intimate and they began to truly trust each other. Cogling is a fun adventure with a bit of romance!