The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

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The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

The Smell of Other People’s Houses is a beautifully written, enchanting novel that brings a breath of fresh air into the world of YA.

Invited into the homes of Alaskan families, I discovered warm, rich characters whose lives interweave in extraordinary ways.

I know very little about Alaska, other than it’s my husband dream destination! But with Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s ability to make the history and culture of Alaska come alive, it’s now a place I would love to explore with him.

Recommended age: 13+4 Star

Title: The Smell of Other People’s Houses
Author: Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Publication Date: 23 February 2016Other peoples houses
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Source: ARC

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In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.
 
Four very different lives are about to become entangled.
— Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received an advanced review copy of this book from the publisher does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Infandous by Elana K. Arnold

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Infandous by Elana K. Arnold

Once there was a mermaid who dared to love a wolf. Her love for him was so sudden and so fierce that it tore her tail into legs.

Infandous by Elana K. Arnold. Dark and sensual – bordering on crude, this wistful story is intertwined with menacing, venomous myth, until the line between them blurs.

Things don’t really turn out the way they do in fairy tales. I’m telling you that right up front, so you’re not disappointed later.

An unspeakable twist spins the tale off-balance and I was left in shock, hoping Sephora can arrange the pieces of her life in a way that allows her peace.

Recommended age: 16+ mature content2 Star

Title: Infandous
Author: Elana K. ArnoldINFANDOUS x
Publication Date:
1 March 2015
Publisher: Carlrhoda Lab
Source: ARC

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Sephora Golding lives in the shadow of her unbelievably beautiful mother. Even though they scrape by in the seedier part of Venice Beach, she’s always felt lucky. As a child, she imagined she was a minor but beloved character in her mother’s fairy tale. But now, at sixteen, the fairy tale is less Disney and more Grimm. And she wants the story to be her own. Then she meets Felix, and the fairy tale takes a turn she never imagined. Sometimes, a story is just a way to hide the unspeakable in plain sight.    — Extract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

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I had to keep my wits about me, since French men were my Achilles’ heel. In fact, if Achilles had been French, I probably would have carried him around until his tendon healed.

Based on a true story this book accompanies three women whose lives intersect during and after the Second World War.

The author’s extensive research is evident and her soft, subtle, understated way of storytelling spins a comforting and nostalgic cloak around the reader. But don’t be fooled into thinking this book doesn’t pack a punch, the tranquility only emphasises the enormity the impact of war has on humanity.

None of us knew how wrong we were that morning as we stepped put of the train and fell headlong into hell.

The realistic characters and the portrayal of their environmental influences, such as the propaganda and indoctrination, allows a deep connection between the reader and the story. Each character is portrayed with such complexity that I found my opinion of, and feelings towards them constantly evolved over time.

Recommended age: 15+4 Star

 

Title: Lilac Girls
Author: Martha Hall KellyLilac Girls
Publication Date: 5 April 2016
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Source: ARC

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New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.— Extract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

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I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

My blood was carbonated, and I was awake and young and alive, and screw everything because this moment was mine.

This book is still at my side 12 hours after I finally put it down in the early hours of this morning. Oh the feels! The characters still sing to me from between the pages, enticing me to meet them again next to the pool at  the Paradise Motel.  I wish there was a sequel I could read right now! I’m not ready to say goodbye.

It was the stunning cover that initially caught my eye, and I ‘m thrilled that the story lived up to expectations. Luckily I have my copy because I know I will want to read it again. And again.

Heather Demetrios you’ve been added to my list of ‘auto-buy’ authors.

And I stood there on the knife’s edge of us, holding my breath, time expanding so that I felt every drop of rain, every thud of my heart.

Recommended age: 14+5 Star

 

Title: I’ll Meet You There
Author: Heather Demetrios I'll Meet You There
Publication Date:
3 February 2015
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Company
Source:
Prize in online blogger competition

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If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.     — Extract from Goodreads.com

One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij

One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij

One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij - YA Book Review

One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij – YA Book Review

One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij. I was sucked into the story right from the beginning and I loved the passionate, gritty, complicated characters.

The story was intense and the build-up towards the revelation of a family secret riveting, but the anti-climax stopped the story in its tracks.  After such anticipation, I was disappointed at the little effect the revelation had on the relevant family members and it was this that ultimately let the book down.

Despite just missing a 5-star rating, this is a beautiful story and fans of Katie McGarry will love it. And just look at the cover! I ♥ it!4 Star

Recommended age: 13+

Title: One, Two, ThreeOne Two Three 1
Series: Broken Dreams # 1
Author: Elodie Nowodazkij
Publication Date:
26 June 2014
Publisher: Createspace
Source:
Review copy

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When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love. 

Last year,seventeen-year-old Natalya Pushkaya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.

But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her one-time prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.

At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least, a more pleasant present. Keeping him an arabesque away proves to be a challenge for Natalya and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell. 

When upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.

Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?   — Extract from Goodreads.com 

The fact that I received this copy of this book from the author does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

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