Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Review: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith



Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Holy cow I had no idea what in the world I was getting myself into. I told myself I wouldn’t look at any reviews or press beforehand, because I wanted to experience Grasshopper Jungle for myself. When I first started Grasshopper Jungle I thought oh I’m going inside a guy’s head that lives in a small town that is slowly dying out. Little did I know, that is exactly what I was getting, and so much more! I will admit that when it comes to male point of views I expect the best. You see I have fallen in love with male point of views like Felton Reinstein and Nick Gardner.

Austin Szerba is different, from other male point of view books I have read, but just as important! See Austin is a typical teenage boy who can’t stop thinking about sex and shit like that. (His words not mine) I believe it’s important to point out that Austin is dealing with a lot of insecurity about the possibility that he is either gay or bisexual. I look around my book shelves and I don’t think I have another book that deals with this topic from the main male point of view. Teens need to know that they can pick up a book and feel they can relate to the main character.

When I found out about the struggles that Austin was having with his sexuality I thought well this is what the book is about. Right? Well wrong! One night a group of teens accidentally break a globe with a plague that can potentially destroy the world.  Austin and his best friend Robby discover what happens and try to fix it. Austin loves his girlfriend Shann who he and Robby spend all their time with and who helps him find the truth about the plague. Austin is obsessed with keeping a history of his life. He writes everything down as he goes about his day and connects the pieces of history.  When Austin is lost he spends his time with his dog, Ingrid, who loves him regardless of who he chooses to love.

Grasshopper Jungle is a book that you have to experience. It’s funny saying this as a book reviewer, but block out what everyone is saying! Read Grasshopper Jungle with an open mind and live the life that Austin Szerba lives. Andrew Smith’s writing style is completely unique and a voice that is needed in young adult literature.

Note: There is sex and violence in the book, but would you expect anything less in an “end of the world” type of book?

To learn more about Andrew Smith visit: http://www.authorandrewsmith.com



I want to give a big thanks to Penguin Books and Lady Reader's Bookstuff Blog Tours for including me in the blog tour. Penguin is also giving one lucky US winner a copy of Grasshopper Jungle and a very cool shirt! So fill out the rafflecopter form below:

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Giveaway: White Space: Book One of The Dark Passages

I want to thank Egmont for providing a giveaway copy of White Space: Book One of The Dark Passages by Ilsa Bick! I love this cover and can't wait to read it! Good luck all!

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White Space: Book One of The Dark Passages
From Ilsa J. Bick--the critically acclaimed author of The Ashes Trilogy--comes the first title in a two-book, young adult series about blurred reality in the tradition of Memento and Inception. This thrilling and scary young adult novel is about blurred reality where characters in a story find that a deadly and horrifying world exists in the space between the written lines.

Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it's as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she's real.

Then she writes "White Space," a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard. Unfortunately, "White Space" turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she's never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. When Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she's dropped into the very story she thought she'd written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they--and Emma--may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.

Now what they must uncover is why they've been brought to this place--a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written--before someone pens their end.

This is the first in a two-book, young adult series from Ilsa J. Bick about blurred reality where characters in a story find that a deadly and horrifying world exists in the space between the written lines. From Wisconsin to an alternate Victorian London, Bick combines elements of thriller, horror, and speculative fiction into a heart-racing story that will leave readers eager to turn the page. Book Two will publish in Spring 2015.


About Ilsa J. Bick
Ilsa J. Bick is a child psychiatrist, film scholar, former Air Force major, and now a full-time author. Her critically acclaimed, award-winning YA novels include The Ashes Trilogy, Draw the Dark, Drowning Instinct, and The Sin-Eater's Confession. Ilsa currently lives in rural Wisconsin, near a Hebrew cemetery. One thing she loves about the neighbors: they're very quiet and only come around for sugar once in a blue moon. You can find her online at www.ilsajbick.com.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February - What I'm Reading Now

When did we start February? I feel like I blinked and January is gone! Now that I know what month I'm in I can tell you that I think I'm doing a little better juggling work, school and blogging. I will admit that audio books save me sometimes. I have an hour commute each way to work so I can get an extra book in during the drive. So here is my schedule. Feel free to join me and then we can discuss. Also I am always up for taking recommendations. If you check my blog often you will find I add and remove books just depending on my moods. What are you reading or looking forward to reading this month?



Listening to:


Just Finished:




Next up: