Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway: Clayton Falls Series by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Today, Edwin and Emily are happy to be a part of the Clayton Falls Blog Tour
hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.
Find the other tour stops here.

Derailed (Clayton Falls #1) by Alyssa Rose Ivy
The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: September 23, 2012
Publisher: Self-Published
260 Pages

When you're lost, sometimes the only place you can go is home.

Broken over the death of her fiancé, Molly leaves law school to return to her childhood home in North Carolina. Expecting to lay low until she can figure out what else to do with her life, she finds herself in the arms of her high school sweetheart, the boy who represents everything from the past she tried to leave behind.

Looking for an escape, she instead finds a way back to the girl she almost forgot existed and a future she never dreamed possible.

*free for Amazon Kindle until the end of the tour

Veer (Clayton Falls #2) by Alyssa Rose Ivy
The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: November 29, 2012
Publisher: Self-Published
286 Pages

Only when you let go can you learn to live.

Between the death of her mother and pushing through law school without her best friend, it's been a tough year for Becca. Needing a break from Boston, she moves to a tiny coastal North Carolina town for a relaxing summer. After bumping heads repeatedly with a local cop, she realizes her summer will be anything but quiet.

Three years after a career ending injury ruins his chance to play Major League Baseball, Gavin has a distrust of northerners and lately girls in general. He wants nothing to do with a girl who is only in town for the summer.

When the two give in to their impossible attraction, they realize that they may just have found the key to freeing themselves from the ghosts of their pasts.


Giveaway Details:
- One winner will receive an e-copy of Veer by Alyssa Rose Ivy
- Open internationally
- One entrant per household
- Cheating results in immediate disqualification
- Winner has 48 hours to respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen
- Ends 02/09/2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt from Derailed by Alyssa Rose Ivy
With his brown hair buzzed short as usual, and the constant tan with a hint of sunburn he always sported from working on his dad’s boats, my high school sweetheart stood at the counter.
“Molly?” His brown eyes widened. A barely visible smile played on the corner of his lips. 
“Hi, Ben.” I smiled, giving a small wave. Inside, my stomach did somersaults. I wasn’t ready for this. 
“Wow, what are you doing here? You work at Marney’s again?” He placed a hand on the counter. “Aren’t you supposed to be in Boston?” 
“Plans changed.” 
“How so?” Ben was never one for mincing words. 
“I quit law school.” 
“Oh. How’d your fiancé take it?” He said the word ‘fiancé’ like it left a bad taste in his mouth.
“We’re not getting married.”
“Oh… I didn’t know.” 
“Yeah, I didn’t exactly spread the word. Did your dad really not tell you I was back?”
“My Dad?” 
“I ran into him this morning. I figured he would have mentioned it, or am I wrong and you don’t work with him anymore?” Ben’s plans, aside from his music, had always been to work in his father’s marina sales and rental company and to take over one day. It was hard to pull him away from the water. 
“He didn’t mention it.” His face scrunched up the way it always did when he was thinking. “But wow, I definitely didn’t expect to see you.”
“I’ve been getting that a lot.”
“So since you’re working here, does that mean you plan to stay around?” I couldn’t tell what answer he wanted. 
I leaned up against the back counter. “Maybe… I really don’t know. This was kind of a last minute decision.” 
“How last minute?”
“Meaning I walked out of class, packed up what I wanted from my apartment, and left the city.”
“That’s… cool.” Ben put his hands in his pockets. 
We stood in awkward silence for a while, just looking at each other. “So, can I get you something?” 
“Oh sure, the special.”
“Okay, coming right up.” I grabbed one of the chicken salad sandwiches I had spent so much time making and wrapped it up. “So what have you been up to?” I called over my shoulder.
“You know, work mostly—I’ve started a side business taking out fishing tours. It keeps me pretty busy. I’m still playing with the guys, though.” 
“Yeah, I heard that.” I fidgeted nervously while holding his sandwich in one hand. Making small talk with Ben wasn’t easy. There was way too much we needed to say to each other, but couldn’t. 
“We’re playing tonight at Gill’s. You should come.” 
“Oh, I don’t know, but thanks.”
“Come on, you should. I promise we’re better than in high school.” He smiled, and I knew I was lost. It was impossible to say no to that smile. 
“All right.” 
“Yeah? Okay, cool. Maybe we can catch up after? It’s been a long time.” 
“Okay.” I filled a cup with Coke. I assumed he hadn’t changed his drink of choice. 
He looked torn for a moment. “Oh, and Mol?”
“Yeah?” I placed his drink on the counter.
“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry things didn’t work out for you up in Boston.”
“Thanks. I appreciate it.” 
“See you later.”
As soon as the door chime sounded announcing Ben’s exit, Gail came out to join me. “Now that’s the old Molly. All it took was five minutes with Ben Mathews. I think we found your solution.”

How did you like the excerpt? Do you think you'll read the series? Just a heads up, the books CAN be read independently! Emily's review of these two books will be up soon, so keep an eye out!
Thank you to Giselle from Xpresso Book Tours and Alyssa Rose Ivy for allowing us to be a part of this tour!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Only Exception by Magan Vernon

The Only Exception by Magan Vernon
The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: April 2013
Publisher: Beautifully Broken Books
272 Pages

**Due to sexual content and heavy subject matter, this book is recommended for ages 16+**

Fiercely liberal Monica Remy prefers to blend in. Despite her tattoos, piercings, and outspoken personality, she transferred to Central to escape—before she finds out that her next door neighbor is the uber conservative governor's son, Trey Chapman.

No matter how hard she tries to avoid Trey, he still finds a way to get under her skin. Monica can’t stand his crisp white shirts or his staunch views on women. But she can’t help counting every freckle on his face and wondering what it would feel like to have him stop talking politics and kiss her.

A class debate project forces the unlikely pair to work together, and the political lines are blurred in late-night make out sessions. But despite their fiery chemistry, Trey’s politics threatens to smother their relationship for good.


As soon as I read the summary, I was intrigued! I love books with a political twist. This seems right up my ally and the cover works so well with the blurb! I am so looking forward to this one! I know I will be picking this one up!

What do you think? Will you pick it up?

Teaser Tuesday: Manipulation (Shadows #2) by Jolene Perry

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!
To participate all you have to do is:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!) 

 Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


"'Well, I think I've inflicted enough emotional damage on you today. Wanna grab a coffee and join the throng at Starbucks?'"
Chapter 4, 14%
Manipulation (Shadows #2) by Jolene Perry


Top Ten Tuesday (47)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!
This week's theme is: 
Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever

1. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins - I love this series, like many others, but there were times when I wanted to hit Katniss over the head repeatedly.
2. Alice Bell from Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter - Ugh. I don't really know what to say about her. She just constantly rubbed me the wrong way.
3. Fia from the Mind Games series by Kiersten White - My review says it all.
4. Charlotte from League of Strays by LB Schulman - I really was frustrated (and loathed) this whole book, but the main character and I especially don't get along.
5. Ana from the Fifty Shades series by EL James - Girl needs to grow some lady-balls.
6. Destiny from Where There's Smoke by Karen Kelley - Destiny takes all of my pet peeves from other women and combines them in one. She's horrid.
7. Nikki from the Halflings series by Heather Burch - It's one of the instances where the love triangle keeps me from liking the main character.
8. Zoe from the Glitch series by Heather Anastasiu - The inconsistencies within the story and idiocy of the main character had me growling at the book.
9. Emma from Broken by AE Rought - Emma isn't an easy character to get along with. She gave me a lot of trouble when she went into her fits of teen angst.
10. Every character in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer - Everyone did something to frustrate me at some point. I admit to really enjoying the series, but that doesn't mean I didn't get annoyed!

What characters frustrated you?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Young Adult Giveaway Hop

The Young Adult Giveaway Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and BookLove101 and runs from January 29st to February 4th.

If you are reading this, we'll assume you love young adult novels. We love them too! (Obviously.) So we decided to join this giveaway hop and spread the love! We are giving away a surprise prize pack. Emily has a box ready to be shipped that contains four YA novels and some swag.

Giveaway Details:
- One winner will receive a four book prize pack
- Open internationally
- One entrant per household
- Cheating results in immediate disqualification
- Winners have 48 hours to respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen
- We are not responsible for lost/damaged packages
- Ends 02/04/2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Happy reading!

Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway: Indigo Awakening (The Hunted #1) by Jordan Dane

Today, Edwin and Emily are happy to be a part of the 
Indigo Awakening Blog Tour
hosted by YA Bound.
Find the other tour stops here.

Indigo Awakening (The Hunted #1) by Jordan Dane
The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
304 Pages

Because of what you are, the Believers will hunt you down.

Voices told Lucas Darby to run. Voices no one else can hear. He’s warned his sister not to look for him, but Rayne refuses to let her troubled brother vanish on the streets of LA. In her desperate search, she meets Gabriel Stewart, a runaway with mysterious powers and far too many secrets. Rayne can’t explain her crazy need to trust the strange yet compelling boy—to touch him—to protect him even though he scares her.

A fanatical church secretly hunts psychic kids—gifted “Indigo” teens feared to be the next evolution of mankind—for reasons only “the Believers” know. Now Rayne’s only hope is Gabe, who is haunted by an awakening power—a force darker than either of them imagine—that could doom them all.


Tour Wide Giveaway:
- HarlequinTEEN prize pack (US only)
- 4 Infinity Bracelets (US only)
- 1 audio book of In the Arms of Stone Angels. Digital download only. (International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt from Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane:
The shaft where she hid got brighter.
A pale blue light filled the dark corners around her. At first, she thought they'd found her and
one of them had shined a light down the vent, but when she turned to catch where the glow came from, Rayne saw something move in the dark outside.
A guy. Edged by the moon, he looked more like a ghost.
Like Lucas, he was tall, but that's where the similarities ended. Wearing a hoodie, he looked
fierce with his face covered in shadow, like the scary knight dude on Assassin's Creed. Rayne
almost called for help, but didn't. He could've been with the others, but something else stopped
her. His body tensed and shook. He looked consumed by a blinding rage. When his mouth
opened in a scream, no sound came out. He stretched out his arms and lifted his chin toward the
moon, shaking as if he hurt.
She couldn't take her eyes off him and a sudden chill gripped her hard.
Her body tingled with a rush of static electricity. Even the hairs on her forearms stood on end.
Stranger still, Rayne felt a sudden and overwhelming rush of emotion flood her mind and heart— memory flashes of her father and mother when they were alive. Their love felt tangible and real and it filled the hole in her life where her parents and family had been.
She pictured Lucas's grinning face and imagined Mia's familiar soft giggle when she was a kid
and they shared a bedroom. In that moment, it felt as if she had her family back, the living and
the dead. The phantom touch of her father's arms made her feel safe and the faint scent of her
mother's favorite perfume lingered. Rayne couldn't help it. Tears came for real this time. One by
one, the memories sucked up her fear like a sponge.
She didn't feel alone, but how the hell could that be? Rayne wanted to believe that the power
of her mind had reached out to calm her, but she'd never felt anything as strong before. Was that what people meant when they talked about a near-death experience…memories that flooded
them like a merciful anesthetic before they kicked off?
Or maybe another explanation stood in front of her eyes.
Rayne watched the strange boy with the outstretched arms. How could a boy so filled with
rage be the cause of the love she felt now? He had to be part of it. Everything she felt had
triggered after he showed, but when something else moved behind him, her fear threatened to
rush back.
He wasn't alone.
A large lurking shadow crept forward. Oh, my God! She peered through the dark to make
out the shape. A massive dog stepped out from behind him and stood at his side—the biggest
dog she'd ever seen. It had an electric shimmer that radiated off its body. An eerie glow stabbed
through its eyes as if the light had escaped from inside its belly.
The damned thing moved and drifted like a ghost. Rayne could've sworn it never touched the
ground. She blinked twice, but the phantom dog didn't go away and that boy never looked down.
Frozen in that moment with him, Rayne felt strangely calm and watched as he kept his face
lifted toward the night sky. She thought things couldn't get any weirder, but when that ghost dog brushed against him—
The boy caught fire.
Blue fire.

What did you think of the excerpt? Do you think you'll read Indigo Awakening? Have you read it already?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

ARC Review: Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
256 Pages

Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future. 

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.


When I first heard about Mind Games, I was immediately fascinated. The synopsis added in with the gorgeous cover made me desperate for this book. I thought I would love it and even when the negative reviews started to pour in, I wasn't phased. If I'm being totally honest, I probably should've been. Mind Games had the premise of a real winner, but was too short, too cliche and too predictable to make a mark. 

There is so much that I didn't like about this novel. I should probably start off by saying what I did like. I liked ferocity of the love these sisters had for each other. Familial connections are often downplayed in young adult fiction, so it was nice to see a novel that was centered around that. I, also, liked the idea of the story. Two girls being trained to be high end assassins with special abilities? Sounds great, right? I thought so, too. And I liked the way Ms. White left her readers wanting to know what happened next. I may not have enjoyed the book, but the ending left me curious. So curious that I will probably continue with the series.

Now, what I didn't like? Pretty much the rest of it. I didn't really like the characters. I loathed Fia almost one-hundred percent of the time. Her perspective and her actions make her seems more like a four-year-old than a young adult. It was hard to read from and even harder to care about. She made no sense to me and I still am befuddled by her actions at the very end of the book, a week after finishing it. I did not like the point-of-view switch, because there were also quite a few flashbacks. It was hard to distinguish a true timeframe and was extremely difficult to keep up with. I must be honest and say that I have no idea what the timeframe of the story actually was because of the disorder of the layout.

The characters… I don't know what to say about them. Besides Fia and Annie, we don't get much insight into the characters' lives. That being said, even though Fia and Annie are the main characters they still felt like strangers to me by the end of the novel. In both cases, they were strangers that I did not care for in the least. In fact, I didn't like most of the characters. Adam was one of the two that I was genuinely curious about. James was the other who intrigued me, but their parts in this story felt so minor and unimportant. The way the author tried to make it seem like they were pretty key players was extremely forced. It was as though we were supposed to be truly enamored by them, and I almost was, but when I sat down to think about it, I had no idea why because I had no idea who they were. The readers will really only know Adam in name because he's barely in the story, though most of the conflict has to do with him. Reading Mind Games felt like reading a sequel because it felt like only the surface was skimmed and the reader was just supposed to automatically understand. That's why reading this book felt more like a chore than a pleasure.

The plot would've been thrilling, if I had any feelings for the characters, or if almost everything hadn't been utterly predictable. Fia and Annie are orphan sisters, with special abilities. They, unwilling, attend a school that is catered to those with abilities similar to theirs. (Though we only really ever meet one other student…) They are stuck there, stuck being used because they are trying to protect each other from what those who run the school threaten upon the other sister. Then one boy does something to muck it all up. Thus Mind Games was born.

I think the main problem with this book was the length. It had a ton of potential. Really, Mind Games could've been epic, but the author rushed everything and didn't delve deep enough into a world that needed to be seen so that they rest of the story could be enjoyed. It's pretty obvious that the first draft was written in nine days and it seemed like the author didn't add much too it since then. This novel was a real disappointment and I'm actually upset about it because I thought it was going to be fabulous. The amazing idea behind this story wasn't done justice. That's not to say others won't enjoy the book. I'm sure that many people will like Mind Games. It was an interesting story, it just wasn't for me.

I received a copy of this novel for review from the publisher via Edelweiss.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Follow Friday (49)

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

Q. What is the last book that kept you up late into the night just to finish it?

A. I think the last book that I literally stayed up all night just so I could keep reading was Mothership (The Ever-Expanding Universe #1) by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal. It's one of the weirdest books that I've ever read, but for some reason, it's impossible to put down. The main character's perspective reads easily and she has the best wit. I was in stitches from beginning to end. The sequel doesn't come out until November... THAT IS SO FAR AWAY.

What is the last book to keep you up all night?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (46)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!
This week's theme is: 
Top Ten Settings I'd Like to See More Of (Or At All)

1. Inner City - most of the books I've read lately have nice settings in suburbs, I want some gritty settings.
2. Wintery Places - I love snow! I haven't read a recent book that takes place in the winter (or even in a place where it snows on the regular).
3. Antarctica - Come on... Someone give it a shot!
4. Australia - With non-Australian protagonists because I want them to be as new to the country as I would be if I was in their place. And if only for the attractive accents and the Hemsworth brothers and Heath Ledger (RIP).
5. A Forest - And one that's not in the background. I want some stories that take place in the woods. Maybe some horror?
6. Does Online Count? - I spend a lot of time online (pretty much whenever I'm not in class, reading or watching Dance Moms) and I think it would be cool to read a novel kind of like my life only not boring.
7. Dance Studios - ...Speaking of Dance Moms...
8. The Beach - During winter... I don't know even know why, but for some reason I keep thinking about Santa Monica in December.
9. Bookstores - But not because the protagonist owns it, or they work there. I want to see characters that basically live in a bookstore because they love it so much.
10. Libraries - Lurve me some libraries!

What settings would you like to read about?

Teaser Tuesday: Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!
To participate all you have to do is:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!) 

 Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


"'Of course I'm jealous. I thought I was going to get to punch him.'"
Chapter 9, ARC Page 145
Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Calling All Bloggers: Be A Part of "The List"

Do you have a blog?
Do you enjoy reviewing books?
Better yet, do you enjoy getting a chance to read and review books before their release?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, check out Kate's Blog for the chance to join Entangled Teen's Blogger List!
It's quick and painless. Plus, it's a great opportunity for bloggers!

So what are you waiting for?

Blog Tour: ARC Review + Giveaway: The End of All Things by Lissa Bryan

Today, Edwin and Emily are happy to be a part of the The End of All Things Blog Tour hosted by The Writer's Coffee Shop.
Find the other tour stops here.

The End of All Things by Lissa Bryan
The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: January 24, 2013
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop

After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly Daniels, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food. With her is Sam, a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. He becomes her companion and a reason to continue when giving up sometimes seems like the more attractive option. Still dazed with shock and grief, she hopes for the world to go back to normal soon.

She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier who is intent on making his way to Florida before the winter sets in. Justin coaxes her out of her hiding place and convinces her to join him on his journey, because a warmer climate will be their best chance against the extremes of Mother Nature.

Together, they begin a perilous journey through a nation laid to waste by the disaster. Challenges abound along the way. The weather, injury, and shortage of supplies all help to slow them down. In time, they discover that they aren’t the only survivors. Some are friendly but some have had their minds destroyed by the high fever. Then there are those who simply take what they want, leaving Carly and Justin with no choice but to defend what is theirs.

But their journey is not without joy and love. Together, they face every struggle, including an unplanned pregnancy. Despite the perils of bringing a child into a world of chaos, their baby is a new beginning for themselves and a symbol of hope for the other survivors they find along the way.

This is the story of their journey to find a place to begin a new life, and a home in each other.



Giveaway Details:
- One winner will receive an e-copy of The End of All Things by Lissa Bryan
- Open internationally
- One entrant per household
- Cheating results in immediate disqualification
- Winner has 48 hours to respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen
- We are not responsible for lost/damaged packages
- Ends 01/27/2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Once upon a time, I read a Twilight fanfiction story about a girl, Bella, brought to an alien planet to become the queen of a dying alien race. She goes through trials and hardships, falls in love with an alien king, Edward, and eventually helps save the world. The story was Written in the Stars and the author was Lissa Bryan. I adored that fanfiction piece, still do. Ms. Bryan seems to just breathe compelling story lines because I enjoyed The End of All Things just as much as Written in the Stars.

In the not-so-distant future, everyone who got the Infection either died, or was changed because of the severe affect the illness had on their brains. Carly has only seen one normal, living person since she hid away from the Infection in her apartment. The person, is an ex-soldier named Justin. Justin's presence frightens her at first, but as they get to know each other, they fall in love. Once Justin is able to convince Carly that they need to get out of Alaska, they encounter desperate thieves, dangerous villains, an unwanted pregnancy and make new friends on an epic adventure to find a place in this highly dangerous world where they can live safely and thrive.

I loved the characters! Justin was an absolutely awesome companion for Carly during the apocalypse not only because of his survival skills, but because he is a genuinely good person. You could tell that he really grew to care for Carly as a friend, before he started falling in love with her, and hated when he couldn't help someone they saw as they continued their journey, but he always made decisions that needed to be made. His knowledge on survival actually taught me something, too! It would probably take me longer to die now! Score! Carly was a good main character as well. She's my age, which made it easier to relate to her emotions and actions. I enjoyed reading from both of their perspectives, especially as the tension grew and their relationship developed. I not only rooted for them to survive, but for them to take advantage of the time they had together and realize that they cared for each other beyond just being traveling companions.

This book was good. Really good. Really, really good. I was hooked immediately and finished it in a few hours because I didn't want to put it down. Everything about it sucks you in. The writing style and setting reminded me a lot of the movie, The Mist, which is based off of the novella written by Stephen King. That may sound random, but it really felt like they could be in the same world, ya know… minus the flesh-eating monsters. Reading this from start to finish wasn't hard. In fact, it seemed to fly by and by the end, I wished it had been longer! The End of All Things is addictive and absolutely brilliant. The readers will be so drawn in that they have to continue because they just have to know how it ends.

There is going to be continuation of The End of All Things titled The Beginning. Lissa Bryan says it will be a extension of Carly and Justin's story, but there isn't a release date yet. I definitely will be reading it! This world that the author created has really left an impression on me and I'm not ready to let it go. Plus, I would like to see how the author expands the story and what is next in store for Carly, Justin and their child.

I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for my honest opinion and review.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

ARC Review: Ivy in the Shadows by Chris Woodworth

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
208 Pages

After Ivy's stepfather disappears, Ivy's mama begins waitressing at Dining Divinely to make ends meet. She also takes in a boardertwelve-year-old Caleb, who's the same age as Ivy and is the weirdest guy she's ever met. With Mama working full-time, Ivy has to babysit her little brother, JJ. She also has to fend off the nosy Pastor Harold; stop Caleb from filling JJ's head with lies; and keep her best friend, Ellen, from knowing anythingabout her embarrassing situation at home. 

Ivy has always found out all she needs to know by lurking in the shadows (some might call it "eavesdropping"). But as things at home become more complicated, she learns to step into the light and not only listen but speak up.


Ivy in the Shadows is a cute middle grade story that is sure to entertain.

Ever since Ivy's stepfather, Jack Henry, walked out on her mama, things have been going downhill. First, mama starts making them go to church again so that she can connect with the congregation and practically beg for help. Then her little brother, JJ, meets Caleb, who Ivy is sure keeps making up stories to impress JJ and to make matters worse mama offered to take him in until his missionary parents get settled in in their new town! All the while, her best friend, Ellen starts acting weird and trying to fit in with the popular people. 

I fell in love with this story. Ivy reminded me a lot of myself at that age. She felt pressure from everyone, but she didn't know how to tell people. She's in the verge of adolescence, and confused by all of these new developments, but I think that overall, she handles every situation she is put in well. Especially when you are reminded that she's only twelves-years-old. Ivy is a very strong character and I sincerely enjoyed reading from her perspective. I loved all of the characters in this book. While I got frustrated with Aunt Maureen towards the end, it's obvious that she's only trying to help. Caleb and JJ are sweethearts, even if JJ got too rowdy at times. My heart went out to Caleb, and by the end I wanted nothing by happiness for him. I wanted them all to be happy and for everything to work out for them.

Ivy in the Shadows is a really relatable story. I think kids of all ages will be able to identify with some part of it. I mean, I'm a college student and I understood everything that Ivy was going through and how hard it was on her. The author is vey skilled at portraying real issues. The things that occurred, and the characters that were introduced in this novel were believable and that's probably one reason that I was so charmed by it.

This is a pretty short novel. It moves at a slow, albeit it steady pace. I read it in two sittings, partially because of the length and partially because I was taken with Ivy's voice and the story she told. Ivy in the Shadows is a sweet novel that will be enjoyed by middle schoolers, but it isn't to them. As you can see, I enjoyed it immensely and I'm an adult. It was a great, heartfelt read. 

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review.
Blog design by Imagination Designs using papers from the Santa Monica paper pack by Mally Mac and Me