Wednesday, September 28, 2016

It's Our 5 Year Blogaversary + Giveaway !

September is our 5 month blogaversary !

In the summer of 2011 the last Harry Potter movie come out,  some show called Games of Thrones premiered on HBO,  Where She Went by Gayle Foreman won the 2011 Goodreads Choice Award for Best YA and a little blog called Books and Sensibility was created. At the time  Jess and I were recent college grads looking for jobs and thought it might be fun to create a Cleolinda-esque blog about The Mortal Instruments. Instead  we ended up stumbling into the community of YA book bloggers and never turned back.

Over the last few years blogging for me has become less about being a blogger and more about connecting with other readers and making myself read. I think if I didn't have a blog I'd probably never read.

In celebration, we're giving away one set of  of mini princess magnetic bookmarks from The Sticker Alley ! Bonus: This giveaway is international ! 

Images from The Sticker Alley

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 23, 2016

Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor

Cam "Skip" Smith is going to graduate from a prestigious prep school. Cam Smith is going to Princeton in the Fall. . . just as long as no one finds out Cam Smith is really Philips O'Rourke, the youngest member of a thieving, scheming family. Skip thought he left his family behind when he ran away at thirteen but they are pulling him in for one last job. This job could be the "big one", but it could also be fatal.

Thieving Weasels is one of those rare stand alone books in YA. You are never sure who is conning who and you won't know who to trust till the last page . Despite the book's fun cover, this novel does have some teeth to it.

I perked up when this book was mentioned at the  BEA YA BUZZ Panel, because it had the scheming family "who is conning who" elements I liked in The Curseworkers series by Holly Black, complete with the mafia and New York/Long Island setting.

I think the fast paced plot and the quippy dialogue will pull in reluctant readers.

Side Note

  •  I couldn't unsee the character of Uncle Wonderful as Kevin O'Leary from shark tank because he  goes by "Mr. Wonderful". . . Is this like a thing ?
  • Also, during the YA Buzz panel it was revealed that a photo shoot was done for the book cover and the woman playing Skip's mom is a  preschool teacher.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer

  • Release Date: August 23, 2016
  • Pages:368
  • Genre: Contemporary-ish
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (Penguin)

This book probably had the easiest elevator pitch ever; students at a New Jersey high school start spontaneously combusting. The entire town, and eventually the entire world start looking for answers including senior class member Mara Carlyle, the snarky ,foul-mouthed, irreverent narrator who takes us through this story.

I have read a lot of weird YA. I’m talking giant man eating grasshopper YA and girls-drink-bat-and-sees-future-anti-feminist hellscape weird. But this book takes the Kafkaesque cake.

I was so morbidly curious about this book after hearing about it a BEA because I wanted to see how they handled the combustion. Do the students go poof gone or it is something more gruesome ? Well, let me put it this way, when it first happens people assume it was a suicide bomb. So, it mentions blood but it never gets too gross. Starmer focuses more on how students react to what is...left over.

Jess predicted this book would get a lot of John Green buzz, because of the blurb on the cover but let me tell you; This ain’t no John Green book. There is no manic pixie dream person or earnest contemplation about the meaningfulness of it all. Our narrator is what you would call an unlikeable female character. She spends a good portion of this book abusing substances, judging people and making fun of the combustion.

Speaking of which,this books also feels like older YA to me. There is a non fade to black sex scene, lots of drug use and a lot of cursing. Like if this was a movie it would be rated R. I just want to note that because I know some people don’t like all that in there YA.

I honestly can’t say if I liked this or not. I was definitely hooked because this book just has a great tension as it goes from omg someone just blew up to why does this keep happening to how does it keep happening and the entire town develops this doomsday paranoia and the fear that increases with each combustion.


The ending of this book left me kind of cold. I saw this book in Target (because of course the YA written by a dude is in Target) to see if the ending was different than the ARC and it wasn’t. There is no clean and tidy resolution and I feel like that could be frustrating for some readers (i.e. ME).

Aaron Starmer is keeping YA weird with this raucous YA about what happens when everyone around you starts blowing up.

*ARC received at BEA


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