Sunday, March 28, 2010

In My Mailbox (30)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme inspired by Alea and hosted by Kristi. Check out Kristi's blog to see what others got in terms of books this week!

For review:

Scones & Sensibility by Lindsay Eland
(EgmontUSA / Dec. 22, 2009)

Seek tirelessly and you shall not find a contemporary heroine of middle-grade literature as refined and romantic as Miss Polly Madassa. Still swooning over the romantic conclusions of Pride & Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables, twelve-year-old Polly decides her purpose in life: helping along lonely hearts in search of love. Polly's only task this summer is to make deliveries for her parents' bakery, leaving ample time for this young cupid to find hearts to mend—beginning with the kite-store owner, Mr. Nightquist, who will pair perfectly with Miss Wiskerton (the unfairly labeled town curmudgeon). Polly's best friend Fran Fisk is in desperate need of a mother ever since hers ran off with a man she met on the Internet; Polly must find a match for Mr. Fisk. And while she's at it, it wouldn't hurt to find Clementine, Polly's teenaged sister, a beau worthy of her (so she can shed that brute, Clint). Polly's plans are in full swing, so she definitely cannot be bothered by the advances of classmate Brad Barker.
But maybe Polly should have turned her attention to Miss Austen's Emma next, because she quickly learns the pitfalls of playing matchmaker. How will Polly patch up her own relationships, while ensuring that destined love can take its course?

Received for an upcoming blog tour. Thanks, Nisa!

Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien
(Roaring Brook Press / March 30, 2010)

IN THE ENCLAVE, YOUR SCARS SET YOU APART, and the newly born will change the future.
Sixteen-year-old Gaia Stone and her mother faithfully deliver their quota of three infants every month. But when Gaia’s mother is brutally taken away by the very people she serves, Gaia must question whether the Enclave deserves such loyalty. A stunning adventure brought to life by a memorable heroine, this dystopian debut will have readers racing all the way to the dramatic finish.

I've already reviewed this absolutely amazing whoabeyondwords book here, but this and another copy were sent to me for a not-so-sekrit sumthin'-sumthin' that will occur... soon. Thanks, Kathryn!

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
(Random House / Feb. 2010 paperback reprint)

Liga lives modestly in her own personal heaven, given to her by natural magic in exchange for her earthly life. Her two daughters, gentle Branza and curious Urdda, grow up in this soft world, protected from the violence, predation, and village prejudice that once harmed their mother.
But the real world cannot be denied forever—magicked men and wild bears break down the borders of Liga’s refuge. Now, having known heaven, how will these three women survive in a world where beauty and brutality lie side by side?
This is a tale of journeys and transformations. From girl to witch to woman. From boy to beast to man. From hell to heaven to . . . reality.
Building her tale on a mythic scaffolding, Margo Lanagan asks timeless questions about what it is to be human. She explores the evil and the sweetness in the world and reveals the essential magic of learning to live with both.

I'm slowly savoring this immense but absolutely amazing book. It gives me shivers just thinking about it. Thanks, Kathy!

Split by Swati Avasthi
(Random House / March 9, 2010)

Sixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father's fist), $3.84, and a secret.
He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can't make him forget what he left behind--his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret.
At least so far.
Worst of all, Jace realizes that if he really wants to move forward, he may first have to do what scares him most: He may have to go back. First-time novelist Swati Avasthi has created a riveting and remarkably nuanced portrait of what happens after. After you've said enough, after you've run, after you've made the split--how do you begin to live again?

I've been curious to read this one!

Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray
(Random House / March 23, 2010)

Ross is dead, and Blake, Sim, and Kenny are furious. To make it right, they steal Ross's ashes and set out from their home on the English coast for the tiny village of Ross in southern Scotland, a place their friend had always wanted to go. What follows is an unforgettable journey with illegal train rides, bungee jumping, girls, and high-speed police chases--all with Ross's ashes along for the ride. As events spin wildly out of control, the three friends must take their heads out of the sand long enough to answer the question: What really happened to Ross?
Keith Gray is an award-winning author from the United Kingdom, making his U.S. debut with this action-packed and darkly humorous novel about friendship and loss.

From Around the World Tours:

Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
(HarperCollins / April 20, 2010)

Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers. Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries’ coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani’s death.
Ani isn’t one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin’s plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?
Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, and sinister intrigue combine in Melissa Marr’s next volume of Melissa Marr’s New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series.

From Traveling ARC Tours:

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
(Katherine Tegen Books / June 1, 2010)

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.
Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.
When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

From Doylestown Bookshop's Advance Readers Program:

The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodien-Jones
(Random House / April 13, 2010)

Maxwell Unger has always loved the night. He used to do brave things like go tramping through the forest with his gran after dark. He loved the stories she told him about the world before the Destruction—about nature, and books, and the silver owls. His favorite story, though, was about the Owl Keeper.
According to Max’s gran, in times of darkness the Owl Keeper would appear to unite owls and sages against the powers of the dark. Gran is gone now, and so are her stories of how the world used to be. Max is no longer brave. The forest is dangerous, the books Gran had saved have been destroyed, and the silver owls are extinct. At least that’s what the High Echelon says. But Max knows better.
Maxwell Unger has a secret. And when a mysterious girl comes to town, he might just have to start being brave again. The time of the Owl Keeper, Gran would say, is coming soon.

The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood (no official cover yet)
(Balzer + Bray / July 20, 2010)

Jessamine Luxson lives with her father, Thomas, an apothecary, in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle. Thomas’s pride and obsession is his locked garden full of dangerous plants, which Jessamine is forbidden to enter.
When a traveler brings an orphan to their cottage, he claims the boy has special gifts that Thomas might value. Jessamine is drawn to the strange but intriguing boy, called Weed. Soon their friendship deepens into love. Finally, Weed shares his secret: He can communicate with plants. For him they have distinct personalities—and some are even murderous. From the locked garden the poisonous plants call to Weed, luring him with promises of deadly power.
When Jessamine falls inexplicably ill, only Weed’s relationship with the Poisons can save her. But Thomas is determined to exploit Weed’s abilities, even if it risks Jessamine’s life—or drives Weed to the brink of madness.…

I have been waiting almost a YEAR for this book, and the nice people at the store, when they saw how into this program I was (I was the first one to return a book and review to them, lol), brought these and several more exciting summer ARCs out from the back for me to choose from! Yippeeeee I can't wait to read this!


Borderline by Allan Stratton
(HarperCollins / March 9, 2010)

Life's not easy for Sami Sabiri since his dad stuck him at a private school where he's the only Muslim kid. But it's about to get a lot worse.
When Sami catches his father in a lie, he gets suspicious. . . . He's not the only one. In a whirlwind, the FBI descends on his home, and Sami's family becomes the center of an international terrorist investigation. Now Sami must fight to keep his world from unraveling.
An explosive thriller ripped from today's headlines, borderline is the story of a funny, gutsy Muslim-American teen determined to save his father, his family, and his life.

This sounds fantastic! Thanks, Allan, Holly, and HarperCollins!

Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
The Starry Rift edited by Jonathan Strahan - I've been getting a kick out of short story collections lately
At Face Value by Emily Franklin
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves - because I had a 40% off Borders coupon and couldn't resist finally buying this for my perma-collection

Borrowed from library:
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Nothing by Janne Teller - reading this right now and it's really good!

Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
When Mike Kissed Emma by Christina Marciniak
Gentlemen's Alliance vols. 1-6 by Arina Tanemura
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Eleven by Lauren Myracle


  1. Awesome week! Split and Forgive My Fins are both ones I'm looking forward to reading. Enjoy :)

  2. BIRTHMARKED looks awesome, awesome! Really hope you enjoy :)

  3. Some awesome books! I really want to read Birthmarked! I got The Body Finder this week too. Happy Reading!

  4. Scones & Sensibility sounds great, I hope you enjoy it!

  5. Great books this week. Happy Reading!

  6. I'm having some serious jealousy issues here...
    I LOVE the cover of Scones and Sensibility!
    Birth marked and Tender Morsels both sound really good!
    I'm jealous of Radiant Shadows! AND of Forgive Me My Fins.
    I'm off to spend my 40% off coupon today! I'm glad they extended it!
    And Bleeding Violet is on hold at the library, I can't wait until its my turn!
    You can see mine here:

  7. Very nice collection this week! I really want to read Tender Morsels - I'm glad you're enjoying it so far!

    from Une Parole

  8. Wow! So much books!!! I'm dying to read Forgive My Fins and Scones & Sensibility seems so cute :D

  9. That's a fantastic selection. I'm most envying Birthmarked from that haul, but your 'swapped' section has also reminded me that I really need to read some Lauren Myracle. I love how eclectic your taste in books is.

  10. Birthmarked sounds really interesting and you gave it a 5 which is super rare, so it must be wonderful :)

    I laughed through all of Does My Head Look Big in This? So funny. Amal is a great narrator. I liked Borderline a lot as well.

    I just bought Bleeding Violet too! I'm reading it over Spring Break and I'm sooo excited about it. Happy reading =)

  11. Tender Morsels and Owl Keeper look so good! Enjoy your books!

  12. Forgive My Fins looks really really good. I hope you'll review it soon~

  13. Wow, that's a lot of books! Happy reading.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  14. Happy reading! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Split and Borderline.

  15. Looks like you got some great books. Happy reading and Happy National Poetry Month.


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