Waiting On…Top Ten, Everything Must Go and Far From The Tree

Waiting On Wednesday is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I highlight forthcoming titles which I’m particularly excited about and looking forward to. This weekly event is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

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Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of best friends. Prickly, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ultra-popular Ryan is a hockey star who can get any girl he wants — and frequently does. But somehow their relationship just works; from dorky Monopoly nights to rowdy house parties to the top ten lists they make about everything under the sun.

Now, on the night of high school graduation, everything is suddenly changing — in their lives, and in their relationship. As they try to figure out what they mean to each other and where to go from here, they make a final top ten list: this time, counting down the top ten moments of their friendship.




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Flora Goldwasser has fallen in love. She won’t admit it to anyone, but something about Elijah Huck has pulled her under. When he tells her about the hippie Quaker school he attended in the Hudson Valley called Quare Academy, where he’ll be teaching next year, Flora gives up her tony upper east side prep school for a life on a farm, hoping to woo him. A fish out of water, Flora stands out like a sore thumb in her vintage suits among the tattered tunics and ripped jeans of the rest of the student body. When Elijah doesn’t show up, Flora must make the most of the situation and will ultimately learn more about herself than she ever thought possible.




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Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including –

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.




Now it’s YOUR turn! Which books are you most looking forward to this week? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

Top Twelve YA Contemporaries I Adore And Wish People Talked About More

Top Ten Tuesday is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I count down my top ten choices on a particular theme. This weekly event is hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is: Top Twelve YA Contemporaries I Adore And Wish People Talked About More.

Today’s selection of books have been listed in no particular order.

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Mallory hasn’t left the house in sixty-seven days – since the day her dad left. She attends her classes via webcam, rarely leaves her room (much to her brother’s chagrin), and spends most of her time watching The X-Files or chatting with the always obnoxious BeamMeUp on New Mexico’s premier alien message board.

But when she’s shockingly nominated for homecoming queen, her life takes a surprising turn. She slowly begins to open up to the world outside. And maybe if she can get her popular jock neighbor Brad Kirkpatrick to be her homecoming date, her classmates will stop calling her a freak.




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In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.

Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.

Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.

Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.

But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken…




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When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off — and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.




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Sneak out. Make out. Rock out.

Riley and her best guy friend, Reid, have made a pact: they’ll help each other pursue their respective crushes, make something happen, and document the details in a shared notebook.

While Reid struggles with the moral dilemma of adopting a dog to win over a girl’s heart, Riley tries to make progress with Ted Callahan, the guy she’s been obsessed with forever. His floppy hair! His undeniable intelligence! But between a chance meeting with a fellow musician in a record store and a brief tryst with a science-geek-turned-stud – not to mention Ted’s own tentative attentions – cute guys are suddenly popping up everywhere. How did she never notice them before?! As their love lives go from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye, Riley and Reid’s pact may prove to be more than they bargained for.




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“Just let it go.”

That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life — her dad most of all — to leave her alone.

Sam Bennett and his family have had their share of drama too. Still reeling from a move to a new town and his parents’ recent divorce, Sam is hoping that he can coast through senior year and then move on to hassle-free, parent-free life in college. He isn’t looking for a relationship…that is, until he sees Hadley for the first time.

Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret that could ruin everything. Should he follow his heart or tell the truth?




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On October fifteenth, everything changed. That was the day that Morgan tried to do something kind ― and inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy.

Before, Morgan loved the beach and the smell of the ocean breeze. Before, Morgan competed on the school swim team and savored the rush she would get from being underwater.

Now, Morgan can’t move on. She is unable to even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school.

The only person she interacts with besides her family is Brenda, her psychologist. “Breathe,” Brenda tells her, but Morgan doesn’t feel like she can.

Before Morgan can step outside, she must find the courage to forgive – first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and finally herself.




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Three days after learning of her brother Finn’s death, Honor receives his last letter from Iraq. Devastated, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously sets off to California to fulfill it. At the last minute, she’s joined by Rusty, Finn’s former best friend.

Rusty is the last person Honor wants to be with — he’s cocky and obnoxious, just like Honor remembers, and she hasn’t forgiven him for turning his back on Finn when he enlisted. But as they cover the dusty miles together in Finn’s beloved 1967 Chevy Impala, long-held resentments begin to fade, and Honor and Rusty struggle to come to terms with the loss they share.

As their memories of Finn merge to create a new portrait, Honor’s eyes are opened to a side of her brother she never knew — a side that shows her the true meaning of love and sacrifice.




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What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying — only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs — however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?




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When Rebecca Rivers lands the lead in her school’s production of The Crucible, she gets to change roles in real life, too. She casts off her old reputation, grows close with her four rowdy cast-mates, and kisses the extremely handsome Charlie Lamb onstage. Even Mr. McFadden, the play’s critical director, can find no fault with Rebecca.

Though “The Essential Five” vow never to date each other, Rebecca can’t help her feelings for Charlie, leaving her both conflicted and lovestruck. But the on and off-stage drama of the cast is eclipsed by a life-altering accusation that threatens to destroy everything…even if some of it is just make believe.




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When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.




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What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together?

While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together.

And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever.

There’s a weird sort of bravery that comes from knowing there’s nothing left to lose. You might do things you normally wouldn’t. Or say things you shouldn’t. The reward almost always outweighs the risk.

Almost.

It’s the end of Aberdeen, but the beginning of Keeley’s first love story. It just might not turn out the way she thought. Because it’s not always clear what’s worth fighting for and what is best left to become a memory.




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Ten years ago, Braden was given a sign, a promise that his family wouldn’t fall apart the way he feared.

But Braden got it wrong: his older brother, Trey, has been estranged from the family for almost as long, and his father, the only parent Braden has ever known, has been accused of murder. The arrest of Braden’s father, a well-known Christian radio host, has sparked national media attention. His fate lies in his son’s hands; Braden is the key witness in his father’s upcoming trial.

Braden has always measured himself through baseball. He is the star pitcher in his small town of Ornette, and his ninety-four mile per hour pitch already has minor league scouts buzzing in his junior year. Now the rules of the sport that has always been Braden’s saving grace are blurred in ways he never realized, and the prospect of playing against Alex Reyes, the nephew of the police officer his father is accused of killing, is haunting his every pitch.

Braden faces an impossible choice, one that will define him for the rest of his life, in this brutally honest debut novel about family, faith, and the ultimate test of conviction.




Now it’s YOUR turn! What are some books that you love and feel don’t get enough attention? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover Issue 82: Middle Grade (Part 20)

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I pay tribute to some of the best and brightest the publishing world has to offer in the way of book cover design. This feature is inspired by Katie’s feature Cover Love on her blog One Page At A Time. The idea is being used with her gracious permission.

Some of my favourite covers this week include Escape From Aleppo by N.H. Senzai, The Dollmaker Of Krakow by R. M. Romero, R Is For Rebel by J. Anderson Coats, You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly, Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender, The Notations Of Cooper Cameron by Jane O’Reilly, The Backward Season by Lauren Myracle, Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar and Me, Frida and The Secret Of The Peacock Ring by Angela Cervantes.

Please Note: I’ve done my best to credit the designers and artists responsible for the beautiful covers below, but was unable to find this information for a number of those listed. If you know of an uncredited designer responsible for any of these book covers, please let me know and I would be happy to include proper attribution in this post. Their work is lovely and deserves to be credited.

01. Revenge Of The Beetle Queen by M.G. Leonard
02. Escape From Aleppo by N.H. Senzai (Cover illustrated by Kathrin Honesta)

03. The Dollmaker Of Krakow by R. M. Romero (Cover illustrated by Lisa Perrin)
04. R Is For Rebel by J. Anderson Coats (Cover illustrated by Maike Plenzke)

05. You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly (Cover illustrated by Isabel Roxas)
06. Winterhouse by Ben Guterson

07. Aleca Zamm Fools Them All by Ginger Rue (Cover illustrated by Zoe Persico)
08. Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender (Cover art by Tonya Engel, Designed by Baily Crawford)

09. Maggie & Abby’s Neverending Pillow Fort by Will Taylor (Cover illustrated by Monique Dong, Designed by Jessie Gang)
10. Lou Lou and Pea and The Bicentennial Bonanza by Jill Diamond (Cover illustrated by Lesley Vamos, Designed by Kristie Radwilowicz)

11. The Notations Of Cooper Cameron by Jane O’Reilly
12. The Backward Season by Lauren Myracle

13. Return Fire by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
14. Wizardmatch by Lauren Magaziner (Cover illustrated by Natalie Andrewson)

15. The Problim Children by Natalie Lloyd (Cover illustrated by Julia Sarda)
16. The Last Of The Lost Boys by N.D. Wilson

17. Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar (Cover illustrated by Kate Forrester, Designed by Neil Swaab)
18. A Dash Of Trouble by Anna Meriano (Cover illustrated by Mirelle Ortega)

19. Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens (Cover illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley)
20. Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners by Natalie Rompella

21. Me, Frida and The Secret Of The Peacock Ring by Angela Cervantes (Cover illustrated by Rafael López)
22. Legends Of The Lost Causes by Brad McLelland and Louis Sylvester (Cover illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis)

23. The Journey Of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis
24. Into The Nightfell Wood by Kristin Bailey

Now it’s your turn! What are some of your favourite Middle Grade covers? Did I list one of your favourites here or is there one I forgot that just has to be included? Let me know in the comments!

The Writing’s On The Wall: The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Writing’s On The Wall is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I create desktop wallpapers inspired by some of my favourite novels, authors, and literary quotes.

Title The Blue Castle
Author Lucy Maud Montgomery
Pages 249 Pages
Target Audience Adult
Genre & Keywords Classics, Romance
Published 1926
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All her life, Valancy Stirling lived on a quiet little street in an ugly little house and never dared to contradict her domineering mother and her unforgiving aunt. Then she gets a letter ― and decides that very day things need to change. For the first time in her life, she does exactly what she wants to and says exactly what she feels.

At first her family thinks she’s gone around the bend. But soon Valancy discovers more surprises and adventure than she ever thought possible. She also finds her one true love and the real-life version of the Blue Castle that she was sure only existed in her dreams…

1280×800 » 1440×900 » 1680×1050 » 1920×1200 » 2560×1400 » iPhone 5 » iPhone 6 » iPad


1280×800 » 1440×900 » 1680×1050 » 1920×1200 » 2560×1400 » iPad

I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Graphic Box, Jen Wagner Co. and Connary Fagen Type Design whose clipart and/or fonts I purchased, edited and used in the creation of this wallpaper!

Now it’s your turn! What would you like to see made into a desktop wallpaper next? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

Waiting On…The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, A Line In The Dark and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Waiting On Wednesday is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I highlight forthcoming titles which I’m particularly excited about and looking forward to. This weekly event is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

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The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It’s practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.




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The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.

Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. If nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more a curse than a gift.

As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.

“It doesn’t even matter that she probably doesn’t understand how much she means to me. It’s purer this way. She can take whatever she wants from me, whenever she wants it, because I’m her best friend.”




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Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.

But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?




Now it’s YOUR turn! Which books are you most looking forward to this week? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!