Save The Date: Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

To learn more about why I started doing this Save The Date feature and how it differs from my reviews — go here!


Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

* Release date according to Goodreads

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Pre-Order It | Add It To Goodreads

What Wild Awake Is  About:
  Kiri’s parents are cruising around the world for most of the summer — leaving Kiri alone to devote her time to playing piano, practicing for Battle of the Bands and hanging out with Lukas — her best friend and bandmate and maybe something else. Her summer plan is in full swing until she gets a mysterious phone call that brings her into a seedy part of the city to retrieve some stuff that belonged to her older and now deceased sister whom she looked up to. Her perfectly planned summer suddenly spirals into something she couldn’t have planned for as she learns the truth about her sister’s life, relives her loss over again and meets someone who helps her to live and learn to be free.

Why You Should Be Saving  The Date:

1. This book is something else!In a good way, for me. I’m going to be honest with you, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea! On the outside it looks like this cute, straightforward contemporary read with a happy ending but it’s not. It’s fresh and unique and I totally loved it. It’s not at all a plot driven novel so if you are cool with that than I think you and this book could quite well get along.

2. The writing makes this book engaging and all absorbing. It’s  very “in the head”, kind of stream of consciousness writing with that vivid imagery I dig & more “flowery” writing. For me, her writing reminded me a bit of  Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, a hint of Jandy Nelson’s  The Sky is Everywhere but Hilary T. Smith is completely her own. I’ve read few books where the writing matches the energy the character exudes — chaotic, frenetic and sometimes deliriously mad (and high haha). She feels EVERYTHING so intensely — both joy and plunging sadness — that’s her energy just pulses through you and holds you captive.

3. Wild Awake was emotional in an unexpected way and in unexpected places. I went into this knowing there were going to be some emotions because Kiri had lost her sister but some of these scenes were so emotional in unexpected ways and I LOVE WHEN A BOOK DOES THAT TO ME. Whew. Lots of feelings. And not just crying kind of emotional but also rage inducing — at Kiri’s parents and at some of the things Kiri does. It’s just INTENSE being in Kiri’s mind and watching her just do things (sometimes dangerous, stupid & reckless) and KNOW that she is just having a very scary breakdown.

Who Should Save The  Date: Fans of contemporary YA looking for something truly different, people who love beautiful imagery and energetic prose, a story charged with emotion and energy in a less obvious way, people who don’t need a plot driven novel

A Sneak Peek: “There’s an exaggerated kind of industriousness to their movements, bright and false, like kids pretending to be absorbed in taking notes so the teacher doesn’t call on them. Mom is unscrewing a giant bottle of vitamin pills that gives off a scent like rubber flowers, Dad’s pouring himself a glass of water at the sink, and for the first time since Sukey died I can see us clearly, hovering at the intersection of love and avoidance like lost tourists who can’t decide which road will bring them home.”  (this is taken from the advanced copy I received from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review, and could be subject to change)

Be on the lookout for my FULL review closer to the release date where I will flesh out my thoughts a little more!

Have you read this one? Are you excited for it?? Putting it on your TBR list?

Save The Date For: When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

To learn more about why I started doing this Save The Date feature and how it differs from my reviews — go here!


* Release date according to Amazon

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

Pre-Order It | Add to Goodreads

What When You Where Here Is  About: Three weeks before Danny’s graduation, his mom loses her battle with cancer and Danny becomes an orphan.  Amidst his grief and hopelessness, a directionless Danny has to try to make it through his graduation and deliver a hopeful Valedictorian speech while trying to make adult decisions about what to do with their home and his mother’s things. On top of it all, the girl who broke his heart by just shutting him out of her life suddenly reappears in his life. When the manager of his family’s apartment in Japan, where Danny’s mom had spending some of her final months for treatment, sends a letter that reveals to him that maybe he didn’t know all about his mother’s final months and why she seemed so happy in them. With nagging questions and sense of purposelessness that has made him numb, Danny takes a trip around the world to Japan to if he can find the answers and reconnect with his mother through these memories.

Why You Should Be Saving  The Date:

1. This book is BEAUTIFUL though it will steamroll right through your heart. It was an intensely emotional book in so many ways. I knew going into it I would connect with it on a personal level having lost my mother to cancer  but there were whole other levels that I found myself connecting to it and I certainly don’t think you need to have experienced a loss like this for this book to shake you up. So don’t be frightened and think it’s just another “grief” story. It’s much more than that though obviously the profound loss is a big part. Luckily Daisy Whitney has this ability to so subtly make sure, upon finishing, that your heart is in tact; stitched back up by Danny’s story of loss and love and how it takes strength and courage to get through both.

2. Danny’s time in Japan stirred up the travel bug in me. I loved that part of his very emotional journey was also a physical one set in Tokyo. As he looks for answers and tries to feel the spirit of his mom in a city they loved so much, Daisy Whitney makes you feel like you are at the fish market, or ambling along the twisted streets or smelling the cherry blossoms. I loved exploring the city through Danny’s eyes and especially with Kana. She was such a bright and spunky character that just added this whole lightness to the dark that Danny was feeling.

3. Daisy Whitney’s writing is flawless. Whether it was the dialogue or the descriptions of Tokyo or passages showing Danny’s grief — it was just so flawless and natural and I just floated right through the story. I just really love the way she writes!

Who Should Save The  Date: Fans of contemporary YA, Fans of stories that seriously give you ALL OF THE FEELS — not just make you cry but make you feel hopeful or in love or intense mourning alongside the character.

Have you read this one? Are you excited for it?? Putting it on your TBR list? Have you read Daisy Whitney’s previous works? I have them on my shelf but haven’t yet read them! Be on the lookout for my FULL review coming closer to the release date.

Save The Date For: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans
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What It’s About: When Felicia dies, she finds herself in Level 2 — an afterlife that isn’t quite disconnected from the living but isn’t quite the “next life.”  She and the others in her chamber spend their day plugged into computers where they have access to view all their old memories or the memories of others by way of a very elaborate system of credits. When a girl in Felicia’s chamber suddenly vanishes and a very dark piece of her past enters the chamber, a chamber that nobody on the outside had ever come in, and tells her there is an uprising and rebellion happening against those running the show in Level 2. Felicia isn’t sure whether or not she can trust this mysterious guy from her past but her curiosity about what lies outside her chamber, and Julian’s promise to reunite her with somebody important, just might be the push she needs to follow him and align with the rebellion that is taking place.

Why You Should Be Saving  The Date:

1. THE WORDBUILDING. Ok, so I’m going to be honest, at first it was a little slow for me because there  was a lot of info about Felicia’s life in  Level 2 and the way things work being thrown at you in the beginning but very quickly the world just started to come together and I just couldn’t put it down. I found myself so absorbed in this intricate world and SO fascinated by all its elements that kept being revealed.

2. It’s  SO unique in a way that just keeps you reading. I just found this story to be refreshing because it didn’t feel like anything I’ve ever read before. Throughout the story things kept being revealed that blew my mind storywise and the adrenaline started kicking in as pieces start coming together. I never knew what to expect to be honest.

3. Emotionally it’s a winner  — I found myself really attune to  the emotions of this novel.  I felt such a deep sense of sadness at points, I felt anger, the pain of betrayal, longing for what was  lost, the tension, etc. It’s  easy to make me cry but it’s hard to make me feel deeply, to my core, a  ton of different emotions without feeling like I’m on a contrived, whiplashing-inducing rollercoaster.

Who Should Save The  Date: Fans of YA looking for something more science fiction  in nature, those  who like “afterlife”  sort of fiction dealing with heaven, hell, angels, etc,  those looking for phenomenal worldbuilding of a world that they’ve never ever seen, those just plain old wanting to see what this blogger-turned-author accomplished (I am  NOT disappointed in the least).

Have you read this one? Are you excited for it?? Be on the lookout for my FULL review coming closer to the release date.

To learn more about why I started doing this Save The Date feature and how it differs from my reviews — go here!

Save The Date For: So Close To You by Rachel Carter

A while back I did a reader survey for all my readers who were NOT book bloggers. One of the most common things I heard when I asked what could book bloggers do better for readers who are non-book bloggers was that, sometimes, it seemed like bloggers forget not everyone has access to books early so pre-pub reviews were frustrating. I totally understood that. But one of the things I love about being a book blogger is getting the word out early to create buzz for upcoming releases. SO, this is my attempt to do both. For books I read before the pub date, I’m going to do a little buzz “Save The Date” post with a little bit about the book. Closer to the release date or after, I’ll post my full review.

So Close to You by Rachel Carter

Pre-Order It | Goodreads

What’s  It About:  Lydia has heard all about the conspiracies and myths regarding her hometown of Montauk and the alleged Montauk Project where strange and unexplainable  things took place. SUPER TOP SECRET THINGS. While appeasing her grandfather and exploring the abandoned military base  where he believes his father went  missing because of the Montauk Project, she stumbles upon something extremely dangerous  that would prove everything her grandfather has said might be true about the Montauk Project. Risking her  life and possibly her families, she seeks to find the truth about the Montauk Project.

Three Thoughts About It:

1. TIME TRAVEL. That is all.
2. It’s definitely more of a science fiction-y than I normally read but I was really digging it. Maybe this is a sign I really might like science fiction?? I think for those who love really science-y science fiction it might not be enough but I thought it was a good balance of story, romance and science fiction without being TOO weighed down by the technical aspects of  the time travel.
3.  UM conspiracy theory! It’s so very interesting because all of this IS based on a REAL conspiracy about the Montauk Project.  It’s fascinating really. I loved the historical aspect of this novel as well.

Be on the lookout for my full review closer to the review  date! In the meantime, have you read this one? Wanting to read it? Suggest any other time travel novels??

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