Wed, October 1, 2014

In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken Giveaway


Alexandra Bracken’s conclusion to The Darkest Minds series, In the Afterlight, is in stores Oct. 28 and I cannot wait! To get everyone ready for the finale — and to celebrate the release of the eBook novellas in the series — there are 50 giveaways going on across the book blogosphere and I have a GREAT one. Each is themed on one of the Psi-groups in the book, and mine is Orange, aka Mind Control.

Read on for more info on the series and enter to win. Good luck!


Book 1: The Darkest Minds (read my review)
eBook Novella 1.5: In Time
Book 2: Never Fade (read my review)
eBook Novella 2.5: Sparks Rise
Book 3: In the Afterlight


Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. Only Ruby can keep their highly dangerous prisoner in check. But with Clancy Gray, there’s no guarantee you’re fully in control, and everything comes with a price.

When the Children’s League disbands, Ruby rises up as a leader and forms an unlikely allegiance with Liam’s brother, Cole, who has a volatile secret of his own. There are still thousands of other Psi kids suffering in government “rehabilitation camps” all over the country. Freeing them–revealing the governments unspeakable abuses in the process–is the mission Ruby has claimed since her own escape from Thurmond, the worst camp in the country.

But not everyone is supportive of the plan Ruby and Cole craft to free the camps. As tensions rise, competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IANN, the disease that killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others with powers the government will kill to keep contained. With the fate of a generation in their hands, there is no room for error. One wrong move could be the spark that sets the world on fire.

ABOUT SPARKS RISE (The Darkest Minds: 2.5 e-Book release)
Available online Sept. 2, 2014
This new eBook novella connects the last two novels in The Darkest Minds trilogy.

Sam didn’t think things could get worse at Thurmand rehabilitation camp. Then the Reds arrive. Everyone assumed the kids with firepower had been killed years ago. Instead they were taken away, brainwashed, and returned as terrifyingly effective guards. To her horror, Sam recognizes one of them: Lucas, the one spark of light in Sam’s dark childhood.

Lucas has a deadly secret–he beat the brutal training that turned his fellow Reds into mindless drones. When Sam defends herself against an attack by a vile PSF guard and faces a harrowing punishment, Lucas must risk his everything to save her.

Alexandra Bracken

Alexandra Bracken was born and raised in Arizona, but moved east to study at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. She recently relocated to New York City, where she worked in publishing and lives in a charming apartment overflowing with books.

Visit Alexandra online at
Follow Alexandra on Twitter & Instagram
Like Alexandra on Facebook
Follow Alexandra on Tumblr
Visit Hyperion Teens at the Official Site & on Twitter

Keep track of your memories! Enter for your chance to win a tripod and telephoto lens for your camera-phone plus The Darkest Minds series & tote bag. Prizing & samples courtesy of Disney-Hyperion. Giveaway open to U.S. addresses only.


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Posted by: Anna   •   In: alexandra bracken, giveaway

Tue, September 30, 2014

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Five Reasons

5 Reasons to Read I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

1 Jandy

I’ll Give You the Sun is Nelson’s first book since The Sky Is Everywhere in March 2010. I reviewed it way back in 2011 on the blog, saying:

The writing and mastery of the teen voice were just superb. Bring on Nelson’s next book!

Ahhh, if I only knew I’d be waiting this long! So glad the wait’s finally over. (Click here to flash back and read my review of The Sky Is Everywhere)


Go Jandy go Jandy go go go Jandy.

3 highlighter

Yeah. Every the anti-highligher folks and the people who cringe when they see a bent corner will be tempted. You should see how many gorgeous turns of phrase I highlighted on my Kindle.

A few examples:

His nose is like a capsized ship, his mouth the size of three, his jaw and cheekbones hefty as armor, and his eyes are iridescent. His face is a room overstuffed with massive furniture.

Isn’t that bizarre but also perfectly telling and descriptive? I also love Jandy’s use of hyperbole, which is the number one thing I loved about her first book:

I think the heart of every living thing on earth is beating in my body.

Ha. So emo. And there were a lot of occasions where I was like “YES! THIS EXACTLY! YOU PUT IT PERFECTLY!”

People die, I think, but your relationship with them doesn’t. It continues and is ever-changing.”

Gah. I love words.

4 insults

Speaking of words…the insults that come spewing out of Noah’s mouth are so creative and awesome, I had to highlight those too. “Garbage-headed scum-suckers,” for example. Or when he says: “I freeze, knowing immediately whose hippo-head the sneering asshat words are coming out of.”

Hahaha “hippo-head.” I’m so using that one.


AKA don’t just take my word for it.

Entertainment Weekly says:

Whether you’re at that age right now or you’ve forgotten what it feels like, I’ll Give You the Sun is that rare, immersive teen novel: To read it is a coming-of-age experience in itself.

Publishers Weekly:

Readers are meant to feel big things, and they will—Nelson’s novel brims with emotion (grief, longing, and love in particular) as Noah, Jude, and the broken individuals in their lives find ways to heal.


Nelson’s prose scintillates.

Okay, convinced? Let me know if you’re going to be reading it…or already have! Blog tour details below for more info!

Anna Reads young adult book blog


I'll Give You the Sun book cover

I’ll Give You the Sun
By Jandy Nelson
Publication date: Sept. 16, 2014
Dial, 371 pages
Source: Publisher

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell.

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

— description

Jandy Nelson, like her characters in I’ll Give You the Sun, comes from a superstitious lot. She was tutored from a young age in the art of the four-leaf clover hunt; she knocks wood, throws salt, and carries charms in her pockets. Her debut novel, The Sky Is Everywhere, was on multiple Best Books of the Year lists, was a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, earned numerous starred reviews, has been translated widely, and continues to enjoy great international success. Currently a full-time writer, Jandy lives and writes in San Francisco, California—not far from the settings ofThe Sky Is Everywhere and I’ll Give You the Sun. Visit her online at or find her on twitter at @jandynelson.

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour, featuring guest posts, interviews, giveaways, and more!

Sept. 1 – Cuddlebuggery
Sept. 2 – Novel Sounds
Sept. 3 – Perpetual Page Turner
Sept. 4 – Forever Young Adult
Sept. 8 – The Young Folks
Sept. 9 – The Book Hookup
Sept. 10 – Grown Up Fangirl
Sept. 11 – Bewitched Bookworms
Sept. 15 – Candace’s Book Blog
Sept. 16 – Novel Novice
Sept. 17 – Alice Marvels
Sept. 18 – Icey Books
Sept. 22 – The Midnight Garden
Sept. 23 – The Starry-Eyed Revue
Sept. 24 – Tales of a Ravenous Reader
Sept. 25 – Katie’s Book Blog
Sept. 29 – GReads!
Sept. 30 – Anna Reads

And, for those of you in the U.S., enter below to win a copy of the new paperback version of The Sky Is Everywhere. Good luck!

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: Uncategorized

Mon, September 29, 2014

Sway by Kat Spears Review

Sway book cover

Sway book cover

By Kat Spears
Publication date: Sept. 16, 2014
St. Martins Griffin, 320 pages
Source: Publisher

In Kat Spears’s hilarious and often poignant debut, high school senior Jesse Alderman, or “Sway,” as he’s known, could sell hell to a bishop. He also specializes in getting things people want—term papers, a date with the prom queen, fake IDs. He has few close friends and he never EVER lets emotions get in the way. For Jesse, life is simply a series of business transactions.

But when Ken Foster, captain of the football team, leading candidate for homecoming king, and all-around jerk, hires Jesse to help him win the heart of the angelic Bridget Smalley, Jesse finds himself feeling all sorts of things. While following Bridget and learning the intimate details of her life, he falls helplessly in love for the very first time. He also finds himself in an accidental friendship with Bridget’s belligerent and self-pitying younger brother who has cerebral palsy. Suddenly, Jesse is visiting old folks at a nursing home in order to run into Bridget, and offering his time to help the less fortunate, all the while developing a bond with this young man who idolizes him. Could the tin man really have a heart after all?

A Cyrano de Bergerac story with a modern twist, Sway is told from Jesse’s point of view with unapologetic truth and biting humor, his observations about the world around him untempered by empathy or compassion—until Bridget’s presence in his life forces him to confront his quiet devastation over a life-changing event a year earlier and maybe, just maybe, feel something again.

— description

My initial reaction as I read: “What!? A kid doing under the table favors for the principal? Yeah right!”

The concept came off as a bit bogus to me to start — truly, how can one kid have that much, well, “sway”? But as we get to know Jesse — and reluctantly like him — my disbelief turned into a certain amount of awe. This kid is influential and street smart and damaged, yeah, but really really smart.

I like that he is so unapologetic about who he is. And he’s a horrible person, but so charismatic and endearing that you like him anyway. As Bridget repeatedly tell him, “I’m determined to like you even though you don’t want me too.”

I feel ya, Bridge. So, for this alone (and bonus points to Mr. Dunkelman and all the other standout secondary characters), I adored this story. A main character who is just a bastard but you love love love him anyway? Amazing.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: friendship, kat spears, male POV, romance

Sat, September 27, 2014

This Week in Review – Sept. 27


what i did

A shortened edition this week because, well, I was barely online! So I don’t have any fun links to share, boo.

photo 1

We had a lovely book club at my friend Fleur’s house, where we drank all this wine. When I took the picture, my friend Martha actually said “Wait: That doesn’t show ALL the wine!” Kids, don’t do what we do. Next month’s pick is The Dinner by Herman Koch.

photo 2

My friends and family took part in the annual ALS Walk4Life in my father-in-law’s honor. Our team raised more than $22,000 this year! Despite how ominous these clouds looked along our walk, we made it through to the very end before it rained.

photo 3.PNG

Then these guys cracked me up, so I had to share. The mayor declared Tuesday “David Bowie Day” in Chicago so at lunch we went to hear a cover band play his hits and ran into these darlings.

books i added to my shelves

Okay, this is in a bit of disarray but I took pics of the books as I got them. Here’s my latest:


How cute is this Throne of Glass tote? Plus, The Start of You and Me by Emery Lord (eeep!) and Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills. Thank you to my friends at Bloomsbury!


All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (already set for a movie starring Elle Fanning!)
Lark Rising by Sandra Waugh
There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake
Skink – No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen
The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts
Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato
Thank you to Knopf, Random House and Bloomsbury!


And thank you to William Morrow for the latest NA from J. Lynn aka Jennifer Armentrout, Stay with Me. And thank you to my friend Tara for loaning me The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas. I am so anti novellas, and especially knowing how these prequels end…but…dammit, I love Sarah J. Maas.

Plus, for my Kindle, thanks to Spencer Hill for a copy of The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for now. Happy weekend, happy reading!


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Posted by: Anna   •   In: this week

Fri, September 26, 2014

Rooms by Lauren Oliver Review

Rooms book cover

Rooms book cover

By Lauren Oliver
Publication date: Sept. 23, 2014
Ecco, 320 pages
Source: Publisher

The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition ofThe Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane—a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways.

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.

But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.

The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.

What! A review of an adult novel on Anna Reads?! WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE!

I know. BUT…it’s Lauren Oliver so I knew you guys would be interested. Rooms is her first adult book and I was pumped to get to read it early.

I’ll be honest: It’s not my typical type of book. Beyond the fact that it’s adult, it’s quiet and has multiple narrators — two elements of books that tend to trip me up. So it was slow going for me.

But those of you who are big Lauren fans, fan of complicated characters and, moreover, fans of literary fiction will want to check this out. Oliver’s writing, as always, is lovely, as is the concept that there is history and life and secrets and character within the rooms of a house.

I dog-earred a few passages that I thought capture the spirit (ha-ha, see what I did there? The house is haunted) of the story:

People, Caroline though, were like houses. They could open their doors. You could walk through their rooms and touch the objects hidden in their corners. But something–the structure, the wiring, the invisible mechanism that kept the whole thing standing–remained invisible, suggested only by the fact of its existing at all.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Lauren Oliver

About Lauren Oliver:

Lauren Oliver is the author of the New York Times bestselling YA novels Before I Fall, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem. Her books have been translated into thirty languages. She is also the author of two novels for middle-grade readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po, which was a 2012 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee. Lauren’s first adult novel, Rooms, will be published in September 2014. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU’s MFA program, Lauren Oliver is also the co-founder of the boutique literary development company Paper Lantern Lit. You can visit her online at

Purchase ROOMS here
Add ROOMS on Goodreads
Follow Lauren on Twitter
Visit Lauren’s Website

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: adult books, family, ghosts, lauren oliver