Lois Lane: Double Down, by Gwenda Bond (book review) – crime, corruption, conspiracy!

book cover of Lois Lane: Double Down by Gwenda Bond published by Switch Press | recommended on BooksYALove.comMobster-controlled doctor,
conspiracy theorist with a grudge,
just another day in Metropolis…

Yes, that Metropolis, where student reporter Lois Lane is tracking down city corruption, worrying about online pal (maybe more?) SmallvilleGuy, and trying to keep a low profile at school, while learning how this ‘being a friend’ thing works (Maddy has a twin?).

Second in the series, but if you haven’t read Lois Lane: Fallout (my no-spoilers recommendation here) you can still enjoy Double Down as backstory to the well-known Superman saga.

Any advice about friendship for moved-too-many-times-to-count Lois?
**kmm

Book info: Lois Lane: Double Down (Lois Lane, book 2) / Gwenda Bond.  Switch Press, 2016. [author site]  [publisher site]  [author interview video] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher; all opinions are my own.

My book talk: When Lois discovers her best friend’s twin in a perilous situation, the student reporter begins to unearth a diabolical doctor’s connection to Metropolis’ underworld while a conspiracy theorist online threatens her friend Smallville Guy.

It should have been a routine news story about a young mural artist, but Lois finds Maddy’s too-cool twin sister delirious and searching for a mysterious doctor in Dante’s slum neighborhood.

‘The Boss’ controls this slum, rumor says, along with much of Metropolis behind-the-scenes, so Lois’ nose for news is on the hunt – is the new mayor in his pocket?

Her online friend SmallvilleGuy is concerned about new predictions of ‘flying man’ sightings, as reported on their favorite discussion site – how could Insider01 really know?

Maddy and Melody say that the supposed ‘twin connection’ is just a myth – why is Melody seeing through someone else’s eyes now?!

This second installment of the Superman backstory as told from Lois Lane’s teen point of view is a race to uncover corruption in the city and save her friends’ sanity.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

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Gena/Finn, by Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson (book review) – friends in fandom

book cover of Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson published by Chronicle Books | recommended on BooksYALove.comA television show that they adore,
Creative juices flowing in words and art,
Completing the story arc, like their friendship completes them…

I heard authors Hannah (Not Otherwise Specified, which I love) and Kat last month at TxLA as they discussed fandoms, friendship, and writing this book together totally through chat and email – so good.

Ask for this April 2016 release at your local library or independent bookstore. And for more on real-life fandoms and cons (“Up Below” is a fictional TV show), look for Sam Maggs’ Fangirls’ Guide to the Galaxy  which I recommended here.

And it’s National Readathon Day, too!! Share what you’re reading today with hashtag #Readathon2016.

Fandom or obsession? Discuss.
**kmm

Book info: Gena/Finn / Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson. Chronicle Books, 2016.   [Hannah’s site]  [Kat’s site] [publisher site]  [authors’ video] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Brought together online by the fanfic and fanart that they create for a beloved TV show, two young women bond immediately and experience friendship’s highs and lows as other relationships falter.

Fanfic stories by Evie (short for Gena’s online name) that fill in the gaps in their favorite TV cop show inspire Finn (for Stephanie) to start drawing again. Sharing her art with Evie leads to numerous email and chat exchanges as recent college grad Finn and high school senior Evie find so much in common.

Big questions link into the backstory for their mutual admiration:

Should Finn really have followed boyfriend Charlie to California after college?
Is getting into an Ivy League school truly in Gena’s best interests?
Why won’t Gena stay in the room with cast members of “Up Below” when this fancon is the reason she and Finn traveled from opposite coasts to meet in person?

Told entirely in texts, chat windows, emails, fanfic, fanart, and journal entries, this coming of age story celebrates the passion of fandoms, the strength of women’s friendships, and the unlikelihood of completely outrunning one’s past.

 

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Road trip tales – time to read with your ears!

Time for a road trip? Tales of escape from and escape to are ready for you read with your ears with free audiobooks from SYNC!

If you download them before late night Wednesday (25 May 2016), you can listen to these complete audiobooks any time using your computer or electronic device.

Click on the title to get to its download site, or visit SYNC to see what’s available this summer week: http://www.audiobooksync.com/

CD audiobook cover of 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith | Read by Kirby Heyborne Published by Tantor Media | recommended on BooksYALove.com100 Sideways Miles
by Andrew Smith
Read by Kirby Heyborne
Published by Tantor Media

Measuring time as the distance that the earth travels during each minute, epileptic Finn longs to escape being just a character in his father’s epic SciFi novel, so a road trip with his best friend to find Finn’s lost love is in order.
This Boy’s LifeCD audiobook cover of by Tobias Wolff | Read by Oliver Wyman Published by HighBridge Audio | recommended on BooksYALove.com
by Tobias Wolff
Read by Oliver Wyman
Published by HighBridge Audio

In this memoir chronicling his mother’s continued flight from abusive relationships, Wolff puts a darkly comedic spin on his battles with the terrible men in her life during his teen years.

What road trip would you write about?
**kmm

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Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn (book review) – transfer student is really different

book cover of Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn, published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books | recommended on BooksYALove.com A dramatic arrival,
disrupting school and community,
this wild transfer student!

Yep, her carefully orchestrated high school plan gets derailed by the arrival of a pterodactyl, a teenaged pterodactyl named Pyke. The Autumn Whirl dance and football playoffs will never be the same at Vista View… and neither will Shiels!

Visit the publisher’s page here and scroll down to read chapter 1 for free.

Soar into your local library or favorite indie bookstore to snag this offbeat love story.

Share your most unusual transfer student experience in the comments, please.
**kmm

Book info: Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend / Alan Cumyn. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 2016. [author site]  [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: When a pterodactyl transfers to her high school, Shiels’ organized plan for maximum college application impact dissolves as flyer Pyke inspires vivid freedom-filled dreams in his classmates, amplifies everyone’s hormones, and disrupts her calmly solid relationship with Sheldon – before the aggression at the football playoff game, that is.

Why did Pyke pick cross-country runner Jocelyne as his girlfriend?
And what about all the crows that accompany him?
Beast? Boy? Both?

Not your average love story and not your average transfer student either!

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Live? Die? Choose audiobooks with impact!

Life-changing choices highlight this week’s pair of free audiobooks from SYNC!

Click each title for your free download – just needs your name and email address.

Remember that although these complete audiobooks are only available from Thursday through Wednesday, you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

CD cover of Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury | Read by Amy Shiels Published by Scholastic | recommended on BooksYALove.comThe Sin Eater’s Daughter

by Melinda Salisbury
Read by Amy Shiels
Published by Scholastic

Twylla’s touch kills, so the royal family uses her as executioner. Now the 16 year old must decide whether to be a deadly tool in the Queen’s audacious plan or to follow the possibility of love that can only end in death.

 

CD cover of DIVINE COLLISION: An African Boy, an American Lawyer, and Their Remarkable Battle for Freedom by Jim Gash Read by Brandon Batchelar Published by Oasis Audio | recommended on BooksYALove.com Divine Collision: An African Boy, an American Lawyer, and Their Remarkable Battle for Freedom

by Jim Gash
Read by Brandon Batchelar
Published by Oasis Audio

True story of an American lawyer and a Ugandan teen whose fight for the young man’s freedom changes an entire nation’s legal system.

How would you choose which way to go?
**kmm

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How did we get here, humanity? Read more… with your ears!

It’s finally time! Time to download this week’s free audiobooks from SYNC so you can read with your ears!

Each pair of complete audiobooks will be available from Thursday through Wednesday during their download week this summer. Then you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

Bookmark the SYNC site now so you can download great free audiobooks all summer long: http://www.audiobooksync.com/

CD cover of Great Tennessee Monkey Trial by Peter Goodchild published by LA Theater Works | recommended on BooksYALove.comThe Great Tennessee Monkey Trial

Did schools have the right to teach evolution? The Scopes Trial of 1925 is recreated in this full-cast docu-drama.

by Peter Goodchild

Read by Edward Asner, Bill Brochtrup, Matthew Patrick Davis, John de Lancie, James Gleason, Harry Groener, Jerry Hardin, Marnie Mosiman, Kenneth Alan Williams, Geoffrey Lower, Kyle Colerider-Krugh

CD cover of audiobook Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle, Published by Dreamscape Media | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Vivian Apple at the End of the World

Looking for the truth when her parents vanish after the Rapture moment predicted by their evangelical church, Vivian and friends begin a desperate road trip.

by Katie Coyle

Read by Julia Whelan

So how did we get here, and how might we depart?
**kmm

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Unexpected Everything, by Morgan Matson (book review) – summer plans? poof, woof & wow!

book cover of The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson published by Simon Schuster | recommended on BooksYALove.comShe’s got it all planned:
internship, great college, med school…
until step one is revoked!

Andie loves her checklists, her plans to become a doctor, her best friends – and sticks to short-term boyfriends.

Then her fancy internship gets yanked away, her politician father is suddenly home from DC, she lands in a summer job far outside her experience or comfort zone, and she meets Clark…

Happy book birthday week to The Unexpected Everything!  This is a great summer read, like Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone  (my no-spoilers recommendation here) and Second Chance Summer  (more here) with less road trip, but just as much self-reflection and heart.

What do you do when a perfectly crafted plan falls apart?
**kmm

Book info: The Unexpected Everything / Morgan Matson. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016. [author site]  [publisher site]  [author video] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: When problems at her congressman father’s office cause her pre-med internship to vanish, Andie is forced out of her structured life of success checklists and into a summer job as a dog-walker (never had a dog), wanting to stay around new guy Clark (never mind her 3-weeks-only rule for boyfriends), and trying to keep her best friends in sync as an outside relationship threatens to dissolve their group.

A world-famous author in their midst?
Dad home in Connecticut all summer instead of away in Washington DC?
A long-time crush keeps his distance, or does he?

An epic scavenger hunt, bridging the father-daughter gap 5 years after Mom’s death, emojis-only text message challenge, a committed relationship (wait! this is Andie we’re talking about…) – such an unexpected summer before senior year!  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

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That’s a wrap – another April AtoZ Challenge in the books!

logo of April AtoZ blog challenge 2016I did it!

26 posts – A to Z – in April, on schedule.

That’s 22 new, no-spoiler book recommendations, plus 3 library-celebration posts and a look ahead to free audiobooks all summer.

Thanks again to the April AtoZ Challenge organizers! This is all free, a labor of love to help bloggers build up their blogging muscles and gain readership.

Since I signed up so late (#1532 on the list), I didn’t get many new followers or comments, but it was certainly worth it for me to get back in my writing groove – so many great books from debut authors and smaller presses to tell y’all about! (not enough hours in the day for me to consider covering self-published works, as my policies state)

So if you want to find your voice in blogging or just have a super list of blogs to visit and follow, look into the April AtoZ Challenge – I’ll remind you next March!

Got a favorite, unheralded YA title to recommend?
**kmm

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Z is zeroing in on summer reading – with your ears!

photo of BooksYALove at TxLA conference 2016

BooksYALove at TxLA 2016

When the folks at the Publishers Spotlight booth asked last week at TxLA conference if I’d heard of AudioSYNC free audiobooks all summer, I told them that I’ve been promoting this free download program every summer since it began!

And yes, it’s back this summer – two free complete audiobooks that you can download each week and keep forever! One classic title pairs with a contemporary one thematically, so that’s 30 free audiobooks for you.

Every Thursday from May 5 to August 11, 2016, I will highlight each week’s two free titles with direct links to the SYNC website.

So this is a wrap – AtoZChallenge completed! (Thank you, challenge organizers – over 1,500 participants this year!)

From now on, I plan to recommend a couple of books weekly along with the Thursday AudioSYNC notes, saving this 6-posts-a-week pace for next April.

Which AprilAtoZ title was your favorite?
**kmm

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Kidney Hypothetical by Lisa Yee is Y (book review) – perfect senior year turned upside down

book cover of The Kidney Hypothetical by Lisa Yee published by Arthur A. Levine Books | recommended on BooksYALove.com One big “what if?” question,
One not-so-smooth answer,
One life plan crumbling away…

Higgs is content to follow the detailed plan for his future – early admission to Harvard, becoming a dentist like his father and grandfather – but everything goes sour with that random question just before graduation.

Then he meets free-spirit Monarch and things take a different path utterly and entirely.

How do you bounce back when a slip-up derails your plans?
**kmm

Book info:  The Kidney Hypothetical, or How to Ruin Your Life in Seven Days / Lisa Yee. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015. [author site]  [publisher site]  [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: For Higgs, his future as a Harvard-educated dentist like his dad (and as planned for his deceased older brother) is all set, until his answer to a hypothetical question starts a chain reaction of awful at his California high school and brings wild and wonderful Monarch into his life just before graduation.

 

Thanks to the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library staff in Ohio for their great book trailer videos, including this one. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

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