Thursday, April 26, 2012


Have you been reading the Penguin Breathless Reads fall previews this week? Each day, Penguin has released a new preview that includes a few chapters of an upcoming book on Scribd. Today's book is Elizbeth Richards' Black City. I love the idea of getting a digital taste of what's to come from a publisher. Check out the four books release so far this week at Penguin's Scribd. I'm looking forward to seeing what's coming tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"And whether or not I face up to my critics, life will always be beautiful and messy. Always."

It started as a simple youth group assignment: write a story for the kids in Sunday School. For Luke Dorsey, a whirlwind of writing turned into a published book . . . with a book tour. Luke's brother Matt is assigned the task of getting him to each tour location, but Matt has other ideas, including a trip across Route 66 to repair his relationship with his girlfriend Alex. Throughout the road trip, Luke gives us glimpses back at the time he was writing the book and the story of his friendship with Fran, a fellow youth group member, unfolds as well.

Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Anthony John is a story about friendship, but also about looking beyond appearances and finding out what lies beneath. Even though this is Luke's story, I really loved Fran. She's honest about the fact that she's trying to figure things out--and that it's hard to live with parents who have put her in a pressure cooker.

I've never traveled Route 66, but there is a part of me that wants to see all the roadside attractions. Although the trip was mostly a backdrop for the story, it was fun to follow along as Luke, Matt, Fran, and Alex crossed the country.

Thou Shalt Not Road Trip is available today from Dial Books. ARC from publisher.

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Loved tried to make you happy, even if it was useless. Love would do anything to make you happy."

Promises. We all make them. How much harder is it to keep a promise? As she is dying, Shelby's mom asks her to keep three promises: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. It seems simple at first, but what happens if the promises contradict one another? Are there possible loopholes that would allow Shelby to circumvent the promises?

When Shelby's dad gets involved in planning the local Princess Ball, she realizes that she may have to break one of the promises or find a loophole that will allow her to make her own decision. With her best friends Ruby and Jonas at her side, she works to find a solution and, just maybe, find a closer relationship with her father in the process.

I love several things about this book. First, in order to live without restraint, Shelby has a life list with over 400 (!) to-do items listed. This is something I really need to do. I've talked about it, but somehow never actually made the list. I'm inspired to do so now. Second, Ruby and Jonas are great characters. They're honest and real, but also supportive. I hope for all kids to have deep friendships with people they can trust. Finally, I love the truth of the sometimes difficult and evolving relationship between Shelby and her father. Parent-child interactions are often frustrating and Pearce portrays the frequent misunderstandings truthfully.

Purity by Jackson Pearce will be published by Little, Brown on April 24, 2012. ARC from publisher.