Sunday, November 23, 2008

Amaze Me, Faze Me, Daze Me: Heart

Amaze Me, Faze Me, Daze Me was inspired by boredom inspired by history (which isn't inspired by anything) studying inspired by the then upcoming (now failed) midterm exams. They're these series of posts in which I talk about upcoming '09 YA releases because it pleases me to lust after books.

To see all of these posts, click here. Thematically speaking, we have so far:

The Historicals #1
(historical YA fiction - from time travel, to scandalous societies, to retellings of English monarchs)

The "Spooky" Fantasy #1
(like, vampires, zombies, unicorns, demons, etc)

Cry, #1
(stories of abuse, self mutilation and death)

Laugh, #1
(humorous-seeming stories)

Am feeling the love this week, so we'll go with romance. :)

Exciting Stuffs Out In 2009
(I haven't read these - yet. This is not endorsement - yet. Only passing my general opinionated judgment.)

Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman
Savannah would be happy to spend the summer in her coastal Carolina town lying in a hammock reading her beloved romance novels and working at the library. But then she meets Jackson. Once they lock eyes, she’s convinced he’s the one — her true love, her soul mate, a boy different from all the rest. And at first it looks like Savannah is right. Jackson abides by her mama’s strict rules, and stays by her side during a hospitalization for severe asthma, which Savannah becomes convinced is only improving because Jackson is there. But when he’s called away to help his family—and seems uncertain about returning — Savannah has to learn to breathe on her own, both literally and figuratively.

Steph: One thing that annoys me about the description is the "literally and figuratively" part. It's the title - this is something we're supposed to get on our own. But anyway, it sounds like one of those soft-spoken novels lovers of teen romances will love. And the cover just kinda lulls you, doesn't it? I like it (except when you get to the guy's backside, where it looks like something freaky is taking root). Sounds sweet, anyhow.

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer
The Espressologist is In
Fridays 6-10 p.m.
Come in for a little latte and love.

That’s the sign outside of a local Chicago Wired Joe’s every Friday night when jerky boss Derek Peters finds out about 17-year old barista and high school senior Jane Turner’s unique talent to match couples based on their favorite coffee drink (which she calls Espressology). He decides to capitalize on it—turning Jane into the holiday promotion for the month of December. She’s never been wrong, sales are through the roof, and the line of people each Espressology night wraps the block. But can it be too much of a good thing? During an interview with a talk show at the height of Jane’s fame, she is faced with a dilemma, lose her love or lose her credibility? Or possibly lose it all, including her best friend.

Steph: LOVE the premise and the cover. LOVE. (Even though I swore I wouldn't buy any more pink books. I have enough of them, thanks to this year's bubble-gum theme. Sigh. Just this once, I suppose.) This sounds like one of those awesome feel-good novels you can read in any mood - depressed, high (as in happiness, not narcotic), heartbroken - and instantly be charmed. Am I placing too high hopes on this one? Maybe. But something in that premise is just registering with me. Maybe I'm in love? Hmm...

Stupid Cupid by Rhonda Stapleton
When seventeen-year-old Felicity gets a job at Cupid's Hollow, she's skeptical at first when she finds out it's no mere matchmaking gig: she'll take on the role of a cupid (there's more than one of them, you know) and matchmake her high school, using Palm Pilot technology to send love emails. In a stroke of sheer genius, Felicity decides to matchmake her best friends, which leads to all kinds of disaster...especially when she accidentally makes the whole school fall in love with Derek, guy of her dreams.

Steph: This one only comes out December of 2009 so no cover yet and even though I try to wait until I have the cover to post these, it goes perfectly with this post. :) Is this a fluffy beach-read type? Simon Pulse is known for its ro-coms (to which I don't think this one belongs, however), so I'm sensing this one will be in a similar vein except with more plot because it's a planned trilogy. Am looking forward to finding out more!

Heartbreak River by Tricia Mills
Alexandra Landon once loved running the Grayton River through the Colorado canyons near her home and couldn’t imagine doing anything else with her life but continuing the family’s river rafting business. But that was before her father died in a rafting accident and she developed a full-fledged fear of drowning. It’s been nearly a year since her father’s death, and the arrival of another summer means Alex has to face the river, the question of whether she can ever recapture her love of rafting, and the return of co-worker and former boyfriend Sean Kenley. One way or the other, this summer is going to change Alex’s life forever.

Steph: I love how the cover is sensual in a subtle way. (Reminds me of Kiss Me Kill Me's, actually.) Definitely one of Razorbill's better ones this seasons. To tell you the truth, this is the first time I read the description in full - and hey, it sounds like a worthwhile story! A bit darker than the previous ones, to be sure, but then again, I love dark.

Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison
Leesie Hunt has many rules: No kissing. No sex. No dating outside the Mormon faith.

When Michael Walden—a deep-sea diver who lost his parents in a violent hurricane—arrives in town, Leesie sees someone who needs her. They fall for one another, even though his dreams are tied to the depths of the ocean and hers to salvation above.

Will their intense chemistry be too strong to resist?

Leesie and Michael must make the hardest choice of their lives: whether to follow their beliefs or their hearts.

Readers will be swept away by this tale of forbidden romance told in online chats, Leesie’s chapbook poems, and Michael’s dive log. It’s as steamy as Twilight and just as clean.

Steph: Okay hold up, are they seriously pushing the Twilight comparison?? I thought that was exclusive to vampire or, if you want to stretch it, fantasy books. Okay... Anyhow, the dude on the cover is HOT. (Yes, this is very important. You know. I have needs, too!) Moving on...

So, this is forbidden fruit (as the Twilight comparison will not let you forget) which is tricky to do, because you need just the right amount of tension to make it work. If done well, the novel rocks. Let's hope that's the case. Anyway, while I usually don't like epistolary, I'm curious to see what this dive journal format looks like. It sounds unique in a way.

- - -

Hope you enjoyed!


WannabeWriter said...

YESS ROMANCE. :] I plan on reading Breathing & Heartbreak River & The Espressologist definitely. :] ( And yes, the guy on Taken By Storm's cover is STEAMY. )

xD I love this feature.

Amee said...

I agree about the pink covers. Or any that can be embarrassing to read in public. I removed the cover jacket of Anatomy of a Boyfriend. No way was I going to pull out a book with a naked Ken doll picture on the cover in public. :P

Alea said...

Ahhh these all sound good! That's all I can say!! I was just thinking about how much I was missing this feature so I'm glad you posted!

Anonymous said...

These all sound good!lol and I never read pink cover books in public =P (or anything that could be at all embarrassing)

You keep on making my wishlist get longer and longer.

Lenore Appelhans said...

Not so much into the pure romances, but I do love those kitties hugging :)

Gabbi said...

Taken By Storm looks like it could be good be good, but hopefully it won't be preachy.

Rhonda Helms said...

HEY, thanks for the shout-out! (I'm eagerly awaiting a cover, too, LOL).

I'm looking forward to sooooo many other books coming out in '09, too. Thanks for posting a list!!

Anonymous said...

I'm drooling over Heartbreak River and Breathing...

Anonymous said...

Taken By Storm and Breathing both have hot guys, though I wish I could see the front of the Breathing guy.

I'm excited for all of these. I love seeing this feature- it's so cool!

Anonymous said...

I think the "it's like twilight" thing is supposed to be for the booksellers -- they know they can sell it to the parents who want clean books, and also, ti ties in with the mormon thing.

Steph said...

Twilight is known for vampire romance. The author, Stephenie, is Mormon, sure, but the Mormon thing never takes nominal form in the books. (Maybe the values do, depending on how you look at it, though.) I think they're playing the forbidden love card with the Twilight mention. :) I'm just saying I think it's getting redundant - a LOT of books, of all different ranges of subjects, get compared to Twilight to the point where it makes me wonder if the connection actually exists or if the person writing the jacket copy is spinning it as such. Which makes it ineffective, in my opinion.

Anyhow - thanks to everyone for stopping by! I'm so happy you guys like the feature :) It's a super-fun one for me because, hellllllllllo, book lusting! :)


Anonymous said...

Breathing is so wonderful;I loved it! I haven't read any of the other books (yet) but they do look really good. So many great books coming out in 09'.

Khy said...

I am loving the lolcat.

Also, these seem too good. x.o 2009 is too far away.

Khy said...

Just looked these up on Amazon AND THEY'RE ALL HARDCOVERS. Ugggggh. Don't these publishing houses know I don't like hardcovers and don't have tons of money to buy them all? x.x

Alea said...


Rhonda Helms said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alea said...

Yay! I say books be released as dual formats- hardcover and paperback at the same time, like dvds and blu-rays. I know that would be totally ignoring the point of hardcovers and paperbacks but I girl can dream!

Rhonda Helms said...

LOL sorry, I deleted my post from before because I couldn't edit it.

Anyway, STUPID CUPID will be trade paperback. And there are lots of other trade paperbacks that will be out from Simon Pulse, too (I love buying their books, because I can usually get them for around 9 bucks).

I agree, Alea--I think it would be awesome to have books release in both formats at the same time. After all, some people love hardcovers, and other love trade paperbacks. And actually, some love the mass market size (the smaller books). It would be cool to have your pick, eh? :-)

Anyway, thanks for letting me yap. I love talking books with people (and I'll have to swing by this blog again--I love reading reviews!).

Thanks for having me!

Anonymous said...

The Espressologist sounds really good will be adding that one to my list. I've been waiting for Taken by Storm, or still am waiting i've wanted to read that one for a while. 2009 is so close yet so far=(

Anonymous said...

Steph, I disagree. If you view any television interview with Stephenie Meyer done for an adult audience (The Today show or CNN or etc.) all the adults want to talk about with her is how "clean" her romance is compared to the *gasp* dirty dirty goings-on of gossip girls, etc (which was the previous single obsessive topic that every adult news organization covered in relation to YA). You can hardly read a review of the movie that doesn't focus on the abstinence angle, and most of them tie in the "Meyer is just a mormon housewife" bit to the fact that she writes so-called "squeaky clean" books. (I really think these interviewers haven't read all the scenes where Bella BEGS Edward to have sex with her, or you know, the one where they do have sex and babies...) The rumored "cleanliness" of the novel is a HUGE selling point for adults who are buying them for their children (because they've all been scared by the shock journalism of hte past few years designed to make them believe that THE POWER OF LUCKY is some sort of appalling porn), and is widely discussed in all areas where the audience for the article about Twilight is mainly going to be read by adults or religious types. So when something is described as "as steamy as Twilight and just as clean" in marketing material meant to go out to adult booksellers and librarians -- make no mistake -- they are trying to draw parallels with it thusly: "hey, it's mormon, too, just as clean, like ALL THOSE ARTICLES YOU READ, no worries here!"

Anonymous said...

Hi, Steph. Your post showed up on my Google Alerts. I'm so glad you're looking forward to Heartbreak River. I can't wait for it to release and see what readers think. It was certainly fun to write.

And as for the hardcover vs. paperback, I'm checking on that, but I think it's coming out as trade paperback at the same time.

Tricia Mills

Amee said...

I think Steph's right that it's more about the forbidden romance than being Mormon or squeaky clean. I would say that the "squeaky clean intense romance" aspect would be correct, but not the Mormon aspect. Teens will see Twilight mentioned and think "ooh, forbidden love!" and parents will think "good, another clean love story."

Steph said...

Anon - I'm not disproving what you are saying, I'm only saying that I think they're playing the forbidden love card in this instance. And lemme tell you why I think this - on the ARC of Taken By Storm, there's a letter from the editor on the first page explaining how she loves the tension between the main characters. And also, I read a bit of the back - it's not exactly squeaky clean. The male character brings a lot of his oo-lala to the table.

So - I know what you mean. But I really do think this one is about the tension, not the innocence.

Sarah MacLean said...

I've been lucky enough to read's AMAZING. Lyric and lovely and just...perfect. You should be holding your breath for it. (Figuratively, of course! ;))

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Hey! For some reason, this embedded comment form makes most people click twice before the comment is processed and published. It's not you - it's just that it's a new Blogger feature with kinks and all that. (But I adore it and don't wanna get rid of it!) I removed Captcha to make the process easier. You don't have to rewrite the comments twice; just click on SUBMIT twice and it should work. If not, email me. Thanks! -Steph