Best of 2016: YA Book Madness’ Top 16 YA Reads

It’s been a crazy year. I’ve done so much that I never thought I would with writing and making blogger/author friends. Through all the chaos I’ve read some amazing books (though not all of them got reviewed). Last year I broke my top picks into categories. This year, I’ve decided to do an overall top 16 and then into broad categories. Tell me if you’ve read any on my list, what you thought, and feel free to recommend some of your top 2016 YA books!!!

BEST OF 2016 YA OVERALL 

BEST of 2016 SCIENCE FICTION

BEST of 2016 CONTEMPORARY

BEST of 2016 HORROR

BEST of 2016 THRILLER

BEST of 2016 PARANORMAL 

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

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ARC Review & Giveaway: The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn

darkest liethe darkest lieGoodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

syn

“The mother I knew would never do those things.

But maybe I never knew her after all.”

Clothes, jokes, coded messages…Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six months ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe’s been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her high school senior year, between dealing with her grieving, distracted father, and the social nightmare that has become her life, CeCe just wants to fly under the radar. Instead, she’s volunteering at the school’s crisis hotline—the same place her mother worked.

As she counsels troubled strangers, CeCe’s lingering suspicions about her mom’s death surface. With the help of Sam, a new student and newspaper intern, she starts to piece together fragmented clues that point to a twisted secret at the heart of her community. Soon, finding the truth isn’t just a matter of restoring her mother’s reputation, it’s about saving lives—including CeCe’s own…

review

3.5/5 Stars

***I received this ARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author and with participation in this tour. 

+++Contains triggers: child pornography, violence, disturbing images

The Darkest Lie a gripping mystery that deals with loss, forgiveness, and how to survive when the world around you seems to be falling apart and you’re tumbling off your axis. 

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re into puzzles and fashion yourself an amateur sleuth
  • You’re all about the swoon
  • You’re searching for hard-hitting, relevant, and extremely important subjects that apply to real life

PROS:

  • There are so many important and crucial things in this story that apply to today’s teens, especially in the age of social media. Crisis hotline centers are a huge asset for anyone feeling lost or alone and who wants someone to talk to, even a stranger. The moments in the hotline center, though brief, are uplifting and hopeful. They show that even the smallest of comforting words or just listening can make all the difference in the world. Pornography rings also feature prominently in this story, specifically how predators lure and blackmail their victims into cutting everyone out of their life until they only one they have left is their abuser. This pattern is real and terrifying and I can only hope that this story will bring awareness to the dangers and how easily it is to become a victim in what seems like a healthy, happy relationship as well as in one initiated online. 
  • The lurid and horrific details of CeCe’s mother’s death are mingled throughout the story, but are revealed in startling, blunt imagery. The pieces, much like the clues that CeCe’s mom leaves behind will make your skin crawl. They’re possessive, violent, and the suspense will keep you on edge. Jumpy. 
  • Sam and CeCe are adorably goofy. Sam has a vibrant personality with eclectic taste and so much passion for what he believes in. The dorky was he dresses, that ridiculous scooter, all the elbow pads and too short pants are incredibly cute, in a way that’s unique and surprising. The anticipation, waiting for them to finally cross the friendship boundary is agony. You can’t help but ship their bizarre brand of attraction. 
  • That journal. Chilling, graphic, all sorts of terrifying because it is so real and could happen to anyone. CeCe’s mother’s secrets and abuse are heartbreaking and raw. The emotions and fears are intense and scary. 

CONS:

  • For the bulk of the story, the pacing is pretty slow before anything cryptic or creepy happens. There’s a lot of random, everyday, mundane things going on that highlight CeCe’s usual high school experience, but don’t really pull you in off the bat. 
  • I wasn’t sold on CeCe. Of all the characters in the book, CeCe seems the least developed to me. Her voice isn’t particularly strong, she’s awkward, has babbling outbursts, and says some offhand, cruel, and crude things about her mother that sort of turned me off to her personality a few times. While CeCe is a shell of who she once was after her mother’s death and withdraws from everyone around her, her resentment is crazy strong, and a little selfish. 

authPintip cropped-2Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Enter for your chance to win a $25 gift card to Amazon OR Book Depository (International)

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

TheDarkest Lie by Pintip Dunn The DarkestLie by Pintip Dunn

Giveaway ends May 14, 2016.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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OTHER TOUR STOPS

May 1st – Avid Reader Musings

May 2nd – Reader Girls

May 3rd – Alice Reeds

May 5th – YA Book Madness

May 6th – Wandering Bark Books

May 9th – The Bookdragon

May 10th – Library of a Book Witch

May 11th – Journeys from Ayrden

May 12th – The Cursed Empire

May 13th – The Bibliophile Confessions

May 16th – All For Love of the Word

May 17th – With Love for Books

May 18th – Bridget’s Book Bungalow

May 19th – Bookish Escapes

May 20th – Mad for Books Luv

May 23rd – Lilians Book Stuff

May 24th – Actin’ Up with Books

May 25th – For Love of Books4

May 27th – Bibliophile Soprano

May 30th – Miss Riki

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Read on, 

Jordan

Excerpt Blitz & Giveaway: The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn

The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn - JenHalliganPR.comThe Darkest Lie | JenHalliganPR.comGoodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

Release Date: June 28, 2016

syn

“The mother I knew would never do those things. But maybe I never knew her after all.”

Clothes, jokes, coded messages…Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six months ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe’s been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her high school senior year, between dealing with her grieving, distracted father, and the social nightmare that has become her life, CeCe just wants to fly under the radar. Instead, she’s volunteering at the school’s crisis hotline—the same place her mother worked.

As she counsels troubled strangers, CeCe’s lingering suspicions about her mom’s death surface. With the help of Sam, a new student and newspaper intern, she starts to piece together fragmented clues that point to a twisted secret at the heart of her community. Soon, finding the truth isn’t just a matter of restoring her mother’s reputation, it’s about saving lives—including CeCe’s own…

“This one will tug your heart and leave you breathless!”
–Natalie D. Richards, author of Six Months Later

Excerpt

It’s time to view the body. Family first.

Well, technically, me first. There was always only three of us in the nuclear unit, and Dad’s been locked in the den for the past seventy-two hours. I’ve only seen him once, when he shuffled upstairs like a pajama-clad zombie and asked me if I’d eaten.

That was it: Did you eat?

Not: I prefer the cherry wood casket. Or: Let me make your grandma’s travel arrangements. Or even: I know this was Mom’s favorite dress, but isn’t the neckline a little…low?

Did I eat?

Yes, Dad. I had soup from the can and microwaved pizza rolls and a bowl of cereal. The food sloshes in my stomach now as I walk down the runner to the casket I picked out because of its mauve tint.

Calla lilies pile in urns around the viewing room, and the air-conditioning wars with the sweat along my hairline. My mom smiles at me from a portrait erected behind the casket. Her eyes are hesitant and a little wary, as if she knew, somehow, some way, she would wind up here. Lifeless. Pumped full of formaldehyde. About to be gawked at by a town full of gossips.

This was only going to end one of two ways—with Tabitha Brooks dead or in jail. I never thought I’d say this, but I’d give anything to see my mother behind bars.

I wade through the dense, chilly air and stop a few feet from the body. Behind me, my grandmother and aunt sit, a box of tissues between them, blowing their noses like it’s a sport.

“Look at our Cecilia,” Gram sniffs. “So brave. Not a single tear shed.”

If she only knew. I’m not brave. Fifteen minutes ago, I was retching into the toilet bowl. Five minutes from now, when the doors open for the visitation, I’ll be long gone, leaving Gram to shake people’s hands and deal with the bit lips, the knowing eyebrows, that inevitable speaking-in-a-funeral-parlor whisper. I can hear the titters: “Is it true? Tabitha’s heart stopped while she was boffing the high school quarterback? Why, she must’ve been twenty years his senior!”

Twenty-three years, to be exact, and a high school English teacher to boot. But she didn’t actually die during sex. Instead, a few days after Tommy Farrow came forward with their affair, my mother took her own life.

What could be a clearer admission of guilt? She might as well have been caught in the act. The investigation was shut down before it even began.

I take a shuddering breath. Two more minutes. A hundred and twenty seconds and then I can leave. I steel my shoulders and walk the final steps to my mother’s body.

Oh god. It’s even worse than I thought.

The room whirls around me, and nausea sprints up my throat. My hands shoot out to grab the casket, stopping short of actually touching the corpse.

This . . . this thing . . . can’t be my mother. She never smiled like that, all serene and peaceful-like. She never wore this much makeup; her red hair was never chopped so closely to her head. My mother was chaos and passion, devastation and joy. Dad used to say you could reach deep into her eyes and pull out a song.

Well, her eyes are closed now, and I’m not sure there’ll be any music in my life, ever again.

authPintip cropped-2

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis.”

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com.

giveawayThe Darkest Lie Blitz | Prize Pack | JenHalliganPR.com

One winner will receive a prize pack including the following 5 books: Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn; Six Months Later by Natalie Richards; Find Me by Romily Bernard; and From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan; Lies I Told by Michelle Zink

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

 

The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn

The Darkest Lie

 

by Pintip Dunn

 

Giveaway ends March 28, 2016. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

 

Enter Giveaway

 

 Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Darkest Torment-Gena Showalter

Get ready for the 12th and most epic book in the Lords of the Underworld series yet, THE DARKEST TORMENT, available May 31, 2016! I think we can all agree on one thing: #BadenIsHot!

Click HERE to read a note from Gena on why she chose to write about Baden.

synNew York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with her most explosive Lords of the Underworld tale to date, about a fierce warrior on the brink of sanity who will stop at nothing to claim the exquisite human with the power to soothe the beast inside him…

Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he’s back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he’s unable to withstand the touch of another…and he’s quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own.

Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she’s taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she’s plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.

But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she’ll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.

giveawayThere is an amazing blitz-wide giveaway, courtesy of the publisher, for…

A complete set of all 11 books in the Lords of the Underworld series to ONE winner – US/Canada.

***Giveaway ends Sunday, October 25th at 11:59 p.m. ET. Prize will be sent by the publisher.***

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auth

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series.  In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours!  Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfan.

Other Books in the Lords of the Underworld series

The series on GOODREADS
  • THE DARKEST NIGHT (Lords of the Underworld #1) – GOODREADS
  • THE DARKEST KISS (Lords of the Underworld #2) – GOODREADS
  • THE DARKEST PLEASURE (Lords of the Underworld #3) – GOODREADS
  • THE DARKEST WHISPER (Lords of the Underworld #4) – GOODREADS
  • THE DARKEST PASSION (Lords of the Underworld #5) – GOODREADS
  • THE DARKEST LIE (Lords of the Underworld #6) – GOODREADS
  • THE DARKEST SECRET (Lords of the Underworld #7) – GOODREADS
  • THE DARKEST SURRENDER (Lords of the Underworld #8) – GOODREADS
  • THE DARKEST SEDUCTION (Lords of the Underworld #9) – GOODREADS
  • THE DARKEST CRAVING (Lords of the Underworld #10) – GOODREADS
  • THE DARKEST TOUCH (Lords of the Underworld #11) – GOODREADS

Magical reading, 

Jordan