Author: Sherri L. Smith

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway! Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith

September 16, 2016 Bonnie Book Reviews, Book Tour, Giveaways, Read in 2016 10 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway! Pasadena by Sherri L. SmithPasadena by Sherri L. Smith
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on September 13th 2016
Pages: 240
Genres: Coming-of-Age
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Orleans

four-stars

Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and roses.

When Jude's best friend is found dead in a swimming pool, her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it suicide. But Jude calls it what it is: murder. And someone has to pay.

Now everyone is a suspect--family and friends alike. And Jude is digging up the past like bones from a shallow grave. Anything to get closer to the truth. But that's the thing about secrets. Once they start turning up, nothing is sacred. And Jude's got a few skeletons of her own.

About Sherri L. Smith

Sherri L. Smith is the award-winning author of YA novels LUCY THE GIANT, SPARROW, HOT SOUR SALTY SWEET, FLYGIRL and ORLEANS. In October 2015, she makes her middle grade debut with THE TOYMAKER’S APPRENTICE from G.P. Putnam and Sons for Penguin Random House.

Sherri has worked in film, animation, comic books and construction. Her books have been listed as Amelia Bloomer, American Library Association Best Books for Young People, and Junior Library Guild Selections. FLYGIRL was the 2009 California Book Awards Gold Medalist.

She loves her family, travel, chocolate chip cookies, reading, and and a really good cup of tea.

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Jude is visiting her estranged father on the East Coast when she receives the call about Maggie. They tell her she committed suicide. That she was found floating in her pool with a belly full of drugs. But that simply doesn’t make sense, because everyone loved Maggie Kim’s vivacious and charismatic attitude; she was a girl who truly had everything to live for. Jude flies back home immersing herself in the mystery surround her death, convinced that it wasn’t suicide and that she’s going to discover the person truly responsible for her death.

‘Maggie Kim was the sun in our universe. We all circle her. Never the other way around. And now that she’s gone, we’re shifting orbits.’

Maggie was Jude’s best friend, however, once her absence becomes all the more apparent, she begins to recognize that Jude wasn’t necessarily Maggie’s best friend. Her group of friends are a diverse bunch that come together to celebrate her life but clash constantly with one another. Maggie was the bond that linked everyone and now that she’s gone, there’s nothing left to keep the friendships from surviving. As Jude begins looking beneath the glossy veneer of Maggie Kim’s life, she starts to realize that there was a reason for it: to cover all those fine cracks hidden just below the surface. All the unexpected secrets slowly being uncovered that Jude would have expected a best friend to confide to her. We’re frequently shown flashbacks of time spent with Maggie, and with all the new knowledge she’s exposed, Jude reflects on these encounters with her best friend in a different light.

While the mystery itself was appealing on its own merits, the coming-of-age type story and self-reflection it causes Jude to go through is a surprisingly heavy yet affecting facet. The story uncovers Jude’s own past, the inner demons which she is constantly struggling with, and forces her to finally bring them to the light. The glitzy L.A. backdrop is vivid, describing the stifling heat and the wildfires that constantly consume the hillsides surrounding the city. Each aspect of this story is written with a startling intensity that manages to be completely captivating. Pasadena is just my second read by this author, Orleans being my first, and I continue to be riveted by each story she’s told, regardless of genre.

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Thanks to the wonderful individuals over at Penguin Books, I have a finished copy to share with one lucky reader! Leave a comment expressing your interest in this story to enter.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on September 30th, 2016.

Good luck!

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Pasadena Blog Tour

Wednesday, September 7 – Teen Librarian Toolbox (guest post)
Thursday, September 8 – The Book Smugglers (guest post)
Monday, September 12 – I Read Banned Books (guest post)
Wednesday, September 14 – Finding Wonderland (interview)
Thursday, September 15 – Portrait of a Book (review)
Monday, September 19 – In Wonderland (interview)
Tuesday, September 20 – The Forest of Words and Pages (review)
Wednesday, September 21 – Here’s to Happy Endings (review)
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Waiting on Wednesday – Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith

May 25, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 3 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Pasadena by Sherri L. SmithPasadena by Sherri L. Smith
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on September 13th 2016
Pages: 240
Genres: Mystery
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Orleans, Pasadena

Award-winning author Sherri L. Smith returns with a riveting, noir-style thriller, perfect for fans of E. Lockhart

Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and roses.

When Jude’s best friend is found dead in a swimming pool, her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it suicide. But Jude calls it what it is: murder. And someone has to pay.

Now everyone is a suspect—family and friends alike. And Jude is digging up the past like bones from a shallow grave. Anything to get closer to the truth. But that’s the thing about secrets. Once they start turning up, nothing is sacred. And Jude’s got a few skeletons of her own.

In a homage to the great noir stories of Los Angeles, award-winning author Sherri L. Smith’s Pasadena is a tale of love, damage and salvation set against the backdrop of California’s City of Roses.

About Sherri L. Smith

Sherri L. Smith is the award-winning author of YA novels LUCY THE GIANT, SPARROW, HOT SOUR SALTY SWEET, FLYGIRL and ORLEANS. In October 2015, she makes her middle grade debut with THE TOYMAKER’S APPRENTICE from G.P. Putnam and Sons for Penguin Random House.

Sherri has worked in film, animation, comic books and construction. Her books have been listed as Amelia Bloomer, American Library Association Best Books for Young People, and Junior Library Guild Selections. FLYGIRL was the 2009 California Book Awards Gold Medalist.

She loves her family, travel, chocolate chip cookies, reading, and and a really good cup of tea.

While the comparison to We Were Liars is definitely off-putting (I was a black sheep with that one), I adored Orleans by this author enough to still be excited for this one.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Early Review + Giveaway! Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

January 31, 2013 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Giveaways, Read in 2013, YA 3 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review + Giveaway! Orleans by Sherri L. SmithOrleans by Sherri L. Smith
Published by Putnam Juvenile on March 7th 2013
Pages: 336
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Pasadena

four-stars

First came the storms.
Then came the Fever.
And the Wall.

After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct… but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.

Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.

Sherri L. Smith delivers an expertly crafted story about a fierce heroine whose powerful voice and firm determination will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

‘The shape of our great nation has been altered irrevocably by Nature, and now Man must follow suit in order to protect the inalienable rights of the majority, those being the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, the foremost of those being Life.’

After Hurricane Katrina ripped through the South, six more Hurricanes followed, each more powerful than the last. Hurricane Jesus hit in 2019 and left the South changed irrevocably. Not only did it come bearing death and devastation but a new sickness as well: Delta Fever. Everyone in the affected areas became infected and The Blood Rules were formed.

Types AB, B, and A
Need to stay away
From O and from each other,
Plus from minus, sister from brother.
O positive can feed
All positives in need, But O neg is the one
For all tribes beneath the sun.

A new form of racism grew from the sickness as skin color no longer mattered, it became all about what blood type you were. AB’s required constant blood transfusions in order to keep the fever at bay, O positives were constantly being hunted and thrown into the blood farms, and it became survival of the fittest for all.

‘My name is Fen de la Guerre… I am an O-Positive. I’ma find a tribe, or let the swamp take me. But one thing for sure, I ain’t never gonna cry again.’

Orleans is told from the point of view of Fen de la Guerre, a fifteen year old girl that has had to adapt to survive in this treacherous world that is the only one she’s ever known. When her tribe’s chieftain dies in childbirth, Fen vows to honor her dying wish: to give the baby a better life. Fen struggles to keep the baby healthy and Fever free so that she can give her a better life, over the Wall. She encounters a scientist that risked exposure to study the Fever in hopes of discovering a cure who ends up being a huge asset to her and the baby.

The medical detailing throughout the book felt well-researched and certainly explained a lot but there was still a lot left unsaid. I attribute this to the fact that neither of the two narrators, Fen and Daniel, had all the answers and they were trying to understand it all too. For that reason I think details were left intentionally vague, because even by the end you still didn’t have all the answers.

This was an intense, realistic story of survival in the bleakest of worlds. Fen was an amazing narrator full of strength and perseverance. Her story of survival in her earlier years is told in bits and pieces and it’s certainly heartbreaking the things she experienced. The bit I loved most was that there was not a single drop of romance anywhere within these pages! Quite rare, indeed. The bit that I didn’t like as much was the dialect Fen uses which she refers to as ‘talking tribe’ was extremely hard to get used to. Reminiscent of the dialect used in ‘Blood Red Road’ this one definitely takes some patience, but there ends up being a reason behind this that you find out later.

Orleans is a very mature and gritty read that I think would be better read by an older YA reader even though it’s tagged as okay for 12+ readers. There were some very brutal aspects of the story that I felt would be inappropriate for a reader that young (i.e. rape and other forms of violence). This is one of those instances where I feel the book is tagged as YA but for no other reason but because the main character is a teen.

The ending didn’t leave off with a cliffhanger (as I don’t believe this is an intended first in a series) but it’s definitely an ending that left you with questions as to what comes next. Orleans is an extremely captivating and entrancing read that fans of the dystopian genre will likely enjoy.

Giveaway Details

This is for my personal (ARC) copy of Orleans and since I am covering the shipping charges this is open to U.S. addresses only. Sorry international followers!

Giveaway ends February 28th, 2013

To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. Remember to come back for more entry opportunities daily!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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