Archive for March, 2015


March 18, 2015 • Cee • Letters

Dear Erin Bowman and Vengeance Road,

Well, howdy, partner. What do we have here?

When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Red Rose Gang for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there’s room for love in a heart so full of hate.

In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.Goodreads

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March 17, 2015 • Cee • Reviews


Duplicity by N.K. Traver
March 17, 2015
Thomas Dunne Books
Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
* Book courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books

A computer-hacking teen. The girl who wants to save him. And a rogue mirror reflection that might be the death of them both.

In private, seventeen-year-old Brandon hacks bank accounts just for the thrill of it. In public, he looks like any other tattooed bad boy with a fast car and devil-may-care attitude. He should know: he’s worked hard to maintain that façade. With inattentive parents who move constantly from city to city, he’s learned not to get tangled up in things like friends and relationships. So he’ll just keep living like a machine, all gears and wires.

Then two things shatter his carefully-built image: Emma, the kind, stubborn girl who insists on looking beneath the surface – and the small matter of a mirror reflection that starts moving by itself. Not only does Brandon’s reflection have a mind of its own, but it seems to be grooming him for something—washing the dye from his hair, yanking out his piercings, swapping his black shirts for … pastels. Then it tells him: it thinks it can live his life better, and it’s preparing to trade places.

And when it pulls Brandon through the looking-glass, not only will he need all his ill-gotten hacking skills to escape, but he’s going to have to face some hard truths about who he’s become. Otherwise he’ll be stuck in a digital hell until he’s old and gray, and no one will even know he’s gone.


I received this book for free from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First Sentence: “It figures that between the two of us, my laptop is the first to grow a conscience. “

Prepare to be afraid of your reflection and what you do online! ;) Oh, and don’t forget to suspend your disbelief.

Duplicity follows Brandon Eriks, a tattooed hacker extraordinaire, who’s reflection (aka Obran) begins moving on its own and starts making changes to Brandon’s outer appearance like taking out his many piercings and washing out the black dye from his hair for the “trade.” When Brandon is pulled into the other side of the mirror, he is faced with The Project, a hacker’s worse nightmare. All the while, Brandon also has to deal with parents who never have any time for him and his blossoming feelings that he chooses to deny for Emma, a girl who had tutored him prior to the start of the book. His protective image starts to fracture as he tries to save the people he cares about.

It’s a cyberthriller that has a lot of science fiction elements that will have you wondering who’s behind what happens to Brandon and how he gets out of it.

Five Things You Might Like About Duplicity

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March 14, 2015 • Cee • Reviews

life by committee

Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
May 13, 2014
Dial Books For Young Readers
Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Some secrets are too good to keep.

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?


First Sentence: “Hey, Tabitha? I have a secret, Joe types.”

One word to describe this book that everybody will agree on: Messy. (The good kind.)

Life By Committee follows the story of Tabitha, a young teenager who’s friends drop her because she “changed” and got hot, as she tries to deal with the many secrets that she keeps like how she’s in love with Joe, another girl’s boyfriend. Then, she finds Life By Committee, a support-like group that exchanges secrets for assignments that may empower the members through encouragements and bad advices.

It’s about growing into the person you want to be and taking risks even if the outcome isn’t ideal. You may find some strength in it.

Six Things I Liked About Life By Committee that I Think Readers Will Like Too

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March 12, 2015 • Cee • Lists

Do you ever wonder about what books shaped the lives of the characters you read about? What were Kami Glass from The Lynburn Legacy, Seth from More Than This, or Taylor Markham from Jellicoe Road reading? What books did they love?

In Essential Reading, readers and authors share five to seven books (children’s, YA, general fiction, romances, nonfiction, and all) that they or their characters love, or has impacted their lives or their characters’s lives.

I’m incredibly excited about this series. I wanted to do a feature that focused on authors and their characters, and that gave me the opportunity to contact authors, and voila! We have this lovely feature. It’s a great idea, right? Because we all have those favorite books we hold close to our heart, but what about those characters? They are readers too; they must have books they love.

So, I am very honored to have David Arnold, author of Mosquitoland, kick off this feature. Let’s give him a warm welcome!

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March 10, 2015 • Cee • Comics

from panel to panel

I love comics and graphic novels, so what do I do with that love? Well, I turn it into a new feature!

From Panel to Panel is a new feature where I talk about the awesome (and perhaps not-so awesome) comic books and graphic novels I’ve read. Basically, this will be me pushing them onto your laps. You’re welcome.


Like A Virus: A Ghost Story Like No Other

Have you ever picked up a ghost story, expecting it to do one thing: scare the living soul out of you? But when you become engross in the story, that “scare” you’re expecting turns itself around and into something you hadn’t expected—something profound? That’s Like A Virus.

Written by Ken Lowery and illustrated by Robert Wilson IV, Like A Virus, a 23 page one-shot comic, follows Felicity as she discovers a recurring sound every Thursday in her neighborhood and decides to investigate. With her ability to sense and communicate with ghosts, she confronts the sound in an attempt to put it to peace.

You see, ghosts are stuck in this realm for a reason; for instance, they haven’t dealt with their issues or feelings or death to be at peace when they were corporeal beings. And when you have that in your mind, of course, it makes sense that this comic veers toward that—having a ghost confront their issues. You can’t have a ghost story without delving into their death and the reasons that led the ghost to being stuck.

Like A Virus’s aim is not to scare, nor is it really about Felicity’s ability to speak to the dead. It’s about “the guilt and fear that can anchor a soul down, and how those thoughts can spread and contaminate not just you, but the people around you.” It’s about pain and loss; about reaching out and listening and being there for someone who needs help. You get characters reflecting on their choices, which is different from any ghost story I’ve read or seen.

23 pages is all Lowery and Wilson need to lay a honest portrayal of a sensitive subject with straightforward, but relatable dialogue and emotive art.

Interested in reading this ghost story? It’s only $1.99! Go ahead, and see what I’m talking about.

March 6, 2015 • Cee • Reviews

art of wishing

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar
March 31, 2013
Dial Books For Young Readers
Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.

Margo McKenna has a plan for just about everything, from landing the lead in her high school play to getting into a good college. So when she finds herself in possession of a genie’s ring and the chance to make three wishes, she doesn’t know what to do. Why should she put her life into someone else’s hands?

But Oliver is more than just a genie — he’s also a sophomore at Margo’s high school, and he’s on the run from a murderer. As he and Margo grow closer, she discovers that it will take more than three wishes to save him.

A whole lot more.


First Sentence:

The plan was this: I’d get up on that stage, blow them away with the best damn audition they’d ever seen, and walk out knowing the part I wanted was mine.

Looking for genie in a bottle? Well, let me present, The Art of Wishing.

The Art of Wishing follows Margo McKenna in her senior year as she deals with her disappointment of losing one of the lead roles in her high school musical to a sophomore as well as the appearance of a mysterious ring that summons a genie who will grant her three wishes if she so chooses. This genie happens to be a sophomore named Oliver who had been hanging around the high school theater. The two of them begin to confide in each other—secrets that they had kept hidden—and eventually fall in love. However, problems start to pop up with the threat of the impending arrival of the Big Bad, who’s out for Oliver.

Six Things Readers Will Love About The Art of Wishing

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