In My Mailbox #47

It's getting closer and closer to my one year anniversary of In My Mailboxes. I can hardly believe I've been blogging for this long, I can still remember finding Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf and all these other wonderful blogs and being overjoyed at all the amazing books I found to add to my wish-list. Check out Kristi's blog, The Story Siren for more about the blogospheres obsession with IMM.

Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan's Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life -- getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job -- Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That's when things start to get crazy.
At his new school, Craig realizes that he's just average, and maybe not even that. He soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. The stress becomes unbearable and Craig stops eating and sleeping -- until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig's suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, isolated from the crushing pressures of school and friends, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a moving tale about depression, that's definitely a funny story.

This one has been on my wish-list for quite some time but I kept pushing it down the pile as it looked a little too sad/serious. After seeing the trailer, I decided it looked more than funny than serious and am now eagerly awaiting the movie's release starring Lauren Graham.

Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
Dimple Lala doesn't know what to think. Her parents are from India, and she's spent her whole life resisting their traditions. Then suddenly she gets to high school and everything Indian is trendy. To make matters worse, her parents arrange for her to meet a "suitable boy." Of course it doesn't go well -- until Dimple goes to a club and finds him spinning a magical web. Suddenly the suitable boy is suitable because of his sheer unsuitability. Complications ensue. This is a funny, thoughtful story about finding your heart, finding your culture, and finding your place in America.

I've had really great outcomes with books that focus on teenagers dealing with different cultures so when I found this book I ordered it immediately. It's one that I haven't really seen around much but it looks really good.

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
From the bestselling author of My Sister's Keeper comes the riveting story of a murder that shatters the picturesque calm of Amish country -- and tests the heart and soul of the lawyer defending the woman at the center of the storm. 

The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn's mother, took the child's life. When Ellie Hathaway, a disillusioned big-city attorney, comes to Paradise, Pennsylvania, to defend Katie, two cultures collide -- and for the first time in her high-profile career, Ellie faces a system of justice very different from her own. Delving deep inside the world of those who live "plain," Ellie must find a way to reach Katie on her terms. And as she unravels a tangled murder case, Ellie also looks deep within -- to confront her own fears and desires when a man from her past reenters her life. 

Believe it or not, I'm yet to read anything by Jodi Picoult so I hope that the YA edition of this book makes me want to  check out the rest of her catalogue.

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
Avery Hood is reeling from the loss of her parents--and the fact that she can't remember what happened to them even though she was there. She's struggling to adjust to life without them, and to living with her grandmother, when she meets Ben, who isn't like any guy she's ever met before. It turns out there's a reason why, and Ben's secret may hold the key to Avery finding out what happened to her parents... But what if that secret changes everything she knows about--and feels for--Ben?

I'm running an ARC Tour for this book and then surprise, surprise, a copy turns up on my doorstep. I absolutely love the main characters first name - Avery, almost as much as I love the name Owen (from Sarah Dessen's Just Listen) and Rory (from Gilmore Girls).

Before We Say Goodbye by Gabriella Ambrosio
Jerusalem, 2002. Where one young Palestinian is about to make the greatest sacrifice of all...In the style of the acclaimed TV drama 24, each chapter covers an hour in the day leading up to the suicide bombing. Written in filmic, dramatic language, this is both pacy and thought-provoking and will appeal to young adults and adults alike. It is endorsed by Amnesty International UK as contributing to a better understanding of human rights and the values that underpin them. 

I tend to read more light-hearted books than anything else but this goes to most extreme opposite, just the cover is creeping me out already!

The Project by Brian Falkner 
His life could change the world. His death could save it. It all started with a book. The most boring book in the world! So boring that nobody would ever read it. The perfect place to hide a terrible secret. But now the book has emerged from its hiding place and the world may never be the same. An action-packed adventure which will have readers on the edge of their seat. From the best-selling and award-winning author of The Tomorrow Code and Brainjack. Perfect for kids who love Alex Rider.

I look forward to being on the edge of my seat with this one, I love a great mystery.

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud tells the haunting story of a young man who narrowly survives a terrible car wreck that kills his little brother. Years later, the brothers’ bond remains so strong that it transcends the normal boundaries separating life and death. Charlie St. Cloud lives in a snug New England fishing village. By day he tends the lawns and monuments of the ancient cemetery where his younger brother, Sam, is buried. Graced with an extraordinary gift after surviving the accident, he can still see, talk, and even play catch with Sam’s spirit. But townsfolk whisper that Charlie has never recovered from his loss.

Into his carefully ordered life comes Tess Carroll, a captivating, adventuresome woman training for a solo sailing trip around the globe. Fate steers her boat into a treacherous storm that blows her back to harbor, to a charged encounter with Charlie, and to a surprise more overwhelming than the violent sea itself. Charlie and Tess discover a beautiful and uncommon connection that leads to a race against time and a desperate choice between death and life, between the past and the future, between holding on and letting go.

Luminous, soulful, and filled with unforgettable characters, The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud is one of those rare, wise books that reveal the mysteries of the unseen world around us, gently transforming the worst pain of loss into hope, healing, and even laughter. Suspenseful and deeply moving, its startling climax reminds us that sometimes tragedies can bring about miracles if we simply open our hearts.

To tell you the truth, Charlie St Cloud only caught my eye when Zac Efron was announced as the lead role, ever since then I've kept a close eye on the movie and have been wanting to see it for awhile. Now I can hold off on that for at least a short time until I read the book.

Crescendo (Hush, Hush #2) by Becca Fitzpatrick
The sequel to the New York Times Best selling phenomenon, Hush, Hush! 
Nora should have known her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described as anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away, and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home. The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch, or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

Hush, Hush has been sitting on my shelves for such a long time that I decided to set myself a goal of reading it before the release of the sequel on October 12th. I have such high hopes in this book that I've already added Crescendo to my reading stack.

Q: Which book-to-movie release are you most looking forward to?

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