Waiting on Wednesday – Week 173

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming releases that I'm DYING to get my hands on!

This week's WoW is:
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.  

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone. 

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

October 4, 2016 ● Goodreads

There honestly aren't enough books out there talking about "larger girls" and being one myself, IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME. I really enjoyed All the Bright Places (read my review), and I'm sure this one is going to be brilliant. Also I'm loving how the cover is so simple and so gorgeous. Can't wait!

What are you waiting on?

Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson

Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson

Release Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website (Moskowitz) Website (Helgeson)

The story follows the unlikely friendship of two young women forged via fan fiction and message boards, and is told entirely in texts, chats, and blog posts.

Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other.

While I hadn't heard of Kat Helgeson before, as this is her first novel, I've heard tons about Hannah Moskowitz. I was lucky enough to meet her at ALA 2013, and she was super sweet and awesome! It's pretty sad that I haven't read any of her books until now. Gena/Finn was amazing–I loved this one so much. I didn't expect it to be as heartbreaking as it was. There were several funny moments for sure, but there was also a whole lot of raw emotion and pain.

The format for this book was BRILLIANT. Emails, texts, journal posts, sticky notes, drawings...there was so much in this book and it made reading it super interesting. I really love it when books have quirky or out-of-the-norm layouts and the originality of this one stuck with me long after. More books should seriously do this–it makes reading a more visual experience as well!

The characters in this book were a little older than in a typical young adult book, but I wouldn't call this a new adult novel. It definitely still has a YA feel to it. Anyway, I ended up liking Gena more than Finn, but I have no idea why. It can't be age, since I'm right in between 18 and 22! Although...I have been 18, and I know what that feels like, but I don't know what the 22 experience is, so maybe that's it? Anyway, it also might be the way they come off. Gena seemed like she had a lot more of a personality, which is probably why I clicked a lot more with her character. Not to say that Finn was a bad character. Heck no. What I liked about both characters was that there were so many layers to them. Despite this format, which doesn't give us a clear-cut first person perspective on the story, we learn so much about them through their interactions with each other, with people around them, and with themselves. 

I will freely admit this: I'm not a fan of fanfic. I totally love that people can create stories about characters and worlds we all love, but somehow I just never got into it. But that totally didn't hinder how much I enjoyed this story. It was interesting to how the whole "fandom" thing actually worked, since I claim to be in fandoms, but I'm like...low-key in them. To find fans so devoted to a everything about a show is definitely beyond anything I've fangirled about.

Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. Definitely not one to miss this year! Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson's collaborative novel Gena/Finn is quirky, poignant and exceedingly excellent. A gorgeous format, two fangirls, a blooming romance–what's not to like?

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Lara at Chronicle Books for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

If you like this, try...

Bullet Catcher by Joaquin Lowe

Bullet Catcher by Joaquin Lowe

Release Date: February 4, 2016
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Rated: YA 13+
Format: Paperback
Source: Pansing
Buy: Available at all good bookstores!

Bullet catchers: a legendary band of outlaws who can deflect bullets with their hands.

In the small town of Sand, populated by gunslingers and surrounded by endless desert, Imma washes dishes and grieves for a life she never had. She and her brother, Nikko, dreamed of escaping to become bullet catchers, a legendary band of outlaws who can deflect bullets with their hands. But they were wiped out years ago, Nikko with them. And leaving is impossible when walking into the desert means certain death.

When she sees a stranger catch a man's bullet and turn it back on him, Imma knows it can only mean one thing: the bullet catchers live on, and this is her way out. 

Determined to follow him, Imma starts a journey that will take her to her physical extremes and force her to question just what family means and who she really is: bullet catcher or gunslinger; hero or monster.

I haven't had much experience with Westerns in young adult fiction, with the exception of Vengeance Road, but I really enjoyed Bowman's novel, so I decided to give this one a go. I really liked this one! It's been a while since I've read about a mentor and mentee relationship, and one that's got a good adventure to go along with it. Bullet Catcher had grit, guns, and a whole lot of badassery.

I loved Imma's character. Even though she's a bit younger than most young adult heroines, she's hell of a lot stronger than most of them. I'm glad there's the internal conflict that plays out when she tries to understand who she is and whose side she's on. Also? No love interest! While, yes, I do love a good romance and all, I enjoyed the fact that there's no boys distracting her from her goals with relationship drama.

There's a pretty big twist halfway through the book, and this is pretty much where the internal conflict starts, as well as the gunslinger side of the story. I liked that there were two sides to this, and Imma gets to explore the both of them. While she's trying to figure out what exactly is going on, her emotional struggle felt real and personal. There's a lot of stakes that comes with her choice, and of course–a bunch of guns flying off at every corner.

A wonderful adventure set in the wild, wild west that middle grade and young adult readers will enjoy, Bullet Catcher was a heck of a story. Historical fiction with a touch of magical realism, don't hesitate to pick up this one because you're in for a real treat.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

If you like this, try...

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Our Chemical Hearts Optioned for Film

Hey guys! I've got some pretty cool news to share with you all about a book I'm super excited to read: Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland. It's been optioned to be turned into a film! Here's the exciting news from Awesomeness Films:

LOS ANGELES (June 28, 2016) – Awesomeness Films announced today that they have acquired the film rights to Our Chemical Hearts, Australian author Krystal Sutherland’s upcoming debut novel.  Our Chemical Hearts will hit shelves in the U.S. on October 4th, to be published by Penguin Random House’s imprint G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers.

“Krystal Sutherland is a breakout young writer, whose voice uniquely captures the emotional journey of falling in love for the first time,” said Awesomeness Films President Matt Kaplan. “We are excited to be working with her at Awesomeness Films and look forward bringing Our Chemical Hearts to life.”

Henry Page has never been in love despite the fact that he fancies himself a hopeless romantic. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades and getting into a decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class, and he knows everything’s about to change.

Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl, but when they are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It's obvious there’s something broken about Grace, something from her past, and Henry wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again.

Max Siemers brought in the property on behalf of Awesomeness Films.

Krystal Sutherland is represented by UTA and InkWell.


Launched in 2014, Awesomeness Films produces and distributes feature films focused on young adult material that connect with global audiences.  Their current projects include Gina Prince-Bythewood’s BEFORE I FALL, based on Lauren Oliver's best-selling novel and starring Zoey Deutch, and Brent Bonacorso’s YOU GET ME starring Bella Thorne and Halston Sage, which is currently in production.   They premiered black list adaptation SHOVEL BUDDIES, starring Bella Thorne and Kian Lawley, as part of SXSW’s Narrative Spotlight section.   The company previously released DANCE CAMP on YouTube Red, Tyler Oakley’s documentary SNERVOUS, which opened as the No. 1 documentary on iTunes, SMOSH: THE MOVIE, which opened as the No. 1 comedy on iTunes, and Expelled starring Cameron Dallas, the No. 1 social movie of 2014.  Awesomeness Films is the film division of AwesomenessTV, the multi-platform media company owned by DreamWorks Animation (Nasdaq: DWA) and Hearst.

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I seriously can't WAIT to read this one and then see the film, which I'm sure will be great! Here's a little bit about the novel:

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

Release Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (US) ; Hot Key Books (UK) ; Penguin Australia

Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can't-eat-can't-sleep kind of love that he's been hoping for just hasn't been in the cards for him - at least not yet. Instead, he's been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything's about to change.

Grace isn't who Henry pictured as his dream girl; she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys' clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It's obvious there's something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn't your average story of boy meets girl.