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review 2017-09-25 00:00
Buzz Books 2017 Young Adult Fall/Winter
Buzz Books 2017 Young Adult Fall/Winter - Publishers Lunch I am a little late to the party with this one (it's September and this sampler came out in May for these Fall books), but I thought I'd check out this sampler from NetGalley as I enjoyed getting a preview with another similar excerpt round-up. Plus I'm a new reviewer so it was something I could get my hands on!
There are so many great books coming out in the YA category at the moment, so some of these books are already getting buzz (even without sending out samplers) and for some, it may be easy to get lost in the fray. There's a pretty broad range of books here (13 in all!) so there's something for everyone. Here are some standouts:

'Solo' (Kwame Alexander) - This obviously will not be the right book for everyone, and you can tell that immediately when you start reading the poetic verse. It's a coming-of-age story, written in song, about a teenager called Blade Morrison and from seeing the buzz around this book, this might be one I would actually prefer to go the audio route; it's narrated by the author, which is something I love, and would help with any struggle with the fact that it's verse/poetry. Actually reading along at the SAME TIME as hearing it would be amazing too, because I think this might just be a groundbreaker, and it may be easy to dismiss this one based on it being verse. Perfect for music and poetry lovers. Fascinating.

'Girls Made of Snow & Glass' (Melissa Bashardoust) - This is one of those that has had a lot of buzz around it; for me, I was initially drawn in by the simplicity of that beautiful monochromatic cover design of the icicles! Stunning. 'Snow & Glass' is described as a 'feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White Fairytale'; although we've had quite a few retellings of fairytales of late, what I hear is that this is a complex and magical look at the relationship between stepdaughter/stepmother and this is NOT a damsel-in-distress story (thank goodness). The excerpt is a slow introduction into the story but I would love to read this one in its entirety.

'All Rights Reserved' (Gregory Scott Katsoulis) - The title sticks with me right away (I'm a photographer), and it's honestly genius with respect to the premise of the book. Set in a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted (are we that far off?), a girl called Speth chooses to stay silent in protest, and refuses to speak, rather than to pay every time she opens her mouth. When I read this synopsis I immediately began to think about the current day's debates over the right to protest, and THEN the excerpt immediately starts with references to suicide (so trigger warning right away); I know pretty quickly this is not going to be the book for everyone either. Quite a bit of controversial content and lots to talk about. I want to keep reading this dystopian novel as I'd love to see how Speth navigates this frustrating world.

'Warcross' (Marie Lu) - Without a doubt, this was/would have been/is the highlight for me, and by this point, I'm happy to say I've read the book. I read a sampler ahead of time, and preordered the book; after picking it up, I had read it by the next night. Had I not had photos to go take, a dog to walk, and my child to keep alive, I expect I would have read it quicker! Needless to say, I devoured Warcross faster than just about anything I've read of late. While this is about a teenage hacker and a virtual-reality game that has taken over the world, which before this, wouldn't sound like anything I would read, this book is amazing. The imagery and plot take you to a colorful and exciting world very quickly and you become so immersed in it that suddenly Marie Lu has you wanting Book 2 (and she says it's in the works) immediately upon finishing. LOVED it. And all because I read the sampler.

'Beasts Made of Night' (Tochi Onyebuchi) - The short excerpt that I read in this sampler was one that I had been looking forward to reading for a while (the book, which is about dark magic, appropriately debuts on Halloween). The book is set the city of Kos, where a young sin-eater called Taj wrestles with his livelihood and his desires; this novel immediately throws you into the Taj's world, and you can just sense this will be a book filled with rich imagery, complex world-building, and I have high expectations for vivid fantasy and great characters. I hope the buzz delivers!

*Thanks for making my book list even longer!

Note: The whole of this excerpt edition can be found at buzz.publishersmarketplace.com

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review 2017-08-18 00:00
Buzz Books 2017 Fall/Winter
Buzz Books 2017 Fall/Winter - Publishers Lunch I really love these samplers--usually--because it's a great way to find not only new books by authors I already like, but to find new books I might have otherwise not heard of.

This one was kind of a let down for me, though. I normally come out of reading one of these with anywhere from 5-15 books I've added to my TBR, or have made a note to look up after release. Of those, I buy a few (or, sometimes, almost all of them), and check out the rest from the library.

But with this one, I only came out of it with one book I definitely want to read ([b:We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True|34884359|We're Going to Need More Wine Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True|Gabrielle Union|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1503004181s/34884359.jpg|56136466] by Gabrielle Union), and seven that I might be interested in, but almost certainly won't buy unless I find them used or on sale.

The others I'll probably look for at the library and such were [b:Fever|34273721|Fever|Deon Meyer|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1492790509s/34273721.jpg|52017495] by Deon Meyer, [b:Little Fires Everywhere|34273236|Little Fires Everywhere|Celeste Ng|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1490351351s/34273236.jpg|52959357] by Celeste Ng (this one I'll definitely keep an eye out for), [b:The Black Painting|34888106|The Black Painting|Neil Olson|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1492607325s/34888106.jpg|56141918] by Neil Olsen, [b:Sourdough|33916024|Sourdough|Robin Sloan|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1490804609s/33916024.jpg|51600167] by Robin Sloan, [b:Stay with Me|32969150|Stay with Me|Ayobami Adebayo|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1481563711s/32969150.jpg|52027766] by Ayobami Adebayo, [b:Seven Days of Us|33357622|Seven Days of Us|Francesca Hornak|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1499074945s/33357622.jpg|54097363] by Francesca Hornak, and [b:The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief, and Compassion - Surprising Observations of a Hidden World|35697904|The Inner Life of Animals Love, Grief, and Compassion - Surprising Observations of a Hidden World|Peter Wohlleben|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1500356347s/35697904.jpg|57189746] by Peter Wohlleben. A few of those were on my radar before I read the excerpt, and I was hoping to be more excited by them, but I'm still on the fence.

So, I think these samplers are always very useful, and I love them in general, but this particular one didn't really have many books I'm interested in, and only one I'm looking forward to reading.
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review 2017-01-20 00:00
Buzz Books 2016: Young Adult Fall/Winter
Buzz Books 2016: Young Adult Fall/Winter - Publishers Lunch I've read several of the Buzz Book Publications and have greatly appreciated the reference they provided in helping decide what to read, and specifically, what to read next! The YA 2016 fall/winter edition was certainly no exception. I've been on a bit of a YA kick as of late, fueled in part by all the attention the genre gets on book tube and blogs that I follow but there are always so many new books coming out all the time in this genre, that it's hard to narrow it down to the one book I'm capable of reading at one time. I've found that often I either love ya or hate it and can usually tell with in the first chapter or two what category a book will fall into, not always, but most of the time. With that being said this handy dandy little reference is must have for me and readers like me and I've found it to be an excellent tool for helping me find excellent reads, beefing up my tbr shelf significantly, and also in steering me away from books that have gotten good reviews but either aren't what I was expecting or don't appear to be something I would enjoy. This particular edition is of 20 different fall/winter 2016 YA reads and it includes, for each novel sample featured, a brief summary, a lengthy excerpt from the books, and a small bio about the author, in that order. I believe that any and all readers who enjoy reading from the YA genre need this little gem on their bookshelf. I easily rated it 5 out of 5 stars - now that's not to say that all 20 of the featured books with samples within deserve, or will receive, 5 stars individually, but this publication as a whole, which readers the opportunity to gain insight and reference on their next read, is certainly deserving of 5 stars, in my opinion.

I received a copy of this publication from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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review 2016-07-13 00:00
Buzz Books 2016: Romance: Exclusive Excerpts from Top New Romance Titles
Buzz Books 2016: Romance: Exclusive Excerpts from Top New Romance Titles - Sarah Wendell 2.5.

I skipped about a third of this but of the ones I read I only marked three or so to read but glad they finally did one for romance.
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review 2016-06-16 19:50
Buzz Books 2016: Fall/Winter
Buzz Books 2016: Fall/Winter: Exclusive Excerpts from 40 Top New Titles - Publishers Lunch

Much like its YA counterpart, I'm always looking forward to the next Buzz Books collection. The only disadvantage of it arriving in May is that I will have to wait to January for the next one.


If you're looking for a great way to sample the upcoming books from the next season. Look no further. For reviewer convenience, many books have links in them to the request page on Netgalley. It was never easier to read book (and never harder to resist),


Whether the books in the collection will be your cup of tea depends a bit. This one wasn't the one with a whole lot of books I just couldn't resist, but that's all the better since in that case I won't have to add them to Mt TBR.


Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! 

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