Saturday Showcase (October 25)

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Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

This week’s featured book is The Diviners by Libba Bray.

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

The Diviners is beautifully written and atmospheric, and takes place in one of my favourite time periods: the Roaring Twenties. It’s also wonderfully creepy: from serial killers to demonic possessions, it’s the perfect choice for a Halloween read.

What are some of your favourite underrated books? Leave a list in the comments below.
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Saturday Showcase (September 20)

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Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

This week’s featured book is The Theory of Everything by Kari Luna.

One part Libba Bray’s GOING BOVINE, two parts String Theory, and three parts love story equals a whimsical novel that will change the way you think about the world.

Sophie Sophia is obsessed with music from the late eighties. She also has an eccentric physicist father who sometimes vanishes for days and sees things other people don’t see. But when he disappears for good and Sophie’s mom moves them from Brooklyn, New York, to Havencrest, Illinois, for a fresh start, things take a turn for the weird. Sophie starts seeing things, like marching band pandas, just like her dad.

Guided by Walt, her shaman panda, and her new (human) friend named Finny, Sophie is determined to find her father and figure out her visions, once and for all. So she travels back to where it began—New York City and NYU’s physics department. As she discovers more about her dad’s research on M-theory and her father himself, Sophie opens her eyes to the world’s infinite possibilities—and her heart to love.

The Theory of Everything is adorably quirky, and deals with mental illness in an inventive yet sensitive way – complete with discussions on M-theory, and giant shaman pandas.

What are some of your favourite underrated books? Leave a list in the comments below.
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Saturday Showcase (September 6)

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Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

This week’s featured book is The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale.

The rules governing middle school are often a mystery, but for Eric Haskins, they’re a mystery he needs to solve, and fast. He’s a normal, average kid, until sixth grade starts. For some inexplicable reason, the class bully and his pack make Eric the Grunt. Even his best friend since first grade turns on him. Eric can’t figure out why he’s the Grunt until he hears about the Bully Book, a cryptic guide that teaches you how to “make trouble without getting in trouble, rule the school and be the man” and how to select the Grunt-the kid who will become the lowest of the low.

Eric Haskins may be this year’s Grunt for now, but he’s determined not to stay at the bottom of the social ladder forever. Hilarious and compelling, The Bully Book is a must-read for every tween, tween parent, librarian and educator!

Although it’s a middle grade read, The Bully Book is for everyone as it covers a wide range of issues – bullying, peer pressure, the bystander effect – in an interesting, powerful, thought-provoking manner. I may have picked it up for Team Starkid, but I definitely kept reading for the captivating storyline.

What are some of your favourite underrated books? Leave a list in the comments below.
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Saturday Showcase (August 23)

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Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

This week’s featured book is Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, which I’ve reviewed here.

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations.

As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

As she awaits the judge’s decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine…

Dangerous Girls is one of the most excellent psychological thrillers I’ve ever read. It’s enthralling, twisted, and unpredictable — and I loved absolutely every minute of it.

What are some of your favourite underrated books? Leave a list in the comments below.
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Saturday Showcase (July 26)

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Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

This week’s featured book is Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer.

Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren’t the most popular girls in school, they aren’t too worried. They know their real lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents)! But when an unexpected event shows them they’re missing out on the full high school experience, it’s time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge—and they will totally rock it.

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she’ll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed. It could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes—until now.

These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want—but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . .

Smart Girls Get What They Want is a fluffy, fun read filled with positive female friendships and discussions on identity and stepping outside of your comfort zone. It’s realistic, cute, and oh so relatable.

What are some of your favourite underrated books? Leave a list in the comments below.
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Saturday Showcase (July 5)

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Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

This week’s featured book is How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer.

From Sarah Strohmeyer, author of Smart Girls Get What They Want, comes this romantic comedy about one girl’s summer job from hell. Think The Devil Wears Prada set in Disney World.

When cousins Zoe and Jess land summer internships at the Fairyland Kingdom theme park, they are sure they’ve hit the jackpot. With perks like hot Abercrombie-like Prince Charmings and a chance to win the coveted $25,000 Dream & Do grant, what more could a girl want?

Once Zoe arrives, however, she’s assigned to serve “The Queen”-Fairyland’s boss from hell. From spoon-feeding her evil lapdog caviar, to fetching midnight sleeping tonics, Zoe fears she might not have what it takes to survive the summer, much less win the money.

Soon backstabbing interns, a runaway Cinderella, and cutthroat competition make Zoe’s job more like a nightmare than a fairy tale. What will happen when Zoe is forced to choose between serving The Queen and saving the prince of her dreams?

How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True is a cute, fluffy entertaining read filled with Disney princes and a bit of a mystery. It’s one of the books that helped me become a fan of contemporary YA (which I now love), thanks to its somewhat ridiculous storyline and absolutely adorable romance.

What are some of your favourite underrated books? Leave a list in the comments below.
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Saturday Showcase (April 26)

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Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

This week’s featured book is Nevermore by Kelly Creagh.

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.

At first glance, Nevermore seems like your typical story involving “star-crossed lovers,” however there’s so much more to it. Dark paranormal forces that are inspired by Poe’s works and his tortured life are at play, resulting in a creepy mystery that will inspire you to pick up “The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe” right away.

What are some of your favourite underrated books? Leave a list in the comments below.
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Saturday Showcase (April 19)

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Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

This week’s featured book is The Curiosities by Brenna Yovanoff, Maggie Stiefvater, and Tessa Gratton.

From acclaimed YA authors Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff comes The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories.

– A vampire locked in a cage in the basement, for good luck.
– Bad guys, clever girls, and the various reasons why the guys have to stop breathing.
– A world where fires never go out (with references to vanilla ice cream).

These are but a few of the curiosities collected in this volume of short stories by three acclaimed practitioners of paranormal fiction.

But The Curiosities is more than the stories. Since 2008, Maggie, Tessa, and Brenna have posted more than 250 works of short fiction to their website merryfates.com. Their goal was simple: create a space for experimentation and improvisation in their writing—all in public and without a backspace key. In that spirit, The Curiosities includes the stories and each author’s comments, critiques, and kudos in the margins. Think of it as a guided tour of the creative processes of three acclaimed authors.

So, are you curious now?

The Curiosities is a collection of short stories, complete with notes from the author that discuss their inspiration for the story, some of the reasons why they chose certain ideas, and what they were hoping to accomplish with it. I loved getting a glimpse into Maggie, Tessa, and Brenna’s heads – not only to help me with my own writing, but to help me appreciate theirs even more. And the stories themselves were equal parts creepy, confusing, and enthralling, which I’ve come to expect from these lovely authors.

What are some of your favourite underrated books? Leave a list in the comments below.
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Saturday Showcase (March 29)

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Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

This week’s featured book is Pantomime by Laura Lam.

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilization long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

Pantomime is one of those books where going in with as little information as possible makes for a much more interesting read. As a result, all I’ll really say about it is that it’s a unique coming of age story filled with unexpected twists and an enchanting circus. And that I definitely recommend giving it a try.

What are some of your favourite underrated books? Leave a list in the comments below.
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Saturday Showcase (March 22)

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Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

This week’s featured book is Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty.

When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad’s obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany’s lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?

A fresh, funny, utterly compelling fiction debut by first-time novelist Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts is an insightful, true-to-life look at Jessica’s predicament as she embarks on another year of teenage torment–from the dark days of Hope’s departure through her months as a type-A personality turned insomniac to her completely mixed-up feelings about Marcus Flutie, the intelligent and mysterious “Dreg” who works his way into her heart. Like a John Hughes for the twenty-first century, Megan McCafferty taps into the inherent humor and drama of the teen experience. This poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don’t have to go back and grow up all over again.

Even though I’ve only read the first two books in this series, I can already say that it’s going to be a favourite of mine. Jessica Darling’s voice is so compelling and hilarious, and sometimes just crazy – a combination that kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning. And there’s a surprisingly loveable bad boy, which is definitely a plus.

What are some of your favourite underrated books? Leave a list in the comments below.
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