At My Bookstore (New Feature!)

Ever been to your bookstore and seen a book on the shelf that you've never really heard anything about before? Well I don't know about you, but that happens to me all the time! I always like to read a few reviews before I purchase a book so I can get a better idea of if I'll enjoy it or not. So enter this new feature! Here I'll show you two books I found while browsing the shelves at my bookstore that I thought sounded awesome, but just wanted to know more about.

First I'll say what grabbed my attention, then link to two reviews of the book written by fellow book bloggers and finally I'll give my final verdict on whether or not I'm going to read the book. 

Devine Intervention 
Martha Brockenbrough
Published June 21, 2012
Amazon - Goodreads

There is a great legend of the guardian angel who traveled across time and space for the human girl he loved, slaying those who would threaten her with a gleaming sword made of heavenly light.

This is not that story.

Jerome Hancock is Heidi Devine's guardian angel. Sort of. He's more of an angel trainee, in heaven's soul-rehabilitation program for wayward teens. And he's just about to get kicked out for having too many absences and for violating too many of the Ten Commandments for the Dead.

Heidi, meanwhile, is a high school junior who dreams of being an artist, but has been drafted onto her basketball team because she's taller than many a grown man. For as long as she can remember, she's heard a voice in her head - one that sings Lynyrd Skynyrd, offers up bad advice, and yet is company during those hours she feels most alone.

When the unthinkable happens, these two lost souls must figure out where they went wrong and whether they can make things right before Heidi's time is up and her soul is lost forever.

Martha Brockenbrough's debut novel is hilarious, heartbreaking, and hopeful, with a sense of humor that's wicked as hell, and writing that's just heavenly.

What Grabbed My Interest
Doesn't this book sound absolutely amazing?! I mean a teenage boy angel-in-training who's in a soul-rehabilitation program in heaven, how awesome is that!? I love that Heidi can hear Jerome's singing in her head and has him for company in lonely times. I honestly almost picked this book up on the spot, but it being a hard cover, making it fairly expensive, I decided to check out what my fellow bloggers had to say.

Megan from Book Brats rated it 5/5
"One of my favorite books of 2012 so far, DEVINE INTERVENTION is laugh out loud funny and thought provoking in one little package. About the choices we make and the things we can do to make up for mistakes, it is a can't miss YA debut." 

Wendy from Mocha Latte Reads rated it 4/5
"Hilarious, heartbreaking, and a total eye-opener, Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough is an absolute must read!"

Final Verdict
I'm totally buying this one next time I'm at my bookstore! I definitely could use a hilarious book that gets my mind going!

Zoe Letting Go
Nora Price
Published June 14, 2012
Amazon - Goodreads

A girl's letters to her best friend reveal two lives derailed by anorexia in this haunting debut that's Wintergirls meets The Sixth Sense.

It's not a hospital, a spa, or an institution. That's what they told me--that's what the brochures promised.

But no matter what the brochures promised, Zoe finds that Twin Birch is a place for girls with a penchant for harming themselves. Through journal entries and letters to her best friend, Elise, she tries to understand why she was brought there, and how she could possibly belong in a place like this. But Zoe's letters to Elise remain unanswered. She wonders why her best friend would cut her off without a word, reliving memory after memory of their beautiful, rocky, inescapable friendship. But everyone has secrets--including Zoe--and as her own fragile mental state hangs in the balance, she must finally learn to come to terms with what happened to Elise before she's able to let go.

Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Girl, Interrupted will race through this hauntingly emotional debut novel with the pacing of a psychological thriller.

What Grabbed My Interest
I love that this book is written in journal entries and letter to her mysterious friend Elsie. Also it being a psychological thriller totally draws me in! The summary makes me super curious to see if Elsie is real or just a figment of Zoe's imagination and also uncovered what happened in her past.

Juhina from Maji's Bookshelf rated it 3.5/5
"Nora Price just knew exactly what to do to keep me reading, and while I felt frustrated at times because I was just confused on what Zoe's problem was, the ending shed some light on the problem. However I still felt that I needed more explanations on some aspect of Zoe's behavior..."

Nina from Nina Reads rated it 5/5
"Zoe Letting Go managed to keep the story flowing between the letters and journal entries, and by the end of the story I felt so close to Zoe that I didn’t want to leave her after reading the last page."

Final Verdict
I'm most likely going to check Zoe Letting Go out of my library. I love that the story deals with tough issues, but am a little concerned with some lose ends not being tied up.

Since this is the very first At My Bookstore post I'm still not certain if I'll make this a weekly or just an every-so-often post and if I'll only do one book per post. As of now I'm leaning more towards weekly and one book a week, but I'd love to hear your thoughts!

If you'd like to join in, grab the button above and link your post in the comments so we can stop on by!

Author Interview: Gwendolyn Heasley (A Long Way from You)

Can you give us three words to describe the main character, Kitsy?
Peppy, brave, kind

Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Yes. I've had friends say that I remind them of both my main characters. To me, the interesting part of life is that we're dynamic and not static. We're capable of great change and situation most certainly affects character. I've acted bratty like Corrinne but I've also acted selfless like Kitsy too.

In Where I Belong the main character, Corrinne, moves from New York to small town Texas. In A Long Way from You Kitsy leaves Texas for the big city. Which setting did you prefer writing about more: Broken Spoke or New York City?
I got to world build for Broken Spoke as it's a fictional place, so I feel very attached to it since I created it. But for the past four years, NYC has been my home so I'll call it a tie.

Kitsy is an incredible artist. Other than writing, do you have any other special talents?
I can't sing, dance or do any visual art :( but it was fun to be a potter, sketcher and photographer via Kitsy. What a treat to get to create talented characters even if I can't do all the amazing things they do!
I don't have special talents that I know of sadly but I'm hoping to discover one soon!

Did you have a playlist while writing A Long Way from You? If so, could you share a few songs with us?
The Country hits station on Pandora got a lot of playing time. As for artists, Kelly Clarkson and Taylor Swift were the most influential!!! On my blog on, I have links to two playlists if anyone wants to check them out!

Are there any other writing projects that you're working on that we can look forward to in the future?
I'm working on my third contemporary YA novel for Harper Teen. It's going to be about mothers and daughters and will be a departure from the first two novels. And I'm writing a picture book about Christmas that I hope will sell!

Thank you so much for stopping by, Gwendolyn! I have absolutely fallen in love with Kitsy's story!

Find Gwendolyn Heasley on...

Check out A Long Way from You on Amazon - Goodreads

You can find my review of A Long Way from You here

Review: A Long Way from You by Gwendolyn Heasley

Received finished copy for review.
Published June 5, 2012
Amazon - Goodreads

For too long, Kitsy has had to satisfy her dreams of becoming a real artist by giving her friends makeovers before prom. So when her best friend Corrinne's family offers to sponsor her for a summer art course in New York City, Kitsy bids a temporary good-bye to Texas to say hello to the West Village.

   Between navigating the subway and the New Yorkers--namely, the Art Boy who has a nice trick of getting under her skin--Kitsy knows that this summer is going to be about a "lot" more than figure drawing.

The first thing that grabbed me about A Long Way from You was the killer summary. I loved that the main character, Kitsy Kidd, was from small town Broken Spoke and heads to the busy New York City to take a summer art class. I could easily connect with Kitsy because I'm from a tiny town and haven't really been exposed to any big cities, so Kitsy's reactions to NYC felt really honest and like how I'd react if I were in that situation.

I also adored all of the art in this book! Heasley gave us an awesome look inside NYC's Museum of Modern Art and reading about Kitsy's reaction to the beautiful paintings that surrounded her made me fall in love with art even more. It was really awesome to watch Kitsy grow, not only into her own person, but also as an artist. I loved how her art professor wasn't the most likable guy at times, but he still taught her a great lesson in the end.

The setting was flawless. It was amazingly described and I could really visualize myself waling the streets of New York with Kitsy, which is pretty awesome considering I've never been east of Ohio! I've never really thought about traveling until I read A Long Way for You, but like Kitsy, I learned that the world has so much to offer and I'm now dying to see it all!

Some unfortunate things happen in the book, but I felt they were necessary and very realistic. I found myself liking Kitsy even more after seeing how she handled the tough situations and loved how the negatives turn into positives.

The ending was beautiful. Thanks to Heasleys amazing descriptions of Kitsy's artwork and surroundings. I loved where all of the characters ended up and felt really lucky that I was able to go on this life-changing adventure with Kitsy.

Awesome Quote:
"Driving down the dirt road sounds like more than a familiar sound track. It feels like a lullaby."

Characters: 4/5
Creativity: 4/5
Voice: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Impact: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

I still haven't read Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley, which is about Kitsy's best friend Corrinne moving to Broken Spoke, but now after reading Along Way From You I will definitely be picking it up soon! This book had the perfect mixture of art, adventure and self discovery. I can't wait to see what Heasley comes out with next.