Tracy Banghart

Tracy Banghart's books on Goodreads

Rebel Wing Rebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1)
reviews: 118
ratings: 199 (avg rating 4.18)

By Blood By Blood (By Blood, #1)
reviews: 50
ratings: 88 (avg rating 3.97)

Moon Child Moon Child (Prequel to By Blood)
reviews: 27
ratings: 49 (avg rating 3.86)

Storm Fall Storm Fall (Rebel Wing, #2)
reviews: 27
ratings: 41 (avg rating 4.22)

What the Sea Wants What the Sea Wants
reviews: 5
ratings: 20 (avg rating 3.10)

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    Bookanista Review: Deadly Cool

    Happy belated 4th of July! It was a quiet holiday for me. After all the stress and sadness of the last few weeks, I've been taking it easy. The puppies and I went for frozen yogurt and watched a few neighborhood fireworks on our way home. Koko and Scrabble are scaredy cats when it comes to the loud booms and crackles, so we didn't stay out for too long. Still, it was fun to see the sky light up all around us.

    In keeping with our fun beach read theme around here, this week I'm talking about DEADLY COOL by Gemma Halliday. There's nothing like a quick, entertaining murder mystery when the weather's hot! My friend Shari recommended this one, and I'm so glad she did because it was exactly what I was in the mood for.

    From Goodreads:

    Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren’t enough, now he’s depending on Hartley to clear his name. 

    But as much as Hartley wouldn’t mind seeing him squirm, she knows he’s innocent, and she’s the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school’s resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer’s next victim.

    My Thoughts

    This book has a great premise, lots of twists and turns, fun characters, and a FABULOUS main character. My favorite element is definitely Hartley's voice...she sounds authentic as a teenager and has a great sense of humor. The author didn't shy away from pop culture references, and I appreciated the "here and now" feeling of the story and the characters. 

    Each of the supporting characters is well-drawn and interesting...and it was fun to see them all through Hartley's eyes. A few of them are super cute too. ;-) I particularly liked "bad boy" hot hot!

    I had a few minor issues with the murder/mystery elements, but nothing significant enough to take away from my enjoyment of Hartley and her story. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, SOCIAL SUICIDE. If you're looking for a snappy, entertaining summer read with snark and sexy boys, this book is for you!



    Bookanista Review: The Disenchantments

    Happy Thursday, y'all! And let's not talk about that whole "it being May" thing, alright? My internal clock hasn't quite caught up yet!

    Instead, how about a book review!

    This week I want to talk about THE DISENCHANTMENTS, by Nina LaCour. I actually heard about this book through another Bookanista, Katy, when she reviewed it a while back (check out her review here). It sounded very intriguing so when it came out in stores, I headed on out and grabbed myself a copy. And YAY! I'm so glad I did!!

    (So is kitteh Mia...)

    (Mine can't be the only cat that likes to sit on books?)

    From Goodreads:

    Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev's band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she's abandoning their plans - and Colby - to start college in the fall.

    But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev's already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what's next?

    Morris Award–finalist Nina LaCour draws together the beauty and influences of music and art to brilliantly capture a group of friends on the brink of the rest of their lives.

    My Thoughts

    First, a note...the cover is GORGEOUS, and the picture above (though cute) doesn't do it full justice. Click on the photo to go to Amazon, where you can see the full cover in all its glory (and buy a copy for yourself! ;-))

    This book is so, so beautifully written. As I was reading, I felt like I was in the hands of someone who knew exactly what she was doing...building emotional resonance, creating well-rounded, interesting characters, presenting a world both beautiful and meaningful...all through her inspired, lyrical writing. 

    From a writer's perspective, this book did SO MANY things right and made it look easy!

    I loved Colby, the main character. He had such a thoughtful, engaging voice, but what really drew me in was how much I related to his situation and emotions...he's just graduated high school and is about to embark on a year abroad in Europe with his best friend. He feels the walls of his home and hometown closing in around him - he's anxious to see new things, explore the world. By the time complications threaten to thwart his plan, I was so solidly in his head and on his side, I couldn't help but read on to discover how or if he regained the peace and excitement of the first pages.

    I was intrigued by Bev because Colby was...and loved watching them circle each other and not understand each other and butt heads. Watching them try to come to some kind of understanding, try to regain something of the friendship that was breaking apart under the weight of growing up, was both engaging and heart-breaking. And, above all, real.

    Who doesn't remember what it felt like at the end of high school, when you and your friends - your best friends - were about to go your separate ways and you knew, deep down, that things would never be the same again? How hard did you hold onto all the old jokes, all the old haunts, the old memories? I remember feeling very nostalgic senior year of high school - acknowledging each "last" moment with my friends, reliving inside jokes and funny memories, thinking and talking a lot about the past and how perfect everything was. I was excited for the future, desperate for it even, and yet still looking back, knowing on some level that this moment would be when everything, everything changed.

    Nina LaCour does a fabulous job of capturing those emotions throughout the road trip Colby takes with The Disenchantments. Each moment felt authentic, emotional, satisfying and agonizing. I loved the details that made this story specific to Colby and his friends, not only a universal coming-of-age story, like how each of them had their own individual artistic lens through which they viewed the world. How the girls are in a band that isn't good but has energy and life. How tattoos play a role in their journey...each specific quirk and lovely detail reinforced the overarching themes of the book.

    Honestly, I'm not sure I can do this book justice in a review. Just rereading the end to remind myself where we left Colby had me tearing up and feeling his journey - and my own at his age - all over again. This novel is beautiful, emotional, and I really have nothing more to say except that you won't regret picking it up and living in Colby's world for a while. I highly recommend it!


    Scrabble enjoys a good book now and then.


    Check out what the rest of the Bookanistas are raving about this week!

    Christine Fonseca  revels in TO RIDE A PUCA

    Stasia Ward Kehoe gushes over GILT

    Katy Upperman adores UNDER THE NEVER SKY

    Tracy Banghart delights in THE DISENCHANTMENTS

    Gennifer Albin  celebrates SHADOW AND BONE

    Jessica Love is wowed by YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I WANT

    Shelli Johannes-Wells is crazy for CLOCKWISER


    Happy Veterans Day

    I am very happy that I live in a time when designating one specific day to honor our military doesn't feel SO necessary... On any random day, MAJOR HOTSAUCE can go out to lunch during work and find that someone has paid for his meal, often anonymously. He's frequently thanked for his service by strangers who see him in uniform or folks he strikes up conversations with in stores or when out with friends. Many businesses have military discounts, and on all three of his deployments his units were sent packages from students and various other organizations across the country. It gives me the warm fuzzies to know that strangers treat soldiers with so much consideration and support.

    But Veterans Day is still important, because it definitely wasn't always this way. There are the stories about Vietnam vets being jeered at (or worse) when they arrived home from war. Soldiers in WWI and WWII who, because of their color or religious beliefs, were not recognized properly for their accomplishments on the battlefield. 

    Every military service member, both active and former, deserves to be honored and appreciated. And those who lost their lives in defense of our country deserve to be remembered. Today and every day.

    Being an Army wife is tough sometimes, but I have so much respect for MAJOR HOTSAUCE and his compatriots. Theirs is not an easy lifestyle, and too often it requires terrible sacrifice. But this country wouldn't be the same - or as safe - without our brave men and women in uniform.

    Thank you to all active and former servicemen and women for everything you do and the sacrifices you've made to support and defend this country.

    And to my sister in law, whose husband is currently deployed, lots of love and hugs to you. He'll be home soon!

    Okay, and just for fun...there's nothing like a man(??) in uniform. ;-)

    Scrabble is a really good sport. ;-)

    (Koko is meant to be a "wounded" veteran - she wouldn't wear the uniform)

    Okay, so yeah. Now you all know MAJOR HOTSAUCE and I have, on several occasions, dressed up our dogs in his old uniforms. So. There's that.

    And now a picture of MAJOR HOTSAUCE in uniform. Cuz, you know, HE'S the actual veteran. ;-)

    Photo: David Trozzo

    Happy Veterans Day, y'all.



    Get Your Own Chair!

    Happy Hump Day! And welcome to this week's Awkward Picture Day!

    Today's picture introduces THE KIDS...aka Scrabble and Koko. 

    As a bit of background, Scrabble does NOT like baths (though he loves to swim, wade, and generally get himself soaking wet. go figure). And he knows exactly what "Do you want to take a bath?" means. So, if someone says this to him, he goes scurrying for safety...or sometimes into Koko's lap.


    (Do I sometimes say "Do you want to take a bath?" just because his reaction is so funny?...I would never.)