Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Release Day Blitz: Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake


BEYOND A DARKENED SHORE
By: Jessica Leake
Published By: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Series: None
Pages: 384
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, Princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.

The people of Mide have thankfully always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately, a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn, but the entire world.

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle the two might have a chance to save their world.

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.



~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~


Once upon a time, Jessica Leake was a psychotherapist, but even though she loved her clients, she couldn’t stop writing.

She wrote and wrote until she got her first book published, and then she wrote some more. In between all that writing she had four beautiful and hilarious children with her husband (best friend and man she’s known since high school; also hilarious), moved back to her adopted hometown of Greenville, SC, built a chicken coop, and got a bunch of chickens that poop breakfast every morning. She also has two dogs to keep the chickens in line. (The dogs made her write that last bit.)

Arcana and The Order of the Eternal Sun are available now, and Beyond a Darkened Shore, her YA debut from HarperTeen will be released in April 10, 2018.

Find Her Online:
Website | Twitter | Facebook



DON'T MISS THIS GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Blog Tour and Book Sketch: Antipodes by Michele Bacon



ANTIPODES
By: Michele Bacon
Published By: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Series: None
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: When Erin Cerise steps off her plane in Christchurch, New Zealand, she is focused intently on her mission: do something unique that will erase the mess she made of her life on her 17th birthday. She’s already lost her swim team captainship, her boyfriend Ben, and her reputation. Her mother is certain studying abroad will regain Erin’s chances of a good future. Once Erin sees her uninspiring host family and city, though, she’s not so sure.

Before Christchurch, Erin wasn’t always intense and focused. Years ago, a mission sounded like a fun adventure, and the only ivy she cared about was the stuff growing around her grandparents’ back porch at their peaceful Upper Peninsula home. When had her priorities gone upside down?

Now Erin balks at NZ’s itchy school uniforms, cold houses, and her hosts’ utter inability to pronounce her name correctly. Christchurch does boast amazing rock climbing, gorgeous scenery, and at least one guy who could make her forget Ben if she lets him. With months ahead of her, Erin slowly begins to draw on the years behind her, one step back into her memories at a time. As she rebuilds her life from the other side of the world, she finds that when life turns your world upside down and you’re far from home, every way you move takes you closer to where you came from.



First Thought After Finishing: I want to go to New Zealand, stat!

I love books with foreign settings, and I’ve always been intrigued by the beauty and lifestyle of Australia and New Zealand. I was excited to dive into Antipodes and experience a different way of life vicariously through Erin’s study abroad experience. Needless to say, this book everything I didn't know I wanted and needed at the moment.

Erin has her future all planned out. Clinch a swimming championship, be a fabulous cellist, get into Columbia, become a doctor, have a great life. Under the watchful eye of her powerful mother, Erin has worked her entire life to reach this dream. But new swimming students and one drunken night derail Erin’s plans. To save her college applications, Erin’s parents send her to study abroad. The new plan is simple: find something to wow Ivy League colleges. Instead, Erin discovers that sometimes you have to travel around the world just to find yourself.

At the beginning of this book, I did not care for Erin very much, despite (unfortunately) seeing a great deal of my former self in her. Despite having the opportunity to fix her mistake, she was focused only on what had gone wrong in her life and her parents’ worldview, which translated into being rather snobby toward and judgemental of her host family and those around her. However, it doesn’t take long for Erin to start to realize how life is different in New Zealand—slower, more relaxed. This calm gradually rubs off on Erin, and she starts to reevaluate what is really important in life.

This is a true story of self-discovery and proof of why travel is so important. She meets new friends—Jade, Marama, and Hank—who help to show her how life can be different. Honestly, I loved all of the New Zealanders that Erin meets. Her kiwi friends are the kind of friends everyone wants—welcoming and supportive without expectations. Her host family, despite having to learn how to get along with her, is warm and loving, and her younger sister is adorable. I especially enjoyed Hank’s life philosophy and hope that I am able to keep the words in mind as I move forward.

"New Zealand was changing her--or revealing parts of her she didn't know existed."

Erin’s journey resonated a great deal with me on a personal level. The lush, rich descriptions of the New Zealand landscape almost do justice to what must be breathtaking views. I cheered as Erin started to find her own voice and found something that made her truly happy—it was almost enough to make me want to go rock climbing, until I remembered that I’d likely die in such an attempt. Still, anyone who has ever had to rediscover themselves, break away from expectations, or simply wants to be transported will find something to love about this book.

Most Memorable Aspect: The New Zealand setting. I’m in love with all of the scenery described!




~ ~ ~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~ ~ ~


I was born in Trumbull County, the only square county in Ohio, where books were my favorite means of escaping an unhappy childhood. Writing was my transparent attempt to create the things I craved: big happy families, international adventures and unconditional friendship. From a young age, I was drawn to people’s stories, and I still want to know how you met your best friend or fell in love with your partner.

In high school, I embraced my inner geek and wrote my first novel. In college, there were short stories and still more novels. I graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in English, with concentrations in critical theory and creative writing.

Full-time work sapped my creative brain for several years, but my professional life was one of reinvention. In state government, business management consulting, and nonprofit fundraising, I adapted easily and absorbed the languages of different professions. My last paying job was as an independent fundraising consultant for nonprofit organizations. That was seven years ago.

Since then, I have been writing and traveling (and, let's be honest, chasing down small people who don't like to wear clothes). I've traveled to all 50 states and dozens of other countries, always collecting pieces of characters and ideas for stories. I recently spent a year on sabbatical in Christchurch, New Zealand, where I may have left my heart at Ilam School. Now that we've settled back in the States, I'm writing for adults and young adults, exploring the Pacific Northwest, and baking like a fiend. (You'd thinking baking would be the same everywhere, but it's not. Something is different about kiwi butter.)

When an idea strikes, I scrawl sweeping plot outlines, character idiosyncrasies, and ideas for scenes on the nearest blank spot of paper. My current manuscript was born of those torn slips of paper, used envelopes, lollipop wrappers, fuel receipts and--once--that little paper bit that keeps a nursing pad sticky until it's time to use it. My manuscripts are better than the quality of papers where they began. Promise.

Outside of writing, I am a tabletop game enthusiast, passionate skier, and lover of prime numbers. I also am a mentor at the Moving Words Writing Clinic, and a freelance copyeditor.

I live in Seattle with my husband and three growing children.

Find Her Online:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram


~ SEE THE FULL TOUR SCHEDULE ~

Week One:
3/26/18 - Pretty Deadly Reviews - Interview
3/26/18 - Here's to Happy Endings - Review

3/27/18 - Katie's Bookaholic Rambling Reviews - Excerpt
3/27/18 - Lattes & Paperbacks - Review

3/28/18 - Wonderstruck - Review
3/28/18 - Portrait of a Book - Review

3/29/18 - Bookhounds YA - Interview
3/29/18 - Shelf Rider - Review

3/30/18 - The Reading Life - Excerpt
3/30/18 - RhythmicBooktrovert - Review

Week Two:
4/2/18 - YA Books Central - Interview
4/2/18 - Blushing Bibliophile - Review

4/3/18 - Lilly's Book World - Review
4/3/18 - MetalPhantasmReads - Review

4/4/18 - Caffeine and Composition - Review
4/4/18 - Two Points of Interest - Review

4/5/18 - The Infinity Words - Review
4/5/18 - Novel Novice - Guest Post

4/6/18 - Paulette's Papers - Excerpt
4/6/18 - Books Are Love - Review



~ DON'T MISS THIS GIVEAWAY! ~

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Blog Tour and Book Sketch: Cold Hard Truth by Anne Greenwood Brown



COLD HARD TRUTH
By: Anne Greenwood Brown
Published By: Albert Whitman Company
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Series: None
Pages: 371
Genre: Contemporary
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Emmie O’Brien is a former good girl now on the fringe. She spent a crazy year involved with Nick, her mom’s drug dealer; after her arrest she was lucky to go back to her old life. But she’s haunted by the choices she made—first, to be with Nick, and then later, to testify against him. Max Shepherd is a senior varsity hockey player with serious anger issues. His grief over the death of his girlfriend causes him to see injustice wherever he looks. When they meet in community service, Max is drawn to Emmie’s calm energy, but Emmie knows better than to get too close to anyone. When friends of Nick show up seeking revenge, Emmie is forced to come to terms with her past, while Max has to control his protective instincts. They must trust one another, especially when Emmie’s situation takes a dangerous turn.


First Thought After Finishing - I hope there is a companion novel!

I wanted to read this book because it involved a hockey player and I’m a slight (read: huge) hockey fan. And, I admit it, I wanted to live vicariously through the girl dating a player. But this story was even more than just a romance—it was a story of learning to trust you and finding someone who completes you.

Emmie has been dealt a rough hand in life. After a year living with her meth-addict mother, doing anything she could to make sure her mother didn’t suffer from withdrawals, Emmie finds herself in trouble with the law and back living with her father. Only trouble didn’t stay away just because Emmie left. Enter Max, who has some baggage of his own. When they meet on their community service crew, the attraction is undeniable. But is that enough to overcome the truth they’re both trying to hide?

Emmie is a tough, no-nonsense girl who doesn’t want anyone to know that she’s not okay. She’s used to taking care of herself and her mother with a support network that was anything but supportive. As an adult reading this, my heart broke for a teenager who had to live like this. As much as Emmie wants to be free, she also can’t quite shake the guilt she feels from testifying against Nick (her mother’s dealer) and leaving her mom alone. It was hard for Emmie to trust again, but with every new interaction, I only wanted the best for her.

Then there is Max, struggling under guilt of his own and trying to learn how to control his anger. At first, Max was a great example of when a protective guy can go too far. Still, despite what Max had suffered, wanted to care about someone else. He recognized something special in Emmie and wanted to break through her walls, and isn’t that what every girl wants? Once again, he was someone I just wanted to hug.

Max (and later Emmie) has a great group of friends, and I loved watching them interact together. It was really fun to see behind-the-scenes glimpses of a hockey team. (I’d love to be a fly on the wall in my team’s locker room just to know what really happens.) The girls were also accepting of Emmie and Marissa, and that was refreshing to see.

Throughout the book, it wasn’t too difficult to guess at the truths both Emmie and Max were hiding, but I still wanted them to trust each other enough to actually share them. Honestly, I wanted to see so much more emotions from both of them. This book had the potential to be a complete tearjerker, but something kept me from fully giving in to that. The story was missing an element of depth and complexity that would have pushed this book to a new emotional level. Despite that, I sound myself turning pages quickly, as it was not hard to get drawn into the story. I would also love to see companion novels with this group of friends. More hockey books are always a good thing!

Most Memorable Aspect: Emmie’s Story and the fun of the hockey teammates.




~ ~ ~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~ ~ ~


Anne Greenwood Brown lives in Minnesota with her patient husband and three hilarious children. She is the author of the following Young Adult novels:
COLD HARD TRUTH (contemporary/romance);
GIRL LAST SEEN (contemporary/suspense); and the paranormal mermaid trilogy: LIES BENEATH, DEEP BETRAYAL, PROMISE BOUND. She also writes adult romance under the name A.S. Green.

Find Her Online:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram


~ SEE THE FULL TOUR SCHEDULE ~

Week One:
3/26/18 - Angelic Book Reviews - Excerpt
3/27/18 - Portrait of a Book - Review
3/28/18 - Bookhounds YA - Interview
3/29/18 - The Desert Bibliophile - Interview
3/30/18 - Here's to Happy Endings - Review

Week Two:
4/2/18 - Wonderstruck - Review
4/3/18 - Adventures Thru Wonderland - Review
4/4/18 - Falling for YA - Review
4/5/18 - Literary Meanderings - Interview
4/6/18 - Eli to the Nth - Review


~ DON'T MISS THIS GIVEAWAY! ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Book Sketch: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones


WINTERSONG
By: S. Jae-Jones
Published By: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Series: Wintersong
Pages: 436
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.



First Thought After Finishing: Honestly, I still don’t know how I feel! 

From the first time I heard about it, Wintersong seemed like the perfect book. With its historical German setting, the Erlkonig lore, and all of the references to music, I knew that this book would make an impression, and it’s definitely been on my mind since I read the last page.

Liesl has grown up hearing her grandmother’s stories of the Goblin King. As a child, she fancied him her friend, but then she was forced to grow up and help her family stay together. A musician and dreamer at heart, Liesl has had to sacrifice much of her identity in the face of her sister Kathe’s beauty and her brother Josef’s musical talent. But when legends of the Goblin King resurface as more reality than dream, Liesl finds herself trying to navigate Der Erlkonig’s underground world to save her sister...but she may just lose her heart in the process.

"'Life,' he said softly, 'is more than flesh. Your body is a candle, your soul the flame. The longer I burn the candle...'

He did not finish.

'A candle unused is nothing but wax and wick,' I said. 'I would rather light the flame, knowing it will go out, than sit forever in darkness.'"


From the beginning of the story, I felt an immediate kinship with Liesl. She was a musician at heart who had to shoulder responsibilities other though music, though she never forgot the pull of the song. Liesl’s identity is wrapped up in her family, and throughout this book, she is rediscovering who she is as an individual. Enter the Goblin King, who fuels Liesl’s musical dreams. S. Jae-Jones’s reimagining of Der Erlkonig’s character honored the original story while creating something beautifully unique. From the descriptions of the Underground to its inhabitant creatures, the world was thoroughly infused with magic. Beyond this, I loved reading the shy, at times unsettling, but always tender romance that blossomed between the two. Liesl may have agreed to become the Goblin Queen, but their relationship still had a slow burn that made the story that much more intense. Like Liesl, I wanted to discover all of Der Erlkonig’s secrets and to see what happened when they both became the best version of themselves.

I’ve been thinking for some time about how to adequately describe the one sticking point I had with this book. Several times LIesl credited her intimacy with the Goblin King with helping her to become authentic and free, and that struck a dissonant chord. I wish she would have chosen that path because she wanted to share herself rather than find herself.

Regardless of the reason, the emotional journey of Liesl and Der Erlkonig was nothing short of magical. I cannot wait to read the second installment of this story and discover the future for them both.

Most Memorable Aspect: The musical references and lush writing style.




Thursday, February 1, 2018

Book Sketch: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


SIX OF CROWS
By: Leigh Bardugo
Published By: Henry Holt & Company
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Series: Six of Crows
Pages: 452
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he'll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done - and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable - if they don't kill each other first.



First Thought After Finishing: WOW! I need more now!

Even though Six of Crows has been out for a while, I hadn’t gotten around to reading it because I’m about 382,746,988 (yes, that’s an EXACT count) books behind on my TBR pile. I actually started listening to this book on a trip with my family, and may I just say that the audiobook is phenomenal! Needless to say, I was immediately sucked into the story and continued to read furiously once out of the car.

Set in the Grishaverse, Six of Crows tells the story of Kaz “Dirtyhands” Brekker and his exploits in Ketterdam. Known for his shrewd cunning and ruthless deeds, he has become the de facto leader of The Dregs, one of Ketterdam’s rival gangs. After (unknowingly) displaying his skills to a council member, he is approached with an impossible proposition: to rescue one of the most-wanted people from the most secure place in the land. Together with a hand-picked team, Kaz sets out on what might well be a suicide mission, but one that offers riches only dreamed of if he succeeds.

If it’s not obvious, I love Kaz. He definitely qualifies for book-boyfriend status. He has a troubled past—because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a bad boy with a troubled past?—but I don’t love him for the sympathy angle. Kaz is a schemer and a visionary. How could anyone help but fall for his skill with tactical maneuvers and the way he takes the weight of everything onto himself? If that sounds unromantic, it might be because Kaz struggles with emotions himself.

Enter Inej, the Wraith. She might technically be second to Kaz, but she earned her reputation with skills that Kaz could never have. Inej is the master of stealth and gathering secrets, which fuel many of Kaz’s plans. I loved Inej’s strength and her devotion to her Suli saints even in the face of everything that said she had no reason to believe in the good anymore. At this point, I hardly think it’s a spoiler to say that everyone knows she and Kaz should be together, but as with all good stories, it could hardly be that easy.

The rest of the cast of characters is also wonderful. From Nina, who embraces who she is and is willing to make sacrifices for those she loves, to Mathias, the strong, stoic, somewhat silent type, who shows what you have to risk to pursue what’s right, to Wylan and Jesper, who bring much-needed comedic relief but are no less heroes in their own right. I loved this subsection of the Dregs and would read about any of their adventures any day.

Six of Crows might be a fantasy, but it’s also an action-packed thriller. Plot twists came with every turn of the page, but the conversations and development of the characters were woven so thoroughly into the adventure that I never felt like anything was sacrificed. The only thing that bothered me (aside from wanting MORE) was the fact that Kaz was supposed to be 17. I know it’s YA, and I know it’s fantasy, but in this book it bothered me more than normal, because his character just seemed to be so much older. But all of my feelings on that subject will be in their own post soon.

With every book she writes in the Grishaverse, Leigh Bardugo proves why she is a storytelling sorceress. “Loved” hardly seems to be a sufficient description for how I felt about this story and these characters. It has earned a place on my favorites shelf, and I’m only delaying reading Crooked Kingdom because I want the magic of the story to last a little longer. But I have no doubt it will be just as magical as Six of Crows.

Most Memorable Aspect: Kaz. Inej. All of the Dregs.




Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Teaser Tuesday (118)



I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Books and a Beat. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!




"Like her grandfather, Kyra wanted to study storytelling. She collected the town's myths and legends, and she was always curious about what lay beyond. But Lost is a town that thrives on secrets, and in Kyra, all of Lost's secrets lay exposed."


Taken from pg. 16 of BEFORE I LET GO
by Marieke Nijkamp

Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Book Sketch: Rules of Rain by Leah Scheier


RULES OF RAIN
By: Leah Scheier
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Series: None
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: A dramatic new novel about the bond between a teen and her twin brother.

Rain has taken care of Ethan all of her life. Before she even knew what autism meant, she's been her twin brother's connection to the hostile world around him. She's always prepared—when her father abandons them, when her mother gets sick, when Ethan is tortured by bullies from school—Rain is the reliable, stable one holding them all together. She's both cautious carer and mad chef, preparing customized meals for her family and posting crazy recipes on her cooking blog.

Each day with Ethan is unvarying and predictable, and she's sure that nothing will ever change—until one night when her world is turned upside down by a mistake she can't take back. As her new romance with her long-time crush and her carefully constructed life begins to unravel, she discovers that the fragile brother whom she's always protected has grown into a young man who no longer needs her. And now, for the first time, she finds that she needs him.



First Thoughts After Finishing: What a rollercoaster!

Initially I was drawn to the synopsis of this book because it features a character with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I teach at a school for autistic children, so I was curious to see how an autistic teenager would be represented in literature. Add to that a neurotypical twin and what seemed like a dramatic contemporary plotline, and I was sold. And Leah Scheier did not disappoint.

For as long as Rain can remember, she’s been taking care of her family. Her twin Ethan has autism, and she has been his support and caretaker, helping him navigate safely through the world. When he couldn’t talk or didn’t understand why something was happening, she was there to fix things. When Ethan became gluten-free, she started inventing new recipes and blogging about them. Rain thinks she has her family’s entire future mapped out. But Ethan, who never changes, seems to be changing. And one misstep has her questioning what she thinks. And if Rain isn’t holding everything together, who will?

Rules of Rain isn’t the kind of book that you fly through, but it is the kind of book that draws you in and doesn’t let you go. I started reading this on vacation, and I found myself wanting to steal moments to read to see how everything developed. This book is about relationships: Rain and Ethan, obviously; Rain and her parents (her mother is dysfunctional, to put it mildly), Rain and her crush, which unfolds in an interesting way, and Rain and her friends, who are purely awesome. I would have loved to have seen more from her friends, particularly Hope. She is completely endearing and a great best friend to Rain, and I wish that we had been able to read more of her storyline.

Then there is Ethan and the treatment of ASD. Excuse me while I hop onto my soapbox for a moment. There’s a saying about autism: If you’ve met one person with autism, then you’ve met one person with autism. Each person is different, which is why it’s considered a spectrum. Still, certain tendencies are common. I thought Ethan’s manifestation of autism was handled very well; it was most peoples’ treatment of Ethan that bothered me. People with autism shouldn’t be ridiculed for it any more than people should tease others who are different. Moreover, autism isn’t a disease to be “fixed” or “cured.” It’s just a different approach to the world. Autistic individuals are still capable of leading richly fulfilling lives complete with any experiences they want. And with that said, I’ll hop down now.

I loved reading about the world from Ethan’s point of view. Even after working with autistic individuals for a number of years, it’s still not always possible to fathom how their brain works, but it is fascinating to explore. In a way, this book was as much Ethan’s journey as Rain’s, and I was cheering for him every step of the way. I would love to know what happens next for him.

Overall, this book took me through every emotion, and I never stopped caring about the characters or where they would end up. Nothing was one-sided, and that was such a refreshingly honest depiction of real life. I look forward to reading more books from this author!

Most Memorable Aspect: The treatment of ASD.




Wednesday, January 17, 2018

"Waiting on" Wednesday


"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



This week's selection is:

Markswoman
By: Mati Rehtrota
Published By: Harper Voyager
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, a highly trained sisterhood of elite warriors armed with telepathic blades. Guided by a strict code of conduct, Kyra and the other Orders are sworn to protect the people of Asiana. But to be a Markswoman, an acolyte must repudiate her former life completely. Kyra has pledged to do so, yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her dead family.

When Kyra’s beloved mentor dies in mysterious circumstances, and Tamsyn, the powerful, dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. Using one of the strange Transport Hubs that are remnants of Asiana’s long-lost past, she finds herself in the unforgiving wilderness of desert that is home to the Order of Khur, the only Order composed of men. Among them is Rustan, a young, disillusioned Marksman whom she soon befriends.

Kyra is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof. And if she fails to find it, fails in her quest to keep her beloved Order from following Tamsyn down a dark path, it could spell the beginning of the end for Kyra--and for Asiana.

But what she doesn’t realize is that the line between justice and vengeance is razor thin . . . thin as the blade of a knife.




Why it's Wanted:

Epic fantasy is my favorite genre! I love the idea of a sisterhood, telepathic blades, and adventure combined with danger. I can't wait to see how this turns out!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Teaser Tuesday (117)



I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Books and a Beat. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!




"I do not know what to call him, but I cry out his name. My fingers reach, but he is gone."


Taken from pg. 137 of WINTERSONG
by S. Jae-Jones

Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Book Sketch: Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George


SPEAK EASY, SPEAK LOVE
By: McKelle George
Published By: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Series: None
Pages: 368
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.

Hilariously clever and utterly charming, McKelle George’s debut novel is full of intrigue and 1920s charm. For fans of Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Anna Godbersen.



First Thought After Finishing: I love Shakespeare retellings and the excitement of the Roaring Twenties, and this book captured the best of both worlds!

Much Ado About Nothing is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, so I was very excited to read this historical version. After hearing McKelle George read from the book at her signing, I was sure the book would be fully of snappy dialogue and touching moments, and the story did not disappoint. The adventures of Beatrice and Benedick were transformed in this new setting and made for lively reading.

Beatrice, poor yet feisty, dreams of being a doctor; Benedick, privileged but disenchanted, dreams of being a writer. When their paths first cross thanks to a speakeasy, quick-witted barbs take the place of flirtation as they try to help keep the speakeasy alive. In the midst of bootlegging and hosting parties, the friends can’t help but notice the romantic tension between Beatrice and Benedick and decide to intervene. In this comedy of errors, one can’t help but be entertained.

As much as I love fantasy, sometimes opening a window to the past is a wonderful escape. With this novel, I enjoyed the best of life in the twenties, from the dangerous excitement of the speakeasies to the lazy days of summer spent with friends. The schemes that transpired as well as wanting to know the fate of Hey Nonny Nonny kept me turning pages. Furthermore, the romantic tension wasn’t isolated to Beatrice and Benedick. The story between John and Maggie was one that I found myself drawn to as I hoped for happiness for everyone.

One of my other favorite things about this book was the writing style. Lush and descriptive, with just the right amount of snappy dialogue, this book captured the romanticized aspects of the ‘20s. It was refreshing to read such a unique voice, and I’m eager to see what she writes next!

Most Memorable Aspect: The witty repartee and slow-building tension between Beatrice and Benedick.




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