Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Blog Tour: Of Fire and Stars


Title: Of Fire and Stars
Author: Audrey Coulthurst
Expected publication: November 22nd 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Source: eArc via Netgalley courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other. "

Thoughts: A standalone fantasy novel? Really? Okay, I'm in. The cover brought my attention to the novel, the synopsis got me invested, and the overall promise of something amazing is why I decided to pick this one up. While it's a cute story and I liked it, I can't say full heartedly that I loved it.

What I loved about the novel: Denna and Mare. I absolutely adored these two. If you're a fan of strong heroines with a lot to offer, this is the book for you. They're very much opposites in a sense, but they also fit well together. Denna is training to be queen of Mynarian, and as most leaders or anyone how has ever tried to work in a group project knows, there will always be people who clash, argue, or simply don't appreciate your opinion. Enter Mare. Mare is Denna's fiancé's sister and her riding instructor. They just click, and I loved reading their love story unfold. It was super cute and definitely put a smile on my face. That's not to say it doesn't come with its own set of complications (like every relationship on the planet), but the times where things were great is what got me through this book

Things I didn't love about the novel: Denna and Mare's relationship was pretty much the only pro for me. The rest of the novel just felt rather bland and very slow-moving. I guess I just expected more. I wanted more action, world building, character building, something, anything!

I felt like the secondary characters were just there to be there, and was it just me or did the horses play more of a complex role than anyone other than the two main gals?

Pacing in fantasy novels usually takes a backseat in favor of world and character building. In this case, the story just goes for it without much of either, and I found myself struggling to get through. To be honest, it probably took me a lot longer than it should've to finish this novel, but I did blow through the scenes that involved Denna and Mare (the pro!).

All in all, while OF FIRE AND STARS had a lot of promise, it just fell a bit too flat for my taste. Honestly, I think I'm in the minority in this case, because I've seen a lot of people online who love, rave, and cherish this novel. This is just my opinion, so don't take my word for it. While it's not the book for me, maybe it's the book for you!


Rating:

2 Stars


LINKS: Amazon | B&N


ABOUT AUDREY COULHURST:
Audrey Coulthurst writes YA books that tend to involve magic, horses, and kissing the wrong people. Her debut novel, Of Fire and Stars, will be published on November 22, 2016 by Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins. When she’s not dreaming up new stories, she can usually be found painting, singing, or on the back of a horse.

Audrey has a Master’s in Writing from Portland State University, is a member of SCBWI, and studied with Malinda Lo as a 2013 Lambda Literary Foundation Fellow. She lives in Santa Monica, California.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram



Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of OF FIRE AND STARS (US Only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!


Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
11/14: What Sarah Read - Review
11/15: A Backwards Story - Mood Board
11/16: Addicted 2 Novels - Review (Welcome, Y'all!)
11/17: Caught Read Handed - Guest Post
11/18: Lisa Loves Literature - Review

Week 2:
11/21: The Irish Banana Review - Fast 5
11/22: IN WONDERLAND - Review
11/23: No BS Book Reviews - Q&A
11/24: Don't Fold the Page - Review
11/25: Arctic Books - Top 5



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blog Tour: This Is Our Story


Welcome to the next stop in the This Is Our Story Blog Tour! Today, I'll be reviewing this novel as well as posting a giveaway. Enough small talk. Let's have at it, shall we?


Title: This Is Our Story
Author: Ashley Elston
Published: November 15th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Source: eGalley courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she and Stone investigate—the ageing prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own."

Review: Is it cliche to call this book addicting considering my blog's name is Addicted 2 Novels? Well, I don't know how better way to describe it other than that. The mystery, the romance, the twist and the turns, THIS IS OUR STORY will offer you plenty of reasons to stay up late until you reach the very last page.

What originally drew me to this novel, as superficial as it sounds, was the cover. It doesn't give much of anything anyway yet was interesting enough for me to pick it up and read the synopsis. Once I did, I knew I had to get my hands on it.

The novel is told through our main character Kate's POV and sometimes switches to the murderer's POV. Kate is one of those likable characters you root for from the very beginning. Her mom is works for the local DA, which actually lands her an internship with them. Naturally, once the murder case lands on the DA's desk, Kate is instantly drawn to the mystery. She wants to know who killed Grant and find justice. I don't want to go into further details without giving too much away, but I do want to point out that Kate would definitely give the girls (especially Spencer) from Pretty Little Liars a run for their money.

Oddly enough, even though THIS IS OUR STORY is more of a mystery-thriller novel, there is a bit of romance in it. Swoony boys are definitely a plus, but again, I don't want to name names without giving too much away. Just know that if this is something you have to have in all of your novels (*raises hand*), it's there.

All in all, if you're looking for a book that will keep you up in the wee hours of the morning, THIS IS OUR STORY is the book for you. I loved the setting, the complexity of all of the characters, and the overall flow of the story. Piece by piece, my curiosity grew, and though the ending didn't take me completely by surprised, I loved going on the journey to get there.

Really, there's something for everyone in this novel.


Rating:

5 Stars


LINKS: Amazon | B&N



ABOUT ASHLEY ELSTON:
Ashley Elston lives is North Louisiana with her husband and three sons. She worked as a wedding and portrait photographer for ten years until she decided to pursue writing full time. Ashley is also a certified landscape horticulturist and loves digging in the dirt. Her debut novel, THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING, was published by Disney Hyperion in 2013 and the sequel, THE RULES FOR BREAKING, in 2014. Her latest novel, THIS IS OUR STORY, will be published on November 15, 2016.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook


Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of THIS IS OUR STORY (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!


11/7: Bookiemoji - Review
11/8: The Book Addict's Guide - Book Scents
11/9: Fiction Fare - Review
11/10: Adventures of a Book Junkie - Q&A
11/11: Caught Read Handed - Review

11/14: The Irish Banana Review - Fast 5
11/15: Addicted 2 Novels - Review (You're here!)
11/16: In Wonderland - Guest Post
11/17: Ex Libris - Review
11/18: The Fake Steph - Top 10



Monday, October 17, 2016

If I Fix You Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway




When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.

Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.

With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start . . .
LINKS: Amazon | B&N


Review: When someone compares a novel to greats like Morgan Matson, Cammie McGovern, and Sarah Dessen, an reader expectation naturally develops. From the summary, it sounded like a deeper YA novel with different types of relationships (romantic, family, and whatnot) at it's core, which is completely up my alley. I must say, IF I FIX YOU did not disappoint.

Jill, the main character, is very relatable in multiple aspects. Though I've never gone through what she did, I can understand the hurt and confusion that can follow with it. The main relationship in the story is that between her and her father. She works at his car shop, and they share a very close relationship with no another. After seeing what she saw, her best friend and the role he played in her mom leaving, I was glad that she had her father around and be the parental figure (even though her father is dealing with his own pain). The love he has for her is undeniable, and though I enjoyed reading about Jill and her journey, her father was by far my favorite character in this novel.

Enter Daniel. Jill has been sleeping on the roof to escape and find some sort of solace. She actually overhears a fight between Daniel's parents and begins to form a connection with him. They seem to just fit together, but you can also tell that Daniel likes to keep a certain distance from Jill. He's obviously hiding something, the question is what.

All in all, while there is heartache in this story, I will say that it's not unbearable by any means. IF I FIX YOU is about healing, finding yourself, family, friendship, and everything in-between.

Rating:

4 Stars




ABOUT ABIGAIL JOHNSON:
Abigail was born in Pennsylvania. When she was twelve, her family traded in snow storms for year round summers, and moved to Arizona. Abigail chronicled the entire cross-country road trip (in a purple spiral bound notebook that she still has) and has been writing ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high school production of Cinderella, and publishing her first novel.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Tour Schedule:
Week 1:
10/17: Addicted 2 Novels - Review
10/18: The Irish Banana Review - Fast 5
10/19: PaperTrailYA - Review
10/20: A Book and a Latte - How I Write
10/21: Ex Libris - Review

Week 2:

10/24: Lost In Lit - Guest Post
10/25: Tina the Bookworm - Review
10/26: Fiction Fare - Q&A
10/27: The Petite Book Blogger - Review & Moodboard
10/28: Stuck In Books - Review

Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of IF I FIX YOU (US Only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Everyone We've Been : Reader Edition

In addition to being about memory and first love, Everyone We’ve Been is also about change. Because of this, I’ve been thinking a lot about change recently and how we evolve as individuals. This led me to thinking about how I’ve changed over time. The history of me is pretty boring (Once I was short. Then I was taller, but still short-ish. The end.), but I thought it might be fun to track how I’ve changed as a reader! Who I was - what books I loved - and who I am now.

The Brand New Reader: My very first independent reading memories are of picture books and short chapter books. I remember loving the Mr Men series, The Giving Tree, The Tale of Peter Rabbit and other books by Beatrix Potter.


The Enchanted Reader: I started to really love reading in elementary school. Everything about books seemed endless and enchanting and possible. I fell in love with A Wrinkle in Time, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte’s Web, Heidi, Matilda, Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I could go on and on.


The All-You-Can-Read Reader: The next stage in my life involved serialized stories. A lot of serialized stories. I’d find an author I liked and read everything in every series they’d ever written. Some favorites: Enid Blyton’s The Secret Seven series, The Famous Five, Babysitter’s Club, The Mistletoe Farm, The Faraway Tree. Basically, if a series had more than three books (and involved secrets and numbers and Enid Blyton), I was in.



The Curious Reader: This phase took place at the end of elementary school and can pretty much be summed up in three words: Sweet Valley High. I remember my parents disapproving of these books, so naturally I devoured them. Then, I started to venture into the adult section. It all just looked so juicy and contraband. Until I read the first few pages of Stephen King’s It. I went running back to books for kids my age.
I’ve still never read It.


The Nonexistent Reader: I went through a sad phase where I didn’t read much in middle school. Maybe I was scarred by the pages of It I’d read, or maybe I was just so focused on surviving middle school. I remember that I missed reading the way you miss a friend you haven’t seen in ages.


The Prodigal Reader: In high school, I rediscovered my love of reading with books like The Giver, The Great Gatsby (which I hated at the time), A Separate Peace, The Diary of a Young Girl. I was the weirdo who read the required reading books and asked for some more. Then, I discovered newer authors like Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen and John Green, and it opened up a whole new world.


The YA Reader: In college, I read a lot of YA. Tons and tons of it. Especially angsty YA. I also loved If I Stay, The Sky is Everywhere, Wintergirls and The Hunger Games and much more. These books felt like home to me. They were an especially welcome break from the Serious Literary Novels that I had to read for classes in college.


The Balancing Reader: I read a bit of everything these days. YA, adult, MG, nonfiction. I don’t read picture books much, though I always enjoy them when I do. I’m also making an intentional effort to read diversely, to buy books with voices that have been missing from publishing for so long and are so very needed. Some books I’ve loved in the last year:
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Everything, Everything
More Happy Than Not
The Way Back To You
Suffer Love
Americanah
Wonder



And that’s everyone I’ve been, as far as reading goes. What reading phases have you gone through?



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Everett is the author of EVERYONE WE’VE BEEN (out Oct 4, 2016) and a second untitled novel that she is still hard at work on (both from Knopf/Penguin Random House). She remembers growing up in enchanted forests, on desert islands and inside a magical wardrobe. She would only ever erase her memory of past karaoke performances and certain fashion choices. Her interests include science, Friends, tennis, and reading. She currently lives in Canada where she attends graduate school and writes YA novels.


"Addison Sullivan has been in an accident. In its aftermath, she has memory lapses and starts talking to a boy that no one else can see. It gets so bad that she’s worried she’s going crazy.

Addie takes drastic measures to fill in the blanks and visits a shadowy medical facility that promises to “help with your memory.” But at the clinic, Addie unwittingly discovers it is not her first visit. And when she presses, she finds out that she had certain memories erased. She had a boy erased.

But why? Who was that boy, and what happened that was too devastating to live with? And even if she gets the answers she’s looking for, will she ever be able to feel like a whole person again?"


*Goodreads
*Amazon
*Barnes and Noble
*Book Depository
*IndieBound



Friday, October 7, 2016

Spotlight + Giveaway: In Ruins


ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: IN RUINS
Author: Danielle Pearl
Series: Something More, #1
On Sale: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Trade Paperback: $14.99 USD
eBook: $4.99 USD
Add to Goodreads

The first New Adult spin-off novel in the bestselling YA Something More series by Danielle Pearl!

She wanted to start again. To be someone—anyone—different. . .

Freedom. When Carleigh Stanger thought of college, that was the word that came to mind. Freedom from her unhappy home life. Freedom from high school mistakes. Freedom from the memory of that terrible morning. Only instead of bringing a sweet escape, Carleigh's first campus party traps her in the scornful gaze of the last person she wants to see, Tucker Green.

It wasn't long ago that being close to Carleigh was everything Tucker wanted. But that was before he realized she was just another scheming girl who'd do whatever it took to get her way. Even lie to the guy she claimed to love. Unfortunately while Tucker's brain remembers the pain Carleigh caused, his body only remembers the pleasure . . .


BUY THE BOOK HERE

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Google Play
iBooks
Indiebound
Kobo



THE SOMETHING MORE SERIES

IN RUINS, #1
IN PIECES, #2

Series Page on Goodreads



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Danielle Pearl is the bestselling author of the Something More series. She lives in New Jersey with her three delicious children and ever-supportive husband, who—luckily—doesn't mind sharing her with an array of fictional men. She did a brief stint at Boston University and worked in marketing before publishing her debut novel, Normal. She writes mature Young Adult and New Adult contemporary romance. Danielle enjoys coffee, wine, and cupcakes, and not in moderation.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning


Title: A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1)
Author: Jessica Cluess
Published: September 20th 2016 by Random House BFYR
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository

"I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty's sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she's the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city--and the one she loves?"


Review: You guys, I haven't read a solid fantasy novel in a really long time. When I saw A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING, I thought hey, this sounds good and different. This book basically has everything I love about a fantastic fantasy novel and reminded me that I truly do need to read more of them. I could not put it down. I loved the characters, the magic, the plot, and the story line. Honestly, I loved it all!

Like all fantasy novels, if the world building isn't done well, the book will inevitably fall a bit short. Have no fear. With ASBAB, it felt like I stepped into this alternate Victorian London filled with monsters, magic, and mayhem. I could visualize everything so clearly, and even though I've never been to London before, I this book made me feel like I had. It definitely makes me want to travel more, sans monsters and whatnot.

Now, let's talk about Henrietta, shall we? I truly found her to be an outstanding main character. Everyone who reads this novel will easily find pieces of themselves inside her, and even though she's not perfect (Because who is?), it doesn't takeaway from the fact that she is genuinely a badass character. Speaking of fabulous characters...

Rook. Hello, swoon. We meet again. I immediately fell for Rook and fell for him hard. How can you not? He is just incredibly sweet and loyal to a fault. He would do anything for Henrietta, and how can you not fall for someone like that? Though the romance only plays a small role in the novel, a pinch if you will, I really did love those few swoonworthy moments that had me smiling from ear to ear.

All in all, I highly recommend A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING to any YA fans there who want to go on an epic journey. The intrigue alone will keep you up until the very last, heart-stopping page. If you're a fan of THE BURNING SKY and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, this is the book for you!


Rating:

5 Stars


Monday, October 3, 2016

Gemina (Illuminae Files #2) Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Title: Gemina (Illuminae Files #2)
Authors: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu (Illustrator)
Expected publication: October 18th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository


"The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.”

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.
But relax. They've totally got this. They hope.
Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless."

Review: I've been sitting here for longer than I'd like to admit wondering how to tell you fabulous folks how much I practically worshiped and devoured GEMINA without giving too much away. Should I tell you about the...well, no. Or how...no, not that either. Ugh! What I will say is it's a fantastic novel that, even though it's a sequel, can also be read as a standalone (But it's truly best to read ILLUMINAE first). From the beginning to the end, flipping through the amazing story, I never once felt bored nor did I ever want to put it down. It's a fall must read!

GEMINA starts off right where ILLUMINAE ends. We have a new set of main characters. For those wondering, the previous main characters from ILLUMINAE do make appearances, but just be read for a new cast and crew. Hanna is an easy character to fall in love with, and you'll also easily swoon for Nik. I will say the sci-fi element is definitely stronger in this one versus the romance, however, I found this to make the story much more thrilling than the previous novel.

There's so much I want to say and just as much as I can't, but just know that this book will leave the rushing and rushing until the shocking end. To be honest, I very much enjoyed GEMINA more than ILLUMINAE. I know, how is that even possible? This writing duo just keeps getting better and better.

Sadly, my ARC did not have any illustrations in it, but never fear- I've preordered my copy and will be able to see the gorgeous illustrations come October 18th. Put it on your must-read list ASAP.

Rating:

5 Stars


Giveaway: Thanks to the fabulous people at Knopf Books, I am giving away one copy of Gemina to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment below,. This giveaway is only open to US participants and ends October 31st.