Thursday, January 15, 2015

Save Me Blog Tour- Review + Giveaway


Welcome to the next stop in the SAVE ME Blog Tour. I liked this book, so let me just go ahead and jump into the review. Woohoo!



Title: Save Me
Author: Jenny Elliott
Published: January 6th 2015 by Swoon Reads
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review
Goodreads

"Debut-novelist Jenny Elliott’s thrilling romance, chosen by readers, writers, and publishers for the first list in the new Swoon Reads imprint, pours on the tension and danger in an addictive combination that will keep you turning pages!

Something strange is going on in the tiny coastal town of Liberty, Oregon. Cara has never seen a whale swim close enough for her to touch it—let alone knock her into the freezing water. Fortunately, cute newcomer David is there to save her, and the rescue leads to a bond deeper than Cara ever imagined.

But then she learns something about David that changes everything, and Cara is devastated. She turns to her best friend for support, but Rachel has changed. She’s suddenly into witchcraft, and is becoming dangerously obsessed with her new boyfriend….

Cara has lost her best friend, discovered that her soul mate is off limits, and has attracted the attention of a stalker. But she’s not completely alone. Her mysterious, gorgeous new friend Garren is there to support her. But is Garren possibly too perfect?"

First line: "Cara Markwell pulled into the lot above the dock at Liberty Charters and glimpsed the grille of a red sedan barreling toward her."

Thoughts: To be fair, I'm always on the fence when a book is part contemporary, part romance, and part (here's the kicker) paranormal. Being as this is by a debut author, I went into the book blind not knowing what to expect. What I found was a beautifully written novel that kept me intrigued from the beginning until the end.

First off, Cara is a very likable character. She's the type of young lady I hope most girls at least try to be. Smart, kind, and loyal, it's no wonder why her friends and two, yes two, boys care for her so fiercely. I loved that she played Scrabble. If she were real, I'd challenge her to a Words With Friends match. Most of all, I adored that she believed in the people she cared about, even if the odds were stacked against them. Speaking of odds being stacked against them, let's talk a bit about David.

Oh, David. Swoon reads indeed. Now, I'm not trying to come off as some weirdo here, but I have this strange infatuation for forbidden romances. In this case, it's more of a semi-teacher (do interns REALLY count as teacher-teachers?) and student relationship. Just to be clear, I find this subject enticing in books, but not in real life. Anyway, Cara meets David while on a cruise ship together prior to school starting. Their first date was so incredibly romantic that it actually gave me butterflies. Wind blowing in her hair, him brushing his lips against hers? *dies* From the beginning, I cheered for the two and practically fist bumped the air when something actually worked out. It's a great relationship, and I think other readers, including younger readers, will enjoy it.

Now, downside. I will say that there were times where I did think the story dragged a bit. The writing was great, but sometimes there were a lot of words and not a lot of action. To me, the pacing kind of read like adult fiction as oppose to YA. It wasn't as fast paced as I'm accustomed to. I would've also have liked to see the supernatural aspect of the novel pushed up a notch. I know it's primary contemporary, but I guess it's about my personal preference.

Overall, if you're a Pretty Little Liars fan (the show since it seems to be completely different from the book series now) and enjoy the complicated relationship between Aria and Ezra, as well the secrecy and the drama, I would recommend this book to you.


Rating:

3 Stars





Jenny Elliott is a lifelong resident of Washington State and lives in Spokane with her husband and four kids. Writing fiction is her favorite method for avoiding insanity. Other avoidance techniques include reading, playing Scrabble, and browsing social media sites. Save Me is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter at @jennykelliott.

Swoon Reads is the crowd-sourced teen romance imprint founded by Jean Feiwel and published under Feiwel and Friends, a division of Macmillan. Swoon Reads is a community where members are included in every step of the publishing process, from acquiring manuscripts to choosing cover directions. To find out more and discover the best in swoon-worthy novels visit SwoonReads.com or follow us on Twitter at @SwoonReads.


Giveaway:

Thanks to the fabulous people at Swoon Reads, I am giving away one copy of SAVE ME. This giveaway is for US participants only and ends January 30th. Be sure to stop by the rest of the blog tour for more chances to win!

1/3: Gusher Books
1/5: The Book Bratz
1/6: My Corner of the Library
1/7: Dana Square
1/8: YA Interrobang
1/9: Curling Up with a Good Book
1/14: Tripping Over Books
1/15: Addicted 2 Novels (That's me, duh! ;))
1/16: Bumbles and Fairytales
1/19: Mac Teen Books
1/20: Green Bean Teen Queen
1/21: Books and Makeup
1/22: Two Chicks on Books
1/23: Alice Marvels
1/26: Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
1/27: A Reading Nurse


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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Black Iris Cover Reveal


"It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn't worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She's not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it's time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She's going to show them all."

Thoughts: Okay, how stinking gorgeous is this cover?! I love that it's both beautiful and eerie, just like the summary. Reader's UNTEACHABLE left me feeling all kinds of wrong, but I loved it, and cannot wait to read her upcoming novel! Squee!

FIRST CHAPTER EXCERPT:


April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot said, and that’s because it kills. It’s the month with the highest suicide rate. You’d think December, or even January—the holidays and all that forced cheer and agonized smiling pushing fragile people to the edge—but actually it’s spring, when the world wakes from frostbound sleep and something cruel and final stirs inside those of us who are broken. Like Eliot said: mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain. In the deepest throes of depression, when sunlight is anguish and the sky throbs like one big raw migraine and you just want to sleep until you or everything else dies, you’re less likely to commit suicide than someone coming out of a depressive episode. Drug companies know this. That’s why antidepressants have to be marked with the warning MAY CAUSE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.

Because what brings you back to life also gives you the means to destroy yourself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Leah Raeder is a writer and unabashed nerd. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago. Visit her at LeahRaeder.co



Find Leah online:
http://www.leahraeder.com/
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

PRE-ORDER:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
IndieBound

UK LINKS:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Waterstones
Foyles
Kobo
Apple
Google

AUS LINKS:
Apple
Amazon
Google

Monday, January 5, 2015

Half Bad Giveaway


Thanks to the fabulous people at Penguin Teen, I am giving away the Winter Witches Brew Prize Pack. One very lucky winner will receive a copy of HALF BAD as well as a branded tumbler and some tasty hot chocolate. To enter, all you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter listed below. Extra entries will be rewarded to people following certain Twitter accounts as well as



ABOUT HALF BAD:

He has a powerful Gift. It’s how he uses it that will show if he’s good or bad.

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and sixteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his seventeenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.


ABOUT HALF WILD (in stores March 24):

In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he’s on the run–but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.

The Half Bad trilogy has been translated into 47 languages. TIME Magazine calls it “highly entertaining and dangerously addictive.” Kate Atkinson says it’s ”brilliant and utterly compelling.” London’s Daily Telegraph has named author Sally Green “the new J.K. Rowling.” Discover the story that readers all over the world are raving about.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sally Green lives in north-west England. She has had various jobs and even a profession, but in 2010 she discovered a love of writing and now just can’t stop. She used to keep chickens, makes decent jam, doesn't mind ironing, loves to walk in Wales even when it's raining, and will probably never jog again. She really ought to drink less coffee. Half Bad is her first novel.

*Visit the Half Bad website
*Find Sally Green on Twitter and Wattpad
*Share using hashtag #HalfBad

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Saturday, January 3, 2015

Gone Too Far Blog Tour- Review/Excerpt + Giveaway





Gone Too Far
Author: Natalie D. Richards

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: January 6th 2015


Keeping secrets ruined her life. But the truth might just kill her.


Piper Woods can't wait for the purgatory of senior year to end. She skirts the fringes of high school like a pro until the morning she finds a notebook with mutilated photographs and a list of student sins. She's sure the book is too gruesome to be true, until pretty, popular Stella dies after a sex-tape goes viral. Everyone's sure it's suicide, but Piper remembers Stella's name from the book and begins to suspect something much worse.


Drowning in secrets she doesn't want to keep, Piper's fears are confirmed when she receives an anonymous text message daring her to make things right. All she needs to do is choose a name, the name of someone who deserves to be punished...

Review: There is just something about the way Natalie D. Richards' writing that completely captivates me. After reading her debut novel SIX MONTHS LATER, and absolutely loving it, I knew I had to get my hands on her next novel. I think one of the many things I love about this book so much is that, even though it's a mystery novel, it reads like a contemporary YA story... Just creepier.

GONE TOO FAR jumps right into the story. You basically get a page or two of Piper's typical life, but only a couple of pages. Then comes the eerie, dreadful elephant in the room, so to speak. What the heck was up with that notebook? I mean, sheesh! It's like an episode straight out of FEAR THY NEIGHBOR. I adored how well Richards completely captured Piper's character as if she was either me or someone close to me. Each emotion perfectly displays how I would've both felt and reacted. I'm not going to say Piper was perfect, but neither am I.

Then there's Nick. I loved Nick from the moment he was introduced. Sure he's popular and a jock, but he's also a good guy. Even though his friends can be jerks (well, more than jerks, but we won't go there), he knows right from wrong and does his best to keep both himself and his friends in check. Every high school in every generation should have at least one Nick.

Overall, from the addictive writing to the even more enticing storyline, I loved every minute of GONE TOO FAR and highly recommend it to both mystery and contemporary lovers alike. If you've read SIX MONTHS LATER, know that this sophomore novel is just as good, if not better. Natalie D. Richards is easily becoming out of my auto-buy authors, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what kind of twisted yet lovable story she has up her sleeves!

Rating:

5 Stars


Excerpt:

Chapter One

Late. So late. I slam the car door behind me and race across the parking lot. My hair is tangled in the strap of my messenger bag, my shoes are untied, and I have no idea how I’m going to get to my locker without getting caught. I have to try because I need those chemistry notes.

Technically I needed them last night when I’d actually had the time to study for my midterm, but I didn’t think it was a big deal. I know the materials and I figured I could do a little last-minute cramming during first period homeroom. It was a decent plan until my phone battery died, taking my morning alarm down with it. Now I’ll be lucky to catch the last ten minutes of first period.

I hop the curb and slow as I slide into the shadow of the ancient brick school. It’s probably not classy to barrel through the door like an escaped convict. Of course, it probably wasn’t classy flying into the parking lot doing Mach 2 either.

I check my barely charged phone for the time as I climb the first step. My foot slips on something halfway up the stairs. It’s like hitting a patch of ice. I lunge gor the handrail and jerk myself upright, glaring down at the thing that tripped me –a dropped notebook.

Nothing special. It’s a plain, spiral-bound pad, the kind you can get at the drugstore for less than a buck. Pretty much worthless, excerpt I know it’s probably chock-full of notes. Notes seomone will need during midterm week.

Oh, fine.

I snatch the notebook off the steps and shove it into my bag. Lost and Found is going to have to wait though. It’s in the student store, which is on the opposite side of the school.


BOOK LINKS:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21900147-gone-too-far
Amazon paperback: http://tinyurl.com/lbrckdu
Barnes & Noble (B&N): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gone-too-far-natalie-richards/1119260090?ean=9781402285547
Bookdepository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Gone-Too-Far-Natalie-Richards/9781402285547
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gone-too-far/id916950903?l=es&mt=11
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/es-ES/ebook/gone-too-far-9


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
At seven, Natalie D. Richards wrote about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn't dare do the dishes.) Now she writes about awesome girls, broody boys, and all things dark and creepy. Natalie lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her techno-wiz husband, three amazing kids, and a seventy pound dust-mop who swears he's the family dog. Her psychological thriller, Six Months Later, will be released in October 1, 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire. Until then, you'll probably find her writing her next book or trying to wade through the towers of dog-eared paperbacks that have taken over her bedroom.

AUTHOR LINKS:
Website: http://www.nataliedrichards.com/
Blog: http://www.doomsdaisies.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6927030.Natalie_Richards
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NatDRichards
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Natalie-D-Richards/398044640315789
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/natdrichards/




Giveaway: Win a finished copy of Gone Too Far, a copy of Six Months Later and some swag (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway



*Be sure to follow the rest of the tour*

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Zodiac Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway


Welcome one and all to the next stop in the ZODIAC Blog Tour. Three cheers for Romina Russell. Hip hip...HOORAY! Hip hip...HOORAY! Hip hip...HOORAY! Romina is here today to talk about ZODIAC and things like her favorite book of 2014. There will be a giveaway, so keep an eye out for that. But first, here's Romina!


1. How did you come up with the idea for ZODIAC?

My editor, Liz Tingue, and I came up with ZODIAC together—she brought her love of astrology, and I brought my passion for Space. We actually met ten years ago in a college class and have since been hoping for the chance to team up creatively—so I think ZODIAC was always in our stars.

2. Did you base any of the characters on people you know in your life?

I didn’t! I’m not sure I know anyone who is a perfect representation of their Zodiac sign, so I had to craft new people who fit the parameters of this universe.

3. What is your sign, and what does it say about you? Do you believe it to be true?

I’m from House Virgo, and we’re supposedly fussy, OCD, practical, analytical, controlling, perfectionists…basically, a bunch of words I’ve heard before…a few times…maybe.

4. What are you currently working on now?

The sequel to ZODIAC! It’s so hard to keep quiet about what happens to Rho next….

Oh?!?!? *Ahem* You and I can just talk about that later. Let's continue.

5. What is your favorite book that you read in 2014?

WINTER FALLS by Nicole Maggi, the first installment in a new paranormal trilogy.

6. In Twitter form (140 characters or less), tell everyone why they should read ZODIAC.

ZODIAC is a Sci Fi series that's more Fi than Sci, featuring 13 made-up cultures, 11 futuristic technologies, 2 hot guys, and 1 fallible MC.

If you haven't heard of ZODIAC yet, here's your chance!



"At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs. "

*Goodreads
*Zodiac Website

***GIVEAWAY TIME***

Thanks to the fabulous people at Penguin Random House, I am giving away a copy of ZODIAC to one very lucky winner. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is only open to US participants and ends December 28th.

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It features each bloggers most anticipated books. My pick this week is JESSE'S GIRL by Miranda Kenneally (and now the song is stuck in my head...).


"Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?"


Why I Can't Wait: Maya Henry? Is she related to Sam Henry? I just squeed a bit. Anywho, I love each and every one of Miranda's books. They're fun and witty with these lovable characters I can't forget (HA, THINGS I CAN't FORGET). I love that this particular book involves music. I'm sitting here picturing a young me chasing after a very 90's Justin Timberlake- highlights, perm, and all! Now comes the hard part.

The waiting part.

Expected publication: July 1st 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire

*Add it on Goodreads.
*Preorder it at B&N.
*Excerpt from Miranda's Website

Monday, December 8, 2014

Review: Poisoned Apples


Title: Poisoned Apples
Author: Christine Heppermann
Published: September 23rd 2014 by Greenwillow Books
Source: Finished copy sent by the publisher for an honest review
Goodreads/Amazon

"Every little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale.

Christine Heppermann's collection of fifty poems puts the ideals of fairy tales right beside the life of the modern teenage girl. With piercing truths reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, this is a powerful and provocative book for every young woman. E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars, calls it "a bloody poetic attack on the beauty myth that's caustic, funny, and heartbreaking."

Cruelties come not just from wicked stepmothers, but also from ourselves. There are expectations, pressures, judgment, and criticism. Self-doubt and self-confidence. But there are also friends, and sisters, and a whole hell of a lot of power there for the taking. In fifty poems, Christine Heppermann confronts society head on. Using fairy tale characters and tropes, Poisoned Apples explores how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, and their friends. The poems range from contemporary retellings to first-person accounts set within the original tales, and from deadly funny to deadly serious. Complemented throughout with black-and-white photographs from up-and-coming artists, this is a stunning and sophisticated book to be treasured, shared, and paged through again and again."


First line: (From "The Never-Ending Story") "Once there was a girl who wore her bones outside her body."

Thoughts: Ahh poetry, my old friend. We meet again. POISONED APPLES is a collection of poetry that circulates around real issues young people (and even adults) face today. A few examples include anorexia, vanity, feminism, etc. What makes this particular novel special? There's a hint of fairy tale lore and a whole lot of dark, sometimes gruesome elements and writing in it.

Though I enjoyed most of the poems in this novel, there were some that I thought to be either okay or didn't find very moving. Random even. The one I found the most relatable and interesting was Sleeping Beauty's Wedding Day. It's spot on. Weddings are very much a joyous occasion, but the preparation process can become somber, and I felt like this poem (and the photo that went with it) captured this.

Speaking of the photos, I have to say that my favorite part of this collection were the photos. They had this American Horror Story element to them, which also created a bit of a morbid yet fascinating atmosphere. It was perfect for this sort of collection and also reminded me of Ransom Riggs' MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN. With that said, I must admit that I did find the photographs more interesting than the poems. That's not to say I didn't like the poems, however, I just felt as though the pictures overshadowed the actual writing. It felt like the author used the photos for inspiration, and I thought it should've been the other way around.

Overall, I didn't love this collection, but I did like it. While it's not something I would immediately run out and buy, especially considering the book itself is very thin and kind of pricey for what it is, it is something I would consider buying at a discounted price or possibly borrow. I'd probably recommend waiting for the paperback to come out or maybe seeing if your local library carries it.

Rating:


3 Stars