Cinderella Necromancer Blitz and Excerpt!

I’m so excited for Cinderella Necromancer. It sounds so so so good. I was originally scheduled for a review post, but I’m having to post a blitz instead. I’m so bummed that my site is having issues! It led me to not being able to finish the book on time for the tour, and I’m a horrible judge of time, so it’s very easy to kick me off kilter.  I seem to end up in this position more times than not. *sigh* My site seems to have miraculously fixed itself, however, I still have to solve the formatting errors that interfered with my previous two posts.

Top Ten Tuesday #6

Top Ten Book Recommendations for Zuko. Hilarious, amirite? So here we go. These are the books I’d recommend to Zuko. By the way, the amazing Zuko art is by Kivi1230. Though she didn’t make the banner. I threw this together last minute. So It’s not as polished as I would like it to be! That’ll teach me to procrastinate. So basically, I’ll be showing you the synopsis and then giving you, as Zuko, the reason why. If you haven’t watched Avatar The Last Airbender, it probably won’t make sense or be funny. But, if you are a fan of Zuko, read on.

The Reading Quest – TBR Challenge

The Reading Quest is the greatest reading challenge I’ve heard of all year. I’ll be updating my overall progress above, meanwhile documenting my journey below.

My first route of choice for the Reading Quest, is Rogue. So here are the prompts and my choices.

Seventh Blogiversary Bash

GUYS GUYS GUYS I’m so excited. Seventh Blogiversary? I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for SEVEN YEARS. That’s like 14 years in dog-time, and like forever in the book blogging world. I can’t believe I’ve made it this long. I’ve also been feeling really great lately, so I’ve been more consistent at blogging than I have in the past. Not perfect, but it’s an improvement.  

Toward a Secret Sky

My review for Toward a Secret Sky is going to come off kind of meh. The reason being, I found the book just kind of meh. Maybe even a bit less than meh. Maybe more kind of…ugh.
 
I know. So specific, right?
 
I liked the premise, and the setting and cultural details all had a great sense of dedication. I don’t know much about Scotland despite the fact that my ancestry is almost all Scottish (I plan to remedy this soon. I’d like to know more about it, starting with attending my county’s Scottish Games.)
 
However….
 
Ugh. Maren wasn’t a likeable character at all. I felt bad for her, but the emotion was lacking. She falls into insta-romance with a hot guy who turns out to be an angel…
 

It was all so tropey and overdone.

Little of the magical world was explained, and when it was, it was done in a ‘this is for the reader’s benefit’ sort of way. It was kinda cringe-worthy.
 
BUT, then I have some hang-ups in the other direction. There were a few things I LOVED. I liked the villain. And un-like a few other Blink titles, the villain isn’t half-baked. He does some actually bad things. Like, attempted rape. (which some books shy away from committing or coming close to committing.) Even a major character was murdered, right under your nose. (which I appreciate, because again, most authors shy away from committing to major character deaths like that.)
 
I did like Gavin, his side of the relationship came off as less superficial than Maren’s. But….still somewhat uninspiring.
 
So, there it is. My review of a somewhat mediocre angel-lore book. I wish the same passion that went into the setting and culture, went into the characters and relationships. So much of it came off as….cheeseballs. Cheeseball-y. Whatever.
 
The end redeemed some of that cheesiness. Maren moped for a while and then decided to do something about it at the prompting of another character. Thus not extending our suffering at the whole “We can’t be together, it’s forbidden” angle. It puts a little more oomph and offers a light at the end of the tunnel for future plot lines.
 
Having said that, I really hope that the character quality drastically improves. I’ll be cautiously optimistic and keep my eye out for its release. (I hear there will be two more installments, which will take place in other countries! Darn? Hopefully she remains as dedicated to the cultural influence in the future.)

It Started With Goodbye

I’d been hearing about this book EVERYWHERE. I’m not sure I’ve seen a more aggressive publicity campaign by Blink. For real, I can’t think of one.
 
So, I was REALLY looking forward to this book, especially because I tend to enjoy books by Blink.
 
Unfortunately, It Started with Goodbye wasn’t one of those books.
 
This was touted as a Cinderella-ish retelling. You know, A girl with a stepsister, a step-mother and a grandmother as a fairy godmother. But that’s a liberal description of It Started With Goodbye. It meets the qualifications, but barely.
 

The book’s biggest problem, was lack of commitment.

The antagonist was nonexistent in this book. In the book, Tate has issues with her stepmother, stepsister and even her father. She even falls into the wrong side of the law. But all that tension dropped, right after it arose. One moment, she would be mad at her stepmother for some injustice or unfair treatment. Then, a paragraph later, Tate would say “but I can see where she was coming from”. It wiped away all of the emotional momentum in the novel.

 
It DROVE ME NUTS. Because it meant that the book had no plot. None at all. In Cinderella, Cinderella escapes her stepmother and step sister’s cruelty. She gets a gown, goes to a ball, meets a prince, and falls in love, right?
 
But here, she wanders around aimlessly for the entire book. Finally, in the last thirty pages, she goes to a festival and meets the ‘prince’. True, she does a few other things, like start a graphic design business…. Which would be great, except it failed to carry any conflict into or out of the novel. While it did serve the purpose of bringing her in contact with the ‘prince’, that’s the only purpose it served. It all seemed so pointless…so directionless and never ending.
 
The writing was okay. However, combined with the plot, the book is less than satisfactory. Dare I say it, it seemed mediocre. It makes my heart ache knowing that the potential of this book was wasted away. There are so many other amazing books out there! Ones that I haven’t even read or heard about.
 
Another huge problem for this book was empathy.
 
I haz none.
 
Not here anyway. I didn’t feel for her, her problems…nothing. A BIG part of that, was the previously mentioned weakness in the plot. Because, if a character isn’t against anything, it’s hard to be for something. In the end, it was kind of like a “shrug” moment where “all is well that ends well”. So unfortunately I can’t recommend the book. Just literally can’t. I so wish I could. But I don’t.

Waiting on Wednesday #3

This week’s Waiting on Wednesday choice, is The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes. Last year, Stephanie Oakes made a bombshell debut with The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly. Though I have since acquired the novel, (and I have oodles of friends that RAVE about it…) I still haven’t read it. Shame on me.

However, I did manage to snag an arc of The Arsonist at ALAMW. It’s sitting on my shelf, waiting for me. One thing that’s superficially attracted me to her books…. ARE THE SIZE.

These suckers are huge. a whopping minimum of 400 pages. They are heavy, as all my favorite books are (kidding, I have a few lightweight favorites too.) There’s just something about heavy-huge novels that I just love. It’s like it’s…. the potential. It stands out. It says “Look at me! I have tooooons of plot twists and turns and character-derived AGONY awaiting you!”

So, I hope real soon I’ll get to dig in to this promising read. 😀

Here’s the gorgeous cover for you to oggle till it comes out in August!

Chris Agony gif

Top Ten Tuesday #5 Bad Mamma Jammas

Basically, a list of bad moms in literature. Specifically YA lit. Now, some of these examples are going to be a bit vague for spoiler purposes. I’d like to put these in order, but I simply can’t. I’d have to re-read all of them, take excessive notes and compare. So, they are in alphabetical order, except the last two, which are my vague guessing game books.

May the Fourth Be With You #2

So, without further ado, here is my Read and Enjoyed List.

Read and Enjoyed

Disruption

“What if a microchip could identify your perfect match? What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?

Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation’s M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loved most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it.

Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer—heir to the M-Corp empire—has become key to Maggie’s plan. But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin’s involvement destroy everything she’s fought for?

In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.”

Purchase Links

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Earth Aliens

“The Earth is dead and humanity’s last hope is amongst the stars. For 50,000 lucky souls, a distant, alien planet will be their home after they endure a grueling seven year journey. Assigned as apprentices to older specialists, Hugh O’Callahan and Elena Ames must learn quickly to survive their dog-eat-dog lives. Meanwhile, Zeneba, a young Charneki girl, is chosen to take the throne as mara. She must learn quickly, for it is foretold a cataclysmic event will mark her reign. Can she find the strength to lead her people against invaders from the sky? The Expedition is Book #1 from Earth Aliens, an EPIC Press series. Each EPIC Press series is made up of 6 short installments, intended for readers 14 and older.”

Purchase Links

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Beyond the Ever Reach

 *This book has been republished as Beyond the Ever Reach, my review was for it’s former book, Fear my Mortality. No changes occurred between the titles*

New Edition: previously published as Fear My Mortality.

“What if everyone in the world was invincible… except you?

In an alternate version of today’s Earth, everyone is invincible. Since the beginning, people have been able to heal so fast that nobody can be hurt or killed. The normal lifespan ranges hundreds of years. Despite all that, Ava Holland is afraid of death. When the unthinkable happens, her only ally is the boy she should fear the most. Michael Bradley is the strongest, fastest healer anyone’s ever seen. But Michael has secrets too. Together, they run from a society that rejects them. Michael seeks redemption and Ava seeks safety, but when the truth is revealed, it’s up to Ava to save them both.

Beyond the Ever Reach is the first book in an action-packed four-book series.”

You can read my full review here!

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Genesis Girl

“Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet.

Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint makes her extremely valuable, and upon graduation, Blanca and those like her are sold to the highest bidders.

Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeals are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable.

By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.”

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SOS: A Prequel to The Silence of Six

 “Evan Baxter doesn’t have much time left before he must do something that will change his life — and the lives of his friends, his family, and millions of people he’s never even met — forever. There’s only one person who could come through for him at the last moment, but that chance is fading fast. In the course of one day, Evan has to come to terms with pulling off the most daring and dangerous feat of his young life, and he may not survive to see the consequences.

“S.O.S.” is a thrilling stand-alone short story prequel to the acclaimed YA novel THE SILENCE OF SIX by Norton Award winning author E.C. Myers. This eBook includes a preview of the first chapter of THE SILENCE OF SIX.”

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Soulmated

“Two souls. One Fate.

Eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan, an Irish royal empath, has been searching for his elusive soulmate. The rare union will cement his family’s standing in empath politics and afford the couple legendary powers, while also making them targets of those seeking to oust them.

Laxshmi Kapadia, an Indian-American high school student from a traditional family, faces her mother’s ultimatum: Graduate early and go to medical school, or commit to an arranged marriage.

When Liam moves next door to Laxshmi, he’s immediately and inexplicably drawn to her. In Liam, Laxshmi envisions a future with the freedom to follow her heart.

Liam’s father isn’t convinced Laxshmi is “The One” and Laxshmi’s mother won’t even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. Will Liam and Laxshmi defy expectations and embrace a shared destiny? Or is the risk of choosing one’s own fate too great a price for the soulmated?”

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True Calling

“Welcome to Novo: Your new home in Space

For Ariana Skyee, Planet Novo was everything it promised to be until the authorities introduced “The Calling” as their response to repopulation. Now, all seventeen-year-olds are to participate in this Bachelor-style pageant to find their perfect match, marry, and have children.

But that’s not Ariana’s only concern. Thanks to the government-sanctioned memory erase, she has no recollection of Zane, the mystery boy who haunts her dreams. Things are further complicated when the pageant commences and her feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify. Together, they start to realize not everything about their new home is as it seems.

Entangled in a dangerous web of deceit, Ariana sets out to identify the truth. Conflicted over warnings that Cal isn’t trustworthy and alarmed at the government’s increasing interest in her, she doesn’t know where to turn. But her search for the truth comes at a high personal price. When her world implodes, discovering the past shapes her future with devastating consequences.

TWO DIFFERENT WORLDS. ONE SHARED DREAM.”

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The Union

“After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.

Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.

When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.

Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known. But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.

The Union is a futuristic young adult romantic adventure.”

Purchase Links

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As a bonus, you can read last years May the Fourth post, right here!

Nimona

I swore I wrote my Nimona review, but when I went to copy and paste it, I couldn’t find it anywhere.

Cue panic.

So now I don’t know if I actually wrote the review, or if I just dreamed I did. (I frequently dream about writing my reviews, rearranging sentences and whatnot. It’s way more dramatic and stressful in your dreams.)

It was so good too! So now, I’m going to have to rewrite and hope it’s as awesome as that one was. So much for binge watching Inu x Boku SS.

When I first started reading Nimona, I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to its hype. But it was SO GOOD. SO. GOOD.

The art was GORGEOUS.

The story starts with our villain, Lord Ballister Blackheart. And, our dear Nimona storms in, demanding to become his new SIDEKICK.

At first, I wasn’t sure where the plot was going (or if there was one). Enter Sir Ambrosius Goldenloins, the goody-goody to end all superheroes. The dialogue was fantastic, so I kept turning the pages. Of course, the art helped too.

It’s filled with witty exchanges, and bread crumbs of information about the characters and their personalities. Even Nimona has an amazing backstory .

Nimona was forever fouling up Lord Blackheart’s plots (whilst simultaneously trying to improve them).  She had this beautiful naivete about her.

But in the end, you learn that she placed herself there for a purpose. She ends up delivering a message on loyalty and friendship.

It was fantastic. I love endings like this one. I won’t say what it was (because that’d ruin the magic). But what I can say, is that you’ll never regret reading Nimona.

The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily

I had uber high hopes for this book. There had been a lot of buzz about it, so I picked up a copy while I was at ALA Annual conference 2016. Even though it released in October, I wanted to save it for the holidays. I wanted to let it get me into the spirit. The title, The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, is as close to saying that it’s for Christmastime without actually saying it.

That plan only succeeded half way. Yeah, I saved it for the Christmas season, hoping to get all snuggly with it. However, this book was extremely depressing.

On one hand, you could say that this means the authors knew how to express emotion.

Or, you could say that this is not a cuddly Christmas time story. There were so many pros and cons to this story! I keep wildly flipping between wanting to give it four stars, or 3.5.

I can’t decide.

Because the emotions of it all were fabulous. It dealt with hopes, let downs and personality changes that occur after traumatic events. (or at least after massive life-changes). So that part was super touching, because I’ve been through some of that…

Except, I kept wanting to smack the crap out of both of them for their crappy attitudes.

At one point, Lily decides to go to the island and then she doesn’t tell anyone that she’s leaving. Which is fine, except everyone freaked out because she’s been acting strange.

Not only does she leave, but SHE STAYS GONE. She randomly walks into a bakery and starts decorating gingerbread and just ends up crashing there. Overnight. It goes on a bizarre bunny trail, ending with frosting an orgy gingerbread scene. Um…okay?

I know depression makes you do odd things, and makes you not care…about anything….

But it just came from out of left field so fast that it felt odd and out of place for the book.

So, what I’m thinking/feeling about this book? CONFLICTED. It had a cutesy ending, where everything was tied up in a string (but not in a sudden, weird way…).  It was hilarious when the librarians ended up with injuries after slipping on glittery ice (and Dash ended up with an eye patch…)

Soo….I liked it? 4 stars? Yes? Why am I asking myself so many questions?

I definitely think it should come with the warning that it does have its depressing thoughts.

I’m extremely prone to getting depressed around Thanksgiving/Christmas. So that may be another reason I was so affected by Lily’s emotional state.

I’d don’t know if I’d recommend it for Christmas/wintery fun. It has it’s perks. So I’d recommend it for those who don’t mind a side of depression with their eggnog.

The Boy Next Door

FAN-TAS-TIC.

The Boy Next Door was a perfect winter read (I happened to read it just before Christmas). At first, I was skeptical that this was going to turn out kind of….chintzy. But it starts with a sweet and short prologue (I’m not a huge fan of prologues, but this one was ok).

Then it heads off directly into the drama. But, not immediately to her relationship drama with Gabe. It starts with an ice dancing couple arguing. (this couple dates each other off the ice)

This other couple was an excellent touch for the book, because it brought the reader closer to Gabe’s fears. He fears that if he starts dating Maddy, that they’ll end up like this other couple. Bickering all the time, and with a dead career in skating.

I got engrossed, fast. Perhaps another reason for that was DUAL POV. YAS. I can’t resist male POV. It’s inexplicably refreshing

And here, we have the obligatory misunderstandings and physical chemistry. This is potentially one of the steamiest YA’s I’ve read.

There are secrets and overheard conversations…mistaken identity… It was all so well balanced.

There were only two points that made me rate this a four star instead of five.

Maddy.

I liked her well enough, but there was a lot of flaws and drama surrounding her, and yet none of it was her own.

I mean, there was drama that involved her. Like with her father and her Gabe and skating… but as far as personal, inner flaws went, there weren’t any. Not any real flaws. Not like Gabe’s fear of commitment or fear of losing control. No flaws that interfered with her life in an equally extreme sense.

The second, would be descriptions.

What made me dock the star, was because there was a lot of skating terms used, which weren’t described. It would have been better if there had been more descriptions of the moves.

I love watching ice skating, but I don’t get to do it that much. I couldn’t remember any of the moves names. Which meant that when the scene was playing out in my head, it was sparse due to lack of identification. I couldn’t picture exactly what was happening during their skates.

There were some fabulous descriptions elsewhere. (like describing the cold of the rink, which made me feel physically cold. Holy great writing batman!)

Some of my favorite parts were of course in Gabe’s POV. His POV was a bit sparser, coarser. It’s a texture of voice that I adore.

I’m keeping my copy and will be re-reading it every Christmas to feel the winter spirit. I’d absolutely recommend this to older YA readers.

Cover Color Challenge – January

 

The color for January is RED. And wow, that banner turned out a lot darker than it looked in photoshop. Hm…I will have to fix that. Soon.

But for now, I’m telling myself that stuff doesn’t need to be perfect. So I’ve already read a red book! Yay! I’ll put their covers and information below as I read them. I’ll also link to reviews, though they probably own’t be published in January.

Gap Life

At first, I was totally excited for this book. Though Americans are low on the world totem pole of academics, I find that Americans put extreme pressure on their children to immediately attend college out of high school.

I loved the idea of a book that addressed it in a very direct way, without squeezing through loopholes. Unfortunately, the book didn’t totally address what I was hoping it would.
Instead, it falls victim to a terrible trope.

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl. The dream girl is Rayne.

What is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, you ask?

Here is the Ubran Dictionary’s definition:
A Manic Pixie Dream Girl or MPDG, is a term coined by film critic Nathan Rabin after seeing Elizabethtown. It refers to “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” A pretty, outgoing, whacky female romantic lead whose sole purpose is to help broody male characters lighten up and enjoy their lives.

Don’t get me wong, these kinds of characters can sometimes really work for a story. There have been a few that I even love!

Rayne, is not one of them.

In the start, I actually loved her. She was different, in the same way I was different as a teenager. I saw things so much more different than other kids my age.

But then, she spirals in to this odd pattern of hot and cold behavior with Cray. It’s so fast and furious, you’ll feel like you’ve been whiplashed. It was too much.
On top of that, it draws a fuzzy line between Cray and Rayne. Yeah, when people say a girl is “leading on” a guy, there are a lot of discussions that the concept doesn’t actually exist.

But in this case, I really felt like Rayne treated Cray unfairly when she was encouraging his affections (and returning them), whilst simultaneously in a serious relationship with a guy from Italy. It was a bizarre game of back and forth with her.

It was just….meh. It was conflict for the sake of conflict and nothing more.

Later on in the book her attitudes about the world around her get more and more…well, manic, and it gets to the point where I start thinking “I think this girl needs a bit of psychiatric help”. She just started jumping to conclusions and flying off the handle in a way that seemed so completely random.

Another issue I have with this book:

Cray’s father.

He was a controlling asshole. And by the end of the book, it was like *shrug* all’s well that ends well!

It ended kind of sitcom style, where dad realizes he’s been too tough but the kid also realizes that the father wanted what was best for him. Yay family kumbaya moment! (Not.)
My experience with controlling people (especially with people as controlling as his father), is that they don’t all of the sudden decide to not be controlling assholes.
They just don’t.

It made the whole thing seem contrived. Completely derailed from reality (or any semblance of it).

It just was a meh read. Not good, not bad….not miserable but not really enjoyable either.
Just. Meh.

The Fourth Piece

thefourthpiecetour

I literally just finished this book. And I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about it. I definitely feel positively about it, but it does have its major drawbacks.

For one, This book rotates through three and eventually four POV’s, all male, all brothers. Usually male pov’s have me jumping for joy. But this was a tad different for two main reasons.

Interview with Kym Brunner

flip-the-bird

HI Kym!! Thanks for visiting my blog and being willing to do this interview! I can’t wait to peek behind the scenes of Flip the Bird!

HI Rachel – thanks for having me! I’m soooo excited about Flip the Bird’s release you might say I’m “flipping” out. And with so many thousands of books being released every year, I’m honored and thrilled that you chose my book to review.

Cover Reveal – Beyond the Neon Shore

Whew! I just got the email in at 9:30 with the cover! It came on so fast! I didn’t even know the sequel was being published until a few days ago. That having been said, I feel like this post is going to be terribly inadequate.

I actually still have my arc of The 52nd! It’s too dark in my apartment to take a photo this late at night. 😛 Blogger fail.

So anyway, here’s the GORGEOUS cover!

beyondtheneonshore-front-cover

The release date is June 3rd, 2017. I can’t wait to R&R it! But for real, look at that cover! Also, I have a side gripe to rant about.

STORY TIME KIDDIES.

You see the really cool font? With the blocks sticking out? Doesn’t that pattern look so Aztec? I almost Boo-yah’ed when I saw that.

This semester I’m taking an art course (hoping to get my AA in art…) so it’s a graphic design class.

Our first project was to create a logo, and our second project was to create an identity system incorporating the logo. (basically, a letterhead, business card, and envelope.)

Well, my fake company I created for the class was an AZTEC CHOCOLATE company.

I used a design in the background that was a slightly different version of the god’s crown on my logo…

It basically looked like the side of the font on this beautiful cover! And you know what my teacher said?

This pattern looks too greek.”

For reals guys, I almost died.

I mean, I got where she was coming from. Critique’s push artists to be better. And I did come up with something better on the next phase.

But since then I’ve seen like….five Aztec/Maya art pieces that all have that motif and it slays me every time.

SLAYS.

Here’s my ‘too Greek’ design:

business-card-1

Le sigh.

During the next phase, I came up with this one:

business-card-phase-2

I think this one looks maybe a tad too….Nepalese… But hey, I got a better grade. That’s all that matters in college, amirite? Ok So ….the end.

That’s all I had for my last minute improv.

reviewteamphotos-9

Don’t forget, the first book in the series (The 52nd) is on sale this weekend for .99 cents! The sale ends on Halloween.

You can purchase it on Amazon here

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

Omg. I don’t know where to start. When I first heard of this book, I just lost myself for a bit.


I mean, Beauty and the Beast……Plus STEAMPUNK?! Yas. Yas please. I needed it, like, yesterday.

So I set my sights on getting a copy at ALA!

Unfortunately Shadow Mountain was not giving copies to reviewers/bloggers at the convention.

It broke my heart, but alas, some lady I met later was like,

“Do you want this? I don’t think it’ll be my thing.” And I was like.

So I came home with an arc after all!

It took me a month to get to it, but I finally did. I started reading at about…. 1 in the morning and all of the sudden, a GHOST APPEARED. (in the novel, not IRL.)

ScArEd Me HaLf To DeAtH. sCaReD. WHY. Why did I decide to read this at 2 in the morning?!? While I was home alone?! With freakin vengeful ghosts in it?! I’m a scared-y cat. I haven’t even read most horror books gifted to me, because I’m such a chicken. (a Bloody Mary incident as a child left me scarred for life. XD)

Someone quick, I need a Miles to hide behind.

Also, Miles = Wounded Hero. Ah. You know how those are my weaknesses. The part where he helps Lucy take care of her…..wounds? Awwwwww. Probably my most favorite moments. Beside the inebriated Miles. That was one of my favorites too.

Of course, as this is regency inspired (as regency as steampunk can get, I imagine..) the romance was mostly explored intellectually rather than physically.

It was refreshing, though I’ll admit, I wish there were a few more stolen moments than there were… But it was still highly enjoyable.

One thing that I savored was the amount of steampunk. Some books say they are steampunk and then usually end up having a pitiful amount of actual steampunk. This book had a healthy variety, which was engaging. While at the same time, it didn’t go overboard in the mechanical department.

Same for the flipside, I felt that the fantasy was well balanced, and wasn’t overwhelming the steampunk. It’s very rare that I’ve seen the two elements balanced just right with each other.

My only hangup? I didn’t really feel much for the characters. Sure, I got the fuzzies when Beauty had her moments with The Beast… but as far as deeply loving characters? Eh. Not sure it was there.

Nevertheless, I was excited to see a character cut from the same cloth as the characters from Stranje House for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin. (Another romance, though a bit fluffier, with still awesome strong ladies, and amazing wounded-heroes to die for.)

I also felt like the pacing was a smidge slow. Not super super bad, but just a smidge. But maybe it’s because I don’t usually read adult? Maybe it’s stellar pacing in the adult world? Or in the regency world? I don’t know.

So overall, I’d say I enjoyed the book and that I will most definitely be picking up book #2!

Resisting the Rebel

Soooo….I was way less than impressed with this one. I had zero feels and gave no cares about what happened to Caleb or Mandy.

Which is sad, the book is inspired by the Disney movie Sky High, a movie I LOVE. (specifically, characters Layla and Warren) and I totally shipped those two. So I was totally in the mood for a Warren type character to fall in love with a Layla type character (which is to say, an opposites attract story)

Unfortunately, the emotion, the attraction….heck, even the plot line, just wasn’t there. It was boring. It was dull. Nothing happened.

Even when Mandy’s grandma had an upset, I didn’t really feel anything, or any suspense, or any fear for any of the characters.

The best part of the book was the bromance between Caleb and J.T. But it was a very tiny light in a very dim surrounding. I’ve read a lot of fluffy contemporaries that I actually love and adore…so I know it’s not the genre or the audience that was off for me.

This is a major case of it’s definitely not me, it’s you.

I have no qualms about calling out terrible books. So boom, there it is. Book, meet Terrible. Terrible, meet book. Good, we acquainted now? Do yourself a favor and just skip it. 😛

This review ended up so short that my SEO rating is orange. Dude. XD

The Heartbreakers

Oookayyy, so this novel turned me into a cheeseball. It was cute, it was fluffy.. And for that reason, I’m giving it four stars.

It was emotionally strong as well, which was somewhat unexpected. Which brought it up to 4.5 stars. Yes, it does kind of read like a One Direction fan fiction… I’ve never read OD FF, but have read FF for plenty of other fandoms and I imagine they are somewhat comparative.

You’ve got really good fanfiction and realllly bad fanfiction. This would fall into the really good category. The only reason it’s not five stars is just for the tiny bit of plot weakness.

That tiny bit of plot weakness lies in Stella’s job. An almost totally random girl getting chosen to photograph a boyband’s day to day activities? Not likely.

But Also, I’m one to talk. Pot calling the kettle black. XD At 15 years old, I was randomly plucked up by NYT best selling author to do social media stuff….sooo…. That was beyond highly unlikely. So… I think I’ll just shut up about that.

I loved Stella’s emotional/internal conflicts. Especially towards the end. It takes a lot for me to connect to a character emotionally, and I connected with Stella.

I also connected with her sister, as I was sick a lot as a child. Not with cancer, but I definitely still empathized with her feelings.

So for those who don’t mind the One Direction-ness of it, I would highly recommend it. It was overall just a fluffy, feel good novel. Indications are that this is probably going to be a series, so I’ll eagerly be awaiting the next story.

May the Fourth Be With You

Lighthouse Land was one of the first Scifis I ever read. I think about it every so often, and since I overhauled my website, I’ve been thinking about ways to bring it up.

It’s been far too long since I read it to post a review about it……But when I was trying to decide if/what I should do for May the Fourth Be With You, It came to me. What better tribute than talking about the book that got me into scifi?

Not only did Lighthouse Land get me into scifi, but it also has a HILARIOUS Star Wars reference. Perfect, right? It’s crazy to think that I don’t remember enough to post a review, but I do remember that totally specific piece of dialogue. Perhaps there were even more references that I didn’t catch. I was only ten or so and I hadn’t even watched Star Wars yet.

I don’t even remember if it was in the first book or the second book. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in the third book. I was going include the scene as an excerpt but I found a problem.

Lighthouse Land isn’t an eBook. Anywhere.

 

So I’ll be constructing it from memory to the best of my ability.

There was a statue that needed to be recharged, in order to send/transport them back to Lighthouse Land. The only place with enough energy to charge it, was a powerplant located in a remote area on the mainland. Neither Jaimie or his friend were old enough to drive. But, his friends older brother was old enough to drive. (he was almost twice their age.)

So they drove, up the solitary road, in the middle of the night. Inside a somewhat beat up soccer mom van… They stole into the main room, hooked the statue up with jumper cables and let ‘er rip.

Alarms and siren’s blared. There had been one road up, and one road down. They piled back into the car and burned down the trail.  Only a small community existed around the plant, mostly of workers and their families.

So near the bottom of the road, there was a police block, where they were screening everyone for the perpetrators of the ‘attempted terrorist attack.’

The friend’s brother rolled down the window for the officer. The smell of burnt fried fish wafted out of the window.

Their singed hair and eyebrows seemed an obvious sign.

The brother lifted two of his fingers and moved them in an arc.

“We are not the droids you are looking for…”

And that quote had me and my sister in giggles for days. Of course, the actual scene is probably much funnier in Adrian McKinty’s original words.

And of course, that scene wasn’t the solitary great thing about the series. Even if I don’t remember specifics, there are elements included that effected (and still effect) the way I write in my own novels.

Nearly a decade later and it still puts a smile on my face. It’s always going to be nostalgic for me.

So wherever you are, Adrian McKinty, I’ll always love you for all of the things about me you’ve influenced.

Book Blitz
Walk the Edge

WTE Tour Banner

I’m ENTIRELY DEVASTATED. My head and eyes hurt too much to read the book in time for the tour. Sucks, because McGarry is one of my FAVORITES. I had the pleasure of reading her debut before it was even released. (it makes me fuzzy inside knowing that I was attached enough to keep it. I’m pretty sure It’d be impossible to find someone willing to give it.)

The Hunter’s Moon

THEHUNTERSMOONBLOGTOUR

I super enjoyed this one! I liked the Native American culture weaved in (although I cannot attest to its accuracy.) I’ve always felt like shifter stories make for great Native American fiction telling because NA beliefs are so at one with their environments. Most I know of have an inherent respect for nature, which also blends in nicely with shifter stories.

Fear My Mortality

Holy crap! This book blew me away. I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked the book up. I’ve read books that have immortal (or extremely long-living) humans in them, but it’s always been a tossup for me. More than half the books I’ve read with immortality I ended up disliking. Some authors pull off amazing stories, while others just kind of flop.

At Water’s Edge

I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this one.

I liked the characters for the most part. But I it was just short of actually clicking with most the characters. I found myself unable to keep track of all the terms. The plot was a little ambiguous….

I just don’t know what to say. Jeez. Usually reviews just pour out of me and this one just doesn’t want to flow.

Ok, on to things I liked:

Grumpy Cat Vol #1

There was an initial confusion about the title. Some places it’s listed as Grumpy Cat Vol 1 and other places list it at The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat and Pokey! #1.

I’m not quite sure how to review all these mini stories…They all have combinations of different authors and illustrators…

I guess I’ll review them individually? And then do an overall impression? Yeah, I’ll go with that idea.

Everything, Everything

Wow.

I am really impressed with this novel. I was hesitant to pick up this novel. I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to all the hype. I’ve been hearing about this book EVERYWHERE for the past couple months. So when I picked up the book, I tried to shut all those thoughts away, and just absorb what the words gave me.

Those words gave me a lot more than I expected.

‘Till Death

I’m not sure where I should start with this one.

The cover maybe? The image is great, I love that floral dress, so the issue doesn’t lie in the cover itself….It’s the ridiculous tagline.

“Staying alive on a first date should be a given, not a challenge….”

Okaaaaay..? I read the entire book, but they actually don’t ever go on a date together. They have study group and a few other things….but no dates. Soo……

First, you have to know that taglines are a pet peeve for me. I try to not look at them. They bug me, but when I pulled this off my shelf I rolled my eyes a little.

Ruthless

Exquisite. Absolutely exquisite. The YA genre lacks great thrillers. Sure, I’ve read some good ones, but most aren’t exclusively thrillers. Usually, they have sci-fi elements and occasionally they have fantasy woven in. Still, even if you classify those novels as ‘thriller’ and then weighed those books against other genres, it’d still be the smallest genre of YA fiction. This novel is pure thriller, and it has one of the best qualities I’ve ever seen.

Season of Fire
The Remnants #2

Awwwww, Ronan. What a sweetheart. I’m pretty much in love with Ronan. He’s one of my favies. He’s chivalrous, and because he’s supposed to be the physical guard for Adriana (where as she’s the empathy), he comes across as a strong protective man-boy, who’s conflicted between his loyalty to The Maker, and his heart which aches to be with Dri’s (regardless of the cost.)

AWWWW!!!

This series makes me such a sap. Saying slang like favies. *pffft* *denies everything*

All Fall Down

I finished this book in one sitting. I’ll admit, I was expecting a book (and series) similar to her Heist Society series, not in content, but in style. In other words, I expected it to be entertaining, but perhaps not out-of-this-world amazing. But this book was pretty much amazing. I was so engaged in Grace’s emotional/mental turmoil. My heart hurts just thinking about it. Clearly, some major research (or maybe even a close personal experience) went into this novel.

Lock & Mori

When I saw this book, I knew the author was gutsy. Sherlock’s fan base has without a doubt, exponentially increased in the past couple years (a la BBC) but the truth is, Sherlock is one of the most iconic fictional characters of all time. People write about him all the time, and each one tries to reinvent him as something more peculiar.

Top Ten Tuesday #.5


10 Wishes I’d Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me

I didn’t think I’d be able to come up with ten bookish wishes, but I did without even having to think about it too much.