Thursday, 18 September 2014

[ARC Review] I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Title: I'll Give You The Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Release Date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: Dial
Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

Okay. I am going to be the only one who reviews this book and says she did not absolutely love it, and I hate that. I will admit that I did enjoy the book a lot, but just not as much as everyone else seemed to love it. A pet peeve of mine is being alone in my thoughts about a book, and I honestly think I might be. Yes I still gave this book 4 stars so I did not hate it, but that 4 star rating is a bit on the lower side, if you know what I mean.

First of all I was not a fan of the writing style. i know this is the part that everyone loved and raves about, but for me it was the exact opposite. I felt disconnected from the story and the characters through the writing style. I felt it was too all over the place for me, and the way it was written was very true to the characters, I will gibe the author that because each character had its own voice and you could differentiate them from each other no problem. But for me it was too disjointed and I couldn't get a grip on the flow of the story because I was too busy trying to make sure I didn't miss a detail.

There are two POVs in this book and I did love that about this novel. I loved seeing two different perspectives to the same story, and I also loved that the two POVs were from different times as well. Noah's chapters were from when he and Jude were both 13, and Judes chapters were from 4 years later. I thought that was a great way to show so many years in such a short space. I will say that I enjoyed Noah's POV better than Jude, and I think it was because he stpry was more compelling to me with him getting bullied and trying to deal with the fact that he has feelings for the boy next door. But sadly I found that Jude had more of the limelight in this story. I wanted more of Noah.

Overall this book was just okay for me. I loved the bullying aspect and how the characters dealt with it. I also loved the brother, sister relationship and how it changed over 4 years. But sadly I could not get past the writing and how distracting it was for me.
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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

[eARC Review] Made for You by Melissa Marr

Title: Made For You
Author: Melissa Marr
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Paranormal Thriller
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.

I am always intrigued when I see Melissa Marr has written another book because I love her and her writing. It is always a little weird but with a contemporary twist and I think that is what I love most about her books. So when I read about Made for You and saw that it was about a young girl who is the victim of a hit and run, only to discover upon gaining consciousness that she has the ability to see the deaths of other...oh and she is being hunted by a killer who is killing everyone around her. Sounds awesome right? It is :)

what i think I liked the most was the different POVs because they gave such different perspectives on the same story. I especially loved the killers point of view because the way it was written showcased how insane this character was, and its anonymity of who actually was talking was great. It kept me guessing as to who the killer actually was and what their motivations were, and how they changed throughout the book. Eva was a great narrator as well, i especially loved her relationships because they showcased not only the type of person she was, but also how much she cared for those around her. Her friendship with Grace was a great to read, especially when you saw how many people did not like the two of them together because they thought Grace was an "outsider" and I loved that Eva could not care less. It was great to read. I also really liked her growing relationship with Nate and how show and meaningful their bond grew. I think over the course of the book, Nate brought out the best in Eva and that was also a great thing to read.

There was one thing that had me a bit disappointed and that was the small paranormal element to the story. The fact that Eva could see the deaths of those around her when she touched them was a very cool aspect to this story but ultimately I thought it would have been better to leave it out. I agree that the foreshadowing made for great tension, especially when it was her friends that she saw dying, but to me, I thought the thriller aspect of the story was enough to sustain me, and the paranormal element seemed over the top. I would have given this book 5 stars if that element was not there and the author focused more on teh thriller and less on the paranormal.

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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

[eARC Review] Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Title: Get Even
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Series: Don't Get Mad #1
Genre: YA Contemporary, Mystery
Format: Paperback, 400 pages
Release Date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process.

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

Where do I start with this book. Well I guess I should admit that I have never read a book by the lovely and talented Gretchen McNeil and i am now kicking myself for waiting so long. This woman has the ability to create stories and characters that resonate beyond the page and a story that is so genuine you cannot help but become immersed in it.

First of all I loved the way this book dealt with the subject of bullying. Yes this book was lighthearted in many places, but in the background there was a serious undertone of intolerance, and I loved that. I found it seriously refreshing for four teenage girls to ban together and stop others from bullying, especially when those girls where from very different social groups. No, their friendship was not perfect and yes there were lies and deceit as in any high school, but for some reason this book felt different.  The tone was that of companionship and remorse, instead of backstabbing and cruelty. I loved every second of it.

The other aspect of this book that was amazing was the actual mystery. The twists and turns that came throughout this book were amazing, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading and it kept me guessing from beginning to end. The only issue I had with this book, and it is the reason my rating is 4 stars instead of 5 was the end. We get no resolution, we have to wait until book 2 or 3 to get the answers we want. I am not mad at Gretchen for doing this, but I am angry that I don't have any kind of ending. Just more questions. It makes me want to grab the second book in the series that much faster and I know I will be reading all 3 of these books in the series because it was just that good. A must read for all mystery lovers because it will be the fastest book you read this year, I promise :)

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Monday, 15 September 2014

COVER REVEAL: Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Holy cow, y'all! We are so excited to bring you the Cover Reveal for Jennifer L. Armentrout's WICKED! WICKED is a New Adult Paranormal Romance and is a part of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Wicked Trilogy. It is being released on December 8th, 2014. So make sure you pre-order it today!!



WICKED Synopsis: 
Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans. Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun... and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart. Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants... she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her. But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.    

About Jennifer L. Armentrout: 

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories....which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

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[eARC Review] Blackbird by Anna Carey

Title: Blackbird
Author: Anna Carey
Series: Blackbird #1
Genre: YA Thriller
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Release Date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelwiess in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.

I went into this book with very high expectations because I love Anna's writing and I devoured her Eve trilogy. So needless to say when I started Blackbird I could not wait to dig in.

Second Person POV is something that when done either works or doesn't work, and I have to admit that for me it didn't work. I loved many aspects of the story but the way it was written was a very big distraction for me. I love the idea of the reader being a part of the story is intriguing and the idea was brilliant, especially when the story is a thriller. But for me I just felt disconnected from teh characters and what our main character was feeling. I really wanted to love the writing because the idea is amazing but for me it just didn't work.

Now onto the rest of the book :) The thriller part of this book was brilliant. I could not wait to find out everything that was going on. I loved the amnesia part of the story the most because it allowed for me as a reader to figure things out along with out main character. That is one of my favorite things to read in a book, especially a thriller. The twist and turns in this book were crazy and seriously? I want more!

The "love interest" if you can really call it that was the best part of the book because it was really the only relationship she had in the book that went beyond just acquaintances and it revealed so much about our narrator. It showed how hard it is for her to trust someone, and it also shows that maybe first impressions are not the best, especially when you can't remember anything past the last week.

Overall this book was a very interesting and I will definitely will read the next book because I want to know what this whole series is about and what will happen next! I will warn that the way this book i written is not for everyone, but once you get past that, the story is amazing.

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Friday, 12 September 2014

[eARC Review] Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

Title: Kiss of Broken Glass
Author: Madeleine Kuderick
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary, Issues
Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
Release Date: September 9th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

Madeleine Kuderick’s gripping debut is a darkly beautiful and lyrical novel in verse, perfect for fans of Sonya Sones and Laurie Halse Anderson. Kiss of Broken Glass pulses with emotion and lingers long after the last page.

In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment.

Books written in verse can either be amazing or can lack something for the reader, and sadly Kiss of Broken Glass left something to be desired. I will say that because this book was in verse it made for a very quick read, just over 2 hours, but sadly I was lacking in some other areas of the book.

This book's theme was cutting and the consequences behind getting caught and continuing to cut. But I do think that there should have been more emphasis on the cutting and why Kenna, our main character decided to start. It is hinted at that there was no real reason behind it and it was just a "club" that these girls were apart of, but I wanted more back story. I wanted to know more about Kenna's life and what made her susceptible to this kind of behavior. I think that was my biggest issue with this book and the way it was written because verse did not allow for me to connect enough with the characters and see deeper into their lives. I wanted more from them and I think that so why I did not enjoy this book as much as I wanted.

Characters for me are very important in any story and I felt in this book that they fell a bit flat for me. I couldn't connect enough to them to feel anything for them as the story went forward. For example there was a small love interest but honestly it felt like nothing happened. I mean they were attracted to each other, but they were in a psych ward and therefore nothing could really happen. I think I would have liked to have had no love interest at all because it took away from the real issue and that was self harm and how that effects every aspect of your life and your friends and family.

I will say that the writing within the verse was beautiful and I thought t flowed very well. I think I just wanted full prose for this kind of story. I felt like it deserved more of an in depth look at its characters and the effects of self harm. I also was a bit disappointed in the end because it was so open ended. There was no real conclusion to this story and I think these characters deserved more of an ending, at least I wanted one. I felt like we were left with too many questions and not enough of a resolution to the problems these characters were facing.
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Thursday, 11 September 2014

[BLOG TOUR] Review of The Art of Getting Stared At by Laura Langston

Title: The Art of Getting Stared At
Author: Laura Langston
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Release Date: September 9th 2014
Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Source: ARC received by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | Kobo | Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Sloane is given the biggest opportunity of her life—a chance for a film school scholarship—but she only has less than two weeks to produce a video. She also has to work with Isaac Alexander, an irresponsible charmer with whom she shares an uneasy history.

Then comes a horrifying discovery: Sloane finds a bald spot on her head. The pink patch, no bigger than a quarter, shouldn’t be there. Neither should the bald spots that follow. Horror gives way to devastation when Sloane is diagnosed with alopecia areata. The autoimmune disease has no cause, no cure and no definitive outcome. The spots might grow over tomorrow or they might be there for life. She could become completely bald. No one knows.

Determined to produce her video and keep her condition secret, Sloane finds herself turning into the kind of person she has always mocked: someone obsessed with their looks. She’s also forced to confront a painful truth: she is as judgmental as anyone else … but she saves the harshest judgments for herself.

Before I start my review I wanted to say something to my teenage self. I will admit that I was very body conscious when I was in high school and I will admit that it has not fully gone away. I have always been somewhat overweight and I have been teased because of it. But in high school it was not as overt as it was earlier on. I walked around in very baggy clothes to hide the body underneath and if I had a chance to say something to that girl that was hiding behind concert t-shirts and baggy jeans I would say "It gets easier." I won't say that it goes away because I don't think that is possible but it gets so much better. I mean f you would have told me back then that I would be the first of my friends to get married, I would have laughed in your face because getting a boyfriend was something I never thought would happen back then. So yes, it gets so much better.

The Art of Getting Stared at is a book that grabbed me right from the beginning and never let me go. I honestly don't know if I can put into words what this book did to me. But I will try. The portrayal of high school life was bang on, granted I haven't BEEN in high school for about 7 years, from what I remember, this book showed it. And having a main character like Sloane was perfect because she was normal, or what I would call normal. She was obsessed with film and film making and I loved that about her. I loved that she had a passion and she would have done anything to follow her dreams. This was something that i miss in YA because something its all about not being able to follow your dream, but for Sloane there was no other choice. She had to do it.

The relationships in this novel were just as important as Sloane's perception of herself because it were these people were what made Sloane realize that the person on the inside was more important than what you see on the outside. Isaac I think was my favorite character in regards to his relationship with Sloane because he was the reason for her growth. Their relationship felt so real and yet the pace of it was extremely slow. I never thought I would say I loved the slow building of their love but I did. I think if it was any other way it would have taken away from the overall story of the book and the overall message of its not what is perceived but others, but what you perceive yourself to be.

The Alopecia was a very big part of this novel because it was taking over Sloane's life and the way she perceived herself. And I think the author did an amazing job of capturing how panicked a person would be if they were told that they would go bald, especially when they are in an environment that is so focused on looks and perception. Sloane's reaction to all of this broke my heart because I felt for her. I knew while reading that I would have probably felt the exact same way and I honestly don't know if, in the end, I would have been as strong as she was. It was amazing to read a main character with so much growth because it is very rare in today's worlds that a character learns to love herself enough to look in the mirror and not see the person she was, but the person she is today.

Overall The Art of Getting Stared At was a very emotional read and one I think all teenagers need to read because its message is so important and one i wish would be in all YA books. Please pick up this book because it needs to be read, it will change you because it change me after I finished it, and it begs to be read and it deserves all the praise in the world.
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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

[ARC Review] Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Title: Illusions of Fate
Author: Kiersten White
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Historical, Magic
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Release Date: September 9th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC received by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.

I will always read books written by Kiersten White because I am always a fan of her characters, especially her female characters. I always find that they are strong and usually sarcastic which is a win win scenario for me. And so when I picked up Illusions of Fate and started reading I was not disappointed in Jessamine, our main character. She was fierce, strong and independent which was something I loved reading because we are used to seeing female character who are in need of saving, so this change of pace of great to see. I also loved her personality because she was so snarky and witty, something I love reading and so if I have to name the one thing I loved the most from this book it would be Jessamine. She was a great female heroine.

The writing style for me was a bit of distraction and i think it is because I am not used to reading such formal writing in the YA genre. It fit perfectly with the setting and the storyline, but for me it was just distracting. It took me out of the story on more than one occasion which was not optimal for me to enjoy the book as much as I wanted to. I give so much credit to Kiersten for writing in that style because I can only imagine how hard it would be to stay so formal throughout a 200 and something page book. I honestly think I was just taken aback by that style because it was not something I had expected going in.

The secondary characters were great, especially the villain. I am a sucker for a great bad guy and Illusions of a Fate had a great one in the beginning. He was mysterious, extremely creepy and had no mercy for anyone when it came to punishment. I loved all of that because it made the story that much more interesting. But i was sad near the end because I felt like that villain turned a bit soft and he wasn't that menacing as the story went on. Finn, Jessamine's love interest was just Meh for me because I wasn't really that interested in him and honestly I was just not attracted to him in the story. I think that hindered my liking of book as well because Finn was a very large part of the book and because I wasn't that interested in him, I felt disconnected with the overall story.

In the end I did really enjoy certain aspect of this story, Jessamine was a great character to get behind and the setting was absolutely amazing and sucked you in right from the beginning. But lack of interest in certain character and the writing style took me out of the story and hindered my reading experience more than I wanted.
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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

[eARC Review] Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Title: Falling Into Place
Author: Amy Zhang
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Release Date: September 9th 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

I really do not know how to start this review because this book was beyond words. I honestly do not know if I can even express how and why I loved this book so much without ruining the book for everyone. But I will try my best :)

I think the main reason I loved this book so much was the way it was written. I have never read a book like this one before in my life. And the main reason is because of the narrator. As we start reading we don't actually know who the narrator is, all we know is that they are outside of the story and are able to see everyone and report back to us readers. I loved this way of telling the story because we not only got to see Liz, our main characters story and what she was going through, but we also got to see everyone around her, and how she effected them.

Liz was a character that I don't really think we are supposed to like. She admits, even to herself that she is not the greatest person but for me  found so many redeemable qualities in her and you struggle with her character throughout the book. I especially felt this when we see Liz with her friends and I think these instances were my favorite part because the interaction was so real to me. Liz was turning into a person she didn't want to be, but she was stuck and she had no idea how to become the person she wanted to be. High school for Liz was all about image and perception and she hated the perceptions others had of her. And we watch as she struggles with the fact that she cannot escape who she has become and has to face it head on.

The end. I cant really say much because it would ruin the entire book for you, but I loved it. It felt real, genuine, and I loved every second of it. Was everything magically better for everyone involved? of course not but there was hope at the  end if this book and I think that is the best thing that could have happened. I could not have pictured another ending for this book. It was perfection.
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Monday, 8 September 2014

[eARC Review] Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Title: Rites of Passage
Author: Joy N. Hensley
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary, Military
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Release Date: September 9th 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: eARC provided from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

I will forewarn you that this review will be a gushy one because this book blew me out of the water. I did not expect what I read when I picked it up. Rites of Passage is full of strong and complex characters that grab you from the moment you meet them to the very end of the novel. I seriously could not put this book down once I started reading it. I thought about it every time I had to put it down and do other things and I found myself trying to find opportunities to stop what I was doing and read because I needed to know what would happen. This book was brilliant.

What i think I liked the most about Rites, was that it was not about a forbidden love story...which I will admit did happen eventually. But what this book was about was Sam and her ability to stand strong against even the most adverse situations. Sam herself was the highlight of this book because she was herself, no matter what happened. She cared more about proving that she could go through military school than being a regular teenager. Because of her family name she knew that there was a very large and very bright target on her back and so that made her struggle that much worse. But the way she held herself and the way she cared about those around her was amazing to read. She was a great narrator and main character and to be honest a great role model for teen readers. Sam set her mind on something and let nothing stand in her way, even when those around her were telling her to give up.

Yes, Rites of Passage is about Sam and her struggles in an all boys military school, but it is also about family and friends and how to navigate all at once. I think the relationships Sam had with not only her family but her friends as well told a lot about her to us readers. She cared so much about those around her that she would always make sure they were okay before herself. But what I think I liked the most was the family dynamic and how screwed up it was. At times it was very hard to read how they treated each other because we saw how much Sam needed them, but it made for great conflict and tension which was great to read.

Now we get to the best part of the book, and that was the secret society that was trying to get Sam and her female counterparts kicked out of the school. I think this was my favorite part of this story because of how real it felt. The main villain was written to the point where i wanted to go into the book and kick his ass for for everything he was doing not only to Sam but to all the girls. This society made this book a sort of mystery novel that I never expected. I wanted to know who they were and what their endgame was, and oh boy. The endgame was so messed up, but made for a great read.

I loved this book so much that the end felt a little too open ended for me. I wanted to know more about these character and what would happen to them after everything settled down. There were so open ended questions that weren't exactly answered but to be honest I didn't care, because this book was just that good. I would love if the author would write a follow up to these characters so we can see how they are doing, but for now i will keep the ending i have in my head, because its awesome :)
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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Houston Book Rave & Chapter by Chapter Book Rave!

There are so many great things happening at these two events!

New Rochelle, NY

1. You could be a secondary character in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s NEXT book! Learn how here: Secondary Character Contest

2. You can purchase a signed copy of STAY WITH ME if you cannot attend!

3. The day will be filled with a book signing, parties, giveaways, and more! Time is running out so get your tickets before there is not more!



Things you can do at HBR
1. Get your books signed
2. Mingle with all the authors before the signing
4. Have a Fun Photo Booth Session with Jay Crownover
5. Check out the Muscle cars from the Marked Men and Welcome to the Point Series
6. Meet cover model Pepe Toth at Jennifer L. Armentrout's table.

more to come!!
Visit our webpage to see all of our events!
TrinDee Events (


Help us spread the word and you could win a copy of #Rowdy by Jay Crownover!

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Friday, 5 September 2014

BLOG TOUR [Guest Post] The Death of Us by Alice Kuipers

I am so excited to have Alice Kuipers on the blog today. She is the author of many amazing YA book that include: 40 Things I Want to Tell You, My Life on the Refrigerator Door and of course her newest novel, The Death of Us!

if you would like to know how much I LOVED The Death of Us, I posted my review earlier today and you can find it HERE. But right now I would like to give the floor to Alice as she answers a question I have wanted to pose for so long; Are there struggles of creating relatable characters in the contemporary genre? And how her character development process changes with every book! Take it away Alice:

Hi Siobhan,

Thanks for hosting me as part of the blog tour. I love the title of your blog and I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews for a while, so I’m very happy to be stopping by. Here goes:

Making relatable characters is one of the challenges for any writer. I write contemporary, realistic fiction. But if I wrote fantasy or romance or sci-fi or anything else, I think the struggles with character would be just the same. Characters need to feel real to a reader. As real as they do to the writer. I just read an interview with Ellen Hopkins where she said:

I don’t feel like I go “into” my head to write. I feel like I channel the characters living inside me. So process is about clearing the way for them to talk and allow me to write their stories. My characters really are living, breathing, hurting, loving people to me, and putting them on the page always attracts the light that fights darkness. There’s all kinds of hope in that, and it’s something my readers I find her words very powerful and true here. The characters I choose to write are very real to me. This notion that they are living, breathing, hurting, loving people is a beautifully articulate way of saying: people who don’t exist speak to me and make themselves come into existence.

With my first novel, Claire and her mother sprang into life when the title popped into my head. I can still conjour them now from the quiet place they’ve gone to. I could hear Claire vividly in every note she wrote, even though I was the one writing the notes. Her mother was just as clear. In my second novel, I used first person and Sophie’s diary flowed onto the page. It wasn’t the case that I didn’t have to edit. I absolutely did have to go back over and make her as real as she insisted on being. But I remember waking in the night and hearing her story come to life. It sounds COMPLETELY CRAZY. I think that’s why writers have to spend a lot of time on their own. Because it is completely bizarre to invent people who feel so real that you can’t stop yourself writing about them. But it’s wildly fun too.

With my third book 40 Things I Want To Tell You, Amy’s controlling nature basically wrote the book. When Ellen Hopkins talks about clearing the way for letting the characters talk, I really remember that for the writing process of 40 Things. In the first draft I started way too late in the story and I had to do a big rewrite where I gave Amy space and time to really show who she was as she navigated all the tension and drama of her choices. are drawn to.

In my newest novel, The Death of Us, I realized that three characters wanted to tell this story. Shifting perspectives was difficult when I put too much of myself into the way of the storytelling. But once I got to know each character and trusted their words, the story became much easier to write. And much, much more fun. In the end, I had a lot of fun writing such a complicated story. It seems to me that I like to set myself difficult tasks and then relax – with coffee – and write, write, write.

The process for me as a writer involves a lot of mis-steps. I write thousands of words I can’t ever use, but those words are always a pleasure to write, even if cutting them later is painful. It’s not the smartest writing process, but I’ve come to accept it. And I’ve come to love each of my characters. I enjoy interviewing them, and reading their words aloud later to make sure I’ve got their voices right. As I’ve written each book, there have been moments where I’ve really had to listen. I’ve had to make sure all other distractions were out of the way so I could truly hear what my characters had to say.

That part of the process really is crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thank you so much Alice! Please go pick up The Death of Us, it is such a great read for everyone, and I highly recommend it!

About The Author

ALICE KUIPERS is the bestselling, award-winning author of three previous novels, Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did and 40 Things I Want To Tell You, and the picture book Violet and Victor Write The Best-Ever Bookworm Book. Her work has been published to critical acclaim in twenty-nine countries. She lives in Saskatoon. Find her here:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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BLOG TOUR [ARC Review] The Death of Us by Alice Kuipers

Title: The Death of Us
Author: Alice Kuipers
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
Source: ARC received from publisher for blog Tour in exchange of an honest review

Amazon | Kobo | Indigo |HarperCollins CA| Goodreads

A recovered friendship, a dark secret, and a love triangle with a deadly angle…

Callie is shocked when her friend Ivy reappears after an unexplained three-year absence, but the girls pick up where they left off, and suddenly Callie's summer is full of parties, boys and fun. Beneath the surface, things aren't what they seem, however, and when a handsome boy with a dark past gets tangled up with Ivy, the girls' history threatens to destroy their future.

I am usually not a fan of books written in multiple POVs, I usually do not like books that start off with the end cliffhanger and then start from the beginning. But in The Death of Us, all of the above worked in such a way that made me love this book so much.

POVs, or point of views, are always important in a novel and as a reader I always tend to gravitate to one more than another, and that was no different in this novel. Callie was my favourite I think because i was able to relate to her and what she was going through. Having a friend move away and then move back can be hard on friendships and  a family dynamic, especially one that has a new baby attached to it. I also liked Callie's voice a lot more than anyone else because she was just so sweet and I felt like she was so genuine and seriously wanted to fit in. Did she make some bad choices, of course she did but they made her character that much better than it already was.

Ivy's character was one that I was not a fan of from the very beginning, and I don't think we are meant to like her. She is the friend that wants all the attention, and hates it when someone steals it from her. I liked her perspective on the story especially in contract with Callie's POV because they were so different. And it showed how different people see the same situation is very extreme ways. Kurt was the last and final POV and I loved his the most because he was in the middle of these two girls, and he knew both of them better than I think either of them thought. Kurt was an interesting character because we only got is POV from the present, where as we got Ivy and Callie's POV from the past. And what I loved the most about this book was the fact that every single one of these characters meant something to the story. Each one affected the other and in the end, each one took part in the end game. And seriously, THAT ENDING! loved it so much!

Don't forget to take a look at Alice's Guest Post! Find it HERE.

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