Saturday, September 30, 2017

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. With this amazing meme, you can check out which books I've gotten this past week.

From Raincoast
Your One & Only by Adrianne Finlay
Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?

While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

Dreamer (Traveler #2) by L. E. DeLano
This thrilling sequel to Traveler doles out adventure and heartbreak in equal measure as it takes readers through a kaleidoscope of intricately crafted worlds of wonder, discovery, and danger.

You’re still you no matter where you go.

Jessa has learned the hard way that traveling to alternate dimensions isn’t all delicious, glittering desserts and fancy parties: it also means accidentally running into people she thought she'd never see again. Still mourning a devastating loss, Jessa isn’t really prepared for the arrival of a reckless version of someone she once loved who is now bent on revenge. Add an increasingly complicated relationship with her best friend Ben, the reappearance of an old enemy, and the threat of the multiverse collapsing, and Jessa’s got a lot on her plate. She may be destined to help save an infinite multitude of worlds… but in the end, all Jessa really wants to do is save her friends.

In Dreamer, the young adult fantasy follow up to Traveler, author L. E. DeLano delivers a gripping, emotional story that will leave readers on the edge of their seat.

From Trade 
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress--and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

What did you guys get this week? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Review: Dark Tempest by Annette Marie

Series: Red Winter Trilogy #2
Publication Date: January 6th 2017
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc
Genre: YA, Fantasy 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: Emi has dedicated her life to becoming the perfect vessel for the goddess Amaterasu, but the insidious betrayal of another deity has changed everything. Now Amaterasu has charged Emi with an urgent mission: to find and free the earthly gods before mankind is brought to its knees beneath divine tyranny.

At her side is Shiro, the mysterious fox spirit. When she first saved his life, she could never have imagined that behind his cunning and confidence, he was lost—his power bound by a devastating curse and his memories obscured. His veiled history is somehow tied to the missing gods, but he can't remember how or why.

As their search leads them into the murky depths of the spirit realm, the shadows of Shiro's past begin to emerge. With each brief awakening of his true self, she loses a little more of him. The fate of the heavens and earth rest in her mortal hands, and she must find the missing gods before time runs out for her world—and for Shiro.

My Rating 
5/5 stars

My Review
Dark Tempest was addicting, beautiful and has the most unique characters. I honestly can't begin to tell you how amazed I am with this book.

Amaterasu has given Emi a mission. Find and free the kunitsukami so they can destroy Izanami before she destroys Earth. Emi, Shiro and Yumei are ready to get started on their mission, but without any leads they don't know where to begin. Emi ends up going back to the shrine to talk to her elders to tell them about her mission and see if they know anything. When Emi realizes that her elders have taken the mission upon themselves and plan to keep Emi locked away, Emi plans an escape with Shiro and Yumei, with a lead on where to find their first kunitsukami. 

Everything I originally had a problem with in the first book, was magically fixed. Making this probably one of the best fantasy books I will read this year.

I did NOT like Emi at all in the beginning of the first book. Yet in this book, I have completely changed my mind about her, her character development was crazy and I honestly admire and respect her now. Emi went from being a fragile, weak human girl who is very proper, follows the rules and is afraid to do basically everything, to a strong female character that is not afraid to travel and fight with the big guys, and even though she's still human, she knows how to channel her powers and use that to her advantage to help the yokai when they need her help the most. Emi's character development has seriously left me speechless, I've read countless books and I've never seen character development like this before. Annette did such an amazing job with Emi.

Shiro!! My favourite character in this series. I was so happy picking this book up, because I really missed Shiro and his sassiness. What I loved about this book especially, was finding out bits and pieces of Shiro's past and how he was before the oneju beads were on him. I feel like it made his and Emi's relationship even stronger and it was so wonderful to read about.

The action in this book was to die for. The first book had a really long period of boringness in the beginning, but definitely not this book. There was action from the beginning of the book, and when you got about half way in, there was so much action that I could not put the book down. It truly was captivating and addicting.

Overall, I'm simply amazed how well this book turned out. If you haven't read the first book yet, I highly recommend starting this series, and if you've already read the first one, then I promise you that you will love this one even more. 

Happy Reading,

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Chosen Knights by Mary Ting

The Chosen Knights
Mary Ting
Series: The Angel Knights #1
Publication date: March 19th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis: (HIGHLY recommend to read prequel first–The Angel Knights)
***City of Bones meets The Da Vinci Code.
Urban fantasy lover’s dream! Demons, vampires, angels, witches, and fallen angels all set to the back drop of high school in Hawaii, and astral travel to the past to Knights Templar era.
A page turning mystery with a supernatural twist that entertains to the last page! ~InD’tale Magazine
Book trailer:
When teens go missing in Hawaii, a group of demon-hunters—half human and half angel—disguised as high school students, must leave Crossroads, the place where they reside. In a race against time, they uncover the mystery connecting the missing teens, which dates back to the era of the Knights Templar. However, when they discover one of the Templars passed down a book containing all the secrets and codes to finding a particular treasure, they soon realize this forbidden treasure needs to be found before Cyrus, the lord of the possessor demons, acquires it—a treasure which been safeguarded and hidden from him.
There is only one problem: the pages containing the clues leading to the treasure is missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen.
FREE for a limited time only!
Eli willed his sword away. It disappeared behind his back, just the way I would have done it. “You know nothing. Nothing about me is human. I won’t be a part of something that could kill any one of you.”
“How could it kill us if—?” Then I had a thought, recalling the first time I’d seen him in the cafeteria. I had no evidence but it was worth the shot. “You can astral travel, can’t you? You’ve done it before, when you first saw me in the cafeteria. You can travel in the present too. That’s why you took off.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Do you even know what that is?” His jaw clenched.
I knew he was lying. “Out-of-body experience.” I followed behind him when he started walking away.
“You have no idea of the consequences when you travel. Astral travel.”
“Then let it be my consequence.”
Eli whipped around. His face was just a breath away from mine. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Then show me.”
Eli pierced his eyes into mine. His heart drummed a mile a minute. “You want to feel pain, Lucia? You want to know what happens to people when they astral travel?”
“I-I—” I didn’t know what to say. I certainly didn’t expect him to say the things he did.
Eli extended his arm to me. “Take my hand.”
“Take my hand, Lucia.” His tone was stern.
I shook my head.
“Last warning.”
“Last warning for—ELI.” I screamed. My stomach dropped, along with my body. Eli’s arms embraced me as we plunged through multiple layers of clouds with my back facing down. Hair whipped my face and the force of gravity made me dizzy.
“You didn’t heed my warning, Lucia,” Eli grumbled.
“So you’re trying to kill me?” The normal reaction for someone in this situation would be to fight back, but my instincts told me I wasn’t in danger. “What are you doing?” The clouds got smaller as we plummeted faster by the second. I began to have second thoughts. Wanting to believe so badly I could get through to him, I’d let it possibly cost my life.
He ignored my plea. Looking squarely in my eyes as air rushed against us, he said nonchalantly, “Get ready to die.”

Author Bio:
International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King #2
Publication Date: February 27th 2018
Publisher: Fewer & Friends 
Genre: YA, Fantasy 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: The capable, confident, and occasionally ruthless heroine of Daughter of the Pirate King is back in this action-packed sequel that promises rousing high seas adventures and the perfect dash of magic.

Alosa's mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he's under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father's justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

In Daughter of the Siren Queen, Tricia Levenseller brings together the perfect mix of thrilling action, tense battle scenes, and a heart-pounding romance.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review: Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Series: Devils & Thieves #1
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Book for Young Readers
Genre: YA, Fantasy 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael has grown up surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called "kindled," and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn't help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe, the dangerous and enigmatic leader of the Black Devils kindled motorcycle gang and the unofficial head of their turf.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumour begins spreading that someone is practising forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

My Rating
4/5 stars

My Review
Devils & Thieves is the perfect halloween read. 

Jemmie believes she's allergic to her own magic but it doesn't bother her too much, well maybe the fact that one of the reasons her father left was because she didn't live up to his expectations. Jemmie's father and her best friend Alex's father created the Devils, a group of "kindled" that can perform magic and chose to work together. Last year, Alex's father was killed, and the role of leader went to her older brother Crowe, who just happens to be to boy that Jemmie has been in love with for years. When a festival rolls around for all kindled in America, people start to go missing, and Jemmie holds the power to help find these people, but first she has to face her problem of using her magic.

I really liked Jemmie as a main character. All her life she's been the shy, quiet girl that doesn't mind hiding behind her best friend's spotlight. She doesn't care to be exceptional, she just wants to be considered normal. I liked her personality from the beginning, but I definitely liked her a lot more closer to the end of the book. She went through a huge character development, and it was really exciting to read in her point of view.

It's been a while since I've read a book that had a love triangle. While this book did have one, it was definitely one of the love triangles where you know exactly who the main character ends up with. While I did ship the main romance, I didn't particularly like either of the boys. One of the just seems really weird and creepy right from the beginning, while the other is rude and think he know's best when it comes to Jemmie. 

The plot and world-building of this story was fantastic. Jennifer created such an amazing world, it was so wonderful to read about it. The details and the writing were really good. The book was well paced, I wasn't bored at any part of it and there was always something that made me want to keep reading. While the plot was a little predictable, I did question whether my original prediction was right (sadly it was), so I would have liked it a bit more if there were more twists and surprises.

The last page of this book is absolutely crazy. I finished the book with my mouth hanging open. If you start reading this book and don't know if you want to give up or not, definitely read till the end because the last chapter was phenomenal. Having said that, I can't wait till the next book in this series comes out, because after that ending I'm dying to read more.

Happy Reading,

Monday, September 25, 2017

Party Planning with Paperless Post

Hi everyone, and welcome back to my blog. I wanted to share with you today, a wonderful website I recently found. Paperless Post is an online card store, their products range from birthday/holiday cards, stationary, invitations and even wedding cards. My absolutely favourite part of this website is that all cards are customizable to your need. Enough talk, let me show you what I'm talking about.

If you're planning a party or a get together, why not invite everyone via Paperless Post. Usually when either me or a friend of mine host a party, we do the usual group message on Facebook, and while this is a convenient way to do it, its really boring and way overdone. With paperless post you can send invitations via email, the best part is that the invitation you make comes with an interactive video. Below I've added a few of my favourite invitations.

All of these invitations are customizable, you can change the colours, the text and even add your own pictures.

Now I'm not sure about you guys, but I have a lot of family that lives in a different country than me, sending out birthday and holiday cards to all my relative can be a huge hassle that I definitely like to avoid. That's why this year I'll be going electronically. Not only does it make sending cards easier (and cheaper too) but you can also add your own photos, which your family and friends would much rather see than some random model on the cover of your card. But for those that don't want to customize their own, here are a few examples of the cool cards I found.

Okay, so I wasn't going to add this part originally, but these cards are so cute I just had to. The website offers a huge range of holiday cards, and with halloween coming up I thought it would be best to show you some of the new stock they have.


Aren't these just adorable?

If you sign up for Paperless Post, you get 25 free credits. This will let you try out their website and send a few cards or invitation for your next event. If you're new to my blog, any of the words in this post written in pink are direct links to the Paperless Post website. If you'd like to go to the main website click here. If you guys end up making your own cards, I would absolutely love to see them.

This post was published in partnership with Paperless Post, all reviews and opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Review: The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Series: Iskara #1
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA, Fantasy 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer. 

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up hearing in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

My Rating
5/5 stars

My Review
The Last Namsara is absolutely fantastic. Amazing characters, tons of action and dragons! Its perfect for all YA fans.

As a little girl, Asha was burned by the first dragon. Now she's made it her mission to slay all the dragons in her land, including the one thats burned her. The only way the King will let Asha annul her marriage to Jarek, the man that saved her life, but has continued to make it miserable every day since, is if she kills the first dragon, and brings his head before him. But when Asha's brother asks her to save the life of a slave, and an ancient god visits Asha and gives her gifts, along with special tasks to complete, Asha is running out on time to kill the dragon.. Will she face the wrath of the gods, or will she save herself from a terrible marriage.

Asha is such an amazing main character. She is strong, intelligent, sassy and a badass. I instantly fell in love with her from the beginning of the book, and her character development made me love her even more. She has a very strong and determine attitude, and will definitely follow her heart and do something, even though she may be hated for it, or face a prison sentence for breaking the law. It was definitely hard for me to say goodbye to her at the end of the book.

There were other fantastic characters, such as her brother, her cousin, and the slave. Every character was so unique, yet crucial to the story. Its not often that secondary characters go through a really impressive character development, but surprisingly a great deal of secondary characters in this book did. I was really impressed with the character development of everyone.

As soon as I heard this book had dragons in it, I knew I had to have it. While the dragons definitely made the story better, the fantasy aspect of the story was really well written as well. The whole plot line was so creative, and the addition of the old gods, as well having royals vs slaves, it was all so creative. It's been a while since I've read a book that has incorporated slavery and shown just how horrible it really is, the author did such an amazing job in making it sound realistic, great job.

I loved every single aspect of this book, the only thing I would change would be to add a bit more surprises to the story, it was just a tad too predictable. Overall I still really enjoyed it and I can't wait to continue this series.

Happy Reading,

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. With this amazing meme, you can check out which books I've gotten this past week.

From Thomas Allen & Son
The Dire King (Jackaby #4) by William Ritter
The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook. An evil king is turning ancient tensions into modern strife, using a blend of magic and technology to push Earth and the Otherworld into a mortal competition. Jackaby and Abigail are caught in the middle as they continue to solve the daily mysteries of New Fiddleham, New England — like who’s created the rend between the worlds, how to close it, and why zombies are appearing around. At the same time, the romance between Abigail and the shape-shifting police detective Charlie Cane deepens, and Jackaby’s resistance to his feelings for 926 Augur Lane’s ghostly lady, Jenny, begins to give way. Before the four can think about their own futures, they will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether.

The Fire Queen (The Hundredth Queen #2) by Emily R. King
In the second book in The Hundredth Queen Series, Emily R. King once again follows a young warrior queen’s rise to meet her destiny in a richly imagined world of sorcery and forbidden powers.

Though the tyrant rajah she was forced to marry is dead, Kalinda’s troubles are far from over. A warlord has invaded the imperial city, and now she’s in exile. But she isn’t alone. Kalinda has the allegiance of Captain Deven Naik, her guard and beloved, imprisoned for treason and stripped of command. With the empire at war, their best hope is to find Prince Ashwin, the rajah’s son, who has promised Deven’s freedom on one condition: that Kalinda will fight and defeat three formidable opponents.

But as Kalinda’s tournament strengths are once again challenged, so too is her relationship with Deven. While Deven fears her powers, Ashwin reveres them—as well as the courageous woman who wields them. Kalinda comes to regard Ashwin as the only man who can repair a warring world and finds herself torn between her allegiance to Deven and a newly found respect for the young prince.

With both the responsibility to protect her people and the fate of those she loves weighing heavily upon her, Kalinda is forced again to compete. She must test the limits of her fire powers and her hard-won wisdom. But will that be enough to unite the empire without sacrificing all she holds dear?

Won from author
Royal Bastards (Royal Bastards #1) by Andrew Shvarts
Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . . 

What did you guys get this week? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cover Reveal: Being Alpha by Aileen Erin

Being Alpha
Aileen Erin
Series: Alpha Girl #7
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: February 13th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis: For the first time since Tessa met Dastien, life is quiet. The evil witch, Luciana, is six glorious feet under, St. Ailbe’s is closed due to human trespassers, and people are finally getting used to the fact that supernaturals exist in the world. It seems like the perfect time for a honeymoon.
Tessa and Dastien’s trip to the Caribbean is turning out to be the honeymoon that fantasies are made of—sunset cruises, long walks on the beach, and every romantic cliché you can imagine. She couldn’t be happier. So, when a local man turns up inexplicably dead on the beach, Tessa brushes it off. Not every bad thing that happens in the world is a supernatural mystery to be solved. And when Sebastian—one of the Council of Seven Alphas who rule all the werewolves—appears on the island, she thinks it must be a coincidence. Everyone needs a break now and then. Even council members. Right? Besides, Tessa is beyond determined to not let anything get in the way of her romantic vacation.
But when Dastien goes missing, the honeymoon is most definitely over. Tessa can’t ignore the signs anymore. Something huge is going on. And whoever messed with Tessa’s mate is in for a rude awakening. Because if there’s one thing fighting rogue witches and werewolves has taught her, it’s how to be Alpha.

Author Bio:
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Genre: YA, Dystopia 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: James Patterson presents a bold new heroine--a cross between Katniss Everdeen and Annie Oakley: Serendipity Jones, the fastest sharpshooter in tomorrow's West. 

Seventeen-year-old Serendipity "Pity" Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six shooters and perfect aim. She's been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great....
In this extraordinary debut from Lyndsay Ely, the West is once again wild after a Second Civil War fractures the U.S. into a broken, dangerous land. Pity's struggle against the dark and twisted underbelly of a corrupt city will haunt you long after the final bullet is shot.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Book Blast & $100 Giveaway: The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby

Series: Izzy Malone #2
Publication Date: September 19th 2017
Publisher: Aladdin 
Genre: Children's 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: Violet Barnaby searches for the joy in life after losing her mother in this sweet and funny follow-up to The Charming Life of Izzy Malone.

Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they’ll share with Melanie and Melanie’s two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List—things her mom wants her to do during the holiday seasonOn the list are exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year, like Be Someone’s Secret Santa; Give Someone the Gift of Your Time: Volunteer; and Bake Christmas Cookies.

Violet shows the letter to her friend Izzy’s Aunt Mildred, who calls a meeting of the Charm Girls, a club Izzy and Violet belong to along with their friends, Daisy and Sophia. Aunt Mildred decides she will give them each a charm to put on their bracelet if they do all of the tasks on the Christmas Wish List, which Violet is not too happy about. She’d rather forget about the list completely, but feels compelled to honor her mother’s wishes.

And when Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too…

Praise for The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby "[an] emotionally perceptive novel of grief and recovery." - Kirkus You'll fall in love with Violet and love every minute of living in her wondrous world! - Stephanie Faris

Author Jenny Lundquist 
Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, where she spent her time unsuccessfully learning how to surf. When she was younger, she wanted to be either a rock star or a published author. After she taped herself singing and listened to it on playback she decided she'd better opt for the writing route. Jenny is the author of multiple YA and Middle Grade titles including Seeing Cinderella, The Charming Life of Izzy Malone, The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby and the forthcoming The Carnival of Wishes and Dreams (2019).

    amazon or paypal
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway 
 Ends 10/10/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: 27 Hours by Tristina Wright

Series: The Nightside Saga
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, GLBT
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ TBD

Synopsis: Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish.

But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.

Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother's shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon's darkest secret.

They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.

During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.

27 Hours is a sweeping, thrilling story featuring a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero.

My Rating
2/5 stars

My Review
I was extremely happy to receive an early copy of this book, especially after hearing so many great things about it. Unfortunately this did not end up being the book for me.

When the human race travelled to an abandoned moon, the first thing they did after colonization was build a lake. What they didn't know, is that during their building, they flooded the nest of the Chimera, an ancient species that has lived on this moon for many years. The war between the two species over the land has gone on since the beginning, but when the Chimera attack Hub2, Rumor ends up being the only survivor, and he relays the message that everyone in his colony are dead, and the rest of the Chimera will start a war within the next 27 hours.

This book was so good... yet so bad at the same time. It definitely had huge potential and possibly with a few minor changes, this book could have been even better. Lets break the reasons down.

The characters. This book follows four points of view. Three boys and one girl. Three colonists and one member of the human group living in the forest that is neutral between the war. Right off the bat, it felt really weird to have four points of view, without having at least one of them actually be a chimera/gargoyle, so we only get to see their side of the story from the colonists/forest group's point of view.
The thing I really liked about these characters was the diversity. Each main character is so unique and different, not only based on their background, but also on their sexuality. While I'm not a member of the glbt community, which means that my opinion here may not be the best, I really enjoyed the diversity of the main characters, and I thought that this part of the story was very well written.
On the other hand, I couldn't find myself actually get connected with any of the characters. The way the author wrote about the characters and what they were doing, they just didn't feel like real people to me, I couldn't connect with any of the characters, they just felt very flat. The POV was switching so rapidly that they all eventually just blurred into one, and I found myself forgetting who's voice I was reading in. I think, with a little more time and effort into each character I could have enjoyed it a lot more.

The world-building is where I had the most problems with this book. So this story is set about 200 years into the future, and it is set on a "moon" where it is light for 27 hours and then dark for 27 hours. The author has mentioned multiple times that the colony of humans on this planet has over the years merged into one. There are no races, no discrimination against skin colour, and everyone eventually learned a common language and now this is the only language that the humans speak. Having said all this, the book focuses a lot on ethnicity and where each character comes from, and while its not passed off in a racist way, it is still very important to the characters. To me, it seems like either the author got lazy in descriptions and just chose describe their characters as "half Nigerian and half Portuguese" to make it easier for herself, or this "world" that she's created has some major flaws in it.
The second thing that I absolutely could not stand about this world was the colonization part. You're telling me that a race of humans, which in 200 years is able to find a habitable planet, find people and technology to travel there and create cities in that short amount of time, has completely forgotten their history on Earth about colonization? These people must have obviously been extremely smart, since they were able to do so much in such little time, yet its like they've never had a history lesson in their life. The humans on this planet have completely colonized the land, and basically taken it away from the Chimera which have lived there for much longer. Ie, basically how Europeans colonized the Americas. Every history lesson will teach you that eventually the indigenous community fought back, and tons of lives were lost. The worst thing is, is that the humans on this planet are completely oblivious to what they have done. They treat the land like it belongs to them, and rather than trying to make peace with the Chimera, or at least respect their culture, they chose to act in war and portray the Chimera as monsters that must be killed on sight.
One last note on the world-building/writing. This book contains a lot of current day humor, such as slang and even some meme jokes that are currently in our pop culture. This makes no sense to me, especially since this world is set 200 years into the future. Once again, either the author was very lazy and didn't want to create her own slang/jokes, or the editing team didn't notice that the language the characters used did not fit the time frame of this story.

The pace of this story is another area where I had problems with. The action in this story starts right away, like definitely within the first 5 pages of the story. While I usually like action to start early on in books to make it entertaining, this was just a bit too early. I would have at least liked to learn more about the characters before everything happened.
With a beginning like this, I assumed the story will be action packed and keep the reader entertained throughout the whole story, and while I was right about there being tons of action, I wasn't engaged in the story at all. I think this was mostly because I couldn't connect to the characters and the fact that the writing style of the author contained excessive descriptions and lots of unnecessary details. After a few chapters I found myself skimming sections just to get to the dialogue, and only pausing during the important parts of the story.

Overall, I still want to give this book two stars because I think this book can be really important due to its huge range of diversity. If you're interested in this book, borrow a copy first and if you find yourself connecting with the main characters and enjoying the story after a few chapters then keep reading, otherwise I'd recommend just giving up, because if you don't like the beginning, then it will not get better for you.

Happy Reading,
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