Monday, May 23, 2016

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten

Today I am participating in the blog tour for Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten!  For my stop I have my review to share and a giveaway!

Beware That GirlBeware That Girl by Teresa Toten
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: May 31st, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
For fans of We Were Liars, The Girl on the Train, and Gone Girl, this powerful psychological thriller with multiple mysteries is set against the backdrop of the megawealthy elite of New York City. Toten delves into the mesmerizing yet dysfunctional world of those who manipulate but seem ever so charming. With its gripping pace and Hitchcockian twists, Beware That Girl will keep readers guessing until the very last line.

The Haves. The Have-Nots. Kate O’Brian appears to be a Have-Not. Her whole life has been a series of setbacks she’s had to snake her way out of—some more sinister than others. But she’s determined to change that. She’s book smart. She’s street-smart. Oh, and she’s also a masterful liar.

As the scholarship student at the Waverly School in NYC, Kate has her work cut out for her: her plan is to climb the social ladder and land a spot at Yale. She’s already found her “people” among the senior class “it” girls—specifically in the cosseted, mega-wealthy yet deeply damaged Olivia Sumner. As for Olivia, she considers Kate the best friend she’s always needed, the sister she never had.

When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration, he immediately charms his way into the faculty’s and students’ lives—becoming especially close to Olivia, a fact she’s intent on keeping to herself. It becomes increasingly obvious that Redkin poses a threat to Kate, too, in a way she can’t reveal—and can’t afford to ignore. How close can Kate and Olivia get to Mark without having to share their dark pasts?
My thoughts:
Beware That Girl had an eerie vibe from the start, but I'm completely in shock over how dark this book ended up being.  Since dark is kinda my thing it should come as no surprise that I loved all the twisted goodness!

Okay so this is dark and I will admit I felt squeamish during certain parts.  The description lets you know that Mark Redkin is an obstacle and a bad one at that.  What I wasn't prepared for was how involved Mark would be with Olivia and how toxic their relationship ended up being.  Like I said at times I felt sick and I read with one eye open during their scenes after awhile.  This was all completely messed up, but this story line set the stage for the real mind twist and at the end I totally had my mouth hanging open!

I'm totally fascinated by how the story evolved and totally took a very psychotic turn at the end.  I mean I have seen stories take a turn, but never like this.  Honestly I want a sequel after that ending!  What's also amazing is how the author quietly pulled this off!  I saw signs sure, but never once did I think she planned to end things the way she did.  Again I want a sequel!  I think if this story were to continue it would be all kinds of crazy, messed up, and a gripping thriller that I know I wouldn't ever forget!  I won't forget this story any time soon don't get me wrong, it was a very strong story, but man I want to see that aftermath!

A little warning, this does have a Gossip Girlesque feel to it at times. It didn't bother me though because it was dark and the author did a good job at keeping it dark throughout.  From Kate's past to Olivia's "problem" it all had a very dark cloud hanging over it so the story wasn't lost in designer dresses and rich kid situations.  I appreciated that the author added the darkness in, it gave the story meat.

I also appreciated that the author closed her plot holes.  There were a few and I know if you think about it you could probably guess them, but Toten explained by the end why things had to happen the way they did.  I would have personally liked the holes tied a bit tighter bit I am thankful the author showed she knew what her holes were and tried to fix them. 

My only pet peeve was that I wanted more Johnny!  In the beginning Kate intrigued me because she was so cold and I wanted to know her end game, but by the end I was really rooting for her and I wanted her with Johnny.  That's not like me since I am not a romancey person at the moment, but I totally wanted them together.  I would have loved a few more scenes with him because what I got wasn't enough.

I also really liked the secondary characters.  Mrs. Chen and Serena were very interesting and again if we were given a sequel I would love for both of them to have more screen time.

All in all this was a very solid psychological thriller that totally grabbed me and I just have to say one more time I want a sequel!!!!

4 snowflakes

Giveaway!
 One lucky reader will receive their very own copy of Beware That Girl!
Us only
Good luck!



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Blog Tour: Character Playlist from Stacey Lee!

 Today I am joining in the blog tour for Stacey Lee!  Her latest novel Outrun the Moon releases on May 24th and believe me you want this book!  It is amazing!!  For my stop Stacey has made an awesome character playlist!

Mercy with her ‘bossy cheeks’ knows how to get things done. I imagine if she lived in the present era, she would’ve probably enjoyed upbeat, empowering girl songs. Plus, their jumpy beats would power her through the rolling hills of San Francisco.

(In alphabetical order)

1. Fight Song, by Rachel Platten.
This one is simply about believing in yourself. This line is the most apropos to Mercy, whose small deed post-earthquake makes a large impact: “with a single match, you can make an explosion.”

2. Fighter, by Christina Aguilera.
Christina thanks the guy who did her wrong, for making her a ‘fighter.’ She’s faster and smarter and her skin is thicker. Mercy feels the same way about the obstacles in her path.

3. Mean, by Taylor Swift.
This one was written for the people who push you around and bring you down. Mercy gets her unfair share of those, and I imagine this song could’ve helped her deal with them.

4. No, by Meghan Trainor.
This is all girl-power. We girls are socialized to believe we have to be agreeable and get along, but Meghan shows us the power of two little letters: NO.

5. Roar, by Katy Perry.
This song is about how not to let people’s opinions of you make you feel small. All you need to do is stand up and roar.

6. Run the World, by Beyoncé.
Girls run the world, according to BeyoncĂ©. She could easily have been singing about Mercy and the young women of St. Clare’s who don’t let an earthquake stop them from doing the unthinkable, starting a kitchen with no food or supplies.

7. Something in the Way You Move, by Ellie Goulding
I chose this song to represent how Mercy feels about Tom. She’s not always sure whether they will end up together, but she can’t help being drawn to the sure way he moves.

8. Stronger, Britney Spears.
A song about how overcoming loneliness can actually empower one.
You might think that I won’t make it on my own.
 
But now I’m stronger, than yesterday.
 
Now it’s nothing but my way.
 
My loneliness ain’t killing me no more.
  
I, I’m stronger.

9. Stronger, by Kelly Clarkson.
This anthem will get your heart pumping again after it’s broken.
What doesn't kill you makes a fighter 
Footsteps even lighter 
Doesn't mean I'm over cause you're gone

10. Shake it Off, Taylor Swift
A bouncy song about how to handle gossips and haters, as well as grouchy crones and haughty heiresses.

11. Superwoman by Alicia Keys.
Even when she’s troubled, and sorrowful, Alicia (and Mercy) is a superwoman.
Even when I'm a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
Oh yes
I'm a Superwoman

12. Survivor, Destiny’s Child.
As the song says, Mercy’s not gonna give up, she’s not gonna stop, she’s gonna work harder, she’s a survivor.

13. Umbrella, by Rihanna.
This one’s about the power of friendship. When it rains, friends let friends stand under their umbrellas. When the city crumbles, friends let friends use the pages of their comportment book for toilet paper. Works the same.

14. Unbreakable Smile, by Tori Kelly.
Love this upbeat song about living a meaningful life.
I wanna make a difference
Change other people’s lives, give hope, even for a moment
I also love that she says being kind is not a weakness. Mercy is kind to others, but she doesn’t let people walk on her.

15. Wings by Little Mix.
A jumpy track about rising above the riffraff. Mercy’s mama would’ve given her the same advice.
Mama told me not to waste my life
She said spread your wings my little butterfly
Don't let what they say keep you up at night
And if they give you shhhh
Then they can walk on by

To listen to each song click HERE

 Stacey thank you SOO much for this amazing playlist!  I love when I can put a song with a book and I will definitely have these songs during my reread!!


Outrun the MoonOutrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's and Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 24th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can't sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the 'bossy' cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?
Find the Author:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter




Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Blog Tour Interview: Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins

Today I'm participating in the blog tour for Stephanie Perkins latest anthology Summer Days and Summer Nights!  We are all HUGE fans of Ms. Perkins and it is an absolute honor to have her on the blog today!

1. In the first anthology, I thought the overarching theme was hope. How does Summer Days and Summer Nights compare?
That’s a wonderful interpretation, and it’s apt for these stories, too. I wanted the two anthologies to feel connected, and the easiest way to do that—when you have so many different authors and genres—is through theme. So we have love, and we have hope.
Several characters in both anthologies are actually going through some pretty dark times, which surprises some of our readers, but I think hope often shines the brightest out of darkness. It’s important to show both sides of it.

2. On your blog you say that there’s a little bit of you in each of your characters. Does this typically help or hinder the editing/revision process?
This is such an interesting question! I don’t have a satisfying answer—it’s probably both, with a slight edge to helping. Putting more of myself into the characters usually (though not always) leads to more honesty in my writing, which is the ultimate goal: to tell the truest version of each story that I can.

3. How do you come up with the names for your characters?
North and Marigold both have purposeful, plot-related names. North’s parents are the proud owners of a Christmas tree farm, so he and his siblings were all cursed with Christmas-themed names—Nicholas, Noelle, and North (as in North Pole). And Marigold Moon Ling was raised alone by her very independent, Chinese-American, hippie mother. So she has a hippie name to match.

4. What can we expect to see from you next? Are there any plans of releasing a new full-length novel soon?
My next novel is a teen slasher, which hopefully (if I finish it on time!) will be published next year. I’m having such a blast writing in the horror genre. And it’s honestly not as big of a departure as it seems. There’s still an attractive boy, an intriguing setting, and quippy friends. It just also contains a lot of murder.


Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love StoriesSummer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Publisher: St. Martins Griffin's
Purchase: Amazon
Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.


About the Editor
 Stephanie Perkins
Stephanie Perkins has always worked with books—first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. She's the author of the international bestsellers Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, as well as Isla and the Happily Ever After. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories is her first anthology. Stephanie and her husband live in the mountains of North Carolina.

“This title is a sizzling must-have that will be too hot to keep on shelves.”
-STARRED School Library Journal

“An intelligent beach read with heart, soul, and sizzle.”
-STARRED Kirkus Review

“Offering a sampling of many different genres, bright and distinct narrative voices, and a generous portion of tender moments, this book has something for everyone who has loved or longs for it.”
-STARRED Publishers Weekly

“These stories are perfect for a lazy day at the beach or a hot summer night.”
-Romantic Times Reviews

“Yep, this one’s a beach read, so throw it in in the bag in its well-earned spot between the sunblock and the sandals.”
- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books



Saturday, May 14, 2016

Review: Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley

Steeplejack (Alternative Detective, #1)Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: June 14th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga, Ang for short, repairs the chimneys, towers, and spires of Bar-Selehm, the ethnically-diverse industrial capital of a land resembling Victorian South Africa. The city was built on the trade of luxorite, a priceless glowing mineral. When the Beacon, a historical icon made of luxorite, is stolen, it makes the headlines. But no one cares about the murder of Ang's new apprentice, Berrit—except for Josiah Willinghouse, an enigmatic young politician, who offers Ang a job investigating Berrit's death. On top of this, Ang struggles with the responsibility of caring for her sister's newborn child.

As political secrets unfold and racial tensions surrounding the Beacon's theft rise, Ang navigates the constricting traditions of her people, the murderous intentions of her former boss, and the conflicting impulses of a fledgling romance. With no one to help her except a savvy newspaper girl and a kindhearted herder from the savannah, Ang must resolve the mysterious link between Berrit and the missing Beacon before the city is plunged into chaos.
My thoughts:
Wow I am quite impressed with Steeplejack!  It wasn't at all what I was expecting and I really enjoyed the overall plot!

This story at it's core is very political and racial which surprised me.  I wasn't expecting that at all and at times it felt a little forced honestly.  I think the author was a little heavy handed with all the "white" and "black" descriptions.  I would have still gotten the message if he had left those out. I get why it was all important, but it was a bit much and took away from the story at times.

That being said I think the story was really well done.  There was so much evasiveness going on that I wasn't ever quite sure what was really going on.  At one point there were three story lines going on at once and I was totally into each of them!  It takes a skilled writer to be able to pull that off and A.J. Hartley did it brilliantly.  He wove in a tight story centered around a stolen item, a land on the brink of war, a girl who only wants vengeance for who killed her apprentice, and family drama that will leave you glad you don't have their problems.  I am very intrigued by the Drowning where Anglet is from and I would have loved more from that side of the tracks. 

As for the characters I really liked Anglet.  She was a strong character that even when she didn't know what she was doing improvised and managed to land on her feet.  She needed help and I liked the crowd she turned to.  They all had their own agenda's but on the street that seemed normal and inevitable.  She chose her help wisely and I am glad she trusted who she did.  She was fierce and just a great overall character.  She stood up for her people and did what she had to do to get the job done.  

I did have a few problems though.  One being Willinghouse.  I liked his character, but I felt he wasn't given enough page time.  Ang is working for him, but she never really goes to him unless she is in trouble.  Wouldn't he want to hear her progress??  I was left a bit frustrated that he wasn't a bigger player in the overall story.

My second issue is a small one, but it bugged me immensely!  When Ang has the baby she just leaves it for long periods of time!  This is a newborn and even if you've never had a baby you still know that newborns wake up all the time and every time she would leave this poor baby all I could think of was HURRY!  The baby needs you!!  This ruined the chapter for me each and every time this happened.  I was so glad when she took steps to help the baby.  I was so relieved I could finally focus on the story without having that whole thing over my head!  I know she was young, but still not okay.

Other than those two things I really did enjoy this story.  It was fresh and very unique and one that I hope will continue on with more adventures!  I will say one more thing, I am really starting to love reading books written by men.  As you know I am not into romance at the moment and well men tend to leave most of that out and this book was no exception.  There are sparks with a few people, but no drama and I appreciated that so much. 

4 snowflakes








Thursday, May 12, 2016

“Spend May with Audrey!”

NOW IN PAPERBACK!
FINDING AUDREY
INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING AUTHOR SOPHIE KINSELLA’S DEBUT YA NOVEL

Praise for FINDING AUDREY
A New York Times Bestseller
“The Shopaholic scribe accurately weaves teenage insecurities with humor
in her heartwarming YA debut.”—US Weekly
“Your kids will love it.” —Redbook

 Now available in paperback is the New York Times bestselling debut YA novel FINDING AUDREY (Ember / on sale May 3, 2016 /$9.99) from internationally bestselling author Sophie Kinsella. Kinsella, the author of such favorites as the Shopaholic series, Can You Keep a Secret?, Wedding Night, and Remember Me?, introduced readers to 14-year- old Audrey Turner, a teen in the throes of a severe social anxiety disorder after a bullying incident at school, and following her journey to rediscovering herself and her happiness. Receiving much critical acclaim from reviewers and fans, the book was hailed as “heartfelt,” “engaging,” and “relatable.” The paperback retails for $9.99 and is sure to garner a wider group of fans with this new, accessible edition.
Audrey spends most of her days hiding behind her dark sunglasses and in the safety of her own home, surrounded by her lovable but chaotic family. Interaction with non–family members has been
almost impossible to master since the incident at school. But then one day Linus arrives at her house. A friend of her brother’s, Linus makes an instant connection with Audrey and starts to chip away at her exterior, exposing the girl underneath—the girl Audrey herself has been searching for. What results is a tender love story that begins as a friendship and continues in the local Starbucks, where Audrey begins to heal the wounds that have threatened to hold her captive.
Filled with poignancy and laugh-out- loud moments, FINDING AUDREY gives readers a character they can relate to and a family to embrace. Kinsella’s story tackles serious topics with humor and heart and creates the next YA couple to root for in Audrey and Linus.

Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series and the novels Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, and Wedding Night. Confessions of a Shopaholic was turned into a Hollywood movie. She lives in England.
FINDING AUDREY
By Sophie Kinsella
An Ember trade paperback /on sale May 3, 2016 / 978-0- 553-53653- 9 / 304 pages / $9.99 / NCR / Ages 12 & up
HC: 978-0- 553-53651- 5 / $18.99 / Ebk: 978-0- 553-53652- 2 / $799 / Available as an audiobook from Listening Library
Ember is an imprint of Random House Children’s Books (RandomHouseTeens.com), the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher. Random House Children’s Books is a division of Penguin Random House LLC.


Reviewers praise Finding Audrey
A Publishers Weekly Summer 2015 Best YA Book One of USA Today’s “25 Hottest Books of Summer” One of Los Angeles Times’s “30 Summer Books That Kids Will Gobble Up”

One of Seventeen’s “New Books We”
A Kirkus Reviews 2015 Best Teen Book

The Shopaholic scribe accurately weaves teenage insecurities with humor in her heartwarming YA debut.”—US Weekly

“Your kids will love it.” —Redbook

“An adorable, heartwarming story.” —BookPage

“Finding Audrey stands on its own as one of this summer’s breakout YA novels.” —Time.com

 “An outstanding tragicomedy that gently explores mental illness, the lasting effects of bullying, and the power of friends and loving family to help in the healing.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred

 “Sophie Kinsella’s YA debut is an insightful and deft handling of teen mental illness.” —Shelf Awareness, starred

“Kinsella’s knack for humor and sensitivity shine in a story that should easily expand her already substantial fan base.” —Publishers Weekly

“With her trademark wit and sass, Kinsella sensitively broaches the complexities of young adult mental health.” —Booklist

“Kinsella’s foray into YA is a welcome one . . . a quick and engaging read with an interesting protagonist.” —Romantic Times Book Review

 Giveaway!  One lucky reader will receive their very own paperback copy of Finding Audrey!!
US Only