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

 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!”


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.
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 (, 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.” —

 “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

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Review: How It Feels To Fly by Kathryn Holmes

How It Feels To Fly by Kathryn Holmes
Release Date - June 14th, 2016
Publisher - HarperTeen
Purchase - Amazon / B&N
The movement is all that matters.

For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her.

The change was gradual. Stealthy.

Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: crippling anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope.

What I really need is a whole new body.

Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the anxiety that imprisons her?

My thoughts:

 Hmm... I liked this book, but at the same time, I kept feeling like something was missing, that something that would have made me fall in love with it. Kathryn Holmes writes well, the characters are engaging and the book deals with serious issues, and though it wasn't love for me, I highly recommend this YA contemporary perfect for the summer!

Samantha has dreamed of becoming a professional ballet dancer ever since she was a kid - her mother was one, so it feels just logical for her to become one too. And she was good - really good! But then puberty hit, and her body started to change gradually. Unlike the other dancers in her group, he started to fill up - her chest got bigger, her hips got bigger, her weight went up. For a ballerina, that it probably one of the worst things that could happen. Diet after diet, Samantha fails to get back to her old shape. There is nothing she can do to get rid of the body shape she has grown into. When the whispers and stares of other dancers start to surround Samantha, she develops a crippling anxiety that makes everything she has dreamed of even more difficult.

On the recommendation of her dance teacher, Samantha is sent to a summer camp for teen athletes and artists who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles that are stopping them from performing 100 %. At the camp she meets a gymnast afraid of performing after an accident; a football player who doesn't do well under pressure; a perfectionist figure skater who stops at nothing when it comes to perfecting her routine; an actor suffering from stage-fright; a tennis player whose motives for being at the camp are unknown; and the camp counselors. Though at first, Sam is very hesitant to share anything with the group, as time goes on, she realizes that they all are embarrassed of something, that they all have something that burdens them, keeps them from doing something they love.

At the beginning of the camp, Samantha forms a bond with one of the counselors. Andrew, an ex-football player seems to get Samantha and see her in a way she herself cannot. As they spend time together, Samantha starts to think that there might be more between them than just friendship. But can Andrew help her with her anxiety, or is he just a distraction on her way to ballet come-back?

As I wrote before, I liked this one, but I didn't love it! I think that was mostly because it wasn't really what I was expecting it to be. I was hoping for an influential and powerful YA read WITH romance. This certainly was influential and powerful - the dealing with anxiety was done well, and I think it is extremely important that books like this exist. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I wish there would have been books like this when I was a teenager, so I would have realized that what I am feeling is something other people are feeling as well. But surprisingly to me, this one didn't actually have that much romance, which was a disappointment for me, because when I picked this one up, I was expecting romance. Now that I look back, I wish that I would have picked this one up at another moment, because I think my rating would have been a bit higher. But since romance was what I was looking for and was left short, I will keep my rating in what I marked to Goodreads right after finishing with this.

As I mentioned, the way the book deals with anxiety and all of the other problems these teens are struggling with, is written well and I appreciate the fact that the author takes her time to really establish what these characters are going through. If you are looking for a really action-packed read, this one might not be your best pick, but if you are a fan of well-done character development, I definitely recommend picking this one up!

So, if you are looking for swoonworthy romance, this one isn't you pick, but otherwise, How It Feels To Fly is a solid, well-written YA contemporary that deals with very important issues definitely worth writing and reading about!

3 snowflakes

Monday, May 9, 2016

Cover Reveal: TERRAPIN by A.C. Troyer

Winterhaven Books is proud to present to you the beautiful cover for the upcoming book: TERRAPIN by A.C. Troyer, which we cannot wait to get our hands on! So, without further ado... 

TERRAPIN by A.C. Troyer
Publication Date: May 30, 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Author Links: Facebook / Goodreads / Twitter 
Eighteen-year-old Charlotte (Jinx), fights her past to chase her dream of becoming an Elite Nordic Airre pilot, yet her rebellious attitude hinders her hard-earned lead status. Overcoming a string of life-altering events and the unwanted advances of Ghost Allen, a smooth talking pilot, is one thing, evading death at the hands of two comrades is another.

When Jinx comes face-to-face with an unlikely ally, she is forced to trust him in order to escape the clutches of those who want to silence her. Can a once broken girl transform her past into an iron will, or will she ultimately crumble under the destruction?

Look at that masterpiece! The detail! EEK! Everything about this cover screams "Read Me!" We will be anxiously awaiting it's debut with grabby hands. What do y'all think? Comment below! Thanks for swinging by!

Review: Genius by Leopoldo Gout

Genius: The GameGenius by Leopoldo Gout 
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
Trust no one. Every camera is an eye. Every microphone an ear. Find me and we can stop him together.

The Game: Get ready for Zero Hour as 200 geniuses from around the world go head to head in a competition hand-devised by India's youngest CEO and visionary.

The Players:
Rex- One of the best programmers/hackers in the world, this 16-year-old Mexican-American is determined to find his missing brother.
Tunde-This14-year-old self-taught engineering genius has drawn the attention of a ruthless military warlord by single-handedly bringing electricity and internet to his small Nigerian village.
Painted Wolf-One of China's most respected activist bloggers, this mysterious 16-year-old is being pulled into the spotlight by her father's new deal with a corrupt Chinese official.

The Stakes: Are higher than you can imagine. Like life and death. Welcome to the revolution. And get ready to run.
My Thoughts:
Genius was definitely not my normal read, but you know what I totally got into it.  It was for the most part fast paced and really got me thinking about technology.

I think the author did a great job at keeping his readers connected to the characters.  Genius is told through three POVs Painted Wolf, Rex, and Tunde.  These are our main characters and I think they fit pretty well.  I had a hard time connecting with Tunde and I think it's because his chapters felt cold.  This is a shame because his story was the one that was most devastating and one who the most to lose.  I liked him but his voice didn't work for me.  I also found that when the author would break into Tunde's chapter with what I am guessing is language from Tunde's culture it totally killed the chapter for me.  I didn't understand it and it wasn't because it was in a different language like Spanish or French.  Nope it was English, but the wording and spelling totally threw me off and I didn't like it.  Maybe if this strange language would have been explained I could have let it go, but as it is I'm left feeling nothing but confusion. 

Painted Wolf and Rex definitely made up for what connection I was lacking with Tunde.  I found them both incredibly intriguing and very fun to read.  They both brought something different to the table and it was really fun watching them work their mad skills.  When they all finally got together everything clicked into place and it was explosive.  They were all brilliant and I found myself drawn in to the story even more.  Was it realistic, not to my knowledge but you I have learned to let those things go with these types of books.  I mean they are meant to be fun right?  What's fun in being completely accurate??  Give me mad genius coders, special badass spies, and brilliant inventors!!

I will say that I loved how the author took his book down a level with the way he went about the competition. I am very high strung person and I know if I had to read the last half of the book worrying if these three characters were going to win would have killed the book to me.  It's too much pressure and I think letting the Game rule the book would have taken away from the bigger story line.  Some will disagree with me and I get that, I understand a lot of people like the fast, furious competition story lines, but I'm not one of them so I liked that he chose to go about the Game the way he did.  The competition is still in there, it's just not as important in the end as you think.

All in all I have to say this one was fun.  I think the sequel if there is a sequel will be a lot of fun because this one did end in a cliff hanger that was crazy!  I would definitely pick up the sequel because like I said it was a crazy ending and also because we finally got to see what Painted Wolf could do.  It's her turn to shine and I can't wait!

4 snowflakes



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Review: All the Feels by Danika Stone

All the Feels by Danika Stone
Publisher - Swoon Reads
Release Date - June 7th, 2016
Pre-Order - Amazon / B&N
College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.

Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.

My Thoughts:

I am a fangirl! And I for sure am loud and proud about it. It is part of how I identify myself and because of that, I was very excited about reading this book about another fangirl, because I think that despite differences in fandoms, we fangirls are soulsisters because we know THE PAIN that can come from being a fangirl. For me, that pain has come from books (Harry Potter), from television & films (I WILL NEVER GET OVER THE WAY MARK AND LEXIE'S STORY ENDED IN Grey's Anatomy or the ending of Serenity) and sports (hockey is glorious, but also oh, so painful). For Liv, the fangirl pain comes from The Starveil movie and the completely unexpected death of her favorite character Captain Matt Spartan.

Liv is such a likable character that I would it very easy to identify with. She is a freshman in college, seems quite unsure of what she wants to do with her life (or thinks that what she really wants to do is not possible) and seems to be more like herself when she is engaging in online communication rather than in actual social situations. First and foremost, she is a fangirl and she knows that not many people in her "real life" will know how life as a fangirl can be like. Rather than spending time focused on studying, Liv is often occupied in activities of the fandom, especially after her favorite character is killed off. Is there something she can do to help other fangirls in need? Is there something she can do to help herself?

Liv is friends with Xander, a guy who treats every day as a good day for cosplay. Xander dresses like Lord Byron, carries a pocket watch with on day to day basis, and is capable of understanding Liv, even though he himself isn't interested in the Starveil movies. When Xander invites Liv to go along with him to DragonCon, Liv hesitates at first. But when her #SpartanSurvived campaign starts to make waves, she decides that she simply has to be a part of the much expected Starveil panel that will take place at the convention.

The novel is divided into two parts - life before the convention and life during the convention. I found both parts interesting and I think the build-up for the Con itself was done well. The principal characters are interesting and I really enjoyed reading about the relationship between Liv and Xander. I would say the book is more about Liv's growth rather than about romance, but there definitely are some swoonworthy moments here too. Xander is absolutely charming - kind of weird, but in this case, weird is good! 

The only complaint I have about this book is all the unnecessary drama Liv has with her mother. Her mother adds an obstacle to her fangirl lifestyle, but I think the novel could have done without, because the whole dynamic just doesn't feel like it has been developed enough. But that is just a really minor complaint and in general it did not take much away from my overall enjoyment of this novel. Stone writes well and with an occasional flair of humor, and I think in general All the Feels was the perfect kind of quick, sweet contemporary romance that I like to indulge in from time to time. 

Highly recommended to all you fangirls (and fanboys) out there!

4 snowflakes

Monday, May 2, 2016

Review: The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele

The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele
Publisher-Harper Collins
Released - June 7th 2016
Purchase- Amazon / B & N

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (Los Angeles)…When Cedric, crowned prince of Caelum, and his fellow royal friends (including his betrothed, Kat) find themselves stranded in modern-day L.A. via a magical portal and an evil traitor named Malquin, all they want to do is get home to Caelum—soon. Then they meet Liv, a filmmaker foster girl who just wants to get out of the system and on with her life. As she and Cedric bond, they’ll discover that she’s more connected to his world than they ever could’ve imagined…and that finding home is no easy task…
My Thoughts:
Wow, what a fun read! I really loved the concept to this one. I wasn't sue what to expect when I started The Marked Girl, but after reading the blurb I knew this was a me-book and I'm glad it didn't disappoint.

I really got a kick of this story line. It's such a light, enjoyable and imaginative escape that combines other-world fantasy that collides with the modern world of today. I loved the concept of wraiths, magical transporting portals and hidden scrolls, only to watch with pure amusement how Cedric, Kat and Merek try to figure out LA living. I really loved Lindsey Klingele's writing and thought it was strong and easy to lose myself within the story. I also loved that we get this in Liv and Cedric's point of views. With a story like this it's great to be inside the minds of these characters and see their reactions to the situation and to one another. The story itself is always moving with a lot of action and intrigue and has a lot of twist and turns that thickened the plot up beautifully and kept me guessing till the very end. I also loved the humor and contagious energy laced from the very beginning. The romance was light but I was ok with that. I'm usually a reader who likes a certain dose of sap in her reads, but this one was more complicated then other books and really there was so many more important things to deal with, but what we did get had some great moments.

All of these characters are well thought out and perfectly developed. Cedric is wonderful, confident and courageous. Born Prince and Guardian of Caelum, he was taught to protect the Kingdom from their sworn enemy, the Wraiths. In battle he is completely at ease and sure of himself but in the 'modern world' he is anything but. Truly, Cedric is absolutely adorable in childlike-wonder when discovering what this strange dimension entails. I laughed out loud several times and smiled every time he found something as simply as syrup on waffles awe inspiring. But Cedric is more then cute, he's also quite charming and brave and fiercely determined and it was effortless following him on this...vast journey. Liv is also a great character. She's had a hard life since she lost her parents and had to jump around the foster care system most of her life. But you could never tell by the way she acts. She's got a great voice and a positive personality and I commend her for wanting to do well and make something of her life. It was pretty decent of her to help out Cedric, obviously someone who's not all there if he believes in magical portals and demon men called wraiths, but eventually Liv can't deny that something is definitely off and offers to help Cedric and his friends find a way back home. Little did she know that she's more connected to them then realized. Shannon and Joe were great supportive characters and someone you'd want on your side. But, I thought Kat and Merek were just ok. Kat was selfish and Merek had a lot of attitude for my taste, but given the circumstances it was easy to give them some slack, still, I wasn't overly found of them. Even Malquin turned out to be more then I thought he was which was a great plot twist.

Bottom line, I had a lot of fun with this book and I'm greatly looking forward to getting my hands on the next one! We've only had a small glimpse of Caelum and I can't wait to discover it's secrets. So much fun and a great debut! It's exactly the escape I was looking for! Well done!

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                               4 Snowflakes