COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY: The Resistance by T.H. Hernandez

This is one of my favorite series ever!  Romance, action, twists, friendship and political intrigue fill the pages and each book is always impossible to put down.  So check out this gorgeous cover, it’s my favorite one yet!  And enter into a fabulous giveaway below.  Enjoy!
P.S. The first book is currently free, so go grab it here. ♥

 

The Resistance
T.H. Hernandez
(The Union Series, #5)
Publication date: February 25th 2020
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Suddenly battling on two fronts, fighting back is about to be twice as hard.

Living in an encampment in the Ruins, life is harsh for most Unis in the Resistance, but for Cyrus and the other Ruins survivors, it’s just more of the same. While training for their ultimate mission to take down the Uprising, tragedy strikes, turning Evan’s and Cyrus’s world upside down. Before they can recover, they discover someone in their ranks is working against them.

Facing tougher odds than they ever imagined, the group realizes the only hope they have of saving the world they know is to find help. When no one is above suspicion, even accomplishing everyday tasks is fraught with danger, but seeking out reinforcements could mean the end of the Resistance and all of them along with it.

 

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About T.H. Hernandez:

T.H. Hernandez is the author of young adult books. The Union, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.

She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Game of Thrones, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, affectionately referred to as “the puppycat.”

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

Giveaway:


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BOOK REVIEW: Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

BOOK REVIEW: Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by Leigh BardugoNinth House (Alex Stern #1)
by Leigh Bardugo
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

If you were going to hell together, murder seemed like a good place to start.

When I say this book took my breath away, I truly mean it. It was thrilling and shocking and eerie and just a total surprise. As dark as the book was, I truly loved it and cannot wait for the next installment.

I had read Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows series, and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t absolutely love it. But I know how talented Leigh is, so when I saw she was writing an adult fantasy book based on secret societies and ghosts in New Haven, I was SO in. Talk about checking off a lot of boxes for me.

The book follows two main characters: Galaxy “Alex” Stern and Daniel “Darlington” Arlington. Both are students at Yale, but come from very different backgrounds. I don’t really want to spoil a lot of it, but Alex grew up in a not so great family and had some troubled teenage years that led to the death of some people, as well as the reason for her admittance to Yale and Lethe. Darlington, meanwhile, while not having a perfect childhood, did have some family and a more privileged upbringing. The two have far more in common than they think they do.

Alex gave a sharp shake of her head. “I mean tell me what I’m in for here…with you.”
That was the hard question to answer. Nothing. Everything. Lethe was meant to be a gift, but could it be to her? There was too much to tell.


Darlington is tasked with teaching Alex the ways of Lethe and its role to the other secret societies of Yale. However, something very dark and powerful is at play and it ultimately causes some dire consequences for both Darlington and Alex. On top of what they are dealing with in the present, there is a lot of trauma from their pasts, especial Alex’s, that comes into play.

Daniel Arlington prided himself on being prepared for anything, but if he’d had to choose a way to describe Alex Stern, it would have been “an unwelcome surprise.”

This book certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be very vivid in its descriptions at times, and there’s a ton of talk of death, dying and murder. There’s also a decent amount of mentions of drug and alcohol use, self-harm, unhealthy relationships and the big one, a very descriptive account of a sexual assault of a minor. It’s not overly long (I believe just a few pages) and could be easily skipped (it takes place in a bathroom on a school trip if that helps). It plays a large part into this character’s story, but I understand for some readers this kind of material is an absolute no-go. This has been discussed by a lot of other reviewers in the lead up to this book, but just want to make it very clear of the content in this book.

I’m in danger, she wanted to say. Someone hurt me and I don’t think they’re finished. Help me. But what good had that ever done?

I loved the mystery in this book. It was very layered and multi-faceted and loved how it blended the magical and real worlds. I didn’t guess the ending and am cautiously optimistic a *certain important character* will be making a return. I truly did not see that character exit coming or the circumstances surrounding it. It honestly broke my heart a little bit and hope there is a positive resolution to it.

I let you die. To save myself, I let you die.
That is the danger in keeping company with survivors.


Overall this was truly a five-star read for me. I certainly understand this book will not be for everyone: it’s very dark and has a lot of heavy topics and themes. However, I just loved the setting, the world-building and the characters. I can’t wait for what’s next and hope Bardugo continues to bounce back and forth between young adult and adult novels.

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson

BLOG TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Every Other Weekend by Abigail JohnsonEvery Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

What if your safe place…is a person?

Adam Moynihan’s life used to be awesome. Straight As, close friends and a home life so perfect that it could have been a TV show straight out of the 50s. Then his oldest brother died. Now his fun-loving mom cries constantly, he and his remaining brother can’t talk without fighting, and the father he always admired proved himself a coward by moving out when they needed him most.

Jolene Timber’s life is nothing like the movies she loves—not the happy ones anyway. As an aspiring director, she should know, because she’s been reimagining her life as a film ever since she was a kid. With her divorced parents at each other’s throats and using her as a pawn, no amount of mental reediting will give her the love she’s starving for.

Forced to spend every other weekend in the same apartment building, the boy who thinks forgiveness makes him weak and the girl who thinks love is for fools begin an unlikely friendship. The weekends he dreaded and she endured soon become the best part of their lives. But when one’s life begins to mend while the other’s spirals out of control, they realize that falling in love while surrounded by its demise means nothing is ever guaranteed.

Review:

Every Other Weekend, my second Abigail Johnson novel I’ve read, was almost unputdownable for me. Not because it was a thrilling page turner, but because I was so invested in these characters I needed to find out what was going to happen next. I even had to put it down a few times so I wouldn’t cry on an airplane – and if you know me, unless it involves animals, I’m probably not going to cry. So there, you win A.J. Stupid dry airplane air.

EOW follows two perspectives: Adam Moynihan and Jolene Timber. Adam’s life has recently been turned upside down: His parents are recently separated, in no small part due to the death of their eldest son. Adam was super close to his oldest brother and he was the calming force between Adam and Jeremey, Adam’s other brother. Adam is struggling to adapt to his new life and blames his father for the marriage falling apart. But as part of this new life, he and Jeremy are forced to come to his father’s apartment every other weekend.

It’s here he meets Jolene, who has been coming to her dad’s apartment every other weekend for years. However, she never actually sees her dad while she’s there. He’s always giving excuses and making his girlfriend, Shelly, parent Jolene in his absence. As horrible of a relationship as she has with Shelly and her father, Jolene’s relationship with her mother is extremely poor too. Her mother wants Jolene to spy on her father, because she believes his hiding money from her. She is physically and emotionally abusive to Jolene and has a substance abuse issue as well.

So both Jolene and Adam are in pretty low places when they meet, but that doesn’t stop them from instantly connecting. Adam is drawn to Jolene’s enigmatic and confident demeanor. She’s an aspiring filmmaker and quickly ropes Adam in to help her with her movies. Soon, they actually look forward to their awkward weekends at the apartment, where they ignore their families and find comfort in not feeling alone.

As with Even If I Fall, I adored almost all of the characters in this book and really appreciated how real and grounded the various storylines were. There were obviously themes of families (both good and bad), the trauma of loss and change, friendships, breakups and makeups, sibling rivalry and complicated relationships with parents. There is also the trauma of a sexual assault and dealing in the aftermath. It’s a lot of heavy things, but there’s still a lot of joy and light to be found. I loved Adam and Jolene’s complicated relationship, as well as Adam’s love of his family. Even when he is furious at his father, deep down it’s clear it’s coming from a place of love and loss. Jolene was an amazing character in her own right, and I loved how much she believe in herself, even when no around really believe in her or her talent. And as I mentioned before, there were definitely times when I got a little misty-eyed, as there’s a lot of mention of loss in here that just really hit me for some reason.

Overall, I really loved this book. It might be a tiny bit behind Even If I Fall, but certainly not by much. Johnson continues to write complicated, but down to earth, stories about teenagers dealing with a multitude of issues. Her stories have so many layers, but it never feels like it’s too much. It all blends seamlessly and her characters are so enjoyable and easy to love.

Every Other Weekend is available January 7, 2020.

Content Warnings: Sexual assault, death of a family member, verbal and physical abuse, substance abuse, talk of death/dying, controlling/abusive relationship

 

Favorite Quotes:

“Look, are you going to be around a lot?”
“Every other weekend.”
He hung his head. “Me too.”
I didn’t bother with a fake smile. “Yippee.”

*

If I wasn’t half in love with her before I read it, I was after. Except there was no half anything with Jolene.

*

It was a love story. Not romantic exactly, but the kind of love that maybe lasts beyond passion and heartache. It was a story of friendship, with all its possible laid out in front of it. That’s what Adam and I had.

*

My inside warned me that if I let him any closer I wouldn’t survive, but I knew with a burst of heat that chased away every last bit of cold from my body that I’d never truly live if I tried to keep him away.

*

“And I know you’re gonna break my heart at some point, I might even break yours.” I pressed her hand more firmly against my chest. “But it’s yours to break and mend and hopefully not break again, because, like you’ve said many times, I have fragile boy emotions.”

Giveaway:

Want to win a copy of Every Other Weekend? Enter through Rafflecopter! (US only residents only.)

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About Abigail Johnson:

Abigail was born in Pennsylvania. When she was twelve, her family traded in snow storms for year round summers, and moved to Arizona. Abigail chronicled the entire cross-country road trip (in a purple spiral bound notebook that she still has) and has been writing ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high school production of Cinderella, and becoming a published author.

Keep up with Abigail: Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube| Facebook

BOOK REVIEW: Keystone by Katie Delahanty

BOOK REVIEW: Keystone by Katie Delahanty Keystone by Katie Delahanty
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

When Ella Karman debuts on the Social Stock Exchange, she finds out life as a high-profile "Influencer" isn't what she expected. Everyone around her is consumed by their rankings, in creating the smoke and mirrors that make them the envy of the world.

But then Ella’s best friend betrays her, her rankings tank, and she loses―everything.

Leaving her old life behind, she joins Keystone, a secret school for thieves, where students are being trained to steal everything analog and original because something―or someone―is changing history to suit their needs.

Partnered with the annoyingly hot―and utterly impossible―Garrett Alexander, who has plenty of his own secrets, Ella is forced to return to the Influencer world, while unraveling a conspiracy that began decades ago.

One wrong move and she could lose everything―again.

Review:

Keystone was an instant favorite!  It enraptured me in its spell and was impossible to put down.  With characters that quickly snuck into my heart and a story-line that had me turning the pages faster and faster, I absolutely loved this book!  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before.  If you enjoy dystopian, science fiction, a fabulous group of friends or even rooting for a heroine in a new world, then definitely add this one to your tbr!

Right then, I bottled up my feelings, turned them off, buried them so deep I’d need a treasure map to find them.  I understood the flat look in Deena’s eyes, the one that took my friend.  Like her, I had to die inside.
It was the only way I was going to survive.

Katie Delahanty painted a vivid world that I easily got lost in.  The first chapter started out with a bang.  And there were lots of missing pieces to the puzzle.  So I absorbed every single word trying to figure out what in the world was happening.  We met Ella Karman, who just left her influencer life.  With her name changed to Elisha DeWitt, she was on her way to train at a secret organization called Keystone.  There she would learn how to steal information, since someone was changing history.  We were just as clueless as Ella, for what was to come, and I loved learning right along with her!

He’d be great for my numbers.  Stupid.  This is why I can’t trust my instincts.  This isn’t who I am anymore.
But I can’t look away.
And neither can he.
My heart thumps.

One of the most ingenious things was the way the story unfolded.  We started in the present, and I loved watching Ella train and figure out her new life.  Her tests were intense and they made me nervous and have sweaty palms.  But I was excited for what she was capable of doing. I felt every single thing she did and I was so proud of how hard she worked.  But the people she trained with?  While I didn’t know what to think of some of them, others warmed my heart.  I loved watching her form true, heartfelt friendships. Especially since she didn’t have that in her past.

A slow smile spreads across his face.  “I like to keep an eye on the competition is all.  I know you’re a fortress, Ellie.  Don’t worry.  I have no intention of scaling your walls.”
Stupid disappointment dips in my belly, but I shrug it off, fluttering my eyelashes. “You’re welcome to try.  I’m confident the dragon will get you in the end, anyway.”
He bites his lip, holding back a laugh. “You’re nothing like I expected.”

Just when I thought I had a good grasp on what was going on, we jumped into her past.  It was brilliant how we seamlessly would get glimpses of her past throughout the story.  And it made me not only understand Ella better, but I saw how toxic her world was.  People were ranked through their presence online and it established their worth.  To keep her numbers up and her parents happy, since she influenced their worth too, she went along with or witnessed stuff that was horrific.  The injustice and fakeness of it all made me sick.  Yet Ella was trapped.  I watched as lies and secrets shrouded her past.  It was like a train wreck that I couldn’t look away from.

Swallowing hard, I stare at him. “My heart runs deeper than you could ever imagine.”
“I highly doubt that.” His words are ice, and tears spring to my eyes.
“You don’t know anything about my hurt,” I say, my voice cracking. “Don’t pretend to.”

Not only was the story unique, but so were two of the guys I fell for.  When we were in her past, we met Adam.  With fake people surrounding her, he was a breath of fresh air.  He was real.  He spoke from his heart.  And even though he played the influencer game, his connection to Ella made my heart beat faster.  I fell in love with him through all of their moments together.  Yet from that first chapter, we know he was there, when there was an explosion that killed Ella’s friends.

“Need you?  I need you.”
His eyes sparkle. “Yes.”
“You’re right.  I do need you.  I need you to realize you’re not God’s gift to thieves.”
“I love it when you’re angry.”
“I love it when you’re silent.”
He laughs.

And in the present, we met Garrett at Keystone.  He was such a huge mystery to me.  Garrett intrigued me and captivated my attention.  He was completely addictive.  Yet I didn’t know where Ella stood with him.  Especially since it seemed like he had a girlfriend.  I wanted to know his thoughts and understand why he kept certain people around him. So I desperately wanted to know all of Garrett’s secrets.

Garrett points to the ceiling, and I glimpse stars twinkling through a skylight.
CLICK
Grabbing me, Garrett throws me to the ground, covering my body with his.  My insides leaping, I squeal, certain we’re done for, waiting for the bullets to ravage us.  He clamps his hand over my mouth as the walls around us shift, rearranging themselves into a new layout.

The latter part of this book, I swear I lived between having sweaty palms and smiling my face off.  And here’s the thing, I thought I knew where this story was going.  But as we learned more about their world and started to see the bigger picture, there was a twist that was beautifully done.  I never saw it coming.  But looking back, I could see the clues, I just hadn’t grasped what they meant.

The tears flow, my aching throat sobbing out the betrayal.  Is anything real?  Hiccupping, I gasp for breath, the fireplace blurring before me.  Is anyone loyal?

So if you love stories that you can’t stop thinking about, long after you close the book, then definitely add Keystone to your tbr. With a smart heroine who held her own, and a group of friends that were total squad goals, Keystone landed on my favorites list! Now I’ll desperately be waiting for that next book. We got a lot of answers and ended at such a great spot, but I need to know where Ella’s story goes next. I can’t wait!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

GIVEAWAY: Keystone by Katie Delahanty

Today I’m helping share the release day blitz for Katie Delahanty’s KEYSTONE.  I finished this book last night, and you guys, I loved this book so much!  My gushing review can be found here.♥  So check out what this book is about below and enter in a fabulous giveaway.  Enjoy!

 

About Keystone:

Title: Keystone

Author: Katie Delahanty

Genre: YA Scifi

When Ella Karman debuts on the Social Stock Exchange, she finds out life as a high profile “Influencer” isn’t what she expected. Everyone around her is consumed by their rankings, in creating the smoke and mirrors that make them the envy of the world.   But then Ella’s best friend betrays her, her rankings tank, and she loses—everything.   Leaving her old life behind, she joins Keystone, a secret school for thieves, where students are trained to seal everything analog and original because something—or someone—is changing history to suit their needs.   Partnered with the annoyingly hot—and utterly impossible—Garrett Alexander, who has plenty of his own secrets, Ella is forced to return to the Influencer world, while unraveling a conspiracy that began decades ago.

 

Order Your Copy Today:

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo

Exclusive Excerpt:

“But doesn’t being a Disconnect mean no technology? How would anyone even know about me?” I ask.

“We may live off the grid, but it’s important we’re aware of what’s going on in the world. At Keystone, we’re a special legion of Disconnects. Our mission is to steal analog history—to preserve the truth—before corporations and the government can alter the past to benefit their personal futures. We’re in danger of entering a Digital Dark Age, where the only information available is digital. Tape recordings, printed books, films, photographs—proof of history—are decaying and becoming scarce. Digital information is easy to tamper with, and there are forces at work that want current society to reflect their version of the past.” Allard sips her tea before continuing.

“Often, we’re after priceless works that are protected by the latest technology, so we have to understand tech even though we don’t use it ourselves. We have internet access in the Crypt—that’s our code-breaking library—and the TMI-feed is likely a guilty pleasure for some of the girls. They watch the Networks—they have to. For your Initiation Heist, you’ll be asked to go under cover in Influencer society, and you’ll need to know how to fit in—and how to hide in plain sight.”

“Initiation Heist?” I almost choke on my tea, the cup rattling in my trembling hands at having to reenter society.

“It’s the final test before becoming a full-fledged Keystone member with access to our top-level secrets, but don’t worry,” Allard says. “You’ll have plenty of time to learn our ways—and you’ll participate in a heist as an assistant to an Initiate—before you’re asked to lead a heist the following year.”

“Lead a heist?” My eyes bulge. “Right.”  

 

About the Author:

Katie lives in Los Angeles with her husband, twin daughters, and son. Growing up in Pittsburgh, she loved old movies and playing dress up, but never considered telling stories of her own until she was asked to start a blog for the sleepwear company she worked for. Unsure what to say about lingerie, she wrote a fictional serial about a girl chasing her costume design dreams who fell in love with a rock star along the way. And that’s when Katie fell in love with storytelling. That blog became The Brightside Series and she’s been waking before dawn to write ever since.

Connect with the Author:

Instagram | Bookstagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

 

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