Category: Blog Tour (page 1 of 12)

BLOG TOUR+GIVEAWAY+EXCERPT: Block Shot (HOOPS #2) by Kennedy Ryan

BLOG TOUR+GIVEAWAY+EXCERPT: Block Shot (HOOPS #2) by Kennedy Ryan

Block Shot now available! Check out all the author info and the excerpt and giveaway below! A second chance romance that is sure to make you an addict, I can't wait to read this one-Enjoy!

BLOG TOUR+GIVEAWAY+EXCERPT: Block Shot (HOOPS #2) by Kennedy RyanBlock Shot (Hoops #2)
by kennedy ryan
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis:

JARED
If I had a dollar for every time Banner Morales made my heart skip a beat...
The heart everyone assumes is frozen over.
Her anger is...arousing.
Every glare from those fire-spitting eyes, every time she grits her teeth,
gets me...well, you know.
If I had a dollar for every time she's put me in my place, I'd be an even richer man.
I'm a successful sports agent because I assume "no" means you'll think about it.
I'm sure what you meant to say is "Coming right up.”
They say even rich men don't always get what they want,
but those men don't know how to play the game. The trick is to keep them guessing.
Take Banner. She assumes she's winning, but this game?
She doesn't even know how to play.

BANNER
If I had a dollar for every time Jared Foster broke my heart, I’d have exactly one dollar.
One night. One epic fail. One dollar...and I'm out.
I've moved on.
I’ve found success in a field ruled by men.
Anything they can do, I have done better.
They can keep the field while I call the shots, blocking them when I have to.
And Jared has the nerve to think he gets a second chance?
Boy, please. Go sit down. Have several seats.
I'll just be over here ignoring the man carved from my fantasies with a lust-tipped chisel.
Oh, I didn't say the struggle wasn't real.
But I've got that one dollar, and Jared won't have me.

Excerpt:

I stretch my arm toward the wall and turn out the lights.
With the light snuffed out, my other senses rise, hunting for her in the dark. The smell of her hair and her quick, shallow breaths. My sight adjusts until the heavy black curtain completely obscuring her fades to gray. Light from the outer room spills under the door, revealing just the shape, the outline of her, but still camouflaging details. I cup her cheek, taking a moment to appreciate the softness of her skin, the silky hair brushing my knuckles. I’m not an idiot. She wants the lights out because she’s self-conscious, but from my perspective, she has nothing to be ashamed of.
“I think you’re beautiful, Ban.”
“You do?” she asks, her voice hushed.
My words surprise me as much as they seem to surprise her, because I don’t say shit like that to girls. The prettiest ones usually seem to already know, which makes any admiration I’d express redundant. But Banner . . . she’s so beautiful, and I’m not sure she knows.
“I do.” I push the hair away from her face.
“Uh . . . thank you.” Her laugh isn’t much more than a breath. “The lights are out, so I’m not sure that compliment counts.”
“I know your face by heart. You have seven freckles here.” I swipe a finger over the straight bridge of her nose and drift down to caress her full lips and the tiny dent in her cheek her smile displays. “And a dimple right here.”
I explore the smooth skin of her nape, under a heavy fall of hair.
“Now I want to know your body, too,” I say softly. “Take off your clothes for me, Banner.”
After a sharply indrawn breath, she raises her arms. The rustle of her clothes—the sweatshirt, jeans, socks, shoes—being discarded whisper in the dark. I approximate her by touch, reaching for her arms and closing my fingers around the softness, the velvety skin. I lower my head and run my nose along her neck, discovering.
“You always smell so good.” I’ve wanted to tell her that since the first night we studied here.
“Pretty Pastel,” she replies, her laugh low, nervous.
“What?” I pause.
“The smell. It’s my dryer sheets. The scent is Pretty Pastel.”
“I like it.” I resume my exploration, running a palm over her shoulder, her collarbone until I find the soft, full weight of her breasts, testing them in my hands, cupping them, holding them, brushing the nipples with my thumbs until they pebble and her breaths come harshly.
“You like that?” I ask.
I see her head nod in the semi-darkness. “Yeah. It feels good.”
Her touch startles me in the best way, her hand finding my face, traveling over my mouth, eyes, and hair. I sense her approach, feel tiny pants of breath on my lips, and anticipation has me panting, too, shortens my breath and sharpens my senses. Her mouth seeks mine, eager and sweet when she kisses me. Her pleasure, her excitement matches, answers, fans mine.
I guide her back down to the couch, and with a hand at her shoulder, urge her to stretch out. I’d shave points off my GPA for a glimpse of her, but she doesn’t want that. I get it, so I settle for a taste.

 

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About Kennedy

A Top 30 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes about women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine and Frolic, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Atlanta Autism families, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for families living with autism.

 

Connect with Kennedy

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REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Keeper of the Bees (Black Birds of the Gallows) by Meg Kassel

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Keeper of the Bees (Black Birds of the Gallows) by Meg Kassel

I completely devoured this book! So check out my 4 Star Review below and enter a fabulous giveaway! Enjoy!

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Keeper of the Bees (Black Birds of the Gallows) by Meg KasselKeeper of the Bees (Black Birds of the Gallows)
by Meg Kassel
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries―since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.

Review:

Black Birds of the Gallows was one of my favorite books from last year!  So I couldn’t wait to read this since we were going to see the world from the beekeepers view.  Those creatures terrified me, so I took a deep breath and dove right in. I happily found myself pulled in and I finished this book in one day.  Keeper of the Bees was a mesmerizing tale filled with peril, love, heartache, redemption, evil and sacrifice.  And I loved being back in this world!

She raises one eyebrow, seemingly unimpressed. “Are you planning to kill me?”
I am a monster . A beast. Lying about it would be pointless. “Yes.”

While this book is a companion novel, it can easily be read as a standalone.  Information from the previous book was seamlessly laced throughout this story and was beautifully done.  There was no info dumps and it caught us up and gave us a complete understanding of the creatures and the curses.  If you haven’t read the previous book, the creatures in her story are so unique! They’re a breath of fresh air!

One day, I will say no to this girl and I will mean it. One day, I will walk away.
But not today. – Dresden

This time around we followed Dresden.  A beekeeper. He had a hive of bees that lived in his chest.  When a bee was released and stung someone, it made them even more dark and ultimately lead to their demise.  The bees were only supposed to pick those that had a darkness within them. Yet when his bees picked Essie, he stopped them.  Essie didn’t have an ounce of darkness in her.

“You’re safe,” I say again.
She closes her eyes. Her breath hitches. Then she does the improbable and throws herself against me, wrapping her arms around my waist.
I am paralyzed. Motionless, breathless in my first embrace in a millennium. To be touched… My eyes close as I tremble from head to toe. The pain is glorious, excruciating.

The beekeepers terrified me in Black Bird of the Gallows, but Dresden easily captured a piece of my heart.  He was one of my favorite things about this book, and as the story unfolded Dresden became everything for me.  He was tortured from having to be this monster for so many hundreds of years.  And my heart broke for him that he didn’t have a choice over what him and his bees had to do.  Until he met Essie, and he decided to spare her life. I wanted Dresden to get his happily ever after, especially since we kept getting glimpses of his humanity, heart and the boy he used to be.  

I lay a hand on his chest, very gently. Barely touching. It’s buzzy and warm with all those bees in there. He jerks at my touch and winces, but his hand brushes my thigh, just above the knee, then tentatively settles there. His gaze drops to my mouth.
“Essie.” He breathes my name. He’s close. The air between us zings, honey-scented and charged. “You are the furthest thing from a monster. You are light and grace and all the things I thought I had forgotten. It’s agony for me to be near you, yet I can’t stay away.”

Essie was unlike any character I have ever met.  She was a sweet girl who loved her family but she suffered from some type of mental illness.  Her hallucinations felt real and were filled with the stuff nightmares could be made of. She didn’t fit into any type of diagnosis and it was such a huge mystery for why she was suffering.  But from the moment she met Dresden, her whole world changed. He quieted the hallucinations and she wasn’t afraid of his ever changing face. Or that he had a hive of bees in his chest. Essie was brave, sweet, smart and had the hugest heart ever but I was never able to connect to her.  I was so sad that I wasn’t able to feel her emotions.

I have someone to live for.
Someone to fight for.
Impossibly, someone who cares about me. It makes me wonder what else is possible. – Dresden

Dresden and Essie were hope and heartbreak all swirled together.  They both had so much going against them, and friendship and normalcy was something that felt unattainable to them.  But together they started to form a tentative friendship. And the moments they were around each other they actually felt normal.  It looked like they finally had a chance for happiness, redemption and love. Yet Dresden would eventually be leaving and with Essie’s town being marked, there was no guarantee that she would survive it.

“Dresden, I don’t want you to go.” It’s all I can say. It’s all I have left.
“And I would give anything to stay,” he rasps. “But I want you to live, more.”
His eyes close, and he disintegrates into a heavy swarm of bees. It streams through the window and is swallowed by the night.

Just like her other book, I found myself enraptured when the action took place.  Since Essie’s town was marked, something catastrophic was going to happen.  And on top of that, there was a mystery within the pages. Murders kept happening and Essie found herself in the middle of it all.  It was fun watching the twists and the turns and I didn’t figure out what was truly happening till 3/4s of the way into this book. I enjoyed putting it all together!

“You… are…” I slide my fingers into her hair, letting thick strands slide between my fingers. “Worth a…thousand… deaths.”
Essie’s hand covers mine. “And you’re worth a lifetime of delusions.”

When I closed that last page I realized there is still so many stories this world can tell.  And I’m hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that there’s going to be more, especially so I can get a peak of these characters since the book ended with a hfn.  I’d love to step back into this twisted world. I’m not ready to say goodbye to the Harbingers, Beekeepers, Strawmen and even the regular people who give these characters hope, a chance at normalcy and true love.  Fingers crossed!

PS  We got to see our favorites from Black Birds of the Gallows, Reece and Angie.  I loved seeing them together, I loved seeing their happiness of being together.  It made my heart so happy!

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

About Meg Kassel:

Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, she’s been creating stories, whether with visuals or words, since childhood. Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter. As a fan of ’80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, she has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart® winner in YA and a double 2018 RITA® finalist for her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows.

Website  l  TwitterInstagram  l  Facebook  l  Goodreads  l  Amazon

 

 

Giveaway:

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BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting

I had a lot of fun reading this book! So check out my review below and enter a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary TingJaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Jaclyn looks up to her father. An honest man who once fought for the king, he now teaches Jaclyn how to use her wits—and her sword.

But he has a secret. And his secret may have a connection to the one thing Jaclyn is hiding from him.

Upon hearing “monsters” are terrorizing the small villages around Black Mountain, Jaclyn’s father and his friends head out to hunt them … but they don’t return.

Armed only with her sword and three magic beans—a gift from a mysterious old woman—Jaclyn sets out for Black Mountain to save her father.

On her climb, one bean drops and grows into a beanstalk, catching her when she falls.

She isn’t the only one that takes the ride. Jack, her childhood friend and secret crush, is following her.

Together, Jaclyn and Jack must battle to save not only their fathers, but the townspeople the beasts plan to lay waste to before it’s too late.

Review:

Jaclyn and The Beanstalk was a magical tale filled with adventure, love and family.  It was an entertaining take on Jack and the Beanstalk and I loved how creative this story was at times.  While it held some of the same elements as the original tale, it was interesting watching how it veered off onto its own path.  When I reached that last page, three shining things stood out to me, and they were:

How in the world can a tiny little bean help me?

The creativity in this retelling:

What fate awaits a girl who hears monsters at night?

While this book shared a lot of similarities with the original tale, its bright spot was how there was a unique twist on almost every single one of those similarities.  This time it was a girl named Jaclyn who was given the beans and inadvertently grows the beanstalk.  There was also a Jack in this story and I absolutely loved him….more about him below!  Instead of a giant, there were monsters and they were nightmare inducing.  Everything that surrounded them was a huge mystery that we got to unravel.  I’m not going to say anymore than that because there were a lot of surprises along the way and it was a lot of fun seeing how it all played out!  

Jacyln:

“This is my destiny. This is my story.” I knew this to be my fate in every vein, bone, muscle, and in my soul.

Jaclyn was who we followed on this adventure and who was given the magic beans. But she was so much more than I thought she would be.  Her father had trained her to be a fighter and I loved how fierce and brave she could be! While she had some growing up to do, we got to watch her mature as the story unfolded.  She was on the right path and I loved how she always had faith in herself.  So I had fun cheering her on!

Jack:

“Name your price,” Jack said, panic struck in his eyes. “Take me. I beg you let her be.”

Jack was a childhood friend of Jacyln and we got to meet him as the story progressed.  From the moment we met Jack, I liked him right from the start. He was mature, strong and definitely swoon worthy.  Especially since he knew what he wanted, which was Jaclyn, and he had no problem speaking his mind. I loved how protective he was of her and how he could also joke so easily at the same time.  He was a wonderful book boyfriend and I know a lot of people are going to be caught up in his charm!

I shuddered a breath in horror. Smoke shaped like the devil’s hand with long fingernails reached for the sky.
It had begun.

I was happy to see that this book wrapped up nicely and that there was an epilogue that jumped into the future.  In that epilogue there was an element that left the possibility for a future book possible, so that idea was a lot of fun to think about!  So if you’re into retellings, check this book out.  But I have to give a heads up that there was a lot of biblical references throughout the story.  It influenced so many aspects, including the characters.  I still had a lot of fun with the characters and watching how the story played out, even though I’m not the biggest fan of having that in the stories I pick up.  And while this book is YA, it would be a great first step for someone coming from MG!

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

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

About Mary Ting:

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.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

Giveaway:

 

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REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Superhero High by T.H. Hernandez

So confession time.  I actually signed up for two tours for this book.  That’s how much I adored this story!  So check out my 5 Star review below and enter a fabulous giveaway!  Enjoy! ♥

Superhero High
T.H. Hernandez
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: July 5th 2018
Genres: Adventure, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Sixteen-year-old Annarenee Stevens is the sole member of her family without a super power. The only time she feels powerful is in the pool. With her sights set on swimming for U.C. Berkeley, she’s ready to win it all at the State championship and secure her future.

When the government unexpectedly ends the secret Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program, Annarenee is uprooted from Dayton, the only home she’s ever known, and relocated to San Diego with all of the other GEA families. Queen of her public school, Annarenee is just another zero at Superhero High, a school without any sports teams.

With the end of the program, her hero older brother now needs a college education, too, meaning the only way Annarenee is getting into Berkeley is on a scholarship. Her dream is slipping through her fingers, no matter how tightly she clings to it. To make matters worse, super hot superhero, Ren Gonzalez, is paying too much attention to her. The kind of attention that has Ren’s ex-girlfriend intent on making Annarenee’s life even more miserable.

But when heroes begin disappearing, zeros and heroes will be forced to team up in order to solve the mystery. If they don’t kill each other first.

Review:

Superhero High was mesmerizing, beyond addicting and a ton of fun.  I got completely wrapped up in the characters lives and lost in the pages.  Bullying, first love, friendships, finding yourself and mystery was splashed across the pages.  And that made this book emotional, sigh worthy, and I fell in love with so many of the characters.   I closed that last page feeling happy and I’m excited for future books set in this world *fingers crossed*!

I fall back onto my bed and close my eyes, letting the past few hours replay in my head, a tear slipping out and running down my cheek. This is the worst nightmare ever, and I’m never, ever waking up from it.

Annarenee Stevens’ life may have seemed ordinary, but it was anything but that.  She was the only one in her family without superpowers, but none of her friends or even boyfriend at her public high school truly knew about her family.  With her sights set on a swimming scholarship to UC Berkeley, this was going to be her best year yet!  But her whole life got turned upside down when the government quit funding the Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program.  All GEA families, hers included, were rounded up and sent to live in a community in San Diego. Leaving her whole life in Ohio behind, she found herself at a high school with no sports team and surrounded by Superheroes.  And there were plenty who thought a zero like her, didn’t belong among them.

“I’m talking to you, zero.”
Whirling around, my fists clenched at my sides, I stare him down. “My name is Annarenee, asshole. Not zero, not loser, or any of the other pet names you think are so charming. If you can’t call me by my name . . . you know what? Never mind. Just don’t talk to me. Ever.”
His nostrils flare as he takes deep, angry breaths. “I’ll call you whatever I want, and you’ll answer.”

I loved seeing the world through Annarenee’s eyes and connected with her right from the beginning.  She was was not only smart, but she had no problem speaking her mind. With her dreams of college sailing out the window and going to a new school where some looked down and bullied her, my heart definitely hurt for her.  But she stood up for herself and her zero friends, and I love that she didn’t let others push her around.  She came across as brave and someone I would respect.  

His gaze lifts to mine, and the vulnerability in his eyes steals my breath. I’ve never seen this side of him. Not really. He’s been unsure, or nervous, but not this. Ren searches my face for something, and I’m pretty sure all he’s going to see is pure fear. Because if I kiss this boy, nothing between us will be the same.

In San Diego, Annarenee caught the eye of a Superhero, Ren Gonzalez.  Oh you guys, I loved Ren. He gave me butterflies and I loved learning all of the different sides to him.  Ren made me laugh, he made me feel cautious and he made me fall head over heels in love with him.  The words he chose and the way he treated others just added to the huge list of reasons why I fell so hard for him.  So when Ren flirted with Annarenee he easily made my heart race. But his jealous superhero ex seemed to always be hanging in the background and I was personally scared of her powers.

I’m in serious danger of falling hard for that boy, and I’m shocked it doesn’t scare me.

In the midst of everyone trying to adjust to living in San Diego, some of the teen superheroes started disappearing.  I was grasping at the tiniest clues, like Annarenee, trying to figure out what was going on.  And while I felt as clueless as her, I loved how all of this was a trigger for something huge.  The zeroes and heroes would have to put aside their differences and work as one if they wanted to find those that they loved.  Awww I loved this story and how it played out!

His mouth is on mine in seconds, as if he’d been holding his breath and he desperately needed to inhale.

I absolutely adored Superhero High.  At the base of this story was a romance, but it was also about finding yourself, navigating your teen years and so much more.  This book ended in a wonderful spot with a HFN feel, yet there are so many ways this story can continue.  And I for one can’t wait!

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

Goodreads / Amazon

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.”

You can find her online at http://thhernandez.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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BLOG TOUR + AUTHOR INTERVIEW + REVIEW: Sadie by Courtney Summers

BLOG TOUR + AUTHOR INTERVIEW + REVIEW: Sadie by Courtney Summers

Courtney Summers doesn't need any introductions-her work speaks for itself. Howeverrrr...I am MORE than happy to give praise to such a creative, wonderful, and darkly imaginative woman who has never ceased to amaze me. Below is the blog tour for her current work, Sadie, which is claimed to be 'the breakout of her career'. So look below to find my review, an author Q & A with Summers herself (DYING! AGH! Such an honor!), an excerpt from the book, and all the praise she deserves. Enjoy!

BLOG TOUR + AUTHOR INTERVIEW + REVIEW: Sadie by Courtney SummersSadie by Courtney Summers
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.


I wish this was a love story because I know how it goes in one like mine, where the only moments of reprieve are the spaces between its lines. But here’s the thing I tell myself to dull the sharp edges of everything that’s surely left to come: 
The worst has already happened.

 

This book evoked many emotions within me-some good, some bad. And I think that needs to be explored more by authors. It’s no surprise to anyone that I am-and always have been-obsessed with Courtney Summers. From the moment I picked up This is Not a Test, followed by Some Girls Are, I was a goner. Her dark and languid writing has this way about it-it’s stark and blunt, yet draws you in because of the beautiful simplicity in which the words are sculpted. To get to the point? She’s an evil genius-no explanation needed.

It makes my stomach ache, how, at a time like this, I can’t make that word come perfectly out of my mouth enough to convince him. I can’t describe how bad it feels, this inability to communicate the way I want, when I need to.

 But I would be lying if this book wasn’t one huge trigger for me-and, yes, that’s a personal thing. AND it’s the ONLY flaw I really have with the book. But, as a very honest blogger and friend to many on GR, I must warn that, while Summer’s writing is always dark, this ventures into something far more sinister than anything she’s ever constructed before. Some will REALLY dig it-my best friend and blogger buddy ate it up. And, hey, so did I….but that doesn’t mean the content within (ie, child death and, um, other things?) didn’t hurt my soul a tad.

My body is sharp enough to cut glass and in desperate need of rounding out, but sometimes I don’t mind. A body might not always be beautiful, but a body can be a beautiful deception. I’m stronger than I look.

 And, with that being said, I fully support the direction Courtney is going with her work. It NEEDS to be said. The world is a dark place, and people turn their heads and are blind to most of it. Sadie was a tenacious, strong, young girl hell bent on vengeance, on making the world a better place for other kids-and that was the most alluring thing about this story. Her heart was so large, her soul so crushed-but her spirit, her will to fight, isn’t broken-no matter how shattered she may feel.
Last thing she said to me, my face cupped firmly in her hands, was <I>whatever you’re thinking, you get it out of that damned foolish head of yours right now</I>. Except it’s not in my head, it’s in my heart and she’s the same woman who told me if you’re going to follow anything, it might as well be that. 
Even if it is a mess.

 

Her story is something that was so palpable…you felt what she felt. The hurt. The pain. The soul-crushing panic. The hope. It was all so…addicting. But such is the nature of Summer’s writing. I’m no stranger to it, I’ll admit. I wait and I wait and I wait until she announces she has more books coming out, then I obsess until I get my hands on it. In this case, I bothered the publishers and got a copy-and, MORE AWESOMELY, I got to be a part of the blog tour and was able to do a Q & A WITH THIS AMAZING WOMAN.

And one of the more important questions, to me, that I asked was about what has taken her writing down this path. If you’re an avid reader of her work, you know that her earlier work was of mean girls, zombies, an unlikable heroine with a difficult story and-most importantly and perhaps the most recurring theme-her stories deal with difficult issues such as rape and attempted rape-murder. But All the Rage was the first time we truly saw Summers take the darker road. And I think it’s the story she’s trying to tell, something her work has built up to and she now wants to explore-and it’s truly amazing to see it all play out.

This story was also her first foray into a dual POV situation-but, more than that, it was like a radio show format when we weren’t in Sadie’s POV. West is the person investigating Sadie and it really put things in perspective for me. However, I enjoyed the book most in Sadie’s POV.

It’s about the lengths we go to protect the ones we love … and the high price we pay when we can’t.

 All in all, this story is something to behold. It’s dark, gritty, and without a doubt one of the largest shocks to my system I’ve ever read-and perhaps I needed that. And, for those of you on the fence-read it. It has so much to say with its gut wrenching narrative, and perhaps it can urge you to do more. To see more. Or, perhaps, it will just open your eyes in a way you never expected. Either way, this is Summer’s at her best, her most jarring-and it’s not a book you’ll soon forget. You won’t regret it.

*FYI- in the middle of this review my computer froze up, so my thoughts may seem a bit off or strayed-I promise my opinion is still the same, though. It just changed the flow of the review. But one thing I want to make perfectly clear that I didn’t get a chance to say in my review: If there’s one thing that stayed with me throughout this novel, its the pain. The deep, unfathomable pain of losing someone you couldn’t protect-but then going after it to make it right. It really resonated with me…even if it hurt deeply to think this way. Summers is just epic like that.

 

Q & A with Courtney Summers:

1. I have always been a huge fan of your books-they’re deep, insightful, dark, and they MEAN something-but Sadie is the darkest of your other works (in my opinion)-What lead you to write this particular story? What brought you here?

Thank you so much! That’s so kind and your support of my work means a lot to me. Looking back at my body of work, Sadie feels like a natural culmination of the stories that came before her. I think I was always headed that way. The longer I write, the more inspired I am to dig deeper—or, in my case, darker.

I love that she said this because, in retrospect, all her work really does seem to be leading up to this moment….and its just so pivotal and game-changing. It fits with everything so well. By far my favorite answer 🙂

2. Do you ever write your personality into any of your characters? If so, which characters have your personality?

I’m not my characters, but I sometimes put very little pieces of myself in them. I never reveal what they are because I don’t want to risk readers thinking of me at all when they pick up one of my books.

3. The world can be a dark place-your books don’t shy away from that. So that begs the question: What books [or authors] help you find your happy place?

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo, I Hate Everyone But You by Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn and Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt.

 

And check out this gripping excerpt! (If this doesn’t hook you, I don’t know what will!):

THE GIRLS
EPISODE 1
[THE GIRLS THEME]

WEST McCRAY:
Welcome to Cold Creek, Colorado. Population: eight hun-
dred.

Do a Google Image search and you’ll see its main street, the
barely beating heart of that tiny world, and find every other
building vacant or boarded up. Cold Creek’s luckiest—the
gainfully employed—work at the local grocery store, the gas
station and a few other staple businesses along the strip. The
rest have to look a town or two over for opportunity for them-
selves and for their children; the closest schools are in Park-
dale, forty minutes away. They take in students from three
other towns.

Beyond its main street, Cold Creek arteries out into worn and
chipped Monopoly houses that no longer have a place upon
the board. From there lies a rural sort of wilderness. The highway out is interrupted by veins of dirt roads leading to nowhere as often as they lead to pockets of dilapidated
houses or trailer parks in even worse shape. In the summer-
time, a food bus comes with free lunches for the kids until the
school year resumes, guaranteeing at least two subsidized
meals a day.

There’s a quiet to it that’s startling if you’ve lived your whole
life in the city, like I have. Cold Creek is surrounded by a beau-
tiful, uninterrupted expanse of land and sky that seem to go
on forever. Its sunsets are spectacular; electric golds and
oranges, pinks and purples, natural beauty unspoiled by the
insult of skyscrapers. The sheer amount of space is humbling,
almost divine. It’s hard to imagine feeling trapped here.

But most people here do.

COLD CREEK RESIDENT [FEMALE]:
You live in Cold Creek because you were born here and if
you’re born here, you’re probably never getting out.

WEST McCRAY:
That’s not entirely true. There have been some success sto-
ries, college graduates who moved on and found well-paying
jobs in distant cities, but they tend to be the exception and
not the rule. Cold Creek is home to a quality of life we’re
raised to aspire beyond, if we’re born privileged enough to
have the choice.

Here, everyone’s working so hard to care for their families and
keep their heads above water that, if they wasted time on the
petty dramas, scandals and personal grudges that seem to
define small towns in our nation’s imagination, they would
not survive. That’s not to say there’s no drama, scandal, or
grudge—just that those things are usually more than residents of
Cold Creek can afford to care about.

Until it happened.

The husk of an abandoned, turn-of-the-century one-room
schoolhouse sits three miles outside of town, taken by fire. The
roof is caved in and what’s left of the walls are charred. It sits
next to an apple orchard that’s slowly being reclaimed by the
nature that surrounds it: young overgrowth, new trees, wild-
flowers.

There’s almost something romantic about it, something that
feels like respite from the rest of the world. It’s the perfect
place to be alone with your thoughts. At least it was, before.
May Beth Foster—who you’ll come to know as this series goes
on—took me there herself. I asked to see it. She’s a plump,
white, sixty-eight-year-old woman with salt-and-pepper hair.
She has a grandmotherly way about her, right down to a voice
that’s so invitingly familiar it warms you from the inside out.
May Beth is manager of Sparkling River Estates trailer park, a
lifelong resident of Cold Creek, and when she talks, people
listen. More often than not, they accept whatever she says as
the truth.

MAY BETH FOSTER:
Just about . . . here.

This is where they found the body.

911 DISPATCHER [PHONE]:
911 dispatch. What’s your emergency?

Purchase Here:

Amazon l iTunes l Book Depository

 

About the Author:

Courtney Summers was born in Belleville, Ontario, 1986. At age 14, she dropped out of high school. At age 18, she wrote her first novel. Cracked Up to Be was published in 2008, when she was 22 and went on to win the 2009 CYBIL award in YA fiction. Since then, she’s published four more critically acclaimed books: Some Girls AreFall for AnythingThis is Not a Test and All the Rage, as well as an e-novella, Please Remain Calm which is a sequel to This is Not a TestHer new novel, Sadie, hits bookstores September 4th, 2018 and is available for preorder now. In 2016, Courtney was named one of Flare Magazine’s 60 under 30. 

Follow her HERE!

instagram: summerscourtney
twitter: @courtney_s
tumblrsummerscourtney.
official websitecourtneysummers.ca

 

More about THE GIRLS podcast (super popular podcast they are doing based after West’s journey to find Sadie in the book!):

THE GIRLS: Find Sadie is the first-ever YA thriller podcast. The Serial-like show is based off the novel Sadie by Courtney Summers. In a brilliant move, Summers scripted periodic chapters of the novel like a podcast script, hosted by fictional radio personality West McCray. The six-part podcast series brings these chapters to life with a 30+ person cast, music, and sound effects and was a collaboration between Macmillan Audio, Macmillan Podcasts, and Wednesday Books. Episode 1 launches on August 1st, and the show will air seven weekly episodes available on all the major podcast platforms. The final episode will feature a bonus interview with Courtney Summers and her editor Sara Goodman.

 

And, yeah, look at all this advance praise:

*THE GIRLS Podcast now available*
* A 2018 BookExpo America YA Editor’s Buzz Book Pick*
*Most Anticipated by BookRiot, Goodreads, B&N Teen Blog &  Buzzfeed *

“A riveting tour de force.”
 —Kirkus, STARRED Review

Summers’ novel is filled with her trademark biting commentary on sexual assault and the mistreatment of girls and women at the hands of predatory men…her hunt for Mattie’s killer is captivating, and Summers excels at slowly unspooling both Sadie’s and West’s investigations at a measured, tantalizing pace.—Booklist, STARRED Review

“A taut, suspenseful book about abuse and power that feels personal, as if Summers, like May Beth and West, can’t take one more dead or abused girl.”
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review

The fresh, nuanced, and fast-moving narrative will appeal to a range of YA and new adult readers, and serves as a larger examination on the way society interacts with true crime…It’s impossible to not be drawn into this haunting thriller of a book. A heartrending must-have.
—School Library Journal, STARRED Review

“An electrifying thriller, taut as a bowstring. A coming-of-age tale, both gritty and sensitive. A poignant drama of love and loss. This — all this — is SADIE: a novel for readers of any age, and a character as indelible as a scar. Flat-out dazzling. —AJ Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

 

And don’t forget to follow the rest of the tour! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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