Tag: Young Adult (page 1 of 117)

BLOG TOUR + SPOTLIGHT: Give the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1) by Beth Revis

BLOG TOUR + SPOTLIGHT: Give the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1) by Beth Revis

Beth Revis is one of the most creative authors I've ever read. Here we get to see her darker side explored, so it won't be one to miss! Make sure to grab (pre-order) a copy today!

BLOG TOUR + SPOTLIGHT: Give the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1) by Beth RevisGive the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1)
by Beth Revis
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis:

A young alchemist turns to dark magic when a deadly plague sweeps through her homeland in this epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis.

Seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy with only one goal in mind: master the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island's wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn't quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen.

Until she meets Greggori "Grey" Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that's for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the north, and it's making its way toward the cities. With her family's life--and the lives of all of Lunar Island's citizens--on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra grow close, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy's most dangerous corners--and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.

Purchase Links:

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AUTHOR BIO:

Beth Revis is the author of the New York Times bestselling Across the Universe series, the twisty contemporary novel A World Without You, and the New York Times bestselling Star Wars: Rebel Rising. Beth lives in rural North Carolina in a house full of boys–her husband, son, and two massive dogs–and she forces them all to watch reruns of Firefly and Doctor Who. Visit her at bethrevis.com and follow her @bethrevis.

SCHEDULE

WEEK ONE

September 17 – Megan Write Now – Author Q&A

September 18 – Gladiator glory – Moodboard

September 19 – Velarisreads – A Book Look

September 20 – The Pages In-Between – Review + Creative Instagram

September 21 – The Fandom – Playlist  

WEEK TWO

September 24 – Star-Crossed Book Blog – Spotlight

September 25 – Old Enough for Fairytales – Creative Instagram Picture

September 26 – The Busy B. Creative – Creative Instagram Picture + Author Q&A

September 27 – Miss Print – Listicle

September 28 – The Book Enigma – Author Guest Post: The Author’s Research (because of how scientific the premise is) and its incorporation into her fantasy world

BOOK REVIEW: Sadie by Courtney Summers

BOOK REVIEW: Sadie by Courtney SummersSadie by Courtney Summers
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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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.

Thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books, and the author, Courtney Summers, for my free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

“And it begins, as so many stories do, with a dead girl.”

I finished Sadie almost a month ago and I’ve struggled how I wanted to review this book. I haven’t really read anything like it and honestly, after I finished the last page and closed the book, I was left feeling a bit sad and empty.

It’s a tragic story on every level. Sadie, our main character, hasn’t had an easy life. Her mother, who is both a drug addict and often absent, has abandoned Sadie and her other daughter Mattie, in their small rural town. Mind you, Sadie is around 17 when the story begins, who isn’t even an adult herself. And then Mattie is murdered, shattering Sadie’s entire paper-thin world. And with nothing left to lose, and no help from anyone else, Sadie begins her quest to get justice for Mattie.

Intertwined in Sadie’s story is investigative journalist/podcaster Wes McCray, who is working to figure out what happened to Sadie, as we learn she is consider “missing” by the small group of people who care about her. The format of the novel is ‘regular’ chapters from Sadie’s POV and transcript chapters from Wes’s podcast interviews. I really enjoyed this format and loved a true crime podcast as a vehicle for telling Sadie’s story, as there are so many great true crime podcasts doing similar work in real-life.

I also appreciated Summers giving Sadie an additional layer of complexity, as Sadie has an almost debilitating stutter that greatly affects how she interacts with others. It’s not something I’ve seen put into a story before, so kudos for Summers adding in that representation.

I don’t want to give anything away, but this is not an easy story to read. There’s not a lot of happiness or light-hearted moments. It’s a dark but realistic story, so just go in preparing to get heart stomped all over. Don’t let that deter you, but just be prepared.

I have risked everything for this kindness, or whatever it is, and that make me worry I’m too starved, too broken, to anything right.

Be sure to also check out Chelsea’s review and interview with Courtney Summers here.

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

 

 

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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.*

 

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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.

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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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