Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway of Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

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Title:
Between the Blade and the Heart

Author: Amanda Hocking
Published by: Wednesday Books
Publication date: January 2, 20
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

SUMMARY:

When the fate of the world is at stake
Loyalties will be tested

Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.

As one of Odin’s Valkyries, Malin’s greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.  

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble  / Books-A-Million / IndieBound / Powells

 

about the author
Amanda Hocking NEW--credit Mariah Paaverud with Chimera Photography
Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Social Links:

Author Website: http://www.worldofamandahocking.com/
Twitter: @Amanda_Hocking
Facebook: @AmandaHockingFans
Author Blog

 


raving review

I hope you are ready for a kickass and snarky heroine because Between the Blade and the Heart is here to deliver. One of my favorite mythologies to read and study is on Valkyries, and this book did not disappoint. Adding to the Valkyrie myth, Amanda Hocking adds her own twist with a modern-day spin.  

Between the Blade and the Heart consists of a lot of world-building and understanding the duties of Valkyries. And beyond this alluring set up is Malin, a Valkyrie in training whose world is turned upside down when she finds out that a very close and fellow Valkyrie did not dispose of an immortal to the Afterlife. This then leads to a chance of a butterfly effect and devastating results. From there Malin not only tries to understand her duty as a Valkyrie, but she also has to come face-to-face with secrets, danger, and the consequences of choice. Malin is hard to read sometimes, because she is always over-analyzing situations, but overall she is always trying to learn, understand, and mature. 

I loved that Between the Blade and the Heart is rich with an elaborate world, but the pacing is quite slow. It took me a few chapters to actually start enjoying the story. Once the book picked up pace, Malin’s determination and fierceness was a great motivator to continue the story and find out what happens next in this world that meshes mortals and immortals.  

3 star rating

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EXCERPT

CHAPTER 1:

The air reeked of fermented fish and rotten fruit, thanks to the overflowing dumpster from the restaurant behind us. The polluted alley felt narrow and claustrophobic, sandwiched between skyscrapers.

In the city, it was never quiet or peaceful, even at three in the morning. There were more than thirty million humans and supernatural beings coexisting, living on top of each other. It was the only life I’d ever really known, but the noise of the congestion grated on me tonight.

My eyes were locked on the flickering neon lights of the gambling parlor across the street. The u in Shibuya had gone out, so the sign flashed SHIB YA at me.

The sword sheathed at my side felt heavy, and my body felt restless and electric. I couldn’t keep from fidgeting and cracked my knuckles.

“He’ll be here soon,” my mother, Marlow, assured me. She leaned back against the brick wall beside me, casually eating large jackfruit seeds from a brown paper sack. Always bring a snack on a stakeout was one of her first lessons, but I was far too nervous and excited to eat.

The thick cowl of her frayed black sweater had been pulled up like a hood, covering her cropped blond hair from the icy mist that fell on us. Her tall leather boots only went to her calf, thanks to her long legs. Her style tended to be monochromatic—black on black on black—aside from the shock of dark red lipstick.

My mother was only a few years shy of her fiftieth birthday, with almost thirty years of experience working as a Valkyrie, and she was still as strong and vital as ever. On her hip, her sword Mördare glowed a dull red through its sheath.

The sword of the Valkyries was one that appeared as if it had been broken in half—its blade only a foot long before stopping at a sharp angle. Mördare’s blade was several thousand years old, forged in fires to look like red glass that would glow when the time was nigh.

My sword was called Sigrún, a present on my eighteenth birthday from Marlow. It was a bit shorter than Mördare, with a thicker blade, so it appeared stubby and fat. The handle was black utilitarian, a replacement that my mom had had custom-­made from an army supply store, to match her own.

The ancient blade appeared almost black, but as it grew closer to its target, it would glow a vibrant purple. For the past hour that we’d been waiting on our stakeout, Sigrún had been glowing dully on my hip.

The mist grew heavier, soaking my long black hair. I kept the left side of my head shaved, parting my hair over to the right, and my scalp should’ve been freezing from the cold, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel anything.

It had begun—the instinct of the Valkyrie, pushing aside my humanity to become a weapon. When the Valkyrie in me took over, I was little more than a scythe for the Grim Reaper of the gods.

“He’s coming,” Marlow said behind me, but I already knew.

The world fell into hyperfocus, and I could see every droplet of rain as it splashed toward the ground. Every sound echoed through me, from the bird flapping its wings a block away, to the club door as it groaned open.

Eleazar Bélanger stumbled out, his heavy feet clomping in the puddles. He was chubby and short, barely over four feet tall, and he would’ve appeared to be an average middle-­aged man if it wasn’t for the two knobby horns that stuck out on either side of his forehead. Graying tufts of black hair stuck out from under a bright red cap, and as he walked ahead, he had a noticeable limp favoring his right leg.

He was a Trasgu, a troublemaking goblin, and his appearance belied the strength and cunning that lurked within him. He was over three hundred years old, and today would be the day he died.

I waited in the shadows of the alley for him to cross the street. A coughing fit caused him to double over, and he braced himself against the brick wall.

I approached him quietly—this all went easier when they didn’t have time to prepare. He took off his hat to use it to wipe the snot from his nose, and when he looked up at me, his green eyes flashed with understanding.

“It’s you,” Eleazar said in a weak, craggy voice. We’d never met, and I doubt he’d ever seen me before, but he recognized me, the way they all did when their time was up.

“Eleazar Bélanger, you have been chosen to die,” I said, reciting my script, the words automatic and cold on my lips. “It is my duty to return you to the darkness from whence you came.”

“No, wait!” He held up his pudgy hands at me. “I have money. I can pay you. We can work this out.”

“This is not my decision to make,” I said as I pulled the sword from my sheath.

His eyes widened as he realized I couldn’t be bargained with. For a moment I thought he might just accept his fate, but they rarely did. He bowed his head and ran at me like a goat. He was stronger than he looked and caused me to stumble back a step, but he didn’t have anywhere to go.

My mother stood blocking the mouth of the alley, in case I needed her. Eleazar tried to run toward the other end, but his leg slowed him, and I easily overtook him. Using the handle of my sword, I cracked him on the back of the skull, and he fell to the ground on his knees.

Sigrún glowed brightly, with light shining out from it and causing the air to glow purple around us. Eleazar mumbled a prayer to the Vanir gods. I held the sword with both hands, and I struck it across his neck, decapitating him.

And then, finally, the electricity that had filled my body, making my muscles quiver and my bones ache, left me, and I breathed in deeply. The corpse of an immortal goblin lay in a puddle at my feet, and I felt nothing but relief.

“It was a good return,” my mother said, and put her hand on my shoulder. “You did well, Malin.”

Copyright © 2018 by Amanda Hocking in Between the Blade and the Heart and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin.

giveaway

WIN A PAPERBACK COPY OF BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART

***Giveaway ends January 9, 2018 and is only open to US Residents.
An email will be sent to the Winner and you have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.
The Winner will be announced within 48 hours at the end of the giveaway on my Twitter account and/or through a blog comment.
Giveaway is organized by Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile and sponsored by Wednesday Books who will provide the prize.
Not Responsible for lost, stolen, or misdirected prizes.***

HOW TO ENTER:

  1. Comment below: Why are you excited to read Between the Blade and the Heart? (Comment = one entry to win); and/or
  2. Follow me through my social links: WordPress, Twitter, and/or Instagram. (Comment below with which handles/names you followed me with and which social outlet you followed me on. Or give me a shout out on the social media outlet you followed me on referencing the blog giveaway). You will receive one entry for each social outlet you use to follow me.

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NOTE:  Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me an e-galley/e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

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Book Review: Everless by Sara Holland

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Title: 
Everless
Author: Sara Holland
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication date: January 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy 

Synopsis:

In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble  /  Book Depository


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Everless is fantasy read that focuses on a unique concept of time being used as currency. I love that not only is family important in the book, but the main character also values friendships, old and new. This book contains a lot of layers, and through each chapter something new, and oftentimes surprising, is unveiled. 

Jules, the protagonist, is very kindhearted, selfless, and giving. I had a hard time connecting with Jules, because sometimes I found her to be a bit childish and very naive. She focuses a lot on her past (which is foggy at times); I kept hoping she would open her eyes and mind up to her surroundings, but she is very straight and narrow. Luckily her eyes open more toward the end of the book and she becomes more open-minded and acknowledges that not everything is black and white.  

Although there are several great twists in Everless, I found the storyline and the main character quite predictable. But overall I loved the fantasy elements that were sprinkled in with some alchemist concepts. Of course, I loved that romance was not the highlight of the book, but it was still there and I can definitely see my favorite trope of hate-to-love relationship blooming. The last 50 pages are action-packed with unraveling twists and secrets. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book and I look forward to learning more about Liam, Jules “enemy,” and his role in Jules’ future. 

3 star rating

NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I won the advanced reader’s copy from a Twitter giveaway sponsored by Glasstown Entertainment, and I reviewed the book at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine. A huge thank you to Glasstown Entertainment for the ARC. 

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Review of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Title: 
The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: January 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy 

Synopsis:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble  /  Book Depository


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You guys this book broke me in the best ways possible. At first, The Cruel Prince shocked me with its grim and gruesome first chapter. But then I was slowly dangled into the cruel politics of the fairy world. At first, I liked the story, but I felt like something was missing. My stubborn self craved so much more than family history and fae politics. Plus I was not a big fan of the sister dynamics that were wearing down on my last nerve.

BUT…BAM!

Once I got to the 150ish page mark, I could not put this book down. I was engrossed with the storyline’s darkness, the espionage, the secrets, the twists, and OHMYGOD that ending! 

The Cruel Prince is a gorgeous and gritty read. It’s simply a stunner from the beautiful cover to the unique characters and all the unexpected plot twists. This book has everything from mouth-dropping scenes,  several punch in the gut romances, and the most unforeseen betrayal that had me gasping for more pages.

I am floored that this book did a 180 on me and I cannot wait for book two. If there is one book that I highly recommend that you TREAT YO SHELF to at the beginning of 2018, please for the love of all fairies pick up The Cruel Prince. You will not regret it. 

star rating

NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I received an advance reader’s copy through a blogger book trade and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Blog Tour: Raves & Craves of Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

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Welcome fellow book-ravers, and thank you for joining me today for my stop on Fierce Reads’ Foolish Hearts Blog Tour. Today I will be raving about my love for Emma Mills’ Foolish Hearts and pairing it with a snack recommendation. Enjoy!

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Title: Foolish Hearts
Author: Emma Mills 

Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co./Macmillan
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary 

Synopsis:

A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn’t supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn’t know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they’re both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia’s ever seen. As Claudia’s world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.

LINKS:   Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


raves for foolish hearts

Oh, Foolish Hearts, how do I love you? Let me count the ways. First, this book has everything from great family dynamics, amazing friendships, and a sprinkle of quirky characters. I am a sucker for sarcastic characters–the wittier, the better–and of course, Emma Mills does not disappoint with her main character Claudia.

I adored Claudia throughout the story. She’s smart, creative, snarky, and gives herself room to mope but also grow. And when it comes to friendships in Foolish Hearts, I love that it is Claudia’s truthful and witty personality that attracts Gideon to befriend her. Gideon and Claudia belong on two different sides of the introvert v. extrovert spectrum, but I love that they are always on the same wavelength. Their chemistry and banter are perfect, which allows this book to be the epitome of constant smile with the cutest dimples that will make you swoon. 

I adored this book, the characters, and all the crazy shenanigans that come with it. Add in video game quests, boy band obsession, amazing friendships, broken hearts, mending hearts, and a Shakespeare comedy, and you get one of the swooniest, funniest, and heartwarming stories called Foolish Hearts

craves for foolish hearts

In Foolish Hearts, Claudia is introduced to Gideon’s random quirks and “strange things Gideon says or does,” which are documented by his friends on an online account: JustGideonPrewittThings. One of Gideon’s strange preferences is that he likes to eat his cereal soggy. So today, I thought I would “taste test” Gideon’s soggy cereal preference with Froot Loops.

ingredients
Ingredients:
Cereal of your choice and milk. Don’t forget a bowl and a spoon.

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CONTROL GROUP

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Eat the cereal with no added milk.

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SOGGY CEREAL

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For “Soggy” Cereal, Gideon pours milk into a bowl of cereal and lets the concoction “marinate” for about ten minutes.

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CRUNCHY CEREAL

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Pour cereal and milk into a bowl, and start eating it for that perfect crunch.

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THE WINNER!

I am a texture eater, so soggy cereal is out for me. CRUNCHY CEREAL WITH MILK, ALL THE WAY! Sorry not sorry, Gideon. 

Which way do you prefer eating a bowl of cereal? Comment below, if you like crunchy or soggy, or no milk at all. I would love to hear your thoughts and how you compare to Gideon. 

about emma mills

Emma   Mills

Emma Mills is an author better known to her subscribers as vlogger Elmify. She is also cocreator and cohost of the “life skills” channel How to Adult, which ended in 2016.

Website • Twitter • Goodreads

tour schedule foolish hearts

December 5
Fire and Ice Reads – Author Guest Post

December 6
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Raves & Craves

December 7
Ex Libris – Playlist

December 8
Fiction Fares – Mood Board

December 9
Mary Had a Little Book Blog – Shakespeare Theme

December 10
Brittany’s Book Rambles – Author Interview

December 11
The Fox’s Hideaway – Shakespeare Theme

December 12
Alexa Loves Books – Gift Guides for Gideon and Claudia

December 13
Lisa Lost In Lit – Bookish Inspiration Post

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review & Favourite Quotes of The Chaos of Standing Still


Title:
The Chaos of Standing Still
Author:
 Jessica Brody

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 28th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis:

Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this stunning novel from the author of Boys of Summer.

 Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.

She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can’t move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us—and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way.

LINKS:   Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


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My heart holds a special place for books about grief, loss, and coping, and The Chaos of Standing Still did not disappoint in making me cry and laugh. This book focuses more on the coping aspects of grief and all the chaos that encompasses that helpless feeling. Many times I found this story heartbreaking, but the ending is like a breath of fresh air and a warm hug filled with hope.

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In regards to the main character, I oftentimes found Ryn to be very stubborn. She is stagnant in her grief of losing her best friend one year ago. While Ryn is cautious and an introvert, her late-best friend Lottie was a very outgoing and free-spirited teenager. But as Ryn’s story unfolds and we learn more and more about that terrible night that Lottie died, we find out how Lottie died and the heartbreaking scene of Ryn coming face-to-face with that reality. It is in these scenes, where Ryn allows herself to swim in memories of loss, that I began to understand that I’m not frustrated with Ryn’s approach to coping; instead I am heartbroken and shattered with her.

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While the story focuses on Ryn’s 24-hour layover in an airport due to a blizzard, shenanigans ensue. She meets people who not only challenge her to step outside her own skin but they also challenge her to emotionally mature. I love that in less than a day, Ryn befriends people based on her phone case, fake names, train surfing, a midnight party, and the sudden burst of singing The Bangles.

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Although sadness is a main emotion tackled in The Chaos of Standing Still, the reality of living–really living–brings so much hope to Ryn’s ability to accept life’s challenges even if they don’t have a definite answer. This book may be overwhelmed with Ryn’s grief and sadness, but it’s her ability to challenge herself and the overwhelming support of friends that makes this story unforgettable. 

Chaos 2


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WIN  1 copy of THE CHAOS OF STANDING STILL by Jessica Brody

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples, and electrical tape.

 

After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Economics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.

Since then, Jessica has sold over twelve novels for teens, tweens, and adults including 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, The Karma Club, My Life Undecided, and the three books in the Unremembered trilogy, the first of which is currently in development as a major motion picture by the producers of The Vampire Academy, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, and Slumdog Millionaire. In 2016, she will release two new contemporary novels, A Week of Mondays (August) and Boys of Summer (April), and in 2017, her debut middle grade novel entitled, Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up, will hit bookstore shelves.

Jessica also writes books for the Descendants: “School of Secrets” series, based on the hit Disney Channel Original movie, Descendants!

Jessica’s books are published and translated in over twenty foreign countries. (Click here for a full list of foreign sales and publishers.) She currently splits her time between California and Colorado.

 

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November 27th
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club & Pink Polka Dot Books– Welcome Post

November 28th
Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Interview
the bookdragon – Review
Her Book Thoughts – Review
The Mind of a Book Dragon – Review + Playlist

November 29th
The Clever Reader – Guest Post
Quite The Novel Idea – Review
A Bookish Abode – Review
We Live and Breathe Books – Review + Favourite Quotes

November 30th
The Heart of a Book Blogger – Review
Savings in Seconds – Review + Favourite Quotes
Wishful Endings – Review
Amanda Gernentz Hanson – Review

December 1st
Confessions of a YA Reader – Review
Donnie Darko Girl – Review
Belle’s Book Blog – Review
Latte Nights Reviews – Review + Favourite Quotes

December 2nd
Literary Meanderings – Interview
Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf – Review
Here’s to Happy Endings  – Review
Life of A Simple Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes

December 3rd
Vicky Who Reads – Review + Playlist + Dream Cast
Supercalireader – Review
Books, Boys, and Blogs – Review + Dream Cast
The Inked In Book Blog – Review + Favourite Quotes

December 4th
BookCrushin – Guest Post
Library of a Book Witch – Review
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Review + Favourite Quotes
Storybook Slayers – Review

 

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Review of Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

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Title: 
Love, Life, and the List
Author: Kasie West 

Publication Date: December 26, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Synopsis:

Everyone knows Abby Turner is in love with her best friend, Cooper Wells. Including Cooper Wells. But despite what people tell her, it doesn’t affect their friendship. And she’s practically over it, anyway. What she really can’t get over is when her boss at the local museum tells her that her paintings lack heart. 

Art is Abby’s passion and she hopes her future as well. She is determined to change his mind and earn her way into the upcoming exhibit at the gallery. So along with her family’s help, she compiles “The Heart List,” a series of soulstretching experiences that are sure to make her a deeper person and better artist in six weeks or less. When Cooper decides to complete the list along with her, she realizes this list is expanding her heart in more ways than one. Maybe she needs to start another project.

Love, Life, and the List is about a girl who, in an effort to bring more emotional depth to her art, compiles a list of soul-stretching experiences to complete with her best friend—a boy she also happens to be in love with. 

This is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters.

LINKS:   Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


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You guys, Kasie West has done it again. I think Love, Life, and the List might be one of my top three favorites out of all her bajillion books. This book is such a quick, funny, and sweet read. I laughed, swooned, and smiled so much while reading it, that now my cheeks hurt, hahaha. 

I adored the main character Abby. She does not come off angsty. Instead she is sarcastic as hell (AHHH…WHICH I LOVED), she’s persistent regarding her future and perfecting her craft, and most of all, I liked that she creates lists to help her reach her goals. She is basically Rory Gilmore without all the drama and making stupid choices. 

One of my favorite aspects of this novel that I would like to highlight is Abby’s family. Her mom has a hard time being in public or around people and her grandpa is the sarcasm king. And even though her dad is deployed, Abby’s family is really close knit and they are always communicating. YES, I love that they are always talking and never leaving someone out of the loop, even when it comes to Abby’s love life or lack thereof. 

Overall, Love, Life, and the List is one of those cute and swoony books that I can see myself rereading when I am in a reading slump. Banter and witty sarcasm always make me smile, and the repartee that occurs in this book is worth the deepest belly laughs. If you love a main character filled with passion and a good heart, and a cute boy best friend that never fails to make you smile, definitely treat yo shelf and self to this book. 

4 star rating

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review of Haven by Mary Lindsey

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Title:Haven
Author: Mary Lindsey
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

SYNOPSIS:

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s use to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running rom trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Ancient magic and modern society collide in a sexy, spellbinding romance perfect for fans of C. C. Hunter and Maggie Stiefvater that proves sometimes beauty is the beast…

Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo


my raving review

For me, Haven started off slow, but as the story develops a lot of interesting and unique twists unravel in regards to the world-building and the author’s take on paranormal beings, in this case weres. Haven is a great reminder of why I love delving into young adult literature that focuses on the paranormal and magic. It is fun. It is messy. It is gutwrenching. And overall it’s a constant page-turner. 

Haven is fully packed with action and shocking surprises, but the book is also packed with A LOT of side characters. Sometimes I had a hard time keeping up with them all. But other than that, I was really fascinated with the main characters, Freddie and Rain. Both of these characters are so well-developed. They are strong, determined, fierce, and so selfless. I loved watching their bond and hilarious snark grow throughout the novel, and what guy could walk away from a girl who calls him Sprinkles? HAHAHA

Overall, I really enjoyed the history, lore, and paranormal approach that Mary Lindsey establishes in Haven. The story is unique and the plot is straightforward and oftentimes hints back at generational conflicts. More importantly, I loved that the book is full of mystery with a hint of romance sprinkled into its pages. 


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband. Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.

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