Waiting On Wednesday: Royals by Rachel Hawkins

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: Royals
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publication date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis

Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself. 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Blog Tour: Raves & Craves of Given to the Earth by Mindy McGinnis

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Given to the Earth Cover

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Title: Given to the Earth
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Putnam’s Childrens
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

Duty, fate, desire, and destiny collide in this intricately wrought tale, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.

Although she was born to save the kingdom by sacrificing herself to the rising sea, Khosa’s marriage to King Vincent has redeemed her. As the Queen of Stille, she’s untouchable. But being Queen hasn’t stopped her heart from longing for the King’s stepbrother, Donil. And it hasn’t stopped her body from longing for the sea itself, which still calls for her.

While Khosa is made to choose between loyalty and love, Dara is on a mission for vengeance. Years ago, the Pietra slaughtered the entire Indiri race, leaving only Dara and her twin, Donil, alive. Now, spurned by King Vincent, Dara has embarked on a mission to spill the blood of Pietra’s leader, Witt, and will stop at nothing to show his people the wrath of the last Indiri. 

As the waves crash ever closer to Stille, secrets are revealed, hearts are won and lost, and allegiances change like the shifting sand.


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Given to the Earth follows a few months after the captivating ending of Given to the Sea. Also, told in multiple points-of-view like its fantasy duo, this book focuses on how Khosa’s thought-to-be tragic sacrifice to the sea has now turned into a chance to live and be queen. But with these new changes in motion, the Earth begins to literally crumble beneath them and the loyalties among the characters are challenged. Love becomes a triangle of complexities–trust and forgiveness are tested. McGinnis writes a beautiful epic story, where lives at social and cultural classes are pushed to survive. She takes each of her flawed characters, and gives them a chance to save themselves, their family and friends, and in some cases, their own people and kingdom.

What I loved about this book the most was the many shocking secrets that are revealed. We delve into an action-packed book that is filled with tragic traditions, political gain, and secretive histories. In Given to the Earth, we are thrown into layers of political intrigue, betrayal, heartbreak, and some tragic endings. And in the end, I loved the last chapter, which brilliantly and beautifully provides a heartfelt conclusion.

 

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In several scenes of Given to the Earth, Khosa is mentioned to be eating bread or munching on bread crumbs. Now I love me some good, warm homemade bread, but I also have a sweet tooth. While reading these scenes, I could not stop thinking about my mom’s famous monkey bread. So of course, I quickly whipped up a batch of monkey bread and ate it during the last few chapters of the book. Both the monkey bread and the last chapter made an ooey-gooey mess with my heart.


Ingredients:

Canned biscuits (1 to 2 cans)
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of white sugar
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of butter or margarine

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees
  2. Lightly grease a bundt pan
  3. Mix the white sugar and cinnamon in a bowl or plastic bag
  4. Cut up biscuit dough into bite-sized pieces
  5. Mix and coat the bite-sized biscuit dough in the sugar-cinnamon mix
  6. At medium heat, boil the butter and brown sugar in a pan to make a sauce
  7. Add and arrange the sugar-cinnamon biscuits pieces into the greased bundt pan.
  8. Pour the buttery-brown sugar sauce over top the coated biscuit pieces in the bundt pan
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes and flip onto a plate. You can now slice the cake or pull pieces off. YUM!

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GIVEN TO THE SEA

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Mindy McGinnis is an assistant YA librarian who lives in Ohio and cans her own food. She graduated from Otterbein University magna cum laude with a BA in English Literature and Religion.


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Note: Thank you to Penguin Teen for having me on this blog tour and for providing me a review copy to read for free in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni

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Title: 
Things I’m Seeing Without You
Author: Peter Bognanni
Publication date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Dial Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler has just dropped out of high school. She can barely function after learning of Jonah’s death. Jonah, the boy she’d traded banter with over texts and heartfelt e-mails.

Jonah, the first boy she’d told she loved and the first boy to say it back.

Jonah, the boy whose suicide she never saw coming.

Tess continues to write to Jonah, as a way of processing her grief and confusion. But for now she finds solace in perhaps the unlikeliest of ways: by helping her father with his new alternative funeral business, where his biggest client is . . . a prized racehorse?

As Tess’s involvement in her father’s business grows, both find comfort in the clients they serve and in each other. But love, loss, and life are so much more complicated than Tess ever thought. Especially after she receives a message that turns her life upside down.

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


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I think that writing about grief and trying put all that pain into words is one of the hardest emotions to explain. However, in Things I’m Seeing Without You, the author executed this emotion so well—with love, heartache, and sorrow. Through snapshots of the main character’s emotional turmoil of losing the first guy she ever loved, Tess walks us through her emotional state to grasp the reality of death and all the lows that come with it. 

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As Tess is facing anxiety and depression, she is often stagnant and rarely opens up to the few people around her. She’s not angsty but with her “take no BS” attitude she comes off very sarcastic, while she internally bottles up her grief. I kept wishing that she would open up more to people about her depression, but I think she realistically portrays an adolescent that oftentimes keeps their feelings within themselves. Tess is quirky and smart, but she definitely has a thick shell that’s hard for people to crack. 

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Overall, Things I’m Seeing Without You, is a quick read but throughout the novel I felt like I lingered with Tess. I felt as though I was part of her mourning process. Even though this novel focuses on first loves and loss, it also unfolds into a novel about maturing, trying to move on, and second chances. Death is a hard topic and situation to grasp, and Peter Bognanni’s writing is a honest portrayal of the struggles that come with it: loss and heartache. 

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Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni. (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on September 25, 2017 and 12:00 AM on October 16, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 18, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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Peter Bognanni
 
Peter Bognanni is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His debut novel, The House of Tomorrow, won the LA Times award for first fiction and the ALA Alex Award and has been adapted into a feature film.  He teaches creative writing at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
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Week One:
September 25 – Arctic Books – Author Q&A
September 26 – Fiktshun – Review
September 27 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Reasons to Read TISWY
September 28 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Author Guest Post
September 29 – BookCrushin – Review
 
Week Two:
October 2 – The Young Folks – Author Q&A
October 3 – Dazzled by Books – Review
October 4 – In Wonderland – Beyond the Pages
October 5 – YA and Wine – Review & Mood Board
October 6 – Fiction Fare – Author Guest Post
 
Week Three:
October 9 – Rants & Raves of a Bibliophile – Review & Favorite Quotes
October 10 – Margie’s Must Reads – Author Guest Post
October 11 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Author Q&A
October 12 – Once Upon a Twilight – Guess the Story in GIFs
October 13 – Twinning for Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Character-Inspired Teas for Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

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Title: 
Jane, Unlimited

Author: Kristin Cashore
Publication date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery

Synopsis

Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

LINKS:   Goodreads Amazon Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


Jane teas

Welcome to my Penguin Teen tour stop for Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore. In this post, I have pickedtwo of my favorite characters in Jane, Unlimited and paired them with what I think are the perfect tea flavors based on their personalities and traits.

Please note both teas are based off drinks that I have ordered at Starbucks or come across while visiting other coffee/tea shops. I have no affiliation with the company. I just love Starbucks, tea, and literary characters. For your own benefit, I have linked the noted tea drink to its ingredient page.

jane tea

While I was reading Jane, Unlimited, I became obsessed with Starbucks’ London Fog tea latte. This tea is refreshing and calming just like the main character Jane. I love that Jane is very sarcastic, observant, and so quick-witted. And in comparison to this tea blend, Jane often comes off sweet, but this daring heroine also has a striking boldness to her. 


jasper tea

The scenes in Jane, Unlimited are limitless, and one of my favorite parts of the book was the focus on the friendship that develops between Jane and the basset hound, Jasper. Jasper is like a sweet sip of a Chai Tea Latte. This loyal dog is very protective, brave, and is not afraid to protect Jane from art thieves. Throughout the novel, Jasper proves to be an excellent companion (and an “excellent speller”…hahaha), and in comparison to the noted Chai Tea Latte, Jasper is warm and comforting.


jane giveaway

GIVEAWAY LEGAL:
Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore. (ARV: $18.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on September 11, 2017 and 12:00 AM on October 9, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 11, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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jane about author

kristin cashore
Kristin Cashore 
grew up in the northeast Pennsylvania countryside as the second of four daughters. She received a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College, and she has worked as a dog runner, a packer in a candy factory, an editorial assistant, a legal assistant, and a freelance writer. She has lived in many places (including Sydney, New York City, Boston, London, Austin, and Jacksonville, Florida), and she currently lives in the Boston area. Her epic fantasy novels set in the Graceling Realm–GracelingFire, and Bitterblue–have won many awards and much high praise, including picks as ALA Best Books for Young Adults, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Booklist Editors Choice, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. In addition, Graceling was shortlisted for the William C. Morris Debut Award and Fire is an Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Winner.

jane tour schedule
Week One:
September 11 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style Files
September 11 – The Bookiemoji – Review
September 12 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Playlist
September 12 – Wandering Bark Books – Review
September 13 – Sarcasm & Lemons – Umbrellas Jane Would Make for YA Characters
September 13 – Arctic Books – Review
September 14 – Book Nerd Addicts – Review
September 14 – In Wonderland
September 15 – YA Book Central – Excerpt
September 15 – My Friends are Fiction – Promo
 
Week Two:
September 18 – YA Bibliophile – Review
September 18 – Across the Words – Umbrellas, A History
September 19 – The Eater of Books! – Mood Board
September 19 – NovelKnight
September 20 – Great Imaginations – Review
September 20 – The Wednesday Blog for Books – Review
September 21 – Icey Books – Jane, Unlimited Quote Candy
September 21 – A Page With a View – Favorite Quotes
September 22 – A Thousand Books to Read – Review
September 22 – BookCrushin – Review
 
Week Three:
September 25 – Teen Librarian Toolbox
September 25 – The Young Folks – 10 Reasons to Read Jane, Unlimited
September 26 – Live Love Read – A Mood Board for Every Story
September 26 – No BS Book Reviews – Review
September 27 – Andi’s ABCs
September 27 – The Novel Hermit
September 28 – Paper Trail YA – Review
September 28 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Jane, Unlimited Fan Cast
September 29 – I Am A Reader
September 29 – Fiction Fare – Review
 
Week Four:
October 2 – Don’t Fold the Page
October 2 – Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Characters & Tea
October 3 – MuggleNet – Review
October 3 – Xpresso Reads – Top 10 Awesome Umbrellas
October 4 – The Book Wars – Review
October 4 – Once Upon a Twilight – Guess the Story in GIFs
October 5 – Mundie Moms – Review
October 5 – YA Romantics – Review & Quiz
October 6 – Bookworm Everlasting – Book Photography
October 6 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Bookish Style Board

 

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle 

Spellbook
Title: 
Spellbook of the Lost and Found
Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle 

Publication date: June 1, 2017 (UK)/ August 8, 2017 (USA)
Publisher:  Corgi Childrens/ Kathy Dawson Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic Realism

SYNOPSIS:

The highly anticipated new book from the acclaimed author of The Accident Season is a gorgeous, twisty story about things gone missing, things returned from the past, and a group of teenagers, connected in ways they could never have imagined.

One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hairclips and jewelry, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something much bigger, something she won’t talk about, and Olive thinks her best friend is slipping away.

Then seductive diary pages written by a girl named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing estate. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they’re holding tight to painful secrets.

When they discover the spellbook, it changes everything. Damp, tattered and ancient, it’s full of hand-inked charms to conjure back things that have been lost. And it just might be their chance to find what they each need to set everything back to rights.

Unless it’s leading them toward things that were never meant to be found…

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


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“If you don’t get lost, you’ll never be found.”–Spellbook of the Lost and Found

Spellbook of the Lost and Found will enchant you from the first chapter. Told in multiple points-of-view, the story unravels with a thread of characters connected by a book/journal–particularly one spell–that promises to help those who seek what they cannot find. But like Newton’s Third Law, this spell conforms to the law of forces, allowing the world to confirm that with every action there is a reaction. So when something is found then something is lost and vice versa.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found is a weaving of words and characters that encompass a story that integrates a tug-of-war battle between the past and the present, the real and the unknown, nature and the preternatural, the lost and the found. It is a web of stories where the past and present are swallowed in at thick fog of lost mementos, forgotten memories, and new discoveries. This story will wreck you with conspiracies, hopeful romances, and haunting secrets. 

In the end, this is a book about sisterhood, friendships, family, and falling in love. And what I loved most about this story is how it beautifully blends magic and reality. Spellbook of the Lost and Found focuses on the reality of sacrifice, love, and what is worth letting go and what are the most important things to search for. I left this story feeling like I was a under a spell, and with any future rereads, I am sure I will uncover other twists and turns that I may have not picked up originally. 

4 star rating

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I bought the UK edition of this book with my own funds and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Waiting On Wednesday: That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston 

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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About the Book

Title: That Inevitable Victorian Thing
Author: E.K. Johnston 
Publication date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (Penguin/Penguin Random House)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Synopsis

Set in a near-future world where the British Empire never fell and the United States never rose, That Inevitable Victorian Thing is a novel of love, duty, and the small moments that can change people and the world.

Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendant of Victoria I, the queen who changed the course of history two centuries earlier. The imperial practice of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage like her mother before her, but before she does her duty, she’ll have one summer incognito in a far corner of empire. In Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the empire’s greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir apparent to a powerful shipping firm currently besieged by American pirates. In a summer of high-society debutante balls, politically charged tea parties, and romantic country dances, Margaret, Helena, and August discover they share an unusual bond and maybe a one in a million chance to have what they want and to change the world in the process —just like the first Queen Victoria. 

 

Goodreads | Amazon |Barnes & Noble

Raves & Craves: Zodiac Rereadathon & Giveaway

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Hi everyone, thank you for joining me today for Penguin Teen’s rereadathon campaign of the Zodiac series by Romina Russell. Below check out information about Zodiac, my RAVING review and a snack recommendation for Zodiac, and enter the giveaway to win a set of the Zodiac series. Good luck and enjoy!

Zodiac
Title:  Zodiac

Author: Romina Russell
Publication date: December 9, 2014
Publisher:  Razorbill (Penguin/Random House)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance

About the book:

At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.

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


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THE RAVES: A SHORT REVIEW

Zodiac is a unique read that blends both astronomy and astrology into a space adventure story that focuses on a young heroine, Rho, trying to make sure that good conquers evil. Throughout the novel, Rho is tested not only by her own home, the House of Cancer, but by the other Guardians and Houses that she is trying to convince are all in danger. Reluctantly, she has to warn everyone that their common enemy is someone that they all thought was only a legend. Zodiac is an action-packed page-turner with intense scenes, charming male characters, and a plot-line filled with twists, turns, and so many mysteries. I could not put this book down. 

THE CRAVES: GALAXY POPCORN

While reading any book, I usually have a snack at my side. Zodiac is filled with intriguing moments and scenes, and I was always reaching for something to munch on but never turning my eyes from the page. While reading Zodiac, I turned to one of my favorite snacks that I always crave but added a sweet twist to it: Popcorn with a hint of sweetness from sprinkles.

Ingredients:
For this snack, you will only need two ingredients:  popcorn and sprinkles. I decided to use regular popcorn, because I love the salty taste, and different colored sprinkles, which include star-shaped and sparkling sugar.


Directions:
Pop your popcorn, according to the directions on the packet, and then add your sprinkles of choice. WHA-LA! You have the perfect mix of a salty snack with a hint of sweetness. 



♦◊♦ ENTER THE GIVEAWAY ♦◊♦

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win either one (1) grand prize set of Romina Russell’s Zodiac Series in paperback, including Zodiac, Wandering Star, and Black Moon (32.97) or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive a copy of Zodiac by Romina Russell (ARV: $10.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on June 26th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on July 17, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about July 21, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

 


Don’t forget to join us for the Twitter Chat on July 16 hosted by Brittany at @BBOOKRAMBLES
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Note: Thank you Penguin Teen 
for allowing me to be a part of the #ZodiacBooks ReReadathon campaign.