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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West // Podcasting for Dummies

LISTEN TO YOUR HEART
by Kasie West
Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (May 29, 2018)
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Sold by: Scholastic Trade Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon.com
Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.
But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend ... until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.
I was actually pleasantly surprised by Listen to Your Heart. Love, Life, and the List was not my favorite Kasie West book. (The guy sucked and it was the first time I rooted for the other guy to get the girl and because of that the main girl lost my respect. GIRLS know your worth, boys don't get to just say I'm sorry and all of the awful things they do go away. Just because you have feelings for someone doesn't mean you should go out with them. Some boys just aren't worth it. Okay, rant done.) And so when I started Listen to Your Heart, I was really worried that this book might follow that same trend. I am SO GLAD it didn't.

While this one is not my favorite of hers, it is actually pretty good. Kate acted just as most tumblr users do, talk constantly about their anti-social tendencies to groups of people while being really witty about it.

I actually think this book would've been better from the POV of her BFF because Kate doesn't really do anything. Take a look at this book description I'm whipping up if it had been written from Alana's POV instead and you tell me which sounds better:

Alana has the perfect plan for her fall semester. She's going to be the host of her school's podcast, she's going to date Diego, this super hot guy at her school, and hang out on her best friend, Kate's, lake. At first everything is going exactly according to plan. Her unrivaled flirting skills seem to be working on Diego, and her best friend has the perfect idea for the new topic for the podcast. But then everything starts to go sideways. Kate is cast as the host and Alana is stuck being work buddies with Kate's, admittedly hot, arch nemesis. And to top it off, Diego starts calling in to the podcast for help with a girl who doesn't seem interested. Everything is crumbling, but Alana isn't ready to give up her perfect plan yet. It'll just take some readjusting, and then everything will be back on track... right?

That sounds so much better, right? Listen, this book is good, please read it. But seriously, I loved Alana and would've loved to see this story from her POV. 

Just giving you something to consider.

Wellllll..... that's all I got.

Au revoir readers!


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A New and Exceptional High Fantasy // FURYBORN by Claire Legrand: Book and Audiobook




FURYBORN
by Claire Legrand
Series: The Empirium Trilogy (Book 1)
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (May 22, 2018)

Audiobook Publisher: Listening Library
Language: English

Goodreads | Amazon 
The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable―until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire's heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world―and of each other.
This book, guys. This book. I am quite blown away.

Let me start by saying I would not classify this as YA, although I know that's a losing battle (just look where A Court of Thorns and Roses ended up)... But this book is complex, it takes it's time, and it has probably the most descriptive sex scene I've read in YA. This book won't be for everyone.

But it was definitely for me.

I will keep my review brief as there are so many good descriptive reviews out there that give more details, if that's what you're looking for. I just want to say that I loved so many things about the way this book was written. You can tell that Claire Legrand took a LOT of time planning this story. Those books are always my favorite because there are so many details and threads and twists. The fact that she starts the book off basically telling you how Rielle's story ends, yet somehow finds ways to keep you interested, and even surprised, is absolutely incredible. I love that we follow two fierce young women who think they know themselves, but end up surprising themselves by where their paths took them.

All the characters are incredibly well fleshed out, including one very devious villain. Corian is completely horrible, but also absolutely fascinating. I adore complicated bad guys. And the relationships are so convoluted. The fine line between love and hate, loyalty and betrayal is walked constantly with these characters. I loved it!!

Action, war, forbidden romance, TOTALLY forbidden romance, fierce females, magic, friendships, family, lies, temptation, and the journey two girls take to find out who they are and what they're capable of. FURYBORN delivers on all these things and more.

A note on the audiobook: I absolutely love the narrator of this audiobook. Her voice is so perfect for this story. However, I wish there had been two different readers for Rielle and Eliana. It was really hard to keep track of whose storyline I was in, especially at the beginning when I was just learning the characters. I was constantly trying to figure out who was who and having the same voice made it much more complicated. However, I'd still recommend it because I really did like the reader so much. Her voice was awesome, and the passion she brought to the story added so much to it. Thanks to Listening Library for sending a copy for review.



Monday, May 21, 2018

A Very Timely Book // AFTERMATH by Kelley Armstrong

AFTERMATH
by Kelley Armstrong
Age Range: 12 - 17 years
Grade Level: 7 - 9
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers (May 22, 2018)
Goodreads | Amazon

Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there's no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn't a victim; he was a shooter.


Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don't heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and his best friend--Skye.

Ripped apart by tragedy, Jesse and Skye can't resist reopening the mysteries of their past. But old wounds hide darker secrets. And the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth of what happened that day, the closer they get to a new killer.

DISCLAIMER: Aftermath is a book that is crucial in this current world. It shows a new perspective on these horrible school shootings, the family of someone who participated in a school shooting. The main character is the sister, and so because of her connection to the shooter, is condemned shamelessly by society despite her innocence. Please do not write this book off as a shooter sympathetic book because I assure you it does not see violence in a sympathetic light.

This book is amazing, and extremely relevant. It shows two different perspectives, both people who lost a family member during a school shooting, but in different ways. Skye is heartbroken, still struggling with guilt and trying to not feel her brother's loss while Jesse completely changed after his brother died still feeling angry and betrayed by Skye. While all this is going on, there is a chilling mystery that slowly uncovers itself throughout the book, leaving the reader shocked and with a new perspective.

I think what I most liked about this book, is that it sheds light on so many different, and often overlooked issues at the same time. It tackles grief, depression, guilt, bullying, and most importantly the school shootings. This book will touch the hearts of many people who need to know what is going on from the perspective of someone living through this, instead of just someone reporting on the news screen.


*Thanks to Penguin Random House for sending us a copy for honest review.

Blog Tour Excerpt and Giveaway // LEAVING EVEREST by Megan Westfield

 

Little known fact: Because of the hurricane-force winds that blow directly across the top of Mount Everest, there are only a handful of days in the year it can be summited. These breaks in the wind typically happen in the month of May. As in right now. 

Today we are celebrating by sharing Megan Westfield’s new release—a new-adult romance set on Mount Everest. Hurry and grab it because it’s temporarily on sale for $0.99!   


Title: Leaving Everest
Author: Megan Westfield
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Goodreads | Amazon
Twenty-year-old Emily Winslowe has had an adventurous upbringing. Daughter of a Himalayan mountain guide, she has climbed Mount Everest and other peaks most Americans only dream of. But for all her mountaineering prowess, she's lacking some key experiences. Namely, guys. Especially one guy in particular—Luke, her childhood best friend who she hasn't seen since he left for college in the United States two years ago. Luke unexpectedly reappears as a guide just in time for the Everest climbing season. He's even more handsome than she remembers, and that something that had been building between them during their last season together is back in front of them, bigger than ever. The problem is, there's a detail about Emily's past that Luke doesn't know. It's the reason she ended up in the Himalayas in the first place...and the reason she must make it to the summit of Mount Everest this year. It's also the reason she would never consider following him back to Washington after the climbing season ends. But first, they'll have to survive the mountain.  





Get Your Copy Now:

Amazon  B&N  |  Goodreads  |  iBooks  |  Kobo

Lessons in Gravity

 Amazon  B&N   |  Goodreads  |  iBooks  |  Kobo

 

Excerpt


Dad went over to Luke, shaking hands and hug-slapping him heartily.

Now it was just me left at the table. Well, me and Pasang, who was watching me with furrowed brows, probably wondering why I wasn’t joining everyone at the door. I quickly collected myself, but still, my head spun and my pulse raced as I walked toward Luke.

I stood in front of him, and for several beats of my pounding heart, it was like the two of us were the only
people in the world. My eyes were on him, but I couldn’t bring him into focus. From this perspective, nothing about him had changed, but at the same time everything about him was completely foreign. It was Luke. Right here in front of me. And he was so incredibly handsome.

“Emily Winslowe,” he said finally.

I wrapped my arms around him, and he did the same, with a grip that was tight and strong but not constricting like Mingma’s. I was dizzy with too many sensations. There was reprieve from the worry about him not posting on Circ and happiness that we were back in Tengboche together after all this time. But there was also hurt that he hadn’t so much as hinted he was coming here.

Most of all, I was shocked. A shock that was quickly turning to panic.

I wasn’t ready for what was happening in my body. It was like my old crush had gone from fifty to a hundred in less than two minutes. The feelings I’d been toying with for almost two years over the safe filter Circ provided were now real-life, directly in front of me.

Random details jumped out, intoxicating my senses and preventing me from releasing him from the hug. Like how firm and warm his body was. How he smelled like sunscreen and cold, fresh Himalayan air. And how there was a trace of stubble on his cheek, which was currently pressed against mine.

This was my friend. The best friend I’d ever had, even though in the latter years we’d been around each other only a few months a year. I didn’t want to let go. I wanted this moment to be happening without anyone else in the room because it somehow felt like a direct continuation of those moments right before the earthquake. Like a continuation of what had been on the cusp of happening, something that would have put us squarely out of friends territory.

We let go at the same instant.

“It’s good to see you,” he said. His teasing smile and crinkly eyes were gone, replaced by the same pensive
expression he’d had when I first saw him.

All I managed was a nod as Mingma ushered us back to the table.

About Megan Westfield:

Megan Westfield has dabbled in many hobbies and pastimes through the years, including an array of outdoor adventure sports. Eventually, she discovered the only way to do it all was though writing—her first and strongest passion. Megan grew up in Washington state, attended college in Oregon, and lived in Virginia, California, and Rhode Island during her five years as a navy officer. She is now a permanent resident of San Diego where she and her husband count family beach time with their two young kids as an adventure sport.

Links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Newsletter

 

Everyone wins in Megan’s giveaway! Sign up for her newsletter for an exclusive new story!


Monday, May 14, 2018

Ridiculously Epic Rick Riordan Giveaway (SEVEN BOOK GIVEAWAY!)


Disney-Hyperion is partnering with us for an absolutely incredible giveaway!

Summer of Magic & Mazes!

Hey all you demigods! You are not even going to be able to handle the awesome we are bringing you today. First of all, LOOK AT THOSE NEW KANE CHRONICLES COVERS! Aren't they gorgeous?? Second, NEW TRIALS OF APOLLO BOOK! Third, a new Kane Chronicles Companion! And Fourth?? We. Are. Giving. Away. All. Of. Them.  

This giveaway is seriously amazing. Thanks so, so much to Disney Hyperion for offering this to one of our readers, and for sending us amazing copies to check out as well. Enter below, and good luck!


One (1) winner receives 
  • “Summer of Magic & Mazes” beach tote plus SEVEN RICK RIORDAN BOOKS! 
  • The Trials of Apollo series -- with an autographed copy of The Burning Maze! 
  • The Kane Chronicles trilogy – plus new companion book Brooklyn House Magician’s Manual! 
*Giveaway open to US addresses only.
*Prizing and samples provided by Disney-Hyperion.

Featured Rick Riordan Titles:
The Trials of Apollo (Book 3): The Burning Maze (in stores May 1st)

The Kane Chronicles: Brooklyn House Magician’s Manual (in stores May 1st)

The Kane Chronicles Trilogy (series re-design in stores now!)

The Trials of Apollo Book #3
In Stores May 1st

The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.

Friends both familiar and new will emerge in The Burning Maze, Book Three of the New York Times #1 best-selling Trials of Apollo series, a twisty adventure featuring a hapless god who somehow still manages to think he's red-hot.



An Olympian Comes to Earth: The protagonist is nothing less than Apollo himself! Well, actually, he’s a mortal sixteen-year-old trying to earn his way back into Zeus’s favor by restoring five oracles. How will he manage without his godly powers?

A Godly POV: Apollo narrates the adventure; the disparity between his godly assumptions and his disappointing reality is hilarious.

Favorite Demigods Are Back! All of the beloved characters from Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter will aid Apollo in his quest over the course of five books.

New Demigods Are Introduced, including Apollo’s sidekick, a twelve-year-old girl named Meg who is secretive about her past—and is Apollo’s secret weapon.

Viperous Villains will complicate matters for our heroes as they search for the ancient Oracles.


The Kane Chronicles Companion
In Stores May 1st

Calling all young magicians of Egypt! If the blood of the pharaohs runs in your veins, you can't afford to be without this guide to Ancient Egyptian deities and creatures, and Carter and Sadie Kane's world of magic. Featuring fans’ favorite human, divine, and animal characters for the bestselling Kane Chronicles trilogy, Brooklyn House Magician’s Manual offers info about Egyptian mythology in laugh-out-loud entries with surprises throughout, including snarky comments from Sadie Kane and a dastardly plot by an old enemy.

More about Brooklyn House Magician’s Manual:
Tie-in to Best-Selling Kane Chronicles Trilogy featuring fans' favorite human, divine, and animal characters.

Offers Info About Egyptian Mythology in laugh-out-loud entries from favorite characters.

Has Surprises Running Throughout, including snarky comments from Sadie Kane and a dastardly plot by an old enemy.
 

The Kane Chronicles Trilogy



The Red Pyramid #1 | The Throne of Fire #2 | The Serpent’s Shadow #3


Series first launched in 2011
New cover designs released April 3, 2018

Fans of Rick Riordan's Greek & Roman and Norse mythology adventures will love his funny and exciting take on Ancient Egypt in the Kane Chronicles trilogy, now with dynamic new cover artwork and Percy Jackson-Kane Chronicles crossover stories.

More about The Kane Chronicles series:

Mysteries of Ancient Egypt: Egyptian mythology is more widely studied in school curriculum than ancient Greece. Both familiar and loaded with mystique, ancient Egypt is the perfect backdrop for Rick's imaginative brand of storytelling. Readers will leap at this real-world portal into the rich fantastical world of ancient myth.
More of the Good Stuff: Rick combines all his fortes--witty, relatable heroes, gods & monsters, prophecies, curses, and non-stop action--in this best-selling hit.

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  • #ReadRiordan
  • #TheBurningMaze
  • #TrialsofApollo
  • #KaneChronicles

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