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Thursday, February 23, 2017

A HUNDRED HOURS OF NIGHT \\ For New York Lovers

Review by Krista

A HUNDRED HOURS OF NIGHT
by Anna Woltz
Hardcover: 242 pages
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (May 10, 2016)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon

Part love letter to New York, part portrait of a girl and a city in crisis as Hurricane Sandy hits New York City.

When Emilia de Wit ran away to New York City, she planned everything to a T. Plane ticket, purchased. Cute apartment, rented online. Subway map, printed and highlighted. This was no ordinary trip -- this was Emilia's declaration of independence. Her chance to escape the life her parents were ruining. To get away from the horrible scandal that had rocked Amsterdam, the scandal that was all her dad's fault. To see if her mom, the glamorous, world-famous artist, would even notice.

New York steals Emilia's heart at first sight -- even though absolutely nothing goes to plan. She didn't plan to end up homeless on a stranger's doorstep. She didn't plan to make friends with Seth, Abby, and Jim. And she could never have known that Hurricane Sandy would be barreling up the coast, straight for the city.

All she wanted was to get away from her parents, her problems, her life . . . and when the storm hits and the power goes out, Emilia feels farther from home than she could have imagined.

I felt this story really focuses as the city as it's own character. I agree that it is very much a love letter to New York as the publisher has indicated and it's written in a way that you really do feel like your there, visualizing the streets, smells and weather as it takes place.

Emilia runs away from home, sneakily getting onto a flight to New York she lands only to discover the place she thought she had rented to stay at turned out to be a scam and the current residents are not going to let her stay. Finding herself in a complex situation she is able to find a place to stay the night and soon makes friends with them, they let her stay.

This is not only Emilia's story but those of the three people she meets while in New York and becomes good friends with. During the days of Hurricane Sandy in which power is down and stores, transportation and wi-fi are hard to find. These three get close and learn about each other, their quirks, their differences and especially their comfort in finding each other during a difficult time.

I'm not sure if this book is for everybody, but I believe that young readers that have an interest in New York may enjoy the story, it was a cute story with interesting characters. I thought there would be more drama in the fact that Emilia runs away...from another country...to NEW YORK..alone. But this story takes a less intrusive (lighter) reflection of her family life.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

BREATH OF EARTH by Beth Cato // An Exciting Read! @amazonpub

Review by Krista

BREATH OF EARTH
by Beth Cato
Series: Blood of Earth (Book 1)
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager (August 23, 2016)
Goodreads |
Amazon
In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer Wardens who have no idea of the depth of her power—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.


When assassins kill the Wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose Earth’s powers to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming the city into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . .


Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her powerful magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.
As the story does take place in a alternate United States I felt a bit confused in some places with our connection to other countries and the current political leaders. There is a lot of focus on the San Francisco area specifically because of the setting, but as far as what the world situation was I didn't quite get a good grip on who was ruling and where.

What I can tell you that I loved was the constant movement throughout the story and how during a time of war, the author does not shy away from being a bit, grotesque. My mouth literally fell open at one part that caught me off guard, yet really gave a good visual. As Ingrid is running for her life she goes on a wild adventure, there is constant action from the ground, the sky and under water. The way her abilities are able to save her and others during different situations was always interesting to see. I also really enjoyed the fact that the love story takes a bit of a twist, yet it all turns out very exciting. Although Ingrid is far from being a girl in distress she finds herself in several situations where her companions must help save her life. All four of them become a great team and I really enjoyed each person for their own unique person.

Even though I did get a bit confused, I really enjoyed where the story went and how much we learn about Ingrid and her family. It is really the characters that kept be going during the story, and they are the reason I am looking forward to reading the next book. This is one that I do recommend, it's an exciting read.

Monday, February 20, 2017

FROST BLOOD by Elly Blake \\ Prize Pack Giveaway!

Prizes provided by Little, Brown

FROST BLOOD
(Book 1 in the Frostblood Saga)
by Elly Blake
Release: January 10, 2017

The Frost King will burn.
Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Vivid and compelling, Frostblood is the first in an exhilarating series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies . . . but together create a power that could change everything.

We partnered with Little, Brown to bring you this awesome giveaway!



Where Flame And Ice Are Mortal Enemies: Pick a side!

One (1) winner will receive:
  • a copy of Frostblood
  • branded nail polish duo in shades of fire and frost
*Giveaway open to US addresses only.
*Prizing and samples provided by Little, Brown & Co.



Official Site + Social Media

Read the first chapter of Frostblood on TheNovl.

Are you Frostblood or Fireblood? Take the quiz!


About the Author
Elly Blake loves fairy tales, old houses, and owls. After earning a degree in English literature, she held a series of seemingly random jobs, including project manager, customs clerk, graphic designer, and reporter for a local business magazine before finally landing on her current job as a library assistant. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids, and a Siberian Husky mix that definitely shows frostblood tendencies.



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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon // Thoughts & Giveaway

WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI
by Sandhya Menon
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (May 30, 2017)
Goodreads | Amazon

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
I don't normally read that many contemporaries, but there was just something about this adorable cover that made me dive in as soon as it showed up on my doorstep. WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI is nothing less than completely adorable. So many sweet moments that I lost count. I loved getting a glimpse into Dimple and Rishi's family lives, and the way that they both embraced and pushed against their parents' traditions and expectations. Rishi is quite possibly the sweetest, most adorable human on the planet. I absolutely loved him! There were moments that I thought Dimple was a little judgmental, both about her parents, and about one of the other girls in the program. But I do think, in the end, she learned a lot about herself, and the people around her. Rishi and Dimple pushed each other to be the best versions of themselves, and I loved reading every moment.

If you're looking for an incredibly sweet YA romance, I definitely recommend diving into WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI! 



Passing along my ARC! Enter below if you'd like a chance. International.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

CALL FORTH THE WAVES by L.J. Hatton \\ Beautiful and Imaginitive

Review by Krista

CALL FORTH THE WAVES
The Celestine Series #2
by L.J. Hatton
Series: The Celestine Series (Book 2)
Paperback: 346 pages
Publisher: Skyscape (March 22, 2016)
Goodreads |
Amazon
Earth, not so very long from now: the silent, inscrutable alien visitors who bathed the planet in transforming rains have moved on, leaving behind a world much changed.

Penn Roma, age sixteen, is blessed—or cursed—with supernatural talents she has always concealed. Her sisters, likewise afflicted, are prisoners of the Commission, the government agency tasked with controlling these strange children. Penn’s determination to save them only gains urgency when she learns of the horrifying plans the twisted Warden Dodge has for the peculiar charges.

But Penn herself must remain hidden, navigating a series of fantastical havens with her embattled allies, similarly enhanced teens also in the Commission’s crosshairs. Worse, her vast, half-understood powers have become unpredictable, failing at critical moments and activating outside of her control.

Can Penn trust a rogue warden, supposedly opposed to Dodge’s schemes, to help free her family…or has the Commission set its most nefarious trap yet?
I really enjoyed reading Sing Down the Stars (book 1) and was excited to jump into the next book to see where the story would go. This second book did not bring as much excitement for me as the first one, and from the cover I was actually hoping for more of it to take place underwater. I was not completely disappointed as we do get some under water action, exciting things to happen and even some surprises.

The majority of this story is learning more about the characters in general and their abilities. It takes place upon a floating city where the group has hidden from the Wardens. What I have enjoyed most about these books is the writing style of the author. She really has a talent for visuals and exciting new creatures/robots that really brought out a feeling of "wow, that is cool" The books have a carnival-like feel to them, yet it's a powerful modified human / alien-adjacent like story. The aliens are the ones that made the humans have certain powers, but we never really meet the aliens in the books.

What we follow is how the laws have had to change to safeguard humanity from those that had been altered, and the loved idea of those that take power for granted. I absolutely hate the villain in these books and I cannot wait to see how Penn and her unusual family will make him pay. I really enjoyed both books so far, perhaps only saddened by not getting more than what was given, but it only heightens my excitement for the next book to arrive.

A great teen magical fantasy story that is hugely imaginative and beautifully written.