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Thursday, September 29, 2016

THE MIDNIGHT STAR \\ Blog Tour and Guest Post with Marie Lu!

Hey guys! Becca here with a super special guest post from Marie Lu for THE MIDNIGHT STAR Blog Tour! I'm so excited that Reading Teen had the chance to pry a tiny bit into Marie's mind and find out some of her favorite/best superpowers ever, so without further blah blah from me, here's Marie...

Top 5 Best/Favorite Superpowers Ever

5. Flying. I’ve had enough awesome flying dreams to know I’d like to do this, but only if I also don’t get my skin ripped off by all the crazy wind.

4. Metalbending. Magneto—and Toph—are pretty formidable. I would like to be formidable too, inside my custom metal armor.

3. Billionaire-ing. Let’s face it—money seems to buy all the superpowers you could ever desire. Iron suit that lets you fly? Check. Utility belt that does everything? Check. Batmobile? Check. Plus, you get to have a pretty nice house, too.

2. Traveling through space in the blink of eye. (Safely, of course.) If I could hop from galaxy to galaxy in a safe little pod, and see the universe—and whatever other life forms might be out there . . . . GIMME.

1. Controlling time. Imagine if you could just pause time whenever you needed to finish a bunch of stuff, or if you needed to sleep in, or just wanted to goof off for a few hours without actually losing any time, or if you wanted to go back in time to witness the dinosaurs or Stonehenge in its heyday. AMAZING. (And the one superpower that billionaire-ing can’t buy!)

By Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites #3
Publisher: Penguin (October 11, 2016)
Hardcover: 416 pages
Goodreads | Amazon

The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from "hit factory" Marie Lu.

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen. Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She's turned her back in those days who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she's achieved.

Adelina's forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest- though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina's story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

SPARE AND FOUND PARTS by Sarah Maria Griffin

Review by Jackie

by Sarah Maria Griffin
Print Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (October 4, 2016)
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Goodreads | Amazon

Nell Crane has never held a boy’s hand.

In a city devastated by an epidemic, where survivors are all missing parts—an arm, a leg, an eye—Nell has always been an outsider. Her father is the famed scientist who created the biomechanical limbs that everyone now uses. But she’s the only one with her machinery on the inside: her heart. Since the childhood operation, she has ticked. Like a clock, like a bomb. And as her community rebuilds, everyone is expected to contribute to the society’s good . . . but how can Nell live up to her father’s revolutionary ideas when she has none of her own?

Then she finds a lost mannequin’s hand while salvaging on the beach, and inspiration strikes. Can Nell build her own companion in a world that fears advanced technology? The deeper she sinks into this plan, the more she learns about her city—and her father, who is hiding secret experiments of his own.
As I sit here looking out my college dorm window, typing up this review for a book I read a week and a half ago, I find myself feeling pretty much the same as I did when I finished it. Wistful, super unsatisfied, and just sort of blah about the book in general. The main difference now is that my dorm room is freaking freezing and I’m wearing sweats, fluffy socks, a sweatshirt, and drinking hot tea.

In Texas.

In the summer months.

What is this, y’all? A freezing dorm. That’s what. *le sigh*

The summation of the book goes like this: girl with a mechanical heart, apparently genius father, and dead mother is searching for someone who understands the ticking inside her chest. Her best friend doesn’t get her, and she feels like her father’s legacy is too much to live up to. Also there’s this boy who is convinced that she is his soul mate but she is just so Not Interested. She decides to invent an android.

I liked her don’t need no man attitude. I almost always find that perspective of independence and faith in oneself appealing. She wasn’t out searching for someone to love her in a romantic way, but it was a curiosity. She was, however, pretty much searching for a friend at the beginning of the world. This, to me, was a little odd. It was also understandable. SPARE AND FOUND PARTS progressed so, so, so slowly, however, that it seemed like what I thought would be the driving part (mechanical man) was very off-in-the-distance.

This book was slow moving. In the worst possible way. In the way that made the book feel like it just wasn’t freaking progressing. That’s not really a good thing. I can like certain character attitudes, and even relate to them, but if nothing actually occurs in the book (I don’t know: punching, traveling, inventions occurring sooner, grand reveals) then I just can’t get into the book. Reading the book felt like sleepwalking.

And sleepwalking book emotions don’t get many stars here, folks.

Overall, this book just was about opposite of my cup of tea, except for the independence streak the MC has!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING by Jessica Cluess || Magic!

Review by Jackie

by Jessica Cluess
Print Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (September 20, 2016)
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Sold by: Random House LLC
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon

I am Henrietta Howel.
The first female sorcerer in hundreds of years.
The prophesied one.
Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?
Uhm, did you say Victorian magical stuff with lots of attractive guys and betrayal (who doesn’t love a good double cross) and DESTINY?

Oh, honey, I am so there. In A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING, young Henrietta—or Nettie—is many possibly kind of sort of the sorcerer who could save the world. She’s kept the secret of her ability to induce fire from within herself for fear of being persecuted as a witch in this Victorian, magically-aware setting. Sexism is alive in well in some parts, but so is enthusiastic feminism. The lines of friendship, romantic relationships, and Nettie figuring out who (and what) she is makes up the meat of the novel.

Whew. It felt good to get all those words out.

*cracks knuckles*

Now, babes, let’s get into the characters a bit, because these lovely (and not so lovely) folks make up a good portion of what I like about the book. I tend to lean toward character driven novels, and this book certainly read like one. Nettie and Rook (her childhood best friend) are inseparable. The bond of their relationship is my favorite part of the book, and it’s a critically defining feature of the story. Everything that one of them does, they do with the other’s future and safety and happiness in mind. This is the best kind of friendship. It defies the class system and what is considered appropriate for either gender.

The other characters are, of course, the boys at the school, the teachers of magic, and the higher ups to pull stings to make this magical (literally) place what it is. Our two main magic men are unique. One rather reminds me of Mr. Darcy. But, really, I see that man everywhere. There are so many ships that you could ship I mean goodness. I love it. None of them felt forced, which is awesome because I’ve read some love triangle books lately and nope. You don’t know who the betrayer is, who the love fighter, and who is the lover. Alliances are forged, and favorite characters are made.

Finally, there is the plot itself. Along with the personal plot of self-discovery and all that flows around that, there’s also the much bigger picture. The walls of protection around the chosen circle are failing. It’s up to those with magic to protect those without, but nothing is what it seems. At least not quite.

With the brutal and bloody imagery, amazingly crafted relationships, and dark and beautiful setting, I really honestly don’t have much to complain about. I will say that once I put down the book it was harder to get back into it. Once you stop the flow, it’s really stopped. Nettie figuring out who she was and what she was really capable of set up the big picture plot.

Questions are definitely left unanswered, but I’m not itching for the next book. I’ll read it when it comes out, but I’m content with waiting.

Monday, September 12, 2016

AMY CHELSEA STACIE DEE by Mary G. Thompson | It Punched Me in the Gut

Review by Kaitlin

by Mary G. Thompson
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (October 11, 2016)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon

A bittersweet homecoming holds dark secrets in this heart-wrenching story of loss, love, and survival for readers of Room

When sixteen-year-old Amy returns home, she can't tell her family what’s happened to her. She can’t tell them where she’s been since she and her best friend, her cousin Dee, were kidnapped six years ago—who stole them from their families or what’s become of Dee. She has to stay silent because she's afraid of what might happen next, and she’s desperate to protect her secrets at any cost.

Amy tries to readjust to life at “home,” but nothing she does feels right. She’s a stranger in her own family, and the guilt that she’s the one who returned is insurmountable. Amy soon realizes that keeping secrets won’t change what's happened, and they may end up hurting those she loves the most. She has to go back in order to move forward, risking everything along the way. Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee is a riveting, affecting story of loss and hope.

I don't quite know how to review this Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee and do it justice. I was blown away. I went into it with very few expectations. I was intrigued by the title, cover, and description and decided, hey, I might like this one. I didn't expect it to become one of my favorite 2016 releases!

It was a really hard book to take in. It reminded me of Little Peach by Peggy Kern and Stained by Cheryl Rainfield in terms of dark content. I was horrified by what Amy went through! It was a disturbing, lingering read that I don't expect to forget any time soon.

What's this dark content I mentioned? Kidnapping and sexual assault. A deeply disturbed kidnapper obsessed with dolls. Murder, fear, and trauma. And young characters in the middle of it all. It reminded me of something I would see on Criminal Minds, but something that dug deeper and focused much more on the characters affected. Other content included broken families and broken people--some who only showed some cracks and some who showed a lot. There was a confused heroine who was trying to reconcile the old parts of herself with the new ones.

When it came to themes and focuses, there was...a lot. There was so much packed into this little book and I don't think I wrote down everything. This story was about doll-like perfection and the fact that no one is like that. Humans aren't dolls. The book was also about the loss of choice and a future and how that affects you. This was a story about identity and trying to figure out who you are after a horrific experience. There was grief and healing, growth and strength. Friendship, love, and family were highlighted very well, which made me really happy to see.

I really liked how the book was written. There were quite a few flashbacks that were a vital part of the development and unraveling of the story. It was also an important part of Amy because the time she spent remembering the events in her past was time she lost in the present. The pacing was great, too. I'm not sure how to describe it in terms of fast vs. slow, but I can say that it seemed perfect for the story.

As much as I love this book, I don't have many specific things to say on the characters. I loved getting to know Amy. She was a wonderful character to meet and get to know. She felt very well developed, as did the supporting characters.

Overall, Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee was a tough story that was well worth the read! It punched me in the gut and made me cry. A lot. If you're up for a dark book that will leave an, I highly recommend picking this book up and experiencing it for yourself!

Book Blogger at Reading is My Treasure

Friday, September 9, 2016

ASSASSINS: DISCORD by Erica Cameron || Blog Tour and Giveaway

Hey readerlings! I just wanted to put this book on your radar. I think it looks really good, and I've read a previous book from Erica Cameron and know she's a great writer. Plus ASSASSINS! It's available now in paperback and eBook, so check it out! Don't miss the tour and giveaway details below!

Assassins: Discord
Kindra’s moral compass has never pointed north, but that’s what happens when you’re raised as an assassin and a thief. At sixteen, she’s fantastic with a blade, an expert at slipping through the world unnoticed, and trapped in a life she didn’t chose. But nothing in her training prepares her for what happens when her father misses a target.

In the week-long aftermath, Kindra breaks ranks for the first time in her life. She steals documents, starts questioning who their client is and why the target needs to die, botches a second hit on her father’s target, and is nearly killed. And that’s before she’s kidnapped by a green-eyed stranger connected to a part of her childhood she’d almost forgotten.

Kindra has to decide who to trust and which side of the battle to fight for. She has to do it fast and she has to be right, because the wrong choice will kill her just when she’s finally found something worth living for.
Purchase at Riptide:

About Erica Cameron

After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, ex-Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon d├ęcor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.

Connect with Erica:
  • Website
  • Twitter
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  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Email

To celebrate the release of Assassins: Discord, one lucky winner will receive $30 in Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 10, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!