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Thursday, May 21, 2015

We're Bringing BEA to YOU! #YAparty Giveaways!



#YAPARTY on Twitter!!!!


WHERE: Your couch, BEA, the mall, your bed ... anywhere you can access Twitter means you're at the party!

WHEN: May 28, 2015, 8-11 PM EST

Please tweet during those hours! But . . .

If you won't be around during that time, we recommend scheduling tweets using TweetDeck.

(ONLY entries during that time will count!)

A HUGE THANK YOU to the publishers, authors, and bloggers who provided the prize packages! See each one below.

(You must be 13 years old or older. This post and the prize packages are accurate as of 5-21-15, but are subject to change until the 11:00 PM EST on May 28, 2015. Notification will be done through Twitter. Prizes are not exchangeable. Winners will be notified by June 15, 2015 or sooner. Shipping will be done through the prize donors. You must contact the donor within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen.)

What are the rules you ask?

They're simple: 
  • Follow your hosts of this event: @irish_banana @ReadingTeen @LizaWiemer on Twitter (mandatory)
  • Follow the PUBLISHER or AUTHOR and/or BLOGGER and tweet (information listed below for each prize)! It's seriously as easy as copy and paste the tweets!

PRIZE #1-5: (USA Only)

BEA STUFFED TO THE BRIM Tote Bag of books donated by over 10 publishers!! You'll get at least 10 new HOT new novels and swag!
  • 3 YA Prize Packages
  • 1 MG Prize Package
  • 1 NA/Adult Prize Package
Tweet: I joined the #YAParty and follow the hosts. I hope to win one of 3 YA prize packages.

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty and follow the hosts. I hope to win the MG prize package.

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty and follow the hosts. I hope to win the NA/Adult prize package.

PRIZE #6-7: (USA Only) 

From Bloomsbury:

  • A copy of the finished book, an ACOTAR bookmark, temporary tattoo, and a mask!
Tweet: I joined the #YAParty and follow @BloomsburyKids & the hosts. I hope to win the #ACOTAR prize package.

BOLDLY BOOKISH Prize Package: 

Finished copies of the Boldly Bookish books:
  • HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH by Tiffany Schmidt
  • THE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord
  • LION HEART by A.C. Gaughen
  • THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Trish Doller
  • Plus Boldly Bookish Swag!
Tweet: I joined the #YAParty and follow @BloomsburyKids & the hosts. I hope to win the BOLDLY BOOKISH prize package.

PRIZE #8: (USA Only)

From Little Brown @TheNovl

#NovlBox YA Package including swag and . . .

  • Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith
  • The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker (signed!)
  • Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin
  • Drift And Dagger by Kendall Kulper
  • Not If I See You First by Eric Linstrom
  • I Crawl Through It by AS King
Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @TheNovl & the hosts. I hope to win a Little Brown mystery YA package! Info:


From Paper Lantern Lit:
  • An e-copy of each title from The Studio OR an editorial review of 50 pages of a manuscript OR an editorial review of 15 pages of a plot outline.
Tweet: I joined the #YAParty and follow @PaperLanternlit & the hosts. I hope to win a 50 page manuscript review.


I joined the #YAParty & follow @PaperLanternlit & the hosts. Hope to win a 15 page plot outline editorial review.


I joined the #YAParty & follow @PaperLanternlit & the hosts. Hope to win an e-copy of each title from The Studio.

PRIZE #10: (USA Only)

From Spencer Hill Press and Spencer Hill Contemporary


Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @SHContemp & the hosts. I hope to win a six-book package!

PRIZE #11-12: (USA Only)

From Books of Wonder:

Two lucky winners will win a signed copy of your choice of any book. Value not to exceed $20.00

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @BooksofWonder & the hosts. I hope to win a signed book of my choice!


From the hosts:
  • $10.00 Amazon Gift Card
Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow the hosts. I hope to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card!

PRIZE #15: (USA/Canada Only)

From Alloy Entertainment:

FIVE (5) Fabulous Books:
  • REBEL WING by Tracy Banghart
  • IMITATION by Heather Hildenbrand
  • VICIOUS by Sara Shepard (signed copy)
  • THE HEIRESSES by Sara Shepard (signed copy)
  • THE BLONDE by Anna Godbersen (signed copy)
Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @alloyent & the hosts. I hope to win 5 fabulous novels!
PRIZE #16 (USA Only)

From author Martina Boone:

COMPULSION Prize Package: 
  • Compulsion for Reading T-shirt
  • Signed hardcover
  • Silver plated key necklace
  • Compulsion & Persuasion trinket bookmarks
Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @MartinaABoone & the hosts to win a COMPULSION prize package!

PRIZE #17 (USA Only)

From author M.G. Buehrlen:

  • A signed copy of THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE
  • A "Talk Nerdy to Me" sticker
  • Bookmark
  • A pair of Wayfarer sunglasses.
Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @mgbuehrlen & the hosts to win the #AlexWayfare prize pack!

PRIZE #18 (USA Only)

From Fiction Fare Bloggers Jaime & Erin Arkin:
A set of The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo with signed bookplates & lots of awesome swag, including a HUNGER GAMES T-shirt.

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @fictionfare & the hosts to win signed Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Series & swag!

PRIZE #19 (USA/Canada Only)

From Macmillan:

Graphic Novel Prize Package:
  • THIS ONE SUMMER by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
  • LAST MAN 1 & 2 by Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville, Balak
  • EXQUISITE CORPSE by Penelope Bageu
  • THE SCULPTOR by Scott McCloud
Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @MacKidsBooks & the hosts to win a Graphic Novel Prize Package & swag!

PRIZE #20 (USA Only)

From Swoony Boys Podcast Bloggers Meg Caristi & Kassiah Faul: 
  • Custom designed bracelet with book charms - covers your choice!
Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @SwoonyBoys & the hosts to win a custom book bracelet.

PRIZE #21 (USA Only)

From SimonTeen:

Mega prize package - 8 new YA titles and awesome swag

  • A PulseIt tote bag
  • A Zeroesstainless steel tumbler
  • The following galleys:
    • Carolyn Lee Adams, Ruthless
    • Erin Bow, The Scorpion Rules
    • Ellen Hopkins, Traffick
    • Shaun David Hutchinson (editor), Violent Ends
    • Daniel Krauss, The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch
    • Heather W. Petty, Lock & Mori
    • Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti, Zeroes
    • Suzanne Young, Hotel Ruby
Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @SimonTeen & the hosts to win 8 new YA titles & swag!

PRIZE #22 (USA & Canada Only)

From author Gayle Rosengren:

  • A signed copy of WHAT THE MOON SAID
  • T-shirt
  • bookmark
  • Refrigerator magnet
  • Key chain or luggage tag
  • PLUS a signed advanced reader copy of COLD WAR ON MAPLEWOOD STREET.
Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @GayleRosengren & the hosts to win her fabulous MG prize package.

PRIZE #23-24 (USA & Canada Only)

From PenguinRandomHouse:

2 mystery prize packages including some of the hottest YA titles!

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @PenguinTeen & the hosts to win 1 of 2 YA novel packages.

PRIZE #25 (USA Only)

From author Liza Wiemer:
  • Signed ARC of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas 
  • Signed Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen and "Unlock your hear and the rest is easy necklace."
  • Signed ARC of Hello? by Liza Wiemer and swag!

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @LizaWiemer & the hosts to win signed copies of ACOTAR, Saint Anything, & Hello?

PRIZE #26 (USA Only)

From YA Books Central:

Rare Divergent swag and 3 new YA novels! Value: $75

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @YABookCentral & the hosts to win rare Divergent swag & 3

*All prizes subject to change up until the day of the #YAParty! Check in frequently for updates. We may add more prizes up until the event and throughout!* 

Thanks for joining us!!!! 

~Liza, Andye, & Hannah

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart

Review by Sara

Wild Hearts
by Jessica Burkhart
Series: If Only...
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (May 5, 2015)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon

Enjoy Wild Hearts and the other standalone titles in Bloomsbury's contemporary If Only romance line centered around an impossible problem: you always want what you can't have!

Brie Carter's father's land development business has taken her family all over the world,
but as soon as they arrive at their new home in Lost Spring, Wyoming, the town turns out to protest. They don't want a new hotel if the resident mustang population will be displaced or hurt as part of the deal. Then Brie meets Logan, a gorgeous local who has a special connection to the mustangs, and she is immediately drawn to him . . . and the horses. However, with Logan's father leading the protests and Brie's father refusing to budge, it's clear that their parents are heading towards an all-out war. Can Brie and Logan find a way to save the mustangs and be together? Or is their love doomed from the start?
I have been a big fan of the If Only… series for a while now as it has introduced readers to some great writers and stories. I am sad to say that this book does not fall into the category of “great writers and stories”. I actually did not finish this book; I stopped at page 50 and was upset with myself for not stopping sooner.

It felt as if there was no actual story line within this book. What little of the story I read felt rushed, as if the author was trying to make everything happen in the first few chapters. We all know this is a contemporary story so there will be some love and feels, but for the main character to have insta-love on page 5 was just too much. That almost caused me to stop reading but I pressed forward.

The other thing that really caused me to stop reading this book was the lack of actual writing. By that, I mean the author was not good at describing people/places/things so the reader had to struggle to get a clear picture of what was going on. Instead of using descriptive phrases, the author gave the brand name of whatever she was writing about.  The fact that she wrote, “Dad put on his Nike sandals and Under Armor shirt to go outside” does not help me picture the story in my mind. It felt like the lazy way to write a story.

I probably do not need to go into the rest of the reasons why I DNF’d this book. Instead, I will tell you that this story fell short of my expectations. I did not feel it was a well put-together story, nor was it well executed. I can only hope that the next book in the If Only… series is better.


{Reaction} The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner 2) Movie Trailer

Have you seen The Maze Runner? My kids (12 & 14) and I went to see it and we all really liked it (even though I didn't really love the book). Reagan immediately grabbed the books and devoured them. Bransen is taking a little longer (no surprise since Reagan is a reading BEAST). Anyway, they both really like the books. Like, an obnoxious amount. So, I couldn't wait to show them the trailer for The Scorch Trials this morning.

Their reactions?

Reagan: That. No. That is not even what happens at all!! Why are they doing this?

Bransen: What? Are you kidding? I'm not seeing this movie.

My reaction to their reactions?

Welcome to book-to-movie life.

Did you watch the trailer? Have you read the books? What do you think? I'm actually really excited for this movie. I've only read book one, so I'm anxious to see what happens next. After hearing Reagan cry after book three, though, maybe I should skip that movie. Haha.


^This is James Dashner with Reagan. He asked her who her favorite author was and told her she better not say Rick Riordan. *chuckles* She said she'd tell him he was her favorite if he promised to stop killing off her favorite characters. BAHAHA!

And this is James Dashner when I told him Austin hadn't read The Maze Runner yet . . .

I love this guy!

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman

Review by Sara

The Cost of All Things
by Maggie Lehrman
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (May 12, 2015)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon

What would you pay to cure your heartbreak? Banish your sadness? Transform your looks? The right spell can fix anything…. When Ari's boyfriend Win dies, she gets a spell to erase all memory of him. But spells come at a cost, and this one sets off a chain of events that reveal the hidden—and sometimes dangerous—connections between Ari, her friends, and the boyfriend she can no longer remember.

Told from four different points of view, this original and affecting novel weaves past and present in a suspenseful narrative that unveils the truth behind a terrible tragedy.  

The Cost of All Things is a book that reminded me a lot of We Were Liars, except I finished this book. I did not finish We Were Liars so that made me almost put this book down. Several times, in fact. This is a story about four teenagers in a town (civilization?) where it is the norm to go to special people, hekamists, to buy specific spells. That is right – spells. Either you can purchase one for yourself or it could be for someone else. Regardless, nobody is fazed by the fact that it can be done and it seems to be done often by parents and children alike. In this particular story, these four teenagers each react very differently to the death of a fellow high school classmate. As a result, friendships are tested, lines are crossed, and truths are revealed. Now I am not saying this was a good story, I am saying that the concept of the story was interesting. This story fell short of the low expectations I had set for it.

This book was told from four different perspectives, now that is the norm for most POV books out today. Expect in this case, it felt like too many. The really weird part? One POV belonged to the dead character. His voice really did not need to be heard, it was not a significant part to the story. The other thing to know is that these characters are so selfish, backstabbing and untrustworthy. They would steal from their own grandmother and then laugh about it to her face. I really did want to smack them all.

I do not feel there was much of a plot to the story. The “plot twists” that were thrown at the reader felt predictable and boring. I did not find myself gasping with shock. The only redeeming quality to the story was the concept of hekamists, people who you could pay to make you a custom spell. I enjoyed that part of the story and how it was weaved throughout everyone’s lives.

Overall, this story really felt like We Were Liars with a hint of magic thrown in. I felt it was a ho-hum story about four teenagers that were spoiled brats and ended up getting in over their heads. I did not love this story and I actually did not enjoy a majority of it. I actually wanted to stop reading it several times. I ended up giving this book 3 stars, but they are a shaky 3 stars. 


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

From Becca

Prisoner of Night and Fog #2
by Anne Blankman
File Size: 808 KB
Print Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (April 21, 2015)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Goodreads | Amazon

The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler's inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives in England, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.

But then Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen's world turns upside down. When she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she'd escaped—and return to her homeland.

Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel's name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time—or will Hitler discover them first?
Dear Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke (or CoBaS because I'm lazy for the rest of this letter),

I don't exactly remember much of your previous book (Prisoner of Night and Fog), but I do remember the main plot points. I remember it being a little slow, but still interesting. I think I rated it 2 stars, just because it took me so long to read it and some parts of it just turned me of from finishing it. BUT I still wanted to know what happened next. Books set in the WWII era always interest me, so I was invested in reading you, and I'm glad I followed through, because if I'm honest, I liked you tons more.

You continue a little time after where Daniel and Gretchen left us in book 1 after fleeing Munich and Hitler's rein. Gretchen now lives with an English family, posing as a German immigrant, and preparing to graduated high school and go to college to study psychology. Daniel, her lover, continues his work as a reporter, but of the social variety much to his dismay. Things seem to be going well until Daniel gets an urgent telegram that sends him back into enemy land, ultimately sending Gretchen back as well when she hears that he is wanted for murder. Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, despite the fact that she will have to consort with former friends of the Nazi regime to save Daniel. As they work together to clear his name, they also discover a conspiracy, but will they be able to dig up the shocking truth and escape in one piece or will Hitler stop them in their tracks first?

I really loved Gretchen and Daniel in this book more than I did in the first. I think it might have been because the writing was exponentially better than your author's debut. I actually cared what happened to them, and whether or not they would end up dead or together happily ever after. Their relationship goes through lots of turmoil inside your pages, but they work together to figure everything out, because that's what you do in a relationship. Despite your troubles or whatever obstacles stand in your way, you figure your crap out, instead of giving up. I loved that they did, because most people would just walk away. The love they have for each other shows in your pages, CoBaS.

One of the main reasons I love reading historical fiction set in WWII is because no book is the same. They all show different sides, places, settings, perspectives, etc, and you were no different. You show a completely different perspective than your previous book did, which was definitely interesting. I learned about new things (i.e. the gangs) that I had no idea that even existed. But the part that had me so connected to you was the murder-mystery aspect. It kept me on the tip of my toes, constantly guessing because every few pages a new obstacle is thrown into the mix making it nearly impossible to guess the end game. Every single time I hit the end of a chapter, there was a hook, which is crucial to keeping me (and most readers) interested.

I know this letter is hardly snarky, but for some reason, I find it hard to be snarky about you, CoBaS. Even though your main characters are a work of fiction, the majority of the events that happen are true and fascinating. I think your first book is worth pushing through if a reader thinks it's a little slow for the mere fact that they get to experience you next. The character growth between the two books is phenomenal. I leave a tiny warning for drugs, violence, and some mentions of prostitution for parents just because it's set in that era and your book wouldn't be true to the setting if it didn't include them. I applaud your author, Anne Blankman, for not glossing over those gritty details. 3 stars to you, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke!!
Wanting to study up on more WWII now,

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