Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Waiting On Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, Hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 



Title:
The Lost & Found
Author:
Katrina Leno
Publication Date:
July 5th, 2016
Publisher:
                        Harperteen



A charming and imaginative new novel about getting lost before you can be found.

LOST:
Frannie and Louis met in an online support group when they were both younger. They have never met face-to-face. They don’t even know each other’s real names. All they know is that they both have a mysterious tendency to lose things. Well, not lose them, exactly. Things just seem to…disappear. 

FOUND:
They each receive news in the mail that sets them off on a road trip to Austin, Texas, looking for answers—and each other. Along the way, each one begins to find, as if by magic, important things the other has lost. And by the time they finally meet in person, they realize that the things you lose might be things you weren’t meant to have at all, and that you never know what you might find if you just take a chance.

The Lost & Found is a bighearted novel about connections (missed and found), family (the kind you’re born with and the kind you make for yourself), and unexpected journeys (on the road, and of the heart), from an author who Publishers Weekly called “a fierce new presence.”

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The Darkest Hour by: Caroline Tung Richmond


The Darkest Hour by Caroline Tung Richmond
Published by Scholastic Press 
Release Date: July 26 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, War
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: requested from publisher 


Summary from Goodreads:
Never underestimate a pretty face.

My name is Lucie Blaise.

I am sixteen years old.

I have many aliases, but I am none of the girls you see.

What I am is the newest agent of the CO-7.

And we are here to take down Hitler.

After the Nazis killed my brother on the North African front, I volunteered at the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, DC, to do my part for the war effort. Only instead of a desk job at the OSS, I was tapped to join the Clandestine Operations -- a secret espionage and sabotage organization of girls. Six months ago, I was deployed to German-occupied France to gather intelligence and eliminate Nazi targets.

My current mission: Track down and interrogate a Nazi traitor about a weapon that threatens to wipe out all of Western Europe. Then find and dismantle the weapon before Hitler detonates it. But the deeper I infiltrate, the more danger I'm in. Because the fate of the free world hangs in the balance, and trusting the wrong person could cause millions of lives to be lost. Including my own.

Buy Links:


Review:

I was intrigued by The Darkest Hour because I have been recently leaning more towards novels that contain historical fiction and strong, powerful, heroines. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy reading romance novels but sometimes it is nice to read something different. 

Lucie is an American who signed on as a part of operations in Europe and became a member of a covert ops group filled with powerful women all looking to taking down Hitler. However, you can never really trust anyone especially when someone has infiltrated your operations and the people you once thought you knew turn out to be something totally different. 

The Darkest Hour mainly focused on the women, family, and inner-strength, it did not contain any romance whatsoever. There is something about reading a YA novel without romance that leaves you both empowered and yearning for an adventure of your own. The action was nonstop and breathtakingly amazing to read. I think I had a smile plastered onto my face the whole time, especially when Lucie was consumed with her operation and whether or not she should trust a Nazi defector who has knowledge about a secret weapon, instead of love interests and romance. 



Rating:



About The Author:

Nowadays, I work as a writer—a job I love as much as cupcakes. My debut novel THE ONLY THING TO FEAR is available now, and my second book THE DARKEST HOUR will publish on 7/26/2016. (Both from Scholastic Press.) My work has also been featured in publications like the Baltimore Sun, Highlights for Children, and USAToday.com. I am represented by Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich.

I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and now I live on a Virginian mountainside just a stone's throw from the Appalachian Trail. In my free time I like to read awesome books, fiddle with my DSLR, plot ways to get more stamps in my passport, and hang out with my wonderful husband and daughter (aka the Baby Overlord). 



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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Girl in the Shadows by: Gwenda Bond



Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond 
Published by Skyscape 
Release Date: July 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 382
Series: Girl on a Wire - Book Two
Format: eARC 
Source: Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Eighteen-year-old Moira Mitchell grew up in the shadows of Vegas’s stage lights while her father’s career as a magician soared. More than anything, Moira wants to be a magician too, but her father is dead set against her pursuing magic.

When an invitation to join the Cirque American mistakenly falls into Moira’s possession, she takes action. Instead of giving the highly coveted invitation to its intended recipient, Raleigh, her father’s handsome and worldly former apprentice, Moira takes off to join the Cirque. If she can perform alongside its world-famous acts, she knows she’ll be able to convince her dad that magic is her future.

But when Moira arrives, things take on an intensity she can’t control as her stage magic suddenly feels like…real magic. To further distract her, Raleigh shows up none too pleased at Moira’s presence, all while the Cirque’s cocky and intriguing knife thrower, Dez, seems to have it out for her. As tensions mount and Moira’s abilities come into question, she must decide what’s real and what’s an illusion. If she doesn’t sort it out in time, she may forever remain a girl in the shadows.
 

Buy Links:


Review:

Where do I even begin? The whole novel felt kind of confusing. Gwenda Bond, the author, tried to give the novel a type of mystery feel...but it was hard to follow. I felt like every other page would add something new to this "mystery". It was too difficult to understand or comprehend what was going on because of how much information was being given. Then there were the love interests. Moira fell for Dez after only meeting him for such a short period of time. Seriously! Though I am not a fan of instalove, I ended up despising the way this one was handled. The author tried so hard to make this relationship seem cute and adorable but it just didn't work. Not at all. 

The writing wasn't compelling in any way. In fact, it made me withdraw from the novel and contemplate whether or not I could push myself to finish this novel. Realizing that this was more work than enjoyment, I felt both lost and saddened because I thought that this novel truly seemed like it had potential. I mean come on, if something is meant to be a secret then why is everyone talking about it? It all seemed rather ridiculous and boring. 

Overall, this novel is definitely not for me.




Rating:



About The Author:

I’m an author of young adult books. My latest are Lois Lane: Fallout, which brings the iconic comic book character front and center in her own YA novel, and Girl on a Wire, about a daredevil heroine who discovers magic and mystery lurking beneath the big top. Coming in 2016 are Lois Lane: Double Down and Girl in the Shadows, a new novel of the Cirque American. It’s possible that I escaped from a classic screwball comedy.

I live in a hundred-year-old house in Lexington, Kentucky, with my husband author Christopher Rowe, and our menagerie.



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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, Hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 



Title:
Learning to Swear in America
Author:
Katie Kennedy
Publication Date:
July 5th, 2016
Publisher:
                        Bloomsbury



Brimming with humor and one-of-a-kind characters, this end-of-the world novel will grab hold of Andrew Smith and Rainbow Rowell fans.

An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been called to NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster. He knows how to stop the asteroid: his research in antimatter will probably win him a Nobel prize--if there's ever another Nobel prize awarded. But Yuri's 17, and having a hard time making older, stodgy physicists listen to him. Then he meets Dovie, who lives like a normal teenager, oblivious to the impending doom. Being with her, on the adventures she plans when he's not at NASA, Yuri catches a glimpse of what it means to save the world and save a life worth living.

Prepare to laugh, cry, cringe, and have your mind burst open with questions of the universe.
 

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Friday, 17 June 2016

Under Your Skin by: Shannyn Schroeder


Under Your Skin by Shannyn Schroeder
Published by Zebra Shout 
Release Date: June 28 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320
Series: For Your Love - Book One
Format: eARC 
Source: Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Blood Is Thicker Than Ink. . . 

Norah O'Malley has been alone for a long time. It's been ten years since her father and four brothers shipped her off to be raised by her aunt. Seven months since she's seen the guy who got her pregnant--who still doesn't know. And it's two weeks since she came home to Chicago and discovered none of her family wants to talk--or listen.

She never expected to walk into a tattoo shop seven months pregnant and get her socks knocked off by instant attraction. She can't even see her socks. But Kai Ellis is big and gruff and sexy as hell, and if he has a past, well, so does she. Even more, Kai knows how to listen so that Norah feels just a little less alone . . .

All the chemistry in the world can't help Norah make her decisions. And no sizzle of desire will make Kai believe in happy endings. But a little time with someone who understands might just change everything . . .
 

Buy Links:


Review:

Under Your Skin is not my cup of tea. Nothing stood out and called for my attention at all, in fact the whole novel seemed rather bland. 


It seemed like the author was trying to create a "connection" between both Norah and Kai...but it just all seemed too forced. They didn't seem to click, connect, or have any type of real chemistry. Kai was rude, uncaring, selfish, self-centred, conceited, and overall pain in the ass. With all that being said I was supposed to believe that he was the heroine's love interest? Um, no. Not only was he reluctant to love Norah but it seemed that he was reluctant to love any human being considering how he left his sister to take care of his mom. He also seemed to emirate anger and resentment. Seriously, is he made out of it. 

Then we have Norah. Sigh. I don't even know what to say about this hot mess. It seemed that the more infuriating Kai became, the more Norah wanted to dress to impress and catch his eye. But it besides the fact that Kai was a total ass, it was a bit strange because she was pregnant. I understand that her hormones are going wacky but she literally just met him. She seemed to be counting down until she gives birth and moves on with her life. It just seems like she wasn't invested in the baby or the outcome in the end. Overall, I am happy with her decision because it definitely shows that the baby is better off.

There was also the fact that the whole matter near the end of novel just left a bad taste. This is not because of the matter [of the adoption] but due to the fact that Nora seemed to lack any emotion over the whole situation. There was a point where she did seem like she would have some emotions but nope. Then there was the ending that felt like it ended so randomly, it was like "here you go, now the end". The dialogue was also weird but at this point I just think that I gave up in caring for this novel. 


Overall, I would not read this novel again. Ever. 




Rating:



About The Author:

Shannyn is an occasional English teacher, who also works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.

Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.

After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”

So she did.

That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to where she is today. The 6-book O’Leary series has wrapped up, as well as 2 Hot & Nerdy new adult trilogies. She’s currently working on her next series.

She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.

Shannyn is represented by Frances Black of Literary Counsel.


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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, Hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 



Title:
Run
Author:
Kody Keplinger
Publication Date:
June 28th, 2016
Publisher:
                      Scholastic Press



Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who's not exactly sober most of the time. Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn't care what anyone thinks.

Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents' overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally blind daughter -- protect her from what, Agnes isn't quite sure.

Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it's the sort of friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else.

So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn't hesitate to take off with her. But running away and not getting caught will require stealing a car, tracking down Bo's dad, staying ahead of the authorities, and -- worst of all -- confronting some ugly secrets.
 


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The Baby Inheritance by: Maureen Child



The Baby Inheritance by Shannyn Schroeder
Published by Harlequin
Release Date: July 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Adult, Romance
Pages: 224
Format: eARC 
Source: Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Is a family in the future for this wealthy bachelor? From USA TODAY bestselling author Maureen Child! 

Divorce attorney to the stars Reed Hudson knows there's no such thing as happily-ever-after. But the red-headed stunner who walks into his office with an infant in her arms will put him to the test. 

Lilah Strong just brought a baby girl to a man who splits up families for a living. Now he wants Lilah to stay on as temporary nanny to his niece. Reed Hudson's plush hotel suite is a world away from Lilah's rustic mountain home. Will their undeniable attraction end in heartbreak…or forever?

Buy Links:


Review:

I can't say that I really enjoyed reading The Baby Inheritance but at the same time I can't say that I hated it either. It was just an okay novel. Even though I felt for all of these characters, I didn't feel like the novel was in any way compelling me to finish reading. I just felt bored, tired, and exhausted from the overall experience. 

I had hoped that this novel felt in a way realistic. I know that when your favourite genre ends up being romance your not always going to have the kind of "realistic romance" you want to read in every novel, unfortunately. However, I had just wished that there was more. 

Overall, this novel was alright to read. It was a fairly quick and light read that is perfect for on-the-go readers. 



Rating:



About The Author:


USA Today best selling author Maureen Child is the author of more than ninety romance novels and novellas. Maureen is a five time nominee for the prestigious Rita award from Romance Writers of America. 
One of her novels, A Pocketful Of Paradise, was made into a CBS-TV movie called The Soul Collector, starring Melissa Gilbert, Bruce Greenwood and Ossie Davis. 
Over the years, she’s written under lots of different names and she prefers the term ‘pseudonym’ to ‘alias’. As Ann Carberry, she wrote western historical romances. As Kathleen Kane, she wrote not only Americana romances, but western paranormal romances as well. As Sarah Hart, she wrote one really spectacular western paranormal that is still one of her favorites. And once, Ann Carberry even wrote a Victorian historical which she absolutely loved doing.

Under her own name, Maureen writes short contemporary novels for Silhouette Desire—books she loves to write because of their fast pace and condensed story telling. Maureen is also writing funny, contemporary paranormal romances for NAL and darker paranormal stories for Silhouette Nocturne.

Maureen writes paranormal romance novels under the pesudonym of Regan Hastings


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Monday, 13 June 2016

And I Darken by: Kiersten White


And I Darken by Kiersten White
Published by Delacorte Press 
Release Date: June 28 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 496
Series: The Conqueror's Saga - Book One
Format: eARC 
Source: Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.



NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. 

And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.

Buy Links:


Review:

And I Darken is such an addictive book to read. It's dark, captivating, well-written, compelling, and filled with badasses from beginning to end. It truly sinks its teeth into you and hooks you until you have finished reading the book. Told in third person perspective, this original novel will definitely leave you astound and wanting more. 

"I cannot afford to lose you, too"  
"You cannot lose something you do not own. Take me with you"


The book opens to Lada's birth. Her father waiting impatiently to find out the sex but when he finds out that his wife had given birth to a girl he is far from pleased. He names the girl after himself and at least hopes that she may be pretty so he can marry her off. A year later, Lada's brother Radu is born. At this point, we see that their mother does not care for Lada nor Radu and has a nurse raising them both. To their fathers disappointment Lada is not considered rather pretty and Radu is far too sensitive compared to Lada's fierce and intimidating personality. 

As years go by, the siblings continue to be raised by their nurse. Lada continues to surprise everyone while Radu remains forgotten. The siblings do not really have much of a relationship with one another, though it doesn't help that Lada doesn't really understand emotions - or rather emotions that leave you in a way vulnerable. Then one fateful day, their father sends them off as means for a treaty but he never comes back for either of his children. 


As the baby latched on with surprising fierceness, the nurse offered her own prayer.
Let her be strong.
Let her be sly.
And let her be ugly. 


I wouldn't really label this book as a "fantasy" novel and it most certainly should not be compared to Game of Thrones. It doesn't contain any magic or dragons. It mainly portrays a type of historical fictional standpoint, a type of alternate retelling of history. Mainly set in Transylvania during the height of the Ottoman Empire. It also focuses on a rather political and religious point throughout the book.


Lada is such a freaking badass. She is not someone to mess around with, that is for sure. Since she was born she is fierce, strong, a little psychotic, and resilient.As she grows older she becomes more cold, calculating, harsh, and cruel. She quickly learns what it means to be a woman and she is definitely not going to play along and be a plaything to anyone. 

"On our wedding night," she said, "I will cut out your tongue and swallow it. Then both tongues that spoke our marriage vows will belong to me, and I will be wed only to myself. You will most likely choke to death on your blood, which will be unfortunate, but I will be both husband and wife and therefore not a widow to be pitied."

The novel explores her disdain for femininity and confusion over whether she should deny or defend her own feelings and femininity. However, she sometimes appears to be rather stupid. No matter, she is still a refreshing and fascinating character to read


"The sooner you stop fighting, the easier your life will be. That is what your purpose is." 
Lada stood so abruptly she nearly fell backward. "No."


However, And I Darken doesn't not only focus on Lada. The book also focuses on the experiences of her brother Radu. Radu is a sensitive, beautiful, boy whose weakness both agitates yet draws the protection of his sister Lada. At times, Radu seemed to be the more sly sibling when he wasn't overcome with the fact that he was the "useless sibling". Their sibling relationship is unlike anything I have read in YA. It is filled with jealously, anger, frustration, sadness, betrayal, and misunderstandings. 


It was such a delight to read through these very unique characters as they explore so much challenges, difficulties, and more. It was something that drew me further into the novel and made me like it even more. 



"The last time she was up here, she had been...staring up at the sky and dreaming of stars. Now, she looked down and plotted flames."

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. Everything was beautifully detailed, intricationally designed, and just overall an unputdownable read. I recommend you check this novel out if you enjoy historical fiction and/or YA novels. 





Rating:



About The Author:
KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy; the dark thrillers Mind Games and Perfect Lies; The Chaos of Stars; and Illusions of Fate. She also coauthored In the Shadows with Jim Di Bartolo. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further away times. Visit Kiersten online at kierstenwhite.com and follow @kierstenwhite on Twitter.


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