Friday, December 2, 2016

Blog Tour: Spindle by E.K. Johnston

Title: Spindle
Author: E.K. Johnston
Series: A Thousand Nights #2
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Source: Publisher

In case you have missed them, I have posted reviews for book one, A Thousand Nights, HERE and for the novella, The Garden of Three Hundred Flowers, HERE.

In case you were not already aware, Spindle is the second book in a series.  The first book is entitled A Thousand Nights.

Spindle is meant to be a retelling of the ever popular Sleeping Beauty tale.  There is a girl, there is a curse, and there is a demon.  If she spins bad things are supposed to happen. Etc.

And for the most part I would say that Spindle follows this idea fairly well.  However, unlike most books it is not told from the point of view of the cursed princess.  Instead it is told from the point of a view of a boy whose whole life and everything he knows has been affected by the curse.

And the curse is ravaging the whole kingdom, especially the spinners.  They get sick if they spin, so they can't make the thread that makes the cloth that makes the clothes.

After finishing up the first book, I was ready to dive into more of this world and to see where the author was going to take us next.  To be honest, I was kind of surprised in the differences between these books.

The main difference that I noticed in this book compared to the last is that it is written differently.  Where in book 1 we had no names to characters, pretty much all of the characters in book 2 have them.  I think this is in part why I feel the unique voice that I had come to think of this series to have is gone for me.  It feels less like a storyteller is telling it now versus someone of the story is telling it.

Also, this book is set quite a bit after book 1 took place.  Different characters, different location, different different different.  It will kind of refer back to what happened in book 1 at times and there is the spinning aspect that is really holding it together.  Because, yes, just like in the first book, spinning is a HUGE part of the story.  I guess you could probably have figured that out though just by knowing that it is based on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale though.

All in all though, I really felt pulled in when reading this story.  And while I wasn't expecting the change in writing style, I am okay with it.  It still worked.

Oh...and this book really was starting to make me want to pick up spinning!

My Rating
4 Stars

This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.


Follow the Rest of the Tour!!

Week 1:

Week 2:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: The Garden of Three Hundred Flowers by E.K. Johnston

Title: The Garden of Three Hundred Flowers
Author: E.K. Johnston
Series: A Thousand Nights #1.5
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date; November 8, 2016
Source: Purchased

If you some how missed it, I just posted my review for book one in this series, A Thousand Nights, yesterday.  You can find that review right HERE.

That being said.  This little novella to the series is chock full of spoilers for that first book.  So continue with this review at your own risk.  Also, don't read this novella before you read book one if you don't almost the entire full story for A Thousand Nights to be ruined for you.  This novella may be short, but you will be able to pretty much get the whole story for the first book - minus a few details out of it.

The Garden of Three Hundred Roses is a novella in the Thousand Nights series.  It takes place pretty much right after the first book ends.  The unnamed female heroine of book 1 is still the main focal point.  However, where we got some bits of the story from the demon in book one, we now get some points of this small story from a child.  So it isn't as evil

We see the unnamed girl from book one as very strong and rightfully so.  And this novella is mostly about her relationship with the King and how the King dealing with the realities the demon who possessed him left him with.

This novella is still written in the same style as book 1.

As far as I can tell after having read this, it is probably not necessary to read but it does give you some more closure for book one.  I am not too far into book 2 to see if it really has much to do with what is going on there yet.

For the price (I found it free on Amazon) it was worth the few minutes to read.  It also has some sneak peeks into E.K Johnston's other books.  But, again, I warn you to not read this novella before book 1.

My Rating
3 Stars

This review is based on a copy purchased by myself.  All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review: A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston

Title: A Thousand Nights
Author: E.K. Johnston
Series: A Thousand Nights #1
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Source: Netgalley

You know me...I am a major sucker for a retelling.  I find them fun and fascinating and I love seeing where the author takes the original naturally I knew I needed to read A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston.

A Thousand Nights is retelling of the Arabian Nights/1001 Nights story.  We have a main character female, who is not named...ever, as the star of the book.  She knows that her small village/group is next on the Kings list to visit to pick a wife.

Big deal right?

Well, it is!  See, the King marries girls and then they DIE - usually only after one night.  And our main character just knows deep down in her heart that her sister is going to be the next one he weds.  So naturally our heroine CANNOT let this happen to her sister so she devises a way to make herself look more attractive to him when he comes so that he chooses her over her sister.

Then off they go!

But then she doesn't die that night.  Nor the next...or the one after that....

So.  I will say that I liked this story well enough, but I did not love it.  There was just nothing in it that really made me have the NEED to get this story finished.  I merely kept going to finish it.  Nothing was really pulling me forward as far as the story was concerned.

For the most part, honestly, I found the story to be kind of flat and one dimensional.  Pleasant but not exciting.  It almost felt like nothing was really happening a good portion of the time.

Then you have the way the story is written, which is definitely different.  It is almost a calming voice (at least in my head it sounded that way).  It did take me a little bit to get used to it.  There are only like 2 or 3 people with actual names.  The rest of them are my mother's mother, my sister's mother, my mother's mother's mother.. etc.  It can be kind of confusing at first, but you do get the hang of it after awhile, I promise.

Other than that it is a rather magical world.  Sometimes it can be a little hard to decipher if she is in a trance, having a vision, or if it is happening, but the sense of wonder and magic is always in there.

An interesting beginning that is for sure!

My Rating
3 Stars

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

This review is based on an eARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cover Reveal: Guardian of Secrets by Brenda Drake

Title: Guardian of Secrets
Author: Brenda Drake
Series: Library Jumpers #2
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: February 7 2017

Oh my goodness guys!  The cover is here!  And I love it!!!!!  I think it fits in with the cover of book 1 very beautifully!  Ahhhhh I cannot wait until I get to read it!

Let us know what you think of the cover for Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2) by Brenda Drake which releases February 7, 2017!
This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled TEEN & YA Interrobang!
Brenda Drake's thoughts on the cover:
I had an idea of what I wanted the cover of Guardian of Secrets to look like the entire time I was writing the story. I was delighted (I might have screamed) when the cover showed up in my email and it was EXACTLY what I’d imagined. I love that it’s blue since part of the setting of the book takes place in a cold climate. I’m thrilled the couple is on it, too. They resemble the characters I’ve created in my mind perfectly. The cover is so beautiful, and I’m beyond excited to share it with everyone!

About Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2):
Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens.
Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.
And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.
Maybe. If she survives.
Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2) by Brenda Drake today!
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Release Day Blitz: Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly

Title: Trouble Makes a Comback
Author: Stephanie Tromly
Series: Trouble #2
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Publication Date: November, 22, 2016

Oh my goodness guys!  I am so happy to share with you Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly!

Trouble Makes a Comeback is the second book in the Trouble series.  The first book is titled Trouble is a Friend of Mine.

Okay, so I haven't actually read either of these books yet, but I have them sitting on my shelf waiting for me to get to them.  And I really really really want to get to them!  The blurbs for both of them just sound so amazing and fun!  Of course, before I can get to the new release in the series, I need to get through book one, but that is only a matter of time :)

I bet by now you are probably a bit curious as to what Trouble Makes a Comeback is all about, well don't you fret for I have the synopsis to share with you courtesy of the Publisher/Goodreads!

A whip-smart, screwball noir mystery—with snappy prose, wry humor, and breakneck dialogue—this sequel to Trouble Is a Friend of Mine is perfect for fans of Veronica MarsSherlock, John Hughes, and Carl Hiassen.

After a fall semester of fiascos: getting arrested, then kidnapped, then blown up in an explosion (all thanks to the weird but brilliant Philip Digby), Zoe Webster is looking forward to a quiet spring. Now that Digby has left town, she's finally built a regular high school life for herself. She's dating Miles, the alternate QB; she knows girls she considers friends; she's learning to enjoy being normal and semi-popular. Which of course is when Digby comes back: He's got a new lead on his missing sister and he needs Zoe's help.

Suddenly Zoe is tussling with a billionaire arch-villain, locking horns with armed goons, and digging into what makes the Digby family tick, even as she tries to navigate the confusing and emotionally fraught world of high school politics and locker-room drama. After all, it's hard to explain Digby to a boy like Miles, especially when Zoe isn't sure how she feels about Digby herself—or how he feels about her.

Now that Digby's back, get ready for another hilarious whodunit filled with razor-sharp dialogue, ridiculously funny action, and the most charismatic, dynamic duo you've ever met. And just try to stay out of trouble.

We dare you.

I is a young adult novel.  It has romance and it has crime.  There is nothing that doesn't sound awesome about this book!

You know what is even more awesome about Trouble Makes a Comeback releasing today?  There is a GIVEAWAY for you to enter!  You know you want to, so do it!  You may just win!  And who doesn't love winning books?!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one of three (3) sets that include a paperback of Trouble is a Friend of Mine and a hardcover copy of Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly (ARV Per Set = $28.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 9:00 AM Eastern Time on November 22, 2016 and 11:59 PM Eastern Time on November 28, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about December 1, 2016. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Review: Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schroder

Title: Be Light Like a Bird
Author: Monika Schroder
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers
Publication Date: September 1, 2016
Source: Author

Hard hitting books that get you right in the emotional gut are hard to read, but for some reason when the book is meant for those middle grade readers out there I find them even harder to stomach.  There is just something about them when I know that they are meant for a pretty young audience that really gets me.  Maybe it is because I wish I could shelter these readers forever from such pain and suffering even though I know there are those out there that have already suffered through what the book is dealing with or worse.

Of course Be Light Like a Bird falls into this category.  I had no idea what to expect when I picked up the book.  I am sure I had read the blurb about it back when the author requested a review from me, but I kind of forgot.  Then, of course, I didn't bother reading the blurb again when I finally picked up the book to read it... I just went for it.

Be Light Like a Bird is about a young girl named Wren.  Wren is only 12 years old and already has to go through an unimaginable life experience.  Her father has died in an airplane crash leaving herself and her mother without any money and their small family in turmoil.  You see, for whatever reason she might have, Wren's mother refuses to talk about Wren's father.  She won't talk about his death, his life, nothing.  She doesn't even have a service for him.  This leaves Wren to deal with the loss of her father all on her own.

And her mother really isn't making the whole thing easy.  Her mother and her have to move.  And then her mother will date a guy for a couple weeks (even though her father has been gone for only a month or so!!) and then when they break up she has them move again.  This doesn't allow Wren to form any roots or to make any friends.  Making her feel even more alone and confused.

Eventually Wren and her mother end up in a town called Pyramid where most of our story happens.  Not only is this a story of loss, family struggles, and relationships, but it is also a story of finding a cause and fighting for it.  Be Light Like a Bird really has a lot in its pages for us to take in!

So what did I ultimately think of this book and the story it contained?  I found it very very hard to put down.  I found myself turning the pages wanting to understand what was going on.  I found myself wondering what exactly was going on with Wren's mother.  In short, I really enjoyed it!

There was one part in the book, very early on, that I found a little awkward to read.  It was when Wren's uncle came to visit shortly after the death of her father.  I found his narrative to be very...odd and off and not very realistic especially for the age bracket I had mentally stuck him in.  Thankfully he only makes this one extremely short appearance and no one else talks like this for the rest of the book.

The rest of the book was good though.  It felt like it was written correctly for a middle grade reader.  It was on a tough topic, but it wasn't overly detailed on topics or anything.  This left it still having a feeling of hope and, at points, a lightness which made it not as tough to get through as it could have been.

With all the things covered in this book though, I think parents/guardians/teachers should be ready to have conversations that may pop up as a result of reading this book.  They will happen and they are not going to be easy conversations by any means.

My Rating
5 Stars

This review is based on a copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Review: VIP - Battle of the Bands by Jen Calonita

Title: Battle of the Bands
Author: Jen Calonita
Series: VIP #2
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
Source: Publisher

This is book 2 in a series.  In case you missed it, you can find my review for book one HERE.

So, I have to admit, I kind of love this series.  It is a bit of a guilty pleasure I guess as I am definitely not in the intended age range for it...but it takes me back.  It makes me feel like I am a 12 year old girl again.

I should probably point out that I was never one to be totally obsessed with boy bands like our heroine Mackenzie, but if I had been I am sure I would have been a good bit like her.

So, what is Battle of the Bands all about you ask?  Well, this time there is a competing boy band in the midst!  And whats worse is that this other boy band has stolen a song from Perfect Storm!  Oh but it doesn't end there.  The song was written in Mac's journal which means some one snooped into her private thoughts without her knowing and took them!  Talk about having your privacy invaded!  So now they have to find out who is stealing things written in Mac's journal and how and keep the evil other boy band from ruining Perfect Storm!

Talk about a super fun ride!

Like I stated before and in my review for the first book in the series, Jen Calonita really captures the essence of a 12 year old fangirling over a boy band and trying to figure out life.  It is kept light hearted and fun, but it is still relatable and relatively real (I say relatively because really how many of us in this world get to go on tour with our favorite band?).

In this story we get to see a lot get tested: friendships, a budding preteen romance, various other relationships.

But that isn't all we get to see.  We get to see and take a look at bullying.  We get to see what happens to those we bully and to those that do the bullying.  It really is an important thing for preteens to take a look at and learn about.  And this book does a nice job of it.

I cannot wait until another installment of this series comes out.  It is just so much fun!  Each adventure has been an absolute blast and I need more!

My Rating
5 Stars

This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.