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Blog Tour, Teasers, Giveaway, and Review: ALEX

 

ALEX: Perfect Opposite Book One
(Extended edition)

Zoya Tessi
Publication date: January 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Their wishes were simple and modest. Fate had other things in store though, and she can be a real bitch sometimes.

All he wanted was to get the job done and somehow to endure those long months playing nanny to a spoiled little rich girl. Without strangling her with his bare hands in the process. Well, it is going to be much easier said than done.

All she wanted was to escape the past and live like any other girl. Her plan definitely didn’t include the arrogant, tattooed savage, with his awful mohawk and lack of social graces, whose only mission was to stick real close and mess up her life.

But, people aren’t always what they seem to be, are they?

Goodreads / Amazon

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Author Bio:

Zoya spent years doing volunteering work all across Europe, from cleaning school basements in Northern Russia to excavating Stone Age artifacts in Euskadi (the Basque country) and renovating castles from the middle ages in Southern France. She always dreamed of working with ‘Doctors without borders’ somewhere out in Africa, but ended up doing an ‘ordinary job’ in one of the smaller European countries.

Her greatest passion is devouring each and every book that comes within her reach.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: you fooled me, book; emotional, dramatic, entertaining; love the love happening here; realistic, though sometimes slightly annoying, characters; some of the reactions/interactions were a bit over the top; that 89% mark almost broke me

Huge thanks to Zoya Tessi and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a free digital copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Okay, penguins. I’m sure you’re all sitting there in front of your computers looking at this review like, “ANOTHER romance?! Really, Beth?! REALLY?! What is wrong with you?” Well… I’ll be honest. I? am really very fond of romances. Love is the hope that keeps me going in the world. I LOVE, love, okay? And lately, I’ve been feeling a mighty need for more “happily ever afters” in my world, because let’s face it–happily ever afters are what make my little penguin heart go pit-a-pat-a-pitter. Yes, I know that’s not a real word. No, I don’t particularly care to change it.

This romance was at turns wholly realistic…and over-the-top. I’ve always been a fan of the “enemies to lovers” stories, and that’s exactly what we get here…but I felt like a few of the character reactions (especially from Sasha’s end) were a bit unrealistic and came off rather “spoiled-brat” esque. HOWEVER…the snark is super on point, especially in the moments Sasha and Alex are alone together. I fell in love with them early, thanks to their snark and sass–the moments they tear each other apart verbally were some of the most entertaining, best scenes in this book. So while Sasha was, at points, a bit childish in my mind…I forgave her easily, because she was pretty adorable at the same time.

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AND THAT 89% MARK! I swear, I about threw my tablet across the room when I hit that point, because TARNATIONS, penguins, that moment hurt. It was like I’d found the most perfect pebble ever….only to accidentally swallow it and get it lodged halfway down my poor penguin throat. I spent the next 7% of the read on tenterhooks, trying to convince the book to stop hurting me (trust me, there was a LOT of threatening happening!) Luckily, the book knew better than to leave me with such a broken mess of heart, and quickly fixed the world around me before the close.

This was, in the end, a snarky, dramatic, and entertaining read. Alex and Sasha were believable in their interactions, though perhaps (in a few cases) just a bit childish. There were some unbelievably surprising plot twists laced throughout the story, and the plot was fast-paced and complex. I definitely recommend this to lovers of star-crossed lovers, heartbreaking plot twists, and well-rounded characters. I cannot wait to pick up another Zoya Tessi book in the future! This book put me in chains, penguins; why don’t you join me in my prison?!

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Queens of Geek

 

Queens of Geek
by Jen Wilde
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

Three friends. Two love stories. One convention.

Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

Queens of Geek, an empowering young adult novel by Jen Wilde, is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Jen Wilde is a writer, geek and fangirl with a penchant for coffee, books and pugs. She writes YA stories about zombies (AS THEY RISE), witches (ECHO OF THE WITCH) and fangirls (QUEENS OF GEEK). Her debut series reached over three million reads online and became an Amazon bestseller.

When she’s not writing, Jen loves binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix, eating pizza, traveling to far away places and going to conventions in Marty McFly cosplay.

Jen lives in a sunny beachside town in Australia with her husband and their cheeky pug, aptly named Heisenberg.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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4.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: super important morals/lessons; these characters are quirky and lovable; LOVE the love happening here; authentic, real-life reactions and interactions; awesome character growth; THIS is a coming-of-age done well; beautifully endearing

HUGE thanks to Jen Wilde, Swoon Reads, Xpresso Book Tours, and Netgalley for providing me a free digital ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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I just can’t even with how adorable this book was, penguins. Seriously?! it wins my week. Let’s just talk about that cover to start with, okay? That pink! That pink is EVERYTHING. Honestly, the pink hair on the cover was the very first reason I knew I needed this book in my life–for one, because at the time I had never seen a cover like it before. For two…I mean, that hair makes a statement, okay?! And it was a statement I was desperate to hear. Having finished the book… I have to admit I was totally right about that.

Which brings us to…the morals. There are some heavy subjects running through this read, including mental health. Jen Wilde approached each obstacle with a clear “end goal” in mind…and came out on top of this journey, in my opinion. The subjects are approached in sensitive, subtle ways…only to be body-slammed by the moral message later on. Like the cover, this book makes a loud and important series of statements–and comes out with head held high and chin up. The character growth and “coming-of-age” journey within these pages will have readers viewing the world–and themselves!–in new, confident ways. And that, in my opinion, is such an important thing to have achieved.

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The characters are complex, endearing, and believable. I was rooting for these three from the very beginning–and laughing, crying, hurting, celebrating right along with them. This read sucked me in from page one, and refused to let me loose. I am only a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get to see the world from Jamie’s perspective. Headed into this, I was rather expecting it to be split into three POVs. Instead, I only got to glimpse things from two. Still, Jamie came to life for me regardless–and I adored his interactions with Tay just as much as I adored watching Charlie fall for Alyssa. Each relationship was realistic and adorable, so it wasn’t hard to love the characters as much as I loved their journey.

Overall, this was an amusing read filled with pop and nerd culture. I really loved all the references played throughout the pages. The characters are adorable, their relationships are realistic, and I had an absolute blast watching them grow and come into their own throughout this book! I cannot WAIT to pick up another Jen Wilde book in the future! I definitely recommend this to lovers of pop culture, diverse reads, and books with some heavy-handed subjects. Don your mask and meet me at midnight, penguins; we’ll take the world by storm yet!

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Traveler

 

Traveler
(Traveler, #1)

by L.E. DeLano
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: February 7th, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

A teen writer discovers that every mirror is a portal into an alternate version of her life in this romantic YA fantasy by author L.E. DeLano.

Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all teacakes, pirates and fantasy lifestyles…Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… this Jessa is going to live.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

L.E. DeLano is a YA novelist rep’d by Barry Goldblatt Literary agency, author of the upcoming “Traveler” (Swoon Reads/MacMillan 2017) and lifelong writer. Her work has been featured on various online outlets and she lives in Pennsylvania with two very adventurous kids and two very ridiculous cats. In her spare time, she writes (of course) and binge-watches way too much Netflix.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

4.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: GAAAAAH, why must you hurt me, book?!; entertaining, complex, realistic characters; TIME TRAVEL FOR THE WIN!; there’s also a sort of mirror worlds/through the looking glass thing happening that I adore; I need book two, and I need it now–give it or risk a temper tantrum!

HUGE thanks to L.E. DeLano, Swoon Reads, Xpresso Book Tours, and Netgalley for providing me with a free digital copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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I think the wounded penguin noises I made after this read might have been loud enough to scare the entire WORLD, guys. Seriously. My heart? Broken into itty bitty pieces I could never hope to glue back together. I need book two…and I mean NEED, as in I will not survive without it, as in I am putting the fate of my poor penguin soul in its hands. Which is probably not the best idea, considering it doesn’t come out until next spring at the earliest. BOOK, WHY YOU HURT ME SO?!

Let’s just…try to be rational and coherent for a minute, okay? There is something deliciously “through the looking glass/mirror-worlds” happening in this book that I adored from the get-go. I’ve always been a sucker for alternate realities/time travel (perhaps that’s the daydreamer stuck in me?), so when I read the blurb for this book however long ago it was, I immediately knew I needed to read it. And as I hoped, I wasn’t disappointed in the least! The plot is intricately-woven and beautifully done, a crescendo of action and emotions that left me a sobbing wreck at the end. I mean…what more could I ask of a book?!

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The characters and their relationships/interactions are fairly believable and complex. While there were a few moments of trope to be found, the drama of the plot and the intrigue of the mystery enthralled me throughout…and the use of alternate realities helped, in a sense, to keep me somehow grounded. I LOVED stepping through the mirror with Jessa, in fact, and seeing the different ways she “altered” in each place. And Finn…. I just…. Let’s just not talk about Finn right now, okay? My penguin heart can’t handle it.

Basically, I NEED BOOK TWO! And I need it desperately. I think I left a large part of my heart trapped in the pages with Jessa, and I need the second book to retrieve them. Someone, PLEASE, give me book two sooner than next spring when it’s promised?! PLEAAAAASE?! I definitely recommend this to lovers of time travel/alternate realities, complex and entertaining personalities, and fast-paced enthralling action. Take a step through the mirror with me, penguins; let’s help save the world.

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My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen: A Snarky Reinvention of a Well-Loved Fairy Tale

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My Fairy Godmother Is a Drag Queen

Chris Bellows is just trying to get through high school and survive being the only stepchild in the social-climbing Fontaine family, whose recently diminished fortune hasn’t dimmed their desire to mingle with Upper East Side society. Chris sometimes feels more like a maid than part of the family. But when Chris’s stepsister Kimberly begins dating golden boy J. J. Kennerly, heir to a political dynasty, everything changes. Because Chris and J. J. fall in love . . . with each other.

With the help of a new friend, Coco Chanel Jones, Chris learns to be comfortable in his own skin, let himself fall in love and be loved, and discovers that maybe he was wrong about his step-family all along. All it takes is one fairy godmother dressed as Diana Ross to change the course of his life.

My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen is a Cinderella retelling for the modern reader. The novel expertly balances issues like sexuality, family and financial troubles, and self-discovery with more lighthearted moments like how one rogue shoe can launch a secret, whirlwind romance and a chance meeting with a drag queen can spark magic and light in a once dark reality.

YA / Contemporary / Romance / Fairy Tale Retellings
336 Pages
Sky Pony Press
Expected Publication Date:  May 2nd, 2017
Preorder a copy here!

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: just a bit stereotypical; love the humor and personality of the voice; entertaining, endearing, wholly recreated characters; I was sucked in from start to finish; tons of delicious angst, drama, and fun; the snark is on point; LOVE how David Clawson made this retelling wholly his own

Huge thanks to David Clawson, Sky Pony Press, and Edelweiss for sending me a free digital ARC of this read in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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By now, I’m sure ALL my loyal penguins know full well that I am all about retellings. They are the bread to my readerly sandwich, after all! I am ALSO all about snarky characters, uniquely individualized reads, and reinvented story lines (especially if it’s a retelling being reinvented)! There’s nothing quite like stepping into a world you’re pretty sure you’ve seen from every angle…and being proven wrong.

 

 

David Clawson did exactly this for me with this title. I’ll be honest with you guys–when I stumbled upon this title on Edelweiss and saw it was up for instant download, I didn’t think twice. I read the title, laughed out loud like a lunatic, and promptly hit “download.” I didn’t even stop to read the blurb, which means, when I picked this book up to read…. I had no idea it was a retelling. It took only a couple of pages for me to realize that’s exactly what I was reading…and only a couple more after that to realize it was going to be entirely different from the story I thought I already knew. David Clawson took this fairy tale, and molded it into his own witty, snarky, entertaining beast–and I ADORED every second of it!

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This was a fast-paced, entertaining read with some well-written, complex, and wholly unique characters. Trust me, penguins–this is not the Cinderella cast you know, but that doesn’t mean you won’t love them to tuna fish pieces. Honestly, I feel like the relationships sewn and nurtured in this book are SO MUCH BETTER than those I’ve been reading in the recent months. They are realistic, they grow and change as the characters do, and they’re all, in some tiny way, flawed…but they’re also easy for readers to relate to. In the original Cinderella story, and the subsequent retellings I’ve had the pleasure of reading/watching… I was never quite sure WHY the stepmother and sisters hated Cinderella so much. There never seemed to be an actual reason. David Clawson approached this in a new and unique way, and managed to wrap it up in the process!

 

 

I had a ton of fun with this book, and while it leans a bit heavily on certain stereotypes, I feel the personality and uniquely individualized characters really set this apart from other Cinderella retellings. The snark was heavy-handed, the morals (being true to yourself, feeling comfortable in your own skin) are handled with sensitivity, and I just ADORED me some Coco Chanel Jones–seriously, one of the best characters EVER! I recommend this to lovers of fairy tale retellings, diverse reads, and a strong focus on the sewing and building of familial relationships. If you’re seeking YOUR Prince Charming, maybe you should wear shoes that are much too big for you…you never know whose face you’ll kick one into!

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Secrets of a Reluctant Princess

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soarp-coverSecrets of a Reluctant Princess
by Casey Griffin
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Blurb:

At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive…

Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working.

Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people.

Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her.

The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on.

addtogoodreads

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N| Kobo | TBD | iBooks

casey-griffinAbout the Author:

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in

Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and

photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy

writing every moment she can.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Information: 

  • One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of Secrets of a Reluctant Princess + a Tiara!

Find the giveaway RIGHT HERE!


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3.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: Adrianna/Andy has a super entertaining, snarky, vibrantly-written voice; this was a roMESS if I’ve ever read one; that director is absolute slime; lots of angst and drama; the hilarious banter between the characters is SPOT ON; I could literally “see” each of these people in the pages

HUGE thanks to Casey Griffin, Entangled: Teen, Chapter by Chapter, and Netgalley for sending me a free digital ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Hear ye, hear ye! On behalf of the Porcelain Princess (toilet thrones now 25% off at the door!) I present to you….my review! And what a grand thing it shall be, because… Wait, wait, cut. Okay, sorry penguins–my fingers got away from me. I just couldn’t help myself! But this is a great way to start off–because this book? FILLED with snark, attitude, and just the right amount of teenage drama and hysterics. Seriously, if you’re looking for an entertaining read with a HUGE personality, you need to pick up this one–I promise it won’t let you down!

Having skimmed a few other reviews on goodreads, I can tell you it seems a majority of the readerly population was a bit… put off? by Andy/Adrianna’s attitude and personality. HOWEVER…this was not the case on my end. I really enjoyed how snarky and strong-willed she is. While there were, admittedly, a few moments I cringed over (her decisions are, as the rest of humanity, rather flawed in some instances) I ADORED how much voice and spunk Casey Griffin managed to shove into each and every page. I found myself giggling aloud, dropping my jaw at some of the twists, and even raging alongside Andy as the world seemingly fell apart around her. I was thoroughly and immensely amused by her antics and her reactions to everything happening, and loved how much “growth” I saw in her throughout the read.

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The plot is fairly predictable in some places–I mean, it IS a YA Contemporary Romance, after all. There are bound to be a few tropes and cliches along the way, right? But Casey Griffin managed to tell this story in a unique and inventive way, in my opinion–the “Bathroom Business” and ensuing reality TV show turned roadside disaster made this a quick, entertaining read. The focus on “being true to yourself” really helped to tie the story together in a seamless, engaging way, as well.

In the end, I proclaim this an enthralling, snarky, angsty read! I cannot wait to see what Casey Griffin delivers in the future–the amount of unique voice and personality she packed into these pages has me begging my liege for more. If you’re seeking a quick, witty read with a ton of attitude, look no further than this one! Just promise not to drop it in the toilet, okay? Soggy pages are not good for reading.

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Pixie and the Green Book Mystery: Fast-Paced and Entertaining

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Pixie And The Green Book Mystery (Pixie Book Mystery 1)

Just like in the Never Ending Story, you’ll leap into a magical book filled with unforgettable characters on a quest to save their stories.

Pixie’s school day is an apple disaster, but a trip to the library changes everything. Fairytales have come to life out of their books and danger is lurking. It’s up to our book loving hero to get them out of the mysterious green book and back into their stories. The clock is ticking. Tick! Tock!

addtogoodreads

Pixie Book Mystery #1
Children’s Books / Chapter Books / Fantasy
Wonder Bay Publishing
Publication Date:  November 19th, 2016
Get a copy here!

3.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: adorable, quick, light read; the pace is fast, but believable; love the play on fairy tales; interesting, unique characters; this book promises and delivers HUGE fun; I chuckled several times; even the easily-bored little readers will settle into this quickly

Huge thanks to Coraline Grace and Wonder Bay Publishing for sending me a free digital copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

 

This was a super cute, entertaining, fast-paced chapter book. I was sucked into the story from page one and kept enthralled throughout. There were several moments I even found myself giggling to myself, as the antics of some of the characters were so amusing. The action is pretty fast-paced, and while it seems that a LOT of things happen in a small amount of time, in the end it is also fairly believable–after all, the events take place (for the most part) in a quick trip to the library, and therefore happen in a very short sequence. This didn’t bother me, though; while a lot happens, it is in no way overwhelming, and I followed the story line very easily.

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Pixie and the cast of characters she meets in these pages are strong-willed and independent. I really enjoyed the way Coraline Grace played with fairy tales; the introduction of the Book Guardian brought about a sense of drama and mystery, and enabled her to explore options she might not have been in regards to “changing” the stories the way that this book does.

 

I had a TON of fun diving into this short chapter book, and am intrigued with how the rest of the series will unfold. The plot is fast-paced but believable, the characters are unique and entertaining, and I am so glad to have been given the chance to pick this book up! If you’ve a young reader who is easily bored or distracted in your life, you should try this book–it’s a wild, entertaining ride from start to finish, and is bound to capture even the most fussy of book penguins! The Green Book Mystery is taking over a library near you, penguins; how will the fairy tales YOU adore be changed? You’ll have to read this series to find out!

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Perfect: Brilliant Covers, Genius Series

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Perfect (Flawed, #2)

Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine’s life has completely fractured–all her freedoms gone.

Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick–the only person she can trust.

But Celestine has a secret–one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing.

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save just herself or to risk her life to save all Flawed people.

And, most important of all, can she prove that to be human in itself is to be Flawed?

Flawed, Book 2
Dystopia / YA 

352 Pages
Feiwel & Friends/McMillan Children’s Publishing Group
Expected Publication Date:  April 4th, 2017
Preorder a copy here!

See my review of Flawed (Flawed #1) by clicking the cover below:

Flawed (Flawed, #1)

5Penguins
Quick Reasons: this series has RUINED me; life-ruiner; my poor penguin heart is still pitter-pattering; emotional, dramatic, and horrifying; the moral implications are just spot-on; whoever designed these covers is BRILLIANT; I need this duology on my physical shelves

Huge thanks to Cecelia Ahern, McMillan Children’s Publishing Group, and Netgalley for sending me a free digital ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Okay, penguins…. can we just TALK ABOUT the choices the cover designer made for this series?! I mean seriously…these covers? Say SO MUCH about the story without really saying anything until you’ve read the books. For Flawed, we see Celestine from the mouth down. She is sort of bland, an unknown from the beginning–until she steps up and sparks a revolution. In Perfect…she IS the revolution, so we see her from the neck up. The colors also sort of play on this. She was perfect, “pure”…until she was found NOT to be. It’s just…. GAH, whoever designed these covers? Did a fan-fracking-tastic job of it.

 

And this book? The closure to this poignant, powerful, intense duology? Delivered a hundred percent what I’ve been hoping it would. There are SO MANY moral and societal implications explored throughout each of these reads, but this second book brings everything to a head and makes readers STOP, SIT DOWN, and THINK about what’s going on. It horrifies; it disgusts; it wrenches and tears in two every thought, every assumption, every feeling a reader could possibly be having at any point in the read. Everything is examined; everything is called into question, and then studied more, and then flipped on its head. And there was a LOT of head-flipping in this book; I think I gave myself whiplash trying to keep up with all the rapid changes and out-of-nowhere twists.

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This is an intense read, though. The moral implications, the examination and redefinition of “society”….there are some tough, mature themes happening throughout this book. There is abuse of power. Obsession. Determination to “hide” or “right” a mistake. There is judgment, segregation, and political motivation/power struggles. All of this comes together in a fast-paced, important revelation. The characters are strong-willed and head-strong, the plot is heavy and nonstop, and the ending…while perhaps a bit TOO tidy…a poignant powerbomb. I just… I am in awe, and need this duology on my bookshelves PRONTO.

 

Overall, my first and second foray into Cecelia Ahern proved some of the best decisions I’ve ever made. These books changed my outlook on a lot of things, and are so, SO important in the messages they carry. This is a series I am proud to have picked up and fallen in love with, and I definitely recommend it to lovers of dystopians, political agendas, and intense reads. Perfect is bound to brand you, penguins–grit your teeth and wear the mark with pride. I know I will.

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Awakening

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awakeningAwakening: Bloodline Book One
by Tiera Rice
Publication date: October 12th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal

Antanasia knows better than anyone that being royal comes with lots of expectations. Born into war as a Vampyre Witch, she has to battle the ultimate enemy: her own blood. When she has a terrifying Vision, Antanasia fights harder than ever to prevent it from coming to pass. Will she succeed? Or does she die trying?

Nadia is an average teenager celebrating her nineteenth birthday. But her day turns upside down when she starts developing unusual abilities that make her question everything she knew. Searching for answers to her predicament, she finds herself trusting Nicolae, a stranger with a familiar presence. Why does she feel so drawn to him? Will Nadia find answers to the questions about her past and take on her new role willingly? Or will she choose to remain in the dark and deny her destiny?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

 

 

tieraAuthor Bio:

Tiera Rice was raised in Rockland County, New York and is a realtor in Rockland, Westchester, and Orange Counties. She earned her degree in criminal justice from
Temple University, is the founder of Laughter and Lemonade: a project that focuses on motivational posters for those experiencing a chronic illness, and co-founder of #26forTiera: a foundation that provides financial resources to single parents battling life-threatening illnesses.

A creator of poems and short-stories for many years, Tiera challenged herself by
leaping into the world of novels. Having recently survived a battle with cancer, Tiera
decided to use her writing to entertain and motivate her readers. When not writing or
selling houses, Tiera can be found spending time with her friends and family, especially her young daughter, fish, and kitty cat. Her other interests include singing, drawing, and dancing.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

3.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: exciting, unique adventure; love the dual-perspectives/time shifts; Nadia had some unfortunate immature reactions that made it hard to connect with her for me; realistic, mostly-believable characters and relationships; just a few weird plot-holes

Huge thanks to Tiera Rice, Eula Rae Printing & Publishing, and Xpresso Book Tours for providing me with a free digital copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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This was a fun, entertaining read–and that cover is GORGEOUS! I love how the cover reflects the dual perspectives/time jumps we have happening within these pages–even the color differences, while maintaining the same tone, lend a sense of personality to the book. Covers like this one are the reason I breathe, penguins–there’s so much detail to digest and ponder over!

I was just a tiny bit disappointed in the world-building of this book. I feel like a LOT of things happen in quite a short period of time, and that left me feeling a little dizzy in the end. There were a lot of questions I found myself asking that were never really answered for me. I feel like we spent so much time focused on our main duo and their personal feelings, and not enough learning about the worlds surrounding them both. I felt, at times, that the author mentioned certain aspects of the world…but never really gave them time to develop or be explored. For instance…why is it only AFTER the ceremony that Antanasia can feed upon animals? What about the world or their biology makes this happen? The ending of this read was also a bit vague and confusing–I found myself unsure of what had just happened, and confused about what to think.

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The characters, for the most part, were believable and intriguing…though Nadia had several unfortunate “immature” moments that made it hard for me, personally, to connect with her as a character. By this, I mean she had a tendency to overreact and overdramatize. In another character, this might have worked…but for Nadia, who seems overall pretty clear-headed and well-grounded, it was a bit of a shock. It also felt as if these moments might have been part of a ploy to keep the plot moving forward, though I might be wrong about that.

Still, this was an entertaining read with plenty of snark and sass to go around! I’m curious about the world and these characters, and will be waiting for book two to see if any of my answers/curiosities are cleared up. The characters are fairly believable, the read was quick and full of action, and I can’t wait to see what the next installment promises for us readers! I’d recommend this to lovers of: all things vampire, dual-perspectives/time jumps, and snarky characters. Pull your hood down and take a sip, penguins; let the battle begin!

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Any Boy but You

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any-boy-but-you-coverAny Boy but You (North Pole, Minnesota #1)

by Julie Hammerle
201 Pages
Published By:  Entangled:  Crush
Publication Date: February 13th, 2017
Genre:  Contemporary/Romance/YA

BLURB:

Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.

The girl Oliver’s fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She’s his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.

When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swearing, snowball fights, and sexual tension that could melt the North Pole. Read at your own risk.

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Purchase Links:
Google Play | BAM | Amazon | Indies | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

About the Author:

julie-hammerleJulie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which will be published by Entangled Teen on June 7, 2016. Before settling down to write “for real,” she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her iPod reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list.

She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.

Author Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instragram | Goodreads

Giveaway Information:

• One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of The Sound of Us by Julie Hammerle (US ONLY)

CLICK HERE for the giveaway!


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4.25Penguins
Quick Reasons: spontaneous moments of cute coupled with a realistic relationship = me in a penguin puddle; I’m such a sucker for enemies-to-lovers; star-crossed love meets Pride and Prejudice; some small geek/nerd culture references; complex characters and a plot with a TON of drama, angst, and resolution

Huge thanks to Julie Hammerle, Entangled: Crush, Chapter-by-Chapter, and Netgalley for sending me a free digital copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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Okay penguins, I have GOT to know: how do you all feel about enemies-to-lovers romance tropes? Because honestly, this is one of my personal FAVORITES! I’ve always been a sucker for star-crossed loves, and this book bridges the gap between the dramatic angst ofRomeo and Juliet and the snarky tingles of Pride and Prejudice. Seriously, I’m not even dramatizing that–that’s just EXACTLY what this book does, except in modern day…with cell phones, computers, and all that awesome delicious.

The romance is entirely realistic. There’s no “love at first sight” to be found here, unless you want to count the opposite–hate at first sight. Instead, this romance goes to the chatroom…and anonymous profiles. I seriously ADORED how cute that made this entire thing–while we, the readers, knew exactly who was whom, our poor unfortunate star-crossed pair had no idea until it was too late. There was a sense of…innocence, maybe? in the ways their relationship started that had me flashing back to my own high school romance–in a good way, swear!

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The plot is not necessarily “action-packed” because, hullo, contemporary romance…BUT. There are a ton of delicious snark fests between our main characters/the rest of the cast. There are also a ton of nerd/geek culture references that I found myself giggling and fawning over. And while the plot isn’t action-filled, it moves along at a decent clip regardless; I read this in a matter of a few hours, NEEDING to know how things worked out for Oliver and Elena.

This was well-worth the read, penguins. The roMESS is adorable and endearing; the read is fast and entertaining; and the characters are bound to steal your heart from your chest and run away with it (I know they did mine!) I recommend this title to lovers of cutesy contemporaries, star-crossed lovers, and the mysteries surrounding small-town family feuds. Put down the Pokemon Go! and pick up this book; this is one Stash Grab you won’t want to miss!

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Blog Tour, Teaser, Giveaway, and Review: Secrets of Artemis

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Secrets_cover.jpgSecrets of Artemis (Teen Goddess #1)
by C.K. Brooke
Genre: YA Romantic Mythology
Release Date: October 29th 2015
Summary from Goodreads:
Not even the god of gods could command my heart not to love…

In Ancient Greece, the goddess Artemis was venerated as a maiden huntress, swift with her bow and arrows, and eternally chaste. But could there be more to her story? Perhaps Lady Artemis had envisioned quite a different destiny than the one her father, Zeus, had chosen for her. What if she hadn’t merely pined after the giant huntsman, Orion, but had secretly partaken of a forbidden romance with him?

From prolific fantasy writer C.K. Brooke comes an original divine novel, in which Artemis’s classic myths are retold as never before, in her own voice, as the young goddess sets the record straight and reveals the true account of her immortal life – and love.

Buy Links:
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About the Author:
C.K. Brooke C.K. Brooke is an Amazon bestselling author of over a dozen romantic fantasy adventure novels and novellas for 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her debut novel, The Duchess Quest, was selected as a Shelf Unbound Notable Indie Book of 2015 and received five stars from Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews & Awards Contest. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. Visit CKBrooke.com and subscribe to her V.I.P. Club receive a FREE eBook download of The Last Empress: A Jordinia Prequel Novella!
Author Links:
GIVEAWAY
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Enter for a free book:

bookreview

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: new and intriguing subject matter for C.K. Brooke!; complex, well-rounded characters; LOVE the mythology; interesting experiment in a different type of writing; this read a bit like a diary; I was SO ANGRY…and then the ending happened, and everything was better

Huge thanks to C.K. Brooke, Elphame Press, and YA Bound Book Tours for sending me a free digital copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

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This was a different sort of read from C.K. Brooke. Of course, this doesn’t mean EVERYTHING was different–the characters, particularly Artemis, were still super snarky, independent, and well-rounded. In fact, I ADORE how strong-willed Artemis is throughout this entire read–she doesn’t bow down to anyone’s wishes, but instead charges full-speed toward what she wants. There are so many awesome moments woven throughout this journey that prove women don’t HAVE to be meek and mild; we can, and should, forge our own paths and create our own rules.

The plot is fast-paced, though a little bit weird in places. I felt like this read more as a “diary” format than as a linear story, though the sequence of events IS in order. There was something a little weird about C.K. Brooke’s writing in this particular book–I’m not sure if she was trying something different, or what, but it felt a bit more stiff than her usual work. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though–it gave this read a more subdued, darker tone and atmosphere, which really worked with the mythologies C.K. Brooke drew inspiration from.

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I will be honest: this book made me SUPER angry. Of course, I wasn’t well-versed in Artemis’s story to begin with, so the things that angered me are probably well-known and unsurprising. Those bits of the story, though… Several times I felt like throwing my Kindle out the window and screaming my heartache to the winds, because goodness, those moments hurt! Just be warned, penguins–I won’t go into TOO many details, because spoilers, but this book is bound to hurt you at least three times. At least.

I am always super impressed with C.K. Brooke’s world-building and character creations, and this title is no exception! While some of the plot points made me angry (because GRRRRR!), the read was filled with new material (for C.K. Brooke in terms of writing, and for me as well in terms of mythologies). I really enjoyed breaking the mold with this read, and recommend to lovers of Greek mythology, strong-willed women, and slightly tragic journeys. Put down your skirts and take a walk through the stars, penguins; with this book, the mountains will feel like home.

Blog Tour Organized by:
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