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Geekerella: All that’s Missing Are the Mice

bookreview

GeekerellaGeekerella
by Ashley Poston
320 Pages
Quirk Books
Publication Date:  April 4th, 2017
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

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4Penguins
Quick Reasons: yet another CINDERELLA retelling!; I loved the nerdculture/comic con references happening throughout; awesome, entertaining voice; these characters are pretty rocking; LOVELOVELOVE the play on fandom; not so sure how I feel about a few of the relationships here

Huge thanks to Ashley Poston, Quirk Books, and Netgalley for sending me a free digital galley 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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As so often happens when I pick up a CINDERELLA retelling (or ANY retelling, honestly), I found myself swept up in the magic of the story…and yet, somehow, also questioning some of the relationships. Now, don’t get me wrong–I totally understand the whole “wicked stepmother, evil step-siblings” trope. By “understand” I mean I get why it has to exist. But recently, I’ve begun to question the REALITY of such relationships. In this book, for instance: it’s really unclear exactly why the stepmother is so determined to be so cruel to Elle. I get that the stepsister is really just “following by example” in this case, and can therefore wrap my head around her being so unnecessarily snotty. But the stepmom? While we get a bit of an explanation later on in the story, it just… it doesn’t really FIT for me. It doesn’t really make much sense, or explain anything. It’s an excuse, in the end–not a justification or explanation. So I’m not sure how much I believed that particular relationship–it just didn’t seem very realistic.  It felt, in fact, just a little forced to fit the fairy tale trope, in my opinion.

 

That being said, however–these characters shine! The personalities are all individualized; I absolutely adored watching Elle transform and grow from “shy girl who never says no” to “independent, strong young lady.” I also adored all the mini references/nods to the original Cinderella–such as the pumpkin/chariot, which I only JUST now realized and pieced together (oops!)

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The play on fandom and cons was super entertaining for this lover of all things nerdculture, and I so appreciated all the pop culture references laced throughout. It was so great to watch these characters react to and interact with others over their passion–and introduce a few specific special characters to the obsession, as well! I had a TON of fun watching the relationship between Elle and Darien evolve, as well–they’re so sweetly cute and tooth-rotting!

 

Overall, this was an entertaining read FULL of nerdculture/pop culture references. The characters are well-written, though a few of the relationships felt a bit too contrived to fit tropes for my taste. Also…I now wish that Starfield was an actual thing, because it sounds amazeballs. I definitely recommend to my fellow retellings fanatics, lovers of modern-day fairy tales, and other pop culture nerds. Roll up your sleeves and step on the gas, penguins; it’s time the masks came off.

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Blog Tour and Review: Stalker, My Love

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This is my stop during the blog tour for Stalker, My Love by Zack Scott. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 21 May till 10 June. See the tour schedule here.

Stalker, My LoveStalker, My Love
By Zack Scott
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/ Romance
Age category: New Adult, Adult
Release Date: 14 May, 2017

Blurb:
Welcome to Pine Bridge, a small town where secrets are rife, personal is everyone’s business, and passion is high.

With the disappearance of Rosalyn Ray, tensions soar and fingers point in every direction: the lover, the mother, the best friend, and the stalker.

Frustrated by the search going nowhere, Rhett Calloway makes it his mission to discover the truth, find the girl, and win her heart. Some people in Pine Bridge say he’s obsessed. Some say he’s dangerous. Some say he’s hurt Rosalyn. All Rhett knows is he’s loved Rosalyn since they were kids and he’ll do what it takes to see her again.

Stalker, My Love is an untraditional love story where fantasy clashes with reality, and happily ever after seems like an elusive dream. Told through four POVs, the story follows those closest to Rosalyn Ray.

You can find Stalker, My Love on Goodreads

You can buy Stalker, My Love on Amazon

About the Author:
Zack is the author of the zombie apocalypse trilogy, THEIR DEAD LIVES, the horror comedy, ONE PISSED-OFF SHARK, and the untraditional love story, STALKER, MY LOVE. He’s licensed to practice law in the State of California. When he’s not writing, he enjoys baseball, avoiding LA traffic and playing with the dogs.

You can find and contact Zack Scott here:
Website
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon


bookreview

5Penguins
Quick Reasons: I have a LOT of thoughts; this was a unique, one of a kind read; love the cyclical nature of the plot; I had no idea where the story was leading me, and I ADORED that; the bright, vibrant cover only emphasized the chaos within the pages

Huge thanks to Zack Scott and Lola’s Blog Tours for sending me a free digital galley 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….have a LOT of thoughts about this book, penguins. Like, I finished this read last night and just sat here staring at my computer, my mind racing. I had to wait until this morning to be able to coherently put into words what I was feeling–and I’m STILL, even now, not sure I can manage. So be warned: I might, at any given time, become a blubbering mess of chaos. Bear with me, please–I’ll do my best to explain in a way your beaks might be able to handle.

So let’s start with the easy: this is, in my mind, EXACTLY how a mystery should be written. From the very first page, I was suspicious of EVERYONE. Nobody was safe from that part of my brain that likes to jump to conclusions and see secrets hiding in the shadows. The fact that we were given a look into multiple POVs only helped to make everyone shady. Zack Scott KNOWS how to write an excellent mystery, and he drew upon foreshadowing and vague word choices to, at some point or another, cast every character in a villainous light. I literally went from thinking such and such character had done it one page…to totally flip-flopping the next, and I absolutely ADORED the chaos. It made this so much more fun, knowing I had absolutely zero clue who I was supposed to be suspecting. It also made it feel much more authentic, for me.

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These characters are vibrantly written in regards to their personalities, though I honestly felt I couldn’t really *see* them. I feel, thinking about it this morning, that that might have been part of Zack Scott’s plan. While their personalities leaped off the pages, we weren’t given much to go on about them physically–we got small glimpses of their clothes, the way they stood, how they reacted to stress…but we’re never really outright told what they look like. This, in hindsight, allowed me to imagine them as ANYONE–and probably helped, in some instances, to confuse and mislead me, because hello, stereotyping and preconceived judgments. So the fact I couldn’t see the characters? NOT a bad thing in this instance–it actually helped to make this read more confusing and chaotic!

I just… I had a ton of fun stepping into this twisted, intriguing mystery, and cannot WAIT to see what Zack Scott does in the future! The plot was confusing enough that I followed red herrings several times, and I adore that I had pretty much no clue who to suspect through the journey (a rarity for me, to be honest!) The characters were vibrantly written, though also vague enough to bring a different sort of chaos to the read. Overall, I LOVED how one-of-a-kind this read was! I definitely, DEFINITELY recommend to lovers of mysteries, who-dun-its, and suspiciously shady characters. Follow the clues, penguins, and see if YOU can figure it out before the big reveal–it’s not as easy as you’d think!


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Book Tour, Giveaway, and Review: It Had to Be You

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It Had to Be YouIt Had to Be You
by Lizzy Charles
YA / Contemporary / Romance
184 Pages
Entangled Teen: Crush
Publication Date:  May 15th, 2017
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

 James Parson has a problem. His military dad is going to yank him out of his expensive boarding school if James doesn’t prove he’s no longer hooking up, pulling pranks, and charming his way out of consequences. What better way to show he’s now responsible than becoming the committed boyfriend of a U.S. diplomat’s daughter?

Level-headed, book-smart Edelweiss may have traveled the world thanks to her dad’s job, but when it comes to friends and boys, she knows exactly nothing. Newly enrolled in boarding school, Edel is now on a mission to learn it all. James says he’ll help her experience the ultimate high school life—if she’ll be his fake girlfriend. And fake is perfect, because he’s exactly the kind of player she’d never date.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains red-hot romance, all the feels, and a soul-mate bad boy.

About the Author:

Processed with VSCO with q4 preset When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.

Giveaway Details:

* Prize 1- $25 H&M Giftcard
* Prize 2- $25 H&M Giftcard

Open to US or International (if no H&M near them if international, they will receive a $25 amazon card)

CLICK RIGHT HERE to go to the giveaway!


bookreview

4PenguinsQuick Reasons: super cute, endearing romance; absolutely love the “fake to real” relationship trope; not sure I buy that they “love” each other after such a short amount of time, but I’m willing to overlook this; Edel’s character arc is well-rounded and entertaining

Huge thanks to Lizzy Charles, Entangled Teen Crush, Chapter by Chapter Book Tours, and Netgalley for sending me a free digital galley 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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There’s just something about contemporaries that, recently, have me falling head over feet to get through. I don’t know if it’s that I can “turn off my brain” and just enjoy the journey, or something else entirely…either way, contemporaries have been calling my name a LOT lately. It’s a good thing I’ve got a ton of them on standby for such occasions, I suppose?

 

Regardless–this was SUCH a cute, entertaining contemporary. I sat down expecting it to be just like all the rest…and instead found myself sucked straight into the story. There’s something adorable about Edel that I couldn’t look past, and something searingly steamy about the “fake to real” relationship.

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The character arcs are also entertaining and enlightening. I really enjoyed that we got front seats to both James’ and Edels’ changes over the course of just a few short months. Many of the side characters also step into their own, and I loved seeing how they each brought something new and unique to the table. Learning the intricacies of familial relationships–the the rules of boarding school–right next to Edel was a great way to bridge the gap between characters and readers, in my opinion. The fact we got to watch her interact with and react to the varying situations that crop up only helped to more vibrantly paint her across the page. This was, in fact, true of all the characters; due to this, they all were bright sparks of personality woven into the pages.

 

In the end, I had a ton of fun (as I usually do!) stepping out of the chaos of my own life and into the chaos of someone else’s for a little while. Lizzy Charles wrote these characters with intricate, vibrant personalities–and made me care for each of them as individuals. The plot, while not inundated with action, was fast-paced and entertaining all the same, and I cannot wait to pick up another Lizzy Charles novel in the future! I definitely recommend this to lovers of boarding school settings, bad boys struggling to change, and “fake to real” relationships. Care to redefine relationships? Pick up this book!

 

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Blog Tour, Teasers, Giveaway, and Review: The Upside of Regret

TheUpsideOfRegretTour

The Upside of RegretThe Upside of Regret
(Aimless Perfection #1)
by T.K. Rapp
YA / Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date:  May 17th, 2017
Get a copy right here!

BLURB:

 Brighton and Leah have been the best of friends since seventh grade. Where Brighton is the quiet one who is focused on school, Leah is the bold and daring one who craves the adoration of an audience. It’s always worked for them, until now.

Heading into their senior year, Brighton is challenged with an opportunity that can change the course of her future. The only problem? She just might have to step out of her best friend’s shadow.

But when Leah doesn’t support the choices she makes, Brighton is forced to reevaluate what true friendship is.

Brighton is changing and exciting doors are opening. A new world of music, friends, and even love are falling at her feet. But it’s hard to enjoy it when Leah’s life is spiraling out of control.

Now Brighton must try to not only save her friendship, but also her friend, before it’s too late.

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TUoR-1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

T.K. RappTK Rapp is an author living in Houston, Texas with her husband and two daughters.

Prior to writing, she spent over ten years as a photographer and photo editor, specializing in wedding album design. She left photography to pursue her dream of writing a story and it was in 2013, she self-published her first novel, Being There. It was a standalone story about long-lost friends finding each other. She has since written both contemporary and young adult novels.

Rapp grew up in Texas, but has lived in California, South Carolina, and Virginia, all of which serve as inspiration for her writing. With several more works in queue, she doesn’t anticipate stepping away from the computer anytime soon, especially since she makes friends with all of her characters.

Goodreads | Twitter | Website

TUoR-2

Giveaway Details:

· Prize #1 – $10 Amazon Gift Card
· Prize #2 – Ebook copy of TUoR
· Prize #3 – Signed Paperback copy – mailed out when the paperbacks are available. US Only (Should be soon after release date.)

 

CLICK HERE to go to the giveaway!


bookreview

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: cutesy contemporary with some heavy-handed subject matter; Brighton’s character ARC is so gorgeous and inspiring; I fell in love with these characters, and they smothered me with their vibrantly written personalities; I was NOT expecting that bombshell to drop

Huge thanks to T.K. Rapp and Chapter by Chapter Book Tours for sending me a free galley 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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First things first: the biggest reason I picked up this book? THAT COOOOVER. Just look at it, penguins–LOOK AT IT! I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty simple…but that blue with the red? The way it’s sort of split down the middle, a sort of warning that the read is a bit like fire and ice? The fact it’s a treble clef?! I just adore everything about this cover, and how it lends itself to the read ahead. I’m not ashamed to admit I drooled over it, penguins. I drooled over it HARD.

And these characters are sort of the personification of the idea behind “fire and ice,” when it boils down to it. Brighton and Leah are best friends…and are written so, so gorgeously. I could tell, almost immediately, that while they’re so super close, they’ve sort of fallen off the friendship path and into something closer to uncomfortable. I’d even go so far as to say that the plot and their interactions lend to this theory–where one is burning, the other is frozen. It’s actually brilliantly and subtly done, and looking back on it now, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it while reading.

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There are some heavy, mature subjects touched on throughout. Alongside things like personal growth, friendship, and relationships are things like molestation, rape, and underage drinking. T.K. Rapp approached these heavier topics with sensitivity and poise, while still leaving them prominent enough for readers to ponder on and think about.

This was an entertaining, if heart-wrenching, journey, and I cannot wait to pick up another T.K. Rapp novel in the future! The characters are vibrant and personify the “fire and ice” idea brilliantly; the plot is fast-paced and filled with gut-churning moments. I definitely recommend this to lovers of contemporary reads, personal growth, and mature subjects handled with sensitivity. Step into this book, penguins; don’t let it be something you regret missing out on!

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Groupie

 

Groupie
(Rock-Hard Beautiful, #1)

by C.M. Stunich
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

“Can one of these five rockstars fill the hole in my heart? Or will I stay broken forever?”

Young, dumb, and broke.

That’s what started everything. With five dollars in her pocket, and everything she owns stuffed in the back of her car, Lilith Goode’s life is over. Done. Destroyed.

Ten words. One text. That’s what it took to change the whole world.

A crumpled concert ticket. A chance encounter. That’s what it takes to start all over again.

Five rockstars. One girl. Six dark hearts, six withered souls.

But can one broken person really put another back together again?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

C.M. Stunich is a self-admitted bibliophile with a love for exotic teas and a whole host of characters who live full time inside the strange, swirling vortex of her thoughts. Some folks might call this crazy, but Caitlin Morgan doesn’t mind – especially considering she has to write biographies in the third person. Oh, and half the host of characters in her head are searing hot bad boys with dirty mouths and skillful hands

(among other things). If being crazy means hanging out with them everyday, C.M. has decided to have herself committed.

She hates tapioca pudding, loves to binge on cheesy horror movies, and is a slave to many cats. When she’s not vacuuming fur off of her couch, C.M. can be found with her nose buried in a book or her eyes glued to a computer screen. She’s the author of over thirty novels – romance, new adult, fantasy, and young adult included. Please, come and join her inside her crazy. There’s a heck of a lot to do there.

Oh, and Caitlin loves to chat (incessantly), so feel free to e-mail her, send her a Facebook message, or put up smoke signals. She’s already looking forward to it.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: this made my penguin heart go all aflutter; I love how unique and vibrantly written each character is; you can see their personalities through their reactions/interactions; the drama is hugely satisfying and entertaining; STEAMY, STEAMY, STEAMY!

Huge thanks to C.M. Stunich, Sarian Royal, and Xpresso Book Toursfor 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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I can hear all you penguins roaring in outrage right about now. “BETH!” you all scream loudly, “what is UP with your taste in books lately?! It’s all love and music and diverse relationships! Why!?!?!” …Okay, okay, so maybe that’s not your actual reaction. Honestly, I’m sure most of you don’t even care what I read, within reason–so long as I don’t force YOU to read it if you don’t want to. But, see, someone recently DID ask me something close to this question, and I wanted to take a moment to address it. I, your Princess Penguin royal extraordinaire, am all about the butterflies! I know, I know…penguins and butterflies?! Not something you hear about often–I mean, penguins chase butterflies to EAT THEM, right?! But seriously, this book? These characters? Huge case of satisfying, delicious butterflies–with a heavy dose of grief and pain on the side. That’s right, penguins; I have found a new reading niche I adore and enjoy, and I’m not giving it up anytime soon…so expect to see many more such books on this blog.

That being said, let’s move on. There’s this sense of… “wrong” that Lilith, throughout, feels about what’s happening between her and the guys. I want to address this first and foremost, because while she does in the end come to terms with feeling “judged” by others… I don’t understand why the judging was happening to begin with. Sure, this relationship? is not one we see in today’s world often. But I think this is more due to the way we, as humans, so often leap to “judgement” than to “acceptance.” So let me just say this: this book? Is probably not for a lot of readers. But you should at least try to keep yourself from judging something you don’t understand, because how else are we ever going to learn about others’ otherwise?

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I went into this book expecting something not quite as steamy as what I actually found. Honestly, going into this book, I was NOT expecting what I got–though what I got was wonderful and exciting and pure literary gold, in my opinion. This is what happens when your Princess conveniently always forgets to read the blurb for books before picking them up–because who needs to know what’s going to happen!?! GO IN BLIND for the win! And this was a win, penguins–the characters are so vibrantly written, they painted themselves on the backs of my eyelids. The darkness in each of them only helped to mold and shape them even further in my mind’s eye; I could practically SMELL each of their shampoos, they felt so real to me. And the love! The love was glorious and delicious and butterfly-inducing. Each personality brings something unique and different to the forefront, and I adored learning about these characters and watching their journey play out.

I cannot WAIT to lay hands on the second book in this series! C.M. Stunich brought these characters, and their love, to life for me within these pages, and I will definitely be picking up more of her novels in the future. This love is endearing, STEAMY, and beautiful; the characters are vibrant, loud, and clashing in exactly the right ways. I recommend this to lovers of “different” relationships; contemporary romances; and soulful rock bands. Open your heart and let an attachment form, penguins; the guitar riff is to swoon for with this one!

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review — Time Weaver: Heart of Cogs

 

Time Weaver: Heart of Cogs
(Time Collector #1)

by Jacinta Maree
Publication date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Steampunk, Supernatural, Young Adult

I have a clock for a heart…and the man who put it there tried to take it out.

Time Collectors are modern day genies capable of exchanging wishes for time. Elizabeth Wicker lives within a steampunk world riddled with the supernatural. Among the stories of witches, Bacts, and other monsters, Time Collectors remain as the greatest hushed secret among the noble families. They are temptation’s greatest tools. A contract with a Time Collector is a guaranteed death sentence, and for some the price isn’t worth the prize. But when Elizabeth is struck down by a fatal heart attack, she finds herself trapped beneath a Time Collector’s blade. With no time left to offer, she makes a desperate sacrifice for a second chance at life. If there’s only one truth, it is a Time Collector will always come back to collect.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

 

Author Bio:

Born in Melbourne Australia, Jacinta Maree considers herself a chocoholic with an obsession with dragons and Japan. Published in 2012 to USA publisher Staccato Publishing, Jacinta writes a variety of genres from YA paranormal, steampunk, horror and fantasy. Winner of 2014 Horror of the year and best selling author, Jacinta writes to answer all of her absurd questions and to explore themes and characters not often seen in main media.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

4.25Penguins
Quick Reasons: welcome me back to steampunk!; awesome, thrilling adventure; these characters are complex and astoundingly vibrant; Elizabeth has a bit of the “special snowflake” happening, but I didn’t care; fun, whimsical, dark read akin to The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart

Huge thanks to Jacinta Maree, Ragnarok Publishing, and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me a free digital galley 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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Steampunk, my love, I have missed you SO! I am so happy that you can overlook my unavoidable on the side relationships with other genres and accept me so quickly back into your life; I don’t know what I would do without you. Although I don’t seek you out very often, I want you to know that you still remain my FAVORITE genre…and it’s for this reason that I only read you once every few months. Don’t tell the others–I need to keep them in my world so I always know just how much better you are!

Okay, I know that might be going a LITTLE too far–don’t get me wrong, I love all the other genres I read equally. But steampunk… there’s just something special about steampunk that I cannot, for the life of me, bring myself to examine too closely or ruin by reading too much of it. I cannot risk going down the path of no return only to realize that the magic fades…which is why, while I ADORE steampunk so much every time I pick it up, I often go months between readings of the genre. The return is always SO much sweeter than I expect it to be, which is exactly the case with this title!

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These characters are well-rounded and so vibrantly written, I found myself living in their heads for the duration of the journey. Elizabeth almost immediately called to me–I mean, aside from the fact we share a name, there’s an edge to her that I wasn’t expecting going into this read. She is not as soft as you’re initially led to believe; she has spunk, and intellect, and knows how to fight for herself and her loved ones with aplomb. I admired her strength throughout this journey–especially in those moments when I might have otherwise simply given up. The rest of the cast are just as endearing and, in most instances, wholly redeemable.

The plot is fast-paced and enthralling. I found myself whisked away to another world and plopped down in the middle of the excitement. There’s a bit of a nod to The Boy with the Cuckoo Clock Heart, though this novel is a lot less whimsical and a whole lot darker. The world-building is so well-done, I didn’t find myself questioning anything or becoming confused. Jacinta Maree did an amazingly beautiful job of putting me into the heart (clock though it might be!) of this story, and I cannot WAIT to see what happens in the coming installments!

I definitely recommend this to lovers of steampunk, stories with a focus on time, and entertainingly stubborn characters! Jacinta Maree stuck me straight into the story and ensnared me there between the tocking hands with her vibrant personalities, fast-paced plot, and beautiful world-building. My heart ticks with steampunk, penguins; maybe you should take a chance to find out why with this gorgeous read!

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Book Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Other Breakable Things

OBTTour

 

Other Breakable ThingsOther Breakable Things
by Kelley York and Rowan Altwood
YA/Contemporary/Romance
290 Pages
Entangled:  Teen
Published April 4th, 2017

According to Japanese legend, folding a thousand paper cranes will grant you healing.

Evelyn Abel will fold two thousand if it will bring Luc back to her.

Luc Argent has always been intimately acquainted with death. After a car crash got him a second chance at life—via someone else’s transplanted heart—he tried to embrace it. He truly did. But he always knew death could be right around the corner again.

And now it is.

Sick of hospitals and tired of transplants, Luc is ready to let his failing heart give out, ready to give up. A road trip to Oregon—where death with dignity is legal—is his answer. But along for the ride is his best friend, Evelyn.

And she’s not giving up so easily.

A thousand miles, a handful of roadside attractions, and one life-altering kiss later, Evelyn’s fallen, and Luc’s heart is full. But is it enough to save him? Evelyn’s betting her heart, her life, that it can be.

Right down to the thousandth paper crane.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing

AUTHOR INFO:

Kelley York

Kelley York

Kelley York and Rowan Altwood are a wife and wife writing team living in central California with their daughter and way too many cats.

Kelley is the author of Hushed, Made of Stars, and Modern Monsters ;

Other Breakable Things is Rowan’s debut.

Website

Kelley York Twitter | Rowan Altwood Twitter
Kelley York Goodreads | Rowan Altwood Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

Other Breakable Things Prize Pack:
Signed copy of Modern Monsters by Kelley York and an origami crane kit (US)
OR
eBook of Modern Monsters by Kelley York + a $25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

Go to the giveaway RIGHT HERE!


bookreview

5Penguins
Quick Reasons: LIFE. RUINER.; this book HURT…and it hurt so good; this book left me in pieces; endearing, believable characters; such a strong, poignant, beautiful love; powerful look into life–and, flip-side of the coin, death; loveloveloved everything about this read

Huge thanks to Kelley York and Rowan Altwood; Entangled: Teen; Netgalley; and Chapter by Chapter Book Tours for sending me a free digital galley 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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Now, penguins–I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’ve read my fair share of chronic illness books in the recent past. Most of them dealing with heart transplants and heart failures. Why these books call to me, I can’t say–usually I don’t even realize that’s what they’re about until I pick up the book and start reading, because you all know I’m TERRIBLE about actually reading a book’s blurb before diving in. Case in point: for this book? I dove in because of the paper crane on the cover. Talk about basing my life on a snap judgement, right?! But I am so, so glad that I did–because this book? Absolutely BROKE me (which, I mean, I guess I say a lot…but it’s TRUUUE, okay?! Cross my penguin toes and hope I never lose my pebbles!)

Seriously, maybe I’m just a hormonal penguin right now, but this book really touched me. I’m not sure if maybe it’s because the ending wasn’t quite as trite/cliched as I expected it to be (there was no “consolation prize baby,” which YAY I’m happy about because seriously don’t do that). I loved every moment of the journey, as painful as I knew it would be in the end–and it was PAINFUL, penguins. This book is full-throttle, a race to the end, not because it’s filled with action…but because we go into this read knowing it’s a race against the clock. And that was heartbreaking, and beautiful, and so sensitively handled. There are, granted, some very mature themes and subjects explored–some of the ideas might be a bit heavy for certain readers.

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Kelley York and Rowan Altwood took my heart out of my hands and SHATTERED it–several times over. These characters are believable, endearing, and so adorable together I cannot even. I was rooting for them before I knew there was even anything there to root for, which is saying something. The romance is slow-kindling, but explosive once the spark hits–the best kind in books like this, I think. We were able to “see” the characters, and how they changed one another. I just honestly… so much about this book is beautiful, words fail me right now.

To sum it up… this book broke me, and it broke me hard, but it was so so worth the fall. I’ll just be over here trying to glue the tiny pieces of myself back together for now, okay? The characters are adorable; the subject is handled with sensitivity and tact; the whole read is gorgeous. I definitely recommend to lovers of contemporaries, heartbreaking reads, and life-changing journeys. I cannot wait to see what Rowan Altwood and Kelley York do next! Take a trip with me, penguins; you might learn something about yourself in the process.

In Collaboration With:

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2

Wounded Dance: Seriously, Blitz is the Absolute ADORBS

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Wounded Dance by Deanna Roy

For four years, I’ve had a terrible, wonderful, beautiful secret.

But now it’s out.

My brief brush with fame caught the attention of a boy I once loved. He was ripped from my life at a tender age by my father, who moved us and hid me away so that we could not meet again.

Only after he was gone did I learn I was pregnant with his child.

He’s spent years trying to find me.

And now he’s at Dreamcatcher Dance Academy.

He’s going to find our baby, he says. The adoption wasn’t legal since he didn’t know.

He has no idea how close our little girl really is. That I secretly teach her ballet.

He can’t know how important it is that I keep the secret.

But when your boyfriend is Blitz Craven, the reality TV dance show star, the press follows you everywhere.

And no matter how much Blitz wants to protect me from my old love, from the threat he poses to our happy life, there’s one fact I have to face.

My past has caught up with me.

Wounded Dance is book two of the Lovers Dance series. Each book is full length and stands alone, but should be read in series order to avoid spoilers.

Lovers Dance #2
New Adult / Romance / Contemporary
260 Pages
Casey Shay Press
Publication Date:  April 11th, 2017
Get a copy here!

Rating: 4.25/5 Penguins
Quick Reasons: okay, WOW; the mystery, resolved!; I just cannot EVEN with her family at this point; LOVELOVELOVE the love!; awesome, emotionally-challenging, journey; there is so much growth happening here; can we talk about how perfect and strong and ADORABLE Blitz is?!

HUGE thanks to Deanna Roy and Casey Shay Press for sending me a free digital galley 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. If you read my review for Forbidden Dance (and if you haven’t, you just have to click right there on that linky!), you’ll know that at the end of the first book, I was wholly in love with these characters…but also still searching for some answers. Because book one? Leaves out some VERY big plot points, and I was confused, and I NEEDED to know the story. I needed it SO badly. So when I was offered the chance to (maybe?) find out some of these answers, you can bet your button beak I jumped at the chance. Literally. If this book wasn’t being offered to me already, I might have been brought up on charges for stealing. (Okay, okay. Maybe I was not quite THAT desperate…but I was pretty desperate!)

This sequel in no way let me down, let me tell you. The characters, once again, came to life and breathed themselves into my veins. We start off at the beginning like bullets, hurtled out of the comfort zone we’d let ourselves fall into and straight into chaos–exactly like, I imagine, Livia felt when she walked out of that building and saw the past standing before her. Because that’s the way life works, isn’t it? It takes us by surprise. It gives us no warning. And I can tell you, I for one was NOT ready for the answers I’d been so desperate to find out at the closing of book one, just a few mere pages prior. Because the answers, like life, are messy, and a bit jarring, and uncomfortable. I was thrust into this place of discomfit and weirdness…and suddenly, understood Livia–and, in a disturbing way, her family’s–life prior to Blitz much more clearly.

 

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This story is challenging, in that it makes readers step outside themselves and consider things they might not otherwise think about. The ways our lives are woven between and interact with others’…it’s a complex and perplexing subject to explore, and Deanna Roy, I believe, did a beautiful job of this. The characters are as vibrant and snarky and endearing as they were in book one. The addition of the past, while he in the end turns out to be just as reckless and lost as we’re told…he’s just as human, and redeemable in his own ways. There are subjects here that, I feel, should be talked about more in our world, because they are important. Deanna Roy did a lovely job of at least opening the dialogue, and forcing readers to step outside of themselves for a moment.

I am so, so happy I was given the chance to see where book two leads these characters…and am now desperate for the next book in the series! The characters are realistic; the subjects broached are important and emotionally-challenging. I recommend this to readers of contemporaries, lovers of dance romances, and those seeking a book that forces them to step outside of themselves. Strap on your pointe shoes and step up to the bar, penguins; the music is just the beginning.

6

Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Duels and Deception

 

Duels and Deception
by Cindy Anstey
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 11th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult

Miss Lydia Whitfield, heiress to the family fortune, has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father’s choosing, and then she will spend the rest of her days as a devoted wife. Confident in those arrangements, Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Mr. Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan.

Until Lydia—and Robert along with her—is kidnapped. Someone is after her fortune and won’t hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. With Robert’s help, Lydia strives to keep her family’s good name intact and expose whoever is behind the devious plot. But as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder whether her carefully planned future is in fact what she truly wants…

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.

She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.

Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester. Love, Lies and Spies is her debut novel.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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4.25Penguins
Quick Reasons: entertaining, beautifully written historical fiction; absolutely adore Lydia; realistic, delicious romance; a subtle hint of mystery and intrigue; Lydia’s shift from “not a romantic” to “fully in love” is believable and well-done; oh my penguins, THE SNARK

Huge thanks to Cindy Anstey, Swoon Reads, Netgalley, and Xpresso Book Tours for granting me free access to a 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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Holy penguins, is Lydia QUITE the character! I fell in love with her pretty quickly, honestly–her snark and personality are loud and vibrantly painted and she drew me in like a fine work of art. I kept trying to burrow my way into her heart, to better see and feel the world from her point of view. In fact, I’d say she’s one of my favorite characters of recent reads–the fact that she’s so super snarky and to the point only helped to cement her place in my list of favorite personalities. She’s blunt, she goes after what she wants (for the most part), and she doesn’t let society denote what she does with her life or her time. I mean seriously, she’s a role model–and her story in this read? Only helped to strengthen the message that you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to, so long as you don’t let the rest of the world get in your way.

The relationship with Robert– ahem, Mr. Newton –started out a bit awkwardly and stilted. In the end, though, it was believably written and so, so endearing. Robert was written to perfectly match Lydia in wit and intellect–and helped prove that real romance and passion do exist in the world. The fact that they start off a little rocky, and each hiding their feelings for the other because of convention or rules– only to finally drop the act –was realistic, though a bit frustrating at times for me (I just wanted to shake some sense into their hearts, that’s all!)

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The slight, subtle use of mystery and intrigue helped to pull me more thoroughly into this read, and I really enjoyed that we got the story from both perspectives. I find what I miss most in books like this– such as Pride and Prejudice –is that we weren’t given a glimpse into the OTHER side of the story. This book took the guessing and the mystery away by giving us access to Mr. Newton’s thoughts and emotions, which I really appreciated. This helped to make him less a “bystander” in the action of his life, but have a more concrete and tangible role in the story.

This was such a snarky, personality-filled, entertaining read, and I’m even more excited now to pick up more of Cindy Anstey in the future! Lydia’s vibrant, strong-willed character and Robert’s passionate intellect made for a positively wonderful match. The action of the plot, mixed with the subtle mystery, helped to keep me enthralled throughout. I definitely recommend this to lovers of historical fiction, vividly-painted characters, and subtle societal statements. This read enchanted me, penguins; maybe you should take a taste of the magic, too.

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0

Definitions of Indefinable Things: Realistically Written, Surprisingly Entertaining

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Definitions of Indefinable Things

This heartbreaking, humorous novel is about three teens whose lives intersect in ways they never expected.

Reggie Mason is all too familiar with “the Three Stages of Depression.” She believes she’s unlocked the secret to keeping herself safe: Nobody can hurt you if you never let them in.

Reggie encounters an unexpected challenge to her misanthropy: a Twizzler-chomping, indie film-making narcissist named Snake. Snake’s presence, while reassuring, is not exactly stable—especially since his ex-girlfriend is seven months pregnant. As Reggie falls for Snake, she must decide whether it’s time to rewrite the rules that have defined her.

 

4.25Penguins

Quick Reasons: life changer; this tackles some important, heavy subjects…and does so with sensitivity and tact; don’t expect a miracle cure, penguins; this paints mental health in a realistic, complex, true-to-life way; these characters are just…GAH

Huge thanks to Whitney Taylor, HMH Books for Young Readers, and Netgalley for providing me with early access to a free digital galley 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’m going to be honest, penguins. This book is messy. The characters are struggling with some very heavy burdens…and Whitney Taylor doesn’t once mince her words, or sugar-coat the emotions. From page one, you will be taken on a whirlwind ride of snark, angst, and depression. There is no miracle cure waiting at the end–even at the end, these characters are hurting, and they know it. They acknowledge their invisible struggles in every word, in every action, in every single moment–and you’ll be forced to step outside yourself and live their pain with every flip of the page. This book does not offer an easy solution, a cure, or an answer–because honestly, in reality, there isn’t always one.

 

This is, instead, a small glimpse into the ways depression wreaks havoc on an individual–and their loved ones. Whitney Taylor took a very heavy subject and approached it with sensitivity and tact. The characters are realistic and beautiful and flawed and struggling–and I so, so appreciated that in this read. While this was a difficult journey for me, as it forced me to step outside myself and back into a darker state of mind… I also appreciated the way Whitney Taylor approached this journey. I also ADORED how much snark and angst followed these characters throughout the read–their interactions with and reactions to each other/the world were undeniably some of my favorite moments.

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While there is a bit of a love triangle and there are some pretty lofty mistakes made…this book is unarguably REAL. The morals imparted? The messages explored and spelled out? Only helped to cement this in my mind as one of the best, most emotionally-challenging reads of the year so far. This is the sort of book that makes readers think, and leaves them changed–I know, for sure, that it’s changed me.

 

I just… this book is important, penguins. Whitney Taylor handled this journey with tact and sensitivity. The characters are snarky, adorable…and battling some dark demons. There is no miracle cure waiting at the end–and I adored that about this, because it’s so realistic and true-to-life. I’d recommend this to lovers of contemporaries with heavy subjects, honest implications, and journeys bound to change you. If you had to define indefinable things, what would be on YOUR list?