4

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.

TR Quote1

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?!

TR Quote2.jpg

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.

XBTBanner1

4

Future Shock: Mystery, Mayhem, and Murder

Penguin2.3

Future Shock

Future Shock Book 1
Goodreads Rating: 3.90 Stars
272 Pages
AW Teen Publishing
Publication Date: April 1st, 2016
Get a copy here!

What do you do when the future is too late, and the present is counting down to an inevitable moment?

Elena Martinez has street smarts, the ability for perfect recall, and a deadline: if she doesn’t find a job before she turns eighteen, she’ll be homeless. But then she gets an unexpected offer from Aether Corporation, the powerful Los Angeles tech giant. Along with four other recruits—Adam, Chris, Trent, and Zoe—Elena is being sent on a secret mission to bring back data from the future. All they have to do is get Aether the information they need, and the five of them will be set for life. It’s an offer Elena can’t refuse.

But something goes wrong when the time travelers arrive in the future. And they are forced to break the only rule they were given—not to look into their own fates. Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future—and a murder—from happening. But changing the timeline has deadly consequences too. Who can Elena trust as she fights to save her life?

The first book in an unforgettable series about rewriting your destiny in the city of dreams.

4.25Penguins
Quick Reasons: very small emphasis on the romance–like, hardly at all, though it’s sort of instalove-esque; awesome mystery/thriller; lots of yummy world-building and twisty-turns; great cast of characters and wide array of “relationships” featured; different science to the time-travel lore we all know

I know it took me a while to get to this one, but HUGE thank yous to Elizabeth Briggs, AW Teen Publishing, and Casey at Media Masters Publicity for sending me an ARC copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this title. My selected quotes are from the ARC copy, so my apologies if they are different from or taken out of the finished version!

FS Quote1

First off: the world-building of this book is DELICIOUS. No tiny details are spared; Elizabeth Briggs put a lot of time and effort into making this story, and this world, coherent, seamless, and believable. I LOVE that every detail is thought out, described just enough to foreshadow…but left just open-ended enough to allow readers to be entertained and enthralled throughout. When I hit the 50% mark, I was almost positive I’d already put the pieces together and knew where the plot was headed…and then I read several chapters more, and found myself utterly confused. The mystery of this read is masterfully done, with just enough push and pull to keep even the most avid mystery readers guessing and leaping to red-herring answers.

The sense of “time running out,” particularly near the end, was also an awesome touch. While the characters have 24 hours in the future to figure things out and “solve” the mystery…in reality, that’s not much time at all. I also really liked that in the present-time, only 12 minutes pass. This was, in my opinion, an interesting way to do this–I’d be interested in knowing the why behind this, actually, as it’s not exactly explained (I mean, it’s not that important a detail, so no biggie either way).

FS Quote2

The characters, though… Especially Elena, our main narrator–she immediately tugged at my heartstrings. I LOVE how realistic and human these characters come off; they don’t feel like words on a page, but instead took up their own space in my head while reading. They lived, breathed, and entrenched themselves in my thoughts. Elena’s struggle, in particular, became my struggle–and I loved that about this book.

Like I said earlier, the plot is fast-paced, well considered, and easy to dive into even for the most-novice science fiction readers. You don’t have to know all the technical aspects of this book (because penguins knows I definitely didn’t, going in!) to be sucked into the world and dragged along for the ride. What little you DO need to understand…is explained quickly and thoroughly, though not in an overwhelming or confusing way. It’s obvious Elizabeth Briggs thought this out and strove to make sure that even people who’ve never read sci fi would understand and be entertained by this story.

FS Quote3

I had a ton of fun reading this book and being transported to, for at least a time, a world very different…and yet vaguely similar…to our own. The characters are realistic and endearing, the plot is full of twists and turns, and the journey is bound to enthrall even the most novice sci fi readers. If you love time travel, sassy characters, and well-written red herrings, you should definitely consider picking this book up!

 

10

A Review of The Love that Split the World, by Emily Henry

The Love That Split the World

Goodreads Rating: 4.20 Stars
400 pages
Razorbill Publishing
Get it here!

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

– – – – –

5Penguins
Quick Reasons: strong story-telling; huge nods to oral narratives and origin/creation stories; OMG, the 91% mark!; gut-wrenching, can’t-catch-your-breath, want-to-throw-your-Kindle revelations; huge personality, unique twists, quirky and awesome characters; diverse read

I need to stop listing out reasons above or I’ll never write my review…BUT OH. MAH. GOSH. that 91% mark?! I swear I came much too close to throwing my Kindle at the wall for comfort. When that revelation hit, it felt like the world was yanked out from under me…much how I feel Natalie herself must have felt, honestly. I just… I can’t even. I’m getting goosebumps now, thinking about it!

Also, look at that cover! It’s so freaking gorgeous, and now that I’ve finished the book…I just… it so fits with the story. Like, whoever designed this cover did a fantastic job on it. For one, it’s artwork. For two, when coupled with the story itself… Let me just hang this book on my walls to admire for the rest of forever. Can I? Please?

“I guess I feel like someone forgot to write down my beginning, and I just showed up in the middle of things, in time for this.” I hold my arms up in the sticky night air as if hugging the sky. “And I don’t really get what I’m supposed to do with the present because I can’t see the whole picture.”

I spent like…half an hour, at least, mooing like a dying cow when my husband got home and asked me what was wrong. And to think just yesterday, I was talking to people about how I’m usually a Stone-Cold Heart when it comes to books—they hurt, but not in a “Mahgosh, I’m dying” type way. This book? This book slaughtered me; I apologize if my review is, therefore, not as coherent as it could be. I’m still picking pieces of rainbow soul-shards off the floor where they scattered. Also, future readers: the 91% mark is a killer. You have been warned. Tread carefully.

I think the best thing about this book is that plot-twist. Don’t get me wrong! The characters are great, and the deliciously fluffy romance bits are heart-boiling and sticky-sweet… but that plot twist, man! That plot twist MAKES this book. In fact, the whole premise sheared the edges off this read and took it from “just another time travel cliche” into a whole universe all it’s own. But seriously, guys, I have a question: what IS it about time travel that brings out the heart-crushing, soul-shattering demons in authors? Like…why do you do this to me?! I can’t read more of your beautiful books if I’m ground into fine glitter-dust all over the floor, you know.

I don’t believe in love at first sight but maybe this is as close as it gets: seeing someone, a person you have no business loving, on a football field one night and thinking, I want you to be mine and I want to be yours. Lying on a closet floor with someone and thinking, I shouldn’t know you but I do. Recognizing someone as a part of you before they’ve even become that person in your life, and knowing, without a doubt, that neither of you will ever be who you are in this exact moment ever again and believing, against all odds, you will continue to belong to one another despite that.

The main characters are diverse and wholly their own. There are so many complex, intriguing facets of their personal lives—before and after the big bang, as I’m forever going to know it now—I fell in love with them, separately and together, almost instantly. Theirs is a love worth risking it all for; theirs a chemistry that could melt glaciers and beat out the sun. I mean seriously, these characters are sturdy in themselves…but even better together. I was rooting for them the entire read. I also really enjoyed seeing how the author played with them in the time-travel aspect: while the main two remain wholly unique/their own, the rest of the cast jumped and shifted depending on the time/world, and it was a ton of fun (and sometimes entertaining!) to see the ways people could be different.

The plot is also unique, and interspersed between the action/fast-paced chapters are fragments of oral narratives. I really loved reading these sections, and seeing how the stories came to play later on in the story. The fact that these moments are mostly dialogue, with Grandmother doing most of the talking, really helped to drive home to atmosphere—the sort of “around the campfire, beneath the stars” feel that oral narratives come most to life with. The introduction of these stories brought a new and beautiful aspect to the read.

“And sometimes, we don’t talk about things because we don’t want to be comforted. We don’t want anyone to tell us it wasn’t our fault, or that they forgive us, or that we did the best we could. We want to hold on to that pain because we think that’s what we deserve. We worry that if we let it go, we’re dishonoring it.”

I just… I cannot explain coherently the many ways I ADORE this read. This leaped immediately to the very top of my “all-time favorites” list; I don’t think it’ll be knocked off that pedestal for a long time to come. This is definitely a book I’ll be returning to in the future; it deserves more than one read. I definitely recommend to lovers of oral narratives/creation stories, time-travel, and romances that break all the rules. This book? You need to buy it; love it; cherish it. I know I already do.

0

A Review of Solace, by Therin Knite

24359337

Corina Marion has a father problem—namely that her Red Cross doctor of a dad has finally returned home from sixteen years of war…

…as a body in a box to be buried.

Her mother is devastated, her friends shocked and saddened, her hometown in mourning at the loss of its local hero. And Corina, indifferent to the man she never met, is trapped in the middle of an emotional onslaught she isn’t prepared to handle.

But when a strange old man confronts Corina at her father’s funeral, he offers her an impossible opportunity: the chance to know the late Luther Marion. And in a moment of uncertainty, Corina makes a choice with consequences she can barely fathom.

A choice that sends her twenty-five years into the past.

Right on the cusp of the harrowing events that will shape Luther Marion’s life…and death.

And in order to return to her damaged home, supportive friends, and uncertain future, Corina will have to fight tooth and nail alongside the man she’s resented her entire life. Because if she doesn’t help fix the past she’s inadvertently changed with her presence, Luther Marion may not live long enough to become a hero at all.

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: awesome, Christmas Carol-esque story/plot; characters easy to identify and fall in love with; absolutely gorgeous, breath-taking prose; high action; a deep exploration of the reach of family…and the love that comes with this

HOLY WOW, this book! I just… I can’t…

Be still, my breaking heart!

Honestly, though; I think I’ve forgotten how to words properly. Give me just a minute to collect myself, won’t you? No? Well, you asked for it then.

Therin Knite is a writer I discovered via Tumblr. Yes. When an opportunity came up to read and review, of course I jumped at the chance (many thanks, therefore, to Therin—for this AND future opportunities.) I spent a good five minutes debating which book I wanted to start with—and in the end, chose this one. Why? The cover is gorgeous. The story was intriguing. And because I wanted to. I know, really valid reasons there.

I was expecting a book with a lot of action, a fair amount of character growth (maybe?), and a few unexpected revelations. Suffice to say, I got all of that…and so much more.

This read has a lot of heart. Corina as a character is intelligent, confident in herself and her goals, often times a wise-ass, and, in moments that matter, utterly reckless. For me, who enjoys books with characters that break the rules and go their own ways, she’s absolutely PERFECT. I was hooked from sentence one. I spent most of this read either giggling, or holding my breath with suspense—neither of which is a bad thing.

The exploration of the characters—specifically, their deepest, most secret aspirations and emotions—is hard-hitting and realistic. Weaving Corina’s present with moments from her father’s past, Therin Knite takes readers on a journey of discovery, family ties, and the reach/devestation of war. The prose is beautiful, though at times a bit jarring (there are a lot of simple sentences, and it took a bit of time gettig used to the writing style—a good amount of sentences are split up arbitrarily or unnecessarily into two or three different phrasings.) The plot is well-structured, maintained, and brilliantly executed. The use of the “paranormal” acts almost like a side-dish to this main course; it’s there, it’s maybe a tiny bit unexplained…but it doesn’t really HAVE to be to understand the message of the story. The paranormal aspect is not the most important part of this. The most important part is the heart.

But above all is the emotional reach. This book strips down your walls as you go. While Corina is learning about and experiencing glimpses from the past of a man she grew up loathing, a man she never knew, readers are learning about the characters (and themselves!) at the same time. There’s a sense of connection between the words on the page and the readers’ heart that grips with iron fists and refuses to let go. The pace is quick, and while there are small moments of “quiet” when revelations are being made or deeper connections being forged, these are so beautifully written and woven into the immediate story you won’t notice what’s happening.

Therin Knite is, judging from just this one read, a writer that pours heart and soul into a story, and asks readers for nothing more than an open mind. This story—and the way it impacted me—took me by surprise. Mark this down as one of my newest favorite reads; it’s gorgeous, and I really enjoyed the journey. I highly recommend, especially to those who enjoyed reads like The Book Thief (Marcus Suzak) or The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold). To be fair, though, I think if you go into this with an open mind and a willingness to FEEL, pretty much everyone will be touched by Corina’s journey toward peace—with herself, with the world, and with the father she never got the chance to really know.