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Book Blitz, Excerpt, and Giveaway: I Stop Somewhere

 

I Stop Somewhere

by T.E. Carter

Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction

Release Date: February 27th 2018

Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)


Summary from Goodreads:


THE LOVELY

BONES meets ALL THE RAGE in a searing, heartbreaking contemporary story of a lost teenager, and the town she leaves behind.

Ellie Frias disappeared long before she vanished.

Tormented throughout middle school, Ellie begins her freshman year with a new look: she doesn’t need to be popular; she just needs to blend in with the wallpaper.

But then the unthinkable happens and Ellie is trapped after a brutal assault. She wasn’t the first victim and now she watches it happen again and again. She tries to hold on to her happier memories in order to get past the cold days, waiting for someone to find her.

The problem is, no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.

TE Carter’s stirring and visceral debut not only discusses and dismantles rape culture but also makes you slow down and think about what it is to be human.  

 

Pre-Order your copy HERE!

 

 

Excerpt:

It was three days into school and my locker was stuck. I figured I had the combination wrong and tried again, but it wouldn’t open. The late August day was too warm and sweat was spilling down my new shirt. The school didn’t want to spring for air conditioning, so we finished the day with our clothes stuck to us.

“Having trouble?” He leaned against my locker with all the confidence in the world. I’d seen him a few times. We weren’t in classes together, but he’d smiled at me every day because his math class was across the hall from mine. On the first day, he’d winked at me. On the second day, he’d commented on my shirt. It was self-deprecating – a shirt that mocked my introversion by claiming reading the shirt was enough social interaction for a day. We’d run into each other in the hall between classes and he’d laughed at it. And said I was too cute to be antisocial.

And now he stood at my locker, smiling at me while I tried to get it open.

“My locker’s stuck,” I told him. It was obvious since I was pulling on it, but I told him anyway.

“You’re new here.” A statement, not a question.

“Sort of. I mean, I’ve lived here forever. But here, yeah. I went to St. Elizabeth’s.”

He pushed me to the side. “Cool. I’m Caleb.” Punching the bottom right of the metal door, he simultaneously spun the dial into place. It opened on the first try. “Sometimes you gotta rough ‘em up a bit. They’re tricky like that.”

“Ellie. I mean, you didn’t ask, but I’m Ellie.”

He leaned back against the locker beside mine while I found my books. Three days and I already had a bag full of homework.

“Nice to officially meet you, Ellie. Elusive girl from the hallway.”

“I’m not elusive. That’s where my class is,” I said.

He laughed as if I was the most hilarious person he’d ever met. “Yeah. So, Miss Not Elusive, what’re you doing now?”

He wasn’t exactly attractive. There was something wrong about the way he moved, the way he smiled. Everything about Caleb was off somehow. He was tall, but he walked like he’d woken that morning into his tallness and now he couldn’t figure out how to get his body to work the same way.

There was also the way he smiled. It was cute, but it had this way about it. Like he’d learned about smiling from a textbook. The idea of smiling came through, but it seemed like he just followed the directions rather than actually smiled.

“I… um, nothing really. I have to read.”

We had a test Monday on summer reading, which I’d put off all summer to work on reinvention.

“What’re you reading?” He took my bag from me and rummaged through it. “Great Expectations? They’re still teaching this crap, huh?”

“Aren’t you, like, a junior?”

“Yeah. How’d you guess?”

I hadn’t had to guess. It had been three days, but everyone knew Caleb and his older brother, Noah; you didn’t need friends to know who they were. They walked through the school like the only people who’d ever mattered. It was probably true. 

 

About the Author

TE Carter was born in New England and has lived in New England for pretty much her entire life. Throughout her career, she’s done a lot of things, although her passion has always been writing. When she’s not writing, she can generally be found reading classic literature, obsessing over Game of Thrones (she’s one hundred percent Team Lannister), playing Xbox, organizing her comic collection, or binge watching baking competitions. She continues to live in New England with her husband and their two cats.

 

 

Author Links:

    

 

 


GIVEAWAY:

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Blog Tour, Teasers, Giveaway, and Review: One Broken Day

One Broken day tour banner
One-Broken-Day-coverOne Broken Day
by Melissa MacVicar
324 Pages
YA / Contemporary
Get a copy here!
BLURB:
After a notorious school shooting leaves her a shadow of the girl she once was, seventeen-year-old Lizzie Beringer moves to Nantucket Island. There, Lizzie is determined to keep her identity as the shooter’s sister a secret. All her efforts to fly under the radar, however, are complicated by her PTSD and her treatment at the hands of two very different boys. While fending off the unwanted advances of John Wickersham, she must also deal with her growing feelings for her brooding lab partner Gage Pike. Gage may act like he’s all wrong for her but the pull between them is undeniable.

Under the threat of discovery and the possibility of testifying in a televised trial, Lizzie attempts to pick up the broken pieces of her life.

One Broken Day is a brilliantly imagined story about the ways we are all broken and the miracle of second chances.

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Teaser # 1 One Broken Day LaineyTeaser #2 MacVicar One Broken Day
About the Author:
MacVicar Author Photo Melissa was born and mostly raised on Nantucket Island, and she currently lives there with her husband and two teenage children. When not being a wife and mother and teaching writing to seventh graders, she enjoys binge watching shows like Big Little Lies, House of Cards, and Outlander.

Despite the rumors to the contrary, she does not actually wish she was a teenager again, nor does she see ghosts like the main character in her first novel, Ever Near. She does, however, love to hear from readers so send her a message on social media or at her email!

email: melissa.macvicar@gmail.com
Twitter: @MelissaMacVicar
Facebook: Melissa MacVicar
Instagram: melissa.macvicar
Giveaways:

arcreview
4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: LIFE-RUINER ALERT!; this was an emotionally challenging read; I can understand the motivations behind the character choices; the upheaval in Lainey/Lizzie’s life is obvious from page one; I couldn’t put this down

Huge thanks to Melissa MacVicar and YA Bound Book Toursfor sending me a free egalley 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 SUCH an emotionally challenging, haunting read. I finished this several days ago and have been struggling to put my thoughts into coherent words, because OH MY PENGUINS, this read! I was drawn into the turmoil from page one, ensnared and enchanted by the tragedies of the situation–and the reactions of the world. Melissa MacVicar did a stupendous job thrusting readers straight into Lainey/Lizzie’s head, and I applaud her so much for it. Truly, I was captivated just as much as I was heartbroken. Coming out of this read, I can see the motivations behind certain decisions Melissa MacVicar made for her characters and their coping mechanisms. Having grown up in a household of addiction, it was even easier for me to see into the heart of the recreational drug use that occurs throughout this read. (Of course, this doesn’t mean I necessarily condone such coping mechanisms–just that I understand why the characters react the way they do)

I feel the strength of this novel lies in the characters–and the different ways they grow and shift throughout this journey. However, there’s a sense of mystery and suspense woven through every page–a motivation that kept me trapped, unable to put the book down. While we don’t necessarily get handed all the “answers,” I feel Melissa MacVicar did this with a purpose–life, after all, doesn’t always just hand us a reason or justification for why people do the things they do, or why things happen the way they do. So while a lot of other readers are calling for “more” depth to this read… I applaud Melissa MacVicar for not trying to force a solution where, sometimes, there just ISN’T one.

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This was a desperate, twisting path of emotions–and I cherished every moment for reminding me that the world isn’t always black and white. That there are grey areas where answers are elusive and human reactions don’t always make sense. I will, for sensitive or easily triggered readers, put a slight mature content warning out there–recreational drug use and sex, along with bullying and suicidal thoughts, are prevalent throughout and play a large role in this read. Please keep yourselves safe.

I am awed by how powerfully poignant and heart-wrenching this read from Melissa MacVicar is, and cannot wait to see what the future holds for her creatively. While there are some grammatical errors, there weren’t enough of them to break my concentration or bother me. The characters and their reactions are vividly painted and, at least in my opinion, realistically written. I definitely recommend to lovers of emotionally challenging reads, characters struggling to cope with heavy burdens, and twisting plot vines. Look deeper, Penguins; there’s more to these words than meets the eye.

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Cover Reveal: Hickville Redemption

 

Hickville Redemption
Mary Karlik
Publication date: July 17th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

A 30 year old mystery…

A 15 year old sleuth.

Freshman Mackenzie Quinn wants nothing to do with the mysterious death of Cassidy Jones. But when her crush, Braden McGuire, declares he’s determined to uncover the truth, she is drawn into the cold case. The problem is her dad is the number one suspect. Things look pretty hopeless until her best friend, Travis Barns, loans her the secret diary of Cassidy Jones. His only stipulation is that she not share it with anybody else. But when her jealous boyfriend finds and exposes the diary, secrets come to life that could ruin MacKenzie’s whole family.

Can she find a way to clear her father’s name and atone for her own mistakes before it’s too late?

Add to Goodreads

 

Author Bio:

Following a career as a nursing instructor, award-winning author, Mary Karlik earned an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. A native Texan, Mary loves horses, dogs, cats, country music, and small town diners. Although life has taken her elsewhere, her heart remains in the Lone Star state.

Mary served as the VP of programs for the Young Adult Romance Authors of America (YARWA) from 2015 – 2016. She currently serves as the President of the YARWA.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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My Lady Jane: Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just a Little HO(A)RSE

bookreview

My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1)My Lady Jane
(The Lady Janies #1)
by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
491 Pages
Historical / Fantasy / Young Adult / Romance
HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 7th, 2016
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.

addtogoodreads

4.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: super entertaining; these characters are vibrantly different and yet still familiar; the humor in this is SPOT ON; LOVED the narrators, they helped to both bridge the gap and break the wall down; intriguing, unique premise to the “magical” aspects

If I could brew snark and put a stopper in satire, this book would be at the tippity top of my favorites list. Seriously, the level of personality JUST in the narrators alone was consistently sending me into fits of giggles. They (the narrators, not the giggle fits) helped to both bridge the gap between reader and characters…and also, somehow, build up the wall at the same time? I’m not sure if that even makes sense as an explanation. While they were fairly transparent with their chronicling of the events, they also made it very apparent how unreliable they could be. By this, I mean they often led us, the readers, onto hidden and treacherous paths toward what we thought, at the time, was disappointment…only to totally change directions halfway through and surprise us entirely. Basically, this whole journey was a mess of chaos, scattered thoughts, and pitter-pattery heartbeats–and I adored every single moment!

 

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The characters are also just as vibrantly written, with their own distinct flairs and personalities. I found myself falling in love with and then loathing them each in turn, though for varying reasons (some of which are due to those pesky flighty romance butterflies. Seriously, this is a roMESS from start to finish!) While each character is uniquely written, they also (at least, in certain instances) maintain a semblance of the real-life historical figures they’re based upon. This both entertained me throughout, and made placing the characters/their relationships to each other slightly easier in the middle of the messiest bits. (Don’t worry, Penguins–mess is a good thing in this instance!)

 

This plot is fast-paced and filled with the type of satirical snark I’ve been DYING to read for ages now, but have been unable to find of late. There were so many moments I found myself piecing things together only to laugh out loud at the brilliance behind the implications (the play on horse and steed, especially, was almost too much for my poor ribs!) While it is obvious this isn’t true to actual historical events (or, at least, such events have been altered to better fit the magic of this world) I really enjoyed the creativity and fun that the authors brought to this tale.
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I am just SO glad I made time for this book this month–I should have read it eons ago, honestly! The characters are witty and vibrant, the satirical snark is top-notch, and the plot is super entertaining. I recommend this to lovers of historical satires, delicious word-play, and journeys that quite literally RETELL history! Breathe deeply, Penguins; what beastly form will you take when the light flares?

4

Gemina: BOOK, HOW DARE YOU End Like That?!

bookreview

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)Gemina
(The Illuminae Files #2)
by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
672 Pages
Science Fiction / Young Adult
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 18th, 2016
Get a copy here!

BLURB: 

The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Timesbestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.” 

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

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See my review for ILLUMINAE (The Illuminae Files #1) by clicking the cover below:

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

5Penguins
Quick Reasons: I SWEAR, these books will be the death of me!; super entertaining, snarky, and heart-wrenching; complex, frustrating, endearing characters; the roMESS in this read is SO WORTH IT; OH MY PENGUINS ALL THE PLOT TWISTS OF EVER; someone please tell me you’re buying me book 3 for my birthday?!

AHHHHH. AHHHHHHHHH. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I feel like if I let myself, I could spend this entire review just screaming and none of you would even come close to understanding the amount of feeeeeeelings I’m feeling right now because words just…. they fail me. They fail me so hard core right now I can’t even. I am so…just… GAH, THIS BOOK SERIES! I swear, it’s going to be the death of me–all the plot twists and turny-loops and “you thought you knew what was coming?! you thought WRONG!” ness. Seriously, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff know how to weave a topsy-turvy, confusing, twisty tale…and keep readers enthralled throughout. This installment was absolutely no exception!

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These characters are super entertaining and endearing. While I found myself (inexplicably? or perhaps not, given how much I ADORED him in Illuminae) missing AIDAN through a large portion of this read. Of course, once he made his appearance (and stuck around!) I was a very happy penguin and could focus more completely on the rest of the crew, who were just as vibrantly written and stubbornly AWESOME as I’d been expecting. I don’t quite know how Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff managed it, but they wrote a sequel that both stands apart from it’s predecessor and yet somehow fills in at least a few of the questionable gaps. I just… I am in absolute awe.

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The plot is fast-paced and so twisty, you’ll find your heart has broken and been mended at least half a dozen times within the span of just a few pages. No, really Penguins–this is not an over-exaggeration at all! I was on the tippity tops of my toes throughout this entire read, begging to know what was happening while at the same time trying desperately to close my eyes to the events because SO MUCH HEARTACHE! I screamed at my book–numerous times. I pleaded, and threw tantraums (over facebook chat, at least), and laughed and rallied and then fell apart all over again. Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman are BRILLIANT at writing intensely entertaining, dramatically realistic, gut-wrenching shotgun reads, and OH MY PENGUINS, I cannot wait to lay my hands on Obsidio next year. I need it.

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I just… If you haven’t heard me wax poetic about the beauty that is Illuminae, hear me now. Pick up this series! The characters are entertaining and lovable, the plot is action-packed and so full of surprises, and you will–guaranteed!–find yourself flinging the book in anger at least once, but probably more like a thousand times, before the end. I definitely recommend this series to lovers of science fiction, uniquely formatted reads, and super epic world-saving journeys. The wormhole is open, Penguins; the fate of reality rests on your readerly shoulders now!

 

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Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, Playlist, and Giveaway: Reckoning

 

Reckoning
(The Variant Series, #4)

Jena Leigh
Publication date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Alexandra Parker came home from the past only to find herself in the middle of an underground war—one that could affect the fate of Variants everywhere.

Fighting an all-powerful government agency is tough enough, but when a secret from John Grayson’s past comes back to haunt them all, the group’s united front begins to crumble. And when Alex’s own painful memories threaten to push her past her breaking point, the uprising stands to lose its most powerful weapon.

With their lives and their freedom on the line, can Declan, Nate, and the rest of the Grayson family hold it together long enough to bring down Director Carter and derail Brian’s apocalyptic visions?

As Alex struggles to master her most volatile ability yet, only one thing is certain: the uprising’s cold war with the Agency is about to turn red hot.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

“Would you like to continue?” Brandt asked, his tone mocking. “Or do you need a break?”

Alex wiped distractedly at her brow, straightened her posture, and gave a nod. “I’m ready. Let’s keep going.”

Brandt smiled. “As you wish, little girl.”

He split the fiery orb he held in two before allowing each of them to double in size—and then he lobbed one of them directly at her head.

Standing as they were, only a few yards apart, she barely had time to dive out of the way. The fireball hit the ground just behind her, singeing the earth to a blackened char before fizzling out.

Alex got back to her feet. Again, Brandt split the orb he held in two before sending one spiraling toward her face.

This time she was ready and managed to catch the blazing orb just a few fleeting inches from the tip of her nose. She shrank the ball little by little until she was able to force it to blink out entirely.

Distracted as she was by her efforts, she almost failed to notice the next orb hurtling her way. It took everything she had to react in time to catch that one, too, and dissolve it. This time, she glanced up to discover two fiery masses spiraling in her direction.

Again, Alex was forced to redouble her efforts in order to catch both simultaneously and dissipate them.

And then there were three.

Four.

Five.

Soon Alex’s world consisted only of the flames hurtling toward her and the effort it required to force each orb out of existence.

Within another two minutes, the number of orbs being launched simultaneously in her direction had hit double digits.

Drowning beneath the constant onslaught, Alex grew desperate.

“Brandt, stop!” she gasped out. “Please!

Instead of slowing, the speed and strength of his volleys intensified.

Stop?” he repeated, incredulous. “I thought you were here this morning to learn. To train. Are you really going to give up so easily, little girl?”

Exhaustion turned swiftly to rage. Alex growled as she countered orb after orb, dissolving each one with barely an instant remaining to prepare for the next explosive torrent.

“Stop calling me little girl,” she spat through clenched teeth, struggling to hold back the barrage.

“Then stop acting like one,” he replied. “If you just wait around for people to start taking you seriously, you’re never gonna get anywhere. You want to go toe-to-toe with the boys? You want to stand on an equal playing field? Newsflash, little girl. Such a field doesn’t exist. Not for you.”

She could feel the anger burning through her, hotter even than the fire she wielded.

“Don’t ask to be their equal,” Brandt said. “Demand it. Then ready yourself so that, when the time comes, you leave them all behind. Make certain that there will be no doubt that you’re so much more than they ever dreamed.”

Alex could feel her strength—and her ability to focus—waning. She had seconds at most before her concentration gave out and the hailstorm of orbs made contact.

Summoning the last of her willpower, Alex took hold of every lick of fire in the open field, including the ones Brandt still held. Ripping them away from his control, she stretched out her arms, drew the nearly two dozen orbs toward her, and formed a

veritable wall with them… and then she catapulted them all back toward her opponent.

Eyes widening in surprise behind his wire-rimmed glasses, Brandt stumbled backward, unable to stop the attack that was now heading straight for him.

Reck Teaser 1

Author Bio:

Jena Leigh is the author of the Variant Series novels REVIVAL, RESISTANCE, REDUX, and RECKONING. She’s currently hard at work on the fifth novel in the series. Born and raised in the lightning capital of North America, she eventually made her home in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. A shameless geek, she loves coffee, loud music, bad sci-fi movies, Skittles, and shenanigan-filled road trips to faraway concerts.

To find out more about The Variant Series and author Jena Leigh, visit her online at http://www.jenaleighbooks.com or @jenaleighbooks.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Reckoning Playlist Screenshot

GIVEAWAY!
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The Enemy Within: Somehow, this wasn’t Alien ENOUGH?!

bookreview

 

THE ENEMY WITHINThe Enemy Within
by Scott Burn
161 Pages
Science Fiction / Young Adult
Publication Date:  July 24th, 2016
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

Seventeen-year-old Max has always felt like an outsider. When the agonizing apocalyptic visions begin, he decides suicide is his only escape. He soon finds himself in an institution under the guidance of a therapist who sees something exceptional in him. Just as he begins to leave the hallucinations behind, Max discovers the visions weren’t just in his head.

There are three others who have shared those same thoughts and they’ve been searching for Max. Like him, they are something more than human. Each of them possesses certain abilities, which they’re going to need when a covert military group begins hunting them down.

As the danger escalates, Max doesn’t know which side to trust. But in the end, his choice will decide the fate of both species.

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3.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: slightly confusing premise; I felt some important information was just sort of tossed at us at weird times; interesting, complex characters; the ending felt a bit forced/cliche; I wish this had felt more “alien” than it did

Huge thanks to Scott Burns for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for a (voluntary!) honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

 

EW Quote1

This book was SUPER interesting, Penguins! I was sucked into the story almost immediately, and taken on such a wild journey I don’t quite know where to begin. The characters are well-rounded; their personalities practically leap off the pages and into reality. I felt as if I were, for brief moments, part of the gang–I felt their struggles, I empathized (maybe a little too much for a few). I also really enjoyed that we’re given brief glimpses into the most important players. Each voice is distinctly crafted and easy to tell apart, and each shift brought something new and unexpected.

 

I did, several times, find myself wishing this felt MORE alien. While it becomes apparent early on that the main group are not “human”….I found myself forgetting this fact several times. So far as I can tell, they look human and for the most part act human and have very limited “powers,” which made reading this–especially during those quiet moments of the story–feel a bit more normal and every day than I felt it should. In fact, there weren’t many moments that the main group felt actually alien; throughout this entire read, their reactions to and interactions with the world were weighted more toward “human” than “not,” which sort of disappointed me.

 

EW Quote2.jpg

I did, however, like the way the battle between the sides was written. While I really loathed many of the (actual) humans in the military group chasing these kids, I also found myself being suspicious of and eventually loathing a few of the other characters as well. This balancing act between “good” and “evil”–and the ways each side portrayed themselves as the victims–really validated this journey and helped make it more realistic for me. The fact that each side also has personalities with…questionable morals is the right term, I suppose…only helped to more fully immerse me in the read (and the characters’ mindsets).

 

This was a super intriguing and thought-provoking read, though I do wish it had felt just a bit more “alien” and a bit less “another day in the human world.” The characters are complex and interesting, and there were a couple “laugh out loud” snark moments that I really enjoyed. I’d recommend this to lovers of science fiction, “alien” versus “human,” and fast-paced reads. The Eye is watching, Penguins; which side are you on?

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Blog Tour, Teasers, Giveaway, and Review: Freak

Freak banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Freak by Erin Lee. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 27 June till 3 July. See the tour schedule here.

FreakFreak
by Erin Lee
Genre: LBGT/ Contemporary
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 29 June, 2017

Blurb:
Regret Comes in Every Color of the Rainbow

Based on Erin Lee’s novella, Her Name Was Sam, Freak is the story of Kelly and Morgan, the mother and sister of Sam Harris, in the aftermath of her suicide. Bullied for being brave enough to show her true colors to the world, Sam has been gone exactly one year and Kelly and Morgan are left to tackle the grief that comes with regret in her absence.

But Sam’s story is far from over…

Through the love of Willow, a teenager intent on standing up for her “Freak” best friend at all costs, Ryan is able to finally come out to family and friends. His transformation from ashamed to proud with Willow’s help gives new meaning to Sam’s story and how things could have been.

Because love comes in all shades too.

Freak graphic

You can find Freak on Goodreads

You can buy Freak here on Amazon

Freak square graphic

Erin LeeAbout the Author:
Erin Lee is a freelance writer and therapist chasing a crazy dream one reality at a time. She is the author of Crazy Like Me, a novel published in 2015 by Savant Books and Publications, LLC, Wave to Papa, 2015, by Limitless Publishing, LLC and Nine Lives (2016). She’s also author of Alters, Host, and Merge of the “Lola, Party of Eight Series,” When I’m Dead, Take Me As I Am, Greener, Something Blue, Once Upon a Vow and 99 Bottles. She also penned Her Name Was Sam, an LGBTQ awareness novella. She is author of Losing Faith, and co-author of The Morning After with Black Rose Writing. These days, she spends her free time working on the sequels to this novel, Jimmie’s Ice Cream and Thing Fifteen.

Lee is a co-founder of the Escape From Reality Series. She, along with authors Sara Schoen and Taylor Henderson, are working with twenty other authors to bring the hopes, dreams, fears and terrors of a tiny fictional town alive. The town and its setting is exactly the type of place a man like Jimmie might escape to as the bodies thawed.

Lee holds a master’s degree in psychology and works with at-risk families and as a court appointed special advocate. She cannot write horror with the lights off. However, these days, she’s getting braver and dimming them. She’ll get there . . .

You can find and contact Erin Lee here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Freak. One winner will win a signed paperback of Freak by Erin Lee. US only.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

4Penguins
Quick Reasons: loveloveLOVE the juxtaposition of colors; really, this whole novel is a juxtaposition; the experimentation with the paranormal/death was heart-breaking and well-done; complex, well-written characters; love to love the love; this read was not what I was expecting going in

Huge thanks to Erin Lee and Lola’s Blog Tours for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for a voluntary honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

 

Slight trigger warning for sensitive readers: the first half of this book is, at times, a bit difficult to read. Mature subjects such as suicide, grief, and bullying are woven into this story, so please keep this in mind if you’re bothered by or uncomfortable with reading such things. While the subjects are handled with sensitivity and tact, these characters do struggle with and are surrounded by them daily–so please, keep yourselves safe while reading! That being said, these characters are gorgeously written. I really loved how Erin Lee juxtaposed this entire novel–in the first part, looking at a family dealing with grief after the suicide of a loved one. In the second, a family banding together to try and heal a dear friend. This method of compare and contrast was gorgeously handled–and so thought-provoking to read!

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The use of colors throughout was also beautifully done, though I feel it might have been even more intriguing if the colors that head each chapter were the ONLY colors mentioned in that passage. Of course, this is mostly wishful thinking–I know how difficult it is, as a writer, to try and limit oneself like that, and can’t imagine trying to pull it off. Still, I found it interesting that, in the first section of this read (for Sam) the colors are described normally–the names are common, like orange, red, yellow. In the second section (for Willow) the colors have vibrant, alternative names–things like citrus and plum. Each section, however, shares two very distinct colors–black and white. This is sort of a yin-yang way to wrap each section up–and tie the two halves of the novel together.

 

This novel was a gorgeous, though challenging, read–and I thoroughly enjoyed the way Erin Lee wove this story together. While it tugged at heartstrings and, at times, hurt to read… I came out of this with a different viewpoint. The juxtaposition was a really effective, beautiful way to pair and piece these characters together. I definitely recommend to lovers of beautifully complex personalities, the realities of emotional turmoil, and reads that pack a moral punch. Take a paintbrush to the world, Penguins; this rainbow’s bound to stick with you.


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Fall in One Day: These Characters Read a Lot Younger to Me

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Fall in One DayFall in One Day
by Craig Terlson
327 Pages
YA / Historical
Blue Moon Publishers
Publication Date: May 16th, 2017
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

In the summer of 1973, fifteen-year-old Joe Beck lives in a small Canadian city near the U.S. border where he watches dark-suited politicians lie on TV during something called Watergate. So when his best friend Brian goes missing, Joe has a hard time believing that adults ever tell the truth.

Joe learns that Brian left town with his father after Brian’s mother ended up in the hospital. He listens to the news reports for information, but nothing is being said. Eventually, Joe launches his own investigation, using a tape recorder—just like the American president—to help sift through the clues. Feeling that everything is up to him, Joe embarks on a perilous and enlightening journey to decipher a mental institution diary full of secrets about a drug called LSD, and uncover the truth about Brian’s father and save his best friend.

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3.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: I seriously thought Joe was younger than he is for, like…this whole read, which was problematic; interesting, suspenseful read; there are some intriguing, if not a little bit confusing, tangents woven throughout; Joe’s brain is a mess of confusion and teenager angst and humor

Huge thanks to Craig Terlson, Blue Moon Publishers, and Netgalley for sending me a free digital galley of this read in exchange for a voluntary honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this title.

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I have to start with admitting I went into this read putting emphasis on the wrong words for this title. It wasn’t until I stumbled across the title in the text (thankfully not long after starting this read) that I realized the error of my ways…and then totally understood how brilliant this title actually is. Seriously, once the whole emphasis thing was figured out…everything with the title fell into place, and made such better sense for me.

 

I also have to admit I thought, through the entirety of this read, that Joe was a WHOLE LOT younger than it turns out he is. See, I have this habit of not actually reading a book’s blurb–I’ll skim over it to see if it sounds like something I’d be interested in, but I pretty much forget everything about the blurb after deciding to pick a book up. Which means that Joe, in this book, came off a whole lot more like 12 or 13…and not the apparent 15 he actually is. Which, in my opinion, is problematic. I’m not sure if it’s the way he was written, or if I just stumbled upon this assumption by mistake, but Joe came off a lot more immature than I think a 15 year old actually would–there were moments I found myself wondering if he was actually 10, honestly, and I can’t convince myself of the truth now, thinking back on the read.

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Regardless of the weird age thing, this was an entertaining and intriguing read. We’re given such a complex, confusing glimpse into Joe’s head–I felt as if I was actually living in one of the darkest, deepest corners of his mind! To watch him react to and interact with his friend going missing, and the whole “crazy father” thing, was gut-wrenching and nail-bitingly realistic. I did feel he was a bit naive to the world yet…and the fact his friend seemed equally young didn’t help. The parents seemed to be babying them, on top of it, which only helped to confuse me further. This is also a pretty “subversive” read–there are a lot of twisty, curvy trails of tangents and plot lines that don’t seem to lead anywhere…and yet, somehow, add to the story nonetheless.

 

Overall, this was an interesting–if not a little confusing–read. While Joe and the rest of the characters his age felt more like 10 year olds than 15, their reactions to the world were entertaining and, at times, humorous. I’d recommend this to lovers of historical fiction, mystery/thrillers, and complexly written characters. Grab your jackets, Penguins; fall is coming.

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Cover Reveal: Mick & Michelle

 

Mick & Michelle
Nina Rossing
Published by: Harmony Ink Press
Publication date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

Fifteen-year-old Mick Mullins has a great life: his parents are sweet, his sister is tolerable, and his friendships are solid. But as summer descends on Queens, he prepares to turn his carefree existence upside down by disclosing a secret he has kept long enough. It’s time to work up the courage to reveal that he is not a boy, but a girl—and that her name is Michelle. Having always been the perfect, good boy, Michelle is terrified that the complicated truth will disappoint, hurt, or push away the people closest to her. She can’t continue hiding for much longer, though, because her body is turning into that of a man’s, and she is desperate to stop the development—desperate enough to consider self-medicating with hormones.

Most of all, Michelle fears that Grandpa, who is in a nursing home after a near fatal stroke, won’t survive the shock if he finds out that his favorite grandchild, and the only boy, is a girl. If she kills her beloved Grandpa by leaving Mick behind, she isn’t sure embracing her real identity will be worth the loss.

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Author Bio:

Nina Rossing lives in Norway, where the winters are long and the summers short. Despite the brilliant nature surrounding her, she spends more time in front of her computer, or with a book in her hands, than in the great outdoors (though you may find her out on her mountain bike if the weather is good). She works as a high school teacher, which in her opinion is probably the best job in the world.

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