Tigers Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry

Disclaimer: I received an arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Book: Tigers, Not Daughters

 

Author: Samantha Mabry

 

Book Series: Tigers, Not Daughters Book 1

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Publication Date: March 24, 2020

 

Genre: YA Magical Realism

 

Recommended Age: 16+ (peeping tom stuff, language, animal death, alcoholism, abuse, violence, gore)

 

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

 

Pages: 288

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father, and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the oldest sister, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, her three younger sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by their sister’s memory. Their dream of leaving Southtown now seems out of reach. But then strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. The sisters begin to wonder if Ana really is haunting them, trying to send them a message—and what exactly she’s trying to say.

 

Review: Overall, I thought this book was well done. The emotions behind the words were moving and the story was well crafted. The characters were well developed and the pacing was very fast and on point. The plot was also good and it kept me intrigued throughout the book.

 

However, I did feel like there were some unnecessary gross stuff in the book and the ending was really weird and unclear. I reread it and I honestly am still confused by this book. It was great, but I think it’ll stick with me.

 

Verdict: It was great, but I’m wondering about it still.

Blame the Dead by Ed Ruggero

Disclaimer: I received this arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Book: Blame the Dead

 

Author: Ed Ruggero

 

Book Series: Standalone

 

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Publication Date: March 3, 2020

 

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

Recommended Age: 18+ (violence, murder, gore, sex, rape mentioned a lot TW)

 

Publisher: Forge Books

 

Pages: 336

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: The nurses of the US Army’s Field Hospitals, mobile units that operate just behind the battle lines, contend with heat, dirt, short-handed staffs, the threat of German counterattack and an ever-present flood of horribly wounded GIs. At the 11th Field Hospital near Palermo, Sicily in the bloody summer of 1943, nurses also live with the threat of violent assault by one of their own–at least until someone shoots Dr. Myers Stephenson in the head.

Enter Eddie Harkins, a tough former Philadelphia beat cop turned Military Police lieutenant, who is first on the scene. Although he has never been a detective, Harkins soon finds himself the lone investigator, either because the Military Police are under-staffed or because someone in power thinks this rank amateur will never get close to the real killer. When the hospital commander tries to derail Harkins’ investigation by transferring or harassing key witnesses, it becomes clear to Harkins that the unit is rotten to its core, that the nurses are not safe, and that patients who have survived Nazi bullets are still at risk after they arrive at this place that is supposed to save them.

Harkins fights–and worries that he is losing–multiple battles. He is driven to give hope to nurses who just want to do their life-saving work, to right at least a few of the wrongs around him, and to do penance for sins in his own past. The one bright note for Harkins is a rekindled relationship with Kathleen Donnelly, a nurse from Harkins’ old neighborhood; but even that is complicated when Donnelly becomes a victim.

 

Review: I found the book to be pretty good. It hard a great mystery and the plot kept me interested for most of the book. The book had great character development and action was all over this book! The world building was also masterful and it really felt like you were in the combat during this book.

 

However, I had some issues with the book. I have a great grandpa who was an MP during WW2 and from researching stuff about him and his job I know that who conducted murders and special cases were a tricky topic. By 1942 they felt that MPs weren’t very well equipped to investigate these crimes effectively so by 1944 the CID was reestablished (which was still around from WW1 but was drastically smaller after that war ended). So I’m not sure if the type of crimes in this book would have still been investigated by an MP. Also, the book is very mature and there is a lot of awful things mentioned in it. Check the recommended age for those details. The book is also very slow paced, especially in the beginning.

 

Verdict: A great tale, a but mature, but overall really good.

The Hunted by Louisa Ellemind

Final cover! Vorderseite

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Hunted

Author: Louisa Ellemind

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Diversity: f/f relationship

Publication Date: July 31, 2019

Genre: Fantasy? See review for confusion

Recommended Age: 15+ (language, violence)

Publisher: Indie published

Pages: 375

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Phoenix has rage.
Arin has love.
Ariel has mercy.
Glacia has a mind of her own.

Four young sisters with special abilities have spent their lives fighting against the creatures who murdered their mother.
Then they get separated, and suddenly nothing is as it was before.
Struggling through webs of lies and deceit, they could discover their purpose – or their breaking point.

Review: I thought this was a good book overall. The book had great moments, I loved the inclusion of sci-fi and I loved the maximum ride feels. The pacing was also fast and it keep the story moving, which I appreciated.

However, I did feel like that the book wasn’t structured well. The book was fast and sometimes plot points would move by and you wouldn’t notice until someone commented on it. The book also felt middle grade, but it had a lot of swearing in it.

Verdict: It was good, but weird.

Tour Schedule:
March 30 – Paige @popthebutterfly
March 31 – JP @mr.pink.ink
April 1 – Stacie @borenbooks
April 2 – Maraki
April 3 – Laura @laurathebookunicorn
April 4 – Vicki @ya_lover_and_reader
April 5 – Jasmine @thefreckledmind
April 6 – CE @chelscey
Phoenix has rage.
Arin has love.
Ariel has mercy.
Glacia has a mind of her own.

Four young sisters with special abilities have spent their lives fighting against the creatures who murdered their mother.
Then they get separated, and suddenly nothing is as it was before.
Struggling through webs of lies and deceit, they could discover their purpose – or their breaking point.

I’ve attached the rest as word + pdf, hopefully that works for you. The cover art is by the amazing Irfan Budi Harjo, so if you could include an ‘cover art by Irfan Budi Harjo’ somewhere near the cover, that would be awesome. Thanks a lot and I hope you’re having a good day!

Between Burning Worlds by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

tour banner (17)

Disclaimer: I received an e-arc from netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Book: Between Burning Worlds

 

Author: Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

 

Book Series: System Divine Book 2

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Publication Date: March 24, 2020

 

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

 

Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, gore, death, rape alluded to)

 

Publisher: Simon Pulse

 

Pages: 688

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: A thief.
An officer.
A guardian.
All from different backgrounds, but sharing one same destiny…

The planet Laterre is in turmoil. A new militant revolutionary group has emerged calling themselves “The Red Scar” and claiming responsibility for a spate of recent bombings. The infamous rebels known as the Vangarde believe that in order to bring about a peaceful revolution, their charismatic leader, Citizen Rousseau must be freed from prison right away. Otherwise the bloodshed will only escalate.

Soon Marcellus, Chatine, and Alouette all find themselves pulled into battle with extreme consequences.

Marcellus is determined to uncover his corrupt grandfather’s plan to seize Laterre—even if that means joining the Vangarde.

Aloutte, trying to unearth the truth about her past, becomes a captive of Marcellus’s grandfather, the general.

Chatine, who is serving time on Bastille, hopes to escape the brutal and horrifying reality of the prison moon.

But the failed attempt to break Citizen Rousseau out of prison launches Aloutte, Chatine, and Marecellus into the middle of a dangerous war for control of Laterre. And in the midst of it all is the legend of a secret and dangerous weapon that could mean complete and absolute power to any that wields it.

 

Review: I liked this book more than the first! The character development is excellent, the ships are flying, and the world building was divine! I loved the action scenes too, they were better laid out in this one. The book is also very well written, it doesn’t feel like two authors writing one book.

 

However, the pacing and plot are both still so slow. I still feel like there are unnecessary events in the book that make this book much longer than needed.

 

Verdict: A great sequel! Can’t wait for the next!

BOOK INFORMATION

Between Burning Worlds (System Divine #2)

by Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: 24th March, 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Science Fiction, Dystopia

 

Synopsis:

 

Les Misérables meets The Lunar Chronicles in the out-of-this-world sequel to Sky Without Stars that’s an “explosion of emotion, intrigue, romance, and revolution” (Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Caraval series).

 

A thief.

An officer.

A guardian.

All from different backgrounds, but sharing one same destiny…

 

The planet Laterre is in turmoil. A new militant revolutionary group has emerged calling themselves “The Red Scar” and claiming responsibility for a spate of recent bombings. The infamous rebels known as the Vangarde believe that in order to bring about a peaceful revolution, their charismatic leader, Citizen Rousseau must be freed from prison right away. Otherwise the bloodshed will only escalate.

 

Soon Marcellus, Chatine, and Alouette all find themselves pulled into battle with extreme consequences.

 

Marcellus is determined to uncover his corrupt grandfather’s plan to seize Laterre—even if that means joining the Vangarde.

 

Aloutte, trying to unearth the truth about her past, becomes a captive of Marcellus’s grandfather, the general.

 

Chatine, who is serving time on Bastille, hopes to escape the brutal and horrifying reality of the prison moon.

 

But the failed attempt to break Citizen Rousseau out of prison launches Aloutte, Chatine, and Marecellus into the middle of a dangerous war for control of Laterre. And in the midst of it all is the legend of a secret and dangerous weapon that could mean complete and absolute power to any that wields it.

 

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36238055-between-burning-worlds

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2sSR5Jo

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/between-burning-worlds-jessica-brody/1132188898#/

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/between-burning-worlds/id1469947893

Bookdepository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Between-Burning-Worlds-Jessica-Brody/9781534410664?ref=grid-view&qid=1578575637035&sr=1-1

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/between-burning-worlds

Google Books: https://books.google.es/books/about/Between_Burning_Worlds.html?id=maOeDwAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y

JESSICA AUTHOR

AUTHOR INFORMATION

JESSICA BRODY

Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples, and electrical tape.

After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Economics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.

Since then, Jessica has sold over twelve novels for teens, tweens, and adults including 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, The Karma Club, My Life Undecided, and the three books in the Unremembered trilogy, the first of which is currently in development as a major motion picture by the producers of The Vampire Academy, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, and Slumdog Millionaire. In 2016, she will release two new contemporary novels, A Week of Mondays (August) and Boys of Summer (April), and in 2017, her debut middle grade novel entitled, Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up, will hit bookstore shelves.

Jessica also writes books for the Descendants: “School of Secrets” series, based on the hit Disney Channel Original movie, Descendants!

Jessica’s books are published and translated in over twenty foreign countries. She currently splits her time between California and Colorado.

JOANNA AUTHOR

JOANNE RENDELL

Joanne Rendell is the author of four novels and holds a PhD in English Literature. She teaches fiction writing to teens and kids, as well as online writing classes at Udemy.com and Lynda.com. Joanne is a board member for the youth Shakespeare company, New Genesis Productions. With her husband and son, she divides her time between New York City and New Paltz, New York

 

AUTHOR LINKS

JESSICA BRODY

Website: https://www.jessicabrody.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1164465.Jessica_Brody

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessicabrody

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaBrodyFans/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessicabrody/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jessicabrody1

Tumblr: http://jessicabrody.tumblr.com/

 

JOANNE RENDELL

Website: https://joannerendell.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1211367.Joanne_Rendell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/joannerendell

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joannerendellauthor/

 

The Edge of Anything by Nora Shalaway Carpenter

 

Disclaimer: I received an e-arc from netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Edge of Anything

Author: Nora Shalaway Carpenter

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: OCD rep! Own voice!

Publication Date: March 24, 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary

Recommended Age: 15+ (mental health, depression)

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Pages: 368

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Len is a loner teen photographer haunted by a past that’s stagnated her work and left her terrified she’s losing her mind. Sage is a high school volleyball star desperate to find a way around her sudden medical disqualification. Both girls need college scholarships. After a chance encounter, the two develop an unlikely friendship that enables them to begin facing their inner demons.

But both Len and Sage are keeping secrets that, left hidden, could cost them everything, maybe even their lives.

Set in the North Carolina mountains, this dynamic #ownvoices novel explores grief, mental health, and the transformative power of friendship.

Review: I really loved this one! It was poignant and heartbreaking all in the same. The book did well with the dual POVs and the character development was amazing. The world building was also done well and I applaud the author for making realistic characters, with flaws and all. Also, hats off to the amazing OCD rep!

The only issue I had with the book is that there were some overdramatic scenes and writing that I felt was a bit out of character. Other than that, this was a great book!

Verdict: A must read!

BOOK INFORMATION

The Edge of Anything

by Nora Shalaway Carpenter
Publisher: Running Press Teen
Release Date: 24th March, 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Mental Health

Synopsis:

Len is a loner teen photographer haunted by a past that’s stagnated her work and left her terrified she’s losing her mind. Sage is a high school volleyball star desperate to find a way around her sudden medical disqualification. Both girls need college scholarships. After a chance encounter, the two develop an unlikely friendship that enables them to begin facing their inner demons.

But both Len and Sage are keeping secrets that, left hidden, could cost them everything, maybe even their lives.

Set in the North Carolina mountains, this dynamic #ownvoices novel explores grief, mental health, and the transformative power of friendship.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40651796-the-edge-of-anything

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2sPKkrx

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-edge-of-anything-nora-shalaway-carpenter/1132821562?ean=9780762467587

Bookdepository: https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Edge-of-Anything-Nora-Shalaway-Carpenter/9780762467587

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-edge-of-anything-1

Google Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Nora_Shalaway_Carpenter_The_Edge_of_Anything?id=vqKnDwAAQBAJ&hl=en_US

author (10)

BOOK AUTHOR

Nora Shalaway Carpenter holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Before she wrote books, she served as associate editor of Wonderful West Virginia magazine and has been a Certified Yoga Teacher since 2012. Originally from rural West Virginia, she currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her husband, three young children, and one not-so-young dog. Learn more at www.noracarpenterwrites.com or follow her on Instagram @noracarpenterwrites and Twitter @norawritesbooks.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: https://www.noracarpenterwrites.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17086511.Nora_Shalaway_Carpenter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/norawritesbooks

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/noracarpenterwrites/

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

Disclaimer: I bought this book! Support your authors!

 

Book: Sky Without Stars

 

Author: Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

 

Book Series: System Divine Book 1

 

Rating: 3/5

 

Publication Date: March 26, 2019

 

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

 

Recommended Age: 16+ (prostitution mentioned, abuse)

 

Publisher: Simon Pulse

 

Pages: 582

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: A thief. An officer. A guardian.

Three strangers. One shared destiny . . .

When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme; where the clouds hide the stars and the poor starve in the streets; where a rebel group, long thought dead, is resurfacing.

Whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges on three unlikely heroes…

Chatine is a street-savvy thief who will do anything to escape the brutal Regime, including spying on Marcellus, the grandson of the most powerful man on the planet.

Marcellus is an officer—and the son of a traitor. Groomed to command by his legendary grandfather, Marcellus begins to doubt the government he’s vowed to serve when he discovers a cryptic message that only one person, a girl named Alouette, can read.

Alouette is living in an underground refuge, where she guards and protects the last surviving library on the planet. But a shocking murder will bring Alouette to the surface for the first time in twelve years…and plunge Laterre into chaos.

All three have roles to play in a dangerous game of revolution—and together they will shape the future of a planet.

Power, romance, and destiny collide in this sweeping reimagining of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece Les Misérables.

 

Review: The book was good for the most part. I loved the sci-fi elements and I thought the world building was well done. The character development was also well done. I really did like how they took a story like Les Mis and set it in space and spun the story on its head.

 

However, I did think that the pacing was slow and the plot was slow as well. I honestly got bored of reading this book at times, it just felt like there were a lot of unnecessary fillers.

 

Verdict: A well done sci-fi!

If We Were Giants by Dave Matthews and Celete Barrett Smith

IF WE WERE GIANTS Blog Tour Digital Assets

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the IF WE WERE GIANTS by Dave Matthews & Clete Barrett Smith Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: IF WE WERE GIANTS

Author: Dave Matthews & Clete Barrett Smith

Pub. Date: March 3, 2020

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 304

Find it: Goodreads, AmazonKindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

 

World-renowned musician, environmentalist, and humanitarian Dave Matthews, in collaboration with popular children’s book author Clete Barrett Smith, has conjured an exciting and poignant fantasy about a girl who must confront her past mistakes before she can save her peaceful community from a gigantic threat.

 

Kirra, a curious, agile, and outgoing girl, lives in an idyllic community hidden inside a dormant volcano. She and her father are the only two people allowed to venture beyond its walls. Kirra is in training to become a Storyteller like him, and together they travel from village to village spreading fearsome tales designed to keep outsiders away from their secret nest. One day, after hearing rumors of strangers called the “Takers,” Kirra leaves the volcano by herself, hoping to discover her own story. But she unknowingly leads the Takers back to her doorstep, and they rob her of everything she has ever held dear. A devastated Kirra is found by a boy named Luwan and adopted into his family, which lives among others high in the trees of a dense forest. Now quiet and withdrawn, Kirra hides her dark past from everyone and never wants to leave the safety of her tree dwelling. Luwan, on the other hand, loves to explore. One day it leads to trouble: He is captured while spying on a group of strangers. The Takers have returned. To save the Tree Folk, Kirra must face her inner demons and summon all her storytelling to weave the most important tale of her life. This compelling novel about overcoming loss, embracing community, and living in harmony with nature is highlighted with a full-color insert of concept artwork, making it perfect for family sharing.

 

Clete

 

Dave & Clete Talk about IF WE WERE GIANTS

 

YouTube Embed Code:

 

YouTube Link:

https://youtu.be/L5qKjrApV_8 

 

Disclaimer: I received an e-arc and a copy of this book from netgalley and the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Book: If We Were Giants

 

Author: Dave Matthews, Clete Barrett Smith

 

Book Series: Standalone

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Publication Date: March 3, 2020

 

Genre: MG Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: 12+ (death, scary moments, kidnapping, environmental activism)

 

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

 

Pages: 304

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: Kirra, a curious, agile, and outgoing girl, lives in an idyllic community hidden inside a dormant volcano. She and her father are the only two people allowed to venture beyond its walls. Kirra is in training to become a Storyteller like him, and together they travel from village to village spreading fearsome tales designed to keep outsiders away from their secret nest. One day, after hearing rumors of strangers called the “Takers,” Kirra leaves the volcano by herself, hoping to discover her own story. But she unknowingly leads the Takers back to her doorstep, and they rob her of everything she has ever held dear. A devastated Kirra is found by a boy named Luwan and adopted into his family, which lives among others high in the trees of a dense forest. Now quiet and withdrawn, Kirra hides her dark past from everyone and never wants to leave the safety of her tree dwelling. Luwan, on the other hand, loves to explore. One day it leads to trouble: He is captured while spying on a group of strangers. The Takers have returned. To save the Tree Folk, Kirra must face her inner demons and summon all her storytelling to weave the most important tale of her life. This compelling novel about overcoming loss, embracing community, and living in harmony with nature is highlighted with a full-color insert of concept artwork, making it perfect for family sharing.

 

Review: I thought this was a beautiful story about social activism. The book did well to convey the message of the importance of our environment and can be read by children and adults alike. The book was also well written and had amazing character development.

 

However, I did find that the world building could have been a bit better. Also, the pacing wanes a bit and the time skipping is a bit weird in places.

 

Verdict: A well done novel that’ll make you appreciate nature.

 

About Dave: 

Dave Matthews has chronicled his life’s travels so often that when asked, he can rattle off the details without pause. It goes like this:

 

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1967. Moves two years later with his family to Westchester County, NY, where his dad, a physicist, goes to work for IBM. Then, in the early `70s, to Cambridge, England, before returning to New York — where his dad died in 1977. The family moved back to South Africa in 1980, where Matthews went to a few different schools and “got more wise about the evils of government, there and in general.” O.K.; pause for a breath.

 

The key move for Dave Matthews Band fans, of course, was when he relocated in 1986 to Charlottesville, VA, where his parents had lived before he was born. Though he also logged time back in South Africa and in Amsterdam, it was in Charlottesville where Matthews — who took piano lessons as a child before picking up the guitar at age nine — became part of the local music community and hatched the idea for his own band.

 

“I didn’t really have a vision, or a plan,” says Matthews, acknowledging that some of his musical sensibility came from spending time in so many different places as a child. “I’m sure it gave me a little bit of an openness. The most diverse music in the world is in America, ’cause there’s so many different cultures here, but what tends to be pushed to the top is often a narrow view of what there really is. So maybe (his travels) just gave me a wider pool of listening.”

 

Matthews says his principal goal with the band was to surround himself with the best players possible. To this day he remains “amazed” that he was able to recruit and retain the four musicians he rather modestly refers to as his superiors. “I was just looking for people that I liked,” explains Matthews, who feels he’s “gotten a bit better” over the years. “Could I play with them was more of the question, I think. We just ended up fitting together. The band wasn’t something that I was looking for; it was very much I loved the people I asked to play with me. There was a connection at the beginning, and I think what we’ve been about is not some grand scheme but more the spirit of everyone, which is why we ended up with this band and why it sounds like it does.”

Dave Matthews photo credit Brantley Gutierrez

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

 

About Clete: 

Clete Barrett Smith’s first novel for teens, Mr. 60%, will be released by Crown Books in August, 2017. Smith has also written four humorous middle grade adventures: Aliens on Vacation Alien on a Rampage, Aliens in Disguise, and Magic Delivery. Aliens on Vacation was released by Disney-Hyperion Books for Children in May, 2011 and named an American Booksellers Council “New Voices” selection as one of the top middle grade novels of the year by a debut author; and AOV was nominated for state award lists in Texas, Florida, Washington, Pennsylvania and Nebraska. A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Clete Barrett Smith taught English, Drama and Speech at the high school level for over twenty years. Clete received his MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2010. He currently lives in Bellingham, Washington with his family.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 


Giveaway Details:

Three lucky winners will receive a finished copy of IF WE WERE GIANTS, US Only.

Giveaway Embed Code:

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Giveaway Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba21062/?

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

3/2/2020

Nay’s Pink Bookshelf

Review

3/3/2020

Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Review

3/4/2020

Lifestyle of Me

Review

3/5/2020

She Just Loves Books

Review

3/6/2020

Hurn Publications

Review

 

Week Two:

3/9/2020

The Writerly Way

Review

3/10/2020

BookHounds YA

Review

3/11/2020

Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt

3/12/2020

Turning the Pages

Review

3/13/2020

Log Cabin Library

Review

 

Week Three:

3/16/2020

Word Spelunking

Excerpt

3/17/2020

fictitious.fox

Review

3/18/2020

My Quirky Writing

Review

3/19/2020

Little Red Reads

Review

3/20/2020

Locks, Hooks, and  Books

Review

 

Week Four:

3/23/2020

Fyrekatz Blog

Review

3/24/2020

BookHounds

Excerpt

3/25/2020

momfluenster

Review

3/26/2020

Savings in Seconds

Review

3/27/2020

PopTheButterfly

Review

 

Week Five:

3/30/2020

Twirling Book Princess

Excerpt

3/31/2020

Two Points of interest

Review

Legend of Lost Causes Series Tour by Brad McEllend and Louis Sylvester

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Book:  Legends of the Lost Causes

 

Author: Brad McLelland & Louis Slyvester

 

Book Series: Legends of the Lost Causes Book 1

 

Rating: 5/5

 

Publication Date: February 20, 2018

 

Genre: MG Fantasy/Western

 

Recommended Age: 12+ (fire, some death, some scary moments)

 

Publisher: Henry Holt & Company

 

Pages: 336

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: The first book in a new middle-grade fantasy action-adventure series set in the Old West.

A band of orphan avengers. A cursed stone. A horde of zombie outlaws. This is Keech Blackwood’s new life after Bad Whiskey Nelson descends upon the Home for Lost Causes and burns it to the ground.

With his home destroyed and his family lost, Keech will have to use the lessons he learned from Pa Abner to hunt down the powerful Char Stone. Luckily, he has the help of a ragtag team of orphans. Together, they’ll travel through treacherous forests, fight off the risen dead, and discover that they share mysterious bonds as they try to track down the legendary stone. Now, it’s a race against the clock, because if Bad Whiskey finds the stone first. . . . all is lost.

 

Review: OMG! OMG! Where was this book when I was younger?! I loved this little zombie book so so much! I love the equal parts zombie and equal parts western book and I thought it was a genuinely fun and enjoyable book. The book is creepy, but not too creepy for younger readers and the world building was done amazingly well.

 

My only issue is that I wish that the characters had been a bit more developed, but they were ok for a middle grade read.

 

Verdict: Definitely a book series to read!

 

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Book:  The fang of Bonfire Crossing

 

Author: Brad McLelland & Louis Slyvester

 

Book Series: Legends of the Lost Causes Book 2

 

Rating: 5/5

 

Publication Date: February 19, 2019

 

Genre: MG Fantasy/Western

 

Recommended Age: 12+ (some death, some scary moments and monsters)

 

Publisher: Henry Holt & Company

 

Pages: 304

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: Dark magic meets the Old West in this middle-grade adventure series.

Keech Blackwood and his band of fellow orphans demand justice for their fallen families. But the road to retribution is a long and hard-fought journey.

After defeating Bad Whiskey Nelson, the man who burned Keech’s home to the ground, the Lost Causes have a new mission: find Bonfire Crossing, the mysterious land that holds clues to the whereabouts of the all-powerful Char Stone. Along the way they’ll have to fend off a shapeshifting beast, a swarm of river monsters, and a fearsome desperado named Big Ben Loving who conjures tornadoes out of thin air. It’s an epic standoff between the Lost Causes and the outlaw Reverend Rose, a powerful sorcerer who would be unstoppable with the Stone in his possession.

With the world—and vengeance—hanging in the balance, the Lost Causes are ready for battle.

 

Review: The series continues and it does well! The writing continues to be amazing, the characters are much more well developed, and the world building continues to be amazing. There was also cultural sensitivity regarding Native Americans and slavery, which I appreciated. They felt like actual characters and not objects like how some books regard them.

 

My only issue is that sometimes the pacing would slow down, but the authors did great to keep me entertained and I’m sure a child won’t have a problem with this series.

 

Verdict: Definitely a book series to read!

 

 

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Book:  The Key of Skeleton Peak

 

Author: Brad McLelland & Louis Slyvester

 

Book Series: Legends of the Lost Causes Book 3

 

Rating: 5/5

 

Publication Date: March 17, 2020

 

Genre: MG Fantasy/Western

 

Recommended Age: 12+ (some death, some scary moments and monsters)

 

Publisher: Henry Holt & Company

 

Pages: 464

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: Dark magic meets the Old West in this third installment of the Legends of the Lost Causes, as a group of vigilante orphans go head-to-head against an outlaw sorcerer in pursuit of an ancient and powerful magical artifact!

Keech Blackwood and his fellow Lost Causes have won their share of battles, but the war against the ruthless sorcerer Reverend Rose still rages on.

This time, the Lost Causes face their most perilous trial yet: stopping Rose and his henchmen from retrieving an ancient, powerful object that would help return him to his full, frightening strength. As the vigilante orphans race to the dangerous depths of Skeleton Peak, the sight of the magical object, they’ll have to outmaneuver Rose’s most faithful—and menacing—ally: an inhuman creature spawned by darkness and shadow. But ever in pursuit of justice and vengeance for their fallen families, the Lost Causes won’t give up without a fight.

Review: I’m so sad this series is over. The book didn’t disappoint me in any way though. The book is written well and can be understood and used by children and adults alike. The characters were still developed well and the world building continued to be amazing.

 

My only issue is that sometimes the pacing would slow down still, but the plot never failed to keep me intrigued.

 

Verdict: Definitely a book series to read!

The Companions by Katie M. Flynn

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher and netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Book: The Companions

 

Author: Katie M. Flynn

 

Book Series: Standalone

 

Rating: 2/5

 

Publication Date: March 3, 2020

 

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

 

Recommended Age: 16+ (attempted rape TW, murder, gore, violence)

 

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press

 

Pages: 272

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: In the wake of a highly contagious virus, California is under quarantine. Sequestered in high rise towers, the living can’t go out, but the dead can come in—and they come in all forms, from sad rolling cans to manufactured bodies that can pass for human. Wealthy participants in the “companionship” program choose to upload their consciousness before dying, so they can stay in the custody of their families. The less fortunate are rented out to strangers upon their death, but all companions become the intellectual property of Metis Corporation, creating a new class of people—a command-driven product-class without legal rights or true free will.

Sixteen-year-old Lilac is one of the less fortunate, leased to a family of strangers. But when she realizes she’s able to defy commands, she throws off the shackles of servitude and runs away, searching for the woman who killed her.

Lilac’s act of rebellion sets off a chain of events that sweeps from San Francisco to Siberia to the very tip of South America. While the novel traces Lilac’s journey through an exquisitely imagined Northern California, the story is told from eight different points of view—some human, some companion—that explore the complex shapes love, revenge, and loneliness take when the dead linger on.

 

Review: This book gave me such Doctor Who vibes (you know the episode I’m talking about) and Detroit: Becoming Human vibes.  It was an awesome novel with great character development and the premise of this book is really intriguing.

 

However, the way the story is told is a bit discombobulated and it’s really all over the place. It should have been multiple books broken up and further developed. The world building could have really benefited from this way as well.

 

Verdict: It’s good, but it didn’t make my faves.

White Stag by Kara Barbieri

Disclaimer: I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher and netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: White Stag

Author: Kara Barbieri

Book Series: Permafrost Book 1

Rating: 2/5

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: 18+ (sexual assault, emotional and physical abuse, torture, mutilation, so much gore, and straight up rape)

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Pages: 368

Amazon Link

Synopsis: As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

Review: This book was okay overall. The story is a great concept and the idea of the book is very intriguing.

However, there was a lot of “wtf” from me while reading this book. First, there was so many trigger warnings that I, who doesn’t normally get triggered, had to put down the book and go to the eye bleach subreddit. The story is good, but there are so many inconsistancies with the plot. Like, is she living with these Goblins for hundreds of years? Is she really old recanting her tale? Is she still a teen? So confused by this and so many other things in the book, like the magic system. The book just didn’t sit well with me and I also didn’t think the characters were all that interesting. I managed to finish the book, but at what costs to me and my sanity?

Verdict: It was ok, but not for me.