Unbirthday by Liz Braswell

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

 

Book: Unbirthday

 

Author: Liz Braswell

 

Book Series: Twisted Tales Book 10

 

Rating: 3/5

 

Recommended For…: retelling fans, Alice in Wonderland

 

Publication Date: September 1, 2020

 

Genre: YA Retelling

 

Recommended Age: can’t recommend, dnf-ed

 

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

 

Pages: 512

 

Synopsis: What if Wonderland was in peril and Alice was very, very late?
Alice is different than other eighteen-year-old ladies in Kexford, which is perfectly fine with her. She’d rather spend golden afternoons with her trusty camera or in her aunt Vivian’s lively salon, ignoring her sister’s wishes that she stop all that “nonsense” and become a “respectable” member of society. Alice is happy to meander to Miss. Yao’s teashop or to visit the children playing in the Square. She’s also interested in learning more about the young lawyer she met there, but just because she’s curious, of course, not because he was sweet and charming.

But when Alice develops photographs she has recently taken about town, familiar faces of old suddenly appear in the place of her actual subjects-the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar. There’s something eerily off about them, even for Wonderland creatures. And as Alice develops a self-portrait, she finds the most disturbing image of all-a badly-injured dark-haired girl asking for Alice’s help. Mary Ann.

Returning to the place of nonsense from her childhood, Alice finds herself on a mission to stop the Queen of Hearts’ tyrannical rule and to find her place in both worlds. But will she able to do so . . . before the End of Time?

 

Review: DNFed at 20%. The beginning of this book is really discombobulated and confusing. The pacing is really slow as well and immediately you’re greeted with a ton of characters. The book is also obviously not just using the Disney Alice in Wonderland movie (and live action ones) for context but I’m not sure what the other sources they’re using (although I’m getting Alice the Madness Returns vibes). I’ll definitely circle back to this book when I get the finished copy but for now I gotta mull on this one. There are also some Lewis Carroll references in this book and references to rape/child molestation (honestly, those are one in the same with Carroll).

 

Verdict: It’s good, but not for me right now.

The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert

Disclaimer: I bought this book! Buy diversely!

Book: The Voting Booth

Author: Brandy Colbert

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: BIPOC ownvoice, mixed relationships

Recommended For…: voters, political issues, voting issues, romance, only one day

Publication Date: July 7, 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary

Recommended Age: 14+ (political issues, romance, drivebys mentioned TW, grief, cops TW, racism, colorism, language)

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 297

Synopsis: Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She’s always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election?
Duke Crenshaw is do done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band’s first paying gig tonight.
Only problem? Duke can’t vote.
When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn’t spent months doorbelling and registering voters just to see someone denied their right. And that’s how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time and again, trying to do one simple thing: vote. They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system (and find Marva’s missing cat), it’s clear that there’s more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy.
Romantic and triumphant, The Voting Booth is proof that you can’t sit around waiting for the world to change?but some things are just meant to be.

Review: I really loved this book! The book was really short and it makes for the perfect summer read. The book has great character development and the gem of this book is how it talks about so many issues in a concise yet persuasive manner. The book talks about colorism, prejudice, racism, racist actions of college, mixed relationships, abortion politics, gun control, voter suppression, voting issues, “the talk” about being pulled over and/or stopped by cops, and grief. The book does well to talk about all of these issues and more. I feel like I learned a whole lot about the electoral process in this book and I can’t wait to go vote on November 3!

However, I did think that the book was a bit too fast paced and the romance was kinda insta-love.

Verdict: Highly recommend and please remember to vote!

Elysium Girls by Kate Pentecost

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

 

Book: Elysium Girls

 

Author: Kate Pentecost

 

Book Series: Standalone?

 

Rating: 3/5

 

Diversity: LGBT f/f moments

 

Publication Date: April 14, 2020

 

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, slight gore, romance, magic, and dust)

 

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

 

Pages: 400

 

Amazon Link

 

Synopsis: In this sweeping Dust Bowl-inspired fantasy, a ten-year game between Life and Death pits the walled Oklahoma city of Elysium-including a girl gang of witches and a demon who longs for humanity-against the supernatural in order to judge mankind.

 

When Sal is named Successor to Mother Morevna, a powerful witch and leader of Elysium, she jumps at the chance to prove herself to the town. Ever since she was a kid, Sal has been plagued by false visions of rain, and though people think she’s a liar, she knows she’s a leader. Even the arrival of enigmatic outsider Asa-a human-obsessed demon in disguise-doesn’t shake her confidence in her ability. Until a terrible mistake results in both Sal and Asa’s exile into the Desert of Dust and Steel.

 

Face-to-face with a brutal, unforgiving landscape, Sal and Asa join a gang of girls headed by another Elysium exile-and young witch herself-Olivia Rosales. In order to atone for their mistake, they create a cavalry of magic powered, scrap metal horses to save Elysium from the coming apocalypse. But Sal, Asa, and Olivia must do more than simply tip the scales in Elysium’s favor-only by reinventing the rules can they beat the Life and Death at their own game.

 

Review: For the most part this book was ok. The characters were complex and well developed. The author did great to include diversity in her novel and make the content LGBT friendly. And the book had a good pacing. The story was also intriguing and there was a great voice that the author had when speaking through the main character.

 

However, I had a lot of issues with the novel. The plot was confusing and there was very little world building. The magic system (yes there’s magic, it didn’t seem like there would be when I picked this book up) wasn’t explained fully and it didn’t really fit in with the world that I understood it to be. The history and background information was muddied and unexplained, which made it really hard to understand where the characters were coming from and how they were coming to the conclusions that they did. The romance also felt forced to me, like it just felt really off. There was also POV switching, which I don’t mind, but the tenses did change and that also made for a confusing read on my end.

 

Verdict: Overall, I think the book is good and interesting, but I think it definitely needed another round of edits. However, I did have an ARC so it should have went through another round or so before final printing. Hopefully, the issues have been ironed out in it.

 

BOOK INFORMATION

Elysium Girls

by Kate Pentecost
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: April 14th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

 

Synopsis:

 

In this sweeping Dust Bowl-inspired fantasy, a ten-year game between Life and Death pits the walled Oklahoma city of Elysium-including a girl gang of witches and a demon who longs for humanity-against the supernatural in order to judge mankind.

 

When Sal is named Successor to Mother Morevna, a powerful witch and leader of Elysium, she jumps at the chance to prove herself to the town. Ever since she was a kid, Sal has been plagued by false visions of rain, and though people think she’s a liar, she knows she’s a leader. Even the arrival of enigmatic outsider Asa-a human-obsessed demon in disguise-doesn’t shake her confidence in her ability. Until a terrible mistake results in both Sal and Asa’s exile into the Desert of Dust and Steel.

 

Face-to-face with a brutal, unforgiving landscape, Sal and Asa join a gang of girls headed by another Elysium exile-and young witch herself-Olivia Rosales. In order to atone for their mistake, they create a cavalry of magic powered, scrap metal horses to save Elysium from the coming apocalypse. But Sal, Asa, and Olivia must do more than simply tip the scales in Elysium’s favor-only by reinventing the rules can they beat the Life and Death at their own game.

 

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47540611-elysium-girls

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

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/elysium-girls-kate-pentecost/1132830624?ean=9781368041867#/

Google Books: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Elysium_Girls.html?id=fgGpDwAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Kate Pentecost was born and raised on the Texas/Louisiana border, where ghosts and rural legends lurk in the pines and nothing is completely as it seems.

 

She holds an MFA in Writing for Children &Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was recently nominated for a Rhysling award for her poem “Small Town Witches.”

 

Her debut novel, Elysium Girls, is forthcoming from Disney Hyperion in 2020 in print and audio formats.

 

She is obsessed with the Romantic Poets and can be identified by the enormous tattoo of Percy Bysshe Shelley on her arm. She lives in Houston (H-Town, Space City, etc.)

 

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: https://www.katepentecost.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17712741.Kate_Pentecost

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pentecostelle

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

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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

The Monster Hypothesis by Romily Bernard

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

Author: Romily Bernard

Book Series: Standalone so far

Rating: 5/5

Publication Date: December 10, 2019

Genre: MG Mystery

Recommended Age: 10+ (science and mystery! Some scary moments with missing kids)

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 304

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Welcome to Bohring-home to 453 people, 2,053 alligators, and one monster curse.Correction: home to 454 people, now that Kick Winter is living in the swamp Hollows with her Grandma Missouri, the town (fake) psychic. Bohring is anything but boring for Kick who has already blown a hole through the kitchen floor, befriended a chicken-eating gator, and discovered that the town’s hundred-year curse is upon them.It’s the Bohring curse and all the kids are about to become monsters-or so the legend goes. People are worried-except for Kick. She knows there’s a scientific explanation for everything, especially curses and monsters. But Kick is the new kid in school and she’s determined to make a name for herself . . . by pretending to be psychic.According to her calculations: one teeny-tiny life + (fake) psychic skills = popularity. But when kids start disappearing and glowing creatures start showing up, Kick’s theory quickly evaporates in a puff of foul-smelling swamp gas. Can Kick use her (real) science smarts to prove the curse is a hoax? Or is it just-maybe-sort of-somehow possible the curse is here?

Review: This was a really fun book! I loved the character development of Kick and Carolina, I loved seeing that Kick, who’s our main character, had a love for science, in a day and age where we still need more women in STEM programs, and I loved the story. It was a fun mystery filled with scientific explanations and even for a middle grade book the writing and explanation of the science was very well described. The book also features Kick’s experiment book in the back and it tells kids how to do some of science experiments. Definitely recommend for any middle grader.The book didn’t really have an issue, but I would like to see more of this book in a series. I think that this could be greatly expanded and it can help younger girls and boys alike get more into science and history.

Verdict: A definite must read for your little ones and for you older ones too! Never too old to learn science!

Elizabeth Webster and the Court of Uncommon Pleas by William Lashner

ELIZABETH WEBSTER

elizabeth webster arc cover

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

Author: William Lashner

Book Series: Standalone at the moment

Rating: 5/5

Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Recommended Age: 10+ (some violence, some scary moments)

Genre: MG Fantasy

Publisher: Disney Press

Synopsis: Welcome to Elizabeth Webster’s world, where the common laws of middle school torment her days . . . and the uncommon laws of an even weirder realm govern her nights.

Elizabeth Webster is happy to stay under the radar (and under her bangs) until middle school is dead and gone. But when star swimmer Henry Harrison asks Elizabeth to tutor him in math, it’s not linear equations Henry really needs help with-it’s a flower-scented, poodle-skirt-wearing, head-tossing ghost who’s calling out Elizabeth’s name.

But why Elizabeth? Could it have something to do with her missing lawyer father? Maybe. Probably. If only she could find him. In her search, Elizabeth discovers more than she is looking for: a grandfather she never knew, a startling legacy, and the secret family law firm, Webster & Son, Attorneys for the Damned.

Elizabeth and her friends soon land in court, where demons and ghosts take the witness stand and a red-eyed judge with a ratty white wig hands out sentences like sandwiches. Will Elizabeth’s father arrive in time to save Henry Harrison-and is Henry the one who really needs saving?

Review: Oh my goodness I loved this book! I loved how intelligent it was, but how it simplified things for younger children. Not saying that children are dumb, but this book does have some legal terms and math terms and it was great to see how they can be incorporated into a MG book and how it can teach kids early on these terms. The book is interesting from beginning to end and the characters are wonderful and well developed.

My only complaint is that the pacing was slow in places but it quickly picked up in a lot more. The ending feels a bit rushed as well to me.

Verdict: A wonderful book! Highly recommend!

ELIZABETH WEBSTER AND THE COURT OF UNCOMMON PLEAS Tour Assets

About the Book

Title: ELIZABETH WEBSTER AND THE COURT OF UNCOMMON PLEAS

Author: William Lashner

Pub. Date: October 15, 2019

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 320

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD

Welcome to Elizabeth Webster’s world, where the common laws of middle school torment her days . . . and the uncommon laws of an even weirder realm govern her nights.
Elizabeth Webster is happy to stay under the radar (and under her bangs) until middle school is dead and gone. But when star swimmer Henry Harrison asks Elizabeth to tutor him in math, it’s not linear equations Henry really needs help with-it’s a flower-scented, poodle-skirt-wearing, head-tossing ghost who’s calling out Elizabeth’s name.
But why Elizabeth? Could it have something to do with her missing lawyer father? Maybe. Probably. If only she could find him. In her search, Elizabeth discovers more than she is looking for: a grandfather she never knew, a startling legacy, and the secret family law firm, Webster & Son, Attorneys for the Damned.
Elizabeth and her friends soon land in court, where demons and ghosts take the witness stand and a red-eyed judge with a ratty white wig hands out sentences like sandwiches. Will Elizabeth’s father arrive in time to save Henry Harrison-and is Henry the one who really needs saving?
Set in the historic streets of Philadelphia, this riveting middle-grade mystery from New York Times best-selling author William Lashner will have readers banging their gavels and calling for more from the incomparable Elizabeth Webster.

About William:
William Lashner is the New York Times Bestselling creator of Victor Carl, who has been called by Booklist one of the mystery novel’s “most compelling, most morally ambiguous characters.” The Victor Carl novels, which have been translated into more than a dozen foreign languages and have been sold all across the globe, include BAGMEN, KILLER’S KISS, FALLS THE SHADOW, FATAL FLAW, and HOSTILE WITNESS. He is also the author of GUARANTEED HEROES, THE BARKEEP, which was an Edgar Award nominee and a Digital Book World Number One Bestseller, THE ACCOUNTING, and BLOOD AND BONE.
Writing under the pseudonym of Tyler Knox, Lashner is also the author of KOCKROACH, described as “roaringly entertaining,” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “an energetic tour de force,” by USA Today. As Tyler Knox he has written a number of book reviews for the Washington Post Book World.
Lashner was a criminal prosecutor with the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. before quitting the law to write fulltime. A graduate of the New York University School of Law, as well as the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he lives with his wife and three children outside Philadelphia.
William Lashner Photo © Sigrid Estrada
Website | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a finished copy of ELIZABETH WEBSTER AND THE COURT OF UNCOMMON PLEAS, US Only.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:
10/1/2019- Pandora’s BooksExcerpt
10/2/2019- Southern Girl BookaholicReview
10/3/2019- Shelf-RatedReview
10/4/2019- BookHounds YAExcerpt

Week Two:
10/7/2019- Odd and BookishReview
10/8/2019- EatingbetweenthelinesINCReview
10/9/2019- Little Red ReadsReview
10/10/2019- History from a Woman’s Perspective– Review
10/11/2019- Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersExcerpt

Week Three:
10/14/2019- Books_andPoetriiExcerpt
10/15/2019- Jena Brown WritesReview
10/16/2019- NerdophilesReview
10/17/2019- Savings in SecondsReview
10/18/2019- The Reading Corner for AllReview

Week Four:
10/21/2019- Books a Plenty Book ReviewsReview
10/22/2019- Wonder StruckReview
10/23/2019- Smada’s Book SmackReview
10/24/2019- Novel NoviceExcerpt
10/25/2019- fictitious.foxReview

Week Five:
10/28/2019- Fyrekatz BlogReview
10/29/2019- Two points of interestReview
10/30/2019- FictitiouswonderlandReview
10/31/2019- PopTheButterfly ReadsReview

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA

lasttruepoets

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

Author: Julia Drake

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Main is bisexual, one of the female characters is straight but then goes into a F/F relationship

Publication Date: October 1, 2019

Genre: YA Contemporary

Recommended Age: 17+ (TW suicide mentioning and possible food control/anorexia/bullimia)

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Pages: 400

Amazon Link

Synopsis: The Larkin family isn’t just lucky—they persevere. At least that’s what Violet and her younger brother, Sam, were always told. When the Lyric sank off the coast of Maine, their great-great-great-grandmother didn’t drown like the rest of the passengers. No, Fidelia swam to shore, fell in love, and founded Lyric, Maine, the town Violet and Sam returned to every summer.

But wrecks seem to run in the family. Tall, funny, musical Violet can’t stop partying with the wrong people. And, one beautiful summer day, brilliant, sensitive Sam attempts to take his own life.

Shipped back to Lyric while Sam is in treatment, Violet is haunted by her family’s missing piece – the lost shipwreck she and Sam dreamed of discovering when they were children. Desperate to make amends, Violet embarks on a wildly ambitious mission: locate the Lyric, lain hidden in a watery grave for over a century.

She finds a fellow wreck hunter in Liv Stone, an amateur local historian whose sparkling intelligence and guarded gray eyes make Violet ache in an exhilarating new way. Whether or not they find the Lyric, the journey Violet takes-and the bridges she builds along the way-may be the start of something like survival.

Review: I am so perplexed by this book. I loved the writing, I loved the character development, and I loved how the author made something so complex but simple at the same time. I love the world building and the relationships between the family members.

However, I feel like the plot of the story isn’t there? Like it felt like a lot of the story was circular and the pacing was super slow and nothing really happened, but yet I liked it and I felt like we were getting somewhere? I don’t know, this was a trip lol.

Verdict: I definitely believe this is worth the read.

THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA Tour Assets

About the Book

Title: THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA

Author: Julia Drake

Pub. Date: October 1, 2019

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 400

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD

The Larkin family isn’t just lucky—they persevere. At least that’s what Violet and her younger brother, Sam, were always told. When the Lyric sank off the coast of Maine, their great-great-great-grandmother didn’t drown like the rest of the passengers. No, Fidelia swam to shore, fell in love, and founded Lyric, Maine, the town Violet and Sam returned to every summer.

But wrecks seem to run in the family: Tall, funny, musical Violet can’t stop partying with the wrong people. And, one beautiful summer day, brilliant, sensitive Sam attempts to take his own life.

Shipped back to Lyric while Sam is in treatment, Violet is haunted by her family’s missing piece-the lost shipwreck she and Sam dreamed of discovering when they were children. Desperate to make amends, Violet embarks on a wildly ambitious mission: locate the Lyric, lain hidden in a watery grave for over a century.

She finds a fellow wreck hunter in Liv Stone, an amateur local historian whose sparkling intelligence and guarded gray eyes make Violet ache in an exhilarating new way. Whether or not they find the Lyric, the journey Violet takes-and the bridges she builds along the way-may be the start of something like survival.

Epic, funny, and sweepingly romantic, The Last True Poets of the Sea is an astonishing debut about the strength it takes to swim up from a wreck.

About Julia:
Julia Drake grew up outside Philadelphia. As a teenager, she played some of Shakespeare’s best heroines in her high school theater program and their stories would stay with her forever. She received her BA in Spanish from Williams College, and her MFA in creative writing from Columbia University, where she also taught writing to first-year students. She currently works as a book coach for aspiring writers and teaches creative writing classes for Writopia Lab, a nonprofit that fosters love of writing in young adults. She lives in San Francisco with her partner and their rescue rabbit, Ned.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Week One:
10/1/2019- Twirling Book PrincessExcerpt
10/2/2019- BookHounds YAExcerpt
10/3/2019- Wonder Struck Review
10/4/2019- Dazzled by BooksReview

Week Two:
10/7/2019- The Layaway DragonReview
10/8/2019- PopTheButterfly ReadsReview
10/9/2019- Novel NoviceExcerpt
10/10/2019- Southern Girl Bookaholic Review
10/11/2019- Fyrekatz BlogReview

Week Three:
10/14/2019- Jena Brown Writes Review
10/15/2019- Fire and IceReview
10/16/2019- Moonlight RendezvousReview
10/17/2019- A Bookish DreamReview
10/18/2019- Portrait of a BookReview

Week Four:
10/21/2019- The Pages In-BetweenReview
10/22/2019- Lisa Loves LiteratureExcerpt
10/23/2019- Two points of interestReview
10/24/2019- Do You Dog-ear?Review
10/25/2019- NerdophilesReview

Week Five:
10/28/2019- Novel Nerd FactionReview
10/29/2019- Book-KeepingReview
10/30/2019- Eli to the nthReview
10/31/2019- That Georgia GypsyReview

Bruce’s Big Storm by Ryan T. Higgins

BRUCE'S BIG STORM.jpg

brucebigstorm

 

BRUCE’S BIG STORM Tour Assets

About the Book

Title: BRUCE’S BIG STORM

Author: Ryan T. Higgins

Pub. Date: September 3, 2019

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 48

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD

 

Bruce’s home is already a full house.

 

But when a big storm brings all his woodland neighbors knocking, he’ll have to open his door to a crowd of animals in need of shelter-whether he likes it or not.

 

Readers will love this next installment of the uproarious, award-winning Mother Bruce series.

 

About Ryan: 

Ryan T. Higgins is a New York Times Bestselling author/illustrator residing in Southern Maine. He lives with his two dogs, two cats, one gecko, one tortoise, one son, one daughter, and one wife. As a child, he lived on a diet of cartoons, cheese sandwiches, and climbing trees. At the age of four he decided to become a cartoonist and he’s been making his own cartoons ever since.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of BRUCE’S BIG STORM, US Only.

 

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10/1/2019- Shortcake_bibliophageExcerpt

10/2/2019- Cindy’s Love of BooksExcerpt

10/3/2019- fictitious.foxReview

10/4/2019- BookHounds YAReview

 

Week Two:

10/7/2019- PopTheButterfly ReadsReview

10/8/2019- Do You Dog-ear?Review

10/9/2019- Savings in SecondsReview

10/10/2019- The Try Everything Excerpt

10/11/2019- Starlight ReadsReview

 

Week Three:

10/14/2019- Treestand Book ReviewsReview

10/15/2019- Beagles and BooksReview

10/16/2019- Little Red ReadsReview

10/17/2019- Wonder StruckReview

10/18/2019- Life Within The PagesReview

 

Week Four:

10/21/2019- Fyrekatz BlogReview

10/22/2019- Southern Girl BookaholicReview

10/23/2019- Two points of interestReview

10/24/2019- Novel NoviceReview

10/25/2019- Here’s to Happy EndingsReview

 

Week Five:

10/28/2019- YA Book NerdReview

10/29/2019- Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersReview

10/30/2019- NerdophilesReview

10/31/2019- Wishful EndingsReview

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston Excerpt!

10 BLIND DATES.jpg

10 Blind Dates (1)

The crowd at Matt’s is bigger than I expected. Today was the
last day of school before the holiday break, and it looks like
everyone is ready to celebrate. There must be a million lights
strung over his house and the bushes and trees. Really, there
are lights covering anything that stayed still too long.
Most people are in T-shirts and shorts, and even with all
of the decorations it’s hard to feel festive. Doesn’t really feel
like winter break when you’re swatting mosquitoes. Stupid
Louisiana weather.
I park my car four houses down, the closest spot I can find.

Even from this far away, I can still hear the deep thump
of bass coming from Matt’s backyard. It wouldn’t surprise me
if the neighbors call the cops within the hour. Hopefully, we’ll
be gone by then; it would be hard to explain why I was here
instead of halfway to my grandparents’ house when one of the
deputies inevitably calls my dad.
When I get to Matt’s, I spot a guy and a girl sitting in the
grass near the driveway, and they seem to be arguing. The
drama doesn’t usually get started this early. They get quiet
when they notice me and I pick up the pace, trying to give

them their privacy. Following the music, I head to the back-
yard toward the pool house. Just as I’m about to round the

house, I feel a tug on my arm.
And then I’m swallowed in a breath-crushing hug.
“I thought you weren’t coming!” Addie squeals loud enough
that several people turn our direction.

“Can you believe I talked my parents into going with-
out me?”

“I can’t! Are you staying at Nonna’s?” She sticks out her
bottom lip in a pout. “I’m still barely going to see you!”
I laugh. “Yes, you will. I have a plan. Nonna will be so busy
during the day, she won’t even miss me. I’ll head back here and
we can hang out.”
“Your parents will flip if they find out. We’ll have to hide
your car.” Addie jumps up and down. “Oh! And bring Olivia. I
haven’t seen her in forever.”

I nod, even though I doubt she’ll want to come back with
me. Olivia is one of my many cousins and the daughter of
Mom’s twin sister, Lisa. We’re only two months apart in age
and used to be super close when we were younger, but we’ve
seen less and less of each other over the last couple of years.
“Olivia is helping Nonna at the shop. I’m not sure she can get
away.”
Her eyes brighten, then she starts dragging me to the pool
house. “We’ll just have to find a way to break her out of there.”
“Have you seen Griffin?” I ask, changing the subject away
from Olivia.
“Not yet, but Danny and I just got here. Maybe he’s inside.”
She nods toward the pool house. “Want a beer?”
“Nah, I have to drive to Nonna’s soon. I’ll find a bottle of
water somewhere,” I say as we part ways. Addie heads to the
keg hidden in the shrubbery and I push through the crowd.
The music is so loud once I get inside that the first few people
I talk to can’t hear me at all.
I finally make it through the room and find a few of
Griffin’s friends.
“Sophie! What’s up!” Chris yells then tries to hug me. He’s
already down to his white undershirt and boxer shorts. I hold
my arm out to keep him at a safe distance. Chris is the guy
that always manages to get one step from naked at parties. At
the school Halloween dance, he came dressed as a cowboy,
but by the end of the night all that was left of his costume was
the pair of chaps over his boxer briefs. He got a week’s worth
of detentions for indecent exposure.
“Not much. Where’s Griffin?” I ask then turn around to
scope out the room.
Chris waves his hand behind him. “Somewhere back
there. Went looking for a beer.”

I nod then scoot around him. It’s hard to make any prog-
ress through the crowd, but I finally spot Griffin just as he

turns into the small kitchen in the back of the pool house. It
takes me a few minutes to catch up since I stumbled into the
middle of a dance circle and Josh Peters won’t let me leave
without spinning me around a few times. As I’m just about to
round the corner into the kitchen, where the music is actually
somewhat muted, I hear Griffin say, “Sophie’s on her way.”
It’s not the words that make me stop. It’s the way he says
them. Full of disappointment.
Parker, one of Griffin’s best friends, is pulling two beers
out of the refrigerator. Neither one of them notice me just
outside the door.

“I thought she was going to her sister’s house or some-
thing?” Parker asks.

Griffin’s head hangs. “She was. But not anymore.”
He’s so bummed I’m staying, like I’ve ruined his break. I
can hear it in his voice, that horrible feeling—the one where
you were so looking forward to something, like you were about
to bust out of your skin because you were so happy, only to
have it snatched away. That’s how I felt when I thought I
wouldn’t be here for the break.
And that’s how he sounds after hearing I will be here.
What is happening?
Griffin starts to turn, and I duck around the corner.
Why am I hiding? I should be storming in there, demanding
answers. But I’m frozen. I count to five and then slowly look
back into the kitchen.
“She’ll be here any minute,” he says but stays rooted in
his spot.
Parker pops open one of the beers then hands it to Griffin.
Griffin takes a long drink.
“So what’s the problem?” Parker asks. Obviously he can
hear the disappointment, too.
Griffin shrugs. “This is going to make me sound like an
asshole, but I was kind of glad she was going to be gone. You
know, like a trial run of what it would be like if we broke up.”
My heart is pounding.
“Do you want to break up with her?” Parker asks, then
takes another swig of his beer.
Griffin shrugs again. My desire to scream is almost
overwhelming.
“I think so.”
I gasp. Parker and Griffin both turn toward the door.
Parker’s eyes get big, and he looks from me to Griffin and
back to me.
There’s a split second where Griffin tries to figure out if I
heard what was said. But the expression on my face makes it
obvious that I did.
I stumble back, hitting the wall before fleeing.
I have to get out of here. I can’t look at him. I can’t be here.
“Sophie!” Griffin follows behind me, but I duck and dodge
my way toward the door. I’m afraid I won’t make it outside
before the tears start to fall. Then Addie sees my face and
barrels through the people dancing, pulling me out of the pool
house.
“What happened?” she asks once we’re on the other side
of the pool.
I crumple to the ground and tell her everything.
“That asshole,” she says. Addie turns, like she’s going to
hunt him down.
“Please help me get out of here,” I plead.
She moves back toward me. “Of course. Let’s go.”
Addie helps me off the ground and we pick our way
through the landscaping. Tears are streaming down my face
now, and I don’t even try to stop them.
My heart is crushed.
More than crushed.
Pulverized.
He wants to break up with me.
“I can’t believe him,” Addie mutters under her breath. “He’s
going to break up with you? Whatever. He’s lucky to have you!”
I don’t have the words to answer her. Not sure if I ever
will.
Just as we make it to the driveway, we see Griffin. He’s
running down the driveway, scanning the street.
“I can’t talk to him right now,” I croak out. Addie nods

and moves me into the shadows before marching out to con-
front him.

“No. Just no,” Addie says. “She doesn’t want to talk to you.”
Griffin’s face is illuminated by one of the lights anchored
to the eave of the house. He looks awful.
Guilty, yes, but there’s also sadness swimming in those
eyes.
“Please, Addie. I need to talk to her.” He squints toward
the darkness where I’m hiding. “Please, Sophie. Talk to me.
Let me explain. I didn’t mean it like that.”
I take a step back; not wanting to be near him . . . not
wanting to hear his excuses. Running behind a row of Azalea
bushes to the front yard, I trip every other step, trying to put
some distance between us.
I hope Griffin doesn’t follow me. There is a small part of
me that wants to take what I heard, twist it around until it’s
something that doesn’t crush me. But I can’t quit hearing the
disappointment in his voice. No matter what he says, he didn’t
want to see me. He didn’t want to be here with me.
By the time I make it to my car, I’m shattered. Footsteps
pound on the pavement behind me, and I brace myself.

“Sophie, please talk to me?” Griffin begs.
I’m facing the car. He’s right behind me, and I know Addie
is somewhere behind him.
My mouth tightens. “I was so excited my parents let me
stay home because all I could think was how fun it would be
to hang out with you. Just the two of us. That’s what I was
looking forward to. But you want a break. From me. Right?
Isn’t that what you were looking forward to?”
His hand lands softly on my shoulder and he says, “Turn
around and talk to me.”
I shrug him off. “Is that what you want?”
I can feel him struggling to find the words. “I don’t know
what I want, Soph. Everything is so confusing right now.
Things got so serious between us. It’s our senior year. We’re
supposed to be having fun!”
I spin around. “Well, let me make it easy for you. You want
a break? You got it. We’re done.”

He reaches for me but I dodge his grasp. He seems fran-
tic, but I can’t help but think it’s because of how this is going

down. He didn’t get his trial run first.
“Wait, Sophie. Can we talk about this? I love you. I
really do.”
His words are like a blow. I’ve waited and wanted him to
say this to me for months.
I can’t do this.
I can’t stay here.
“Please stay and talk to me,” Griffin begs. I turn and get
into my car.
Griffin finally retreats to the sidewalk as I start the engine,
and Addie runs to the window. “Let me drive you.”
I give her a weak smile. “I’m fine. I’ll call you later, okay?
I love you.”
She reaches in the window and gives me a quick hug. “I
love you, too.”
Thankfully, Griffin keeps his distance.
Within minutes, I’m on I-20 headed to Shreveport.

 

10 BLIND DATES Tour Assets

About the Book

Title: 10 BLIND DATES

Author: Ashley Elston

Pub. Date: October 1, 2019

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 336

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle, AudibleB&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD

 

Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship.

 

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

 

When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

 

This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever . . . or is it?

 

“This piece-by-piece romance doesn’t need its Christmas theme to sell, but it makes it glitter all the more.”—Booklist

“In a funny holiday romance that has Sophie dog-sitting in a hockey rink, watching porn at a drive-in theater, and playing the Virgin Mary in a middle school Nativity, Elston cleverly reflects the family members’ personalities through their choices of dates for Sophie.”—Publishers Weekly

 

About Ashley: 

Ashley Elston is the author of several novels, including THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING (a finalist in the Best Young Adult Novel category of the International Thriller Awards) and THIS IS OUR STORY. She graduated with a Liberal Arts degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Ashley worked for many years as a wedding photographer before turning her hand to writing. Ashley lives in Louisiana with her husband and three sons. 

 

Ashley is represented by Sarah Davies at The Greenhouse Literary Agency.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of 10 BLIND DATES, US Only.

 

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/1/2019- BookHounds YAExcerpt

10/2/2019- Odd and BookishReview

10/3/2019- FictitiouswonderlandReview

10/4/2019- Here’s to Happy EndingsReview

 

Week Two:

10/7/2019- PopTheButterfly ReadsExcerpt

10/8/2019- Read. Eat. Love.Review

10/9/2019- Paper ReaderReview

10/10/2019- A Bookish DreamReview

10/11/2019- Savings in SecondsReview

 

Week Three:

10/14/2019- book briefsReview

10/15/2019- Shelf-RatedReview

10/16/2019- Smada’s Book SmackReview

10/17/2019- Do You Dog-ear?Review

10/18/2019- Wishful EndingsReview

 

Week Four:

10/21/2019- Southern Girl BookaholicReview

10/22/2019- Eli to the nthReview

10/23/2019- fictitious.fox– Review

10/24/2019-  Fire and IceReview

10/25/2019- Two points of interestReview

 

Week Five:

10/28/2019- Riddle’s ReviewsReview

10/29/2019- Jena Brown WritesReview

10/30/2019- Moonlight RendezvousReview

10/31/2019- Novel NoviceReview

 

 

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

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

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: One member of the family is gay, but unfortunately he doesn’t play a huge role in the book.

Publication Date: October 1, 2019

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Recommended Age: 15+ (some sex is mentioned, some slight language, lots of cute romance)

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 336

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever… or is it?

Review: Holy crap how cute is this book!?! I loved every minute of this read! I have a big family too and I just loved seeing a great big family working together to make one of their own happy. The characters were fantastic, the story was interesting, the romance was cute, the writing was well done, and I freaking love this book!

The only issues I had were that I wish I had more backstory on the other family members. The author could really market on this book and make it a series with some of the other characters from it, like Sara or Addie or even Nonna!

Verdict: I love this book so much.