Blind Spot Blog Tour (Review + Giveaway)

"It's a story about how sometimes we fail to see things that are right in front of us."

Since You've Been Gone (Review)

"fabulous, wonderful, endearing, amazing story"

Dissected by Megan Bostic (Blog Tour)

"Powerful & Thought Provoking"

In Honor by Jessi Kirby (Review)

"This is going on my favorites shelf and I will probably reread it again in the future."

Blog Tour: Hungry by H.A. Swain (Review + Giveaway)

"Hungry is a captivating and thought-provoking story set in a fascinating world."

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Review))

"All-in-all, a perfect summer read and you should totally pick up these books, if you haven't already!"

The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle (Review)

"The Edge of Falling is a beautifully told story, both in plot and writing."

Hexed by Michelle Krys (Review)

"Hexed was just the thing that I needed to get back into the reading world."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto (ARC Review)


Series:
The Ghost House Saga #1
Genre:
Young Adult, Paranormal, Ghosts
Publication.Date:August 26, 2014
Pages:320 (eARC)
Published By:  Harlequin Teen
Website:Alexandra Adornetto 

Ghost House on Goodreads
My review copy:
Provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Where to get:



From the New York Times bestselling author of Halo comes the start of a beautiful and powerful new series.

After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother's country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger…

Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander's past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her.

To stop Isobel, Chloe must push her developing abilities to their most dangerous limits, even if it means losing Alex forever… and giving the hungry dead a chance to claim her for their own. (Goodreads)



Quotes obtained from ARC copy and are subject to change
I could feel the walls I'd built to keep the ghosts out starting to crumble. They were slipping through the cracks. My grief had made me weak, and I didn't have the strength to rebuild by inner fortress. There was no room for anything other than the overwhelming ache of missing my mother.
Some realizations are too devastating for tears.
You couldn't hide from the dead and you couldn't keep secrets from them. They saw everything.
At least I finally had an answer to my question. Where did our loved ones go after death? They didn't go anywhere. They stayed right where you left them, because you carried them with you. They were a part of you, like a tattoo. Trying to forget them was like trying to forget you had legs.


I love ghosts. I love ghost stories. I love stories about people who can see and interact with ghosts. Unfortunately, this is not a "waking up in the middle of the night because the ghosts are going to get me" story. This is just your typical paranormal teen romance.

Ghost House starts with the untimely death of Chloe and Rory's mother. After having not seen ghosts for years, Chloe begins seeing them again after her mom's death, whose funeral we begin the story on. Not long after said funeral, Chloe's grandmother decides she and her 12-year-old brother should go back to Hampshire with her for a change of scenery.

Almost immediately, Chloe encounters the ghost of Alexander Reade and he is the most beautiful thing she has every laid eyes on. If you've read my reviews before, you know how I feel about instalove. Nine times out of ten, it's a deal breaker for me. I didn't immediately close the book because it doesn't start out as instalove, but as a crush. Something innocent that everybody goes through. However, just a few short days and minimal encounters later . . . L-O-V-E to the max. A delayed instalove if you will. At one point she even states that she'd "been waiting all my life for Alexander Reade to show up." Slow your roll, kid.

Now Joe was a love interest I could get behind - and he had a lot going for him: 1) British 2) Nice guy 3) Good with animals, especially horses 4) Great with Rory 5) Has flesh and a pulse. But no, she goes for the dead guy whose crazy, also very dead, girlfriend is out to get Chloe for unknown reasons. 

I found myself to just be . . . underwhelmed. Plot, dialogue, descriptions, characters. All relatively underwhelming. There were interesting aspects (the flashbacks into the history of Alexander and Isobel, for instance), I was intrigued as to what Isobel's deal was, and on occasion Chloe's narrative pulled me into the story. Unfortunately, the bad outweighed the good and I was unable to get fully enriched  in the story.

However, I can see younger readers enjoying this book. I envision giving it to my 16-year-old cousin and her thoroughly enjoying the book and hankering to get her hands on the next two. Also, I think I would have enjoyed this back when I was a Twilight fan (and if you are a Twilight fan I don't mean anything bad by this, I'm merely making a comparison). For me, the book just felt been there, done that, don't wanna go back. I am just not the right audience for this book and there's nothing wrong with that.




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Friday, October 17, 2014

Blog Tour: They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire (Review | Giveaway)

Genre:
Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery
Publication.Date  October 14th 2014
Pages:339
Published By:  Delacorte Press
AuthorRoxanne St. Claire

They All Fall Down on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:


Pretty Little Liars meets Final Destination in this YA psychological thriller that will have readers’ hearts racing right till the very end!

Every year, the lives of ten girls at Vienna High are transformed.

All because of the list.

Kenzie Summerall can’t imagine how she’s been voted onto a list of the hottest girls in school, but when she lands at number five, her average life becomes dazzling. Doors open to the best parties, new friends surround her, the cutest jock in school is after her.

This is the power of the list. If you’re on it, your life changes.

If you’re on it this year? Your life ends.

(Goodreads)

Who knows better than I do that sometimes there is guilt even when there is no crime? 
"No one comes into this believing. But after a while... There's no denying that the hand of something very powerful is on this list. Something insidious and unpredictable, something that thrives on the unexpected and never leaves a trace of crime in its wake, only the stink of a curse."



There's a curse.
There's a killer.
There's a very bizarre coincidence.


     They All Fall Down is quite a page turner! This is a thriller with ominous, fatalistic undertones that also explores themes of death, loss, fear, objectifying women, popularity and high school social structures, and it does it in a clever, not too obvious way. A fun, intense read that is also surprisingly unnerving at times and it keeps you guessing until the very end. 

     Kenzie's junior year promises to be the greatest one yet. She's been voted one of the hottest girls in school! That's right, the geeky Latin-obsessed girl made the famous "Hottie List", the list that makes royalty out of ten junior girls every year. And she is the 5th one! Kenzie knows The List will change her life, but what she does not anticipate is that instead of making it awesome, shiny and fun, her life will whither into a nightmare. Because The List comes with a mysterious curse. One by one, the hottest girls start dying in freak accidents and things quickly spin out of control. In order for the girls to survive they need to keep quiet about the curse and appease the keeper of the list. The problem is no one knows who the keeper is or what it even means to "appease" him. All they know is that they will have to pay a very high price to survive this. 

     As far fetched and highly improbable as the plot line is, They All Fall Down is surprisingly entertaining and hard to put down. Sure, you sometimes roll your eyes at the crazy plot developments and yes, you really have to suspend your disbelief to enjoy this book, but I've read many books that were way more sketchy even without the vaguely supernatural aspect added to the plot. Many of the characters featured in this book are stereotypical and they serve one purpose - to be killed off, adding to the thrill and suspense of it all. And you really don't miss them when they're gone, you don't even feel sorry for them, given that they were deemed superficial, vane, and oftentimes slutty right from the get-go. Ultimately though that doesn't really matter, because it's not a character driven story. I didn't get attached to any of the characters, nor did I particularly sympathized with them, but at the same time I didn't feel like I was supposed to. I just enjoyed the twisty, captivating plot line. 

     I also enjoyed the over saturated, satire-like look at the high school society with all the cliques and popularity-based hierarchies. It was over the top and exaggerated, but undeniably spot on in so many ways. The underlying themes of this book really elevate the story, adding a subtle but very satisfying note to it and making it not only a great thriller, but also a cleverly designed cautionary tale. And they force you to kind of take a step back and re-evaluate your own priorities and behavior. The message isn't right in your face, it does not feel like it's being forced down your throat, it isn't didactic, but it's there and it adds important meaning, and that makes this book even better in my eyes. 

     Overall, They All Fall Down is a book that fans of fatalistic, you-can't-escape-your-destiny stories will probably enjoy immensely, especially if they can keep an open mind and allow themselves to believe in the unnatural, evil forces at play. I had a great time reading this book and will be picking up St.Claire's next novel for sure! 



Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
A copy of THEY ALL FALL DOWN will be sent by the awesome publisher to one lucky reader! US only please!


Blog Tour Schedule

10/14 Icey Books
10/15 Bumbles & Fairytales
10/16 Across the Words
10/17 Bookish
10/18 A Dream Within a Dream
10/19 Good Books & Good Wine
10/20 Jean Book Nerd
10/21 Pandora’s Books
10/22 Anatea’s Bookshelf
10/23 Supernatural Snark
10/24 The Children’s Book Review
10/25 Unofficial Addiction Book Club
10/26 Live to Read
10/27 Winter Haven Books / Rather Be Reading YA
10/28 Peace Love Books
10/29 Christy’s Book Addiction
10/30 Stories & Sweeties
10/31 Wondrous Reads

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Jackaby by William Ritter (Review)

Genre:
Young Adult, Supernatural, Mystery
Publication.Date  September 16th 2014
Pages:299
Published By:  Algonquin Young Readers
AuthorWilliam Ritter

Jackaby on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:


“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion--and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

(Goodreads)

It was the eyes, I think, that startled me the most, opened wide and staring with intense inquisition. It was the eyes—and the fact that he stood not half a pace from my stool, leaning ever so slightly in, so that our noses nearly bumped as I turned to face him.

His hair was black, or very dark brown, and nearly wild, having only enough civility to point itself in a tousled heap backward, save a few errant strands that danced about his temples. He had hard cheekbones and deep circles under pale, cloud gray eyes. His eyes looked like they could be a hundred lifetimes old, but he bore an otherwise young countenance and had a fervent energy about him.
“So she’s just a mad woman?”

Jackaby hesitated, and when he spoke, his answer had a soft earnestness to it. “Hatun sees a different world than you or I, a far more frightening one, full of far more terrible dangers, and still she chooses to be the hero whom that world needs. She has saved this town and its people from countless monsters countless times. That the battles are usually in her head does not lessen the bravery of it. The hardest battles always are.”
But that’s Jackaby in a nutshell. Science and magic, beauty and bedlam, things that ought to be at odds—they just don’t follow the same rules when Jackaby’s involved. 
Happiness is bliss—but ignorance is anesthetic, and in the face of what’s to come, that may be the best we can hope for our ill-fated acquaintances.




“Monsters are easy, Miss Rook. They’re monsters. But a monster in a suit? That’s basically just a wicked man, and a wicked man is a more dangerous thing by far.”

     Whimsical, quirky and highly entertaining, William Ritter's debut YA novel, Jackaby, is just as astonishing as its gorgeous packaging (just look at that cover!). 

     The plot line of Jackaby takes place in 1892 and involves a serial murderer of supernatural nature, an extraordinary detective with a sharp eye for anything mystical and unnatural, and a newly arrived in New Fiddleham young lady (not in distress) in need of a job. Abigail Rook ends up applying for the position of Jackaby's assistant and - thanks to her remarkable observation skills and the complete lack of competition - is immediately hired. Jackaby and Abigail will make a surprisingly well-matched team and their skills and wit will be put to test when the already twisted and horrific murder case will get ever more complicated. Will they find the killer before it's too late?

     I liked the fact that the book was written from the point of view of Jackaby's recently hired assistant, and not Jackaby himself, as it definitely provided us with an unbiased and insightful introduction to the charismatic hero and allowed us to get to know him without being tangled up in his wild and chaotic ( though certainly brilliant) trains of thought. Miss Rook made for a pleasant enough narrator - observant, open-minded, reasonably sassy and definitely intelligent. Tagging alongside Jackaby to all the crime scenes and investigating murders that screamed unnatural and unexplainable couldn't have been easy, but she handled it all with remarkable grace and bravery, earning my respect and admiration. And seeing Jackaby through her eyes allowed me to enjoy the plot line, the mystery, and the well researched tapestry of supernatural and mythical creatures without getting caught up in Jackaby's character. Because, let's face it, had this book been told from his perspective, he'd probably completely overshadow all the other aspects of it. 

     Jackaby is a fascinating character for sure, though I swear, to me he was more of a Jack Sparrow turned detective of supernatural phenomena, than Americanized version of Sherlock Holmes. There was just something about the way he handled himself that reminded me a lot of our favorite pirate. And no, it wasn't lack of hygiene or fondness of rum, rather his straightforwardness and completely unapologetic way of bursting into the crime scene like a tornado and doing 'his thing'. And, I admit, I kind of imagined his movements as fast and uncoordinated, though that might just be me. 

     The plot line itself was certainly well devised and filled with interesting bits and pieces of supernatural and occult information. It's not a very scary read - and it's not intended to be one - though there are a couple creepy and shudder-worthy situations and creatures woven into the story. The atmosphere is very mystifying and the big reveal - finding out who the murderer is - was unexpected and satisfactory enough for the book to be called a worthwhile read. 

     Ritter's usage of period-appropriate, almost lyrical prose makes for a spellbinding reading experience. His writing feels light and effortless, smooth and fluent, and very educated. I really enjoyed it, especially the witty dialogues and captivating descriptions. 

     To summarize, Jackaby is a very promising YA debut. I will be keeping a close eye on Ritter and his writing carrier, and I will be picking up the sequel with no hesitation. The characters in this book have so much potential for growth and I can see them becoming iconic and well-loved heroes and heroines of both young adult and adult readers. Can't wait to read more!


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Feature & Follow: Music Edition


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Share the song you can't stop listening to.

I have a couple songs I can't stop listening to right now and they're all related to my wedding! I try not to listen too much because I don't want to be sick of them, but every once in a while I'll pull them up and get myself all the more excited!

These aren't all the songs I've chosen, but can you guess which song if for which wedding aspect? I'll give you a hint: They're in order, but there may or may not be songs between them  :)










What are some songs you can't stop listening to? You can follow us however you like, just make sure to leave me a comment below with a link to your blog so I can visit! :)

  
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