Book Review: Missing by Kelley Armstrong

Summary: The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve’s End is that soon she’ll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere.

The only thing Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree.

But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they’re all missing?








Release Date: April 2017
Age Group: YA, Thriller
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
I read that Armstrong was jumping over to a new sub-genre (Thriller) in YA lit and man did she deliver.  This book had me in a constant state of paranoia. I heard every creaking noise in my house and I just knew someone was there to steal me from my bed! It was just so dang good. I was the same kind of "jumpy" when I read Forest of Hands and Teeth (minus the Zombies). I'm not sure I've read a better YA Suspense than Missing.

I really loved the setting. It reminded me of several remote places I've visited and thought either: "Are people still really this backwards?" or "Wow, we have a lot of people that really just need help".  The setting, the suspense and the plot are all fantastic and this is a YA that I think would catch the attention of young guys. The love interests are minimal and not the meat of the story.

I loved Winter Crane, she was just as unique as her name. I felt like I knew her and found myself thinking of what I might do in her situation... then I would get too freaked out and just start reading again. This book was like watching an episode of CSI that had Katniss Everdeen as one of the investigators who gets tangled in the crime/mystery.

Missing was unpredictable, unique and clever.I'm not sure what else I can say that will not be spoiler'ish other than Armstrong got me, in a good, creepy way. Fans of CSI type series and Thrillers are sure to love Missing!

Book Review: The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

Summary: 
Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.

Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.

The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control . . . or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.
 


Release Date:  April 2017
Age Group: YA, Contemporary
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
When I read the summary for The Whole Thing Together I thought it sounded both tragic and hopeful. It was more tragic for me. I will admit that I didn't know what to think when I finished this book. Was I happy? Sad? I didn't know because I felt so freaking bad for this family.

The writing style is smooth and Brashares does a good job of explaining the crazy family connections between two blended families. Every single character has their flaws and semi-storyline. I really think that almost everyone could have had their own story because the issues that arise are no easy topics (infidelity, race, adoption, etc). And because of these topics I am pretty confident that some readers are going to pick apart certain aspects of this story. Am I going to? No. For me, some of the crazy made sense and I was more focused on the effects of divorce on kids. I am a child of a pretty nasty divorce and come from a white mother and a Hispanic father {that refused to teach me Spanish #stillbitter}. Oh man, I got stories.

Overall, I did enjoy the story but I wasn't surprised by the outcome. It was pretty much what I guessed would happen. I felt like it was cut short. There was a huge build-up and then you just said goodbye.

Even though this story was a bit too heavy for me, I still feel like I found a new author to enjoy. I like Brashares flow and ease of writing. I am motivated to give one of her other stories a try.
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Ann Brashares is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now,
3 Willows, The Last Summer (of You & Me), and My Name Is Memory. She lives in New York City with her family. Visit Ann’s website at AnnBrashares.com and follow on Twitter @AnnBrashares.

Hoppy Easter Blog Hop & Giveaway

***CLOSED*** 
Congrats to LadyMagnolia99 for winning the Amazon GiftCard!



I tried & tried to think of the perfect book for this giveaway but I just couldn't decide what genre or even age group let alone an actual book! So I am going with the tried & true, 100% guarantee you will get what you want, an amazon gift card.

  
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Want to win more goodies? HOP from blog to blog (listed below) and enter as many giveaways as you can!  

I hope each of you have a fantastic weekend with family and friends.  
Tweet ya soon!

 

Book Review & Blog Tour: The Book of Air

Summary: 
Retreating from an airborne virus with a uniquely unsettling symptom, property developer Jason escapes London for his country estate, where he is forced to negotiate a new way of living with an assortment of fellow survivors.  
Far in the future, an isolated community of descendants continue to farm this same estate. Among their most treasured possessions are a few books, including a copy of Jane Eyre, from which they have constructed their hierarchies, rituals and beliefs. When 15-year-old Agnes begins to record the events of her life, she has no idea what consequences will follow. Locked away for her transgressions, she escapes to the urban ruins and a kind of freedom, but must decide where her future lies.
These two stories interweave, illuminating each other in unexpected ways and offering long vistas of loss, regeneration and wonder.
The Book of Air is a story of survival, the shaping of memory and the enduring impulse to find meaning in a turbulent world.

Release Date: April 2017
Age Group:
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
For me, the Gold Standard for any dystopian novel revolves around 2 things: originality and possibility. My two absolute favorites are The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood and and The Giver quartet by Lois Lowery. The Book of Air will be added to this prestigious list. This story is so clever and original that I started recommending it to friends 3% into it!

The storyline is unique to anything I've read in that the POV is simultaneously driven by two characters, Jason & Agnes, one of past and one of present. It did take me a few chapters to figure this out but when I did, I was hooked. Once I fell into the two storylines and they started to unfold, it really moved at a steady pace. With each chapter the reader gets a little more of what created the post-apocalyptic world that Agnes knows.

When I figured out what The Book of Air actually was, my level of excitement skyrocketed. I don't want to spoil anything. I just can't. Seriously, such a clever twist on what humanity will deem important. The anticipation of trying to figure out the link between Jason and Agnes was torture (but in a fun emoji face kind of way).

Simply put, The Book of Air is original, compelling and hopeful. A must-read for all dystopian fans.
____________________________________________________________________________________
About Joe Treasure
Joe Treasure currently lives in South West London with his wife Leni Wildflower. As an English teacher in Wales, he ran an innovative drama programme, before following Leni across the pond to Los Angeles, an experience that inspired his critically acclaimed debut novel The Male Gaze (published by Picador). His second novel Besotted (also published by Picador) also met with rave reviews.
Get your copy of The Book of Air  HERE.


Book Review: Confessions of a High School Disaster {Chloe Snow's Diary} by Emma Chastain

Summary: In the tradition of Bridget Jones’s Diary, a lovably flawed high school student chronicles her life as she navigates the highs and lows of family, friendship, school, and love in a diary that sparkles with humor and warmth. 

Release Date: March 2017
Age Group: YA
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By:  Maryn



Review:
"This was a book I loved to hate and hated to love!" 
Confessions of a High School Disaster is one of those books that you know you should  probably put down but you just can't, it's a train wreck you can't look away from! It is kind of like the Bachelor, I probably shouldn't watch it but I record it every single week and silently cheer for one of the girls... silently, because I don't want anyone to know I'm watching it.

This story focuses on Chloe Snow's diary and her high school experience as a freshman. It is very rare that I don't support the main character of a book and I could not handle Chloe because she is extremely self-centered, hypocritical, and naive.  I didn't find her to be relatable at all, and her life at high school was unrealistic. I was constantly thinking to myself, are people really this mean? If I'm completely honest though, this is the reason the book was so entertaining. Chloe is shockingly similar to Celeste from The Selection series, and you just love to hate her

I did like the meanness of this story and there were several parts that I felt would be inappropriate for young readers, this is definitely for older kids.  I enjoyed the story more than I thought I would and suggest that people looking for a funny, light, and easy read pick it up!
If you loved Mean Girls then this is a Diary for you!

Book Review: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith



Summary: Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined . . . and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.


Release Date: May 2017
Age Group: YA
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
I decided this year I was going to try new authors and so far, they have been killing the game! I absolutely LOVED Jennifer Smith's writing style and this book is simply a gem. The clever book graphics, title and even the last page, I guarantee will suck you in.

Let me begin with the title: Windfall

windfall
/ˈwin(d)fôl/
noun
 
A piece of unexpected good fortune, typically one that involves receiving a large amount of money.

I'll admit it, I learned a new word. Just based on the book summary, I wasn't sure this was my kind of read, I was afraid it would be too slow. After all, it is a far cry from my typical dystopian pleasure but I am excited to report I was totally & completely wrong!
 
Plain and simple I loved Alice, loved Teddy and even loved the Lottery. Each character was well-rounded and had their own uniqueness. I really never got board and as the story progressed I started thinking of how several of these characters needed a novella (or even their own story)!

Who hasn't sat and daydreamed about what they would do if they won the lottery? And I don't even play the lottery, although this has me considering adding scratch-offs to my Christmas cards, thoughts? tacky or cool?

Overall this was an excellent YA novel. It was innocent, clean and carries several themes that teens will find relatable; from family problems to peer interactions to evolving friendships, this book has it all. 

I am pretty confident that Windfall will be one of my top 5 favorites of 2017.


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>>> Pre-order a signed & personalized copy of WINDFALL HERE and submit your receipt HERE, and receive a prize pack filled with lucky things! <<<

Jennifer E. Smith is the author of seven novels for young adults, including The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. She earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and her work has been translated into thirty-three languages. She lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @JenESmith or visit her at jenniferesmith.com.


What moment changed your life?
#windfallmoment

Book Review: Ignite by Danielle Rogland

Summary: In the ruins of dystopian London, the Empire rules through fear and fire.

“Everyone knew about ‘The Flames’ and how much trouble they had caused the Empire. They were the only rebel group anyone knew of that had lasted longer than a few months without getting caught, leaving candles behind whenever they snatched somebody out of the Empire’s grasp. To get involved with people like them is stupid. So stupid.”

Ever since her parents were murdered by the empire’s agents, Jacks has been living on the street as a pickpocket trying to keep away from trouble. When she accidentally witnesses the rebel group ‘The Flames’ in the middle of an operation she is unwillingly swept up into their world, and has to decide if she’s going to go back to looking after herself or join the rebellion and help them fight for the people of London Ruins.

She knows that getting involved was stupid, but does she really have a choice?



Release Date: March 2017 {Re-publication}
Age Group: YA, Dystopian
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
Ignite, previously titled The Last Burning, was such a simple yet clever post-apocalyptic read. I had never read anything by Rogland and I am glad I did. She does a fantastic job of creating a dystopian world that does not resemble any other I've read (which is a hard feat in this genre) and it is non-stop action until the very last page. I had a hard time finding a breaking point and kept telling myself "one more chapter" until I realized I was done... that's a good story!

This war stricken world is set in London and follows the journey of a small group of rebels. The world building was very descriptive but not so much that I got lost in detail. The main character is Jacks but the story is told through multiple POV's. I enjoyed the change of thought and never got bored of any of the characters. Each character has their own unique story, are flawed and most importantly, memorable. Rogland did a fantastic job of really fleshing out each character.

And of course, I loved to hate the villains, they were simply terrifying! I would compare Emporer Donovan as a cross between Vaughn from Wither and President Snow from The Hunger Games. Eww, I know, isn't it great! {These two comparisons alone should be enough to make you want to read Ignite.}

There were plot twists that I didn't see coming and I never guessed where things were headed, just the right ingredients for a one sitting read (with maybe two pee breaks).

The ending. Oh man. I hate cliffhangers but this one gave me just enough closer to where I am not sure if there will be another installment or if this was a just a standalone. I am really hopeful that this is the start of a series because there are so many unanswered questions! Don't fail me now Rogland, I just found you!

Ignite is a very easy read and the writing style has a nice, simple flow. A must-read for all dystopian fans, YA lovers and just mankind in general. Ignite will easily be one of my Top 10 reads of 2017.