Month: March 2017

Rockstar tour Review: Hearts and Other Body Parts

Posted March 31, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review / 0 Comments

Rockstar tour Review: Hearts and Other Body Parts

Rockstar tour Review: Hearts and Other Body PartsHearts & Other Body Parts by Ira Bloom
Published by Scholastic Press on March 28th 2017
Genres: humor, paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: hardcover
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

A novel of love and monsters.
Sisters Esme, Katy, and Ronnie are smart, talented, and gorgeous, and better yet . . . all three are witches. They have high school wired until the arrival of two new students. The first is Norman, who is almost eight feet tall and appears to be constructed of bolts and mismatched body parts. Despite his intimidating looks, Esme finds herself strangely -- almost romantically -- drawn to both his oversized brain and oversized heart.
The second new arrival is Zack, an impossibly handsome late transfer from the UK who has the girls at school instantly mesmerized. Soon even sensible Esme has forgotten Norman, and all three sisters are in a flat-out hex war to win Zack. But while the magic is flying, only Norman seems to notice that students who wander off alone with Zack end up with crushed bones and memory loss. Or worse, missing entirely.
Hearts & Other Body Parts is a wickedly addictive novel about love, monsters, and loyalty. And oh yeah, a Japanese corpse-eating demon cat.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hearts and Other Body Parts is a B-movie of a book. It’s terrible. The characters are flat and stereotypical. They have their roles and they stick to them. All of the characters act in silly ways with simple, poorly defined motivations. The villain is cartoonish and all the adults in town are clueless.

Needless to say, it’s hilarious.

Esme, Katy and Ronnie are sisters and witches. Each of them have different strengths. Esme is the smart one, Ronnie is the pretty one and Katy is best at spells. They live an idyllic life with their father and absent mother. Then Norman Stein moves to town. His full name is Frank N. Stein but he goes by his middle name for obvious reasons. He has a genetic condition that has resulted in many surgeries. He still has the bolts in his neck from the last one. He may look like a monster but he is actually a gentle giant genius. He becomes close with the sisters until Zakary moves to town. Zakary’s pale complexion and irresistible nature has all the girls chasing him. You can guess what happens next.

Esme and Norm are perfect together and Ronnie and Katy are just a mess. Zack was a perfect caricature of evil; all smile and no substance. Despite being predictable, this book was a great read. It’s fast and silly and fun. You want to read this after something heavy when you need a book that doesn’t take itself seriously. 

This is for fans of Sharknado and other terrible movies. If you love laughing at ridiculousness, this book is for you.

About the Author

I grew up in Annapolis Maryland. My mother is an artist and my father was a judge on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

I studied English Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. I also have some background in Eastern religions. After college I moved to Japan, where I taught ESL. I married a beautiful Japanese woman named Yasuko, moved to LA and taught junior high school English, ESL, and Japanese for the Los Angeles Unified School district. I am conversational in Japanese, but by no means consider myself fluent. After serving my debt to society in LA Unified, I went into the fashion business with my wife, who is a very talented fashion designer and is likely to read this, so I can’t say enough good things about her. We eventually branched into the vintage kimono business. I probably know more about Japanese textiles than any straight white man you’re likely to encounter. I’ve been writing humor for FUNNY TIMES since 2010. I currently live in West Sonoma County with my family and an assortment of furry beasts.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Follow the Tour

Week One

3/20/2017- Adventures of a Book Junkie– Interview
3/21/2017- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
3/22/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post
3/23/2017- YA Books Central– Review
3/24/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader– Interview

Week Two

3/27/2017- Beauty and the Bookshelf– Review
3/28/2017- Novel Novice– Guest Post
3/29/2017- Eli to the nth– Review
3/30/2017- The Cover Contessa– Interview
3/31/2017- Emily Reads Everything– Review

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3 winners will receive a finished copy of HEARTS & OTHER BODY PARTS, US Only.

 

four-stars

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Rockstar Review: Blood Rose Rebellion

Posted March 29, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, Review / 0 Comments

Rockstar Review: Blood Rose Rebellion

Rockstar Review: Blood Rose RebellionBlood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Series: Blood Rose Rebellion #1
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on March 28th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.
Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.
Her life might well be over.
In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.
As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksAudibleGoodreads

Historical fantasy is such a tricky genre, because it’s already happened. It can be hard to lace the real past with monsters and magic, especially if the book is set in an alternate version of our own world. Victorian England is a somewhat familiar setting and adding magic to it was interesting. However, when the events took Anna to Budapest, that’s when everything became more interesting to me. Hungary isn’t familiar to me and I loved the inclusion of Hungarian in the text.

The way magic worked in the world wasn’t specific enough for my taste. Characters said words or waved their hands and things happened. In the book, an example of a big magical display was a realistic illusion painted in the air. While cool, I don’t find it too impressive. However, in my mind this was OK because Anna is Barren. She is incapable of magic. Therefore, it makes sense that she doesn’t understand how it works or what they are doing when they are casting spells. She also doesn’t know what she is doing when spells fall apart around her. Still, I can’t help but think that if what magic is was better defined than what Anna did would also have been explained better as well. Sometimes it’s just better to accept that things are happening instead of searching for the how and why.

When I wasn’t trying to dissect what was going on, I really enjoyed the book. It was interesting and unusual. I did not like the ending but I really want to know what happens next. 

About the Author

Rosalyn Eves grew up in the Rocky Mountains, dividing her time between reading books and bossing her siblings into performing her dramatic scripts. As an adult, the telling and reading of stories is still one of her favorite things to do. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with her chemistry professor husband and three children, watching British period pieces, or hiking through the splendid landscape of southern Utah, where she lives. She dislikes housework on principle.

She has a PhD in English from Penn State, which means she also endeavors to inspire college students with a love for the English language. Sometimes it even works.

Rosalyn is represented by Josh Adams of Adams literary.

Her first novel, BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, first in a YA historical fantasy trilogy, debuts Spring 2017 from Knopf/Random House.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest |  Goodreads

Follow the Tour

Week One:

3/20/2017BookHounds YAInterview
3/21/2017YA Book MadnessReview
3/22/2017Page Turners BlogGuest Post
3/23/2017FiktshunReview
3/24/2017– NovelKnightReview

 Week Two:

3/27/2017Once Upon a TwilightInterview
3/28/2017Mundie MomsExcerpt
3/29/2017Emily Reads EverythingReview=
3/30/2017Two Chicks on BooksInterview
3/31/2017Book BriefsReview

Giveaway

3 winners will receive a signed finished copy of BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

four-stars

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Review: The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashers

Review: The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashers

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares Published by Delacorte Press on April 25th 2017 Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Pages: 304 Format: ebook Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads 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. I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of […]

Posted March 27, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Review: Wildly into the Dark by Tyler Knott Gregson

Review: Wildly into the Dark by Tyler Knott Gregson

Wildly into the Dark: Typewriter Poems and the Rattlings of a Curious Mind by Tyler Knott Gregson Published by TarcherPerigee on March 28, 2017 Genres: nonfiction, poetry Pages: 144 Format: hardcover Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads The most intimate and eclectic poetry collection yet from bestselling author and online sensation Tyler Knott Gregson With loyal fans around the world and across the internet, Tyler Knott Gregson is reinventing poetry for a new generation, using Instagram and Tumblr to reach readers where they are. Tyler’s third collection includes more of his popular Typewriter Series poems (featured in his first book, Chasers of the Light) as well as never-before-published scenes that paint the world as only Tyler sees and experiences it. Filled with vivid photographs and even more vivid emotions, Wildly Into the Dark is a must-have for longtime fans as well as newcomers to Tyler’s unique brand of passionate, intimate, and playful words and images. I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.I don’t usually post on Saturdays but I wanted to tell you about this new volume of poetry by Tyler Knott Gregson. I loved his last book, All the Words are Yours that was full of beautiful and simple Haiku. This book is full poems, […]

Posted March 25, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Review: The Gilded Cage by Vic James

Review: The Gilded Cage by Vic James

Gilded Cage by Vic James Series: Dark Gifts #1 Published by Del Rey Books on February 14th 2017 Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult Pages: 368 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved. Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world. A girl thirsts for love and knowledge. Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price? A boy dreams of revolution. Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution. And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts. He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy? I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. […]

Posted March 23, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
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Waiting on Wednesday: Ramona Blue

Waiting on Wednesday: Ramona Blue

I completely adored Dumplin’, also by Julie Murphy. That was the first book where I’ve seen a fat character, happy and proud of herself and her body. Representation is so important. Everyone should have the opportunity to see themselves in a book. With Dumplin’, Julie Murphy earned herself a fan for life. I will read anything she writes. Ramona Blue looks excellent in it’s own right, as well. I lived in Louisiana when Katrina and Rita hit and there are still people displaced today, 10 years later. Julie Murphy writes touching, realistic and important stories. I’m sure this one is no different!

Posted March 22, 2017 by Emily in Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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Review: American Street

Review: American Street

American Street by Ibi Zoboi Published by Balzer + Bray on February 14th 2017 Genres: Contemporary, romance, Young Adult Pages: 336 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream? I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My favorite part of this book was the voice of the narrator, Fabiola. She’s a teenage immigrant from Haiti whose mother gets detained when they attempt to come into the country. Her mother sends her ahead to Detroit where her aunt and cousins are waiting for them. The story is of her journey to get her mother released and her first few months as […]

Posted March 21, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Arc Review: Literally by Lucy Keating

Arc Review: Literally by Lucy Keating

Literally by Lucy Keating Published by HarperTeen on April 11th 2017 Genres: Contemporary, romance, Young Adult Pages: 256 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads A girl realizes her life is being written for her in this unique, smart love story that is Stranger Than Fiction for fans of Stephanie Perkins. Annabelle’s life has always been Perfect with a capital P. Then bestselling young adult author Lucy Keating announces that she’s writing a new novel—and Annabelle is the heroine. It turns out, Annabelle is a character that Lucy Keating created. And Lucy has a plan for her. But Annabelle doesn’t want to live a life where everything she does is already plotted out. Will she find a way to write her own story—or will Lucy Keating have the last word? The real Lucy Keating’s delightful contemporary romance blurs the line between reality and fiction, and is the perfect follow-up for readers who loved her debut Dreamology, which SLJ called, “a sweet, quirky romance with appealing characters.” I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This was such a sweet book with a really original premise behind it. Annabelle is a seemingly normal teenager living her life trying to make it through her creative writing class. When […]

Posted March 16, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Not so Waiting on Wednesday

I had posted that I was excited about The Black Witch by Laurie Forest. I have been busy. See my recent life update for why and I haven’t been as active on twitter as I have in the past. I had missed a lot of discussion about this book. I appreciate a friend for pointing out all the people who have read this book and found it contains negative racial stereotypes. This is not something I want to promote. Please check out the following threads and posts regarding this book. Not a Half-Breed: My reaction to The Black Witch by Laurie-Ann Forest  reminder that THE BLACK WITCH by laurie forest (harlequin may *17) is racist. spread the word. detailed review: https://t.co/iVnzCqCnSp — another 1 👄s the 💨 (@bookavid) March 15, 2017 Okay I'm going to start a new thread. I'm reading THE BLACK WITCH by Laurie Forest and I've found a lot of bad shit. — Shauna 🖤✨🌙 (@b00kstorebabe) March 12, 2017 If you're an author writing outside your lane do your research properly and get sensitivity readers so harmful rep can be avoided — Tatiana Lee (@_tatilee) March 13, 2017  

Posted March 15, 2017 by Emily in Discussion, WoW / 0 Comments
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Organize Your Way and Enjoy it!

Organize Your Way and Enjoy it!

Organize Your Way: Simple Strategies for Every Personality by Katie McMenamin, Kelly McMenamin Published by Sterling on March 14th 2017 Genres: nonfiction Pages: 256 Buy on Amazon Goodreads Stressing over the mess? Discover YOUR personal organizing style—and stay organized forever! Organization isn’t one-size-fits-all. Different people need different solutions. Fortunately, Katie and Kelly McMenamin—the organizing gurus behind PixiesDidIt!®—have found the key to making organization stick, with strategies that work for every personality.   Whether you’re OCD or a little less fastidious, Katie and Kelly will help you discover your organizational style, using unconventional approaches or sticking to what already works. Along with personality-based solutions for every space in your home, they offer advice on solving strife between different “PixieTypes.” So you can keep the stuff you love . . . and the peace! Pixies Did It Website: http://www.pixiesdidit.com/ Pixies Did It Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixiesDidIt?ref=ts Pixies Did It Twitter: https://twitter.com/PixiesDidIt Book Videos: http://www.pixiesdidit.com/videos/ Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ5SmZkK33Q I made these tonight and I'm ridiculously proud of them. pic.twitter.com/vqr2CChMnG — Emily (@Emren) March 14, 2017 I posted this on twitter last night. Organization is HUGE in my life. If I wasn’t organized I wouldn’t be able to work 3 jobs, run a small business, volunteer, run a blog and jump start a family. I often fall off the wagon but I always end up coming back to a need to know everything that’s going […]

Posted March 14, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, Top 10 / 1 Comment
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