Category: Review

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

Posted May 15, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

Bad Romance by Heather DemetriosBad Romance by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on June 13th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, romance
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.
Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape.
Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

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.

Emotional.
Cringe-Inducing.
Intense.
Realistic.

I’ve lived this book. Perhaps not to some of the extremes Gavin went to, but I’ve been the other half of a verbally abusive and emotionally manipulative relationship. After one daughter and four years of my life, all I can do is reflect and learn from that experience. This book was so uncomfortable at times. At one part I even had to stop and vent to my friends in a chat about it. I dreamt about it. It consumed me for the two days I was reading it. It is most definitely a love story in reverse.

Some people doubt the reality of abusive high-school relationships, but they exist. Some people define abuse by physical touch. This book demolishes those two misconceptions. Gavin Davis is the epitome of a heart throb in Grace’s, and many other females’, eyes. He plays the guitar, has perfect hair, and seems tragically romantic whenever he attempts suicide after a breakup. When Grace falls, she falls hard. She’d been secretly crushing on him for years and reached out whenever he was in residential therapy. Once he was back, they quickly became a major part of each other’s life. He told her she was the only one who understood him. He was her knight in shining armour when it came to her overly-strict parents and rough home life. The red flags are everywhere, it just took her, like many, seemingly a lifetime to see them. By then she’s in too deep.

Beyond the story and message itself, I adored Demetrios’ writing style. I’m already adding her other books to my TBR because it just spoke to me. I loved the pop culture references, like Beyonce lyrics. I loved her character development. Grace was so well-rounded and alive. Her best friends, Lys and Nat, were people you could imagine knowing. It really added to the story.

I loved this book. It hurt at times, but I loved it. I’m thankful for it. I think it’s incredibly important and therefore I give it all the stars.

*Note-I think this could be intensely painful for past abuse victims and those who have dealt with suicide or suicidal thoughts.

After reading the book and writing this review, I stumbled upon this slam poem. It’s breath-taking and perfectly meshes with this story. Here’s the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MXRAZ4pjZo

five-stars

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Rockstar Review: Umberland

Posted May 12, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review / 1 Comment

Rockstar Review: Umberland

Rockstar Review: UmberlandUmberland by Wendy Spinale
Series: Everland #2
Published by Scholastic Press on May 9th, 2017
Pages: 288
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

What began with a reimagining of Peter Pan and Wendy now twists into a stunning version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass!
Gwen, Pete, and the others have escaped from Everland. But the safe haven they hoped to find at Alnwick Castle doesn't exist. With the Queen of England on her deathbed, Duchess Alyssa has stepped in to lead, but things have gotten worse as the cure Doc created for the Horologia virus has mutated, accelerating the disease. The only possible solution he can think of is to go back to the virus's origin: an extinct poisonous apple.
Legend has it a tree bearing the apple might be found at the center of a deadly labyrinth hidden deep within Germany. A place that no one in their right mind enters. Leaving Pete in charge of the survivors, Alyssa sets out with only her sword, her wits, and the help of Maddox Hadder, a wild boy who oversees the castle gardens. To get to the center of the maze, she'll be forced to battle monsters more terrifying than her darkest nightmares.
But can anyone truly survive the madness of the maze? And what if there's no apple to be found there?

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.

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleTBD, iBooksGoodreads

About the Author

I must admit, I have lived an extraordinary life and will forever be grateful for the opportunities I have had.

I was the middle of three kids, my older brother being deaf for as far back as I can remember. At the time, I didn’t realize how much that would later impact my life. I was a sign language interpreter for a short time (although I’m extremely rusty now), taught my kids to sign as infants, and now am using that experience in my current manuscript.

During college I was living in southern California working for Disneyland as a Cast Member in the Entertainment Department. I met my husband there who was also a performer. After four incredible years working with the Mouse, we moved to his hometown in the Bay Area.

I eventually got my Bachelor’s in Kinesiology and worked in the fitness industry for ten years before a knee injury ended my career. Not sure what to do with my time, I applied to job posting to be an online journalist. I loved writing, but had no experience. I didn’t hear back so I wrote up a review about a local restaurant and sent it to them to prove I could do the job. Twenty-four hours later, I was a journalist with AOL Media/Pleasanton Patch.

I spent three great years with them before cut backs forced me without a job again. That’s when I started writing my first novel, which went nowhere. Dozens of rejection letters later. I started a second book. A year later I was offered representation by Thao Le from Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and within another six months I was offered a book deal. EVERLAND (Scholastic) is scheduled to debut Summer of 2016!

Today I live in the Bay Area with my husband and three sons who are my biggest fans. While they’re off at work and school, I bounce ideas off my four-legged, furry family members, Odie and Sammy.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

Follow the Tour

Week One:
5/1/2017Tales of the Ravenous ReaderInterview
5/2/2017A Glass Of Wine BlogReview
5/3/2017Margie’s Must ReadsExcerpt
5/4/2017Swoony Boys PodcastReview
5/5/2017Brittany’s Book RamblesGuest Post

Week Two:
5/8/2017BookHounds YAReview
5/9/2017Two Chicks on BooksInterview
5/10/2017History from a Woman’s PerspectiveReview
5/11/2017YA Books CentralInterview
5/12/2017Emily Reads Everything Spotlight

Giveaway

3 winners will receive a finished copy of UMBERLAND, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZTIzODliYTI4ZTEzMGVjODBhNzA2MmFmMTU3YWM3OjU3OA==/?

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertali

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertali

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli on April 11, 2017 Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Pages: 336 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful. Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back. There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right? 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.Upside of The Upside of Unrequited was one of the best books I’ve read this year. It was maybe one of the best books I’ve ever read in my life. However, it wasn’t an easy read or a comfortable read. I saw myself in […]

Posted May 5, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
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The One Memory of Flora banks by Emily Barr

The One Memory of Flora banks by Emily Barr

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr Published by Philomel Books on May 2nd, 2017 Genres: Fiction, mystery, Contemporary Pages: 304 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life. With little more than the words “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home. […]

Posted May 2, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Arc Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Arc Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh Series: Flame in the Mist #1 Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on May 16th 2017 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Pages: 368 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace. Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets […]

Posted April 21, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
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Tour Cage of Darkness Review + Giveaway

Tour Cage of Darkness Review + Giveaway

Cage of Darkness by Jennifer Anne Davis Published by Reign Publishing on April 4th, 2017 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Pages: 219 Format: ebook Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads While traveling to Fren, Allyssa and Odar are hijacked by a ruthless assassin who divulges a stunning secret that changes everything. Trying to come to terms with this newfound revelation, Allyssa is taken to Russek and delivered into the hands of a malicious and twisted royal family. She finds herself an unwilling pawn in a risky political game that will either end with her death or the annihilation of her beloved kingdom. Unsure of where the lies end and the truth begins, she must survive the brutal family and escape the fortified castle, all the while coming to grips with her feelings for Odar. In a kingdom filled with darkness, Allyssa enters a game where one wrong move means death, secrets hide around each corner, and it will take every ounce of cunning she has to survive. 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’ve been waiting for this book for over a year. Cage of Deceit ended in a cliff hanger. While it was the perfect ending for the book, it also made for a very […]

Posted April 13, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review, Special Feature / 1 Comment
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Joint Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

Joint Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon Published by Simon Pulse on May 30th 2017 Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, romance Pages: 320 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married. Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right? Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself. The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not? Dimple and […]

Posted April 10, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
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Arc Review: Exo Project

Arc Review: Exo Project

The Exo Project by Andrew DeYoung Published by Boyds Mills Press on April 4th 2017 Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult Pages: 455 Format: Paperback Source: the author Buy on Amazon Goodreads This fast-paced, sharply written multiple-perspective YA science-fiction debut opens on a future Earth ravaged by solar radiation. Desperate for money to save his sick mother, seventeen-year-old Matthew agrees to participate in the Exo Project, a government plan to save the human race by flying across the galaxy in search of a habitable planet for resettlement. He thinks he’s been given a death sentence: 100 years in cryostasis, followed by a quick death on some barren world. But then he lands on Gle’ah, discovering the strange, beautiful creatures who live there, including Kiva, the captivating teenage girl who leads her planet’s matriarchal society. Kiva views Matthew as a threat and for good reason—if he tells Earth that he’s found a suitable planet, it will mean the end of her people’s way of life. But then Kiva and Matthew discover an emotional connection they never expected—and as they begin to delve into the secrets of Matthew’s mission and the dark truth behind the seeming paradise of Gle’ah, the choices they make will have consequences for both of their worlds. I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion […]

Posted April 4, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Rockstar tour Review: Hearts and Other Body Parts

Rockstar tour Review: Hearts and Other Body Parts

Hearts & 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 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 […]

Posted March 31, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review / 0 Comments
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Rockstar Review: Blood Rose Rebellion

Rockstar Review: Blood Rose Rebellion

Blood 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 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 […]

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