Friday, June 24, 2016

The Lies About Truth by Courtney Stevens

The Lies About Truth
Author: Courtney Stevens
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: Novemeber 3, 2015
Goodreads

Review:
The Lies About Truth is about Sadie Kingston. Sadie isn’t able to move on after she survived a car accident that killed her friend Trent. The novel was exceedingly well written and despite focusing on character development, was really fast paced.

Sadie was an interesting and engaging character. She came alive on the page and was instantly relatable. The reader never had to guess at why she pulled away from her friends following the accident, or why she was having trouble adjusting post-accident. My favorite thing about this novel was watching how Sadie grew throughout the story. How she overcame tragedy and slowly put the pieces of her life back together.

My second favorite thing about this noel was Max. It was his brother, Trent, who passed away in the accident. Max was so supportive of Sadie. He was just a good person. He did his grieving abroad and despite his loss he is positive. He really balanced out Sadie.

What I truly appreciated about this contemporary novel was that each of the characters handled grief differently. Sadie pulled away from her boyfriend and best friend. Watching them try and build a friendship from the ashes was interesting and so true to life. Stevens does a great job of writing multifaceted characters.

Overall, The Lies About Truth was an emotional but overall positive read. It isn’t about the car accident itself. It is about what happens afterward and how Sadie is able to move on after tragedy. This is a great beach read if you’re looking for something a little less light and fluffy but still want that quick moving, engaging, pace and plot.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Top Six Favorite 2016 Releases (So Far This Year)


This year I have been focusing on reviewing books that I've had on my shelf for ages (since 2014...). I haven't had the chance to read many 2016 releases. BUT these are the top six 2016 releases I have read so far this year! If you have any recommendations for books I absolutely must read, tell me in the comments.  

1 A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
2 The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

3 The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
4 The Blood Between Us by Zac Brewer

5 This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
6 Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers

Monday, June 20, 2016

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Tell the Wind and Fire
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Goodreads

Review:
I really, truly, love Sarah Rees Brennan. I’ve met her twice in person and both times she came off as just the most amazing human being. Her writing oozes humor, wit, and quality. But, to put it bluntly. This book sucked. It had none of the usual Sarah Rees Brennan witty dialogue. It felt like the characters and dialogue were phoned in. It really surprised and disappointed me.

Have you read the synopsis for this book? Really read it? It makes no sense. The synopsis should really say FUCK PLOTS, we don’t need plots! This novel jumped around, and truly didn’t make any sense. It didn’t help either that the world building felt sloppy. I never understood the dark and light cities, why they were fighting, or what could bring them together. This book was, I think, supposed to be about characters, but I never cared about any of them.

Lucie came off as a Mary Sue. I didn’t feel like she had a personality. Sarah Rees Brennan usually breathes such life in to her characters but Lucie was a shell. She was an idea of a character rather than a real person.

Ethan was the worst. He wasn’t even a character, he was just a boyfriend archetype. The reader never really got to see who he was or why he made certain choices. The only thing I can remember about him is that he was rich and liked Lucie. His entire identity was that. Oh, and the fact that he has an illegal cloned twin.

The cloned twin, Carwyn, was the most interesting character in the entire novel. I had this misconception that he was an evil twin but Carwyn was something more. It was apparent that actual time was devoted to his character and his character arc. He was the only good thing about this book.

Overall, I finished this book asking myself what the hell I just read. The plot was sloppy, the characters were forgettable, and I missed Sarah Rees Brennan’s witty writing. I’ll still be reading whatever she writes next. I’m just going to tell myself that Tell the Wind and Fire wasn’t for me and hope that whatever comes next will be.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

The Walled City
Author: Ryan Graudin
Publisher: Little Brown
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Goodreads

Review:
I found out through the authors note that The Walled City is based on an actual city in China. A city that used to be a military fort and was transformed in to a den of prostitution, crime, and poverty. This premise alone was enough to keep me reading. But it was the characters that truly shined.

This novel alternated between three perspectives. Dai grew up outside the walled city and was forced in to its depths following the death of his brother. He’s been trapped in the city for 730 days and has 18 days to escape. In planning this escape he enlists the help of Jin Lee, and Mei Yee. Not knowing the two are related.

Mei Yee was sold by her abusive father to a brothel. She was at the mercy of the crime lord of the walled city but she dreams of the outside world and of the sister she was forced to leave behind. Mei Yee was a dreamer. At times I couldn’t believe how trusting of others she was. After being sold and living in a brothel I thought she would have picked up more streets smarts! It wasn’t that I disliked her, I just had a hard time believing her character.

Jin Lee was by far my favorite character. She was fighting to find her sister Mei Yee. Jin left home after Mei Yee was sold and had been searching the walled city for her ever since. I loved Jin’s steadfast devotion to her sister and how much she cared about those around her. Even after surviving in the walled city she didn’t let that make her hard, or take away her hope. Also, she had a cat. I loved Chma.

My problem with this novel wasn’t with the characters but with the plot. I thought it was kind of slow and when the culmination of events happened I found myself not really caring. Not to mention everything ended too perfectly. The ending was wrapped up in a pretty bow but that wasn’t how the city was. It was a gritty, rough, crime ridden city and I wanted the ending to be the same way.

Trigger & spoiler warning: I can’t stand books where animals are put in peril. It stresses me out, takes me out of the reading, and is the #1 thing that will force me to DNF a book. To warn everyone this book does have a cat that is hurt but not killed. Chma survives and there is a happy ending! I just thought I should put this warning out there in case this detracts from anyone else’s reading.

Overall, The Walled City was a gritty, interesting, and well written novel. I enjoyed Wolf by Wolf, Ryan’s second novel, more, but this standalone novel held its own and made me care about the characters.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Seven Days of You


Seven Days of You
Author Cecilia Vinesse
Publisher: Little Brown
Expected Publication: March 7, 2017
Goodreads

Synopsis:
Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.
Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye?
My thoughts: This novel sounds ADORABLE! Sophia has so much to do and only a week to say goodbye to Tokyo! I can't wait to see what happens. March needs to get here already. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge - June Link Up


Welcome to the June Review Link Up for the 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge. Before linking your reviews make sure you are signed up for the challenge here.
  • When submitting a review please do it in this format: Title of Reviewed Book (Name of Blog). Author names are not necessary. 
  • This link up will be open until June 30th
  • If you have and questions feel free to ask in the comments, email Emisbookblog@aol.com, or tweet me @FallingForYA
June Link Up

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge -May Link Up


Welcome to the May Review Link Up for the 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge. Before linking your reviews make sure you are signed up for the challenge here.
  • When submitting a review please do it in this format: Title of Reviewed Book (Name of Blog). Author names are not necessary. 
  • This link up will be open until May 31st
  • If you have and questions feel free to ask in the comments, email Emisbookblog@aol.com, or tweet me @FallingForYA
May Link Up

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Criminal Magic Q&A w/Lee Kelly + Giveaway


 A Criminal Magic
Author: Lee Kelly
Publisher: Saga Press
Publication Date: February 2, 2016

Synopsis
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new crossover fantasy novel.
Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive - and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.
It's 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city's magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters' crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer's shine.
Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC's most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family's home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.
Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic - and when their paths cross at the Shaws' performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.
A CRIMINAL MAGIC casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.
Q&A
What were your biggest inspirations while writing your book?
I wanted A Criminal Magic to feel like an intense game of cat-and-mouse inside a very dangerous underworld, and so Martin Scorsese’s film The Departed was a great starting place. I also binge-watched The Peaky Blinders (this amazing BBC 1920s-period drama starring Cillian Murphy) – all of the characters of the show are fully-realized, and the gritty landscape of 1920s Ireland is so evocative it almost feels like a character itself.

For the sorcery threads in the novel, I looked to The Night Circus, Harry Potter and The Magicians series as inspiration!
What’s usually on your nightstand?

Books, naturally J – usually the one I’m currently reading and the few that are in contention for what I’m going to read next – plus my cell phone and my kids’ sleep monitors.

Which character in your book is most like yourself?
I guess I wrote a little of me into both of my two main protagonists, Alex and Joan (I think you can’t help it, especially when you write in first person), but I would say that I’m more like Alex than Joan. Alex is the undercover agent in A Criminal Magic – but only joined the Prohibition Unit to quash suspicion that he was helping his father run one of the largest criminal magic schemes in history.

Alex begins the story as jealous and insecure, and wearing a massive chip on his shoulder – all things that I can be at my worst! Like Alex, I’m at my best when I’m working towards a goal – when I can channel my overactive mind and tendency to over-analyze into a singular task, and rise above my weaknesses.
Which authors have most influenced your writing?
A. Suzanne Collins, for her amazing ability to make you care about her characters while simultaneously driving you wild from story tension and suspense.
B. Cormac McCarthy, for his awesome and enviable balance of the beautiful and the bleak, especially in The Road (some of his lines still haunt me, and I read the book years ago).
C. Gillian Flynn, of course for her twisty plots, but moreover for creating such deep, wonderful, complicated, dangerous, different female characters.
What is your favorite scene in your novel?
Fun question! I’ll try not to reveal any spoilers, as the scene happens about halfway into the novel:

There’s this place in the book called The Red Den, which is this underground performance space where illegal magic is served and performed away from the eyes of the law. And through various turns of events, both Joan and Alex end up finding themselves at the Den, at an immersive magic show. The evening begins with sorcerer performances and parlor tricks, then cascades into an “immersive magic finale” where a troupe of sorcerers puts on a full-scale magic illusion, and then the night finally culminates with patrons imbibing a shot of sorcerer’s shine (pure magic in a glass). Writing that scene – with all of the magic tricks and the festive excitement of the crowd and the flirty tension between Joan and Alex – it was so much fun I ended up writing a much longer scene than I’d originally intended.
About the author
Lee Kelly has wanted to write since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but it wasn’t until she began studying for the California Bar Exam that she conveniently started putting pen to paper.

An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee has practiced law in Los Angeles and New York.

She lives with her husband and son in Millburn, New Jersey, though after a decade in Manhattan, she can’t help but still call herself a New Yorker.

City of Savages is her first novel. Visit her at NewWriteCity.com.
Giveaway
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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Glittering Court Release Day Blitz + Giveaway


I am so excited that THE GLITTERING COURT by Richelle Mead releases today and that I get to share the news, along with a special giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Richelle Mead, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed copy of the book and a $25 Sephora Gift Card courtesy of Richelle, Penguin Teen, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Title: THE GLITTERING COURT
Author: Richelle Mead
Pub. Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook

The Selection meets Reign in this dazzling trilogy of interwoven novels about three girls on a quest for freedom and true love from #1 internationally bestselling author Richelle Mead.

"Brilliant and original, Mead’s new series starts off with a bang and will leave readers on the edge of their seats until the very end."
—School Library Journal

For a select group of girls, the Glittering Court offers a shot at a life they’ve only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. To high-born Adelaide, whose wealthy family is forcing her into a loveless marriage, the Glittering Court represents something else: the chance to chart her own destiny, and adventure in an unspoiled, prosperous new land across the sea.

After a chance meeting with the dazzling Cedric Thorn, Adelaide poses as a servant to join the crop of impoverished girls he promises to transform into proper ladies. But her familiarity with upper class life comes with a price: she must hide her identity from her new friends, mysterious refugee Mira and fiery former laundress Tamsin, and most importantly, from Cedric himself—even though she’s falling in love with him. 

Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide’s ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn’t leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else's property. But nothing is as daunting—or as wonderful—as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths.

Exclusive Excerpt





About the Author

Richelle Mead has written over twenty-five novels for teens and adults. She is the author of the international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series and its spinoff series, Bloodlines. Her recent standalone novel, Soundless, draws upon Chinese mythology and history, and her forthcoming series, The Glittering Court, follows the adventures of girls destined for arranged marriages in a fantasy world inspired by colonial America. A lifelong reader, Richelle has always had a particular fascination with mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses to wear on tour. She is a self-professed coffee addict, works in her pajamas, and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is hard at work on her next novel.


Giveaway
1 winner will receive a hardcover of THE GLITTERING COURT & a $25 Sephora Gift Card. US Only.


Ends on April 15th at Midnight EST!


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Friday, April 1, 2016

Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge- April Link Up


Welcome to the April Review Link Up for the 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge. Before linking your reviews make sure you are signed up for the challenge here.
  • When submitting a review please do it in this format: Title of Reviewed Book (Name of Blog). Author names are not necessary. 
  • This link up will be open until April 30th
  • If you have and questions feel free to ask in the comments, email Emisbookblog@aol.com, or tweet me @FallingForYA
April Link Up