Friday, October 9, 2015

Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: September 22, 2009
Goodreads Amazon

I’ve avoided John Green for a while now. I wasn’t a huge fan of Looking For Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars made me cry so I’ve always thought of John Green books in terms of either loving or hating. There was no in between. For me, Paper Towns was in between. I enjoyed the novel but I didn’t love it.

Paper Towns follows High School senior Quentin “Q” Jacobson who has had a crush on Margo Roth Spiegleman since childhood. After a whirlwind night of pranks and debauchery Margo disappears and Q begins his search for her believing she left behind clues for him.

I really liked Q he wasn’t the popular kid or a total loser. He was somewhere in between and I liked this about him. He is the kind of person you can connect to. I also really enjoyed his witty dialogue, especially with his friends.

This wouldn’t be a John Green novel though if I didn’t remark on the writing. I like the way John Green puts words together but it comes off sounding not at all like actual teenagers actually sound. It sounds like John Green writing for teenagers which is something completely different. Still, his novels shine in terms of depth of voice.

Overall, I enjoyed Paper Towns. It was an interesting story from start to finish but I didn’t love it. It was a solid middle of the road read and the first John Green novel I’ve read that I didn’t have intense feelings for. We’ll see if my feelings for his work change as I actively try and read more of his novels this next year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean Blog Tour + Giveaway

We'll Never Be Apart
Author: Emiko Jean
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 6, 2015

That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.
Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.

Murder. Fire. Revenge. This book definitely had those. We’ll Never Be Apart was part memory loss story and part story of recovery. It takes place in a mental ward on Savage Isle. Alice has been committed after a file killed her boyfriend Jason…a fire her sister Celie set. It is at Savage Island that Alice decides she has to kill Cellie.

This novel was written partly in flashbacks told through journal entries. The journal entries made it feel like I was reading two stories at once. It also helped to create tension and made We’ll Never Be Apart a very quick read.

Alice was an interesting and often contrary character. I really enjoyed the fact that she was totally unreliable. The Alice we saw in journal entries was a little different than the Alice on Savage Isle and although I guessed the twist early on I was interested to see how this story would end for her.

Chase was my other favorite character. I was always really suspicious of his motives and backstory even when I wasn’t given reason to suspect him of anything. I could’ve read an entire book just about him.

My only qualm with this novel was that I saw the big twist ending coming a mile away. I don’t know if there was too much foreshadowing or if I have just read too many similar books but this one was too easy to figure out. Still, I enjoyed the ride and Alice was interesting enough that I wanted to keep reading about her. 

Overall, We’ll Never Be apart was a great, creepy, October read. I really liked the characters and although I figured out the twist early it didn’t take away from this well told debut novel.

About the Author
Emiko Jean is an elementary school math teacher, whose work with children in foster care inspired her debut novel, We'll Never Be Apart. Aside from reading, writing, and teaching, Emiko is passionate about bugs. She can often be found in the remote forests of the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband, hunting giant moths and cataloguing rare insect colonies.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet Blog Tour + Giveaway

An Inheritance of Ashes
Author: Leah Bobet
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: October 6, 2015

The strange war down south—with its rumors of gods and monsters—is over. And while sixteen-year-old Hallie and her sister wait to see who will return from the distant battlefield, they struggle to maintain their family farm.
When Hallie hires a veteran to help them, the war comes home in ways no one could have imagined, and soon Hallie is taking dangerous risks—and keeping desperate secrets. But even as she slowly learns more about the war and the men who fought it, ugly truths about Hallie’s own family are emerging. And while monsters and armies are converging on the small farm, the greatest threat to her home may be Hallie herself.

About the Author
Leah Bobet is a bookseller, publisher, and editor as well as a Pushcart-Prize nominated author. She lives in Toronto.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sourcebooks Chills & Thrills Tour + Giveaway!

Halloween is on the horizon, and for many of us that means binge watching and reading all the scary stories that we can get our hands on! To help you get in the spirit YA horror and thriller authors Rin Chupeco, Natalie Richards, Patty Blount, and Allan Stratton share what scene from their books they would use to cast leads for the film versions.

Rin Chupeco (The Suffering)

For Okiku, it would always be THE GIRL FROM THE WELL's first chapter. Okiku technically doesn't speak throughout that scene, and my criteria for any actress playing her is to see if she can express Okiku's intent – not just with the murder she commits during this, but also what comes after - without the need for words. For Tark, I'd be looking for a teenage Dr. House, so I'd use the scene he had with his therapist, when he was at his grouchiest. For Callie, it would be the third chapter, when she's teaching her class. Callie's the one source of normal throughout the book, and I want her to look and feel natural.

Natalie Richards (My Secret to Tell)
Oh, man, wouldn’t that be a bummer. My book is a movie. And now I have to cast the leads. Woe is me! ;-) Please, I beg you, bring me this problem anytime.

One of the pivotal early scenes in My Secret to Tell is when Emmie comes into her bedroom and finds Deacon with blood on his hands. Emmie has just received a frantic phone call from her best friend, and Deacon’s sister, Chelsea, so she’s just learned that there was an attack on Chelsea and Deacon’s father. She’s also just learned that Deacon’s missing.

Except he totally isn’t.

Because he’s in her bathroom covered in blood.

It was an intense scene to write and I went over it countless times because it was so critical for both characters. This isn’t just a scene that reveals a catalyst and launches the whole thing into action—it’s also the first raw portrait of their relationship. It reveals who Deacon and Emmie really are at their core and what roles they’ve played to each other.

I think it would be the perfect scene to determine chemistry and characterization. Thirty seconds of that scene would probably tell me everything I needed to know.

Patty Blount (Nothing Left to Burn)
If NOTHING LEFT TO BURN were a movie, I think the best scene would be when Reece and Amanda are at the fire academy practicing their training and win that month’s award. It’s the first time Reece felt part of something instead of on the sidelines looking in. I could picture the look on the actor’s face who’d win the role. It has to be the right expression – part pride, part shock, part awe, and part kiss-my-ass.

Allan Stratton (The Dogs)

I’d use the scene where Cameron first sees Jacky. It’s the middle of the night and Cameron should be alone, but there’s a strange boy sitting on his desk dressed in clothes from fifty years ago. This can’t be real, can it?

The actor playing Cameron needs to try to stay calm. But as his vision of Jacky becomes more real, he loses his grip. Is he off the rails?

This scene also tests the young actor playing Jacky. Whether he’s a murdered ghost boy or a creation of Cameron’s mind, he exists. He’s been alone for years in this abandoned farmhouse. When Cameron tells him to go away, it hurts. “What did I do wrong? I thought we’d be friends.”

Jacky is vulnerable. He thinks his mother abandoned him. He knows about the pack of wild dogs and the truth about his father’s horrible death. He longs to have a friend. This scene is key in that struggle.

Finally, this scene tests the actress playing Cameron’s mother. She knows Cameron is humiliated by the night terrors that come every time his father has stalked them down and they’ve run to a new place. How does she comfort and reassure him, while knowing that there’s no escape from their situation?

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge - October Review Link-Up

Welcome to the October Review Link Up for the 2015 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 October 31st
  • If you have and questions feel free to ask in the comments, email, or tweet me @FallingForYA
October Review Link Up

Friday, September 25, 2015

World After by Susan Ee

World After 
Author: Susan Ee
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Goodreads Amazon

Angelfall came as a total surprise to me. I bought it on Amazon when it was on super sale and I honestly didn’t expect to like it. I grabbed it off the shelf on a whim, when I was in a reading slump, and color me surprised when it became one of my favorite reads this year. I was ecstatic when the library finally messaged me saying they had received the sequel, World After!

World After begins directly after the end of Angelfall. Penryn is traveling with her Mom and Sister and, after carrying her lifeless body from a burning hotel, Raffe believes she is dead. World After is written in much the same, action packed, style as Angelfall and follows a lot of the plot lines established in the first novel. The problem is because World After was so similar to Angelfall I didn’t enjoy it as much…the things that surprised me in Angelfall were no longer surprising and I found myself getting bored with the same action scenes being repeated.

While, I felt that the plot line was little stale I did enjoy the characters, especially Penryn. I love how fierce she was and how much she cares for her sister. She felt well rounded and I liked the decisions she was forced to make. It was nice to see her grow as a character. Raffe was my other favorite character but we didn’t see a lot of him (that may have been why I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as Angelfall).

Overall, World After read like a middle of the series book. It was very similar to Angelfall and all of the buildup in this novel wasn’t really resolved. Still, I’m hopeful for the final book in this series End of Days. I like the characters enough to continue even if I wasn’t thrilled with the action in this installment.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz

A History of Glitter and Blood
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: August 18, 2015

A History of Glitter and Blood wasn’t the book I was expecting it to be. I don’t think you can prepare yourself for a book like this. It began by throwing the reader directly in the middle of an unexplained war and then proceeded to describe events in flashbacks with history book style descriptions intermixed.

I almost gave up on this book during the first 10%. To say it was disjointed would be an understatement. Nothing made sense. It also didn’t help that the gritty plot left a bad taste in my mouth. This book has prostitution, death, and maiming. If that isn’t something you want to read about this isn’t the book for you.

The story revolved around Beckan, Scrap, and Josha who are the last faeries left in the city after a Gnome/Tightroper war led the rest of their kind to flee. Beckan and Scrap work as prostitutes to put food on the table.

I think that people will either adore this book or hate it. I fell in to the category of people this book doesn’t appeal to. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hated it, but I didn’t enjoy it either. I couldn’t stand the disjointed storyline, the extremely unreliable narrator, or the subject matter. I can’t even say that I really liked the characters. I was interested enough to keep reading but only because I knew the book was short. If it had been any longer I would have DNF-ed this early on and never looked back.

Overall, I gave A History of Glitter and Blood a fair chance, but it wasn’t for me. I usually love unreliable narrators and gritty plot lines but this came off as too much of both and left the story off-kilter. If you want to give this a try, go ahead, but I would leave your expectations at the door.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Top 10 Books On My Fall To-Be-Read List

1 Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
2 Return Once More by Trish Leigh
3 A Curious Tale of the in Between by Lauren DeStefano

4 The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jeann Bennett
5 We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

6  Outpost by Ann Aguirre
7 The Buried Giant by Kaguro Ishiguro
8 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

9 The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
10 Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith

Walk on Earth a Stranger Release Blitz + Giveaway

I am so excited that WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER by Rae Carson releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful new series by Rae Carson, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a set of the GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS series (in paperback format). US only. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Author: Rae Carson
Pub. Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 448
Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Goodreads

The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.
Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.
Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.

Read chapter 1 of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER annotated by Rae Carson HERE!

About Rae:
Rae Carson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. Her next book, Walk On Earth A Stranger, will be available September 22, 2015. She lives in Arizona with her husband.


1 winner will receive a set of the 3 GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS series (in paperback format). US Only. Ends on September 30th at Midnight EST!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

10 Finished Series I Have Yet To Finish

These are all series I haven't finished yet and the book I left off on. I want to eventually read all of these (as most of them are on my shelf) BUT time is short and I'm not sure when that will happen. Hopefully soon!

1 Unearthly Trilogy by Cynthia Hand
2 The Selection Series by Keira Cass
3 Shiver Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater

4 Cinder Series by Marissa Meyer
5 Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

6 Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor
7 Across the Universe Trilogy by Beth Revis
8 Delirium Triology by Lauren Oliver

9 His Fair Assassin Series by Robin LaFevers
10 Under the Never Sky Triology by Veronica Rossi