Thursday, March 30, 2017

Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee

Every Falling Star
Author: Sungju Lee
Publisher: Abrams
Publication Date: September 13, 2016

I find North Korea endlessly fascinating. It’s a country run by a dictator god and propelled by an immense propaganda machine. The country is isolationist and focused on keeping the people under control. This is the setting in which Every Falling Star takes place. It is the place Sungju, our hero, is born.

What I really liked about this true story was that it was cohesive, engaging, and didn’t flinch away from the harsh realities of Sungju’s life. The novel begins with Sungju growing up a happy boy. He lives in the capital city of Pyongyang and his father is a prominent member of the party. But, when his family loses favor, they are forced to move to rural Chosun (the North Korean name for North Korea) and that is where their problems begin.

Many people don’t know that after Kim Il-Sung passed away there was a devastating famine in North Korea. It killed so many and made an already difficult life impossible. Much of this story takes place during that time. The reader watches as hunger kills more people than the government ever could. It also showcased the disillusion that the rural people had for the government and the secret languages they used to communicate these opinions. It was these parts of the novel, about the suffering around Sungju, that I really enjoyed. They were well written and so emotional.

Overall, this is a great, true, story. Not many escape from North Korea. Fewer tell their stories. This novel offers a glimpse into the reclusive nation and shows the conditions those living under the regime face.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hear the Wolves by Victoria Scott Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Hear the Wolves
Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: March 28, 2017

It’s survival of the strongest in a contemporary, girl-versus-wild middle-grade debut from Fire & Flood author Victoria Scott!
Sloan is a hunter.
So she shouldn’t be afraid of anything. But ever since her mom left the family and she lost hearing in one ear in a blizzard, it’s been hard to talk to people, and near-impossible to go anywhere or do anything without her dad or big sister within eyesight — it makes her too scared to be on her own.
When they leave her home alone for what should only be two nights, she’s already panicked. Then the snow starts falling and doesn’t stop. One of her neighbors is hurt in an accident. And the few people still left in Rusic need to make it to the river and the boat that’s tied there — their only way to get to a doctor from their isolated Alaska town.
But the woods are icy cold, and the wolves are hungry. Sloan and her group are running out of food, out of energy, and out of time. That’s when the wolves start hunting them . . .

Hear the Wolves Playlist
Dog Days Are Over - Florence + the Machine: 
Hear the Wolves is an intense survival story, and I feel like this song fits the challenges the characters face.

House of Wolves - My Chemical Romance:
This song has WOLVES in the title, so immediate win. But also, the fast tempo and urgency fits the character’s frantic race through the woods.

Ain’t It Fun - Paramore: 
Sloane was left behind by her father and sister in order to push her into independence. She is essentially “on her own in the real world.”


Some Nights - Fun:
Sometimes, it’s all about those lyrics! The words and mood of this song make me think of Hear the Wolves in a big way.

Boston - Augustana: 
This song makes me think of Sloane and her internal struggles.


Weightless - All Time Low: 
And this song makes me think of Pilot. It’s all in the lyrics!


Mama - My Chemical Romance: 
This is an ode to the complicated relationship, or lack of one, that Sloan has with her mother.


Out of the Woods - Taylor Swift:
And lastly, with the prominent threat lasting throughout Hear the Wolves, this song fits the entire novel.

About the Author
Victoria Scott is the author of eight novels including Titans, Fire & Flood, Salt & Stone, the Dante Walker trilogy, Hear the Wolves (March 2017), and Violet Grenade (May 2017). She is published by Scholastic and Entangled Teen, and is represented by Sara Crowe of Pippin Properties.

Victoria’s latest novel, Titans, received two starred reviews, and Fire & Flood has been selected as a 2017 Spirit of Texas Reading Program book. Victoria’s novels have been bought and translated in fourteen foreign markets. The author currently resides in Philadelphia, and loves hearing from her readers. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer Giveaway!

Stranger Than Fanfiction
Author: Chris Colfer
Publication Date:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Colfer comes a funny, heartbreaking, unforgettable novel about friendship and fame.
Cash Carter is the young, world famous lead actor of the hit television show Wiz Kids. When four fans jokingly invite him on a cross-country road trip, they are shocked that he actually takes them up on it. Chased by paparazzi and hounded by reporters, this unlikely crew takes off on a journey of a lifetime – but along the way they discover that the star they love has deep secrets he's been keeping. What they come to learn about the life of the mysterious person they thought they knew will teach them about the power of empathy and the unbreakable bond of true friendship.
In this touching novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Colfer takes us on a journey full of laughter, tears, and life-changing memories.

About the Author

Chris Colfer is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and Golden Globe-winning actor. He was honored as a member of the TIME 100, Time magazine's annual list of the one hundred most influential people in the world, and his books include Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal, Stranger Than Fanfiction, and the books in The Land of Stories series: The Wishing Spell, The Enchantress Returns, A Grimm Warning, Beyond the Kingdoms, and An Author's Odyssey, and the companion books A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales, The Mother Goose Diaries, Queen Red Riding Hood's Guide to Royalty, The Curvy Tree, and Trollbella Throws a Party.

Don’t miss TV-start-turned-bestselling author Chris Colfer’s newest novel about being a hit TV-star! Catch up on page and screen! One (1) winner receives: