There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane: Book Blitz & Giveaway!

 

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Stars

Synopsis:

“Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?”

 

 

Kindle Price: $3.82

Official Rating: 3.5/5

 

My Review:

McFarlane, please forward my apologies to your co-worker, Ms. Kahla Dombowsky, for I am stealing her quote: This is so good!

There Once Were Stars was predictable, but unpredictable, and that’s not only possible, but also enjoyable.

Here’s what was predictable: Government of some sort is bad, inevitable love triangle, female main character with brown eyes and brown hair, lies, lies, and more lies, the main character getting upset when everything she knows is a lie, a smirking love interest, an I’ve known you my whole life and you’re sweet and comfortable love interest.

Here’s what was unpredictable: The government, the love triangle, the main character, the main character’s reactions to lies, the smirking love interest, and the comfortable love interest.

Are you interested now?

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Making Adjustments

Guess what?

I’m in college now! I moved in a while ago and classes have already started. Which is a great thing! I’m loving it. What’s not a great thing is that I have a heavy workload. Academics always comes before extracurricular activities so Between Reality is going to have some spotty posting for a while until I get the hang of things.

I’m still going to post any guest posts or tours that I have already scheduled, but book reviews might not come as regularly as they used to.

Am I still reading books? Most definitely! I’m about 60% in a book that I downloaded a while ago, and I’m always downloading more books that I think are interesting. However, it takes me time to read and then find time to write the review. That’s why the reviews will be spotty, but it isn’t because I’m not reading!

I appreciate your understanding and I hope to get my schedule together soon!

Paige Turner

Full Bookshelf, Full Mind

Book Review Blogging – Guest Post

As a book review blogger, I never realized that there is actually a community of fellow bloggers who truly want to be in a community and not just out there in cyberspace all alone. Although we love what we do every day – the reading, writing, answering emails, and so on – it is actually a tremendously wonderful break to be able to talk to other bloggers. You might think there is only one way to do things – I know that’s what I thought. Then I had the opportunity to get on a community of sorts through Goodreads and found my fellow people. Hee hee!

I noticed a few things about those of us who review books: we truly love what we do; we desperately want to be a part of community – no it isn’t all about us; most of us love to write a well as read; and we love to share. That’s how I came upon Paige and we discussed exchanging posts on each other’s sites. This is not something that was a new thing for me. I’ve had bloggers, as well as authors write articles for my blog, but to have a blogger from my new community ask me to do what I’ve never been asked to do before really pleased me.

Just as in the real world, I feel it is important that we support one another. Yes, I know some bloggers are in competition with one another, but that’s not the way it should be. We should be encouraging and supportive. For instance, if I receive a review request but I am full, I might refer the author to another blogger I know is looking for books to read. I didn’t have to do that, but we are a community and that’s what you do for people in your community. If my neighbor needs to borrow a cup of sugar, I give it to her. If I don’t have it, she and I might discuss who else could be home to lend it to her. The book blogging community should be that was as well and I honestly think we’re headed that way because it’s super important.

Written by A. Fae from Truth About Books by A Fae

The Labyrinth Wall by Emilyann Girdner

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Kindle Price: $3.99

Official Rating: 1/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

Araina’s isolated teenage life is forever altered when she witnesses a man emerge through a rippling wall into the dark labyrinth she calls home. As a result of the stranger’s arrival, Araina’s Creators have unleashed a series of magical attacks using the labyrinth against its inhabitants. Now Araina must decide if she will trust potentially deceitful allies in order to reach safety on the other side of the labyrinth wall.”

My Review:

I requested this book from Netgalley, say, three or four days ago and I finished reading it on Wednesday. The synopsis made the book sound awesome, the book’s cover made the book seem awesome, even the Goodreads rating made it seem awesome. The Labyrinth Wall was not awesome.

In truth, I was extremely bored. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I would say: “The Labyrinth Wall is simply a book about traveling.” And I wouldn’t be wrong. The entire book is about Araina and where she’s walking/running/escaping to or from.

Speaking of Araina, she’s not a special character. If you’ve been following my reviews for a while, then you know I am 100% against the whole “I am not special, but wait, I actually am! More special than special has ever seen!!” Ariana is told, once, by some guy who’s been stalking her (he doesn’t call it that, but it was stalking), that she’s special because of some flimsy reason. Ariana, however, wasn’t special at all. Of all the other heroines I’ve read, they were the “special” trope, and then the author gave them something special about them. Your main characters need something that makes them even a tiny bit different from the average Joe (or Mahk in this case). Ariana got nothing. Ariana was an unforgettable character, to the point that I forgot her name and had to look it up. She was, horrifyingly, a plot-pushing character in a book where she was the main character.

The rest of the characters were plot-pushers as well, insignificant in all aspects.

The plot was somewhere outside of the book I actually read. The Labyrinth Wall is literally just a book about traveling and that doesn’t interest me. I wanted adventure, cracking codes, a mystical labyrinth with winding turns and scary dead-ends, and heart-squeezing, lung-pumping, wide-eyed events to take place. Instead, I got 305 page long book about Ariana’s experience with two places she’s never gone before. There were no epic battles, instead there were small fights that I would guess were supposed to be epic, but fell flat. Every “terrifying” event that took place always had a convenient escape route and of course, Ariana would stumble upon some super philosophical realization about herself that was cliche that I didn’t care about. There was no suspense, no drama, no wonder, no awe, I just found it meh. The ending was ridiculous too. The absolute least this book could have given me was an actual ending, instead of a cliff-hanger that wasn’t even doing its job: leave me hanging in such suspense that I want to read the next book.

The writing left me confused and lost and most of the time I didn’t know where Ariana was and I didn’t feel like knowing. There was no overall purpose of Ariana’s goals and we weren’t given a backstory. I was told a vague description of how the Mahk people are made and then I’m hurried along into the next random scene. While I can agree that the Mahk people are suffering, I wasn’t given a reason to care. I didn’t connect with any of the characters because they lacked the humanity I can relate to. Each character was detached and distant, the most genuine relationship I saw was between Ariana and her pet, and even that’s a stretch.
Would I recommend The Labyrinth Wall? Unfortunately, no, I’m afraid I wouldn’t.

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Dissever by Tracey Ward

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Annabel Lee has her life mapped out for her. A pawn in her aristocratic father’s game, she goes where’s told and does as he says. And she’ll marry who she’s told to marry.

Roarke is an outsider. A member of a mysterious clan living at the edge of the distant wood, he would do anything for Anna. For the childhood friend he can know only in secret. For the girl he’s loved all his life.

As they grow older and Anna’s fate draws near, they’ll discover that nothing is as it seems. That the secrets and lies that have kept them apart are what will ultimately draw them together.

And even death itself can’t tear them apart.

A Gothic fantasy romance based on the Edgar Allen Poe poem ‘Annabel Lee'”

My Review:

Truthfully, I didn’t know what to expect when I clicked onto Dissever. The cover wasn’t impressive, it just looked like some girl who would of course be relevant in the story. I had bought the book who knows how many months ago, but I didn’t re-read the synopsis so I was going in blind. I was surprised to have enjoyed it.

Ward did something extremely unique with Dissever, something I wasn’t expecting and I adored. There are no petty enemies. This is important because she had two chances to make Anna have petty enemies and she passed them up. There’s a girl who is in love with the prince, but of course, Anna is set to marry him. Ward could have made Anna and the girl be sworn enemies because of it, but instead they become friends. The second person who could have been an enemy I cannot say, because it would be a major spoiler, but I was extremely pleased that he wasn’t an enemy.

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Under A Million Stars by Rita Branches: Book Blitz & Giveaway!

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Under A Million Stars by Rita Branches
Publication date: August 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Can a beating heart bleed from the shattered pieces?

Her heart cracked when her best friend walked away; it completely shattered when she lost her family in a tragic accident.

Now orphaned at seventeen, Charlotte Peterson is forced to live with her former best friend, Jacob Parker. Charlie, a talented pianist, desperately wants their loving friendship back, but something is holding Jake back. The more she spirals into the darkness of depression, the more she needs him.

Jacob vowed to stay away from her—no matter how much he still loved her. Armed with secrets that would have destroyed both of their families, he chose to end their friendship and walk away, which nearly killed him. As he watches the girl he once knew begin to fade away, however, he realizes that their relationship is more important than the truth he’s hiding.

Now it’s up to Jacob to put the pieces of Charlie’s broken heart back together—even if it means revealing the secrets he so desperately wants to protect her from.

Will Jacob find a way to bring back the carefree, talented girl he once knew, or is it too late for both of them?

Buy This Book
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GIVEAWAY! –> Under A Million Stars Giveaway <–

About the Author
Rita Branches is an independent YA (young adult) author who enjoys spending every free moment (when she’s not reading) writing emotional stories.

Author Links:

Character Clichés I Could Live Without – Guest Post

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Hey there, book lovers!  My name’s Maggie, and I’m a blogger over at Maggie’s Musings. Paige has been my friend for a long time, and this week, she asked me if I would write a guest post for Between Reality. I thought, sure, why not? Books have been a part of my life since before I could even walk, I knew I could find something to write about.

I don’t review books very often, but I always seem to find myself analyzing them. Sometimes I focus on the plot, other times it’s the writing style. However, one thing that always stick out to me in books are the characters. They’re one of the driving forces of a story – you can’t have a book without the characters.

Unfortunately, many authors fail to do their characters justice. Instead of being well-developed and realistic, they are flat, shapeless clichés. Authors don’t take the time to create their own unique characters, but instead rely on formulas that become boring very quickly. As a writer myself, I know creating characters is hard. It’s tempting to take shortcuts if it means saving your time and sanity. Sometimes, especially for minor characters, it’s excusable. However, there are four specific character clichés I think should be banned from fiction altogether.

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