Review | Spooky Love

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Kindle Price: $0.99

Synopsis:

After Margot Green helps move her older sister into the University of Miami dorms, she just wants to go home to New Jersey where she can wallow in her loneliness. Unfortunately for Margot, her parents decide to extend their trip to the Florida Keys where they sign up for a kooky tour of historic Key West. Margot is horrified to have to traipse around hotter-than-Hades Old Town with her embarrassing parents until she meets Sam, an enigmatic local, who convinces her to embark on a spooky adventure that will inevitably lead to discovery and heartache.

ONE NIGHT IS ALL YOU NEED is a 5,000-word YA short story that will appeal to both romance and mystery fans. ”

My Review:

This is a short story so my review is going to be pretty short too. This book was actually really weird. I knew it was a short story, but I didn’t expect it to end as abruptly as it did. I’m still not really sure what I read.

There wasn’t really anything that “spoopy” (spooky) and I was able to see the “plot twist” a mile away. There wasn’t really that much heartache, romance, or mystery either.

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Blog Tour + Giveaway | Forever Blue by Abby Wilder

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Forever Blue by Abby Wilder 
Publication date: June 17th 2016
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Young Adult
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Synopsis:

I never thought it would end like this.
I never thought it would end at all.
But not all stories get a happy ending.

When Lennon Donnelly moves back to the quiet town of Puruwai, she never dreams that a chance meeting with a boy sitting at the cemetery will change her life. Her best friend warns her about Judah Mitchell. There are rumours that he killed his brother. But as Lennon is drawn deeper into the mysterious boy’s life, the events of his past unravel until she finds herself driving over the edge of a cliff and into the depths of the lake below.

Spanning over two years and starting at the end, this compelling novel tells of the intertwining relationships of Lennon, Ruben, Judah, and Cara. Told from the different perspectives of before and after, the story unfolds like a puzzle and reveals secrets that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.

“Devourable” – YA Books Central

“An unforgettable experience” – Readers’ Favorite

This story contains mild use of strong language and references to underage drinking and smoking.

Purchase:
AUTHOR BIO:

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Abby Wilder is an author from the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand. She loves stories in all forms; film, photography, music, but it’s the simplicity of written words that she loves the most . . . well, written words and binge watching television series. Since a love of reading has remained constant in her life, she couldn’t imagine anything better than being a writer so she set out to achieve just that. Abby has one husband, two children, three cats and a dog called Joss. Girl Behind Glass is her debut novel. Boy in Uniform is a short companion story and Girl Beneath Stars is the final in the Behind Glass Series to follow Willow Stanton. Her next book, Forever Blue is due for release June 17th 2016.

For more information visit www.abbywilder.com

Author links:

Cover Reveal & Giveaway | Amanda Lester and the Red Spider Rumpus by Paula Berinstein

 Today is the cover reveal for Amanda Lester and the Red Spider Rumpus by Paula Berinstein. This cover is designed by Anna Mogileva. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

Amanda Lester and the Red Spider Rumpus (Amanda Lester, Detective #5) By Paula Berinstein
Genre: Mystery/ Detective
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 1 November, 2016

Goodreads Synopsis:

Amanda Lester and the Red Spider Rumpus.jpgIt only takes a moment to spill a secret. The detectives have managed to keep Legatum Continuatum’s secrets safe for more than a hundred years, but that could soon change. Amanda and her friends have discovered that the red spiders of Ambleside possess a talent that could expose everything. Unfortunately, Amanda’s new stepfather knows about them too, and his plans are deadly. The kids try to get to the spiders first, but their attempt to save them just complicates matters. Then Amanda disappears and it falls to her friends to save the day. If they fail, she could die. The situation has never been more critical. The problem is that only one person knows how to find her, and they don’t trust him.

Buy Links:
Amazon │ Goodreads

Buy Links (Books 1):
AmazonB&N │Kobo │Smashwords

Enter the Giveaway:

–> Amanda Lester and the Red Spider Rumpus Giveaway <–

Author Bio:

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Paula Berinstein is nothing like Amanda. For one thing, she’s crazy about Sherlock Holmes. For another, she’s never wanted to be a filmmaker. In addition, compared to Amanda she’s a big chicken! And she wouldn’t mind going to a secret school at all. In fact, she’s hoping that some day she’ll get to build one.

Author Links:

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The Dream Protocol by Adara Flynn Quick

 

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Goodreads Synopsis:

“WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GET OLD.

In fiery young Deirdre Callaghan’s home of Skellig City, no one has dreamt their own dream in over a thousand years. Dreams are produced by the Dream Makers and sold by the Ministry, the tyrannical rulers of the city. In Skellig City, years of life are awarded equally and the ruined are cast away beneath the city on their 35th birthday.

Unbeknownst to the Ministry, Deirdre’s handsome friend Flynn Brennan is afflicted with a terrible disease – a disease that accelerates the aging process. Knowing his fate if the Ministry should ever discover his illness, Flynn has lived his whole life hiding from their watchful eyes. When Flynn’s secret is finally discovered, Deirdre is determined to free him from the Ministry’s grasp. But to save him, she will have to reveal herself to a shadowy enemy…one that none of them even knew existed.”

My Review:

Truthfully, I am not impressed. Also truthfully, I am not disappointed. It’s like waiting for a pie to finish baking and it smells really amazing and you take it out of the oven and you cut a slice and the crust is crisp. Then you bite into it, and you think Hm. Smells better than it tastes, but it’s still pretty good.

The concept is truly spectacular, let me be clear. A society where being old is the equivalent of being ruined and therefore, at thirty-five, you are cast away into Tìr na nÓg, what I can only assume is Heaven. Quick had a great synopsis, which is why I read the book in the first place, and I don’t have any “harsh” complaints. The reason for my rating is because I wasn’t as engrossed as I [wish I] could have been.

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Blog Tour: The Dream Protocol: Descent by Adara Flynn Quick + A Giveaway!

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30268886Synopsis
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“WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GET OLD.

In fiery young Deirdre Callaghan’s home of Skellig City, no one has dreamt their own dream in over a thousand years. Dreams are produced by the Dream Makers and sold by the Ministry, the tyrannical rulers of the city. In Skellig City, years of life are awarded equally and the ruined are cast away beneath the city on their 35th birthday.

Unbeknownst to the Ministry, Deirdre’s handsome friend Flynn Brennan is afflicted with a terrible disease – a disease that accelerates the aging process. Knowing his fate if the Ministry should ever discover his illness, Flynn has lived his whole life hiding from their watchful eyes. When Flynn’s secret is finally discovered, Deirdre is determined to free him from the Ministry’s grasp. But to save him, she will have to reveal herself to a shadowy enemy…one that none of them even knew existed.”

Excerpt:

Roenin said, “A power inside every living thing sleeps and waits for anyone who will call to it. That power may have diminished, but here in the dream world, it can be felt again and used for good. This is the only power that may shine light through the darkness of the Ministry.”

I ask, “When will this light come?”

He sighs and looks again toward the trees. “That, I do not know. But this room of sacred trees is a promise that it will be soon.” He reaches forward and shows me the fresh green shoots on the branches. “I have waited long for the trees to stir. And now it has begun. But speak none of this outside of here; it is yet too dangerous. When the sanctuary trees are in bloom, then it will be time.”

I study the lime-green shoots and feel suddenly joyful, like something inside me is beginning to grow as well. I step back to take in more of their beauty. Beneath the branches is an altar of sorts, the roots of the trees growing up to hold an object. I notice they form the five interlocking circles of the Dream Makers, and then I look closer at what the altar is holding. It looks like the teak box from our living unit, just missing our Callaghan family pattern on the top. What is that doing in this dream? I wonder why mother has placed our box here in the middle of the sanctuary.

I walked forward, reaching out to touch it like I have done a thousand times before at home. But Roenin’s hand shoots out, stopping me from touching the wood. “No, lady. To touch it is death. You must promise me to never touch it, in here or out there.”

I feel shock. “Wait. How do you know that this is the box in my home? Or about the Ministry’s Dream Protocol?”

He is silent, and the dark pools of his eyes swallow me whole. Then he gathers up the cloth of his robe and in a twisting motion, swings it over my head. Everything goes dark and I feel myself falling backward into the trees. The fresh green shoots on the branches wrap around me and I remember nothing more.

Buy the Book
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add This Book to Goodreads

GIVEAWAY! –> The Dream Protocol Giveaway <–

About the Author:

Adara.jpgIrish-American author, Adara Flynn Quick, is the writer of The Dream Protocol series.  Early in her career, Adara was fascinated by dreams, the unconscious, and the healing stories of many cultures.  As a contemporary author, she writes young adult literature that brings ancient myths and legends into futuristic worlds.  She is an accomplished visual artist and uses her background as a psychotherapist to inspire the finest and darkest moments of her characters.

Driven to distraction by her computer, Adara writes all of her stories longhand.  Pen and paper are two of her favorite things.  The author tortures her husband with a passion for downtempo electronica and too many pillows.  She is a firm believer that there are never enough pillows.

 

Author Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Follow the rest of the tour here!

The Photograph by Kristen Otte (Review)

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

Rachel Brandt has spent the first sixteen years of her life in the dark about her mother. 

All she knows is that her mother disappeared when her father was killed in action in the Gulf War a few months after she was born. But when Rachel stumbles across a photograph of her mother, she realizes she doesn’t want to be in the dark anymore. Against her grandparents’ wishes, Rachel begins a search for her mother.

While she searches for the truth about her mother, Rachel is trying to make a name for herself on the basketball court in her first varsity season. But the search causes Rachel to question everything she knows about herself and her family. Can she handle the pressure on the basketball court when she learns the life she knows is a lie?

The Photograph is a realistic fiction novel for teens with elements of mystery and romance behind the backdrop of the basketball season. The Photograph is a great book for teen girls who love sports.”

My Review:

I can’t say I liked The Photograph. I thought it was rather boring honestly and not at all what I expected it to be.

Firstly, the characters were okay.
Brent, Rachel’s boyfriend made me a uncomfortable. At one point in the story I genuinely thought he was going to take advantage of her and I was prepared to stop the book altogether. Brent pulled himself together towards the end, but I still didn’t like him. I wouldn’t have wanted to be alone in the room with him while he’s drunk or sober.

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Valley of the Moon by Bronwyn Archer (ARC Review)

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

“There’s just one semester left at the Briar School for Girls in Sonoma, CA. But it will take more than straight As for Lana Goodwin to survive . . .

***
Senior year is not going well for 17-year-old Lana Goodwin. Her father’s vintage car business is about to crash and burn, the nicest (and cutest) teacher at school was fired under a cloud of scandal, and her hot sort-of boyfriend may or may not have something big to hide.

She’s also totally over being the class pauper. It’s bad enough her dad was briefly married to the head of the board—the rich, cruel, impeccably groomed Ramona Crawford. What’s worse is going to school with her vindictive ex-stepsister, who never misses an opportunity to make her life hell. Not ever.

It also happens to be the tenth anniversary of her mother’s suicide. No one knows why Annie Goodwin jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge the day after Christmas. She didn’t leave a note. She wasn’t sick. Even Lana’s father can’t explain it. Ten years later, someone—or something—starts sending her clues about her mother’s past.

Before Lana can escape to college, she finds herself in a life-or-death race to uncover her mother’s long-buried secrets.

Can she claim her birthright before her future and her life are snatched away?

Valley of the Moon is a modern-day fairy tale with some intense themes.

A contemporary YA romantic mystery for ages 14 and up.”

My Review:

TRIGGER WARNING: Mention of rape and child abuse

 

I did not like Valley of the Moon. “But wait, Paige. You gave it 4 stars?” Yes, I did. The reason for the rating is quite simple. Even though I didn’t like it, the book still was written well.

The writing was excellent. I loved the similes Archer included like, “His face blurred, like a wet photograph smeared by a thumb…” and “The sound of her heels was like a metronome in the quiet showroom. TICK TICK TICK TICK.” Archer’s writing style is sound and keeps a steady pace. I could see the different reactions of characters and imagine the details provided as if I was watching a movie. The dialogue was great too with realistic responses that varied from character to character.

Of all the characters, I liked Lana the best. I felt that she was strong, even though life had beat her like eggs, put her in a frying pan, and then scrambled her. I didn’t agree with some of the choices she’d made, or the way she would ignore obvious issues, but she was still a good character. I can’t say I can relate to her, but I’m sure some people can.

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Welcome to Sortilege Falls by Libby Heily (ARC Review)

 

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Kindle Price: $2.99

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn’t right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape’s life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape’s life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy’s friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models’ parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.”

My Review:

Well, if I hadn’t had my tear ducts removed and my heart wasn’t completely stone, I’d be balling right now. Welcome to Sortilege Falls captivated my interest and tore my emotions to shreds. Gosh, I can barely even talk about it.

I adore Grape Merriweather. I literally adore her. I love how much she eats and that even when she’s called fat, she continues to eat because that’s what she loves to do. It’s not in an unhealthy way either, she just has a great appetite. It reminded me of myself, truthfully, which I loved and could relate to. Grape is about as unique as her name is and if I ever have kids, I just might name one of my kids after her. She asked questions, stuck up for herself and her friends, and consistently handled herself so well. Grape was funny, serious, kind, inquisitive, intelligent, and an all around amazing character.

The other characters were great too. The Models, Grape’s brother (Brad), Mandy, the family members, and some oddballs that were included. I admit that I got attached to them, which made it even harder to let go of this book.

The plot? Gracious the plot had me spellbound. I definitely have some serious responsibilities that need to be done today (at the time I’m writing this review), but yet, I spent my day reading this book. No regrets, though. It was worth it. Welcome to Sortilege Falls has a bit of a thriller and mystery vibe, which I enjoyed. It was basically the foundation of the whole book, but it still didn’t overpower other things, like relationships and dialogue. I really enjoyed it and I’m trying my best to not give spoilers.

Heily can write well and man, I almost wish she couldn’t. There’s a certain feeling of helplessness I get whenever a book throws my heart around like a rag-doll and yet I can’t stop reading. Hats and beanies off to you, Heily.

There doesn’t seem to be a sequel, but I kind of wish there was. All loose ends were tied up, but Heily made the great decision of leaving there a possibility for another book. I look forward to hearing news about a possible upcoming sequel.

 

Would I Recommend Welcome to Sortilege Falls? I definitely would. Excellent writing, a sound and intriguing plot, well-constructed characters, and a pinch of humor, what’s not to love? It just came out yesterday on the 31st so you don’t have to wait to grab your copy. Plus, there’s currently a giveaway where the prize is a free copy of Welcome to Sortilege Falls! You can enter here.
I received this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

In Your Dreams by Amy Martin (Review)

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

“Sixteen-year-old Zara “Zip” McKee lives for three things: basketball, books, and bailing out of tiny Titusville, Illinois, where the junior high and high school are in the same building and everyone’s known everyone else since birth. But when Kieran Lanier moves to town and passes out on her desk on his first day at school, Zip’s life gets complicated in a way she never dreamed.

Kieran has narcolepsy, and although he sometimes struggles to stay awake, he has no trouble capturing Zip’s heart and trusting her with his most guarded secret–he sees bits and pieces of the future in his dreams.

But just when Zip thinks that maybe she can handle having a boyfriend who sees things before they happen, her budding relationship with Kieran gets a jolt when Kieran’s parents reveal that his sleeping disorder is not what it seems and may be putting them in harm’s way. And when Zip begins to have unsettling dreams, she must decide if she can live with knowing the future in advance when she’s afraid of what might happen.

*Recommended for Young Adult readers 13 and up (mild cursing, some adult situations)”

My Review:

When I was In Your Dreams’ synopsis I was suspicious. Was Martin going to play this off as a “we were destined to be together” kind of plot? Or, worse yet, a “I’m a mysteriously gorgeous man who saw you in my dreams but I have to stay away because I. Just. Can’t. Control. Myself. Argh!” Answer? None of the above.

I really liked that the majority of the book wasn’t focused on Kieran’s dreams. It’s true, his dreams are a large part of the plot, but it’s just as important to develop the rest of the book. I also liked that he wasn’t gorgeous or anything, but a regular kid with irregular tendencies. Martin took the time and care to create a relationship between Zip (love the nickname!) and Kieran and supporting characters before she introduced much else. It allowed me the time to learn about and eventually fall in love with the characters she presented and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Each character was well-rounded and the families were represented as they actually are in reality.

Zip is a “I’m not like other girls” kind of girl, but not in a bad or pompous way. She doesn’t have to say it because she is her own person without anyone needing to let you know.

Gosh, I loved Kieran. He’s like a really sweet book boyfriend that’s actually believable. He had moments when he needed to be alone, a gorgeous sense of humor, an equally wonderful personality, and was a great kid overall. Kieran had to ask tough questions and answer them and was always fighting to overcome his narcolepsy. Sometimes he needed to be alone and sometimes he needed friend so. There was an excellent balance.

The family dynamic, in both Zip and Kieran’s, was well done. There were arguments and tears and confusion and sometimes even mistrust and I liked that. No family is perfect and everyone has secrets, so to make sure that these families were not only involved in their children’s lives, but had differences that sometimes clashed was an excellent idea on Martin’s part.

The plot was excellent too. There was a sense of mystery and uncertainty that floated along. It was kind of like when you smell something in the air briefly and you’re not sure what you’re smelling, but you like it. Ever had that? By the end of the book, I was pleased to find that there was no cliffhanger, but everything was explained, but still had the hint that there could be a next book.
Would you recommend In Your Dreams? I would! I think it was a fun read and definitely something that’s perfect for a rainy day. It’s a book that will keep you occupied and interested for a good while. Plus, it’s free! The synopsis does say that there are adult situations, but I never saw them or felt uncomfortable with anything so I’m not sure what the warning is for. 

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Review)

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Kindle Price: $9.68

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

In this deliciously creepy novel by the author of the critically acclaimed Cuckoo Song, the fruit of a magical tree uncovers dangerous truths.

It was not enough. All knowledge- any knowledge – called to Faith, and there was a delicious, poisonous pleasure in stealing it unseen.

Faith has a thirst for science and secrets that the rigid confines of her class cannot supress. And so it is that she discovers her disgraced father’s journals, filled with the scribbled notes and theories of a man driven close to madness. Tales of a strange tree which, when told a lie, will uncover a truth: the greater the lie, the greater the truth revealed to the liar. Faith’s search for the tree leads her into great danger – for where lies seduce, truths shatter…

My Review:

I neither condone nor enjoy dabbling in lying. I take honesty very seriously. But is it okay to lie when you are searching for the truth?

Say hello to Faith Sunderly, a young woman, around 15, who must answer that questions. She is stuck in a time where women are believed to not have the mental capacity to be clever. A time when Faith is mistakenly taught that it is wrong, unGodly even, for her to be interested in science and things that were deemed only appropriate for men. And yet, Faith is incredibly interested and I loved her completely and entirely. It didn’t take long for her to cease being a character and become a real person with emotional reactions. I was constantly impressed with how clever Faith was and her amazing intuition, often I was a step behind her as hints and clues were being revealed. After she finds the Lie Tree, she begins to contribute to develop into a character with depth that I have only rarely seen. Faith is a remarkable character and I am thoroughly pleased with her.

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