Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Light Years by Emily Ziff Griffin and Giveaway!


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Light Years

by Emily Ziff Griffin
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: September 5th, 2017
Genre: Young Adult

Synopsis:

As a mysterious virus infects the world’s population, a girl embarks on a quest to find a cure in this thrilling debut from Emily Ziff Griffin.

Luisa is ready for her life to start. Five minutes ago. And she could be on her way, as her extraordinary coding skills have landed her a finalist spot for a fellowship sponsored by Thomas Bell, the world’s most brilliant and mercurial tech entrepreneur. Being chosen means funding, mentorship, and most importantly, freedom from her overbearing mother. Maybe Lu will even figure out how to control the rare condition that plagues her: whenever her emotions run high, her physical senses kick into overload, with waves of color, sound, taste, and touch flooding her body.

But Luisa’s life is thrust into chaos as a deadly virus sweeps across the globe, killing thousands and sending her father into quarantine. When Lu receives a cryptic message from someone who might hold the key to stopping the epidemic, she knows she must do something to save her family—and the world.

Suspenseful, lyrical, and thought-provoking, Light Years features a remarkable heroine on an intensely physical and emotional quest for hope and existential meaning.


My Thoughts:  

I was beyond excited to receive an advanced copy of this book for review!  The synopsis of this book was very inviting for a fan of dystopian novels.  I knew this was going to be not only a fun read but an intense one.  I have to admit that at times, it may have been a little too intense though for some fans of YA.  

I say that because of the language.  Griffin has a way with words that makes you sit back and think while your reading, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  However, the cursing, especially in the beginning of the book just seemed unnecessary.  I supposed cursing seems to be incorporated into more and more YA but I am definitely not a fan, especially of the F word.  Luckily, the cursing seems to dissipate as the story progresses. 

Letting this go, I was able to move forward and enjoy the story and the character development of our main character Louisa.  I loved this character.  I loved that she has a Spanish heritage, I loved that she seemed to have a neurological condition that is rare, though I do wish it would have been named.  Some type of sensory disorder definitely, and I think there would be a lot of people with different types of sensory disorders that can relate very easily to this character.   I think Lu's character is very grown for her age, and rightfully so, considering the pandemic the world is facing, but as I read, I loss track that she is indeed, just a 17 year old girl.  

Lu's love interest, Kamal is a fantastic character.  I imagined him to be the tall, dark, rugged, handsome British, Arabic, that he is.  Exactly as Griffin had intended him to be.  I loved the diversity in this book. I wasn't too fond of Lu's brother though.  Where in moments he seemed to be brave and protective, other times, I found him to be annoying.  Maybe I was supposed to feel this way.  

Also, I feel that I need to add that there were quite a few religious references throughout the story.  However, instead of just one religion, there were many.  Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. I think Griffin is a genius for weaving all of this into the book.  A true and intense handle for many to grab a hold of in the instance that the plot of this story were to come to fruition. 

Light Years is a remarkable debut for Griffin.  I felt like the story was real and raw and that it hits close to home for a lot of us. The ending definitely had me guessing, which I still have mixed feelings about so I won't go into too much detail there.  All I can end with, is that I hope Griffin writes again soon!  

My Favorite Quotes:

"The world is everyone's oyster, if they step up to crack it open."

"We are born of love, love is our mother.  I read that on a teabag."

"You know a single image being a true record of anything is an impossible idea, right?"

"We are united by the surreal pain of existing in a life that is still familiar but indelibly altered by loss."

"Religion and spirit are two very different things,"  she says. "You have a spirit.  Therefore the Bible is our story.  Read it like a childhood favorite and God will find is way to you."

"Like the sun, like the oceans, this land does not need us.  It will soak in the rain. It will freeze over in winter, then thaw again in spring. Like an orphaned child, it will manage to survive on its own.  But unlike me, it won't know the difference."


August 29th

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club & Pink Polka Dot Books- Welcome Post

August 30th

The Petite Book Blogger- Review
justicereads- Review & Fave Quotes
The Reading Life- Promo

August 31st

Comfort Books- Q&A
Living Life the Write Way- Review

September 1st

Bookish in Bed- Guest Post
Never Too Many to Read- Review

September 2nd

MNBernard Books- Guest Post
everywhere and nowhere- Review
Tara's Book Addiction- Promo

September 3rd

Wishful Endings- Q&A

September 4th

YA Book Divas- Review
books and photographs- Review



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Emily Ziff Griffin lives in LA where she writes, produces, teaches, daydreams, and mothers two young kids. When she was 25, she co-founded Cooper’s Town Productions with Philip Seymour Hoffman and produced the Academy Award-winning film, ‘Capote,’ along with Hoffman’s directorial debut ‘Jack Goes Boating,’ and John Slattery’s ‘God’s Pocket.’ She's run three marathons, slowly, and holds a degree from Brown University in art-semiotics, the study of how images make meaning. She believes children are way more sophisticated than adults typically give them credit for and writes for the teenager who is ready to claim their own worldview and be grounded in their own power. ‘Light Years’ is her first novel. Find her at www.emilyziffgriffin.com.


Links:

ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY:


  2 signed hardcover copies of LIGHT YEARS by Emily Ziff Griffin
  US Only
  No Giveaway accounts


Links:

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Hunting Prince Dracula Blog Tour and Giveaway!!!


PRAISE FOR HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA
“There are plenty of suspects and red herrings as well as tense escalations….A scenic, twisty mystery.”
Kirkus Reviews
 “Readers of the previous mystery will be thrilled to have more of this likable duo. [A] delightful romp into an 1888 Gothic mystery with a hint of romance.”
                                            ―School Library Connection

About the Book
Title: Hunting Prince Dracula
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Release Date: September 19th
Description: In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life? 
Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.
But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.


My Thoughts:  I knew the sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper would be exhilarating, engaging and utterly intense and I was not wrong.  Maniscalco has mastered the craft of writing historical/Gothic fiction.  Her verbiage, clear and concise, with so much detail, fully captivates the reader and lunges them into the story.  So, into Romania, I went.

Audrey Rose and Thomas pick up right where they left off, with their witty and entertaining thoughts and remarks while searching for clues to Romania's darkest mystery.  This dynamic duo does not fail to impress me and with Maniscalco's intricate dialogues, I'm kept on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next clue to be discovered and the banter that's sure to follow.  

Hunting Prince Dracula is full of Romanian history and it is quite clear that Maniscalco has done her homework very extensively.  I was very intrigued by how the setting played a part in the atmospheric moods of Thomas and Audrey.  There was definitely a deeper, darker, and dare I say, more dangerous feel to this sequel.  I must admit, that I quite enjoyed that.  This story really took me for a Gothic ride that I was hoping for in every way.  I felt that it actually had a quicker pace to it than SJTR, which I really enjoyed as well.  I like quick and entertaining reads, that are sure to keep me wanting more when its over.  I will surely have to rate this with 5 bats!  Hehehe

About the Author:

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with Gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.
Her first novel in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.

Follow Kerri on Social media links:
Twitter   |  Facebook   |   Instagram   |   Website   |   Tumblr   |   Pinterest

Check out the rest of the tour!

Week One

August 21st ~ Paper Cuts: Hunting Prince Dracula Playlist
August 22nd ~ Literary Legionnaire: Review of Hunting Prince Dracula
August 24th ~ Arctic Books: Hunting Prince Dracula Playlist
August 25th ~ 21st Century Once Upon A Times: A “Drink Your way through SJTR: Tea Edition”

Week Two
August 28th ~ Hiver Et Café: History of Prince Dracula
August 29th ~ Justice Reads: Review of Hunting Prince Dracula
August 30th ~ Nicole’s Novel Reads: Travelling Etiquette and tips for Victorian Women
August 31st ~ Sophie Reads YA: Favourite Stalking Jack the Ripper Fanart
September 1st ~ LILbooKlovers: Top Ten Quotes from Stalking Jack the Ripper

Week Three
September 4th ~ One Way or An Author: Hunting Prince Dracula Phone Backgrounds
September 5th ~ A Blinding Book: Hunting Prince Dracula Aesthetic
September 6th ~ Rants & Raves: Review & Snacks
September 7th ~ Rattle the Stars: Hunting Prince Dracula Playlist
September 8th ~ A Gingerly Reviews: Review of Hunting Prince Dracula

Week Four
September 11th ~ The Plot Bunny: Hunting Prince Dracula Trick or Treat Customer Ideas
September 12th ~ Blame it on The Books: Hunting Prince Dracula Review
September 13th ~ The Reader & the Chef: Hunting Prince Dracula’s Menu
September 14th ~ Books, Tv, and More…Oh MY!!: Top Ten Favourite Traits of Audrey & Thomas
September 15th ~ Unquenchable Reads: GIF, GIFS, and more GIFS

Week Five
September 18th ~ Rattle the Pages: A Glimpse Back in Time: Vlad The Impaler edition
September 19th ~ Beyond the Book Reviews: Character Wears of the 21st Century
September 20th ~ The Heart of a Book Blogger: Hunting Prince Dracula Mood Board


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review ~ Strange The Dreamer


I have to be honest and say that I really didn't care for the beginning of the story. Yes, we got our back story on Lazlo Strange but back a little too far in my opinion.  However, once Lazlo was grown, I was more intrigued.  I loved his snarky attitude towards the philosophers, towards life. I loved that he is a dreamer, not ready to settle into the ordinary.  He knew more was out there and he didn't want to give up on it, no matter how much others mocked him.  I listened to the audio book version, so if I spell the names wrong, that's why. 

Thion Nero is such a spoiled aristocrat and I truly hated him from the first mention of him.  I felt bad for him in one moment and then went right back to hating him.  


Sarai and her group of God-Spawn definitely threw me off in the beginning of the book, though it could've been due to me listening to an audio book rather than reading it.  I love the convenience of audio books, however, I tend to miss some details sometimes and that does suck.  Either way, I eventually understood what was going on in the story and loved every waking second of it.  The small group of God-Spawn were a family, and every family has its black sheep.  In this case, Sarai is not the black sheep, that position fits goes to another. 

So many unexpected twists, kept me intrigued and wanting more.  The emotions that Laini Taylor makes you feel are intense and raw and real.  These characters, all of them, powerful and resilient, are legit.  Their feelings, drafted so carefully, and with no mistake, pull at every one of your heart strings.


The different plots that are in Strange the Dreamer keep you wondering and guessing what will happen next.  When you read of a character and truly feel for them, you know it's a good book.  The complexity of the relationships between each of these characters is overwhelming and surreal.  With its weirdness and authenticity, Strange is definitely my most surprising read of 2017 and I cannot wait until the sequel is released.  

Sunday, August 6, 2017

GIVEAWAY and Guest Post of Love is Both Wave and Particle



Bog Tour:  Love is Both Wave and Particle

By: Paul Cody




 LOVE IS BOTH WAVE AND PARTICLE

“My First Book for Teens”

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Genre: Young Adult,  Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

This achingly beautiful novel considers how to measure love when it has the power to both save and destroy.

Levon Grady and Samantha Vash are both students at an alternative high school for high-achieving but troubled teens. They have been chosen for a year-long project where they write their life stories and collect interviews from people who know them. The only rule is 100% confidentiality—they will share their work only with each other. What happens will transform their lives.

Told from the perspectives of Levon, Sam, and all the people who know them best, this is a love story infused with science and the exploration of identity. Love Is Both Wave and Particle looks at how love behaves in different situations, and how it can shed light on even the darkest heart.

Amazon- https://www.amazon.ca/Love-Both-Wave-Particle-Paul/dp/1626726884



I didn’t intend to write Love Is Both Wave and Particle for teenagers. I had always written dark literary fiction for adults, usually about people who were mentally ill, or somehow living at the margins of society—in prisons, or mental hospitals, or on the streets.
But I taught at colleges and universities for more than fifteen years, and nearly all my students were anywhere from seventeen to twenty-one years old. One course I taught often was focused on personal essay and writing from experience.
The very nature of that course encouraged students to write about their lives, their hopes, fears, the things that had upset them or gave them joy. The students often wrote about cutting, eating disorders, sexual assault, depression, alcohol and drug problems, and serious problems with their parents.
I got to know the students unusually well, because they were writing from the heart. It made me realize how even “normal-seeming” students were often carrying heavy emotional burdens, and how often, writing about the burdens would somehow ease the pain.
I also have two sons who had recently passed through their mid to late teens. So, I felt I knew kids of that age.
Kids that age are in flux. Not quite adults, not only teenagers. They have driver’s licenses, are only a year away from voting or joining the military. Many drink alcohol, at least a little, some smoke weed.
I wanted to write a novel about two seventeen-year-olds, each with some history of mental illness or disability, and throw them together, in a fairly small setting, to see what would happen.
Would they hate each other?
Understand each other?
Might they fall in love?
Might they even change each other in big or small ways?
Part of being a teenager, I’d always thought, was growing up and away from the influence of parents and home, and finding different influences in the world, from friends, teachers, musicians, books, and the internet. Many things go into the process of growing up.
As I got deeper in the writing of Love Is Both Wave and Particle, the characters deepened and changed for me. Often, a character who I thought was a certain kind of person, who was cynical and heartless, turned out to have lots of heart and a real sense of decency. It had just been buried beneath a façade of cynical cool.
My main characters, Sam and Levon, were often contradicting my expectations for them. I wanted them to go left, and they wanted to go right. And in pretty much every case, I tried to watch and listen carefully, and I nearly always followed their leads.
Characters become alive to me as I’m writing, and I develop great respect and affection for them during the creation of a novel.
When I finished the novel, and sent it to the woman who’s now my agent, she read it and said, “This is a terrific young adult novel.” 

I was absolutely surprised, but very curious about the genre. I thought of Huck Finn and The Catcher in the Rye, and that in many ways those are young adult novels, and those are also novels I had loved for decades.
And then when I thought of the thousands of students I had taught, and when I looked at my two sons and their many friends, it made perfect sense that I had written a novel about young adults for young adults.
Just as my characters had surprised me, I had surprised myself.   

Paul Cody earned an MFA at Cornell University, and has published several novels and a memoir for adults. He lives in Ithaca, New York, with his wife, the poet Elizabeth Holmes, and their two sons. Love Is Both Wave and Particle is his first novel for teenagers.

Links:

August 1st

Pink Polka Dot Books- Welcome Post

August 2nd

Little Library Muse- Promo

August 3rd

Serial Bibliophile- Review & Bookstagram
YA Book Divas- Review

August 4th

Mind of a Book Dragon- Guest Post
The Candid Cover- Guest Post

August 5th

Never Too Many to Read- Guest Post
A Dream Within a Dream- Promo

August 6th

JusticeReads- Guest Post
Here's to Happy Endings- Review

August 7th

When Curiosity Killed the Cat- Review
ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY:

1 copy of LOVE IS BOTH WAVE AND PARTICLE by Paul Cody
US/Canada only
No Giveaway accounts

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Light Years by Emily Ziff Griffin and Giveaway!

ABOUT THE BOOK: Light Years by Emily Ziff Griffin Publisher: Simon Pulse Release Date: September 5th, 2017 Genre: Young A...