Friday, August 22, 2014

Blog Tour: CAN'T LOOK AWAY by Donna Cooner




Welcome to our stop on the CAN'T LOOK AWAY blog tour! We're very excited to introduce you to a story that documents one girls life--both on and off camera--as she deals with a heavy grief.

Be sure to check out the other stops on this tour sponsored by the dynamic duo behind Rockstar Book Tours!



     8/18/2014- Such a Novel IdeaInterview
     8/19/2014- A Book and a LatteGuest Post
     8/20/2014- The Book BellesReview
     8/21/2014- BookHounds YA- Interview
     8/22/2014- Fictitious Delicious- Spotlight
     8/25/2014- Shayna Varadeaux Books & ReviewsReview
     8/26/2014- The Cover Contessa - Guest Post
     8/27/2014- Katie's Book BlogReview
     8/28/2014- Swoony Boys PodcastReview
     8/29/2014- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderInterview
       


THE BOOK


CAN'T LOOK AWAY
by Donna Cooner
Release date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Point
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 272

Donna Cooner establishes herself as our own Jodi Picoult in this timely tale of sisters, loss, and redemption.

Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey's sister is killed in an accident -- maybe because of Torrey and her videos -- Torrey's perfect world implodes.

Now, strangers online are bashing Torrey. And at her new school, she doesn't know who to trust. Is queen bee Blair only being sweet because of Torrey's internet infamy? What about Raylene, who is decidedly unpopular, but seems accepts Torrey for who she is? And then there's Luis, with his brooding dark eyes, whose family runs the local funeral home. Torrey finds herself drawn to Luis, and his fascinating stories about El dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

As the Day of the Dead draws near, Torrey will have to really look at her own feelings about death, and life, and everything in between. Can she learn to mourn her sister out of the public eye?








ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Donna Cooner was born and raised in Texas. She is a three time graduate of Texas A&M University. A former teacher and school administrator, she now teaches teachers and principals at Colorado State University where she is the director of the School of Teacher Education and Principal Preparation. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her two labs and a cat named Stu. She's a big fan of chocolate and laughing (not necessarily in that order).

Donna is the author of over twenty picture books and was a founding member of the Brazos Valley Society of Children's Bookwriters and Illustrators. She has also written children's television shows for PBS and textbooks for future teachers. SKINNY is her debut novel for young adults.


Find Donna:  Website Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads





BUY CAN'T LOOK AWAY





THE GIVEAWAY






Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Review: IMITATION by Heather Hildenbrand



IMITATION (Clone Chronicles #1)
by Heather Hildenbrand

Release date: July 29, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Pages: 272
Source: ARC



Everyone is exactly like me.
There is no one like me.
The rough fabric of my cotton nightgown chafes so I lie very still. They say my discomfort comes from being built like one accustomed to niceties. How is that fair when I myself have never experienced anything but copies of the real thing?
My entire life is an imitation.
I am an Imitation.
I’ve been here five years. Training. Preparing. Waiting.And now I have a letter.My assignment has begun.
I am a prisoner.I am not Raven Rogen.I am here to die.






Fictitious Delicious Rating: 3.5


I almost wish I could give this book two ratings--one for the first 2/3 and another for the last 1/3 because I have different feelings between the two.  But since the strict rules of book blogging established at the same time the wheel was invented prevents me from doing this.  So, we're going to mesh the two ratings together for an average.

The first 2/3 of this story was pretty darn good.  There wasn't anything wrong with it--it just didn't stand out as particularly amazafantabulous to me, you know?  There's a lot of world setup, which was well done, a pretty predictable story line, which was also well done, and a main character who's yearning to, well...BE, which was--you guessed it--really well done.  See? No complaints. Just nothing to necessarily write home about.

And then the last third happens.

This is where Hildenbrand's story started running on all cylinders for me.  You may be able to guess where the story line is going, but let me tell you THIS: It won't matter.  Fun seems like a completely inappropriate word to use when describing all the things that happen to Ven, but it was.  It was fun. I tore through the pages because there's a good dose of action, a scene with a motorcycle I imagined myself into, and twisty twists that twist!  That's a recipe for fun if I've ever heard one.

I'm confident that DEVIATION, book two in the series, is going to own my attention from the moment I pick it up through the last page.  I expect great things based on how things end in this installment.  C'mon, December!  Get here.









Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review: HIS REVERIE by Monica Murphy



HIS REVERIE
by Monica Murphy

Release date: July 28, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Pages: 249
Source: ARC



I knew from the moment I first saw her she was the one. The only girl I could ever want.

The only girl I could ever love.

She is light.

I am darkness.

She is innocent.

I’ve done too much.

She is good.

I am bad.

She is my every dream.

I should be her every nightmare.

We come from different worlds. She’s…perfect. And I’m…

Not.

Somehow she wants me anyway. So we’ll grasp at what we can. We’re going to make this summer count. She’s my secret. And I’m hers.

The problem with secrets is they never last for long. And when others discover we’re together, they’ll do whatever it takes to keep us apart. All I know is: I won’t let them.

Because Reverie Hale? She’s mine.


Fictitious Delicious Rating: 2


Sometimes you love a book. Sometimes you don't. After reading the synopsis of HIS REVERIE, I was sure it would fall firmly into the category of books I love. Alas, it did not.

I think it all started with the insta-love connection between Nick and Reverie.  Which is interesting, because separately, I really liked these characters!  Nick is a bad boy with a compelling story to tell.  Reverie is the innocent, sheltered girl looking for a taste of what Nick's got. The ingredients are right, but you put them together and it's clear that something is missing.  Like, maybe you were supposed to add a cup of sugar, but you read the recipe wrong and only put in a tablespoon.  Yes, it's EXACTLY like that. 

Now, I've read some reviews complaining about the cliffhanger ending. I had to giggle because the mystery that hits at the end was probably my favorite part.  It takes the focus off the romance that doesn't work for me and puts it on a story line that grabbed my attention.  If it weren't for that ending, I would have zero interest in picking up the second book in this duology.  As it stands, I kind of need to know whodunnit, lol.

HIS REVERIE was my first book by Monica Murphy and despite my lack of love for this story, it will not be my last book by her.  She's proven to me that she knows how to write and I've heard the the One Week Girlfriend Quartet is chock-full of good loving. I am SO IN.







Friday, August 8, 2014

Blog Tour: WORDLESS by AdriAnne Strickland




Welcome to our stop on the WORDLESS blog tour! We're very excited to introduce you to the world that brings the saying "Words are powerful" to a whole new level of relevancy.  This is a perfect read for fans of dystopian and science fiction stories!

Be sure to check out the other stops on this tour sponsored by Me, My Shelf and I. 



     August 4th Such A Novel Idea REVIEW
     August 5th Micheal ScFi Fan AUTHOR INTERVIEW
     August 6th Tams Two Cents REVIEW
     August 7th Mom With A Kindle 10 RANDOM THINGS
     August 8th Fictitious Delicious SPOTLIGHT
     August 9th A Dream With In A Dream TENS LIST
     August 10th Curling Up With A Good Book MUSIC PLAYLIST
     August 11th Insane About Books REVIEW
     August 12th Me, My Shelf and I DREAM CAST
     August 13th Brooke Blogs REVIEW
       


THE BOOK


WORDLESS (Words Made Flesh #1)
by AdriAnne Strickland
Release date: August 8, 2014
Publisher: Flux
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Pages: 336


“The Gods made their Words into flesh, giving privileged individuals the powers of creation...”

In Eden City, a member of the illiterate wordless class would never dream of meeting the all-powerful Words ... much less of running away with one. So when a gorgeous girl literally falls into his lap during a routine trash run, seventeen-year-old Tavin Barnes isn’t sure if it’s the luckiest or worst day of his life. That girl is Khaya, the Word of Life, who can heal a wound or command an ivy bush to devour a city block with ease. And yet she needs Tavin’s help.

By aiding Khaya’s escape from the seemingly idyllic confines of Eden City, Tavin unwittingly throws himself into the heart of a conflict that is threatening to tear the world apart. Eden City’s elite will stop at nothing to protect the shocking secret Khaya hides, and they enlist the other Words, each with their own frightening powers, to bring her back.





"Just the right amount of pizzazz in the form of cinematic action and naked, sexy fun.... [An] intriguing, original science-fantasy setting sure to attract fans." - Kirkus Reviews

"A fast-paced blend of sci-fi and fantasy with scary real-world implications, Wordless grabbed hold of me from the start and wouldn't let me go. Brilliant." - Chelsea Pitcher, author of The S-Word and The Last Changeling

"Strickland's fast-paced debut... raises questions of identity and belonging.... Even the least ethical characters prove emotionally vulnerable." - Publishers Weekly







ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AdriAnne Strickland was a bibliophile who wanted to be an author before she knew what either of those words meant. She shares a home base in Alaska with her husband, but has spent two cumulative years living abroad in Africa, Asia, and Europe. While writing occupies most of her time, she commercial fishes every summer in Bristol Bay, because she can't seem to stop. Her debut YA sci-fi/fantasy, WORDLESS, is coming 2014 from Flux Books.



Find AdriAnne:  Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter 





BUY WORDLESS





THE GIVEAWAY






Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Review: ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Stephanie Perkins



ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER
by Stephanie Perkins

Release date: August 14, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 352
Source: ARC


From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Fictitious Delicious Rating: 5+


So, here it is. The end of a series that will be in my list of favorite series EVER 4ever. As much as I wanted to take my time and read it slowly and savor it, I ended up eating up in one big gulp. I didn't even get a bellyache! My heart did go through the wringer a bit, though. There are high highs and a low low felt like a squeeze to my heart and made moisture release from my tear ducts.


Let's start with Isla and Josh.  Their story is as delicious as you'd expect. The first half of the story reminded me of Anna and St. Clair's love story in that they fall in love in Paris and wander the streets and take in all those amazing sights in the City of Light.  But their story is unique.

Circumstances will test the crushes-turned-to-love that Isla and Josh find in France. And Spain. And New York City.  And...I don't really want to say any more than that!  I seriously think opening up this book without knowing a lot of details beforehand is the best way to open this sweet package of goodness.  Just know we're dealing with Josh, a boy that knows (and has known his entire life) exactly what he wants in his life.  Isla is more of the "I don't know what I'm going to do after high school" type. So, you know...they have some THINGS to work through.



Next, we get to talk about Anna, St. Clair, Lola and Cricket.  Because guess what?  You'll get to see them all! Perkins weaves them into the story like the master storyteller that she is.  I swear my heart rate goes up by 100 beats per minute at the mere mention of St. Clair.  He remains my favorite Perkins hero.  Josh is a close second, though.



Lastly, lets chat a bit about Stephanie Perkins, okay?  Guys. She's effing brilliant. BRILLIANT. This book is pure perfection.  It has a heroine who is identifiable in her insecurities, a hero who is a good guy and so incredibly swoon worthy, an autistic secondary character who is written remarkably well and with zero stereotypes.  It has adventure.  It has sexy times. It has the right amount of angst. It has humor. Stephanie Perkins holds the recipe for the perfect book.

I know we've waited a long time for Isla and Josh's story and I know that might worry you--it worried me! The delays were totally understandable and I want to you to understand this one thing:  She did the right thing in taking her time with this story. This book may very well be her best book yet. (I say *may* because ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS gets a 1,000,000 points for introducing me to St. Clair.)  You won't be disappointed.






Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Book Review: MORTAL DANGER by Ann Aguirre



MORTAL DANGER (Immortal Game #1)
by Ann Aguirre

Release date: August 5, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 384
Source: ARC



Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn't imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She's not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he's impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly... bad things are happening. It's a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil's bargains, she isn't sure who—or what--she can trust. Not even her own mind...





Fictitious Delicious Rating: 4

Whew! This was a roller coaster of a ride, y'all. Not of the emotional variety, mind you. More along the lines of "I love this book!" to "Eh, I don't know. Maybe I don't?" to "Aguirre is a boss writer!". This started out strong for me, floundered a bit in the middle and ended strong. So strong, in fact, that I'm including myself in the group of people that say, "OMG I NEED THE NEXT BOOK RIGHT NOW!"

First and foremost, this book is SMART.  I think I gained 15 IQ points while reading it.   (Thank goodness for the built in dictionary on my e-reader, lol.) If I were a writer, THIS is the kind of writing I would hope to achieve one day. Anyone who says YA books are nothing but fluff should be given a copy of this book and then be forced to write "I'm a liar, liar, liar and my pants are on fire" on the blackboard 270 times. (Wait. Does anyone even remember blackboards? Think whiteboard, only...black. And messy.)

There are certain things I wasn't crazy about in MORTAL DANGER. Notably, the back and forth Edie goes through in her evolution.  One minute she's hell bent on getting revenge on the Teflon group, and then she's second guessing herself.  Same thing happens with her relationship with Kian. (Oh, Kian. I love you.  More on that later.) One page she's pretty sure she loves him, the next she's pretty sure she can't trust him.  But you know what? That's kind of how teenage girls operate, isn't it? So sure of something until...they're not. Keep that in mind if you feel that pang of frustration with her like I did.

My new boyfriend, Kian, is a strong member in team good guy.  He's smart, gorgeous, caring and selfless.  Selfless to a fault, maybe.  Kian is straddling that fine line in which selflessness becomes a detriment to one's self worth. (Look at me using these big words.  Aguirre really did make me smarter, yo!)  I'm hopeful and anxious to see where we find both Kian and Edie in the second installment of this series.

MORTAL DANGER had it's moments of frustration, but in the end, the multiple positive messages it conveys (Girls! You don't need a hero!) and the intelligence won me over and turned this into a recommended read.

BTW, there is short story in Kian's POV in a time pre-deal with Edie.  It's a MUST READ and is available exclusively HERE.  Heck, you should go read this even if you haven't picked up MORTAL DANGER yet.  You'll get a good taste of what's to come.







Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: UGLY LOVE by Colleen Hoover



UGLY LOVE
by Colleen Hoover

Release date: August 5, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 320
Source: ARC



When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.



Fictitious Delicious Rating: 5+

I tried to protect my heart from Colleen Hoover. I really did. I went into this story knowing that Hoover herself cried while writing this--something she's never done with her other stories. I'm tough, I said.  I won't breakdown, I affirmed while doing the downward dog yoga move in my imagination. Besides, if she didn't cry while writing Holder and Sky's story, UGLY LOVE can't be *that* sad.  Oh, boy. Was I wrong. So, so deliciously wrong.

This story is told both in present and past tense through alternating point of views. A highly effective method of writing in this case because we get to see the loving, caring side of Miles that Tate suspects is underneath his shell of indifference.  But, why? What could have possibly happened to transform the young man that would qualify as the best boyfriend ever into a man that doesn't allow himself to feel darn near anything any more? Hang tight. You'll find out and I'm going to go as far as saying...your life as a reader will never be the same once you experience it.  Bold words, right? But listen.  This book and it's revelations are going into the history book as one of the greatest stories ever. EVER.  You will always remember it and it's watery cover. *sobs uncontrollably*

I pre-ordered a signed copy of UGLY LOVE with explicit instructions to have Miles personally deliver it to my doorstep wearing nothing but aviator glasses. I'll let you know how that goes.  In the meantime, I want to share this goodness with TWO lovers of all things Colleen Hoover.

Fill out the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win a copy of UGLY LOVE.  I will select TWO winners and send e-copies in whatever format you'd like.  Open internationally--as long as you can accept an ebook from Amazon/B&N US sites.  Good luck!

PS - Tissues are not optional while reading.  Your sleeves will be snot and tear stained should you not heed this warning.  You're welcome. 

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