Wednesday, April 30, 2014

{Blog Tour+Giveaway+Excerpt} Plus One: Elizabeth Fama

Genre: Young Adult, Science  Fiction, Romance, Thriller,
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)
Page Count: 373

Goodreads ~ The Book Despository ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Nobles 

Synopsis: Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.

Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.

Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.

Follow the rest of the tour!

About the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Tumblr

Elizabeth Fama is the author of Plus One (FSG, 2014), Monstrous Beauty (FSG, 2012), a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection and Odyssey Award honor winner, and Overboard (Cricket Books, 2002), an ALA Best Books for Young Adults. She is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.

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One night when I was still a freshman I came to class and there was a new drawing on the desk: an exquisitely rendered human heart. It was not the kind of heart that little kids draw and cut out to make valentines, with two plump cheeks at the top and a pointy V at the bottom. It was an anatomically perfect sketch, tipped slightly as real hearts are, showing the aorta, the pulmonary artery and veins, and the vena cava—although I wouldn’t have remembered the location of any of those if they hadn’t been carefully labeled. My desk partner had drawn the heart as if it had been sliced almost all the way in two by a sharp knife, which was no small feat since the drawing was three-dimensional and looked like real muscle tissue. Below it was a poem. But it wasn’t one I would have ridiculed, or forced Poppu to dissect to expose its pretentiousness. It was raw, an open wound, and it brought tears to my eyes.

I am empty

I am released from a ship

In space

I am unmoored

Vast nothingness

Aching for what was lost

Wanting what will never be

And suddenly

The after-moment of now versus then

The paradigm shift

The world in too sharp relief

The past and future overlap

In front of my eyes

Death and life

Love and its mysterious absence

A knowledge

I am not a player

I am a spectator

I read it again and again until I had it by heart. I heard nothing my teacher said the entire period, not a word. I had no com-fort to offer my friend, even though it’s what I most wanted to do, and in that way I felt an impotence that matched the tone of the poem itself.

A worry forced its way into my mind. Was it a girl he was talking about? Wasn’t that a broken heart he had drawn? Had he fallen in love with someone? Wanting what was lost. Love and its mysterious absence.

I felt socked in the chest, and I didn’t know why. He was the equivalent of a pen pal, after all; a confidant at most. Nothing had changed: if our paths crossed in the hall I still wouldn’t recognize him. If he saw me, I would seem a stranger. He wouldn’t wrap his arms around me, his beloved friend.

The bell rang, and every other student got up to leave, scraping chairs, laughing, stuffing books in backpacks, drop-ping papers. My time to help him was up, and I felt a rising panic that I would fail him.

I was no poet, I had no right to even try. But I hastily added these four lines, and I left the room without allowing myself to reconsider.


But for the stardust


I trail through her heart

{Book Blast+Giveaway} The Only Boy: Jordan Locke

The only boy

The Only Boy by Jordan Locke

Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules—the Matriarch's senseless rules—prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out.

Taylor's got a dangerous secret: he's a boy. His compound's been destroyed, and he's been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he'll be exiled. Maybe even executed.

Mary's never seen a boy—the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks—and she doesn't suspect Taylor's secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him.

Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary—and braving the land beyond the compound's boundaries.

Praise for The Only Boy

“It’s not a dystopia that does a good job—it’s a great book that happens to be a dystopia.”

Rachel Miller, Editor
“This book is one of the best of its genre I have read, it kept me gripped to its satisfying end.”

Janet Love, Amazon UK Reviewer
“If you like a different take on the dystopian genre then I would highly recommend this unique and amazing book.”

Tamara Bass, The Avid Book Collector

Jordan Locke

Author Jordan Locke

Jordan Locke lives in Connecticut with his wife, two lively daughters and a well-behaved whippet. A graphic designer by trade, his creativity spilled over into the literary world. After years of writing, reading and learning the craft, his fifth novel, The Only Boy, brought him offers of representation from two well-known agents. Now, after the dog is fed and the kids are in bed, you will find him tapping away at the keyboard.

only boy tou

book blast button

Blast Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 5/31/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

{Blog Tour+Giveaway+Review} Final Stand (Transhuman Chronicles #2): Rose Garcia

RELEASE: MARCH 24th 2014


Dominique is still alive after killing Tavion, the Tainted who's hunted her for lifetimes. Yet her protectors still fear for her life. They force her to flee Houston and abandon the friends she loves. But they can't protect her from herself. When Dominique starts hearing Tavion's voice in her head, she realizes that her personal connection to the Tainted still exists. And when her car is ambushed, she discovers another frightening truth—someone close to her is a traitor.

Desperate for answers, Dominique seeks the aid of first lifers Trent and Infiniti. With their help, she hopes to find her new enemy. But things get complicated with Trent when she finally accepts her eternal love for Farrell, and even more complicated when the whispers in her head threaten her loved ones. Determined to live, Dominique decides to make a final stand against the forces that want to end her. For good.


Praise for Final Life...

"Rose Garcia will explode your mind with action packed scenes and emotional turmoil.” - Moonlight Book Reviews 

"The wholetranshuman concept had the whole Sci-Fi/Fantasy element going on, yet Rose Garcia has written it in a way that is both fresh and believable, with the classic good versus evil theme incorporated." - Always YA at Heart 

"Final Life is filled with magical moments, heart aching moments, action, and suspense. I look forward to the next chapter of Dominique's story." - WinterHaven Books 

April 21
WOrkS of FiCTioN<3
– Teaser (
Such a Novel Idea –
Excerpt (

April 22
Mythical Books –
Interview (
Deal Sharing Aunt –
Blast & Giveaway (

April 23
Literary Winner –
Excerpt (
Chapter Break –
Review Final Stand / Interview (

April 24
What's Beyond Forks?
– Review Both (

April 25
Musings of Immortals
– Teaser (

April 28
Bookwyrming Thoughts
– Excerpt (
Loving the Language
of Literacy – Review Final Stand (

April 29
Bibliophile Mystery –
Excerpt (

April 30
A Leisure Moment –
Review Both / Interview (

May 1
Book Club Sisters –
Review Both / Interview (

May 2
It's A Book Thing –
Review Final Life (
Platypire Reviews –
Review Final Stand (


ALL INTERNATIONAL READERS WILL AUTOMATICALLY WIN AN eBOOK copy of Final Life and/or a $25 Amazon/B&N Gift Card. 

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Rose Garcia is a lawyer turned writer who's always been fascinated by science fiction and fantasy. From a very young age, she often had her nose buried in books about other-worlds, fantastical creatures, and life and death situations. More recently she's been intrigued by a blend of science fiction and reality, and the idea that some supernatural events are, indeed, very real. Fueled by her imagination, she created The TranshumanChronicles--a series of books about people who have overcome human limitations.

Rose lives in Houston with her husband and two kids. You can visit Rose at

*There are some unavoidable spoilers for Final Life. If you haven't already, check out my review, here*
*I was given this book from Good Choice Reading which does not in the slightest affect my honest review of this book*

My Background: Of course, my background for this book is the fact that I read the first one for a review blast back in January, and now that there was a blog tour featuring the sequel, I had to sign up so I could find out what happened. I also hope, that I will have the chance to read and review the third no as well. 

Plot: Where do I begin with this book? While I had a few issues with it, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and fast pace. If there is anything Garcia knows how to do, it's write a good action-packed story. Normally while reading a book on the Kindle, I am praying that I can just get through it. With Final Stand however, I am practically flicking to through the pages. You know, instead of ripping through them, since it's an ebook. The story picks up right where Final Life dropped off, with Dominique, Caris (Mom), Stone (Dad), and Farrell fleeing Huston after Dominiq finally kills Tavern after a failed eight other attempts. Everyone is a little Lost because they have always died with Dominique, and never made it past killing Tavion, so for once, everything that happens is new to them, so they don't know what to expect. 

Characters: Most of the characters in Final Stand are ones we have already been introduced to in Final Life, although there are some new ones, like nuns from the 19th (I'm just going to let you guess about that one). That includes Trent and Infinite, who Dominique dragged into the story for special purposes. *Hint, they become a lot cooler* As readers, we learn a lot and Dominique, as person, and also and her past, like that little red splotch on the back of her neck.....*weird eyebrow raise* I actually liked her better in Final Stand, because she was a lot more heroic, and deeper than she was in Final Life. 

Romance: I didn't enjoy it that much in Final Stand, and I still did not enjoy the dynamics of the romanc in this book either. The love triangle felt like a plot device, only there because that's what other paranormal romances (I'm looking at you Twilight) are supposed to have. Treat and Farrel's swoon-worthiness factor declined a little because there was more focus on plot and circumstance than their love. However, there were some strange kisses....Just not on the particular side I was routing for. 

Writing Style: While I enjoyed the way Rose Garcia said things, and how she set up the scene in Final Life, I did not like if I'm Final Stand. It might have been the fact that my copy was an ARC, but I don't think she could have changed that many cliche phrases. By cliche, I mean that they have been used before. There are a dozen ways to describe kissing or getting into a fight, she just chose one that I wasn't the biggest fan of. 

Ending: Boy, do I love the ending of final Stand.  It was action-packed and somewhat thrilling. Even though some character's fates aren't the most desirable, Rose Garcia endings are what make her stories good. I don't aan to spoil anything, but brace yourself wen reading it. 

TrinDee Events &amp; Jamie McGuire presents A Beautiful Wedding BookRave!!!

For all you Beautiful Disaster fans we have organized the ultimate book signing just for you!!

This event gives you the chance to visit Graceland Chapel where Abby and Travis got married

 and visit Bellagio Casino Resort where they booked their room.

In addition to this once in a life time experience you will also be able to meet Travis and Abby!
YES you read that correctly. You will be able to meet and take pictures with
Jase Dean as Travis Maddox! 

This is going to be a literary experience you will never forget! 
To purchase your tickets and get more details you can visit the official event page here
>>A Beautiful Wedding BookRave<<

There is one thing...
We are SEEKING an ABBY for the event!

Model Booking By

Oh wait.. there's MORE!

We have a number of authors joining the event to help celebrate the Beautiful and Maddox Brother's Series!
Abbi Glines
 Elizabeth Reyes
Toni Aleo
Madeline Sheehan
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Cora Carmack
More to come...Subject to Change!



 There are many more exciting things planned for this event. To keep up to date with the news you can always check on our site TrinDee Events and "Like" us on the TrinDee Events Facebook Page.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Every Day: David Leviathan

Rating: 4/10
Series: Every Day #1

Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ+, Young Adult,
Publication Date: April 28, 2012
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 322
Format: Paperback

Source: Bought from Powells Book Store

Goodreads Synopsis: 
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

*Quick Note: I keep calling 'A' a he bc that is what 'A's character felt like to me, but because he's in so many bodies, he could be male, female, or a little bit of both. I hope I don't offend anyone with this, I'm just unsure wat pronoun he would go by*

Ethics: 'A' lives the life of somebody else every single day.This brought up a lot of issues having to do with if he should change the person's life for the better, or just leave it alone. You could have seen him as a visitor, or the devil, or someone just borrowing the body, or inhabiting it. It could even be seen as a host-and-parasit relationship. In fact (I hope this isn't too much of a spoiler) on one day, when he leaves the body on someone, that someone remembers, and then spreads the news that the devil had possessed him. During this review, I will be saying the word 'inhabited', but I'm not sure that is the correct term. I would assume that some highly religious people would be up in arms about this book because of the LGBTQ+ going ons (obviously my brain isn't working because that sounds like I'm Rachel Lynne from Anne of Green Gables), and the ethical questions involved.  

LGBTQ+ 10/10: This story should be analyzed intently by the LGBTQ+ community because it's so hard to understand. As reader's we obviously know that 'A' loves people for being people. Because he's in so many different bodies, it's impossible for him to have a so-called 'preference' for one gender. He loves them for being them, their little quirks, their favorite things, their (as John Legend would say) "perfect imperfections". 'A' has inhabited the lives of so many people, mostly straight, but he has been in a gay person's life, a girl who likes other girls as boys, and countless others. We can tell that Rhiannon (that is so hard to spell *inside book joke*) isn't exactly comfortable with 'A' being a girl, and 'A' kissing her. At the same time, this book is incredibly free in what areas it covers with the LGBTQ+ zone. These kinds of books are still pretty rare on the market, and the area's that Every Day covers are vital for putting more LGBTQ+ books on the market, and making people more comfortable with it.

Premise/Originality 10/10: Ten out of Ten, the premise of Every Day by David Leviathan was freaking incredible. It seemed right up my alley, and was one of those unexplainable-things-set-in-modern-times-that-sound-like-science-fiction-but-isn't kind f books. The thought of waking up in a new body every day has, to my knowledge, never been done before. Imagine never having a stable home, family, friend, or any comfort of people knowing who you are. No one in the entire world would know your favorite color, food, if you preferred using a pen or pencil on your English homework. No one would know who you were. Every day, you would be forced to go along with people you have never met and will never see again after that day. It wouldn't matter if you woke up in the body of a nerd, drug addict, cheerleader, or someone with leukemia. The possibilities of what Leviathan could have done with this story are endless. What 'A' could have done is limitless, and he could have made an impact on each tiny sphere of someone else's life.  

Characters 5/10: I don't think that Leviathan utilized his premise well enough. The story, about 'A' falling in love with this one girl on day 5994 of his life, and spending the next 40 days of his life trying to get back to her could have been the most epic love story of 2012. Instead, if felt like 'A' dealt with the entire situation like a regular 16 year old guy who has never inhabited 5994 bodies in his lifetime. I know readers should be glad that he held onto a sense of normalcy despite his situation, but I honestly would have expected him to be a little more, let's say "psychologically advance". By that, I mean the 6th grader's definition of a person being "deep". After seeing so many lives,  and experiencing so many situations, I would have expected him to deal with situations like an older person that had experienced more in his life. At the same time, it's expected because 'A' has never experienced a closeness with someone, and actually developed a relationship with them. Even when he took over a life of someone who was in a relationship, he wasn't in that relationship with that person. He never went through the rough patches, or the honeymoon phase with them, or the stilly arguments all couples have. Because this story is so different, you could probably write a hundred essays ELA teachers love to assign, analyzing different reasonings for 'A's' behavior and reactions. I know I sound so....I'm not even sure what the term is, but I sound so contradicting because that's what this story is. 

Romance 5/10: I sound heartless, but I didn't enjoy Every Day's romance that much. Let me explain, Rhiannon was a very nice girl, who shone with her own light, was nice to everyone, had the jerk get the picture. I truthfully, did not like her that much. I know there have been so many discussion posts around the Blogosphere dictating when it's appropriate to write a negative review, and the rule of the thumb, is that as long as you have evidence, then everything is fine. I can't give you that evidence because I simple don't know why I dislike her. I have a absolutely no vendetta against kind, smart, and pretty girls (HELLO! Look at me! Just Kidding 😝), or anything that I can think of that would make me dislike her. Rhiannon has plenty of good qualities and merits, but I think 'A' was just desperate for compassion and people to be there for him, so he went straight for Rhiannon, who may have been his soul mate. It's my personal preference that 'A' and Rhiannon are not my newest OTP. 

Cover 3/10: *squints and looks at the cover weirdly like I'm constipated 😁* What is that? I have often talked about in the 'Cover' section that something abstract would be nice, and I normally would have said that for Every Day as well. I'm merely not the biggest fan of the designer's vision/abstractness. If this were art class I would say, "There are people....teenage (looking) boys and girls. They are jumping on clouds and floating in the air. That's all." I don't understand the point of the cover, and even though it is weird, I would have expected something even weirder, brighter, and eye catching, considering everything in this book. 

Title 7/10: 

'A' is in a new body EVERY DAY. 

'A' experiences everything differently EVERY DAY. 

Enough said. 

Ending 6/10: Can I just March up to David Leviathan's home (without getting arrested, of course) and strangle him? The ending is so WTF! Why are you doing this to me? I don't want to spoil things, but the way 'A' and Rhiannon leave things is extremely abrupt, like in The Fault in Our Stars, An Imperial Affliction where the book ends unwritten. I have a few words (some not appropriate for this blog) for Leviathan, but I can't spoil it for you. May I just say.....WHHHHHYYYYY?

Continuation 90%: Because of that ending, which I may not tell you, I will have to read the sequel to find out what happens. Enough said. *blood temperature rises*

Quotes 10/10: Despite 'A' nor being prophetic, there are still some killer quotes in here. 

"In my experience, desire is desire, love is love. I have never fallen in love with a gender. I have fallen for individuals. I keno this is hard for people to do, but I don't understand why it is so hard, when it's so obvious."---'A' P. 142

"This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it's just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be. "---'A' P. 175

"Even before I open my eyes, I like Vic. Biologically female, genetically male. Living within the definition of his own truth, just like me. He knows who he wants to be. Most people, our age don't have to do that. They stay within the realm of easy. If you want to live within your definition of your own truth, you have to go through the initially painful and ultimately comforting process of finding it."---'A' P. 253

"There are a few things harder than being born into the wrong body. I had to deal with it a lot when I was  growing up, but only for a day. Before I became so adaptable -so acquiescent to the way my life worked- I would resist some of the transitions. I loved having long hair, and would resent waking up to find my long hair was gone. There were days when I felt like a girl  and days I felt like a boy, and those days didn't correspond with the body I was in. I still believed everyone when they said I had to be one or the other. Nobody was telling me a different story....I had to learn that when it came to gender, I was both and neither."----'A' P. 254

Conclusion: Even though I wasn't the biggest fan of the story, the concept was phenomenally brilliant, and I think every one should read this book, just so I can rant with them about how frustrated I am because of it. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Readathon Sign-Ups: Dewey's 24 Hour & Bout of Books 10


This is my declaration of participating in the age-old event (as of 2007) known as Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon! All information about the readathon including FAQ, history, prizes, start times, and more can be found on the website. I personally am not sure how long I can participate, but the point of the readathon is for everyone to start at the same time (5am PST) and read for 24 hours straight. I have said this before on my blog and twitter, but I am not a very happy camper if I haven't slept 8 hours or more. That said, I am hoping to get at least six hours in, but with homework and other stuff that may not be entirely possible. 

My TBR for this Readathon (I know think I will read this

much, but we can all hope):

Daughter of Smoke and Bone: Laini Taylor
Final Stand: Rose Garcia
Where Things Come Back: John Corey Whaley
Fangirl: Rainbow Rowell
{Parts 1, 2, & 3} Run to You: Clara Kensie
How to Say Goodbye: Amber Lin
Fragile Line: Brooklynne Skye
The Only Boy: Jordan Locke

Bout of Books 10

I have participated in Bout of Books before, and have always loved them. This a quarterly (or thirdly, someone correct me) event that is always fun. It's a weeklong event from May 12-18 with mini challenges, twitter chats, and more. Check out the website for all information related to this readathon. I'm hoping all the end-of-the-school-year rush will be almost done by then -except that it is the week of open hour which means the week of crazy- so I should hopefully be able to finish around 5 books. 

My TBR is forthcoming because everything will depend on where I will be in my neverending TBR pile at that time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose: Gillian McCain Legs McNeil

Rating: 5/10
Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult Non-Fiction
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

Check out the Dear Nobody website for the trailer and actual scans of Mary Rose's diary.

Goodreads Synopsis: Go Ask Alice was a hoax. But Dear Nobody is a true teen diary so raw and so edgy its authenticity rings off every page

"I am a freak."The words and drawings of Mary Rose present a gritty, powerful, no-holds-barred true experience of a teen girl so desperate to be loved, so eager to fit in that she'll go to extremes that could cost her her life.This is not a story about addiction. Or sexual promiscuity. Or cystic fibrosis. It's the story of a young woman with a powerful will to live, who more than anything wants to be heard...and loved.This compelling, emotional account ensures her voice will not be forgotten

*I received this book from Netgalley for review purposes which does not in the slightest affect my honest review of the book*
*I am sincerely sorry to my street team for not posting this review earlier, I had personal/school matters that needed to be prioritized first, which is why I was unable previously to post this review*

My Initial Thoughts: One word -WOW. This book could go down in history. This book could make it onto the 'banned books' list. This book could do a lot of things, and impact modern society, in terms of subject matter and writing style. My first point is that this book is not for the faint of heart, and not for people that can't bare to hear about the 'tough stuff' which covers a wide array of topics from rape, underage drinking, abuse, drugs, depression, illness, and more. The whole nine yards are in this novel, all Mary Rose needed to do was add gun control, abortion, religion, and LGBTQ+ to make her story contain every single controversial topic nowadays. 

I can just picture my language arts teacher (any many others across the country) beating the story to death with interpretations, discussions, essays, and everything else this story evokes/has the potential to evoke. Personally, I think that it shouldn't. Dear Nobody is so rich, and sometimes overbearing to the senses. Readers should really sit down for four hours and finish the book cover to cover in order to let all of the emotions soak in and impact them. 

One of my issues is that I started this book with the expectation that it would be THE next contemporary young adult novel. What does that mean to me? Well, it means there are meaningful quotes I could write whole discussions on, and there would be passages/phrases that unearthed the whole character to myself, so that I sympathized with them, and truly got to know them. I know I am saying what a majority of the readers have said -This book is gritty. A classic contemporary novel in Sofiaworld has a cookie-cutter beginning, middle, and end, and -while subjects may be depicted in a gory and/or graphic manner- pretty. 

Most diaries are written in diary-form, but they still have the classic exposition, rising, action, climax, falling action, resolution, etc. The format might be different and at times, unconventional, but it would still tell a coherent story. Instead, Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose is just that, the true diary of hers. The handy little disclaimer in the beginning of the book states that not a single word was changed, everything is directly from her. There is no introductory, "My name is Mary Rose. I am 16 years old. I live in...." kind of passage. While it was arranged so that readers would get a general idea of who she is in the beginning, this book is still not of the normal variety by any means. 

Everything is EXACTLY as she wrote it. Every last cuss word, gruesome description, and more was directly from her mouth. The reason this praise is considered "raw and gritty" is because there are some pretty 'hush, hush' topics discussed that don't normally debut in a young adult novel. I'm not just saying that there is a topic like sex that is graphically described. I am saying that this girl, Mary Rose's inner soul was unsheathed in this book. 

And that is what might trip readers up.

I personally did not like this book as much as I thought I would. The structure and order of events tripped me up. I'm all for authors trying to be unique, but that's just it, authors make up these events and stories. Even if they are 'based on a true story' the author still has the freedom to guess what it's like inside their main characters head. All Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil could do was rearrange the order of entries, and choose to exclude certain ones. I know people are sure to disagree with me, but I think a minute amount of editing might have made this story more enjoyable. There were a few jumps from chapter to chapter that felt like someone had just gotten up and walked away that made it very  perplexing at times. Even if there was a single entry written by McCain or McNeil, it might have impacted the story. Mary Rose did not write this for other people's eyes. She did not write this to make sense. She did not write this to make herself likable or relatable. She wrote this to tell the truth.

I would also like to add that a reader, such as myself a few years ago at a younger, more innocent stage, would be horrified and shocked at Dear Nobody. Booze is being drank, and drugs are being done practically more than dialogue is being said. Mary Rose is drinking and getting high so much, that if this wasn't a true story, and I felt sympathy for her, I would say the author was terrible for putting in so much substance abuse. I know I sound malicious for saying this, but I am extremely surprised she hadn't killed herself before with the amount of alcohol and drugs -that I hadn't even previously heard of- that she had consumed. 

Then there's the cystic fibrosis act to the story that makes your sympathy for her dip down even lower. Being sick and in the hospital has become such a normal experience for her, and she even says how people got tired of hearing she was there, and it had become a daily part of their lives similar to going to dance class or playing in the park. 

Next, there was the romantic aspect to think of. I can hardly remember how many guys she thought she was "in love" with, who she thought was "cute", and wanted to make out with or date. 

Then, there was the fact she was raped multiple times, which is horrible in and of itself, but she got so high, and passed out so much, that it made it (I hate to say this) easy for people to do it. 

Lastly (and I know there is probably more I am forgetting), there was the fact that her mother was staying in an abusive relationship. Both Mary Rose and her mom got beat on a daily basis by her mom's (lets be honest here) good for nothing boyfriend that she even intended to marry. 

There is just issue after issue here that all made up Mary Rose's life that had truly become hell. On the outside, people will probably look at her, feel sorry, then try to pin the blame on someone.  Instead, we get to see how none of if=t was her fault, and merely a defense mechanism, although not the best one.

Because of all of this, I did not like Dear Nobody that much if you are judging a book by it's plot and characters. If you are judging by subject matter and premise only, it would get the full 5 stars. I know that the two star rating might be off-putting and negative, but my readers of this blog have to understand, Dear Nobody was not as easy book. "true teen diary so raw and so edgy its authenticity rings off every page" is what the synopsis says. I personally, had problems with the book in terms of structure and voice, but I hope that does not deter you from buying it. I was touched deeply, but it was still not completely to my liking. I know it seems hypocritical, and conflicting but as the same time I think it was extraordinary, wonderful, and stunning, it was also confusing, hard to follow at times, and not enough background was given. 

Conclusion: This is one messed up book that should not be read by people with a tender stomach because of the horrible events Mary Rose has to go through. My own feelings are conflicted to say the least, but this book has the ability to be stunning, breathtaking, yet horrible, and confusing simultaneously.

Monday, April 21, 2014

{Release Day Blitz+Giveaway} My Not So Super Sweet Life: Rachel Harris


Cat Crawford just wants to be normal—or at least as normal as a daughter of Hollywood royalty can be. And it looks like fate is granting her wish: she’s got an amazing boyfriend, Lucas; her fabulous cousin, Alessandra, living with her; and her dad planning his second marriage to a great future stepmom. That is, until her prodigal mother reveals on national television that she has something important to tell her daughter…causing a media frenzy.

Lucas Capelli knows his fate is to be with Cat, and he’s worked hard to win her over once and for all. Unfortunately, Lucas has his own issues to deal with, including a scandal that could take him away from the first place he’s truly belonged.

As secrets are revealed, rumors explode, and the world watches, Cat and Lucas discover it’s not fate they have to fight if they want to stay together…this time, it’s their own insecurities.

Well, and the stalkerazzi.


MY NOT SO SUPER SWEET LIFE is a special digital only, fan requested addition to the series!

It's also told in DUAL POV. Woohoo!


Read the first chapter...


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To celebrate the release author Rachel Harris is hosting a giveaway!

US - A Signed RARE paperback copy of MY NOT SO SUPER SWEET LIFE & SWAG PACK

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Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong families are a staple in each of her Rachel Harrisbooks…and kissing. Lots of kissing.

A Cajun cowgirl now living in Houston, she firmly believes life’s problems can be solved with a hot, sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations. She homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches way too much Food Network with her amazing husband.

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and losing herself in story. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!


Friday, April 18, 2014

{Blog Tour+Giveaway+Playlist+Review} These Gentle Wounds: Helene Dunbar

Release Date: May 8, 2014
Paperback, 312 pages
Publisher: Flux
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Tough Issues / PTSD

Sometimes I wish I’d lost a leg or something. Everyone can understand that. They never get it when what’s been broken is inside your head.

Five years after an unspeakable tragedy that changed him forever, Gordie Allen has made a new home with his half-brother Kevin. Their arrangement works since Kevin is the only person who can protect Gordie at school and keep him focused on getting his life back on track.
But just when it seems like things are becoming normal, Gordie’s biological father comes back into the picture, demanding a place in his life. Now there’s nothing to stop Gordie from falling into a tailspin that could cost him everything—including his relationship with Sarah, the first girl he’s trusted with the truth. With his world spinning out of control, the only one who can help Gordie is himself . . . if he can find the strength to confront the past and take back his future.

April 14thDanaSquare  – Review

April 15h The Reader and The Chef – Review

April 16th Angie's Reading Dungeon – Review/Playlist

April 16th Alice Marvels – Review

April 17th Escaping One Book at a Time – Review/Guest Post

April 17th Dizneee's World of Books – Review/Top Ten

April 18h The Happy Booker – Review/Guest Post

April 18thLoving The Language of Literacy  – Review/Playlist

April 18thOur Wolves Den  – Review

April 21st A Bump On A Log – Review

April 22nd  – Review

April 23rdA Diary of A Book Addict   – Review/Top Ten

April 24thBooks & Chocolates  – Review

April 24th What A Nerd Girl Says – Review

April 24th Chelsea's Reading Adventures  – Review

April 25th The-Society.Net  – Review

April 25th Books With Bite – Review

April 25th Curling Up With A Good Book– Review/Character Profile

Helene Dunbar usually writes features about fiddles and accordions for Irish Music Magazine, but she’s also been known to write about court cases, theater, and Native American Indian tribes.

She's lived in two countries, six states, and is currently holed up in Nashville with her husband, daughter, two cats, and the world’s friendliest golden retriever.

THESE GENTLE WOUNDS is Helene’s debut novel with Flux Books.

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Bands that no longer exist:

As anyone who writes to a playlist knows, the music you listen to day after day, and let’s be honest, year after year, while you’re writing, and revising, and then editing a book, tends to take on a life of its own. I know that I feel a connection to my playlist songs that is different from the connection I feel to a song or band I just happen to like and listen to casually. So it’s painful to see that connection severed because a band breaks up or is reincarnated in a completely different configuration. 
During the writing of an earlier manuscript, I discovered a band from Oxford, England, called A Silent Film (in the interest of honesty, I’m going to admit to hearing them through a blog post of Maggie Steifvater’s which is where I’ve found a number of bands who end up on my “favorites” list). I planned business meetings around their gigs, I’ve made close friends with people I’ve met at shows. I seriously dig them.
Then I discovered that most of ASF’s members used to be in a punk band called Shouting Myke. That Shouting Myke was actually playing live when I was living in Oxford and I didn’t know about it, will haunt me until I’m old(er) and grey. But I’m not sure I would have appreciated them at that point, anyhow.
I ordered an old, dusty, used copy of the Shouting Myke CD from the UK. And I laughed because they sounded SO different from ASF. But then I listened again. And again. And, well, again. And then I put almost every song on the CD on my TGW playlist. 
Now one thing about me and music….I HATE screaming. I mean, hate it. And this CD has screaming and it makes me cringe. BUT….the music and the lyrics and the lost “why doesn’t anyone love me-ess” and the “where do I fit in-ness” of this album just nailed so much of Gordie’s (and honestly Kevin’s and probably Sarah’s) angst that I had to get over it and just deal. These Gentle Wounds was better for that and if you can handle a little punk screaming, then check them out and then listen to the magnificence of A Silent Film. You can thank me later.

*I recieved this book from Lady Reader's Bookstuff fo review purposes which does not in the slightest affect my honest review of the book*

Where do I even begin with this book? How do I start telling you the numerous ways this book touched me? How do I even begin to try and explain when you haven't read it yet?

I think the best way to describe this is as a rich meal. These Gentle Wounds had all of the different types of foods that make you remember why you live to eat. The meat is delicate, and tender. The baked potatoe is drowned in butter, spices, and crispness on the outside. The wine (not that I've had any) is exquisite, it's scents permeating your nostrils the way only the high quality kind will. The bread is light, airy, and still warm from the oven. I hope you get the picture. 

The point is that this meal is something you wouldn't trade for the world because of all of its phenomenal qualities, just like this book. One of my highest praises, and I'm sure anybody else's if they have read These Gentle Wounds are the highly developed characters. Gordie, Sarah, Kevin, Jim, even the more minor ones have the quality that all authors strive for. It goes beyond being relatable, because what takes talent is making characters seem real when they're situations are extremely rare.

Gordie could be very standoffish, and off putting if he wasn't written well. In fact, that's whfat he thinks he appears as to the people around him. Instead, readers were given an inside look into his head. You're probably sitting there thinking, "That's what first person is supposed to do Sofia. Didn't you go through 3rd grade?" Like I said before about this story, you have to read it to understand. Gordie has PTSD because his mother did something unspeakable five years before. He wakes up soaked with sweat frequently, he goes off on 'spins' where he has vivid flashbacks and time escapes him. All he can feel is pressure from what happened to him. I could have ended up saying, " what?" almost the entire book because of how bizarre the situation was. Instead, it was as if his character's hands reached out a touched my heart on the most incline way possible.  

Kevin, Gordie's half-brother, took the brunt of his step-fathers anger, which I am pretty sure you can interpret. It would almost make more sense if Kevin were the one with PTSD because of what Gordie's father did to him. Instead, we learn that Kevin is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to Gordie's protection and safety. He was sort of like Gordie's watch dog. If Helene Dunbar reads this review, she will probably be rolling her eyes and saying, "This review is crazy, first she compares my writing to food, and now one of my main characters to a watchdog?" Let me just explain, Kevin is loyal, Kevin is protective, and he would never let anything happen to his brother. At a young age, he had to deal with his step-father's abuse, seeing his biological father on a few occasions, and all of that transitioned into him becoming the sole-caretaker, and shrink, for his little brother. Kevin is basically Gordie's anchor in life, and you know that he would kill to keep Gordie safe.

Sarah is an interesting character. She's a photographer, ex-bad girl, sister to golden-boy hockey player, Luke Miller, and one of the most understanding characters I have ever met. She becomes Gordie's love interest in this story, and does more than you could ever imagine for him. To Gordie, Sarah isn't just some girl, she becomes his second anchor, and the only person outside of his brother that he can confide in. By herself, I don't think I would like Sarah that much, but through Gordie's eyes, I see what a magnificent person she is, and what it feels like to be in love. She listens wholly without judgement, she adds humor, a ray of sunshine, and proof that Gordie can love and be loved. 

It's amazing how well Helene Dunbar captures the act of falling in love, while the two of them are still teenagers. The reason that sentence is written so poorly is because I was trying to avoid the words ''teenage love" because their relationship is not just another flash in the pan. However, the sensations of falling in love when you are a teenager are there because of how Gordie experiences everything for the first time with new eyes. Their love is pure. There is a scene where it seems as if Kevin is about to beat Sarah up because he's afraid she will hurt Gordie. Sarah responds with a full arsenal of defenses to her love and admiration for Gordie. This might seem like nothing, but to Gordie, who is having doubts because of what happens at the story in that time, what she says means everything. 

On one of my many-category reviews, I have 'originality' as a category, and frankly, I don't know how this story could be more original. It's a tale of tough issues, grief, and sadness, but it also remains hopeful, and is about finding love, who you are, and how to face your fears. This one book will move mountains more than a thousand books in another genre. 

The mental aspect of Gordie is something I have never read about before. Everyone talks about being broken after something tough and having to put yourself back together again, but never what it's like to be broken inside your head. It's something that's incomprehensible to others, as the beginning of the synopsis says, but the readers are given a unique window to see what it's like. 

There is a lot more I can say, but it can't be put into words -unless they're about dogs or food- the feelings that were prodded and poked with this novel. My last plugin for all of you is that you have to buy this book when it hits shelves on the 8th of May. I normally am very conservative with my money, but you can bet on the day These Gentle Wounds comes out, I will be the first in line to get my own copy.

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