Tag Archives: friendship

Grabby Paws: Jackaby by William Ritter + The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill

Grabby Paws

“Grabby Paws” is my version of the Waiting on Wednesday meme hosted by Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming releases that I can’t wait to get my paws on. 🙂

Today I have grabby paws for…

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“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

Why I have grabby paws…

Well, considering Doctor Who is one of my favorite things ever and I love Sherlock too, and the Victorian Era is my favorite historical time period, I need this now. Lucky for me, Algonquin contacted me and asked if I was interested in reviewing this title (and the one below) and I said YES! My first official review for a publisher! SO excited!

Releases September 16th

I also have grabby paws for…

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“A lightning bolt erupted from the cloud and aimed directly at Ned’s heart. He couldn’t cry out. He couldn’t even move. He could just feel the magic sink into his skin and spread itself over every inch of him, bubbling and slithering and cutting deep, until he didn’t know where the magic stopped and he began.”

When Ned and his identical twin brother tumble from their raft into a raging, bewitched river, only Ned survives. Villagers are convinced the wrong boy lived. Sure enough, Ned grows up weak and slow, and stays as much as possible within the safe boundaries of his family’s cottage and yard. But when a Bandit King comes to steal the magic that Ned’s mother, a witch, is meant to protect, it’s Ned who safeguards the magic and summons the strength to protect his family and community.

In the meantime, in another kingdom across the forest that borders Ned’s village lives Áine, the resourceful and pragmatic daughter of the Bandit King. She is haunted by her mother’s last words to her: “The wrong boy will save your life and you will save his.” But when Áine and Ned’s paths cross, can they trust each other long enough to make their way through the treacherous woods and stop the war about to boil over?

With a deft hand, acclaimed author Kelly Barnhill takes classic fairy tale elements–speaking stones, a friendly wolf, and a spoiled young king–and weaves them into a richly detailed narrative that explores good and evil, love and hate, magic, and the power of friendship.

Why I have Grabby Paws…

Algonquin also asked me to review this title, and I think it sound adorable. I love that excerpt! A fairy tale with real fairy tale language. Gimme!

Releases September 16th


Strange & Ever After by Susan Dennard Book Blitz + Giveaway!

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IFB is hosting the promo tour for the third and final book in Susan Dennard’s steampunk, zombie trilogy. Continue below for a sample and a cool giveaway.
 
17902141Series: Something Strange & Deadly #3
Release date: July 22nd 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
 
Synopsis via Goodreads:
In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus…all before it’s too late.
 
He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.
 
With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.
 
Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.
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About the Author
Susan DennardSusan Dennard is a writer turned marine biologist turned writer again. Strange and Ever After is the conclusion to her trilogy, which includes A Darkness Strange and Lovely and Something Strange and Deadly. Among the traits she shares with her heroine Eleanor are a weakness for Shakespeare quotes, a healthy appetite for baked goods, and an insatiable curiosity. Sadly, Susan does not get to wear a corset or wave a parasol on a daily basis.
 
 
The Complete Series
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Strange And Ever After by Susan Dennard Blog Tour + Giveaway!

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Strange and Ever After 
(Something Strange and Deadly #3)
by Susan Dennard
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: July 22nd 2014
Synopsis:
In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus…all before it’s too late.
He took her brother, he took her mother, and now, Marcus has taken her good friend Jie. With more determination than ever to bring this sinister man to justice, Eleanor heads to the hot desert streets of nineteenth-century Egypt in hopes of ending this nightmare. But in addition to her increasingly tense relationships with Daniel, Joseph, and her demon, Oliver, Eleanor must also deal with her former friend, Allison, who has curiously entangled herself in Eleanor’s mission.
With the rising dead chomping at her every move and Jie’s life hanging in the balance, Eleanor is convinced that her black magic will see her through to the bitter end. But there will be a price. Though she and the Spirit Hunters have weathered every battle thus far, there will be consequences to suffer this time—the effects of which will be irreversible. And when it’s over, only some will be able to live a strange and ever after.
Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.

Want to read an extra scene from A Darkness Strange & Lovely in Daniel’s POV? Click here!

 

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Follow the FFBC Strange And Ever After Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.
I am a writer, reader, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. I used to be a marine biologist, but now I write novels. And not novels about fish either, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues (I reallylike swoon-worthy rogues).
I live in the Midwest with my husband and two dogs (Asimov and Princess Leia), and you can learn more about my crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on my blog or twitter.
My debut, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY is now available from HarperTeen along with the prequel, A DAWN MOST WICKED, and the sequel A DARKNESS STRANGE & LOVELY.
Look for STRANGE & EVER AFTER in summer 2014 and TRUTHWITCH in fall 2015!
Note: I am on Goodreads to READ. So, if you want to discuss books and the joys of literature, add me as a friend!
Win (1) hardback copy of Strange and Ever After (US Only)
Win (1) E-book of Strange and Ever After (INT)

The Other Me by Suzanne van Rooyen Book Blast + Giveaway!

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The Other Me
Author: Suzanne van Rooyen
Genre: YA, LGBT, Contemporary | Pages 216 | Release Date: 12/19/13
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Fifteen-year-old Treasa Prescott thinks she’s an alien. She doesn’t fit in with the preppy South African private school crowd and feels claustrophobic in her own skin. Treasa is worried she might spend life as a social pariah when she meets Gabriel du Preez. Gabriel plays the piano better than Beethoven, has a black belt in karate, and would look good wearing a garbage bag. Treasa thinks he’s perfect. It might even be love, as long as Gabriel doesn’t find out she’s a freak.

As Treasa spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she might not love him as much as she wants to be him, and that the reason she feels uncomfortable in her skin might have less to do with extra-terrestrial origins and more to do with being born in the wrong body.

But Gabriel is not the perfect boy Treasa imagines. He harbors dark secrets and self-destructive tendencies. Still, Treasa might be able to accept Gabriel’s baggage if he can accept who she longs to be.

Pick up this amazing #DiverseBook at these fine retailers: 
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PRAISE FOR THE OTHER ME

“The Other Me is a story that will stay with me for a long time. This is what YA should be and Van Rooyen has that uncanny ability to wedge you inside the heads of her characters where you will feel all their pain, love, joy and sorrow. I cannot recommend this book enough if you’re looking for a story that will challenge your preconceptions.” – Nerine, You Gotta Read Reviews

This book is a great new contemporary read, so different from everything else that’s out there, and it is brilliant! Suzanne van Rooyen does a brilliant job of crafting a story that is not only entertaining and engaging, but interesting and unique too.”– Myra, Pieces of Whimsy

I loved Suzanne Van Rooyen’s writing style. It made reading her words so easy. Her characters came across as incredibly real. Add all of that into the uniqueness of the stories subject and The Other Me turned out to be a book that I absolutely loved. So much in fact that I would love to read more of these characters.” – Tracey, YA Book Addict  

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Suzanne is a tattooed story-teller and peanut-butter addict from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance and music to middle-schoolers or playing in the snow with her shiba inu. She is rep’d by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST

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1 Winner will get a Signed copy of THE OTHER ME, an eBook of OBSCURA BURNING + Swag! (Open to US Only)1 Winner will get any book of their choice from Amazon or Book Depository up to a $15.00 value. ( Open Internationally)Must be 13+ To Enter

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The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes Book Blast + Giveaway!

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The Art of Lainey

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The Art of Lainey
by Paula Stokes
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: May 20th, 2014

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they’re sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few “dates”, it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What’s a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you’re meant to be with if you’re still figuring out the person you’re meant to be?

Purchase The Art of Lainey at the following retailers:

   

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Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where she graduated from Washington University and the Goldfarb School of Nursing. When she’s not writing, she’s kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers! Find her online at www.authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

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2 Winners will receive a Copy of The Art of Lainey+Swag by Paula Stokes.

Must be 13+ to enter.

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Throwback Thursday Review: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2)

Throwback Thursday is a meme hosted by I Heart YA Fiction, featuring older releases and/or books that have been on the shelf for a while.

Frostbite

by Richelle Mead

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Series: Vampire Academy #2

Source: Purchased

Book Summary:

It’s winter break at St Vladimir’s, and a massive Strigoi vampire attack has put the school on high alert. This year’s trip away from the academy to the wintery peaks of Idaho has suddenly become mandatory.

But Rose’s troubles seem to follow her wherever she goes—dealing with the pain of knowing that her relationship with her tutor Dimitri can never be, things get even more complicated when one her closest friends admits his feelings for her.

The glittering winter landscape may create the illusion of safety but Rose—and her heart—are in more danger than she ever could have imagined…

book thoughts

“Frostbite” as the name for a vampire book is rather eye-roll inducing, I know, but it actually kind of fits with the book, which is probably the most fun of the whole series (at least until the end, when the intensity ratchets up catastrophically). A brutal Strigoi attack forces the students of St. Vladamir’s Academy to retreat to the safety of an Idaho ski lodge, which is also serving as a safe house for basically the entire Moroi government. I loved this aspect of the book, as it opened up the world of VA so much more We got to see great tension between the Moroi who want to learn to use their magic to fight, and the more traditional Moroi who lean toward infringing on the rights of the dhampirs to defend them. Lissa really comes into her own in this situation, offering diplomatic solutions to these hairy issues.

We’re also gifted with a glimpse of Rose’s mother, a formidable guardian with a daunting reputation. We meet Tasha Ozera, Christian’s aunt, a forceful advocate for Moroi self-defense and an old friend (who would like to be more) of Dimitri’s. And of course, Frostbite introduces my favorite character, the charming, infuriating Adrian Ivashkov. I actually wasn’t smitten with him at first – I was worried he signaled a love triangle. However, I correctly guessed how the “love triangle” was going to play out, so I was able to stop worrying and just enjoy Adrian’s immensely entertaining presence.

“I think you smoke them so you have something to do while thinking up your next witty line.”
He choked on the smoke, caught between inhaling and laughing. “Rose Hathaway, I can’t wait to see you again. If you’re this charming while tired and annoyed and this gorgeous while bruised and in ski clothes, you must be devastating at your peak.”
“If by ‘devastating’ you mean that you should fear for your life, then yeah. You’re right.”

The book’s description made me wary that it would contain non-stop ridiculous relationship angst, but it was actually handled in a reasonable, more funny than annoying, way. It was more like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with everyone simultaneously attempting to piss off and earn the favor of their beloved. Since Rose has to hide her feelings for Dimitri, especially after his insistence that they can’t be together, most people expect Rose to fall for her friend and fellow guardian Mason, who is crazy about her and not uncharming.

“[Dimitri] Belikov is a sick, evil man who should be thrown into a pit of rabid vipers for the great offense he committed against you this morning.”
“Thank you.” I said primly. Then, I considered. “Can vipers be rabid?”
“I don’t see why not. Everything can be. I think. Canadian geese might be worse than vipers, though.”
“Canadian geese are deadlier than vipers?”
“You ever try to feed those little bastards? They’re vicious. You get thrown to vipers, you die quickly. But the geese? That’ll go on for days. More suffering.”
“Wow. I don’t know whether I should be impressed or frightened that you’ve thought about all of this.”

Personal issues take a back seat, however, when some of Rose’s friends decide to go Strigoi-hunting on their own, and Rose must team up with Christian to track them down. Seeing those two work together is always amusing, since their similar (sarcastic, rebellious) personalities tend to clash. We finally get to see the Strigoi in all their terrifying glory, and the suspense of the last several chapters will have you turning pages at a breathless pace. An excellent read.

Oh! I forgot to put this in my review of the first Vampire Academy book, but basically the entire album “Tear The World Down” by “We Are The Fallen” mirrors the VA series perfectly. ESPECIALLY this song:

So if you love this series as much as I do, give it a listen! 🙂

5paperhearts


Flashback Friday Review: Vampire Academy

Flashback Friday is a meme hosted by Fic Fare and Swoony Boys Podcast, featuring reviews of books that have been out longer than two years but are no less awesome and deserving!

Vampire Academy

by Richelle Mead

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Series: Vampire Academy #1

Source: Gifted from a friend who I will be forever grateful to!

Book Summary:

Lissa Dragomir is a mortal vampire.

She must be protected at all times from the fiercest and most dangerous vampires of all – the ones who will never die.

Rose Hathaway is Lissa’s best friend – and her bodyguard.

Now after two years of illicit freedom, they’ve been dragged back inside the iron gates of St. Vladimir’s Academy. The girls must survive in a world of forbidden romances, a ruthless social scene and terrifying night-time rituals.

But above all, they must never let their guard down, lest the immortal vampires take Lissa – forever…

book thoughts

Yes, I know that “Vampire Academy” is a crappy, ridiculous title that makes you roll your eyes and want to move on immediately and I know that they’re advertising the movie as “Mean Girls…but with VAMPIRES!” but forget all that. This is a legitimately great series.

First of all, the vampires, called the Moroi, are basically mages. Physically weak magic-users, who need blood to supplement their diet and become sickened in sunlight. Making vampires physically vulnerable is a fresh, creative move.

The other type of vampires in the series, the Strigoi, definitely don’t sparkle. They’re strong, soulless and insatiable. Actually scary and threatening.

Then enter the really brilliant aspect of the series. The Moroi basically use their bastard, half-human children as bodyguards against the Strigoi. Moroi no longer intermarry with humans, but have plenty of liaisons with the hardy half-human dhampirs, their bodyguards and mistresses.

This leads to some really intriguing questions and plenty of societal tension. The world-building is superb, especially considering that the Moroi society exists as a subset of our own modern world. The juxtaposition is fascinating.

So in this world, we follow the adventures of Rose Hathaway, feisty and strong-willed heroine, whose only goal in life is to be assigned s a guardian to her best friend, the Moroi princess Lissa Dragomir.

Rose is the perfect guide through this world. She is honest and witty but full of genuine heart. The relationship between Rose and Lissa is wonderful. Young Adult as a genre is usually so focused on romance that developing strong friendships often takes a backseat, but that is definitely not the case here. Lissa is the last of her family line, and has magical abilities that manifest as a rare, unpredictable element that causes her mental instability. Rose’s fierce devotion to Lissa drives the plot and invests the reader emotionally.

“Lissa and I had been friends ever since kindergarten, when our teacher had paired us up together for writing lessons. Forcing five-year-olds to spell Vasilisa Dragomir and Rosemarie Hathaway was beyond cruel, and we’d—or rather, I’d—responded appropriately. I’d chucked my book at out teacher and called her a fascist bastard. I hadn’t known what those words meant, but I’d known how to hit a moving target.

Lissa and I had been inseparable ever since.”

The author has developed an interesting method of dual-narration. Part of Lissa’s strange magical abilities include a mysterious link between the two girls. Rose can feel Lissa’s emotions, and sometimes even slip into her head. We get to see Lissa’s struggles and experiences firsthand, and she grapples with the legacy of her family line and her strange powers.

There is still romance, but it is believable and well-balanced. Rose becomes enamored of her older mentor. They complement each other beautifully, but there are real problems standing in their way. Dimitri is also a dhampir, a guardian, and a guardian must always put their Moroi charge first. With Rose and Dimitri both poised to both poised to become Lissa’s guardians,

“If I let myself love you, I won’t throw myself in front of her. I’ll throw myself in front of you.”

Lissa, for her part, develops a connection with another orphaned royal, the outcast Christian Ozera, whose parents voluntarily became Strigoi. His character is entertaining and intriguing.

Rose’s narration is really what I love most about the series. It’s engaging, genuine and highly entertaining.

“And than suddenly he was there, charging down the hallway like death in a cowboy duster.”

Give this one a try. I was lucky enough to be given a copy. Otherwise it probably would have been just another book on my miles-long “might-read-this-one-day” list. Don’t judge a book by its name.

Oh! I forgot to put this in my review earlier, but basically the entire album “Tear The World Down” by “We Are The Fallen” mirrors the VA series perfectly. ESPECIALLY this song:

So if you love this series as much as I do, give it a listen! 🙂

5paperhearts