Month: February 2015

Q&A with Marie Rutkoski | The Winner’s Crime Blog Tour (+ giveaway)

Posted February 28, 2015 by Jana in Author Interview, Blog Tour, Giveaway / 14 Comments

Q&A with Marie Rutkoski | The Winner's Crime Blog Tour (+ giveaway)

Welcome to my stop along the The Winner’s Crime blog tour! I love this trilogy, and am so excited to have Marie on the blog today for a little Q&A! Make sure you enter the giveaway for a hardcover copy of The Winner’s Crime as well!

TARG: If you wrote yourself into the Winner’s trilogy, what kind of character would you be?

MR: I’d probably be Sarsine. I’d be the one telling Arin, “Get your head on straight, will you? I love you, but you’re a mess.”

But I also feel close to Kestrel in several ways—or at least closer than I’ve felt with any of my other main characters.

TARG: If you were to give The Winner’s Crime a theme song, what would it be?

MR: U2’s “With or Without You.”

TARG: What already released book do you wish you had written? (Not because it was badly written or anything like that… but because you loved it so much!)

MR: I’m going to choose my favorite recent release: I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson.

TARG: Tell us about your most relaxing day ever.

MR: I wake up to the sound of the ocean somewhere warm, preferably in Positano, and lay in bed reading while someone brings me tea and a French apricot pastry. I know that my parents or in-laws are taking great care of my children and they are having a blast. I go down to the beach, swim, read and lie in the sun. When the day gets too hot, I go into the cool interior to write. I take the longest shower ever. I practice the violin for a bit. I go out to dinner with my family and then for drinks down by the dark sea with my best friends. The stars are bright. I can see the Milky Way.

There should be a massage scheduled in there, too.

TARG: Tell us the most unique and/or random thing about yourself.

MR: My spine is slightly crooked. I like to drink plain hot water in winter (I call it “silver tea”). I sometimes have incredibly detailed dreams.

Don’t you just love Marie? Her perfect day sounds AMAZING, and what great taste in music she has!

So. Time to get excited about The Winner’s Crime! If you’re brand new to the series, read about the first book, The Winner’s Curse. If you feel like tweeting about how excited you are, or how much you love Marie, use #TheWinnersCrime so everyone knows! (Oh, and tweet @marierutkoski and let her know, too!)

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy #2
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the Book • Add to Goodreads

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

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Rebound by Noelle August | Book Review + Giveaway

Posted February 26, 2015 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, New Adult / 2 Comments

Rebound by Noelle August | Book Review + GiveawayRebound by Noelle August
Series: Boomerang #2
Published by William Morrow on February 10, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
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4.5 Stars

Hooking up is only the beginning of the fun in this sexy and irresistible second installment of the thrilling New Adult series, Boomerang.

Adam Blackwood has it all. At twenty-two, he’s fabulously wealthy, Ryan Gosling-hot and at the top of the heap in the business world. His life is perfect, until a scandal from his past resurfaces and knocks the tech wunderkind down, throwing his company, Boomerang, a hook-up site for millennials, into chaos.

Three years ago, Adam married his high school love—and then lost her in a tragic accident. Now, the heartbreak and guilt he’s tried to bury with work and women begins to take over his life.

Alison Quick, the twenty-one-year-old daughter of a business tycoon—and the very ex-girlfriend of Boomerang’s former intern, Ethan—has a problem of her own. She’s got one chance to prove to her father that she deserves a place in his empire by grabbing control of Boomerang and taking Adam down.

But as Alison moves in on him, armed with a cadre of lawyers and accountants, she discovers there’s much more to Adam and Boomerang than meets the eye. Will earning her father’s approval come at the price of losing her first real love? It appears so, unless Adam can forgive her for wrecking his life and trying to steal his livelihood. But Alison hopes that old adage is right. Maybe love can conquer all.

I love Boomerang so much (see my review), and so I was very excited when I was approached to be a part of the blog tour for Rebound, the second book in the series. I’m pretty leery of new adult books because they tend to be all angsty, dramatic, and full of bad decisions and one-night stands. I absolutely love this series, though, so if you’re like me and avoid new adult as often as possible, give this series a shot! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I know everyone knows this already, but Noelle August is a pen name for an author duo including VERONICA ROSSI. I love her! And I am seriously so happy that she was the one who made me decide to read these books and give new adult a chance.

2. Rebound is FUN. It’s all about being sexy and exciting without the focus falling on sex and lust. There’s a pretty adorable scuba diving scene that had me swooning. Rebound is steam, tension, humor, and serious issues. These people are real and flawed, which is what I want in my characters!

3. Adam. Blackwood. BOY does he have a story. He’s the creator of Boomerang, and I loved learning more about him and his secrets. He’s got a hard exterior, not letting anyone in since his ex died. He has his friends, and that’s that. Alison makes him want to change and let someone new in, but it’s hard. However, it’s fun for us! I love watching him trust Alison more and more, connecting with her in ways he’s scared to with anyone else. MAN is he swoony. And sexy. LOVE Adam.

4. Alison is given a chance to redeem herself in this book, as many people are unhappy with her for what she did to Ethan. And she does! I really liked Alison. She’s tender (she saves and rehabilitates horses!), caring, and trying to fit in to her jerky father’s huge shoes. She has her flaws and insecurities as well. She’s made mistakes and she owns them.

5. I loved seeing the rest of the gang at Boomerang again! Mia makes an unfortunate return to us, but I still adore her. I was even happy to see Cookie again, and I’m not her biggest fan. It was like catching up with old friends.

6. The story is told in alternating viewpoints, going back and forth between Alison and Adam. I love it when an author (or in this case, authors) does this, but is has to be done right or things feel redundant. This was done RIGHT, and added so much to the dynamism of the story.

All in all, I loved Rebound. I’m not sure I loved it as much as I did Boomerang because, as we all know, our first loves hit us the hardest. But I loved returning to Boomerang and these characters, I loved seeing Adam and Alison figure things out, and I can’t wait for the next book, Bounce, which is all about Adam’s hilarious younger brother.

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Find Noelle August on Facebook and Twitter!

And be sure to follow the rest of the Rebound blog tour!

Gone Pecan 2/26/2015
Travels n Reads 2/26/2015
GenGen’s Book Blog 2/26/2015
Lustful Literature 2/26/2015
That Artsy Reader Girl 2/26/2015
Hiver & Cafe 2/26/2015
Reese’s Reviews 2/26/2015
Seeing Night Book Reviews 2/26/2015
Curling Up With a Good Book 2/26/2015
Avid Reader Musings 2/26/2015
Making it Happen 2/26/2015
FicWishes 2/26/2015
Book Angel Booktopia 2/27/2015
Cere’s Books World 2/27/2015
Chaotic Reader 2/27/2015
Milky Way of Books 2/28/2015

4.5 Stars

Ellie Cahill’s (aka Liz Czukas) Workspace | When Joss Met Matt Blog Tour

Posted February 23, 2015 by Jana in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post / 2 Comments

Ellie Cahill's (aka Liz Czukas) Workspace | When Joss Met Matt Blog Tour

I’m so happy to be a part of the virtual blog tour for When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill! Today we’re learning a little more about Liz/Ellie through looking at pictures of her various workspaces. I’m going to turn the blog over to her now, but be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to enter the giveaway!

I am deeply jealous of writers who have beautiful offices. A room with a gorgeous view, a clean desk, and a comfy chair would be a dream come true. I also covet treadmill desks, because I know I should really be more active than I am, and I definitely have myself convinced that would be the key to motivation (this is probably a lie).

Instead, what I have is a laptop and a few favorite spots around the house that I like to work. Of all the little corners I carve out for myself in the house, my most frequent “office” has got to be my couch. It’s a nice couch, don’t get me wrong. Plus, it features the fantastic throw blanket my aunt and cousin got me for Christmas.

Ellie1Yes, that IS the cover of my latest YA book in blanket form!

But the problem with any of my workspaces is that they always include my very sweet, but very curious and attention-hungry golden retriever Alex.

Ellie2This is the face of trouble.

So when I sit down to work, I nearly always have “the office pet” right there with me. She is very very helpful. Just ask her.

Ellie3No worries, I wasn’t using my left hand for typing or anything, Al.

So if you’re thinking of getting me a gift, I’ll take a dog-free office, please. Or maybe side-by-side treadmills–one for me, one for Alex.

Now that you know more about the author of When Joss Met Matt, let’s get to know the book itself! Stay tuned for my review, which should be showing up any day now!

When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
Published by Ballantine Books on February 24, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
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Ellie Cahill is poised to coin the term “sorbet sex” with her charming twist on the age-old ‘friends-with-benefits’ story.

Dating can be fun, but it can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. For Joss, ever since her longtime boyfriend cheated on her, she doesn’t want her last memory of a guy to be that jerk. Enter her college friend, Matt. They come up with a theory: after a bad break-up, a person needs to cleanse the palate with a little sorbet sex. Lovers for a night, but always back to being friends in the morning. The two can handle it because they have a contract: rules they wrote, rules they follow and rules they can sometimes bend. The arrangement works: everyone needs a little sorbet now and again … until it starts to be the only thing you want. And then Joss breaks the one rule they never wrote down: don’t fall in love.

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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green | Book Review

Posted February 16, 2015 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 5 Comments

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green | Book ReviewThe Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Published by Dutton Juvenile on January 10, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Pages: 286
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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4 Stars

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

I can’t believe I read this. I can’t BELIEVE I read this. I had vowed to never, ever read The Fault in our Stars because I hate crying and being sad and cancer. And being the perfectionist, type-A student I am, I finally did. If the love of my life had asked me to read TFioS, I would have said no. But when my grade’s on the line I’ll pretty much do anything that isn’t illegal and/or against my moral code. Haha. So yay! Now I’m cool and I’ve read the book, and I only cried a little (but that’s because I read the spoilers because I’M SORRY, but in addition to being a perfectionist I’m also a planner. So sue me.). Anyway, so much has been said and re-said about TFioS so I’m not going to do a full review like I usually do. Here are my thoughts!

– I think The Fault in Our Stars‘s biggest selling point (aside from the sweeping romance) is that suffering is a part of life sometimes, and people go through things that are not fair. It’s part of life. We all go through a lot of suffering, and while it might not be as huge as cancer, loves are lost and devastating things happen (big or small). I remember times where I felt convinced that my life was over for one reason or another. The Fault in our Stars really puts everything into perspective and gives readers a chance to think about their own lives. I thought a lot about what I would do if I knew I was terminal. I wondered how I would change or how I would re-prioritize my life.

– The story is unique because the romance feels so realistic and true. Hazel and Gus are dying, so they have risen above time just to be in the moment. I love their story, and I love how they fell deeply for one another. And, oh, Augustus. I love his personality.

– Hazel’s voice is so poignant and strong, even though she’s scared. Her maturity matches that of someone who has had to grow up faster than average in order to live her entire life in a too-short period of time.

– Hazel’s thoughts about love and life are so real, especially for someone that is dealing with something horrible. I identified with her in many ways because I have debilitating diseases that have altered my life. I’m not terminal, and I’m not in danger of becoming so, but I understood her reflections. It’s unbelievably scary and confusing to live in pain, and John Green writes like he has been through it. He writes Hazel and Gus like he knows what it’s like to be them. He conveys such perfect emotion. 

– The romance is so sweet. I had a perfect fairy-tale love story as a teen (obviously it was far from perfect and we went our separate ways), and I was told all the time that I couldn’t possibly know what love is like. I appreciate that John Green understands that teens can know. And they can have a deep love story. I love it when an author respects their audience like that, and does not put characters in their book that tell teens how wrong they are, and how their feelings aren’t true.

The book gave me hope. The jokes and the sarcasm and the funny jabs are a reminder that you can always have hope, even in dire circumstances. I loved that message.

All in all, The Fault in Our Stars really spoke to me. Readers do not have to be suffering from cancer or even know someone who has/had cancer in order to relate. The book is about living and loving and enjoying the time you have. It’s about hope. I think everyone should read this book because the messages of the necessity for suffering, the realities of cancer, living in the moment, hope, and love are so strong and beautifully delivered.

4 Stars

Dove Arising by Karen Bao – Propaganda Video Reveal

Posted February 13, 2015 by Jana in Book Spotlight / 2 Comments

Hello! I’m pretty excited to be revealing one of the propaganda videos (in conjunction with my other blog, The Broke and the Bookish) for Dove Arising by debut author Karen Bao! The first video was revealed yesterday on Hypable, and two more are being revealed by IceyBooks and Fangirlish today as well.

Karen is going to be here for the Debut Dish on Sunday and then she’ll be here again for her blog tour on March 3rd, so there’s lots of Karen happenings coming up! Read about Dove Arising on Goodreads! This is a book that should totally be on your radar. I mean, it’s about a girl who lives on the moon and has barely spoken since her father’s death. Well, not until her mother was arrested by the government. Now she has to join the Militia to free her mom and save her siblings!

Anyway, on to the video!

So, what do you think? Did you like the video? Does Dove Arising sound like something you’d enjoy reading? Let me know in the comments!

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey | Book Review

Posted February 9, 2015 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 5 Comments

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey | Book ReviewThe 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave #1
Published by GP Putnam's Sons on May 7, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Survival
Pages: 457
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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5 Stars

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.

Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

**This is one of the books I chose to read for my YA literature class**

I’ve been very excited to read The 5th Wave, and am so glad I finally had the chance! It’s a very exciting books that I loved so much more than I thought I would. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Rick Yancey has created a very convincing post-apocalyptic setting, taking place right here in the United States. He really took his time giving us all the details about what the world is like now, what the aliens have done so far (in the first four waves of human extermination, essentially), and what life is like for the few remaining humans on Earth.

2. Everything seemed so frighteningly real to me, that I was completely engrossed. Yancey has convinced me that this can really happen!

3. The writing style portrays so many different emotions: Cassie’s heartbreak when her brother is taken, her skepticism as to whether or not to trust Evan, her fear at being alone, her sorrow over losing her family, and her determination to survive.

4. In that same vein, Rick Yancey did such a good job at getting into the head of a teenage girl. I kept forgetting a man wrote this book! Cassie’s voice is quintessentially female. I particularly loved the part of the book where Cassie woke up in a strange guy’s house, all cleaned up and wearing new clothes. Her inner thoughts are hilarious when she realizes a boy saw her naked. She reacts exactly the way any girl would, and I loved her for it.

5. I loved all the characters. Cassie is a wonderful heroine, who has the courage of Katniss Everdeen. She’s also got a pretty great sense of humor. And she’s a girl after my own heart because she is dragging books around in her backpack as she fights off aliens! Evan is mysterious and kind and caring. He’s a very dynamic character, and he’s constantly being torn in two directions. I love Cassie’s little brother and the people he encounters on his new mission in life. I felt very connected to everyone, which makes sense because they are fighting for their lives. True humanity comes through in these situations, and the characters were so real and relatable because they’ve got nothing left to be but themselves.

6.This book is non-stop action and excitement! Then there’s a little romance and some violence and some survival scenarios… It’s pretty gripping, and I had a very hard time putting it down.

My Favorite Quotes:

– “But if I’m it, the last of my kind, the last page of human history, like hell I’m going to let the story end this way. I may be the last one, but I am the one still standing. I am the one turning to face the faceless hunter in the woods on an abandoned highway. I am the one not running but facing. Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.

– “How do you rid the Earth of humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

All in all, this is one LONG book but I didn’t even care. I didn’t want it to end! I was so amazed by the situation and captivated by the characters’ stories that I could not put it down to go to sleep! The 5th Wave has everything a reader could want and even some things you might not realize you wanted in the first place.

5 Stars

If I Lived in a World With Soulprint Technology… | Blog Tour + Giveaway

Posted February 2, 2015 by Jana in Blog Tour, Giveaway / 12 Comments

If I Lived in a World With Soulprint Technology... | Blog Tour + Giveaway

Welcome to the very first stop along the official Soulprint blog tour, hosted by Bloomsbury Publishing! In honor of Soulprint‘s upcoming release tomorrow, I was asked to answer the following question:

soulprintQuestFor those who don’t know, soulprint technology gives the government the ability to trace a person’s soul across their lifetimes and keep track of who they’ve been, just like today’s law enforcement can track your fingerprints and place you at the scene of a crime. Alina has fallen victim to this technology, and is imprisoned on an island for crimes the government tells her she committed in her past life.

So. If I lived in a world with this kind of technology, I would want to be reincarnated as a famous person who gets paid to travel the world, chronicling their adventures and recommending the best hotels, restaurants, and touristy things to do. Basically, I want to be Samantha Brown! She and her film crew are sent all over the world to make travel shows and see the world. Instead of being on TV, though, I would want to write memoirs and travel books. I’d make sure my first few stops included going to Finland and renting a glass igloo to watch the Northern Lights; the Glowworm Caves in Waitomo, New Zealand; and on a tour to Machu Picchu in Peru. I have a whole Pinterest board of places I’ve been to and places I’d love to visit again or for the first time.

What would you like to be reincarnated as? A celebrity? An animal? Let’s discuss in the comments!

 But before you go, here’s some more information on Soulprint by Megan Miranda, followed by a giveaway you won’t want to miss!

Soulprint by Megan Miranda
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Buy the BookAdd to Goodreads

A new literary, sci-fi thriller from acclaimed author Megan Miranda.

With the science of soul-fingerprinting a reality, Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned for the crimes her past-self committed. In an attempt to clear her name, Alina unintentionally trades one prison for another when she escapes, aided by a group of teens whose intentions and motivations are a mystery to her. As she gets to know one of the boys, sparks fly, and Alina believes she may finally be able to trust someone. But when she uncovers clues left behind from her past life that only she can decipher, secrets begin to unravel. Alina must figure out whether she’s more than the soul she inherited, or if she’s fated to repeat the past.

This compelling story will leave readers wondering if this fictional world could become a reality.

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Follow the blog tour!

February 2nd – That Artsy Reader Girl
February 3rd – Nose Graze
February 4th – Effortlessly Reading
February 5th – Andi ABCs
February 6th – What Sarah Read
February 9th – Across the Words
February 10th – Great Imaginations
February 11th – The Eater of Books
February 12th – Step Into Fiction
February 13th – Dana Square