Monthly Archives:: April 2015

The Debut Dish: Moriah McStay (+ giveaway) and Melissa Grey

April 26, 2015 Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway 5

The Debut Dish, a Debut Author Challenge feature, is where you go for the scoop on some pretty awesome debut authors and their new books! Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to add many, many more books to your to-read list. Because, really, who doesn’t need more books in their lives?


Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay
March 17, 2015 from Katherine Tegen Books
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.

And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?

Hasn’t everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.

Describe your book in five words or less.
A “What If” story.

Why should readers pick up your book?
The book follows the same girl–Fiona / Fi Doyle–in two parallel story line. Either an accident left her face badly scarred, or it didn’t. Really, it’s two books in one, which means double the boys. That’s bang for your buck, right there.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
Finally feeling like a “real” writer.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Junior Mints.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A mannequin hand giving me the middle finger.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
April 28, 2015 from Random House
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

For readers of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Girl steals burrito, has adventures.

Why should readers pick up your book?
If you’re into high-stakes scavenger hunts, heroines who are a little rough around the edges, an unhealthy amount of romantic tension, and gratuitously graphic descriptions of food, The Girl at Midnight might be the book for you.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
Everything is an adventure because I have no idea what I’m doing.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Sour Patch Kids.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A lobster cat toy that my cat pulled the claws off of so it looks more like a shrimp cat toy.


The Debut Dish: Jen Brooks (+ giveaway)

April 19, 2015 Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway 6

The Debut Dish, a Debut Author Challenge feature, is where you go for the scoop on some pretty awesome debut authors and their new books! Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to add many, many more books to your to-read list. Because, really, who doesn’t need more books in their lives?


In a World Just Right by Jen Brooks
April 38, 2015 from Simon & Schuster BFYR
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

High school senior Jonathan Aubrey creates worlds at will. In Kylie-Simms-is-my-girlfriend, he’s given himself everything he doesn’t have in real life-–the track team, passing grades, and his dream girl–-until one day he confuses his worlds and almost kisses the real Kylie Simms. Now his girlfriend Kylie and the real Kylie are changing, and Jonathan must solve the mystery of his own life to save his love from a gruesome fate.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Boy wanting girl creates world.

Why should readers pick up your book?
It’s a genre-bender–parts contemporary, fantasy, romance, and mystery. There’s a little something for runners, poets, and anyone who has ever felt gut-wrenchingly lonely.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
Meeting other authors. I guess I expected professional writers to have a certain amount of competitiveness, but the YA writing community is super sharing and supportive!

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Junior Mints

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
There are many odd things, but I’ll pick the pewter figurine of a dragon with ruby eyes reading a newspaper–a wonderful gift from a former student.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Debut Dish: Lance Rubin

April 12, 2015 Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish 1

The Debut Dish, a Debut Author Challenge feature, is where you go for the scoop on some pretty awesome debut authors and their new books! Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to add many, many more books to your to-read list. Because, really, who doesn’t need more books in their lives?


Denton’s Little Deathdate by Lance Rubin
April 14, 2015 from Knopf Books for Young Readers
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.

Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that’s tomorrow, the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister. Though he’s not totally sure. See: first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager’s life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.

Describe your book in five words or less.
A funny book about death.

Why should readers pick up your book?
Because, hopefully, it will make you laugh and think about your life in new ways.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
The best thing has probably been when people I don’t know have reached out on Twitter to say they’ve read the book and enjoyed it. When they’ve mentioned specific parts or characters they like, that blows my mind even more.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Goobers.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
I actually don’t have a desk. I work in coffee shops and libraries. And when I write at home, I sit at the kitchen table. Which is where I am right now. So, I guess, in a way, the oddest thing on my “desk” is a bowl of pasta.


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

April 8, 2015 Book Review, Young Adult 2 ★★★★★

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas | Book ReviewA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Published by Bloomsbury on May 5, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, High Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

I don’t even know how to review all the gloriousness that is A Court of Thorns and Roses. This is honestly my favorite book in the universe. I experienced the most vicious book hangover of my life. Seriously. It lasted about a week and a half and I could not even read anything else because I was in mourning.I had to go to Sarah J. Maas herself and have her tell me what to read next because I could not get over her book. No the book is not sad… but it ended. And that’s my only complaint about this book.

Coherent thoughts are not possible. I’m sorry, but they are not. It has been about three weeks since I finished ACOTAR, and all I can do when I think about it is melt into a puddle of swoons and sighs. So I’m going to have to resort to my very unorganized list review style and just blurt out everything I loved.

1. SO MANY FEELS. I will refer to my Goodreads status updates to illustrate my point:

ACOTARProgress
See? This book put me through the ringer, and I was happy to do it.

2. This is my favorite Beauty and the Beast retelling ever. Actually, I loved it more than Beauty and the Beast and THAT is saying something. It was so beautifully done, and there were so many hat tips to the original story.

3. Sarah J. Maas is a genius with words. I can’t believe how perfectly written this book was! Her writing reminds me of those taffy stretching machines. It’s so smooth and flowing and glorious. I just wanted to roll around in it.

4. The world is stupendous and beautiful. Sarah is a master at world building. This is the fairyland beyond your wildest dreams. The descriptions took my breath away. But this land is being taken over by evil, and the quest to defeat this evil kept me flipping pages as fast as I could.

5. There were some VERY sexy moments and I loved them all. The romance is off the charts, and so spellbindingly perfect. I’m in love with this book.

6. I want to be Feyre when I grow up. She’s a super hardcore bad-a, she’s loyal to those she loves, she’s artsy (like me), and she gets Tamlin all to herself.

7. Tamlin is mine. I’ll fight you for him if needs be. He’s a perfect blend of loyalty, protectiveness, chivalry, bravery, nobility, angst, and fierceness. Oh, and the mask he wears that has been permanently affixed to his face by magic makes him super mysterious. I can just picture his piercing eyes. He gets me all fluttery in my chest.

8. Lucien. *swoon* I’m going to be selfish and claim him as well. Picture Rhys as a man with a heart of gold and the ego of Gaston. I adore him.

9. The twists and turns the story took are amazing. SO much happens! Just when you think you can close the book for the night, you’ll be sucked right back in because something huge has happened.

10. There are villains you LOVE to hate and monsters that only live in your nightmares. 

My goodness, I think I need to quit while I’m ahead. I’m amazed I even got any words out because my love for this book is stronger than any combination of words I can string together. I am dying for the second book. I’m pretty much an official Sarah J. Maas fangirl. She can do no wrong. Do yourself a favor and buy this book for yourself and everyone you know.


The Debut Dish: Becky Albertalli, Meredith Moore (+ giveaway), Fonda Lee, and Stefanie Lyons (+ giveaway)

April 5, 2015 Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway 11

The Debut Dish, a Debut Author Challenge feature, is where you go for the scoop on some pretty awesome debut authors and their new books! Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to add many, many more books to your to-read list. Because, really, who doesn’t need more books in their lives?


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
April 7, 2015 from Balzer + Bray
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Gay teenage You’ve Got Mail.

Why should readers pick up your book?
If you like Oreos, email flirtation, and making out in parking lots, you should probably pick up my book ASAP.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
Hands down: the community. My fellow debuts have been so supportive, and I already consider some of them to be among my best friends. I’ve also gotten to meet some of the most incredible bookworms: readers, bloggers, librarians, booksellers, and publishing pros. I feel so grateful to have these people in my life.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Either a Kit-Kat or a giant bag of plain M&Ms.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
These days, my “desk” is actually my bed, and my workstation includes: a baby activity mat, a breastfeeding pillow, my boobs, and a mushy little baby.


I Am Her Revenge by Meredith Moore
April 7, 2015 from Razorbill
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

She can be anyone you want her to be.
Vivian was raised with one purpose in life: to exact revenge on behalf of her mother. Manipulative and cruel, Mother has deprived Vivian not only of a childhood, but of an original identity. With an endless arsenal of enticing personalities at her disposal, Vivian is a veritable weapon of deception.

And she can destroy anyone.
When it’s time to strike, she enrolls in a boarding school on the English moors, where she will zero in on her target: sweet and innocent Ben, the son of the man who broke Mother’s heart twenty years ago.

Anyone… except for the woman who created her.
With every secret she uncovers, Vivian comes one step closer to learning who she really is. But the more she learns about herself, the more dangerous this cat and mouse game becomes. Because Mother will stop at nothing to make sure the truth dies with her.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Manipulative girl, innocent boy, secrets.

Why should readers pick up your book?
Readers should pick up I AM HER REVENGE if they like gothic YA thrillers, a boarding school on the edge of the English moors, a crazy mother, swoonworthy boys, and a girl who learns to fight for her own identity.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
Hands down, the support from other debut authors is the best thing about being a debut. Everyone is so encouraging and thoughtful and kind. It makes this scary business of sending your book out into the world much more fun. However, I may revise this answer when I finally get to see my book on a bookstore shelf: I can’t wait for that moment!

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Milk Duds! Anything with chocolate and caramel is a must-have.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A small, stuffed green owl from my best friend. It’s technically a Christmas ornament, but I like having it on my desk. It watches me and makes sure I get my daily word count done. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee
April 8, 2015 from Flux
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

A Sci-Fi Thrill Ride Set in the Action-Packed Sports Arena of the Future.

A rising star in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing, Carr “the Raptor” Luka dreams of winning the championship title. Recognizing his talent, the Zero Gravity Fighting Association assigns Risha, an ambitious and beautiful Martian colonist, to be his brandhelm––a personal marketing strategist. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity and stolen his heart along the way.

As his fame grows, Carr becomes an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet that’s fallen into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. But when Carr discovers a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating secret. Not only will his choices place everything he cares about in jeopardy, but they may also spill the violence from the sports arena into the solar system.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Sports drama about futuristic prizefighting.

Why should readers pick up your book? 
If you’re the sort of person who likes high-action reads, worldbuilding, smart science fiction that challenges you with moral dilemmas, and character-driven drama, I think you’d enjoy ZEROBOXER.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author? 
The feeling of potential. Knowing that you’re going to cross a threshold that will be part of your identity for the rest of your life.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Raisinets

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now? 
A tiny pom-pom chicken. I have no idea how it got here.


Dating Down by Stefanie Lyons
April 8, 2015 from Flux
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

When a good girl falls for a bad boy.

She thought she loved him. She thought she could change him. She thought if she just believed in him enough, his cheating and his drugs and his lying would stop, and she’d be his and he’d be hers and they’d love each other forever.

But for Samantha Henderson, X-the boy she will not name-is trouble. He’s older, edgier, bohemian . . . and when he starts paying attention to Sam, she can’t resist him. Samantha’s family and friends try to warn her, but still she stays with him, risking her future and everything that really matters.

As moody and vivid as it is captivating, Dating Down is told in scenes and bursts of poetry that create a story filled with hurt, healing, and hope.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Good girl dates loser boy.

Why should readers pick up your book?
Because it’s a great read for anybody who has ever dated a bad boy and thought, “I can change him.”

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
Everything’s unknown and therefore fascinating.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Twizzlers!!!!! Also happens to be my main character’s favorite candy. Hmm, go figure.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Korean matcha green tea powder.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Debut Author Challenge 2015 – April Review Link-Up

April 3, 2015 Debut Author Challenge 0

DAC2015CT Happy April! I’d like to say that I didn’t post this link-up on April 1st as an April Fool’s joke, but no… I honestly just forgot! So sorry! This year is just flying by!

You all did a wonderful job reviewing lots of great books last month! Congratulations to Stephanie at My Bookish Itinerary, who has won the March prize pack!

April is going to be a fabulous debut release month! I’m excited for so many titles! We’ve got I Am Her Revenge by Meredith Moore, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey, and so many more! I hope you find something you love this month. :)

What books are you excited to read this month?

Some things to remember:

– It’s never too late to join the fun! If you’d like to join or make sure you’re signed up, there is a sign-up list and list of participants located in the DAC 2015 Info tab at the top of my blog.

– Make sure to follow me at @debutauthorc for all the Debut Author Challenge news, including flash giveaways, Debut Dish post highlights, and information on our favorite authors!

– I’m here if you have any questions at all, so don’t hesitate to shoot me a message via Twitter or comment or homing pigeon.