Monday, April 27, 2015

Blog Tour: The Girl at Midnight and GIVEAWAY




Thanks so much to Rockstar Book Tours for hosting THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT blog tour. Be sure to check out the rest of the tour stops!


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.

~*~

I’m struggling here you guys. How can I accurately sum up my feelings for a book that was so perfect for me? I probably cannot. But I’m going to try. Melissa Grey’s THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT holds a special place in my heart. There’s something about a runaway pickpocket who takes refuge in the New York Public library that tugs at my heartstrings. Actually, after reading this, my heartstrings are in tatters from this book tugging at them so much. Seriously. Did I mention how perfect this book was for me? Here’s why:

THE SETTING:

I’m a huge fan of epic novels that take place on multiple continents. THE DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE? My kind of novel. Don’t get me wrong I adore static settings. But you can’t have fantastical quests without bumbling around to different countries. THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT features some of my favorite places. New York, London, and Paris…the list goes on. And Melissa Grey isn’t afraid to get specific. Her characters take tea at Maison Bertaux in London, tromp around the Black Forrest in Germany, and dodge from Warlocks in Taipei.

There’s a lot of stuff going on. And it’s not overwhelming at all. These places, even if we’re only given glimpses of them, appear lived in. That’s what I love about this book so much. These settings exist in this novel just as much as the characters. It makes me want to visit all of these places just to see if I’ll come across our protagonists. And while I know its all fiction and there’s no way these creatures will be walking around SoHo or stalking the New York Public Library, the writing almost makes it possible. Does that make sense? It’s just all so present and whimsical. I’d read this book again just for the descriptions of the settings. It’s that good. Trust me.

WORLD-BUILDING: 

 No good fantasy book can exist without expert world building. A reader needs to be immersed in the world as if it’s her own, The only way to do this is to build walls around the reader; follow the rules of the place you’ve built and go from there. Melissa Grey does this extremely well. We know within pages who these creatures-The Avicen and Drakharin are. We know about their past and the bloody world they’ve fought for centuries. We know about their customs. It all helps inform readers for the story that unfolds. (My favorite thing is that Avicen hate water and love sweets. It’s perfect). It’s very convincing and enough that I would be find just reading offshoots, little narratives outside of our main characters.

CHARACTERS:

Happy sigh. Honestly, I fell in love with all the characters all at once. I was behind Echo from the start but within a few pages of each POV (we’re treated to several over the course of the novel) I was wholeheartedly in support of the others too.

 Echo, our intrepid hero, is incredibly endearing. There’s something about her that makes you fall into step with her from the beginning. She’s loyal, hilarious and endlessly interesting. I love her preoccupation with rarely used vocabulary (a fixation we share) and her love of sweets. Caius, our Dragon Prince and Echo’s counterpart, is also interesting. I love when someone in power isn’t portrayed as a flat evil megalomaniac but instead as someone with depth. I really liked reading about him.

 Dorian and Jasper might just be my favorite. I think it’s because they’re so different and unapologetically themselves. Dorian knows he’s a soldier who’s in love with his Prince. Jasper accepts that he’s a thief with a penchant for buying expensive things. And I love that they find each other. If in the oddest and most unexpected way possible. Ivy and the Ala too are fascinating as characters. I love that Ivy isn’t just the best friend/sidekick that we so often see as played out tropes. And I also love that the Ala isn’t just the wise mentor who offers cryptic advice and allows her charges to find their own way. She steps in when she needs to. Melissa Grey stares at these tropes in the face and laughs at them. She’s willing to play around. And that’s so encouraging and wonderful. It means that the series will be full of surprises and I’m so excited to see what they are.

 Also, let us always support ragtag ensemble novels and families that find each other. I couldn’t get enough of the camaraderie that was forming between the unusual mix of thief, healer, and warrior, prince it made for an interesting combination. And I loved how everyone had a role. Melissa Grey does not take advantage of anything in the novel using each character and their distinct personality to her advantage. And can I talk about how I immediately formed ships? It was so much fun seeing how they played out and if they’ll continue to do so.

PLOT: 

 At first, I was worried that I would guess how it would all play out. And while I was very close, it wasn’t at all what I expected. Melissa Grey knows how to keep us guessing and for that I’m very pleased. The novel was highly entertaining and one that I didn’t want to put down. Each part of the story felt so amped up, a continuous roller-coaster of thrills. I never wanted to stop. But I did and the ending was so wroth it. I was intensely satisfied. Yet, at the same time I wanted to reach through the pages and pull the rest of the story out. Thank God this is a series.

THE WRITING: 

 Do you ever read something and it’s as if the sentence is like the first sip of water when you were so desperate for a drink? That’s what Melissa’s prose is like. Every sentence is that first sip of water. Crisp and comforting. There were so many times that I paused at a line and nearly cried at the beauty of it. Here’s someone who takes time with her words. Allows them to percolate and grow. Every sentence was meant for this story, every word chosen to fit just so. I made a list of my favorite parts:

1. Food, Echo thought, was the foundation upon which the very best friendships were built. (Page 50)

2. “…Humans make art to remember and be remembered.” Said Caius. “Art is their weapon against forgetting.” (Page 256)

3. If war had taught him anything, it was that it took the people who deserved long and happy lives and gave them short, brutal ones instead. (Page 304)

 ~*~

 I could recommend this book a billion times over and it wouldn’t be enough. I would read it as soon as possible, though, because you don’t want to miss out on the inevitable conversation and buzz this book will generate. It’s going to be big. I have a feeling. So read it and share it. It’s one of those
books that deserve it.

~*~

Melissa Grey was born and raised in New York City. She wrote her first short story at the age of twelve and hasn't stopped writing since. After earning a degree in fine arts at Yale University, she traveled the world, then returned to New York City where she currently works as a freelance journalist. To learn more about Melissa, visit melissa-grey.com and follow @meligrey on Twitter.





The Courts Decision:

Giveaway 

Now, I know you're going to want this book. (Trust me.) So here's the details: 1 winner will receive a signed Hardcover of THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT! US Only please. 

Here's the Rafflecopter link!








a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour Schedule

Week One:
4/20/2015- Novel SoundsGuest Post
4/21/2015- CuddlebuggeryReview
4/22/2015- ParajunkeeInterview
4/23/2015- FiktshunReview
4/24/2015- Dahlia AdlerGuest Post

Week Two:
4/27/2015- Paperback PrincessReview
4/28/2015- Bookish BroadsInterview
4/29/2015- Mundie MomsReview
4/30/2015- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
5/1/2015- IceyBooksReview

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #3 (It's been a while...)


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming books readers are anticipating the most!

Guys, I feel like Waiting on Wednesday might as well be now titled Waiting on BEA because I have a feeling a chunk of my books will be there--hopefully!

This week I'm waiting on EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon. 

The book's vibrant cover and promising--and unique-- premise are giving me all the grabby hands. I've heard wonderful things about it so far and am so looking forward getting a copy. 

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Skandal Blog Tour Stop









Hi everyone! Today I'm so excited to share with you an interview with Skandal and Sekret author Lindsay Smith.

The dramatic sequel to SEKRET, this psychic Cold War espionage thriller follows Yulia to   Washington, DC, where she fights to discover the truth about her family without losing control of her mind. My mind is mine alone.                                                                                                                                                    Life in Washington, D.C., is not the safe haven Yulia hoped for when she risked everything to flee communist Russia. Her father is reckless and aloof, and Valentin is distant and haunted by his past. Her mother is being targeted by the CIA and the US government is suspicious of Yulia's allegiance. And when super-psychics start turning up in the US capitol, it seems that even Rostov is still a threat. Ultimately, Yulia must keep control of her own mind to save the people she loves and avoid an international SKANDAL.





1.    What power would you have?
If I had to have one of the psychic powers from Sekret, I’d prefer remote viewing. That way, I could
see all the beautiful sights in the world, but I could avoid all the ethical questions involved in reading peoples’ minds! If I could have any superpower, I’d choose teleportations—for similar sightseeing reasons, but also because transportation is such a hassle. 

2.   Which of the leaders of the USSR would you think would be most likely to use the Kids in this program?
I think Josef Stalin, with his intense paranoia, would have loved to have had mindreaders in his service to help him more effectively root out traitors in his ranks. I actually wrote a digital prequel to Sekret called Kursed that features psychic spies aiding Stalin at the end of World War II.
3.   If you could do one thing with these powers with no type of consequence, what would it be? 
Ooh, that’s tricky! I can see why people might be tempted to use the powers to read someone’s mind. If it truly wouldn’t harm anyone else, I could see using Larissa’s foresight power to win big on a bet and use the money to invest in worthwhile companies and charities.
4.   How would Yulia like 2015?
I think she’d be pretty surprised how willingly we give up our privacy for the sake of progress or connectedness. The thought of broadcasting her every thought via social media would definitely creep her out, to say nothing of how easy of a target it could make her for governments and criminals alike. But she’d love the scientific advancements we’ve made, especially in biology and genetics.
5.  What kind of impact would using people with these powers have had on WW2 do you think?
On a large enough scale, they could have been an incredible weapon for either the Axis or the Allies. Disinformation and deception were crucial components of the war, like in Operation Mincemeat, when the Allies used a washed-up corpse with “battle plans” in his pocket convince the Germans that an invasion was imminent on the totally wrong shore. The right sort of psychics could have easily seen through that trick. But with psychics on the Allies’ side from the start, they might have won faster, and with far fewer casualties.
6. Which Fantasy world (Westeros, Hogwarts, etc) would Yulia most fit in?
 Yulia might have been able to use her ability to read memories off of objects to locate the horcruxes in Harry Potter. I think Westeros is more her speed, though—by reading thoughts and memories, she’d uncover all of the secrets within secrets of the Houses and get them all in her debt!
~*~
Thank you so much to Mac Teen for allowing us to do the interview and Lindsay for having wonderful answers to all of our questions. 
For more about the Sekret duology, click here
Check out Lindsay at her Website, Twitter and Tumblr!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Cruel Beauty

Author: Rosamund Hodge
Goodreads rating: 3.78
Pages: 342
Format: ARC
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3)

Author: Marissa Meyer
Goodreads rating: 4.49
Pages: 550
Format: Final Copy
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

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