ALL EYES ON US 🖤 REVIEW + GIVEAWAY

I had never read a young adult thriller and now, thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club, I have. Not to mention it has queer characters. 🖤

Don’t miss my giveaway at the end of this post!

All Eyes on Us by Kit Frick

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller

SYNOPSIS

44584622PRIVATE NUMBER: Wouldn’t you look better without a cheater on your arm?

AMANDA: Who is this?

The daughter of small town social climbers, Amanda Kelly is deeply invested in her boyfriend, real estate heir Carter Shaw. He’s kind, ambitious, the town golden boy—but he’s far from perfect. Because behind Amanda’s back, Carter is also dating Rosalie.

PRIVATE NUMBER: I’m watching you, Sweetheart.

ROSALIE: Who IS this?

Rosalie Bell is fighting to remain true to herself and her girlfriend—while concealing her identity from her Christian fundamentalist parents. After years spent in and out of conversion “therapy,” her own safety is her top priority. But maintaining a fake, straight relationship is killing her from the inside.

When an anonymous texter ropes Amanda and Rosalie into a bid to take Carter down, the girls become collateral damage—and unlikely allies in a fight to unmask their stalker before Private uproots their lives.

PRIVATE NUMBER: You shouldn’t have ignored me. Now look what you made me do…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kit Frick_© Carly Gaebe - Steadfast StudioKit Frick is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell Colony fellow. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. When she isn’t putting complicated characters in impossible situations, Kit edits poetry and literary fiction for a small press, edits for private clients, and mentors emerging writers through Pitch Wars. She is the author of the young adult novels See All the StarsAll Eyes on Us (2019), and Windermere (2020), all from Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, and the poetry collection A Small Rising Up in the Lungs (New American Press). Her fiction is represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management / Folio Jr.

Check out Kit on her website or over on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |iBooks | Book Depository | Kobo| IndieBound

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of All Eyes on Us!

  • US only
  • Start Date: June 10, 2019
  • End Date: June 18, 2019

BLOG TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

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The Fever King 🖤 Review + Giveaway

I know I keep going on and on about The Fantastic Flying Book Club, but they are amazing.

Today they’re amazing because they gave me the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour for The Fever King by Victoria Lee. 

I actually heard about this book through Pitch Wars last year when I had entered my manuscript Sleeping Around. Victoria had entered this book, and I had talked to her on Twitter. 

So basically I was thrilled to join this tour and support Victoria. 🖤

And don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!

The Fever King (Feverwake #1) by Victoria Lee

Publisher: Skyscape
Release Date: March 1, 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT

Synopsis

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Victoria Lee grew up in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent twelve ascetic years as a vegetarian before discovering spicy chicken wings are, in fact, a delicacy. She’s been a state finalist competitive pianist, a hitchhiker, a pizza connoisseur, an EMT, an expat in China and Sweden, and a science doctoral student. She’s also a bit of a snob about fancy whisky.

Victoria writes early in the morning, then spends the rest of the day trying to impress her border collie puppy and make her experiments work.

She is represented by Holly Root and Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary.

Check out Victoria on her website or over on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

REVIEW

Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ahh. This book has so many things. 

The themes, the characters, the magic, the discourse on immigration. And I love me some bisexual representation. 

I had a hard time getting into the story at first. It’s a dystopian setting, and there was a lot of world building going on in the beginning. Once I got my head around the setting, though, I was hooked. 

I needed to get to the bottom of the politics. I needed to know who Noam could trust. And, per usual, I needed romance. 

There is something for everyone in this book, and I’m so looking forward to the rest of this new series. 🖤

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of The Fever King!

  • Start Date: March 18, 2019
  • End Date: March 31, 2019
  • US Only

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES 🖤 book review + reading vlog

So I was super skeptical going into A Court of Thorns and Roses, but now I’m OBSESSED.

Here’s my review and vlog of the first book in what I hope to be a new favorite series! 🖤

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury
ReleaseDate: May 5, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

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 over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Review

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

First things first. Why did no one scream at me to read this sooner?

This is my first time reading a book by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve heard mixed things about this series in particular on book blogs and BookTube. But I’m so glad I picked up this book. 🖤

There were many things I didn’t like—Tamlin’s character development (I never felt like I knew who he was), language used to describe the sex scenes (e.g. “predatory”), and other issues I mention in my vlog—but the plot. Feyre. Her trials. The fae world. The DRAMA OF IT ALL.

I have a feeling we’re going great places in the next book, even if I’m nervous about how it will all go down. Now I can’t wait to finish this series and read the Throne of Glass series next!

Vlog

My review vlog for A Court of Mist and Fury to come! 🖤

Have you read this series, reader friends? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Our Year of Maybe: Blog Tour and Giveaway

A new year, a new book tour!

I was sent an ARC of Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon for review (plus a playlist and dreamcast) as a part of the Fantastic Flying Book Club.

Also, don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!

Our Year of Maybe
by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 15, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis

Aspiring choreographer Sophie Orenstein would do anything for Peter Rosenthal-Porter, who’s been on the kidney transplant list as long as she’s known him. Peter, a gifted pianist, is everything to Sophie: best friend, musical collaborator, secret crush. When she learns she’s a match, donating a kidney is an easy, obvious choice. She can’t help wondering if after the transplant, he’ll love her back the way she’s always wanted.

But Peter’s life post-transplant isn’t what either of them expected. Though he once had feelings for Sophie too, he’s now drawn to Chase, the guitarist in a band that happens to be looking for a keyboardist. And while neglected parts of Sophie’s world are calling to her—dance opportunities, new friends, a sister and niece she barely knows—she longs for a now-distant Peter more than ever, growing increasingly bitter he doesn’t seem to feel the same connection.

Peter fears he’ll forever be indebted to her. Sophie isn’t sure who she is without him. Then one blurry, heartbreaking night twists their relationship into something neither of them recognizes, leading them to question their past, their future, and whether their friendship is even worth fighting for.

Review

The main characters of this book Sophie and Peter were talented, flawed, annoying, selfish, kind—and human. Sophie is a dancer with a life-long crush in the making on her best friend Peter. Peter is a musician who is exploring his bisexuality and a healthier life with a new donor kidney—Sophie’s kidney. Sometimes I hated both these main characters, but other times I loved them.

I gave this book three stars because of its raw, bittersweet tone that encapsulates real life. I appreciated this book. But I didn’t love it.

I plan to go more in-depth on my BookTube channel about why I had a hard time with the climax and denouement of this book (which is full of spoilers, so I don’t want to include it in this review). Again, while it did feel “real,” it ruined my appreciation for both Sophie and Peter. And I wanted to appreciate them, especially Peter.

Anyway, I would totally recommend this book for fans of John Green, Robyn Schneider, and Rainbow Rowell. So, if that’s you, don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!

Playlist

Dream Cast

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Sophie: Dutch actress Luca Hollestelle
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Peter: American actor Timothée Chalamet

I made the mistake of looking at the author’s dream cast before creating my own—now I can’t unsee Luca Hollestelle as Sophie and Timothée Chlamet as Peter. Can you blame me though?

About the Author

Rachel Lynn Solomon lives, writes, and tap dances in Seattle, Washington. Once she helped set a Guinness World Record for the most natural redheads in one place. She’s the author of You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone (out now from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse), Our Year of Maybe (1/15/19), and Today Tonight Tomorrow (2020). A short story of hers will appear in the anthology It’s a Whole Spiel (Penguin Random House/Knopf, fall 2019).

Book Links

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | B&N | iTunes

GIVEAWAY

Prize: A signed copy of OUR YEAR OF MAYBE (US Only)

Starting Date: January 9, 2019

Ending Date: January 20, 2019

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

Book Tour

Check out the rest of the stops along this book tour!

This Cruel Design Book Blog Tour | Review + GIVEAWAY

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So I received both This Mortal Coil and This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada for free in exchange for review and omg. 😍 I’m so happy I signed up for this blog tour.

I didn’t expect to be obsessed with this series but here I am. 🖤

And don’t miss out on the giveaway at the end of this post!

ThisCruelDesign_TourBanner

This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

33876440SYNOPSIS

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?

38316465SYNOPSIS

Cat thought the Hydra epidemic was over, but when new cases pop up, Cat must team up with an enemy to fix the vaccine before the virus spirals out of control in this thrilling sequel to This Mortal Coil, which New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman says “redefines ‘unputdownable.’”

The nightmare of the outbreak is finally over, but Cat’s fight has only just begun.

Exhausted, wounded, and reeling from revelations that have shaken her to her core, Cat is at a breaking point. Camped in the woods with Cole and Leoben, she’s working day and night, desperate to find a way to stop Lachlan’s plan to reprogram humanity. But she’s failing—Cat can’t even control her newly regrown panel, and try as she might to ignore them, she keeps seeing glitching visions from her past everywhere she turns.

When news arrives that the Hydra virus might not be as dead as they’d thought, the group is pushed into an uneasy alliance with Cartaxus to hunt down Lachlan and fix the vaccine. Their search takes them to Entropia, a city of genehackers hidden deep in the desert that could also hold the answers about Cat’s past that she’s been searching for.

But when confronted with lies and betrayals, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts. And while Lachlan is always two steps ahead, the biggest threat to Cat may be the secrets buried in her own mind.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

EmilySuvada_AuthorPhoto

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Emily Suvada was born and raised in Australia, where she went on to study mathematics and astrophysics. She previously worked as a data scientist, and still spends hours writing algorithms to perform tasks which would only take minutes to complete on her own. When not writing, she can be found hiking, cycling, and conducting chemistry experiments in her kitchen. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband.

REVIEW

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Both books. Five stars. Love, love, love. 🖤

For both books, I got swept away in the plot and the complexities of this dystopian world. (I’m trash for dystopian.) I kept thinking I knew what was coming, but plot twist after plot twist kept me rethinking and guessing and hanging on to each chapter. Plus, almost every chapter—not to mention book—ended on a cliff hanger, and I was desperate to know what would happen next. (I’m also desperate for the third book in this series.)

Dystopians, I love them, but they can end up feeling repetitive—but this was a unique take on the genre. Hacking, coding, cloning. It’s science fiction, but it’s also now, so the story felt more immersive and believable.

I also loved Cat, complex yet compassionate Cat. She’s likeable but not too likeable, which is basically my perfect protagonist. 👍🏻 The secondary characters are also so incredibly developed, particularly our love interest Cole and goofy brother Leoben.

From the world building to the characters to the plot, I’m honestly in awe of Emily Suvada’s writing style. ✨ This is such a big story and she keeps pulling it off. Fingers crossed I love the third book just as much! 🤞🏻

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

GIVEAWAY

  • PRIZE: 2 copies of This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada
  • US Only
  • Starts: 10/22
  • Ends: 10/31

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this book tour!

HOW HAD I NOT READ THIS BOOK? 🖤 To Kill a Mockingbird Readalong Vlog

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First off, many thanks to Tom over at T.J. Reads the Stars for hosting this readalong of To Kill a Mockingbird! 💖

One of my reading goals for 2018 was to read this book—and reading it with new reader friends made the experience even better. 👍🏻

Meet Tom in his readalong announcement video:

Now check out my reading vlog of the readalong! 🖤

Image result for barnes and noble to kill a mockingbirdSYNOPSIS

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred.

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

REVIEW

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.

To sum up why I loved this book, it comes down to how the characters and plot developed and thickened over the course of the novel. Plus, the book tackles heavy, important themes—racial inequality, gender inequality, poverty—through a young girl’s interactions and understandings of her small, Southern town.

Regarding characters, Scout was such an endearing firecracker. She grew immensely as a human, and by the end of the book, she finally understands her dad Atticus’ instruction and advice about empathizing with other people. Growing up in such a small, problematic, racist, sexist town causes her to confront a lot of upsetting and even dangerous situations, and there were a couple of instances where her reactions to these moments had me in tears. She brought hope. Hope that people can learn, people can empathize, people can use words instead of fists.

The second reason why I loved this book was the plot progression. Though I had an idea of how the book was going to go, I had no idea how all of the plot lines and people were going to wrap up and be significant. But they did. Everything mattered, every character mattered.

I’m so happy and proud of myself for FINALLY reading this classic novel!

FAVORITE QUOTES

🖤 “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

🖤 “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

🖤 “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

🖤 “People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”

🖤 “It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.”

🖤 “It’s not time to worry yet.”

Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird? Did you read it in school? What did you like or not like about it? Let me know in the comments!

A Room Away From the Wolves Book Review and Giveaway

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Here it is! Another book’s blog tour!

One of my fave genres is magical realism, so I was thrilled to receive an ARC of A Room Away for the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma. 👌🏼

Bring on the strange and mysterious. 🖤

Also, don’t miss the giveaway details below my review!

a room away from the wolves FFBC

A Room Away From the Wolves
by Nova Ren Suma

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Mystery

Synopsis

37792722Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will take for her to leave…

About the Author

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Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novels THE WALLS AROUND US as well as the YA novels IMAGINARY GIRLS and 17 & GONE, which were both named 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound by YALSA. Her middle-grade novel, DANI NOIR, was reissued for a YA audience under the title FADE OUT. She has a BA in writing & photography from Antioch College and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has been awarded fiction fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Millay Colony, and an NEA fellowship for a residency at the Hambidge Center. She worked for years behind the scenes in publishing, at places such as Harper Collins, Penguin, Marvel Comics, and RAW Books, and now she teaches writing work-shops. She is from various small towns across the Hudson Valley and lives and writes in New York City.

Find Nova online at novaren.com and on her blog distraction99.com.

Review

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

So I wanted to love this book, I really did, especially because I’m a fan of magical realism. And because the main character Bina is bisexual. (She doesn’t identify with that particular word anywhere in the novel, but we know she’s attracted to both boys and girls.) I wanted it to be a five-star read.

However, I needed more from this book, specifically more of the mystical and romantic elements. Basically the elements I most wanted to read.

More than anything, I enjoyed the mysterious atmosphere—and mysterious plot points—of this book. Greenwich Village, Catherine House, even Bina’s stepdad’s house in the middle of nowhere surrounded by woods. Each setting had creepy (and some super creepy) details that I was here for.

The atmosphere and setting (and the ghosts) honestly made this book for me. 👻

There were a lot of characters, but I didn’t get to know a single one of them well except for Bina and her mom. Even our sort-of-romantic-but-not-really interest Monet, another girl staying in Catherine House, wasn’t fully developed.

Mysterious, yes. Developed, no. Disappointing, definitely. 😢

But I did appreciate how flawed, seriously flawed, Bina was. She stole, she vandalized, she lied, she got together with her stepsister’s boyfriend, and the list could go on. She wasn’t exactly likeable, sure, but I’m not a fan of too-likeable characters anyway. And, like you’ll see below, there were lots of almost brooding descriptions of Bina’s thoughts that really resonated with me.

Last was the ending. I won’t spoil anything, but geez, it was not all I had hoped it would be. The magical realism elements took a confusing turn, and I didn’t get the on-the-page romance I NEEDED.

All in all, though, it was an okay, solid read that I do recommend. The elements I liked kept this at three stars, and the elements I didn’t kept this from being four stars.

Favorite Quotes

🖤 “One by one, in quick succession, these thoughts struck me: She thinks my mother sent me here on purpose. She thinks I talked to a dead woman on the phone. Get up. Get out of the chair. Walk to the door. Get your suitcase. Go. But my body didn’t move. Only my mouth did.”

🖤 “The way she spoke made the sunny street dark for a moment. I heard the whistle of wind, as if I were back inside that gated garden, down on my knees in the dirt by the grave, where the city didn’t seem to touch.”

🖤 “The girls who lived in this house didn’t really have Monet’s back, not like I did. There was a point at which you threw your lot in with someone. There was a point when you were all in, and there was no scrambling out of it when you got scared, or found morals, or wanted to save your own skin.”

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |Kobo | IndieBound | iBooks

Giveaway

Enter the giveaway to win a free copy of the book!

  • US only
  • August 8 – September 5, 2018

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!