Blind Spot Blog Tour (Review + Giveaway)

"It's a story about how sometimes we fail to see things that are right in front of us."

Since You've Been Gone (Review)

"fabulous, wonderful, endearing, amazing story"

Dissected by Megan Bostic (Blog Tour)

"Powerful & Thought Provoking"

In Honor by Jessi Kirby (Review)

"This is going on my favorites shelf and I will probably reread it again in the future."

Blog Tour: Hungry by H.A. Swain (Review + Giveaway)

"Hungry is a captivating and thought-provoking story set in a fascinating world."

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Review))

"All-in-all, a perfect summer read and you should totally pick up these books, if you haven't already!"

The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle (Review)

"The Edge of Falling is a beautifully told story, both in plot and writing."

Hexed by Michelle Krys (Review)

"Hexed was just the thing that I needed to get back into the reading world."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Divinity by Michelle L. Johnson (Excerpt)

Title: Divinity
Author: Michelle L. Johnson
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Spence City
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Angels, Fantasy
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes
When Julia climbs into a flaming car to save a trapped child, she's left wondering why either of them survived. Then she learns that her father is the Archangel Gabriel, and that she is half human, half Archangel.

With guidance from Michael, the most powerful Archangel, Julia sets out to discover her own history and explore her angelic powers. But her journey is cut short when an evil force, invisible to human and angel alike, tears her world apart.

Now Julia must fight through her despair, harness her newfound gifts, and risk her very soul to stop the A'nwel and protect the family she never knew she had.

What she doesn't know is that Archangels have secrets too.

About the author:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Michelle L. Johnson is the author of DIVINITY, a supernatural urban fantasy, and the author of THE FOOTLOOSE KILLER, a mystery. She's also a literary agent, a coffee lover beyond reason, and has a fascination with the workings of the human mind.

Her key influences have been Stephen King, Anne Rice, and C.S. Lewis, but is inspired by every author to put pen to paper.

Michelle lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her muse and her rambunctious Cocker Spaniel, Sammy.

Guest Post:

"Your attempt on your life did serve a purpose. It made you realize that you are here for a reason. It made you start to become open to the reasons why that might be the case.”

Julia could only nod. She’d survived enough carbon monoxide poisoning to kill six people. There had to be a reason for it. Michael’s wording struck a nerve, though. He said she started to ‘become open’ to it. Gabriel had said that crazy people were ‘open’ to alternate realities. Did that mean she went crazy? And how would she know if she did?

“Michael,” Julia said with a tremor in her voice as she gazed at her breathtaking reflection, “am I crazy?”

“You are not crazy.”

“But, Gabriel said…”

“What he said was true – for your mother, and for others like her. You are not crazy. You are half human and half Archangel. That alone is reason enough for you to be able to see and believe.”

Julia lifted her wings, curling them outward at the tips. A sense of peace spread over her. “I’m not crazy.”

“No, you aren’t.”

“If I need to remember things in my own time, then why are you helping me?”

“Because it is your time.”

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian (Review & Giveaway)

Adult, Contemporary Fiction, 
Publication.Date  July 8th 2014
Published By:  Doubleday
AuthorChris Bohjalian

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

A heartbreaking, wildly inventive, and moving novel narrated by a teenage runaway, from the bestselling author of Midwivesand The Sandcastle Girls.

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless girl living in an igloo made of garbage bags in Burlington. Nearly a year ago, a power plant in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont had a meltdown, and both of Emily's parents were killed. Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault—was he drunk when it happened? Thousands of people are forced to leave their homes in the Kingdom; rivers and forests are destroyed; and Emily feels certain that as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger. So instead of following the social workers and her classmates after the meltdown, Emily takes off on her own for Burlington, where she survives by stealing, sleeping on the floor of a drug dealer's house, inventing a new identity for herself, and befriending a young homeless kid named Cameron. But Emily can't outrun her past, can't escape her grief, can't hide forever-and so she comes up with the only plan that she can.


I sometimes hear people talking about how normal things are now, compared to those first weeks after Reactor One exploded. It’s true. There is the Exclusion Zone, and it must suck to be a Vermont dairy farmer because no one wants Vermont milk or cheese anymore. But for most of the world—for most of Vermont—the Cape Abenaki meltdown is just another bit of old news. Tsunamis. School shootings. Syria. We watch it, we read about it, and then we move on. As a species, we’re either very resilient or super callous. I don’t know which.
None of us knew what this was going to mean for our food or our water or our air. None of us knew if the electricity would suddenly go out and ATMs would stop working. None of us knew anything.
That night all I understood was what I felt. And what I felt was dread.
I love it when therapists talk about boundaries. I really could have used some, right? But how can you fence in a brain? How can you ask a person to rein in something that really is wider than the sky?
One of the girls was starting to suspect who I was, and I knew that once my secret was out, she’d turn me in. I thought she’d want no part of me. And you know what? I wouldn’t have blamed her. A lot of days I wanted no part of me.
A nuclear meltdown changes people—and I don’t mean radiation sickness or Twilight Zone kinds of mutations in babies—but it sure as hell doesn’t make a cutter stop cutting.
Sometimes when I reread what I’ve written, I find myself creeped out by what’s between the lines. What I haven’t written.
I felt like the lowest, most vile, most pathetic thing on the planet. And, trust me, it’s no small trick to feel both vile and pathetic.
But, looking back, you know what’s the saddest thing? How easy it is to get used to that feeling when you’re hungry and scared and alone.
The problem with always having to be right is that sometimes you’re not. And so, if you’re like me, those times when you’re not, you try and save face—especially after you’ve seriously fucked up. You make one bad decision and then another, trying to fix that very first fuck-up.

     There are two kinds of apocalyptic stories: those about entire states/countries/continents going to sh*t due to some unforeseen catastrophe, and then the other ones - the small, personal ones. This is a story of one teenage girl's personal apocalypse. A story about one person's universe imploding in on itself. One small family unit ceasing to exist. One nine year old dog being left behind to die. One lost little girl trying to survive. And it's louder, scarier, more devastating that any big-scale apocalypse you could imagine.

     Close You Eyes, Hold Hands is, without a doubt, one of the most heartbreaking books I have ever read. Its emotional impact is comparable to what John Green and his "The Fault in Our Stars" did to me a couple of years ago, and by that I mean: brutally gutted me and left me a sobbing mess. OK, this book didn't actually have me sobbing. Sobbing comes when you're ready to let go, when you've made some sort of peace with everything that happened. Sobbing is just one step away from the somewhat optimistic"hey-I-might-recover". And believe me, there is no recovering from Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands. Not now, not tomorrow, not in a million years. So no, this book didn't leave me a sobbing mess, this book left me a hollowed-out, emotionally dissected, terrified to the core mess

    Aside from ripping my heart out, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands also made me stop and consider certain things. Things like the fact that we all live in (f*cking) glass houses, you know? We go about our lives either content with what we have or always complaining about the things we don't have. We surround ourselves with people and things, build our "nests", enjoy all the conveniences of modern society, tech gadgets, etc. And we forget -or choose to ignore - the fact that it all could be gone - destroyed, taken away - in a blink of an eye. Family members could die, your home could be burned down, your city could be wiped out by a tornado, an earthquake, a meteor strike - or a nuclear plant meltdown. Any moment, without a warning. One day you have everything - or at the very least something, the next you have nothing, you are nothing, you have no one. Can you even imagine? 

     The writing in this book is extraordinary. It's not embellished, far from being lyrical or poetic, and there aren't any brilliant and clever one-liners you'd like to print out and slap on the wall. It's not that kind of book and it's not that kind of style. And yet, it is, in so many ways, even better. It's raw, it's honest, it's so real and simple it consumes all of your attention, rendering you unable to think of anything else. Chris Bohjalian has become my new favorite author. He's way up there with my other go-to authors when I feel like maybe it's time to lose some sleep, get some handsome looking bags under my eyes from reading into the wee hours, or - better yet - skip sleep altogether, because what's better than just laying there in the darkness with tears silently flowing down your cheeks, right? And who needs sleep anyway? So yes, he joined the "cool kids" club and is now hanging out on the shelf with John Green, David Levithan, Elizabeth Scott, Andrew Smith and A.S.King and, trust me, there is no better shelf out there (or, at least there isn't in my house). 

   Emily's first person's narrative is a bit all over the place. OK, a lot. She recounts different experiences, talks about her past with her parents, the day of the meltdown, the days that followed, as well as what happens long after all that. And she jumps back and forth between different timelines. Oddly enough, all that chaos makes her story more believable and convincing. Her narration is a mess, because her life is a mess. She is a mess. It is only fitting that her POV is a mess, too. And it's really kind of madly brilliant, to be honest.

     I can not - I will not - get over this book. I just know I won't. Ever. This is such a powerful, gut-wrenching, at times really sickening and disturbing story, I know I will always remember it. It will be haunting me. This isn't just a survival story, or some heartbreaking drama, and definitely not a lighthearted YA read (in fact, this isn't a YA book at all - it's adult through and though, don't even think of picking it up if you're only into YA) with a blissfully happy ending. This is a book about losing everything - including yourself - and scratching your way out of a bottomless pit. A story about a nuclear meltdown, dead family members, blame, shame, guilt and everything in between. There is no other book out there that would come close to CLOSE YOUR EYES, HOLD HANDS in any aspect, so just suck it up and buy a copy. You can thank me later.

    And one more thing. The title and its meaning? A bullet straight through your heart.

F*ck my wallet, I am giving away a copy INTERNATIONALLY. 
I just have to share this with someone. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Top Ten Tuesday: Fall Reads

Top 10 Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish

Back in March I made my Spring 2014 TBR list. Then again in June I had my Summer 2014 TBR list. Between these three lists I have read 20/23 books. That's a 87%! That's pretty impressive!

Note: I'm not counting Just One Year or Just One Night because I cannot read that until I get my paperback of Just One Year (release date 9/30) - I read/own Just One Day in paperback, and I have to follow suit for the sequel because I'm a nut job. I am also not counting The Zombie Queen and The Retribution of Mara Dyer because unless you get an ARC, it's tricky to read a not yet published book.

I still have this delusion of finishing and/or catching up on series I've already started before starting new ones. It seems a bit sad that this has been my goal since March, but I'm getting there. It's a slow process, especially when I get such awesome review books in the mail. Oh shiny new pretties!

These are the books that I've read since my posting in June, plus a bonus ARC I wasn't expecting:
Here are the 6 books that I WILL (all caps = bound and determined) have read by December 21:

Books That Will Catch Me Up

What are some books on your Fall 2014 TBR list? Do you have a goal like me or is your list a bit more random?  Be sure to leave me a link to your list!
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke (Review)

Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publication.Date  July 22nd 2014
Published By:  Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
AuthorErica O'Rourke

Dissonance on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed ~ all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.

Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.

But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide ~ a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.


Sometimes the most welcome sights are the most unexpected.
"Every action we take is a choice. Some are deliberate, some are automatic, but each represents a decision between paths. Viewed this way, even inaction is a choice, albeit a weak one."
"Wanting to believe something doesn't make it true, the same way wanting someone doesn't make them yours."
"The most powerful choices are the ones that disrupt the status quo - that break free of momentum and push into the unknown. They're also the most terrifying ones."
"Time is not static. You can never get a choice - or a moment - back. The best you can do is witness the effects."
"Around us, I could hear the fissures forming,  hundred pivot points created by a single kiss, the universe cracking wide because of this one instant, this one boy."
Not real, I tried to tell myself, but he felt real - entirely solid and strong and alive as his arms wrapped around me, anchoring me against him as the world started to spin. He tasted like mint and secrets, and I opened my mouth to his, craving more as his fingers traced languid circles down my back.
Truth is as fluid as water, as faceted as diamonds, as flawed as memory. 

       Dissonance is a top-notch YA science fiction novel - hands down, one of the best ones in the genre. Its complexity can be overwhelming, and it's a bit confusing at the beginning, but O'Rourke's accessible and captivating writing style and her unmatched plotting skills make this book a fabulously addictive page turner. I absolutely loved every second of it. 

     Delancey Sullivan is a Walker. Not the zombie kind from The Walking Dead, though, no worries. She is genetically predisposed to travel between the many universes created by all the decisions made by people all around the world. Being a Walker is magnificent and empowering, but it's also a lot of work. Walkers are responsible for cleavings (unraveling worlds going bad), tuning (fixing worlds and/or echoes) and keeping everything in order. So that, you know, the one real world doesn't fall apart. There are tons of rules Walkers need to live by, including but not limited to, not engaging with the Echoes while Walking and absolutely no relationships with non-Walkers. Unfortunately, following rules is not Delancey's strongest point. And the fact that the Council is obviously keeping secrets only makes her dislike of the authorities stronger. 

      O'Rourke has written a book in which there isn't a dull moment. Seriously. The beginning, as I already mentioned, might be a bit heavy on world building and, therefore, confusing, but once you get past the first 40-or-so pages, you're strapped tight on a roller-coaster ride of visually appealing, brain-tickling fun. Mystery and danger plays a big part in this story, there are some unexpected developments and heartbreaking moments woven into the plot, and if you like your books ambitious and with substance, you will definitely appreciate Dissonance

     Let's talk a little bit about our MC, Delancey. Here's what Eliot says about her (and to her): "You don't listen to anyone else. You don't think about anyone else. You don't think about the consequences. You care about yourself, and that's it." And that pretty much sums up her character. Del really is reckless, self-centered and unable to think her actions through, which proves to be a dangerous combination of qualities. On top of that, she's also very cocky. She's a great Walker, a natural - very talented and capable - but she doesn't follow any rules (in fact, breaking rules seems to be her favorite daily activity). As much as I wanted to slap her straight, though, I also kind of liked that about her. If I have to choose between goody-goody, whiny and defiant, I'll take defiant any day, and Del was just that. Ridiculously defiant, but also really fun to follow as a lead character. 

"My family...," I began. "They're big into making choices. Big decisions, small ones... They believe life is made up of every decision you've ever made, one leading into the next, like the notes in a song."
Simon nodded, his pencil flying over the page, and the misery inside me ebbed.
"But that's crap. You can lead a perfectly good life. You can make great choices, and in the end, completely random events will undo everything." I pointed to the tiny headstone. "That's a baby's grave. No one chooses that. No one wants that. People die not because of they did or didn't do. It's not their choice. It just... happens. Why bother choosing if the world is going to do what it wants regardless? What's the point in trying to make a difference?"

     And to be perfectly honest, I grew to appreciate her inquisitive mind always questioning everything and her courage to stand up for what she believed in - even if she was the only one believing in it. Unlike her overachiever sister, she did not care about praise and recognition, and she did not follow orders blindly, she made her own decisions, even if sometimes they were based on her poor judgement. In my book, that made her a great, multi-layered character. 

     Dissonance is a gripping, gorgeously rendered and intelligent tale that could easily be turned into an awesome blockbuster science fiction thriller. A deftly written, intellectually stimulating sci fi spectacle. O'Rourke did a very impressive job fleshing out the universe, weaving in all the complex scientific details and making it all very believable and authentic. This book has both the breathtaking, non-stop action and mind-bending science fiction concepts, but it's also pretty emotionally engaging in some aspects. It's entertaining and fun to read, but it's also very thought-provoking, inviting the reader to ponder themes of fate, duty, responsibility, love and power. And, most importantly, the choices we make. And the consequences that follow.

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