Violet Grenade Book Tour w/ Author Interview

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Genre: Dark

Author: Victoria Scott

Publication: May 16th 2017 by Entangled Teen

Pages: 300

Rating: 4/5

GoodReads

Hello everyone! I am so happy to announce that I am hosting a stop for the Violet Grenade Book Tour by Victoria Scott! Hoorayyy!!! Thank you to Entangled Teen and Chapter by Chapter for this amazing opportunity! I was able to receive an e-ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Stay tuned for the Author Interview at the end of the post for an in depth look into the book, Victoria’s writing habits and what we can look forward from her in the future!

Summary

Domino is a homeless girl who lives with her best friend, Dizzy, who unfortunately ends up captured and thrown into jail through a series of events. With no money to bail him out, Domino is forced to turn to the aid of Madam Karina who offers her a place to stay and a position in her Home for Girls. It isn’t long before Domino learns the dark secrets which lay within this Home as well as the ones Madam Karina holds herself. Within time, Domino tries to escape her clutches but she holds a special and dangerous secret as well: A voice in her head named Wilson.

Characters

Domino – Strong and Independent; I truly enjoyed reading about Domino. I loved that she was portrayed as a strong woman who knew how to take care of herself but still had a few insecurities as well: one of them being Wilson since she believes herself to be a monster for having him invade her mind. Her insecurities helped with making her character more relatable.

Cain – Quiet and Mysterious; Cain was also a character who was well thought out since he does come from a past which haunts him but despite everything, he is still gentle and protective over Domino which was sweet to see progress throughout the story.

Madam Karina – Mysterious yet vicious antagonist who manages to charismatically gain control over the minds of the girls in her Home. I also enjoyed that the author gave her character a backstory along with the other characters. It helped make the story more realistic.

Wilson – “The voice within Domino.” When we first introduced to Wilson, I had to admit I was quite shocked since I never read a story in which we were introduced to a character within the mind of a protagonist. I loved reading about him and the relationship he had with Domino. Despite being the dark and violent voice within Domino, he only had one sole purpose which was trying to protect her.

My Final Thoughts: 

This was a fabulous read and I was very impressed of how fresh the concept of the story was to include a character within the mind of another main character. We usually do not see much psychological thrillers within YA literature so it was quite refreshing to read something different from typical YA genres. This book was a mix of a lot of themes: Psychological, Unusual, Horrifying, and Heartbreaking that you cannot help but be glued to the pages since the plot moves rapidly. There was not one moment where I felt the story slowed down or lagged. The high stakes and the secrets within these characters was what kept me reading. This is definitely not a light read since there are dark themes present within this novel as well as some intense and emotional scenes. Overall, the characters were so well developed and the plot was so fast paced that this was just an awesome book to read! I would definitely recommend this if you enjoy reading psychological thrillers and darker YA genres.

 

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About the Author (From GoodReads): 

Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight novels for young adults including FIRE & FLOOD, THE COLLECTOR, HEAR THE WOLVES, and VIOLET GRENADE. She is published by Scholastic and Entangled Teen, and is represented by Sara Crowe. Victoria’s novels are sold in fourteen countries, and she loves receiving reader emails from at home, and across the world.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instragram | Goodreads

 

Author Interview: 

1. The concept of having a character with a second personality is quite unique. How did you come with the idea?

I just kept picturing this small teenage girl who looks in every way like the perfect victim, but you don’t realize she’s packing ammunition in her head. The character, Domino, never left my mind. So I had to write her.

2. In terms of writing and world building, what advice do you have for future writers who wish to craft and develop a fantasy yet believable new world? How do you approach this when you are writing your books?

I think the realness comes from the details. It comes from watching people around you and noticing what quirks make them human, and relatable. I think comes from the characters even more than the world itself.

3. Have you ever faced writers block? How do you typically try to overcome it?

I treat writer’s block like others treat having an unmotivated day. I put on my Big Girl pants and write anyway. Because this is my job, and I can’t stay in bed just because I feel like it no more than anyone else at any other job (though sometimes I wish I could).

4. Do you have a favorite place to write? Any special playlists you like to listen to?

I have a favourite coffee shop, and a favourite drink there (Pink Drink for the win!). I usually listen to Spotify while writing, but the scene dictates the playlist.

5. Do you have any book or series that you would never get tired of reading multiple times?

Harry Potter for days! Always and forever.

6. What can we expect from you in the future? Are there any other genres you would like to explore?

I’m drafting a new young adult book right now that’s a stand-alone. Someday I may try an adult novel. I love reading adult thrillers!

 

Thank you all for stopping by!

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you soon! 🙂

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COVER REVEAL: #YOLO BY K.M. PYNE

Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a great day! I am so happy to be part of Chapter by Chapter Cover Reveal Event for #Yolo by K.M Pyne, Book #2 in the Ruby Knight Chronicles! So without further ado, here is the anticipated cover:

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Summary:

#YOLO by K.M. Pyne

Publication Date:  May 8, 2017

Once again Ruby Knight finds herself dragged into her Mam’s World. This time someone at her school is out for revenge!

Ruby, along with her friends, have to work out who is murdering students … Why they are murdering them? … What do they ultimately want?

At the same time relationships are made and some are broken, but will Ruby find the killer in time?

Or will someone else have to perish at the hands of a killer?

GoodReads

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES

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Summary:

When Ruby Knight’s best friend, Catriona Taylor disappears Ruby knows something isn’t right.

Time is ticking and the race is on to find Catriona. Has she run away? Is she really on a holiday with her parents? Has something more sinister happened to her?

These are the questions facing Ruby. Can she find Catriona? Can she ask her detective Mam for help? Or will she leave it too late?

Follow Ruby on her journey to find her best friend!

Goodreads:  

KMPyne

KM Pyne lives in Dublin, Ireland and this is her first YA book. There are sequels which are already written and some paranormal YA’s in the future. She is married, has two children and works full time. Writing is a hobby, but it takes over more and more of her life. Characters and stories come into her mind all the time and she has to stop and write them down so that she can build on them at a later date.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | SnapchatGoodreads

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Until next time, keep reading and I will see you guys soon! 🙂

~Ash

Incriminating Dating Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Rebekah L. Purdy

Published April 10th 2017 by Entangled Crush

Pages – 189

GoodReads

Rating – 4/5

I am so excited to be part of the Blog Tour for Incriminating Dating! Thank you to Entangled Teen for providing me a copy on NetGalley for an honest review and including me within this tour! 

GoodReads Summary:

Ayla Hawkins is ready to stand up for change in her high school. But winning the election for class president against popular Jenna Lee will be impossible without a miracle. When she stumbles upon Mr. Perfect Luke Pressler defacing public property and catches it on camera: cue miracle. Ayla’s got the dirt she needs to get Luke on Team Ayla—in the form of her new fake boyfriend.

One mistake. All Luke wanted was a night to goof off, to blow off steam. The pressure of maintaining the perfect facade when his reality was crumbling around him had become too much, and next thing he knew, he was pretending to date Ayla Hawkins. But his little blackmailer turns out to be kind. Honorable. Opinionated. And just the breath of fresh air he didn’t even realize he was suffocating for. But Luke and Ayla come from different worlds, and once the election is over, their fauxmance will be, too.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book features adult language, sexual situations, and plenty of girl power. Reading may result in swooning, laughing, and looking for a Luke of your own.

 

Characters:

Ayla – Editor-in-chief of the school newspaper; Passionate for Drama Club –  I personally enjoyed reading from Ayla’s POV since I immediately loved her from the start. She is so fun, bright and very passionate about key issues within the school and society and is strong enough to bring them into the light. The fact that she had such nerdy interests (Doctor Who, Zelda, and Minecraft) and an obsession with Pizza made her even more adorable!

Luke – Star Basketball Player; Despite the image that he builds for himself in school, Luke is a teenager who is going through some tough situations at home and it is discovered through his relationship with Ayla that there is a lot more to him than what is initially known. He is a very complex character but that is what makes him so interesting. Side Note: I adored his little brother Landon – he was such a cutie! 🙂

 

My Thoughts

I personally enjoyed reading this novel and the characters truly helped make this such a fun read. While it is true that this novel is within the contemporary  genre and therefore, is a cute fluffy romance, it was still an enjoyable read since you see the character relationships grow in a decent pace which added to a realistic flow to the story. I also felt that the connection between Luke and Ayla was so genuine and real and you couldn’t help but root for them throughout the book.  Luke would give Ayla the confidence she needs to face her fears at school and Ayla is Luke’s pillar of support who always keeps him grounded and pushes him to make the right decisions.

Purdy also did an amazing job with her writing since it was so engaging and the alternate POVs had a clear distinct voice for each main character and it was not confusing when switching between the parts. Overall, the story did flow naturally from chapter to chapter and it did highlight some significant themes within our society. I would definitely recommend this if you would like a sweet, spring read! 🙂

 

About the author:
Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. Shes lived in Michigan most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army. At which time she got a chance to experience Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, and California. Rebekah has a business degree from University of Phoenix and currently works full time for the court system. In her free time she writes YA stories, anything from YA Fantasy to YA Contemporary Romance. Rebekah also has a big family (6 kids), she likes to consider her family as the modern day Brady Bunch complete with crazy road trips and game nights. When not hiding at her computer, Rebekah enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games, traveling, and hanging out with her family and gazillion pets.

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Excerpt:

Before the football game got started, the announcer came over the loudspeakers to tell the fans about the booth. Hoots and hollers went up through the crowd, and soon we had a long line of students waiting for their turns.

I stood near the booth, making sure to thank everyone for coming out and to actually talk to them. Surprisingly, they seemed receptive to me and my ideas.

“I’m so glad you’re running,” a girl named Brooklyn said. “It’d be nice to have someone normal as president, you know. Someone who cares about the art programs.”

I smiled. “Thanks. I promise, I’ll be fighting hard for those things.”

When halftime rolled around, we still had students lined up. Partially because Stacy promised to post pics on our school newspaper’s social media pages, and partially because I think people liked the idea of taking crazy photos with the popular kids.

The volleyball team left to take their places on the field, and I trudged to one of the chairs behind the booth. I so wasn’t ready for this. Chloe sat next to me. Thank God I didn’t have to do this alone.

“Here, put on some red lipstick. You want to stand out, you know.” She laughed, dabbing my lips. “Now smack them together.”

Trying to ignore the small group standing around us, I did as she said. A few guys hopped into Chloe’s line for a pic, but mine didn’t have anyone yet. And of course the girls were lined for Brady and Jack. I glanced around nervously. This was kind of embarrassing—no one wanted to be seen with me. Did I have something stuck on my face? Maybe I wasn’t pretty enough. Then someone came to stand in front of me. My gaze slid up to find Luke. He held up a twenty-dollar bill, then put it into the can. What was he doing? I knew he didn’t have that kind of money. But my thoughts quickly turned from his money to the fact he was paying to take a picture with me.

“So, what do we want to wear in our photo?” Luke said, reaching for a pair of dark shades and a ridiculously large cowboy hat.

“Um, I’ll take this…” I grabbed a large purple boa and wrapped it around my neck, pulling on a pair of long, lacy white gloves.

We stepped inside the booth…and lined up in front of a computer screen that Chloe’s dad let us borrow, which showed both our faces on it.

“I think we ought to make this a really memorable picture, don’t you?” Luke’s voice sounded deeper.

He moved toward me, his breath warm against my cheek. He wasn’t even looking at the camera. Then it dawned on me what was about to happen. Holy shit. My first kiss. And it’d be with Luke. Freaking. Pressler.

Fangirl Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“I’m the kind of girl who fantasizes about being trapped in a library overnight.”

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Published September 10th 2013 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 445

GoodReads

Rating: 4/5

I think I might have found my new favorite contemporary book! : )

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From the very first few pages, I was automatically grasped by the story since it was so reminiscent of my early college days. The characters also made the story so enticing and I yearned to learn more about them as the novel progressed. I truly saw myself in Cath, our main character, because I too was highly introverted and I also had a fear of being placed into a social gathering since at that time in my life, I was going through some social anxiety due to my past experiences. But like Cath, when you do meet people who are willing to understand and respect your personality, that is when the walls that you built start crumbling down and you realize that the world may not be as scary as it seems.

Summary:

Cath’s world practically revolves around Simon Snow and her endless pages of fan-fiction and when she was young, she was able to share this love with her twin sister, Wren. Now that the two girls are beginning a new life at college, Wren is ready to let go of the fandom while Cath cannot help but hold on to it. Despite being so close when they were young, Wren decides not to be roommates, leaving her sister all alone. Cath is now surrounded by a brash roommate and her charming boyfriend, a skeptical professor, and a classmate who also shares her love for writing. While being suddenly thrown into this new environment, Cath is forced to learn how to live her own life without having to rely on her sister. With the addition of complex relationships, class struggles and worrying for her Dad, the path towards succeeding in college and life may not seem as easy as it seems.

 

Characters:

Cath – Fanfic writer; Social Anxiety; Cares for Dad/Sister – Cath was someone I could easily connect with since I pretty much shared her experiences when I was in college. The fact that she tends to avoid social situations leads to her snarky and sometimes sarcastic comments which had me amused at certain points. Despite that, she does have a soft side since she was very much attached to her father and would always check up on him since he would be home alone.

Levi – Very Sociable; Next Door Boy personality – Levi is male character who looks and feels so realistic to a normal person. I liked the fact that Rainbow Rowell did not have to make him be this typical YA bad boy who is oozing with sex appeal. He is pretty much the average, sweet guy who every girl would want to meet and have a relationship with. That is not to say he is completely perfect since he does have his own flaws. However, I admire the fact that he is willing to accept and take responsibility for any mistakes he has done.

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Wren – Bold; Outgoing – Wren’s lifestyle is college was the complete opposite of Cath and through her we got to see a complete different side to the life on campus. Although she is not the main character, Rainbow Rowell did do a great job in developing her story arc to highlight some important issues we face in college.

Reagan – Blunt; Straightforward – The dynamic between Cath and Reagan was so much fun to read about. I loved the friendship that grows between them and how Reagan was able to bring Cath out of her shell and help her adjust to college life.

My Thoughts: 

If you have been following my blog, it is no secret that I typically do not reach for contemporary books since I generally prefer sci-fi/fantasy novels since they are the ones which provide an escape for me. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed reading this novel since there were so many moments which I found to be truly relatable. Some examples, existed within the college lifestyle such as the initial fear of being in a new place, having to make new friends, living with a roommate, stressing about classes/exams, etc. I love the fact that Cath would hide a bunch of protein bars in her room to avoid going to the dining hall which is kind of what I did but the only difference was that I basically lived off of ramen 🙂

The only issue I had with this novel which prevented me from giving it a perfect 5/5 was that I felt the ending did not seem as complete or resolved as I would have liked it to be. This could be because there was not much of a direct goal which had to be accomplished by the end of the story or that Rainbow Rowell did not want to drag the book out to make it longer than it needs to be. I did appreciate that we saw some growth in Cath since she is able to speak up for herself and does not shut everyone out like she initially had done from the start of the novel. The romance was beautifully developed and both Cath and Levi just seemed right for each other.  ship.gif

Overall, if you are looking for a fun and light contemporary read, you should definitely pick up Fangirl! 🙂

Fun Fact: I was living on campus for my first year of college and during the final exams of my first semester, I actually overslept and woke about approximately 15 minutes before the start of the exam 😦 The main issue was the lecture hall where we the exam was scheduled was on a separate campus and I has to take the bus to get there. This was probably the day (and may be the only day) where I broke the record for the fastest time I have ever gotten out of bed and gotten ready to go out.

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P.S – I surprisingly did make it there and managed to finish the exam on time hehe

Did any of you guys read Fangirl? What were your thoughts on it?

~Ash~

The Blogger Aesthetic Award

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Hello everyone!! I have been in artistic mood lately so I thought it would be a perfect time to create this post. I wasn’t tagged by anyone to do this but I saw this award at ChicNerdReads and I absolutely loved it! This is a great way for me to learn more about my fellow bloggers!

The Blogger Aesthetic Award was created by Liam @ Hey Ashers!

The Rules:

  • Collect any number of images that you feel represent you as a person—your personality, aspirations, favorite things, anything at all that makes you you.
  • Put your chosen images together into a collage of whatever size and shape you find pleasing.
  • Share your masterpiece with everyone, in all the places.
  • Maybe nominate other bloggers as a way to tell them, “Hey, you, I think you’re awesome, and we should celebrate that awesomeness.”
  • Share these rules (and maybe the below tips, if you’re feeling helpful).

Tips:

My Aesthetic:

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I TAG 

Megnificentbooks

Sydney @ Sydneysshelves

Teacher of YA

LitThis

Elizabeth @ Itsmisselizabeth

Sam @ River-Moose Reads

Lindsey @ Paradisbooks

And anyone else who would like to do it! Have fun everyone!  🙂

~Ash