Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Top 5 Most Recent 5 Star Reads

top ten tuesday 4

I haven’t been reading a whole lot lately and I haven’t really adored that many of the books that I have read so I think this is probably going to be less than ten but I’ll try and get close!

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

I mentioned this one in last week’s post and I’ll say it again, it’s amazing.  Fantasy fans and non-fantasy fans should totally read this one.  The romance is perfect, the banter is extremely witty, and the story is fresh.

rebel of the sands

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

I read this one at the recommendation of a friend and I am so glad that I did.  It’s the story of Morgan who believes she had something to do with a fatal shooting at her school.  She becomes afraid to leave her apartment but that starts to change when a new boy moves in next door.  While the story was a little slow at times, the writing more than made up for it.

Underwater

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer

Is this one really a surprise to anyone?  Marissa Meyer made herself one of my favorite authors with this series and it’s finale was no exception.  Winter was probably the best of the series and I loved how everything ended.  I haven’t read Stars Above yet but I do expect another five star read from that one.

Winter

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

When this one first came out, everyone was talking about it and telling me to read it.  I picked it up with very low expectations (hype usually makes me nervous) but I ended up adoring it!  Bex and Jack were perfect together and their story was full of adventure, romance, and intrigue.  It’s probably one of my all time favorite contemporary novels.

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart

Wolf by Wolf (Wolf by Wolf #1) by Ryan Graudin

Wolf By Wolf was one of those books that I predicted I would love and I was right.  I’m a huge history buff and anything to do with Nazi history really gets my attention.  While this is alternative history, it was still fascinating and contained enough actual historical references for me to love it.

wolf by wolf

Have you read any of these?  Did they make your list of five star reads?  What books were on your list?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Blog Tour: Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn | Review + GiveawayHot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn
Published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books on March 22nd 2016
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Prepare to be blown away—or rather, carried away on huge muscular wings—by this blissfully outlandish, bracingly-smart, tour de force about a teen who has to come to terms with relinquishing control for the first time as she falls for the hot new…pterodactyl…at school. After all, everybody wants him!

Sheils is very pleased with her perfectly controlled life (controlling others while she’s at it). She’s smart, powerful, the Student Body Chair, and she even has a loving boyfriend. What more could a girl ask for?

But everything changes when the first-ever interspecies transfer student, a pterodactyl named Pyke, enrolls at her school. There’s something about him—something primal—that causes the students to lose control whenever he’s around. Even Sheils, the seemingly perfect self-confident girl that she is, can’t keep her mind off of him, despite her doting boyfriend and despite the fact that Pyke immediately starts dating Jocelyn, the school’s fastest runner who Sheils has always discounted as a nobody.

Pyke, hugely popular in a school whose motto is to embrace differences, is asked to join a band, and when his band plays at the Autumn Whirl dance, his preternatural shrieking music sends everyone into a literal frenzy. No one can remember what happened the next day, but Shiels learns that she danced far too long with Pyke, her nose has turned purple, and she may have done something with her boyfriend that she shouldn’t have. Who’s in control now?

Hilarious and relatable (despite the dinosaur), Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is about a teen who must come to terms with not being in control of all things at all times, break free of her mundane life, discover who her true self is, and, oh, finding out that going primal isn’t always a bad thing

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Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is probably one of the most bizarre books I’ve ever read.  I mean, just look at the title and synopsis.  You can’t really expect normal from a book about a hot pterodactyl boyfriend.  I had a feeling that it was going to be weird and entertaining and that feeling was definitely proven right.

Pros:

  • The story:  As bizarre as the story may seem, it’s actually quite relatable.  Shiels is a control freak in every aspect of her life and she’s at the point in her life where she feels like she really needs that control.  She’s applying to colleges and doing everything she can to make herself look good on those applications.  It’s a really common story except for the fact that her school now has a pterodactyl as a student and his entrance in her life throws it into complete upheaval.
  • Shiels:  I really liked Shiels.  Like I said, she wanted complete control and she was used to having it.  That all changed with Pyke.  She had to give up that control and she might have actually gone a little overboard (skipping school, hiding things from her parents) but she grew as a person when she did give up some of that control.  She started to see that maybe things didn’t have to be so orderly and maybe she didn’t always have to be the one to do everything.
  • The family aspect: I loved Shiels’ family, especially her brother.  Her parents were involved in her life but sometimes a little absent and sometimes a little overbearing.  I really just liked that they played a role in her life.  Her brother, Jonathan, was the best part.  They had the classic sibling relationship.  He reminded me a lot of my own brother and their dynamics were very similar to ours.  Maybe that won’t be a big deal to you guys but it was definitely a pro for me.

Cons:

  • Pyke:  I could not relate to Pyke and honestly, he was a little weird.  I mean, of course he’s going to be weird, he’s a freaking pterodactyl but I don’t know.  It was more than that.  He wasn’t very humanlike and so I didn’t feel like I ever got to know him.  I couldn’t understand how he evoked this attraction from everyone he met.  And it wasn’t always romantic attraction though that did happen.  It seemed like everyone wanted to be something to him, whether it was a girlfriend or a mother figure.  It was strange.
  • The writing: This one isn’t a huge con for me but the writing took some getting used to.  It is a little stilted and choppy but once I got used to that I could see how it actually moved the story along a little faster.  Take some time to get used to the style and it will get better.

Overall, Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is one of those books that you should go into expecting something totally out of the norm.  It was hilarious at times while also being really heartfelt.  I can’t say it’s on my list of favorites but it has me eager to check out more form Alan Cumyn.

Giveaway

3 finished copies of Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour stops!

Week 1:
 
Week 2:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Blog Tour | What I Look For In Retellings | Stone Field by Christy Lenzi

Blog Tour | What I Look For In Retellings | Stone Field by Christy Lenzi

You guys know I love blog tours but there was something special about this one.  I always look for romance in my novels, I’m a history buff, and retellings are some of my favorite things.  Stone Field is all of those wrapped in one gorgeous package!

Before I get to my favorite things, make sure to check out a little more about Stone Field!

Stone Field

Stone Field by Christy Lenzi
(Website, Goodreads)

In a small town on the brink of the Civil War, Catrina finds a man making strange patterns in her family’s sorghum crop. He’s mad with fever, naked, and strikingly beautiful. He has no memory of who he is or what he’s done before Catrina found him in Stone Field. But that doesn’t bother Catrina because she doesn’t like thinking about the things she’s done before either.

Catrina and Stonefield fall passionately, dangerously, in love. All they want is to live with each other, in harmony with the land and away from Cat’s protective brother, the new fanatical preacher, and the neighbors who are scandalized by their relationship. But Stonefield can’t escape the truth about who he is, and the conflict tearing apart the country demands that everyone take a side before the bloodbath reaches their doorstep.

Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

 

What I Look For In A Retelling

  • Originality: This might seem a little odd since the whole point of a retelling is to retell something that’s already been told.  However, that’s not to say that an author shouldn’t put their own spin on whatever tale they’ve chose to retell.  It’s also a good idea to make it unique so that readers who may not have read the original can still enjoy it.  In this case, Christy Lenzi took Wuthering Heights and made it her own.  And since I’ve never (completely) read Wuthering Heights, I appreciated that it didn’t seem like I had to.
  • Hints of the original: This may seem like the complete opposite of what I just said but if you’re writing a retelling, you have to keep something of the original story.  A lot of the time when I’m picking up a retelling, I’ve read and loved the original.  That means I definitely want to at least get a similar feel from the retelling.  Like I said, I haven’t read all of Wuthering Heights but from what I have read, I can see where Christy Lenzi took some inspiration.
  • An updated feel: Even if a retelling is still set in a historical time period, I want it to feel new.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the classics, but they can sometimes be lengthy reads that plod along.  Retellings need to make the writing a little more modern.  Make things move a little faster.  And maybe contain a little more romance than some of the classics.  Just maybe.

Stone Field is a great representation of the things I look for in a retelling.  If you haven’t checked it out already, add it to your TBR!

Oh and don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!

www.bookrookreviews.com 3/19/2016 RETELLING
http://www.swoonyboyspodcast.com 3/20/2016 ROMANCE
www.fictionfare.com 3/21/2016 ROMANCE
http://theirishbanana.blogspot.com/ 3/22/2016 HISTORICAL
http://katiesbookblog.com/ 3/23/2016 RETELLING
http://www.addicted2novels.com 3/25/2016 ROMANCE
Fiercereads.com 3/26/2016 RETELLING
http://aperfectioncalledbooks.blogspot.com/ 3/27/2016 HISTORICAL
http://www.fiktshun.com 3/28/2016 ROMANCE
http://www.intothehallofbooks.com/ 3/29/2016 HISTORICAL
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Top Ten Books I Love But Don’t Talk About Enough

top ten tuesday 4

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about books that I love but haven’t talked about enough.  I think I sometimes read so many books that I forget to really talk about some of them so here are a few!

1. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

I read this one recently but it was during my blogging break and I haven’t really talked to anyone about it other than my IRL friends.  It was exactly what I was looking for in a fantasy novel.  It was fast-paced, full of quick-witted characters, a wonderful romance, and enough of a cliffhanger that I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel.  While this one is very obviously the start of a new series, there is plenty going on to keep readers on the edge of their seats and I think people that aren’t even fantasy fans could love it.

rebel of the sands

2. Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

I read this one last year and adored it.  It’s the story of a pair of friends, Emmy and Oliver, who are reunited after 10 years.  Oliver was kidnapped by his father and Emmy’s life changed forever that day.  When he returns, their friendship turns into something even more than it was before.  I loved Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway and I really loved that even though this was a much tougher subject she still managed to imbue a sense of humor throughout.  It was a really quick, cute read.

Emmy & Oliver

3. The Royal We by Heather Cocks, Jessica Morgan

I read this while on vacation last year and it was totally my kind of book.  Bex is an American going to school in London and she just happens to meet Prince Nicholas.  In fact, she starts dating him.  It’s a hefty book but it’s amazing from start to finish.  What girl doesn’t dream of meeting a prince and falling in love with him and becoming part of the royal family?  However, it’s not all perfect for Bex and Nick.  They have very realistic struggles and I think that’s what made me love this book even more than I already did.

The Royal We

4. The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy

I’ll admit that the cover might have been the initial draw for this one.  Once I stopped staring at it though and actually started the book, I loved it.  It’s one of my favorite new adult books even though it is quite predictable.  I really just loved the chemistry between the two main characters and the secondary characters were some of the best I’ve read.

The Deal

5. Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

I’m a big fan of all of Stacey Jay’s books and I feel like I don’t talk enough about any of them but especially this one.  Princess of Thorns follows Sleeping Beauty’s daughter and she is one fierce girl.  She’s disguised as a boy for most of the book so that she can rescue her brother and she acts more like a guy than a girl, at least for her time period.  She’s very independent, a little untrustworthy, but totally great.  She’s by far the best part about this book though I’m a fan of the rest of it too.

Princess of Thorns

6. Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross

This is another new adult book that I really didn’t talk about enough when I read it.  Just like The Deal, this one focuses on sports but in this case it’s baseball, not hockey.  Annie’s dad is the new pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals, making the rookie pitcher off limits to her.  That doesn’t stop them from having amazing chemistry, witty banter, and some steamy scenes!

Whatever Life Throws At You

7. #scandal by Sarah Ockler

I read this one months before it came out (I’m impatient when it comes to Sarah Ockler books) and because of that I think I didn’t really push it enough when it actually hit shelves.  It’s about Lucy who is in love with her best friend’s boyfriend and it turns out he just might feel the same way.  However, before they are able to let her know, it becomes public knowledge and Lucy is labeled a backstabber, a slut, and worse.  I love how Lucy handled things and the mystery of who was behind leaking her hook up with Cole.

scandal

8. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

The main character in Prisoner of Night and Fog, Gretchen, has grown up as part of the Nazi party, a favorite pet to Adolf Hitler.  She’s loyal to him and never questions him until she meets a young Jewish reporter who claims to know more about her father’s death than she does.  As she gets to know him and finds out more about what really happened, she becomes disillusioned with the Nazi party and Hitler and has to decide who she will ultimately side with.

Prisoner of Night and Fog

9. Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

Now that I think about this one, I really think I need to re-read it soon.  Ask Again Later is an extremely cute romantic comedy about a girl who receives two invites to the prom and flips a coin to see who she should go with.  The weird thing is though, when she flips the coin, she actually gets to live out both dates.  It’s extremely cute and so funny.

Ask Again Later

10. How To Love by Katie Cotugno

I know I talked about this one a lot when it first came out but it’s been a while so I wanted to include it.  How To Love is one of my favorite contemporary novels.  It’s more serious but it’s so cute.  It alternates between the past and present and I loved Reena and Sawyer the whole time.  I also loved Hannah, their daughter, and how she actually played a big role throughout the book.

How To Love

What are some of your favorite books that you don’t talk about enough?  Feel free to leave me your links!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Furious by T.R. Ragan | Book Spotlight + Giveaway

Furious

Synopsis: 

Faith McMann comes home to a nightmare: her husband is killed and her son and daughter are taken. Although the intruders leave her for dead, she survives. Crippling grief and fear for her children make life unbearable. Until her anguish turns to anger…and she trades victimhood for vengeance. Frustrated with the law’s efforts, she takes action to rescue her children—and wreaks havoc on the brutal criminals who tore them from her. With her family and newfound allies at her side, Faith descends into the hellish underworld of human trafficking, determined to make those who prey on the innocent pray for mercy. The forces she’s up against have already proven that their ruthlessness knows no bounds. And there’s nothing they won’t do to turn Faith’s crusade into a suicide mission. But they’re about to learn that nothing is more dangerous than a mother fighting for her children—especially one who’s earned the nickname Furious.

Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | The Book Depository

Author Bio: 

T.R. Ragan (Theresa Ragan) is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. Her exciting Lizzy Gardner series: Abducted, Dead Weight, A Dark Mind, Obsessed, Almost Dead, and Evil Never Dies, has received tremendous praise. In August 2015 Evil Never Dies hit #7 on the Wall Street Journal Bestselling List. Since publishing in 2011, she has sold over two million books and has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times, PC Magazine, Huffington Post, and Publishers Weekly. Theresa grew up in a family of five girls in Lafayette, California. An avid traveler, her wanderings have carried her to Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, China, Thailand, and Nepal, where she narrowly survived being chased by a killer elephant. Before devoting herself to writing fiction, she worked as a legal secretary for a large corporation. Theresa and her husband Joe have four children and live in Sacramento, California. FURIOUS, the first book in her most recent Faith McMann series will be released March 22, 2016, followed by OUTRAGE and WRATH.

Early Praise

“Faith McMann, heroine of this gripping novel, is a Sacramento schoolteacher, wife, and mother who comes home just in time to witness her husband’s throat getting cut and her two children hauled away. The attempt on her life is botched—the killers were in a hurry—and as she recovers, she’s convinced the police are brushing her off. So she whacks a detective with his computer keyboard and gets sentenced to anger management sessions. If this were a cookie-cutter thriller, the male hero would be tracking the killers with an automatic weapon and maybe a major babe beside him. But our hero is smarter than that, and her revenge is a product of relationships, not bullets. In classes, she meets other victims as angry as she is, and, together, in fine scenes of action and suspense, they seek explanations and vengeance as well as the children’s rescue, which takes them into a slimy world of human trafficking. Learn here about “lot lizards” and “kiddie strolls” on the way to a wild finale. Suspenseful and smart, in equal measure.” —Don Crinklaw, Booklist

“Searing…Readers with strong stomachs will eagerly await the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly

Giveaway

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Exciting Additions To My Shelves | March 19

Exciting AdditionsToMy Shelves

I haven’t been doing Stacking the Shelves posts anymore (I can’t keep up with all the books) but I do still want to share some of the books that have been added to my shelves lately.  This is my way of picking a few and letting you guys know what you should be on the lookout for!

Raw Blue by Kirsy Eagar

Raw Bluw

I’ve had this book on my wishlist for years but since it’s only published in Australia, it’s been a bit out of my price range.  Willa from Willa’s Ramblings was so kind as to send me her copy that she no longer needed.  I’ve heard it’s extremely emotional and amazingly written so I’m eager to check it out.

Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan

Julia Vanishes

This book holds some serious promise.  It’s got magic.  It’s about a girl who can appear invisible (kind of).  And the girl just happens to be a thief and a spy.  How awesome does that sound?

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Labyrinth Lost

Look at that cover!  It’s absolutely stunning.  I’m really hoping it hints at what’s between the pages.  This one has been described as a mix of Beautiful Creatures and Daughter of Smoke and Bone so I’m sold.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This Savage Song

A new book from Victoria Schwab?  Who wouldn’t be excited if this showed up on their doorstep?  I’ve already been hearing fabulous things about it so I hope to make time for it very soon.  The setting is compared to Gotham and it’s full of monsters.  Sounds pretty exciting to me.

What The Dead Want by Norah Olson

What The Dead Want

The cover and title definitely intrigue me with this one.  It’s about a girl whose mom goes missing and years later her daughter discovers that it might have something to do with a crumbling Civil War era mansion that she has inherited.  It’s full of secrets about violence and racism and seems like it could be really creepy.

Are any of these on your TBR?  Which one are you most excited for?

Friday, March 18, 2016

How do you make time to read? | Discussion

You guys know what this is?  The first discussion post I have written in ages.  Topics are hard for me to come up with but this one has definitely been on my mind for a while.

Most of you probably don’t know this but I got a new job back in January.  The first month was a lot of learning and a lot of stressful days.  It slowed down a bit in February but I was just recently given some more work to do and now my days are just packed.  I come home and I’m so tired that I don’t want to do anything.  Never mind the fact that I’m trying to get back in the habit of going to the gym.  Needless to say, there isn’t a lot of free time in my life to read and let me just tell you, that sucks.

I’ve been trying to think of ways to make time to read and short of adding more hours to the day (or just not sleeping) I haven’t really come up with any.  I used to read before bed but now I’m so exhausted that any time I try to do that, I fall asleep.  I try to read at the gym but it’s kinda hard to run on a treadmill and keep the page in focus.  Really, I’m just struggling here.

However, I have been testing out new things and I’ve found some things that work for me.

Ipod

First, I shut off all electronic devices (unless it’s my ipod) and put them in another room so I’m not even tempted by them.  I don’t want my notifications popping up and distracting me all the time.  I also find that if I put on some movie soundtracks (I love the Harry Potter film scores) I can really focus on the book I’m reading and get out of my own head.  Sometimes I spend so much time thinking about other things that I should be doing that I find myself reading the same sentence over and over again without taking in a word of it.  Music surprisingly helps with that.

schedule

Second, I give myself a schedule.  I work from 7 to 4 every day and I’m usually home no later than 5.  I go the gym for an hour and when I get home I can read.  I set aside 1 hour reading time and if I can get in more than that, great, but if not, at least I’ve got that hour.  Sometimes I do take breaks for snacks or whatever and get a little distracted but most of the time I can at least read for 45 minutes of the hour.

bigstock_Audio_book_14340599-e1330386218724

Third, I’ve learned that audiobooks are great for driving or for the gym.  I can’t focus on them if I’m doing anything super productive (like cleaning) but if I’m just driving to or from work or hanging out on the treadmill, they are perfect.  I still don’t like them all that much but I’m trying.  I feel like I just haven’t found the right narrator yet.  I’ve heard that the narrator for the Harry Potter audiobooks is fabulous so maybe I’ll re-read those a different way this year.  (Yes, I try and re-read them at least once a year.  I don’t see this as a problem.)

books

Last, I have found that I have to have something interesting to read.  I tried to force myself to read a book that I just wasn’t feeling and it really made me not want to read at all.  I put that book aside, picked up a different one, and now I’m hooked.  I want to make time to read this one, unlike the last one I was trying to read.  A good book can make all the difference in whether or not you feel in the mood to read.

What do you guys do when you find that you don’t have a whole lot of time to read?  Do you stay up later than normal so you can at least read a chapter a day?  Do you do the audiobook thing and if so, who is your favorite narrator?  How do you feel about music while reading?  

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Blog Tour: The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters | Review + GiveawayThe Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters
Published by Amulet Books on March 8th 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.

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The Steep and Thorny Way is my first foray into Cat Winters’ work but it won’t be my last.  While the Hamlet retelling aspect of this one was what first caught my attention, it was Cat Winters’ writing that kept it.  I’ll hold out judgment until I can read at least one more of her books but I think she may earn a place on my favorites shelf.

Pros:

  • The writing: As I said, the writing definitely got me with this one.  The Steep and Thorny Way is historical fiction with a twist and Cat’s writing is perfect for this type of story.  It’s atmospheric and haunting.  The story itself was extremely interesting and I was hooked for that aspect but the writing definitely added to my enjoyment.
  • The history: I’m a huge history buff and I loved that Cat Winters didn’t choose the typical 1920s to portray.  The Steep and Thorny Way shows a darker side of the 1920s and it’s not always easy to read.  And while it is very much fiction, Cat Winters did a great job making her story as accurate as possible.  She doesn’t shy away from the reality that would have been Hanalee’s life as a mixed race teenager in that time period.
  • Hanalee: Hanalee certainly had her flaws but I really liked her overall.  She reminded me a lot of myself in some of the things that she did.  I felt that I could relate to her, even though our situations are nothing alike.  She was strong and capable but she didn’t always think things through before acting.  I couldn’t fault her for that but sometimes I could see how things would happen because of her actions.

Cons:

  • The other characters: I was not a huge fan of any of the other characters.  While I felt like I could relate to Hanalee, she was the only one I felt that way about.  Everyone else needed to be a bit more rounded out and I felt like I never really got to know or like them.
  • The retelling aspect: I love Hamlet.  I took a Shakespeare class in high school and college and I’ve loved everything I’ve read by him but especially Hamlet.  I feel like saying this is a retelling was a little bit misleading.  There were definitely things about it that tied back to Hamlet but I would say it was more inspired by Hamlet than a retelling.

Overall, The Steep and Thorny Way really did impress me.  I love that I have found a new author that I feel can do the historical fiction genre justice.  I look forward to checking out the rest of her books and if you haven’t already, this one is definitely a good place to start.

Giveaway

5 US readers have a chance to win their own copy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!

Week One:

2/29/2016- Adventures of a Book Junkie Interview
3/1/2016- The Forest of Words and Pages Review
3/2/2016- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post
3/3/2016- A Dream Within A Dream Review
3/4/2016- Stories & Sweeties– Excerpt

Week Two:

3/7/2016- Jessabella Reads Review
3/8/2016- Bookish Lifestyle– Guest Post
3/9/2016- Katie’s Book Blog- Review
3/10/2016- The Fox’s Hideaway– Interview
3/11/2016- MEREADALOT– Review

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Blog Tour: A Tyranny of Petticoats | Guest Post

I don’t know if you guys have noticed but my rating system is shoes.  I have a thing for shoes.  (Some might call it an unhealthy obsession and those people are entitled to their wrong opinion.)  My love for shoes means I’m extremely excited to share with you this awesome guest post from Jessica Spotswood that just happens to be all about shoes!

Everyone welcome to wonderful Jessica Spotswood!

 

Hi! I couldn’t help noticing that Katie uses shoes to rate books, so I thought for this stop on the TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS blog tour, I’d share some crazy historical shoes that our 15 heroines might – or in some cases definitely would NOT – have worn!

In J. Anderson Coats’s “Mother Carey’s Table,” a runaway slave girl poses as a sailor boy – but the truth is exposed, with devastating consequences, when she tries to sink the Spanish warship threatening her crew (1710: British North America)

1

Would these men’s boots, circa 1700-1710, help convince Half-Hanged Henry (the pirate captain) that Joe is a boy?

 

In Marie Lu’s “The Journey,” Yakone, a young Inuit girl, flees across the frozen tundra after the murder of her parents and the destruction of her family’s village by white traders. (1723: The Great Land)

2

These European shoes from 1720 are made of wool, but I don’t think they’d be nearly warm (or practical) enough as Yakone drives her father’s dogs across the frozen tundra!

 

In Jessica Spotswood’s “Madeleine’s Choice,” a free girl of color seeks advice from voodoo queen Marie Laveau to choose between the longtime family friend, a respectable middle class man of color, who has offered her marriage — and the romantic, wealthy white planter who cannot. (1826: New Orleans)

3

These red French satin shoes from the 1820s would definitely turn Maddie’s head, much like wealthy planter Antoine!

 

In Leslye Walton’s “El Destinos,” the Three Fates are reborn as a trio of Mexican American sisters whose responsibility to control the threads of life and death is tested when two of them fall in love with the same man. (1848: Southwest Texas)

4

Would these delicate Italian slippers, made of silk satin, sueded leather, linen, kid leather, brass, and pearls, be something like what Rosa would wear for her wedding?

 

In Andrea Cremer’s “High Stakes,” a supernatural assassin is hired to protect a powerful player in the poker game that will determine which side the supernatural world will take in the Civil War. (1861: Boston, Massachusetts, and Natchez, Mississippi)

5

How gorgeous are these red leather boots from around 1865? I can picture deadly Klio wearing them as she boards the steamship.

 

In Caroline Tung Richmond’s “The Red Raven Ball,” a bluestocking debutante is tasked with finding the Confederate spy at her formidable grandmother’s annual ball – with surprising results. (1862: Washington, DC)

6

These gorgeous embroidered slippers from the 1860s would be perfect for the annual ball!

 

In Beth Revis’s “Pearls,” a privileged young woman flees a forced marriage to become a schoolteacher in the rough Wyoming Territory and learns courage from her ragtag band of students.  (1876: Chicago, Illinois, and Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory)

7

These bright purple “boudoir slippers” from the 1870s were basically loungewear. Would Helen leave behind fancy shoes like this when she flees Chicago?

 

In Marissa Meyer’s “Gold in the Roots of the Grass,” Fei-Yen, a Chinese American medium, helps a young prospector’s spirit find justice for his murder. (1877: Deadwood, Dakota Territory)

8

Would Fei-Yen wear black boots like these from the 1870s as she tries to fend off greedy prospectors hoping for clues about where to find gold?

 

In Y.S. Lee’s “The Legendary Garrett Girls,” two sisters fight back against the unscrupulous con man, Soapy Smith, who tries to take over their prosperous frontier saloon. (1898: Skaguay, Alaska)

9

Okay, I don’t see either Lily or Clara wearing these fabulous gold evening shoes from 1898…but they seem perfect to represent the story, considering how mad people went in the Alaskan Gold Rush!

 

In Elizabeth Wein’s “The Color of the Sky,” Antonia meets her hero, aviatrix Bessie Coleman; bears witness to Bessie’s death in a tragic flying accident; and finds herself in possession of the plane’s flight record. (1926: Jacksonville, FL & Dallas, TX)

10

I can’t quite see sensible middle-class Tony wearing these black and gold heels from 1926, but perhaps Bessie would at some fine dinner, while fundraising for her flight school?

 

In Saundra Mitchell’s “Bonnie and Clyde, ” Marjorie May Johnson doesn’t see any conflict in running from the law as Baby Boy Wabash, the Most Wanted bank robber in Posey County, and later snuggling up to the same lawman, who just happens to be her beau. (1934: Indiana)

11

Great Depression? What Depression, asks these crazy Ferragamo sandals from 1938?

12

…I don’t even know what’s happening with these furry Schiaparelli boots but I couldn’t resist including them.

 

In Katherine Longshore’s “Hard Times,” Rosie “Curls” Weaver hops trains toward the coast in search of a better opportunity – and may find one when she meets a journalist searching for the truth about hobo camps. (1934: Washington State)

13

Would Rosie wear this pair of men’s black and white brogues, circa 1930-1935, as she jumps trains?

 

In Lindsay Smith’s “City of Angels,” an aspiring screenwriter falls in love with a fellow Rosie the Riveter who’s an aspiring actress – but things change when the men return from war. (1945: Los Angeles, CA)

14

How gorgeous are these purple silk heels from 1945? I can totally see aspiring actress Frankie coveting them!

 

In Kekla Magoon’s “Pulse of the Panthers,” Sandy’s worldview is changed when the Black Panthers hold a meeting at her family’s farm and she learns secrets about her own family’s history. (1967: California)

15

These…uh…whimsical sandals from 1968 are in no way practical for Sandy’s work cooking up breakfast and supper for the Black Panthers, but I couldn’t resist including them!

16

Same with these, but I’d totally wear them!

 

In Robin Talley’s “The Whole World Is Watching,” Jill, a Black college student, questions her relationship with her girlfriend as they get caught up in the riots and police brutality of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.  (1968: Chicago, IL)

17

These 1968 boots are fit for a superhero, but I don’t think they’re quiiiite what Jill would be wearing to run from the cops and tear gas in Grant Park!

 

What do you think, readers? Which pair of shoes is your favorite?

Make sure to check out the rest of the blog tour for more amazing posts!

March 8 Katie’s Book Blog www.katiesbookblog.com
March 9 The Book Cellar X http://www.thebookcellarx.com/
March 10 Forever Young Adult http://foreveryoungadult.com/
March 11 The Book Smugglers www.thebooksmugglers.com
March 12 Please Feed the Bookworm

http://pleasefeedthebookworm.com/

 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Blog Tour: Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer | Review + GiveawaySave Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer
Published by Delacorte Press on March 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

What if you discovered that Kurt Cobain is not only alive, but might be your real father? This nuanced and bittersweet YA debut will keep you guessing until the end.

Nico Cavan has been adrift since her mother vanished when she was four—maternal abandonment isn't exactly something you can just get over. Staying invisible at school is how she copes—that and listening to alt music and summoning spirits on the Ouija board with her best friend and co-conspirator in sarcasm, Obe. But when a chance discovery opens a window onto her mom's wild past, it sparks an idea in her brain that takes hold and won't let go.

On a ferry departing Seattle, Nico encounters a slight blond guy with piercing blue eyes wearing a hooded jacket. Something in her heart tells her that this feeling she has might actually be the truth, so she follows him to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest. When she is stranded there by a winter storm, fear and darkness collide, and the only one who can save Nico might just be herself.

picadillyblue

Save Me, Kurt Cobain is one of those books that popped up on my radar and I added it to my TBR without even really knowing what to expect from it.  I can’t tell you how many times I read the synopsis and I still didn’t know what I was getting into.  I don’t know if that made any difference on my feelings for the book but either way, I devoured it.

Pros:

  • The writing: Jenny Manzer’s writing style engaged me from the very first page.  While contemporary is my favorite genre, I understand that it can be slower to get into sometimes.  The story itself caught my attention, for sure, but Jenny Manzer’s way of telling the story is what really hooked me.
  • The music: If you didn’t already figure this out, Save Me, Kurt Cobain, has quite a few music references.  Each title is named after a Nirvana song and while I actually am not a huge Nirvana fan (don’t hate me!), I really enjoyed this aspect.  Jenny Manzer also managed to include a lot of actual Nirvana facts and events while keeping a lot of things fictional.  Music is a huge part of my life so the way it was woven into this story really appealed to me and helped keep me interested.
  • The mystery: There are a lot of questions brought up early on in Save Me, Kurt Cobain.  Who is Nico’s dad? Is it Kurt Cobain?  Is Kurt Cobain alive?  Nico manages to weave this crazy tale of what might have happened to her mother all based on the idea that Kurt Cobain is her father.  Jenny Manzer uses this and keeps readers guessing until the very last page.
  • Nico: Nico was my favorite part of Save Me, Kurt Cobain.  My heart went out to her.  She manages to come up with this crazy conspiracy theory to explain away the fact that she doesn’t know who her dad is and her mom abandoned her.  She’s lost and confused and alone and this is what she does to try and cope with all that.  I’ve never gone through an experience like that but I really think that everyone who reads Nico’s story will love her.
  • Everything!: I admit that I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately and haven’t really wanted to read anything.  Save Me, Kurt Cobain fixed that.  This was one of the rare books I’ve read where I honestly couldn’t find anything wrong with it.  I loved Jenny Manzer’s writing, Nico’s story, the Nirvana history, every last thing.

Save Me, Kurt Cobain has a little something for everyone.  It’s one of those books that once you start, you’re not going to be able to put it down.  Jenny Manzer’s debut impressed me enough that I will definitely be checking out more from this author in the future.

Giveaway

US & Canada readers have a chance to win one of three copies of Save Me, Kurt Cobain.  Believe me, this is one you want to win!

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