Friday, April 7, 2017

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig | Review

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig | ReviewLast Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
Published by Feiwel & Friends on October 4th 2016
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January's boyfriend, he must know something.
But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

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I have a new favorite mystery.  Last Seen Leaving wasn’t even really on my radar until Angie from Lady Knight Reads told me to pick it up.  I’m so glad I listened to her.  Last Seen Leaving, Caleb Roehrig’s debut novel, is one of those books that I’m going to be pushing on everyone now.

Pros:

  • Flynn: Characters can really break or make a mystery novel.  If your characters are boring and straightforward, you’re going to be able to guess what happened right from the start.  Lucky for readers, there is not a single boring or straightforward character in Last Seen Leaving.  Flynn Doherty, main character and ex-boyfriend of January, is perfection.  I can’t honestly tell you everything it is that I love about him because there is too much.  I went through a myriad of emotions alongside Flynn.  It was so easy to see how much he cared for January and not knowing what happened to her really tore him up.  He was so confused by everything going on in his life.  He had no aspirations towards being a detective but he was unwilling to let January’s disappearance go unsolved.  He was tenacious and rather fierce when it was called for.  He was so loyal and he did not take his friendships lightly.
  • January: You never actually see January except in flashbacks from Flynn’s perspective.  She’s very much a mystery.  Flynn sees her one way and only starts to realize that there was much more to her once she has gone missing.  It’s hard to say what January was really like though because she put on a different face for every person in her life.  I think it’s part of what made her disappearance so intriguing and unsolvable.  Nobody knew the real January except for January.
  • Mystery: Like I said, this is one mystery that I could not solve.  Sure I could figure out little pieces of it but there was always much more to it.  Flynn didn’t really have a clue what he was doing when it came to solving the mystery but he was willing to try anything to find out what happened to January.  Because of that, he tended to stumble upon things that other people overlooked.  He was a little clueless at times and there were times when I wanted to knock some sense into him but he really was a pretty good detective.
  • Romance: The romance in Last Seen Leaving was really very subtle and well done.  Flynn obviously had a lot on his plate with January’s disappearance but he ended up getting help from an unexpected source.  Kaz was a coworker of January’s who really only offered to help Flynn because he considered January a friend.  They got off to a rocky start but Kaz and Flynn were pretty perfect together.  Theirs was not a relationship that just popped up overnight though.  They both had way too much going on to just jump into things and they really didn’t know each other.  I liked seeing them get to know each other and build upon their blossoming friendship.

Overall, Last Seen Leaving is an impressive debut from Caleb Roehrig.  I’m excited to see what is next from him!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blog Tour: High School Horror + Giveaway

Blog Tour: High School Horror + Giveaway

Blog Tour: High School Horror + GiveawayTeen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 12th 2016
Genres: Horror
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

High school meets classic horror in this groundbreaking new series.

It was a dark and stormy night when Tor Frankenstein accidentally hit someone with her car. And killed him. But all is not lost--Tor, being the scientific genius she is, brings him back to life...

Thus begins a twisty, turn-y take on a familiar tale, set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying.

Hey guys! I’m super excited to be part of the High School Horror blog tour for Chandler Baker’s new novel, Teen Frankenstein.  I’ve got an awesome guest post from one of the team members over at Macmillan and stick around until the end to win a copy of the book.

 

High School Horror Guest Post

 

This is a cautionary tale about underage drinking. I’m not referring to the associated health risks, driving dangers, and potential negative impact on grades. I’m referring to the potential to embarrass yourself in the WORST WAY HUMANLY POSSIBLE.

I did not grow up in a family where alcohol was a major part of family gatherings. My primary knowledge of alcohol in any capacity was based on Donna Martin’s ill-fated experience at the prom on 90210. So when I went to the sleepover at my new friend Alice’s and someone brought out a giant bottle of (what I now know to have been) extremely cheap gin, I had no idea what to do with it. I just knew that it was ninth grade, these were new friends, and I wanted to seem cool.

And it turned out that these friends weren’t actually much more daring than me- they wanted to ‘live on the edge’ by drinking gin too, but also didn’t know what to do with it. I did vaguely recall (from Snoop Dogg) that gin was supposed to be mixed with juice, so I grabbed a bottle of fruit punch and decided to take over as chief mixologist. Except I didn’t realize that the ratio of alcohol to mixer was NOT supposed to be 1:1. And I poured each of us a glass that was exactly one half gin, and one half punch. And then we drank them.

At first, it was all fun and games and sing-alongs. And then we started talking about crushes. And when I confessed mine (Alex Green),  I learned that he happened to work at a crab shack that was walking distance from Alice’s house. You see where this is going…

We decided to sneak out and walk (stumble) to the crab shack, in hopes that he’d be finishing his shift. What we actually expected to accomplish was a bit unclear (as are my memories of that night), but I believe the end goal was for us to fall in love. And as luck would have it, he WAS there, and he was just getting ready to ride his bike home when we approached. He looked at us as if he was wondering what we were doing there and then suddenly, my friends were gone. They’d left me there alone (in reality, they were hiding behind an SUV, giggling at me). I opened my mouth to attempt to spit some game…and that’s when it happened. Full-on, projectile vomit. The kind you don’t even see coming, so you can’t find a covert way to do it. And thanks to the laws of science, it landed ALL OVER poor Alex Green, who was horrified, and who avoided me the entire remaining time we were in high school.

So there you have it, kids. Not only is underage drinking foolish for any number of other reasons, it can also kill your game…forever.

Author Links/Info

Add High School Horror: Teen Frankenstein to your to-read list on Goodreads.

Join in on social media with #HighSchoolHorror

Visit Chandler’s website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram!

Full Blog Tour Schedule
11-Jan
Fierce Reads
12-Jan Good Books and Good Wine
13-Jan Jana’s Book List
14-Jan Booki Emoji
15-Jan Sci Fi Chick
16-Jan Novel Novice
17-Jan Word Spelunking
18-Jan XPresso Reads
19-Jan Working for the Mandroid
20-Jan Katie’s Book Blog

Giveaway

One US/CA reader will win a copy of Teen Frankenstein

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Fairest (Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer | Review

Fairest (Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer | ReviewFairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5) by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 27th 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 222
Format: Hardcover
Source: BEA
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

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Oh gosh where do I even begin with this review?  I’m a huge fan of the whole Lunar Chronicles series and I will say that I’m also a fan of Fairest but it’s really hard for me to put it into words.  Whereas I adored the rest of the series for the amazing characters and fast paced storyline full of twists and turns, I loved Fairest for the depth it gave to such a terrifying villain.  I’m still quite horrified by what I just read and I don’t think that will go away for quite some time.

Levana is the evil queen of Luna.  From the time I first read Cinder, I knew I would never like her.  Unlike with other villains (think The Darkling), Levana really has nothing to endear her to readers.  She’s just plain nuts and she has been from the start.  Sure she went through some horrifying things in her childhood but I have a feeling she was messed up even before all those things went down.  I admit that I read Winter before reading Fairest so some things that maybe would have been revealed for the first time in Fairest were actually already revealed to me in Winter.  I didn’t mind that at all though because those things were shown with more detail in Fairest than in Winter.

I’m not sure why I thought Fairest was going to make me feel sympathy towards Levana but it definitely did not do that.  In fact, it actually made me dislike her even more which I wasn’t sure was possible.  Levana suffered at the hands of her sister, Channary, and from what little I saw of their parents, they didn’t seem to be much better.  She never knew love from anyone in her family and when it came to romantic love, she didn’t have a clue what it entailed.  She was more obsessed with Evret Hayle than in love with him and she was never able to see that.  She was so delusional.  Everything she did, she did for herself.  She wanted adoration from her subjects but she went about obtaining that adoration in all the wrong ways.

I think the only thing I got joy out of in Fairest were the interactions between Celene and Winter.  There is mention in Winter of them being friends as young children and I really liked seeing that friendship in Fairest.  Obviously Selene was very young when Levana attempted to kill her so she and Winter didn’t have a ton of time to become friends but since they were pretty much raised together, they became fast friends.  They were adorable together and it broke my heart knowing that they didn’t get to spend nearly enough time together or grow up together like they should have.

Also, Levana’s husband, Evret Hayle, is mentioned in the other books in the series and from those few mentions, I expected some great romance and a man that could see past her craziness to the woman underneath.  Early on in Fairest I realized that was totally not the case.  Levana had no qualms manipulating Kai because she didn’t know love and she wasn’t looking for it.  That’s made pretty obvious early on in Fairest.

Overall, Fairest is just plain crazy and I loved it.  Marissa Meyer has been a favorite author of mine for quite some time but she really impressed me with this addition to the Lunar Chronicles.  It takes talent to get inside the mind of a person like Levana and I feel like she didn’t take away from the rest of the series.  Levana is still the villain and that’s pretty clear in Fairest.  It’s just a more in depth look at the villain we’ve come to know and hate.

What others are saying about Fairest:

Butterflies of the Imagination’s review: “Seriously. It’s only further proof that Marissa Meyer has a way with words that can’t be beat.”

Nice Girls Read Books’ review: “Fairest added so much more depth to Luna, Levana, Winter and even Cinder (we get to see baby Selene!) and I can’t wait to read the final instalment in this series now!”