Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Blog Tour: The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1) by Melinda Salisbury | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1) by Melinda Salisbury | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1) by Melinda Salisbury | Review + GiveawayThe Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Series: The Sin Eater's Daughter #1
Published by Scholastic on February 24, 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

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The Sin Eater’s Daughter was one of those books that I’d heard nothing but good things about.  Needless to say, my expectations were pretty high.  While I wasn’t quite as blown away as I’d hoped, I was definitely impressed with Melinda Salisbury’s debut novel.

Twylla possessed the ability to kill people with a single touch, making her extremely valuable to the rulers of her kingdom.  She was used as a weapon by the king and queen but also betrothed to their son, Merek.  While she was an asset to the kingdom, she was not treated as such.  She was very much alone among the other royals.  Her guards were the closest thing to friends that she had.  Her life was very solitary and kind of depressing.

Twylla was a weak point for me.  She was quite naive.  She didn’t question her abilities, how she got them, why she got them, or how they worked.  She accepted what the king and queen told her, even when things didn’t always add up.  Enter Lief, Twylla’s new guard from another kingdom.  He treated her as a person rather than a tool.  He made her question everything she had known.  He changed her and I liked the side of her that he brought out.  Of course Merek was still in the picture but he took a backseat to Lief in the romance department.  Major love triangle in The Sin Eater’s Daughter but I truly don’t know how I feel about this one.  Lief and Merek both had secrets but they both were good fits for Twylla, in different ways.

The lore throughout the book was definitely the best part.  The history of the kingdom as well as the whole world was so thought out and extensive.  The practice of sin eating was extremely interesting.  There wasn’t a whole lot about sin eating at first but it does come into play later in the story.  There is also a fairytale that comes into play closer to the end of the story and it blew my mind when everything came together.

I feel like I’m not doing a good job playing up how good The Sin Eater’s Daughter was.  There is romance, betrayal, folklore, mystery, and so much more.  It’s an interesting start to a new fantasy series.  The cliffhanger ending kind of killed me and I’m definitely going to continue this series.

Overall, fantasy fans should check out The Sin Eater’s Daughter.  Melinda Salisbury shows real talent with her debut novel.

What others are saying about The Sin Eater’s Daughter:

Jess Hearts Books’ review: “The Sin Eater’s Daughter was a rich mystery driven Fantasy that’s sure to keep readers enthralled with its surprising twists and unique world.”

Woven Magic’s review: “I like my fantasys with take charge heroines, magic and battles and political plots, but for a fantasy romance this was good. (and there was plenty of conniving by bad guys.)”

Fiction Freak’s review: “Read this. Seriously. Honestly. Read The Sin Eater’s Daughter and you won’t regret it.”

 

Melinda

About Melinda:

Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles, non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian. The Sin Eater’s Daughter is her first novel, and will be published by Scholastic in 2015. She is represented by the amazing Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge and White.

She tweets. A lot.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest

Giveaway!

5 winners will receive copies of The Sin Eater’s Daughter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Week One:

2/16/2015- Fiktshun– Interview

2/17/2015- Katie’s Book Blog– Review

2/18/2015- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads– Guest Post

2/19/2015- Beauty and the Bookshelf– Review

2/20/2015- Novel Novice– Interview

Week Two:

2/23/2015- Fiction Fare– Review

2/24/2015- Supernatural Snark– Guest Post

2/25/201- YA Bibliophile– Review

2/26/2015- Dark Faerie Tales– Interview

2/27/2015- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post

Friday, February 6, 2015

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewBlue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #3
Published by Scholastic on October 21, 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 391
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

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Does it come as any surprise that I absolutely adored Blue Lily, Lily Blue? If it does, you probably haven’t read my reviews of The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves so you should probably stop reading this and check those out first.

I’d heard there was a cliffhanger at the end of Blue Lily, Lily Blue so I was pretty on edge throughout the whole book. (Don’t worry; it’s not a bad cliffhanger.) There were so many twists and turns in Blue Lily, Lily Blue, I just couldn’t keep up. I never once was able to predict what was going to happen next. That’s always been one of the things I love most about Maggie Stiefvater’s books and it was no exception with this one.

The characters have grown on me since the first book and I’ve come to love them all but I still can’t predict a single thing they are going to do. All of them managed to piss me off at least once throughout the book but I love them even more now, especially Adam. Adam has been the hardest for me to like throughout the series but I finally felt like I could understand where he was coming from with this book. He’s still not my favorite of the Raven boys but I like him a lot more now than I used to.

The story develops a lot more in Blue Lily, Lily Blue than in any of the other books. The Raven boys and Blue finally make some progress on their quest to find Glendower but they find more problems as well. Their quest is not a simple one and every bit of progress they make seems to be hindered by something. I’m not sure how things are going to end in the next (and final) book but I’m eager to see how Maggie Stiefvater ties things up.

Overall, Blue Lily, Lily Blue just blew me out of the water. I was expecting something amazing and I definitely got that. I wish I didn’t have to wait for the final book but I know there are plenty other readers out there anxiously awaiting it with me.

What others are saying about Blue Lily, Lily Blue:

There Were Books Involved’s review: “Maggie Stiefvater makes you believe in magic.”

Not Yet Read’s review: “The group as a whole do have some pretty tense moments, odd discoveries and of course two major breakthroughs in this installment and the way it ends did indeed leave me eager for the next book, I just didn’t feel that this one was as gripping or strong as the previous two books which I loved.”

Wrapped Up In Books’ review: “This series is undoubtedly one of my absolute favorites, and I am eagerly awaiting not only the series finale, but re-reading it and listening to the complete audiobooks (the narration has been excellent).”

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewThe Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #2
Published by Scholastic on September 17, 2013
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

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Maggie Stiefvater has never suffered from second book syndrome and that is still the case with The Dream Thieves. I was surprised to find myself enjoyed The Dream Thieves even more than I enjoyed The Raven Boys. This book truly took things to the next level.

The hunt is still on for Glendower but this time there are new players in the game and Glendower isn’t the only one being hunted.  Ronan’s ability is worth more than he ever could have known and he’s only just learning how it works.  There are people out there who know about the ability and would do whatever it takes to take control of it.  Not only that, Ronan is also learning that he may not be the only one who possesses the ability to take things from dreams and he starts to wonder what exactly has been taken from dreams and what is real.

The characters really start to change in The Dream Thieves.  I honestly wasn’t sure who I liked anymore.  Gansey was still Gansey but he starting being a lot wiser and more introspective.  Adam changed the most and I wasn’t impressed with the changes.  His anger started coming out a lot more and he was downright rude to Blue and his other friends.  I still felt bad for him because of his history and how it affected him but it was still no excuse.  Blue finally started to see that she wasn’t being fair to herself or to Adam and I was proud of her for that.  The prophecy about her true love really started to come into play in The Dream Thieves.  Blue is a strong girl but there were times when she broke down and I loved her even more for that.  Then there was Ronan.  I didn’t love him in the first book but I sure do now.  That boy is so twisted up inside.  I felt horrible for everything he’d been through but I was so happy to see how things were starting to change for him.  He showed the  most growth and development of anyone in The Dream Thieves.  The glances into his past also helped bring me around to see his side of things.

The story went places I never expected it to go.  I haven’t been able to predict a single thing about this series.  Every little detail somehow ties together into the bigger picture.  Readers can tell that everything is leading up to something big but I have no clue how the story will get there or what’s going to happen once it does get there.  Also, it’s impossible to tell who is good and who is bad and who does bad things just because they have to.  Each and every character is so complex and has a story all their own.  Good luck trying to figure anything out about this story or the characters.

Overall, The Dream Thieves continues the epicness (new word!) that is the Raven Cycle.  I’m excited to dive into Blue Lily, Lily Blue and see where Maggie Stiefvater takes Blue and her boys next.

What others are saying about The Dream Thieves:

The Streetlight Reader’s review: “The magic of The Raven Boys was lost in this book and the characters I had come to love were no longer present in this book.”

Starlight Book Reviews’ review: “While I missed the heaviness of the first book, it was still appropriate given the focus on Ronan and his progression and revelations.”

Wrapped Up In Books’ review: ” I highly recommend reading it one sitting (or as few as possible) so you can completely immerse yourself in the world and the writing.”

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Published by Scholastic on September 18, 2012
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

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I feel like at this point anything I say about The Raven Boys and Maggie Stiefvater will just be reiteration.  I adore her writing and The Raven Boys is probably the best thing she’s written so far.  And I can say that because I’ve read all her other books.

Where do I start with this one?  There was honestly not a single thing about it that I didn’t like.  The characters, the writing, the setting, the story, every last thing about it was completely perfect.  I’ve always had a bit of an issue getting into Maggie Stiefvater’s books because while her writing is gorgeous it is a little weighty at times.  I didn’t find myself having that issue with The Raven Boys.  The story was so captivating that I was hooked from the very start.

The characters in The Raven Boys are some of the quirkiest characters I have ever read about and I mean that in the best possible way.  Blue and her family are psychics.  Well, technically Blue’s family is full of psychics, she just has this weird power to amplify all their supernatural energy.  Growing up in her family made Blue far from normal and she loved to seek out other things and people that were not exactly normal.  I loved that about her.  Her family cracked me up.  Maura was a very chill mom but she definitely looked out for her daughter.  Calla was volatile but fun.  Persephone was just plain odd.  As for Neeve, she was a mystery.  To be honest, all of Blue’s family was a bit of a mystery.

As for the Raven Boys, I honestly don’t know which one I love the most.  Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah were all such intricate, amazing characters.  Gansey was a little entitled but he meant well most of the time.  Ronan was a badass but I loved him.  He definitely had some attitude problems but he intrigued me from the start.  Adam was such a sweetheart and my heart broke for him.  Noah was a bit of a mystery but he was such a cutie.  They were a group of guys I never would have expected to be friends but they all worked together.

The story was so intricate and I never had a clue what was going to happen next.  There is mythology mixed in and magic and romance and so many awesome things I couldn’t help but love.  The Welsh mythology about Owen Glendower was something I knew nothing about and while there wasn’t a whole lot of information about it, it added just another great layer to the story.

Overall, The Raven Boys deserves every bit of hype that it has gotten so far.  I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to read it but I’m also sad that I don’t have all the books in the series to devour in one epic binge-reading session.

What others are saying about The Raven Boys:

Writer of Wrongs’ review: “Characters is how Stiefvater won me over, and characters is how she earned my heart, and Gansey characters is why I neeeeeed the sequel nowwwwww.”

Oh, The Books!’ review: “As if the plot wasn’t enough to keep me going, this book has some great characters.”

The Great Noveling Adventure’s review: “Though Raven Boys seems to be marketed toward the plotline about Blue and the fate of her true love, it’s the quest and characters that carry the story.”

Friday, December 26, 2014

Sinner (Wolves of Mercy Falls #4) by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

Sinner (Wolves of Mercy Falls #4) by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewSinner by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls #4
Published by Scholastic on July 1, 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 357
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?

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I’m not usually excited when I hear that an author is continuing a series that has already ended.  That was not the case with Maggie Stiefvater and Sinner.  Sinner is a standalone companion novel to the Wolves of Mercy Falls series featuring everyone’s favorite bad boy, Cole St. Clair.  Who wouldn’t want to read this?

This truly is a companion novel to the Wolves of Mercy Falls series.  Cole is the focus of Sinner and it’s not set in Mercy Falls.  Sure, you get a glimpse of some of the Mercy Falls characters (such as Sam and Grace) but they only play a minor role in the story.  Everything is all about Cole and Isabel this time around.  Since they were two of my favorites from the original series I was more than happy with this set up.

Cole is a self-destructive nightmare who decides it would be a good idea to sign up for a reality TV show that is known for pushing it’s stars over the edge.  He’s got a lot of people in his life who want to see him succeed but he still has a lot of people who want to see him fail.  Honestly, it’s hard to tell which side of the spectrum Cole himself is on.  Cole’s life has always been messed up and adding the whole wolf bit in only pushed him further.  There are times when you can see that he’s trying to change but it’s not often.  He’s still got this inner bad boy who just wants to screw things up.  That includes his relationship with Isabel.

Isabel is a strong female character, just like all of Maggie Steievater’s female characters.  Isabel was always one of my favorites from the Wolves of Mercy Falls series because she was strong with sacrificing her vulnerability.  Her past seriously messed her up but it made her into a fabulous woman.  She and Cole had many issues they had to work through in Sinner but I loved seeing how they had both matured and wanted to work through these issues.  Although, not always.  They definitely still had some communication problems at times.

Reading from both Cole’s and Isabel’s points-of-view allow readers to see how alike the two characters are.  They are both a little volatile, very outspoken, completely messed up, and quite honestly, in love with each other.  To truly appreciate their relationship though you do need to have read the previous three Wolves of Mercy Falls books.  Otherwise it might seem a little bit too fast.

The writing is typical Maggie Stiefvater and by that I mean amazing.  Even if her stories completely sucked (which they totally don’t) her writing would keep bringing me back anyway.  Since the story itself isn’t all that action packed, the writing helped make up for it.

Overall, Sinner is the exception to the rule of continuing finished series.  I love how Maggie Stiefvater ended Cole and Isabel’s story.  I am a completely satisfied reader and I think other fans of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series will be too.

What others are saying about Sinner:

Not Yet Read’s review: “We’re all a little bit broken and this novel lets you see those beautifully broken bits about the characters and how they strive towards mending themselves and how more often than not you need to allow others in to help with the mending.”

The Cait Files’ review: “Cole and Isabel are electric and the story evoked nostalgia and a whole host of emotion.”

Alexa Loves Books’ review: “Sinner was all I could have asked for, and then some.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blog Tour: Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner | Review + GiveawayCan't Look Away by Donna Cooner
Published by Scholastic on August 26, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 272
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey's sister is killed in an accident -- maybe because of Torrey and her videos -- Torrey's perfect world implodes.

Now, strangers online are bashing Torrey. And at her new school, she doesn't know who to trust. Is queen bee Blair only being sweet because of Torrey's internet infamy? What about Raylene, who is decidedly unpopular, but seems accepts Torrey for who she is? And then there's Luis, with his brooding dark eyes, whose family runs the local funeral home. Torrey finds herself drawn to Luis, and his fascinating stories about El dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

As the Day of the Dead draws near, Torrey will have to really look at her own feelings about death, and life, and everything in between. Can she learn to mourn her sister out of the public eye?

picadillyblueCan’t Look Away, Donna Cooner’s sophomore novel, shows promise for her as a writer.  I found it to be an extremely quick read that captivated me from start to finish.

Torrey’s story was one that is very relevant to todays teens.  Torry has a great online presence through her Youtube beauty channel as well as Facebook and Twitter.  When her sister is hit and killed by a drunk driver, Torrey’s personal life takes center stage and she’s forced to take a step back from the internet to evaluate her life and where she goes from there.

Surprisingly, very little of the story centers on Torrey’s online life.  After the accident, Torrey takes some time to reevaluate things and she’s not sure how to approach her fans online.  However, that doesn’t stop her from reading articles about herself as well as looking at comments on her old videos or on blogs.  Many people online blame Torrey for her sister’s death and very few of the comments are supportive.  Add to that that Torrey has just moved across the country, started at a new school, and has to deal with some rather bitchy popular girls and she really doesn’t have a lot of joy in her life.

What joy she does have comes in the form of some unexpected friends.  Torrey’s cousin and neighbor, Raylene, is a wonderful source of comic relief.  She is completely quirky and 100% okay with who she is.  She cares very little for popularity and she doesn’t let people hurt her feelings.  She does what she wants and she encourages Torrey to do the same thing.  Raylene’s cat, Stu, is pretty much another character.  Stu cracked me up.  There was also Luis who was not exactly who Torrey needed to be hanging out with to gain popularity.  He works at his family’s mortuary and he plans to one day take over the family business.  Torrey is warned off him from the start but for some reason she just can’t resist him.  Luis is another person who does what he wants.  He’s smart, funny, and kind but he does have a bit of a mystery to him.  He brought out the darker side of Torrey but he helped her a lot with her sister’s death.

Torrey herself was not the greatest character for most of the book.  She was rather shallow and kind of self-centered.  However, it’s easy to forgive those things about her once you understand what she is going through.  What comes across as self-centered at first actually makes sense the more you get to know Torrey.  She’s hurt by her sister’s death and her parents have done very little to help with the grieving process.  She closes herself off from people so she doesn’t have to deal with her emotions.  It was heartbreaking how she blamed herself for her sister’s death.  They fought a lot (like any siblings at that age) but they never got the chance to make up and grow closer.  That hurt Torrey a lot more than she let on and she really was a much deeper character than I originally perceived.

My favorite part of Can’t Look Away had to be all the history and stuff surrounding el Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.  When Torrey first finds out about the Day of the Dead she’s a little creeped out by it but as she learns more about it’s history and it’s purpose she becomes intrigued by it.  I’ve always been interested in the Day of the Dead and finding out more about it’s background definitely kept me reading.

Overall, Can’t Look Away has its flaws but is all around a great contemporary novel.  I’m definitely planning on checking out Donna Cooner’s debut novel, Skinny.

What others are saying about Can’t Look Away:

Rather Be Reading YA’s review: “Can’t Look Away is fairly predictable in its storyline, but the Youtube angle, the character of Luis and,Día de los Muertos give it a little more of an unusual feel.”

Nick’s Book Blog’s review: “Can’t Look Away was a decent YA contemporary novel that I tackled an issue that I didn’t know much about.”

Once Upon a Twilight’s review: “Torrey’s story will keep turning you pages.”

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About the author:

Donna Cooner was born and raised in Texas. She is a three time graduate of Texas A&M University. A former teacher and school administrator, she now teaches teachers and principals at Colorado State University where she is the director of the School of Teacher Education and Principal Preparation. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her two labs and a cat named Stu. She’s a big fan of chocolate and laughing (not necessarily in that order).

Donna is the author of over twenty picture books and was a founding member of the Brazos Valley Society of Children’s Bookwriters and Illustrators. She has also written children’s television shows for PBS and textbooks for future teachers. SKINNY is her debut novel for young adults.

To contact Donna try:  
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Giveaway:

5 winners will receive finished copies of Can’t Look Away!  US only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the rest of the tour stops!

Week One:

8/18/2014- Such a Novel Idea– Interview

8/19/2014- A Book and a Latte– Guest Post

8/20/2014- The Book Belles– Review

8/21/2014- BookHounds YA– Interview

8/22/2014-Fictitious Delicious Review

Week Two:

8/25/2014- Shayna Varadeaux Books & Reviews– Review

8/26/2014- The Cover Contessa – Guest Post

8/27/2014-Katie’s Book Blog- Review

8/28/2014- Swoony Boys Podcast– Review

8/29/2014- Tales of the Ravenous Reader– Interview

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Underworld (Abandon #2) by Meg Cabot | Review

Underworld (Abandon #2) by Meg Cabot | ReviewUnderworld by Meg Cabot
Series: Abandon #2
Published by Scholastic on May 8, 2012
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.

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I really wanted to love Underworld. I’m a huge Meg Cabot fan as well as a Greek mythology fan. While I enjoyed Underworld I found it seriously lacking in some ways and I just couldn’t love it.

Pierce is probably the biggest problem. She is such a contradictory character. One second she hates John and the next second she loves him. She talks about wanting to go home and when she gets there she wants to go back to the Underworld. It’s like, seriously Pierce, make up your mind. It was clear to see how much she was hurting John with her indecisiveness.

As for John, I felt more like he was the victim. The synopsis makes him seem like this evil guy but he’s just looking out for Pierce. Everything he does is for her safety. He’s a good guy who obviously loves Pierce and only wants what is best for her. And at every turn Pierce says or does something to hurt him. I felt bad for him more than I felt bad for Pierce.

The plot was rather slow to pick up. There’s some exploring of the Underworld in the beginning, some new characters introduced, and a lot of history explored before anything really happens. And even when things do start happening there are a lot of breaks in the action and at times it was a bit dull. Also, while some questions were answered in this book a lot were left open and I really would have liked a few more answers than were given.

The mythology in Underworld is a lot better than that in Abandon. The original story of Hades and Persephone is expanded upon and it’s not quite the traditional story. The elaboration of the myth was the most fascinating part of the book. I am a total mythology geek and I was pleasantly surprised with this retelling.

Overall, Underworld is a pretty strong follow-up to Abandon. It will definitely appeal to Greek mythology fans and I’m now eagerly awaiting the final book in the trilogy.

Looking for more reviews of Underworld?

The Teen Book Guru’s review
Book Chic Club’s review

Monday, July 25, 2011

Forever (Wolves Of Mercy Falls #3) by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

Forever (Wolves Of Mercy Falls #3) by Maggie Stiefvater | ReviewForever by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls #3
Published by Scholastic on July 12, 2011
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 386
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
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5 Stars

then.
When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their loved moved from curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.

now.
That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.

forever.
Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment - a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.

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Forever is the perfect ending to the Wolves Of Mercy Falls trilogy. Maggie Stiefvater has earned the title of favorite author and these books have earned the title of favorite trilogy.  I give you fair warning:  this review is basically me gushing about how amazing it is.

The ending of Linger was a huge cliffhanger.  Forever picked up quite some time after that ending and it was interesting to see how things had changed.  All the characters had changed so much and while it was sad to see then lose their innocence it was very refreshing to see them grow in such a real way even if the reasons are not so real.

The writing was, as always, absolutely amazing.  Maggie Stiefvater is such a lyrical writer. Her books just have to be savored.  I pretty much shut myself away so I could read uninterrupted and really take it all in.

I have to say something about the relationship of Sam and Grace:  that is the way it is supposed to be!  They face so many obstacles but they know that if they have each other they can make it.  Sam is sweet, romantic, and he cherishes Grace.  And she does not take that for granted.  She is always there for him and they truly love each other.  That is how I see love and Maggie Stiefvater did it perfectly with Sam and Grace.

Overall, Forever is a bittersweet ending to the Wolves Of Mercy Falls trilogy.  I laughed and I cried and I never wanted it to end.  I think this book will greatly satisfy fans of the first two books.  I can’t wait for whatever is next from Maggie Stiefvater.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Abandon (Abandon #1) by Meg Cabot | Review

Abandon (Abandon #1) by Meg Cabot | ReviewAbandon by Meg Cabot
Series: Abandon #1
Published by Scholastic on April 26, 2011
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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4 Stars

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

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Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors and I have to say that I was disappointed with Abandon.  Nothing really stood out to me in this one and while it did a good job setting things up for the next book, I would’ve liked more.

Pierce Oliviera has not had the best luck in the last few years.  First, she died.  Admittedly they were able to revive her but she was still dead for an hour.  Next, she was kicked out of her school for something she didn’t do and now she is forced to move to Isle Huesos with her mother. Her mom thinks the new place will be a fresh start but Pierce knows better.  He will follow her wherever she goes.  Who is he and what does he want from Pierce?

I liked Pierce.  I expected no less from a Meg Cabot character.  She was not necessarily a smart girl but she was pretty funny.  She got herself into some crazy situations and it was fun reading about how she got out of them.  John (mystery boy) was pretty hot.  He was moody and mysterious and possibly a bit insane but overall, a good counter balance to Pierce.  All of her emotions were easy to see but his were a little harder to figure out.  I look forward to more of his story in the next book.

The plot was a bit confusing.  Things kept switching from past to present and I had a hard time keeping track of it all.  Once I did figure that out though it was better.  Things were a little slow until the end but not enough to stop reading.  The next book should be a lot easier to get into.

The mythology aspect was, by far, my favorite part.  I thought Meg Cabot did a wonderful job weaving it into the story without making it feel like a school lesson. The Hades and Persephone myth is a great one so I am glad Meg Cabot chose to write about it.  Reading more about it in the next book will be fun. =)

Overall, Abandon is a unique new twist on the Hades and Persephone myth.  Meg Cabot fans should definitely check it out.  If you haven’t read anything from Meg Cabot though I recommend maybe starting with a different one that better showcases her talent.

What others are saying about Abandon:

A Bookworm’s Haven’s review: “I think the concept is great, but the story fell flat.”

Once Upon A Twlight’s review: “Meg is definitely a author I will be reading for a long time.”

Bitten and Written’s review: “The book was a super fast read and very light.”

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Linger (Wolves Of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Linger (Wolves Of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie StiefvaterLinger by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls #2
Published by Scholastic on July 20, 2010
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 360
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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4 Stars

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

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SPOILERS:  If you have not read the first book in this series, Shiver, do not read this review because it contains spoilers from that book.

If you have followed my blog for a while, you know how much I loved Shiver.  I mean, I adored it.  I couldn’t praise it enough.  In fact, I have loved all of Maggie Stiefvater’s works until now.  Sadly, Linger was nowhere near as good as Shiver and not even close to anything I expected.

Sam and Grace are finally together.  After everything they have been through they deserve to be together and they deserve a break from all the chaos.  Too bad that isn’t going to happen.  Spring is here and the new wolves are shifting back to humans.  This is the first time Sam has met them and he has no clue how bad things are.  Both of the new wolves are hiding shocking secrets about their past and who they are but they aren’t the only ones.  Grace is hiding something from Sam and by the time she admits it, it may be too late.

From the very beginning, I knew that Linger was different from Shiver.  Shiver is told from just Grace and Sam’s POV’s whereas Linger has added two new voices into the mix.  Isabel and Cole are characters from the first book who get a lot more attention in Linger.  At first, I couldn’t understand why Cole was so important but as the book went on I realized what role he played.  Isabel, on the other hand, confused me.  I don’t understand her yet but I hopefully will by the end of the next book.  Sam and Grace are still just as great as always but I didn’t feel the connection to them that I felt in the first book.  Their relationship lost some of it’s meaning when Cole and Isabel were brought in.

The plot was just as good as the first book, if not better.  Linger was definitely a pageturner.  I had such a hard time putting it down.  The whole story was brilliant, especially the ending.  I didn’t see that coming at all.  I was shocked and on the edge of my seat.  It’s a total cliffhanger and now I have to wait another year before I can read the final book.  I hate it!  I want it now!

Overall, Linger wasn’t as good as Shiver but Maggie Stiefvater is incapable of writing a bad book.  If you read and enjoyed Shiver, I recommend running out to buy this one as soon as you can.