Waiting on Wednesday – Week 163

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming releases that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood

The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?

But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past…

May 3, 2016 ● Goodreads

I haven’t read anything by Jessica Spotswood (yet), even though all her books have been on my must-read pile for absolutely ages. This one kind of reminds me of  We Were Liars for some reason, but I really do want to know what’s about to go down and the Milbourn past the blurb speaks of...definitely looking forward to this one!

What are you waiting on?

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 162

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight on upcoming releases that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman

Six years have passed since England’s King Charles II returned from exile to reclaim the throne, ushering in a new era of stability for his subjects. 

Except for Elizabeth Milton. The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by her father’s side. By day she helps transcribe his latest masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, and by night she learns languages and sword fighting. Although she does not dare object, she suspects that he’s training her for a mission whose purpose she cannot fathom. 

Until one night the reason becomes clear: the king’s man arrive at her family’s country home to arrest her father. Determined to save him, Elizabeth follows his one cryptic clue and journeys to Oxford, accompanied by her father’s mysterious young houseguest, Antonio Vivani, a darkly handsome Italian scientist who surprises her at every turn. Funny, brilliant, and passionate, Antonio seems just as determined to protect her father as she is—but can she trust him with her heart? 

When the two discover that Milton has planted an explosive secret in the half-finished Paradise Lost—a secret the king and his aristocratic supporters are desperate to conceal—Elizabeth is faced with a devastating choice: cling to the shelter of her old life or risk cracking the code, unleashing a secret that could save her father…and tear apart the very fabric of society.

May 3, 2016 ● Goodreads

If you haven’t read my gushing reviews of Anne Blankman’s Prisoner of Night and Fog series (book ONE & TWO reviews), you clearly have no idea how PUMPED I am for this one. Another historical fiction? YES PUH-LEASE. I’m so glad this one is available on Edelweiss because I need to dig into this one. Stat. And I’m sure it’s going to be as amazing (or even better) than her other novels. Can’t wait!

What are you waiting on?

Arrows Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book DepositoryB&NiTunesKobo

A modern cupid story set in present-day Wisconsin combining the fantastical elements of Greek mythology with the contemporary drama of MTV's Teen Mom.

People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him . . . and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow. 

Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma and Danny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.

A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault . . . but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return?

This fast-paced debut novel explores the internal & external conflicts of a girl who finds herself inexplicably drawn to a boy who seemingly doesn't reciprocate her  feelings, touching on the issues of love, sex and responsibility, with a heroine struggling to control her destiny--perfect for fans of Katie McGarry's novels and MTV’s 16 and Pregnant.

There’s been a lot of hype for this novel, so when I got the chance to be part of the blog tour, I jumped at the chance. Arrows was such a great novel–it was so original and yet there were elements of it that were similar to other young adult novels that it made it a comfortable read. I devoured this book in one sitting, and there’s no doubt now that I’m a fan of Melissa Gorzelanczyk.

I’ve been feeling kind of iffy when it comes to YA heroines, especially (as it seems) more recently, but I really loved Karma’s character. Even if she did have a typical “annoying” moment, it didn’t really seem like that because–according to the magic in this book–it truly isn’t her fault. I honestly feel so helpless as a reader when it comes to protagonists, or more generally female leads or counterparts, like her because she doesn’t see what kind of relationship she’s in. Danny is very high on my characters-I-would-punch-in-the-face list, that SOB. Aaryn on the other hand? Total heartthrob. Absolutely swoonalicious (definition, make them girls go loco). I liked the switch in perspectives because we start to see how Aaryn falls in love with Karma, and the struggle Karma goes through day-to-day.

What I wanted more from this book was Greek mythology, because I unfortunately didn’t get too much. I’ve never read a YA novel about Cupid before, but there wasn’t too much of the myth involved or even an explanation for some of it, so other than the random bits about this supernatural way of making people fall in love, this was a pretty normal contemporary. Seriously though, we do need more books about Greek mythology in the modern world–I love it so much when the two collide!

An impressive debut, Arrows is a straight shot to your heart. Don’t pass the chance to read this one, ladies and gents–Gorzelanczyk is a fabulous writer, and I absolutely can’t wait to find out what’s coming up next. 

If you like this, try...

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Melissa Gorzelanczyk is a former magazine editor and columnist who believes love is everything. She is a proud member of the SCBWI, The Sweet Sixteens and the Class of 2k16. She lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and family.

Optional: Her debut novel ARROWS is being published by Delacorte Press on January 26, 2016. She is represented by agent Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson.

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Giveaway time!
Enter to win...

One (1) signed hardcover of Arrows + a bookmark!


Enter via the Rafflecopter below!

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Follow the rest of the blog tour by clicking the button above

Thank you so much to FFBC Blog Tours for having me along!

The Mystery of Hollow Places Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository B&N iTunes Kobo
Goodreads Website

All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It's the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn't come back. Neither Imogene's stepmother nor the police know where he could've gone, but Imogene is convinced he's looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she's gleaned from a lifetime of her father's books to track down a woman she's never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she's carried with her for her entire life. 

Rebecca Podos' debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us - the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.

Raving reviews with a gorgeous cover and title to top it off–I knew that I had to get my hands on The Mystery of Hollow Places. I was super stoked when I got a copy in the mail and then got accepted into the blog tour because I could not wait to dig into this beauty. No disappointments here! I really, REALLY enjoyed this one. Every time I’d have to take a break from reading it, I longed to go back to it. I was really captured by the mystery and Rebecca Podos brings to life this wonderful story.

The book’s mystery wasn’t really like a mystery-mystery. It’s one of those personal stories with a few surprises at the end, the kind that slowly builds up and while the end doesn’t completely blow your mind, like the twist in Shutter Island or whatever, it’s still a super satisfying ending. Personal journeys are important too, people! I also liked that the father was a mystery writer... makes it so much more interesting with the parallels of the detectives that the father writes about and the qualities of those characters that our protagonist Imogene draws upon.

While I did like Imogene’s character for the most part, it was just a little annoying when she’d start yelling at the people around her trying to help. It was just tedious time to time when they’d try to help but then because of something that we thought she’d let go somewhere in the middle comes back and just makes a whole mess of the situation. But hey, whatever pushes the story! I liked the direction the story took after that, so that whole mess was overlooked by yours truly. Jessa’s character was also super cool–I’d totally want a bestie like her! While the whole “omg she’s so beautiful and I can never be like her” thing coming from Imogene was a *bit* overdone, I still liked that this girl was manipulative, beautiful and helpful. And of course we have Chad...I liked that he wasn’t too swoon-worthy, but just enough because it’s enough to give you the mushy feels but not enough to overpower the entire story.

The romance wasn’t a huge element in the story, and I’m glad for that. There wasn’t too much of it, now that I think about it... but whatever was there seemed quite necessary for the plot, so there was no overdone infatuation with our protagonist becoming completely sidetracked from her main mission. And hey–there’s an unexpected ending with all of this too.

I LOVE that this was set in Massachusetts! I could totally visualise and recognise some of the places mentioned in this book, such as Newbury street, and The Friendly Toast (although I’ve never gone). Chad was even a sophomore at BU! LIKE ME!! Which is why it was strange to see Imogene calling him an adult or too old for her, haha. All kinds of awesome in this book with the awesome locations...I totally need to find out if there’s actually the beach mentioned in this book somewhere around here.

Overall, The Mystery of Hollow Places was a fantastic story with just the right amounts of mystery, laughs, tears, and romance. Rebecca Podos’s debut is gorgeous and I totally recommend you all pick this one up soon! I know I definitely can’t wait to read what comes next from her.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Megan at HarperCollins International for sending a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

If you like this, try...

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Rebecca Podos' debut YA novel, THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES, is forthcoming from Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins) on 1/26/16. A graduate of the Writing, Literature and Publishing program at Emerson College where she won the M.F.A. Award for Best Thesis, her fiction has been published in Glimmer Train, Glyph, CAJE, Paper Darts, Bellows American Review, and Smokelong Quarterly. Past Awards include the Helman Award for Short Fiction, the David Dornstein Memorial Creative Writing Prize for Young Adult Writers, and the Hillerman-McGarrity Scholarship for Creative Writing. She works as a YA and MG agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston.

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It’s time for a giveaway!
Enter to win...

One (1) hardcopy of The Mystery of Hollow Places + Swag!

Enter via the Rafflecopter below:
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Click on the button above to follow the rest of the tour!

Thank you so much to FFBC Blog Tours for having me along!

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 161

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming releases that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from. 

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

March 8, 2016 ● Goodreads

A kickass heroine, a gorgeous cover, AND (by the sound of it) a diverse cast? OH YES PLEASE. I can’t wait for this one–so far reviews have been amazing and I’m sure it’s the start of a wonderful series.

What are you waiting on?