Blog Tour: Only Ashes Remain by Rebecca Schaeffer

tour2bbanner

Only Ashes Remain (Market of Monsters #2)
by Rebecca Schaeffer
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

GoodreadsAmazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google

Synopsis:

After escaping her kidnappers and destroying the black market where she was held captive, all Nita wants is to find a way to live her life without looking over her shoulder. But with a video of her ability to self-heal all over the dark web, Nita knows she’s still a prime target on the black market.
There’s only one way to keep herself safe.
Nita must make herself so feared that no one would ever dare come after her again. And the best way to start building her reputation? Take her revenge on Fabricio, the boy who sold Nita to her kidnappers. But killing Fabricio is harder than Nita thought it would be, even with Kovit by her side. Now caught in a game of kill or be killed, Nita will do whatever it takes to win.
~
Review:
We left off in book #1 (Not Even Bones–link to my review) on a huge cliffhanger. Our main character Nita is coming face-to-face with the guy who she set free and then turned around and sold her to the black market. Or did he? I’m not convinced. But Nita is. She is reunited with her mother, only to truly see how slimy and irritating she truly is. Nita says no more and sets off on her own. But she reunites with our favorite Zannie–Kovit–soon and, of course, the dark adventures and terrors begin.
I wish I could truly tell you about this book, but I don’t want to spoil anything. You really have to experience it for yourself. I loved that the cast of characters expands in this book, and more than anything, I love seeing more of Kovit in this book! Give me a dark, moody book boyfriend any day! Although. Here’s the catch. This relationship reminded me of the…I don’t know what to call it…Edward and Bella…where she is the only female who is immune to his powers and is therefore more attractive to him. More or less. All of that being said, I don’t care, because I loved their fragility both together and separate. It made for such a dynamic book! There is the violence and the action and the chase…but then there is this questioning and moral greyness, and there is actual time spent to dissect it. Love it!
~

The Author:

Rebecca Schaeffer was born and raised in the Canadian prairies. Her itchy feet took her far from home when she turned eighteen, and she hasn’t returned for more than a few months here or there since. You can find her sitting in a cafe on the other side of the world, writing about villains, antiheroes and morally ambiguous characters.
Her debut , Not Even Bones, is about a girl who dissects and sells monsters on the internet. Not Even Bones received a starred review from Booklist, was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Speculative Fiction, as well as the Cybilis awards.
Go find her on Goodreads, Instagram, or Twitter.
~

Only Ashes Remain Blog Tour Schedule


August 28th

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Welcome Post

August 29th

NovelKnight – Guest Post
To All The Books I’ve Read Before – Review + Playlist
Bookish Looks – Promotional Post

 

August 30th

Camillea Reads – Review + Favourite Quotes
Flying Paperbacks – Review + Favourite Quotes
Singer of Stories – Review
Kerri The Book Belle – Review

 

August 31st

It Starts at Midnight – Review
Fictitiouswonderland  – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Favourite Quotes

 

September 1st

A Dream Within A Dream – Review
Smada’s Book Smack – Review + Playlist
Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Post

 

September 2nd

Moonlight Rendezvous  – Review + Favourite Quotes
Never Too Many To Read – Review  + Favourite Quotes
Tracey Drew Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Reading Life – Promotional Post

September 3rd
The Book Bratz – Interview
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review + Playlist
The Clever Reader – Review
Devouring Books – Review

Book Soundtrack: Devil Inside Me by Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes
A huge thank you to FFBC, Rebecca, and the publishers for granting me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
signature5c048f506de86

The Sunday Review: I’m Not Dying With You Tonight

43352274Title: I’m Not Dying With You Tonight
Author: Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal
Page Count: 249 pages
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

~

SYNOPSIS – Lena and Campbell aren’t friends.

Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she’s going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school.

When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together.

They aren’t friends. They hardly understand the other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.

~

REVIEW – Campbell moves to a new town for her senior year and is recruited to work the refreshment stand at the Friday night football game when no one else in the class volunteers. She doesn’t really have friends yet and she really doesn’t have help in the stand. She’s the outcast, the quiet one. Meanwhile, Lena is at the game to watch her friend dance in the halftime show and to show off her own hot new outfit and designer bag. Her boyfriend, Black, is older and in the studio laying down new tracks. On the outside, Lena has it all–friends, boyfriend, clothes, bags, even a plan for the future.

But when halftime hits, chaos breaks out. It starts as team rivalry. A fight. Next it erupts into chaos. More and more people get involved. And then there are gunshots. Honestly, from the beginning of the book, I didn’t stop reading. I could clearly picture my own high school games and then the rowdiness of them and even picture the violence and chaos. I could really picture Lena and Campbell on a journey through the rough neighborhoods of a rough city in the dark of night. I know those streets my own parents have told me to never even drive down, let alone walk down, and then Lena and Campbell are faced with that walk in the middle of a protest. No. Way. I’m Not Dying With You Tonight had my blood pressure up and my imagination working.

But that’s also a down side to this book. It was hard, at times, to imagine the night lasting as long as it did, and at a couple points, I did want it to just be over for these poor girls. Just hunker down and hide until morning. The book left much to the imagination regarding exactly why there was so much violence and terror in the city that night. A protest was mentioned but that’s all we get? And at the football game it was all team rivalry? I guess one takeaway is that we really do live in an age of high levels of panic where it is so easy to become a victim and it can be so difficult to escape the crossfire. Campbell and Lena learned that I think that, and that is exactly what this book did a great job of showing in several other ways as well. Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for letting me read this shocking and heart-wrenching book. It was quite an eye-opener, and so many people would do well to read it with an open mind.

Soundtrack: Where is the Love? by The Black Eyed Peas

signature5c048f506de86

Review: Girls With Sharp Sticks

36442895Title: Girls With Sharp Sticks
Author: Suzanne Young
Published: March 19, 2019
Pages: 400
Publisher: Simon Pulse

* ~ * ~ *

Oh my gosh, Suzanne Young (author), what goes on in that mind of yours to make you write things like this??!!?? First The Treatment and now this! Just…wow. I kind of knew what I was getting myself into because both of these books were by the same author but then again, their premises are pretty different. I couldn’t have predicted something like this!! Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

The Girls of Innovations Academy are beautiful and well-behaved—it says so on their report cards. Under the watchful gaze of their Guardians, the all-girl boarding school offers an array of studies and activities, from “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The girls learn to be the best society has to offer. Absent is the difficult math coursework, or the unnecessary sciences or current events. They are obedient young ladies, free from arrogance or defiance. Until Mena starts to realize that their carefully controlled existence may not be quite as it appears.

As Mena and her friends begin to uncover the dark secrets of what’s actually happening there—and who they really are—the girls of Innovations will find out what they are truly capable of. Because some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.

ai-nhan-WPM1dxsjK0I-unsplashReal talk: the title of the book comes from a poem found under the bed of one of the girls at Innovations Academy who is taken away one day. Lennon Rose, they are told, has been having “money problems” back home and can no longer attend the school but after secretly stopping taking her prescribed “vitamins” at bedtime each night, our main character begins to think there may be something bigger going on. Mena shares Girls With Sharp Sticks with the other girls and the idea of men wanting power and girls/women as pretty objects…however, some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns. 

I found the book to be a little slow in the beginning. I wasn’t fully engaged until a little ways in but once things picked up, I couldn’t put the book down. I love the boarding school setting, the bond between the girls, the near future/dystopian setting, and the echoes of familiarity to certain pop culture stories like Handmaid’s Tale, West World, etc. Plus, I would be lax if I didn’t mention the men and how perverse they are in this book. I can’t go into the full depths of their awfulness without spoiling certain events. Content/trigger warnings for misogyny, body shaming, assault, PTSD, talk of infertility, murder.

What I will say though, is that I find certain dystopians like this to be more terrifying than most horror books and movies. Just the vague possibility that someday the human race could potentially end up in some scenario like this is so unbelievably scary, and at the same time it offers food for thought and a lesson in how to act and how to treat others around us.

The ending I liked (after I picked my jaw up off the floor because I was completely shocked and…just…whoa) and I was satisfied with but apparently there is going to be a second book! I have no idea where Suzanne will be going with it so we’ll see what happens! I’m there for it though!

Book Soundtrack: “Youth” by Daughter

signature5c048f506de86

Review: Honor Among Thieves

Let me start off with transparency by saying that I am relatively new to the sci-fi genre. Aliens and space travel have never really been my thing, especially in books. However, I have been dipping my toes into the waters more lately and this was definitely a likable book that I was able to fully immerse myself in, even as a newcomer to the genus!

30129657In Honor Among Thieves, our lead Zara Cole is a YA character we’ve seen before–she’s the girl off the streets who trusts no one and has been betrayed by everyone she has ever known. It is unprecedented in this futuristic world when a girl of her personality and background is chosen for the Honors–an elite space program which partners with the Leviathan, a race of sentient alien beings. Of course, Zara has Earthen enemies to flee, so she boards the Leviathan with her new partner, Beatriz (Bea), and heads off into the vast unknown.

In my opinion, some of the best parts of this book were built around the most bizarre things. As I mentioned, I’m still breaking in to this genre and maybe some of these things are relatively normal, but it was so weird to picture people living inside of this alien. ‘Alien’ = spaceship. I had in my mind Jonah and the whale or the Magic School Bus. Then at one point Zara has to dig through Nadim’s circulatory systems to fix an injury! Eek! All of that being said though, I think that one of the most beautiful parts of this book is the relationship that Zara, Bea, and Nadim grow to have. It is so incredibly intimate that Zara and Nadim basically feel one another’s feelings; that Bea can sing and Nadim essentially absorbs that essence. This concept of bonding and journeying together throughout life is so exquisite!….until it gets a bit creepy…but I think you can sort of see where I’m going with all of this.

38496253To wrap this up, I am very interested to see where this series goes. Both the leaders of Earth and the Leviathan have been keeping big secrets regarding “the journey” and how the relationship between humans and the Leviathan got to be exactly how it is, and the Leviathan themselves have a lot of ‘fessing up to do about their own history and backgrounds. Just as there are Earthen enemies, so are there galactic enemies. Why, exactly, have the Leviathan saved planet Earth just as it was about to be destroyed? How did they know? As odd as they are, they really are fascinating creatures and I am looking forward to seeing what happens next in book 2, Honor Bound, which just released February 19, 2019. So tell me…

Have you read this or both of these books? Do you enjoy sci-fi at all? Would you be able to space travel if given the opportunity?

signature5c048f506de86

Soundtrack: “Exit Music (For a Film)” by Radiohead

October (Re)Reads: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo

Just a warning: this review is likely an unpopular opinion regarding the first book in this (so far) trilogy. I have been seeing so much hype and merch around about Audrey and Thomas lately that I decided to take a trip back to the beginning. Maybe I’ll like it more this time around. Maybe my opinions will have changed. Hm. Nope!

img_0607I really like the premise behind the books! I like the victorian London setting, I love a female MC studying anatomy and post-death this and that. However, I just have such dislike for Audrey! I understand her motives and her thoughts and of course I want girls/women to be treated fairly as well! I want you to be able to think freely and study what you want and to be respected also! But don’t be such a prat about it! I can’t handle it!! The plot is constantly held up with her stubbornness and her own blindness to her surroundings because she is whining about being a female and being treated as such. Maybe Thomas (or your father or brother or Thomas…whomever) is just treating you like a human, not specifically like a “girl” or “lady” or “woman”!! Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Looking back, the last time I read the book, I mentioned disliking Thomas. Nah, I’ve warmed up to him. He has a flirty arrogance that I am rather digging. And god bless him for having patience with Audrey.

So now that Audrey is getting her way and is going away to “forensic school,” I am eager to see if she maybe (hopefully) calms down a little bit on her feminine whining. I’m sure school will still be tough for her but she at least has a good start since she’s already there and she will have Thomas. Of the books in similar time settings that I have read, women’s rights is always a theme but never quite this strong so once we get over this hurdle, things will clear out nicely.

Book soundtrack: Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Lorde

signature

BLOG TOUR: These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

52b-2bcover2bwith2btaglineHappy release day to Sara Raasch and her epic new book, These Rebel Waves!! We also know Sara from the Snow Like Ashes trilogy, so here is the start of a new fantasy series about a soldier, a prince, and a raider.

Now, I want to start off right now and address this pirate debate going on. Devereux (or “Vex” as he is known) is the character in question. The synopsis refers to him as a pirate. Thus far in book one, we really don’t see him pirating. We see him ashore, in more of a “raiding” state. In the very beginning, it says he needs to take time to think and form his plan. A guy is allowed to do that right? Ms. Raash can have a master plan up her sleeve and have some pirating saved for later, right?? (I don’t know this for sure, granted, but I can guess!) The very title has nothing to do with pirates…it does say rebel and the book does have a rebellious/outlaw feel going on. So really, while there aren’t really high seas adventures and swashbuckling battles in this book, there is much plot to be read. No gay pirates and rounds of rum or whatever, but I was fine. I didn’t have all of those expectations, I just read many, many, MANY reviews of bookworms who apparently did. Sorry, friends. You set yourself up.

So what did this book have, if not pirates? Well, a trio of very different characters living in a corrupt society in a Jamaican-esque setting of Game of Thrones with a Herbology class from Harry Potter. Our main characters are Vex (previously mentioned off-duty pirate/raider), Adeluna (this daughter of two former revolutionaries turned politicians, we call her Lu), and Benat (Ben for short, the crown prince). Together these three set out to find magic, a missing diplomat, and peace for their country. Along the way, they discover new love, their sexuality, and much about their past.

I admit that it took me a while to get into this book. I was super confused in the beginning because the nicknames were all unfitting to me and I couldn’t keep track of the POV switches. It really took me a while to figure things character-wise and it got a bit frustrating. That being said, though, once I figured things out, everything really fit like a glove. Also, for a fantasy series, I felt that I did expect a bit more adventure and action. There was just so much political and religious drama it took a lot of patience and thought and determination to get through. But overall I thought it was worth it. There was a plot twist and WHOA. Talk about keeping readers on our toes! Loved it!

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks

about2bthe2bauthor2b2528new2529

Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.

Book Soundtrack: “I’ll Fly Away” by Flatfoot 56

signature

 

Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton + GIVEAWAY

35720690Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns #1)
Publisher: Katherine Teagan Books
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 464

Synopsis: In the ancient river kingdom, touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war. Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood.

Not women. Demons. The same demons who killed her mother without a single scratch.

But when Mia’s father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Only after the wedding goes disastrously wrong does she discover she has dark, forbidden magic—the very magic she has sworn to destroy.

Goodreads   |   B&N   |   Amazon   |   iBooks   |   Book Depository

The first thing I need to say about Heart of Thorns is that this book is 446 pages long (which I was a little intimidated by at first) but it absolutely flew by! The chapters are relatively short and there is so much action and movement happening from the very beginning. I never felt bored by the characters or the plot, and things never felt rushed. I instantly liked Mia…but then again, any characters who are speaking anatomy and are trained huntresses are pretty awesome in my book. I was a bit concerned about cliche plot-to-escape-marraige-to-the-prince trope, but the bigger picture really is vengence for her mother’s death.

My hat is off to the author, Bree Barton, for doing an excellent job diversifying a medieval fantasy world! I am in awe of your skills! I mean, its relatively subtle, but its there. There are references to different skin colors on the people, different abilities, and different sexualities. Read closely, its there. Thank you, Bree!

So how about the reason we’re all here….the magic. So in this trilogy only women can possess magic and every woman is suspected of having it. The men, of course, view them as demons and teach the children to view this ability as such as well. The overall magic system in this book (without delving too much into things and spoiling everything) is actually tied to a deeper mythology, and boy do we get information about it! Mia, you’re in for an education! Ironically, the magic is also how she ends up meeting (and injuring/healing) the love interest, Quin and then its all downhill from there. Their relationship is honestly one of the most dynamic that I have read in a while. I very much enjoyed it.

3094f-giveaway

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY VIA RAFFLECOPTER

  • Hardcover copy of HEART OF THORNS
  • US Only
  • Please read the rules in the Rafflecopter before entering
  • Go to any stop on the tour to enter!!

14112802Bree Barton is a writer in Los Angeles. When she’s not lost in whimsy, she works as a ghostwriter and dance teacher to teen girls. She is on Instagram and YouTube as Speak Breely, where she posts funny videos of her melancholy dog.

On those parting words, I will leave you to decide whether you think this book is worthy of your time. I know I will be picking up book #2 when it comes out. Happy reading!

Book Soundtrack: “Queendom” by AURORA

signature

Between Frost and Fury by Chani Lynn Feener

357958931Hello, book lovers! Happy hump day! This post was supposed to be up this morning but apparently I don’t know the difference between AM and PM when posting blogs anymore–my bad!! Anywho, without further ado, I have an amazing review to share with you today….Between Frost and Fury begins right where Amid Stars and Darkness left off (kind of like this review, right? heh heh!). Ruckus is on the phone with Delaney when her tone of voice changes ever so slightly and he’s trying not to panic–what can possibly be wrong? There’s no way anyone suspects….unless they do. And then this whirlwind of a book picks up.

There are so many things that I absolutely love about book number two of this trilogy! First off, we actually get a little bit of Trystan’s perspective in this book. It isn’t completely from his perspective because the book isn’t first person, but it does follow him as a character in a few chapters! I don’t recall ever doing that with Ruckus in book one. So that’s pretty cool. Secondly, the writing is far better in this book! I griped a bit about it being slightly juvenile in book 1. Well, Chani must have found a new editor or something because the difference is night and day! I loved it! And third, the thickening of the plot is so intense that I am so incredibly invested now, I am recommending this book to everyone now!!!

So hopefully, you as a follower of my blog are interested by now as well. If so, you can win a copy of the book sponsored by Xpresso Book Tours! This is a US/CAN giveaway and is open until July 26th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you are independent and you don’t need no giveaways and just want to check the book out for yourself, you can do so on any of these fine platforms:

Amazon  |  B&N  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  |  Goodreads

Also check out the author while you’re at it. Chani is a really neat lady who has also written some other books and likes to do other cool things like go to aquariums, binge TV shows (me too!!), and draw.

All right my friends, that’s all I have for today. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week and get lots of reading done!

Book soundtrack: The Pretender by Foo Fighters

signature

Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener

30063453Imagine this: you are partying at a club with your best friend just like any other Friday night in a world where humans and aliens (who look just like humans, albeit super-hot humans) co-exist peacefully. You are ready to leave, but your best friend is hitting it off with some otherworldly guy, so you let her know and head for the door. On your way out, you brush against this tall, leggy girl who turns and smiles at you with this strange look in her eye. But whatever, you’re done for the night. Outside of the club on your way home, you are ambushed by an alien guy who insists that your name is Olena and that you must return to your home planet to marry the Zane (Prince) of a different planet. He kidnaps you, knocks you out, and you wake up on his ship three days later soon to arrive on this new planet. Come to find out that girl who bumped into in the bar was the princess and by bumping into you, she used a device to transform you into her. You now have no choice but to impersonate her to avoid war between two alien races and all humankind.

So this is how the book starts off. Delany is a teenager who finds herself in an impossible situation and has to make the best of it. She has the help of her bodyguard, Ruckus, to coach her through. She is to be wed to rival Zane Trystan, but her personality is so different from the real Lissa (Princess) Olena that even Trystan softens to her.

the-sci-fi-art-of-allen-wei-25

I felt that the author did a good job of world building. Space worlds and alien kingdoms cannot be easy to build up. The only thing that didn’t sit with me was that there were so many new words developed for royalty (Lissa, Zane, Captain, Scientist, etc.) but yet, there was no word for ‘alien.’ For whatever reason, I hear alien and I think little green men but obviously the author is describing these aliens as tall, ideal, beautiful versions of humans basically. I almost wish they  had their own word for themselves, but no. They’re just aliens. Ok. Whatever.

alienSecondly, the writing was all pretty flat. Fortunately, I felt like most of the characters had some dimension to them. Delaney and Trystan definitely did. Ruckus was a little flat. And the writing overall was pretty simplisitic. There were just times when I thought a seventh grader could have been writing it. The ideas? Good. The format? Eh.

Finally, I loved the plot and the quick pacing. I was very entertained by the whole story and the concept. I thought that Delaney was a strong, witty character. I thought her relationship with Ruck was a little too easy so I’m not convinced it will last. Maybe I’m wrong, we’ll see. And that cliffhanger!! So overall I had to get over the writing and just let myself enjoy the story and once I did that, it was a quick and enjoyable book. I’m looking forward to reading book 2 soon for a book tour. Stay tuned!

Soundtrack: “The Sky is Broken” by Moby

signature

Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast

Do you ever get hankerings for one particular genre and that’s all you want to read? Yeah, that’s me with sci-fi lately. I have no idea why, but it seems like there have been some great releases this year! Actually, what am I talking about?! 2018 has been an amazing year of new releases of all genres! But back to my point…I’m craving sci-fi and my most recent read hit the sweet spot!

28945665Raven is sent away to summer camp as part of a rehab program. While isolated out in the wilderness with her group, aliens (called the Nahx) invade Earth and decimate most of the population.

Eighth is one of the Nahx. When his partner, Sixth, is killed he is left to his devices and begins to ignore the directives he was given–kill the humans. When he first sees Raven as her group is trying to move toward the coast, his reaction is instantaneous and he knows he needs to know her.

Honestly this book was a bit of a slow burn, but it was written with enough tension and excitement to keep me going. I would go even farther to say that the beginning was actually slower than the second half of the book. Once August and Raven are together, their friendship develops into something so beautiful. I loved their communication and everything that August did for her. I just could not get enough and I HAD to know what happens next.

61uvo1k2ivl-_sy679_I admit that at first, I was just waiting for Eighth to take off the space suit and be a human underneath. When that never happened, I thought that falling for an alien species was just plain creepy. Can we say Stockholm Syndrome?! Well, then I got over it and I couldn’t help but fall for Eighth/August and it really was just all downhill from there. I now am in love with August and I’d follow him across the country and let him keep me warm in a mountain cave! *wink*

And of course, the biggest question in the book still is “Who ARE the Nahx?” “WHAT are they?” Well, here’s the biggest caution I can give you: its a cliffhanger. A damn good one! Man oh man, I am ready for the second book and I didn’t see that ending coming!! I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait!

Currently reading: “Human” by Rag’n’Bone Man