Review: The Girl at Midnight

 

Echo is a runaway pickpocket with a serious attitude who is raised by the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins who live beneath the streets of New York City. Though she is mostly seen as an outsider by the Avicen community, she does have a few Avicen in her corner including The Ala, Ivy, and Rowan. Echo quickly finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old war between the Avicen and the Drakharin, the ancient race of Dragon like people, when she steals a music box that happens to contain the first clue to finding the mythical Firebird. The Firebird is believed to possess the power to end that war. It becomes Echo’s mission to find the Firebird and protect her Avicen family but, she hits a few bumps along the road including a couple of unexpected cohorts.

I have read several reviews for this book that compare it to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. While it does have many undeniable similarities, I cannot stress enough that this book stands on it’s own!

I love this story and I love Echo! She is one of the best main charachters I’ve read about in a while and Melissa Grey did an incredible job of roping me into her vividly beautiful world. She truly captivated me! I love how Grey intertwines mythology and magic within her novel while creating fascinating races, the Avicen and the Drakharin. The characters are likable and the world building is fantastic and enchanting.

Echo is sassy, resourceful, and, fierce in every way that counts. She is fiercly loyal to her Avicen family, a fierce foe, she has a fiercely sassy attitude/wit and is fiercly stubborn! All things I aspire to in my life! She is strong and independant but not to a fault. She lets the right people in at the right time and I admire that about her. She also doesn’t hesitate to do the right thing, it is instinctual for her.

I absolutely adore Ivy, Dorian and Jasper as secondary characters. Friendship bonds are strong within the novel which I enjoy reading about. Echo, Caius, Ivy, Dorian and Jasper make an excellent team and use their differences rather then letting those differences get in their way. Beware though, there is a bit of a love triangle but, it did seem to take a bit of a back seat. Echo has a moment or two of hesitation due to her feelings but, we are not subjected to pages upon pages of deliberation and whining.

So, I may be a bit of a nerd but I was so excited when I read about the bacon waffles! It reminds me of the bacon pancake song that Jake sings from Adventure Time.

I am a big fan of urban fantasy and The Girl at Midnight does not disappoint. This is the first book in The Girl at Midnight series which is so exciting because I cannot wait to pick up the second book! I felt the action never stopped or slowed down. I was so immersed in this story that I didn’t realize how quickly it was over until I was done. That may sound crazy but that is how wrapped up I was in this world. I even love the cover art as it is such a wonderful depiction of the Avicen and Drakharin.  I would love to see this novel in a film adaptation, depending on the casting and the director, of course! The writing is very animated and I feel like it would transfer well on screen. We both truly hope everyone has had a chance to read this story and adore it as much as we do.

 

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Rockstar Book Tours: Black River Falls

BLACK RIVER FALLS (1)

 

 

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BLACK RIVER FALLS ASSETS

About the Book:

Title: BLACK RIVER FALLS

Author: Jeff Hirsch

Pub. Date: July 5, 2016

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Cardinal has escaped the virus that ravaged his town, leaving its victims alive but without their memories. He chooses to remain in the quarantined zone, caring for a group of orphaned kids in a mountain camp with the help of the former brutal school bully, now transformed by the virus into his best friend. But then a strong-willed and mysterious young woman appears, and the closed-off world Cardinal has created begins to crumble.

 

About Jeff:

Jeff
Here are some things about me.

I live in an extremely Brazilian section of an extremely Greek neighborhood—Astoria, Queens, which is just to the right of Manhattan. (That’s as you face Manhattan. If you were, say, lying on your back in the middle of Central Park with your head in a northerly position, we would be to your left) I live there with my wife who has a blog and our two cats who do not. One day I hope to have a very large dog that I can name Jerry Lee Lewis.

I used to write plays (I actually have an MFA in it, which is currently number 8 on US News and World Report’s annual list of the top twenty most useless masters degrees) and now I write books for teens. I’ve written two. One was about a girl who wanted to be a rock star and could graciously be called a learning experience.

The second, is The Eleventh Plague and it comes out Sept. 1, a fact I still find pretty amazing.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of BLACK RIVER FALLS, US Only.

 

Rafflecopter code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZTIzODliYTI4ZTEzMGVjODBhNzA2MmFmMTU3YWM3OjQ2MQ==/

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

6/27/2016- The Cover Contessa– Interview

6/28/2016- Lisa Loves Literature– Review

6/29/2016- BookCrushin– Guest Post

6/30/2016- A Gingerly Review– Review

7/1/2016- A Dream Within A Dream– Interview

 

Week Two:

7/4/2016- Michelle4Laughs: It’s in the Details– Review

7/5/2016- One Night Book Stand– Guest Post

7/6/2016- Just Commonly– Review

7/7/2016- She Dreams in Fiction Review

7/8/2016- Curling Up With A Good Book – Interview

 

Review

I was excited about this book when I received a copy because it sounded like it was right up my alley.

This is the story about a town under quarantine due to a mysterious illness that has wiped away all memories of the people that live there. The National Guard has been called in and they are trying to keep things under control. The protagonist, Cardinal Cassidy, finds out that he is immune to this virus. No matter how much he continues to put himself in the middle of the infected people, he does not contract the virus himself. He even helps an infected girl that cannot remember anything and has been named Hannah. Soon, the government leaves the town and another corporation moves in, one that threatens to reopen the town. That means all of the infected people will be sent off to other cities/towns/states. Cardinal finds he cannot leave as he has a family tie to the place and he is desperate to learn of his past.

This story was an interesting concept only there were times it didn’t move as quickly as I had hoped. Yet this was an interesting take on the apocalypse with some heartbreaking moments. I kept thinking that if a cure was found, should it be given to those already infected or to the larger crowd of those at risk to become infected? The introduction of this “mysterious girl” probably should have come much sooner in the story but instead, came towards the end. Speaking of the end, the end of the story was good but I just wish there had been a little more to it.

I believe middle grade readers will enjoy this story as well as YA readers.

 

 

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Review: Motocross Me

Motocross Me

 

This. Book. Is. Adorable. It is such a fun read that I’m sorry I didn’t read it sooner.

This is the story of Hana Fisher and her life after she moves to a small Texas town after leaving the big city. Hana is very upset with her mother’s upcoming fifth marriage so she chooses to live with her dad and step family in Mixon, Texas. Hana’s father owns the town’s local dirt bike track and knows that she will be forced to work at this boring place all summer. What Hana does not realize is that the track is actually grown into something that is respected all over the state. Riders from everywhere love this track. By association, Hana is now one of the most popular girls in the town. Things are looking up for Hana as she now has a job that she really enjoys, a family that is good to her, a best friend, and maybe even a boyfriend. Things take a turn for the worse quickly when Hana abuses her power at the track to help a rider cheat for the big race. How will Hana recover from this mistake? Will she be able to recover from this and still keep everything good in her life?

I love, love, love stories that deal with small town life. I am grew up in the text book definition of a small town so I tend to hold those books to a higher standard. I am happy to report here that this book did an amazing job of portraying life in a super small country town.

 

I also respect Young for giving the MC a step-family that was actually amazing and loving. Seriously! Most of the time, step families or members of step familys are portrayed to be hideous ogres that are terrible people. Not here! The step mom was actually very loving and supportive. She was willing to listen to Hana’s problems and was concerned. That rarely happens so it was really great to read a story in which they are portrayed in such a positive light.

The thoughts and emotions that go through your head when you stay in a small town are so intense. Young really did a good job of portraying those in this book. She also did a great job with the characters. Hana did have her moments where I wanted to slap her, but she is a high school girl and they can be egocentric at times. I was irritated at how she would tend to zone out on things that really mattered yet pay attention to the things that didn’t matter. But again – high school girl. One thing that made me crazy was how quickly she would bounce back and forth between the two boys in the story: Ash and Ryan. It felt as if they were just a game to her and she could toy with them. Let’s discuss Ash and Ryan. Ash first. He really knows how to pull on the heart strings. He really is the overall nice, kind, good guy. He is concerned for others and wants to be good. I admire that. Then we have Ryan, typical handsome, cool boy that knows he is handsome and cool. Therefore he comes off cocky and you want to punch his lights out. You know he’s trouble with a capital “T” and you avoid him. Hana doesn’t. She thinks he is dreamy and persues him when she knows that he is just a player. The other character that was amazing was Shelby, Ash’s twin sister. When she became Hana’s new best friend, I smiled. Shelby is so sweet, honest, and real, it felt like a breath of fresh air in this story. Hana finally had someone to do girl things with and that is always important. Authors need to include more aspects of friendship in their stories, it is needed topic.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure I would be able to jive with the motorcross side of this story as that is not a known topic to me, but I’m here to assure you that it works. Young did an amazing job of explaining the motorcross sport and everything involved in a way that didn’t feel like an info dump. It was a fun way to learn about the sport and be excited when motorcross races happened. I did not find myself bored with any part of this story. I felt engaged the entire time and that doesn’t happen a lot.

I’m not sure I can say enough good things about this book! It is a quick read, but it’s a fun read. I really hope everyone gives this book a chance!

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Female of the Species

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

 

The Female of the Species

 

From Goodreads:

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.”

 

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Review: How to Disappear

How to Disappear Cover

 

This is going to be another review where I am going to express how the blurb for this book promised one thing, but something else completely different was delivered.

When the story starts, our MC, Nicolette, is already on the run trying to disappear. She is running from hit men that want to kill her because she is accused of killing someone. Nicolette is the average girl next door so how could she have killed someone? In comes Jack. Jack is pulled in to find and “deal with” Nicolette before anyone else. That goes against everything Jack is – he is a straight A 18 year old student about to graduate high school and go off to college. He has his entire life ahead of him but his family and family history has other plans for him. Jack’s brother is in prison and he is the one that tasks Jack with eliminating Nicolete, or everyone Jack loves will pay. Not wanting to lose the few loved ones he has left, Jack sets out to locate Nicolette, but who he finds is not who he was expecting. They both quickly discover who they are and that they are both carrying some dark secrets that deserve to be brought to light and by doing so, both could be right a lot of wrongs.

Now that synopsis sounds pretty good, right? Well, that is not what you are going to get when you read the story. I almost DNFd this book I cannot tell you how many times. The characters separate were ok, but together they were such a hot mess and not in a good way. Nicolette runs away from home but somehow has the smarts and knowhow to basically drop off of the radar. Uh, ok. She keeps saying over and over and over again how she is accused of killing someone but there are never, ever any more details given than that. That’s it! Not until the last few pages of the book do you find out what happened. The writer could have at least given little hints throughout the story but that never happened. Jack’s character was a disaster. He seemed to magically have the right smarts to track Nicolette down in the middle of nowhere America when professional killers couldn’t? That was too convenient.

Here is one of the main reasons I almost DNFd the book: Insta. Love. You read that right, everyone! These two characters instantly fell for each other when they meet! Jack knew she was apparently a killer and Nicolette thought he was a cute boy that liked her. So why not start shacking up and getting hot & heavy with each other? OH, also they planned to run away together because Jack changed his mind and wanted to protect her. groan After one conversation, Jack decides that Nicolette is someone worth protecting and choses to help her. I hope you heard my eyeroll on that one.

The pacing of this story was all over the place. It felt like an incredibly long story where nothing was really happening. Both characters did an awful lot of stuff but they never got anywhere. It felt like I was watching a hamster in a wheel. Nothing truly happened until the end of the book when all of the action was crammed into the last two chapters. Then it was all very quickly “resolved” and everyone was happy. I don’t know about you, but I do not like it when stories end that way. It irritated me and I actually kicked myself for not DNFing this book. I struggled to give this story 2.5 stars because I’m not sure it deserved that many.

 

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Rock Star Book Tours: 100 HOURS Cover Reveal Blitz + Giveaway

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I am so excited to share the awesome cover for 100 HOURS, the first book in a new trilogy by New York Times best-selling author Rachel Vincent, which releases on March 28, 2017 from Katherine Tegen Books, along with a note from the author about her upcoming novel and an amazing giveaway.

Scroll down to take check out the gorgeous cover, read what Rachel Vincent has to say about 100 HOURS, and enter for a chance to win. And be sure to share your thoughts about the cover in the comments!

 

A Note from Rachel Vincent

In my upcoming YA suspense 100 HOURS, Genesis and her cousin Maddie come from opposite ends of the privilege spectrum, but when they wind up kidnapped for ransom during spring break in Colombia and have no one else to count on, they discover they have more in common than either of them thought.

If you’ve read any of my previous releases, 100 HOURS probably seems like a departure for a Rachel Vincent book. And that’s what I thought, back when it was just me and an idea. But as I wrote the story and got to know the characters, I realized that even though this book is set in the Colombian jungle and these characters have no supernatural abilities, 100 HOURS is very much a book about the themes that draw me in over and over. Survival. Family friction and loyalty. High-stakes pulse-racing action. Twists, turns, secrets, and revelations. Girls who can fend for themselves—and for anyone else who needs help.

 

About 100 HOURS

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Title: 100 HOURS

Author: Rachel Vincent

Release date: March 28, 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Pages: 368

Formats available to pre-order: Hardcover

 

Find it: AMAZON | GOODREADS

 

 

Description:

Maddie is beyond done with her cousin Genesis’s entitled and shallow entourage. Genesis is so over Miami’s predictable social scene with its velvet ropes, petty power plays, and backstabbing boyfriends.

While Maddie craves family time for spring break, Genesis seeks novelty—like a last-minute getaway to an untouched beach in Colombia. And when Genesis wants something, it happens.

But paradise has its price. Dragged from their tents under the cover of dark, Genesis, Maddie, and their friends are kidnapped and held for ransom deep inside the jungle—with no diva left behind. It all feels so random to everyone except Genesis. She knows they were targeted for a reason. And that reason is her.

Now, as the hours count down, only one thing’s for certain: If the Miami hostages can’t set aside their personal problems, no one will make it out alive.

 

About Rachel Vincent

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Rachel Vincent is a former English teacher and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who’s been her # 1 fan from the start. Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, and she remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy—but social media is a close second.

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | TUMBLR | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 

Giveaway

Courtesy of the author, there is a blitz-wide giveaway for…

  • ONE (1) winner will receive a SIGNED SET of a paperback copy of THE STARS NEVER RISE + an ARC of THE FLAME NEVER DIES

Giveaway is US only. Must be 13 or older to enter. Giveaway ends on July 11th at 11:59 PM Pacific.

 

Rafflecopter link:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9a07ce2b359/

 

Rafflecopter embed code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Best Friendship Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing my…

 Top Ten-ish Best Friendship Reads

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Since You've Been Gone
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowlying
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
The Serpent King
What books have you read that portray best friends? Let me know!
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