Rockstar Book Tours: Grace and Fury – ARC Review and Giveaway

GRACE AND FURY

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About the Book:
Grace and Fury2Title: GRACE AND FURY
Author: Tracy Banghart
Pub. Date: July 31, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 320
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace–someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

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Review:

I thought I was ready for this but I wasn’t. I started and completed this book in a matter of hours. If you are looking for a story about self discovery, the power of sibling bonds, and knowing when to follow your heart – then this is the book for you.

Serina and Nomi are sisters that were raised very differently, but their bond is as strong as ever. Serina was raised to be a Grace, while Nomi was raised to be her handmaiden. Things happen (I won’t tell you what!) and everything is turned on its head. Serina is banished to an island for outlaws, thieves, murders, and those that have done illegal things. She must learn to survive in this new and brutal environment. Nothing is promised and nothing is easy. Nomi becomes one of the three Graces for the young prince and she could be picked as the primary Grace. That is a life Nomi does not want. She does not want to be forced into a marriage or arrangement where she is to serve the prince in every way possible.

Forced into lives that neither one of them wanted, they must learn to trust their instincts and find the inner strength they didn’t know they had. Nomi wants nothing more than to find her sister and save her from whatever  horrors are on that island. Serina discovers she is a lot tougher than her upbringing.

This story was one heck of a wild ride! Along with complex and flawed characters, this was full of lies, betrayals, deception, dark secrets, and more. I promise that once you start this story, you won’t want to put it down. It felt like The Selection meets The Hunger Games, in a way. It’s hard to say exactly what mash of stories this could be but know this – it is one of a kind and once it takes a hold of you – it will not let go.

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About Tracy:
Tracy

Tracy Banghart grew up in rural Maryland and spent her summers on a remote island in northern Ontario. All of that isolation and lovely scenery gave her the time to read voraciously and the inspiration to write her own stories. Always a bit of a nomad, Tracy now travels the world Army-wife style with her husband, son, cat, and sweet pupper Scrabble. She wrote Grace and Fury while living in Hawaii.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of GRACE AND FURY, US Only.

Rafflecopter Embed Code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/23/2018- Tea Party Princess– Review

7/24/2018- Paperback Princess– Review

7/25/2018- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review

7/26/2018- Book Dragon Lair– Review

7/27/2018- laura’s bookish corner– Review

 

Week Two:

7/30/2018- The Desert Bibliophile– Review

7/31/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review

8/1/2018- Synopses By Sarge– Review

8/2/2018- CoffeeCocktailsandBooks Blog– Review

8/3/2018- Kat’s Books– Review

 

Week Three:

8/6/2018- Feed Your Fiction Addiction– Review

8/7/2018- Portrait of a Book– Review

8/8/2018- To Be Read– Review

8/9/2018- Brooke- Reports– Review

8/10/2018- Cindy’s Love of Books– Review

 

Week Four:

8/13/2018- A Court of Coffee and Books– Review

8/14/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

8/15/2018- The Young Folks- Review

8/16/2018- Book-Keeping– Review

8/17/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

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ARC Review: The Cheerleaders

The Cheerleaders

 

 

It is no secret that I’m a massive fan of Kara Thomas. I love her twisted mind and her ability to write a thriller. Her latest novel was chilling and had me white-knuckling the book until the very last page.

Short recap: Monica lost her sister five years ago, along with the other Cheerleaders in her small town. Two were murdered, two died in a mysterious accident, and one committed suicide. Since then, no one knows  who killed these girls and no progress has been made in the investigations. Things in Monica’s life have started to unravel and she finds herself digging into what happened to her sister because something hasn’t seemed right. What Monica discovers and what she goes through will change her life forever.

I had a lot of mixed feelings about Monica’s character but I did like most of her. She was a smart, dedicated, loyal daughter and friend until the anniversary of her sister’s suicide. She starts to realize that maybe her friends aren’t there for the right reasons. Maybe they are either pulling away from her or just aren’t nice people. Either way, it pushed Monica to search for answers she so desperately wanted. Along the way she discovered more than she ever imagined… secrets that hoped to stay hidden.

The way the story was presented really was masterfully done. It was told from both Monica’s current day self and her Jennifer’s (her sister) past POV. It was complex, well thought out, masterfully developed. The two stories work together to give the reader the entire picture of what happened to both sisters. It turns out they are going through very similar things that makes them more alike than they could ever imagine.

There is one tiny thing that story of bothered me a bit… The story starts off with Monica having relations with a boy, which we discover later is an older man, a 27-year old man who becomes a teacher at her school. It is implied but never outright said that she had an abortion. She never tells anyone but her mom. The girl talked and referenced being in pain, cramping, and feeling awful. One has to put it together that that is what she was referring to. I point this out because later in the story Monica was made to feel that the sexual encounter she had was her fault. She self-blamed a lot and that bothered me. I was hoping Thomas would have taken the opportunity to talk about how assault like that was not her fault and she shouldn’t have beaten herself up the way she did.

Everything else about this story had me on the edge of my seat. The ending.. WHOA. Thomas is known for her plot twists that nobody seems coming and she did not disappoint. She delivered and I am still shook. If you have no already added this to your want to read list, please do. I cannot wait to read whatever Thomas publishes next. She will always be an auto-buy author for me. (Note that I tried so hard to give a great review for this story but keeping a lot of details out was tough. I just want to hook you and make you want to read it!)

 

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ARC Review: City of Ghosts

City of Ghosts

 

I am not sure what I expected when I started Schwab’s newest MG book, but what I read was certainly not it. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement.

Short recap: By all appearances, Cassidy has the perfect life and perfect family. Her parents are famous ghost hunters who have just been given their own TV show – and Cassidy gets to go with them to Europe to film the first episode. What her parents don’t realize is that Cassidy had a near-death experience that left her able to see and communicate with ghosts. She even has a best friend that is a ghost. Once in Europe, things in her life get really out of control when a known evil spirit wants to take Cassidy’s life force, which would leave Cassidy stranded in the ghost world forever.

Kind of confusing, no? I had ton constantly remind myself this was a MG book so if the MC came across childish and immature, it was because she was very young. I was not a fan of Cassidy, if I’m honest. She often talked (to herself and her ghost) about how her parents “didn’t get her” but she never actively did anything that would allow them to get to know her better. In the same note, they rarely paid attention to her. Sure, they brought her with them on trips but they didn’t include her in anything. They spent long days away from her with no way to entertain herself than a local who was “in charge” of watching her. Uh… when has that ever worked? Also, she is “befriended” by another girl that could see ghosts as well and she had a nasty personality. I don’t see how she was likable at all.

The overall plot of the story felt weak – remember – MG book. I think I had my expectations too high for this. Pretty much nothing significant happened for the first 80% of the story. Cassidy fires off some snarky comments, her parents pretend to be loving in inclusive, and she “gives up” her summer holiday to travel Europe. When the story finally ramps up, there are only a few chapters left. The ending was absolutely rushed and was wrapped up far too quickly – even for a short book.

Here is the number one thing that stood out to me – this felt like it could have been a Harry Potter fanfic story. There was SO MANY REFERENCES to Harry Potter and JK Rowling that I had to keep checking the cover to make sure I wasn’t reading that type of story. Many (and I do mean many) of the chapters were littered with references to Hogwarts houses, the type of HP backpack Cassidy carried, where Rowling wrote the first story, and more. There was even a reference to someone wearing “a Slytherin scarf”. None of this was necessary nor did it add anything to the story. Instead it caused me to heavily roll my eyes.

I am a reader that prefers to be showed something, not told.  Too may things within this story felt told to me instead of described to me. Also, the cat on the cover truly has nothing to do with the story. The cat is referenced a few times in the story but overall had no part to play. I cannot figure out why it is on the cover. I may be alone with my review of this story but not every story is for every reader. There are stories written by this author that I really did enjoy, but this was not one of them. I hope others enjoy it because I will not continue the series.

 

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ARC Review: Sadie

Sadie

 

 

Oh my ever-loving soul. This book destroyed me. I had heard this was good but damn, I did not know it would be as mind blowing as it was.

Short recap: Sadie is a teen who had one of the roughest childhoods imaginable. She was raised in a trailer park by a drug addicted mom who constantly brought home a string of loser boyfriends. Sadie wanted to do nothing more than protect her little sister, Mattie. When Mattie disappears and unfortunately is found murdered, Sadie sets out to find Mattie’s killer and face a horrific demon from her past.

I’m not sure there was much that could prepare me for the raw, emotional, and disturbing story I had ahead of me. I knew it would be captivating but I had no idea it would grab me by the feels the way it did. Nothing has come easy for Sadie. All she really wanted was a mother who would accept her and a father figure in her life. Sadie would not ever find those things and she knew it. That is why she threw everything she had, at the age of 6, into raising her little sister. Sadie knew she could protect Mattie in a way she was never protected and that meant everything to her. That’s why Sadie did not hesitate to set out to find her sister’s killer. The dark secret Sadie is harboring is that she was molested by one of the losers her mother brought home.

If that much doesn’t make you want to read the book, I’ll keep going.

The story happens to be told in a series of podcasts. Isn’t that cool? The story of Sadie was picked up by a podcast personality, West McCray, who was given the info on a missing girl and her backstory. He starts a series called The Girls which follows Sadie’s trail. He interviews a very large number of people and takes his listeners along for the ride. They know everything as soon as he does. The story moves at a pace that gives both Sadie’s POV and the podcasts. I don’t know why that made the story that much more engaging but it did.

The cliffhangers and plot twists within this story nearly killed me. I cannot say anything that might even come close to preparing you for the secrets that come out and the incredibly disturbing facts that are discovered.

I am trying so very hard not to give anything away because I want you to read this book. I want you to follow Sadie on her journey and West as he discovers what happened to these sisters. I promise you that this will be one story you will not forget.

 

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ARC Review: I Am Still Alive

I Am Still Alive

 

I thought I knew what I was getting into when I picked up this book from Penguin Teen but I was wrong. What a roller coaster of a thriller!

Short recap: Teenager Jess (aka Sequoia) has had a very rough life. Her dad left when she was very young and her mother was recently killed in a car accident. That same car accident left her with a disability that makes it difficult for her to walk, or even run. Forced to live with her estranged dad, who happened to relocate to very remote Canada, Jess will discover who she really is and what she is truly capable of.

If you want a stellar read about survival and finding inner strength, this will be the book for you. This absolutely blew me away. I read this from cover to cover in a matter of hours. I was so hooked on this story and so involved in Jess’ survival that I couldn’t put this down for anything. It also made me realize that I probably wouldn’t survive in a situation like this. I might last a few minutes but that would be it. I’m far too soft. 😦

The entire story is told from Jess’ perspective and split into Before and After. The Before chapters are from her life with her Mom and back when she was happy. The After chapters take place after the loss of her father. That’s right – her father is killed and Jess is forced to find a way to survive in the middle of absolute nowhere with nothing but her small knowledge of wilderness survival and her father’s dog, Bo. Are you interested in reading yet? I’ll continue.

What Jess doesn’t know about her father is the reason he left her and her mom – he got caught up in some truly terrible things. These terrible things ended up costing him his life, and could possibly take her life as well. The main question I had throughout the entire story was who killed her dad and why? Who would want to take out her father who was living off of the radar in the most remote part of Canada? He was nowhere near phones or even civilization. If her dad couldn’t grow it, hunt it, or make it, it wasn’t necessary.

Do  I have you interested in this now? This was a quick read and it was outstanding. The writing was fluid and I loved it. The suspense was heart pounding and had me on the edge of my seat. My only complaint is that I took so long to finally read this.

 

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Nyxia Unleashed Blog Tour – ARC Review and Giveaway

NYXIA UNLEASHED (1)

www.rockstarbooktours.com

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About the Book:

Nyxia Unleashed

Title: NYXIA UNLEASHED (The Nyxia Triad #2)

Author: Scott Reintgen

Pub. Date: July 17, 2018

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 400

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, TBD

Getting to Eden brought Emmett and his crewmates one step closer to their promised fortune. But surviving Eden may be the biggest reward of all. Discover book two in the trilogy Marie Lu called, “a high-octane thriller.”

Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn’t take long for him to learn that Babel’s competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one.

Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population.

But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces—Babel and the Adamites—with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it’s too late?

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Nyxia

Title: NYXIA (The Nyxia Triad #1)

Author: Scott Reintgen

Pub. Date: May 4, 2018

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 377

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, TBD

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

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About Scott:

Scott

Scott Reintgen was always a back-row dreamer. As early as kindergarten, teachers noticed his tendency to stare out of classroom windows and disappear to more interesting elsewheres. In high school, he began laboring away on the opening chapter of his first fantasy novel. One of his favorite English teachers agreed to read the pages and the very next day she switched him (illegally) out of Spanish and into a Creative Writing class. The story got tossed eventually, but he never lost the confidence he was given by that single act of empowering faith.

Convinced he would one day be a writer, Scott spent most of college and graduate school investing in the world of literature. This eventually led to a career teaching English and Creative Writing in North Carolina. He strongly believes that every student who steps into his classroom has the right to see themselves, vibrant and victorious and on the page. It’s his hope to encourage a future full of diverse writers. As he’s fond of reminding his students, “You have a story to tell and you’re the only one who can tell it.”

As for his own writing, Scott continues to follow in the footsteps of his favorite authors. It was Tolkien who once wrote, “The fairy gold (too often) turns to withered leaves when it is brought away. All I can ask is that you, knowing all these things, will receive my withered leaves, as a token at least that my hand once held a little of the gold.” And Scott hopes his books are a trail of withered leaves that might lead readers to the bright elsewheres through which he constantly finds himself wandering.

He currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, Katie, and family.

Note: I went with this website domain instead of http://www.scottreintgen.com because, let’s be honest, my name’s really hard to pronounce. Rather than make people suffer through trying to spell it every time, I thought this would be easier!

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review:

I’m not sure how I can properly review this. It was everything I wanted in a sequel and more.

The story started right where book 1 left off. It pulled me right back into the thrill and suspense I ended the first book with. The characters continued to grow and develop, it was all very well done. The lies and betrayal threw me for a loop as the story continued. I was completely involved in this story that I could not stop turning the pages. I was on the edge of my seat and bummed when it was over. I want the next book NOW!

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Giveaway Details:

3 winners will win a finished copy of NYXIA UNLEASHED, US Only.

Rafflecopter link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2774/?

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/2/2018- Jena Brown WritesReview

7/3/2018- Paws and PaperbacksReview

7/4/2018- Pacific Northwest BookwormReview

7/5/2018- Here’s to Happy EndingsReview

7/6/2018- MNBernard BooksReview

Week Two:

7/9/2018- Flyleaf ChroniclesReview

7/10/2018- Life of a Literary NerdReview

7/11/2018- Overflowing BookshelvesReview

7/12/2018- RhythmicBooktrovertReview

7/13/2018- Adventures and ReadingReview

Week Three:

7/16/2018- Feed Your Fiction Addiction Review

7/17/2018- Crazy4BooksReview

7/18/2018- JustAddAWordReview

7/19/2018- Book-KeepingReview

7/20/2018- The Layaway DragonReview

Week Four:

7/23/2018- Book Dragon LairReview

7/24/2018- The Desert BibliophileReview

7/25/2018- The Clever ReaderReview

7/26/2018- Smada’s Book SmackReview

7/27/2018- NerdophilesReview

Week Five:

7/30/2018- lori’s Little House of ReviewsReview

7/31/2018- A Gingerly ReviewReview

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Like Never and Always Blog Tour: ARC Review

Like Never and Always Cover

 

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Synopsis: 

“An intense, emotional, compelling read.” —Kate Elliott

Liv Burnham thinks nobody knows Morgan Frost like she does, but a terrible accident pushes her down the rabbit hole where Morgan’s secrets hide and she’ll be lucky to make it out alive….

On a hot summer night, Liv, Morgan, Clay and Nathan are on the way home from a party in Clay’s convertible. Best friends dating brothers? It doesn’t get better than that. But the joyride ends in sudden impact, a screech of brakes, and shattering glass. On that lonely country road, four lives change forever.

Liv wakes in the hospital. At first she’s confused when they call her Morgan, but she assumes it’s a case of mistaken identity. Yet when the bandages come off, it’s not her face inthe mirror anymore. It’s Morgan’s.

Morgan always seemed to have the perfect life. But as Liv tries to fit herself into Morgan’s world, she discovers endlessly disturbing secrets of the criminal and murderous variety and a dark task to finish…if she doesn’t lose her mind first.

Forced to confront the disturbing truths that Morgan kept hidden in life, Liv must navigate a world of long-buried murder, a dangerous love affair—and a romance that feels like a betrayal.

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Review:

I want to start out by saying how much I love this author and I auto-buy every book she writes. I cannot get enough of her. That being said, I this newest novel by Aguirre was a little different than I was used to. It was a darker story, one with mystery, death, betrayals, and secrets that could kill.

This story had my full attention from the opening scene. I immediately had to know what was going on! How was Liv inside of Morgan with memories from both girls? As I started reading about Morgan’s privileged life, it soon became clear that Morgan was not as happy as everyone thought she was. This girl had secrets. I’m not going to give any of them away, I want you to read the book.

This was such a fast read! There were so many twists and turns that I wasn’t ever bored. The suspense was on point and the world Aguirre created was amazing. I’m really trying not to give too much away because I really want people to read this book. If you have questions, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them! In the meantime, consider adding this to your TBR.

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Tour Schedule:

Date Outlet Link
Monday, July 16 The Book Nut https://booklovingnut.com/
Tuesday, July 17 Just Add A Word http://justaddaword.com/
Wednesday, July 18 The Pages Inbetween http://thepagesinbetween.com/
Thursday, July 19 Arctic Books https://arcticbooks.wordpress.com/
Friday, July 20 Dark Faerie Tales http://darkfaerietales.com/
Monday, July 23 A Gingerly Review https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com/
Tuesday, July 24 Hello Jenny Reviews http://hellojennyreviews.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, July 25 The Lovely Books https://thelovelybooksbookblog.blogspot.com/
Thursday, July 26 Where The Reader Grows http://www.wherethereadergrows.com/
Friday, July 27 SciFi Chick http://scifichick.com/

 

 

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