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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

CAN'T WAIT TO READ: Tell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger

Series: Follow Me Back #2
Release date: June 5th 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Love. Obsession. Jealousy. Murder.

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow. 

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she's finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat... That's safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.

A.V. GeigerAbout the Author
A.V. Geiger writes contemporary young adult fiction. Her debut novel, FOLLOW ME BACK, will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in 2017. 
A.V. is a popular author on Wattpad, where her original fiction has frequently ranked #1 in the Mystery/Thriller genre. Her writing career began as a hobby, posting celebrity fanfiction online, and her work draws extensively on her own experiences with fan culture and social media. 

She lives with her family in New Jersey.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Review: Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis

Release date: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
For sixteen-year-old Tiffany Sly, life hasn’t been safe or normal for a while. Losing her mom to cancer has her a little bit traumatized and now she has to leave her hometown of Chicago to live with the biological dad she’s never known.

Anthony Stone is a rich man with four other daughters—and rules for every second of the day. Tiffany tries to make the best of things, but she doesn’t fit into her new luxurious, but super-strict, home—or get along with her standoffish sister London. The only thing that makes her new life even remotely bearable is the strange boy across the street. Marcus McKinney has had his own experiences with death, and the unexpected friendship that blossoms between them is the only thing that makes her feel grounded.

But Tiffany has a secret. Another man claims he’s Tiffany’s real dad—and she only has seven days before he shows up to demand a paternity test and the truth comes out. With her life about to fall apart all over again, Tiffany finds herself discovering unexpected truths about her father, her mother and herself, and realizing that maybe family is in the bonds you make—and that life means sometimes taking risks.

*Publisher provided ebook via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really loved this story! Tiffany Sly Lives Here is full of humor, sad and relatable moments, a complex family situation, and interesting neighbors one might call crazy but I found it all refreshingly different. A wonderful novel from a great storyteller. 

Tiffany has recently lost her mother to cancer and is preparing to leave her grandmother, best friend, and all that is familiar and safe behind to move in with a father she knows nothing about. But before leaving Chicago, another man comes forward claiming to be her real father. Fearing she might end up in an episode of Maury with paternity test drama, Tiffany keeps this to herself and still leaves her hometown, which I understand because that's a lot to deal with on top of her mother's death. To Tiffany's surprise, her rich father has a wife and four other children. No one prepared her for that, and she was certainly not expecting Anthony Stone to be so religious and controlling. His character had me rolling my eyes and shaking my head constantly. And every time he'd say something inconsiderate or just utterly off, I'd get frustrated with his wife and wish for Tiffany to tell him about her other father. 

It was easy to hope one man was her real father, just for being so polar opposite to the other and being so much nicer and open. But even while Tiffany was having a hard time, she had a gut feeling who her real father was. 

Aside from the two father drama of the story, I did like her younger siblings, even London. No matter how stuck-up she was. Her attitude was kind of understandable, being that she was the eldest for a while and here comes this other older daughter changing things up in her life. London's character was a story in itself and admittedly, I laughed when she ended up in that dilemma because of how she presented herself to the outside world. 

There were other interesting aspects of the story that took us away from the family drama now and then. For instance, I liked the moments where Tiffany made an effort with her stepmother and was willing to help with her youngest sister. It always brought a smile to my face and I wished Anthony would make as much of an effort. And the Stones' neighbors and their son were such lovable people. Tiffany's connection with Marcus was a delight, accepting him in spite of his difference and how everyone else treated him. Marcus has a warm and polite nature. It was so sad learning about his problem, but I loved that he lived without fear and celebrated every moment with his family. More power to him and his mothers.

I don't want to give too much away. I'll just conclude by saying this story will have you laughing, clenching your fists in anger, and tearing up. And you go through these emotions from start to finish. It's one of those books you don't want to pass on. I highly recommend reading this one! 


About the Author

Dana L. Davis
Dana L. Davis is a writer of novels for teens, and also a successful Hollywood actress with previous series regular roles as: Carmen Phillips on TNT’s Franklin and Bash, head Cheerleader Chastity Church on 10 Things I Hate About You; modern day mimic Monica Dawson on NBC’s cult series Heroes; and Felica Jones on ABC’s The Nine. In addition to her work on screen, Dana has become a motivational speaker for teens. Her stirring assemblies empower and encourage youth, gifting them the tools and steps to value their inner beauty. Davis was raised in the Midwest and currently resides in Los Angeles with her 5-year-old daughter.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Review: Future Lost by Elizabeth Briggs

Series: Future Shock #3
Release date: April 3rd 2018
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
It’s been a year since Elena and Adam were first recruited by Aether Corporation and six months since they destroyed the accelerator, finally putting an end to Project Chronos and their involvement with Aether. Now they’re trying to move on with their lives. Elena’s in college and Adam is working on making genicote, his cure for cancer, safe for the public.

But genicote has become a dangerous fixation for Adam. He’ll do anything to figure it out, and when he goes missing, Elena realizes that he’s done the unthinkable: he went to Aether for help with the cure. To Elena’s horror, she discovers that Aether has created a new accelerator. Adam betrayed her trust and has traveled into the future to find the fix for his cure, but he didn’t come back when he was supposed to. Desperate to find him, Elena decides to risk future shock and time travels once more.

This future is nothing like they’ve seen before. Someone has weaponized Adam’s cure and created a dangerous pandemic, leading to the destruction of civilization. If Elena can’t find Adam and stop this, everyone is at risk. And someone will do anything to keep her from succeeding.

*Publisher approved my request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Future Lost had my emotions all over the place. I was switching between excitement and frustration. One minute I'm annoyed with Adam for still keeping secrets from Elena and acting foolishly when he's not even good at taking care of himself or helping anyone else for that matter. The next minute I'm upset with Elena for always being so tough and throwing blame around. It's also the third book and she's still struggling to trust others. Then again, Adam never made it easy for her. Whatever the case, this has been a thrill ride for me, this time-traveling trilogy, and while I did enjoy it, I'm happy that it has come to an end for the characters sake. They can finally move on from Vincent and everything to do with Aether and can find some speck of normalcy. 

That being said, I must say I do love where Elizabeth went with this book. Developing a darker future with a pandemic the travelers hadn't experienced before, and unraveling their somewhat peaceful lives in the present. It was evident things were going to start falling apart in the current time from the moment Adam did what he did at the beginning of the story. There was just too much information going back to Vincent and Aether, so it was a matter of time before someone decided to go ahead and abuse those futuristic developments without waiting that many years to do it. 

As for the identity of the person who hopped a ride back to the present and added to the chaos, I had guessed it right away, but that aspect of the story was still interesting in itself because Elena and Adam were kept busy in between trying to figure out how to prevent the horrible events of the future and keeping themselves and their friends safe. Although, it was easy to blame Adam for causing all that tragedy with the way he'd been obsessing over developing genicote. Perhaps if he'd taken his time instead of rushing the process, a lot of things wouldn't have transpired. But then again, if they hadn't taken that first trip in book one, maybe everything that happened afterward could have been avoided. Still, towards the end of the story, I understood Adam's intentions and looked at things from his perspective. He wholeheartedly wanted to help people and rid the world of this horrible disease. It wasn't his fault that evil people took something meant to heal and turned it into something so devastating. 

Overall, a great ending to this exciting trilogy. Once again, the writing is fluid with no lagging, keeping you interested from start to finish. I couldn't wait to see how things would work out and if all the travelers would be saved. And while their relationship had its complications, I still rooted for the love between Elena and Adam and I'm satisfied with how the author left things. If you haven't started this trilogy I recommend picking it up, especially if you're into Sci-Fi and time travel. You won't be disappointed.

Elizabeth BriggsAbout the Author
Elizabeth Briggs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Future Shock trilogy and the Chasing The Dream series. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Sociology, currently mentors teens in writing, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. Elizabeth lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of fluffy dogs. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Review: Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

Release date: March 20th 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

The Hate U Give meets All American Boys in this striking and heartbreaking debut novel, commenting on current race relations in America. 

When Marvin Johnson's twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.

The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it's up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.
Tyler Johnson Was Here is a stunning account of police brutality in modern America.

*Publisher approved my request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My only issue with the book is that it wasn't longer and that some scenes felt too quick. Aside from that, this story is so real and depicts exactly what is happening in this country. The number of Marvins in the news and those not mentioned at all are frighteningly high. There's absolutely nothing fiction about it. So from start to finish, every scene of racial discrimination, in school and within the community, was undeniably accurate and can be related to. And even more painful is that my review comes at a time when another defenseless black man is brutally murdered by police. I mean, shot several times in his back. Why is this happening? When will black lives truly start to matter and not be seen as less than?

My heart broke while reading Tyler Johnson Was Here, experiencing the heartache of a mother whose son was taken away, and a brother wanting to stand up for his twin and doing something to get more people to open their eyes to the injustices faced by black people daily. 

I highly recommend giving this one a read and do not compare it to The Hate U Give the way the blurb and others have. This is Jay Coles story. There is substance in the writing. The characters exist and they live outside of the pages. 

Jay ColesAbout the Author
Jay Coles is a MG and YA author. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with two dogs nicknamed Bonnie and Clyde. Also, Jay is a teacher, blogger, composer/musician and a proud member of ASCAP!


Monday, March 26, 2018

Review: The Secrets We Bury by Stacie Ramey

Release date: March 6th 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

In an effort to escape his family, Dylan sets out on the Appalachian trail—but he can't escape his past—or his secrets in this novel from the author of The Sister Pact.

Dylan Taggart is on the run. His family is trying to put him in a school for psychologically challenged students, and he gets it—he has issues. But a special school is a complete overreaction. And in six months, he'll be a legal adult, so Dylan decides to disappear on the Appalachian Trail until he can make his own decisions.

Dylan wanted independence, but setting out on a 2,190-mile hike by himself is more than he bargained for. And he keeps crossing paths with another teen hiker, known only as "The Ghost." This mysterious girl is also making the trek alone, and Dylan can tell she's trying to escape too. But from what? When disaster strikes, how can they trust each other if they can't face their own secrets?

*Publisher approved request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was first introduced to Ramey's storytelling in her previous novel, The Sister Pact, which I truly liked. As for The Secrets We Bury, while it is an interesting story, it just didn't work that much for me.

First off, I just couldn't connect with Dylan or Ghost and that was one major issue for me throughout the story because I couldn't genuinely care about their situation. Also, it felt somewhat drawn out to the point where I'd become distracted or end up feeling lost while reading. I'm not saying it's not a good story, the thing is it didn't work that much for me. I was also a bit annoyed with Dylan and all he was putting his family through. I know everybody goes through different things but I feel that after what had happened with his father, he shouldn't add more distress to the situation. The same for Ghost. Her attitude frustrated me a lot. Good thing both had a little growth by the end.

All the issues aside, I can see readers relating to Dylan's character in some ways. And I did like how he went out of his way to help other people, and all the things he did toward the end of the story were commendable.  The writing is also great, with the exception of those draggy moments. Again, not a bad story. I was just expecting so much more. 

About the Author
Stacie RameyStacie Ramey learned to read at a very early age to escape the endless tormenting from her older siblings. Where the Wild Things Are was her first favorite book and she swore she’d only marry a man who could prove he had rumpus in his heart!

She attended the University of Florida, where she majored in communication sciences, and Penn State where she received a Master of Science degree in Speech Pathology. She also met her future husband at Penn State, who surprised her one day with all of the stuffed Wild Things’ characters, proving his worth. Stacie currently works with high school aged Autistic kids, introducing them to the literary worlds she grew up loving. When she’s not working or writing, she engages in Netflix wars with her children or beats her husband in Scrabble, all while watching the Florida Gators and Penn State Nittany Lions play (Go Gators). She lives in Florida with her husband, children, and rescue dogs.


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