December 7, 2017

Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller: An ARC Review

Title: Otherworld (Otherworld #1)
Author: Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publish Date: October 31, 2017
Pages: 355
Source: Publisher for Review
Get Yours: Amazon | Book Depository

The company says Otherworld is amazing—like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive—that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.

Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.

And it’s about to change humanity forever. Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.

I had such high hopes for this book. I mean, the synopsis of this sounds amazing, and my daughter and I enjoyed the Nightmares! books. But this book just wasn’t my thing once I started reading. The main character is supposed to be what, 18 years old? He seems very immature, like he’s 15 or younger. He stays at home to play VR video games and steals his moms credit card to pay for the equipment he needs to play it with. He acts as if it’s ok to do this. And then his dad finds out and had a temper tantrum and beats the crap out of this $6000 equipment with his golf clubs as if to teach his son a lesson. Why do that? Why not show you are an adult and return it? After I got to this part in the book I just had to put it down and walk away. 

Now on the other hand, I did give this a 2 star rating and that’s because the concept of this alternate video game world was pretty amazing. Everything seemed very well thought out and it seemed, from what little I had read, very believable. Probably more so than the reality in the book.

I might try this one again later and update my review, but for now, this was a no go for me sadly.

 About Jason:

New York Times bestselling author Jason Segel used to have nightmares just like Charlie, and just like Charlie, he's learned that the things we're most afraid of are the things that can make us strong...if we're brave enough to face them. Jason likes acting, writing, making music, and hanging out with his friends. Sometimes he writes movies. Sometimes he writes songs for movies. Sometimes he stars in those movies and sings those songs. You might know him from The Muppets and Despicable Me. Your parents might know him from other stuff. Nightmares! is his first novel.

Find Jason: Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

About Kirsten:

I write books.

Some of my books are what librarians call middle grade. (Kiki Strike, Nightmares!)

Some should be kept away from small children and people with weak stomachs. (How to Lead a Life of Crime, The Eternal Ones, Otherworld)

I write some books with Jason Segel.

I've written quite a few books on my own.

I'm an Aquarius.

My favorite food is cauliflower. (No joke.)

I will eat almost anything. And I'm weirdly proud of it.

I believe New York City is the most magical place on earth.

I love Dolly Parton and David Attenborough. Equally.

I cannot sing or play any musical instruments.

I'm obsessed with sewers and sanitation systems.

I once broke into a Mayan temple with my brother, Spike.

Spike is an alias. It's not his real name.

I also have a sister. She prefers to remain anonymous.

We have the same birthday.

Yes, that sucks.

I think that's all you need to know.

Find Kirsten: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Disclaimer: *I received a copy of this book for free to review, this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

**Book info obtained through Goodreads. ***Book Cover Obtained through Goodreads. ****Author photo obtained through author website.

December 6, 2017

December New Release Giveaway Hop (INT)

Welcome to the December 2017 New Release Giveaway Hop, hosted by It Starts At Midnight! The hop runs all month long so you can enter from now until midnight on December 31st. Up for grabs is any new release this month up to the value of $15 USD from the Book Depository as long as they deliver to your country, or from Amazon if you're in the United States - find the list of countries here at Book Depository. 

All you have to do is choose any new release published in December and fill out the rafflecopter!

Here is a look at some of the books that you can order:

Giveaway Ends December 31st at 11:59 PM CST

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now hop on over to the other blogs that are participating! Have fun!

Shutter by Courtney Alameda: A Book Review

Title: Shutter (Shutter #1)
Author: Courtney Alameda
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publish Date: February 3, 2015
Pages: 384
Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

Horror has a new name: introducing Courtney Alameda.

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

I loved this book from start to finish. It had everything I could hope for in a ghost hunting book. A kickass heroin, a hot brooding Aussie, best friends and action. At moments I wanted to scream at the book and others I wanted to reach through and bitch slap her dad. I got pretty early on who we were hunting as in the entity, which wasn't a big deal. I'm glad the book played out the way it did. There was plenty of the edge of your seat nail biting moments to make up for it. I'm also really glad the ending played out like it did and it left it open in case the author decides to revisit the Helsings in the future.

A veteran bookseller and librarian, Courtney Alameda now spends her days writing thriller and horror novels for young people. Her debut novel, SHUTTER, was nominated for a Bram Stoker award and hailed as a "standout in the genre" by School Library Journal. Her forthcoming novel, PITCH DARK (Spring 2017), is a genre-blending science fiction/horror novel in the vein of Ridley Scott's 1979 film ALIEN.
Courtney holds a B.A. in English literature with an emphasis in creative writing. She is represented by the talented John M. Cusick of Folio Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah with her husband, a legion of books, and a tiny five pound cat with a giant personality.
Find Courtney: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

 Disclaimer: **Book info obtained through Goodreads. ***Book Cover Obtained through Goodreads. ****Author photo obtained through author website.

December 5, 2017

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn: A Book Review

Title: Another Little Piece
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publish Date: June 11th 2013
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 419
Source: Purchased
Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese's fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.

I just couldn’t bring myself to finish this book. I tried and just to the point where I was just uninterested in it to go on. I sadly had to put this one down.

This one starts off pretty interesting where a girl is wandering through the woods to this house in a trash bag. But then it starts to get strange. Everyone believes she is this girl that was presumed dead a year prior. She looks like her and talks like her but doesn’t have her memories. Then she is taken to this hospital to talk to a shrink and then her parents take her home. She refers to them as “the Mom” and “the Dad”. Then it goes back and forth through the present and past memories. She even once had a craving for some boys blood or something. So this really wasn’t what I expected. 

This is another book that I need to put up on a shelf and try to come back to another time, hopefully. But for now, I just can’t bring myself to pick it up again to finish.

Kate Karyus Quinn is an avid reader and menthol chapstick addict. She has lived in California and Tennessee, but recently made the move back to her hometown of Buffalo, New York, with her husband and two children in tow. She promised them wonderful people, amazing food, and weather that would... build character. Another Little Piece is her first novel.

Disclaimer:  **Book info obtained through Goodreads. ***Book Cover Obtained through Goodreads. ****Author photo obtained through author website.

November 27, 2017

Children of Refuge by Margaret Peterson Haddix: A Nerd Blast Book Blast

Welcome to the Nerd Blast for Children of Refuge by Margaret Peterson Haddix hosted by Jean Book Nerd.

Series: Children of Exile (Book 2)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 272 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: September 12, 2017

After Edwy is smuggled off to Refuge City to stay with his brother and sister, Rosi, Bobo, and Cana are stuck alone—and in danger—in Cursed Town in the thrilling follow-up to Children of Exile from New York Times bestselling author, Margaret Peterson Haddix.

It’s been barely a day since Edwy left Fredtown to be with his parents and, already, he is being sent away. He’s smuggled off to boarding school in Refuge City, where he will be with his brother and sister, who don’t even like him very much. The boarding school is nothing like the school that he knew, there’s no one around looking up to him now, and he’s still not allowed to ask questions!

Alone and confused, Edwy seeks out other children brought back from Fredtown and soon discovers that Rosi and the others—still stuck in the Cursed Town—might be in danger. Can Edwy find his way back to his friends before it’s too late?

This is a topical thriller that brings heart and thought to the sci-fi genre. ―Kirkus Reviews

The plot twists are multiple, exciting, and completely logical… An excellent dystopian adventure for tweens. ―Booklist

Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. Before her first book was published, she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danville, Illinois.

She has since written more than 40 books for kids and teens, including Running Out of Time; Double Identity; Uprising; The Always War; the Shadow Children series; the Missing series; the Children of Exile series; the Under Their Skin duology; and The Palace Chronicles. She also wrote Into the Gauntlet, the tenth book in the 39 Clues series. Her books have been honored with New York Times bestseller status, the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award; American Library Association Best Book and Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers notations; and numerous state reader’s choice awards. They have also been translated into more than twenty different languages.

Haddix and her husband, Doug, now live in Columbus, Ohio. They are the parents of two grown kids.

Find Margaret: Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram

--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

15 Winners will receive a Copy of CHILDREN OF REFUGE by Margaret Peterson Haddix.
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November 26, 2017

Haven by Mary Lindsey: A Book Review

Title: Haven
Author: Mary Lindsey
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publish Date: November 7th 2017
Pages: 371
Source: Publisher for Review
Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

"We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed."

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Fast paced, action packed and hot! For fans of Twilight and Maggie Stiefvater's The Shiver trilogy. This was a seemingly quick read for me and I devoured it from start to finish. I really love Mary Lindsey and I couldn't wait to read this. The cover is completely amazing and the story had me pulled in from the beginning.

I really loved the main characters, Rain and Freddie. They both had their fair share of tragic pasts and loss. Which made them such a great pair. I felt like I was watching their relationship and romance unfold right before my eyes, almost as if I was witnessing it first hand. Also, the supporting characters helped pull the loose ends together quite nicely. I enjoyed seeing how the story unfolded as I was reading. However, there was a lot of back story to this and some characters did seem like they were being rushed into the story and thrown in when we didn't need any.

If you read where I stated that this was for fans of Twilight and that got your attention trying to figure out where the werewolf in this book crosses with the vampires of Twilight, I will say, there was one scene that, as I was reading this, was almost identical to Twilight. I don't want to spoil it for you, so you will have to read it to see what I am talking about. 

But for the most part, this was a fantastic, quick read that will pull you in from the start. Thanks to Entangled Publishing for my wonderful box of Haven inspired things and a wonderful book for review!

Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.

Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 "pet" Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the "pet" roaches found a home... somewhere else.

She also writes under the pseudonym Marissa Clarke.

Disclaimer: *I received a copy of this book for free to review, this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

**Book info obtained through Goodreads. ***Book Cover Obtained through Goodreads. ****Author photo obtained through author website.

November 22, 2017

Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson Blog Tour

Release Date: November 21, 2017
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 320 pages

Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn't going to do this summer.

1. She isn't going to stay home in Sacramento, where she'd have to sit through her stepmother's sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn't going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn't going to the Air Force summer program on her mom's base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender's Game, Ellie's seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it's much less Luke/Yoda/"feel the force," and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn't appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she'd be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her determination, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she's going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer's going to be great.

“This is a wonderful book that explores the desire to be loyal to family and to create a space that belongs solely to
oneself. Ever’s is a fresh and welcome voice that unashamedly embraces her geekiness.”
—School Library Journal

“Smart, strong, and confident, Ever is a likable protagonist...and fans of The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You will
joyfully greet the return of major characters. Good geeky fun.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Fans of Anderson’s debut novel, The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, will recognize some characters and delight in
the steady flow of witty banter and sci-fi references.”

“NOT NOW, NOT EVER definitely lives up to even the highest summer-camp novel expectations, and watching Elliot gain
her stride and find herself at a summer camp for genius nerds is extremely entertaining…This is a strong novel with a
solid cast of supporting characters surrounding Elliot, one of the most charismatic heroines in recent memory.”
—Romantic Times

1. Who's your favorite character in NOT NOW, NOT EVER?
Definitely Elliot. She’s so different than me—she’s sporty where I’m slothy and brave where I’m scared and into Sci-Fi where I’m into romance novels and musicals. I loved being in her head for the year I was writing the book.

2. What is your writing process? Are you a pantser? (That would be especially interesting given the literary conversation with the plays). Outliner?
I’m an outliner and my outlines get more serious with every book. With NOT NOW, I outlined a three act structure which was basically “Elliot runs away. Elliot is at camp. Camp is really hard.” If I were outlining the same story now, it would have a chapter by chapter breakdown with character beats.

3. Please give the elevator pitch for Not Now, Not Ever.
Using The Importance Of Being Earnest as a guide, Elliot Gabaroche runs away from home to compete for a college scholarship.

4. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?
Any scene that happens in the Mo-Lo library. As a librarian, I took particular joy in creating a giant fantastical library of my dreams (and putting some swoon inside).

5. What do you most hope that readers take away from your novels (either or both)?
I want all my readers to take away a sense of happiness. NOT NOW, NOT EVER and its predecessor, THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU, are fluff. Hopefully well crafted, artisanal and organic fluff but fluff nonetheless. NOT NOW is very much a story about choosing a path, but also realizing that the paths don’t close behind you. I want my readers to have hope for Elliot’s path and their own.

6. What is next?
My next book, UNDEAD GIRL GANG, comes out from Penguin Razorbill on May 8, 2018! It’s Veronica Mars meets The Craft in the fat Wiccan Latina book I’ve always wanted to write.

7. Do you have a dream cast for if there was ever a movie version of NOT NOW, NOT EVER?
In four or five years, I think that Marsai Martin (Diane from Blackish) and Finn Wolfhard (Mike from Stranger Things) would be a perfect Elliot and Brandon. Wendell Cheeseman, the professor in charge of Camp Onward, was written with Paul Scheer  (from my all-time favorite podcast, How Did This Get Made, and TV shows like Fresh Off The Boat and The League) in mind. 

Lily was nice enough to answer a couple of our questions as well:

8. Is writing something you always wanted to do or is it something that just happened?
I have always written. I won my first writing contest when I was in first grade for a poem about olives. (Olives are good/olives are great/you can put them on your fingers/you can put them on your toes/but Mom will really yell at me/if I put them up my nose). I wrote poetry and fan fic until I was about fourteen and started writing original characters.

9. On a Harry Potter note, which house do you belong to?
Ravenclaw for life! 

LILY ANDERSON is an elementary school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California. She is also the author of The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You.

Find Lily: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

November 2, 2017

Cherry Bombe by Kerry Diamond & Claudia Wu: A Cookbook Review

Title: Cherry Bombe
Author: Kerry Diamond, Claudia Wu
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Publish Date: October 10th 2017
Source: Blogging For Books
Buy It: Amazon

It's the first-ever cookbook from the team behind Cherry Bombe, the hit indie magazine about women and food, and the Radio Cherry Bombe podcast. Inside are 100+ recipes from some of the most interesting chefs, bakers, food stylists, pastry chefs, and creatives on the food scene today, including:

Mashama Bailey, chef of The Grey Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Melissa Clark, New York Times columnist and cookbook author Amanda Cohen, chef/owner of Dirt Candy Angela Dimayuga, executive chef of Mission Chinese Food Melissa & Emily Elsen, founders of Four & Twenty Blackbirds Karlie Kloss, supermodel and cookie entrepreneur Jessica Koslow, chef/owner of Sqirl Padma Lakshmi, star of Top Chef Elisabeth Prueitt, pastry chef and co-founder of Tartine and Tartine Manufactory Chrissy Teigen, supermodel and bestselling cookbook author Christina Tosi, chef and founder of Milk Bar Joy Wilson, of Joy the Baker Molly Yeh, of my name is yeh

The Cherry Bombe team asked these women and others for their most meaningful recipes. The result is a beautifully styled and photographed collection that you will turn to again and again in the kitchen.

In this cookbook you are taken through many different culinary recipes. Most of which weren't really for me. The photos were gorgeous and the recipes well laid out and descriptive. However, when we got down to it, nothing really jumped out at me as in saying "MAKE ME!". However, once I got to the desserts, there were a few things that stood out that I could see making in a everyday average american home. A few to name were the Best Friend Cheesecake and the Sweet Potato Pie. I, for one, may not have enjoyed the recipes in this book since they weren't really for me or my family, but I'm only one person, so these might just be for you. 

Ending Thoughts:
The cover was gorgeous and the photos add a great touch. I also liked how it tells you everything that you will need utensil and small appliance wise.

Editorial director of @cherrybombemag and host of Radio Cherry Bombe. Food + feminism. Currently on tour for Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook

Find Kerry: Twitter

CLAUDIA WU is the co-founder and creative director of Cherry Bombe, and runs a creative consulting and design studio. Previously, she was art director at V and Visionaire magazines, design director at Index Magazine, and founded and published Me Magazine.

Disclaimer: *I received a copy of this book for free to review, this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

**Book info obtained through Goodreads. ***Book Cover Obtained through Goodreads. ****Author photo obtained through author website.

November 1, 2017

November New Release Giveaway Hop [INT]

Welcome to the November 2017 New Release Giveaway Hop, hosted by It Starts At Midnight! This is my first time participating and I'm so excited! The hop now runs all month long so you can enter from now until midnight on November 30th. Up for grabs is any new release this month up to the value of $15 USD from the Book Depository as long as they deliver to your country, or from Amazon if you're in the United States - find the list of countries here

All you have to do is choose any new release published in November and fill out the rafflecopter!

Here is a look at some of the books that you can order: 

Giveaway Ends November 30th at 11:59 PM CST

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now hop on over to the other blogs that are participating! Have fun!

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