Saturday, November 29, 2014

Review: Rush

Rush by Eve Silver
Source: Received for free in exchange for an honest review
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date:  June 11th, 2013

So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game — her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos.

In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

Rush was a good read! I am not salivating with a need to fangirl, but I enjoyed the ride Eve Silver took us on!

The first thing I loved about the book was Miki Jones. She's sassy, a little messed up, and a stellar main characters. She's got a voice that's unique and had me flipping pages. Also, of course, I liked Jackson. Even though I normally get frustrated with the "I'm mysterious and will answer all of your questions in one syllable... or less" type. However, in Rush, his antics made me smile and generally curious. It helps that Miki is just as exasperated with him as we are. Also, inside he is pretty sweet. I liked learning his back story!

The gaming aspect of the novel was awesome! I am not much of a gamer but it was super, super cool to learn terms. It was creative on the author's part! I do wish I got to learn more about the aliens... hopefully in the next book!

Overall, I absolutely recommend Rush. There's action and humor and interesting characters. Also, it goes by so, so fast. The ending was like ...BAM! 

4/5 stars

*Received for free in exchange for an honest review*
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Remember Me Blog Tour

Remember Me by Romily Bernard
Source: Received for free in exchange for an honest review
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 23rd 2014
Wick had thought her troubles were over.

But she should’ve known better.

Not only is she embroiled in a new murder case, which starts with a body with “Remember Me” carved into it and doesn’t stop there, but she also discovers new evidence surrounding her mother’s suicide…which leads her right back to her imprisoned deadbeat dad. And she has to deal with her flirty new hacker friend, Milo, sniffing around—which her boyfriend, Griff, isn’t too happy about.

The pressure might be too much as secrets—including Wick’s own—climb to the surface.

Remember Me is an edge-of-your-seat thrilling read that’ll have readers turning the pages at lightning speed! The paperback of Find Me is on sale simultaneously, and a digital original novella from Romily, featuring Griff, is on sale just a few weeks before! 

After loving Find Me, I was super excited, although a little wary, to start Remember Me. I was a little nervous because I wasn't sure where else the story could go! However, the quick introduction of a fantastic plot and a cast of awesome characters assured me that Wick's tale was far from finished. 

First of all, I really love Wick. Sure, she had her flaws, but I love how she is so different from the average YA heroine. She is a hacker, an outcast in some ways, and is not a "nice" teenage girl. She is not afraid to stoop to her enemy's level. Her sister and adoptive mom are very important to her, and she does whatever she can to protect them. The author gave Wick strengths, imperfections, and uniqueness.

Other important characters included Detective Carson, Griffin, and Milo. I really, really, really disliked Carson. I can't believe all the things he put Wick through!!! Next we have Griffin, Wick's love interest. He is really sweet and all that. However, Milo, to me, seems to understand Wick better. By the way, Milo Gray is an amazing new character that has a thing for Wick. He's way more fun than Griffin, so I am definitely on Milo's side! So far though, nothing has really happened between him and Wick. 

The plot was really awesome as well. There is so much stuff jammed in: Wick's mother's suicide, a mysterious message, video tapes, deaths, Judge Bay, and lots of other stuff! I was in the tips of my toes the entire time, and flew through the pages. However, the ending was pretty cruel. I wanted more!!!

I definitely recommend the Find Me series to anyone who loves mysteries, action, and dark, complex characters. I cannot wait for the third book, Trust Me.

4/5 Stars

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Follow the FFBC Remember Me Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

I graduated from Georgia State University with a Literature degree. Since then, I’ve worked as a riding instructor, cell phone salesgirl, personal assistant, groom, exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service rep. 

So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed.

Win (1) of (2) signed paperbacks of Find Me + Remember Me by Romily Bernard (US Only)

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: The Jewel

The Jewel (The Lone City #1) by Amy Ewing
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.
1. Can you persuasively sell your book, The Jewel, to our readers in 6 words?

Oh man, that’s tough! Ok, here goes: “Girls sold as surrogates to royalty.” I don’t know if that’s particularly persuasive, but it certainly gives you a good idea as to what the book is about.

2. What do you admire most about Violet?

I really admire her compassion, especially in the face of all she is forced to endure in the Jewel. She never loses sight of who she is and what is important to her. And I love that she is a fierce friend, particularly when it comes to Raven.

3. What character in The Jewel was most fun to write about?

Ok, I’m torn on this one. First, I’ll say: The Duchess! I absolutely love the Duchess. She is so layered. You never know if you want to hate her or feel bad for her. I think that’s my favorite type of character to read, and to write. But in terms of pure fun, Garnet wins hands down. He is such a jerk, but he’s a loveable jerk. Super entitled, a total rule breaker, and supremely inappropriate—what could be more fun to write than that?

4. The cover art is amazing, I adore it! What do you think of The Jewel's cover? 

Oh my god, I LOVE THIS COVER! I feel so incredibly lucky—as an author, you pretty much have zero control over what goes on the cover of your books and I just couldn’t be happier with what HarperCollins came up with. I mean, they put Violet into a diamond. And the subtlety of color? The refractions in the facets of the diamond? The way Violet looks so sad while surrounded by beauty? It’s absolutely perfect. I can’t gush enough about it.

5. Where is your dream travel destination?

I would love to go to Bali. I love beach vacations. I can hang out on a beach for ages. I realized that last year when I went to San Sebastian with a friend—there is this famous beach there called La Concha and we spent three days just lying out, sunning ourselves, chatting, and reading books. And I did not want to leave.

6. What are some of your non-bookish hobbies?

I play guitar and write my own songs. I am the worst binge-watcher of Netflix in the history of ever—I can be such a procrastinator and Netflix is definitely my enabler. I love doing jigsaw puzzles and I really like to cook.

7. I love that Violet plays the cello! What kind of music do you like?

Me too! I actually played the cello when I was in middle school and it’s always been one of my favorite instruments. I love folksy, blue grass, Americana type of music, like Old Crow Medicine Show, the Avett Brothers, and the Steeldrivers. And of course, older, classic folksy music, like Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and James Taylor. I was brought up on the Beach Boys and Sam Cooke and Dion and the Belmonts—my father was always playing their albums on Saturday afternoons.

8. Quick! What's your favorite color? 

OK, this sounds really lame, but I swear it's true: Purple! Maybe that was in the back of my mind when I chose Violet's name...

You know you want to!

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Follow the FFBC The Jewel Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Amy Ewing is the young adult author of THE JEWEL, the first in a trilogy from HarperTeen, coming out September 2014.

She grew up in a small town outside Boston, where her librarian mother instilled a deep love of reading at a young age. Amy moved to New York City in 2000 to study theater at New York University. Unfortunately, her acting career didn’t quite pan out. She worked in restaurants, as an administrative assistant, a nanny, and a sales representative for a wine distributor before the lack of creativity in her life drove her to begin writing.

Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children from The New School, where she was lucky enough to meet a fabulous community of YA writers who keep her sane on a daily basis. She lives in Harlem, where she spends her days writing, eating cheese, and occasionally binge watching The Vampire Diaries.

Win ONE of THREE copies of The Jewel (US Only)

I have already read The Jewel and LOVED IT so, so much! My review will go up sometime soon. Also, good luck to everyone who entered the giveaway!

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