Early Review: Liars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath

Title: Liars and Losers Like Us
Author: Ami Allen-Vath
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date:  March 15th, 2016
Page Count:  240 pages
Format:  eARC
Source: Edelweiss


Summary:
Keep calm and make it to prom night—without a legit panic attack.

For seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes, it’s easier said than done when gossip, grief, and the opportunity to fail at love are practically high-fiving her in the hallways of Belmont High.

When Bree’s crush, Sean Mills, gives her his phone number, she can’t even leave a voicemail without sounding like a freak. Then she’s asked to be on Prom Court because Maisey Morgan, the school outcast nominated as a joke, declined. She apologizes to Maisey, but it’s too late. After years of torment and an ugly secret shared with their class’s cruel Pageant Queen, Maisey commits suicide. Bree is left with a lot of regret…and a revealing letter with a final request.

With Sean by her side, Bree navigates through her guilt, her parents’ divorce, and all the Prom Court drama. But when a cheating-love-triangle secret hits the fan after a night of sex, drinks, and video games, she’s left with new information about Sean and the class Pageant Queen. Bree must now speak up or stay silent. If she lets fear be her guide, she’ll lose her first love, and head to prom to avenge the death of the school outcast—as a party of one.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 5/5 stars

Whenever a book really hits me, because of its awesomeness and sparkles, I usually end up wanting to email the author SO BAD just to thank him/her for writing the book. To express all my feels and smother them with praise. I hardly ever do it because #shyness, but this time I came close. So close that I even have the draft and everything. SO VERY CLOSE in fact that I actually DM'ed Ami on Twitter, emoji hearts and all (hey, everything is easier on Twitter!). Because guys, I had to. You cannot just read this book and not let her know how wonderful and fantastic it truly is.

I also cannot stop myself from telling you all today or the day you get to read these words about how much you need Liars and Losers Like Us in your life. 

Because Liars and Losers Like Us is beyond glorious and beautiful and heartbreaking and funny and so many other wonderful things that I just can't find the exact words to do it justice.

It rocked. I loved it. It's special. A clear 2016 favorite. I know it's a bit early to say that but when you read a book as amazing as Liars and Losers Like Us, you just know it. And with this book, I felt it. From page one. I felt the characters. I adored Bree, I fell for Sean, I laughed with all the jokes and light banter from all the characters. It's been so many books ago since I've loved characters like the ones found in here.

Oh, but that feeling I got as the story moved forward. It felt as if someone was cutting off my air because the tension, the not knowing and ultimately the break of my heart had me pretending I was fine whenever my mom would ask, when I was actually trying to dry away tears.

I loved how this book balances light and heavy themes appropriately. I won't talk much about them because I don't want to spoil it more than the blurb already does (don't you run off to read again!) but I will say this: it was brave of the author to write and share with us more about these topics that are so serious and important, that need to be discussed more and make us more aware of how much our actions can affect other people's lives. Even when it's all fun and games.

But enough about my thoughts! I'll just end it off= by saying that Liars and Losers Like Us is the kind of book you want to read and the kind that was written to leave its mark, till the very end and beyond. ♥

P.S. For your enjoyment, my updates on Goondreads :D

01/10
20.0%"LOL *dies from second-hand embarrassment*"
01/10
49.0%"*Squeeeeeeeaaalss* *Fangirls* *Swooooons*"
01/10
50.0%"omg I want someone like Sean!! *heart eyes*"
01/11
89.0%"aaagh I want to know what is happening. why why why why. can't stand the tension any longer D:"

See? Pure awesomeness all the way. Now go and preorder!

Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows by Michelle Madow Blog Tour: Review + Gveaway


Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop in the blog tour of Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows by Michelle Madow! Today I want to share with you my review for this first book of a series about magic and mythology and so much more. Please enjoy and don't forget to enter the amazing giveaway found at the end of the post. Thanks for stopping by!
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Click cover for more info!
Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows
by Michelle Madow
Dreamscape Publishing / January 26, 2016

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love! 

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world. 

*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 3.5/5 stars
The Prophecy of Shadows is a fun quick read and it has some Greek mythology in it which is cool because I love me some Greek mythology! It was so nice to read more into one of my favorite historical sub-genres and I really liked the new spin Michelle Madow weaved into this new series by mixing in magic and the power of the elements  as well. Super neat!

I feel that this book is more for the younger audience of YA readers since the characters are not as "mature" as I'm used to with silly arguments and actions, but they were still enjoyable company. I liked how Nicole, Blake, Danielle, Chris and Kate have to band together to fulfill whatever tasks the prophecy throws their way and how they have to overlook certain things happening between each other for the greater good.

Nicole is a likeable character and apparently a really strong witch, but she still has a long way to grow as a person. I wasn't much of a fan of her lingering towards Blake when there were much more important things to focus on, but c'est la vie when you are a 16 or 17 year old girl facing a hot guy. Except this one is taken so... not nice.

Blake is good looking and all but I don't like his attitude and his ever-present intense gaze. . Didn't like what he did down the cliff either. DUDE.  But I hope he redeems himself in my eyes in the sequel.

It's not the most perfect read, but the series has so much room to grow and I do feel that it will get better. The Prophecy of Shadows at times was on shaky grounds but I still managed to enjoy the ride and even take that peek into the sequel, The Blood of the Hydra. ;)
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About Michelle Madow

Michelle Madow has always loved writing stories, but the possibility of being an author used to feel more like a dream than a reality. She didn’t share her stories with anyone until her junior year of college, when she signed up for an Intro to Creative Writing course. Her teacher and classmates read the first chapter of a book idea she had, and they loved it so much that they told her she had to finish the book so they could find out what happened next. By the end of the school year, Michelle finished that book, which would later be published as her first novel, Remembrance.

Michelle grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Visit Michelle online at www.michellemadow.com, and be sure to sign up for her newsletter and follow her on Amazon to get instant updates on her books!
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GIVEAWAY!

Michelle is offering up a fabulous prize during her Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows Virtual Tour event. One (1) lucky winner will receive a Kindle Fire 7”! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:


ARC Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Title: This Is Where It Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date:  January 5th, 2016
Page Count:  292 pages
Format:  eARC
Source: Netgalley


Summary:
10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival. 
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 4/5 stars
This Is Where It Ends was my first read of 2016. I won't lie and say that I don't regret making this book my first read of the year since I was actually planning and hoping for a bright, heart-swelling story to star off with the right foot, but one thing for sure I don't regret about is reading it. This book... it made my heart feel heavy. It made me more aware of my surroundings. It made me wish once again for a better world.

Imagine the panic, the hurt, the terror of being locked inside a place with a shooter? Of not knowing if you'll be able to get away? One moment being okay and the next... not. Because of revenge. Because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time or just because we live in madder world day by day. (And as I'm writing this review I can clearly listen to bullets disturb the quiet night *sigh*) 

This debut book doesn't shy away from our harsh reality, of what used to be something unheard of and now something that is happening frequently. How social media lets us know what is happening around the world no matter how far we are. How lack of love and dreams can even shatter the brightest of minds. And how no matter how hard we try to understand or reach out, it may be too late to fix things up, if there were ever things to fix.

There's hardly anything to love about the main theme in This Is Where It Ends, but it is a well written book and one that stays on your mind (and keeps you awake at night). It's characters are diverse and while some POVs were better than the others, they all provided a front-row ticket towards every facet of the nightmare. I recommend it if you want something disturbingly real. Don't expect a love story or a HEA commonly found in YA contemporaries. This is just a raw and grim reality that happens in the course of 54 eternal minutes.

The Week's Entrée #89

Hey hey hey everyone! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

These last few days have been so darn amazing for me because a) I got to skype with my favorite author & also with a fellow book blogger ♥ b) Things are going well for me in my job, c) I made a deal with the parents to exercise every day for a week in exchange for a new book (I got the better side of the deal LOL) and d) NEW BOOKS. So yaaaay!

What I haven't been doing that great in is keeping up with my Goodreads challenge. I am already  2 books behind *cries*. I blame in on one of the books I'm currently reading. Not really much into it I'm afraid. :/

How are you all doing with yours? Make me feel the shame!!! And send over cookies. :D

Book reviews in other sites:


I reviewed Scarlet
 by Marissa Meyer at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers

Scarlet turned out to be a decent sequel but I was expecting more from it. I was not much of a fan of all the POVs and I did not fall in love with Wolf and Scarlet's relationship. Oh, but I did end up loving Thorne!!! So this book is worth the read because of him. ♥♥ And Kai. ♥♥

Here's the book's summary:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

*****
My new books!
{For review}
From Netgalley, publishers, authors, etc.


I'm really excited to read David Estes' new YA book which is a retelling of PINOCCHIO! *fangirls* I can't wait to dive into the story and talk about it with you in the upcoming tour. Crossing fingers for an amazing read!

{Purchased} 


A deal guys, A DEAL! I got this box set for only $0.99 on Amazon, and although I already own the first two books, I've yet to read the rest in the series (like 6 or 7 in total, if not more). It's a really awesome series that I need to continue reading!

{Won}


I won a kindle copy of In This Life from my awesome bookmate Erika of The Nocturnal Fey. She loved this book so I'll probably enjoy it as well since we have similar taste in books! ♥
I also received a signed edition of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell from Britanny of Brittany's Book Rambles plus an Airwitch bookmark from another fellow book blogger and a tiny bookplate from Eleanor Herman, author of Legacy of Kings. ♥

To Read This Week:


I'm currently reading ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas! It's going a bit slow but I'm told it gets so much better after the 100 page mark. LET ME LOVE YOU BOOK. I also started reading Flawed by Cecelia Ahern and the first pages have me hoping for an awesome read. 

*****
And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are you reading right now? :)

Cover & Blurb Reveal: Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra by Michelle Madow!


Hey awesome people! Today I'm thrilled to be part of the cover and blurb reveal of Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra, the second book in the Elementals series by Michelle Madow! Whoot!


This book is coming out on April 18th and I can't wait. Heck, I can't wait for you all to read the FIRST book that's releasing  on January 26th! Just look at that cover. ♥

Click cover for more info!
Isn't it pretty?! It's also one awesome read, can't wait to share my thoughts with you in the upcoming blog tour! But I'm sorry first book in the Elementals series, today is not about you. Today is about your sequel and its cover & blurb reveal, so without further ado...








TADAAAAAAA














THE COVER:


*FANS SELF*

What hotness is this?!?! BLAKE, THAT'S WHO. ♥ I love this cover! Not what I was expecting but I'm totally okay. More than fine. And now I see that the covers will be representing each of the elements, so it makes me really curious as to who we will see on the next one! 

And here's the blurb!

Elementals #2
April 18, 2016 from Dreamscape Publishing

A DEMIGOD WHO CAN KILL WITH A TOUCH. IT’S AN ABILITY THAT MUST BE KEPT SECRET FROM EVERYONE, EVEN FROM THOSE TRUSTED MOST.

Finding out that her new school had her in a special homeroom for witches was strange enough, but now Nicole must face the realization that she has the rare power to kill with just a touch. It’s a secret she needs to keep not only from the Head Elders, but from the super-sexy witch Blake, who she’s had undeniable chemistry with even before he broke up with his long-term girlfriend, the vengeful witch Danielle.

Now Nicole and the four others gifted with powers over the elements, including Blake and Danielle, must stop a series of monsters that they previously believed to be dead from rising once again and destroying the mortal world. Three magical items are needed, including the blood of the slain hydra – ingredients that they must journey to the dangerous, mystical islands in Greece to retrieve.

The monsters they face on this journey will be more threatening than anything they’ve encountered yet. But with the fate of the world on their shoulders, it’s up to the Elementals to return home victorious. Will they find the ingredients they need? Can Nicole and her friends pull off this mission while the tension between her, Blake, and Danielle threatens to ruin everything? 

And how long will it be until Nicole is forced to use her ability to kill in front of everyone, revealing the true darkness of her powers?

Find out in The Blood of the Hydra, and join the Elementals on their next journey in their quest to save the world – or die trying. 
Add to Goodreads

Pre-order:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  iBooks  |  Kobo

I NEEDS. That is all.

GIVEAWAY!

Michelle is offering one lucky winner a signed paperback of Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

About Michelle Madow

Michelle Madow has always loved writing stories, but the possibility of being an author used to feel more like a dream than a reality. She didn’t share her stories with anyone until her junior year of college, when she signed up for an Intro to Creative Writing course. Her teacher and classmates read the first chapter of a book idea she had, and they loved it so much that they told her she had to finish the book so they could find out what happened next. By the end of the school year, Michelle finished that book, which would later be published as her first novel, Remembrance.

Michelle grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Visit Michelle online at www.michellemadow.com, and be sure to sign up for her newsletter and follow her on Amazon to get instant updates on her books!

DNF (review?): The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Title: The Walls Around Us
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date:  March 24th, 2015
Page Count:  336 pages
Format:  eARC
Source: Netgalley


Summary:
On the outside, there's Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement.

On the inside, within the walls of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there's Amber, locked up for so long she can't imagine freedom.

Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls' darkest mysteries…

What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve—in this life or in another one?

In prose that sings from line to line, Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and of innocence, and of what happens when one is mistaken for the other. 

*Why I DNF'd*

I've been putting off writing this sort-of review since I don't really feel comfortable rating a book I marked as DNF. Heck, I hardly mark books as DNF because I really cannot judge a book without completely finishing it and I feel that I should know the whole story before giving it one star or five (some books start off as really slow but end up surprising by the second half!).

Unfortunately, I didn't even reach chapter 5 in The Walls Around Us. It was a book I was highly looking forward to months before release day because I loved Nova Ren Suma's Imaginary Girls. Her writing was hypnotic and darkly beautiful. And while this book seems to have the same kind of vibe going on and writing that I came to love, I just didn't feel that pull to keep me reading. I set it down promising to come back to it later, but the days flew by. Then weeks. Months. Almost a year now and I don't see myself picking it up anytime soon. 

I feel bad about it, but I don't think it's a good idea to force myself to read a book just to say I read it. The few pages I read didn't give me much and I hardly remember what was going on except prison girls running around looking to escape and a ballet dancer who probably belongs in a horror/suspense movie. That's it.

A sad but true thing, The Walls Around Us was never meant to be read by me.
******

As a side note: do you DNF a lot of books? Do you send in your thoughts/reviews to publishers when they are ARCs or review copies? I'm curious. :)

That's What HE Said Thursday #62: Daniel from Catch Me When I Fall



That's what HE said Thursday is a weekly meme hosted at Chapter Break where you post a favorite line of a book boyfriend to his girl. It's the perfect meme to share all those awesome quotes!

                     Today's quote is from Daniel Graham of Catch Me When I Fall by Vicki Leigh!



Quote:


"But I promise I will keep you safe. No matter what happens, I will not let anyone hurt you."




-Daniel to Kayla


I'm currently reading this book and I'm reeeaaaally liking Daniel so far. He is sweet and doesn't hesitate to show his feelings to Kayla. I like that. *sigh*

Book Review: The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt

Title: The Distance from A to Z
Author: Natalie Blitt
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Epic Reads
Publication Date:  January 12th, 2016
Page Count:  316 pages
Format:  Kindle eBook
Source: Purchased


Summary:
This full-length novel by debut author Natalie Blitt is a pitch-perfect blend of Stephanie Perkins and Miranda Kenneally that proves the age-old adage: opposites attract.

Seventeen-year-old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.

That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to wear baseball caps and jerseys every day.

But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between who she is and who he is is worth the risk.

*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 5/5 stars

Oh guys, this book has me soaring up in the sky! The Distance from A to Z is everything I wish for every time I open a new YA contemporary book. It gave me a cute boy to swoon over (HARD), a great side character that I adored, an MC that I felt connected to in some ways (not so much in others), awesome awesome KISSING scenes, and a super fun storyline. C'est magnifique!

At first I thought this book was going to be set in Paris because I heard "french" and "cute boy speaking french" and I had not read the blurb yet, so I was like I NEEDS IT since Paris = kissing and feels and swoons. But after realizing it was not, I was just a tad bit disappointed for like 3 secs because after reading the first few pages I soon realized that who needs the famous city of love when you have 8 weeks of French in a College campus with a boy like Zeke + a visit to imaginary Paris & Montreal?! No one, that's right.

Like I already mentioned, The Distance Between A to Z has a really great cast of characters, from the main character to the French teacher, but the ones I feel we really got to meet were Abby, Zeke and Alice. They're bright and colorful and interesting and totally realistic. By realistic I don't refer to how Alice has anxiety problems (tho I loved how this girl kicked anxiety's butt), but more on how each character has their own insecurities that are relatable and I found a bit of me in every single one of them.

Abby's obsession on learning French is admirable yet intense. This girl tries to breathe, live and eat French just to get fluent. Like any obsession, it might come off as crazy and unhealthy, but totally understandable since that's the way to go in order to get things done. Definitely makes me wish I had her dedication! *Takes out little foreign language pocket dictionary*.

Right from the get-go, I fell in love with Abby's and Alice's friendship. Seriously one of the coolest friendships ever and I wish I could be a part of their little group. But if I had to pick one of them, I'd totally go for Alice. This amazing girl despite having anxiety issues, is a fierce and extremely talented poet that work hards to not let that rule her life. I, alongside Abby, was also cheering her on with every little step she would take to brave crowds.

But the swoons guys, THE SWOONS. I think I reread like a bazillion times every scene were there was kissing or almost-kissing. It was glorious. I melted. I highlighted and I fangirled. Because Zeke. Mon dieu! Zeke is the kind of boy I love to read about. Sweet and caring. A talented kisser *wink*. There is the fact that we get the Zeke in French and the Zeke in English, and although he is kind of a jerk when in English mode, I still drooled over him because Zeke in French is 100% perfect. (Read the book to completely get him!!)

I don't think I even covered an inch of what The Distance from A to Z is really about, so I must really emphasize that this book is really amazing and fun, but not the fluffy type at all. It is the perfect blend of every good contemporary romace book out there so I'm pretty sure many will enjoy falling in love with it!

P.S. Natalie Blitt, promised us extra scenes if we reached certain amounts of reviews on Amazon. YAY. I NEED THAT EPILOGUE YOU GUYS. I am not satisfied with the ending. I need MORE. More Zeke. More Abby. More kissing! (Can't help it) And more Alice would rock as well though I hear we might get her story later, eep!