Review: Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott!

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This. Book… This book… This… book! (Okay, I’ll stop now. I just don’t know where to start.)
This is Jessica’s only novel and I can’t wait until she comes out with more. She has gained a most devoted fan after reading this beauty of a story and I don’t know where to go from here. I still can’t believe just how much this book spoke to me. Not only was it about my favorite taboo trope ever but I also connected with the character in such a deep level that we minus well could’ve been the same person (for the most part). The prologue drove it home that this book was going to destroy my soul and, unfortunately, I was 10000% right.
I couldn’t help but tear up and ache every time our main character, Charlie, tapped into her low self-esteem. I think we have all been there, and maybe still are, so it’s not hard at all to sympathize with her. There were so many other things about her that struck a personal chord within me that I couldn’t rate this book anything lower than what I did.
We follow Charlie during her Senior year in high school as she starts developing a crush on her new English teacher, Mr. Drummond. She’s also trying to figure out her place in the world since she’s always lived in her best friend’s shadow. This is another part where I can relate to her immensely. I had a ‘friendship’ like this back in high school and this story took me back to those days that I tried so hard to leave behind me. It actually hurt to witness just how alike we were. Jessica did such an amazing job at making Charlie seem as genuine as a character can get. The journey from Charlie’s mind and heart onto the pages seemed effortless and I couldn’t get enough.
It took me a bit to get used to Mr. Drummond as the main love interest, but when I did, I couldn’t let him go. I could definitely see how his attention reeled Charlie in. Often times I found myself flustered and awestruck because of him. I felt like *I* was the one capturing his attention and it wasn’t a bad feeling at all. I was addicted to it and I could only imagine how Charlie felt about it too.
I loved how the humor was present from the very beginning without feeling forced. This book may have brought many smiles to my face but it also brought pain and so many tears.
I was completely and utterly terrified by the last chapter that I put off reading it as much as I could. Which was about an hour and I only lasted so long because I was driving at the time… Jessica gave me what I wanted in the end, but in a way that I was dreading. I wish this story had turned out differently and I will be in mourning every time I look at this book because of it.
This book deeply focuses on the complications and complexity of what it is to experience desire for someone. It focuses more on what is making Charlie feel a certain way than what she does about it. This story opened my eyes to some things I never imagined to experience and I’ll be forever grateful. But on the other hand, it burst open a dam of emotions I kept buried for a reason that I am still having trouble keeping contained. The moment the title made sense made things somewhat worse. I felt the meaning behind it like a tremendous blow. I’m already knee deep in a reading/life slump and I only feel it getting worse because as I write this review.
This book was an unforgivable tragedy to my soul.

6/5 stars!

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ICYMI Bookstagram Interview: Sandra Wo (@Thedarkestpartsofsnow)!

STATS:

Name: Sandra Wo
Age: Definitely not a teenager anymore 
Birthday: A child of Winter

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INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

-Do you have any advice for an aspiring bookstagrammer?
Be yourself, be kind and engage with others. You will find that the community is very welcoming and very lovely. I have met some really great inspiring people via bookstagram who have become close friends in real life. And don’t give up even if you feel disheartened. The new IG algorithm can be a real monster but you will get there eventually. Just make sure that you post pictures of high quality, find your style, meet people, stay true to yourself. In the end talent and passion will always win, so go for it!

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-Where did your love for books/writing come from?
I have been surrounded by books since I can remember. Books in our household were a necessity, like water – or ice cream, haha. My mom was also a huge bookworm and my fondest memories of her are either reading to me or snuggled up on the couch with a book in her hands. As a child you always strive to be like your mom. So once I was able to read you would always see me with a book – and this hasn’t changed ever since.

-In 5 words, how would you describe your account?
My great friend Lara from @writinglaraferrari gave a great description once which I absolutely loved. She said it reminded her of a whimsical, magical, dreamy fairytale forest. I think that might be pretty accurate.

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-Which props are your favorite to use?
Flowers. And plants. I think every single one of my pictures has flowers in them. They are a great prop and also make every room more beautiful – so gain/gain!!


FUN FACTS: 

-What is your perfect date?
I had a really great date once. I was picked up with a VW bus and we drove up a mountain to have self-made dinner in the back of the bus while watching the city below us. Afterwards we just talked all night and watched the stars. It was pretty much perfect. I don’t think any YA author could have written a better scene😉

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-Who are your favorite female main characters?
I love when authors are able to write really strong, really independent female characters who escape the typical tropes and clichés of YA writing. Great examples are Kestrel from The Winner’s Curse trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, Lia from Kiss of Deception trilogy by Mary E. Pearson and my childhood favourite Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

-What is your favorite series?
There are so many but I remember reading Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and it just left me in awe. Her writing style is just so beautiful and lyrical. Also the story was really unique with a beautiful bunch of characters you will miss dearly once you close the last book. A must read in my opinion if you are a fan of fantasy and young adult literature.

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-If you had a spirit animal, which would it be? Why?
A penguin. I love how penguins seem so clumsy and awkward on land. But once they jump into the water they become those highly elegant, highly efficient creatures, It’s just a beautiful thing to witness. And I believe that this is true for every one of us. We sometimes get disheartened by setbacks or don’t feel good enough. But often times this is just because we haven’t found the right environment yet where we can blossom and grow. I am really really tiny; I would never make a great model but I can totally excel BEHIND the camera! So we all need to find our niche but once we do we can become amazing.


MEDIA LINKS:

[Instagram]

ICYMI Author Spotlight: Khaled Talib!

STATS:
 
Name: Khaled Talib
Genre I write: Suspense-Thrillers 
Birthday: 14 June 1965

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:
-Why did you choose to become an author?
I didn’t choose. It chose me. Writing is a calling. Why do some people paint? Not everyone is an artist.  These skills are given. I am a highly imaginative person, and I enjoy delving into adventure. In school, I hardly paid attention in class because I found the teachers and the way they taught the class to be boring. So I would run away into my own world. I got started in journalism, trying to feed my writing cravings though at the back of my mind there was always that yearning for fiction
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-Where does your inspiration come from?

You know, inspiration is like picking ripe fruits from a tree along the street. Or a shiny coin that you spotted on the curb. It’s exactly like that. So it’s not from one single place, but it can be everywhere, and at anytime. Sometimes, a chance meeting with someone or at a location that left an impression. Then you keep it in a treasure chest in your head and use it when the time comes. Inspiration doesn’t have to be a direct message; it can be indirect, sideways, upside down, inside out – whatever. After that, all you have to do is connect the dots.   

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-Is there an idea that has been stuck in your head that you haven’t written yet?

Yes, plenty. I hope to bring them all out but you know, a writer’s mind is a bit like a confectionery conveyor belt, you keep churning out stories because there’s a backlog of things in your head. Time is a writer’s greatest enemy, so you have to keep writing.

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-How do you choose the title for your book?

My upcoming novel is titled, INCOGNITO. It complements the first one, SMOKESCREEN, even though the stories have no relation to each other. But I thought the idea of giving the novel a one word title would become my signature or style, until a period comes when I can move on. Naturally, the title also has to relate to the story to create familiarity. 


FUN FACTS

-What is your favorite genre to read?

I read anything and everything under the sun that appeals to be, including horror, literature to non-fiction works.

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-Where are you from?

I’m from Singapore. My ancestors originally came from the Middle East. 

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-What is your dream vacation?

My dream vacation is to travel all the time. From camping in the Arizona desert to travel on a  houseboat down the English river.  

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-E-Book or physical book? Why?

I see the debate on this topic too often. Truth, the ancient Egyptians never saw a physical book, nor did Moses. They had papyrus scrolls and stories carved in stone. So I don’t think it matters. Personally, I don’t have an issue with eBooks. They are as good as printed paper. Would you believe it that I was initially prejudice about eBooks, until someone convinced me to give it a try. Then I got hooked. It’s so convenient. You don’t have to go to a bookstore when you want the book fast.  People have been conditioned to accept things the way they are, and like anything else, change takes time. For some of us, the change came rapidly. Its the same with wristwatches, isn’t it? There are so many beautifully designed timepieces, yet why do more and more people wear smart watches? Why did the inventors think people would go for these modern wristwatches? More importantly, for every eBook tablet someone gets, a tree gets saved. 


AUTHOR’S NOTE:

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My upcoming thriller, INCOGNITO, is scheduled to be released some time in 2017.  Specialist Ayden Tanner is dispatched by a covert division of the global hacker group, Anonymous, to find the pope who is missing. A frantic search begins in Italy and beyond its borders amid speculation that the Holy See may know more than they are telling. 


MEDIA LINKS:

[Twitter[Facebook[Website]


My review/s for this author:

Cover Reveal: Renegade Red by Lauren Bird Horowitz!

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RENEGADE RED, the sequel to the award-winning novel SHATTERED BLUE will be
available in THREE special edition covers, in both Hardcover and Paperback, in March 2017!
Distribution from online sites and into bookstores will be random, so you have a chance to collect them all— the POET EDITION, the WARRIOR EDITION, and the very exclusive TRAVELER EDITION.
Happy hunting, and learn more at [HERE]! Featured in [USA TODAY]!
Join Lauren and Zoe Cope, the designer of all three covers, for a live Twitter chat at 10am PST/1pm EST Thursday 9/22 [HERE]

SYNOPSIS:
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Poet Edition

Reckless, desperate, and distraught, Noa Sullivan leaps into a collapsing Portal in the explosive finale of Shattered Blue— the jaw-dropping, award-winning first installment in The Light Trilogy— in wild hope of rescuing her little sister Sasha. Now Noa and the Fae brothers who love her— Callum and Judah Forsythe—must find a way to survive not only across worlds but between them, in places so treacherous and deceptive their own minds are twisted against them. As the three fight to survive their passage, they battle not only enemies but themselves, and their darkest, most difficult secrets.
Surviving, however, is only the beginning: Noa needs to find Sasha. That means becoming a warrior herself, one just as fierce as the magical brothers battling for her love. Across broken cities, underground labyrinths, rushing floods and endless skies; in the face of legions of armies, horrifying tyrants, and the most deceitful of friends, can Mortal Noa rescue her sister—and understand her own heart—in time to escape the most deadly of magic realms?
Add to [Goodreads]
Request an [ARC] now!

AWARDS & PRAISE:

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Warrior Edition

SILVER MEDALIST

INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING BOOK AWARDS BEST YOUNG ADULT FICTION

Finalist

  • USA BOOK AWARD BEST NEW FICTION 2015
    USA BOOK AWARD BEST FANTASY 2015
    INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARD BEST FANTASY 2015
    NEXT GENERATION INDIE BOOK AWARD BEST YOUNG ADULT FICTION 2015
    “Must-read romances of 2015… I guarantee you’ll be hooked and anxiously awaiting the next
    book in the series”
    USA TODAY
    “Anyone who’s ever fantasized about kissing a Fae will enjoy Noa and Callum’s first sexy kiss…Romantic sparks ignite…fast-moving…hip…lyrically concise”
    KIRKUS REVIEWS
    “A fantastical tale of love and betrayal…colorful world-building…more than enough emotion and angst to keep any romance-loving teenager glued to the pages, and the promise of a trilogy will keep them eagerly anticipating the next book…VERDICT Librarians with a large fantasy readership should invest in the print version of this title.” – School Library Journal
    “A book to fall for”
    BUZZFEED
    “Not your average fairy tale… will have you clamoring for more of a story that you didn’t see coming…new and surprising.”
    HYPABLE
    “Magic, action and a really, really attractive love interest… what more could you want?”
    GLITTER MAGAZINE
    “A love story you won’t soon forget… A story of of protection sacrifice and love”
    SHE KNOWS.COM
    A “Book To Lean On When The Going Gets Tough”
    BUSTLE
    A “Book for All Ages”
MARIA SHRIVER.COM

BOOK ONE:
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For Noa and Callum, being together is dangerous, even deadly. From the start, sixteen-year-old Noa senses that the mysterious transfer student to her Monterey boarding school is different. Callum unnerves and intrigues her, and even as she struggles through family tragedy, she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Soon they are bound by his deepest secret: Callum is Fae, banished from another world after a loss hauntingly similar to her own. But in Noa’s world, Callum needs a special human energy, Light, to survive; his body steals it through touch—or a kiss. And Callum’s not the only Fae on the hunt. When Callum is taken, Noa must decide: Will she sacrifice everything to save him? Even if it means learning their love may not be what she thought?
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MY REVIEW:

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    Lauren Bird Horowitz, screenwriter and novelist, has won an enthusiastic following for her innovative, lyrical poetic voice. Her debut novel Shattered Blue: Book One of The Light Trilogy, won the 2016 Independent Publishers’ (IPPY) Silver Medal for Young Adult Fiction, as well as Finalist honors in the 2016 USA Book Awards for Best New Fiction and Best New Fantasy, the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Best Young Adult Fiction, and the 2016 International Book Award for Best Fantasy. It was also listed as one of USA Today’s top romances of 2015, and selected as a notable book by BuzzFeed, Popsugar, Hypable, San Francisco Book Review, Glitter, The Culturalist, Teen Reads, Maria Shriver.com, Bustle and others. Bird studied writing at Harvard University with novelist Jamaica Kincaid, where she won several prizes including the Edward Eager Memorial Prize for fiction and Winthrop-Sargent Prize for
    writing. She’s a proud member of the Writers Guild of America. Bird lives in Kauai and Los Angeles.

    CONNECT:
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    Traveler Edition

    Sign up for The Light Letter [HERE]

Review: The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

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*ARC provided by St. Martin’s in exchange for an honest review*
This was my first read by Gae and also the first book I’ve read that’s centered on the event that was 9/11.
We mostly follow Kyle, a boy who was forced to evacuate from school and sent home because of the tragic events. On his way home he stumbles upon a girl wearing white fake wings and he decides to take her home. It turns out that she had lost her memories and Kyle steps up to the plate to try and figure out who she is, where she came from. I couldn’t form any connection to the girl and I thought her story was going to go one way, but in the end it didn’t, which was a little disappointing.
Kyle was my favorite character in this story, by far. His interactions with his injured uncle were the most amazing scenes in the entire book, in my opinion. They were overflowing with love and respect from both sides that made me incredibly proud to witness. Kyle showed a maturity level not often seen in kids his age throughout the entire story. He was most definitely the rock. He has a view of life that is better than some adults and I appreciated him so much more for it. He never gave up on his uncle and that undying loyalty is something I will never forget. He has turned into a role model for me and it was a wonderful surprise. We also get to see his relationship with other members of his family evolve into something completely different due to the chaos around them and it was more than believable.
We get snippets of the girl’s POV but it took a while for me to fully embrace the format they were written in. It wasn’t really my cup of coffee although it definitely showed how jumbled her thoughts were. Another thing I had a problem wrapping my mind around was Kyle’s ‘developing’ feelings towards the girl. I didn’t really believe it at all. I have too many reasons to list and they’re mostly spoilers but I’ll just say that in order for me to believe love is in the air, I need way more proof than what I got in this story. All in all, I am definitely happy to have given this book a chance. It was out of my comfort zone a little bit but I ended up admiring the family dynamic the most.

3/5 stars.

ICYMI Bookstagram Interview: Myranda Barton (@books_n_dragons)!

Name: Myranda Barton

Age: 19

Birthday: June 4th 

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Hi everyone, I’m Myranda!

I wanted to start out by saying thank you to Cassandra for letting me be a part of this! I really enjoy taking pictures of my books even though I do get strange looks if I take some in public. Also, just to let you all know, I’m going to be holding a giveaway once I reach 1,000 followers on Instagram. I’ve been wanting to give back to the people that enjoy my pictures enough to stick around for a while now and have just been waiting for a milestone to happen to do it!


 INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:

-Is there an idea that has been stuck in your head that you haven’t done yet?

Yes, three actually. Picture wise, there is a forest not too far from where I live and I want to go do a bookish photo shoot there, I just need to find a photographer! The next one is cosplays! There are so many characters I want to do, Vhalla (Air Awakens), Nina (Six of Crows), Evangeline (Red Queen), and more! There are also two book ideas eating me alive right now but I need to straighten things out with story lines before I write them down. Lately my mind has had all this creative energy and I just don’t know where to start with it!

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-Why did you choose to start your account?

No one in my day to day life is as obsessed with books as I am so when I found bookstagram I immediately wanted to start an account to connect with people who loved books like I do. It was also kind of an excuse to buy more books because I obviously needed more books to take pictures of.😄 I really love bookstagram and its people although sometimes it’s hard to show just how much I adore a book through text so I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a booktube just as a better way of getting my feelings out there on certain books. I’m not totally sure I’ll do it but it’s been something I’ve been thinking about a lot.

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-What book event that you have attended was your favorite? Why?

In March Elise Kova, Rachel E. Carter, and Laura Thalassa had a book signing in the bay area. Having just read Elise’s Air Awakens I had to go! I went in thinking it was going to be like a typical signing where you get in, have your book signed, and then get out. It was nothing like that though! I, and several other lovely people who I still talk to, (@metamorphicbooks, @daphodilli,@crazytensai, and @novelstosong) were able to talk to these amazing authors about everything bookish for almost three hours! It was a blast and I know for sure that no matter what other authors I meet in the future, nothing will compare to the fun I had meeting those three at that signing!

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-When/why did you become a writer?

I became a writer at the age of 6 or 7 when on a road trip with my family. I was sitting there and suddenly had this urge to write a story about a penguin who lost their favorite ball and had to go on a journey to find it. Of course it was just a few sentences but at that moment I wrote something for me and I think that is what makes a writer. Ever since I’ve been thinking up story ideas with most of them just leaving my mind. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually got the idea in my head that I could write an entire book. I won NaNoWriMo 2015 but since that was my first attempt at something big, it won’t be seeing the light of day for a very, very long time!


 FUN FACTS:

-Who are your top 5 fictional book girlfriends/boyfriends, why?

Okay, this is a really tough one. I know that my ultimate book boyfriend is William Herondale, every time I pick of one of the books from The Infernal Devices and read a passage with him being his sassy self, my heart does a little flip at how lovable he is! Everyone else is in no particular order because it just wouldn’t be fair since I love them all so.😄 Warner from the Shatter Me trilogy has a place in my heart because after we see that everything he does has had a reason and that he is actually a softy he just cemented himself in there. There’s also Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door, I’m pretty sure this one stems from me always wanting that typical “boy next door” relationship and also because Cricket is just really adorable and dorky. One of my most recent additions to steal my heart has been Aldrik from the Air Awakens series because that Fire Lord actually has a heart of gold and fights to no end for his loved ones. This last guy is a bit of a preemptive addition since I’ve barley read about him yet, but from what I’ve read I already love him. That would be Rhysand from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I finished the first book just a few hours ago as I type this but I can already tell I’m going to absolutely love him. After writing all that down I just realized I really like the male characters who had the hard exteriors but are total softies on the inside. At least I know I know have a type!

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-Who is your favorite Indie author?

Well if I didn’t mention her, or her series enough in my above posts, I would have to say Elise Kova. Her writing is just so beautiful and her characters are so well shelled out that it’s easy to forget it’s all fictional!

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-What is your favorite standalone?

I haven’t read that many standalones but even if I had then I know that The Night Circus would still be my favorite. Reading that book was like something I’ve never experienced before. The synopsis was practically nothing like the actual book which I think has actual magic pumping through its pages. No, really, while reading that book you can feel the magic of the world pouring out of the pages and into our own. I was reading it on a car ride at one point and it took my family a few seconds to get my attention with how engrossed I was in the tale.

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-What is your dream reading spot?

I would absolutely love to have one of those clear bubble bed kind of things that I’ve seen on the internet placed in a meadow of flowers with forest surrounding it and raining. It would be perfect because I could read in the rain without getting wet and get to see the rain fall on the top of the dome. It’s a bit hard to explain but the picture is so clear in my mind I could almost touch it!


MEDIA LINKS:

ARC Review: The Infinity of You and Me by J.Q. Coyle

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Publication: November 8, 2016

*ARC provided by St. Martin’s in exchange for an honest review*
This is Coyle’s debut novel and I enjoyed it for the most part. I was really intrigued by the synopsis and I decided to give it a chance. That was a huge step for me since Sci-fi is definitely out of my comfort zone, and as you can see with the rating. After reading this, it’s safe to say that it still is.
This novel tackles alternate dimension travel in Alicia’s perspective. She’s almost 15 and is struggling with hallucinations which she’s being medicated for. Her father is nowhere to be seen, except for when she’s in the middle of those hallucinations. We follow her as she unravels secrets about her life.
Alicia has a best friend, Hafeez, who I adored. I loved seeing their relationship change in a different way. And when it came to Jax, I really wasn’t a fan. I just really needed to see them interact more in order to actually believe they had… feelings.
As for the ‘bad guy’, I wasn’t impressed either. It’s nothing against this novel in particular though. It’s just that when it comes to villains I have SUPER HIGH expectations, and unfortunately, this book didn’t meet them.
There were some pretty intense moments in this novel and I really liked seeing the different consequences that come with making one simple choice. This book’s told in 3 parts and as intriguing as it was, it still left a lot to be desired. I was confused more often than not, but that might just be my wariness of Sci-fi. My rating is mostly based on the fact that I loved the darker vibe this story gave me throughout it all. I’m not exactly dying to know more this story line but all in all, I’m glad I gave it a chance.

3/5 stars