Friday, March 22, 2019

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Campfire by Shawn Sarles + 50/50 Friday




On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.


This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads which is my fourth read for Monstrous MarchCampfire by Shawn Sarles.  I don't know about you but this is totally giving me Fear Street and Christopher Pike vibes.

Beginning:

Maddie Davenport sat alone in the front seat of the idling car.

56:

The crowd broke into a round of applause, and the man beamed out at them all.

50/50 Friday: Favorite/Least Favorite Sibling Relationship


Favorite - The Weasleys from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling - Yes, even Percy.  Who am I kidding?  I love the whole family.


Least - The Pevensies from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - Edmund sold his siblings out for some candy - and they forgave him just like that?!  I love Susan, Lucy, and Peter, but come on!

What are you reading this weekend?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

ARC Mini Reviews - The Bird King, Women Talking, White Rose, & Lovestruck


Today I'm sharing four ARC mini reviews with you: The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson (available March 12th, 2019), Women Talking by Miriam Toews (available April 2nd, 2019), White Rose by Kip Wilson (available April 2nd, 2019), and Lovestruck by Kate Watson (available April 2nd, 2019).  Thank you very much to NetGalley for providing me with these ARCs in exchange for my honest reviews.  Read on to see my thoughts on these novels:


❋ ❋ ❋ 

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson was one of my most anticipated novels and I'm honored to have been approved. Luckily for me, Wilson's new historical fantasy novel really delivered. Wilson's writing is absolutely captivating. I adored all of the historical detail and the research that clearly went into the novel. It really makes me want to learn more about the Emirate of Granada. That said the mythology and magic featured in the story are brilliant. Hassan is one of my favorite characters now - by the way, he's a cartographer who can shape reality from the maps he draws. How cool is that? I also enjoyed getting to know Fatima, a concubine to the sultan and Hassan's best friend. She has a magnificent character arc and it was fantastic to see her grow over the course of the story. My only complaint though is that the story is slowly-paced, for the most part it works in the novel's favor but at times it begins to drag. Overall, The Bird King is a must-read lyrical fantasy novel. If you enjoy the historical fantasy of Cat Winters, Susanna Clarke, and V.E. Schwab, I have a feeling you'll love this too. I'm looking forward to reading more from G. Willow Wilson in the future. Thanks again, NetGalley! 

I read this ARC from March 13 - 17, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ 

Women Talking by Miriam Toews isn't one of my average reading choices, but I'm actually quite interested in real life Mennonite and Amish culture, especially when it comes to Ohio and Pennsylvania. Needless to say that when I saw this novel on NetGalley it sounded like it could be right up my alley. I'm not all that familiar with Mennonite colonies in other countries or even the Low German dialect featured in the novel, but it was still fascinating to see on the page. The most disturbing thing about this story is easily the fact that it's based on a true story from events that occurred only a few years ago - let's just say that "violated" isn't the best word for the horrors these women endured at the hands of the men in their community. The title event occurred in 2011 and the violations happened between 2005-06, but honestly if you told me that it actually happened two or three hundred years ago instead I wouldn't have been surprised. My only complaint about this novel is the "meeting minutes" format - I've never seen any that look like what we see here.

I read this ARC on March 17, 2019 and my review is also available on Goodreads.


❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ 

White Rose by Kip Wilson is absolutely stunning novel in verse about the life of Sophie Scholl. Scholl was an anti-Nazi political activist and pamphleteer with the non-violent resistance group called the White Rose. The detail and research that has gone into presenting her story and the story of the group is amazing. It's also quite gut-wrenching to read considering that I already knew her fate before going into the story. While novels in verse aren't usually my thing, this 100% worked for me and I can't recommend it highly enough. If you're a fan of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, do yourself a favor and pick up Kip Wilson's White Rose. I can't wait to see Wilson's future projects. Thanks again, NetGalley!

I read this ARC from March 17 - 18, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.


❋ ❋ 

I have to admit Lovestruck by Kate Watson sounded like a lot of cheesy mythology inspired fun. I have a soft spot for Greek mythology and I couldn't resist a story about an Erote, aka a cupid-in-training, who breaks the first rule of the job - accidentally sticking herself with an arrow and falling hard for the target. For me, the mythology aspects were my favorite - Artemis' has some of the best parts even though she's one of the side characters. Unfortunately, Kali really began to grate on my nerves after a while. I don't know maybe I'm getting to old for this stuff, but I do know I'll stick with Rick Riordan's brand of mythology in the modern world.

I read this ARC from March 18 - 21, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Congrats for making it this far!  Have you read, or do you plan on reading any of these books?  As always, thanks for visiting and perhaps even commenting down below!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Mini Reviews - A Chance Beginning, Radioactive Evolution, & The Perfect Assassin (ARC)


Today I'm sharing three mini reviews with you: A Chance Beginning (Shadow's Fire #1) by Christopher Patterson, The Perfect Assassin (The Chronicles of Ghadid #1) by K.A. Doore (ARC, now available), and Radioactive Evolution by Richard Hummel.  Thank you to the author for A Chance Beginning, NetGalley for The Perfect Assassin, and Book Publicity Services for Radioactive Evolution.  Read on to see my thoughts on these novels:


❋ ❋ ❋ 

A Chance Beginning (Shadow's Fire #1) by Christopher Patterson is an enjoyable epic fantasy adventure story and a promising first in a trilogy. It's a bit slow to start and it took me a little while longer than I would have liked to become invested in the cast. However, once you do take the time to get to know them, they really start to grow on you. That being said, this story realistically meanders so you have to be willing to stick with them. Either way, it works for the story and Patterson's writing style is pretty great. Overall, I have a feeling you'll enjoy this new release if you also liked Fatemarked (The Fatemarked Epic #1) by David Estes. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, Dark Winds.

I read this novel March 13 - 15, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ ❋ 

Radioactive Evolution by Richard Hummel was my first experience with LitRPG and once I got used to the style I was hooked. I'm not much of a gamer, but aside from Ready Player One and Armada by Ernest Cline it's probably the closest I've come to playing a videogame except in book format - or even like playing D&D. I'll definitely need to try more of this genre in the future. Anyway, this novel was a lot of fun to see Hummel's take on a post-apocalyptic version of our world - with dragons and everything! He also does a great job of developing the cast of characters and their arcs are great to see over the course of the story. Jared and Scarlet make a pretty great team. The author's world-building is also quite outstanding. Overall, I can't wait to try the sequel and future projects from the author, as well as more LitRPG.

I read this from February 28 - March 10, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ ❋ 

The Perfect Assassin (The Chronicles of Ghadid #1) by K.A. Doore is an epic fantasy novel featuring a reluctant assassin from a family of assassins. I didn't know how much I needed to read about assassins who kill the dangerous and those who endanger their city. Doore is fantastic at world-building and the character arcs are pretty cool to follow over the course of the story - the city of Ghadid itself is practically a character in its own right. Amastan's just the best, by the way. One of my favorite elements was how closely morality and being a great assassin are tied together, especially since that doesn't come up all that often in such a poignant manner in many of the assassin books that I have read. I also appreciated that the magic system along with the economy are all about water in a desert where dying a thirst is always a possibility. This debut novel was very nearly earned five stars from me. The only thing that really held me back was that it didn't pull me in quite as soon as I would have hoped. Plus, I really wish there was a map of the city, but maybe there will be in the finished copy. Overall, this is a great debut and a solid fantasy series opener. I can't wait to read the sequel, The Impossible Contract - I don't know how I'm going to wait until November!

I read this novel from March 7 - 12, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Have you read any of these novels?  What are you reading now?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2019 TBR


Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is Books On My Spring 2019 TBR.  Here we go, in alphabetical order by title:


Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson - I've heard so many great things about this YA Contemporary and I'm excited to finally read it for the Contemporary April as a part of Devour Your TBR.


Damsel by Elana K. Arnold - I've been looking forward to this and now that I'm taking part in the 2019 Hub Reading Challenge 2019 I have a great excuse to finally pick it up.  It sounds like a great dark YA Fantasy novel to me.  By the way, it's a 2019 Printz Honor Book.  You can see my tbr for that challenge here.


In Cold Blood by Truman Capote - I'll be reading this in May as a part of Book Riot's 2019 Read Harder Challenge and it will fulfill the book by a journalist or about journalism task.  I'm surprised that I haven't already read it actually.  I've seen the 1967 film adaptation and I've heard a lot about it to begin with.


Lumberjanes, Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson -  I'll be reading this in April as a part of Book Riot's 2019 Read Harder Challenge and it will fulfill the comic by an LGBTQIA creator task.  The first volume of the graphic novel series was so much fun and I can't wait to continue it.


Middlegame by Seanan McGuire - I received an ARC from NetGalley of this novel and I can't wait to read it.  Thanks, NetGalley!  I've enjoyed what I've read from the author in the past and I have high hopes for this because it sounds awesome.


The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb - I'll be reading this as a part of my 2019 Beat the Backlist Challenge.  I love the movie adaptation of this book starring Robert Mitchum and I can't wait to try the source material - plus, it's inspired by true events.


The Raven's Tale by Cat Winters -  Thanks very much to NetGalley for approving me for the ARC of this novel.  Cat Winters easily one of my favorite historical fantasy authors and I know this is going to be great!


The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer - I'll also be reading this as a part of my 2019 Beat the Backlist Challenge.  If you didn't already know, Holmes is one of my favorite characters and I've heard Meyer's take is pretty fantastic so I'm looking forward to finally trying it for myself.


We Are Okay by Nina LaCour - I'll be reading this for Contemporary April as a part of Devour Your TBR.  I've enjoyed what I've read from the author in the past and it's time I read more from her.


What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera -  I can't wait to read this book from a couple of my favorite authors.  Luckily for me I'm reading it as a part of the 2019 Hub Reading Challenge 2019 - it's on the Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults list.

Have you read any of these books?  What are you reading this spring?  As always thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Final Year by MJ Moores - Blog Tour, Guest Post, & Giveaway


I'm very excited to welcome everyone to my leg of the Final Year by MJ Moores blog tour, hosted by Rockstar Book Tours!  Today, you'll find the details and summary for this novel, a guest post from the author herself on her Fan Cast of the Characters from Final Year, an about the author, MJ Moores, a giveaway, and the blog tour schedule.  I can't wait to read this novel because it sounds like it'll be great!  Thanks for visiting my stop on Final Year blog tour!


Title: FINAL YEAR
Author: M.J. Moores
Pub. Date: March 2, 2019
Publisher: Love Knot Books
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 192
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon

Graduation can be killer…

Beth pushes beyond her comfort zone to prove a sociology thesis. She turns a chance meeting with a known player into a personal experiment on first impressions. Weaving herself into casual meetings with the guy reinforces her assumptions… until she’s no longer the one pursuing him.

Jeremy’s only serious relationship is with his studies as he competes for the coveted post-grad theoretical chem spot with Dr. Young. When the campus goes into lockdown and everyone is evacuated to the stadium, his habit of “fun only” friendships turns into a curse.

Can he trust a skittish girl he’s known for ten days to help him find his not-so-theoretical chem project or will her assumptions about him keep her at arm’s length?

Final Year – a fast-paced new adult romantic suspense that keeps you guessing at every turn.

Guest Post from the Author - Fan Cast of the Characters from Final Year:


Beth Donaldson – Emma Stone

~ I like Emma for the role because she’s unassuming and has that fresh-faced youthfulness that really speaks to me. Beth considers herself “plain” but she is really just “understated” in her aversion of heavy make-up and girly-type things.


Jeremy Palmer – Bradley Cooper (young)
~ In an ideal world, Bradley Cooper would never grow old. His younger-self would be perfect to play Jeremy. His unassuming charm and natural swagger lend perfectly to the role.


Wayne – Elliot Fletcher
~ The right combination of brooding hotness and dark egoism, Elliot would make an awesome counterpoint to Jeremy.


Moxie – Tom Hughes
~ The first time Beth meets Jeremy’s TA-cronies, Moxie does most of the talking and flashes her with his big smile. This British actor is a great match for the glue that hold’s this team together.


Jor-D – Luke James
~ This singer/songwriter has that eternally-youthful vibe going… and perfect hair! This is exactly how I pictured Jor-D. His laid-back, easy-going style works incredibly well with the character and having another musician on the cast means more soundtrack opportunities, too.


Shaunika – Gabrielle Union (young)
~ While it’s true that Gabrielle isn’t in her 20s anymore, her roles in movies such as 10 Things I Hate About You, and Bring It On showcase her natural exuberance and beauty, while her sassy sophistication in Deliver Us From Eva, and With This Ring bring the perfect balance to Shaunika’s character.


Jamie – Oliver Jackson-Cohen
~ I know nothing about this actor except that he’s a British heartthrob who fits the quarter-back stockiness of Jamie. Just let his hair grow a bit more, give him a pink mohawk and we’ve got our man.


Kim – Nadine Alexis Paguia
~ This 22-year-old actress, model, and singer is a rising star in the Philippines. Her time on the Asia Disney Network lends her a fun playful attitude perfect for Jamie’s bestie, Kim.


Tank – AnnaSophia Robb
~ AnnaSophia is the perfect petite actress for Tank, the girl who knocked over football-player-stature Jamie. Her sweet face is the perfect counterpoint to her hidden ferociousness.


Wiz – Jacob Lofland
~ Slap a pair of over-large wire-rimmed glasses on this guy and he’s the spitting image of the “wiz kid” genius of the theatre group.


Rachel – Delnaz Irani
~ This bubbly Bollywood actress is an ideal match for the “mama” of the sociology department who takes care of all soc-students as if they’re kin.


SRU Sargent – Hugh Dillon
~ I like Hugh for this role because it’s exactly the character he played in the TV series Flashpoint when it aired. I like that he’s a musician-turned-actor and some of his band’s music could easily be integrated into the movie.

Thanks very much for coming to visit my blog today, MJ! I love this great mix of actors here!

About M.J.:


Growing up in Ontario, Canada, MJ was the only child of a single mom. MJ’s passion for the arts ignited at a young age as she wrote adventure stories and read them aloud to close family and friends. The dramatic arts became a focus in high school as an aid to understanding character motivation in her writing. Majoring in Theatre Production at University, with a minor in English, she went on to teach both elementary and high school for 10 years throughout Simcoe County.

MJ currently lives with her husband and young son in Caledon, Ontario. She keeps busy these days with her emerging authors’ website Infinite Pathways: hosting writing contests, providing editing services, free publicity tips, book reviews, and opportunities for authors to build their writing platform and portfolio. In addition she writes articles, works freelance writing and editing, and is preparing to launch her first science fiction novel The Chronicles of Xannia: Time’s Tempest on October 1st, 2014. She firmly believes that if she hadn’t been born a Virgo, she would not be half as organized as necessary to accomplish everything in her daily agenda.

Subscribe to M.J.’s Newsletter!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Giveaway Details: 
5 lucky winners will win an eBook of FINAL YEAR, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule:

Week One:
3/4/2019- Lone Tree Reviews- Excerpt
3/5/2019- BookHounds- Guest Post
3/6/2019- Kelly P's Blog- Excerpt
3/7/2019- Lisa Loves Literature- Spotlight
3/8/2019- Down The Rabbit Hole- Excerpt

Week Two:
3/11/2019- ❧Defining Ways❧- Excerpt
3/12/2019- Two Chicks on Books- Excerpt
3/13/2019- Owl Always Be Reading- Excerpt
3/14/2019- Smada's Book Smack- Spotlight
3/15/2019- Cheyenne Reads- Interview

Week 3:
3/18/2019- Always Me- Guest Post
3/19/2019- Book Briefs- Guest Post
3/20/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland-Review
3/21/2019- PopTheButterfly Reads- Excerpt
3/22/2019- The Pages In-Between- Excerpt

Music Monday: Songs I Didn't Think I'd Like, Pt. 5


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

Jonas Brothers- Sucker - I wasn't interested in the Jonas Brothers the first time around.  Now it's six years later and I'm actually hooked on their new song.  In my defense, when I heard it on the radio for the first time I didn't realize who I was listening to until it ended.  Anyway, it sure is catchy! 



Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey- The Middle - Not at all my usual go to music genre, but this earworm wriggled it's way into head - maybe it's the ticking of the clock that did it.  Also, I've just realized that this was written by seven people.  Yes, seven whole people were needed to come up with this.  Oh, well.



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Such Dark Things by Courtney Evan Tate + 50/50 Friday




On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.



Happy Friday everyone!  Today, I'm sharing first read (selected by drawing the name from my Baby Groot planter) for the My Own Books Reading Challenge which is being hosted by Anne @ My Head is Full of Books, Such Dark Things by Courtney Evan Tate.  My dad bought this one for me not to long ago and it's time I see what this mystery thriller is all about.

Beginnings:

My skin is sticky with blood.

56:

"Don't judge me.  I had three hours of sleep last night."

50/50 Friday: Character Most/ Least Likely To Commit Grand Theft Auto


Most likely - Ronan Lynch from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater - Well, he's stolen a car before - and he'd probably do it again too.


Least likely - Noah Czerny from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater - Of anyone from the series, I just can't see Noah commit grand theft auto.

What are you reading this weekend?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!