Halloween Through The Years

31st Oct 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Newsletter

If you follow me on Instagram you might’ve seen these last night, but I wanted to share them all in one place for you guys!

My fiance, Tom, and I have dressed up in some epic costumes in the past. They’re pretty funny, lol. This year we have something planned as well, so be sure to check back on Sunday! I will post a picture here in this post! Check out some of our past costumes!

 

 

 

Do you dress up for Halloween? What have been some of your favorites?

 

 This Year’s Costumes!

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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New Series Alert! The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

30th Oct 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author J.R. Ward to Launch
Contemporary Series The Bourbon Kings in 2015

New American Library Will Release First Book, The Bourbon Kings,
in Hardcover on July 28, 2015
Television Rights Optioned by Top

International Producer and Distributor Endemol Studios

 

New York, NY; October 30, 2014 – New American Library, a division of Penguin Random House, announced today that it will publish in hardcover the first book in a new contemporary series from #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward on July 28, 2015.

Launching with a novel of the same name, The Bourbon Kings series will introduce readers to the Bradfords, a wealthy, aristocratic family in Kentucky who made their money from bourbon.

The books have already been optioned for television by Endemol Studios, the entertainment and production company behind the international hit TV series Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, Wipeout, Hell On Wheels, The Fall and Peaky Blinders, among others.

Set in the heart of bourbon and horse country, The Bourbon Kings marks a departure for Ward who hasn’t written extensively about Kentucky, though she lives in The Bluegrass State and has deep ties to the surrounding community.

Ward said:  “The Bourbon Kings are just like my Black Dagger Brotherhood vampires, flawed heroes for strong women who live and love in a vivid, ever-changing world of passion and excitement.  Readers can expect the same big emotions, epic storylines, and soul-deep love stories in these books—as well as those signature, OMG, I have to know what happens NEXT! kind of endings.”

With more than 15 million of her novels in print worldwide, Ward is an international bestselling author best known for her phenomenally popular paranormal Black Dagger Brotherhood series about a group of warrior vampires.  Dark Lover, the first book in the series, was published in 2005, and reader reaction was immediate.  Just eighteen months later, the fourth book in the series, Lover Revealed, hit the New York Times bestseller list.  Since then, Ward’s novels have held the #1 spot on the New York Times hardcover, mass market, eBook, and combined print/eBook fiction bestseller lists and have debuted in the Top Five on the USA Today bestseller list.  Ward and her books have been featured in USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, The Boston Globe and The New York Times.

“The Bourbon Kings has all the hallmarks of Ward’s hugely successful Black Dagger Brotherhood books—fascinating characters, compelling interwoven plotlines, passionate love stories—while also feeling completely fresh.  I’m thrilled to be starting a new series with the extremely talented J.R. Ward and am confident that readers will also find this one irresistibly addictive,” said NAL’s Senior Vice President and Publisher Kara Welsh.

The Bourbon Kings series will follow the Bradfords, those who work for them on their estate, Easterly, and several other wealthy Southern families involved in Kentucky’s bourbon industry.

 

About the Author

J.R. Ward is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with more than 15 million novels in print published in 25 different countries around the world.  Ward is a graduate of Smith College who currently lives in Kentucky.  Before turning to writing full time, she worked as a lawyer in Boston and also spent many years working as Chief of Staff for one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation.  Visit her popular website and fan community at www.jrward.com and facebook.com/JRWardBooks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am basically DYING of excitement at this news! Not only a new series but a tv show?! If it can’t be the Brothers, I’ll take these guys. I’m really intrigued at the whole “like Downton Abbey” thing because I LOVE that show. Can’t wait to read and watch this!

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook

29th Oct 2014 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2014, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: Magnolia by Kristi CookMagnolia by Kristi Cook
Published by Simon & Schuster
Pub Date: August 5th 2014
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

 

Magnolia was a great surprise. I’ve seen this book described as a Romeo and Juliet story in reverse and that is exactly what it is. Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden come from two families that have been friends for generations. The Caffertys and Marsdens have been tied together by friendship for generations but never by marriage. Finally Jemma and Ryder are born and their parents start planning their future. Instead of trying to keep them apart their families have been pushing them together since they were babies. Their mothers have their whole lives planned for them, but Jemma and Ryder have no intentions of going with that plan. First of all they hate each other and secondly both of them have their own dreams that are nothing like the ones their parents have set out for them.

The story is told from Jemma’s point of view. Right away we see her frustration with her family and the path they’ve set out for her. She hates Ryder not only because of the pressure from their families but because of events that happened years ago. Ryder seems just as annoyed with her and tries to avoid her as much as he can.

The parents in this book drove me crazy! It’s mostly the mothers who go overboard. It’s one thing to be involved in your chlid’s life, but it’s another to plan out their lives for them. Jemma and Ryder’s parents have been pushing them together since birth and no matter what either of them say they just keep on pushing. It’s a little crazy at some points. I definitely understood why Jemma was so against giving into their plans, no one ever asks Jemma or Ryder what they want and no matter how much they protest their mothers just won’t stop.

This book isn’t just about a love story. There’s a big hurricane that passes through their town that causes a lot of chaos and draws Jemma and Ryder closer together. During the hurricane Jemma’s family is away dealing with her older sister Nan, so of course the families decide it’s best if Ryder goes over to stay with Jemma during the storm. While the storm wrecks havoc on Magnolia, Jemma and Ryder are stuck and have no choice but to talk to each other and end up dealing with some of their issues.

If you want a fun, contemporary read this book is definitely for you. This story had my attention from beginning to end. It’s a sweet romance that isn’t too sappy or unrealistic.

 

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books/Movies To Read Or Watch To Get In The Halloween Spirit

27th Oct 2014 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2014, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books/Movies To Read Or Watch To Get In The Halloween Spirit

If there’s anything I love as much as books, it’s movies, so instead of doing either/or for my list this week I decided to match books with Halloween movies to create the perfect atmospheric pair. Some were because of subject matter, some simply because of the feel of the story. All imbued with Halloween spirit!

 

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield/The Others

I’ve read The Thirteenth Tale only once and seen The Others only once but it each case, the story has haunted me ever since. They are both Gothic ghost stories about creepy houses and dark family secrets with unreliable narrators and enough twists to make you gasp. They find a way to get underneath your skin and make it crawl. Brilliantly told but not for the faint of heart!

 

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke/Casper

On the surface they might not seem to have much in common but the ruined mansion on the edge of a Maine sea cliff coupled with supernatural secrets and a melancholy air lurking beneath the surface made me realize that Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea would be perfect for older readers that had been fans of Casper as kids. Casper is funny, heartbreaking, spooky, and has a twinge of romance while Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is crisply written, seductive, scary, and gothic to the core.

 

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan/Hocus Pocus

I wrote about both Unspoken and Hocus Pocus last week and it made me realize how well they go together! Small sleepy towns, witches returned after generations, and resourceful snarky teen characters trying to stop them. They also have so much humor mixed with the spooky fall atmosphere.

 

Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia/Practical Magic

Witches, magic, family curses, doomed romances- that could describe Practical Magic or Beautiful Creatures. They are both supernatural romances tinged with darkness and possession that are ultimately about love. Plus you always need witches around Halloween!

 

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough/The Ring

Long Lankin is still the creepiest book I’ve ever read (one that I champion every chance I get) and The Ring has haunted my nightmares since the first time I saw it over ten years ago. Both are so sinister, so unsettling, so undeniably terrifying as the story builds that my skin crawls at the mere thought of them. I loved both but in that way where I don’t think I can ever watch or read either one again. Horror of the first order that frightened me completely and in the case of Long Lankin, left me in awe of the atmospheric writing and characterization, and the vernacular that added a lot to the mid-20th century English setting. I can’t think of either villain without a chill of revulsion and terror and dread in the pit of my stomach. The storytelling is less action and more slow building tension but by the time the climax arrives your eyes will be wide in enthralled fear. Excellently creepy.

 

The Mark of Cain by Lindsey Barraclough/Coraline

The Mark of Cain is the sequel to Long Lankin; without spoilers, it has some of the same characters and setting, but focuses more on witchcraft including the creation and use of poppets. A poppet is a doll made to represent a specific person and was used to cast evil spells on the that person. It is as atmospherically sinister and creepy as Long Lankin, even more so in parts- the creeping sort of chill that someone is watching over your shoulder in the shadows, waiting to steal a strand of hair to make a doll of your likeness and stick pins in it. Coraline is a dark fantasy 3D film filled with other worlds, ghost children, button eyes, mouths sewn shut, and creepy witch dolls. It is unsettling and chilling, even though it’s an animated movie for children. The creep factor is high!

 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater/Corpse Bride

This might be the most tenuous connection but something about The Raven Boys and Corpse Bride makes me feel like they are a good fit. The Raven Boys is a slow, strange, simmering tale of friendship, true love, and supernatural occurrences, including ghosts, sleeping Welsh kings, and tightly twisting strands of fate in small town Virginia. Corpse Bride is an animated stop-motion film about a 19th century British man whisked away to the Land of the Dead when he accidentally marries a girl called the Corpse Bride, although Victor soon discovers that nothing in this world or the next can keep him from his true love. It’s dark and humorous like only Tim Burton can be, with a cast of colorful characters and a spooky tragic atmosphere.

 

A Curse Dark As Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce/Sleepy Hollow (FOX)

There are many modern versions of Sleepy Hollow, including the Disney cartoon and the Johnny Depp movie but my favorite is the show loosely based on the Washington Irving story. The present mixes with the past, and monsters, witches, demons and all sorts of supernatural creatures haunt the small modern day town of Sleepy Hollow, like they did hundreds of years before. There are creepy woods, witch curses, and a pervasive gothic atmosphere, which are the main reasons I think it would pair well with A Curse Dark As Gold- a magical, haunting, suspenseful historical fairy tale. At its core the book is a Rumplestiltskin retelling but it is also about strong, resourceful Charlotte and the tragic curse that hangs over her family’s haunted mill in small town England.

 

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud/The Haunted Mansion

I started The Screaming Staircase recently and really love the comedic tone juxtaposed with frightening ghost encounters so far, which is what The Haunted Mansion is all about. It is based on the Disney ride and follows a family that gets drawn into the supernatural mystery hanging over the crumbling mansion. I laughed and jumped in equal measure- misty graveyards and ghostly curses are always perfect for the month of October.

 

Ruined by Paula Morris/The Skeleton Key

I haven’t read Ruined yet but it’s been on my list for awhile and I can tell how well it would pair with The Skeleton Key, one of the most spine tingling movies I’ve ever seen. Ruined is set in New Orleans about a girl named Rebecca who lives in a creepy house with her aunt and befriends a ghost named Lisette. The Skeleton Key is about a young hospice nurse from New Orleans who takes a job at an isolated bayou plantation and becomes entangled in an evil supernatural mystery. It has a disturbing ending that I think about to this day.

BONUS!

A few bonus movies/books in the Halloween spirit that I love but couldn’t quite find great matches for: Paranorman, Monster House, It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, The Distant Hours by Kate Morton.

And one bonus book that might be the most perfect fall read ever: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone! There’s a great Halloween scene but mostly it’s the feeling of starting the journey to Hogwarts and being whisked away to a world of magic.

 

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman

27th Oct 2014 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2014, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Review: The Glass Casket by McCormick TemplemanThe Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman
Published by Delacorte Press
Pub Date: February 11th 2014
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover | Source: Library
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

Death hasn't visited Rowan Rose since it took her mother when Rowan was only a little girl. But that changes one bleak morning, when five horses and their riders thunder into her village and through the forest, disappearing into the hills. Days later, the riders' bodies are found, and though no one can say for certain what happened in their final hours, their remains prove that whatever it was must have been brutal.

Rowan's village was once a tranquil place, but now things have changed. Something has followed the path those riders made and has come down from the hills, through the forest, and into the village. Beast or man, it has brought death to Rowan's door once again.

Only this time, its appetite is insatiable.

 

Wow. Not what I expected at all, I’m very unsettled. I knew it would be dark but I thought it was more of a traditional fairy tale retelling. It was darker that I could have possibly imagined- my immediate impression while reading was a mixture of an original Grimms fairy tale, The Village (the setting, the creepiness, the characters), and that Red Riding Hood movie with Amanda Seyfried (which I haven’t actually seen). It’s a fantasy set in an unremarkable village that believes in folklore such as witches, goblins, and fairies. I really enjoyed the author’s writing style; it was tense, immediate, and descriptive. The characters were archetypal but well-imagined; I really liked Rowan and Jude reminded me of Ronan from The Raven Boys. The best part though was that almost every character filled me with suspicion and dread; that’s something you want in a mystery. I was also SHOCKED at how much grisly death permeates the book, and how often deaths occur. It was gruesome and certainly upped the ante.

I was very impressed with The Glass Casket; it was magical, macabre, frightening, bleak, and enthralling. It was a horror story wrapped in a mystery inside a fairy tale coating. There were some subtle Snow White allusions, which I enjoyed. But this isn’t for the faint of heart or for anything looking for a happily ever after kind of retelling, although it’s not *all* doom and gloom. It’s very dark and brutal but has an appealing heroine and an enchanting mythology. It keeps you turning the pages with the kind of slow burn dread that is unique to murder mysteries. I took off the star because I think it was so far from the impression I had of the book going in but I was impressed and ended up really liking it once I got over my initial shock!

 

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Stacking the Shelves

25th Oct 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

Helllllllo, friends! Hope you’re all having a great weekend so far. Me, I have a busy Saturday up ahead because I’m going on a work trip tomorrow and I haven’t gotten anything ready yet. I didn’t want to leave without sharing what I’ve added to my shelves these last two weeks, so here we go!

The Winner's Crime Most Likely to Succeed Montana Actually Silver Thaw Ahead in the Heat Dictatorship of the Dress You Really Got Me The Importance of Being Alice Back to Before Scoring Wilder HTML Map

The Start of Me and You

The Assassin’s Blade

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Thursday Tracks: Beware The Dog

23rd Oct 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Thursday Tracks

Thursday Tracks: Beware The Dog

 

YEAH! So this song is DANCEY! And of the Sing-It-Loud-In-Your-Car variety. Yeah, the hook throws some F Bombs at you, but just don’t sing it or play it around the kiddos, but DEF play it or sing it aloud somewhere. And be prepared for it to get stuck in your head FOR DAYS. :) You’re welcome. Also? These guys are Australian… meaning, HOTTT! :D

 

beware the dog the griswolds

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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In Some Other World, Maybe: A Novel by Shari Goldhagen – Early Excerpt

22nd Oct 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Press Releases

In Some Other World, Maybe: A Novel by Shari Goldhagen – Early ExcerptIn Some Other World, Maybe: A Novel by Shari Goldhagen
Published by St. Martin's
Pub Date: January 13th 2015
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Buy the book! | Goodreads

In December 1992, three groups of teenagers head to the theater to see the movie version of the famed Eons & Empires comic books.

For Adam it's a last ditch effort to connect with something (actually, someone, the girl he's had a crush on for years) in his sleepy Florida town before he leaves for good.

Passionate fan Sharon skips school in Cincinnati so she can fully appreciate the flick without interruption from her vapid almost-friends—a seemingly silly indiscretion with shocking consequences.

And in suburban Chicago, Phoebe and Ollie simply want to have a nice first date and maybe fool around in the dark, if everyone they know could just stop getting in the way.

Over the next two decades, these unforgettable characters criss-cross the globe, becoming entwined by friendship, sex, ambition, fame and tragedy. A razor-sharp, darkly comic page-turner, In Some Other World, Maybe sheds light on what it means to grow up in modern America.

 

Today I’m happy to share with you guys an early excerpt from IN SOME OTHER WORLD, MAYBE!

 

CLICK HERE TO READ!

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Teaser Tuesday: The Young Elites, Part Two

21st Oct 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday: The Young Elites, Part Two

Over the weekend, when I normally would’ve finished the book I started that week, I participated in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! I wanted to read short books for it, which is why I didn’t finish The Young Elites over the weekend and why I’m sharing another great teaser from it.

ALSO!

Some of you thought the way I showcased my teaser was neat, so I decided to start a tag or hashtag on Instagram specifically for bookish teasers and YOU’RE ALL INVITED TO PARTICIPATE! :D Here’s the details:

Please join me and please use the #GWTWTuesdayTeaser hashtag. :)

Here is today’s teaser:

THE YOUNG ELITES

Still reading #TheYoungElites this week! And still really good! #GWTWTuesdayTeaser

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Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Time!

18th Oct 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Read-a-thon

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Time!

Today I’m participating in the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! Which means I’ll be attempting to read for 24 hours straight! TRY being the operative word.

Here’s a short Q&A from yours truly…

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I’m in Houston, Texas! :D
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Looking for Alibrandi
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

ALL OF THEM! :D
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I’m 33, a mom to an almost teenage girl and to a toddler puppy, fiance to a great guy, and I love to read!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? 

I participated a couple of years ago, so I’m happy to finally be able to do it again! I want to be more active in the challenges. :)

I’ll be updating this post with mini-challenges and reading updates, so be sure to check in occasionally to see my progress! :D

 

Here’s the books I pulled to read today…

I didn’t start with any of these as it  turns out. I woke up at 7:10am and so I decided to listen to an audiobook while I got ready and got caught up.

 

Books Read/Listened To So Far…

 

  1. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, Narrated by Tom Mison (THE ACTOR IN THE SHOW!)
  2. Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta (WOW! So much love for this one!)
  3. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta (Loved this one too! Had to read after Looking for Alibrandi)

Mini Challenges!

Coffee or Tea? – Fig and Thistle

#readathon Coffee, all the way. I think I have enough of it. OR DO I?! #TeamTrollope

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Shelfie! – The Book Monsters

#readathon #shelfie challenge! Look at my floating arm! Lol

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Weird Reading Position – Kristina Horner

#readathon Weird Reading Position… was hard to photograph by myself, lol. #awkward

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Quotable Quote! – BIBLIOPHIBIAN INC.

Listening to James McAvoy (and others) perform Neverwhere at the moment and it is glorious! :D

“You’ve a good heart. Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go. But mostly, it’s not.”
― Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere

 

Book Staging! – On the Wings of Books

Name Your Readathon! – Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog

Story of a Girl, Looking for Alibrandi, who Once Was Lost, 100 Blood and Tears, Love and Leftovers Readathon.

 

Cheering Challenge! – Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity

Books! Books! They’re my bag! If I can read them, all of you can! For 24 hours…

 

Show It Off! – deadbookdarling

#readathon #showitoff My pretty, colorful Outlander series hardcovers. ❤️

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Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?

I JUST finished Looking for Alibrandi and I’m trying to pick my next read. :)

2. How many books have you read so far?

Two Whole Books!

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Maybe Sweethearts by Sara Zarr? Not sure!

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

SO MANY! Mostly on Twitter because of the author drama today.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

How much fun I’m having doing the mini-challenges through Instagram! :D

 

End of Event Meme

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Probably Hour 17 (11pm, right?). It’s the hour I normally go to bed, so I had a cup of coffee and hoped it worked. (IT DID!)

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

I think short, quick reads are good.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Not at the moment…

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

Being able to use Instagram for mini-challenges because it allows for cross-posting across twitter/tumblr/blog.

5. How many books did you read?

Listened to 1 short story audiobook and read 2 books!

6. What were the names of the books you read?

Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta, and listened to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Looking for Alibrandi!

8. Which did you enjoy least?

I enjoyed them all!

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

Not an official cheerleader, but I did cheer-tweet a couple of times. I may make it official next time. :)

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

VERY LIKELY! I may signed up for a mini-challenge or to cheer on twitter/instagram.

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Blog Tour: Atlantia by Ally Condie – Review, Q&A + Giveaway!

16th Oct 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Blog Tours, Giveaways, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Blog Tour: Atlantia by Ally Condie – Review, Q&A + Giveaway!Atlantia by Ally Condie
Published by Dutton Juvenile
Pub Date: October 28th 2014
Pages: 368
Format: ARC | Source: Blog Tour
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

Hi Ally! Thanks for being with us today!

Thank you for having me! I very much appreciate it! :)

1. First thing we must know is, would you choose to live Below or Above?

I would choose to live Above. I think I’d lose my mind if I had to live Below. I’d be way too worried that something would break! But I do think the Below is very cool. I can see why Rio and Bay love it so much.

2. If Above, what’s the one thing you’d miss most from the world Below? If Below, what’s the one thing you’d feel you missed out on in the world Above?

If I were Above, I think I would most miss the breathing of the city from the Below. I think that’s the kind of thing that would really become a part of you.

If I were Below, I’d miss the sky the most, the sense of space.

3. There were a lot of neat inventions in the Below — metallic trees, robotic fish, drones! Which was the most fun to create?

Oh, thank you! I had the most fun with the trees and the fish, I think. I have some awesome inspiration pictures on my Pinterest board that I looked at a lot once I had the initial ideas. There really are some metal trees out there in the world (there’s a particularly beautiful one in Austin, Texas) and I’d love to see them someday.

4. Atlantia is a standalone book, but you’ve also written a couple of trilogies, Matched and Yearbook. Do you now have a preference on writing standalones vs. series?

I can’t believe you mentioned the Yearbook trilogy! No one ever knows about that series. ;) It’s hard to say which I prefer, because the most fun I’ve had writing has been the Matched Trilogy and Atlantia. So I couldn’t pick, because they’re both very different. Right now I’m working on another standalone, though, so maybe I’m having a slight preference toward that these days.

5. So what’s next from you? Anything in the works?

Yes! I teased it a little bit above, but I’m working on a YA standalone, set in a very different world from Atlantia. It’s been a book I’ve wanted to write for years, and I’m having a wonderful time with it so far. :)

Thoughts on Atlantia

Here at Gone with the Words, we claim TEAM BELOW! Oh, yes. They said the Above is hot and I was all noooooooo, sir. I live in Texas now and I know hot and do. not. want. more. So I signed myself up for the Below.

It’s true. I’ve always wanted to live under the sea, like Ariel, and I was at one point fascinated with underwater cities/ruins. So of course I’d choose the Below! Once I started reading and learning all about it, I knew I’d made the right choice.

There were so many neat things down there! Now, the people running the show? Maybe not what they seem. The story is always building up, always moving. With Atlantia being a standalone book, Ally Condie did a great job with the pacing.

Rio was an interesting character because she’s taught to pretty much make herself invisible for certain reasons, but her personality is not that at all. She’s brave and confidant. There’s a little bit of love story, but it’s definitely not the focus of the book.

Rio’s mission to follow her sister and make it to the Above drives this story, and the secrets Atlantia and the people ruling it are keeping are a bit of a mystery. Not every is as it seems, so it definitely kept me reading to find out the truth of it all.

 

Giveaway

Got some cute necklaces to give away on the blog for the #Atlantia blog tour! #AtlantiaBelow

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Review: The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan

15th Oct 2014 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2014, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Review: The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees BrennanThe Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: The Lynburn Legacy
Published by Random House
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
5 Stars

UNSPOKEN

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

UNTOLD

It's time to choose sides....

On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

A darkly humorous take on Gothic romance, Sarah Rees Brennan's Lynburn Legacy weaves together the tale of a heroine desperate to protect those she loves, two boys hoping to be saved, and the magical forces that will shape their destiny.

UNMADE

Powerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice?

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

As coauthor with Cassandra Clare of the bestselling Bane Chronicles, Sarah Rees Brennan has mastered the art of the page-turner. This final book in the Lynburn Legacy is a wild, entertaining ride from beginning to shocking end.

 

The Lynburn Legacy has to be one of the best discoveries I’ve ever made. I can’t remember where I first heard about Unspoken but I was charmed by the illustrated cover and drawn in by the promise of Gothicness and romantic entanglements with imaginary boys. I even went to the library in the next county over to get it! What I didn’t expect was how hilarious it was, and how charming and heartbreaking it would be. Basically, Unspoken had fantastic voice and characters. I loved the setting, the plot, the dialogue, everything. Sarah Rees Brennan does a wonderful job of juxtaposing snark and humor with serious situations, a very real sort of reaction in my opinion. It’s also Gothic at heart; there’s spooky unease and magic in the air throughout the book. It’s very atmospheric and a good read for fall. The downside? SRB is the master of the gut punch cliffhanger! But luckily for you, dear readers, you can binge read to your heart’s content with all three books out now! Takes the sting away :)

Kami Glass is one of my favorite characters ever, in anything- she’s so REAL and spirited and hilarious. I love her sarcasm and her humor, how deeply she loves her family and her friends. She’s fascinating to me. And you know I love Jared, wounded and mean as he sometimes is. He’s not like other leads that can come off as a-holes. Yeah, Jared says and does things he shouldn’t but it never crossed that line for me. He was still thoughtful, confused, loyal Jared underneath the hurt (also swoooon!). Angela is more than the Mean Girl. Holly is more than the Air Head. Just great character arcs in general.

I’m going to try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible. One of the strengths of The Lynburn Legacy (of which there are many) is its relationships between characters. Familial, romantic, platonic- they all shine in different ways and all the characters have interesting relationships with each other, like a real group of people would. I love Kami and Angie’s friendship, opposites to the core but best friends all the same. I also find Rusty fascinating; it was nice to get a more in-depth view of him in Untold (Book 2) instead of the silliness he always projects.

One of my other favorite things about this series is all the parents! Parents everywhere! That’s SO rare in YA. Kami’s dad is really awesome- I always picture him like the dad from My Neighbor Totoro haha. But yeah, so much of the book revolves around moms and dads and their relationships (or lack thereof) with their kids. It adds nice layers to the story. I love that the action is mainly contained to the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale; it’s not a plan for world domination. I also loved how Kami dove into the archives and the history of the town to learn more about the Lynburns. I’m a big fan anytime the past directly affects the characters in the present.

The pacing in general is fantastic. Untold picks up right after Unspoken and Unmade picks up a couple months after Untold. Each book simmers with strangeness and tension but it’s non-stop action and uncovering mysteries and ROMANCE the whole time. Oh my god. The romance. For everyone. Love love love all that happened! All the confusion and the mixed up signals (which I usually hate) and the kissing oh my goddddd the swoony kissing. God. Just perfect.

I love the Gothic atmosphere of these books, the diversity (half-Asian heroines! Gay and bisexual characters!), the history, the magic, the mystery, the sleepy town, the ruthlessness, the characters. I love it all. I even adore the name of the series! And Unmade was the cherry on top. A practically perfect wrap up with so much humor and tears and darkness and light. I had a few quibbles but there are spoilerific and not enough to tarnish my overall impression. Such a brilliant trilogy that I wish more people read.

 

 

About Sarah Rees Brennan

Sarah Rees Brennan was born and raised in Ireland by the sea, where her teachers valiantly tried to make her fluent in Irish (she wants you to know it’s not called Gaelic) but she chose to read books under her desk in class instead. The books most often found under her desk were Jane Austen, Margaret Mahy, Anthony Trollope, Robin McKinley and Diana Wynne Jones, and she still loves them all today.

After college she lived briefly in New York and somehow survived in spite of her habit of hitching lifts in fire engines. She began working on The Demon’s Lexicon while doing a Creative Writing MA and library work in Surrey, England. Since then she has returned to Ireland to write and use as a home base for future adventures. Her Irish is still woeful, but she feels the books under the desk were worth it.

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Teaser Tuesday: The Young Elites

14th Oct 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday: The Young Elites

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random or not so random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
~~~(In my post, click the Book Title to take you to the Goodreads page!)

 

THE YOUNG ELITES

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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