Blog Tour: Goldfish | Guest Post by author Nat Luurtsema!

7th Jun 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Blog Tours, Guest Posts

Blog Tour: Goldfish | Guest Post by author Nat Luurtsema!

Blog Tour: Goldfish | Guest Post by author Nat Luurtsema!Goldfish by Nat Luurtsema
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Pub Date: June 7th 2016
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Lou Brown is one of the fastest swimmers in the county. She’s not boasting, she really is. So things are looking pretty rosy the day of the Olympic time-trials. With her best mate Hannah by her side, Lou lines up by the edge of the pool, snaps her goggles on and bends into her dive…

Everything rests on this race. It’s Lou’s thing.

… or it was. She comes dead last and to top it all off Hannah sails through leaving a totally broken Lou behind.

Starting again is never easy, particularly when you’re the odd-one out in a family of insanely beautiful people and a school full of social groups way too intimidating to join. Where do you go from here? Finding a new thing turns out to be the biggest challenge Lou’s ever faced and opens up a whole new world of underwater somersaults, crazy talent shows, bitchy girls and a great big load of awkward boy chat.

Lou Brown guides us through the utter humiliation of failure with honesty, sass and a keen sense of the ridiculous. This girl will not be beaten.

I’m so excited to be kicking out the blog tour for Nat Luurtsema’s Goldfish! Today she’s here telling us all about her favorite olympic swimmers. Check it out!

gwtw-separate-line

My Favourite Olympic Swimmers

There are many excellent Olympic swimmers, fast, skillful, top of their game and none of them are my number one favourite.

That title goes to Eric Moussambani Malonga who competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He met none of the minimum requirements to qualify, but did so via a wildcard draw designed to encourage participation by developing countries lacking full training facilities.

Which I think is a good idea, but does give me a funny mental image of Eric sifting through the post one morning, saying a weak “bloody hell” and sitting down because his knees have gone wobbly.

“Any post, Eric?” his wife or flatmate shouts from the sofa.

“Junk mail, a catalogue for fences and I’ve got to swim in the Olympics.”

…..

“Eric, you ok hun?”

There should be more Wildcard draws like that. Like Jury Service, any one of us could get a postcard through the door that makes us sigh, pull on a coat and yell to our flatmate “I’ll be back soon, I’ve gotta go be in One Direction/fly to the moon/ judge The X Factor.”

Eric should’ve been knocked out of the running in his first qualifying heat but he was competing against two swimmers who dived too early and were disqualified. And with that, Eric was off to the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Imagine phoning your mum to tell her that.

At this point, he had never even seen an Olympic-sized swimming pool. He took up swimming eight months before the Olympics and practiced in a lake in Malabo.

On the day he took twice as long to finish as the winner, taking 1:52:72 in the 100m Freestyle. But that’s still faster than most of us could swim it!

Girl Out Of Water is all about how failing is fine, not to beat yourself up about it, because in the end it’s fine. It’s how you deal with failure that counts. Eric Moussambani Malonga set a new PB (obviously, as swimming in a lake presumably slows you down with all the yelping because something slimy brushed your leg) and went on to coach the Equatorial Guinea national team.

Follow the rest of the tour!

6/7 – Gone with the Words
6/10 – Swoony Boys Podcast
6/14 – Love is not a triangle
6/17 – The Fox’s Hideaway
6/20 – Book Briefs
6/24 – Fierce Reads
6/27 – That Artsy Reader Girl
7/1 – Gone Pecan
7/5 – Forever Young Adult
7/8 – The Reading Nook Reviews
7/12 – Undeniably {Book} Nerdy
7/15 – Xpresso Reads
7/19 – Mary Had a Little Book Blog
7/22 – Paperback Princess
7/26 – Ex Libris
7/29 – Novel Novice
8/2 – Page Turners
8/5 – Book Nerds Across America

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass

6th Jun 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: The Cresswell Plot by Eliza WassThe Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass
Published by Disney Hyperion
Pub Date: June 7th 2016
Pages: 272
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2.5 Stars

Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.

Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice.

Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.

Castella Cresswell lives deep in the woods with her five siblings. They live by the rules of their strict, religious father. He controls everything they do, from what they wear to who they can talk to. As they get older Castella and her siblings start to question their way of life.

I felt sorry for Castella and her family. Her family lives in such a strict and controlling household, but none of them are brave enough to completely go against the strict rules and religious beliefs of their father. Religion can be a scary thing. The father in this book based everything he did on his belief in God and his wanting to do what was best for his family in his mind. It is not very clear what exactly the father believes in, just that he is adamant about his beliefs. He does some seemingly crazy things like claiming he does not need a job because God will provide for them and telling his children that they will all grow up to marry each other. As a reader it’s easy to discredit him and write him off as crazy. It’s hard to believe that his wife and children just go along with his ideas, but then again they don’t know any other way to live. They truly believe in him and that his rules are God’s will, which makes them terrified to completely disobey him.

Castella and her siblings start to doubt her father’s teachings about the world around them. All of the children have their own interests that do not go along with their father’s teachings, yet none of them are really ready to rebel and stand up against him. Castilla starts to have questions and pushes her limits. She starts to see what life outside of her home is really like and what’s to be a part of it. She starts to question her father more and more, until she is ready to escape from her father’s control. The one thing that stops her is her siblings, she does not want to leave her family behind. She ends up finding out some harsh truths about her family, and has to fight to keep everyone safe.

This book wasn’t very long and I was able to get through it fairly quickly. The pace of the book was pretty good, and I never felt bored. There was something about it that kept me hooked. I was really intrigued by Castella and her father’s beliefs. I wanted to see how the story would play out and it there were any unsuspected turns coming. The ending did leave me feeling little disappointed and there were just too many questions left unanswered and things were wrapped up too quickly for me. All in all, it was a quick, interesting read with a slightly creepy vibe that kept me engaged the whole way through. I just wish that the book had a little more depth and explored the characters and ideas a bit more.

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Ashley’s 2016 BEA Recap!

4th Jun 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, BEA

Ashley’s 2016 BEA Recap!

Book Expo America was in CHICAGO this year woo! I was kind of excited and kind of not and here’s why. Since I live closer to New York I was able to drive last year (my first year) and not have to worry about airplanes, airports and luggage restrictions. But I have family that live close enough to Chicago so my brother and my nephews were able to meet me and stay the weekend, which was so nice because I haven’t seen them in a while. So pros and cons for both cities as far as I am concerned. The one thing I noticed this year was even though the opening lines were bad, it didn’t seem like the convention itself was as busy this year. I did a quick Google search and found the Top Ten Largest Convention Centers in the US…McCormick Place is the biggest (like twice the size of Javits!) and the Javits Center doesn’t even occupy space on that list. Maybe that’s why it didn’t seem as busy?

The Books

Here is a link up to the books I brought home this year, in no particular order.

The Littlest Bigfoot Jennifer Weiner
The Great Shelby Holmes Elizabeth Eulberg
The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart Lauren DeStefano
The Mighty Odds Amy Ignitow
Warp Lev Grossman
Thieving Weasels Billy Taylor
The Wonder Emma Donoghue
Stalking Jack the Ripper Kerri Maniscalco
The Lie Tree Frances Harding
The Lost Property Office James Hannibal
Blood for Blood Ryan Graudin
Caraval Stephanie Garber
The Forgetting Sharon Cameron
The Hawkweed Prophecy Irena Brignull
Leave Me Gayle Foreman
Three Dark Crowns Kendare Blake
The Secret Keepers Trenton Lee Stewart
A Shadow Bright and Burning Jessica Cluess
Stealing Snow Danielle Paige
Replica Lauren Oliver
Gerties Leap to Greatness Kate Beasley
Spare and Found Parts Sarah Maria Griffin
The Movie Version Emma Wunsch
Gemina Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

The People

This year I was excited about the book and the authors but I think I was more excited to finally meet some blogger friends ( I finally met Jess and Morgan!) in real life! Here are some pictures, again in no particular order.

 

The Sites

Of course I had to have real Chicago Deep Dish pizza, visit the Bean and even got to see the beautiful views on top of The John Hancock Center.

 

When it’s all said and done, I enjoyed Chicago more than I thought I would and I’d go back but I will definitely be at BEA New York next year! See y’all!

 

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: Fly With Me by Chanel Cleeton

3rd Jun 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Bitsy Words, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Bitsy Words: Fly With Me by Chanel Cleeton

Bitsy Words: Fly With Me by Chanel CleetonFly With Me by Chanel Cleeton
Series: Wild Aces #1
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: May 3rd 2016
Pages: 320
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller—call sign Burn—loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her.

Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down.

One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love…

There’s something really sexy about Air Force pilots. Maybe it’s the aviators, I don’t know! But as soon as I saw Chanel Cleeton was writing this, I knew it would be SPOT ON. How do I know this? Read her bio. ;) SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE’S TALKING ABOUT.

I’m always a fan of Chanel’s books and they seem to get more polished the more she writes. This one was really well done. I loved the sexiness, the emotional moments, the drama was never over the top… it was just everything I love about a good romance novel.

Jordan and Noah’s eye meet across the dance floor of a Vegas club and it was lust at first sight. There’s something to be said about a strong physical connection. These two had it and it worked for them. I loved how committed they became to each other even though they were a long distance apart. Both Jordan and Noah found something in each other that they’d been missing and their love story just unfolded, albeit non-traditionally, but certainly in beautiful way.

We got to meet a lot of Noah’s squad in Fly With Me, and talk about #suadgoals. I feel like there’s some even more emotional stories on the way from this group and I’m really looking forward to them.

Start your summer romance reading fun with this sexy book!

 

About Chanel Cleeton

Originally a Florida girl, at seventeen Chanel moved to London to attend an international university. In the four years that followed, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, learned how to dance, travelled through Europe, and made lifelong friendships. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever. But fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise, when an American fighter pilot with smooth dance moves, swept her off her feet.

Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in South Korea. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she is happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, puppy cuddles, and her fighter pilot husband. Chanel writes New Adult contemporary romances and Young Adult thrillers. Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON, will be released by Harlequin (HQN) on February 3, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, later in the year.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke

2nd Jun 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve TucholkeSlasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke
Published by Dial Books
Pub Date: August 18th 2015
Pages: 385
Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Genres: Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

 

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

Short stories and anthologies aren’t really my thing, to be fair I probably haven’t really given them a fair shot until now. I have to admit, I started by reading  my favorite authors first then going back to the others. I’m happy to report that I would give other anthologies like this a chance. Since the book has 14 short stories, I am going to touch briefly on each of them.

The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma

This one was so creepy, like everyday creepy. A male next-door neighbor is photographing young girls in the neighborhood. As if that’s not enough, there is a bird twist to the story that literally gave me the chills.

In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan

Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, the story follows Cassidy Evans through her teen years and her obsession with something very deadly in the clearing in the forest behind her house. {shudders}

Emmeline by Cat Winters

Set in Northern France in 1918, a historical story inspired by All Quiet on the Western Front, Nosferatu and Kiss Me Again Stranger. Definitely creeped me out.

Verse Chorus Verse Leigh Bardugo

This was one of my favorite stories. A disturbing inside look into celebrity rehab with a crazy twist.

Hide-and-Seek by Megan Shepherd

Another great story, inspired by one of my favorite movies The Crow. A game of hide and seek with death himself.

The Dark Scary Parts and All Danielle Paige

When your the dorkiest girl in high school and the most popular boy begins to show true interest in you it’s like a dream come true, right? It is until you find out who he really is.

The Flicker, The Fingers, The Beat, The Sigh by April Genevieve Tucholke

Probably my least favorite of all. Inspired by Stephen Kings “Carrie” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and it read just like the movie.

Fat Girl With A Knife by Jonathan Mayberry

Very Mayberry in the zombie sense. Zombies take over a local high school and the girl with the pretty name who isn’t pretty fights them off with a knife.

Sleepless by Jay Kristoff

I couldn’t help but think about how real this story is or could be. Online dating with the worse outcome, almost.

M by Stefan Bachmann

One of my favorite stories in the book. Murder, mystery and revenge!

The Girl Without a Face by Marie Lu

Probably my favorite story of all of them. Downright creepy in every sense of the word. Every action has a consequence and when you try to ignore that consequence it will come back and haunt you.

A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow by McCormick Templeman

A plague is killing woman and those it doesn’t kill are being kidnapped and sold, until a determined woman takes matters into her own hands.

Stitches by A.G. Howard

What if you could cut the bad parts off your body and replace them with good parts? If your feet lead you astray, cut them off and replace them with ones that will not lead you astray…this story is wicked!

On the I-5 by Kendare Blake

Revenge is strong in this story. Again, so close to reality and horrible things that really do happen but with a ghostly twist.

Overall I enjoyed the book, even though there were a few stories I wasn’t all that impressed with. I’ve definitely been reminded why I steer clear of anthologies, I always end up wanting more.

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Contemporary Romance Challenge: June Link-Up

1st Jun 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Contemporary Romance Challenge: June Link-Up

Oh, hi there!!

Summer! Summer reading is my second fave next to holiday reads. Even though I’m not a fan of our scorching Texas temperatures, it’s always a relaxing season for me. Hope you all are still enjoying some romantic books!

If you haven’t officially signed up for the challenge, be sure to do so first HERE. If not, your entries will not count toward the giveaway. I know, right. Mean mom!

If you have May posts or reviews make sure you post your links in the May Link-up, which closes on June 5th!

Monthly Link-Up And Giveaway Details:

  • Your thoughts on each book you read must be posted somewhere, like your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, YouTube, Tumblr, etc., in order for it to count towards this challenge. Ratings on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc. will also work.
  • Monthly link-up posts will go live the first day of each month so you can add your links throughout the month as your posts go up. Each linky will remain open five days into each new month to allow you some time to get all your posts linked up!
  • In order for us to tell what you’re linking to on the monthly linky, the format for the links you enter need to be as follows:
    • UPDATE POST @ your name/blog name.
    • REVIEW: [BOOK TITLE] @ your name/blog name.
    • MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • Each month we’ll choose a lucky winner from that month’s linky to win a Contemporary Romance novel of their choice (up to US$10).
  • Each link you enter in that month’s linky will count as one entry into the giveaway.
  • Challenge and Giveaways are open internationally. (As long as The Book Depository ships to your country, you are eligible for a prize.)

Monthly Topics:

  • Each monthly link-up post will include a Contemporary Romance topic for you to participate in if you’d like.
  • Monthly Topic posts can go up anytime in the specified month. Link them up as follows: MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • These posts will also earn you an entry in the monthly giveaway as long as you link back to them.

 

This month’s topic:

Favorite Romance Beach Reads

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

 

Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery
On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves
The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Fly With Me by Chanel Cleeton

 

If you have any questions, please email Jess ([email protected]) or Danielle ([email protected]). Also, make sure you follow us on Twitter (@gonewiththeword & @loveatfirstpage) for challenge updates and reminders! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ContRom2016 to follow everyone’s challenge updates on Twitter!

 

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Plan to Read at the Beach

31st May 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

 

I’ve decided to divide this one into two categories: ARCs I’m dying to read and backlist books from my TBR list I’m excited to read, all of which will be great reads on the beach! Here is my list:

 

The Girls by Emma Cline

“Girls—their vulnerability, strength, and passion to belong—are at the heart of this stunning first novel for readers of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.” The cover alone caught my attention but after reading the description I knew I had to add it to my TBR list.

The Memory of Us by Camille Di Maio

Set during the Second World War, Julianne Westcott has a great life full of silk ball gowns, plenty of money and prominent men looking to court her. But when she discovers she has a brother who has been institutionalized since birth, her entire life shatters and her family falls apart. When I first discovered this book I checked Goodreads for reviews, out of 57 ratings and 45 reviews this book has an average of 4.77 stars. If you like historical romance, you must check this one out!

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin has been a go to author for me for years mostly because of her portrayal of relationships. Her new novel is about sisters torn apart by a tragedy and when the anniversary of that tragedy approaches they must come together and overcome their differences.

Leave Me by Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman’s first novel for adults and it sounds pretty damn good. Here is the first line in the description:

“Every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, and every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention–meet Maribeth Klein.”

I’m in, I’ve definitely been there before and I can’t wait to see how this book comes together.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

I don’t think I have to say much about this one. It was my most anticipated book at BEA this year and I know I will not be able to wait until closer to it’s October release date before I dive in.

 

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw

A contemporary YA about a teen who spends most of her time online writing fan fic. I have heard mixed reviews on this one but it stands pretty solid on Goodreads with a 3.68 rating and since it showed up in my May Uppercase Box I’ll give it a try.

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Though I haven’t read anything else by Paula Stokes, I think this one sounds pretty interesting, a girl who believes she has the worse luck ever.  “From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.”

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

A story about a curious girl who starts looking into her fathers death and discovers it wasn’t an accident. While investigating she discovers a tree that only produces fruit when she tells it a lie and that fruit, in turn, delivers a truth which may be the only way she discovers the truth about her fathers death. Sounds interesting!

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book! A story of Frankie Presto, the best guitar player who ever lived and the lives he touched. I’m told it’s an emotional roller coaster and you get completely sucked into the story and become one with the characters.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

I had never heard of this book until my amazing secret sister (it’s autographed!) sent it to me in a Sherlock Holmes themed box, now I’m dying to read it! It’s a modern day Sherlock story, squee!

 

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Thursday Tracks: Nashville – Four Season of Amazing Music

26th May 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Thursday Tracks

Nashville Music Cast Gone with the Words

Sad sad news, friends. Last night ABC aired the final episode of the tv show Nashville. Now, it wasn’t a planned finale, the show was cancelled by the network, so of course it didn’t end properly. It even had a cliffhanger! UGH! There is a petition going around to revive the show on another network so if you care to, sign it HERE.

From the first episode of season one, I knew this show was something I would love. Not only was the music SO GOOD, the drama and the romances kept me coming back. The cast is so talented! All the ones who sing on the show are actually singing and have amazing voices.

For me, the breakouts or standouts were Clare Bowen, Sam Palladio, and sisters Lennon & Maisy Stella.

Gone with the Words Nashville Clare Bowen Sam Palladio Lennon Stella Maisy Stella

Some familiar faces really surprised me with their singing though! I’m talking about Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere.

Gone with the Words Connie Britton Hayden Panettiere Nashville

And one other face was familiar to me from a little movie you may have seen called TUCK EVERLASTING… the one and only beautiful face of Jonathan Jackson.

Gone with the Words Nashville Jonathan Jackson

 

The number of songs (80+) in my “Nashville Faves” spotify playlist tells you just how much I loved the music of this show…

 

Are you a fan of this show and their music? What are some of your favorite songs? Are you as devastated to see it cancelled as I am?? Join in my pain!

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

25th May 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve TucholkeWink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
Published by Dial
Pub Date: March 22nd 2016
Pages: 247
Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

Wink Poppy Midnight is not like any other books I’ve read lately. The story is about three teens, Wink, Poppy, and Midnight. Each of them is very different and has their own story to tell. April Genevieve Tucholke’s writing style is mesmerizing. The whole book read like a lovely poem. This story was beautiful and addictive.

Poppy is a mean girl. She’s cruel and a bully, she has her own little group of followers called the Yellows that she loves to boss around and play games with. Midnight is in love with Poppy, but he doesn’t want to be. He sees the kind of person she is and he is trying so hard to break away from her and her manipulations. That’s when he meets Wink. Wink is one of the Bell children. She has the nickname “Feral Bell” because most of the other kids her age think she’s a little weird. She loves fairy tales and reading about adventures in books. When Midnight moves in next door she thinks it’s a sign that her own adventure is starting.

We follow all three of these characters throughout the book and get to see the story through each of their viewpoints. I enjoyed the different narrators and they all have such independent voices. You could tell who’s point of view it was without seeing the names in the beginnings of the chapters. Midnight is the main character, caught between two girls and trying to start over. I liked Midnight and felt his struggle when it came to Poppy and Wink. He is a nice guy and just wants to be with someone who actually wants him back. Poppy is easy to hate, she’s mean, cruel, and loves to play games. As the story goes on you start to see Poppy as more than just a mean girl and even start to sympathize with her at certain points. Wink is a strange character, she is obsessed with fairy tales and making real life just like a story. She seems too naive and childlike to be real. At time I just couldn’t take her character seriously at all, and she kind of annoyed me.

The messy little triangle between Poppy, Midnight, and Wink is really interesting. Poppy is determined not to lose Midnight, not because she loves him but just because she hates to lose. Midnight tries so hard to stay away from Poppy and he genuinely likes Wink and wants to spend time with her. In the beginning of the book it seems pretty clear that Poppy is the villain and Midnight and Wink might be the heroes of the story. As the book goes on it becomes harder and harder to tell who’s the villain and who’s the hero. The lines get really blurry and it’s hard to trust any of our narrators.

When I finished this book I realized there are no heroes or villains, just people with different motivations. It’s hard to point out who’s right or wrong in the end, everyone has their own baggage and does questionable things. I enjoyed the plot twist, which I didn’t see coming. The writing was enthralling and just drew me in. I loved the lyrical prose throughout the book and it just added to the atmosphere the author was building throughout the story. I recommend this book to anyone who like a mystery and a story that’s a little out there.

And the perfect gif to sum up this story…

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

23rd May 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi MeadowsMy Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Published by HarperTeen
Pub Date: June 7th 2016
Pages: 512
Format: ARC | Source: Author
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be Queen of England.

Like that could go wrong.

This book was so unexpectedly delightful!!! My Lady Jane KNOWS that it’s twisting history and winks at that, which allowed me to get swept up in the story and the characters without constantly comparing it to actual historical events. Comical, fantastical, romantical really is the best way to describe it, like the blurb says. It was refreshing to know that you had no idea how the story would end and that a happily ever after of some sort might be possible.

I loved the three POV characters, and Jane’s obsession with books in particular! She’s a true book nerd like the rest of us. Edward, Gifford, and Jane were easy to tell apart while reading (I still don’t know which author wrote which POV though!!!), but the chapters are nicely labeled for you just in case.

 

Their stories twist and dovetail in ways I didn’t expect, and even though it’s a meaty book, the pacing is great. You really feel for Edward, and Jane and Gifford have the BEST bantery romance. It feels very Austen-y.

  

All three have strong character traits and personalities, and I also liked getting glimpses of other historical figures such as Edward’s half sisters Elizabeth and Mary.

 

I also loved how the fantasy element was woven into the story! Instead of religious factions, you have magic: shape shifters (Edians) vs non-shifters. Some people can shift into an animal form, while others can’t; furthermore, some can control their shifting, while it only happens to others in moments of emotional distress. It lent an air of absurdity and humor to a serious topic (prejudice), while still staying in the framework of the religious wars that swept across 16th century England.

 

My Lady Jane is very funny, very charming, and has some really excellent romances and action scenes, along with narrator asides (I loved the dry humor). It’s silly in a clever way. I had so much fun reading it! There were also quite a few wink wink pop culture references, including my favorite: “Frying pans, who knew?” :D It really is a book in the spirit of The Princess Bride. And it’s a Tudor book without being a Tudor book. I highly recommend it for fans of history and comedy and smiling while you read :)

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

18th May 2016 Ashley @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Ashley

Review: Don’t You Cry by Mary KubicaDon't You Cry by Mary Kubica
Published by Mira
Pub Date: May 17th 2016
Pages: 320
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica returns with an electrifying and addictive tale of deceit and obsession 

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she's the person Quinn thought she knew.

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl's spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

I’ve had a few Mary Kubica’s books on my TBR for a while now, so when this one came across my desk, I decided to give it a try. The book is broken up into days Sunday through Thursday (when Esther goes missing) and told in alternating points of view between Quinn and Alex.

Quinn wakes up on a Sunday morning to find her roommate Esther missing. With her bedroom window open and her alarm blaring, Esther is no where to be found. Whats more odd is her purse and phone are still at home. Even though Quinn knows something is wrong, she isn’t quite sure what to do and when the police tell her she has to wait to file a missing persons report, Quinn decides to start her own investigation. Ransacking Esther’s room Quinn discovers things about Esther’s past that makes her begin to question her own safety.

Alex was supposed to be starting college this year but he has to stay behind and take care of his alcoholic father. He works at the diner in town and knows mostly everyone who comes in, except the mysterious brunette who always sits by the window and watches the houses across the street. Alex becomes obsessed, he can’t stop thinking about her and even waits hours after his shift end just to catch a glimpse of her. When he does end up finding the mystery girl, she’s in an abandoned house across the street from his own house. The more Alex gets to know the woman, the more mysterious she becomes, and when he discovers who she really is, his whole world comes crashing down.

I enjoyed reading Don’t You Cry, it was very well written and fun to read. The way Kubica weaves the story and the character had me running in circles trying to figure out what was really going on. I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a good mystery, it’s not too scary or gory, and I love the creepy-ish cover!

 

Ashley @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Picked Up On A Whim

17th May 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Picked Up On A Whim

Library Browsing

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan– it’s so hard to remember whether I was reading book blogs at this point; I might have been? In any case, I saw the original cover online and loved the idea of a dream boy being real, so I found it at a library nearish me and drove to get it. BEST DECISION. It’s a really fantastic trilogy.

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough– one of my best finds!! I drove to the library in the next county to pick up Unspoken and when I was there, I found this on the shelves. It looked so intriguing and creepy, and the tagline really got me! It is by far my favorite horror book, I can’t believe I managed to read it at night.

A Curse Dark As Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce– I had never read a Rumplestiltskin retelling before and I can never resist a fairy tale, esp with historical influence. Plus I tend to love Scholastic titles.

Courtship and Curses by Marissa Doyle– it’s hard to resist magic and Regency England and this was a super charming, funny book that I love to recommend now.

 

Bookstore Browsing

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima– this has to be one of the first YA books I read when I started really reading YA. I remember finding it in Barnes & Noble and being intrigued by the cover/synopsis. And no one at the store could tell me anything about it! Luckily I took the chance because it’s an awesome series.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis– another one of my first YAs (December 2011-January 2012 is when I really started digging in). I found the cover with the running girl at Barnes & Noble and promptly got the sequel from the library because I loved it so much!

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton– I picked this up and put it back a few times actually! I loved the cover but wasn’t completely sold on the synopsis. Luckily for me, I bought it on a summer trip with my family and discovered a new favorite author.

 

Recommendations

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill– I specifically remember reading a MTB review on Christina’s blog and knew that I had to finally try YA contemporary. Plus that cover!! Pastel, pretty London. I might have bought it for those two reasons alone ;)

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli– this is another favorite that I purchased solely based on the overwhelming number of great reviews from trusted bloggers/friends. Hype gets to me sometimes but I think this was early enough where it just made it sound super appealing instead. And it was!! So glad I made a rash purchase for once :)

Blurbs

Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman– 100% picked this up because Kate Morton, my very favorite author, blurbed it; pretty sure I saw it on an endcap in Target! If a book is blurbed by her or “for fans of Kate Morton”, I will read it.

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson

16th May 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Review: The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily AndersonThe Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Pub Date: May 17th 2016
Pages: 352
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West--and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing--down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben's, including give up sleep and comic books--well, maybe not comic books--but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it's time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie's for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben's best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben's cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie's best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they're on--and they might not pick the same side.

I started The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You on a whim one afternoon and laughed on page 1. Definitely a good sign! I continued to laugh throughout this delightful book because it was funny, relatable, and nerdtastic.

It is a loose retelling (reimagining?) of Much Ado About Nothing, of which I know just about nothing aside from it being Shakespeare and there being an excellent hate-to-love Lizzie/Darcy type ship. I am always on board for that.

I can’t speak to how well it followed the play or what else was alluded to but the main romance was everything I love. Trixie and Ben had sparkling banter and could go back and forth all day insulting each other. 

It also had a very 10 Things I Hate About You vibe; Trixie was a loveable unlikeable MC who reminded me so much of Kat Stratford! She means well but can come off as opinionated and harsh, and her words definitely have bite to them. Despite that, it’s hard not to love Trixie and her obsession with comic books or being the best at her genius school.

She does so much for her friends and her family, which really allows the more hidden parts of her personality to shine through. And I loved her parents! They were very hilarious and very present. They acted like parents but weren’t unreasonable, which I appreciated. I loved the presence of different parental units in general. It made the book feel more real.

On that same note, I loved the setting! School was shown to be a BIG part of their life- lots of time in class, studying, doing homework, school events. It made it feel relatable and believable even though it was a genius school. I also liked that it was a genius school because it allowed the characters to be slightly pretentious without being unlikeable. They were ALL smart and showed it in different ways. Each character had their own quirk but fit together in their group like a puzzle.

I loved the nerdy conversations, both academic and pop culture. It could have felt heavy handed or name-droppy but honestly, that’s how my friends and I talked. We were always going on about tv shows and books and movies that we loved. It felt natural and witty, like a game of word play. The comic book store was such an awesome setting, especially the first scene! I’m a big fan of routine, so I liked that the three girls went there every Wednesday to pick up their comics and got slurpees afterwards.

I really liked the mixture of guys and girls too; some had crushes on each other, some had always had a mixed group of friends, and others, like Trixie, were making guy friends for the first time. It was cool to not just have a Love Interest and his friends. It seemed like that at first, but the book does become about the group and not just about the couples. It was as much about friendship, preconceived notions, and the pressures of academic achievement as it was about romance. The mystery was really good too, and even though there was a twisty part in the story that took me by surprise I think it works well.

I honestly haven’t stopped thinking about this book! I loved the voice, the mixture of characters, the pop culture references, and the shippy romance. Plus any book that uses grammar and essay formatting to flirt is a winner in my opinion ;)

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Giveaway: Finding Fraser by K.C. Dyer

4th May 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Giveaways

Giveaway: Finding Fraser by K.C. Dyer

Giveaway: Finding Fraser by K.C. DyerFinding Fraser by K.C. Dyer
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: May 3rd 2016
Pages: 368
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Escape to Scotland with the delightful new novel that readers have fallen in love with—inspired by Diana Gabaldon’s #1 New York Times bestselling Outlander series.

I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. He was, in fact, the perfect man.

That he was fictional hardly entered into it...

On the cusp of thirty, Emma Sheridan is desperately in need of a change. After a string of failed relationships, she can admit that no man has ever lived up to her idea of perfection: the Scottish fictional star of romantic fantasies the world over—James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.

Her ideal man might be ripped from the pages of a book, but Emma hopes that by making one life-altering decision she might be able to turn fiction into fact. After selling all her worldly possessions, Emma takes off for Scotland with nothing but her burgeoning travel blog to confide in.

But as she scours the country’s rolling green hills and crumbling castles, Emma discovers that in searching for her own Jamie Fraser, she just might find herself.

Calling all Outlander fans!

The wonderful team at Berkley is giving me the chance to offer our lovely readers a copy of Finding Fraser! Go forth and enter for a chance to win:

 

Copy of Finding Fraser by K.C. Dyer

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Contemporary Romance Challenge: May Link-Up

3rd May 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Contemporary Romance Challenge: May Link-Up

Oh, hi there!!

Yes, we’re late. lololol But we’re here now! It’s May, and I’m excited because BEA!! I’m hoping I can pick up some good contemporary romances while there. Hope you all are still enjoying some romantic books. I know I have! But more on those in my challenge update post coming soon. :)

If you haven’t officially signed up for the challenge, be sure to do so first HERE. If not, your entries will not count toward the giveaway. I know, right. Mean mom!

If you have April posts or reviews make sure you post your links in the April Link-up, which closes on May 5th!

Monthly Link-Up And Giveaway Details:

  • Your thoughts on each book you read must be posted somewhere, like your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, YouTube, Tumblr, etc., in order for it to count towards this challenge. Ratings on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc. will also work.
  • Monthly link-up posts will go live the first day of each month so you can add your links throughout the month as your posts go up. Each linky will remain open five days into each new month to allow you some time to get all your posts linked up!
  • In order for us to tell what you’re linking to on the monthly linky, the format for the links you enter need to be as follows:
    • UPDATE POST @ your name/blog name.
    • REVIEW: [BOOK TITLE] @ your name/blog name.
    • MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • Each month we’ll choose a lucky winner from that month’s linky to win a Contemporary Romance novel of their choice (up to US$10).
  • Each link you enter in that month’s linky will count as one entry into the giveaway.
  • Challenge and Giveaways are open internationally. (As long as The Book Depository ships to your country, you are eligible for a prize.)

Monthly Topics:

  • Each monthly link-up post will include a Contemporary Romance topic for you to participate in if you’d like.
  • Monthly Topic posts can go up anytime in the specified month. Link them up as follows: MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
  • These posts will also earn you an entry in the monthly giveaway as long as you link back to them.

 

This month’s topic:

Underrated Contemporary Romance Books

Out of all the ones I’ve read, I feel these five are ones I don’t see as “popular” and wanted to showcase and recommend them:

The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase
Unforgettable by Shannon Richard
Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler
Truly by Ruthie Knox
Ride with Me by Ruthie Knox

 

If you have any questions, please email Jess ([email protected]) or Danielle ([email protected]). Also, make sure you follow us on Twitter (@gonewiththeword & @loveatfirstpage) for challenge updates and reminders! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ContRom2016 to follow everyone’s challenge updates on Twitter!

 

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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