When My Heart Joins The Thousand by A. J. Steiger (Spoiler Free)

When My Heart Joins The Thousand by A. J. Steiger

Publication Date: February 6th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC from

Goodreads
Book Depository
Amazon

RATING: 5 Stars

 

THOUGHTS:

This is one of those books that upon finishing it, I hugged it tightly to my chest. And I know that it is undoubtably one of the best books of 2018 and I wish more people were talking about it! The author had me fall in love with her characters, care greatly for their journey and put me through every emotion possible. It was both movingly beautiful and painfully heartbreaking. If you read When My Heart Joins The Thousand, and let me be clear I recommend it to everyone, you will know what I mean.

The main character, Alvie is a foster child who lives independently while pursuing emancipation. Her fear is that she will be placed in a group home if the judge decides her Aspergers means she is incapable of being a functioning member of society. I can’t speak for the rep in this book, and there’s a lot, (mental health, abuse, disability, autism) but I think it was done well and handled respectfully. Like I said, this book makes you feel the whole rainbow of emotions. I felt love and admiration for Alvie because she never gives up despite all she’s been through. I was angry for her, at the broken system that failed her and must fail people in real life. I was disgusted actually, that society expected her to “get better” and be “normal”. But I also felt a lot of happy, especially every time Alvie did something outside her comfort zone, she is a truly inspiring character.

People with Aspergers tend to be blunt and so was the writing, in a way I think more YA should be. Teens don’t only need flowery stories of happy ever after, they need real stories that reflect the lives they live every day. Alvie doesn’t always understand sarcasm or societies way of constantly putting on a show. For example, when she has to attend court she can’t understand why a suit, instead of jeans and a t-shirt, helps prove her ability to be independent. And she’s right. I could relate to that. The characters are also very frank and honest about sex – this is so important for YA! Communication was clear, consent was there. Thank you, A J Steiger, for writing about two teens who handled sex in a very healthy way. This is what I would want my teenager to read.

Let it be known, the writing and pacing and all that important jazz were good. But I won’t talk about that in detail because more importantly, this book moved me. It is rare that a book makes me feel all the feels I did with this one AND I still think about it almost daily. I can’t tell you the last time a book impacted me like this.

I gave this book all the stars.

Go read it.

Thank you for reading my review of When My Heart Joins The Thousand by A. J. Steiger, and also to Harper Collins for this review opportunity. I  hope you enjoyed my insights and look forward to more reviews from me in the future.

 

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Sightwitch by Susan Dennard (Spoiler Free)

Sightwitch by Susan Dennard

Publication Date: February 14th, 2018
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher:  Tor Teen
Source: eARC

Goodreads
Book Depository
Amazon

RATING: 5 Stars

 

THOUGHTS:

Sightwitch is a companion novella set two years before Truthwitch. It follows Ryber as she unravels the mystery that left her the last remaining Sightwitch. On her journey, she meets Kullen and together they discover more about their pasts than they could ever have imagined.

The story is told with Rybers journal entries, sketches, snippets of song, notes, and excerpts from texts. I was concerned that this method of storytelling would be disconnecting, but the past/present, patchwork of sources, only lends to the atmosphere of mystery. The whole time I was reading I knew I was being given new pieces to the puzzle that I had yet to see how to fit together.

With only 233 pages the pacing never lags and once the action starts it doesn’t stop. It left me all nervous and excited and “ah ha!” for Bloodwitch – I can’t wait!

What I liked:

I loved getting to know more about Ryber, Sightwitchs and Kullens backstory. Susan reveals a little bit more of the Witchlands with each new book and I just can’t get enough. You can tell that she knows this world and the people in it well beyond what she reveals on the pages.

The Witchlands series gives me the same feelings I had when I read Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson for the first time. They both have worlds that blow me away and become richer with every page. The characters are flawed, complex, and the kind you can’t help growing attached to. But best of all is the puzzle you constantly feel right on the edge of solving and the twists that you never see coming. I am so excited to be reading books that give me the same feelings I had when reading one of my all-time favorite series.

 

What I Disliked:

That I have to wait till 2019 for more!

Thank you for reading my review of Sightwitch by Susan Dennard, and also to the publisher for this review opportunity. I  hope you enjoyed my insights and look forward to more reviews from me in the future.

 

SST Blog Tour: Blood and Sand Review & Giveaway

Publication Date: January 16th 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Tor Teen
Source: ARC from SST
Links to the author: WebsiteTwitterFacebook
More Links: Goodreads – Target – Amazon.ca

About The Author:  Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Wyk has lived in five states in the continental US (and hopes to add a few international locales to that list). Prone to wanderlust and getting lost, Wyk likes to explore local hiking trails, mountain ranges, dark caves where nefarious mythical creatures undoubtedly reside, and libraries. She currently lives in Maryland with a precocious mini poodle and a demanding guinea pig. In her not-so-spare time, she enjoys playing MMORPGs, kayaking, coding, staring listlessly at blank walls, and nursing a totally healthy coffee addiction.

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

“They’d talked long into the night until their voices became hoarse. Until their memories hung like bright stars all around them”

THOUGHTS:

I think your enjoyment of this book will depend on your expectations going into it. I was lead to believe this was about a female gladiator, and I think the cover blurb is very misleading. BUT I also want to say that I really enjoyed the story all the same – for what it was. (even if what it was, wasn’t what I  had expected) All of the characters were well developed and I think they have great potential for further growth in the sequel. The pace kept me turning the page with action as well as intrigue.

Attia was the main character and while she wasn’t a gladiator, she was an incredible warrior who kicked ass better than the boys. And despite the lack of arena fighting, there was a lot of action and bloodshed so you won’t be let down there. Attia was also sharp, stubborn and incredibly loyal. Her need for vengeance didn’t make her ruthless and cold, she still had room for love in her heart and I liked that about her. I find cold-hearted killers looking for vengeance unrealistic. If you don’t feel you wouldn’t want vengeance. Xanthos was the muscliest cinnamon roll I have ever met. He was fierce but so honorable, he never pushed Attia even though he was in a position of power and he respected (even admired) her ability to look after herself. The romance wasn’t the only relationship I enjoyed though. Attia develops a connection with a look girl she looks after and they warmed my heart so much. I also loved Xanthos’s brother gladiators, they all had such personality.

A note on the historical accuracy. I can’t really speak to that, as I am not well versed in the history of that time and place. Also, the full history of Spartacus isn’t well known to anyone. Personally, I like where the author chose to take the story and what parts of history she wove in with her own creativity. (I don’t want to say too much here because of spoilers but for those of you curious those are my thoughts on it)

The ending was a little a bit predictable, the story leaves the characters in a position to fight or flee and of course, Attias fury leads her to choose fight. The fire that burns within Attia is what makes me want to read the sequel. Perhaps, there will be more gladiators and arenas, I can’t be sure. There is certain to be more plotting and death so I’m interested in reading it; I think it has potential to be epic. However, I can’t say that this book left me desperate for the conclusion. For that reason, I’m giving Blood and Sand a solid 4 stars.

And now for the (GIVEAWAY)!! Which Includes:

1 Hardback of Blood and Sand by C.V.Wyk (US & Canada)
1 Themed Candle, 1 Handmade Bookmark, 1 Window Cling & Stickers!

 

Thank you for reading my review of Blood and Sand by C. V. Wyck. This ARC was provided by Sunday Street Team in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule:

January 7th Tour Stops
Review – Dani Reviews Things
Review  – Flyleaf Chronicles
Interview – Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews
January 14th  Tour Stops
Interview –Library Of A Book Witch
Review – Inkdin Book Blog
Januway 21st  Tour Stops
Review – Boundless Bookaholic
Review – OMG Books And More
January 28th Tour Stops
Review – One Way Or Another
Excerpt- Literary Legionnaire
Review  – A Gingerly Review
Guest Post – Emily Reads Everything

 

 

 

Nice Try, Jane Sinner Blog Tour

Publication Date: January 9th 2018
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher:  Clarion Books
Source: ARC from Raincoast Books
Link to the author: http://www.lianneoelke.com/

Goodreads – Book Depository – Amazon

RATING: 5 Stars

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

“The past doesn’t exist. It’s just a story we tell ourselves. And stories change each time you tell them”

There were SO many! I already want to re-read and highlight each and every one. Some where hilarious, and a tad vulgar – but that’s why I loved them.

THOUGHTS:

Nice Try, Jane Sinner is the story of a seventeen-year-old girl trying to figure herself out and sort of blundering through life as she does. She was expelled from highschool and decides to finished her required classes at the local community college. She also signs up for a student-run reality show called, The House of Orange, which is a bit like big brother. The show and it’s contestants are the source of a lot of shenanigans and Jane is a large source of sarcasm. Amidst the betrayal, chaos, and chicken nuggets Jane does manage to figure some things out and leave her past behind.

This was fucking epic, and if my language offends you then I should warn you there’s a lot of that in Nice Try, Jane Sinner.

I first heard of Lianne Oelke last fall, during Raincoast Books Winter/Spring Preview. As a guest speaker she told us all about Jane and how the book came to be. It started as journal entires, Lianne would write about the things that happened in her life and all the things she would have done or said had she been bolder. Eventually it developed into a story, with some flares of fiction thrown in, and Jane Sinner came to life. This absolutely fascinated me and I knew I had to read it, so I was over the moon when I was chosen for the blog tour.

The college setting made the story a lot more relatable for me since I don’t fall into the YA age bracket anymore. I think it would still be enjoyable if you do though. I don’t believe that highschool is the only time that individuals are trying to find themselves, it often extends into your twenties and frankly, the rest of your life.
Jane was amazing, sarcastic as hell, and amazing. She leaves behind The Event that got her expelled and her “goodie two shoes” label, to become Jane Sinner, a girl of much sarcasm and very few cares. The story is written in journal entires so you get to know her inner thoughts really well and they are hilarious. The characters she lives with in the House of Orange are equally quirky and laughter inducing. None of them are perfectly likeable, they all did stupid and distasteful things, but that made them real! I don’t want a main character who’s perfect. I want one who screws up so I can think, thank god I’m not the only one – this girl gets me! And I felt like Jane did, or would if she was real and I wish she was because I think we could be friends.
I found the pacing to be quite consistent, I had a hard time putting the book down because the characters were so interesting and something unexpected was always around the corner. There was a small lull for me after a particularly surprising twist that stabbed me right in the feels. It quickly picked back up though and I was really happy with the way Oelke ended things.

Jane struggles with her mental health which I think it was handled really well and I can say that because it often mirrored my own experiences. Each of us on the blog tour were able to ask Lianne one question and this was mine:

Q: Nice Try, Jane Sinner started as journal entries about the things you’d say and do in real life if you were braver. Do you think that because of your writing journey, you are now a braver version of yourself? 

A: Yes and no. It’s easy to imagine that as a “published author” I’m confident, successful, and brave. Occasionally I am—but more often than not, I’m the same person I’ve always been. Sometimes I struggle with thinking myself as a “published author” (by putting the term in quotes, for example), especially since it’s not my full-time job (not yet, at least!). I have to remind myself not to dismiss everything I’ve accomplished. I wrote a book! No one asked for it, but I wrote it anyway. I’ve endured countless rejections. I’ve spent months– years– putting myself out there, waiting and working for something that might never happen. I don’t know if I’m any braver for it, but I certainly have thicker skin. I wrote Jane for myself, first and foremost, so it’s a very personal story. I’m not so much scared of what the general public thinks of it. What terrifies me is what the people I know and love think of it. However, the amount of support I’ve received not only from friends and family, but from the publishing world, other authors, and readers continues to blow me away. It’s incredibly encouraging to know that other people are not only interested in Jane but gether, and can see themselves in her struggles. That makes the whole journey worth it.

I definitely saw myself in her struggles. I think it takes a lot of talent to deliver a story that was not only incredibly entertaining but very thoughtful as well. I know I will be thinking about Jane and her journey for a long time to come.

Thank you for reading my review of Nice TRy, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke. This ARc was provided by Raincoast Books in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

Ever The Brave by Erin Summerill (Spoiler Free)

Ever The Brave by Erin Summerill

Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher:  HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC from Raincoast Books
Link to the author:
http://www.erinsummerill.com/

Goodreads
Book Depository
Amazon

RATING: 4 Stars

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

“As the hunter’s daughter, death has been my companion my entire life” (p.33 – Britta)

THOUGHTS:

It’s rare that I get the opportunity to review a sequel in ARC format. When I read Ever the Hunted last year (full review here) I was not in love with it, even if the cover was one of the most beautiful things to come out of 2016. I’m happy to say that I enjoyed this conclusion more than the first book and you can see the authors growth on the pages.

I found that the pacing of this book was a great improvement from Summerill’s first. Britta is still the same resourceful, sassy girl and her quick wit, especially in regards to King Aodren, had me smiling throughout.The individual voices (this is a MPOV story) were also, very distinct. We get to meet some new characters and one in particular, Lirra, I loved. (Turns out she is going to be in book 3 and I could not be happier!) There was a twist towards the beginning that didn’t sit quite right with me though, I didn’t feel it added value to the story. Some of the minor characters could have had a little more depth as well.

It’s not often that I say this but I enjoy this love ‘triangle” and of course I was rooting for the wrong guy but I still loved it. Both of the guys in this story are so swoon-worthy! And there are some steamy scenes! I really like that King Aodren let Britta be herself and make her own choices, even if it meant she wasn’t safe.

I can’t say much more without spoiling it for you but I do recommend reading ETB even if you were on the fence after ETH. It still deserves your time and I am so excited for the next book in the series which follows Aodren and Lirra!