Blitz - Playing Dead by Bronson Palmer (Guest Post & Giveaway)
Today I have another book blitz to share with you. This time it's for Playing Dead by Bronson Palmer. It's a YA Science Fiction Novel that was released last month. On this post I get to share with you a guest post and a CAN/US Giveaway.
Carry on reading!
by Bronson Palmer
Publication date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Synopsis:In the halls of Andrew Jackson High School, Jenaiya is a nobody. Less than a nobody. She’s practically invisible. An awkward, shy freshman, she very rarely gets any attention at all, unless she’s being harassed by the school’s multitude of bullies. In short, she’s not anyone’s idea of a hero.
But in ‘Age of Z,’ a post-apocalyptic multiplayer zombie game, she’s a gun-wielding, fast-talking GOD. She’s one of the top ten players in the online dystopia, and she doesn’t suffer fools lightly. It’s just the way she plays, and she likes it that way. She can become the person she wishes herself to be in the real world.
However, when the game gets overrun by trolls and n00bs who threaten to destroy the game by turning it into yet another online shooter, Jenaiya cannot sit still and let that happen. The very existence of the game is on the line, as people leave in droves, and she gathers a rag-tag group of players to fight back against this new kind of ‘brainless’ horde. They have wildly different personalities but one goal: rid the game of the real monsters.
Jenaiya will have to outsmart her enemies, outplay the bullies, and return ‘Age of Z’ to its former glory. Otherwise, it’s game over, and she’ll have to confront the real world that awaits her on the other side of the computer screen.
Guest Post - Bronson Palmer
My Five Favorite Zombie Movies (and Five Favorite Zombie Games, Too.)
My first novel, ‘Playing Dead,’ combines my two favorite things in the whole world: zombies and video games. The main character, Jenaiya, is OBSESSED with an open-world PC game called ‘Age of Z,’ where players wander around and hold one another hostage for supplies so they can survive the ongoing zombie apocalypse.
It’s only fitting that I list out my favorite of each, right?
Okay, so this list might make a few of you angry. That’s okay. Rather than create a collection of all the classic zombie movies, I decided to write up my favorite zombie flicks.
Big difference. ‘Night of the Living Dead’ is, without a doubt, the most important zombie film of all-time. I love everything zombie-related George A. Romero has ever done -- even Land of the Dead -- and Return of the Living Dead is absolutely necessary in the evolution of the zombie movie. But these movies, these are the ones I can watch over and over and over again, and I can almost guarantee that you have too. Now, let’s get down to it.
5. Train to Busan (2016). Maybe the best movie on the list. ‘Train to Busan’ is an amalgamation of all the worthwhile traits of the other movies on this list. It is frequently tense, gory, and stylized. It also creates a genuine sense of drama by giving the audience characters to root for. You could do a whole lot worse than watching this unstoppable bullet of a movie. It speeds to its inevitable conclusion without leaving important filmic elements, like characterization, at the station.
4. Zombieland (2009). Most great zombie movies create a compelling sense of place, a believable apocalypse, if you will. Then they throw some people into the fray and slowly (and painfully) rip them apart over the course of 90 minutes. What ‘Zombieland’ does especially well is introduce and then develop characters who make the movie worth watching. It’s not just another brain smorgasbord. Bonus points if you, like me, watched the short-lived Amazon series.
3. 28 Days Later (2002). Okay, I have to admit something here: I didn’t love ‘28 Days Later’ the first time I saw it. Danny Boyle’s 2002 film is like a work of literature. You can watch and re-watch it and catch something different in it every time. If you’re anything like me, you’ll definitely want to watch it several times to get the movie’s full effect.
2. Shaun of the Dead (2004). Though the first movie in Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy is largely hailed as a comedic masterpiece, there are a few genuinely brutal, horrifying scenes throughout the movie. Even without the laughs, ‘Shaun of the Dead’ would make this list, and that’s saying something.
1. Dawn of the Dead (2004). Zack Snyder has had a rough go of directing the DC Universe’s dark, dark, dark movies -- ‘Batman V. Superman,’ YIKES -- but this remake of George A. Romero’s 1979 seminal film is an absolute modern masterpiece. Bonus points to James Gunn for the inventive, weird, and hilariously bizarre script.
Okay, now for the zombie games on my list. Thought ‘Playing Dead’ is based largely on open-world zombie titles, like ‘H1Z1’ and ‘State of Decay,’ all of my favorite zombie games are somewhat...different from that. Not that I didn’t like ‘DayZ’ or ‘The Forest,’ but THESE games are head and shoulders above the rest. Or should I say...brains above the rest? Nah, that’s stupid. So, ANYWAY, here are my top 5 favorite zombie games of all-time.
5. Plants vs. Zombies (2009). I thought I would get the most controversial choice out of the way first. ‘Plants vs. Zombies’ is neither serious nor entirely zombie-focused, but it is probably the most FUN game on this list. I’ve put more time into ‘PvZ’ than any other game, save for ‘BioShock’ or ‘Don’t Starve,’ and that’s saying something. It’s construct is simple: strategically place a variety of defensive plants on your lawn to stop the incoming zombie apocalypse. It has to be played to be believed, and if you’re one of the three people who have never heard of ‘PvZ,’ download it on your iPhone. Go. Now.
4. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999). Why not the original ‘Resident Evil,’ you ask? Okay, I’ll tell you. When ‘RE3’ was released on the PS1 back in 1999, I played it RELENTLESSLY that Christmas Break. I beat it, and then I went back and beat it again. There was something about the way it was sectioned out -- something about the pacing -- that completely drew me in. To wit, ‘RE3’ is probably not the best ‘Resident Evil’ game -- *cough cough* RE4 *cough cough* -- but it is a great combination of the survival horror elements of the first two and the action-oriented gameplay of the later installments. And, surprisingly, it still holds up today.
3. Dying Light (2016). I dug the first ‘Dead Island’ game when it came out -- and it inspired some things about ‘Age of Z’ in ‘Playing Dead’ -- but the big problem was: IT WAS COMPLETELY BROKEN. It just didn’t work, sometimes. Anyone who played that game within the first two weeks knows exactly what I’m talking about. So, that said, I was completely elated when a different intellectual property with the same basic idea was released back in 2016. (Remember those halcyon days?) ‘Dying Light’ completely fixes that formula and introduces some amazing platforming elements, as well. Who knew that Parkour could be so fun after the initial craze back in 2009?
2. Left 4 Dead (2008). The most fun I’ve had being scared. Unlike most horror games, which really are only frightening in an intellectual sense -- ooh, there’s a lot of blood! Woooooo! -- ‘Left 4 Dead’ creates a genuine sense of terror for the gang of four (or 4?) who play it. Anyone who’s stumbled into a close space with a Witch knows EXACTLY how anxiety-ridden ‘L4D’ can be. I mean, sure, it’s a first-person shooter, but Turtle Rock (and Valve) managed to imbue this title with a lot of story and drama, while keeping it firmly placed in the background. The dynamic, ever-changing instances throughout each of the campaigns makes the game infinitely replayable. You can even play heavily-modded versions of the game on Steam right now, and the servers are still going strong. The sequel is also pretty kick-ass.
1. Telltale’s The Walking Dead, Season One (2012). Oh, the feels. I still can’t think about Telltale’s beautifully-written but mechanically-flawed game from 2012 without getting a little emotional about it. The game centers around a precocious tween, Clementine, and her protector, a guy named Lee, as they venture down the length of Georgia to find Clem’s parents. Along the way, players pick up a band of survivors and have to make some pretty difficult decisions along the way. Telltale repeated the formula with a second season, and though I generally liked Season Two, it never quite reaches the heights (or the depths) of that first iteration. Telltale basically gives the game away, at this point, so if you haven’t played it yet, Oh my God, please do.
So...there you have it. These are the ten zombie things I love the most, and if you pay some attention while reading ‘Playing Dead,’ you’ll see how they came to influence how I approached the writing my first novel. I hope to continue to explore these themes in my upcoming works. In fact, my second book, ‘Vault of Code,’ should be out sometime in 2018.
GIVEAWAY - ENDS DECEMBER 21ST 2017
Blitz-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
BLOGMAS DAY 9: September, October & November Wrap-Up!
As many of you would have noticed, over the last month or two I got really quite behind on blogging. I didn't have much time to sit down and properly write a full post other than book blitzes, which I'm pretty sure you all got sick of. One of the posts that I got behind on the most had to be my monthly reading wrap-ups, so today I'm here to catch up (finally!). Just like I didn't have much time to write any posts, I didn't have much time to read either. Basically, I thought the best thing would be to combine the past three month all together and get it out there for you guys, so I can get back on track before the new year.
Carry on reading!
The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas
Date Started - 1/9/2017
Date Finished - 2/9/2017
Synopsis: Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost.
Grace has Asperger's and her own way of looking at the world. She's got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that's pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn't make much sense to her any more.
Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it's up to Grace to fix it on her own.
I saw this book in Waterstones and picked it up on a whim. I knew a bit about it before I picked it up, but hadn't heard much or saw anyone else's ratings or reviews.
The main character, Grace, had Asperger's and one of the secondary characters, Gabe, has ADHD. I found the story a bit slow and hard to get into at first, but it picked up towards the second half. It was quite emotional as I neared the end and there was one or two moments where I was on the verge of tears.
I'm not able to say how accurate the Asperger's representation is, but it was refreshing to read about a character who has it, as I've never done so before.
Overall, it was a good read, but I felt like there was something missing/stopping me from getting fully into it.
Rate - 3.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32187354-the-state-of-grace?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-State-of-Grace/9781509839551
Soulmates by Holly Bourne
Date Started - 8/9/2017
Date Finished - 11/9/2017
Synopsis: Every so often, two people are born who are the perfect matches for each other. Soulmates. But while the odds of this happening are about as likely as being struck by lightning, when these people do meet and fall in love…thunderstorms, lightning strikes and lashings of rain are only the beginning of their problems.
Enter Poppy, the 17-year-old cynic with a serious addiction to banana milk, and Noah, the heart-throb guitarist; residents of mediocre Middletown, sometime students, and…soulmates.
After a chance meeting at a local band night, Poppy and Noah find themselves swept up in a whirlwind romance unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. But with a secret international agency preparing to separate them, a trail of destruction rumbling in their wake, (and a looming psychology coursework deadline), they are left with an impossible choice between the end of the world, or a life without love…
This book had been on my shelf for about a year and a bit and it was finally time for me to read it. Just like my experiences with Holly's other books, I loved this one. I was completely sucked in from start to finish. I loved this storyline and how tense it got towards the end. There was never a dull moment and I found myself flying through the pages at certain moments.
I connected to the characters and really wanted the best for them. I have to admit that I did get quite emotional towards the end and may have a cried a tiny bit (okay, maybe a bit more than tiny) at the end, but so much happens and I just couldn't control myself.
I'd really recommend this one as well as Holly's other books. They're just so good!
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16099393-soulmates?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Soulmates/9781409557500
Caterpillars Can't Swim by Liane Shaw
Date Started - 16/9/2017
Date Finished - 16/9/2017
Synopsis: Ryan finds his freedom in the water, where he is not bound by gravity and his wheelchair. When he rescues his schoolmate, Jack, from the water their lives become connected, whether they like it or not. Ryan keeps Jack's secret about that day in the water, but he knows that Jack needs help. The school is full of rumors about Jack's sexuality, and he has few friends. Almost against his better judgement, Ryan decides to invite Jack on a trip to Comic Con he's planned with his best friend Cody, the captain of the school's swim team. The three boys make an unlikely combination, but they will each have the chance to show whether they are brave enough to go against the stereotypes the world wants to define them by.
I requested this a couple of months ago on Netgalley and read it as soon as I got accepted for it. I have a review written and in my drafts, which I will probably upload on one of the Blogmas days coming soon, so stay tuned for that.
The main character, Ryan, is disabled and the only kid in a wheelchair at his school. Jack is struggling to be his true self as he tries to understand his sexuality. The two are brought together after an incident and their story and friendship develops from their. It was a really easy story to get into and I found it easy to connect to the characters even though we are different. I was really invested in the storyline and found myself racing through the pages to the end.
You'll have to wait for my review to be posted to hear more of my thoughts!
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34949098-caterpillars-can-t-swim?from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Caterpillars-Cant-Swim-Liane-Shaw/9781772600537
Soundless by Richelle Mead
Date Started - 17?/9/2017
Date Finished - 30/9/2017
Synopsis: In a village without sound…
For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.
When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.
One girl hears a call to action…
Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.
She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…
And unlocks a power that will save her people.
I brought this book quite soon after it was released and it's just been sat on my shelf unread ever since. I was hesitant about reading it as since its release, I have heard quite mixed things.
I thought the storyline was good and that it had a lot of potential, but I feel it was a bit hard to get into and it was pretty slow moving up until the end. I thought the second half or so was a lot better and the story was finally getting started and going somewhere. I was more invested towards the end and I thought the ending was good.
Overall, I was slightly disappointed, but glad to have finally read it and to have gotten it off my TBR shelf.
Rate - 2.5 - 3/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24751478-soundless?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Soundless/9780141364865
Hetty Feather (#1) by Jacqueline Wilson
Date Started - 1?/10/2017
Date Finished - 3/10/2017
Synopsis: London, 1876 and Hetty Feather is just a tiny baby when her mother leaves her at the Foundling Hospital. The Hospital cares for abandoned children - but Hetty must first live with a foster family until she is big enough to go to school.
Life in the countryside is hard but with her 'brothers' Jem and Gideon, she helps in the fields and plays imaginary games. Together they sneak off to visit the travelling circus and Hetty is mesmerised by the show, especially Madame Adeline and her performing horses.
But Hetty's happiness is threatened once more when she is returned to the Foundling Hospital. The new life of awful uniforms and terrible food is a struggle for her. But now she has the chance to find her real mother. Could she really be the wonderful Madame Adeline? Or will Hetty find the truth is even more surprising?
Jacqueline Wilson will surprise and delight old fans and new with this utterly original take on a historical novel. Set in Victorian times and featuring a brand new feisty heroine, Hetty Feather, this is a Tracy Beaker-esque tale that will thrill young readers. Warm, moving, funny and totally fascinating, it's the perfect gift for girls of eight and older.
When I was younger I used to read a lot of Jacqueline Wilson's books and I remember I used to get her magazine as well. Her books were one of the main things that got me into reading and one of my favourites was her Hetty Feather series.
I read all the books basically as soon as they were released. When she released Little Stars, I asked for it for my birthday. I knew I needed to read it as soon as possible, but I felt like I couldn't remember enough of the series to start it. So I decided that I would re-read the series straight away so I could finally get through Little Stars. However, that re-read never happened and I just kept putting it off so I could read new books.
October came about and I was really in the mood to start my re-read before the end of the year. I started Hetty Feather and all the memories came back. I loved it this time just as much as when I read it when I was younger. I was trying to savour it as much as I could, but I flew straight through it. The one thing that I love about this series is how easy the books are to get into.
Ever since finishing this pone, I've wanted to continue, so I hopefully I get round to that soon.
I'm really excited to finish my re-read and get stuck into Little Stars and Hetty Feather's Christmas.
Rate - 4.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6435965-hetty-feather?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Hetty-Feather/9780440868354
Sapphire Battersea (#2) by Jacqueline Wilson
Date Started - 6?/10/2017
Date Finished - 8?/10/2017
Synopsis: A fascinating, funny and moving Victorian novel featuring Hetty Feather.
Hetty Feather was just a baby when her mother left her at the Foundling Hospital. Hetty longed to find her real mum -- and finally her wish was granted. But just as they have found each other, they are separated again, as Hetty leaves the home to become a maid of all work to Mr Buchanan. Set in London in the 1870s, this sequel to Hetty Feather is a wonderfully evocative and original historical novel, perfect for girls of eight and older.
After finishing Hetty Feather, I just needed more of this series, so I picked up Sapphire Battersea. The storyline to this one was even more developed and I was somehow even more invested in it. It has an emotional ending and I may have got a bit teary just like the first time I read it.
Overall, I loved this one more than Hetty Feather and it's just made me even more excited to carry on and see how the series develops.
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10751324-sapphire-battersea
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Sapphire-Battersea/9780440869276
Caspar Lee by Caspar Lee & Emily Riordan Lee
Date Started - ?/11/2017
Date Finished - ?/11/2017
Synopsis: This is a book about me.
Unfortunately, I didn't write it - my mum did. WTF!
Let me tell you now that 98% of it is total lies. Actually, I'm pretty sure this book is illegal. So if you've bought it, you've basically supported a criminal. How does that feel?
I think she's getting me back for my first day in this world when I mayyy have tried to kill her. She won't not be able to mention that . . . You might also find out about my first day at school, why my head is so massive, how I've always been a hit with the ladies and other things like that.
You know, important stuff.
Anyway, I found the book at the printer and you'll see I've corrected some of her most outrageous lies.
So, you know, enjoy. Just remember only the bits that make me look good are true . . .
I brought this last year in the new year sales at Waterstones because it was half price. I love Caspar and have been subscribed to his YouTube Channels for a few years now. I finally picked it up in November as I thought it'd be quite a quick read and another good book to check off my TBR. I loved hearing more about his childhood and his upbringing and I especially loved that it was mainly from his mum's, Emily's, perspective. I liked Caspar's little notes throughout and there were some funny little moments, but you also got to see the real side to his life and that everything isn't always perfect. I'm glad I read this book as I feel it has opened my eyes to just how normal he is and how everyone has their own problems that they might not always talk about.
Rate - 4/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29450745-caspar-lee?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Caspar-Lee/9780718184094
The Girl In The Glass Box by Andi Adams
Date Started - 10?/11/2017
Date Finished - 20?/11/2017
Synopsis: A witch. An apple. A mirror. That’s all most people think of when they recall the story of Snow White. But the truth is rarely so simple. What if the Queen wasn’t born evil and the princess wasn’t always so pure of heart? Is it possible that these two women could have ended up in one another’s place?
The Girl in the Glass Box tells the story of Agrippine and Genevieve, two women who are not all that different, but who quickly learn through a series of choices, encounters, and devastating losses that the course of their fates can change in an instant. Through the influences of the people they love and lose, both are redefined as their stories head for a different sort of happily-ever-after.
I requested this for review, so I will have a full review up soon when I can get round to writing it.
The thing that attracted me to this title was the Snow White retelling bit with a twist. I absolutely loved it! I don't think I've read too many fairy tale retellings before, but I really want to read more after this one. The storyline was so developed and so easy to get into. As the reader you really get a feel for the characters and I felt like I could connect well to them.
I was really invested in the story and once or twice it took me a moment to register that it was only a story. I just wish it could've been longer and that maybe the ending would've been slowed down a bit as I felt some things happened too soon and that some character reactions weren't voiced and as clear as I'd hoped.
Overall, I'd really recommend this if you're looking for a fairy tale retelling with a twist! Stay tuned for my review, which will hopefully be up by the end of Blogmas...
Rate - 5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30368932-the-girl-in-the-glass-box?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Girl-in-the-Glass-Box-Andi-Adams/9781945495014
I also started reading Truly, Madly Awkward by Beth Garrod and I'm hoping to finish it this month.
That was my September -> November Wrap-Up and I hope you guys enjoyed it. Hopefully I'll get more reading time in the coming months and be able to stau on track with my monthly wrap-ups.
As always, if you've read any of the books above, let me know your thoughts on. Also, make sure to leave any good fairy tale retellings below and I'll make sure to check them out soon.
BLOGMAS DAY 8: November & December New YA Releases
It's the 8th of December today! I'll be talking about some of the new YA releases that have been released over November and still to come over December. As always, I'm going to try and include more diverse books, but we'll see how this goes. I will be also including some of the more popular releases as well.
Carry on reading!
Kat and Meg Conquer The World by Anna Priemaza
- Kat has anxiety
- Meg has ADHD
- Meg is a POC character
For fans of Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything, Emery Lord’s When We Collided, and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Anna Priemaza’s debut novel is a heartwarming and achingly real story of finding a friend, being a fan, and defining your place in a difficult world.
Kat and Meg couldn’t be more different. Kat’s anxiety makes it hard for her to talk to people. Meg hates being alone, but her ADHD keeps pushing people away. But when the two girls are thrown together for a year-long science project, they discover they do have one thing in common: They’re both obsessed with the same online gaming star and his hilarious videos.
It might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship—if they don’t kill each other first.
RELEASE DATE - November 7th 2017
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33877998-kat-and-meg-conquer-the-world?ac=1&from_search=true#other_reviews
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Kat-and-Meg-Conquer-the-World/9780062560803
Renegades (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyer
Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.
The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.
Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.
RELEASE DATE - 7th November 2017
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28421168-renegades
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Renegades/9781250044662
The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin
Synopsis: In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.
Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.
Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.
And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.
RELEASE DATE - 7th November 2017
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25548744-the-becoming-of-noah-shaw
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Becoming-of-Noah-Shaw/9781471171413
The Closest I've Come by Fred Aceves
- Own Voices?
- POC main character
Synopsis: Marcos Rivas wants to find love.
He’s sure as hell not getting it at home, where his mom’s racist boyfriend beats him up. Or from his boys, who aren’t exactly the “hug it out” type. Marcos yearns for love, a working cell phone, and maybe a pair of sneakers that aren’t falling apart. But more than anything, Marcos wants to get out of Maesta, his hood—which seems impossible.
When Marcos is placed in a new after-school program for troubled teens with potential, he meets Zach, a theater geek whose life seems great on the surface, and Amy, a punk girl who doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. These new friendships inspire Marcos to open up to his Maesta crew, too, and along the way, Marcos starts to think more about his future and what he has to fight for. Marcos ultimately learns that bravery isn’t about acting tough and being macho; it’s about being true to yourself.
RELEASE DATE - 7th November 2017
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33914005-the-closest-i-ve-come
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Closest-Ive-Come-Fred-Aceves/9780062488534?ref=grid-view&qid=1512763704386&sr=1-1
Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga
- Biracial Character
Synopsis: Despite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she'd ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense - kinda - because Julian Oliver is Taliah's father, even though her mother would never admit it to her.
Julian asks if Taliah if she will drop everything and go with him to his hometown of Oak Falls, Indiana, to meet his father - her grandfather - who is nearing the end of his life. Taliah, torn between betraying her mother's trust and meeting the family she has never known, goes.
With her best friend Harlow by her side, Taliah embarks on a three-day journey to find out everything about her 'father' and her family. But Julian isn't the father Taliah always hoped for, and revelations about her mother's past are seriously shaking her foundation. Through all these new experiences, Taliah will have to find new ways to be true to herself, honoring her past and her future.
RELEASE DATE - 7th November 2017
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18336972-here-we-are-now
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Here-We-Are-Now-Jasmine-Warga/9781444791785?ref=grid-view&qid=1512763287287&sr=1-1
Whichwood (Furthermore #2) by Tahereh Mafi
- POC Main Character
- Own Voices
- Hijabi Main Character
Synopsis: A new adventure about a girl who is fated to wash the bodies of the dead in this companion to Furthermore.
Our story begins on a frosty night…
Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear.
But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.
RELEASE DATE - 14TH November 2017
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31563982-whichwood
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Whichwood/9781101994795
Not Now Not Ever by Lily Anderson
- POC Character
Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn't going to do this summer.
1. She isn't going to stay home in Sacramento, where she'd have to sit through her stepmother's sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn't going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn't going to the Air Force summer program on her mother's base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender's Game, Ellie's seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it's much less Luke/Yoda/"feel the force," and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn't appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she'd be able to defeat afterwards.
What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she's going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?
This summer's going to be great.
RELEASE DATE - 21st November 2017
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33602144-not-now-not-ever
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Not-Now--Not-Ever/9781250142108
I've Been Looking for You by Jennifer Dean
- LGBTQ+ - F/F Romance
Synopsis: MAX: The new girl, the sarcastic asshole, the one who avoids getting attached to anyone.
EMILY: The golden girl, the rule-abiding rebel, the one who unknowingly craves something more.
When fate brings the two girls together, life seemed to fall into place. Until their future plans are shattered the moment someone leaves drugs inside Max's school locker.
While Max inevitably loses hope of escaping her new grim reality, Emily struggles to move on without the one she loves most. Especially when she’s the only one determined to find answers. But the closer Emily gets to discovering the truth, the harder it will be to stop her pursuit, even when it leads to dangerous consequences.
RELEASE DATE - 1st December 2017
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36164647-i-ve-been-looking-for-you?ac=1&from_search=true#other_reviews
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Ive-Been-Looking-for-You-Jennifer-Dean/9781974345373?ref=grid-view&qid=1512762189461&sr=1-1
Shadow Girl by Liana Liu
- Asian - American Main Character
Synopsis: The house on Arrow Island is full of mystery.
Yet when Mei arrives, she can’t help feeling relieved. She’s happy to spend the summer in an actual mansion tutoring a rich man’s daughter if it means a break from her normal life—her needy mother, her delinquent brother, their tiny apartment in the city. And Ella Morison seems like an easy charge, sweet and well behaved.
What Mei doesn’t know is that something is very wrong in the Morison household.
Though she tries to focus on her duties, Mei becomes increasingly distracted by the family’s problems and her own complicated feelings for Ella’s brother, Henry. But most disturbing of all are the unexplained noises she hears at night—the howling and thumping and cries.
Mei is a sensible girl. She isn’t superstitious; she doesn’t believe in ghosts. Yet she can’t shake her fear that there is danger lurking in the shadows of this beautiful house, a darkness that could destroy the family inside and out… and Mei along with them.
RELEASE DATE - 19th December 2017
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33913889-shadow-girl?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/Shadow-Girl-Liana-Liu/9780062306678
The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle
- Lily has ADHD
- Abelard has Asperger's
Synopsis: When Lily Michaels-Ryan ditches her ADHD meds and lands in detention with Abelard, who has Asperger’s, she’s intrigued—Abelard seems thirty seconds behind, while she feels thirty seconds ahead. It doesn't hurt that he’s brilliant and beautiful.
When Abelard posts a quote from The Letters of Abelard and Heloise online, their mutual affinity for ancient love letters connects them. The two fall for each other. Hard. But is it enough to bridge their differences in person?
This hilarious, heartbreaking story of human connection between two neurodivergent teens creates characters that will stay with you long after you finish reading.
RELEASE DATE - 26th December 2017
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33413929-the-love-letters-of-abelard-and-lily?from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Love-Letters-of-Abelard-and-Lily-Laura-Creedle/9780544932050?ref=grid-view&qid=1512765635331&sr=1-1
As always, if there are any more titles being released this month, let me know below and I'll add them in. If any of the information above is incorrect, please do let me know also.
Hope you guys enjoyed..
BLOGMAS DAY 7 : Blitz - The Second Window by Erica Kiefer (Excerpt, Guest Post + Giveaway)
It's the seventh day of December and I'm here to share with you the book blitz for The Second Window! It's a YA Suspense & Romance novel, which was released on the 5th December. I'll be posting an excerpt and at the end there will also be an International giveaway.
Carry on reading!
The Second Window by Erica Kiefer
Published by: CTP Pulse
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
As her senior year flies by on cruise control, seventeen-year-old Olivia Cole yearns for excitement—something her upscale private school no longer provides. Her job as a grocery store bagger isn’t much help…until the day she has a bizarre exchange with the cagey town recluse. When the woman abruptly surrenders to the police, Olivia feels compelled to dig deeper into her perplexing story. But the investigation stalls when Olivia receives another piece of news—Andre Steele, the golden boy of Westmont and her previous tormentor, has unexpectedly returned from his four-year stay in Brazil—and the whole school is buzzing! All at once, Olivia’s dull and predictable life is uprooted, and she wonders if “boring” was so bad after all.
Erica Kiefer’s debut novel Lingering Echoes was published by Clean Teen Publishing in November 2013. She continued the series with Rumors (A Lingering Echoes Prequel) and her newest release Vanishing Act. All of her books can be read as stand-alone contemporary YA fiction, touched with romance, emotional drama and suspense. With a degree in Recreation Therapy from Brigham Young University, Erica’s experiences working with at-risk youth have influenced the realistic and relatable nature of her writing. Her first inspirational non-fiction entitled Borrowed Angel (published in April 2014 with Currawong Press) describes the loss of her infant son and her journey towards healing.
Married since 2005, Erica resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with her four children and can often be found satisfying her sweet-tooth with chocolate-chip cookies and a glass of milk. Now and then, she dusts off her collegiate rugby skills and dives back into the game.
#1) Partial from Chapter 1
A stranger to me, I knew nothing about Jodie except that she lived on the outskirts of town. People referred to her as a hermit because she rarely ventured from her home, and when she did, it seemed only long enough to purchase groceries. She was nobody important to me—just the occasional name carried through the wind when there was nothing else to talk about. However, like clockwork, I bagged her scant items every Thursday at four PM. The odd interactions I’d have with the woman would sometimes be the most interesting part of my shift at Wayland’s, a discounted store that served as employment during the summer, and now into my senior year.
I met her eyes again, which seemed to never leave mine, peering at me with an intense silence that I couldn’t explain. She didn’t frighten me, exactly. On the contrary, there was a meekness about her that suggested her gentle nature. While she hardly smiled, she didn’t have a mean face. It was more like the bland expression of a person who had little to smile about. Yet I wondered at her reservation, certain she had more to say than she ever allowed.
Jodie’s slender fingers pulled cash from her wallet and she handed over the bills. When she turned to me once more, her teary eyes alarmed me. She swallowed hard, like she was washing down emotions that rose against her will.
“Are… are you okay?” I asked, hesitating as I placed her grocery bags into the cart. Her hand fell swiftly on top of mine, squeezing my palm. Startled by the sudden physical contact, I jerked my hand away. I regretted my actions the moment her expression shifted.
Eyes wide, she shook her head, her mouth opening as though horrified by her behavior. A tear slid down her cheek, and she brushed it away in haste. “I’m sorry.” Sniffling, she snatched her three bags from the cart and scurried toward the exit. “Hey!” I called after her. I exchanged a look of confusion with Marlene before following Jodie to the automatic sliding doors. “Wait! It’s Jodie, right?” She paused, sniffing once more. She looked back at me over her shoulder, eyes red and sorrowful. “Um, can I help you to your car? I really should have double-bagged that one.” I pointed to the bulging bag containing the heavy soups, grasping for an excuse to stall her from leaving.
The tiniest smile crept along the corners of her mouth. Her green eyes brightened beneath the sheen of tears. Relieved, I smiled back. Her next words fell from her lips in a low, quiet tone. “You take care of yourself.” Then she walked out into the cool air.
I stood there perplexed, watching this strange woman escape to the parking lot. Jodie had been a consistent presence in my life for months now, a once-a-week visit in which she spoke no more than a murmured, Thank you. Why did I feel a sudden permanence to her goodbye?
A familiar female voice called out from behind me. “I need a bagger on lane three please!”
I rolled my eyes and flipped around to see my friend Jordyn standing at the other end of the store, hollering into her cupped hands. I glanced at Marlene. My grey-haired co-worker pushed out her lips with a frown, throwing a hand onto her plump hip. I cringed and held up my index finger. “One minute,” I mouthed, and hurried toward Jordyn before she could garner anymore unwanted attention from my employers.
“You know Marlene hates when you stop by, right?” I said to my best friend. She beamed confidence at me with her wide smile, her lips stained in a bright coral that I could never pull off. Though only one-eighth Native American, the tan skin she’d inherited helped her get away with wearing colorful makeup combinations that I would never attempt on my fair skin. Jordyn also relished in the theatrics that I shied away from.
“I’m a paying customer,” she said, grabbing a box of powdered donuts off the shelf. She held them up to make her point, waving wildly at Marlene’s scowling face. Jordyn raised her voice again, like she was hollering at the deaf elderly. “She’s just gonna bag these for me and I’ll be on my way!”
I shook my head at her. “You’re going to get me fired.”
“You’ve got other problems to worry about.” Jordyn put her hands on my shoulders, and spun me around.
“What am I looking at?” I asked, not seeing anything out of the ordinary. Leave it to Jordyn to make me guess, rather than just tell me. She rotated me forty-five degrees.
“Not what. Who.” She dropped her voice to a whisper. “Past the cashiers. Aisle twelve.”
I loved her to death, but sometimes her games were a bit much. “Jordyn, come on—” I stopped, suddenly very aware of just who she was pointing out to me. I caught a glimpse of his smile first, gleaming brightly against his bronzed skin—a deeper brown than I remembered, and a compliment from his Brazilian mother. I’d almost missed him, hidden behind the cluster of kids clamoring for his attention. But then I heard his laugh, boisterous and infectious. Unique.
And stirring memories I resented.
I crossed my arms over my black apron. “What is Andre Steele doing back in Arizona?”
Jordyn inhaled noisily, letting out her breath as she spoke. “I don’t know, but Brazil sure did a nice number on him.”
I scowled and nudged her with my elbow.
“But we still hate him,” she corrected, giving a nod of solidarity.
“Of course we do.” We watched him disappear down aisle nine with his posse. Another burst of
laughter trailed behind him, coupled with giggles from the girls hanging on him and the other guy slapping Andre’s back like they’d never heard someone so funny.
“Then again,” Jordyn added, “Four years can change a person. Maybe he’ll surprise you.”
I stepped away from her, returning to my position at the end of the register. I grabbed the boxes of toothpaste and floss sliding past Marlene and tossed them into a fresh bag. “I never liked his surprises.”
GIVEAWAY - ENDS DECEMBER 14TH 2017
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
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