quotes Elisquared likes


"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green

4.06.2018

BLOG TOUR --- Cold Hard Truth by Anne Greenwood Brown [Review + Giveaway]



Title: Cold Hard Truth
Author(s): Anne Greenwood Brown
Edition: Hardcover, paperback, eBook; 256 pages
Publisher: Albert Whitman Company
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Book Depository - iBooks






Tour Schedule

Week One:
3/26/2018- Angelic Book Reviews- Excerpt
3/27/2018- Portrait of a BookReview
3/28/2018- BookHounds YAInterview
3/29/2018- The Desert BibliophileReview
3/30/2018- Here's to Happy EndingsReview

Week Two:
4/2/2018- Wonder StruckReview
4/3/2018- Adventures Thru WonderlandReview
4/4/2018- Falling For YAReview
4/5/2018- Literary Meanderings - Interview4/6/2018- Eli to the nthReview

The Summary

Emmie O’Brien is a former good girl now on the fringe. She spent a crazy year involved with Nick, her mom’s drug dealer; after her arrest she was lucky to go back to her old life. But she’s haunted by the choices she made—first, to be with Nick, and then later, to testify against him. 

Max Shepherd is a senior varsity hockey player with serious anger issues. His grief over the death of his girlfriend causes him to see injustice wherever he looks. When they meet in community service, Max is drawn to Emmie’s calm energy, but Emmie knows better than to get too close to anyone. 

When friends of Nick show up seeking revenge, Emmie is forced to come to terms with her past, while Max has to control his protective instincts. They must trust one another, especially when Emmie’s situation takes a dangerous turn.

My Review


While Cold Hard Truth isn't going to stand out as a shining star among YA contemporary romance, it was a solid book full of emotional situations and intense issues.  Definitely one that is on the older YA side, so while it is a romance, it is not super cheesy as younger YA romances can be.

Emmie and Max, as the synopsis indicates, come from troubled pasts.  Those pasts influence their future, especially on Emmie's part, as her fex-boyfriend is the one who really landed Emmie is trouble.  So she is hesitant to pursue anything, but as she gets to know Max, the relationship develops.

Emmie was my favorite character. She was fiesty and while she made bad decisions and was scared in different situations, she pushed through to come out the other side.  Max, I felt, was your typical alpha romance lead, being a bit too pushy for my tastes when his and Emmie's relationship was starting.  But ultimately it is Emmie's choice, and she isn't tricked or pressured into doing anything she doesn't want.

Overall, this is a solid YA romance.  It was a fast read, and the situation with Emmie's mom, which started all her trouble in the first place, is well resolved by the end of the book.  If you're a fan of YA romance, you'll like Cold Hard Truth.

Final Rating




About the Author

Anne Greenwood Brown lives in Minnesota with her patient husband and three hilarious children.
She is the author of the following Young Adult novels: Cold Hard Truth (contemporary/romance); Girl Last Seen (contemporary/suspense); and the paranormal mermaid trilogy: Lies Beneath, Deep Betrayal, Promise Bound.
She also writes adult romance under the name A.S. Green.




Giveaway

3 winners will receive an ARC of COLD HARD TRUTH, US Only.

2.20.2018

Visual Inspirations for The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg (Review)


Pictures/Art/Photographs all help me see the books I'm reading.  Often, while I'm online, I stumble upon images that remind me of the book.  These visuals add layers to the stories, and can be used to offer hints to the plot.  So I've decided to put out "Visual Inspirations" in order to spark readers' interests in those books that I love.  Please feel free to join in; hopefully you'll get some new books to read in the process!


New York City, 1882: but not the New York City of our history.  
Without further ado, the inspiration:


In a city of lies, one girl sees the truth.
But where can you hide in a city that wants you buried?



Release Date: 2/20/2018
(Not affiliate links)


The reader finds themselves in a haunting, dark, gritty New York City, one that holds powerful secrets and powerful men -- all of which work toward trying to harness the abilities of "witches", the people who are branded as such and then locked away in The Tombs, a horrible asylum where unspeakable experiments are being performed.

Avery's mother is taken to The Tombs for being able to "see" the unseen, and Avery ignores all signs of this same ability in her, fearful she will also be locked away. But as Avery's powers grow, she can no longer deny she has these abilities and must decide: does she fight to rescue her mother or hide away forever?

Such a great book! It mixes historical New York City with fantastical elements; it is just as the description said: Gangs of New York meets Libba Bray. There are strong female relationships (Avery never feels "superior" to her girlier friend, just because she does more manual labor and acts within a more traditionally male role), an amazing and loving mother/daughter bond (this is what really drives all of Avery's actions), two potential love interests (I do love a good triangle), and scary as heck villains (those crow masks are just like plague doctors and give me a super creep vibe)!

Amazing debut novel, and it set the reader up to expect more books to come! A must-read if you love darker fantasy mixed with historical fiction, The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg is out in stores now! Check out the links above to order a copy today!!


If you liked this, keep an eye out for more posts and check out my other Visual Inspirations!

2.08.2018

BLOG TOUR --- Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce [Review + Giveaway]



Title: Tempests and Slaughter
Author(s): Tamora Pierce
Edition: Harcover, eBook, audiobook; 480 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Book Depository - iBooks - Audible






Tour Schedule
Week One:
2/1/2018- Fiction FareReview
2/2/2018- herbookstacks- Review

Week Two:
2/5/2018- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
2/6/2018- A Dream Within A DreamReview
2/7/2018- Book-KeepingReview
2/8/2018- Eli to the nthReview
2/9/2018- LILbooKloversReview

Week Three:
2/12/2018- Jump Into BooksReview
2/13/2018- BookHounds YAReview
2/14/2018- Jessabella ReadsReview
2/15/2018- YA BibliophileReview
2/16/2018- Nerdophiles - Review

Week Four:
2/19/2018- Book BriefsReview
2/20/2018- Smada's Book SmackReview
2/21/2018- Confessions of a YA ReaderExcerpt
2/22/2018- YA Books CentralExcerpt
2/23/2018- The Book NutReview

Week Five:
2/26/2018- A Backwards StoryReview
2/27/2018- The Book ShireReview
2/28/2018- 
Falling Down The Book HoleExcerpt


The Summary


Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.


Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie. 

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

Act fast! The first printing of the hardcover includes a collector’s edition poster!

My Review


Tamora Pierce has been my go-to author since I first discovered Sandry's Book (Circle of Magic #1) when I was 9 years old (that's 1997 for reference).  This was not Pierce's first foray into fantasy however, and Sandry's Book led me from the world of Emelan to the world of Tortall, where her fantasy worlds all started, with a book titled: Alanna: The First Adventure.  

This brings us to her newest book, Tempests and Slaughter, the latest tale from Tortall.  But this book is set apart from all the others in two big ways.  First, this is Pierce's first full novel with a male protagonist, and second, this is her first novel where the past of a character is explored when the character has already been introduced.  That character is no other than Numair Salmalín, a powerful mage within the Tortall universe.  For old fans, that name will be so familiar and beloved, but for new readers, wow you're in for a treat because you get to experience how the young boy named Arram Draper became the Great Mage Numair Salmalín with brand new eyes!

Speaking of Arram, we meet him two years into his mage training at the Imperial University of Carthak.  Already well beyond his peers in ability, Arram is an outsider and prone to "accidents" of the magical variety.  Here he meets two other outsiders, Ozorne, the last in line prince, and Varice, a girl with an glossed over talent.  The three of them become fast friends and navigate the world of magic and politics together.

Now for the old crew, you need to forget all we know about Numair, which I will admit was very hard for me.  You know things that Arram doesn't about a multitude of characters in this book, and it will frustrate you to not be able to warn him.  But you also get to see the good side of those same people who will betray him later, so it creates a very conflicting dynamic in your mind as you read.  It is so good because of that, and highlights one of the things Pierce does best: character development.

I love Pierce's books for the world building, the rules of magic, and the people she has inhabit her books.  She thinks of all the details, and pulls in so many things from her previous books to really build this book up.  The way all of her books are crafted give a complete sense of this wondrous universe she's developed, and Tempests and Slaughter give even more depth to the Carthaki Empire than ever seen before.

I don't want to give too much away because this is a book that builds on itself, and really should be enjoyed with very little knowledge going in.  For the old fans, just know you will fall in love even more with our beautiful man Numair, and new fans (because you will become fans), you will be sucked into a fun story full of adventure, magic, and intrigue.  

Once you're done with Tempests and Slaughter, you will want to run to the bookstore and pick up all of Tamora Pierce's books.  Here is a handy link to the order of the books (Tempests and Slaughter falls second in the overall universe, technically); I suggest starting with the classic, Alanna: The First Adventure.  Also, once you're done with the Tortall books, check out all the Emelan books (super fun and very different magic in these)!  You won't be disappointed whether you're a hardcore fantasy lover, or just a dappler in the genre.  Pick up Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce today!!!!

Final Rating




About the Author
Tamora Pierce is a bestselling author of young adult fantasy books that break past the traditions of the fantasy genre to feature teenage girls as knights, wizards, and above all: heroes. A #1 New York Times bestseller and the recipient of the 2013 Margaret A. Edwards award, Tamora has written over 30 books, including the recently published TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE (Oct. 31, 2017) and the upcoming TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER (Feb. 6, 2018). 

Now, with over 30 critically-acclaimed books to her name, Pierce lives in upstate New York with her husband Tim and their menagerie of nine cats, two birds, a flock of pigeons, various raccoons and squirrels, and one opossum. "It's a pretty good life, if I do say so myself. Struggling along as a kid and even through my twenties, it's the kind of life I dreamed of but never believed I would get. Yet here I am, after a lot of work, a lot of worry, a lot of care for details, and a massive chunk of luck, the kind that brought me such strong friends and readers. Pretty good for a hillbilly, yes? And I never take it for granted."




Giveaway

3 winners will receive a finished copy of TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER
US Only.
Ends at MIDNIGHT on MARCH 2, 2018!

2.07.2018

Waiting on Wednesday - Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

 
Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming/recent releases that we seriously can’t wait to read

Here's my pick for the week:



Undead Girl Gang
written by Lily Anderson
Publication Date: May 8, 2018


Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There's not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley's favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.

So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone's explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.


Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer...before the killer strikes again. 
(Summary from Goodreads)


Amateur witchcraft turn necromancy?  Yes, please!  I love the mix of the supernatural and murder mystery.  Also, look at that cover!!!!  I need this to grace my shelves immediately!

What book are you waiting for?

2.01.2018

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi [Review]


Title: Shatter Me
Author(s): Tahereh Mafi
Edition: Audio, 9 hours 13 minutes/8 parts
Publisher: HarperAudio
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Source: Overdrive
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Book Depository







Summary
I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster

I'm more than human

My touch is lethal

My touch is power

I am their weapon

I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.


The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.


The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.


Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.


My Opinion


I have been sleeping on this series, and it's only thanks to my book club that I have gotten to enjoy this book.  With the new book in the series, Restore Me, coming out in March, we thought re-reading (or in my case, simply reading) the series would be fun.  I am so glad this was suggested because I really loved Shatter Me!

Shatter Me starts out with a punch:
I've been locked up for 264 days. (pg. 1)
Just from that one line alone I want to know more.  Juliette is isolated, scared, and alone but she is never broken.  Even going through all the hardships and abuse she has endured, she always believes in the innate good in the world.  And that is what really make this story so interesting.  

We meet Juliette after she has been locked up in a psych ward for the above mentioned 264 days.  And Juliette is not all there mentally.  She doesn't trust herself and writes her thoughts down in a stolen notebook that she hides from the guards.  Mafi does an excellent job of showing us how unstable Juliette is and how much she doesn't trust herself through the internal monologue of Juliette's mind and of the writings in her notebook.


An especially effective device that Mafi uses to illustrate this is "scratching" out certain lines of text, showing a thought or feeling that Juliette has that she feels is too confusing or too vulnerable or too true.  An example:

(taken from Shatter Me Amazon preview, pg 1)

At first, when I was listening to the audiobook, this part was weird to hear because they use a pencil scratching noise to denote these, but after a few times it didn't bother me at all.  It was actually very cool that they did that, so the listener could get the impact of Juliette's thoughts.

This is an effective part of Mafi's writing, but the most beautiful part is the lyrical language.  Juliette has been isolated or locked up her entire life.  This lends to a large imagination developing.  This imagination is reflected in the way Juliette describes the world, other people, and herself.  Beautiful, sometimes whimsical, and sometimes frantic, each line of description shows the reader exactly what and how Juliette is feeling.  A wonderful example of this is:
Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have a heartbeat.  That I have one too. (pg. 5)
Absolutely gorgeous language and sentiment such as that is liberally used throughout the book.  

Don't get me wrong, there were some things that irked me a little, like how frustrating it was when Juliette wouldn't defend herself or speak up, but overall the plot and characters won me over in a big way.  And what's great is you can see the progression of Juliette through the book, and how she starts to blossom with just a little bit of kindness thrown her way.  She is really one of my favorite heroines.

A beautiful beginning to a beautiful series (I have now read all three books), if you've been sleeping on Shatter Me like I was, stop!!  Go grab your very own copy from your local bookstore, or borrow a copy from your local library (or be on the lookout for a special giveaway I'll be hosting very soon!)


Final Rating



Extras


Book Trailer

Other Books by Tahereh Mafi

Coming out 03/2018
Novellas





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