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


BLOG TOUR --- Witchtown by Cory Putman Oakes [Review + Giveaway]

Title: Witchtown
Author(s): Cory Putman Oakes
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook; 320 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - iBooks - Book Depository

Tour Schedule

 Week One:
7/10/2017 - Brittany's Book Rambles - Interview
7/11/2017 - Book Briefs - Review
7/12/2017 - Always Me - Guest Post
7/13/2017 - The Blonde Bookworm - Review
7/14/2017 - YA and Wine - Interview

Week Two:

7/17/2017 - Savings in Seconds - Review
7/18/2017 - Wandering Bark Books - Guest Post
7/19/2017 - Eli to the nth - Review
7/20/2017 - Don't Judge, Read - Review
7/21/2017 - YA Book Madness - Interview

The Summary

When sixteen-year-old Macie O’Sullivan and her masterfully manipulative mother Aubra arrive at the gates of Witchtown—the most famous and mysterious witch-only haven in the world—they have one goal in mind: to rob it for all it’s worth.

But that plan derails when Macie and Aubra start to dig deeper into Witchtown’s history and uncover that there is more to the quirky haven than meets the eye.

Exploring the haven by herself, Macie finds that secrets are worth more than money in Witchtown.

Secrets have their own power.

My Review

I love books about magic, and I especially love books about different magic communities.  Witchtown by Cory Putman Oakes is chock full of both!  The reader follows Macie O'Sullivan, as she and her con-artist mother, Aubra, move onto their "last" big score: robbing the haven of Witchtown blind!  But as Macie digs deeper into Witchtown, she learns secrets, not only about the town, but about herself!

I loved this book!  It was fast-paced, full of twists, and fully satisfying at the end.  A truly well-done standalone novel.  Of course, I wish we could see more of Witchtown, because I think we could've used more of this potentially amazing setting, but it was always on this side of not fleshed out enough.  But the idea of a Second Inquisition is interesting, especially with the result not being the total destruction of all witches, but a segregation of witches from the general populace.  

However, the characters themselves were great!  You really felt what Macie, the main character, was going through, both within the relationship with her mother, and while she was unfurling the mysteries in Witchtown.  The friendship between Macie and Tayla was naturally developed, and you could really tell that both cared for each other.  I love when friendships are developed in a real way.  It always adds something to the story.

This book is just too fun!  A super-fast read, if you like witchiness, mysteries, and comeuppance, then you'll want to pick up Witchtown by Cory Putman Oakes this summer!

Final Rating

Other Books by Cory



About the Author

Sometime around sixth grade, Cory was forced to face the sad truth that being a heroine in a Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, or Madeleine L’Engle book was not, in fact, a valid future career choice. But since she thought it might be almost as much fun to grow up to be Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, or Madeleine L’Engle, she decided to do just that. She’s still working on it.

She officially made her sixth grade dream come true in 2011, with her debut young adult novel, THE VEIL. Cory’s debut middle grade, DINOSAUR BOY, came out from Sourcebooks in February of 2015 and it’s sequel, DINOSAUR BOY SAVES MARS, launched in February 2016. Cory’s next young adult novel, WITCHTOWN, will come out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers on July 18, 2017.

Cory lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Mark (who, luckily for all concerned, decided to stick with the whole “maybe-I’ll-be-a-lawyer” thing), their two kids, and their pets. In addition to writing, Cory enjoys running, cooking, and hanging out with her family. She is proud to be represented by Sarah LaPolla of Bradford Literary Agency. Photo by Sam Bond Photography


3 winners will receive a hardcover of WITCHTOWN! US Only.


BLOG TOUR --- Waste of Space by Gina Damico [Spotlight + Giveaway]

I am very excited to spotlight the latest book by one of my favorite authors, Gina Damico.  Waste of Space is a hilarious mix of sci-fi and reality television, once again feeling very current as is a signature of Gina's.  You'll be laughing so hard, you may just pee your pants, so fair warning.  A fun book to dive into this summer, pre-order Waste of Space from your favorite retailer today!

Title: Waste of Space
Author(s): Gina Damico
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook; 400 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - iBooks - Book Depository

Tour Schedule
 Week One:
7/3/2017 - Wandering Bark Books - Guest Post
7/4/2017 - Eli to the nth - Spotlight (Me!)
7/5/2017 - Two Chicks on Books - Excerpt
7/6/2017 - BookHounds YA - Review
7/7/2017 - Hooked To Books - Interview

Week Two:

7/10/2017 - Novel Novice - Review
7/11/2017 - A Dream Within A Dream - Excerpt
7/12/2017 - Lisa Loves Literature - Review
7/13/2017 - YA and Wine - Interview
7/14/2017 - YA Book Madness - Review

The Summary

Cram ten hormonal teens into a spaceship and blast off: that’s the premise for the ill-conceived reality show Waste of Space. The kids who are cast know everything about drama—and nothing about the fact that the production is fake. 

Hidden in a desert warehouse, their spaceship replica is equipped with state-of-the-art special effects dreamed up by the scientists partnering with the shady cable network airing the show. And it’s a hit! Millions of viewers are transfixed. 

But then, suddenly, all communication is severed. Trapped and paranoid, the kids must figure out what to do when this reality show loses its grip on reality.
Other Books by Gina



About the Author

Gina Damico is the author of Croak, Scorch, and Rogue, the grim-reapers-gone-wild books of the Croak trilogy. She has also dabbled as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker and breadmonger. A native of Syracuse, New York, she now lives outside Boston with her husband, two cats, and one dog, and while she has never visited hell in person, she has spent countless waking hours at the Albany Regional Bus Terminal, which is pretty darn close.


3 winners will receive a hardcover of WASTE OF SPACE! US Only.



BLOG TOUR --- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus [Review + Giveaway]

Title: One of Us is Lying
Author(s): Karen M. McManus
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook 368 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble - The Book Depository - iBooks - Audible

Tour Schedule

Week One:
5/29/2017 - YA Books Central - Interview
5/30/2017 - YA Book Madness - Review
5/31/2017 - Novel Novice - Guest Post
6/1/2017 - Literary Meanderings - Review
6/2/2017 - BookHounds YA - Interview

Week Two:
6/5/2017 - Storybook Slayers - Review
6/6/2017 - Book Princess Reviews - Review
6/7/2017 - The Cover Contessa - Interview
6/8/2017 - Book Briefs - Review
6/9/2017 - Pretty Deadly Reviews - Guest Post

Week Three:

6/12/2017 - Eli to the nth - Review (Me!)
6/13/2017 - YA and Wine - Interview
6/14/2017 - Smada's Book Smack - Review
6/15/2017 - The O.W.L. - Guest Post
6/16/2017 - Zach's YA Reviews - Review

The Summary

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
My Opinion

I am not a big fan of mysteries or thrillers, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started reading One of Us is Lying.  But from page one I was hooked.  

The voices of all the main narrators, Bronwyn (the Brain), Addy (the Beauty), Nate (the Criminal), and Cooper (the Athlete), are a genuine and authentic portrayal of teenagers.  And just as real teenagers are not 100% what people see them to be, none of these characters are the stereotypes readers will expect.  While this book has been compared to The Breakfast Club, I find that a lacking parallel, as there is no "fun" all-day detention party, but a serious police investigation that connects each character to the other.  Honestly, the only similarity is that there are characters who initially embody the high school stereotypes, but far supersede that box.  Even the minor characters feel fully rounded, and add in some way to the plot.  I applaud McManus's ability to craft realistic characters put in a situation that could seem very unbelievable without the grounding in reality.

Speaking of plot, I actually found this to really walk the edge of belief, in a way that shows a nuance of craft which sometimes lacks in other thriller novels (hence why I typically dislike them).  Without giving anything away, the situation these students find themselves in is very precarious, and what McManus does well is keep the readers guessing as to who's actually killed Simon and why.  The way the school officials handle the situation, the way the cops investigate, the way the families corral their wagons, all read as true, making the reader believe this horrible instance really can happen.

There were some instances of romance, but that never detracted from the true point of the book, which is to figure out who killer Simon.  But the small blooming of romance was needed to cut through the heavier subject matter.  One couple in particular, which you'll figure out, was very realistically done and I felt invested in them right away.  Additionally, there were some really great instances of love, both familial and friendly, that also add to the story and gave the characters real support within this serious situation.

The only real critiques I have is about the pacing and representation.  As far as the pacing, the resolution was a little crammed all in at the end.  I felt like the story could've been a little more rounded out at the very end.  But that hardly detracted from my overall enjoyment.  As far as representation, most of the principle cast was white, with the exception of Bronwyn, who is Latinx, which was disappointing.  The setting for the book is San Diego, which is a large, diverse city.  I wish the book reflected more of that diversity within it's characters.

I throughly enjoyed this book, so much that I may just give thrillers/mysteries a second chance.  An engaging, who-dun-it read, you'll want to pop One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus in your beach bag or in your carry-on this summer!

Final Rating


About the Author

As a kid I used to write books when I was supposed to be playing outside, and not much has changed. I'm a marketing and communications professional who also writes Young Adult contemporary and fantasy fiction in Cambridge, MA.

When not writing or working I love to travel, and along with my nine-year old son I've ridden horses in Colombia and bicycles through Paris. A member of SCBWI, I hold a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Which I have never, ever used professionally.


3 winners will receive a finished copy of One of Us is Lying, US Only.

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