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

7.09.2019

RELEASE DAY BLITZ: Blastaway by Melissa Landers [Middle Grade + Giveaway]


I am so happy to share with y'all the latest book from Melissa Landers, BLASTAWAY.  I love Melissa's YA series (the ALIENATED series & the STARFLIGHT series), so I am super excited for readers to experience her first middle grade book!

BLASTAWAY is a fun space romp, perfect for a giggly night of reading under the covers.  It is out TODAY, so check below for all the info about where to buy it, an exclusive excerpt, and a giveaway for one finished copy!!  You'll love it!!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: BLASTAWAY
Author: Melissa Landers
Pub. Date: July 9, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 304
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, KindleAudible Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, The Book Depository
 

Kyler Centaurus isn't your typical runaway. All he wanted was a quick trip to the legendary Fasti Sun Festival. Who wouldn't want to see new stars being born? Um, try Kyler's entire family. They couldn't care less about mind-blowing wonders of science.

When an accidental launch sequence ends with Kyler hurtling through space on the family cruiser, the thrill of freedom is cut short by two space pirates determined to steal his ship. Not happening!

Luckily, Kyler bumps into Fig, a savvy young Wanderer who makes a living by blowing up asteroids. She could really use a ride to Earth and Kyler could really use a hand with the pirates.

But when Kyler learns the truth about Fig's mission, the two must put aside their differences long enough to stop the threat of astronomical proportions racing towards Earth.


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

At some point, I must have fallen asleep.

I say that for two reasons. First, my chin was wet with drool, and I hardly ever slobber on myself when I’m awake. And second, I was no longer on Earth.


I sat bolt upright and stared out the window as distant stars whizzed past in a blur. There were no planets in sight, and judging by the swirling purple nebula ahead of me, this wasn’t the way to Nana’s house. I checked the navigation screen and felt my mouth drop open. The flashing beacon that represented my ship was halfway between Earth and Fasti. 


(So you see, it is totally possible to steal a spaceship on accident.) 


I guess my hand hit the EXECUTE button when I fell asleep. And because it would take just as long for me to turn around and go home as it would to finish my journey, it made sense to keep going, right? Either way, my parents would ground me into the afterlife, so I might as well earn the sentence, right?


Right.


An electric thrill rushed through my veins when I thought about the possibilities that lay ahead of me. Anything could happen on this trip. Literally anything. I could discover a brand-new element. Or meet a secret race of aliens. Or invent a new energy source. Or eat so much chocolate that I puked. Either way, I had complete freedom to make this journey into whatever I wanted, and once I realized that, there was no freaking way I could turn back. It was like the universe had dropped a gift in my lap, a gift I had no intention of returning.     


I wiped the drool off my chin and smiled.

“Hold onto your stars, Fasti. Here I come.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her kids. She lives just outside Cincinnati in the town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.”








GIVEAWAY 

1 winner will win a finished copy of BLASTAWAY, US Only. 




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5.29.2019

BLOG TOUR --- The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields [Review + Giveaway]





Title: The Bone Charmer
Authors(s): Breeana Shields
Publication Date: May 21, 2019
Edition: Hardcover, ebook; 400 pgs
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Kindle - Barnes & Noble  - iBooks - Kobo The Book Depository
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.










Tour Schedule




Week One:
5/21/2019- BookHounds YA- Excerpt
5/21/2019- Rhythmicbooktrovert- Review

5/22/2019- Smada's Book Smack- Review
5/22/2019- Jheartlovesbooks- Review

5/23/2019- The Pages In-Between- Review
5/23/2019- Two Chicks on Books- Excerpt

5/24/2019- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt
5/24/2019- Shelf-rated- Review 

 Week Two:
5/27/2019- Character Madness and Musings-Spotlight
5/27/2019- Lifestyle of Me- Review

5/28/2019- Some Books & Ramblings- Review
5/28/2019- Starlight-Reads- Review

5/29/2019- Eli to the nth- Review
5/29/2019- Book-Keeping- Review

5/30/2019- Jena Brown Writes- Review
5/30/2019- The Suburban Lifestyle- Review

5/31/2019- AURELIA LEO- Excerpt
5/31/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader-Excerpt


Week Three:
6/3/2019- Two Points of Interest- Review
6/3/2019- Savings in Seconds- Review





The Summary

"I was absolutely swept away by the world of The Bone Charmer." – Kendare Blake, #1 NYT Bestselling author of Three Dark Crowns

In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.

On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.

Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.


My Review

A unique magic system that governs all, and a tradition that dictates one's whole life, The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields is one book that you won't want to put down.  We follow 17 year old Saskia, the daughter of her town's Bone Charmer, a position of great power as the Bone Charmer tells the people of their past, present, or future.  Saskia is coming up to her "kenning", the time that all 17 year olds in her world are told their fate through a bone reading.  And as Saskia is from a long line of Bone Charmers, she is revolting against her fate, begging the questions, can you change what has been pre-determined?

The magic system is the strongest part of the book, with everything in Saskia's world hinging on bones.  The bones of both animals and ancestors are used in everything from healing to breaking.  Those with the magic to utilize the bones are given the highest honor, while many without magic have jobs that help support the focus on bones.  But besides the oddity of utilizing bones for all magic, the author also makes the magic a commodity; those that are wealthy are able to afford the best ingredients for all bone magic, and those who are poor are often considered "leftovers", those who are either not able to afford a "kenning" or who's path is not clear.  This hierarchy makes the society even more believable because the magic comes with a price.

Besides the actual story, the structure of this book is interesting as well.  Saskia, who is fighting so hard against what she knows her mother will choose for her, breaks one of the finger bones of her grandmother, used as a powerful ingredient in her kenning.  This causes her life to split into two paths: the one her mother wants---Saskia to train as a Bone Charmer and embrace her magic, and the one Saskia wants---a quiet life as a tutor, letting her magic die.  The reader gets to follow both Saskias, seeing the divergence and melding of each path.  This, as I mentioned earlier, calls into question Saskia's ability to change her fate.  Which path will be the ultimate victor, and what will that victory do to Saskia's soul?

While there is romance down both paths, ultimately we follow Saskia and her agency, trying to figure out her place, work against the danger down each path, and ultimately discover her true purpose.  Of course, this is the first book in what looks to be a series, if not at least a duology, so don't expect a nice ribbon-tied ending.  Saskia is just starting to learn who she is, and where she belongs, and I can't wait to read what happens next!

A great addition to the fantasy genre, you can pick up your own copy of The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields, in stores now!

Final Rating



Excerpt

Chapter One

Tomorrow my future will be decided by my dead gran’s finger bones. It’s how my whole life has been determined—with bones and blood and snapping flames. When I was five days old, my mother dangled me over a stone basin that was heavy with the shoulder blades of an ox and pierced my heel with a sewing needle. I’m not sure how many drops of blood splashed into the basin. One? Two? Ten? It doesn’t matter. It was enough blood to infuse the bones with my essence. Enough blood to tell my mother anything she wanted to know about the next few
years of my life.
It’s always been a prickly thing between us, her insight and my ignorance. And the other way around, too. The bones can’t show her my heart.
I creep down the stairs toward the sharp scent of sage incense, a sure sign my mother is consulting the bones about one thing or another. It’s almost impossible to sneak up on her, but I can’t resist trying. Maybe if I know what she’s up to, I’ll have some hint about what the morning will bring.
The deep voice that resonates from below surprises me so much that I nearly forget to avoid the creaky fifth step. My mother isn’t alone—one of the townsfolk must have arrived for a last-minute reading before the kenning tomorrow. I sag against the wall, disappointed. I don’t care about knowing any future except my own.
Yet the sound of bone scraping against stone propels my feet forward. When I reach the bottom of the staircase, I peek around the corner.
My mother sits in the center of the room across from one of Midwood’s most prominent farmers, Mikkel Hemming. A stone basin rests on the floor between them, filled with a handful of animal bones that, from the looks of them, are probably cheaply prepared and not especially powerful. A casual reading then. Nothing like the ceremony and solemnity that always permeates the kenning. My mother isn’t even wearing her Bone Charmer robes.
“Thank you for seeing me on short notice,” Mikkel says.
“The moment I touched the soil this morning, I knew I better come see you. I’m worried it’s too wet for planting asparagus.”
“It’s no trouble at all,” my mother says. She pricks Mikkel’s index finger with a needle and squeezes a few drops of blood onto the bones. Then she uses a bit of flint and a stone to light a small fire in the basin.
The room tilts and I squeeze my eyes shut. Minutes seem to pass and then, beneath my closed eyelids, I see Mikkel at the door, his hat clutched in one hand. I startle as I hear his voice in my head, thanking my mother for her time. My eyes fly open, but to my horror my mother is still at the beginning of the reading—tipping the bones onto the rug in front of her.
My throat closes.
This hasn’t happened in years—this unsteadiness around the bones, as if the magic is like a dog on a lead, determined to reach me whether I want it or not.
And I don’t.

About the Author

Breeana Shields is an author of fantasy novels for teens including The Bone Charmer, Poison’s Kiss, and Poison’s Cage. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English.

When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, traveling, and playing board games with her extremely competitive family. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, her three children, and two adorable, but spoiled dogs.





Giveaway

3 winners will receive a signed finished copy of THE BONE CHARMER, US Only.

5.24.2019

BLOG TOUR --- All Our Broken Pieces by L.D. Crichton [Review + Giveaway]




Title: All Our Broken Pieces 
Authors(s): L. D. Crichton
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Edition: Hardcover, ebook; 416 pgs
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Kindle - Barnes & Noble  - iBooks - Kobo The Book Depository
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.





Tour Schedule





Week One:
5/1/2019- Lifestyle Of Me- Review
5/2/2019- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt
5/3/2019- Novel Novice- Guest Post

Week Two:
5/6/2019- Betwixt the Pages- Review
5/7/2019- BookHounds YA- Review
5/8/2019- Life of a Literary Nerd- Excerpt
5/9/2019- Do You Dog-ear?- Review
5/10/2019- Novel Nerd Faction- Review

Week Three:
5/13/2019- A Bookish Escape- Review
5/14/2019- Here's to Happy Endings- Review
5/15/2019- Dani Reviews Things- Review
5/16/2019- The Pages In-Between- Review
5/17/2019- Lone Tree Reviews- Review

Week Four:
5/20/2019- Savings in Seconds- Review
5/21/2019- Book-Keeping- Review
5/22/2019- Life of a Simple Reader- Review
5/23/2019- Smada's Book Smack- Review
5/24/2019- Eli to the nth- Review (ME!)

Week Five:
5/27/2019- Popthebutterfly Reads- Review
5/28/2019- Jena Brown Writes- Review
5/29/2019- Literary Meanderings- Interview
5/30/2019- Paper Reader- Review
5/31/2019- Two points of interest- Review



The Summary

"You can’t keep two people who are meant to be together apart for long...”

Lennon Davis doesn’t believe in much, but she does believe in the security of the number five. If she flicks the bedroom light switch five times, maybe her new L.A. school won’t suck. But that doesn’t feel right, so she flicks the switch again. And again. Ten more flicks of the switch and maybe her new step family will accept her. Twenty-five more flicks and maybe she won’t cause any more of her loved ones to die. Fifty times more and then she can finally go to sleep.

Kyler Benton witnesses this pattern of lights from the safety of his treehouse in the yard next door. It is only there, hidden from the unwanted stares of his peers, that Kyler can fill his notebooks with lyrics that reveal the true scars of the boy behind the oversized hoodies and caustic humor. But Kyler finds that descriptions of blonde hair, sad eyes, and tapping fingers are beginning to fill the pages of his notebooks. Lennon, the lonely girl next door his father has warned him about, infiltrates his mind. Even though he has enough to deal with without Lennon’s rumored tragic past in his life, Kyler can’t help but want to know the truth about his new muse.


My Review

All Our Broken Pieces by L.D. Crichton is a romantic rollarcoaster of two self-proclaimed "broken" teens finding each other, and helping to patch up the holes in their lives.

Told from alternating perspectives, the reader meets Lennon first.  Due to a family tragedy, she must move in with her father and step-mother, across the country to Bel Air, a far-cry from her life with her mother in Maine.  With the move comes her step-sister Andrea, and half-brother Jacob.  So not only is she dealing with a new place and a new home, she is dealing with all of this while trying to control her OCD.  

Next up, the reader meets Kyler.  Having grown-up in Bel Air, he sticks out because Kyler chooses not to fit in with the "typical"crowd.  A sensitive and private musician, Kyler deals with his own personal tragedy, and how it effects the way he sees himself.  When Lennon moves next door, this typically broody boy can't help but be captivated.

This is such a lovely romance.  Two teens, who are both dealing with extremely personal issues, come together in such a perfect way.  They compliment each other, and help each other to heal.  The romance is beautifully written, and made me fall in love with Lennon and Kyler as a couple.

The characterizations within the book are great, with the main couple, along with their family, being developed in a way that is real and authentic.  The familial dynamics in both households are realistic, with there being both conflict and support.  I loved the fact that Lennon's step-mother wasn't evil, and didn't begrudge Lennon's father his time with her birth mother.  Also, Kyler's relationship with his sister is fiercely protective, and while his interests lie on the complete opposite spectrum, he is always proud of his little sister.

As I do not have OCD, I am not sure how accurate the portrayal is, but I feel like it is never stigmatized as something that is a horrible part of Lennon.  Does she want to feel "normal", yes, but that could be said for anyone who has a condition or disease that places them out of the societal norm.  There is care shown, with both Lennon's treatments and her family's understanding, that I think was well-crafted.  You see that OCD, while it can be difficult to deal with, and sometimes debilitating, it can also be managed and someone can live a full and happy life.  

Overall, the writing was what really sucked me in.  It is lyrical and poetic, but also very funny.  The peaks into Kyler's music in his chapters, the facts that start off Lennon's chapters, the overall tone, it is all well-crafted to fit together to make one hell of a book.

I can't recommend this book enough!  I read it in two days, it was so engrossing.  There's something for everyone, the romance lovers, the hard contemporary lovers, those who love family stories, and those who want to read about a strong female protagonist; everything can be found here.  Pick up a copy of All Our Broken Pieces by L.D. Crichton as soon as possible!


Final Rating



Excerpt

I’ve never felt safe in cars, but now that fear is paralyzing. I almost didn’t make the twenty-minute drive to the airport in Portland without a massive panic attack. Panic attacks lead to the part of myself I can’t control, and my dad will do everything in his power to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Watching me must be like having a front-row view to a ticking time bomb.

Tick. Tock. Boom.

His shoulders draw inward—burdened by the weight of having to deal with me. “I’m trying here. I have to get you from the airport to home, that means you must suffer for the next forty- eight minutes in this car, but you’re free and clear after that.” He looks at his watch. “It’s three o’clock now, traffic might be light.”

“I’d rather walk.”

“Not an option. Sorry, Bug.”

Bug. Ridiculous. Perhaps once upon a time it was cute, but now I could think of a million other nicknames I’d rather have, yet there’s no escaping the one gifted by my father. Lennon Rae Davis, after none other than the most famous Lennon of all, who also was a Beatle. Clever. Thanks for the stellar nickname, John.

In fact, it seems kind of ominous now. Lennon died tragically. The statistical probability of dying in a car is staggering, tragic, almost. I’ve never been a fan of driving—or passenger-ing, to be more accurate—but since my sixteenth birthday, all I can see is a coffin with four wheels and a blinker. Like right now.

Circulating around a nauseating mental carousel is an image of my dad, the man standing next to me, the same man pleading with me to be reasonable as he lies on the pavement bloody and dying, because it’s a fact:

People. Die. In. Cars.

His arms fanned above him, his body on display in a crumpled heap of steel and glass . . .

His limbs pretzeled and folded grotesquely . . . twisted, shredded metal.

His lungs ragged with each pull, desperate to cling to breath. Even if it’s his last.

And then. It is.

A cold, lifeless stare shadows his face. Just like that, he simply ceases to exist.

My father will die if he gets in that car because people die in cars.

My heart rate quickens, pumping blood quicker, faster, until it careens straight through my veins in a race to the finish where my heart will surely seize or burst. The hammer of each pulse shatters my rib cage, as if my heart is screaming to escape. I struggle to catch the air, to hold on to it for more than a millisecond, and pull it deep and slow into my lungs. But my heart, the beast, hammers harder, determined to rip through my chest wall. That’ll be it. It’ll be over.

I reach two fingers into the pocket of my jeans, gathering the small sphere between my fingertips—the little magic pill that will help me survive this trip, or at the least, this hour.

Ativan. Breakfast of champions. My hands shake as I pop it underneath my tongue, close my eyes, and wait for it to dissolve.

My father reaches into the pocket of his worn jeans to retrieve the sheet of paper that’s been his bible for the last week. It’s a list, provided to him by the hospital when they released me, of my medications, what they do, when I should take them, and potential side effects. He doesn’t need the list—I’m a far more valuable resource than his sheet of paper—but I think he feels empowered by it, as if facts on paper wrap around him like a security blanket. “Lennon, didn’t you take a pill already, honey?”

I keep my eyes closed and hold my pointer finger up. One minute. Give me one more minute.

He speaks in hushed tones to the cabdriver as the two of them wrestle with my trunk and two suitcases. I’d tried convincing my dad to let me bring my mom’s greatest treasure—her record collection. He said there were too many. He’s right. There are hundreds of them, but now they aren’t within my reach, and I’m scared they won’t make the trip from Maine to Los Angeles unscathed. It’s entered my mind no less than fifteen times so far.

I’d been trying to distract myself by reading from my own growing collection of trivia books, filled with the most use- less information a person could hope to acquire. Unlike Mom’s records, but much like my trunk, I wouldn’t budge on the issue of my books remaining out of the truck. My life being uprooted was hard enough, but my life being uprooted without something to keep my shattered brain occupied is out of the question, and my father, it seems, was wise enough to pick and choose his battles about a small box of trivia books. Realistically, my nitpicking has been distracting me from the real situation I’m now faced with.
A situation where, unfortunately, no amount of obscure knowledge or fact-recollection will help.

When I feel like I can speak, I say, “I took an SSRI earlier. This is Ativan, so I can deal with what’s happening without a panic attack. Because my brain is telling me if I get into that car with you, you’ll die.”

My dad’s face turns ashen. He’s been trying so hard, but he still has a lot to learn.

The cabbie watches in silent fascination as my body slides across the worn leather seat. Beads of sweat collect on the base of my neck and my hand shakes as I swipe at it. Gross. I stick the tips of my fingers underneath my thighs, sitting on my hands. They twitch in protest. I press against them with the weight of my legs and force myself to focus on the discarded gum wrap- per on the floor. It’s useless. My muscles tense. All 640 of them. I hate this.

My mouth is parched and dry, and I free one hand long enough to roll down the window before hiding it again.

Pinpricks on my skin go from bad to worse until pain explodes across my chest and tears at my insides because my dad’s about to die. It hurts to breathe. I’m supposed to be stronger than the thoughts, but no one can be strong all the time. I recognize the shift in my brain, and I realize its coming. The nerves on my fingers spark and spread like wildfire, licking at my veins, commanding me to move them, begging me to make it stop. By the time my dad flops in the seat beside me, I’ve already begun. A series of fast-paced, timed taps against my leg.

I like the number five. Truth is, I favor all single-digit odd numbers, but five is my sweet spot, always has been.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five.


About the Author

L.D. Crichton is the author of The Enchantment of Emma Fletcher, which received a starred review from School Library Journal. She’s a coffee devotee and lip gloss enthusiast whose infatuation with music is truly astonishing. If she’s not reading, writing, or checking her horoscope for signs from the Universe, you can find her by the water in search of mermaids because they're real. All Our Broken Pieces is her first young adult novel. Represented by John Silbersack @ The Bent Agency. 



Giveaway

3 winners will receive a finished copy of ALL OUR BROKEN PIECES, US Only.


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