Friday, November 28, 2014

The Body Electric by Beth Revis Giveaway

You know you want to win this! A limited signed paperback copy of THE BODY ELECTRIC by Beth Revis. Good luck!



Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…

Someone’s altered her memory.

Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

So who can she trust?


Summary by Goodreads 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

* INTERNATIONAL
* The giveaway starts on November 28th  and will end on December 15th
* Enter the rafflecopter form!
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Review: The Body Electric by Beth Revis


Title: The Body Electric
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Scripturient Books
Publishing Date: October 6th 2014
Length: 482 pages
Keywords: YA, science fiction, dystopia, romance, friendship, artificial intelligence
Source: Author

The future world is at peace.

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…

Someone’s altered her memory.

Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

So who can she trust?


Summary by Goodreads 






Everyone who's read my review of SHADES OF EARTH, the last book in the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy, knows I'm a huge fan of all three books in Beth Revis' debut series. Since the end of SHADES OF EARTH I have been craving a sequel to Amy and Elder's story and wanting to know how life on earth looked like after so many years spent on the Godspeed. In THE BODY ELECTRIC Beth Revis gave us the chance to learn more about what happened to our planet after Amy left it in ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. You can imagine how ecstatic I was when Beth asked me to review her newest book. I admire her for writing this story and for deciding to publish it on her own!

THE BODY ELECTRIC is set some time in the 2300s and comes along as part sci-fi, part dystopia. You'll definitely recognize a few details and elements from the AtU trilogy, the Godspeed and its story is a legend now. I loved that!

As much as I was looking forward to get to know Ella and Jack and the world they are living in, I was beginning to notice that some components of the story weren't quite working for me. If you know how brilliantly Beth Revis' previous books are written you'll notice that this story still could've used some fine-tuning and polishing. This is a problem due to lack of thorough editing. All chapters are pretty short, spanning only a few pages, which I appreciate in a book. 

Beth's narration in THE BODY ELECTRIC often provides very vivid images and gory details. I certainly wouldn't describe these bloody details as YA inappropriate, but definitely not very appealing for a reader like me who had been looking forward to a more romantic story. I had expected the major part of the story to revolve around Ella and Jack and their romance. I didn't need the entire focus to be on it, but I would've wished for more intimacy and emotional attachment between the two. Because the moments they had were great!

Furthermore, I wasn't entirely comfortable with the character cast Beth Revis chose for her THE BODY ELECTRIC because I was convinced it wasn't as rich and varied as it could have been to provide the background for a thrilling and riveting story. In addition, dystopian Malta, only confused me more than it worked toward an exotic choice of a setting. But I can also imagine that many readers will find the dystopian city of New Venice interesting to explore. Bonus points for the map of New Venice on the first pages of the book. 
Also there sure will be many fans of the discourse between humans and robots. The mind and feelings of a living, breathing individual versus those of a machine, technically constructed and programmed.

Whereas the overall picture of THE BODY ELECTRIC didn't ultimately made me see this book as a perfect companion novel to Beth's previous books, I noticed that her eye for detail and technical innovations was as sharp as ever. She has the writing magic to conjure a stunning future world!  






3/5 *** THE BODY ELECTRIC - A slightly flawed harmony between character cast, setting and editing work make for an average YA sci-fi read. Yet, many readers will find it thought-provoking and visionary!

This story is a possible treat for many ACROSS THE UNIVERSE fans. But notice that you don't have to have read Beth's previous trilogy to enjoy Ella and Jack's story. I can honestly say that even if I didn't enjoy THE BODY ELECTRIC quite as much as I had hoped I would,  I would always support Beth Revis' writing and encourage readers (especially those who are new to the genre and are hesitant about picking up a sci-fi story) to read her books!








"I push the button.
The reverie chair hums with life. I have a moment to see the sparkle of the nanobots mixed with the green puff of reverie drug, and then I blink, and then
My body explodes with pain." p. 29








THE BODY ELECTRIC by Beth Revis you will enjoy her ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy, too. I loved it so much and have recommended it to many friends and readers already.








* Read LOVE IS A CHOICE and dive into Beth's dystopian writing.

* Click here to read an excerpt of THE BODY ELECTRIC!

* Read Beth Revis' short story THE TURNING TEST for free.

* For more information about Beth and her books visit www.bethrevis.com.

* A big thank you to Beth Revis for sending me a copy of THE BODY ELECTRIC for review!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Review: This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne




Title: This Book Just Ate My Dog!
Author: Richard Byrne
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pulishing Date: September 2014
Length: 32 pages
Keywords: Picture Book
Source: Publisher - Thank you OUP!



When her dog disappears into the gutter of the book, Bella calls for help. But when the helpers disappear too, Bella realizes it will take more than a tug on the leash to put things right.


Today is a premiere as this is my first picture book review. When I spotted THIS BOOK JUST ATE MY DOG! on the new releases list this autumn I found its cover cute and the title really catchy. It is funny and makes kids question how this is even possible. A dog-eating book. This is definitely something they haven't heard of before and that's what gets them interested in the story in the first place. 

I have to pass up on giving this book a rating because I can't compare it to any other book I have reviewed on this blog so far. But I can tell you that this book is definitely worth a read. The font is bright orange and the pictures are drawn with much love for detail.
Richard Byrne convinces with a cheeky story that is imaginative and engages kids with a few easy tricks and a clever dialogue. Most important: Kids will love THIS BOOK JUST ATE MY DOG!. It is playful and interactive and will elicit a few giggles for sure.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Review: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne


Title: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting
Author: Holly Bourne
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Publishing Date: August 1st 2014
Length: 464 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, friendship, transformation
Source: Publisher

Apparently I'm boring. A nobody. But that's all about to change. Because I am starting a project. Here. Now. For myself. And if you want to come along for the ride then you're very welcome.

Bree is a loser, a wannabe author who hides behind words. Most of the time she hates her life, her school, her never-there parents. So she writes.

But when she’s told she needs to start living a life worth writing about, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting is born. Six steps on how to be interesting. Six steps that will see her infiltrate the popular set, fall in love with someone forbidden and make the biggest mistake of her life.


Summary by Goodreads






First impression: Unique story approach and a protagonist worth getting to know better. Holly Bourne introduces us to Bree, a quiet girl who is very intelligent and withdrawn. Soon she's going to change radically. In the beginning she has a fantastic relationship with her best friend Holdo. They watch movies together and hang out. They have a very trusting and intimate friendship that makes both their lives so much brighter. It is a friendship that I recognized as something very important for Bree's story. One that could've worked against the mean girl streak she's developing at some point. Unfortunately, Holly Bourne allowed Bree to completely neglect the great support I saw in their friendship and ditch Holdo for her fake new life.

Second glance: I can honestly say that I didn't like Bree anymore once she was caught in her plan to become popular at all costs. And all for the cause of her own curious social research for her writing. Her goal is to seduce Hugo and become friends with his girlfriend and their clique in order to observe their life and analyse their ways of being interesting and popular. I hated that everythigng was kind of an experiment for her and that she didn't really want to change her life the way she did because she wanted to live it that way. It all felt kind of fake and I couldn't but cringe at the sure future outcome and the unfairness towards the people she was deceiving.

What could've saved Bree's story for me wasn't present. A romance that I could enjoy and get lost in. In all her confusion and revenge I was hoping for Bree to find a person who would be so good for her that she could finally accept herself. Her relationship to her teacher is an prominent part of the story in order to distinguish and show readers the difference between fake and real Bree. But sadly I'm no big fan of reading about student teacher romances. Don't you find them kind of irritating, too?

Still, sometimes I even found myself engaging in Bree's transformation and hoped for the popular kids to actually like her so that she could establish an honest and kind friendship with them. Her manifesto changes the relationship to her parents as well and especially the bond between mother and daughter. The family part of Bree's story was probably my favourite because it was the one most real and emotional.
Holly Bourne's writing was skillful and that's why I'll definitely read her debut novel SOULMATES soon.






3/5 *** THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING - A very delicate thought experiment for every reader!

THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING explores the depths of a teenager's feelings of failure and unacceptance. How important is popularity and success for a young adult? And how much is someone willing to sacrifice of what's been good in his or her life if they can get something supposedly better? Would you be willing to hurt the people you love in order to reach that goal?







"But successful people - like, the really-made-it ones - stay quiet until it's finished. Bree didn't do failure, not well anyway. Therefore she was keeping quiet until she knew for sure that her plan was foolproof." p. 68







THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING you might enjoy MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES by Jasmine Warga, SOLITAIRE by Alice Oseman or THE WORST GIRLFRIEND IN THE WORLD by Sarra Manning.







* Have you read SOULMATES? This is Holly Bourne's debut.

* Read an excerpt of THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING here.

* For more information about Holly Bourne and her books visit www.hollybourne.co.uk.

* Thanks to Usborne Publishing for sending me a copy of THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING for review!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Book Review: It Had to Be You by Ellie Adams


Title: It Had to Be You
Author: Ellie Adams
Publisher: Corgi
Publishing Date: August 28th 2014
Length: 448 pages
Keywords: Adult, chick lit, romance, friendship, break-up, PR, London
Source: Publisher

The worst break-up ever . . .

Lizzy Spellman has been dumped. On her birthday. In front of all her friends. By the man she thought was the one. Someone even filmed it, so now she's a YouTube hit too.

. . . Could be the best thing that has ever happened to her

When she thinks things can't get any worse, she meets the rudest and most cynical man in the world, and finds a new reason for living. To prove him wrong.

Love does exist, and she's going to find it . . .


Summary by Goodreads






Lizzy Spellman is one of the funniest chick lit girls I've had the pleasure to accompany on her disastrous journey to happiness. We clicked on the first page when Lizzy is in this aweful costume and is called on stage to sing karaoke in front of a horde of wedding guests and get dumped by her boyfriend. And then a YouTube video of the whole scene goes viral. What a terribly awkward start to the story! Of course I was instantly hooked and couldn't wait to find out what else Ellie Adams had planned for her heroine.

Lizzy and Elliot are not your typical adorable chick lit couple. He's a grump. She is disappointed in men after being dumped in front of a huge crowd. The two are pretty different characters. Elliot is always disapproving and hesitant at letting people into his life, whereas Lizzy is bubbly and outgoing. You think Lizzy can break his shell?

IT HAD TO BE YOU is like a quick-witted and  modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. He seems so rude and unapproachable at first and Lizzy is instantly convinced that he's stuck up. Still, between misunderstandings and confusions a solid and beautiful friendship develops between the two. Their friendship makes up a good part of the story until they finally get a chance to test their romantic feelings for each other. Which was a welcome change to the love stories that feel too intense too fast. I could really use a sequel to the story so that I can find out what happens next in Lizzy and Elliot's love story.
Friendship in general is a brilliant aspect of this book. Poppet and Nic are Lizzy's best friends. And they are such fun friends who made the story a much more enjoyable read. As much as you want a happy ending for Lizzy, you want it for her friends, too.

Like many others of my favourite chick lit books IT HAD TO BE YOU is set in London. This very urban and colorful setting holds so many possiblities. One of them is Lizzy working in PR. And the PR work was hilarious. Usually, I'm not very into reading so much about what characters are doing at work every day, but Lizzy's job experiences really gave the book an uplifting and warm spirit. Lizzy's work scenes were probably my favourite part of her story. I couldn't count how often I texted a friend to share the hilarious jokes. They are too good not to be shared!






4,5/5 ****/* IT HAD TO BE YOU - This has to be it, your next chick lit read! 

Lizzy Spellman is a character you want to meet. She's funny. She's lively. And I could relate to her really well. Lizzy's awkward and hilarious situations, and secondary characters with actual,  outstanding personalities make IT HAD TO BE YOU an especially memorable read.  I read  Ellie Adams' new book in one sitting while on vacation. 







"On the night of the 30th Birthday Party of Doom, Lizzy Spellman learnt three things.
Number one: Camera phones are the worst invention in the history of womankind.
Number two: She was never going to get another boyfriend again. After drinking herself to death on Kumala white whine, her body would lie undiscovered for weeks until the semi-hot postman with the Three Lions tattoo on his calf noticed the bad smell, or someone realized that she hadn't been on Facebook for a while.
Number three: It's bloody murder going for a wee in a Henry VIII costume." p.7







IT HAD TO BE YOU you might enjoy YOU HAD ME AT HELLO by Mhairi McFarlane, IT FELT LIKE A KISS by Sarra Manning and CHASING DAISY by Paige Toon. Three stories about girls finding Mr. Right even if they havn't been looking for him in the first place.








* Ellie Adams also writes as Jo Carnegie. Read more about her 2013 release PARTY GAMES here.

* Click here to read  an excerpt of IT HAD TO BE YOU.

* Want to read an interview with Jo Carnegie? You can find it here.

* For more information about Ellie Adams and her books visit www.churchminster.co.uk.

* Thanks to Corgi for sending me a proof copy of IT HAD TO BE YOU for review!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

This is something you've got to check out! Today I'm helping to reveal the cover for Jennifer Salvato Doktorski's new YA contemporary, out March 2015. Jen is one of my favourite authors and I'm so happy for her that THE SUMMER AFTER YOU AND ME got such a beautiful cover. I love it! What do you think? 




Here is the summary to go with it:


Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?



Where to find Jen Doktorski and her books: www.jendoktorski.com | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook
  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Huge Pre-Order Giveaway - Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

I've got a very special post for you today! Kimberley Griffiths Little is giving away a ton of fabulous goodies to you wonderful readers. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!


On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.





Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate. See below for full details on how to enter.


 
TO ENTER:

* You must preorder Forbidden through an online retailer or your local bookstore, then email a photo of your receipt to forbiddengiveaway@gmail.com.

* Fill out the rafflecopter below

* US/Canada Only

* Ends at midnight EST on November 3, 2014

* Optional entries: share the trailer on your own site or social media, follow Kimberley on twitter, and tweet about the giveaway (can be repeated daily for extra entries!)
 
* Winners will be announced and contacted November 4th (release day!)

* If the winner does not respond with their mailing address within one week, a new winner will be chosen.



PRIZES:

(1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER:

1. NEWLY RELEASED Kindle Fire HD6 Tablet with 6" HD Display, Wi-Fi, Front and Rear Cameras, 8 GB -- choose your color! (Black, Magenta, White, Citron, or Cobalt)
2. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson
3. CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White
4. Satin Belly Dance Skirt
5. Belly Dance 150-Coin Hip Scarf
6. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
7. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
8. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
9. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
10. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
11. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)



(1) SECOND PLACE WINNER:

1. GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson
2. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
3. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
4. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
5. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
6. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
7. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)









(13) RUNNERS-UP WINNERS:

1. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
2. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
3. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
4. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)










Good luck!



Preorder: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

About Forbidden: In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.



Follow Kimberley:
About Kimberley: Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. You can visit her online at www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com.



Share your thoughts on the trailer in the comments!