BLOG TOUR: Twisted Sisters – Kimber Leigh Wheaton

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Twisted Sisters – Kimber Leigh Wheaton

26126404While playing with a spirit board, two sorority sisters summon the vindictive spirits of three women brutally murdered by a psychopath. Join Logan, Kacie, and the rest of the Orion Circle as they delve into the disturbing events of the past to find the key to freeing the spirits.

But this isn’t any ordinary haunting. These ghosts were banished before, and now they have returned more powerful than anyone could have imagined. Anger breeds hatred and hatred leads to darkness—these phantoms are on the verge of losing their last spark of humanity and becoming completely lost to the shadows.

Can Logan and Kacie convince the tortured souls to embrace the light and move on, or will the spirits succumb to the hypnotic pull of evil, leading to an eternity of torment and suffering?

Release Date: October 25th, 2015

Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for hosting this blog tour!

Twisted Sisters is the sequel to Tortured Souls, but can be read as a standalone. I read both books back-to-back to get the full experience, but enough backstory is given that you don’t feel like you’re missing anything.

I don’t know what I was expecting going into these books, but I have to say, while they were decent reads, I didn’t love them.

What I liked:

-the plot: who doesn’t love a Ouija board experiment gone wrong? Books like this are the reason I’m both intrigued and terrified of Ouija boards.

-the plot of Tortured Souls reminded me a lot of Libba Bray’s The Diviners, except in a contemporary setting (i.e. not set in the twenties). The Diviners was a lot more grisly when it came to describing the victims, so this felt more like a younger YA version. I compared the way I felt about the ghostly scenes in this book to the way I felt about the ghostly scenes in Asylum – creepy, but not looking-over-my-shoulder-unable-to-sleep-wait-what-was-that-noise creepy.

Twisted Sisters introduces a new character named Blake (who was mentioned at the end of Tortured Souls). He’s a werewolf (this is not a spoiler) so he’s all charming and smooth-talking. I actually wouldn’t have minded at all if the book revolved around Blake and the other new character, Raven.

What I didn’t like:

-the rest of the characters. I’m sorry, but Kacie was so…bland. For someone with her powers, she didn’t jump off the page for me, and it made it hard for me to focus. I also didn’t like Logan (sorry) because he came off as a bit of a tool, especially in Twisted Sisters. I understood that he was frustrated by people messing with paranormal stuff, but he was so aggressive when questioning the sorority sisters. Like, calm down, bro, they haven’t been training for this since they were children, of course they didn’t know what was going to happen!

-I also found Kacie/Logan’s romance to be quite tiresome. It wasn’t quite insta-love, but they spent pages mooning after each other/making out at inappropriate times/cuddling, etc.

-normally I’m a big fan of diverse dialogue tags (it can be boring to just use “said” all the time), but the word “murmur” was used so many times, it felt like the characters were unable to speak at a normal volume.

I’m going to sound old and crabby when I say this, but I think this is the type of book that I would have loved ten years ago (when I was closer to Kacie’s age!). If I had read it at the same time as I read, let’s say, Twilight, heck yeah, I’d have been all over it. But after ten years of reading YA paranormal/supernatural/urban fantasy novels, a book has to be really unique or gorgeously written for me to love it.

That being said, I think a lot of people will enjoy this series, especially if they haven’t read extensively from the paranormal genre.

Rating:

3 interrobangs


GIVEAWAY

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Make sure you check out the rest of the blogs this week!

February 15th
Livre It To Me
VAMPYRELADYS FAVE BOOKS, REVIEWS & OTHER LOVES
Amethyst Bookwyrm
Smada’s Book Smack

February 16th
Jasmine Walt
Books Can Take You There
Lore Lush Books
Only True Magic
Us Girls & A Book

February 17th
Crazy Beautiful Reads
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
The Voluptuous Book Diva
bellsiebooks (that’s me!)

February 18th
Hey, It Was Free!
Enjoying life a day at a time
The Rest Is Still Unwritten
Bookworm for Kids
Don’t Judge, Read

February 19th
The Phantom Paragrapher
Cutting Muse Blog Review
ilovebooksandstuffblog
100 Pages a Day

February 20th
5 Girls Book Reviews
Book-o-Craze
Intoxicated by Books

End-of-the-Year Survey – 2015

I enjoy filling out surveys, and I (obviously) love books, so this end-of-the-year survey hosted by Jamie (Perpetual Page Turner) is right up my alley! Read on for my answers :)

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Number Of Books You Read: 111 + about 10 manuscripts during my internship (Jan-April)
Number of Re-Reads: 18
Genre You Read The Most From: probably urban fantasy (YA is NOT a category!)

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1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
It’s a cross between Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertali) and Every Word (Ellie Marney).

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Bane Chronicles. I mean, I wasn’t really surprised because I haven’t liked the last four Cassandra Clare books I’ve read, but Magnus was always my favourite character.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
When Everything Feels Like the Movies (Raziel Reid) – it got a lot of buzz when it was chosen as one of the finalists for Canada Reads, and that in itself was surprising (in a good way!).

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I’m going to say Every Breath a) because I recommend it on pretty much a monthly basis (technically I read it in 2014, but it was literally the last book I read – I finished it on December 31!) and b) my sister read it and become just as obsessed!

5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Best series started: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor)
Best sequel: Every Word (Ellie Marney)
Best series ender: The Wondrous and the Wicked (Page Morgan)

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
Susin Nielsen. I read literally all her books (including one that’s not even published yet!) this year.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Unbearable Lightness – Portia de Rossi

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Every Move (Ellie Marney). I could not move while reading it.

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Cinder (Marissa Meyer) because I haven’t picked up the rest of the series yet, and I’ll probably have to re-read it before I continue.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath – Ishbelle Bee

11. Most memorable character of 2015?
Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
The Book Thief (Markus Zusack) is gorgeous, but it was a re-read. “New” book that was beautifully written: Magonia (Maria Dahvana Headley)

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
Soulless – Gail Carriger. It has so many things I love in it!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

I have seen the aftermath of death, the incredible mechanism of the body laid bare, and I know now that each person is a kind of miracle. A spark nestles like a bird inside our chests, so deep that we can’t find where it lives, but it is everything. It’s what makes us dream and think and feel and laugh and sing. And it is a mystery, and it is mundane, and, above all, it is fragile. Any moment could be our last. – Rachel Watts, Every Word

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
The shortest (not including picture books or comics) was The Little Prince with 98 pages and the longest was the Complete Blooming Goddess Trilogy (Tallulah Darling) with 1080 pages total (it was all one ebook, so if I was counting individual books, it would be Outlander with 850 pages).

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
The Hollow Boy – Jonathan Stroud. THAT ENDING. I NEED THE NEXT ONE LIKE NOW.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Wattscroft forever!!! Ellie Marney is in charge of writing all the kissing scenes forever.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Flavia and Dogger from Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket!)

21. Best Book You Read In 2015That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
My sister told me repeatedly to read a Gail Carriger novel and I’m SO GLAD I read Soulless (and the sequel, Changeless!).

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Technically he’s from the end of 2014, but who doesn’t love James Mycroft??

23. Best 2015 debut you read?
Mad Miss Mimic – Sarah Henstra

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
I flat out sobbed at the end of The Wondrous and the Wicked (Page Morgan).

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Not published in 2015, but I really enjoyed Knightly and Son – Rohan Gavin

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
In terms of being sad, I’d say Why We Broke Up, but if you’re talking about one that beat me down until I finished it, I’d say Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
Lair of Dreams – Libba Bray

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Anne & Henry – Dawn Ius. I had such high hopes for it because it had such a great concept, but the characters infuriated me.

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1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?
This year was the first year I really paid attention to book blogs and really worked on my own reviews. Some of my favourite blogs include: Pop! Goes the Reader, The Broke and the Bookish, A Reader of FictionsSnuggly Oranges, Cuddlebuggery, and, of course Perpetual Page Turner, plus a whole lot more! I also have to shout out to all the blogs I follow/who follow me here :)

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?
Probably my Simon vs review or my extensive review for Every Breath/Every Word.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
The post with the most comments was my Top Ten Books of 2015 from a few weeks ago.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I helped out at OLA which was a really interesting experience, but I also got to meet Alan Bradley at Random House which was really cool (he’s such an adorable old man!).

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?
Interning at Tundra was definitely a highlight and I got to work on their blog, which was lots of fun!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Finding time to write the reviews in between writing for Mind the Gap/idobi!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Every Word blog tour (most views on one particular day); overall, it was my Blurryface track-by-track review (in terms of views) and top 10 books of 2015 (in terms of comments).

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I’m quite proud of my UK in YA TTT!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Apart from all the blogs I mentioned earlier, I’ve also really enjoyed Book Riot and the read-iculously cheap Book Outlet.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I set 100 books as my Goodreads challenge and surpassed that goal!

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) is going to be the first book I read in 2016.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
I don’t even know if it will come out in 2016, but I’m salivating for the next Lockwood and Co (Jonathan Stroud) book.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
The Love That Split The World – Emily Henry. It’s been getting a lot of hype and it was the first book to come to mind.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
I’m really hoping that Every Move will be published in North America next year so I can complete my collection!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
I’m setting a goal for 120 books, plus one of my resolutions is to read more classics. And my sister and I (and possibly our nine year old niece) are going to do a full Harry Potter re-read which is really exciting.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
The two 2016 books I’ve read so far have been The Serpent King (Jeff Zentner) and Vikki VanSickle’s If I Had a Gryphon (illustrated by Cale Atkinson), both of which I recommend (and will have reviews up in the next couple of months!).

More Like NaNo-NoGo

I’ve failed. Failed to complete NaNoWriMo, even though you’d think I’d have it under control, it being my third year and all (you can read my success stories here and here).

Alas, it was not meant to be.

I was determined to finish a manuscript, and I got stuck and couldn’t get unstuck. Partly because I know next-to-nothing about British law enforcement and sports, and guess what my WIP is about? BRITISH LAW ENFORCEMENT AND SPORTS. So I was constantly pausing to research, and therefore only hit 29,000 words. My other problem is that I like talking about the characters, but I sometimes ignore the plot. My bad.

Plus I wrote 13654320 other things for this blog and Mind the Gap, and spent the rest of my time job-hunting, grumbling about job-hunting, decorating for Christmas, sleeping, and, I don’t know, probably eating.

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Instead of dwelling on my failure, I’m using this as a learning experience and I know that I will have to better manage my time next year. And, as a positive, I’ll be home for half of December, so I can work on my manuscript then (hopefully)!

I do think, however, that I wrote 50,000 words this month anyway (just not in my WIP!). The following is a list of posts I published in November:

ON THIS BLOG:

Library of Souls review
5 Seconds of Summer mini-review
TTT: Book to Movie Adaptations
Book Blitz: Sugar Skulls
Anne & Henry review
Blog Tour: Every Word
#TheShelfieHop
The Real Neat Blog Award
Andrew McMahon concert review
The Universe Versus Alex Woods review
A Thousand Nights review

ON MIND THE GAP:

PVRIS
WCW: Lynn Gunn
Every series review
Why We Love Neil Gaiman
Orphan Black season one review
Tea-riffic Recommendations
Why We Love Andrew McMahon
#NowPlaying
NaNoWriMo (ironically, I didn’t follow my own advice!)
Soulless review
Why We Love Harry Potter
Community season five review
Peanuts
Holiday Music
Don Broco

ON IDOBI.COM:

Friday Night Lites review

And here’s a list of upcoming posts (written but not yet published) that I’ve been working on, since I’m going to London next week and won’t be home to write them! You can click the links now, but they won’t be live until the date listed in parentheses.

ON THIS BLOG:

TTT: Top Ten Books of 2015 (Dec 15)

ON MIND THE GAP:

Victor Frankenstein review (Dec 2)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Dec 4)
All I Want For Christmas (Dec 5)
My Favourite Christmas/Holiday Episodes (Dec 8)
London (Dec 10)
Holiday Movies (Dec 12)
All Time Low (Dec 14)
WCW: Emma Stone (Dec 16)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone/Days of Blood and Starlight review (Dec 18)
Celebrating the Holidays (Dec 19)
How I Met Your Mother season nine (Dec 22)
Best of 2015 (Dec 26)

You could also maybe sign up for the Mind the Gap newsletter (on our homepage), so that you can keep up with these posts every week (but only if you want to!).

ON IDOBI.COM:

My Christmas Letter to All Time Low/You Me At Six
Un(Covered): Christmas Time is Here
Un(Covered): Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

For anyone who participated in NaNoWriMo, how did it go? And for the rest of you: how was your November?

#TheShelfieHop

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Hello everyone!

Thanks so much to Crystal from Bookiemoji and Kristen from My Friends Are Fiction for putting this blog hop together!

To be honest, I kinda forgot #TheShelfieHop was happening today because I was distracted with putting together my Every Word playlist. So my photos are a little blurry, partially because the lighting in my room is terrible (a light bulb burned out months ago and I haven’t gotten around to changing it), but also because I did it last minute! I apologize!


IMAG2609 This is my oldest bookshelf which is why it’s packed!The very top has a mishmash of books that didn’t fit anywhere else; the top shelf is all “adult”; the second shelf is adult and young adult; the third shelf is picture books and more YA; the fourth shelf (which you can’t really see) is middle grade; and the un-pictured bottom shelf is middle grade and some comics (mostly my Calvin and Hobbes books!).


IMAG2610These shelves are beside my desk. They include some of my favourite childhood series (Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events), a stack of movies-adapted-from-books (which helped me make up this list), and then the top are tall books that don’t fit anywhere else, even though I no longer love Twilight or the Inheritance series.


IMAG2608A lot of these books were bought during the course of my English/French degree (hence the row of Oxford classics!), but the top also includes my Melissa Marr collection, and a couple of music-related books.

Not to mention my shot glasses from various whisky distilleries :)


IMAG2606The latest addition to my shelves, I can’t stand far enough away to get the full thing in one shot! It was originally my “Favourites” bookshelf, but the lower half sort of devolved into “books that needed a home/coffee tables books for when I eventually own a coffee table”. Some favourite authors on these shelves include: Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Stroud, Ellie Marney, and Gail Carson Levine.

This photo also features my Snoopy bedsheet!


So those are my personal shelves! There’s also a shelf above my bed that includes a set of L.M. Montgomery books, not to mention my Libba Bray books in the place of honour beside my bed.

I’d really like to rearrange my shelves, but I’m not sure how to best utilize the space I have. I’m hoping visiting the other blogs will inspire me!


Thanks for visiting and make sure you visit everyone else!

BLOG TOUR: Every Word – Ellie Marney

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Hello everyone and welcome to the Every Word blog tour!! I’m really excited to be kicking this tour off – I’ve been obsessed with the Every series since I picked up Every Breath last year during my internship at Tundra!

If there’s one thing I love just as much as amazing YA books, it’s music. I spend hours maintaining my collection so, even though Ellie has made some excellent playlists of her own, I’ve put together an Every Word playlist for your enjoyment.

The songs are in alphabetical order, but scroll down to see the relevant lyric from each song that I associated with the book. Most of the songs are more Wattscroft-y than anything else, but I’ve made a note if I picture the song as the soundtrack for a certain scene.

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It’s not really a dance-y playlist, but I have an addiction to Sherlock gifs.

Let me know in the comments if you agree/disagree with any of my choices, or if there’s another song that you associate with the books! And you can follow me on Spotify too, if you want :)

Bonus songs:

Safer to Hate Her – You Me At Six

I couldn’t find it on Spotify, but to me, this is how Mycroft’s mind works when it comes to Rachel. Important lyrics: “nobody knows what it’s like to be one of a kind”.

Theme song for Every BreathRunning from Lions – All Time Low

Admittedly, part of why I picked this song was for the title, but there’s something desperate about the lyrics that reminds me of Mycroft, especially in the first book.

Theme song for Every Move: Miles Away – The Maine

If I was making a movie for the series’ conclusion, this would be the song over the opening credits: it speaks to Rachel’s state of mind (“in my mind, I’m miles away”), and hints at the location for that book (no spoilers!).

You can click here to read my review of the books. And make sure you visit all the other blogs on the tour! I can’t wait to see what everyone else does!

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2015
Samantha at Bellsie Books (that’s me!)
Mandy C. at Forever Young Adult
Eri at Airy Reads
Heather at Books and Quilts
Nicole at Reading Lark

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2015
Shelly at Books and Writing
Michelle at Michelle & Leslie’s Book Picks
Jen at The Starry-Eyed Revue
Amanda at Gun in Act One

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2015
Gillian at Writer of Wrongs
Shilpa at sukasareads.com
Sabrina at Hiver et Café
Adrienne at Books and Bassets

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2015
Michelle at FAB BOOK REVIEWS
Marie at Ramblings of a Daydreamer
Liz at Midnight Bloom Reads
Amy at Tripping Over Books
Rachel at The Readers Den

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2015
Lauren at Love is not a triangle
Kristen at My Friends Are Fiction
Morgan at Gone with the Words
Leanne at Author Leanne Dyck


A lyrical explanation (an asterisk denotes an Australian band!):

Accident Without Emergency – Biffy Clyro [when Mycroft shows up to save Rachel]
Girl I should have told you but I’ve never been brave / Standing side by side, we’ll take this whole place

Can You Feel My Heart – Bring Me the Horizon
I’m scared to get close and I hate being alone. / I long for that feeling to not feel at all. / The higher I get, the lower I’ll sink. / I can’t drown my demons, they know how to swim.

Come Home – Tonight Alive* [when Rachel realizes Mycroft has left]
And if you can’t stay / I’ll wait for the day / When you can be all mine / Stay up with you all night / So don’t run away / I am your light, I will guide you home

Crash – You Me At Six [after Rachel’s torture scene]
I’ve said this all before, / But opposites attract. / We try and run away, / But end up running back.

Far Too Young to Die – Panic! at the Disco [while kidnapped]
Well I never really thought that you’d come tonight / While the crown hangs heavy on either side / Give me one last kiss while we’re far too young to die

A Fire On a Hill – Hands Like Houses* [when they figure out where the Folio is]
It starts with a spark, a breath and a moment of still

Follow You – Bring Me the Horizon [Rachel’s flight to London]
Come sink into me and let me breathe you in / I’ll be your gravity, you be my oxygen / So dig two graves cause when you die / I swear I’ll be leaving by your side

Heart & Desire – Mallory Knox [standing in front of Mycroft’s family home]
If I could light up the world for you I’d show you the things you’d always dreamed / About trust & time & heart & love & honesty

Hold On – Twin Atlantic [the flight back home]
Hold on, if you can, be strong.

In the Rearview – The Academy Is… 
There’s blood on the freeway / Painting a poisoned past / Kissed with a hard rain washed away

Jet Black Heart – 5 Seconds of Summer*
But these chemicals moving between us / Are the reason to start again

Lead Me Out of the Dark – Crown the Empire [when Mycroft finally opens up]
The only way out of here is the way I’ve avoided for all my life. / There’s so many things I wanna say, / but there’s too many things still in the way. / I’m lost, please help me find my place.

Limousine – Brand New [at the scene of the car crash]
Well I love you so much, but do me a favor baby, don’t reply. / Because I can dish it out, but I can’t take it.

No One Will Ever Get Hurt – A Rocket to the Moon 
Well, I don’t know what’s wrong with me / You need somebody and I need some growing up

One Way Street – Bruce Springsteen
We’re walkin’ on the wildside, runnin’ down a one way street

Saved – Deaf Havana [end credits]
You came from a good home, and a family that helped you through. / Forever in the shadow of a brother you felt you could never live up to. / And I watched you tailor yourself to satisfy the mood, / I had you figured out, yeah, I had you figured out.

Settle Down – The 1975 [any time there’s a make out scene]
For crying out loud, settle down! / You know I can’t be found with you / We get back to my house / Your hands, my mouth / Now I just stop myself around you.

So Long Soldier – All Time Low
A little boy from just outside of London / Took a fated trip across the ocean

Sweep the Leg – Family Force 5 [Rachel’s roller derby match]
You can’t stop me. / You can’t drop me. / You can’t block me. / You can’t break me. / You can’t shake me. / Don’t make me.

Walk On – U2
And love is not the easy thing / The only baggage you can bring / Is all that you can’t leave behind

ARC Reviews – May 2015

This month, I’ve read four ARCs – one of which was for a blog tour – and just started a fifth. Here’s a round-up of what I read! (please click the titles for a full review)

  • Sing for Me – Gracie Madison: “I have complicated feelings about this book. It wasn’t bad per se, I just didn’t really enjoy it. I read the whole thing, though admittedly I started skimming at about 30%.” (2 interrobangs)
  • The Rearranged Life – Annika Sharma: “This book read like a cross between Bend it Like Beckham and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and it was definitely interesting to read the descriptions and think about the differences between cultures…a cute summer read.” (3.5 interrobangs)
  • The Blooming Goddess Trilogy – Tellulah Darling: “I really enjoyed this series: it was fluffy at times but still had a strong plot. The writing was funny and compelling, and if you like contemporary takes on Greek mythology, you’ll love Sophie’s world.” (4.5 interrobangs)
  • Beyond Clueless – Linas Alsenas: “I’m sure there’s an audience for it, but this is one of those rare cases where I feel too old to read this and I think it would be better received by readers aged 12-14.” (2 interobangs)

I just started reading Devil’s Daughter and it’s interesting so far – hopefully I’ll have a review for it up next week!

What ARCs have you read this month? Anything I should look forward to?

BLOG TOUR: The Rearranged Life – Annika Sharma

Review tour

24356955Nithya, a vivacious, intelligent and driven college senior has always known what she has wanted: a successful career in medicine and the love of her family. She’s even come to terms with the idea of an arranged marriage, a tradition her conservative Indian family has held up for thousands of years.

When a night of partying puts her on a collision course with danger, Nithya’s entire life changes.

Enter James St. Clair, the smart, challenging and heartbreakingly handsome American.

As Nithya and James fall in love, she questions the future she and her parents have always planned. Now, Nithya has a choice to make: become a doctor and a good Indian bride, or step away from her family and centuries of culture to forge her own path.

The decision she comes to takes her on a journey that transforms how she sees her future, her relationships with loved ones, and how she learns to put herself back together when even her best-laid plans fall apart.

Release Date: May 15th, 2015

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Thank you to NetGalley/Curiosity Quills for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

Thank you especially to Curiosity Quills for reaching out to me about taking part in the blog tour! Make sure you check out the full list of participating blogs!

What I liked:

-the Indian protagonist. Heck yeah, diversity!

-the descriptions of Indian culture. Nithya attends a Indian wedding near the beginning of the book, and it was cool to read about all the traditions involved. Granted, I was just picturing the wedding in Bend it Like Beckham the entire time, but still! It was well written and described enough that you could visualize what was going on.

-the characters (for the most part). While Nithya occasionally got on my nerves (see what I didn’t like below), the supporting cast was great: Sophia and Luca, James (and his family), even Nithya’s parents and younger sister.

-this quote (I relate to it so much, especially at this point in my life):

“Life is a blank slate. It can be geared toward one goal, with a narrow focus and tunnel vision, and then the world steps in. It can hit you like a brick wall or it can touch you like  feather, but from that moment, you are never the same[…]But for now, every time I consider a path, whether it is old or new, a new road sprouts up from the one I am traveling on. They are parallel, perpendicular, loopy, and zigzaggy, and hilly, but they are taking me where I need to go. Where I’m meant to be.”

-there were quite a few relatable moments throughout the story, in terms of the pressure you feel in school, and the hopeless feeling when your dreams fall through (which is why the above quote resonated with me so much)

What I didn’t like:

-every so often, Nithya annoyed me. She was very realistic and relatable, but, being human, she also had her flaws. While it made her relationship with James more “real” (i.e. not perfect), it was also grating at times.

-I ended up backing their relationship, but I honestly didn’t feel it at first. I actually thought Nithya had more chemistry with the Indian guy, Nishanth, but I could tell which direction that was going in.

Sidenote: I assumed that, since the book was NA (new adult) and not YA (young adult), it would avoid a love triangle. I was wrong. It apparently happens even in NA (I don’t have anything against love triangles, per se, I just figured once your characters hit 20+ it stopped being a thing).

-the synopsis makes it seem like Nithya gets into all sorts of danger (specifically the line “When a night of partying puts her on a collision course with danger, Nithya’s entire life changes“) but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Please understand, I’m not belittling her experience or taking away from the seriousness of what happened to her, but when you say “collision course with danger”, I automatically think drugs/kidnapping/ransom.

This book read like a cross between Bend it Like Beckham and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and it was definitely interesting to read the descriptions and think about the differences between cultures. I’ll admit that I was pretty grumpy last week so maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I was in a better frame of mind, but it was still a cute summer read.

Rating:

3 interrobangs

3.5 interrobangs

To celebrate, Annika Sharma is hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway in which one lucky person will win a $25 Starbucks Gift Card, in honor of characters Nithya and James’ first date! Enter for a chance to win:

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About The Author:

Annika SharmaAnnika Sharma was born in India and moved to the United States (Pennsylvania!) when she was a baby. Annika was a daydreamer from day one, always coming up with stories and games of pretend that seemed real. She was a serious journal-writer from fifth grade to college and wrote dramatic scenes for stories often, inspired by soap operas she watched in summers off from school.

Eventually, when the time for college came around, Annika’s parents encouraged her to pursue journalism. Convinced she couldn’t make a living from writing, Annika disagreed. After five years, two degrees, two minors, working with children, being a dancer teacher, and creating a two-and-a-half page resume in college that had interests so all-over-the-place that even she couldn’t make sense of it, Annika finally decided her parents were right. Writing was where her heart was, all along.

In the month before graduate school, the idea Annika had in mind for years finally poured out in the form of the novel, The Rearranged Life. Annika began editing in earnest after she finished her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education, landing Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group as an agent. Three months later, she had a book deal with Curiosity Quills.

In her spare time, Annika loves spending time with her family and friends, often indulging in the three S’s: Starbucks, shopping and superhero movies. As a chocolate lover and general all-around vegetarian foodie, Annika also adores cooking.

Find Annika Sharma Online:
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