Monday, September 15, 2014

Cover Reveal + Happy Book Birthday: Something about Love by Elana Johnson

Hi guys! Today is the book birthday and cover reveal of Something about Love by Elana Johnson (who is one of the nicest authors ever and one of my favorites). This is actually her second YA contemporary romance, written in verse. This is also a standalone, so for those of you who are hesitant to start, yet again, another series but are looking out for contemp gems, this might just be the perfect read for you. :)

Book Description:

Publisher: AEJ Creative Works
Publication Date: September 15th 2014

Kindle Edition, 279 pages

High school senior Olivia Winging gave up her love of photography when she gave up her boyfriend, Trevor Youngblood, a year and a half ago. She broke things off with Trevor because her mom married his dad, and dating your step-brother? Creepy.

Livvy hasn’t been on good terms with her mother since, and one of her stipulations for staying at the Youngblood’s every other weekend is that Trevor can’t be there. When she gets nominated for the Junior Photography in Excellence award, Trevor insists she enter. She agrees—only if every photo in the portfolio can be of him. Knowing that Livvy can capture a person’s deepest secrets through her lens, Trevor hesitates before accepting the deal.

As Livvy gets behind the lens of her camera again, her love of photography is rekindled. Unfortunately, the time she spends with Trevor also re-ignites the old flame for him she’s kept smothered for so long.

In order for Livvy to finish her portfolio, she’ll have to face her feelings for Trevor as well as deal with the animosity between her and her mother. Livvy’s always been able to capture a person’s soul from behind the camera—but she’s not sure she likes it when the lens is suddenly focused on her. If she can’t find a way to forgive her mother and admit how she feels about Trevor, Livvy may end up losing more than just the photography contest. She could lose her heart.

Add this on Goodreads :)

Freebie Alert: Elevated, Elana’s first verse novel, will be FREE for five days in September as SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE releases! So get your copy of Elevated for free from Monday, September, 15 – Friday, September 19. Get it here!

Praise for Elana’s first verse novel, Elevated:

“The taut poetry keeps tension high. The plot is deftly paced, as past intrudes on present, like a photograph emerging in developing fluid.” ~San Francisco Book Review

“Every word Johnson writes carries an emotional heft that lifts readers up to the highest happiness and then sends them crashing down to the depths of despair. It is easy to flow from the first word to the last without ever putting down the book. Johnson shows outstanding talent in this form, and her words are beautiful, important and deeply felt.” ~The Deseret News



About Elana Johnson:

Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for free download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist.

Her self-published novels include two YA contemporary novels-in-verse, Elevated and Something About Love, as well as a YA/NA futuristic fantasy series, which includes Elemental Rush, Elemental Hunger, and Elemental Release.

School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.

Follow Elana: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Wattpad | League of Extraordinary Writers | WriteOnCon | Goodreads



Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Arcana by Jessica Leake + Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

Hi guys! For Waiting on Wednesday today, I'm featuring Arcana by Jessica Leake + Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe. Two books from different genres, with beautiful cover art.

Book Description:

Publisher: Talos
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
A romantic, suspenseful, genre-bending debut set in Edwardian London.

Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome—or dangerous. To help ease her entrance into society, Katherine’s family has elicited the assistance of the Earl of Thornewood, a friend and London’s most eligible bachelor, to be her constant companion at the endless fetes and balls. But upon her arrival in London, Katherine realizes there will be more to this season than just white gowns and husband hunting.

Through her late mother’s enchanted diary, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. Any misstep could mean ruin—and not just for her family name. The Order of the Eternal Sun is everywhere—hunting for those like her, able to feed on arcana with only a touch of the hand.

But society intrigue can be just as perilous as the Order. The machinations of the fashionable elite are a constant threat, and those who covet Katherine’s arcana, seeking the power of her birthright, could be hiding behind the fa├žade of every suitor—even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood.

With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?

Why I Chose This: Historical London, magic? This reminds me of Wicked by Jessica Spotswood. I can't wait to actually read this. I haven't read anything historical for some time now. I would really like to get back on track.

Book Description:

Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Publication Date: October 28, 2014

Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the panic attacks tormenting her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for its inhabitants and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help--but with each shift in the past, the very fabric of reality is unraveling, and soon there may be no Earth left to save

Why I Chose this Book: Megan Crewe is one of my favorite authors. She wrote the heartfelt dystopian series, Fallen World. I love the way she writes. Aside from that, I was intrigued with "time-manipulating experiments" and hope to read more about this.

If you happen to drop by, kindly leave your Waiting on Wednesday links below so I could visit you, too!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Compulsion by Martina Boone + Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

Hi guys! For Waiting on Wednesday today, I'm featuring Compulsion by Martina Boone + Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Aside from the gorgeous cover, the summaries are catchy.

Book Description:

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Beautiful Creatures meets The Body Finder in this spellbinding new trilogy.

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson had been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

Why I Chose This: This is the best "fusion-y" book ever. I love The Beautiful Creatures and am deeply intrigued by The Body Finder. I can't wait to actually read detailed reviews of this book. It sounds really, really, really, really promising. *grabby hands*

Book Description:

Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: March 26, 2015

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn't know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.

From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.

Why I Chose this Book: Ever since reading The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, I've been on the lookout for promising (oh yes, promising is the word of the day for me) fantasy reads. I like the color themes and of course, the amount of danger that the synopsis presents. In line with The Winner's Curse, there is also a master-slave hierarchy, which is bound to be interesting.

If you happen to drop by, kindly leave your Waiting on Wednesday links below so I could visit you, too!


Friday, August 08, 2014

Review: Wicked Games by Sean Olin

Book Description:

Hardcover, 343 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books

Wicked Games is the first book in a sexy thriller series where passion, lies, and revenge collide-perfect for fans of Simone Elkeles and Sara Shepard.

To all the locals in the small beach town of Dream Point, Carter and Lilah seem like the perfect It Couple-but their relationship is about to brutally unravel before everyone's eyes.

Carter has always been a good guy, and while Lilah has a troubled past, she's been a loyal girlfriend for the last four years. When smart, sexy Jules enters the picture at a senior-year bash, Carter succumbs to temptation. And when Lilah catches wind of his betrayal, she decides that Jules needs to pay.

By the end of the summer, the line between right and wrong will be blurred beyond recognition. Blood will be shed. Nothing in Dream Point will ever be the same.

This juicy summer read will keep readers turning pages until the shocking, nail-biting finale.

Reviewer's Copy: ARC

Source: Harper Collins (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

I admit: Wicked Games was addicting. It was hard to put down and at the times when I did, I felt that the intrigue, the dirty bits and the steam were pulling me back, sucking me back to the story. Though it was enjoyable, it was not the "ideal" read for me.

Dream Point was every bit as dreamy as I thought it would be when it came down to the ambiance, the sweet and hot rush of romance, the fun memories and all the sugary stuff. But it also has a darker side: jealousy, betrayal amidst shadows and waves and dirty secrets. I liked that the story revolved around the unraveling and solidifying of two separate relationships. It was the rise and fall of connection, emotional ties and romance as we know it.

Lilah and Carter's relationship was in shambles. There were down sides for the couple: Lilah was a bit paranoid and out of control while Carter had too little control. It was an emotional roller coaster for me. Seeing Lilah's heart get broken, her tears and eventually plotting and retaliating, was emotionally exhausting. I could feel her pain. On Carter's side, I could see how he tired he was and how the relationship he had with Lilah was damaging him. It was no longer healthy for both parties. He did not plan to get tangled up with Jules but in the presence of luscious, sexy Jules, his weakness got to him. This was the second contemporary book that I read with cheating in it. It was and always will be an uncomfortable topic for me. In Wicked Games, it was even more highlighted as it became the spark to the entire disaster. What I did not like about this was how Carter seemed so insensitive about what he did. Though with the whirlwind romance that he was experiencing with Jules, I couldn't blame him if his focus went to an entirely different way.

Individually and separately, I liked reading about Jules, Carter and Lilah. It reminded me of my youth, raging feelings and how the present felt like the most important thing in the world. Each one of them had their ups and downs. They were perfectly imperfect: the justified representation of a true human being. They made mistakes, they made special moments and they were 100% real.

Overall Wicked Games was an intense, steamy edge-of-your-seat read. This is perfect for people who enjoy reads (and TV shows) with drama, betrayal and evil plotting. It was a fast read for me. I felt like I was watching a show on TV, getting into the heads of the characters but not getting too emotionally attached.

Rating:


3 Cupids = Unrequited book love. Had certain expectations for the book. The book was flawed but I still enjoyed it.


Friday, August 01, 2014

Cover Reveal: Day Zero by Summer Lane

Hi guys! I'm happy to be a part of this cover reveal for DAY ZERO. The author is really nice. :) So if you're up for a post-apocalyptic read, check out the description below.

Book Description:

Title: Day Zero
Author: Summer Lane, author of the bestselling Collapse Series
Release Date: Fall 2014
Cover Artist: Arkadiusz Ostrycharz
Official Website: http://summerlaneauthor.com



Synopsis:

Elle is a survivor.
Ever since the collapse of modern society, she’s been living in the remains of downtown Hollywood, California, foraging for food and fighting for her life.
And then everything changes.
After Elle is forced out of her home, she heads north. What she finds are the remains of a juvenile delinquent camp, a group of unlikely comrades and the hope of a safe haven. Together, they journey toward the remains of civilization, facing starvation, imprisonment and death.
They are alone, but they are ready.
The end begins today. On Day Zero.

Day Zero is a Young Adult post-apocalyptic survival/adventure novel.

Add to your shelf on Goodreads!

About the Author

Summer Lane is the author of the national bestselling YA/NA Romantic Adventure novels of The Collapse Series. She is an experienced publicist, creative writing teacher and lover of all things feline. Summer owns WB Publishing, a digital publishing company devoted to releasing exciting survival and adventure stories. Summer is also the creator of the online magazine/blog, Writing Belle, and the developer of an upcoming children's creative writing program, The Art of Storytelling. She works as a journalist for Traffic Magazine, as well.

Summer lives in the Central Valley of California, where she spends her time writing, teaching, and writing some more. When she is not writing, she enjoys leisurely visits with friends at coffee shops, watching movies, reading, and visiting the beach or the mountains.

Follow Summer: Twitter | Website

So, what do you think of the cover or the book in general? :)


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

Book Description:

Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by HarperTeen

You take it for granted. Waking up. Going to school, talking to your friends. Watching a show on television or reading a book or going out to lunch.

You take for granted going to sleep at night, getting up the next day, and remembering everything that happened to you before you closed your eyes.

You live and you remember.

Me, I live and I forget.

But now—now I am remembering.

For all of her seventeen years, Molly feels like she’s missed bits and pieces of her life. Now, she’s figuring out why. Now, she’s remembering her own secrets. And in doing so, Molly uncovers the separate life she seems to have led…and the love that she can’t let go.

The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a suspenseful, evocative psychological mystery about uncovering the secrets of our pasts, facing the unknowns of our futures, and accepting our whole selves.

Reviewer's Copy: ARC

Source: Harper Collins (Thanks!!)

My Thoughts:

Getting into Molly's head was definitely interesting. Clipped line of thought, gaping holes in between consciousness, hazy memory, and specks of recalls kept me thoroughly engrossed and intrigued. Molly as a whole was complex. There were buried secrets in her being that were slowly being unraveled with each flashback. The flashbacks fit into the "gaping holes of Molly's mental calendar."

The narration and the way the author presented the story so effective, in conveying the emotional and mental state of Molly. The interrupted line of thought, Molly's hesitant, indecisive way of thinking and the doubt that always lingered in her mind nailed it. The writing style was raw, evocative and deeply poetic. I could feel wave after wave of emotions. Molly's reflections on life, loss, pain, time, and memory were colorful and to an extent life-changing. These are eye-openers to reality. I really enjoyed reading about her thoughts.

There were minor characters that seemed so integral to the story, for me. The love interest, Sayer, just stood out for me. He exuded a strong sense of mystery. Although he was genuine, kind and thoughtful; really, just a perfect gentleman, he has a way of acting that made me know he had secrets up his sleeve. Nevertheless, I adored him.

In the process of unraveling her own past and history, Molly was undoing herself and rebuilding her life with block after block of memory and analysis. The journey with Molly was a roller coaster ride. I felt confused, intrigued, horrified, nervous, sad, hopeless, hopeful, grateful, overjoyed, hypnotized, tired and exhausted. But in the end, it was all worth it. Although some questions were left unanswered, some questions sprung to life at the end, in my mind, I was satisfied with Molly's discovery.

The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a a raw and evocative psychological novel that will keep readers flipping through the pages until the end. I remember how I got goosebumps while flipping through various suspenseful scenes. It's scary how I got scared when I know that it was a contemporary (and that no one was gonna die or was dying in the book but still...) In truth, I felt that the book was engrossing and hypnotic - not only with its words and the beautiful writing, but also with the twists and turns that the author spun and the charming double romance. I strongly recommend this to readers who enjoy books with a contemporary feel and psychological reads.


Rating:


4 Cupids = Strong book love.
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!


Monday, July 07, 2014

Out and About: Stephanie Perkins in Manila + Giveaway: Signed Anna and the French Kiss!


Out and about is a feature here on Fragments of Life for events, book launches and movie adaptations.

For the fifth Out and about, I’ll talk about meeting the lively and lovely Stephanie Perkins, the author of the bestselling books Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and of course, the upcoming Isla and the Happily Ever After!

The Basics:

Who:

Photo Credit to the enthusiastic admin of Stephanie Perkins PH, Kayla from the Bookish Owl!

The author is: Stephanie Perkins!
The Organizer is: National BookStore.

What books:


When: July 6, 2014, two in the afternoon

Where: National Book Store, Glorietta 1

How aka details:

Photo credit to Kate from the Bookaholic Blurbs!

Throughout the event, I got to meet Stephanie Perkins and get to know her more as a writer and as a person. I learned the following:
  • According to Stephanie, you can write a book that feels realistically in a foreign country and never leave your home if you know how to read a book well and pull the correct information out of it. She was really lucky that she had the finances to fly to Paris and research for Anna.
  • While in Paris, she read every book she could find and just try to get that full cultural immersion via books.
  • Stephanie Perkins was a librarian. (And librarians are very, very good at research.) *winks*
  • Out of all the male characters, Crickett was the one that was most similar to Stephanie's husband, Jarrod. In addition to this, she wrote a little bit of Jarrod into all the male main characters. He is her inspiration, which is just so sweet and touching. She met her husband when she was 17 and she is currently living her happily ever after with him.
  • She has an upcoming book in 2015, currently found on her website as "Untitled Horror Novel." It is a contemporary horror - based on real life horror and not in supernatural/paranormal-influenced ones. Her inspiration for writing horror stories is Stephen King. Our lovely author actually really likes horror.
  • Anna and the French Kiss was a product of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It took Stephanie seven years to finish the book.
  • When it comes to writing, she writes quite slowly. If we would put together Anna, Lola and Isla, Stephanie would write 10 pages per day on an average. (Which is just fine as I have started her book and found it very well-written!)
  • Series vs companion books. Anna, Lola and Isla are considered not as companion books but as installments of a series. The reason behind this was that Stephanie adores her lovelies, aka characters - whether minor or important ones, so much. So she writes stories for all of them and they are not forgotten. She wants to focus on each one of them and explore their stories. Also, in every book, there is a plot, a conflict. She doesn't want the same character to keep suffering until the final book. Hence, the switch of focus to the other characters. (I feel that she wants all of her characters to have a happily ever after.

Me, Stephanie Perkins and signed books!



Because Kai's selfie-snapping skill is improving, I just had to post this. :)

Giveaway Alert: I got an extra copy of Anna and the French Kiss, for a lucky reader who wasn't able to go to the signing yesterday. So you guys know the drill. :) If you have questions/comments/reactions, please do leave them below! Thanks for sticking until the end of the post. :)

"You are one lucky reader." The prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NBS team continues to amaze me with their utter awesomeness! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the surprise ARC of Isla and the Happily Ever After! Thanks to National Book Store for the amazing event!


 
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