Cover Reveal: The Bureau of Time by Brett Michael Orr

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*rolls onto the platform*

HELLOOOO everyone! I hope you guys have been having a FANTASMIC week (Christmas IS less than a week away, for those who celebrate it…) And for those who don’t, no matter! I have something JUST AS EXCITING on the blog today.

DRUMROLL, PLEASE!

Today I will be presenting the official cover of THE BUREAU OF TIME by Brett Michael Orr, which debuts in early 2016. Ladies and gents, I am absolutely ECSTATIC to be apart of this because this book sounds it’s lathered with awesome-sauce all over!

Are you ready?

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Mikaela Everett – The Unquiet

22595271The Unquiet
Author: Mikaela Everett
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Get it here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo

Synopsis:
For most of her life, Lirael has been training to kill—and replace—a duplicate version of herself on a parallel Earth. She is the perfect sleeper-soldier. But she’s beginning to suspect she is not a good person.The two Earths are identical in almost every way. Two copies of every city, every building, even every person. But the people from the second Earth know something their duplicates do not—two versions of the same thing cannot exist. They—and their whole planet—are slowly disappearing. Lira has been trained mercilessly since childhood to learn everything she can about her duplicate, to be a ruthless sleeper-assassin who kills that other Lirael and steps seamlessly into her life.An intricate, literary stand-alone from an astonishing new voice, The Unquiet takes us deep inside the psyche of a strong teenage heroine struggling with what she has been raised to be and who she really is. Fans of eerily futuristic and beautifully crafted stories such as Never Let Me Go, Orphan Black, and Fringe will find themselves haunted by this unsettling debut.

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Edelweiss and Greenwillow books!

What would you do if your closest friend or family member was replaced with someone else – someone who looks and acts exactly like them – and you didn’t know?

That’s basically the premise of this story, and I thought it was awesome! The main character Lirael is one of those people who take the place of someone else – a sleeper. She’s been trained since she was little to kill her alternate and take her place. The first part of the book shows us the environment that the children like her grew up in: the cottage.

“The cottages are well outside the limits of any major cities, hidden deep inside the woods, and when we are old enough, we begin to train with knives, with bows and arrows, with rifles.”

The rundown is that there is an Earth I and Earth II. Each one has an alternate person of the other Earth, but Earth II is dying. Thus, they’re sending spies to infiltrate Earth I and do their dirty work. I love this aspect of the book! Parallel worlds are the bomb diggity, and science fiction is A+. However, other than the things I shared above, there was not a lot of explanations in it. How the did Earths form? What are the world leaders’ reactions to it? I’m not sure of the technology of the world, or the current political system and how things are run. This guy uses a typewriter as opposed to a computer and I’m not sure if he’s just really hipster, just likes it, or people use typewriters a lot.

Another thing is that Lirael is always mentioning a war. This was really vague and I gathered nothing from it. What war? It’s the third time you’ve mentioned this and I’m not sure what’s going on. Eventually I gathered that it’s between the two Earths and Earth II wants to take over Earth I, but it just really didn’t feel like a “war” throughout the book. As much potential as this concept has, the world was just riddled with too many holes to really care about what happened.

Honestly, the characters weren’t much better. See, the word I think of after reading the book is a sense of disconnection with it. Usually I emerse myself in the world of the book, but in this one I can’t. I read on because I cared about what would be the outcome of Lirael, but at the same time I didn’t really care for her as a person.

Throughout the book, Lirael is very cold. That’s not surprising, given the way the sleeper children grew up: loveless and dominated.

“We fitted in just right. We already bore the knowledge that all cottage children must have; that nobody loves us but ourselves.”

However, I didn’t really feel the growth from apathy to… whatever she became later on in the book. She becomes someone who realized that what the Earth II people were doing wrong. But also didn’t care enough to do more than save her own hide (and her loved ones). Even her alternate’s sister Cecily is supposed to be some cuddly child everyone loves, but I didn’t give a crap.

“I knew there was something about Cecily. Everyone falls under her spell somehow within just moments of meeting her.”

The whole book had a feeling of melancholy. Lirael’s life in the cottage was sad af. Her life as her alternate was a little better, but still filled with grief. It just made me sad reading it. The only good thing was the shining beacon of hope at the end. I really enjoyed the ending. But I would’ve enjoyed it more if I could have connected to the characters more.

The writing itself was quite enjoyable to read. The words flowed nicely and it never hindered me from reading. We hear a lot of Lirael’s internal thoughts, but it unfortunately never brought me closer to her. Because of my disconnect with the story in general, the cool action scenes and little twists never popped out for me. Also for someone who’s trained for ~6 years, I kind of expected more action.

Overall, this book had lots of potential for me but in the end I just felt disconnected. Maybe it’s one of those “not my cup of tea” situations, but something was really missing for me.

I will end with some questions that the book never addresses:

– Who is leading the different Earths??
– What differences do the Earths have in everything but people?
– What are the scientists doing during The Silence?
– Who is leading all these sleepers and organizing the missions?
Are you ever going to give me up?
Are you ever going to let me down?
– When did Lirael start feeling this way for _____?? (love interest)
– What does Cecily think of __________? (spoiler)
Are you going to run around and desert me?
– What kind of government is happening?
– What is the situation of the Earth in general???
– Who are the people who killed _______? (other characters)
– How didn’t ____ and _____ _____ when they __________ from the other _______?
– and it continues…

*Quotes are from an ARC copy and are subject to change upon publication.

Melissa Grey – The Girl At Midnight (The Girl At Midnight #1)

20345202The Girl At Midnight
Author: Melissa Grey
Series: The Girl At Midnight
Release Date: April 28, 2015

Synopsis:
For readers of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo’sShadow and Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

To be completely honest, I started this book with quite low expectations. Many of the reviews I’ve seen passing through have been like “Ohh this reminded me of _____” or “Wow I haven’t seen that before,” or something similar. Following on that trail of honesty is that this book is very, very enjoyable! Sure, the theme sometimes reminds me of Daughter of Smoke and Bone (quite a bit sometimes), but overall the book really manages to stand out on its own. 

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Sabaa Tahir – An Ember in the Ashes

20560137An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Get it here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo

Synopsis:
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

A lot of people really enjoyed this book, so I had to buy it the moment I could! The book was thoroughly enjoyable, but there were still problems I had with it. It definitely wasn’t perfect, but it was a worthwhile read that kept me reading until 2 am in the morning. On a Monday. During a school week. Yeah, not the greatest idea. But it just sucked me in so much. In today’s review we’re starting with a rant on what bothered me a lot in the book and ending it with why you should read it.

The rant is a tad spoiler-y, so skip ahead if you’re not big about the main characters getting yelled at.

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Blog Tour: Lola Carlyle’s 12-Step Romance by Danielle Younge-Ullman

Lola Carlyle’s 12-Step Romance
Author: Danielle Younge-Ullman
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Get it here: AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo Books

Synopsis:
Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend, Sydney, calls to rave about her stay at a posh Malibu rehab and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, she knows what she has to do. Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.

Lola arrives at Sunrise Rehab intent solely on finding Wade, saving him from himself, and—naturally—making him fall in love with her…only to discover she’s actually expected to be an addict. And get treatment. And talk about her issues with her parents, and with herself. Plus she has insane roommates, and an irritatingly attractive mentor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at every turn.

Oh, and Sydney? She’s gone.

Turns out, once her pride, her defenses, and her best friend are stripped away, Lola realizes she’s actually got a lot to overcome…if she can open her heart long enough to let it happen.

This is definitely a cute and light contemporary read that will make you sigh, giggle, and laugh out loud as you read the antics of Lola Carlyle. Albeit a tad unrealistic with a celebrity child faking her way into rehab (I guess stranger things have happened!), overall it leaves readers with some messages that Lola learned herself throughout the book.

“Maybe I’m crazy, but sometimes you get a gut feeling, a sense of a path opening up in front of you and the certainty that you need to take that path.
I have that sense now, and I see the path.

The path leads to rehab.”

I was thoroughly annoyed with Lola in the beginning of the book. She was pretty selfish, snobbish, and naive. However, as the book goes on, Lola realizes some things she didn’t know about herself. She might have been faking her alcoholism (which is how she got into rehab), but some therapy she went through really helped her in the end. Hey, nothing like a good time in rehab to find some self-discovery, am I right? Towards the end of the novel, my opinion of Lola definitely changed – for the better. She learns, she listens, and she changes into someone that I would have liked to be friends with.

The romance in the book is so sweet and definitely has swoony moments. Although Lola sets out in the beginning of the book to ensnare Wade (some teen celebrity), she starts wondering if it’s Wade she wants, or the Wade that she used to know… Meanwhile, some other guy is more compatible with her in every way. Their build-up from frenemies to grudging respect to something more was done really nicely and I really enjoyed it.

Although the beginning of the book made me a little irritated with Lola’s silly (and dumb) antics, the end made it up by showing a girl who discovers where she is in the scope of her life, and with her friends and family. Looking for a light, amusing, and in the end coming-of-age book that will leave you satisfied? Lola’s 12-Step Romance can fix that.

Danielle Younge-Ullman is a novelist, playwright and freelance writer. She studied English and Theater at  McGill University, then returned to her hometown of Toronto to work as professional actor for ten  years. Danielle’s short story, Reconciliation, was published in MODERN MORSELS—a McGraw-Hill  Anthology for young adults—in 2012, her one-act play, 7 Acts of Intercourse, debuted at Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival in 2005, and her adult novel, FALLING UNDER, was published by Penguin in 2008.  Danielle lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.
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YA Bound Book Tours

Rosamund Hodge – Crimson Bound

imgCrimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Release Date: May 5, 2015

Synopsis:
When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

(This is a standalone novel, not part of the Cruel Beauty Universe.)

Remember that one Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream song?
“In the dark side of the gardens, there’s so much you will find.
The only thing you’ll have to lose is a little of your mind.”
[cue screaming]

Basically the song describes this book except you replace “gardens” with “forest.” Because the Great Forest in this book? Hella creepy, and hella awesome.

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Maria Dahvana Headley – Magonia

21393526Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Release Date: April 28, 2015

Synopsis:
Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in this fantasy about a girl caught between two worlds…two races…and two destinies.Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

I’m not sure why this is compared to The Fault in Our Stars. In my opinion, nothing compares to it. But in all honesty, just because you have a character about to die or have an illness doesn’t mean that you can slap John Green’s masterpiece on the blurb. In fact, that blurb was a really big turn off, but I was really interested in Magonia itself. I really liked the concept and the message the author was trying to get at in the book, but I didn’t enjoy the execution as much. I just feel like there was something… missing. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great book!

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Jen Brooks – In A World Just Right

24722498In A World Just Right
Author: Jen Brooks
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Get it here: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Kobo

Synopsis:
Imagination takes on new meaning for a uniquely talented teen in this debut novel that is a breathtaking blend of contemporary, fantasy, and romance.Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck—or fate—would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a ladies’ man, or simply a better version of himself. That’s the world he’s been escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he doesn’t have in real life: friends, a place of honor on the track team, passing grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend.But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real Kylie Simms, everything unravels. The real Kylie actually notices Jonathan…and begins obsessing over him. The fantasy version of Kylie struggles to love Jonathan as she was created to do, and the consequences are disastrous. As his worlds collide, Jonathan must confront the truth of his power and figure out where he actually belongs—before he loses both Kylies forever.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Edelweiss and Simon & Schuster Books!

The idea of parallel universes is always one that I enjoy reading about, and this one seemed like a new take on it! It’s definitely an important aspect of the story, but not much is explained in regards to the actual parallel universes. Instead, the book focuses more on Jonathan’s character and the relationship developments with the people around him.

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Tommy Wallach – We All Looked Up

18392459We All Looked Up
Author: Tommy Wallach
Release Date: March 24, 2015

Synopsis:
Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:
The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever.
But then we all looked up and everything changed.They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we’d been, something that would last even after the end.Two months to really live.

This book is about a karass. (Straight from Urbandictionary):

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Kaitlyn Davis – Gathering Frost (Once Upon A Curse #1)

24402708Gathering Frost
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Series: Once Upon A Curse #1
Release Date: February 17, 2015

Synopsis:
Will his kiss be enough to revive her frozen heart?Once Upon A Time meets La Femme Nikita in GATHERING FROST, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.Jade was only a little girl when the earthquake struck. Before her eyes, half of New York City disappeared, replaced by a village that seemed torn out of a storybook. Horses and carriages. Cobblestone streets. A towering castle. And, above all, a queen with the magical ability to strip emotions away.Ten years later and Jade has forgotten what it is to feel, to care…even to love. Working as a member of the queen’s guard, she spends most of her time on the city wall staring at the crumbling skyscrapers of old New York. But everything changes when the queen’s runaway son, Prince Asher, returns. Jade is tasked with an unusual mission–to let the Prince capture her, to make him trust her, and then to betray his secrets to the crown. In return, she’ll earn her freedom. But life outside the queen’s realm is more than Jade bargained for. Under Asher’s relentless taunts, her blood begins to boil. Under his piercing gaze, her heart begins to flutter. And the more her icy soul begins to thaw, the more Jade comes to question everything she’s ever known–and, more importantly, whose side she’s really on.

This was certainly a cool book. I mean, icy that it really made an impression on me. These puns are really snow joke guys. Alright, alright, I’ll chill!

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