ARC REVIEW: It’s A Wonderful Death by Sara J. Schmitt

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It’s A Wonderful Death

Sarah J Schmitt

Expected publication: October 6th 2015 by Sky Pony Press

YA > Fantasy | Paranormal

 

 

 

4 ★★★★

 

 

Purchase links:

 Amazon | B&N 

 

 

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Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. The tribunal presents her with two options: she can remain in the lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires, or she can replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will result in a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no-brainer. She’ll take a walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?

But with each changing moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel, until this self-proclaimed queen bee is a social pariah. She begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast. Too quickly, RJ finds herself back in limbo, her time on Earth once again up for debate.

RJ is a snarky, unapologetic, almost unredeemable, very real girl. Her story is funny and moving, and teens will easily connect with her plight. Prepare to meet the Grim Reaper, who’s cuter than you’d expect; Hawaiian shirt–wearing Death Himself; Saint Peter (who likes to play Cornhole); and Al, the handler for the three-headed hound that guards the gates of Hell. This cast of characters accompanies RJ through her time in the afterlife and will do their best to gently shove her in the right direction.

 

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REVIEW:

 
 

“Don‘t discount your importance to the world. Each moment of your life has a purpose, even the ones you think don’t matter. And don’t forget to make the unexpected choice. You never know how that one moment can transform your life”

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Wow! Reading It’s a Wonderful Death is such an adventure! And adventure that I know I’ll remember forever. There’s a lot in this book that I didn’t expect but that turned out to be such a good thing. This better have a sequel because I’m so not ready to let go yet.

I’m not even gonna bother doing a recap because I admit, I cant. The blurb pretty much tell you about the gist anyway. What it didn’t tell you though is that this novel is crazy. Crazy good! Crazy brilliant! Crazy memorable. RJ is such a riot. I’m no mean girl but for some reason, I see myself in her. Maybe because I also don’t know when to shut up and I like asking ALLLL of the questions. You know what’s the best about RJ? She was not made to be LIKED (HELLO, MEAN GIRL, REMEMBER?) And yet, you can’t help but admire her. She’s funny, a little annoying and a lot real. This girl has made a gazillion mistakes but her self growth is just enormous. RJ is pretty much 50% of the teenagers nowadays. She’s the kind of character you’ll hate to love.

The plot of IAWD reminded me so much of The Catastrophic History of You and Me but with less romance. I don’t think it has any at all. At least, not the romantic kind. ANYWAY, Sarah J. Schmitt is just…. asdfghjkl, I just really want to visit her mind. I don’t even know how she came up with such wonderful and vibrant characters but they’re all winners! Everyone is fleshed out even though they only appeared for like, two pages! If there’s one thing I wish (okay there’s two) its these: a sequel and more romance. I already picked a guy for RJ. Please author, make it happen?

This novel is so meaningful. It will surprise you and make you think. Sarah Schmitt just wrote a beautiful novel that will make you laugh and will bring you to tears as well. Full of colorful and memorable characters and written in a brilliant and humorous way, I can absolutely say that… Its a wonderful book! (see what I did there?)


 

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Website | Twitter | Facebook | 

Sarah J. Schmitt is a K-8 school librarian and Youth Service Professional for Teens at a public library who, in addition to planning a variety of events, enjoys opening up the world of books to reluctant readers. She runs a teen writing program that combines Skype visits from well-known authors and screenwriters and critique group style feedback.

Prior to immersing herself in the world of the written word, Sarah earned her Masters of Science in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from Indiana University where she worked with first year college students as they acclimated to college life. Sarah lives outside of Indianapolis with her husband, two kidlets and a cat who might actually be a secret agent. She is an active member of SCBWI, ALA and the Indiana Library Federation and is a regular participant at the Midwest Writer’s Workshop. Her debut novel, IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH, comes out Fall 2015 from Sky Pony Press.

 

 
   

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ARC REVIEW: The Wanderers by Kate Ormand + Giveaway!!

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The Wanderers
Kate Ormand
Expected publication: September 1st 2015 by Sky Pony Press
YA > Fantasy | Paranormal
arc via publisher
 
 

4 ★★★★

 
Purchase links:
AMAZON | BN | TBD
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

A Unique Twist on Shape-Shifters with Fast-Paced Action, Thrilling Adventure, Mystery, and a Bit of Romance
Flo lives an eccentric life—she travels with a popular circus in which the main acts star orphaned children with secret shape-shifting abilities. Once Flo turns sixteen, she must perform, but she’s not ready. While practicing jumping a flaming hurdle in a clearing beside the circus, she spots a dark figure in the trees and fears he saw her shift. The news sends the circus into a panic.
In Flo’s world, shifters are unknown to humans with the exception of a secret organization—the EOS, referred to as “hunters.” Hunters capture and kill. They send some shifters to labs for observation and testing—testing they don’t often survive—and deem others useless, a danger to society, and eliminate them. To avoid discovery, shifters travel in packs, constantly moving and keeping themselves hidden. Up until now, the circus was the perfect disguise.
Believing she has brought attention to the group, Flo feels dread and anxiety, causing her to make a mistake during her performance in front of the audience—a mistake that triggers a violent attack from the hunters.
Flo manages to flee the torched circus grounds with Jett, the bear shifter who loves her; the annoying elephant triplets; and a bratty tiger named Pru. Together they begin a new journey, alone in a world they don’t understand and don’t know how to navigate. On the run, they unravel secrets and lies that surround the circus and their lives—secrets and lies that all point to the unthinkable: Have they been betrayed by the people they trusted most?
 
 
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REVIEW:

 

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The Wanderers isn’t really what I expected and surprisingly, that’s a good thing. What I didn’t read was not I was expecting especially because it was Paranormal, a genre I usually don’t read. I love that it was not heavy on the paranormal-y side and maybe that’s just me but because of that, I enjoyed the book even more.

Kate Ormand’s words slays!!!! Honestly, the way she writes is just pure stunning! Ormand never failed to transport me wherever her book was set. I can really feel the atmosphere from the moment I read the first page and I really appreciate books who can make me sit and stick through the story until I finished it. That’s exactly what happened with me and The Wanderers.

Ormand’s characters are colorful and vibrant. Other than the atmosphere and the book’s creepy atmosphere, another thing to be admired are the characters. I admit, I had a problem with Flo for a bit because she had this thing where she always have to be a damsel-in-distress. And she’s not doing anything about it! She did show some back bone by the end and even though I think its too late, I still admired her for that. And Jett.., Jett melts my heart. God, this guy is perfect. He doesn’t show that he’s all macho, but that effect just come off easily from him. Ahhhh, what a guy. I love him, bear or not.

Overall, The Wanderers is such a huge success! I haven’t heard of Kate Ormand before but because of this book, she just appeared on my top favorite list. I highly recommend it for readers looking for a magical paranormal story with a creepy factor you’ll love!

 

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | BLOG | PINTEREST

 

KATE ORMAND is a YA writer represented by Isabel Atherton at Creative Authors Ltd. She lives in the UK with her family, her partner, and a cocker spaniel called Freddie. She recently graduated from university with a first class BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art Painting. It was during this course that Kate discovered her love of reading YA books, prompting her to try a new creative angle and experiment with writing. Kate is also a member of an online group of published writers and illustrators called Author Allsorts. And she writes children’s picture books under the name Kate Louise. 

You can see more about Kate and her writing by visiting her website (www.kateormand.wordpress.com) or on Twitter (@kateormand).

 

 

 

 
   

GIVEAWAY:

 

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Win a signed paperback copy of THE WANDERERS, a THE WANDERERS canvas bag, a horseshoe bracelet and signed THE WANDERERS bookmarks (INT)

 

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ARC REVIEW: Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick

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Love, Lucas
Chantele Sedgwick
Expected publication: May 5th 2015 by Sky Pony Press
YA > Contemporary | Romance
288pages (hardcover)
arc via publisher
 
 
3 ★★★1/2
 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon | TBD | BN
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
A powerful story of loss, second chances, and first love, reminiscent of Sarah Dessen and John Green.
When Oakley Nelson loses her older brother, Lucas, to cancer, she thinks she’ll never recover. Between her parents’ arguing and the battle she’s fighting with depression, she feels nothing inside but a hollow emptiness. When Mom suggests they spend a few months in California with Aunt Jo, Oakley isn’t sure a change of scenery will alter anything, but she’s willing to give it a try.
In California, Oakley discovers a sort of safety and freedom in Aunt Jo’s beach house. Once they’re settled, Mom hands her a notebook full of letters addressed to her—from Lucas. As Oakley reads one each day, she realizes how much he loved her, and each letter challenges her to be better and to continue to enjoy her life. He wants her to move on.
If only it were that easy.
But then a surfer named Carson comes into her life, and Oakley is blindsided. He makes her feel again. As she lets him in, she is surprised by how much she cares for him, and that’s when things get complicated. How can she fall in love and be happy when Lucas never got the chance to do those very same things?
With her brother’s dying words as guidance, Oakley knows she must learn to listen and trust again. But will she have to leave the past behind to find happiness in the future?
 
 
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 Welcome to my stop for the Love, Lucas Tour! This book really tugged at my heartstrings. Oakley is a wonderful character and I love being inside her mind. I hope my review is enough to convince you guys to read it 🙂

 

REVIEW:

Chantele Sedgwick weaves a beautiful and heartfelt story that is perfect for every YA reader out there. A book that deals with loss and moving on.. and finding out that there are a lot of reasons for you to move forward. A truly heartbreaking but touching read.

Just like what I said from my intro, Oakley is a wonderful main character. She’s real in every way possible. For a girl her age, her reactions toward his brother’s death is truly understandable. Her feelings was thoroughly described by her that I can’t help but feel for her too. She made me tear up a lot of times. I have never experienced death of a loved one (and I don’t want to) but the way Oakley tells her feelings and her heartaches, I feel like I’m the one grieving. It really was obvious that the writing is terrific. I also loved the character growth the Oakley went through. It was really necessary and beautifully done.

The romance in here is so sweet. So innocent. Just like what you’d expect from a first love. The love interest is genuine and I really like how he played out a big part on Oakley’s healing process. And in him, Oakley finds another reason to move forward.

If there’s something I want more from this book is maybe we should’ve gotten more from his brother. The letters was great but I think the readers will appreciate Oakley and his brothers closeness if we gotten some short glimpses or maybe some flashbacks.

But all in all, Love, Lucas is one of the most genuine book I’ve ever read. The way Oakley deals with grief is so realistic and so is her feelings. Oakley will stay with you. You’ll cry with her, swoon with her and cry again with her, but this time… with happiness. Chantele Sedgwick is a brilliant writer! Her words lingers in…. and sinks in you. I cannot wait for more.

And lastly, I don’t even know if this is relevant but I still want to put it here. I saw a quote before I wrote my review of Love, Lucas and it says ‘What’s lost is painful but what’s left is powerful’ I don’t even know if the quote talks about a person but I still remembered Oakley when I read this. For people who have lost someone… hurting is good. But it’ll pass. The first step to lessen the pain? Look around. Beautiful people, places, and a future awaits you.

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

author pic 1

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Pinterest

 

Chantele Sedgwick is a YA author, harpist, wife to one and stay-at-home mom to four. She loves happy endings, Kit Kats and judging by her book shelves, buys way too many books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

Prize pack 1: Signed hardcover copy of Love, Lucas, a Micro Mini Book necklace of your choice (Up to $9.95) from the Tiny Book Town Etsy Shop and a full swag pack (US Only)

Prize Pack 2: $10 Amazon Gift Card and a full swag pack (US Only)

Starts: April 27th, 2015
Ends: May 6th, 2015

 

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT: The Unhappening of Genesis Lee by Shallee McArthur

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TITLE: The Unhappening og Genesis Lee
AUTHOR: Shallee McArthur 
PUBLICATION: Expected publication: November 18th 2014 by Sky Pony Press
GENRE: YA > Science Fiction | Dystopia
PAGES: 352pages (Hardcover)
You can buy the book here:
AMAZON | TBD | KOBO 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:
Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi—a small group of genetically-enhanced humans—Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve memories perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend.
Anyone could be next. Which is why Gena is less than pleased to meet a strange but charming boy named Kalan who claims that they’ve not only met, but that Gena knows who the thief is.
The problem is, Gena doesn’t remember Kalan, she doesn’t remember seeing the thief, and she doesn’t know why she’s forgetting things— or how much else she might forget. As growing tensions between Mementi and ordinary humans drive the city of Havendale into chaos, Gena and Kalan team up to search for the thief. And as Gena loses more memories, they realize they have to solve the mystery fast.

Because Gena’s life is unhappening around her.

 

 

 

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THE AUTHOR:

 

Shallee

 

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | YOUTUBE | INSTAGRAM

 

Shallee McArthur originally wanted to be a scientist, until she discovered she liked her science best in fictional form. When she’s not writing young adult science fiction and fantasy, she’s attempting to raise her son and daughter as proper geeks. A little part of her heart is devoted to Africa after volunteering twice in Ghana. She has a degree in English from Brigham Young University and lives in Utah with her husband and two children.

She is represented by Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson Associates. Her YA sci fi novel, THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE, debuts from Sky Pony Press Nov. 4, 2014.

And because people always ask, her name is pronounced “shuh-LEE.” But she answers to anything that sounds remotely close.

 

 

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