ARC REVIEW: Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk + Giveaway!!

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Arrows

Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Published January 26th 2016 by Delacorte Press

YA > Fantasy | Mythology

Purchase links: Amazon | BN 

4 ★★★★

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 A modern cupid story set in present-day Wisconsin combining the fantastical elements of Greek mythology with the contemporary drama of MTV’s Teen Mom.

People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him . . . and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow. Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma andDanny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.

A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault . . . but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return?

This fast-paced debut novel explores the internal & external conflicts of a girl who finds herself inexplicably drawn to a boy who seemingly doesn’t reciprocate her  feelings, touching on the issues of love, sex and responsibility, with a heroine struggling to control her destiny–perfect for fans of Katie McGarry’s novels and MTV’s 16 and Pregnant.

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REVIEW:

OMG YOU GUYSSSSS!!!

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Oh my heartttt. Arrows is such a perfect book for this season. Don’t get me wrong, I would recommend Arrows anytime of the year but reading it at this month, when it’s all about love and… Love.. it’s just perfect. I wouldn’t exactly call ARROWS a retelling of the famous tale of Cupid and Psyche but I can say that the book was based on that particular mythology story. Only here, our main character is Cupids son himself, Aaryn.

The story opens up with Aaryn and his trainer, Phoebe, doing some love arrow shooting to the clueless couples in a highschool dance. It would’ve been perfect, Aaryn will pass his test and be an official cupid and then the couple will fall madly in love but… Aaryn messed up and now he has to clean up that mess.

What I liked the most about Arrows is it’s refreshing plotline. I can confidently say that I have never encountered a storyline like this before. I was anticipating every page while slowly absorbing every word. The pacing helped a lot too because I didn’t find any dull moment throughout the book. The book caught my attention the moment I started reading because it’s very easy to follow and Melissa’s writing is simple and beautiful at the same time. Of course I finished it in one day!

I don’t know about you but I adore the book even more when I can read the thoughts of the two main characters, in other words, if it has two POV’s. The characters are rich and vibrant. I wasn’t only fond of the leads but also with the secondary characters. Melissa effectively destroyed the conceited good looking greek god tradition with Aaryn. He’s such a swoony love interest. I honestly can’t think of anything bad to say about him. I’m not saying he’s perfect though, far from it. Even with his god-ness, the story revealed how flawed he is. Karma definitely belongs to my favorite heroines list. I adore this girl to bits! She made me feel a lot of things compared to Aaryn. Everytime I read her thoughts, I’m torn between hugging and crying with her and smacking and shaking some sense to her. In short, Melissa writes such authentic characters that will totally affect the readers hearts. They’re a hard bunch to let go, here’s me hoping for a second book!! I feel like the last chapters were a little rushed as well and that’s another reason why I am demanding for a follow up and that’s why I didn’t give a complete 5. Arrows ending is far from being a cliffhanger so no on should worry about that. Whatever the author decides abour Aaryn and Karmas journey, I’ll be fine with it.

And lastly, what is this book without its romance? This book is written to melt your heart and for you to explode of FEELS. What a magnificent debut by Melissa Gorzelanczyk! This novel clearly knows how it feels to fall in love, what it means to get your heart broken and how important it is to move on. With a Gorgeous writing, a dash of mythology and a heartwarming romance.. you don’t need to be shot by an arrow to love this novel.

AUTHOR:

 Caroline-Patti-225x300 Twitter | Website | Goodreads 

Melissa Gorzelanczyk is a former magazine editor and columnist who believes love is everything. A dreamer for life, Melissa has been writing books since she was nine years old when she penned her first story about a beloved black horse. She is a member of the Class of 2k16, the SCBWI and The Sweet Sixteens. She lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and family.

She is represented by Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson.
See more at: www.melissagorzelanczyk.com

 

     

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REVIEW: The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt

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The Distance from A to Z

Natalie Blitt

January 12th 2016

Young Adult > Contemporary

316 pages (Kindle edition)

 

3★★★1/2

 

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Seventeen-year old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.

That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to exclusively wear baseball caps and jerseys.

But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between the distance between who she is and who he is, is worth the risk.

 

REVIEW:

 

I’m not in love with this book as much as everyone else seems to be but it’s still good nonetheless.

The MC, Abby, is a bit judgmental so I had a hard time liking her. There were times when I thought I finally liked her and then she would go back to being annoying so of course we’re back to square one. Also, I’m glad that her aversion to baseball was addressed because it really grated on my nerves and part of me actually thought she was overreacting about it.

The love interest, Zeke, wasn’t as swoon worthy as I hoped he would be. I don’t know. Maybe because like Abby, I had a hard time liking him too? He was okay at first but then he kept some things that bothered me as much as Abby did but for a whole lot of different reasons. It was because it’s like I never saw the real him. The whole book is on Abby’s POV so it was harder for me to connect with him, I guess. He has these two separate versions of himself–Zeke in English and Zeke in French. The Zeke in English who parties and hooks up with other girls and has all these secrets as opposed to Zeke in French who’s just so utterly adorable and nice. It made me really wonder how Abby and Zeke could ever work out once their summer program is over but maybe it’s just the cynic in me talking.

I do love how amazing the friendship is here though. I just wanted to scream ‘forget the romance, here is a friendship I’ve been dying to read and have for myself in ages!’ Alice wasn’t treated as a mere plot device but her friendship with Abby played a big role in Abby’s growth as much as Alice’s. It’s real and it’s strong and I want it for myself. It’s one of my favorite things about this whole book actually. Along with the French language and how it was incorporated in the story. I took a French class sophomore year and needless to say, I learned more here than I ever did in that class.

Overall, The Distance from A to Z is a nice and heartwarming book that’s not all about the romance but also about friendship, growth and taking chances.

MARLAhbt

ARC REVIEW: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

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Heidi Heilig

Published February 16th 2016 by Greenwillow Books

YA >  Fantasy

464 pages

eARC for Review

 

 3★★★

 

Purchase links: Amazon | Nook

 

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Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveller. She, her father and their crew of time refugees travel the world aboard The Temptation, a glorious pirate ship stuffed with treasures both typical and mythical. Old maps allow Nix and her father to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times – although a map will only take you somewhere once. And Nix’s father is only interested in one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix’s existence rather dangerously in question…

Nix has grown used to her father’s obsession, but only because she’s convinced it can’t work. But then a map falls into her father’s lap that changes everything. And when Nix refuses to help, her father threatens to maroon Kashmir, her only friend (and perhaps, only love) in a time where Nix will never be able to find him. And if Nix has learned one thing, it’s that losing the person you love is a torment that no one can withstand. Nix must work out what she wants, who she is, and where she really belongs before time runs out on her forever.

 

REVIEW

I bet the reason I didn’t pick up this book earlier was because I am a cranky bitch, and the number of pages this has probably scared the ever living shit out of me.  So.  After reading this book, my first emotion was contentment.  I was content.  The Girl From Everywhere has everything I need from a YA Fantasy—it has a maps, really picturesque locations, local food from said locations and oooh it has a swoony love interest.  I was content.  But here’s the thing—after hearing a shit ton of stuff about this book, after having pie squealed on receiving a copy for review, after seeing all the people of GR loving this book, “contentment” is really the wrong emotion.  I want to be happy and excited and thrilled.  And my rating should definitely be higher than a 3, right?

The Girl From Everywhere begins right in the centre of the action.  Nix Song, our protagonist, is a very clever, very talented time traveller on a ship.  With her father, Slate–the Captain, who has special gifts of his own—she uses maps to hurl the ship through time and reach a specific destination, in a specific year.  So far so great.  But as the story unfolds, you discover that the path the ship takes, the places it travels to aren’t just a random drivel of locations; it is, in fact, a part of a a thorough, well planned search that Slate carries out for Nix’s mother who died in childbirth.  Of course, Nix has no chance but to help her troubled father get back to the woman he loves, but going back to her would mean that Nix might never be born.  Which means that the Nix of the present may perish.  This is, I think, all you need to know before you hop into the book.  Any more research may be spoiler-y, so you might want to steer clear of that.
The Girl From Everywhere {Novel Aesthetic}The book mainly consists of the “pirates” aboard the ship—Slate, who is the Captain, and the crew including Nix, Kashmir, Rotgut, a ghost!  There is so much diversity among the people aboard, and that was one of the things I loved most about the crew.  They were a funny lot, a loyal crew,  and yet there was a kind of experience that these people had, that was unmatched.  The way they spoke, the way they did certain things was indicative that the whole time-travelling jig wasn’t all smooth sailing (he he, I love puns) and I loved seeing that piece of authenticity!

Nix was…difficult to hate.  That’s the closest I can get to describing my experience of reading from her point of view.  You see, she’s not exactly the type you love in an instant, but she’s also no Bella Swan.  She’s tougher than she looks, and more complacent than she shows.  Her loyalties are unmatched, but there are times when you wonder if she’s going to just pick up her skirts and make a run for it.  Basically? UNPREDICTABLE. Her habit of overthinking is abhorrent, almost annoying to the point of wanting to commit bloody murder, but this endeared her to me immensely.  I’m the “majorly over-think until you lose your shit” types, and this was something I understood.  Kashmir (or Kash) was my favourite character in the book.  He is the ultimate book boyfriend, but his friendship with Nix is #goals.  His sass is unmatched and he’s a thief who had my heart from the moment he entered.  Complete and absolute sweetheart.  He had some of the funniest lines in the book, and I’d say he was the perfect, charming yin to Nix’s complicated, troubled yang.

My main reason of the 3 star rating was a couple of things I’d like to talk about next.  Firstly, love triangle.  Cannot stand those if my life depended on it.  The premises does not even hint at a third player in the story, and so I went into the book not expecting this at all. The third guy was…bleh.  Bland.  Too perfect, if that is a thing.  I was all, “No no nO NIX WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! ABORT ABORT ABORT.”  The sad part?  Nix spends more time with this guy than Kash. sob. sob sob sob.  Secondly, like I said, I was still mainly undecided about whether or not I liked Nix or not.  Didn’t hate her—far from it—but gahh.  I can’t make up my mind about her.  Guess I’ll only know about her once the next book comes out.  NEXT YEAR. sob sob sob.

Heidi Heilig has created a very complex, well-written, and might I say, a very charming set of characters for a story that is more myth and plot driven than anything else.  I loved how each chapter, each thread of dialogue brought to light something new about the characters, something you might have missed before.  Add to that the fact that most of the book takes place in 19th century Hawaii, all the myths and traditions, and the entire *cough*heist*cough* she-bang was done beautifully, you can’t complain at all that the book isn’t well researched!  If you’re okay with the whole still-unresolved-love-traingle thing, please please go read this book!  Maps, diversity, swoons, ships, dragons—this book really does have everything!

 

 

 

Rhea[1]

 

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

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The Mystery of Hollow Places

Rebecca Podos

Published January 26th 2016 by Balzer & Bray

YA > Mystery | Thriller

Purchase links: Amazon | BN | TBD | itunes | Kobo

 

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All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It’s the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn’t come back. Neither Imogene’s stepmother nor the police know where he could’ve gone, but Imogene is convinced he’s looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of her father’s books to track down a woman she’s never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life.

Rebecca Podos’ debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us – the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.

 

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AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website  | Instagram

Rebecca Podos’ debut YA novel, THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES, is forthcoming from Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins) on 1/26/16. A graduate of the Writing, Literature and Publishing program at Emerson College where she won the M.F.A. Award for Best Thesis, her fiction has been published in Glimmer Train, Glyph, CAJE, Paper Darts, Bellows American Review, and Smokelong Quarterly. Past Awards include the Helman Award for Short Fiction, the David Dornstein Memorial Creative Writing Prize for Young Adult Writers, and the Hillerman-McGarrity Scholarship for Creative Writing. She works as a YA and MG agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston.

 

 


   

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ARC REVIEW: Pull by Anne Riley

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Pull

Anne Riley

Expected publication: February 2nd 2016 by Spencer Hill Press

YA > SciFi | Time Travel

Purchase links: Amazon | BN 

 

4 ★★★1/2

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Rosie Clayton witnesses a mugging on her first night in London—and then the scene rewinds itself.

She finds herself standing in the same place again, with the mugging happening just like before, except this time a stranger steps in and stops it. There’s no way the same incident can have two outcomes. Rosie thinks she’s losing her mind, until just a few days later, the stranger saves her.

The stranger, Albert, and his band of misfit crime-fighters, have the special ability to Pull, which allows them to rewind just enough time to undo a recent event. Someone is hunting Albert and his crew– and now that Rosie’s been seen with them, she’s a target too. Rosie is left with no choice but to trust Albert to keep her safe.

As Rosie learns more about this unbelievable ability and the people – if you can call them that – who want them dead, she discovers that the group’s desire for her blood might be more than mere coincidence. Each step into this magical side of London introduces Rosie to a family history that she never knew existed, and dangerous forces that could unravel her world in an instant.

Her family may be the reason they’re all being hunted—and she may be the only one who can figure out how to save them. Sure, between the lot of them, they have a few shots to get it right. The thing about Pulling, though, is you have to be alive to do it.

 

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REVIEW:

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You know what PULL reminds me of? The Mortal Instruments with a mixture of Doctor Who. Now I don’t know about you, but those two together are all kinds of amazing. And that’s what Pull is. And because we’re being honest, I have to say that I didn’t expect to love Pull so much. Although I am a big fan of all things time travel AND London, only few books can make me fall in love with them.

I was hooked from the first chapter because Rosie is such an excellent narrator. Her voice isn’t cliché. She is one of those YA heroines that you will like so much because.. Well, because you can’t help it. I like the fact that she uses her head and doesn’t easily go into boy crazy mode. She’s caring, kind and funny. Totally book bff material. Another little thing that I appreciated about Pull is that although supernatural things are happening, THE PARENTS ARE ALIVE. Oh goodness, how I appreciate that much. Let’s admit it, lots of author either makes their main characters orphans or kills their parents eventually. I like that Anne Riley didn’t go with the easy way because the parents play such a huge role in every story. Every character of Pull have their own characteristics that makes them different and everyone have a part in the story. Each characters are written very well and I can’t wait to get to know more of them if ever the author decides to make a continuation.

One word to describe Pull: EXCITING. The excitement never ends! There are a lot of questions that needs to be answered and everything leads to another mystery that needs to be solved. What is the power? Who are the people who can go back in time? How is it all possible? I did get all my answers and Anne Riley didn’t left me hanging but I would really love it if there’s a second story about all of this. I feel like Rosies world is just waiting to be explored, there’s so much more to learn and to meet.

The romance is very sweet and real! No instalove or any annoying thing that usually annoys me when it comes to the romance area of every story. Unlike the story’s pacing, it took time for the characters to get to together. They’re perfect for each other and they make me swoon!!!

I sure can’t get enough of Pull. The only thought I have right after I finished reading Pull is that I WANT MORE. Anne Rileys writing is so terrific that I feel like I was just right beside Rosie and discovering London with her. Thrilling and addictive, Pull have all the potential to be the next big thing!!

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Anne Riley is an author of young adult fiction cleverly disguised as a high school Spanish teacher. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her family. Anne began writing at the ripe old age of nine, when she penned a literary classic about… well, she doesn’t really remember what it was about, but she’s pretty sure the main characters were ferrets. These days, she writes stories about teenagers instead of ferrets.

 

 


   

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