ARC REVIEW&GUEST POST: The Outerlands by Jared Lopatin

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The Outerlands
Jared R. Lopatin
Published March 31st 2015 by Createspace
YA > Retelling | Fantasy
152pages
arc via tour host
 
 

3 ★★★

 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
Alex didn’t want to die, but he just couldn’t take it anymore. Dwight’s pills seemed to promise escape… and escape is exactly what he gets. He ends up in a world reminiscent of his childhood Wonderland, but nothing is as it was in Alice’s day. The Outerlands are a twisted version of his favorite story, with strange characters and unnatural dangers. Before he can get used to his new home, it’s threatened by an outside force.
Will Alex ever find a place where he feels safe?
 
 
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 Welcome to my stop on the THE OUTERLANDS tour! Alice in Wonderland retelling are all over the ya book-esphere but let me tell you something: this book will syrprise you. I really enjoyed this story and I just fell in love with out hero, Alex. Read my review and Jared’s exciting guest post about characters in THE OUTERLANDS. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom! 🙂


 

REVIEW:

 

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Since Jared has an exciting Guest Post for us, I will keep my review short. If there’s one word to describe The Outerlands, I would choose the word CREATIVE. I was lost inside of this book, and if I’d be the one to choose.. I will not go out.

I read Alice in Wonderland a long time ago. I even watched the Disney movie. But even with all of that, I admit that I forgot most of the things that happened. The Outerlands is an incredible take of Alice’s Wonderland. Like I said, it was creative. It was also magical, enthralling and written in the most impressive way. Its a bit hard to believe that this is a debut novel.

The characters are the gem of this book. They’re all well written. Insane. You can’t help but love them all. Alex is our hero, and my heart just totally feels for him. He’s a fifteen bookish boy that is being bullied by Jack and his minions. The first chapter was so hard to read since I’m not fond of bullying scenes. Though I do not agree with all of Alex’s decision, I understand the feeling of wanting to disappear. And with the help of Dwight and his pills, he got what he wanted.

The Outerlands is an interesting world to get lost into. While reading, I got the feeling of being transported to a whole new world. From every chapter, you will notice some things that will remind you of Alice’s adventures. But Jared put his own twist in every chapter and it came out impressively. I cannot wait for more from this author.

Read below to get to know the characters and the world of The Outerlands!!

 

 

 

GUEST POST:

 

Getting to know the characters and the setting of the book.

 

The charm of THE OUTERLANDS is that the world is recognizable, if only marginally so. If you know your Wonderland of Alice’s day, you know to expect the unexpected and nothing is ever what it seems to be. The main character, Alex, is a bookish young man and it is through Alex that you will get to meet all of the zany characters that make up the Outerlands. First and foremost, you should know that the Outerlands are divided into two lands – Carddesville and Chessterfield – by a long river called the Interglass. On the Carddesville side of the river, you will find Bill; Sidney March, Madeleine Hatter, and Domo; Reyna de Corazon, King, and Jack; and of course, Cat. Bill is one of the seedier Outerlanders, for he makes his living dealing suspicious substances under the nose of the reigning monarch of Carddesville, Reyna de Corazon. She, with her husband, King, commands her subjects with a firm hand and a fierce temper. She is jealously protective of her son, Jack, who simply wants to fall in love and get married. Among her subjects are the three who run the Out Inn: Sidney, Madeleine, and Domo. Sidney March is the founder of the Inn and Domo is a small boy who mans the door to help guests. Madeleine is the finest hat-maker in all of the Outerlands and a dear friend of Sidney’s. She can often be found at the Inn, relishing a cup of tea and enjoying funny stories and songs. Then, there’s Cat. Cat, who sometimes goes by the name of Pilar, is a transplant from the real world, just like Alex, though she has since become a true Outerlander. With a splotch across her face that earned her the ridicule of her peers, she escaped to the Outerlands and decided to stay. She has ever since been roaming the lands, popping up here and there to offer help, or sometimes, make mischief. On the Chessterfield side of the Outerlands, you may run into the OWL; Rose and Lily; Abe Arthur Cary; C.C., Blanche, Beau, and Dwight; or Gavin. Near the banks of the Integlass lives the Outerlander Welcoming Liaison, commonly known as the OWL.  It is he who makes sure that every Outerlander follows the right story thread. Nearby live the Flower Children, the head of which is Lily and her daughter, Rose. Beware the Flower Children, for they will entrap you with their indolent addiction. Abe is Bill’s boss, creating the substances that Bill will sell. Abe is also a favorite of the Red Queen, C.C. She is one of four monarchs on the Chessterfield side. Her brother, Beau, is married to the White Queen, Blanche. They live in an area called the Blush, where anyone and everyone can mix. Blanche’s brother, Dwight, is not easy to find, dwelling among the forests. At one time, the land was ravaged by civil war, Red against White, but with the marriage of Beau and Blanche, has settled into a comfortable peace. This leaves Gavin, the White Knight, with not much to do, unless a helpless traveler might come along. These are only a smattering of the characters to be met on your journey through either Carddesville or Chessterfield, and you should always keep your eye out for Tweeners, for they can appear anywhere!

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

jared-lopatin

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jared fell in love with stories at a very young age. This love led him to major in English and Theatre, a decision that brought him many adventures, such as performing in Footloose, Cats, and West Side Story.

His first full novel, Rising Sign, was started backstage during a production of South Pacific in Indiana. Five years later, his debut novel was complete and he headed back to school for his Masters in Special Education. By the time he graduated, he had written the following two books in the trilogy, Ruling House and Returning Planet. He used his school experiences as a base for his standalone novel, Let’s Play It By Ear. His newest novels, The Outerlands and The Good Witch are slated for release in 2015.

Jared currently lives in New York City with his cats, Benedick and Beatrice. He works during the day as a high school English teacher and theatre director at a Deaf school.

 

 

 

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Review: My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi

TITLE: My Life After Now 
AUTHOR:Jessica Verdi
PUBLICATION: Published April 2nd 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire
GENRE: YA >  Contemporary
PAGES: 287 pages (Paperback)
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING:
 

4★★★★

 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon (print) | iBooks |  Nook
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

Lucy just had the worst week ever. Seriously, mega bad. And suddenly, it’s all too much—she wants out. Out of her house, out of her head, out of her life. She wants to be a whole new Lucy. So she does something the old Lucy would never dream of.
And now her life will never be the same. Now, how will she be able to have a boyfriend? What will she tell her friends? How will she face her family?
Now her life is completely different…every moment is a gift. Because now she might not have many moments left.

 

 

REVIEW:

 

To learn of someone contracting HIV is heartbreaking but when a teenager is vulnerable, it’s the worst thing ever. Jessica Verdi explores the possibility of a regular teenager contracting the disease, making peace with the fact that she can’t do anything to change that and then learning to live as normal a life as she can.

Lucy has had a very, very bad day and one night out to escape the madness changes her life irrevocably. We all make mistakes and Lucy makes one that is very out of character for her and the price she has to pay is huge. I knew what was coming—having read far too many spoilers over on Goodreads—but it just broke my heart when I realized that Lucy would have to live through this at her age. The book gives a really thoughtful insight on how a teenager—like any other teenager—would live through HIV. Lucy’s life changes, definitely, but I’m so glad there is a ray of hope in the end.

Throughout the book, I found myself wondering what I’d do, if I were in Lucy’s place. How would I tell my parents? How would my friends react? How would I react? I found myself connecting to Lucy well, thanks for her friendly, open voice. It was almost surreal, when I found myself reacting either very differently or almost the same way as Lucy did.

I liked how Lucy stood up to Lee—the cause of her disease in the first place. It wasn’t easy—and it honestly didn’t make a difference—but it was courageous of her and I don’t think anyone else could have pulled it off like Lucy did.

What I loved more about this book is how inspiring it is. There’s no end to the support Lucy receives when she’s diagnosed. Her parents, her friends, hell, even the boy she’s started to like. It’s all there and it’s truly heart-warming. I loved all the supporting characters in the book, even the bad guys who gave variety to the book.

And it’s a well-researched book. There were so many misconceptions, so many things I thought I knew that I really didn’t. So many things that I still don’t know.

With a realistic plot and a well thought out and researched story, Jessica Verdi has created an unforgettable story and a strong array of relatable characters. Definitely a must-read.

This one of those books that will have a subtle but profound impact on you. Just keep your mind open to it.

 

 

Rhea[1]

REVIEW: Confess by Colleen Hoover a.k.a ‘is that it?’

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Confess
Colleen Hoover
Published March 10th 2015 by Atria Books
NA/A > Contemporary | Art
320pages (paperback)
purchased

 

2★★

 

Purchase links:
Amazon

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a new novel about risking everything for love—and finding your heart somewhere between the truth and lies.
Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.
The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

 

 

REVIEW:

 

Is that it?

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Is this book so so deep that I just didn’t get it? I’m serious though. I imagine the reviewers who gave this book a 5 star rating looking down at me. If that’s the case, I AM GENUINELY SORRY. Because I felt nothing towards this book. Its so far from AMAZING and EMOTIONAL.

Some books give you hope, some books makes you believe in fate, destiny, people-who-are-meant-to-be. Some books gives you happy tears or will make you ugly cry. And what does Confess even do? I DON’T KNOW. Maybe to convince you to hangout more at art exhibits bc hello CUTE BROODING GUYS. I swear, if it isn’t because of the art pieces, I feel like I was robbed. Like I was promised with something so amazing and special and all I got was… nothing. ITS JUST SO FREAKING SAD.

I have a lot of issues in this book that I don’t even know where to start.

– Owen is creepy and he doesn’t make any sense. What is it with this guy and WHY DOES HE WANTS THINGS MORE COMPLICATED!? This guy makes issues that is not even there. He’s keep secrets that are not even made to be kept. Like, DUDE, THAT’S NOT EVEN A BIG DEAL.STOP BEING SUCH A DRAMA QUEEN AND SAY IT. NO ONE’S GONNA DIE.

If it isn’t because of the timespans, I will not buy the romance at all. They fall inlove so fast its ridiculous. But anyway, I don’t want to dwell on that so much because falling in love is different with every people and some people really do fall in love that fast. I mentioned it because it bothered me that nothing about the pair felt real to me. I just rolled my eyes and yawned when they’re declaring love/likeness to each other.

– Auburn is likeable but nothing special. Hmm, I don’t have any problem with her. She actually think straight most of the time and she can be witty and admirable. But like I said, nothing special.

The mega secret that the blurb is talking about. Oh dear god I WANNA PUNCH SOMEONE when I read the last chapter because I can’t believe that was it. What the hell is that? Am I supposed to be amazed or cry because of that?

My first rating was 3stars but i just realized that 3stars means I LIKE IT SO MUCH and that’s just not what i feel towards Confess. So 2.5 it is.

I just feel sad and disappointed about everything. Unlike in Ugly Love where I want to hurt someone.

Now, maybe I’ll go and re-read SLAMMED because I need to be reminded of why I loved and adored CoHo in the first place.

*this is a rushed a review. Maybe I’ll add some more when I skimmed the book because I honestly forgot about some of the things that happened in here*

 

 a

Paula

ARC REVIEW: Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis

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Bones & All
Camille DeAngelis
Published March 10th 2015 by St. Martin’s Press
YA > Horror | Fantasy
304pages (hardcover)
arc via publisher
 
 
4 ★★★★
 
 
Purchase links:
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
Maren Yearly doesn’t just break hearts, she devours them.
Since she was a baby, Maren has had what you might call “an issue” with affection. Anytime someone cares for her too much, she can’t seem to stop herself from eating them. Abandoned by her mother at the age of 16, Maren goes looking for the father she has never known, but finds more than she bargained for along the way.
Faced with love, fellow eaters, and enemies for the first time in her life, Maren realizes she isn’t just looking for her father, she is looking for herself. The real question is, will she like the girl she finds?
 
 
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I’m so excited to host Camille on the Blog today! Bones and All might be one of the most terrifying book I read.. ever. I was honestly scared. (I’m double checking if my doors are locked from no on) But this book is also poignant and kind of heartbreaking. Do I recommend it? I really do. I admit that this book is way out of my comfort zone. But after turning the last page, there’s no regret at all.

 

 

REVIEW:

 

 


“There’s no place for us in their picture of the world, if they knew what we were, they’d think even hell would be a too good sentence for us”

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I was warned. But I still wasn’t prepared. Bones and All shocked me with its first chapter only. From there, you have two choices as a reader, be turned off and stop reading… or be intrigued and turn the next page. I AM SO GLAD I chose the latter. Because Bones & All is a magnificent novel.

I understand that this may not be for everybody because of Maren’s identity. She’s a cannibal. Whenever someone gets too close to her… she eats them. Even her mother couldn’t take it anymore and abandoned her. And with that, Maren embarks on a journey with a main goal: find her father. But her father isn’t the only one she found. There’s a certain boy, her place in the world, and why she does what she does.

Its amazing how you can sympathize with Maren consider she eats people– Bones and all. But DeAngelis just written her beautifully and so real. She acts and talks like her age. She was sad, she was lost and believe it or not, she can be really relatable as a teenage girl. A lot of characters in this book are remarkable. Even if they just showed up for like, two chapters only, you can’t help but be attached and be invested.

Don’t expect a swoony and cliche romance because, well, it doesn’t have one. The book does have a romantic element but its far from swoony. You will root for them, yes, but the turns of event will surprise you. I admit, I didn’t know if I should be horrified.. or sad. This book truly messed up with my emotions and I don’t know why but that’s why I find this book so amazing. It also helps that Bones and All is written in the best way possible. DeAngelis writing is absolutely stunning. She’s one of the authors that we have to watch out for.

A terrifying yet meaningful novel. Bones and All will surprise and shock and it will get under your skin. Read and get to know Maren because you will not regret it. Readers need to gobble this up!

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

317741

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+

 

Camille DeAngelis is the author of Bones & All (St. Martin’s, 2015), Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker (Crown, 2010), and Mary Modern (Crown/Shaye Areheart, 2007), as well as a first-edition guidebook, Moon Ireland (Avalon, 2007). She is a graduate of New York University (B.A. in Fine Arts, minor in Irish Studies, 2002) and the National University of Ireland, Galway (M.A. in Writing, 2005). Her fourth novel, tentatively titled Immaculate Heart, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in 2016. She is a board member of the Writers’ Room of Boston.

A longtime vegetarian, she went vegan in April 2011, and in June 2013 became a certified vegan lifestyle coach and educator through Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan® Academy. She is also planning to receive her yoga teacher training in 2015.

Originally from New Jersey, Camille now lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

 

 

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REVIEW: The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead

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The Ruby Cirle  (Bloodlines #6)
Richelle Mead
Published February 10th 2015 by Razorbill
384 pages (paperback)
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING:

 

3 ★★★1/2

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

The epic conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series is finally here…
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world.

 

 

REVIEW:

 

OH MY GOD. I can’t believe it’s over.

It’s hard, really. It’s difficult to say goodbye to the characters I’ve grown to love. I love how thoroughly invested I was with these books. It was just too easy for me to care for them because they were really flawed and they make mistakes and stupid decisions every darn time yet still, they are all wonderful.

Richelle Mead wrapped up this series nicely, I supposed, though I feel that this was really short. I would’ve wanted to see more Dimitri and Rose. (I love them okay? They’re like one of my many OTPs) I need freaking short stories. Or novellas. I might even read some fan fictions because I was left wanting for more even though I was wholly satisfied with almost everything.

At the last pages I was like…

I can’t bring myself to read the end but alas! I reached the last page and the feeling was so bittersweet. I have so much love for these characters and I’m so happy everything turned out okay but I don’t know. Some problems were just too conveniently solved and that stopped me from enjoying this book immensely. But I still liked it so I’ll still give it a somehow high rating.

To all those who haven’t journeyed with these characters yet, I really recommend this series! (Including Vampire Academy, of course) But if you feel like you weren’t up to commit to a lot of books yet, you can at least try to read the first one. You’ll never know, maybe you guys will end up loving it like I did!

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