ARC REVIEW: The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

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The Anatomical Shape of a Heart
Jenn Bennett
Expected publication: November 3rd 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
YA > Contemporary 
 
 

5 ★★★★★

 
Purchase links:
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Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Leonardo da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.
Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?
 
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REVIEW:

 

“Feeling alive is always a risk.”

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Wow. Gorgeous cover. Stunning story. Incredible writing. This isn’t your average YA Contemporary Romance. I admit that Jenn Bennett is a name that I haven’t heard of when it comes to YA. But after reading this novel, her name is one I’ll never forget and and I’ll forever stalk.
 
TASoaH sucked me in from the very start. Theres something so magical in the first chapter of this book that made me stick around until I read the last page. Well, that magical feeling never left until the end. Jenn Bennett just aced that incredible writing style where every words, every scene, oozes with romance and… and feels. Honestly, this book is rendering me speechless.
 
Another thing that will impress you would be the whole plot of the book and its pacing and how it flowed until it ends. It’s just so refreshing and very unique! Bex’s interests are not the kind of stuff I usually encounter in this genre. It’s actually the first time I read about it. And in YA! We need more ideas like this. Even the love interests character and story is not something you’ll call cliché or been there, done that. Every little bit in this book is exceptional!
 
Beatrix character is 100% likeable. There’s something wrong with you if you and Bex won’t get along. She’s truly one of the best character I’ve ever read in a very long time. And Jack. Oh wow… JACKSON VINCENT. I could write a whole review for Jack alone. This boy. This boy just stole my heart.
 
There are books that you read and that you’ll like. There are books that you read and that you’ll love. But then there are books like The Anatomical Shape of a Heart that you read and that you’ll treasure forever. Because you’ll never forget the feeling that it gave you. Those butterflies that invaded your stomach. Those smiles that appeared in your face. An absolute gem! The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is not a book you want to miss. Real, romantic and full of wit.. we need more Jenn Bennett in this genre. This is absolutely one of the best books this 2015!

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram

 

Jenn Bennett is an artist and RITA-nominated author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series (Kindling the Moon) and the Roaring Twenties romance series, including Bitter Spirits, which was chosen as one of Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2014 and winner of RT Book Reviews Paranormal Romance Book of the Year, and Grave Phantoms—which was awarded RT’s May Seal of Excellence for 2015. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, (akaNight Owls in the U.K.) is her first YA contemporary romance. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two evil pugs. Visit her at www.jennbennett.net.

Want to be notified when her next book is coming out? Join her mailing list: http://eepurl.com/V5il9.

 

 
   

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AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul

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Underneath Everything
Marcy Beller Paul
Expected publication: October 27th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
YA > Romance | Contemporary
 
 
Purchase links:
AMAZON | KOBO | TBD | BN
 
 

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Mattie shouldn’t be at the bonfire. She should be finding new maps for her collection, hanging out with Kris, and steering clear of almost everyone else, especially Jolene. After all, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social scene the summer after sophomore year for a reason.
But now Mattie is a senior, and she’s sick of missing things. So here she is.
And there’s Jolene: Beautiful. Captivating. Just like the stories she wove. Mattie would know; she used to star in them. She and Jolene were best friends. Mattie has the scar on her palm to prove it, and Jolene has everything else, including Hudson.
But when Mattie runs into Hudson and gets a glimpse of what could have been, she decides to take it all back: the boyfriend, the friends, the life she was supposed to live. Problem is, Mattie can’t figure out where Jolene ends and she begins.
Because there’s something Mattie hasn’t told anyone—she walked away from Jolene over a year ago, but she never really left.
Poignant and provocative, Marcy Beller Paul’s debut novel tells the story of an intoxicating—and toxic—relationship that blurs the boundary between reality and fantasy, love and loyalty, friendship and obsession.
 
 
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AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

 

1. Hi Marcy!! Thanks for stopping by on the blog!! We’re so excited! To start off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 🙂

Hi! So excited to be here! A little about myself: I now live in the same town I grew up in, which also happens to be the setting for UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING. I have a serious obsession with tennis, both watching and playing. I’ve done the highest bungee jump in New Zealand. And I sang a capella in college.

2. Your debut novel, Underneath Everything tackles love and friendship and fall into the YA Contemporary genre. I was wondering though if what other genres do you want to venture in?

I love to read and write YA because at that time in your life, when you’re a teenager, you are still experiencing so many things for the first time. You are still finding your place. And the experiences you have as a teenager inform the decisions you make for the rest of your life. I can point to specific days/relationships/moments from my teen years that still affect me to this day. As of right now, I can’t imagine writing anything else.

As far as genre within the YA world—I love contemporary, but I’ve also been reading some amazing magical realism, speculative fiction, and psychological thrillers. Since I’m drawn to reading those stories, I figure I may be drawn to write one or more at some point in the future.

3. How would you introduce your main character, Mattie, to us? And Jolene? Did you have a particular muse for them?

Mattie is map-collecting high school senior who thinks she wants control over her life but really wants to lose it.
Jolene’s beauty, imagination, and twisted tactics have given her control over almost everyone, except for the people who count the most.
I did have a muse for Jolene, yes. And the more people I spoke to, the more obvious it became that almost everyone had a Jolene in their lives.

4. How did the whole concept of the book materialized in your head? Is there an event or a person or something that sparked the plot? 🙂

The first draft of this book told the story of a traditional love triangle. The girl friendship was a subplot. But when I read through the story during revision, the scene between the two girls was more interesting and intense to me than anything else in the manuscript. I revised the entire book around that scene until the whole thing was about a toxic girl friendship in which one girl was nearly consumed by the other.

5. The title and the cover of the book is really eye catching, how did you decide it? And will you change anything if you could? (Is that Mattie or Jolene in the cover?)

Thank you! I came up with the title, so I can take credit for that—after I wrote the manuscript I went through and picked out some lines I liked, and a friend and I agreed this was the best and most fitting for the title. But I didn’t have very much control over the cover. My agent and I saw one cover from the publisher before this one, and we all agreed it didn’t fit the book, mood or season-wise. Then they sent us this one and we were thrilled. I wouldn’t change a thing! As for who it is on the cover, well, it’s sort of a mix of the two characters, which is so fantastically appropriate for the book, it makes me giddy 

6. What is the hardest thing you ever did while writing Underneath Everything? Can you share a bit of your experience?

 

The most difficult part of the writing experience of UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING was making myself look some really uncomfortable truths in the face. I would write a scene that was difficult—one where a character was taking some sort of abuse, for example—and just when I thought I’d gotten to the bottom of why the character allowed it to happen, I would realize there was something more honest and real beneath that, if I forced myself to see it.
That, and rewriting the entire second half of the novel and revising the entire beginning to focus on the female relationship (and that was all before I got an agent!).

7. What will readers expect from the romance aspect in this book?

It’s Mattie’s first time falling for someone, so I think readers can expect intensity. They can expect confusion and exploration and shame and ecstasy—you know, the ingredients of all first loves.

8. Did something creepy or funny or even scary thing that happened while writing Underneath Everything?

The funniest thing that happened to me while writing this book was discovering the song Jolene by Dolly Parton. I swear I did not know that this song existed when I named the character or worked on the plot, but the song is absolutely perfect. Actually, I’m going to put it on right now.

9. Are you working on something new already? Do you have a WIP that you can tell us about? 🙂

I’m working on a couple of new things right now, but it’s still too early to talk about them. They are both very personal projects for me, and I hope you’ll be reading about them soon!


 

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM |

 

Marcy Beller Paul is a young adult author, former editor, and full-time mom who still has all the notes she passed in seventh grade (and knows how to fold them).
She graduated from Harvard University and lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children. Underneath Everything will be published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, in Fall 2015. It is her first novel.

 

 

 

 
   

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ARC REVIEW: Paper Planes Back Home by Tara Frejas

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Paper Planes Back Home
Tara Frejas
Published on February 21, 2015
YA/NA/A > Contemporary 
 
 

4 ★★★★

 
Purchase links:
Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks
 
 

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When Gianna wakes up on a cloud, she is disoriented yet fascinated. She thinks she’s only dreaming until she gets a storm of paper planes—”They’re thoughts of people who remember,” a man on another cloud tells her—each pleading for her not to leave. The man tells her these planes are the key to get out of there, and while she thinks it’s hard to believe, she decides everything is worth trying if it meant finding her way back home.
 
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REVIEW:

 

Dear Book,

 

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“The stronger the love, the stronger the plane,”


I can’t seem to find the words that describes my feelings towards Paper Planes Back Home. All I know is my jaw dropped, my heart is full of FEELS and everything is just beautiful! 

Just like I usually do, I went into reading PPBH without knowing anything about it. And that is not the way to go folks! I was really lost and for the first two chapters, I was confused. I think it was also because the book was not the kind that only focuses in two main characters. You might think that its a bad thing (Just like what I thought at first) but noooooo. Far from it. Tara Frejas did everything meticulously. The characterization was done very well. Its amazing how she can make the readers feel the depth of her characters and how she can make her character’s emotions roll off through the pages easily.

The whole plot of the book is not something I’ve encountered before. It was really unique and one of a kind. And that’s why I love the book even more. It was new and refreshing and the whole story will make you realize some things that will affect how you run your life.

The characters are all great. Nothing cliché and all were concrete characters that you will definitely be fond of. The realness is there and the genuineness of each one can be felt. It was a short book… but the impact was huge.

Paper Planes Back Home is the book that I’ve been waiting for from a Filipino author. It makes me proud and inspired. The book was full of emotions and it was poignant. I highly recommend Paper Planes Back Home for readers who are looking for a book that will touch every part of their hearts. It’s romantic, hopeful and not a book I’ll be forgetting soon. A must read!!

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

 

Tara Frejas is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. By day, she works in project management and events, and she writes down her daydreams at night. She began publishing fiction for public consumption in 2004, posting her pieces on various online channels like fan forums and Blogspot, eventually exploring other avenues like Livejournal, Soomp!, Tumblr, and most recently, Wattpad.

Aside from her obvious love affair with words and persistent muses, Tara is very passionate about being caffeinated, musical theatre, certain genres of music, dancing, dogs, good food, and romancing Norae, her ukelele. She owns a 6-month-old male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes.

Paper Planes Back Home is her first novel.
 

 

 
   

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Darkest Dawn by Katlyn Duncan

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Darkest Dawn (Willows Lake #1)
Katlyn Duncan
Published September 17th 2015 by HarperCollins Publishers, Carina UK
YA >Fantasy | Paranormal
 
 
 
Purchase links:
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One desperate journey for the truth
Returning to Willows Lake eleven years after her mother’s tragic death, Sloane Baker knows she will finally get the answers she needs! She always suspected that there was something more sinister at the heart of the accident that claimed her mother’s life, but a cryptic note could be the key to her past…
Two lives changed forever
The small town has always seemed safe to Brianna Taylor – until a mysterious new girl arrives who looks exactly like Bri! Now everything Bri knew has been thrown into question and Sloane’s arrival has changed the world of Willows Lake forever.
Strange things are happening in Willows Lake. But when they turn deadly, Bri and Sloane must find a way to save each other or risk losing everything they hold dear…
 
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AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Website | Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook

 

Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.

 

 

 
   

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Review: Alive by Scott Siegler

Alive
Scott Sigler
Published July 14th 2015 by Del Rey
Young Adult | Science Fiction | Dystopia | Thriller | Mystery
368 pages
Purchased

 

 

4.5/5 Stars

 

 

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From New York Times bestselling author Scott Sigler comes something utterly new: a gripping sci-fi adventure trilogy in the vein of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. A group of young adults awake in a mysterious enclosed space with no knowledge of who they are or how they got there…and an indomitable young woman must lead them not only to answers but to survival.

A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement—and finds she’s not alone. She frees the others in the room and leads them into a corridor filled with the remains of a war long past. The farther these survivors travel, the worse are the horrors they confront. And as they slowly come to understand what this prison is, they realize that the worst and strangest possibilities they could have imagined don’t even come close to the truth.

 

 

REVIEW:

 

This book is fast paced, action packed, and completely blew my mind. I love love LOVE well written sci-fi books and this one kept me interested and theorizing until the last page.

Our main character here is a girl named Savage. (Which I thought was a pretty cool name.) She’s tough, functions well under pressure, but can also be cold and power hungry. Savage takes leadership over all the kids and is unwilling to hand over her power. She is almost obsessed with maintaining her position. She even becomes paranoid that other people are trying to challenge her. One of my favorite parts of this book was analyzing her thought processes. All of the kids seem so simple minded when talking about leadership because they say things like “But its my turn to be in charge!” It really struck me how Savage had to make so many difficult decisions so quickly to determine the fate of all these people.

When everyone wakes up no one knows who they are. They have to base it off of their coffins which only say their first initial and last name & I liked how their real first names were a mystery. Not only that, but the kids last names were great. Savage, Spingate, O’Malley. (GREY’S ANATOMY ANYONE?)

The reason this is only a 4.5 star book for me was because I felt the writing was inconsistent. The characters talk like they are older then 12 but they have thought processes of children. I found that pretty confusing. After, I finished I think I understand why this was done (if it was intentional) and now it makes more sense. Although I’m still not a fan of the inconsistent writing but since it had a purpose it didn’t bring my rating down too much. 

I believe this is supposed to be a trilogy.  There are still a good amount of questions left unanswered which I’m hoping get addressed in the next book. I will definitely be attempting to get my hands on an ARC of the next one before it comes out. I think this book is perfect for anyone who loves really mysterious sci-fi! 

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