ARC Review: My Secret To Tell by Natalie D. Richards




My Secret To Tell

Natalie D. Richards

Published October 6th 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire

YA >  Mystery

320 pages

eARC for Review

 

 4 ★★★★

 

Purchase links: Amazon | Nook

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

There was blood on his hands. Where was the guilt in his eyes?

Emmie’s had a crush on her best friend’s brother forever. Deacon is the town bad boy who’s always in trouble, but she sees his soft side when he volunteers with her at the local animal shelter. She doesn’t think he’s dangerous…until he shows up in her bedroom with blood on his hands.

Deacon’s father has been violently assaulted and Deacon is suspect number one. Emmie’s smart enough to know how this looks, but she also knows Deacon’s biggest secret—he’s paralyzed by the sight of blood. She’s sure he didn’t do this. Or did he? Because even Deacon’s own sister thinks he’s guilty…

 

 

REVIEW

My Secret To Tell was a book that I enjoyed from start to finish—I’m not really a mystery or thriller genre lover, so for me to really want to finish that genre as soon as I’ve started it? RARE. But that’s just how it was with this particular book and me. My Secret To Tell pulled me in from the prologue and I found myself constantly on my toes, trying to think and think back and keep thinking with the whole Whodunnit vibe that this story gave off!

My Secret To Tell follows the voice of Emerson May, (Emmie/Eddie) and her “journey” in trying to find out who exactly violently assaulted and almost killed her best friend Chelsea Westfield’s father. Things get more complicated when Chelsea’s brother, Deacon, turns up at Emma’s house, completely covered in blood. Everyone in town is convinced that the rebel that Deacon is, he’d find no fault in almost murdering his won father, but Emmie knows better. Emma knows that Deacon almost turns catatonic at the sight of blood so he couldn’t possibly have done it. But of course, she’s had a crush on him forever, so the reader is led to believe that there might a conflict of interest there.

Emmie was a very unreliable narrator, simply because she knew almost nothing about the inner workings of Mr. Westfield’s business, or if people had motive to harm him for whatsoever reason. And because she was clueless, so was I. And it was bloody brilliant because that is precisely how you want to go into a book like this. As a character, Emmie was kind of a hot mess. She had all these unfair expectations of herself, and add to that the fact that she was a brilliant girl already, she made her own life a bit miserable. I liked how she was responsible and caring, but she also was naive and people too heady advantage of that. Nonetheless, Emmie was smart and if there are characters in books that I’m genuinely proud of, Emmie is right up there with them! She took control, she helped her friends, and she dealt with her parents in a way that was much too mature for her age.

Deacon, on the other hand, was a guy I was confused about. My feelings toward him were hot and cold, owing to the fact that he was one person I couldn’t figure out up until the end. The guy is swoony in all ways that count, and of course, I’m a sucker for bad guys, but Deacon was just a complete mystery to me. His contribution to the story line, however, is important, and since the book essentially revolves around him and his apparent innocence in a game that is far bigger than he realises, whether you like it or not, you’re going to be seeing a lot of Deacon! And in all honesty, my only issue with him was the mystery allure around him. It was a little hot—a lot hot—and it was new to me, so I’m going to give an overall good response to Deacon! Plus, he’s fast and smart, you guys. No two ways about it. I was hella impressed by his agility :p

The Emmie-Deacon romance I’d have liked to see more of. But if I’m being completely honest to myself, the romance that was present here was completely perfect. Why? My Secret To Tell isn’t about the romance! It’s about the thrills and chills and romance taking a backseat is the way to go. I’m a complete pile of mush when it comes to the romance, but this book was completely chill even without too much of the feels. The little snippets of “Emmie and Deacon time” that we do see are plenty satisfying, because I assure you—you’re going to be so involved and consumed with the action in the book, you’re going to want to skip the slower, touchy feely part completely!

I’ve read Gone Too Far by Nat Richards, and no surprises here, but I loved it ❤ It’s plenty awesome to fall in love with a Mystery book by an author I’ve read for the first time, but two Mysteries? Fucking great! The writing style is slow and almost sensual in the way that it grabs you and doesn’t let you go until you are completely immersed in its universe. I found myself thinking a lot, like I mentioned earlier, about the possible suspects and stuff and in hindsight, I got pretty close to the real thing, but I was also always in doubt, so if you’re one of those people that like to be kept guessing, I’ve found a winner for you!

 

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ARC REVIEW: How to Lose a Bachelor by Anna Banks

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How to Lose a Bachelor

Anna Banks

November 9th 2015

Adult > Contemporary Romance

196 pages (Kindle edition)

eARC via Netgalley

 

2★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

When Rochelle Ransom auditioned for the dating show Luring Love, she had big plans for winning the prize money to help her favorite charity–and if she won the hot bachelor’s heart, even better. But at the last minute she finds out the hot bachelor is her ex-boyfriend, Grant Drake. Desperate to keep her distance from him, she’ll do anything–and everything–to get voted off.

Years ago, Rochelle broke Grant’s heart, and he’s out for revenge. There’s no way he’ll vote her off.

After all, vengeance is a dish best served red-hot…and on live television.

When her hilarious antics to get kicked off the show escalate, Grant’s reminded why he fell in love with her the first time. Now he isn’t sure which might be more fun… Seeing how far Rochelle is willing to go to get away or how far he will to keep her forever.

 

 

MINI REVIEW:

Meh. This was okay. Nothing groundbreaking yet it’s not that bad either–and that’s already considering how immature the characters are! Honestly, their childishness was the ultimate deal breaker for me. Ten years have passed since they last saw each other and they were acting like children more than they did all those years ago. Ugh, so annoying. I just thought it pretty immature all the heroine did on TV (!!!) considering that she’s a lawyer and has a professional reputation to uphold. It’s like she doesn’t even care that the way she acts might possibly taint her professional life. Hm. I’m not saying that just because she’s a lawyer. I still would’ve said that even though she’s a mere street vendor. I don’t know. I just felt like getting your ass drunk and passing out in front of everybody, wearing the frumpiest clothes just so she would get eliminated on the show (and that only had the same opposite, obviously) was not worth all the embarrassment she had to endure just for the sake of some petty revenge that was ten years in the making.

I couldn’t even concentrate on the romance because I was too busy being annoyed! Eh. Well, if you’re looking for a real inside look on how reality shows work–like The Bachelor– watch Lifetime’s UnREAL instead. That show is gold. Anyway, I’ve read better books than this. I’m out.

 

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Naked and Far From Home by J.P. Grider

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Naked and Far From Home

J.P. Grider

Published October 23rd 2015 by Createspace

YA > Contemporary | Romance

 

Purchase links: Amazon 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Tia Mercury was a freshman in high school and had her first serious crush – on a senior who wouldn’t touch her. At least not until she turned eighteen. Clinton Daniels was not your everyday teenage boy, and because his tougher-than-nails father wouldn’t let him forget it, Clinton became a loner. And learned to distrust everyone. Until he met Tia. She was sweet, she was funny, and she knew nothing about good music. It was the nineteen-eighties for goodness sake – time to turn off that AM radio crap. So, while Tia drooled over Clinton, he was busy making her mix-tapes. She was falling in love. He was ignoring his heart. See, Clinton had a secret. But sharing it could cost him their friendship, and he was not willing to risk losing the only person he ever loved. Naked and Far from Home is a serious story that spans a decade. A tale about unconditional love and what two people are willing to look past to prove that love.

 

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AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website

J.P. Grider is a New Adult and Young Adult author who is a sucker for a good love story – whether it’s reading one or writing one. And when she’s not reading or writing a fairy tale, she’s living one.

You can follow J.P. on Facebook at J.P. Grider, Author, on Instagram and Twitter @JPGrider1, and on her blog at jpgrider.com

 

 

 


   

GIVEAWAY:

 

$25 Amazon gift card & signed copy of Naked & Far From Home open US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

TOUR HOST:

YAREADS BOOK TOURS

Paula

2015 AUTHOR BASH: Michelle Falkoff, author of: Playlist For The Dead + Giveaway!!!

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Welcome to my stop for the 2015 Debut Author Bash. I’m so excited to have Michelle  on the blog today. I’m surelots of us have read her novel, Playlist For The Dead, and loved it. Read on to find out more about this amazing novel and get a chance to win a copy!


 

The Book..

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Playlist For The Dead

Published January 27th 2015 by HarperTeen

YA > Contemporary | Music

 

Purchase it: amazon | bn

 

 

About the book..

 

A teenage boy tries to understand his best friend’s suicide by listening to the playlist of songs he left behind in this smart, voice-driven debut novel.

Here’s what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs, and a suicide note: For Sam—listen and you’ll understand.

As he listens to song after song, Sam tries to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it’s only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.

Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Tim Tharp’sThe Spectacular Now, Playlist for the Dead is an honest and gut-wrenching first novel about loss, rage, what it feels like to outgrow a friendship that’s always defined you—and the struggle to redefine yourself. But above all, it’s about finding hope when hope seems like the hardest thing to find.

 

The author..

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connect: twitter | website | goodreads page | facebook

Michelle Falkoff’s fiction and reviews have been published in ZYZZYVA, DoubleTake, and the Harvard Review, among other places. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently serves as Director of Communication and Legal Reasoning at Northwestern University School of Law. This is her first novel.

 

The Interview..

 

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

I’m so excited to be here! I’m a New England native who’s moved all over the country, most recently to Chicago. I used to be a lawyer, and for my day job I teach legal writing, as well as some fiction writing on the side.

Your debut novel, Playlist for the Dead has a very interesting synopsis,, we’re really curious on how did this idea came to you. Can you share how did the whole concept of the book materialized in your head? 🙂

I was inspired a lot by Jay Asher’s 13 REASONS WHY and John Green’s LOOKING FOR ALASKA. Both were books about boys who’d lost girls they were interested in to suicide; I started thinking a lot about boys losing friends, which struck me as a different kind of thing. I’ve also always been really into music–I used to make lots of mixes when I was younger, and I gave a lot of thought to what kinds of messages go into into them and how it’s both easy and hard to teach people about how we’re feeling through music.

How would you introduce your main character, Sam, to us? Did you have a particular muse for him?

No muse in particular. He’s just a character who seemed very genuine and lovable to me, but in some ways kind of clueless–he starts out the book assuming that he knows everything about the people around him, especially his best friend, and part of his journey is learning that sometimes people are struggling with much more than he realizes.

Is this the genre you originally want to write? What other genre would you like to try in the future?

When I think of genre, I think of mysteries versus fantasies versus literary fiction, that sort of thing. I’ve always written literary fiction, and I’m very into mysteries, so I’ve always written hybrids of those things. In terms of category, I started out writing for adults (or at least I thought I did), but I’m finding that I enjoy writing for teenagers more at the moment, so I’m going to stick with this for as long as the teenagers will have me.

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?

I wish I could take credit, but I had help with both of those things–I’m terrible at titles, and I’m not very visual. I love both, and I’m super grateful for the help I got with them. I wouldn’t change a thing.

What is the hardest thing you ever did while writing Playlist for the Dead? Can you share a bit of your experience?

At first, the hardest thing was getting in the mindset of someone who’d experienced what Sam was experiencing. I’d never lost someone that way, and you have to go to a pretty dark place to try and imagine it. While I was writing, a good friend of mine passed away very suddenly, and then the hardest thing became actually dealing with that. The writing, in a weird way, helped.

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

Um, disappointment? 😉

I tend to think relationships are really hard, no matter how old you are. And a relationship that starts under the kinds of circumstances the characters are dealing with here has a lot of pressure put on it that might be more than that relationship can bear. What Sam and Astrid have is complicated, and the book grapples with that in a number of different ways.

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

I am! It’s called PUSHING PERFECT, and it’s about a high school valedictorian who gets blackmailed into being part of a prescription drug ring. It should be out next fall, and I’m really excited about it.

Lastly, what’s your three current YA favorites?

Oh, that’s so hard! There are just so many good books out there. Three I loved recently were E. Lockhart’s WE WERE LIARS, Becky Albertalli’s SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, and Amanda Panitch’s DAMAGE DONE.

Thanks again, Michelle for the Q&A!  

 

Here’s the Spotify playlist: 



 

  

Thanks again, Michelle for the Q&A! I REALLY cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy of your book! You’re so awesome 🙂

 

The Giveaway..

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What do you guys think of Playlist For The Dead? Will you be reading it? Share your thoughts!

Paula

SNEAK-A-PEEK: The Starriest Summer (The Cycle of the Six Moons #1) by Adele Yeung + Giveaway!!

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The Starriest Summer (The Cycle of the Six Moons, #1)

Adelle Yeung

Published December 1st 2015 by Indigo Platinum Press

YA > Fantasy |

 

Purchase links: Amazon 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Fifteen-year-old Michelle saves the world on a daily basis…with her trusty video game controller, of course! Naturally, she jumps at the chance to play an experimental virtual reality game.

The beautiful fantasy world of Starrs? Check. The power to mold matter? Check. No reset button? Wait, she didn’t sign up for this!

Turns out Starrs is really real, and to make matters worse, Michelle’s interference awakens the Cycle of the Six Moons, a series of devastating trials that will devour the universe.

Fighting the apocalypse was way easier when danger stayed on the other side of the screen, but Michelle finds a secret weapon in her new-found powers. She uses them to rescue the crown prince of a powerful magic kingdom from their sworn enemies, a technologically-advanced cult that strives to eradicate magical blood.

Michelle starts to fall for Prince Jayse, the only one who believes Michelle to be a savior rather than a curse. But not even video games could prepare her for what the cult has in store for them…

 

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[tour schedule

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

Chapter Two:  The Creator’s Return

“It’s this young lady I wanted to have a word with,” she continues.

“M-me?”

“Yes, young Goddess, you!”

I hear Gediyon gasp, “So you are…!”

“Why have you returned?” the woman shrieks, inching closer to my face.  Her breath smells like curry.  “Starrs is not ready for your soul.  You should have stayed in Tyme!”

“What are you talking about?” I start.

“She came from Tyme?” Gediyon asks.

She twirls around and I can breathe.  She says, “Yes, boy, and she should have stayed there.”

“What about time?” I say.  “I’m just playing a game!”

“No!  No you are not!  Starrs is as real as your ‘Earth,’ and the Cycle is not a toy at your mercy.  Your brother shouldn’t have created that machine of his.  He knew he’d be playing with the universe!”

I gape at her.  “I… I don’t understand.”

“Of course you don’t!” she spits.  “The Creator should only enter Starrs when she is born here.  She’s raised and taught the ways of the Cycle.  It’s a lifestyle.  A fifteen-year-old can’t hope to learn how to be Goddess in six months.  All because you and your brother wanted to play a game, you’ve awakened the dormant Cycle of the Six Moons, and all the universes are doomed.”

She twists herself like thread on a spindle, then vanishes into nothing.

 

E-Bonfire

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website | Facebook

Adelle Yeung is the author of The Cycle of the Six Moons trilogy, a young adult fantasy adventure.

She is also a voice-over artist who can’t go a day without a cup of tea. When she’s not writing or recording, she enjoys sewing costumes, baking sweets, and escaping on video game adventures. She lives in California with a cat that dreams of eating the pet bird.

She has provided script supervision for the independent animation, Shattered Heaven, and is head script editor and one of the co-writers for the upcoming game Fiona Frightening and the Wicked Wardrobe.

 

 


   

GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

TOUR HOST:

YA BOUND BOOK TOURS

Paula