ARC REVIEW: Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

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Shallow Graves

Kali Wallace

Expected publication: January 26th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

YA > Fantasy | Paranormal

Purchase links: Amazon | BN | TBD 

 

3 ★★★1/2

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Breezy remembers leaving the party, the warm, wet grass under her feet, her cheek still stinging from a slap to the face. But when she wakes up, scared and pulling dirt from her mouth, a year has passed and she can’t explain the necklace of bruises around her neck. She also can’t explain the man lying at her grave, dead from her touch.

Returning home seems impossible. Her parents and sisters have clearly grieved and struggled to move on, and Breezy can’t begin to answer their inevitable questions. Her heartbeat comes and goes, she doesn’t need to eat or drink, she can see the inky memories of murderers, and she can somehow pull on this dark guilt to kill them. Haunted by the happy memories from her life and disgusted by the half-dead creature she’s become, Breezy embarks on a reckless quest to find answers and a dangerous healing magic…but the cure is as dark and terrible as the disease.

Set in a gorgeous, terrifying world, Shallow Graves is a stunning novel about the heartbreaking trauma of a girl’s life cut short and her struggle to reconcile her humanity with the creature she’s become.

 

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REVIEW:

 

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Do you want a book that take a hold of your full attention from the first chapter until the end? Then Shallow Graves is for you. This novel is not at all what I expected. I was in a kind of roller coaster ride while I was reading throughout the book. There were a lot of stuff that I really liked and made the book standout but there are certain things that left me confuse as well and it’s making me demand for a sequel.


Breezy was a such a refreshing character.
I’m gonna be honest here, everytime I am about to read a fantasy/paranormal book, I tend to condition myself to be patient because I know there’s a chance that I’ll encounter a whiney and irritating heroine. Add a bunch (yes, a bunch) of hot boys that fights over the love interests affection, and there you go. That is where the story revolves. Thank the book gods the book wasn’t like that, and most importantly, Breezy is not that kind of character. She will make you interested and curious. She’s a great narrator and you will really find your self wrapped up in the story because of her mysterious voice. 

Speaking of mystery, that’s what I really liked the most in this story. Shallow Graves is full of unresolved and thrilling events that will make you glued in to every page. I was torn between reading it slow because I’m really enjoying the atmosphere of the book and reading it fast so I can find out what happens next. The plot of Shallow Graves is not really something I usually read and I love Kalli Wallaces take on cults, monsters and other mythical creatures. She didn’t stick to the cliché but instead, she made her own thing. I wished that I explored more of Breezy’s world, that’s why I can’t help but ask for a follow up story. I feel there’s still so much more that needs to be explained.

There’s not much of a romance side in this book but you will hardly notice it because Breezy’s adventures will take your mind off of it and honestly, I think a romance isn’t necessary for this story anyway. I mean sure, I’m already shipping Breezy with someone (because I can’t help it) but if ever the author makes a sequel, I’d be fine with whatever road she’ll decide.

Shallow Graves will captivate you from the very start. You’ll find yourself at the edge of your seat, biting your fingernails and turning the pages quickly because you want to find out answers. The atmosphere of the book is so impressive for it will really hypnotize you to read the book until the end. With Kalli Wallaces enthralling writing, Shallow Graves will surely linger in your mind for a long time!

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website | Facebook | Instagram

Kali Wallace studied geology and geophysics before she decided she enjoyed inventing imaginary worlds as much as she liked researching the real one. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, F&SF, Asimov’s, Lightspeed Magazine, and Tor.com. Her first novel will be published by Katherine Tegen Books in 2016. She lives in southern California.

 

 


   

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In Which I Introduce You to The Bloggers

Hello, everyone! I’m here again. Yep, now that I hibernated you can’t get rid of me even that easily. Me, along with the other bloggers of Her Book Thoughts would like to greet you all a Happy, HAPPY New Year! 2015 has been great and challenging for each one of us. We get to read, talk to other readers, meet new bloggers and even interact with authors! We just want to say thank you from the bottom of our bookish hearts that YOU (yes, YOU) have been a part of it. Let’s rock 2016 with our awesomenessss!!

…okay Paula,  what is this post really about?

Well, I honestly don’t know why I thought of re-introducing our beautiful selves again and how would it  help anything but I figured since it’s a new year, this would be a great opportunity. Besides, lets face it, some of you may not even know me, or us. There’s 4 of us who is *trying* to keep this crazy (but fun!) workplace running. I’ll be forever grateful for Rhea, Marla and Sam for helping me out with the blog. And to be honest, I need them when I have to fangirl so hard about something… or someone. Our bookish hearts are connected and yes, that’s just cheesy but that’s me. Cheesy Paula!

…oh-kaayyyy, can we just meet them please?

Yes! Before I totally embarrass myself. Right here is Rhea who loves NA more than anything (I assume about things, please forgive me. Feel free to butt in, Rhea! Just don’t hurt me) This girl is kick ass, I’m telling you. You don’t do instalove or crazy love triangle in front of this lady.  You just don’t. IMG_4662 This sweet pea here is Marla. Don’t let her sweet smile fool you. This girls reviews can  be so brutally honest, you will bleed. But she’s nice. So nice. She’s A++++ when it comes to fangirling. She loves How To Get Away With Murder anddddd she ship FLaurel. Totally bff material tbh. wpid-wp-1452191660028.jpeg And our baby of course. Pretty Sam! Who is much much taller than me despite of her age, I’m just so sure that this is a fact. She has a booktube (okay I have no idea if this term is right but yeah it’s a YouTube channel that is about books) How awesome is that?! Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset And you might be sick of me but come on people this is necessary. This is me. I love people, coffee, pandas, and books. That’s really everything you need to know about me. Well, no (I might be interesting you know) but that’s all I will say because I tend to talk non-stop. So, Hellloooooo! 735060_556686464485048_1685316530267469475_n

…..do I really need to know all of you?

If you’re nice and you like books and you will come back on our blog, then big fat YES. We are people who cry about fictional characters and stay up all night to finish a book. Seriously, how normal are we???????

…..uhm, yeah. Normal.

ANYWAY, that’s the squad! You can talk to us individually through our Goodreads, Twitter or Instagram (I don’t have one since its too cool for me) accounts. And yes, we’re totally into talking! Say Hi, Hello or whatever and because we’re always looking for another blogger/reader to fangirl with. I’m sorry that’s just how it works. Thank you people for reading! Don’t forget to say HI or introduce yourself on the comments section. We’d love to know YOUU!

GUEST POST: ‘real-life “behind-the-scenes” inspirations for IDENTITY CRISIS’ by Melissa Schorr

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Identity Crisis

Melissa Schorr

Expected publication: January 18th 2016 by Merit Press

YA > Contemporary | Romance

Purchase links: Amazon | BN | TBD 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

When curvaceous Annalise Bradley’s scandalous freshman year hookup sparks the anger of her female classmates, three of them decide to get her back by “catfishing” her, creating a fake online profile of the perfect boy to toy with her affections.

Against her better nature, introverted Noelle Spiers, goes along with her friends’ plan, hoping to distract Annalise from dreamy Cooper Franklin, her lifelong crush who has fallen for Annalise instead.

As Annalise discovers she is being played and seeks revenge, Noelle increasingly regrets her role in the cruel hoax and tries to salvage their relationship.

Told in alternative perspectives, IDENTITY CRISIS covers romance, betrayal, and timeless friendship in the age of modern technology.

 

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GUEST POST:

Thanks for having me today. I’m excited to share a few real-life “behind-the-scenes” inspirations for IDENTITY CRISIS!
Anytime, Melissa! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
1) A Hawaiian football player. A Sister Wife. Teenager Megan Meier. What do these three have in common? All were “catfished” — fell prey to a fake online romance with someone who never really existed. News stories and the MTV show “Catfish” got me thinking — how does a person let themselves get fooled? But also, what motivates someone to do that to someone else? 
 
2) The opening scene in my book was stolen from my all-time favorite lesson from high school. Well, at least, that I can still remember. During my senior year “Math for Dummies” class, our assignment was to calculate the probability of getting different color candies from a bag of M&Ms. Fun and tasty! (I was actually a math nerd that went to Bronx Science, but was too burned out by senior year to endure AP Calculus). Kudos to the brilliant teacher that came up with it.
 
3) One of the mean girls, Tori, runs an online beauty pageant called #InstaHotOrNot, which was inspired by real online beauty pageants that were rating teen girls’ photos against one another. It was incredibly fun to orchestrate this particular pageant’s very public “take-down.”
 
4) The last scene of the book at the concert arena has been described by one critic as, ahem, “over the top” — and maybe it is — but in my defense, it was taken from a true event. Remember what happened (no spoilers!) at the 2013 SuperBowl?

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website | Facebook | Instagram

Melissa Schorr is the YA author of GOY CRAZY (Hyperion 2006) and IDENTITY CRISIS (forthcoming, Merit Press 2016), and a contributor to the YA anthology DEAR BULLY.

She is currently a contributing writer/editor to the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. Her freelance work has appeared in numerous publications, including GQ, People, Self, San Francisco magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. 

Melissa currently lives in Boston with her husband, her daughters, and her dog, Bailey.

 


   

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Paula

ARC REVIEW: Bookishly Ever After (Ever After #1) by Isabel Bandeira

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Bookishly Ever After (Ever After #1)

Isabel Bandeira

Published January 12th 2016 by Spencer Hill Contemporary

YA > Contemporary | Romance

Purchase links: Amazon | BN | TBD 

 

3 ★★★1/2

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

 

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REVIEW:

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 “Fiction is the best kind of reality.


Nothing truer has been said in the history of truths. Bookishly Ever After is one of my most anticipated release for this year. I remember the agonizing wait for it and it just intensified when the book cover came out. I didn’t know it before but the cover is as adorable as the story. It’s an amazing feeling when the book you have been waiting for so long didn’t disappoint you. Sure, there are some things I expected that I thought will happen but I still love the book with all my heart. This one will go to the forever-favorite shelf.

Phoebe is the complete treasure of this story. I don’t even know what to say to make YOU realize how relatable Phoebe is as a girl, as a reader and as a hardcore fangirl. She is US. I can’t stop giggling and loving her throughout the story. The scenarios are just déjà vus. For me at least. It’s either I’VE BEEN THERE or I KNOW WHAT YOU FEEL FEEBS. Bandeira did a perfect job in creating a genuine and authentic character that any fangirls can relate to. You won’t help but sympathize with her and feel whatever she’s going through. Her excitement over the book she’s reading will rub on you and you’ll find yourself fangirling with her as well.

The romance, which was a huge part of Bookishly Ever After, was as awkward, sweet and swoony as I thought it would be. Oh young love! Oh those awkward high school days! Dev was an absolute guy. Charming, kinda confusing and totally swoon worthy. I would’ve wished the we get to hear some of his thoughts too because he’s such a closed character, but I understand what the author is trying to do. And besides, he’s one of those guys you root for despite his flaws and kinda stupid decisions. I liked Dev’s and Phoebes awkward exchanges and witty banters but somehow I still feel like I want more! It was said in Goodreads though that this will be a series so maybe my wish would be granted in the upcoming books!

Reading is great and being a fangirl is fun. But just like what I learned from Phoebe and her books-to-life missions, it’s really not so bad to face reality sometimes. It’s required and kinda sorta fun.

Bookishly Ever After is written for everyone who turns to reading when you’re not into facing reality. Phoebe understands! With Bandeiras humorous and realistic way of writing, readers will be charmed. A book made by a reader for her fellow readers. Bookishly Ever After is a complete gem that I’ll forever recommend! 

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website | Blog | Instagram

Isabel Bandeira grew up surrounded by trees and lakes in Southern New Jersey, right on the edge of the Pine Barrens. Her summers were always spent in Portugal, where the cathedrals, castles, and ancient tombs only fed her fairy tale obsession. Between all those influences and her serious glitter addiction, it wasn’t a surprise when she started writing stories of her own.

In her free time between writing and her day job as a Mechanical Engineer who designs and develops medical devices, she reads, dances, figure skates, and knits.

Isabel lives in New Jersey with her little black cat, too many books, and a closetful of vintage hats. She is represented by Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson. BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER is her debut novel.

 


   

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GUEST POST: ‘what inspired The Heir and The Spare’ by Emily Albright

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The Heir and The Spare

Emily Albright

Expected publication: January 18th 2016 by Merit Press

YA/NA > Contemporary | Romance

Purchase links: Amazon | BN | TBD 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Family can be complicated. Especially when skeletons from the past pop up unexpectedly. For American Evie Gray, finding out her deceased mother had a secret identity, and not one of the caped crusader variety, was quite the surprise. Evie’s mom had a secret life before she was even born, one that involved tiaras.

In this modern day fairytale, Evie is on a path to figure out who her mom really was, while discovering for herself what the future will hold. Charged with her late mother’s letters, Evie embarks on a quest into her past. The first item on the list is to attend Oxford, her mom’s alma mater. There, Evie stumbles upon a real life prince charming, Edmund Stuart the second Prince of England, who is all too happy to be the counterpart to her damsel in distress.

Evie can’t resist her growing attraction to Edmund as they spend more time together trying to unravel the clues her mother left behind. But, when doubts arise as to whether or not Edmund could ever be with an untitled American, what really ends up unraveling is Evie’s heart. When Evie uncovers all the facts about her mom’s former life, she realizes her mom’s past can open doors she never dreamed possible, doors that can help her be with Edmund. But, with everything now unveiled, Evie starts to crack under the pressure of new family responsibilities and the realization that her perfect prince may want her for all the wrong reasons.

 

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GUEST POST:

I want to first thank the ladies of Her Book Thoughts for having me here today! My debut novel, The Heir and the Spare, is releasing from Merit Press January 18th and I’m here to tell you about some of my inspirations behind it.

You’re welcome anytime, Emily! Thanks for stopping by on the blog! 

To start, the idea for THATS began with the royal wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William. I started thinking about Prince Harry. I wondered how his life, as the second son, might differ from Prince William’s. Would Harry have more freedoms? Less pressures? I was particularly curious when it came to the romance department. With that little seed planted, THATS quickly took shape. 

Okay, now, this is probably going to sound awful, but there was only one character in the book who I had someone in mind as I wrote them. Clarice. She’s Evie’s mean grandmother, and she’s actually loosely based on my own grandmother, who wasn’t a nice person at all. Some of her facial expressions and sour attitude managed to seep into Clarice’s character. 

And finally, Evie’s love of art history definitely comes from my own love of the subject. In college I took numerous classes and was only a couple credits shy of minoring in art history. But, being burnt out, I just wanted to graduate. Now, looking back, I do regret it. Especially since I enjoyed studying it so much.  

Thanks again for having me, and I hope you all enjoy The Heir and the Spare. 

— Emily 

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website | Facebook | Instagram

Emily Albright’s debut novel, THE HEIR AND THE SPARE, is releasing January 18, 2016 from Merit Press.

She’s a writer, a major bookworm, a lover of romantic movies, a wife, a mother, an owner of one adorable (yet slightly insane) cockapoo, and uses way too many :).

 


   

GIVEAWAY:

 

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Paula