Blog Tour: Two Like Me and You by Chad Alan Gibbs [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY]

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TwoLike.jpgBook Title: Two Like Me and You
Author: Chad Alan Gibbs
Publication Date: May 20th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Edwin Green’s ex-girlfriend is famous. We’re talking cover-of-every-tabloid-in-the-grocery-store-line famous. She dumped Edwin one year ago on what he refers to as Black Saturday, and in hopes of winning her back, he’s spent the last twelve months trying to become famous himself. It hasn’t gone well.

But when a history class assignment pairs Edwin with Parker Haddaway, the mysterious new girl at school, she introduces him to Garland Lenox, a nursing-home-bound World War II veteran who will change Edwin’s life forever.

The three escape to France, in search of the old man’s long-lost love, and as word of their adventure spreads, they become media darlings. But when things fall apart, they also become the focus of French authorities. In a race against time, who will find love, and who will only find more heartache?


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.

MY THOUGHTS

My initial reaction upon finishing this book was relief, partly because the whirlwind of suspense (about the main characters’ adventures) was over and I don’t have to constantly worry about them anymore. But also, I felt relieved mainly because I ended up liking the book despite the few troubles I had with it.

Just to get it out of the way, let me tell you that I did not feel a connection to any of the characters so that’s a major turn off for me. At that point, I was starting to get worried that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy this as much as I expected. Also, I felt that the book could have been a little shorter because it felt dragging for some times. But despite those, I carried on reading and I’m glad I did!

This contemporary book is unlike any I’ve read before. Since I mostly read romances in this genre, Two Like Me and You was kind of like a breath of fresh air for me. I love how it does not entirely focus on the romantic aspect despite love having somehow a significant role in the story. Plus, this book is jam-packed with adventure that keeps me biting my nails in anticipation. Most of the happenings here are ludicrous and absolutely unbelievable which gets the excitement constantly flowing! Not to mention, the World War II references were very interesting for me to read about.

Overall, I enjoyed this one despite a couple of points for improvement. I’d recommend this one if you’re looking for a crazy and fun contemporary read.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Chad Alan Gibbs lives in Alabama with his wife, two sons, two dogs, and an embarrassingly large collection of Star Wars action figures. Two Like Me and You is his first novel.

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3 signed copies of Two Like Me and You

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Blog Tour: Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen [REVIEW, FAVORITE QUOTES + GIVEAWAY]

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Book Title: Happy Messy Scary Love
Author: Leah Konen
Published by: Amulet Books
Publication Date: May 14th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

As everyone at her Brooklyn high school announces their summer adventures, Olivia harbors a dirty secret: Her plan is to binge-watch horror movies and chat with her online friend, Elm. Olivia and Elm have never shared personal details, apart from their ages and the fact that Elm’s aunt is a low-budget horror filmmaker. Then Elm pushes Olivia to share her identity and sends her a selfie of his own. Olivia is shocked by how cute he is! In a moment of panic, assuming she and Elm will never meet in real life, she sends a photo of her gorgeous friend Katie. But things are about to get even more complicated when Olivia’s parents send her to the Catskills, and she runs into the one person she never thought she would see. This sweet and funny summertime romance is perfect for fans of Love and Gelato and The Unexpected Everything.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club.

MY THOUGHTS

Having read and loved the author’s other work, The Romantics (you can read my review here), I was pretty psyched to find out I was given the opportunity to read and review her latest book. The premise of this book was just as interesting for me as The Romantics’ premise was, so I had no problem getting into this one.

Olivia Knight, also known as CarrieRevenge on Reddit, is an aspiring screenplay writer and is a huge horror buff. That’s why, on her late night escapades on Reddit, she met a fellow horror fan on there with the handle named Elm. They’ve hit it off right from the start and after months of online friendship, Elm sends a picture of him to Olivia (or Carrie) and asks one in return. So, in typical teenage fashion, Olivia lets her uncertainties get the best of her so she sends a picture of Katie, her best friend, instead. It’s totally fine because there’s no chance in hell that they would meet, right? Wrong!

From the beginning, readers get to be well-versed on who our main character is and what events prompted the mess that would eventually befall her. Olivia was an okay main character for me. Because although I do enjoy her enthusiasm for horror films and understand the self-issues she’s been dealing with, she never really warmed up to me all that much. Still, I really loved getting to explore about her happy, messy and scary summer romance.

Elm, on the other hand, was a character in the book that I absolutely adored. For a fictional character, he just seemed so real to me. He is so charming, nerdy and an overall sweet guy. That, amongst other things! Katie was another one that made the book so enjoyable! Another touch of spice and realism to an otherwise fictional story. She’s honestly the best best friend anyone can ask for; the one that’s always got your back but isn’t afraid to let you know when you’re being too much. Her own character was explored for a bit in this book too, despite the story not revolving around her, which I appreciate a lot.

The romance itself was sweet, because Olivia and Elm are perfect for each other, and thrilling, in the sense that I have this anticipation of when Olivia’s facade will all come tumbling down. The banter that they had, both online and in person, were a delight to read and I can see how they get on so well together. However, I do think that the ending wasn’t what I hoped it would be. It was a bit rushed, in my opinion.

Overall, though, this was a good read! Happy Messy Scary Love is a cute and fun read whenever you’re in the mood for something quick, especially during the summer season!


FAVORITE QUOTES

“Photos are a different level. Photos have flaws, pimples, and pores. You can’t capture your witty banter, your love for 1930s noir, in a photo.

“I know I’m playing with fire. I know that this is unsustainable, that it can’t go on this way. Only it’s so lovely, it’s so wonderful, seeing every side of him like I do.”

“When it comes to romance, sometimes right and wrong isn’t always so black and white.”

“I know I’m playing with fire. I know that this is unsustainable, that it can’t go on this way. Only it’s so lovely, it’s so wonderful, seeing every side of him like I do.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

p-1Leah Konen is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and creative writing. She’s the author of the forthcoming HAPPY MESSY SCARY LOVE, LOVE AND OTHER TRAIN WRECKS, THE ROMANTICS, THE LAST TIME WE WERE US and THE AFTER GIRLS. She lives in Brooklyn and Saugerties, NY, with her husband and their dog, Farley.

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Blog Tour: Alien Minds by Christina Bauer [EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY]

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Book Title: Alien Minds
Author: Christina Bauer
Series: Dimension Drift #1
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication Date: April 23rd 2019
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

DIVERGENT meets OCEAN’S EIGHT in this urban fantasy heist!

On my seventeenth birthday, I wake up in the hospital to find I just survived a sketchy but terrible accident. My parents stand by my bedside—both are beautiful, wealthy, and super-nice. They tell me that once I leave the hospital, I’ll attend the prestigious ECHO Academy, where I’ll churn out equations for the government along with my mega-smart peers.

So, I’m living the perfect life.

Then why does everything feel all wrong?

My parents, my house and even ECHO Academy…none of it fits. Plus, what’s up with Thorne, my brooding yet yummy classmate who keeps telling me I need to remember my true past, which seems to have included a lot of us kissing? That’s one thing I’d really like to remember, except for the fact that I’m pretty sure Thorne is hiding a ton of nasty secrets of his own, including the fact that he may not be from this world. But considering how my own past seems alien to me, it’s not like I can judge. Plus, Thorne has dimples. That’s a problem.

And worst of all, why does it feel so yucky to work on these calculations for the government? It’s all supposed to be part of ECHO, but my heart tells me that I’m helping something truly terrible come to pass. Thorne seems to think that kissing him again will release my real memories.

Maybe it’s time to pucker up.

“Appealing and engaging. Love the strong female character!” – Arlene’s Book Reviews

This new series is perfect for: fans of urban fantasy, action & adventure, cool science, evil corporations, forbidden romance and hot new classmates who may or may not be aliens.


EXCERPT

Excerpt – Opening Chapter
Meimi

In this moment, I know four things.

One, I just woke up in a hospital bed.

Two, I don’t remember anything about my life before today. Hello, amnesia!

Three, I want out of here now because …

Four, there’s a creepy couple in my room—Luci and Josiah—who claim they’re my sponsor parents. According to them, I’m a seventeen-year-old science prodigy called Wisteria Roberts.

Huh. That name rings zero bells.

Plus, these two make my skin crawl.

“We sponsor you financially,” explains Josiah. “Then in the fall, we’ll fund your senior year of high school at ECHO Academy.” Josiah’s a lanky guy with slicked-back hair, a frayed suit, and an overly large Adam’s apple.

“Afterward, you’ll pay us back with interest,” adds Luci. “Forty percent. Compounded annually.”

Luci is tall and willowy with white-blonde tresses. By contrast, I’m a curvy girl with brown hair and green eyes. I’m also wrapped up mummy-style with bandages. According to Luci and Josiah, I took a spill on Newbury Street and lost my memory. So sketchy.

Some small voice in my head cries that I should be terrified right now. Instead, I just feel numb. Must be a happy side effect of having no memory. Like an amnesia bonus.

“You’ll love living in our dorm,” says Josiah. “In fact, think of me more as your sponsor friend than your sponsor parent.”

At this point, that small part of me screams how Josiah is a disgusting pig. But more of me is still happily numb, so the warnings go nowhere.

Screech, screech, screech!

A chorus of alarm bells sound. Red lights flash in the outer hallway. An overly calm female voice drones through hidden speakers. “Cleansing search commencing … cleansing search commencing. All hail the Authority … All hail the Authority.”

With that, the inner cogs of my brain connect and whir. Feelings return. My blood chills over with fear. I may not recall my personal history, but I do remember how our evil government—what we call the Authority—conducts cleansing searches. They find the sick or poor, label them as undesirable, and slate them for cleansing. It’s a fancy word for murder.

The alarms wail louder. My heart rate skyrockets. If there’s a cleansing search, I’m a slam dunk to be undesirable. Yipes.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AB Christina Bauer pic.jpgChristina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

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Blog Tour: The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY]

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Hummingbird.jpgBook Title: The Hummingbird Dagger
Author: Cindy Anstey
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: April 16th 2019
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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From the author of Suitors and Sabotage comes a suspenseful and enthralling new Regency novel, perfect for readers who like their Jane Austen classics with a side of mystery and murder.

1833. A near-fatal carriage accident has deposited an unconscious young woman on the doorstep of Hardwick Manor and into the care of young Lord James Ellerby. But when she finally awakens, it is with no memory of who she is or where she came from.

Beth, as she calls herself, has no identity; the only clue to her circumstances is a recurring nightmare of a hummingbird, blood dripping from its steel beak.

With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth tries to solve the mystery of her own identity and the appalling events that brought her to their door. But nothing could prepare her for the escalating dangers that threaten her and the Ellerby clan. From the hazardous cliffs of Dorset to the hostile streets of London, Beth will fight to reclaim her past, hunted by a secretive foe with murderous intentions.

Fans of Cindy Anstey’s previous novels won’t want to miss The Hummingbird Dagger, a dark and twisty new offering that blends romance, danger and mystery.

Praise for Duels & Deception:

“Delightful … It is Jane Austen spiced with action, suspense, and humor.” —VOYAstarred review

Jane Austen fans in need of a good new book, look no further.” —Entertainment Weekly


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.

MY THOUGHTS

It’s been a while since I’ve read historical fiction and The Hummingbird Dagger is one definitely made me wonder why I don’t read this genre more often! There’s just something about the 18th century time period that fascinates me.

I loved the mystery aspect in this one so much! The dilemma got me really thinking most times since I always try to solve them on my own. Plus, with the historical genre added, it somehow gave the book a more eerie vibe to it. This, of course, did wonders for my reading experience. I was a bit spooked to read this during the night but I literally could not put the book down at times.

Also, I can understand how others would dislike the pacing of this one as it is a bit slow most of the time. However, I liked the lethargic pace in this one (which is largely unusual for me) since it allowed for a more immersive reading experience.

The only thing is… I found it hard to give my rating an extra star for this since I think that all the characters fell flat. They don’t seem all that real for me and that kind of distracted me for the most part.

Overall, The Hummingbird Dagger is still a great book that kept me on my toes and a mystery worth reading!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.

She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.

Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester.

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GIVEAWAY

Print copy of The Hummingbird Dagger (US/CAN)

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Blog Tour: Rune’s Folly by Garen Glazier [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY]

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Rune_s Folly.jpgBook Title: Rune’s Folly
Author: Garen Glazier
Publication Date: February 5th 2019
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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By day, Tansy McCoy is a florist making charmed bouquets for the citizens of Junonia, capital of the Kingdom of Terranmar. By night, she’s an assassin and the keeper of the Dangerous Garden where deadly blooms grow. Together with the town tailor, butcher, baker, and metalsmith (just don’t call her a candlestick maker), she is part of the Guild, a secret group of spell-wielding thieves and mercenaries. Their task: consolidate all that remains of the realm’s fading magic under the ruthless King Zeno’s control.

Impetuous loner Tansy chafes under her Guild demands. She longs to quit her town and trade and head for the hills. Unfortunately, King Zeno has other plans. He wants to marry off his daughter to Terranmar’s famously reclusive wizard, Rune Hallows, and he’s willing to have the Guild kidnap him to make it happen. Fail to deliver the wizard and the consequences will be swift and deadly.

Reluctant but determined, Tansy sets out on the long journey to faraway Wentletrap and Rune’s desolate tower by the sea. To get there she must cross a swamp full of sinister surprises, battle a werewolf, and outrace a bloodthirsty band of revenants, while she wrestles with her own magical powers that seem to be expanding in unpredictable ways.

But reaching Rune’s tower is only the beginning. When Tansy learns the real reason behind the king’s contest, she’ll need to decide whether to give in to the growing forces of magic ready to reclaim Terranmar or embrace her newfound powers to save the kingdom.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.

MY THOUGHTS

Oh, wow! This book took me by surprise because I didn’t expect to love this one as much as I did. Frankly, I didn’t know I was in the mood for an adventure/fantasy until I picked this one up.

I was reading this nonstop, flipping page by page, that it all suddenly ended right under my nose. And I wasn’t ready for it to end. The history and background of the world is just so interesting that it really pulls the readers in the story. I got so lost in Tansy and Rune’s adventures that it felt like I was there with them.

Aside from the lush world-building though, the characters were one more aspect in the book that I absolutely adored. Tansy, for one, is a great main character. She’s strong-willed, sarcastic (which I always appreciate) and maintains a bravado despite her constant self-doubt and fears. Rune is another character worth mentioning. He’s a powerful wizard who has an air of mystery to him and also has a sense of humor. But as much as I loved the two of them, I would love to get to know more about their ragtag group as well. Although I am a bit skeptical about the strength of their alliance, I think they do make a great team.

The concept of powers in this book was unique. The magic of the people aren’t like the typical ones I usually read about so Rune’s Folly was like a breath of fresh air. The ending wasn’t groundbreaking per se, but it did answer the few questions I had. Although I wish this first book was a little longer, I’m definitely looking forward to what the series has in store for me.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Garen.jpgI have always called Seattle home and find the perpetual gloom to be a wonderful writing ally. I like coffee shops, bookstores, dancing in my living room and singing in my car. The opening scene of Up makes me cry. Three Amigos makes me laugh. Fashion magazines, croissants, and long, long baths are my guilty pleasures. They might occur separately or together. I prefer boxing classes to yoga, and I get some of my best ideas when I’m running. I loved school and spent more time than one really should getting a business degree in marketing and a master’s in art history. In an ideal world I’d go to bed at 2am and wake up at 10am. I’ve never been an early bird, and I feel strongly that alarm clocks kill dreams.

Learn more at garenglazier.com.

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2x signed copies of Rune’s Folly (US/CAN)

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