Blog Tour: The Con Code by Shana Silver [REVIEW & GIVEAWAY]

Book Title: The Con Code
Author: Shana Silver
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release: August 25th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult

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A teen forger and thief forms a criminal crew from her high school friends (and crush) to perform a series of heists leading to the location of her missing mother in this action-packed contemporary YA novel.

By day, seventeen-year-old Fiona Spangler runs small cons for her ritzy prep-school classmates: getting them out of tests and forging fake hall passes. But by night, Fiona joins her dad on riskier heists: stealing back the clue-filled forgeries her mom scattered across the country before she disappeared. Fiona desperately hopes that her mother will be waiting at the end of the scavenger hunt she left behind.

And they are SO close. Just three more heists remain, but then disaster strikes when Fiona’s dad is captured by the FBI. Desperate to finish the job and save what’s left of her family, Fiona assembles of crew of teen criminals: a master of disguise who can transform into anyone, a talented hacker who only communicates in glares, and a rival con artist with a vendetta against—and possible crush on—Fiona.

All they have to do is perform three nearly impossible heists, solve her mother’s incredibly complex clues, and evade the FBI. Easy, right?

Content/trigger warnings at the end of this post may contain spoilers.
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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

Cindy.jpg

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: Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY]

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Book Title: Small Town Hearts
Author: Lillie Vale
Series: None (Standalone)
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: March 19th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Rule #1 – Never fall for a summer boy. 

Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.

And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?


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

Hi! I would like to apologize for my consistent absence both here on my blog and on Twitter because of academic reasons, ugh. But now, our midterm exams are finally over so I get to do more reading, which is always good!

I’ve just started this earlier today and finished it in a day. And considering that I’m a painfully slow reader, that says a lot about how much I adored this book!

Let me start off by saying that the characters are spectacularly-written. If you know me, then you probably know that I am a character-driven reader which means my reading experience largely depends on the characters of the book. So it came as no surprise that I would rate this so highly. Granted, a couple of characters were superficial and “just-there” but I feel like they weren’t really valuable to the main story. The ones that are, though? They were so realistic and I loved every single one of them.

I instantaneously liked Babe Vogel, our main character, mainly because I feel like we’re very similar individuals in the sense that we both fear change, however minuscule it may be. She is also mind-numbingly sweet and loyal to her friends, even though she ends up getting hurt most of the time. But most of all, I liked her since she developed so well through the course of this story. I actually felt like a friend, so proud of who she’s become by the time the book came to a close! Not to mention, she also cares for the environment as she still picked up her trash to throw away even in the middle of a thunderstorm! AND she bakes!!! If all those reasons didn’t convince you in the slightest that she’s one of the best main characters there is, then I don’t know what will.

Poppy, Babe’s best friend, is a character with many flaws which grew on me. I was initially aghast at how Babe managed to be on good terms with Poppy for so long because it seems to me like Poppy was a selfish and manipulative person. However, I understood that she had her reasons and came to realize that she was one of the most realistic characters among them all.

And then there’s Levi. I can’t stop swooning over Levi while reading, and as I’m typing this, I’m falling head over heels in love with him once more! He is definitely the epitome of a perfect book boyfriend. Aside from being extremely talented, he knows exactly how to treat a girl [Babe] right. He was very mature in the entirety of the story and I admire him for that, especially considering that he’s eighteen.

On the other hand, as if the fantastic characters weren’t enough, the storyline of Small Town Hearts is breathtakingly genuine and the romance so heartwarming that I just couldn’t get enough of it!

Small town. Coffee shop. Friendships. And a summer boy. Those are four of my soft spots so seeing them all in one book and be executed properly? Lillie Vale has outdone herself on this debut novel.

Oar’s Rest indeed sounds like paradise, plus the food, coffee and baked pastries mentioned made my mouth water numerous times! The romance was everything I could have hoped for too! It was equal parts charming and honest, which was made extra special since it was the only thing that was mostly going right in Babe’s summer that turned upside down. And although it didn’t touch upon much familial aspect, this book shined because it deals with problems on close-knit friendships as everything seems to change the summer before college. 

Overall, I absolutely recommend Small Town Hearts because aside from being such a sweet and romantic read, I think this is an important book for young and new adults such as myself. This book has definitely made its mark on my heart! I would definitely be on the look out for more of this author’s works!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lillie.jpgLillie Vale, upon discovering she could not be one of Santa’s elves or attend Hogwarts, decided to become a writer to create a little magic of her own. Enjoying the romantic and eerie in equal measure, she’s probably always writing a book where the main characters kiss or kill. Born in Mumbai, she has lived in many U.S. states, and now resides in an Indiana college town where the corn whispers and no one has a clue that she is actually the long-lost caps lock queen. She can be reached on Twitter @LillieLabyrinth and Instagram @labyrinthspine. Small Town Hearts is her debut novel.

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GIVEAWAY

Win a print copy of Small Town Hearts (US/CAN)

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Blog Tour: Beware the Night by Jessika Fleck [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY!]

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6Book Title: Beware the Night
Author: Jessika Fleck
Series: None (Standalone/No mention of sequel)
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: March 12th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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On the island of Bellona, they worship the sun. Seventeen-year-old Veda understands that keeping the sun content ensures plentiful crops, peace and harmony, and a thriving economy. But as a member of the Basso class, she never reaps those benefits.

Life as a Basso is one fraught with back-breaking work and imposing rules. Her close friendship with Nico is Veda’s one saving grace in a cruel world where the division between her people and the ruling Dogio is as wide and winding as the canals that snake through their island.

But when Veda’s grandfather is chosen as the next sacrificial offering to keep the sun’s favor, Veda is forced to see the injustice of her world. Turning away from the sun means she must join the night—and an underground revolution she’s been taught to fear all her life.


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

YOU NEED THIS ON YOUR TBR, I SWEAR TO GOD. Normally, I wouldn’t start my review with such aggression but, goddamn, this book is fantastic. AND LOOK AT THAT COVER! It’s so stunning!

Let me start with Veda, our main character, since I loved her so much. She’s a badass and she’s clearly my type of a main character: strong and hard-willed. Unlike others, she does not want to just be a symbol for the people in a raging war; she wants to actually fight with her people. Although she’s scared and admittedly not very equipped for the role, she does not cower. Also, from the first mention of whatever Veda is, it all seemed so flaky for me as well so I know where she is coming from with her doubts.

Nico, Veda’s best friend, was a well-written character as well. His personality resonates true depth and his genuine love for his friend seeps through this book’s pages. I feel every ounce of happiness, hurt, sadness, or whatever emotions he may feel and I’ve come to love him until the end of the book.

Although I’m really not one for love triangles, this one is an exception. It has been executed really well as I can understand and sympathize with each one of them. Despite the tropes, I really enjoyed this book’s plot and the concept about the Sun and Moon being worshiped by the people is something I haven’t read before. I vaguely remember that with every turn of the page, this book kept me wanting more and more!

If you haven’t yet, go get this book for yourself. I was delighted that I thoroughly enjoyed this one. And with the cliffhanger at the end, I refuse to believe that Beware the Night is a standalone. *huffs indignantly* I’m really looking forward to seeing how the story develops.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica.jpgJessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019. More at www.jessikafleck.com

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GIVEAWAY

Win a print copy of Beware the Night (US/CAN)

a Rafflecopter giveaway