Monday, May 22, 2017

Two YA ARC Mini-Reviews: It Started With Goodbye by Christina June and Antisocial by Jillian Blake

As I've mentioned many, many, many times, I am behind on reviews. But one of my goals this summer is to get caught up on that.  Fingers crossed.  So today, I'm sharing two mini-reviews of some ARCs that I was sent by publishers.  I want to keep my contacts with those publishers on good terms, so I'm making sure now, with the reading planner I'm now using along with my blog planner, to get stuff read. These two books unfortunately didn't make it on to the calendar in time, so these reviews are a week or two later than I would have liked.  Anyway, enjoy my short reviews, along with the summaries from Goodreads.

TitleAntisocial
Author:  Jillian Blake
Genre:  YA contemporary
Publisher:  Delacorte Press
Release Date:  May 16th, 2017
My rating:  5 stars


Now, I'm so mad at myself that I did not get my post up by the 12th like I had promised the publisher.  If I had picked it up  even on the 10th, I can tell you I would have been done in time to post a review, because this was a really quick read.  But it wasn't just a quick read, it was a really good, extremely hard to put down read.  The characters were all so good, ones that you wanted to know what would happen to, that you definitely empathized with, and in many ways, I related to them.  There were some really fun Game of Thrones references.  I like how as you learned more and thought maybe you knew exactly who might be behind all of the leaks and stuff, it was spelled out how they actually couldn't be the ones behind it.  The way it all ended up made so much sense, and really was pretty realistic in my point of view.  I mentioned in my short review on Goodreads after I finished that it reminded me of YA books I read as a teen.  What I kind of meant by that is that while the voice of the main character is definitely somewhat realistic, there is still a hint of an adult-like quality to the voice.  I'm not sure exactly how to explain it better.  Sorry. But I loved it, read it in almost one sitting.  It's a good look at just how much we often share with virtual strangers.  Something I know that I am definitely guilty of.  This is a book that I highly recommend, partly for that reason as well, and I will definitely be adding it to the school library where I work!


Here is the blurb from Goodreads:


Alexandria Prep is hacked in this whodunit set in the age of social media and the cloud.

Senior spring at Alexandria Prep was supposed to be for sleeping through class and partying with friends. But for Anna Soler, it’s going to be a lonely road. She’s just been dumped by her gorgeous basketball star boyfriend—with no explanation. Anna’s closest friends, the real ones she abandoned while dating him, are ignoring her. The endearing boy she’s always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic.

But suddenly Anna isn’t the only one whose life has been upended. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked. At first it’s funny—people love watching the dirty private lives of those they envy become all too public. 

Then the hacks escalate. Dark secrets are exposed, and lives are shattered. Chaos erupts at school. As Anna tries to save those she cares about most and to protect her own secrets, she begins to understand the reality of our always-connected lives: 

Sometimes we share too much.  



TitleIt Started With Goodbye   
Author:  Christina June  
Genre:  YA  Contemporary
Publisher:  Blink YA Books
Release Date:  May 9th, 2017
My rating:  4 stars

This is another book that was sooooo quick to read!  I read over half of it in one sitting as well.  It's billed as a contemporary take on Cinderella, and that definitely comes through.  However, in this story, the "wicked" stepmother has more depth, and actually is someone maybe not so wicked.  The father is not dead, just away for the summer.  What I loved about this story is how much the characters seemed realistic and very up to date.  The main character is an artist, but a graphic designer, wanting to do web sites and make her way through that artistic field.  I like that while the "wicked" stepmother in this story is maybe not the usual villain, the bad guy, who got Tatum and her best friend in trouble in the first place, is really a bad guy.  And I like how all of it works out.  As I mention all the time, I don't always read a lot of YA contemporary, it is very rarely a genre that I choose on my own, I am not disappointed at all that I read this one.   Definitely a book I'll want to purchase for my school library where I work.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way. 

Book Blast with Giveaway - Fractured Beauty: The Fairy Tale Five by Adrienne Monson, Lehua Parker, Angela Corbett, Angela Brimhall, and Angela Hartley

Book info:
TitleFractured Beauty:  The Fairy Tale Five  
Authors:  Adrienne Monson, Lehua Parker, Angela Corbett, Angela Brimhall, and Angela Hartley
Genre:  Fairy tale retellings
Published:  June 1st, 2017

Synopsis:
Beauty and the Beast may be a tale as old as time, but in this collection by the Fairy Tale Five you’ll meet five newly imagined Belles and the Beasts they love. 

Angela Brimhall’s beast is a terrifying sea monster cursed by a scorned gypsy. He must risk all to save the strong-willed princess before losing his last chance at love and redemption, becoming forever damned to the briny deep. 

Lehua Parker’s Nani is trapped by Indian and Hawaiian traditions and a fiancĂ© locked in stasis in a medi-mod. Cultures and expectations collide in this sci-fi futuristic world where nano-bot tattoos and dreams reveal the secret of Nani’s heart. 

Angela Corbett’s Ledger is determined to find out more about the mysterious woman who saved him from certain death and uncover the secrets of Withering Woods, but some beasts are better left caged. 

Adrienne Monson’s Arabella rushes to an enchanted castle to pay her father’s debt, but is met with a burly beast with a mysterious past. It’s a howling paranormal regency romp that will keep you turning pages well past your bedtime. 

Angela Hartley’s Porta Bella discovers there’s more to Oregon life than taking care of her father when she finds herself rescued by Bigfoot. It’s up to Porta Bella to unravel the faery’s curse and discover who’s the real monster. 



About the Authors:

LEHUA PARKER is the award-winning author of the MG/YA Pacific literature magic realism series, The Niuhi Shark Saga: One Boy, No Water; One Shark, No Swim; and One Truth, No Lie.

Originally from Hawaii and a graduate of The Kamehameha Schools, Lehua is an author, educator, and public speaker. Trained in literary criticism and an advocate of indigenous cultural narratives, Lehua is a frequent speaker at conferences and symposiums.

Now living in exile in the high desert mountains of Utah, during snowy winters she dreams about the beach.

Lehua is a pen name for Michelle C. Parker, a mediated message design and research professional. As Michelle she works as an editor, book consultant, and literary critic. In addition to her Lehua writings, she also publishes speculative fiction, short stories, personal essays, plays, and poetry.
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Adrienne Monson has always had a voracious appetite for books. When she became a stay at home mom, she finally listened to her muse and began writing. 

She enjoys Zumba, kickboxing and weightlifting. She also loves delicious foods, which is why she has to work out so often.

Dissension and Defiance is available where books are sold. Deliverance, the final installment of the Blood Inheritance trilogy is slated for release April 2016.

Eyes of Persuasion is a mashup of paranormal and historical romance, found exclusively on Amazon.

 
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Angela Corbett graduated from Westminster College with a double major in communication and sociology. She started working as a reporter for her local newspaper when she was sixteen and won awards for feature, news, and editorial writing. She has also done freelance writing. In addition to being an author, she works as a director of communications and marketing. She loves classic cars, traveling, and listening to U2. She lives in Utah with her extremely supportive husband and their five-pound Pomeranian, Pippin, whose following of fangirls could rival Justin Bieber's.
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Angela Hartley spent much of her childhood being shuffled from house to house with only a book for companionship. The magic she found in the written word saved her in many ways, transporting her into worlds far happier than the one she resided in. Literature became her passion and the idea of someday writing carried her through years of uncertainty.

Long ago, Angela left the disease of poverty behind. Through all of life’s ups and downs, her desire to make her own magic never waned. With a strong support system, she set out to create worlds, and publish books. Along with perusing her lifetime goal, she’s built and managed several writing organizations, been a life coach, and project manager. She has also entertained and educated at schools, symposiums, and conventions. In her down time, she studies religion theory, psychic abilities, and psychology to gain a better understanding of the human condition.
 

TWITTER | GOODREADS | WEBSITE | 

Angela Brimhall grew up trying to decide whether she liked romance or horror novels best. She graduated college with a BS degree in health, but decided she'd much rather experience the drama of life through her characters. She received an MFA in English and creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University and is a member of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society, Romance Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. She lives in the heart of a city between two mountains with her husband, son and four dogs where spired castles dot every hill and fairy tales really do come true.
 

GOODREADS | FACEBOOK 

Photo Credit for the following Authors below:

Adrienne Monson: Brett Monson
Angela Corbett: Heather Zahn Gardner
Lehua Parker: Kevin Parker
Angela Brimhall: Photo Content from Angela Brimhall
Angela Hartley: Photo Content from Angela Hartley


Giveaway:



--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

2 Winners will receive a $25 Gift Card of their choice (PayPal/Amazon/Barnes&Noble)
  
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can check back here for the rest of the tour:

http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2017/05/nerd-blast-fractured-beauty-fairy-tale.html 

Release Blitz: Tyson by Kathy Coopmans





GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!

Amazon- http://amzn.to/2rFSflP               
Amazon UK- http://amzn.to/2qLTQX8   
Amazon AU- http://amzn.to/2rFJFUk       
Barnes and Noble- http://bit.ly/2oSBgxI

BLURB

I know what it’s like to have your heart split down the middle. 
One-half chases her. The other half chases after the lies, deceit, and betrayal. 
It’s a burning ball of hell. 
Seconds, minutes, hours, and years all spent endured the depth of my own burning inferno. 
All of it runs together while life passes me by.
Thirteen years ago, the woman I was in love with left me standing at the altar. 
Hurt. 
Broken. 
Humiliated. 
Some say thirteen is a lucky number. 
Me? I curse the number.
Now she’s back. 
Reminding me.
Torturing me.
She says things are not what they seem.
That they weren't then either.
Do I believe her?
Do I forgive? 
Forget? 
Time and truth will tell.

Add to your TBR: http://bit.ly/2oha3Vn

TRAILER











Excerpt


My insides shake as she walks out with a warm breeze only to be replaced by the freezing chills and the ice cold stare of Jude. He shuts the door behind him, stands firmly in place and stares me down.
“That intimidating look may work well on the criminals you pick up; I assure you, Jude, it will not work on me. Now, what can I help you with?” Yes, I know that Tyson and his friends are cops. I know everything there is to know about him. He left as planned for the Army shortly after I left him. He’s a womanizer. Sleeps around, drinks and gets into fights. He’s angry, bitter and out of control and it all reflects back on me. I’ve studied the symptoms of a broken person. I’m one myself.
I know very little about his time at war. I’m sure some of his anger stems from there. I feared for his life every day. Kept up with the news and terror weighed on my shoulders every second he was deployed. I’m so proud of him for what he’s done with his life. Coming from a young kid with the odds of turning into a criminal stacked against him to a man of honor. A soldier turned cop. I couldn’t ask for a better man than him.
I still haven’t been able to let him go. The man I left lives in the tattered mess of my heart, and I never stopped praying our lives would have been different, that fate wouldn’t have snuck up on me and kicked my feet right out from under me. Stole our chance at happiness. I’ve loved Tyson since the first day I laid my eyes on him. Through time and therapy, I thought I would be able to stop loving him. That there was no way, love could be this strong that months, years and a decade later it would still linger. The precious memories I kept locked away swarmed to the forefront of my mind the minute I saw him again. Stolen kisses, bodies tangled together. Our hearts so full of promises to one another. I broke them all. Broke him. Broke me. I’m here to fix it. Somehow.
 I remain calm matching Jude’s gaze while every cell in my body is a quivering mess. My stomach shifts uneasily and sweat breaks out at the nape of my neck. But, I will not falter or allow him to see that his presence is terrifying me.
“When Tyson first told me it was you I didn’t want to believe it. I prayed for you to disappear, to crawl back under your rock and stay the hell away from him. Now after seeing what this is doing to him. I’ve changed my mind. Before I get into why I think you owe me an explanation as to what your plans are, I want you to know I’m standing here not trying to intimidate you. I’m here to tell you if your reasons are not legit. I will fucking destroy you.” Good luck. You can’t destroy something that’s already broken.



About Kathy Coopmans

USA Today Best Selling Author Kathy Coopmans is a Michigan native where she lives with her husband, Tony. They have two sons: Aaron and Shane.


She is a sports nut. Her favorite sports include NASCAR, baseball, and football.
She has recently retired from her day job to become a full-time writer. 

She has always been an avid reader and at the young age of 50 decided she wanted to write. She claims she can do several things at once and still stay on task. Her favorite quote is "I got this."

Stalk Kathy Coopmans