Jane Anonymous || Blog Tour

Happy new year everyone!! I can’t believe it is already 2020! I am so excited to continue working with The Fantastic Flying Book Club this year. Please make sure you check out the other posts on this blog tour by clicking the photo above. Now, let’s get into my first Blog Tour of 2020.

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Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz

Pub. Date: January 7th, 2020

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Pages: 320

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Google Books | Books A Million

Author information

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston

Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists,blend elements found in mystery and romance novels. Stolarz found sales success with her first novel, Blue is for Nightmares, and followed it up with three more titles in the series, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, and Red is for Remembrance, as well as a companion graphic novel, Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz is also the author of the Touch series (Deadly Little Secret,Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, and Deadly Little Lessons), as well as Bleed and Project 17. With more than two million books sold worldwide, Stolarz’s titles have been named on various awards list.

Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with Jane Anonymous, a gripping tale of a seventeen-year-old girl’s kidnapping and her struggle to fit back into her life after she escapes. Then, “Jane” was just your typical 17-year-old in a typical New England suburb getting ready to start her senior year. She had a part-time job she enjoyed, an awesome best friend, overbearing but loving parents, and a crush on a boy who was taking her to see her favorite band. She never would’ve imagined that in her town where nothing ever happens, a series of small coincidences would lead to a devastating turn of events that would forever change her life. Now, it’s been three months since “Jane” escaped captivity and returned home. Three months of being that girl who was kidnapped, the girl who was held by a“monster.” Three months of writing down everything she remembered from those seven months locked up in that stark white room. But, what if everything you thought you knew―everything you thought you experienced―turned out to be a lie?

I tend to enjoy when books switch back and forth with POV’s or times because you get background story as well as having a story to piece together. However because we know Jane survives, I wish we had a flat before and after as if we were with Jane when it happened and as she escaped instead of hearing about it later. I was still sucked into the story being worried for Jane but not as much as I could have been if I didn’t know she was going to escape and live. I prefered reading the “Then” parts of the book to the “Now” and I’m not sure why. I had some guesses about who the kidnapper but I wasn’t positive until we are told. All in all, the book was good even if it wasn’t my favorite.

Dream Cast

Maia Mitchell As Jane

Maia Mitchell in The Fosters (2013)

Bianca Santos as Shelley

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Nicholas Braun as Mason

Sandra Bullock as Jane’s Mom

Sandra Bullock

Colin Firth as Jane’s Dad

Colin Firth

Favorite quotes

I’ll be wishing on the brightest star in the sky tonight, hoping that we’ll always be this close

They all declare a safe space and tell me I can say whatever’s on my mind, but that’s only really true if what I have to say is what they’re prepared to hear. And so they furrow their foreheads, raise their brows, purse their lips, and shake their heads.

“Every heart can heal.”

An absence so deep, I can taste it on my tongue like the ashes of cremated bodies after a slow and painful death.

My tears have all been shed. If it weren’t for my writing, I’d have no voice either.

For now, I go through the motions of life, often surprised to find that people are still living theirs—

“Healing starts the moment we feel heard.”

You need to be kind to yourself—to allow yourself to be human.

Have you heard of Jane Anonymous? Do you think you will add it to your TBR? Let me know below. I love hearing from y’all.

What If It's Us || Book Review

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Author: Becky Albertalli  & Adam Silvera

Publisher: HarperTeen

Published on: October 9th 2018 

Number of Pages: 437

Bought, Borrowed or ARC: I bought this one from Books-A-Million in Nov with my membership discount.

Where can you get it?

Again, I make no money off of these links. These are simply for your convenience. These prices are accurate as of December 8th 2019.

Amazon: $11.60

Book Depository: $12.97

Books-A-Million: $17.09

Barnes and Noble: $17.09

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Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them? Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated. Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third? What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

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I was really excited for this book when I picked it up. I normally only buy bargain priced books but I splurged on this one and I wish I hadn’t. I never got into the story line and I didn’t ship the main couple at all. Everything from Ben and Arthur’s relationship to their friendships with others felt forced to me. I almost didn’t finish this book but did just because I had spent so much money on it. As soon as I finished however, I lent it to a coworker and I’m not too stressed about getting it back.

How Beautiful the Ordinary || Review

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Author: Michael Cart (editor),

Publisher: HarperTeen

Published on: October 6th 2009

Number of Pages: 368

Bought, Borrowed or ARC: Bought when withdrawn from my library

Where can you get it?

Again, I make no money off of these links. These are simply for your convenience. These prices are accurate as of December 23rd 2019

Amazon: $11.37

Book Depository: $12.96

Barnes and Noble: $16.19

Books-A-Million: $17.99

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A girl thought to be a boy steals her sister’s skirt, while a boy thought to be a girl refuses to wear a cornflower blue dress. One boy’s love of a soldier leads to the death of a stranger. The present takes a bittersweet journey into the past when a man revisits the summer school where he had “an accidental romance.” And a forgotten mother writes a poignant letter to the teenage daughter she hasn’t seen for fourteen years.

Poised between the past and the future are the stories of now. In nontraditional narratives, short stories, and brief graphics, tales of anticipation and regret, eagerness and confusion present distinctively modern views of love, sexuality, and gender identification. Together, they reflect the vibrant possibilities available for young people learning to love others—and themselves—in today’s multifaceted and quickly changing world.

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I don’t read many books that are set up this way because I normally don’t like some of the stories so I end up skipping through them. I got this one at the library at a withdrawn sale months ago and I hadn’t even thought about reading it until this morning. We recently started coming out at work and between that and JKR recent twitter posts, I needed a little something LGBT themed to read. This book was fine. I skipped some stories but my favorites were

A Word From The Nearly Distant Past

First Time

Dear Lang

I will probably pass this book on fairly soon as I don’t see myself rereading it.

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Have you read this book? What is your favorite LGBT based book? Let me know!!

Love, Dana

Arc of a Scythe series review

So normally I would review each book in a series separately but I thought I would try something new. I’m going to review and talk about each book and then give the series a rating as well. So hang in there, this one might get a little long!

Because I am talking about all three books, there WILL be spoilers in this post. Please proceed with caution.

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Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

I was so sure I wasn’t going to like these books that I had Scythe on my not interested shelf on Goodreads. I am so glad that I found it at Books-A-Million for less than 5 dollars and gave it a chance. I loved this book. Dystopian Fiction/Science Fiction are normally hit or miss for me but I really enjoyed this. I got attached to most of the “good” characters so quickly. I didn’t want to put this book down and almost as soon as I was, I requested the next two from my library.

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Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline? 

I liked this one a little less than the first one but not by much. I loved Rowan going after the “bad scythes” and how Citra and Scythe Curie were trying to work within the system to better the Scythedom. I think that in situations like this you do need both people inside and outside to change how a government works. There were a lot of plot twists that I didn’t see coming in this one such as Scythe Goddard coming back and Edura sinking with a bunch Scythes being forced to self-glean. I was devastated at the loss of Scythe Curie and had to take a break before moving on.

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It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

For probably the first one-third of this book, I was enjoying it as I had the others. But somewhere around the 2/3 I started to get bored. I was putting down the book, playing on my phone, remembering I was reading and forcing myself to start up again. I found some of the new POV’s uninteresting and I wanted to go back to Rowan, Citra and Scythe Farday and them finding each other again and fixing the Scythedom. I was so surprised by the ending because it was not at all what I thought would happen. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed. It is not a bad ending in any way but it didn’t line up with what I had hoped for. All in all, The Toll was my least favorite of the three.

Series rating (by average 3.83 but I rounded)

All in all, I think it is a pretty good series and I would recommend it to fans of Science Fiction and Dystopian Fiction.

Have you read this series? What did you think? Which of the three did you like best?

Coral || An ARC review

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Borrowed, Bought or ARC: This was an ARC granted to me through NetGalley and the publishers. I am very thankful for this opportunity. All thoughts published below are my honest and true opinion.

Where did I get it?: As stated above, I got this from NetGalley.

Author: Sara Ella

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Genre/s: Teens & YA

Number of Pages: 384

Release Date: November 12th 2019

There is more than one way to drown.

Coral has always been different, standing out from her mermaid sisters in a society where blending in is key. Worse yet, she fears she has been afflicted with the dreaded Disease, said to be carried by humans—emotions. Can she face the darkness long enough to surface in the light?

Above the sea, Brooke has nothing left to give. Depression and anxiety have left her feeling isolated. Forgotten. The only thing she can rely on is the numbness she finds within the cool and comforting ocean waves. If only she weren’t stuck at Fathoms—a new group therapy home that promises a second chance at life. But what’s the point of living if her soul is destined to bleed?

Merrick may be San Francisco’s golden boy, but he wants nothing more than to escape his controlling father. When his younger sister’s suicide attempt sends Merrick to his breaking point, escape becomes the only option. If he can find their mom, everything will be made right again—right?

When their worlds collide, all three will do whatever it takes to survive, and Coral might even catch a prince in the process. But what—and who—must they leave behind for life to finally begin?

Taking a new twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved—yet tragic—fairy tale, Coral explores mental health from multiple perspectives, questioning what it means to be human in a world where humanity often seems lost.

This was the first book I read after coming back from my honeymoon where I stayed in the Little Mermaid rooms at Disney World. I had requested it before we went away and I just didn’t get around to it before we left but I am so glad I made it a priority. This book is amazing. I feel like I related to each and every one of the characters in some way. I loved how touching and serious this book is as it covers mental illness and how it is viewed in society. My favorite part was how all of the stories tied together into one.

The one thing I will say is, please be cautious of the trigger warning that the author gives in the front of the book. While I was in a good place while reading this, if I had not been I could have been triggered by some of the things in this book.

Have you read Coral yet? Do you plan to? Let me know!

The How & The Why Review and Favorite Quotes || Blog Tour

This is my first ever blog tour and I am so, so excited. I can’t imagine a better book to start off with honestly. Thank you to FFBC and the publishers for this opportunity.

Click the banner to see the rest of the blog tour schedule. I am so glad to be doing this with some of my favorite blogging friends.

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Today Melly had us writing letters to our babies…

Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for. They’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—except maybe the one thing she wants. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her.

But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for.

Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who gave her up for adoption, this voice-driven narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for teens,including the UNEARTHLY trilogy, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE,MY LADY JANE and MY PLAIN JANE (with fellow authors Brodi Ashton andJodi Meadows), THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE, and the upcoming novels. THE HOW AND THE WHY and MY CALAMITY JANE (also with Ashton and Meadows). Before turning to writing for young adults, she studied literary fiction and earned both an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. in fiction writing. She currently resides in Boise, Idaho, with her husband, two cats, one crazy dog, two kids, and mountain of books.

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre/s: YA, Contemporary

Number of Pages: 464

Where can you get it?

Amazon

Books A Million

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Apple Books

Kobo

Google Books

Release Date: November 5th 2019

I am so glad that I read this book. I really enjoyed it, I sat down and read it all within a few hours (only stopping to go eat dinner). I have had a really crappy month with getting through books but I had no issues with this one at all. I loved the way the book flowed from S to Cass through real time and the letters.

I can only imagine that if I was in S’s shoes, I would have done the same thing. Personally, my parents got pregnant at young age and even though sometimes, our relationships can be rocky, I can’t imagine growing up in a different family. But also I am now five years older than my mom was when she had me and I can’t imagine becoming a mother and having someone who completely depends on me. But I also can’t imagine being a part of the baby’s life and not being their mother.

I also loved that this book showed multiple sides of adoption. You had Cass who was born in the States and who was adopted in the States and could visit where her biological parents had been. She was also adopted as a baby before any of her memories could form. But you also have Nyla who was born in Liberia and was adopted at age three, after losing her family in a civil war. She knows she had a life, a culture and even a different language but now she can’t remember any of it. This book also talks about opened and closed adoptions and some of the differences.

Another thing that really drew me into this book was the overall friendship of Cass and Nyla. The deepness of their friendship is rooted in their shared experience of being adopted and being able to have someone to talk to about it but there were so many other things that made me fall in love with their friendship. I think it might be because Nyla reminds me of my best friend/sister who is also Mormon (therefore doesn’t swear or drink caffeine), loves musical theater (thank you again Amanda for bringing me Wicked) and she ALSO went to school in Idaho (I know Nyla doesn’t but it was a similarity). I love that the Nyla and Cass are similar but still have their own personalities. They blend into each other’s families and even when they fight and say horrible things, they give second chances and understand when to push the other.

I really don’t have anything bad to say about this book. It ends openly so we can imagine what happens next which I’m not a huge fan of in general but not everything can have a perfect little bow to tie it up with so I won’t knock it for that.

So for the blog tour, I was assigned to pick out my favorite quotes. Some of them might not make sense out of context but during reading they stuck out to me.

Again, I really loved this book and I am so grateful to have received an ARC and be a part of this blog tour!!!

His Hideous Heart || Review

Happy Halloween y’all! Welcome to the review of the only spooky book I read this October.

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Author: Dahlia Adler (editor)

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Published on: September 10th 2019

Number of Pages: 252 (without original tales) 470 (with original tales)

Bought, Borrowed or ARC: Borrowed from my public library (but intend to buy my own copy)

Where can you get it?

Again, I make no money off of these links. These are simply for your convenience. These prices are accurate as of October 21st 2019.

Amazon: $14.45

Book Depository: $15.02

Barnes and Noble: $15.19

Books-A-Million: $15.95

Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.

Contributors include Kendare Blake (reimagining “Metzengerstein”), Rin Chupeco (“The Murders in the Rue Morge”), Lamar Giles (“The Oval Portrait”), Tessa Gratton (“Annabel Lee”), Tiffany D. Jackson (“The Cask of Amontillado”), Stephanie Kuehn (“The Tell-Tale Heart”), Emily Lloyd-Jones (“The Purloined Letter”), Hillary Monahan (“The Masque of the Red Death”), Marieke Nijkamp (“Hop-Frog”), Caleb Roehrig (“The Pit and the Pendulum”), and Fran Wilde (“The Fall of the House of Usher”).

I really only picked up His Hideous Heart because I know my fiancee, Alice, loves Edgar Allen Poe. I requested it sometime in September and got it about a week before this post was written. For a brand new book, I say that’s pretty good, especially since it had to come from a neighboring county.

I will be the first to admit that I am not very familiar with Poe’s work, though I should be because I was born in Baltimore and Alice loves his work. We’ve talked a few times about visiting his house in Baltimore but just haven’t. Maybe in 2020. But let’s focus on the book huh?

I’ve only ever read The Raven and AnnaBel Lee and that was because they were required in school. I struggle a lot with “older” writings because of the wording so to have the tales told in a way I can easily understand was great. I love that they chose 13 tales because it makes it a little extra spooky. My two favorite tales were Night-Tide, which is based on Annabel Lee, and Lygia, which is based on Ligeia. They both feature WLW relationships which was a total and welcome surprise and I would buy this book for those two stories alone.