Beyond The Shadowed Earth Review

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: Beyond the Shadowed Earth

Author: Joanna Ruth Meyer

Publisher: Page Street Publishing

Release Date: January 14, 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 400

SYNOPSIS:

It has always been Eda’s dream to become empress, no matter the cost. Haunted by her 43263577ambition and selfishness, she’s convinced that the only way to achieve her goal is to barter with the gods. But all requests come with a price and Eda bargains away the soul of her best friend in exchange for the crown.

Years later, her hold on the empire begins to crumble and her best friend unexpectedly grows sick and dies. Gnawed by guilt and betrayal, Eda embarks on a harrowing journey to confront the very god who gave her the kingdom in the first place. However, she soon discovers that he’s trapped at the center of an otherworldly labyrinth and that her bargain with him is more complex than she ever could have imagined.

Set in the same universe as Joanna’s debut, Beneath the Haunting SeaBeyond the Shadowed Earth combines her incredible world building and lush prose with a new, villainous lead.

Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound Book Depository | Changing Hands

REVIEW:

5

5 tea cups! There’s just something about Joanna Ruth Meyer’s writing that always leaves me wanting more! Beyond the Shadowed Earth is an excellent companion to Beneath the Haunting Sea. You can read each as a standalone, but I recommend reading them as companions as they are set in the same world and contain the same mythology. I really enjoyed the main character, Eda. She was so self-centered and selfish in the beginning of the story, but as she embarks on her journey, she shows tremendous growth and becomes so much more appealing. I loved the action and adventure in Earth. It was well paced, and I couldn’t put it down. I needed to know what happened next! There were some great plot twists and I enjoyed trying to figure everything out. Joanna knows how to add just the right amount of romance to her stories as well.

If you like fantasy, romance, prose, mythology, redemption stories, and amazing world building, then this book is for you! I absolutely adored this book, and I hope that you will too. Be sure to add this to your TBR if you haven’t already! The book is out now and available wherever books are sold, and also you can request it from your local library. I absolutely can’t wait to see what Joanna comes up with next. I volunteer as tribute!

*Thank you to Page Street Publishing for the ARC in an exchange for an honest review*

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joanna Ruth Meyer is the author of Beneath the Haunting Sea, Echo North, and Beyond the Shadowed Earth (January 14, 2020) with Page Street YA. She lives with her dear husband and son in Mesa, Arizona, where it never rains (or at least not often enough for her!). When she’s not writing, she can be found teaching piano lessons, drinking copious amounts of tea, reading thick books, and dreaming of winter. Joanna is represented by Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary.

jrmeyer author photo
Joanna Ruth Meyer
Author of Beneath the Haunting Sea, Echo North, and Beyond the Shadowed Earth (1-14-20)
from Page Street YA
Website • Twitter •  Facebook • Goodreads

 

Every Other Weekend Review

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: Every Other Weekend

Author: Abigail Johnson

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Release Date: January 7, 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary

Pages: 512

SYNOPSIS:

Can life begin again…every other weekend?

Every Other Weekend.jpg

Adam Moynihan’s life used to be awesome. Straight As, close friends and a home life so perfect that it could have been a TV show straight out of the 50s. Then his oldest brother died. Now his fun-loving mom cries constantly, he and his remaining brother can’t talk without fighting, and the father he always admired proved himself a coward by moving out when they needed him most.

Jolene Timber’s life is nothing like the movies she loves—not the happy ones anyway. As an aspiring director, she should know, because she’s been reimagining her life as a film ever since she was a kid. With her divorced parents at each other’s throats and using her as a pawn, no amount of mental reediting will give her the love she’s starving for.

Forced to spend every other weekend in the same apartment building, the boy who thinks forgiveness makes him weak and the girl who thinks love is for fools begin an unlikely friendship. The weekends he dreaded and she endured soon become the best part of their lives. But when one’s life begins to mend while the other’s spirals out of control, they realize that falling in love while surrounded by its demise means nothing is ever guaranteed.

Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound Book Depository | Inkyard Press

 

Review:

5

This was my first book by Abigail Johnson, and certainly will not be my last. This story quickly became one of my favorites, and I can’t wait to read Abigail’s backlist books. If you like ya contemporaries, then Every Other Weekend is definitely for you. There was so much to love! I found myself feeling different emotions as I read. I laughed a lot, but I also cried a lot too. I enjoyed the camaraderie between the two main characters, Adam and Jolene,  and the friendship and romance. This book also tackled some tough subjects, like the loss of a loved one, and the very raw pain and heartache that stems from parents divorcing, and the impact it has on the children. I was so glad to see divorce discussed in a ya book, as I don’t think it’s a topic that is featured enough. I hope that this book reaches the people who need it, so they know that they’re not alone.

Please add this book to your TBR if you haven’t already. It’s out now wherever books are sold, and of course you can borrow it from your local library.

*I received an ARC of this book from a friend for review*

About the Author:

Abigail Johnson.jpgAbigail was born in Pennsylvania. When she was twelve, her family traded in snow storms for year round summers, and moved to Arizona. Abigail chronicled the entire cross-country road trip (in a purple spiral bound notebook that she still has) and has been writing ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high school production of Cinderella, and becoming a published author.

WINTERWOOD: REVIEW AND AUTHOR INTERVIEW

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: Winterwood

Author: Shea Ernshaw

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Release Date: November 5, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 319

 

SYNOPSIS:

Winterwood.jpgFrom New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance perfect for fans of Practical Magic, where dark fairy tales and enchanted folklore collide after a boy, believed to be missing, emerges from the magical woods—and falls in love with the witch determined to unravel his secrets.

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why. 

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REVIEW:

5

*I was fortunate to receive a copy of an arc from a friend for review*

After being in love with Shea Ernshaw’s first book, The Wicked Deep, I was super excited to dive into her sophomore novel. I was utterly bewitched from the very first page of Winterwood! It was absolutely magical, and hauntingly beautiful. I loved the setting of the dark, dark woods and the magic and mystery surrounding them (I could almost picture myself standing there, facing them myself, because of the author’s beautiful description). I love the main character, Nora Walker, who is said to be a witch. I love how there’s so much history surrounding her family, and how it’s so integral to the story. Nora’s connection to the woods is what leads her to a boy, Oliver Huntsman. He should have been dead as he was lost in a big snowstorm weeks ago, yet she finds him very much alive. She embarks on a journey to uncover the truth about what happened, and discovers that Oliver has some of his own secrets. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, romantic, mysterious and lyrical story, be sure to pick up your own copy of Winterwood in bookstores and libraries everywhere!

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

1.) What are some of your favorite books from childhood?

I loved Watership Down by Richard Adams—I think it was the first book that made me cry. My parents read a lot when I was younger so I often just picked up whatever book they were reading once they were finished. My dad loved J.R.R. Tolkien so I was introduced to that series pretty early on, and those books changed how I saw stories. The characters and world building was so well developed that I began to wonder if Middle-Earth might truly be real. You still can’t convince me otherwise! Ha!

2.) What initially inspired you to write Winterwood?
WINTERWOOD is based on a real-life lake not far from where I live. I’ve spend many long weekends beside that lake and heard the locals talk of the haunted forest to the north. It was such a compelling setting for a story, that writing WINTERWOOD almost felt like non-fiction.
3.) I absolutely love Nora! What was it like getting to know her and the Walker women?
Nora is one of my most favorite characters I’ve ever written! Her family history is so layered and interesting, and I felt very protective of Nora while writing her story. I could have easily written a nice sleepy book about how Nora just stayed at home where she was safe and read her favorite books and hung out with her dog, Fin. But alas, I forced her to go out in the world and fall in love and have adventures! And I think by the end she came out much stronger for it!
4) Which actor would you choose to play Oliver?
I’m awful at casting my characters! Like truly bad at it. LOL! I’ll take any suggestions anyone has!

5) What can we expect from you next? Any upcoming projects?

I’m working on a secret book right now that is nearly finished! I’m so excited about it and it’s slightly different than what you might expect from me, but hopefully I’ll be able to share more soon!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shea Ernshaw is the NYT bestselling author of The Wicked Deep and Winterwood. She is the winner of the 2019 Oregon Book Award, and both The Wicked Deep and Winterwood were Indie Next Picks. She lives in a small mountain town in Oregon and is happiest when lost in a good book, lost in the woods, or writing her next novel.

Shea Ernshaw.png

A Constellation of Roses: Review and Author Interview

About the Book:

Title: A Constellation of Roses

Author: Miranda Asebedo

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: November 5, 2019

Genre: YA Contemporary

Pages: 326

thumbnail_ConstellationRoses hcSynopsis:

Trix McCabe is aimless, rootless, and on the run. At least, that’s what she tells herself.

Ever since her mother walked out, Trix has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive.

Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.

Running away is one of the things Trix does best, and she doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw for long. But there’s something special about the McCabe women, something in their unexplainable talents that Trix is drawn to. Her Aunt, Mia, bakes pies—Bracing Blueberry, Never-Lonely Lemon, Ardent Apple—that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, hand-sews dresses and can tell a person’s deepest secrets with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.

Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life…or keep running from the one she’s always known.

Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound Book Depository | Harper Teen

Review:

5

I absolutely loved this book! To me, A Constellation of Roses is about discovering who you are, belonging, and finding home, with a dash of magic sprinkled in. The main character, Trix McCabe was abandoned and is trying to get by on her own. She has the ability to be able to steal valuables from strangers and not be seen, but she eventually gets caught. She goes to live with relatives that she never knew existed in a small town. Trix doesn’t plan on staying there, but she learns more about the McCable women and that they have gifts like she does. She also happens to meet a cute boy. She may have finally found a place where she belongs, if she can stop herself from running.

I really enjoyed the main character, Trix. I love that she is flawed. She is so strong and resilient despite everything that she has been through. The secondary characters are amazing as well. Aunt Mia is so sweet and tries to fix everything, Auntie has a great sense of humor, shy Ember is such a good friend and listener, and Jasper just had my heart from the beginning.

I felt that the message of hope and forgiveness is so important to this story. Despite what our circumstances may be, and what we’re going through, there’s always hope that things can get better. Our past doesn’t have to dictate our future.

If you love stories about belonging, family, hope, heartbreak, and magic, this story is for you! Go forth and add this beauty to your TBR.

There’s still time to preorder and get preorder goodies as this book is releasing on November 5, 2019. Preorders and library requests are so helpful to authors.

 

Author Interview:

1. Do you think Trix would get along with the ladies from The Deepest Roots?
I think Trix and Rome would get along really well. Both characters are really fierce and guarded, but underneath that they truly care about their friends and family and would do anything for them. Their character arcs both involve learning to trust and ask for help when they need it.
2. How did you come up with the ideas for the pies/bakery that are such a big part of the story?
I really wanted to play off of the idea of “comfort food.” There are certain foods that we reach for that bring back happier memories, like childhood favorites macaroni and cheese or homemade chocolate chip cookies. So I wanted to bring this concept to life in a way that would work for anyone who ate the food, regardless of their childhood memories and food preferences. To do that, I started not with the food itself, but with the feelings that make people long for comfort. The first pie I came up with was Never-Lonely Lemon, and after that, Bracing Blueberry. After that, the idea of the bakery came second, both as a place where the family could sell the pies, and as a vehicle to put Trix and her family at the heart of the community.
3. You tackled some tough subjects in this story. Were they difficult to write at times?
Absolutely. This was a really difficult book to write at times, and sometimes I had to take a step back and indulge myself in some happier TV shows and movies to take my mind off of it. Trix’s mother, Allison, gave birth to her daughter while very young and alone, and most of their early life together is just struggling to survive any way that they can. They endure homelessness and poverty, and at times Trix’s gift for theft is the only thing between them and hunger. Later, Trix’s mother struggles with addiction, and this becomes a huge hurdle in their relationship. Eventually, Trix and Allison have to find a way to forgive each other for a past they can’t change, and Trix has to decide if she’s going to let past wrongs dictate her future. Though the story has its dark moments, I also tried to find moments of hope and happiness for the characters and their relationships with each other.
4. Are there any plans for more stories in the TDR/ACOR Universe?
I would love for there to be more stories in that universe. I really enjoyed bringing back some mentions of Cottonwood Hollow, and Jasper Ruiz’s uncle, Deputy Ruiz, from The Deepest Roots. I’d love to see some more minor characters come back for their own stories!

About the Author:

Miranda Asebedo was born and raised in rural Kansas with a love of fast cars, open skies, and books. She carried that love of books to college, where she got her B.A. and M.A. in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing and Literature. A Seaton Fellowship recipient, her short fiction has appeared in Kansas Voices, Touchstone, and Midway Journal.

Miranda still lives on the prairie today with her husband, two kids, and two majestic bulldogs named Princess Jellybean and Captain Jack Wobbles. If Miranda’s not writing or reading, she’s most likely convinced everyone to load up in the family muscle car and hit the road.

thumbnail_2017MirandaAsebedo_Headshot_HighRes.jpg

 

Finale Review

91xyJ8LjggLABOUT THE BOOK

 

Title: Finale

Author: Stephanie Garber

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Release Date: May 7, 2019

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy Fiction

Pages: 476

 

 

Summary from Goodreads:

Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finally, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .

MY REVIEW

5

Caraval fans, prepare to be amazed by this epic conclusion to what happens to be one of my favorite series. I was so excited to return to this world! I unfortunately didn’t have a chance to do a re-read of Caraval and Legendary before reading Finale, but I thankfully was able to jump right back in. The world that Stephanie has created in this series is lush, captivating, magical, entrancing, and absolutely breathtaking. I LOVED spending time with my favorite sisters and having the chapters go back and forth between Scarlett and Tella’s points of view. I was ecstatic to spend more time with Julian and Legend~they totally make me swoon! I was super excited to learn more about the Fates as well and to see what makes them tick. My heart was pounding as I turned the pages and I just wanted to keep reading…I didn’t want to put it down! Alas, I took my time as I did a buddy read and forced myself to savor it. I’m glad I did, because I did not want it to end. It was a satisfying ending to a fantastic series. I feel like I can’t coherently put into words just how much I love this series and how much it means to me. Thank you so much Stephanie! I can’t wait to see what future projects Stephanie has, because I will definitely be there! Run, don’t walk to your local bookstore to pick up a copy on Tuesday, May 7th.

*I received an ARC of this book in a giveaway*

 

 

 

“When Summer Ends” Blog tour review & giveaway

WSE Blog Tour Banner


ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: When Summer Ends

Author: Jessica Pennington

Publisher: Tor Teen/Macmillan

Release Date: April 9, 2019

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

When Summer Ends Cover

 

Synopsis:

Two teenagers discover how an unexpected turn of fate can bring new love to heal old wounds in Jessica Pennington’s stunning, romantic YA novel When Summer Ends.

Aiden Emerson is an all-star pitcher and the all-around golden boy of Riverton. Or at least he was, before he quit the team the last day of junior year without any explanation. How could he tell people he’s losing his vision at seventeen?

Straight-laced Olivia thought she had life all figured out. But when her dream internship falls apart, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her long-time boyfriend ghosts her right before summer break, she’s starting to think fate has a weird sense of humor.

Each struggling to find a new direction, Aiden and Olivia decide to live summer by chance. Every fleeting adventure and stolen kiss is as fragile as a coin flip in this heartfelt journey to love and self-discovery from the author of Love Songs & Other Lies.

 

Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBoundBookDepository


REVIEW

5

When Summer Ends is a wonderful book choice for your spring and/or summer TBR. It’s spring here where I live in the Northeast, and nothing is in bloom yet, so this book definitely gave me those summer vibes! It’s a sweet summer romance set in a Michigan beach town, and so much more.

The story follows Olivia and Aiden who meet when they’re both struggling to make sense of their lives the summer before their senior year. Aiden is the starting pitcher for their high school baseball team, and after an accident, he decides to work for his father’s company, River Depot rather than going to baseball camp like he does every summer. He also decides to explore one of his other passions. Olivia’s summer plans change when she doesn’t get the internship she was counting on, her Aunt whom she lives with is offered a job in another state and she may have to move, and her estranged mom comes back into town. She winds up getting a summer job at River Depot where she discovers Aiden works as well. What starts out as a friendship at work, evolves into more, and the two decide that they’re going to leave their summer up to chance.

I really enjoyed Aiden and Olivia together. So stinking cute! They just seemed to really bring out the best in each other without even realizing it. Throughout the book they begin to discover who they are as individuals and to fall for each other in the process. As I was reading, I was wishing that I had had an Aiden in high school. Relationship goals for sure! Besides the relationship between Aiden and Olivia, I liked that this book features a character with vision loss issues as I haven’t come across this rep before. I also like how the book showed different family dynamics, in that Olivia lives with her Aunt. Olivia’s relationship with her mother is also touched upon in the book.  I loved some of the secondary characters, which included Aiden’s cousin Ellis and also Olivia’s BFF, Emma. They both gave me some smiles and laughs throughout the story.

If you’re looking for a quick, fun, swoon worthy summer love story, than this one is for you!  I definitely recommend it and can’t wait to pick up a finished copy for my shelf.

 

 

 

*I received an E-Arc of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

 


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica PenningtonJessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. A serial entrepreneur with a B.A. in public relations, Jessica has a passion for grassroots marketing. She lives in a Michigan beach town, where she owns more YA novels than many teens and spends most of her time on a laptop, rather than on a beach.

Website Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Spotify

 

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY

Click here for the giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Link: http://theheartofabookblogger.com/announcing-the-when-summer-ends-blog-tour

April 1st

The Heart of a Book Blogger — Interview

Mel and Her Books — Review

April 2nd

The Candid Cover — Review

Mahkjchi’s Not So Secret Books — Aesthetic

April 3rd

Book Crushin’ — Creative Post

Buried in a Bookshelf — Video Interview

April 4th

Laura’s Bookish Corner — Dream Cast

Blunt Book Blog — Review

April 5th

Confessions of a YA Reader — Interview

Lala’s Book Reviews — Excerpt

April 6th

Ashleigh’s Bookshelf — Review

April 7th

The YA Book Traveler — Aesthetic

April 8th

The Clever Reader — Favorite Quotes

TBR and Beyond — Interview

April 9th

Smada’s Book Smack — Playlist

Belle’s Archive — Review

April 10th

Andi’s ABCs — Guest Post

Travel, Books, and More…Oh My! — Dream Cast

April 11th

Book Loaner — Review

April 12th

The Mind of a Book Dragon — Interview

Bookishly Slytherclaw — Review

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee

Midnite Matinee

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee

by Jeff Zentner

Format:

ARC

Published by Andersen Press and expected February 26, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Pages: 400

 

Summary From Goodreads:

A contemporary novel about two best friends who must make tough decisions about their futures–and the TV show they host–in their senior year of high school.

Every Friday night, best friends Delia and Josie become Rayne Ravenscroft and Delilah Darkwood, hosts of the campy creature feature show Midnite Matinee on the local cable station TV Six.

But with the end of senior year quickly approaching, the girls face tough decisions about their futures. Josie has been dreading graduation, as she tries to decide whether to leave for a big university and chase her dream career in mainstream TV. And Lawson, one of the show’s guest performers, a talented MMA fighter with weaknesses for pancakes, fantasy novels, and Josie, is making her tough decision even harder.

Scary movies are the last connection Delia has to her dad, who abandoned the family years ago. If Midnite Matinee becomes a hit, maybe he’ll see it and want to be a part of her life again. And maybe Josie will stay with the show instead of leaving her behind, too.

As the tug-of-war between growing up and growing apart tests the bonds of their friendship, Josie and Delia start to realize that an uncertain future can be both monstrous…and momentous

My Review

5

*I received a free ARC for this review which in no way influences my thoughts below*

This was my first Jeff Zentner book, and I was definitely not prepared for the feels! I am now a fan and need to read more from him. There were tears in this one, but also a lot of laughs!

Jeff takes us on a journey with Josie and Delia, the two main characters. They’re two best friends who have their own show on a public access station in Tennessee. The real heart of the story though is the friendship between Josie and Delia. They’re at that point in their lives where things are starting to change. They are having those thoughts you start thinking when you’re graduating soon from high school and you’re wondering what happens next, dealing with the feelings that come from having an absent parent, wanting your dreams to become reality, being somewhat afraid of the future and excited at the same time, young love, and so much more. I think that’s one of the reasons why I loved this book so much. It was a book about friendship, first and foremost. It was just raw and real and emotional.

Thank you Jeff for writing this beautiful book! Please add this one to your TBR and go preorder or pick up a copy when it hits shelves on February 26, 2019.