Saturday Spotlight: Match Me if You Can by Tiana Smith

mmiycTitle: Match Me if You Can

Author: Tiana Smith

Publisher: Swoon Reads/Macmillan

Release Date: January 8, 2019

Page Count: 288 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Summary:

Mia’s best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn’s matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her.

Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn’t count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince – the guy she knows is right for her – and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn’t find out that Mia’s been matchmaking behind her back.

Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?

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Purchase Links

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Book Depository     Indie Bound



 About the Author

tiana smith

Hey there! I write YA books with lots of kissing in them, because those are the best. Supposedly, I’m too old for boy bands and the Disney channel, but I love them anyway. A little more about me: Math is my nemesis and chick flicks are my happy place. Also, mint chocolate chip ice cream is heaven on earth and can make all your problems go away. If I could do anything I wanted, I’d train to be a lion tamer. Dead serious. I’m not sure how one gets on that career path, but it’s on my list of to-dos. Also on my list? Travel to London, learn sign language and be the best mom I can be to my ninja boy. (Bio from Swoon Reads)

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*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Pretty in Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Pretty in Punxsatawney_RD3Title: Pretty In Punxsutawney

Author: Laurie Boyle Crompton

Publisher: Blink

Release date: January 22, 2019

Genre: Young Adult — Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

A mashup of Groundhog Day and Pretty in Pink, the book stars a senior who is forced to relive the first day at her new school in an endless loop. Andie is convinced she needs true love’s kiss to break the curse, but instead discovers how a high school filled with cliques and misfits can find common ground despite everyone’s differences.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36168849-pretty-in-punxsutawney

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rdEb48

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pretty-in-punxsutawney-laurie-boyle-crompton/1128209537?#/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Pretty-in-Punxsutawney-Laurie-Boyle-Crompton/9780310762164

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=Pretty+in+Punxsutawney


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

laurieboylecrompton (1)Laurie Boyle Crompton is the YA author of the upcoming PRETTY IN PUNXSUTAWNEY (Blink/HarperCollins 2019) as well as ADRENALINE CRUSH (Macmillan/2014, Square Fish/2016), BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains), THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH and LOVE AND VANDALISM (Sourcebooks/2013, 2014, 2017). Growing up in ‘Pennsyltucky’ in the 1980s, Laurie couldn’t wait to escape rural life. After saving up her tips from waitressing at a local greasy spoon at 18 she packed up her acid wash jeans and moved to NY. Where everyone else had stopped wearing acid wash.

She graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a BA in English and Journalism. Since then she’s written for national magazines like ALLURE, survived a teaching stint at an all-boy high school, and appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. And yes, ‘toy expert’ is an actual profession. Really.

She has lived in places like Orlando, Florida where she and her husband spent all of their spare time and money visiting theme parks before moving to the Cotswolds in England for six months, which was every bit as cool as that sounds. The Cromptons are now back in New York where their two children resent never going to Disney.

Laurie occasionally enjoys hanging out in fields of blooming flowers and also refering to herself in the third person.

Website: https://www.lboylecrompton.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lbcrompton

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lbcrompton/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurie.b.crompton


MY REVIEW

This book was absolutely adorable! When I read that Groundhog Day would be the main basis for this book, I knew I needed to read this. Pretty in Punxsutawney is a cute and fast-read contemporary that hooked me from the very beginning. It’s a wonderful mash-up of Groundhog Day and Pretty In Pink, which makes for a fun and laugh-at-loud read. I loved how much Andie evolved over those repeating days. Each day brought a new scenario for Andie, which gave the reader a little snippet into another part of Andie’s personality.

When Andie wakes up the next morning after her first day of school, only to find out that she’s reliving the same day over and over again, she thinks it’s a blessing, yet also a curse. She thinks it’s the world’s way of telling her to get the day right and to find true love. And, of course, to get her first kiss. But little does she know that not everything is going to go as planned and not everyone is who they seem. And maybe, just maybe, you don’t need a kiss to break a time loop.

I loved Andie as a character. She’s strong and funny and someone I could really connect with throughout the book. I enjoyed seeing her dynamics with the many characters along the way, especially with Tom. She interacts with kids from different cliques in her high school, where she sees that many people put on an image at school and hide who they really are. And through all these characters, all these interactions, she starts to understand the person she wants to be. Even though her days are filled with angst and high school drama (like having to deal with a girl trying to steal the guy she thinks she likes), she stills fights to figure out who she is and what she’s supposed to do to break the curse.

One of my favorite things about Pretty in Punxsutawney was all the references to classic 80s movies, like Pretty in Pink. I’m a huge movie buff, so I loved all the references and how they all incorporated into the story. Andie references some of her mom’s favorite 80s movies to help her get through each repeat day, and each movie reference helps create a different outcome, which, in turn, teaches Andie something about herself she didn’t know.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Pretty in Punxsutawney. It was different from any contemporary books I have read and referring to 80s nostalgic movies definitely put the cherry on top. If you enjoy contemporaries with big-screen features similar to Groundhog Day and other well-known movies, I highly recommend!

Pretty in Punxsutawney comes out January 15, 2019!


GIVEAWAY

Prize: 5 finished copies of Pretty In Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton (USA only)

Starts: 1/7/19

Ends:  1/16/19

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TOUR SCHEDULE

http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2018/12/tour-schedule-pretty-in-punxsutawney-by.html


Thank you so much, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this amazing book blog tour!

Saturday Spotlight: White Stag by Kara Barbieri

whitestagTitle: White Stag

Author: Kara Barbieri

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: January 8, 2019

Page Count: 368 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

My Review

Summary:

The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

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Pre-order Links

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Book Depository     Indie Bound


 About the Author

kara

Kara Barbieri is a writer living in the tiny town of Hayward, Wisconsin. An avid fantasy fan, she began writing White Stag at eighteen and posting it to Wattpad soon after under the name of ‘Pandean’. When she’s not writing, you can find her marathoning Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reviving gothic fashion, and jamming to synthpop.

*ARC Review* White Stag – Kara Barbieri

whitestagTitle: White Stag

Author: Kara Barbieri

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: January 8, 2019

Page Count: 368 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary:

The first book in a brutally stunning series where a young girl finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

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My Review

Trigger warnings: White Stag contains some content that may be uncomfortable for some readers, including mention/discussion of rape and self harm, violence, death, and animal harm.

“Here, as the only mortal in a hall of monsters, I was very glad that I was not most humans.”

This dark and richly lush novel surprised me. I was expecting a book with a main character that still lived in the past and struggled with the circumstances of her present life. That was somewhat the case, but for the most part, I was way off, and that’s a good thing because the main character is so much better than what I was expecting.

White Stag demonstrates that it’s okay to present a fantasy world that’s crawling with foreseen and unforeseen dangers. It’s okay to have a main character that has been through many hardships and lives a life she never would have expected for herself. And it’s wildly okay to write a book with a dark atmosphere.

“The heartbeat of the Permafrost was like thunder underneath my feet, and the prey lines were clear as the morning sun.”

I haven’t read a dark fantasy in a long time. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever read a fantasy with this many dark elements. It’s a good thing, since most YA fantasy books have dark elements, but none as dark as the ones in White Stag. The world Janneke lives in is harsh and dangerous and cruel, a world humans would run from if some, like Janneke, were not forced into staying. Goblins rule the Permafrost and humans are merely considered servants to most. They fight, they kill one another without a simple care for who they are. It’s as if everything is a game to them, and everyone is merely a pawn in the Permafrost.

The idea of hunting the white stag was unique. I enjoyed how having the power of the white stag proved who was the next Goblin King. But the hunt itself is deadly to many and one hundred percent unkind to all. Janneke doesn’t know what really to expect in the hunt, except that many goblins will perish and one will come out the victor. But she was never expecting to find herself in the hunt and come out being the person she was meant to become.

I loved the dynamic between Janneke and Soren. Janneke is slow to trust Soren, as Soren is considered her “master.” But unlike the other goblins, unlike Lydian, Soren doesn’t want Janneke to be a servant, to treat him like a master. He wants Janneke to see him as a friend, or potentially something more. But like most relationships, theirs starts out rough. Janneke originally belonged to Lydian before she landed in Soren’s possession, so Janneke believes that all goblins are monsters. But over the years, Janneke realizes Soren is nothing like the other Goblins, and that Soren wants her as a confidant and someone to trust. And, slowly, that’s how their relationship begins to change.

“The future is frightening, I know. The choice is the hardest of all. But it is a choice — who rules and who lives and who dies, who hunts and who mends and who heals. It is your power to choose.”

Janneke’s inner demons and her disturbing past are constant factors in the story. Lydian stole her from the human world after killing everything she held dear and from there, he only made her life worse. Lydian did what he could to rip her apart and break her spirit. And even though she lived after her captivity, she has scars branded on her body and nightmares that haunt her day and night. She faces her demons daily and, though she is a strong soul, she can’t escape everything. And then there’s her fear of becoming something she never wanted to become: a monster. But she soon realizes that monsters come in many forms.

Overall, I enjoyed this darkly atmospheric book and I look forward to reading the sequel.

White Stag releases January 8, 2019!

Thank you to the publishing company for sending an advanced e-copy for me to read and write an honest review! All quotes are from the advanced e-copy and may not appear in the final print copy.

nikole

*ARC Review* The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

similars

Title: The Similars

Author: Rebecca Hanover

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: January 1, 2019

Page count: 352 pages

Genres: Young adult, Science Fiction

My Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary:

When six clones join Emmaline’s prestigious boarding school, she must confront the heartbreak of seeing her dead best friend’s face each day in class.

The Similars are all anyone can talk about at the elite Darkwood Academy. Who are these six clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? Who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emma couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and all she can think about is how to get through her junior year without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver’s exact DNA replica and one of the Similars.

Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper and deeper into their clique, uncovering dark truths about the clones and her prestigious school along the way. But no one can be trusted…not even the boy she is falling for who has Oliver’s face.

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My review

“I stop in my tracks as I arrive at our old spot. I’m not alone. They’re ten, fifteen feet away, at most. Their presence — their existence — sends my heart hammering in my chest. I freeze, watching, observing. I don’t think they can see me, not yet — but I can see them.”

When I first came across The Similars, I instantly was drawn to the cover and the optical illusion. It has a type of cover you don’t see very often in YA. And then I read the summary and I just knew this was a book I had to read. And I was not disappointed.

The Similars had surprising twists and turns, where even some of the twists caught me off guard that I literally went “holy crap!” And trust me, for me, that doesn’t happen very often. I’m usually very good at predicting what is going to happen, but I missed some of the shocking discoveries in this book. The last one hundred pages of the story, I was gripping the book, hoping that the clues I desperately needed to solve this mystery would surface. Most did, but the author did a marvelous job at revealing those clues only when they needed to be revealed. And that made for a very intriguing story.

The idea behind The Similars is brilliant and wonderfully unlike anything I have read in the YA genre. I thoroughly enjoyed the aspect of the six clones and what they represented in a world that didn’t want anything to do with them. And the dynamic between Emma and Levi brought the story to a whole new level, in the sense of how their relationship evolved over the story.

Like the summary states, Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars. She doesn’t want to constantly be reminded of the best friend she lost. But every mystery she uncovers links back to the Similars, and she soon realizes she has no choice but to become involved in their lives. Over the course of a year (or close to a year), Emma unearths dark secrets about the Similars, which tests her loyalty to those closest to her and puts a strain on the relationships she has with each Similar.

Rebecca Hanover’s writing will pull you in and keep you planted in the story’s roots until the very last line. And even after that, you’ll be craving more of Emma’s story. Hanover’s storytelling was captivating and so on-point, in the sense that she only gives the readers enough details to try to uncover each mystery before Emma does. I wholeheartedly enjoyed Emma’s voice and how her opinions slowly changed overtime. It was not an instant switch of emotions. Emma is easily a character that will charm readers, with her strong-headedness and personality.

“The boy is Oliver–only he is not. he is, and he isn’t….He has every feature that Oliver has–had. Only none of the memories. None of the stuff of our lives, the stuff that made us us. This boy has none of it; he knows none of it. Because Oliver is dead, and this, most definitely, is not him.”

And Levi. Oh, my sweet, sweet Levi. Levi has quickly become one of my favorite characters. In his own way, he’s charismatic and alluring, which Emma soon realizes as she becomes tangled in the Similars’ lives. He may look like Emma’s dead best friend, but he is in no way like him. Levi is one of those complicated souls that easily captures your attention. I looked forward to his scenes in the book, not just because he added a type of complication to the story, but because he swiftly became my favorite character in the story.

How The Similars ended left me open mouthed and going, “well, where’s the rest?” I need to know what happens after that ending, so I cannot wait for book two.

The Similars hits bookshelves January 1, 2019.

All quotes are from the advanced reader copy and may not appear in the final novel.

nikole

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Dream Keeper – Amber R. Duell

DreamKeeper_cover.jpgTitle: DREAM KEEPER

Author: Amber R. Duell

Pub. Date: January 29, 2019

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N

The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.

When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.


About Amber:

AmberAmber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s constantly moving with her husband and two sons as a military wife. Before becoming published, she had a wide range of occupations including banking, bartending (though she’s never tried alcohol), and phlebotomy (though she faints with needles). She also volunteered as a re-enactor at the local Revolutionary War fort and worked near shelter cats which led to her previous crazy cat lady status.

She does her best writing in the middle of the night, surviving the daylight hours with massive amounts of caffeine. Her favorite stories are dark with a touch of romance and a villain you either love to hate or hate to love.

When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, snuggling with her cat, and staying up way too late to research genealogy. She loves to travel and has visited more countries than states. Kissing the Blarney Stone and hand-feeding monkeys in the mountains of France will be hard to beat, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to find the next real-life adventure.

Website  | Twitter  | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest |  Goodreads


My Review

“A rendering of worlds. A distortion of nature. A binding of power.”

Dream Keeper is a wonderfully unique and enchanting tale that will charm you from the first line and leave you wishing there was more. The world is fascinating and the whole idea is wildly original. Nora, the Sandman, and the Weaver are characters that you know belong in this world. They are characters many will be able to relate to, all in different ways, as these characters have some differences from each other.

Nora is that type of protagonist that you root for from the first chapter. Though her life takes a drastic turn for the worst, she never gives up and stays strong. She doesn’t let the horrors defeat her, even when they hit home. The Sandman is just like her in that sense. He’s strong and will do anything to protect Nora and the secret Dream she holds in her mind. The Sandman is portrayed so well, and I loved his character. Duell did an incredible job with the characters, so trust me when I say that this book is not just all about the world building.

“You’ll soon find out there are worse things than death.”

Oh, lord, the Weaver is one of those villains you know is evil to the core, but someone you secretly like. That’s the case for me. He may be deadly and, you know, kill people, but he has a way with words, and I really liked that about the Weaver. He’s creepy and dangerous and interesting, but there’s this vibe with him. I was looking forward to a lot of his scenes, especially his interactions with Nora and the Sandman. He’s a well-drawn villain; he himself is a living nightmare, and it was really neat to see his story.

“For every light there was a shadow, for every dream, a nightmare.”

If you think the cover is beautiful, you need to read Duell’s world building. The world building in Dream Keeper is fresh and so unlike anything I’ve read. There’s the Day (real) world, the Dream Realm, and the Nightmare Realm. The drastic differences between the three is so distinctive and well-depicted. And how Duell brings all three together…wow. She does it so smoothly and it blends so well with the story. What also makes this story unique is how the nightmares are portrayed. There are regular nightmares, of horrors that are fiction and not real. And then there are nightmares that are real and haunt the host that could potentially lead to death. I know: scary, right? The nightmare creatures are intriguing and hauntingly creepy; they’re definitely not a creature I would want to come face-to-face with. Overall, the world building is a breath of fresh air.

If you haven’t read anything by Amber Duell yet, I highly recommend starting with Dream Keeper. That’s the case for me, and I plan on reading more of Duell’s work. I was delightfully surprised by this tale and I cannot wait for next installment! Dream Keeper comes out January 29, 2019, but you can pre-order now!

Thank you to the author for sending an advanced e-copy for me to read and write an honest review! All quotes are from the advanced e-copy and may not appear in the final novel.


Enter the Dream Keeper Giveaway!

1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.

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Tour Schedule

Week One:

10/22/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

10/23/2018- A Court of Coffee and Books– Review

10/24/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Excerpt

10/25/2018- BookHounds YA– Excerpt

10/26/2018- Loie Dunn– Review

Week Two:

10/29/2018- MetalPhantasmReads– Review

10/30/2018- Falling For YA– Excerpt

10/31/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

11/1/2018- Am Kinda Busy Reading– Review

11/2/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review


Thank you, Rockstar Book Tours and Amber R. Duell, for this wonderful blog tour!