*Saturday Spotlight* Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

DOTCTitle: Descendant of the Crane

Author: Joan He

Publisher: Albert Whitman Company

Release Date: April 9, 2019

Page Count: 416 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.

Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by
death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of Yan at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

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Purchase Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Indie Bound

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Preorder Giveaway

Joan has an awesome preorder giveaway going on, so check it out here! Open internationally!

Everyone who preorders Descendant of the Crane will receive a set of 5 character cards! Please note: the bookmark in the photo below is no longer part of the preorder campaign.

Does this preorder giveaway accept library requests? Yes! Library request submitters will receive 4 out of 5 character cards.

DOTCPG

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 About the Author

JoanJoan was born and raised in Philadelphia but still will, on occasion, lose her way. At a young age, she received classical instruction in oil painting before discovering that stories were her favorite kind of art. She studied psychology and Chinese history at the University of Pennsylvania and currently writes from a desk overlooking the city
waterfront. Descendant of the Crane is her young adult debut. (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 3/25/19

This week I’m going to read what I planned on reading last week because I dropped everything for Finale.

What are you planning on reading this week?

Waiting For Tom Hanks- Kerry Winfrey

40969415Can a romcom-obsessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.

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Spectacle- Jodie Lynn Zdrok

34020742A YA murder mystery in which a young reporter must use her supernatural visions to help track down a killer targeting the young women of Paris.

Paris, 1887.

Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day’s new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine. That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered–from the perspective of the murderer himself.

When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine days later, Paris begins to buzz with rumors that this victim may not be the last. Nathalie’s search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs. As the killer continues to haunt the streets of Paris, it becomes clear that Nathalie’s strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover the killer’s identity–and she’ll have to do it before she becomes a target herself.

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The Unhoneymooners- Christina Lauren

42201431Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Amy, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

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stacy

 

 

 

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

TWKTitle: The Waking Forest

Author: Alyssa Wees

Publisher: Delacorte

Release Date: March 12th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

Pan’s Labyrinth meets The Hazel Wood in this novel about a girl with terrifying visions and a wish-granting witch whose lives collide in the most unexpected of ways.

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more–until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

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BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook DepositoryIndieBound | iBooks | Kobo

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TOUR SCHEDULE

You can visit the other amazing blogs part of this tour by clicking the link below. Blog tour schedule link: https://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/02/tour-schedule-waking-forest-by-alyssa.html

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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In between training in ballet and watching lots of Disney movies, Alyssa grew up writing stories starring her Beanie Babies. She earned a BA in English from Creighton University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. Currently she works as an assistant librarian in youth services at an awesome public library. She lives in the Chicagoland area with her husband and their two cats.

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GIVEAWAY

  • Prize: 1 copy of THE WAKING FOREST by Alyssa Wees
  • US Only
  • Starts: 3/10
  • Ends: 3/26

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MY REVIEW

The waking forest is one of those novels that produces an eerie yet captivating reaction on every page. I expected the writing to be beautiful, which it was, yet I also wanted to be wowed, which I was. This book read just like a nightmarish fairytale, and I loved that.

The way Wees brings the characters to life is mesmerizing. I loved how it was told from two point of views: Rhea and the Witch. Rhea sees a forest that keeps appearing and disappearing behind her house; she’s plagued by mysterious nightmares and when she thinks she’s losing her mind, a boy that blends with shadows confronts her, saying he will tell her all the forest’s secrets if she will play a game. Then there’s the Witch, who grants children’s’ wishes who dream about her. Yet, she lives the same life style, until two children come to her and one surprises her by asking her what she would wish for. Both characters’ personalities bring so much to this story; they work wonderfully with the storyline. And it isn’t just the characters that make this bewitching story alluring: it’s also the way the story is written.

The writing is some of the most beautiful writing I’ve read in YA this year. The author has a way of bringing the world and characters to life. The world was so vividly described through gorgeous prose that it was one of the reasons why this book was hard to put down. Wees has a way with words and knows how to make a fairytale feel real. The way the forest is described makes it enchanting, yet harsh, and combining both of those together with her writing made for some beautiful scenes. I was truly blown away with the writing and enthralling storyline.

With vivid storytelling and a captivating setting, The Waking Forest will be a book that will surprise you and make you believe in those bedtime fairytales you wished were real (or maybe not so real). I can’t wait to see what Alyssa Wees writes next!

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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Top Ten Tuesday 3/12/19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic: Standalone Books That Need a Sequel

*Click on the images of the books to see a synopsis on Goodreads!*

Verity- Colleen Hoover

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Girl In Pieces- Kathleen Glasgow

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Baby Teeth- Zoje Stage

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Love and Other Words- Christina Lauren

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People Like Us- Dana Mele

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There’s Someone Inside Your House- Stephanie Perkins

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My Best Friend’s Exorcism- Grady Hendrix

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Daughter Unto Devils- Amy Lukavics

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The Problem With Forever- Jennifer Armentrout

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Eleanor & Park- Rainbow Rowell

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Which books made your list?

stacy

 

 

 

*First Line Friday* 3/8/19 Death Prefers Blondes- Caleb Roehrig

Happy Friday! I’m so relieved that the weekend is here. Not sure on my plans but I don’t have to wake up early, so that’s a win.

This weeks book is something that I just got my hands on and I can’t wait to read. Plus this first line is epic. Enjoy!!

39073399Teenage socialite Margo Manning leads a dangerous double life. By day, she dodges the paparazzi while soaking up California sunshine. By night, however, she dodges security cameras and armed guards, pulling off high-stakes cat burglaries with a team of flamboyant young men. In and out of disguise, she’s in all the headlines.

But then Margo’s personal life takes a sudden, dark turn, and a job to end all jobs lands her crew in deadly peril. Overnight, everything she’s ever counted on is put at risk. Backs against the wall, the resourceful thieves must draw on their special skills to survive. But can one rebel heiress and four kickboxing drag queens withstand the slings and arrows of truly outrageous fortune? Or will a mounting sea of troubles end them — for good?

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“As it turned out, a pissed-off drag queen with a grappling hook was a force to be reckoned with.”

stacy

*ARC Review* To Best The Boys by Mary Weber

TBTB_CorrectTitle: To Best The Boys

Author: Mary Weber

Release Date: March 19th, 2019

Publisher: Thomas Nelson Books

Page Count: 352 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary:

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

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Preorder Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository   |  Indie Bound

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My Review

The title alone is what first drew me to this book. Any book that sounds like it will have a strong female lead is a must read for me. And To Best the Boys did not disappoint.

The girl power in this book is phenomenal. You have the main character, Rhen, and her best friend/cousin, Seleni. Both have two very different personalities: Rhen is stubborn and speaks her mind and wants to go to school, whereas Seleni wants to be a housewife to the boy she loves. Both have different futures, but both girls are so loyal to one another, and I really enjoyed seeing that. In her village, Rhen is not like most girls. Her cousin’s family is considered an Upper, people will money and high class. Whereas Rhen and her parents are considered Lowers, people working to stay alive and to put food on the table. Seleni doesn’t let her status stop her from seeing Rhen, even though Rhen does manage to get them both into trouble often. But Seleni would do anything for Rhen, even enter the Labyrinth with Rhen to show the boys just what kind of power girls are capable of possessing.

Rhen is an exceptionally strong-minded girl in her village. She has the dream of being something more than what she currently is; she wants to change the world of science and school. She spends most of her time working in her father’s lab trying to find a cure to an unknown, fast-growing disease that is killing her mother. And when she brings this up to her Uncle’s friends—the people who can offer help—they brush the disease off as nothing, as it doesn’t seem to be affecting the Uppers. That answer, the way most Uppers react to the Lowers, is what drives Rhen to enter the Labyrinth. And though she struggles over the aspect of leaving her Mom and Da, she knows that the only way to fix this is to enter the maze and win.

The idea behind the Labyrinth is intriguing and I found myself asking the question: Would I enter the maze disguised as a boy to prove my worth and that the world needs to change? I think I would, even if the aspect of death is involved. That’s exactly what Rhen does; she wants to see the world change and she wants the Uppers, especially the University board, to understand why they need to address the disease spreading in the Lower. I do wish the Labyrinth was a bit more developed, but nevertheless, I enjoyed each part of the maze and seeing how Rhen and her friends navigated each part. The Labyrinth doesn’t just involve mathematical equations but also tests your qualities as a human being. The winner of the maze does not win solely off of knowledge but how they treat other people. The maze involves both knowledge and characteristics and, in this maze, Rhen faces more personal challenges than she thought she would. But Rhen isn’t a quitter, and she refuses to give up, no matter the cost.

Mary Weber weaves fantasy so well with the setting and plot of this book. How the book starts out, I wouldn’t think fantasy elements would arise. But they did and the elements, though not present enough to overwhelm the plot, work so well with the story. The Labyrinth breathes fantasy, with ghouls and creatures and a maze that continuously shrinks in size until you find a way to escape. It was interesting and unlike most mazes I have read in books. Mary Weber truly brought this maze (and this book) to life, and I loved it.

To Best the Boys turned out to be the story I was hoping it to be. The characters were well-developed and the plot continued to thicken until the very end. It was, overall, a book I am thankful I got to read early.

To Best the Boys is a refreshing read in the YA genre. If you love girl power, individuality, fighting for what you believe in, a deadly and heart-pounding maze, and romance, then I highly recommend reading To Best the Boys!

nikole

Question of the Post:

Would you enter the Labyrinth? I’d love to know! Leave your answer below! 🙂

*Book Review:* Come Find Me by Megan Miranda

CFMTitle: Come Find Me

Author: Megan Miranda

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Page Count: 336 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Science Fiction

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary:

From the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger comes a captivating thriller about two teens who connect when each discovers a mysterious radio frequency, which suggests their family tragedies are mysteriously connected. 

After surviving an infamous family tragedy, sixteen-year-old Kennedy Jones has made it her mission to keep her brother’s search through the cosmos alive. But then something disturbs the frequency on his radio telescope–a pattern registering where no signal should transmit.

In a neighboring county, seventeen-year-old Nolan Chandler is determined to find out what really happened to his brother, who disappeared the day after Nolan had an eerie premonition. There hasn’t been a single lead for two years, until Nolan picks up an odd signal–a pattern coming from his brother’s bedroom.

Drawn together by these strange signals–and their family tragedies–Kennedy and Nolan search for the origin of the mysterious frequency. But the more they uncover, the more they believe that everything’s connected–even their pasts–as it appears the signal is meant for them alone, sharing a message that only they can understand. Is something coming for them? Or is the frequency warning them about something that’s already here?

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Purchase Links

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Book Depository     Indie Bound

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My Review

I originally wanted to read Come Find Me because the premise sounded interesting and looked to be a mystery right up my alley. Then I saw who the author was and since I loved her adult books, I had to read her young adult book.

When the book started, I’m not going to lie, I thought it was going to have a sci-fi feel because that’s the initial feeling I got from reading the summary. I was thinking there would be some connection to maybe aliens or something along those lines. Needless to say, it doesn’t have a huge sci-fi connect, but the book doesn’t need the sci-fi element to be a fantastic mystery. It does, however, have a sort of Stranger Things vibe to it, though it is small.

Kennedy and Nolan are both reeling from past family tragedies. Kennedy’s family is torn apart after a murder and she’ll do everything she can to find out the truth, even following the trail of an impossible lead. Nolan’s brother went missing a couple years ago and while his family is unable to fully move on, Nolan wants to forget the tragedy. That is, until his extraterrestrial device picks up a frequency that is unheard of. And then Kennedy comes across the same frequency and both believe it to be a sign that it is time to un-bury the past.

I really enjoyed how Miranda brought two POVs to the table and intertwined their stories. Kennedy and Nolan must work together to solve the mysteries surrounding their dead family members, and neither suspect them to have a unique connection. Along the way, Kennedy and Nolan learn to work as a team and grow as individuals (and together). Both are struggling with

Miranda does a fantastic job about not giving everything away to the reader right away. Right from the start, the reader is unaware of what happened to Kennedy’s family, only knowing that something dark and tragic happened in her old house. Overall, Miranda knows how to write a good mystery novel; if you haven’t read any of her work, I recommend that you do.

nikole