Blog Tour +Review+Giveaway for This Impossible Light by Lily Myers

Published by Philomel Books Genres: Poetry, Young Adult
four-half-stars

Welcome to The Impossible Light by Lily Myers book tour! Today is my stop on the tour and I am eager to share my review for this thought-provoking book.

 

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sixteen-year-old Ivy’s world is in flux. Her dad has moved out, her mother is withdrawn, her brother is off at college, and her best friend, Anna, has grown distant. Worst of all, Ivy’s body won t stop expanding. She’s getting taller and curvier, with no end in sight. Even her beloved math class offers no clear solution to the imbalanced equation that has become Ivy s life.

Everything feels off-kilter until a skipped meal leads to a boost in confidence and reminds Ivy that her life is her own. If Ivy can just limit what she eats the way her mother seems to she can stop herself from growing, focus on the upcoming math competition, and reclaim control of her life. But when her disordered eating leads to missed opportunities and a devastating health scare, Ivy realizes that she must weigh her mother’s issues against her own, and discover what it means to be a part of and apart from her family.

AUTHOR BIO:

Lily Myers (www.lilymyerswrites.com) graduated from Wesleyan University, where she competed on the slam poetry team and won Best Love Poem at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational for her poem “Shrinking Women.” Lily has also written for NEDA’s youth site, Proud2BMe, and their magazine, Making Connections. She lives in Seattle, Washington. You can follow Lily on Twitter @lmyerspoetry.

MY REVIEW:

This Impossible Light is a book written in verse that deals with the heavy and not always pleasant topics of body image, eating disorders, divorce, loneliness, depression and the relationships between mothers and daughters. While reading Myer’s verses you can’t help but to be drawn into Ivy’s world, where everything is falling apart.

The summer before Ivy’s first year, her parents decide to get divorced. To make matters worse, her older brother Sky is moving out, and her best friend Anna has been distant after being away for three months in Paris. Everything seems to be going against her will, but the one thing Ivy feels she can control is her body.

Lily Myers creates a deep and haunting tale in This Impossible Light. She does not shy away from perfectly expressing those hidden moments of loneliness, pain, sadness most people never show to those around them. As well as the struggles of those suffering/dealing with depression and especially eating disorders go through. How every day they must wake up to face those same demons over and over again, while at the same time, those closest to them have no idea anything is wrong. It is so sad, but so brutally true.

Through the elegant and powerful verse of This Impossible Light we are told Ivy’s story. We see her journey and struggles and (thankfully) her process towards recovery with help from her family and friends. I am so glad that the author focused only on Ivy. Myers did not feel the need to  “throw in” any romantic situations. I feel if she had done so it might have distracted the reader from the truth of the story.

This Impossible Light filled me with a variety of feelings, and gave me so much to think about and process. While never in the same situation as Ivy, my past self can completely relate to some of the darkness she feels. If you are looking for puffy clouds and unicorns, this is not the book for you. Your heart will hurt, your eyes will tear up, and breaks will be needed, but at least you will come out at the end of reading this book with your spirits lifted and most importantly with a feeling of hope (so hang in there).

Thank you to Philomel Books at Penguin Books for providing me with an ARC of This Impossible Light by Lily Myers in return for an honest review.

FOLLOW THE TOUR:

June 5 – YA Wednesdays – Spine Poetry

June 6 – Quiet in the Chaos – Review

June 7 – The Book Wars – Review

June 7 – Bookworm Everlasting – Review & Photograph

June 8 – ButterMyBooks – Book Look

June 9 – The Plot Bunny – Review

GIVEAWAY:

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of This Impossible Light by Lily Myers (ARV: $17.99 each).

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NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on June 5, 2017 and 12:00 AM on June 12, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 15, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

four-half-stars

Blog Tour +Giveaway: Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee

Published by Aladdin Genres: Contemporary, GLBT, Middle Grade

 

 

I am thrilled to be participating in the Star-Crossed blog tour today. Today I am joined by author Barbara Dee and she will share with us the 5 qualities she admires most about her main characters.

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Mattie is chosen to play Romeo opposite her crush in the eighth grade production of Shakespeare’s most beloved play in this Romeo and Juliet inspired novel from the author of Truth or Dare.

Mattie, a star student and passionate reader, is delighted when her English teacher announces the eighth grade will be staging Romeo and Juliet. And she is even more excited when, after a series of events, she finds herself playing Romeo, opposite Gemma Braithwaite’s Juliet. Gemma, the new girl at school, is brilliant, pretty, outgoing—and, if all that wasn’t enough: British.

As the cast prepares for opening night, Mattie finds herself growing increasingly attracted to Gemma and confused, since, just days before, she had found herself crushing on a boy named Elijah. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things backstage at the production are starting to rival any Shakespearean drama! In this sweet and funny look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to be the lead player in her own life.

 

GoodReads * IndieBound * Amazon * Barnes & Nobles * Book Depository

 

 

GUEST POST:

Five qualities that you admire about your main characters

Mattie’s bravery. It takes her a little while, but I admire how she embraces her feelings for Gemma, and also challenges herself to shine onstage.

Gemma’s charisma. For the premise to work, Mattie needs to be as smitten with Gemma as Romeo is with Juliet. I do think Gemma has a magical quality that makes it possible for Mattie to be hit by a “thunderbolt.”

Lucy’s loyalty. She gently prods Mattie to own her feelings, all the while reassuring her of her support. True friends want you to be your best.

Tessa’s wit. I loved writing her–yes, she could be a bit obnoxious sometimes, but she always cracked me up!

Mr. Torres’ endurance (he’s exhausted, but not burned out) and dedication to his students (“And the thing about bring a teacher, you never bet against your students. You always give them a chance to do their best.”)

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Barbara Dee is the author of seven middle grade novels all published by Simon & Schuster, including TRUTH OR DARE (Sept. 2016) and STAR-CROSSED (March 2017). Her next middle grade novel, HALFWAY NORMAL, will publish September 5, 2017. Barbara is one of the founders and directors of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival. She lives with her family in Westchester County, New York.

 

 

Website   *   Twitter   *   Facebook

GIVEAWAY:

One signed copy of STAR-CROSSED, USA only
Rafflecopter Link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Graphic Novel Review: Spill Zone #1) by Scott Westefeld, Alex Puvilland (Illustrator)

Graphic Novel Review: Spill Zone #1) by Scott Westefeld, Alex Puvilland (Illustrator)Spill Zone (The Spill Zone, #1) by Scott Westerfeld, Alex Puvilland
Published by First Second on May 2nd 2017
Genres: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
Goodreads
five-stars

Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone.
The Spill claimed Addison's parents and scarred her little sister, Lexa, who hasn t spoken since. Addison provides for her sister by photographing the Zone's twisted attractions on illicit midnight rides. Art collectors pay top dollar for these bizarre images, but getting close enough for the perfect shot can mean death or worse.
When an eccentric collector makes a million-dollar offer, Addison breaks her own hard-learned rules of survival and ventures farther than she has ever dared. Within the Spill Zone, Hell awaits and it seems to be calling Addison's name.

Something mysterious has happened in the area that is now the Spill Zone. No one knows exactly what, and the only people who dare venture into the territory is the HAZMAT crew and Addie. Addie lives with her sister just outside the Spill Zone. Her parents are gone, taken by the bizarre and unexplained happenings of the zone. She doesn’t know what has happened to them, but now she must do whatever it takes to take care of herself and her younger sister Lexa.

Addie risks exposure to the Spill Zone, and takes photographs of the eeriest scenes, from what used to be her hometown. The Spill zone is full of strange and frightening creatures, not to mention potential traps and dangers. Addie sells her photographs to collectors in order to support herself and her sister.  Lexa herself has changed since the Spill Zone happened, and she no longer speaks.  The loss of her voice is a mystery to everyone, and because of the strangeness of it all Lexa’s only friends are her stuffed animals and dolls. Vespertine, her favorite raggedy doll is always by Lexa’s side, but there’s something not quite right about that doll.

When Addie receives an offer she can’t refuse, she risks her life and goes deeper into the Spill Zone than she has ever been before. Addie doesn’t know what she will find there, or what dangers she might accidently bring back home with her.

Scott Westerfeld has masterfully created a graphic novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat. From just a few pages you, you are immediately “sucked” into the story, and you can’t help but worry about the strong willed and determined Addie.  You hold your breath in hope that she will return home safely. The suspense is thick within these pages, and you know something dark is lurking just around the corner.  Along with Alex Puvilland’s creepy and distinctive illustrations, the story truly comes to brilliant life.

The cliffhanger at the end had me literally screaming “NOOOOOO”! I was not ready for the story to stop, and I need to know what happens next ASAP.  Will Addie be okay? Will Lexa speak?  What’s up with the creepy doll?  I highly recommend this graphic novel to lovers of sci-fi and suspense. Anyone looking for something new, different and special will not be disappointed by the creativity flowing out of this story.

 

 

Thank you to 01Firstsecond Books / Macmillan for providing me with a finished copy in exchange for an honest review.

five-stars

YA Book Review: Freeks by Amanda Hocking

YA Book Review: Freeks by Amanda HockingFreeks by Amanda Hocking
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on January 3rd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Goodreads
three-stars

In a world of magical visions and pyrokinesis, Mara just wants to have a normal life. But is that possible?
Mara has become used to the extraordinary. Roaming from place to place with Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Carnival, she longs for an ordinary life where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future.
She gets her chance when the struggling sideshow sets up camp in the small town of Caudry and she meets a gorgeous local guy named Gabe. But before long, Mara realizes there’s a dark presence lurking in the town that’s threatening the lives of her friends. She has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she had in order to save everyone she cares about—and change the future forever.

Freeks brings us into the world of the traveling carnival sideshow. This is what first caught my interest about the book. I have a soft spot for books about circuses and carnivals, and the gorgeous cover also helped. 

 

The carnival is run by Gideon, and it has fallen on hard times. In a last resort attempt to save his show, Gideon takes his traveling convoy to the town of Caudry, Louisiana. However something “feels” odd about this town. Soon many of them start to disappear, or reappear…but not quite as they were.

 

Mara, our main character/heroine has always been with the sideshow, yet she has no special ability, “powers” or abnormality. Her mother, however, is a psychic, and Mara travels with them doing odd jobs and errands.  Mara doesn’t mind seem to mind the life she’s been living, traveling from town to town, but it’s clear that she does long to set up roots of her own.  

 

I feel a little sad for Mara, because it doesn’t seem like she has many friends. It also seems as if she wishes she could be part of a regular family. Yet she does not complain or whine about this, which I give her lots of credit for not doing.

 

The romance with Mara and Gabe is what really drove me nuts. I felt it was rushed, and too “INSTALOVE” for my taste. She barely meets him, and she is already deep throat tongue kissing him all the time? I just don’t buy it, but maybe she is just that horny and lonely. Still, I don’t see how this could be a good way to showcase the heroine of the novel to young readers.

 

I wanted her to have a little more common sense, and self-worth. The romance could have been great if it had not seemed so forced. It needed time to develop to be more believable. I like their personalities with each other but it was all too fast for me to put my seal of approval on it. Also, Gabe’s secret was pretty obvious to me from the very beginning.

 

Freeks has quite a few supporting characters, and I feel the author did a fantastic job keeping them all individual, and not feeling overwhelming to the reader. I enjoyed the parts of the book that gave details about carnival life and the intrigues of the sideshow acts. If there had been more of the carnival bits in the book and more details about each of the sideshow characters I would have been very happy. When it came to the ending, it felt rushed to me and I wish there had been more time taken to bring the story to a close. 

 

Overall Freeks was a quick and fun read. There were things I really liked, and some things I really did not, but it all balanced out. I would recommend this book to YA readers who enjoy mysteries, and books with paranormal activity.

 

Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin Press for providing me with an e-ARC copy of Freeks in return exchange for an honest review.

 

three-stars

YA Blog Tour+Review+Giveaway: Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

Published by Disney Hyperion Genres: Young Adult

sh-banner

Welcome to the Saving Hamlet Blog Tour! I am so excited to share my thoughts on this incredibly unique and funny book with you all. It is being published today, so make sure to head to your local bookstore to pick up your very own copy. Make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post for a chance to win 1 of 3 finished copies.

 

saving-hamlet-cover

Author: Molly Booth

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Pub. Date: Nov 1st, 2016

“Emma Allen couldn’t be more excited to start her sophomore year. Not only is she the assistant stage manager for the drama club’s production of Hamlet, but her crush Brandon is directing, and she’s rocking a new haircut that’s sure to get his attention. But soon after school starts, everything goes haywire. Emma’s promoted to stage manager with zero experience, her best friend Lulu stops talking to her, and Josh–the adorable soccer boy who’s cast as the lead–turns out to be a disaster. It’s up to Emma to fix it all, but she has no clue where to start.

One night after rehearsal, Emma stays behind to think through her life’s latest crises and distractedly falls through the stage’s trap door . . . landing in the basement of the Globe Theater.

It’s London, 1601, and with her awesome new pixie cut, everyone thinks Emma’s a boy–even Will Shakespeare himself. With no clue how to get home, Emma gamely plays her role as backstage assistant to the original production of Hamlet, learning a thing or two about the theater, and meeting an incredibly hot actor named Alex who finds Emma as intriguing as she finds him. But once Emma starts traveling back and forth through time, things get really confusing. Which boy is the one for her? In which reality does she belong? Will Lulu ever forgive her? And can she possibly save two disastrous productions ofHamlet before time runs out?”

LINKS: Amazon | B&N

 

MY REVIEW:

Saving Hamlet feels like going home, home to my theater days that is. Being a drama geek myself, I dove into this novel and gobbled it up as quickly as I could. It was quirky, humorous and filled with memorable characters.

Emma finds herself starting her sophomore year with a new pixie cut and a renewed interest in theater. Emma has a lot to deal with from the start. Forsaking her high school soccer career doesn’t sit well with all of Emma’s former teammates. Meanwhile, Emma goes from being an assistant to full on stage manager (with very little experience). On top of everything she also has to deal with the casting decisions which might end up causing the play to be a disaster.

Booth does a fantastic job writing vivid and authentic voices for all her characters. Emma is one of my favorites. I love the journey that she goes through in finding herself and learning to assert herself. I found her to be very inspiring. When Emma accidentally travels back in time I felt like I was there with her. Those scenes were some of my absolute favorites of the book.

My two other favorite characters in the book were Lulu and Stanley. I love that they weren’t just token LGBTQIA characters thrown into the story for the sake of having a “diverse” book. To me, they made the story even better with their awesomeness.

Though time-travel does play a role in Saving Hamlet’s plot line, it is not what drives the plot. However, I did enjoy experiencing The Globe Theater and Shakespeare through Emma’s eyes. Capturing both modern day and Elizabethan life, Booth is able to cleverly weave both worlds together into a well-written story.

Normally, I am not a huge fan of love triangles (quadrangle in this case) but Booth was able to pull it off without it being cheesy and nauseating. Even though the romances are swoon worthy and cute, Emma knows her priorities and never loses her focus.

Saving Hamlet will make you laugh out loud and it will enlighten you on a variety of life lessons. It’s a story about friendship, love, and finding yourself. Along with these, this story is also about self-love, and finding acceptance from yourself and others. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who ever was or is into theater/acting, Shakespeare lovers and anyone seeking an authentic and humorous read.

Thank you to Disney Hyperion and Hannah from The Irish Banana Review for including me in this blog tour and making it possible for me to get a chance to read and advance copy of Saving Hamlet in return for an honest review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

molly-booth

Molly Booth grew up homeschooled in Massachusetts with her four boisterous siblings. She stage managed for three different community theaters in high school. Her first college was Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, MA; she then went on to study writing, literature, and Elizabethan history on a very cold hill at Marlboro College in Vermont. There, she wrote the first drafts of Saving Hamlet her debut novel, coming 11/1/16 from Disney Hyperion. Her second book, Nothing Happened, will be coming spring 2018.
Molly also writes for The Mary Sue, and sometimes other sites like HelloGigglesThe Tempest, and McSweeney’s.  She spends most of her time snuggling her adorable dog Suzie, pet rats Meg and Marigold, and Harriet the queen cat.

She’s represented by Alex Slater at Trident Media Group, and edited by Kieran Viola at Disney Hyperion.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram

 

FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week 1:


Week 2:

10/31: The Irish Banana Review – Top 10

11/1: The Plot Bunny – Review

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

3 Finished Copies of SAVING HAMLET (US Only)

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