ARCs, YA Contemporary, YA Fiction, YA Novel in Verse, YA Poetry

ARC REVIEW: The Opposite of Innocent by Sonya Sones (Sep 2018)

Sometimes I feel like a book. Like a book that’s never been opened – hidden away in a long-forgotten library, waiting for someone to find me, ease me off my shelf, and read me.

Synopsis: Poignant and chilling by turns, The Opposite of Innocent is award-winning author Sonya Sones’s most gripping novel in verse yet. It’s the story of a girl named Lily, who’s been crushing on a man named Luke, a friend of her parents, ever since she can remember. In this powerful tale of a terrifying leap into young adulthood, readers will accompany Lily on her harrowing journey from hopelessness to hope.

To be published September 4, 2018 by HarperTeen

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Novels in Verse, YA Coming-of-Age, YA Poetry

Themes: sexual abuse, innocence, sex with a minor, rape, poetry, photography, self-portrait, secrets, asking for help, little sister

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Goodreads

Lily’s story is both haunting and chilling – and with such a delicate subject. It was a very quick read but is also very heavy, emotionally. We have a character here who started out being so young – in age, heart, mind, and soul. She goes through this rapid progression of maturity, completely paralleled by the rapid narrative through verses. The unraveling of Lily’s story is both beautiful and ugly, full of hope but also full of pain.

This is the first novel in verse that I’ve read. If you haven’t read a novel in verse yet, I highly recommend you do so, and maybe you could start with this one, too!

Thank you HarperTeen for my review copy!

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How do you feel about novels in verse? Do you love / hate them?

What other novels in verse do you recommend?

Sincerely Peachy (1)

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ARCs, Blog Tours, Fantasy, YA Fantasy, YA Fiction

BLOG TOUR (+mini review): Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

GRACE AND FURY

Well, well, well. Guess what I’m here for again today? Another blog tour! Seems that’s all I have to write lately 😦 But anyway, they’re pretty fun. This week, I’m honored to be part of the first leg of Grace and Fury‘s tour (also, check out the great review from Confessions of a YA Reader) – if you want to see the full tour schedule, please click the banner above!

Synopsis: In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison. Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace–someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding. Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

To be published on July 31, 2018 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA Fantasy

Themes: royalty, women’s rights, sisters, family, rebellion, grace

Formats: Hardcover, ebook

320 pages

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*As an Amazon Associate, I get a mini % of sales price for every item you buy through my link. Thank you! ^_^

Goodreads

A yes doesn’t mean the same thing when it’s the only answer you’re allowed!

Grace and Fury – it’s The Selection meets Traitor Prince meets The Handmaid’s Tale. What makes it even more interesting is the dynamic of the differing perspectives of the Tessaro sisters – Serina and Nomi. While Serina is raised to be soft and beautiful, Nomi grew up to be headstrong and rebellious, but then unexpected circumstances leads them to somehow thrive by wielding what they each thought were the other’s strengths. I loved how I could easily identify which perspective I was reading in because of their different motivations. The plot picks up right from page one, and there’s so much intrigue woven in between.

Also…. can you imagine a world where it’s forbidden for women to read???! I’d totally be a NOMI.

Even with all the royalty-themed YA fantasy books out there, I think this one’s still worth giving a try!

Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy! Special thanks to Katharine McAnarney, senior publicist at Little Brown Books for Young Readers.


About the author

Tracytracy

Tracy Banghart grew up in rural Maryland and spent her summers on a remote island in northern Ontario. All of that isolation and lovely scenery gave her the time to read voraciously and the inspiration to write her own stories. Always a bit of a nomad, Tracy now travels the world Army-wife style with her husband, son, cat, and sweet pupper Scrabble. She wrote Grace and Fury while living in Hawaii.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY

  • 3 winners will receive a finished copy of GRACE AND FURY, US Only.
  • Enter through the Rafflecopter link
  • The best of luck to you, my friend.

Oooh, you’ve read this far? FANTASTIC! Thank you!

P.S. Check out Laura’s Bookish Corner – the next stop!


Have you read or are you planning to read Grace & Fury

Sincerely Peachy (1)

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ARCs, Blog Tours, YA Fiction, YA Scifi

BLOG TOUR (+ mini review): Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen

NYXIA UNLEASHED (1)

I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the tours for Nyxia Unleashed, the sequel to one of my favorite reads of 2017!

It’s the fourth week of tour, so please check out the posts from other tour hosts – please click on banner for full tour schedule. I would especially recommend the beautiful post (loved the layout!) by Brooke from The Layaway Dragon.

Synopsis: Getting to Eden brought Emmett and his crewmates one step closer to their promised fortune. But surviving Eden may be the biggest reward of all. Discover book two in the trilogy Marie Lu called, “a high-octane thriller.” Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn’t take long for him to learn that Babel’s competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one. Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population. But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces—Babel and the Adamites—with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it’s too late?

Published July 17, 2018 by Crown Books for Young Readers

Formats: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook

400 pages

Series: The Nyxia Triad #2

Preceded by:

 Goodreads Also, >>>>MY REVIEW!!!

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Goodreads

Emmett Atwater and the rest of the Genesis crew are back with a vengeance, and quite literally at that. Now with even bigger stakes, they must learn to trust one another and embrace each other as allies. Nyxia was a very impressive YA scifi debut, and Nyxia Unleashed only serves to complement the first book. Scott Reintgen continues to build the incredible world that we’ve only gotten a glimpse of in Nyxia. It’s exciting to see the crew out of space, and on a different planet interacting with the mysterious Imago, not to mention surviving the dangerous wild creatures on the planet.

I don’t want to say much more, but I will say this: if you’ve enjoyed Nyxia, I have no doubt that Nyxia Unleashed will not disappoint.

To make matters even more exciting, the cover for book 3 is out (WARNING: don’t read the synopsis if you haven’t read Nyxia or Nyxia Unleashed yet.)

9780399556876_3a972 Goodreads


About the author

Scott

Scott Reintgen was always a back-row dreamer. As early as kindergarten, teachers noticed his tendency to stare out of classroom windows and disappear to more interesting elsewheres. In high school, he began laboring away on the opening chapter of his first fantasy novel. One of his favorite English teachers agreed to read the pages and the very next day she switched him (illegally) out of Spanish and into a Creative Writing class. The story got tossed eventually, but he never lost the confidence he was given by that single act of empowering faith.

Convinced he would one day be a writer, Scott spent most of college and graduate school investing in the world of literature. This eventually led to a career teaching English and Creative Writing in North Carolina. He strongly believes that every student who steps into his classroom has the right to see themselves, vibrant and victorious and on the page. It’s his hope to encourage a future full of diverse writers. As he’s fond of reminding his students, “You have a story to tell and you’re the only one who can tell it.”

As for his own writing, Scott continues to follow in the footsteps of his favorite authors. It was Tolkien who once wrote, “The fairy gold (too often) turns to withered leaves when it is brought away. All I can ask is that you, knowing all these things, will receive my withered leaves, as a token at least that my hand once held a little of the gold.” And Scott hopes his books are a trail of withered leaves that might lead readers to the bright elsewheres through which he constantly finds himself wandering.

He currently lives in North Carolina with his wife, Katie, and family.

Note: I went with this website domain instead of http://www.scottreintgen.com because, let’s be honest, my name’s really hard to pronounce. Rather than make people suffer through trying to spell it every time, I thought this would be easier!

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


GIVEAWAY

  • 3 winners will win a finished copy of NYXIA UNLEASHED, US Only. 
  • Enter through Rafflecopter link
  • Good luck!

If you’ve reached this point, thank you for patiently scrolling! Next stop is over at The Desert Bibliophile, so please stop by Kay’s blog tomorrow when you get the chance!

Sincerely Peachy (1)

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ARCs, YA Contemporary, YA Fiction, YA Romance

ARC REVIEW: Kiss Collector by Wendy Higgins (Dec 2018)

Male, female, and all the other ways we categorize each other – we’re all just people – individual personalities, making mistakes and trying to get by.

Synopsis: When seventeen-year-old Zae Monroe gets cheated on by the only guy she’s ever loved, then watches her parents’ marriage crumble, she decides to forget about relationships and turn the tables on the boys of the world. It’s time to take what she wants, and what she wants are kisses. Athletes, musicians, poets, and bad boys—their lips are all on her agenda, and it’s time to collect. Zae proposes a contest with her friends to see who can kiss the most boys during spring break.

To be published on December 18, 2018 by HarperTeen

e-ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance

Themes: squad, friendships, foreign travel, foreign languages, dating, emotions, feelings, divorce, family, siblings, high school, classes, poetry, prom

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*As an Amazon Associate, I get a mini % of sales price every time you purchase an item through my link, thank you!

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I’m taking back my life, one kiss at a time.

I have to say, I was a little bit underwhelmed – I was expecting it to be more lighthearted than it turned out to be. There was a little bit too much drama than I cared for and Zae wasn’t really that likeable.

I’ve never read a book by Wendy Higgins before, but Kiss Collector didn’t quite make me keen to pick any of them up.

All that said, the only reason I didn’t DNF this and kept going are those poems (Wendy sure knows how to write those poems…) and the little mystery about the poet (I mean, I figured it out right away, but I still wanted the confirmation 😅)

Ode to the straw that fits in the pouch that rests in your hand.

The straw that meets your lips, pink as blossoms.

The proud, cylindrical piece of plastic that stands up to greet you with its chest out, ready to be used by you, to quench you.

Oh, to be that straw, partially submerged in 66 percent fruit juice,

And partially submerged in your mouth. Enjoy, little straw, enjoy.

Thankfully, it did have a very sweet ending, that made me just a little bit less regretful for reading it… but then I did find another book boyfriend so maybe it was worth it after all. Now, if only I actually get to finishing those #SwoonySaturdate drafts I have in mind…

Have you read any of Wendy Higgin’s works before?

Do you like poems embedded within novels?

Sincerely Peachy (1)

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ARCs, YA Fiction, YA Romance

ARC REVIEW: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera (Oct 2018)

I guess that’s any relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.

My synopsis: Arthur is an intern at a high-powered New York law firm, with big dreams and a big future. Ben just went through a bad breakup and to make matters worse, he has to see his ex in summer school. The two meet and sparks fly – but will those sparks only last one summer?

To be published October 9, 2018 by HarperTeen

e-ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review

Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance, YA Coming-of-Age, YA Romantic Comedy

Themes: LGBT, dating, finding each other, New York, city life, moving on, breakups, Broadway, fandom, writing, fantasy fiction, destiny, fate, the universe, best friends, friendships, bumps in relationships

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*As an Amazon Associate, I get a mini % of sales price if you purchase an item using my link, thank you!

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Before anything else – Fansens, you’re going to love this – the title is inspired by Dear Evan Hansen‘s track “Only Us” and the book (at least, the ARC is!) is actually divided into 4 different sections: What If, It’s Us, And Only Us, and the epilogue, What if it’s you and What if it’s me?

I always thought love was about the showstopper moments. No dialogue, no filler. But if the quiet parts are filler, maybe filler’s underrated.

That said, What If It’s Us is a sure-to-be-loved contemporary romance that immediately starts out with a hilarious meet-cute scene. I literally laughed out loud.

It’s your typical summer romance – Ben is an NYC resident with no big hopes for the future, and Arthur is a promising young man headed to one of the Ivy Leagues. The question is whether they will pursue a romance such as theirs when they well know that they will part ways after the summer, in a few weeks.. then a few days. Then add to that countless Broadway references… countless. I mean, this book have me obsessed with Dear Evan Hansen and Hamilton within a few chapters! I wouldn’t quite call myself a full-fledged Hamilfan or Fansen yet, but I’m quite sure I’ll be a pretty easy convert, all I need is to go and watch the shows on Broadway… hopefully some time this year??

Like I said, the romance between Arthur & Ben is pretty straightforward and pretty much what you’d expect from this genre. What I particularly enjoyed is the friendship between Ben and Dylan – they’re best friends and Dylan is so funny and his personality is pretty much a scene-stealer!

Dylan cuddles up next to me and Samantha accepts it because if she’s in this for the long run, this is her new life.

I love friendships like this. It’s so precious. There’s also Arthur’s best friends and his office squad – this story is just overflowing with great friendships, and it’s one of its major themes.

Other than the fact that it totally made me love Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen, I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly memorable read, but it’s definitely one you should check out if you’re already a fan of either Becky Albertalli or Adam Silvera – meanwhile, I couldn’t tell which POV was written by whom… if I have to pick, I mostly liked Arthur’s chapters 🙂

Thank you HarperCollins for my review copy!

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Thanks for reading!

BTW, Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers out there – and to your families ❤

Are you planning to read What If It’s Us?

Have you read any books by Becky Albertalli and/or Adam Silvera, and did you like it/them?

Sincerely Peachy (1)

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ARCs, YA Fiction, YA Thriller

ARC REVIEW: Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson (May 2018)

But the truth is so much simpler, and so much more complicated.

Synopsis: Gabe and Elyse have never met. But they both have something to hide. Gabe and Elyse both make the mistake of falling for the wrong person, and falling hard. Told in parallel narratives, this twisty, shocking story shows how one bad choice can lead to a spiral of unforeseen consequences that not everyone will survive.

To be published on May 29, 2018 by Razorbill

Print ARC provided by publisher through BookishFirst

Genres: YA Mystery & Suspense, YA Romance

Themes: abusive relationships, lies, sex with a minor, elopement, running away, regret, starting over, addiction, parenting, acting, Shakespeare

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*As an Amazon Associate, I get a mini % of sales price for any item you purchase through my link, thank you! ^_^

Goodreads

Simply told – the lies they never told me? Well, it’s that this was going to be more predictable than the little murder-mystery I found while reading an upcoming YA scifi, This Splintered Silence or that mysterious poet in the upcoming YA contemporary romance, Kiss CollectorSo for a thriller’s predictability level, that’s pretty bad.

It was that “shocking ending” promised in the promo and the ARC foreword that set my standards really high. I don’t quite remember the exact wording anymore, but I was super excited going into this.

At the time, I was impressed with myself, when I thought I only guessed part of the twist less than halfway through. But then as the novel approached the climax, I just kept guessing little bits and pieces, found lots of obvious lying around within the text. But yet, I convinced myself – oh, I bet the author is trying to misguide me here only to throw that shocker in the end. So needless to say, until I turned that last page, I was still expecting that so-called “shocking ending” which is only ever THE satisfying solution to a suspenseful read. Alas, I saw all of it coming. EVERYTHING. And I didn’t know who to blame. I don’t even read that much thriller…

…life is messy, and weird, and hard, and no one story is the absolute truth.

On a positive note, I thought it was fun to read the parallel POVs and neither Gabe nor Elyse was particularly irritating, so that’s a plus. Also, I did particularly enjoy the Romeo & Juliet rehearsal scenes – oh to parse Shakespeare’s play and characters, what joy!

Overall, for anyone looking for a thriller that will keep you guessing, I wouldn’t particularly recommend this – instead I’ll suggest you read Bad Girls with Perfect Faces (I didn’t even know I was supposed to be guessing, so I never saw the twist coming, read it in one sitting, too!) or One of Us Is Lying (I guessed this before the big reveal, but it kept me guessing anyway! I was never 100% sure throughout).

The tl;dr version: find something else to read 🙂

Thank you Penguin Publishing Group for my review copy!

Thanks for taking the time to read my review 😉 you’re always appreciated!

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When you read mystery / suspense / thrillers, do you try to guess the twist? Can you usually guess it?

Can you recommend any great similar reads?

Sincerely Peachy (1)

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ARCs, YA Action Adventure, YA Mystery, YA Scifi, YA Thriller

ARC REVIEW: This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson (Nov 2018)

I think most things begin to fracture without anyone realizing it’s even happening, a sort of splintered silence that gives way all at once under too much weight, and without warning.

Synopsis: Lindley Hamilton has been the leader of the space station Lusca since every first-generation crew member on board, including her mother, the commander, were killed by a deadly virus. Lindley always assumed she’d captain the Lusca one day, but she never thought that day would come so soon. And she never thought it would be like this—struggling to survive every day, learning how to keep the Lusca running, figuring out how to communicate with Earth, making sure they don’t run out of food. When a member of the surviving second generation dies from symptoms that look just like the deadly virus, though, Lindley feels her world shrinking even smaller. The disease was supposed to be over; the second generation was supposed to be immune. But as more people die, Lindley must face the terrifying reality that either the virus has mutated or something worse is happening: one of their own is a killer.

To be published November 13, 2018 by HarperTeen

e-ARC provided by publisher on Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review

Genre: YA Sci-Fi, YA Action & Adventure

Themes: survival, friendships, relationships, growing up together, evolving bonds, science, technology, space station, leadership, stepping up, grief, trust, asking for help, virus, mutation, murder, contagion, space, stress, pressure

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*As an Amazon Associate, I get a mini % of sales price if you use my link to make a purchase, thank you!

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Nothing quite like what I expected, This Splintered Silence is a surprising mix of familiar and well-loved genres: mostly scifi, somewhat dystopian, a little romance and a healthy amount of mystery, thriller, and suspense. If you liked Kayla’s debut novel, The Sandcastle Empire, this one will come as a pleasant surprise – it’s a sort of evolution, retaining all of the qualities I loved in TSE – strong character development, engaging plot, incredible prose, solid world-building – and then it ups it a few more notches!

I’ve been ruled by fear for far too long now. I refuse to bow down any longer.

Although the plot is certainly engaging, I would say that TSS is more character-driven than anything. Written in Lindley’s POV, the focus is on how she’s reacting more than what’s happening around her. It’s about how Lindley deals with leadership and the pressure and stress that comes with the role, but also with how she decides on what to trust, who to trust. It’s really quite astonishing to get into the mindset of such an intense character like Lindley!

Their words sounded like whispers pricked with a thousand splinters as they fought hard, just to be heard. Until the silence took over and, one by one, the stars went out.

I first fell in love with Kayla’s prose in The Sandcastle Empire, and this only rekindles my love for it. The words fall so naturally together on the page – it seems effortless. I’m not really sure how to describe it, but there’s a distinct trademark in it, quite inexplicable. Maybe it reminds me of a modern Tolstoy – Tolstoy can write countless scenes of groups of people merely sipping tea but never do they seem too dull, but also never overly elaborate. I say this because one of my favorite chapters in the book is just the main character eating chocolate – and it’s forever seared in my memory!

The stars flicker, a hundred thousand fireflies frozen in flight.

But my favorite parts are also the metaphors that aren’t far-fetched at all but are so unique and I’m all admiration! I wish I could come up with half the stuff that she comes up with!

I would have loved some more details about the world, but it’s solid enough to not leave you distracted about it. The entire mood of the novel kept me on my toes – and there was this point in the novel where you can feel the fraught nerves, the intensity of the situation – when things have reached the tipping point.

…we can’t afford to make assumptions. We make assumptions, we die.

For the few of us who appreciate a love triangle, there’s something to be excited about – it’s not at all the focus, but the few scenes dedicated to it are really good – the love interests are totally swoonworthy!

We’ve not done this before, and now that we have, how have we never?

Overall, if you couldn’t tell yet – this was everything I was hoping for and more! I tried to wait it out before I wrote this review to give myself some time to tone down my enthusiasm to a more reasonable proportion. Part of me is so happy I got to read this early, but part of me is regretful because that means I have to wait who-knows-how-long for Kayla’s next novel! I highly recommend it to those who like scifi / mystery / thriller / survival reads!

Thank you to HarperCollins for my review copy!

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Have you read The Sandcastle Empire? If you have, did you like it?

Do you think you’ll add This Splintered Silence to your TBR?

Sincerely Peachy (1)

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