Sunday Street Team: Gray Wolf Island (Interview + Giveaway)

Gray Wolf Island

One thing I love about 2017 is that it boasts a lot of diverse new releases. I once chatted with Tracey last year when I joined a chat featuring debut authors. Something about Gray Wolf Island caught my attention, which is probably the context of magical realism. Which is why when given the chance, I didn’t pass up the opportunity given to me by the Sunday Street Team to interview Tracey about her upcoming book.

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29906023Title: Gray Wolf Island

Author: Tracey Neithercott

Genre: Mystery, Magical Realism

Date Published: 10th of October 2017

Series: None

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Buy it on: Amazon – US /  Barnes & Noble TBD

Summary:

Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.

With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.

As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.

From debut author Tracey Neithercott comes a darkly compelling tale of profound friendship, adventure, and finding the strength to tell the truth.

AN INTERVIEW WITH TRACEY NEITHERCOTT

Tell us a little something about yourself. What do you have in common with your story?

When I was in college, I spent a semester studying abroad. I arrived in New Zealand with a couple friends and a whole lot of strangers. Over the course of six months, I formed the kind of intense friendships that feel like they’re a part of who you are and who you’ve always been. There were a lot of things that made my friendship with these girls so intense—we were away from home, exploring one of the most beautiful countries in the world, doing things we hadn’t even dared to dream of: bungee jumping, skydiving, climbing glaciers, and exploring glow-worm caves. (And, yes, some studying.)

It was an adventure, and we were living it together. That’s what I wanted for Gray Wolf Island. I knew from the very beginning it would be about friendship, and it’s primarily told from the point of view of an introverted girl like me. Over the course of the book, she’s forced into some life-changing friendships, and it reminds me of the feeling I got when I was studying abroad all those years ago.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I love this question. There are so many great novels out there that everybody knows about, so I’m always pushing lesser-known favorites on my friends. One I completely adored was These Vicious Masks by Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker. I’ve heard it described as Jane Austen meets X-Men, and as strange as that sounds, it fits. Imagine a historical setting with fun superpowers and a hilariously sassy and often snarky main character. I laughed throughout the entire thing—and fell in love with all of the characters.

While writing Gray Wolf Island, did you go for an outline ahead of time or did you have this eureka moment where you just wrote to your hearts content?

I aspire to be one of those writers who can conjure and idea and, from it, an entire novel. But I’m a heavy outliner. I like the sense of control it gives me. I like knowing where I’m going before I try to get there. And I really love the brainstorming process involved in plotting the story out. Even with all that planning, though, I still have moments that surprise me—a funny line here or a twist I didn’t see coming. I’m not sure how it happens, but it feels an awful lot like magic.

What do you love the most about the writing process for Gray Wolf Island?

Then end? I’m only 17 percent kidding. What I really, truly love are the brainstorming, plotting, and revising processes. I’m a very critical writer. I have a hard time turning off my inner editor, and so I spend most of my first draft thinking I’m the least talented author to have ever met a blank screen. In revising, though, I get to go into full-on perfectionist mode without slowing myself down. I love figuring out what’s not working and then puzzling out how to fix it. All of this was true for Gray Wolf Island. The drafting was slow and painful, at least twice as long as the revising. But as my critique partner likes to joke, “It’s your process. Get used to it.”

Gray Wolf Island has an interesting cast. But out of all the characters you have created, who is your favorite and why?

An impossible question! I thought about it for a while before deciding to just cheat. Truth is, I love them each for different reasons: Ruby, for her devotion to her sister; Charlie, for his fearlessness and love of adventure; Anne, for her ability to see the good in everyone; Gabe, for his decision to be better than himself; and Elliot because though he’s a prickly know-it- all, he has a good heart. But sometimes I think my favorite of all isn’t even one of the main characters. I pretty much laughed the entire time I was writing Doris Lansing, an old lady who’s instrumental in the lives of both of my narrators.

What will be the reader’s biggest takeaway after reading Gray Wolf Island?

The book deals with a lot of different themes—grief, identity, truth, trust—but in the end I think readers will really come away with a sense of the incredible power of friendship, how people can come into your life and transform it into something better. At least I think that’s the biggest takeaway. That, or the importance of packing plenty of underwear when setting off on a treasure-hunting adventure.

I have always wanted to ask an author about this. What were your thoughts when they showed you the final cover for your book?

I loved it! Gray Wolf Island (both the book and the island in the book) is filled with bits of magic, and I thought the thick fog and clouds perfectly conveys the mystery and the something other about the island.

Lastly, what item should we have with us at all times while reading your book?

How about brown butter oatmeal cookies filled with caramel and peanut butter? It’s not required, but … they’re brown butter oatmeal cookies filled with caramel and peanut butter. Gabe is something of a baker, and there’s a certain scene where the group eats these cookies (which he found on this blog). Each time I read the scene, I got a major craving.

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Tracey Neithercott’s first book was written by hand and illustrated with some really fancy colored pencils. It was highly acclaimed by her mother. Now, she writes YA stories of friendship, love, murder, and magic. (None of which she illustrates—you’re welcome.) She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, who suggests improving her novels by adding Star Wars characters.

Follow Tracey on social media!

Blog || Twitter || Goodreads || Instagram

newGiveaway[INTL] Win a pre-order of Gray Wolf Island

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Thank you so much to SST for letting me interview Tracey before it’s release! I am very excited to read it once it is released, and it is only a few days away. Bless.

Are you excited to read Gray Wolf Island? Be sure to keep those brown butter oatmeal cookies ready!

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PH Blog Tour: Warcross by Marie Lu

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(I came back from the dead for this.)

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C: > Initiate Warcross review post

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Hello. It has been a while. I’m just giving you a glimpse of my system glitch before I wrote this review. The brain cells are a little bit rusty. Wait, I am making so many references right now and that is just plain weird. So to catch on, a moment of silence for a few fangirl noises:

DROP EVERYTHING. READ WARCROSS. RIGHT NOW. DON’T HESITATE.

Before Reading:

Despite starting the year off with a rocky 3 stars, I decided to give Marie Lu another shot. I have read The Young Elites from her, but my feelings were stuck in the ‘ in between ‘. But when it came to Warcross, the inner musings of my brain decided that it wants to ingest it like an eagle hungry for a monkey. I did not even think. I went for it head on. I have no idea why I’m word vomiting like this. (Probably due to the fact that I just rose from the grave.)

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29385546Title: Warcross

Author: Marie Lu

Genre: Science Fiction

Date Published: 12th of September 2017

Series: Warcross #1

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Buy it on: Amazon| National Bookstore | Fully Booked

Summary:

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

After Reading:

*sigh* Oh wait no, wrong emotion. Wait, I don’t even know what I want to feel because Marie Lu has finally won me over. Something else entirely, but still! I am trying to be as vague as possible, but plot twists can make anyone go nuts. Luckily, I braced myself for this kind of impact. So let’s go through with this.

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To be honest with you lot, I entered the world of Warcross without knowing anything about it. Despite the hype surrounding it online, I drowned everything out. I only knew three things before I started reading Warcross:

  • It is written by Marie Lu.
  • There’s a game involved.
  • 3D stuff?

Even the last part had a question mark because I had to assume that three dimensional objects were involved because of the multicolored cover. If I knew more, it would probably take me a lot more convincing to read it. But here we are. I went into it blind. And praise to the heavens, it was probably one of the best decisions that I have made in months. MONTHS. For blogging reasons, obviously.

And there is so much more to talk about. Since I have a background on animation and information technology, all the talk about virtual reality and the NeuroLink made me all giddy. With the technology we have today, it felt like Warcross can happen in the near future. If you ask me if Warcross is possible, I would not hesitate to say “bloody hell, yes.” Why? The vivid imagery that Warcross has presented captured my heart. It reminded me of Sword Art Online, but the only comparison that I could point out is the technology that they both possess. Both worlds deal with virtual reality, but in this case, Warcross is much more advanced. SAO requires its players to have the gear to experience the virtual world, much like the VR headsets made by Oculus and Samsung today. Warcross however, only requires a pair of glasses. It is so simple, yet realistically complex in many ways. There is so much to explore in the alternate reality that Marie Lu has created. The setting was brilliant and edgy, basically a science fiction enthusiast’s dream. (I mean, just setting it in Tokyo had me sold. Those who petition to not let Hollywood get this and make it an anime instead, say “aye”?) But anything powerful has its downside. The dark part of Warcross is sinister and twisted, but it also contains the most interesting parts of the tale.

And of course, it’s not just about the game. Warcross is filled with a colorful cast. An addition to the many badass ladies of young adult fiction is Emika Chen, a bounty hunter hailing from New York. I was immediately drawn to her, due to her impressive skills when it comes to coding. I have absolute respect for girls who code, and Emika is such a boss at what she does. Despite her grief and misfortunes, she faces the world head on. Her self-discovery in this book is delightful to read, and every task she accomplishes makes me want to scream like a proud mom. (Oh, the irony.) Did she really need a love interest? Maybe not. I also found myself fancying Hideo Tanaka, the elusive and dashing creator of Warcross in the first part of the book. But the more I knew about him, the more I drifted apart from his character. Not that it’s a bad thing, but he just felt off for me.

(Funny story: I actually thought that the main lead of the series will be a guy. And right now, you’re probably saying “THIS IS WHY WE READ SUMMARIES AT THE BACK FIRST, BIANCA.”)

While I was not a fan of the romance entangled within it’s pages, I definitely enjoyed the team dynamics and the thrill of the game itself. The foundation of the games lies on teamwork, with each player having a role vital to the team’s success. I will not spoil the placement of the teams but key players that has so much passion for Warcross managed to get their feelings across to me. I was hooked by each players’ dedication and determination to win. I easily rooted for the main team, and maybe I may have wished that there were more scenes concerning the games rather than the scenes filled with love. *pukes*

Warcross has reaffirmed me that I have a soft spot for the science fiction genre. It never ceases to amaze me, and it continues to baffle me on how writers come up with amazing alternate realities close to our current timeline. But the real winner here is Marie Lu. Her writing style literally never lets you take your eyes off each page. The fast-paced intensity of every single chapter can leave you on your tiptoes. Blink once and you might actually miss something. It is easy to submerge oneself into Warcross, and quite frankly, leaves you craving for more. Where’s the sequel already?

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Marie Lu is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Young Elites, as well the blockbuster selling Legend series. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry as an artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing games, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and one Pembroke Welsh corgi.


Thank you so much to Rafael from The Royal Polar Bear Reads for hosting this blog tour. I cannot emphasize my sincerest thanks to you for giving me the opportunity to join this tour despite my lack of presence here. I consider this as a power-up, and I will use it wisely starting today. Also, massive thanks to Penguin Random House for providing copies for the tour. You guys are more awesome than the glasses. *winks*

End scene. Now, how about that fangirls and fanboys? Consider picking up Warcross today. (Ughh, I sound like a commercial. This is what advertising does to you.)

Want to fangirl/fanboy about Warcross?

What other books by Marie Lu have you read?

Am I back from the dead for real?

Let’s chat! Talk Warcross with me!

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Sunday Street Team: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

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Before Reading:

The book gods have been very good to me this year despite my ridiculousness. I am not very consistent this year, I have to admit. But in terms of books, I feel very lucky because the selection that I do want to read is the only thing that I read. The moment they dropped the summary of this particular book that I will be talking about today, I was immediately hooked. I was sold in a heartbeat. It was a young adult historical fiction book that I never knew I needed. I did almost everything that I could to read it early, but those efforts failed. I almost gave up, and I accepted the fact that I will have to wait until the release date to read it. And then the opportunity came knocking in. Now, here I am to gush about this wonderful book. Hold on to your seats, because this will probably be a bumpy ride.

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29283884Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Author: Mackenzi Lee

Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Glbt, Fantasy

Date Published: 27th of June 2017

Series: None

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Buy it on: Amazon- US | Amazon – UK| Barnes & Nobles | TBD

Summary:

An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

After Reading:

Well, that was certainly… different. I mean it in a positive way as well. Though my expectations and what the book delivered somehow made a contrast, we were able to meet halfway. I adored the story in it’s entirety, and it was the historical fiction that I needed to read to satisfy my thirst for history. Monty, Percy, and Felicity were all such badass characters. And here I thought it was just Monty and Percy touring throughout the entire story… well they did tour. But in a much more adventurous way, if you know what I mean.

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is the 18th century LGBT novel that I never knew I needed. It tackled a lot, and it was quite a hefty book. But in a good sense, it still speaks out to relevant issues that we have today.

Plot-wise, GGTVAV had a zigzag pace. It was a bit slow at first, but the pace went up and down when the crew started encountering trouble. It was all in a zigzag pace from there, and the down pace felt like a calm before the storm. It was a solid plot, and it was filled with these teeny tidbits that are the best to imagine. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue had everything. Snogging, sassy viscounts, alchemy, pirates, and a few badass ladies. How Mackenzi Lee managed to cram all of that in to create the coolest tour ever blows my mind. To be honest, I did not expect the following factors to be present in the novel. But realization struck me that a lot can happen in a tour. The period where the story took place still had highwaymen present. What was I supposed to expect? Despite the book being one of my most anticipated reads of 2017, I kept my expectations low and I let the novel blow me away on its own. And it was a good decision to boot.

Character-wise, the book centered on Monty. This is where my love for male lead MCs came in. Despite being the epitomy of a privileged ass, Henry “Monty” Montague managed to capture my heart. I know that we don’t fit because he likes lads more than ladies, but he developed into this character that learned about his self-worth through the most twisted version of a European tour. He became a man who stood on dangerous grounds, driven by the people who mattered to him the most. And that is what I loved about him. Sure, he can be annoying and his actions are rather rash. But inside that smooth-talking bastard lies a true gentleman.

Percy and Felicity on the other hand, were amazing people to be with on a one-of-a-kind tour. If anyone would attempt to steal the spotlight from Monty in this book, it would have to be Felicity and Percy’s fiddle. She is such a badass lady, dowgraded by the system of the 18th century (yes ladies, be grateful that you were born in this century). But she defied people who made her sit still and look pretty. She read books that made her more knowledgeable, despite people frowning on her because it is not ladylike. Her defiance was my saving grace. I lived for her sass. (Percy’s fiddle on the other hand, was ridiculously present. That is all I have to say about that.)

So why did I only give it 4 stars?

While it was an entertaining story that kept me on my toes at best, this may not be the book for people who have a hard time imagining historical settings. While Monty is fascinating, I felt like Percy was just there. Sure, he raised certain issues that were prevalent during the given setting, but it was like he was just there. I wouldn’t want to spoil the story for everyone, but I felt like Percy as a character was underdeveloped.

But overall, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue has an amazing adventure underneath its pages. It is mesmerizing to read, and the sense of history within can really stick to you. It is filled with unexpected twists and turns, and a tour unlike any other. A proper gentleman was born, and with sass, grace, and a boot to your face, Monty will sweep you off your feet. I honestly recommend you read this when you feel like you are underestimating yourself. Because as Monty discovered, a person is more than the expectations placed on them. Prove them wrong, and surprise them with more than that.

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Mackenzi Lee is a bookseller, history nerd, and the author of THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, THIS MONSTROUS THING (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins), and the forthcoming SEMPER AUGUSTUS (Flatiron Books, 2018). She holds an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently calls Boston home.

Connect with Mackenzi!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads| Pinterest

Huge thanks once again to the Sunday Street Team for letting me be a part of this amazing tour. As I said earlier, it is just amazing to read this book before it comes out to the world. I’m just so happy to be able to gush about it. Now my list is complete, as I have completed a certain goal. Thank you so much for making it happen.

If you want to know more about the Sunday Street Team, click on the image below.

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So are you excited to read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue? I hope so. I cannot wait for you all to meet Monty and I have high hopes that you will enjoy the tour.

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Sunday Street Team: Internet Famous (Interview + Giveaway)

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Last year, I was given the opportunity to read a fantastic book about a fangirl who lives to create content through her videos for her fandom. It was yet another book that expressed my thoughts as a fangirl, and it is now a book close to my heart because Liv was a fangirl that I never thought I would ever see manifested on a novel. The book was none other than All The Feels, and it was written by none other than Danika Stone. Through the same platform, I am now given the opportunity to interview the author herself. Internet Famous is her newest young adult novel that promises to speak to a lot of hearts once again. The Sunday Street Team has allowed me to interview Ms. Stone about her latest release. But before that, let’s get into more details about Internet Famous.

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31145123Title: Internet Famous

Author: Danika Stone

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Date Published: 6th of June 2017

Series: None

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Buy it on: Amazon – US / Amazon – UK / Barnes & NobleTBD

Summary:

High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.

Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.

AN INTERVIEW WITH DANIKA STONE

Is All The Feels and Internet Famous set in the same universe?

Heck YES! In fact you might even notice a little bit of crossover between the two. (Keep an eye out for Starveil fandomly things in the memes and posts.)

Oh yay! Now that you mention it, are there any hidden Easter eggs in Internet Famous? Any clues for us?

I always do little crossovers between books. Starveilbrian1981 from All the Feels plays a relatively large role in Internet Famous but there are a few other characters that you might discover elsewhere too. Ava – the graffiti artist – for instance, has her own book: Intaglio.

Is there a particular person to whom you dedicate the characters to?

Internet Famous is dedicated to Mark Oshiro, the blogger behind “Mark Does Stuff” and the first person who I first noticed using the term “funemployed”. He’s an AMAZING person. I adore him!

I see. So who do you connect with more? Liv or Madison?

Hmmm… Personality-wise, I’m probably a mixture of both of them. I wish I was a bit more outgoing – as Madi is – but I’m also not as anxious and shy as Liv. I will certainly admit that I wove in elements of myself into them.


That is so cool! Do you have a writing ritual? Like something to get you in the mood or at peace to help you write?

My writing ritual is that I tell my family when I’m going to write a book and then I start it and I don’t stop until I’m done. That sounds really boring until you realize that the reason most authors have difficulty writing is that LIFE gets in the way. My children know that if I’m writing a book in the summer, they’re expected to entertain themselves for a lot of that time.

Oh wow. That is some dedication right there. What are some books by your favorite contemporary authors that inspired you to write contemporary as well?

I love EVERYTHING by Rainbow Rowell, though I think Eleanor and Park is probably my favorite. I also really love the In Death series by J.D. Robb and The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. And then (up on a pedestal) is Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible and ANYTHING by Margaret Atwood. Seriously though. Atwood is a QUEEN!

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Follow Danika on:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Tumblr | Pinterest

Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens (All the Feels and Internet Famous) adults (Edge of Wild and Intaglio). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.

Want to have your own copy of Internet Famous? Click the giveaway button below!

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Huge thanks to the Sunday Street Team for letting me be a part of this tour. I cannot wait for you all to meet Liv, because I know for sure that she is another MC that will take your heart. If you want to know more about the Sunday Street Team, click the button below.

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Now, do you know other books that features bloggers or a book that features someone that is Internet Famous?

Let’s chat!

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PH Blog Tour: The Upside of Unrequited

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Hello everyone! Welcome to your first stop for The Upside of Unrequited PH Blog Tour hosted by Jasmine at Jasmine Pearl Reads. It is an honor to be the first one to review this book in all of its glory. So let’s start this tour with a bang.

The upside is that I believe that this book stood out as a book that matters, especially in the society we live in today. I want to stress that in this review. But first, a few fangirl moments.

Before Reading:

BLESSED BE THE BOOK GODS. The news is too good to be true! I get to read The Upside of Unrequited early. And why do I feel like it is the story of my unrequited life? Wait… should I prepare tissues? I’m not ready for this. But no… I AM. Let’s just get to reading.

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Cover-Reveal-The-Upside-Of-Unrequited-LargeTitle & Author: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Year Published: 11th of April 2017

Series: None

Publisher: Balzer & Bray / Harper Teen

Source: Paperback, provided for the tour

Rating:  4.5/5 stars

Buy it on: Amazon | TBD

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

After Reading:

Yes, you can say there were tears. AND IT WAS BLOODY 3 AM. Do you know how hard it is to render 3D animation misty eyed? No, it’s not hard. It’s just that the progress bar is all blurry. BUT STILL. THIS BOOK. MOLLY, YOU ARE LOVELY. ALWAYS BELIEVE THAT.

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The Upside of Unrequited is a character-driven story that focuses on Molly. She is a big girl who is insecure and careful. But because of that factor, it makes her real.

Why does The Upside of Unrequited matter?

It matters because it lays pressing issues on the table. First, is the feeling of what it is like to have someone you admire returning your feelings back. (I know, I said feelings a lot.) Conveying the depth that lies within the unrequited is no easy task, but the beautiful prose within was enough to tug heartstrings. I can testify to that, since compared to Molly’s 27, I am probably in a predicament that is much worse. The emotions were swirling, and it felt human. I wanted to just jump in that universe and give Molly the biggest hug. Having the feeling of something unrequited is probably one of biggest pains anyone can feel. But yes, this book has the upside to it all.

It matters because it doesn’t shy away from presenting a modern family. The representation presented in Upside is natural. It felt like they were real people that did not have a single hindrance on living as themselves. The Peskin-Suso family is the sweetest. Nadine and Patty were the coolest moms who offer the most solid advice and support to Cassie and Molly’s troubles. They honestly deserve all of the happiness that was given to them in the latter part of the book. That being said, seeing Molly grow as her own person throughout the story may have been a bit of a pain especially if you know the feeling too well. But looking at the bright side, it will feel so good once you see how her actions affect her family as a whole.

It matters because it teaches the reader to love themselves. It conveys the message that through loving yourself, you can have the confidence that other people love you to the moon and back. That was the message that reached me, and as someone who is probably in the same department as Molly, it goes without saying that I felt that this book represented me. No more, no less.

*I loved the Easter eggs in the book. It can make any Oreo lover scream. 😉

What mattered to me is that The Upside of Unrequited made me feel that I was worthy to be a young adult heroine. Big girls like Molly get to be happy, and it gives a glimpse of hope to see a character like myself as happy. To be honest, nothing warmed my heart more than reading about Molly’s happiness. The way she grew out of her comfort zone and became her own person is one story that can put the biggest smile on your face.

Why read The Upside of Unrequited?

Like it’s older brother Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, The Upside of Unrequited is a cute story about self-love and finding love. It also proves that seeing your family happy is the best. But what takes the cake (or rather, the cookie dough in the mason jar) is the love that you gain for another book that will make you want to love yourself. Highly recommended on a summer day while eating Cadbury Mini Eggs and in the mood where you just want something sweet.

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View More: http://thedecisivemoment.pass.us/becky-headshots

Becky Albertalli is a clinical psychologist who has had the privilege of conducting therapy with dozens of smart, weird, irresistible teenagers. She also served for seven years as co-leader of a support group for gender nonconforming children in Washington, DC. She now lives with her family in Atlanta.


To Becky Albertalli,

Since May is the month for moms, I want to thank you for the two lovely books that you have. It is truly lovely, and one can say that one them is like the story of my life. At one point, I almost wanted to just go ahead and call you “mom” on Twitter. The reason being is that you just shine and you’re so amazing.

Truly, no words can express how blessed I felt to have read your novels. The Upside of Unrequited really has a special place in my heart. You are a gem. I hope you are aware of that. Thank you for making me feel that I am represented. You are the best. 💙


Huge thanks to Jasmine at Jasmine Pearl Reads for letting me join this blog tour. Honestly, this gave me the boost that I needed to make myself believe that 2017 is better than 2016. All the love. 💙

Follow the rest of the tour:

Nicka at Read by Nicka [Review]

Inah at The Bibliophile Confessions [Review]

Fay at The Bibliophile Soprano [Review]

Josiah at The Bookish Fanboy [Review]

JM at Book Freak Revelations [Review]

Jasmine at Jasmine Pearl Reads [Review]

Now, have you read The Upside of Unrequited? How many crushes have you had? What body positive books can you recommend to me? Let’s chat! It’s been a while. 😉

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PH Blog Tour: Goodbye Days

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Before Reading:

I have always had this soft spot for heartbreaking contemporaries. I do not care at all, because for as long as it hits me right in the kokoro (heart), I am all for it. Jeff Zentner made a lot of buzz last year because of The Serpent King. But sadly it was one of the books that I did not have the opportunity to read, given the killer time frame. But I thank the book gods for being so good to me, and PH bloggers for taking a chance on me. I don’t know what to expect really. I just know that this book will probably make me get a bucket. You know, so something can catch my tears and make me less of a mess. Kidding.

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9781783445516Title & Author: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction,

Year Published: 7th of March 2017

Series: None

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Source: Paperback, provided for the tour

Rating:  4.5/5 stars

Buy it on: Amazon | TBD

Summary:

What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?

After Reading:

Tears, tears, tears, all of the tears. I just want to cry and hug all of my best friends. Especially my weird friends from high school. This book made me miss them so bad. Jeff has this weird way of getting you invested in his book because I was hooked when the tears started flowing. I knew I should have had that bucket ready. That was a bad move.

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It was probably because of a recent loss that made me resonate with this book so much. Maybe? Or maybe not. Goodbye Days is mainly a book that tackles grief, and the guilt that every person feels when someone dear dies. This book emotionally drained me, but it also gave me the feeling of redemption.

It is hard enough to lose someone, let alone the people that matter the most to you. Losing a second family can mess anyone up. And that is how I came to understand Carver’s pain. (Actually I am more comfortable in calling him Blade. The only problem is that I might cry just a little bit.) Goodbye Days captured the essence of grief: the long process of letting go and going on with life without the ones we love. In that grief, we encounter people who we can lean on. The people who understand the pain and who can help with the healing process.

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The book also contained slight glimpses of the past, in which the reader can picture what is was like when Blade’s friends were still there. It may have added to the heart-pulling, but it brought out one of the most beautiful friendship dynamics that I have read in a while. The Sauce Crew was the ultimate group, and like I said earlier, it made me miss my friends very much.

What I loved the most about this book is that it kept on reminding me that Blade was not alone in his journey. He may have had a few people breathing down his neck (but I mean, even I understood where those people are coming from), but at least he had a support group. Not only was his sister the best and essentially the most badass sister role model around, he had parents who will do anything for him no matter what happens. A friendship was lost, but another friendship was gained in the form of Eli’s girlfriend, his therapist, and Blake’s Nana Betsy, where the Goodbye Day surfaced.

To be honest, a Goodbye Day sounds like a good way to reminisce and let go of a loved one. But let’s be real here: if you ever plan to read this book, it is mandatory to have tissues with you. Also, please consider investing on a tear bucket.

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Jeff Zentner

Jeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. He’s released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, and Lydia Lunch, among others.

Now he writes novels for young adults. He became interested in writing for young adults after volunteering at the Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp. As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.


Want to win a copy of Goodbye Days? Click the photo below!

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Hugs and kisses to Jasmine at Jasmine Pearl Reads for letting me be a part of this lovely blog tour! Thank you, for now I am a converted Jeff Zentner fan. Huge thanks as well to PRH Global for the review copy for the tour.

You see, I haven’t read The Serpent King yet. But I know I’m in for a ride. I’m not ready to have my feels to be messed up again, but I hope I could get to it really soon. But what about you? Have you read Goodbye Days or The Serpent King yet? On a scale of 1 to 10, how is your heart? Let’s talk about it!

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PH Blog Tour: History Is All You Left Me

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Before Reading:

Yes, I am aware that this book will definitely make me cry. Yes, I am aware of the consequences that I will have to face once I start reading. I had a soft spot for Adam Silvera ever since I read More Happy Than Not. Now when it comes to things I cannot turn down, it can be books by authors I love very much, or any fandom stuff in between.

I was genuinely surprised because it was intertwined somehow. Alright, my eyes are ready. I have a bucket, just in case I need more reassurance that I will cry while I read this book. Adam, I give you the permission to tear out my heart again.

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25014114Title & Author: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT

Year Published: 17th of January 2017

Series: None

Pages: 320

Publisher: Soho Teen

Source: Hardback, provided for the tour

Rating:  4.5/5 stars

Buy it on: TBD || Amazon

Summary:

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

After Reading:

Some memories have resurfaced, and some tears were shed. I love Griffin, and I love Theo as well. But my heart breaks as I continue to remember them. I swear, Adam Silvera must live off from his reader’s tears. Semi-kidding. Alright, let’s get to the review.

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A reader’s mind can conjure a lot of thoughts while reading a certain book. Meanwhile, an author has that power over the reader that can be effectively played out if you add the right tone to it. History Is All You Left Me has the capability to make a reader feel the highest and lowest emotions that can be felt, and there is no in between.

We have history, where we join Griffin as we go through a journey of being true and accepting who he is. We also get a glimpse of what Theo was like, making it somewhat difficult to transition to today. Because like Griffin, Theo is the kind of character that you can easily get attached to. But it’s like a spike in the heart to remember that he has already past in the beginning of the novel. History manages to capture the essence of young love, same-sex relationship, and accepting oneself (re: OCD). How Adam Silvera managed to capture all of that while talking about zombie pirates and alternative universe theories, I will never know how.

But we also have today, in which we join two significant others that left a mark in Theo’s life, one way or another. Dealing with grief and loss is not easy to do, and coping up with it is certainly tough. That is why we also get to see another side of the characters that we did not get to see in history. Today matters because it gives a new light to the brutally honest truth on what everyone has to face in the aftermath. Adam writes with the truth; the beautiful yet heartbreaking truth.

History Is All You Left Me is practically an invisible roller coaster. You cannot see it, but you don’t exactly know that you are on it. You ride it once you start reading, and you will get all of these honest human emotions reflected on every single page. The ride is enjoyable, but it is one that you won’t forget because it has that huge of an impact. If you want to read a book that is beautiful, wonderfully crafted, and a true expression of #ownvoices, then this one’s for you.

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Connect with Adam!

Twitter || His official site || Goodreads || Youtube

Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked in the publishing industry as a children’s bookseller, marketing assistant at a literary development company, and book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, received multiple starred reviews and is a New York Times bestseller, and Adam was selected as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. He writes full-time in New York City and is tall for no reason.


Alright, I think that was enough tears in one review. Huge thanks to Nicka at Read by Nicka for letting me be a part of this tour. It has been wonderful. ❤

So, have you read History Is All You Left Me? If so, share your feels with me! If you haven’t read it yet, why not? You should soon! Or if you have not yet read a book by Adam Silvera, what exactly are you waiting for? GO PICK UP ONE OF HIS BOOKS BEFORE THE OTHER ONE COMES OUT. You will not regret it, I swear. Now we go big tonight, okay?

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Wishful Thinking: Someday With You and Other Stories Review

Once in a while, we get simple short stories and we love it to bits. There’s something about the simplicity that drives us to enjoy every single story. A perfect example of this is Someday With You and Other Stories. I have to admit that I have a long history when it comes to reading books with the male POV, (I mean, I even made a book club about it. Sorry for that segway, haha.) but I have not encountered it in Filipino literature yet other than reading Bob Ong’s books. This was also my first time reading from another Filipino romance author, and I was more excited than ever as I was in trying something new for the start of the year.

Anyways, let’s get to it!

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33965287Title & Author: Someday With You and other stories by Ines Bautista-Yao

Genre:  Contemporary, Romance

Year Published: 2016

Series: None

Source: eARC, provided by the author

Rating:  4.5/5 stars

Buy it on: Amazon

Summary:

“A broken heart doesn’t mean the end of the world. In this short story compilation, Patrick, Toby and Andrew still continue to hope for and dream of their own happy ever after.”

Someday With You

Five years ago, when they were teenagers in college, they’d made a pact to come back to this same spot, no matter where they were in the world, no matter who they had become. But five years wasn’t enough to erase the heartache Patrick felt when Andrea disappeared from his life, when he thought he’d lost her for good. And now that the time has come, he can’t keep the feelings from rushing back to the surface, possibly messing up his life once more.

One Last Thing

All Toby wants is to keep Angela from falling in love with someone else. That isn’t too much to ask considering he’s already won her over and she’s finally convinced he isn’t just another spoiled, rich boy. But when his buddy Jake enters the picture, Angela seems to be slipping away. Toby has to make the hardest decision of his life and that might even mean letting go.

Things I’ll Never Say

Andrew, Penny and Raffy aren’t what you call regular teenagers. They’re hugely popular models of hot, teen clothing brand Pineapple Slice. Though all three have become celebrities in their own right. Fans passionately ship Penny and Raffy (with a hashtag to match). What nobody knows is that Andrew has been in love with Penny ever since he heard her laugh at one of his lame jokes. So when she tells him she wants out of their charmed existence, he starts to panic. But he also wonders if this is his chance to claim the happy ending he’a always hoped for.

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Someday With You and Other Stories is a fine collection of stories that express the genuine heart string tugs you get when you read a story about young love. Each story was unique, short, and precise. Fluffy stories always get me, and if you mess with my emotions, then you have succeeded into hooking me into the deep abyss. And let’s be real here: I usually cannot imagine Filipino guys my age in books because there is still something lacking in representation. Yet this book has delivered and has opened my mind to a whole lot in terms of imagining those guys in books.

First we have Someday With You, a story about love and promises. I loved Patrick’s voice, and the hopeless romantic in him got to me a little too much. I may not have been a fan of his love interest, but his devotion and his love was something else. It was big, promising, and worth it to have when he was ready to love again. He is a real special guy with a great story.

Second we have One Last Thing, if you think the first one already pulled some heartstrings, then guess again. Toby is here to mess with your emotions. At first, it was a bit hard to listen to his voice, but in the back of my head I knew that there would be something in the mix. Turns out, Toby had the story that got me the most. It centers around grief and moving on, which are two of the things that Toby had trouble in dealing with. He misses a lot of people, and it’s not that complicated to realize that even he is coping up with the event that happened to him. I was able to appreciate the simplicity of the story tied with the complexity and surreal emotions that surge in the story. It was the best of the bunch, and honestly got me in an emotional state.

And third we have Things I’ll Never Say, was a cute romantic story that hit me in the feels. There was a love triangle involved in the story, but only in a perspective. I liked Andrew from the start (because hi, I was still recovering from Toby’s story haha) and the concept of having a love triangle between pairings are just nice. I am one of those fans that always root for the nice guy in a love triangle. I don’t actively watch the stories here in our country but I usually root for the other nice guy in the story instead of the guy that was supposed to be for the main girl protagonist. I don’t know if it’s just me. That ideology made me love the third and final story. It was sweet, because Andrew was a bit torpe (shy, really not the touchy-feely). The story was overall cute in the way things unfolded. Sometimes, the world needs cute and short contemporary romances that head straight to the point. (Plus I admire his love interest very much.)

It is quite obvious that I loved this story to bits. Each story was thoughtfully written and beautifully executed. I hope to read more stories by Ms. Ines B. Yao in the near future. But for now,

Which story intrigued you the most?

Any short story compilations out there?

What book by a Filipino author should I read next?

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The Sun Is Also A Star, and it shines so bright: A Review

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Before Reading:

Okay. I am freaking out. Penguin Random House actually granted my request to read this much loved book. Can I get a holla? Well, to be honest, I am a bit skeptical about this book because I have not read anything by Nicola Yoon before. I don’t know if she and I will connect, but this story has touched so many lives and people raved about it. How good is this book? Honestly, I will probably go into this blindly. I stopped reading the blurb when I saw that it will have a guy’s perspective. Ah, some things never change. Alright, let’s get to it!

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28763485Title & Author: The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Year Published: 1st of November 2016

Series: None

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Source: eARC, provided by Netgalley

Rating:  4.5/5 stars

Buy it on: Amazon | TBD | National Bookstore | Fully Booked

Summary: Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

After Reading:

Oh my dear sweet lord that was so beautiful! This book is everything that I wanted in life and more! I have never read a book that tackled my philosophy in life. In this case, it goes like this: everything we do is interconnected.

All our actions have effect on every person that we interact with. Some are small, some are big. But it creates an impact either way.

I have been living with that mantra since my second year of high school. And I know it’s true, but I never thought that it could be beautifully manifested through a book. And then came The Sun Is Also A Star, and suddenly my dreams came true.

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The Sun Is Also A Star is a magnificently-written book. All of the feelings that can be felt while reading this book is too hard to be put into words. But I will try, even if it will probably be the equivalent of the incoherent noises composed of fangirl screams in real life.

In my case, a story about instalove can either be a hit or miss for me. A story with multiple perspectives often enchants me, and a story with mixed point of views is already a winner. The Sun Is Also A Star nailed all of those aspects and it hit the bullseye. Natasha and Daniel’s love story caught me just after they met. There was an immediate click. These two characters are meant to be together because all of the chain reactions that happened to them that day. They were meant to meet and fall in love that day, despite of all the prejudices breathing down their necks. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I do believe that this story is an example of one of the extraordinary cases where you just know that it’s young love, but also something more. Though a stretch from reality, the love that can be felt in this book is genuine.

Now if it has an overpowering instalove, what makes it so unique? Basically every other element in this book. The trouble with being deported, the prejudices of being pressured by an older generation, the aftermath of every single action has it’s equal opposite reaction. I am not about to go all science-y here, but that is just a fact. In those other perspectives, with something brief about how everyone has something to do with anything shows us a glimpse on how faith probably works. The inclusion of other people in the narrative makes the story more wholesome and compact, solidifying a solid standpoint on where the book wants to place itself. Now it is obvious on where The Sun Is Also A Star stands: on a pedestal, where a person can choose to read it and love it, or stand by and let them be overpowered by the tropes. Either way, it makes a reader feel something. And that will have an effect on another person. See how the ripple continues on the loop. 🙂

In summary, I loved this book. It is one of the best books that I have read in 2016, and it will definitely stand the test of time and I will probably put it on my best of the best shelf.

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Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.


I think it is safe to say that I have jumped aboard the Nicola Yoon hype train. Believe me, once I get my hands on her other book Everything,  Everything… It will be devoured like hot fudge on a cold winter night. I just like fluffy things, okay? And her book is just the best. Honestly made 2016 a wee bit better.

Have you read Nicola Yoon’s books yet? If so, let’s fangirl/fanboy together in the comments below (but don’t leave spoilers for Everything, Everything, okay?) If you have not read Nicola’s books yet, what will you probably pick up first? Does her book remind you of any other book? Let’s chat, please! 🙂

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FBCYA Tour: Timekeeper (Review + Giveaway)

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Before Reading:

Alright, I guess it is the proper time for me to say it. It started when I had this crazy idea to make things interesting for the book club. So I say, why not host blog tours and stuff like that? I was starting to lose hope because it did not seem like no one wanted to take a shot. But then, Sky Pony Press was kind enough to let us host a blog tour for Timekeeper. If you want to imagine what I was like, I was ridiculously giddy. Timekeeper is something special, because it deals with a lot of topics that I personally love. Okay, let’s get to it!

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25760792Title: Timekeeper

Author: Tara Sim

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Teen, Mental Illness

Date Published: 1st of November 2016

Series: Timekeeper #1

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Source: eARC from the publisher

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Buy it on: Amazon / TBD

Summary:

Two o’clock was missing. 

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

After Reading:

Maybe… just maybe… this is the best alternate history book that I have read in a while. I have never felt this relieved about an ending since reading the Percy Jackson series. Everything was keyed in place like a smooth glove. It was ridiculously satisfying. I just want to hug all of Tara’s characters because this book is the perfect mix of fluffiness, history, and fantasy. I love it, okay?

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The three things that I mostly loved about Timekeeper are: the clock spirits, the boy love, and the historical setting. Those factors made Timekeeper a gem underneath everything.

The concept of clock spirits are oddly fascinating. The thought of having one for each clock in every city is unique in the sense that those clock spirits are essentially guardians. And not only that, but the spirits are humanlike. Not just in form but in terms how they act and feel. As a reader, knowing what the character feels is vital. The clock spirits give life to the pages that they are in, and that is just incredible. Also I want to note that the extra stories added a lot more for me to invest myself in the story. I’m already reading something from an alternate history retelling and I am still getting a mythology lesson in it. Dear gosh Tara, you spoil us too much with these lovely side stories. It is beyond fascinating.

Second, I’m a sucker for boy romance to begin with. I love a good story where the guys fall in love with each other. But since this is somehow my area, what makes Timekeeper so special? One of the boys, Colton, is a clock spirit. He can’t leave his tower because REASONS. Reading Timekeeper for Danny and Colton’s romance is like the cheesecake from Friends. You start with little bits of detail here and there, telling yourself that it is going to be bad for you (looking at you, Danny Hart) and then you fall so hard after you taste it. Legit, I was on the edge of my seat (or bed, rather) when the two of them were basically the sweetest things to grace this earth. Bless their romance so much. And all the things that Danny is willing to do for Colton, it’s honestly true love right there.

Third, historical settings are the bomb. Granted, it’s an alternate one. But it’s London. And it’s set in Victorian England. The world is as big as ever, stretching out to other places in the world. The book leaves a lot of room for the reader to imagine the setting. It is simply wonderful. It opens a lot of opportunity to be discovered.

Honorable mentions:
The lovely ladies in Timekeeper. Girl power all the way! This book knows how to empower women, I can tell you that.

Timekeeper is a really amazing book. It is a book that is not afraid on what it wants to be. It’s a refreshing story that can cure a reading slump. And it is amazingly satisfying till the end. There’s unique factor in there with the writing style that grips you and pulls you in once you get to dive in the story. Honestly, I loved every aspect.

Not only that, but this book inspired me to read more steampunk books. This one is a first for me, and since I loved Timekeeper, I may read a lot more books that belong in that genre.

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Tara Sim is a YA author found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not writing about magic, clocks, and boys, she drinks tea, wrangles cats, and sings opera.

Tara grew up in California, but braved the elements of Virginia to study English/Creative Writing at Hollins University.

Half-Indian and full geek, she eats too many samosas and awkwardly dances to Bhangra music.

TIMEKEEPER (Sky Pony Press, Fall ’16) is her debut YA novel.

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And of course, for you to know what I’m talking about, you have the chance to get Timekeeper into your lovely hands. This giveaway will end by the 20th of November and is only open for U.S. and Canada residents only. May you have all of the lucky stars to win this amazing book.

And that, fangirls and fanboys, is the end of our Timekeeper blog tour. But of course, our support for Timekeeper does not end there. Huge thanks to Sky Pony Press and Ms. Tara Sim for the endless support for this tour.

So what do you think? Ready to add Timekeeper to your TBRs? Let’s discuss below.

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