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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Review: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 464
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she's been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780's to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.
Or so she thought.
But nothing is as it seems, and the teens soon find themselves embroiled in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined. An evil spanning centuries is waiting for them in the depths. . .
A genre-bending thriller from Stefan Bachmann for fans of The Maze Runner and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods.
You cannot escape the palace.
You cannot guess its secrets.
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

I wasn't completely prepared for this book.  I thought it was going to be a story that tried to be scary, but instead came off as a goth fanfiction piece about the French Revolution. And, yeah, it's a little like that, but then there are these glimmers of absolute terror, and I couldn't put it down when this moments dropped into my lap.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (93): Xenophobia

Waiting on Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. To join in on the waiting game festivities, click the link to Jill's blog. Leave me a comment below with what you're waiting on this Wednesday.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Blog Tour Interview & Giveaway: Dark Energy by Robison Wells

Dark Energy by Robison Wells
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 288
Genre: Science Fiction
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

We are not alone. They are here. And there’s no going back. Perfect for fans of The Fifth Wave and the I Am Number Four series, Dark Energy is a thrilling stand-alone science fiction adventure from Robison Wells, critically acclaimed author of Variant and Blackout.
Five days ago, a massive UFO crashed in the Midwest. Since then, nothing—or no one—has come out.
If it were up to Alice, she’d be watching the fallout on the news. But her dad is director of special projects at NASA, so she’s been forced to enroll in a boarding school not far from the crash site. Alice is right in the middle of the action, but even she isn’t sure what to expect when the aliens finally emerge. Only one thing is clear: everything has changed. 
Interview with the author
Storybook Slayers: How long did it take you to write Dark Energy?
Robison Wells: The initial draft was very quick. I write highly detailed outlines—usually twelve or fifteen single-spaced pages—and then the writing is relatively fast. However, this book spent a long time in revisions—longer than most of my other books. Altogether, it was probably eight to ten months.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review: This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 285
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

10:00 a.m.The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
10:02 a.m.The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
10:03The auditorium doors won't open.
10:05Someone starts shooting.
Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

This is Where it Ends was a novel that I was looking forward to because of its gritty, realistic topic surrounding a high school shooting. Yet, the novel does not do itself justice. 

First book of 2016 that I ended up reading, and I was thoroughly disappointed. I really did not want to give this book a 2 target rating, but poor circumstances brought about in the exposition of the novel: it fell flat. Flat characters, a drawn out plot with no emotional attachment or development in the characters or emotional involvement towards the multi-perspective narration (not an effective way) of maintaining the victims. The writing was lackluster and drawl for a gritty, emotional topic of a school shooting. It was bland, and I expected much more conviction and emotion especially with a topic such as this. Not just a by-stander's approach to understanding a school shooting.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (92): Gemina

Waiting on Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. To join in on the waiting game festivities, click the link to Jill's blog. Leave me a comment below with what you're waiting on this Wednesday.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 599
Genre: Science Fiction

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.
This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

Holy F*balls that, let me tell you, was a FANTASTIC novel! Please be warned, I am going to be ranting and raving about this fine piece of ass called Illuminae. Children be warned. This is Star Wars on acid. I can't even begin to understand my attraction to the book. It is a good attraction. For I am head over heels at the execution of this fine work. Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, just bravo. Standing ovation. Now please give me book two.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday Sit-Down Rants with Courtney: Where's the Diversity?

If you're sick and tired of the female character's life turning upside-down when "Enter *male name here*" or "And then she met so-and-so" bullcrap please raise your hand. Because mine has been in the air for years now. And if arms could grow, mine would be out of the Earth's atmosphere.

I don't know how many more times I can read the same thing over and over again. Same shit, different book. And the lack of diversity in these novels makes everything gray. Young women falling for young men, and vice versa. Not a drop of color marking their skin or customs or culture, leading perfect lives until something ravages the lives they lead. Rumors. Loss of loved ones. Aggressive powers. Led down a path astray. Forlorn and falling for the dark, brooding guy down the road. Always snarky, always looking to have the last word in.

Overpowering. Pretentious. Bland.

Where is the change? The originality? Where are these diverse characters that I am craving?!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Girl Last Seen by Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown

GIRL LAST SEEN by Heather Anastasiu & Anne Greenwood Brown
Blog Tour March 7-11 & 14-18, 2016

GIRL LAST SEEN by Heather Anastasiu & Anne Greenwood Brown
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co (AW Teen)

A Young Adult novel
Pages: 272
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Amazon | B&N | Books-A-Millon
Kadence Mulligan’s star was rising. She and her best friend, Lauren DeSanto, watched their songs go viral on YouTube, then launched a solo career when a nasty throat infection paralyzed Lauren’s vocal chords. Everyone knows Lauren and Kadence had a major falling-out over Kady’s boyfriend. But Lauren knows how deceptive Kadence could be sometimes. And nobody believes Lauren when she claims she had nothing to do with the disappearance. Or the blood evidence…

As the town and local media condemns Lauren, she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the truth herself. Lauren slowly unravels the twisted life of Kadence Mulligan and finds there was more to her than she ever knew. But will she realize she’s unknowingly playing a part in an elaborate game to cover up a crime before it's too late?
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for the blog tour and an honest review*

Mystery, something about it really makes me lose my mind. In a good way. I enjoy novels that keep me on my toes, allowing me to think, second-guess myself, quadruple-guess myself even. Girl Last Seen does exactly that. Right when you think you can follow the train, something swipes right on by and spins the mystery element right on its head.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Slayers Update for March

Sorry to all of those who have been checking out the blog last month. I was off in California vising my boyfriend and he was here for a couple weeks. So between work and being a hostess and then seeing California for the first time, I hadn't been able to post review or do some of the weekly memes. Eirini has also been very busy with work and her papers.

But, I am home now, and spring break is coming up for Eirini so we will be getting back on track with upcoming reviews, blog tours, Sunday Sit-down Rants, read-a-longs and giveaways! So stay tuned :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (91): Nevernight

Waiting on Wednesday is a bookish meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. To join in on the waiting game festivities, click the link to Jill's blog. Leave me a comment below with what you're waiting on this Wednesday.