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Cover Reveal: BLOOD PASSAGE + Excerpt & Goodreads Giveaway

cover-revealPURP_darkenessI have been anxiously awaiting the release of BLOOD PASSAGE, the second book in Heather Demetrios’ Dark Caravan Cycle. And while it’s still a few months away, I’m totally stoked that it has a shiny new cover and that I get to share it here on the blog today.

The paperback cover for EXQUISITE CAPTIVE, which is releasing in February, will match this new design with its vibrant color, its sheen, gorgeous fonts and sleek modern feel.

If you haven’t yet heard of this awesome series, information on both books is below. There is also an excerpt of the first chapter of BLOOD PASSAGE, so if you’ve already read book one you’ll definitely want to check it out.

And, for those of you in the U.S., HarperTeen is hosting a giveaway on Goodreads for FIVE (5) copies of BLOOD PASSAGE! The details and a link to the giveaway are a bit further down in this post.

Anyway…I’ve rambled long enough. Just scroll down to see this lovely cover revealed. And leave a comment to let me know what you think about the redesign!


The Cover Revealed

BloodPassage_jkt

Add to Goodreads

Title & Series: BLOOD PASSAGE (Dark Caravan Cycle #2)
Author: Heather Demetrios
Release date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 512
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Check out the PLAYLIST

Description…

A jinni who’s lost everything.

A master with nothing to lose.

A revolutionary with everything to gain.

When Nalia arrives in Morocco to fulfill Malek’s third and final wish she’s not expecting it to be easy. Especially because Malek isn’t the only one after Solomon’s sigil, an ancient magical ring that gives its wearer the power to control the entire jinn race. Nalia has also promised to take Raif, leader of the jinn revolution, to its remote location. Though Nalia is free of the bottle and shackles that once bound her to Malek as his slave, she’s in more danger than ever before and no closer to rescuing her imprisoned brother.

Meanwhile, Malek’s past returns with a vengeance and his well-manicured faade crumbles as he confronts the darkness within himself, and Raif must decide what’s more important: his love for Nalia, or his devotion to the cause of Arjinnan freedom.

Set upon by powerful forces that threaten to break her, Nalia encounters unexpected allies and discovers that her survival depends on the very things she thought made her weak. From the souks of Marrakech to the dunes of the Sahara, The Arabian Nights come to life in this harrowing second installment of the Dark Caravan Cycle.

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About Heather Demetrios

Demetrios Author Photo for EC

When she’s not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real. Her other novels include Exquisite Captive, the first in the Dark Caravan Cycle fantasy series, I’ll Meet You There and the multiplatform serial novel, The Lexie Project. She is the founder of Live Your What, a project dedicated to fostering passion in people of all ages and creating writing opportunities for underserved youth. Find out more about Heather and her books at www.heatherdemetrios.com, or come hang out with her on Twitter (@HDemetrios) and any number of social media sites.

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The Excerpt

Download (PDF, 88KB)


The Goodreads Giveaway

HarperTeen is hosting a giveaway for a copy of BLOOD PASSAGE on Goodreads. Click the image below to be taken the page to enter.

Blood-Passage-GR-Giveaway

  • 5 Copies available
  • Giveaway is US ONLY
  • Open until February 1, 2016

Enter the Giveaway


Other Books in the Series

EC_noblurb

Add to Goodreads

Title & Series: EXQUISITE CAPTIVE (Dark Caravan Cycle #1)
Author: Heather Demetrios
Release date: October 7, 2014 (paperback releases Feb. 1, 2015)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 480
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.

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FREEDOM’S SLAVE (Dark Caravan Cycle #3) – Coming in 2017

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Giveaway: A ‘Recent Reads’ Pile of Books #9

Recent Reads 9

As before…

In an effort to keep my book tower from overflowing, every so often I will be passing along a few of my recent reads. Some will be finished copies. Some will be ARCs. But each of the books I will have reviewed or have reviewed a future book in the series. And all of the books are ones I have in my eBook collection.

As always, there will be no follow requirements for the blog. But I have added a few extra entry opportunities to follow the authors on social media or add their books to Goodreads.

giveaway

Giveaway is for the 4 books/ARCs shown in the picture.

  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • Giveaway is US only
  • Books will be sent by media mail with tracking
  • Winner will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter
  • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
  • Winner will have 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen
  • Giveaway ends December 22nd at 11:59 p.m. Pacific

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Review: SWEET RUIN

Sweet-Ruin-1

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Title & Series: SWEET RUIN (Immortals After Dark #16)
Author: Kresley Cole
Release date: December 1, 2015
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

An immortal assassin is caught between desire and duty in this sizzling new novel from Kresley Cole’s #1 New York Times bestselling Immortals After Dark series.

A foundling raised in a world of humans
Growing up, orphaned Josephine didn’t know who or what she was—just that she was “bad,” an outcast with strange powers. Protecting her baby brother Thaddeus became her entire life. The day he was taken away began Jo’s transition from angry girl…to would-be superhero…to enchanting villain.

A lethally sensual enforcer on a mission
Whether by bow or in bed, archer Rune the Baneblood never fails to eliminate his target. In his sights: the oldest living Valkyrie. Yet before he can strike, he encounters a vampiric creature whose beauty mesmerizes him. With one bite, she pierces him with aching pleasure, stealing his forbidden blood—and jeopardizing the secrets of his brethren.

A boundless passion that will lead to sweet ruin…
Could this exquisite female be a spy sent by the very Valkyrie he hunts? Rune knows he must not trust Josephine, yet he’s unable to turn her away. When Jo betrays the identity of the one man she will die to protect, she and Rune become locked in a treacherous battle of wills that pits ultimate loyalty against unbridled lust.

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NOTE: This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


The Review

Kresley Cole never ceases to amaze. SWEET RUIN is an absolute standout in a series that just keeps getting better and better. It is exciting and sexy and funny. It is thrilling, action-packed, riveting. The lore is fascinating. The world is expansive. The characters are interesting, intriguing, and immensely entertaining, and ones you can’t wait to get to know.

Josephine is a bit of a mystery. Her characteristics and abilities don’t immediately reveal what she is. But her fiery temper, her sharp tongue, her determination, her self-assurance, and her fierce protectiveness, coupled with glimpses at a softer, more vulnerable side, make her instantly likable. And the fact that she can kick some serious butt and stand up to a millennias-old badass like Rune Darklight makes her impossible not to love.

She is young, impulsive, and reckless. Everything Rune isn’t. Yet he is curious about her, attracted to her, and even somewhat rattled by her. With his tortured past, poisonous blood, fearsome reputation, and a skill set that doesn’t allow for monogamy, he in no way sounds like the man for Jo. Even with his incredible stamina and his ability to please.

The two couldn’t be more different. But they challenge each other. They complement each other. Their chemistry is incendiary. And they have a common goal – take out Nïx the Ever-Knowing.

SWEET RUIN delivers page after page of unputdownable awesomeness. From the mystery that is Josephine Doe, to the conundrum that Rune is facing, to the games that Nix plays and the strings she continues to pull, to the building tension with the nearing of the Accession, to Jo and Rune’s angst-filled and highly combustible relationship, to the questions about the Møriør’s goals, to the introduction of new characters and cameos of series favorites, to a wild goose chase, to impressive displays of some awe-inspiring powers, to an abundance of sexual tension, to a number of surprising twists and turns, it is an intense, electrifying, scorcher of a read and an outstanding and integral addition to the Immortals After Dark series.

Every moment will keep you enthralled. Kresley Cole is a master at writing wickedly entertaining, edge-of-your-seat, all-consuming stories with characters who are passionate, kick-ass, delectable, savage, and absolutely extraordinary. And she brought all of that and more to SWEET RUIN, a definitely-must-read-right-now installment.

The Rating

06

Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.


About Kresley Cole

Kresley Cole

Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series, the young adult Arcana Chronicles series, the erotic Gamemakers series, and five award-winning historical romances.

A master’s grad and former athlete, she has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings.

Her IAD books have been translated into twenty foreign languages, garnered three RITA awards, a Hall of Fame induction, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists, in the U.S. and abroad.

Cole lives in Florida with her family and “far too many animals.”

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Q4 Review Pile Reading Challenge: December Reviews and Giveaway

Square

Welcome to the third and final month of the Q4 Review Pile Reading Challenge. I hope the challenge has been as successful as you’d hoped it would be. And if not, there’s still one month left to tackle those review books. So it’s not too late to meet your review pile reading goals!

If you already signed up, all you need to do is stop back and leave your links to your December review book reviews in the Linky List at the bottom of this post.

At the end of the month I’ll tally up the entries, throw them into Random and select a winner for this month’s giveaway.

If you haven’t yet signed up for the challenge, today’s the LAST DAY to do so. Just head over to the SIGN-UP POST to sign up and for more details.

As this is the last month of the challenge, this month’s Linky List will be closing on December 31st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific so be sure to get all your links posted before the year ends. There will be a wrap-up post on January 1st along with a quickie giveaway for challenge participants so be sure to stop by to enter.

If for some reason you forgot to link up your October or November reviews in the November Linky you can always enter them in this month’s Linky List. BUT you cannot enter a review link more than once.

The December Q4 RPRC Giveaway.

giveaway

This month’s giveaway is for…

  • A Book of Your Choice (not to exceed $25) to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository – to ONE winner.

You can enter this month’s giveaway by leaving your review links in this month’s Linky List below AND by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post sharing which review books you hope to tackle/or have already tackled in December.

This giveaway is only open to those signed up for the challenge, leave a comment and who leave at least one review link this month. There are extra entries for each additional review link left.

The winner will be chosen by Random and announced in this post on January 1st.

***UPDATE***

And the winner is…

#10 Danielle @ Life With Two Boys

***END OF UPDATE***

How I Did With My November Reads.

I am not thrilled with how I did in November. I wanted to read and review eight books and hoped to read and review an additional six books. I actually read and reviewed just nine. Though I did read twelve review books, I wasn’t able to get them all reviewed and scheduled prior to this post going live. Hopefully I’ll do better in December, though I highly doubt it.

November planned reads…

  1. HOW TO BE BRAVE by E. Katherine Kottaras – releases November 3rd. Read & Reviewed.
  2. TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU by Claudia Gray – releases November 3rd. Read & Reviewed.
  3. GABRIEL by Nikki Kelly – released October 27th
  4. THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM by Sarah Beth Durst – releases November 3rd. Read & Reviewed.
  5. SOUNDLESS by Richelle Mead – releases November 10th
  6. AVENUE OF MYSTERIES by John Irving – releases November 3rd
  7. LOVE AND OTHER ALIEN EXPERIENCES by Kerry Winfrey – releases November 10th. Read & Reviewed.
  8. HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN by James Lee Burke – releases December 1st. Read. Review TK 12.8.15.

Additional reads…

  1. DANGEROUS LIES by Becca Fitzpatrick – releases November 10th. Read & Reviewed.
  2. NEED by Joelle Charbonneau – releases November 3rd. Read & Reviewed.
  3. RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES by Kate McGovern – releases November 24th. Read & Reviewed.
  4. SWEET RUIN by Kresley Cole – releases December 1st. Read & Reviewed.
  5. DIRTY DEEDS by Megan Erickson – releases December 8th. Read & Reviewed.
  6. SCHISM by Jenna Black – releases November 18th. Read. Review TK 12.3.15.

I only read five of my planned eight reads and only reviewed four of them in November. I just didn’t have time to get GABRIEL and AVENUE OF MYSTERIES on the pile though I really, really wanted to read them both. And I set aside SOUNDLESS as I just wasn’t able to get into it. But I’m still hopeful that someday it will grab my interest.

I was able to read all my additional planned reads, though my review for SCHISM isn’t scheduled yet so I’m not counting it toward my November reviews.

I also re-read THE GIFTED DEAD by Jenna Black, but as I am not reviewing it, I’m not counting it toward the challenge.

And while I probably shouldn’t be including my review for SWEET RUIN in this month’s tally, as it was read and reviewed in November, and scheduled for later today, I am counting it toward my November challenge reads.

My December Reads.

I am only going to plan to read five books in December, though I really hope to read a few more. But December is always busy at work and I’m going to be completely offline and/or without bookish access from December 3rd through the 15th. So…

Here are my planned reads:

It’s a short list and I have a feeling a few of those reads will change. Especially if I decide to tackle some of those November and December review books I wasn’t able to. But I’m kind of hoping I’ll be able to do the five planned reads and those missed reads. Fingers crossed.

What about you?

What review books are you hoping to tackle this last month of the quarter-long challenge? What review books do you have that are releasing this month that you’d love to read and review but know you can’t?

The Link-up.

Thank you all for signing up for this challenge and for sharing your review links. Good luck this month! I hope you tackle even more books than you’d hoped.

Happy review book reading!




DIRTY DEEDS Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt + Giveaway

DDBT
I am so excited to be one of the blogs kicking off the blog tour for DIRTY DEEDS, the third book in Megan Erickson’s awesome Mechanics of Love series. I love this series and every single one of its characters. But as hot as the Payton brothers’ stories are, Alex and Spencer’s story is my new favorite. Sorry Cal and Brent!

What Spencer did for Alex was just… it was perfect. I’d been rooting for her to get her power back throughout DIRTY TALK. So of course I’m thrilled she gets her very own story and a very delectable man to help her see that not all men are like her ex.

For my stop today I’m sharing my thoughts about DIRTY DEEDS as well as an excerpt and a tour-wide giveaway. And I’ve included the full tour schedule at the bottom of the post if you’d like to check out what other bloggers had to say about the book and read a few Q&A’s with the author and characters.


About DIRTY DEEDS

DirtyDeeds HiRes jpg (002)

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Title & Series: DIRTY DEEDS (Mechanics of Love #3)
Author: Megan Erickson
Release date: December 8, 2015 (Paperback ed. out January 5th)
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Pages: 320
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Description…

Alex Dawn is saying no to men. No to bad relationships, disappointments, and smooth-talkers. Focusing on her family and her job at Payton and Sons Automotive keeps her mind occupied and her heart content. She doesn’t really miss a man’s touch, until one night, one shows up with the body of a god and a voice from her dirtiest dreams.

L.M. Spencer is only in Tory, Maryland, to scope out the town as a possible site for one of his company’s hotels. The British businessman didn’t expect his car to break down or to find the hottest little American he’s ever seen holding a tire iron, piercing him with bright blue eyes.

They agree to one hot night, one dirty deed to burn out the chemistry between them. But from their first kiss, Alex can’t stop saying yes to this man. And when Spencer’s company threatens everything she cares about, they must make the choice to stand together or apart.

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NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


The Review

DIRTY DEEDS will melt your heart, make you swoon, and make you fiercely hopeful for a happily ever after for Alex and Spencer. Their romance is unexpected and inconvenient and filled with obstacles, but with chemistry that is undeniable, white-hot, and off the charts, you can’t help but hope for their one night stand to turn into something more.

Alex Dawn doesn’t do relationships. Not after what she went through with her ex. So when the very hot, very posh, out-of-towner L.M. Spencer shows up at Payton and Sons, she is definitely up for a little no-strings fun with him.

Spencer never met anyone quite like Alex. She is bold, she is fierce, she is sexy as hell. And she is offering him the promise of an amazing night together. He isn’t looking for a relationship, long-distance or otherwise – and she isn’t asking for one – but he could definitely handle one night with this dark-haired, blue-eyed, red-lipped sprite.

And what an unforgettable, smokin’ hot night it was. But it was just the one night. Spencer was leaving town. They were never supposed to see each other again. So when his job sent him back to Tory, Maryland, to Alex, neither of them was thrilled. They would have to figure out a way to avoid each other, deny their connection, or risk starting something they weren’t sure they could stop.

With no unattached Payton brothers left, Megan Erickson took a bit of a risk writing a love story for Alex Dawn and a new character to the series. It was a risk that paid off big time. Alex’s story needed to be told. There needed to be a resolution to the problem that landed Ivy and Alex in Tory. And as strong of a person as Alex was, she needed to get all her power back. And, most of all, she deserved a happy ending.

As with each of the other books in the series, the author chose to tell the story from both main characters’ points of view. She paired up two seemingly opposite characters. She placed hurdles in their way. But with Alex and Spencer, the challenges they faced and the complications in their relationship were less about their emotional baggage and about their feelings toward what was building between them and more about the realities of their situation – where they lived, their life goals – making for a refreshingly different and immensely entertaining read.

DIRTY DEEDS is a story that will instantly captivate. It has moments that will make you smile and laugh and cheer. It gives peeks at what’s going on with previous romances and a possible future one. It delivers some seriously steamy love scenes, some hotter-than-hot chemistry, and a male protagonist whose words are even more gorgeous than his appearance. And it has an ending that will leave you more than satisfied.

The Rating

05


The Excerpt

Download (PDF, 74KB)

 


About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson ap1

Megan Erickson grew up in a family that averages 5’5” on a good day and started writing to create characters who could reach the top kitchen shelf.

She’s got a couple of tattoos, has a thing for gladiators and has been called a crazy cat lady. After working as a journalist for years, she decided she liked creating her own endings better and switched back to fiction.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. And no, she still can’t reach the stupid top shelf.

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Praise

“A super sweet, extra sexy second chance romance that will have you laughing out loud and needing a minute to cool off. Dirty Thoughts is right!” — Jay Crownover, New York Times bestselling author

“Megan Erickson ratchets up the romance and sizzle in her sexy new series. The Mechanics of Love will rev readers’ hearts.”  — Jennifer Ryan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

“Megan Erickson writes hot, hot, HOT stories packed with emotion and humor. You’re going to want to read everything she’s ever written!” — Sophie Jordan, USA Today bestselling author


Other Books in the Series

DirtyThoughts_Cover

Add to Goodreads

Title & Series: DIRTY THOUGHTS (Mechanics of Love #1)
Author: Megan Erickson
Release date: June 16, 2015 (Paperback ed. out July 21st)
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Pages: 304
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Description…

Some things are sexier the second time around

Cal Payton has gruff and grumbly down to an art…all the better for keeping people away. And it usually works. Until Jenna Macmillan—his biggest mistake—walks into Payton and Sons mechanic shop all grown up, looking like sunshine, and inspiring more than a few dirty thoughts.

Jenna was sure she was long over the boy she’d once loved with reckless abandon, but one look at the steel-eyed Cal Payton has her falling apart all over again. Ten years may have passed, but the pull is stronger than ever…and this Cal is all man.

Cal may have no intention of letting Jenna in, but she’s always been his light, and it’s getting harder to stay all alone in the dark. When a surprise from the past changes everything, Cal and Jenna must decide if their connection should be left alone, or if it’s exactly what they need for the future of their dreams.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | HARPERCOLLINS | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


DirtyThoughts_Cover

Add to Goodreads

Title & Series: DIRTY TALK (Mechanics of Love #2)
Author: Megan Erickson
Release date: September 15, 2015 (Paperback ed. out October 27th)
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Pages: 320
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Description…

Brent Payton has a reputation for wanting to have fun, all the time. It’s well-earned after years of ribbing his brothers and flirting with every girl he meets, but he’s more than just a good time, even though nobody takes the time to see it. When a new girl walks into his family’s garage with big thoughtful eyes and legs for days, this mechanic wants something serious for the first time.

Ivy Dawn is done with men, all of them. She and her sister uprooted their lives for them too many times and she’s not willing to do it again. Avoiding the opposite sex at all costs seems easy enough, until the sexy mechanic with the dirty mouth bursts into her life.

Brent can’t resist the one woman who sees past his devil-may-care facade and Ivy finds it harder and harder to deny how happy he makes her. But Ivy has secrets she hasn’t shared and when the truth comes out, she must decide if she’s willing to take one more chance on love or let him go forever.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | HARPERCOLLINS | GOOGLE PLAY | GOODREADS


The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • A $25 gift card to eBook retailer of the winner’s choice

Enter in the Rafflecopter…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule
Week One

Nov. 30th

Dec. 1st

Dec. 2nd

Dec. 3rd

Dec. 4th

Week Two

Dec. 7th

Dec. 8th

Dec. 9th

Dec. 10th

Dec. 11th

Week Three

Dec. 14th

Dec. 15th

Dec. 16th

Dec. 17th

Dec. 18th


Review: RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES

Rules for 50 50 Chances

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Title: RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES
Author: Kate McGovern
Release date: November 24, 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: 352
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Read an EXCERPT

Description…

Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that tells her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother.

With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult-including her dream career in ballet and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool and gets an audition for a dance scholarship across the country, Rose begins to question her carefully laid rules.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | MACMILLAN | FIERCE READS | GOODREADS

NOTE: This review is based on a finished copy I received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.


The Review

RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES gives you a lot to think about both during and after the read. It poses the question – if you could find out whether you had a debilitating and ultimately fatal illness, would you want to know? It touches upon a number of issues from the loss of a parent to illness, to caring for and living with family members who are ill, to race, to class, to anger, frustration, guilt, sacrifice, and love. And it does so through a narrator who is at the cusp of starting her life as an adult, who has faced and will continue to face a number of challenges, who is anxious and upset and scared and uncertain.

Rose Levenson has lived for years with the knowledge that she would lose her mother to Huntington’s disease. She knew that she would have to live with the angry, uncensored person her mother would become. And she knew that there was a good chance that her mother’s fate would be hers.

For years she tried to bury her head in the sand and not think about the “what ifs.” But the not knowing cast a shadow over her entire life, it was all she could think about, and it affected every decision she made or chose not to make. Everyone told her that she had to live her life, to not think about a future that may or may not be hers. But how could she risk making choices she might regret? How could she risk falling in love and putting them through what her father was going through? How could she give up the possibility of knowing that she had absolutely nothing to worry about at all?

Kate McGovern created a story that is engaging, thought-provoking, heartbreaking and yet hopeful, with a character who is often difficult to like but whose actions and reactions are understandable and very realistic for someone her age, in her situation. Rose is short-tempered, self-involved, fearful, nervous, and a bit obsessive, though she can also be funny, kind, and open-minded. Her situation is one readers will be able to sympathize with, even if they don’t always find her to be sympathetic.

The author did a wonderful job of giving readers a better understanding of what life might be like living with a family member who has Huntington’s disease and what it might be like to struggle with the decision to know or not know whether the disease is a part of their future. But in attempting to tackle a number of other issues, including the challenges of an interracial relationship, the challenges facing two people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and hinting at a physically abusive relationship, as well as trying to introduce a number of diverse characters, things fell a bit short.

By introducing and only lightly touching upon those other issues raised, they felt underserved and largely unresolved. And while the idea of incorporating diverse characters into the story was exciting, the fact of their diversity at times felt like an afterthought instead of feeling organic to the story. Trying to take on so many hard-hitting issues that were secondary to the main storyline diluted them. The focal point of the story provided plenty of food for thought. It was interesting. It was informative. It was eye-opening. It was so well-done.

Kate McGovern did not pull any punches when showing readers what life was like for Rose over the many months of her life the story encompassed. It was difficult. It was ugly. It was confusing. It was embarrassing. It was unpredictable. It was devastating.

RULES FOR 50/50 CHANCES is an important story that brings awareness to a disease that is not often written about, especially not in young adult literature. It will give readers an appreciation for those who have to live with this illness. And it will put them in Rose’s shoes and make them wonder whether they would choose as she did.

The Rating

04


About Kate McGovern

KateMcGovern

Kate McGovern has written both fiction and nonfiction for the educational market, and has taught theatre, literacy, and creative writing to kids in Boston, New York, and London. She received her bachelor’s in American Studies from Yale. She currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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