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    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.

    WEBSITE | TWITTERFACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | MACMILLAN | GOODREADS

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    THE SECRETS WE KEEP Blog Tour: ‘This, That or The Other’ Q&A, Review + Giveaway

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    I am super excited to be today’s stop on THE SECRETS WE KEEP Blog Tour hosted by MMSAI Tours with a “This, That or The Other” Q&A with Author Trisha Leaver, a review, and a fab giveaway.

    loved this book, which was totally captivating and just so sad – there were many tears. And while there was a bit of a mystery, it was much more of a heartbreaking and emotional read.

    If you’d like to know more about the book, the details are below. If you’d like to know what I thought, my review follows a bit further down. If you’d like to know what a few other bloggers thought, be sure to check out the other reviews on the tour – the schedule is at the bottom of this post, or you can click the banner above to view it on MMSAI.

    And if you want to know whether the author prefers standalones or series, straightforward or twisty-turny plots, Ella or Maddy, and more, the “This, That or The Other” Q&A follows the book details. And, yes, I know that some of the questions may seem just a bit out of left field. But I had done some digging and tailored a few of those Qs around what I discovered about the author online.


    About THE SECRETS WE KEEP

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    Title: THE SECRETS WE KEEP
    Author: Trisha Leaver
    Release date: April 28, 2015
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
    Pages: 304
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

    Description…

    A girl takes over her twin sister’s identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters.

    Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy’s shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she’s chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy’s world.

    When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy’s death and everyone’s grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy’s life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister’s life.

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

    Praise…

    “Trisha Leaver crafts a powerful and haunting novel that will keep you up long after you read the last page. Full of twists and turns and FEELS, this book questions how far a person will go for her family . . . even if it means losing herself.” – Lynne Matson, author of NIL

    Haunting and beautiful, THE SECRETS WE KEEP, is a gripping, evocative examination of siblings’ complex relationships. It compels us to question what we know, or think we know, about our loved ones and–most of all–ourselves. ~Karen Rock, Award-winning YA author and co-writer of the bestselling CAMP BOYFRIEND series


    The Guest Post

    This or That and This, That or The Other with Trisha Leaver

    Q. In the spotlight or in the shadows?

    Shadows

    Q. Twins: Identical or fraternal?

    Identical

    Q. Ella or Maddy?

    Ella

    Q. Deception or honesty?

    Honesty

    Q. Contemporary, horror or sci-fi thriller?

    Contemporary

    Q. Series or standalone?

    Standalone

    Q. Endings: happy, bittersweet or tragic?

    Bittersweet

    Q. Prologues or epilogues?

    Epilogues

    Q. Narrative: First, second or third person?

    First person

    Q. Heroines: Fierce, clever, or wicked?

    Clever

    Q. Heroes: Strong, brave or bad boy?

    Brave

    Q. Plots: Straightforward or twisty-turny?

    Twisty-turny

    Q. Romance: Swoon-worthy, heartbreaking, or who needs it?

    Heart-breaking

    Q. Hardcover, paperback, eBook?

    Hardcover or paperback; it’s a toss-up, but I’m definitely a hold-the-book-in-my-hand kind of reader

    Q. Write by light of day or write all night?

    Write all night

    Q. Write it or type it?

    Type it

    Q. Blog it or Tweet it?

    Tweet it

    Q. Author it, co-author it, or contribute to it?

    Author it

    Q. England or New England?

    I have an unnatural fascination with British accents, so England

    Q. In the air, on land, or on the water?

    On land

    Q. Coffee or tea?

    Coffee

    Q. On the stove, on the grill, or in the microwave?

    On the stove

    Q. Savory or sweet?

    Savory

    Q. Which came first: The chicken or the egg?

    The egg


    About Trisha Leaver

    Trisha Leaver

    Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab. (He is actually half Dalmatian so that could explain a bit of the excitability.)  She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life. She is a member of the SCBWI, the Horror Writers Association, and the YA Scream Queens — a group of nine female authors who are deathly serious about their horror.

    She writes Young Adult Contemporary fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press.

    WEBSITE | BLOGTWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOOGLE + |GOODREADS


    The Review

    THE SECRETS WE KEEP is the gripping and moving and heartrending story of one girl’s attempt to keep her sister alive by assuming her identity after the fatal car crash that claimed her life. It is a compelling and intriguing story that shows that perception and reality are not always the same, that living a lie is not really living, and that some things are too big to be kept hidden.

    Ella never meant for everyone to believe that she was her identical twin sister Maddy. But when she came to in the hospital surrounded by flowers meant for her sister, being comforted by her sister’s boyfriend Alex, and with her sister’s friends anxious for news of Maddy’s recovery, she knew she owed it them to keep Maddy alive. And, more importantly, she owed it to Maddy.

    If it weren’t for her, Maddy would still be alive. She’s the one who caused the crash that killed her. The least she could do was give up her life so Maddy could have one, give her parents the daughter they love more, and give everyone back the sister they want. She knew it would be difficult to be as outgoing, to pretend to like her friends, to pretend to love her boyfriend, but she owed Maddy.

    She just never imagined how tough it would be. To give up her dreams. To give up her best friend. To see her parents mourn for her. To keep Maddy’s secrets.

    Author Trisha Leaver delivers a fascinating and emotional and beautifully-told story in THE SECRETS WE KEEP. She dives beneath the surface of Ella’s subterfuge and shares her character’s struggle with pretending to be her sister, the guilt she feels for causing her death, the pain she’s causing by not successfully being able to step into Maddy’s shoes, and the suffering she’s causing to those who think she is gone. And she adds in a bit of a mystery, making Ella’s pretense of being Maddy that much more of a challenge.

    This is not a story of an identical twin playing a prank. Ella’s motives are not to deceive in a negative way or for selfish reasons. Ella’s grief at losing her sister may have caused her to make some poor decisions, but her intentions were altruistic. She is sympathetic and loyal, if a bit clueless about her own importance, and determined to do what she thinks is right.

    THE SECRETS WE KEEP is sad, a little bit sweet, and a whole lot heartbreaking. It is an interesting and engaging and a well-paced story that can be read in one sitting. It is a touching story that promises to make you think and to make you feel.

    The Rating

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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 Giveaway

    There is a tour-wide giveaway for..

    • TEN (10) Winners will each get a finished copy of THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Trisha Leaver (US/Canada shipping only)

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    The Tour Schedule

    Apr. 23rd – Such a Novel Idea – Review

    Apr. 24th – Bibliophilia, Please – Review

    Apr. 25th – Fiction Fare – Review + Author Interview

    Apr. 26th – Swoony Boys Podcast – Review

    Apr. 27th – Bookish – Review + Music Playlist

    Apr. 28th – Curling Up With A Good Book – Review

    Apr. 29th – Her Book Thoughts – Review

    Apr. 30th – Fiktshun – Review + This or That

    May 1st – Once Upon a Twilight – Review

    May 2nd – Cassandra M’s Place – Spotlight

    May 3rd – A Dream Within A Dream – Review + Inspiration Board

    May 4th – Literary Meanderings – What’s in Trisha’s Bag

    May 5th – The Cover Contessa – Review

    May 6th – Me, My Shelf and I – Review

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    The Quick & Dirty: The Winner’s Curse & Cruel Beauty

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    A long while ago I thought it might be a good idea to post my Quick-ish thoughts about the books I’ve read but didn’t get the chance to review over on The Annex. But I found that the way I’d set things up didn’t meet the “quick” part of the post title. So I decided to let the idea slide.

    But I still found that I really wanted to share my thoughts about some of those amazing – or not-so-amazing – books I’d read. And so I’m trying again here at Fiktshun.

    This time, instead of creating such a rigid format and posting thoughts about a number of books in each post, I thought I’d be a little less formal and limit the number of Q&D thoughts to just two or three books.

    Every once in awhile I may end up writing a review for a book I’ve given my Q&D thoughts about. Especially if it was a book I’d read quite a bit early. But for the most part these Q&D posts will be about books that have already released.

    They’re not just pretty covers….

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    The Winner's CurseTitle: THE WINNER’S CURSE (The Winner’s Trilogy #1)
    Author: Marie Rutkoski
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
    Pages: 368
    Release date: March 4, 2014
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook
    Source: eARC and printed ARC from the publisher

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Description…

    Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

    As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

    Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

    Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

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    The Quick & Dirty…

    Epic. Stunning. Extraordinary. All-consuming. An unputdownable, completely captivating read.

    I knew I would love this book. I expected it to be amazing. I was not in the least bit disappointed. The gorgeous cover doesn’t hold a candle to the awesomeness that is the story beneath. It was even better than I imagined it could be.

    Kestrel was a heroine that I instantly liked. She was strong and independent and oh so clever. She got herself into a number of predicaments, some deadly, but was able to use her intelligence to find solutions. As the story progressed I became totally invested in her outcome and knew I would continue with this series to its conclusion to find out what that outcome is.

    I loved that this story held secrets and betrayal. I loved that the world was so danger-filled and unpredictable. I loved that the author didn’t hold back and was willing to challenge her characters, put them in difficult situations and make them face seemingly insurmountable obstacles, heartbreak and loss.

    I had the highest of expectations for THE WINNER’S CURSE and it far exceeded them. The writing is simply beautiful, the world is one I found totally enthralling, Krestrel and Arin are characters I am desperately rooting for, and it’s a must read now story that I can’t wait to continue.

    How it rates…

    06

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

    Favorite quote…

    “I will tell you something you can trust is true.” Arin’s eyes held hers. “We are not friends.”

    Kestrel swallowed. “You’re right,” she whispered. “We’re not.”

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    Cruel BeautyTitle: CRUEL BEAUTY (Cruel Beauty Universe)
    Author: Rosamund Hodge
    Publisher: Balzer + Bray
    Pages: 352
    Release date: January 28, 2014
    Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook
    Source: eARC from the publisher

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Description…

    Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

    Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

    Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

    With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

    But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

    As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

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    The Quick & Dirty…

    Beautiful. Imaginative. Heartbreaking. Magical. An utterly gorgeous read.

    Rosamund Hodge takes the Beauty and the Beast story to the next level. I was wary of this story with its amazing cover before I began because of the possibility of it giving me déjà vu. But not once did I make comparisons to those other tales. The build-up took a little while, but from the moment Nyx arrived at Ignifex’s castle I was transfixed.

    The story was enchanting and fascinating and the characters were quite different from what I imagined them to be. But it was the world the author created that kept me riveted. It kind of blew my mind. It was a total surprise. Which is why I can reveal no more about it.

    The love story was perfectly, achingly heartbreaking and it made this already amazing story absolutely incredible.

    CRUEL BEAUTY is creative and unique, with an intricate and brilliantly developed plot, a book I will forever call a favorite, and a total must read.

    How it rates…

    06

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

    Favorite quote…

    “…You are never safe with me.” I drew a shuddering breath, trying to will away the sting of tears.

    He opened his eyes and stared up at me as if I were the door out of Arcadia and back to the true sky. “That’s what makes you my favorite.” He reached up and wiped a tear off my cheek with his thumb. “Every wicked bit of you.”

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    Book Watch: PLUS ONE

    Plus One

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    PLUS ONE by Elizabeth Fama will be released in the U.S. on April 8, 2014 in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), the print edition is 384 pages.

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    bookwatch

    There are so many seriously awesome books releasing the week of April 8th. Narrowing them down to six and then choosing just one was crazy difficult. But I couldn’t help but select PLUS ONE, which I have just started reading and had to begrudgingly put down in order to complete this post, as the book to watch this week.

    Why? Because I’ve been dying to read this book since long before I got my hands on a copy. The cover is absolutely stunning. The author is seriously amazing. And I was immediately drawn into the story from the very first sentence… from word eight if specificity is needed.

    The description talks of conspiracies and star-crossed love, so how could I not be instantly intrigued. It talks of people divided by night and day. It starts with a kidnapping. It promises a “fast-paced adventure.” It calls itself a “compelling romantic thriller.” So, of course I have to say yes, yes, yes, please.

    I can’t wait to find out whether this star-crossed love story will end happily. I can’t wait to learn whether love or family will win out. I can’t wait to see whether the day-night divide will be destroyed. And I can’t wait to discover what this title means to the story.

    As I have PLUS ONE within inches of my keyboard, thankfully I won’t have to wait until the 8th to find out. I’ll just have to wait until I finish this post.

    So, while I’m eagerly anticipating quite a few of the books releasing the week of April 8th, the fact that I had major instalove for PLUS ONE ensured that it would be the book in the spotlight this week.

    What about you?

    Are you anxiously awaiting the release of PLUS ONE? Is it one of the books on your “must read” list?

    Did you get the chance to read it early and still can’t wait for its release because you want everyone to read it?

    Do you love star-crossed love stories? Do you love discovering alternate realities? Do you love conflict and romance and conspiracy?

    And would you purchase this book just because of its cover?

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    Places to Watch

    The author on TWITTER

    The author on FACEBOOK

    The author’s WEBSITE

    The author on TUMBLR

    The author on GOODREADS

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    About the Book

    Goodreads description:

    Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.

    Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.

    Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.

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    Other Amazing Books to Watch

    Here are just five of the many other awesome books releasing the week of April 8th:

    DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3) by Laini Taylor

    SEA OF SHADOWS (Age of Legends #1) by Kelley Armstrong

    REBEL BELLE by Rachel Hawkins

    GREAT by Sara Benincasa

    THE HERE AND NOW by Ann Brashares

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    My Reading Pile #156

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    Once again I didn’t receive any physical books in the mail. But I did grab three eGalleys and am so tempted to grab another one that’s available for automatic download. But as I sit here staring at a rather large stack of “must read” printed ARCs I’m still feeling a bit relieved that my mailbox has been so empty.

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    [Credit for mailbox sharing goes to The Story Siren]

    I also put in a request at Edelweiss for the third book in Robin LaFevers His Fair Assassin series, but I am not holding out any sort of hope. Still, I couldn’t resist.

    Just like I couldn’t resist clicking on these three titles from Edelweiss and NetGalley.

    Courtesy of William Morrow…

    TEASE (The Ivy Chronicles #2) by Sophie Jordan

    Courtesy of Harlequin Teen…

    THE GIRL WITH THE WINDUP HEART (Steampunk Chronicles #4) by Kady Cross

    FORETOLD (Sisters of Fate #1) by Rinda Elliott

    I loved the first book in Sophie Jordan’s The Ivy Chronicles. And I can’t wait to meet Emerson and Shaw – and not just because they have such fab names. I’ve only squinted at the description, as I want to be completely surprised when I read it, but I just know it’s going to be awesome.

    And I’m so excited, and a little bit sad, to read what I think is the final book in the Steampunk Chronicles. I love this series by Author Kady Cross and if this is truly the last installment in the series I’ll be just a tiny bit heartbroken when it ends.

    And if you didn’t already know, I’m a huge fan of Rinda Elliott’s Beri O’Dell series, so I can’t wait to see what her YA trilogy is all about. Norse mythology is absolutely fascinating so I have a feeling I’m going to seriously love this series.

    While FORETOLD releases in just a few weeks, I have to wait another week or two to add it to the pile, because there are a couple of books that I must read first. They are…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (March 9, 2014 – March 15, 2014)
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    Plus One

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    First up on the pile is PLUS ONE by Elizabeth Fama. I received an ARC for review from the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) and I have been dying to get this on the pile since long before it arrived.

    I can’t wait to discover this alternate reality the author created and learn more about the Smudges and the Rays. And I can’t wait to meet Soleil Le Coeur and see just what happens on this adventure that puts her in conflict with the law.

    I love stories about star-crossed lovers and I’m intrigued by this “sinister conspiracy” the description mentions. And I am so totally stoked to finally be able to get this on the pile this week.

    The Description…

    Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.

    Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.

    Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.

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    Boundless

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    Next up on the pile is BOUNDLESS by Cynthia Hand. I had BOUNDLESS purchased since long before its release date. It downloaded to my Kindle just a few hours early. And yet it is only now getting added to my reading pile. Over a year later.

    And it’s not because I haven’t had the time. It’s because it’s one of those series I haven’t been ready to say goodbye to. I’m not entirely sure I’m ready now. But I really want to find out what happens with Clara and Christian… and Tucker. And I really need to read at least one book for my Don’t Let It End Reading Challenge.

    So I am hoping I’m brave enough to dive into BOUNDLESS this week. I want to know what Clara’s fate is. I want to know what happens in the battle with the Black Wings. I want to know who will betray and who will be sacrificed. And I want to know once and for all if this series-ender will break my heart.

    The Description…

    The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

    Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California – and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

    As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

    In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

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    Wishful Thinking Reads

    My wishful thinking read this week is NIL by Lynne Matson. I have wanted to read this title since I first read the description. And while I didn’t grab a copy for review, I was hoping to be able to read it the instant it downloaded. Well that happened this past week – the download, that is – but as far as reading it goes… well, for now that’s just a wish.

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    Those Left Behind

    I am currently reading HALF BAD, from last week’s pile, though I should be done when this post goes live. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the read, as I’d caught just a little bit of the buzz about it. Well I fell immediately and instantly in love with it, much to my delight.

    I am also reading ELUSION, which I hope to finish by Sunday night. But I have not yet gotten started on THE RING AND THE CROWN. Though I plan on reading it before I start on this week’s pile.

    Part of the reason I’m a little behind on this week’s reads is that I had a partial beta read earlier in the week. And then during the latter half of the week, I just wasn’t much in the mood to read. I wasn’t really in the mood to do anything, actually. I was very grumpy.

    I’m still a little grumpy as I didn’t finish my reviews of THE WINNER’S CURSE and CRUEL BEAUTY which I’d planned on tackling. Though at least I managed to complete and post my review for SOMETHING REAL.

    If I can just get a solid block of quiet time, with no interruptions and no outside stress, maybe I will get to finish those reviews and my reviews for LANDRY PARK and THE UNSEEMLY EDUCATION OF ANNE MERCHANT. As I plan on posting a review for BAD HALF on Tuesday, I am thinking I probably won’t get the chance to work on them before then. But if I can write just one review a day for a few measly days, I might find myself getting caught up.

    Somehow I think this plan is too ambitious.

    Especially since RUINS releases this week and if I’m not careful I might find that I’ve gone off pile, put review writing on hold, just so I can see what happens next. I guess I’ll have an answer on Monday Midnight when RUINS downloads. But I’m fairly certain I can predict the outcome.

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    NetGalley Pile Adds & Finds

    I may have popped onto NetGalley one or two times this week. There is a certain book that may be available to request for review at some point soon, so I’ve been checking on and off. Because I don’t want to miss out on that opportunity.

    But I am glad that I checked because I found the two awesome books listed at the top of this post available to request. And I also found quite a few others, one of which I’m thinking I will grab since it’s a read now title. Anyway…

    Here are this week’s finds…

    THE GIRL WITH THE WINDUP HEART (Steampunk Chronicles #4) by Kady Cross (Harlequin Teen, May 27 2014)

    FORETOLD (Sisters of Fate #1) by Rinda Elliott (Harlequin Teen, Apr 1 2014)

    ADAPTATION by Malinda Lo (Hachette Children’s Books, Apr 3 2014) **A Read Now Title**

    DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT by Sarah Mlynowski (Hachette Children’s Books, May 1 2014) **UK and Australian reviewers preferred**

    FRAGILE DESTINY (The Aether Chronicles #3) by Suzanne Lazear (Flux, Aug 8 2014)

    NEARLY GONE by Elle Cosimano (Penguin Young Readers Group, Mar 25 2014)

    THE VOICE INSIDE MY HEAD by S.J. Laidlaw (Random House of Canada Limited, Mar 11 2014) **US and Canadian reviewers preferred**

    THE WORLD OUTSIDE by Eva Wiseman (Random House of Canada Limited, Apr 8 2014) **US and Canadian reviewers preferred**

    DELIVER ME by Kate Jarvik Birch (Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, Apr 29 2014)

    TORN AWAY by Jennifer Brown (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, May 6 2014)

    TAKE BACK THE SKIES by Lucy Saxon (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Jun 3 2014)

    WORDLESS by AdriAnne Strickland (Flux, Aug 8 2014)

    BZRK APOCALYPSE (BZRK #3) by Michael Grant (Egmont USA, Nov 14 2014)

    TABULA RASA by Kristen Lippert-Martin (Egmont USA, Sep 23 2014) **US and Canadian reviewers preferred**

    GET HAPPY by Mary Amato (Egmont USA, Oct 28 2014) **US and Canadian reviewers preferred**

    CHERUB: THE RECRUIT by Robert Muchamore (Harchette Children’s Books, Apr 3 2014) **UK reviewers preferred. A Read Now Title**

    FOOL ME TWICE (If Only…) by Mandy Hubbard (Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, May 6 2014) **US reviewers preferred**

    WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN (If Only…) by Kristin Rae (Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, May 6 2014) **US reviewers preferred**

    AMITY by Micol Ostow (Egmont USA, Aug 26 2014) **US and Canadian reviewers preferred**

    THE HALCYON BIRD (The Demon Catchers of Milan #2) by Kat Beyer (Egmont USA, Nov 11 2014) **US and Canadian reviewers preferred**

    MERCY MODE (Contaminated #2) by Em Garner (Egmont USA, Aug 26 2014)

    BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by April Genevieve Tucholke (Faber and Faber Ltd, Apr 3 2014) **UK reviewers preferred**

    ONE WISH by Michelle Harrison (Simon and Schuster UK Children’s, Jun 5 2014)

    CAMP BOYFRIEND (Camp Boyfriend #1) by J.K. Rock (Spencer Hill Press, Jul 2 2013)

    CAMP PAYBACK (Camp Boyfriend #2) by J.K. Rock (Spencer Hill Press, Apr 29 2014)

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    I’ve tried to mix things up a bit this week as far as my reading pile goes. I think my reading mood has shifted and I’m not entirely sure what books are going to grab.

    So it’s doubtful I’m going to stay on pile. I may end up going off-pile to read RUINS or Kasie West’s ON THE FENCE. Of course if that one book I hinted about earlier does become available on NetGalley this week, I may just have to not only grab it but add it to the top of the pile. I’m keeping my finger’s crossed.

    As this was a rather unexpectedly long post due to some very recent additions to NetGalley, I’ll keep this sign-off brief and just say that I hope you got some amazing books in the mail this week. And if you plan on moving one – or all – of them to the top of your pile this week, let me know.

    And as ever… Happy reading!

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    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your reading pile this week?

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    Book Watch: The Winner’s Curse

    bookWatch

    The Winner's Curse

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    THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski will be released in the U.S. on March 4, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) the print edition is 368 pages.

    THE WINNER’S CURSE is the first book in Author Marie Rutkoski’s Winner’s Trilogy. The second book in the series is currently untitled.

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    There are so many awesome books releasing the week of March 4th. There are so many that I couldn’t even include them all at the bottom of this post. There are so many that choosing was nearly impossible.

    As I had read a few of the books releasing – and loved them all – I thought I’d choose instead a book to watch out for that I’ve been dying to read but hadn’t gotten to the top of the pile… until now. And that book is THE WINNER’S CURSE, which I actually did start just the other day and am loving.

    What drew me first to this story was its title. I was so very curious about what the winner’s curse was. I’m still incredibly curious. But then it was the main character’s name. I’m intrigued as to how she got her name, whether it was because of her father’s military background that he chose to name her after a falcon, and I’m curious to see if it suits her personality.

    And of course I fell madly in love with this stunning cover and its gorgeous fonts and layout.

    But I am most excited to find out more about Arin, about what price Kestrel will have to pay, about what secret Arin has, and about these “deadly games where everything is at stake.”

    The description also promises a “richly imagined world” and I can’t wait to see how it is developed over the course of this first book in the series. I am excited to find out if this story will keep me riveted through to the very last page.

    As I am already captivated by what I’ve read, my interest has been piqued and I’m anxious to find out more, and I’ve wanted to read this book since the very first moment it crossed my path, I just had to select it as the book to watch this week.

    THE WINNER’S CURSE promises to be something a little bit different, with elements that are some of my most favorite in the stories I read. And I can’t wait to find out who will be victorious, who will lose their head or their heart, and whether this story will end on a cliff, leaving me desperate for the next installment in this series.

    What about you?

    Have you had a chance to read THE WINNER’S CURSE? Was it everything you’d hoped it would be and more? Or is it a book that has been on your radar and is one of the releases you’re dying to read the week of March 4th?

    Do you love stories with secrets, deadly games, and potentially devastating consequences? And do you love a forbidden love story or one that could be ill-fated or unrequited?

    What is it about THE WINNER’S CURSE that made you add it to your TBR pile? Its description? Its cover? Something else?

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    Places to Watch

    The author on TWITTER

    The author on FACEBOOK

    The author’s WEBSITE

    The author on GOODREADS

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    About the Book

    Goodreads description:

    Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

    As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

    One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

    But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

    Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

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    Other Amazing Books to Watch

    Here are just eight of the many, many other awesome books releasing the week of March 4th:

    DEATH SWORN (Death Sworn #1) by Leah Cypess

    STEADFAST (Spellcaster #2) by Claudia Gray

    PANIC by Lauren Oliver

    WAYFARER (Tales of Beauty & Madness #2) by Lili St. Crow

    HALF BAD (Half Life #1) by Sally Green

    NIL by Lynne Matson

    THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE (Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5) by Sarah J. Maas

    LET THE STORM BREAK (Sky Fall #2) by Shannon Messenger

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