Screen Queen by Lori Goldstein Blog Tour (Review)

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June 18th

June 19th

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Favourite Quotes
Young Adult Media Consumer – Review + Favourite Quotes
Devouring Books – Review
Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Post

June 20th

Snark and Squee – Review
Wall-to-wall books – Review

June 21st

The Hermit Librarian – Interview
Book-Keeping – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Few Chapters ’til Love – Review + Dream Cast
Hauntedbybooks – Review + Favourite Quotes

June 22nd

L.M. Durand – Review + Favourite Quotes
Magical Reads – Review + Playlist
Kait Plus Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Musings of a (Book) Girl – Review + Favourite Quotes
Pooled Ink – Promotional Post

June 23rd

The YA Obsessed – Review
Belle’s Archive – Review
Frayed Books – Review
Firstbooklove – Review
Dazzled by Books – Review + Favourite Quotes

June 24th

Morgan Vega – Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
The Clever Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookish In Bed – Review
Mind of Luxe – Review
Kourtni Reads – Review + Favourite Quotes

Goodreads Summary:

Three thousand applicants. An acceptance rate of two percent. A dream internship for the winning team. ValleyStart is the most prestigious high school tech incubator competition in the country. Lucy Katz, Maddie Li, and Delia Meyer have secured their spots. And they’ve come to win.

Meet the Screen Queens.

Lucy Katz was born and raised in Palo Alto, so tech, well, it runs in her blood. A social butterfly and CEO in-the-making, Lucy is ready to win and party.

East Coast designer, Maddie Li left her home and small business behind for a summer at ValleyStart. Maddie thinks she’s only there to bolster her graphic design portfolio, not to make friends.

Delia Meyer taught herself how to code on a hand-me-down computer in her tiny Midwestern town. Now, it’s time for the big leagues–ValleyStart–but super shy Delia isn’t sure if she can hack it (pun intended).

When the competition kicks off, Lucy, Maddie, and Delia realize just how challenging the next five weeks will be. As if there wasn’t enough pressure already, the girls learn that they would be the only all-female team to win ever. Add in one first love, a two-faced mentor, and an ex-boyfriend turned nemesis and things get…complicated.

Filled with humor, heart, and a whole lot of girl power, Screen Queens is perfect for fans of Morgan Matson, Jenny Han, and The Bold Type.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

The minute I read that this book was perfect for fans of “perfect for fans of Morgan Matson, Jenny Han, and The Bold Type.” I knew I had to pick this beauty up. Paired with the fact it was about women navigating the male dominating tech world, I could already sense that this was going to be an epic read. Screen Queens certainly didn’t disappoint and delivered on the fronts that drew me in initially.

While I struggled to get into the book at first, once I got a feel for the writing style ad the different POVS, I was hooked. This story has the classic formula of a group of people who are forced to worked together and despise each other, but as the stakes become higher, they start o bond and realize that working together isn’t as bad as they had thought.  It’s a trope that I really love, and it was done quite well in this book. I really liked seeing their dynamic evolve throughout the book, and see them go from enemies to friends. Individually, they were all really strong and complex characters and together they truly thrived. One thing that I would have liked to see just a little more was them just hanging out because while we did get to see them work together as a team we didn’t get to see them just hang out, quite as much. I think one or two more scenes that reinforced their friendship would’ve been nice.

The topic discussed in this book is one that is so important and I really enjoyed seeing it being discussed throughout the novel. There’s a huge disparity in the number of men in the tech field vs the number of women in the tech field and Screen Queens did an excellent job in exploring the difficulties that these women face. It was so frustrating to see how the women in this book were treated and its just so disheartening to think that such discrimination still occurs ion the work force . I also really appreciated the fact that they pointed out how it’s even more difficult when you’re a WOC. In so many books like these, we a see a lot of white feminism and very little intersectional feminism, so this small ad and the fact that there was some PoC protagonist made me appreciate the book even more.

Have You Read Screen Queens? Do You Want To? Let Me Know in the Comments Down Below.

 

 

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The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven Blog Tour ( Review+Blog Tour)

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Goodreads Summary:

Eighteen-year-old Izzy O’Neill knows exactly who she is—a loyal friend, an aspiring comedian, and a person who believes that milk shakes and Reese’s peanut butter cups are major food groups. But after she’s caught in a compromising position with the son of a politician, it seems like everyone around her is eager to give her a new label: slut.
Izzy is certain that the whole thing will blow over and she can get back to worrying about how she doesn’t reciprocate her best friend Danny’s feelings for her and wondering how she is ever going to find a way out of their small town. Only it doesn’t.
And while she’s used to laughing her way out of any situation, as she finds herself first the center of high school gossip and then in the middle of a national scandal, it’s hard even for her to find humor in the situation.
Izzy may be determined not to let anyone else define who she is, but that proves easier said than done when it seems like everyone has something to say about her.
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June 5th

June 6th

The Night Faerie – Review + Favourite Quotes
Book-Keeping – Review
A Dream Within A Dream – Promotional Post
Pages and Pugs – Promotional Post

June 7th

TBR and Beyond – Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
Staircase Wit – Review + Favourite Quotes
Luchia Houghton Blog – Promotional Post

June 8th

Kait Plus Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Maddie.TV – Review
Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Post
My Bookish Escapades – Promotional Post

June 9th

Bookish_Kali – Review + Favourite Quotes
Little voids – Review
Literary Meanderings – Promotional Post

June 10th

Jill’s Book Blog – Review
Twilight Reader – Review
The Reading Life – Promotional Post

June 11th

Belle’s Archive – Review
The YA Obsessed – Review
BookCrushin – Promotional Post
My Rating: 4/ 5 stars
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts
This is such an important book. I’ve read many feminist books and while some of them have been really great, there always seems to be a struggle to balance tackling these complicated issues while also maintaining a coherent and solid plot. The Exact Opposite of Okay discusses so many pertinent issues while still having a well crafted plot and strong characters. The discussion of these feminist issues felt very natural which is really important when reading a book like this. This book had so many amazing points and it was done in such an eloquent manner. It’s an incredibly timely book that can be used as a starting point for discussion on multiple relevant issues.
One of the things that made this book so unique was the main character, Izzy.  Her humor and view of the world made everything that she went through all the more interesting. She was strong, stuck to her beliefs and didn’t let anyone define who she was. She was such an amazingly strong character and incredibly confident in who she was as a person. These personality traits made the moments where she was very vulnerable and close to breaking down all the more powerful.
As I previously stated, so many important topics were discussed in this book. These subjects include slutshaming, consent, “nice” guys” and revenge porn. I absolutely loved reading about Izzy’s view on all these topics and felt that the way they were approached was very tactful and it was seamlessly woven into the plot. It was also really interesting because not only did she have to deal with shit from strangers but also from people who she genuinely cared about.  I really liked how she grappled with these betrayals.
In addition to an amazing main character, there was some really great side characters. I loved Izzy’s grandmother. She was so funny and it was so sweet how supportive she was of Izzy. I also really appreciated the fact that they were struggling as poverty rep in YA is still very limited. I also really loved Ajita’s character arc. I really hope we get to see more of her in the sequel. One thing that kind of rubbed me in the wrong way was that Izzy accidentally outs Ajita which didn’t really seem essential to the plot. I personally could have done without the forced outing. Nonetheless, I think it did show how flawed Izzy was which I think is pretty important. I just wish that there was a less harmful way to demonstrate that.
Giveaway (US ONLY)
Starts: 5th June 2019
Ends: 19th June 2019

The Wise and The Wicked Rebecca Podos Blog Tour (Review+ INTL Giveaway)

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Goodreads Summary:

Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories seem no more real to Ruby than folktales, except for the smallest bit of power left in their blood: when each of them comes of age, she will have a vision of who she will be when she dies—a destiny as inescapable as it is inevitable. Ruby is no exception, and neither is her mother, although she ran from her fate years ago, abandoning Ruby and her sisters. It’s a fool’s errand, because they all know the truth: there is no escaping one’s Time.
Until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away, and, for the first time, a Chernyavsky’s death does not match her vision. Suddenly, things Ruby never thought she’d be allowed to hope for—life, love, time—seem possible. But as she and her cousin Cece begin to dig into the family’s history to find out whether they, too, can change their fates, they learn that nothing comes without a cost. Especially not hope.
About The Author:
Rebecca Podos’ debut novel, THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES, was a Junior Library Guild Selection and a B&N Best YA Book of 2016. Her second book, LIKE WATER, won the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Children’s and Young Adult. THE WISE AND THE WICKED, her third novel, is forthcoming in May 2019.
A graduate of the Writing, Literature and Publishing Program at Emerson College and the Creative Writing Program at College of Santa Fe, Rebecca’s fiction has been published in journals like Glimmer Train, Paper Darts, and Smokelong Quarterly. By day, she works as a YA and MG agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston.
Find Rebecca Online
Buy The Wise and The Wicked
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May 22nd

May 23rd

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Playlist
The Book Return – Review
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Dream Cast

May 24th

BookCrushin – Guest Post
Utopia State of Mind – Review + Favourite Quotes
Writing with Wolves – Promotional Post

May 25th

Chrikaru Reads – Review
Here’s to Happy Endings – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Layaway Dragon – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Conjuring of Lit – Promotional Post

May 26th

The Clever Reader – Interview
Betwixt the Pages – Review
The Caffeinated Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes

May 27th

Kait Plus Books – Guest Post
Novel Ink – Review
A Dream Within A Dream – Promotional Post

May 28th

@wewhotellstories – Review + Playlist
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts:
The Wise and The Wicked is the magical realism book of my dreams. From page one, I was drawn in by the magical  world of the Chernyavskies, and by the time I finished, I was devastated that it was over.
I’m not the hugest fan of fantastical elements in books and I tend to steer away from fantasy, which is why I’m always wary of magical realism. I like this genre because it’s a nice middle ground between contemporary and fantasy, but sometimes the fantasy elements are too much and and I struggle to read it. Thankfully, the  fantastical elements in The Wise and The Wicked didn’t bog the story down but made it all the more enthralling. Poddos crafted such an intricate world that combined Russian culture and magic in such an interesting way. The concept was one that felt familiar, but was done in a completely new and unique way.
All of the characters in this book were absolutely fantastic. I love the way in which the  grey areas between being good and bad was explored. There was a quote towards the end which I thought summed up the book really well: “Maybe there weren’t any villains or heroes in the world. Maybe there were just people.” I love books that explore the complexity  of human nature and I thought that this was a novel that tackled the subject quite well.  The main character, Ruby, was absolutely fantastic. She was deeply flawed and made many serious mistakes, but she acknowledged these mistakes and grew stronger because of them. I love the different relationships she had, especially the ones with her parents. I thought the friendship she had with her cousin Cece was absolutely amazing, and their bond was really well developed. I also love the complex relationship she had with her mother, and thought that the way it unfolded it. Finally, I really enjoyed the messy relationship she had with her sisters. They were all so extremely different, which made the dynamic really interesting. Though they fought a lot, it was clear that they cared a lot for one another.
This book would have been fantastic without a love interest, but there a romance and it made the book all the more amazing. I absolutely loved Dov and the chemistry between Dov and Ruby was absolutely on point. I can’t speak for the trans rep, but I personally found it to be very well done and made the book all the more beautiful.
One thing that detracted from my enjoyment was how quick the ending was. I felt like the buildup was quite slow, and then everything happened all at once and it was a little difficult to process all of it. Also, I’m not sure how I feel about the ambiguous ending. I know that there’s currently no plan for a sequel and I think this is a book that can stand on its own, but a sequel would definitely be interesting.
Giveaway
Prize: Win a copy of THE WISE AND THE WICKED by Rebecca Podos (INT)
Start Date: 22nd May 2019
End Date: 5th June 2019

In The Neighbourhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton Blog Tour ( Review+ Giveaway—US Only)

Book Summary:

After her father’s death, Ruth Robb and her family transplant themselves in the summer of 1958 from New York City to Atlanta—the land of debutantes, sweet tea, and the Ku Klux Klan. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eager to fit in with the blond girls in the “pastel posse,” Ruth decides to hide her religion. Before she knows it, she is falling for the handsome and charming Davis and sipping Cokes with him and his friends at the all-white, all-Christian Club.
Does it matter that Ruth’s mother makes her attend services at the local synagogue every week? Not as long as nobody outside her family knows the truth. At temple Ruth meets Max, who is serious and intense about the fight for social justice, and now she is caught between two worlds, two religions, and two boys. But when a violent hate crime brings the different parts of Ruth’s life into sharp conflict, she will have to choose between all she’s come to love about her new life and standing up for what she believes.
About The Author:
Susan Kaplan Carlton, a longtime magazine writer, currently teaches writing at Boston University. She lived for a time with her family in Atlanta, where her daughters learned the fine points of etiquette from a little pink book and learned the power of social justice from their synagogue. Carlton’s writing has appeared in Self, Elle, Mademoiselle, Seventeen, Parents, and elsewhere. She is the author of the young adult novels Love & Haight, which was named a Best Book for Young Adults by YALSA and a Best Book by the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street Books, and Lobsterland.
Find Susan Online:
Buy The Neighborhood of True Online:
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts:
Finally a Jewish historical fiction book that isn’t set during WW2!!!! My little jewish heart is so happy. I’m seriously loving how many different perspectives on Judaism we’ve been getting and I can’t wait to see more.
I absolutely loved how Carlton depicted the character of Ruth, as she struggled between keeping true to her faith and hiding her faith in order to be popular. I thought it was an interesting premise and I really enjoyed seeing how everything played out. I thought that the way that Ruth’s conflicting emotions were portrayed was done extremely well. She had so many interesting thoughts and revelations that are especially relevant in today’s political climate.
The subject of this book is one that is really important. I feel like a lot of people see anti-semitism as this very distant issue that ceased to be a problem once the war ended, and fail to understand just how pervasive the bigotry was and continues to be. By showing this untold part of Jewish history, I think it will really help in spreading awareness onto a subject that many people don’t see as an issue. Just because Jews aren’t in concentration camps, doesn’t mean discrimination no longer occurs. I actually learned a lot from this book and I had no idea about the bombings of synagogues during this time period.It’s made me want to look more closely at my people’s history to better understand how we’re at where we are now.
While I really enjoyed the premise of the book and the character development of Ruth, at times that the execution wasn’t as strong as it could be. All the elements were there , there was just a little something missing. One of my main problems was with the voice and dialogue. First thing was that the dialogue was really stiff at times and it just felt really unnatural to me as I was reading. The other thing was that the voice of Ruth sounded quite immature to me at times. She’s supposed to be a junior in high school, but she really doesn’t sound like one at all. Honestly I feel like this book could’ve been possibly been a middle grade novel. There’s a few parts that wouldn’t really work as a middle grade, but the overall tone seemed very juvenile to me. This may be because of the time period though, but even when taking that into consideration, it seemed a little off.
The last thing is that I wish there was more!! It just felt way too short for me. I feel like the really intriguing stuff was rushed and wrapped up too hastily, when those plot elements could have easily been the crux of the novel. I was really getting into the end, and it was just done and I was really disappointed.

Favorite Quote:

I bought of all those nights, at the club and not at the club, and how I’d still somehow never seen a constellation. And I thought, constellations weren’t the point. Constellations were just a bunch of separate stars. They didn’t become constellations until you connected them, one to another. Like families, like sisters, like friendship, like prayers.

And anyway, it turned out Nattie was memorizing all eighty-eight constellations. I didn’t need David in order to fall in love with the night sky.”

What About You? Do you want In The Neighbourhood of True? Let Me Know in The Comments Down Below

APRIL 3RD

APRIL 4TH

Novel Ink – Review
Bookish_Kali – Review
The Book Return – Review + Favorite Quotes

APRIL 5TH

Wishful Endings – Guest Post
The Book Thief Without Words – Review + Favourite Quotes

APRIL 6TH

APRIL 7TH

The Book Return – Review + Favourite Quotes

APRIL 8TH

APRIL 9TH

Kait Plus Books – Guest Post
Cheyenne Reads – Review
Journal of the Lost One – Review + Dream Cast + Favourite Quotes
A Dream Within A Dream – Promotional Post

Giveaway

Win 1 of 2 copies of In The Neighbourhood of True. ( US Only)

Start Date: April 3rd 2019

End: April 16th 2019

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86354/

Just For Clicks By Kara McDowell Blog Tour ( Review + US Giveaway)

Goodreads Summary:

Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.

Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they’re expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as “just Claire”? And what should Claire do about Mom’s old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don’t sound like Mom’s perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .

About The Author:

Born in the mountains and raised in the desert, Kara McDowell spent her childhood swimming, boating, and making up stories in her head. As the middle of five children, Kara entertained her family on long road trips by reading short mystery stories out loud and forcing everyone to guess the conclusion. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BA in English Literature, Kara worked as a freelance writer. Now she writes young adult novels from her home in Arizona, where she lives with her husband and three young sons.

Find Kara Online:

Website/ Goodreads/ Twitter

Buy Just For Clicks:

Barnes & Nobles/ Amazon/ Book Depository

My Rating:4/5 Stars

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an

honest review.

February 11th

The Book Addict– Review

February 12th

The Candid Cover– Review & Favorite Quotes

February 13th

Irisheyz77– Review & Favorite Quotes

February 14th

The Book Return– Review

February 15th

Bookish_Kali– Review
The Clever Reader– Review & Favorite Quotes

My Thoughts:

The phenomenon of internet fame is one that I found fascinating and it’s a subject that I love seeing being discussed in books. It’s mind-boggling to me that there are people out there who are famous basically for just existing. Before Just For Clicks, I had a vague idea on how popular mommy bloggers were, but this book really shed light on a subject that I had never really thought about before. I absolutely loved seeing Claire’s struggle between wanting to make her mother and sister happy, and removing herself from the spotlight. The discussion about internet culture that occurred throughout the book was super fascinating and it made me think a lot about the role internet fame plays in our society. There’s always a danger for subject like these to sound preachy, but that wasn’t the case in this book which I really appreciated. I really liked how Kara McDowell showed both the ugly and glamorous parts of fame. One that thing I think could’ve been addressed a little more was the enormous amount of privilege that Claire had because of her fame. There were off-hand comments where she did acknowledge her privilege but it still rubbed me the wrong way.

No contemporary is truly complete without a swoon-worthy love interest, and Just For Clicks definitely delivered with Rafael. He was super sweet and caring and basically everything I could ask for in a love interest. It was so excruciating to have to read through so many near-kisses, wondering each time if this would be the time where one of them would finally reveal their GODAMN FEELINGS. Even if it was definitely frustrating, it made them getting together all the more satisfying. Claire and Rafael’s chemistry were to die for and I just wish there was less miscommunication drama and more swoon worthy moments.

I expected this book to be a pretty run of the mill contemporary, but McDowell hit me with some unexpected and heartbreaking plot moments. There was a point in the book that had me gasp aloud which like very rarely happens. At times I did find Claire’s reaction to this particular plot point to be a little stubborn but I did appreciated her development and her end reaction to it.

I really appreciate all the relationships in this book but I especially love the dynamic between Claire and Poppy. It felt very realistic to me and the author did a great job of depicting the love-hate relationship that so many siblings have. Things became especially complicated as the story progressed, and I love seeing how their relationship shifted throughout the novel. While I really did like their relationship, I would’ve appreciated a few more moments where we really get to see their sisterhood shine.

Giveaway (US Only)

Ends February 22nd 2019.

Have You Read Just For Clicks? Do You Want To? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below

Nice Try,Jane Sinner Blog Tour (Review+ Q&A)

Goodreads Summary:

The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.

Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don’t know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she’ll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight.

As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She’ll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world—or at least viewers of substandard TV—that she has what it takes to win.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Disclaimer:I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

While many people are fond of us Canadians, I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve read that are set in Canada and written by a Canadian author. There’s no point in denying the fact that we live in an American centric society which explains why the majority of contemporary books we read are set in the United States. When I found out that Nice Try, Jane Sinner was not only written by a Canadian author but also set in Canada I was over the moon. Add to a mix a blurb written by the one and only Becky Albertalli and a really interesting premise I knew that I would be in a for a real treat.

While this book deals with some pretty serious topics like mental illness and religion it’s still a really funny and quirky read that I guarantee will have you laughing out loud. This book has such an interesting premise and it isnt quite like anything I’ve ever read.I don’t know how Lianne Oelke came up with this premise because a reality tv show similiar to Big Brother starring community college kids who are fighting to win an used car is such a unique plot and not something that I’d ever think of writing about. I loved seeing the reality show, House of Orange, play out and read about all the weird challenges they had to go through. I also really enjoyed the interractions between the contestants  and found them to be really interesting. I’m still not sure how I feel about the sort of love interest Robby but I did like his character though some of his actions were definitely questionable.

I really liked the way the author discussed mental illness and portrayed Jane’s depression. This is not a book about depression but merely features a character who has it and the book does show how this has affected her. I really liked how we got a nice balance of topics, that while we did some insight into Jane’s mental illness, there were also other plot points. It was nice to have a book with a character that has a mental illness but doesn’t merely focus on that. While books with a plot that revolves around the character’s mental illness are great, I really appreciat the approach Nice Try,Jane Sinner took and I hope to find other books like this in the future.

One small critique that I have is that I found that the book could have focused a little more on characters such as Jane’s best friend ,Bonnie, and her sister, Carol. I really liked what we saw of  Bonnie  and thought it was interesting how  Jane’s upbringing made her react negatively when Bonnie came out as bisexual but Jane eventually realized that that was wrong. I love character’s who are inherently flawed but gradually unlearn their prejudices. I would’ve liked to see more of Bonnie’s relationship with Jane. Carol was also an interesting character and just a little more page time with Jane would’ve been a nice addition.

Q: How has being Canadian affected your writing and the general publishing process?

A: Long before I knew I’d be published, I knew I wanted the story I was telling to be set in Calgary (where I grew up). I’m proud to be Canadian, and I think we have something unique to offer YA literature. Now, more than ever, teens from all over the world need stories about diversity, tolerance, freedom, and hope. I was asked on two separate occasions if I’d consider changing the setting to the States, but I held my ground. Growing up, most of the contemporary YA I read was set in America. While I was still able to relate to the characters, I strongly believe that Canadians deserve to see themselves and all their toques and loonies and cities shown on the page. I’m happy to be living where I am now (Vancouver, BC), although at times it can feel like I’m removed from publishing life. Today, in fact, is my first day in New York City, and later this week I’ll meet my agent for the first time! I’m happy to bring a little bit of Canada to the publishing world, and as I explore New York, I’ll be wearing my biggest, reddest, maple-leafiest toque.

The Temptation of Adam By Dave Connis Blog Tour- Review+ Q&A+ Giveaway


Goodreads Summary:

Adam Hawthorne is fine.

Yeah, his mother left, his older sister went with her, and his dad would rather read Nicholas Sparks novels than talk to him. And yeah, he spends his nights watching self-curated porn video playlists.

But Adam is fine.

When a family friend discovers Adam’s porn addiction, he’s forced to join an addiction support group: the self-proclaimed Knights of Vice. He goes because he has to, but the honesty of the Knights starts to slip past his defenses. Combine that with his sister’s out-of-the-blue return and the attention of a girl he meets in an AA meeting, and all the work Adam has put into being fine begins to unravel.

Now Adam has to face the causes and effects of his addiction, before he loses his new friends, his prodigal sister, and his almost semi-sort-of girlfriend. (less)

My rating:4/5 Stars

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Thomas Allen & Son in exchange for an honest review.

My Review:

I admit that I was apprehensive upon first reading the synopsis for this book. I thought that I might be uncomfortable reading an entire novel with a main character that has a porn addiction but I’m all about reading outside of my comfort zone so I decided to give it a gander. I was pleasantly surprised and ended up actually really enjoying it! I’m really glad that I didn’t listen to my original hesitations because first impressions are so often wrong.

Dave Connis did an excellent job of developing the character of Adam: he doesn’t focus on the porn itself but more the addiction  and the reasons behind it which I really appreciated. His addiction was very complex and you really felt for Adams struggles even if you couldn’t relate to the nature of the addiction. I loved seeing the backstory that lead to his addiction and thought Connis showed the tulmutuous feeling that Adam really well. There were times where I felt Adam’s anguish as my own which is always a sign of a good book.

My favorite part of the book were the various relationships that Adam had. I really liked the various familial tensions that arose with his sister, mother and father. I thought that the sibling bond with his sister was portrayed in a really nic way and though there were problems they persevered. The relationship he has with his mother is the most complicated and for the majority of the book he refers to her as The Woman. There’s a lot of pent up anger involved when thinking of her which we see in the various dreams he has. I thought that the recurring dreams he has was a great way to express the complicated relationship he had with his mother. I liked seeing him workig through all these mixed emotions as the story progresses.

Another great relationship was that of the support group that Adam joins. All the boys are very interesting characters with their own unique problems who help Adam grow a lot. While I think we did quite a bit of backstory for each of them, I would’ve liked just a little more character development. I’m a huge fan of side characters so I always want the most that I can get out of them.

I’m still not sure how I feel about Dez. She’s the girl that Adam falls for and her character is incredibly fascinating. She’s kind of a manic pixie dream girl but one of the characters actually calls her out on that fact which is an interesting twist. She’s an extremely flawed character and as the story progressed she spiralled further and further which is very interesting to read. I just wasn’t that big of a fan of the romance between Dez and Adam: I don’t think it was necessary and I didn’t really see any chemistry between  the two of them. I would’ve preferred it if they were merely a platonic relationship.

My favorite relationship was with Mr Cratcher. At first Adam is very angry and doesn’t like him and calls him Mr Crotcher- only in his head tho. As the story progresses, their relationship deepens and we learn more and more about Mr Cratchers interesting past. I could honestly read an entire book about Mr Cratcher because he’s so fascinating. I thought that his passion for music was a wonderful touch for the book and I loved how it was a central theme throughout the entire novel. It made the book even more unique.

Q&A With The Author:

So many authors use the trope of the manic pixie dream girl but that character is never referred directly as such in the actual book, one of the characters directly calls out the fact that Dez is a manic pixie dream girl. Why did you chose to do that?

When I was writing TOA I had this idea for a character who had this sort of allergy to the mundane because of their addiction. People chase the highs of addiction. Generally, very generally, that’s why addiction happens. People set out to find an experience they can’t get from a normal non-modded life. When I started to write Dez, she seemed to demand this sort of personality. I’ve known some MPDG type people and I’ve found that they typically adopt those sorts of idiosyncratic characteristics in their search for meaning and value. Dez is one of them in that just couldn’t take normality. Everything had to be modded in some form or fashion to feel like it mattered. It was part of her high. She didn’t know anything else. Normality was to be avoided at all cost because she’d decided that normality was a place of emptiness. Not only that, she has this whole family dynamic pushing her towards being as completely opposite from her family as possible, which also gave her a placebo comfort. Of course, this turned into her acting like a pixie manic dream girl. There wasn’t really any avoiding this from her. Her specific struggle and her family background just pushed her into MPDG space, and because of the issues with that trope, I didn’t just want it to sit, I wanted it to become part of the discussion of her character. Why was that headspace where she went to to feel like she had control? Why did she feel the need to make things bigger than they should be? What about those sorts of characteristics are just a part her never ending search for wholeness?

Tourwide Giveaway:

The winner will receive:

1. 1 finished copy of The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis

2. 1 digital copy of Dave’s companion album, Looking for Eden, courtesy of Dave Connis

3. 2 mini journals courtesy of Sky Pony Press

Details:

Canada Only (full rules found in the T&C on Rafflecopter)

– Giveaway ends on November 9th at 12:00AM EST

 –
Winner will be drawn randomly through Rafflecopter, contacted via email and will have 24
hours to claim their prize
 

Giveaway

About The Author:

Dave Connis has held all manner of job, from ballroom dance instructor to construction worker. He is now a community manager at Code Corps, a platform where people can donate time, talent, and money to projects for social change. He also works as an assistant youth director at his church, Rock Creek Fellowship. He has a bachelor’s in community development with a focus on international economics from Covenant College. He is a member of the SCBWI. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his wife and son.

Find Dave Online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Buy A Copy: IndigoAmazon.ca |Amazon.com

Blog Tour-The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

1Goodreads Sumary:

A teenage misfit named Hawthorn Creely inserts herself in the investigation of missing person Lizzie Lovett, who disappeared mysteriously while camping with her boyfriend. Hawthorn doesn’t mean to interfere, but she has a pretty crazy theory about what happened to Lizzie. In order to prove it, she decides to immerse herself in Lizzie’s life. That includes taking her job… and her boyfriend. It’s a huge risk — but it’s just what Hawthorn needs to find her own place in the world.

My Rating:4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me a copy of this book for the blog-tour in exchange for a honest review, and thank you to Chelsea Sedoti for answering my question!

Plot:

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is about a girl named Hawthorn who after this girl from her town goes missing, becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her. If you really want to enjoy this book to its fullest potential, I think there are some things that you need to know. This book isn’t a mystery, and it’s not really centered all that much around Lizzie Lovett’s disappearance . While it is the catalyst for the novel, it is not the main focus. If you’re looking for a mystery novel, this book isn’t really for you but if you’re looking for a book about a girl who in the search for a missing girl, finds herself then I highly recommend it.Sedoti has a strong grip on the teenage voice, and her style makes her book all the more enjoyable.I am very excited to see Sedoti’s career unfold,as she has a promising voice. This is another one of those books where the main focus isn’t really the plot but the characters, which is something that I love in a book.

Characters:

I feel like a lot of people will not like Hawthorn because she is immature, and kind of self-centered but I appreciated her character and find her type of personality to be refreshing. Throughout most of the character, Hawthorn believes that Lizzie Lovett is a werewolf and that  is the reason as to why she disappeared. I know, I know it’s kind of weird but you know I think that her naivety is kind of endearing and a character trait that should be more prominent in storytelling. Hawthorn isn’t your typical character which is one of the reasons why I enjoyed the novel.

Throughout the story Hawthorn begins to be friends with Lizzie’s boyfriend:Enzo. While at first I quite liked him, he eventually begin to really piss me off, and I really didn’t like him. Besides Enzo, all the other characters were pretty enjoyable. Some notable ones were Hawthorn’s brother, and Hawthorn’s best friend. I really wish we could see more of them and their relationship with Hawthorn.Oh and also the hippie characters who lived in her backyard were pretty cool and offered some great advice

The last character I’d like to talk about is Lizzie. While she’s kind of the center of this novel, she’s really enigmatic. Hence the title. Though popular in high school, Lovett became something really unexpected and different from her personality in high school. I feel like this is one of the main messages of the book:that you never really know anyone.I really liked her ending, though it was kind of sad.

So that’s my review! I asked Chelsea Sedoti  a question for the blog tour and here is her response

 

In the book Hawthorn believes that you shouldn’t wish badness on others but instead wish small mishaps. Is that something that you espouse to?

 

Brace yourself. I’m about to channel some of the hippie characters from The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett.

 

Getting angry is normal. There are a lot of things in the world, people in the world, to get angry at. How can you not have hateful thoughts sometimes? How could you not occasionally wish bad things on another person?

 

But, I’ve found that when I dwell on those thoughts for too long, it ends up hurting me more than the person my anger is directed at. It feels unhealthy to carry that sort of rage inside of myself. As if, by putting that much negativity out into the world, I’m actually inviting it into my own life.

 

And so often I don’t understand what’s really happening with another person. I can’t see into their life, know what’s making them act a particular way at a particular moment.

 

Here’s an example: A driver cuts me off in traffic. My first reaction is anger. But who knows what’s going on with that driver? Maybe they’re rushing their pregnant wife to the hospital. Maybe they’re hurrying to get to work on time because if they’re late they’ll lose their job and won’t be able to feed their kids. Maybe they have a genuine emergency.

 

Probably not. Probably they’re just a jerk. But you never really know.

 

Of course, in this example, it’s easy to get over my anger. That other driver was a fleeting moment in my life. I’ll never see them again. They didn’t personally attack me.

 

In other situations, say when a close friend or family member betrays you, it’s much harder to move past it and look at the sunny side. And that’s okay. It’s okay to be hurt and angry.

 

But it’s also possible to be angry without wishing something terrible on the other person. I don’t think it’s okay to be so angry that you wish for, say, someone to die.Hawthorn hoping a person experiences small mishaps and annoyances seems pretty healthy to me. It’s an outlet for her feelings—we all need an outlet—but it’s relatively harmless at the same time. It’s not the sort of thing that might come back to haunt her.