Seed by Lisa Heathfield

Seed by Lisa Heathfield

Release Date: April 16, 2015
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Series: Seed, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Pansing
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads

Seed loves you. Seed will never let you go.

Fifteen-year-old Pearl has lived her whole life protected within the small community at Seed, where they worship Nature and idolise their leader, Papa S. When some outsiders arrive, everything changes. Pearl experiences feelings that she never knew existed and begins to realise that there is darkness at the heart of Seed. A darkness from which she must escape, before it's too late.


When I received an offer to review Seed, I was immediately drawn to the eerie cover and the tagline and knew that I HAD to read and review this one. However, the problem with me is that I don’t tend to read blurbs very well and base most of my reading (sadly) on the cover. I seriously didn’t realise this was about a cult. When I found out, my brain started flashing warning signs. Why, you ask? I’d previously started reading a book about a cult and didn’t end up enjoying it so I stopped reading it. To be completely honest, I get a little freaked out when it comes to reading about cults. From what I’ve learned about them to seeing them portrayed in media, I get a little weirded out and tend to stay away from things that depict cults, etc. By the way, this is totally not meant to offend anyone. I personally don’t know much about cults in general, except that there have been some that are pretty extreme and stuff, so basically that’s what my “judgement” (if I could even call it that) is based on. 

Anyway, back to Seed. This one was fantastic. It’s filled with absolutely gorgeous descriptions, and now I’m wondering whether this is based on an actual cult because the “world-building” – despite it not being a fantasy/dystopian/etc. – is phenomenal. It really didn’t feel like our world, and I didn’t even think that this was based in a real place until the outsiders arrive at Seed. That’s the thing: the novel really felt kind of timeless because the cult is so isolated from the outside, so you don’t in fact realise that it actually has a modern setting.

I really enjoyed Pearl’s character. She felt real and I think I would have done most of the actions she does in the book if I was in the position. It must have been a bit of a challenge for the author to have written the book from the perspective of someone who has such a strange and bad view of the world, not completely getting the grasp of the good that there is. The other characters really add to her character development and it was really great reading about them as well.

The end was MIND BLOWING and I was left with my jaw dropped. The book’s pace up till that point was basically pretty normal; kind of slow at the start but started picking up when Pearl begins to question the Seed. Holy crap though, the end was just absolutely heart-pounding and ended with a shocking climax. I’m seriously looking forward to the second book, but now I have to wait a whole YEAR for it to come out... *bursts into tears*.

Seed was intriguing and fascinating – Lisa Heathfield’s debut is stunning and has left me aching for more. Do yourself a favour and do NOT pass this one up. Spellbinding and filled with mystery and deception, this is a novel that demands to be read.


▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha from Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

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Some Fine Day: Launch + Giveaway!


Hey everyone! I’m so excited to help promote Kat Ross launch her book Some Fine Day, which was published last year with Strange Chemistry, but is now re-published with Skyscape :D

Here’s the synopsis:


A generation ago, continent-sized storms called hypercanes caused the Earth to flood. The survivors were forced to retreat deep underground and build a new society.

This is the story that sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist has heard all of her life.

Jansin grew up in a civilization far below the Earth’s surface. She’s spent the last eight years in military intelligence training. So when her parents surprise her with a coveted yet treacherous trip above ground, she’s prepared for anything. She’s especially thrilled to feel the fresh air, see the sun, and view the wide-open skies and the ocean for herself.

But when raiders attack Jansin’s camp and take her prisoner, she is forced to question everything she’s been taught. What do her captors want? How will she get back underground? And if she ever does, will she want to stay after learning the truth?

Some Fine Day is available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can find more reader reviews on Goodreads.

You can check out the trailer here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



KAT ROSS


Kat Ross was born and raised in New York City and worked several jobs before turning to journalism and creative writing. An avid traveler and adventurer, she now lives with her family—along with a beagle, a ginger cat, and six fish—far enough outside the city that skunks and deer wander through her backyard.

You can find Kat on Twitter and her website.




Now... for the giveaway!

Kat truly has an awesome giveaway lined up for y’all :D

You can win:

Grand Prize: Kindle Paperwhite with custom cover, preloaded with Some Fine Day

Second Prize (2): Signed copy of Some Fine Day

Third Prize (2): CD audiobook of Some Fine Day

This giveaway runs from February 7th to March 7th
US only

Enter via the Rafflecopter below!

Red Queen Blog Tour: Review + Interview


Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Red Queen, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

When I saw the title for Victoria Aveyard’s debut, the first thing that popped into my mind was Alice in Wonderland. I mean, of course I would think that because, hello, the RED QUEEN aka Queen of Hearts? A little disappointed that it wasn’t a retelling from her point of view, but nonetheless the gorgeous and eerie cover and the premise caught my attention. When I was contacted to be a part of the blog tour and to read an advanced copy of the book, I immediately agreed to it. I knew I had to read this book, and that I had to read it soon.

Oh my gosh: WOW. Red Queen was amazing! I seriously couldn’t tear my eyes away from this book. It was like X-Men meets The Selection meets Shadow and Bone. It was such a fantastic blend of the supernatural, fantasy, and dystopia – brilliantly executed. It was a long read (especially since I read it in one sitting) but SO WORTH IT. The world building was phenomenal; I really felt like I understood the world that the story took place in. The writing was absolutely wonderful and there never seemed to be a dull moment. 

The characters were amazing. I loved learning about this world through Mare’s world. Of course, she reminds me of so many dystopian and fantasy heroines, so that sort of originality was somewhat lacking, but the familiarity of the character type definitely made this an engaging read. And oh gods above, the LOVE TRIANGLE. Or square? I seriously don’t know at this point. Two princes and a friend (not featured very much though) made sure that there was plenty of romance in the story. If you know me, you know that I can’t resist a good romance. However, I just felt that there was a lack of actual chemistry...no sizzle at all. While I’m torn because I my stomach flip-flops at scenes of romance in a book, I thought it was really interesting that the book didn’t actually focus on the developing feelings between characters and was more about the actual events. Feeling a bit half-and-half on this one, but more towards the fact that I’m FOR the somewhat underplayed passion in this novel.

Holy moly the amount of twists in this book. I had to cover up the ends of chapters just to make my eyes stop wandering and accidentally spoiling things for me. SO MUCH SHIZZ HAPPENS AND IT’S WORTHY OF DROPPED JAWS. The end was a stab to the stomach, because no way in a million years did I see that coming. I predicted an earlier twist but I never actually thought that the book would end the way it did. I’m seriously sad that I’m going to have to a while until the next book comes out because 2015 practically just started and the sequel comes out in 20-frickin-16.

An exceptional debut, Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen is gripping from the first page to the last. Absolutely spellbinding, this story of blood, magic, and revolution will have readers begging for more. The start of a terrific trilogy, I’m looking forward to what’s coming next. Can’t wait!


▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Megan at HarperCollins International and Tiffany at MPH for sending a copy for review and for having me on the blog tour! ▪ ▪ 

If you like this, try...


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VICTORIA AVEYARD


Victoria Aveyard was born and raised in East Longmeadow, MA, a small town known only for the worst traffic rotary in the continental United States. She moved to Los Angeles to earn a BFA in screenwriting at the University of Southern California, and stayed there despite the lack of seasons. She is currently an author and screenwriter. You can find her at www.victoriaaveyard.com.

Website Twitter Facebook Goodreads Tumblr




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EXCERPT
Read the first 7 chapters below!



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And now... for an exclusive Q&A!


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Follow the rest of the tour!

2/2 http://amaterasureads.blogspot.com (Philippines)

2/3 http://staybookish.net/ (Philippines)

2/4 http://ghostgrrrl.wordpress.com (Malaysia)

2/5 http://iliveforreading.blogspot.com (Singapore)

2/6 http://thedailyprophecy.blogspot.com (the Netherlands)

2/8 http://spellsaab.juice.ph/ (Philippines)

2/8 http://defiantlydeviant.blogspot.com (Philippines)

2/9 www.carinabooks.blogspot.com (Norway)

2/12 http://www.booksloveme.com/​ (Malaysia)

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 139

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming reads that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
All We Have Is Now by Lisa Schroeder

What do you do with your last day on earth?

Just over twenty-four hours are left until an asteroid strikes North America, and for Emerson and everyone else who didn't leave, the world will end. But Emerson's world already ended when she ran away from home. Since then, she has lived on the streets, relying on her wits and on her friend Vince to help her find places to sleep and food to eat.


The city's quieter now that most people are gone, and no one seems to know what to do as the end approaches. But then Emerson and Vince meet Carl, who tells them he has been granting people's wishes -- and gives them his wallet full of money. 


Suddenly, this last day seems full of possibility. Emerson and Vince can grant a lot of wishes in one last day -- maybe even their own.

July 28, 2015 ● Goodreads

I really loved Lisa Schroeder’s novel in verse The Day Before (review here), and so I’m looking forward to this emotional story of two teens and their last day on earth. Definitely an interesting premise and it kind of makes you think of what you would do with your last day on earth. Can’t wait for this one for sure!

What are you waiting on?

Journey by Aaron Becker

Journey by Aaron Becker

Release Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Series: Journey, Book 1
Rated: Children 5+
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
Source: Borrowed – thanks Joy!
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship.

A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

My roommate takes a course called "Aesthetic Constructions of Childhood,” and she has to read a bunch of picture books for the class (lucky, right?). After reading Journey by Aaron Becker, she told me how great the story was and handed it to me to read. I devoured it in two minutes. What struck me first was the lack of words– I don’t think I’ve read a picture book that didn’t have any words in it. Anyway, that totally didn’t hinder my experience at all because the illustrations are GORGEOUS. I mean, absolutely beautiful. It’s such a sweet story as well, with that familiar feel of childlike wonder and imagination.

There were several interesting things I didn’t notice the first time reading it, and my roommate pointed them out after. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll mention a few things that she told me that they discussed in her course. Firstly, there’s the bedroom at the beginning and if you look at some of the objects in the room, they pop up later on in the story. Another really cool thing is that tiny details are often overshadowed by the larger ones the illustrations. For example, the artist creates such incredible landscapes that you totally don’t notice a boat or a door hidden in the corner. There are a lot of cool details with this book, so definitely read it a few times to capture everything. Tons of surprises hidden for sure!

I don’t normally review picture books, but honestly, if I constantly read amazing books such as Journey, I hope there are a lot more coming my way in the near future. I really do hope that I get the chance to read the next book in this absolutely delightful picture book series, and I look forward to more of Becker’s fantastic stories told through his beautiful illustrations.

If you like this, try...


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