Blog Tour: Review - Seize Today by Pintip Dunn

Freitag, 13. Oktober 2017

   Here we are for the grand finale of the Forget Tomorrow trilogy with my review for Seize Today. When I saw that there is a blog tour for it, I knew i had to be part of it, as well as get my hands on an ARC, the later coming before the former surprisingly. I've loved this trilogy to pieces so let's find out if Seize Today lived up to my expectations, shall we?
   Also, before I forget, thank you to Chapter by Chapter for giving me the opportunity to be part of this blog tour (and also go and check out all the other fabulous posts for it right here once you're done reading my review)!

Seize Today by Pintip Dunn
Released: October 3rd 2017 by Entangled: Teen
Number of Pages: 300 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, #3 in the Forget Tomorrow Trilogy

   The third book in the New York Times bestselling and RITA award winning Forget Tomorrow series is a thrilling conclusion to an epic trilogy.
   Seventeen-year-old precognitive Olivia Dresden is an optimist. Since different versions of people's futures flicker before her eyes, she doesn't have to believe in human decency. She can literally see the path to goodness in each person—if only he or she would make the right decision. No one is more conflicted than her mother, Chairwoman Dresden, and Olivia is fiercely loyal to the woman her mother could be.
   But when the Chairwoman captures Ryder Russell, a boy from the rebel Underground, Olivia is forced to reevaluate her notions of love and faith. With Ryder's help, Olivia must come to terms with who her mother is in the present—and stop her before she destroys the world. (

Check out my reviews for the previous books in the trilogy: 

* Thank you to Entangled TEEN for providing me with 
an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion *

   The Forget Tomorrow trilogy is, without a doubt, one of my favorite trilogies I've ever read. I've loved the previous two books in this trilogy, as well as the prequel, so I had impossibly high hopes and expectations for this finale. Of course, since Pintip is a brilliant author, she mangled to exceed my hopes and expectations by a tenfold with ease. Seize Today ties up all the questions that were left open, all the little plot points and facets that needed more explaining or revealing, and gave us even more intriguing visuals, more future tech, and more awesome science than the precious two books.
   Our lead in this one is Olivia Dresden, the Chairwoman's daughter, and she was an amazing POV character. Seeing the world through her eyes was fascinating, even more so because of her ability to see every single possible future path a person can go down depending on the choices they make, the good and the bad ones. The way Pintip described the visuals of Olivia looking through those paths was done incredibly well and definitely added that extra something to her narrative. Just like everyone else in this world Olivia isn't perfect so she makes mistakes, has flaws and all, but the character development she goes through across these twenty days that the book spans is amazing and incredible.
   Ryder, the love interest in this one, also has a special place in my heart. He was tough and had major trust issues, but in the end he was an amazing character and I would've loved to read more about him, and those two together. I also loved the glimpses we got into the lives of the other two couples from book one and two, where they are now and what the future holds for them.
   I still smile every time I think about the epilogue.
   Trilogies sometimes have the tendency to disappoint you with an ending that still leaves questions open, or somehow answers them in a non-satisfactory manner, but that definitely wasn't the case with Seize Today. It was a worthy part of this trilogy and even more of a worthy ending to it. Sure I wished it would've been longer so I could stay in this world just for a few more pages, enjoy Pintip's writing longer (I should mention that I devoured the entire book in under 4 hours because I simply couldn't stop reading once I started), but I am very happy nonetheless with every aspect of the story.

   All in all I can only say that I am very happy that I got the chance to read this trilogy, to receive an ARC of Seize Today, and I will literally recommend this book, and the trilogy, to everyone ever because it is amazing. Then again I will literally read anything Pintip writes so theres that.

I give Seize Today by Pintip Dunn 5 out of 5 stars.

About the Author

   Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School.
   Pintip’s novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. It is also a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Japanese Sakura Medal, the MASL Truman Award, and the Tome Society It list. In addition, THE DARKEST LIE was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other books include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, SEIZE TODAY, and GIRL ON THE VERGE.
   She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

Release Day: Seize Today by Pintip Dunn (Excerpt)

Dienstag, 3. Oktober 2017

   As you guys know I love Pintip Dunn's writing, and especially her Forget Tomorrow trilogy, so I am more than excited to celebrate today's release of Seize Today, the final book in the trilogy, with an amazing excerpt from the book. But before we get to that, if you want you can find my review of the prequel, as well as book one and two following those links to remind yourself what happened in the story so far. My review of Seize Today, which I am very excited to share with you, is coming October 13th as part of the blog tour for it.
   But enough of my talking, let's just move on to the book details as well as the excerpt. Enjoy!

Seize Today by Pintip Dunn
Released: October 3rd 2017 by Entangled: Teen
Number of Pages: 300 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, #3 in the Forget Tomorrow Trilogy

   The third book in the New York Times bestselling and RITA award winning Forget Tomorrow series is a thrilling conclusion to an epic trilogy.
   Seventeen-year-old precognitive Olivia Dresden is an optimist. Since different versions of people's futures flicker before her eyes, she doesn't have to believe in human decency. She can literally see the path to goodness in each person—if only he or she would make the right decision. No one is more conflicted than her mother, Chairwoman Dresden, and Olivia is fiercely loyal to the woman her mother could be.
   But when the Chairwoman captures Ryder Russell, a boy from the rebel Underground, Olivia is forced to reevaluate her notions of love and faith. With Ryder's help, Olivia must come to terms with who her mother is in the present—and stop her before she destroys the world. (


   "Are you sifting through my possible pathways?" he asks, his voice husky.
   I freeze. But if I'm a block of ice, his fingers do their job, tracing my lips again and again until I melt. "How…how do you know?"
   "Your eyes," he says. "They dilate when you're reaching into the future. I'm starting to learn when you're not here."
   I blink. Nobody's ever told me that before.
   "You…noticed?" I ask.
   "I notice everything about you," he says easily. "So, tell me. What did you see in our possible futures?" His voice is low and liquid, and it reaches inside me and caresses parts I didn't know existed. "What did I do? More importantly, what did you like?"
   Heat floods my face. "What, exactly, are we talking about?"
   "I don't know." His eyes gleam wickedly. "What do you think we're talking about?"
   "Future pathways," I snap. If I have to electro-whip my attention back on track, I'll do it, damn the Fates. "I see everything from me slapping you to…" I trail off, and my cheeks flame even hotter. Oh my. I can't possibly put into words the images flying through my head like a hailstorm.
    "Now I'm really intrigued." He moves his hand to my hair, tugging slightly. I feel the tension all the way to my toes. "Are you really not going to tell me? Because, you know, then I'll have to guess."
   "I'm not going to tell you," I whisper.
    His lips curve in a mischievous grin that makes me want to tuck him in my pocket and keep him forever. And then, while I'm still reeling from his cuteness, he leans in.
   I'm not ready. My mouth is partway open, and I'm in the middle of a breath. He kisses me anyway. I shut my mouth in a hurry. Lips, so soft. His back and shoulders, so hard. Holy Fates, that was his tongue. His tongue, slipping between my teeth. Sparks. So many sparks, igniting in the air around us.
   "How's this?" he whispers against my mouth. "Did you see this in our future?"
   I nod helplessly.
   He moves closer, scooping me up and shifting me on the mattress so that he can lie next to me. Our foreheads touch; so do our knees. "And this? Was this in some of our pathways?"
   I nod again, but that doesn't seem to satisfy him anymore. His eyes intent on mine, he catches my lower lip between his teeth. "Do you like it?"
   Do I like it? What kind of question is that?
   I've tasted every emotion in our world. I know the sorrow a mother feels when she clasps her deceased baby to her chest. I know the pride of a gold-star athlete when he stands on a podium and accepts North Amerie's highest honor. I know the rage that silences the heart of a murderer as he cuts short another's life.
   I even know kisses—hot, frenzied, passionate, fumbling, sweet, aching, innocent kisses. I've seen them all in other people’s futures, thousands of kisses, millions of kisses, as varied as the pathways themselves.
   And yet…and yet…I've felt nothing like kissing Ryder. Even the vision of this moment itself.
   So, yeah, I like it. It scares me how much I like it.

About the Author

   Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School.
   Pintip’s novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. It is also a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Japanese Sakura Medal, the MASL Truman Award, and the Tome Society It list. In addition, THE DARKEST LIE was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other books include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, SEIZE TODAY, and GIRL ON THE VERGE.
   She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

Review: Everything, Everything

Dienstag, 15. August 2017

Everything, Everything
Release Year: 2017
Length: 96 minutes
Cast: Amandla Stenberg (Maddy Whittier)
Nick Robinson (Olly Bright)
Anika Noni Rose (Dr. Whittier)
Ana de la Reguera (Carla)

   A teenage girl (Amandla Stenberg) is unable to leave her home because she has an immunodeficiency that makes her allergic to almost everything. However, her life changes for the better when she begins to communicate with the boy next door (Nick Robinson). Everything, Everything was directed by Stella Meghie, and was adapted from the YA novel of the same name by Nicola Yoon. (

   If you've read my trailer reaction post, you know that I've been skeptical of this movie from the get go. The trailer spoiled a lot of the movie, and after watching it, I can say it probably showed all the best bits and really it was kind of enough. As someone who read the book, and loved it, I knew exactly what would happen so I was rather watching it to see how they've translated this book that I loved into a movie I hoped to at least like.
   Unfortunately that didn't happen. I really wanted to like it, enjoy it, but in the end I unfortunately didn't.

   Everything, Everything is very much a teenage movie, another coming-of-age story starring good actors playing in nice sets with pretty dialogues and all of that. That is of course totally fine, the movie isn't trying to be more than that, but something was lacking for me in it from beginning to end. As I said I liked the actors, though maybe they weren't like the best actors in Hollywood as of right now, but they were convincing enough. The dialogues were okay, too, with a few funny bits that did make me chuckle, but also a lot of it that just came across a bit too forced for my liking and to be natural.
   The sets and places we get to see in the movie are great. Seeing the house, getting a visual representation of his bubble in which Maddy grew up, the airlock entrance and everything, that was amazing. It was a stylish high-tech house that didn't seem too over the top but like a house I'd love to live in. Then we also had the other place, that I won't spoil even though we see it in the trailer, but it's undoubtedly beautiful.
   Speaking of which, a lot of the movie is exactly that: beautiful. All the clean rooms that don't really look lived in at all, nice and clean windows, wrinkle free clothes. What Everything, Everything really lacks is this feeling of reality. It all just feels like some kind of fairytale were everything is easy and perfect, an even if something goes wrong, there are only small short complications and we swiftly move on to the next thing.
   We know that Maddy is sick, it's the first thing we find out, yet throughout the whole movie everything lacked this sense of danger. Even when she walked outside, we had her mom panicking and it still wan't one of those moments that would push you onto the edge of your seat in suspense and worry of what would happen to her now. It was just kind of...there? The metaphore with the astronaut, that Maddy could identify with him, it was another one of those pretty things, but it unfortunately got lost somewhere along the way and just felt like it was randomly thrown in there a few times without having any real meaning to things.

   All in all I really hoped that the movie would surprise me and be fun and enjoyable, a nice YA book-to-movie adaptation you could sit down and watch with friends and have a nice time. But unfortunately I found myself feeling bored in a lot of places, or just sighing because of some odd turn of events or wondering how some of it was possible exactly. I know there are a lot of people who loved the movie, and maybe it is a good one, but it simply wasn't for me even though I really had high hopes for it.
I give Everything, Everything 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Blog Tour - Review: Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn (+Giveaway)

Donnerstag, 1. Juni 2017

   I'm very excited to be part of the blog tour for this book. Pintip Dunn has become one of my favorite authors so I was very excited to receive her book early and be part of this.

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn
Expected publication:
June 27th 2017 by Kensington

Number of Pages: 256 Pages (Paperback)
Series: No

   From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.
   In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.
   When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong… (

*I received an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you.*

   I love Pintip's writing and I have read all of her books, so I was very happen when I got to read Girl on the Verge early. Unlike with her other books, this one took me a few pages to really get into the story, but once I did, I couldn't put it down anymore. Personally I love books that can show me something I'm not familiar with, like in this case Thai culture and the struggle you face when trying to balance two cultures within you and figuring out who you want to be.
   When asked for #ownvoice recommendations, this is the story of book I would honestly recommend since the level of discussion and exploration in it is truly amazing and makes it easy to understand how someone like Kanchana must feel. For that alone I'm already very happy that I've gotten to read this book. I'm sure it would be even more valuable for someone who is Thai-American like Kanchana and could thus truly identify with her experience and struggle.

   Speaking of which, I really liked Kanchana, her voice was interesting and she seemed like someone I could genuinely imagine being friends with. Shelly on the other hand was quite...something. You could immediately feel that there was this weird aura around her that definitely made me curious and coaxed me into wanting to continue reading to find out more. Pintip does an amazing job when it comes to characterization.

   The mystery aspect of the story with all the details that were uncovered about Shelly across the story was amazingly orchestrated and well paced. I definitely enjoyed slowly seeing Shelly show her true self and the effects she had on Kanchana's life the more the story progressed.

   All in all Girl on the Verge is an amazing read that I can more than recommend. If you've read any of Pintip's other books you'll definitely enjoy this one, too, at least I did. She has shown how amazing of an author she is in this one once again and I will definitely continue to read anything she decides to write in the future.
I give Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn 5 out of 5 stars.

* * *

Amazon // B&N // iBooks // Kobo

   Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.
   Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE, REMEMBER YESTERDAY, and the novella BEFORE TOMORROW.
   She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at


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Blog Tour - Review: True North by L.E. Sterling

Freitag, 14. April 2017

   Thank you so much to YA Reads for making me part of the blog tour for True North. When I saw the sign up post for this tour, and L.E. Sterling had tweeted me (and a few others) about it, I just knew I had to be part of it.

True North by L.E. Sterling
Published: April 4th 2017 by Entangled TEEN
Number of pages: 400 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, #2 in the True Born Trilogy

   Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there's been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.
   While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters' blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.??
   As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA. (

* Thank you to Entangled TEEN and NetGalley for providing me 
with an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion *

   Ever since I read True Born last year, I was anticipating book two, curious to see how the story would continue. After reading True North I can safely say that I wasn't disappointed and that the wait was definitely worth it. Now the only problem I have is that I'd like to read book three right about now.
   Since this is a second book in a trilogy I don't want to say too much so I won't spoil anything, so I'll start off by saying that I love the cover. It's just as amazing as the cover of True Born, so I can't wait to have both books on my shelves sooner or later to show them off.
   Okay, let's go into plot and character thoughts but trying to stay spoiler free, of course.
   I loved following Lucy throughout the story once more as she tries to find Margot and figure things about with Jared. They are amazing together and their tension is off the hooks. She remains an amazing and interesting character which makes following her and her thoughts a lot of fun once more. True North is full of mysteries and also a few answers, though leaving a lot of them still unanswered and thus the reader hooked and thirsty for more and more. The world building continued to amaze me in this one, adding more details to the world L.E. Sterling created. Also the fact that we go to Russia made me happy because I love books that play there in any sort of way.
   All in all True North is a worthy successor to True Born, fast paced and amazing beginning to end. I am definitely looking forward to the final book in the series and seeing how everything ends, even if saying goodbye to this trilogy will be a sad moment.
I give True North by L.E. Sterling 5 out of 5 stars.

About the Author

   I was a voracious devotee of sci-fi and fantasy novels all through my childhood, so I suppose it doesn’t come as much of a shock that I’ve returned to the genre with a vengeance.
   For a while I turned my back on the genre in favour of ‘high-brow’ literary texts. Ironically, it was my doctoral degree that saw me circling back. There’s something about the way postmodern literature plays with the arcane that had me utterly fascinated, and it wasn’t long until I fell headlong back into my old ways and haven’t looked back since.
   My first novel, which isn’t in the Urban Fantasy or Fantasy genres, isn’t high literature, mind you, even if it tangles with some serious statements about politics and the way our western world runs. My editor described it as something between Charles Dickens and The Catcher in the Rye: Serious Fun, in other words.
   My second novel, Pluto’s Gate, is where I’ve come home to myself: it’s a contemporary retelling of the Demeter-Persephone-Pluto story from Greek mythology. Folded into the mix is a Shaman-in-training, a magical book, Underworld Gods, a world covered in ice, a three-headed dog, and one lousy ex-boyfriend.
   But I’ll tell you this much: I believe in the power of words and stories to transform our inner worlds. Whether the characters be vampires or vagabonds, a good narrative sucker punches so-called reality anyhow.

Read the first 6 chapters HERE

So this happened...

Dienstag, 21. März 2017

   I didn't think I would get to write a post like this any time soon, especially not for this particular manuscript, but here we are and I am beyond excited. But, let's start at the beginning, shall we?

   As you guys know I've been writing, as in taking writing seriously and everything, since somewhere between age 17 and 18. In those past almost six years I've completed eight manuscripts ranging between 72.000 and 112.000 words across various genres. One of them was a YA manuscript that is now known as ECHOS.
   I've written ECHOS about two years ago, queried it with marginal success getting a few partials and full, but ultimately all of it led to rejections. So, in true Alice Reeds fashion, I decided to shelf this manuscript and move on to other projects. But than #PitMad rolled around sometime September 2016. I didn't plan on pitching ECHOS but a different manuscript of mine, one that ultimately landed me a spot during Pitch Wars. But, my mother who always loved ECHOS urged me to give it a shot because what's the worst that could happen? So I did. And lo and behold, I got a request from an Entangled TEEN editor and right about died.
   Of course used to rejections upon rejections I didn't promise myself too much off of this request, but I went on and submitted it. A round of revise and resubmit later, along with some help from my brilliant friend Mia Siegert (JERKBAIT), my manuscript was accepted.

*queue the happy freakout right about now*

  Basically one of my biggest dreams came true, one of my manuscripts finding a home at one of my absolute favorite publishers. It's been over a week and I still can't believe it, still find myself occasionally wondering if it actually happened.

   So, take it from someone who's been in the query trenches for years, who wrote story after story, who received rejection after rejection, who barely got any requests during pitching events on twitter: don't give up. It might be hard to keep going at times, but if you keep going, keep writing, keep fighting for your stories, you will eventually get there. Feeling shy of participating in #PitMad or similar events because you don't think you'll get any requests? Try anyways because you can never know.
   Also don't be afraid to make some friends along the way. For years I sat in the query trenches alone until I got to know Mia and Judy (who was my Pitchs Wars mentor and is now a dear friend) and somehow everything started to feel that little bit easier. I'm basically the personification of 'someone with exactly zero social skills' and social anxiety, so if I can do this, you can, too.
   If you love writing, don't give up. Maybe your first stories will suck and, looking back at them years from now you'll want to set them on fire (at least that's how I feel about a bunch of my first manuscripts) but keep going. Practice makes perfect.

   As always this post has turned into a way longer thing than I originally planned, bravo me. Basically all I want dot say is OMG MY BOOK IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED BY ENTANGLED TEEN AND I'M FREAKING OUT but it somehow turned deeper than anticipated. 

Everything, Everything Trailer Reaction

Mittwoch, 15. Februar 2017

Everything, Everything
In Theatres: May 19th 2017
Drama - based on Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Cast: Amandla Stenberg (Maddy Whittier)
Nick Robinson (Olly Bright)
Anika Noni Rose (Dr. Whittier)
Ana de la Reguera (Carla)

   The unlikely love story of Maddy, a smart, curious and imaginative 18-year-old who due to an illness cannot leave the protection of the hermetically sealed environment within her house, and Olly, the boy next door who won't let that stop them. (

   I want to start of this trailer reaction/review post by saying that I absolutely loved Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. It was one of my favorite books of 2015 so when I heard that it was being turned into a movie, I was excited. Then I heard that Amandla was cast as Maddie and I couldn't be happier. She fits the role amazingly.
   After waiting for over a year, here we are today with the brand new trailer for the movie. I was reluctant to watch it because, as we all know, the thing with trailers and YA book to movie adaptations is that it can go either of two ways: be a complete disaster (*cough*Divergent series*cough*) or absolutely nail-on-the-head amazing (*cough*The Fault in Our Stars*cough*). Everything, Everything falls somewhere in between those two.
   Don't get me wrong, it doesn't look bad BUT the trailer is showing way too much, like way, way too much and thus spoiling many interesting plot points that would've been much more convincing and surprising when watching the movie if we wouldn't have seen them in the first trailer.

   Disclaimer: This is very much a train of thoughts type of review since I'm re-watching the trailer as I write down my thoughts to give you my most authentic ones. Hopefully that's okay.

   Let's rewind a little and start at the beginning. I am a fan of the house and finally being able to properly visualize how it looks like and how this whole closed off system kind of thing works that is keeping Maddie away from all the bad bad things outside. It's very high tech, but not too much, so it's convincing and I like that.
   I love the opening narration that perfectly sums up Maddie's life and immediately catches your attention. Great job with that one. Then there's the shot of Maddie in her window and Olly sitting in the back of the truck, great way of telling us that he's the new kid without actually saying anything.
   Moving on, I like the on screen text messages that pop up instead of being read out loud which reminds me of The Fault in Our Stars, though this one doesn't have the fun, quirky animations which is fine. Many people don't like texts and emails being part of movies and shown on screen and all that, but i actually like it. Our lives are full of texts and such so it adds to the realism. Besides reading a couple words doesn't take away from the movie in any way.

   Then we get the scene where Olly visits Maddie and I really like it. The dialogue is funny and Maddie seems a bit shy which makes sense especially when you remember that she's never been outside and thus never really had any real life friends besides her mom and her nurse.

"You're really different than I thought you're gonna be"
"Sexier, right?"
"What would happen if you went outside?"
"Probably spontaneous combustion."

   Yes, please, more of these types of dialogues and I will be a happy person.

   And that is basically where I think we go downhill into SPOILERS territory. Olly asks Maddie where she would want to go if she could go outside and we see a shot of her in the ocean, since that's her answer. That in and of itself would be fine since it could be like a 'of I wish this is what I would be doing' type of sequence but it doesn't end there and I think that's a shame really.
   We have Maddie's mom firing her nurse, telling Maddie that she won't be able to see Olly again, and then to top it all off we have these shots of Maddie going outside. Again the latter would be fine if we'd end it here, leave it open to discussion and raise curiosity. But of course we do not.
   The trailer continues and shows us Maddie and Olly actually going to the ocean and that, my dearest reader, is that one step too far that definitely and truly moves into spoiler territory. As book reader I know it happens, they go there and everything, but as movie watcher that is something I wouldn't want to find out through the trailer. That's definitely something they should've left out to make that part of the movie more surprising and interesting. But they didn't.

   Let's talk about music. I really like the songs they've chosen for the trailer, they fit really well and make me curious if the movie soundtrack will be just as good. I am a sucker for good movie soundtracks so that's a good sign. Besides, having a Beyonce song just adds awesome points to the movie simply because it's Beyonce.

   Overall the trailer looks fine. I like the cast, the dialogues seem good, the cinematography feels YA and the music is good. I will definitely watch it, that's not a question, simply because I loved the book and I want to see how they managed to translate it into movie form. But looking at it from just a movie viewer perspective I think the trailer lacks a certain something that would truly grab your attention and make it stand out. Maybe it's because it's another YA book-to-movie adaptation, maybe it is because we already had The Fault in Our Stars starring kids with illnesses, in that case cancer, as main characters, or maybe it's neither of those but something completely different.
   I am looking forward to seeing more snippets and trailers, and in May the full movie. Hopefully it will be just as good as the book. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or tweet them at me, @Alice_Reeds.


Triple Review #2

Mittwoch, 11. Januar 2017

Under Rose-Tainted Skies Louise Gornall
Published: January 3rd 2017 by Clarion Books
Number of Pages: 320 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did.
   Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up. (

* Thank you to Clarion Books for providing me with an eARC 
in exchange for my honest review *

   Under Rose-Tainted Skies is the first book centered around a character with agoraphobia, paired with OCD, that I have ever read and it was quite the experience. There is quite the difference between knowing what agoraphobia means definition and psychology wise, and experiencing it through the eyes of a character who lives with this mental illness.
   I really enjoyed reading about Norah, her life and the struggles she faced on a daily basis because of her mental illnesses. Her voice and narration came across very honest and real, fitting for someone her age, and definitely brought across how hard it is to be a teenager and not being able to do all the things other teenagers are able to do. But even when stepping out of her own front door seemed like the most daunting thing in the world, Norah wasn't giving up, she still wanted to live a life, even if said life was limited to what she could do inside the house and what her mental illness allowed her to do.
   Luke was also an interesting character and I enjoyed his interactions with Norah, the way he tried to make her feel like she is just a girl defined by her personality and not her illness. But, at the same time, I did struggle a bit to see the romance between the two. It was well written, but sometimes I found myself wishing that instead of going in a romantic direction, they would've just formed a deeper friendship and shown the importance of that instead of love.
   Another thing that I saw a few other people mention with which I agree to some extent was that this book felt strangely reminiscent of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, which also centered around a girl unable to leave the house and who feel in love with her cute new neighbor, even if these two books deal with vastly different subject matters when it comes to mental illness and illness.
   Either way I really enjoyed reading Under Rose-Tainted Skies and almost read it in a single day once I could really sit down and dive into it properly.
I give Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall 4 out of 5 stars!

* * *

A List of Cages Robin Roe
Published: January 10th 2017 by Disney-Hyperion
Number of Pages: 320 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can't complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian--the foster brother he hasn't seen in five years.
   Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He's still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what's really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives. (

* Thank you to Disney-Hyperion for providing me with an eARC 
in exchange for my honest review *

   A List of Cages was truly a remarkable yet very emotional read depicting a beautiful and meaningful friendship as well as dealing with very important and critical topics such as: ADHD, the effects of abuse on a child, how hard it is to recognize and escape said abuse, the meaning of family and foster care.
   Originally I was drawn to this book due to its stunning cover and beautiful title, but ultimately the plot surprised me by gripping me from page one and not letting me go until a long time after I was done reading. This definitely isn't an easy book you can just read and be done with, but rather one that will make you think and possibly even change your view on a lot of things.
   I loved both narrators, Adam and Julian. I loved how different their voices and narrations were, how vastly different their lives were and how wonderfully they slotted together as friends. Seeing Adam care so much about Julian and wanting to help him was amazing, as well as experiencing what it means to have ADHD through his narration was great. Julian on the other hand was a tragic character trapped in a life I wouldn't wish upon any child. He goes through horrible, horrible things and it's truly heartbreaking to read about.
   A List of Cages is a truly important book I think anyone should read, even if it might not necessarily seem like your cup of tea. It has beautiful writing, a realistic, raw and honest plot, and features great characters that will stay with you even after you're done reading. I cannot recommend this book enough, honestly!
I give A List of Cages by Robin Roe 5 out of 5 stars!

* * *

Throwing My Life Away by Liz Czukas
Published: December 20th 2016 by Liz Czukas
Number of Pages: 316 Pages (Paperback)
Series: No

   7 photographs, 2 weeks, an entire life to get back. No problem, right?
   After her stepfather accidentally throws away her high school mementos, sentimental Mariska is pretty sure the world is over. That is, until she comes up with a plan. She's going to recreate her past, with a little help from her friends.
   It's not easy to rally everyone into helping, especially Caine, who couldn't be less sentimental about anything if he were a park bench. But from a guerilla kite festival to convincing her ex-boyfriend to recreate her lost prom picture, Mariska is willing to do what it takes.
   With a little nudging from Caine, Mariska starts to realize she can't actually get her past back. And maybe that's okay. Because while she's so focused on the past, she's missing out on the present, where her friends are busy having the summer of their lives. And where funny, quiet Caine might just be the future she never knew she wanted. (

* Thank you to Liz Czukas for providing me with an eARC 
in exchange for my honest review *

   If I had to review this book using a single word I would choose "fun". This was the first book by Liz Czukas I've ever read, through I've had her previous books on my TBR for what seems like ages, so I was excited when Liz emailed me to ask if I'd be interested in reviewing this one.
   I really enjoyed Mariska's narration and her sentimentality and how important memories and her lost photographs were to her. As someone who rarely takes pictures with friends, I couldn't relate 100%, but it was interesting to read about Mariska and her friends trying to recreate the previously mentioned lost photographs nonetheless.
   Speaking about friends, I really liked them a lot and their friendships really came across very realistic and teen-like which I greatly appreciate. 
   Reading this book after a bunch of heavy-topic ones was definitely a very welcome change since it was relatively light and fluffy. It definitely made me want to check out Liz other books more, now that I know that I like her writing style and such. Hopefully I will get around to that soon!
I give Throwing My Life Away by Liz Czukas 4 out of 5 stars.

Ask the Author: Merrie Destefano (Lost Girls) + Giveaway

Montag, 19. Dezember 2016

Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano
Expected Publication: January 3rd 2017 by Entangled: Teen
Number of Pages: 360 Pages
Series: No

   Yesterday, Rachel went to sleep listening to Taylor Swift, curled up in her grammy’s quilt, worrying about geometry. Today, she woke up in a ditch, bloodied, bruised, and missing a year of her life.
   She doesn’t recognize the person she’s become: she’s popular. She wears nothing but black.
   Black to cover the blood.
   And she can fight.
   Tell no one.
   She’s not the only girl to go missing within the last year…but she’s the only girl to come back. She desperately wants to unravel what happened to her, to try and recover the rest of the Lost Girls.
   But the more she discovers, the more her memories return. And as much as her new life scares her, it calls to her. Seductively. The good girl gone bad, sex, drugs, and raves, and something darker…something she still craves—the rush of the fight, the thrill of the win—something she can’t resist, that might still get her killed…
   The only rule is: There are no rules. (

Interview with Merrie Destefano

   1 – Describe Lost Girls with a haiku.
   Here's my rather lame attempt at a haiku. Haha.
   Good girls make mistakes
   Secrets hurt, but save the day—
   Bad girls aren’t all bad.

   2 – In a genre like mystery/thriller, how hard is it to stand out? And in what way do you think Lost Girls does stand out and offer something that should make people want to read it even more?
   I think it’s hard to stand out in any genre, because the reader expects certain to happen. So you have to make sure you deliver those things. I think the best way to make your story stand out is to offer the reader even more than they’re expecting. So if you can weave in a romance or another subplot, that gives you the opportunity to make your story stronger. For example: the romance storyline can be at a high point when the mystery storyline is more subdued, giving the book a natural rhythm or ebb and flow. The goal of every writer is to create a book that the reader can’t put down, so having at least two storylines makes this easier to do.

   3 – What was the most challenging about writing Lost Girls and which scene was the most fun to write?
   The hardest part about writing a mystery is finding that balance where you keep a secret from the reader just long enough to hold their interest, but not so long that they get bored. The scenes I loved to write the most were the love scenes with Dylan and Rachel. Those were so sweet! The hardest ones to write were the fighting scenes. They were very technical and I had to do a lot of research for each scene, making sure I got the moves right.

   4 – What do you like most and least about your main character, Rachel?
   I like that she was stronger than she thought. I don’t mean physical strength, I mean courage and spirit and the ability to do things because they were the right things to do. I didn’t like that she hurt Molly or her family, but that was essential for the story. It wouldn’t have worked if I had spared the people she loved from being hurt. That’s how love is. If you really care about someone, then their bad decisions/actions will affect you.

   5 - In retrospective, is there anything that you’d change about the story or are you happy with the way it turned out in the end?
   Actually, no, I wouldn’t change anything. I enjoyed writing this book, I loved the characters, I loved all the twists and turns and reveals and, without saying too much, the ending makes me cry every time I read it because I love it that much.

   6 - How do you feel about the fact that in only a few more weeks (January 3rd) hundreds of readers will be able to hold and read Lost Girls?
   “Eeeek!” I’m excited, I’m nervous, I feel like I won’t be ready in time and, on top of that, I worry about how my hair will look. LOL. Because I’m always worried about how horrible my hair might look at a signing or event! Seriously, I’m thrilled about the upcoming release of Lost Girls. I’m on pins and needles, and I really hope readers will like it. I hope they’ll see some of the deeper themes in the book, but most of all I just hope they have a good time when they read it.

   7 – What do you think about the cover? Is it anything like you imagined it being?
   I love the cover so much! I can’t believe the artist was able to get so much across with what, at first glance, looks like a simple image—a girl sitting down. But the more you look at it, the more you see. Her position looks defensive, withdrawn, pensive and frightened, all at once. The superimposed image of the hand—whoa. To me that says, there’s another girl inside me, trying to get out. I love covers that tell just enough of the story to make you want to know more. I think this one does just that.

   8 – Do you have a writing routine or do you write whenever creativity strikes?
   I used to think that I needed to write every day, mainly because so many professional writers give that advice. I don’t even try to do that anymore. I work as a magazine editor, so there are times when my schedule is completely full. I also used to give up weekends and evenings to write, but it turned me into a weird hermit and I was missing too much of what life is really supposed to be about—other people. So I wait until I have a great idea before I start a new book. When I’m writing, I try to write between 1,000 to 1,500 words per day, and I take Sundays off. With that schedule, I can usually get the first draft of a book done in about three months. So, if I include the editing cycle, I can usually get about one and a half books done per year.

   9 – What advice could you give aspiring authors?

   First, yay! I’m really glad you want to write! My advice for you: start by reading a lot. Read books in different genres than you what you want to write. (This stretches you and gives you a more brilliant palette to work with.) Then write. Try your best to finish writing a full-length book before giving up. There’s something about that first book. It can take years to write and it can be so hard to finish, but it’s essential to write it. It may never get published, but it will teach you. Your writing skills will get better with each book you write, so never think you’re a failure because you’re not published. The correct way to look at it is: you’re not published YET. Writing is hard for beginners, but it’s also hard for someone who’s published ten books. It’s a bit like peeling back your skin and writing with blood. When you’re doing it right, it hurts. It’s also very cathartic. I can’t tell you how many times I had a hard day at work, but my time spent working on a story was magnificent. It can be a healing process. Even though you’re writing to entertain a reader, you are most likely battling your own inner demons while you’re typing.

   10 – If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
   Great question and I usually vacillate between two answers on this one. I either want to be invisible, because there are just too many times when I’d like to run errands and not be seen. It’s the introvert in me. The other answer, which I love just as much, is I’d like to be able to fly. Funny, right? I either want to hide or I want to go everywhere. But honestly, if I could have only one superpower, I'd love to have the power to heal. There are just too many people suffering with illnesses, both physical and mental, and it breaks my heart. If I could touch someone and make them better, it would be the absolute best thing in the world.


   Answer the following question in the comments below (please also leave a twitter handle or email so I can contact you in case you've won) for a chance to win a signed copy of Lost Girl (open internationally). The giveaway runs until December 30th 2016! Good luck!

   If there is one memory you wouldn’t want to forget, what is it?

About the Author

   Born in the Midwest, magazine editor Merrie Destefano currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two German shepherds, a Siamese cat, and the occasional wandering possum. Her favorite hobbies are reading speculative fiction and watching old Star Trek episodes, and her incurable addiction is writing. She loves to camp in the mountains, walk on the beach, watch old movies, and listen to alternative music—although rarely all at the same time.

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