ECHOES IS OUT NOW

Dienstag, 7. August 2018

   On March 21st 2017 I announced that I signed with Entangled Teen and after more than a year of rewriting, outlining, brainstorming, and waiting, the day has finally come! My YA mystery Thriller, Echoes, is finally out today and you can get it online or in stores (if you're in the US or Berlin, Germany). All the links will me at the bottom of this post.

   For a very long time I've dreamed of seeing this very story on shelves and being read by people, receiving positive reviews and just pulling readers into its spell. I'm so happy I didn't shelf this manuscript and instead gave it another chance and that it's finally here. It took over 3 years, but it was more than worth all the hours of 'lost' sleep, anxiety, nerves, and creative elation. 

   Yesterday I actually went to Dussmann / The English Bookshop in Berlin, Germany, to sign the copies of Echoes they had in stock. It was a surreal experience that I can barely put into words properly. Seeing something you worked so hard on in a bookstore just waiting for someone to pick it up and buy it, it's amazing and mind blowing. I couldn't stop smiling while I signed book after book, though I was also worrying that I might spell my name wrong or my signature might turn out ugly haha. 

   This entire experience was simultaneously everything I wanted it to be, so exciting and fun, but also extremely scary and downright terrifying. Launching a book, waiting for the release day to come, it's something I still can't properly put into words. My feelings were torn, all over the place, a wild cocktail of simultaneously wanting for the day to just finally be there while also hoping to have just a little more time, to prepare some more. But then, the day is finally here, and it feels like I signed the contract just yesterday.

   But, at the end of the day, this book wouldn't be a book without a number of people helping me along the way and making this dream a reality, and this experience so much fun despite also being endlessly terrifying, so I think it would only be appropriate if I'd say thank you:

   Thank you to my brilliant team at Entangled Teen. Everyone did an amazing job at answering all my questions (no matter how silly or long my emails), setting up interviews and guest posts, blog tours and getting ARCs into people's hands. THANK YOU for everything you've done for me and I can't tell you just how happy I am that I got to work with all of you.

   I couldn't have done this without my mom and her endless support in form of words of encouragements, an infinite supply of coffee, brainstorming with me, or just letting me talk at her until I found whatever solution I was looking for. I love you so much!

   A big thank you also goes to my CP, Mia, for her marvelous feedback and help while I was trying to get Echoes up to speed, for all her encouragements and DMs. Thank you for being a wonderful friend and making me feel like I can do it even when I wasn't so sure. The same also goes to you, Judi. You're amazing and a kickass friend and mentor. Thank you for being there for me.

   And finally, my friends (y'all know who you are you amazing beings) who didn't give up on me despite how much time I spent writing and working instead of answering texts or getting with them. Y'all are amazing and I am grateful for everything you've done for me. Cheers to more years of friendship!

   They wake on a deserted island. Fiona and Miles, high school enemies now stranded together. No memory of how they got there. No plan to follow, no hope to hold on to.

   Each step forward reveals the mystery behind the forces that brought them here. And soon, the most chilling discovery: something else is on the island with them.

   Something that won't let them leave alive.

Add on GoodReads

Amazon (US / UK / CAN / AUS / DE) // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository



Mini Reviews #1

Mittwoch, 13. Juni 2018

All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor
Published: May 15th 2018 by HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 432 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.
   Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.
   Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined. . . . (goodreads.com)

   This story was wild, there is no other way to put it. It was also highly addictive. I was certainly intrigued by the premise of four teens befriending their favorite author (I mean that's kind of the dream, isn't it?) and things turning out not quite how they expected or hoped it would in the end. I really enjoyed the way the story was told through both interviews and excerpts from Fatima's new book, and the way you could see all the pieces coming together. It was fascinating to see how Fatima manipulated herself into the heads of those teens and made herself appear like their best friend and so interested in what they had to say and what was going on in her lives while knowing the reason why, and also how it made all of them feel and how they looked on it later on.
   This was the first time I read anything by Lygia Day Peñaflor and I really loved it. Despite my reading slump this year, I just couldn't put it down and finished it in about a day or two. I highly recommend it.
I give All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor 5 out of 5 stars.

* * *

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
Published: September 7th 2017 by Walker Books
Number of Pages: 290 Pages (Paperback)
Series: No

   Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?
   Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.
   Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.
   But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?
   Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . . (goodreads.com)

   This book was certainly not what I expected it to be based on the description, but I was blown away by the story and how it unfolded. It alternates between emails and Romy's narration and it builds slowly, things come together piece by piece, the tension rises at the perfect pace, and it's also mixed with a bit of space science and a study on the mind when you're literally the only person in a radius of years instead of miles.
   I liked the fact that Romy sounded her age, but that her mind and knowledge also showed that she really could be someone born in space and training to be fit for the mission she was born into. Seeing her get to know J and also her love for her favorite show and even the (slightly cringy) fan fics she wrote for them, it was so much fun. But it was also genuinely thrilling, creepy, and downright terrifying, especially in the second half, even more than just thinking about being alone day and night for years on a spaceship. 
   Absolutely amazing read full of twists and turns and mind games.
I give The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James 5 out of 5 stars.

* * *

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Published: May 30th 2017 by Greenwillow Books
Number of Pages: 385 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.
   In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.
   Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.
   But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart. (goodreads.com)

   Francesca Zappia is one of my auto buy authors, though I'll admit that it took me way too long to actually pick this one up and read it. I absolutely loved her debut, Made You Up, and I loved this one just as much, though for different reasons.

“I made Monstrous Sea because it's the story I wanted. 
I wanted a story like it, and I couldn't find one, so I created it myself.”

   The idea of being someone whose art and story can spark such a vast interest, create a fandom and be something you can live off of, that's the dream of every author and artist, isn't it? So it was fascinating to actually read about a character like that, see how she sees her fame, how reluctant she is to claim it, show who she truly is, her doubts and worries, and how her friendship forms with someone who is an actual real life fan of her web comic. I loved Eliza and Wallace, how reluctant Eliza was at first to interact with him and what a beautiful thing became of it, how she didn't judge him for the fact that writing came easier to him than speaking, and all these other small things.
   The fact that the art in the book came from Francesca was even cooler so kudos to her for doing it. Both the main story, and the snippets we saw of Eliza's web comic, were absolutely fantastic and I can only recommend this book to everyone. Read it, you won't regret it.
I give Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia 5 out of 5 stars.

Review - Neanderthal Opens The Door To The Universe by Preston Norton

Freitag, 11. Mai 2018

Neanderthal Opens The Door To The Universe by Preston Norton
Published: May 22nd 2018 by Disney-Hyperion
Number of Pages: 400 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   Cliff Hubbard is a huge loser. Literally. His nickname at Happy Valley High School is Neanderthal because he's so enormous-6'6" and 250 pounds to be exact. He has no one at school and life in his trailer park home has gone from bad to worse ever since his older brother's suicide.
   There's no one Cliff hates more than the nauseatingly cool quarterback, Aaron Zimmerman. Then Aaron returns to school after a near-death experience with a bizarre claim: while he was unconscious he saw God, who gave him a list of things to do to make Happy Valley High suck less. And God said there's only one person who can help: Neanderthal.
   To his own surprise, Cliff says he's in. As he and Aaron make their way through the List, which involves a vindictive English teacher, a mysterious computer hacker, a decidedly unchristian cult of Jesus Teens, the local drug dealers, and the meanest bully at HVHS--Cliff feels like he's part of something for the first time since losing his brother. But fixing a broken school isn't as simple as it seems, and just when Cliff thinks they've completed the List, he realizes their mission hits closer to home than he ever imagined. (goodreads.com)

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

   Neanderthal Opens The Door To The Universe is a marvelous read about grief, friendships, the struggles of high school and the ups and downs of life narrated with an authentic sounding teenage voice filled with pop culture references, funny but also heartfelt, thoughtful moments.

   Cliff and Aaron are fascinating and multi-faceted characters and their friendship was crazy and unique from beginning to end. Their conversations and the situations they get into together are hilarious but also scary at times, but luckily everything works itself out in the end, even if the way there is filled with twists and doubts. Their relationships with the other characters were interesting and watching them evolve over time was amazing. Cliff and Tegan were great together, the nerd squad with their love of all things geeky and debates about Apple were brilliant but also so true to life, Aaron and Lacy definitely had a lot of issues they certainly needed to work through but watching it all slowly happen over the course of the book was great. Nothing felt rushed or forced or unrealistic.

   As previously mentioned the voice of the narrator, being Cliff, was incredibly on point and perfectly represented a sixteen year old boy's thoughts and reasonings. They were a bit weird and wtf inducing at times, but that's how teenagers are, not every decision they make is perfect, or even reasonable at times. Honestly I loved Cliff as narrator and seeing him slowly grow, evolve, learn and change across the story was amazing, his character arc perfectly and realistically paced.

   I can easily say that Neanderthal Opens The Door To The Universe was one of my favorite 2018 releases and I'm really happy I got a chance to read it way earlier. It's one of those contemporary stories that, upon first glance, seem silly or just plain dumb, like some sort of comedy no one will take serious, but this story is so much more than that. I highly recommend it.
I give Neanderthal Opens The Door To The Universe by Preston Norton 5 out of 5 stars.

On writer pressure and self care

Mittwoch, 9. Mai 2018

   Hey everyone!

   Today I want to write about something a little different. Usually I'm all about blog tours, reviews or interviews, but I recently had a few amazing conversations with writer friends about the daily pressures we put on ourselves to write more, faster, better, so I thought why not write a post/discussion about it.

   When asked, I'm the sort of person who will immediately tell you to not stress yourself out about writing on a daily basis too much, to take it easy and have fun with it. But, unfortunately, when it comes to applying that same idea to myself, it's a struggle. On certain days I feel like if I don't write 2-3k words, it's a wasted day and that I'm a failure, that I should just quit because I will never be good enough.

   That, of course, is very counterproductive. I know that, you know that, everyone does, but it's easy to get caught up in such a mindset. If I don't write XYZ amount of words, what even am I doing.

Setting realistic word count goals

   This is something I feel like is very important. A goal is something you can work toward and that will give you this feeling of satisfaction and having achieved something once you reach it. But, it's very easy to set that goal much too high and start to panic when you're having one of those days when the words aren't coming to you easily or you just feel too exhausted to write due to other things going on in your life.

   As a good friend of mine said, it's better to set a small goal that you can use as motivation and know that step by step the story will get done eventually, instead of just not writing at all because you're too afraid of not hitting your target word count goal. If you set it as 200 or 500 words, that's usually an amount that's more than doable on a daily basis. It's easy to tell yourself just sit down and write 200 words, it won't take long but you'll know you wrote something, and once you hit those 200 words, chances are you'll feel good about yourself and motivated to continue.

   Meanwhile if you sat your goal as 3k or the world will end, it will become this daunting thing looming over your head like some kind of monster. Instead of being something you enjoy, writing will become more of a chore, something you dread and that makes you anxious, and that's not good, right? Plus, compared to 200 words, 3k takes far more time. 200 words is something you can quickly write during your break at work, in public transport or even while on the toilet, quick and easy. With 3k, yeah, not so much.

Be kind to yourself

   This one can be hard sometimes, especially in the era of social media and twitter when you follow all these other writers who seemingly always write more than you do and, instead of seeing it as motivation or something to work yourself up to, it turns into only more reasons of why you start to feel like a loser compared to them. But in all of it you have to remember that everyone has different lives. While some authors write full time and are able to dedicate the better part of their day to writing, others don't have that luxury, have to work or take care of their family. Does that mean they are less of a writer because their circumstances don't allow them to write as much as full time authors? No, of course not.

   It's easy to lose yourself in this idea that you have to be like your favorite authors, that you have to be able to write X amount of books every year, but really, do you?

   It's okay to find a routine that works for you, to allow yourself to have worse days where you only write a little bit or nothing at all and not see those days as wasted. Sometimes our brain and creativity just need a break and that's totally fine. You will have better days, and not so good days, and that's completely okay. Instead of seeing a seemingly low word count as waste of time or something that makes you a lesser writer, see them as successes. You've written something, and isn't that much better than not having written anything at all?

   Maybe it will take you longer to write that first draft if you 'only' write 200 words every day but eventually that draft will be completed. Who cares if it takes longer, it's still something many people will never achieve, and if you are kind to yourself, you will feel much better along the way. Sure, writing 3k or more on a daily basis looks great as twitter updates, I would know, but putting that kind of pressure on yourself, it will only do more harm than good in the long run.

The moral of the story

   Find whatever works for you and don't compare yourself to others, especially full time authors. If you're slower than them, that's completely fine. If you 'only' have time to write for an hour or less every day, that's still amazing. If you wrote 'just' 200 words, that's still 200 words more than you had yesterday. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to see even small things as successes instead of shortcomings and set yourself goals that are achievable so they will motivate you instead of stressing you out.

   I struggle with this a lot myself and I'm trying to get better at it, so maybe, writing this and sharing my thoughts will remind me, too, that I should be kind to myself, and that every new word is one word more than I had yesterday.

   Writing books isn't a race.

Cover reveal: Star-Crossed by Pintip Dunn

Montag, 2. April 2018


   As you guys know I love Pintip Dunn's writing ever since I first read Forget Tomorrow. I've loved that trilogy and everything else she wrote, so when I heard she had a new book coming out later this year and that I could help reveal the cover, of course I couldn't say no. So, thanks to Entangled Teen, I am bringing you the amazing cover for Star-Crossed:


Star-Crossed by Pintip Dunn
Expected Publication: October 2nd 2018 by Entangled Teen
Number of Pages: 400 Pages (Hardcover)

   Only one can survive...

add-to-goodreads

Amazon | B&N | iBooks

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, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. Pintip's debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. In addition, it is a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Japanese Sakura Medal, and the MASL Truman Award. THE DARKEST LIE was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other books include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, the novella BEFORE TOMORROW, and GIRL ON THE VERGE. She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. 

Excerpt and giveaway: True Storm by L. E. Sterling

Mittwoch, 28. März 2018


   Today I'm bringing you a short but very exciting excerpt from L.E. Sterling's upcoming release, True Storm, which is the third and final book in the True Born trilogy and comes out May 1st 2018. Additionally, if you live in the US, check out the giveaway below for a paperback copy of True Born, the first book in this trilogy!

True Storm by L.E. Sterling
Expected Publication: May 1st 2018 by Entangled Teen
Number of pages: 400 Pages (Hardcover)

   Lucy’s twin sister, Margot, may be safely back with her—but all is not well in Plague-ravaged Dominion City. The Watchers have come out of hiding, spreading chaos and death throughout the city, and suddenly Lucy finds herself under pressure to choose her future: does it lie with her handsome new friend, Alastair; her guardian, the enigmatic True Born leader Nolan Storm; or the man who makes her heart trip, her savage True Born bodyguard Jared Price?
   But while Lucy ponders her path, fate has other plans. Betrayal is a cruel lesson, and the Fox sisters can hardly believe who is behind the plot against them. To survive this deadly game of politics, Lucy is forced to agree to a marriage of convenience. But is the DNA of her will stronger than the forces opposing her? Can she turn the tide against the oncoming storm??
   As they say in Dominion, can rogue genes ever have a happy ending? (goodreads.com)

   And now, are you ready for the excerpt...? Well, here it is:

   His hands still on my face. “I’m sorry,” I manage to say, trying to control a nervous need to giggle like a hyena. “Are we fighting? Maybe I didn’t notice because it’s all we ever seem to do.”
   A wicked grin lights his features. “That’s not all we seem to do,” he whispers, seconds before he replaces his thumb with his lips.
   It’s a soft kiss at first, tentative. Like someone asking your name. But it lights me up, sending fire shooting through my body, heat curling through my belly. I must sigh because Jared pulls back for just a moment, a question in his eyes and hunger written all over him. Then he claims my lips again, holding my face in his hands as the earth spins away from me.

GIVEAWAY


Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of True Storm by L.E. Sterling today!
add-to-goodreads

About the Author

   L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance to which she remained faithful even through an M.A. in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature – where she completed a thesis on magical representation. She is the author of two previous novels, the cult hit YA novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick), dubbed “the Catcher in the Rye of a new generation” by one reviewer, and the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate. Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van with her father, a hippie musician, her brothers and an occasional stray mutt – inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Review: Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Sonntag, 18. März 2018

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Expected Publication: April 24th 2018 by Wednesday Books
Number of Pages: 352 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.
   Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
   Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
   She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating. (goodreads.com)

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

   That cover, along with the description and the fact that it's a viking inspired YA Fantasy story? I was immediately hooked, and very happy when I saw that I got approved for an ARC. I've never read a book like this before, one that stepped away from your typical fantasy setting of kings and castles and witches, and instead followed two different clans and their beliefs and mentalities.
   Unfortunately I didn't love this nearly as much as I hoped I would, which isn't to say that I disliked it, which I didn't, but certain parts just fell really flat for me. I enjoyed finding out more about the Aska and the Riki, about what made them different, why they fought each other, about Eelyn and the pain she felt over losing her brother, Iri, the bond between her and her clan and her god, Sigr. It was fascinating, and felt different from the stories I've read before this one.
   The world building was intriguing and lush, filled with little details that made the world feel full and lived in. The different rituals and traditions were interesting to read about, as well as the Scandinavian inspired setting.

   A problem I did have was that basically the first half of the story felt like the plot was just kind of happening around Eelyn and she was just kind of dragged along, angry and crying, wanting to do something but not really doing anything to achieve that. It simply felt very reactive. In the last 40% of the book that did change, at least to a certain extend, but something just didn't click for me about Eelyn and her character for a while. She was interesting, don't get me wrong, but there was just so much crying and anger that didn't really do anything much. Of course you can be a fierce warrior and cry, that's totally fine and normal, everyone has a wide range of emotions, but just the sheer amount of it kind of contradicted what she was trying to be portrayed as.
   Fiske was an interesting character, very stoic and hard, harsh and quiet. I liked the scenes between him and Eelyn, as well as Iri. Finding out about how Iri even ended up with the Riki to begin with, how he survived and what happened across the years, it was nice.
   I also liked some of the secondary characters, but most I really didn't care about or didn't trust because of certain signs, that ultimately didn't lead anywhere which was a bit unfortunate. The romance was subtle enough and felt fine, not really the type of romance I'd scream about and swoon but that's okay. The story wasn't about the romance, it was about the clans and fighting and action.

   Speaking of which, Sky in the Deep was very action packed with a lot of fight scenes and blood and chaos. I will admit that at some point I felt tempted to skim some of them because some of those fight scenes just stretched a little too much for my liking and to hold my attention, but I didn't do it. I still read them.
   The writing style was very nice and I enjoyed it a lot. I liked some of the language that was used in the story, the Scandinavian sounding names and places. It made everything come together nicely.

   All in all I enjoyed Sky in the Deep and I would recommend it, even though it wasn't quite what I hoped it would be. I read most of it in one sitting since it's not that long and a relatively quick read. So if you're interested in some YA fantasy with a viking setting, this might be for you.
I give Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Cover reveal: Echoes

Montag, 12. März 2018


   I'm beyond excited for this day, I can't even begin to describe how much I've been waiting to finally be able to reveal the cover for ECHOES. Eleven months ago I signed with Entangled and now the cover is finally here. 
   The cover is honestly everything I ever hoped for and so much more. It fits the story perfectly, the color scheme and general aesthetic is perfect and it just mirrors the mood of the story wonderfully. The cover designers at Entangled Teen did a brilliant job and I honestly couldn't be happier.
   So, without further ado, here is the cover for ECHOES, my YA Thriller!


Echoes by Alice Reeds
Expected Publication: August 7th 2018 by Entangled: Teen
Number of Pages: 400 Pages (Paperback)
Genre: YA Thriller
Pre-order: 
Amazon US / DE / CA 
Book Depository
Barnes and Nobel

   "Fast-paced and thrilling. ECHOES is a heart-pounding and addictive love story." —Mia Siegert, author of Jerkbait
   They wake on a deserted island. Fiona and Miles, high school enemies now stranded together. No memory of how they got there. No plan to follow, no hope to hold on to.
   Each step forward reveals the mystery behind the forces that brought them here. And soon, the most chilling discovery: something else is on the island with them.
   Something that won't let them leave alive.
   Echoes is a thrilling adventure about confronting the impossible, discovering love in the most unexpected places, and, above all, finding hope in the face of the unknown.

   What do you think? Let me know all your thoughts about the cover in the comments below, or via twitter (@Alice_Reeds), because I'm super curious to know if you love the cover just as much as I do. I honestly can't wait for you to read the book in August!

Review: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Samstag, 10. März 2018

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Published: June 27th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books
Number of Pages: 513 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, #1 in the Guide duology (?)

   Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
   But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
   Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores. (goodreads.com)

“God bless the book people for their boundless knowledge absorbed 
from having words instead of friends.”

   Whenever there is a lot of hype around a book, I'm weary of picking it up. Usually extremely hyped books are either a complete flop for me, or prove to be worth every praise. I was prepared to not really be into this, since historical fiction isn't my thing at all, but I was very pleasantly surprised to find myself hooked after just half of the first chapter.
   The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue is hilarious and filled with twists and turns, adventures, action, and cute moments, as well as some that make you want to shake some sense into Monty, the protagonist and POV character. As we follow Monty, his best friend Percy, and Monty's sister, Felicity, across Europe the story turns more and more intriguing and we get to know the 1700's version of Europe, so different than now yet so much more interesting than I honestly expected when going into this, lots of characters and settings that were fascinating and fun to read about.

   "Just thinking about all that blood." I nearly shudder. "Doesn't it make you a bit squeamish?"
   "Ladies haven't the luxury of being squeamish about blood," she replies, and Percy and I go fantastically red in unison.

  I picked up the audiobook version of this, since I was sick and my eyes hurt, and it was the best choice I could've made. The narrator, Christian Coulson, did a brilliant job of nailing Monty's personality and giving all the other characters distinct and fitting voices. It made everything even more fun and Monty seemingly even more snarky and sarcastic than he already was.
   Speaking of which, Monty was such a fun character and he went through quite a bit across the story. Finding out more about his relationship with his father, piece by piece, was heartbreaking yet it explained so much about him. His relationship with Percy was amazingly developed and transformed quite a bit from the beginning to the end of the story, and his pining was honestly everything. Definitely one of the cutest romances I've read about in a while, hands down. Felicity was also a brilliant character, and I'm so happy there will be a sequel with her as main character. She was strong and smart in ways I hadn't seen coming at the start of the story. She went and smashed through all social norms for girls at the time, a fierce feminist, and I was so here for it. The secondary characters were very well developed, for the most part, and I would've loved to find out more about some of them, especially the pirates.

“Against the sky, the stars crown him, marking the edges of his 
silhouette like he is a constellation of himself.”

   The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue is an amazing read, but despite its air of hilariousness, quick wit, sass, and adventure, it also deals with more serious topics such as child abuse, illness, ablism and racism. As much as for Monty it's no big deal that Percy has dark skin, since they grew up together and everything, it was sad to see how other characters looked at, treated, and spoke to Percy, see Monty slowly realize that not everyone thought the way he did and that the lives of non-white people were so very different than the life of privilege he grew up in.
   There was also the fact that Felicity was interested in medicine, wanted to go to school and get a proper eduction, but school for girls didn't really include any of that eduction she craved. I loved reading about how Monty got to know a side of his sister he didn't think she had, realize that she wasn't reading stupid romance novels but actually soaked up anything about science and educational she could get her hands on, hiding it behind the covers of romance novels so she wouldn't be questioned about it.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to go courting trouble, is all.”
“We’re not courting trouble,” I say. “Flirting with it, at most.”

   All in all The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue was more than worth all the hype it received and I don't know why it took me so long to finally read it. It was the perfect blend of a brilliant lead trio, an adventurous and intriguing plot, a historical setting, and just a whole lot of fun. I never thought I'd love a historical fiction book just this much, but this one completely blew me away and I couldn't stop listening to it. So good! I definitely recommend it!
I give The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee 5 out of 5 stars!

Most Anticipated 2018 Reads (Part 1)

Donnerstag, 1. Februar 2018

   Hey everyone!
   As always, to no one surprise really, I'm totally late to the game and posting this about a month late but, hey, at least I am posting it so that should have to count for something. Anyway, today I want to talk about all the releases of the first half of 2018 that I am looking forward to. In typical me fashion most of them are either YA contemporaries or sci-fi, which just goes to show once again how those two might be my favorite genres currently.
   Among all these books there is of course one that I am looking forward the most, for totally none obvious reasons *loud coughing*, which is a YA Thriller that you should totally consider checking out and maybe even pre-order.
   Anyhow, lets jump right into my list:

Published: January 9th 2018 by Disney-Hyperion
Number of Pages: 336 Pages (Hardcover)
YA Sci-Fi

   I really, really enjoyed These Broken Stars from this amazing duo so I can't wait so see what they've come up with this time. I mean anything YA sci-fi from this duo is basically a must buy tbh. 

* * *
Expected Publication: February 6th 2018 by Entangled: Teen
Number of Pages: 300 Pages (Hardcover)
YA Fantasy (?)

   I've been meaning to read some kind of circus related or centric book for ages and this seems like a good one to start off with. Curses/charms and traveling across Texas, figuring how to break said curses etc, sign me up! It definitely sounds like a fun read.

* * *
Expected Publication: March 6th 2018 by Delacorte Press
Number of Pages: 352 Pages (Hardcover)
YA Contemporary

   This one sounds absolutely fantastic and that color is amazing, so colorful and pretty. A story containing music as its central piece and some kind of tragedy sticking and almost tearing a group of friends apart? Now that's guaranteed to be an emotional read and, honestly, I'm all about that.

* * *
Expected Publication: March 8th 2018 by Electric Monkey
Number of Pages: 352 Pages (Paperback)
YA Contemporary

  This one sounds amazing, exciting and just like a truly intriguing read I certainly want to get my hands on. Also that cover is, again, gorgeous and I am simply weak for books with pretty covers (than again, isn't everyone?).

* * *
Expected Publication: March 13th 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 608 Pages (Hardcover)
YA Sci-Fi

   It's absolutely no secret that I LOVE The Illuminae Files trilogy so I cannot wait to have Obsidio in my hands, have it on my shelf next to Illuminae and Gemina, and to read it, obviously. I'm always a bit weary of trilogy finales since there is a lot of room for left down expectations, accidentally left unanswered questions or not sufficiently or convincingly, but I have A LOT of faith into Amie and Jay that this will be just as brilliant as the previous two books, easy.

* * *
Expected Publication: March 20th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 480 Pages (Hardcover)
YA Magical Realism

   A story set in Taiwan containing magical realism, angst, and feels, sign me up. Usually I'm not big on magical realism but this one sounds absolutely amazing, and reading books set in countries I've never been to, getting to know different cultures and lives, if that doesn't sound great, I don't know what does. I'm definitely very intrigued.

***
Expected Publication: April 10th 2018 by Disney-Hyperion
Number of Pages: 368 Pages (Hardcover)
YA Contemporary

   This sounds absolutely amazing and I simply need it. Family secrets that get uncovered and friendships that might potentially be more than that, hi, yes, I'm in need! And that cover, yes!

* * *
Expected Publication: May 1st 2018 by Freeform
Number of Pages: 384 Pages (Hardcover)
YA Contemporary

   Now THIS one just speaks straight to my fangirl heart and grabbed my attention immediately. It just sounds like such a fun story that's inspired by probably every fangirls dream--meeting the cast of whatever you are a fangirl of--but also nightmare--things turning out to be different than your shipper heart thought. I'm definitely curious how the show will handle the discussion of fannon vs cannon, and generally the whole issue of fans having certain expectations and how the show runners deal with the moments when expectations aren't met or things just go downhill for whatever reason. I need this like yesterday, tbh!

* * *
Expected Publication: May 15th 2018 by HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 432 Pages (Hardcover)
YA Contemporary

   A story about a group of teens being fans of a certain author and somehow ending up in said author's next book with horrible consequences, and all that told through interviews, diary entries and more? Yes please! I love books that use alternative narrative methods, and honestly this one just sounds fantastic!

* * *
Expected Publication: May 29th 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 416 Pages (Hardcover)
YA Sci-Fi

   While I'm not into the cover, the book itself sounds so interesting and intriguing, and also pretty damn epic. Besides I have a lot of faith in Jay Kristoff and his writing after loving The Illuminae Files (even if those were co-authored).

* * *
The Body Paradox by Natasha Neagle
Expected Publication: June 4th 2018 by Entangled Teen
Number of Pages: TBA
YA Sci-Fi

   This sounds pretty damn amazing if you ask me, and also I certainly am bias towards the enemies to lovers trope (obviously) so that only adds more to this. Also the idea of sharing a body with another person, hi, I'm intrigued, so I need this like today.

* * *

Expected Publication: June 5th 2018 by Entangled Teen
Number of Pages: 400 (Paperback)
YA Thriller

   ECHOES is the story of two high school enemies finding themselves stranded on a mysterious and deadly island where nothing is quite as it seems, not even reality. I am very much bias, since this is my own book, but this is definitely the book I'm looking forward to most and I seriously cannot wait for you guys to pick it up and read it. This story has been my brain child of years and I just truly hope you'll love it just as much as I do.

* * *
Expected Publication: June 7th 2018 by Orchard Books
Number of Pages: 300 Pages (Paperback)
YA Contemporary

   As someone who loves PaperFury's blog (and twitter) I am really curious for her book. I have really high hopes for it and can't wait to read it! Also it contains music and has a pretty cover, that's already two very convincing arguments for me, plus it surely also has all the feels and is an emotional read, so basically all my favorite things in one place (which sounds awful, doesn't it?).

* * *
Expected Publication: June 12th 2018 by HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 432 Pages (Hardcover)
YA Contemporary

   I loved Lovely, Dark and Deep, and Amy is basically a auto-buy author for me because of it, so like me being excited for this one is basically a given. I need it in my life asap even though I'm sure it'll be just as much of an emotional read as her debut.

* * *

   And that's it! If I actually manage to read even half of these in 2018 I'll be very proud of myself tbh. Which books are you looking forward to the most? Let me know down below or via twitter (@Alice_Reeds).