Wednesday, January 17, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Grit by Gillian French

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Title: Grit
Author: Gillian French
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Pages: 304
Pub Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Book Source: Publisher sent for review
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars



**POSSIBLE SPOILERS**

Synopsis: His presence beside me is like heat, like weight, something I’ve carried around on my back too long.

It’s summer in rural Maine; when seventeen-year-old Darcy Prentiss isn’t raking berries with her sister, Mags, and cousin, Nell, during the day, she’s drinking and swimming with the boys in the quarry by night. She knows how to have a good time, just like anyone else, but when you’ve been designated the town slut, every move you make seems to further solidify your “trashy girl” reputation.

But the fun is what’s been keeping Darcy’s mind off the things she can’t forget: a disturbing secret she shares with Nell, the mysterious disappearance of her ex-best friend, and that hazy Fourth of July party that ended with Darcy drunk, on her back, wondering how she let it get this far.

Then someone in town anonymously nominates Darcy to be in the running for Bay Festival Princess—a cruel, almost laughable gesture that can only be the work of someone with a score to settle. Everything Darcy has been trying to keep down comes bubbling to the surface in ways she wasn’t prepared to handle…and isn’t sure if she can.
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Alright, here we go!

This was my FIRST read of 2018, and I was happy with it!

Grit takes place in a small town in Maine. Our protagonist is 17-year-old Darcy. It is the summer before senior year and Darcy is trying to focus on her summer job raking berries and dealing with her family drama.

Darcy is seen as the town “slut”—a title I am not really sure she even earned. It seems as if she really only had sex with a few boys, if even that. I suppose it has something to do with the guy the focus is put on in the book—a popular idiot who thinks it is cool to brag about having sex with a drunk girl who may not have even said yes to him. Just saying. I haven't seen anyone mention this in a review yet, but it's sort of a big deal that the jerk may have raped her. However, it wasn't a focus in the book. He's basically just a fuckwad that taunts Darcy throughout the book about the ONE TIME they had sex/fooled around.

Anywho, Darcy gained a bad rep from this and is frequently slut-shamed in the book, and not just by her peers. She is even denied a job due to her reputation around town—the owner calling it a “family” business. Ugh. If you don't know this about me, I loathe slut-shaming. I find it an absolute disgusting double standard. Needless to say, I immediately had a soft spot for Darcy. She is a great character. Even with all the crap she gets, she is a strong female lead. She doesn't really care what people say about her and is able to remain strong through most of it.

Now, this book revolves around a mystery. A girl (who happens to be Darcy's ex-best friend) went missing the previous summer. They never found her and they never had any leads to follow. This plot is intermixed with Darcy's personal plotline. Someone she knows is involved and it is quite the twist!

As for the mystery itself, it was well done! I do think there were some loose threads, but overall, things were wrapped up pretty well. The build-up was fantastic and paced nicely. I was definitely in whodunit mode.

There is also a budding romance in this book. Darcy meets a boy at her summer job and things start to go in a direction she isn't used to. Being coined the town slut, understandably so, makes it tough for Darcy to gauge whether or not a guy just wants her for more than just sex. Thankfully, this guy is a good one. The romance isn't really a part of the main storyline, but more of a supporting plotline. It just makes things a little more interesting. I liked the addition.

Overall, this book is about secrets. Family, town, interpersonal—secrets and lies running amok. I enjoyed the book. I was pretty invested in Darcy as a character and I think she was able to come out on top in the end. Learn a lesson or two, and all that. I definitely recommend it if you enjoy a YA contemporary with a couple of plots twists and a bit of romance.
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Cover Reveal ~ COVET by Micalea Smeltzer

PRESENTED BY XPRESSO BOOK TOURS
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Covet
by Micalea Smeltzer


On the run from the Iniquitous, Mara feels lost and helpless. Without Theo by her side she’s left bare and vulnerable, but she’s a fighter and, with blood boiling in her veins, she vows to avenge him.

The Iniquitous have already taken so much from her, and she refuses to sit back and let them take anything else. She trains harder, preparing herself physically and mentally to take them on. As her magic grows stronger, so does the voice speaking to her from beyond the grave.

She wants to believe it’s real, to give in to what feels right, but if she does, her mind might be lost forever.

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Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
• Pub Date: TBA
Add the book on Goodreads!
Purchase: n/a

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Hi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point. I have an unhealthy addiction to Diet Coke but I can’t seem to break the habit. I listen to way too much music and hedgehogs have taken over my life. Crazy is the word that best sums up my life, but it’s the good kind of crazy and I wouldn’t change it for anything.





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Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

{Blog Tour} THE VANISHING SPARK OF DUST by Sara Baysinger—Excerpt + Giveaway

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The Vanishing Spark of Dust
by Sara Baysinger


Stand up.

When Lark is stolen from Earth to be a slave on the planet Tavdora, she’s determined to find her way back home to her family, no matter the cost. Placed in the household of a notorious slave trader, Lark quickly learns her best assets are her eyes and ears. And if she’s brave enough, her voice.

Be heard.

Kalen is the Tavdorian son of a slave trader and in line to inherit his father’s business. But his growing feelings for Lark, the new house slave who dares to speak of freedom, compel him to reveal his new plan for the slave ships returning to Earth—escape. Together, they just might spark a change that flares across the universe.

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Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Add the book on Goodreads!
Purchase: Amazon - B&N - Kobo

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“What have we here. A runaway?”
I can’t think. In my panic I can hardly breathe—
“Easy there.” His voice is lucid and smooth, not rough and unkind like I imagined it would be. He releases me. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
The first scattered thought that crosses my mind when I look at him is, hes not really too different from Humans. I mean, apart from being exceptionally tall, he really could pass for a Human. His tanned face is clean-shaven, and when he smiles, dimples appear. Dark feathery hair the color of molasses curls around two pointed ears. Amusement flickers in his eyes—and for the first time I notice the strange color of them. They’re not crazy at all, the way Johnson described. They have a purple hue, soft and deep like lilacs. Never look them in the eye. One of Johnson’s many lessons. I avert my gaze.
“What are you doing outside the plantation?” His voice is not accusing but slightly curious. “You shouldnt be out here unless you have a death wish. Correct?”
My stomach drops. Yes. He thinks Im a slave. This could be good.
Or really bad.
I glance at the sky, think of something to say, but every Tavdorian word Ive ever learned has decided to take a vacation.
“The sunset,” I finally say in his language. “You can get the best view from here.” Its the weakest excuse ever, but itll buy me some time.
“The sunset?” He crosses his arms, and I notice how strong he is, his forearms corded in muscle.“You risked your life leaving the plantation…for a sunset?”
One swallow. Two blinks. “It’s worth it, don’t you think?” I gesture toward the sky, now turning a deep shade of crimson.
He swivels his eyes toward the sunset, then back at me. A confused smile forms on his two perfect lips, and I briefly wonder if all Tavdorians are this good-looking or if I’ve officially lost my mind.
“Alno must be lenient. Not many slaves get the privilege of enjoying a sunset.”
My heartbeat spikes. Look away. Johnson told me Tavdorians never speak civilly to Humans. Its all orders and reprimands. So why is this one speaking to me? Why isn’t he reacting in anger at my “privilege”?
“But you don’t have to worry about a lashing from me.” The Tavdorian steps closer, and my shoulders stiffen. He’s so tall my head barely reaches his chest. If he thought I was a runaway, he could easily swing me over his shoulder and carry me to the plantation himself.
“What do you want with me?” The question comes out in a breathless whisper. I allow myself to peek up at him. He stares back, his eyes sparking with curiosity.
“Simple conversation would be enough.”
A conversation. With a Tavdorian. There’s nothing simple about that.
“You don’t need to tremble so much. I’m not going to harm you.” He waves his hand in the air. “Or tell on you for running away.”
“Thank you,” I manage to whisper, realizing after I speak the words that I just confirmed his suspicion.
“I would suggest you run with more resources, though. Food. Water.” His eyes drift over my threadbare tunic, and he frowns. “Layers of clothing, perhaps.”
“I’m fine, really.”
“Do you know how to hunt?”
I’m starting to wonder if this is an interrogation.
He narrows his eyes and lowers his voice a notch. “Or are you meeting with other runaways? I heard there were two who ran from the plantation. Alno must have a terrible time keeping his fence intact.”
I can’t speak. My mouth has been bolted shut, my fear threatening to choke me.
He sighs and drags his hand through his hair. “This conversation is seriously getting boring. You can either speak to me like a civil…being. Or you can walk away and leave me hanging, wondering who the mysterious copper-haired runaway was that I met on the riverbank.”
My brain screams at me to walk away, but this Tavdorian isn’t the only curious one here.


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My name is Sara Baysinger and I write books. I was born in the heart of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador where I spent my early life exploring uncharted lands on horseback and raising chickens. I now make my home among the endless cornfields of Indiana with my husband and two children…and I still raise chickens. My dystopian novel BLACK TIGER was self-published in 2016, with books 2 & 3 published in 2017. When not getting lost in a book, I can be found gardening, devouring chocolate, and running off the sugar-high from said chocolate.

I’m currently working on an upcoming science fiction romance novel that will release with Entangled Teen, an imprint of Entangled Publishing.




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Continue on for the giveaway! ~

Sunday, January 14, 2018

BEST OF 2017 GIVEAWAY HOP: Enter to win one of my top 5 books of the year!



 
BEST OF 2017
GIVEAWAY HOP

As always, very huge thanks to our hop host:
Mary @ Bookhounds






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~MY  GIVEAWAY~
I am giving away, to 2 winners, their choice of one book listed below!
These are 5 of my top books for 2017.
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Final Girls by Riley Sager
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
 History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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International entries are welcome! My full giveaway terms can be viewed here. Please take a peek before entering if you have any questions or are unsure of anything. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below (after the page break)! ^-^


DON'T FORGET TO VISIT THE REST OF THE BLOGS/SITES PARTICIPATING! ^-^
>> CLICK HERE <<

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Good luck & thanks for visiting!
Happy Reading!