Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Review: Antisocial by Heidi Cullinan

Title: Antisocial
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Publication Date: August 8, 2017

Synopsis: A single stroke can change your world. 

Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten College to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour.

Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.

Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.

Review: This book absolutely warmed my heart. I fell in love with the story and the characters, and was so happy with the representation in this novel. At the very core, this was a story about being true to yourself and being happy. It tells us that our families are made up of the people who love and support us even if they're not related by blood or law. It tells the reader these truths through the relationship of Xavier and Skylar. These two were adorable and I loved watching them grow as people and grow together as a couple. Heidi Cullinan captured Xavier's passion for art so beautifully and had me aching to see the paintings she described. Just as beautiful was watching Skylar shed his false exterior and accept who he really was. This was my first time reading about a character who falls on the ace/gray spectrum and I hope to read more in the future. I was also drawn into the setting- Benten College, which is absolutely drenched in Japanese culture. Xavier and Skylar's group of friends were charming, and while some were more developed than others, they became family over the course of the book. My favorites were Zelda, a fierce friend of Xavier's from the beginning who is unafraid of anything and Unc, a wonderfully cheerful fraternity brother of Skylar's who was always willing to lend a helping hand. Overall, I absolutely loved this book and hope I get to read more about these characters again someday.

An ARC was provided by the author through NetGalley.

Rating: 5/5 stars

-Kristen ♥

Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Spotlight: The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night (Author Interview)

Title: The Crowns of Croswald
Author: D.E. Night
Series: Croswald, #1
Publisher: Stories Untold Press
Publication Date: July 21, 2017

Synopsis: In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret…

For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic––and her life––is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.

About the Author: D.E. Night lives, dreams, and writes in South Florida amid her menagerie––two dogs and two cats––with her husband. “The Crowns of Croswald” is her first book. She draws inspiration from silver-screen storytellers, magical imaginings, and her younger brothers. A day spent in Croswald, or another whimsical world, is her favorite kind of day.

A post shared by Kristen (@kmichelle1) on
The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night arrived along with some amazing goodies! I am absolutely in love with my gorgeous glowing glanagerie bottle and I am excited to dive into this fantasy story to learn more it's magical properties. :)

Author Interview:

1. What inspired you to write The Crowns of Croswald

I have always found joy in being creative, art projects and things like that. But more than that, I’ve always loved stories, mostly my favorite animated movies. I’m a Disney fanatic. My draw toward fantasy and my creative drive sort of forced me to start writing. For me, it’s not just about the writing, it’s about creating characters, designing scenes, and imagining everything and anything magical. Croswald is basically me in a book––fairy tale with an edge. I love fashion, fairy tales, anything that sparkles, and I especially love magic.

2. What was your favorite part about creating the world of Croswald?

I’m so grateful to be one of those people that really truly loves what they’re doing. My favorite part of this whole experience is seeing pieces of my world come to life, whether in the form of illustrations or being able to hold a physical book in hand. It’s like a dream. I also love the process of creating characters and naming them. I have a lot of fun with that.

3. Tell us more about creating a character. What sort of process do you go through? 

Well, I don’t know if it’s a process exactly. It always seems sort of like randominspiration. For example, eating dinner beside my 11-year-old brother who loves butter and bread. Emphasis on the butter. Readers get to meet Woodley Butterlove and understand how my little brother inspired such a character.

4. Ivy is a strong, inspirational character. How do you think she grows throughout the book, and what would you like the reader to take away from that? 

I think a lot of people’s natural talent is hindered by self-doubt. I think for Ivy Lovely, the first book is all about discovery and uncovering her hidden talents. It’s all about taking that first step and trusting your gut. I like to think that her first stride across the slurry fields may speak to a reader waiting to take the first step in their own adventure. Everyone should get the chance to step into something magical.

5. As a debut author, what surprised you most about the writing process for The Crowns of Croswald

Probably my patience. I think people often get deterred by the time it takes to complete something. It’s taken me three and a half years to get to this point and I was surprised by how calm I was throughout the whole process. Excited, but calm.

6. This is the first book in a series. Without giving too much away, what do you have in store for your readers as the series evolves? 

Of course, readers will get to join Ivy on her adventures of discovery through Croswald, full of weird and whacky character. Also a lot of magic and new inventions. The final show down with the dark Queen is going to be spectacular!

7. Your love of magic and fantasy is apparent in your writing. How did your love of magic develop? 

I spent every birthday visiting theme parks with my best friends. My mom would pick us up early from school and we’d spend a day in a place of total imagination. That world offantasy seemed so vibrant and I always dreamed of creating a place one day where people can visit. When I wrote, I always wrote keeping that in mind. Where can people visit? What can they see when they go there? Like I said, I love being creative and writing a book seemed the perfect fit. Besides being a Disney fanatic, I love that, with magic, anything is possible.

8. The Crowns of Croswald follows the adventures of Ivy Lovely, a strong heroine who is full of spirit and unwavering courage. Can you tell us more about her and how her character came about? 

The reader meets Ivy when she’s unsure, held back, and lonely. Through the course of The Crowns of Croswald, we get to see Ivy become who she is meant to be: impulsive but smart, studious but adventurous. She doesn’t know it yet, but those are the very traits that will save her kingdom. She trusts her gut and that gets her pretty far in life, but she learns to ask for help along the way. Most importantly, she’s compassionate and funny: two must-haves in any friend, in my opinion.

9. If you could give readers one message to inspire them from your book, what would it be? 

Believe in the magic of your dreams.

-Kristen ♥

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Review: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

Title: Noteworthy
Author: Riley Redgate
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Synopsis: It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which—in the musical theatre world—is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight.

Then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped ... revered ... all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

Review: I absolutely loved this book! First, it features one of my favorite tropes; girls disguising themselves as boys to go after something they want. And second, it has a diverse cast of characters that I completely adored. Our protagonist, Jordan Sun, attends this elite boarding school for the arts; but because she doesn't fit any of the roles she auditions for, she never gets casted. That's when Jordan decides to take matters into her own hands, disguising herself as Julian in order to audition for her school's most popular a cappella group, the Sharpshooters. I loved this group of boys, but my absolute favorites were Isaac and Nihal, who grew the closest to J. I loved reading the lyrics of the songs they were performing and it was amazing getting to listen to the songs come to life on Riley Redgate’s website! Overall, this book was fun, inclusive, and aca-mazing! 

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

-Kristen ♥

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Once Upon A Mattress

Hey guys! So the wonderful people over at Leesa challenged me to make a post about how to spend the perfect lazy day in bed. And since I'm pretty much an expert at staying in (soooo much better than going out) here's my tips:

1. Find a Cozy Spot

This place isn't called The Cozy Reading Corner for nothing. You need a nice, comfy spot to park you butt and spend the day. Whether that be your bed, the couch, or a pallet on the floor, get cozy!

2. Obtain Yummy Snacks

Some people prefer a good cup of tea/coffee but that's never been my thing. Instead, I'd prefer to have a yummy snack. I love anything chocolate, chips, popcorn, cookies, this list could on and on.

3. Pajama Party

Strip down or bundle up. Just make sure you're wearing something comfy!

4. Get your Entertainment

Here's the really fun part! All you need to do is find something you love to do. You can read the next book on your TBR, catch up on your fave TV show, knit a cool scarf, color to your heart's content. Do whatever makes you happy!

(Optional) 5. Snuggle Buddy

For me, a day in just isn't complete without snuggling with my very best friend, Mia. If you have your own fur baby, then make sure to get some snuggles in.

-Kristen ♥

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Cover Reveal: Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings

Title: Zenith
Authors: Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
Series: The Androma Saga, #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: August 1, 2017

Synopsis: From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings comes the first book in The Androma Saga, full of action, fantastical intrigue and steamy star-crossed romance 

Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she's just Andi, their friend and fearless leader.

But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder's all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situationand at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi's past.

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their shipor just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

About the Authors: Sasha Alsberg is the #1 NYT Bestselling Co-Author of ZENITH: The Androma Saga. When Sasha is not writing or obsessing over Scotland she is making YouTube videos on her channel Abookutopia. For her writing, she is represented by Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary and is represented on YouTube by Brian Lieberman at Studio71.

Lindsay Cummings is the #1 NYT Bestselling Co-Author of ZENITH: The Androma Saga. She is also the 24-year-old author of THE MURDER COMPLEX duology and THE BALANCE KEEPERS trilogy for HarperCollins. She lives in North Texas, where she writes full time. Lindsay is represented by Pete Knapp at Park Literary & Media.

AND NOW, for the awesome cover....

-Kristen ♥

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cover Reveal: 27 Hours by Tristina Wright

Title: 27 Hours
Author: Tristina Wright
Series: The Nightside Saga, #1
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: October 3, 2017

Synopsis: Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish. 

But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.

Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother's shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon's darkest secret.

They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.

During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.

27 Hours is a sweeping, thrilling story featuring a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero.

About the Author: Tristina Wright is a blue-haired bisexual with anxiety and opinions. She’s also possibly a mermaid, but no one can get confirmation. She fell in love with science fiction and fantasy at a young age and frequently got caught writing in class instead of paying attention. She enjoys worlds with monsters and kissing and monsters kissing. She married a nerd who can build computers and make the sun shine with his smile. Most days, she can be found drinking coffee from her favorite chipped mug and making up more stories for her wombfruit, who keep life exciting and unpredictable. Still trying to figure out the mermaid thing.

AND NOW, for the awesome cover.....

-Kristen ♥

Trailer Reveal: Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Till Death
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: February 28, 2017

Synopsis: In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . . 

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

About the Author: #1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Book Trailer:

-Kristen ♥

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Cover Reveal: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Synopsis: Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

About the Author: Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

AND NOW, for the absolutely beautiful cover....

-Kristen ♥
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