Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeline Kuderick @harperteen

Author: Madeline Kuderick
Title: Kiss of Broken Glass
Publication: September 9, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 224 pp.
Source: Publisher

Madeleine Kuderick’s gripping debut is a darkly beautiful and lyrical novel in verse, perfect for fans of Sonya Sones and Laurie Halse Anderson. Kiss of Broken Glass pulses with emotion and lingers long after the last page.

In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment.

"Just one cut to feel alive..."
" Just one cut and you can breathe."
When I began reading this book, it reminded me of Anderson's book Wintergirls and I could see similarities between Kenna and the main character in that book. The need for love and acceptance rings true in this book and that one. Kenna hides her cutting but she also wants someone to notice that she's not alright. She's always been an outsider, so when she meets Rennie, she feels apart of something. Her first cut seals the deal, she feels a rush and can't stop her need for that next high. 
" Purging all the broken bits out of me 
like a tsunami washing debris to the shore"

" I feel the calm,
the bliss,
the sheer weightlessness of zero worry...

And I want this feeling to last forever."
Kenna's ousted in the school bathroom and ends up in a facility where they keep her for a few days to help her and to make sure she won't harm herself more. She meets another girl like her named Skylar, who in a way helps her begin to see things a little differently. I liked Kenna and understood her struggle and her want to belong. Even in just a matter of days she changes but it the war she has between wanting to fit in and being strong enough to stand alone as her own person without someone else influencing her. The story's written in verse and flows so well that I really didn't notice but it paints the picture of Kenna's internal battle so perfectly. I could actually feel her addiction. Overall, the characters and story are realistic and true. The writing is beautiful and quick, I flew through it within a couple of hours. This is a story that will make you really step into the life of the character and come out with a completely alternate perspective on depression and cutting.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blast & Giveaway: Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton

When a daredevil teen pushes herself too far, she must choose between two boys: the one who wants to keep her safe, and the one who dares her to return to her old self.

Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a family of risk takers and is an avid thrill-seeker herself, until the day she splinters her ankle in a terrible fall. Her whole life goes from mountain biking and rock climbing to sitting at home and attending group sessions at the bizarre alternative healing center that her hippie mother found. The boy who witnessed Dyna’s accident believes her injury is a wakeup call and he encourages her mild new lifestyle, but a young Afghanistan War veteran she meets at the healing center pushes her to start taking chances again. Forced to face the consequences of her daredevil impulses, Dyna finds herself in danger of risking the one thing she’s always treated with caution—her heart.

Laurie Boyle Crompton is the YA author of BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) and THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH (Sourcebooks, 2013 & 2014) as well as the upcoming ADRENALINE CRUSH from Farrar Straus Giroux. Laurie graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a major in English and minor in Journalism. She’s written for national magazines like ALLURE as well as numerous trade publications and has appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. Yes, that is an actual thing that people sometimes get to be.

When she’s not writing Laurie enjoys hiking, cycling, reading, cross-country skiing, running, going to the movies and drinking tea by the gallon. She lives near NYC, but loves to escape to the mountains in New Paltz, NY where she and her family can often be found climbing over rocks or tromping through the forest. She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Agency.


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Waiting on Wednesday #65: Pirate's Alley by Suzanne Johnson

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Pirate's Alley by Suzanne Johnson
Expected Release: April 2015

Synopsis:Wizard sentinel DJ Jaco thought she had gotten used to the chaos of her life in post-Katrina New Orleans, but a new threat is looming, one that will test every relationship she holds dear.

Caught in the middle of a rising struggle between the major powers in the supernatural world—the Wizards, Elves, Vampires and the Fae—DJ finds her loyalties torn and her mettle tested in matters both professional and personal.

Her relationship with enforcer Alex Warin is shaky, her non-husband, Quince Randolph, is growing more powerful, and her best friend, Eugenie, has a bombshell that could blow everything to Elfheim and back. And that's before the French pirate, Jean Lafitte, newly revived from his latest "death," returns to New Orleans with vengeance on his mind. DJ's assignment? Keep the sexy leader of the historical undead out of trouble. Good luck with that.

Duty clashes with love, loyalty with deception, and friendship with responsibility as DJ navigates passion and politics in the murky waters of a New Orleans caught in the grips of a brutal winter that might have nothing to do with Mother Nature.

War could be brewing, and DJ will be forced to take a stand. But choosing sides won't be that easy.
What book are you looking forward to reading?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Blast & Giveaway: Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid

The explosive conclusion to the series reviewers have likened to Ender’s Game and “Hogwarts-in-Space”

This exhilarating, explosive, and heartrending conclusion to the Insignia trilogy brings Tom and his intelligent, passionate, and brave young friends stunning tests and dangerous confrontations and through to an impossible future they could never have predicted.

Tom Raines and his friends are eager to return to the Pentagonal Spire to continue training for the elite Intrasolar Forces, but they soon discover troubling changes: strict new regulations and the revelation that the Spire is under new military control. What begins as an irritating adjustment soon reveals a dangerous shift in reality. Those now in control are aligned with corporate sponsors and their ruthless agendas. And when the military academy begins welcoming new cadets with suspicious neural processors, the first step in a plan with horrifying worldwide ramifications, Tom is desperate to stop it, even if that means keeping secrets from his closest allies.

Then a mysterious figure, the other ghost in the machine, begins fighting against the corporations, but with methods even Tom finds shocking. And when the enemy comes for Tom, how much can Tom endure in the battle to save himself? He must decide if he can still fight when the odds of success seem to be sliding from his grip.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland, that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex came out in July of 2013. The final book in the INSIGNIA trilogy will come out in Fall of 2014.Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Blitz & Giveaway: Diamonds in the Rough by Michelle Madow @michellemadow @harlequinteen

Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2)
Release Date: 10/28/14
Harlequin Teen
Summary from Goodreads:
All-access doesn't mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Sisterhood, first crushes, and scandalous secrets explode in book two of Michelle Madow's riveting series, The Secret Diamond Sisters.

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At fifteen years old, Savannah is the youngest Diamond sister. Her older sisters have sheltered her for her entire life. Despite her rough upbringing, she’s optimistic and wants to think the best of people, although this can sometimes lead to her coming off as naïve. She wants to fit in at school, but has always felt like an outsider. She tends to feel overshadowed by the people around her. She trusts easily, and it sometimes leads to her getting hurt, but she’s always there for her sisters and friends when they need her!

Savannah loves singing, and has a fantastic voice, so it’s her ultimate dream to be a famous pop star. She’s been stage fright since a talent show disaster in middle school, but wants to record cover songs and post them on YouTube to try to get a following, like the YouTube stars she idolizes. She also plays guitar, but is self-taught, so she’s still learning how to improve. She mainly plays to accompany herself while singing. She’s athletic, and played on the JV volleyball team in her school in her hometown. She hopes to make Varsity as a sophomore.

She loves shopping and wearing anything that sparkles—dresses, nail polish, shoes, eye shadow, you name it! She loves reading fashion magazines and trying to duplicate the high-end styles worn by the models. Her favorite meal of the day is breakfast, and her favorite food is pancakes. Savannah has never had a serious boyfriend, and wants more than anything to believe that true love is possible! 

Sequel to:
(cover linked to Goodreads)

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About the Author
Michelle Madow was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters series while walking through her favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The next book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, launches in October. Prior to The Secret Diamond Sisters, she successfully self-published The Transcend Time Saga. A tireless promoter of her work, Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. A graduate of Rollins College, Michelle lives in Florida ... but she loves going to Vegas.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, joinMichelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook!

Author Links:
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Friday, October 3, 2014

Tour Excerpt & Giveaway: Sweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell

A world where souls walk free and dreams become portals to the past…

Lucy Aimes has always been practical. But even her rational mind can't explain her dark and familiar dreams of a time long ago, filled with people she shouldn't know, but does. When her family moves to New Orleans, Lucy's dreams suddenly become more intense. Reluctantly drawn into the old city's mystical undercurrent, she searches for answers about the nighttime visions that haunt her.

What Lucy finds is Alex, a mysterious boy who behaves as if they've known each other forever. They've only just met, and she shouldn't be drawn to him, but she is. As she tries to unlock Alex's secrets, a killer strikes close to home and a century-old vendetta unspools, putting Lucy and everyone she loves in mortal danger.

My dad gave a shrill whistle to get everyone’s attention. After introducing himself, he launched into his plans for the property, the new developments that would be coming, and some of the changes the University was going to make so the plantation would become more than just another tourist trap on the River Road.
I couldn’t help but grin as I watched him go on and on. He had been waiting for an opportunity like this since before I was born, and I could tell by the way his whole body seemed to come alive as he talked, he was finally where he needed to be. My own discomfort for the summer, I realized, was a small price to pay for the happiness we were giving him.
I lifted my camera to document the moment, but as I centered him in the viewfinder, my vision blurred, and for a moment, the picture changed. My dad’s mop of reddish hair and lanky body shifted into someone else, someone broader and darker with hooded eyes and a tight, angry mouth. I blinked and the scene shifted back. Dizzy from the vision, I put the camera down and stared at my dad again, but everything was as it should be. The sun was hot and the sky was a clear blue, but a feeling of dread still pricked across my skin. I shook my head to clear it and then I looked over the crowd to see if I could find any better shots to distract myself from the strange sensation that had washed over me.
That’s when I saw him.
He was standing slightly apart from the rest of the employees, leaning against one of the ancient, tangled oaks that lined the wide alley leading up to the main house. Maybe it was the way he held himself, apart and confident, but where most of the other guys in the crowd wore the styles of an earlier century like kids playing dress up, this guy’s clothing seemed to suit him.
And then I really looked at his face, and my breath caught in my throat. Above sculpted cheekbones, his eyes were fringed by dark, thick lashes that softened his otherwise angular face. His lazy tumble of honey-colored hair glinted like molten gold in the sun. He had an almost aristocratic beauty. It might have been a cold beauty, but the warm glow of his sun-bronzed skin balanced the rest of his features.
But he was tense. The way the slash of his mouth was set in a hard line over his strong, sharp chin was completely at odds with the way he casually lounged against the tree. Occasionally, his eyes would tighten in what might have been anger...or maybe pain. I wondered what it was that put such a dangerous look on his face.
Then he looked up and saw me, and our eyes locked.
And I felt my world shift. I couldn’t look away from him.
His face softened then. The tension left his jaw, his lips parted slightly, and he tilted his head to the side as he examined me. He seemed confused, like he was trying to put together a difficult puzzle as his gaze swept slowly over my body—down my rumpled outfit to my worn shoes and then back up again. His eyes narrowed as they met mine again. I was about to turn away, uncomfortable under his scrutiny, but all at once, his eyes—a green so vibrant and true that the color was clear even from that distance—danced with amusement.
Embarrassed to be caught starring, and even more embarrassed by the laughter in his eyes, I turned away so I could breathe again. I willed my heart to slow back down, took a few deep breaths to steady myself, and turned back.
But he was gone.

About the Author: Lisa Maxwell is the author of Sweet Unrest   (Flux, Fall 2014) and Heartless Things (Simon Pulse, Spring 2016). She has a PhD in English, and when she's not writing books, she’s a professor at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.
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