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Sep 232014
 

Title: Blood of My Blood
Series: Jasper Dent #3
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: September 9, 2014
Source: Publisher

Blood of My Blood

From Goodreads:
Jazz Dent has been shot and left to die in New York City. His girlfriend Connie is in the clutches of Jazz’s serial killer father, Billy. And his best friend Howie is bleeding to death on the floor of Jazz’s own home in tiny Lobo’s Nod. Somehow, these three must rise above the horrors their lives have become and find a way to come together in pursuit of Billy. But then Jazz crosses a line he’s never crossed before, and soon the entire country is wondering: “Like father, like son?” Who is the true monster?

The chase is on, and beyond Billy there lurks something much, much worse. Prepare to meet…the Crow King.

***

This is one of those reviews where I just want to say, “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK DO IT NOW.” But instead, here is my attempt at coherent thought for a series I adore.

<rambling musings>

Blood of My Blood is an amazing ending to a great series. I have never read another YA series even remotely like this one–it truly stands out as one of a kind for me. I Hunt Killers and Game were fantastic, but Blood of My Blood takes the cake.

In addition to being unique to me, I think Jasper Dent is one of the most underrated series in YA. Barry Lyga has a knack for getting so deeply inside his characters’ minds that you can’t help but start thinking you’re one in the same as those characters. Throw in the fact that some of those minds belong to serial killers, and you have one heck of a fright. I wanted to finish this book late one night but couldn’t because it was bedtime and I knew it would give me nightmares (lesson learned from doing this while reading I Hunt Killers). These are the creepiest books–young adult or adult–I’ve ever read in my life.

</rambling musings>

Even though it’s psychologically scary as hell, you have GOT to read the Jasper Dent series. Just maybe don’t read them if you’re home alone or at night ;)

Sep 192014
 

Title: The Assassin’s Blade
Series: Throne of Glass 0.1-0.5
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Publication date: March 4, 2014
Source: Purchased

The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5)

From Goodreads:
Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

***

Right off the bat, I have to admit this: I typically never read YA novellas. I might even sort of/kind of think they’re usually unnecessary for the series and seem like a ploy to make more money. Having said that, after hearing so much about the Throne of Glass novellas, I had to give them a shot. And folks, these novellas totally changed my mind.

The Assassin’s Blade novellas added SO much to Celaena’s backstory. I really wish I would have read these before Crown of Midnight because it would have made the reading experience even more enjoyable knowing of all these adventures Celaena went on before being sent to Endovier. Seeing her train and live with Arobynn was super eye-opening and helped me figure out just exactly what she went through while under his watchful eye. We also learn more about Sam, which really shows fans why Celaena is the way she is with Dorian and Chaol. I connected with her even more because I actually got to see all of the pain and sadness she went through before we “meet” her in Throne of Glass.

If you’re like me and aren’t a fan of YA novellas, I highly recommend giving these a shot. Maybe they’ll change your mind like they did for me :)

Sep 122014
 

I am beyond thrilled to be offering a giveaway for the entire Legend series *plus* Marie Lu’s newest book out October 7, The Young Elites! The Legend series is one of my favorites and Marie Lu is one of the nicest, sweetest authors I’ve ever met. Learn more about The Young Elites below and then enter to win this amazing prize pack!

About the book:
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

Read an excerpt

Pre-order The Young Elites: Amazon & Kindle | Barnes & Noble & Nook | IndieBound | Apple | Kobo

photo credit Paul Gregory

About the Author:
Marie Lu is the author of the New York Times bestselling Legend series. She spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin’s Creed, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with one boyfriend, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.

Learn more at her Official Website

 

 

GIVEAWAY TIME!

LEGEND. PRODIGY. CHAMPION. ELITE. Don’t miss a word. Enter for your chance to win the full list of Marie Lu titles including the complete Legend trilogy and the all-new release The Young Elites.

Prizing & samples courtesy of Penguin Books USA
Giveaway open to US addresses only

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Aug 292014
 

Title: It’s in His Kiss
Series: Lucky Harbor #10
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: August 26, 2014
Source: Publisher

It's in His Kiss (Lucky Harbor, #10)

From Goodreads:
ONE KISS CAN LAST FOREVER

Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now’s her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam’s eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile.

Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can’t resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca’s heart?

***

It’s the beginning of the end, folks. Only three books left in the Lucky Harbor series before Jill Shalvis wraps it up. *cue sobbing*

It’s in His Kiss is the first book in the last three-book continuation of the series, and boy does Jill Shalvis give it all she’s got. I love all of her books, but this one stood out to me more than others. I think a huge reason why is Sam Brody, the definition of a hot alpha male. You can’t help but be drawn to his moody personality, and you soon realize there’s way more to him than just a hot body (although that doesn’t hurt…AT ALL). I loved the chemistry between him and Becca and watching it get hotter and hotter as the story went on was so fun to read.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do when the series is over (other than cry), but until that happens, I’ll just get excited about reading the last two books coming out this year: He’s So Fine and One in a Million.

Aug 262014
 

I am thrilled to be kicking off the tour for Isabel Gillies’s debut YA novel, Starry Night, publishing on September 2! Check out my QA with the author below, along with the fun extra info about the book, and then enter to win your very own copy! Big thanks to Isabel (AKA Kathy Stabler for all you fellow Law and Order: SVU fans) for answering my questions and Macmillan for organizing the tour :)

Q: Where did you get the idea for Starry Night? Is the story inspired by a personal experience?
A: Starry Night has had a long and twisty road — but a fun one. I was inspired by love, teenagers, family, friends, school, walks in Central Park, heartbreak. And yes, lots of it was inspired by my own experiences, how could it not be? But a ton of it is made up, too. I think of it like a blended soup. All the vegetables go into the pot looking like what they are: broccoli, potatoes, etc, but then you put an emersion blender in there, whiz it around, and it transforms into something entirely different in texture and shape, even the taste will change. So if there was anything “real” from my life at the start of the book, it’s been soup-i-fied.

Q: You’ve had two highly successful memoirs published in the past few years. What made you want to switch gears and write a young adult novel, and what was the hardest part about making the switch?
A: I needed a break from memoir. It’s sort of exhausting to reveal so much of yourself that is real real real, so real people can say, “I remember when that happened!” I knew that I wanted to try fiction and I adore teenagers. I have three tweens in the house and I am fascinated by them. It’s definitely the most fun I have had as a mother. I love their conversations, their points of view, their ideas. I even love the back-talk! It’s scary because they are on their own in many ways, and have to fall down so they will learn how to navigate their way in life, but it’s colorful and rich and exciting. I LOVED being a teenager. The highs and lows are extremely clear, the feelings are big, bold, and so much happens. I fell in love for the first time as a teenager and it blew my socks off! I couldn’t get over how intense and incredible it was. It made sense to try my hand at fiction and have the main characters be teenagers. But it’s HARD! Writing fiction is so hard I had no idea. It took me three entire 400 page drafts just to get something that didn’t stink. I love this book for a couple different reasons, but one big one is that I did it at all!

Q: Can you share a phrase from Starry Night that you’re most proud of?
A: Well, the parts that keep popping to the top of my head are all the conversations Wren has with her parents Nan and David. I wanted to make the parents and secondary characters feel real and flushed out. In my first draft I neglected to do that. I didn’t mean to leave them out but I was so focused on Wren and Nolan I sort of spaced out on everyone else. My editor alerted me to this mistake and so I spent the rest of my time writing the book thinking hard about everyone who surrounds Nolan and Wren. Wren’s little sister Dinah says funny stuff — I dig her. Actually one thing Dinah says is, “Your ass is grass.” Anytime I think of her saying that in the book I smile.

Q: What are some of your favorite YA books? Did any inspire your writing in Starry Night?
A: Oh I love Judy Blume. I loved her when I was a teenager and I loved reading her The Pain & The Great One series to my kids not so long ago. She is awesome. I loved Wonder, The Catcher In The Rye, The Outsiders, The Fault in Our Stars, and Every Day by David Levithan. I love watching my kids read so many great looking books that I wish I could read, but end up not reading because I fall asleep too fast at night. I love and am inspired by John Hughes movies, and I know they are not books, but who cares if the work stays with you, feels true and real and inspires you all over the place.

Q: If you could meet one author, living or dead, who would it be and why?
A: This answer could go a million ways, but today, I think I would like to meet J.K Rowling. My kids are reading The Harry Potter series for the second time and they are OBSESSED — again! They all talk and talk and talk about Harry and Hogwarts, etc etc until the light goes out and they fall asleep. Those books melted in to all three of my children and I would love to go on a long walk with the author just to feel her vibe.

***

Learn more about Isabel Gillies and Starry Night
Add Starry Night to your to-read list on Goodreads
Join in on social media with #StarryNight
Check out Isabel’s website, follow her on Twitter, ‘like’ her on Facebook, and follow her on Tumblr

***

Isabel’s Upcoming Public Events
Saturday, August 30: Decatur Book Festival - Map of My Heart Panel (Decatur, GA)
Tuesday September 2: Barnes & Noble Upper West Side - Launch Event with John Searles (New York, NY)
Sunday, September 14: Books of Wonder - Debut Author Panel (New York, NY)
Saturday, September 27: The Voracious Reader - Reading/Signing (Larchmont, NY)

Starry Night Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, August 26: Fiction Folio
Wednesday, August 27: The Compulsive Reader
Thursday, August 28: Green Bean Teen Queen
Friday, August 29: Paper Cuts
Saturday, August 30: Love is Not a Triangle
Sunday, August 31: Gone With the Words
Monday, September 1: Mac Teen Books
Tuesday, September 2: Jenuine Cupcakes

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Aug 142014
 

I’m thrilled to be a part of the release day blitz for Dangerous Boys! I adored Dangerous Girls and all its twists and turns, and now the wait is finally over for this highly anticipated thriller!

Out Now!

August 14th, 2014

Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Three teens venture into the abandoned lake house one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense?

Or murder?

Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…

Purchase Now!

Amazon: amzn.to/1wrph3u

iBooks: bit.ly/1mS0PXB

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dangerous-Boys-Abigail-Haas/dp/1471119165/

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1AYM77B

 

Early Praise

“Dangerous Boys is a taut, compelling thriller balanced on the razor’s edge of suspense. I could not put it down, and could not stop grinning wickedly as I raced through the pages.” — Leah Raeder, USA Today bestselling author of Unteachable

“Abigail Hass is a master at her craft! This is a special book and a special author. This is the kind of storytelling and writing that stick with you no matter how much time passes.” — The Book Geek Blog

“As with Dangerous Girls, the closing left me with a huge, admittedly rather twisted smile on my face. I don’t know how Haas manages to turn me into such a gleefully evil creature.” — Dahlia Adler, blogger.

“Dangerous Boys was an intense, psychological read which was full of suspense and drama,…Abigail Haas has a way of writing books which reel you in and keep you there, hooked and addicted until the very last page.” — Goodreads.com

About Abigail Haas

Abigail Haas has written two adult novels and four young adult contemporary novels under the name Abby McDonald. Dangerous Girls is her first young adult thriller. She grew up in Sussex, England, and studied Politics, Philosophy & Economics at Oxford University. She lives in Los Angeles.

Website / Twitter / Facebook

Aug 052014
 

Title: Mortal Danger
Series: Immortal Game #1
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: August 5, 2014
Source: Publisher

Mortal Danger (Immortal Game, #1)

From Goodreads:
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly… bad things are happening. It’s a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what–she can trust. Not even her own mind…

***

Warning: do NOT read this book before going to bed. Unless you want to have nightmares and/or not be able to fall asleep like me.

Mortal Danger is a unique combo of super scary mixed with cute romance. I don’t know many books that can pull that off, but Ann Aguirre did it with this one. The book starts off on a very heavy note and doesn’t really let up except for the scenes with Edie and Kian, which manage to inject love and hope into an otherwise dark situation. Without that romance, I think the book would be too creepy for me to read.

I love books that make you think, especially ones that have a scary element to them. What if your deepest, darkest wishes actually came true? What if when you said, “I wish you’d suffer,” the person actually did suffer? Edie goes through a lot of this throughout the book and you can’t help but feel sorry for her. Everyone has bad thoughts at one point or another, but to have them actually happen is another story. I know I won’t be thinking negative thoughts for a while…

I will say that there were quite a few terms I didn’t understand that I just skipped over, so I’m hoping I didn’t miss out on something big. I was still able to follow and enjoy the story so I’m guessing no ;)

Haunting and creepy but with an oh-so-sweet romance, Mortal Danger is a great start to a promising series.

Jul 122014
 

Here we are, folks. I’m in shock that I’m celebrating my four-year blogoversary today. I get a little weepy because it’s a time to reflect on what blogging has brought into my life. I say this every year, and I’ll continue to say it in the years to come–I have met the most amazing people through blogging and I will treasure the friendships I’ve made forever. You guys are what make me stick around!

Speaking of…some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as frequently this past year. I never realized working in publishing would have such an affect on my personal reading/blogging time, but boy has it! I’m not complaining because I absolutely love my job, but it’s more of a struggle now to find the free time for this little ol’ blog. I don’t plan on going anywhere, so thank you for continuing to visit Fiction Folio and keeping me motivated to read and review :)

And as tradition dictates: it’s giveaway time! Even though I’ve read fewer books than ever this year, I still have read some ah-mazing stories that I’d love to share with two lucky people. Here are the choices:

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (review)
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (review)
Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis (review)
Torn Away Jennifer Brown (review)
Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii by Vicky Alvear Shecter (review)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (review)
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (review)

I am going to choose two winners, and each winner gets to choose one book from the list. As always for my blogoversary giveaways, this is open internationally. So go forth and enter and good luck!

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Jul 102014
 

Title: Sinner
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: July 1, 2014
Source: Publisher

Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3.5)

From Goodreads:
A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole’s story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole’s darkest secret — his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel’s life. Can this sinner be saved?

***

I can’t even tell you how excited I was to jump back into the world of Mercy Falls and explore Cole and Isabel’s relationship in Sinner. It feels like ages ago since I finished Forever on the plane ride home from BEA…I guess maybe it was ages ago because that was in 2011. Three years ago. Wowzers.

Sinner is chock full of the despair and teenage angst that Maggie Stiefvater continuously nails like a champ. You can’t help but feel everything Cole and Isabel are feeling, and boy is that an emotional roller coaster. I felt like I was seventeen again, when everything held so much importance and drama and it made me wonder how I ever made it out of my teenage years alive.

While I felt all the feelings and enjoyed being in the heads of angsty teens, I didn’t get much else out of the story. The actual plot was not very strong to me and I sadly kept asking myself, “What is the point?” The romance is the center of the story, which I loved, but there was very little else happening. I like a little more oomph supporting the romance in YA and I didn’t get it with Sinner.

I will say my new favorite character was Leon, Cole’s driver. He was a highlight of the story for me and I craved more of him to give that extra oomph to the story that I mentioned before. He provided a good balance to Cole’s personality and I found myself loving every scene with Leon in it.

The Wolves of Mercy Falls continues to be a favorite series of mine, and Sinner fits in well but just didn’t wow me as much as the other three books. That’s a tall order to match, so I might be unfairly holding it to a higher standard than the others, but I was hoping for more.

Jul 072014
 

Title: The Kiss of Deception
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Source: Publisher

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)

From Goodreads:
In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

***

Whoa.

Holy crap.

Dang.

Wow.

So good.

These are basically the only words I can utter right now after finishing The Kiss of Deception about five minutes ago. This book is a whopper at almost 500 pages and I dedicated a whole day to reading it, determined to take my time and savor the story. I’m so, so glad I did. If you can read this in one sitting, I highly recommend doing so.

The Kiss of Deception is the Throne of Glass series mixed with the Fire and Thorns series with a dash of its own uniqueness. I just can’t even begin to describe this book. The book starts off running, with big things happening in the first chapter, and that pace stuck throughout the rest of the story (except for a few small areas where it dragged a bit). I couldn’t help but be 100% completely immersed in the story, and from every point of view — four, to be exact. Normally I would find four POVs to be a bit much, but the author handled it with such finesse and it really helped tell the story in a more well-rounded way.

I will say this as a bit of a warning: the story revolves around a love triangle. I know, I’m a bit tired of them too, but I have to say that there was an interesting enough twist in this book that it didn’t bother me at all. I won’t go into details about the twist, but I will say that it’s TOTALLY worth investing your time in.

The Kiss of Deception comes out tomorrow, and I can’t encourage you enough to go grab a copy. The wait for book #2, The Heart of Betrayal, is going to be brutal, people. Brutal.