May 23, 2019

The Things She's Seen Blog Tour: Review

The Things She's Seen
Author: Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy/Mystery
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Description:

Nothing's been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died.

Her dad is drowning in grief. He's also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she's got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he is still alive, that there is a life after Beth that is still worth living.

Who is Isobel Catching, and why is she able to see Beth, too? What is her connection to the crime Beth's father has been sent to investigate--a gruesome fire at a home for troubled youth that left an unidentifiable body behind? What happened to the people who haven't been seen since the fire?

As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another...
  


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42356928-the-things-she-s-seen
 
I literally just finished this book and my mind is still reeling. There are so many layers to this story and important topics that are discussed - it felt a lot longer than it was. Not in a bad way either! I'll try to review it the best I can without going in circles or rambling. First, the setting was fantastic. It's set in Australia and part of the story deals with the discrimination against Aboriginals. I honestly never knew about this issue and I'm glad the author brought it to light. It talks about it just enough to make it important to the characters and the story without going overboard. 

The characters, mainly Beth and Catching, were both interesting and realistic. Even though Beth is a ghost, she's still very involved with her Dad's life and feels like she has to take care of him after her death. She's very loving and devoted to her whole family. Catching is a bit harder to describe. She's closed off, has major trust issues, and tells it like it is. She's also incredibly strong and brave, and we learn just how much by the end of the book. One big plus for me was the author's choice of writing style. The book is separated into alternating chapters between Beth and Catching. Beth's part is written in the first person narrative, while Catching's part is done in prose. It was a nice surprise and I felt it worked great with the story. It helped the reader see how different the characters were and we get the entire story Catching has to tell done in prose. 

I can't really put into words how much I thoroughly enjoyed the allegorical story that Catching tells throughout the book. It was confusing at first, but as the rest of the story plays out, it starts making a lot of sense. It's deeply disturbing in both ways - the way Catching tells it about monsters and other-places, as well as what really happened. It was incredibly unique and I adored it.

The plot was intense in several ways. It touches on many topics - inner strength, grief, bravery, determination, letting go, death, family, and alludes to other darker topics (the majority of which come from Catching's story). I love mysteries and it takes a lot to catch me off guard anymore, but there was one or two twists that left me spinning. I was able to figure things out way before the characters did, but it was interesting and fun to watch them puzzle it out themselves. This was a really original book and I highly recommend it for readers of YA, paranormal, fantasy, mystery, thriller, and contemporary fiction.

Ambelin Kwaymullina loves reading sci-fi/fantasy books, and has wanted to write a novel since she was six years old. She comes from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. When not writing or reading she teaches law, illustrates picture books, and hangs out with her dogs. 







Son of the acclaimed Australian author Sally Morgan

Ezekiel Kwaymullina was born in 1983 in Perth. He was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child and dropped out of high school in year eight to which he would never return. At thirteen he was mostly illiterate, teaching himself how to read from comic books and a dictionary.

Eventually he began a writing career specialising in children's books.
 






 

May 22, 2019

The Boy Next Story Blog Tour: Spotlight + Giveaway

https://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/04/tour-schedule-boy-next-story-bookish.html


The Boy Next Story (Bookish Boyfriends #2)
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Publisher: Amulet Paperbacks
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Synopsis:

The second book in a series where your favorite literary characters come to life, inspired by the timeless classic, Little Women!

There’s no one better than the boy next door. At least not according to Aurora Campbell, fourteen, who has been in love with Tobias May since their very first sandbox kiss. The problem is, he’s in love with her older sister, Merrilee. And Merri is already dating one of his best friends.

Rory is learning all about pining as her class reads The Great Gatsby, a book she doesn’t find “great” at all. Also not great—her GPA, something she needs to fix, quickly, if she’d like to apply for the chance to spend a week studying art with her hero in New York City over winter break. But when Ms. Gregoire assigns her to read Little Women for extra credit, Rory discovers more than she expected—both about herself and Toby. Maybe she wasn’t in love with the boy next door...but the boy next story.

Love is complicated, and it’s all about to get even trickier for Rory at Reginald R. Hero Prep...where with the help of one quirky English teacher, students’ fantasies come true, often with surprising consequences.


Tiffany Schmidt is the author of Send Me a Sign, Bright Before Sunrise, and Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family book 1). 

She’s found her happily ever after in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles.

You can find out more about her and her books at: TiffanySchmidt.com, TiffanySchmidtWrites.Tumblr.com or by following her on Twitter @TiffanySchmidt.
Win a copy of BOOKISH BOYFRIENDS: THE BOY NEXT STORY by Tiffany Schmidt (US Only)
Start Date: May 21, 2019
End Date: June 4, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 21, 2019

The Bone Charmer Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/04/tour-schedule-bone-charmer-by-breeana.html



The Bone Charmer
Author: Breeana Shields  
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Publisher: Page Street Kids
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Synopsis:

In Saskia’s world, bones are the source of all power. They tell the future, reveal the past, and expose secrets in the present. Each village has a designated seer who performs readings for the townsfolk, and in Midwood, the Bone Charmer is Saskia’s mother.

On the day of her kenning—a special bone reading that determines the apprenticeships of all seventeen-year-olds—Saskia’s worst fears come true. She receives an assignment to train as a Bone Charmer, like her mother, and even worse, a match-making reading that pairs her with Bram—a boy who has suspicious tattoos that hint of violence.

Saskia knows her mother saw multiple paths for her, yet chose one she knew Saskia wouldn’t want. Their argument leads to a fracture in one of the bones. Broken bones are always bad luck, but this particular set of bones have been infused with extra magic, and so the break has devastating consequences—Saskia’s future has split as well. Now she will live her two potential paths simultaneously. Only one future can survive. And Saskia’s life is in danger in both.
I knew immediately after reading the description for this book that I had to read it. Bone magic? Split realities? Count me in. I didn't quite know what to expect or hope for with this book, but after I finished reading it, I couldn't help but feel a bit let down. There are so many fantastic qualities about the book - the setting was interesting, the writing style was awesome, and the plot was well done (even if it seemed a bit transparent to me). The pace of the book definitely differs. From the beginning until about 2/3 of the way through, it felt like the story was moving so incredibly slow. I honestly didn't know if I could make it through. Finally, the last section of the book is jammed with action and a fast pace. I'm glad I pushed through to make it to the more interesting parts because that's what turned the book around for me. 

I absolutely loved that we have one main character but two perspectives. Saskia's reality (or future) gets broken in two at the beginning of the book and the majority of the rest of the story is told from alternating timelines. We get to see into Saskia as the tutor and Saskia as the bone charmer. I really liked this writing style - it made the book pretty unique. I don't think I've ever read another book where the main characters are variations of one person. The plot was solid with one big twist (for me at least) and the rest was basically what I expected would happen. I was disappointed at how it ended. I mean, it was a good ending that wrapped up the story - but the final parts didn't really have me on the edge of my seat like I thought I would be. The pace, the pretty boring 2/3 of the book, and the predictability definitely didn't give me the reading experience that I'd expected or hoped for in the slightest. This is wholly my own personal opinion and nothing against the book or the author. I know a ton of readers will really love and  enjoy this novel, but for me it turned out to be just a bit above "okay." I do recommend it for fans of YA, fantasy, mystery, and romance.

Breeana Shields is an author of fantasy novels for teens including THE BONE CHARMER, POISON'S KISS, and POISON'S CAGE. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English.

When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, traveling, and playing board games with her extremely competitive family. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, her three children, and two adorable, but spoiled dogs.
Win a copy of THE BONE CHARMER by Breeana Shields (US/CAN Only)
Starts: May 15, 2019
Ends: May 29, 2019




Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: The Missing Season by Gillian French



I am so excited that THE MISSING SEASON by Gillian French is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Gillian French, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for FOUR signed copies of the book, Us Only, courtesy of Gillian and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

THE MISSING SEASON
Author: Gillian French
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 304

Description:

From the author of Edgar Award finalist Grit and The Lies They Tell comes a tense, atmospheric novel for fans of E. Lockhart and Marieke Nijkamp, about friendship, truth, and the creeping fears that can't be outrun. 

Whenever another kid goes missing in October, the kids in the old factory town of Pender know what is really behind it: a monster out in the marshes that they call the Mumbler.

That's what Clara's new crew tells her when she moves to town. Bree and Sage, who take her under their wing. Spirited Trace, who has taken the lead on this year's Halloween prank war. And magnetic Kincaid, whose devil-may-care attitude and air of mystery are impossible for Clara to resist.

Clara doesn't actually believe in the Mumbler--not like Kinkaid does. But as Halloween gets closer and tensions build in the town, it's hard to shake the feeling that there really is something dark and dangerous in Pender. Lurking in the shadows. Waiting to bring the stories to life.

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindleB&NiBooksKoboTBD

“It’s sad, you coming here.” Kincaid takes me in, his smile fading. “Now you’ve got no chance.”

No chance. Like he read it in my tea leaves or the lines of my palm. “Why?”

“Because he only takes Pender kids. Likes our taste, I guess.” Kincaid drops his board, glides backward on one foot, never breaking eye contact. “Like . . . hopelessness.”

“And Steak-umms from the caf,” somebody says, making people snicker.

“Liver.” Trace shows his teeth. “God, I love that shit.”

“What about Gavin Cotswold?” Sage says. “Have they figured out how he died yet?”

“Mumbler got him.” Trace.

“He OD’d.” Bree gives Trace a withering look. “He went out in the woods, got fucked up, and died. His own mom thinks so.”

“I heard the animals didn’t leave enough of him behind to be sure.” Trace says. Then, to Kincaid, “Tell her about the first boy. Ricky Whoever.”

“Sartain. Ricky Sartain.” Behind Kincaid, most of the activity has stopped, everybody pulling up some concrete to listen. He’s holding court, a storyteller who knows his audience. “It all started, like, twenty years ago. Kid went missing two days before they found him on the banks of the marsh, way out by the railroad bridge.” Kincaid nods slowly, easing into it. “Somebody put their hands all over him.”

More covert laughter, Trace’s whisper: “Loved to death.”

Kincaid entwines his fingers, working his palms together in sinuous rhythm. “Squeezed him, crushed him. Mashed his spine, smashed his belly.”

A voice speaks up: “My mom said that kid got hit by the train.”

“Of course she did.” Kincaid doesn’t turn. “She also told you that Santa Claus is real and honesty is the best policy and if you’re good, you’ll get into heaven, right?”

Snorts. Somebody mimics, “But my mommy said,” whacking the boy who interrupted with a baseball cap.

“He was folded in half.” Sage grips Trace’s forearm. “That’s what I heard.”

“No.” Kincaid’s hands are tai chi slow. “Lengthwise.”

“Stop.” Bree says it under her breath; I’m the only one who hears.

“Ricky disappeared right around Halloween. That’s the pattern.” Kincaid skates a circuit around us, dismounts, and slaps the tail of the board so it pops into his hand again, all one smooth movement that I wish I could watch again frame by frame. “Truth. After, Ricky’s friends told everybody how they’d all gone out to the railroad bridge to smash pumpkins one night, and there was somebody hiding under there. Too dark to see, but they heard him, mumbling and yammering away.”

Yip, yip, yip! I look up to see audience participation, lumbering shapes aping around the others, sounding like a zoo after hours—Ahhh-ah-ah-ah! Mwaaa-hoohoo!

“Next time anybody saw Ricky, he was red guacamole.” Kincaid pauses, smiling faintly, but he’s not really seeing me now. “Ever since, Mumbler’s been around. Takes a bad kid every few years, always in October. Grown-ups have some bullshit excuse for what happened to them, but we know.”

Nods pass around the circle. I watch for inside looks—they’ll drop the act when they see I’m not taken in—but the quiet drags on. “What’s the Mumbler look like?” I hold
Kincaid’s gaze, willing him to let me in on this, let me prove I don’t scare easy. “So I’ll know him if I see him.”

Kincaid looks to Trace, again with the smile that creases his eyes into merry slits, a kid showing his little sister where Mom hides the Christmas presents. “We can take you to him.”
I’m a ridiculous, sometimes cranky, often hungry, frequently writing flibbertigibbet who really hopes she can keep doing this for a living.

My debut novel, GRIT (HarperTeen), was an Indie Next List pick, a Junior Library Guild Selection, received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and ALA Booklist, was an Edgar Award Finalist, a South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Finalist, and received both a 2018 Lupine Award from the Maine Library Association and a 2018 Maine Literary Award from the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.

My other novels include THE DOOR TO JANUARY (Islandport Press; Bram Stoker Award Finalist), THE LIES THEY TELL (HarperTeen; 2019 International Thriller Award Finalist, 2019 Maine Literary Award Finalist, 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection), and THE MISSING SEASON (HarperTeen, coming 5/21/2019; preorder giveaway happening now). My short fiction has placed in Writer’s Digest and Zoetrope: All Story contests, as well as appearing in such publications as Weirdbook and Creepy Campfire Stories for Grownups.

I hold a BA in English from the University of Maine, and I’m a member of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, Mystery Writers of America, and the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators. Currently, I still live in my native state of Maine–shocker, I know–with my husband and sons, where I’m perpetually agonizing over my next novel (in the best possible way, of course!)

(4) winners will win a signed finished copy of THE MISSING SEASON, US Only.







Going Off Script Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway


 

Going Off Script
Author: Jen Wilde

Genre: YA Romance
Publication Date: May 21, 2019
Publisher: Swoon Reads



Description:

A TV writer’s room intern must join forces with her crush to keep her boss from ruining a lesbian character in this diverse contemporary YA romance from the author of Queens of Geek.

Seventeen-year-old Bex is thrilled when she gets an internship on her favorite tv show, Silver Falls. Unfortunately, the internship isn’t quite what she expected… instead of sitting in a crowded writer’s room volleying ideas back and forth, Production Interns are stuck picking up the coffee.

Determined to prove her worth as a writer, Bex drafts her own script and shares it with the head writer―who promptly reworks it and passes it off as his own! Bex is understandably furious, yet…maybe this is just how the industry works? But when they rewrite her proudly lesbian character as straight, that’s the last straw! It’s time for Bex and her crush to fight back.

Jen Wilde’s newest novel is both a fun, diverse love story and a very relevant, modern take on the portrayal of LGBT characters in media
.

The door of the bus hisses as it folds open, and a burst of warm air swirls around me. I heave my suitcase down the steps and squint through the glare bouncing off the sidewalk.


I’m here.

I’m actually in Los Angeles. After spending years daydreaming about this moment, it’s happening. And it’s even better than I imagined, because this is real. The sun is burning my pale skin, the smell of freshly brewed coffee and exhaust fumes fill the air, and I’m kicking myself for thinking my fave plaid shirt was a smart outfit choice in this weather. But it’s all okay, because I made it….

All I want to do is dump my suitcase and start exploring this town. The air is filled with limitless possibility that gives me a buzz when I breathe it in. This is where people who love creating fictional worlds as much as I do all gather to make magic. The world’s most iconic stars have been born here. My heroes have walked these streets.

Emotion swells in my chest, and I squeeze my eyes shut. I can’t believe I actually made it. Finally, I can stop dreaming and start doing. No more long, rainy nights standing behind a deep fryer, feeling a thousand miles away from where I wanted to be. No more days spent hiding in the back of classrooms, counting down the days on the calendar until I could be free.

Jen Wilde is a writer, geek and fangirl with a penchant for coffee, books and pugs. She writes YA stories about zombies (AS THEY RISE), witches (ECHO OF THE WITCH) and fangirls (QUEENS OF GEEK). Her debut series reached over three million reads online and became an Amazon bestseller. Her next book, THE BRIGHTSIDERS, comes out May 2018, and GOING OFF-SCRIPT releases Summer 2019.

When she’s not writing, Jen loves binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix, eating pizza, traveling to far away places and going to conventions in Marty McFly cosplay.





 
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