Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Love, Lucy ~ April Lindner (earc) review [@tTheNovl @misadventure123 @lbkids #LoveLucy]

Love, Lucy
January 27, 2015
304 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.

Did you love Gayle Forman's Just One Day or the part of Stephanie Perkins' Isla and the Happily Ever After set in Barcelona? Have you been waiting for the next book that could not only transport you to a beautiful locale, but accompany that with two great character with undeniable chemistry? If you have, then Love, Lucy is your next read.

(And if you haven't, I don't know what to tell you.)

Even if Florence hasn't been on your list of places to see, the beginning of Love, Lucy is likely to make you wish you were there. As Lucy works with (and maybe around) her tour mate Charlene to have the trip she's imagined, readers will want to go right along with her.

Then when Jesse enters the picture . . . Well, who doesn't want to explore a beautiful, historic European city like that?

Lucy and Jesse's adventures provide a romantic backdrop for their relationship's beginning as well as opportunities to learn about each other.

As much as I loved Lucy (and Jesse's) time in Italy, though, my favorite parts of the novel came once the trip was over and Lucy returned to real, everyday life. We already had glimpses into her character - why she was on the trip, what her future likely held - during the time in Italy, but now we see 'normal' Lucy. How she is when not falling in love in Italy.

The more real her character becomes, the more she has to deal with the everyday, the more Love, Lucy becomes more than just a cute romance book. Lucy and Jesse face struggles in their relationship, Lucy has her own difficulties and decisions. We get a fuller, deeper view of the characters, of their relationship and it makes them - and it - something to really root for. Not because those first days were so sweet and out of a dream but because you care about the characters and want something good for them.

With Lucy's attempts to find out who she wants to be - and how to mesh that with what her family expects of her, her starting college, and Lucy and Jesse's romance, Love, Lucy is almost a New Adult novel. It is still Young Adult but should appeal to older readers as well.

This modern update on A Room with A View is cute, fun and romantic but also has more depth that I was expecting, and Lucy's a very well done character. Vespas, cute boys, gelato, discovering your dreams, living your dreams, it's all in Love, Lucy.

received for review through NOVL newsletter

Waiting On Wednesday [@simonteen]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:


There’s a heavy price to pay for royalty in this compelling—and true—story of Anastasia Romanov and fellow grand duchesses of Russia, from an award-winning novelist.

It’s summer in 1914 and the Romanovs are aboard the Standart, the Russian royal yacht. Tsar Nicholas, Tsaritsa Alexandra, their four daughters, and the youngest child, Tsarevitch Alexei, are sailing to Romania to meet Crown Prince Carol and his parents. It seems like a fairy tale existence for the four grand duchesses, dressed in beautiful clothes, traveling from palace to palace. But it’s not.

Life inside the palace is far from a fairy tale. The girls’ younger brother suffers from an excruciatingly painful and deadly blood disease, and their parents have chosen to shield the Russian people from the severity of the future tsar’s condition. The secrets and strain are hard on the family, and conditions are equally dire beyond the palace walls. Peasants chafe under the burden of extreme poverty and Tsar Nicholas’s leadership power weakens. And when the unthinkable happens—Germany declares war on Russia—nothing in Anastasia’s world will ever be the same.

published April 7, 2015 by Simon & Schuster
add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon

Why? This one's a pretty simple 'why': It's YA historical fiction, it's about the Romanovs. That's really all I need.

That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

All That Burns ~ Ryan Graudin (earc) Tour Review + Dreamcast + Giveaway [@the_ffbc @ryangraudin]

All That Burns (All That Glows #2)
Harper Teen
February 10th 2015
454 pages
add to Goodreads & buy links below review

(my review of Book 1 All That Glows - summary and review below contain spoilers if you haven't read it, yet!)

In this thrilling sequel to All That Glows, the worlds of magic and mortal are colliding as London celebrates its new king, marking an era of unity between the Faery realm and the human one. Emrys, the Faery guard to the British royal family, sacrificed her powers to be with King Richard, choosing love over immortality. But now, as Emrys struggles to navigate her place between the Faery queen’s court and London’s lavish galas, danger looms beyond the Thames.When a prisoner with dark, strange magic breaks out of Queen Titania’s labyrinthine prison, endangering Emrys's king and sparking an uprising, Emrys must make the hardest decision of all.

Will she reclaim her magic to save Richard’s life and lose him forever? Or stay powerless as the kingdom goes down in flames?

All That Burns was a pretty fantastic sequel to All That Glows. Readers - and the mortals in the novel - now know that Emrys was a member of the Fae. As part of the Faery guard sworn since the time of King Arthur to protect the royal family, she was supposed to remain hidden, protecting in secret. 

That became impossible and now not only can Richard see her, but they are in love and Emrys is mortal.

I really liked that All That Burns did not just give us a mortal Emrys, who's left both immortality and faery behind. The choice she made in All That Glows was a large one and the author does not take it, or its effect on the character, lightly.

At the same time that Richard must learn all that it takes to become King (the long days, endless hours with Parliament, the expectations), Emrys is learning what all her new life entails. And what it does not.

Their lives are both very different now and while they still love each other, it is not a cure-all. They each have doubts, questions and are struggling. It makes the story, the characters, and their relationship both feel more real and more compelling.

Part of what I loved most about All That Glows is back - and possibly even better - in the sequel: the mix of magic, of Fae and modern London. With the general population now aware of the Fae's existence, steps are being taken to ease the divide between the two societies.

Of course, that is something easier said than done. Faery has existed in secret for centuries and not everyone is exactly ready to bring the two worlds back together. 

Even as we're seeing what (in London) would need to change for the Fae to be a part of things, to assist, we see the resistance to that integration.  The resistance and all of the trouble it can lead to for the characters.

Emrys, Richard and Annabelle's characters become even more well developed in All That Burns. They were already intriguing characters with nice relationships but in this second book we learn more about them. We get a deeper look at who they are. Likely, you'll love them even more once the book is over.

All That Burns brings back the great characters from All That Glows, makes them even better, brings the Fae an the people of London closer together, mixing that past, magic and the modern day in great ways and throws some very real problems at the characters and their relationships. It does feel a bit lighter than All That Glows but readers should love the developments.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Ryan Graudin is doing a preorder special through her local indie Blue Bicycle Books. You can pre-order a signed copy of All That Burns and get a free ALL THAT BURNS tea (a ginger plum flavored black tea). Don’t miss this special offer! Click here to pre-order a signed copy of All That Burns

as Emrys
as Richard
as Annabelle

by Ryan Graudin

My name is Ryan and I've been writing ever since I grabbed one of my dad's old tax ledgers and created this masterpiece: see image.

My writing has since improved, though my obsession with wolves has remained relatively the same (I even own a wolf-hybrid pup.) My childhood was a happy, sunny thing. I grew up on a steady diet of fairytales, salt-marshes, music and brothers who would re-enact Redwall battles with me in the back yard. I went to an artsy sort of high-school that allowed cello recitals in the hallways and impromptu poetry slams in the cafeteria. It was there I decided that writing was what I wanted to do more than anything.

I'm officially a grownup now (I suppose one must admit that once they turn 26). My diet still includes fairytales, salt-marshes and art, but there are a few new loves thrown in. A big one is travel. Pieces of my heart are scattered like breadcrumbs all over the globe--I've bartered them off for writing inspiration, so I suppose it's a fair trade.

When I'm not cramming my earthly belongings into a backpack and waiting in airport security lines, I'm doing one of the following: Writing YA novels, Photographing weddings with my husband, Making our little white cottage more homey, Playing with my wolf pup, Trying out Korean r├ęcipes, Haunting local coffee shops with my friends.

US Only
Ends Feb 4th
Win (1) of (2) signed copies of All That Burns by Ryan Graudin

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Follow the All That Burns by Ryan Graudin Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Top Ten Tuesday - Book Club Picks

This week's Ten: Ten Books I'd Love to Read With My Book Club/If I Had A Book Club (or you could pick a specific kind of book club -- like if you had a YA book club or an adult book club or a science fiction book club etc.)

I don't have a book club so I decided to pick 10 SciFi Books for my theoretical book club.
  1. The Martian by Andy Weir (Goodreads) - my review
  2. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Goodreads) - my review of the sequel
  3. Cinder by Marissa Meyere (Goodreads) - my review
  4. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (Goodreads) - my review
  5. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey (Goodreads)
  6. Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel (Goodreads)
  7. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (Goodreads)
  8. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (Goodreads)
  9. Afterparty by Daryl Gregory (Goodreads)
  10. Feed by Mira Grant (Goodreads) - my review
With The Martian, Feed, and The 5th Wave I would love to read them with a Book Club because they have a lot of elements I would love to discuss - from the Near Future imaginings, the danger(s) faced and how the characters deal with everything.

Cinder is just fun and I think I'd like to see what others thought of it and the fairy tale parts.

The Girl with All the Gifts, Station Eleven, The First Fifteen Lives of Henry August and Afterparty I have on my list to read and a Book Club might just be the inspiration I need to finally read them! I Am Legend is one where I've seen the movie but still intend to read the book.

And These Broken Stars, well I love it and want to talk with everyone else about how much we love Lilac and Tarver!

Have you read any of the ones I still need to read? What did you think of them?

Any SciFi books that should be on my list?

And, as always, if you have your own Top Ten Tuesday post, link me to it!
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