Monday, January 13, 2020

Blog Tour: Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry


I'm super excited to be part of the blog tour for Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry! I am a huge fan of her books, and this was no exception! And if you're new to this series, check out my review of book one, Only a Breath Apart!

Title: Echoes Between Us
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release: January 14, 2020
Pages: 384 pages
Review: 4.5 Stars

Synopsis:

Echoes Between Us is bestselling author Katie McGarry’s breakout teen contemporary novel about a girl with everything to lose and the boy who will do anything to save her.

Veronica sees ghosts. More specifically, her mother's ghost. The afterimages of blinding migraines caused by the brain tumor that keeps her on the fringes and consumes her whole life haunt her, even as she wonders if it's something more...

Golden boy Sawyer is handsome and popular, a state champion swimmer, but his adrenaline addiction draws him to Veronica.

A girl with nothing to live for and a boy with everything to lose--can they conquer their demons together?

You Can Find it At:
Amazon

Review:

Before I get into the review, I want to give readers two disclaimers. First, and most importantly, the book depicts a character struggling with cancer, as well as dealing trauma from a parent dying of cancer. Second, the book has heavier Christian/religious themes than some of her previous works, and I figured some readers would want to know.

First Impressions

I have enjoyed all of Katie McGarry's books that I've read (which is basically all of them). I was a little hesitant going into this one, as the synopsis wasn't drawing me in as much, but I stilled signed up for the blog tour since I'm a big fan and figured I'd end up enjoying it. And enjoy it I did! The synopsis doesn't do this book justice. It's so much more than what the couple paragraphs show. There was a great cast of characters, along with serious moments mixed in with moments of levity. As mentioned in my disclaimer above, the book leans into heaven/god/religion a bit more than previous works. That's not too much of a surprise, given how the novel is tied with the idea of death. That said, that sort of religious stuff isn't as much my jam, which is my only substantial complaint about the book.

Characters

Along with the two great main characters of Veronica and Sawyer, Echoes Between Us had some solid side characters. Truth be told, my favorite character was Lucy, Sawyer's six-year-old younger sister. Like Veronica, Lucy seems to see ghosts. She is also just a sweet little girl who I want to wrap in hugs.

Of the two leads, Veronica was my favorite. She was absurd at times, but in amazing ways. I loved how she celebrated holidays whenever she felt like it, even if the root of that was a little dark. She's an oddball that I like to think I would have been friends with in high school. She's had a rough go of it, first watching her mother die of a brain tumor and then dealing with one herself. Despite what must have been a crushing weight on her shoulders, Veronica remained upbeat and defiantly herself at almost all times.

Even if I didn't love him as much as Veronica, Sawyer was still a great character. He's the popular, golden boy with hidden secrets. Along with his adrenaline addiction, Sawyer often finds himself torn between divorced parents and covering up for his mother's messes. I would have liked to dig into Sawyer's home life a little more, as there were a few reveals at the end that I felt could have been expanded on. That said, I liked how his character grew, and I loved watching him fall in love with Veronica.

World Building

Like with any other contemporary, the world of the book is our world. Echoes Between Us, like the first book Only a Breath Apart, takes place in a small town in Kentucky. As with the previous book, it is unclear if Echoes Between Us takes place in Katie McGarry's shared contemporary universe, but I like to think it does.

One cool thing is how this book digs into the idea of ghosts. It remains vague enough that by the end of the book, you could make a convincing argument either way about whether they exist in this world or not. Veronica certainly thinks they do, but Sawyer is less certain. It's vague enough that it is able to remain in the world of contemporary without drifting into paranormal, but one could definitely read it with a paranormal lens

Final Thoughts

I definitely enjoyed this book. It had great characters with a strong plot and setting. I enjoyed watching Veronica and Sawyer grow and change over the course of the book. While the religious element wasn't my thing, it wasn't blatant enough to keep me from enjoying a great story!

Praise for Echoes Between Us:

"One of my favorites she’s ever written. SO INCREDIBLE.” ―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series

Praise for Only a Breath Apart:

“Katie McGarry knows what YA is, how it works, and what it can do better than anyone, but she always takes it one step further.” ―Hypable

"Fair warning: Picture-perfect Scarlett and misunderstood Jesse will have you in your feels." ―Girls' Life Magazine

“Beyond a haunted teen romance is a beautiful, moving exploration of domestic violence, forgiveness, and self-love. ...Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming.” ―Kirkus, starred review

“McGarry ably captures the feeling of desperately wanting to come home to a friendship that has radically changed. The novel manages to tackle domestic violence in a way that never feels clichéd, and the romance is sure to win over even the most cynical reader. This is a story you’ll want to read slowly, just to be able to stay with the characters for a moment longer.” ―Booklist

“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love.” ―Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

“Powerful, emotional, and ultimately hopeful. An unforgettable story that will leave its mark on your heart.” ―C. J. Redwine, New York Times bestselling author

“Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.” ―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series

“Meticulously weaves a fragile love story through a minefield of loss, broken trust, and familial curses both real and imagined. Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful.” ―Tammara Webber, New York Times bestselling author

“A painful, beautiful, and utterly magical story about the family you’re born into versus the family you choose.” ―Trish Doller, author of In a Perfect World

“A touching tale of love and fate straight from the heartland.” ―Mindy McGinnis, author of The Female of the Species

“Scarlett and Jesse’s story will stay in your heart long after you finish the book.” ―Simone Elkeles, New York Times bestselling author

“Southern Gothic at its finest, this is Katie McGarry’s best book to date!” ―Miranda Kenneally, author of Catching Jordan and Breathe, Annie, Breathe

Author Bio:

Photo Content from Katie McGarry

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. She is the author of the Pushing the Limits and Thunder Road series.

You Can Find Her At:
Website
Twitter
Goodreads
Facebook
Instagram

Tour Schedule:
Week One
January 13th Monday Tween to Teen Book Reviews Review
January 14th Tuesday Nay's Pink Bookshelf Review
January 15th Wednesday Twirling Book Princess Excerpt
January 15th Wednesday Ya It's Lit Review
January 16th Thursday Wishful Endings Review
January 17th Friday A Bookish Dream Review

Week Two
January 20th Monday A Court of Coffee and Books Review
January 21st Tuesday A Dream Within A Dream Review
January 22nd Wednesday BookHounds YA Review
January 23rd Thursday Book Briefs Review
January 24th Friday Kait Plus Books Excerpt
January 24th Friday We Live and Breathe Books Review

Giveaway:



Giveaway is open to International
Must be 13+ to Enter

4 Winners will receive a Copy of ECHOES BETWEEN US by Katie McGarry.
1 Winner will receive ECHOES BETWEEN US Storytellers BOX.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Book Blitz: Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim


I am so excited that SCAVENGE THE STARS by Tara Sim is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Tara Sim, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for 3 finished copies of the book, courtesy of Disney Hyperion and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Title: Scavenge the Stars
Author: Tara Sim
Release: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Series: Scavenge the Stars
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 336

Synopsis:

When Amaya rescues a mysterious stranger from drowning, she fears her rash actions have earned her a longer sentence on the debtor ship where she’s been held captive for years. Instead, the man she saved offers her unimaginable riches and a new identity, setting Amaya on a perilous course through the coastal city-state of Moray, where old-world opulence and desperate gamblers collide.

Amaya wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of deception—and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she’s plotting to bring down—the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she realizes she must trust no one…

Packed with high-stakes adventure, romance, and dueling identities, this gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo is the first novel in an epic YA fantasy duology, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo.

You Can Find it At:
Goodreads
TBD

Excerpt:

Revenge. It was a simple word when spoken out loud, but it was so much bigger, like the hidden city under the atoll. It was a word of fire and blood, of a knife’s whisper and the priming of a pistol.

It was a word that consumed her, filled her entire being until she knew that she could no longer be Silverfish. Silverfish’s will was to survive, to simply make it to the next day, and hopefully the day after that. But that was no longer her will.

Now it was revenge.

Captain Zharo. Kamon Mercado. Moray.

They would all pay.

Author Bio:

Tara Sim is the author of SCAVENGE THE STARS (Disney-Hyperion) and the TIMEKEEPER trilogy (Sky Pony Press) and writer of all things magic. She can often be found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California.

When she’s not writing about mischievous boys in clock towers, Tara spends her time drinking tea, wrangling cats, and occasionally singing opera. Despite her bio-luminescent skin, she is half-Indian and eats way too many samosas.

Tara is represented by Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

You Can Find Her At:
Website
Goodreads

Giveaway:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of SCAVENGE THE STARS, US only.

Giveaway ends February 14th at midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases in the First Half of 2020


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and The Artsy Reader Girl. Oh boy, this list is going to be hard! To see my full list of 2020 books I'm excited for, go here or click the Best of 2020 tab at the top! Also, this list ended up over ten because I just couldn't make myself make it any shorter.

1. Throw Like a Girl by Sarah Henning (January 7, 2020)


2. Ember Queen by Laura Sebastian (February 4, 2020)


3. Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli (February 18, 2020)


4. Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare (March 3, 2020)


5. House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas (March 3, 2020)


6. Girls With Razor Hearts by Suzanne Young (March 17, 2020)


7. Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi (March 31, 2020)


8. Sword in the Stars by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (April 7, 2020)


9. Six Angry Girls by Adrienne Kisner (June 2, 2020)


10. The State of Us by Shaun David Hutchinson (June 2, 2020)


11. My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (June 2, 2020)


12. All Eyes on Her by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (June 2, 2020)


13. Rage and Ruin by Jennifer L. Armentrout (June 9, 2020)


14. Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson (June 30, 2020)

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top Ten Books I Read in 2019


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and The Artsy Reader Girl.

1. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

2. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

3. Wicked Saints and Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

4. Crier's War by Nina Varela

5. Cold Falling White by G.S. Prendergast

6. The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

7. Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

8. Wilder Girls by Rory Power

9. Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi

10. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin (stay tuned for a giveaway of a signed ARC on Twitter!)

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Top Ten Books I Wanted to Read in 2019 But Haven't Gotten to Yet


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and The Artsy Reader Girl. My TBR list of books from this past year was pretty long. While I made a dent in it, I didn't get too far. To see the books I read and the rest of the ones I want to get to, check out my Best of 2019 page here.

1. Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare, etc

2. Of Ice and Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst

3. Rebel by Marie Lu

4. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

5. Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

6. Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard

7. Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

8. Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury

9. Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

10. These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
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