Friday, April 29, 2016

{Blog Tour} No One Dies in the Garden of Syn - Michael Seidelman (Review & Giveaway)



YA Bound Book Tours is organizing a Blog Tour for: No One Dies in the Garden of Syn by Michael Seidelman. This tour will run from April 25th to 29th.  Check out the tour schedule.
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No One Dies in the Garden of Syn
by Michael Seidelman

Genre; YA Fantasy
Release Date: April 26th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Synthia (Syn) Wade is a teenage girl who struggles with cystic fibrosis, an incurable life-threatening disease. One day she is pushed into a pond by an unseen figure and wakes up in a new world – a mysterious garden where illness and death don’t exist.

Welcomed by the garden’s residents and now free of her symptoms, Syn decides to stay. But, before long, she realizes that this apparent utopia holds many dangers and dark secrets. 

Surrounding the garden is a fog that Syn is warned never to enter. She encounters bizarre creatures that defy reason. And always lurking in the shadows is a masked woman - a woman who may have a connection to the disappearance of Syn’s parents many years ago. A woman whom no one will speak of, but whom everyone fears.

While No One Dies in the Garden of Syn, Syn will soon discover that some fates are worse than death.


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Review: 

Syn is a teenage girl who is struggling with cystic fibrosis (CF), which is a disease that affects the lungs.  Syn has a routine that she must complete each morning just to be able to make it through the day.  Every day of her life is a struggle due to a non-curable disease.  The doctors have told her she would most likely only live into her twenties.  I think the idea of knowing how much time you have left has really affected Syn as a person.  She doesn’t want to get close to many people.  Syn lives with her aunt who takes care of her after her parents disappeared when she was young.  She is then pushed into the pond in the garden and discovers a parallel universe where she is no longer sick and some crazy things are going on that just don’t add up.

I connected with Syn as a character, she was very well written.  The author did a great job describing her constant struggle that she has and what her symptoms are.  Syn has been suffering her whole life so she is constantly aware of her disease and condition.   It is hard for Syn to get close to people and she said she only has one true friend who is also very sick and going to not live long.  I think during the course of the book Syn discovers a lot about herself while being in the garden and really matures.  At the end of the book she is a much stronger individual and someone who is looking to make changes in her life for the better.

The story is a little slow moving to me, there are a lot of questions that pop up in Syn’s mind and my mind as a reader and it takes time for everything to unravel.  I feel like I wanted bits and pieces to fall into place a little sooner to grab my attention more there were parts I felt almost like it dragged along since I didn’t know what was going on or how to piece everything together into the puzzle.  Towards the end of the book the action really picks up and we get a lot of answers to all the questions that where pilling up for the reader.  The ending of the book is amazing!

I think the best part of the story is when Syn goes back through the portals to the other universes and sees what else could have happened to her.  It was a really interesting part of the story and something I would have loved to read more about the other universes and other characters in those universes.

The author did a great job with the descriptions of the book and making the reader feel like they were in the garden as well.  The fog portion of the book was a little confusing, but then made sense after explained.  The fog was also a little distrusting to me and a little dark in nature.  The story does take more of a dark turn towards the end and makes you question if you really know anyone.

I would suggest this as a nighttime read; it was easy to pick up and put down.  The story was easy to follow along.

I received a copy of this book from YA Bound Book Tours for an honest review.  This does not affect my opinion of the book.

My Rating: 3/5
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Check out this Excerpt:
As the cold surface of the water strikes my face, my mind is scrambled with confusion, dread, and fear. Water floods through my nose and mouth and into my lungs. I flay my arms and legs yet can’t get my head above water. 
I instinctively cough, which brings more water into my lungs. That’s an absolute disaster for someone with CF. Panic sets in. Unable to turn around, and sinking deeper, far deeper than I would have believed. This pond had always seemed shallow. 
My limited sight worsens. Unless someone pulls me out, I’m going to die. My life expectancy was already short but I never thought I’d go this young. I can feel my consciousness—my life—fading away. I’ll never see Janna again. Or Aunt Ruth. Though it might have been na├»ve to have believed otherwise, I’ll never see my parents again either. Or even find out what happened to them. The end is near. No, far worse. The end is here! 
I see only black as my life begins to seep from my body. Nothing but black. And...and...the outline of something. A light. A glow. And then....
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About the Author



My name is Michael Seidelman.  I was born in Vancouver, BC Canada where I continue to reside. When I was growing up, my passions were reading, watching movies, nature and creative writing. Not much has changed since then. In high school when I had an opportunity to write short stories in class, I relished reading them out loud to my classmates who would gasp at the unexpected twists and applaud when I was done. I took several creative writing classes and have continued writing over the years while working in Interactive Marketing.

About two years ago, I decided to take some time off to focus on my writing and work on a Young Adult trilogy. The first book in The Garden of Syn series – No One Dies in the Garden of Syn – will be released on April 26th. Meanwhile, I am working hard on the second and third books in the series.

Getting up every morning and sitting down to create new characters and bring new worlds to life is the most fulfilling job I have ever had. Beyond the trilogy, I have many ideas plotted out and I look forward to sharing them all with the world!
Author Links:
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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Royal Day Out - Meg Cabot (Book Review)

Royal Day Out: A From the Notebooks for a Middle School Princess e-short by Meg Cabot
Series From The Notebooks of a Middle School Princess #1.5
Genres: Short Story, Middle Grade
Publication date:
May 10th, 2016

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: ebook, 33 pages
How I got it: Netgalley Publisher Approval
Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble
My rating: 4/5
 

Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison never thought that being a real life PRINCESS OF GENOVIA could ever be boring, but with all of the new vans and paparazzi staked out in front of the palace, the whole family has been on lockdown for weeks. So when Grandmere suggests a shopping trip to buy a small present for Princess Mia, Olivia jumps at the chance—especially since the shopping trip comes with the promise of lunch at the Royal Genovian Yacht Club (makers of the best ice cream sundae in the world)! Surely nothing could go wrong with such a simple day out, could it?

A quick shopping trip with her royal Grandmere turns into a much bigger deal than Olivia Grace, the newest Princess of Genovia expected in this e-short edition to Meg Cabot's illustrated chapter book series From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess.
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My thoughts:

I haven't read a Meg Cabot book in a little while, but do love her writing style.  The stories are always super cute and a light-hearted read! 

This book follows Olivia and her grandmother on a day out around town.  Olivia is new to being a Princess of Genovia and still learning how to be a princess.  Grandmere has been a princess in Genovia for a long time is set in her own ways.  Olivia really looks up to her Grandmere and does enjoy a day out.  They are trying to find a gift for her sister Mia and also going to the Genovian Yacht Club for lunch.  Olivia loves the Yacht Club because they always bring her exactly what she loves! 

This book is a super short read and very cute! There is a little bit of action and some comedy, which makes it a fun read.  I haven't read the previous books before this, but you don't need to read them to understand what is going on. 

Olivia is a super cute character that the author developed who is trying to learn her role as a new princess.  She is easy to relate to because sometimes children are just trying to learn there way around.  Also, Olivia is very respectful of Grandmere, which is refreshing to read.

I would suggest this as a quick read when you really need an escape or a change up between your reading.  It didn't take long to read and it was funny  
 
I was received this book from the Netgalley for the purpose of providing an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


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About the Author


Meg CabotMeg Cabot was born on February 1, 1967, during the Chinese astrological year of the Fire Horse, a notoriously unlucky sign. Fortunately she grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, where few people were aware of the stigma of being a fire horse -- at least until Meg became a teenager, when she flunked freshman Algebra twice, then decided to cut her own bangs. After six years as an undergrad at Indiana University, Meg moved to New York City (in the middle of a sanitation worker strike) to pursue a career as an illustrator, at which she failed miserably, forcing her to turn to her favorite hobby--writing novels--for emotional succor. She worked various jobs to pay the rent, including a decade-long stint as the assistant manager of a 700 bed freshmen dormitory at NYU, a position she still occasionally misses.

She is now the author of nearly fifty books for both adults and teens, selling fifteen million copies worldwide, many of which have been #1 New York Times bestsellers, most notably The Princess Diaries series, which is currently being published in over 38 countries, and was made into two hit movies by Disney. In addition, Meg wrote the Mediator and 1-800-Where-R-You? series (on which the television series, Missing, was based), two All-American Girl books, Teen Idol, Avalon High, How to Be Popular, Pants on Fire, Jinx, a series of novels written entirely in email format (Boy Next Door, Boy Meets Girl, and Every Boy's Got One), a mystery series (Size 12 Is Not Fat/ Size 14 Is Not Fat Either/Big Boned), and a chick-lit series called Queen of Babble.

Meg is now writing a new children's series called Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls. Her new paranormal series, Abandon, debuts in Summer of 2011.

Meg currently divides her time between Key West, Indiana, and New York City with a primary cat (one-eyed Henrietta), various back-up cats, and her husband, who doesn't know he married a fire horse. Please don't tell him.

Author Links:
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

{Blog Tour} Demigods and Monsters (Sphinx #2) - Raye Wagner (Book Review & Giveaway)



YA Bound Book Tours is organizing a Blog Tour for: Demigods and Monsters (Sphinx #2) by Raye Wagner. This tour will run from April 25th to 29th.    Check out the tour schedule.
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Demigods and Monsters (Sphinx #2)
by Raye Wagner

Release Date: April 25th 2016


Summary:



Can Apollo’s curse be broken?

Seventeen-year-old Hope Nicholas is done running. Apollo’s curse has ruled her entire life, limiting her choices and robbing her of the things that matter most. But she refuses to live in fear any longer. In fact, she’s ready to do whatever it takes to break the god’s power over her existence.

When the goddess Artemis instructs Hope to impersonate a demigod and infiltrate a conservatory to get access to the Olympian library, she doesn’t hesitate. As she sees it, there’s nothing left to lose.

But once inside, Hope discovers the only way to get what she needs is to work with her sworn enemies. As the lines between demigod and monster are crossed again and again, Hope has to dig deep for the courage to accept her fate or fight for the freedom to save herself.

Demigods and Monsters is the second book in the Sphinx series.

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Review

My main issue with this book is since it just came out I am now going to have to patiently wait for book 3 because I am not done reading Hope's story I need to know what is going to happen! 

This is the second book of the Sphinx series, which still focuses on Hope's journey on discovering how to undo the curse that she was born into.  Hope and Priska come up with an idea after seeing Artemis to try and get into the Olympic library and study the curse.  Priska wants to try and lore a demigod into taking both Hope and Priska, but that gets sidetracked when Xan reaches out to only Hope and brings her to the conservancy under the impression she is a demigod.   The story takes a lot of twists and turns once she gets into the conservancy with other demigods.   Hope needs to learn her way around while also searching for the answer to the curse.  Along the way I love that Hope sort of makes friends since that was something she is lacking in with all the moving around.

I love Raye's writing style it is very easy to follow along with the story.  The author gives the perfect amount of details while describing events taking place and also showing us what Hope is seeing.  I love that the book is told mostly through Hope's eyes so we are learning what she is learning, which allow the reader to still have questions lingering in their mind since not everything is as it appears.  The author does a great job leaving the reader on the edge of their seat awaiting the next clue to help determine what is actually going on.

One thing that concerned me with the first book was the Greek mythology it was a little complex for me and I needed to go back and reread sections to fully understand what was going on.  So now I am either really on top of my Greek mythology or it was much easier to understand in this book.  I am leaning towards it was easier to understand in this book.  I think the author did an excellent job breaking down the mythology so it was more of a back story and focused more on the narrative this time.  I didn't have to go back and reread anything I was able to catch on quickly who was who.  

I loved the character development that the author used in the book.  We got more of a look at Hope being a typical teenager who just wants to live a normal life and not be cursed.  The author did a great job of making Hope mature a lot over the course of the book and in my opinion she really became a full adult by the end.  I also really enjoyed getting to see another said of Athan in this book.   In the first book he had the role of a student/friend.  In this book we get to see more of his strength and also that he is respected among his peers.

I would suggest reading this book over the weekend.  It was hard for me to put this book down I got completely sucked into reading it and couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next.  This would be an excellent vacation read!!  Note the ending of this book will leave you hanging and wanting more!!!

I received a copy of this book from YA Bound Book Tours for an honest review.  This does not affect my opinion of the book.

My rating: 5/5

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About the Author


Raye Wagner grew up in Seattle, the second of eight children, and learned to escape chaos through the pages of fiction. As a youth, she read the likes of David Eddings, Leon Uris, and Jane Austen. Inspired by a fictional character, Raye pursued a career in nursing, thinking to help the world one patient at a time.
One summer afternoon, when her then young children were playing in the pool, a plot dropped into her head, and she started writing. 
She enjoys baking, puzzles, Tae Kwon Do, and the sound of waves lapping at the sand. She lives with her husband and three children in Middle Tennessee.

Origin of the Sphinx, a novella detailing the story leading up to the creation of the mythological creature, is her first publication. It is the beginning of the Sphinx series. 

Curse of the Sphinx, the first book in the series, is completed, and set to be released in August 2015.
Author Links:
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{Blog Tour} The Frenchman - Lise McClendon (Review, Excerpt & Giveaway)

Lise McClendon on Tour September 8-21 with The Frenchman (mystery)  Release date: September 8, 2017 at Thalia Press 278 pages ...