Thursday, April 30, 2015

In a World Just Right Blitz!

a World Just Right
by Jen Brooks 
Date: 04/28/15
Simon & Schuster Book for Your Readers

from Goodreads:
Imagination takes on new meaning for a
uniquely talented teen in this debut novel that is a breathtaking blend of
contemporary, fantasy, and romance.

Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck—or
fate—would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has
been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a
ladies’ man, or simply a better version of himself. That’s the world he’s been
escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he
doesn’t have in real life: friends, a place of honor on the track team, passing
grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend.

But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real
Kylie Simms, everything unravels. The real Kylie actually notices Jonathan…and
begins obsessing over him. The fantasy version of Kylie struggles to love
Jonathan as she was created to do, and the consequences are disastrous. As his
worlds collide, Jonathan must confront the truth of his power and figure out
where he actually belongs—before he loses both Kylies forever.

This excerpt is near the beginning of the book, and is a backstory segment about Jonathan’s world-making ability.

            Here’s a story for you. Once upon a time there was this kid named Jonathan Aubrey. He was eight years old. He had a mom and a dad and a six-year-old sister, Tess, and an Auntie Carrie and Uncle Joey. One day they all got on a plane to Disney World. Except for Uncle Joey, who was on some business trip or other. It was going to be the funnest, most perfect trip of a lifetime. The airplane took off . . . and fell out of the sky into Boston Harbor. (Yes, the Tragedy-in-the-Harbor, the famous crash they contrasted with the Miracle-on-the-Hudson.)
            Little Jonathan was one of three people who survived. He spent three months at Massachusetts General Hospital in a coma, and when he woke up, they sent him home. Except there wasn’t anyone at home anymore. They were in the ground at Pine Street Cemetery, and he had missed all the funerals and everything.
            He went to live at Uncle Joey’s house instead. Uncle Joey tried to be good to Jonathan, but there was that business thing that often kept him away, and Uncle Joey was grieving just as bad because he’d lost Auntie Carrie.
            Jonathan didn’t come out of that coma the same way he went in. He had a little lag in his speech. He limped. He had burns and scars on parts of his body. Most of the ugly skin he kept covered with long sleeves and pants, even on days when it got to be almost a hundred degrees. But one uncoverable, ragged red scar ran from his eye to his jaw, and the marks of the stitches made a railroad track on his face. When he returned to school, kids were afraid of him. Teachers tried to be nice, but they just couldn’t stop every kid who whispered “Frankenstein.” Jonathan learned to take it quietly. At recess he’d sit on the monkey bars pretending he was part of everyone’s play, even though he got thoroughly ignored. He paid attention in school and liked his teachers, but teachers’ attention wasn’t enough, and they tried too hard to make him feel normal. He wanted so much to be asked to play kickball. The closest he got was when Hunter LeRoy made him fetch the ball out of some poison ivy, saying that if he got a rash it couldn’t make him any uglier. He really said that. Hunter LeRoy is a jerk to this day.
            Jonathan would sit in his room in Uncle Joey’s house and stare out the window. Sometimes he would pretend the street crawled with kids fighting some kind of rebellion against alien invaders, and he was their leader. He would have friends and daring escapades with a healthy dose of heroics, and his scar would be a badge of honor, a war wound.
            One day he squeezed his eyes shut so tightly with longing that when he opened them . . . he was standing in the middle of a battle with a gun in his hands. There were people and aliens running in the street. Laser blasts shot craters into the manicured lawns. Tanks, helicopters, bodysuits full of gadgetry everywhere. He was wearing a bodysuit full of gadgetry. “Commander Aubrey!” someone yelled. Jonathan made a motion with his arm, and a dozen kid soldiers followed him down the street to fight the alien invaders.
            This new world was Jonathan-is-a-hero. He went there a lot. Until he figured out it was not the only world he could make.

Buy Links:
& Noble

the Author
has a habit of being deeply moved by profound ideas, and her writing reflects
her interest in exploring human goodness, relationships, and the feeling of
being a part of something greater than oneself. She loves the science
fiction and fantasy genres because of their dazzling possibilities for
portraying characters and ideas. She credits her undergraduate experience
at Dartmouth College, her MFA at Seton Hill University, and her fourteen years
of English teaching with shaping her writing.  She is grateful to her
family, friends, and students for inspiring her to write.

Author Links:
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tara Nikkel and the Dream Mage (Tara Nikkel #1) ARC Review

Tara Nikkel and the Dream Mage

Author: R.A. Sapp
Average Rating: 4.36/5.0
Personal Rating: 3.0/5.0
Page Count: 285
Finished Reading: April
Published: 6 January 2015

According to Goodreads

Meet a teenager with some serious issues. Tara Nikkel is a girl with a ton of problems: cerebral palsy, asthma, and a severe peanut allergy (just to name a few). And if all that weren't enough, Tara’s also an orphan with two clueless foster parents who live like professional couch potatoes. But everything changes for Tara when she ventures out on a stormy night to find her beloved beagle, Pudgy. Through an unexpected series of events, Tara finds herself in a magical realm known only as the “really real world”, a place where literally anything is possible.

Come join Tara on an adventure filled with magic, goblins, zombies, dragons—and more!

My Opinion:

I received an e-ARC copy in exchange for a review, but in no way does that have an impact on my opinion. 

I want to start off on a positive note by sharing with all of you the things I did enjoy about the book. I loved how the main character has cerebral palsy, because that provides a connection to readers who have to live with the struggles cerebral palsy creates. There's not a lot of books out there with a main character living with a life-altering health condition like cerebral palsy. I also loved the ending. I definitely didn't see that twist coming even though it was kind of random. Unfortunately, these two things are about the only things that I liked about this novel. 

I felt the pacing was extremely slow. It was almost like I was laboring through the story sentence by sentence. There were big events sprinkled throughout the novel, but there wasn't really any buildup to them. Basically, you were laboring through the many meaningless words and then all of a sudden there's this big event. The event lasts for a few pages, and then it drops back into the labor-intensive reading.

As I mentioned above, I really enjoyed the fact that the character had cerebral palsy, because of possible connections made between character and reader. However, I felt Tara Nikkel was written poorly. She was constantly whining and doubting herself. She couldn't make up her mind. One minute she would be speaking like she's 25 then the next like her proper age. Tara was portrayed as a weakling. I'm not saying that it's not okay to be scared or doubt yourself. We are all human here, and it's nature for us to have those negative feelings. Kids need positive energy around them, and not constant whining and self-doubting. 

I'm not a huge fan of not recommending books to people. To me, this book wasn't the greatest. The ending did perk up my interest level, so I may go ahead and read book two. If the summary sounded good to you then by all means read it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Compulsion Audio Blitz!

Release Date: 10/28/14
by: Joell
A. Jacob

Length: 11
hrs and 29 mins 
Simon Pulse/Tantor Audio
448 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

Buy Links:
CD via Amazon
| Audio
via Audible

Listen to an audiobook sample:

for Compulsion:
"Skillfully blends rich magic and folklore with
adventure, sweeping romance, and hidden treasure . . . An impressive start to
the Heirs of Watson Island series." —Publishers Weekly
"Eight Beaufort is so swoon-worthy that it's
ridiculous. Move over Four, Eight is here to stay!"  —RT Book
, RT Editors Best Books of 2014

"Darkly romantic and steeped in Southern Gothic
charm, you'll be compelled to get lost in the Heirs of Watson Island
series." —JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT, #1 New York Times bestselling

"A fresh twist on the Southern Gothic --
haunting, atmospheric, and absorbing." —CLAUDIA GRAY, New York
bestselling author of A Thousand Pieces of You and
the Evernight and Spellcaster series 
"A stunningly magical debut with a delicious
slow burn to be savored. I want to live in this story world!" —WENDY
HIGGINS, USA Today and New York Times bestselling
author of the Sweet Evil trilogy

"Beautifully written, with vivid characters, a generations-old
feud, and romance that leaps off the page, this Southern ghost story left me
lingering over every word, and yet wanting to race to the compelling finish. Compulsion is
not to be missed." —MEGAN SHEPHERD, author of The Madman's

Book Two:
BOOK 2) 
Creatures meets Gone With the Wind
As reporters
chasing rumors of a stolen shipment of Civil War gold descend on Watson Island,
Barrie Watson discovers more is buried at Colesworth Place than treasure. A
mysterious, magical man claims the key to the Watson and Beaufort gifts and the
Colesworth curse also lies beneath the mansion, and Barrie has no option but to
help him find it. While she and Eight Beaufort struggle to make sense of the
escalating danger and their growing feelings for each other, Barrie must decide
not only whom to trust, but which gift is more reliable—Eights or her own. With the fate of the founding families
at stake, she has to choose between what she feels deep in her heart and what
will keep her loved ones safe.

Pre-Order Links:
IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |  Book Depository | Goodreads

About the Author
Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them.

She’s the founder of, a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and, a site devoted to encouraging literacy and all this YA Series.
From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, and Auggie the wonder dog, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.

Author Links:


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