Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (79): Malice of Crows & The Wicker King

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. As always, there are some amazing upcoming books, but this week I'm particularly excited for.. 

Title: Malice of Crows (The Shadow)
Author: Lila Bowmen
Release Date: October 31st
Publisher: Orbit

The sequel to Conspiracy of Ravens and third novel in Lila Bowen's widely-acclaimed Shadow series.

The Ranger known as Rhett has shut down a terrible enterprise running on the blood of magical folk, but failed to catch the dark alchemist behind it. And now the Shadow refuses to let him rest.

Rhett must make the ultimate transformation if he has any hope of stopping the alchemist or fulfilling his destiny; he must become the leader of a new Rangers outpost. 

To save his friends, and the lives of countless others, he'll first have to lead them on a mission more dangerous than anything they've ever faced. 

You should also check out the other books in the series:

Wake of Vultures (The Shadow 1)
Conspiracy of Ravens (The Shadow 2)

I love the cover! I also feel that the cover has three bird leafs, in reference to this being the 3rd book in the series...I can see myself reading the entire series. 

Title: The Wicker King
Author: K. Ancrum
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Imprint 
Jack once saved August's life…now can August save him?
August is a misfit with a pyro streak and Jack is a golden boy on the varsity rugby team—but their intense friendship goes way back. Jack begins to see increasingly vivid hallucinations that take the form of an elaborate fantasy kingdom creeping into the edges of the real world. With their parents’ unreliable behavior, August decides to help Jack the way he always has—on his own. He accepts the visions as reality, even when Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy.
August and Jack alienate everyone around them as they struggle with their sanity, free falling into the surreal fantasy world that feels made for them. In the end, each one must choose his own truth.
Written in vivid micro-fiction with a stream-of-consciousness feel and multimedia elements, The Wicker King touches on themes of mental health and explores a codependent relationship fraught with tension, madness and love.
So that's what we're waiting on this Wednesday.So how about you? Leave a link and let us know. :)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Review: Into White

Title: Into White
Author: Randi Pink
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: September 13, 2017

When a black teenager prays to be white and her wish comes true, her journey of self-discovery takes shocking--and often hilarious--twists and turns in this debut that people are sure to talk about.

LaToya Williams lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and attends a mostly white high school. She's so low on the social ladder that even the other black kids disrespect her. Only her older brother, Alex, believes in her. At least, until a higher power answers her only prayer--to be "anything but black." And voila! She wakes up with blond hair, blue eyes, and lily white skin. And then the real fun begins . . .

Randi Pink's debut dares to explore provocative territory. One thing's for sure--people will talk about this book.
Stopped to check this book out because of the cover, I love it! I'm pretty sure I read this book in one sitting, not even gonna lie. It happens sometimes I just get really into books, and can't put them down. 

LaToya is uncomfortable with her body, her dark skin, her hair, and she thinks being white will make it better. We get to see why LaToya has body issues, and how she tries to "fix" herself, even though there is nothing wrong with her. I found Toya to be funny, charming at times, and also very annoying, everything you expect from a high-schooler. Toya thought being white would be better but she soon learns that, that is not the case at all. While being white Toya has to deal with completely different issues, and problems. Toya also to deal with her brother, who is her protector, and best friend coming to terms with her being white. Randi talks about racism, almost being raped, black and white culture. There were some scenes that hit home, most of the black characters were victimized, and stereotyped. Randi is able to talk about a topic no one wants to hear "some people hate/discriminate against others because of there skin color," I get it no one wants to hear/see this but it is real. No matter what or how you believe it is true people hate others for how they were born. Some may even say it's not your color but how you act does that make it better? No, but Toya has to come to terms that there is nothing wrong with her. Toya is finally able to see that  there is nothing wrong her brother, he is just  different, he is happy. Toya dealt with some of the same issues I did, as far as body image issues go. Randi was able to create a perfect relationship between brother and sister, I loved them! This book is full of comedy, even with the serious topics discussed. Did I mention RANDI explored Black Fraternities, and Sororities, loved it! I hope there is a sequel where Toya goes to college, and joins a sorority. 5/5

Review: Ahgottahandleonit

Title: Ahgottahandleonit
Author: Donovan Mixon
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press

“Tim's a struggling black kid on the mean streets of Newark.
How far can he run? Where can he hide?”

What is innocence? Where does it go? Tim doesn't read as well as his classmates in an inner-city Newark high school. He's got good street cred, though, riffing strange rap-rhymes and running like the wind. He's packed into a three-flat with his mother, sister and Uncle Gentrale. His father, a drunk, recently walked out on the family, wanting some "freedom." He says, "Ahgottahandleonit, son." He doesn't. Nor does Tim. He's a sophomore, already two years behind in school. He'll be a sophomore again if he doesn't pass his proficiency exam. He wants to do what is right, but anger boils deep inside him. The last day of school before summer, Tim slaps Mr. Jones, the one teacher who has wanted to help. He doesn't know why. It was just there, a rage born of some dark history. Uncle Gentrale tries to explain, some crazy shit about living back down south. Marie reaches out to him for love, but that doesn't work either. In a fight with some gang bangers, the rage boils over and Tim slams Chucky in the head with a rock. Chucky dies. Tim steals his phone. He carries it, like an albatross, throughout the summer—wanting to run, to hide, to speak truth, to be free. Maybe Mr. Jones will understand. Tim wants his life to matter.

I randomly picked this book during a weekly trip to the library, read the synopsis, and checked out the book. This book is real, real issues, real concepts, real problems, and real life. I truly enjoyed this book. Besides doesn’t the cover just make you stop? LOL

When I first started reading this book, it was difficult to follow, there was a lot of re-reading. Tim is an emotional young man, who is trying to pass high school. But he's two years older than everyone in his grade due to being held back twice. We learn that Tim's dad left the family, and his mom works nonstop to keep the family afloat. We get to see how Tim balances trying to be there for his family, and staying out of trouble. He has issues the local gang members, and which leads to Tim harming someone. To see the guilt eating away at Tim but also giving a sense of worth is something to read about. Donovan Mixon was able to incorporate poetry into Tim’s story, and we see how Tim’s father can’t be a father due to his childhood. Being able to hear about the background of Tim’s dad was a plus for me. We see that Tim’s father has not dealt with things from his childhood, therefore he cannot be a husband or father or brother. When it becomes too much he leaves, he would rather drink then face the truth of his past. I loved this book because I could relate to the struggles Tim, and his family went through. While reading this book, you just want to see Tim to win. Anything that could go wrong does, and there are times that his guilt almost destroyed him. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I loved the poetry, and characters. 5/5

Friday, October 20, 2017

Review:Rebels Like Us

Title: Rebels Like Us
Author: Liz Reinhardt

“It’s not like I never thought about being mixed race. I guess it was just that, in Brooklyn, everyone was competing to be exotic or surprising. By comparison, I was boring, seriously. Really boring.”

Culture shock knocks city girl Agnes “Nes” Murphy-Pujols off-kilter when she’s transplanted mid–senior year from Brooklyn to a small Southern town after her mother’s relationship with a coworker self-destructs. On top of the move, Nes is nursing a broken heart and severe homesickness, so her plan is simple: keep her head down, graduate and get out. Too bad that flies out the window on day one, when she opens her smart mouth and pits herself against the school’s reigning belle and the principal.

Her rebellious streak attracts the attention of local golden boy Doyle Rahn, who teaches Nes the ropes at Ebenezer. As her friendship with Doyle sizzles into something more, Nes discovers the town she’s learning to like has an insidious undercurrent of racism. The color of her skin was never something she thought about in Brooklyn, but after a frightening traffic stop on an isolated road, Nes starts to see signs everywhere—including at her own high school where, she learns, they hold proms. Two of them. One black, one white.

Nes and Doyle band together with a ragtag team of classmates to plan an alternate prom. But when a lit cross is left burning in Nes’s yard, the alterna-prommers realize that bucking tradition comes at a price. Maybe, though, that makes taking a stand more important than anything.


So when I first heard about Rebels Like Us ,I was intrigued. by the cover,the synopis,everything really. However I was left slightly disappointed, it took too long to get to the issues in this book.I would've liked if it would've dealt with racism more like I thought it would, and earlier in the book.

Nes as a main character had heart and made me want to know more about her story. However some things bothered me about her characterization... the quote included in the synopsis seemed really blasé in regards to being biracial. You can definitely tell that Rebels Like Us was not written by a person of color.  I wish I could've seen more of her embracing her divorced family roots and the culture from both sides. Nes talks about being biracial but never talks about wahat that mean in regards to her identity as a whole. The love story plot was very inst-love and pretty over the top.Cute and sweet but honestly very superficial.
The cover screams summer and I think the cover was a great choice. I finished reading Rebels Like Us and couldn't decide if I liked it as a whole.Did I Enjoy it...yes slightly.Did I feel like the story fell flat in regards to the synopsis...yes a bit.Would I recommend Rebels Like Us to a friend..probs not.Overall Rebels like us was a solid easy read that I can see why some might like it but me personally It was a bit underwhelming. 2/5

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

13 Frightful YA Novels {31 Days of Halloween}

13 Frightful YA Novels brought to you by I'd Rather Be Reading 
Reader beware, you're in for a scare...

Here are 13 YA novels that are sure to give you a scare, thrill, nightmare and possible symptoms of a heart attack... ENJOY!

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

The Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?

The Ravenous By Amy Lukavics

From the outside, the Cane family looks like they have it all. A successful military father, a loving mother and five beautiful teenage daughters. But on the inside, life isn't quite so idyllic: the Cane sisters can barely stand each other, their father is always away, and their neglectful mother struggles with addiction and depression.

When their youngest and most beloved sister, Rose, dies in a tragic accident, Mona Cane and her sisters are devastated. And when she is brought back from the dead, they are relieved. But soon they discover that Rose must eat human flesh to survive, and when their mother abandons them, the sisters will find out just how far they'll go to keep their family together.

There's Someone Inside Your House By Stephanie Perkins

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

The Monstrumologist By Rick Yancey 

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthorpe, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.

A gothic tour de force that explores the darkest heart of man and monster and asks the question: When does man become the very thing he hunts?

The Girl From the Well By Tin Chupeco

Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered-dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they're due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still she drifts on.

Such is her existence, until she meets Tark. Evil writhes beneath the moody teen's skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. While his neighbors fear him, Okiku knows the boy is not a monster. Tark needs to be freed from the malevolence that clings to him. There's just one problem: if the demon dies, so does its host.
Amity By Micol Ostow 

When Connor's family moves to Amity, a secluded house on the peaceful banks of New England's Concord River, his nights are plagued with gore-filled dreams of demons. destruction, and revenge. Dreams he kind of likes. Dreams he could make real, with Amity's help.

Ten years later, Gwen's family moves to Amity for a fresh start. Instead, she's haunted by lurid visions, disturbing voices, and questions about her own sanity. But with her history, who would ever believe her? And what could be done if they did?

Because Amity isn't just a house. She is a living force, bent on manipulating her inhabitants to her twisted will. She will use Connor and Gwen to bring about a violent end as she's done before. As she'll do again. And again. 

The Historian By Elizabeth Kostova

Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of—a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history. 

The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known—and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself—to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive. 

What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed—and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler's dark reign—and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages. 

 The Madman's Daughter By Megan Shepherd

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.

When I cast your shadow By Sarah Porter

Ruby. Haunted by her dead brother, unable to let him go, Ruby must figure out whether his nightly appearances in her dreams are the answer to her prayers—or a nightmare come true…

Everett. He’s always been jealous of his dashing older brother. Now Everett must do everything he can to save his twin sister Ruby from Dashiell’s clutches.

Dashiell. Charming, handsome, and manipulative, Dash has run afoul of some very powerful forces in the Land of the Dead. His only bargaining chips are Ruby and Everett. At stake is the very survival of the Bohnacker family, bodies and souls…

Anna Dressed in Blood By Kendare BlakeCas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home. 
Yet she spares Cas's life.

Blood and Salt By Kim Liggett

These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.

Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.

As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.

12665819Another Little Piece By Kate Karyus Quinn

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese's fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past

Pet Sematary By Stephen King

When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son—and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly cat.

But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth—more terrifying than death itself...and hideously more powerful.

The Creeds are going to learn that sometimes dead is better.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday(78) Long Way Down & Here We Are Now

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. As always, there are some amazing upcoming books, but this week I'm particularly excited for..

Title: Long Way Down
Author: Jason Reynolds
Release Date: October 24th, 2017
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

Summary caught my interests, and I love the cover! The plot also remind me of a scene from one of my favorite movies. #ownvoices #talesfromthehood

Title: Here We Are Now
Author: Jasmine Warga 
Release Date: November 7th 2017 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

A book about love, loss, and the power of music, perfect for fans of Nick Hornby and Fangirl. 

Taliah Sahar Abdallat lives and breathes music. Songs have always helped Tal ease the pain of never having known her father. Her mother, born in Jordan and very secretive about her past, won’t say a word about who her dad really was. But when Tal finds a shoebox full of old letters from Julian Oliver—yes, the indie rock star Julian Oliver—she begins to piece the story together.

She writes to Julian, but after three years of radio silence, she’s given up hope. Then one day, completely out of the blue, Julian shows up at her doorstep, and Tal doesn’t know whether to be furious or to throw herself into his arms. Before she can decide, he asks her to go on a trip with him to meet her long-estranged family and to say good-bye to his father, her grandfather, who is dying.

Getting to know your father after sixteen years of estrangement doesn’t happen in one car ride. But as Tal spends more time with Julian and his family, she begins to untangle her parents’ secret past, and discovers a part of herself she never recognized before.

Long lost family members,indie rock,and a road-trip Oh My 

Here We Are Now sounds like my kind of book. 

So that's what we're waiting on this Wednesday.
 So how about you? Leave a link and let us know. :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday(36): Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers

Check out how Top Ten Tuesday works & the future schedule of topics HERE.The Top Ten Tuesday, is hosted by the ever-fabulous The Broke and the Bookish  This meme was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish.

Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes (If the cover screams fall to you, or the books give off a feeling of being Fallish)

Melissa& Jessica's Top 10

Jessica's Five
  • Before Now by Norah Olson
  • Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson
  • The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano
  • Shadow Girl by Liana Liu
  • Closest I've Come by Fred Aceves
Melissa's Top Five

Friday, October 6, 2017

Review: God is a Woman & Author Interview with Michael Tavon

Fun facts: Floridian, Avid fan of The Office, and Michael Jackson. 

Favorite authors: Charles Bukowski & Mitch Albom
I also make music and act

When did you decide to become a writer?
After flunking out of college, in 2012, writing suddenly became my passion overnight. 

Where do you get your ideas?
I draw inspiration from, dreams, people, and real life situations. 

What is your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Portions From a Wine-Stained Notebook  by Bukowski 

Describe your book in 3 words.
Gritty. Heartwarming. Funny. 

Which reading format do you prefer: Paperbacks, Hardcovers or E-books? 
Paperbacks and Hardcovers


Title: God is a Woman

Author: Michael Tavon
Release Date: December 25th 2016

Price Jones is young, handsome, and already spiraling down the drain in a sea of alcohol. He chooses sex as his release, indiscriminate and plentiful, and for that he paid the price in many ways.The young novelist carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and wants nothing more than to be loved and the warmth of a woman's touch.

 After losing his mother to an overdose the Price finds himself in a precarious situation of loving two beautiful women simultaneously. A predicament he must resolve before life gets messier than it already is. Can Price finally learn to respect himself? Will he finally spread his wings and fly? Is Iris the muse he needs to feed his creative and soul-deep need to be his version of a good man? Will she be the wind beneath his wings? Or will it be Benu the woman to sparks the light to his soul? Or will the trauma of his childhood keep Price from accepting love all together? GOD IS A WOMAN is a heartfelt tale of one man’s journey toward self-destruction that could only be halted by one special woman. The story proves how a woman can be the driving force to a man's personal growth. And how a woman's God-like nature can provide the substance to a man's heart.

Not exactly sure what I was expecting, when I first started reading this book. But Oh Boy! I read this entire book like 2 hours ago, and had to describe it to my roomies. I really liked, how unapologetic, and real this story was. Prince of course was my favorite, his evolution is amazing. You see a man broken down by life, love, and society but he is able to overcome. I love that Prince was able to have his moment of clarity, and realize nothing will change if I don't. I know this book is described as a romance novel but that is not what I read.  Yes, he loves woman but this is a story of self-discovery, and redemption.The pacing of the story is quick, but then again the book is only 156 pages. I wish we could have more detail in certain parts of the book but ehh. This book is a reminder that love will set you free, and in the words of Maya Angelou "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them." 4.5/5

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Blog Tour: The 16th Academy by Spencer Yacos

Title: The 16th Academy 
Author: Spencer Yacos
Publisher: Cedar Fort Press

Eastway Academy, a shadowy organization steeped in espionage, values obedience above all else. Although a well-trained agent in his third year,16-year-old Davy Prince struggles to find his morals when every mission seems to put innocent lives at risk. 
How will Davy react when sabotage turns an already risky job into an all-out struggle for survival?

Check it out on Amazon here.
Check it out on Barnes & Noble here.
"Camelot is ready. The operation is a go," a voice crackled through the
transceiver in my ear. The mission was being initiated and a part of me was
annoyed. Only halfway through my fried chicken, I was still pretty hungry. I
hadn't eaten since the night before, since the plane ride down that morning
served no breakfast. Given that I was going to meet with a drug kingpin in a
few minutes, the last thing I wanted was for my stomach to be growling.

I sat in the first floor food court of the Franklin Building, El Paso's premier
commercial block and the headquarters of the global fast food chain Beef n'
Wings. It was just after noon and the area stirred with visitors eager for their
lunch. From my position I could see two other field agents, the only other two
in the building. Far off to my right, just outside the crowds and colorful
cacophony of restaurants, a hulking teenaged boy seemed to have the same
idea I had as he snacked on a beef hot dog from one of the stands.

 He wore a blue hard hat, with matching blue overalls and heavy-looking harnesses
which clung to his body. At his side he loosely held a squeegee as well as
some napkins, presumably for his meal. After taking a big gulp, his lips began
to move. It was much too noisy in the food court to pick up any word he was
saying naturally, but on the transceiver I could hear him perfectly. Percival is
ready. Let's get this over with."
Jessica's review:
Definitely read this book in one sitting, after saying I would finish it later…After reading The 16th Academy, I can honestly say there better be a SEQUEL!! How do you leave us hanging like that? I mean it was like Wham! Bam! Thank you Mam! I’m stunned that a first time Author Spencer Yacos, was able to make such a strong, and memorable book. This book is a great entry into the YA world, Spencer definitely has a cult classic on his hands.

From the beginning, I had a love/hate relationship with all the characters. The book takes place in a boarding school, setting but with only five students, and one Professor. This is not an average school we learn, there is more than meets the eye. I loved that the Academy had a reputation for being a school for the rich, and privileged but no one knew that the students were badass ninjas.  Just kidding they are totally not ninjas… Overall if you like Young Adult Thrillers/Suspense novels, this is one book that you must checkout! 4/5

(Melissa's review for The 16th Academy will be up at a later date.)

 Author Bio:

Spencer Yacos is the 19 year old author of The 16th Academy published by Cedar Fort Press. He originally wrote thenovel his freshman year of high school at age 15. Spencer takes a lot of inspiration from film and television when writing, with Pulp Fiction being his favorite movie.

 He is currently studying at the University of Richmond in Virginia and, like in high school, most of the time he can write is between classes and late at night. He enjoys theater, R&B music, and long walks on the beach.


Author Interview:

Jessica: Would you rather be an Anti-Hero or Hero?

Spencer:I'd rather be a hero! I know that's a little surprising since the protagonist of The 16th Academy can be about as 'anti' as an anti-hero can get. Regardless, when I think of anti-heroes I think of those brooding, tortured souls who'll do the right thing if they're feeling it that day. I've never been much of a brooder to be honest, so I think I'll keep it positive as a squeaky clean good guy.

Melissa: Best advice you have ever received, in regards to writing?

Spencer:I read an interview once with Zadie Smith who said to work on a computer disconnected from the Internet. As an enormous procrastinator that's probably the best advice I can get. You hear these stories of authors just sitting away in their studies for days on end elegantly crafting their masterpieces - meanwhile you have a guy like me who can barely sit still for five minutes. If given the chance I will spend just as much time watching cats on YouTube as writing the next big plot twist for my new book - that's why pulling the plug is so important.

Jessica: Did you put any of your personality in the characters?

Spencer: When writing the first draft of The 16th Academy I actually tried my best to avoid this and have the characters organically grow into their personalities on their own. As I got around to the second draft, though, and I was working hard to give each character a three dimensional personality, bits and quirks of myself began to embed themselves. I guess it's bound to happen - when a parent raises their kids, those kids usually get some kind of trait passed on to them.

Melissa:  Which of your supporting characters would be perfect a spin-off Novel or a Novela (short story)? 

Spencer:The cool thing about The 16th Academy is that just about every character has their own story to tell. I could see a prequel novel for any one of them - although probably not a sequel, since most of them don't survive the story! Every character has a whole book series of adventures in their past - and not just because they've been going on dangerous missions at Eastway Academy. For instance, one of the students, Ozzy, grew up in China with his family. After his parents were brutally killed, he pledged to avenge their murders by any means necessary - using his new connections at Eastway. All of this, mind you, happens before the actual story even begins.

Jessica, and Melissa would love to know: What is your favorite childhood book?
Spencer: I was a huge fan of The Secrets of Droon series. They were the first chapter books I read and I love each and every one of them to death. My elementary school actually had Tony Abbot come visit and fourth grade me nerded out hard. I brought in all my Droon books and told Tony how I, too, was going to be an author one day. Turns out my dreams came true a little earlier than I expected, because just five years later I began work on The 16th Academy.

For the next stop on this blog tour go check out Bookish Sara’s Literary Meanderings tomorrow!!!!

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