Summary: On our sixteenth birthdays, our kind is gifted with awesome powers. Except no, not really, because this isn’t Narnia, or Hogwarts, or whatever other mythical realm where witches supposed live. This is Elizabethtown, Illinois, and much to the chagrin of the local chapter of Susie-Homemakers, we live here.
All witches understand that the universe is a scary sort of powerful on a good day. On a bad day? Well, that’s when The Tower card shows its face during a reading. As summer draws to a close before the beginning of junior year, Rowyn Black is tired of seeing that card stare up at her from the table. Rowyn, Reed, and Rosalyn have made it through just about every dramatic storm their sarcasm could weather during their seventeen year friendship, and it would be nice to have a quiet semester. Rowyn hopes that the only thing The Tower foretells is the frightening sight of the school parking lot come the first day- full of more jacked-up trucks and cut off shorts than a Luke Bryan video. True to its nature, however, the universe doesn’t care much for hopes and wishes, and when the promise of The Tower comes crashing down, they might fall right along with it.
I am a whole day late with this review. My deepest apologies to Jenny Moyer and the lovely tour hosts! No excuses other than not planning and scheduling this post on time, then being swept away by life so I couldn’t do it the day of. Without further ado, I present my tour stop on the Flashfall Book Tour. Check out the absolutely amazing trailer first!
- Original Tittle: Omari and the People by Stephen Whitfield
- Narrator: Curt Simmons
- Length: 11h 17m
- Publisher: June 20th, 2016 by Shirley Castle Press
- Links: Goodreads, Audible, Amazon
- Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis: In a squalid ancient city on the edge of a desert (based in part on the African Sahara’s Empty Quarter) a weary, thrill-seeking thief named Omari sets his home afire to start anew and to cover his many crimes. When the entire city is unintentionally destroyed by the flames, the cornered thief tells the displaced people a lie about a better place which only he can lead them to, across the desert. With the help of an aged, mysterious woman who knows a better place actually does exist, they set out. The desperate people must come together to fight their way through bandits, storms, epidemics, and more. As a result of Omari’s involvement with Saba, a fiercely independent woman who is out to break him in the pay of a merchant whom he has offended, his ability to lead is jeopardized.
I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Iron Cast from the publisher via Netgalley in association with The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review.
- Original Title: Iron Cast by Destiny Soria
- Edition: e-ARC, 384 pages
- Published: October 11th, 2016 by Amulet Books
- Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |Book Depository | Kobo
- Key Characters: Ada Navarro, Corrine Wells
- Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis: It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.
I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Going Geek from the publisher in association with The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review.
- Original Title: Going Geek by Charlotte Huang
- Edition: Advance Reader’s Copy, 292 pages
- Published: September 13, 2016 by Delacorte Press
- Characters: Skylar Hoffman
- Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Synopsis: A girl forced out of her comfort zone finds that being true to herself is the best way to live her life, in this second novel from the author of For the Record.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Skylar Hoffman’s senior year at her preppy East Coast boarding school should have been perfect:
- amazing boyfriend
- the coolest friends
- the most desirable dorm
But it’s far from it. To her dismay, Skylar’s not going to rule senior year because she’s stuck in Abbot House, a tiny dorm known for, well, nothing. Living with a group of strangers everyone thinks is lame is bad enough. Worse is that Skylar wasn’t exactly truthful about how she spent summer break in Los Angeles—and her little white lie is causing her once rock-solid romance to crumble fast. And when it turns out that Skylar’s best friend is the one responsible for having her booted from Lincoln? It’s an all-out war.
Stepping out of her comfort zone never felt so scary—or necessary. But everything is different now. Including, maybe, Skylar herself . . .
- Original Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
- Edition: Paperback, 420 pages
- Published: August 7, 2014 by Scholastic
- Characters: Lara Jean Song, Katherine “Kitty” Song, Margot Song, Peter Kavinsky, Josh Sanderson
- Rating: 2/5
Synopsis: Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she’s ever loved. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control…
- Original Title: The Art of Being Normal: A Novel by Lisa Williamson
- Edition: Kindle ARC, 353 pages
- Published: May 31, 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
- Characters: David Piper, Leo Denton
- Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis: David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth: David wants to be a girl.
On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal: to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in his class is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long , and soon everyone knows that Leo used to be a girl.
As David prepares to come out to his family and transition into life as a girl and Leo wrestles with figuring out how to deal with people who try to define him through his history, they find in each other the friendship and support they need to navigate life as transgender teens as well as the courage to decide for themselves what normal really means.
- Original Title: Crushed by Laura and Tom McNeal
- Edition: Paperback, 336 pgs.
- Published: June 10, 2014 by Ember
- Characters: Audrey Reed, Wickham Hill, Clyde Mumsford
- Rating: 2/5
Synopsis: Audrey and her two best friends have just transferred to Jemison High from their tiny private school. They’re a nerdy little trio, so everyone is shocked when the handsome new guy, Wickham Hill, asks Audrey out. Audrey is so smitten that she doesn’t pay much attention to The Yellow Paper, a vicious underground school newspaper…until it threatens to tell a tale that could change everything.
- Original Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
- Edition: Paperback, 416 Pages
- Published: May 5, 2015 by Bloomsbury Children’s
- Characters: Feyre, Tamlin, Lucien, Rhysand
- Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Feyre is a huntress.
She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price…
Imprisoned in an enchanted court in her enemy’s kingdom, Feyre is free to roam but forbidden to escape. Her captor’s body bears the scars of fighting, and his face is always masked – but his piercing stare draws her ever closer. As Feyre’s feeling for Tamlin begin to burn through every warning she’s been told about his kind, an ancient, wicked shadow grows.
Feyre must find a way to break a spell, or lose her heart forever.
- Original Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
- Edition: Paperback, 303 pages
- Published: April 7th, 2015 by Penguin
- Characters: Simon Spier, “Blue”, Martin Addinson
- Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.