Blog Tour: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

Lizzie     Aug 16th, 2014     Contemporary, Reviews     0 Replies

Pages: 256 pages
Publisher: Soho Teen (August 12, 2014)
Source: Publicist
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616953608
ISBN-13: 978-1616953607

National Book Award-finalist Adele Griffin tells the fully illustrated story of a brilliant young artist, her mysterious death, and the fandom that won’t let her go.

From the moment she stepped foot in NYC, Addison Stone’s subversive street art made her someone to watch, and her violent drowning left her fans and critics craving to know more. I conducted interviews with those who knew her best—including close friends, family, teachers, mentors, art dealers, boyfriends, and critics—and retraced the tumultuous path of Addison’s life. I hope I can shed new light on what really happened the night of July 28.
—Adele Griffin

Today’s post will be slightly different! Those of us participating in this blog tour were asked to create (whether it be write, draw, paint, etc.) something as an homage to Addison Stone as if we knew her. I am choosing to write a tribute, not as a character from the book, but as someone of my own creation.

———————

I only ever met Addison once. Once, though, is all it takes for someone to become engrained into your subconscious, especially when you’re talking about someone as potent as Addison Stone. I was in the City visiting my cousin, Marie-Claire, following Christmas into the New Year; I’d always dreaded these visits because really, who can actually stand to be around MC? Biggest gossip, if there ever was one. And I mean, look, MC buries it deep that I’m not rich and famous like her. She always introduces me to people under a different name, as someone who’s not related to her.
I was forced off to this huge New Years’ Eve bash with her. I wanted to claw some eyes out that night, that’s for sure. The group of people MC hangs with is so far from my comfort zone, like throwing yourself into a lion’s den. But you can’t tell her that; mainly because she’s just like these people. I tried hiding at a table in the back while MC did her thing and some DJ spun into oblivion.
So when this skinny girl dressed in tin foil walks in, balancing haughtily in her platforms that were at least eight inches tall, making her tower over everyone in room, I felt this unexpected draw. It was clear I wasn’t the only one. Everyone stopped when this girl walked in, like she was some sort of goddess to them. Hell if I know anything about the art scene but I knew instantaneously that she was famous, at least to them.
MC just yanked me out of the booth and dragged me all the way up to the girl, introducing her as Addison Stone. Oh,, I thought. MC talked a whole lot about Addison a whole lot of the time. She introduced me as Ginny this time, and something must have flashed in my expression, because my cousin had barely finished speaking when Addison interrupted her. “Cut the bullshit, Marie-Claire,” she said. Her tone was syrupy-sweet, unlike her words. “What’s your real name?”
MC was pretty mad but I was chuffed. I told her and she kept asking questions for several minutes following, like what’s my age, where was I from, what I was interested in.
The whole time, I had this feeling she was drinking me in, desperately trying to grasp parts of me I wasn’t sure existed. At the same time, it was like a piece of her began to slowly attach itself to me. Long after the night ended, long after I went back home and returned to school and my routine, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that Addison Stone was a permanent fixture in my life now.
Even now, after she’s gone, I can still feel her. I only ever met Addison Stone once. How does it only take one time for a person to become engrained into your subconscious?


Flash Review: Relic by Heather Terrell (& Giveaway!)

Lizzie     Nov 1st, 2013     Awesome Things, Dystopian, Fantasy, Giveaways, Reviews, Things You Should Check Out     0 Replies

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Soho Teen (October 29th 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616951966
ISBN-13: 978-1616951962

The truth will test you…

For fans of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games: high fantasy and dystopia meet in this high-stakes tale of a civilization built on lies and the girl who single-handedly brings it down.

When Eva’s twin brother, Eamon, falls to his death just a few months before he is due to participate in The Testing, no one expects Eva to take his place. She’s a Maiden, slated for embroidery classes, curtseys, and soon a prestigious marriage befitting the daughter of an Aerie ruler. But Eva insists on honoring her brother by becoming a Testor. After all, she wouldn’t be the first Maiden to Test, just the first in 150 years.

Eva knows the Testing is no dance class. Gallant Testors train for their entire lives to search icy wastelands for Relics: artifacts of the corrupt civilization that existed before The Healing drowned the world. Out in the Boundary Lands, Eva must rely on every moment of the lightning-quick training she received from Lukas—her servant, a Boundary native, and her closest friend now that Eamon is gone.

But there are threats in The Testing beyond what Lukas could have prepared her for. And no one could have imagined the danger Eva unleashes when she discovers a Relic that shakes the Aerie to its core.

First off, before the review, hello again, my friends! Long time, no reviews. Hopefully, that will be changing! And second, I will be trying a new thing for this review… FLASH REVIEW! Five lines! One paragraph! Lots of exclamation points! YAY! Let’s try this out…

Relic was one of my most anticipated books of the fall and I was not disappointed! The world building, the writing, the characters! I went in unsure if my expectations would be met and came out beyond mesmerized. I could not get enough of this beautiful book. And now am I that person sitting next to you, tapping their feet impatiently, because I am awaiting book two, and it’s taking way too long.

How’d I do? ;) Seriously, you guys, read this book. I’m obsessed.

And nowwww…. A giveaway! Courtesy of Soho Teen, I am giving away a gorgeous finished copy of Relic! Trust me, you WANT this. You want it. You do.

So enter below, my darlings…


Review: Vicious Preview by V.E. Schwab

Lizzie     Aug 15th, 2013     Adult, Fantasy, Reviews     0 Replies

Reading level: Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: NetGalley
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765335344
ISBN-13: 978-0765335340

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

100 pages is hardly enough to call a book a “must read”. Rarely does it happen that I fall in love with a novel in 100 pages. Another rarity is me reading (and loving) books geared towards adults.

But Vicious is the exception to all of those things. I was approved in my first days on NetGalley for the 100-page excerpt Tor put out to build up the hype. I have never been more excited to read an ebook in my life.

Obviously, there’s not too much I can say, having not read the entire story just yet, but this has me hooked. The preview was exciting and mysterious, giving you an idea of what the story was all about. I felt gutted when I came to the end of it. I will definitely be eying my mailbox for my preorder copy with impatience (come on, September!).

I think adults and teens alike will be drawn to this book. As a YA book blogger, I wouldn’t review it here if that were not true. And I say this because I hardly read adult novels ever… I’m just a young adult sort of girl. The story, while containing more violence than Schwab’s other novels (of which I have only read The Archived), as well as swearing, is a huge draw for the reason that it has superheroes and villians, told in a way that leads me to believe that the story can only get better from where I had to unfortunately stop.

Read Vicious. Don’t wait until it comes out to buy it. You won’t regret it.

Come back for my review of the whole book in early October! Vicious is out September 24th.

Check out the just-released (and spooky) trailer!


Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Lizzie     Jul 19th, 2013     Fantasy, Paranormal, Reviews     0 Replies

Age Range: 12 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Books (January 22, 2013)
Source: Purchased
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1423157311
ISBN-13: 978-1423157311

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now that her little brother is gone too, Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hardwon redemption.

I had this book for many months before finally picking it up, something that I now regret dearly. I began it during Bonnaroo in June under a canopy at my campsite, while listening to a band I could hear from the main stage. It was beautiful, as beautiful as this book is.

I had heard so much hype about The Archived and about Victoria herself but admittedly, I’d never gotten around to picking up The Near Witch (though I’ve always intended to). Hype like that always scares me because I’ve read my fair share of hyped-up books that I hated. And now I’m wondering if I place too much doubt on the hype.

The Archived is a story full of sorrow and beauty. From the beginning, I ached for Mackenzie and the loss of her brother. I wanted to crawl into the pages and hold her, and maybe smack her mother into dealing with her grief. I loved the flashbacks to when Mac was being trained by her grandfather Da; it felt so bittersweet, though we didn’t get see very far into their relationship. Those flashbacks, though, held so much love, you knew they were close.

The Archive was such a fascinating idea, too. Your loved ones all there, shelved and quiet, their memories still very much alive? It’s almost hard to not believe in something like that being possible. It would be nice, wouldn’t it? But then again, Mac’s job as a Keeper makes you realize why that would be entirely frightening.

I fell in love with Victoria Schwab’s writing in The Archived. It is exactly how I wish my writing to be, rich and beauitful, flowing, and without description overload. Needless to say, I will be reading all of her books from now on. The hype around her is 100% deserved and true.


Review: 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

Lizzie     Jul 16th, 2013     Reviews, Science Fiction, Things You Should Check Out     0 Replies

Reading level: 12 and up
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (April 17, 2012)
Language: English
Source: Purchased
ISBN-10: 0316182885
ISBN-13: 978-0316182881

It’s been decades since anyone set foot on the moon. Now three ordinary teenagers, the winners of NASA’s unprecedented, worldwide lottery, are about to become the first young people in space—and change their lives forever.

Mia, from Norway, hopes this will be her punk band’s ticket to fame and fortune.

Midori believes it’s her way out of her restrained life in Japan.

Antoine, from France, just wants to get as far away from his ex-girlfriend as possible.

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, but little do the teenagers know that something sinister is waiting for them on the desolate surface of the moon. And in the black vacuum of space… no one is coming to save them.

In this chilling adventure set in the most brutal landscape known to man, highly acclaimed Norwegian novelist Johan Harstad creates a vivid and frightening world of possibilities we can only hope never come true.

More space books! Yes!

When I first found out about 172 Hours on the Moon, I hadn’t heard much of anything about it. At the time, I was quite out of the loop on the book world so I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what this was all about. I was really out of the loop. I picked it up in the bookstore, my eyes caught on that original hardback cover. Anything involving space travel will be on my to-read list.

I didn’t know what to expect when I cracked this open. But it certainly wasn’t what I got at all.

This book has freaking haunted me since I finished it. I can’t say anything about why without completely spoiling it but let me just say, whoa. The ending scared the crap out of me, like legitimately freaked me the eff out. I may have slept with the lights on but what does that matter…

In other points, the translation (this was first published in Norway!) was spot on and not awkward, as some translations can be. I loved the homage to Houston’s NASA Johnson Space Center, which I spent four or so months out the last year living near. It made me feel a little proud! =D Fun fact: JSC is actually in Webster, Texas but once you enter the grounds, it is officially considered Houston city limits!

Weird, huh?

Anyway! Back to the review…

Most of the characters were pretty likeable but I wish there could’ve been more focus on Mr. Himmelfarb, a retired NASA worker. It felt like there could’ve been a lot more of him without losing the sense of mystery but alas, that did not happen. I really particularly liked Mia. She was pretty badass and her at the ending… geesh!

I closed 172 Hours on the Moon with shaking hands and a racing mind. It, to this day, haunts me like no other book I’ve read. I want to scream when people talk about revisiting the moon because of this book. I never expected this, of all novels, to scare me as bad as it did. Read it with all the lights on and don’t look at the moon. This, along with that damn Apollo 18 movie, have absolutely shattered my dreams of visiting the moon. And if you’re up for being freaked out of your mind, you will love 172 Hours on the Moon.


Review: Reached by Ally Condie

Lizzie     Jul 8th, 2013     Dystopian, Reviews, Romance, Science Fiction     0 Replies

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Source: Purchased
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0525423664
ISBN-13: 978-0525423669

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times-bestselling Matched trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

I can never say enough about how much I adore Ally’s writing. It’s fluid, gorgeous, and makes me remember why I love words.

That said, this was probably my least favorite book in the Matched Trilogy. It was the longest, topping out at just over 500 pages, but it didn’t quite live up to the other two books. I expected a stronger plot but for various reasons, it fell a bit short.

The idea of the Rising was so awesome to me, and when I picked up Reached, I hoped to learn more about it and its goals and leaders. Instead, there was just a lot of confusion. I felt like Ally didn’t really have answers for the questions she brought to light in the previous books. You only saw things from Cassia, Ky, and Xander’s points of view and they knew almost nothing. It was quite irritating.

You would think this book, as the conclusion, would have been fast-paced and reached a climax for the series. Yet again, but, that did not happen. I felt there was no real conclusion for this series and as a reader, that is more than disappointing. It makes me hesitate to recommend the books when it ends as this did.

As a whole, the Matched Trilogy is fun and exciting. The writing is stunning and I will read any future books Ally puts out. But Reached was a huge disappointment for me. I wanted to love it, and I almost did, but in the end, it fell unfortunately short.


Review: Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Lizzie     Jun 26th, 2013     Dystopian, Reviews, Romance, Science Fiction     0 Replies

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Purchased
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595143998
ISBN-13: 978-1595143990

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They’re ready to start life afresh–to build a home–on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn’t the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed’s former passengers aren’t alone on this planet. And if they’re going to stay, they’ll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who–or what–else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed–friends, family, life on Earth–will have been for nothing.

FUELED BY LIES.
RULED BY CHAOS.
ALMOST HOME.

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

That bit up there ^ is literally all I had in my first draft of this review. I can’t even…

It’s taken me two months to write this review. How the frick do I even describe how much I love this series? Hands down, Beth is one of my favorite writers; in my opinion, she is perhaps one of the best YA writers out there right now. She is fearless and cool and a Whovian. Stop with the perfection, Beth!

Okay, this is supposed to be a review about Shades of Earth, not its [amazing] author. So here goes…

This series is one of those that just gets better with every book. Upon reading AtU back at the end of 2010, I just knew I was in it for a long haul. I waited on edge for the covers, for news, synopsises, those epic giveaways that Beth always does. And I made 100% sure that my bestest friend Megan read it (and she did! Hoorah!) I have lived and loved it all over the last two and a half years.

I preordered Shades of Earth and the moment it arrived, I just stared at its beauty. Well, sort of. Personally, I’m not a *huge* fan of the redesigned covers and it made me sad to not have a whole matching set of hardcovers on my shelf. Still, I often picked up the book, opened it to the first page, and then put it back down.

I was, in no way, prepared to finish the Across the Universe trilogy. I was not ready to know Shades of Earth’s secrets.

But then, one day, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I ate up this book like there was no tomorrow.

It was such a ride. I was completely enthralled from the second they landed on Centauri Earth. Beth’s writing has always kept me reading and in SoE, that was no different. I couldn’t help but sort of wishing I was on that planet too… just because, I mean, it’s another freaking WORLD! But then came that sickening feeling again. I had it when I read AtU and AMS, and I had it again reading this book. With the first two, it was the claustrophobia of Godspeed; with Shades of Earth, it was exactly that, but in a different way: Elder, Amy, and the other citizens were cut off from contacting Earth on a planet hundreds of light years away from any civilization. It was, in a very different way, claustrophobic.

When an entire book series can make me feel that way, I know it’s damn good.

Overall, I think I did expect a little more from this book in terms of planet exploration but I wasn’t disappointed. I just want MORE! Give me more, ugh! Can I say, please read this series? Read it everyday of your life and you’ll thank me. And if you don’t, you’re just wrong. ;P

And that’s all she wrote.


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