Welcome to my stop of the This is Not the End blog tour! I’m officially an excerpt stop, but I enjoyed this book so much that I’ve included a brief review as well. It’s not quite contemporary YA; the setting is reflective of modern times, but there’s a sci-fi element that takes it to the next level. Make sure you scroll all the way down to enter the giveaway, and you can follow along with the rest of the tour here!
Welcome welcome everyone to the Isle of Blood and Stone blog tour, in which book nerds across the internet come together to share our love of this high-stakes fantasy that releases this Tuesday! For my stop, I’m sharing a review along with my favorite quotes, and since this adventure is threaded with both humor and tension, there were plenty to choose from. If you want to check out some other blogs, you can follow along with the rest of the tour here, and don’t forget to read to the bottom of this post for a giveaway!
Let’s chart a course for Bookland! (+10 points to me for staying on theme)
If I were hypothetically scrolling Twitter a few months ago, it’s possible I could have stumbled across the author reveal for the March 10 Southeastern Young Adult Book Fest, which is a free event held on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. That’s about 40 minutes outside Nashville, if you are as unfamiliar with Tennessee geography as I was. It’s also possible that my interest was piqued by their list of 40+ authors, and I may have casually mentioned it in front of the Mother Unit, who is my most consistent partner in crime for book signings*. If I name-dropped Margaret Peterson Haddix as an attendee, well then, strategy points to me for knowing who Mom would want to see. After that, it didn’t take much wheedling to secure a Chief Transportation Executive, aka rental car driver (hi, Dad), and HELLO TENNESSEE.
As much as I’d like to do a full-length review for all the books by Southeastern Young Adult Book Festival authors I read in anticipation of attending the fest, I know that project would die on the vine sooner rather than later. So, I’ve pulled together condensed reviews that focus mostly on my reaction to the book, and if you want the book synopsis, just click each title link. I’ve also included star ratings for comparison purposes; star ratings are not my favorite thing but I think they’re valuable here since I’m not elaborating as much on each title.
Author: Cynthia Weil
Publication: March 13, 2018
Hardcover: 232 pages
Digital ARC received through NetGalley.
I hemmed and hawed about how to describe this book, because it left me with extremely conflicting opinions between the “read for enjoyment” and ethically-oriented portions of my brain. Before I go into specifics, my distilled opinion is this:
a. “806” is a fun, lighthearted read, but
b. it shouldn’t be.
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication: March 27, 2018
Hardcover: 304 pages
This doesn’t come out until the end of March, but apparently Scholastic Book Fairs get hooked up with the good stuff early. So even though I am, shall we say, a few years out of elementary school, my Mother Unit is a well-informed woman who was thankfully willing to make a second trip to my old stomping grounds when I texted her to pleeeeeeease go back and pick some things up for me.* Even though she said I was like those people who ask librarians for “that blue book” when I told her this book had a snow cover with red letters. LOOK HOW RIGHT I WAS, MOM.
Released Titles: Nemesis, Genesis (coming super soon!)
Author: Brendan Reichs
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication: March 21, 2017; March 6, 2018
Hardcover: 464 pages (Nemesis), 512 pages (Genesis)
Spoiler-free for both books. ARC of Genesis received through a giveaway by author Mindy McGinnis, additional thanks to Putnam for making them available to people in the first place!
Min hates her birthday. Hates it and fears it, because every two years since she turned eight, a man in a black suit tracks her down and murders her in cold blood. She wakes up outside of town hours later with no injuries and no remaining evidence of what happened beyond her own memories. Her mother and psychiatrist seem to think therapy and pills will help her get over these “episodes,” but Min isn’t convinced Black Suit is a figment of her imagination.
Author: Vic James
Series: Dark Gifts (Book 2)
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication: Feb. 6, 2018
Hardcover: 416 pages
ARC received from Del Rey through Goodreads
Second books are something of a proving ground for me. I’m always happy to test out the first book in a new series, but if I do come back for the second, it typically ends in one of two ways – I’m in for the long haul, or I pull a Did Not Finish and drop off the bandwagon entirely. The first book in the Dark Gifts trilogy, Gilded Cage, was a three star read for me. There was a lot of ambitious world building and alternate history to be introduced, but I felt author Vic James had really hit her stride by the explosive ending and I was left feeling hopeful that the series would continue in that vein. Fellow readers, she DID NOT DISAPPOINT.
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication: Jan. 30, 2018
Hardcover: 448 pages
ARC received from Bloomsbury USA Childrens
To illustrate how much I love this book, I have a little story involving curiosity, impatience and the United States Postal Service. Reign the Earth wasn’t on my radar prior to the July 2017 American Library Association Conference, but while there, I spotted an ARC of it in someone’s bag while waiting in one of several billion lines. The cover caught my eye, so when I later happened upon a stack of them ripe for the taking I stroooolled on over and, after a cursory examination of the description, added it to my rapidly-filling tote bag. That should’ve been the end of the story.