Blog tour + Book review: Perfect Harmony by Emily Albright (4 stars)

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Perfect Harmony

by Emily Albright

Publisher: Amberjack Publishing

Release date: September 18, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

Pippa Wyndham is a top cellist―she’d never settle for anything less. Determined to get into the nation’s most prestigious music college, nothing’s going to stand in her way . . . Until her senior year of high school when a new guy from a fancy New York conservatory transfers to her school.

Declan Brogan’s cocky, and he knows how amazing he is at the cello. He has every intention of knocking Pippa out of first chair and showing her who really belongs on top. Forced together when assigned a duet, their personal competition and mutual dislike transform into a teasing friendship.

Torn between her childhood crush and the boy who threatens her dreams, Pippa finds herself at risk of losing her best friend, her future, and the boy who makes her heart melt. Struggling to make things right, Pippa discovers that sometimes the thing you want the most doesn’t always end up being the thing you need.

 

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads Amazon Barnes & Noble Book Depository IndieBound 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Emily Albright is the author of EVERYDAY MAGIC and THE HEIR AND THE SPARE, both available now from Simon Pulse. Her next novel PERFECT HARMONY will release 9.25.2018.

She’s a writer, a major bookworm, a lover of romantic movies, a wife, a mother, an owner of one adorable (yet slightly insane) cockapoo, and uses way too many :).

Visit her facebook.

Find her on Twitter.

Or check out her website.

(I received a free eARC from Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review.)

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Perfect Harmony by Emily Albright

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 4/5 stars

(Review)

(DISCLAIMER: This review is based on my opinion only.)

Pippa is a top cellist aiming to go to Goddards, the most prestigious music college. All is going according to her plan until Declan, another cellist transfers to her school. He’s cocky and knows that he is good, Declan is determined to take Pippa’s spot as the first chair. When the two of them are paired up to do a duet, their mutual dislike is transformed into a friendship. Struggling to decide between her childhood crush and the boy who threatens her dreams, Pippa discovers that sometimes, not what you want is what you need.

Although I did like that Pippa was determined, it almost seemed dangerous. But that really makes her a strong and fearless heroine.

I wasn’t a fan of Noah since it only felt that he was taking action because he felt threatened by Declan. I was pretty surprised at the love triangle and how well it plays and ties into the story, giving Pippa even more conflict along the way.

I wasn’t a fan of Quinn either and think that she’s a horrible friend. I didn’t understand why she was so bitter about Declan when she was clearly still in love with Phillip. She also sees light of Pippa’s dream and isn’t even really happy for her. When she and Pippa fight, she would flaunt another person in Pippa’s face, as though saying “Hey, I still have other friends aside from you”.

Perfect Harmony has a romance you will root for since the beginning when the two characters meet. I really enjoyed the story progression and how everything seemed to play out. Fans of music and contemporary romance should definitely give this book a go!

 

GIVEAWAY

Prize: Three paperback copies of Perfect Harmony by Emily Albright (USA only)

Starts: 9/18/18

Ends: 9/26/18

Enter here.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts and opinions? Leave a comment down below! 🙂

 

Cover Reveal: The Sliver Queen (Sovereign #2) by Josie Jaffrey

Hey guys, I’m glad to be revealing the cover for the second book of the Sovereign series, The Silver Queen!

I loved the original Solis Invicti series and the Sovereign series takes place in the same world but with new and familiar characters! I loved the first book of the Sovereign series, The Glided King as well! Josie Jaffrey has intricately crafted a very interesting and fascinating world!

If vampires and dystopian are on your books you would read checklist, definitely grab the Solis Invicti series before grabbing The Gilded King and The Silver Queen once it has been released!

Here is the book trailer for The Gilded King (Sovereign book 1):

 

So without further ado, let’s reveal the cover (It’s really pretty!)

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Synopsis:

The last city on Earth is contaminated. Now blood is the only thing that can wash it clean.
Julia is trapped inside the Blue as the Nobles fight over the few humans who are still alive. When the dust settles and she finds herself shackled to a new master, she knows she must escape or die.
Meanwhile, Cam has gathered a handful of comrades and is on his way into the Red to rescue his queen. But not all of his friends can be trusted, and not all of them will make it back alive.
The Silver Queen is the second book in Josie Jaffrey’s Sovereign trilogy, set in a dystopian Europe where vampiric Nobles control the last remnants of the human race.

 

Check out Josie Jaffrey at these sites and her social media links!

www.josiejaffrey.com
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Goodreads

Blog Tour: Superhero High by T.H. Hernandez

Superhero High
T.H. Hernandez
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: July 5th 2018
Genres: Adventure, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Sixteen-year-old Annarenee Stevens is the sole member of her family without a super power. The only time she feels powerful is in the pool. With her sights set on swimming for U.C. Berkeley, she’s ready to win it all at the State championship and secure her future.

When the government unexpectedly ends the secret Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program, Annarenee is uprooted from Dayton, the only home she’s ever known, and relocated to San Diego with all of the other GEA families. Queen of her public school, Annarenee is just another zero at Superhero High, a school without any sports teams.

With the end of the program, her hero older brother now needs a college education, too, meaning the only way Annarenee is getting into Berkeley is on a scholarship. Her dream is slipping through her fingers, no matter how tightly she clings to it. To make matters worse, super hot superhero, Ren Gonzalez, is paying too much attention to her. The kind of attention that has Ren’s ex-girlfriend intent on making Annarenee’s life even more miserable.

But when heroes begin disappearing, zeros and heroes will be forced to team up in order to solve the mystery. If they don’t kill each other first.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

T.H. Hernandez is the author of young adult books. The Union, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.

She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Game of Thrones, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, affectionately referred to as “the puppycat.”

You can find her online at http://thhernandez.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

EXCERPT

Ren hands me the syllabus and we go through them together, with me highlighting some he should read and letting him choose some others. When I’m done, I hand the paper back to him and catch him staring at me, or more accurately, staring at my mouth.

Oh my God, is he . . .? No, he wouldn’t. My throat goes dry and I swallow hard. I should get up, but the thought of Ren’s lips pressed to mine keeps me from moving. My breathing escalates to the point that he must notice, and my hands curl and relax at my sides.

His gaze lifts to mine, and the vulnerability in his eyes steals my breath. I’ve never seen this side of him. Not really. He’s been unsure, or nervous, but not this. Ren searches my face for something, and I’m pretty sure all he’s going to see is pure fear. Because if I kiss this boy, nothing between us will be the same.

My tongue darts out and moistens my lips before I can acknowledge that probably wasn’t the best idea. His pupils dilate before his eyelids drift closed. He leans closer, tilting his head.

Holy crap, this is happening, and I’m not doing anything to stop it. Which means I must want this. My breath catches as my eyes close, and I wait for the soft brush of his lips. The mattress dips next to me, and the heat from his body’s proximity radiates to my arm and chest.

His warm breath, minty and clean, dances close to my lips. I part mine slightly as he gets closer, waiting, wondering for a brief second if he’s about to tell me this is all a big joke or make fun of me. The scent of sandalwood and soap fills my senses, and rough whiskers rasp against my chin. I take in a sharp breath and . . .

“Ren, I need—oh, oh, I’m so sorry. Mom said you were studying, and . . .”

Ren pulls back from me so fast, he creates a breeze that ruffles my hair. When I open my eyes, he’s standing beside the bed, his hand on top of his head. “Hey, M, what’s up?”

Mattea’s eyes dart between us. She’s clearly agitated about something, whether from what she walked in on or something else isn’t apparent. “It’s Ian. He’s missing.”

Okay, something else. Good.

“What do you mean he’s missing?” Ren asks.

“I mean he was supposed to meet me an hour ago, but he never showed. No text, no call, nothing. That’s never happened. I called his mom and she hasn’t heard from him, either. She says he’s not at home and his phone’s offline.”

Ren glances at me, then back to his sister. “I’m sure it’s nothing, Mattea. His battery’s probably dead.”

“He’s never disappeared like this without calling. Something’s wrong. I know it.”

“Okay, I get it. What do you want me to do?”

I stand and grab my bag off the floor. “I should go.”

“Wait . . .” Ren’s lips part, as if he’s going to say something more, but he doesn’t.

“I’ll see you on Thursday.” Before I can say or do something stupid, I rush from the room. “Bye, Mrs. Gonzalez,” I call as I fly out the front door, not waiting for her response.

GIVEAWAY!

Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
  • A $25 gift card for the giveaway plus a superhero high t-shirt!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog tour: Mirage (Mirage #1) by Somaiya Daud

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Mirage (Book #1 in the Mirage series)

by Somaiya Daud

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Release date: August 28, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Synopsis:

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

 

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository

Kobo

IndieBound

iBooks

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Somaiya Daud was born in a Midwestern city, and spent a large part of her childhood and adolescence moving around. Like most writers, she started when she was young and never really stopped. Her love of all things books propelled her to get a degree in English literature (specializing in the medieval and early modern), and while she worked on her Master’s degree she doubled as a bookseller at Politics and Prose in their children’s department. Determined to remain in school for as long as possible, she packed her bags in 2014 and moved the west coast to pursue a doctoral degree in English literature. Now she’s preparing to write a dissertation on Victorians, rocks, race, and the environment. Mirage is her debut, and is due from Flatiron Books in 8/28/2018.

 

Website | Twitter | TumblrPinterest | Instagram  | Facebook

 

EXCERPT:

Excerpt from “Mirage,” by Somaiya Daud

Mizaal Galaxy,
Ouamalich System
Cadiz,
a moon of Andala

CHAPTER ONE

On a small moon orbiting a large planet, in a small farmhouse in a small village, there was a box, and in this box was a feather.

The box was old, its wood worn of any trace of design or paint. It smelled of saffron and cinnamon, sharp and sweet. Along with the feather there sat an old signet ring, a red bloom preserved in resin, and a strip of green velvet cloth, frayed around the edges.

I crept into my parents’ room often when I was small, always to peek into the box. And its mystique only increased in my eyes when my mother began to hide it from me. The feather fascinated me. A five-year-old had no use for a ring or a flower or fabric. But the feather of a magical, extinct bird? Like all things from the old order, it called to me.

The feather was black, made up of a hundred dark, jewel shades. When I held it up to the light it rippled with blues and greens and reds, like magic reacting to some unseen hand, roiling to the surface. It had belonged to a tesleet bird, my mother said, birds once thought to be messengers of Dihya.

When Dihya wanted to give you a sign He slipped the feather into your hand. When He wanted to command you to a calling, to take action, He sent the bird itself. It was a holy and high calling, and not to be taken lightly. War, pilgrimage, the fate of nations: this was what the tesleet called a person for.

My grandfather had received a tesleet, though my mother never talked about why or even who he was.

“A foolhardy man who died grieving all he did not accomplish,” she’d said to me once.

I stared into the old box, my eyes unfocused, my gaze turned inward. The sun would set soon, and I didn’t have time to waste by staring at an old feather. But it called to me as it had when I was a little girl, and my thumb swept over its curve, back and forth, without thinking.

There were no tesleet left on Cadiz or our mother planet, Andala. Like many things from my mother’s childhood, they had left, or been spent, or were extinguished. All we had were relics, traces of what once was and would likely never be again.

I jumped when my mother cleared her throat in the doorway.

“Amani,” was all she said, one eyebrow raised.

It was too late to hide the box, and I could not keep down the surge of guilt for having snooped in my parents’ room just to bring it out again.

But my mother said nothing, only smiled and came forward, hand outstretched.

“Did . . . did your father give you the feather?” I asked at last, and handed the box over.

Her eyes widened a little. For a moment, I thought she wouldn’t answer.

“No,” she said softly, closing the box’s lid. “I found it a little while after the bird had gone. In a moment of weakness in some shrubbery.”

I rarely saw my mother look as she did now, soft and wistful, as if remembering a kinder time. She’d survived two wars: the civil war, and then the Vathek invasion and following occupation. She was hard, with a spine of steel, unbendable, unbindable, and unbreakable.

“What was your moment of weakness?” I asked. I wouldn’t get a response. I never did.

But my mother surprised me and smiled. “I was running from love,” she said. “Your father, to be specific. I saw in my own heart my father’s capacity to lose himself in another person, and it frightened me.”

My mouth dropped to her amusement. I knew my parents loved each other; it was obvious to anyone who watched them, despite their differences. But I’d never heard my mother say as much, and to hear her admit it of her own free will—

“What are you doing here, at any rate? You are meant to be getting ready for tonight.”

I didn’t know how to explain it, so I just shook my head and shrugged.

“I don’t know. I just — I love it. I suppose I wanted to see it again.”

She came forward and tilted my chin up. I was full grown, and my mother still towered over me by a full head. The backs of her fingers brushed over my cheek, tracing the lines where I would receive my daan — sharp geometric tattoos that would mark my first step into adulthood. I hoped they looked as hers did: stark and powerful, letting the whole world know who she was and where she was from in a single glance.

“I know this week has been difficult,” she said at last. “More difficult than most. But it will pass, as they all do.”

I bit my tongue rather than say what I thought. We shouldn’t have to wait for them to pass. They should never be in the first place. We had suffered not only the burning of our fields this week, but the increased presence of the Vath.

But my mother surprised me into silence a second time, and set the box back in my hand.

“I think this should pass to you,” she said, her voice soft again. “Hope is a younger girl’s game, and you find more comfort in it than I do.”

I opened then closed my mouth, wordless with shock.

“Really?” I said at last.

She smiled again. “Really,” she repeated and kissed my forehead. “Perhaps Dihya will send you a second feather, and you shall have your own sign in these trying times.”

My mother left me alone in her room, the box still clasped to my chest. After a moment I moved to hide the box away in my room, lest she come up the stairs and change her mind.

The sun was setting truly now, and I hurried to put it away, and find my things. Khadija would be waiting, and I hated to hear her skewer me for my tardiness. Outside, the village was quiet. Normally, around now, I could hear the quiet singing of field workers as they made their way back to the village, and the ringing of the end of day bell. The march of boots, the cries of sellers hawking their wares in our small village square, dogs and goats crying out; all those sounds were absent.

There were no fields left, not after the fire the Imperial Garda set last week. Rebels — or, more likely, starving thieves — had taken shelter in one of the gate houses. Rather than looking through each one, the Garda had set fire to the fields. We’d heard the rebels screaming from as far away as the village square. Now, with the fields gone, the village was counting down the weeks till winter, and the famine that was sure to follow.

What would I want my own feather, my own sign, for? In the wake of this — of life — I had no need for a sign. I wanted something else, something more tangible and immediate. I wanted the world.

The Vath were not settlers in our nebula — they’d lived on their planet, Vaxor, mostly peacefully and in accordance with galactic laws. But they’d poisoned their own atmosphere, and were forced to relocate to an orbiting moon. A stopgap measure, with an exploding population and a lack of resources. Some said it was inevitable that they chose to expand to other systems.

There were moments when I glimpsed the world as it was before the occupation of the Vath. When my mother or father spoke without thinking, or a village aunt said when I was young, or a man sang an old song I’d never heard before. The bones of our old ways of life were there, barely traceable, and I wanted them back. I wanted all of us to remember what we’d been, how strong we were. And endurance was strength, to be sure, but even a rock wore away to nothing if asked to endure enough rain.

I could want until I was dead and nothing would come to pass. Wanting never solved anything.

I tucked the box away with a sigh, found my cloak and shoes, and made my way downstairs.

*

In the kitchen, I packed away the last of the food we were taking with us. We were celebrating my majority night. I and twelve other girls had finally come of age, and as was our way, the whole village would travel to one of the abandoned kasbahs. There, we would receive our daan and become adults in the eyes of the village, and follow with dinner and dancing to celebrate.

“Amani.”

I turned to see Husnain, my brother, standing in the doorway. My parents had three children: Aziz, the eldest of us, more than ten years my senior. Myself, the youngest, and Husnain, fifteen months older than I was. I might have relied on Aziz for wisdom, but Husnain was one half of me, a twin despite the months between us. He had all the foolhardiness and fire of a second son, rarely tempered but for me.

“I brought something for you,” he said when I sat down.

I grinned and held out my hands. “Give it to me.”

“Close your eyes.”

I did so, but kept my hands outstretched. A moment later a wide, thin object was folded into my hands. I peeked before he told me I could open my eyes and nearly dropped the sheaf of papers as if they were on fire.

“Amani!”

“Is that—?”

Almost a month ago we’d journeyed to Cadiza Prime, the capital city on our moon, to pick up supplies for the small farm my brothers and father kept on our tiny sliver of land. I’d wandered through the open market, and shoved in the back of a bookstall was an aging sheaf of papers — Massinite poetry. It was too expensive to even consider purchasing it, and besides, most religious poetry was outlawed. It had been used too often as a rallying point for the rebels during the occupation.

Massinia was the prophetess of our religion and though we all loved her, I loved her above all other things in our faith. Just as we had songs in her name, so too had an entire tradition of poetry sprung up venerating her life and accomplishments. I loved such poetry above all else, and hungered for it despite the risk of being caught with it. My hands shook as I reached for the collection.

“You took a huge risk—”

“Never you mind the risk,” he said. “It belongs to you now, and that’s all that matters.”

I was afraid to grin or to touch them. Mine! I could hardly believe it. I’d never owned a collection of poetry before.

“Oh, for Dihya’s sake,” he laughed, and undid the twine around them before setting them in my hands. I would have to transcribe them to holosheets or put them in a database or some such. There was no telling if they’d survive the weather here, or if I would lose them or any number of things that could happen. And I would have to hide them, or risk them being confiscated by the magistrates.

Our souls will return home, we will return, the first poem read. We will set our feet in the rose of the citadel.

I closed my eyes, seeing the imagined citadel, no doubt now turned to dust. I could imagine the pain of the writer, could feel it like a bruise on my heart as my soul looked over its shoulder, leaving something treasured behind. I knew what it was like to trace a quickly fading memory in my mind, to watch it fade with every remembering until it was nothing but a feeling, a well-worn groove you could walk but not recall. The pain on the page was palpable — everyone had a citadel. The city of their birth, turned to rubble, family long gone, buried in an unmarked grave, all of it unreachable except through death.

And this, poetry like this, was all we had to preserve our stories, our music, our history.

“Thank you,” I said at last, and threw my arms around him. “You have no idea—”

“I have some,” he laughed, and kissed my forehead. “You are my favorite person in the the world, Amani. I’m glad to give you this. Dihya, are you crying?”

“No!” But I could feel the lump in my throat, ready to dissolve into tears at any minute. I’d been so afraid, so nervous about tonight. And in the end, it was a night of joy. I would step into adulthood not just with family and friends, but now with a treasure that would comfort me on nights too difficult to comprehend.

“Maybe now you’ll write some of your own,” he said, a little softer.

I snorted out a laugh. I was a poor poet, to be sure, and in a world where poetry didn’t pay, I’d had no chance to improve.

“You’re good,” he insisted. “You should write more.”

I flushed, hungry for praise. Husnain was the only person who’d ever read my poetry, but I knew he spoke out of the loyalty born between us and not out of any knowledge of what my skill looked like compared to true poets.

“In another world,” I said, and clutched the poetry to my chest.

Our souls will return home, we will return.

I looked up, and smiled at my brother, the other half of my heart. “But not this one. In this one, these poems are enough.”

 

 

GIVEAWAY

Prize: One finished copy of Mirage by Somaiya Daud (USA only)

Starts: 8/22/18

Ends: 8/30/18

Enter here.

 

FFBC

Blog tour + Book review: The impossibility of us by Katy Upperman (4 stars)

The Impossibility of Us
Katy Upperman
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 31st 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

The last thing Elise wants is to start her senior year in a new town. But after her brother’s death in Afghanistan, she and her mother move from San Francisco to a sleepy coastal village.

When Elise meets Mati, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Mati is new to town too, visiting the U.S. with his family. Over the course of the summer, their relationship begins to blossom, and what starts out as a friendship becomes so much more.

But as Elise and Mati grow closer, her family becomes more and more uncomfortable with their relationship, and their concerns all center on one fact—Mati is Afghan.

Beautifully written, utterly compelling, and ultimately hopeful, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US asks—how brave can you be when your relationship is questioned by everyone you love?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Katy Upperman is a graduate of Washington State University, a former elementary school teacher, and an insatiable reader. When not writing for young adults, Katy can be found whipping up batches of chocolate chip cookies or exploring the country with her husband and daughter. KISSING MAX HOLDEN is her debut novel; her sophomore novel, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US, will be available summer, 2018.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

(I received a free eARC from Xpresso Book tours in exchange for an honest review)

“If you think walking away now is right, go, but know you’re taking a piece of me with you.”

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The impossibility of us by Katy Upperman

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Format: eARC

Rating: 4/5 stars

(Review)

(DISCLAIMER: This review is based on my opinion only.)

After her brother’s death in Afghanistan, Elise is forced to start her senior year in a coastal village. She meets Mati, who’s family is visiting from Afghanistan and their relationship begins to bloom. But Elise’s family is getting more uncomfortable with Mati since he’s from Afghanistan and they bear grudges.

I really found Mati’s POV really interesting since it was written in a different format. I love that this book talks about racism and extreme ideology and addresses it openly. There was really good conflict in this book as well.

The impossibility of us is really meaningful and heartbreaking, a must for fans of contemporary novels. It was a quick read for me, but very emotional and touching at the same time and really shows that love does conquer all in the end.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts and opinions? Leave a comment down below! 🙂

 

Giveaway(Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN))

  • Print copy of The Impossibility of Us

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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