♦ Feature & Follow Friday #21: Confession: I’m a Writer–and the Feature!

Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop–a way to find and follow new blogs–hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. For more information on how to participate, click the button below. Parajunkee explains it best. : )

This week’s question:

Are you also a writer and what genre or did you ever consider writing? – suggested by The Pegster Reads

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♦ A Glittering (Literally) New Take on The Handmaid’s Tale: Review of The Jewel, by Amy Ewing

The Jewel is a fun book in its own right, but it also provided me with something I haven’t had a chance to do in a while: make a Venn Diagram. Get excited.

The Jewel

Publisher: HarperTeen
Pub Date: September 2, 2014
Pages: 358
Source: Publisher

The Jewel – Amy Ewing

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence… and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for. (Goodreads)


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♦ Trying to Remain Coherent While I Gush: Review of Compulsion and Interview with Author Martina Boone (Okay, Yes–and a Giveaway)

There are books I’ve liked this year and a few I’ve loved, but I have been waiting a good, long while to feel as excited about a new series as I do about Compulsion. I can only compare my level of obsession to the way I feel about the Mara Dyer series, which has always been tops (though The Heirs of Watson Island series–of which Compulsion is the first–is shaking things up). I can’t wait until this is published and the fan art starts hitting tumblr for my reposting pleasure.

Compulsion will stick with you–in words, images, and goosebumps–well after you’ve finished reading.

Read on for my review; an interview with the lovely and gracious author, Martina Boone; and an extremely generous giveaway from the lady herself!



Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub Date: October 28, 2014
Pages: 448

Compulsion – Martina Boone

 Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson had been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead–a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead. (Goodreads)


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♦ Oh, Hello–I’m in Love: Self-Pub Saturday (Okay, Sunday) Review of Brutal Precious, by Sara Wolf

If you read my reviews for the first two books in the series–Lovely Vicious and Savage Delight–you probably got the idea that I was looking forward to Brutal Precious like none other. Too right, friends. Too right.

Note: while my reviews are spoiler-free for the book being reviewed, I make no promises about mentioning previous books in the current review. Enjoy at your own peril. Muah!

Brutal Precious

Pub Date: August 5, 2014
Pages: 254

Brutal Precious – Sara Wolf

Eighteen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, forty-three weeks, and two days. Or so she thinks.

The boy she maybe-sort-of-definitely loved has dropped off the face of the planet after his girlfriend’s death, leaving a Jack-shaped hole. Determined to be happy, Isis fills it in with lies and puts on a brave smile for her new life at Ohio State University.

But how long can that smile last with all of her friends gone?

How long can it last with the guilt of Sophia’s death crushing her?

And how long can it really last when Will Cavanaugh attends the same school, taunting her?

Isis is good at pretending everything is okay. But not that good. The cracks begin to show.

Isis Blake is good at putting herself back together.

But Jack Hunter is better. (Goodreads)


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♦ I Become Very, Very Frightened (and Ready for a Sequel): Mini-Review of I Become Shadow, by Joe Shine

Do you read exciting YA novels and wish something similarly awesome would happen in your life? (Do not even pretend that you didn’t wait for your Hogwarts letter like you waited for Santa. Honesty is key, folks.) Well, I’ve done that almost every time I’ve read one–until I Become Shadow. Ren Sharpe might be the butt-kicking, smart-mouthing heroine I adore, but I don’t envy her life in even the smallest measurement. Dude–she gets a daily injection called fire. If you didn’t already have a fear of needles, this’ll give you one.

Buckle up, and let the review begin.


I Become Shadow

Publisher: Soho Teen
Pub Date: June 10, 2014
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher

I Become Shadow – Joe Shine

Ren Sharpe was your average (or possibly below average) fourteen-year-old girl with a loving family, a lively best friend, and a crush who didn’t know she existed. Overnight (no, literally–overnight) she is taken from her bed a dropped in a building filled with scores of other fourteen-year-olds similarly abducted. 

After four years training in their new prison/home, Ren, Junie (the boy who made life bearable and–dare she say it?–fun), and the others each receive their assignments–protecting someone important without that person even knowing they exist.

Ren is doing well enough until an attack on her assignment in broad daylight forces her to conclude that F.A.T.E., the organization that abducted her, trained her, and (for all intents and purposes) finished raising her, planned the attack. When Ren turns to Junie for help, she knows there is no middle ground: she has either saved them all or signed their death warrants.


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♦ Beach Reads Giveaway: The Darkest Minds, by Alexandra Bracken

July may be ending, but I refuse to let go of summer yet! I’m heading on vacay in just a few days, and taking with me the most important of all beachy supplies: a big stack of books. Book número uno? The Darkest Minds, by Alexandra Bracken. I’ve been dying to jump into this series for ages.

Want to jump in with me? Fancy that! I have a paperback copy of The Darkest Minds up for grabs in the Beach Reads Giveaway Hop!  Read on for more!


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♦ Official Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Girl from the Well, by Rin Chupeco

 Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Girl from the Well, by Rin Chupeco!

Check out my review and the giveaway at the end!

The Girl from the Well

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: August 5, 2014
Pages: 305

The Girl from the Well, by Rin Chupeco

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.


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