Thursday, May 5, 2016

BLITZ: Tone Deaf


Tone Deaf
by Olivia Rivers
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Sky Pony Press

Summary from Goodreads:

His world is music. Her world is silent.

Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retired cop fighting his own demons, and the bruises are getting harder to hide.

When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she’s swept back into the world of music. Jace Beckett, the nineteen-year-old lead singer of the band, has a reputation. He’s a jerk and a player, and Ali wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to Jace than the tabloids let on. When Jace notices Ali’s bruises and offers to help her escape to New York, Ali can’t turn down the chance at freedom and a fresh start. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nationwide tour. With the help of Jace, Ali sets out to reboot her life and rediscover the music she once loved.


  

Buy Links:

Except:
I take a deep breath and close my eyes, just for a moment, just long enough to regain my composure. When I open them, I’ll be calm. I’ll forget about Jace’s insults and the memories he stirred up. I’ll take the check and run far, far away.
Something lightly touches my shoulder, making me yelp in surprise. I snap my eyes open and find Jace in front of me. He has his hands nervously stuffed in the pockets of his jeans, and he’s wearing a long-sleeved shirt now. Why did he change into that, of all things? It’s still like eighty degrees outside, and his forehead is already covered in sweat. Maybe the dude is some sort of masochist; he hurts everything and everyone, including himself.
His throat bobs as he clears it, and he shuffles around for a couple seconds, his eyes glued to his feet. I stay exactly where I am, doing my best to look intimidating as I stare up at him. I think of how my mom used to laugh when I was learning a new song; she said I looked ferocious when I concentrated that hard. I try to channel that expression and glare straight at Jace.
Jace stares down at his hands, holding them far in front of him, like they have some sort of terrible disease he’s afraid to catch. Then he pushes up his sleeves, even though they’re already scrunched up around his muscular biceps. He takes a deep breath, and I step to the side, wondering what in the hell is going on. He’s not even talking. He’s just standing there, occasionally shooting me little glances that almost look . . . scared.
He keeps staring at his hands for a bit longer, and then he takes a shuddering breath. “Hey.”
“I want my check,” I say, trying to keep my voice calm.
“I’ll give it to you in a second,” he mutters.
“No, now.”
Jace shakes his head and takes a step toward me. He keeps coming closer, until he’s only a foot away. He peers closely at me, his eyes squinting as he examines my face. I unconsciously reach up and cover my cheek with my hand, hiding the bruised area from sight.
“It looks like someone hit you,” Jace says, gesturing to my cheek.
“No,” I quickly say, shaking my head.
He points to my arm. “You’re bruised there, too.”
“It was just an accident,” I insist. “And it’s definitely not your business.”
Jace takes another half-step toward me, bringing us impossibly closer. Finally, he looks into my eyes, and I’m able to see his full expression. It’s not right. Jace is supposed to be angry and condemning and pitiless. But his eyes are . . . sad.

He raises his hands, gives them one more disgusted glance, and then signs, “Let me help you.”
Advanced Praise:
 “A smart, sexy, and fast-paced story with a swoon-worthy love interest. Tone Deaf will be music to your ears.” —Jessica Taylor, author of Wandering Wild

“Much like its hero, Tone Deaf’s flashy, rock-star exterior surrounds a sweet, vulnerable soul that made it impossible to put down. It is equal parts fun and touching, with a dash of humor and lot of heart. The friendships, as well as the romance, have intense, believable chemistry, and with a giant pitbull named Cuddles thrown in the mix, I was in love!” —Laura Lee Anderson, author of Song of Summer

“Olivia Rivers has hit all the right notes with Tone Deaf.” —A. R. Kahler, author of Pale Queen Rising and Shades of Darkness

“The portrayal of Ali as Deaf is authentic and modern. She loves rock concerts for the vibrations and sensory pull of the crowd. She prefers to sign but exasperatedly reads the lips of people who talk fast or turn away as they talk. As Ali, Jace, and the band tour amid Amber alerts, surprising emotional connections are painfully forged and will resonate with young survivors of abuse, especially as Ali takes small steps toward recovery. VERDICT This gripping tale of survival has great appeal due to the parallel boy/girl narrative structure, the portrayal of a Deaf character at home in the realm of music and songwriting, and the overall pop culture tenor.” –School Library Journal



Official "Tone Deaf" Playlist
I've always needed music to write. Whether it's punk rock or classical songs, I find music to be a powerful source of inspiration, and I always keep my headphones plugged in while I'm working on a story. While writing "Tone Deaf," I pretty much lived off a steady diet of punk rock songs, alternative music, and lots of caffeine to top it off. Music has an energy that's hard to capture in words, but I did my absolute best to fuel my muse and replicate it.
I listened to hundreds of songs while writing and editing "Tone Deaf," but only a few of them had a lasting impression on the book. Check out the official playlist below if you want to know which songs made the cut!



About the Author
Olivia Rivers is a hybrid author of Young Adult fiction. Her works include the independently published “Tortured Elements” and “Duplicity” series, along with the traditionally published novel “Tone Deaf” (Skyhorse 2016.) As a certified geek, she enjoys experimenting with new publishing technologies, and her online serials have received over 1,000,000 hits on Wattpad.com. When Olivia isn’t working as a writer, she’s a typical teen attending college in Northern California. Olivia is represented by Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary, and nothing thrills her more than hearing from readers.
Author Links:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Review: The Society

25711588The Society by Jodie Andrefski
ISBN: 978-1633753181
Pages: 304
Source: Entangled Teen

Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Initial Reaction:
🙂

Welcome to Trinity Academy’s best-kept secret.
The Society.
You’ve been handpicked by the elite of the elite to become a member. But first you’ll have to prove your worth by making it through Hell Week.
Do you have what it takes?
It’s time to find out.
Samantha Evans knows she’d never get an invite to rush the Society—not after her dad went to jail for insider trading. But after years of relentless bullying at the hands of the Society’s queen bee, Jessica, she’s ready to take down Jessica and the Society one peg at a time from the inside out.
All it’ll take is a bit of computer hacking, a few fake invitations, some eager rushees…and Sam will get her revenge.
Let the games begin.
The Society is like a college frat or sorority for high schoolers at the Trinity Academy. Everyone wants to be a member but only the creme de la creme of the high school social ladder can get in. Samantha Evans is at the bottom of said social ladder after her father went to jail for insider trading and her ex-best friend Jessica is at the time. After dealing with Jessica's taunts for years, Sam comes up with an idea to bring Jessica and the elusive Society down from their high pedestal by playing their games against them.

I have a confession, I completely forgot what this book was about when I started reading. I requested it from Entangled Teen and for some reason I thought that this book was a historical fiction novel about some society. I mean...the cover with the envelope and seal threw me off. Needless to say,  was pretty surprised but I found out that this book took place in modern times and in a high school no less. 

While I haven't read a lot of books that focus on bullying, I think this one definitely takes a very interesting approach. In the beginning, you are exposed to all the horrors that Jessica does to Sam and it's honestly a miracle that she is still so strong. I don't personally agree with Jessica's motives for bullying Sam, I can see some sense in why their friendship was so horribly broken.

The interesting part of the story really lay in the deep character development of Sam throughout the story. She starts off as a scared little mouse but once she's fueled by her idea of revenge, she slowly grows a bit stronger with each passing day. While I'm not saying I approve of revenge in any way, it was a really important catalyst in showing Sam what she believes in and that her identity is not rooted in her father's actions. 

The romance-y relationship of this book was kinda weird at times. Ransom was...*shudders* really creepy. Think about that stereotypical bad boy who rides a motorcycle, is older than you, is incredibly good looking, and has a bajillion side chicks and that is definition of Ransom. Even the name is pretty ridiculous. As much as I thought he was an awful person and such a player, he helped Sam live a little and through that played a small role in her development. Jeremy on the other hand is just all feels and cuteness. The childhood best friend who is not afraid to voice his opposition to some things but remains a reliable companion throughout the novel.

There's not much to say other than Sam is a coding genius, her relationship with Jeremy is adorable, and this book portrays the struggle of overcoming bullying really well. I have to say I still kind of wish it was a historical fiction society but this was pretty good as well. 
3.5 out of 5 stars




Monday, May 2, 2016

Movie Discussion: Song of the Sea








Song of the Sea is a 2014 Irish animated fantasy film. Directed and produced by Tomm Moore, it is the second feature-length film by Cartoon SaloonSong of the Sea follows the story of a 10 year old Irish boy (David Rawle) who discovers that his mute sister, whom he blames for the death of his mother, is a selkie who has to free faerie creatures from the Celtic goddess Macha
(From Wikipedia)





Hello everyone! Welcome to my second ever Movie Discussion post! I actually planned on writing this post ages ago but I never got around to doing so and in the midst of APs and my procrastination skills, I decided that my brain was going to explode if I studied anymore so I should write a blog post and this one came to mind.

Song of the Sea is an absolutely beautiful animated fantasy film that follows Ben who lives in a lighthouse tower with his father and mute sister Saoirse. His mother Bronach disappeared the night his sister was born and she has never spoken a word. Side note, I finally know how to pronouce Saoirse and it's such a beautiful name!  When Saoirse follows some fairy lights one night, she discovers a white seal skin and discovers that she has the power to transform into a seal. She is also the last selkie child and has the power to free all faerie creatures from the Celtic goddess Macha who has been stealing their emotions and turning them into stone. 

I wish I could spill more about the plot line but I don't want to give anything away. Check out the trailer below if you want a glimpse of just how beautiful this movie is.

On the topic of beautiful, I'm going to photo spam you with some gorgeous scenes from the movie that honestly make my heart so happy because they're so pretty.
By the way, I love this guy. His character is absolutely hilarious!

From what I remember, this is from the beginning of the film when Ben's mother Bronach was telling him the story.

JUST LOOK AT THIS GORGEOUS SCENE!!

In addition to its breathtaking artwork and touching story, the music is also pretty phenomenal. There's actually a video on YouTube of the entire soundtrack and I highly recommend you check it out especially if you're looking for something calming. I also found a song appropriately titled Song of the Sea which is sung by Nolween Leroy and I decided to make a little lyric video because it's honestly such a beautiful lullaby.

So that pretty much concludes my little rant about Song of the Sea! Let me know if you've watched this movie and what your thoughts were. The producers of this film also produced The Secret of Kells which I also watched so I'm thinking about doing a post on that later on as well!



TOUR: Above the Flames

28940574
ISBN: 978-1680585858
Pages: 396
Source: Xpresso Book Tour
Publication Date: April 7, 2016
Initial Reaction: 
Jasmine’s sixteenth birthday was the worst ever…
All in one day, her dad died, she met a demon, and her mother rejected her existence forever. After all, the demon who killed her dad was there to take her, and all because of her stupid powers—the ability to conjure blue flames.
Two years later, she’s happy. But happy never lasts…
After moving to Idaho to live with her grandparents, Jasmine has a new life. Almost nobody knows about her powers, and she’s just a normal teenager with normal problems. Then comes her eighteenth birthday—and the earthquake that changes her world forever.
An army of demons rise from Hell. And Jasmine is right in the middle of the battle…
When demons claw their way to Earth, Jasmine is surrounded by hundreds of fire-eyed beasts. Worse, she is captured by a big-shot demon named Bael. He’s a tricky foe with a chip on his shoulder—and the desire to make Jasmine use her powers for evil.
Amon is a fallen angel with an attitude—and everything to lose.
Successfully escaping the underworld undetected, Amon is on a quest to regain God’s grace when he rescues Jasmine from the clutches of a particularly nasty demon he knows all too well. The attraction between him and the not-entirely-human captive is instantaneous. Heavenly sparks fly, but ideas of romance will have to wait. First they have to stop the demon race from wiping out the mortal realm. Humanity’s fate rests in their hands.
Can two troubled angels rise above the flames to ensure a future for mankind? Or will Jasmine and Amon’s souls be bound together—in hell?
 
 The demons have won and are preparing to take over the world one city at a time. Jasmine is just a normal girl with some abnormal powers and she's caught up in the middle of this chaotic heavenly war. After her 16th birthday when her father died protecting her from a demon, she's tried her best to keep her powers hidden. When the demons being destroying everything in sight, she teams with Amon and his band of fallen angels to try to stop the demons from wiping out all of humanity.

The first word that comes to mind for this book is intense. From the first chapter, Jasmine's father is brutally killed by a red eyed demon and her mother essentially disowns her from the family. Fast forward a couple of chapters, the demons have officially won the war and need to slaughter towns in order to incur enough bloodshed to break Lucifer's chains. So many things begin to happen at this rapid pace and Jasmine is forced to keep her head up admist all the chaos.

Jasmine's power is so interesting I don't think I can put it into words. From what I can understand, she is able to gather energy to create shields as well as little balls of "ammunition" to fire at demons. Also, if she concentrates hard enough she can focus the energy on one spot and burn the thing (preferably demon) she is targeting. Her character is firmly rooted in her love and dedication to people she cares about. While I didn't exactly like her relationship with Beau, I still honored a lot of her choices (Beau seemed a bit...too clingy?)

The plot line of the story is really well written and I really enjoyed the whole angel demon aspect. There's plenty of intrigue, romance, and a paranormal elements to satisfy every person out there. Overall, this was a great start and I'm definitely keeping an eye out for the sequel!



GIVEAWAY

AUTHOR BIO:
Cassandra Fear lives in Ohio with her husband, two kids and two dogs. Hiking, taking care of her fish tank and reading are her favorite hobbies. She loves chocolate, hates driving in the snow and could eat macaroni and cheese every day. In her spare time, she loves to write, and has always dreamed of becoming an author. Her dreams will become reality with her first book, Above the Flames.


3.5 out of 5 stars





Sunday, May 1, 2016

April Wrap Up

Hello everyone! I can't believe May is already here! I've been dreading May 1st ever since senior year started because it means that I am officially college bound which is absolutely terrifying. Luckily, I was able to make a choice and I'm relatively excited about the future, terrified of course, but generally excited. April was an okay reading month for me, I had a ton of review books that I needed to get to so I feel like I didn't get to read a lot for myself. The same is probably going to happen for May but I plan to do a lot of catching over the summer. With that being said let's just get started~

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Summary (Linked to Reviews)

Total Pages: 2270
Reading Progress: 46/100

Whoa....you know it's a review month when I have reviews for every single book that I read. I don't think this has actually happened before which is pretty cool. Let me know in the comments what you guys read this month and which one was your favorite!!





Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: The Twistedly True Guardian Tale

ASIN: B012PMF0G4
Pages: 210
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Publication Date: August 9 2015
Initial Reaction:
🙂
In the small town of Woodsville, Ruby Hood is settling into her role as Guardian of the Wood. In the blink of an eye, her monumental high school graduation comes and goes without her attendance. There are too many other things on her mind.
Her mom, Christine Wood, has just returned from caring for Ruby's ill grandmother. Kent Wolf finally gets released from the hospital and Kayla Wolf is desperate to make amends, while Dylan Hunter works to hone his Huntsman skills. Everything seems like it’s going to work itself out, until Ivy Snow shows up on Ruby’s front porch with an RV filled with seven dwarfs.
As a new darkness casts a shadow over Woodsville, Ruby is unsure where to turn when turmoil erupts in the Wood, and finds herself aligned with an unusual cast of characters. As Guardian of the Wood, Ruby worries that she can’t save everyone, but what if she is the one who needs saving? 
The Twistedly True Guardian Tale brings us back to the world of Wood where Ruby is the newly appointed Guardian. After the events of the first book, everything has been turned upside down and Ruby is struggling to grasp her new role. When she meets Ivory Snow and her RV of seven men who have been unfortunately turned into dwarfs, she sets off to help them reverse the spell.

The first book was full of cliched tropes and lots of eye rolling but at the end, I was pleasantly surprised with how everything turned out and I found that I actually quite enjoyed it. The Twistedly True Guardian Tale follows the steps of the first one, but I found myself struggling to get back into the world and with the characters. It wasn't that there was a large gap between books, I read the first book in February, but I felt out of place with the world.

Regardless, I still enjoyed the plot and delivery of the story. Sure there were still a handful of eye rolling moments and sections where I wanted to groan in frustration, but overall it was still a fun story to read. My main problem with this book lies with Ruby herself. I confess that I didn't really have an opinion of her in the first book but I didn't dislike her. Her character in this book just irritated me at random moments from the choices she made to her overall personality.

Ivory Snow on the other hand I really liked. I swear I'm not biased because she shares the same name as my bunny. I find the Disney version of Snow White really annoying so I've always been wary of the Snow White story but Ivory portrays her part of the story really well. The other characters sort of remained the same for me, I didn't really change my opinion on them which I guess is good.

As much I liked the premise of the story, I found myself fighting with Ruby throughout the book. Nevertheless, this is a really unique spin on the classic Little Red Riding Hood tale and something to keep an eye on.
3 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,


Friday, April 29, 2016

Review: Angel in Training

ISBN: 1502592096
Pages: 312
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Publication Date: February 17, 2016
Initial Reaction:
🙂

After a night out turns fatal, a misunderstanding with the Archangel Michael presents Angel with a chance at Eternal Life: the opportunity to earn her wings and one day become an archangel herself.
Angel is given the task of protecting her charge, trainee detective, Joshua Walsh. There's no denying the attraction between Angel and Joshua, only Michael has pretty strict rules: no drinking, no drugs, and certainly no relationships with humans. Thankfully, she's got other things to deal with, like trying to convince Joshua New Orleans has a serial killer who is preying on other angel potentials like herself.
Angel must quickly learn that when keeping someone safe, doing the right thing is not always the easiest, especially when you've got an archangel looking over your shoulder.
This cover gives me major apocalypse vibes so I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into with this book. At first, I was a bit wary because I don't love apocalypse story lines (it's just so scary and depressing) but I was pleasantly surprised. The novel follows Angel who ironically dressed up as a devil on her 20th birthday when she brutally murdered. As she is dying, the Archangel Michael gives her a change at Eternal Life and she agrees without knowing what she's getting into. She's given the task of protecting Joshua Walsh who is currently working on the case to find the serial killer who is targeting other angel potentials.

Angel in Training takes the commonly accepted knowledge of guardian angels and archangels and completely flips it around. Our main character Angel is an angel potential meaning that her aura has something that sets apart from everyone else and draws the attention of other angels. (Let's see how many times I say the word angel in this review...) After her murder, she finds herself thrust in this world that she didn't know existed and she certainly didn't remember signing up to be part of. Angel is pretty much your average heroine: beautiful, snarky, naive. Well, she's naive because she didn't expect angels to actually exist.

I can't tell if there's a love triangle in this novel or not but there are definitely hints of one. As her charge, Angel is not supposed to fall in love with Joshua but there's definitely a lot of chemistry between the two. Same goes in her relationship with Michael. I'm not sure at this point who I ship her with because both men prove themselves to be very different from her and compliment her in a variety of different ways.

Final note before I finish, I have to give a shout out to Cupid who is quite possibly my favorite character in the entire novel. He's hilarious and so much fun to be around. He has this "strict archangel" moments but he and Veronica (cherubim) just added so much comic relief to the novel at points where I started losing some interest. 

3.5 out of 5 stars


Foreverly Obsessed,