Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review: Landry Park by Bethany Hagen

Landry Park
by: Bethany Hagen
Release date: February 4th/14.
Publisher: Dial
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Landry Park on Goodreads here.
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Downton Abbey meets The Selection in this dystopian tale of love and betrayal

In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won't allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty - her family and the estate she loves dearly - and desire.

My Thoughts:
Great read, with great series potential!

I thorougly enjoyed this debut and I think fans of DeStefano's Wither and Simmons' Article 5 will relish it, as it has an excellent blending of dystopian society with a futuristic aristocratic backdrop. Of course, it's always nice to have a sexy, rich, rebellious hero :).

Madeline is a strong heroine and I enjoyed experiencing the story unfold from her point of view. She's been given many privileges not afforded to many of her society, but what she really craves is the freedom to pursue her dream of education. Unfortunately this futuristic society has taken several steps backwards, and Madeline's sole purpose (or at least in her father's eyes) is to carry on her family name through a well matched marriage.

Enter our head strong hero, David. He's a man of mystery, with little pedigree, but quite the fortune to please Madeline's father, but he may already be spoken for... As well, there are a lot of questions surrounding this elusive and wealthy young gentleman, some you can guess right away, but others may surprise you! :)

I love the stolen moments between these two, and that's really what the scenes felt like. I also just found them to be a likeable match. They both want to do the right thing, but have grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle and struggle with giving that up (which I think are completely realistic emotions). My only wish is that things could have "heated-up" a bit more between these two, perhaps a bit more progression.

Quick note: did not care for the character Cara, and I was actually quite annoyed with how her story ended up in the end. 

There's a bit of action in this book and some gritty, violent scenes. Hagen's setting kind of reminds me of a Jane Austen book, blended with an episode of The Walking Dead, not sure if everyone would agree with that assessment though, haha.

I can't wait for book #2, I feel like with the way Hagen left things at the end of Landry Park- we may have potential for a love triangle between Madeline, David and a mystery man, whom I will not name because I don't want to spoil anything ;).

Landry Park is a great read for fans of YA who enjoy a great blend of romance and dystopia in their reads!

Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rumour Has It Blog Tour: Spotlight & Author Guest Post

Today, I'm pleased to be one of the blog stops on the RUMOR HAS IT BLOG TOUR

Rumor Has It 
by Elisabeth Grace 
Now Available!!!
Source- e-ARC from author
Find Rumor Has It on Goodreads here
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
All publicity is good publicity, right? Unless you’re recent college grad Ellie Wagner and an embarrassing video of you and your boyfriend goes viral. Every man in your life abandons you, but who knew a one-minute clip of your latest doomed relationship would brand you a slut, prevent you from getting your perfect job, and force you to keep doing the one thing you swore you’d never do again…live with your mother.

But staying with mom and her latest boy-toy (is this husband number four or five?) until your life turns around might not be all bad. Especially when you fall – literally – at the feet of a sexy, green-eyed stranger who offers you freedom and a life of luxury on a gold-rimmed platter.

There’s only one little problem – the man of your dreams is none other than Mason Nash, the latest hip-hop star busting up the music charts. Fame and fortune are his calling cards and he’s vying to steal the show on a new reality TV series that will catapult him into mainstream stardom. Hello spotlight.

The man behind the famous persona is perfect for Ellie in every way, but can she overcome the ugly pitfalls that come with Mason’s celebrity status? Or will she be forced to choose between the man she loves and the independent life she longs for? After all, fame and fortune aren’t always what they seem and not all publicity is good publicity…

Purchase Links: Amazon | B & N

About the Author:

I have a soft spot for romance novels with happily ever afters and a HOT spot for alpha males! I currently live outside Toronto, Canada with my hubby, two small children and cat spawned by the devil. Life is busy, but never to busy for a good story and to share my love of reading and writing with others. Things I can tell you that sum me up...I'm a sugar and carb addict, self-professed Gandy Girl, a disaster in the kitchen, a LOVER of all music, I enjoy reality TV and I'm an early riser! When I have a moment to breath you can usually find me typing furiously on the keyboard to get my next story on paper, or curled up reading about someone else's HEA. The second book in my Limelight series, Picture Perfect, is set to release at the end of March 2014.

Connect with Elisabeth: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Author Website

Elisabeth's Top Internet Escapes

TED – Most people have probably heard of the TED talks. They bring in experts in their field and have them speak for twenty minutes on a topic. Topics range from advances in science, to David Blaine discussing how he held his breath for seventeen minutes, to achieving world peace. Whatever the topic I can almost guarantee you’ll be interested in it for the twenty minutes because the person talking not only knows their stuff but is passionate about their topic. I’ve thought of a lot of things differently after watching some of the lectures. Worth checking out!

Big Think – This channel gathers the world’s visionaries and they discuss different topics that will help you succeed in life. The videos are just short snippets of longer conversations with well-known people…usually two or three minutes at the most. They are great for really for quick pick-me-ups!

Self-Publishing Podcast – If you are an indie writer you should really check this one out. These three guys are not only hilarious but have a wealth of great advice to offer. Sometimes they’ll have guests on their show and pick their brains but I always get something useful from each episode I watch. Side note though, it’s not a PG13 show.

Jimmy Kimmel – If I could stay up later I’d just watch the show but I’m not a night owl so I just watch snippets of my favorite features from the show. He always does some hilarious stuff on there and there’s a lot of self-deprecating skits where the celebrities make fun of themselves like Celebrities Read Mean Tweets, Three Ridiculous Questions With…, and music videos like I F&*%ed Matt Damon!

The Ellen Show – Whenever I need a laugh I pop on to her channel. She has so many funny games, skits and interviews to watch you can’t go wrong!

David Gandy – I’m a self-confessed Gandy Girl so of course I’m going to follow his You Tube channel to watch his interviews, back stage a photo shoots and when I’m lucky short films! ;)

Thanks Elisabeth for stoping by and sharing these great sites and videos!

But wait!!! Before you go, Elisabeth has a giveaway just for you! Fill out the rafflecopter below to be entered,
Good luck to all! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Special thanks to Elisabeth and Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to participate in this tour!!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Blog Tour: Review #16 Things I Thoughts Were True by Janet Gurtler

#16 Things I Thought Were True
by: Janet Gurtler
Release Date: Mar. 4th/14
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: e-galley via Netgalley
16 Things I Thought Were True on Goodreads here.
Synospsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue

When Morgan's mom gets sick, it's hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn't as far away as she thought...

Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue

Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?

5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue

With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She's not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend...and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can't imagine living without.

My Thoughts:

Loved it! Another great contemporary ya from Janet Gurtler!

This was easily my favourite work from Gurtler to date, I was hooked from the first few pages, the pacing and storyline blend incredibly well together, this could easily be a one-sitting read for YA fans of contemporary.

There are some elements of drama and mystery intertwined in this plot, questions of what Morgan did that was posted on Youtube, why did her ex-bestfriend post them. 

Morgan is a great narrator and I found her quite relatable. I liked the blend of her personality- she's a nice person, but not overly sweet, she's guarded but not in an angst-ridden way, overall she's a good, rational person whom readers will root for. She's going through quite a bit, and is thrown a curve ball in the first few chapters, that cause her to question everything she "thought she knew" about her family. I personally don't know how I feel about her Mom and Dad, I'm still quite conflicted but I love her twin older brothers! I also really enjoyed and was able to relate to her random thoughts and inappropriate times (specifically hospital scenes with Adam) haha!

Speaking of Adam, what a sweetheart! I was a little apprehensive on our introduction to him, but he is so sweet and thoughtful, and I loved every scene between he and Morgan.

Amy was a fun character, incredibly quirky and bubbly, although I don't think I would ever want her to serve me popcorn (read the book for the inside joke :)) haha and I really enjoyed the progression of how these three co-workers became best-friends (maybe even more in some cases)

Overall, this was a great read that I'm sure to return to for a good day read by the pool in the summer. If you enjoy a fun YA contemporary read with heartfelt friendship, road trips and blossoming love, then you need to pick yourself up a copy of #16thingsIthoughtweretrue when it hits stores March 4th!

Happy Reading!!!

Family Road Trips According to Janet Gurtler
I’ve done a lot of road tripping in my life. Unfortunately most of those road trips happened in the back of a station wagon in the late 70’s and early 80’s. This was in the days before personal DVD players. Or laptops. Or DS’s.  In fact I remember several trips where my dad would plug embarrassing music into the 8 track tape deck. And play them really loud. My dad had a thing about loud music. Actually he still does. Unfortunately his music is bad. Like really bad. I do not kid.
Every summer holiday my mom and dad would load up the kids, pack up the trailer and take us out on the open road. My family also moved around a fair bit when I was young, from one end of Canada to the other and back.  And yes, we always travelled by car. 4 kids, 2 adults and a dog. Hours and hours and hours.
Thank God for  books. We read a lot of and played a lot of driving road games. And because we were kids, trapped in a small moving vehicle we’d fight. I guess that’s part of the reason my dad played his music so loud.
Two other distinctive things I remember about road trips in general was the smell of coffee. My mom would pack up a thermos of hot coffee and pour my dad cup after cup after cup. The scent of it would fill the car. I thought it was exotic and grown up and also kind of gross.  Now that I have my own coffee addiction, I think the smell is much more pleasant.
Fast forward my life and now I have a family of my own. A smaller one. Only one child. So he doesn’t get to fight with his siblings. You know, because he doesn’t have any. And he has an iPhone to watch movies and listen to his own music. And sometimes he pulls out a book. And that part warms my heart. Instead of a trailer, we have a cabin that we’ve been building for years. And years and years and years. It’s an eight hour drive from home. So son is pretty good at road trips.
One of the first things we do on these road trips is stop at the gas station on the way out of town for coffee.  My husband and I, my son now 13 settles for chocolate milk.  And we drive. When it’s my husband’s turn, I read.  Two things that symbolize road trips for me. Coffee and Books.  And if I had to pick a third. Snacks. Lots and lots of snacks.

Thanks so much to Janet and Sourcebooks Fire for allowing me to participate in this tour!