Friday, September 16, 2016

Review: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

323 pages
Published August 16th 2016 by Gallery Books

The Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and star of Inside Amy Schumer and the acclaimed film Trainwreck has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays.  
In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is - a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh. 
Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friends - an unforgettable and fun adventure that you wish could last forever. Whether she's experiencing lust-at-first-sight while in the airport security line, sharing her own views on love and marriage, admitting to being an introvert, or discovering her cross-fit instructor's secret bad habit, Amy Schumer proves to be a bighearted, brave, and thoughtful storyteller that will leave you nodding your head in recognition, laughing out loud, and sobbing uncontrollably - but only because it's over.

Okay, I'm not going to to lie to you. I've been on fence about Amy Schumer all along. One day I really like her and then the next day I watch an interview and think hmmm maybe not. But I had to buy this book the second it came out. Why? Because, whether I agree with her or not, I can count on Amy to make me think AND laugh until I cry. 

The synopsis promises that this book is like "the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friends" and that's the most accurate way to describe The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. One second Amy is telling you all about a sexual encounter and then you start a new chapter and she goes down an emotional route to discuss her father, mother, or her experience with rape. It really does feel like you're having a glass of wine with a friend. The conversation is never serious for too long, yet you cover an array of topics that wouldn't go together otherwise. I expected this book to be crude, maybe even too over-the-top, but it wasn't. It was sincere, just the right amount of funny, and I learned one very important thing: Amy Schumer is a lot more than just a polarizing comedian. She's a badass. And I am all in now: I'm a fan.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Blog Tour: Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty {Guest Post + Giveaway!}



ABOUT LOCK & MORI:


In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.
You know their names. Now discover their beginnings.

Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park, and sixteen-year-old Lock has challenged his classmate Mori to solve the crime before he does. His only rule: they must share every clue with each other.

Mori reluctantly agrees, but what begins as fun and games quickly becomes sinister. As she gets closer to solving the case—and more and more drawn to Lock—she discovers that the murder is connected to her own past. Now she’s keeping secrets from Lock, her family, and her best friend, secrets with dire consequences.

To save herself and loved ones, Mori is prepared to take matters into her own hands. Will Lock be standing by her side when it’s all over? That’s one mystery Mori cannot solve.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N


GUEST POST: 

The fabulous Heather W. Petty shares with us her favorite scenes in the book and her inspiration behind them!

To be honest, most of the scenes I write into a book don’t have any kind of direct inspiration, other than their place within the storyline. But one of my favorite scenes in LOCK & MORI was definitely inspired by real life. 

Favorite Scene: Lock and Mori on the boating lake in Regent’s Park

I worked at a summer camp for a few years during college in the Sequoia National Forest of California. The camp was built on top of an old logging camp on a beautiful lake. I’m not a super outdoorsy girl, but I managed to hold my own through the dirt and BEARS and giant-flying-bugs-that-will-not-die and also BEARS. Still, on our days off, instead of challenging survival missions or going on spelunking expeditions, I preferred to read. Books. 

This mostly meant I spent my days off alone, but in my second season at the camp I met a friend who also preferred reading to thirty-mile, off-road bike rides. I used to love to sit on the end of the boat dock to read surrounded by the sounds of the lake and the water birds. My friend decided that we should take it one step further and go out on the lake to read. 

I’ll spare you the hilarious stories of two people who are really bad at rowing learning to navigate a rowboat. But, while we had great reading intentions, one day my friend needed to talk through something, and we found that the boat was a really great way to hide away from everything and everyone at camp and talk about all of those deep questioning things we didn’t want anyone else to hear. We also laughed about ridiculous things and told stupid jokes and nearly capsized a boat trying to retrieve a lost oar. (We were super bad at rowing.)

So, obviously when I saw a sign about boat rentals in Regent’s Park, I definitely pulled from my own rowboat adventures to write my scene of Lock and Mori out on a boat. I also stared at this picture a lot for inspiration. These two could totally be Lock and Mori reading a book together out on the lake. 

ABOUT HEATHER W. PETTY:



Heather Petty has been obsessed with mysteries since she was twelve, which is when she decided that stories about murders in London drawing rooms and English seaside villages were far superior to all other stories. She is the author of the Lock & Mori series. She lives in Reno, Nevada, with her husband, daughter, and four hopelessly devious cats. You can visit her online at HeatherWPetty.com.









Tour Schedule:
9/5: In Wonderland - Review

Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of LOCK & MORI (US Only)

Rafflecopter Code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 2, 2016

Blog Tour: As I Descended by Robin Talley




ABOUT AS I DESCENDED:



Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

From acclaimed author Robin Talley comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair.



ABOUT ROBIN TALLEY:



I live in Washington, D.C., with my wife, our baby daughter, an antisocial cat and a goofy hound dog. Whenever the baby's sleeping, I'm probably busy writing young adult fiction about queer characters, reading books, and having in-depth conversations with friends and family about things like whether Jasmine's character motivation was sufficiently established in 
Aladdin.

My website is at http://www.robintalley.com, and I'm on Twitter and Tumblr.


LINKS: Website | Twitter Facebook | Tumblr



Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of AS I DESCENDED (US Only)

Rafflecopter Code:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Don't Fold the Page Recommends: Non-Fiction

Sometimes I need a break from my beloved Fiction-everything and there's nothing like a good non-fiction title to get me motivated. Here are just a few titles that I've read recently:



How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran 

What it is: A memoir intertwined with essays about everything from fashion to abortion. 
Why you should read it: Say whatever you want about Caitlin Moran but she's fearless. She will tell you her opinion, regardless of how controversial it might be, and do it with wit and intelligence. Even though I don't agree with everything she had to say in this book, I loved that it made me think about so many different issues. 

Add it on Goodreads




Girl Up by Laura Bates

What it is: An Illustrated guide containing everything about being a young woman. 
Why you should read it: This is a fantastic guide that feels like your best friend is giving you advice. Laura Bates is HILARIOUS and she touches some delicate subjects without sugar coating anything. This is the book that I wish I could've had when I was a teenager and, even though I read it in my late twenties, I still got a lot out of it. 

Add it on Goodreads




Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein

What it is: A study about girls and sex, which includes interviews with a number of young women.
Why you should read it: Even though this book is bright pink and it's called Girls & Sex, this would make an excellent gift to any young man. I say this because many of the stories are centered around sexism and the difficulties women face today. While women can get a lot out of it, imagine if a guy reads this before he starts dating. I think it would make all the difference. 

Add it on Goodreads




Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed 

What it is: A collection of inspirational quotes. 
Why you should read it: I don't know about you but I love quotes. I love to be able to find inspiration or to draw wisdom from a sentence or two. I usually end up finding the best ones out of the blue but this book contains so many gorgeous ones. 



Add it on Goodreads  

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Blog Tour: Reliquary by Sarah Fine


ABOUT RELIQUARY:
Mattie Carver’s engagement party should have marked the start of her own personal fairy tale. But when her fiancĂ©, Ben, is violently abducted the next morning, her desperate quest to find him rips her away from small-town life and reveals a shattering truth: magic is real—and Ben is hooked. It’s not the stuff of storybooks. It’s wildly addictive, capable of producing everything from hellish anguish to sensual ecstasy almost beyond human endurance.
Determined to find out who took Ben and why, Mattie immerses herself in a shadowy underworld and comes face-to-face with the darkly alluring Asa Ward, a rogue magic dealer, infamous hustler…and her missing fiancĂ©’s estranged brother. Asa has the power to sense magic, and he realizes Mattie is a reliquary, someone with the rare ability to carry magic within her own body, undetected. Asa agrees to help find Ben on one condition: Mattie must use her uncommon talent to assist his smuggling operations. Now, from magic-laced Vegas casinos to the netherworld clubs of Bangkok, Mattie is on a rescue mission. With Asa by her side, she’ll face not only the supernatural forces arrayed against her but the all-too-human temptation that she fears she can’t resist.

REVIEW:

So, have you read other books written by the fabulous Sarah Fine and you want to know if Reliquary is worth your time? Or are you a Sarah Fine newbie but the description rocks your boat (this option is unacceptable - please read one of her books ASAP)? Then you came to the right place because I'm here to tell you that you should never say no to a Sarah Fine book. I read one of her books by chance because I won it in a giveaway and I thought "hey, might as well." I didn't expect to fall in love with her. So when I heard about Reliquary I had to get my hands all over that beautiful cover. 

Mattie is equal parts frustrating and badass. She's sassy, strong, and not ashamed of her sexuality. Isn't that awesome? Shouldn't we have more access to books with female leads that say stuff like "I'd always loved sex and had never been shy about it..."? I believe so. This is what Reliquary is: sexy, magical, action-packed, and very much a Sarah Fine book. I love that I know I can count on an entertaining story whenever  I pick up one of her books. This is no exception. Fast-paced, interesting, and set in an awesome world, I felt like the first book in this series is a pretty strong foundation to what's to come. 

My only (very minor) complain is that I didn't love the ending. However, since this is part of a series, I'm not too concerned about this detail. Like the Guards of the Shadowlands series, I know that Reliquary will ultimately become a favorite! 

ABOUT SARAH FINE:
Sarah Fine is a clinical psychologist and the author of the Servants of Fate and Guards of the Shadowlands series. She was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast.

Tour Schedule:

Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of RELIQUARY (US Only)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Review: Never Missing, Never Found by Amanda Panitch


A juicy thriller about a girl who returned from the missing. . . . Hand to fans of We Were Liars, Bone Gap, and Vanishing Girls.
Some choices change everything. Scarlett chose to run. And the consequences will be deadly.
 Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she's starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends, and the chance to finally have a normal life.
Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it's too late?


Never Missing, Never Found is a hell of a ride. Twisted, dark, and just as crazy as the best soap opera, it continues Amanda Panitch's tradition of writing page turners. 

You'll either love or hate the story and the main character. After being kidnapped, Scarlett comes back home and has to adjust to her old life. Unable to do so, this sets a crazy turn of events. And by crazy I mean completely-out-of-your-mind turns that you'll never see coming. Panitch turns everything around and upside-down just when you think you know what's going on. Even though I loved the premise and the climax blindsided me, the ending wasn't strong enough. I'm not sure what I would change but I do know that the rest of the book deserved a stronger conclusion. Other than that, I really enjoyed this book, so much so that I read it very quickly. Amanda Panitch keeps pushing the envelope and I love that about her. I can't wait to read what she writes next. 

If you're looking for a psychological thriller, give this one a try! And while you're at it, pick up Damage Done because...why not?  

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dashner Dash Binge Read Google Hangout!

Are you a fan of The Maze Runner? You're in luck! Come join us in the Dashner Dash Binge Read Google Hangout to discuss The Maze Runner! It is happening THIS THURSDAY at 8pm EST. 

Click the image to join the Google Hangout!

Interested? Then, mark your calendar and bring your questions on Thursday!
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