Hello everyone, and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Meeting Point! If you’ve visited my blog before you’ll know I don’t often read adult romances, so I’m bringing you something a bit different today. There was just something about this one …
Tag: blog tour
Hello, and welcome to my stop on The Raven Heir blog tour! Firstly I’d like to say a huge thank you to Blue from Kaleidoscopic Tours for organising this blog tour, and to Bloomsbury Children’s for sending me a copy of The Raven Heir for review. Expect to see that post going up in a couple of weeks.
To start off, I’m going to share the cover and synopsis of The Raven Heir, before I pass you over to Stephanie Burgis herself for a lovely guest post.
Cordelia and her triplets Rosalind and Giles have lived safely in the castle at the centre of the forest all their lives, protected by the spells their mother has woven. The only time Cordelia feels truly free is when she turns into a dragonfly or a blackbird and can fly beyond the great stone walls. But then one day the outside world comes to them. Two rival dukes and their soldiers have come for the triplets – because whoever is the eldest is the heir to the throne.
But their mother knows that since the Raven Crown was broken, no one has been able to rule the kingdom of Corvenne and live, and she will not give up any of her children to that death sentence. When she refuses to reveal which child is the eldest, she is taken prisoner, and Cordelia and her brother and sister find themselves on the run in a dangerous new world. And as they set out across Corvenne to rescue their mother, Cordelia begins to see that there is a deep magic at work, driving her towards a destiny that could tear her family apart, take away her freedom forever or, just maybe, heal a kingdom devastated by a war that has raged for generations.
As soon as I read the synopsis I knew I needed to get involved in this blog tour. It sounds like this is going to be a darker and deadlier version of the A Pinch of Magic series by Michelle Harrison, and I’m so excited to read it!
Now it’s time for me to pass you over to Stephanie herself…
I live surrounded by castles, here in Wales. What better inspiration could anyone have? They’re gorgeous and crumbling and full of old stories: tragedies, triumphs and the haunting echoes of old battles. My family’s favourite local castle is the same one where a young Henry VII once stood on the ramparts and watched his own family’s soldiers attack, battling against his official ‘guardian’ – a nicer word than gaoler – to try to get him back.
I was stunned, when I first started researching the Wars of the Roses, to realise just how many of the major players – as their claims to the throne were fought over in vicious, bloody battles – were actually children at the time. Kids of eleven or twelve were being shaken awake at night and bundled, in disguise, on to the backs of horses for perilous midnight races across the darkened countryside, fleeing would-be kidnappers or assassins because their families were at war again… and again, and again, and again! They were just the latest pawns in a constant, adult struggle over the throne.
What would it feel like to be one of those children – officially the rightful king or queen, but unofficially helpless and in constant danger? As a fantasy author, I was driven to reimagine it in a different, vividly magical, setting: my own fictional kingdom of Corvenne, which has been wracked by a similar series of wars over the throne ever since the ancient Raven Crown was broken.
In The Raven Heir, my heroine’s mother has tried to save her own children from those endless battles by hiding them away in an enchanted forest for the first twelve years of their lives. When those enchantments are finally broken, though, Cordelia’s mother and half-brother are both kidnapped by invading dukes, while Cordelia and her triplets are forced to flee. Now they’re alone in their forest with two horrible new realisations: One of them (but they don’t know who!) is officially the new Raven Queen or King… and no one can survive the Raven throne for long.
Luckily, all three triplets have their own kinds of magic. Even more importantly, they still have each other… and I hope you’ll enjoy riding along with all three of them as they set out on an epic quest to save their family and heal a broken kingdom.
We could all do with some healing right now, couldn’t we?
Thank you so much, Steph, for writing such an inspirational guest post for me to share. I’m now finding myself more interested in British history than I’ve ever been before! Who knew something like the War of the Roses could inspire such a compelling fantasy middle grade?
About the author:
Stephanie Burgis lives in Wales with her husband, their two sons and their tabby cat, surrounded by mountains and castles. She writes fun MG fantasy adventures, most recently the Dragon With a Chocolate Heart trilogy and The Raven Heir.
Thank you so much for visiting my stop on The Raven Heir blog tour. Make sure to visit the other stops from earlier in the week (you can find them in the tour header at the top of this post!) and don’t forget to visit Sabrina for her stop tomorrow.
See you again soon,
Hey everyone, and welcome to my stop on the There Is No Big Bad Wolf in This Story blog tour! First of all, I’d like to say a huge thanks to Blue from Kaleidoscopic Tours for allowing me to take part in this blog tour, …
First things first, I’d like to say a huge thank you to The Write Reads for organising this blog tour. Instructions for Dancing is Nicola Yoon’s third novel, and her first release in five years. Because it’s been such a long time since The Sun …
Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Kate in Waiting blog tour! I honestly can’t tell you how excited I am to be taking part in a blog tour for a Becky Albertalli novel, and I’d like to say a huge thanks to The Write Reads for organising this tour and allowing me to get involved.
From bestselling YA rom-com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.
[PRINCIPAL CAST LIST]
Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:
Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient.
Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment.
Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.
But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script.
Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson
He is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.
Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship…
I featured Kate in Waiting on my most anticipated January to June releases list right at the start of the year. The synopsis for this book is so intriguing – two best friends who fall in love with the same guy – and Kate and Anderson’s story definitely lived up to my expectations.
Kate and Anderson both meet Matt at a theatre camp over the summer, and neither of them can believe their eyes when he walks out of their high school drama classroom a couple of weeks later. They promise that they won’t let their growing feelings for him get in the way of their friendship, but when he’s cast as Kate’s love interest in the school musical – and starts texting Anderson to organise private rehearsals – jealousy quickly rears its ugly head.
I’m a huge fan of YA books which spotlight the importance of friendships (Loveless, First Day of My Life) and Kate in Waiting is another stellar example.
‘People are always saying that if they didn’t know Andy was gay, they’d never believe we were just friends.
It’s such bullshit. First of all, we’re best friends.
Second of all, there’s no just. Friendship isn’t a just. Yes, Andy’s gay. No, we’re not a couple. But Anderson Walker is the most important person in my life, hands down.’
The focus of the story is very much on Kate and Anderson’s friendship, and it’s a brilliant one. They’ve been there for each other through everything – through Kate being bullied for her performing, through Anderson coming out – and they are both determined to protect their friendship, even though they both feel as though they’re falling in love.
I thought the slow burn feelings that Kate developed for Matt were very realistic. There’s no insta-love here. She thinks that he’s kind and sweet so her crush develops quite quickly, but as they’re working as co-stars in the intimate setting of the musical it makes a lot of sense.
There’s also no sense of a love triangle. Although Anderson and Kate both have feelings for Matt, he doesn’t develop romantic feelings for both of them. There is no battling for attention or affection (although it would have been interesting if Becky Albertalli had considered exploring a polyamorous relationship with these three, because they all care for each other so intensely!).
I was a bit apprehensive about reading this book because I thought that there were so many ways that it could have gone wrong, but it actually blew me away. I did find it a little bit predictable at points, but I was happy with the way that Becky Albertalli directed the story. It’s definitely a feel good, autumnal romance! I’ll be rereading this one if I feel the need for a comfort read, because not only was it a very quick read but there are also some hilarious moments. Albertalli’s dialogue in particular is a shining aspect of the story: it reads as though it’s been taken straight from a rom-com script, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this book ended up getting adapted to the screen and becoming a runaway success to rival Love, Simon.
Another thing I’d like to quickly mention is the diversity in this story. Raina, one of Kate and Anderson’s best friends, is trans, while Brandie is Latina and Anderson is Black. Kate herself is Jewish, and there are quite a lot of references to different aspects of Jewish culture (such as synagogue and bat mitzvahs). These inclusions make the cast of characters far more memorable, and I would happily read a companion novel. I’d love it if Albertalli decided to follow Kate’s brother Ryan as he decides where he’s going to go to college, or follow Raina and her boyfriend Harold (he is one of the sweetest characters and I just wanted to see more of him!).
Kate in Waiting gets four stars from me!
About the author:
Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her website, find her on Twitter or check out her Instagram.
Once again, I’d like to thank The Write Reads for allowing me to get involved in this blog tour, and I’d also like to thank you for checking out my review. If you’ve read any of Becky Albertalli’s other novels, let me know which is your favourite down in the comments!
See you next time,
Hello everyone, and welcome to my stop on the Stop That Dinosaur! blog tour. First off, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Blue at Kaleidoscopic Book Tours for organising this blog tour. They feature the best titles, and they work so hard …
Hello, and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Firstly I’d like to say a huge thank you to The Write Reads for allowing me to get involved in this blog tour. This release has been …
Hi there, and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Megan McCafferty’s The Mall!
First things first I’d like to say a huge thank you to the folks over at Wednesday Books for allowing me to get involved in this blog tour. I’ve been working with them quite frequently this year and it has been a pleasure.
If you’ve been to one of my blog tour stops before you’ll know I always start by sharing the title and synopsis of the featured book before I share my thoughts on it, so let’s dive right in.
New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty returns to her roots with this YA coming of age story set in a New Jersey mall.
The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans…
Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.
Going in I only really knew that The Mall was about, well, a mall, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover a tale of female empowerment, friendship and… Cabbage Patch Dolls?
Within a couple of chapters of this story Cassie’s Plan gets horrendously derailed when she is dumped by her boyfriend, Troy. Before she knows it she’s left her job at America’s Best Cookie to escape from him and has managed to find employment at Bellarosa, her ex-best friend’s family boutique.
Drea Bellarosa is a whirlwind, and she quickly gets Cassie tangled up in a legendary treasure hunt throughout the mall. Both believing that there’s a fortune to be had, the girls rely on their smarts and sexuality to coerce and con various other mall employees to cough up the clues concealed in their stores.
Meanwhile, Cassie seems to be adding a new name to the list of people she’s avoiding every single day. Will the girls be able to find the treasure before Cassie has to avoid the mall for the rest of her life?
While reading The Mall I felt simultaneously too young and too old to enjoy it properly, which is probably the most confusing feeling I’ve had while reading anything this year. Being born in the mid-90s means that although I understood most of the references in this novel (a few were lost in translation from US -> UK) I didn’t feel any overt sense of nostalgia towards them. It did start some pretty fun conversations between me and my partner, though: “Oh my god, do you remember when you could buy cassettes in shops?” “Did you ever watch the 90210 reboot?”. I think if I’d been a couple of years older this might have ended up being a new favourite, but as it was it just made me have a bit of an existential crisis at the fact that YA set in the 90s is now being bandied about as ‘historical’…
That being said, I had a pleasant time reading this. The pace was a bit slow at times and I got frustrated that the treasure hunt kept taking a backseat – I’m a sucker for a treasure hunt! – but I could understand why because Cassie was dealing with a LOT of stuff. Even though this story deals with a teen character going to work every day there is a distinct lack of mundanity.
I liked the developing relationship between Cassie and music store employee Sam Cooke – as a big music fan I always like it when characters bond over their music tastes – but the shining point of this story is the friendship between Drea and Cassie. On the surface they couldn’t be more different: Cassie is buttoned-up and serious while Drea is footloose and fancy free, but throughout the course of the novel we discover different sides of the two characters and they become very realistic. Just because you’re the firecracker daughter of a boutique owner it doesn’t mean you’re an airhead, and just because you’re a serious student it doesn’t mean you can’t live on the wild side (occasionally!).
I ended up giving The Mall a high three stars. As I said earlier, I do think it could have been a new favourite if I’d been a little bit older, so if you were born in the late 80s or very early 90s I’d definitely recommend picking this one up. On the other hand, it’s great for the teens of today: if you wish you’d been born in the era of Nirvana and Robin Sparkles is your favourite How I Met Your Mother character then you will adore this book.
The Mall is available now from Amazon.
Megan McCafferty writes fiction for tweens, teens and teens-at-heart of all ages. The author of several novels, she’s best known for Sloppy Firsts and several more books in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series. Described in her first review as “Judy Blume meets Dorothy Parker” (Wall Street Journal), she’s been trying to live up to that high standard ever since.
I hope you enjoyed my stop on the blog tour for The Mall. See you again soon!