Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu Review


27414452Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu

Published September 20th 2016 by Roaring Brook Press
Source: ARC from Macmillan (thank you!)

When Caroline’s little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself. In the aftermath, Caroline can’t help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate for a friend, he can’t see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories. But after the media circus surrounding the kidnappings departs from their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan find that they need a friend–and their best option just might be each other.

Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu is beautiful and heart-breaking but also incredibly hopeful novel. The story opens with Before chapters from both Caroline and Ethan’s point of view. You are instantly thrust into the story of kidnapping that brings not only these two characters together but these two families. The majority of this book looks at the after, the moments after the rescue.

The entire novel flips back and forth POV of Caroline and Ethan. Both characters had a unique voice and different struggles. Early on, you learn that Ethan has been coping with the last few years of his life through therapy and medication. I loved the realistic portrayal and importance these can give to a person. Caroline and her family on the other hand do not have the means to get any kind of therapy for the family or specifically her brother. Caroline’s brother has autism and cannot communicate to his family the impact the kidnapping has on him. The family is struggling and Caroline begins searching for answers, which leads her to Ethan. Together the two help each other piece together broken parts of their life.

I enjoyed that this book wasn’t focused on romance and one person saving the other. Caroline and Ethan are broken in their own ways and find a common ground of music. At first they can’t use words, just rely on playing music together.

Mathieu wrote this story beautifully and the story has amazing pacing. Once I picked this one up, I didn’t put it down! I kept reading because I wanted to find out more secrets from before. I reccomend this to any reader who enjoys realistic fiction that  deals with heavier topics.


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Young adult author Jennifer Mathieu (pronounced Muh-two), is a writer and English teacher who lives in Texas with her family. A native of the East Coast and a former journalist, she enjoys writing contemporary young adult fiction that treats teenagers like real people. She loves to eat and hates to cook.

A copy of this book was provided for an honest review.

 

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco Review (+Giveaway!)

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stalkingjacktheripper_9780316273497_hcABOUT STALKING JACK THE RIPPER:

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.


Stalking Jack the Ripper…you were not what I was expecting in the best way possible. When I first heard the title of this book, I was expected there to be blood and to be lots of it. There was some blood but it was more a historical fiction with mystery/thriller elements than the horror book I was expecting. Kerri did a wonderful job of taking actual events surrounding “Jack the Ripper” and fictionalizing them to tell this story.

Audrey is the main character and she is fierce, smart and very daring. There were more than a few times where she went running off alone WHILE A MURDERER WAS OUT AND ABOUT and had 0 problem with this. Some of the situations she got herself into had me at the edge of my seat. I don’t want this to make her sound dumb because she is far from it. Plus she usually set out alone but somehow Thomas would find his way into being her companion for this night. Thomas is Audrey’s Uncle’s forensic apprentice (along with Audrey) and he has a wicked smart brain and a knack for noticing small clues to come to a conclusion.

I am 100% on board with this ship. In the early stages of the novel Audrey and Thomas reminded me a bit of Jack and Phyrne (from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery, which if you haven’t watched this show yet GET ON IT). I say this because Audrey is a very capable female, doing things that most females don’t do in this era. Thomas is adorable and follows her around, not because he fears Audrey is going to get in trouble but because he doesn’t want to miss out on the action. There is one scene in the novel where Audrey “saves” Thomas and he is very ok with being saved by a female. I love when the ship is so good together. I cannot wait to see what trouble these two get into in book 2!

Overall I loved this one! I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a beautifully written historical fiction novel and can handle a small amount of blood.

LINKS: IndieBoundAmazon | B&N 

kerri-maniscalco-1ABOUT KERRI MANISCALCO:

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats. Stalking Jack the Ripper is her debut novel. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history, and is the first in a new series of gothic thrillers.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Instagram

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:

9/12: No BS Book Reviews – Review
9/13: A Perfection Called Books – Guest Post
9/14: The Heart of a Book Blogger – Review
9/15: My Friends Are Fiction – Q&A
9/16: Pandora’s Books – Review

Week 2:

9/19: Polished Page-Turners – Review
9/20: The Irish Banana Review – Top 10
9/21: Chapter By Chapter – Guest Post
9/22: What Sarah Read – Mood Board
9/23: That Artsy Reader Girl – Review

Giveaway:

3 Finished Copies of STALKING JACK THE RIPPER (US Only)

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August 2016 Wrap-Up and Challenge Update

August Wrap-Up…better late than never huh? I read 10 books this month (not including novellas). It was an ok month! 10 seems to be the average of the last few months. I listened to the Lonely Hearts Club on audio and read all the novellas before reading We Can Work It Out. I also read quite a few middle reader books this month and really enjoyed all of them. I also re-read Queen of Shadows to prep for Empire of Storms this month (I knew I didn’t have the time to commit to re-reading all the books but maybe next year).

All the books I read in August…

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Overall I seem to be slacking on my Flights of Fantasy challenge…I have been reading a lot more science fiction this year instead of fantasy. There are a few that I am hoping to get to the rest of the year that will hopefully bump me in the end. Once again adding several titles to my contemporary challenge!

2016 Challenge progress!

Flights of Fantasy

  1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  2. The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
  3. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
  4. The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
  5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
  6. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
  7. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
  8. In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
  9. The Women Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce
  10. A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
  11. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

  1. Roommates by Erin Leigh
  2. Playing for Keeps by R.L. Mathewson
  3. More Than Fashion by Elizabeth Briggs
  4. When We Collided by Emery Lord
  5. The Score by Elle Kennedy
  6. Bad Boy’s Baby by Sosie Frost
  7. A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers
  8. Love and Lists by Tara Sivec
  9. Dirty Thoughts by Megan Erickson
  10. Paige in Progress by Brighton Walsh
  11. The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt
  12. Dirty Talk by Megan Erickson
  13. Blind Reality by Heidi McLaughlin
  14. Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry
  15. The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan
  16. His Country Bride by Debra Holt
  17. With a Twist by Staci Hart
  18. The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L Armentrout
  19. Score by Christine Bell
  20. Choosing You by Allie Everhart
  21. Girl With the Guitar by Caisey Quinn
  22. Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider
  23. Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods
  24. The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
  25. Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey
  26. Settling the Score by R.S. Grey
  27. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
  28. Geek’s Guide to Requited Love by Sarvenaz Tash
  29. Forever and Always by Jasinda Wilder
  30. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
  31. Pucked by Helena Hunting
  32. First & Then by Emma Mills
  33. All the Feels by Danika Stone
  34. In Real Life by Jessica Love
  35. The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
  36. We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg

HOW WAS YOUR READING MONTH!?? Did you read Cursed Child yet? Have you been reading a ton of contemporary like me??

Night Of Cups by Mina Hepsen Cover Reveal!

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We’re excited to be able to share the cover reveal of Mina Hepsen’s Night Of Cups, a Paper Lantern Lit title releasing this fall!

So without further ado, here is the lovely cover for Night Of Cups:

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Gorgeous right?! I personally love the simplicity of it, but it’s also intriguing and classically pretty. Plus, the story beyond the cover sounds just as intriguing! Check it out:

NIGHT OF CUPS

Sarah was the name they gave her when she was abandoned with no memories.

Servant was what she was called by people who took her in.

Hunter was the reputation she earned among the bloodthirsty Djinn.

But when a devastatingly handsome stranger crashes into her with his silver jeep, she is forced to take on a completely new identity…

Star athlete and heir of a multimillion dollar company, Josh Beaumont was someone Sarah should never have crossed paths with. But after the accident, Josh insists that she move in with him until she recovers. Sarah is set on refusing the offer–until she learns that Josh is being stalked by a Djinn more vicious than any she has encountered. A Djinn she doesn’t know how to defeat.

And how can she hunt the creature when she has to deal with Josh’s girlfriend, who sets out to make her life a living hell? What is she to make of Ian, the sharp-tongued outsider who keeps showing up wherever danger lurks? And what if her feelings for Josh prove to be the biggest risk of all?

Captivating and witty, Mina Hepsen’s NIGHT OF CUPS is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Jennifer Estep.

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Mina Hepsen is the pseudonym of Turkish author Hande Zapsu-Watt. Growing up between Germany and Turkey, she studied political science and philosophy at Tufts University in Boston before receiving a Phd from the University of Edinburgh, where she went on to teach English literature and creative writing. She is the author of 6 novels and several children’s books, which have been translated into German, Spanish and Turkish. Currently she moves around the globe, while she continues to write, teach, and study languages.

 

 

Night Of Cups by Mina Hepsen is publishing on October 25th, 2016 from The Studio, A Paper Lantern Lit imprint devoted to digital books. Add it to Goodreads today!

 

 

Kids Of Appetite Manicure (+Review + Giveaway)

22466429Kid Of Appetite by David Arnold
Publishing Date September 20th 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Source: arc

Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

.. do you ever have trouble writing the first sentence of a review? I turn on my brain for guidance and as soon as I think ‘Kids Of Appetite’ it’s all like “AMAZING! I love it! David Arnold is a super racehorse! YAY BOOKS!”, you know, cause that’s a good review. Thanks brain. I guess now that I’ve gotten my dreaded first sentence out of the way I can start talking about how much I loved this book, and how important this book really is.

So in Kids Of Appetite we have Vic, he’s a cool dude who’s goin’ through a lot of shit in life. His dad died, his mom is possibly getting remarried to a boyfriend he doesn’t necessarily love, and he has a not well known neurological disorder called moebius syndrome; which for those who don’t know is (in short) facial paralysis. Most people will read this and not know what Vic’s life is like until he tells you, but for me it was a smidge different since I briefly had facial paralysis myself. I had Bell’s Palsy, which is partial facial paralysis and the entire left half of my face was frozen in time. I had to carry around eye drops, and constantly be aware of my drool. Work was the worst because customers stared at me, it was frackin’ hard, and I only dealt with it for 3 months! Vic was born this way, and I just wanted to climb inside the book and give him a huge hug, because I know a tiny fraction of what he’s going through. Now wait.. I’m not trying to throw myself a pity party here, I just want to throw a shout out to David for being an awesome human and taking the time and love it took to give one of his MC’s such a disorder. It made me feel good to have something I could relate to Vic with, I can only imagine how those who have moebius are going to feel once they here Vic’s tale. Moebius isn’t the focus of the book though, there is SO. MUCH. MORE!

Adjacent to Vic is Mad,  and she is flippin’ great! Plus the entire cast of characters, the whole KOA gang is just amazing and each one of them were written with so much love and devotion. David is an amazing writer, have I mentioned that?? Inside of this book there is nothing short of perfection, and trust me when I say all the emotions will be felt! I mean, you read Mosquitoland right?! (If you didn’t, please correct that ASAP) KOA and Mosquitoland are both very different and also very much the same, they both make you feel things right in the center of your heart.

KOA is a story of life and death and everything in between. I can’t think of a single person who I wouldn’t recommend this book to, so pre-order this baby, camp outside your local bookstore, bribe a friend with an arc, or you can enter the giveaway at the end of this post! I’m giving away a hardcover copy of Kids Of Appettite, and since David Arnold is gracing us with his presence here in Illinois on his tour, the book with be signed and personalized! WOOH!

But fist, my KOA nails! Oh, and obviously I gave KOA 5 stars😉

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So since I’m not very blessed in the way of art, I’m running out of cool nail ideas. Actually I pretty much ran out of ideas since the galaxy mani like a million years ago, and I’ve just kind of been winging it since then. But I really enjoyed doing this simple mani and I got a lot of compliments on it, so I will file this one in the win column.

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To get this look I used my favorite brand of polish, Maybelline Color Show, I know you see that brand a lot in my posts but that’s because it’s cheap and decent and I’m poor. But I digress. So I used a matte black to match the background of the cover, some Keep Up The Flame to make a cute little red X on my ring finger, and dotted on some white to, ya know, be cute and stuff.

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It’s a simple little mani, that I think compliments the book well. If I were a better nail artiste then I could’ve actually painted the characters onto my nails, but el oh el I’m not that cool.

So, giveaway time! To reiterate, you’re entering to win a signed + personalized hardcover copy of Kids Of Appetite by David Arnold. He’ll be in Chicago on September 26th, so if you win you can expect your copy to be shipped shortly after. Enter below, and GOOD LUCK!

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August 2016 Wrap-Up

You know when Popeye eats the spinach and it gives him crazy strength? Well, I must’ve eaten book spinach this month because I read 20 books/comics/audiobooks this month! Most of them are comics, but hey, reading is reading right? Plus I finally got on the Saga train, and man what a wild ride! I also challenged myself and participated in the Epic Reads Reading Decathlon. I had 10 days to read 5 novels and 5 graphic novels to read for silver, and WHEEEE I did it!

So what did I read last month? Audiobooks:

We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist (4 Stars)
Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick (3 Stars)

We Should Hang Out Sometime was the better of the two, but they were both good books.

Comics:

Saga Vol.1-Vol.4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (5 stars)
Blue Is The Warmest Color by Julie Maroh (5 Stars)
The Woods Vol.2: The Swarm by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas (5 stars)
Lumberjanes Vol.2: Friendship To The Max by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooke Allen, and Maarta Laiho (5 stars)
Narwhal: Unicorn Of The Sea by Ben Clanton (5 stars)
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol (4 stars)
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (4 stars)
Hollow City Graphic Novel by Ransom Riggs and Cassandra Jean (5 stars)
Cats Are Weird by Jeffery Brown (4 stars)

Saga is life. Seriously!

Novels:

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks (5 stars)
The Rest Of Us Just Lived Here by Patrick Ness (4 stars)
George by Alex Gino (5 stars)
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi (5 stars)
The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan (2 stars)
Haunted by Sarah Jones (5 stars)

It’s a toss up between Furthermore and The Bunker Diary for being my fave of the month, though they are two extremely different books. the only book I didn’t love this month was The Bombs That Brought Us Together, it just wasn’t my thing.

2 audiobooks. 12 comics. 3 novels. 1 short story. Not only did I make it to silver in the Epic Reads Decathalon, I also crushed my Goodreads challenge by reading 91 books! My goal was only 75, so I’m pretty excited. With 4 months left in the year I’m hoping to double my original challenge and go for 150. Wish me luck!

What did you read in August?

 

 

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas Blog Tour (Giveaway!)

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How far are you in Empire of Storms?? Did you stay up at midnight?? I’m a bit over half way done and part of me wants to finish RIGHT NOW and the other half of me wants to savory what I have before waiting a year for the epic conclusion.

I am SO excited for today’s post. This is the Maas Thirteen’s 3rd year hosting a blog tour for Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. The last two years I have made food inspired by the series. Check out my Heir of Fire post here and my Queen of Shadows post here. I was also a part of the blog tour for ACOTAR and got to do a fun Would You Rather with Sarah! I thought about doing another food post this year but I also really wanted to feature a manicure and eye shadow inspired by the cover. I have loved all the covers of this series and really feel that they embody the story.

As I was typing up this post, I realized a lot of the products I used were from pop culture collections. I would LOVE if one day there is an eye shadow palette or nail polish collection based off Throne of Glass SIGN ME UP!!

First up I have a simple manicure! The greenish, slightly steel color is OPI Number One Nemesis (which is from their Spiderman collection a few years ago) and the orange is China Glaze Riveting (which is from their Hunger Game collection from a few years ago). Overall I think this was pretty spot on for the colors. I was looking for colors that had depth to them like the colors in the cover. I am really happy how this looks and forgot how much I LOVE Riveting.

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Next I did an eye look. I am a n00b at this and forgot to take pictures of each step. Oops! Here are some pictures of the look, followed by the colors I used.

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I used colors from a few different palettes but for the most part I used the Naked Smoky palette. Can we take a moment and appreciate the names of some of the colors I used?? I mean one of them is named Thirteen! How perfect! Armor and Dagger are also spot on for this series as well as this look.

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I also used the color Diverge, which is from the Divergent collection that Sephora put out. The next is an unnamed orange color from a Revealed palette. I wanted an orange color to try and bring in some of the fire from the cover.

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I wish I got the orange to pop more on the lid but you can see it on the lower eye lid in the first picture. I used some black liquid liner and a pair of false lashes. Voila! I am no make-up guru but I am really happy with the final look!

Make sure to follow along the rest of the tour below!

OFFICIAL TOUR SCHEDULE

September 7 – Katie @ Polished Page-Turners
September 8 – Steph @ No BS Book Reviews
September 9 – Sarah @ What Sarah Read
September 12 – Kelly @ Belle of the Literati
September 13 – Louisse @ The Soul Sisters
September 14 – Gillian @ Writer of Wrongs
September 15 – Andi @ Andi’s ABCs
September 16 – Gina @ Behind the Pages
September 19 – Jaz @ Fiction in Fiction in Fiction
September 20 – Mel @ The Daily Prophecy
September 21 – Betty @ Book Rock Betty
September 22 – Rachel @ Hello Chelly
September 23 – Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books

book-coverEmpire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
SERIES: Throne of Glass #5
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury
PUBLICATION DATE: September 6, 2015
PAGES: 704 pages
GENRES: Fantasy, Young Adult
GOODREADS

SYNOPSIS:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down? 

Purchase:

Amazon | Target | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository | WHSmith | Kobo | iBooks | Audible

author-photoAUTHOR INFO

Sarah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses series, as well as a USA Today and international bestselling author. Sarah wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in thirty-five languages. A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog. Empire of Storms, the fifth Throne of Glass novel, will release on September 6th, 2016.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies.

Website || Blog || Twitter || Pinterest || Tumblr || Instagram

GIVEAWAY (OPEN INTERNATIONALLY)

PRIZE: One signed copy of Empire of Storms, one Throne of Glass tote bag, one set of lip balms (Dorian, Chaol, Rowan) & one Celaena soap (c/o Behind the Pages) & Throne of Glass buttons (c/o ThroneofGlassPH

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Would you want to see a Throne of glass Make-up line? What colors would you want to see??