The First Time She Drowned Pre-Order Blast

TFTSD_PreOrder_Banner

New books are amazing. New books that come with free gifts are even better!

Debut Young Adult author Kerry Kletter is giving you just that!
Pre-order THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED on or before March 14th, 2016 and you’ll get a signed poster and bookmark! Supplies are limited to 50 sets, and ship ONLY in the US.

Getting your free poster and bookmark is as easy as 1..2..3..4..

  1. Go to whatever book seller you like and pre-order THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED (links below in case you need them!)
  2. Screen shot your receipt!
  3. E-mail that receipt to meandmyshelf(at)gmail(dot)com  ATTN: TFTSD Pre-Order
  4. Fill out THIS FORM so Kerry knows where to send your goodies!

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry KletterCassie O’Malley has spent her whole life trying to keep her head above water—literally and metaphorically. It’s been two-and-a-half years since her mother dumped Cassie in a mental institution against her will, and now, at eighteen, she enrolls in college, ready to reclaim her life and enter the world on her own terms.

But as she struggles to find her way forward, the startling truths she uncovers about her own family narrative make it impossible to cut the tethers of a tumultuous past. And when the unhealthy mother-daughter relationship that defined Cassie’s childhood and adolescence threatens to pull her under once again, Cassie must decide: whose version of history is the truth? And more important, whose life must she save?

A bold, literary story about the fragile complexities of mothers and daughters and learning to love oneself,  The First Time She Drowned reminds us that we must dive deep into our pasts if we are ever to move forward.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

PRAISE:

“Beautiful and passionate . . . [Kletter is] a writer of great distinction and infinite promise.” —Pat Conroy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Prince of Tides and South of Broad

“A lovely and haunting keep-you-up-all-night heart-wrencher that is both beautiful and raw, painful and uplifting. An incredible read.” —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places

“Sentence by sentence . . . one of the most lyrical novels I’ve ever read. Haunting and exquisite.” —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything

The First Time She Drowned is an exquisite and masterful dive, a brave exploration into the complexities of family, and the saving grace of friendship. Kletter’s writing is hypnotic, her characters alive, her story tragic, beautiful, hopeful. Simply put, this book is stunning.” —David Arnold, critically acclaimed author of Mosquitoland

ABOUT KERRY:

Kerry KletterKerry Kletter has had a lifelong passion for story. She holds a degree in literature and has an extensive background in theater, having appeared in film, television, and onstage. When not writing, Kerry can be found surfing, running, working with animals, or singing loudly in her car while stuck in LA traffic. A native of Ridgewood, New Jersey, Kerry now lives in Santa Monica, California, with her partner, screenwriter David Zorn. The First Time She Drowned is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter @kkletter.

 Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website

 
Check out my interview with Kerry and her MC Cassie!

DNF ARC Review: Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

Revenge and the Wild by Michelle ModestoAuthor: Michelle Modesto

Genre: Young adult, western, fantasy

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: February 2, 2016

384 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Balzer + Bray for letting me read this!

I had to DNF this one, you guys. I tried. I really did. But it just has too much going on. I spent almost all of the time I was reading confused, and that does not make for a good book for me. Before I wrote this full review, I posted this GIF on Goodreads in an attempt to sum up my feelings and it still stands true.

What is going on gif

There is so much going on right away – you’re just thrown into this world of vampires and mechanical human parts and all kinds of stuff – but you don’t really know why the world’s like this. It’s just a weird and unsettling world that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. And most of those things don’t seem to add much to the story, if I’m honest.

I do want to point out that I know A LOT of people really loved this book, and I’m mostly in the minority here. I do think there are people who will love this story (and the premise was really cool), but in the end, it just wasn’t for me.

Waiting on Wednesday: My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights by Brooks Benjamin

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

My Seventh-Grade Life in TightsPublisher: Delacorte/Random House

Author: Brooks Benjamin

Release date: April 12, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

LIVE IT.

All Dillon wants is to be a real dancer. And if he wins a summer scholarship at Dance-Splosion, he’s on his way. The problem? His dad wants him to play football. And Dillon’s freestyle crew, the Dizzee Freekz, says that dance studios are for sellouts. His friends want Dillon to kill it at the audition—so he can turn around and tell the studio just how wrong their rules and creativity-strangling ways are.

WORK IT.

At first, Dillon’s willing to go along with his crew’s plan, even convincing one of the snobbiest girls at school to work with him on his technique. But as Dillon’s dancing improves, he wonders: what if studios aren’t the enemy? And what if he actually has a shot at winning the scholarship?

BRING IT.

Dillon’s life is about to get crazy . . . on and off the dance floor.

Why I’m excited: A book all about following your dreams no matter what. About fighting for what you want. I can’t wait to meet Dillon and check out his moves. Plus, the “Dizzee Freekz”? I mean, could there be a cooler name? 🙂 Then add on top of that the fact that Brooks is just wonderful and I’m seriously looking forward to this book.

ARC Review: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackhearts by Nicole CastromanAuthor: Nicole Castroman
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 9, 2016
384 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster for letting me read this!

My first update on Goodreads while reading BLACKHEARTS was “This. I like it.” And that’s pretty much the perfect way to sum up my thoughts on this book. I liked BLACKHEARTS. A lot. I fell completely head over heels for Teach (Edward Drummond, the man who becomes Blackbeard). In fact, my other update on Goodreads while reading was this: “Teach, all day every day.” I mean, serious heart eyes over here, you guys. I DARE you to read this book and not love him.

And then there’s Anne, who’s a complete and total badass. She’s had a super tough life, but she’s fighting hard to make her own way, even if it means stealing. She wants to get out of the life she’s been stuck in and see the world – and on that note, I could relate to her so well. I enjoyed seeing her journey throughout the book, as well as her and Teach’s relationship going from something resembling unease and distrust to a beautiful rapport and mutual understanding. SWOON.

I think Nicole’s imagining of how Teach became a pirate, the life and actions and events that lead to him stepping on to that ship to take on the seas, is so very believable, and that’s probably my favorite part of the whole book (followed closely, of course, by Teach himself). She’s been so creative but she hasn’t tried to explain his reasoning in an inauthentic way. It’s very convincing.

The bottom line: Give me more, Nicole. Please? I also want to point out that some people might not like this ending, and I’ll admit I got a bit grabby hands at the end (you can ask Nicole), but I think it’s an absolutely perfect ending.

Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic

Also, check out Nicole’s guest post on the blog: 8 Reasons for Writing BLACKHEARTS.

Waiting on Wednesday: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Rebel of the SandsPublisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Release date: March 8, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him…or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

Why I’m excited: SHE’S MORE GUNPOWDER THAN GIRL. I mean, that alone is enough to get me interested. But I’ve been hearing AMAZING things about Rebel of the Sands EVERYWHERE online, and I’m excited to try it myself. The synopsis sounds freaking awesome – from mystical beasts to magic to “a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner” to a mythical horse. I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THIS. I was lucky enough to get an eARC of this one on Edelweiss and I can’t wait to dive in.

Waiting on Wednesday: Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Wink Poppy MidnightPublisher: Dial Books

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke

Release date: March 22, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The intrigue of The Virgin Suicides and the “supernatural or not” question of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer coalesce in this young adult mystery, where nothing is quite as it seems, no one is quite who you think, and everything can change on a dime.

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

For fans of Holly Black, We Were Liars, and The Raven Boys, this mysterious tale full of intrigue, dread, beauty, and a whiff of something strange will leave you utterly entranced.

Why I’m excited: Other than the fact that this says it’s for fans of Holly Black and THE RAVEN BOYS, this synopsis sounds fantastic. I don’t even really know what this book is about but I know that I NEED TO READ IT. The cover is gorgeous, there’s a strange, wild girl, a sweet boy, and a manipulative queen bee. Mixing all of those together sounds like a wonderfully odd story with beautiful or terrible consequences. I really liked Tucholke’s story in Slasher Girls and Monster Boys because the writing was so beautiful, so I’m looking forward to reading a longer story by her.

ARC Review: Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

Shallow Graves by Kali WallaceAuthor: Kali Wallace
Genre: Young adult, paranormal, horror
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
368 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Katherine Tegen Books for letting me read this!

I needed a few days after I finished this one to fully process my thoughts on it. The concept and the magic caught my attention right away, but Shallow Graves was not really what I was expecting. I didn’t really feel connected to any of the characters, even though I did think that Breezy’s situation was intriguing. But honestly, that might be the only thing I liked about her. She was just…okay. Being dead was the best thing she had going for her.

But I finished the book. I think it’s for 2 reasons. 1. Kali Wallace’s writing is easy to read, flows well, and was pretty straightforward, and 2. The beginning was SO good and I wanted to know the end. So that’s a good thing – I was interested enough in the characters and the magic to see it through to the end. I mean, the first line is “The first time I killed a man it was an accident.” And you’re immediately drawn into this story. The first bit of the book is really cool and you’re trying to figure out what happened to Breezy and what’s going to happen to her. But the middle part? I just got a bit bored. There’s eventually a conflict and she finds something to fight for, but I almost don’t understand why. No spoilers or anything but I don’t get why she had to get involved to the extent she did.

And as much as I liked the end – the end was COOL – I didn’t really feel satisfied with the answers we were given, which weren’t many.

The bottom line: Super cool concept, good writing, but overall, not a satisfying story for me. I liked it enough to continue to the end, but I feel like there’s a little something lacking here.

Rating: 5 – Take it or leave it

Blog Tour | The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker | Review, Interview, & Giveaway

Hi, everyone! I am so excited to be part of THE GIRL WHO FELL blog tour! Today I’m going to be sharing my review of TGWF as well as an interview with Shannon M. Parker, who wrote this dark, wonderful story. But first, some information about the book!

The Girl who Fell by Shannon M. ParkerABOUT THE BOOK

The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker

Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse | March 1, 2016

Synopsis:

His obsession.

Her fall.

High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense relationship—by the new boy in school.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble Book Depository | Kobo

MY REVIEW

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse (plus the lovely Brittany from Brittany’s Book Rambles for inviting me to participate in the tour) for letting me read this.

Yikes. This book. I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time I read The Girl Who Fell. From the very beginning, it’s like your gut clenched (the beginning is terrifying and mesmerizing in the best/worst way). You know from the beginning that something is wrong, that the person Zephyr is falling for is just wrong, so you’re terrified to find out how Zephyr will get from falling in love to being hurt.

Spongebob anxiety GIF

Alec is bloody terrifying and creepy and it’s so hard to understand him – though I don’t think I really want to. Even though I wanted to reach into the book and just SLAP Zephyr, I could see why she fell and why she let her guard down. And Zephyr is such a great character. She finds herself throughout the story and realizes she’s someone to fight for. I just loved her, especially in the end. I loved how despite everything she’d been through, there was a hope for a better future. It’s never too late to move forward.

Shannon did such a fantastic job with this topic, which is so so important. Physical and emotional abuse is scary, but Shannon handled it so well. Alec is believably manipulative and I liked seeing how this relationship affected Zephyr but also how it affected her friends and family.

My one complaint is that it’s a bit insta-lovey and they just move so fast, but that’s really part of the point of the book, so even though you guys know I am NOT an insta-love fan, it didn’t really hinder my experience.

The bottom line: The Girl Who Fell is a well-written, fast-paced novel about an important topic. Zephyr (and all of the characters, really) are well developed and distinctive. It’s easy to understand what happens to Zephyr even as you are wishing she’d realize what’s happening to her and put a stop to it. You’ll feel like you’re breathing for the first time in hours when you turn the last page.

THE INTERVIEW

Hi Stefani! It’s so nice to be here!! Thank you for inviting me today and thank you for your incredible blog! *fangirls a bit* Okay, a lot.

Describe yourself in three words: Lover of love.

Describe your book in three words: Dark kissing book.

I saw on your website that you’ve been to a TON of places around the world. If you had to choose, what is your favorite place in the world?
My favorite place in the world is standing next to my husband. Especially when he’s in Queensland, Australia.

What would you say is Zephyr’s motto?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

What is the best memory from your journey to becoming an author?
When my teen son said, “Mom, I’m so proud of you. You worked really hard for this.” That made me cry. A. Lot.

Other than your own, who is your favorite fictional character?
There are so many, this is impossible to answer! But I will say that one of my all-time favorite books is The Secret Life of Bees. So, Lily Owens. She’s spunky, clever and filled with pure love (and loss).

I also made several graphics with quotes from the books for the tour, and I’m really excited to share two of them here (the second of which is my favorite quote from the book). Make sure you check out the rest of the tour to see the others!

The Girl Who Fell Quote     The Girl Who Fell Quote

ABOUT SHANNON

Shannon M. ParkerShannon Parker lives on the Atlantic coast with a house full of boys. She’s traveled to over three dozen countries and has a few dozen more to go. She works in education and can usually be found rescuing dogs, chickens, old houses and wooden boats. Shannon has a weakness for chocolate chip cookies and ridiculous laughter—ideally, at the same time. The Girl Who Fell is her first novel. Find her at www.shannonmparker.com

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

THE GIVEAWAY
One signed hardcover of THE GIRL WHO FELL and swag

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

blog tour banner - the girl who fell

CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE TOUR

Tuesday, Jan 12: Blessie @ Mischievous Reads Dreamcast
Wednesday, Jan 13: Emily @  Emily Reads Everything Review
Thursday, Jan 14: Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles Tour Group’s Favorite Quotes
Friday, Jan 15: Tika @ Fangirl Confessions Movie Playlist
Saturday, Jan 16: Kristen @ My Friends Are Fiction Review
Sunday, Jan 17: Melanie @ One Less Lonely Blog Review + Interview
Monday, Jan 18: Cyra @ Rattle The Pages Review + 5 Reasons You Need to Read TGWF
Tuesday, Jan 19: Jocelyn @ Novels and Necklaces Interview
Wednesday, Jan 20: Cat @ Let the Pages Reign Review
Thursday, Jan 21: Aentee @ Read at Midnight 5 Ways TGWF Destroyed YA Tropes + iPhone wallpapers
Friday, Jan 22: Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles Review + Interview
Saturday, Jan 23: Joey @ Another After Thought Review
Sunday, Jan 24Stefani @ Caught Read Handed Review + Interview
Monday, Jan 25Hanna @ Two Sister’s Blogging Review
Tuesday, Jan 26Michella @ YA Books Girl Review + Playlist
Wednesday, Jan 27Michelle @ Dreaming of Alba Review
Thursday, Jan 28Jamie @ Books and Ladders Review + Interview
Friday, Jan 29Eileen @ BookCatPin Review
Saturday, Jan 30Brian @ Brian’s Book Thoughts Review
Sunday, Jan 31Sarah @ The YA Book Traveler Review + Interview

ARC Review: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

The Love That Split the World by Emily HenryAuthor:  Emily Henry
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary (ALL the genres!)
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
400 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Shout out to the wonderful Little Shop of Stories for letting me take this ARC! Check them out if you’re ever in Decatur, GA!

Lovely, beautifully written, unique, fantastic, wonderful. Okay, real review, Stefani.

In THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD, Natalie starts seeing her world but not quite. She sees a preschool where a garden store usually is, an extra wing on the local church, a red door instead of a green one, a field full of grazing buffalo where her town used to be. And then, after a visit from the apparition she’s seen off and on her whole life (named Grandmother) when she’s told she has 3 months to save “him”, Natalie sees a mysterious and beautiful boy named Beau in the middle of her high school football stadium. And now all of the stories that Grandmother told her in the middle of the night start to make sense. But who is she supposed to save? And how?

I really don’t have the proper words to talk about this book. The writing is splendid, saccharine and soulful and aching and lovely. This book is full of life, stories, love, and sadness, and it is absolutely beautiful. I was immediately pulled into the story through Grandmother’s myths and legends (tales of gods and humans, bravery and love) and was kept completely mesmerized until the last word.

I want to go down to the filed, to stand with this boy between the sky and the grass until every part of me touches every part of the world. – ARC page 32

There were a few times in the middle when the story felt a bit drawn out, but I didn’t really lose interest. Mostly I wanted the story to focus a bit more on what was happening to Natalie (as the sci-fi/fantasy aspects were super intriguing) rather than the romance, though the book is called The LOVE That Split the World so I should’ve known. Plus, Matt got on my NERVES. But I swear, if I die without ever having a friendship like Natalie and Megan, I’m going to be super disappointed. Seriously – best friendship in a book EVER.

Also, this:

And when you see those good things–and I promise you, there are so many good things–they’re going to be so much brighter for you than they are for other people, just like the abyss always seems deeper and bigger when you stare at it. If you stick it out, it’s all going to feel worth it in the end. Every moment you live, every darkness you face, they’ll all feel worth it when you’re staring light in the face. – ARC page 205

The bottom line: A lovely, unique, spellbinding story of love, humanity, bravery, and passion. Emily Henry’s writing is GORGEOUS and full of a wonderful new voice that I can’t wait to get more of. The middle part dragged just a bit, but not too much. Also, BEST FRIENDSHIP EVER.

Rating: 8 – Freaking fantastic

Waiting on Wednesday: A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

 Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

A Drop of NightPublisher: Greenwillow Books

Author: Stefan Bachmann

Release date: March 15, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she’s been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780’s to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.

Or so she thought.

But nothing is as it seems, and the teens soon find themselves embroiled in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined. An evil spanning centuries is waiting for them in the depths. . .

A genre-bending thriller from Stefan Bachmann for fans of The Maze Runner and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods.

You cannot escape the palace.

You cannot guess its secrets.

Why I’m excited: I’m sorry for the language but HOLY SHIT YES PLEASE CAN I HAVE THIS NOW??? This sounds freaking awesome, and I can’t wait for it to scare the crap out of me. It sounds like it’s going to be a bit of a psychological thriller and probably mess with your mind a bit, and I can’t wait – those are my favorite kinds of movies, so I’m looking forward to having one in book form. Sounds like it’s going to be FREAKY.