Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Release Day Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Title: Behind Closed Doors 
Author: B.A. Paris 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press 
Source: Publisher 
Published: August 9th, 2016 
Purchase: Amazon  |  B&N 

Summary: Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie? 

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Nobody is perfect. You never know what goes on behind closed doors. These are two sayings we hear all our lives but that have never been proven truer than within the pages of this book.

For all appearances, Jack and Grace are the perfect couple with the perfect marriage. This is the perfect lie. When Grace met Jack, he seemed too good to be true. He was. Page after page reveals just how far from good Jack is. This was a book the subject matter of which was difficult to read at times, but nothing could tear me away until I knew how it ended. I have to say, the antagonist did not terrify me in the way I thought he might; it was the situation he placed the main character in that did. I had my moments of “Why don’t you just…” and “Can’t you try…” and “Just do this…” – but then she would, and then she’d try, and then she did. And it was all in vain. I think there’s a different kind of fight to put up when you have nothing to lose and when you have someone you’re fighting for. Because of Grace’s love for her little sister, her options were very limited. And speaking of her little sister, Millie was quite the scene-stealer and easily my favorite character. The clock is counting down and Grace knows she only has one chance left before her nightmare becomes someone else’s.

Behind Closed Doors was a fast read and an intriguing debut from B.A. Paris. Though it is being touted as the next *insert 2012’s best-selling thriller that shall not be named here* – as is every psychological thriller that has since followed it – this is not that book. It doesn’t need any comparison; it does just fine on its own.  Creepy, thrilling, and will definitely have you side-eyeing your significant other! 

A huge thank-you to the publisher for sending this book in exchange for my honest review. 
  
© at A Belle's Tales

  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Early Review: Swear on This Life by Renée Carlino

Title: Swear on This Life 
Author: Renée Carlino 
Publisher: Atria 
Source: Publisher 
Expected Publication: August 9th, 2016 
Pre-order: Amazon  |  B&N 

Summary: When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction? 

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Swear on This Life is Renée Carlino’s best work yet. If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, then you know I have adored all of this author’s previous novels; and while it would be difficult for me to pick a favorite, I have to say she knocked it out of the park with this one.

Can you imagine sitting down with a brand-new best-selling novel from a mysterious debut author and realizing from the first page… this story is your story? And the only person that knows it besides you is your best friend, your first love… the one you haven’t seen in over ten years. And he’s not only sharing your painful past with the world – he’s telling it from your point of view. That’s exactly what’s happened to Emiline, and she knows without a doubt that author J. Colby can only be Jase. Facing Jase will be the hardest thing she’s done in years, but a local book signing with none other than “J. Colby” himself may be the only way to get the answers she needs.

I love that we get a book within a book. It’s such a clever way to tell Jase and Em’s story – to blend past with present so flawlessly. The adversities these two faced growing up broke my heart, but there were some wonderful and tender moments along the way that were absolutely beautiful. I read this book in one sitting; and because it’s been months since I’ve read this genre, I thought it would be difficult to switch gears. But my favorite thing about this author is that no matter how different the story is from my current genre obsession, she captivates me from the first page and doesn’t let me go until the last. 

A huge thank-you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 
  
© at A Belle's Tales

  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Review: Hurricane Kiss by Deborah Blumenthal

Title: Hurricane Kiss 
Author: Deborah Blumenthal 
Publisher: AW Teen 
Published: May 1st, 2016 
Purchase: Amazon  |  B&N 

Summary: It’s too late to evacuate. Now all they can do is try to survive.

Under the threat of Hurricane Danielle, Houston residents are ordered to evacuate. For Jillian McKay, that means a long car ride with her neighbors, River Daughtry and his dad. River was the star quarterback of Harrison High until he was mysteriously expelled and sent to juvenile detention. He returned a loner, with no sign of the spark he and Jillian once shared. Now on the road, stuck in miles of gridlock, they’re barely speaking.

But River thinks they won’t get out of the city in time. He wants to ditch the evacuation plan, even if his dad doesn’t. Crazy as River sounds, Jillian has a feeling he’s right. The two set out by themselves and break into their abandoned school for shelter. The dark hallways unleash memories, and as the hurricane descends, Jillian can see that River is confronting a storm of his own. Together they discover that survival is about more than just staying alive—it’s about fighting for yourself.  

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Being evacuated due to a category-5 hurricane puts on enough pressure. But on top of that, being forced to spend hours in the car with her neighbor and former classmate River Daughtry (who she once shared a kiss with but hasn’t spoken to since he was sent to juvie) and his ex-marine father isn't something Jillian is sure she's prepared for either. But as the storm progresses and traffic doesn't, the original plan to stay in the car and make it safely out of the area begins to seem futile. And once Jillian and River abandon the safety of the car and River's dad, who refused to budge from the SUV, there's only so much time to get back to their school and hide out until Hurricane Danielle blows over. If they can make it that long.

I liked that the storm was definitely a main focus in Hurricane Kiss but not the main focus; this book isn't just about a hurricane -- it's about much more than that. This is River and Jillian's story, not Danielle's. Both River and Jillian have been through their own personal tragedies; and as they're forced into close quarters inside the school, will they find a way to survive not only the storm outside but the ones inside themselves?

I really enjoyed Hurricane Kiss; it was a fast read, and the writing and characters were captivating. And being the huge weather/meteorology enthusiast I am, I also loved the countdown to the hurricane's landfall. I recommend it for readers of contemporary and Teen/YA fiction. 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 
  
© at A Belle's Tales

  

Thursday, July 7, 2016

AW Teen Summer Reading Challenge + Giveaway!


Join the AW Teen Summer Reading Challenge and win books!

Who: Everyone who loves reading YA!
What: Read any AW Teen title (full list here: http://www.albertwhitman.com/teen/) and review it anywhere (your blog, Goodreads, Instagram, YouTube—wherever!).
AWTeen_Spring16Titles
When: June 15-August 31, 2016
How: Submit the link to your review here.
You will receive 1 entry for every AW Teen Book you review.
You will receive extra entries for sharing that review on Goodreads, Netgalley, Edelweiss, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or other review sites.
You will receive even more extra entries for following us on our Albert Whitman and AW Teen social media sites!
Albert Whitman Social Media accounts:
Prize: Six AW Teen ’16 titles:
Future Shock (hardcover)
9780807526828 FutureShock
Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life—or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporations selects her for a top-secret project, she can’t say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future, and she’ll be set for life. Elena travels with four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy. Soon they find themselves running out of time, and deadly secrets are uncovered. Can Elena and her new friends figure out how to change their futures?
Seventeen-year-old Adam Rhodes is famous, but he’s been in a downward spiral since he lost the girl he loved, Marybeth, who went by the stage name Sunshine. Then, Adam is approached by Dr. Elloran with Project Orpheus, who wants to resurrect Sunshine. As the process sweeps Adam and Marybeth ever closer to reliving the tragedy that destroyed them, Adam must decide how far he’ll go to save her.
Two boys: One is a star athlete and top student with a deep-seated need to prove himself. The other is a chip-on-his-shoulder quarterback who will never settle for second best. When gunshots echo through the halls of Broadmeadow High School, whose finger is on the trigger? This unforgettable novel counts down the twelve months leading up to an explosive moment.
Biggie (paperback)
Biggie in paperback
At an obese 300+ pounds, Henry “Biggie” Abbott prefers classroom success to sports. As Biggie’s junior year begins, the girl of his dreams, Annabelle Rivers, starts flirting with him. He’s been told to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play baseball, but Annabelle might be the one to actually convince him to try.
Girl Last Seen (hardcover)
9780807581414_GirlLastSeenPB
YouTube stars and best friends Kadence and Lauren recently had a major falling-out over Kadence’s boyfriend. Kadence launched her solo career when a nasty throat infection paralyzed Lauren’s vocal cords. And she knows how deceptive Kadence could be sometimes. But nobody believes Lauren when she claims she had nothing to do with Kady’s disappearance.
Hurricane Kiss (hardcover)
9780807534502_HurricaneKissPB
For sixteen-year-old Jillian McKay, the threat of Hurricane Danielle means a long car ride with her neighbors—including River Daughtry, the former star quarterback of Harrison High. The guy who was headed to glory until suddenly he disappeared to a West Texas juvenile detention center. Once cocky and flirtatious, he’s now silent and angry. But their evacuation route is soon gridlocked. As the teens wait out the storm, they confront the past and realize survival is more than just staying alive—it’s about fighting for yourself.
Join the fun and get your read on this summer!

 © at A Belle's Tales

  

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Cover Reveal: Long Way Home (Thunder Road, #3) by Katie McGarry


LongWayHome-CoverRevealBanner    

Being released on January 31st, 2017, the highly anticipated third book in Katie McGarry's Thunder Road Series has a cover that we can't wait to share with you! LONG WAY HOME is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance being published by Harlequin Teen! Pre-order your copy of the next book in this emotionally charged series, and don't miss Violet and Chevy's story!

   
LongWayHome-cover

Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving. 

It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life. 

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness. 

Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all. 

"An intoxicating and unforgettable story that kept me glued to the page." 
Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling author, on Walk the Edge

 

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

 

LONG WAY HOME Pre-Order Links:

Amazon | Kobo | BAM | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

   

And Don’t Miss the First Two Titles in the Thunder Road Series!

Nowhere But Here - cover

NOWHERE BUT HERE

Walk the Edge - cover

WALK THE EDGE

   

Katie McGarry - author picKatie McGarry Bio: Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.  


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads 



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© at A Belle's Tales

  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Release Day Review: Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

Title: Missing, Presumed 
Author: Susie Steiner 
Publisher: Random House 
Source: Publisher 
Published: June 28th, 2016 
Purchase: Amazon  |  B&N 

Summary: For readers of Kate Atkinson and Tana French comes a page-turning literary mystery that brings to life the complex and wholly relatable Manon Bradshaw, a strong-willed detective assigned to a high-risk missing persons case.

At thirty-nine, Manon Bradshaw is a devoted and respected member of the Cambridgeshire police force, and though she loves her job, what she longs for is a personal life. Single and distant from her family, she wants a husband and children of her own. One night, after yet another disastrous Internet date, she turns on her police radio to help herself fall asleep—and receives an alert that sends her to a puzzling crime scene.

Edith Hind—a beautiful graduate student at Cambridge University and daughter of the surgeon to the Royal Family—has been reported missing for nearly twenty-four hours. Her home offers few clues: a smattering of blood in the kitchen, her keys and phone left behind, the front door ajar but showing no signs of forced entry. Manon instantly knows this case will be big—and that every second is crucial to finding Edith alive.

The investigation starts with Edith’s loved ones: her attentive boyfriend, her reserved best friend, and her patrician parents. As the search widens and press coverage reaches a frenzied pitch, secrets begin to emerge about Edith’s tangled love life and her erratic behavior leading up to her disappearance. With no clear leads, Manon summons every last bit of her skill and intuition to close the case, and what she discovers will have shocking consequences not just for Edith’s family, but for Manon herself.

Suspenseful and keenly observed, Missing, Presumed is a brilliantly twisting novel of how we seek connection, grant forgiveness, and reveal the truth about who we are. 


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I very much enjoyed this British literary mystery! When Cambridge University graduate Edith Hind goes missing, Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw is on the case. As Manon and her fellow investigators examine the evidence as well as Edith’s prominent family, secrets begin to surface and it soon becomes clear that Edith’s friends and family may not have known her quite as well as they thought they did.

Going into this book, I expected the mystery to be the main focus, but the star of the story was actually Manon herself; and as I came to know her, I was quite alright with that actuality. Searching not only for a missing girl but also for love, DS Manon Bradshaw, God help her, is a bit of a hot mess – and I kind of love her for it. She struggles with her demanding career, internet dating, and her estranged family, all set to the deafening rhythm of her ticking biological clock. Though her personal life is in disarray, she’s still a brilliant detective, and I never thought for a minute that she wouldn’t crack this case. There are some heartbreaking moments in this story, but I was most surprised by the laugh-out-loud lines thanks to Manon’s hilarious inner dialogue and analogies. British slang is always fun for this southerner; it’ll be weeks before I stop saying ‘bins,’ ‘telly,’ ‘bloody,’ and ‘bollocks.’

There’s a slew of very interesting characters in the police department as well as out, my favorites being Davy, Bryony, Harriet, and Fly. While this is a great stand-alone, these characters are so well fleshed-out that I would really love to see this book become a series as I cannot imagine not revisiting them time and time again.

Remarkable writing with plausible twists and turns and interesting police procedurals. Highly recommend for fans of British literature/literary mysteries. I will certainly be reading more from this author. 

A huge thank-you to the publisher for sending this book in exchange for my honest review. 
  
© at A Belle's Tales

  

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Summer Vacation + Giveaway!



♫ We're leaving on a jet plane, don't know when we'll be back again  -- actually, we do. Two weeks. We've got our vacation reads ready to go; and to make sure you have a happy summer with plenty of reading material, we're giving away a $25 Amazon card!


Fill out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. This giveaway is available to those who can legally enter and win/use Amazon cards. Please see Terms and Conditions on the Rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We'll catch up with you in a couple weeks! Hope you're all enjoying your summer! 

 © at A Belle's Tales