Review: Lygia Day Peñaflor’s All of This Is True

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Don’t you just want to read a book that will take you down the most unexpected path in terms of story, plot, and twists? I do. I am always looking for a book like that. Well, look no further because all of that can be found in Lygia Day Peñaflor’s All of This Is True.

Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of mixed media storytelling in books. In All of This Is True the plot unravels through a series of interviews, excerpts from the book the main character wrote (think book within a book), texts and emails as well. This type of storytelling is fascinating it keeps the story moving and the reader intrigued at what could possibly happen next. I could not put it down.

The story begins with four teens, Miri, Soleil, Penny and Jonah who have been majorly obsessed with a particular YA author, Fatima Ro, who seems to have the pull and charisma of a cult leader. Her debut was a hit and she is riding that wave to her next success–at any cost. Or at least it seems that way–right? I suggest you keep reading. Each teen has been keeping secrets from each other as expected, but they seem to be quite honest with Fatima Ro who is keeping them suspiciously close.

One lie after another they discover things about each other that should have remained hidden. But what happens when those lies are exposed for all to see? I thought I knew where the book was heading until I realized I was wrong. I absolutely love what Lygia has done. She takes the reader down a tunnel of so many twists and just when you think you see the truth she pulls a fast one right from under your nose. I’m one of those people that usually ‘call it’. Why, yes people still want to go to the movies with me. Regardless, I did not expect what really happened to have happened. Trippy right? You have to check it out!

All of This Is True is out now.

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Review: Jessica Knoll’s The Favorite Sister

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The web of lies and twists that are in this book are going to have you hooked. The story takes place as the characters are returning to their reality tv show “Goal Diggers”. As you can probably guess you cannot have reality tv without drama. I was drawn to this book because I absolutely love Jessica’s writing style and reality tv. However, even if you haven’t read her debut “Luckiest Girl Alive” (which you should) or don’t watch much reality tv, the complexity and darkness of each character will keep you turning the page. There’s intrigue, gossip, scandal, twists, an original conversation starter on today’s topics.

If you think relationships are hard. Female relationships are worse. They can be the best of the best or the worst of the worst. Even between good friends, fake friends, and sometimes friends lines can get blurred and we make mistakes. While reading this book you’ll identify some part of yourself, the frank, blasé part you barely let through to others. Frankly, I think there’s a Regina George in all of us and Jessica weaves a story that lets us into the lives of women who will do anything to get what they want.

This book involves a large cast of characters each with a very distinct voice so pay close attention.  Its pace is just right, making the reading experience nearly cinematic, moving steadily as the action rises. Also, I recommend trying to get into the frame of mind of how a reality tv show is presented for tv. For example, you have the story play out then you get the character’s perspective and then you get commentary responses from others. I really enjoyed this book, it’s scandalous and out for revenge. It is a must read!!

Review: Elizabeth Acevedo Poet X

Absolutely loved it. Xiomara, is a teen that must balance her individuality as a young Latina girl growing up in Harlem. Acevedo paints a very clear picture of her characters through prose that sticks with the reader and rich description that jumps off the page. A wonderful story that peeks into the teen struggles, in particular, those caught between two cultures. It is so beautifully written I highly recommend this book. I’m ready for whatever Elizabeth Acevedo has next!!

Review: Amanda Lovelace The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One

 

 

This book is on fire! A poetry collection that speaks so much truth it just gets you to the core of everything you’ve always wanted to say—everything you’ve thought about and more. Amanda has crafted an EMPOWERING message to all. She magically weaves ALL the topics that challenge us today with love & respect. I cannot stress how much I love this book. I felt such raw surge of energy–that seriously made me feel like I could fly. No joke. You must pre-order now! Target will have a special edition RED cover copy with bonus material while Barnes and Noble will have the WHITE cover copy. Out Tuesday, March 6

Review: Liz Keel’s Enlightenment (The Driel Trilogy, Book 1)

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       Delve into the world of Faey where along with Thea you will discover a new world she never knew existed. Enlightenment is a story that has something to offer to everyone. Like Thea who at the age of sixteen and in a blink of an eye her whole world changes the story has a quick to think pace that very much mimics our own adolescence. Thea must decide if those that are with her are there willingly or for their own advantage. Her experience and awareness reminds us that not all is what it seems. Keel brings a warm depiction of nature and imagination to the world she’s created for Thea. Fully captures how nature is a big part of who Thea is and where she is from. What  would you do if your life was out of your control and you were suddenly responsible for carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Being able to relate to the characters even if they live in a different realm is highly important to a reader and Liz Keel accomplishes it in Enlightenment. You will be rooting for Thea as she learns about Faey and its people. You will be surprised at the twists that surface between one of the most important people in Thea’s life and one that she’s only just met. All throughout you will sense the responsibility that Thea possesses as well as the inner strength she harnesses to face those who’ve harmed her the most. The story will pull you in and give you a new take on fantasy world: Elves!!

Review: The Light Between Oceans

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Is your love as deep as the ocean? Would you be able to do anything for the one you love? Would the past prevent you from moving forward?  In “The Light Between Oceans”, a film adaptation based on the novel by M.L. Stedman and under the direction of Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, A Place Beyond the Pines), we are taken to Janus Rock, a remote island off the coast of Australia. Like the two-faced Roman God it is named after, it faces two different oceans which symbolically serves as a reminder that all beginnings have an ending just as all those who love have a past and future.  Tom (Michael Fassbender) is a war veteran struggling to find normalcy in his life after the Great War. In his search, he finds an opportunity as the lighthouse keeper at Janus Rock. Life on the secluded island is just as one would expect, quiet and rewarding, as guiding those lost at sea proves to Tom that there is light for those who seek it.

A few months later in his new position, Tom unexpectedly meets Isabel (Alicia Vikander), a light hearted and spirited young woman who had lost two brothers to the war. Learning they share the bonds of grief and loss, Isabel takes it upon herself to be the shining light that Tom had only hoped to find amidst the darkness. After a short courtship, Tom and Isabel’s relationship develops into an endearing, non-traditional love story in which the couple increasingly views each other as equals during a non-egalitarian post-war 1920s. Together they face struggles that no couple would ever expect to experience. At the time far less complicated situations would have separated them, emotionally dooming them for a life of resentment and guilt. However, their relationship remained strong through the hardest of times because the devotion they shared for one another was not faltered by the crushing of the waves that daily remained them of what could have been. But as soon as the storm had settled and stayed with them a ray of hope appears out of nowhere and breathes on new beginnings.

Through sharp and beautiful cinematography, Cianfrance is able to bring to the big screen a vibrant and timeless romance. Each scene reverberates the inner struggles that each character conveys and becomes obvious that Fassbender and Vikander are the real deal. The challenging choices the story presents after a “reawakening” occurs in both of their lives transcends across the screen and into to your heart. Rachel Weiz’s characterization of Hannah, a grieving mother with little will to live, is nothing short of magnificent as she echoes the person she once used to be before the loss of her loved ones. The score of the film is by Academy Award winner Alexandre Desplat (Argo, Philomena, The Danish Girl, Secret Life of Pets) and is the anchor that sets the motion and aura of this dramatic love story.

This is a story about love and letting go, and embracing the present and moving forward to the future. While there are moments of predictability, the dialogue is strong and thoroughly centers the story without oversaturating its ebb and flow. Highest acclaim to the performances and production of the film as it portrays the humanity that exists between the notions of right and wrong when love clouds our judgment. This film is a perfect representation of the moments in life that are taken for granted, the selfless and selfish acts that we do out of love for others and the inner sadness that we battle in our search for forgiveness. A powerful, heartbreaking story beautifully told of what it means to love and to be loved.

Review: R.Dean Johnson’s Californium

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It’s strange to think there are people not much younger than me who don’t know what it was like to live in a society that used to be a lot brighter than it is today. Blasts from the past usually involve a big nostalgic sigh. Reading this novel I knew a couple of things, it was set in the 80s and that it was a  coming of age journey. Johnson describes life in California during that time as a place where dreams came true. Which is still kinda true for California if you ask me. I learned a lot more about what it was like growing up in 1982 even if this story is fictional. We meet Reece who at 14 years old is a dreamer wiser than anyone in his family would expect him to be at his young age. There is so much description and palpable emotion behind the main character Reece and his family at times I was left wanting to know more. I really liked that in this novel I was able to see with clarity what Reece experienced. I found it refreshing to read about a time different than our own. Johnson introduces us to pop culture of the past and lifestyles that were perhaps the beginning of the ‘hipster’ culture. We also get an inside look at what it was like to be in a band and the struggles that surface with it. You will find that this is a story of self growth and ingenuity amidst the ever-changing structures of friendships and family.

 

YA Reads Blog Tour: Liz Keel’s Enlightenment

BANNER ENLIGHTENMENT LIZ KEEL FQP SV JULY (1)This book blitz is brought to you by YaReads Blog Tours

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Title: Enlightenment
Series: The Driel Trilogy
Author: Liz Keel
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing
Release Date: 21st April 2016
ISBN: 9780996974875 ( paperback)
9780994664198 ( e-copy)

After losing everything, all seventeen-year-old Thea wanted was to be a normal teenager. Instead, she was attacked by a mysterious creature she thought only existed in fairy tales. Now thrown into the unknown realm of Faey, Thea is forced to determine the difference between reality and fantasy, in a world ruled by a dark elite and a society wracked by intolerance and prejudice. With the support of her new friends and a mysterious dark haired, blue-eyed guardian watching her every move, Thea will discover that when it comes to Faey, nothing is what it seems. Will her courage and desire to save this new world from darkness be enough? Or will Thea be the next victim to fall to the dark whispers of fate…

 

Purchase Links

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Kobo Books

Amazon

Amazon Paperback

 

About the Author:

Liz Keel

I live in Surrey, England, a short walk from the beautiful Windsor Park, with my husband Richard and our two gorgeous children Noah and Olivia. For me, writing is nothing short of an addiction and I often find myself sneaking out to my writing shed for just a few minutes, which can often turn into hours of pure, unadulterated bliss catching up with my characters and continuing their story. In-between writing, I teach in a primary school where there’s never a dull moment! I will also often be found Kindle in hand, reading a wide variety of genres but with YA fantasy and paranormal romance at the forefront of my reading list. Although I’m currently writing the second book in the Driel trilogy, other characters involving all things fantasy, paranormal and YA romance are jockeying for position, wanting me to write their story next, so watch this space! It is such a privilege to share my stories with you the reader. Thank you enough for taking the time to find out more about me. To find out more about Liz, visit her website: www.lizkeelauthor.com

 

ABOUT Fire Quill Publishing

Fire Quill Publishing is located in sunny South Africa. We strive to only publish and distribute pre-eminent novels to our audience, and work to offer superb marketing services to our authors. Each division is run by a team of experts in their respective fields in order to make your experience in the publishing industry as fun and exciting as possible, whilst still offering the highest quality and professionalism.

Fire Quill Publishing operates internationally, and supports international authors.
Take a look at our titles and new titles coming soon, and for those that like to read before novels are released, you can grab some of our titles before publication on Netgalley

Our aspiration is to market popular genres such as fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction, in South Africa. However, we are most certainly open to other genres as well. Please visit our Submission Guidelines for detailed instructions on how to submit your manuscript to Fire Quill Publishing.

 

Author’s Links

Facebook author Page
Website
Fire Quill Publishing

Review: Emily Giffin’s First Comes Love

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The newest addition to Emily Giffin’s series of novels about love, heartbreak, and happiness is a story about life and the complex nature we encounter when we lose someone we love too soon. Be ready to laugh, cry, and reflect on your own relationships and the beauty of finding love in the things we do and the people that surround us. I have been a reader of Emily Giffin’s novels for a couple of years and this one is very much the one about the struggles each one of us faces with family whether you’re single, married, divorced, with baby, with kids, with no kids.

In the beginning we meet siblings Daniel, Meredith and Josie who love and care for each other above everything else. Daniel being the eldest is the nucleus of the family, he is the parental pride and an aspiration for both of his sisters. As the story unravels we learn the complicated dynamics of their family during the aftermath of a tragic accident. An already  rocky relationship between Meredith and Josie is truly on the point of no return once accounts of the tragic night are laid out. Rivalry, jealousy, secrets and lies all play a part in the way the sisters approach each other which has sadly drifted them apart. The decisions they each have made have solely been based on keeping up appearances and not losing face with one another and their family.

Reading this novel is a real experience because these are topics people deal with everyday. Reflect on the relationships in your life, the interaction and the communication you have with your parents, siblings, your friends and the people you date. It’s up to us to come forward and strengthen our relationships. There are so many examples of family in this novel because just like in real life family is not limited to those with which we share a name, a womb, or blood. The bond of family and the people that love us truly shapes and makes us who we are and who we hope to be because they are the family we will always belong to.

 

 

 

Book Review: The Burden Of The Protector -S.C. Eston

 

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            In a place where boundaries are not meant to be broken Dar pushes through obstacles only to find himself in a journey to survive. His friendships are tested but will he do the right thing or will he let his prohibited discoveries overcome his need to fight for what is true and right. In his premiere novella S.C. Eston takes us to a land where the ever vigilant high power Sy’ll spreads subconscious fear and oppression. Dar is a knight, a protector of the land when he makes a discovery it will not only threaten and challenge the Sy’ll, but his desire to protect his family and his own life. If you enjoy reading about quests and discoveries you will enjoy this story. Dar’s journey is reminiscent of challenges we encounter when we encounter unexpected situations that force us to make decisions we would not make otherwise. Decisions that haunt us and take time to fully have an effect on our lives only to realize that waiting had the greatest impact. I submerged myself right into the story and navigated along with the characters reaching the end too quickly. It’s a captivating story of a life’s journey that transfers the characters emotion right to the reader. 

To learn more about S.C. Aston visit: http://www.sceston.ca/Home