It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish!
This week’s topic IS (Survey says!): Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books I’ve Read
TOP TEN FAVORITE BOOK COVERS
Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill: From looking at the book’s dust jacket, I found out that this cover was created from stock images (which probably explains why “Julia” is in heels and a dress) but I just love the colors and they’ve always caught my eye!
Crewel by Gennifer Albin: How gorgeous is this cover? I guess I’m a sucker for rainbow patterns and I’ve always loved that abstract look which is clearly going on here… Didn’t know there was a face on the cover for quite some time which kind of ruined it for me a little (and I seriously can’t un-see it so I don’t know how I missed it originally), but I still can’t get over the colors.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater: It wasn’t until I actually owned a copy of the book that I fell in love with the cover. I never realized before that you can see all the brush strokes of the raven as if someone actually hand painted each cover. Very cool.
Mind Games by Kiersten White: As disappointed as I was with the book, I still love this cover. The bright colors and mosaic photos are lovely.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: After reading this book and knowing what part this image comes from, THIS COVER JUST KILLS ME. My heart honestly hurts each time I see it.
Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black: Another book I was a little disappointed in, but I still think this cover is brilliantly gorgeous! Too bad the book didn’t quite live up to its cover.
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood: I love this cover for Born Wicked and was actually really disappointed with the redesign for the paperback! This cover is beautiful and I totally feel like I’m in the time period. Also, the position of the cover model… Her eyes haunt me.
The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse: How do people even come up with this!? I loved this cover when I first saw it. Incredibly creative and fits the story so well!
Well, that’s it for this week! Which of these covers catch your eye? Do we share any favorites?
The GAYLE FORMAN READ ALONG is starting mid-June! If you’re interested in joining or reading ANY of Gayle’s books with us, hop on over to the sign-up page!
Also, this week is the last week to sign-up for CLASSICS RETOLD! I’m still looking for a few more mythology-lovers to join me so if you’ve been dying to read some mythology-retellings, this is the perfect project for you!
“Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.
Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.
When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?” — From Goodreads
This is a spoiler-free review for SWEET PERIL but if you have not read SWEET EVIL yet, beware that there may be some spoilers for book one!
It’s no secret that I fangirled over SWEET EVIL pretty hard when I first read it last summer. I was allll about Kaidan and he truly made the book for me (ALL THE SWOONS) so when we left Sweet Evil with Anna and Kaidan separated, I had a great fear building up until I finally got my hands on SWEET PERIL that we would suffer from one of the common occurrences in the second in a series in which the two lovebirds are apart the whole book. Well, I feel it’s important to warn you (and there’s no way I can talk about the first half of the book) to say that… It happened.
I can’t. Get. Kupono. Out of my head.
First: I liked the book. I really did. Despite my wariness for angel/demon books, I really love how Wendy Higgins creates this other world and mythology and legends… But Kaidan, my main reason for loving the book, was gone the whole first half. There was tons of Kopano (which I’m sorry, as a SYTYCD fan, I keep wanting to say Kupono haha) but really, he just doesn’t do it for me. I actually didn’t really like him that much in the first book as a friend and here we go turning a slight love triangle and I just really felt let down. I was actually pretty disappointed with the direction that took. Then I run into another second in a series issue in which the characters are on a mission and traveling. The road trip in book one did not bother me at all because it was more road trip and not mission. The road trip was low-stress and we got to see a lot of character interaction between Anna and Kaidan there. The trips in book two are all over the world and pretty much are the only things we get in the first half of the book. They felt rushed and pieced together instead of a flowing story.
The second half of the book was where the magic really happened for me. It was back to the old times! The good times! Just like in Sweet Evil. We finally get to see Kaidan again for more than two seconds and he returns to all his steamy glory!! Anna finally seems a little more confident because I really felt like she was a bit passive and naïve (well, she’s always going to be naïve) in the first half. After what I felt like was travel, travel, more travel and introducing new characters, we get to know a bit more about the other Dukes, Neph, and angels in the second half. More pieces to the puzzle! More interesting facts!! YAYYY. It was a relief because I got really scared for a while in the beginning.
The second half definitely felt more like the “home” that I found in Sweet Evil so I was thankful we finally got back to that! The only thing I was a bit confused with is Anna’s character is kind of back and forth. She’s been learning how to defend herself but half the time she’s still the sweet, little naïve girl and the other half she’s badass and ready to wield weapons. I’m just not sure which Anna we should be expecting or if we truly should expect both in one. Clearly Anna’s going through a lot of personal changes throughout this whole discovery of her true ancestry and truth be told, I kind of enjoy the badass Anna BUT I also want her to stay true to her character so it’s kind of a toss up for me!
Overall, I did enjoy a lot from SWEET PERIL but it was a slow start for me. Superfans of the series will love it, I’m sure, and I’ve seen tons of five star ratings already!
Anna Whitt: For some reason when I read Sweet Evil, I didn’t think Anna was that naive (and Wendy Higgins herself said to me, “Really? I think she’s incredibly naive!” but for some reason it just didn’t come across to me that way in book one. Book two, however, gave me a lot of that feeling and it bothered me at times. I think I was just in a different place when I read book two and it totally change my outlook on Anna’s character. Regardless, I’m happy that she’s learning how to defend herself but still hasn’t lost her morals or beliefs. I hope she stays true to her character in book three!! Kaidan Rowe: Kaidan, why were you hiding in LA half of the book!?! Don’t do that to me!!! Once Kai finally shows back up in the picture in full force, the book really took off for me. I needed that tension between Anna and Kai for the book to work for me, I think, because that was what I loved so much about Sweet Evil! Kopano: Eh. Kope just doesn’t do it for me. I wasn’t really a fan of his character in Sweet Evil — nothing personal, but he just didn’t stand out for me — so his major presence in Sweet Peril brought me down a little, to be honest! Characters I loved seeing so much more of: Blake makes a strong appearance in this book and I loved him! Loved seeing more of Marnie and Ginger as well as Baleil/Anna’s father.
Event: Author appearances by Lauren Oliver + Lauren Morrill + Lenore Appelhans, Richelle Mead, Pitch Dark Days Tour Location: Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL Date: May 2 – 9
So excited to finally be catching up on these author recaps! Anderson’s Bookshop (my local indie bookstore, for those of you who don’t know it) has had some AMAZING author events this month so far. I mean like, MY FAVORITE AUTHORS AND I GOT TO MEET THEM *happy dance*
LAUREN OLIVER, LAUREN MORRILL, LENORE APPELHANS
MAY 2, 2013
OMG, you guys. I was so nervous and excited to meet Lauren Oliver! She was one of the authors that even got me into YA in the first place!!! Meeting her was honestly a dream of mine, one of my “bucket list” authors, if you will. And don’t count out Lauren Morrill or Lenore Appelhans! I’ve been fortunate enough to work with BOTH of them for a Selective Collective feature, not to mention that MEANT TO BE was an instant favorite of mine!
Firstly, Chicago traffic and rain made L. Morrill and L. Appelhans late BUT, the lovely Lauren Oliver was there to entertain us and introduce each of the books being promoted AS each other. She did a great job as Lauren Morrill and Lenore Appelhans! Very funny. I actually didn’t expect Lauren Oliver to be that outspoken and “bossy” as she called herself, maybe just because her books carry such a serious tone! She was a blast to listen to and I really heard some interesting things about her writing process!
Did you know that Lauren Oliver’s BEFORE I FALL was written entirely on a Blackberry? I did not!! L. Morrill said “SEE, there are no excuses not to write!” which I totally commend, but I would never be able to concentrate writing on the subway or in transit like L. Oliver did!
It was really interesting to hear Lenore talk about how she came up with ideas for LEVEL 2! She knew she wanted memories to be involved and involving good memories as sort of a currency. Lenore is a world-traveler so most of Felicia’s travels were easy for Lenore to write! And sadly…. There really are no prancing goats. That was a total creation from Lenore!
Quick bragging moment: Each of the authors played a game where they decided to read a passage from the book that they were promoting. Since Lauren Oliver was promoting the third and a trilogy and didn’t want to spoil anything, I volunteered my copy of Delirium. So Lauren Oliver read from my copy of Delirium and call me crazy, but I honestly found it SO. COOL. that the author herself was reading the very same book and the very same words that I read and fell in love with. It was an awesome thing for me!
Reading from my copy of Delirium eeeeep
Of course I was extremely awkward when trying to talk to any authors because let’s face it… I always am, BUT I did get to take photos with all of them and they were all super sweet!
MAY 5, 2013
Okay, I know Richelle Mead is hugely popular and has had many, many books, but I had no idea that the crowd for this event was going to be that huge! Thankfully I come to these events alone (or not thankfully, because that sounds sad) so I was able to squeeze into a solo seat and not have to stand in the back for the whole event! I was SHOCKED to find out that probably about half of the people who were at this event came from two hours away or more (quite a few were four hours or more!!) so that just tells you the magnitude of her writing and the audience that she reaches!
Richelle started off by giving us a lengthy taste of THE FIERY HEART (Bloodlines #4) which actually alternates between Adrian’s & Sydney’s point of views. It was a darker & deeper side of Adrian and interesting to hear thoughts from his perspective. Usually I don’t like when books start with one narrator and switch to dual POVs, but I’m actually pretty anxious to hear what Adrian has to say!
The audience got to do a Q&A and there were some specific questions which Katie at The Polished Page Turner was kind enough to take notes on for her own recap of the event! I’m not a note taker so… I forgot all of them haha.
She talked about the MOVIE. I guess the guy who plays Dimitri, although most of us probably haven’t heard of him, is kind of a big deal in Russia so that’s pretty cool! I hope that the movie does the books justice because the VA series is one I felt come off SO well in books and I’m scared the wrong actors could ruin it! Hopefully not
We didn’t get to do any posed pictures since there were SO many people so I got some awkward photos as someone was nice enough to snap a few haha. I made THE MOST awkward conversation with Richelle as she was kind enough to sign my books by telling her that I almost didn’t pick up VA because it was “another vampire series”. Of course I went on to tell her that I love it (duh) and I’m so glad that I read them because they’re really unique! I hope she didn’t think I was TOO awkward. I really shouldn’t be allowed to talk to authors. I don’t know how I’ll survive BEA with my pride intact.
PITCH DARK DAYS TOUR
MAY 9, 2013
Fierce Reads isn’t coming into town, but I got to go to the Pitch Dark Days tour!!! Aprilynne Pike, Amy Tintera, Elizabeth Norris, and Kiera Cass were all in attendance and a great group of ladies to meet!!
I was kind of overjoyed that……. I forgot everything that happened. With four authors, it was all kind of a daze (in a great way) but once again, Katie at The Polished Page Turner did a great write up about it so I can refer you to her page haha. I feel terrible that I don’t take notes at some of these things sometimes because I have no specifics to tell you but I feel awkward being on my phone the whole time or writing things down. I just feel like I’m not paying attention even though I’m taking notes! So I just watched and listened, smiled and laughed and had a grand old time!
True to form, I made awkward small talk with the authors (I’m just SO BAD at small talk. Why do I do this???) and took pictures will ALL OF THEM.
Also got to meet Alison from Harper! She was super sweet and a little ball of energy! She did a great job at moderating the event!! (Also a pretty awkward picture of me but… meh!)
Oh yes, there is a giveaway! I don’t have books from every author mentioned in this post (because I wanted to keep a lot for myself hahaha), BUT I do have a signed hardback of LIFE AFTER THEFT and a signed copy of THE INDIGO SPELL for one lucky winner! Best of luck!!!
Completed: May 5, 2013 Publishing Info: March 5th 2013 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (BYR) Source: ARC received from publisher via Shelf Awareness
“When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.
Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.
Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.
Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?” — From Goodreads
I feel like I need to preface this by say that I was really, really skeptical about this book before I started because I feel like I saw so many 3 star & under reviews when the book first came out. I am so glad I decided to still give it a shot because honestly? I don’t 100% sure remember what those reviews didn’t like about it and I can take a few guesses… but personally, I really did enjoy it!
That being said, I think this book worked well with me in the end because the twists were so “me”. I don’t really want to go into what those twists were because, hello, spoiler alerts galore — I’ll just say that the direction the book was taken just suited some major elements that fascinate me. Those twists may have been what totally turned other people off and they just drew me in more, so I guess I can see if people were disappointed in that. I found it kind of fascinating!
UNREMEMBERED is a hard book to talk about for me because I feel like even though I was really interested to see what was happening, I still found myself jumping straight to dialogue from time to time instead of reading all of the in between descriptors. Usually that means one of two things for me: 1) I’m so excited that I can’t wait to see what happens next so I jump to the meat of the story or 2) I’m trying to hurry to finish the book because I’m not entirely interested in the “filler” of the book and just the meat of the story. With UNREMEMBERED, I was definitely enjoying the book but I honestly can’t tell you which category I fell in when I was skipping to the dialogue. It was a little bit in the middle of the two, I’d have to say.
I will say that one thing I didn’t care for was the beginning of the book simply because our MC is SO affected by this amenesia that she not only is missing details about herself, but doesn’t remember things like HUGS and JOKES. I get erasing specific memories, but that seemed above and beyond things that would be forgotten and/or erased and frankly, it bothered me. I was glad that it wasn’t like that throughout the whole book or I really would have been annoyed. Things got better once the book started progressing and I started to feel like Sera/Violet was seeming more like a normal person (well, as normal as you can get with her abilities/strengths).
There was a romance… I was just ‘meh’ about it. I didn’t hate Zen but I was never crazy over the whole romance in the book either. It was necessary though as a driving factor for a lot of the book. I just didn’t swoon over the guy, that’s all!
I guess I would have to say for those looking to pick it up that be aware that this is a bit more sci-fi than paranormal. I thought it was going to be a lot more paranormal (maybe I was assuming so because it involved a plane crash and I was equating it to Lost subconsciously?) but there are many more science fiction elements than paranormal. I enjoyed the book because those elements present were definitely suited to my tastes and I can easily see how finding those out may turn other people off, if that’s not their bag. I’m happy that I still read the book because for a while with those negative reviews that I read, I was growing increasingly scared. It just goes to show you that so many people have different reading tastes and really all books are worth a try! You never know what you may love that someone else didn’t.
Sera/Violet/Jane Doe: I’m going to call her Sera since that’s what the blurb focuses on… I definitely didn’t like her in the beginning actually. With a mind wiped blank and so many silly little things lost that I didn’t think were necessary, she bothered me. Once we started to get into the main plot of the story…. Well, she still wasn’t my BFF, but I did like her and her story a lot more! I was still on her side and anxious to see what was going to happen. Lyzander aka Zen: Zen is our love interest in this book and he was perfectly nice, but again, another character that I didn’t really get into too much. I never really swooned for him like I have for other book crushes, but it also wasn’t like “What does she see in him” — I was somewhere in the middle of the road for him.
In case you don’t know the deal about Book and a Beverage, it’s a very simple yet fun feature: We read books, we drink beverages, we take pictures of them and then I share your photos and a little about you to the blogging world!
I’m excited to kick off the feature with our very first participant, Kelly from Have Book, Will Read!
Kelly from Have Book Will Read is the guest of honor for today! A nice collection of pictures, Kelly! Now let’s hear a bit more about Kelly, her blog, and the book & beverage of choice!
Name & Blog Name: Hi! I’m Kelly and I blog at Have Book Will Read Tell us a little about your blog!I read and review a little bit of everything and that’s what you’ll find on my blog – a mix of age groups and a mix of genres. What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? (Link us up!)Oh, wow! That’s HARD! My review post for The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay was one I really loved to write. It’s such a beautiful book and seeing how (mostly) everyone loved it just as much as I did made me really happy.
And I loved the read along that you hosted for Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard so those weekly posts were really fun to write. Week 1 || Week 2 || Week 3 || Week 4 Got anything special coming up we should know about? It’s my 1 year blogoversary very soon and I am so excited! 5th June marks the first anniversary of my blog going live. I am busy planning how to celebrate and I can’t wait. I’ve discovered some great books in this past year and made some really good friends so it’s definitely something worth celebrating
Whatcha reading?Saving June by Hannah Harrington Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc)I borrowed it from the library a couple of weeks ago. Our local library has recently moved in to a brand new building, one that’s bigger than the old one, and the result is that they have a bigger (although still on the small side) YA section. My new favourite thing is to go in and see what they have that I might like. Any special reason you chose to feature this book?Well, no, not really – it just happened to be the book I’m reading right now! I have to take it back to the library soon and I haven’t finished reading it yet so I figured I should! What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it?Well I’m not actually that far in to it yet but so far so good. I like the writing and I’ve found it easy to get in to so those are both good points for me. I loved the first two lines of the blurb “If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d have been June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.” I love books that deal with issues, and deal with them well. I think there is definitely a chance for us to learn something from those types of books. I’m hoping that Saving June will be one of them.
Whatcha drinking?Coffee with milk and sweetener in a huge mug I call my “reading mug”. It’s pretty much ALWAYS cold here in the UK so a hot drink when sitting down to read is a must for me! If I’m going to be sat still reading I need something to keep me warm. Right now it’s a rainy, windy, miserable day. What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading?Ideally, it would be a bottle of cider. I love a brand called Kopparberg and they make a delicious mixed fruit cider. It’s sooo nice! That would be something I’d drink on a warm day when I’m reading outside. That doesn’t happen very often over here, and I don’t drink alcohol very often, so it’s definitely a bit of a treat. Favorite beverage of all time. Go!Hmmmm … Pepsi Max would have to win I think! I am addicted!
What are your top three books you would recommend to other people?The Sea of Tranquiity by Katja Millay, True Love Story by Willow Aster, Almost by Anne Eliot What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment?Downloading the new Simon and Schuster ebook version of Katja Millay’s The Sea of Tranquility and seeing that she’d named me in the acknowledgements. It was a complete and utter surprise and I just sat and cried. I got to know Katja when she was still on her journey to self publish The Sea of Tranquility and I am now lucky enough to call her a friend. Anything else you’d like to share?I guess I could share that I have a giveaway going on right now for signed Abbi Glines books and that it’s open internationally!
If you read my blog, I’m sure you know that I may be borderline obsessed with Gayle Forman’s books. She’s easily one of my favorite authors and I’ve been meaning to re-read her books for a long time… The only problem was that I kept pushing off the re-reads for newer books but they’ve always sat there in the back of my mind. As I’m sure you know, JUST ONE YEAR is coming out in October (OMG) and I thought it would be a fun opportunity to do a read along for Gayle’s books leading up to the release of Just One Year in October!
I’ve also really been meaning to read Sisters in Sanity which is one of Gayle Forman’s lesser-known books and from the feedback I’ve received on Twitter, it seems like other people are interested as well! I wanted to include this one in the read along as well.
Read Along Guidelines:
Each book will be in traditional read along form and each week we’ll have a schedule of which chapters to read. We’ll have the typical questions and extra fun things for each week too!
Since this is quite a number of books to take on for a read along, if you sign up for the read along you are not obligated to read all of the books! While of course we would love for you to be there as we sob and swoon our way through all of Gayle’s books, if you want to skip the first or just come on for the last, that is totally okay!
Since Just One Year doesn’t come out until the 15th of October, I’ll have each book span a month, but from mid-month to mid-month, if that makes sense. Here’s a tentative schedule of how I’d like to run it with the help of my wonderful co-hosts!
SISTERS IN SANITY: June – July, hosted by Judith at Paper Riot
June 12th: Questions week 1
June 19th: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
June 26th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
July 3rd: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
July 10th: Answers week 4, wrap-up
IF I STAY: July – August, hosted by Candice at The Grown Up YA
July 17th: Questions week one
July 24th: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
July 31st: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
August 7th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
August 14th: Answers week 4, wrap-up
WHERE SHE WENT: August – Sept, hosted by Alexa at Alexa Loves Books
August 15th: Questions week 1
August 21st: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
August 28th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
September 4th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
September 11th: Answers week 4, wrap-up
JUST ONE DAY: September – October, hosted by Jenna at Jenna Does Books
September 18th: Questions week 1
September 25th: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
October 2nd: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
October 9th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
October 16th: Answers week 4, wrap-up
JUST ONE YEAR: Oct – Nov, hosted by Brittany at The Book Addict’s Guide
October 18th: Questions week 1
October 23rd: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
October 30th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
November 6th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
November 13th: Answers week 4, wrap-up
I hope you’ll sign up for this exciting read along and please remember that signing up for the read along does not automatically commit you to ALL THE BOOKS! (Although we’d like you to read all of them with us!!) You can pick one book, or three books or all of them — Just let me know in the comments which books you’re intending to read so we can kind of have an idea who’s going to be involved in which month.
I hope everyone has fun with this and I can’t wait to see who joins in!! I’m really looking forward to reading through these books again, and better yet, sharing them with all the read along participants as we go through them together!!
Welcome to the blog tour for THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING by ASHLEY ELSTON!
A huge thanks to Disney-Hyperion, Shane from Itching for Books, and of course author Ashley Elston for organizing everything!
I’m helping kick off the blog tour with my review for THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING as well as a playlist I’ve put together for the book. The book releases TODAY so I’m guessing most of you haven’t read it, so I’m really excited to share my review an even more excited to share my playlist! Our main character (alias: Meg) heavily relies on music and her iPod to sort of block out the world in the first part of the book in order to keep her distance from the other kids so although I didn’t know it when I chose it, the playlist turned out to be selection for the tour!
Expected Publication: May 14th 2013
“She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.
Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.
But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.” — From Goodreads
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley Elston lives is North Louisiana with her husband, three sons and two cats. She worked as a wedding and portrait photographer for ten years until she decided to pursue writing full time. Ashley is also a licensed Landscape Horticulturist and helps her husband run a commercial lawn and landscaping business. They also custom harvest pecans and have cows. Yes, cows.
I can honestly say that I was intrigued by THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING since the first page. Witness protection program? Yes, please! I mean, wait…. I just want to READ about it. In no way do I want to go through what our main character Meg had to. We first meet Meg as she and her family are getting pulled from her current location and it’s clear that life in the Witness Protection program has been no picnic. Meg, her father, her mother, and her younger sister known as “Teeny” all have some serious issues from hiding out, being on the run, and constantly moving. Their family dynamic was heartbreaking to see, but it seemed entirely realistic for the situation that they were in. My heart went out to them the whole book and I really felt like I connected with each one of them on such a personal level.
The concept for this book is so incredibly unnerving, but that tension kept me on my toes the whole book! Honestly, I would probably constantly be breaking down like Teeny if I had to watch my back my entire life, constantly remember these new identities, and constantly be ripped away from the new friends and “normal” life I once had. There were some really interesting plot twists that kept the pacing of THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING feeling like a thriller/mystery which was something exciting to see in the world of YA! I feel like mysteries are often wrapped in dystopians or paranormals and the thrillers are wrapped in horror so for me as a former mystery-lover, it was exciting to see this book stand more in the category of thriller/mystery without complicating the plot by throwing in a paranormal element or anything like that.
Despite Meg’s original plan to shut out everyone to protect herself, she meets Ethan. ETHAN!! Oh, how I loved Ethan in this book. He’s a nice country boy and NOT the jock (which I’m always happy for because I was never a jock person myself). He was so patient and sweet with Meg throughout this book and it absolutely made my heart melt. I loved the way their relationship developed and there were several times I was just like, “Ohhh, Ethan. I love you.” One thing that really did me in was that since Ethan worked on the farm, he had rough hands “like a man’s”. I may be biased because my boyfriend is a welder/fabricator and is always getting his hands into one project or another, but that totally made me appreciate Ethan even more. He was sturdy and strong and I totally fell for him!
The PLOT TWISTS! There were twists!! One I was totally shocked by and the other I could see coming but that didn’t take away from the fact that it was a wicked twist. The first twist totally surprised me and my literal reaction was “WHAT!?!” It was intense and really made the book that much better!
Meg: I really felt for Meg. And her family. She seemed to be the one person in her family who was still managing to somewhat keep it together (well, her dad was too). She managed to come up with her own rules for disappearing and yet had the typical teenage desires like friends, clubs, and of course, boys. I really connected with her through most of the book! Ethan: Oh, Ethan. I totally felt the swoon-factor. He was so sweet and so nice and doesn’t hurt that he was so cute too! The way he treated Meg was adorable and I absolutely loved his presence in the story. Pearl: Pearl was a surprisingly bold character for me in this book. At first, I hadn’t expected much of her, but I loved her tough exterior with a soft heart. She turned out to be really important to the book in many ways and I loved seeing that from her!
I’m also really excited to share with you the playlist that I’ve made for the blog tour. I LOVE making playlists and something that’s really important to me when making them is what I guess you could call “playability”. I like my playlists/soundtracks to be able to transition smoothly from one song into the next, creating a soundtrack you can listen to all the way through… Only problem is, the one song I feel is perfectly aligned with the feelings of this book is such an oddball choice for a playlist that I feel like I need to put it separately.
I really love musical and show tunes, so when I was driving the other day and “Home” from the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack came on, I realized that nearly every word of this song fits for Meg in THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING. It’s all about leaving home from somewhere unpleasant, feeling alone, and feeling like even going back home wouldn’t solve everything. I HAD to include it, even if not as an official part of the playlist.
1. “Keep the Car Running” – The Arcade Fire
Lyrics: “Every night my dream’s the same
Same old city with a different name
Men are coming to take me away
I don’t know why but I know I can’t stay” Context: Being taken from one location to the next by the suits
2. “Misguided Ghosts” – Paramore
Lyrics: “‘Cause I’m just one of those ghosts
Don’t need no roads
In fact they follow me” Context: Meg “traveling endlessly” and always feeling the ghosts of her former identities and friends she left behind
3. “That’s Not My Name” – The Ting Tings
Context: I just had to include this one because we find out in the book that one of the songs Meg is listening to on her iPod was The Ting Tings… Could it have been “That’s Not My Name?” Pun intended!?! I got a kick out of it!
4. “Your Fake Name is Good Enough For Me” – Iron and Wine
Lyrics: “Your fake name is not for everyone, good enough for me
Forgotten by the garden and your phone is ringing
Bet you’re watching all the happy kids kiss each other clean
They were singing something, maybe they were singing” Context: Fake names, missing out on what all the “normal kids” are doing
5. “Stubborn Love” – The Lumineers
Lyrics: It‘s better to feel pain, than nothing at all
The opposite of love‘s indifference
So pay attention now, I‘m standing on your porch screaming out
And I wont leave until you come downstairs” Context: Meg wanting to be attached to Ethan but knowing she shouldn’t/Ethan’s willingness to help Meg and refusal to desert her
Okay, that’ll wrap it up for my stop on THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING blog tour! Hope you had fun with my playlist and review! THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING is on sale today so you can go ahead and pick up your copy any time! Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a copy of THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING for yourself!