Adult Contemporary, Reviews

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Holding Court by K.C. Held

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GoodReads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Jules Verity knows exactly what’s in store at her new job at castle-turned-dinner-theater Tudor Times. Some extra cash, wearing a fancy-pants dress, and plenty of time to secretly drool over the ever-so-tasty–and completely unavailable–Grayson Chandler. Except that it’s not quite what she imagined.

For one, the costume Jules has to wear is awful. Then there’s the dead body she finds that just kind of…well, disappears. Oh, and there’s the small issue of Jules and her episodes of what her best friend calls “Psychic Tourette’s Syndrome”–spontaneous and uncontrollable outbursts of seemingly absurd prophecies.

The only bright side? This whole dead body thing seems to have gotten Grayson’s attention. Except that the more Jules investigates, the more she discovers that Grayson’s interest might not be as courtly as she thought. In fact, it’s starting to look suspicious…

Copy of HC24Liz’s Review

K.C. Held’s debut novel Holding Court is laugh out loud funny and vivacious. I started and finished this novel in the same day. I was also at the gym while reading and, let me tell you, no one wanted to get on the elliptical next to me because I looked like I was crazy. I couldn’t stop laughing. Held’s writing is snappy, whimsical, and absolute.

The plot moves along quickly, keeping the reader satisfied, but also, at the same time, wanting more. I couldn’t figure out who the murderer was and the way the story winds, there were potentially three or four people who could’ve done it, including Jules herself.

The characters are characters themselves. Jules comes from a family with “gifts”. An aura reading, matching-making grandmother. A mother who can determine if an antique is real and where/when it was crafted. Jules’ best friend is quirky, giving Jules the nickname Blurt- which suites her quite well. Grayson is charming in a squight kind of way.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a funny, thrilling, off-the-wall read.

Veronica’s Review

OMG. FREAKING ADORABLE. *squeals*

Copy of HC22At the beginning of Holding Court I was a little hesitant because I did not get what was going on. Part of the reason was that I just dove into the book without reading the synopsis. Did not know the main character was psychic so it was a huge surprise when it was mentioned in the book.

I really really like Jules. She is funny, down to earth, and did I say she is hilarious?! Her love obsessions opened the door to many hilarious occurrences and went perfectly with the murder mystery we had going on in the story.

I wish we had an epilogue, but I guess I can be okay with what we got. It was a good ending. But I wanted MORE.

Overall, if you are looking for a hilarious fun read, look no further. Holding Court is everything you didn’t know you were looking for!

Amazon | B&N | iBooks |Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Page

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K.C. HELD was born and raised in California with stopovers in Honduras, Mexico, and France. Married to her high school sweetheart, and mom to two avid bookworms, she holds an MFA in costume design and is an accomplished seamstress with a background in opera, theater, film, and television. Although she once spent a summer working in a castle, there were no dead bodies involved.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads

KC Held

Just an FYI, K.C. Held is an awesome person in general! Go buy her book!

Rating: 5 out of 5

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read this ARC. Receiving this ARC for free does not influence my review. 

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Contemporary Conversations, Reviews, ya contemporary

ComtempConvos: We’ll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

We'll Never Be Apart

GoodReads Summary:

Murder.

Fire.

Revenge.

That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.

Is the one person she trusts only telling her half of the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.

My Review:

We’ll Never Be Apart is quite an interesting book and the twist and turns I definitely didn’t see coming. Emiko Jean’s writing is on point and satisfying.

Jean addresses the serious issue of mental illness and how a person copes with traumatic experiences. She does it through the lens of twin sisters and the death of a loved one.  Alice has taken her experiences and tried to see the good in them. Celia (Cellie) is more the rebel and only causes destruction. When they end up at Savage Isle, Alice meets Chase, a boy who has his own troubling background. Through Alice’s writings in her journal and the help of Chase, we come to understand the traumatic experiences that put Alice in the mental institution.

I found this book quite intriguing. Mental illness is something that we look down upon. If people aren’t able to get their stuff together, then, as a society, we believe they aren’t capable of anything. And looking at mental illness through the lens of a thriller novel is even more exquisite. You watch the story unravel to this big ending that I definitely did not see coming. This book made me realize what your brain is capable of doing when coping with traumatic experiences.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Contemporary Conversations

The Beginning of Contemporary Convos Round 2 – Week 1 – Thrillers (& Spies)

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EEEEEEKKKKKK! IT HAS BEGUN! *hits gong*

First of all, add your name and a link to your blog to our linky at the bottom of this post. We would also be forever grateful if you made a post that announced your intention to participate, and spread the word! The more the merrier!

Second, plan your books! Liz and I will be previewing the books we will be reviewing at the beginning of each new week if you would like to read and discuss them with us!

Third, have fun! We’ll be reviewing and writing discussions, but anything and everything goes.

Last, but not least, use #contempconvos on Twitter. It will help everyone find your posts from the month!

*drum roll*

This week’s theme is thrillers/spies

I feel like this subgenre of YA Contemporary is overlooked most of the time, so we must bring light to it!

Posts to come this week:

  • Review of We’ll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean
  • Review of This Is Where IT Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
  • Review of Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Review of Holding Court by K.C. Held
  • Discussing why the thriller/spy/con-man genre is not BIG in the YA contemporary world?

Don’t forget to link your initial participating post down below and let the fun begin!

 

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Special Review, YA Thriller

Book Review: The Twisted Window by Lois Duncan

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I received a ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review

Goodreads Summary:

The new guy at Tracy’s school is handsome, intense, and desperately needs her help—but there’s something about him that isn’t quite right 

High school junior Tracy Lloyd is unsure about the new guy in school. Brad Johnson is attractive, smart, and polite, but Tracy can’t help but feel he watches her too closely. Then one day Brad confides in Tracy a horrible secret: His little sister Mindy has been kidnapped by his stepfather, and he needs Tracy’s help to get her back. But even as Tracy commits to a plan to help her vulnerable new friend, details emerge that suggest nothing is what it seems.
The Twisted Window is a zigzagging thriller that keeps readers guessing up until the final page. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Lois Duncan including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection

Review:

When I saw this book on NetGalley I was super excited because I remember reading books by Lois Duncan in middle school and high school. I had even read this book about 8 years ago, and I remember loving it. I decided to take this opportunity and re-read it. Boy, was I in for some blasts from the past.

The re-marketing of this book was to make it more relevant to present times, which is why we have a cover change, and a few lines were added to the book to make it more in with nowadays. First thing I will be commenting on are the few cellphone references that appeared here and there, which overall made the novel feel weird. The novel was like a blast from the 80s from the way they talked, the way teenagers acted, and references that were mentioned through the novel, and those additional cellphone references were out of place. They didn’t belong in the story.

Now, onto the plt. I was actually a little disappointed in myself. I remember loving this novel when I was so young but now… it didn’t have the same appeal and made me second guess my love not only for this novel, but other Lois Duncan novels too. The suspense was ok, but I was so preoccupied with how Tracy was behaving and her logic behind things that I was just baffled by it all.

Overall, the novel is creepy, but not something I would read anymore. It isn’t the worse novel I’ve read, but it also isn’t the  best.

Rating : 3/5

To-Read

NetGalley Readings

I was approved and given a copy of each of the following books in exchange for a review. Both books are currently in your local bookstore so if they seem interesting, go check them out or buy them! I will be posting a review on each book in the next few weeks.

Happy Reading!

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Goodreads Summary:

Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England, the World – a city of spires, Isaac Newton and Auntie’s Tea Shop.

Elliot Baranski lives in Bonfire, the Farms, the Kingdom of Cello – where seasons roam, the Butterfly Child sleeps in a glass jar, and bells warn of attacks from dangerous Colours.

They are worlds apart – until a crack opens up between them; a corner of white – the slim seam of a letter.

A mesmerising story of two worlds; the cracks between them, the science that binds them and the colours that infuse them.

‘Perfectly strange, and absolutely comical and heartfelt … Jaclyn Moriarty is one of the most original writers we have.’ – Markus Zusak

thetwistedwindow

Goodreads Summary:

The new guy at Tracy’s school is handsome, intense, and desperately needs her help—but there’s something about him that isn’t quite right 

High school junior Tracy Lloyd is unsure about the new guy in school. Brad Johnson is attractive, smart, and polite, but Tracy can’t help but feel he watches her too closely. Then one day Brad confides in Tracy a horrible secret: His little sister Mindy has been kidnapped by his stepfather, and he needs Tracy’s help to get her back. But even as Tracy commits to a plan to help her vulnerable new friend, details emerge that suggest nothing is what it seems.
The Twisted Window is a zigzagging thriller that keeps readers guessing up until the final page. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Lois Duncan including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.