Monday, February 29, 2016

Siren's Song by Mary Weber

Siren's Song
by Mary Weber 
Read: February 20 - 24, 2016
Published: March 1st 2016 by Thomas Nelson / HarperCollins
Source: NetGalley (Thanks, HC)
Category: YA, fantasy, elementals 
Series: Storm Siren #3

Description: (spoilers for first 2 books) Nym and Draewulf prepare to face off in a battle destined to destroy more lives than it saves.

With the loss of Tulla still fresh in mind, Rasha’s fate unknown, and Lord Myles taken over by the dark ability, Nym and the few Bron soldiers rush to warn Cashlin’s queen. Only to discover it may already be too late for the monarch and her eerie kingdom. As the Luminescents are sifting through Nym’s past memories and the queen is reading into her future, Nym is given a choice of how to defeat Draewulf, but the cost may be more than she can bear. And even then there are no guarantees.

With that reality burrowing into her bones—along with the guilt of the lives she will sacrifice—Nym returns to her homeland of Faelen to raise an army of peasants through promises of freedom. But when the few friends she has left, along with the world and citizens she loves, are staring down the face of a monster and his undead army, will Nym summon every element her blood is capable of controlling . . . or surrender to a different strength—one of sacrifice?

Because in the end, death may be more merciful for them all.

Siren's Song is the very anticipated ending to Mary Weber's Storm Siren trilogy. Find my thoughts on Storm Siren and Siren's Fury, linked from their titles. I am thrilled to have all three books in this series together on my shelf, and even more excited because this conclusion did not disappoint. 

5 Thoughts on Siren’s Song -

1) This series begins and end with Nym. She remains my favorite element of this series - did you notice that pun there?☺ - and I’ve loved watching her journey from a frightened, self-loathing girl in a slave market, to a powerful Elemental, filled with love and purpose. This girl does not have an easy road at any point, and in this book, all the stakes are raised again, but she handles everything with so much grace and inner strength. 
I am in awe of her.

2) The story kept me on the edge of my seat. Siren’s Song features a great mix of quieter, more personal scenes, travel, strategy, revelations, and high intensity, high danger moments – mostly involving Draewulf and his scary wraith. I loved getting a broader look at this world, but also going back in Nym's home of Fallen, where the story began. In true Weber fashion, I almost had a heart attack a few times, and the huge climactic scene near the end was super crazy intense, stress inducing and majorly inspiring. The end of the book left me feeling satisfied, but also leaves room for future stories, if the author wants to pursue them.

3) I will never grow tired of watching Eogan and Nym together. I have loved watching the development of Nym’s relationship with Eogan, throughout this entire series. So much delicious tension has built between them from the beginning, and in the final installment, I was thrilled to see them work together throughout nearly the entire book. It is a huge pet peeve of mine when the love interests are separated for most of the final installment, and that was not the case here. 

I love how well Eogan sees and understands Nym, and the way he’s always trying to push her forward and help her realize the strength inside of her. I love how Nym fights for Eogan and won’t let him get away with his own self-doubts. They are supportive of each other, and neither of them is afraid to tell the other when they’re acting like idiots. B
asically, I ate up every moment of their relationship. I only wish that we could have gotten scenes from his POV. (Spoiler) That is, more of them - I really appreciated the moments we got into his head near the end, but there was an earlier section I'd loved to have experienced from his perspective too. Eogan doesn't express his feelings well, so it was a treat to get inside of his thoughts for a bit. (end spoiler).

4) Nym is a better person than I am. I love Nym’s compassionate heart, even to people who don't deserved it. However, I think the hardest part of this book for me was her interactions with Isobel. I just didn’t get Nym’s desire to understand Isobel, or the way Nym kept trying to figure out her past relationship with Eogan, instead of just asking Eogan about it. Basically, I don't like Isobel, and Nym is much kinder than I am. That said, I did think that Nym's compassion towards Lord Myles was much more interesting. I don't think I'll ever like him, but he is one character who has gone through a an evolution throughout the series, and he definitely surprised me in the last book.

5) Although Nym is the heart of this book, this story has a quite a few secondary characters as well. The first of course is Eogan, whom I discussed above. My favorite secondary relationship beyond Eogan was Nym’s friendship with the boy Kel. That kid never failed to bring a smile to my heart. But there were several characters in this book that I wish I could have known better, including King Sedric. I also wish we’d been able to see more of Nym’s friendship with Rasha. This book teases another romance that I did not see coming at all, and I’m not sure it worked for me. I think I needed to hear from their perspective to understand it more (novella?). 

In sum - Siren's Song is a fantastic end to the Storm Siren series. I fell even harder for Nym if that were even possible. I adored her romance with Eogan, and I basically wanted more of all of these characters (except for a few of them). I cannot wait to see what Mary Weber writes next. If you haven't started these yet, it's the perfect time to binge read all three. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Series End

Monday, February 22, 2016

Walk the Edge By Katie McGarry

Walk the Edge 
By Katie McGarry
Read: February 14 - 16, 2016
Published:  March 29, 2016 by Harlequin TEEN
Source: NetGalley (Thanks, HMH)
Category: YA, contemporary, motorcycle clubs 
Series: Thunder Road #2 (companions series)

Book Description: One moment of recklessness will change their worlds 

Smart. Responsible. That's seventeen-year-old Breanna's role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully's line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas "Razor" Turner into her life. 

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don't belong. But when he learns she's being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it's time to step outside the rules. 

And so they make a pact: he'll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she'll help him seek answers to the mystery that's haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they're both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they're going from here.

Walk the Edge is the second book in Katie McGarry's Thunder Road series. Nowhere But Here introduced readers to the Reign of Terror Motorcycle Club in rural Snowf, Kentucky, as well as Oz and Emily. One who couldn't wait to join the club when he turned 18 and the other who wanted nothing to do with that part of her heritage. They seemed an unlikely pair to fall in love, but of course they were wrong about that. Check out my thought on Nowhere But HereHERE

The second installment in the series, Walk the Edge, features fellow Terror member Thomas "Razor" Turner, whom we met in the last book, and Breanna Miller, seemingly Razor's opposite in every way. In addition to his membership a dangerous club, Razor is volatile and has a questionable family history, while Breanna is super smart, quite and the definition of the good girl. But when they have an unexpected encounter the night of senior year orientation, Razor and Breanna are thrown into each other's orbit, and the longer they're there, the more they realize that's exactly where they fit. But will cyber bullying, blackmail, and family secrets and drama have the power to pull them apart or into each other's arms for good? 

What I loved - The Relationship 
I was very surprised to discover how much of a book hangover I had, after finishing this story. Breanna and Razor (I prefer to think of him as Thomas, since Razor is not my favorite nickname, but I will respect his wishes and continue on) are one of my favorite McGarry couples. I loved how their relationship builds through honesty and communication. They actually work through issues and don't fall into the traps of miscommunication and angst. It was refreshing! Razor and Breanna seemed so different at first, but they both carry baggage that helped to form a strong connection between them, and surprisingly at first, they just get each other. I love when a story can show me why and how a couple works, beyond just physical attraction, and this one does that well. 

Both Breanna and Razor belong to big 'families.' Breanna is number 5 of 9 children and though his immediate family only consists of him and his dad, Razor was raised by the motorcycle club. Although their families operate very differently from one another, and both had their own issues issues, they each learn something from each other. Though, I would say Breanna - and I - learned more from Razor's motorcycle club family than hers, because hers was mostly terrible (more on that below). But part of what this series does well is change readers' perceptions about what society sees as "bad" and "good," aka. a Motorcycle Club vs. a wholesome looking family. 

Three things I didn't love so much - The Outside Influences
1) The Club - That said, I wouldn't say I'm ready to join the Terror Gypsies (the women's support group for the Reign of Terror). I find several aspects of the club to be baffling and distasteful - like the fact that women are mostly accessories and the club parties look like strip clubs. No WAY could I be with someone who was in one, and I've not been super thrilled at how much Breanna and Emily just had to shrug all that off for their guys - though I do appreciate that Razor was very open about his past 'relationships' and made a point to say multiple times that he would not cheat on Breanna. And I believe him. I keep hoping this club is going to make some policy changes and include more women in its operation, though I don't think that will happen. That said, I do love how much the club is like a family and always supports each other, and takes care of each other. And how they are legal in their dealings and really do try to keep the peace as much as they can. 

2) Breanna's Family - I've got to say that the worst part of this book for me was Breanna's family. They are terrible. Her older siblings are horrible to her, and her parents ignored her for most of the book and left her to basically raise their younger children. And then when they realize their mistake, they become dictators. They completely lost that right, in my opinion. I know that Breanna didn't have a lot of choice because she's under 18, but she complied to their wishes way too easily, and the whole situation with them really set a negative tone for the very end of the book. I honestly couldn't see anything redeemable about them. Thankfully, I still ended up loving she and Razor as a couple. 

3) Unresolved Plots - This book has a lot of unresolved storylines. Obviously the Violet and Chevy thing is still ongoing, but I mean well beyond that. We have a story teased over and over about something that happened 5 years ago with someone named Mia Ziggler, but it's never pursued much beyond a rumor. We have Kyle blackmailing Breanna* - another horrible side character and hard part of this book. He indicates at the end that there's something more to his actions than originally thought, but we never get the explanation of what is going on with him. Breanna's best friend Addison has a horrible home life, but that's never approached, beyond Breanna noticing that it's getting worse. And Pigpin's brother shows up at the end, though I'm assuming that is another plot that will continue into a future book. This is a companion series, so I'm curious to see how these stories play out in the future, but I don't remember this many side situations teased in Nowhere But Here. 

*Addendum to point 3I wasn't sure where to put this section, but the blackmailing part of this book was so stressful to read about. Kyle's behavior got increasingly more desperate and creepy. I do like that this situation helped to bond Breanna and Razor. However, (spoiler) I can't understand why Breanna or Razor never think to just blackmail Kyle back? Why didn't they take a video of one of his encounters with Bre and threaten to put that online? Kyle was very vocal to her about what he was doing. (end) That said, I do like how Breanna and Razor each dealt with the situation in the end, and how they both grew up and demonstrated their individual strengths because of that.  

In Sum - 
Although the "what I didn't love so much" section appears longer, I actually liked this book quite a bit, and I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. Razor and Breanna and their relationship stands out to me as a favorite among McGarry couples, because of the way they compliment and communicate with each other. This book also appears to set up several storylines for the future that have made me super excited to read the next installment in the Thunder Road series. 

Love Triangle Factor: NONE
Cliffhanger Scale: Low, Companion series. 

Anticipating book 3: I'm very much looking forward to (and nervous about) Violet and Chevy's book, which is next. This is the first time we'll get to see McGarry tackle a second chance for a former couple (as she rightfully chose to give Isaiah and Beth new love interests). I'm VERY curious about their story, as it's already quite angsty and they've both hurt each other a lot recently. Most of the negative aspects of the Reign of Terror have been voiced by Violet, so I'm eager to see how that situation turns out. And I can't wait to see the meeting between Chevy and Isaiah, who, if I'm assessing this correctly, are going to discover that they're half brothers. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Early Review: Into The Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Into The Dim
by Janet B. Taylor
Read: September 30 - October 2, 2015
Published:  March 1, 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: Edelweiss (Thanks, HMH)
Category: YA, time travel, history, Britain 

Book description: When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing. 

Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.

"Instantly engaging, constantly suspenseful, ultimately poignant and satisfying" --DIANA GABALDON, author of OUTLANDER 

"Book II: An Into The Dim Novel" comes out Spring 2017 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

Into The Dim is a book that I've heard a lot of excitement about. Although I don't think book comparisons are always accurate, the thought of an Outlander for teens, featuring time travel and set in Scotland, definitely sounded exciting to me (it's even blurbed by Diana Gabaldon!). However, despite my high hopes for this one, I came out with very mixed thoughts on it. 

The Set-up - Hope has been raised by her academic mother in the South of the United States. But when her mom dies in a earthquake during an overseas speaking engagement, Hope agrees to spend the summer in Scotland with relatives she's never met. It is apparently a big deal that Hope is embarking on this trip, because she has been crippled by phobias her entire life. And yet, Hope seems to overcome these issues fairly easily right away. After Hope gets over the hurdle of actually getting on the plane to Scotland, I don't remember her phobias coming up much at all again. 

In another sense, its easy for Hope to make the decision to leave, because she doesn't have any friends or ties to her home. Hope's mom homeschooled her and kept her sheltered, conveniently enough. Honestly I'm tired of this trope, and it didn't help Hope to stand out at all. Also, though we never meet her, I have huge issues with how Hope's mom raised her. Why did Hope's mom keep her sheltered, deny her friends - and almost encourage her phobias - if she was never going to reveal anything about the time travel to her daughter? Especially when she herself got married?

The History - This book involves time travel. I thought how the time travel works was easy to follow, although the why it works was a lot more complicated, and I couldn't begin to explain it to you. Although the beginning of this story didn't grab me as much as I hope, I was much more invested once the traveling started. I love getting a first hand look at history. Going back to Eleanor of Aquitaine's period of time (mid 1100s), and learning more about her earlier reign was fascinating. One thing that stood out to me was finding out out what life was like for women - and for people who were Jewish and female, especially, at this time. Despite Eleanor's power as a ruler, women were pretty much owned by their father's or husbands at this time, and single women were basically at the mercy of any man they encountered. That was eye opening to me, and also made time traveling much more dangerous for Hope. Also, while reading this, I kept thinking about AC Gaughen's Scarlet series because we get to see Eleanor of Aquitaine at the later part of her life those books, where here we see her much younger, while she was having children.  

I mostly saw the big revelations coming, and I though that the 'bad guy' was a little maniacally evil. I'd like more complexity there in the future. But overall, the historical aspects of this book were engaging, and my favorite part of the story. 

The Romance - Hope's romance started too quickly for my tastes. I though that Hope trusted Bram way too too easily. Although I can get on board with instant attraction, I have a much harder time with instant trust. Especially for Hope in this situation. She's come from a very sheltered background, and is now in a new place with lots of mystery and secrecy. I wanted more hesitation and development between her and Bram, especially after the way they meet when she's out exploring near the Scottish estate. However, because Hope trusted Bram almost right away, I struggled to believe their connection. Although, it grew on me over the course of the book.

Thankfully, is absolutely no love triangle. There is another boy who has expressed some vague interest in Hope, although she doesn't reciprocate, and I'm hoping that they stay in the brother/sister realm of feelings. (I believe the author has said "no triangle" as well).

The End - Into the Dim ends with this story's mission complete, but also anticipating elements for a second book. I like when a story wraps its immediate plot, but also gives hints for what will happen in the future. So many books are going with cliffhangers these days, which is starting to stress me out! 

In Conclusion - I enjoyed reading Into the Dim well enough, but the story definitely didn't suck me in as much as I'd hoped - and though the general idea of Scottish time travel is the same, it's a stretch to call this an Outlander read-alike. I had trouble with the set up of Hope's character - she honestly didn't stand out to me much beyond her trope - and I wanted a lot more out of the romance. My favorite part by far was seeing life in 12th century London. However, I read this book several months ago, and I'm afraid it isn't going to be super memorable in the end. Still, at this point, I'm interested enough to find out where these characters travel next, and to see if the characters and romance become stronger as the series progresses. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low - sets up for book 2, though this particular part of the plot felt finished.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Early Review: Riders by Veronica Rossi

by Veronica Rossi
Read: January 27 - 30, 2016
February 16, 2016 by Tor Teen

Source: Borrowed from Katie @LibrarianKatie_ 
Category: YA, angels/demons, male narrator 
Series: Book 1/2 

Book Depository: For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can't remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen--Conquest, Famine, and Death--are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now--bound, bloodied, and drugged--Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he's fallen for--not to mention all of humankind--he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?

I've always been obsessed with books featuring horses, and the moment I saw the cover of Riders, I was desperate to read it. I really, really wanted to love this book, and was quite sad and surprised find myself struggling with the story at the beginning. In fact, I almost gave up, until someone recommended I give Riders at least 150 pages. That was a good suggestion, because it picked up big time around 100 pages, and I was very invested for the rest of it. However, despite my investment, the ending was rough again (I'll get to that), so I felt rather in the middle with this one. 

My major problem is that the story was told largely in flashback, and the lack of forward momentum in a book is hard for me. (highlight for spoiler) That coupled with the fact that the MC Gideon is tied up the entire time, and drugged to get him talking freely, was really tough for me. I don't like feeling trapped and powerless for that much of a story. Thankfully, as the middle got going and Gideon's storytelling got more fluid, with less stops back in the present, I was able to forget that it was all flashbacks for a while. 

This book has a whole angel/demon + elements from the Book of Revelation in the Bible set-up, which I thought was a creative take on a theme we've seen a lot of. I've never read a book focused on The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and I loved the way their group came together. It was exciting to find out who each of them would be - their personalities and abilities. The demons certainly were frightening, each with their own abilities. Though it was stressful to watch the characters encounter them over and over again, before they'd had much of any training.

The hardest part of this book for me was the first 100 pages, because it was slow to start and took a while to get to where the characters come together. Information about what was happening to them and why they had these powers was also slow to come (all the world building). And I greatly question why Daryn thought she had to keep all the secrets she did. Or at least I don't know if the benefits outweighed the consequences on everything. Although she is in much of the book, I don't know how I feel about her, so I am glad that the second installment will be from her perspective. It was very hard for me to sympathize with her choices sometimes. And I need more from her to really get into the romance.

This story is narrated by one of the Horsemen, Gideon and I liked Gideon's voice a lot (I think it was my favorite element), which largely saved this for me. He has such anger inside of him and I loved watching those layers peel back as we got to know him better. Gideon has the ability to make other people feel anger too, and as an already emotional reader anyway, who was frustrated by the beginning of this book, I'm pretty sure he worked his mind magic on me, because I felt amped up while reading. So for that, this book is definitely a success. 

My second favorite element was following Gideon and Daryn as they start looking for the other 3 Horsemen. That was a lot of fun, as was watching them learn about their powers, weapons and meet their horses. I loved the horses. 

The ending of this book brings a lot of high intensity and action. I was definitely on the edge of my seat through all of it, and picked up my reading pace a lot. I also get now why the story was told in flashbacks. But for me, the benefits from the flashback element did not outweigh my struggle with that method of storytelling. But that is a lot of 'it's me, not you' so take that into account. 

The book ends with a cliffhanger and that was really stressful for me. I've sort of made my peace with cliffies since they're everywhere now (and I told someone recently, I'd much rather deal with a cliffhanger than a love triangle!). However, I think because I struggled so much with the beginning as well as the general lack of forward momentum in this book, I really needed a more solid ending to this installment to feel really good about it. But the ending had several elements, that while surprising and intense, set my nerves on edge further and stressed me out even more. 

I definitely plan on reading the sequel - unless it's told in flashbacks again - but this one was mixed for me overall. Some really strong engaging parts, and some parts that frustrated me. I think that if you're able to handle the flashback set-up with no trouble, you're going to be fine with this one.

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger scale: Based on my scale, Medium. But emotionally for me, High.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Banished by Kimberley Griffiths Little

By Kimberley Griffiths Little
Read: November 28 - December 6, 2015
February 2, 2016 by Harpercollins
Source: Gail @ Ticket to Anywhere (THANK YOU!)
Category: YA, historical fiction,  
Series: Book 2 of 3

She thought she’d lost everything . . .

After spending months traveling the harsh, unforgiving Mesopotamian desert, Jayden reunites with a broken, injured Kadesh. Although everyone was convinced the violent and unpredictable Horeb, Jayden’s betrothed, killed the handsome prince, Jayden knew in her heart that her love was alive and safe. But their reunion is short-lived, as they learn Horeb is on their trail and determined to take back the girl he has claimed. Soon, the two star-crossed lovers are on the run toward Sariba, Kadesh’s homeland, where, as heir to the Kingdom, he plans to make Jayden his princess.

But the trek to Sariba is fraught with heartache and danger. After narrowly escaping being stoned to death for a crime she didn’t commit, and learning that her sister has disappeared, Jayden’s only solace is her love for Kadesh. But even he is keeping secrets from her . . . secrets that will change everything.

This gorgeous and enchanting sequel to Forbidden, is full of love, danger, and heated passion that will leave readers breathless.

Banished is the second book in the Forbidden trilogy. After a cliffhanger at the end of Forbidden, I was eager to get back to Jayden's world and find out what she was doing - and hopefully quickly reunite with Kadesh. Thankfully, the action starts up right away, and it isn't long before exciting things - and reunions are happening :). 

I'm always wary that second books in trilogies will catch the dreaded middle book syndrome. Thankfully, Banished manages to stay love triangle free, while also continuing to build Jayden and Kadesh's relationship. They are even together most of the book, which is contrary to most middle series books books without love triangles (usually it's love triangle or a huge separation). For succeeding to avoid both those elements, I give this book major bonus points. However, while Banished manages to avoid many second book traps, it also falls into some of them. 

First, the good - In Banished, Jayden continues to prove her strength and will as she travels across the sands to find Kadesh and then through a harsh journey with him to his homeland. This is a society where women do not often have a lot of power, but Jayden does not let that stop her when she is determined. I admire her a great deal in this book, especially as she stands firm and perseveres and is true to herself even when she's out of her depth in a new land and culture. The trip to Sariba and further look at this historical time period is another part of this story that I loved. This series continues to bring this ancient desert setting and culture to life in sensory detail. I especially enjoyed learning more about Kadesh's home, because I'd heard very little before about frankincense before. And it bears repeating that this book doesn't have any love triangles. YAY!

Then the not so good - Although this book has no love triangle, another boy named Asher is introduced, and his addition bugged me a lot through the first half of the story. Asher is assigned as Jayden's bodyguard and is present almost constantly. In name and action it least, he took the place of a pseudo second love interest, although it felt a too contrived to me. What I mean by pseudo love interest, is that Jayden and Asher were set up for a lot of one on one scenes, where they were put in situations you'd expect her to find Jayden in with a love interest, and it all felt a bit unnecessary. For example, Asher being assigned as Jayden's body guard and spending a lot of time with her, as well as (Highlight for SPOILERSAsher saving Jayden by physically shielding her with his body, putting them in very close proximity; Asher finding Jayden dancing alone and bathing alone in different scenes. Asher also falls for Jayden, though she is always clear that she doesn't reciprocate (thank goodness for that at least!) Jayden naively brushes all these moments off, but I wish she'd talked to Kadesh about it sooner. 

Second, I did not care for the fact that Kadesh kept some secrets about his life in Sariba from Jayden for as long as he did. Although I think he's a great love interest overall, that definitely affected how I saw him in this story. I thought his excuses for why he kept so much quiet, were pretty thin and I wanted to smack him for how Jayden was blindside by some information. But he does redeem himself well in the end. 

Overall Banished is a good follow up to Forbidden. It succeeds in avoiding a lot of middle book issues, but also adds several that I thought were unnecessary.
The story ends right at a very critical moment, and I'm eager to find out what happens in the conclusion.

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium/High.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Love That Split the World Blog Tour: Would You Rather
Featuring Author Emily Henry + Characters Natalie & Beau

Blog Tour Organized by Penguin Teen
See below for the full schedule

The Love that Split the World
by Emily Henry
Published: January 26, 2016 by Razorbil

Book Description: Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves. 

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start... until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

Check HERE for my thoughts on this beautifully written book. 

Would You Rather with 
Author Emily Henry & her characters Natalie and Beau

1) If everything that came out of your mouth for the rest of your life either had to be sung OR spoken in rhyme, which would you rather? 

Emily Henry – Sing. You don’t have to think about it as much. Plus I already sing about forty-percent of what I say in a Jean-Ralphio voice, so it’d be less of an adjustment.

Natalie – Rhyme; she’d rather think carefully about everything she said and be a little less embarrassed.

Beau – Rhyme. He’d probably just never speak again if he had to choose between those two things, but in an emergency, I bet he’d rhyme.

2) Would you rather never play OR play but always lose?

Emily – My natural inclination is that I’d never play--I’m really bad about making myself try new things or do things I’m bad at--but if I were actually making an intentional decision, I’d choose to play but always lose. I’d definitely regret never playing.

Natalie – Never play. Nat’s been known to shut down, and to quit entirely when she feels like something’s not going her way.

Beau – Play but always lose. Beau’s not goal oriented. I’m sure he’d hate losing, but the point for him is more the joy playing than the end result.

3) Would you rather live in a house made entirely of glass you couldn’t cover OR a house that had no windows at all.

Emily – In a perfect world, I live in an all glass house in a remote and beautiful forested mountain. In this world, I can imagine few things more depressing than a house with no windows or scarier than a house that’s entirely windows. How thick is the glass? Am I safe in this house of windows? If so, I choose that one. It’d be hard to write without windows.

Natalie – Similar reasoning as above. At this stage of life, she’d veer toward no windows, but when she’s older and more self assured, I think she’d go all glass.

Beau – BEAU, why are you so easy to please? He would do either of these, no problem. In a way, he’s private but I don’t think he’d feel intruded upon having the whole world see him at all times, because he would just ignore them. But I also don’t think he’d find it morbidly depressing to live in a house with no windows. In fact, his bedroom has no windows, so I really don’t know. Glass, probably.

4) Would you rather give out bad advice OR receive bad advice?

Emily – Receive bad advice. Let’s be real, who actually takes advice? Just kidding, that’s terrible! I hope a lot of people do, BUT I think a lot of times when we’re asking for advice, we’re really just looking for a) confirmation that we’re right about how to handle something or b) for someone to tell us we don’t have to do a hard thing we’re pretty sure we need to do. And I think bad advice, a lot of times, is just how someone else would handle something, but not necessarily what’s best for you, and I like to think you can feel the difference, so getting bad advice every once in awhile shouldn’t be a huge deal.

Natalie – Receive bad advice. She’s going to do what she wants to do anyway, and she doesn’t want to be responsible for someone else’s happiness. Plus it’s so important to her to figure things out on her own and I suspect she’d rather do something wrong on her own than right by following someone else’s lead. Plus she just really trusts her intuition, so it’s not uncommon for her to do things that really surprise other people or make no sense to them.

Beau – Receive bad advice. I don’t think Beau asks for advice, though, and few people would think to ask him for advice, although he’s actually got some good stuff to say.

5) Would you rather always have to say everything on your mind OR never speak again?

Emily – UGHHHAAAHHHHHH. My heart and brain tore in half just now. I would be so terrified to have to always speak my mind. I can’t imagine any relationship surviving that because sometimes our brains are just jerks! Selfish jerks, who want to blame other people for their own grumpiness. I can’t imagine if I actually said it aloud every time I convinced myself I do all the dishes (I absolutely don’t; I’m actually 97% sure my husband does most of the dishes, but sometimes you’re just feeling like a BRAT, and no one should have to be subjected to that!). Then again, it’s way harder to build relationships if you can’t speak. Does writing things down count as speaking in this scenario? Okay, fine, I choose “always speaking my mind,” but then sequestering myself so I’m only among people who already know and love me, and will forgive me when I’m terrible.

Natalie – Have to say everything on your mind. I’m not saying she’d be thrilled about it, but she would feel so trapped by not being able to speak her mind.

Beau – Never speak again. He’s like, totally cool with this. He could pretty much live in the wilderness and be okay.

6) Would you rather wear the same outfit every day for the rest of your life OR eat the same meal?

Emily – THIS IS SO HARD. UGHHH. I have to go with same outfit, which is pretty crazy because I love clothes, but I already tend to get obsessed with one food and eat it until I absolutely hate it, so life would be more sad/nauseating if I had to eat the same meal everyday, whereas life in one outfit would just force me to focus my creativity and identity elsewhere.

Natalie – At this stage of life, she’s really concerned with discovering and codifying her identity, so I think she’d go with “same food,”  but of the three of us, she’s definitely the most conflicted on this one.

Beau – I kind of doubt either of these options sound bad to Beau. He’s not far off from either of these lifestyles, but he’d probably choose wearing the same outfit everyday.

This post made me love Emily and her characters even more! If you haven't met Natalie and Beau for yourself, don't miss their story. 


About the Author

Emily Henry is full-time writer, proofreader, and donut connoisseur. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the New York Center for Art & Media Studies, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it. She tweets @EmilyHenryWrite.

Find Emily: @EmilyHenryWrite | Goodreads


Tour Schedule

The Young Folks
1/18 - Interview
Reading Teen
1/19 - Guest post 1
It Starts at Midnight
1/20 - Top 10 list
The Hollow Cupboards
1/21 - Book soundtrack
Owl Always Be Reading
1/22 - Review & giveaway
Fiction Fare
1/25 - Guest post 2
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The Hardcover Lover
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Effortlessly Reading
1/28 - Interview
A Midsummer Night's Read
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2/1 – Character playlist
Love is not a triangle
2/2 - Would You Rather?
The Book Addict's Guide
2/3 - Character playlist 2
Once Upon a Twilight
2/4 - Dreamcasting post
2/5 - Review & giveaway
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