Tag: 3.5 stars

Blog Tour: Till it Stops Beating

Today I share my review on the blog tour for Till it Stops Beating by Hannah R. Goodman.  This one was published on July 5th!

Book Description:

Seventeen-year-old Maddie Hickman’s senior year begins with the good (the reemergence of The One That Got Away), the bad (a cancer diagnosis, not hers, but it might as well be) and the WTF (an anxiety attack that renders her writhing on the floor like an upside down crab).

Adding to her spiraling anxiety is Senior Project, in the form of I’ve Decided To Write A Book about The Other One That Got Away (And Crushed My Heart). Compounding it all is applying to college and keeping up with her friends. The ever mounting stress eventually rips her tight grip on all that she holds dear.

Her break down leads to an unexpected road trip where she is forced to listen to her wildly beating heart. It is only in the back of a convertible with pop music blasting, that she discovers she must risk everything in order to really live.

Author: Hannah R. Goodman
Published: July 5th, 2018
216 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read:
September 28-October 6, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

I did not realize this was book four in The Maddie Chronicles when I started it. The first three in the series are:

My Sister’s Wedding
My Summer Vacation
Fear of Falling

When I found out it was the fourth then things made sense: I felt I was ‘missing’ pieces of information during the first part of the novel. I would advise you to read the others in the series before reading Till it Stops Beating.

OK, now that that is over…..

Till it Stops Beating  is a coming of age novel for Maddie.  She is transitioning from childhood to adulthood and along the way faces some difficult issues, among them anxiety and cancer. Hannah also deals with heartbreak in relationships, family issues and of course: jelly doughnuts. The first few chapters had me craving doughnuts!

Goodman did a good job capturing a teen dealing with anxiety and an unknown future that makes up one’s senior year of high school, which really is a year of change and big decisions. Then in addition to all of that, she has to deal with a relative’s cancer diagnosis and that unknown can be heartbreaking

I enjoyed the second part immensely; I felt I really got to know Maddie through the road trip she took with friends. 

You will laugh and might tear up reading this one. The ending is a pleasant one with hope for the future. And the title just gives you all the feelings once you have finished the novel!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Often referred to as “the teenage whisperer”, Hannah R. Goodman’s twenty-year career working with teenagers includes the titles teacher, tutor, coach, and, more recently, mental health counselor. Hannah has written essays about mental health for various online publications. Her work has appeared on MindBodyGreenOC87 Recovery Diaries,  Zencare.co, and The Mighty. Though she has previously earned the title author with her first three books, the last was released in 2009 and all were self-published. This time around, indie publisher Black Rose Writing released her novel Till It Stops Beating this summer.

Hannah’s  first YA novel, My Sister’s Wedding, won the first place award for The Writer’s Digest International Self-Publishing Contest, 2004, children’s book division. She published the follow-up, My Summer Vacation, in May 2006, which went on to win a bronze IPPY in 2007. The third Maddie book, Fear of Falling, was released in the fall of 2009 and was praised by teachers and readers for tackling subjects like homophobia and coming out. She’s published young adult short stories on Amazon’s Shorts, in an anthology entitled Bound Is The Bewitching Lilith, and in the journal Balancing The Tides. She also has written columns for The Jewish Voice & Herald. Recent, previous projects include Sucker Literary, which features emerging YA authors and All The Way YA, a group blog of writers telling the real deal about writing and publishing YA fiction. 

Hannah is a member of  ARIA  (Association of Rhode Island Authors) as well as a graduate of Pine Manor College’s Solstice Program in Creative Writing where she earned an MFA in Writing For Young People. She resides in Bristol, RI with her husband, two daughters, and black and white cat named Zoe.

Contact Hannah:
Website
Twitter @hannahrgoodman
Goodreads
Instagram
Amazon Author Central
Linkedin

https://www.facebook.com/tillitstopsbeatingnovel/

 

 

 

 

 

After Nightfall by A.J. Banner

Author: A.J. Banner
Published: August 7, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 27- August 8, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

Beware of friends with secrets…

Imagine your closest friend utterly betraying you. Years later, when she seeks forgiveness, you invite her to your engagement party as a gesture of reconciliation. But seething hostilities rise to the surface, ruining everyone’s evening. After an awful night, your friend’s battered, lifeless body is found at the bottom of a rocky cliff.

Newly engaged Marissa Parlette is living this nightmare. She should be celebrating her upcoming wedding, but she can’t shake the image of her friend lying dead on the beach. Did she fall? Was she pushed? Or did she take a purposeful step into darkness? Desperate for answers, Marissa digs deep into the events of the party. But what she remembers happening after nightfall now carries sinister implications: the ugly sniping, the clandestine meetings, the drunken flirtations. The more she investigates, the more she questions everything she thought she knew about her friends, the man she once trusted, and even herself.

Bestselling author A. J. Banner keeps readers on a razor-sharp edge in this intricately plotted novel of psychological suspense…in which nothing is as it seems.

Jessica’s Review:

Marissa just got engaged and they are throwing a party…. Which went far from what was planned…. After Nightfall is a mystery with a twist- What happened to Marissa’s friend Lauren? Was she pushed, did she jump, or was it an accidental slip? You never know who to believe, including our narrator, and doubt is thrown on ALL characters! Every character has secrets and when it comes to the conclusion it’s not a shocker as to ‘the who’ or ‘what actually happened’, it was a more of an ‘oh wow, why did I not see that coming!?!?!!!’ 

I did feel my attention wander some, not the author’s fault as it is well written, it was the narrator for me. I’m not really sure what it was about her voice, but I know I missed some elements of the story as I listened. The ending seemed abrupt to me.  This will be one I plan to listen to again.  Maybe it will be better on a second listening.

Many thanks to the author, A.J. Banner for sending me an MP3 audio copy which I voluntarily read.  I look forward to reading her second novel The Twilight Wife which I own, but have not been able to read yet.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

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A Face Like Glass

Author: Frances Hardinge
Published: May 10, 2012

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

In Caverna, lies are an art — and everyone’s an artist…

In the underground city of Caverna the world’s most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare. They create wines that can remove memories, cheeses that can make you hallucinate and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer even as they slit your throat. The people of Caverna are more ordinary, but for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned. Only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to show (or fake) joy, despair or fear — at a price.

Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a little girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. For Neverfell’s emotions are as obvious on her face as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, though entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed…

Kim’s Review:

I have had this book on my shelf for a while. I bought it on BookOutlet for a great price and the synopsis sounded really good! But, y’all know I’m a pretty ADD reader and I got distracted so I only just now picked it up and read it. And I wish I could say that I loved it . . . and I did strongly like the last half, but that’s about it. It was just really slow in the beginning.

Thankfully, the mystery of Neverfell’s identity was firmly established from the beginning and it was that that kept me reading. What I thought would fascinate me most, a group of people who have no facial expressions and must be taught expressions only by facesmiths, actually got really old, really fast. For some reason, it just didn’t capture my imagination like I thought it was going to.

Once Neverfell got involved in the politics and elite of Caverna, things started to finally get interesting. I liked how little mysteries kept creeping in to try to distract from the main story and throw you off. I found the Grand Steward to be the most fascinating character of all! Because he has lived so long, he has trained his body to sleep only one half at a time . . . as in his left side is awake while his right side sleeps. And both sides have different personalities!! I will admit that he saved the story for me. Once the Grand Steward entered, I was good to finish the book. Had it been half the length it was, I think I would have liked it a lot better. Overall, I would say that this book is worth reading once, but I’ll probably never come back to it. It’s also safe for younger teens, at least the detail-oriented ones! I can’t say that I would recommend this to all teens, but you could definitely do a lot worse!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US

Amazon UK

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