Barely Have the Words (2)

I was looking at some of my 5 star reads, some read almost 3 years ago, that I still need to review. I realized there are some books I love so much I’m not sure I will ever be able to put into words how I really felt about them so welcome to my new feature, Barely Have the Words. I can’t adequately review this books since “READ IT” doesn’t really tell you how it made me feel, but this is my start:

Barely Have the Words (2)Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Published: April 4, 2017
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five-stars

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

In 2017 I opened Letters to the Lost, a book I hadn’t heard much about, and didn’t close it until I finished all 391 pages. And since then I have not been able to accurately describe how Declan and Juliet’s story made me feel.  Simply put and the only adjective I can think of that is fitting for this story is beautiful, and that still feel inadequate. It was an emotional read from start to finish. Declan and Juliet were dealing with so much pain and heartache but they found each other and found an unexpected kindred soul. This was my first Brigid Kemmerer book and it is the book that made me a fan for life.

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Barely Have the Words (2)More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury Children's
Published: March 6, 2018
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five-stars

*While this book exists in the same universe as Letters to the Lost, it is a standalone title.*

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay...until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

How could Brigid Kemmerer make me more a fan? Easy, she gave me Rev’s story (which I read a few months after Letters to the Lost) and punched me in the feels. Another one I devoured in one glorious day that still hasn’t left me. As a massive fan of the romance in a book to me More Than We Can Tell is more about Rev and Declan’s AMAZING friendship and what they will endure for each other. I mean the romance was excellent too, but Rev and Declan is where it is at. Other than that I am at a complete loss on how to explain just how amazing this book was and everything that was worth loving in it.

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Barely Have the Words (2)Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen
Published by Bloomsbury
Published: January 30, 2018
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four-half-stars

Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarlet will hold readers spellbound.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A.C. Gaughen writes something shocking in a book every time and I’m still surprised. She seriously gets me in the feels always and I’m here for it. Annie manages to write characters that are so intriguing you can’t help but get invested in them and I don’t really know what else to say or how to accurately describe my love for this series starter. Honestly this book was amazing and left me dying to know what was to come for these people I grew to care about.

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Barely Have the Words (2)Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen
Published by Bloomsbury YA
Published: January 22, 2019
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five-stars

Stolen from her family as a child, Aspasia has clawed her way up the ranks of Cyrus's black market empire to captain her own trading vessel--and she risks it all every time she uses her powerful magic to free as many women, children, and Elementae from slavery as she can.

But Cyrus is close to uncovering her secrets--not only that Aspasia is an air Elementa with the ability to sail her ship through the sky, but that she is also searching for her lost family. And if Aspasia can’t find her younger siblings before Cyrus does, she will never be able to break free.

Armed with her loyal crew full of Elementae and a new recruit who controls an intriguing power, Aspasia finds herself in the center of a brewing war that spans every inch of the ocean, and her power alone may not be enough to save her friends, family, and freedom.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

If I thought I loved Reign the Earth it was nothing compared to the love I ended up having for Imprison the Sky. A.C. Gaughen came back to this world and took it up a notch. The complexity to Aspasia endeared her to me from the start. She was doing something that wasn’t 100% moral to the naked eye but she was doing what she could to not cross a line she couldn’t get back from, all while trying to find/save her family. I felt a lot of emotion reading this book as I got to know Asp and her crew and the good she had in her. And the love interest was top notch! Just another book I loved so much I can’t manage to find the words to describe. All I know is I desperately want to read about the other two elements!

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These ‘reviews’ don’t do the books justice, but I have no other way to describe them. In the end I leave you with…READ THEM!

What books to you love and can’t review because you love them so much?

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Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid KemmererA Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury YA
Published: January 29, 2019
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five-stars

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.
Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.


Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Back in March 2017 I opened a book called Letters to the Lost and I didn’t close it until it was finished. I wouldn’t stop until all 391 pages were done and I had let Brigid Kemmerer thoroughly break my heart. That was also the day I fell in love with her writing. So when I heard about A Curse So Dark and Lonely, a book that is a retelling of my favorite fairytale, Beauty and the Beast, I was so there for it. Two readings of it later, I am COMPLETELY IN LOVE, love beyond measure, with this book and these characters.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is about Harper, a girl who is ‘transported’ from her home in DC to the kingdom of Emberfall. Having no idea why she was taken she confronts Rhen and Grey, her captors and soon finds out that Emberfall is cursed. Wanting to get back to her family Harper makes a deal to help Rhen and Emberfall rebuild their trust in one another and their trust in the Royals. But as Harper gets herself deeper and deeper into their story she learns there is so much more going on and starts to feel less like a prisoner and more like a person that belongs there even though her heart is with her family in DC.

My explanation of the story honestly doesn’t do it justice. It really is hard to explain just how amazing this story actually is. It is filled with flawed people and action and love and heartbreak. It has monsters and royalty and evil witches. It has sweet, heartfelt moments, moments of sadness, and moments WHEN CAN I HAVE MORE?! It truly hits all the marks and you won’t want to put it down. You will be left hugging the book and never wanting to let go. Rhen, Grey and Harper will steal your heart and you will gladly give it to them.

I don’t want to give anything away so I’m being as vague as possible. All I can say is you need to read A Curse So Dark and Lonely. I promise you will be happy you did. It is just that good!

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Cover Reveal – Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen {giveaway}

Today, on the blog, I have something really exciting to show you. It is no secret that I am a fangirl of not only A. C. Gaughen’s books, but of her. I was first time moderator for an appearance that included her and Sarah J. Maas and I have moderated for her since. She killed me with her Scarlet series and with the first book in her new series, Reign the Earth. Truly I haven’t read anything by Gaughen that I haven’t loved. So you can imagine how excited I am for book two to come out.

Well  today I get to play a part in it’s release. I’m one of the awesome bloggers that will be revealing the cover for Imprison the Sky, book two in The Elementae series!

Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen
Published by Bloomsbury YA
Published: January 22, 2019
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Stolen from her family as a child, Aspasia has clawed her way up the ranks of Cyrus's black market empire to captain her own trading vessel--and she risks it all every time she uses her powerful magic to free as many women, children, and Elementae from slavery as she can.

But Cyrus is close to uncovering her secrets--not only that Aspasia is a wind Elementa with the ability to sail her ship through the sky, but that she is also searching for her lost family. And if Aspasia can’t find her younger siblings before Cyrus does, she will never be able to break free.

Armed with her loyal crew full of Elementae and a new recruit who controls an intriguing power, Aspasia finds herself in the center of a brewing war that spans every inch of the ocean, and her power alone may not be enough to save her friends, family, and freedom.

Bloomsbury Social Media:
Twitter: @bloomsburykids
Instagram: @bloomsburypublishing

A.C. Gaughen Social Media:
Twitter: @acgaughen
Instagram: @acgaughen

Are you ready for it?

Here it is:

Seriously I can’t wait to read this book!

To get you excited I have another great surprise:

The people at Bloomsbury are offering to get one lucky winner in the US or Canada ONLY the chance to start this fabulous series. Enter below for your chance to win a hardcover of Reign the Earth. Giveaway ends on May 20th, at 11:59pm EST. It is US and Canada ONLY.

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New to You (7): Kathleen Reviews Open Road Summer by Emery Lord {+ a giveaway}

Welcome to New to You!

This idea came along last year when I was supporting Lauren Miller’s newest book All Things New and I asked Kelsey to read and review Parallel, a book I have read more than once. I didn’t really get it going until December when I offered people the chance to sign up to read and review a book that has been a favorite of mine that they have never read. I got a great response and I’m happy to tell you (minus January) you will see a New to You post twice a month.

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Next up for New to You is Kathleen from Books, TV and More…Oh MY!. When I found out Kathleen hadn’t yet read an Emery book I knew what book I was going to have her take on. Everyone needs a little Matt Finch in their life, not to mention a strong female friendship that Emery does so well. I’m excited to see what she thought! (Make sure you check out the giveaway at the end!)

New to You (7): Kathleen Reviews Open Road Summer by Emery Lord {+ a giveaway}Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books
Published: March 3, 2015
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four-stars

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O'Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. Her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah's 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of healing hearts and break-up ballads.

But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in this growing genre, Emery Lord's gorgeous debut hits all the right notes of contemporary romance.

I heard about Emery Lord a couple years ago and knew immediately that I wanted to read what she wrote. Since that time I’ve acquired all of her books, but haven’t read one yet. I know, what’s wrong with me?! Thankfully Andi decided to do her “New to You” feature and I jumped at the chance to participate. I gave her a few options of books that I owned that were on her list and after chatting with Gail, they both decided I needed some Matt Finch in my life. Spoiler: They were both right!

Open Road Summer was so beautifully written. I felt like I was physically there on the road with Reagan, Dee, & Matt all summer. While Dee and Matt are singing superstars, they are so down to earth. The first thing I thought of when Dee was described was Taylor Swift, which I’m sure Emery would approve of. Reagan, her best friend and MC of the story, is a strong and loyal. Her tough shell really resonated with me and I liked that she embraced her faults and past and learned from them. Matt is the boy next-door kind of guy. He’s sweet, kind, and honest. All three of the characters are relatable and I can see my friends and myself in each of them.

They all have their own struggles and I think the way they were revealed was very realistic. You feel as though you’re a part of their life and privy to such emotional information. I also think these struggles is what helped form the bond between Reagan and Matt. I liked that the roles were reversed in their case. Reagan was the bad girl and Matt was the good guy. I feel like there aren’t a lot of books that explore that and it was a refreshing change. They dynamic between them was electric at times and at others, you could feel the heartache. One of my favorite parts of the book was the songs Dee and Matt wrote. I feel that music unites everyone and you could feel the connection between Reagan, Dee, Matt, and Jimmy (Dee’s ex-boyfriend).

I absolutely loved this book and look forward to reading the rest of Emery’s books soon! Thanks again Andi for lighting the fire under me, and getting me to read Open Road Summer sooner rather than later.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 12, 2018. It is US ONLY!

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Thanks Kathleen for signing up for New to You! I’m so happy you enjoyed Open Road Summer. Matt Finch will always be one of my babies!

My Open Road Summer review.

Have you read Open Road Summer yet?

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More Than We Can Tell Blog Tour: Television Male Friendship (+ a giveaway)

Today I’m a stop on the blog tour for Brigid Kemmerer’s newest book, More Than We Can Tell. More Than We Can Tell(MTWCT) is a companion book to Brigid’s book Letters to the Lost, which came out last year. It feature Rev, a character we met in Letters, that is Declan’s best friend. This friendship is something that really stood out to me when I read both books, even more so in MTWCT. It is the foundation of these boys, and a really strong part of the narrative.

When I signed up for the blog tour I started thinking about other strong male relationships I have seen on TV that are close to Declan and Rev level. I came up with 5, the last one the closest in my opinion:

Dawson and Pacey – Dawson’s Creek

Dawson and Pacey had an interesting friendship. They grew up together and had always been in each other’s lives. They new each other very well, but they were also complete opposites. And like some friendship, they grew apart after a while because they were going in different directions and wanted different things. And of course there was a girl. A girl that came between them, but also brought them back together.

 

Brandon and Dylan – Beverly Hills, 90210

Brandon and Dylan also had a very interesting friendship. They couldn’t have been anymore opposite of each other. Brandon was the good guy from Minnesota while Dylan was the bad boy from Beverly Hills. On paper they had nothing in common. The tended to fight over the same girls, live two different lives, and get themselves into awkward situations. But when all was said and done they had each other’s backs and none of that other stuff ended up mattering.

 

Cory and Shawn – Boy Meets World

There has never been a stronger relationship on TV than that of Cory and Shawn’s. It was one of those rare shows where the audience saw them boys as kids that grew into men. They weathered a lot of things, but they were 100% ALWAYS there for each other, even when they had one of their rare fights or when one refused to listen to the other. They had a bond that would not and could not be broken. They were brothers and not just friends.

 

 

Joey and Chandler – Friends

Oh Joey and Chandler. The funny friends and the roommates. These guys were POLAR opposites. Complete and total opposites, but they worked and had a friendship that couldn’t be broken. Not even by cheating and a box on Thanksgiving (if you have seen the show you know what I’m talking about). They had friendship bracelets and a weird cool guy handshake. They got on each other’s nerves but still had each ither’s back when they went through a hard time. Unlike the other friendships this one was formed in adulthood and but it seemed like they knew each other forever.

 

Seth and Ryan – The O.C.

This friendship is probably one that resembles Rev and Declan the most. Like Rev, Ryan has had a harder life. Both ended up in situations, living with families, that were not like anything they experiences before. But like Rev was given Declan, Ryan was given Seth. They were given family for life, someone to ALWAYS be by your side even when it didn’t make sense why they were friends.

 

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More Than We Can Tell Blog Tour: Television Male Friendship (+ a giveaway)More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury Children's
Published: March 6th 2018
Buy on Amazon
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*While this book exists in the same universe as Letters to the Lost, it is a standalone title.*

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay...until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.

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About Brigid Kemmerer

BRIGID KEMMERER is author of LETTERS TO THE LOST (Bloomsbury; April 4, 2017), a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance; THICKER THAN WATER (Kensington, December 29, 2015), a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas which Kirkus Reviews calls “refreshingly human paranormal romance” and School Library Journal describes as “a new take on the supernatural genre.” She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 17, 2018. It is US ONLY!

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Huge thanks to Bloomsbury for bringing this series into my life and for having me on the blog tour!

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