Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Welcome to the FFBC: Sanctuary by Caryn Lix-- Interview + Giveaway


by Caryn Lix
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
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Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this thrilling debut novel about prison-guard-in-training, Kenzie, who is taken hostage by the superpowered criminal teens of the Sanctuary space station—only to have to band together with them when the station is attacked by mysterious creatures.

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

Hello Caryn! We are super excited to talk to you about SANCTUARY and to have you in our FFBC tours. 


Favorite Book?

This answer changes on a daily basis. But I really love Howl’s Moving Castle and, more contemporarily, The Kingkiller Chronicles.

Favorite TV show?

This is a toss up between The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Firefly.

Favorite movie?

Guardians of the Galaxy Part One

Favorite Song?

Johnny Cash singing Hurt by NIN

Favorite Food?


Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

Paradis Island, even with all the Titans.

What were your favorite books growing up?

I loved so many books growing up. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, Anne of Green Gables, and Gordon Korman’s early laugh out loud classics were probably the top of my list.

 Favorite Quote?

“Go on and do your work. Do it well. It is all you can do.” -Ursula K. LeGuin from A Wizard of Earthsea

What do you find yourself “fangirling” over?

I can be deeply obsessive about the things I love, so whatever I’m hardcore into I tend to fangirl over hard. Right now it’s Attack On Titan. At one point I went out for dinner with my husband and he stared at me and said, “Do you realize you’re wearing an Attack on Titan T-shirt, an Attack on Titan hoodie, and carrying an Attack on Titan purse? And I can’t swear to it but I’m pretty sure that’s the wings of freedom on your bracelet.” The thing is, I hadn’t even noticed.

 Name a recent book you read that you would recommend to our YA fans?

There are fantastic books out there right now, just so many. I recently finished Warcross by Marie Lu and loved it.


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about SANCTUARY?

Sanctuary has been described as X-Men meets Alien. It’s about a girl who’s a guard on an orbital prison for superpowered teens. Her life is secure and planned out. She’s a citizen in a powerful corporation with a clear vision of where the future will take her. All of that falls apart over a few days when everything starts going wrong: a prison break, an alien attack, and exactly the kind of boy she never thought she’d fall for!

Can you tell us 3 interesting/random things about Kenzie?

-Kenzie has her own manga obsession. She loves a fictional manga called Robo Mecha Dream Girl 5. 

-She has a rebellious streak. Even though she grew up obeying the rules, there are hints in the story that she’s taken a few risks before… and maybe wishes she could take more.

-She has the same drive to succeed I always had when I was young. Like me, Kenzie takes any failure deeply personally. (Sorry, Kenzie – you’re going to have to learn to overcome that if you want to maintain your sanity!)

What are your fave Sci-Fi TV Shows or Movies?

Well, I don’t think it’s a secret to say that the Alien movies and X-Men would rank up there! I’m a huge Marvel geek, have been ever since the sixth grade, so I love all of those movies, too. I’m still a big Firefly fan, and as I mentioned, Attack on Titan is my obsession. I enjoy just about anything set in space, to be honest, from Lost in Space to The Expanse.

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book series? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of SANCTUARY).

#theHarvestHasBegun #survive #abandonPreconceptions

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

I draw inspiration from all kinds of stories. Playing survival horror video games had a huge influence on Sanctuary. I still remember the feeling when I played the first Resident Evil game, the tension and claustrophobia and fear. From there I moved on to Silent Hill and Parasite Eve and all those old classics, and I still play those games today. I think they had a huge influence on the atmosphere throughout the book.

Tell us your favorite quote from SANCTUARY.

“Prison might suck, but it’s better than being eaten by space monsters.” I said that to my critique partner early on in the writing process and she laughed and told me I had to work it into the story. So, I did.

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?  Or which part was the most difficult to get through?

I really enjoyed writing the first encounter with the aliens. The first time Kenzie sees that tail slither around a corner and realizes what she’s known all along deep down – that just flowed out of me!

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for SANCTUARY– Which one would you pick?

SANCTUARY actually does have a theme song: Help I’m Alive by Metric. During the writing, I jotted down the following lyrics on a sticky note and stuck them on the wall above my writing space:

I tremble
They’re gonna eat me alive
If I stumble
They’re gonna eat me alive
Can you hear my heart 
beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer

Help I’m alive
My heart keeps beating like a hammer

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read SANCTUARY (specific music, snacks…)? 

Turn off the lights. Get some freeze dried strawberries, Kenzie’s favorite snack. Huddle someplace safe, and don’t make a sound.

What’s next for you? 

I’m working on the sequel to SANCTUARY at the moment. We are in the editing stage, so it should be ready to go soon! And I’m also in the process of moving to Tokyo. So you know, that’s enough to keep me busy for a while!

Thank you so much for everything, Caryn!

Thank you! 

I LOVED Johnny Cash's version of HURT-- I also love NIN & it's hard for me to go against a 90's band, buuuut Mr. Cash's version is so unique.  Good luck on your big move!!

Caryn Lix has been writing since she was a teenager and delved deep into science fiction, fantasy, and the uncanny while working on her Masters in English literature. Caryn writes novels for teens and anyone else who likes a bit of the bizarre to mess up their day. When not writing, Caryn spends her time obsessively consuming other people’s stories, plotting travel adventures, and exploring artistic endeavors. She lives with her husband and a horde of surly and entitled animals in southern Alberta.

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Spill Zone: The Broken Vow by Scott Westerfeld & Alex Puvilland-- Are all dolls really Chuckie???

Today is my tour stop for the Spill Zone: The Broken Vow Blog Tour!!  I was super excited to read this series & I am SOOOO glad that I waited to read them both together-- who could wait for book 2 after that ending??????

The first book has a new paperback cover-- which looks like THIS:

Spill Zone

Nobody's ever really explained the Spill. Was it an angelic visitation? A nanotech accident? A porthole opening from another world? Whatever it was, no one's allowed in the Spill Zone these days except government scientists and hazmat teams. But a few intrepid explorers know how to sneak through the patrols and steer clear of the dangers inside the Zone. Addison Merrick is one such explorer, dedicated to finding out what happened that night and to unraveling the events that took her parents and left her little sister mute and disconnected from the world. 

Spill Zone: The Broken Vow

All hell breaks loose in the second volume of New York Times–bestselling author Scott Westerfeld's visionary graphic novel duology.

Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Strange manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone. Addison got close enough to the Spill Zone to touch it, literally. She survived the encounter, but came back changed.

It turns out she's not alone. North Korea has its own Spill Zone, and a young man named Don Jae is the only one who made it out alive. Alive, but changed. Now Addison, Don Jae, and, curiously, a rag doll named Vespertine, share an unholy bond and uncanny powers.

From Scott Westerfeld, the inspired imagination behind the New York Times bestsellers Uglies and Leviathan, comes The Broken Vow, the second volume of our highly anticipated new graphic novel series.

I don't read a lot of graphic novels, so I don't know if my reviews are going to be able to tell you how these compare to other series-- but I can tell you that my 10-year-old son reads TONS of graphic novels and he loved these books.  He read them both in one sitting, taking only an hour to finish both of them!!

My take was pretty similar.  I got HOOKED on the story and the intense NEED to know what this spill actually is. why the kids there during the spill don't talk, and what the heck is up with the creepy doll????

In the first book we're introduced to Addison-- a girl who makes a living illegally photographing the Spill Zone.  While she's riding her motorcycle snapping away, we get to see all kinds of weirdness: zombies that just kind of hang there, creatures that I don't really know what they do, and  regular animals that are no longer regular.

I was slightly worried that the 2nd book wouldn't be able to answer all my questions-- because I had SO MANY after the first book-- but I was happy with the way it turned out.  I don't know if there will be more books (I hope so!!), but it could probably end right here and there aren't major loose ends.

The Broken Vow has more creepiness and suspense than the first book-- I did not know if people would be okay and in the first book I wasn't as worried.  I was so happy that Vespertine (the creepy-ass doll) was back because I need that next-level scariness in my life.  Dolls to me are all Chuckie.

Something I didn't talk about yet is the artwork: I love how it goes from SO COLORFUL to so dark.  The dramatic change of colors works for the story.  I also kind of loved the messiness of it??  I loved the blurred backgrounds and jagged lines.

Like I said before, I don't read a lot of graphic novels, but I'm so glad I read this series.  I loved the mystery and the girl-Chuckie doll and even the freaking zombies that aren't really zombies-- LOVED!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Welcome to the FFBC: So Glad to Meet You by Lisa Super

So Glad to Meet You

by Lisa Super
Publisher: Diversion Books
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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Seventeen-year-old Daphne Bowman, a bookish drama nerd in public school, might never have crossed paths with Oliver, the popular, outgoing mascot for his private school's football team, but one event has bound them inextricably. Daphne's older sister, Emily, and Oliver's older brother, Jason, who were high school sweethearts, committed suicide together seven years earlier.

When Daphne uncovers Emily and Jason's bucket list—a list comprised of their "Top Ten" places to visit before they die—she knows she has to tell someone. The one person who might actually get what she's going through and who might not think it's silly that she wants to complete the list, is also someone she's never spoken to—Oliver Pagano. Throwing caution to the wind, Daphne sends Oliver a Facebook message that will come to change the course of both of their senior years—and maybe their entire lives.

Tackling grief with a wry voice and an unflinching eye, So Glad to Meet You tells the story of two people who, in searching for what they've lost, end up finding what they never knew they needed—each other.

Hi Lisa!!  We’re so excited to have your book in our FFBC Tours, and can’t wait to ask you a couple of questions about your debut book, SO GLAD TO MEET YOU!

Thank you so much for having me, Michelle!


Favorite Book? 

UNACCUSTOMED EARTH by Jumpha Lahiri. I still think about the last line of that book on a weekly basis. I’m haunted.

Favorite TV show? 

I’m terrible at limitation. ☺ Current faves: Jane the Virgin, Silicon Valley, Atlanta (FX is killing it). Past faves: The Shield, Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, My So-Called Life

Favorite movie? 

Amelie or L.A. Confidential. You can tell what kind of day I’m having by how I answer this question. Let’s go with Amelie today.

Favorite Song? 

Currently, “Shades of Marble” by Trentemoller. It’s the best writing song. I can listen to it over and over, and it’s both calming and energizing.

Favorite Food? 

Anything in a bowl with noodles or rice.

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

Sugar Rush from WRECK-IT RALPH, the North Pole from ELF (talking narwhals!), and Hogwarts, of course.

What were your favorite books growing up? 

MATILDA and THE VIEW FROM THE CHERRY TREE. I was also trash for the NIGHTMARE HALL series by Diane Hoh and anything by Christopher Pike.

 Favorite Quote? 

“It was a wilderness of mirrors out there.” –Ward S. Just

What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over?

Serena Williams! She is a warrior goddess. She’s almost died TWICE, had a child, and is still at the top of her game. So much love and respect for her.

 What recent book would you recommend to our YA fans?

One that’s flying under the radar is Ingrid Palmer’s debut, ALL OUT OF PRETTY. It’s a gritty contemporary perfect for fans of GIRL IN PIECES.


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about SO GLAD TO MEET YOU? 

Daphne and Oliver, seniors on opposite ends of the bell curve, go on a quest across Los Angeles to fulfill a To-Do List written by their older siblings before they committed suicide together. Along the way, they gain a newfound understanding of the siblings they lost, and their own connection changes them forever. 

Told in dual POV, there’s adventure, pining, confusion, and kissing!

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of SO GLAD TO MEET YOU.)

#makeyouradventure #topten #fornowisnow

Tell us your favorite quote from SO GLAD TO MEET YOU.

“…the people who owed her the most had no idea how much they’d borrowed.”

Name 3 things/places that you would put on your bucket list.

The Himalayas (no climbing Mt. Everest, though, I’ll stick to reading INTO THIN AIR), Machu Picchu, and Croatia.

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for SO GLAD TO MEET YOU– Which one would you pick?

“Angeles” by Elliott Smith, although the song is much sadder than the tone of the book. Elliott and his music play a significant role with Daphne and Oliver, and his lyrics lent me the title “So Glad to Meet You.”

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read SO GLAD TO MEET YOU (specific music, snacks…)? 

Make some of Daphne and Janine’s “Pity Popcorn.” Stir in a little sriracha with the melted butter before pouring over the popcorn and follow up with some parmesan (or nutritional yeast if you don’t do dairy).

What’s next for you? 

I’m currently writing what I hope will be my second book. I’m pitching it as Rebecca Black meets SIMON VS. THE HOMOSAPIENS AGENDA.

Thanks so much for chatting with us!!  I was devastated when My So-Called Life was cancelled (Joran Catalano forevs) and MATILDA, NIGHTMARE HALL, & Christopher Pike had a huge impact on my reading life growing up!!  90's girls unite!!

Lisa Super is a brunch enthusiast based in Los Angeles. She's worked on a number of TV shows ranging from pop culture phenomenons (Flavor of Love) to traumedy gold (One Mississippi). While every day in LA is an adventure, traveling with her husband across the globe is her favorite hobby. SO GLAD TO MEET YOU is her first novel.

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager-- Summer Camp is One Creepy Setting!

The Last Time I Lied

13 year old Emma finds out she's spending her summer at Camp Nightengale, aka "Camp Rich Bitch", and she can't be more thrilled.  What she doesn't know is that she's going to be bunked up with much older girls and bad things are going to happen.  When everyone in her cabin goes missing (and are never found) except for her, the camp shuts down....

Until 15 years later when the owner invites Emma back to camp to teach students painting during their reopening season.  Emma doesn't want to go, but the need for closure is too great.  As memories and mysteries resurface, Emma has to face some hard truths about herself and wonder if she'll ever know what became of her friends all those years ago.

You know where a bomb-ass place to set a horror novel is? A creepy summer camp.  As if Jason Vorhees and The Blair Witch didn't already make me scared enough of summer camp and the woods, this book comes along and now I will never camp again (not that I was going to anyway because ewww, bugs).

This book centers on Emma, who was living with 3 girls in a cabin at summer camp when they all mysteriously went missing.  Emma was the youngest (only 13) when it happened, and 15 years later it still haunts her.  She spends her time painting the missing/presumed dead girls, and in order (she thinks) to get past it she heads back to camp for the reopening.  Of course, her real intention is to solve the mystery, but any kind of closure to be had, she'll take.

While there Emma has to look into Franny, the billionaire owner, her 2 adopted sons-- one who she accused years ago of being involved, former campers who have returned to help out, and the surfacing of long-buried memories of her former friends.

The scariest part about this book was the unknown.  It's scary when you know people are dead, but when people simply vanish... that is so much scarier.  Your mind just runs wild imagining what could have happened.  Forget reason and what is most probable-- you are going to imagine the worst of the worst.

I fell into this book.  It totally engulfed me.  There is the mystery of the missing girls, but there is so much more.  It's like I read 3 mystery books in one.  The only thing that I was a little MEH about was the mental health aspect.  Emma has a diagnosed mental illness, but I didn't really think that added part was necessary.  I don't know if this is true, but it felt a little like it was used to add the layer of "is this really happening or is she just crazy?" and I just don't think it needed to be that way.

I really liked Final Girls when I read it last year, and I enjoyed this one even more, so I can't wait to see what this author has in store for us next!!

OVERALL: Riley Sager's second thriller is a hit!!  I totally loved this book-- I thought the setting, the mystery, and the twists were A+.  I completely recommend.

Date Published: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Dutton Books
How I got this book: Thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy to read and honestly review

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 5/5 

Character: Vivian
Book: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

  • This book is one of the off-the-wall books I've read and is PERFECT for a girl like Vivian.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday-- Books Of 2018 (So Far)

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (July 10th) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Books I've Read in 2018 (so far)

  • Making this list made me realize how I've only read 20 books so far this year!!  I really need to get my shizz together-- especially after all the ALA goodness that I brought home.  Despite that, I've read some really cool books, and they're not all YA Contemporary (some are Adult-- LOL).

1.  The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager- I just read this last week and I SO loved it.  Summer camp creepiness is a PERFECT setting for a Thriller!

2.  The Opposite of Here by Tara Altebrando- The last paragraph of this book made me realize that I read something completely different than what I thought I read.  I freaking LOVED that.

3.  Always Forever Maybe by Anica Mrose Rissi- We need more books like this.

4.  Never Missing, Never Found by Amanda Panitch- Love amusement park settings, and Amanda Panitch is fast becoming one of my fave authors.

5. Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent- This is an Adult book that I had lying around from who knows how long ago.  It was really interesting & I read it one night!

6.  Letters to the Lost (#1) by Brigid Kemmerer- I don't usually like books like this, but the author practically wrote perfection here, so how could I not like it??

7.  The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty- How did I just discover this author??  Especially since I've read her sisters YA books!!  The Husband's Secret is my fave of hers so far.

8.  All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda- Megan Miranda is a giant YES.  I will read EVERYTHING she writes.  This was an adult mystery told backwards.

9.  Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler- I missed Sarah Ockler in my life, and luckily I had this backlist book to still get to!!!  It was Contemporary Romance at it's best.

10.  Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade- YA + College!!!  I've so been wanting more YA set in college (because NA is not my jam) and this was totally IT!!!

What books were your faves of the year so far?