BLOG TOUR: The Color Project by Sierra Abrams - Guest Post + Giveaway


WOOOOOT! I can't believe it's already time for my stop on the The Color Project blog tour and also that there are MERE DAYS until one of my best bookish friend's DEBUT BOOK releases for the world to read. Sierra Abrams is one of the kindest humans I've had the pleasure of getting to know and I'm so so happy for the chance to have her on my blog. 
Thanks so much Helena and Becky from Book Nerd Addict for putting together this BRILLIANT TOUR!

Title: The Color Project
Author: Sierra Abrams
Release Date: July 18th, 2017 
Publisher: Gatekeeper Press
Buy Links: Amazon    Barnes & Noble   Book Depository  
Add To: GoodReads
Blurb Description: Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn't want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project. Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her. When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee's summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose thebest thing that’s ever happened to her. For fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson, THE COLOR PROJECT is a story about the three great loves of life—family, friendship, and romance—and the bonds that withstand tragedy.
 
Aditi: The official The Color Project Playlist is AMAZING (And I can't wait to read the book and listen to the playlist while doing so) How does music shape your writing process? What are some of your favorite songs?

Sierra: When I read the topic of this guest post, I almost screamed.  If you follow me on any social media, you know I LOVE MUSIC.  It means as much to me as reading and writing do.  I grew up with my parents buying CDs all the time (they owned 500+ CDs, which was a lot before we had digital music) and listening to music everywhere: at work, in the car, at home.  There was always something playing in the background.

        Now as an adult, I listen to music every day.  I have listened to 700+ artists on Spotify and my tastes range from movie scores to indie electronica (my favorite genre) to heavy metal/screamo.  (The only genre that I don’t like, off the top of my head, is country.)

        Naturally, this means music plays a HUGE role in my writing.  Every day, a song—new or old—will inspire an idea, concept, sentence, or character.  I’ve had entire story ideas sprout from single lines in songs I’ve heard hundreds of times.  Sometimes, it just has to click at the right moment.
        I try to write with music in the background, and most of the time it works, but sometimes I do need silence.  And weirdly enough, I often find myself changing my playlists around.  I’ll be writing a contemporary romance and yet I’m most motivated or inspired to write by one of my fantasy playlists.  Or I’ll be working on one of my magical realism concepts and suddenly the perfect mix is a heavy metal album from my childhood.  Everything about this is weird, and I can’t explain it, but it’s true.

        I tried to list off some of my favorite groups/albums by genre, but that gave me too much freedom and there were WAY too many.  So instead, I made a playlist of my favorite songs from my favorite groups from all the genres, and if you like one a lot and want more, find me on social media or let me know in the comments and I’ll give you more recommendations.



It was extremely difficult to narrow that down.  Oh my word.

If you give any of these songs a listen, I’d love to hear what you think of them!  If you’re a writer, did they gave you any character and writing feels/inspiration?  What kind of music do you listen to when you write?  Tell me all about it!
And a big thank you to Aditi for having me on her amazing blog!  You rock!  And thank you to everyone who stopped by today…it means so much to me!
XOXO, Sierra
At 7 years old, Sierra Abrams decided that one day she would publish a book. For over a decade, in between exploring other career options, she kept coming back to that very first dream. Now her life consists of writing books of all kinds... Kissing books, angsty books, killing books, whimsical books, and sometimes books that are all of the above. When she's not writing, you can find her reading, traveling, consuming sushi, or daydreaming about Henry Cavill.

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An Important Read // ARC REVIEW: Countless by Karen Gregory

Title: Countless
Author: Karen Gregory
Publication Date: May 4th 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Bloomsbury India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Snapdeal || Infibeam || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Is there anything that's concerning you?’ Felicity says. ‘College, home, boyfriends?' Though she's more or less smiling at this last one.
I don't smile. Instead, I feel my face go hot. Silence stretches as wide as an ocean. When I look up, Felicity has this expression on her face like she's just seen Elvis. Slowly, she leans forward and in a gentle voice I've never heard her use before she says, 'Have you done a pregnancy test?' 
When Hedda discovers she is pregnant, she doesn’t believe she could ever look after a baby. The numbers just don’t add up. She is young, and still in the grip of an eating disorder that controls every aspect of how she goes about her daily life. She’s even given her eating disorder a name – Nia. But as the days tick by, Hedda comes to a decision: she and Nia will call a truce, just until the baby is born. 17 weeks, 119 days, 357 meals. She can do it, if she takes it one day at a time … 
Heartbreaking and hopeful by turns, Karen Gregory’s debut novel is a story of love, heartache and human resilience. And how the things that matter most can’t be counted. Perfect for fans of Lisa Williamson, Non Pratt and Sarah Crossan. 
Actual Rating 3.5 Stars

I’ve only read one book centred on Anorexia Nervosa before, and that was Wintergirls by Laurie Anderson. As soon as I saw that the Lovely Bloomsbury India was going to be releasing Countless here, I knew I HAD to read it.

Short & Sweet: Countless manages to explain and overcome anorexia in a different and somewhat more attainable light, with a baby and a broken family thrown in the mix.
Let me explain my thoughts in greater detail:

WRITING:

Karen Gregory had this haunted, broken and painful writing style which is exactly what I’d imagine a sixteen year old pregnant anorexic who was living by herself having. Her writing made the story come alive; made it all believable.

It was also written in two parts – before and after the baby with the weeks counting up and down. It was s fun style to read seeing Hedda carry the baby to term and how she became a mother after.
IDEA:

I loved the idea surrounding this book. I don’t think Anorexia, other eating disorders or even body image issues are talked about enough in book, especially with what expectations are doing to girls these days.

As soon as I read the synopsis for this book, I knew I had to have it. It was an AMAZING idea.

PLOT:

While the writing was good and the idea of the story even better, the plot is where I started having problems.

For 1) Which self-respecting parents would GIVE UP ON THEIR SICK 16 YEAR OLD AND ALLOW HER TO LIVE BY HERSELF? She was SICK. It’s a DISEASE. The book opens with Hedda living in a mouldy apartment with no money or support and OBVIOUSLY SHE’S STILL SICK. THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SUPPOSED TO BE HER SUPPORT SYSTEM ABANDONED HER. Maybe she’s let them down in the past, but we’re a) not given much information about the past but b) so WHAT? You don’t get to abandon one child for another.

I liked how the various resources available in the U.K. were highlighted. It’s important that people know what’s available to them and reach out when they feel like they need help.
Image result for countless by karen gregory
Another thing I liked was how this book ended. I couldn’t help but feel that it was thoroughly irresponsible for Hedda to be allowed to have a baby with NO SUPPORT SYSTEM (Money, Family, Friends and an Eating Disorder?), but I’m glad she grew up in the end. It was a good, responsible ending and I can’t help but commend it.
CHARACTERS:

Hedda came across as selfish. Maybe we can blame it on her wanting something that was more than her eating disorder, but it didn’t change the fact that she had no care for anyone else. She walked away from her mother after a trip at the mall and got herself into debt because she was too prideful to ask her parents for money.

I didn’t like her parents either. I did like Robin, Hedda’s Sister and all the other secondary characters.

CONCLUSION:

I was sitting in a room filled with 50 girls and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US raised our hands when a counsellor asked up if we have Body Image Issues. EVERY. SINGLE. GIRL.

We should be reading and writing more books like Countless because of the message it sends out there – you are more than what you look liked. 3.5 stars. 
Karen Gregory
Karen is a graduate of Somerville College, Oxford, and a project manager by day who’s become adept at writing around the edges (strong coffee and a healthy disregard for housework help). A confirmed bookhead since early childhood, Karen wrote her first story about Bantra the mouse at the age of twelve, then put away the word processor until her first child was born when she was overtaken by the urge to write. Karen lives in Wiltshire with her family and is represented by Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge & White.
Have you read some good books on eating disorders and body image issues? 
Please do hit me up with some recommendations because I WOULD LOVE TO DIVE INTO THEM!
Looking forward to hearing from you <3!

Adrenaline Filled Dystopia // REVIEW: Broken Sky by L.A.Weatherly

Title: Broken Sky (The Broken Trilogy #1)
Author: L,A,Weatherly
Publication Date: March 1st 2016
Publisher: Usbourne Publishing
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1/3 of the Broken Trilogy
I Got A Copy Through: Usbourne (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || The Book Depository || Wordery || Snapdeal || Infibeam || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Welcome to a ‘perfect’ world.
Where war is illegal, where harmony rules.
And where your date of birth marks your destiny.
But nothing is perfect.
And in a world this broken, who can Amity trust?
From the bestselling author of the Angel trilogy comes Broken Sky – an exhilarating epic set in a daring and distorted echo of 1940s America and first in a new trilogy.
I read L.A.Weatherly’s Angel trilogy back when I was in the seventh grade and I fell in love. There was honestly nothing more romantic in my world that a broken Angel Hunter and a Half Angel escaping the power of angels that were slowly destroying humanity together.

When I finally got the opportunity to read Broken Sky, which I’d heard from numerous bloggers was only better than the Angel trilogy, I dove in with high expectations.

The description of the book is sufficiently vague and yet also intriguing and I honestly had no idea what I was getting into. I was automatically expecting something along the lines of the Supernatural because of the author’s last series, and I was immediately thrown by how political it was.

My Thoughts:

1.       It took me a WHILE to truly get into this book, mostly because I was expecting something of the supernatural variety. Broken Sky was definitely more a down to earth dystopian novel in a world that wanted Harmony, but was so subtly influenced by political leaders and changed to the whims of one man that it scared me.
2.       Let me explain that statement. It was scary that the control of this world went seamlessly to one man, but more than that, it was the fact that the world was ready for it. I mostly don’t believe dystopian novels (I mean who would really sort the whole world into Amity, Dauntless, Candor and Abnegation?) but Broken Sky had this subtle touch that MADE ME BELIEVE.

3.       Despite the fact that it took me a while to get used to this book, I did fall in love with it. One of the things I loved the most was the camaraderie between the Peacefighters. I felt like we didn’t see Amity’s colleagues enough but I loved all of them together, risking their life for what they believed in.

4.       I liked Amity. I didn’t understand how she “scowled all the time to showcase her happiness / because she was afraid to showcase it” but she was this HONEST, GOOD character who lived for the adrenaline and to make the world a better place.
Image result for broken sky l.a weatherly
Graphic from Maximum Pop! Books
5.       I love that this was told from two points of view –Amity’s and also an astrologer who lived in the Central States – one of Amity’s rival countries. It gave you a whole new perspective on the people pulling the strings and it was quite fun to read. ESPECIALLY AFTER THAT TWIST AT THE ENDING BECAUSE WHAT?

6.       I will admit that the writing felt a bit choppy. It kept going back and forth in time (memories) and it was rather strangely explained history of the new dystopian world that had been created. It took me a while to understand and to catch up before I truly began to enjoy the book.

Honestly, not the book I was expecting but an adrenaline filled, politically motivated WONDERFUL book from an author that I truly respect. GET YOUR HANDS ON IT! 
L.A. WeatherlyLee Weatherly was born in 1967 and grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. She lives with her husband in Hampshire, England, where she writes, goes on walks, tries out new recipes and has a cat named Bernard. L.A. Weatherly is the pseudonym for Lee Weatherly. You can follow her on Twitter at @LA_Weatherly

 Have you read either the Angel Trilogy or the Broken Sky Trilogy by L.A.Weatherly? What did you think of them? 
What do you think of astronomy? Do you believe in it? 
I can't wait to hear from you!

Sunday Street Team: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee - Review


Hi All you lovely BookDragons and welcome to my stop on the Sunday Street Team Blog Tour for The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee.

I've had an AMAZING time organising this tour as a part of my SST Co-Host duties and visiting all your lovely blogs up until today. If you're a blogger and would like to sign up for the Sunday Street Team, you can fill out this form on Nori's Blog and we'll get back to you!

Title: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue Author: Mackenzi Lee Publication Date: June 27th 2017 Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone I Got A Copy Through: Edelweiss for the Sunday Street Team Tour Buy Links: Amazon- US || Amazon - UK || Barnes & Nobles || The Book Depository || Wordery | Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

I first heard about this book a year ago from an author on my blog who, while writing a list about the books she was most excited for also cheated a bit and introduced me to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.

As soon as I read they synopsis almost a year ago, I KNEW that this was one book I would DEFINITELY read.

So, now that I’ve finished it, let’s break it down.

WRITING:

Writing in the eyes of a 18th century boy who has lived his whole life as the privileged son of an earl, Mackenzi Lee managed to capture him spot on. If you’ve read any reviews, most people say that Henry Montague (Monty) took a while to warm up too, and it is the truth, but that’s because of who boys like him used to be back then. For the place in history this was set it, I absolutely loved Mackenzi’s authentic writing.  
“The great tragic love story of Percy and me is neither great nor truly a love story, and is tragic only for its single sidedness”
IDEA:

ALL POINTS TO THE IDEA because combining history, a Grand Tour across Europe, two GORGEOUS gay and bisexual best friends and throwing in the idea of feminism into the heads of boys in this time? SIGN ME UP. I was so on board with everything about this book from the minute I heard it and it DID NOT DISAPPOINT.
The shift in the gravity between us and suddenly all my stars are knocked out of alignment, planets knocked from their orbits and I’m left stumbling without a map or heading, through the bewildering territory of being in love with your best friend.”
PLOT:

I’d read a lot of reviews before I started reading this book – some of them while I made the rounds on the SST Tour and the others as I saw them on Twitter. This helped me go into the book EXPECTING Monty to be sort of unlikeable, at least for the first part. Since I did, it didn’t really turn out to be a problem for me until Monty ran away from a girl he’s left half naked and then shouted to his sister that, “She wanted it.”

Apart from that, I LOVED THE PLOT. Equal parts history and culture in Europe during that time, this book was SO WELL CONSTRUCTED, throwing all the carefully made plans of the Grand Tour out of the Window as they entered their first leg. I LOVED IT.
"You might be the only person left on Earth who thinks me decent." Between us, I feel his knuckles brush mine. Perhaphs it's by chance, but it feel more like a question, and when I spread my fingers in answer, his hand slides into mine. "Then everyone else doesn't know you."
CHARACTERS:

It was very easy to like both Percy and Felicity. They were kind, compassionate, warm and smart. Monty I was indifferent too, mostly, but I did warm up to him nearing the end of the book. I liked the undying chemistry between Monty and Percy but I do with that Felicity and Monty had more bonding moments because WHY SHOULD THESE TWO UNCONFORMING CHILDREN NOT BOND?
I adored Felicity. She was totally the Hermoine of this book and I just wish she lived in a world kinder to her.

CONCLUSION:

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. A tour across Europe, a biracial and a bisexual boy falling for each other wrapped in history and beautiful places with a sister who can’t live her life the way other women do? Only the best book of 2017 so far!
Image result for mackenzi leeMackenzi Lee is a bookseller, history nerd, and the author of THE GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, THIS MONSTROUS THING (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins), and the forthcoming SEMPER AUGUSTUS (Flatiron Books, 2018). She holds an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently calls Boston home. 

What are some of your favourite historical YA novels?
What are some of your favourite LGBT YA Novels?
Have you heard about/ are excited for The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue? 
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Oodles of Drama // REVIEW: Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl

Title: Royce Rolls
Author: Margaret Stohl
Publication Date: April 6th 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Bloomsbury India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Snapdeal || Infibeam || Foyles || Waterstones || WHSmith || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Sixteen-year-old Bentley Royce is the wild child of a super-glam reality TV dynasty. She has it all – designer clothes, a fancy school and an actual Bentley to drive around in. Her ambitious mum Mercedes has dragged the family from trailer park to Hollywood stardom. But Bentley wants out – she wants to go to college, escape her own storyline, be NORMAL – but Royces don't do normal (or college).
Rolling with the Royces is running out of ways to keep viewers hooked and suddenly the show is threatened with cancellation. Bentley faces an impossible choice. Without the show, she could live the college dream – but her family would crumble (they are already twenty million dollars in debt). Bentley Royce has a mission. She must use her brains to save the show; if she saves the show, she can save her family – and she'll do whatever it takes
Actual Rating 3.5 Stars

As I sit here, typing out this review a few days after I finished reading Royce Rolls, I’m realizing that I STILL don’t know what I feel.

It took me a three days to get through the first half of this book, mostly because it took me a while to get used to everything about this book – the car names that the characters had, how disconnected they were and how much I struggled to connect with any one of them but the book did get better and I read the last half in a matter of two hours!

Image result for royce rolls margaret stohlLET ME EXPLAIN:

1.       When I say the word Royce’s, think Kardashians. Royce Rolls opens with their reality show on Hiatus, and the renewal of their sixth season seriously in doubt. The family is in a state of panic, except for the middle child, Bentley Royce who just wants a normal life and to go to college.

2.       The book started off well enough, giving you a standard shocking ending in the first chapter and then going back in time and showing you how the characters reached there but getting used to the characters was a bit of a task for me. Honestly, these aren’t my type of people – I’m definitely more grounded but that doesn’t mean I don’t like reading about the rich and the famous (Case in Point: Gossip Girl)

3.       I liked Bentley. I sympathised with Bentley. She was probably my favourite character with her ultra-scheming mind and her dreams to just be normal. I LIKED THIS GIRL WITH THE RAINBOW HAIR (Because HOW COOL IS RAINBOW HAIR?) but *SPOILER* How could she not recognize that the TWO BOYS SHE WAS PINING OVER WERE THE SAME? (I’m sort of shocked, honestly, and highlights that on some level, she was a very superficial character)

4.       Porshe (Bentley’s older Sister), Mercedes (Bentley’s mother) and Bach (Bentley’s Brother) were pretty much who I expected them to be and hence I actually enjoyed reading their hysterics and manipulations. Their dramatic lives were so Reality TV worthy!
5.       I ABSOLUTELY ADORED THE ENDING. I didn’t expect to end on such a high note, to be honest but it was cute and more importantly, IT TOOK ME BY SURPRISE. I love Diego Sanchez and Asa and Venice and Bentley. It was this amazing ending which I didn’t expect from a book I wasn’t LOVING left me smiling as I closed the book.

If you’re into hysterical manipulations, famous families and boatloads of drama Royce Rolls is probably the book for you.

Definitely worth at least one read to experience the madness that is “Reality TV” 
Margaret StohlMargaret co-wrote the first of the internationally bestselling Beautiful Creatures novels (published in nearly fifty countries, named Amazon’s top teen book of 2009, short-listed for the ALA’s 2009 Morris award, and released as a feature film from Warner Brothers) on a dare from her three daughters, she fell even more in love with teen culture. Her first sci-fi series, Icons, is now in development as a feature film with Alcon Entertainment. Her Black Widow series from Disney Publishing (Black Widow: Forever Red and Black Widow: Red Vengeance) is a welcome chance to rock a strong female character and to return to her beloved Marvel roots. She is also writing the Mighty Captain Marvel comics.   
If asked, Margaret will tell you that the Women of Marvel panel at New York Comicon was the greatest single hour of her life, and that she fangirls all girls who read comics. As a co-founder of YALLFEST, the biggest YA book festival in the country, and its offspring YALLWEST, Margaret believes her readers are her kindred spirits and her tribe. 
Margaret lives in Santa Monica with her husband, who builds drones and robots, and her three daughters, who are competitive epee fencers—and who, like Natasha Romanov, have always known how to rescue themselves. 
Are you an avid watcher of Reality TV? What are some of your favourite shows? 
What are some of your favourite books turned into TV Shows? 
Have your read Rocye Rolls? What did you think of it?