Twin Daggers Tour – Review & Giveaway

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About the Book

Hardcover: 368 Pages
Publisher: Blink (August 25, 2020)

Aissa’s life is a web of carefully constructed lies. She and her twin sister, Zandria, are Magi spies, a magical people most believe to be extinct. And they’re on a mission for revenge. 

This action and adventure spy thriller—a fantasy spin on “Romeo and Juliet” from New York Times bestselling author MarcyKate Connolly—is perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Elly Blake and is about to become your new obsession!

By day, Aissa and Zandra play the role of normal young Technocrats eager to fulfill the duties of their new apprenticeships. By night, they plot their revenge to retake their city from the Technocrats. But then Aissa is given a new mission: find and kidnap the heir to the Technocrat throne, who is rumored to be one of the Heartless—a person born without a working heart who survives via a mechanical replacement—and has been hidden since birth.

Aissa is more likely to be caught than to be successful, but she’s never been one to turn down an assignment, even if the hunt is complicated by a kind Technocrat researcher who is determined to find a cure for the Heartless. But when Zandria is captured by the Technocrats, Aissa will do anything to get her sister back. Even if it means abandoning all other loyalties and missions … and risking everything by trusting her sworn enemies.

Review

The way to pull me into a retelling is to take something classic and make it fantasy. I’ll be immediately intrigued and much less skeptical than I am when I see another fairy tale retelling. And that’s just was Twin Daggers does, it’s an amazing Romeo & Juliette retelling with a fantasy twist. And there’s even kind of a twist on the fantasy element because there’s also spies and it’s kind of an awesome thriller. So yeah, this book has a lot going for it and Connolly handled all of these elements so well!

I love when fantasy books get a slightly futuristic take. It’s kind of my cheating way to add in some sci-fi to my reading since it’s a way to guarantee that I’ll enjoy it (you know, because sci-fi isn’t my favorite genre). And even with all of these twists that I keep mentioning there was one (utmost important) traditional fantasy element that remained: world building. I know some people find world building boring, but for me it’s the most important part of a story! Yeah you can go into a book with non-stop action but without the world building that’s all you get out of it, some action. I, on the other hand, crave the knowledge of what the world I’m reading about is like so that I can not only understand everything that’s talked about but also gain some insights into why the characters are like they are and even perhaps why they take the actions they take. So, long rant short, I really liked that I saw some nice world building throughout this story and it is really one that I think benefitted from the extra details.

But yeah, asides from my salivation over seeing some epic world building, this was a solid story. The characters had such interesting motivation and the magic system was quite unique. Plus, since this is a retelling you still get a sense of familiarity while reading even if some elements are new and surprising.

About the Author

MarcyKate Connolly is a New York Times Bestselling children’s book author and nonprofit marketing professional living in New England with her family and a grumble of pugs. She can be lured out from her writing cave with the promise of caffeine and new books. Twin Daggers is her debut young adult novel, and she’s also the author of several middle grade fantasy novels including Monstrous and Ravenous, and the Shadow Weaver series.

Tour Schedule

Monday, August 24th: @theshybooks

Tuesday, August 25th: Moonlight Rendezvous and @moonlight_rendezvous

Wednesday, August 26th: Hallie Reads and @h.szott

Thursday, August 27th: Storied Adventures and @storied.adventures

Friday, August 28th: @fearyourex

Monday, August 31st: @hooked.by.books

Wednesday, September 2nd: YA It’s Lit and @ya.its.lit

Wednesday, September 2nd: @thereadingroom444

Thursday, September 3rd: @amanda.the.bookish

Monday, September 7th: Living My Best Book Life and @livingmybestbooklife

Wednesday, September 9th: @a_bookish_dream

Thursday, September 10th: @ifcatscouldread

Monday, September 14th: @the.magicalpages

Wednesday, September 16th: @bookswithmeg

Instagram Giveaway

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🍁 b o o k t o u r & g i v e a w a y 🍁 The way to pull me into a retelling is to take something classic and make it fantasy. I'll be immediately intrigued and much less skeptical than I am when I see another fairy tale retelling. And that's just was Twin Daggers does, it's an amazing Romeo & Juliette retelling with a fantasy twist. And there's even kind of a twist on the fantasy element because there's also spies and it's kind of an awesome thriller. So yeah, this book has a lot going for it and Connolly handled all of these elements so well! (Full review on my blog, link in bio!) 🍁 QOTD Would you be a Capulet or a Montague? 🍁 By day, Aissa and Zandria play the role of normal young Technocrats eager to fulfill the duties of their new apprenticeships. By night, they plot their revenge to retake their city from the Technocrats. But then Aissa is given a new mission: find the heir to the Technocrat throne, who is rumored to be one of the Heartless, and kidnap her. Born without a working heart, the Heartless survive with a mechanical replacement. 🍁 Aissa is more likely to be caught than to be successful, but she's never been one to turn down an assignment, even if the hunt is complicated by a kind Technocrat researcher who is determined to find a cure for the Heartless. But when Zandria is captured by the Technocrats, Aissa will do anything to get her sister back. Even if it means abandoning all other loyalties–and missions–and deciding whether or not it's worth risking everything on getting help from her sworn enemies. 🍁 Win a copy of Twin Daggers! 🍁 To Enter: -Follow ME @ya.its.lit -Answer the QOTD and comment DONE to let me know you’re entering! 🍁 Extra Entries: -Tag some friends! (Each tag is 1 extra entry) 🍁 ▪︎Open US only ▪︎This sweepstakes is not sponsored by Instagram 🍁 #TwinDaggers #YAfantasy #youngadult #tlcbooktours #yabooks #yalit #yabookstagram #yaitslit #yareads #bookbloggerslife #bookreviewer #bookstagram #yafantasy #booknerd #bookreviewblog #instabooklovers #yacommunity #bookishlove #hereforthebooks #bookbloggersofig #readingislife #fortheloveofreading #bookphotography #newreads #bookishmerch #bookpic #bookishphotography #bookaesthetic

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*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*

Salty, Bitter, Sweet Tour – Review

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About the Book

A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to becoming a top chef for 17-year-old Isabella Fields than just not getting chopped … especially when the chances of things heating up with an intriguing boy and becoming a food star in the kitchen are both on the chopping block.  

Aspiring chef Isa’s family life has fallen apart after the death of her Cuban abuela and the divorce of her parents. She moves in with her dad and her new stepmom, Margo, in Lyon, France, where Isa feels like an outsider in her father’s new life. Isa balances her time between avoiding the awkward, “why-did-you-cheat-on-Mom” conversation with figuring out how a perpetually single woman can at least be a perpetually single chef.

The upside of Isa’s world being turned upside-down?

Her father’s house is located only 30 minutes away from the restaurant of world-famous Chef Pascal Grattard, who runs a prestigiously competitive international kitchen apprenticeship. The prize job at Chef Grattard’s renowned restaurant also represents a transformative opportunity for Isa who is desperate to get her life back in order—and desperate to prove she has what it takes to work in an haute kitchen. But Isa’s stress and repressed grief begin to unravel when the attractive, enigmatic Diego shows up unannounced with his albino dog.

How can Isa expect to hold it together when she’s at the bottom of her class at the apprenticeship, her new stepmom is pregnant, she misses her abuela dearly, and things with the mysterious Diego reach a boiling point?

Review

I figured that I better wait to write my review for this book until I started making dinner. I think it is only fitting that I write about this book while being surrounded by food! And boy does this book have some food in it!

The foodie aspect of this book is actually the main reason I wanted to read it. I, in case you can’t tell, may or may not be a HUGE foodie myself, and it’s something that I often find lacking in books. There never seem to be any big sit down dinners, food is never really on the minds of any of the character (or am I the weird one?), and I really only ever see food being mentioned as a plot device for the first date or something. So, as you can tell from my mini rant right now, I was so in love with all of the salivation worthy food scenes throughout Salty, Bitter, Sweet.

The other aspect of this book that I love is the utilization of my all time favorite trope: enemies to lovers. It just gets me every time! The wit! The banter! The frustration! I don’t know, again, there’s probably something wrong with me.

And yet even with all of these seemingly positive things this book is also really sad. It is a story about grief and finding oneself, so it covers some heavy themes. I loved how important family was in this book. Through the ups and the downs, family is still family. And this is another thing that I often don’t really see in books. Overall this book was as refreshing as the cup of matcha lemonade I’m craving right now!

About the Author

Mayra’s YA contemporary #OwnVoices debut SALTY, BITTER, SWEET hits shelves on March 2020. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Mayra is a professional journalist and fiction writer who prefers love stories with a happy ending. Her debut fiction short story was selected by best-selling author Becky Albertalli to appear in the Foreshadow YA serial anthology Issue 04 in April 2019. She is currently a special projects producer and writer for CNN. She keeps her sanity by practicing Buddhist meditation and serving on the Board of Directors of Kadampa Meditation Center Georgia. She lives with her husband, also a CNN journalist, and their cat, in the charming town of Norcross, Georgia. She is also the step-mom to two amazing young men who provide plenty of inspiration for her stories. Her claim to fame came as her family appeared in Season 2 of Buying and Selling with the Property Brothers.

Tour Schedule

Monday, March 2nd: Becca Leighanne

Tuesday, March 3rd: Bookish Connoisseur and @bookishconnoisseur

Thursday, March 5th: @thehireader and Curly Book Owl

Thursday, March 5th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen

Monday, March 9th: @myreadingchronicles

Tuesday, March 10th: Shelf-Rated and @shelfrated

Wednesday, March 11th: @amanda.the.bookish

Thursday, March 12th: @rcbooksandfood

Monday, March 16th: PhDiva Blog and @thephdivabooks

Wednesday, March 18th: @ya.its.lit and YA It’s Lit

Thursday, March 19th: @babybibliophile

Monday, March 23rd: @createexploreread

Tuesday, March 24th: @_ebl_inc_

Wednesday, March 25th: Audio Killed the Bookmark and @beritaudiokilledthebookmark

Friday, March 27th: Run Wright

Insta Giveaway

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🌼 b o o k t o u r & g i v e a w a y 🌼 I figured that I better wait to write my review for this book until I started making dinner. I think it is only fitting that I write about this book while being surrounded by food! And boy does this book have some food in it! (Full review on my blog, link in bio!) 🌼 Aspiring chef Isa’s family life has fallen apart after the death of her Cuban abuela and the divorce of her parents. She moves in with her dad and her new stepmom, Margo, in Lyon, France, where Isa feels like an outsider in her father’s new life. Isa balances her time between avoiding the awkward, “why-did-you-cheat-on-Mom” conversation with figuring out how a perpetually single woman can at least be a perpetually single chef. The upside of Isa’s world being turned upside-down? 🌼 Her father’s house is located only 30 minutes away from the restaurant of world-famous Chef Pascal Grattard, who runs a prestigiously competitive international kitchen apprenticeship. The prize job at Chef Grattard’s renowned restaurant also represents a transformative opportunity for Isa who is desperate to get her life back in order—and desperate to prove she has what it takes to work in an haute kitchen. But Isa’s stress and repressed grief begin to unravel when the attractive, enigmatic Diego shows up unannounced with his albino dog. 🌼 G I V E A W A Y Win one copy of Salty, Bitter, Sweet! (US only, must be 18 years old). To enter: -Comment “I’m in!” and that’s it! 🌼 This giveaway is not affiliated with Instagram. 🌼 #BlinkYA #MayraCuevas #SaltyBitterSweet #youngadult #YA #cleanreads #sogood #foodiefiction #tlcbooktours #yabooks #yabookstagram #yaitslit #bookbloggerslife #bookreviewer #booknerd #bookreviewblog #instabooklovers #yacommunity #bookstaunited #bookbloggersofig #readingislife #btabookfriends #plottwistwicks #bookstamisfits #wickandjane #bookiehelper #bookishphotography #readgushcommunity #prideandpamper #readersofinsta

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Win one copy of Salty, Bitter, Sweet! (US only, must be 18 years old). To enter:
-Comment “I’m in!” and that’s it!

Giveaway ends March 23 at 12PM EST

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*

Every Stolen Breath Tour – Review, Quotes, Giveaway and Some Fun!

Click on the photo to check out my booksta post!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Every Stolen Breath

by Kimberly Gabriel

Publisher: BLINK

Release date: November 5, 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

But maybe that doesn’t matter. Maybe that was always the way it was going to happen

Kimberly Gabriel

Synopsis:

The Swarm is unrecognizable, untraceable, and unpredictable—random attacks on the streets of Chicago by a mob of crazed teens that leaves death in its wake. It’s been two years since the last attack, but Lia Finch has found clues that reveal the Swarm is ready to claim a new victim.

Lia is the only one still pursuing her father’s killers, two years after attorney Steven Finch’s murder by the Swarm. Devastated and desperate for answers, Lia will do anything to uncover the reasons behind his death and to stop someone else from being struck down. But due to debilitating asthma and PTSD that leaves her with a tenuous hold on reality, Lia is the last person to mount a crusade on her own.

After a close encounter with the Swarm puts Lia on their radar, she teams up with a teen hacker, a reporter, and a mysterious stranger who knows firsthand how the mob works. Together, they work to uncover the master puppeteer behind the group. Though if Lia and her network don’t stop the person pulling the strings—and fast—Lia may end up the next target.

Review

Air in. Air out. Slow. Methodic. My lame attempt at convincing my body that breathing isn’t so hard.

Kimberly Gabriel

Ok you guys, this book was a ride! I started off at the edge of my seat and it only continued to build! I’ve been wanting to read an edge of your seat thriller lately, and this book delivered! What makes this books so successful is the realness of it. You could imagine these events happening, especially in today’s society, and the sense of foreboding really heightens the reading experience. This is truly a mind blowing whirlwind of a read! Now, you’re probably wondering: what is the Swarm? Well, think the purge and add in some gang violence and you get the Swarm, a group of teenagers wanted for several murders who gang up on their victims in a public space and beat them to death. Gruesome, I know.

I had inner strength, that in a defining moment my subconscious chose to fight rather than sleep.

Kimberly Gabriel

Now, I want to just say that this book is everything I never knew I needed for one reason: asthma representation. I know this sounds silly, but I think this is the first time in my entire life that I’ve read a book with the mc having asthma. While many probably think that asthma isn’t a big deal, and for me it’s not that big of a deal anymore, but growing up my entire life pretty much revolved around asthma. People don’t understand just how terrifying it is to have your lungs suddenly close up and thinking you’re never going to breathe again. So, reading about a character itching for her inhaler was something I never would have thought I needed in my life, but it was. And I hope that teens and young adults reading this with asthma find a sense of kin in the simplistic moments of the story where asthma takes over.

Most people never got the chance to see that side of him.

Kimberly Gabriel

It’s rare for me to make a connection like this in a book, so for that I am beyond happy. But, for everyone, this story is one heck of a story. If you like solving puzzles and crime, desperately wondering what is going to happen next, nail biting realistic horror, then this book is for you!

BOOK LINKS

TOUR SCHEDULE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kimberly Gabriel started writing in fourth grade when she wrote, bound, and gave away books of terrible poetry to family and teachers as holiday gifts. Today she is an English teacher, who still squanders all free minutes to write and uses it as the best scapegoat for her laundry avoidance issues. When she is not teaching or writing, Kimberly is enjoying life with her husband, her three beautiful children, and a seriously beautiful boxer in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Every Stolen Breath is her debut novel and a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.

GIVEAWAY

Prize: Finished copy of Every Stolen Breath by Kimberly Gabriel + signed bookplate + poster (USA)

Starts: 11/4/19

Ends:  11/14/19

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The Fun

You can print out this photo to solve or download the excel file below! Have fun!