Review: Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos

Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos

Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian

In Marla Klein and Ivy Wilde’s world, teens are the
gatekeepers of culture. A top fashion label employs
sixteen-year-old Marla to dictate hot new clothing trends, while Ivy, a teen pop star, popularizes the garments that Marla approves. Both girls are pawns in a calculated but seductive system of corporate control, and both begin to question their world’s aggressive levels of consumption. Will their new “eco-chic” trend subversively resist and overturn the industry that controls every part of their lives?

Smart, provocative, and entertaining, this thrilling page-turner for teens questions the cult like mentality of fame and fashion. Are you in or are you out?
   Whenever I imagine dystopians, I think more District 12 than Capitol. I've come to expect grit and destruction. But Material Girls gave me the opposite. It's a scary inflation of the world we live in today. There's a huge emphasis on consumerism and celebrity. I think that makes Material Girls scarier than a doom and gloom dystopian. It had a chord of reality that hit close to home.

  Material Girls is told from two point of views, and I loved it. Both voices, Marla and Ivy, were very distinct and offered a deep insight into the world of Material Girls. Marla was easily my favorite, but that's not much of a surprise. She faces some very hard circumstances in this book, and I loved the way she handled them. She stayed true to herself. I liked Ivy well enough, but I felt a lot of pity for her. I felt like she was in over her head, but I respected her little efforts to send a big f- you to the system! Life is constantly speeding by and can leave either of them behind in its wake without warning. Talk about edge of your seat reading!

  The fashion houses that rule in Material Girls made me so angry. I hated the way that they treated people as disposable. It left me feeling so unsettled. Elaine Dimopoulos paints a sweeping picture of the pitfalls of consumerism and forces the reader to think about the moral implications without being heavy handed.

Material Girls is a fast paced read that I could not step away from. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time! The world that the author creates is as much a cautionary tale about the woes of consumerism as it is entertaining. Fashion lovers and readers alike will find a thrilling story in the pages of Material Girls!

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.

Waiting on Wednesday: Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
It spotlights upcoming releases that we're excited about!

Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott
June 9th, 2015
Charlie, a senior, isn't looking forward to her last year of high school. Another year of living in the shadow of her best friend, Lila. Another year of hiding behind the covers of her favorite novels. Another year of navigating her tense relationship with her perfectionist mom.

But everything changes when she meets her new English teacher. Mr. Drummond is smart. Irreverent. Funny. Hot. Everyone loves him. And Charlie thinks he's the only one who gets her.

She also thinks she might not be the only one with a crush.

In this stunning debut, Jessica Alcott explores relationships-and their boundaries-in a way that is both searingly honest and sympathetic.
Why I can't wait for Even When You Lie to Me:
This just screams of Aria and Fitz's relationship on Pretty Little Liars. And as you can see by my blog name, I love Pretty Little Liars. The forbidden romance of a student and teacher is so intriguing. I cannot wait for this one!
What are you waiting on?

Happy Release Day + #Giveaway: An Ember in the Ashes by @sabaatahir

I am so excited that AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir releases today and that I get to share the news, along with a special introduction from Sabaa herself!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Sabaa Tahir, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed copies of the book and some of those awesome sword letter openers we’ve seen around courtesy of Sabaa, Penguin Teen, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

A letter from Sabaa Tahir.

Dear Readers,

Today, my “baby” AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is finally out in the world! From inception to pub date, this journey took eight years. And what a journey it was: writing, rewriting, revising, editing, querying, submitting; Meeting other debuts, bloggers, booksellers and librarians, and hearing their thoughts on EMBER. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the radness.

And now, the book is here! I am so excited to see it in the hands of readers. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. To celebrate release day, I’m giving away two signed, first-edition hardcovers of the book. Details below!

All my best,


Author: Sabaa Tahir
Pub. Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 464
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Check out the book trailer!

About Sabaa:
Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a signed hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES. US Only.

3 winners will receive a hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES and a Sword Letter Opener! US Only.

Ends on May 9th at Midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal: Implanted by @hletto2

Implanted by Heather Letto
(Ascension #2)

Publication date: June 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

After a narrow escape from the city of Impervious, Fran’s heart aches for the ones she left behind. Will her brother ever connect the dots? And, what about Pete? Could he, along with the remaining Rebels, have survived the Council’s violent oppression?

As Fran ponders the fate of her friends, an even more disturbing revelation drops into her world—the knowledge that she, along with anyone who had lived underground remains implanted with the sinister presence of the Council. A fate rendering her powerless to save.

Yet one with pure blood, untouched by the Council’s defiling, lives among them. Could he be the new lifeline of hope? Is salvation of the city worth risking the life of this one-and-only?
In keeping with the spirit of celebration--for reveal day only--all IMPERVIOUS (Ascension Series Book 1) Kindle downloads will be .99! This new edition of Impervious includes a Glossary of Terms and thought-provoking Discussion Questions.

Purchase here!

I’m a book-writing, selfie-taking, latte-drinking, social media gal. I’m living a good life on the road as a full-fledged Bedouin (Well, except, my tent is actually a fully-equipped RV.) Me and my partner-in-crime (Benj) tend to hunker down wherever the skies are clear and the temps stay in the 70’s. We call ourselves Gypsy Nerds because we aimlessly wander the U.S. with glasses perched upon our noses and faces jammed into computer screens (for the first half the day... The second half of the day is typically devoted to playing because we’re also somewhat immature.)

Like most authors, the characters I create are my extended family. And like most readers, when the story ends, I get a little sad. In real life, I have two handsome, hardworking, grown-up boys who know how to make their Mama proud! *Waves to Joey and Mike!*

The Ascension Series is my debut into the world of YA fiction.

I’m living what I love and loving what I live!

Review: The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine

The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Madison Pryce thinks she's got everything figured out—she's working on a portfolio for a summer art program and hanging with her friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. But then a visit from a family friend turns Maddie's life upside down.

Jesse McMann is still reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band. Then pride (and some goading from his bass player and fellow barista) forces him to find a new drummer—and the inspiration to write music again.

Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett, who tries out for Jesse's band, and whose girlfriend is BFFs with the cute girl who orders a chai latte after yoga every Thursday: Maddie. What Jesse and Maddie thought they knew about the secrets of attraction and the rules of romance changes once they start falling for each other.
   If I had to describe this book with one word, it'd be cheesy. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely made the book less than good. It reminded me a lot of The Promise of Amazing, but as I read more and more I realized that I just didn't care much for the characters in The Secrets of Attraction.

  Characters are a biggie for me, so maybe that's the root of my issues with this book. Brooding can be a good thing, but it soured on Jesse for me. I didn't enjoy rehashing his ex-girlfriend drama repeatedly. Madison also bugged me. I don't know. Maybe I just liked Wren and Grayson from the first book more? I enjoyed the snippets of them in this book more than I did the main characters.

  All in all, The Secrets of Attraction is a decent contemporary romance. It fits the bill for some former relationship baggage laden drama with a broody barista. If that's your type of thing, you'll love it. If not, well... There are plenty of other books to be read!

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.

Are We There Yet? 5 August Releases I'm Ready For

It's a good year to be a young adult fan!
There are SO many good YA books coming out in the Summer of 2015, y'all!
Today I'm sharing my most anticipated August releases. See my June post here and July post here!
Get ready to pile more books on those TBR lists!

5. Not After Everything by Michelle Levy
A gritty but hopeful love story about two struggling teens— great for fans of The Spectacular Now, Willow, and Eleanor and Park

Tyler has a football scholarship to Stanford, a hot girlfriend, and a reliable army of friends to party with. Then his mom kills herself. And Tyler lets it all go. Now he needs to dodge what his dad is offering (verbal tirades and abuse) and earn what his dad isn’t (money). Tyler finds a job that crashes him into Jordyn, his former childhood friend turned angry-loner goth-girl. She brings Tyler an unexpected reprieve from the never-ending pity party his life has become. How could he not fall for her? But with his dad more brutally unpredictable than ever, Tyler knows he can’t risk bringing Jordyn too deeply into the chaos. So when violence rocks his world again, will it be Jordyn who shows him the way to a hopeful future? Or after everything, will Tyler have to find it in himself?
This one sounds like a heartbreakingly powerful book. Even though I know I'll cry my eyes out, I want to read about Tyler. This will be my intense read of August!

4. The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak
Stella never meant to fall for a rock star…much less a Heartbreaker.

When Stella's sister Cara is diagnosed with leukemia, Stella puts her dreams on hold to move home and be with her family. With Cara's birthday approaching, Stella wants to get her the perfect gift—an autographed poster of her sister's favorite (and Stella's least favorite) band, The Heartbreakers. But when she meets Oliver Perry, the band's lead singer, she can't get him out of her head.

If she gives him a chance, will she resent him for taking her attention away from her sister—or will he help her find the courage to live her own life?
Cute romance involving a boy in a band? Yes! I'm wondering how this book will handle Cara having leukemia. There are so many ways that this book could go. I need it now!

3. Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell
Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn't want a fairy tale happy ending after all.
Cinderella and steampunk? Why, yes I do believe I will. Too many people are comparing it to Cinder by Marissa Meyer. They sound nothing alike, y'all. But I will say I've yet to read either book, and Mechanica sounds much better than Cinder. I should probably hide from the fangirls now.

2. The Uninvited by Cat Winters
Twenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days.

But Ivy’s life-long gift—or curse—remains. For she sees the uninvited ones—ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother’s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy’s older brother Billy in the Great War.

Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her ‘uninvited guests’ begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold.
Cat Winters can do no wrong in my book. She's one of the few (maybe four at most) authors that are always instant buys for me. This book just screams Gothic and ghosts; sign me up! 

1. The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and drive his car into a house.

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To . . . well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle.
 The Boy Most Likely To is one of my two most anticipated reads of 2015, y'all! I fell in love with My Life Next Door, and I seriously cannot wait for this book. I'm so excited to get close to Alice and Tim. Alice was one of my favorites from the first book. I am so ready!!!

Are you guys excited for August's YA releases?
Who's ready to spend the summer reading with me?!

Review: The Secrets We Keep by @tleaver

The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.

When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister's life.
   If I had to use one two words to describe The Secrets We Keep, it would be emotional rollercoaster. I've never read anything like this before, and it was gripping, heartbreaking, and fascinating. I'm always keen on books featuring twins since they run in my family. I have never ever read about twins like they're featured in this story. Grief is such a complex thing, and my heart was broken for Ella. Losing a sister would be hard enough, but thinking you're responsible for the death of your twin would be soul crushing.

  Ella was placed in an impossible situation. I don't know how she came to the point of thinking her life was less valuable than her sister's, but that alone made my heart break. But in the end, I was so impressed by her growth and her strength.

  It's actually quite hard to review this book. It's an emotional and haunting tale that made me question a lot. The pacing is perfect and never leaves room for a dull moment. If you love a heartbreaking story that documents the darkest and strongest parts of the human mind, I think you'll find a favorite with The Secrets We Keep.

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.

Review: The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
(The Girl at Midnight #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen,
an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and
magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.
  Oh my gosh. There are 378462756232 reasons why I LOVE The Girl at Midnight. Seriously everything about this book was perfect and amazing and mind blowing. There's never a dull moment in this beautiful story blending the real world with a mysterious underworld comprised of feathered creatures and scaled beasts. I was wholly transported into Melissa Grey's world and I was so sad to be pried from the pages whenever The Girl at Midnight came to an end.

  I don't think I've met a main character this year that I've loved as much as I love Echo. Her Tolkien references had me squealing out loud constantly. Her character growth was astounding. I was proud of her. I can only imagine how she'll evolve in the other books in this series, and I cannot wait to find out! So much is thrown at her and she is so fluid in her reactions. I love her wit, her ability to adapt, and her spirit. Gosh. I need more Echo in my life. AND SHE LIVES IN A LIBRARY, YOU GUYS. Need I say more?

  The relationships in The Girl at Midnight are amazing and so well thought out. The budding relationships that begin to bloom over the course of this book made me smile so much. (And laugh!) There are a lot of complex dynamics between the characters, especially those between the Avicen and the Drakharin. Instead of snowballing into a world of crazy, the author really listened to the characters. I'm so appreciative of it. Everything felt so organic and natural.
  The Girl at Midnight is beautiful. Besides the amazing characters, there's an amazing world to discover. I already want to get lost in it again. Melissa Grey writes so vividly that you feel like you're at Echo's side. It's an incredible experience. There are so many layers to this book and with each that you peel back, you'll just find one more reason to fall in love with The Girl at Midnight.

  This book was written for YA fantasy fans. It cleverly reminded me of how much I love this genre. But it isn't just for fantasy fans. It isn't heavy handed. It finds the perfect balance to satisfy fantasy lovers while being balanced enough for any reader. The Girl at Midnight is one of my favorite books of 2015. You do NOT want to miss this!

**I received this book for free via NetGalley for an honest review with no compensation.

Waiting on Wednesday: A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
It spotlights upcoming releases that we're excited about!

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin
May 19th, 2015
It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don't fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts...
Why I can't wait for A School for Unusual Girls:
This sounds so much like Gail Carriger's Finishing School series, so I'm all in! I'm determined to add more historical fiction to my reading list this year, and I cannot wait to dive into this one!
What are you waiting on?

Blitz + #Giveaway: Effortless with You Series by @lizzycharles_ @swoonromance

Welcome to this week’s
Swoon Romance YA Wednesdays!
This week features
The Effortless with You series by Lizzy Charles!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

School is out and Lucy is ready for the perfect summer: lazy days at the pool, invitations to the most exclusive parties, and romantic dates with her hot new boyfriend. That is, until she lands in trouble one too many times and her parents issue the ultimate punishment: a summer job. Suddenly, the summer can't end fast enough.
To make matters worse, the job is painting houses with Justin, the most popular, egotistical guy in school. Spending all summer with Justin might be other girls' dreams, but definitely not Lucy's. After all, Justin is cocky, annoying, and a jerk. So what if he's the most beautiful jerk Lucy's ever seen? Or that his grin makes her forget she’s mad at the world? Or that maybe, just maybe, there's more to Justin than Lucy realizes. Only one thing is certain: it won’t be the summer she wanted, but it might be exactly the one she needs.
add to goodreadsEffortless With You (Effortless With You #1) by Lizzy Charles
Publication Date: 2013
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Available for Purchase:

Popularity isn't everything it's cracked up to be. Justin Marshall knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business owner, and son of Minnesota's next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for the man he’s trying to be.
But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen kisses and whispered promises just aren't enough. That is, until scandalous photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal during Justin's dad's gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect her: he breaks her heart.
For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.
Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can’t live without.
add to goodreadsPerfectly Messy (Effortless With You #2) by Lizzy Charles
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Available for Purchase:

Lizzy Charles
When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.
Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Complete the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!

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