The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount

shadowgirl(New)TheBook
The Shadow Girl
By Misty Mount
Publisher: Between the Lines Publishing
ISBN: 9780997939
Pages: 298
Genre: YA Coming of Age/Fantasy

Synopsis:

It’s more than just her imagination—she’s fading away…

Painfully shy, thirteen-year-old Zylia Moss is no stranger to living life in the shadows, pushed aside and unnoticed by both her large family of nine and her fellow classmates. As her “symptoms” of invisibility increase, she uncovers an old family mystery leading to her Great-Aunt Angelica, who vanished curiously at Zylia’s age. If she’s going to save herself from being erased from the canvas of this world, she’ll have to travel far outside her comfort zone—maybe even to another dimension.


(New) Thoughts

The Shadow Girl was a welcomed new addition to my shelves that boasted an unexpectedly powerful protagonist and story-line. Almost instantly my experience with the book was rewarding. However, I was not prepared for how personal it was going to become. I am favoring brevity for this review, as I believe that exploring Zylia’s  evolution as a young woman is best left for the reader.

At the age of 13, Zylia Moss is socially withdrawn, reserved and lives an introverted life among the shadows of her family and peers. But as Zylia finds herself becoming more detached from her own life, she uncovers the mystery of another, her Great-Aunt Angelica, who disappeared many years ago. Can the secret to her Great-Aunt’s disappearance and new friendships help save her from the same fate? Or will she slip away into another realm only to be lost forever?

This is a highly character driven plot that centers around an astoundingly relatable protagonist. Zylia Moss appeals to the reader and establishes an early and firm connection by displaying the varying emotions every teenager has encountered at some point in their life. As a protagonist she is plausible, persuasive and even familiar. Her struggles are quickly owned by the reader as we find ourselves fully immersed within her story. Within her lies a small piece of us all that is difficult to ignore. In terms of characters, she is not only effective but identifiable and engaging.

The plot is beautifully layered and intermingled with a wonderful element of fantasy while avoiding unnecessary frills and complexities. Well executed narration and pacing foster strong character development while sustaining the promised mystery. The writing is sharp, knowledgeable and sincere. Everything melds together flawlessly, offering a refreshing study of character that carries the story with incredible ease.

The end result is an unexpected and emotional journey into known and unknown that will touch the heart of anyone who has ever felt alone, uncertain or even different. An therein lies the true success of The Shadow Girl. A coming of age tale that explores the ever-changing dynamics of families, relationships and self growth for anyone who has ever stood in the shadows even for a moment.

*I would like to thank the author and publisher for this copy. The above review is my own, unbiased opinion.

Untitled designEnjoyed with a lightly sweetened Jasmine Hibiscus green tea.

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Purchase Links: Amazon.com  Amazon UK

Happy Reading,

Danielle ❤

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Ever the Brave Release Blitz!

EVER THE BRAVE-RDB

I am very excited to announce the release of Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill this week with Rockstar Book Tours! I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Erin (you can read it here) and reviewing the first book in the series, Ever the Hunted.

As part of the celebration, this blitz also includes a giveaway for a 3 finished copies of the book courtesy of Erin, HMH,  & Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter be sure to enter at the bottom of this post!

(New)TheBook

EVER THE BRAVE (Clash of Kingdoms #2)

By Erin Summerill

Pub. Date: December 5, 2017

PublisherHMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 464

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

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Synopsis:

Ever the Divided. Ever the Feared. Ever the Brave.

After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only
wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the
King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much
she’d like to, and now he’s insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are
those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a
way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be
lost.

The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as
Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.

Purchase: AmazonB&NiBooksBook Depository

 

The First Book

EVER THE HUNTED

By Erin Summerill

Pub. Date: December 27, 2016

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 400

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

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Synopsis:

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her
dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father,
the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is
murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or
inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When
Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she
is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former
apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke
her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad
kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power
than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will
make her a daunting and dangerous force. 

Purchase: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks


(New)Excerpt

The king and his men ride away into the Ever Woods.

 

Gillian sweeps in, face beaming. I want to shake her shoulders and erase
that smile. I slam the door.

 

“You look murderous.” Gillian spins around, her skirts swishing against
the stone.

 

“I am.”

 

A blink. “You don’t like the dresses?”

 

“Really? You’ve been living with me for a month.”

 

“Right. So they’re not your usual choice, but they’re variety. Something
different form brown trousers.

 

“They’re for the Royal Winter Feast Ball. He wants to sprinkle royal dust
on me and make me noble.”

 

Gillian presses her hands to her cheeks and pretends to swoon.

 

“Stop it,” I snap.

 

She flounces into the bedroom and lifts a rose dress from the bed. That
grin. Seeds. She’s as mad as the King Aodren.

 

The pull to the king, still taut in my chest, halves my attention from
her squealing prattle. I press my palm to my sternum. I’d give anything to be
free of him. To be able to live in peace on Papa’s land. But I don’t know how
to break the bond.

 

If Enat were still alive — the thought flattens me — she’d know what to
do. She’d tell me how to free myself from King Aodren. He’s been gone for five
minutes, and I can still pick out his location in the Ever Woods.

 

I pound my fist on the door. I have to figure out a way to rid myself of
the bond. I have to.

Gillian jerks to a stop. “It’s not the end of the world.”

 

I start to respond, but an answering rush of something strange and
shuddery slips under the surface of my skin. I lurch, cradling my suddenly
clammy hand, eyeing Gillian, then the door with growing alarm. Unease spreads
from the top of my head to my heels, a drop of poison fanning through a jar of
ale.

 

I’ve felt this way before.

 

“What is it?” Gillian’s fists crinkle a rose-colored gown. Breath
suddenly short, I yank the door open and stare deep into the Evers. The
breeze’s icy fingers caress my face. There’s nothing to see, but something is
very wrong.

 

“The king.”


(New)About the Author

ErinErin Summerill was born in England. After spending years bouncing between Air Force bases in Hawaii, England, and California, her family settled in Utah, where Erin

graduated with a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. She had

aspirations to write the next great American novel, but writing proved tougher
than she first thought. So she grabbed a Nikon and became a professional
photographer while crafting manuscript after manuscript. The scenic detour of
shooting weddings across the United States, as well as internationally,
provided world-building inspiration. It gave her the vision to draft her debut
YA fantasy, EVER THE HUNTED. Now when she isn’t writing, or shooting a wedding,
she’s chasing her four kids, two dogs, one cat, and five chickens. This could
be why she downs massive amounts of Coke Zero and Hot tamales.

Follow Erin: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads


giveaway

Giveaway Details:  3 winners will receive a finished copy of EVER THE BRAVE courtesy of Erin, HMH, Rockstar Book Tours (sorry US only). Ends December 12th midnight EST.

Enter Here

Good luck and happy reading!

Danielle ❤

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13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

13minutes(New)TheBook
13 Minutes
By Sarah Pinborough
Publisher: Flatiron Books
ISBN13: 9781250123855
Pages: 320
Genre: YA Mystery

Synopsis:

Natasha’s sure that her friends love her. But does that mean they didn’t try to kill her?

Natasha is the most popular girl in school. So why was she pulled out of a freezing river after being dead for thirteen minutes? She doesn’t remember how she ended up in the icy water that night, but she does know this—it wasn’t an accident, and she wasn’t suicidal.

Now Natasha’s two closest friends, who are usually her loyal sidekicks, are acting strangely. Natasha turns to Becca, the best friend she dumped years before, to help her figure out the mystery.

At first Becca isn’t sure that she even wants to help Natasha. But as she is drawn back into Natasha’s orbit, Becca starts putting the pieces together. As an outsider, Becca believes she may be the only one who can uncover the truth…which is far more twisted than she ever imagined.


(New) Thoughts

I am not even sure what direction to take this review as the book managed to successfully pull me in so many different ones. 13 Minutes left me spellbound and frustrated for a multitude of reasons. I was unable to put it down.

Natasha (Tasha) awakens to discover she was dead for 13 minutes after being recovered from a local river. With no recollection of the events preceding her death, she is haunted by the number 13. 13 books on the shelf, 13 steps. And why are her two best friends behaving so oddly? When an old friend Becca re-enters Natasha’s life, the truth slowly begins to surface. But sometimes reality is far more disturbing than anyone could predict.

13 Minutes is a stunning example of clever narration and character manipulation at its finest. Therein lied my very frustration and adoration for this compelling story. I despised every character in this book for a variety of reasons. These are some seriously malicious and self absorbed teenage girls. I grasped to find appreciation in each and only found the smallest semblance of relatability in Becca. Normally this would be detrimental for my relationship with a book, but here it works brilliantly. I found my dislike of each individual adding to the unreliable narrator effect and causing me to constantly second guess each theory as I developed it, creating that internal “tug or war” that I feel any good mystery should.

Pinborough manages to effortlessly alternate a series of events through first person point of view and dictated interviews, texts, therapy sessions and journal entries. Now this sounds messy and maybe overwhelming at first thought, but it is truly anything but! Superb execution of this approach supply the reader with a fast paced read that is shrouded in mystery from the first page to the last. Everything about 13 Minutes goes off without a hitch and delivers a whirlwind of an experience that resonates with something distinct, setting aside from other YA mysteries.

Worth note was an ingenious incorporation of the school production of The Crucible that seems to beautifully compliment the unfolding story as there is a common underlying theme that felt relevant and added to the plot-line as a whole. I am not sure how intentional this was or if I chose to read more into it, but it works so well! Accompanied with detailed world building that thrusts the reader uncomfortably back into days of high school and cliques, the stage is set for a deliciously thrilling drama ripe with angst.

My only inkling of a complaint might be the conclusion. I did find the smallest hint of predictability (but not without a few unexpected turns) and might have favored something slightly different. The ending felt rushed, but I also blame this on my desire to keep exploring these poor twisted high school students.

Overall, this was a huge success in terms of YA Mystery and I will be revisiting the author’s work in the future. I confidently recommend this to all fans of mystery, YA and Adult alike. If you favor exploring the human psych a bit or taking a deeper look at crazy, this is a must!

*I would like to thank Netgalley and Flatiron books for this copy. The above review is my own, unbiased opinion.

Untitled designEnjoyed with cup hot black tea flavored with vanilla.

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Purchase Links: Amazon.com Book Depository

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