Thursday, February 28, 2013

Free Book AND Win $100: GUARDIANS INC.: THE CYPHER by Julian Rosado-Machain


GUARDIANS INC.: THE CYPHER

A chance reading of a newspaper ad will send 16 year old Thomas Byrne into the world within our world.

Following the ad he will find Guardians Incorporated. A seven thousand year old organization charged with protecting the balance between Magic and technology.

Through their guidance, technology has kept Magic at bay since the Renaissance, but the balance is shifting and soon all those creatures we've driven into myth and legend will come back with a vengeance.

To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future and to unlock the future
they need a Cypher.



Book Trailer






Guardians Inc.: The Cypher is FREE on Kindle, Nook & iBooks


Praise
USA Book News 2012 Finalist -Young Adult Fiction

"Rosado-Machain brings a light, humorous touch to themes of teenage love, loss and betrayal wrapped up in a tasty package of magical coming-of-age."
~Kirkus Reviews

"It's like Julian Rosado-Machain took everything that I love about middle grade children's fiction and slammed it into one awesome, well-paced fantasy"
~Emi London Oktopusink.blogspot.com

"The Cypher hooked me from the beginning. And kept my attention right through to the very end."
- Heidi Roth reviewthebook.com




Get Your Copy for FREE





Author Julian Rosado-Machain

Julian has enjoyed pizza in three continents, holds a degree in graphic design, built armored vehicles and computers, handcrafted alebrijes and swears has seen at least one ghost.

He is the Co-owner of Hacienda de Vega Restaurant in San Diego, California and enjoys the sun with his wife, three children and cat.










Book Blast Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/13/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



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Interview/Giveaway with REAL MERMAIDS Author Hélène Boudreau

Check out Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on Twitter to stay up-to-date
on the Real Mermaids Blog Tour for more reviews, interviews,
and chances to win!

Today, I am also reviewing REAL MERMAIDS DON'T WEAR TOE RINGS. 

Tomorrow and Saturday, I'll be reviewing the next two books in the series, so stay tuned for more!

In December, Jade stopped by to share her recipe for Peanut Butter Cup S'mores for the holidays.
Mmm, Mmm, yummy!

The final book in the series will release later this year!
~*~


Hélène Boudreau writes fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults. She is also a compulsive walker, a chicklet wrangler and a lover of cheese and cheap chocolate. Her tween novel 

REAL MERMAIDS DON'T WEAR TOE RINGS is a 2011 Crystal Kite Member Choice Award Finalist.

Follow Hélène through Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

An interview with 
author Hélène Boudreau

What, if any, part did growing up surrounded by the ocean play when writing Real Mermaids?

Growing up on an island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean definitely influenced many of the scenes and themes in my Real Mermaids series. In fact, many of the places in the book were inspired by actual towns near where I grew up. My dad has a lobster boat and he used to take us on sailing trips from the ocean, through a canal, and into a fresh water lake just like Jade’s hometown of Port Toulouse. I was always amazed by the purple jelly fish on the salt water side of the lock and the white jellyfish on the fresh water side and often wondered what else was happening in those watery depths. Writing about fresh water and salt water mermaids grew from that experience.

I love the fact that you focus on the tween years and all those insecurities a girl goes through. What was your goal in pairing this with the life of a girl-turned-mermaid?

Jade’s not so different from other girls her age. She’s wondering about boys, trying to figure out friendships, and seeing changes in her body. Though, in Jade’s case, make that BIG changes! 

My own daughter is almost twelve and is at the precipice of entering those uncertain years of raging hormones and topsy-turvy emotions. I really wanted to write a fun story for her (and girls like her) to ease her into the land of zits, training bras and smelly armpits. The upside being that—no matter how hard puberty might get—at least she doesn’t have a TAIL!

What are your favorite books/movies/etc. about mermaids?

I love Liz Kessler’s Emily Windsnap series and actually mention it in REAL MERMAIDS DON’T NEED HIGH HEELS. For older readers, Zoraida Córdova’s Vicious Deep series is great, too.

How many books do you hope to have in the REAL MERMAIDS series? What's in store for the future?

There are four books planned for the REAL MERMAIDS series. 

In REAL MERMAIDS DON’T NEED HIGH HEELS (book 3), Jade is really ready for life to return to normal. But ninth grade is like being a goldfish in a shark tank and the upcoming Fall Folly Formal means Jade must get over her fear of awkward dancing. Plus there is unrest in the ocean, and the whole mer-world is on the brink of civil war. 

Can Jade find a plus-sized dress that doesn’t look like a shower curtain, keep her mer-ness a secret, finally figure out if she and Luke are officially dating, and help pull off the biggest political coup in mer history? With so much at stake, ‘awkward dancing’ is rapidly becoming the least of Jade’s worries. 

In the fourth book, REAL MERMAIDS DON’T SELL SEA SHELLS (book 4/fall 2013), Jade and Cori head to the Bahamas for a bit of fun in the sun. But sun, surf and tropical breezes are no 'day at the beach' because being a teenage mermaid never takes a vacation.

As a fellow NaNoWriMoer, it intrigued me to see that you started writing REAL MERMAIDS during NaNoWriMo. What advice do you have for future writers looking to take part in the event?

NaNoWriMo is such a great way to get a project kick-started. I’ve never managed to write a whole 50,000 words in one month but each time I do NaNoWriMo I get about 30 k worth of writing in, which is amazing to me. I think a bit of pre-planning can go a long way when it comes to NaNoWriMo, which is why I always like to start with a rough outline of my project. I describe my outlining process HERE.


Thank you so much, Hélène!  I've really been enjoying the Real Mermaid series and am looking forward to its conclusion, especially after those hints!  
I hope today's interview made all the bookworms reading this want to try out this fun series!
  ~*~
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  REAL MERMAIDS DON'T NEED HIGH HEELS
Author: Hélène Boudreau
Release Date: Out Feb. 1, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
SUMMARY:

The only thing that terrifies Jade more than the ocean is dancing at the Fall Formal. Because Jade has two left feet—er, flippers. Who knew being a high school freshman is even more awkward than being a plus-size aqua-phobic mer-girl? At least her only drama is of the human variety... 

Or not. 

The Mermish Council has just declared that all land-dwelling mers but return to the ocean. Pronto. But there's no way Jade is going to let her mom, or Luke, her...boyfriend? mer-guy-friend?, disappear into the deep, dark ocean. Again. After all, a girl's got to have a date to her first dance. 

If Jade can stop mer-mageddon, finding a plus-size dress that doesn't look like a shower curtain should be a piece of cake.
~*~
****Giveaway*****

Ready to check out the Real Mermaids series?

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky is generously giving away a package of the first three books.

Enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{Review/Giveaway} REAL MERMAIDS DON'T WEAR TOE RINGS by Hélène Boudreau

Check out Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on Twitter to stay up-to-date
on the Real Mermaids Blog Tour for more reviews, interviews,
and chances to win!

Today, I am also interviewing Hélène Boudreau.  

Tomorrow and Saturday, I'll be reviewing the next two books in the series, so stay tuned for more!

In December, Jade stopped by to share her recipe for Peanut Butter Cup S'mores for the holidays.
Mmm, Mmm, yummy!

The final book in the series will release later this year!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

I BOLTED UPRIGHT IN THE bathtub and hacked a mouthful of water.  A wave sloshed onto the tile floor.

"Jade?" Dad's knock sounded from the other side of the bathroom door.  "You okay, honey?" 

"Yea...yeah," I managed to say between coughs, embarrassed that I'd fallen asleep in the tub, freaked out that I must have slipped underwater.  I took a long, shaky breath.  "I'm fine, Dad.  Thanks." 

A shiver ran along my damp arm as I pulled a strand of hair from my mouth.  What would have happened if I hadn't woken up?  My thoughts turned instantly to Mom. 

No.  I couldn't go there...
(page 1, US paperback edition)

If you're looking for something funny and sweet, the Real Mermaids series by Hélène Boudreau really hits the mark.  Boudreau's voice is strong and witty, and I found myself laughing as I read REAL MERMAIDS DON'T WEAR TOE RINGS, the first book in the series.  While technically a middle-grade 9-12 novel, the series is better suited for tweens and could also sit in the YA section.  Main character Jade is thirteen, almost fourteen, and going through puberty, which is a scenario most younger girls can't relate to.  While Jade is about the same age as Liz Kessler's lovable Emily Windsnap, her storyline is a little more mature.  At the same time, this is the perfect series for mothers to share with daughters or inquisitive tweens to discover on their own in the same manner that Judy Blume's coming-of-age staple ARE YOU THERE, GOD?  IT'S ME, MARGARET is passed down.

Jade is an instantly likable, relatable character, and it's easy to fall into her story.   She isn't perfect and is a little overweight, so it can be hard for her to find a nice swimsuit.  If only such things were her biggest problems in life! The day she gets her period for the first time, she also discovers that she can new transform into a mermaid.  She finds out that her mother was a mermaid, a secret that's been kept from her all these years.  Change is normal, but most girls just have to deal with puberty--NOT puberty and a huge, splashy secret.  It doesn't help that Jade's mother is deceased.  She can't ask her for advice on the best tampons to buy or the tricks to sporting a shiny new tail.  One of the funniest scenes occurs when Jade's father attempts to help her buy feminine supplies for the first time.  He completely fills a shopping cart with everything she might need and comes barreling down the aisle--right as Jade is talking to a cute boy from school.  Talk about awkward!  I cringed right alongside Jade and was embarrassed for her, though also rolling around laughing.  Jade's father is adorable, too, and I love his presence in the novels.  It's so nice to see a strong father/daughter relationship, especially one where the father helps his daughter with the trials of growing up.

The book follows Jade as she learns more about her family and her past, as well as discovers a secret that changes everything.  She has to juggle all the trials of growing up we all go through, from first crushes to keeping secrets from a best friend to learning how to deal with her new body.  REAL MERMAIDS DON'T WEAR TOE RINGS is a strong debut that will be fun to share with tweens approaching that awkward time of life.
~*~
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I love the scripty font used for the Real Mermaids part of the title.  The way the "M" curls makes me stare, then stare some more.  LOVE.  I like the uniform way this font is used on all four book covers.  It's part of the title, yet also signifies that this is the series title, and not just the book title.  This is also the font used for each chapter heading inside the pages.  Home run font!
The grunginess of the rest of the title is unique and adds a contemporary twist to the title, hinting that this book isn't just fantasy.  It's both whimsical and real, and the merging of two different font styles works in this case.

The fact that there's a mermaid tail on the cover immediately makes me want to know more, especially with that blurb.  After reading the book, I realized that the cover actually portrays a pivotal moment from the first chapter of the book when Jade is sitting in her bathtub and realizes that she's a mermaid for the very first time.  I never even noticed the shower drain on the cover until after finishing this book!

This cover is sweet and fun, just like the book itself! 
  ~*~
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  REAL MERMAIDS DON'T WEAR TOE RINGS
Author: Hélène Boudreau
Release Date: Out Dec. 10, 2010
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Received: For Review
SUMMARY:

First zit. First crush. First…mermaid’s tail? 


If she hadn’t been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail? 

Most. Embarassing. Moment. Ever. 

Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But this revelation raises a serious question: if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown? 

Jade is determined to find out. But how does a plus-sized, aqua-phobic, mer-girl go about doing that, exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend Cori, and her crush, Luke? This summer is about to get a lot more interesting…
~*~
****Giveaway*****

Ready to check out the Real Mermaids series?

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky is generously giving away a package of the first three books.

Enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sally Gardner's unique e-book MAGGOT MOON brings attention to dyslexia in new ways

Publisher's Weekly recently had a really great interview with Sally Gardner, the author of MAGGOT MOON.  MAGGOT MOON has been winning awards in the UK, including the prestigious Costa Children's Prize.  I had never heard of the book or author before, but what I read makes me want to check this out--and do so with the enhanced ebook copy!

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be dyslexic?  One of my good friends in high school was dyslexic, but I still don't know much more than the basics.  The enhanced e-book version of MAGGOT MOON changes that.

Here's the part of the interview that captivated me and made me want to know more:

Tell us about the enhancements to the e-book edition of Maggot Moon that were designed with dyslexic readers in mind. 
I am so glad you asked about that because I am immensely proud of this. It is extraordinary and all credit goes to the people at Hot Key. There has never been a program that shows what writing looks like for a dyslexic person. Apple got behind it and created these pages where the text actually moves [see a sample here]. Every teacher who’s ever said to a dyslexic student, ‘You’re just not concentrating!’ needs to see it. It’s been incredibly eye-opening to show it to people who finally understand what I see when I look at words. 

The e-book was also formatted in a “dyslexic-friendly font.” Can you explain what that is? 
Take the letter ‘b.’ A ‘b’ flips to ‘d’ in my head all the time. So a dyslexic-friendly font puts the weight of b where it should sit on the page. It’s thicker in the round of the ‘b,’ so visually, it helps prevent me from twisting the b to the d. It looks a bit like comic sans but it’s fairly subtle. I work with it all the time because it stops the letters from bouncing.


I never realized there were dyslexic-friendly fonts before, and as a lover of fonts, I want to study this in more detail.  This concept is especially intriguing to me, and I want to see the way the font looks in e-book form.

I also love the fact that as you read the e-book edition of MAGGOT MOON, there are samples of what the page would look like to a dyslexic reader.  Here is a preview of what I mean:




I think MAGGOT MOON is going to be a strong piece of literature that will help people learn more about dyslexia and introduce a new way of experiencing the world.  This will especially help teachers, who may not realize the extent of the way their students work, and lead to new teaching techniques.  Technology never ceases to amaze me, and the fact that a book like MAGGOT MOON has become possible is astounding.  The only other time I've seen anyone attempt to replicate words through the eyes of someone with dyslexia was in the movie version of Rick Riordan's THE LIGHTNING THIEF, but it didn't make an impact on me the way this enhanced video does.   

Thanks to the interview with Publishers Weekly, I really want to read this in enhanced form!

According to MAGGOT MOON's official website, the enhanced ebook is "packed full of interactive content including video interviews with Sally, extracts from the audio book, animated page sequences (see what a page looks like to some dyslexics), dyslexia examples, political talking points and much, much more, this edition is perfect for anyone who wants to ask questions about the world around them."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top Ten Authors on Auto-Buy

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.
Every once in a while I participate in this one when I either
1) Like the theme, and/or 2) Have the time!
This week's topic:
Top Ten Authors on Auto-Buy

This week's topic seems like a lot of fun!

These are in no particular order by the way, guys!  Just as they come to mind!

1) JODI PICOULT
She's been my favorite author ever since I read MY SISTER'S KEEPER...which was, at the time, her second-newest book.  She's had...9? books out since then... So a while!  I feel that I do like her older books better.  Perhaps because I read them first, so the newer books don't cling to me the way the older ones do (KEEPING FAITH, PERFECT MATCH, and SALEM FALLS are my other favorites, not to mention her popular THE PACT and PLAIN TRUTH...all of these are pre-MY SISTER'S KEEPER.

That being said...am I still buying THE STORYTELLER, which releases today?  You'd better believe it!  I'm really excited about this one, too; it sounds like it could be her best in years!

2) TAMORA PIERCE
Until I discovered Jodi Picoult, Tamora Pierce was my favorite author.  (Two extremely different genres, I know!)  My favorite series are still Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, and Protector of the Small.  I'm not as big a fan of her Circle books, which she focuses on more these days, but I still buy all of her books the moment they come out.  

When I hear that an author is similar for fans of Tamora Pierce or Pierce has blurbed an author's book, I immediately want to read the title.  I've found authors such as Kristin Cashore, Rae Carson, Alexandra Bracken, Leah Cypess, Alex Lidell, and more this way!

3) JACQUELYN MITCHARD
This is an author I found through non-traditional means.  Most people have found her through her novel THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN, which was the first-ever Oprah's Book Club Book and a movie with Michelle Pfeiffer, or they found her because they had to read THE MIDNIGHT TWINS for school.

While I also started with DEEP END, I found out about Mitchard when browsing around Jodi Picoult's web forums looking for similar authors I might enjoy.  Now, whenever I see a book blurbed by Picoult and/or Mitchard (and a few times, such as with Laura Moriarty, Michelle Richmond, and Heather Gudenkauf, they BOTH are shown as reviewers, which means insta-buy to me), I know I want to read the book!

4) JENNIFER ARMENTROUT
Jennifer Armentrout has really made a name for herself.  I love just about everything I've read by her; everything is always obsessively addicting.  I'll even read things outside of genres I usually enjoy if it has Armentrout's name on it, though I'm saving one series to read back-to-back because I know how killer her cliffhangers can be, and she'll only get me once on that account!  I was so glad to see Armentrout picked up by publishers with major weight behind them so that the marketing campaign will be bigger and bring her even more attention!

5) MARISSA MEYER
I've run in the same online circles as Marissa Meyer for years, since the mid to late 90s.  We had mutual online friends and wound up meeting and chatting online.  I remember her working on The Lunar Chronicles, and was so excited when she got a publishing deal.  Her publishing story is a fairy tale in its own right, and I've loved seeing her go through every step of the journey.  I can't wait to see more from her in the future!

6) VICTORIA SCHWAB
I found Victoria Schwab through Alexandra Bracken (And I found HER through Leah Cypess, who I found through Kristin Cashore, who was found through Tamora Pierce....see these threads?).  Bracken had posted a video of her friend revealing the cover to her upcoming debut novel, THE NEAR WITCH.  I started following her blog and chatting with her on Twitter.  Victoria Schwab is a sincerely wonderful human being, and I love that THE ARCHIVED has brought her so much attention!

7) RICK RIORDAN
Rick Riordan has made mythology FUN for kids and adults of all ages.  I've been reading Riordan since the release of the third Percy Jackson book.  I blind-bought the first title in his Egyptian series, The Kane Chronicles, and will be blind-buying the first in his Norse series come 2015!

8) BRIGID KEMMERER
Brigid Kemmerer is yet another author I found through a different author.  I had been googling for good FictionPress stories about fairy tales and came across Sarah J. Maas.  Her story had been pulled for publication as THRONE OF GLASS, and it sounded intriguing, so I started following her.  She was friends with authors I enjoyed such as Alexandra Bracken, which made me like her even more.  Sarah has congratulated her friends on their book deals, which introduced me to both Brigid Kemmerer and Kat Zhang.  I started following both of these writers online.  I even got to meet Brigid Kemmerer in person last year.  She's a fabulous person, and I love chatting with her on Twitter!

9) RAE CARSON
I can NOT get enough of Rae Carson!  I had read her debut novel and enjoyed it enough to buy it in hardcover when I met her at a signing last year, though I'd almost waited for it to come out in paperback.  I'm glad I didn't, because when I re-read it and then read her second novel, she completely blew me away.  Carson is wonderful, and I'll buy anything she's written in a heartbeat.  I love seeing all of these short stories that she's written available for my nook, some of them original!  Today, she's coming out with a story in the OZ REIMAGINED collection, which I must buy.  I already have my e-copy of her new series novella pre-ordered, too.  Love, love, love!

10) DAISY WHITNEY
I love reading Daisy Whitney's blog online and seeing her on Twitter.  I was so excited to meet her at a signing last year, and she's just as awesome in person as she is online.  YA Contemporary isn't my first-choice genre, but Whitney is one of my top authors within the genre.  I'll read her anytime, anywhere.  I loved her first two books (and would love a third companion novel, hint/hint), and am really looking forward to the three--yes, THREE--books she has coming out this year (One is an adult e-book, her first non YA title!  I WANT to say it's with Entangled Publishing, but I might be wrong...).  I was so excited when it was revealed that Whitney would have two books out each year from two different publishers.  Love her!



And...I guess I should stop with ten.  This could go on forever, though!  There are so many great authors that I will buy a new title from without knowing anything about it!
I can't wait to see what everyone else has chosen!
Leave me your posts to check out! :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

{Review} PIECES by Michelle Davidson Argyle

On Tour with Prism Book Tours
Check out the end of the post for more tour stops!
There are giveaways, author interviews, book reviews, and more!!!

The following review contains SPOILERS for THE BREAKAWAY.
While PIECES can be read as a stand-alone, it IS a companion 
that takes places two years after THE BREAKAWAY.

If you'd rather read THE BREAKAWAY before stopping on this review...

My review of THE BREAKAWAY,

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

"WHO IS THAT WOMAN YOU KEEP DRAWING?"

Naomi looked up from her sketchpad and smiled.  On Wednesday mornings, Finn was the waiter at the Java Lounge café   He had surfer hair--thick, wavy brown locks swept across his forehead.  It fell into his face whenever he looked down.  Naomi wondered how he kept from running into the tables.  Somehow, he never did.

"Well?" Finn asked, leaning closer to look at her drawing.

She slid her arm over the entire picture.  She and Finn always talked when he brought out her order, but he had never asked her about her drawings before.  It was new territory for their casual friendship. "She's a character from a novel."

"Oh?" He leaned even closer, the carafe in his hands tipping dangerously close to her sketchpad.  "Which novel? Is it one you're writing?"

She inched the sketchpad away from him.  A smirk crossed her face.  "You know I don't write.  It's a scene from a favorite book, that's all."

The smell of the coffee in the carafe was stronger than the regular smell of cinnamon rolls, flaky pastries, and whipped cream drifting through the Java Lounge in the mornings.  The coffee was straight black.  It reminded Naomi of waking up in the mornings at the house where she had been held captive for a year.  She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to will the memory away.  It was over.  Over.  But she could never get the house out of her head.  Their house.  Eric's house.  She didn't know what to call it, even two years after her escape.  They had made coffee every morning, so coffee would always remind her of them.  She decided from now on she would call it the house and leave it at that.

Michelle Davidson Argyle has previously stopped by A Backwards Story for a guest post on BONDED, which compiles together three of her fairy tale retellings.  She's also shared a guest post on her version of Cinderella, CINDERS.  Don't forget to check out my review of both CINDERS and BONDED!

While you could read PIECES as a stand-alone without ever picking up THE BREAKAWAY, knowing Naomi's history prior to PIECES will help you understand her mental state as she attempts to fit the pieces of the puzzle that is her broken life back together and move on after the traumatizing events that resulted in her kidnapping.  PIECES deals with the repercussions and ongoing struggles of a girl who escaped from extraordinary circumstances but is unable to fully move on in life.  Michelle Davidson Argyle explores Naomi's mental state and refuses to sugarcoat things, resulting in a more realistic portrayal of a situation that is sometimes idealized in literature.

It has been two years since Naomi managed to escape from her kidnappers in THE BREAKAWAY, yet they remain with her in small ways.  The way Eric made coffee and eggs, the way Evelyn painted her nails and taught her to cook; small things remain in her daily life, reminding her of her time in captivity.  Most of all, Naomi can't bring herself to forget about Jesse, with whom she fell in love during her time at the house despite the fact that he was one of her captors.  Naomi's slowly moving on and in therapy now.  Everyone tells her that her attachment to her captors is a result of Stockholm Syndrome, but while Naomi knows this to be true, she also knows that she and her captors truly grew to care for one another in a way that only they could understand.  She's slowly begun repairing bridges with her parents, especially her mother, and has even started attending her mother's alma mater, Harvard University.  When she finds out that Jesse has been let out early on parole for good behavior, her entire life is in upheaval once again.  Naomi has to figure out the truth behind her own feelings.  How well does she know Jesse?  Does she truly love him--and if so, would she follow him to Italy?  If she does, she'll leave behind her fragile new relationship with her parents and her budding friendship with a guy named Finn who has been supportive of her decisions.  But if she doesn't, will she miss out on the greatest love she's ever known?

Naomi suffers so much in PIECES.  She's completely mixed up and doesn't know the truth behind her own feelings.  Her captors did a true number on her when emotionally binding her to them during her time in captivity, and she finds it hard to break free from the invisible shackles still clinging to her.  I would go so far as to say that Naomi is also suffering from PTSD, and while she's been on the road to recovery, Jesse's early parole brings everything back and takes away so much of what she's gained for herself.  Her emotional state is very easy to sympathize with; all I wanted to do was give her a big hug.  Naomi grows so much and learns a lot about herself.  She comes out a stronger person by the end of her journey with us, but will always be marred by her past.  PIECES is a great look at what  happens after a person has experienced a tumultuous situation and the way s/he must re-integrate with the nuances of daily life.  So often, books end after the event and don't focus on the repercussions  or if they do, they gloss over all the psychological effects that traumatic events can have on a person and make it seem as though such events never bothered the person, which makes the book unbelievable   PIECES balances this well, and provides a close-up look about one girl's shattered life as she attempts to move on and discover her own identity in life.
~*~
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

Those railroad tracks remind me of one specific scene from PIECES, though the scene occurs at night and Naomi isn't alone.

Even so, the cover shows the model looking pensive.  The way the railroad tracks fade out as they disappear into the distance mirrors a second path leading away from the model, one she's debating whether or not to take.  This correlates to the story and Naomi's mental state, and is a wonderfully understated way of describing the book.

I like the coloring of the photography and the way the title is pulling from slivers of red on the model's undershirt and shoes.  The red is darker and lends a more somber tone to the cover.
   ~*~
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  PIECES
Author: Michelle Davidson Argyle
Release Date: Feb. 14, 2013
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
SUMMARY:

Staying in love can mean running away...

Two years after watching her kidnappers go to prison, Naomi Jensen is still in love with one of them. Jesse will be released in a few years, and Naomi knows college is the perfect distraction while she waits. But when her new friend Finn makes her question what is right and what is wrong, she begins to wonder if Jesse is the one for her … until she discovers he's out on parole. Naomi must sort through her confusion to figure out where love and freedom truly lie—in Finn, who has no connections to her past, or Jesse, who has just asked her to run away with him. 

PIECES is a companion to THE BREAKAWAY and can be read independently, if desired.



ON TOUR WITH...

February 18
Wonderland's Reader  >> Review both
Some Like It Paranormal  >> Review Pieces + Giveaway
The Bookmark Blog  >> Review Pieces
Nothought2small  >> Review Pieces + Promo
Booking It With Hayley G  >> Review both
My Life is a Notebook  >> Promo
Always YA at Heart  >> Review both + Giveaway
Book Loving Mom  >> Review both
Just a Booklover  >>  Promo 
Enticed by Books  >> Promo


February 19
- Basia's Bookshelf  >> Review Pieces + Promo
Shiirleyy's Bookshelf  >> Review both 
BookPics  >> Review Pieces + Promo
Emily's Crammed Bookshelf  >> Review Pieces + Promo + Giveaway
Read My Mind  >> Review Pieces + Promo
Wake Up at Seven  >> Review The Breakaway + Promo
The Anfractuous Bookaholic  >> Review Both + Promo

February 20
The Book Belles  >> Review Pieces
YA-Aholic  >> Review Pieces
I Talk Books!  >> Review Pieces
Ed and Em's Reviews  >>Excerpt
Book Sniffers Anonymous  >> Review Pieces + Promo
ReadingDiva's Blog  >> Promo + Giveaway
Pieces of Whimsy  >> Review both
Fiction Fervor  >> Review both
Oh, The Books You'll Read!  >> Review both
Reader Girls  >> Review both + Promo 

February 21
BoundbyWords  >> Review Pieces + Promo
A Backwards Story  >> Review Pieces + Promo
Jenuine Cupcakes  >> Promo
For The Love Of Film And Novels  >> Review both 
Book Briefs  >> Review both + Giveaway
Always Lost in Stories  >> Review both + Giveaway
JennReneeRead  >> Review The Breakaway
Defiantly Deviant  >> Review Pieces
Shelfspace Needed  >> Review both + Promo

February 22
Unforgettable Books  >> Review Pieces + Promo
Vampandstuff  >> Review The Breakaway
SIK Book Reviews  >> Promo
A Reader's Devotion  >> Promo
Sparkles and Lightning  >> Review both
Novel Nerd  >> Review both
Paranormal Indulgence  >> Promo + Giveaway
Stuck In YA Books  >> Promo
The Bookmark Blog  >> Review Pieces 

February 23
The Teen Book Guru  >> Review Pieces + Giveaway
In Which Ems Reviews Books  >> Review Pieces + Promo
My Crazy Book Obsession  >> Review both + Promo
Insomnia Of Books  >> Review both
Turner's Antics  >> Review both