Blog Tour: The Midnight Dance


Today I’m taking a bit of a detour from my usual every-Saturday book review to bring you a review on this lovely piece of literature! It just dropped yesterday, so pop on over to one of the retailers listed below and snap it up! You can also enter a giveaway for a free print copy of the book here!

The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 320
Publish date: October 17th, 2017
Purchase: Amazon – Book Depository – Barnes & NobleiBooksKobo

Midnight DanceSeventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.

But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late.

Dancing, private schools, unreliable narrators, I love it all! Plus that cover is gor-ge-ous! We open on the normal school day for Penny, but then a sense of unease and discomfort slowly sets it. In all honesty, I did get sidetracked from the book because my life experience a crazy two weeks, but if I had hunkered down I would’ve read this cover-to-cover in about 2.5 seconds. As it were I was almost late to work because I needed to finish it ;).

There’s something not quite right about this school, and I loved how the piece slowly unraveled rather than all at once. And Penny grows from a submissive schoolgirl into someone with her own thoughts and voice, which is a very important step for her. We also get flashbacks that set up how the school came to be and give us information on the mysterious “Master”.

I highly enjoyed this one, and would certainly recommend that you read it. There’s a ton going on in the book but it never gets too bad or overwhelming. It’s also interesting because there’s the juxtaposition of a historical setting and newer technology and science. Although to be honest, you don’t get too much historical detail, and the only reason that I really noticed it as past was the constant reminder of what year it was at the beginning of the chapters. Of course, this was to denote flashback and current day, so it’s not all that bad.

I was provided this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


If you liked this book, check these ones out:

Vicarious

When her sister is found murdered, Rose must uncover the truth of that night, even if the truth is not exactly what it seems

VA

Private school + supernatural = lots of crazy stunts, death threats, and maybe even some romance

Six Months Later

One day she’s an average high schooler. The next she’s on track to be valedictorian. But something is missing…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Review Rendezvous: 10/7/17


The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, romance, contemporary
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 356
Publish date: November 1st, 2011
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

Future of UsIt’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long—at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. And they’re looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right—and wrong—in the present.

I read this one a bit ago, but it was interesting enough to stick with me and get a read-over. It poses the question “What would you do if you could see your future?”. Sure, everyone jokes about superpowers and how it would be nice to know, but if you think about it, seeing the future comes with complications.

At first Emma thinks this website is a joke, and though I can’t remember how, she accepts that it’s actually the future. She makes some quips asking why she’d be so open about something like going to the psychologist, which makes you think about the fact that we do overshare quite a bit now, and it has become very commonplace.

It doesn’t take long for Emma to start trying to change the future. She goes after a new boy, changes her situation, and makes friends with the sole purpose of seeing how her future ends up. Josh, on the other hand, doesn’t think this is quite a good idea, and I’d be inclined to agree with him. They eventually get into quite the fight, and Emma begins depending on the information far too much.

Overall, the themes on the dangers of technology and knowledge of the future really stuck out to me. Eventually Emma learns her lesson and lets things be, which shows some good character growth on her. I did enjoy the book, enough to read it twice, so I would certainly suggest it to others 🙂

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 9/30/17


Prism by Nina Walker
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, dystopia, romance
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 315
Publish date: August 17th, 2017
Purchase: Amazon – Book Depository – Barnes & Noble

PrismWhat if color held the secrets to powerful magic? 

Forced to move into the palace, Jessa begins training as a Color Alchemist under the direction of the kingdom’s most eligible bachelor, Prince Lucas. As an alchemist, Jessa must capture and harness the color of living things. Every color has a unique purpose, except red. Red is the untapped magic no one can access—until Jessa.

Prince Lucas is running out of time. His mother is deathly ill and healing magic hasn’t worked. When Lucas suspects someone is using alchemy to control her, he sets out to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

I have had quite a few ARCs and review copies recently, so it’s taken me a bit to get to this book. But boy, am I sad that I waited this long! There are so many good things about this book, I can’t help but love it!

First of all, the entire premise of magic is new to me. There is probably other books out there that have a similar magic system, but I haven’t yet found one. In order to access magic, people must be born with the skill to take it from objects with physical color. They can only take it from organic objects, at least, until Jessa accesses it in the middle of her ballet solo in one of the most prestigious shows in the area. Seeing as untrained magic is highly dangerous and illegal, she’s immediately taken to the palace for training.

I will admit, the first thing that stuck out to me was the romance. It’s a bit insta-lovey and sometime I was wondering why they were focusing on that instead of, I don’t know, surviving? But, Jessa is only sixteen, so it kinda makes sense, especially since she’s been in a normal life up until this point.

There is so many secrets and plans in this palace, I don’t know where to start. I think every dystopian monarchy is bound to have a resistance pop up, it’s practically inevitable. However, one of the people on the inside of the palace may surprise you.

There’s also the character of Lucas. Not entirely sure why he’s ready to protect Jessa so quickly in the book, but at least it’s not his main focus. He’s trying to save his mother, and will do anything to accomplish that.

I really want to read the next book in the series so soon! Jessa and Lucas are both in a prime position for more character development and higher stakes, so I can’t wait to see where this story takes them!

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


If you liked this book, check these ones out:

Crowns

A young girl is kicked out of her home only to realize she has the potential to learn great magic.


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Review Rendezvous: 9/16/17


Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, dystopia, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 338
Publish date: November 15th, 2011
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

ShatterJuliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

I read the first book of this series a bit ago, but I just went back to re-read it because I wanted to get into the rest of the series. There are so many questions and plot lines to explore that start in this book, I can’t wait to explore them all. But, that’s beside the point.

In the debut novel of this series, we meet Juliette. For some reason, she hurts and even kills people with her touch. She accidentally caused the death of a young boy, which is how she got locked up under the ‘care’ of the Reestablishment, which is the government that has now taken over the world. Juliette doesn’t know much of the outside world, since it’s been several months she has been in captivity and is slowly losing her mind.

I did like that Mafi explored the effects of solitude on Juliette’s character. I’ve seen protagonists bounce back from terrible conditions and imprisonment too fast, so it was nice to see a more realistic portrayal.

The inciting moment when Juliette’s situation changes is when she ends up getting a roommate. At first she doesn’t like this person, but then she begins to open up and get to know him a bit. That is, until she realizes that he was sent there as a test for her and the commander really wants to use her as a weapon. Of course, Juliette was scarred by hurting the little boy, so she downright refuses. And that’s when things get ugly.

There is so much potential in this character and her story, so I’m excited to see where Mafi takes it. I’ll definitely be picking up the rest of the series, and I’m looking forward to seeing if it gets a spot on my favorite books list 🙂

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 8/12/17


The Step-Spinsters by Madina Papadopoulos
Book stats:
Genre(s): Fantasy, romance, young adult
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 238
Publish date: August 15th, 2017
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

SpinstersOnce upon a time, in a land far, far away…

…(actually, in Medieval France, to be exact) there lived Cinderella’s stepsisters, Fredegonde the tall and Javotte the small. They wake up the morning after the legendary ball to learn that they each still have a chance to be the bride—all they have to do is make their feet fit into that tricky slipper. Alas, these two damsels under stress never quite seem to fit in anywhere. But that doesn’t stop them from wishing and hoping as they set upon a quest for grooms and grandeur of their own.

This one is quite interesting, as instead of focusing on Cinderella, like most fairytale retellings do, you get to see her step-sister’s point of view. The novel begins the morning after that fateful ball, and after the magic has worn off, you’ll see that things are not always what they seem. Cinderella’s sisters and mother are struggling to keep their house. Because they are women, they cannot inherit property, and one of the daughters must marry before the end of the month if they are to keep their land.

Of course, once Cinderella is plucked from obscurity and brought to the castle, she no longer cares for her family’s plight, which leaves them in quite the desperate situation. We also realize that the prince isn’t quite a princely as he would seem, and duke is a conniving old man, and a troubadour may not be all he’s crack up to be.

I loved the fact that we got more of a realistic setting here, as it is based in Normandy in the medieval times. There’s so many different conflicting storylines here, but at the same time Papadopoulos manages to weave them together very well. There’s also the question of if true love really exists, or if people only get married to further their own interests.

I quite loved this book, the only thing that occasionally tripped me up were the french words sprinkled throughout. However, I believe that you could reasonably understand what they are referring to from context. All in all, quite the lovely retelling, I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the medieval period or fairytale retellings.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


If you liked this book, check these ones out:

Cinder

A cute romance featuring a version of the Cinderella story.

cinder

It’s Cinderella, but as a cyborg in SPACE!

The Selection

Beautiful dresses, political intrigue, and a rags-to-riches story!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I am a Book Depository affiliate, click here to purchase books through my link.

Skillshare is an online community full of amazing classes and brilliant teachers. Try out two free months with my code here!