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: 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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Cover Reveal: Antipodes


I’m back at it with another cover reveal. I love that this one is landscape based, you don’t see a lot of that in YA contemporary! Meet the beautiful Antipodes by Michele Bacon!

unnamed (1)

Book Stats:
Genres: Young adult, contemporary
Publication Date: April 3rd, 2018
Purchase: Amazon – Barnes & Noble

When Erin Cerise steps off her plane in Christchurch, New Zealand, she is focused intently on her mission: do something unique that will erase the mess she made of her life days before her 17th birthday. She’s already lost her swim team captainship, her boyfriend Ben, and her reputation. Her mother is certain studying abroad will regain Erin’s chances of a good future. Once Erin sees her uninspiring host family and city, though, Erin’s not so sure.

Before Christchurch, Erin wasn’t always intense and focused. A mission used to sound like a fun adventure, and the only ivy she cared about was the stuff growing around her grandparents’ back porch at their peaceful Upper Peninsula home. When had her priorities gone upside down?

Now Erin balks at NZ’s scratchy school uniforms, cold houses, and her hosts’ utter inability to pronounce her name correctly. Christchurch does boast amazing rock climbing, gorgeous scenery, and at least one guy who could make her forget Ben if she lets him. With months ahead of her, Erin slowly begins to draw on the years behind her, one step back into her memories and then another, as she rebuilds her life from the other side of the world to find that when life turns your world upside down and you’re farthest from home, every way you move takes you closer to where you came from.

I need to read more contemporaries, so this one is definitely going on my TBR! I’m going to drown in all of them someday…

Also, the author is hosting a giveaway in honor of the reveal! They have 3 ARCs available, which should be sent out in January of next year! Giveaway available in the US only.

Below is an excerpt from the book for your reading pleasure!


Alone at lunch, Erin cracked her Italian book and read ahead. The clouds had burned off during her art experiments, but everything was still damp. She juggled her Italian book and lunch until Jade called her name.

“In here!” Jade pulled Erin into a gymnasium.

They sat on the floor, and Jade said, “How are you finding New Zealand?”

“Still jet lagged,” Erin said.

“True kiwi lunch here, want some?” Jade held out a plastic container of brown and grey food.

“Every time someone mentions kiwi, I picture fuzzy green fruit,” Erin said.

“Aye, we’ve got kiwi fruit, too. This is bangers and mash.”

“Funny, isn’t it? Last night, Felicity asked whether I liked—whether I fancied—kumara. An orange vegetable. Not a carrot. Soft in the middle when cooked, but not a squash. Then she served it and it was a sweet potato.”

“Kumara are my favorite in winter.”

“Yeah. My grampa used to make them with brown sugar and cinnamon. I love them, so you see how off-kilter I feel. Same cars, but yours are smaller. And slower. Everything is a little slower. We speak the same language, to an extent. But sometimes? I have no idea what people are saying. And sometimes, words have entirely different meanings. At home, biscuits are small, fluffy, buttery breakfast breads. What you call biscuits, we call cookies.”

“Sounds delicious, either way,” Jade said.

Outside, a circle of guys bunched up over the rugby ball, pushing hard but not moving in any particular direction. “Aren’t words funny?” she said. “I once met a girl at a resort in North Carolina—that’s actually in the southern part of America—and she and I realized when a Chicago native says she skis, she means skiing in snow. But we also go water skiing.

“In the south, though, where it’s warm, skiing means water. And they call the other kind snow skiing.”

“Here, of course, the North Island is the warm part, and we get the cold down here,” Jade said. “One of us is upside down.”

“Yeah. It’s definitely me.”

MicheleAbout the Author:
Michele Bacon was born in Trumbull County, the only square county in Ohio, where books were her favorite means of escaping an unhappy childhood. Writing was her transparent attempt to create the things she craved: big happy families, international adventures and unconditional friendship. From a young age, she was drawn to people’s stories, and she still wants to know how you met your best friend or fell in love with your partner.

In high school, she embraced her inner geek and wrote her first novel. In college, there were short stories and still more novels. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in English, with concentrations in critical theory and creative writing.

Full-time work sapped her creative brain for several years, but her professional life was one of reinvention. In state government, business management consulting, and nonprofit fundraising, she adapted easily and absorbed the languages of different professions. Her last paying job was as an independent fundraising consultant for nonprofit organizations. That was seven years ago.

Since then, she has been writing and traveling (and, let’s be honest, chasing down small people who don’t like to wear clothes). She’s traveled to all 50 states and dozens of other countries, always collecting pieces of characters and ideas for stories. She recently spent a year on sabbatical in Christchurch, New Zealand, where she may have left her heart at Ilam School. Now that she’s settled back in the States, she’s writing for adults and young adults, exploring the Pacific Northwest, and baking like a fiend. (You’d thinking baking would be the same everywhere, but it’s not. Something is different about kiwi butter.)

When an idea strikes, she scrawls sweeping plot outlines, character idiosyncrasies, and ideas for scenes on the nearest blank spot of paper. Her current manuscript was born of those torn slips of paper, used envelopes, lollipop wrappers, fuel receipts and–once–that little paper bit that keeps a nursing pad sticky until it’s time to use it. Her manuscripts are better than the quality of papers where they began. Promise.

Outside of writing, she is a tabletop game enthusiast, passionate skier, and lover of prime numbers. She also is a mentor at the Moving Words Writing Clinic, and a freelance copyeditor.

She lives in Seattle with her husband and three growing children.


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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!