Tag Archives: friends

ARC Review – The Book of Dares for Lost Friends by Jane Kelley

22718719Title:  The Book of Dares for Lost Friends

Author:  Jane Kelley

Rating:  ★★★

Synopsis: Val and Lanora have been friends forever. Val expects their relationship to stay the same. But after they start middle school, Lanora decides to reinvent herself. Her parents have split up, and she wants to rise above that. Unfortunately Lanoraʼs choices lead her into trouble. Val hates watching her friend lose her way. She wants to rescue Lanora, but how? Val doesnʼt know what to do until a stray cat leads her to a strange boy who lives in an even stranger bookshop. Together they embark on a quest. Will they be able to save a lost friend? Will they get lost themselves? Or will they find a way to help each other become who they want to be . . .

Huge thank you to Raincoast Books for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started The Book of Dares for Lost Friends by Jane Kelley. I admit, I’m not familiar with her work, but what I was from this novel was a beautiful written, if somewhat confusing narrative.

What you need for this novel is that it’s very much an adventurer’s quest — Val wishes to save her friend Lanora from becoming someone different. From growing up and being forgotten. Interestingly what we have are two female heroines, both seemingly voiced as being older than they are, but with the maturity not quite being there yet. I actually appreciated that portrayal of the characters because it seemed very fitting as they are both in an awkward age where they want to be grown up but still are very childlike in their innocence. I just wish there had been more development in the characters, because I still feel like I didn’t know them as well as I would have liked.

This novel is beautiful written, but I admit at times it confused me. You’d get these very detailed descriptions and I found myself having to read them more than once to ensure that I understood what was happening. The setting of the story jumps around a lot, so trying to keep up and stay consistent requires slow reading. This novel took me awhile to get through, not because it was bad, but because it wants and demands your full attention. If your mind wanders, it’s easy to forget what you just read.

I appreciate a lot of the issues that Kelley presents in the novel, from divorce, fitting in, being lost, it’s all integral to growing up and learning what kind of person you are going to grow into. While the characters in this story lacked depth, the author made up for it in how she approached the issues — it’s done in a very sensitive and thoughtful manner that I feel the age group this book is targeted to could understand with ease. She never dumbed it down or make it feel shoe-horned in, and I like how Lanora and Val respond to the issues. There’s fear, uncertainty, challenge, and it felt very real at times.

I feel like The Book of Dares for Lost Friends offers a lot to a reader who is patient and methodical. Although this is very much an adventure story, it’s not a book I would recommend to a reader who is impatient and simply wanting action and instant discovery. This book is layered, it’s challenging, and I think with a patient reader, it could easily be a favourite. I admit, I feel like I wanted so much more from this story, and while I adore some of it’s approaches to topics, as a reader I struggled to connect. I think The Book of Dares for Lost Friends, while beautiful in it’s prose, may be a very polarizing book for some readers, and that’s okay too. Still, if you’re a patient reader and love a middle grade novel with a slow unravel, then definitely check this book out.

Cover Reveal – The Fading Dusk (Smoke & Mirrors #1) by Melissa Giorgio

River and I are once again super duper excited that we get to share a cover reveal for one of Melissa’s new books. I realize I say this every cover, but I think this one really IS my favourite (which I am sure I will say again when a new book comes out). The cover was designed by Mae I Design and yeah, I guess I should stop hyping this up and let you all see it, huh?






The Fading Dusk by Melissa Giorgio
(Smoke and Mirrors #1)
Publication date: July 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult



In the gritty city of Dusk, seventeen-year-old Irina makes her living as the street magician Bantheir’s assistant. The job isn’t glamorous, but she loves the crowds, the shows, and most of all, the illusion of magic. But Irina’s world is shattered the night she is arrested and charged as Bantheir’s accomplice to murder—murder by magic.

Real magic, the kind that’s been forbidden since the old wars.

Irina finds the idea of flashy showman Bantheir using actual magic to kill someone laughable, but she’s the only one who sees how ridiculous the claim is. But how can she convince everyone Bantheir is innocent when they’ve already made up their minds? Desperate, Irina must decide who she can trust to help her win her freedom. Is the surly, handsome Captain Leonid telling the truth when he says he believes Irina is innocent, or is he just using her to get to Bantheir? What about Aden, the sweet soldier and longtime fan of Irina’s who claims he’s on her side?

Irina said she wanted to know the truth, but when she stumbles across a dark secret that changes everything, will she be strong enough to survive?

[Insert Fangirling]

GIMMIE GIMMIE GIMMIE. Although let’s be realistic here, will any of these new characters steal my heart the way Rafe did? We’ll see if that happens!

unnamed (1)About the Author: Melissa Giorgio is a native New Yorker who graduated from Queens College with a degree in English. She’s always dreamed of being a writer and has been creating stories (mostly in her head) since she was a little girl. Also an avid reader, Melissa loves to devour thick YA novels. When not reading or writing, she enjoys watching animated films, listening to music by her favorite Japanese boy band, or exploring Manhattan.

The Sight Seer, published June 12th 2013 by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly, is the first book in the Silver Moon Saga. In November of 2013, An Autumn Dream, a Silver Moon Saga novella that takes place between books one and two was published. The Soul Healer, the second book in the series, was published in April of 2014. A Promise of Magic, the second novella in the Saga, was published in November of 2014. The final book in the series, The Shadow Stealer, released on February 27th, 2015.

Stalk Melissa!

Twitter: @melissa_giorgio
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melissagiorgiofan
Wordpress: http://melissagiorgio.wordpress.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/melissagiorgioauthor
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/melissagiorgio8/

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Cover Reveal – Nobody’s Goddess (The Never Veil #1) by Amy McNulty #M9BFridayReveals


 Sign-up for a Month9Books Friday Reveal with Chapter-by-Chapter!

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Nobody’s Goddess (The Never Veil #1)
by Amy McNulty
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Hi, everyone! River & I feel insanely privileged to reveal the cover for Nobody’s Goddess. Amy is a dear friend of ours and we couldn’t be prouder of her accomplishment of getting this book finally out there into the world. With the help of Month9Books and Chapter-by-Chapter, we get to share this little bit of gorgeousness with you all. Are you ready to see it?





Nobody’s Goddess (The Never Veil #1) by Amy McMulty
Publication date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Add it on Goodreads

Let me tell you how in love I am with this cover. First off, it is beautiful. I am completely enchanted by it. I also may want that purple dress… and I don’t even like dresses. Want to know what it’s about? Let me tell you:

In a village of masked men, each loves only one woman and must follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.

Where the rest of her village celebrates this mystery that binds men and women together, seventeen year old Noll is just done with it. She’s lost all her childhood friends as they’ve paired off, but the worst blow was when her closest companion, Jurij, finds his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever loved her: she is in fact the goddess of the mysterious lord of the village, a Byronic man who refuses to let Noll have her right as a woman to spurn him and who has the power to fight the curse. Thus begins a dangerous game between the two: the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither Noll nor the veiled man is willing to lose.


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Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently spends her days alternatively writing on business and marketing topics and primarily crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
(Winners will receive their book on release day)
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION: (if you choose to include it)
• One (1) digital copy of Nobody’s Goddess (The Never Veil #1) by Amy McNulty
• Open Internationally
• Winner will be drawn January 30, 2015
• Winners will receive their book on release day

Rafflecopter Giveaway!

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Cover Reveal – The Shadow Stealer by Melissa Giorgio

It’s that time again! I dunno what it is about cover reveals, but I get so damn excited by them. Melissa Giorgio sent me an e-mail with a wonderful request, one which I get to fulfill right NOW! As many of you are aware, Melissa writes a series called The Silver Moon Saga, which you should ALL GO OUT AND READ. If you haven’t that is. Go, go read it. GO READ IT. NOW NOW NOW.

*Ahem* In any case, she asked me and River to cover the cover to the last novel in the series. The anticipated final book titled, The Shadow Stealer. Are you ready to see it? Okay…




LET’S JAM! (Excuse the Cowboy Bebop reference, or not, go watch that too.)


Add The Shadow Stealer to Goodreads shelf!

Can we talk about how beautiful this cover is? It is super pretty, and might be my new favourite of the five covers that exist. Such intensity in the model’s eyes. I like it! Wanna know what it is about? Here’s the blurb:

Ever since that fateful night Gabi Saw her first demon, she’s been questioning who and, better yet, what she is. When given a chance to find the answers she seeks, she seizes it, even if it means putting herself—and her beloved friends—in danger. 

From upstate New York to the streets of Manhattan, Gabi chases after the truth that has, until this point, remained out of reach. But when her whole world shatters, Gabi wonders if it would have been better to remain ignorant. Because once you know the truth, there’s no going back.  

In the final installment of the Silver Moon Saga, the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been for Gabi and her friends, and no one’s guaranteed a happy ending. Will Gabi triumph or will the shadows claim her for their own?

Ahhhhhh, I cannot wait to read this! And it’s actually coming out very soon: on  February 27th, 2015.

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, I encourage you to do so. Here’s where you can start The Silver Moon Saga: Amazon.com (also available on Amazon.ca)