Blog Tour: Unhinged by A.G. Howard [Guest post + Giveaway]

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Welcome to stop #9!

Today Alyssa and Jenara are going to discuss one of their favorite campy movies and the impact it had on their fashion choices for prom. But first, a quick bit of Unhinged trivia: Alyssa’s prom dress was actually inspired by Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, one of my very favorite movies!

Corpse Bride

But while helping me revise the story, my editor suggested we make up something fun and campy for the dress’s origin—something that would add some unique window dressing to Alyssa’s world. Thus, Zombie Brides in Vegas was born.  After Googling to make sure there wasn’t such a movie, it was a go. Though the film’s premise isn’t discussed in detail throughout the book, today, we’ll let the girls tell you a little about it.

*****

Zombies in Vegas

Jenara: At first, it was the movie poster that sucked us in.

Alyssa: Totally. Who can resist something that gets two severed thumbs up? *snorts*

Jenara: Then, we found out it was going to be showing at the drive-in, which meant screamy scary snuggle time with our guys.

Alyssa: After that, nothing could stop us.

Jenara: So, we’re supposed to say our fave scene and the part we hated most, right?

Alyssa: Yep. And I guess spoilers are cool?

Jenara: That’s the way I understood it. You go first.

Alyssa: Okay. Favorite scene, when Drusilla realizes her groom, Rig A. Mortis, is the one who infected her and she bites off his ring finger and yells, “A-nnulled!”

Jenara and Alyssa: *laughing hysterically*

Alyssa: *wiping eyes* Worst part was when Carrie’s groom tried to slide the garter off her thigh and her leg–

Jenara: Cracked in half and he started gnawing on it! Gag!

Alyssa: Right?

Jenara: My fave was when Drusilla and Carrie pulled that Thelma and Louis move at the end, riding off the mountain after catching their car on fire. But it’s also my least favorite, because I hated thier, “Till death do us part” line. Total cheese.

Alyssa: But we both loved the costuming. It was perfect.

Jenara: Yep, somehow, they made those dresses and tuxedos look elegant and sophisticated, even with blood, brains, and mud splashed across the fabric.

Alyssa: Which is what inspired our prom outfits.

Jenara: *taps finger on lower lip* I’m pretty sure the movie’s out on DVD now. You with me?

Alyssa: *takes Jenara’s elbow* Till death do us part, baby.

Jenara: *rolls eyes*

(Picture Attributions: Corpse Bride Poster by Jurro;   Corpse Bride Doll by Cliff Nordman; Zombie Bride by Martin Soulstealer )

*****

What do you think? Should Hollywood make a movie about undead brides and grooms infesting Vegas? Personally, I think it would rock. 😉 Be sure to join us tomorrow for the next tour stop when Jeb, Jenara, and Alyssa discuss some Halloween memories and host a giveaway for a Wonderland inspired journal. Until then, if you haven’t entered the rafflecopter below for a chance at one of the 12 Unhinged ARCs, there’s still time.  Hope to see you soon!

GIVEAWAY TIME!

12 ARC’s of UNHINGED (Domestic Only)

Please click on the Rafflecopter link for a chance to win an ARC of Unhinged!

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Unhinged

Title: Unhinged (Splintered #2)

Author: A.G. Howard

Publication date: January 7, 2014

Publisher: Amulet Books

Pages: 400

Blurb: Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she’s always dreamed of. That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs. As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind. If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she’ll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.

Links:  Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

ABOUT A.G. HOWARD

AG Howard

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would’ve happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

When she’s not writing, A.G.’s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

 Website/Blog/Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/Pinterest/Goodreads

 

 

 

UNHINGED BOOK TRAILER:

Thank you so much A.G. Howard, Amulet Books, and Rockstar Book Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour! And thank you guys for dropping by! You are AWESOME! CLICK HERE for the full schedule of the tour. 🙂

Jesselle xx

Book Review: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

13246736Title: Antigoddess (Goddess War, #1)

Author: Kendare Blake

Published: September 10, 2013

Publisher: Tor Teen

Pages: 333

Source: e-ARC provided by publisher (Thanks to Angie of Tor!)  / Finished copy bought at Fully Booked

Synopsis: 

The Goddess War begins in Antigoddess, the first installment of the new series by acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake.

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

*Image and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

I learned about Antigoddess via Twitter. If I remember it right, it was a fellow Filipino blogger’s tweet along with a photo of an ARC that caught my attention. The stunning cover propelled me to research what the book is all about. After reading the synopsis, I became more enthusiastic to read it. I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology and the fresh, engrossing, and thrilling take of this book is what I’ve been waiting for.

Antigoddess is the first Kendare Blake novel I’ve ever read and it did not disappoint me. Her lyrical writing style is spellbinding and I am in awe of the author’s aesthetic flair that resounds all throughout the book. The descriptions are fluid, clear and so artistic. It’s incredible how simple words become so powerful, brimming with color and radiance. I can say that Kendare Blake is a pro in painting astonishing images in readers’ minds that would definitely render them breathless.

I like how the chapters showed the interconnectedness of events in a clean and well-organized sequence. I am also impressed by the wonderful narration of the story in alternate perspectives using third person POV. I think it is a great way to tell the story because readers get to experience what it’s like to think like a god as well as dive into the thoughts of a reincarnated mortal character in Greek mythology. Although Antigoddess is written in past tense, every action feels instantaneous.  When I was reading it, I felt like I was part of the action or I was in the actual scene of a particular event.

Now let’s go to the plot. It is mind blowing! Old gods are dying and at war with each other? Who wouldn’t be intrigued by that? Each chapter is loaded with conflicts, twists, and surprising revelations so action keeps on building up, making the story an exhilarating adventure.

The characters are fantastic. I have a fondness for Athena and Odysseus! They have chemistry and I can’t wait to see the spark between them burst into flames. Cassandra and Aidan are good as a couple and they really complement each other. Aidan is so sweet! His love and devotion to Cassandra is immeasurable. He may have done something terrible (unforgivable, even) to her in the past and he makes up for it by showing how much he loves and cares for her. Other standout characters are Andie and Henry whose bickering I find adorable. The humor of their characters sprinkled laughter that put the suspense of the story into a temporary halt.

Another thing I admire in Antigoddess is the illustration of the past lives of gods and heroes entwined with present time. It’s fascinating because every character displays both his/her past and present self shaped by layered memories of history and current reality. And the gods acting like mortals made their characters so cool, relatable, and normal.

Antigoddess is a spine-chilling, electrifying tale of modern day Greek mythology. I highly recommend this book to those looking for a riveting adventure set in a world where myths breathe the same air as actuality.

Rating:

5/5 stars

Stacking the Shelves [1]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where bloggers share what books (both physical and digital) they received, won, bought, and borrowed.

My first STS post! So happy to be a part of this. Thanks to fellow bloggers Kate and Dianne for encouraging me to join this meme! 🙂

photo 1 (1)

Bought:

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (from Fully Booked)

Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone (from Fully Booked)

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan (from Fully Booked)

Just One Year by Gayle Forman (from Fully Booked)

Relativity by Cristin Bishara (from Fully Booked)

Angelfall by Susan Ee (from Fully Booked)

photo 2 (1)

Unhinged

Photo from Goodreads

For review: 

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Black Out by Robison Wells

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Unhinged (Splintered, #2)  by A.G. Howard [e-ARC via NetGalley]

Thank you so much to Sarah and Megan of HarperCollins, St. Martin’s Press, ABRAMS Kids, and to the awesome staff of Fully Booked Alabang–Kuya Joeven, Nikka, and Kuya Jay! 🙂

ARC Review: Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone

17393023Title: Time After Time

Author: Tamara Ireland Stone

Publication date: October 8, 2013

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 368

Source: e-ARC provided by publisher via Net Galley (Thank you, Disney-Hyperion!)

Synopsis: 

Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn’t. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds.

It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work…until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn’t want?

Told from Bennett’s point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting, and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what’s next for Time Between Us’s Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time.

*Image and synopsis from Goodreads

My review: 

Organizing my thoughts has always been my predicament whenever I write reviews for books that mean a lot to me. Time After Time is no exception. The beauty of its entirety reached far beyond my expectations and carried me away to a world where love infinitely exists through time, space, and everything in between. This lovely piece of literature has undoubtedly earned a special place on my shelf of favorite books.

Reading Time After Time is a splendid fictional experience. I got to know more about Bennett in this book—his life in 2012, his family, his friends, being a time traveler, and his love for Anna. Bennett’s voice is so authentic and very engaging. His thoughts, as gracefully written by Tamara Ireland Stone, filled my heart with so much emotion. I actually ran out of words to describe how wonderful his thoughts are. I felt every single emotion that Bennett went through. All the love, care, and sweetness made my insides flutter in all directions while the confusions, worries, and struggles splintered my heart into a million tiny pieces.

It was amazing to witness Anna and Bennett’s characters evolve into stronger individuals. Both are willing to take risks, fearlessly fighting for their love. There were lots of swoon-worthy moments in Time After Time that made me smile for days. Anna and Bennett are extraordinary as a couple. Having said that, I’ll forever be a fan of their love story.

What I also liked was Bennett’s close relationship with his older sister Brooke. In Time Between Us, Brooke was in the background as she is just mentioned by Bennett once in a while. But here, she actually played a supporting role. I think Brooke is really cool and her support for Bennett is priceless. Bennett’s bonding moments with his dad was another thing I admired. It showed how much they are alike in taking on a daring adventure.

The turning point in the book was when Bennett saw something that made him doubt his and Anna’s relationship as well as their future. The chapter succeeding that scene was a heartbreaking one. If you could only see my notes about that incident, well, it’s brimming with exclamation points. 🙂 After four chapters, I was staring blankly into space following the last line. Disbelieving that I was at the end of the story, I went back to the beginning of the last chapter and reveled in it with all my heart.

Time After Time proves that true love is worth every risk. It left me with the sweetest embrace of a love story that will last until the end of time. Tamara Ireland Stone concluded the series with a satisfying, heartwarming ending.

Rating:

5/5 stars

 

Favorite quotes  from the book:

“There’s no reason for a picture of me if you’re not in it.”

“It’s always harder to be the one who’s left behind than the one who leaves.”

“I told you before. I’ll keep coming back until you’re sick of me.”

“Can you stop talking now so I can kiss you?”

“I never even wished for her, but right now, all I want is for this person who gets me so completely to be part of my present and my future.”

“Do you have any idea how much I hate being there without you?”

“I was convinced that I wasn’t supposed to be part of your future but I think now…that I am.”

“That smile. My smile. It belongs to me again.”

“I’m not supposed to be here. But I am.”

Book Review: My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi

15752348Title: My Life After Now

Author: Jessica Verdi

Published: April 2, 2013

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Pages: 287

Source: Copy provided by publisher (Thank you, Sourcebooks Fire!)

Synopsis: 

Lucy just had the worst week ever. Seriously, mega bad. And suddenly, it’s all too much—she wants out. Out of her house, out of her head, out of her life. She wants to be a whole new Lucy. So she does something the old Lucy would never dream of.

And now her life will never be the same. Now, how will she be able to have a boyfriend? What will she tell her friends? How will she face her family?

Now her life is completely different…every moment is a gift. Because now she might not have many moments left.

*Image and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

When I received a review copy of My Life After Now, I was so ecstatic because I’ve been dying to read it since I first heard about it. Holding the copy in my hands and ogling at the stunning cover sent flickers of excitement all over my body. To be honest, I really didn’t have any idea what the book is about. The synopsis is a very good tease! It only gave simple yet intriguing details of the book without exposing its very core. So yeah, the synopsis did a great job in rousing my interest to unmask the mystery behind the alluring cover and catchy title.

The book started out light, giving a clear insight on who Lucy (the main character) is. The opening lines welcomed me right into Lucy’s world: theater. My heart jumped at the sight of the words drama, auditions, and Romeo and Juliet because theater is currently my world. I’m not a performer, by the way. I’m a writer at the theater company of the school I attended for college. But still, Lucy and I are on the same boat so I was very thrilled to read a story situated in the same environment. So that was just an introduction of Lucy’s character.

The real story begins one night when Lucy committed a mistake that stained her whole being. She cannot turn back the time to undo it. Lucy’s life was turned upside down and she couldn’t do anything but to accept the consequence of her irresponsible action.

My initial thought of the book was that it’s about self-discovery and making a difference in one’s self. It seemed like that to me during the first nine chapters of the story. But as I plunged into chapters 10 to 39, everything about My Life After Now is more than its surface. The stunning cover is just a glamorous mask for the big, serious issue that the whole book encloses—a sensitive one, even. The issue took me by surprise, I really did not expect it to be something major, but I was very impressed by how Jessica Verdi presented it in the story. As much as I want to reveal what major issue My Life After Now is centered at, I’m holding back that information because I want potential readers to experience the shock and drown in the whirlpool of ineffable emotions that this book will cause.

Lucy is an exceptional character. I appreciated her from the very start. Although she is annoying and stubborn at times, I still like Lucy’s character. She’s a sensible girl who is very easy to connect with. I like the way she thinks—earnest and profound. The supporting characters are noticeable as well. Lucy’s dads are beyond incredible for the overflowing love and support they have given her. They were Lucy’s strength. Max and Courtney, Lucy’s best friends, are both reliable and true. Even if their friendship went through a rough time, they still cared for each other immensely. Then there’s Roxie. She is in Lucy’s support group and a character I admire. Roxie is the light that Lucy needed to push away the darkness that surrounds herself. Roxie inspired Lucy to keep moving forward and not to worry about the things that could happen. Lastly, there’s Evan whom I think is the best thing that happened to Lucy. He understood Lucy and loved her for all that she is in spite of what she’s going through. Lucy is lucky to have a guy like Evan whose goodness extends past the walls of his heart.

My Life After Now is a remarkable novel about living life with faith amid a difficult time. I commend Jessica Verdi for writing the story beautifully. She has a way with words that takes readers along a smooth ride in an engaging and deeply felt manner. It was such a pleasure reading words that touched my heart in extraordinary ways. This book left me with an important realization that life is meaningful if we learn to live in the moment. Appreciate the NOW!

Rating:

4.5/5 stars

Favorite quotes from the book:

“I might not be Juliet, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t still be great.”

“But how do you play the role of yourself when “yourself” no longer exists?”