Blog Tour: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith [Excerpt + Giveaway!]

Hi guys! Thanks for dropping by! For the Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between  PH blog tour, I’m happy to share with you an excerpt from the lovely book! Hope you like it! 🙂



“Aidan raises an eyebrow. “That’d better not be a list of reasons why we should break up. . .”

“It’s not,” she says as she hands it over to him, watching as he scans the page with a bemused expression. “I just figured maybe we could use a plan.”

“And this is it?”

She nods. “This is it.”

“Okay,” he says, taking a deep breath. “Then I guess we should get going.”

Together, they start to walk in the direction of the car, but halfway there, Clare stops short, suddenly and unaccountably nervous, her heart drumming hard in her chest. She looks over at Aidan with slightly panicked eyes. “This is kind of crazy, isn’t it?”

“What?” he asks.

“That we leave tomorrow,” she says, her voice rising a little. “That after all this time, we only have twelve hours left. I mean. . . we’re finally here, you know? At the end of the road.”

“Or,” he reminds her, “the beginning.”

Clare doesn’t say anything, she wants desperately to believe him, but standing here on the edge of something so big, it seems impossible.

“Trust me,” Aidan says, reaching for her hand. “A lot can happen in twelve hours.”




Title: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Publication date: September 1, 2015

Publisher: Poppy

Pages: 256

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Fully Booked / National Book Store


On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they’ll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

This new must-read novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that must be made when life and love lead in different directions.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads




We’re giving away an ARC of Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between!

Open to PH residents only.

Please click on the Rafflecopter link below:

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*For the complete schedule of the blog tour, please head over to Pinoy Book Tours


Blog Tour: The Young Elites by Marie Lu [Excerpt]

TYE tour banner

Hello everyone! Today’s my stop for The Young Elites blog tour hosted by the awesome Pinoy Book Tours. I’m excited to share with you an excerpt from New York Times Bestselling author, Marie Lu’s new novel! Enjoy! 🙂


Excerpt from The Young Elites

I rushed to jump back on my stallion, but I wasn’t fast enough. One moment my father’s horse was bearing down us, and the next, he was here, his boots splashing into a puddle and his coat whipping out behind him. His hand closed around my arm like an iron shackle.

“What are you doing, Adelina?” he asked, his voice eerily calm.

I tried in vain to escape his grasp, but his hand only gripped tighter until I gasped from the pain. My father pulled hard – I stumbled, lost my balance, and fell against him. Mud splashed my face. All I could hear was the roar of the rain, the darkness of his voice.

“Get up, you ungrateful little thief,” he hissed in my ear, yanking me forcefully up. Then his voice turned soothing. “Come now, my love. You’re making a mess of yourself. Let me take you home.”

I glared at him and pulled my arm away with all my strength. His grip slipped against the slick of rain – my skin twisted painfully against his, and for an instant, I was free.

But then I felt his hand close around a fistful of my hair. I shrieked, my hands grasping at the empty air. “So ill-tempered. Why can’t you be more like your sister?” he murmured, shaking his head and hauling me off toward his horse. My arm hit the sack I’d tied to my horse’s saddle, and the silverware rained down around with a thunderous clatter, glinting in the night. “Where were you planning on going? Who else would want you? You’ll never get a better offer than this. Do you realize how much humiliation I’ve suffered, dealing with the marriage refusals that come your way? Do you know how hard it is for me, apologizing for you?”

I screamed. I screamed with everything I had, hoping my cries would wake the people sleeping in the buildings around me, that they would witness this scene unfolding. Would they care? My father tightened his grip on my hair and pulled harder.

“Come home with me now,” he said, pausing for a moment to stare at me. Rain ran down his cheeks. “Good girl. Your father knows best. ”

I gritted my teeth and stared back. “I hate you,” I whispered.

My father struck me viciously across the face. Light flashed across my vision. I stumbled, then collapsed in the mud. My father still clung to my hair. He pulled so hard that I felt strands being torn from my scalp. I’ve gone too far, I suddenly thought through a haze of terror. I’ve pushed him too much. The world swam in an ocean of blood and rain.

“You’re a disgrace,” he whispered in my ear, filling it with his smooth, icy rage. “You’re going in the morning, and so help me, I’ll kill you before you can ruin this deal.”

About the book:

The Young Elites-Marie Lu cover

Title: The Young Elites

Author: Marie Lu

Publication date: October 7, 2014

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Pages: 355

Purchase the book: Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Fully Booked / National Book Store


I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

Blog Tour: Not In The Script by Amy Finnegan [Review + Guest Post + Giveaway!]

COVER_Not_in_the_Script_for_Press_KitTitle: Not In The Script (If Only, #3)

Author: Amy Finnegan

Publication date: October 7, 2014

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Pages: 392

Source: ARC gifted by the author (Thank you, Amy!)

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Books-A-Million / Indiebound

Description: The best kinds of love stories don’t follow a script.

Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending nearly all of her teen years performing on cue, Emma wonders if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her relationships.

Jake Elliott’s face is on magazine ads around the world, but his lucrative modeling deals were a poor substitute for what he had to leave behind. Now acting is offering Jake everything he wants: close proximity to home; an opportunity to finally start school; and plenty of time with the smart and irresistible Emma Taylor . . . if she would just give him a chance.

When Jake takes Emma behind the scenes of his real life, she begins to see how genuine he is, but on-set relationships always end badly. Don’t they? Toss in Hollywood’s most notorious heartthrob and a resident diva who may or may not be as evil as she seems, and the production of Coyote Hills heats up in unexpected—and romantic—ways.

*Photo and book description provided by the author

*Other book info from Goodreads  

My review:

My reading schedule this year is loaded with contemporary titles and I’m very happy to say that Not In The Script is one of the few that stood out. It is such a pleasure to read. It made me want to flail, giggle, and do cartwheels all at the same time! Besides, I’m a huge fan of teen dramas on TV so this is a contemporary YA I’d absolutely be interested in.

Written in alternate POVs, Not In The Script tells the story of Emma and Jake, two celebrities who fall in love on the set of their show, Coyote Hills. But here’s thing: Emma doesn’t want to get into another relationship with a co-star. How’s that for conflict? Intriguing, huh? And so begins Emma and Jake’s complicated pursuit of love and happiness that feels so right but at the same time, feels so wrong. You’d sense the I’m-so-into-you-but-I-can’t-be-with-you push and pull of Emma and Jake’s hearts as they struggle to navigate the difficult situation they’re in. It’s entertaining yet a bit frustrating on some parts. *gasp* Why? If you’re someone like me who ships a one true pairing so hard and the characters just won’t get it on, you’d totally understand! 🙂 Nevertheless, I adored the romance in this book. It’s something you’ll never get tired of swooning over!

Emma and Jake are characters that readers would love from the get go. Both possess a high level of likability and distinctive personalities that you’d want to discover more. Emma is a down to earth, insightful, and realistic girl. Even if she’s popular, she treasures normal life and doesn’t let fame get into her head. But what I love most about Emma is that she’s far from perfect. It’s her imperfection and vulnerability that render her a strong protagonist. On the other hand, Jake is a gorgeous, levelheaded, and thoughtful guy who dreams big and knows how to prioritize important things like education. He’s AMAZING! I love how Jake sees through Emma and appreciates her for who she really is—the ordinary person, not the celebrity. He deeply cares for her, proving that he’s a guy worth falling for and someone that parents would approve of. Two thumbs up for that! Like Emma, Jake values the simple life so they’re one perfect match. Both are the kind of fictional couple that readers would certainly root for. Their sweet moments together are undeniably priceless episodes you’d read over and over again! Furthermore, Emma and Jake each have personal issues in this story. In spite of their inner being’s fragile state, both dealt with their problems like grown-ups.

Not In The Script is a complete Hollywood experience as it is packed with a well-structured plot, stellar cast, intense on-set drama, and irresistible romance. An eye opener to the entertainment industry’s complexities, the book illustrated what happens both on and off camera in a very plausible manner. Readers are sure to have a thorough grasp of what celebrity life is all about. With her smart, genuine, and clever writing, author Amy Finnegan gave the story a fun vibe, making Not In The Script a book that people would savor until the end. Indeed, this is a debut novel that deserves a spot in the YA limelight!


5/5 stars


For today’s Not In The Script tour stop, the lovely Amy Finnegan shares with us an exclusive behind the scenes story of her novel! Enjoy! 🙂

The Behind the Scenes Story of NOT IN THE SCRIPT

Fox lot

The Fox Studios lot

I have a brother who has an incredibly amazing job: He works for Fox on their studio lot in Hollywood. Over the years, his behind-the-scenes stories about filmmaking have lit up my writer’s brain like bulbs on a Christmas tree, and one thing in particular he said that inspired an important aspect of NOT IN THE SCRIPT. He told me about a film he was working on in which the villain of the story was played by one of the nicest guys he’d ever met (the actor would play basketball or just hang out with my brother during breaks, and he’d often talk about his family and friends), and the hero of the story was played by a skirt-chasing jerk with a filthy mouth. And then my brother said something like, “You wouldn’t believe how common that scenario is in this business.”

That’s when I went home and actually started writing. Additional concepts came into place quickly, but this was the spark that started a fire in me and became a central theme in the novel.


My brother Tyler, one of many “Golden Boys” at Fox!

But I didn’t want to fake my way through the filmmaking scenes in the book. I needed to do some serious research in order to make things feel authentic. So on the production side of things, my brother gave me some amazing opportunities to not only tour dozens of sets, but to sit in on the productions of some of my favorite shows, such as Parks and Recreation and Parenthood. I have also been a fly on the wall during sound mixing for another of my all time favorite shows: Chuck! And I’ve also watched Foley artists work their sound effect magic for an episode of The Walking Dead. All along the way, I’ve asked countless (helpful!) crewmembers endless questions in order to get the technical details of NOT IN THE SCRIPT as accurate as possible. But it hardly felt like work. Every bit of filmmaking is fascinating, no matter which side of the camera you’re on. I can’t get enough of it.

Parenthood interior

Why cameras avoid ceilings on TV. The interior of a Parenthood set.

Parenthood Exterior

The exterior of a Parenthood set. Where are all the neighbors? 😉

But I never like to do anything halfway, so I also wanted to learn what acting was all about. For this, I went pretty hardcore and took lessons from an on-set acting coach who works with some of the largest studios. She is also an accomplished actress herself, having starred on a popular television show for over a decade. It was incredibly eye-opening, challenging, and entertaining. But I’ll definitely leave the acting to the professionals while I write in my quiet little corner!

Amy with an Oscar

The only time I will ever hold an Oscar, I assure you.

While doing all of this research I was lucky enough to meet lots of Hollywood stars, including most of the Parks and Recreation cast: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, and Retta. I mingled with them for a full two days, and—I’m not just saying this to be gracious—they were all incredibly friendly and hard-working. There wasn’t a single diva bossing people around or being snippy because their coffee mug ran dry. I experienced the same thing on the sets of Parenthood and Melissa and Joey. The cast and crew of all three shows answered any question I asked with enthusiasm and patience. Each day was an amazing experience to say the least.


A Parks and Recreation Costume Rack

A few moments in particular stand out: During a long break while a set was being rearranged, I had a great conversation with Chris Pratt about his days on one of my all-time favorite TV shows—EVERWOOD! (I miss that show so much! You should binge-watch the entire series if you haven’t seen it. You’ll thank me!)

Aubrey Plaza was in on that conversation as well, and we somehow started talking about on-screen kissing, which turned quite hilarious because Aubrey said something like, “Chris and I have to make out all the time.” And they both said it doesn’t even phase them anymore, but then Chris added that even though it doesn’t feel real on set, all common sense goes out the window when he has to watch his wife make out with other guys (he’s married to the beautiful Anna Faris). Chris Pratt is pretty much a standup comedian, both on and off set, and just about everything that came out of his mouth made me laugh like a fangirling fool. And Aubrey Plaza is so chill and funny! I could’ve listened to the two of them for days. Weeks!


Funny mirror on the set of Parenthood

Speaking of kissing, one of the scenes I watched on the set of Parenthood was of two college kids making out in a dorm room. The actors didn’t seem to mind that at least 20 people were watching them go at it, but let me tell you, I felt wayyyyy awkward standing there take after take. Like I should cover my eyes and excuse myself. But there was another scene I watched that day that completely mesmerized me. It was of a serious conversation between the characters played by Peter Krause and Erika Christensen.

I can’t even find the words to explain how much I liked these two. First of all, Peter Krause—a three-time Emmy nominee—went out of his way to introduce himself to me (dang, dude, that’s the way to make a stranger feel welcome!). And then Erika talked up a storm to me while I ogled the heck out of her as the sound crew fished a mic wire in and out of her shirt, her coat, and her scarf. It’s quite an impressive feat to hide those tricky little things. And then the scene started, and I was open-mouthed the entire time.


The Universal Studio Lot

The scene was about five minutes long and they performed it with near perfection every time, but it still took about ninety minutes to wrap up. And take after take, Erika Christensen turned on the emotion and a floodgate of genuine tears (no eye drops here, folks!). And then she’d perk right up and do it all over again. I’ve never seen anything like it. I was blown away! If I’d had an Emmy in my pocket, I would’ve run over and handed it to her. It was such an amazing scene to witness.

During this same week, I also had a backstage tour and watched the production of Melissa and Joey, whose stars are also very nice. Joey Lawrence is still a certified heartthrob, and Melissa Joan Hart was filled with bubbly energy and had plenty of kind things to say to everyone around her.

Melissa and Joey

The productions of these three shows were all quite different. Melissa and Joey is filmed in front of a live audience, so there was music and laughing and jokes between shots, and it was all very free-for-all with lots of energy. Parenthood has a massive cast and crew, so the environment was exceptionally organized and controlled (likely to avoid chaos). It ran like a well-oiled machine and was impressive to watch.

The production of Parks and Recreation fell somewhere in the middle. For the first few takes of any scene, the actors would follow the script. Then the director would call “Fun run!” and the actors would keep the same basic structure of a scene intact, but would adlib lines and sometimes straight-up mess with things—creating hilarious results! So if you’re ever watching the show and a scene feels more like an episode of Saturday Night Live where the actors seem to be just as genuinely amused as the rest of us by something funny that just happened, you’ll now know why. It was an absolute pleasure to witness some of the best comedy on television right before my eyes.

My only regret about my experiences on these sets is that I had to sign confidentiality agreements and other documents stating that I would behave myself—which meant that I had to ask for permission before I took any photos. No photos were allowed of hot sets because of the potential for spoilers (episodes are usually shot 6-8 weeks before they are on TV), and I couldn’t take any photos of or with the actors. I couldn’t even take photos of photos of the actors. There were lots of reasons for this.

But I hope you can still picture all of this in your mind! It was amazing!

Thank you so much Amy for the awesome guest post! What do you guys think of Not In The Script‘s BTS story? I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂



Up for grabs:

 3 Not In The Script swag bags

2 Not In The Script swag bags + Shany cosmetics nail art set


Please click on the link below and it will direct you to the Rafflecopter form!

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About the author:

Amy_Finnegan_Bio_Pic_for_Press_KitAmy Finnegan writes her own stories because she enjoys falling in love over and over again, and thinks everyone deserves a happy ending. She likes to travel the world—usually to locations where her favorite books take place—and owes her unquenchable thirst for reading to Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling. Her debut novel, NOT IN THE SCRIPT, came about after hearing several years of behind-the-scenes stories from her industry veteran brother. She’s also been lucky enough to visit dozens of film sets and sit in on major productions such as Parks and Recreation and Parenthood. You can follow Amy on Twitter: @ajfinnegan, Instagram: StrangerThanFictionWriter, Facebook: Amy Finnegan, Author. Or Visit her at

Blog Tour: The Death of Us by Alice Kuipers [Author Interview]


Hi everyone! For today’s stop in The Death of Us blog tour, author Alice Kuipers shares valuable thoughts on writing and her latest novel in this special Q&A!

At what age did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?

I have always, always loved reading. My parents read to me as a small child and as soon as I could read myself, I spent hours of my childhood deep in book after book. I wrote stories and poems for school, and started to do more writing in my free time too. When I was eighteen, I travelled for a year. During that trip, I thought I’d write a journal but I wrote stories and poems. I realized that writing was important to me during that journey. But I don’t think I would ever have thought of being a writer if I hadn’t loved reading.

What makes a good writer?

A good writer is excellent at observing the world. They notice details that pass most people by. And they are good at taking those details and crafting sentences with them. Writers have to love the actual writing process – they have to be in love with the written word and want to spend their time moving a comma or rewriting the same page for the fiftieth time, as well as coming up with ideas and dreaming.

Where is your favorite writing spot?

I love writing anywhere. I go to cafes, or I sit in my yard, or I curl up in the chair in my office, or I use my treadmill desk, or I sit on my bed. My laptop is a great tool for writing. It means that whichever spot I’m in, I can get into writing. I do need headphones, though. Having music helps me block out the real world.

What is an effective way of beating writer’s block?

I’ve been saying for years when people asked me this question, that Barbara Kingsolver said: “I have three children, I don’t have time for writer’s block.” Except she never said it. I just checked!!! I seem to have made it up entirely! She, in fact, has two children. She does say this about writer’s block: “It would be easy to say oh, I have writers’ block, oh I have to wait for my muse. I don’t. Chain that muse to your desk and get the job done.”

So, now I’m going to be the one to say, “I have three children, I don’t have time for writer’s block!” I’m not trying to get out of the question, or dismiss writer’s block for those who suffer from it. What I mean by this is that when I have a moment to write, I seize it. I don’t worry if the writing is wrong or messy or imperfect (it is nearly always all three). Instead, I let the words go onto the page and tell myself I can always edit later. I am far, far from a perfectionist and I think that makes it much easier not to feel blocked.

What is your best moment as a published author so far?

I feel really lucky to be able to write full time as my job. There have been a lot of good moments in my life as a writer, but the best is probably when my two oldest asked me to read my picture book to them. It’s coming out in December and it was brilliant to be able to have them turn the pages of the galley copy.

Which of the books you wrote changed your life? How?

Each of them has affected me. The first I published – Life on the Refrigerator Door – made it possible for me to write full time. It was published in lots of countries and hearing from readers all over the world gave me quiet confidence in my writing. When I get a bad review now, I am able to step away and respect that people see things differently. Something that someone loves, someone else will hate.

My second and third books helped me learn and grow as a writer. They both needed a lot of editing and I felt myself changing as a writer during those editorial processes. The Death of Us probably changed me the most. The work I had to do to make the story the best it could be was really challenging. By the time the book was finished, I was a different writer (and I’d had two more children). I have understood a lot more about character through the writing of this book, things I wish I’d understood before. But each book I’ve written has shown me more clearly how to write the next one. So each one changes me and my life, making me more attuned to stories, to characters, to possible ideas for the next book.

Your new book, The Death of Us, will hit shelves on September 2nd. How are you planning to celebrate its release?

By the time I’m on your site, the book will have been out for a few days. On the day of release, I’ll go for lunch with my family. There’s a great café near our house where I enjoy eating super delicious soups and sandwiches with lots of good coffee. Or maybe we’ll go out for supper instead. Save me from cooking! I love cooking, but with a large family it’s nice to have a break sometimes. In the evening, there’s a meeting at my child’s preschool. It’s very boring, but it roots me in reality. Yes, the book came out, but the day to day of my life just goes on exactly the same. Except, multiple times a day for the first few days, I’ll glance at the gorgeous cover and think: wow, I wrote that!

I have a book launch at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon on September 15th at 7pm. I’m excited to see friends and family there, and to eat scones and cookies. McNally’s has a catering service that I think is great for a book launch. I’ll go out with some friends after the launch too. That night will be the big celebration.

Behind every book, there’s a story of why an author wrote it. What then sparked your interest to write The Death of Us?

The Death of Us is written from three perspectives. I was interested in how three people saw the same event. In my own past, I had a terrible falling out with a friend and her boyfriend. Their two perspectives and mine were so different it was like we were reading two entirely different books on the same subject. I wanted to explore the way that the same events could be seen really differently.

In the book, there is a tangled love story, an accident, lots of drama and intrigue, but hopefully the characters are what makes the story work. The characters felt real to me and I tried to capture that on the page. In itself, bringing Callie, Ivy and Kurt fully to life was what really sparked the book for me. I could hear them and suddenly the ideas for the book appeared. It’s a magical process, having an idea, and I can’t fully explain why some ideas hold on and won’t let go until the book is finished.

If you could pick a theme song for The Death of Us, what would it be and why?

River by The Belle Game – it’s mysterious, dark, romantic, unnerving. The layers and the lyrics fit well too, I think.

Alice’s answers are truly inspiring, don’t you guys think? As an aspiring writer, her thoughtful answers are exactly what I need to keep me motivated in pursuing my dream. 🙂 Thank you Alice for sharing with us wonderful insights!

About the author:

Headshot3Bestselling, award winning author Alice Kuipers moved to Saskatoon from the UK in 2003. Her first novel, Life on the Refrigerator Door, was published in 28 countries. She has published three further award-winning YA novels internationally, most recently, The Death of Us. Her first picture book Violet and Victor Write The Best Ever Bookworm Book will be published this December.

Find her here: or on Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads.



About The Death of Us


A recovered friendship, a dark secret, and a love triangle with a deadly angle…

Callie is shocked when her friend Ivy reappears after an unexplained three-year absence, but the girls pick up where they left off, and suddenly Callie’s summer is full of parties, boys and fun. Beneath the surface, things aren’t what they seem, however, and when a handsome boy with a dark past gets tangled up with Ivy, the girls’ history threatens to destroy their future.

*Synopsis from Goodreads

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Books-A-MillionIndigo 

Blog Tour: Just Like The Movies by Kelly Fiore [Review + Playlist]

Just Like The Movies coverTitle: Just Like The Movies

Author: Kelly Fiore

Publication date: July 22, 2014

Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers

Pages: 300

Source: e-ARC from publisher via Netgalley (Thank you, Bloomsbury!)

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

Synopsis: Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson.

Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend.

While they live on each other’s periphery at school, Lily and Marijke never seemed to have much in common; but, after a coincidental meeting at the movie theater, Lily gets an idea – why can’t life be like a movie? Why can’t they set up their perfect romantic situations, just in time for their senior prom, using movie techniques?

Once the girls come up with the perfect plans, they commit themselves to being secret cohorts and, just like in the movies, drama ensues.

*Book cover from Bloomsbury and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

Just Like The Movies thoroughly encapsulates every teenage girl’s dream: to have a love life that resembles the kind seen in movies. The book’s realistic, vibrant, and entertaining prose reeled me in right away so putting it down was very difficult. I just wanted to read the whole day! Blending reality and fiction together, Just Like The Movies’ quirky concept is wonderfully clever.

The story is about the friendship that transpires between Marijke Monti and Lily Spencer. Having the same objective of making their love life just like the movies, Marijke and Lily bond over romantic comedies and in formulating a game plan on how they would achieve their goal. Marijke and Lily’s friendship is natural—the kind that a girl must have: enjoyable, down-to-earth, and most of all, real. Even if the girls don’t know each other for so long, both managed to establish a dynamic and worthwhile relationship.

Told in alternating POVs, Just Like The Movies contains everything I look for in a romantic comedy novel: funny dialogues, good-looking guys, and a one of a kind story line. Main characters Marijke and Lily both have compelling personalities and believable voices. I love them! I have no doubt that many readers would relate with Marijke and Lily or see pieces of themselves in the characters. Another thing I loved about the story is the authenticity of the romance in each of the girls’ lives. Marijke and her boyfriend Tommy’s relationship show the complexities that a typical teen couple goes through such as jealousy and trust issues. On the other hand, Lily and her crush, Joe Lombardi’s attraction is the ideal true to life picture of a developing high school love affair. Joe and Lily have a magnetic chemistry that is quite sweet and heart melting. This light and appealing YA contemporary made me laugh, smile, swoon, happy-dance, and happy-cry! It is the first Kelly Fiore book that I read and I’m downright satisfied. The author’s witty and dynamic style will keep you flipping page after page!

Undeniably enticing and too cute to resist, Just Like The Movies is a story that speaks the truth about friendship, love, and imperfect real life happily ever afters.


4/5 stars

For today’s Just Like The Movies tour stop, author Kelly Fiore shares her playlist for the book! Happy listening, everyone! 🙂

Movie Soundtrack Playlist for Just Like the Movies 

  1. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel (Say Anything)
  2. (I’ve Had) the Time of my Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes (Dirty Dancing)
  3. If You Leave by OMD (Pretty in Pink)
  4. I Say A Little Prayer by Burt Bacharach (My Best Friend’s Wedding)
  5. My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion (Titanic – DON’T HATE. THIS SONG IS AMAZE-BALLS.)
  6. Kissing You by Des’ree (Romeo + Juliet)
  7. Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve (10 Things I Hate About You)
  8. Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls (City of Angels)
  9. It Must Have Been Love by Roxette (Pretty Woman)
  10. Everything I Do (I Do It For You) by Bryan Adams (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)
  11. Independent Love Song by Scarlet (Bed of Roses)
  12. Come What May by Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge)

-The odd numbers are Marijke and Tommy songs.

-The even numbers are Joe and Lily songs.

About the author 

Kelly Fiore headshot

Kelly Fiore has a BA in English from Salisbury University and an MFA in Poetry from West Virginia University. She received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2005 and 2009. Kelly’s poetry has appeared in Small Spiral Notebook, Samzidada, Mid Atlantic Review, Connotation Press, and the Grolier Annual Review. Her first young adult novel, Taste Test, was released in August 2013 from Bloomsbury USA. Forthcoming books include Just Like the Movies, again from Bloomsbury, in 2014 and The People Vs. Cecelia Price from HarperTeen in 2015.

Kelly teaches college composition in Maryland, where she lives with her husband and son.

Connect with Kelly via:  Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Website

*Author bio from Kelly Fiore’s website

Blog Tour: Rain by Amanda Sun (Guest Post)

RAIN Blog Tour

Hello everyone! For my stop on the RAIN blog tour today, amazing author Amanda Sun discusses her world building process for the much-awaited sequel to INK! Isn’t that great? Okay, I won’t keep you hanging. Amanda Sun now on the spotlight!


World Building for RAIN

The Paper Gods may take place in modern-day Japan, but that doesn’t mean world building doesn’t come into play. Even when you write something set in a real-life place, you have to make a lot of decisions. How much is true to reality? What are the limits of your magic system? How did your characters come to have the abilities they have? And just how do you add in cultural info without info-dumping or creating a landscape that’s too foreign for readers to follow?

When I was designing the world for The Paper Gods, I did a lot of research into the old stories of the kami. I read the Kojiki, an 8th-century text recording the early creation myths. I read a bunch of Japanese fairy tales, and visited Japanese schools. I interviewed high school students about daily life, slang they used, and activities they liked to pursue. And I referenced the journal I kept while I was an exchange student living in Osaka. Together, all this research produced the bare bones for The Paper Gods.

A lot of the history of the ink is where I got very lucky. In INK, Katie visits Itsukushima Shrine, a shrine I had the opportunity to visit while in Japan, and one that’s widely known for its famous Shinto Torii. It seemed like a good cultural symbol to bring into play. At the same time, Itsukushima Shrine was linked to the kami Susanou, which gave Katie a chance to ask questions about the origins of Kami. I researched Itsukushima and found out that Taira no Kiyomori had spent a lot of money restoring the shrine after it had burned down. Then I researched Taira no Kiyomori, and found out that he was plagued with horrible nightmares at the end of his life, before he finally passed away.

Nightmares? Sounds like Tomo. So I twisted the history just a touch to say that he and Tomo shared the same horrible Kami nightmares, the same dark fate.

In RAIN, I talk about another historical figure who was involved with a lot of the shrines in Shizuoka City—Tokugawa Ieyasu. He was kidnapped as a child by a rival family, and not long after, both his father and one of his captors died suddenly. Ah! Another event that could be twisted just a touch into Kami myth. Instead of building a world entirely, I took the world that was there, and connected it in new ways to create a hopefully believable history for the Kami. Samurai families colliding with the emperor’s descendants? Put the ink into the situation and see what happens.

In a similar way, I wanted Tomo’s drawings to come to life, but I didn’t want to give him too much power. It’s not much of a story if he’s god-like and unstoppable. So I made the drawings unstable. They don’t react the way he wants them to. They come after him and his loved ones. In this way, I was able to build a strange world but still have limits to make things interesting.

I really wanted The Paper Gods above all to be a fun and exciting trip to Japan. I know a lot of readers who are hoping to visit Japan someday, or who have been and want to relive the experience. I hope that The Paper Gods helps to transport you there, without hitting you over the head that you’re in Japan. I try to focus on little details—the humming of vending machines, the food Katie and her friends bring for lunch, the sounds of the school bell—instead of larger scale things like, for example, Tokyo Tower in the distance. I hope the effect is a more subtle world built around them, instead of shouting the location over the plot.

At the end of the day it’s about story. You need to create a world that collides with what the protagonists want and need. It has to restrict them, to go against their goals. I hope you’ll find this thought useful when writing your own worlds ^_^


Thank you very much Amanda for the wonderful guest post! Now we all know why the world of the Paper Gods series is all kinds of extraordinary. 🙂 The RAIN blog tour continues tomorrow at Fragments of Life. Don’t miss it!



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Open to US/Canada only.


*For the full RAIN blog tour schedule, head over to Amanda Sun’s Tumblr page

Blog Tour: Wings by Elizabeth Richards [Review + Giveaway + Quiz!]


Hello everyone! Today’s the first day of the #WingsPHBlogTour! Hooray! I’m so happy to be a tour stop along with Michelle of The Escapist. I hope you enjoy the whole tour as it’s loaded with lots of fun and interesting stuff including an awesome INTERNATIONAL giveaway! 🙂

About the book:


Title: Wings (Black City, #3)

Author: Elizabeth Richards

Publication date: June 12, 2014

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR

Pages: 400

Source: ARC from author (Thank you, Liz!)

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble Book Depository / Fully Booked 


Following the cliffhanger ending of Phoenix, Natalie finds herself separated from Ash and unexpectedly reunited with her parents, including the father she thought was dead. But she can only think of Ash. She hasn’t heard a word of him since she and Elijah were brought to the underground headquarters of the Sentry Rebellion. But she vows to find him.

Ash, meanwhile is back in Black City; it’s the perfect place to hide from the Sentry government. But not for long. He won’t give up on Natalie or bringing an end to the terrible reign of Purian Rose.

A pulse-racing end to an exciting series.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads 

My review:

With Wings as the final book in the Black City series, writing this review is a bittersweet moment for me. As a parting gift to a beloved series, I wrote a lengthy review containing everything that my heart wants to say. 

Wings takes readers on a thrilling ride of stressful conflicts and startling discoveries leading to the final destination—the fate and future of the United Sentry States and of Ash Fisher and Natalie Buchanan. The book has an array of diverse secondary characters that added zing to its brilliantly crafted plot. Each secondary character plays a significant role in the story’s intense sequence of events. I’m in awe with how characters like Beetle, Day, and Elijah contributed to the rebellion’s efforts in fighting for peace and unity in their country. Day is a fantastic surprise! Fans of the series know that Day’s a girl with beauty and brains. But in Wings, she is more than that. Day has a lot of fire in her that uncloaked her fearless side.

Aside from the three previously mentioned characters, other familiar faces that readers met in Black City and Phoenix also make an appearance. What’s more, Wings introduces new and intriguing characters that make up the series’ well-constructed history. In addition, itenables readers to connect significant episodes in the past to the present and tie all loose ends until the biggest shock in the whole series is unveiled. My whole world stopped breathing when the pieces of puzzles finally came together revealing the picture of the big and horrible truth. It’s undeniably insane, you guys. Believe me.

As always, Elizabeth Richards’ writing is gorgeous, effortless, and authentic. She describes people, scenes, and emotions with a natural aesthetic touch. The originality of Elizabeth’s style never fails to enchant me with its impeccable beauty. Moreover, I love how she tells the past through one of the new characters named Edmund. Incidentally, Edmund is a giant time bomb whose explosion would send you flying out to space. When you realize his true identity, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the series’ history as well as why Edmund conducts himself in a particular way.

Ash and Natalie’s romance is so genuine, believable, and very natural in this book. I’ve been on Team Nash since Black City and I feel privileged to witness how far their relationship has come. In Wings, the bond that Ash and Natalie share is so much more than what they had in the first two books. Their love strengthened into something with greater depth and meaning—going beyond limits, taking risks, and devotedly trusting each other in spite of the odds. Two hearts beating as one, Ash and Natalie are unbreakable. Nothing—not even the people around them—can come between both characters.

My admiration for Ash grew stronger in Wings because of what he did for Natalie in the end. Throughout the years I’ve read young adult fiction, it is in Wings that I encountered the most immeasurable and selfless act that a YA fictional boyfriend can do for the love of his life. It’s an incredibly beautiful and moving expression of true love. A heavy stream of emotions coursed through me while reading that part. The intensity of the scene consumed me and when my heart couldn’t hold any longer, my eyes unleashed a waterfall of tears.

Thank you, Elizabeth Richards, for creating a brave and extraordinary world that inspires readers to fight for what they believe in and not let their fears reign over them. Never give up. And most of all, never back down! The Black City series is a huge part of my book blogging journey being the first paranormal/dystopian that I loved. I’ll definitely miss the thrill of being in the Black City world.

Charged with electrifying action, mind-blowing revelations, and passionate romance, Wings is a breathtaking grand finale to a series that’s too remarkable to be forgotten. Captivating until the end!



5/5 stars



Please click on the link below and it will direct you to the Rafflecopter form!

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Before you leave my blog, have fun by answering this QUIZ:

 Which character from WINGS are you?

Let me know your result in the comment section below! 🙂



For the complete schedule of the #WingsPHBlogTour, head over to The Bookaholic Blurbs!

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

Unhinged tour banner

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!


12 ARC’s of UNHINGED (Domestic Only)

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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


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.






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

Blog Tour: Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards [Review + Guest Post + Giveaway!]

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Hello everyone! Today’s my stop in the Phoenix Philippine Blog Tour. It’s the very first blog tour I joined which makes this post special to me! 🙂


Title: Phoenix

Author: Elizabeth Richards

Published: June 4, 2013

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Pages: 368

Source: ARC provided by the author


Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie’s life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose’s Law—a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth.

When Ash can’t bring himself to trade Natalie’s life for those of millions of Darklings, her fate is sealed. Enter Elijah Theroux, the handsome Bastet boy Natalie once saved from her mother’s labs, where he’d been experimented on and tortured. It was his venom the Sentry used to create the lethal Golden Haze, the heart of the government conspiracy that led to Black City’s uprising and Ash’s rebirth as the Phoenix, the face of the rebellion. Elijah is back and Ash doesn’t like him; it’s clear he’s taken with Natalie, and Ash fears she may have feelings for him as well.

But Elijah also may have the answer to taking down Purian Rose for good—a powerful weapon called the Ora. Ash, Natalie and Elijah just have to escape Black City undetected to find it. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon (if it even exists) are easier said than done, and the quest could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.

This enthralling sequel to Black City is just as absorbing, delicious and steamy as the first book, leaving readers hungry for the series conclusion.

*Image and synopsis from Goodreads 

My review: 

Phoenix takes off a few months after the horrible events in Black City such as the riot and Ash’s execution which he miraculously survived. Purian Rose, the wicked leader of the United Sentry States wants to pass a law that will segregate the Darklings from humans. He wants Ash to vote in favor of it; or else, Natalie will die. Torn between saving his people and the girl he loves, Ash is thrust into a very serious and complex situation that tests his loyalty to the Darklings and to Natalie. The whole premise of Rose’s Law has a hidden agenda that will shock readers at the moment of discovery. Soon, the war begins and citizens of the nation are forced to take sides to save their lives.

In Black City, readers witnessed the beginning of Ash and Natalie’s beautiful and alluring relationship. In Phoenix, on the other hand, that relationship deepens and evolves into a mature one. Despite the complicated circumstances in the story, Ash and Natalie showed how strong they are as a couple. Their relationship became rocky at some point yet both did not give up no matter how betrayed and hurt they felt. Now that is what you call true devotion. Readers will get to know more about Ash and Natalie in their internal monologues. Feelings of love, desire, heartbreak, grief, and bewilderment unfold their strengths and weaknesses in those monologues. Amid the difficult situations, there are of course sweet moments that will set readers’ hearts ablaze.

Reading the book was a grand adventure. Phoenix takes readers to dangerous and magnificent places in the United Sentry States that will leave them completely breathless. Each place Ash and Natalie went to with the sexy and gorgeous Bastet boy Elijah leads to startling revelations. Those scenes splintered my heart into pieces as I read them. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move. It felt like fiction became my reality. The emotions were so genuine and that’s one of the factors I look for in a book. I believe being real comes from within and I definitely can say that Elizabeth Richards wrote Phoenix with all her heart, making the book timeless and most of all, priceless.

Also, Phoenix wouldn’t be as spectacular as it is without the heart-stopping tension surrounding the story. There were lots of running, hiding, and bloody battle scenes! I kept pounding my bedside table as I felt tension wrapping its arms around me. My mouth unleashed an outburst of “WHAT”, “OMG” and “OH NO,” with each expression ending in infinite exclamation points. Add to that my facial expressions which made my mom curious as to what was happening to me. New characters are also introduced in Phoenix that added spice and spark to the story. Each fresh face has an essential role and contribution that made the plot twists and turns very appealing and intense.

Phoenix is a remarkable novel. I’m completely drawn to Elizabeth Richards’ powerful writing. The vivid descriptions painted clear and striking images in my mind. And the emotions embedded within the brilliantly crafted prose make the novel a magnificent work of art. Like The Sight, this amazing sequel to Black City will certainly enclose readers in an enthralling experience they’ll never forget. I seriously can’t wait for Book 3!


5/5 stars

Guest post:

In today’s ‘Scenes That Inspired’ Elizabeth shares the building that was the inspiration behind Thrace’s infamous tiered-roof taverns, which appear in PHOENIX.

“Ash lifts the truck door, letting in a welcome blast of cool air, which smells of spices and herbs. We’re in Thrace’s bustling central market, which puts the one in Chantilly Lane to shame. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of round buildings made from red sandstone bricks. Many of the buildings have murals painted on the walls, so the city is a vision of color. But this isn’t what’s most striking. All the buildings have elaborately tiered roofs, covered in tiles made from a strange, shimmering metal I’ve never seen before. It’s highly polished and reflects the light, so the whole city seems to be glittering, like sunlight on the sea.”

–          From PHOENIX, page 238


[Photo: © Amelia Vincent 2013]

 “Weirdly, the shape of Thrace’s famous taverns was inspired by this Buddhist Peace Pagoda in Milton Keynes. I loved the tiered roof, circular shape of the building, and the stone carvings on the wall, and wanted to incorporate it into my novel. However, I wanted the taverns to have a rustic-meets-futuristic feel, which is why they’re made from red sandstone bricks with hand-painted murals on them, but have these advanced-technology, solar paneled roofs.”

About the author:

Elizabeth Richards

Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist, who spent her early career reviewing video games before making the bold (or crazy) move into travel writing, despite suffering from terrible travel sickness. In her spare time, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls, where she got to interview many of her favorite bands, go to gigs and                                                       basically blag loads of free swag all in the name of ‘research’.

Elizabeth lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with her husband. BLACK CITY is her debut novel. The sequel, PHOENIX, is out on June 4, 2013.

Fun facts about…Elizabeth Richards 

  • She’s an identical twin…and yes, she is the evil one.
  • She’s part sloth.
  • She hopes to see 10 volcanoes before she dies. She’s already climbed Vesuvius, had lunch on top of Mount Etna and watched Stromboli erupt at night.
  • She’s a little bit obsessed with Daniel Radcliffe.
  • Some of her favorite TV shows are Buffy, Being Erica, and Extreme Couponing.
  • Her favorite authors are JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Beth Revis, Stephen Fry, and Veronica Roth.



One paperback copy of Black City, One hardbound copy of Phoenix, and swag! Open INTERNATIONALLY. 🙂

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