[Author Interview + Giveaway] One Tiny Lie Feature Tour with K.A. Tucker

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One Tiny Lie (Ten Tiny Breaths, #2)
Title: One Tiny Lie (Ten Tiny Breaths #2)
Author: K.A. Tucker
Release Date: Janaury 14, 2014
Published by: Atria Books
Livie has always been the stable one of the two Cleary sisters, handling her parents' tragic death and Kacey's self-destructive phase with strength and maturity. But underneath that exterior is a little girl hanging onto the last words her father ever spoke to her. “Make me proud,” he had said. She promised she would...and she’s done her best over the past seven years with every choice, with every word, with every action.

Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she’s dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes, set herself up for medical school, and meet a good, respectable guy that she’s going to someday marry. What isn’t part of her plan are Jell-O shots, a lovable, party animal roommate she can’t say ‘no’ to, and Ashton, the gorgeous captain of the men’s rowing team. Definitely him. He’s an arrogant ass who makes Livie’s usually non-existent temper flare and everything she doesn’t want in a guy. Worse, he’s best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fits Livie’s criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?

As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn’t have, she’s forced to let go of her last promise to her father and, with it, the only identity that she knows.
In line with the paperback release of One Tiny Lie, I have K.A. on the blog today for a short interview:

Can you please take us through your writing process? 
I've tried everything from outlining to just writing and I find that my ideal process varies for each project but generally lands somewhere in between (closer to the "just writing" side of the scale).  I spend an excessively long time on the first three chapters, as getting the beginning of a story right makes all the difference. I write linearly, meaning I don't write chunks from all over the book and paste them together. Inevitably, as I get further into the book and plot, I realize how many things I need to change in the first half. When I start dwelling on those, I stop and go back. It's a mental thing. I need to see the right story progression before I can finish a book. Even if I know what must be changed, I get to a point where I just can't continue until I fix it.
Where did you get the idea for the Ten Tiny Breaths series?
The  idea for the first book just kind of hit me (I know people who have been involved in drunk driving incidents). I didn't see the entire story for what it was at the time; I just knew I wanted to paint a picture of how dangerous and life-altering drinking and driving could be.
 While writing Ten Tiny Breaths, did you ever think that you would be writing an entire series?
 LOL NO! I didn't realize how much people would love all of the other characters from the series until after TTB was released and the reviews started coming out.
What can your readers expect from One Tiny Lie? 
ONE TINY LIE is different from TEN TINY BREATHS. It's set three years after TTB, and it's told in Livie's voice (which is very different from Kacey's voice) as she goes through the growing pains of learning that the life she mapped out for herself isn't the one she truly wants.
And finally, just for fun, what would you consider to be your guilty pleasures? :)
Chick-fil-A breakfast combos, bakeries, and reruns of Two-and-a-Half Men (the old ones, with Charlie Sheen)
Thank you for hosting me! xo ~ K.A. Tucker
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

The Chaos of Stars
Title: The Chaos of Stars
Author: Kiersten White
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Published by: HarperTeen
Source: Finished Copy from the Publisher
Amazon | The Book Depository
Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

As familiar as I am with Greek and Roman mythology, I know absolutely nothing about Egyptian mythology. And when I say absolutely nothing, I do mean exactly that. I don't even know who the gods and goddesses are, I most definitely have no idea about their character traits, and the stories themselves are not the least bit familiar. So yeah, believe me when I say that I am in no way being modest of my knowledge of Egyptian mythology.  I honest to goodness had no idea what I was getting myself into when I picked up this book. While I was reading the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, there was always a hint of recognition whenever a new mythological being was introduced, but for this book... nada. And you know what? I liked the feeling. I liked the fact that I had no idea who the characters were. Simply put, I liked not knowing what to expect.

I consider The Chaos of Stars a refreshing read. As a whole, I feel like the book did a very good job of introducing Egyptian mythology to new readers and weaving the mythos into present day. While it was true that I didn't recognize any of the characters' names when I first read them, White wrote the book in such a way that readers would be aware of the more important stories of Egyptian mythology without distracting them from the main plot of the book. So again, I stress that even if this is your first time seeing all these names and whatnot, you have no reason to worry. You'll get to experience the mythology at a well thought out and balanced pace.

As much as I enjoyed the book's background and the story itself, I did have my fair share of misgivings with The Chaos of Stars. While not a particularly dark novel, it took me longer than usual to finish it, and I'd have to attribute this fact to the main character, Isadora. To be perfectly honest, Isadora is one heck of a difficult character to read about. I actually had to stop reading once every few chapters because I swear her negativity was just seeping into me! She was just so angry, so negative, and so eager to think the worst of anything and anyone all the time.

Let me be clear - I do get where she is coming from. I understand why Isadora hasn't let go of the pain and hurt, and why she is angry at her parents. I understand her disdain towards her filial background, and her desire to simply be Isadora, and not Isadora, the daughter of Isis. I understand her burning need to just go out and do something without the shadow of her ancestry looming at her every step. However, I can't and won't deny that eight times out of ten I found her completely unreasonable. Things would have been so much simpler if she just sat down and actually talked to her mother.

Then again, I supposed that every child has felt that he or she can't talk to his or her parents. Isadora has made that clear oh so many times, and I remember feeling that way a handful of times too. I remember feeling betrayed, and thinking that my parents can't possibly understand me whatever I do. I remember feeling completely alone, and yearning to just go somewhere far far away. So yes, while I most definitely didn't like Isadora for the most part, I can't find it in myself to hate her. Heck, sometimes, I even found myself relating to her! Moreover, I do appreciate the fact that White took the time to develop Isadora's character, and to ultimately allow her to mature. The character development wasn't instantaneous, but rather slow and subtle. Isadora at the end of the book as opposed to the beginning were almost completely two different people, and I can't wait to find out how this new Isadora will go forth her next adventures in the next books!

All in all, I did enjoy The Chaos of Stars. While I wish that the story itself was more fast-paced, I still believe that this take on mythology made for an entertaining read, as well as the budding relationship between Isadora and Ry. It's not insta-love (though it really seemed like that at first), and I just love how supportive and understanding Ry was of Isadora.  I'm not exactly sure what the next book in the series has in store for us, but hopefully, we get more of Ry's background, as well as scenes of Isadora (finally!) communicating with her parents!

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Stacking the Shelves [13]

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's a great way to show other people the books that you've bought or received for the past week.

I just realized that I neglected StS for the longest time, and as a result, most of the books I received for review have yet to be featured. I'll be playing catch up in the next few weeks just to make sure that everything's featured, and hopefully I'll be all caught by when February rolls along! 

(PS I suck at taking/editing photos. Sorry!)



(I received these books last November from Harper Collins International. Thank you, Megan!)


The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

 The Promise of Amazing
Title: The Promise of Amazing
Author: Robin Constantine
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Amazon | The Book Depository
Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

I've been trying to figure out how to write my review for The Promise of Amazing for some time now. If you were to ask me whether or not I enjoyed it, I'd immediately start to open my mouth to answer 'yes'... only to hesitate and mull over my answer some more. You see, overall I did like the book, but the thing is, there are just some facets and details that I wasn't just fond of, and ultimately, those are what stuck to me. Moreover, I guess I was expecting a bit too much from the book - the cover is all sorts of gorgeous, I absolutely loved the title, and blurb, for the lack of a better word, seemed promising. While I wouldn't say that The Promise of Amazing is a disappointing read, I wouldn't exactly say that it's something that I would come back to and read again.

As I have mentioned, there are parts of the book that I really liked, and one of those is how the MC, Wren, and the love interest, Grayson, met. Talk about original! It was something new, something extremely unique, and it also explained just why the two are so immediately attracted to one another. I also liked how relatable Wren was for the most part - here's a young woman who's worried about her future, and who's doing everything in her power to make sure that tomorrow will turn out okay. Here's someone who doesn't know who she is just yet, but is desperately trying to figure that out. And finally, I found the way she acted during her first few interactions with Grayson, and the way she just couldn't stop thinking about him, so endearing, and oh so familiar. She really felt like your ordinary teen.

While I do understand where the attraction came from (I'm pretty sure I won't be able to stop thinking about the person whose life I saved / the person who saved me), it was alarming how everything escalated so quickly. After their first interaction, here was Wren, smitten and crushing on Grayson (which is nothing out of the ordinary), but here was Grayson who was just convinced that Wren would change his life for the better, and that she was his savior from his horrible past. I was surprised at how adamant Grayson was that he was in love with Wren... when he didn't even know her! It also irked me that they were professing their love to each other so quickly after their first meeting and after just a few dates - nothing felt natural. Just a heads up, Grayson - you can't always rely on another person to save you. You have to help yourself first.

I'm a bit undecided with how I feel about Grayson. He really wanted to change, to move past everything that happened the previous years, and in turn, I wanted to root for him. However, Grayson never did something to actually change - he was so unapologetic about everything wrong that he did, and I couldn't quite get past that. He did nothing but mull about wanting to change... and nothing else! You have to work to get something you want - wanting can only get you so far. I did think that while the insta-love was annoying, Grayson did have his cute moments, and I won't deny that he cared for Wren in his own way. I still don't think that it was love, though.

I did like the plot twist - and I'm sure I'm not the only one. It's not a subject matter that I've ever seen in YA, and I was admittedly excited when I encountered it. Through her characters, I couldn't wait to find out how Constatine was going to handle the conflict that arose. This is where I ended up the most disappointed - everything was rushed; nothing was fleshed out. The resolution came so quickly, and next thing I knew, I was almost done with the novel. I truly felt like Constantine could have expounded more on how both Grayson and Wren handled Grayson's past, and in doing so, The Promise of Amazing could have been a stronger novel.

Also, I might be alone in this, but while Wren and Grasyon did indeed have a connection, I felt that Wren had more chemistry with Luke, someone from Grayson's past who's hell-bent on getting Grayson back on the road of sheer misdemeanor. Through very few interactions (and I do mean few - I can count them in one hand!), part of me was already wondering if perhaps this novel would have been better with Luke as a lead. Believe me when I say that his chemistry with Wren is just intense!

Overall, I liked The Promise of Amazing just enough. It had its fair share of moments that made me smile and be all giddy, and I finished it in no time. Fans of contemporaries would probably like this novel. Never once did I think that I would have to DNF it - Constantine's writing is strong for the most part, and I have no qualms in saying that I will be checking out all of her future releases. Also, I loved how the title was subtly inserted in the last few paragraphs of the novel!

Rating: 3.5 Stars

2014 Bookish Resolutions + My 10 Most Anticipated YA/NA Books of 2014

Hello folks, and happy, happy 2014! *throws confetti* I ended up taking a blogging break the past month (which I totally did not regret - I missed going out and catching up on sleep and all that), but now I'm back, and (hopefully) better than ever! If you had noticed, I wasn't able to post regularly the last few months of 2013, and that was because I was unable to manage my time effectively, and other factors contributed as well. Given that 2013 was already my second year of blogging, I pressured myself like you wouldn't believe (Have 6 posts up a week! Write a review for every book you read!) that I ended up tired, burnt out, and having no posts up at all. I couldn't even make myself pick up a book during long weekends! In turn, I stressed myself out because I had no posts scheduled, and that's when I realized that I have to change the way I view blogging. Without further ado, here's 5 bookish resolutions that would hopefully make 2014 a better year on the blog:
  • Schedule reviews/posts in advance
  • Read only books I want to read (Don't be afraid to DNF!) 
  • Only join blog tours that I really want to join (and I should stop joining every blog tour I find!)
  • Be consistent in having StS up every Saturday (This is going to be a challenge!)
  • Never forget why I blogged in the first place - to share my love of reading. Ultimately, that's what matters in the end.
Also, in no order whatsoever, here are 10 of my most anticipated reads of 2014:

What I Thought Was TrueWhat I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is..

The Geography of You and Me
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.
Being Sloane Jacobs Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.

Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.

When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.
 BreakableBreakable by Tammara Webber
He was lost and alone. Then he found her.
And the future seemed more fragile than ever.

As a child, Landon Lucas Maxfield believed his life was perfect and looked forward to a future filled with promise — until tragedy tore his family apart and made him doubt everything he ever believed.

All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met
Jacqueline Wallace, his desire to be everything she needed came so easy…

As easy as it could be for a man who learned that the soul is breakable and that everything you hoped for could be ripped away in a heartbeat.
Unhinged (Splintered, #2) Unhinged by A.G. Howard
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.
Evertrue (Everneath, #3) Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself... which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die.

Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?
The Merciless Merciless by Danielle Vega
Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.

Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.

Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . .

Maybe Someday Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
At twenty-two years old, aspiring musician Sydney Blake has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her good friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter cheating on her with Tori—and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor, Ridge Lawson. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the daily guitar playing he does out on his balcony. She can feel the harmony and vibrations in his music. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either: He seems to have finally found his muse. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…
We Were Liars We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before  
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved.

When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only.

Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.