Friday, July 27, 2018

Blog Tour: Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder...Review & Giveaway!


Wonderful new book to share with you today...
Title: LETTING GO OF GRAVITY
Author: Meg Leder
Pub. Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 432
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites.

Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful.

Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please.

Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved.

And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got leukemia. Parker didn’t.

But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going better for Parker. She’s landed a prestigious summer internship at the hospital and is headed to Harvard in the fall to study pediatric oncology—which is why the anxiety she’s felt since her Harvard acceptance is so unsettling. And it doesn’t help that her relationship with Charlie has been on the rocks since his diagnosis.

Enter Finn, a boy who’s been leaving strange graffiti messages all over town. Parker can’t stop thinking about those messages, or about Finn, who makes her feel free for the first time: free to doubt, free to make mistakes, and free to confront the truth that Parker has been hiding from for a long time.

That she keeps trying to save Charlie, when the person who really needs saving is herself. 

A gorgeous, sad, funny, and wise book about letting go and finding your place in the world. Meg Leder has written a story about a brother and sister that will break your heart and have you whispering 'I got you' long after you've closed the book." –Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces

“For readers who love and appreciate a good coming-of-age story, a realistic romance, and a novel where every character gets to be a hero.” –Kirkus

“A poignant and carefully crafted story….  A compelling coming-of-age novel sure to appeal to those who love realistic fiction.” –School Library Journal

“Effectively shows how illness affects families and how a person can get stuck acting out a persona and end up knowing very little about herself.” –Publishers Weekly

About Meg:
Meg Leder is the author of Letting Go of Gravity and The Museum of Heartbreak, and the coauthor of books including The Happy Book and The Book of Me. A former bookseller and teacher, she currently works as a book editor in New York City. She spends her free time reading, looking for street art, and people watching. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Tim Riggins.

Title: Letting Go of Gravity
Author: Meg Leder
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Blog Tour

Letting Go of Gravity was an unexpected surprise...I mean that in a good way, I promise. I was a little worried I’d be a sobbing mess by the end of the story after reading the blurb and considering the subject matter, but surprisingly I smiled as much as I cried reading this one, if not more.

The main focus of the story are fraternal twins Parker and Charlie, individuals who couldn’t be more different. A recent high school graduate, Parker is an introverted, people-pleaser who has her life planned out...a summer internship at the local Children’s Hospital and then on to Harvard where she hopes to study to become a pediatric oncologist. On the other hand, her twin brother Charlie is extroverted, outspoken and has no clue what the future holds as he has fallen a year behind in school thanks to a recent reoccurrence of leukemia. Parker’s carefully planned out summer doesn’t quite go as planned thanks to her changed relationship with Charlie and to renewed acquaintance Finn, a street artist who has been leaving cryptic graffiti messages all over town as well as a few discoveries she makes about herself.

This could have easily been a super heavy and emotional read, but there was still a lightness to it, if that makes sense. The characters of this story help with that as does Meg Leder’s way of telling us the story.

As for that story, it is told from the POV of Parker and Letting Go of Gravity is definitely Parker’s story so I understand why we only get her perspective, but to be honest I wouldn’t have minded getting Charlie’s perspective on a few things. There are occasions and interactions between the two early on where I could sense Charlie’s frustration at the situation and how people treat him, yet Parker seems oblivious to it. But I wonder if that is how it is in real life sometimes...that we are sometimes too close to a situation to actually see what is really happening or what we are doing or saying, but a third party can easily see it. I admit this made me frustrated with Parker, but it also added a realness to the story.

Parker definitely grows as the story progresses and she begins to learn more about herself, what she truly wants out of life, and what makes her happy. She begins to see past events and current situations in a new light. It’s a fascinating journey of self-discovery and I enjoyed how real it felt. It doesn’t happen overnight, but is more gradual lending a believability to the whole situation and to everything that occurs. It’s the little things that lead Parker to see the bigger picture. Leder does a fantastic job at showing how a character can grow and change as a result of self-discovery and reflection.

There are several other relationships and characters in the story that also help shape and affect Parker and her choices. From Finn to Ruby to Carla to Alice and many more, Meg Leder has done a fabulous job with each of these characters and relationships as each has an important role to play in Parker’s story even if it’s not apparent to Parker or the readers at first. I liked how each made her see things and question things in a way no one else had before. She was already on her way, but each gave her that extra nudge by providing an outsider’s perspective. Parker’s interactions and relationships with other characters were wonderful additions to an already enjoyable story. Oh, and I really loved Finn, by the way...even little Finn, who we meet in a flashback/memory.

Now, I feel I can’t let this review end without commenting on Charlie’s cancer as it is a big part of the book. As someone whose family has been affected by leukemia as well as other types of cancer, I feel that Meg Leder did a lovely job of showing how it affects an entire family in ways that aren’t always obvious. I’m paraphrasing (and badly at that), but there’s a beautiful passage in the book that likens cancer to a river moving through a family. You don’t notice it at the time, but your family is forever changed. Just like a river changes the terrain as it flows, wearing away at its banks and forever changing them, cancer changes a family and there’s no going back to who you were before. This is so true and now I must stop or I will be a sobbing mess, but this passage just stuck with me and I wanted to point it out.

Overall, I found Letting Go of Gravity to be a wonderful and touching story about relationships, growing up, and discovering yourself.


*I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*


Giveaway Details:

3 winners will win a finished copy of LETTING GO OF GRAVITY, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
7/23/2018- A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt
7/24/2018- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
7/25/2018- The Pages In-BetweenReview
7/26/2018- 100 Pages A DayReview
7/27/2018- Never Too Many To ReadReview

Week Two:
7/30/2018- Book Princess ReviewsReview
7/31/2018- Nicole's Novel ReadsInterview
8/1/2018- The Reading Corner for AllReview
8/2/2018- Do You Dog-ear?Review
8/3/2018- BookHounds YAInterview


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Book Spotlight: Copycat by Hannah Jayne...Excerpt & Giveaway!


Hannah Jayne is one of my go-to authors when I’m in the mood for a good thriller and I am so pleased to be able to tell you about her latest release from Sourcebooks Fire, Copycat!
Title: Copycat
Author: Hannah Jayne
ISBN: 9781492647393
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Praise for Copycat:
“A twisty rollercoaster ride that mixes fiction with reality and truth with misconceptions...lovers of mysteries will certainly enjoy this fast-paced page turner.” —Library Media Connection

Summary:
From the author of The Escape, Twisted, and Truly, Madly, Deadly comes a chilling new thriller that asks: what happens if your real life became stranger and deadlier than fiction?

Everyone is dying to read the latest book in the popular Gap Lake mystery series, and Addison is no exception. As the novels biggest fan, she’s thrilled when the infamously reclusive author, R.J. Rosen, contacts her, giving her inside information others would kill for.

Addison’s always dreamed of what it would be like if the books were real…. But then she finds the most popular girl in school dead. Murdered. And realizes that life imitating fiction is more dangerous that she could have imagined. As other terrifying events from the books start happening around her, Addison has to figure out how to write her own ending—and survive the story.

Hannah Jayne decided to be an author in the second grade. She couldn’t spell and had terrible ideas, but she kept at it. Many (many) years—and nearly twenty books—later, she gets to live her dream and mainly does it in her pajamas. She lives with her rock-star husband, baby daughter, and their three overweight cats in the San Francisco Bay area. She is always on the lookout for a juicy mystery, an exciting story, or a great adventure.

One

There was something inordinately creepy about being at school after dark. The place was deserted—­the benches and picnic tables in the quad looked ominous and foreboding under the flickering yellow lights. Crystal Lanier shivered and pulled her jacket tighter against an imaginary chill. The weather was mild at Gap Lake in September; the days still sunbaked, the nights, like this one, a gentle mix of fading summer and impending fall. But the bare bones of the deserted campus had put a chill in the air, and shot a blast of cold right through Crystal.

“I’m creeping myself out,” she muttered shifting her books from one arm to the other.

A wisp of wind cut through the quad. Crystal was almost sure she heard someone laughing—­a weak, choked giggle, like someone was trying to swallow it down.

“Hello?”

She spun, her long black hair fanning over her shoulders. “Is someone there?” She knew she sounded like every horror movie victim ever, and her heart hammered in her throat as her skin prickled with beads of sweat.

This was Gap Lake, she reminded herself. It was a tiny town where everyone knew everyone else, and nothing bad ever happened. She was thinking that when the shadow approached. When he reached out for her long black hair. She was thinking what a nice, safe place Gap Lake was when he clamped a hand over her mouth. When he strangled her scream and drove the needle straight into her throat.

***
“Addison!”

Addison glanced up and blinked, feeling redness stain her cheeks and ears. She closed the book slowly, looking around at the two dozen sets of eyes staring back at her.

“I’m sorry.”

Mrs. Lea took two steps forward and held out her hand. Addison cleared her throat and shifted in her seat.

“The book, Addison.”

Reluctantly, Addison handed over the dog-­eared book.

“Can I get it back after class, please?” she asked, her voice meek.

***

Maya Garcia hiked her backpack over her shoulders and stepped into the junior hallway. “Okay, how many times has Mrs. Lea taken that thing from you?”

Addison shrugged, falling into step with her best friend. “Let’s see, I’ve read it about fifty-­seven times so…fifty-­six?”

“You are the biggest, nerdiest R. J. Rosen fan ever.”

“Hey, I’m president of his fan club. It’s mainly research.”

Maya shook her head sadly. “It’s borderline obsessive.”

“Who you calling borderline?” Addison flashed a wide grin. “It’s not entirely my fault. Rosen needs to write faster. If he could keep up with the public’s rabid love for the Gap Lake mysteries, I wouldn’t need to constantly reread—­”

“And reread and reread. And write massive amounts of fan fiction.”

Addison rolled her eyes.

“Don’t get me wrong, Adds. I love the books too, but you’re a teenager. You need a more destructive hobby to fit in.”

Addison nodded sagely. “I see where you’re coming from. What do you suggest?”

“Drinking, drugs, reckless driving.”

“First of all, to drive recklessly, I’d have to drive, which I will not. And as for the other stuff, what am I? A stereotype?”

Maya narrowed her eyes, crossed her arms in front of her chest. “I feel like you’re not taking me seriously.”

Addison stopped at locker 221 and spun the lock, pulling open the metal door. “I like to read. So what?”

Maya yanked a handful of books out of Addison’s locker before dumping them back in again. “So, you should shelve a few hundred of these books and live in the here and now with the rest of us who have boyfriends who don’t live only on paper.”

“Number one, have you read the first Gap Lake book? Not only is Crystal’s boyfriend, Declan Levy, not a one-­dimensional paper product, he may or may not be responsible for her murder—­I vote not. But if that doesn’t make a rounded character, I don’t know what does.”

“Character,” Maya enunciated. “That’s the magic word. A character is not a real person.”

“And speaking of not real people, who’s this boyfriend of yours you seem to be referring to?”

A fierce blush crept across Maya’s olive cheeks. “I didn’t say that I had a boyfriend. But there are possibilities. Men in the wings. Plans afoot and so forth and…stuff.”

“‘Plans afoot’? ‘So forth and stuff’? Who are you?”

Maya put her hands on her hips. “I’m your best friend, Addie. Remember me? I’m not a mystery novel, but I’m pretty damn fantastic if I say so myself.”

Addie pulled the book back. She gave it a quick kiss, before stashing the book in her backpack.
Maya gaped. “Did you just kiss a book? Seriously?”

“It’s my lifeblood.”

Maya cocked an eyebrow and Addie shrugged.

“Okay, so it’s research.”

“Tell me you still want to be a writer and haven’t decided on serial killing as a career goal.”

“According to my father, the latter pays better.”

“How is the wolf of Wall Street?”

Addie blew out a sigh. “Buying low, selling high, still wishing his disappointing daughter had a penis or a power tie.”

“Well, I know what to get you for Christmas.” Maya stopped dead in her tracks. “Don’t look, but you’re being ogled. Possibly even being fantasized about in weird and uber-­sexual ways.”

Addie immediately crossed her arms in front of her chest. “Now I feel skeevy.”

“I’d pay a thousand bucks if Spencer Cohen was staring at me that way.”

Addie shrugged, trying to play it off like she didn’t care. “You need a life.”

Maya groaned and shook Addie’s arm. “And you need two feet in reality or you’re going to prom with a cardboard cutout.”

“If it’s a cardboard cutout of Declan Levy, sign me up.”

“So you are into serial killers.”

“Declan didn’t do it!”

Maya rolled her eyes. “Declan totally did it. He killed Crystal, then did Andy and Rhodes. It’s textbook. I know because I am the daughter of cops, times two.” She held up two fingers a half inch from Addie’s nose. “He had motive, opportunity—­all those other CSI words.”

“That’s what the author wants you to think. And you totally fell for it! You are so R. J. Rosen’s target audience!”

“And you’re his secret side chick.”

Addie snorted. “I prefer biggest fan.”

“Well, it seems like Spencer Cohen is your biggest fan, and he’s coming over here.”

“Hey, Addie.” Spencer grinned, one of those three-­point grins that hit his dark-brown eyes, chin dimple, and Crest-­white smile.

I’m not in love with Spencer, she told herself. Infatuation. Puppy love, maybe. He’s just so cute…
“Hey, Spencer.”

Maya stepped forward. “Addie was just telling me how much she loves water polo. And dancing.”
Addie blinked. “I was?”

“I play water polo.” Spencer brightened and Addie gritted her teeth. She had been to nearly every one of his matches. True, she was usually up on the last bleacher with her nose in a book, but she watched whenever Spencer was in the pool. He never even noticed her.

“Yeah,” she said with a slow nod. “I’ve seen. I mean I know. I know because I’ve seen you. Not in a weird way, like in a fan way. Not, like, a weird mega fan or anything but, like, a Hornets fan. You know.” Addie fisted her hand and punched at the air. “Go team!”

Maya threaded her arm though Addie’s and gave it a yank. “We have to go.”

“Why did you do that?” Addie hissed once they were out of earshot. “Spencer and I were having a conversation.”

“Have you ever heard the term dead in the water? Because that’s what you were. ‘Go team’?” She shook her head sadly.

“Did I sound that bad?”

“Yes, yes you did.”

Addie sighed. “See? That’s why I should stick to guys on paper.”

“Oh honey,” Maya slid an arm over Addie’s shoulders. “At this point I don’t even think your book boyfriend would talk to you.”
Prize: 2 Copies of Copycat
Runs July 3rd - 31st  (US & Canada only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 9, 2018

Blog Tour: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager...My Favorite Types of Thrillers plus a Giveaway!


Thrilled to be able to tell you about Riley Sager’s latest release, The Last Time I Lied!
Keep reading to learn more about the book, the author, and to find out some of my favorite types of thrillers...plus there’s an awesome giveaway!
The Last Time I Lied
Publisher: Dutton Press
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Synopsis:

Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she--or anyone--saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings--massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it's immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp's twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

Riley Sager is the pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer who previously published mysteries under his real name. 

Now a full-time author, Riley's first thriller, FINAL GIRLS, became a national and international bestseller and was called "the first great thriller of 2017" by Stephen King. Translation rights have been sold in more than two dozen countries and a film version is being developed by Universal Pictures. 

Riley's next book, THE LAST TIME I LIED, will be published in July. It was inspired by the classic novel and film "Picnic at Hanging Rock" and one horrible week Riley spent at summer camp when he was ten.

A native of Pennsylvania, Riley now lives in Princeton, New Jersey. When he's not working on his next novel, he enjoys reading, cooking and going to the movies as much as possible. His favorite film is "Rear Window." Or maybe "Jaws." But probably, if he's being honest, "Mary Poppins."

The Last Time I Lied is a fabulous thriller filled with suspense, mystery, and everything I love about the genre. I am huge fan of suspenseful thrillers. Give me plot twists, red herrings, mysteries, and more and I am one happy camper (no pun intended considering what The Last Time I Lied is about, I promise...even though I love a good pun).

There are several types or subgenres that fall under the thriller category and many of them overlap. But I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you. 

So in no particular order here are 10 of my favorite types of thrillers...

1. Serial Killer
In this type of thriller, you have multiple deaths that are connected and usually someone (perhaps the main character) trying to catch the killer or the main character/narrator may even turn out to be the killer! You never know and you never know who might die next. There are so many ways to go with this theme and so many types of books, movies, and TV shows that use it in a variety of ways.

2. Stalkers
In this type, a character either knows or maybe they don’t know that someone is watching their every move. Perhaps they get threatening letters or people close to them begin to be hurt or killed. There are so many ways this can go. The author or filmmaker may choose to reveal the stalker’s identity and his or her motives or keep it a secret just to keep readers guessing.

3. Criminal 
So technically the first two and a few of the others could fall under this category, but this one is for all of the other types of crimes that can occur in a thriller or suspense. Kidnapping, bombing, heists, robberies, serial rapists or attackers, etc. Like the others you may know who the guilty party is or you may be kept in the dark like the protagonist.  Or who knows? The twist might be the protagonist is the guilty one all along!

4. Classic Whodunnit 
By this I’m talking a good old-fashioned mystery such as an Agatha Christie novel or maybe a book featuring the beloved Sherlock Holmes. Or any written in that vein, Just a simple or not-so-simple mystery where something happens and someone solves it by the end of the story using clues throughout the story. There are plenty of red herrings, plot twists, and just when you think you know whodunnit you begin to question yourself. These are the type I grew up reading and are so much fun for me.

5. Race the Clock
This is pretty much any thriller, but I’ve gave it its own category because sometimes the stakes are higher in one suspense than in another and in these the stakes are raised immensely. By “race the clock,” I mean when you have to do something such as find a victim, deactivate a bomb, find a cure, locate a killer, etc. before it’s too late. You are in a time crunch.

6. Medical
These are some of my favorites...especially movies. In medical thrillers, there’s usually a sick patient or a virus that is quickly spreading or some medical mystery that the protagonist must figure out how to cure before it’s too late.

7. Historical 
I love historical novels, but historical mysteries and thrillers have recently some of my favorites to read. They typically feature a protagonist who must solve a case or help capture a killer before he or she takes another victim. They fascinate because they don’t always have the forensic knowledge that we have today so it makes it even more complicated for them and interesting for me to see them solve it.

8. Romance
Romantic thrillers typically involve the protagonist falling in love with either someone involved in or related to the main case of the story. For example, it could be a witness falling for their protector, a victim who has given them information to help solve the case falling for a detective, or two victims finding love with each other. There are many ways to write a romantic suspense thriller.

9. Technological 
In this type of thriller, the case involves technology (well, obviously, Jennifer, that was in the header). Okay, by that I mean computer, cell phones, recording devices, etc. it could be anything from cyber stalking to identity theft, computer viruses to hacking. Anything is possible and everyone’s a suspect because everyone uses technology. There are so many scary possibilities.

10. Legal
These typically involve courtroom cases (think John Grisham) with something happening outside the courtroom that could affect the case or the verdict. Our protagonist is usually trying to prevent this from happening, but you never know if he or she will prevail.

So, there you have it...10 types of thrillers that I enjoy. There are many more, but I stopped myself at ten. As you can see, many of the subgenres of the Thriller genre do overlap, but that is what makes it fascinating to me. There are so many different things happening in a good suspenseful thriller, and The Last Time I Lied is definitely one of the best I’ve read in awhile so I hope you’ll check it out.

Look below to see how you can win a copy!
Dutton Press was kind enough to provide a prize for each stop on the Blog Tour. 
So one winner will be chosen at each stop.
You can enter at each stop, but winners may only be chosen ONCE for the tour, meaning each person can only win from one blog and if they win on another blog they are to turn it down or be disqualified completely.
US/Canada Only

So what’s the prize you ask?
Prize: 1 finished copy of The Last Time I Lied

Here’s how to enter for my stop’s giveaway:
I’m giving you 3 ways to enter.

1. Leave a comment below.
2. Follow me on Twitter (@2many2read) & retweet this tweet.
3. Follow me on Instagram (@2many2read) & leave a comment on the picture of the book tagging a friend who might be interested in this book.

You can do one or you can do two or you can do all three! It’s up to you!
Each entry gives you a chance to win so that’s up to 3 chances!!!

Winner will be chosen from all qualified entries 7/16

So, when was the last time you lied?

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour!