January 29, 2015

Book Review: Winterkill by Kate A Boorman

Title:  Winerkill
Author: Kate A. Boorman

Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters. Living with the shame of her grandmother’s insubordination, Emmeline has learned to keep her head down and her quick tongue silent.

When the settlement leader asks for her hand in marriage, it’s an opportunity for Emmeline to wash the family slate clean—even if she has eyes for another. But before she’s forced into an impossible decision, her dreams urge her into the woods, where she uncovers a path she can’t help but follow. The trail leads to a secret that someone in the village will kill to protect. Her grandmother followed the same path and paid the price. If Emmeline isn’t careful, she will be next.

I really enjoyed this book! I started reading it on a Friday afternoon and had it finished by Saturday afternoon! It was the first time in a long time that I read a book that fast.  I first bought the book because the premise reminded me a little of the movie The Village (and the story has shades of it, but it's NOT The Village).  But what kept me reading was the mystery in it.  I needed to know what was going on and why and how!!

Emmeline is a great character.  She is flawed in many ways but still so strong.  She's flawed in the eyes of the community because of the sins of her grandmother.  They see Em as "stained" because her grandmother was wayward as they put it.  She sinned against the beliefs of the community so had to be punished.  But Em is also "flawed" because her foot was crushed when she was young so she walks with a limp now.  What I liked was that this injury was a part of her, but it never stopped her or slowed her down!  She was so strong and so stubborn that she pushed through anything to get what she wanted!  I loved that about her.  She was a main character I could cheer for!

Em is drawn to the woods - a dangerous thing because there are malmaci (creatures or spirits)  in the woods who could take her.  But yet she feels there are answers or things to discover in the woods that could help me.  I love that she is brave enough to listen to her heart and do what should scare her.  

There is some romance in the book for sure.  What I liked what that even though it was there I didn't feel it took over the plot.  It was part of the plot, but the mystery of the woods and what is happening far outweighed it in my mind.  It just added another level of tension to the story.

I really like how the book ended.  It felt final and whole and complete not like I had to wait to get the full story until the next book came out.  I guess, from looking at the author's website, that this is a trilogy, but honestly the way this books ends you could be content with it and not frustrated!

Couple of side notes - there is a lot of French in the story because they speak part English, part French.  That did take a bit to get use to, but it was fine.  And if you've read The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan you'll see a similar feel in parts of this story which was fine by me because I love that book.  

Final thought - Great read that kept me very much engrossed in it!


Best for:

January 27, 2015

Love, Lucy Release Day Blast +GIVEAWAY

I am so excited that LOVE, LUCY by April Lindner releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome guest post from the author in which she shares “Some Rules of the Road” for traveling abroad, as Lucy did in the book.

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful new book by Author April Linder, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blast also includes a giveaway for a copy of the book courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours and 3 signed JANE posters courtesy of the author. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


Author: April Lindner
Release date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 304
Formats: Hardcover, eBook


While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.


About April Lindner

April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, releasing January 27, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.

The Guest Post


Like Lucy Sommersworth, the heroine of Love, Lucy, my parents gave me the gift of a lifetime: a backpacking trip to Europe. I was a bit older than Lucy—22, and just out of college—but when I arrived in Milan, Italy with a Eurail pass, a copy of Let’s Go: Europe, and a seventy-pound backpack I could barely lift, I was a wee bit terrified. Like Lucy, I spoke only a little bit of Italian, just barely enough to get by, and I wasn’t particularly good at reading maps or train schedules. Unlike Lucy, I was travelling solo.

Luckily, my journey began with training wheels. I’d just taken a college Italian class, and my professor had offered a safe crash pad for the first few days of my trip—in her family home in the Alps. Less luckily, when I reached Malpensa airport, nobody was there to pick me up. Giddy with excitement and jet lag, I wandered around the airport, eavesdropping on Italians as they hugged each other hello and goodbye, and had noisy arguments. I’d never felt more alone in my life. Where would I sleep that night if my ride didn’t show up?

Luckily, my professor’s brother arrived at last to whisk me away to the family home in Domodossola. The extended family welcomed and fed me, gave me tours of their city with its charming medieval center, helped me practice my Italian, and, when the time was right, brought me to the train station where my solo travels began for real. It was time to take off the training wheels. 

If I’d felt alone back in the airport, I was even more so on that train to Verona, a city where I didn’t know a soul. In those pre-internet days, I could disappear into thin air and nobody would even notice I was gone. The thought was chilling, but oddly exciting.

By nightfall, I’d made it to Verona. I’d figured out the public transportation, found a youth hostel, and booked myself a bed. Best of all, I had introduced myself to a handful of other backpackers. We hung out together in the hostel’s common area, sharing bread and cheese, exchanging stories, discussing the rules of the road—those bits of practical wisdom our travels were teaching us. Here are a few.

Time passes differently on the road.  Spend a few very intense hours seeing the sites with strangers and by the end of the day, those strangers have become a part of your story. Years later you’ll see their faces in your photo album and still remember stray details of the adventures you shared together, even if you can’t quite recall their names. 

Spontaneity is key.  There are few things as magical as showing up at a train station with no idea where you’re headed next, picking a random train, and hopping on. 

Janis Joplin said it best: Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.  When you’re carrying all your possessions on your back in a city where you don’t know a soul, you’re absolutely free. You can go anywhere, do anything. That freedom has its lonely moments—but it can be the doorway to all kinds of adventures.

Embrace misadventure.  As carefully as you plan there will be crazy mistakes: wrong turns, slept-through train stops, multilingual misunderstandings, and all kinds of other blunders—and these will make the best stories. My misadventures are some of my favorite memories. The time I missed curfew and had to climb into my hostel through a second-story window. The morning when, hanging out my recently washed clothes to dry, I dropped my wet underthings out the window, onto a stranger’s head. The night when, with no room to stay in, I slept on Venice’s train station steps with about a hundred other backpackers, the stars above us and the Grand Canal stretched out before us.

Would I trade that last memory for a safe, comfy night in an actual bed?  Not on your life.

The Giveaway

There is a blast-wide giveaway, ending February 6th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific, for:

1 copy of LOVE, LUCY to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository – Int’l
3 JANE posters (signed) – US only

Enter in the Rafflecopter below...

January 26, 2015

Snap Shot Monday: Winterkill

On Mondays I just take a quick picture of the book I'm currently reading, will read next, or just finished.  It's my way to keep blogging simple!

Snap Shot
Winterkill by Kate A Boorman

First Line: Out here, I can feel the dead in the trees.  

January 25, 2015

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves was started by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews.

This is a fun meme were people share the books they got this week. I won't participate too often mainly because, for the time being, I'm challenging myself to only read books I own.

I do, though, still get books in the mail for review.  And that's what happened this week.

In the Mail - For Review

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (for a blog tour!)
Shutter by Courtney Alameda (spooky = yes!)
Stinky Cecil by Paige Braddock (already read!)

Pre-Ordered with Nook gift card because it was only like 4.99!

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver