Blog Tour- First We Were IV Guest Post and Giveaway

First We Were IV Tour Banner

I am so excited to be taking part in the Blog Tour for First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy run by Brittany’s Book Rambles. Today I’ve got Alexandra on the blog talking about First We Were IV and some truths and a lie! You figure out which is the lie.

But first about the book…

Book Info:

FIRST WE WERE IV - coverFirst We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy

Publication Date: July 25th, 2017

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Link: http://bit.ly/2lx6UyI

Buy Links: 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A group of friends start a secret society in this out-of-control thriller from the author of The Telling and The Creeping that examines the all-consuming love of lifelong friendship—and what someone is capable of when they’re afraid of losing it.

Izzie loves nothing more than her three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry, and the bond the four of them share. And she’s terrified of their friendship falling apart next year when they go off to college. To bind them together, she decides to create that will belong only to them, a special thing that they’ll always share between the four of them. And so they dream up the Order of IV, a secret society devoted to mischief that rights wrongs and pays back debts. At first, it works like a charm—but when the Order of IV’s escapades get recognition beyond their wildest expectations, other people start wanting in. And soon, what started as a game of friendship is spiraling into something dangerous and beyond their control—and before it’s over, they’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.

Author Bio:

Author Photo small sizeAlexandra Sirowy is the author of the young adult thrillers THE CREEPING, the Bram Stoker Award® Nominated THE TELLING, and the upcoming FIRST WE WERE IV. Alexandra attended a women’s college as an undergrad and received her graduate degree in International Studies. When she isn’t writing, she loves to travel, read, eat, and get into mischief. She lives with her husband in Northern California.

Guest Post

Hi, I’m Alexandra Sirowy author of the YA thriller FIRST WE WERE IV. There are best friends, confessions, lies, heroes, villains, and secret societies in my twisty new book.

The four protagonists of FIRST WE WERE IV are going to play a round of Two Truths and a Lie for you. They’ll each introduce themselves and then share three secrets – two truths and one lie. And they dare you to try and figure out which is which. Added bonus: email me (Alexandra.sirowy@gmail.com) with all four lies (one from each character) and I’ll send you FIRST WE WERE IV temporary tattoos, plus a signed bookplate.

Happy lie-hunting!

Hi! My name’s Izzie – Isadora Anne Pendleton. You could probably say that there’s nothing more important to me than my three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry. We’ve had adventures before but this fall, we’re topping everything. We’re going to leave our mark on Seven Hills. No one’s going to forget us or think of us as those four outcasts or losers ever again. And better yet, we’re going to bring justice to Seven Hills.

  1. I’m the mastermind of the Order of IV, a secret society my three best friends and I started so we’d have something in common to keep us close when we all move away for different colleges next year. If it was all by idea, I guess everything that went wrong, is sort of my fault.
  1. I found the girl’s body five years ago on the big rock behind Viv’s apple orchard. I’m the one who climbed up to see why the vultures were circling while Viv waited down below. I saw what had happened to the girl…how she’d been I plan to use the Order of IV to help her get justice.
  2. I know Graham, Harry, and Viv as well as I know myself. What I mean is, we don’t have secrets from each other.

Hey, guys! I’m Harry Rocha, writer for the Seven Hills High School news blog, big brother to Simon, and on the hunt for my perfect song. You should see my room – records stacked against the baseboards, covering my desk, filling my book shelves.

  1. When Izzie said we should start a secret society, I thought hell yeah, anything to keep us all talking after graduation. I’m the only one who might end up with the broke-as-a-joke version of college next year, stuck living at home and going to community. I don’t want my friends to forget about me.
  2. I wouldn’t say I’ve been bullied. I mean, sure, Conner Welsh has been on my case since my family moved to Seven Hills in middle school. We live in one of Conner’s dad’s rentals. It’s just normal high school crap, though. He’ll get his someday, but I won’t be the one giving it to him because I’m trying to be the hero of my own story.
  3. There’s this one girl I’m into. She always makes me laugh. But going for it might change everything.

Hello, my little darlings! I’m Vivian Marlo, but you can call me Viv. You probably saw me in last year’s Seven Hills High School production of The Scarlett Letter. I love sinking my teeth into a really juicy starring role – I was born for drama. And to be Izzie’s best friend. She’s my ride-or-die girl.

  1. The instant Izzie said secret society, I was in. Secret societies have rituals and initiations. I’m in charge of our ceremonial holiday and it’s going to be epic. I’ve heard there are rumors going around school about what we’re up to – others want in.
  2. Secret societies have got to have rules. Ours: Never lie. Never tell. Always love each other. And I never broke one, not even for an instant.
  3. Amanda Schultz has been my nemesis since forever. I don’t know what her issue is – probably jealous that I always get better roles than her. I want to say that I’d never use our invention, the Order of IV, to get even with Amanda, but that would be a lie.

Pleased to meet you. I’m Graham Averbach III, best friend of Izzie since she helped me get away with the infamous cookie heist of Seven Hills Community Pre-School. My mom’s an anthropologist – an expert in dead civilizations. Our attic is crammed full of creepy artifacts. Good inspiration for the Order of IV.

  1. Izzie’s probably told you that the Order of IV was all her idea. Maybe it was mostly, but I like to think that without all our adventures, all our competitions to see who’s braver, she never would have had the guts to go through with it. Then again, neither would I.
  2. I think most people like their heroes to be a little unlikable. More relatable.
  3. One of us does not survive this story.

XO

The Order of IV

Tour Schedule: 

Week 1

July 10:  Bookish Lifestyles- Review and Tote Design
July 11 Brittany’s Book Rambles – Guest Post
July 12 Emily Reads Everything – Review
July 13   Biscotto’s Books – Moodboard
July 14 Forever Lost in Literature – Review

Week 2
July 17 My Friends Are Fiction – Guest Post
July 18 Literary Legionnaire – Review
July 19 The Reader and the Chef – Review
July 20:  Novel Novice – Guest Post
July 21:  Dark Faerie Tales – Interview

Week 3
July 24:  YA and Wine – Review + Guest Post
July 25 YA Book Central – Spotlight
July 26 Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Review
July 27:  A Perfection Called Books – Guest Post

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

1 signed hard cover copy of FIRST WE WERE IV

Fujuifilm instax mini 9 Polaroid camera in smoky white (& film) like the one in the book!
Strand of gold stars

FIRST WE WERE IV swag (temporary tattoos & bookmarks)

Evie Seo Designed Tote Bag

Embeded code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

FIRST WE WERE IV Review Tour Assets – myfriendsarefiction@gmail.com – Gmail

FTC disclaimer: US entires only. No purchase necessary to enter, giveaway items provided by Alexandra Sirowy.

Info about Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton- the finale of Rebel of the Sands

RebeloftheSands TraitortotheThrone
I was completely swept away with Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel of the Sands and Traitor to the Throne. I can no wait for the final book, Hero at the Fall! And that title! I have a bit about the upcoming book from Alwyn herself!

Book Description

The breathless finale to the New York Times bestselling Rebel of the Sands series will have you on the edge of your seat until the dust from the final battle clears!
When gunslinging Amani Al’Hiza escaped her dead-end town, she never imagined she’d join a revolution, let alone lead one. But after the bloodthirsty Sultan of Miraji imprisoned the Rebel Prince Ahmed in the mythical city of Eremot, she doesn’t have a choice. Armed with only her revolver, her wits, and her untameable Demdji powers, Amani must rally her skeleton crew of rebels for a rescue mission through the unforgiving desert to a place that, according to maps, doesn’t exist. As she watches those she loves most lay their lives on the line against ghouls and enemy soldiers, Amani questions whether she can be the leader they need or if she is leading them all to their deaths.

About Hero at the Fall from author Alwyn Hamilton

The rebellion has been betrayed. The Rebel Prince has been captured. And the remnants of the rebellion lie in hands more used to shooting a gun than managing an army: The Blue Eyed Bandit’s. Amani, to those who know her as the girl instead of the legend.

With the Sultan ruthlessly reclaiming the desert with his inhuman army, only a few know that the Rebel Prince is still alive, imprisoned. And if there’s any hope of resurrecting the country’s failing faith in the rebellion, Amani, Jin and their few remaining allies will have to rescue him from a prison deep in the mountains. A place which, until now, Amani thought was a only myth.

Now Amani must return to where she came from, confronting towering walls of fire, dangerous foreign armies, and legendary tricksters. Heading quickly down a road which Amani knows ends in an all out war, and her finding out just how much she can bring herself to sacrifice to save her whole country.

Be sure to add Hero at the Fall to your Goodreads! Click here to add it.

Author Bio:

AHamiltonAlwyn Hamilton was born in Toronto and lived between Canada, France, and Italy until the was three, when her family settled in the small French town of Beaune. She studied History of Art at King’s College, Cambridge, graduated in 2009, and lives in London.

Review of Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

onceandforallOnce and for All
By: Sarah Dessen
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

My Rating
star

Summary:
As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

My Thoughts:
I haven’t read many contemporary novels and this was my first Sarah Dessen book! It was such a fun read and a really wonderful break from my usual fantasty/science fiction. This novel was fast paced, heart felt and really adorable.

I’m not a huge wedding type person- I’m a rare soul that doesn’t like attending them, didn’t really want my own and I’m just not all crazy for the entire thing. But, regardless of my none obsession with weddings this book had me early on. I loved the humor and Louna was so easy to read about. I was impressed with the depth of the characters early on and how much back story we learned.

The weddings we see in this book were actually so much fun and the entire atmosphere of the book was overall uplifting although there was some aspects that were heavy. The novel jumps back and forth from Louna’s past to present day. She has a very emotional past and first love. These bits were very well done and had me so immersed.

The characters had great chemistry and I loved the relationships we get glimpses of. I of course loved watching Louna grow to appreciate the cocky, flirtatious Ambrose. I thought they really brought out some great things about one another and their dialog was often very funny.

Where the book sort of lost me was in the ending. Things felt rushed to me and the last few chapters felt a bit disjointed and not nearly as developed as the rest of the book.

Final Thoughts:
I think fans of contemporary fiction will really enjoy this read especially if they want to see a bit more about what goes into wedding planning. I will try another Dessen novel in the future and I’m happy that I read this one.

Review of Want by Cindy Pon

wantcoverWant
By: Cindy Pon
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: Print ARC
Source: Convention

My Rating:
star

Summary:
From critically acclaimed author Cindy Pon comes an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller, set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, about a group of teens who risk everything to save their city.

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?

My Thoughts
Want was my first book to read by Cindy Pon and it was a really wonderful and unique read. I loved that the setting was futuristic Taipei and that the world has been ravaged by pollution. This doesn’t seem all that off base to a possible future for our world so it was easy to relate. The story was fast paced and played on some sort of typical futuristic tropes such as an evil business but it felt fresh and I easily became attached to the cast of characters.

Zhou was the main character and I enjoyed learning about his history and watching him navigate his world and that of the wealthy. The idea that social classes would be divided by the ability to wear suits that protect them from disease seemed all too plausible. The reader can’t help but compare aspects of Jason Zhou’s world with our own which really gave heart to this book and increased the level of intensity.

Though there are a lot of action and it does have the feel of a heist book/movie there was ample character development and relationships. I thought the characters had great chemistry and I was worried for them all.

Pon did a brilliant job putting the reader in her setting- she vividly created the atmosphere with descriptions of the setting, foods and people. It was so easy to imagine everything- even the special suits. Nothing about this read felt unreachable- though this would be classified science fiction it really didn’t lose me in technical talk like some Sci-Fi’s do. I can so imagine this as a movie and it reads like you are watching one.

Final Thoughts:
In Want-Cindy Pon introduces her readers to a beautifully rendered futuristic Taipei which feels incredibly realistic. The characters are very well developed and easy to love. The action kept me flipping the pages and fretting about the outcome.

 

Review of Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

DaughteroftheBurningCityDaughter of the Burning City
By: Amanda Foody
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Print ARC
Source: Convention

My Rating:
star

Summary:
A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

My Thoughts:
I went into reading Daughter of the Burning City with no real knowledge of what it would be about. I have this habit of not bothering to read the summary prior to reading. The cover and title were enough to sell me on this one and it ended up that I loved the storyline and felt this was a very original story with wonderfully unique characters set in a living, moving festival.

We follow the story from Sorina’s point of view. The book was written in first person (my fave) so we see her world and the Gomorrah Festival from her eyes. Sorina was a very likeable main character and I could easily relate to the dedication she felt to her family and role in the festival. I appreciated how determined she was to protect those she loves. I loved that she fought through her own fear and insecurity to push herself to help others and work to finding the killer. Her magical ability- to create illusions- was beautifully written and executed. I loved that she had a very unique characteristic about her (which you’ll have to read the book to find out about).

The way magical abilities were approached in general was really wonderful. I loved that we got to see a range of jinx/spell types. The festival itself and Gomorrah- whish was an always moving city- was a character all itself. I loved all the different aspects and people populating this world. It was fascinating. You have so many unusual characters and each area of the city (upworld, downworld, etc) was described beautifully. I could really visualize the people and places. The world outside of Gomorrah was much foggier though. We really didn’t have a full knowledge of the outer happenings of the world but it worked for me since, to me, it felt that we had about the same knowledge as Sorina. Any details we get of that world outside of Gomorrah was as Sorina learned about it.

As the summary says- there was a forbidden romance. I shipped it very much and really loved the chemistry the characters had with one another. Luca was such an incredibly loveable character! I only wish there was a novella from his point of view. His magical ability was so gruesome and wonderfully morbid. That’s the thing with this book- Sorina had a really innocent, almost sweetness about her, but there are aspects of the book that are really dark.

This book never felt like an overly heavy read even though some of it was a bit on the sad, darker side. I did find the pacing to be slower (I’d say more on par with Laini Taylor’s work) but I think that was also me savoring the writing and world. I looked forward each night to picking this book up to read (always a great sign).

Final Thoughts:
Daughter of the Burning City was a beautifully constructed story full of original characters, magic, love and dedication to family.

DotBC