Feb 28, 2016

The New Authors On The Block: Character Interview from These Vicious Masks + Giveaway


Welcome to the Fourth (and final) week of the February edition of The New Authors on The Block! Last week we introduced Kelly and Tarun the authors of These Vicious Masks!  

This week it is time for a CHARACTER INTERVIEW!

~~~

Describe a real OR fictional kiss with Evelyn:


Sebastian Braddock (SB): Uh, I'm not at all sure what you are referring to, I have nev-

Nicholas Kent (NK): WELL: We're under a lamplight– a new electric one, not those old gas ones, mind you–and the light is glinting off our hair, ever so fetchingly. Miss Wyndham looks up at me with limpid eyes -

SB: ...and you think I’m full of cliches–

NK: Limpid eyes, her lip trembles slightly, drawing my attention to the curves of her mouth, the space between her ever-so-slightly parted lips -

SB: This is... indecent.

NK: The most fetching blush alights on the apples of her cheeks, glowing almost incandescently under the light–

SB: –are you quite finished?

NK: Never. A lock of her beautiful, chocolate hair falls in front of her eye and I raise my hand to sweep it back. Our eyes meet as I push back the strand, but my hand stills on her neck. Our mouths have only a whisper's breadth between them, now. "Nicholas," she breathes, almost all air and no sound. I acquiescence and brush my lips upon hers. Slowly the pressure deepens, until, mindful of her innocence, I pull back to see her chocolate eyes–

SB: You already called her hair "chocolate"

NK: To see her coffee-brown eyes reflecting back my own desire.

SB: ...

NK: ...

SB: That’s not what it’s like at all.

NK: WHAT?


What exactly is Saltation?


SB: Saltation is theory asserted by Dr. Beck–

NK: A seasoning.

SB: Pardon me?

NK: It’s a type of salt that’s unique to the Orient. I hear it’s an essential part of most Chinese cuisine–

SB: ... you can’t simply make up a meaning based on how the word sounds–

NK: Of course you can, that’s how all words are made up. Though… now that I think about it, saltation may be a dog from the Alsace region–

SB: You are thinking of an Alsatian hound.

NK: ...That is a distinct possibility.

SB: ... Apologies for that. Where was I? Yes, saltation is theory that suggests there can be evolutionary jumps in human development. Darwin claimed that evolution works gradually with small steps transforming a species over thousands or millions of years, but the sudden appearance of these extraordinary abilities suggests that the change can be from one generation to the next–

NK: ... OR ... it’s a cracker.

SB: It’s not a cracker.


Tell me a deep dark secret



SB: I'd really prefer not to -

NK: Now, now, Mr. Braddock, please, what is your deepest darkest secret?

[SB has already taken off in a frantic dash]
[NK watches him go]

NK: Well, that looks like a man with nothing to hide. As for me, I may have, once or twice, unwittingly appreciated a performance by dancers whom I later discovered to be French. I trust you will tell no one of this.


Do either of you plan on winning over Evelyn's heart?


NK: What do you mean “plan”? I’ve already won it over, you know. It’s just a matter of her realizing that.

SB: No comment whatsoever.

Well that was entertaining wasn't it? I would love to spend a day with the two! -Amber


About Tarun and Kelly:



Mild-mannered assistant by day, milder-mannered writer by night, Tarun Shanker is a New York University graduate currently living in Los Angeles. His idea of paradise is a place where kung-fu movies are projected on clouds, David Bowie’s music fills the air and chai tea flows freely from fountains.

Keep up Tarun on Twitter: @tkshanker



Kelly Zekas is a writer and actor living in NYC. YA is her absolute favorite thing on earth other than cupcakes and she has spent many hours crying over fictional deaths. She also started reading Harlequin romances at a possibly too early age (12?), and still loves a good paperback romance.

Keep up with Kelly on Twitter: @KellyZekas 


Tarun and Kelly met in a freshman year writing class at NYU and started writing These Vicious Masks a few years later. It is their first novel. 


About These Vicious Masks:


Title: These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks #1) 
Author: Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Swoon Reads 
Publication Date: February 9th 2016
Paperback, 352 Pages 

Summary: 
England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.

Buy These Vicious Masks: Amazon / B&N / Book Depository / IndieBound 


What to expect this month:



Giveaway:


  • Please be 13 years or older or have a parents permission to enter
  • This giveaway is open to US residents or those with US mailing addresses
  • The Book Bratz, Kelly, and Tarun are not responsible for any lost or damaged packages.




Feb 27, 2016

Where we disappear to until May

BLUE & GOLD 

Now, no body except the residents of our town know what Blue & Gold is. For the students of our high school it is bigger then homecoming, and bigger then any school event. It is a time of the year that we anticipate highly.  

What is Blue & Gold exactly? It is a dance competition, but we are telling a story. There have two teams. Blue and Gold. Both teams go head to head to create the best routines, costumes, decorations and props in a 3 month period of time. Me and Jessica both participate as dancers on Blue Team, and as dancers we learn a big opening dance called entrance, and then some smaller dances called scenes. That makes up the entrance of our show. Then you have marching, that is also dancing that all 120 girls and boys take place in as well. Sounds exhausting doesn't it? Here is a video from last years marching so you can see for yourself: 



We got a perfect score on this! 20/20 (This is from out 2015 season!) 

But with Blue & Gold comes long vigorous practices that both take up time and energy. We spend hours rehearsing these dances to get them perfect, and to get perfect scores. Everything is out of 20 points, and if you can get 20 points its a big deal. So we work hard. Here is our big entrance dance from last year: 


We got a 20/20 on this also! 

But besides marching and entrance, there is also events. Hip hop, Lyrical, and Cal (Calisthenics) That not every girl makes it onto, but they work hard as well. These dances are carefully carefully choreographed with our theme in mind. The end result is amazing. Me or Jessica didn't make any events last year, but here is a cal video: (My sister is in it though) 


The big thing with Cal is not falling out of your head stand, which all three nights none of the girls did. This was also 20/20! 

Last years theme was Planet Earth if you didn't catch that already. Blue Team (mine and Jessica's team for the past three years) lost by 3 points. The show is judged for two of the three nights that we perform, the scores are then combined from both nights, and in one last gathering the winner is announced. The loss hurts because we try so hard, but it makes us work harder the next year. Which this year, we are working our butts off. Last year the themes were Planet Earth (Blue) and Circus (Gold). 

This Year's Themes: 

All Around The World (Blue) and Dr. Seuss (Gold) 

We know this is complicated, and we try to explain it the best we can. But this is why we disappear from twitter, or don't have a post up because our time is going into this. This is our last year of it, and we want it to be the best year that we have. So far it has, and I am hoping that when the show comes it will be in our favor. But until then, we will keep working hard. 



Blog Tour: Bluescreen by Dan Wells (Interview + Giveaway)


Yay! I am so excited to be part of this tour. I LOVED Bluescreen!!

Check out my review!


Title: Bluescreen (Mirador #1)
Author: Dan Wells
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: February 16th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy, Action, Teen


Summary:
Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it. Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected. Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence, returns with a stunning new vision of the near future—a breathless cyber-thriller where privacy is the world’s most rare resource and nothing, not even the thoughts in our heads, is safe.


Where did the idea for BLUESCREEN come from?

BLUESCREEN comes from a branch of science fiction called cyberpunk, which focuses on near-future technologies like computer hacking, virtual reality, bionics, artificial intelligence, and so on. Recent TV shows like Almost Human and Minority Report are great examples. I've been a fan of cyberpunk since I first read Neuromancer, by William Gibson, when I was in high school, and I've always wanted to write some of my own, but I didn't really have a good hook for a story until a few years ago when I was reading an article about smartphones, and the history of cell phones in general, and I started to wonder about what was coming next. Why I was a kid phones still plugged into the wall, and now I have a supercomputer in my pocket that can call anywhere in the world and take pictures and even get messages from a robot on Mars. How can we top that? So I basically just sat down and started making a list of everything I want my phone to be able to do that it can't do yet, and eventually arrived at what I call the djinni--a smartphone and a gaming console and a passport and a wallet and keyring and a hundred other things all rolled into one, and then installed directly in your brain to make it impossible to lose and incredibly easy to use: just think about something, and it does it. And after I'd thought of that I started thinking about all the horrible ways it could go wrong, because I'm a writer and that's what we do. I realized that if you have a computer in your brain, someone else can use a computer to hack into your brain, and that's when I knew I had a great story.

Was it a big jump from the PARTIALS series to BLUESCREEN?

Yes and no. In some ways BLUESCREEN feels like very familiar territory after Partials, because it has an amazing teenage girl as the hero, and a lot of fun science to dig into, and a fascinating new world to explore. All of the details, though, are wildly different. With Partials I got to describe what our world would look like with no people anywhere, and everything's falling apart and nature's reclaiming the world; they had to find low-tech solutions to their problems, and it almost felt like a fantasy novel as they ride through the wilderness on horses, off to fulfill a deadly quest to save the world. In BLUESCREEN I got to describe the opposite: what our world would look like with people everywhere, and incredible new technologies that are so ubiquitous people don't even notice them. Distance and energy are almost meaningless concepts, and the characters can instantly know anything or talk to anyone just by thinking about it. Both of them were exciting new worlds to write about, and I hope people love reading about them, too.

Any plans you can share for upcoming books in the series?

I don't want to go into too much detail, but I'll permit myself this one little spoiler: in BLUESCREEN the Cherry Dogs are training for a tournament that they never have the chance to attend; in book 2, tentatively titled ONES AND ZEROES, they finally get to go to one, and it was ridiculously fun to write about.

Which character do you relate to the most?

Fang, the girl from China. She comes across as feisty and gregarious and bombastic, but that's only online--as you get to know her better in future books, you'll see that she's actually very shy and awkward in real life, and prefers to stay quiet and alone. I respond to that so much. I can fake being an extrovert when I need to, because that's part of my job, but I'm out of the spotlight I turn into a quiet little introverted wallflower, content to sit alone in a silent room and read or write or watch TV. Everyone has layers, and you don't really know what someone is like until you've seen them in private, when they don't have to put on a show for the world and they can just be themselves.

Where did the idea for Marisa's bionic arm come from?

Bionics, and human augmentation in general, is a big theme in cyberpunk, and I knew I wanted to include some form of it in my book. I also knew, from my outline, that Marisa had a big, spooky secret in her past, and I needed a way to show that in her daily life. The final piece that connected all of these thoughts in my head was a conversation I had with someone about disabilities in science fiction: she couldn't walk well, and said that she loved to imagine a future where medical science had advanced to the point where she wouldn't have to struggle anymore. At the same time, though, she said that she doesn't like to read about stories where disabilities are completely glossed over, as if everything is sunshine and roses. I knew a little of what she meant, because my mom has had serious health problems all my life, and is often in a wheelchair or a walker, and living with something like that is both easier and much, much harder than people think. Marisa's bionic arm can do almost everything her real arm can do, but it's not perfect, and it weighs on her emotionally--it reminds her of her past, and the secrets she doesn't know, and her own limitations and weaknesses. And then at the same time it's sometimes better than a real arm, like the scene halfway through the book when she uses it to punch someone in the face, more powerfully than a fleshy arm could manage. So I guess the short answer is that Marisa's arm is My humble to attempt to show the different sides of disability, while also serving as a constant reminder of the series' biggest mystery: what happened when Marisa was two years old?

Thank you Dan for answering all my questions! 




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(Click to follow the tour ^^^) 





Dan Wells is a thriller and science fiction writer. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is he author of the Partials series (Partials, Isolation, Fragments, and Ruins), the John Cleaver series (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want To Kill You), and a few others (The Hollow City, A Night of Blacker Darkness, etc). He was a Campbell nomine for best new writer, and has won a Hugo award for his work on the podcast Writing Excuses; the podcast is also a multiple winner of the Parsec Award.








Giveaway:




FgivF
Hosted by: 
The Fantastic Flying Book Club




Feb 26, 2016

Review: A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern


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Title: A Step Toward Falling
Author: Cammie McGovern
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Hardcover, 361 Pages
Published October 2015



Summary: Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing—until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all. Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they're starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?



I was a big fan of another book by Cammie McGovern, Say What You Will, so I had high hopes for this book as well. (You can read my review of that book by clicking here.) After reading this one, I definitely still think that I enjoyed Say What You Will better, but this book definitely was still an enjoyable read.

As the summary explains, the story follows Emily and Belinda, two girls with totally different stories. It was at a high school football game that Emily stumbled across Belinda being sexually attacked by another boy, and for some inexplicable reason, she panics and doesn't get her any help. So does Lucas, a football player that happens to cross paths with the scene as well. 

So now the story picks up after the incident, when Belinda is refusing to go back to school and Emily and Lucas are still trying to cope with the guilt of each assuming that the other person was going to get help. So what they decide to do is finally find a way to show Belinda how sorry they are by doing something to help her this time -- so the question is, will it work?

What I liked about this book was that there was no deflecting the blame. Neither Emily nor Lucas tried to blame the other person entirely -- they both accepted that they were wrong. So they both decided to work on dealing with the consequences together, even if in the beginning they definitely don't like each other.

The story is told in alternating chapters between Emily and Belinda, and getting into Belinda's head was certainly an interesting experience. Even though she's developmentally disabled, Belinda is still very, very sharp, and she knows enough to know who wronged her. But even though Belinda had every single right to hate Emily and Lucas for the rest of her life, she was kind and compassionate, and even gave them a chance to redeem themselves. Of all of the characters in this book, I definitely have to say that Belinda was my favorite. She may have not been the smartest or the most popular kid in school, but she had more kindness in her pinkie finger than a great deal of students did.

Watching Lucas and Emily interact with all of the adults at the learning center was also super touching to read about. They realized that there were more problems in the world than being benched for football games and missed homework assignments, and it was interesting to watch them learn that lesson. Every week they had to work with adults who had to take classes on how to have basic social skills, and it really puts things into perspective. 

By the end of the book, I definitely think I saw a positive change in Lucas, Emily, and Belinda. The classes taught Lucas and Emily how to be much more compassionate and upstanding people, and Belinda's interactions with them taught her to branch out and that it was okay to let other people in again.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It wasn't anything that knocked off your socks or evoked passionate emotions because it was so epic, but it was definitely an enjoyable read that I'd recommend for anyone looking for a nice, heartwarming read. Cammie McGovern is a very good author and I'll definitely be reading more work from her in the future!



Feb 25, 2016

Review: Some of the Parts by Hannah Barnaby


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Title: Some of the Parts
Author: Hannah Barnaby
Publisher: Knopf Books
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Published February 2016
Hardcover, 304 Pages



Summary: For months, Tallie McGovern has been coping with the death of her older brother the only way she knows how: by smiling bravely and pretending that she's okay. She’s managed to fool her friends, her parents, and her teachers so far, yet she can’t even say his name out loud: “N—” is as far as she can go. But when Tallie comes across a letter in the mail, it only takes two words to crack the careful fa├žade she’s built around herself: ORGAN DONOR. Two words that had apparently been checked off on her brother’s driver’s license; two words that her parents knew about—and never confided to her. All at once, everything Tallie thought she understood about her brother’s death feels like a lie. And although a part of her knows he’s gone forever, another part of her wonders if finding the letter might be a sign. That if she can just track down the people on the other end of those two words, it might somehow bring him back.
Penguin Random House reached out to me and asked if I was interesting in reading this book a few weeks before it came out in exchange for an honest review, and I was definitely on board with it! The summary drew me in right away, because it's a situation I've never really considered before -- not only having to lose your brother, but then finding out that the pieces of him are not entirely gone. It was a concept that I found it really hard to wrap my head around, so naturally, I wanted to pick up the book and give it a shot. 

(There are some minor spoilers ahead in this paragraph, so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't yet read this book!) So as the summary explains, Tallie is struggling to cope with the loss of her older brother Nate. As if being haunted by his death isn't enough, she has a whole new guilt resting on her shoulders: she was the one that crashed the car that killed him. That's definitely a burden I don't think I would ever be able to live with. So it makes matters worse, because not only is she being treated with sympathy because she lost her brother, but she's being treated with extra sympathy because everyone assumes she's dying inside with the guilt of being the reason that he died.

And matters only get even worse when Tallie comes home from school one day to an envelope from an organ donor company - only to find out that Nate, the brother that she thought she had lost, still lives on in the bodies of several different people. (Again, I don't have any experience with said topic, but I can only imagine how mind-boggling that can be for somebody.)

I really sympathized with Tallie throughout the entire book. Even if I didn't personally experience anything like she went through, I know loss, and it's certainly a very lonely feeling. One of my favorite characters in the entire book was her best friend, Mel. Mel was everything that anybody would want in a best friend - quirky, reliable, creative, and always willing to help out her best friend with anything she needs, no matter how morally wrong and/or illegal it may be. (As a matter of fact, she reminded me a lot of my own best friend.)

(There are some spoilers ahead, so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet!) What I wasn't crazy about in this book were two things - towards the ending, and also Chase. So I'll start with towards the ending. Throughout the entire duration of the book, I felt that Tallie was pretty level-headed. She was quiet and careful, and no matter how much she was hurting inside or how much she couldn't mentally handle the sadness and what was going on around her, she managed to remain calm. So why, all of a sudden, towards the end of the book, did she just snap and go on this complete wild-child rampage and take off to Boston and run everywhere and try to jump out of a window? I was pretty taken aback, because although I knew that she was going to have some sort of moment where the loss of her brother just made her do something rash, I didn't expect her to do everything that she did. It felt a little weird - almost like I picked up the wrong book and all of a sudden I was in some sort of action-thriller instead of a contemporary novel. It went from being a story about a girl who is coping with the loss of her brother to the story of a runaway trying to jump out of a hospital window because the ghost of her brother is telling her to. It was a little strange.

(More spoilers, continue to the next paragraph.) I also wasn't that big on Chase himself, mainly because I didn't find him to be very trustworthy. Every time Tallie confided in him, he managed to spill it. And then she still confided in him. Like what? I don't know what she saw in him that kept her trusting him, but whatever.

All in all, I did enjoy Some of the Parts. I felt that it was a well-crafted book about accepting loss and blame and managing to move on after terrible tragedies even when the entire world is expecting you to crumble and fall. Hannah Barnaby is a great writer and I'd definitely be interested in reading more of her work in the future. I'd like to thank Penguin once again for reaching out to me with this book, and I'm so glad that I got the chance to read it! (We even got a second copy to give away, which was fun too!)

Feb 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #49: Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!


Title: Queen of Hearts (Queen of Hearts Saga #1)
Author: Colleen Oakes
Genre: Retellings, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Publication Date: April 5th 2016
Summary: 
As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life. When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe. Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath. Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

"Dark take on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Ummm sign me up! 

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so we can stop back! 

Feb 23, 2016

Cover Reveal: A Shot of Bourbon by A.C. Land!

Today, we have the pleasure of revealing the cover for BookFish Books' latest young adult contemporary novel, A Shot of Bourbon by A.C. Land!



Before we get to the goodies, let's take a look at what the story is about!




Back Cover

In the little highway town of Bourbon, Missouri, deadly secrets lurk behind Southern charm. 
Seventeen year old Charli Valentine didn’t expect to spend the last few weeks of summer break nursing a broken heart, icing a black eye, and watching her ex kiss another girl. Since being a good girl has gotten her nothing but heartache, Charli decides to give rebellion a try. She pigs out, drinks, and hangs with Luke Parker, the son of the infamous Bourbon Butcher. 
But there’s more to Luke than meets the eye. His tough exterior and terrible dialect hide a good person despite his bad boy reputation. No matter how hard he tries to fight it, Luke is drawn to Charli’s innocence and finds her clumsiness too charming to resist. Though they’re from opposite sides of the tracks, neither can resist the magnetism drawing them together. 
When Charli discovers a box in her mother’s closet, she pieces together the truth about Bourbon’s past and uncovers a deadly secret about her family. And once Luke learns of it, he vows to protect Charli no matter the cost. 


From the real Bourbon, Missouri
Photo Credit: BGI Photography



Sounds like an intriguing tale. Love, murder, and a mystery in small town America. 

And who wrote this engaging tale? A.C. Land!


About The Author




Author of the Bourbon series, A. C. Land has been a lover of stories since she first read about Peter Pan giving Wendy an acorn and teaching her to fly. She always dreamed of telling big stories about small towns.

Displaying A Shot of Bourbon_AC Land_Author Photo.jpg

Residing on a cattle farm in Missouri, A. C. loves playing with her rambunctious Jack Russell, Riley, making decorative cakes, taking pictures, drinking pumpkin spice coffee, and hanging out with her nephews.




Find A.C. online: 



And now, for the moment you've been waiting for...the cover!



Cover Reveal

Cover Design: Anita at Racepoint

Doesn't this cover just look super intriguing and mysterious, guys? We need to get our hands on this one! (Plus: ABS *heart eyes*)

Be on the lookout for A Shot of Bourbon
available March 2016! For now, you can check it out on Goodreads by clicking here!

We'd like to thank BookFish Books for allowing us to be a part of this cover reveal! :-)


Feb 22, 2016

ARC Review: Harmony House by Nic Sheff

Title: Harmony House 
Author: Nic Sheff 
Genre: Horror, Thriller 
Source: Edelweiss 
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Publication Date: March 22nd 2016

Summary: 
Jen Noonan’s father thinks a move to Harmony House is the key to salvation, but to everyone who has lived there before, it is a portal to pure horror. After Jen’s alcoholic mother’s death, her father cracked. He dragged Jen to this dilapidated old manor on the shore of New Jersey to “start their new lives”—but Harmony House is more than just a creepy old estate. It’s got a chilling past—and the more Jen discovers its secrets, the more the house awakens. Strange visions follow Jen wherever she goes, and her father’s already-fragile sanity disintegrates before her eyes. As the forces in the house join together to terrorize Jen, she must find a way to escape the past she didn’t know was haunting her—and the mysterious and terrible power she didn’t realize she had. A classic horror story finds a terrifying home in Harmony House, drawing on favorite tropes and edgy, modern characters to create a chilling tale of blame, guilt, and ghostly revenge.




To be honest, I am surprised  I read this book from cover to cover. I think I had some faint hope that is was going to get better. (Spoiler Alert: It didn't) 


My biggest problem with this book was the protagonist, Jen. She is rude, nasty, and beyond disrespectful. Being raised by an extremely religious father you would expect her to be a decent human being. She isn't. She continually complained about her father, calling him a wide variety of horrible names. I understand that she upset that he made her move and she was upset that her mother died. But I didn't find that enough of an excuse for her behavior. I also found Jen to be very insensitive to those around her. 

For the first 50% of the book nothing interesting happened. I was expecting a horror story, but this wasn't scary. After a while it was just annoying because I knew it wasn't going to get better. But I still continued to read, because I try to believe the best in every book I read and figured that *MAYBE* it would get better. I also wanted my questions answered, and I finished Harmony House with more questions and almost no answers. 

Like I said, I was surprised I finished this book considering I DNF books if I dislike them enough, and I couldn't tell you one thing I liked about Harmony House. I wouldn't recommend this one, to be honest.