PH Blog Tour: Empress of All Seasons (Review & Favorite Quotes)

37569318

Title: Empress of All Seasons

Author: Emiko Jean

Publisher: HMH Teen

Edition: ARC

Pages: 366 pages

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

ISBN: 9780544530942

 

Hello everyone! I would like to say that welcome. Welcome to the first day of the PH Blog Tour for the Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean.

I’m so happy and grateful to HMH Teen for granting me to host this tour and providing all the eARC to my fellow participants for the tour. Thank you also to the author, Emiko, who is kind enough to send me the ARC of her mothers for me to review and grace this PH tour.

To Rafael, my co-host, thank you. Thank you for the patience and teaching me all the things in hosting a tour. As to be honest, I don’t have any idea in hosting a tour as it is my first time.

And lastly, to all the participants. Thank you also for joining this PH tour and supporting me and Raf.

 

5340

 

 

synopsis

In a palace of illusions, nothing is what it seems.

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren’t hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.

Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.

 

review

“Is this all there is? Marrying men, stealing their fortunes, and having babies?”

A standalone fantasy, Empress of All Seasons talks about the life of Mari — a yōkai (supernatural creatures) who’s trained all her life to compete in the Imperial City and marry the prince and steal his fortune.

Reading Empress of All Seasons is like reading The Hunger Games with The Selection. The Hunger games because Mari and the other girls is competing in a specific room (which is the Summer, Autumn, Winter or Spring room) or place where there is a specific task to do. The Selection because just like it, they are competing in and the girl who will win will have the chance to marry the prince and be a princess. The different yōkai in the story has also some similarities with the creatures in Greek mythology. That’s why when the author describe them, you can easily imagine what they really look like.

In regards with the story, its like you are not reading a fantasy novel but a contemporary novel with its simple and fast-paced kind of pacing. There are new words or terms for the things and monster in the book that you will encounter. But as you read it, you will not find it difficult to understand as in the end of the book you will find a glossary. Nevertheless, you can still know what it means as it is explained in the following lines.

Not like in other novels, the characters are very different. The main boy protagonist, Taro, I think has the less exposure in the story. Which is new to me, as it should be him, the main boy protagonist that should have a lot of exposure and development. Aside from that, I can really compare Taro with Hephaestus, Greek God of fire, metalworking, stone masonry, forges and the art of sculpture because just like Hephaestus, Taro loves working projects that in fact he had made a metal butterfly, tiny insects, a giant crane, and collars. and such more. I was surprised with Akira’s character in the story. Surprised because he has more exposure and development than Taro. And he is just the second boy protagonist. But with this scenario with the two, as still love them both and  still they are lovable.

You will feel sad that the ending is just like that but when you really do look at it closely, you will understand why the author ended the story that way.

What I really love about the whole story is that it doesn’t gives me the signal at first that it has a feminism side kind of story. The only moment that I’ve known that it has this element is when at the end of the book, I read the line that says “We love our brothers. BUT NOT EVERY HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER INCLUDES A MAN.” With this line, I know now why the Animal wives only marry men for their fortunes, why in Mari’s village they kill their sons and only kept their daughters, why Mari and Taro’s character is not that fully develop and lastly, why Hanako a girl, is the weapons master.

To sum it all, Empress of All Seasons is the fantasy novel you shouldn’t miss reading with its deep, delicious and breathtaking plot. And one more,  it has all the complete ingredient that you need in a novel.

 

MY RATING:

5 stars

 

 

FAVORITE QUOTES

“Silence is the cousin of invisibility.”

“Funny how love can drive you to hate.”

“Not everyone is all good or all bad.”

“A life lived in chains is no life at all.”

“Nature is the most vengeful of patterns.”

“To love is to suffer”

“I believe everything in life that is worth anything is people — those you love and those who love you.”

 

 

Blog Tour Schedule

November 12 

Rafael of The Royal Polar Bear Reads

Carmel of Bookablereads

Jonathan of Wander with Jon

Nikki of Take Me Away

 

November 13

Vivian of Vanilla Angel Pages

Jen of Jen D Bibliophile

Jenny of Levicorpvs Blog

Hanamae of The Wraith Reads

Cristina of Girl in the Pages

 

November 14

Shaine of Wanderer in Neverland

Akisha of akithroughbooks

Ela of The Ultimate Fangirl

Princess of  Princess and Pages

 

November 15

Leilanee of ofsparksandmagick

Salwa of Salwa’s Reading Solace

Dexter of Dexterous_Totalus

Avery of B for Bookslut

Kat from Novels and Waffles

 

November 16
November 17

Myrth of Cliste Bella

Justine of Bookish Wisps

Athena of The Night Faerie

Ramnele of Bookdragonism

Erika of The Nocturnal Fey

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

unnamed

When Emiko is not writing, she is reading. Most of her friends are imaginary. Before she became a writer she was an entomologist (fancy name for bug catcher), a candle maker, a florist, and most recently a teacher. She lives in Washington with her husband and children (unruly twins). She loves the rain.

QUICK FACTS

Name: Emiko, Emi, Emmers Bemmers Boo Boo (only my mother calls me this)

Occupation: Writer and reader, most days reader before writer

Location: Vancouver, WA

Family: Yes. One husband. Two children – b/g twins!

Previous Occupations: Bug tamer, teacher, florist, candlestick maker and vagabond. My friends and I once (poorly) fixed up an old van. We drove it across the country. The bumper fell off and we lost the brakes in the Redwoods.

Qualifications: None. But I strongly believe in “fake it till you make it” and asking for forgiveness rather than permission.

Favorite foods: ALL OF THEM. Though I do have a special place in my heart for girl scout cookies, frosted animal cookies and anything with pasta.

Favorite time of year: Fall. I also love Christmastime (even though I’m Jewish).

Favorite music: Depends on mood and activity. For writing: Mumford and Sons, The Strumbellas, The Head and the Heart, Queen, Bowie, Pink Floyd … For general work (building this website, creating graphic etc.): Anything hip-hop, specifically Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Dyme Def, Atmosphere, Matisyahu …

Favorite authors: Too many to count.

Last concert: Jay-Z and Kanye West – Watch the Throne

Favorite television shows: Antiques Roadshow, Call the Midwife, anything BBC, anything real housewives (no judgement please)

Least favorite things: The word “moist” – I dare you to find it in one of my novels.

Unusual talents/facts: I am fantastic at finding four leaf clovers. I can also make three loops with my tongue. I’ve also won my fair share of Texas Hold’em tournaments.

Author Links

Website

Mammoth (Book Review)

38769727

Title: Mammoth

Author: Jill Baguchinsky

Publisher: Turner Publishing

Edition: ARC

Pages: 333 pages

Buy Link: Amazon 

 

 

 

synopsis

 

The summer before her junior year, paleontology geek Natalie Page lands a coveted internship at an Ice Age dig site near Austin. Natalie, who’s also a plus-size fashion blogger, depends on the retro style she developed to shield herself from her former bullies, but vintage dresses and perfect lipstick aren’t compatible with prospecting for fossils in the Texas heat. But nothing is going to dampen Natalie’s spirit — she’s exactly where she wants to be, and she gets to work with her hero, a rock-star paleontologist who hosts the most popular paleo podcast in the world. And then there’s Chase the intern, who’s seriously cute, and Cody, a local boy who’d be even cuter if he were less of a grouch.

It’s a summer that promises to be about more than just mammoths.

Until it isn’t.

When Natalie’s hero turns out to be anything but, and steals the credit for one of her accomplishments, Nat has to unearth the confidence she needs to stand out in a field dominated by dudes. To do this, she’ll have to let her true self shine, even if that means defying all the rules for the sake of a major discovery.

 

 

review

Thank you to Turner Publishing for sending me an in exchange of a review. 

The saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is the one who justify whats Mammoth all about. 

The story is about Natalie, a plus size paleontology geek slash fashion blogger. Who ventures into an upside down adventure when she started to be an intern at Ice Age dig site.

What I love about the story is how we can see a plus size protagonist which we seldom see in books. I like how every part of it tells us and taught us how wonderful to be what we are and not minding the people who judge us.

One thing  I don’t seem to understand is why Natalie deleted some harsh comments she received from her blog. I know for a fact that there are really people who don’t mind if they hurt other in commenting bashful things. But I hope that Natalie shouldn’t delete it and let it be a weapon for her to be stronger woman.

Aside from that, what people gonna love about the story is how we learn more about STEM or what paleontologist really do. It also shows us lots of learning about mammoths, dinosaur and different kinds of animals and the their skeleton.

We can also see the other side of fame and what celebrities do. In which what we see sometimes in social media are not the things that we see. That sometimes they are edited and they sugarcoat it for the sake of the network and the people who will see it.

In regards with the love relationship of Natalie. I love how her relationship with Cody is not rash or its a slow romance. Not the insta love we always see that are too way cliché now.

Over all, what I love about the entire story is how the author show us the beauty of each person. That not because you are fat you can’t do what normal size people can do. That sometimes being different and unique with others is the way you can totally show what you can do and what you really are as a person.

How I wish that Mammoth is the start where we can read more story that the protagonist are unique and different from the protagonist we always read in books.

Highly recomment reading the book if you are looking for a fresh new story.

 

MY RATING:

5-stars-e1535343261827.jpg

 

 

Ph Blog Tour: Wildcard (Excerpt + What to Expect….)

29386918

Title: Wildcard

Author: Marie Lu

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: September 18th 2018

Edition: ARC

Pages: 232 pages

ISBN: 9780399548017

Buy Links:  National Bookstore / Amazon / Audible / B & N / Kobo / iTunes / Google Play / Indigo Books


SYNOPSIS

Return to the immersive, action-packed world of Warcross in this thrilling sequel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

In this explosive sequel to the New York Times bestselling Warcross, Marie Lu delivers an addictive finale that will hold you captive till the very last page.


What to Expect about Wildcard

  1. First, be amazed for the nth time how incredible Marie Lu writing style is.
  2. Expect to be bombarded with lots of twist you surely don’t wanna miss.
  3. Expect to love and hate new and old characters.
  4. Expect that you can finish the book in one sitting as it’s a fast paced book.
  5. Expect new learning about the ginormous things technology can do in our daily life nowadays.
  6. Expect that you will cry in the end as you want to read more about the book but sadly it is just a duology.
  7. Expect to read diverse characters
  8. And lastly, expect that you will spend money TO BUY AND PRE-ORDER THE BOOK, as it is one of the book that you should add to your gigantic and never ending TBR and collection of books. ( Attached is the link where you can enter and get amazing swags by pre-ordering the book. Pre-order link

DlT_6TyX4AcjAxE


EXCERPT

Chapter 23

One Day until the Warcross Closing Ceremony

I don’t stir until the first rays of dawn enter the room, casting a weak palette of light against  my tangled sheets. For a moment, I can’t remember where I am — an unfamiliar room, in an unfamiliar bed. The space next to me is empty. The room is rocking  ever so slightly. A boat?

Slowly, the memories from the night before come back to me.

I frown, gathering the blankets around my chest and pulling myself up into a sitting position. Did Hideo leave? I look around the room until my eyes finally settle on a sliding glass door left ajar, beyond which the silhouette of a man stands bathed in gold, leaning against the ship’s railing and looking out at the city.

I let myself watch him for a moment. Then I reach for my clothes, pull them on, and slip out of his bed.

The air outside is still cool, smelling of salt and sea, and my skin prickles as I stop to lean against the open door. Two steaming mugs sit on a small table beside where Hideo’s standing. Morning dew lingers on the doors’ glass. I run an idle finger along it, noting the feel of the moisture, and remind myself that I’m in the real world now, not in a virtual one.

Hideo looks to his side so that I can see the profile of his face. “You’re up early,” he says.

“You knew I’d be,” I reply, nodding at the two mugs of coffee. “Or you wouldn’t have poured me that.”

He glances briefly at me, a small smile on his lips, and takes a sip of his coffee. He looks pale this morning, dark circles still under his eyes, but other than that, I wouldn’t be able to tell what he went through. Every vulnerability that he had exposed to me the night before has been neatly stores away again, and for a moment I’m afraid he’s gone back to not trusting me again. Thinking this was all a huge mistake.

Then I meet his gaze, and in it, I see something  open. No, he hasn’t retreated entirely. The real Hideo I’ve been searching for is here.

When I still linger by the door, he nods for me to come join him, handing me my mug of coffee as I reach him. “Taylor expects you here,” he says quietly, his eyes going out to the stirring city.

I nod. My mind returns briefly to Zero. They might be watching us right now  from some unknown place on shore. “They want me close to you,” I reply as I put my mug back down on the table.

Hideo’s eyes flicker, and I know he’s thinking about his brother. Whatever it is, though, he doesn’t say it out loud. Instead, he reaches for me and pulls me to him. His hand are warm from the coffee mug. I stuck in my breath as he turns me around so that my back is against the balcony, and his arms are pressed against the ledge on either side of me, pinning me in.

“This is what they expect to see, isn’t it? he murmurs, his face tilted toward my ear.

“Yes.”  My skin tingles at his closeness, and all I can think of is what happened last night. He’s right, of course, and if the Blackcoats are watching, it’ll help my case for them to see me with Hideo. Again, I find myself thinking of my dream of shattered glass, where Zero was watching us from the other side of the bedroom. It’s enough to make me glance to my side, half expecting him to be here on the yacht.

But it’s just us.

Hideo gives me a half smile, leans close, and presses his lips against my neck. “Kiss me, then,” he murmurs, and pulls me toward him.


My Rating:

rate


I would like to express my gratitude to kuya Raf of The Royal Polar Bear for giving the opportunity to be part of this blog tour. Thank you also to Penguin Random House for giving us the copy of the book and allowing us to review the book.


About the Author

223095

Marie Lu is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Young Elites, as well as the blockbuster bestselling Legend series. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry as an artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing games, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles with her illustrator/author husband, Primo Gallanosa, and their dogs.

Author Links:

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

The Cheerleaders (Short Review)

30969755

Title: The Cheerleaders

Author: Kara Thomas

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Edition: Paperback

Pages: 384 pages

Buy Link: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

 

 

 

synopsis

There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.

 

review

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.

Every time that we encounter the words ” the cheerleaders” we always come up with the meaning that it is about girls who cheers in a school. Girl who wears uniform. Girls who are beautiful and sometimes, girls who are bitchy.

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas is same with the connotation that is being said above. But little did every one knows that it is not your typical story about them. As the story don’t have a happily ever after.

The story is about Monica Rayburn finding who really is the suspect behind every accident that happen to the five cheerleaders five years ago. Also, whom her sister is one of the victims that causes the squad to be disbanded.

The rising action of the story started when Monica found out some evidences that will leave her to know who really killed the cheerleaders. She found out her sister’s old cellphone and even a boy who she didn’t expect to be part of her sister’s life.

The writing is fantastic. It takes you to an adventure of mystery where you enable yourself to think what really happen. It helps you to imagine and come up with different scenarios of what should happen and what could the flow of the story would be.

The most likable part of the story is when my predictions about the story is somehow true and sometimes it doesn’t match what the story is all about. It takes us the reader to be amaze on how twisty and cliff hang the story is.

I love how some of my questions while reading the story is being answered at the ending. It’s the kind of story where the readers are aware of what the story is.

To warp it all, the cheerleaders is not an ordinary story. It is a story that will take your brain in a roller coaster ride.

 

MY RATING:

rate1-e1536125175956.jpg

 

 

 

The Poppy War (Review)

35068705

Title: The Poppy War

Author: R. F. Kuang

Publisher: HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction

Edition: Paperback

Pages: 544 pages

Buy Links: Barnes & Noble

 

 

synopsis

When Rin aced the Keju, the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies, it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan, was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

 

review

As the cliché goes, “With great power comes with great responsibility.”

The Poppy War is a coming of age story that will make you crave for more fantasy story about mystical arts and shamanism. At first, you will be intimidated as the book is gigantic with its 544 pages but once you have started reading, all you wanna do is finish it. With this, you’ll likely agree with the hyped that is going on with the book.

The story has a similarity with Game of Thrones by George RR Martin. Unlikely with GoT it doesn’t have dragons, but it has lots of PG 18 scenes like gruesome, drugs, rape, brutality and misogyny and the likes. It also tackles the existence of Gods, magic, and shamanism. All in all, you should prepare to a roller coaster ride.

Regards with the writing, the writing is unique. Unique in a way that you can’t predict what will likely to happen. It also let you imagine the things that are happening in the story. It takes you to experience, feel the emotion that the characters are portraying. Once you are reading it, it makes the reader go to the world where he/she doesn’t want to stop reading but continue finishing the book.

The characters are well-developed where you can relate to each of them. When a new character is being introduced, the reader find themselves to attached and listen to another story that will enable them to understand more of what the story is all about.

To wrap it all, the poppy war is a story that everyone should read. It is the kind of story that will teach you what is love, friendship, family, finding and accepting who you are. And lastly, how having a great power comes with a responsibility on your shoulder and what the consequences it has to give you in owning them.

 

MY RATING:

5 stars

 

Blog Tour: The Accidental Bad Girl

9781419728587_s3_preview

Title: The Accidental Bad Girl

Author: Maxine Kaplan

Publisher: Abrams

Edition: Hardcover

Book Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Kobo / IndieBound / iBooks

 

 

synopsis

After getting caught hooking up with her best friend’s ex on the last day of junior year, Kendall starts senior year friendless and ostracized. She plans to keep her head down until she graduates. But after discovering her online identity has been hacked and she’s being framed for stealing from a dealer, Kendall is drawn into a tenuous partnership with the mastermind of a drug ring lurking in the shadows of her Brooklyn private school. If she wants to repair her tattered reputation and save her neck, she’ll have to decide who she really is—and own it. The longer she plays the role of “bad girl,” the more she becomes her new reputation. Friends and enemies, detectives and drug dealers—no one is who they appear to be. Least of all Kendall.

review

Tight gripping mystery novel and a bit of twisty plot and characters is what the book is.

The moment I read the synopsis for this book, I was already hook and I wanna read it immediately. That’s why, when it is up for a blog tour I sign the form right away.

Just like the first time that I knew about the book. I was hooked already reading the first three chapters. It is the kind of book where you wanna read more to find out what will happen next.

I love how twisty the plot is. And how the author wrote it in a way that readers will surely remember it to be a good mystery book.

With regards of the characters. I love how the characteristics of each character is being developed throughout the story. I like how they are the characters that you will love. They also are the ones who are not irritating. And that’s one aspect to live about the book aside from the plot and how it is written.

I highly recommend the book to everyone. As a reader who enjoyed this and hooked with the writing. I was kinda sad that has low ratings in goodreads.

I love the whole aspect of the book and will recommend it more to others. So that others can know how good the book is.

My Rating:

5 stars

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DSC00408_preview

Maxine Kaplan was born in Washington, DC. She and her twin sister spent their early child-hoods trotting behind their journalist parents as they traveled around the world, eventually set-tling in Brooklyn, NY. Maxine graduated from Oberlin College in 2007. Following a long stint in the world of publishing, she has worked as a private investigator since 2009. She lives in her adopted hometown of Brooklyn, NY, with her lovely husband and complex cat. THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL is her debut novel. Follow Maxine on Twitter @MaxineGKaplan

 

GIVEAWAY

  • Prize: 1 copy of THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL by Maxine Kaplan
  • Starts:6/26
  • Ends: 7/10

Click here to be entered

 

Tour Schedule

http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2018/06/tour-schedule-accidental-bad-girl-by.html