Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker

The Rattled Bones
Release Date: August 22nd, 2017
Publisher: Simon and Schuster | Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 304 Pages
Format: Netgalley
Source: From publisher for honest review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon


Unearthing years of buried secrets, Rilla Brae is haunted by ghostly visions tied to the tainted history of a mysterious island in this haunting novel from the author of The Girl Who Fell.Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about—if they know about it at all—due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there—an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam’s work and the ghostly girl’s song lure Rilla to the island’s shores.As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow—until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past. 
To say I loved The Rattled Bones would be the understatement of the year. I simply cannot think of the words to describe how much I adored this story. This darkly enchanting novel will creep its eerie words straight down to your bones.

Rilla is not your average teenage girl. She has a strong and stubborn head on her shoulders and can stand equal, if not above, the finest and most seasoned of lobsterman. Her strength and will carry her far beyond the dark and deep Maine waters. Plagued with visions after her father's untimely death, she is fiercely determined to get to the bottom of what may be haunting not just her, but her family.

The characters are the true stars of this novel, but the setting is a very close second. Parker's ability to transport you from your reading nook right into this small, Maine fishing island, right onto its haunting waters is a true talent. She crafted such a beautiful view that you can almost smell and taste the salty air.

I can assure you that you've likely not read a story quite like The Rattled Bones. It's originality and hauntingly beautiful storyline makes for a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

I loved Sam. I can't say that enough. I love, love, LOVED him. You want your way into my heart? Be kind-hearted and have a sense of humor, and that was Sam. He was funny and quick witted, yet cared so deeply for Rilla.

If you're looking for a book that will hook you, that will cast you under it's spell than The Rattled Bones is the book that you want. Beautiful, in-depth characters, a stunning setting and an unforgettable story will leave you reeling at the end...Like what I did there...

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty AKA Lovefest!

Big Little Lies
Release Date: July 29th, 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 460 Pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal interest
Find the Author: Website

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Genius! Pure and utterly genius!  I'm a person that believes there is no such thing a perfection(except for puppies and cupcakes) but this, my bookworm friends, is perfection! It is written gold right in your hands. It is a priceless artifact. It's a masterpiece!

Okay, I know, shut up with the lovefest already, but I can't help it! Like Madeline, I just can't contain my excitement. I cannot believe this book has been out since 2014 and I am only gifting myself the pleasure of reading it now. With all of the hype over the television show I thought I should probably hop on the bandwagon and give it a go. Of course, I wanted to read it first so I hesitantly bought my copy worried that it wasn't going to do it for me. That it wasn't going to "live up to the hype". Dear god, was I wrong! This book not only lived up to the hype, it demolished the hype, there isn't enough hype to hype up this book.

In case it hasn't been made clear, I loved the book. I devoured it in 2 days, but would have happily have given up sleep, food and work to read it in one sitting if I had been allowed. It so wildly entertaining! Big Little Lies is told in the perspective of 3 female characters: Celeste, Jane and Madeline. I haven't seen the show yet but I already know that they could not have done a better job casting. It seems like each actress was made for these characters. I can't wait to watch them come to life on the silver screen. However, these characters are so bold and vibrant that they flourish in your imagination on their own beautifully.

Liane Moriarty is a storytelling mastermind. She weaves this hilariously clever and at times dark, heart wrenching tale so effortlessly that it consumes you. You can't help but keep on reading. Big Little Lies is the most unputdownable book I have come across. I was absolutely hooked from page one all the way through to the end. And that twist! It's cray cray (kids are still saying that right?). I gasped. My jaw-dropped. My eyes bulged out!

Big Little Lies is a decadent read! You'll want to savour every last word!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn

When I Am Through with You
Release Date: August 1st, 2017
Publisher: Dutton for Young Readers | Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 304 Pages
Series: Sins and Scandals #1
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For honest review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon


“This isn’t meant to be a confession. Not in any spiritual sense of the word. Yes, I’m in jail at the moment. I imagine I’ll be here for a long time, considering. But I’m not writing this down for absolution and I’m not seeking forgiveness, not even from myself. Because I’m not sorry for what I did to Rose. I’m just not. Not for any of it.”Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly how what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains ended the way it did. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. And he’ll tell you about Rose. But he’s going to tell you in his own time. Because after what happened on that mountain, time is the one thing he has plenty of.
Wow, just...wow! This book went FAR beyond my expectations! I had no idea that a story of this magnitude was hidden inside of these pages.

WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH YOU tells the story from Ben Gibson's perspective. Ben is your average teenage boy. There is nothing extraordinary about him. He is not popular but he is not unpopular. He is just normal. But far from normal are the events that take place on this camping trip. WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH YOU will take you down its rabbit hole. Sucking you and not letting you go.

Stephanie Kuehn delivered this compelling novel effortlessly. She is the very definition of a story-teller. She took these characters and crafted an outstanding, wild and horrific tale. Each chapter ending on a note that led you further into the darkness alongside the characters.

However, this book is more than just a camping story gone wrong. It is filled with so much more. As we learn the backstory of Ben and the other characters, the book becomes a voice for child abuse, neglect, and addiction. It's been a while since I've read a book that has had me so enthralled!

This is the perfect book to add to your summer reading! And, if you're a gluten for punishment, it's perfect for those nights camping by the fire. I simply cannot wait to see what else Stephanie Kuehn has up her marvelous sleeves!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Spellbook of the Lost and Found
Release Date: August 8th, 2017
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books | Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 368 Pages
Format: Advanced Readers Copy
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hairclips and jewelry, but soon it's clear that Rose has lost something much bigger, something she won't talk about, and Olive thinks her best friend is slipping away.

Then seductive diary pages written by a girl named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing estate. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they're holding tight to painful secrets.When they discover the spellbook, it changes everything. Damp, tattered and ancient, it's full of hand-inked charms to conjure back things that have been lost. And it just might be their chance to find what they each need to set everything back to rights.Unless it's leading them toward things that were never meant to be found...
Enchanting and seductive, Spellbook of the Lost and Found will surely keep you on the edge of your seat!

Firstly, can we discuss that cover?! Every single aspect of it is so stunning and inviting. It is just screaming "READ ME!". I'll admit it, when I saw this August release, it was the cover that drew me in and it was the cover that made me want to have it immediately. Then I read the premise and it just made me want it even more. I had to have it. In my hands. Now!

Spellbook of the Lost and Found is a decent sized book, coming in at 368 pages, it's not necessarily a light read, but you will devour it. It will consume you and whisk you away because you just simply need to keep reading. It will cast you under its spell and twine its firm grasp around you. You'll fly through the pages, fighting the need to know how this story unfolds, and if like me, you'll likely eat this book up in one sitting!

Fowley-Doyle does a miraculous job at painting a picturesque setting. Plucking you up and placing you gently in the vivid world of these 6 teenagers in Ireland. Another giant feat the author took on was delivering the story in the perspective of not one, not two, not three, but SIX points of view and she did so flawlessly! We had the pleasure of reading from the POV's of all characters and their colourful personalities and backstories. It was truly a delicious treat!

The story is dark and ominous. I was continuously left feeling like something was lurking around the corner, waiting to jump out. It made for a very lively and theatrical reading experience!

Fowley-Doyle's writing style was impeccable. She delivers the tale in an almost poet and lyrical manner. Making the words just fall delicately off of the pages and into your imagination. She's made me an instant fan! I cannot wait to pick up her debut novel, The Accident Season and I eagerly await her future work!

If you're looking for a dark and magical tale, something that is as equally haunting as it is beautiful than Spellbook of the Lost and Found is the book for you!


Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

The Hearts We Sold
Release Date: August 8th, 2017
Publisher: Little Brown | Hachette Canada
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 400 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From publisher for review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon


When Dee Moreno makes a deal with a demon—her heart in exchange for an escape from a disastrous home life—she finds the trade may have been more than she bargained for. And becoming “heartless” is only the beginning. What lies ahead is a nightmare far bigger, far more monstrous than anything she could have ever imagined.
With reality turned on its head, Dee has only a group of other deal-making teens to keep her grounded, including the charming but secretive James Lancer. And as something grows between them amid an otherworldy ordeal, Dee begins to wonder: Can she give someone her heart when it’s no longer hers to give?

Step away from Netflix and discover your new favourite binge, The Hearts We Sold.  I couldn't and wouldn't put this book down. I devoured it hungrily, eager to learn more about these characters, their stories and what would become of them.

The Hearts We Sold is a gothic folklore tale threaded into the modern day and lands right into YA literature, WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE?!

We are immediately introduced to Dee(Deidre) Moreno, a teenage girl who makes a deal with a demon for a chance at a better life. Dee's story unfolds throughout the novel and it becomes more and more clear why she felt the need to make that desperate decision. On the surface, she seems like your average teenage girl who attends boarding school, but Dee has become an expert at keeping her family issues a secret. The book is told from Dee's perspective but Lloyd-Jones does a superb job at making every character shine in this novel. She penned an eclectic cast of characters; all kinds of personalities decorate this eerie tale.

The concept of The Hearts We Sold is so unique. The vibrant characters and rare storyline make it a very refreshing reading experience. What I loved most about this novel though was the strong message that can't help but shine through. This book is about perseverance, resilience, and courage. It's about a group of people that were assigned to each other but become so much more than that. They become a family. The learn to care for each other, love each other and fight for each other instead of just for themselves. These qualities cannot be missed. Emily Lloyd-Jones created a camaraderie between her characters, a togetherness. It is also a coming-of-age story. A story about self-discovery and growth.

I loved every minute of The Hearts We Sold and have been thinking about it every since I put it down. It's a beautiful, dark and at times, disturbing tale that will sink its teeth into you and simply steal your heart.




Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Welcome The Rattled Bones Author, Shannon M. Parker!

Every so often a bookworm has a total fan girl/boy moment! This, Crazy Readers, is one of them! I had the privilege, the absolute pleasure of speaking with Shannon M. Parker about her upcoming book The Rattled Bones. This was a true fan-girl moment for me! Allow me to introduce author, Shannon M. Parker.

A Little Bit About Shannon:
S.M. Parker
Shannon is an avid traveller who loves filling her passports with stamps(who doesn't!) She is a lover of laughter and chocolate chip cookies. She lives a blissful life of rescuing dogs, chickens and old houses and on top of all of that, she is a writer of epic proportions. While she is not new to the publishing world her upcoming book The Rattled Bones(out August 22nd) will surely be the talk of the book world.

Without further a dรบ, Shannon M. Parker.

Firstly, Thank you so much for stopping by The Crazy Bookworm! Before we begin, I’d like to point out that while working on your interview I was munching away on 2 Chocolate Chip Cookies while listening to Amy Schumer on a comedy Podcast, so I feel like this interview was an act of fate!


Ha, yes! Fated indeed!


Let’s chat about your upcoming book, hitting shelves August 22nd, The Rattled Bones. In The Rattled Bones, you created a strong female lead named Rilla. In 2017 I find it so important to have characters like her in the hands of young girls. She was a beautiful character and a great role model. How did Rilla’s character come to you and how did she become the epic lobsterwoman that she is on the coast of Maine?


I’m so glad you saw (and loved) Rilla’s strength, and the beauty that comes from her strength! As a girl I was led to believe that beauty and strength were mutually exclusive. Growing up, I helped my mother run our small farm and you need to be tireless and determined if you work the soil and raise livestock. I didn’t see the beauty in that hard work or how it shaped (and strengthened) my character until I was several years older and living on my own.

In many ways, Rilla farms the sea. She needs to respect and work in unison with Mother Nature to harvest lobsters from the deep. This work is hard and demanding and has broken many men’s backs. Rilla uses her intelligence, physical strength and determined heart to carve out a piece of an industry in which many feel females don’t belong.


You set the book in Maine and you definitely accomplished the task of placing the reader there. The thick coast accent, the slang and the salty sea air made me feel like I was right on the island! But, I have to admit that I had no idea about Malaga Island and its story. Once Sam’s character was introduced and the story of Malaga Island began to unfold, I eagerly started googling! What I learned was equally fascinating as it was heartbreaking. I can understand why some of the community would want to keep that darkness buried deep down and leave it behind. What inspired you to bring the story of Malaga Island to the surface?


I’m so glad to hear that you Googled the island and its history! I hope readers continue to do this because I believe every story deserves to be told. Malaga’s particular history of cultural erasure—while not singular—is not only an important one to tell, but a necessary one.


Speaking of Sam, I absolutely LOVED him. I said it in my review and I’ll say it again! He is not your traditional YA male character oozing with mystery and brooding qualities. Instead he oozed with normalcy and that’s what I loved most; He was also charming, witty and passionate. There were many times that he made me laugh out loud or left me in awe with his determination regarding Malaga Island. Was Sam's character always part of ‘The Rattled Bones’ plan?


Honestly? Yes. I’m physically incapable of writing a book without a boy who makes me laugh and think—all while helping my protagonists to smooth the edges of our jaded world. Believe me, I’ve tried! I’m so glad you loved Sam’s qualities!! He’s swoon-worthy for the heart and intellect, for sure!


Rilla does have a love interest in the book, but it’s not your typical relationship that you see in most YA novels. I actually adored that quality of the book. Of course, I like a great love story, but it seems Rilla’s true love was her family, searching for the truth and doing what was right for her, no matter who disapproved. Was that always a part of her character? Did you intend to make her love interest almost a secondary part of her story?


Definitely. This is the story of a two girls reaching across time, through the veil of death. I wanted the novel’s narrative focus to remain with Rilla and the ghost. The romance story line/s were always secondary to the mystery Rilla has to solve, and the story the ghost has to tell.


What is one thing you hope your readers take away from The Rattled Bones?


Mostly I hope it’s an entertaining read. It’s always my goal as a storyteller. But for this book in particular, I tried to steep readers in the reality that women (young or old or ghostly) are strong and resilient story makers. We have a unique and powerful lens through which we view the world and that should always be validated.


If you could use only 1 sentence to describe The Rattled Bones, what would you say?

A feminist ghost story.


You live my dream life! You rescue animals, old houses and you write books! What is a ‘Day in the Life of Shannon M. Parker” like?


There’s more laundry than I’d like.


You’re quite the traveler, collecting 37 stamps in your passports...I’m a little jealous….Name one place in the entire world you wish to visit and why?


Australia has my whole heart. The Australian people have this generosity of spirit that is unlike anything I’ve ever encountered. The shores are abundant and so is the kindness. Somehow this makes up for the Box Jelly, The Common Death Adder, the Blue-Ringed Octopus and every other deadly thing on that beautiful island!!


I’ve always had this dream of living in the country on a hobby farm OR living in Costa Rica(or somewhere ridiculously hot and oceany)while selling Ice cream. I know, two completely different things but I’d be happy with either! If you weren’t a writer, what would be your dream?


I’d own a handful of small bungalows on the northeast coast of Australia, spending my days on a lazy porch, surrounded by the stories travelers brought to my little spot on the shore.


Are you currently working on any new writing projects? And if so, can you share anything about it or are you going to make us eagerly wait in agony?


Like Rilla, I’m a bit superstitious so I don’t typically talk about what I’m working on next. I will say it’s a novel.

In the meantime, I do have a short story in the YA anthology, WELCOME HOME (releasing September 5th) called “Tunneling Through.” The anthology is on love and adoption, two inseparable topics that are very near and dear to my heart.


Rapid Fire:


Early bird or night owl?
Early bird.

Your latest Netflix binge?
Offspring. An Australian show (zero surprise).

One thing on your ‘bucket list’:
Creating a bucket list.

One guilty pleasure:
Quiet.

Name one favourite book(because we all have more than one favourite!):
The Secret Life of Bees

Favourite junk food?
The one within reach.

One superpower you’d like to have?
Flight. I’d love to see the world the way an eagle sees the world.

Celebrity crush:
Colin Firth.

What song is your jam?
“You’re The One That I Want” ~ Grease soundtrack.

3 things you’d take if stranded on an island:
Duct tape.
Vaseline.
My pillow.

Last thing you laughed at?
Answering the “what song is your jam” question and picturing your reaction if you ever saw me rock out to “You’re The One That I Want”.

Last thing you just ate?
Cherries.


Shannon, it has been an absolute pleasure connecting with you! And thank you for taking the time to chat with me!


Thank you for reading Rilla’s story and for helping The Rattled Bones reach more readers! I’m eternally grateful!

The Rattled Bones


Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.
Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about—if they know about it at all—due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there—an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam’s work and the girl’s song lure Rilla to the island’s shores.As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow—until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past.
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