Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY — The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

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Today we are excited to participate in the blog tour for The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard.  The Forgotten Ones is a young adult paranormal books.  It was released on April 30, 2013.

About the Book

ForgottenOnes

The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard
(The Danaan Trilogy #1)
Publication date: April 30th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Synopsis:
Allison O’Malley’s plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she’s been in love with for as long as she can remember.What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison’s mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn’t trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother’s sanity.

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My Thoughts

The Forgotten Ones is a book I’ve had on my TBR list for a looooong time, so I was excited to have the chance to be a part of the blog tour.

This book was such a fast read! I couldn’t believe how I zipped through it, partly because of length, but also because it was easy to keep reading and fast paced.

The story revolves around Allison: Allison is a young girl who lives with her mother and grandparents. Her mother, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was pregnant with Allison. Allison’s grandparents have been taking care of the two since she was born, and Allison is ready to take over her mother’s care.

So of course, the pleas of her cousin Nicole and the attention of Ethan (quienticinal bad boy who turns good around Allison) are pushed off for the idea of becoming a responsible adult.

Despite the short length, the story was well thought out and the world building was flushed out. This is definitely a talent of the author considering it is a fantasy book at such a short length. The concept of this book was AWESOME! I definitely found myself wanting more. MORE, MORE, MORE.

The romance was similar to Finding Meara, in that it was there, but it was by NO MEANS the main focus of the book. I really enjoyed that a lot, although of course I wanted MORE (I feel like a more monster today).

Even though Allison is a bit older than the normal ‘young adult’ protagonist, she read just like a YA character. I think this book could be easily read by the younger YA audience, especially for content and language.

I’m not normally a fairy reader, but this book was just so engrossing and entertaining that it changed my mind. And I love that the faieries were not Tinkerbell-esque. The ending was great and I cannot wait to see what happens next!

Rating:

3_5stars

About the Author

Laura

Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.

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Now comes the fun part!  Today’s giveaway is tour-wide and open internationally!  The prizes include:
5 eBook copies of The Forgotten Ones
$25 Amazon Gift Card

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Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY — Waiting for the Storm by Marie Landry

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Today we are excited to participate in the blog tour for Waiting for the Storm by Marie Landry.  Waiting for the Storm is a young adult contemporary romance.  It was released on April 9, 2013.

About the Book

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Waiting for the Storm by Marie Landry
Publication date: April 9th 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Charlotte O’Dell knows this summer is going to suck. Her mother just died, her sister hates her, and her dad has completely checked out. Fulfilling her mother’s final wish, the family heads to Angel Island for the summer to stay in a beach house her mother once loved.

After a year of being shut away taking care of her mother, Charlotte is numb and practically afraid of her own shadow; she hopes going to the island will give her the time and space she needs to begin healing, and an opportunity to bring her family back together. When she meets her mysterious neighbor, Ezra, it doesn’t take long for Charlotte to confess the issues she’s developed. Ezra begins giving Charlotte assignments to get over her fears, and although she accepts his tasks, all she really wants is to be with him. When she’s with Ezra, she’s able to forget the hollow ache in her heart and the fact that her family is falling apart. But Ezra has secrets…

Can Charlotte pull what’s left of her family together, mend her broken heart, and allow herself to fall for Ezra? Or is it all just a storm waiting to happen?

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My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book.  It wasn’t a loud, boisterous novel that demands your attention.  No, it was a quiet thing that snuck up on  you.  And snuck up on me it did!  I found myself wondering how I lucked out on reading something so beautiful!  Had it not been for this tour, I may never have come across this book, and that makes me really sad.

That being said, I am a sucker for ‘tough issues’ and ’emotionally charged’ books.  There is something so cathartic and empowering about reading about others dealing with things like death, mental illness, anxiety, suicide, loss, etc.  Empowering because you start to realize that you aren’t alone in the issues that you face.  You aren’t the only one who feels misunderstood, lonely, and ‘it’s just me against the world’.  I know a lot of people enjoy books, because they want to escape, but I think books help me deal with my own emotions, just as much as they help entertain me.  And that is why I LOVE when a book like this one gets it right.

Grief is a powerful emotion, one that is really hard to accurately write into a story like this.  It is easy for characters to seem one-dimensional when dealing with grief and entering into a new relationship.  But Charlotte became so real that I completely felt every emotion she had.  That takes an insane talent, and Marie definitely has it.

The book was a great balance of dealing with death and loss and family and all those details of learning to move on as well as first love.  Charlotte and Ezra were sweet and it was impossible to not want them to end up together.  The two had chemistry, but it wasn’t an instant head-over-heels love.  The two bonded over their pasts and the hardships they had to face.  And Charlotte spent a lot of time on her own things — this was a great quality of the book!  So many couples in books get wrapped up in each other so quickly, so it was nice to see her becoming independent as she healed.  She needed all of those experiences to grieve and grow, and it was definitely something I appreciated.

I felt deep in my heart for Charlotte and all that she had to give up in order to take care of her family.  It really speaks volumes about her, as well as giving her depth and likability.  I loved the combativeness between Ella and Charlotte, as well as the disheveled depression of her father.  Showing each character taking the death in such a different way was real and raw.  This book wasn’t about gleaming perfections, but about real life.

Of course, I LOVED that Char (can I call her Char?  I feel like I know her so well!) was a book lover and a book BLOGGER!  Hello, what a cute thing to add into the story.  One of my favorite quotes from the book was about reading:

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, a book will change you. It will make you look at the world a little differently, hold your loved ones a little closer, and realize that when love is standing in front of you and staring you in the face, you have to grab it with both hands and hold on tight.

The writing was incredible and the story was so well done that it made me want to read other books by Marie Landry.  She really delivered something that balances perfectly between emotionally charged and sweet romance.  If you like contemporary and romance, this is a book you MUST pick up.

Overall: Four out of five

About the Author

Marie

Marie Landry is the author of BLUE SKY DAYS (contemporary YA—January 2012), UNDRESSED (a collection of short erotic romance stories—October 2012), THE GAME CHANGER (chick lit—November 2012), and WAITING FOR THE STORM (contemporary YA—April 2013). Marie has always been a daydreamer; since early childhood, she’s had a passion for words and a desire to create imaginary worlds, so it only seemed natural for her to become a writer. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, or having grand adventures with her two precious nephews. For more on Marie and her books, please visit marielandry.blogspot.ca, her profile on Goodreads, or check out her book blog Ramblings of a Daydreamer (sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca).

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Now comes the fun part!  Today’s giveaway is an individual e-book copy of Waiting for the Storm, thanks to the author exclusive to my blog.  Please be sure to complete each item on the list BEFORE you click it, as they will be checked prior to giving out the prizes.  Good luck!

Click HERE to win a copy of Waiting for the Storm(ebook)
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My contest will run July 31 through August 23 (12 a.m. Eastern Time).  There is no purchase necessary and the contest is void where prohibited.  Open to & US/Int!  A big thanks to Marie Landry and Xpresso Book Tours for this gift!  

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