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review 2020-05-07 03:11
One of my perfect quarantine reads: Last Girls by Demetra Brodsky
Last Girls - Demetra Brodsky

 

 

I’ve done a few posts for LAST GIRLS already but it finally hit the shelves this week!

I’ve been looking forward to this release for a LONG time so I hope loads of readers add it to their libraries and TBR lists now that it’s out.

 

**It’s kind of rough for authors to be releasing books while bookstores are closed during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Authors and local bookstores could really do with your support right now so show them your love of books by placing online orders of physical copies of books to be SHIPPED TO YOU!!* 

 

Synopsis:
Demetra Brodsky's Last Girls is a twisting, suspenseful YA thriller about sisterhood, survival, and family secrets set in the world of doomsday prepping.


No one knows how the world will end.
On a secret compound in the Washington wilderness, Honey Juniper and her sisters are training to hunt, homestead, and protect their own.

Prepare for every situation.
But when danger strikes from within, putting her sisters at risk, training becomes real life, and only one thing is certain:

Nowhere is safe.

 

 

 

what makes this a great read…

Honey, Blue, and Birdie haven’t had a choice but to live in The Nest and although they feel like weirds among their peers at school, they are tightly bonded to each other. They have been brought up to follow strict rules and guidelines, to not trust Outsiders, and know how to survive in all kinds of situations (without the constant use of technology, and while also not knowing the full truth about their past).

They are strong despite the trauma they’ve been through. They are connected despite the distance they must maintain from others around them. They are smart beyond their years despite everything that is missing from their lives.

It’s a story that unfolds as thriller, a mystery about a prepper community that gradually appears to be a dangerous group with some dark plans, but this is decidedly a contemporary novel with superb character development. The entire story also wouldn’t be complete without a family secret and the ending encapsulates some of my most positive feelings about ‘Last Girls’; nothing cheesy, just full-on satisfied it ends that way.

Author Demetra really allows the reader to get to know her characters and writes her contemporary ‘worlds’ with the detail of a fantasy novel (I love the way she uses actual survivalist terminology for chapter names); these give the story so much more depth. Getting lost in the woods of the Pacific Northwest is one thing (I don’t think I’d advise it). But getting lost in this book for a weekend is immersive and wonderful.

 

 

 

 

*some thoughts about the state of the world around us in relation to LAST GIRLS*

Once the COVID-19 outbreak started affecting our communities jut a few short months ago, the concept of doomsday-prepping became something that seemed to be terrifyingly necessary because we suddenly went into ‘lockdown’ mode.

When our minds go into catastrophic thinking mode amid crisis (and the Coronavirus outbreak definitely can be described as a real one, not imagined), we turn to ways of coping that may be extreme, but not always rationally thought through.

Across the country and early on in the outbreak, many people started hoarding supplies such as toilet paper, cleaning products, hand sanitizer, and disposable face masks. They were panic-buying.

*Doomsday-preppers/preppers/survivalists don’t hoard per se; they spend months preparing and saving supplies, and plan to disperse these within their community if there is an emergency.

 

Because many people bought way more than personally needed or that they needed for their families, many people, including those with less resources and also essential personnel, could not get what they needed. This has been just one of the vey unfortunate issues of the pandemic, but thankfully many people have shown their compassion for others by sharing and caring for their neighbors and strangers in this time. Crisis has the potential to bring out the best in some people but not so much for others.

 

 

LAST GIRLS author Demetra Brodsky wrote her sophomore novel about a trio of sisters who live in a prepper community over a year ago, long before the current outbreak of COVID-19 that has swept the United States and much of the world.

I think there’s something quite wonderful about this having been written before the outbreak but most will read it afterwards. I read it during ‘quarantine’ and it colored the way I was feeling at that time; I was barely leaving my house! 

It seems crazy to have written about people preparing for TEOTWAWKI (and people prepare for ‘The End’ all the time) when it kind of felt like it for a while when so much was unknown.

I’m grateful to Demetra and all my books and for the privilege of reading so I can escape my own reality when things are hard. For real.

 

 

COMING UP...

 

 

Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore will be hosting a Virtual Launch Event for LAST GIRLS on Saturday May 9th at 2pm, and you can check out the info at the FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE!

You can order signed copies of the book through Mysterious Galaxy, whether you tune in for the event or not.

 

 

HAPPY READING. Stay healthy, everyone :)

 

 

*A review copy was provided by the author Demetra Brodsky in exchange of an honest review. THANK YOU!*

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/44651716-last-girls
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review 2020-04-15 07:38
LAST GIRLS PRE-ORDER CAMPAIGN
Last Girls - Demetra Brodsky

LAST GIRLS PRE-ORDER CAMPAIGN


Hey all! I recently finished this amazing YA novel set here in Washington, a tale about family, survival, and doomsday prepping. The book releases in just 3 weeks on 5.5.20; lots of time to get in a preorder and then get your book for your (quarantine) reading! If you send in your receipt to Demetra, she’s got some great prizes and preorder gifts in store...

 

The Juniper sisters in LAST GIRLS don't go anywhere without a backpack (what they call an EDC: Every Day Carry) and they take great pride in their artwork. Honey paints, Birdie draws comics, and Blue uses embroidery to fancy up her clothes (when she's not spending time with her beloved falcon, Achilles).

To honor the sisters' talents, author Demetra Brodsky will be sending one lucky winner some artistic inspiration by offering up a fabulous pre-order Grand Prize. But don't worry, everyone who orders will receive a gift with purchase. And, as a bonus, she is including a 2nd prize that holds a special place in her author heart.

 

ALL PREORDERS WILL RECEIVE: Last Girls 5x7 Glossy Art Print & Signed Bookplate

 


ALL PREORDERS WILL BE ENTERED FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THE GRAND AND FIRST PRIZE.

 

GRAND PRIZE WINNER: (chosen at random on or before 5/19) will receive a BUILT NY grey & blue camouflage backpack with thermal lunch compartment. Inside you'll find a mini acrylic painting kit (From Honey), a sketchbook & pen (From Birdie), an adorable 10" peregrine falcon plushie and mini sewing kit (from Blue), a flashlight (with batteries), a rosy tinted lip balm, camouflage band-aids, a 3-pack of portable tissues printed with positive messages, and a dehydrated camping meal like the one the sisters eat in the book.


FIRST PRIZE: (chosen at random on or before 5/19) A signed hardcover copy of my debut novel, DIVE SMACK, to round out your collection (Surprise! There's a big Dive Smack Easter Egg hidden in the pages of Last Girls)

 

 

TO ENTER: email proof of purchase to demetrabrodskybooks@gmail.com before May 5th. You'll get one entry for each copy of the book you purchase.
Available wherever books are sold.


Whenever possible, please support Indie Bookstores by buying through www.bookshop.org

You can also preorder your copy through these links:

Amazon
BAM!
iBooks

 


Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego will have signed copies (not bookplates) and offers Free shipping for media mail rate within the U.S. on orders over $35. https://www.mystgalaxy.com/book/9781250256522

 

VISIT: www.demetrabrodsky.com to learn more!
*Open to U.S.A. Residents Only
*Sweepstakes run and fulfilled by the author
*Share with your friends


READ AN EXCERPT LAST GIRLS HERE:
https://torteenblog.com/…/read-an-excerpt-of-last-girls-by…/

 

Good luck, and get your order in now!

 

 

 

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/52381097-last-girls?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=XSaJNMEVGq&rank=1
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review 2020-03-17 08:38
‘Twisted Secrets’ is the perfect escape room mystery for your quarantine reading: ‘The Breakfast Club’ + Agatha Christie + CLUE
All Your Twisted Secrets - Diana Urban

RELEASED March 17th, 2020 

Links to buy the book on via the author’s site - dianaurban.com

 

 

Six teens are invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. They’ve been lured to a dining room and locked in with a bomb and a syringe of poison, along with a note instructing them to pick one of them to die….or they all will. The book retraces the events of the last year, flashing back to each character at times that reveal various connections between each of them and all kinds of twisted secrets. Who could have known how they were all connected and how will they choose who will die?

This is a smart contemporary, perfectly combined with mystery, a whodunit that keeps you guessing until the end. The cast of characters has been compared to that of ‘The Breakfast Club’ (only one of the best 80’s coming-of-age teen movies ever); the queen bee, the star athlete, the stoner, the loner, the valedictorian and the music geek cover just about all the usual cliques and stereotypes you’ll find in American high school. Over the decades of movies and books, they haven’t really changed that much but this story felt fresh.
As the teens’ stories are revealed through their past timelines, multiple themes are focused on such as bullying, mental health issues, drug abuse, and suicide. While this makes clear that these things could be triggering, I want to say how skilled author Diana Urban was in writing such complex issues into such a thrilling book. So much action happens over a relatively short period of time and in a small space with a lot of characters, and it takes some really crafty writing to pull that off. Having worked in film, and doing continuity on set, I pictured a lot of these scenes in my head while reading and marveled at how complex it is to write scenes like them to build action within such tight parameters.

If you like classic mysteries like those by Agatha Christie, this is a perfect read.
If you love the board game (or the super fun 80’s movie) CLUE, this book is for you. I really enjoyed the ensemble cast of characters.
If you need a book where the characters are feeling just as shut inside and claustrophobic as you during this virus quarantine, then this is definitely THE book for that. And you will pass the hours by way too quickly because this will just suck you in. The most fun to be had while ‘stuck’ in one (imaginary) room.

‘All Your Twisted Secrets’ is a brilliantly written, smart mystery that I couldn’t put down once I started it; I truly hope there’s so much more to come from Diana Urban! Easily a 5 star read.

 

ABOUT DIANA URBAN
Diana Urban is an author of dark, twisty thrillers. When she's not torturing fictional characters, she works in digital marketing for startups. She lives with her husband and cat in Boston and enjoys reading, video games, fawning over cute animals, and looking at the beach from a safe distance. 

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/41443369-all-your-twisted-secrets
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review 2020-02-18 00:56
‘Beauty & The Beast‘ gets a new look in this YA romance reimagining set at an elite boarding school in the Colorado Rockies
Of Curses and Kisses - Sandhya Menon

Jaya Rao and her little sister Isha are Indian princesses, teenagers who end up at an elite boarding school called St. Rosetta's International Academy in Aspen, Colorado. Aside from Jaya's usual responsibilities that involve preparing her to one day take over the role of helming the 'Imperial House of Mysuru,' Jaya is fiercely protective of her younger sister Isha, who has recently fallen victim to a tabloid campaign released by someone in the Emerson family, British aristocracy and centuries-old rivals of the Raos. It's a rivalry based on a curse and superstition, centered around a stolen ruby, the perfect setup for a fairytale. In this modern reimagining of 'Beauty and the Beast' Jaya finds out that Grey Emerson, the young Lord Northcliffe, is also at Rosetta's and Jaya vows revenge for her sister, something that will require her to get this nobleman to fall in love with her just so she can break his heart.

 

'Of Curses & Kisses' was the perfect YA romance novel for me right now and since I'm not a huge reader of the genre, I'm pretty selective with these reads. This one piqued my interest early because of the boarding school setting (I just couldn’t resist) and the unique matchup of the main characters due to their backgrounds and ancestry.

Menon is a natural storyteller with a light and easy way of storytelling, and this novel is a perfect example of why she is one of the most popular names in young adult romance literature.

She creates many great setups for multifaceted vibrant characters and demonstrates the struggle to choose between family and ancestry, and the desire to grow up and become autonomous. As a lead character whose motives drive the storyline, Jaya’s connection to her sister is one of her most admirable traits, but because it fuels her revenge plot that revolves around her getting close to her male ‘rival’ Grey, she has so many conflicting emotions. She is confused by her real attraction to Grey, a brooding, sympathetic character (who calls himself a ‘Beast’) who she is supposed to ‘love and leave’ as it conflicts with her duty to marry an Indian boy back home.

I was frustrated that some of the friendships seemed a little shallow and although the strict conformity of Jaya was initially irritating, these elements made more sense as the story unfurled. I was aching for her to break out of the mold that she is trapped in, which her sister Isha has been able to do since they’ve been far from their home in India. I’m really hoping that in upcoming sequels about these two at Rosetta’s, Menon includes more of Isha and allows them both to blossom further.

While this might not be ground-breaking territory, I appreciate that author Menon has written a romance that teens on the younger end of the scale can read and appreciate, along with everyone else; the intimate encounters between characters don’t feel too over the top.

 

Whether you are a ‘Beauty & The Beast’ fan and are looking for new life to be breathed into the classic fairytale, or you know nothing of the original, this is a fun jaunt with a modern twist to boarding school in the Colorado Rockies. It offers international flair and light romance and is perfect reading for in between heavier books.

 

*Thank you to Goodreads giveaways for my early copy!

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/43985469-of-curses-and-kisses
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review 2020-02-13 13:07
Under My hat: Tales from the Cauldron
Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron - Jim Butcher,Frances Hardinge,Holly Black,Delia Sherman,Neil Gaiman,Tanith Lee,Peter S. Beagle,M. Rickert,Tim Pratt,Margo Lanagan,Isobelle Carmody,Ellen Klages,Jonathan Strahan,Diana Peterfreund,Ellen Kushner,Charles de Lint,Jane Yolen,Garth Nix,Patricia A

I enjoyed all of these tales of witches and other magical things, some more than others. I actually got this book specifically to read the story by Jim Butcher but books like these are great for finding other authors you might like to read. I think my favorite was The Witch in the Wood by Delia Sherman. I wish that was a whole book.

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