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text 2017-03-28 07:23
Digging in the Stars by Katherine Blakeney Book Blitz and Giveaway

Digging in the Stars
Katherine Blakeney
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.
Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.
Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.
“Please remain seated as we begin our descent into Thror. Welcome, and enjoy your stay.”
The time for action was at hand, and she still didn’t feel ready. The flight felt much shorter than she’d expected.
The girls exchanged bewildered looks across the aisles. Stunned silence. They couldn’t have missed that final announcement. Avoiding Professor P’s gaze, Carter still felt the look of shock the professor shot across the cabin. Once, Carter had seen herself arriving on Thror as a great explorer. Instead, she would be remembered as a half-baked deceiver and kidnapper. The Throrians would have called her a scent-changer.
* * *
Carter had been so close to her goal. She saw that crack with her own eyes, a portal into a lost ancient world, chambers filed with carvings, images that had never been recorded or reproduced. The greatest discovery of this or any other century, waiting less than twenty feet away. Waiting for her. And Conrad had been there first. The moment she thought it, she felt guilty. She was allowing herself to get carried away by archaeological fervor, mentally competing with Conrad, when he might have paid a terrible price for his discovery.

Author Bio:
I am an author and independent filmmaker/stop motion animator with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). My thesis focuses on silent film adaptations of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Gothic novels, with a special emphasis on psychological and aesthetic representations of the Monster figure. My debut novel, a YA Sci-Fi adventure called Digging in the Stars, is forthcoming with Blaze Publishing on March 28, 2017.
Raised by an Egyptologist mother, I grew up among museums and excavation sites, where I developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. I divide my time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in my studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the Egyptian desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. I have worked for more than 10 years as photographer and videographer for the South Asasif Conservation Project, an archaeological expedition in Egypt and I have published numerous articles on film and archaeology.
I write, direct, design, and animate short films and commissioned projects in my studio in Edinburgh, Scotland and have been employed as an animator, screenwriter, modelmaker and art director for studios in Edinburgh, South Korea and Qatar. I have produced commissioned projects for IdeasTap in London, the Arts Trust Scotland and the British Library. My shorts have won competitions and screened at various international festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2015, my short film The Burglar With the Yellow Hand was nominated for an Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) Research in Film Award.

You can find out more about all aspects of my work on my website, http://yorwickcastle.com
My new blog http://KatherineBlakeneyStardigger.blogspot.com is all about Digging in the Stars and my references and inspirations as a writer.

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review 2017-03-28 03:27
You Know Me Well
You Know Me Well - Nina LaCour,David Levithan

I thought this book was well-written and the plot moved along at a brisk pace, but honestly, even considering the fact that I am not a YA reading this, I found it unrealistic. There is endless talking and pining for love in this story (I found all the over-analyzing more like college students than high school, but maybe that’s just me) and yay, it’s a story of so many under-represented gay teens, but aside from that, not a whole lot happens. Well, actually, a lot happens in the span of just a few days, but I didn’t find it very believable. Having said that, I will admit that I loved the banter between the friends — I found it smart and funny and the authors established a nice rapport among them; but it was all smart and funny, barely an awkward pause despite the fact that most of them had only just met. I mean I get the whole fast friends thing, but there was a lot of that here – not just one relationship.


LaCour and Levithan had their hearts in the right place, but I thought the story that unfolded had the potential to be so much more.

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review 2017-03-28 02:54
Book 13/100: A Frozen Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick
A Frozen Heart - Elizabeth Rudnick

This is probably the best Disney spinoff novel that I've read so far.

A big part of that is that Rudnick is a good writer, and this book feels like it came from someone who cares enough about her subject matter to really sink into the characters' thoughts, motivations, and world. The book is full of backstory for Anna and Hans that is only hinted at in the movie, gives names and personalities to "bit part" characters, and for the most part does not feel forced or contrived.

My biggest disappointment in this book was how much of its events overlapped with the movie's events -- that means that a sizeable chunk of it was essentially a "novelization," albeit a very good novelization. I would have enjoyed it a LOT when I was young and used to read the novelizations again and again in the time between the movie's theatrical release and its video release, but as an adult (who still reads Disney novels ;)), I was hungry for more new, original material -- especially since Rudnick did that so well.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-28 00:32
Book Review : History is all you left me Adam Silvera
History Is All You Left Me - Adam Silvera

March 13-15

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

Review : I loved this book it made me cry I loved these characters . Giffin's ex boyfriend died and he's having trouble dealing with it I loved how it was talked in the past and present.Griffin starts chatting with Jackson there's boyfriend Griffin never liked Jackson cause he was still in love with Theo but he broke up with Theo cause he wanted Theo to enjoy college and then Theo meets Jackson and he loves them both which is kinda fucked up cause Theo was mostly stringing Griffin along . Griffin ends of going to california with Jackson and they end up sleeping together . Jackson tells Griffin he didnt save Theo and he went for a lifeguard and Griffin gets mad and leaves . Griffin decides to talk to wade who was theo's best friend and his friend who he ended up sleeping with multiple times they decided to just be friends . Jackson visits again and him and Griffin talk Wade is very jealous . I feel like wade and Griffin will get together but griffin had to let Theo go I loved this book very emotional .
Time doesn’t heal all wounds. We both know that’s bullshit; it comes from people who have nothing comforting or original to say.”

People are complicated puzzles, always trying to piece together a complete picture, but sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we’re left unfinished. Sometimes that’s for the best. Some pieces can’t be forced into a puzzle, or at least they shouldn’t be, because they won’t make sense.”

“History is nothing. It can be recycled or thrown away completely. It isn’t this sacred treasure chest I mistook it to be. We were something, but history isn’t enough to keep something alive forever.”

Griffin . Hey
No way
I freeze at the sound of my dad's voice He's right behind us.
I honestly think Id rather be caught masterbating .
wade laughs a little to himself probably. because this is going to be painfully humiliating .

I’ll never understand how time can make a moment feel as close as yesterday and as far as years.”

“But hey, if there’s one bright side to your dying, it’s that you aren’t around to tell me things I don’t like hearing. I’m sorry. That was a dickhead thing to say. I need a condom for my  mouth.







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review 2017-03-27 21:18
Interesting Book That I Had a Hard Time Believing
Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon

First off, I did like the writing except for the twist and I loved the illustrations in the book which made it jump off the page more for me. But I ultimately found this book boring and there was not enough information for me to make me happy with certain characters and their development. When we do get to the twist aspect had a hard time with it and the ramifications of if after the fact. It just didn't feel believable to me at all.


So I bought and read this book because I know that the movie about this book is coming out I believe this year. It has some of my favorite actresses in it, so I was interested in reading the book first. 


Image result for everything everything movie


My enjoyment of YA books that are turned into movies later has been miss so far, and I think I would rate this one half a miss. It's not aggravating like "The Fault in Our Stars" and I don't hate the whole world after finishing it like "Divergent". 


"Everything Everything" is told from the first person POV of Madeline Whittier. Maddy is about to be 18 years old and unlike other girls her age she is dealing with a constant fear of death. She suffers from a rare disorder that has her allergic to everything in the outside world that most people would never even think of at all. Due to this, she has never left her home and instead has a stay at home nurse that monitors her along with her mother who is also a doctor. When a family moves into the house next door, Maddy starts to take an interest in the outside world again and finds herself falling in love with the boy (Olly) who made her want to leave her home. 


I did like Maddy but have to say that I had a hard time with her being as nosy as she was with Olly about his life and his family and not wanting to tell him for the longest time about her condition. When she eventually starts to let Olly in I just shook my head since you would think that tact is something that Maddy would have learned. Sometimes Yoon acts as if Maddy is some alien that has dropped onto our planet for the first time and other times she has her older than her years. Though Maddy has online tutors and even a teacher who comes to her to review her work, it's not like she has never spoken to other people before.


When Olly pushes his way into Maddy's world, I actually liked him though I once again had a hard time with the boy next door thing. I wish that Maddy had been able to interact with Olly and his family more instead of us just getting glimpses of what was going on via Maddy's comments. But I have to say that Yoon does write a realistic teen romance. Though I have to say that Olly being into parkour was a new one on me. 


Other characters are not very well developed in this book though. For example, Maddy's mother felt like a big fat goose egg to me. I got more out of Maddy and her interactions with Carla. Maddy's mother seemed to want to keep her to being the same child and didn't want her to change or have any interests at all. 


The writing was good though. I have to say the back and forth between Maddy and Olly was great and at times heartbreaking. I loved the illustrations in the book too. It really came alive for me and I thought they were cute and at times sad depending on what Maddy was talking about in that chapter.


The ending though I don't know. I am happy for it in a way, but in another way I wish that maybe Maddy had chosen a different path. I can't get into it without going into spoilers though. 


See below for spoilers regarding why honestly this book was a straight up 3 star read besides what I have gone to above. 


So here is why I had a hard time giving this book 5 stars. How the heck did Carla or even Maddy never question the fact that no doctor ever came by to see Maddy. She has a rare condition. You are telling me that no one would come to talk to her about studies or see how she's progressing? The whole book strained credibility for me due to things like that. I just didn't buy it. 


I also hated how Maddy's mom was just given an out for the whole thing by people talking about mental illness. I don't know what she is suffering from because Yoon never spells it out for you. And since you don't know what happened to Maddy's father and brother besides them being dead, I have a hard time with her breaking with reality like she did. They had to have been murdered or something right? Well you never find out so enjoy the book. 

(spoiler show)
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