Planet Earth Is Blue Blog Tour Plus Review

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Author: Nicole Panteleakos

Pub. Date: May 14, 2019

Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 240

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“Tender and illuminating. A beautiful debut.” –Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me 

A heartrending and hopeful debut novel about a nonverbal girl and her passion for space exploration, for fans of See You in the CosmosMockingbird, and The Thing About Jellyfish.

Twelve-year-old Nova is eagerly awaiting the launch of the space shuttle Challenger–it’s the first time a teacher is going into space, and kids across America will watch the event on live TV in their classrooms. Nova and her big sister, Bridget, share a love of astronomy and the space program. They planned to watch the launch together. But Bridget has disappeared, and Nova is in a new foster home.

While foster families and teachers dismiss Nova as severely autistic and nonverbal, Bridget understands how intelligent and special Nova is, and all that she can’t express. As the liftoff draws closer, Nova’s new foster family and teachers begin to see her potential, and for the first time, she is making friends without Bridget. But every day, she’s counting down to the launch, and to the moment when she’ll see Bridget again. Because Bridget said, “No matter what, I’ll be there. I promise.”

Planet Earth is Blue is a book about a twelve-year-old girl named Nova. She is autistic and nonverbal, but her sister Bridget always described her as “a thinker not a talker.” She loves her older sister, her sister always protected her in all of the foster homes that they had been in over the years. Her sister made sure that Nova knew that they would always have each other, even if they weren’t able to find a permanent home to stay in. Bridget would always talk to Nova about space, and she even took Nova into space a few times! They were both looking forward to the Challenger launch. Even though Bridget has been temporarily separated from Nova, she promised Nova that they would be reunited in time for the launch. Now, Nova has to spend time in a new foster home by herself, and she is counting down the days to the launch when she will see her sister again.

This book places the reader into the shoes of a severely autistic girl. She is not “retarded,” even though characters in this book may call her that. This is the 80s, they don’t understand her, so they just placed her into a box. Her new foster mother is starting to understand this. She’s starting to understand that her new daughter is more capable than her social workers and former teachers believed her to be. Bridget knew that her sister was more capable, but no one paid attention to a young girl in foster care. Nova doesn’t know who truly has her best interests at heart anymore. Her sister has left, and her new mother seems nice. But other new mothers have seemed nice before and still sent them on their way.

My favorite part of this book was hearing about Nova going to school. It wasn’t my favorite because it was the happiest part of the book, but it was my favorite because it was the most realistic and relatable, even though this book took place in the 1980s. I had never truly thought about how public school must be for someone who has autism until I personally met someone who was autistic and in a Special Education program. Although she attended one of the best schools in our state, the Special Ed program was a mess of teachers who didn’t want to teach and students who were just trying their best to learn. Even though some teachers think that the kids are able to actually take classes, others believe that the students should just play games all day. Nova wants to be able to have chapter books read to her, like her sister used to do. When she is in school, sometimes her time is just wasted when teachers want her to point out colors or play little games. She seems like she isn’t getting the answers right, but she knows the answers. Sometimes the noise of the room and the building are just too much and she mishears the question. I was rooting for Nova to succeed in school the entire time, and I love how the author shows that the kids would befriend one another and protect one another in the school.

Usually for books I also have a least favorite part of the novel, but I literally have nothing to complain about with this book. Nicole weaves Nova’s past and present to give you a complete look at this little girl’s life. You may go from a scene where Nova is struggling in school to learning about her birth mother to learning about her former foster homes. I read this book all in one sitting, I just couldn’t put it down. I had to know more about this girl’s life, and I had to know if she would succeed.

This entire story just truly touched me. I even cried at the end, and I very rarely cry when I read novels! This book is perfect for YA readers and adult readers alike. I wish that there was a sequel to this novel, to see what happens as Nova grows up. For now, I am so glad that I got the chance to meet her.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books


About Nicole

Nicole Panteleakos is an author, playwright, thespian, and Ravenclaw. Her debut novel PLANET EARTH IS BLUE (Wendy Lamb Books, Penguin Random House) will be out in bookstores nationwide on May 14, 2019, with a second middle grade novel to follow in 2020. She is represented by agent Katie Grimm at Don Congdon Associates and belongs to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators: Metro NY. She is also a Lifetime Member of the VFW Auxiliary and National Home for Children, a godmother of three, and a regular contributor to Nanny Magazine. When not writing, she can usually be found reading fanfiction, playing board games, doing community theatre, or adding to her Alice in Wonderland coffee cup collection.

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3 winners will receive a finished copy of PLANET EARTH IS BLUE, US Only.

Tour Schedule

Week One

5/6/2019- Lifestyle Of Me– Review

5/7/2019- Lone Tree Reviews– Review

5/8/2019- Beagles & Books– Review

5/9/2019- Book-Keeping– Review

5/10/2019- Feed Your Fiction Addiction– Review

Week Two

5/13/2019- BookHounds YA– Review

5/14/2019- Bri’s Book Nook– Review

5/15/2019- The Layaway Dragon– Review

5/16/2019- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

5/17/2019- Novel Novice– Excerpt

One Day Blog Tour Plus Review

One Day
A.M. Salinger
(Nights, #9)
Publication date: December 28th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

I will never tire of this man. Whatever he wants. Whenever he wants it. I will accept it all. All of him. Forever — Gabe

He taught me so much. How to love. How to laugh. How to fight and make up. And every day that I spend with him is another day I thank God for the gift He granted me when He gave him to me — Cam

With their wedding two months away, Cam Sorvino and Gabe Anderson receive an unexpected invitation from Gabe’s estranged parents to visit them in the US. But the trip doesn’t go as planned and Gabe leaves his family home with a bitter taste in his mouth, the memories of his past trauma fresh in his mind once more. Until Ethan asks him to join him on an incredible project, one with the potential to change Gabe and Cam’s lives forever.

With Ethan in charge of their secret bachelor party, Cam, Gabe, and their friends go on to enjoy the weekend of a lifetime, including one surprisingly hot and wicked night organized exclusively for them by the sexy bartender.

But as the countdown begins to their wedding, Cam can’t help worrying that Gabe is hiding something from him. Little does Cam know about the breathtaking surprises Gabe and Ethan have in store for him and Joe when they finally gather on the island where the wedding ceremony is to take place. And that’s not the only wonderful thing that unfolds in the beautiful surroundings of the tropical paradise.

Join Cam, Gabe, and all the couples of the Nights series in an epic finale that will have you crying, laughing, sighing, and cheering for all their happily-ever-afters.

Note from the author: this book is the final installment in Nights and cannot be read as a standalone. So, what are you waiting for? Get the entire series now and discover the hot, funny, sexy, wicked couples of Nights!

This is a novella length MF/MM romance with a collection of most splendid HEAs!

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Even though this book is a part of a series, I read it as a standalone for this tour. Nevertheless, I would definitely recommend reading the rest of the series before getting through this one. This book was just so good that I wish I had gotten to know the characters better before jumping to the end. This was an amazing short story, and I’m sure that the rest of the series was just as awesome.

When the book opens, you are introduced to Gabe and Cam. They are an engaged couple, and they are traveling to visit Gabe’s parents for the first time. Cam is an orphan so he doesn’t have a family to introduce Gabe to, but Gabe doesn’t know how his family, specifically his father, is going to react. When the visit turns sour, they leave. Their relationship is intact, and they decide to simply focus on the wedding and forget about the rest of the family. this was what I truly loved about this couple. Even when it seemed as if they had no one but each other, they stuck together and made it through.

Gabe and Cam’s friends are some of the most supportive friends I have ever read about in literature. They all have their own relationships, but not everyone is engaged. At least, not everyone is engaged yet. They all plan an elaborate bachelor party that includes some things to make everyone happy, and they were determined to make Gabe and Cam’s wedding amazing even if their family couldn’t be there for one reason or another.

I also love that there is a mixture of LGBT+ and straight couples who are all friends in this book. This is how things work in the real world, but sometimes I see things being a bit segregated in mainstream literature. There are also different types of relationships in that group. Let me just say that just because the couple was straight did not mean that the man was the completely dominant one in the relationship. Very interesting to read!

I hope that everyone loves this book if they get the chance to pick it up! I read the entire thing in one sitting and almost hopped up to write my review right away, before remembering that it was nearly midnight. I want to get the rest of the series, maybe in a bundle if one comes out!

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new diverse romance series.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 books


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Author Bio:

Ava Marie Salinger is the pen name of an Amazon bestselling author who has always wanted to write scorching hot contemporary and erotic romance. In 2018, she finally decided to venture to the steamy side. NIGHTS is the first of several sizzling series featuring sweet, sexy men and women with dark pasts and a whole lot of love to give to the ones brave enough to fight for their hearts. When she’s not dreaming up hotties to write about, you’ll find Ava creating kickass music playlists to write to, spying on the wildlife in her garden, drooling over gadgets, and eating Chinese.
Want to be the first to know about Ava’s new releases and get access to exclusive content, sneak previews, sales, and giveaways ? Then sign up to her Reader Group here and join her VIP Facebook Fan Group here.

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Butterfly Bones Review (With Spoilers)

Butterfly BonesBethany should be dead, just like the doctors predicted.

But along came the butterflies, altering the order of nature.

And now nature is hell bent on revenge.

Because when fate’s path is disrupted, it’s only a matter of time before balance must be restored.

At birth, Bethany Keatley was diagnosed with a rare bone disorder and sent home from the hospital to die. Despite losing her mother to cancer before she turned two, Bethany defeated her prognosis and now, at fifteen, with hindered growth making her appear ten years old, she is alive and well thanks to the hormone injections which her scientist father developed.

But if growing up isn’t hard enough already, being small makes her a target and a social outcast. The only way she’s been able to escape her high school tormenters so far is by working hard, achieving good grades, and through her unusual friendship with star football player Jeremiah Wright. That is until a misunderstanding with new girl Zoey Margold. Beautiful and brazen, Zoey and her followers make it their focus to break Bethany.

Yet dealing with the bullies becomes the least of Bethany’s worries. The mice on which her dad tests the butterfly hormone are showing side effects no one saw coming, and now her plan to leave the small minded town of Springs, Georgia and become a scientist has all but shattered. Her world becomes a prison and her existence a life sentence.

But nature has her own plans for Bethany.

Haunting and twisted. Like nothing you’ve ever read before.

I had many, many problems with this novel. To keep everything in order, I am going to start with my issues about Bethany’s school life.

Zoey is horribly bullying Bethany every single day, just because she “embarrassed” her on the first day of school. Bethany looked almost lost in the sea of tall people because she had never reached maturity due to her bone deficiency. Zoey was nice when she thought Bethany was an elementary schooler who got off the bus at the wrong stop, but then she became mean when she realized that Bethany was a student in her class. For starters, if Zoey was going to be the mean “Queen Bee”, why would she care about a little kid getting off the bus at the wrong stop? She should have been in character from the start, and completely overlooked Bethany. Secondly, it wasn’t like Zoey was super secretive about her hatred for Bethany. She really didn’t have a good reason to bully Bethany, so the fact that the bullying went to such an extent was rather strange to me. Also, Where were the teachers in all of this. It was no secret that Bethany had a bone disease, so why was Zoey allowed to push and chase Bethany around. If she was a normal girl who was still weak even with medication, this type of bullying could have put Bethany in real danger. I doubt that this would have really happened in an actual school. If anything, Bethany might have struggled with being smothered by people trying to make sure that she didn’t get hurt.

Let’s also talk about Bethany’s relationship with her father. Even though her father was trying to do everything to keep her safe, there were only a few situations in the book where Bethany wasn’t hostile or rude towards her father. She didn’t like the fact that he spent all of his time in the lab, even though he was trying to create a cure for her. I get that he wasn’t always there for her, but her father was trying to help her. He wasn’t just getting lost in his work to be lost in his work. If anything, Bethany should have viewed him as a hero. Bethany always seemed to play the victim every time she was bullied, but then she turned around and made the only person who really cared about her as family feel horrible.

Then we get into the main part of the plot where the lab mice start to eat ravenously and then form cocoons. Bethany realizes that she is going to form a human cocoon, and she is going to need a huge stock of food in order to gain enough weight to form it without dying like the mice. Bethany’s father does the dumbest thing I have ever seen a book scientist do. He decides that he is going to try to use the hormone on himself, accelerate it so that he gets into a cocoon before Bethany, just so that they can see how many leafy greens she will need to eat to survive. I just don’t understand why he would do that. He knew this would most likely kill him, and then Bethany would be left to go through the change completely on her own. He basically just killed himself, and then said to his daughter “Good luck creating a cocoon, please burn my house and my body.” Bethany was forced to see his rotting corpse in the cocoon for a few days, or maybe even a week or two, before she started to form the cocoon herself. Then, she was in the cocoon for two months, as the body continues to rot. If seeing your father’s rotting corpse multiple times in multiple states of decay isn’t disturbing, I don’t know what is. Also, this is advertised as a YA book. I usually am not the police of YA fiction, but this type of goriness is usually left to NA or Adult books. It is also disturbing when forms her own cocoon, I had to stop reading it a few times.

Lastly, there is the boyfriend Jeremiah. Well, I don’t know what to call him. They started off as friends, but then they went into a painful cycle of “I like you but I don’t like you” for the rest of the book. I just wanted to throw the romance in the trash entirely.

I found myself really confused at the end of the book. This seems to be where the plot takes a turn for the worse. Bethany has completed her transformation, none of her old clothes fit, but her first thought is to go kiss Jeremiah. Not get herself checked out by a doctor, or even take the money her father gave her and try to start a new life. She wants to see the boy that she hasn’t seen for two months. For all she knows, he has moved on. Then it just seems to get all over the place, with strange details about the car and other things, and then it ends. This isn’t to say that the book had the best writing throughout, but this was definitely one of the most discombobulated endings that I have read in a while.

Overall, there just wasn’t much that I liked about this book. The bullying seemed “typical” but unrealistic for Bethany’s situation, she tried to play the nice girl but she really wasn’t, and she was horrible to the one person who would do anything for her. Then the Dad dies for no reason, leaving his daughter to fend for herself, and she wakes up from metamorphosizing for two months like nothing is wrong. The final sin is that the book doesn’t even really end, but instead leaves things open for the next novel in the series. I was reading these for a tour, so I did read the second book in this series! Believe me, it only gets worse from here.

Overall Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Butterfly Blood Review (Metamorphosis #2) (With Spoilers)


“How many of my sins will have to be paid for in blood?”

Sixteen-year-old Bethany Keatley finally has the healthy body and looks she’s always desired. But the price she’s had to pay has left her traumatized.

The only thing making her battle on is the memory of that kiss with Jeremiah.

Now miles from him and living in Florida with an aunt she’s never met, shocking revelations about her parents are too much to bear. After collapsing from exhaustion and shock, Bethany wakes in a hospital bed awaiting test results—results that might lead to the discovery of her unusual butterfly blood.

But that’s the least of Bethany’s concerns when the doctor informs her she’s infected with a parasite and without immediate treatment she’ll die.

Too young to refuse and too weak to fight back, Bethany’s life once again hangs in the balance. Yet her scientific knowledge and suspicious nature lead her to unravel a horrifying web of lies.

Will nature intervene again, demanding another payment?

So now Bethany realizes that her father was a bit crazy. Apparently, he might have killed her mother by injecting her with the cancer cells that killed her, just so she would stay with him. Bethany’s aunt is not leaving anything out of this story that she tells her. I have to say, it was interesting to see Bethany’s father as the “bad guy.” Nevertheless, it explains some of the unstable things he did, such as killing himself trying to make a cocoon and nearly running Zoey over for bullying his daughter. Most normal parents would just go to the principal about a bully, he doesn’t do anything and then tries to kill the girl.

But I digress, even with this new addition to the already hectic plot, I find myself hating Bethany more and more with this novel. First, she finds out that she has spores in her lungs that could mean that she has a deadly disease. Rather than trying to work with the doctors to find a cure, she decides to leave the hospital and try to fly back to Georgia to tell Jeremiah that she loves him. Then her aunt calls her frantically and says that her disease might be contagious, and that she needs to get back to the hospital immediately. She thinks about all the people she coughed nearby and feels bad for possibly giving them a death sentence, but her love life is definitely more important. She slaps a mask on and keeps trying to board the plane in peace. Then she realizes in a shock that she might be a “terrorist” for bringing her deadly disease on the plane and starts freaking out, allowing her aunt to collect her and bring her home. Do YA authors honestly believe that teenage girls are this stupid? She’s literally willing to kill people to get back to this “boy” that she’s only kissed one time.

Also, don’t even get me started with Jeremiah’s “side” of the story. I don’t, I can’t understand what is going on. Did she infect him by kissing him and then he made a cocoon? Why are there voices talking to him? Why are they inexplicably connected to each other? This novel does not even try to explain this, not in any of the 57 alternating chapters. Then he is randomly burned and in a hospital for the rest of the book. I just, I don’t get it. I don’t understand what was going on with his character at all, and I won’t try to force myself to. Just know that every time the book switched to his POV I was completely confused and just wanted to get the chapter over with. Usually, when a book switches to the male love interest’s POV, it is to get information on how he feels about a situation or how he truly feels about the female main character. Instead, we get some sort of half-written mess and start losing our minds with Jeremiah.

Then, there is the evil doctor side plot. Now, I read this book, and I even read it slower than I usually read other books of the same length. I still don’t see how the evil doctor was important to the main storyline. I also don’t see how the FBI got involved in everything. By the time I got to the middle of the book, I stopped trying to keep track of the plot and instead just read the information on the page and flipped to the next one. Nothing made sense, not the conflict, not the romance, not the side plot.

I am so happy to finally be done with this series, and I am not even going to attempt to read the next book in the series. I am completely finished and was lucky not to read myself into a slump trying to finish these two.

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Staying Pure Review

Staying Pure (Payton Skky, #1)Payton Skky is beautiful and popular and dating Dakari Graham, the most attractive and desirable guy in their Georgia high school. The problem? He wants to have sex with her while she wants to obey God and stay pure until marriage. With pressures coming from all sides, Payton begins to wonder if waiting is really worth it. When he breaks it off with her for a more willing girl, Payton’s world crashes down on her. As she struggles to answer these questions and gets to know Tad Taylor, Payton realizes that following God is the real secret to staying pure.

I’ll be honest, it’s been a bit since I read a strictly Christian YA novel. Even though I am Christian, other Christians have been being so hateful lately that I have actually been too scared to even pick up any Christian fiction novels. Then I remembered Mrs. Moore’s Carmen Browne series from when I was younger and decided that I would give the Payton Skky series a try. Boy, was I in for a treat!

Payton wants to do what she believes God wants her to do and stay a virgin until marriage, but her boyfriend Dakari keeps pressuring her into having sex with him. She can’t deny that she has those feelings too, and she doesn’t want to lose the best and only boyfriend she has ever had. Even though the book focused on this issue from a Christian perspective, this is an issue that many teen girls and boys deal with. Yes, sometimes even the girlfriend of the relationship wants to do more than what the boy is ready for. She almost gives in, but by that point, he is already onto some other girl. This is the sad truth for those types of teenage relationships where a person is rushing for only the physical part of the relationship, they usually don’t end well. Then, she has a friend named Lynzi who has no problem with having sex with her boyfriend, but even he isn’t loyal to her. This story teaches teenage readers that the only way to have a healthy relationship is to find a healthy person to have that relationship with.

I’ll admit, I didn’t like Payton that much at certain times in the book. She did act immature at many times and even had somewhat of a “holier-than-thou” attitude with most of her friends. By the middle of the book, she starts to humble herself and realize that she was really no better than the other kids her age. This character development was important for the story, but it couldn’t stop me from disliking the person that Payton was at the beginning of the story.

I enjoyed the character Tad, but I don’t believe that any person can be as “perfect” as he seems to be. Sure, he is Christian and is also happy to bring God into their relationship and wait to be intimate, but something just tells me that something will happen along the line to pull the two apart. It just seems unrealistic that she would find a guy that fits everything that both she and her parents wanted in a boyfriend. Even making it that he was on the wrong path and then changed in high school through going to church would make him more realistic.

Even though I had these small issues, I enjoyed the overall story! I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a YA Christian fiction novel with African-American characters.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Audrey and the Hero Upstairs Review (Scandalous #5)

Audrey and the Hero Upstairs (Scandalous, #5)After Brody saves Audrey from a horrible house fire, she was at the hospital for a long time. She will always have horrible burns on her face from the fire, and this has kept her from leaving the house or the hospital. Brody is determined to make her feel comfortable again, but she doesn’t want to be bullied at school for the way she looks. As he tries to help her get over her fears, the two start to grow closer together. Even though she is only 17 and he is 25, they are determined to find a way to be together. Brody doesn’t want Audrey to only be interested in him because he saved her, but Audrey knows that he is the only one who really understands her.

Before people call this book creepy because Audrey is technically not legal, they barely even kiss before Audrey turns 18.

Now, with the rest of the story. I always wondered what would happen to Audrey after she lost her entire family in the fire a few books ago, so I was glad to see that Brody had managed to bring her in and give her a place to stay where she felt like she still had a family. I was definitely not expecting them to be together, but I loved their romance. To be honest, this might be my favorite couple in the entire Scandalous series.

This book also tested me to see if these books could really be read as standalones. I somehow managed to miss the blog tour signups for both this book and book 4 of the series, so I was missing an entire book’s worth of series knowledge. My answer is that this book can definitely be read as a standalone! The only thing that surprised me was how much the characters had seemed to ae since the beginning of the series, and this would not affect a new reader at all. Other than a few references to previous books in the series, there wasn’t anything that you absolutely HAD to know before reading this novel. I would just suggest that you read the series in order because it is an awesome series, and it truly allows you to see how much the characters have changed from high school to the adult world.

The character development in this one was pretty intense, as Audrey had to learn how to break out of the shell she had created after the fire, and Brody had to learn how to allow her to break out of her shell. He might think that he’s ready to see her have other friends and spend less time in the house, but he still struggles with the change.

The plot of this book actually moves slower than it does in some of the other novels. Most of the plot in Indie and the Brother’s Best Friend occurs over the period of a single vacation/wedding timespan. This one goes from the summer into a good portion of Audrey’s school year, which could be a few months at least. It was nice to see that Audrey didn’t just turn from a shy awkward burn victim into a social butterfly in one or two days.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new YA romance novel to read.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars