Anticipated Releases

Blogmas Day 7: PULSE Blog Tour Post // Interview with Danielle Koste!

Hi everyone!

I’m back with Blogmas Day 7 – how quickly is this month going?? Anyway today I’m here with another special post, and once again it’s my stop on the PULSE blog tour! If you missed my review of PULSE that kicked off the tour you can find it here! You won’t want to miss out on this heart racing book!

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Today I have a very exciting interview with the lovely Danielle Koste herself! I absolutely loved this interview, and I can’t wait to share it with you all! Here we go:

  1. What first inspired you to start writing books? When did you start writing?

    It’s kind of a funny story. It started with a really terrible English teacher, ironically enough. During elementary school we had one teacher who basically didn’t teach us much and instead told us to spend the class writing. I learned nothing that year but creatively I flourished, along with the rest of my class I’m sure. Sharing and writing stories for an hour every day was very productive.

    I wrote my first ‘full’ novel in that class: A horror story that was about 30 handwritten pages long and involved a haunted house with blood leaking walls and ended with the gorey deaths of my characters and my parents being slightly concerned for my mental well being.

    Since then writing was always a hobby I had on the side of everything else. It was only in my last year of Junior high where I really started considering it as a career though.

    I read a book for a book report: “Shattering Glass” by Gail Giles. It inspired me so much that I thought of my own story on the spot, the plot that would eventually, over 8 years later, become my current WIP, the first draft of a book titled “Extracurriculars”. I was so obsessed with Gail’s novel I even wrote to her. I sent her a long email about all my thoughts, I even sent her a scan of my book report, and the most defining part, she wrote back.

    She gave me so much advice, about writing, about how I should go about getting published, about never giving up. And that really motivated me. I think to this day, I know that other people had defining moments in leading me towards writing, but nothing pushed me to being an “author” as much as that response email.

  2. Who are your writing inspirations?

    After that previous answer I don’t think it needs to be stated, but I completely devoured all of Gail Giles books after reading “Shattering Glass”. Her writing is more middle grade and not quite as sophisticated as what I prefer to read now, but her stories are gripping and have definitely instilled in me a desire for the dark and controvial.

    After her, my go to favorite novels when someone asks are always White Oleander by Janet Fitch and Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie Macdonald. I often say that if someone wants to understand me a little better, to read these two books. I strive to be half as good with words as these two amazing women are.

  3. What inspired PULSE?

    The word ‘inspire’ is always a tough one for me. My inspiration is sort of like spices in a soup. Tiny little flecks of almost nothing flavoring the whole of something else. Overall, my inspirations come from everything. Films, music, games, books obviously, but also sights, sounds, experiences, feelings.

    To be a little less vague and pretentious about it though, the nugget of an idea that would eventually lead to PULSE came as a dream I had one night. A female scientist researching something on the other side of a glass wall. But it wasn’t an animal as one might expect. It was a little boy with bright blue eyes.

  4. There are a few scientific scenes within the story. Did you do any research for the novel?

    I did A LOT of research, and it probably still isn’t enough. Specifically, I learned about blood, and viruses, and how they work, and how HIV works, and how the science behind my fictional virus could theoretically be plausible (with some suspended disbelief). I also had to learn a lot of terminology, a lot of which never even made it into the novel.

    I’m waiting for the day that a real med student calls me out for all my wrong info. Please go easy on me, doctors,  I tried my best!

  5. What was your favourite scene to write?

    Without giving too many spoilers, my favorite scene was likely when Lyall gets to tell Rowan a little more about his past.

    There’s a lot about Lyall that the reader does not get to know about in PULSE, since it’s from Rowan’s point of view. His story is a long one, and I really enjoyed getting to touch on a very small piece of it.

  6. I absolutely loved how headstrong and independent Rowan was, did you always plan her out to be this way or did it develop as you wrote?

    Rowan was always supposed to be headstrong, but during my first draft she got lost somewhere along the way. Somewhere around 3/4 of my way through the novel, I realized that something was wrong. Not only was what I’d written already not going to lead well into the ending I now realized I wanted, but Rowan was not the girl she was suppose to be. There was something hollow about how I’d written her.

    When I started the first rewrite, a new girl appeared. It was like she’d been waiting on the sidelines all along, ready for me to take her off the bench. Ever since then it was a bit like she was leading the story, rather than me.

  7. I loved how you never named exactly what Lyall is (no spoilers!), but all the characteristics are there – why did you do this?

    When I first started PULSE it was on the back end of the Twilight fiasco. It felt like anything labelled the dreaded V-word was immediately written off by most people, and being a tiny baby of only freshly 21 years old at the time, I was scared of people judging the book before reading it. Looking back, I was also determined to be unique and different. I tried to write a book that was basically angels and demons, but I made up this complicated and pretentious lore to explain why they weren’t angels and demons but instead something else. I was obviously scared of falling into a category at the time.

    With PULSE, I told myself I’d stay as far away from the V-word as possible. Lyall was unique after all, I didn’t need to call him anything.

    I’ve since shaken off that fear. I know that paranormal fans are a breed, so those that like it will usually flock to a release of their favorite type of monster like moths to a flame. But the ‘unnamed’ part still stuck. Why?

    Ultimately, I think it came down to Rowan. With how scientific and proof based she is usually, it would be hard for her to use that word, giving it’s fantastical connotation. Most people think of some pretty wild, magical creatures when you use the v-word, but Lyall is very much real (in fictional terms). It would seem ridiculous to her to call him something so “fictitious”.

    Not to mention the fact that I think Rowan, while she does question her own logic and emotions sometimes, she never truly sees Lyall as anything other than human.

  8. The villain in this book is particularly cruel and cunning, why do you think the villain ended up like this?

    “The Villain” is an interesting character who went through a lot of transformations, which old fans will recognize almost right away.

    I don’t consider them a villain as much as I do an antagonist. They are misguided, and in a way, meant to be a mirror image of Rowan: of what Rowan could have become, if she’d made different choices.

    There’s a lot more to “The Villian’s” personal story as well, but their motivations are fueled by self disappointment and dissatisfaction. Despite facades, they are not happy where they are in their life, they have achieved so much and yet still feel  empty, and they fill those empty spaces with greed and power that eventually overcomes them.

  9. Which character was the most fun to write for?

    Cameron has and always will be a personal favorite, in regards to PULSE at least. He’s not only the comic relief at times, but Rowan’s support system. He’s integral to Rowan’s personality, to her confidence, and also to her humanity. He keeps her from floating off into space due to her sometimes big headedness.

  10. What can we expect from the future?

    Currently all my focus has been on the release of PULSE, but I have another paranormal romance that I am hoping to release in 2018, as long as everything with PULSE runs smoothly. I also have a first draft WIP, Extracurriculars, that is nearly complete, and can actually be read over at my Wattpad or Tapas!

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There we go! Thank you to the lovely Danielle for this interview – your answers were AMAZING! I would also like to thank her for letting me join this blog tour, and letting me read your book – it’s too amazing for words! Follow her on Twitter by clicking here!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour on the dates below!

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Until next time,

Keep Reading!

Meggan x

Reviews

Blogmas Day 6: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James // Review


Title: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Rating: ★★★★★

Release: 7th September 2017

Synopsis: Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J. Their only communication is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away? But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean? Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone…

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An eerily brilliant story from one of the best young adult authors of our time. Do you think you enjoy the silence? After this book, you won’t be anymore…

Continue reading “Blogmas Day 6: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James // Review”

Reviews

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough // Review


Title: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Rating: ★★★★★

Release: 26th January 2017

Synopsis: Louise – Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets…

David – Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife…

Adele – Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her.

But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks… Is David really is the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears?
Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?

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Review:

A thriller that will leave you in shock, and will leave you reeling for weeks on end after you finish the final page.

Continue reading “Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough // Review”

Reviews

The Outliers by Kimberley McCreight // Review


Title: The Outliers by Kimberley McCreight

Rating: ★★★

Release: 3rd May 2016

Synopsis: Imagine if you could see inside the minds of everyone around you – your best friend, your boyfriend, your enemies…? Imagine how valuable you’d be… Imagine how much danger you’d be in… Imagine being an Outlier.

It all starts with a text:
Please Wylie, I need your help.

Wylie hasn’t heard from her one time best friend, Cassie, in over a week. Not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, and it’s up to Wylie to do what she does best, save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different though – Cassie’s texts are increasingly cryptic and scary. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie asked him to help. Trusting the super-hot boy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice.

But as Wylie and Jasper follow Cassie’s bizarre trail, Wylie has a growing sense that something is REALLY wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? Who is she with and what do they want from her? And could finding her be just the beginning…?

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Review:

An interesting story with a lot of mystery, and action ready to keep you up at night.

The story overall was really well thought out, and although at parts I felt a little lost at what was happening, overall I really enjoyed it. I loved how every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, something happened and it kept me on edge.

There are so many twists and turns to keep you on your toes, and I really liked how the characters become intertwined with the story. It was very clever.

I’m curious as to where the next book will go, and I’m excited to get back into the world of The Outliers.

You can buy The Outliers on Amazon UK here!

Reviews

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin // Review


Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Rating: ★★★★

Release: 27th September 2011

Synopsis: Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger. She wakes from a coma in hospital with no memory of how she got there or of the bizarre accident that caused the deaths of her best friends and her boyfriend, yet left her mysteriously unharmed. The doctors suggest that starting over in a new city, a new school, would be good for her and just to let the memories gradually come back on their own.

But Mara’s new start is anything but comforting. She sees the faces of her dead friends everywhere, and when she suddenly begins to see other people’s deaths right before they happen, Mara wonders whether she’s going crazy! And if dealing with all this wasn’t enough, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen can’t seem to leave her alone… but as her life unravels around her, Mara can’t help but wonder if Noah has another agenda altogether…

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Review:

An intense book with a perfect balance of subtle horror and wonderfully created characters.

Right from the start I felt completely immersed in the book, as I was curious as to what had happened to Mara, and also loved how mysterious the entire situation was kept.

Mara’s portrayal of PTSD was written so well, and I loved how Michelle included this in the story as PTSD is barely ever mentioned in YA, so it was nice to see it being represented in a way that fit with the story too. It feels so real, and you can feel the panic as she does.

The story overall had me reminiscing on some moments of Twilight, but I loved how Noah was actually so kind, and didn’t fit in to the brooding stereotype of “YA male characters”. It was such a wonderful breath of fresh air.

The writing style was absolutely brilliant, I was completely invested into the story, and the development of both Mara and Noah was so great. I loved the depth to their chemistry, and also the depth of Mara’s character.

This book was so brilliantly written, and had such a great balance of horror and suspense. It had a great story, and I can’t wait until I can get the rest of the series!

You can buy The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer on Amazon UK here!

Reviews

S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett // Review


Title: S.T.A.G.S by M.A. Bennett

Rating: ★★★.5

Release: 10th August 2017

Synopsis: It is the autumn term and Greer MacDonald is struggling to settle into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as S.T.A.G.S.

To her surprise Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ – an invitation to spend the half term weekend at the country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular and wealthy boy at S.T.A.G.S.

Greer joins the other chosen students at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, and soon realises that they are at the mercy of their capricious host. Over the next three days, as the three bloodsports – hunting, shooting and fishing – become increasingly dark and twisted, Greer comes to the horrifying reality that those being hunted are not wild game, but the very misfits Henry has brought with him from school…

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Review:

A thriller full of twists and turns, and deadly enough to make you never want to go on a school trip ever again.

Continue reading “S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett // Review”

Reviews

Hate List by Jennifer Brown // Review


Title: Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Rating: ★★★★★

Release: 4th November 2010

Synopsis: 5 months ago Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend opened fire on their school cafeteria, killing five students and one teacher before turning the gun on himself. Valerie, who was shot trying to stop him, is initially implicated in the shootings because of the hate list she helped create. The hate list her boyfriend used to pick his targets.

As Valerie integrates back into school, more of an outsider than she ever thought she was before, she is forced to confront her feelings of guilt and loneliness. Exploring the gray area between hero and villain, she navigates the rocky relationships with her family, her former friends, with the memory of the boyfriend she still loves, and with the girl whose life she saved five months ago. As she moves toward graduation and the year anniversary of the shooting, Valerie must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it all in order to make amends and move on with her life.

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Review:

A heart wrenching and emotionally underrated book that will leave you reaching for the tissues, this is one of the most uniquely brilliant books I’ve read.

This book completely blew me away. I picked it up on a whim from the bookshop, and I am amazed even now about how brilliant it was. It was thought provoking, emotional and had such realistic characters that I could feel all the emotions.

Dealing with such a tough topic, and one that unfortunately is more common in the world than we’d like, this book opened every wound that can be caused by such a mass horror. I loved though, how it wasn’t focused on the shooting, but instead focused on how Val coped with what happened, and not only the loss of her classmates, but the coming to terms with what her boyfriend did, and how she became involved.

It was so brilliant how we got to see how she coped with all these emotions, from people calling her a murderer, to her dealing without Nick and her mixed feelings over him, and also the relationship with her old friends. Her relationship with her parents was also a particularly stand out moment for me, as it hurt me in the best way. It was so beautifully written that every moment between them felt as if it was a moment between me and my parents, so hit me hard. The situations she goes through, and of feeling so alone really brought me to tears.

The use of split timelines was also well used, as it allowed us to see what Nick and Val were like before the shootings, so let us get a backstory as to why Val felt like she did, and explained the meaning behind the list. Getting such a complete perspective of a story can sometimes be missing in YA novels, so I loved how it was so inclusive in this book.

The use of newspapers and obituaries also helped to gain some insight into the victims and helped sympathise with them, almost as if the loss was real and you were inside the book.

This book was a beautifully written story of hatred, loss and shows how one small situation or joke can turn into something much bigger. It was incredibly;y thought provoking and was so powerful. I am in awe of this book, and I can’t recommend it enough.

You can buy Hate List on Amazon UK here!

Monthly Wrap Ups

October Wrap Up!

Hi everyone!

IT’S FINALLY HAPPENED! It’s the end of October and I’m actually posting my wrap up – IT’S ON TIME! Can we all just appreciate this moment, because I am so proud of myself for finally being on time again!

I also read some very brilliant books this month, and a few more ARC’s! October is the month of Halloween so I tried to keep all my reads very spooky related, and I think I did well! I love spooky books so this is always my favourite reading month! Anyway let’s get to it:

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ARC Reads:


Title: Strange Weather by Joe Hill

Rating: ★★★★.5

Review: This book is one of my highly anticipated releases of the year, so when I got approved on Edelweiss for a copy I was obviously ECSTATIC! I loved this book so much from start to finish, each short story got better and better! I love Joe Hill’s writing so much. My review will be up on the 31st of this month!

Continue reading “October Wrap Up!”

Reviews

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee // Review


Title: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

Rating: ★★★★.5

Release: 30th August 2016

Synopsis: Welcome to Manhattan, 2118. A thousand-storey tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible – if you want it enough. A hundred years in the future, New York’s elite of the super-tower lie, backstab and betray each other to find their place at the top of the world. Everyone wants something… and everyone has something to lose.

As the privileged inhabitants of the upper floors recklessly navigate the successes and pitfalls of the luxury life, forbidden desires are indulged and carefree lives teeter on the brink of catastrophe. Whilst lower-floor workers are tempted by a world – and unexpected romance – dangling just out of reach. And on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all – yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

So when a young woman falls from the top of the supertower, her death is the culmination of a scandal that has ensnared the top-floor elite and bottom-floor. But who plummeted from the roof? And what dark secrets led to her fall?

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Review:

Showing that not everything is perfect in life when you’re one of the popular kids, this book will show you that it’s all fun and games until one of you falls…

Straight from the opening chapter, I was hooked by this book. The first chapter was so powerful and really set the tone for the entire book. I was already met with tonnes of questions swirling around my mind, that instantly made me want to carry on reading.

The use of split POV’s worked brilliantly, as it allowed you to get the story in so much depth and from so many perspectives, there wasn’t one part that felt out of place. Each of the characters worked so well together, and I loved the diversity overall.

The world building however, was one of the most stand out parts of the entire book. It was outstanding, and the use of class divides was such a brilliant addition. It really allowed you to see just how much difference there is depending on which floor you live on. It put the overall story into so much perspective and I loved how the narrative looped overall from the start of the book to the end.

It was a brilliantly written book, with a whole host of characters that not only worked perfectly together, but also as individuals. I’m so excited to read the sequel and see where the next part takes us.

You can buy The Thousandth Floor on Amazon UK here!

Reviews

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin // Review


Title: Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Rating: ★★★★★

Release: 5th May 2016

Synopsis: The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, they host an annual motorbike race across their combined continents. The prize? An audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s ball.

Yael has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost when she was a prisoner in a brutal concentration camp. Now part of the resistance, Yael has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. But the only way to enter the race is to impersonate last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. Yael is a master of deception but there are two other competitors it may be impossible to fool – Adele’s brother, Felix, and Luka, a boy she clearly has history with.

But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and stay true to her mission? The future on the world is depending on her . . .

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Review:

An action packed novel with a brilliantly fresh perspective on the events of WWII. It will leave you breathless and begging for more.

First off I loved the way that Ryan wrote this book. It is such a sensitive topic in many ways, so the great skill she used to not only openly talk about the subject, but also to put such a dramatic twist on it, and still do it justice, is amazing.

I loved how it wasn’t entirely about the war, but instead focused on the bike race, and how the world has changed since the war ended. It was such a subtle way of including the change in the story.

I also really loved Yael’s character, and how she had such brilliant backstory as to why she is like how she is, and also the meaning behind her tattoos. It was again so subtly put into the story that I felt completely part of her story.

The fact we got to see her flaws, and her relationships develop with each character was such a brilliant insight, and really allowed me to get to know her character and fall in love with the other characters too! They were all so brilliantly developed, and left me with so many questions I couldn’t wait to be answered.

Overall this book was incredible. From the pace of the book, to the shocking ending that left me instantly looking to buy the next book, if you like history and you love a well developed story – this is the book for you.

You can buy Wolf by Wolf on Amazon UK here!