Blog Tour: Diamonds are Forever (The Secret Diamond Sisters #3) by Michelle Madow

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Title: Diamonds are Forever
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters #3
Genre: Young Adult
Length: 368 Pages
ISBN: 9780373211524
Add to your TBR List:  Goodreads
Buy Links:  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  Books A Million  |  iBooks

Synopsis
It’s cold outside, but the drama is hot!

The Diamond sisters jet to the mountains for spring break, and Savannah’s flirt-mance with an international pop star heats up as her pursuit of stardom succeeds. But is this romance meant to be, or has the right guy been in front of her all along? Meanwhile, Courtney takes the next step with her secret boyfriend—and future stepbrother—and as their parents’ wedding approaches, the pressure’s on to reveal their relationship.

Peyton’s figuring out a plan for her future, but she still feels guilty about getting her former bodyguard fired and wonders if she can get over him in the arms of someone else. But the biggest bombshell will change everything once again, because Madison’s ready to tell the huge secret she’s uncovered. And with the boy who betrayed her but who could be the love of her life fighting for his own life, she might need the Diamond sisters more than ever.

Review
I’m just gonna come out and say it, this book was the best book of the trilogy. It was so, so good. To the point that I basically devoured it in less than 24 hours. It was light, fluffy and full of drama. I don’t usually go for light & fluffy, but I needed a light & fluffy read so I grabbed this one.  It had everything I wanted in the final book.

In book two, I was not sold on the romances, but this time around, I loved the romances. Wait, let me rephrase that, I loved the way certain romances ended up. There is one couple in particular that I was rooting hard for. I was worried they wouldn’t be end game, but they were, so YAY!

I really loved Madison in this one. She just kept getting more likable as the series continued. For that, I am grateful. I wanted her to develop a sisterly relationship with Courtney, Peyton & Savannah, but I was worried that the three Diamond girls wouldn’t really welcome her into their family. Given how Madison had treated them at the beginning of the series, I don’t think I would have blamed them.

Things come to a head when all four Diamond girls and some friends of theirs are in Aspen for spring break. Hearts break, loyalties are tested and relationships are put back on track. I would love to talk more about the trip to Aspen, but that contains a ton of spoilers, so I probably shouldn’t.

I still see myself as a mix of Courtney & Peyton, and certain things about Peyton are so similar to me that I still find it disconcerting. Savannah is still the absolute complete opposite of me. I’d say that Madison is most similar to Courtney, but she’s got dashes of Savannah & Peyton in her as well.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It was a perfect ending to the trilogy. I am sorry to see these characters go because I think they are interesting and they always leave me wanting to know more about them. I am giving this book 5 stars and I am so glad I kept reading the series because it got better and better as it continued.

About the Author

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Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in The Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” music video. Michelle’s latest YA series, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner, was published in March 2014 by Harlequin Teen. The second book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, released in November 2014, and the third book, Diamonds are Forever, will be coming out in November 2015. Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing.

Michelle lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling the world, shopping, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and loves talking with fans on Facebook (/MichelleMadow), Twitter (@MichelleMadow), and Instagram (@MichelleMadow).

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow’s Street Team on Facebook!

Connect with Michelle:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads

Rafflecopter for Release Week Blitz Giveaway:
Michelle is offering up a fabulous prize during her Diamonds are Forever Virtual Tour event. One (1) lucky winner will receive a signed paperback set of The Secret Diamond Sisters, along with a swag pack that includes lipgloss, bookmark, sister postcards, pin! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:
Giveaway Link

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Review: Placebo Junkies by J.C. Carleson

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Book Title: Placebo Junkies
Author: J. C. Carleson
Published Date: October 27th, 2015
Publisher: Random House Children’s
Genre: YA Contemporary Thriller
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
Going Bovine meets Trainspotting in this gritty portrait of at-risk teens gaming the prescription drug trial system.

Meet Audie: Professional lab rat. Guinea pig. Serial human test subject. For Audie and her friends, “volunteering” for pharmaceutical drug trials means a quick fix and easy cash.

Sure, there’s the occasional nasty side effect, but Audie’s got things under control. If Monday’s pill causes a rash, Tuesday’s ointment usually clears it right up. Wednesday’s injection soothes the sting from Tuesday’s “cure,” and Thursday’s procedure makes her forget all about Wednesday’s headache. By the time Friday rolls around, there’s plenty of cash in hand and perhaps even a slot in a government-funded psilocybin study, because WEEKEND!

But the best fix of all is her boyfriend, Dylan, whose terminal illness just makes them even more compatible. He’s turning eighteen soon, so Audie is saving up to make it an unforgettable birthday. That means more drug trials than ever before, but Dylan is worth it.

No pain, no gain, Audie tells herself as the pills wear away at her body and mind. No pain, no gain, she repeats as her grip on reality starts to slide….

Raw and irreverent, Placebo Junkies will captivate readers until the very end, when author J. C. Carleson leans in for a final twist of the knife.

Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Review
This one looked interesting from the moment I saw it on Goodreads. I requested it and totally forgot about it. So when I got the approval email, all I felt was nerves. I wanted this book to be awesome and I was so worried that all the hype I had built up for it was going to be unwarranted.

I loved, LOVED this book. It was an insane mind-fuck that had me questioning the entire book and wanting to know exactly what was going on. It took me a long time to realize that things weren’t as they seemed. Maybe I should have picked up on that sooner. Oooops. It was a book that has been flying under the radar, but it’s a book that all YA Thriller enthusiasts should read.

It’s been a long time since I loved a protagonist like Audie. She was hilariously funny, un-apologetically blunt and through it all, it was clear she had a good heart. She wanted so badly to make memories for her terminally ill boyfriend, Dylan.

Audie even writes a blog, trying to help other people who are just stepping into this guinea pig thing. Her blog entries are insanely funny, and as someone who has a long history with pharmacies, hospitals and doctors, I found myself laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.

She was good to her roommates, Jameson & Charlotte. Especially Charlotte. Charlotte didn’t talk about her life before. She kept herself very guarded, not trusting many people, and especially not trusting men. It was hard for Audie to see that because she had such a loving relationship with Dylan. She couldn’t understand why Charlotte didn’t like him.

“Because of the life she’s had, she just has no concept of genuine un-fucked up love.”

As the book continues, things go from bad to worse. Audie starts losing chunks of time. Her memories start to become cloudy and she struggles with knowing what’s real and what isn’t. She doesn’t want to bother Dylan about this because his life, unlike hers, has been normal. She keeps what she’s doing to herself, just like she keeps her past to herself. She doesn’t want to burden Dylan with why she’s not in school, why she’s got no family around.

“Sometimes people cause themselves harm just to prove to themselves, and perhaps the rest of the world, that they can.”

I found The Professor to be very interesting. I am still unsure as to what his actual position in the story was, but I kept thinking that he had to be central to the story. He had to be around for a reason. I do wish we had seen more of him though.

“It’s more like a feeling of being simultaneously dead and alive, like a furless version of Shrodinger’s cat.”

Audie’s descriptions of her feelings while on the various drugs were really awesome, and surprisingly funny.

Things just got crazier and crazier as the book continued. I started to question so many things about the drugs, and about the characters in this book. I started to realize that something was off. Aside from the morally decrepit Audie. I felt like I was missing something. Something was going to smack me in the face.

“Because the truth is whatever you say it is.”

This book surprised me in the best way possible. I hadn’t heard much about it, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with it. But I loved it. I love mind-fuckery and having them in books only make me happier. This book was awesome and I highly, highly recommend it to people who love YA Thrillers because that’s exactly what this one was. I am giving this one 5 stars.

Review: Future Perfect by Jen Larsen

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Book Title: Future Perfect
Author: Jen Larsen
Published Date: October 6th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads
Every year on her birthday, Ashley Perkins gets a card from her grandmother—a card that always contains a promise: lose enough weight, and I will buy your happiness.

Ashley doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the way she looks, but no amount of arguing can persuade her grandmother that “fat” isn’t a dirty word—that Ashley is happy with her life, and her body, as it is.

But Ashley wasn’t counting on having her dreams served up on a silver platter at her latest birthday party. She falters when Grandmother offers the one thing she’s always wanted: tuition to attend Harvard University—in exchange for undergoing weight loss surgery.

As Ashley grapples with the choice that little white card has given her, she feels pressured by her friends, her family, even administrators at school. But what’s a girl to do when the reflection in her mirror seems to bother everyone but her?

Through her indecisions and doubts, Ashley’s story is a liberating one—a tale of one girl, who knows that weight is just a number, and that no one is completely perfect.

Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review
This book frustrated me from a very early point. At first I was really loving Ashley’s confident voice. Even her obsession with being perfect didn’t really bother me initially. It was her refusal to defend herself to her grandmother that really ticked me off. She claimed to be totally okay with how she looked, but she was so easily swayed by what her grandmother thought.

“It’s not her business. Your body is not her business.”

Thank God Ashley had her friend Laura. Laura at least tried her hardest to make sure that Ashley realized that the decisions about her body were to be made by her and her alone. She also had her boyfriend Hector and her other friend Jolene, neither of them thought weight loss surgery was necessary, and they were angry with her grandmother for offering it in exchange for paid tuition at Harvard. They were even angrier at Ashley for considering it.

Ashley really didn’t understand that her grandmother was not thinking of her best interests at all. She was trying to control Ashley. It was maddening to see Ashley not have a backbone. She needed a backbone. I just wanted to hear Ashley tell her grandmother off. Her grandmother needed to back off, and Ashley needed to make sure that happened. But she was so focused on being perfect that she didn’t realize she was being controlled by her grandmother.

I’m utterly frustrated that Ashley was this quiet, meek teenager. Where was her fire? Where was her her fight? Why didn’t she fight for what she knew was right? If she was truly confident and happy in how she looked, why did she even allow her grandmother to think she had won?

It took her so long to realize that her grandmother wasn’t really thinking of her. She was focusing too much on pleasing society. In society, thin is gorgeous and fat is ugly. She just couldn’t appreciate the granddaughter that she had.

I wish we had seen more of Ashley’s brothers. I think they were interesting and they could have brought some complexity to this story. They brought more about Ashley’s mother into the story. I wish we had seen more of Ashley’s mother in this story. I think there was a lot they didn’t delve into that could have made this book more interesting to me.

“And you’re pissed at Mom for not having gone to Harvard instead of Clara for lying to you?”

When she realized that her grandmother had lied to her, she realized her grandmother wasn’t as perfect as she claimed to be.

She started to become more aware of what she really wanted for herself. She started to realize that she could really be herself, and she didn’t have to be perfect.

But it was all just a little bit too late for me to really care about the characters in this book. The only people I really liked were the secondary characters Laura, Jolene and Ashley’s brothers. So unfortunately I have to give this book 2 stars. It was a total letdown for me in many different ways.

Review: The White Rose (The Lone City #2) by Amy Ewing

Book Title: The White Rose
Author: Amy Ewing
Published Date: October 6th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Book Two in The Lone City trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads

Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
Violet is on the run. After the Duchess of the Lake catches Violet with Ash, the hired companion at the Palace of the Lake, Violet has no choice but to escape the Jewel or face certain death. So along with Ash and her best friend, Raven, Violet runs away from her unbearable life of servitude.

But no one said leaving the Jewel would be easy. As they make their way through the circles of the Lone City, Regimentals track their every move, and the trio barely manages to make it out unscathed and into the safe haven they were promised—a mysterious house in the Farm.

But there’s a rebellion brewing, and Violet has found herself in the middle of it. Alongside a new ally, Violet discovers her Auguries are much more powerful than she ever imagined. But is she strong enough to rise up against the Jewel and everything she has ever known?

The White Rose is a raw, captivating sequel to The Jewel that fans won’t be able to put down until the final shocking moments.

 
Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.
 
Review:
It was so awesome to be back in this world. I didn’t realize how much I had missed it until I started reading this book. I’ve been in a bit of a funk, so I wasn’t expecting to finish this book was quickly as I did. I finished it in about 4 hours total, maybe a bit less. So it was definitely captivating, interesting and so very, very good.
 
I was so excited that we got to see more of Raven. I absolutely love her and I love her friendship with Violet. I was worried things wouldn’t be as strong as it was in book one, but it was every bit as strong, if not stronger than book one. I think Raven was actually my favorite character in this book.
 
Violet and Ash were every bit as ship-worthy as they were in book one. I loved them together. I worried about Ash in the beginning of the book, especially considering how book one ended. I was a bit worried about a possible love triangle, but given certain events in this book, I can confidently say that there is no love triangle and in fact Garnet has his eye on a different girl.
 
The characters were the strength in this book. I loved how much we got to know about these characters, and even new characters that we got to meet. The characters were the reason I adored this book so much.
 
Oh my goodness, the ending of this book stressed me out. I was warned that there was another cliffhanger, but I wasn’t expecting THIS kind of cliffhanger. I was rendered speechless for a good 20 minutes. Every single time I tried to form words, nothing would come out. This ending was crazy-pants.
 
I really enjoyed this book. So addicting, captivating and awesome, and the ending was awesome. I’m giving it 4.5. It’s not a perfect read, but it was insanely good and I highly recommend it.

Waiting on Wednesday #14

This weekly feature is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. It’s a way to showcase upcoming releases that we’re excited about.
My Pick
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads
What We Left Behind follows a teen couple—Gretchen, who identifies as a lesbian, and Toni, who identifies as genderqueer—as they struggle to stay together during their first year in college, despite the growing rift caused by distance and Toni’s shifting gender identity.

My Thoughts
You may remember how much I enjoyed Talley’s previous book, Lies We Tell Ourselves, so when I heard about her new book, I ran straight to Goodreads and looked it up. YAAAS, finally a story about a genderqueer character. That alone makes me excited. There are so few books out there that feature a genderqueer character. 

Not to mention, look at that gorgeous cover. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book!

So what are some books you’re excited for?