Exclusive Excerpt! NIGHT WITCHES

Today, I'm pleased to bring you a special excerpt from Night Witches, a new historical fiction novel from Kathryn Lasky. 

Keep reading for the excerpt, and a giveaway just for you. And make sure you check out the other tour stops for reviews, interviews, and more! 



By Kathryn Lasky
Published on March 28, 2017
Published by: Scholastic Press

Pages: 224
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Fifteen-year-old Valya knows what it feels like to fly. She's a pilot who's always felt more at home soaring through the sky than down on earth. But since the Germans surrounded Stalingrad, Valya's been forced to stay on the ground and watch her city crumble.

When her mother is killed during the siege, Valya is left with one burning desire: to join up with her older sister, a member of the famous and feared Night Witches -- a brigade of young female pilots.

Using all her wits, Valya manages to get past the German blockade and find the Night Witches' base . . . and that's when the REAL danger starts. The women have been assigned a critical mission. If they succeed, they'll inflict serious damage on the Nazis. If they fail, they'll face death . . . or even worse horrors.

Historical fiction master Lasky sheds light on the war's unsung heroes -- daredevil girls who took to the skies to fight for their country -- in an action-packed thrill ride that'll leave you electrified and breathless.

Excerpt!




Noch’ ved’m,” I whisper to myself as I crouch in the rubble of our apartment building and watch the searchlights scraping the night, looking for those tiny planes, the U-2 trainers. Tatyana and I had both learned to fly these light biplanes, their four wings made of wood and canvas. Open cockpit. No parachutes. In these fragile machines the women of the 588th Regiment harass the German Sixth Army. The engines purr so softly that the Germans call them “sewing machines.” But like small, sharp-beaked predatory birds, they will keep up the harassment until the dawn. 

The Germans set up the searchlights to defend their fuel depots, ammunition dumps, ground troops, and support vehicles—all tactical targets for our Russian army. But that won’t stop the Noch’ ved’m, the Night Witches of the 588th Regiment, who weave through the sweeping beams of light in the loom of the Stalingrad night. The young women who attack Hitler’s forces from the sky. My sister, Tatyana, is one of them. I might have been too, if I had lied about my age. 2 But Mama wouldn’t let me lie. Although I’m only two years younger than Tatyana, my family has always treated me like I’m still a baby. They let Tatyana wear lipstick when she was twelve. But somehow, I was still “too young” at twelve. As for going downtown alone or with a friend, that wasn’t allowed until this summer, and then the Germans came and wrecked everything. 

Suddenly, there were Nazi soldiers on every street corner. They could stop you for no reason, and they loved to check young, pretty girls for weapons or cigarettes. It was not simply “frisking.” Groping would be a better word. But then the heavy tanks rolled in, and the lewd glances of the soldiers were replaced by sniper fire and heavy bombs. The shelling has been constant ever since. 

Mama is asleep now, beside me in this corner that we fashioned into a sleeping place. What was our living room is now strewn with bricks. One wall was blown out entirely two days ago. Three remaining walls still stand at right angles to one another. I stare at a calendar on one of the walls. How can a calendar be left? The bookshelves next to the calendar are in smithereens. Once, there were books all over our apartment, but now there are only fragments of pages that blow about like lost sheep scattered from their flock. For nearly two days I have tried to gather up some of these pages. It is a ridiculous task. If they aren’t torn, they are scorched. I cannot imagine what I will do with them. 

I spy another page, an illustration from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. She doesn’t have a broom. No U-2 aircraft either. The good witch travels in a luminous peach-colored orb of light wearing a flowing gown. Not like our Night Witches in their flight helmets and goggles, with pistols tucked into their belts. Instead of wands, they have 175 kilos of bombs tucked under each wing. 

As I bend over to retrieve the page with Glinda the Good Witch, I see my sister’s broken sports trophies nearby. I could never really equal my sister as an athlete, but my parents didn’t want me to feel bad, so they made up a certificate for me that read “Valya, you are the bright red star of our hearts.” In a funny way, that certificate made it worse. I remember Tatyana’s expression when they presented it to me at dinner that night. As Papa was making his little speech, there was a pitying smile on her face that said clear as any words that I would never be her equal, never quite catch up. 

I love my sister, don’t get me wrong. But her concern for me could be incredibly grating. Our biggest fight happened during the junior track meet when she tried to show me how she sailed over the hurdles. She had a particular way of jackknifing her knees up so she never grazed the boards. It worked for her, but not me. “It will,” she said. “When you get a little bit taller. Maybe a centimeter.”

“That’s not the issue,” I snapped. I was tall for my age, and already nearly her height. “It won’t work. I am not a centimeter-smaller copy of you, no matter how badly everyone wants me to be.” 

In the next track meet, however, I did do well—very well. But no one paid one bit of attention to me. Why? Because in the event just before mine, the pole vault, Tatyana had broken the long-standing girls’ record for our school. Hardly anyone was there to witness my accomplishment. They were all over on the field where the pole vaulting took place. My best friend, Irina, was sitting in the bleachers practically all by herself, clapping her hands violently and whooping her lungs out. 

Tatyana had always outshone me in everything—except for flying. 

My sister and I had both learned to fly by the time we were twelve years old. Our father was head of the flight training program at Engels airbase, not far from Stalingrad. I’d flown Yak trainers, U-2s, and several others. It was not that unusual, as flying clubs had become very popular between the two wars. We were just very lucky to have a father who was not only a seasoned pilot but a major in the Russian air force renowned for his skillful instruction. Some pilots are great flyers but not especially good teachers. Our father was a great flyer and a great teacher.



Intrigued? Want to know more? You can find the whole first chapter here



About the Author....

 

Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series.

She was born June 24, 1944, and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is married to Christopher Knight, with whom she lives in Massachusetts.

Book 15, The War of the Ember, is currently the last book in the Ga'Hoole series. The Rise of a Legend is the 16th book but is a prequel to the series. Lasky has also written Guide Book To The Great Tree and Lost Tales Of Ga'Hoole which are companion books.


Giveaway!

3 winners will receive a finished copy of NIGHT WITCHES, US Only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Blog Tour Schedule


Week One:
3/20/2017- The Best Books Ever - Excerpt
3/21/2017- My Thoughts LiterallyReview
3/22/2017- Wandering Bark BooksGuest Post
3/23/2017- La La in the LibraryReview
3/24/2017- YA Books CentralInterview

Week Two:
3/27/2017- QuartzfeatherReview
3/28/2017- BookHounds YAGuest Post
3/29/2017- Under the Book CoverReview
3/30/2017- Bibliobibuli YAInterview

Jaime Reviews... The Crown's Fate (The Crown's Game #2) by Evelyn Skye

By Evelyn Skye
Published on May 16, 2017
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Red QueenThe Crown’s Fate is the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Crown’s Game, an atmospheric historical fantasy set in Imperial Russia.

Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.
 

Add to Goodreads| Pre-order from Amazon or Barnes & Noble 

The Crown's Fate...

The Crown's Game was one of my absolute favorite books of last year. I have been waiting for a long, long time for this sequel, but when I got it in my hands I was nervous times ten. Will it live up to the expectations I have been building for a year? Will the characters still be the ones that I fell so hard in love with? It actually took me a few days to pick it up and actually start reading. And the minute I started? All those fears and worries melted away. The Crown's Fate was everything I wanted it to be, and more than I could have ever imagined!

Since there is still a good while before the release date, I won't give any details away. I don't want to ruin it for y'all, guys! But I can tell you that this sequel was truly amazing. The world got bigger and better, the magic grew. The darkness that lingered in the first book came out swinging in this sequel. There was fighting and death and destruction. My heart broke tens times over throughout the story. My emotions were all over the place, not able to find a place to land even at the end.  

Nicolai is not the same Nicolai we knew before. The sweet boy whose magic was light and airy. This Nicolai is dark, a shadow of his former self. He is so far removed from who he was in the first book it is almost hard to reconcile that they are one and the same. Pasha grows exponentially, as a man and as a leader. He recognizes his faults and failures, and he was so easy to love. Yuliana also had a much larger presence. And as much as I wanted to smack her sometimes, I adored her. Her love and loyalty to her brother are forces to be reckoned with. And Vika, one of my all time favorite characters. She is extraordinary, even more so than last time. She never, ever gives up on anyone or anything. Pasha is a lucky man to have her by his side, as his Imperial Enchanter... ?! And that is all that I will say. We also have Renata and Ludmilla, back for the second round. I want a Ludmilla in my life! And Renata, I still don't know how I feel about her. She made me angry, but I get her. I really do. 

 Speaking of Ludmilla and Renata, they are where my only complaints come in. With Ludmilla, we just didn't get enough of her. I wanted more of her brightness and laughter, especially in this much darker story. With Renata, I feel like her storyline in this one was a little underdeveloped. I understood the role she was playing, but it felt a little underwhelming, especially at the end. She played a bigger role, but it felt like her role wasn't resolved. I don't know, maybe its just me. 

So, all of that to say this... Evelyn Skye is one formidable writer. She turns words on a page into something truly magical. I have heard rumors that there may be a third book in the works, and I sure do hope that is true. But even if this was the end of this story, it was one heck of a ride and I am happy I joined it. 

Seriously though, there is SO MUCH MORE OF THIS WORLD AND THESE CHARACTERS! BRING IT ON!!

Jaime Lynn

Jaime Reviews... The Best Kind of Magic (Amber Sand #1) by Crystal Cestari

By Crystal Cestari
Published on May 16, 2017
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber's pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone's soul mate.

Amber works at her mother's magic shop--Windy City Magic--in downtown Chicago, and she's confident she's seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one--her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor's son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father's missing girlfriend, she's distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can't see her own match, she can see his--and it's not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn't her match?



The Best Kind of Magic is set in urban Chicago and will appeal to readers who long for magic in the real world. With a sharp-witted and sassy heroine, a quirky cast of mystical beings, and a heady dose of adventure, this novel will have you laughing out loud and questioning your belief in happy endings




The Best Kind of Magic...

This was EXACTLY what I needed! It was lighthearted and sweet and made me laugh. I needed that desperately. Crystal Cestari has written a very, well... magical story!

Amber Sand is a Matchmaker. Give her the chance to look into your eyes, and she will tell you who your true soulmate is. And she has never been wrong. She loves her magic, but there are some problems that come along with it. First of all, she comes from a long line of very powerful witches. She is the first Sand to become anything less than POWERFUL. According to her, and many others, Matchmakers are very low on the magic totem pole. And her very witchy mom doesn't do much to make Amber feel more confident. The very biggest problem about her talent? She can't see her own match. So if she tries to date, all she can see is that persons real soulmate, and what's the point of starting a real relationship.

She was okay with this until Charlie Blitzman waltzes into her life, asking for her help. As Amber starts to realize there is more to Charlie than being the most-wanted, handsome mayor's son, she starts to fall for him. But every time she looks in his eyes, she sees his match. Major bummer! What ensues is a race to save Charlies dad from himself, battling feelings Amber is scared to feel, the ups and downs of BFF's, and mother/daughter relationship drama. And it is all so very fun!

Amber is a hoot! She is sarcastic, funny, and proud of her gift regardless of the stigma. Her relationship with her BFF Amani is a wonderful addition to the story. I also adored the slow growth in Amber and her mothers relationship. And the friendship to maybe something more relationship between Charlie and Amber was just precious.

The Best Kind of Magic is definitely about magic and magical beings, but even more than that it is about relationships and the struggles, changes and triumphs that come from them. I loved both aspects of the story in equal measure.

The end of the book is tied up quite nicely, but I am very happy to see what comes in the next Amber Sand adventure. All I could hope for is more wonderful Charlie and Amber moments, fun and sassy BFF moments for Amber and Amani, and more growth in the Sand family relationship. For some strange reason, I don't believe that Ms. Cestari is going to disappoint!!

Jaime Lynn

Jaime Reviews... Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson

By Kate Watson
Published on May 16, 2017
Published by: Flux
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Sixteen-year-old Finley Price has perfected two things: how to direct a world-class production, and how to fly way, way under the radar. The only person who ever seems to notice Finley is her best friend, the Bertram's son Oliver. If she could just take Oliver's constant encouragement to heart and step out of the shadows, she'd finally chase her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater.

When teen movie stars Emma and Harlan Crawford move next door to the Bertram's, they immediately set their sights on Oliver and his cunning sister, Juliette, shaking up Finley and Oliver's stable friendship. As Emma and Oliver grow closer, Harlan finds his attention shifting from Juliette to the quiet, enigmatic, and thoroughly unimpressed Finley. Out of boredom, Harlan decides to make her fall in love with him. Problem is, the harder he seeks to win her, the harder he falls for her.

But Finley doesn't want to be won, and she doesn't want to see Oliver with anyone else. To claim Oliver's heart—and keep her own—she'll have to find the courage to do what she fears most: step into the spotlight.
 


Seeking Mansfield...

This is not really my kind of story, usually. I am not a huge Broadway person, haven't been to a play since I was a little thing. But for some strange reason, I find myself stepping out of my comfort zone more and more lately and this one was a bigger step than usual. Thankfully, it paid off.

After Finley's dad, a huge movie star, passes away and she is jerked out of the home she lives in with her mother and brother due to abuse, Finley ends up living with her Godparents. She has been there for several years, but she still feels like she doesn't quite belong. She is always doing everything to show her appreciation to her family, and prove to them that she is worth it. Oliver, their son, is her best friend in the world, and the only one besides her brother who makes her feel safe.

Oliver has loved Finley from the minute she moved in. He wants to help Finley see how wonderful she is, and to help her overcome her past and her fear. So he hides his feelings for her down deep, to protect her. He is also trying to figure out what HE wants in life, and if the expectations from his family override his own dreams.

When two young movie stars move in next door, everything simple gets thrown out the window. New relationships form, and Finley and Oliver's relationship changes into something new. Finley is becoming more assertive every day, starting to realize her worth. And Oliver is happy with Emma, more than he ever thought he could be. He is starting to realize that his desires matter. So why do they both sometimes wish for something different?

I really enjoyed this book. I actually really liked the little tid-bits of acting and plays thrown into the mix. There are all the right kinds of emotions, some laughter and definitely some tears. The characters are very well-rounded and relateable, and easy to care fore. The story is a little on the slower side as far as pacing, but that never made my interest wane. I was invested until the end, and I really enjoyed the ending a lot.

All in all, Seeking Mansfield is a great romance. I love the themes of friendship in the story. I might not be a Broadway Baby, but this book definitely made me curious to know what else might be out there in this realm. And the cover is really pretty, too! Definitely have no problem recommending this one.


Jaime Lynn

Release Day Celebration and Giveaway ~ Sherlock Bones series by Lauren Baratz-Logsted






I am so excited that the SHERLOCK BONES series by Lauren Baratz-Logsted releases today and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about these wonderful books by Author Lauren Baratz-Logsted, be sure to check out all the details below.


This blitz also includes a giveaway for a pair of Great Dane socks and Dog or Cat treats for your Fur Babies, US Only courtesy of Month9Books. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Title: THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK BONES: DOGGONE
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Pub. Date: February 21, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 150

The Adventures of Sherlock Bones turns snooping on its floppy ear when one day, Dr. Jane Catson, a surgeon injured in the Cat Wars has an afternoon nap interrupted by a most unusual occurrence.

On the front lawn of her home, rather loud footsteps disturb her peace as Sherlock Bones, a Great Dane in a deerstalker claiming to be the greatest detective in the world arrives.

After a quick critical examination of the intrusive dog whose enormous body blocks the entire sun from view, Catson has her doubts. But that’s not all. The monstrously-sized creature makes an even more astonishing claim. He has come to live with her!

Before Catson can collect her thoughts into an intelligent rebuttal, Sherlock Bones has made himself quite at home, inventing things like a jetpack for her Castilian housekeeper-cook, a turtle named Mr. Javier and placing his gigantic food and water dishes next to hers.

But there’s no time for protest. The great detective and Dr. Catson have caught themselves their first case: A suspiciously dead human in a nearby abandoned building. Can Sherlock Bones and Dr. Catson crack the case before the killer strikes again? Or will their differences get in the way of solving Case File No. 1? One thing’s for sure, that would be a doggone shame.


Title: THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK BONES: DOG NOT GONE
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Pub. Date: February 21, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 150

After being introduced to Sherlock Bones, the Greatest Detective in the World, in Case File #1: Dogged to Death, Dr. Jane Catson - surgeon and veteran of the Cat Wars - is back to share an all-new mystery adventure with readers. Despite all of Jane's resistance, Bones is now living with her and her housekeeper/chef, the turtle with a jetpack, Mr. Javier. This time out, the mismatched duo's investigations lead them to a case involving murder, of course, and - wait for it! - Utah. If there's one thing readers can be certain of it's that in this world, the animals are always smarter than the humans. Also, did we mention...Utah?




Excerpt:

“You can’t be serious!” I practically shouted, outraged.

If a murder really had been committed, I couldn’t believe he wasn’t going to do anything about it. I also couldn’t believe that I was arguing with him about this. I’d never wanted to get involved with him and all his craziness in the first place.

“Oh, but I am, my dear Catson.”

My dear … Who did this dog think he was?

“And why is that, Bones?” I demanded, determined not to let my right eye squint.

“Because I am tired of not getting credit.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Here’s how this kind of case always goes: a crime, usually murder, occurs. The professional, public detectives—the so-called ‘experts’—are called in. They fail to solve the case. Then I am called in. I solve the case, but they take all the credit. End of story.”

As he spoke, his eyes shifted sadly from me to the floor to studying his toenails.

I found myself, for the first time, starting to feel sorry for him. Then:

“Wait,” I said, this time letting my right eye go ahead and twitch. “You’re not going to investigate, you’re going to let a murderer run free—because your feelings are hurt? Because you feel you don’t get enough credit?”

“Well,” he said, now looking slightly embarrassed, “yes, that is exactly what I plan to do. Or rather, not do.”

“You can’t be serious! If you think you can help, it is your duty to do so!”

“I suppose … ” His eyes met mine. “Do you want to come with?”

“Come with where?”

He eagerly un-crumpled the crumpled piece of paper.

“There,” he said, pointing to an address.

I thought of my lunch, which was still sitting on the table. I thought longingly of the cushion in front of the bay window, my nap long overdue. And then I thought of the adventure of potentially aiding to solve a murder. I must confess: I was curious. It also occurred to me that perhaps since returning home from the Cat Wars, my life had been a little dull.

“Fine,” I said, mildly exasperated with myself.

“Great,” he said, all smiles once more. “I’ll go get my hat.”


About Lauren:



Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of over 25 books for adults, teens and kids, including The Sisters 8 series for young readers which she created with her husband and daughter. She lives in Danbury, CT, with that husband and daughter as well as their marvelous cat, Yoyo.















Giveaway Details:

(1) winner will receive a pair of Great Dane Socks (pictured below) and a Bag of Wellness Brand Dor or Cat treats, US Only.



a Rafflecopter giveaway



The Wish Granter (Ravenspire #2) by CJ Redwine Spotlight Post & Giveaway...



By C.J Redwine
Published on February 14, 2017
Published by: Balzer + Bray
An epic, romantic, and action-packed fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, about a bastard princess who must take on an evil fae to save her brother’s soul, from C. J. Redwine, the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Queen. Perfect for fans of Graceling and the Lunar Chronicles.

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown. 

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself. 

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.


About Book #1...



The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1)

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.


About the Author...



C.J. Redwine loves fairy tales, Harry Potter, and Sherlock. She is the author of the Defiance trilogy, a post-apocalyptic fantasy from Balzer + Bray. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband and children. If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she’ll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day. To learn more about C.J., visit her website at www.cjredwine.com Where you can find C.J.:


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest | GR



Giveaway...

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule...
\
Week One:
2/6/2017- Zach's YA ReviewsGuest Post
2/7/2017- FiktshunReview
2/8/2017- Novel NoviceGuest Post
2/9/2017- BookCrushinReview
2/10/2017- Ya and WineGuest Post

Week Two:
2/13/2017- A Backwards StoryReview
2/14/2017- YA Books CentralGuest Post
2/15/2017- Mundie MomsReview
2/16/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post
2/17/2017- The Best Books Ever Review

Jaime Reviews ~ Chameleon by Zoe Kalo

By Zoe Kalo
Published on February 2017
Genre: YA/Gothic/Ghost/Multicultural
Source: Author
An isolated convent, a supernatural presence, a dark secret…

17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia. 

When, yet again, Paloma holds a séance in the hope of contacting her father, she awakens an entity that has been dormant for years. And then, the body count begins. Someone doesn’t want the secret out…Are the ghost and Paloma’s suspicions real—or only part of her growing paranoia and delusions? 


Chameleon...

 I will admit that "isolated convent" drew me in to this story. It just lends itself to spooky, and as we all know, spooky is my jam. Unfortunately, the spook factor was teeny tiny, but the story itself was a pretty good one. 

 After being caught holding a seance, trying to connect with her father, Paloma is sent to a convent by her mother and stepfather. Paloma is angry about it, and doesn't feel like she deserves it, but the choice is no longer hers. After arriving at the convent, Paloma makes friends with a group of very.... interesting girls, and starts seeing and hearing things that might or might not be real. There is the ghost of a little girl haunting her, and she must figure it out before she ends up in a place worse than the convent. 

 Chameleon was a good story, with a decent plot. I flew through the book in a day. The pacing was good, and the characterization and world-building were definitely the best parts. I enjoyed the uncertainty, not knowing what to think about anyone in the story. Paloma is a good MC. She is tough sometimes, weak at others, but she is always trying to do the right thing. The other characters in the story made an interesting character study in sweetness, kindness and deeply disturbed. 

 I did have a few issues with the book. First, it felt like parts of the story were missing. I don't know if this was an editing thing, or just the way the story was written, but it felt choppy at times. The other issue was the very ABRUPT ending. I was reading, thinking I had another few pages to go, and then there were no more words. Not even an To Be Continued. I am really hoping there is a second book, otherwise I might get a little frustrated. NOTHING WAS RESOLVED. 

 So, all in all, not a bad story. This would be a great read for the younger YA crowd, especially those who are attempting to jump into the Spooky Story World but are hesitant.

Jaime Lynn 


BLOG DESIGN BY DESIGNER BLOGS