Category: Upper YA Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “Dragonfly” by Alyssa Thiessen

Posted Wednesday, 6 April, 2016 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Chapter by Chapter, where I receive opportunities to host Author Guest Features on behalf of the Indie Publisher Month9Books and review for Indie Publisher: Rebelight Publishing of whom I love the stories by their Middle Grade & YA authors! As 2016 started, I received more opportunities to read and review Canadian authors through Chapter by Chapter. I love being able to discover more #CanLit whilst appreciating the beauty of the stories I am discovering through this touring company.

I received a complimentary copy of “Dragonfly” direct from the publisher Peasantry Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Small Press Canada:

It was with a happy heart of joy, I discovered this About the Publisher page wherein I learnt a few things about Peasantry Press which added to the joy of having this title in front of me to read! I have blogged quite openly about my love of #CanLit and Canadian authors – my continue pursuit to read more Canadian Lit throughout the year (as each new one arrives) and how happy I am I can host the authors from my northern neighbour through Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours as well as iRead Book Tours – as they both feature Canadian authors on a regular basis.

The interesting bit to note is that the author [Alyssa Thiessen] is a part of the Indie publisher and they are focusing on POD print runs for novels as well as circumnavigating the ebook trade. For me personally, I am thankful they embraced the POD side of the ledger, as due to chronic migraines I am a traditional reader of books in print!

The fact they encompass a nice bracket off literary offerings is quite keen to observe:

Adventure | Drama | Historical Fiction | INSPY

Mystery / Suspense | Romance | Science Fiction | Urban Fantasy & Young Adult

It’s their mission statement which struck a chord with myself – about whom the writers are representing on the ‘outside’ from the world of Major Trade that truly rung a level of truth with my own writerly heart. It’s something I’ve been contemplating of late and I think they rocked a mantra a lot of wicked good writers can personally relate too who are writing the stories they believe in even if those stories fit outside the norm of the trade and market. Stories which defy genre or re-invent an established vibe of a genre, whilst giving readers a new threading of narrative, character journey and an overall read that tries to take a reader somewhere new from a fresh perspective. This in of itself is inspiring.

The main reason I elected to become a part of this blog tour is because I have the tendency to seek out stories ‘from outside’ my natural wanderings – look no further than my *End of the Year Survey, 2015* to find out how oft I do this and how well I am succeeding at finding certain authors who catch my eye and give me something to chew on! In this continued pursuit of mine – Dragonfly stood out by it’s premise and by the fact I felt it was Urban Fantasy derived.

The secondary reason I appreciated finding Dragonfly is because the publisher is focusing on ‘clean fiction’ which fits well with my aversion to vulgarity in literature! One of the Urban Fantasy YA novels I’ll be reading this Spring was inspired by readers who like me, appreciated the premise of the context of the story (and series) but were not happy about the words – I’m referencing Trinity Stones and the joy I will have in reading the YA edition. I don’t mind a small blink of a strong word in reference but if it’s sprinkled so heavily it’s similar to eating too sinful of a chocolate cake due to it’s sugar content, then it goes from being healthy to something less desired. If Peasantry Press has found a common ground and middle road between genre, language and content – they have my gratitude! I can only hope others will follow in their stead!

This genre is one of the particularly particular genres I read wherein I am open to read the story but the story has to convince me to love it. It’s hit or it’s miss with very little wiggle room in-between because I have a particular reason for seeking out the stories that fit this niche and the mark of expectation is a bit on the higher end. I find this genre a bit over cluttered with ‘sameness’ so when I find a plot that feels pulled together in a fashion I feel behooves the genre, I’m more than game to read it, taste it and find out what makes it stand out.

I’m seriously wicked happy for discovering another Indie Press in Canada!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Dragonfly” by Alyssa ThiessenDragonfly
by Alyssa Thiessen
Source: Direct from Publisher

Eighteen-year-old Joshua Miller is great at being invisible, despite the four, large, insect-like wings protruding from his back and his knack for high-rise robberies. He can remember almost nothing of his life before Nik found him and taught him his trade. Now he’s alone, and he likes it that way.

When Joshua unexpectedly meets Lexi on a job, his simple, uncomplicated existence shifts. Although he intends to remain uninvolved, something about her captivates him and he begins to let her in. As he navigates the strange nuances of a relationship with a girl as desperate to be different as he is to be ordinary, he becomes increasingly aware that he is not who he wants to be for her. Confronted by the past he’d forgotten and a family he didn’t know existed, Joshua must decide for himself where he belongs and who holds the key to his future.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780994021007

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, New Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy


Published by Peasantry Press

on 8th June, 2015

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 156

Published by: Peasantry Press (@PeasantryPress)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

*note: I marked my copy as an ARC as there was a miss spelt word

which was corrected in the final copy

Converse via: #PeasantryPress or #AlyssaThiessen

About Alyssa Thiessen

Alyssa Thiessen

When she's not donning her secret identity and saving the world, Thiessen keeps busy writing her next novel, reading something beautiful, teaching high school English, drinking coffee, cycling, and hanging out with her family - husband, kiddies, and miniature schnauzer.

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Posted Wednesday, 6 April, 2016 by jorielov in ARC | Galley Copy, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Canadian Literature, Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours, Coming-Of Age, Domestic Violence, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Literature for Boys, Modern Day, New Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy

Blog Book Tour | A new #YALit release by the #CanLit publisher I appreciate #amreading in 2015: Rebelight Publishing! Hannah Both Ways by Rosie Greenway is an evoking realistic story grabbing you by it’s heart!

Posted Monday, 30 November, 2015 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Chapter by Chapter, where I receive opportunities to host Cover Reveals & Author Guest Features on behalf of the Indie Publisher Month9Books. I continue to welcome hosting another Indie Publisher: Rebelight Publishing of whom I love the stories by their Middle Grade & YA authors! I jumped at the chance to read this exciting novel for Middle Grade readers, as I am always seeking out light infused Children’s Lit which has a resounding story-line stitched together with a life lesson and/or a character who children can relate too as much as they can celebrate having found. For a bit of background on Rebelight Publishing, please read my anchour supplement on the top of my review for “Missing in Paradise”.

I received a complimentary copy of “Hannah Both Ways” direct from the publisher Rebelight Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Realistic YA:

As mentioned recently on my spotlight revealling interview showcase for #DarkChocLit, I appreciate convicting realistic fiction – Hannah Both Ways is my second find for young adult literature, as The Summer of Chasing Mermaids was the last novel I’ve read where I felt a story fit this niche perfectly. Prior to Ockler’s novel, I give top credit to curating this sub-genre to Wonder by R.J. Palacio and The Strength of Ballerinas by Nancy Lorenz. The latter of whom is releasing a sequel American Ballerina this December, which I will be reading with wicked anticipation!

I appreciate finding stories that create a space for delving into the harder subjects that all teens face at some point or another. To find the novelists who get this part of life so epically real as if they were reliving their own living truth spilt out onto the pages of their novel, is one way of finding tomorrow’s classics. I like to keep my reading life open to where the redefinition of YA literature is taking today’s readers – as both teenagers and adults are reading YA. We all entered or re-entered the genre for different reasons, but what has us happily made us become encroached inside the genre are the heart centred stories and the incredible breadth of realism being etched inside them.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover-Art: When I first saw the cover art for this novel, it’s the numbers that drew the most curiosity out of me. I mistook them for ISP signatures because I did not realise there was a ‘space’ between the clusters to where the numbers themselves were only in sequences of XXX.XX rather than a longer numerical code. This is definitely a convincing cover for the novel because it’s reflecting the key heart of Hannah’s story: introspective and retrospectively sorting out her life.

Blog Book Tour | A new #YALit release by the #CanLit publisher I appreciate #amreading in 2015: Rebelight Publishing! Hannah Both Ways by Rosie Greenway is an evoking realistic story grabbing you by it’s heart!Hannah Both Ways
by Rosie Greenway
Source: Publisher via Chapter by Chapter

A devastating Twitter prank yanks Hannah out of the popular crowd and turns her into the high school’s best bad joke. Determined to finish the year and graduate, Hannah must keep the humiliating details from her impulsive mother—who just might pack up their belongings and move. Again.

Hannah hovers below the radar by submersing herself in a new routine. Post-it notes, Dewey Decimal numbers and carefully planned trips to the library are her refuge. That is, until a persistent new student invades her space. Lucas has complete disregard for Hannah’s cynicism and snark, and he seems to know the bullies who targeted her. Can Hannah trust him, or is he part of another ploy to torment her?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780994839947

Genres: Canadian Lit, Realistic Fiction, YA Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Rebelight Publishing Inc.

on 17th November, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 218

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published By: Rebelight Publishing, Inc. (@RebelightBooks)
Converse via: #HannahBothWays & #YALit OR #CanLit
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

About Rosie Greenway

Rosie Greenway grew up on the outskirts of Toronto, and continues to live and work in the GTA with her husband and family. After spending her formative years public-school hopping, Rosie attended the University of Toronto, specializing in English literature. A former English teacher, Rosie now finds herself putting into practice the many lessons she used to impart to the students in her class room. While she has often turned to writing as a way to relax and unwind, Hannah Both Ways is her first foray into the world of Young Adult publishing.

When she isn’t writing, Rosie is an avid traveler, armchair film critic, enthusiastic foodie and voracious reader. She is a passionate literacy advocate and one of her greatest achievements is instilling in her daughter the joy of reading.

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Posted Monday, 30 November, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Blog Tour Host, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Bullies and the Bullied, Canada, Canadian Literature, Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours, Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Dsylexia & the Dsylexic, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Learning Difficulties, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, School Life & Situations, Teacher & Student Relationships, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Upper YA Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, Young Adult Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “The Summer of Chasing Mermaids” by Sarah Ockler

Posted Wednesday, 5 August, 2015 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be on “The Summer of Chasing Mermaids” blog tour originally in mid-Spring before the tour was put on hold and finally re-organised in early Summer. Diverse Book Tours was undergoing a re-organisation and re-grouping of their website during the downtime and I was quite thankful I was still able to remain on the tour. I was sent a complimentary hardback copy of “The Summer of Chasing Mermaids” direct from Diverse Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Why Jorie tries to remember to read outside her comfort zones:

Young Adult fiction is a new passion of mine, ever since I took up sails into these engaging worlds where writers would enchant me with their fantasy realms (such as Jackie Gamber!) or retreat inside a coming-of age tale where the main protagonist is one where you cannot put the book down because of how strong they are lighting the story for your heart. The latter of course is a memory of mine from reading The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate most especially but there are others listed on my recent re-attachment to YA fiction on my Children’s Lit archive which immediately bring me back to those characters and stories as lightning quick as the two mentioned here.

I cannot say I am one who is caught up in the tides of most contemporary YA titles which seem to go viral as soon as they’re published (i.e. I have yet to read a John Green, Stephanie Meyer, or Suzanne Collins novel) but I do have a healthy thirst for stories by modern writers who are reminiscent of the authors I loved whilst I was growing up. There is a sampling of those authors on my Children’s Lit archive as well, as it’s becoming a way for me to journal my past endeavours in literature for children as much as serve as a blueprint for what I am reading right now. The companion sections for Children’s Lit & Young Adult Lit are in my Story Vault.

When I was approached about this particular novel there was something about it’s plot that gave me the impression I might enjoy discovering it’s story. It wasn’t until closer to when the book arrived by post that I started to learn a bit more about the novel’s content and how this YA novel in particular is setting a few new standards for what #YALit can encompass. For example, the term ‘sex-positive’ was a new for me as I learnt about it’s connection to the context of this story via another book bloggers rather open and honest review of how the story tackles strong topics for young adults.

I am coming into YA from a previous generation of where YA and Juvenile Fiction could convey strong themes and choices of lifestyles but held back a bit from what the reader would breathe in through the narrative. To me, this new transition in YA might stem out of the blog posts I’ve read about “Upper YA” verse traditional YA; where the stories are geared more towards teenagers who are on the brink of graduating high school and are about to emerge either into the workforce or the college selection process! In this, I can find a strong advocacy for novels that tip a hat towards communication and open dialogue about what is important to a 16-18 year old growing up in today’s world.

As a Prospective Adoptive Mum, I knew literature has changed quite a heap since I was growing up in the 80s/90s, as we didn’t quite have the same ‘electrifying’ inertia surrounding our books as teens have today; in part, I think because there wasn’t as much marketing and promotion in the book industry for Children’s Lit, esp Young Adult titles in particular. There has been a tidalwave of new interest for marketing and publicity for children and teens, and this is something I celebrate because I was a fierce reader who would have thrived on the live events and the author signings had they been as well promoted then as they are now. Author events when I grew up were generally for either a local author of a genre I was not old enough to read or someone quite obscure in academia; either way, the offerings were sparse!

I decided to remain on top of the new selections – even if it took me awhile to find my new ‘favourite’ authors and the titles I simply found ‘unputdownable’ and worthy of being devoured in one or two sittings – mostly as my tastes in stories do differ from the majority; but having said that, I wanted to stay open-minded about certain authors who had a style of telling a story that might resonate with me, whilst allowing me to take a chance on a book such as The Summer of Chasing Mermaids which would reunite me with other adults who adore YA!

Reading outside our comfort zones allows literature to stay fresh and vibrant; it’s a bit like how I recently blogged I am shifting out of France and dropping in on Italy! IF we don’t allow ourselves the grace to grow and to continue to shift forward with new contemporary authors who are telling new stories with a new vein of thought stitched into them which relate to our modern world, we fall behind. As a future Mum I’d like to stay connected and remain mindful of what is curiously connecting to today’s youth whilst accepting that even if your a few generations removed, you can find a balance between your own childhood and your children’s.

Blog Book Tour | “The Summer of Chasing Mermaids” by Sarah OcklerThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids
by Sarah Ockler
Source: Publicist via Diverse Book Tours

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: an ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother, Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1481401272

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Magical Realism, Realistic Fiction, Upper YA Fiction, YA Contemporary, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Simon Pulse

on 2nd June, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 416


Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.Published By: Simon Pulse (@simonteen),
Available Formats: Hardback and Ebook

Converse via: #TheSummerOfChasingMermaids

About Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of six young adult novels: Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, Bittersweet, The Book of Broken Hearts, #scandal, and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids.

Her books have been translated into several languages and have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, Amazon Top Movers and Shakers, and nominations for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten and NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books. Her short work has appeared in the anthologies Dear Teen Me and Defy the Dark.

She’s a champion cupcake eater, tea drinker, tarot enthusiast, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading at home in the Pacific northwest, Sarah enjoys hugging trees and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex. Fans can find her via the links below to connect with her directly!

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Posted Wednesday, 5 August, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Conservation, Contemporary Romance, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Diverse Book Tours, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Lyrical Quotations, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Mute | Medical Loss of Voice, Near-Death Experience, Oregon, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Preservation, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Natural World, Twin Siblings, Upper YA Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, West Coast USA, Writing Style & Voice, Young Adult Fiction