Book Feels: Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

Book Feels: Bad Romance by Heather DemetriosBad Romance by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on June 13th 2017
Genres: Coming of Age, Dating & Sex, Family, Friendship, Physical & Emotional Abuse, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

BAD ROMANCE is the kind of book that stays with you long after you’ve finished. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this book from a friend and having finished it last week, I can honestly say, I’ve thought about it every day since then. What Heather Demetrios has done with this novel, is shed a light on a very real and a very dangerous experience for so many people, including teens. Abuse, whether it be physical, sexual, mental or verbal, has touched so many lives and this is the kind of book that so many readers need in their life. Continue reading “Book Feels: Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios”

five-stars
Sarah

Book Feels: Freedom’s Slave by Heather Demetrios

Book Feels: Freedom’s Slave by Heather DemetriosFreedom's Slave (Dark Caravan Cycle, #3) by Heather Demetrios
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 28th 2017
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Pages: 608
Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

An Empress Fighting for Her CrownAfter three long years in exile, Nalia is ready to return to her homeland and sit on the throne that is rightfully hers. But the gods might have other plans. Forced to endure untold horrors on the journey to Arjinna, Nalia learns that it will take more than cutting down the tyrant Calar to get her crown.

An Army Fighting to SurviveRaif’s return to Arjinna as the commander of the revolution against Calar and her army isn’t as smooth as he’d hoped. Though he has more soldiers than ever before, his love for Nalia is losing him the trust of his comrades...and the war. But little does the resistance know that insurrection is brewing among Calar’s own ranks—and from the one person she trusts the most.

A Land Worth Fighting forArjinna is dying—Calar’s evil experiments with dark magic and the strength of her own psychic powers threaten to destroy the land of the jinn. Is Nalia and Raif’s enduring love enough to transform and rescue their homeland? Will they be willing to save the realm, no matter the cost?

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

By now, you may know that I am a big fan of the Dark Caravan Cycle by Heater Demetrios. Exquisite Captive is “a story of passion, of pain and ultimately of the power that can be found in freedom.” and Blood Passage is filled with “precise detailing, inspiring character growth and absolutely gorgeous writing”, making it an equally fabulous sequel. It’s no wonder that I went into the final book in the trilogy with exceedingly high expectations. All I wanted was for Nalia and Raif to finally find happiness after sacrificing so much for their home and for their people. Over the first two books in this series, I’d become invested in the stories of these characters, their lives and their fight for survival.

Continue reading “Book Feels: Freedom’s Slave by Heather Demetrios”

five-stars
Sarah

Blog Tour: Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios

Blog Tour: Blood Passage by Heather DemetriosBlood Passage (Dark Caravan Cycle, #2) by Heather Demetrios
Published by Balzer + Bray on March 1st 2016
Pages: 512
Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

A jinni who's lost everything.

A master with nothing to lose.

A revolutionary with everything to gain.

When Nalia arrives in Morocco to fulfil Malek's third and final wish she's not expecting it to be easy. Though Nalia is free from the shackles that once bound her to Malek as his slave, she's in more danger than ever before.

Meanwhile, Malek's past returns with a vengeance as he confronts the darkness within himself, and Raif must decide what's more important: his love for Nalia, or his devotion to the cause of Arjinnan freedom.

Set upon by powerful forces that threaten to break her, Nalia encounters unexpected allies and discovers that her survival depends on the very things she thought made her weak. From the souks of Marrakech to the dunes of the Sahara, The Arabian Nights come to life in this dazzling second installment of the Dark Passage Cycle.

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Welcome to the latest stop in the Blood Passage blog tour, hosted by Me, My Shelf and I. It’s such an honor to be a part of the excitement leading up to the release of the latest book from one of my very favorite authors, Heather Demetrios, and the second installment of The Dark Caravan cycle. If you haven’t read Exquisite Captive, the first book in this series, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. You can check out my review from last year, but it’s safe to say I loved it! Here’s a quick little snippet of my review…

Exquisite Captive is a story that grabbed me from the very first page and pulled me along on a wild and transformative journey. There were times where my heart broke for Nalia, times when I wanted to scream at her for decisions she was making, times when I truly understood the price she was paying, and times when I passionately rooted for her as she fought to reclaim her life.  This is a story of passion, of pain and ultimately of the power that can be found in freedom.”

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Continue reading “Blog Tour: Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios”

four-stars
Sarah

Books Feels: I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Books Feels: I’ll Meet You There by Heather DemetriosI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published by Macmillan on February 3, 2015
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Goodreads
five-stars

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

bookfeels
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –
I was provided with a digital review copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Macmillan for the opportunity.

We all have that one book right? Or maybe it’s two or three books. The ones that stick with us long after we’ve read them. That you could start reading all over again the second you reach the end. That special book that speaks to your heart and touches you in a way no other book has in the past. For me, that book is I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios.

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I’ll Meet You There is the story of two broken hearts, brought together in their shared pain, and how they work together, and sometimes apart, to try to find a new way of life. Both Sky and Josh are so broken and beyond repair when they meet, that you just don’t know how they’re going to get themselves out of the situations they find themselves in. Continue reading “Books Feels: I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios”

five-stars
Sarah

Book Feels: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Book Feels: Exquisite Captive by Heather DemetriosExquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle, #1) by Heather Demetrios
Published by Harper Collins on October 7th 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 480
Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

For fans of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy comes the first book in the Dark Caravan Cycle, a modern fantasy-adventure trilogy about a gorgeous, fierce eighteen-year-old jinni who is pitted against two magnetic adversaries, both of whom want her—and need her—to make their wishes come true.Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Now in hiding on the dark caravan—the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters' every command—she'd give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle. Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna's revolution and Nalia's sworn enemy. He promises to release Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother. There's just one catch: for Raif's unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle . . . and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him.

Many thanks to Nicole at The Book Bandit Blog for gifting me her ARC of Exquisite Captive. Her fabulous generosity in no way affected my review.

What a complex and intriguing story Heather Demetrios has given us in Exquisite Captive! At times the subject matter was difficult and I found myself wondering why the main character was making some of the choices she made, but in the end I was left with a better understanding of each characters unique, and sometimes dark, complexities. The beauty of this book was that Demetrios was able to weave an imaginative and magical story while shining a light on a very real issue in society today.

Demetrios challenges us through her writing to look beyond the surface and try to understand the motives behind Nalia, the main character’s, actions. So often in real life, we are quick to judge and condemn people (women specifically) for “allowing” bad things to happen to them. Far too often we don’t take the time to look beyond the initial judgement to try to understand what’s going on and what we can do to help.

In Exquisite Captive, Nalia has been a prisoner her whole life. She grew up as part of the highest of jinni castes that rules over the land of Arjinna with a heavy hand. As a young girl, Nalia is forced by her mother to do things she doesn’t want to do, the memory of which continues to haunt her every day. As a teenager, she is the sole survivor a horrific uprising that kills every member of her caste and is eventually forced into a brutal slave trade known as The Dark Caravan. From there she is transported from her world of Arjinna to Earth as you and I know it, and is sold to a cunning and ruthless business man. Malek is bent on making Nalia fulfill his every wish and command through total control, both physically and emotionally. He is not kind to her, punishes her for even the smallest of infractions and controls every facet of her life. This just deepens Nalia’s feelings of failure and worthlessness. Throughout much of the story there is a theme of Nalia needing something or someone to hold on to, that is until finally she realizes that she has the strength she needs to fight for what is right.

After three years under Malek’s rule, Nalia is completely broken emotionally, but when he begins to reveal another side to his madness, it causes Nalia to question her feelings towards him. It’s a strange and complicated relationship, and at first I wasn’t sure how I could ever understand it. Demetrios does an outstanding job of letting Nalia’s character open up to me as a reader and that helped me to understand how her desperate need for acceptance and love is what initally drove her to act in the way she did.  She had been starved of any feeling of worth her whole life, so when it is presented to her she clings to it, no matter what the source. I won’t deny that some people may not appreciate the relationship Demetrios created between Nalia and Malek, but personally, I thought it demonstrated the honest and painful truth that is sometimes present in real-life abusive, co-dependent relationships.

Thankfully, Nalia is forced to confront these very painful truths in her life due a to a long-hidden secret finally being discovered. Not only is her own life in danger, but the life of someone she holds so dear, as well as the entire jinni race. It was such a fantastic experience to watch Nalia take an emotional journey of finding out who she truly is as person, outside of what has happened to her; her desire to be needed turns into a desire to be free. In this journey, she meets Raif, a leader of the jinni revolution, and a man of deeply rooted passions and full of mystery. In the beginning, their relationship is based out of necessity as they both need the other to succeed in their individual battles, but along they way a deeper connection is forged. They realize they need to work together to succeed and the dynamic between Nalia and Raif quickly became one of my favorite aspects of the story. I adored what he, and his sister, brought into Nalia’s life. It was wonderful change for Nalia to finally see what true admiration and dedication from another person was like.

To me, the true star of this novel is the legend and folklore Demetrios created for her jinni race. All fives castes are supremely unique and captivating, each having its own defining features and beliefs. I’ve always been fascinated with Arabian mythology and supernatural beings, and was immediately drawn into the story and it’s mysticism. I adore how Demetrios used the four natural elements; earth, air, water and fire, to create four distinct jinni societies, at once so separate from each other but also strongly connected to the other.  To watch Nalia uncover the true extent of her powers was also intensely magical in and of itself. Demetrios does a stellar job of describing the magic the jinni posses, and she demonstrates it so beautifully in some key scenes throughout the novel. I was so drawn into the jinni world and culture and I can only hope that we get to explore it even further in the books to come.

Exquisite Captive is a story that grabbed me from the very first page and pulled me along on a wild and transformative journey. There were times where my heart broke for Nalia, times when I wanted to scream at her for decisions she was making, times when I truly understood the price she was paying, and times when I passionately rooted for her as she fought to reclaim her life.  This is a story of passion, of pain and ultimately of the power that can be found in freedom.

I hope this review has you excited to read Exquisite Captive and if you’re looking for more goodies to get you in the jinni mood be sure to visit Heather Demetrios’ Exquisite Captive Pinterest board and Dark Caravan Cycle tumblr. You should also listen to this amazing playlist she created for the folks over at Epic Reads!

Learn more about the playlist here

five-stars
Sarah

Book Feels: Something Real by Heather Demetrios

Book Feels: Something Real by Heather DemetriosSomething Real by Heather Demetrios
Published by Macmillan on February 4th 2014
Genres: Family, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound
Goodreads
five-stars

Seventeen-year-old BonnieTM Baker has grown up on TV--she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker's Dozen. Since the show's cancellation, BonnieTM has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it's about to fall apart . . . because Baker's Dozen is going back on the air. BonnieTM's mom and the show's producers won't let her quit and soon the life that she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. BonnieTM needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own--even if it means being more exposed than ever before.Heather Demetrios' Something Real is the winner of the Susan P. Bloom PEN New England Discovery Award.

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases -
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

When we first meet Chloe she’s in the midst of her senior year of high school and finally feeling like things are falling into place after the cancellation of the reality show that brought her family fame and notoreity. She’s managed to stay under the radar and made a few close friends who have no idea about her infamous past. For the first time in her life she’s feeling cautiously optimistic but still struggles with trying to keep her famous upbringing  a secret. Unfortunately, all that changes in an instant when her mother announces that the cameras are coming back for a second round.

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Click for source

Ugh…you guys there were times when I wanted to throw this book across the room. Let’s be real, I absolutely loved this book, it’s AMAZING, but I absolutely hated the main character’s mother. Thankfully, my hatred for her desperate attempt at fame was totally overshadowed by my admiration for Chloe and my love for one Patrick Sheldon.

Throughout this whole novel, I wanted to reach through the pages and shake Chloe’s mom. The woman had literally NO redeeming qualities and what she makes her children endure was beyond redemption. She never once considers the mental health or happiness of her children, and continues to push them further and further in the world of reality television. No privacy, no genuine quality-time together and certainly no lives outside of the confines of their 24/7 broadcast home.

Chloe starts off as a victim of circumstance but as the book goes on she finds strength from the loving and supportive relationship she has with her brother and the people she is closest to at school. It was so heartwarming to see how they rally around her to give her the strength she needs. Chloe has seen some dark days in her past and they help her to stay positive and move forward as she tries to overcome her (pardon my language) shitty surroundings. I absolutely adored the relationship Chloe had with her brother. The love and concern they had for each other made me connect with the characters even more…if I were in the same situation I’d be totally protective of my siblings too!

So we need to just take a moment to discuss Patrick Sheldon, Chloe’s long-time crush who turns out to be so much more than she ever imaged he could be. Throughout everything Patrick remains her constant and faithful friend. Unfazed by the cameras and constant attention, he connects with Chloe in such an honest and open way that allows her to truly explore what she wants out of life for the very first time. Patrick is one of those guys who just knows exactly what to say or do in the most awkward or tense situations. He’s such a perfect balance to the craziness that is Chloe’s life and I want to thank him for being exactly what she needed. You go boy!

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This book was everything I expected it to be and more. I’d heard so much great buzz about it and was completely wrapped up in Chloe’s story after the very first chapter. Even though I never starred on a reality show (thank god!!), her character was so relatable that I couldn’t help but sympathize with her. I mean, could you imagine your ENTIRE life televised? Your most private, intimate and embarrassing moments caught on camera for the whole world to see?

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Run NOW to your local bookstore, library, online retailer…borrow it from a friend. Whatever you do, you must get your hands on this book ASAP! It’s an instant classic and is going to go right on my favorites shelf!

About Heather Demetrios

When Heather Demetrios isn’t traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, she lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real. Her other novels include Exquisite Captive, the first in the Dark Caravan Cycle fantasy series, I’ll Meet You There and Bad Romance. She's also a creativity coach for writers and loves teaching creative writing. Find out more about Heather and her books at www.heatherdemetrios.com.

Find out more about Heather's creativity coaching here.

She can be found teaching writing and creativity at Writespace.

five-stars
Sarah