{Hope Nation Blog Tour} Review & Interview with Ally Condie and Dr. Rose Brock


I’m so excited to be a part of the Hope Nation blog tour because I love this book so much! Today, not only will I review Hope Nation but I get the incredible opportunity to interview two of its authors. But first…..

515lpfhy8zl-_sx329_bo1204203200_About the Book:

Hope Nation: YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration by Rose Brock, Atia Abawi, Romina Garber, Kate Hart, Brendan Kiely, Alex London, Marie Lu, Julie Murphy, Jason Reynolds, Aisha Saeed, Renee Ahdieh, Angie Thomas, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Nicola Yoon, Jeff Zentner, Libba Bray, Howard Bryant, Ally Carter, Ally Condie, James Dashner, Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Gayle Forman

Publication Date: February 4th 2018

Published by Penguin Teen
Genres: Non-Fiction, Young Adult 
Pages: 290
Format: Hardback 
Rating: 5 stars ✨✨✨✨✨

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Hope is a decision, but it is a hard one to recognize in the face of oppression, belittlement, alienation, and defeat. To help embolden hope, here is a powerhouse collection of essays and personal stories that speak directly to teens and all YA readers. Featuring Angie Thomas, Marie Lu, James Dashner, Nicola Yoon, David Levithan, Libba Bray, Jason Reynolds, Renée Ahdieh, and many more!

“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.”–Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We all experience moments when we struggle to understand the state of the world, when we feel powerless and–in some cases–even hopeless. The teens of today are the caretakers of tomorrow, and yet it’s difficult for many to find joy or comfort in such a turbulent society. But in trying times, words are power.

Some of today’s most influential young adult authors come together in this highly personal nonfiction collection of original essays, poems, and letters, each a first-hand account that ultimately strives to inspire hope.

Like a modern day Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul or Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for TeensHope Nation acknowledges the pain and shines a light on what comes after.

Authors include: Atia Abawi, Renee Ahdieh, Libba Bray, Howard Bryant, Ally Carter, Ally Condie, James Dashner, Christina Diaz Gonzales, Gayle Forman, Romina Garber, I. W. Gregario, Kate Hart, Bendan Kiely, David Levithan, Alex London, Marie Lu, Julie Murphy, Jason Reynolds, Aisha Saeed, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Jeff Zentner, and Nicola Yoon.


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One thing that I really appreciated about Hope Nation was that it wasn’t just one persons interpretation or experience; there were 24 incredibly different examples of hope. What gave one author hope was participating in the women’s march while another contributor to the anthology found hope through exploring her passion for writing.  What makes Hope Nation a five-star read is that there are these 24 very accomplished people telling you that its okay if you don’t find what gives you hope right away because it took them a while for them to discover it for themselves and I think that this is the loveliest message for its young adult readers to receive. Naturally not all of the stories in the anthology were my favorites; some of the stories didn’t really resonate with me as much as the others. My favorite chapters were; Rundown by Ally Condie, Surviving by Marie Lu, The Two Types of Secrets by Ally Carter and Cha- Muh by Renee Adieh. 

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Overall, I think that Hope Nation was a very well executed anthology and that everyone should pick up and be inspired by it, especially since all of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to charity. 

Thank you so much Penguin Teen for providing me with a physical copy for review. In compliance with FTC guidelines, I must state that I received this book for free and was in no way compensated for my review.

Holidays! (4)

{Both} Do you wish that you could have had a book such as Hope Nation available to you when you were younger?

(AC) I do. I lived in a small town in Utah, and it was wonderful, but having access to other viewpoints and stories was something I craved. I loved learning about the wider world through books. This one would have especially spoken to me with its broad range of experiences, and the uniqueness and universality of all of them. 

RB) Definitely. I struggled a lot as a teen, and if there was a wrong choice to make, I basically made it; luckily for me, there were people in my life that never gave up hope for me, and who realized my potential even when I didn’t. I think being a bit of a train wreck always made me a better teacher because it allowed me to understand the kids I taught that were a bit lost. I eventually found my way, but even as a reader, I didn’t really have any authors who were real to me; being able to know the adversity faced by writers I loved would have gone a very long way in my life.


{Dr.} How did you decide which authors which authors to include in the anthology?

RB: I started by considering and asking the authors I knew personally and that I knew were beloved by teens. From there, I cast a larger lasso, reaching out to writers I might not know as well or possibly at all, but folks whose books had impressed me, and that I thought would have powerful messages to share with readers. I also wanted a myriad of experiences so I was mindful of backgrounds, but I knew that there would still be universal experiences that might be shared.  In a couple of cases, I asked authors to share specific experiences I was aware of, but with most, I allowed them to address hope as they saw fit, and I think they did so beautifully.


{AC} Why did you want to be a part of this anthology?

The minute Rose asked, I was in. She is smart and hopeful and cares about kids. I knew that if she were at the helm, it would be both a project of integrity and one that would be focused on the readers. 

{Dr.} What was your motivation for you to want to explore more than one individuals definition of hope instead of just your own?

RB: Because I always saw this project as one for readers, I knew the writers that are beloved to those that read YA were essential. My hope story is constant and evolving, but when I’ve needed it most, books have seen me through the toughest of times, and I believed this book would be that much richer if it were a gathering of experiences rather than being about me.


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💜 💜 💜 rainy day reading 💜 💜 💜 

{AC} While I was reading Rundown, I remember thinking about the courage that it would require someone to share such a personal story with so many people that they didn’t know. So my question is why did you do it?

It felt like the right time, both personally and with what is happening in the world. This is the most personal story I’ve ever written. I hadn’t shared it publicly, but the title of the book (HOPE NATION) immediately gave rise to the idea. I started thinking about when my sister was born (her name is Hope) and the story went from there. I hope any other kids who struggle with depression and loss can find a connection in it. 


{AC} Was it difficult to revisit a time when you hadn’t yet found hope for the purpose of writing?

AC: It was, because it was so personal, but it also wasn’t, because I knew the outcome. I knew the hope was there. In my story, it takes the form of a best friend who listened and a parent who cared. 


{Both}  Why did you want to share stories of hope with today’s young adult readers?

AC: It’s not easy for teenagers. It never has been. But teens are smart. They always have been. They are advocating for clean water in Flint. They are protesting police violence in Ferguson. They’re taking what happened to them in Parkland and turning it into advocacy, empowerment, and action. This is a way for us as adults to say, We stand with you. As a former high school English teacher, this project spoke to me because this is the age group I used to teach. As the parent of a teen, it spoke to me because it’s for my children. And everyone’s children.

RB: Basically what Ally said. Working with and for teens has been the most important part of my professional work since I graduated and became a classroom teacher at twenty-two. These stories are for the kids I taught two decades ago—I needed these stories then so I kept those students of mine (and all that came after) in mind the entire time I was framing this project. We never outgrow the need for hope; it sustains us, and I was lucky enough to harvest hope and turn it into Hope Nation for teens and readers when they need it, be it today or tomorrow.


{Both} What are the projects that you both are currently working on?

AC: I’m working on a new middle grade series called THE DARKDEEP. My co-author is Brendan Reichs, and the series was pitched as Stranger Things meets The Goonies with the heart of Stand by Me. It’s also its own story, of course, and we’ve had a blast writing it. The first book releases October 2 of this year.

RB: My day job is that I teach teachers that aspire to be school librarians; it’s a great gig, and the icing on a already yummy cake is that I always teach children’s or YA literature. I get to go back to doing that (which is awesome), and over this next few months, I will be writing an academic textbook on YA literature for library school students. Textbook writing likely doesn’t sound all that fun, but I’ve been passionate about YA literature for over twenty years, and I know it well so I’m excited to share that knowledge with those learning about YA and making collection development decisions for libraries.



Thank you so much Ms. Condie and Dr. Brock for your thoughtful answers and for allowing me the opportunity to interview you!💜 

x3kdujo2_400x400Dr. Rose Brock is a twenty-year veteran professor who has dedicated her career to turning teens into book lovers. Building relationships with readers through books is her superpower. In addition to her career as a librarian and educator, Dr. Brock is also very involved in helping to organize the North Texas Teen Book Festival, a one-day event, which hosts sixty authors and has an impressive annual attendance of over 3,500 teens and tweens. She also serves as a team leader of the International Literacy Association’s Young Adults’ Choices project, which empowers teens to read and select the best books of the year. Dr. Brock was named by the Texas Library Association as the recipient of the Siddie Joe Johnson Award, an award given by the Children’s Round Table to a librarian who demonstrates outstanding library service to children



Ally Condie is the author of the MATCHED Trilogy, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller. MATCHED was chosen as one of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten and named as one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2010. The sequels, CROSSED and REACHED, were also critically acclaimed and received starred reviews, and all three books are available in 30+ languages.

She is the founder of the non-profit WriteOut Foundation, which runs writeoutcamp.org–a writing camp for teens that allows students to work with published authors, experience the outdoors, and enjoy other activities (plays, costume balls, rock climbing, and more).

Ally lives with her husband and four children outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, writing, running, and listening to her husband play guitar. Follow Ally on Twitter and Facebook.

13 Minutes Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway!


I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough! I went into this book with absolutely zero expectations since I didn’t want to know anything other than what the synopsis told me about it and ended up absolutely loving it. From the captivating first chapters to the shocking but brilliant ending, I literally couldn’t put it down. 


Genre: YA Mystery & Thriller
Page Length: 320 
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: e-ARC via Flatiron Books
Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars


The New York Times bestselling author known for her thrilling twists is back:They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. Natasha doesn’t remember how she ended up in the icy water that night, but she does know this–it wasn’t an accident, and she wasn’t suicidal. Her two closest friends are acting strangely, and Natasha turns to Becca, the best friend she dumped years before when she got popular, to help her figure out what happened. Natasha’s sure that her friends love her. But does that mean they didn’t try to kill her? 13 Minutes is a psychological thriller with a killer twist from the #1 internationally bestselling author Sarah Pinborough.

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{Blog Tour & Giveaway}: Review INVICTUS BY RYAN GRAUDIN


invictus1INVICTUS by Ryan Graudin

Genre: YA Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Adventure
Page Length: 464 Pages
Publication Date: September 17th, 2017
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Physical ARC via Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Links! AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads


Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past. 

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

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{Blog Tour} Light Years by Emily Ziff Griffin ♡ Review & Giveaway!



cropped-giannas-pictures-april-may-2016-115.jpgHi everyone, it’s been awhile since I’ve participated in a blog tour ( or you know…… written a blog post) but I’m very excited to be getting back into the swing of things (do people even say this anymore or are all of the old movies I watch starting to catch up with me??????) by participating in the Light Years blog tour.

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{Blog Tour} Review & Moodboard If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson

ififixyou-315x472If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson

Genre: YA  Contemporary, Romance
Page Length: 304 Pages
Publication Date: October 25th, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Source: ARC via The Irish Banana Review 

My Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Readers of Sarah Dessen, Cammie McGovern and Morgan Matson will adore this thought-provoking, complex and romantic contemporary novel from debut author Abigail Johnson, about finding the strength to put yourself back together when everything you know has fallen apart.

When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.

Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.

With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start.

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{Blog Tour} Moodboard for Bury the Living by Jodi McIssac

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Hello, everyone! I’m so excited to be sharing today with all of you a mood board that I created for my stop in the Bury the Living blog tour. When I was invited to participate in the tour I immediately signed up! I was so excited to be able to read more about Ireland and it’s fascinating history! Some of you may not know this but I’m borderline obsessed with anything to do with Ireland so this was tight up my alley. Before I share with you the moodboard I created and giveaway, here’s a bit more information about the book!

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