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Act of Will: Interview & Giveaway

Friday, February 28, 2014
I'm delighted to interview author A.J. Hartley here on the blog today.


Act of Will
by A.J. Hartley

Genre: Historical, Fantasy
Paperback: 372 Pages
Publication: Janary 2, 2014
by Dystel & Goderich Literary Management


Act of Will is a boisterous fantasy adventure that introduces us to Will Hawthorne, a medieval actor and playwright who flees the authorities only to find himself inextricably bound to a group of high-minded adventurers on a deadly mission. Will travels with them to a distant land where they are charged with the investigation and defeat of a ruthless army of mystical horsemen, who appear out of the mist leaving death and devastation in their wake.

In the course of Will’s uneasy alliance with his new protectors, he has to get his pragmatic mind to accept selfless heroism (which he thinks is absurd) and magic (which he doesn’t believe in). Will must eventually decide where his loyalties really lie and how much he is prepared to do--and believe--to stand up for them.


Author Interview


Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing.
I've written all my life, and wrote my first novel when I was 19. It was a hobby for me at first and I didn't pursue publication all that seriously, which is partly why it took me 20 years to get published, having written 8 complete novels! I've been publishing ever since, 10 novels to date. I'm also a Shakespeare professor at UNC Charlotte. My doctorate is in English, but as a scholar I'm primarily a performance theorist and historian.

What inspired the writing of Act of Will?
Lots of things, I suspect. Partly it was playing Dungeons and Dragon type role playing games (I was and remain an uber nerd :) ) but also it was a desire to write a version of high fantasy that centered on ordinary people, rather than beautiful, noble heroes. My protagonist is Will Hawthorne, who is 18. He is smart and inventive when cornered (he's an actor, after all), but he's also a skeptic who doesn't believe in magic and is more interested in saving his own skin than saving the world. I hadn't read those kinds of stories and wanted to perform a kind of intervention in fantasy fiction (which isn't to say they didn't exist) and wanted to see what what would happen if you had a fantasy world and story, but characters from modern, realist fiction. Oh, and I wanted it not to take itself too seriously, so it is--I hope--funny too :)

After first publishing Act of Will through a traditional publisher, you have reworked the story and gone the indie route. What inspired you to do this and how did you go about doing this? Has the writing process changed between the versions?
This is becoming increasingly common as an approach. When a book goes out of print the rights revert to the author. Some authors will then seek out another traditional press, but most major presses only want new material unless they think it already has built a sizable following. In my case, in opting to go the independent route I wanted to control the cover art, which authors with traditional publishers generally don't. I like the original cover of the Tor edition of Act of Will, but I don't think readers realized what kind of book it was. This time around I wanted to make clear that this was a fantasy adventure with a teenaged hero.

I'm fortunate that the literary management company who represent me (Dystel and Goderich) have a special division for handling exactly this kind of situation and working with good cover artists. As far as the text itself is concerned, I only changed a couple of sentences. It is effectively the same book, reformatted for the new edition.

Will is a pragmatic character who is suddenly faced with concepts of heroism and magic. What challenges did you face developing Will's character?
I guess the challenge was making sure he stayed true to character and didn't turn into an Aragorn type :) But I also had to make sure the story kept moving and stayed exciting, which meant Will couldn't just run every time danger threatened. So there always had to be reasons that would make sense to Will to keep him from just quitting. Some of those reasons are practical and external, but some of them--slowly, gradually, privately--come from those bits of Will's personality he doesn't usually listen to.

How has your Shakesperean academic background influenced your writing?
Lots of ways, I suspect. Will is an actor in a vaguely medieval or Renaissance theatre, so I use some details from my sense of how Shakespeare's theatre worked, but that's a minor part of the book. I'd like to think that what I really aspire after is Shakespeare's gift for producing beautiful, rich and complex writing while telling sensational, popular stories.

What are three things that are essential to your writing process?
Time. Silence. Something to Write on.

What do you believe is most important in a well-executed book?
Levels. I want a story that grabs me and keeps me turning the pages but rewards reflection with ideas and feelings.

What are you working on right now?
I have two new YA projects in the works, one a scifi story about a crashed spaceship, and a YA fantasy set in a vaguely Victorian, industrial Africa! And an academic book on staging Shakespeare at university, but I doubt you care about that!



About the Author

A.J. Hartley is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of books in a variety of genres. AJ’s stories are driven by mystery and danger but also reflect his abiding interest in archaeology, history, and foreign travel. As an English major at Manchester University, he took extra classes in Egyptology and got a job working on a Bronze Age site just outside Jerusalem. Since then, life has taken him to many places around the world, and his fascination with the past continues unabated. He has an M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature from Boston University, and he is the Russell Robinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and works as a scholar, screenwriter, dramaturg and theatre director.

Connect with A.J.
Website | Goodreads Facebook | Twitter



Giveaway


A.J. Hartley has offered an e-copy of Act of Will for a giveaway.

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Review: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Wednesday, February 26, 2014




Unbreakable
Kami Garcia


Series: The Legion #1
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Hardback: 305 Pages
Publication: October 1, 2013
by Little Brown BFYR



Synopsis
When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

Because it just got personal.


Review
◆ A copy was provided by Little Brown for review ◆

First, Kennedy’s mother suddenly dies. Then, twins Lukas and Jared her life from a poltergeist that tries to kill her, and they tell her that she is the next in line to represent her family as a member of the ancient secret group called the Legion. Now, Kennedy has to use her eidetic memory to work with the rest of the members of the group to collect the Shift’s five pieces that will destroy the demon Andras.

The character development is not the strongest point in the novel. We don’t get much backstory on the characters; as a result, they fall flat. Kennedy is brave. However, I don’t like how she doubts herself and is preoccupied with insecurities about fitting in with the others, as she doesn't know whether or not her eidetic memory counts as a special gift. I would like to see her undergo more character growth in the next installment. There are hints of a love triangle between Kennedy and the twins, but it's not certain at this point. The romance is not significant in this book. The most distinguishing feature is the good-boy bad-boy tension.

The horror aspect is the book’s strong point. I liked following the characters on their journey from a haunted mansion to places like an abandoned magic shop, a neglected sanitarium, and a death-row prison. The author describes these places with thoroughly chilling and flawless details that sent shivers down my spine. Additionally, the story is fast-paced with plenty of terror and suspense.

Unbreakable is a promising start for a new thrilling and exciting series. I am looking forward to reading book two, where there will hopefully be more character development.



Series
  1. Unbreakable
Similar Books

Content
  • Kissing

The Deep End of the Sea: Author Interview & Giveaway

Monday, February 24, 2014
I'm delighted to have author Heather Lyons here on the blog today to talk about her book The Deep End of the Sea!


The Deep End of the Sea

by Heather Lyons

Genre: NA Mythological
Paperback: 256 Pages
Publication: February 13, 2014
by Cerulean Books


What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.

But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.


Author Interview


Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing.
I’ve always loved telling stories, from elementary school up into high school, where I was president of my school’s writing club. Unfortunately, I convinced myself that I could never make a living at it, so I went into archaeology and teaching instead. After I became a mother, I decided life was too short to not do something I’d always dreamed about. So I sat down and wrote a book and haven’t looked back since.

What inspired you to write The Deep End of the Sea?
I’ve always loved world mythologies—maybe that comes from the historian/archaeologist in me. I found it fascinating to see how the ancients believed the world began and ran. A number of these legends have stuck with me over the years, including that of Medusa. Her story always rubbed me wrong—it seemed so unfair. Most stories have her being raped by Poseidon because he was enchanted by her beauty; subsequently, she was cursed by Athena for having the, I don’t know, audacity to be raped within one of her temples. It’s really misogynistic and a filled with far too much victim blaming. I wanted to give this girl a different path, one where she isn’t the villain. One where she had the opportunity for a happy ending.

I saw on your blog that, when you saw the cover image for the first time, you knew that it was the one for you. How do you feel it represents what the book is about?
For most of her life, Medusa feels trapped by her situation. She’s isolated on an enchanted island, surrounded by Poseidon’s waters. Her eyes are deadly, no matter how much she wishes differently. She tries really hard to be a good person, to not lose the vestiges of humanity she desperately clings to. The picture, painted by a very talented teenager named Kelsey Patton, is called Fear of Drowning. To me, its symbolisms really highlight a lot of Medusa’s fears of being trapped by Poseidon and of her inability to escape a horrible situation. Plus—I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but it fits a scene in the book pretty well.

Not only is Medusa unfairly cursed, she's lived far from civilization for the past two thousand years. Did you face any challenges developing her character and how did you work through them?
I knew, going in, that a lot of people view Medusa as one of the greatest villains of Greek mythology. Look at Clash of the Titans—everyone cheered when her head was cut off. So I knew it was going to be a challenge to construct a person who readers want to root for. I researched a lot for this story, making sure that, while I took certain liberties for various plot points, a lot of the bones of this story are based straight out of mythology. I also made sure I did a lot of research into sexual violence and how victims deal with their situations and heal. Plus, I had to really look at what a person would be like, having been isolated with so few people to interact with for so long. There are a lot of intentional internal moments in this story and awkward social situations she doesn’t know how to deal properly with, because books and movies could only tell her so much about society. Hopefully, in the end, readers will come to love her as much as I have and maybe even relate to her.

So I read this swoony scene between Medusa and Hermes. Where did you find this hot god and the ingenious idea to bring him and Medusa together?
There have been a lot of stories out about certain Greek gods over the last few years with mostly Hades and Poseidon featured. While I knew those characters would be in my story, I also wanted to introduce readers to a different god for them to grow to love. Hermes was always my first choice—of all the gods, he would be the one who would have the most reasons to interact with Medusa. In addition to being a messenger, legends have him as ferrying souls to the Underworld, so chances are, when she turned somebody to stone, he might be the one to take them to their rest.

What do you enjoy most writing The Deep End of the Sea? What difficulties did you face?
I loved visiting Olympus and seeing what the gods would be like in today’s society. I also consider this story unapologetically romantic, so it made me so happy to tell its story. As for difficulties . . . I really strove to write this character and story realistically, even though it obviously features mythological characters. What happened to Medusa (outside of the cursing) occurs far too often, unfortunately. I wanted to do justice to the story and her journey.

What music did you listen to while writing The Deep End of the Sea?
It’s going to sound weird, but I got one of the first sparks to this story while listening to John Mayer’s Born and Raised album for the first time. So, there’s a lot of that album within this story. The divine A Face To Call Home, so very ironic in its title, is a key song. Outside of that album, I listened to Augustines, Poe, Noah and The Whale, Lady Antebellum, Soft Swells, Phosphorescent, Eminem, Cheyenne Mize, and Lucy Kaplansky. My playlists are pretty intensive. I’m such a music junkie!

What are you working on right now?
I’m working concurrently on the fourth book in my Fate series, A Matter of Forever, a novella from that series, and a standalone about royals. I’m completely fascinated with royalty!



About the Author



Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.


Connect with Heather
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


This post is a part of the tour hosted by Inkslinger PR
For the full tour schedule, click here

Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Wednesday, February 19, 2014




Panic
by Lauren Oliver


Genre: YA Dystopian
Hardback: 416 Pages
Publication: March 4, 2014
by Harper Collins



Synopsis

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.


Review
◆ A copy was provided by Harper Collins for review ◆

Panic is a secret, high-stakes game that played by graduating seniors in Carp, a dead-end town. It's the kind of town that people want to leave the moment they graduate from high school, and the winning ticket out of town is to win the $67,000 prize in Panic. Participants will risk their life and go beyond the edges of fear. At the end of the summer-long game, one winner will stand at the top.

The story is told through the alternating perspectives of the main characters Heather and Dodge. Heather never planned to play the game. She joins in a spur-of-the-moment decision after her boyfriend breaks up with her. Later, however, she wants the money to get her little sister away from their neglectful mother and the trailer park they call home. I like how Heather grows stronger and more mature throughout the game as well as her strong relationship with her little sister. I also like her blooming relationship with Bishop, one of her best friends, though he's quiet, and we don't really get to know him. In comparison, Dodge has a lot of anger inside him. He wants to win, and he wants to get revenge. He too grows over the course of the game, becoming someone who will take care of his friends.

Panic is a bit unrealistic because of the harm the players are willing to inflict on each other, even lethal harm. Still, though the plot is not the most realistic, the author really knows the lengths that people will take when they despereately want to escape their lives and start afresh. The story captures the hopelessness and desperation of dead-end town people determined to get the only golden ticket to a future for themselves. It is a great story to a part of life that is not often seen or told in YA books.

Overall, I enjoyed the book.



Additional Information
Series
  • N/A



Similar Books
  • Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Content
  • Kissing
  • Violence

Nightingale's Nest: Interview with Nikki Lofton

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I'm delighted to have author Nikki Lofton here on the blog today to talk about her book Nightingale's Nest!


Nightingale's Nest

by Nikki Lofton

Genre: MG Mythological
Paperback: 256 Pages
Publication: February 20, 2014
by Razorbill


Twelve-year-old John Fischer Jr., or "Little John" as he’s always been known, is spending his summer helping his father with his tree removal business, clearing brush for Mr. King, the wealthy owner of a chain of Texas dollar stores, when he hears a beautiful song that transfixes him. He follows the melody and finds, not a bird, but a young girl sitting in the branches of a tall sycamore tree.

There’s something magical about this girl, Gayle, especially her soaring singing voice, and Little John’s friendship with Gayle quickly becomes the one bright spot in his life, for his home is dominated by sorrow over his sister’s death and his parents’ ever-tightening financial difficulties.

But then Mr. King draws Little John into an impossible choice—forced to choose between his family’s survival and a betrayal of Gayle that puts her future in jeopardy.

Inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen story, Nightingale's Nest is an unforgettable novel about a boy with the weight of the world on his shoulders and a girl with the gift of healing in her voice.


Author Interview


Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing.
I’ve been a reader and a writer since I could hold a book and a pencil! I can’t remember a time I wasn’t making up stories in my mind, and trying to put them down on paper. I think I knew I wanted to be a published author when I was nine years old, and one of my teachers sent a poem I wrote into the local newspaper. Seeing my name in print, next to my words? Magic.

I let go of my lifelong dream for quite a few years, though. I ended up being a teacher for a while (super fun, actually), and a director of family ministries. Then one day, I looked in the mirror and saw the gray hairs starting to peek out and realized I didn’t have forever to chase that dream! I started writing again, in earnest, that year. I had my first two contracts with Penguin about two and a half years later.

I saw Nightingale's Nest was inspired by a poem you wrote "The Treasure Nest" and also the Hans Christian Anderson story "Nightingale." Could you elaborate on this?
When I first started writing for children, I wrote what I thought were picture books: short, quiet poems that came from my deepest childhood memories. Even when I figured out they didn’t work as picture books, I couldn’t stop thinking about one or two of them in particular. Turns out, they were the seeds of my next two novels! I took the first one, called “The Treasure Nest,” wrapped it around one of my favorite, strange fairy tales (“The Nightingale” by Hans Christian Andersen), and it grew into Nightingale’s Nest.

The second picture book poem was called “The Outside Music.” It’s now called Wish Girl, and will be my third novel! Writers should NEVER throw away any “failed” work. They’re seeds, all of those almosts.

What kinds of challenges did you face telling Little John and Gayle's story?
The story itself came to me whole; I almost felt at times like I was transcribing it rather than making it up. The challenge was having the courage to write it! There’s a lot of sadness there, dark memories and terrible choices the characters are forced to make. I think the hardest thing might have been allowing the story to be what it was, rather than softening it to make it easier for me to write.

Little John is a boy "with the weight of the world on his shoulders." How did you go about balancing Little John's vulnerabilities with his newfound role in Gayle's life?
Little John was unable to save his little sister when she fell to her death, and so he is in the perfect position when he meets Gayle – another fragile girl in a tree - to feel like he might be able to try again, and do it right this time. I think many people, after a terrible tragedy, would grasp at a new start, and this is what Little John did. It’s in his nature to take on others’ burdens, as well, so he acts in character when he accepts the mantle of responsibility for Gayle.

How have the characters changed since you first envisioned them? Did any in particular surprise you?
Honestly, the characters didn’t change very much! As I said, the experience of writing Nightingale’s Nest felt organic, like I was only uncovering a story that had been there for a long while. Possibly it felt this way since the “seed” had been germinating for so long (from that first picture book draft), so when it finally unfolded, the characters were fully formed in my mind. The only thing that surprised me greatly was the ending, and I still struggle with the way the final climax was resolved! I can’t elaborate, or I’ll spoil the whole thing, but I still find myself arguing - with myself, I guess – over how it all worked out.

What draws you to fairy tales and magical realism?
I was obsessed with fairy tales and myths when I was a little girl, and never really stopped reading them in any form I could find. Classic retellings, books of world folktales, Native American stories, Russian and Eastern European fairy tales, Nordic mythology – I read so many books! I think those tales shaped the writer I am. When I began to read magical realism in college and grad school (I studied fiction writing at UT Austin), I adored the way those writers allowed inexplicable, universal magic to seep into the realistic worlds they created. I had to try that!

What kinds of characters do you like to see in books and why?
I love strong yet flawed characters, weak and broken characters who keep trying, characters with good hearts and good intentions who make terrible mistakes, characters of every color and age and size, who fight against almost insurmountable odds… I like to see characters readers can identify with, and want to follow throughout an entire book! I think readers, especially young readers, need that – to see characters who look like them, and think like them, who may even feel helpless at times, and yet keep trying. Young characters who triumph over internal and external foes – that’s what I try to write, and love to read.

What are you working on right now?
That second picture book seed! My third middle-grade novel, which should come out in early 2015 is titled WISH GIRL, and it’s magical realism again. It’s about an introverted boy who moves to the countryside, near a valley that seems utterly magical. He meets a smart, bossy girl who may or may not make wishes come true…and also may need him to help her stay alive.

I think readers who liked my first two books will like this one, too. It’s full of magic and danger and a pinch of tragedy, too.


About the Author



Nikki Loftin is a writer and native Texan who lives just outside Austin, Texas, with her two boys, two dogs, nine chickens, and one very patient husband. She writes Middle Grade novel-length fiction as well as personal essays, puppet plays, articles, poems, and short stories. She is the author of The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy and Nightingale's Nest. Nikki is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin graduate writing program (MA, '98). She has been a popcorn seller, waitress, bookstore employee, Music and Gifted/Talented teacher, and a Director of Family Ministries. Her favorite food/obsession is ice cream, preferably Blue Bell Moo-llenium Crunch. On very good days, she prefers writing even to ice cream.

Connect with Nikki
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


Review: Dangerous by Shannon Hale

Monday, February 17, 2014




Dangerous
by Shannon Hale


Genre: YA Science Fiction
Hardback: 400 Pages
Publication: March 4, 2014
by Bloomsbury




Synopsis

Maisie Danger Brown just wanted to get away from home for a bit, see something new. She never intended to fall in love. And she never imagined stumbling into a frightening plot that kills her friends and just might kill her, too. A plot that is already changing life on Earth as we know it. There's no going back. She is the only thing standing between danger and annihilation.

From NY Times bestselling author Shannon Hale comes a novel that asks: How far would you go to save the ones you love? And how far would you go to save everyone else?


Review
◆ A copy was provided by Bloomsbury for review ◆

A strong plot, relatable characters, mind-numbing action, and questionable villains... Dangerous has most everything I like to see in a good YA novel.

I love how intelligent Maisie and her friends are. They make a lot of scientific references, and they also quote famous writers. I can't even begin to think about the last time I saw a teen, much less the main character, with such a voice in a YA novel. Plus, Maisie is half Latina and has a physical disability, and neither of these are made out to be a big deal in the novel, which I really appreciate. I actually wouldn't have paid half as much attention to these traits if Maisie didn't pull out some Spanish here and there or give her fake arm a name.

It's not just Maisie. The side characters have their own unique features and diversity, and they are well characterized—with some being more memorable than others, which is to be expected. I especially love Maisie's parents and the funniness that they are. You have to have a sense of humor to give your child the opportunity to say "Danger is my middle name" and speak the literal truth. I also love how her parents are very present and involved throughout the entire story. It's another thing missing from a lot of YA novels today. I'd talk about some of the other characters that I love, but I don't want to go into too many details because I'm afraid that I'll give spoilers. As for the romance, it's realistically portrayed. It's sweet but also angsty, and it develops alongside the plot without overtaking it or falling off the radar for long periods of time.

Dangerous makes you question the loyalties of many characters. There are high stakes involved in the plot, and there are a lot of twists and turns. Even though I wanted to place my faith in some characters, even though I was pretty sure they were on the "good" side, I still found myself questioning their motives. I even began having some dark feelings for those I wanted to love. That's what makes this such a powerful novel. You never know what to expect, feelings or plot wise. Just when you think you know what this is about, another surprise comes right at you. Admittedly, it would have been interesting to develop a few plot points some more, but Maisie isn't really in a position to learn some things, not unless her character were to be changed, and then she wouldn't be the Maisie that I love.

I could totally see this having been expanded into a series that delves more into the power play and scheming going on behind the scenes and filling the pages with mind-numbing action and terror. However, I love this book as a standalone written the way it was. I have nothing against series in general, especially a well-written series. However, it's also good to have books like Dangerous out there. Not everything needs to be an epic adventure or filled with intrigue around every corner. As Maisie reminds us, the process of saving the world isn't always on par with the big bang. Though she goes through a lot of bad things and has to make a lot of important decisions, Maisie is still a teenage girl at heart and needs the support of her friends and family.

More than a high stakes sci-fi fantasy adventure, Dangerous is a coming-of-age story about making potentially life-altering decision, learning to trust our instincts and others, and falling in love for the first time. Shannon Hale is an amazing writer, and with Dangerous, she's shown her ability to branch out into other genres. I'm looking forward to seeing what she'll bring to us next!

 with much Love!


Additional Information
Series
     N/A



Similar Books
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Content
  • Kissing
  • Making out
  • Violence


On another note
I can't begin to talk about how much I love this book! It has so many elements that I've wanted to see more in YA lit. There's the family being present and involved. It's unrealistic that so many families drop of the radar in YA fantasy/paranormal/mystery/thriller books. I mean, in a messed-up situation that's bigger than life I'd be sorely tempted to turn to my family for help. . . unless I was seriously afraid for them, then I'd come up with some reason for them not to worry, and Maisie takes a shot at both of these things. There's also the diversity being well handled, the scientific angles, and the nicely done romance. And all the other super cool plot twists that I can't talk about, so I'm going to stop here before I start giving spoilers. If anyone's read the book (or after you've read the book), I'd love to talk about it with you! If Shannon Hale wasn't already one of my favorite authors, she'd be on my list now after Dangerous!

On a safer note, I love the symbolic cover! Not only is it perfect for a sci-fi fantasy, it's different from what's starting to become the norm of models posing in pretty dresses. As much as I like looking at pretty dresses, I typically do that on shopping sites, not staring at book covers. And it would have been weird to see Maisie posing prettily for the cover. It doesn't seem like her style.

Imagine Weekly: 2/16

Sunday, February 16, 2014
Imagine Weekly is a weekly feature where we share a summary of what has taken place on the blog the previous week and show off books that we got.

I haven't done this in a couple weeks, so there are a lot!


Mailbox

I received for review:

Hexed by Michelle Krys (Goodreads | Amazon)
Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor (Goodreads | Amazon)
Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen  (Goodreads | Amazon)


Circle of Desire by Keri Arthur (Goodreads | Amazon)
Hereafter by Terri Bruce (Goodreads | Amazon)
Star Pirate's Justice by S.E. Gilchrist (Goodreads | Amazon)


Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill (Goodreads | Amazon)
Promise Bound by Anne Greenwood Browne (Goodreads | Amazon)
Enders by Lissa Price (Goodreads | Amazon)
And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard (Goodreads | Amazon)
The True Adventures of Nicolò Zen by Nicholas Christopher (Goodreads | Amazon)
Alliance by Mark Frost (Goodreads | Amazon)

Thanks to Angry Robot, Bloomsbury, Harlequin Australia, Harper Collins, Mictlan Press, Random House
* Check out more book hauls through Stacking the Shelves at Tynga's Reviews *


Previous Week

Reviews


Ongoing Giveaways
Giveaway of Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando


Other

What did you get this week? Leave a link in the comments section, and I'll check out your week's haul!