Kathleen is my debut author to interview for May, but I really wanted to read her book because Kimberly Derting blurbed it. As you all know I love Kim's books and Kathleen's debut novel was a lot like Kim's in style and mood. This book was so good, I loved pretty much all of it. The idea that werewolves are now something that everyone knows about and everyone fears was such a great plot line because it's so fresh and new. Of course you have the classic love triangle (well, in a way), the murders/dead people that I love in a novel, and of course some awesome kisses. The action is really great too, my heart was pounding the last fourth or so of the book, and the very last page just left you wanting the next book in the series, but unfortunately it's not out until some time next year (poo). I'm also a huge fan of crazy medical diseases as well as a good mystery, and I was very pleased to say that this book had me guessing up until the last few pages. Kathleen has such a great book right here, and if you're a fan of Kimberly Derting or Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls series I think that you will really enjoy this book/series. I feel like it's the perfect blend of The Body Finder and Shiver that keeps the reader intrigued until the very end. I dare you to figure out the mystery before Mac does, because Kathleen writes it in a way that makes it almost impossible, unless of course you're Sherlock Holmes. A stunning debut that will leave you breathless and pining for more. Hemlock blew me away with the romance, the paranormal aspect, and the mystery. Hopefully all of the characters that make it out of book one alive will be in book two (for some reason I have a sense that book two is going to be even better), and I'm so glad that I picked Kathleen as my May debut author. Keep an eye out for this book when it comes out and if you don't want to buy it definitely pick it up at a local library or request it if you think you might even remotely like it.
I read Hex Hall when it first came out and I was so excited to read this book, as well as sad. Excited because, another book with Archer, and sad because, well, it's the last book in the series and that's always sad. A few people were disappointed with this book, but I wasn't one of them. I've always seem this series as just a fun, quick read with witty characters, some good romance, and the occasional spell or two, so I wasn't expecting anything epic and life altering. Personally I was very pleased with how the series ended, and with the series as a whole. This one was a little darker then the first two, or at least it seemed to be, but since I read the second one when it first came out last year, and the first one the year before that I can't be positive. Ending with a bang I'm really glad that Sophie's story was told, and I'm really glad that Rachel was the one telling it, because even though the book is for teens it's just so much fun to read, something that I think some people forget. I read for fun and pleasure, but when a book is written for teens but has the lightness of a middle grade/children's book, that's really great in my mind. Yes, I was a little confused to start with, but I just kept reading and it all came back tome. Rachel kept up with her usual banter between characters and her fun style of writing that almost made her book seem like it was for a younger audience. It's been said that Rachel is going to write a spin-off book based on the series and I'm not sure who the main character is going to be, but I can tell that whoever it is I will be picking up the book. If you haven't read Hex Hall I suggest it for a fun, light read that has some twists and turns that even I didn't see coming, and if you've read the first two books you should check out the third one, because I think it wraps it up nicely. Bravo Rachel on finishing up your debut series and, I think, keeping it true to the first book. Also, can I have an Archer? Or even a Cal, I'll take either, I'm not picky!
I picked this book up because I needed to read a critically acclaimed book for my English class and the notes we had to turn in are due in less then a week. Thus this book was one of my choices, and it sounded really good and I had heard nothing but good things about it. First, yes, the protag is a little young, he's a thirteen year old boy, but I still think it's more of a teen book then a middle grade novel. Yes, there are pictures, but I think that the pictures are darker then the ones you would find in a middle grade book, and the premise is darker as well. There were so many things in this book that I loved, and I think the pictures only added to it. The messages in this book, and some of the great quotes that are in it as well, really make you think about life, and about who you are. I haven't read anything else by Patrick Ness, and I haven't read any of Siobhan's four books, but I'll have to check out books from both authors because this book was very good. It was beautiful in a way that most teen novels aren't (that most novels aren't) and has that whole John Green feel to things. I think it has a deeper meaning then just what appears on the surface, and it's pretty cool the way that Patrick structured the story, almost like a story inside a story, or at least some of the book was a story within a story. It was a quick read, the writing style different then just about anything out there at this point in time, and it's nice to see a change in the genre, especially when the book holds some significance to the world around you, and teaches you a lessen, even if you aren't a thirteen year old boy. That and the whole story is really beautiful. I suggest you pick this book up one way or another and skim through it to see if it's something you would be interested in. If you don't want to buy it go to your local library and request it there.
I've heard great things about this book, and just look at the cover, how cool is it, right? When I finally got around to reading it, because Liz is my debut author for April, I was so pleased with it. I'm a nerd/geek, whatever you want to call it, and Liz has added such a great spice of nerd into her book. From chapter one the book starts off with a bang and it just goes on from there. I was so pleased when there were references to Ebola made, as well as references to Firefly and the like. This book even made me start watching The X Files. The romance in this book was hot, the danger in this book was great, and the plot even caught me off guard once or twice. The whole book was just so amazing. It took me a while to read the whole book, yes, but that doesn't mean that it was a bad book at all. On the contrary, it was an amazing book that's a very different then anything out there. It was also such a great book for me to read because I connected with it. No, I didn't die and then get brought back to life by some cute loner (but if it were this loner I wouldn't really mind), but Janelle was a junior, I'm a junior. Liz used to be an English teacher, so she definitely knew all about the curriculum, which made the book even creepier. Janelle was talking about The Great Gatsby, I was reading The Great Gatsby, and it was crazy how these things just matched up while I was reading them. Alex was such a great character too. He's the best friend that we all want, that we all need, and that you would think you would end up with, but that's always the case. I really related to Janelle as well, she and I are, I would like to think, a lot alike when it comes to the way we think, the way we act, ect. The other great thing about this book is the fact that you see the world end. Most books show the world before or after it ends, but few show it as it's falling apart, and even fewer give the characters a chance to save it while it's falling apart. That line from The X Flies "I want to believe", this book makes you want to believe. I can't wait to see what happens next, because gosh, I'm not sure how Liz can make a sequel any better then this book already was. If you're a fan of apocalyptic novels, action novels, those books where a girl saves the world with just a little help, this is a book you should check out.
Today on the blog I have the honor of hosting the lovely New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver, who's newest novel Pandemonium came out on February 28th. Lauren's answers are in regular font due to some crazy computer thing.
Hi Lauren, thank you so much for agreeing to do an interview with me, your books are amazing.
Thanks so much for having me!
First, you’ve written four (five, I’m not sure if you’re actually done with Requiem yet) books, which one was your favorite and why?
Actually, I've written six! (I have a new MG book, THE SPINDLERS, coming out in Fall 2012; and yes, I am done with REQUIEM.) They've all been favorites in different ways. That sounds hokey to say, but it's true. I think in some ways Liesl and Po is the most meaningful to me, because of where I was and who I was when I wrote it. But books are like children, and I love them all in different ways.
Tell us a little know secret about you and a little know secret about your book (any one of them).
Hmmm. A secret about me? I hate fruit. Okay, that's not really a secret, but I like to keep my secrets secret! :) Let's see. . .a secret about one of my books is that I had to change a lot of the names in Before I Fall at the very last second; I had named a lot of the characters after people in my high school (often unintentionally).
Seeing as Pandemonium is your next release what was your favorite part of it to write? Was there a part that was hard to write?
I had difficulty with some of the fight scenes. They don't come as naturally to me. I enjoyed writing the descriptions of the Wilds, though. I felt as though I was exploring alongside Lena.
You’ve written one Middle Grade novel, what was that like? Was it harder or easier then writing Young Adult? Do you plan on writing another MG novel?
I think all books are difficult in different ways. I do have another MG novel coming out; it's called THE SPINDLERS, and it releases in Fall 2012. It tells the story of a girl, Liza, who must rescue her brother Patrick's soul from the underworld after it is stolen by spider-people.
When the summary for Pandemonium came out there was quite the uproar, and having read Pandemonium the ending will probably create even a bigger one, was it fully your idea to write it the way you did?
Once people have read Pandemonium I’m sure they will all be eagerly awaiting Requiem just as much as I am, can you give us a small sneak peak?
I will only say that Requiem takes place from two different points of view, and I'm very excited about it!
Your other two books have been stand alones, is it harder to write a trilogy/series then it is to write a stand alone?
I think it's challenging in a different way. There's something comforting about writing a series; you have more time to tell your story. But it is hard to live with the same characters for such an extended period of time.
Your writing is so beautiful, how do you accomplish that? Do you try to write like that or is that just naturally how it comes out?
Thank you!! Well, I've been writing my whole life, and I've also been an avid reader. I've definitely tried very hard in my life to become a better writer, to work on the flow and the rhythm of the words. So I guess now it does kind of come "naturally," but I'm always honing my voice and working to better my prose.
Out of all your books do you have a favorite character to write? One that most closely resembles you in demeanor?
I think I had the most fun writing Po, the ghost from Liesl and Po, because it was such an exercise in imagination for me! Of all my characters, I'm probably the closest to Sam from Before I Fall, although I like to think I'm substantially nicer than she is. :)
If you could live in one of your books which one would you live in? What about if you lived in Lena’s world? Would you be a zombie or a rebel?
Well, I pretty much DID live in the world of Before I Fall, so I'd probably just re-choose that! If I lived in Lena's world, I'd of course like to say that I would rebel. But it's incredibly, incredibly difficult to turn your back on your education, your values, your religion; very few people manage to do it. So I'd probably submit.
Do you have a favorite line out of all of your books?
Oh, I have a few favorites here and there! I also reread a lot of my sentences and think: oh, dear. what was I thinking? That's far more common.
You can’t always be an author, what do you do in your spare time? What’s on your TBR pile as of right now? Any books that you’re dying to get your hands on?
Oh, man. My TBR pile is ridiculous. I'm really eager to read A Fault In Our Stars, by John Green; I've heard such amazing things. In my free time, I do read a lot. I also cook, do a lot of running and pilates
Let’s talk about covers. I know authors really have no say in covers but what do you think about your covers? What about the new covers for theDelirium trilogy?
I'm kind of obsessed with the new Delirium trilogy covers, and I love how they kind of reference the look of Before I Fall. I've been lucky that Harper is incredibly accommodating and always asks for my approval and input on covers--but I'm also lucky that because of their wonderful design team, I rarely give anything but my total approval.
And speaking of covers, do you have any covers you just love that aren’t yours? Maybe some that you wish were yours but are someone else’s?
I love the cover of Wither, by Lauren DeStefano, and I loved all of the Fallen covers.
What about books? Are there any books/ideas that you wish you had written/come up with?
Um, yeah. Harry Potter!! But seriously, every time I read a new book that I love, I get author-envy.
Your books (the teen ones at least) have some pretty sexy heart-throbs, who is your literary crush? (Don’t worry, I won’t tell your fiancé.)
Oh, Mr. Darcy. Always Mr. Darcy. (From Pride and Prejudice.)
Last but not least (actually the most important question), Team Jacob or Team Edward?
Ha. I don't know! If you can believe it, I only read the first Twilight.
Thank you so much for answering all of my silly questions, and thanks to your books I can’t decide between your guys, they’re all great.
Lauren has been nice enough to donate a signed finished copy of Pandemonium and four signed book plates for me to give away. Due to postage the book can only be sent inside the US/Canada but the bookplates are open to anyone anywhere! Since my computer is broken and I've been using my mom's all you have to do is fill out the form HERE, no questions to answer. The contest will run until March 31st at 12:00 midnight and the winner will be notified...hopefully soon after that.
I bought this book because it was the book that brought Lauren to the store I went to go see her sign at, and I meant to read it right away, but time got away from me and before I knew it I had so many other things to read this one fell to the wayside. Thankfully I managed to find a little time between books I HAD to read to read this one, and I'm really glad I did. When I was talking with Lauren she said that this was her favorite book that she has written, because it wasn't just a made up story, it was part of her life. While reading this book I was well aware of the fact that it was a middle grade novel, and that I am NOT in the middle grade by any means anymore, but I found that it was still a very magical book. For me, this book goes so much deeper then what's just on the outside. To call it good is a gross understatement. It's beautiful (like all of the books by Lauren that I have read) but this one holds a much deeper meaning that almost pulls at the how and why of the universe. Call me crazy but sometimes I think that the novels with the most meaning, the ones that make you think the most, aren't the classics that we've filled our shelves with or the ones we have to read in class, but the ones that have just been written and that are for young people. This is one of those novels, one that makes you think and one that makes you happy you're alive, and one that makes you feel even a little bit better about the people that you lose. A beautiful book that's not only for middle graders, but adults and teenagers too. I think that everyone should read this book because it brings back sunlight into the world when everything is dark and grey. I'm so glad I was able to read this book, it is no disappointment to those of you who have read Lauren's other books, and if you haven't read this one (or any book by her) this should be one of your next reads. I can't wait for Lauren's next middle grade read because if it's anything like this one I'll love it too.
Today on the blog I have the honor of hosting the lovely Jill Hathaway, who's debut novel Slide comes out on March 27th. You can see my review here and now let's get onto the interview. Jill's answers are in purple, to celebrate her book.
Describe your book in three words, GO!
mysterious, thrilling, sexy
Now that we know about your book, describe yourself in…five words.
curious, silly, impulsive, fun-loving, outgoing
What would you do if you had Vee’s power? Would you tell someone about it? Would you use it for good or for evil? Or maybe just for fun?
I'd slide into Jared Leto's girlfriend and make out with him. Is that good? Or evil? Definitely fun!
I feel like Vee really finds herself in the novel, can you tell us a little about that?
Vee goes from a place of being very cautious about trusting anyone to being able to open up a little more. She also finds that she is more powerful than she ever knew.
If you could slide into one person who would it be and why?
Jared Leto's girlfriend. Um, because, JARED LETO.
You’ve said that there IS going to be a book two, can you tell us anything about it? Will there be dead people in it? Or will we just learn more about Vee and her relationships?
Yes, it's called IMPOSTOR. Vee starts to black out and suspects that someone has been sliding into her. In one instance, she finds herself at the edge of a cliff with a broken body on the rocks below. Who has been using her for their own purposes, and why? But, yes, there will also be more about Vee and her relationships.
There were some very exciting parts in the first book, what was your favorite part to write and why? Do you have any favorite scenes in book two? If so could you give us a sneak peek?
I loved writing the part where Vee is trying on her purple Homecoming dress (in a flashback). I don't know why. It was just fun. My favorite part to write in book 2 takes place in a cemetery. And that's all I'm saying about that. ;)
It seems like lately there are so many books that are rather long, over 300 pages and such, how do you feel that your book is under 300 pages? Does it worry you people might look at it and go “hmm, this looks like it’s a little to short for my taste”?
Yes, it does worry me. I'd actually write longer books if I could, but it seems like the stories in my head are usually only about 250 pages. If I added more, I'd just be padding. I think it has something to do with the thriller genre; you have to keep things moving, pages turning, hearts pounding.
Vee has pink hair, if you could dye your hair any color (or maybe it’s already dyed) what color would you choose? Do you think you would end up dying it back to your original color or would you keep it?
I've always wanted to try pink but was too chicken in college. And now I'm a teacher, and I don't think pink hair would fly with my principal.
There are so many different characters in your book, some big and some small, who was your favorite to write?
Rollins. Always Rollins.
Do you have any other projects in the works? Any that you can tell us about that is?
Right now, I'm working on a book that's unrelated to SLIDE. It's another thriller, but I don't want to give away any details.
You’re part of a group of 2012 YA debuts called The Apocalypsies, what books would you recommend we look out for in the coming year (no, you can’t pick your own)?
FRACTURE by Megan Miranda, which is already out. I also loved UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi!
And last, the most important question, are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Um... I don't know? Jacob is pretty hot.
Thank you so much for answering my questions with your busy schedule, and I hope your book sells many copies.
Thanks for having me!!
Harper has graciously donated a finished copy of Slide for me to give away, but it's only open to those of you who live inside the US or have a US mailing address. Since my computer is broken and I've been using my mom's all you have to do is fill out the form HERE, no questions to answer. The contest will run until March 31st at 12:00 midnight and the winner will be notified...hopefully soon after that.
The winner of the previous giveaway will be decided on later this week. Thank you for your patience in the absence of my computer.
I won an ARC of this book in the Apocalypsies monthly chat (every 12th on Twitter!) and was really excited to read it, because Lissa is coming to my city on the 17th to do a signing/brunch with Marissa Meyer (who's book I loved). This is one of those books that looks like it's a middle-grade novel because of the cover, but it's really not. I was very pleased with the whole book, because even though the idea could be majorly creepy, and there was one or two parts that made me scratch my head but I was still really interested. The whole plot is really a great idea, because I could see it happening today if we had the technology. Callie was also such a great hero because she was strong, resourceful, and unlike a lot of today's heroes put her younger brother over herself every time. The plot reminded me less of a dystopian novel and more of a sci-fi one, and now that I think about it it would make a sweet movie. In my opinion there's really nothing else like it out there on the market at this time, and although some parts of it might make you a little uneasy, because, I mean, what is happening in the book is by no means right but is a lot like some of the things that are happening in our world right now. Part murder mystery, part sci-fi thriller, and party dystopian I would recommend you at least take a look at the book when it comes out if you liked Across the Universe or Wither. It's like a mix of the two, and there's even kissing. The ending was really great too, and if you have the chance download the short e-prequel. I'm looking forward to the sequel that comes out THIS YEAR (how cool is that?) and I applaud Lissa for her great idea. She is definitely a new author to watch because with some luck she's gonna be one of the next big things.