Saturday, July 28, 2012

Neal Shusterman. UNSTRUNG

"'And why? Because of words? Words don't hurt you.' Which is one of the hugest criminal lies perpetrated by adults against children in this world. Because words hurt more than any physical pain."

If you are as excited as I am about UNWHOLLY coming out in a few weeks, check out UNSTRUNG to tide you over. It includes a short story and the first few chapters of the sequel.

The story begins with Lev waking up injured in an Indian/Native American Reservation. Somehow he was able to scale the wall and end up there while running from the cops. The People of Chance (as they are called, neither Indian nor Native American seem to fit properly) don't allow unwinding. Since they are independent from the rest of the nation, unwinds are safe within their boundaries.

As the author explains here, this is the story of what happens to Lev between his time with CyFi and when he ends up at the graveyard. Even though Lev is the main character, this story also focuses on Wil and his family. It's just as heart-wrenching and moving as UNWIND. It's amazing how Shusterman can make such a short story so unforgettable. 

As mentioned earlier, you are also treated to a few chapters of UNWHOLLY and a new character named Starkey. The character of Starkey further elaborates on one of the societal repercussions of  the unwind program - storks. Starkey was a storked child and the fact that he wasn't wanted completely changes the course of his life (illustrated by the quote at the top of the page). Inevitably, his parents sign an unwind order for him.  But with Connor the Akron AWOL as his example, he escapes the juvie cops and goes on the run.

This short story is available in ebook format only from various online sources. It will definitely get you ready to dive into UNWHOLLY when it comes out at the end of the month.

I've noticed several authors releasing these short stories a month or so out from highly anticipated sequel releases. I really like it! I especially enjoy when it gives you insight to additional characters or simply more about the universe of the story.

Visit Neal Shusterman's website for more about his books AND be sure to click on the link about the UNWIND movie!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cat Patrick. REVIVED

I was drawn to this book because I adored Cat Patrick's first book FORGOTTEN so much. (I even interviewed her about the premise.) If you enjoyed FORGOTTEN, you will love this one too!

Daisy is part of a unique program. When she was four-years-old, she was in a school bus accident. The bus skidded off the road into the water and all the kids were proclaimed dead. But in reality, about twenty of the kids were rescued and given a drug called Revive, which brought them back to life.

Since she was an orphan before the accident, Daisy lives with two agents from the secret government program. They monitor her and are seen as her parents to the outside world. Also, if Daisy gets into an accident, they are there to "revive" her. She's died five times already. Death begins to take on a different meaning for Daisy than for other people.

Each time she dies, the "family" must relocate, for obvious reasons. She takes on a different last name each time, but she's able to retain her first name, which gives her some consistency in her life. Daisy doesn't get to attached to people in each new location, because she knows she may not stay long. But this latest move to Omaha, Nebraska is different. Daisy becomes really close with two new people in her life. She also begins to uncover a mystery about the Revive program. She learns some dangerous facts about the organization that she's trusted with her life since she was four. 

The novel is an intriguing and unique mix of realistic fiction, science fiction and romance. It has some wonderful, endearing main characters. I couldn't put it down. I really loved it!

The brilliant execution of such a completely original idea is what I loved about FORGOTTEN and here it is again. Also, as with FORGOTTEN, REVIVED brings up fascinating ideas and questions. Just think about the moral dilemmas inherit in being able to revive people. In the book, the serum costs a million dollars. You see all of the issues attached to that? Why would it be right to revive some people and not others? You see the boatload of questions a reading group could have with this novel??

What a talented writer! I'm a huge fan and cannot wait for another book!

For more about Cat Patrick, check out her website, Twitter and Facebook account. You won't be disappointed with either of her books!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Megan Miranda. FRACTURE

"A lot can happen in eleven minutes."

I heard about this intriguing novel at a TLA author panel. It only took a few minutes for the author to rope me in. I'm sure it will be the same for you, once you read more.

Delaney fell into a crack in a frozen lake. She remained unconscious for eleven minutes before she was rescued by her best friend. After several days in a coma, she wakes up. Miraculously, she has no brain damage.

But her brain is changed. Delaney discovers she has an unusual "gift" of sensing when someone is about to die. She is pulled towards the person from across a room or even from across town. She is baffled by what's going on, and she doesn't tell anyone because she fears she'll be called crazy.

Then she meets Troy, an older boy who has a similar talent. She connects with him. But as she gets to know him, she realizes that he has a dark side that frightens her. What does she really know about Troy? Why does he seem to always be hanging around when people die?

The premise hooked me, but the nonstop tension and mystery kept me furiously flipping pages to the very end! You would think that after nearly dying that one's life would be a breeze afterwards. But the experience caused fractures throughout Delaney's entire life. Her relationship with her mother is in trouble, along with her relationship with her best friend. Delaney has to figure out how to live after getting her life back.

Megan Miranda has written a stellar first novel! The characters of Delaney and Decker are realistic and memorable. She depicts Delaney's struggles and emotions with such power and feeling. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Read more about Megan Miranda at her website. Looks like we have a sequel coming from Delaney's best friend's point of view called VENGEANCE. Cool!

Connect with the author and other fans at the FRACTURE page on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Veronica Roth. INSURGENT

The sequel to DIVERGENT does not disappoint. It's action packed, emotional and a wild ride!

We pick up right where DIVERGENT left off at the end of the simulation where Erudite used Abnegation to go on killing sprees. Abnegation is left in ruins. People are choosing sides. Others are declaring that the whole faction system is unsustainable. Most people are going against Erudite in one way or another. But when Tris begins learning about deep secrets at the highest level, she must decide how much she wants to risk to discover the truth - and who she may have to betray to get there.

Choices seem to be around every corner for Tris and each one one has devastating consequences. She also struggles with the anachronism between her own behavior, which she considers unforgivable, and being a good person. She doesn't feel she deserves the love Tobias is willing to give her. Will she be able to move past killing Will? Does she deserve forgiveness even when people are willing to give it to her?

Many people I know were anxiously awaiting this sequel, and I'm happy to say that it definitely lives up to our expectations! The author has further developed the world and the characters. You will be much more invested in the series after reading this installment. The ending will excite you and frustrate you because you'll want the next book already. I LOVE this series!!

Check out the super cool trailer:

For more on Veronica Roth go here.
She's on Twitter here.