First let me tell you that even though the title of this book has the word "last" in it, it is not the last book in the series. There will be at least one more book, for which I am thrilled. Now, onto the review. I read Kim's first novel, The Body Finder, back when it was out in hardback and Borders was still alive. I picked it up because of the title and ended up reading and loving it. When it comes to my subjects of interest serial killers are actually high up there, with crazy diseases that kill people in strange ways, and cannibals (I can't be the only one who finds them fascinating), but unfortunately all of those things are rather...sparse in YA fiction. Derting, to my great pleasure, doesn't shy away from the first (and maybe in the future the last) and that's what I love about her novels. That and the fact you get to see into the killers mind. Her books are like a written version of the show Criminal Minds (on CBS) more geared towards teenagers, with a touch of Medium (that's just an assumption, I've never actually seen that show). Sometimes when authors write more them one book about something that doesn't exactly have a series feel to it it can seem like they're just trying to make money (can anyone say House M.D.?) but Kim is not one of people. Yes all these books are about a girl who can find dead people, and yeah, poor Violet usually ends up in some sort of trouble, but it's not boring! That's the thing that makes those other books bad, is that they're boring because everything happens the same exact way, but when you're an author coming up with ways that people can die the great part is there is no limit to the imagination (well...Final Destination my have gone a LITTLE too far, but as far as killers go there's always another crazy out there that wants to be noticed). Kim's third Body Finder novel is still as fresh as the first one was (and there's kissing, YAY!) and the way it ends leaves you with a tingly feeling (if you've read the book you'll get the joke) and makes sure there is no doubt about another book on the way. With heart stopping action, some good kissy scenes, and a few parts that make your heart race The Last Echo is everything I hoped it would be and more. I'm very excited for the next book, I really loved this book, and if you like creepy things give this series a chance. I'm almost tempted to re-read the series because I love it so much, but unfortunately I have other books I need to read. When book four comes out I'll be pining for it just like I was with this one, and pretty much the only thing that could make it better would be cannibals. Got that Kim, add people eating other people and we're good.
I bought this book when it came out because Marissa is a local author and she was doing a signing here, but until last week I hadn't picked it up. There were so many people talking about this book and how amazing it is, but I had other books I needed to read. Now I'm very glad I picked it up. It's such a magical book. I'm sure you're all going "it's just a retelling of Cinderella, how great can it be?" But let me tell you, this is not your ordinary Cinderella story. First, Cinderella (although her name is just Cinder, hence the title) is a cyborg. The other thing I'm sure you're all thinking is "if it's about Cinderella how come there are going to be four books? Cinderella's story can not possibly take that long." But Marissa has put such a lovely spin on it (that I guessed all the way through, mind you) that it WILL last that long, and it will be even better then the Cinderella story you know and love from Disney. I was so enchanted by every part of this story. The way that it slips into the future, and not the past, the way that Marissa designed the story, all of the twists and turns that make it a surprise, and the fact that she didn't really stick to the original story at all. Cinder was so much more fierce then Cinderella ever was, and the cast of characters? Move over mice we have a robot thank you very much. Iko was one of my favorite characters in the book because she was such a funny little robot. I keep imagining her to look like Eve from Wall-E but that's not actually what she's supposed to look like, if you read the description given of her. There was so much emotion in this book, so much mystery, and even a plague! And yes, there was kissing, gosh, you think I would forget the kissing? There was even a wicked queen, an evil step mother (well...an evil guardian), people on the moon, and one or two pretty ball gowns. If you have this book pick it up now, if you don't have this book go buy it ASAP, and once you finish it I dare you not to be mesmerized. I can't wait for Scarlet, 2013 seems like such a long ways away. Basically what I'm saying is this book is amazing and the world better not end in 2012 because I need to know what happens to Cinder and all of her friends. Bravo Marissa, you have crafted a truly magical story that will stay with me for quite a long time and I can't wait to see what happens next.
If you've been with me since the beginning you'll know how much I enjoyed Delirium, so when I got an ARC of this book I was very happy. Delirium was so amazing, whenever I describe it to someone I call it "lyrical" and that's really what it was, and as excited as I was to get the sequel I was a little afraid to read it. Because the first one was so good I was afraid this one would let me down, but it definitely did not. Yes, it was different from the first one, and it wasn't exactly lyrical it was still such a good book. The formatting was also different, switching between present time and right after Delirium ended, and you think that would be a confusing but I actually liked it. Oliver uses such grace and has so much skill it doesn't seem like there's a difference, and it really doesn't matter which time you're in the story is gripping either way. There was also some worries about having a new boy in the series, but I like the new boy as well. As a sequel this book really doesn't disappoint in any way. The new Lena is even better then the old one, and the new characters are perfect for the setting. The lies run even deeper, and the stakes are even higher as things spiral out of control for Lena again. There was more adventure in this whole book, it really starts out from the beginning, then there was in Delirium but given the circumstances and where she is I think that this was the perfect thing to do. The ending will leave you screaming for more, just like the first one did. I can't wait to see how Lauren will end the series, but this is a worthy sequel if I've ever read one. If you've read Delirium you should pick this book out when it comes out, and if you haven't read the series I highly recommend it.
Say what you will about weird covers but I like this one, and when I learned it had killing in it I was all for reading it! (Yes I am well aware that makes me sound like a crazy person, but I'll do a post on that later.) If you know me at all you will know how much I love books by Kimberly Derting and how I just gush over her Body Finder books, so when I read the back of this one and it reminded me a lot of Violet I was like "uh, heck yes.". I really enjoyed this book because it had pretty much everything I like in it, kissing, mystery, and of course a dead body or two. The idea was fully new to me and I was very pleased with how Jill wrote it. When the character "slid" she had to figure out who's body she was in. After that it was all about secrets, because what would happen if you tried to tell someone you were inside of their body and saw what they did? You would be branded as a crazy person, and to make sure that didn't happen Vee had to hide it all. I read this book really quick, it was short, less then 300 pages, but it was still good. There was a lot of action in the last few chapters, some good kisses, a nice mystery story that I kind of figured out right before the main character (yes, it's hard to throw me off the trail!), and with some dead bodies there was also some insight into what we do and how it effects others. I'm a lot like Vee (well, except for the fact that I can't slide into people's bodies at random times) in that I'm not in the popular crowd, and I really liked that Jill had her main character that way. I was also very pleased with some of the other flaws her characters had, because, let's face it, a perfect character is kind of a game-ender. I also have information from the author (and goodreads) that there is going to be a sequel titles Impostor (for the time being) and I can't wait to see what happens next. Hopefully there will be more kissing and dead people, because we all know how much I love those things!
With the movie coming out next month I decided that I would read the book, because I knew my friends would be taking me to the movie anyways. There have been a few movies that I've seen without reading the books, a few movies I watched not knowing that they were books in the first place, and some movies I watched after reading the books. This one will fall into the latter and I'm glad. I had tried to read this book once before but I only got about 100 pages in before I gave up because of the large amount of homework I was getting. The funny thing is I bought this book when it first came out, I was intrigued by the premise but never ended up getting to it. Now I'm glad I decided to give it another chance, because even though I knew pretty much everything that happened (yeah, my friends are bad with spoilers) it was still a good read. After the first third of the book the action really started picking up and I was able to enjoy it much more. I'm sure that makes me sound like a terrible person, but when the book is pitched as teens killing each other I expected some killing a little sooner then it happened. When it finally started I was pleasantly surprised by the way that Collins crafted her world. It's not hard to see how this book became a New York Times bestseller and is still a highly bought book/series. It was packed with adventure, blood, and even some kissing. Actually more kissing then I thought there would be, but that's okay, you all know how much I love kissing. There is no doubt I'll be reading the second and third novel, although I can't promise they will be read any time soon. If you haven't read this book I'm going to end up sounding like pretty much everyone else on the planet, but at least give it a shot. When you finally get to the real games it should pick up, and if you don't like it at least you gave it a shot.
Today I have a special treat for you. I get to reveal the cover for Apocalypsy Cole Gibsen's (Katana [March 8th]) second novel, Breathless. It comes out in paperback and e-book on March 27th of this year. Now, here is the beautiful cover and the synopsis, along with a short interview I did with the author about the cover!
Obituary-reading emo girl Edith Small is broken - the end result of forcing herself inside a mold that doesn't fit. All she wants is to conform to her strict sergeant stepfather's rules long enough to make it to graduation day.
But a boat accident threatens to unravel the life Edith has worked so hard to keep. After waking up in a hospital with a lacerated shoulder, Edith fakes amnesia. Because admitting she received her injuries from a blue-haired girl who breathes underwater is all the reason Sir needs to send Edith on the first bus to military school.
Safe at home, Edith struggles to put the nightmare behind her. But the mysterious creatures that live in the ocean aren't about to let her forget.
After meeting Bastin - a strange boy with silver hair and black eyes - on a secluded dock, Edith learns about the war raging undersea to end human existence. A war that Edith, unwittingly, has become the key to winning.
In a world where death is an ever-present shadow and motives are as dark as the bottom of the ocean, Edith must decide if her life is worth risking for a love that can't survive past the shore.
What is your favorite thing about the cover?
I love how the scene depicts the emotions of the book--the girl is looking skyward, but her body language shows reluctance to leave.
Do you think it conveys the right message? Does it relate to the book or is it just another pretty cover?
What's so great about it is that it depicts the entire tone of the story. While I think the cover is gorgeous, it also shows a girl whose head is tilted for the sun. It's like she knows she can't survive underwater, yet her body shows no signs of swimming for the surface.
Who is it supposed to be on the cover?
That would be Edith. She's a seventeen year old girl who, after a boating accident, finds herself caught in the middle of a mermaid war.
Is there anything you would change about it? If so what?
The only thing I wanted to change, they did change. When CMP first showed me a draft of the cover, my name was spelled wrong. lol
What do you hope people take away from the cover?
I was suffering with a bought of depression when I wrote BREATHLESS. Because of that, BREATHLESS is the darkest novel I've written to date.I think the cover depicts the darkness quite nicely.
I picked up The Fault in Our Stars because I had read and really enjoyed John's first novel Looking for Alaska (if you haven't read I suggest you pick it up ASAP), and because he was coming to Seattle for part of his tour. People have been raving about this book, and I do have to admit, it was a good book. There were parts of it that really struck me in the right place, and the characters were great because they were imperfect. I almost cried a few times (I would have except I stopped reading so I wouldn't) and there were times when I laughed and "awwed". John is so great at putting emotion into his book and making them into these great journeys through the soul. They make you think about everything in your life. It was amazing, but it was not so jaw-dropping that I was left gaping like a fish. That doesn't mean it was bad though. On the contrary, it was good, I don't think you can call this book "bad" in any way because it wasn't bad. Maybe it was all of the hype about it, or maybe it was just waiting so long for a new book from John Green that was different from the amazing Will Grayson, Will Grayson which blew my mind, but I wasn't swiped off my feet. I was still so happy to be able to read this book because it was such a good read. I think if you're a fan of John Green's other books you should pick it up, and if you haven't read any of his books this is a great one to start with. John really is a literary genius and I have no doubt at least one of his books will go down in history as a modern classic, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was this one. Beautifully written The Fault in Our Stars is not something to miss out on. Bravo John, and I will be reading your next book as well.
Today on the blog I have the honor of hosting the lovely Jessica Spotswood, who's debut novel Born Wicked comes out on February 7th. You can see my review here and now let's get onto the interview. Jessica's answers are not bold.
Hi Jessica, I know that it’s been really busy with your book being released and all but thank you for taking time out of your crazy schedule to do a few interview questions for the blog!In the effort of saving you time I’ll skip all of the major questions about you and your book. So as a quick introduction tell us one thing about you and one thing about your book that no one knows?
About me: well, I am randomly, ridiculously scared of vines – like afraid they will tangle me up and eat me, maybe?I don’t know! They just freak me out. About BW: in my very early notes, Cate’s name was Kate, Maura was Moira, and Tess was Tez. That didn’t last very long.
Now, I’ve read your book, and I’m curious to know, are the two other books going to be from Cate’s POV or from Tess and Maura’s?
The next two books will also be from Cate’s POV. I’m hoping that at some point I might get to do a story from another POV, though (Maura’s or maybe Sachi’s?).
Speaking of Cate, Maura, and Tess, I assume that’s Cate on the cover. Do you think Tess and Maura will be on the next two covers? Do you think they did Cate justice?If they end up putting Tess and Maura on the next covers do you think they will be done justice?
I actually think the cover looks like Maura, with her red hair and bright blue eyes and her intensity. I love the BW cover – the colors and composition are so lush; I hope it will really stand out on the shelf!I have no idea who the next covers will feature, although I think Penguin will be working with the same photographer, Alexandra Sophie.
If you were a woman in New London would you be a witch? Or would you be a cabbagehead? Or maybe you would be part of the Sisterhood?Where would you place yourself in your own world?
I’d probably be a bluestocking like Marianne and Clara Belastra, reading and peddling forbidden books and trying not to get caught by the Brotherhood! I just can’t imagine giving up reading!
In the time that you’re writing about women are supposed to be chaste but Cate, she has some interesting adventures with various lips attached to various attractive men.Which man would you rather kiss?
Finn, definitely! I’d go for the dorky-cute, witty booklover every time. And my husband happens to have freckles himself. J
You have also created a world where woman are oppressed, did you do this on purpose or was it just because you were sticking with the times?
When I was brainstorming, I came up with the idea of the witches vs the Brotherhood before I realized when the book was taking place. I wanted to write about a society where educated, independent girls weren’t valued but without making it seem preachy.
The title is such a huge part of the book, do you have a title picked out for books two and three or are they still untitled?Will the second and third titles have as much meaning as the first one did (if you can’t tell us what the titles are)?
Oh, this question made me laugh because I was just in NYC last week and my editor and agent and I were brainstorming titles for the second book. We haven’t figured it out yet! I hope it will fit as well as BORN WICKED does.
There were so many surprises in the book, did any of them surprise you or did you have it all planned out?Is the whole trilogy planned out or do you write randomly with no outline?
I can’t remember being surprised by any of the twists in BW, although I was very surprised by one in Book 2! I have the major milestones plotted out for the trilogy, but how I get there changes quite a bit as I write. I wrote BW with a very spare outline, and my editor and I hammered out an outline for Book 2 together, but I still deviate sometimes.
Do you have a favorite scene or line from Born Wicked?If so what is it?Any snippet you can share from Born Wicked2?
My favorite scene is Cate and Finn’s first kiss in the hidden room. I was so excited that Penguin featured it in the book trailer. As for book 2– I will promise more kissing scenes. And right now I’m writing about a book burning!
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)?
My very favorite so far has been UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi. I was fascinated by the world-building, and I loved the way that Perry and Aria grew together past their original misconceptions about each other. I just read and loved GILT by Katherine Longshore, which is a sexy historical set at the court of Henry VIII, but is at its heart about female friendships.
And last but not least, in fact, it’s the most important question, Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Team Jacob, actually. He makes her laugh.
Thanks so much for agreeing to do the interview with me even though I know how busy you are!Team Finn all the way here, sorry Paul, but Finn, so much hotter.
Thank you so much for the wonderful interview!
Now, I have an extra ARC copy of Born Wicked and I've decided to give it away to one of you in honor of Jessica's interview! All you have to do is fill out the form and answer a few questions based on the interview. The form is HERE. The contest will run until February 29th at 12:00 midnight and winnners will be anounced the next day.
The winner of the previous giveaway is April X and she has been notified.