Review: The Surrendered by Case Maynard

4th Oct 2016 Rubi @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Rubi

Review: The Surrendered by Case MaynardThe Surrendered by Case Maynard
Published by Blaze Publishing
Pub Date: September 20th 2016
Pages: 340
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

After a financial collapse devastates the United States, the new government imposes a tax on the nation’s most valuable resource—the children.

Surrendered at age ten—after her parents could no longer afford her exorbitant fees—Vee Delancourt has spent six hard years at the Mills, alongside her twin, Oliver. With just a year to freedom, they do what they can to stay off the Master’s radar. But when Vee discovers unspeakable things happening to the younger girls in service, she has no choice but to take a stand—a decision that lands her on the run and outside the fence for the first time since the System robbed her of her liberty.

Vee knows the Master will stop at nothing to prove he holds ultimate authority over the Surrendered. But when he makes a threat that goes beyond what even she considers possible, she accepts the aid of an unlikely group of allies. Problem is, with opposing factions gunning for the one thing that might save them all, Vee must find a way to turn oppression and desperation into hope and determination—or risk failing all the children and the brother she left behind.

I have been on a serious contemporary binge for the last couple of months, so throwing in a dystopian, and a great one at that, was extremely refreshing! I kept picking up the book right before bedtime so it took me about 4 days to get just 10% in. Yesterday, I finally got some free time and I devoured the remaining 90% of the story!

Our main character, Vee, is a fireball and that caused for zero downtime. The Surrendered was action packed from start to finish and Case Maynard really did a great job at moving the story along. I’ll have to be honest, I didn’t go into this 340 page dystopian standalone expecting a whole lot. At most, I thought there may be a hitch or two in the plan to survive outside of the fence and that would be all. Boy was I wrong. Maynard made every single page count! She wasted no time on random story lines meant to only fluff up the book. Everything you read was something that would come to play at some point or another. To say I was impressed with the way it all wrapped up in the end is an understatement!

I think the author did a great job at explaining the world the characters are now living in. There were different jobs and titles and it was fairly easy to understand how the system worked. What I do think could’ve been done better is the description of the world itself. At times, it was hard to visualize the actual setting and I wouldn’t be able to draw a map of the town/city or what was located where. I would usually be peeved by this, but what lacked in world building was definitely made up for with the thought that went into each of the characters.

The Surrendered really made me feel. No joke: I was up at 3:30am crying, shocked, and feeling like my entire heart had been crushed into a million pieces. When Vee was hurt, I felt the pain. When she was loved, I felt the tug on my heart. When she was betrayed, I felt the betrayal! Major kudos to Case Maynard for taking risks that many other first time authors wouldn’t have! If you are looking for a quick dystopian that packs a punch, look no further and pick this one up today!

Rubi @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel

7th Mar 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: The Revolution of Ivy by Amy EngelThe Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel
Series: The Book of Ivy #2
Published by Entangled Teen
Pub Date: November 3rd 2015
Pages: 290
Format: Paperback | Source: Purchased
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty--forced marriages and murder plots--for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall's borders.

But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy's life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she's fought for.

I loved The Book of Ivy, it was one of the best books I read last year and I was so excited and ready for The Revolution of Ivy. While I enjoyed this book, I liked it a little less than the first book. This was a good wrap up of the story and the plots but it was missing a little bit of excitement I felt in the first one. That being said there were a lot of big decisions and risks taken in the story.

Ivy and Bishop were a little aggravating because they just wouldn’t talk to each other and work things out. They drove me crazy! I just wanted them to figure things out and move forward. A big part of the book is spent with these two dancing around each other and avoiding their issues. After a while it was just annoying.

The new characters Ash and Caleb were a great addition. I really liked them and their friendship with Ivy. I was a little wary at first, but they won me over, especially Ash. Ivy definitely needed some more trustworthy and loyal people in her life.

Life outside of the fence was what I was most excited about seeing in this book. Ivy has never left Westfall, and I knew life on the outside would be rough. I wanted to see how she would handle it. I was pleasantly surprised in this respect because Ivy did go through a lot of obstacles on the outside and it was not easy for her. Honestly, I would have loved a whole book about Ivy adjusting to the outside and leaving Westfall and her family behind but that just wouldn’t have worked for the character or the series. Ivy gets to make peace with some of the issues of her past and her family. All while proving that her awful father and sister definitely never deserved her loyalty.

I’m a little sad the series is over. I wish it was longer, but at the same time I’m glad the author didn’t drag the story out. All of the questions I had were answered and the story wraps up pretty nicely. Not too perfect, but still hopeful for the future of the characters. Even though this book didn’t quite live up to my expectations I still enjoyed it and was happy with how the series ended.

 

 

About Amy Engel

Amy Engel

Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas, California, Missouri, Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri where she lives with her husband and two kids.  Before devoting herself full time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which she says is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV.  :) When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping.

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Memory of After by Lenore Appelhans

21st Dec 2015 Rubi @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Rubi

Review: The Memory of After by Lenore AppelhansThe Memory of After by Lenore Appelhans
Series: The Memory Chronicles #1
Published by Simon & Schuster BFYR
Pub Date: September 3rd 2013
Pages: 281
Format: Paperback | Source: Borrowed
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2 Stars

Ever since she was killed in a car accident just before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in the afterlife. She spends the endless hours uploading and re-watching memories from her time on Earth, missing the people she left behind - especially her boyfriend, Neil.

That all changes when Julian, a dangerously charming acquaintance from Felicia's life, appears in her memory chamber. He offers her a chance to escape: If Felicia joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angels in charge of Level 2, she'll be free to move on. Wary of trusting Julian, Felicia only agrees when he promises her the chance to be with Neil again. But there's more to this battle than anyone, even Julian, knows, and Felicia finds herself at the center of an eternal struggle between good and evil.

I’ll start off by saying that The Memory of After is a lot more religious & fantasy than I originally thought it would be. The story is told from Felicia’s point of view and takes place in what is referred to as Phase 2.

Phase 2 is the equivalent to a Catholic’s Purgatory. It’s a sort of “limbo” where souls go after they pass, and they remain here until they have come to terms with their deaths. The setup for this Phase 2 world is described as a beehive-like structure, and the copy I read from even had a map, but it just didn’t match at all with the descriptions in the book which only made the world harder to visualize.

In this Phase 2, souls spend their time in pods where they play back memories from when they were alive. The whole memories concept works like YouTube. Basically, you can share your memories with others and collect credits every time someone watches your memories. You could tag your memories with key phrases that you think will attract an audience and the more your videos are played, the more credits you would earn. Since Felicia, our main character, did a lot of traveling when she was alive, she has racked up plenty of credits which she can then use to watch other’s memories.

Anther concept I really enjoyed was that of the Morati and how they came to be. They are the angels that watch over everyone in Phase 2. The idea of them holding a grudge against their creator and doing things to retaliate was brilliant! This book is like nothing I’ve read before. With that being said, I was disappointed that this idea wasn’t fully thought out. A lot of the explanations made little to no sense to me and I felt confused more than once.

My biggest problem with The Memory of After was the character building. I just couldn’t connect to any of the characters. Not one. I thought our main character, Felicia, was very immature and a horrible friend. Also, I couldn’t understand her obsession with Neil who she knew/dated when she was still alive for a little more than 12 minutes. The whole thing just seemed odd to me. Julian’s character was okay, but he could’ve been killed off and I wouldn’t have been bothered.

Overall, I thought it was a super cool idea for a book and bonus points for being different from anything I’ve read before, but I couldn’t connect with any of the characters & the world building was really poor. I checked out Chasing Before from my public library, so I might still read book 2 just to see this story’s conclusion

Rubi @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Rook by Sharon Cameron

15th Jun 2015 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan

Review: Rook by Sharon CameronRook by Sharon Cameron
Published by Scholastic
Pub Date: April 28th 2015
Pages: 456
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.

I loved Sharon Cameron’s debut The Dark Unwinding and its sequel, A Spark Unseen, so I was sure I would love Rook too! It’s a Scarlet Pimpernel retelling set in an alternate Parisian dystopian future that reads more like historical fiction- it feels like the French Revolution. In other words, it’s very unique and very wonderful.

The pacing plods a bit in the middle but for the most part the adventure is thrilling, the stakes are impossibly high, and the romance is swoonworthy. Sophia is an exemplary heroine who is at once easy to relate to and braver than I could ever be. The cat-and-mouse game throughout the book led so much tension to the story as well! You never knew who you could trust and that made it exciting.

The world building also made a lot of sense and I like how we slowly learned more about the world of Rook as the story progressed. It takes place about 1,000 years after the modern day; polar shifts caused massive solar radiation and the elimination of all things digital and electronic, including satellites crashing to Earth. They refer to this period as the Time Before, and to “us” as the Ancients. Parts of the story take place in the Commonwealth and the rest in the Sunken City (aka Paris).

I wanted to highlight some of my favorite quotes that illustrate this unique otherness of a future historical.

Tom’s sanctuary, as he called it, deep beneath Bellamy House, a room that was nothing but Ancient. Light moved over walls tiled with white and artificial red- the red seen only in artifacts from the Time Before- arched doorways block with gray stone…” p. 70, finished copy


In this same chapter King’s Cross is mentioned (p.74) and the fact that Bellamy House was built on top of a town or city before the cliffs existed, which leads me to believe this is in fact London! And that his hideout is a former Underground station!

He thought the cross and brightly colored pieces were meant to be pushed, though for what purpose neither of them could imagine and he’d had no success looking for the word ‘Nintendo’ in the university archives. It was beautifully worked, though. Like a piece of art.” p. 71, finished copy


This made me giggle and I read it aloud to my husband- it’s a video game controller! From the more detailed description, I think it’s an N64 controller.

It was really fun to pick out all of these allusions to very common place things in our society- including magic disks with thousands of pictures hidden inside. It helped remind me that this was in fact, a future setting because the 18th century French historical aspects were so convincingly well-done.

And just for funsies, I had to cast Sophia Bellamy, her brother Tom, and the striking Rene Hasard!

Minka Kelly as Sophia Bellamy: Sophia is described as an 18 year old with caramel skin, deep brown eyes, and soft brown curls, not to mention a hell of a lot of gumption.

Sam Claflin as Tom Bellamy: Tom looks just like his sister, so much so that they could be twins.

Gabriel Aubrey (with a little color correction) as Rene Hasard: Rene is a bit older than Sophia with dark russet hair and very blue eyes.

A second excellent choice would be Sam Heughan but he’s busy being everyone’s favorite Scot Jamie Fraser. This picture of Sam and Catriona Balfe does remind me of Sophie and Rene, however! Mainly the chemistry and expressions; they capture their spirit so well.

If you love great storytelling, strong and secretive characters, romantic sizzle, historical France, or spy adventures, you have to read Rook!

Have any of you read Rook? Do you plan to? Let me know!

 

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

13th Apr 2015 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy EngelThe Book of Ivy by Amy Engel
Series: The Book of Ivy #1
Published by Entangled Teen
Pub Date: November 11th 2014
Pages: 282
Format: eBook | Source: Gifted
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

The Book of Ivy was just brilliant! Full of twists, turns and amazing surprises, it really blew me away. In the future a nuclear war has left the United States in shambles. A group of survivors come together to create their own town, but the people couldn’t agree on how to run the town and war broke out between the two sides. Now, The Lattimer family presides over the town and the Westfalls may come from the founding family but have no power. In order to maintain peace it’s decided that each year all the 16 year olds will be matched up to marry, one member from each side of the town in order to keep the peace and prevent an uprising from happening. Now Ivy Westfall is turning 16 and set to marry Bishop Lattimer, the president’s son. What the Lattimer’s don’t know is that Ivy’s family has a plan, Ivy has been tasked with killing her new husband so her family can take over the town.

Ivy was an amazing main character; she was strong, smart and caring. She was often conflicted with what she had to do even though she has known about this plan since she was a child. Her dad and sister have majorly influenced her for most of her life. They have drilled their desire for power into her head and made her feel like she’s the weak link in the family. I was not a fan of Ivy’s father and her sister Callie. Callie was the one who was supposed to marry Bishop and kill him but Bishop decided he wanted to marry Ivy instead. Callie seems to hold a grudge about this, I can never tell if she is genuine or not but by the end I’m guessing not. Callie seems to be her father’s daughter through and through. She cares more about power and revenge than anything else.

The romance was well done. Ivy and Bishop don’t just fall in love right away, it takes time. They have to learn to trust each other and as that trust grows their feelings do too. I really loved their relationship and how it happened. They were forced into this marriage and they are both way too young and they know that. Bishop also helps Ivy to see through her father’s views. He shows her that not everything is so black and white and sometimes she has to question things.

The end of this book was really shocking to me. I did not expect it to end like that, and now the next book doesn’t come out until November and I don’t know what to do with myself. Overall I was really impressed with this book, it’s definitely a new favorite of mine.

 

About Amy Engel

Amy Engel

Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas, California, Missouri, Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri where she lives with her husband and two kids.  Before devoting herself full time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which she says is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV.  :) When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping.

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Unleashed by Sophie Jordan

2nd Apr 2015 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2015, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: Unleashed by Sophie JordanUnleashed by Sophie Jordan
Series: Uninvited #2
Published by HarperTeen
Pub Date: February 24th 2015
Pages: 368
Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2.5 Stars

Unleashed, the romantic, high-stakes sequel to New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's Uninvited, is perfect for fans of James Patterson's Confessions of a Murder Suspect.

Davy has spent the last few months trying to come to terms with the fact that she tested positive for the kill gene HTS (also known as Homicidal Tendency Syndrome). She swore she would not let it change her, and that her DNA did not define her . . . but then she killed a man.

Now on the run, Davy must decide whether she'll be ruled by the kill gene or if she'll follow her heart and fight for her right to live free. But with her own potential for violence lying right beneath the surface, Davy doesn't even know if she can trust herself.

I read Uninvited last year and absolutely loved it. Sadly, that was not the case with Unleashed. Davy, Sean, Gil, and Sabine have escaped their horrible prison camp and are on their way to Mexico. On their way there things go awry and they end up getting separated. Davy is on her own and rescued by a rebel camp. So this all sounds very interesting, and it is in the beginning. As the story goes on it gets more and more disappointing. Davy can’t make up her mind about whether she wants to stay or go. Then there’s Caden, not Sean, Caden, and of course a love triangle happens.

I didn’t have any really strong feelings about Davy and Sean in the first book, but bringing Caden into the second book made no sense to me. It makes everything that Davy and Sean went through in the first book seem irrelevant. Plus, it just seems like an odd choice to bring in a love interest in the second book after already establishing a relationship in the first one. Caden and Davy spend most of the book doing a very tiresome, will they won’t they dance that had me rolling my eyes a lot while reading.

What really killed this book for me was the ending. Everything wrapped up too easily and there was no real struggle or conflict for the characters. All the resolution happened outside of the characters so we just hear bits and pieces about it, but the characters aren’t involved. The rebellion is talked about a lot and we see where they are based but they don’t actually do anything which made me wonder why introduce them at all?

This book was all about the romance, the main story took a back burner for it and it really affected the way I felt about the book. I loved Uninvited because of the interesting concept about genetics and seeing how Davy was treated after finding out she had the gene. This book takes place in a little bubble and we rarely see the outside world at all. Everything is about Davy and her complicated feelings. I really wanted to love this book and sing it’s praises to everyone but obviously that just didn’t happen.

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Blog Tour: Atlantia by Ally Condie – Review, Q&A + Giveaway!

16th Oct 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Blog Tours, Giveaways, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Blog Tour: Atlantia by Ally Condie – Review, Q&A + Giveaway!Atlantia by Ally Condie
Published by Dutton Juvenile
Pub Date: October 28th 2014
Pages: 368
Format: ARC | Source: Blog Tour
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

Hi Ally! Thanks for being with us today!

Thank you for having me! I very much appreciate it! :)

1. First thing we must know is, would you choose to live Below or Above?

I would choose to live Above. I think I’d lose my mind if I had to live Below. I’d be way too worried that something would break! But I do think the Below is very cool. I can see why Rio and Bay love it so much.

2. If Above, what’s the one thing you’d miss most from the world Below? If Below, what’s the one thing you’d feel you missed out on in the world Above?

If I were Above, I think I would most miss the breathing of the city from the Below. I think that’s the kind of thing that would really become a part of you.

If I were Below, I’d miss the sky the most, the sense of space.

3. There were a lot of neat inventions in the Below — metallic trees, robotic fish, drones! Which was the most fun to create?

Oh, thank you! I had the most fun with the trees and the fish, I think. I have some awesome inspiration pictures on my Pinterest board that I looked at a lot once I had the initial ideas. There really are some metal trees out there in the world (there’s a particularly beautiful one in Austin, Texas) and I’d love to see them someday.

4. Atlantia is a standalone book, but you’ve also written a couple of trilogies, Matched and Yearbook. Do you now have a preference on writing standalones vs. series?

I can’t believe you mentioned the Yearbook trilogy! No one ever knows about that series. ;) It’s hard to say which I prefer, because the most fun I’ve had writing has been the Matched Trilogy and Atlantia. So I couldn’t pick, because they’re both very different. Right now I’m working on another standalone, though, so maybe I’m having a slight preference toward that these days.

5. So what’s next from you? Anything in the works?

Yes! I teased it a little bit above, but I’m working on a YA standalone, set in a very different world from Atlantia. It’s been a book I’ve wanted to write for years, and I’m having a wonderful time with it so far. :)

Thoughts on Atlantia

Here at Gone with the Words, we claim TEAM BELOW! Oh, yes. They said the Above is hot and I was all noooooooo, sir. I live in Texas now and I know hot and do. not. want. more. So I signed myself up for the Below.

It’s true. I’ve always wanted to live under the sea, like Ariel, and I was at one point fascinated with underwater cities/ruins. So of course I’d choose the Below! Once I started reading and learning all about it, I knew I’d made the right choice.

There were so many neat things down there! Now, the people running the show? Maybe not what they seem. The story is always building up, always moving. With Atlantia being a standalone book, Ally Condie did a great job with the pacing.

Rio was an interesting character because she’s taught to pretty much make herself invisible for certain reasons, but her personality is not that at all. She’s brave and confidant. There’s a little bit of love story, but it’s definitely not the focus of the book.

Rio’s mission to follow her sister and make it to the Above drives this story, and the secrets Atlantia and the people ruling it are keeping are a bit of a mystery. Not every is as it seems, so it definitely kept me reading to find out the truth of it all.

 

Giveaway

Got some cute necklaces to give away on the blog for the #Atlantia blog tour! #AtlantiaBelow

A post shared by Jess (@gonewiththeword) on

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Waiting on Wednesday: Landry Park

15th Jan 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: Landry Park

Waiting on Wednesday: Landry ParkLandry Park by Bethany Hagen
Series: Landry Park #1
Published by Dial
Pub Date: February 4th 2014
Pages: 374
Format: Hardcover | Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Downton Abbey meets The Selection in this dystopian tale of love and betrayal

In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won't allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty - her family and the estate she loves dearly - and desire.

 

Compared to Downton Abbey? SOLD. Can’t wait to read this one!

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Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Waiting on Wednesday: Ignite Me

8th Jan 2014 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2014, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: Ignite Me

Waiting on Wednesday: Ignite MeIgnite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #3
Published by HarperCollins
Pub Date: February 4th 2014
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover | Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, called "a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love"

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping read from an author who's not afraid to take risks." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.

 

OH MY GAAAAAAH!! GUYS!! HOW WILL WE SURVIVE THIS BOOK?!?!?!? Either way, I cannot wait. :D

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About Tahereh Mafi

Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the SHATTER ME series. She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Santa Monica, California, where she drinks too much caffeine and finds the weather to be just a little too perfect for her taste. When unable to find a book, she can be found reading candy wrappers, coupons, and old receipts. SHATTER ME is her first novel.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Blog Tour: Altered by Gennifer Albin – Deleted Scene + Giveaway!

1st Nov 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Blog Tours

Blog Tour: Altered by Gennifer Albin – Deleted Scene + Giveaway!

Blog Tour: Altered by Gennifer Albin – Deleted Scene + Giveaway!Altered by Gennifer Albin
Series: Crewel World #2
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux BfYR
Pub Date: October 29th 2013
Pages: 400
Source: Blog Tour
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Life. Possibility. Choice.
All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.

But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.

In this thrilling sequel to Crewel, Adelice is about to learn how tangled up her past and future really are. Her parents ran to protect her, but nothing can save her from her destiny, and once she uncovers the truth, it will change everything.

 

Hi, everyone!!

Today on the blog, Gennifer Albin is sharing a deleted scene from Altered! Thanks, Gennifer! Also! Thanks to Macmillan, you get to enter for a chance to win one paperback copy of Crewel and one hardcover copy of Altered!

Deleted Scene #3

In the original draft of Altered things went down a bit differently. Cutting some of the scenes and plot lines was hard, but I’m sharing three of them during this blog tour. Don’t forget to follow the tour so you can catch all three.

The character of Dante originally had his own commune instead of working for Kincaid, a storyline that was changed in the final draft. The commune made silk to trade with others to survive, and one of my favorite scenes included Dante explaining what happened when the worms spun the silk, something Adelice related to all too well.

“You know what our primary trade is in the commune?” he asks.

“You provide silk,” I tell him.  Jax had mentioned this to me on the train the first time we met.

“It’s delicate.  Not just the fabric, but the process.  We have so little resources left on Earth that the Guild haven’t stolen from us.  Silk was once a luxury.  Fine and difficult to produce.  The worms die in the process.  We have entire rooms devoted to their comfort.  Our scientists have slowly perfected the silkworms genetics – made them heartier. They now live through several cycles instead of just one.”

“But they still die,” I murmur.

“True,” Dante says.  “The product is not as beautiful as it once was, but the art continues.”

“But why silk?” I ask, recalling the cool feeling of it on my skin.  We’d had silk in Arras, too.  It was beautiful but useless.  There were much stronger fabrics.

“We can’t abandon everything.  Other methods of fabric making require extensive land to grow cotton or difficult science to synthesize it.  We have the capabilities, but we chose silk so that it would endure.  So that someday when Earth is ours again, we will still have some of our arts.”

“And if that day doesn’t come?”

Something fervent flickers in his eyes. “It will, Adelice.”

He lifts a small box from his desk and opens the lid.  Inside a number of cocoons rest.

“Silkworms,” he says, lifting one gingerly and holds it out for me to see.  It rests like a tuft of cloud in his palm. “We can’t have the silk thread without killing them.  We have to heat them until the worms die, only then we can salvage the thread.”

“And is it worth it?  To kill the worms?  What if your science fails?” I ask.

“Then there will be no more worms.” He places the cocoon back into the box and pushes it to the side of his desk.

“So much talent – to spin something from nothing,” I murmur.

“Not from nothing,” Dante corrects.  “The worms spin it from within themselves.  Their gift is innate.  Natural.”

“And our gift?”  I ask.

He replaces the cocoon and draws a thin wooden shaft from the drawer.  A thin, translucent thread dangles delicately from a disc haloing one end, and he begins turning it until it spins so quickly the flickers in my sight.   “I think it’s obvious our gift is far from natural.” He gestures to the device in his hand.  “We can collect and hold the world in place, but we never create it on our own.”

“Then someone must have made us,” I say.

Dante drops the whorl onto his desk. “Yes, we were made.  Perversions don’t occur naturally.”

 

-Gennifer Albin is part of the October/November Fierce Reads Tour with Ann Aguirre, Leigh Bardugo, and Jessica Brody. Get all the tour info!
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The Cypress Project is a prequel short story written by Gennifer Albin, being excerpted exclusively on Wattpad. Start reading now!!

 

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About Gennifer Albin

Gennifer is a recovering academic who discovered she could write books of her own and people would read them! She lives in a perfect seaside village in Washington state with her family, but spends most of my time in Arras and other fantastical new worlds. She appreciates strong coffee and bold imaginations, prefers her heroines with sass, and is always searching for her next big adventure. Gennifer’s debut novel, CREWEL, was written during NaNo ’10 and she now sits on the official National Novel Writing Month Advisory Board. Her work is represented by Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Trailer Reveal: Champion by Marie Lu + Giveaway!

30th Oct 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Press Releases

Trailer Reveal: Champion by Marie Lu + Giveaway!Champion by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #3
Published by Putnam Juvenile
Pub Date: November 5th 2013
Pages: 384
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

 

So I’m SUPER stoked to be sharing this trailer with you guys today!! This is definitely one of my most anticipated books of the year!

What do you think?!

I think it’s AMAZING! And it’s made me want this even more!

Also! Don’t forget to follow Penguin Teen on Twitter and Facebook for updates and more giveaways!

Now, enter below for a chance to win a CHAMPION poster and set of 3 tattoos!! Open to US only (sorry!!).

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About Marie Lu

I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. I like food, fighter jets, afternoon tea, happy people, electronics, the interwebz, cupcakes, pianos, bright colors, rain, Christmas lights, sketches, animation, dogs, farmers’ markets, video games, and of course, books. I suck at working out. I also get lost very easily, but am a halfway decent driver. At least, I like to think so. :)

I left Beijing for the States in 1989 and went off to college at the University of Southern California. California weather sweet-talked me into sticking around, so I’m currently in Pasadena with my boyfriend, two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and a chihuahua mix. In my past life, I was an art director in the video game industry, but now I write full-time.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Waiting on Wednesday: Champion

23rd Oct 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: Champion

Waiting on Wednesday: ChampionChampion by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #3
Published by Putnam Juvenile
Pub Date: November 5th 2013
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover | Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy.

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

 

Eeeeeeeep!

I am so ANXIOUS for this book, you guys! I have a feeling it might kill me. Sad to see it come to an end too! :(

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About Marie Lu

I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. I like food, fighter jets, afternoon tea, happy people, electronics, the interwebz, cupcakes, pianos, bright colors, rain, Christmas lights, sketches, animation, dogs, farmers’ markets, video games, and of course, books. I suck at working out. I also get lost very easily, but am a halfway decent driver. At least, I like to think so. :)

I left Beijing for the States in 1989 and went off to college at the University of Southern California. California weather sweet-talked me into sticking around, so I’m currently in Pasadena with my boyfriend, two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and a chihuahua mix. In my past life, I was an art director in the video game industry, but now I write full-time.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

24th Jun 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle MeadGameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
Series: Age of X #1
Published by Dutton Adult
Pub Date: June 4th 2013
Pages: 448
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Adult, Dystopian
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

 

Aside from the fact that this book was an insta-buy for me, I mean, it is Richelle Mead after all, I did not have any expectations going in. I knew Gameboard of the Gods would be different than both her adult and young adult books just from the synopsis, and I was totally game for that. One thing I did find similar to her other works were the characters. Richelle Mead has this way of writing them where they are not your typical cookie-cutter personalities. They are flawed and complicated and always find a way to my heart. Even the secondary characters, being so well fleshed out, leave lasting impressions on me.

Justin March is soooo not your typical hero. If we hadn’t been able to know what was going through his head half the time, I’m pretty positive I would’ve disliked him. He is self-serving, he drinks, he smokes, he loves his drugs…but he’s a genius! And he’s charming and really good looking and so very interesting and complicated, which is why I was all about him. Mae isn’t your perfect heroine either. She’s kick-ass! But she has her own set of issues. She has a real problem with control. Also, she comes off really frigid, but really she has a really big heart.

As for the romance in this book, it’s not the typical guy and gal fall in love scenario. There’s romantic aspects, there’s DEFINITELY steamy moments, lots of sexual tension, and some sex. But sex between Justin and Mae? Not after their first encounter! They have reasons though! Especially Justin. These reasons made for all that sexual tension and also made a great setup for the future books.

The world-building in Gameboard of the Gods felt like a bigger undertaking that Richelle Mead’s other books. Everything in the RUNA sounded really interesting because a lot of things are futuristic, but I loved that not too much was changed. It was really interesting to see a world where religion and worshiping Gods is kept on a leash. That is where the supernatural aspects come in. These Gods NEED people to worship them to exist, so they find just the right people to “appear” to and they start movements for them. Justin’s job is actually to make sure these groups are following the rules and don’t get too big or too crazy. The RUNA doesn’t want a religious uprise of course! There’s definitely a lot to this world Richelle Mead has created, and it’s not really fast-paced. I found it a steady and absorbing read.

Gameboard of the Gods is definitely a great beginning to what I’m sure is to be an epic series. Richelle Mead knows her stuff, y’all!

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About Richelle Mead

Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time. Before becoming a writer, she considered a few different career paths. She received a liberal arts degree from the University of Michigan, an MA in Comparative Religion from Western Michigan University, and a Master in Teaching (Middle & High School English) degree from the University of Washington. In the end, she decided writing was the way for her but believes all of her education prepared her for it.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

22nd Apr 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Crewel by Gennifer AlbinCrewel by Gennifer Albin
Series: Crewel World #1
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux BfYR
Pub Date: October 16th 2012
Pages: 368
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of other’s destinies, but not her own.

Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.

Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls.  Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power.  Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it.

In a sea of Dystopian novels, I’m surprised Crewel isn’t making more waves. For one, it’s a completely unique setting, with layers of complex world-building. Second, Crewel has a smart heroine who is strong and likeable. And finally, it has TWO hot guys and KISSING!

Lets start with the the world Gennifer Albin has created. At first, you may feel a little bit lost trying to make sense of it all. I know I struggled a bit at first, but the more I read, the easier it got to understand. Since the story is told in first person, you only know what the main character does, so she’s learning what the Spinsters REALLY do right along with us. It’s definitely way too intricate for me to try to describe it to y’all. I’d fail at it. Arras, the world these characters live in, is not Earth…OR IS IT?! There’s a mystery there and it felt very Matrix-y, except without the computer stuff. You’ll have to read it to get what I’m talking about, because I’m not telling you anything else! It was just really cool getting deeper and deeper into the layers of this story.

Adelice was certainly not a naive character. She has smarts and she knows how to use them. She also has a penchant for letting her mouth get her in trouble, which is something I can relate to. I have a smart mouth and it didn’t do me any favors growing up…especially around authority figures, which is what Adelice is surrounded by. I did find it odd that she wasn’t more shy around the guys she comes in contact with, considering her whole life girls and boys were segregated in her town, so she’s never really talked to any. It’s not like there’s insta-love in this book, but there’s definitely flirting early on. She has to put up with a lot of crap after she’s taken to be a Spinster, including getting advances from a man that could easily be her father. Yuck! Also, a bitchy superior who instantly makes her life hell. But she never stops fighting. :)

I guess that’s all there is…sorry, what was that? Oh, yes! THE TWO HOT GUYS AND THE KISSING! How could I ever forget. *bats eyes innocently* Seriously. We all know this is what I’ve been dying to talk about. First we meet Erik. He’s a guard at the coventry where Adelice now lives. He is gorgeous, charming, cocky, and completely belongs to the bitchy superior I was telling you about. At least, everyone says he does, but they make it seem like he also gets around. Then there’s Josten, the head valet. He is dark haired, blue eyed, sometimes prickly, but always kind. I thought it was so cute how he teased Adelice all the time. These two guys seem so different, yet they both watch out for Adelice in a lot of the same ways. There isn’t really a love triangle here though…at least not on Adelice’s end. She knows who she likes.

The ending was very intense! There are confrontations and secrets get out and I definitely want Altered NOW! I think Altered is going to be really interesting and different from Crewel. I can’t wait to read it.

 

About Gennifer Albin

Gennifer is a recovering academic who discovered she could write books of her own and people would read them! She lives in a perfect seaside village in Washington state with her family, but spends most of my time in Arras and other fantastical new worlds. She appreciates strong coffee and bold imaginations, prefers her heroines with sass, and is always searching for her next big adventure. Gennifer’s debut novel, CREWEL, was written during NaNo ’10 and she now sits on the official National Novel Writing Month Advisory Board. Her work is represented by Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

4th Feb 2013 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2013, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh MafiUnravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #2
Published by HarperCollins
Pub Date: February 5th 2013
Pages: 461
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

(This totally contains spoilers to Shatter Me. You’ve been warned.)

Where to even begin?!

Unravel Me was the type of sequel that we hope for in every series. It’s exciting, it’s captivating, it’s all-encompassing. It takes you in from the first few words and doesn’t let you go until the very last page.

I’m not sure what I was expecting from Juliette in Unravel Me, but she stayed true to herself, if maybe a little down on herself, all the while still learning more and more about herself and her abilities. I was glad she didn’t all of a sudden turn into a kick-ass machine though. She makes such believable progress in a really well-paced manner. Her development didn’t feel rushed and it still left room for even more discoveries in the future. I must admit that the ability I want her to develop most right now is the one where she learns to turn off her Energy at will…obviously for selfish reasons having to do with a certain boy in this book. It just MUST happen!

Speaking of boys…in Shatter Me, I unquestionably fell in love with Adam, and Warner intrigued me, oh, so much. After reading Unravel Me, I’m finding it hard to keep my heart out of Warner’s grip. He is such a surprise in this book. He floored me. He was open and raw and intense and tender…he certainly is too much, and he won’t let you not see him as a contender for Juliette’s heart. But, with all that said…I’m still in love with my first love, Adam. I find it incredible that Tahereh has created these two guys so opposite, yet with so much in common, that she made it impossible to find a definite side for me to be on. I think I will take whatever happens in book 3 in stride though.

I can’t write this review without mentioning the awesomeness that is Kenji. He really shines in this book. We get to know him so much better and in the process he stole my heart. He becomes one of Juliette’s closest friend, which was really interesting. Kenji somehow was able to be the voice of the reader in this book. The things we sometimes want to scream at the characters because they can’t get over themselves, or their being idiots…Kenji voiced all those things for us. Whether it was at a moment where too much mushiness was happening or when we just wanted to shake Juliette. So, thank you, Kenji…and Tahereh. :)

Maybe the biggest shock and twist in this book comes with the appearance of Supreme Commander Anderson, also known as Warner’s father. He really is a horrendous character. While in Warner as a villain I was able to glimpse at moments of humanity, enough to feel some empathy for him, in Anderson, there’s just evil. There’s nothing redeemable in him. He’s detestable. Yuck. And, hey, look! We have a clear villain now!

I was happy to see the other gifted characters come into play. I loved learning about everyone and what they could do. I am worried that they won’t be able to fight off The Reestablishment though. While I want it to be like a huge X-Men battle, I think it’s really going to come down to Juliette. The anticipation for the final book in this series might kill me…but I hope not, because I really would rather be alive to read it. :D

What Some Friends Had to Say About It…

Asheley @ Into the Hall of Books – “This second book was no disappointment to me. I have no idea where Tahereh Mafi is going to go from here.” – Same and me either!

lisa @ lisa is busy nerding – “Basically if you thought Shatter Me was rad, you’ll be all about Unravel Me and jonesing for the next book which totally isn’t coming soon enough for my liking.” – Agree!!

Lauren @ Love is not a triangle – “After reading Unravel Me, I am still Team Adam. However, I am unsurprised that people have fallen for Warner, and I don’t blame them for it. (Much.)” – LOVE IT!

 

 

About Tahereh Mafi

Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the SHATTER ME series. She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Santa Monica, California, where she drinks too much caffeine and finds the weather to be just a little too perfect for her taste. When unable to find a book, she can be found reading candy wrappers, coupons, and old receipts. SHATTER ME is her first novel.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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