Thursday, February 20, 2014
Welcome to my stop on the Something Real tour! I'm really excited to be hosting Heather for a super fun interview! (this is the week of interviews my friends!) But I seriously have way too much fun with them so it's all good. So stick around for the interview and a super duper giveaway!


Something Real
by Heather Demetrios
Published: 2.4.14
Pages: 416
Add to Goodreads - Buy on Amazon 
There’s nothing real about reality TV.
Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show’s cancellation and the scandal surrounding it, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it’s about to fall apart…because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™’s mom and the show’s producers won’t let her quit and soon the life she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.

Sounds like fun right? Make sure to pick up your copy today! Now here's a bit about the author!


About Heather
Heather Demetrios, originally from Los Angeles, now lives in Brooklyn and various imaginary locales. She is the recipient of a PEN New England Discovery Award for her debut YA novel about reality TV stardom, SOMETHING REAL, and is the author of the upcoming EXQUISITE CAPTIVE, also out in 2014. When she’s not hanging out with her characters, Heather is working on her MFA in writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
 
What kind of research went into Something Real, with the reality TV show aspect of the book?
I watched several episodes of “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” since I’d never actually seen the show before and it was the inspiration for my Baker family. I also watched a great HBO film called “Cinema Verite,” which is about the first reality family TV, the Louds, and I read Pat Loud’s fascinating autobiography. To create my tabloid columnist who makes an appearance at the end of the book, I read some of Perez Hilton’s stuff—oh my god. I went down this really weird pop culture rabbit hole and was so glad when I came back out!

I love the puns you can find in the show's name; Bakers Dozen! Was that something you know from the beginning or did you have to come up with that later?
Yeah, the Baker’s Dozen thing came to me right away, but initially “Baker” wasn’t the family’s last name. That came later, based on a suggestion from an agent. When she said it I was like, “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?” It’s funny, the way things come together with a book. A suggestion from the most random places can inspire huge things. When you’re working on a book, you have to be so open to anything that triggers a response in your story.

What is your favorite thing about writing for a YA audience?
There are so many things I love. I have to tell you my top two things because they are of equal importance to me. The first is that a YA book can literally change the course of someone’s whole life—that is an amazing responsibility and a beautiful thing. Teens are still trying to figure out who they are and what they want to do with their lives. They’re questioning and seeking and when you’re a YA writer, you’re in a position to influence and inspire your readers. That’s not to say that adult lives can’t be changed, but you get a lot more set in your ways as you get older, right? The second thing I love about being a YA writer is being a part of the YA community of readers, writers, book bloggers, book sellers…it’s so giving and positive. Everyone is excited about what’s coming out and is really passionate about the genre. I love the conversations that are being had about the work and its evolution and I feel so supported. My fellow adults who love YA are kindred spirits—it’s like we’ve all agreed to go to Neverland together.

Bonnie, your protagonist is the oldest of 13 kids! Being from a big family I can understand but it's still crazy! There are so many different personalities and character types to portray in that kind of a setting, so how did you go about that in planning/writing the novel?
That was definitely the hardest part of the book: how to give a picture of this whole family without overwhelming the reader and without any family members getting lost in the shuffle. The list you see at the beginning of the book is basically what I kept beside my laptop while I wrote the novel. I kept forgetting the ages of the kids or what country each kid was from. It helped to categorize the kids, such as the boys who are called the “wild things” because they’re so hyper and are always wrestling. So instead of throwing a bunch of names at the reader all the time, I knew it would be easier for them to remember groupings. I had a feeling this is what MetaReel would have done anyway and it helped me develop the family dynamic. My major focus, of course, was on Bonnie™ and the two siblings her age: Benny and Lex. Of course, the parents were huge too. Bonnie™’s mom is a really important secondary character and I had to think of ways that she would try to keep her family organized, too. It was chaos, but I’m really happy with the way it came off.

Are you a day or night writer?
Both! I write for most of the morning and afternoon, then again in the late evening. I write full-time, so I’m pretty much working on one or two books a day, whenever I’m not doing the businessey stuff of writing. The night is really great for getting in a special zone. Something about the hush and darkness brings out the poet in me, so I like to save scenes that are really emotional and intimate for nighttime. Appropriate, no? Daytime is revisions, doing the hard work of the first draft, that kind of thing.

What inspires you to keep writing when it gets tough? 
I have a board above my desk (pictured on the left). It’s full of reminders to myself (like, “Don’t write pussies!”—that was for when one of my bad boy male characters turned all lovesick and boring). There are inspirational quotes, my favorite of which is by Picasso: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” There are images that evoke certain feelings in me, encouraging notes from people…all sorts of stuff. The main thing that inspires me to keep writing when it gets tough is that it always works out. No matter the book, I have to remind myself that because there is always a point with every story that I think, oh my God, I’m not going to pull it off this time. But serendipity always kicks in. It’s a new puzzle, but every time you find the pieces that need to fit together. All those parts do become a whole.

Are you the kind of writer to snack while she writes/reads? If so, what's your ideal "writing snack?" 
Unfortunately, yes, I do like to snack while I write. My ideal snack is something that doesn’t make my hands dirty or greasy, so I can eat and write at the same time. But, really, coffee. And more coffee.

Savory or Sweet? Sweet!

Chocolate Malt balls or Sour Gummy Worms? Chocolate malt balls, all the way.

Thank you so much Heather for the fun interview! I loved chatting with you! Make sure to leave some comment love for Heather in the comments! And keep an eye out for my review of Something Real to come soon! Now onto the fun part...the giveaway!
Thanks to Macmillan, I have one finished copy to give away to a lucky reader! Make sure you live in the US and can accept this prize. Enter through the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends March 6th (that's two weeks!)
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Thanks for stopping by! Let me know your thoughts below! XOXO!


Monday, February 17, 2014
Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Under Zenith blog tour! Super excited to share with you the latest and greatest from one of my favorite authors, Shannen Crane Camp! This is her first NA, having begun with lots of awesome YA books! If you're looking for a new author to try I recommend her! Here's a little bit about her book!

UNDER ZENITH
by Shannen Crane Camp

It was the most important day of her life, and for 21-year-old Isla Edison, graduating from college with a useless degree in vocal performance was all part of her master plan. Dying in a car accident only hours later wasn't part of that plan. Yet there she was, standing over her own lifeless body and panicking about ruining the truck her parents had bought as a graduation present. Talk about a bad way to repay them. If coming to terms with the hereafter wasn’t enough to deal with, Isla suddenly finds herself stuck with Hayden, a gorgeous Brit with a bad attitude and a penchant for throwing her off cliffs to keep her in line. Worst of all, Hayden is her Guide, and until she completes six impossible and totally random tasks to reach her mysterious Destination, she's stuck with him. Isla's major problem, though, is that she doesn't know what reaching her Destination actually entails, and soon the mystery surrounding her new afterlife seems more ominous than any purgatory she could possibly imagine. Now Isla must decide if she'll trust her dark and brooding Guide despite his "bad boy" act, or if she'll risk failing her tasks and facing the unknown alone.

Sound like so much fun right? Who wouldn't want to have a hot Brit to navigate the afterlife with them? Okay the afterlife might not be the best.... But either way, here's an awesome interview that I got to do with Shannen! Way too much fun!

This is your first NA book. What was different about your writing process this time around? 

I feel like I had different things to think about with this one. Normally I’m thinking about high school and relationships in that context. With this book I had to focus more on things like what my main character wanted to do with her life as far as a career goes. I had to think about a job for her, her financial situation, her relationship with her family as an independent woman. It was definitely a different character building process. I also had to think about how she would relate to a roommate or an older brother who she didn’t live with. That kind of thing.

Now I'm guessing it's because you've always wanted to  explore the afterlife with a hot Brit, but tell me about your inspiration for Under Zenith?

You’re actually pretty spot on. I wanted to write a scenario where I could do anything I wanted to without it being out of place. I wanted this space where literally any creature or situation could arise and my character could stop and think it was weird, but it wasn’t necessarily surprising. I loved the freedom that afforded. The Afterlife just seemed like the perfect space for this odd little dreamscape. And hey, if a hot psychotic Brit was involved, that’s always a plus! I do love my hot psychotic Brits… I may or may not be writing another hot psychotic Brit right now!

What's the first thing you do when you start a new story? 

I make a folder on my computer for the book. I create one Word document for the actual story, and one for everything else. I write out the plot, story details, and most importantly, character descriptions. I’ll fill the folder with pictures of people who would “play” the characters and write out descriptions of their age, physical appearance, weird ticks, personality details, and their likes and dislikes. Honestly, it kind of looks like an online dating profile. Plus I’ll make a playlist of songs to listen to throughout the day to get me pumped to write when I get home from work. I even dress like my characters a lot of the time. So if you ever see me in fifties clothes, I’m probably working on a June book :)

Are you the kind of writer who eats/drinks while she writes? If so, what's your "writing snack"?

A giant glass of ice water and something super salty :) I kind of live on salt. It’s a bit of a problem.

YES! Savor is for sure my choice when it comes to reading/writing snacks!

You've already hit up a variety of genres, from Contemp to Dystopian! What genres would you like (or are going to) to explore in the future?


I’m actually in the middle of writing a paranormal New Adult novel about a bunch of ghost hunters :) So I’d say that’s definitely a genre I want to explore lol. I’d really love to write a murder mystery but I’m not sure I’m clever enough to do that. I think people would guess my murderer every time! I’m also going to focus more on YA contemporary some more. I feel like lately I’ve been drifting away from that to do more sci-fi/fantasy type of books. As much as I love those, it’ll be nice to get back to my roots.

I would fully support the murder mystery! I adore that genre!

About Shannen
Shannen Crane Camp was born and raised in Southern California, where she developed a love of reading, writing, and anything having to do with film. After high school, she moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University, where she received a degree in Media Arts and found herself a husband in fellow California native Josh Camp. The two now live in either California or Utah... they still can't decide.
Thanks for the fun interview Shannen! If you guys like what you see and want to look into some more of Shannen's books go here to see all the beauties! 
Now it's time for a super-duper giveaway curtesy of Shannen! You can win a signed copy of any one of her novels - it's your choice which! You know you want to so click away at that Rafflecopter to enter! Giveaway open to US residents and will end March 1st!
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Thanks for visiting! To check out the rest of the tour with more interviews, guest posts, excerpts and reviews, check out the schedule here! Happy Monday! XOXO,


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hey everyone! Welcome to the YA Valentines Winter Formal tour! You may know of the Valentines from their snazzy little blog, but for this week four of them are hitting the fan blogs! This one week tour features four fabulous ladies debuting in January, February and March!

Today's Spotlight Is....


Bethany Hagen!
Website - Twitter - Goodreads
I have a basement full of books and a computer full of writing. I love drinking coffee and doing karate with my husband (usually not at the same time.)  I've been a model for a painter, stung by a sting-ray, stuck in a coma, and I used to dress up as a 1904 schoolmarm, but I got paid for it, so it's not weird. Currently the day job is in a library, so every once in a while I throw a temper tantrum about the Dewey Decimal system. My debut novel Landry Park came from Dial/Penguin on 2.4.2014. I am represented by Mollie Glick of Foundry Media
I'm a born and bred Kansas Citian, meaning I can tolerate jazz for brief amounts of time and I'm offended by dry rub barbecue. I grew up reading Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, and all things King Arthur. When I’m not working at the library or running around with the kids and the husband, I’m writing or thinking about writing.

If you want to check out my review of Landry Park from the blog tour go HERE! I thought it was a really fun book with a very interesting setting/storyline and some swoon thrown in on the side. As part of spotlighting Bethany and her fabulous book, here's a little bit about Landry Park, followed by an exclusive interview! *wink*

Landry Park
by Bethany Hagen
Published: 2.4.14
Pages: 384

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.
Amazon classifies Landry Park as "Downton Abbey meets the Selection". What elements of your evolved society were the funnest to those possibly similar aspects? 
I have to say that the Downtown Abbey similarities are the most fun to write.  I love the idea of important conversations happening in between dances and Significant Looks being exchanged over elaborate dinners.  And what's magical about The Selection is that it takes the theme of class and control, and spears it with futurism and romance, to make a compelling mix.  I hope Landry Park was able to do the same!

If you were to pick the best moment in your writing career so far, what would it be?
I think the moment my agent called to tell me that Penguin wanted Landry Park.  Before that moment, I think I never truly let myself believe that I'd see my book in print, and so realizing, for the first time, that it could happen--and WAS going to happen--that was magical indeed.

Any writers or books that inspire you?
My love of the Bronte sisters and of Jane Austen is well-documented, but I'm also a huge fan of Ray Bradbury.  He has a succinctness and a beauty and a particular viewpoint that transforms his sci-fi into something spectacular.

Describe your book in one word. 
Genteel

What's the best piece of writing advice or tip that you've learned through this whole writing experience?
The best writing advice I have is to just keep writing.  While on submission, while revising, while rewriting, after seeing a cold-hearted review on Goodreads--the important thing is to KEEP WRITING.  NEVER SURRENDER!

BONUS INTERVIEW!

Thanks so much Bethany! It was really fun to read your answers! I hope you enjoyed them as well. Now as a bonus, I got to interview all the other lovely ladies on the tour, asking them the same question to see how their answers varied. Check it out!

What drew you to write YA vs. middle grade or adult?

Sara B Larson (author of Defy): I'm not sure that there is an exact reason why, or an "ah-ha!" moment where I decided to write YA.It's just where all of my stories have ended up taking place. It's such a vital time in our lives--when we're discovering who we truly are, and who we want to be. It's a time of intense emotions, when everything is so big and so important, and I love that. I love investigating that, and living in it with my characters. I love experiencing love for the first time with them. I just love it all.

Lynne Matson (author of Nil): ALL THE FEELS! Seriously, YA is THE BEST. Everything is so fresh, so raw, and SO REAL, maybe because it's the first. First person to make your heart skip a beat, first time you stood up for yourself. First kiss, first heartache. First road trip, first time waking up naked on a semi-desrted island, lol. I can't imagine writing anything else.

Bethany Hagen (author of Landry Park): I think it's because young adult fiction, more than adult fiction, has this fantastic blend of literary and commercial elements.  It also has less rigid genre lines--I think a future historical book about romance and radiation would have a much harder time finding an adult publisher for that reason.  Basically, young adult writing has so much freedom and possibility that I find all my stories naturally gravitate to that genre. 

Jen McConnel (author of Daughter of Chaos): I think it's a combination of things. The years I spent working as a middle school teacher really infused me with a love for both YA readers and YA literature, plus the fact that I've always been an avid reader. I think my reading genre of choice for the past decade has been YA, so it was a natural fit. I also write New Adult, which I see as sort of the big sister genre to YA.


Twitter Party!!!

Who doesn't love a good Twitter Party? Not me! Well here's an awesome one for you to celebrate this week's WINTER FORMAL tour! Deets below!

When? February 12th at 6:30 pm EST
Where? Twitter hashtag #YAValsFormal
What? Sara, Jen, Lynne and Bethany chat about books and embarrassing Valentine moments! Virtual snacks, secret fun things and prizes!

You don't want to miss the party(especially the embarrassing moments part ;) OR the rest of the spotlights on the tour. Here's the schedule:

Feb 10 Mon: Lynne Matson @ Fiction Freak 
Feb 11 Tues: Bethany Hagen @ Book Haven Extraordinaire! (You are Here) 
Feb 12 Wed: Sara. B Larson @ Eater of Books
Feb 13 Thurs: Jen McConnel @ YA Reads


AND THAT IS ALL I HAVE FOR YOU TODAY! Thanks for dropping by! I hope you learned something awesome today! Check out the other stops and see you at the Twitter Party! Leave some comment love for Bethany and the rest of the ladies! XOXO,





Thursday, February 6, 2014
Let’s face it. We as book lovers buy books. It’s just a fact of biblophilia. We love books and so we buy them because we want to own some our favorite things in the world. Sometimes we may get carried away but we love books so it’s okay! BUY  ALL THE BOOKS. All the big book hauls.

And yet… sometimes we call it a problem.

I’ve for sure heard exclamations of “I have a problem with buying books.” In fact I’ve probably said them myself. But lately I’ve been thinking about that and how while in some cases, yes it IS true, but it also makes me laugh; because is it really, truly a PROBLEM?

We love books! Books are who we are! Right? It’s what makes us book bloggers! We’re spending our money on things that we love, things that make us happy and things we love to support. We’re spending money on a part of ourselves. So then I ask again…is it really a problem?

Now granted in some cases it undoubtedly is going to be one. Like when you literally have a budget or financial situation that cannot and should not allow for splurging. Like right now I’m paying off an upcoming summer trip and until I pay that off I’m not letting myself buy books.

But it other cases, things like book-buying bans don’t seem to work for me or seem to matter. I’m always going to keep buying  books. I’m not always going to be able to buy splurging piles but it’s going to be a constant in my life, unless I cannot. So while I may do it often, to ME, because I love books and they mean something to me it’s not a problem.

What do you think? Is book buying a problem for you? What makes it a problem, or when does it become one? Why do you buy books? Talk to me! 


Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)
by Marissa Meyer
Publishing: 2.4.14 from Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 560

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard. 
In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 
Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 
When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher free of charge, in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for this review.
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is Marissa's knowledge of fairy-tales and herdeft ability to work them together; including small details of the original stories that might be skipped over in a retelling. From the start this aspect of Cress had me squealing in joy. What can I say but that I'm a nerd over the fact that certain things from the original happened. Actually cut that, I'm a nerd over this book. Cress was literally perfection. One of the BEST sequels I have ever read. And I'm not just saying that. From the get-go we are pulling into an intense action and plot twists that rip your heart out. And from then on it's the must epic, un-put-downable-ride ever.
Starting with the obvious....Cress. She's our new protagonist and so much fun. She's been living a life in seclusion, but she's not just some dumb girl who sings her heart out all day to the birds. Of course, that would be impossible. She lives in a satellite. Heck yeah, SPACE. On top of that she's a hacker. A brilliant one! Cress is a genius when it comes to technology, just as much as Cinder is when it comes to mechanics. I loved seeing her skills come out in the beginning. And Little Cress! She's such a small part but I loved her just as much as Iko(Who I shall quickly mention is so awesome)! But more than her spacey-tech skills, Cress is strong and when she's finally free she does things. She takes action and wants to see things done despite being in a strange new place. She's smart and witty and fun and it's not hard to grow to love her over the course of this book.

Along with her hacking abilities, Cress brings in the fairy-tale aspect of Rapunzel and it was so much fun to read about. I've always loved that fairytale, and know the original story very well. This is where it goes back to my nerdy geek side. If you know the original tale, you'll know that the prince is pushed from the tower and lands in a group of thorny bushes which blinds him, until he's later healed by Rapunzels tears when they are reunited.
I don't know WHY I got so flipping excited when this aspect was portrayed in Cress (Oops, spoiler alert). But I did. Seeing the little things like this throughout the entire series made me appreciate them even more, because Marissa not only tells a great story that is original and a fairy-tell retelling mashup, but she shows us that she KNOWS her fairy-tales and doesn't just want them to be "that other retelling." She has respect and love for them just as much as the next fan. *deep sentimental author love moment*

"Captain?"
"Yeah?"
"Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?"
He squinted, and after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. "No, I'm pretty sure it was Cinder."

Anyway so this Prince. Because there can't be a new girl without her guy right? Of course right! If you've read Scarlet, you've met him as the infamous Captain Carswell Thorne, comedic relief of the gang and quite the scoundrel. Watching these two be thrown together was hilarious, entertaining and just all around wonderful. Cress knows lots of things, including lots about this guy, and it presents a new side to one of the relationships in this books. Plus the circumstances they are thrown into just makes things awkward, hilarious and endears you even more to the characters until you find yourself riveted and so in love with.
 Thorne goes through so much character development in this book. Watching love change him was so fun. He's still filled with laughs and jokes, but he's stronger and caring and he has more than his ship and his life to live for. He has a cause now and it's soooo beautiful. (He's like the Kristoff of the story!)
I just want to squeal around the house every time I think of Thorne. Especially since I can pinpoint the page (279) and quote where I was officially in a bookmance with Thorne. It will make much more sense when you've read the book:

"If you honestly believe that," said Thorne, stowing the gun again, "then you really don't recognize true value when you see it."

But of course this book was more than just Cress and Thorne. Cinder, Kai and Dr. Erland play a much bigger role in this book. Scarlet and Wolf are not as prominent, but I still love them as much. They're drama gets going early on and it throws quite the wrench in the story, and the characters emotionally. *SOBS* It opens up new doors and again, brilliant storytelling. But back to Cinder and Kai. This is the book where as a reader connected to the characters, I have been the most invested in the story of Cinder and Kai. They keep on growing and developing in new ways as they try to sort out their feelings, ever changing situation and themselves. I love them to pieces and agonizing over their story was quite possibly about 50% of my feels in this book. There was one scene in particular that I was DYING to see and for those who have read it, check out my thoughts (highlight to read):

SPOILER --> [CINDER AND KAI'S REUNION IN THE LAST SCENE was literally my most anticipated scene of the whole thing. Darn that agonizing wait to get there though. But it was so perfect, I must have read it like ten times after reading it. It was beautiful and perfect and I couldn't ask for anything better. Wouldn't you agree?] <--END SPOILER

I also mentioned Dr. Erland. He is just, wow. I REALLY liked him in this book. He is also a much more prominent character and it was so fascinating to get to see much more of his backstory and how that intertwines with the rest of it. *slaps hand over mouth before the feels come gushing out* Again with the brilliant plot Marissa. Oh and then there's Queen Levana. You evil woman! She's hecka powerful and I really just hate her with a fiery passion. But I liked getting glimpses into her mind and her world. With these side plots introduced we've been set up for a bomb of a last book.
And so, with all these marvelous characters and the new themes and twists they bring, there's lots of trouble, laughter and revelations. The pretty much keep coming down until we're buried under a pile of epic waiting to be built into the most kick-butt ending to a series if I ever saw one. Also leaving me with a big load of book hangover that unfortunately my sister had to live through.
I am therefore left to conclude that the 560 pages that are Cress are some of the best 560 pages I've ever spent my time reading. It's fun, it's fast, it's flirty. Marissa knows how to take an idea and flip it inside, outside and upside down to make it her own, and then translate it into the language of the fangirl. I am blown away, and am undoubtedly left wanting more. The wait for Winter is gonna be painful, but until then at least we have Cress to drool over.
Happy Release Day CRESS! Make sure you all pick up this book if you haven't yet! What are your thoughts? Have you read this yet? Need to pick up Cinder first? Talk to me! XOXO,


Monday, February 3, 2014
Scarlet
by Marissa Meyer
Published: 2.5.14
Pages: 454

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Here it is! My three-month overdue review! 
I don’t know what it was that took me so long to read Scarlet, but it took me just that, a long time. And I regret that so much. Where Cinder was fun, Scarlet was the bomb. Where Cinder made your heart smile and flutter, Scarlet made you Swoon to high heavens!! Where Cinder was full of intrigue and building plots, Scarlet was exploding with action and twists. Basically take Cinder and multiply it by two and throw in a side of more freaking epic characters and you have Scarlet in a nutshell.

Scarlet ups so many of the dimensions that Cinder presented. We have a new batch of characters, mainly Scarlet and Wolf, (and Thorne!) bringing with them a new fairytale thread. I loved these characters. The way I was able to slip into their minds and enjoy the story was fantastic. Their voices were unique and filled with character. Scarlet was intense, passionate and brave. Wolf was fierce, mysterious and strong. Thorne was the comedic insert to the story. While we mostly saw Scarlet or Wolf narrating, all three had interesting storylines to match their fun and humorous voices.

And while these new voices are new, we still got to see some of Cinder and Kai. I’ll admit I was never totally in love with Cinders character. She’s interesting and I like her and Kai, but I’m so glad that we see much more development of the two in this book. This book gives so much more dimension to them and I really liked the direction they're headed as characters. Whereas Thorne, our new side-kick is so fun. He's quirky, and so funny. He's doesn't have a romantic interest but you love him all the same. 
 As for the romance build-up between Scarlet and Thorne it's done seamlessly! Their interactions grow and and so much fun and in the subtle ways that just work so well, chemistry builds until we are as much in love with them as they are with each other. **SWOON ALERT**
Cinder and Kai on the other hand are a totally different story! (If you know what I'm talking about from the ending of Cinder.) These two have a chance to develop more on a personal level, while at the same time, this development makes them seem so much more awesome, leaving you anxious for more of them in the next book. 

What makes these books so much fun is the fairy-tale aspect. And Marissa Meyer did a fabulous job of mashing Little Red and Cinderella together!  And the way she is able to cleverly fit the stories together and in the new futuristic society is just mind-blowing. Scarlet builds on the tension and continues on to be filled with action while exploding with new secrets and information. It’s all fantastic. This book left me with a thrill of adventure, fairy-tale (or not) romance and lots of exciting cliff hangers for Cress. I can for sure say this book was better than the first. I loved it all, the characters, new locations and world building. The new cast of characters is so much fun and it’s just SO. COOL.

Even if you weren’t blown away by Cinder I highly recommend you check out Scarlet. It’s for sure an awesome build to the world, characters and EVERYTHING! You'll be finished before you could say Big Bad Wolf.

Stay tuned for me review of Cress, live tomorrow on the release date! Happy Monday! XOXO, 


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