Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop!

I think I'm an becoming completely addicted to giveaways! Leap into Books Giveaway, hosted by I am a read, Not a Writer and Jinky is Reading, starts today and will end March 5th.

For this giveaway I have TWO different prizes!

One paperback copy of Empty and one ebook (pdf format) pack with copies of Songbird, The Promise, and Twin Souls!

Empty by Suzanne Weyn
It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.

Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought.

Teens like Niki, Tom, and Gwen may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again.

Ebook pack:
Songbird by Angela Fristoe:

There are defining moments in life when everything changes. For Dani Mays, it was the day she witnessed her father kill her brother. Now seventeen, she still hasn't put it behind her.

After Jace's death, she bounced between her alcoholic mother and foster homes until she found a permanent place. And a reason to want to stay: Reece Tyler. He's her best friend, yet Dani wants more from him.

Faced with losing Reece, Dani struggles to define his place in her life and escape the influence the memories of her brother's death have over her choices. Even as she weaves the pieces of her heart back together, the past becomes more than a memory when a former foster brother reappears and Dani begins receiving threatening calls.

The Promise by Apryl Baker

Cassie Jayne Bishop grew up in the sleepy town of New Salem, NC, the only non-believer in the tradition and power of the town Coven. When a stranger comes to New Salem, everything she thought was normal about her life unravels around her. Ethan makes her question everything, even her sister's death in a car crash years ago. As Cassie discovers the full truth about her heritage, and the clues start to pile up, she becomes determined to find out if the Coven was actually involved in her sister's death. What she uncovers terrifies her.

Her fate lies at the very heart of the secret the Coven protects. It's the reason she was born. Now, betrayed on every side, can she find a way to survive or will she be the catalyst that triggers a centuries old act of vengeance.

Check out an Interview with Apryl Baker here.

Twin Souls by DelSheree Gladden

He avoids her because of the strange physical pain he feels when they touch. She avoids him because the way everyone seems to do what he says scares her. But when Claire needs to escape a bad situation Uriah is the first person she thinks of, and he is eager to rescue her. Faced with each other for the first time, both Uriah and Claire find it impossible to listen to their fears and stay away from one another. They soon find out, though, that there is more than they ever thought possible trying to keep them apart.

Following tradition the pair approaches the Elders of their Tewa tribe to ask permission to marry. Everyone is shocked when the shaman refuses them, claiming they are not Twin Souls. Confused and angry Uriah refuses to listen, and promises them that he will never abandon Claire. When Claire is poisoned by her vindictive father his resolve is tested. Ancient Native American myths and legends spring into reality, doing everything they can to keep Uriah from saving Claire’s life, while beginning to reveal the truth behind the lies he has been told all his life.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other blogs along the Leap into Books Blog Hop!

Interview with Mary Pauline Lowry, Author of The Earthquake Machine

I am so excited to be interviewing Mary Pauline Lowry, author of The Earthquake Machine which is being released today! Check out the interview, along with a synopsis of The Earthquake Machine :) 

Author Bio:
Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, screenwriter, open water lifeguard, construction worker, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women. Due to no fault of her sweet parents, at 15 she ran away from home and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. She believes girls should make art, have adventures, and read books that show them the way.

Tell us a bit about your novel.

THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE is a wild, fantastical novel about a 14 year-old girl who runs away from home and crosses the Rio Grande River to Mexico. She then “passes” as a Mexican boy and travels deep into Mexico searching for her one true friend who has been deported to the state of Oaxaca.

How did you come up with the idea for The Earthquake Machine?

When I was 15 years old I ran away from home and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. (I would NOT recommend that anyone else run away from home—it’s very dangerous and I was lucky to make it home safely). It was such a crazy adventure and it made me wonder what it would’ve been like to keep traveling into Mexico. The novel explores that idea.

If you got the chance to spend a day with any character from The Earthquake Machine, who would it be and why?

I would spend the day with Juan Diego, a peyote-addled man who runs a bar in Milagros, the little Mexican town on the border where Rhonda (the main character) first goes when she crosses the border. Juan Diego is a little crazy and thinks Rhonda is an actual angel that has appeared to him. He helps her transform herself so she can “pass” as a Mexican boy and he gives her the name of Angel (which in Mexico is a boy’s name). He also sends her off with a giant bag of peyote. Juan Diego is so crazy and so brilliant; I think it would be a blast to spend time with him.

What do you hope readers will obtain from The Earthquake Machine?

I hope readers will be inspired to have amazing adventures and to do creative work themselves. I also hope they will be inspired to support their girl friends who are doing the same.

What is your favorite YA book or author? 

My favorite YA author of all time is Francesca Lia Block who wrote the Weetzie Bat books. I read WEETZIE BAT for the first time when I was 14 or 15 and it blew my mind. It made me see that American writers can incorporate elements of magical realism in a way that really works. And that YA books can be very hip and edgy.

Do you have any current writing projects? Can you tell us a bit about them?
I have another book called THE GODS OF FIRE that’s based on my own experiences as a forest firefighter on an elite Hotshot crew. The novel hasn’t been released yet, but it’s been optioned for film by a major Hollywood producer. I’ve written the screenplay and I just finished a round of revisions for the film’s director. (I hope to release the book in the next year or two!)

The Earthquake Machine

The book every girl should read,
and every girl’s parents hope she’ll never read.

The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda’s world, but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda’s life is her family’s Mexican yardman, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation.

Determined to find her friend Jésus, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends to Big Bend National Park. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Milagros, Mexico. There a peyote- addled bartender convinces her she won’t be safe traveling alone into the country’s interior. So with the bartender’s help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesús. Thus begins a wild adventure that fulfills the longing of readers eager for a brave and brazen female protagonist.

You can check out more about Mary Pauline Lowry and The Earthquake Machine, as well as her short stories at her website: www.marypaulinelowry.com

Monday, February 27, 2012

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies 
by Isaac Marion
Published: October 2010
Publisher: Vintage
Available: Amazon


R is a young man with an existential crisis--he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams.

After experiencing a teenage boy's memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend. Julie is a blast of color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that surrounds R. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.

Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead, and the blurry line in between.


I was going to wait to post this review until later in the week, but after watching The Walking Dead tonight, I couldn't wait, I needed more zombies!

I originally heard about this book during an entertainment segment on some T.V. show fort the movie that is being made based on Marion's book. I was skeptical. I kept flashing back to the cheesy, campy zombie books I read during my Zombie Week in October. Warm Bodies was a welcomed surprise.

Zombies falling in love usually leaves me with an icky feeling, but not here. Warm Bodies is told from the perspective of R, a zombie. He seems pretty typical in his world of zombies. He moans and groans, he craves human brains. But Marion has created a breed of zombies who still retain some of their human qualities. His zombies have some capacity to think, and even speak, although it is limited and slow. He pushes the boundaries of what zombies are capable of, while staying true to their primal urges.

After eating the brains of a young man, R is bombarded with memories of the man's girlfriend. This is played as a typical reaction to eating brains and Marion explains that it's this experience that actually drives the zombies' desire for brains. With these memories overwhelmingly strong than normal R protects Julie, and forms an attachment that he is desperate to understand and hold on to.

There were a few issues with the end that had me scratching my head, but not enough to distract from the real story of R and his hope for something more.

What's even better is that the stills from the movie look amazing!! Here's a sneak peek!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower 
by Stephen Chbosky
Published: 2009
Publisher: MTV Books and Pocket Books
Available: Amazon


Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie is navigating through the strange worlds of love, drugs, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", and dealing with the loss of a good friend and his favorite aunt.


When I originally heard about this book, I had very little interest in reading it. A boy's coming of age story just didn't hold much interest for me. It wasn't until Emma Watson was cast as Sam in the movie version that I decided to read it, although I did read through a lot of reviews beforehand.

Charlie is an interesting narrator. He is not the overly mature voice that a lot of YA authors give write. Instead he looks at things in a very simplified manner. Charlies wants to belong, to fit in, and he rides the line between childhood and adulthood. There is a simplicity in how he looks at things, such as the rape scene some many reviewers had a problem with. Charlie is no older than eleven when a guy rapes his girlfriend in front of Charlie. A lot of the reviews claimed it was stupid of Charlie not to understand what was going on, but I thought it was a realistic event. Charlie had no knowledge of sex, living a sheltered life, and was scared. he knew something was wrong but not what or even why.

The supporting characters were interesting, they had distinct personalities Charlies interactions with them felt real. There was a bit of a question as to why these seniors wanted to hang out with a kid younger than them, but in their first meeting it seemed like Patrick and Sam were amused with Charlie's naivety, and he just gradually melded into their group of friends.

Charlie does begin to wear thin after a while, and despite the professed intelligence that his English teacher credits him with, there is a question of whether he has not only emotional problems but psychological ones as well. He allows his friends to use him and strives to be anything and everything they want him to be. I actually found Sam's speech to Charlie at the end of the book to be a very revealing look into her character and why she was so accepting of Charlie.

While I enjoyed the book, I think the movie has the potential to be even better, although my Hermione Granger love may be influencing me :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: Gil Marsh by A.C.E. Bauer

Gil Marsh 
by A.C.E. Bauer
Published: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Available: Amazon


Good looking, athletic, and smart, Gill Marsh is the most popular kid at Uruk High School, even though he is only a junior. When Enko, a new kid from Montreal, shows up, Gil is wary. Yet Enko is easy going and matches Gil's athletic prowess without being a threat. Soon, the two become inseparable friends, practicing, studying, and double-dating.

Then suddenly, to everyone's shock, Enko succumbs to an aggressive cancer.

When Enko's parents take his body and return to Canada, Gil is unable to even say good bye. He is inconsolable. Determined to find Enko's grave, Gil sneaks away and heads north.

Closely based on the ancient story of Gilgamesh, the Sumerian King from 3000 BC, A. C. E. Bauer has carefully woven the classic elements of myth to follow Gil's quest and explore the grief and growth of a young man.


I feel horrible about writing a review on a book I couldn't read all the way through (although I did get halfway and then skimmed the rest in hopes that it would get better). Gil Marsh sounds interesting. The cover looks interesting. The concept of basing it on the story of Gilgamesh is interesting. Gil Marsh is anything but. From page one I was bored. The writing was dry, events told to us as opposed to shown, and I felt like the author was striving for a high literary style and fell far short. 

In addition to the extremely unnatural and forced writing, there was a complete lack of character building. Gil is good looking, athletic and smart. At least this is what the reader is told. I didn't see any evidence of this, apart from him being athletic. He doesn't get the hot girl, he's judgmental, conceited, rude, and once he makes his plans to go to Canada  he is a complete idiot as evidenced by his utter lack of knowledge about there being homeless people living in one of the largest cities in Canada and his plans to camp in the city park. Gullible would be a better description, especially when he practically gives his money away to a con artist.
When Enko's character was first introduced I thought I was suddenly reading a paranormal gay romance. Gil is obsessed by Enko's body and his body hair right from the beginning and I wondered if Enko was going to turn into a werewolf. There's one scene when at Enko's house where Gil admires Enko's hairy half naked body. Gil repeatedly says that he loves Enko, and despite that fact that I'm pretty sure the story is supposed to be about this strong brotherly love I couldn't help but think that Bauer has never even spoken to a high school boy. If the story had been set two hundred years ago, I would have accepted it as a brotherly love, but in the modern world guys (straight or gay) just don't talk like that.

I can understand that she was trying to remain true to the story of Gilgamesh, but cultures and people change. Look at Beastly or even Red Riding Hood, both are modern retellings and manage to be successful because of the changes that were made. Gil Marsh had the potential to be a great adventure into self discovery and the true value of friendship. Instead it came out stale, stilted and lack luster. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Review: Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1) 
by Lauren DeStefano
Published: March 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Available: Amazon


At age 16, Rhine Ellery has four years to live. Thanks to a botched effort to create a perfect race, all females live to age 20 and males live to age 21. On the cusp of her 17th birthday, Rhine attempts to flee, but what she finds is a society spiraling out of control.


This was a really bizarre read for me. There were parts that I absolutely loved and then others I just couldn't stand. Regardless of those parts that I didn't like, I am definitely going to read the second book in the series.

The story starts off fairly depressing. Rhine is kidnapped and being forced into an arranged polygamous marriage, the other girls being 18 and 13, to a boy/man of 21. I refuse to say man because Linden is completely clueless and acts like a child, which considering the world they live in seems pretty unlikely. 

So what did I love about it? Rhine. She is one of those characters that is flawed enough that you don't hate her, but not enough to annoy you to death. She goes through so many different stages before and after she is married and while I didn't necessarily agree with the choices she made, they made sense in her world and with the societal constraints she is faced with. While to Linden she seems to be accepting her new lot in live, she is constantly planning and scheming for escape. I loved that even though she has sympathy for Linden she does not let that control her and is brave enough to take chances and risk her life for the one thing she desperately wants - Freedom.

What did I not like? The suggestion that the relationship between Linden and his 13 year-old bride Cecily is one of love absolutely sickened me. I get that their world is completely screwed up, but still, child abuse is child abuse and any idea of Linden actually being a viable love interest for Rhine became absolutely revolting. Too bad the other love interest was so forgettable that I can't even remember his name. He felt more like a third wheel. Or in this case a fifth wheel since Linden and his three brides makes four. Maybe he'll make more of an impression in the next book. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: Mesmerize by Artist Arthur

Mesmerize (Mystyx, #4)  
by Artist Arthur
Published: January 2012
Publisher: Kimani Tru
Available: Amazon


Starting over is nothing new to diplomat’s daughter Lindsey Yi. She’s grown up changing schools the way other girls change clothes. Still, moving to Lincoln, Connecticut, is different. Although she’s still reeling from the loss of her parents in an accident, Lindsey is finally in a place that feels like home. Because here, Lindsey’s ability to read other people’s thoughts doesn’t make her weird. It makes her one of the Mystyx.

When Dylan Murphy—hot, popular and a senior—starts to notice her, things get serious, fast. But even as she’s figuring out how she really feels, the Mystyx realize that they’re not the only supernaturals in town. There
are other gifted teens who have different motives. And they are hoping to get close enough to the Mystyx to convert them—and the world—to Darkness…


First off, this book is being added to my list of annoyingly inaccurate covers. Yes, it is a nice cover, if Lindsey weren't a young Korean girl. Why would the publisher choose to not represent the character as written? Multiculturalism should be a selling point, not something thrown in to say they're doing it, only to back off during the marketing. 

The book itself is interesting. I didn't realize it was the fourth book in a series until I started reading, and there are multiple references to previous events, but I didn't feel completely lost, which is a credit to the author.Things flowed and there was enough background information scattered throughout to make sense of what was happening. I think if I had read the previous three books in the series I would have felt a stronger connection with the characters and a more emotional reaction to some of the events that unfold.

What made this book hard to read was that Lindsey was all over the place. Lindsey is not an easy character to follow. One moment she's giving details about the horrific death of her parents and then the next she's standing at the door day dreaming about a hot guy. But don't worry because within the first fourth of the book, you'll hear it again and again. Her thoughts are completely random and it makes it hard to know what is really happening. There's even one point where Lindsay has just gone through a test and is getting ready to describe her terrifying ordeal when she starts thinking about going sledding down a hill and then acknowledges she doesn't know why she's thinking of that! It makes me think the author needed to up the word count and decided to add in random descriptions.

The ending confused me a bit and I wasn't quite sure why at the end Lindsey still felt the way she did. I won't say about what because I don't want to spoil the ending, but it really drove me nuts. I was fine with the events, I just didn't get Lindsey's thought process.

One thing I will say for Arthur is that she is not afraid to take risks and make her readers furious. As a new reader I was shocked by some of the things that happened to characters that were probably central ones in the previous books, but it worked here. This was a solid book, and although not a complete stand alone it was enjoyable. I would recommend reading the Mystyx series in order and even though I have yet to read them I'd say it would be worth the time.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

by Alexandra Adornetto
Published: August 2010
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Available: Amazon


Three angels – Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human – are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They must work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.

Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong. Then comes the brooding and popular new transfer, Jake Thorn... who just so happens to be in Bethany's class. Something about Jake seems to be hiding something darker, something more powerful than expected. That thing, and Xavier, distracts Bethany to a point that Gabriel and Ivy are concerned.
The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?


wow. And no, I didn't forget to capitalize that. This book was so underwhelming. When I first picked it up, I was so excited. I loved the cover and it was going to be my first read of a female angel lead. I wish I'd skipped it.

Let me start off by saying that I actually liked the opening. There were some absolutely beautiful descriptions, but as the book progressed it seemed like Adornetto was more focused on continuing that writing style than actually writing a story that progressed in any interesting way.

The characters started off interesting, but quickly became cardboard cutouts. Bethany is sooo angelic, we constantly hear about how beautiful she is, how fair and blond and slender she is. Which is made even stranger by the fact that the book is told in first person. She's supposed to be on a mission to save this sleepy little seaside town from evil, but once she meets Xavier a pretty boring guy, who of course is the hottest and most unavailable guy at school, she completely forgets about doing anything other than experiencing romantic love. She whines about pretty much anything, she ignores orders from her superiors, lies to and manipulates her fellow angels and yet we're supposed to believe she's this perfect angel.

The whole reasoning behind these three angels being there is stupid. There's no other way to describe it. there are horrible, tragic events happening all over the world, within our own country, and these angels are sent to a sleepy, small town with zero crime and only a suspicious fire and some recreational drug and alcohol use by the teens. Please. No wonder the three angels seemed completely oblivious to everyone. the only angelic thing that did was go to church, Ivy does some work at a Senior center, and apparently Gabriel taught some hymns to his public school students (Yeah, no way would that happen), Wow, how earth shattering amazing are their actions, definitely needing the power of angels to do. 

Jake, the villain, doesn't even show up until about page 200! And then it's just plain ridiculous. Bethany, gets burned by his touch, in annoyed by him, gets a bad feeling around him, but in a nauseating display of folding to the pressures of stereotypical YA, Adornetto makes Jake attractive to Bethany. I mean really, going to prom with him, and the being kissed by him? By this point I wanted to tear the pages of the book out. Frankly, by the end of the book, I was just plain confused by what the point of it was. On Goodreads, I gave this three stars simply because I enjoyed the opening chapters. Everything else would have garnered a two. This book just dragged on and on and on.   

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Breaking Dawn DVD - A Guy's View

I am proud to say that I was not one of the people standing at Target during the midnight release of Breaking Dawn Part One. I did however make a special trip to Walmart yesterday in order to get my copy, and yes, I made my husband and daughter watch it. Which leads to the very idea for this post.

First off, I don't consider myself a Twi-hard, although I admit to reading the books and watching the movies multiple times. I don't stalk the internet for info on the actors, and frankly I completely disagree with any idea for Meyer to write another book in the series. When I watch the movies I suspend any expectation of Oscar winning acting, scripts, and special effects. This lets me watch the movie and get exactly what I want - an escape from reality. I had my own issues with the movie (You can check out my post about it) so I wasn't surprised when my husband started making comments.

Now, he has seen the other three movies and has a general idea of the storyline, but he usually keeps his mouth shut. Yesterday was an exception. The first words out of his mouth "Is she a vampire yet?" were repeated continually throughout the movie as he wandered between watching and eating. But my favorite came when he watched the scene with Bella and Jacob dancing privately at the wedding. "That's so gay." He said it in a completely guy way about five times throughout the scene. He didn't get why Edward would let it happen, why Jacob would even be interested in doing it, and why Bella would do that to Edward. I tried to explain about how romantic it was supposed to be, how in a natural world Bella would have been with Jacob, and his response was "That's so gay".

As the movie progressed, he kept up with the "Is she a vampire yet?" and interspersed it with questions like "why would she die?" and "What's wrong with her?"

I usually find his running commentary frustrating when I watch my movies, because he unfailingly manages to take what I find cheesy and sweet and turn it into a glaringly annoying aspect of the movie. This time I tried to actually listen to him. He is right. Four movies in and Bella is still not a vampire. He never did understand why Edward didn't just let Bella turn in Twilight. It is cheesy how Jacob and Bella have these extremely private moments, where they discuss their feelings while in very unfriend like physical contact. He looks at it and sees what girls (and women) don't want to - that the majority of men (I'll take a guess and say 99%) don't dance around in private with a girl they love the day she's married another man and tell her yet again how much he loves her. They wouldn't stick around for that.

Throughout the movie I couldn't help but laugh, because I realized just what he must be thinking when we're watching one of his movies and I just don't get why the actresses have to be half naked.

On a side note, I can't believe they picked such a horrible picture to use as the DVD cover. Kristen Stewart looks completely weird.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

by Lauren Oliver
Published: February 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Available: Amazon


Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.


I loved the concept behind this book. The idea of love being a sickness that ultimately causes ones death and needs to be cured was one I just loved. There was a part of me that wondered just how an entire society could suddenly make such a shift in thought about love, and it did feel like that background wasn't developed enough, but Oliver did make up for that in showing how the society continually enforces that views of deliria being fatal. Throughout that book there are excerpts from the literature and texts that the citizens are exposed to. Propaganda that the governing forces indoctrinate the people with. It made things more believable.

Lena was an interesting enough character. At first she seemed a bit dull, and predictable but as the story grew and her inner struggles built she really took shape. By the end I wanted to just give her a final push in the direction I wanted her to take. The friendship she had with Hana was perfect, the way that they view each other and the effects the cure has on their relationship felt real. Alex's appearance was a bit predictable and his not being cured very obvious. But he was a great character. He had such a different view of the world from Lena, and Hana and the rest of the cured. There was enough likability and genuineness to him that he didn't feel like a forced love interest, but rather an important character to the story.

The only issue I had with Delirium was that there was a sense of been there, done that to the plot. If you've read Matched by Ally Condi, then this might almost seem a rip off. I don't think it is and by the end I didn't feel that way, but there were some similarities that occasionally had me shaking my head. If you can get past the slight similarities then it's a great read.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review: Replication: The Jason Experiment by Jill Williamson

Replication: The Jason Experiment 
by Jill Williamson
Published: December 2011
Publisher: Zonderkidz

Available: Amazon


When Your Life Is Not Your Own Martyr---otherwise known as Jason 3:3---is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to 'expire' in less than a month. To see the sky. Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars. As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures---the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he's ever known.


When I first read the blurb I loved the concept (and the cover!). As much as I love zombies, paranormal, and dystopian books, cloning just seems much closer to what is happening in the world, and a much more possible event . Which is actually scary in an entirely different way.

The opening chapter hooked me immediately. Martyr (Marty as he eventually becomes) has such an amazing view of his world, and even with the point of view shifting between him and Abby, it's Martyr's perspective that Williamson's writing really shines. It's had to make a love interest out of a guy who has an obsession with colors and loves the red socks with green trees on them. But she accomplishes this. Martyr's innocence about the world and his belief in his role in it is what makes him such an amazing character. It just made me wonder if his thoughts are really how little kids think the first time they see things. His devotion to the 'Brokens' and Baby was so sweet, it was hard not to fall for him.

Abby was different. The first few chapters did have me rolling my eyes, and I was not a fan of hers until she meets Martyr. That's when she really came alive for me. She was no longer the whiny daughter who is too good for the locals, but a girl who has knowledge of the horrible things her father has done and she is dealing with what he is doing now. I did love how she she handled JD, the local football start who pursues her hot and heavy almost immediately. And best of all, I love that even though she's attracted to him, she's pretty honest about the facts that she can't stand him. It's nice to read a book for a change that doesn't have the heroine lusting and supposedly loving the guy who is a complete creep.

There is a twist concerning the and it was really interesting to see how Abby dealt with it and how it made her view Martyr and JD. I don't want to give away too much, but while at first it seemed like something that would come up only in relation to how Abby thought about Martyr and JD, but it comes back at the end in an unexpected way.

There is a level of predictability to the plot and as with most science fiction (at least that I've read) there is a need to suspend you disbelief in the scientific details that are really secondary to the moral issues Williamson was attempting to address. Something I thought was best seen through the eyes of Martyr and what we see happening to the other 'Jasons' and the 'Brokens'.

For those readers who are atheists this probably is not a good choice (pretty obvious considering the reference to God in the blurb), but if you don't mind a bit of religion in your books, you'll be fine. There wasn't an overwhelming amount of God talk, and what is there seems to fit in with the heart and message of the story.