Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne is FREE!

Hey guys!

Just thought I'd let everyone know, Kady Cross's The Strange Case of Finley Jayne, prequel novella to The Girl in the Steel Corset, is FREE on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. If you haven't read The Girl in the Steel Corset yet, this is a great way to meet the amazingly, awesome Finley Jayne. It's also a great way to get yourself psyched for the upcoming release of the sequel The Girl in the Clockwork Collar!

Check out these links to The Strange Case of Finley Jayne from your favorite websites!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Talisman of El Arc Giveaway Bonanaza!

Our friends over at Centrinian Publishing are hosting an ARC giveaway of Talisman of El by Alecia Stone via Netgalley! Contests ends May 20th so be sure to enter for your chance to WIN!

One Planet.  
Two Worlds.  
Population: Human ... 7 billion.  
Others ... unknown.  
When 14-year-old Char­lie Blake wakes up sweat­ing and gasp­ing for air in the mid­dle of the night, he knows it is hap­pen­ing again. This time he wit­nesses a bru­tal mur­der. He's afraid to tell any­one. No one would believe him ... because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago - the day before his dad died.  
Char­lie doesn't know why this is hap­pen­ing. He would give any­thing to have an ordi­nary life. The prob­lem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home.  
He belongs with the others. ~ COURTESY OF GOODREADS

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (2)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

This week our teaser comes from The Host by Stephenie Meyer. All of us at PiF have already read The Host, multiple times, but in honor of the teaser trailer and all of the wonderful pictures coming out we decided to flip through the book and find a teaser for this week.

"Wes wanted another round, but Lilly was done. 
'Face it, they're better.' 
'We got hustled.' 
'No one ever said she couldn't play.' 
'No one ever said she was a pro, either.'" {The Host, page 400}

As a special bonus, here's a pic from the upcoming movie The Host! It's of the first time Jared meets Melanie! It's got me so excited to see the movie. Too bad it won't be out in theaters for a whole year!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Host Gets Its First Trailer!

I'm totally psyched about this one, because The Host is probably my second favorite book of all time, only behind Pride and Prejudice. I own it in ebook, paperback and hardcover, and I've re-read it about three times since finishing it the first time. So when I saw that there was a trailer I was ecstatic. I've been waiting, and waiting and waiting and waiting, for years for anything The Host. I am excited for the movie. I'd be more excited for a sequel... But a movie will do.

For now, at least.

I love the attention The Host seems to be getting, but in all honesty, they JUST started filming. Did it really need a trailer just yet?

Probably not.

Seems they're starting the overhyping bit early with this one. I mean, really, it seems kind of ridiculous. Which is sort of, in a strange way, why it doesn't bother me. It might start to as the release date gets closer, but for now, I find the hype behind The Host to be kind of amusing.

So now after watching the trailer, what do you think of it?

It's too early to have any real footage from the movie, so it was a graphics heavy teaser. But I sort of liked it more than if it were full of my favorite scenes.

The teaser trailer for The Hunger Games, which premiered during the VMA's last year, was just Katniss running through the forest in the Arena. It showed us nothing, but people went crazy over it. It started the hype that has been smothering the movie, which was released this weekend.

The Host might be preemptively releasing a teaser, but compare it to The Hunger Games teaser for a second. The Host used a quick, graphics heavy format. They were down and dirty with it to the point it almost looks fan made. Except for Saoirse Ronan. (Btw I totally love the way they made her eye look just like the cover of the book!)

But back to my point. The Host teaser uses pictures of regular people, eyes glowing silver, but still. The pictures could be of anyone, anywhere. Because in the book/movie the entire Earth is taken over by the Souls. Even though it might not seem like the best way to go, especially for a movie that's likely to be a big deal when it releases in 2013, I still feel like they were keeping it real. They didn't even make a big deal about releasing the trailer. They didn't give us some big budget teaser to impress us. And that I appreciate. Because to me, The Host isn't about big budgets and CGI and ridiculously epic romance. It's about the grit and the dirt and the people trying to survive in our world after its not ours anymore.

I was actually very impressed by The Host's director Andrew Niccol's last film, In Time. It was so much better than I had expected it to be. I've also seen his movie Gattaca, but it was a long time ago and I don't remember most of that movie.

Anyway, my whole point is that I'm counting on Andrew Niccol to make The Host even half as good as it was the first time I read it. If he can pull that off he will forever be a god in my eyes. If he can't, well, I'll still watch the movie, multiple times, but I'll feel hallow inside. So I hope he does my favorite book some justice. And please, please, please! I don't mind guerrilla tactic advertising and hyping for The Host, but please don't let them turn it into a Hunger Games type hype. I can't even hear someone say the words Hunger Games any more without cringing, even though I love those books and enjoyed the movie.

So what do you think? Too soon for a teaser trailer? Are they going to drive you insane with all the hype and advertising? Or do you think they can draw a crowd without selling out the soul (Ha! Okay that was cheesy.) of the book we love so much?

By the way, if you have a Get Glue account (and even if you don't you should totally make one because it's awesome!) check into The Host for the sticker. I was so excited when I saw that it already had one!

Our Top 5 Favorite Scenes from The Hunger Games Movie!

Just a few hours ago all of the Pretty Staffers headed to our local theater to see The Hunger Games. We all read the first book three years ago, immediately followed by the second book, only to wait a year for Mockingjay. We stayed up all night the day Mockingjay was released, me and my sister Taylor walking laps around our then still closed swimming pool, on conference call with our cousins, Courtney and Kira. We talked and talked and talked and then we got the book (for Nook) and then we didn't speak to each other for a few days. (Trying to avoid spoilers!)

Needless to say, we are, and always have been, Hunger Games diehards. The books just contain so much emotion, they're almost impossible not to love. (Although I have heard of a few people who haven't loved them, but I won't go there.) So obviously the film adaptation was going to bring up all sorts of emotions for us. The 5 most emotional scenes of the movie for us were as follows (and they're in chronological order).

(Minor SPOILERS from here on out.)

1. Prim at the Reaping

They've played and played that clip of Katniss volunteering as tribute at the reaping, but the part that really hit us was Prim's reaction to being selected. Willow Shields, the actress who portrays Prim, plays her part perfectly. When she begins to walk up to the stage I felt all the anxiety I felt the first time I read The Hunger Games.

2. Peeta's interview with Caesar Flickerman

I have to say that my favorite thing about The Hunger Games movie was Josh Hutcherson's performance as Peeta. He doesn't just do a good job portraying the character, Josh IS Peeta Mellark. And the most obvious moment is while Peeta is being interviewed by Caesar Flickerman. Peeta caters to the crowd, he's got this easy way about him that makes you instantly like him. And that is exactly how Josh is. I also loved all of the scenes where Peeta is with the Careers! Okay, I just love Peeta in general. He's so... Peeta!

3. The scene in District 11 after Rue's death

I actually teared up for this one. Jennifer Lawrence's performance in this scene was one of the most moving I've seen. And the way the people of District 11 react... well, if you've read Catching Fire you know how District 11 feels about Katniss.

4. Thresh killing Clove

This was a very important scene for me in the books. It's a close call for Katniss, but because she was a compassionate person and befriended Rue, she's saved. I fell in love with Thresh a little in this scene. And I believe the movie portrayed this perfectly. It's pretty much the only scene with dialogue that Dayo Okeniyi (Thresh) gets, but it's all he needs to break your heart. He couldn't protect Rue. He wasn't brave enough to stay by her side during the games, but he could avenge her death and help Katniss, who did stand up and try to help Rue. So when he hears Clove taking credit for Rue's death he attacks. I truly did love this part, but I think what made it even better was that when Thresh killed Clove every single person in the theater burst out into applause. It still seems a little twisted to cheer for a murder, but this is The Hunger Games (and Clove had this horrible smirk on her face the whole movie, it was infuriating).

5. Seneca Crane getting his just desserts

I want to say I like Seneca Crane, but I just can't. He's a jerk, and he only sees the tributes as pawns in his "games". And after seeing the movie, it is very clear that he's only concerned with making President Snow and the citizens of the capital happy. But, if you've read the books, you know that Snow isn't exactly pleased with how the games turn out. You also know that Seneca Crane takes the blame for that. Even though it may seem a little odd, we decided that we really liked this part of the movie. The way Gary Ross portrayed it, it was quiet, but oddly menacing. It sort of shows exactly what kind of man President Snow is.

And our other favorite scene, because we couldn't just pick 5. C'mon!

• Katniss speaking to Cinna right before she enters the Arena

Jennifer Lawrence blew me away in this scene. You could see the horror of the games on her face. In the widening of her eyes, in the way her entire body was shaking. And Cinna just believed in her so much. Lenny Kravitz and Jennifer Lawrence just have this on-screen father/daughter chemistry that is perfect for these characters. I can't wait to see Katniss and Cinna rekindle their mentor/mentee (that's probably not actually a word, but I like it!) relationship in Catching Fire.

So there you have it! Our 5 (okay 6) favorite scenes from The Hunger Games. If you've seen it let us know what your favorite scenes were! And even if you haven't, what scenes are you looking forward to seeing in the movie?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Title: Wanderlove
Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Publisher: Delacorte Books For Young Readers
Publish Date: March 13, 2012

It all begins with a stupid question:  
Are you a Global Vagabond?  
No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.  
Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward. 
But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.  
Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

Okay, I'll admit, I wasn't very interested in reading Wanderlove at first. The story seemed interesting enough, girl finds love while in an exotic location. But it wasn't until I read the first few pages that I realized just how interesting Bria's story really was. As soon as I picked it up I was hooked.

Bria is such an honest character. She just wants to travel, and the more people tell her she can't, the more she wants to do it. She's scared just like everyone else is, tries to take the easy way out and go with a prepackaged tour group. But her artist's nature seems to take over and she can't help but do what comes naturally. She explores. She looks for the beauty in the world around her. As Bria says, speaking of her father's only experience traveling,

"What's the point of travel if you never get off the train?{Wanderlove, Chapter 2}

So she runs off with some backpackers to really travel!

I've always loved the idea of running around the world, only taking what you can carry with you. It's so fun to read about people actually doing it. I think what's even more intriguing is the fact that Kirsten Hubbard is actually a backpacker. She's experienced what Bria is experiencing and that definitely comes across in her writing. Hubbard's descriptions of Central America are so beautiful. It doesn't sound like she's describing places, but actual experiences. Through Bria's eyes Hubbard lets the reader experience what people on vacations usually miss out on. The details of the world around them. It's the difference between taking a photo of a brick wall or going up and touching it. She's seen and appreciated what Bria is experiencing and that made me appreciate reading it even more.

Wanderlove made me laugh and got me all choked up at certain parts. I had a perpetual smile on my face through most of the book. Rowan and Bria's witty banter is not something you want to miss out on! Honest, the first words out of my mouth when I finished the book we're, "So cute!!"

I just adored Wanderlove and I encourage, no I demand, that everyone read it! I couldn't put it down even if I'd wanted to, and trust me, I didn't want to put it down. I wanted to crawl inside of it and visit ancient Mayan ruins right along side Bria!

Check out Wanderlove at these great websites!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Interview: Ashley S. Morgan, author of Torn

So today I had the honor of interviewing Ashley S. Morgan, author of the paranormal romance Torn. It's receiving great reviews on Amazon and will be released soon for Nook, Smashwords and Kobo. Here's a quick look at what Torn is about!

Isadora Rivers feels trapped. Her small town high school is suffocating her. Another day of wannabe gangsters, dumb jocks, and Barbie clones, and she'll just lose it. Her keen emotional sensitivity is to blame. She sees through all of the poser behavior to the pain and insecurity simmering just below the surface, and it's overwhelming. She feels like she's literally drowning in other people's emotions. 
This same sensitivity, however, makes her a great actress. Suffocating or not, her high school is one of the top arts schools in the country. Acting is not only her passion, but it also looks like her way out. If she can just score the lead role in the school play, she might get herself noticed by a Hollywood agent. But she's got a strong reckless streak, and it keeps getting her in trouble and jeopardizing her chances. 
Riding her bike at top speed, she swerves in front of a car and nearly gets hit. The driver, Tristan Blake, turns out to be the mysterious new boy at school. He's rebellious, broody, and wise beyond his years. He's also devastatingly gorgeous. From the moment their eyes meet, Isadora is irresistibly drawn to him. But as soon as he enters her life, things go horribly wrong. She begins having disturbing visions full of unimaginable glamour and unbearable darkness. He knows things about her he shouldn't. And he's somehow so familiar. As he at turns pulls her close, and then pushes her away, Isadora feels like her heart is being twisted and torn. 
She soon discovers that her whole future is in jeopardy, and her only hope is to stay away from Tristan. But how can she turn away from the only boy she has ever loved? As a harrowing event looms closer, one that threatens to rip apart her psyche, Isadora must reach deep inside herself and find the strength to change her own destiny. But is she strong enough to do it?

What was your inspiration for Torn? What gave you the initial idea(s)?

For me, the story always begins with a character in some kind of difficult circumstance. A lot of teens feel like high school is some kind of trap. They’re just coming into their own, figuring out who they really are, while everything and everyone around them is pressuring them to conform. So I came up with this girl, Isadora, who seems to have everything going for her: she’s super talented, bright, and beautiful. These all seem like good things, but they all create more pressures. Her rival wants to tear her down for her talent and her looks, and none of the adults around her seem interested in either recognizing or cultivating her smarts. She doesn’t have the experience or the maturity yet to articulate her frustrations, so she acts out by being melodramatic and reckless.

I wanted a guy for her who would help her grow; someone more mature than her, but still her own age. So I conceived of Tristan, this rebellious, broody, super perceptive guy who would challenge Isadora and help her come into her own. There’s something dark and dangerous about him, and strange things start happening to Isadora as soon as he enters the picture. I won’t go into any more details, because I don’t want to give the plot away, but all of the plot twists and paranormal elements were sorted out only after I figured out what Isadora’s character arc was going to look like.

If I was to meet Isadora, the main character of Torn, for the first time, what should I be expecting?

Well, if like Tristan, you first saw her speeding down a hill on her bike with her arms stretched out and her eyes closed, you would think she was some kind of reckless lunatic! Seriously, though, one of the first things that you’d notice would be her fierce natural beauty, her funky style, and how, despite being petite, she had a commanding presence. When you got to know her a bit better, you’d notice her quick, sharp wit, especially if you overheard her in a verbal sparring match with someone she couldn’t stand, such as Tara, her arch rival. She’s super direct, with no tolerance for passive-aggressive games or people beating around the bush. That said, she’s overly emotional and overly sensitive, and you might find her reactions to things melodramatic. I think you’d definitely find her a little hard to handle sometimes. Some of her decisions and actions are questionable. While writing her at points, I wanted to scream at her for making stupid decisions, but I had to let her do things her way and figure stuff out for herself.

I know sometimes authors have a hard time with things like Writer’s Block. Do you have any weird/fun writing rituals that helped you write Torn?

I always have a strong cup of coffee sitting on my desk. My mind just slows to a halt without it. As for weird things, well here’s one: I have a thing for different colored metallic pens. I love the way the ink glitters in the sunlight, and when I’m creating characters, I write each one up in a different color: Say, copper for Tristan, silver for Isadora, metallic green for Tara, and so on. I have no idea why, but whenever I feel blocked, if I start scribbling with one of my metallic pens, I get over it quickly and things just start to flow naturally.

Also, I have a few songs I play over and over when I’m stuck. For instance, when I need to kick a mini-block in the butt, I’ll grab my iPod, put on Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl, and dance like crazy all around my apartment.

If you were trapped on a desert island with only one book for the rest of forever, which book would it be and why?

Hands down, Federico Garcia Lorca’s Collected Poems. Yup. Poetry. I know, right? Thing is, Lorca’s poetry is such a sensual experience. Every time I read a Lorca poem, I find some new way to look at the world. If all I had around me was endless heat and sand, I’d like something to remind me of the way early morning light splashes on a forest floor, or how orange blossoms smell, or what a long lingering kiss with my boyfriend feels like, you know?

Thanks so much for giving us this opportunity to get to know you and Isadora a little better, Ashley!

Check out Torn at these great websites!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (1)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Hey guys!

This is our first time participating in Teaser Tuesday. This week's book is The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda. I'm so excited to start reading this book, it's next on my list. The Hunt isn't released until May 8th, 2012 so be sure to keep a look out for it!

"'Only know this: I want a clear winner. It's always better that way. No ties. The public does not like ambiguity. if it comes down to just the two of you... well... there can be only one. You will know what to do. Correct?' 
Neither Ashley June nor I answer." {The Hunt, page 137}

*All quotes are from an unfinished ARC. Any quotations may differ from finished copy.*

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Congratulations 300 Follower Giveaway Winners!

Hey guys!

Last month we held a giveaway for all of you guys, our Pretty Followers. The entries were sorted, the winners selected and contacted. And today we're announcing them officially.

Our first place winner was Stephanie from Stepping Out of the Page! She won $25 in books from Book Depository!

Our second place winner was Sarah from Inklings Read! Sarah won a handmade, mystery bookmark!

Dreamcatcher Bookmark made by JewelsByShari.

It's so pretty, isn't it?! We fell in love when we saw it and just had to include it in our giveaway!

Congratulations again to our winners and a big THANK YOU to all of you Pretty Followers! We wouldn't be here without you!

Guest Post: Jolene Perry, author of Night Sky

Hey Pretties!

Today we have the pleasure of welcoming Jolene Perry, author of Night Sky, which released March 1st 2012.

After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honesty become addictive fast. This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her. 
As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums - she's way more than distraction. Jameson's falling for her fast. 
But Sky’s need for honesty somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl to keep him distracted from the disaster of his senior year.

Today, Jolene will be talking about her research process and how she researched Sky's Native American culture and background.

Jolene Perry, author of Night Sky

I will readily admit that I cheated in my research of Sky and her culture because it's something I grew up around.

I grew up in Alaska, and most of my family lives in Southeast Alaska, where Sky is from.

I did have to look a few maps to make sure I could create the kind of place she would live, and I didn't want to use an actual village, because I didn't want to offend anyone. I've been to the area, and knew generally where she was from, I just had to find a spot.

The Tlingit people have SO many amazing stories, and SO many amazing ways of showing their art, and their heritage, it was hard not to go crazy with it in the book. I wanted Sky's culture to come in, but not take over. I don't normally love multi-cultural books where the book is ABOUT the multi-culturalism instead of just telling a story. Hopefully I struck a nice balance between her heritage being part of Sky, but not a driving force in the plot.

I loved the quiet, introspective person Sky's background made her, and it was exactly what Jameson needed, and very different from Sarah, the other girl in the book. When I started writing Night Sky, I knew Jameson would meet another girl, but I didn't know she'd have a native background until I wrote her.

It did feel like cheating to use a girl from Alaska, but it was also one of those instances where writing what you know really helps solidify a character much earlier than she would have if I'd tried to do something I'm not familiar with. And it made her even more a "fish out of water" coming from what is almost rain-forest to the desert of Las Vegas. (Las Vegas was easy to write, because my husband and I lived there for a few years, and knew a LOT of people who worked in the casinos).

My husband's job as a prosecutor has also shown me some of the darker side of what can happen between people - especially in confined villages. I don't want to give away the plot, but the big turning point for Sky was taken from a case my husband had done a little over a year ago.

I think so often, there are stories all around us, and it's realizing that the things we know and experience, really are worth being told.

Thanks so much for the chance to be on your blog today!

~ Jolene

So there you have it. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us, Jolene!

And for everyone interested in checking out Jolene's book, Night Sky, check out these links.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout

Title: Obsidian
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publish Date: December 6th 2011

Starting over sucks. 
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up. 
And then he opened his mouth. 
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. 
The hot alien living next door marks me. 
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 
If I don’t kill him first, that is. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads
Obsidian by Jennifer L.Armentrout is the first book of the Lux series. Daemon is totally stab worthy just like the summary says. He does everything he can to annoy Kat. Daemon is a jerk to everyone but he is always nice to his sister Dee, which is weird right? Daemon is strange like that, guys would normally be nice to the hot girl next door and mean to their sisters but not Daemon. A lot of times in YA, heroines in a story can be whiney and annoying, but not Kat. She was pretty cool. Definitely a strong female character who knows how to handle an arrogant jerk like Daemon.

This is just one of those books that sticks with you. I caught myself thinking about it for weeks after I finished reading it. I think it’s the way Daemon treats Kat. He is a jerk ALL of the time. I can count on one hand how many times he was nice to Kat. But somehow you (and Kat!) just can't help but love him for it! In most books the bad boy starts to be nice to the girl after a little while. Daemon is a jerk right up until the last page.

I recommend Obsidian to you if you are a fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s other book Half-Blood. Obsidian is nearly impossible to find boring because Kat spends most of her time with Daemon, which means fighting, which equals plenty of laugh out loud moments for you! If you haven't read it yet, go on! Get your copy of Obsidian now!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bitterblue Faceook Giveaway!

Fans of Kristin Cashore rejoice!

Bitterblue is almost here. In honor of its May 1st release date, PenguinTeen is giving away 15 copies of the long awaited sequel to Graceling and Fire. Here's a synopsis of Bitterblue:

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past. Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

Click HERE to be taken to PenguinTeen's Facebook page to ENTER!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Review: Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words by Rachel Coker

Title: Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words
Author: Rachel Coker
Publisher: Zondervan
Publish Date: March 1, 2012

Can love really heal all things? If Sam Carroll hadn't shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie's heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

Allie is a troubled young girl. Taking care of a sick mother while she's dying, being sent away to Maine directly after the funeral. She had a right to be troubled. But she hangs on to her pain so strongly. She won't allow people in. Won't allow anyone to see her pain for what it is. She pushes everyone in her life away. It was frustrating to see how she hurt everyone who loved her away just by being distant.

I was not at all a fan of how coldly everyone treated Allie. Sure, they were nice to her and all, but no one ever spoke to the girl about how she felt. Her mother just died! And before that she'd been living with the stress of taking care of a sick woman. She was only fourteen, why did no one feel the need to console the poor little thing? It seemed like a huge oversight. The only person who even asked her about her mother was Irene at the end of the book. Talk about being years late with that one. No wonder Allie was so closed off to people.

I really enjoyed all of the characters in Interrupted. Irene was such a character. She was so spunky with her hot pink everything. Including a car. In the '40s! I didn't know they made anything hot pink in the '40s but hey! It totally worked for Irene. Sam was just adorable, following Allie around since they were kids. He was love-struck and you could totally tell. Charlie was just so cute I felt like I wanted to pinch her chubby little cheeks.

The fact that the story revolves around World War II intrigued me. Seeing these girls sitting at home, waiting to find out if they'd ever see their sweethearts or fiancées or husbands ever again was tragic. I've never read a book about what happened on the home front during the war, and most movies are about the war itself. This gave me a fresh perspective on what it means to be in a war. These women were put through so much. Most were either newly married or engaged, some were expecting children. And none knew if they'd ever see their significant others again. It really moved me to see a little bit of what they went through.

Interrupted does become a little bit religious towards the end, but I honestly can't say that it was a bad turn. Allie begins to find religion and starts to read the bible. In the story, it's what Allie needs to change who she is. Allie is basically learning about God and the bible for the first time since her mother didn't believe in God. I didn't feel it was so much preaching as it was Allie discovering a way to deal with her pain and fears. The only thing I can say is that when Allie finally does breakdown and ask God for help, she sure sounds a lot like a practiced Christian for someone who has supposedly hated Christians her entire life. That was my one little pet peeve. To me it just seemed to make Allie's character a little less sincere in her prayers.

All in all, I was very impressed with Coker's writing seeing how young she is. Despite being occasionally overly cheesy, Interrupted was a sweet and heart-warming novel. I found myself smiling through most of it and crying through the rest. And isn't that what makes a book great? I recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick read that will lift your spirits.

Add Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words to your Goodreads.

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