Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell
Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell
The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. GOODREADS.
My Thoughts: This book impressed me. I was expecting the overused and abused trope of the ugly nobody gets the hot jerk etc. And OK it was there, but there were some truly beautiful girl power, love thy self, don’t judge others moments in this book.
The main character of Bianca was easily likable as were her two besties. Experiencing them navigate boys, high school hierarchy and family drama was actually quite entertaining and heart warming.
Keplinger’s writing flowed smoothly and I can actually see myself re-reading this book again if i’m ever in need of a quick fun feel good pick me up. I gave it FOUR what a pleasant surprise STARS.
Also: I watched the movie adaptation straight after the finishing the book, in which they changed so much the story was barely recognizable. Sadly I felt that they left out all the girl power friendship moments that actually made the book worthwhile! 😦
I know what you’re thinking; Woman what are you doing the year ain’t over yet. But come on! I’ve got a baby due and I’m still not ready for its arrival. If I do manage to do any reading from now until after new-years it will be a miracle.
Here is a few of my favourite reads of 2016:Lynette Noni’s The Medoran Chronicles. I am super keen for the April 2017 release of the third book (3rd out of 5) Draekora. This series has it all; a fantastic parallel fantasy world, show downs between good and evil, tested friendships, a strong female lead, great supporting cast and MAGIC! It follows teen Alex as she discovers this parallel world and the strength to be the hero that it needs. Oh yeah and It’s written by an Aussie, #LoveOzYA what more could you want. Goodreads.
Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’s SAGA. If you haven’t heard of SAGA you must have been living under a rock for the past three years. This epic sci-fi/fantasy (for mature readers) follows new parents Marko and Alana (narrated by Hazel, their daughter) as they dodge those who don’t approve of their inter species family and seek to destroy them. Marko and Alana strive to create a loving family and figure out how parenthood works all while avoiding the battles going on around the universe due to a long running galactic war between their peoples. Goodreads.
Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. The Homo sapiens Agenda. I finished this book with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye. I actually just sat on the couch and hugged the book. Read it! It’s heartwarming and beautiful and you can’t help but fall in love with Simon as you experience him grow and learn to accept himself. Goodreads.
Will Kostakis! Far out I love this fella’s writing. The Sidekicks & The First Third are two brilliant stand alone #LoveOzYA masterpieces. Both touch on family, friendship, sexually and growing up Aussie style – Ok, ok, Greek/Australian style when it comes to The First Third, but both are set in Sydney. Goodreads.
The Mother in me fell in love with Simon (Simon vs. The Homo sapiens Agenda) Bill (The First Third) and Thommo (The Sidekicks) I wanted hug them and make them feel better. Harley, bloody Harley (The Sidekicks) Harley is the boy I loved, the one that no matter how old I grow a part of me will always fall for. There of course were other wonderful characters in these books, but I am trying to keep this post brief LOL)
Christopher Currie’s Clancy of the Undertow. I saw so much of my teenage self in Clancy. Clancy is a beautiful, truly connectable character. The story touches on family, friendship and sexually, as you get to experience Clancy grow and discover who she is meant to be. It is a powerful and heartwarming read. Beautiful #LoveOzYA all the way! Goodreads.
Jessica Shirvington’s Disruption duology. This duology is brilliant. I read both books back to back in a few days. We get blackmail, bad guy bullshit and sassy bitch brilliance in 833 pages of utterly enthralling action. Lead character Maggie is a strong young woman that is not to be messed with and who you can’t help but fall for. #LoveOzYA Goodreads.
Ambelin Kwaymullina’s The Tribe series. I’ve still to read the last book in this series, I purchased it earlier in the year, but i’m too scared! I don’t want it to be over. This is a dystopian like no other I’ve read; for one thing it’s better then most other books I’ve read labeled dystopian. The series is fresh and exciting with strong leading female characters, a focus on friendship, connecting with the natural world around us, doing what you believe is right and protecting the ones you love. #LoveOzYA Goodreads.
Katherine Hurley’s Griever’s Mark series. I’m not sure exactly what it is about the first two books in this series that captivated me so. I’m still to read the third, fear of endings and all. But from the moment I finished reading the first book I haven’t been able to get the two main characters Astarti and Logan out of my head. So that’s got to count for something. I also really loved the earth magic that Hurley created. Goodreads.
I really should hurry up and read Georgie Spider and Unbound, as there are way too many fictional characters with unfinished story lines running around in my head at the moment.
Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins, Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, Jennifer E. Smith
Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo – 4/5 Stars. The End of Love by Nina LaCour – 4/5 Stars. Last Stand at the Cinegore by Libba Bray – 2/5 Stars. Sick Pleasure for A and U by Francesca Lia Block – 2/5 Stars. In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins – 4/5 Stars. Souvenirs by Tim Federle – 3/5 Stars. Inertia by Veronica Roth – 5/5 Stars. Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skovron – 3/5 Stars. Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert – 5/5 Stars. Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare – 3/5 Stars. A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith – 5/5 Stars. The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman – 3/5 Stars.
The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.
At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England. Goodreads View.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…
But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind? Goodreads View.
My Thoughts: Oh how cute this was! Falling in love with Levi was a lovely distraction 😛 I was absorbed by Cath’s world and got to take a break from my life for a day. Reading this was like getting a soul warming hug. FOUR I really liked it STARS. Nawww book hugs!
“You are here because you were born different. Born with a gift … and a curse.”
Big things are expected of Pip. Can he deliver? Magic is all around him and he is expected to be a great mage, but the path before Pip isn’t simple. Will he fulfill his parents’ expectations? Will he fulfill his own?
In Pip’s world, only those born with defects or deformities can wield magic. Struggling to find his place in an institute of talented mages, Pip sets out on a perilous quest to help his master face the suffocating cost of her gift. For every mage has a price; but in return for that price is power. Magic. The ability to shape the world and create wonders. But is it enough? Is the price of magic worth it?
K.J. Taylor published her first work, The Land of Bad Fantasy, when she was just 18 and went on to publish another six titles in quick succession. Published by the Black Phoenix Publishing Collective, The Price of Magic is a stand-alone fantasy novella encompassing the best of Taylor’s creative appeal.
To celebrate the release of The Price of Magic cover, the Black Phoenix Publishing Collective is running an eBook giveaway competition. Sign up to the Black Phoenix Publishing Collective mailing list, and WIN an eBook copy of The Price of Magic by KJ Taylor. Follow this link to be part of the conversation: http://www.blackphoenixpublishing.com/contact.php.
Competition is open to Australian residents only, and will run until 5PM 13 December 2016. The winner will be announced the very next day on the bPPc Facebook page!!
See the bPPc Facebook page for further details. Terms and conditions can be found here: http://www.blackphoenixpublishing.com/Terms-and-Conditions.php
This beautiful cover was designed and developed by Brisbane-based artist and graphic designer Sabrina Raven. You can view her portfolio HERE.
Eager to escape the small town of Tether, Michigan, once home to 90s corporate polluter Dutch Chemical, high school junior Nessa Kurland is focused on winning a college scholarship for cross-country running. Motivated to improve her times, she fits running into her busy schedule between school, helping out at home, and a weekend job at a vet’s office. One night she is out on a stealth training run when she comes across a trapped wolf. Trusting her animal skills from working for the vet, Nessa tries to free the animal but is bitten badly instead. The first clue that something has changed is her freakishly quick recovery. A wound that should take weeks to heal is gone in days. Other changes, both powerful and frightening, begin to emerge. She can hear conversations a quarter of a mile away and smell the cold weather coming. Finally, one day, she is transformed into a full werewolf. In this state, she begins to see and understand things about Tether that powerful people want to keep hidden. What is a Nobel laureate doing working one day per week in a small-town medical clinic? Is the interest from some top college track scouts genuine or a ruse to get her off the scent? Managing her power drastically alters the course of her daily life. The question is what will Nessa do with the secrets she learns, and what will others do once they realize what she knows? Now Nessa must navigate the social, romantic, and academic challenges of junior year while coming face to face with true human darkness, all while she tries to make peace with her new, wild nature.
Weregirl by C.D. Bell is a contemporary YA thriller filled with humor, romance, adventure, and a real-world relevant storyline. This fall’s must-read, set for release on November 1, 2016, Weregirl is a breathtakingly fun, not-to-be-missed addition to one of today’s most exciting literary genres – crafted by a truly feminist team of authors who passionately believe that teen girls deserve a better teen girl protagonist.
Created by a talented group of six female writers and inspired by the working tradition of television team writing, C. D. Bell is a Chooseco author pseudonym developed with teen author Cathleen Davitt Bell, who has written I Remember You, among other novels for young adults.
Expected publication: November 1st 2016 by Chooseco. TEEN ages 12+.
“All stories are about wolves. All worth repeating, that is. Anything else is sentimental drivel.” – Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin. This was the quote at the start of the copy I read. Now I might not totally agree Wolves are the only thing worth writing about, but I do love stories about wolves and I liked this quote.
The Basics: The story follows Nessa as she struggles and strives to reach her dreams of earning a college scholarship through hard work and dedication. Nessa’s world is turned upside down by a run in with two wolves in her local woods and some revelations about her towns so called saviours, a malevolent corporation by the name of Paravida.
The Good: The supportive friendship between Nessa and Bree and the way the two girls interacted kept the book feeling warm and inviting even as some rather nasty goings on within the town setting were being discovered. Nessa & Bree were both easily likable characters. Actually other than the Paravida employees all the other characters were likable, so the good / bad set up was simple, but strong.
I liked the way it felt being with Nessa in wolf form and I enjoyed the way this book did the whole ”werewolf thing”. The wolf pack Nessa enters into is beautiful and they were easy to connect with. Their mission was more about keeping balance in the natural world then any kind of solo personal agenda. I would even have to list Paravida’s genetically modified ”bad” wolves as a positive because their plight at the end of the book is what I think will get people to read the second book, wanting to find out what becomes of them.
The Bad: I really enjoyed the first 80% of this book and was thinking it was going to be a solid Four Star read, but the last 20% felt wrong somehow and kind of lost me. I’ve spent the last week trying to rationalise why I felt this way.
There is a werewolf “The Grey Wolf” and as the reader you have suspicions very early on as to who he is, but it felt like Nessa never had a big ”oh my god the grey wolf is” moment. I think the story needed her to have it. Nessa is supposed to be this strong, smart and capable young woman and I felt It made Nessa look stupid that she doesn’t figure it out sooner. I feel like if it had happened after her first trek into the Paravida’s compound it would have made the two characters’ connection stronger and the ending more solid. I didn’t need her to confront the Grey Wolf on his human identity, but just to have her identify him.
Conclusion: I would have liked to have found out more about all the wolves and I will be interested to see what becomes of the Paravida pack in the next book. All in all, I’m happy I read this book, it was well worth it and over all I did enjoy it. I want to rate this at 3.8 stars, that’s how I’m feeling.
Oh wow, where do I start. I finished the last page of Disruption, made myself a fresh cuppa tea then opened up Corruption and continued Maggie’s journey. It was 833 pages of utterly enthralling action. Let me calm down and try to break this down (without spoilers).
What if a microchip could identify your perfect match?
What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?
Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation’s M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.
Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loves most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it.
Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer – heir to the M-Corp empire – has become key to Maggie’s plan. But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin’s involvement destroy everything she’s fought for?
In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.
Published April 1st 2014 by HarperCollins. Goodreads View.
My Thoughts: Disruption sucked me in hard and fast. I wanted Maggie to succeed in her mission, all the while wishing more for her and her family. This books gives us blackmail, bad guy bullshit and sassy bitch brilliance. Maggie is a strong young woman that is not to be messed with. Maggie has worked hard to build up the skills she needs to succeed and she radiates a powerful darkness, but as the reader we get to see past the mentally disconnecting and physical conditioning she has created as her Armor to the real Maggie underneath, the broken soul who just wants to put things right. This book delivers us all the big game players, even if it doesn’t reveal all their true field positions. There is a big plot twist late on and a cliff-hanger that will have you needing to get your hands on the next book.
How do you live with yourself when you’ve deceived the one you love?
How do you move on when the person you’ve been fighting to save betrays you?
Two years ago, Maggie Stevens began the hunt.
Four weeks ago, Maggie’s world fell apart, when she finally
found what she’d been looking for. And when Quentin,
who had blindly trusted her, unravelled her web of lies.
Now, Maggie lives in the dark. But she’s not about to stay there.
Not when she still has to bring M-Corp down.
Not when there is still a chance she could win him back.
In the exhilarating conclusion to Disruption, Maggie must do
whatever it takes to show the world the truth.
And the price for her quest?
Published November 1st 2014 by HarperCollins. Goodreads View.
My Thoughts: Corruption! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. We really get to know the characters and they feel real, well they did for me. Gus, Maggie, Quin, Travis, Morris and Liam – I loved them all! Actually the character Gus reminded me of a friend of mine. The scary thing with this dystopian is that it really isn’t that far-fetched. I’ve come to realise that the more, oh shit that could totally happen here in the next 10-20 years, a dystopian is the more I enjoy it. Hmmmm yet I love fantasy novels with dragons and trolls, yeah I have issues – ANYWAYS. This book has high stakes, high action, big plot twists, betrayal and forgiveness, world saving, love making (no sex scenes as such), corporate corruption and personal redemption. Maggie’s life tidy’s up nicely at the end, which is probably the most unrealistic part of the whole story, that and Quin’s ability to forgive. But I LOVE HAPPY ENDINGS so it’s all good. Well the ending is only as happy as it can be when a shit loads of innocent people have had to suffer and die along the way, but the bad guys get what’s coming to them, so that’s happy ever after enough for me.
The Disruption duology is going on my Recommend-to-everyone-list along with the The Tribe Series, The Medoran Chronicles, The Illuminae Files and anything by the fantastic Will Kotastis. #LoveOzYA people, love that OZ YA!
With just one step, sixteen-year-old Alexandra Jennings’s world changes—literally.
Dreading her first day at a new school, Alex is stunned when she walks through a doorway and finds herself stranded in Medora, a fantasy world full of impossibilities. Desperate to return home, she learns that only a man named Professor Marselle can help her… but he’s missing.
While waiting for him to reappear, Alex attends Akarnae Academy, Medora’s boarding school for teenagers with extraordinary gifts. She soon starts to enjoy her bizarre new world and the friends who embrace her as one of their own, but strange things are happening at Akarnae, and Alex can’t ignore her fear that something unexpected… something sinister… is looming.
An unwilling pawn in a deadly game, Alex’s shoulders bear the crushing weight of an entire race’s survival. Only she can save the Medorans, but what if doing so prevents her from ever returning home?
Will Alex risk her entire world—and maybe even her life—to save Medora? Goodreads View.
My Thoughts: What a fast and fun read this book was! A really strong start to what I’m sure will be a entertaining and captivating series. I’ve already got book number two lined up ready to read :-). The main characters we easily likable and I fell for them immediately. The story was easy to read and flowed really well. FIVE “I loved it and would happily re-read it” STARS.
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. Goodreads View.
My Thoughts: I had the biggest smile on my face when I finished this book. I had flip flopped over reading it because I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype. Believe the hype! Seriously it has topped my favorite reads of the year so far. I got lost in Simon’s world and would happily go back and get lost again. Simon is freaking adorable and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him struggle, fumble and come out on top. FIVE STARS for this must read adorable feel good story. Headless Simon even made it onto my Instagram >>
“A special one-shot written and illustrated by Sarah Andersen (Sarah’s Scribbles)! When GIR brings home a flea-ridden stray cat, ZIM is furious—until he finds out what the cat does to Dib. Dib’s sneezing and covered in hives—could the magical powers of this “”cat”” be harnessed and turned against all of mankind? Could the earth FINALLY be ZIM’s?” Goodreads View.
My Thoughts: Invader Zim, the Invader Zim from my childhood in a comic written by Sarah Anderson. How could I not read this! I love Sarah’s Scribbles.
The comic was a quick and fun read. I think Sarah’s humor came shining through in Zim’s use of kitty cats and puppy dogs to turn his arch nemesis Dib into an allergy ridden puss ball. THREE ‘I liked it’ STARS.
Taylor is the author of the “Antidote” trilogy. She began studying at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2013 and is getting a degree in English. She enjoys reading and writing instead of doing her homework. She is currently working on “Prospect,” the second book in the trilogy.
Guest Post: The Writing Process
Truthfully, I had no clue what I was doing when I wrote my first book. I had written many short stories and poems. They eased my mind and I realized just how much I loved to write. One night, my brother put on the movie, I, Robot. I was writing a quite terrible short story about aliens (*shakes head in shame), and it hit me. What if the world was turning into robots? I was a senior in High School with a big idea. I thought I would just write a quick short story and call it a day. But my heart wouldn’t let this idea go. My short story turned into fifty pages, then eighty pages. This is when “Antidote” was born.
I wrote the entire book out in my journal. Mind you, it was a horrible rough draft. Words scribbled all over the page, but when I was done. It was all I thought about. I began to extend it. I wrote out an entire trilogy on paper. I told my family about it. I told it to anyone who would listen to me. I read it out loud to people who wanted to hear. When I realized that people were into the idea, I began to type it out.
I typed it pretty fast. It took me about a month and a half to finish. I typed every night. Sometimes even ditching the journal ideas and writing new scenes. It was such a good time for me. The book came so naturally to me that it was as if I was meant to write this book. I was just typing it for myself but when I got to 210 pages, I said to myself “why not try and get published?”
I started to send it out to many places and finally self-published in 2014. I began typing out the next two books and sent my second book to Booktrope. That is when my dream came true. I have my dream team, my dream cover. Most of all, my goals seem to be closer than ever.
In 2016, what I thought sent my world crashing down, was actually a small earthquake leading to something great. Booktrope closed down. I thought it was kind of the end of the world. That’s when Patchwork Press came into my life and changed it once more, and for the better. I feel in control. I feel like I am with a group of writers who appreciate me and are behind me every step of the way.
My publishing story is much different than other authors, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I have gained experience from self publishing and being with a small press. I know that I can use this knowledge for the rest of my book writing days.
My writing process may be a little different than most, but it works for me. As a writer, you MUST find what works for you. Not what works for others. This is your dream. This is your passion. When the time is right, it will come to you. By “it” I mean the story or even the patience to tell your story to the world. For me, it came naturally because I feel like this was the story I was meant to share.
Writing the Story:
Dialogue is my strong suit. Character building? Not so much. Since I know my own self, it is easy to begin to work on the things that don’t come so easily to me. When it came to sitting down to write, I found my own habits and tendencies. I found what worked for me. Since I was writing in high school, school came first. Now that I am still writing, I am in college. So I have to put school first (yeah right) and writing next.
I had to find the perfect time to write as well. I write at nighttime. It is my way of cooling down from the day. Sometimes I’ll put music on. It helps me find the right things to say when I feel like I can’t find them. I’ve been able to find the time and place that allows me to be free of the world and write my books. That is my advice to writers; find that one place that makes you feel like you can do anything and write. For me, that is alone in my room, particularly at 11 at night, with music to escort my thoughts.
My goal every night is to write at least one chapter. If what I am writing is complete crap (and trust me, there are days like that,) I stop and go to bed. I reevaluate my life (kidding) and by the morning, I am refreshed and remember why I love this. This is a passion. Without it, I couldn’t stay up countless nights and sometimes forget my homework for school the next day.
Basically I go through a lot of editing. I will be the one who goes into my book fifteen times and still miss a lot. My eyes, and my great friend, Edee’s eyes, alone edited the first edition of “Antidote.” I have found, it takes more than us to fix a book and it’s problems. Now that I have edited the book so many times, I have found my bad habits. I see that I can have plot holes without even realizing it! Here is my advice to you: When you think you’re done, you’re NOT. So the editing/publishing process for “Antidote” went like this (2016 edition).
Now that I have republished “Antidote” one last time with Patchwork Press, I have started to edit “Prospect” with its finishing touches.
That is just a super dry run of how it went. I was an amateur. I had to change a lot. Sometimes I would write things that didn’t make any sense and would have “What??” in the margins. I look at writing completely different now. My mind is stronger and sharper now by seeing the mistakes I made. The editing process takes a lot longer for me now because I thoughtfully/logically put words together. I know that it isn’t just the story that matters. Every single word must make a difference and an impact somehow.
What I’ve Learned:
I have learned a lot from my experiences with writing. I have learned my own strengths and most importantly, my weaknesses. Most of all, I have learned why I am here, as a writer. I am here to write for my happiness. I am here to write so I can bring joy to others as books bring joy to me. I want to change someone’s life. Make them crave books as so many books have done to me. Right now, it isn’t about being successful in book writing. It is about learning the ropes and one day I know I will be a fabulous writer. It is a long road ahead. But it is the road I want to be on forever.
Antidote (Antidote, #1) by Taylor Hondos
Life sucks, and then you rot. No one knows how Dermadecatis is contracted, but its existence has changed everything for 18-year-old Lena, in this riveting debut from Taylor Hondos.
No contact with other people.
Masks must be worn in public at all times.
Four months ago men, women and children alike began to rot from the inside out, and the world as we know it changed forever. Life goes on, but now everything revolves around the need to survive and find a cure for Dermadecatis, the disease that Lena Alona’s father discovered.
Unfortunately for Lena and everyone else who is desperate to survive, her father’s secrets died when he did.
Published June 1st 2016 by Patchwork Press (first published May 30th 2014)
Though Japan has been devastated by a century of civil war, Risuko just wants to climb trees. Growing up far from the battlefields and court intrigues, the fatherless girl finds herself pulled into a plot that may reunite Japan — or may destroy it. She is torn from her home and what is left of her family, but finds new friends at a school that may not be what it seems.
Magical but historical, Risuko follows her along the first dangerous steps to discovering who she truly is.
Kano Murasaki, called Risuko (Squirrel) is a young, fatherless girl, more comfortable climbing trees than down on the ground. Yet she finds herself enmeshed in a game where the board is the whole nation of Japan, where the pieces are armies, moved by scheming lords, and a single girl couldn’t possible have the power to change the outcome. Or could she?
Thank you NetGalley and David Kudler for eCopy in exchange for an honest review.
The book opens with a rumbling of tummies and I immediately felt a fondness growing in my heart for Risuko. After the death of Risuko’s father her mother can barely keep enough food on the table for her and her sister. She ends up selling Risuko to a woman who at first seems to just have been travelling through. And so the adventure begins with the protagonist Kano Murasaki aka Risuko (Squirrel) proving herself to be a remarkable girl early on.
Poor Risuko has to get her head around being ripped from her home and dropped in a situation like nothing she’s never ever dealt with before. She discovers new friendships, unravels mysteries and feels the sting of betrayal. I found the story engaging and fast paced. I loved the plot and the whole ‘school’ for creating very special women (yeah I’m not saying any more than that or I’ll give away some of the mystery).
I was immediately suspicious of Lady Chiyome and found it quite sad when Risuko’s mother sold her. Actually the only negative feelings I have towards the book are because of Lady Chiyome. I had no problem with her being cold and calculating, she should be, but by the 70% mark the way she spoke to everyone around her was grating on my nerves. I found her speech to be unnecessarily nasty. She hadn’t seemed so mean spirted at the beginning and it made me end up really disliking her. Unfortunately, I do think this effected my overall enjoyment of the book.
Risuko and the friends she makes, Emi and Aimaru are extremely likable and I look forward to watching the trio grow throughout the series. I think the world Kudler has conjured up could be a brilliant series and I am looking forward to seeing what he does with it next.
Four “I really enjoyed it” Stars.