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Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon...

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks thro...

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Review: Into the Still Blue by Vero...

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe haven from the Aether storms before Sable and...

Panem

Second ‘Mockingjay’ Tea...

The Capitol is getting hacked. In the new teaser for Mockingjay, Part 1, we see the familiar faces of President Snow (Donald Sutherland), Peeta...

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Exclusive Cover Reveal: Denton Litt...

I'm thrilled to be giving you an exclusive first look at the cover for Lance Rubin's upcoming debut Denton Little's Deathdate, which will be published...

Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon–when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach–an “outlander”–in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life…and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

If you’ve been around the fantasy world at all in the last fifteen years, you’ve probably heard of Diana Gabaldon. The Outlander series is one of the most popular and best selling series in that world. It’s been on my to-read list for an embarrassingly long time. But now that they’re making a TV show (Starz) out of it, I knew I had to read it before the show ruined it for me forever.

Outlander is many things. Part time travel, part fantasy, part romance, part adventure, and a WHOLE-LOTTA-BOOK. It’s a long book. It’s sequels are long too. It’s a daunting task to think about taking on a series full of eight-hundred page books, but in this case I think it’s worth it.

Set against the backdrop of tribal Scotland, Outlander follows Claire on the adventure of a lifetime. She disappeared from post world war two Scotland, and into the middle of the English oppression of the scots. Things only get crazier from there as she meets and falls in love with the notorious Scot and outlaw Jamie Fraser. (Who, of course, is a hero any woman would wish for.)

In the attempts to clear Jamie’s name of a crime he did not commit there are many injuries, near-death experiences, torture, wolves, perhaps a wedding, and lots of sex. Without spoilers, I think that this book (and it’s new TV show) is about to spring into the world and be called the ‘new’ Game of Thrones for both it’s scale and it’s addictive story.

The TV show is premiering August 9th, so read it before it’s too late!

Review: Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

stillblueheaderThe race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do—and they are just as determined to stay together.

Within the confines of a cave they’re using as a makeshift refuge, they struggle to reconcile their people, Dwellers and Outsiders, who are united only in their hatred of their desperate situation. Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. Then Roar arrives in a grief-stricken fury, endangering all with his need for revenge.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble an unlikely team for an impossible rescue mission. Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival–he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her earth-shattering Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

I tend to be wary going into the final book of a series. There’s a moment when I’m absolutely terrified, wondering if my heart will be broken, or I’ll regret knowing what happened, or even that I might be over the moon with happiness. So I was relieved when I absolutely loved the ending of the Under the Never Sky trilogy.

In this book we see Aria and Perry’s relationship blossom through impossible situations and choices. We see true growth by them as a couple which leads to an incredibly satisfying end or both their combined and personal character arcs. In addition, they are not the only characters which receive more than satisfactory endings, almost everyone grows or changes in a visible way.

But perhaps most impressively is the way in which Rossi handles the book 3 conundrum–how to you reach and surpass a goal that has been looked forward to for two entire books? As is the case with many recent trilogies, there is a journey to either a specific place, or a specific goal. A thing that will bring immense change to all the characters and most likely change their entire metaphorical–or in this case, literal–world.

When this goal is reached, it is neither overblown into a utopia or so underwhelming that it is disappointing. Rather, Aria and Perry’s new world has all the problems of their old one, because the same humans still inhabit it, and with them come the same set of relationships and prejudices. Yet, there is the knowledge that in this new world there can be change and overcoming, and that makes all the difference.

I thought that this trilogy ended beautifully, and I encourage everyone to read and enjoy this beautifully rendered fantasy.

Second ‘Mockingjay’ Teaser Released!

The Capitol is getting hacked.

In the new teaser for Mockingjay, Part 1, we see the familiar faces of President Snow (Donald Sutherland), Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), and Johanna (Jena Malone) as well as many Peacekeepers. President Snow is speaking about Unity when someone from District 13 hacks into the broadcast:

Here’s what the video description has to say:

#OnePanem CITIZENS: Never have we been more unified as a nation… The Capitol and the districts are bound together in solidarity, striving to forge a stronger future.
Join esteemed victors Peeta Mellark and Johanna Mason in their support of President Snow’s Panem Address, “Unity,” brought to you by Capitol TV in stunning 4K.
Register for Capitol TV updates and voice your Capitol Concerns at www.TheCapitol.PN. This is a Capitol Ministry of Information mandate.

Hypable predicts we’ll see a new teaser very soon:

Speculation: The third Mockingjay teaser (with Katniss finally making an appearance in which she’ll send a message to the people of Panem) will be released about two weeks from today. Then, the full-blown theatrical trailer will be released at San Diego Comic-Con. We think the trailer will drop at SDCC since Catching Fire’s premiered there last year.

Mockingjay, Part 1 opens in theaters this November, and Part 2 will be released next November.

What do you think of the new teaser?

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin + Q/A + Giveaway

deathdateI’m thrilled to be giving you an exclusive first look at the cover for Lance Rubin’s upcoming debut Denton Little’s Deathdate, which will be published April 14, 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers.

When asked about his cover, Rubin said, “I seriously love it. The font, the grass, the hearse heading down, down, down. It really captures the offbeat dark humor of the book.”

Compared to the likes of John Green, Matthew Quick, David Levithan, and more, this snarky and outrageous book will make you die laughing. To see what I mean, read the catalog summary below:

Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that’s in just two days-the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle-as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister. (Though he’s not totally sure-see, first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager’s life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on. Read more

Cover Reveal: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

USA Today Book Buzz revealed a first look at the cover of Gayle Forman’s next teen book, I Was Here, this morning. The story is inspired by a non-fiction article that Gayle Forman wrote on teen suicide.

I Was Here is about a morbid online suicide support group that’s less than supportive.

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From Book Buzz:

Aimed at readers 14 and older, it begins when a girl named Meg sends a time-delayed e-mail to her best friend before killing herself by drinking a bottle of industrial cleaner. The friend, Cody, ends up investigating Meg’s final days and how she was influenced by an online support group.

Forman says she was inspired by reporting she did for a 2008 article in Cosmopolitan magazine about three young women who had attempted or committed suicide: “One of the women, a 19-year-old named Suzy Gonzales, really stayed with me, in part because as I spoke to her friends and relatives what emerged was a picture of a bright, creative, charismatic non-conformist.”

Forman, who began her career writing for Seventeen, adds, “I kept having to remind myself I wasn’t profiling an up-and-coming actor or musician or writer. I was profiling someone I would never in fact meet.”

The real-life Suzy inspired the fictional Meg, who takes her own life in the opening pages of I Was Here.

To read an exclusive excerpt from I Was Here, head over to Book Buzz.

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