Tag Archives: Gennifer Albin

Unraveled (Crewel World #3) – Gennifer Albin

Unraveled (Crewel World #3) – Gennifer AlbinTitle: Unraveled (Crewel World #3) by Gennifer Albin
Publishing Info: October 7, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: Audible
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: November 24, 2015
Related Posts: Crewel (Crewel World #1)

Autonomous. Independent. Dangerous. They tried to control her. Now she’ll destroy them.
Things have changed behind the walls of the Coventry and new threats lurk in its twisted corridors. When Adelice returns to Arras, she quickly learns that something rotten has taken hold of the world and Cormac Patton needs her to help him reestablish order. However, peace comes at a terrible price. As the Guild manipulates the citizens of Arras, Adelice discovers that she’s not alone, and she must let go of her past to fight for mankind’s future. She will have to choose between an unimaginable alliance and a deadly war that could destroy everyone she loves.

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Poor UNRAVELED. This was another series I just waited too long to finish and I totally lost steam with it. I ended up actually grabbing the audiobook for this to make some progress and finally finish out this series but I just couldn’t quite get into it. I also do feel like a good book is still a good book and even though I took a long time to read UNRAVELED, that wasn’t the only issue. I really wasn’t able to fall back into it and this book really lost the familiarity for me. I felt like the characters had changed — which isn’t a bad thing at all — but I did miss the banter and sarcasm that I felt was much more prevalent in the first two books.

I also had a bit of trouble with the fact that there were some things that popped up in this book that I don’t remember at all from CREWEL or UNALTERED. Yes, they were things that would have popped up later in the series and especially in a conclusion but I love when authors are able to layer their books/series so things so huge and series-changing at least have a small mention before they alter the entire course of a book. I did struggle with a few things like that with UNRAVELED and I just wish there was at least some mention of some of these really large concepts before they came into play. 

I was actually fairly disappointed with the ending. I suppose it’s more of a personal preference but the way that everything played out seemed abrupt and unsatisfying. I was working on catching up to all of these major ideas and concepts and then once it was all over, it took a bit too long to wrap up. Without spoiling anything, it really there was one final question to answer and I just wasn’t happy with how it was answered and how long it took for the one final reveal.

There were things that I enjoyed about the book while reading/listening but looking back on it now, I feel like I barely remember what happened and everything else was more of a memory of what I had read in CREWEL and ALTERED. Again, I think it was mostly the fact that I just took so long to finish this series. I think I could have been in a higher rating-range had I read it sooner but I also think it still wouldn’t have been a stellar finish for me no matter what. view_from_goodreads1

“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Adelice // Character Obsessions: Saving the world, love, family. 
I felt so disconnected from Adelice in this book. I just really felt like she lost all of her personality and although she still had that drive to save the world, I just couldn’t click with her at all here. I just really struggled.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Finishing series. I really am trying to catch up on some of the series that Just need to finish and soon!
Left Me Wanting More: Connection. It just wasn’t there for me. Between waiting to finish, the characters, new concepts, slow pacing… This one just didn’t do it for me.

Addiction Rating
Read it?

I suppose if you’re read books one and two and enjoyed them, then it’s worth reading to finish up the trilogy. If you weren’t a fan of the first two, I don’t know if this one will convince you.

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BOOKS LIKE UNRAVELED

(Click the cover to see my review!)

DIVERGENT    THE VAULT OF DREAMERS

Fierce Reads Tour Fall 2014 (Chicago): Recap, Author Interview, and Giveaway!

FIERCE READS TOUR

Marissa Meyer, Gennifer Albin, Jessica Brody, and Nikki Kelly
Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Arlington Heights, IL
October 10, 2014

Macmillan is amazing. The Fierce Reads tour is really always one of my favorite tours and I was SO happy to accept the offer from Macmillan to not only be the official blogger on this stop of the tour, but also to moderate the event! I was so excited but admittedly terribly nervous too! (Not to mention how nervous I was meeting Marissa Meyer for the first time!!!) But I buckled down, put my questions together, and I was so ready to get my interview on with the Fierce Reads ladies!

I had a blast interviewing the Fierce Reads ladies! Let’s see what they had to say on books, writing, and more!

(Portions edited for time and reading purposes and will not affect the overall outcome of the show interview.)

Brittany: If you had to describe your book as THIS meets THAT — like Dracula meets Mean Girls — what would yours be?
Jessica Brody: Mine I’ve always said is Bourne Identity with an Inception-like twist.
Marissa Meyer: I would say that mine is Star Wars meets The Brothers Grimm.
Gennifer Albin: The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Matrix.
Jessica: I like Madmen meets The Matrix.
Gennifer:do like Madmen meets The Matrix…
Nikki Kelly: I’m gonna look to Jessica to answer this one for me!
Jessica: Well, Supernatural meets… City of Bones?
Nikki: Everyone wants to say Twilight —
Jessica: It’s not Twilight, though. It’s very different.
Nikki: It’s not — it’s very different. Maybe True Blood. Supernatural meets True Blood? Although that’s quite risqué.
Marissa: Is string theory the theory that’s all about different dimensions?
Gennifer: No, it’s universes are on strings, basically. Time is a string.
Nikki: What was that movie where [whoops, that’s a spoiler! Taken out so we don’t spoil LAILAH for you!] Maybe Supernatural meets City of Bones, then.
Jessica: The Mortal Instruments meets Supernatural.
Nikki: Yeah, we’ll go with that!

Brittany: Were there any major influences from other authors or books that really inspired your writing?
Marissa: Authors or books specifically?
Brittany: Either one. Or movies… TV…
Marissa: Well my biggest influences are Firefly, which is the most awesome sci-fi TV show ever because in Firefly is has this crew of totally random people that have completely different personalities and it’s like, “Let’s stick them on a spaceship and see what happens!” So going into The Lunar Chronicles, it was like “I just really want a whole bunch of people on spaceship to see what happens!” And then my other big one is Sailor Moon which is really what gave me the idea for the Lunars and a lost princess.
Gennifer: I’m now imagining The Lunar Chronicles like it’s a reality show. [announcer voice] Four princess, contained on a spaceship! What happens when people stop getting along?
Jessica: Who will be voted off next? I’d watch that show!
[laughter]
Jessica: One has been locked in a satellite for years and the other is just crazy!
Marissa: We need to make this a thing!
[we all bring it back around to the question]
Jessica: I think I was really influenced by the TV show Lost in just kind of the mystery and… hopefully my ending is better than theirs, but just the way they pieced these little pieces together and I love the mystery of that show. And I’ve always loved movies like The Matrix and Inception, obviously, and The Bourne Identity because the memory loss thing. I just love the idea of someone waking up with no memories finding out they’re a superhero. That’s just… the dream, right?
Nikki: Better than waking up post-apocalyptic!
Jessica: Waking up and the world’s been taken over by zombies! Not the dream.
Gennifer: For some people it is…
[Zombie tangent!]
Gennifer: Umm, influences… well, I think ever book you ever read influences you in some way. I hate pointing to a specific book because then people like to be like, “OH, now I see how you ripped that off.” [laughter] So I’m gonna go with movies and TV! And I would say that the kind of back and forth banter came from my love of screwball comedies of the ’40s. So like Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant… that whole crew, how they were constantly going back and forth. Actually, I think Cary Grant would make a great Cormac… which is impossible but he would be very handsome and suave and do a good job with the one-liners. And I always used to joke that I went to the J.J. Abrams school of writing because I like to leave a chapter on a… BOOM! A major revelation to the person! Or they finally kissed! Everyone’s like, “God, now I have to read the next chapter!” And I’m like, “That’s the idea!” [everyone agrees] I had another writer say to me one time, “Well I like to end it so people can shut the book and go to bed” and I was like, “You’re doin’ it wrong!” Sometimes when people shut the book and go to bed, they forget to ever open it again. That happens to me!
Marissa: That’s so crazy that a writer would say that.
Jessica: Let’s hope we don’t know this person!
Gennifer: So the Alias school of writing because I didn’t watch lost… I stopped watching Fringe after the first season because I already the second book written but I was like, “I’m going to be influenced by this” so I stopped watching it and I just finally watched all of Fringe and I was like, “WOW!!! We were REALLY on the same page on lots of things! I’m really glad I didn’t watch you. Also, why don’t I write for your show?” So yeah, J.J. Abrams and screwball comedies from the 1940s. Obviously these two things go together.
Jessica: So another answer to the first question is, it’s screwball comedies meets J.J. Abrams.
Nikki: And I’d probably say, do you remember Sliders from the 90s?
Gennifer: YES, I own the box set!
Nikki: That’s when I first discovered Jerry O’Connell… and then he popped up in Scream! But I loved that show and all different dimensions, different to what’s going on in Lailah with three set dimensions but they would use their little um… doobie-doo device. [Talking about Sliders for a while and possible spoilers for the show! Which convinced me that I really do need to watch more of this show…] And the thing would probably be Tales of the Unexpected which was an 80s and 90s show as well which was 15 minutes shorts where at the end it was a “tale of the unexpected” so there was a twist at the end of each episode and I think that’s why I write with twists now.

Brittany: If you had one subplot or minor character that could go off on its own tangent, who or what would it be?
Marissa: I don’t know if I can answer that because it’s kind of something I’m not supposed to talk about! I’ll say that there IS a minor character that I’d like to do a tangent of, therefore I’m probably I’m going to do a tangent of and that’s all I’m going to say.
Nikki: Oooh, that’s really leaving them hanging! That’s how we do it.
Gennifer: Approved!
Jessica: I would love to do a story from Cody’s point of view — my little foster brother — but before he grows up and gets all old. Maybe like a middle grade! Him at thirteen. I did write a short story from Cody’s point of view from the first time he met Seraphina and I had a lot of fun with that because writing him from Serafina’s point of view is a whole different experience than writing from his head so. That’d be fun!
Gennifer: I feel like… We do these things for tour where we write short stories and a lot of times they’re other people so… I have one to do for Loricel so I have that one coming up for me, but I guess I’d probably go back and maybe do some prequel bits, actually, where you saw various characters before you met them. I think it’d be interesting to see Adelice’s parents [book two spoilers redacted!] So maybe them and I’ve had some people ask me to write Valerie and Enora’s love story but I’ve never had the time.
Nikki: I have written two short stories — one Jonah and one Gabriel which are online right now — and they’re set from Jonah and Gabriel’s point of views and they’re both prequels because Gabriel’s is set 100 years ago and Jonah’s is set before we meet him in the first book so probably 10 years, 11 years prior to chapter one of book one so I already got play with that and that was fun. But maybe Hanora if I was doing another one just because she’s an interesting character. Nobody likes her so I’d like to maybe just see how she sees things and her perspective of what’s going on when it all happens.
Jessica: I did write from Zen and Kalen’s point of view — two novellas! One is out now called Undiscovered and one is coming out in January called Unleashed.
Marissa: And I got to write a prequel about the evil queen that’s coming out in January called Fairest.
Gennifer: It was supposed to be a novella… like the rest of us… and then she went way above and beyond.
Marissa: Things just always get longer than they’re supposed to.
Brittany: No complaints here!

Brittany: What’s one gadget or invention in your books that you’re particularly proud of or fond of creating?
Jessica: I love that question! …. But I have to think about it.
Gennifer: I’d say mine are actually the panels that the sunrunners use in the second book because I spent a lot of time reading about solar energy so that I could use terminology that sounded like I had some idea what I was talking about and I actually DID at that point and so those could actually exist. I invented them. Kind of.
Nikki and Gennifer: Copywright Gennifer Albin.
Jessica: I have two. One I actually didn’t invent I just kind of… stole and then expanded but recently the creator of Tesla announced that he wants to create something called a hyperloop which is a little capsule that goes like, a zillion miles an hour using vacuum? Magnets? I can’t remember which one but you can basically get from LA to San Francisco in thirty minutes and he has a plan to implement this in California in the next 20 or 50 years, so I just made the assumption that in the future they will be using these to transport themselves around so I put that in book three which was super fun to establish a world like that. I feel like all future books they travel by train and I was like, “I don’t want to do a train. I want to do something else.” So I put the hyperloop in. One thing I created that actually got taken out — this is going to be a deleted scene — Diotech creates this genetic alteration that’s called the “eternal puppy” and it’s basically where you can make a puppy stay a puppy for its entire life.
Gennifer: That’s like, the scariest thing I’ve ever heard.
Jessica: But they would mature as a dog but they would always stay cute and little for their whole lives! But I had to cut that scene because it just really didn’t do anything for the plot.
Marissa: After hearing that I’m like “Why did Scarlet and Wolf waste all their time on that train…?” Why didn’t they take the hyperloop!?
Jessica: But then they wouldn’t have had the scene.
Marissa: For me again not really my invention but all of the characters in my future world have ID chips implanted in their wrists and this acts as their identification and their money and you can scan anybody’s thing and see their Facebook profile — except it’s not really Facebook but you know — and I think that would be just so convenient. Never have to carry your purse or your phone. And every time I have my Starbucks app and I go to pay with my phone I’m like “We’re almost there.”
Nikki: Probably in Lailah, the crystal in Styclar which gives life to their world. I don’t know if that’s an inventions so much as an energy source but it creates light and life. It was from my head and therefore… I don’t think there’s a crystal somewhere in another world is there that beams out lights at a certain frequency that creates life of beings and all sorts of fun things. And for things that are not my invention, you’ll probably notice there are lots of iPhones and Range Rovers in my book and that’s because I’m hoping for a sponsorship deal! [laughter]

Brittany: What types of scenes are your favorite to write?
[kissing noise and general agreement]
All except Jessica: Kissing scenes!
Jessica: I don’t like writing kissing scenes. I like writing fight scenes! Not like physical fight “take ’em down” scenes but arguments between characters. I feel like that’s when their true personalities come out.
Marissa: Like sparring, verbal repartee, that is fun.
Jessica: Yes! And I love when my characters get in fights when I don’t plan them to. I just had a scene where I was like this is just going to be a normal scene where they walk to the locker (I’m working on a contemporary book) and suddenly they started fighting and I was like, “YES! Let’s do it!” And then once I was done I was like, “Of course they have to fight here. There hasn’t been any tension for the past three chapters. There has to be a fight! Thank you characters for reminding me about that!”
Nikki: And then us three all like the kissing scenes. Kissing and swooning! [Gennifer and Marissa agree]
Marissa: Big, epic gestures of romance.

Brittany: Your books make up some of our biggest fandoms. What are some of yours?
Gennifer: Doctor Who!
Marissa: Firefly! Sailor Moon.
Nikki: Doctor Who.
Jessica: Frozen! Is that a fandom?
Gennifer: It’s like the biggest fandom out there right now!
Jessica: There’s a lot of four-year-olds in that fandom.
Gennifer: But that’s okay!
Jessica: What are they called? Froze-hards? Oh, that doesn’t sound right! [lots of laughter]
Gennifer: The Gilmore Girls fandom is coming back HARD core now that’s it on Netflix and I’m like, “LET’S GO! Let’s do this! Let’s get our movie.” And Veronica Mars. That’s big one for me. Oh my god, I’m a marshmallow!

Brittany: Have you ever received amazing fan art for your books or received and awesome gift from a fan?
Gennifer: Marissa’s actually wearing one.
Marissa: Yes, a fan actually made me this awesome Lunar Chronicles necklace with all the charms that represent the different fairy tales. I get a lot of awesome stuff from fans!
Nikki: Some of us don’t.
Gennifer: Who got all the gifts yesterday! Lailah cookies!
Nikki: I do get a lot of cookies! And Lucky Charms cereal. Just the marshmallows! It wasn’t even the crappy fiber stuff!

Brittany: Wine and cheese style question: what food or beverage item would be a good pairing for your book or series?
Jessica: Well mine’s kind of obvious because in Unremembered she eats a grilled cheese sandwich and it’s a very influential scene…
Marissa: A euphoric moment.
Jessica: It is because it’s the first thing she remembers eating and she kind of falls in love with it so it’s kind of a pivotal scene for her getting reintroduced to the world so I would go with the grilled cheese sandwich and for the blog tour of Unremembered I actually did a video on how to make a grilled cheese sandwich so you can find that on my YouTube channel. It’s very difficult!
Marissa: For the Cinder blog tour I did a “cooking with Marissa” show and made shrimp dumplings because they eat it in one of the chapters and it was so much fun but nobody ever watched it and I was like, “I really wanted to keep making these but I guess I won’t” because it took like, all day long!
Gennifer: There’s so much food in Crewel! I would have a hard time choosing. I like to put curry in all of my books. Even in my contemporary books, people are always eating curry.
Marissa: There was a lot of curry in Cress too!
Gennifer: Yeah, I liked that about your book! And she also has a chocolate torte.
Nikki: Tea in Lailah because she makes a lot of tea, and chocolate digestives. Not cookies as the book says because they American-ized it but chocolate digestives.
[tangent about the word “digestive” which ultimates boils down to the fact that it’s a specific type of cookie although the American gals agree that “digestive” is a terribly unappealing word in America! And how a “cookie” in England is any cookie that has chocolate chips and a “biscuit” is every other cookie]
Marissa: So for mine in book three, there’s this big royal wedding being planned and there’s this one scene where Prince Kai is meeting with the wedding coordinator and she starts going over the wedding menu and it’s like a traditional nine course menu. I planned out the whole thing and it took me like three pages to describe it in the first draft and I had every course from a different so there was a Korean course and a Philippines course and my Indian course and I had so much fun designing this menu and then one of my beta readers was like, “You realize you just took three pages to design and describe a feast. So I ended up cutting it all and only a few of them got mentioned in the book but then I ended up writing a blog post about it but I really, really want to have this feast some day. I really want to have this really fancy dinner party and nine-course meal.

Brittany: Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
Nikki: Oh, yeah, I do. Obligatory cup of tea and twerk in the kitchen before writing. And then I write in my pants (which is knickers). [And yes. She does mean twerking as in twerking.]
Gennifer: I don’t really have… I need something to write ON and I prefer to have paper and pencil nearby because I like to scribble notes to myself and do some diagramming.
Marissa: Yeah, I like to have paper, and something to drink. Usually water but sometimes coffee or wine or something. Depending on whether it’s before or after noon!
Nikki: I like how you went from water to coffee to wine! Brandy… vodka…
Jessica: For me, I only drink coffee when I write so coffee has an extra, special effect — it’s like magic juice — so I have my coffee and I have my giant, noise-cancelling headphones where I blast this white noise with a special technology called brain entrainment so there’s actually a frequency that gets played under the white noise that brings your brain into focus mode.

Brittany: Are there any questions you always dread being asked?
Marissa: “Where do you get your ideas?” I don’t really dread that because the answer is so easy because you get asked it all the time.
Jessica: I’m always curious too but you just get tired of it. I don’t like getting asked my favorite book and I know it get asked all the time because I just can’t choose. It’s just so hard! I feel like if I don’t give “the right answer” someone’s going to come smite me. It’s a lot of pressure!
Marissa: Every once in a blue moon, you’ll get someone who’s like… trying to stump you. They’ll ask you a question about the world building or the technology like, “In chapter 40, you said THIS but did you know that actually scientists have said –” you know, that sort of question. And a lot of times it’s stuff I actually have considered and usually have a thought out response but every once in a while it’s like, “I don’t know. How was I supposed to know that?”
Nikki: That’s when you just say, “It’s fiction.”
Marissa: Creative license!
Nikki: If you feel like something’s missing, it was intention. You’ll find out in the next book!
Gennifer: You always get lots of writing questions on these panels. And there’s sometimes that mix when you go into an event and … I tend to just want to talk about books and fun stuff and there’s a couple of people who show up and they actually want you to figure out how they’re going to be come writers so the questions aren’t even broad-based questions but like, “How many queries did you send and what was your rejection rate and did you send them at a specific time of day?”
Marissa: I think I was on the Cress tour and it was in a really small town and so the bookstore that was hosting it was worried that they wouldn’t be able to get anybody to come and so they marketed it as writing workshop and I showed up and I was like, “I have no intention of giving a writing workshop! I’m just gonna talk about my books.” And there was only maybe like twelve people in the audience and one of them bought a book. They were just writers and they wanted the secrets of getting published.
Nikki: You should have said, “Buy five books and I’ll talk.” [laughter]

Brittany: The last question is actually “What’s one of the books that your recommend this most?” — Not favorite!
Jessica: That’s different! I recommend Eleanor & Park [by Rainbow Rowell] to anyone who lives and breathes and reads. And even if you don’t read, I’ll still recommend Eleanor & Park to you.
Brittany: Audiobooks!
Gennifer: I have been known to recently push The Discover of Witches series [by Deborah Harkness] on basically anyone who will listen to me so I would have to go with that one!
Marissa: Right now my two big series are The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo which all three books are out so you can sit and read them and marathon them so you don’t have the pain of waiting for the next book like I did!
Nikki: And the Darkling prequel is in the Barnes and Noble edition of Ruin and Rising so you can have that too!
Marissa: And then I am also super obsessed with The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski and there’s only one out — The Winner’s Curse just came out this year and I just finished and early copy of The Winner’s Crime and it was AMAZING.
Nikki: I would just echo Marissa and say I was on The Grisha Trilogy for about six months. I came into it when the third one was just coming out so I came into it at the right time.
Jessica: Oh wait, can I add one more? I also pitch The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.

I had SUCH a great time interviewing these wonderful ladies and what a fantastic night it was! Another huge thank you to them for some really great answers and such a fun interview!

After the interview, we headed downstairs for the live event! I was so excited to moderate and I cannot express enough how excellent these ladies are! They really had such great answers to everything, they’re so much fun, and had great interactions with the crowd. Since the first interview is SO detailed, I’ll just give you a brief rundown of how the event went + some important things from the Q&A!

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 (I stole this picture from Katie/Polished Page Turners! I didn’t have a picture of me moderating since, well… I was moderating!) 

  • After the authors introduced their books, I asked them which of their characters is their favorite to write. Jessica Brody said that she loves to write Cody. Her editor actually wanted to cut that character but Jessica fought for him to be kept in the books! (She sends her editor all the fan letters for people who have told her that they love Cody!) Gennifer’s was (of course) her villain and Marissa’s favorite is Iko.
  • I asked the authors which power or ability from another panelist’s book they’d like to have and most agreed they’d want Seraphina’s super genius skills! Jesssica then said she’d want Adelice’s powers so she could rip people from universes if she didn’t like them.
  • The authors talked about the challenges they face in building worlds in their books and one of the hardest things was making sure everything worked in future books so the advice was to make sure you have those plans first! Marissa also created a very diverse and vast world incorporating many cultures so she had to make sure she did each of them justice.
  • I asked them about how their writing has changed from the beginning of the series (or book) to the end and many noticed their writing matured. Others ended up spelling things different (Nikki spelling “cruel” like “Crewel” and Gen finally fixing a typo!)
  • I asked which Hogwarts house their main characters would be in (the audience LOVED this) and they said:
    • Jessica: Seraphina –> Ravenclaw
    • Nikki: Hasn’t read or seen Harry Potter! (The only British person on the panel hasn’t read it, she said haha) She said “the best house” and knew that Slytherin was bad so NOT that one. The other ladies decided Lailah would Gryffindor
    • Gennifer: Adelice –> Gryffindor (and she has red hair! Maybe she could be a Weasley!)
    • Marissa: Agreed about Gryffindor and red with Gennifer for Scarlet. Cinder would also be Gryffindor and Cress would be Hufflepuff. Later a fan asked about all the boys and she said Kai would be Hufflepuff. We pressed “What about Thorne?” and she couldn’t decide. I said, “He probably dropped out!” and the authors laughed and agreed!
  • We wrapped up with panel with some audience Q&A!

Another HUGE thanks to these four wonderful authors! They were so fantastic and gracious for letting me grill them about their books all night and I couldn’t have been more thankful for the experience. A HUGE thank you to Macmillan to for providing me with this opportunity to interview the authors, moderate a book event, and make some of my dreams come true! It’s such an honor to be working with all of them.

Then after the panel, I stayed and chatted with some fellow bloggers and other event attendees before getting my books signed by all of the authors! (Poor Marissa. I made her sign my whole stack but she was really kind about it and happily personalized all ELEVEN. What a lady.)

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GIVEAWAY

The giveaway is thanks to the wonderful folks at Macmillan!! One lucky winner will receive ALL FOUR featured Fierce Reads books: UNFORGOTTEN by Jessica Brody, UNRAVELED by Gennifer Albin, CRESS by Marissa Meyer, and LAILAH by Nikki Kelly! (This giveaway is US only.)

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Novella Mini-Reviews: The Stranger, The Department of Alterations, The Memory Coder

Well, it’s that time of year again where I start reading novellas to help my catch up to my Goodreads goal (and I’m two books behind again). Then again, I really shouldn’t blame myself because it has been a BUSY year! Regardless, I read a few novellas for free on Tor.com (LOVE IT) and I wanted to share some thoughts!

Title: The Stranger (The Syrena Legacy #0.4)
Author: Anna Banks
Completed: November 13, 2013
Source: I read it for free on Tor.com and you can too! [The Stranger]
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Related Posts: Of Poseidon (#1) // Of Triton (#2)

The Stranger was a short story featuring the meeting of Galen and his “land friend” Rachel. During the series, we’ve gotten bits and pieces so far of how they met, but this involved more of Rachel’s back story and how she ended up having the working relationship with Galen that she did.

WHAT I LIKED

  • I loved Rachel so I really enjoyed seeing more of her and how she came to work with Galen
  • Baby Galen! Awwww. Okay, not baby, but a much younger Galen, Toraf, and Rayna
  • I ALWAYS like seeing more backstories of the characters so I really just gobbled it up!
  • We get to see just a bit more character development and while it’s not a lot, it’s still fun to see more of my favorite characters!

WHAT I WAS MISSING

I really enjoyed the extra time we got to have with Rachel, but of course it left me wanting just a little bit more (especially after already having read OF TRITON). I just really would have loved to spend a little bit more time with her and just reading more of the story made me want to dive into more plot. THE STRANGER is more of just an extra and doesn’t have a full plot on its own, but fans of The Syrena Legacy will love it!


Title: The Department of Alterations (Crewel World #0.5)
Author: Gennifer Albin
Completed: November 13, 2013
Source: I read it for free on Tor.com and you can too! [The Department of Alterations]
Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Related Posts: Crewel (#1) // Altered (#2)

The Department of Alterations was a short story that took place actually at the very beginning of CREWEL. We get an glimpse at a story from a different character, one that I actually totally forgot about, but I really liked seeing that different side!

WHAT I LIKED

  • I always love reading a short story/novella/extra that takes place DURING the main novel and from another character’s POV. It was really interesting to see this one! I always like thinking that the authors have to write these snippets just to get a story going from another character to have everything fit together and it fascinates me!
  • I liked seeing pieces fit together. There were some questions intentionally left open in CREWEL about this character and here we get some answers about what happened to her.
  • More backstory! Always always more world building and information

WHAT I WAS MISSING

This is solely from the POV of a completely minor character so while I wasn’t really missing it, you don’t get any interaction with the MAIN characters. It also seemed really short (whereas others feel like complete stories) so just be prepared that you’re not getting a full, separate plot on this one. It’s definitely additional information, but new and exciting all the same!


The Memory CoderTitle: The Memory Coder (Unremembered Companion Short Story)
Author: Jessica Brody
Completed: November 13, 2013
Source: I read it for free on Tor.com and you can too! [The Memory Coder]
Genre: Sci-Fi (YA)
Related Posts: Unremembered (#1)

The Memory Coder was an outside POV as well, taking place in… well, a location that could be a spoiler if you haven’t read UNREMEMBERED yet, so I guess I won’t get too into that! It’s part of Sera’s backstory, although we don’t really deal with her a lot directly. These are the ways that other people have been involved with her before UNREMEMBERED even starts and how she has affected them. If you haven’t read UNREMEMBERED yet, I HIGHLY suggest you read that one first!

WHAT I LIKED

  • I was super interested in the effect Sera had on other people, although I wasn’t quite sure I remembered that from UNREMEMBERED…? (Also a very ironic statement there haha)
  • I always love backstory!! I love prequels and seeing things that happened before the book started.
  • It was really interesting to see the information that we didn’t get since UNREMEMBERED is from Sera’s POV, especially when it’s technically…. “the enemy”!

WHAT I WAS MISSING

It’s been a while since I finished UNREMEMBERED so I feel like I was missing some details. Like, why was everyone so affected by Sera? Did I totally forget that? Was that something that was changed? Is this something that will be played up later? But I really did like that concept and it was a really interesting thing to read about!

Fierce Reads Tour Fall 2013 (Chicago): Recap, Author Interview, and Giveaway!

FIERCE READS TOUR

Leigh Bardugo, Ann Aguirre, Jessica Brody, and Gennifer Albin
Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL
November 4, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013 was a magical day for me. Macmillan asked me to be the featured blogger at the Fierce Reads tour event at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, IL and I literally did   a happy dance when I got the offer (and immediately accepted, of course). For my super special blogger duties, I got to sit down for an interview with all four Fierce Reads authors, live tweet the event, and I have a fantastic giveaway for you as well!

I had a blast interviewing the Fierce Reads ladies! Let’s see what they had to say!
(Portions edited for time and reading purposes and will not affect the overall outcome of the show interview.)

Brittany: We’re all here for the Fierce Reads tour so let’s kick it off by talking about what your favorite fierce reads of all time are.
Leigh Bardugo: Okay! I’ve got one. The Grounding of Group 6 by Julian F. Thompson. It is out of print but this is a book about a group of kids who are problem kids who get sent to a new private school and they go to orientation except really Group 6 is every year designated to be murdered — Their parents have sent them off to be killed. (Surprised looks on our faces) YES! It’s an amazing book and when I was a kid, I was sure this is what my parents were going to do to me.
Brittany: That’s terrible!
Leigh: It would make a great movie. They don’t all die! Some of them get their shiz together.
Jessica Brody: I’m gonna go with the obvious answer which is The Hunger Games. I thought that was AHmazing. I read that in a day and I normally take like two weeks to read books. It was the only book where when I put it down I felt like I was missing something. I was like, “Don’t do anything without me! Don’t kill anyone else until I get back!”
(Penn Gilette walks by in the background (He was at a signing for Anderson’s that night as well) and we all talk about Penn Gilette for a few minutes and how he got the spot in the main store and somehow Fierce Reads ended up in the gift shop. Sidenote: This made me majorly sad because HI. Fierce Reads. More important than Penn Gilette!)
Leigh: Fierce Read?
Gennifer Albin: I’ve forgotten every book I’ve ever read now. Penn Gilette wiped them from my mind.
Ann Aguirre: Do you mean fierce in action or fierce in…?
B: In any way you want!
Leigh: Emotionally fierce?
Ann: I think one of the books that had the most impact on me was actually Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.
Genn: I always have such weird answers.
B: Weird is good!
Leigh: Weird is the new fierce! Fierce is the new weird. Fierd. Weirce?
Genn: Ummm.
Ann: Just say Harry Potter and move on!
Genn: My primary reading of all time is in the 18th century and no one will know what I’m talking about!
(We move on to question two)
B: If you were a character in one of your own books — and it does not have to be a main character AND if you feel like you should be someone else, you can even invent a new one.
Jessica: In any of our books?
B: Yes!
Jessica: Well, I would like to be Lexington Larrabee in 52 Reasons to Hate My Father
Leigh: And I would like to be your friend! Your dear, dear friend.
Jessica: Well, I would want to be her after she does all the jobs… She’s got a pretty glam life. I would just like her closet! That would be enough for me.
Leigh: I would like to be a member of Sturmhond’s crew in Siege and Storm except that I get really seasick! So instead I think I’m gonna be.. I’m gonna be a Fabrikator, maybe one in charge of delicious snacks, who lives in the grand palace and stays far away from any battles.
Jessica: You’re just the snack maker!
Ann: That’s the problem I have with all of my books! I just want to stay home. I’m like Frodo… or Bilbo. I don’t want to go out and have adventures!
Leigh:  Stay in the Shire, Ann!
Ann: I guess I’d be Mama Oaks because she doesn’t have to go out and fight and I would probably cook things instead of sew things as she does, but she is a homebody character and she takes care of people.
Genn: I don’t know… who would I want to be in my books?
Leigh: Cormac?
Jessica: Yeah, I was gonna say Cormac!
Leigh: Walk around in a tux, drinking my tea…
(Genn reveals possible spoilers!)
Jessica: I want to be the secret character from the end!
Genn: Yeah, that’s actually who I would choose too.
Ann: You can’t be that character!
Genn: Well, there’s lots of reasons why I can’t be that character… Not the least of which is that (… possible Altered spoiler?)
Leigh: It’s me, I put myself in a book!
(Laughter)
Leigh: That would be the best twist! (More laughter) If like, all of sudden your character was like, “And then Leigh Bardugo walked in!” And you just wrote yourself in, Being John Malkovich-style!
Genn: “I’ve been controlling YOU the whole time while you control the fabric of reality!”

B: Your dreams have come true and you get to live in one of your favorite books or series! What’s the book or series that you would choose and who’s the one person you’d bring with you?
Leigh: I can answer for Genn! Harry Potter!! But we don’t know who you would bring.
Jessica: She’d bring her son James because he dressed as Harry Potter! She’d bring her husband!
Genn: I’d sacrifice myself and let them go together.
Ann: Would you really!?
Jessica: That is really stupid! (Laughter)
Leigh: Well I would have to say it would have been Harry Potter but I’m gonna go with Howl’s Moving Castle. As for who I’d bring with me…. I’d bring my friend Morgan. She’s very charming! She could charm everybody there. She’d be the master of charm and I’d just follow in her wake.
Ann: I would like to go into the Stat Trek universe.
Leigh: Which one?
Ann: The Reboot. The alternate universe they’re doing with Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine.
Leigh: I’ve changed my mind. Can I bring Henry Cavill? I would like to bring him.
B: Of course!
Ann: AND, I would like to bring MacGuyver.
B: Oh, there you go!
Leigh: (Laughing) You’ll end up with just the actor! You’ll end up with Richard Dean Anderson and he’ll be like, “I don’t know how to do anything! Stop handing me paperclips!”
Ann: I want MacGuyer, NOT Richard Dean Anderson. So any problem we have in the Star Trek universe he can fix with a roll of duct tape… and a pancake.
Jessica: I’m gonna go with the shallow answer and say The Uglies series so I can make myself pretty!
Leigh: Don’t they like, mess with your head!?
Jessica: Yes, I will be a bubblehead! But I will be very pretty and drink champagne every day!
Leigh: You can do that now! Who would you take with you?
Jessica: Oh! I would take… my sister.
Ann: Because she’s really homely.
(Laughter)
Jessica: No, because she really, really loves that series and I thought she might like it.

B: Lots of people like to know your favorite literary crush but I want to know your favorite literary villains.
Ann: (Answers right away) Snape!
Leigh: But he’s not a villain!
Jessica: He kind of is.
Genn: He has his moments! He’s an antagonist.
Ann: I’m not gonna lie… If I was at Hogwarts, I would be the teacher’s pet.
Leigh: You’re from Hufflepuff — he never would have given you a second look!
(Everyone “aw”s)
Leigh: You can come to the Slythern common room with me.
Ann: I would just follow him and stare at him with big eyes.
Leigh: Does it have to be literary?
B: You can venture out of literary.
Leigh: Because I’m gonna have to go with Jareth, the Goblin King from the Labyrinth.
B: Ooooooh.
Ann: If we’re doing movies, I’m gonna add Riddick!
Leigh: And I’m also going to add Flagg from Stephen King’s Eyes of the Dragon — not so much in The Stand. Flagg keep showing up in his work. But yeah, both of those were big influences on the characters in the Grisha trilogy. (Brittany sidenote: I’m now picturing the The Darkling as Jareth.)
Genn: I almost always root for the villains. Is that bad?
B: Not at all! One of my best friends loves the villains.
Jessica: I’m gonna be a kiss-ass and say Cormac Patton!
(Laughter)
Jessica: He’s a great villain! Oh! And President Snow.
Leigh: He’s a really good villain.
Jessica: He smells like blood and roses.
Leigh: (in a creepy voice) He drinks blood!
Jessica: They should release a perfume line.
Leigh: You know, don’t put it past them!
Ann: Scratch and sniff!
Leigh: Like, you scratch Donald Sutherland’s beard and it smells like blood and roses!
Genn: You know who is one of the most delicious villains because I actually HATE them? I hate them with every fiber of my being like my skin crawls and that makes them such a beautiful villain to me is Dolores Umbridge.
All: OOOOOOH
Genn: She’s the villain of bureaucracy!
Leigh: She’s probably the most evil character of the whole series! And she’s so plausible. We’ve all encountered somebody like her.
Genn: She’s SO well-written. She gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Ann: Is it, “The odds are ever in your favor” lady?
Genn: Nooo, she’s the one who wears the pink wool suit in Harry Potter… “I will not tell lies”…
Ann: OHHHH oh oh oh. And she takes over everything, right?
Jessica: With all the kitty plates!
Leigh: Remember that teacher I had that told me I would never amount to anything? She was my Umbridge and her office was decorated all with Scottie dogs and when I read that character, the hair rose on my arms.
Ann: I think we’ve all had some permutation.
Leigh: That’s why she’s so terrifying. Voldemort it’s like, “You’ve got no nose! Saw you coming! Kinda knew you were band news!”
B: That’s what’s so terrible. Because everything’s under a mask of niceness!
Jessica: Kitties!
Genn: I think she thinks she’s doing right and that she’s making the best decisions. I think that’s what makes a good villain a good villain.
Leigh: I would actually love to read her backstory. Like what makes a Dolores Umbridge a Dolores Umbridge.

B: Do you have any quirky reading and/or writing habits?
Ann: I am a gluttonous reader… I have to be really careful about starting a book after midnight. Even if it’s terrible, I will most like read it until it’s done and even if that takes me all night long and I’ve got no sleep and it’s time to get up in the morning and then make breakfast, I’m like “I regret everything about the decision making I’ve done for the last eight hours…” So I have to be reasonable about my start times otherwise I will get no sleep.
Genn: I do the same, but I regret nothing!
Leigh: My weird reading habit is I will never stop reading on the fourth page, or the twenty-fourth page or any page number that ends in a four.
Jessica: That is very strange!
Genn: If you want Leigh Bardugo to read your book paginated —
Leigh: I’ll never be able to stop!
B: What if it’s the last page of the chapter?
Leigh: I will go on to the next chapter.
Jessica: Where does that come from?
Leigh: Ever since I was a kid, I had a hang up with the number four. It’s not like to the extent where it’s real OCD but I’m aware of it all the time. And even if I write an email, I have to make myself — if there are four things in a list, I’m like, “I need a fifth!” or like “Number Five, because I don’t like four things in a list!” It’s pretty common actually! Number obsessions. And I didn’t know that until I was listening to this radio show one night and he was like, “I have a problem with odd numbers,” and I was like, “I have a problem with even numbers!”
Jessica:I guess my weirdest thing is that I’m obsessed with Audible audiobooks and I listen to them all at two times speed. And everyone thinks that really weird AND the misconception about two times speed is that everyone thinks it sounds like a chipmunk but they don’t actually speed up the voice — they just take out the gaps between the words so it really is just someone reading it faster.
Leigh: I wonder if the books seem more exciting because of that!
Jessica: I think they do! And anyone who gets in my car and there’s an audiobook playing, their head spins, like “What are you listening to!? I’m going to have an aneurysm!”

B: November is National Novel Writing Month! Are you working on any new projects for NaNo or  in general?
Jessica: I’m just trying to finish the third book in my trilogy so that’s my NaNo… My every day, really!
Ann: I cleared my desk before I left for tour so I got notes two days before we left from my editor and I was like, “We’re going on the road! I hope you don’t expect these revisions back any time soon!” So that’s what I’m going to be doing November is revising, before I can write new words.
Leigh: I don’t really do NaNo in the sense that I don’t post my word count and I try to avoid other people’s word counts, but I do like to use it to get things done and I knew I wasn’t going to write while I was on tour so before tour, I cranked out almost 30,000 words and I”m hoping to jump back in when I get home. We’ll see. I usually need some decompression time when I just lie around watching all the old episodes of Project Runway!
Genn: Now for me is like the holiday season? It’s like the whole year just starts over for me. It starts with NaNo and then your whole writing year starts over that’s just how it is for me BECAUSE my first book was written during NaNo. So I’m really, really eager to get home to and actually do something towards it because I kept telling myself I would write on the road… It’s really, really hard to write on tour because you’re like “Well, I’ll do it tonight because there’ll be time after the event” and then you just sit in bed and you’re like, “My brain is made of jello!” But I will be doing NaNo… We have the Night of Writing Dangerously so I do have to write something before that because I can’t walk in like, “Listen to me give you advice! I’m going to give you a speech but I haven’t written a damn word in November!” Do as I say, not as I do!

That interview was an absolute blast. Everyone was so much fun and they had really creative answers! Sorry I had such difficult questions! Another MANY MANY thanks to Leigh Bardugo, Ann Aguirre, Jessica Brody, and Gennifer Albin! They were absolutely fantastic and I had such a blast!

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Ann Aguirre, Gennifer Albin, Leigh Barugo, me, and Jessica Brody (sorry my iPhone takes truly terrible pictures. Time for an upgrade!)

Okay, okay, I know you want to get to the giveaway. It’s pretty EPIC if I do say so myself. Firstly, a huge thanks to Macmillan for providing all of the books for this giveaway! I got to take a whole stack of literally ALL of the featured Fierce Reads series that are currently available (and some that are not!) and get them signed by the authors. Here’s what we have to offer:

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UNFORGOTTEN by Jessica Brody  (Unreleased ARC!)
UNREMEMBERED by Jessica Brody (Hardcover)
CREWEL by Gennifer Albin (Paperback)
ALTERED by Gennifer Albin (Hardcover)
ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre (Paperback)
OUTPOST by Ann Aguirre (Paperback)
HORDE by Ann Aguirre (Hardcover)
SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo (Paperback)
SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo (Hardcover)

The winner will receive ALL NINE BOOKS. That’s right. ALL NINE. ALL SIGNED. How exciting is that!?! All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below! Winners must be 13 years of age or older and the shipping address must be US or Canada only. Sorry, International!

Runners up will receive some various Fierce Reads swag! You could win a Fierce Reads tote bag, Fierce Reads posters, and swag from the books! If you want to win some swag, just let me know when you fill out your Rafflecopter entry!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Altered (Crewel World #2) – Gennifer Albin

Altered (Crewel World #2) – Gennifer AlbinTitle: Altered (Crewel #2) by Gennifer Albin
Publishing Info: October 29, 2013 by Macmillan
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 13, 2013
Related Posts: Crewel (Crewel World #1), Unraveled (Crewel World #3)

    Life. Possibility. Choice. All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.
    But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.
    Altered is Gennifer Albin's thrilling sequel to Crewel. Adelice is about to learn how tangled up her past and future really are. Her parents ran to protect her, but nothing can save her from her destiny, and once she uncovers the truth, it will change everything.

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The ONE regret I have about my read of ALTERED…? That I didn’t re-read or at least skim CREWEL first! So many things happened in CREWEL, especially the end, that I needed a really spoilery review or… ya know… my own copy of the book (I had borrowed it from Alyssa when I read it so I didn’t have one on hand!) so if you’re planning on reading ALTERED (which is a good idea!!!), I suggest you brush up on CREWEL first!

I really, REALLY enjoyed ALTERED! I had been left just hoping for a tiny bit more of the time/space manipulation aspect and a better visual of it when I read CREWEL and that had really affected my overall opinion. I definitely did not have the same issue with ALTERED! Gennifer Albin stuffed this book full of a whole ton of new abilities, new characters with different abilities, and more science-fictiony things!! I loved all of the new things, PLUS going further into the structure and the nature of Arras, PLUS seeing more of Adelice TOTALLY OWN IT.

Adelice totally grew on me in ALTERED. I got a feeling from her in the beginning of CREWEL that she was a bit timid — which I guess really made sense because that’s how the girls in Arras are brought up — but the more she finds out about herself, her family, Arras, and the rebellion, the more she comes into her own and really starts to take charge. I loved her new attitude and I think it really carried the book along as well! She’s faced with a lot of tough choices and there’s no doubt that they take a toll on her, but she’s really starting to grow up and fall into the role of this great Creweler that she is perceived to be.

So normally, I don’t like switches in love triangles. Usually when the focus switches to another guy, I tend to get upset because obviously I was made to fall in love with guy #1 first. In CREWEL, we do meet both Jost and Erik and honestly, they felt really similar to me. I finally started to see them breaking apart from each other in ALTERED and… let’s just say that I picked a favorite! I didn’t really expect to end up liking this sort of love triangle, but I totally did. I loved how the story went and bravo to Gennifer Albin for totally convincing me!

I think one of my favorite things in ALTERED was the collection of new characters. I loved Dante (and his complicated history), Jax, Kincaid… Ooooh, Kincaid. He is so complex and I LOVE it. Do you trust him? Do you fear him? So good! The ending was so interesting and I won’t give anything away on WHO and WHAT but — never thought I would say this — I’m hoping for a split POV in book three. I would LOVE to see a second POV from Character B along side Adelice but I guess time will only tell and I will have to wait patiently!

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Adelice Lewys // Character Obsessions: Weaving, rebelling, learning.
Adelice has got a LOT on her plate but she totally owns it in ALTERED! I feel like we got past that awkward stage and she is totally in a kick-ass mindset with no one to hold her back. Loved her in this book.
Erik Bell // Character Obsessions: Rebelling, protecting, secret-keeping.
Erik is one of my new favorites and I totally didn’t see that coming! I liked him well enough in CREWEL but his character was definitely featured more in ALTERED and I really got to like him a whole lot more! His character also received a lot more depth and we find out some SECRETS that make it so much more exciting too! You’ll just have to read it to find out!
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Kept Me Hooked On: Dystopians! I feel like I haven’t really been enjoying dystopians as much as I used to… Maybe I was just burned out — But Altered totally rekindled that love with some sci-fi elements and kickass characters and KISSING. Okay, well kissing is always there. But it always helps too!
Left Me Wanting More: Of my memory…  I may have the worst memory and reading retention in the blogging world. I did read CREWEL over a year ago so I can understand losing some, but I felt so out of the loop when I started ALTERED (and still loved it — so shows you how awesome it was)! I learned my lesson and will always go over book one before I start book two from now on!!

Addiction Rating
Buy It!

ALTERED was pretty fabulous! I think I may have even liked it more than CREWEL and thank GOODNESS I didn’t suffer from Second in a Series Slump! This is a kickass world and HELLOOOOO. Time manipulation! Could it be more me?

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BOOKS LIKE ALTERED

(Click the cover to see my review!)

          Mockingjay      Reboot

Altered Blog Tour: Guest Post from Gennifer Albin

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Welcome to the ALTERED blog tour, hosted by Macmillan and Fierce Reads! I’m so excited to be a tour host today with author Gennifer Albin stopping by for a guest post! Before I start with the tour stop, here’s a little more info about ALTERED and the Crewel World series to get yourself acquainted with the book:

AlteredTitle: Altered (Crewel World #2)
Author: Gennifer Albin
Publishing Info: October 29th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Life. Possibility. Choice.
All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.
But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.
In this thrilling sequel to Crewel, Adelice is about to learn how tangled up her past and future really are. Her parents ran to protect her, but nothing can save her from her destiny, and once she uncovers the truth, it will change everything.” — From Goodreads

Become a fan of The Crewel World Trilogy on Facebook || Become a fan of Gennifer Albin on Facebook || Follow Gennifer Albin on Twitter || Check out Gennifer’s author website || Find out more about the #JoinTheAgenda project

Today, Gennifer Albin is sharing a second deleted scene from ALTERED with us and I’m so excited that I’m not even going to make you wait for it. Here we go!

ALTERED DELETED SCENE #2

Note from Gennifer Albin: In the original draft of Altered things went down a bit differently. Cutting some of the scenes and plot lines was hard, but I’m sharing three of them during this blog tour. Don’t forget to follow the tour so you can catch all three. In this scene, Adelice and Erik have been separated from Jost and captured by an evil Sunrunner, something that doesn’t happen in the published version. Adelice convinces Erik to play a game with her while she surreptitiously checks out the other captives at dinner time. The idea for the game from a guy I used to work with at a video store. He always noted every girl who came in and whether or not he would date her. This usually ended in me debating his choices.

“Want to play a game?” I ask.  I’m not ready to bring Erik into this.  Not until I understand what I’m seeing. “Sure,” he says, a note of suspicion in his voice. “Pick someone out to repopulate the planet with.” Erik’s eyes snap to mine and he looks away hurriedly. “Somebody else,” I groan. “In all fairness, you caught me off-guard,” he says. “It’ll be fun,” I promise him, silently adding, and it will give me a reason to be staring at everyone around us. There’s at least seventy other people creeping toward the line, and eventually I get caught up in the surge of the crowd.  I throw a reassuring smile in the direction of Erik, and turn my attention to the food.  If it can be called that. “Picked one out yet?” I ask, sliding onto the bench next to him. “She’s alright,” he says, nodding in the direction of a petite blonde at the table next to ours. “Okay,” I say.  The girl is slender and trim, but from here I can’t see any scars. “You don’t approve,” he says.  “I think she is well-groomed.” “What about her?” I ask, throwing my head toward a dark-skinned girl at the table across from us.  Erik turns to check her out, and I take time to study her arms and her face.  After a moment it dawns on me that her skin, which had looked caramel before is actually washed out, as though someone had drained her of color – stolen the very vibrancy from her. “Her?” He says with a laugh, and I turn to see a woman of at least eighty.  “Your standards are getting a little low, aren’t they?” I tease, trying to keep my voice light despite the shocking stripes of black, marring her ancient skin. “Maybe next time.  There’s something strange about them, isn’t there?” he asks. “You give up too easily.  You’re not even trying to convince me,” I say, ignoring his reference to the scars and marks most of the slaves carry.  I don’t want anyone around to hear us discussing it. “I don’t like this game,” Erik admits. “You seemed to enjoy it.” “Yes, but now it feels so…” “Sexist?” I offer.

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Whew! Hope you enjoyed the deleted scene from ALTERED! I’ve already finished and personally, I’m enjoying all of the new scenes with Adelice and Erik so this was super exciting to see!  The ALTERED blog tour is started on 10/21 and is running through the end of this week, 11/1! If you’ve missed a stop or want to keep following the tour, be sure to check out the ALTERED blog tour page on Macmillan’s website for all of the tour hosts! The Cypress Project is a prequel short story written by Gennifer Albin, being excerpted exclusively on Wattpad. Start reading now and be sure to check back on the following dates to read more of the story!

      • Monday, October 14: Part 1

 

  • Wednesday, October 16: Part 2

 

 

  • Friday, October 18: Part 3

 

 

  • Monday, October 21: Part 4

 

 

  • Wednesday, October 23: Part 5

 

 

  • Friday, October 25: Part 6

 

 

  • Monday, October 28: Part 7

 

 

And lastly, Gennifer Albin will also be on the FIERCE READS TOUR this fall with Leigh Bardugo, Jessica Brody, and Ann Aguirre! You can check out the full tour schedule at the link above but especially let me know if you will be at the stop at Anderson’s Bookshop on November 4th because I will be there!! If you aren’t in the Chicagoland area or able to make it to Anderson’s, I will be live tweeting the event so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that! Also check back at The Book Addict’s Guide because I will have an exclusive interview with the authors, and event recap, and a giveaway for books from ALL FOUR of the Fierce Reads authors on tour!

GIVEAWAY!

Macmillan is also giving away offering a giveaway!!! The winner will receive one paperback copy of CREWEL and one hardcover copy of ALTERED! US & Canada residents only. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification before the prize is forfeited to the next person.                                    a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crewel (Crewel World #1) – Gennifer Albin

Crewel (Crewel World #1) – Gennifer AlbinTitle: Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin
Publishing Info: October 16, 2012 by Macmillan
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 13, 2012
Related Posts: Unraveled (Crewel World #3)

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
    That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail.
    Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.
    Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
    Because tonight, they’ll come for her.

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Okay, first things first — I love the colors on this cover! The face on it kind of weirds me out, but without that cover design and the awesome flowing rainbow of colors, I don’t think I would have been able to picture the loom, the weaving, or the strands of time as well as I did.

Now for the review — How excited was I to read this? The answer is MEGA excited. I love dystopians, I absolutely love anything where the characters manipulate time or alternate universes, etc, AND it’s YA. Yeah, I was pumped.
In all honesty, the beginning moved a little slowly for me. Maybe it was my overexcitement – I’m not sure. But okay, we know Adelice is going to get taken from her family (it’s in the summary, after all) and it seemed like the whole set-up to the readers, describing the setting, Adelice’s family — it really just took too long for everything to get established and our real story to start taking off. I was 130 pages into the book before I really felt like we were going places.

Once we did start moving a little faster, I really got sucked into the plot. Adelice was finally taking shape in my mind and becoming a real character, she ran into conflicts with other characters and finally got over being overwhelmed by her surroundings and started to take charge. I was really most interested in anything that involved manipulating the time aspect more than the world of Arras. We know that the Spinsters can “rip” people from the fabric of life (effectively removing them from the world), they can control rations, create buildings, and in contrast, destroy these things as well. For more complicated things like nature, the Creweler is able to create lakes and landscapes and assist with people by using the raw materials as well as working more with the time aspect. THAT’S what I was really looking for! Once we finally got to the whole time part, I was sucked in. Actually building a world didn’t really interested me terribly.

I didn’t particularly care for the romance half of the book, but I didn’t really have that  much against it. It was kind of take-it-or-leave-it in my opinion. But I’m glad it wasn’t technically a love triangle (although there are two “interests”, Adelice really only has true feelings for one — see this awesome post on love triangles from The Housework Can Wait and you’ll see what I mean).

Overall, I really enjoyed it! I’m kind of disappointed that I was a little bit bored until a third of the way through the book so it kind of brought down my overall opinion. If it had taken off running, it would have easily gotten five stars!

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Adelice: Adelice is our MC and at first, I didn’t get much from her in the very beginning. It felt like there was a lot of set-up and not a lot of me getting to know her as a character and so she fell a little flat. Then all of a sudden, she was a total and complete sassy-pants to the authority figures and in a 180, her personality takes shape. I was a little confused in the sudden change, but at least we got somewhere and stuck with it! After that, I wouldn’t say we’d be BFFs, but I got to understand her a little bit more.
Jost: Hmm how do I feel about him? I liked the back-and-forth between him and Adelice, but in the very beginning, I was confused between him and Erik. Their sarcastic interactions with Adelice along with their physical descriptions were SO similar that I was getting them confused just a bit – although that is the point at one point in time – but still.
Cormac: I kind of liked him as the Guild official throughout the story. He seemed very consistent as the appointed villian, but in a way, I almost liked him. It was like he was supposed to be the bad guy but was almost nice in a certain way, and I think it made it that much better. It had me questioning if he really was supposed to be “bad” or if there was something good that would be revealed later.
Maela: Loved her as the lower-level villain (not as high up in the rankings).

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READ IT!

I really enjoyed CREWEL! I was hoping to fall in love just a BIT more but overall, it was a great way to kick-off the series and I am DEFINITELY interested to see where this trilogy goes!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE CREWEL

These are some of the comparisions I made while reading this book (there were a lot):

The Beginning:

The Middle:

The End: