Tag Archives: Jessica Brody

Blog Tour: A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody | Review

AWOM_blogtour

Welcome to the blog tour for
A WEEK OF MONDAYS by Jessica Brody!

I am so excited to be on the blog tour for this book and spread the word about A WEEK OF MONDAYS! This is actually the first contemporary book I’ve read from Jessica Brody (after having read her entire Unremembered sci-fi trilogy) and it was so much fun to read! Thanks to Macmillan Kids & Fierce Reads for having me be a part of this blog tour!!

On today’s blog tour stop, I’m sharing my review for A WEEK OF MONDAYS! Check out what I thought of the book:

Blog Tour: A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody | ReviewTitle: A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody
Publishing Info: August 2, 2016 by Macmillan
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Alternate Reality
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: July 30, 2016
Related Posts: Unremembered (Unremembered #1), Unforgotten (Unremembered #2)

Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!
As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?
From the author 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and The Unremembered trilogy comes a hilarious and heartwarming story about second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances. Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out what you really want.

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It’s Groundhog Daaayyy! (I hope you said that like the radio announcers in the movie…) But no, even worse… IT’S MONDAY and Ellison Sparks can’t get past the worst day of the week which incidentally is about the worst day of her life. From boy issues to mean girls to family affairs, Ellie Sparks is having a tough Monday and in A WEEK OF MONDAYS, she has to do it all over again until she gets it right.

This was my first contemporary book from Jessica Brody after having read her Unremembered series which was sci-fi so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect! Some authors have a tone that carries throughout their novels no matter what the genre is and others completely change depending on the characters they’re writing. I feel like I was able to pick out some of that humor that I’d seen in Unremembered that really had me enjoying the characters! It was a bit slapstick at times in A WEEK OF MONDAYS but if you’re going to have a Groundhog Day-type book, you gotta get some slapstick in there, right? The book definitely had a lightness to it and was a breeze to read despite its length! The way the chapters are set up make for a higher page count but don’t let that fool you — it’s actually a quick read!

I could totally identify with Ellie in so many ways. I didn’t have a lot of relationships in high school but whether it was relationship or crush, I know so many of us ended up trying to be the person we thought our crush wanted us to be and what they liked and sometimes not who we actually were. I liked that Ellie went on this journey of self-discovery in such a unique way. As wonderful as it is to have this total revelation as some characters do in books, Ellie had to go through the same situation SEVEN times in order to finally figure certain things out and I kind of loved that. We learn from our mistakes but we don’t always learn on the first try and as terrible as it was to relive the same Monday over and over again, she was lucky enough to get another chance to take a different path in her life when so many of us are left with regrets or “what if”s.

I really, really enjoyed the ending. There was a moment there that I totally called from the start (because I just really wanted it to happen) and it totally came together in the end. I really loved how everything worked out and all of the things that Ellie made right again. It wasn’t totally predictable either! I thought I knew how things would wrap up and I suppose I guessed it overall but the path to get there was different than I expected and I always love when authors are able to surprise me!

A WEEK OF MONDAYS was just a fun book from start to finish. It started off more on the silly side and slowly progressed to serious and a little deeper. I really loved Ellie’s journey and the ending to the book was just perfect! A WEEK OF MONDAYS was my favorite kind of book to read in the summertime but it’s great for any time of the year! I do love Jessica Brody and I look forward to reading more of her books!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Groundhog Day-type books. I love the chance to relive the same day until you get it right. This was a lighter version of the concept and I think the only other book I’ve read like this was BEFORE I FALL which was a more solemn concept. It’s always interesting to see what the author does with the concept though!
Left Me Wanting More: Seriousness. The book was a teensy bit silly towards the beginning but it does add to the lightness of the book and the overall tone!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

A WEEK OF MONDAYS was just plain fun and a great take on reliving a day to get it right. I had so much fun with Ellie’s journey and I just love watching characters finally get everything right!

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BOOKS LIKE A WEEK OF MONDAYS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    ASK AGAIN LATER     BEFORE I FALL

ABOUT JESSICA BRODY

Jessica Brody - High Res_credit Brian Braff

Jessica Brody is the author of several popular books for teens, including the Unremembered trilogy, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, and The Karma Club, as well as two adult novels. She splits her time between California and Colorado. Find out more at jessicabrody.com.


Thanks so much for taking the time to check out the blog tour for A WEEK OF MONDAYS and hope you enjoyed my review! Don’t miss the rest of the blog tour happening NOW! Keep up with A WEEK OF MONDAYS news with the hashtag #AWeekofMondays on social media! 

Unchanged (Unremembered #3) – Jessica Brody

Unchanged (Unremembered #3) – Jessica BrodyTitle: Unchanged (Unremembered #3) by Jessica Brody
Publishing Info: February 24, 2015 by Macmillan
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: February 14, 2015
Related Posts: Unremembered (Unremembered #1), Unforgotten (Unremembered #2), A Week of Mondays

    After returning to the Diotech compound and undergoing an experimental new memory alteration, Seraphina is now a loyal, obedient servant to Dr. Alixter and the powerful company that created her. Happy and in love with Kaelen, another scientifically-enhanced human designed to be her perfect match, Sera’s history with a boy named Zen is just a distant memory from a rebellious past she longs to forget.
But as Sera and Kaelen embark on a nationwide tour to promote Diotech’s new product line—a collection of controversial genetic modifications available to the public—Sera’s mind starts to rebel. She can’t stop the memories of Zen from creeping back in.
As more secrets are revealed, more enemies are uncovered, and the reality of a Diotech-controlled world grows closer every day, Sera will have to choose where her true loyalties lie, but it’s a choice that may cost her everything she’s ever loved.

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** This is a spoiler-free review for UNCHANGED but there may be spoilers for the first two books if you have not read them. Readers be warned! **

Thank you, Jessica Brody, for a great finish to this trilogy! It’s been so much fun reading this series and I’ve been absolutely impressed with how much it’s grown over time. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica for the Unchanged Blog Tour and what I thought was really interesting was that she said she sort of wrote each book as a stand-alone but each of them were connected and I really liked this concept! A lot of time went by in between picking up one book to the next since I read each one right around its pub date so it was actually really great to be able to pick up the next book and not feel totally lost because I couldn’t remember what happened previously. (UNCHANGED had a nice little refresher too.)

The overall concept of UNCHANGED was so interesting. It’s no spoiler to say that when the book opens, we sort of re-meet Sera… After all of the progress that she made in UNFORGOTTEN, she’s once again a slave to Diotech’s mission although she believes in it willingly. This realization and what it means for her (and Zen) is just heartbreaking but it was also so much fun to root for Sera the whole book to wake up and smell the coffee and to take down the man!

Naturally, this causes complications for the romance. (BIG ones.) Not only is Sera back in with Diotech, but she feels connected with her “print mate” Kaelen. At the same time, she still remembers Zen but is convinced he had brought her over to the dark side (the events that occurred in UNFORGOTTEN). I’ll admit there were times in UNREMEMBERED when I wasn’t quite convinced what was so great about Zen and then really started to like him in UNFORGOTTEN and I started to totally understand — the UNCHANGED sort of shattered those pieces! (In a good way?) It brought about SO much more emotion and I got incredibly invested in everything that was going on! It really helped bring out so many more sides of each character as well. We get to dig a lot deeper into the minds of Sera, Zen, Kaelen, and even Dr. A!

UNCHANGED was a thrilling conclusion to this series! There was a whole lot of action and lots of great developments that kept pushing the plot forward. I really loved getting to know the characters so much better in this book and it was definitely the one I was most invested in plot-wise and emotionally! The Unremembered Trilogy was so entertaining and I was so happy to read such a well-put together science fiction collection! Everything got so much more detailed in each book and I just really love how it all came together in the end.

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“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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Sera // Character Obsessions: Diotech, Kaelen, being a good ExGen, the human side of things.
Gahhhh it was so hard to watch Sera in the grasp of Diotech again! Even more frustrating that she WANTED to be… but that also let the readers learn a lot more about her and who she is, deep down. It was very interesting!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Science Fiction. I get pretty picky about science fiction books. The good ones are usually great and the ones I don’t get along with tend to really not work out for me. I’m so glad so many aspects of this trilogy really hit the spot!
Left Me Wanting More: Emotional connection. I actually felt the most emotion I had in this trilogy with UNCHANGED! But overall, I wish it had been there more in the first two books. UNCHANGED really played on the emotions so much more and I really got invested!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

This was a very entertaining trilogy and I think it’s a great series for people to pick up who aren’t as into science-fiction!

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BOOKS LIKE UNCHANGED

(Click the cover to see my review!)

THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX      ORIGIN

Blog Tour: Unchanged by Jessica Brody | Q&A + Giveaway!

Unchanged_Blog Tour BannerWelcome to the blog tour for
UNCHANGED by Jessica Brody!

Firstly, a big thank you to Macmillan for putting this blog tour together! I’m always so excited to be a part of these tours and so grateful I get to participate! This one is especially exciting because I read the first book in this trilogy, UNREMEMBERED, as an ARC and it’s been so much fun seeing this series come together from start to finish, as well as meeting Jessica several times in between, so to be on this blog tour is a very special occasion for me!

Before we get down to the Q&A with Jessica, let’s pause to give you a little more info on the trilogy if you’re not familiar with it yet!

UNREMEMBERED           UNFORGOTTEN

UNCHANGED

The Unremembered Trilogy by Jessica Brody

The series is action-packed science fiction with a dose of romance. Book 1, Unremembered, opens with Seraphina finding herself stranded in the middle of a plane wreck. She is the only survivor and has no memory of who she is or where she came from. As the series progresses, Sera learns she is genetically engineered by a super creepy corporation called Diotech. As more secrets are revealed, more enemies are uncovered, and the reality of a Diotech-controlled world grows closer with ever book, Sera will have to choose where her true loyalties lie, but it’s a choice that may cost her everything she’s ever loved.

Unremembered // Unforgotten // Unchanged


Q&A WITH JESSICA BRODY
On completing a trilogy

Brittany: First off, CONGRATULATIONS on having a full trilogy published and out in the world! How does it feel?
Jessica Brody: Thank you! It’s a little surreal and a little sad. I’ve been actually tearing up a lot lately now that I’ve started to promote the book and talk about it with the world. Up until this point everything about the story and the conclusion I had to keep to myself. Now that people are starting to read it and share their thoughts about the end with me, it’s been more emotional. When I first got the finished book in the mail a few weeks ago, I actually broke into tears. My husband caught it on video. You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nluQg0w3Vgw

Brittany: I finished UNCHANGED (on sale now! Yay!) the other week and I just loved the cohesive plot throughout the series but how unique each book felt. Was it difficult to decide what content went into each individual book and how to split them up?
Jessica: THANK YOU SO MUCH! I’m so happy to hear you say that! 🙂 Each book did feel so different to me when I was writing it. It was almost as though I were writing three connected stand-alones. I think it’s because each book takes place in a very different setting (and time period!) so they each kind of have their own world. The thing that ties them together, of course, is Sera, and how out of place she feels in all of the worlds, even her “home.” But the series pretty much followed the outline that I used to sell this trilogy to my publisher. At least in terms of locations and major plot points. I always knew Book 1 would take place today, in our world, book 2 would take place in 1609 and book 3 would take place 100 years in the future. So not much of that has changed. What was most difficult was figuring out what all those worlds look like…and what they look like with Sera in them.

Brittany: Were there any major changes from start to finish of the series? Did UNCHANGED end like you had originally planned?
Jessica: Um…yes. I actually wrote the first 250 pages of UNCHANGED and then threw them all out! So it’s ironic that the book is called UNCHANGED. I just knew in my gut it wasn’t the right book and it wasn’t fixable. I simply had to start over. Very few of those scenes made it into the final draft. Most of them are lining my computer’s trash can! And then after I had a draft that I really loved, I sent it to my editor and she made me rewrite the first 140 pages again! All in all, though, I really feel like the book is better for it. I’ve never thrown out that many pages before and started over. And yet, I feel like this is my strongest book so maybe that says something about the challenging process I had.

Brittany: I’ve been lucky enough to meet you on a few Fierce Reads tours and those book tours look like SO much fun! (Although I’m sure exhausting!) What’s been your favorite experience since UNREMEMBERED’s release?
Jessica: Yes! I’ve enjoyed seeing you at our Chicago events! Obviously I’ve just loved meeting all the readers and visiting all these different cities (but, yes it’s exhausting!) It feels a lot like summer camp, though. You really bond with the authors you tour with. It’s hard not to! You spend nearly every waking moment with them. There was a night on my first Fierce Reads tour (in 2013) in Memphis. It was me, Anna Banks, Leigh Bardugo, and Emmy Laybourne. We all went out to eat on Beale Street and had just the most amazing food and the most amazing time. I remember lots of laughing and talking until late at night. It was just an incredible bonding experience. To this day, those ladies are still some of my closest friends.

Brittany: The Unremembered Trilogy is a sci-fi series and the connections between plot, characters, and technology were impressive! What was the most difficult part in planning a series?
Jessica: Well, at the risk of being too spoilery (too late!) the most difficult aspect was keeping track of all the time periods and who is where and when and what they’re doing and how it affects the rest of the story. I had this massive spreadsheet for my timeline that spanned from 1609 all the way to 2117. It was color coordinated and everything. It was insane. To this day I’m probably the only one who can read it. LOL!

Brittany: Of course I need to ask… what’s next!? Do you have any upcoming projects you can share with us?
Jessica: Oh gosh, I’m SO excited about my next book. I’m taking a little break from Sci-Fi for a while…this trilogy wore me out! And returning to my contemporary roots! I have a new book coming out in Spring 2016 called A WEEK OF MONDAYS. It’s about a teen girl who has to relive the same horrible Monday (in which her boyfriend breaks up with her) over and over again until she figures out how to fix it. It’s kind of like GROUNDHOG DAY meets SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL. It’s definitely a comedy. It’s definitely got lots of romance and shenanigans and overall it was just really fun to write. As much as I enjoyed the challenge of writing the sci-fi trilogy, it was really refreshing to write something light and fun again. I just turned in the first draft to my editor and thankfully she likes it! So we’re moving on in the process. I can’t wait to share it with everyone!
Thanks so much for having me on the blog, Brittany! I’m so happy you liked the book and I hope your readers will too!


 A big, big thank you to Jessica Brody for today’s interview! It’s always such a delight. If you haven’t read this series yet, I definitely recommend it! And for those of you interested in A WEEK OF MONDAYS, you can add it on Goodreads now!

// Want more of the Unremembered trilogy?

// And don’t miss the rest of the blog tour!

GIVEAWAY

Macmillan is graciously providing a copy of UNCHANGED for giveaway too! The winner will receive a hardcover copy of the book plus an exclusive Diotech compound blueprint + signed poster! This offer was only available with purchase through March 1st so if you missed it, you can still get it with this giveaway! Happy entering! (Giveaway is US only. Please only enter if we are able to ship your prize to a US address!)

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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.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

UNFORGOTTEN Blog Tour: Interview with Jessica Brody!

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Welcome to the UNFORGOTTEN blog tour, hosted by Macmillan! I’m SO excited to be a tour host today with author Jessica Brody stopping by for an interview! Before I start with the tour stop, here’s a little more info about UNREMEMBERED and UNFORGOTTEN to get yourself acquainted with the series:

UnrememberedTitle: Unremembered
Author: Jessica Brody
Publishing Info: March 5th 2013 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (BYR)
Find it on the Web: Goodreads || Amazon || B&N

  “When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.
    Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.
    Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.
     Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?” — From Goodreads

UnforgottenTitle: Unforgotten
Author: Jessica Brody
Publishing Info: February 25th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Find it on the Web: Goodreads || Amazon || B&N

  “Some memories are better left forgotten… 
    After a daring escape from the scientists at Diotech who created her, Seraphina believes she is finally safe from the horrors of her past. But new threats await Sera and her boyfriend, Zen, at every turn as Zen falls prey to a mysterious illness and Sera’s extraordinary abilities make it more and more difficult to stay hidden. Meanwhile, Diotech has developed a dangerous new weapon designed to apprehend her. A weapon that even Sera will be powerless to stop. Her only hope of saving Zen’s life and defeating the company that made her is a secret buried deep within her mind. A secret that Diotech will kill to protect. And it won’t stay forgotten for long.
    Packed with mystery, suspense, and romance, this riveting second installment of Jessica Brody’s Unremembered trilogy delivers more heart-pounding action as loyalties are tested, love becomes a weapon, and no one’s memories are safe.” — From Goodreads

I’m so excited to have been able to Interview Jessica Brody! I’ve had the opportunity to meet her and she’s super sweet and very nice so that made me even more excited to be able to share an interview with her today!

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR JESSICA BRODY

Brittany: There were lots of surprising twists and turns in Unforgotten! Did you plan most of them or did some of them take you by surprise as well?
Jessica Brody: Thank you for saying that! I love surprising readers! So…mission accomplished! I did plan most of them, but like with every book, things popped up that I wasn’t expecting. There’s a new character in this book that I’d always planned on adding but many of his scenes and dialogue and characteristics were surprises to me. When I started the book, all I had in my notes was: “Enter character” and that was kind of it. He came alive to me as I wrote. 

B: I love that this book dug even deeper into the science-fiction aspect of the series. Was it hard to imagine and invent all of the new technology that Sera and Zen encounter?
JB: Oh, just wait until book 3! There’s SO MUCH MORE fun technology!!! Hard? Yes. Fun? Definitely. Most of this book takes place in the year 2032, which is only 18 years from now. So coming up with that world was really challenging but also entertaining. I basically looked at all the technology releasing today and then just took it up a notch. I think the technology I’m looking forward to the most are the cars that drive themselves. Many experts say we are not too far away from this. And I can’t wait. It’ll be like having a private chauffeur everywhere I go! 

B: I absolutely loved the ending and felt like all of the pieces of the puzzle fit perfectly back together to form one incredible fact and really brings the entire series together! Was it hard to get the details to all fall into place?
JB: YAY! That makes me so happy to hear you say that! This book was such a complicated, jigsaw puzzle of memories (both real and not real), time periods, facts, and events. It was SUCH a hard book to write. So much of what I thought would work, didn’t end up working. The hardest aspect was keeping track of everything Seraphina remembered and everything that was erased from her memory. As the author, you have to know both, even if your character doesn’t. It was a mind meld! If you want a challenge, write a book that has memory manipulation and time travel. 

B: Do you have anything special you do to help you out if you hit a writing roadblock?
JB: Yes! But it’s kinda weird. Okay, so whenever I hit a roadblock, I go and get a massage. I’m a member at Massage Envy—it’s one of those places that has massages for like 40 bucks. I don’t know what it is, but something about being relaxed on the massage table with the soothing music and everything, it completely unblocks me! I get so much brainstorming done there! Then when I leave, I race to my car, get out my phone and start recording all of my notes from the session. But it’s funny, inspiration can hit you in the most random of places. One of the biggest twists in the book (I’m not going to tell you which one!) happened in the drive-thru line of an In’n’Out at ten at night. I was waiting for my food and BAM! it hit me. I actually screamed aloud, “I got it!” right as the employee was handing me my fries. He gave me the strangest look and went, “Um, yes, you do?” 

B: Did you have any specific inspirations for the Unremembered trilogy — either the characters or the concept?
JB: Actually, yes! The middle of this book was the hardest part for me. I got through it by taking long walks and listening to one song on repeat. “Treacherous” by Taylor Swift. That song perfectly sums up the relationship between Seraphina and a certain character I can’t really talk about. I must have listened to that song at least 200 times while writing this book. Every time I couldn’t get a scene right, I would go for a walk, put the song on repeat, and just let my mind wander. So, thanks, Taylor Swift and whoever broke your heart this time!

B: It looks like the Unremembered trilogy is your first published set of books that aren’t contemporary! Was it difficult to write a different genre?
JB: I think every book I write is the hardest book I’ve ever written. Because if I’m not challenging myself to be a better writer, then the book isn’t worth writing. But I will say that UNREMEMBERED, UNFORGOTTEN, and Untitled book 3 were MUCH harder than my contemporaries. Not only because they were sci-fi and therefore required more unique world building, the creation of new technology and all that, but also because this is my first trilogy as well. My other YA titles have all been standalones. There’s something really nice and fulfilling about writing a standalone. You start the book, you finish the book. You say goodbye to the character and move on to something else. Writing a series is a whole different animal, because there has to be a really good reason why this character’s journey can’t be wrapped up in one book. And that makes her journey so much more epic and complex, which can be a daunting task at times. But now that I’ve just finished writing book 3, I can say, the hard work is well worth it. It was a roller coaster ride of a project but I’m proud of what’s come out of it and I can’t wait for everyone to read the final ending!

*Oh and please check out the UNFORGETTABLE FAN challenge that’s currently running on my website! Every fan who completes the challenge gets a prize pack which includes an Unremembered Eternal Knot necklace! Visit the UNFORGETTABLE FAN challenge here! Thanks for the great questions, Brittany! And thank YOU, Jessica! I had so much fun reading your answers and I’m already excited for book three! (Even though it’ll be a while to wait yet!)

Become a fan of Jessica Brody and the UNREMEMBERED trilogy! Visit the links below to connect with Jessica and find out more info on the series!

I also have a special Unforgotten secret to share with you! Each stop on the tour has one so if you missed any, be sure to check out the official schedule at the Macmillan Teens blog! Okay, here’s your Unforgotten secret (and honestly, one of my favorite parts about the book!!!) Unforgotten Secret 6 

GIVEAWAY!

Want to win a copies of UNREMEMBERED and UNFORGOTTEN? Macmillan is offering up copies of both! The winner this giveaway will receive a paperback copy of UNREMEMBERED and a hardcover copy of UNFORGOTTEN! 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

Unforgotten (Unremembered #2) – Jessica Brody

Unforgotten (Unremembered #2) – Jessica BrodyTitle: Unforgotten (Unremembered #2) by Jessica Brody
Publishing Info: February 25, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: ARC
Genres: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 21, 2014
Related Posts: Unremembered (Unremembered #1), A Week of Mondays

After a daring escape from the scientists at Diotech who created her, Seraphina believes she is finally safe from the horrors of her past. But new threats await Sera and her boyfriend, Zen, at every turn as Zen falls prey to a mysterious illness and Sera’s extraordinary abilities make it more and more difficult to stay hidden. Meanwhile, Diotech has developed a dangerous new weapon designed to apprehend her. A weapon that even Sera will be powerless to stop. Her only hope of saving Zen’s life and defeating the company that made her is a secret buried deep within her mind. A secret that Diotech will kill to protect. And it won’t stay forgotten for long.
    Packed with mystery, suspense, and romance, this riveting second installment of Jessica Brody’s Unremembered trilogy delivers more heart-pounding action as loyalties are tested, love becomes a weapon, and no one’s memories are safe.

bookreview1

** Warning: There WILL be spoilers for BOOK ONE, UNREMEMBERED so just be aware that in my review for book two, I can’t NOT talk about what happened in the first book! **

UNFORGOTTEN was absolutely thrilling and definitely a wild ride. Whereas there were tiny things in UNREMEMBERED that I didn’t quite jive with, I really fell into UNFORGOTTEN and finished it within two days which is a pretty quick pace considering it’s a 400+ page book! I really got sucked into the action and with UNFORGOTTEN being much more action-packed and fast-paced, I really couldn’t put it down!

UNREMEMBERED left us with the interesting twist in the plot and one of my favorite things about science-fiction: TIME TRAVEL. In UNFORGOTTEN, we got to see so much more of that, figure out exactly how the time travel system and mechanisms worked, and what it meant for Seraphina, Zen, and also some more minor characters as well. It actually plays a really big role in the book which I wasn’t expecting so that was a pleasant surprise!

I actually loved the set-up in the beginning. The book starts in a totally different place (and time!) but I felt like the set-up was important to sort of slow everything down from where book one left off and set everything up for book two. We got to see more character development in both Sera and Zen and really see their characters interact which was hard to do in UNREMEMBERED at times since there was a lot at stake, there were a couple of action-packed moments in which the focus was on movement and not character development, and Seraphina was still getting to know a lot about herself as well. I really felt the chemistry a lot more in UNFORGOTTEN and I was really glad to see that connection not only made but also strengthened.

There were a couple of new characters introduced and I don’t want to say too much about them because it’s quite exciting to discover them yourself, but I really loved their involvement in the plot and how calculating Sera was about them. It’s become so hard for her to trust people with Diotech always dogging her steps and I just loved the uncertainty of who the readers can trust and who they can’t. There’s never quite a clear answer until something major happens and it’s really quite exciting!

OH OH also!!! There’s another character from UNREMEMBERED who makes an appearance (and I also don’t want to say who it is although you might already know or be able to guess) but I was really excited to see their involvement in the plot and really how different that person had become. I always love seeing characters from previous books return in future books, especially if I’m not expecting it. I just love how plots tie in like that and it really makes the book feel like all the pieces are falling perfectly into place.

UNFORGOTTEN was extremely exciting and I think I enjoyed it more than UNREMEMBERED having a concrete idea of where the series was going. There were definitely a few surprises, some good plot twists, and really solid foundation of what the series is all about. This was a really great sequel and I think fans of this trilogy will really enjoy it!

character_breakdown1

Seraphina // Character Obsessions: Ditching Diotech, time travel, saving Zen.
Whereas I was hesitant about Sera in book one, I really started to like her a lot in UNFORGOTTEN. She’s finally starting to fill in the missing pieces and there’s even a sort of jab at her former-self and how spacy she had seemed in UNREMEMBERED!
Zen // Character Obsessions: Helping Sera, thwarting Diotech, surviving.
I really appreciated seeing a lot more of Zen in this book! The beginning of the book really sold me on him and let me find out more about him as well as establishing more chemistry with Sera.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Time Travel. I just love time travel. I was so surprised to see how big of a role it really played in this book and seems like it will play in the entire series!
Left Me Wanting More: Hmmm… I can’t quite put my finger on it. This was another one of those books where I really enjoyed it but there was just a tiny bit of SOMETHING missing. I thought it was exciting and action-packed, I appreciated more character development and romance, even more shocking moments! But there was just a tiny bit of something that didn’t shoot it up to five stars for me.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

Fans of this series will appreciate a lot in UNFORGOTTEN! I’m excited to hear the reactions and see what everyone else thinks about this thrilling sequel!

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(Click the cover to see my review!)

        Crewel          The Adoration of Jenna Fox

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

Unremembered (Unremembered #1) – Jessica Brody

Unremembered (Unremembered #1) – Jessica BrodyTitle: Unremembered (Unremembered #1) by Jessica Brody
Publishing Info: March 5, 2013 by Macmillan
Source: ARC
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 5, 2013
Related Posts: Unforgotten (Unremembered #2), A Week of Mondays

    Sixteen-year-old Sera is the only survivor of an explosion on a plane. She wakes up in hospital to find that she has no memory. The only clue to her identity is a mysterious boy who claims she was part of a top-secret science experiment. The only adult she trusts insists that she shouldn’t believe anything that anybody tells her. In a tense and pacy novel exploding with intrigue and action, Sera must work out who she is and where she came from. Eventually she will learn that the only thing worse than forgetting her past is remembering it.

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I feel like I need to preface this by say that I was really, really skeptical about this book before I started because I feel like I saw so many 3 star & under reviews when the book first came out. I am so glad I decided to still give it a shot because honestly? I don’t 100% sure remember what those reviews didn’t like about it and I can take a few guesses… but personally, I really did enjoy it!

That being said, I think this book worked well with me in the end because the twists were so “me”. I don’t really want to go into what those twists were because, hello, spoiler alerts galore — I’ll just say that the direction the book was taken just suited some major elements that fascinate me. Those twists may have been what totally turned other people off and they just drew me in more, so I guess I can see if people were disappointed in that. I found it kind of fascinating! 

UNREMEMBERED is a hard book to talk about for me because I feel like even though I was really interested to see what was happening, I still found myself jumping straight to dialogue from time to time instead of reading all of the in between descriptors. Usually that means one of two things for me: 1) I’m so excited that I can’t wait to see what happens next so I jump to the meat of the story or 2) I’m trying to hurry to finish the book because I’m not entirely interested in the “filler” of the book and just the meat of the story. With UNREMEMBERED, I was definitely enjoying the book but I honestly can’t tell you which category I fell in when I was skipping to the dialogue. It was a little bit in the middle of the two, I’d have to say.

I will say that one thing I didn’t care for was the beginning of the book simply because our MC is SO affected by this amenesia that she not only is missing details about herself, but doesn’t remember things like HUGS and JOKES. I get erasing specific memories, but that seemed above and beyond things that would be forgotten and/or erased and frankly, it bothered me. I was glad that it wasn’t like that throughout the whole book or I really would have been annoyed. Things got better once the book started progressing and I started to feel like Sera/Violet was seeming more like a normal person (well, as normal as you can get with her abilities/strengths).

There was a romance… I was just ‘meh’ about it. I didn’t hate Zen but I was never crazy over the whole romance in the book either. It was necessary though as a driving factor for a lot of the book. I just didn’t swoon over the guy, that’s all!

I guess I would have to say for those looking to pick it up that be aware that this is a bit more sci-fi than paranormal. I thought it was going to be a lot more paranormal (maybe I was assuming so because it involved a plane crash and I was equating it to Lost subconsciously? Even though that’s sci-fi and not paranormal…  but there are many more science fiction elements than paranormal. I enjoyed the book because those elements present were definitely suited to my tastes and I can easily see how finding those out may turn other people off, if that’s not their bag. I’m happy that I still read the book because for a while with those negative reviews that I read, I was growing increasingly scared. It just goes to show you that so many people have different reading tastes and really all books are worth a try! You never know what you may love that someone else didn’t.

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Sera/Violet/Jane Doe: I’m going to call her Sera since that’s what the blurb focuses on… I definitely didn’t like her in the beginning actually. With a mind wiped blank and so many silly little things lost that I didn’t think were necessary, she bothered me. Once we started to get into the main plot of the story…. Well, she still wasn’t my BFF, but I did like her and her story a lot more! I was still on her side and anxious to see what was going to happen.
Lyzander aka Zen: Zen is our love interest in this book and he was perfectly nice, but again, another character that I didn’t really get into too much. I never really swooned for him like I have for other book crushes, but it also wasn’t like “What does she see in him” — I was somewhere in the middle of the road for him.

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Read it!

I really ended up enjoying this book! It didn’t TOTALLY bowl me over but I really had a great time reading it and I’m definitely interested in continuing. I can’t wait to see what happens next!!!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE UNREMEMBERED

     The Adoration of Jenna Fox           Level 2