Tag Archives: Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) – Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) – Mary E. PearsonTitle: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson
Publishing Info: July 15, 2014 by Macmillan
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 22, 2014
Related Posts: The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Fox Chronicles #1), The Fox Inheritance (The Fox Chronicles #2), Fox Forever (The Fox Chronicles #3)

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

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I started THE KISS OF DECEPTION immediately after I saw Jaime from Fic Fare‘s exciting updates on Instagram and Twitter! I was deep into a fantasy streak and was SO excited to get to this amazing first book in a new series.

THE KISS OF DECEPTION hits the ground running and I was already ready to fist pump for Lia after the first chapter. Basically the story is this: It’s Lia’s wedding day and she’s less than thrilled about her arranged marriage. She’s gone through all of the stages, every step of planning, and it’s her last chance to back out before it’s too late. It’s now or never and although Lia has a bit of a feisty streak, she has always stood by her family and their decisions… Until they took this very big decision out of her hands. Immediately the book was thrilling, action-packed, and had me rooting for a heroine I had only just met! I started off the book with high hopes and promises of adventure. I was excited for the Unfortunately, I felt like the book hit a pretty quick slump for me.

I’m not exactly sure where the I expected the story to go, but I think I was hoping for more of a journey and a sort of epic adventure. From after the first couple chapters until about halfway through the book, the story felt very stagnant to me — both in location as well as plot. There are some books I hope to not take the characters on epic journeys because I’m interested in their current situation but since THE KISS OF DECEPTION started off with so much action and excitement, that kind of set the tone for me and I wanted Lia to go exploring across the land that she hadn’t really been allowed to explore before. I wanted to meet all kinds of new people. I wanted run-ins and chases and escapes! I guess that’s not really fair of me to dictate what I wanted out of a book when I had no idea what it held in store for me, but I think it was that first chapter that really set up that expectation and had me yearning for more.

I understand that the plot can’t be action-packed ALL the time, but things felt a little too happy-go-lucky for me for a large portion of the book and it wasn’t helping me to pick it back up and jump back into the story. I didn’t feel the suspense that kept pulling me in to read. I wanted so much more of things that were supposed to be mysterious! I feel like there weren’t enough clues or I didn’t have enough foundation for the world building to be interested in the mysterious aspects or even understand that something about that situation was off. I have been noticing lately that for my personal preferences in fantasy, I need a lot of world building in the beginning of a story in order to really connect and place myself in that world. I felt like there was some really nice set-up in the first chapter, but then world building and details slowly gave way to romance and the stories of secondary characters instead of focus on Lia and what her decision means to this entire world. I wanted to know more about why this marriage was so important, exactly what being a First Daughter meant, what these little interludes were all about… I just needed to be a bit more established and understand what this world was all about.

THE KISS OF DECEPTION follows three POVs — Lia, the prince, and the assassin. I immediately loved the POV switch but down the line, it became kind of confusing differentiating between the two male POVs and… It set things up for a love triangle… which I really could have done without. I was excited at first to see how the two male characters would both get involved with Lia’s life, but soon it became an all out battle for her affections and that became the main conflict in the plot for a while which I really wasn’t satisfied with. It began to feel like too much of a macho man competition and at one point they actually do physically battle.

The action really started to pick up about halfway through and I started getting much more involved in the story! Everything that I had been hoping for from the beginning started falling into place and the world building kicked in once the characters began digging deeper into their own pasts as well as that of their cities. It wasn’t until the story was winding down and I was 75% of the way through that I started really getting into it. The little twists were popping up everywhere and I loved the constant surprises and action! There was one big surprise that I really liked WHAT it was but I didn’t like HOW it happened. I felt really confused on at first… like I actually had felt like I had read the entire book wrong. I don’t want to get in why because that would ruin the entire surprise but I was incredibly confused and actually had to go back and search for previous information as well as reach out to other who had read the book. Definitely felt really stupid for a while so I’m not sure what that says about that particular twist. I feel like twists shouldn’t be confusing…? Or maybe that’s just reader error there. I really couldn’t say, but I felt really disappointed that it shocked me to the state of confusion and not just surprised me.

I finished the book pretty quickly after that point and really enjoyed the remainder! Things became much clearer, characters got answers to their questions, and there was a really nice set up for the rest of the series. It’s so hard to say how I really felt about this book because my feelings were just all over the place. I think I had hoped for a little bit more and I definitely felt like the black sheep since the first reviews I saw for it were all five-star-flails. *shrugs*

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“The View from Goodreads” is a new 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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Lia // Character Obsessions: Escape, independence, freedom.
Oh, I was just all over the place with Lia. I really loved her determination and bravery in the beginning, but as she got comfortable in her new life, I got bored. The more she got involved with her love triangle, I got frustrated. At times she was bold and other times she was hasty and overconfident. I just couldn’t get a good read on her and maybe that’s where I struggled so much at times. I think she started off very naïve at the beginning and it took her a while to really grow into her responsibility and accept what her duty to her family and her city really entails.

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Kept Me Hooked On: High fantasy. I love a good high fantasy and really enjoyed the different aspects of the royalty, kingdoms, and religious mythology that Mary E. Pearson created here. Just wished there was a liiiittle bit more of it. (Okay, a lot.)
Left Me Wanting More: World building. So much more. I just… I need it at the beginning. I need to know what world I’m in to really connect with the characters, figure out what’s important to them, and what’s important to the overall plot. I didn’t even know what the actual gifts of the First Daughters were for the longest time. Went back to look. Couldn’t find it. It would have helped to have that kind of stuff just a little more established in the beginning.

Addiction Rating
Read it

I had some issues with this — apparently more than I realized — but the majority of folks to seem to be giving it the full green light and then some. It’s definitely worth the read, but if your reading tastes seem to resemble mine, then just watch out for those things!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE KISS OF DECEPTION

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        The Winner's Curse             Graceling

Blog Tour: Fox Forever by Mary E. Pearson | Interview + Giveaway!

FoxForever_BlogTour

Welcome to my stop on the FOX FOREVER blog tour! Firstly, a big thanks to Mac Teen Books for having me be a part of the tour as well as providing me with copies of the books for review and tour use! I’ve very honored to be a part of this tour and to have the opportunity to interview author Mary E. Pearson.

Let’s kick it off by a brief recap of the trilogy. If you’re not familiar with The Fox Chronicles, you can click any one of the images below to lead you to the Goodreads page and description.

          

Without further ado, let’s get to the feature of my stop on the blog tour: my interview with author Mary E. Pearson!

INTERVIEW WITH MARY E. PEARSON

When you first started the series with The Adoration of Jenna Fox, did you always know you wanted to tell Locke and Kara’s story as well, specifically Locke taking over the narrating duties of books two and three?

No, even though I enjoy reading series, I never thought I’d want to write one and when I wrote The Adoration of Jenna Fox it was written as a stand-alone to explore some questions I had.  But as it turned out, those questions weren’t fully answered with one book and the second one, The Fox Inheritance, was born from it.

I’m an organic writer—I listen to voices and follow characters who speak to me—and it was clear from the first chapter when Locke’s voice exploded in my head, that his story needed to be told. In the first book I tried to give light to many perspectives–I love exploring lots of viewpoints and all the gray areas in between, but when I was done I felt one there was one perspective that still hadn’t been voiced–and needed to be.

A main focus of the series seemed to be not only the friendships between Jenna, Kara, and Locke but also the strong relationships they make outside of their circle of friends. What can you tell us about the development of these relationships?

The series followed an interesting and surprising progression for me.  I was surprised to see that they all dealt with love precisely in the order that we encountered it.  First the deep love and bonds of parent and child (The Adoration of Jenna Fox), and then as venture out and our world opens up, we develop the love and bonds of friendship which last us a lifetime (The Fox Inheritance), and finally the kind of love most of us seek, a romantic kind of love with someone we hope to share our life with (Fox Forever).

With characters whose stories could go on for many years to come, was it difficult to decide how to end the series?

Not really, because as I mentioned I’m an organic writer.  I didn’t really decide.  The story told me how it needed to end, and careful readers will notice that the first book actually foreshadows the ending.

And now “A little less serious and a little more fun” Quick Bookish Q&A!

Where is your favorite place to read/write?
Outside.  Anywhere.  I write most of my books outside as weather allows.

Are there any authors you’re dying to meet?
The writing world is actually very small, so I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many great authors already at various conferences and book festivals.  This last fall I met writing goddess Karen Hesse for the first time.  We had dinner together. She was simply as nice and fun as you might imagine her to be.  I would love to meet and chat with Sonya Hartnett one day, but she is an Aussie author so it might be a while before I run into her at a conference!

Who’s your biggest literary crush?
I’m not good on favorites but off the top of my head, Frankie Landau-Banks from Disreputable History, Puck from Scorpio Races, Eugenides from The Thief—I could go on and on there are so many great ones out there.

Who’s your favorite literary villain?
President Snow from The Hunger Games!

Romance or Sci-fi?
I honestly don’t pay attention to genre when I choose a book.  It’s the character, the voice, the writing, the author authority making me feel like I am settling in for a good tale.

Paperback/Hardcover/eBook/Audiobook?
Hardcover.

Thank you for having me at your blog, Brittany!  I hope your readers enjoy Fox Forever and the rest of the books in The Jenna Fox Chronicles!
To see all the stops on the tour–past and upcoming–check out the schedule here at MacTeenBooks: http://www.macteenbooks.com/blog-tour/blog-tour-fox-forever-by-mary-e-pearson/

Thank you so much, Mary! I had a fantastic time with the interview and I really appreciate taking the time out to answer my questions. 

Want more FOX? Check out the links below for more info on the series and author Mary E. Pearson!

Free chapter sampler of THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX || Become a fan on Facebook
Mary Pearson’s website || Mary Pearson’s Twitter || Mary Pearson’s Pinterest

And don’t forget to check out the FOX FOREVER blog tour giveaway, provided by Mac Teen Books!! Enter to win the entire series! The paperback version of THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX, a hardcover version of THE FOX INHERITANCE, and a hardcover copy of FOX FOREVER! Just enter the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win!

Just a few rules before you enter: This giveaway is for US/Canada entries only. (Sorry, no international) I do check all entries so (not like you would), but please no cheating! Thanks, and good luck!!!

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Fox Forever (The Fox Chronicles #3) – Mary E. Pearson

Fox Forever (The Fox Chronicles #3) – Mary E. PearsonTitle: Fox Forever (The Fox Chronicles #3) by Mary E. Pearson
Publishing Info: March 19, 2013 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 10, 2013
Related Posts: The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Fox Chronicles #1), The Fox Inheritance (The Fox Chronicles #2), The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)

    Locke Jenkins has some catching up to do. After spending 260 years as a disembodied mind in a little black box, he has a perfect new body. But before he can move on with his unexpected new life, he’ll have to return the Favor he accepted from the shadowy resistance group known as the Network.
    Locke must infiltrate the home of a government official by gaining the trust of his daughter, seventeen-year-old Raine, and he soon finds himself pulled deep into the world of the resistance—and into Raine’s life.
    In Fox Forever, Mary E. Pearson brings the story she began in The Adoration of Jenna Fox and continued in The Fox Inheritance to a breathtaking conclusion as Locke discovers that being truly human requires much more than flesh and blood.

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Warning: There are some spoilers if you haven’t read the first two books!

Yay, finally! This is was I was hoping for from this series, and I really felt like it all came together FOX FOREVER. Not only do we see more of Jenna, but I feel like Locke is finally starting to figure himself out in this book and I got SO much more personality from him. He’s finally free to act on his own will without worrying about other people tugging him in one direction or the other. I think seeing this side of Locke’s character helped make the book so much more enjoyable and I really got into the characters.

As far as plot goes, I feel like this was the best out of the series too. I think the romance between Locke and Raine really added a nice chunk of the story and gave it a little something extra that I was missing from books one and two. I know Jenna had a little romance in book one, but I was never really that into it. Locke and Raine, however, I totally loved. It made a big difference having a riskier and more passionate romance.

I was interested in the whole resistance/rescue mission plot, but at times, it was too political for me. I also wanted to know just a little bit more about the resistance since this was really its first appearance in the series (I think it had been mentioned in the second book, but not in detail). There were a lot of good points in the book and overall, I did end up enjoying it more than the first two, but still didn’t quite knock me off me feet!

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Locke: Locke was definitely more developed in this book and I got a LOT more personality from his character this time around. I felt like I connected with him a lot more as a narrator and really understood where he was coming from. It’s the first time I sincerely connected with a character in the series so that was a big thing for me!
Raine: I really liked Raine — a lot! She was a fireball and I always love a rebellious daughter of a political figure. Makes things so much more exciting! Her character had a few small flaws that bothered me, but overall, I thought she was one of the more enjoyable characters of the book as well.

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Borrow it.

I got a BIT more into this one than I had in the second book, but JENNA FOX was still the best for me! It’s a borrow-type trilogy for me!

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     The Adoration of Jenna Fox      The Fox Inheritance

The Fox Inheritance (The Fox Chronicles #2) – Mary E. Pearson

The Fox Inheritance (The Fox Chronicles #2) – Mary E. PearsonTitle: The Fox Inheritance (The Fox Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson
Publishing Info: August 30, 2011 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 9, 2013
Related Posts: The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Fox Chronicles #1), Fox Forever (The Fox Chronicles #3), The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)

   Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld. Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without her. Decades passed, and then centuries.   
    Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, they have been released at last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead.
    Everyone except Jenna Fox.

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Warning: There are some spoilers if you haven’t read the first book!

Sadly, I was less than impressed with the second book of The Fox Chronicles. I think what made book one so interesting was that I had no idea what was going on with Jenna until the big reveal. Here, we already know the technology that brought Jenna back from near-death and now it’s been perfected for Locke and Kara. I didn’t find many exciting moments despite our two main characters being on the run for most of the book and maybe that’s also because I didn’t find the main characters to be exciting at all either.

I almost felt like this should have been a book to be told from alternating point of views. We’re so into the heads of Kara and Locke, but everything comes from Locke, who I personally found to be flat and boring. I didn’t feel a lot of his personality come out in the book at all. Plus, he has this weird love triangle going on with Jenna and Kara, being in love with both of them at once, and Kara’s constant jealousy spiraling through his mind at all times. It was just a little bizarre and Kara’s jealousy was so intense that it was off-putting.

THE FOX INHERITANCE was just so-so for me. I felt like the whole story was a bit unnecessary, if we’re being honest. Since everyone is so into novellas nowadays, I almost feel like this book should have been a short, filler story in between book one and book three (which I’m reading right now and therefore I feel comfortable making that statement). It was a nice transition between the first and third books, but since we jumped from Jenna’s POV into Locke’s – who no one even got a chance to really meet in book one – It was book two syndrome all over again… Lost in a totally different world, completely cut off from the characters and setting of book one.

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Locke: I struggled with Locke. I never got to know his character in book one and reading this book didn’t really set out a nice base of a character for me. He was very unsure which made me unsure about him as well. I felt like Locke’s character was all over the place and I could never really figure out what he was supposed to be like, sort of leaving me in the lurch there.
Kara: Kara bothered me. I get that “something” was off about her the whole book and I guess we’re supposed to be bothered a little bit, but again – that’s a time where it would have been nice to know what her original personality was and to actually see the change. Since I never knew her as she was before the accident, I just didn’t like her off the bat and it made it hard for me to ever be on her side.

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Library Read

It was an okay read but I wasn’t nearly as captivated as I was with the first book. I am really interested to see how this trilogy closes though!

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     Cinder      Numbers

The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Fox Chronicles #1) – Mary E. Pearson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Fox Chronicles #1) – Mary E. PearsonTitle: The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Fox Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson
Publishing Info: September 1, 2009 by Macmillan
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: June 12, 2012
Related Posts: The Fox Inheritance (The Fox Chronicles #2), Fox Forever (The Fox Chronicles #3), The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)

Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?

Breaking It Down Further: After 17-year-old Jenna Fox finally awakens from a coma after 18 months, she can’t remember the accident that put her there. In fact, she can’t remember a lot about her life before the accident. Bit by bit, her memories come back to her as well as with the help of home movies. But something still doesn’t feel right to Jenna. Some of her memories seem off and others too clear. There’s the fact that her parents are basically keeping her captive inside their new home in California — A place they literally just moved to after the accident. And the fact that there are times when Jenna just doesn’t feel right in her body at all. Slowly, she tries to put together the pieces of what this accident did to her and how to recover what she can’t remember.

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So I definitely think the less you know about the plot to start with, the better. The best part of the book (for me at least) was the very beginning. We only know what Jenna is thinking and feeling and as she get more curious, confused, and unsure about her new life, I really began to wonder… What in the Sam Hill did they do to this girl? Her memories are all garbled – Some missing, some way too vivid – and she feels weird in her own body. Is she a robot? Is this a virtual world and she’s only living out her life in a computer? Is she a clone? What’s going on here!?! So I read and I read and I read, dying to find out what happened to Jenna Fox, and finally – the reveal!

Don’t worry, I’m definitely not giving the secret away. Maybe I ruined it with all my guessing because some how it was not as shocking as I thought it would be (confused yet? If so, GOOD! It’ll be better that way, I promise). But anyway, it’s a very interesting concept and one that’s highly controversial and morally questionable to let Jenna live like that.

Well. I don’t really want to say much more about the plot itself. I want to shroud it in mystery because I think it makes for a better book if you don’t know everything that’s going on – It really lets you get inside Jenna’s head and understand her thoughts and feelings better.

I loved Jenna’s relationship with her grandma. You really see grandma Lily struggling to make something out of Jenna after the accident/coma — We start off by thinking it’s because she made her peace with the fact that she was going to die and said her goodbyes, and then the relationship starts to soften and develop, and Grandma really becomes a friend as well as guidance in life after the accident. I think Lily is my favorite character in the whole book.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing, but as I was reading I thought that maybe it was intentional. Jenna’s narration seems so cold, mostly unfeeling. Very straight-forward and almost simplistic. I felt like there were a lot of lack of natural things like contractions and similes, etc — parts of our lexicon that we use all the time, but now that I’m thinking about it, kind of brilliant to really break it down to how simply Jenna is thinking. She’s pretty messed up and obviously different since the accident and waking up from the coma, so I think that’s all part of starting over. She’s trying to re-find herself as she develops new memories and remembers the old. You can see the stark difference in the emotion of Jenna’s mom as well as a few of the kids from her new school. They clearly have a lot of emotion whereas Jenna is still working all of it out for herself.

As we learned more about what was really going on, we really got pushed to the moral and social issues behind the story, and that I enjoyed. There are some parts of the book that really make you think, “If this was really happening, how would I feel about it?” and sometimes I just didn’t know. It got set up for a second book (and I know there’s one out there), but not quite sure how I’ll feel about that, but it still really does sound interesting.

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4/5 stars
I raced through the beginning at a 5 star pace, then kind of slowed down to 3, then back up to 4, so 4 stars it is!

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