Hi guys! This past weekend, I attended the Southern Festival of Books and met some amazing authors! I’m planning on posting some pictures here on the blog soon, but today I am so excited to… More
Hi guys! Today’s interview is the first one I have done is a while, but don’t worry- we’ll have some more amazing authors and fellow book lovers talk about their novels and other literature-related topics! Earlier in September, I had the wonderful opportunity to ask YA historical fiction author Gwen C. Katz a few questions about her debut Among the Red Stars, which I want to read so much because it’s set in World War II! I wasn’t able to get it posted last month, but I’m so glad I have the opportunity now to do so. I hope you enjoy!
About Among the Red Stars
World War Two has shattered Valka’s homeland of Russia, and Valka is determined to help the effort. She knows her skills as a pilot rival the best of the men, so when an all-female aviation group forms, Valka is the first to sign up.
Flying has always meant freedom and exhilaration for Valka, but dropping bombs on German soldiers from a fragile canvas biplane is no joyride. The war is taking its toll on everyone, including the boy Valka grew up with, who is fighting for his life on the front lines.
As the war intensifies and those around her fall, Valka must decide how much she is willing to risk to defend the skies she once called home.
Inspired by the true story of the airwomen the Nazis called Night Witches, Gwen C. Katz weaves a tale of strength and sacrifice, learning to fight for yourself, and the perils of a world at war.
1. Your debut YA historical fiction novel Among the Red Stars, which released last week on October 3rd from HarperTeen, follows the story of Valka as she joins the Night Witches, one of the Soviet Union’s all-female aviation groups. How much research did you have to do to make your book as historically accurate as possible? What are some of the most surprising facts that you have stumbled upon?
I think what surprised me the most was just getting a full sense of how narrow our traditional view of World War II is. The vast majority of American media is about white men from either America or Britain. We saw that this summer in Dunkirk. They ignored Britain’s South Asian soldiers; they ignored the nurses, both of whom were present in large numbers. But the war was much bigger than that. China, for instance, lost 20 million people, but when are we going to get a movie about heroic Chinese soldiers?
2. World War II historical fiction is one of my favorite genres! What inspired you to set your book in that time period? How did you find out about the Night Witches?
I found out about the Night Witches from my father-in-law. He’s a big World War I aviation buff and one time when we were playing Wings of War, I asked him if any female pilots had flown in World War I and he told me that Russia had female pilots. Naturally I had to go look them up, and I learned about their much more famous WWII counterparts. The rest, as they say, is history.
3. What was your character-building process for creating the three main protagonists—Valka, Iskra, and Pasha? Did you reflect any of their personality traits off you or anyone you know?
Valka’s attitude is definitely based on me! A lot of pilot/navigator pairs had this “odd couple” dynamic where the pilot was the daring one and the navigator was the sensible one. So that’s where Valka and Iskra came from. As for Pasha, I think YA really needs more boys who are quiet and gentle and not traditionally masculine. I’m very interested in all the men and boys who went to war who weren’t badass action heroes. What happened to them?
4. If you were able to travel back in time to anywhere in history, where would you go and what would you do?
It’s got to be the the 11th or 12th century. At that time, a giant trade network connected most of Asia, Africa, and Europe, and culture was flourishing pretty much everywhere. In the Middle East, scholars of the Islamic golden age were inventing everything from algebra to deodorant. In Italy, the maritime republics were flourishing. Southeast Asia was an important trade center, so it was also booming; the Angkor Wat was built at this time period. In Africa, the Shona were building Great Zimbabwe. It was a pretty great time to be alive.
5. In addition to being an author, how is it like being an artist, game designer, and retired mad scientist? What are some of your favorite projects that you have worked on in all three professions?
I used to be more of a polymath, but now that I’m a professional writer, I have a hard time justifying spending time on my other interests, which is too bad. For art, I really like illustrating my stories. For game design, I used to make interactive fiction and that was fun but really challenging. I wrote this surrealist game called The House of Fear where you have to turn into different animals and make alchemical potions to escape. It’s pretty awesome. When I was still doing chemistry, I worked at an art museum doing conservation, which was amazing. Conservators restore artwork and protect it from being damaged. I got to see a Rembrandt and a Van Gogh up close. Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
6. Why do you love writing? When did you first have a love for writing, and how was it formed?
I’ve been writing since I could pick up a pencil. It started with Super Pig the flying pig superhero and it’s just gone from there. I’m just full of stories and I can’t keep them in!
7. What are your favorite books, genres, and authors? Which ones have impacted you and your writing style the most? Will I sound completely pretentious if I say the French Romantics?
I went through a Les Mis phase in high school, and I think that’s the influence you see the most in my work. The Romantics wrote these books where there are big, momentous world events and tiny, insignificant people are sort of caught in the middle of it all. I love writing stories like that.
8. What is like being a debut author in 2017? Could you describe your feelings as your book is nearing its publication in a few weeks?
I don’t think anyone would have picked 2017 as their preferred release year! Like everyone else, I’ve been struggling with promoting my book in an atmosphere where it feels like everything else is way more important. But on the other hand, in the age of “fake news,” we need historical fiction now more than ever. As for my feelings, I’m not sure I can describe them! You’re on the edge of your seat, and yet months at a time can go by when absolutely nothing happens. It’s a feeling you can only get in a field as slow-moving as publishing.
9. How do you want Among the Red Stars to impact readers?
Back when I first wrote it, I hoped readers would enjoy learning about what teenage girls in the past accomplished and be inspired to think big about what they can accomplish. And I still hope that. But today, I think the more important message is about resistance. These are people who fought fascism with everything they had. I hope today’s youth will continue that fight.
10. Do you have any tips to any aspiring authors or writers?
There are no aspiring writers, only writers. If you write, you are already succeeding!
Thanks so much, Gwen, for coming onto the blog!
About the Author
Gwen C. Katz is a writer, artist, game designer, and retired mad scientist easily identified by her crew cut and ability to cause trouble. Originally from Seattle, she now lives in Altadena, CA with her husband and a revolving door of transient mammals. She is represented by Thao Le of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.
Are you excited about Among the Red Stars? Do you love historical fiction novels?
Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!
Hi guys! I’ve been less active lately last month because school has been super busy, and I mean, super busy. This past week was mid-terms week, which definitely was full of cramming pages and pages (I mean eight 30-page chapters for AP US History) of information from colonial, revolutionary, and republican American history to genetics, organic molecules, and cellular respiration and photosynthesis in AP Biology. I’ve also had an audition, a concert, a festival, and a field trip lined up these past few weeks. Yeah, I’ve been really busy, which is why I haven’t blogged as much in September. BUT, I have read quite a few books last months so I have some great reviews and posts out soon!
Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis
The Star Wars Rings by Tomas Pueyo Brochard
In Case You Missed This Month’s Posts
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!
Hi guys! Lately, I’ve been less active because school has been super hectic for me. I just got done with midterms today, and finally Fall Break has arrived! Woo hoo! Also, the Halloween season has rolled in. You can tell since our Twitter name is Lil-BOO-klovers for the month. So to kick-off all the spooky festivities, I’m celebrating with a review of a creepy dystopian retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland! It’s the perfect Halloween read!
About the Book
**Readers’ Favorite Five Star Review Recipient**
“Always protect your queen.”
Ever since the outbreak of the Plague, life hasn’t been easy, and for seventeen-year-old Alice Carroll, it just got worse. Her sister, Dinah, has contracted the ‘un-deadly’ Momerath Virus and without a cure, will soon be worse than dead. She’ll be momerath.
Alice must leave the safety of the Sector and venture into Momerath Territory to find the antidote – if it exists. Chasing a rumor about a mysterious doctor with the cure, Alice falls down the rabbit hole into Wanderland, where ravenous momerath aren’t the only danger lurking.
Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for a review. This will not affect my review in any way.
This book definitely surprised me in many ways! Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles is one of the most unique retellings I have ever read! If you know me, I love me a good zombie novel, and this definitely made the cut! The Wanderland Chronicles is Alice in Wonderland meets World War Z, rich with fascinating backstory and references. I could not put it down at times because I was literally on the edge of my seat! I ate most of this up in a single day because it was that good. It was such a roller coaster of a novel, giving me thrills, chills, and surprises.
Hi guys! Today I am doing two mini-reviews of two dystopian books I have recently read: The Government by Peter Gulgowski and Catalyst by Kristin Smith. Since I am very backed up on reviews, you’ll see me combine many of them into single posts which would either include two mini-reviews or two full reviews, depending upon how much I want to talk about the two books. So, I hope you enjoy this Double Dystopian Review Post!
*THERE WILL BE SPOILERS, SO PLEASE BE WARNED!*
About The Government
Fifty years ago, the government was taken over by a new world power called The Second Founding Fathers. In that time, they also began the extermination of the undesirables.
Now, in the present, a country led by Gloria Chambers allows for only the desirables to live. The others are sent to massive extermination camps where they are disposed of to cleanse society.
Aria, Ethan, and Zeke are three teenagers who are being held in a detention zone located in modern-day Chicago. When it is learned that they are next for extermination, they enlist the help of a government soldier who offers to help them escape.
But they won’t be alone. A lone survivor group who has fought for the survival of the undesirables, the Resistance, is out there hiding. It’s up to them to find it.
The stakes for restoring order and justice to the country could not be higher. Can the three join forces with the Resistance and stop Gloria Chambers and her rule once and for all, or is it already too late?
Debut author Peter Gulgowski bursts onto the literary scene with a breakneck dystopian thriller, filled with breathtaking moments, betrayals, stunning revelations, and an unforgettable villain who will haunt you long after the last page. For fans of the Divergent and Hunger Games series, ‘The Government’ will be a new favorite.
Disclaimer: I received a free signed copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my thoughts or feelings in any way.
For me, this book started off very strongly. It was haunting, and it chilled me to my bones when I thought about the world the author created. His post-apocalyptic United States and how the government gets rid of “undesirables” will keep you up at night. The beginning was very strong, and I was hooked from the first few pages. I loved the world-building so much; it was the book’s strongest characteristic. Plus, I felt so connected with the characters that whenever something bad happened to one of them, it broke my heart.
Hi guys! Happy Friday! Today I am reviewing a book that is by one of the nicest authors I have met. I had the wonderful opportunity to see Tobie Easton at the SE-YA Book Fest back in March, and I got my copy of Emerge (which was an amazing book, see review here) signed. I was able to get an e-ARC of the sequel Submerge through the YA Girl’s Review Team, and let me tell you, I loved it so much. I hope you enjoy this review! Submerge is also releasing this Tuesday on September 12th, so don’t miss it!
About the Book
Now that Lia and Clay’s love has broken the Little Mermaid’s curse, everything has changed. Will Lia’s family remain on land, leading the only life she and her sisters have ever known, or will they move below the waves, to the sparkling new capital city? Lia is adamant about staying on land with Clay for her senior year. But at Melusine and her father’s trial, new revelations threaten what Lia holds most dear.
The verdict will shake Lia’s whole world, calling into question her future with Clay, her feelings for Caspian, and the fate of all Merkind. As she wonders who to trust, Lia sets out on a treacherous path that will lead her away from her sheltered Malibu home to a remote and mysterious school for Mermaids—Mermaids who may hold the secret to ancient magic Lia can use to either get back all she’s lost or to embark on a thrilling and dangerous journey.
Submerge releases on September 12th from Month9Books!
Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC of this book from the author through the YA Girl’s Review Team in exchange for an honest review. This will not my review in any way.
Submerge was one of my most anticipated sequels of 2017 because I loved Easton’s debut Emerge. When I first started this book, I was in a slump. I was reading a dystopian novel that I wasn’t getting into, and school became really stressful. I needed a good escape, and Submerge helped me get through a tough week. I fell in love with this book the moment I first started reading it. Easton definitely stepped it up in her latest sequel by raising the stakes and tension. I just could not put it down. I did not want it to end, and I need more. Why can’t book three come any closer?
Hi guys! Man, September is halfway done! This is probably one of the busiest months of the entire school year, especially with so many things like auditions and tests going around at this time. Thankfully, I am able to finish a book or two every week or two, which is good compared to my busy schedule right now. Today I am so glad to be reviewing Mindy McGinnis’s This Darkness Mine, which I was jumping up and down when I received it in the mail from Harper Collins. I hope you enjoy!
About the Book
Sasha Stone knows her place—first-chair clarinet, top of her class, and at the side of her oxford-wearing boyfriend. She’s worked her entire life to ensure that her path to Oberlin Conservatory as a star musician is perfectly paved.
But suddenly there’s a fork in the road, in the shape of Isaac Harver. Her body shifts toward him when he walks by, her skin misses his touch even though she’s never known it, and she relishes the smell of him—smoke, beer, and trouble—all the things she’s avoided to get where she is. Even worse, every time he’s near Sasha, her heart stops, literally. Why does he know her so well—too well—and she doesn’t know him at all?
Sasha discovers that her by-the-book life began by ending another’s: the twin sister she absorbed in the womb. But that doesn’t explain the gaps of missing time in her practice schedule or the memories she has of things she certainly never did with Isaac. As Sasha loses her much-cherished control, her life—and heart—become more entangled with Isaac. Armed with the knowledge that her heart might not be hers alone, Sasha must decide what she’s willing to do—and who she’s willing to hurt—to take it back.
Edgar Award–winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a dark and gripping psychological thriller about a girl at war with herself, and what it really means to be good or bad.
Disclaimer: I received a free ARC copy of this book from Katherine Tegen Books and the author in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my review in any way.
This Darkness Mine is definitely one of the most chilling and creepiest (and strangest) stories I have ever read. I fell in love with McGinnis’s novel from the very beginning, and I found my eyes glued to the pages. It’s very unique, and I mean unique. My mind is still reeling from the aftereffects of this book as I write this review. The author definitely did not disappoint with her latest YA novel; I will easily remember This Darkness Mine as one of the most haunting and makes-your-heart-pound psychological thrillers I have ever read. I am in awe of McGinnis’s writing style and creative imagination in her stories, the first book of hers I read being The Female of the Species. Now I just want to read more of her books!
Hey, guys! This is a post I’ve so been excited for!
If you guys don’t know my love my fantasy by now… Well, I’m in love with fantasy books! I adore princesses and princes and dragons and fighting and magic… everything it has to offer!
So this is why I finally picked up this series. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer! Long time ago, when I was in middle school, I actually picked up Cinder to read. Back then I took so long to read it, I had to give it back before the overdue date. Sad times.
But then I bought the book for myself and I got to read at my own pace! However, I was so hooked, it did not take long for me to finish it and move onto Scarlet.
Why am I not doing a review over the last book Winter? I kind of want to share my thoughts on what I expect. I love trying to predict the endings to series. Scroll down to the very end to skip all the other books and get to the spoiler section if you wish.
Book One: CINDER
Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.
It’s no joke that this series it based off the retellings of fairy tales we’ve heard. Obviously this one is a retelling of Cinderella.
We meet Cinder in the first book… fixing her foot. Great way to start off a book. This girl has no foot. Get over it.
And she lives in this dystopian society, but it has this big magical twist to it, which made me fall in love with this book. There are no dragons or swords or whatnot, but the sci-fi fantasy with the princes and androids really what drew me in.
At first we are met with the serious problem of the plague: letumosis. It’s incurable and roams all of earth taking lives with it. Major problem. That’s what we are also thrown into in the first chapter of this book. You understand the seriousness of this sickness and what happens when someone gets it… I’ll leave it there.
But then it’s more than just the plague. Like the story of Cinderella has, there is a ball and EVERYONE is invited. But you know how the stepmom ordeal goes. “Fix this first, then do this. And once you have done everything else, maybe you can go.”
Can I just say I LOVE story retellings. Having a Cinderella retelling within a world of cyborgs and extraterrestrial movement between the earth and the moon… phenomenal way of owning a retelling.
Going on we meet Levana. LeVaNa. She’s the queen of Luna, or the moon. She can do weird stuff to people with magic (sorry, bioelectrical manipulation…) and she can make them bow down to her. Which is why she is such a strong enemy. No one can just disagree with her. She’ll kill you on spot or she’ll make you love her. She’s wanting an “alliance” with Earth, and to do that, she has to marry Prince Kai. I won’t go into detail with that. Just know I pulled out hairs stressing out about this lady.
So yes, I loved this book. If you like romance, if you like sci-fantasy, if you love awkward, if you love sassy androids who have crushes on the prince, then pick this book up! Don’t be like me and hold off on it. PICK IT UP. You won’t regret it!
Book Two: SCARLET
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as
to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably
drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
I have no idea which book I love better: Scarlet or Cress. Both gave me so many feels, so many smiles, so many laughs.
If you didn’t know, this is the retelling of Little Red Riding Hood… except Little Red Riding Hood falls in love with the “wolf”… ANYWAYS.
We meet Scarlet, who works on a farm with her grandmother. She’s really good at what she does, she loves her grandmother a lot, and she has a fiery attitude that isn’t afraid to say what it thinks.
It makes it WAY better that she’s French, so she has that petite, cute accent when she gets mad. I personally find it funny when she gets all grumpy and snappy.
But alas! Her grandmother has gone missing, and she has no idea where she went. The authorities have stopped looking, but Scarlet is far from giving up on the person who raised her when her actual parents couldn’t.
Cinder comes into play a little bit in the beginning, mostly the people in the tavern talk about how she is wreckless, a freak, the real enemy. Then Scarlet, being the way she is, stands on top of a table and tells them all off. She’s just a teenager. How about you get the real story before judging someone. All that jazz.
Then she meets a street fighter named… wait for it… WOLF. A cuddly, old fool who will snap your neck in seconds. Love the guy. Scarlet runs her mouth in the tavern, gets the drunk guys mad, and Wolf is the one to step in to save Scarlet from being beaten up by these guys.
That’s mostly the beginning, I won’t go further, but for the fact that Scarlet and Wolf do come together in an alliance. Cool stuff goes down. We also go into Cinder’s POV after a while and see what’s she up to. Levana is in control still. She’s doing weird things to Wolf, she’s being her evil self. Great book. I loved it so much. I love Scarlet, I love Wolf, I love THORNE.
I give this five star as well, but I wish there was such a thing as a six, because this is what this book was.
Book Three: CRESS
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
This was also a favorite of mine, as I said before. This Rapunzel retelling makes me want to cry whenever I think about it. My favorite character being Thorne, and falling in love with Cress’s character, I think I squealed a lot with the interactions between them. I’m a Cress. I relate to her on so many levels. At least she has a reason to be socially awkward from being locked away for half her life.
We meet Cress. She’s locked up in this satellite, forced to spy on the Earthens. She’s forced to get information on Kai, Cinder, the mix. Her guardian is Levana’s right hand woman.
Cress has also gotten fantasies stuck in her head about Captain Thorne. She’s in love with this dude, and she’s never met him. She’s only read like all his life records. But I mean I would too if I was shut in a room with nothing to do.
The gang of Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf all go to get her out of the satellite. Little do they know, Sybil (the right-hand witch person) finds out and catches Thorne as he volunteers to go down himself and retrieve Cress and bring her back.
Sybil tries to kill them by tying them up, and turning off the gravitational stuff on the satellite. So now Sybil is going after Cinder and the rest while Thorne and Cress fall to their deaths.
Cress saves them with her awesome hacker skills, but they still have a bumpy landing getting to earth… IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SAHARA DESERT. It’s a rough journey for the two, but without it, Cress and Thorne would have never gotten as close as they did.
I loved this book, too. After some thought as I write this post, I think I do feel like Scarlet is my favorite out of all three. While I did like the characters in Cress, I did have some issues with some… logic in this book. I was really confused about some dialogue and how it developed here and there. But overall I do give this book another five out of five. Completely recommend!
SPOILER SECTION DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THESE THREE BOOKS
Okay, so Winter.
I’ve actually started this book, so I know the beginning and all that.
There are so many couples in this series. I love romance, so I’m not complaining. Scarlet and Wolf have this passionate type of relationship. “I’ll be your alpha female.” I cringed so hard at that, you don’t even understand. Nevertheless, they make me laugh. I love how much they care for one another. I love how Wolf went from fierce to lost puppy when Scarlet was taken. It really shows how much Wolf cares about her. I really want to see Wolf find Scarlet, beat up some people, then share a kiss as he’s her hero.
Cinder and Kai make me laugh all the time. i get all smiley when they kiss. I BETTER see someone get married at the end of Winter, and it better be Cinder and Kai. PLLLEAAASEE.
Thorne and Cress’s relationship is by far my favorite. While Scarlet and Wolf’s relationship was fast and passionate, Kai and Cinder’s relationship was formed on friendly conversations that led to a mutual agreement of love, Thorne and Cress is like the complete opposite of either of those. Cress is IN LOVE with Thorne, no matter how much she wants to deny it. She’s Thorne’s top fangirl. She stares at him when he walks into rooms, she gets jealous when he flirts with other girls. Then she gets these moments when she thinks Thorne is hitting on her for real, but then he turns and starts flirting with Iko. Then she gets all depressed, saying how he’ll never love her and all that.
I feel like their relationship feels a lot more real in my eyes. I’m not a go-getter when it comes to boys. I don’t feel confident in myself to walk up and tell someone I like them. Cress is the same way. She’s shy and awkward, just like me. When they do get together… sorry, I got lost in thought imagining how great it would be.
As for Levana… I CANNOT WAIT FOR AN EPIC SHOWDOWN BETWEEN HER AND CINDER. Please let it happen!!! I want to see Cinder use her Lunar powers and take over Levana, and bring her down! I want to see Levana lose her power, and let the world see how ugly she is. Like I need this to happen.
I want to see Winter get the throne on Luna. She’ll be the new queen of Luna, Cinder will back to Earth and marry Kai as the queen… This better happen.
I want to see that wolf from Winter’s playroom thing let loose. I get sad thinking about how he’s locked up like that… Scarlet too, but she’s tough. She’ll get through it.
I’m really sad that Kai ends up leaving (I’m currently at that part where he’s walking into the podship). I really wished I could have seen him kill some things first, but I guess he’s only useful for talking. Oh, well. Maybe later I’ll get to see him shoot something. Maybe Levana… or that Aimery dude. That’d be cool.
OH MY GOODNESS. I almost forgot about Jacin. I have such a love/hate relationship for him. I kind of hated him in Cress. He was a jerk face. But then he comes back, and I want to love him because he obviously loves Winter and will risk his life for her.
I love the part where he’s assigned to be her personal guard, and when he tells her he can care for her more than he should and goes back outside her room to stand guard, Winter follows him with her solar system project, sits next to him, and says, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t see her there.” And Jacin can’t argue with the Princess, so he stands there and even touches the top of her head… It was such a cute moment. Jacin is a good person in a way he protects those he loves. You can call out Cinder any day, but don’t you dare glare at Winter. He’ll mess you up.
Wow, this feels long, but I love getting all of this out! If you haven’t read the series, please give it a try. it’s sci-fi, it’s comedy, it’s romance… Marissa Meyer made a masterpiece with this series, and I can’t wait to finish Winter so I can experience this ending that better have everything I hope for.
Hi guys! Today I am so glad to be welcoming an author who wrote one of my favorite reads of 2017! Nyxia was actually one of my most anticipated reads of this year, so it is such a great honor to welcome Scott Reintgen on the blog today. Also, Nyxia is releasing tomorrow from Crown Publishing, so please do NOT miss it! We are so glad to celebrate its release with this exclusive interview, so please enjoy!
About the Book
Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.
Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden–a planet that Babel has kept hidden–where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.
But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.
1. Why do you love writing? When did you first have a love for writing, and how was it formed?
I love to write because I first loved to read. The magic of vanishing into another world just appealed to me so much that I started creating my own. I do have two very big steps forward in my love of writing that I remember. The first came in elementary school when our class “published” little books we had written. It was just so cool to see a book with my name on it. The second came in high school when a teacher illegally switched me into a Creative Writing class after reading a first chapter of a project. I’ve wanted to be an author ever since.
2. What are your favorite books, genres, and authors? Which ones have impacted you and your writing style the most?
Too many to count! I’ve always had a thing for science fiction and fantasy. I’ve tried writing contemporary, but a dragon or a spaceship always shows up (though, no dragons on spaceships yet). I owe my love of reading to J.K. Rowling. A lot of my passion to be a better “technical” writer comes from George R.R. Martin. But I’ve had hundreds of others influence me: N.K. Jemisin, Pat Rothfuss, Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo, etc. The biggest recent influence is Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy.
3. What do you do when you’re not writing? Is writing a part-time or full-time job?
Writing is a full-time job. I used to teach as well, but these days I’m mostly changing diapers and writing books.
4. Nyxia is definitely one of my favorite Fall 2017 releases! It follows the story of Emmett, who is one of 10 competitors fighting for a spot to go to Eden, a planet that holds nyxia, a rare yet powerful substance, but he soon finds out that there’s many secrets lurking in the spaceship he’s in about Babel Corporation. Would you want to be recruited by Babel to have a chance to go to Eden? If so, do you think you’d be able to win a spot? Who would you ally with, and who would you become enemies with?
I would not want to be recruited by Babel, but if they did get me on their spaceship, I’d definitely be in the thick of the competition. Emmett’s competitive nature is actually based on my competitive nature. I really do enjoy winning and the reason I came up with so many fun challenges and games for the book is because I wish I could actually try them out in real life! And the alliances question is really difficult. Emmett and I are too similar, so I’m not sure I would have picked him as an ally. I would have probably gone for someone who’s skills and strengths are different than mine. Maybe Katsu?
Hi guys! Happy Labor Day everybody! Today I am finishing up my 5-day weekend from school, and (hopefully) I got a lot of things done. September is going to be a crazy month for me- it usually is one of the busiest throughout the year- but I am so glad to have an amazing lineup of authors this month! Please give a warm welcome to Nancy J. Cavanaugh, author of Elsie Mae Has Something to Say, which I reviewed a few weeks ago as an ARC! She’s also giving away a signed copy of her book, so please don’t miss that!
About Elsie Mae Has Something to Say
Elsie Mae is pretty sure this’ll be the best summer ever. She gets to explore the cool, quiet waters of the Okefenokee Swamp around her grandparents’ house with her new dog, Huck, and she’s written a letter to President Roosevelt that she’s confident will save the swamp from a shipping company and make her a major hometown hero. Then, news reaches Elsie Mae of some hog bandits stealing from swamper families, and she sees another opportunity to make her family proud while waiting to hear back from the White House.
But when her cousin Henry James, who dreams of one day becoming a traveling preacher like his daddy, shows up and just about ruins her investigation with his “Hallelujahs,” Elsie Mae will learn the hard way what it really means to be a hero.
My Writing Process for Elsie Mae Has Something to Say
So excited to be stopping by to do a guest post on Lilbooklovers! I’m thankful for the opportunity to share a bit about my process in writing my most recent book, Elsie Mae Has Something to Say.
My basic formula for writing this particular book was to take one cup of inspiration, combine it with many cups of research, fold in a couple of cups of personal experience, then simmer and stir into a pot of creative imagination for about twenty years to yield one middle grade historical novel.
Hi guys! So my first month of school has just gone by! Whoo, what a ride! Currently, I’m on a 5-day break for Labor Day, so as I write this, I’m trying to get some needed rest and relaxation (and productivity). Junior year is definitely becoming really stressful right now, so I’m going to be reading and blogging less. Actually, even though the blog stats have decreased a bit lately, the two-posts-a-week schedule works so great for me so I’m not too stressed to make so many posts a month. Because I’m reading less, there will be less books on my reading re-cap, but I am going to include my posts from throughout the month in case you missed it! Hope you enjoy!
Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
Submerge by Tobie Easton
Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me by Carrie Ann DiRisio
This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis