Book Review & Giveaway: Fire Country by David Estes

Fire CountryTitle: Fire Country (Country Saga #1)

Author: David Estes

Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb: In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer’s even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.

Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.

Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with.

As the desert sands run out on her life’s hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.

My Review: Fire Country starts off with a girl, surviving in a dystopian world. She is trying to mentally prepare herself for the traditions of her tribe, The Heaters. All while dealing with bullying, an abusive father and circumstances beyond her means. She has a best friend, Circ, who she’s starting to see as possibly more than a friend but she knows their romance is impossible as there is a way for mating among the Heaters that doesn’t even allow them the possibility.

Siena, the main character, was real. Her insecurities, I very much understood, related to and believed. She’s not only dealing with insecurities and emotional and physical scars but there is a world of suspense and conspiracy going on around her. She puts herself in situations to try and unravel these mysteries and boy, was I in for a treat. Siena has a strong will and an even sharper mind. She is physically lacking- too skinny and weak. Yet this does not stop her. She learns to accept who she is, her body and see what she thought were negatives as positive. I love her transformation and seeing her become as physically strong as she is mentally.

So characters: As already covered, Sienna is awesome. Circ, her best friend, is beautiful. He is there for her. Both emotionally and physically. He is strong, a warrior, and uses his strength to protect his people and her. Their romance is truly something I loved. Perry OMG, Perry! He is fricking amazing. I love his banter with Sienna. He has such a prickly personality (Ha!) and dry sense of humor and I loved him! If his name was anywhere on the page, I laughed. And then laughed some more. The best thing about Perry? So much about him is amazing but I won’t spoil the best part.

Estes writes in a way that allows for the reader to completely immerse themselves in the novel. From the language to the imagery to emotions that run so pure that you sometimes forget yourself while reading. You laugh and cry and mourn and leap with joy. Speaking of laughs, there was something I thought of after finishing this novel that I just want to share. Have any of you watched Laugh At My Pain a comedy special by Kevin Hart? He has this ongoing joke throughout the show. He’s joking about money and how when he can’t afford something he explains his financial situation, “Because the way my bank account is set up… I have a checking and a savings but all the money is in my savings…” The more he tells it, the funnier it becomes. Estes, did something to that effect in Fire Country. An ongoing joke that even in the most suspenseful or heated moments cause a laugh. This novel gave me an insight to Estes’ sense of humor and I gotta say, you are a funny man!

The novel ended well and after all the bangs and fireworks one would expect of a grand finale and then the pace slows to fill in all the blanks that we wondered about throughout the novel. It also set the tone for the sequel, which quite honestly, I’m looking forward to. I also know this series is described as a sister series to The Moon Dwellers, but I didn’t really understand it at first. Now I do and I feel that these books, in both series, are a must read.

*I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Giveaway: It’s that time again, where you get the chance to enter another amazing giveaway. This very emotional and gushing girl is offering you the chance to win an ebook copy of this novel. To get a little colloquial, you would be wooloo, to not enter. This is once again a Rafflecopter giveaway and to enter, just click here. Good luck!

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ARC Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

The Eternity Cure Title: The Eternity Cure (The Blood of Eden #2)

Author: Julie Kagawa

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

My Review: Buzz, buzz, buzz… This book has been generating such a buzz. Well bees, I get it ok? This book was amazing. I get what all the hype is about and yes, I’ve joined the ‘everyone read The Eternity Cure because it’s pure awesomeness’ train.

The Eternity Cure is a novel that is very easy to fall in love with. The novel itself with its plot twists, action, suspense, badassedness and yes, it’s romance make for an all consuming read. So imagine everything you enjoyed in The Immortal Rules with a better story line and amazing character development. I loved how dark this novel is and the development and complexity of the relationships.

As for characters: Alison is amazing. She continues to deal with the struggle of monster vs. humanity and I love how realistic it is. She is strong physically, morally and emotionally and it was awesome to see her prevail when these strengths were tested. Zeke, OMG Zeke! Yep, he’s back. He is such a heart throb and I cannot even describe how ecstatic I was to have him be a part of this novel and getting to know him better. Eden changed him for the better and we find him in full suitor mode. Jackal plays a big part in the storyline and boy was I holding a grudge against him from The Immortal Rules. But that couldn’t last forever I guess. He continues to be self motivated and clearly using Alison, but he’s funny and the suspense of never knowing how trustworthy he is helped keep me on the edge of my seat. Kanin continues to be awesome. In this novel we get to know him in weakness, kindness, anger and strength. And last but not least Stick. Boy did he piss me off. He’s a total tool. Well, he is. The thing though that pissed me off the most about him was Alison’s inability to truly see him for what he is and not who he was.

The Eternity Cure is a complete rollercoaster ride. From laughter and tears, to excitement and suspense. I never knew what to expect and loved every single word of it. This book is definitely one I recommend and 100% worth the buzz.

*I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Giveaway: Have you entered the ongoing giveaway for The Eternity Cure? If you haven’t, you have until the end of the month to enter this Rafflecopter giveaway. Goodluck!

Book Review: Once

onceTitle: Once (Eve #2)

Author: Anna Carey

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: When you’re being hunted, who can you trust?

For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She’s living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America.

But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America.

Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past–and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together–but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves . . . or risk losing Caleb forever.

In this breathless sequel to “Eve,” Anna Carey returns to her tale of romance, adventure, and sacrifice in a world that is both wonderfully strange and chillingly familiar.

My Review: Once picks up where Eve left off. Eve made it to Califia and is trying to adjust to this life without Caleb. She is struggling with her guilt of having abandoned him and wracked with worry for him and Arden. As stated in the blurb, she hears word of Caleb being in trouble and immediately sets out to find him. However, her act of bravery and love leads to her capture and she soon finds herself in the City of Sand.

Eve was a pretty great novel but it’s sequel, Once, has completely blown me away. The adventure, friendship, betrayal… Has left me emotional and speechless. Above all, I loved the romance in this novel, this all consuming love that warms the heart. I also loved Eve’s strength. She is strong and tries to do her best with her circumstances. Regardless of her situation, she doesn’t forget those she loves and shows strength even in her worst times.

Another great thing about this novel are the great plot twist. Sadly, one of the biggest plot twist in this novel was ruined for me- by a disgruntled reader and my curiosity. 🙂 Even with that, the novel was amazing. I never knew what to expect and got through the novel with a general air of suspense.

So for those of you who read Eve and are wondering what you can expect to find in Once here it is: First, you find out why Eve is so important to the king. Two, you find out more information about the trail- their purpose and goals. Third, we get to know Eve even better. Her compassion, strength and love. Four, we see more of a beautiful romance riddled with adversities and held together with hope. Last, expect an ending that may disappoint you with it’s brevity but will leave you anxious for more.

As previously stated, I really I joyed this novel. Much more than I did Eve. I am anxiously looking forward to it’s sequel and am dying to know how Carey will end this trilogy.

Book Review: In Between Seasons

in between seasonsTitle: In Between Seasons (The Fall #1)

Author: Cassandra Giovanni

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Blurb: At eighteen there is one thing Kate Ericson is certain of—the world is at war and has been since she was two years old. That was when her father pulled her family and a group of close friends to a God forsaken place in the middle of nowhere. For Kate there is no escape from the sea of lies she is drowning in until her world collides with Hunter Marks—the son of her father’s biggest opponent. An opponent that Kate didn’t even know existed. What Hunter kidnaps Kate for, and what her family will try to kill her to keep secret, is a knowledge that she doesn’t have. Now Kate’s innocence seems to becoming undone at the seams of reality. Hunter then finds himself fighting the hopelessness that is creeping into the edges of her heart as she learns more about the corruption that has devoured their lives. As Hunter and Kate forge a strong and unique relationship it becomes clear that their love is something that the bureaucracy never expected, and that Hunter’s father will do whatever he can to destroy it. Hunter believes he must sacrifice love in order to teach Kate that the world’s deadliest weapon is her. Hunter and Kate will have to find the strength to rise above a deception that is so great, even the ones who created it don’t realize its depth.

In Between Seasons is a new kind of post-apocalyptic novel, one that focuses on the characters and uses the lack of understanding of a corrupt world as the backdrop to shape them into who they are as people.

My Review: In Between Seasons is definitely an interesting novel. It is a dystopian novel that I found to be different. Giovanni weaves history and truth and paints a post-apocalyptic world that is believable and realistic.

The novel does not necessarily start off slow but it takes me a little while to feel as if I am connecting to its characters. It starts off with action and it surely piqued my interest. However, I felt myself not really into the novel. It took me two or three chapters to get into the story and feel a connection to the characters. With that being said, I enjoyed the main characters. The story is told in first person POV from Kate’s perspective. I like her determination, strength, guile, intuition and perseverance. Hunter on the other hand, is her love interest. They share a lot of the same characteristics but man is he swoon worthy. 🙂 He does so much to protect Kate and he kind of becomes her knight in shining armor, her beacon in the darkest of nights. I enjoyed the way Giovanni portrays them- cold and indifferent. Yet, that’s simply how they look to the world. With each other, they let their guards down and we get to see the real them. I enjoyed seeing the two sides to these characters. Also, the connection they both share lead them to go against the molds their families have for them and there is just something about their forbidden love that makes it all the more beautiful.

The truth is that the biggest attraction to this novel is the romance. Any romance lover or romantic at heart can read this novel and totally swoon over it. It’s nice in the get to know each other way. Kate and Hunter have crazy chemistry and they endlessly tease each other. They’re romance reminded me a bit of the Montague’s and Capulet’s- Two rival families who are at war but amidst all of that an unexpected love forms between two of its members.

Overall, In Between Seasons is a great read. The emotions are very real and I enjoyed the themes presented in this book: Love, betrayal, loss, revenge, hatred, humor, friendship… I also loved what I found to be the moral of the story- that love has the power to heal, give strength and bring out the best in people. That love is a force and with determination it conquers all.

*I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review

Book Review: Apocalypsis: Book 2, Warpaint

WarpaintTitle: Apocalypsis: Book 2, Warpaint (Apocalypsis #2)

Author: Elle Casey

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: My name’s Bryn Mathis. I’m seventeen years old, and I live in Kahayatle, otherwise known as The Everglades. I live with my three best friends and a tribe of Native American teens, because my dad died almost a year ago, along with all the other adults in the world.

We’re creating a whole new world for ourselves, but this world has problems. The biggest threat to our survival is not starvation anymore … it’s the gang of kids who lives nearby that has become more vicious than anyone could have imagined possible. The soulless demons have gone too far, and it’s time for us to rise up and do what needs to be done to set things right.

Alone, it might have been impossible; but now I’ve got friends. I’m worried though, that I won’t be able to get them ready to fight in time, and that we’re taking on more of a challenge than we can handle right now.

And I have no idea what might be waiting for us when we arrive on their front doorstep.

My Review: As many of you know I read and enjoyed Apocalypsis Book 1. So I anxiously jumped on it’s sequel. Did I have expectations? Absolutely. I was expecting some more full out laughs, a lot of action and to see more of what appeared to be a budding romance. Well, Casey does not disappoint.

Warpaint picks up where Kahayatle left off. Bryn and her family of four have found a home in the safety of the Kahayatle or in English: the Everglades. They have become friends with it’s natives but now have more on their minds than simply surviving. As the cannibals that filled readers with dread and suspense in book one, get closer to their home, Bryn must prepare them to defend themselves and fight.

Bryn continues to be the strong heroine I came to know and love. She is the same badass who keeps kicking ass and taking names. 🙂 Casey keeps us laughing throughout the book and the reader is continuously treated to front row seats to great action scenes. The romance is definitely budding. It was sweet, and honest and very steamy. For those of you who are queasy about reading books with sex in it… Don’t worry, although steamy the happy couple don’t have intercourse.

I recently mentioned that the mystery surrounding Bodo left me with a feeling of foreboding… Well Bodo reveals all of his secrets in this novel and no, it’s not at all what I expected. He continues to be sweet, romantic and protective. Peter continues with his OCD tendencies. He also makes new friends and becomes an even stronger character than he was in Book 1.

I will be stopping here in the hopes of not spoiling this book for anyone. It is a great read. It is funny, action packed, romantic and a great story of survival and friendship and love.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Apocalypsis: Book Review + Giveaway

Title: Apocalypsis: Book 1, Kahayatle (Apocalypsis #1)

Author: Elle Casey

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: My name’s Bryn Mathis. I’m seventeen years old, and I live in a neighborhood outside of Orlando, Florida. I live alone because my dad died almost a year ago, along with all the other adults in the world. I’m almost out of food and the gangs of kids that roam around my town are getting more vicious by the day.

It’s time for me to leave and find another place to live … a place where I can find food and shelter … a place where they won’t be able to find me.

Alone, it might have been possible; but now I’ve got company. I’m worried that I don’t have what it takes to get from here to my final destination.

And I have no idea what might be waiting for me when I get there.

My Review: Have you ever wondered what a world with no adults would be like? Or if teenagers can survive in a world with no parents? Well, Casey paints a very honest and realistic view of what this world would be like. Apocalypsis is a dystopian novel where a disease kills off most of the population. In this novel, anyone who wasn’t a who teenager died- adults and children alike. The story is told in first person POV and from Bryn’s perspective.

So, let me give you a quick synopsis: Bryn’s father who was well aware of the fact that he would be dead soon did everything he could to prepare Bryn. He left her stocked with food, a gun, first aid supplies and other necessities. He taught her how to pack, how to camp, how to defend herself using Krav Maga and he left her a plan. At some point she would have to move and find a safe place to settle down.

If you don’t enjoy reading books that tend to be addictive and take over your life until you have finished reading it- stay away from Apocalypsis. It was nearly impossible to put down. It is also funny- I spent most of the book chuckling or full out laughing. It’s action packed- Bryn is a certified badass and there was always someone’s ass for her to kick. It’s suspenseful and gross- the reality of their world is crazy (although realistic) and at times hard to stomach. There is also a hint of romance- it was nice seeing the attraction and chemistry between Bryn and Bodo.

The characters are dynamic and fun and I loved getting to know them.

  • Bryn is funny, brave and very likeable. She has a great sense of humor and spends most of her time teasing others. She can totally kick ass and protects the people she cares about.
  • Peter is a great support for Bryn. He’s often her voice of reason. He is surprisingly strong but is the weakest character of the bunch.
  • Bodo is a sweetheart. He plays Bryn’s love interest. He is strong, has a crazy hot body and has a great accent (I love how Casey presents his speech to us). He tries very hard to be of help and to make Bryn happy- totally cute and romantic. However, he is surrounded by a shroud of mystery and his secrets left me with a feeling of foreboding.
  • The one negative I found was that there is never any explanation of this disease that decimated the population. To be clear, neither the reader nor the characters have any understanding of it. After all, when the adults are the scientist and doctors and they are dying off, there is no one else left to explain it. All we know is that there was something in the hormones raging in teenagers that made them immune to the disease.

    This is a novel that raises the question of people and human nature and survival. It is a prime example of Darwin’s ideas- A world where you must adapt to survive (survival of the fittest). Apocalypsis is fun, realistic, hilarious, and heartwarming. I really enjoyed reding this book and would definitely recommend. I look forward to reading the sequel and knowing what happens next.

    For a chance to see just how good this book is be sure to enter the giveaway.Elle Casey is once again, generously giving away two ebook copies of Apocalypsis. This giveaway is open until October 21, 2012. The winner will be announced October 22. Good luck!

    Book Review: Eve

    Title: Eve (Eve #1)

    Author: Anna Carey

    My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

    Blurb: The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

    Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust…and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

    Favorite Quote: “…love was death’s only adversary, the only thing powerful enough to combat its clawing, desperate grasp.”

    My Review: So why did I pick up Eve? Well first off, the cover caught my attention. I’m not one to judge a book by its cover but I would be lying if I said that oftentimes the thing that makes me curious enough to read a book’s blurb is its cover (if not it is the title). So I saw this awesome cover and when I read the blurb I was like, “Sure… It sounds interesting…” Especially since I tend to favor dystopians. So I started reading and Carey was quick to capture this readers attention.

    A world where for nefarious reasons, girls are taught to fear men. It honestly reminded me a bit of Delirium with the fact that it’s a book of discovery. Where the protagonist is sorting through what she’s been taught all her life and what her heart tells her is true. It is beautiful and her feelings are so pure that even the scenes where they slightly hold hands are swoon worthy. With this being said, I loved Eve’s innocence. For example there is this hilarious scene where Caleb, her knight in shining armor, is singing a song: “‘My balls are sweating, my balls are sweating, noooo, noooo, noooo!'” To which the ever innocent Eve responds, “Why is that funny? What are ‘balls’? Like the ball of your foot?” So throughout the book you get a few good laughs and they are mostly at Eve’s expense.

    I also really enjoyed the pace of the book as well as the character development.

    • Eve starts off as the poster child for obedience. She was someone that trusted and blindly did what she was told. And although she she doesn’t become the epitome of rebellion she starts to question what she’s been taught. She cautiously begins to test these things and see for herself what is true. She is strong and truly a great all around person.
    • Arden, I believe is the character that undergoes the most change. She starts off as Eve’s biggest enemy. Yet after some unexpected events the reader sees that there is more to her character. She turns out to be a great person who was just very rough around the edges.
    • Caleb, his character doesn’t necessarily see any development. In his case he was a mystery that was slowly revealed to the reader.

    One thing that took away from this book, for me, was Eve. She was a great character and I definitely enjoyed her development. Yet there were many scenes where I found her to be just plain stupid. If there is one thing that gets under my skin and I just can’t stand is weak characters. Eve is ultimately a strong character yet she had her moments in which she was weak and impulsive and I absolutely loathed that.

    Eve’s blurb is a great one that provides a very apt summary for the novel. With that being said, as the novel progresses it follows the lines of what has already been outlined. It is great but expected. Well at least that was the case, until a nicely unexpected plot twist and betrayal play their role and leave the reader in virtual suspense as we have no clue what will happen next. I loved the laughs this book gave me, the subtle action and the mounting romance. Eve is a beautiful tale about innocence, friendship and love.

    Book Review: Crossed

    Title: Crossed (Matched #2)

    Author: Ally Condie

    Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

    Blurb: Rules Are Different Outside The Society

    Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky–taken by the Society to his sure death–only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of a rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices every thing to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.
    Narrated from both Cassia’s and Ky’s point of view, this hotly anticipated sequel to Matched will take them both to the edge of Society, where nothing is as expected and crosses and double crosses make their path more twisted than ever.

    My Review: So let me start this review with a confession. I have like thirty books just sitting around that need to be read and reviewed. With that being said I’ve had this book collecting dust for over a month and I have been so reluctant to read it. I can’t properly explain why especially because I enjoyed Matched. So although I did grudgingly pick this book up I was blown away. I started this book and was bewitched.

    Crossed picks up a few months after where Matched ended. Cassia has been working in farming camps in the hopes of being stationed in the Outer Providences and therefore be closer to Ky. Crossed is told from both Ky’s and Cassia’s POVs and in the first half of the book it is great in letting the reader know how close their paths are to crossing. (I did find their switching narratives to be confusing at times and often had to go back and reread a few pages or most of a chapter.) Because I don’t consider it a spoiler I’ll spill: they do eventually find each other. The way their meeting was building up I expected it to be the climax of this book and also the ending. Well it’s not. Their reunion was exciting and beautiful and totally awesome. I loved it. But there is so much that happens in this book: action, romance, lies, deceit and plot twist after plot twist.

    In trying to be honest I’ll say that Condie’s bewitching only lasted until the halfway point in the book. After Cassia and Ky find each other the book completely changes. A lot still happens but the characters change and that definitely changed the tone of the book.

    • Cassia, for example, is a really tough/ strong character. I love that. Especially in this book. She is every bit of the tough heroine as I’ve ever seen them. However, after she finds Ky I don’t see the strength anymore. I’m not sure if this was done purposely by the author or what but she went from thinking and acting like a grown woman to resembling an adolescent.
    • Ky has always been a strong character. But in this book Ky narrating really lets the reader get to know him. His history, his character, his personality and also his flaws. His biggest flaw, I find, are his insecurities. Which by the way, was a major turnoff. Also, in verbatim he says that telling people you’re whole story gives them ammunition to hurt you. He therefore never let’s anyone know everything about him not even Cassia. Well this results in A LOT of secret keeping which really upset me. That tends to be a pet peeve of mine and this resulted in a lot of frustrated brakes from this book. It’s one of the things that made me dislike the book and in a way, him too. I never knew him to be insecure or insincere but then again he wasn’t narrating in Matched. Maybe he was really good at hiding it.

    Overall, Crossed is not a bad book. My biggest disappointment was the change of pace and tone in the second half of the book. I think if the book was consistent and ended the way it started it without a doubt would have gotten a 5 star rating from me. This book is without a doubt captivating and interesting and it presents a lot of questions that I’m hoping will be answered in the final installment of this trilogy, Reached. And yes, I do plan on reading it. However, in a bit of a spoiler I’ll say that this book does not seem to lead to the happily ever after one would hope to see. Yet I’m still interested to read how Condie finishes this series off.

    Book Review: Cinder

    Title: Cinder Lunar Chronicles #1

    Author: Marissa Meyer

    Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

    Synopsis: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

    Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

    My Review: Before I started reading the book I was a little dismayed because of the Cinderella theme. Don’t get me wrong, I love Cinderella. The issue I had with it is that I assumed that Meyer was going to feed off of the fairy tale without giving it due credit. I apologize because I feel as if I’m not properly explaining myself. (That seems to be my story most of the time. ;)) I figured it would be a book that EVERYONE knows is about Cinderella with the evil stepmother and stepsisters but the author would give no credit to the fairy tale. Well Meyer definitely made an ass out of me for assuming on this one. She truly incorporated Cinderella into the book. Besides the usual, you know, the the evil step-people, the handsome prince, the glass slipper… Again the usual. I also loved that Cinder being divided into four parts that each begins with a quote from the fairy tale. It definitely sets the stage and I enjoyed the book so much more because of it.

    This story is unique to say the least. So what is Cinder about? What makes it unique? Well if you put in the Cinderalla fairy tale, throw a Cyborg in there, add the correct dosage of dystopia, sprinkle in a teaspoon worth of Sailor Moon and there you have the magic that is Cinder.

    I’ll be honest and say that I only had a vague notion as to what a cyborg was before I read this book. For those of you who are also not sure, I’ll clear up the air. According to Google, a cyborg is a fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities become superhuman by mechanical elements built into the body. The protagonist, Meyer’s Cinderella, being a cyborg is a very creative twist. Along with a few other surprises, Meyer manages to make this book unique and unforgettable.

    I have noticed how much I tend to gush about romance and am trying to slow down on that. But it seems I can’t help myself ;). As many of you know I love romance. Period. In every size, shape and form. Whether it be instant love or realistic get-to-know-each-other-first love. Well in this book, Cinder and Prince Kai (her love interest) do the get-to-know-each-other-first romance. Their interactions are sweet and funny and I really enjoyed it. However, what I enjoyed most was this crazy, big emphasis on crazy, climax. I can’t stress this enough it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. But I feel that as amazing as Cinder is, it was only used to set the scene to what I hope (I’m crossing my fingers here) will be an amazing series.

    If you are picking up this book thinking you’ll know what to expect, after all it is based on a very popular fairy tale, well you’re in for a world of surprises. There are so many plot twists in this book, that honestly, took the book up several notches: from being good to being amazing. I will complain here and say that I think Meyer set up some of these plot twist a little too well. If you are wondering why this is negative, I will tell you (well even if you are not wondering I will still tell you… Ha ha ha!). Some things that could of been amazing plot twists turned out to be obvious. Meyer hinted at it enough that it was expected for this eager reader (yes, me). But have I already said I love this book? Because I do. Even with some overly hinted at plot twists I was on a roller coaster ride. You know, where you are slowly inching up to the drop (plot twist)- You know it’s coming, you think your prepared for it but when you get to the top and go down that drop you are still terrible excited and breathless. So Cinder, thank you for the amazing ride!

    Guests Reviews: 101 + Giveaway

    Since I have already reviewed 101, I have decided to give you guys someone else’s opinion of the book. One lucky person will walk away with a free pdf copy of this book. The last day to enter to win a copy of 101 is Saturday September 8th. The entry form is at the end of this post.

    Title: 101

    Author: Margaret Chatwin

    Synopsis: How do you get desperately needed answers when no one is talking? Who do you trust in a place full of criminals, a place where it’s easy to mistake friends for enemies and enemies for friends? And how is it possible for one girl to seemingly vanish into thin air, especially when the place is surrounded by sixteen foot high electric fences?
    When Trigg and his sister Ren are sentenced to township 101 for the crime of defending themselves, and Ren suddenly comes up missing, Trigg must ask himself these same questions.
    Something else he’d like to know is, how do you survive when the flaws of the NAO’s justice system has turned a simple punishment into a game of life or death?

    Our first review is Elisa’s of Lost Inside the Covers.

    Elisa’s Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

    It is so intense! I love it, but I have to go bury my head in the sand a bit.
    Full on tears as I finished this book…at work no less. I am a freaking mess, runny nose, drippy eyes, ugh! This book pitbulled me at the beginning. It grabbed me by the throat and shook me around forcing me to read, read, read. Then it slowed down, the pitbull relaxed its jaws magically and I could read at my own pace. At the end, it stood there growling at me, scaring me to death because it had a crazy look in its eye. Someone was going to die and I was a big fat chicken and took my time to get there. I finished finally, just now. I read the last few pages and am now a so in love with this mean old book I can’t stand it. I won this ebook from Today in Shenaya and really enjoyed the Pledged characters interview with the 101 characters. Click here to check it out.

    101 is a YA, sort of dystopian book about a government where there is no mercy, no light sentences, only super harsh “justice”. Any and all infractions of the law are treated the same. You are thrown in a township surrounded by electrified fences and men with guns in the middle of nowhere to serve your time. I guess a lighter crime just gives you less time in the township. You live with other criminals. The government doesn’t much care if you are killed, it just means you are out of the system. Anyone who kills anyone is killed themselves, problem solved! Less criminals to deal with.

    Trigg and his sister Ren are thrown in township 101 when they are caught escaping their abusive father in his car and are convicted for car theft. They are immediately separated and Trigg spends a lot of time trying to find Ren. That is when the pitbull let me breathe a little. This becomes a jail story. You find out the hierarchy, who is really ruling things around there and Trigg learns, eventually, to fight back. His father’s abuse caused Trigg to just take the beatings so his sister would stay out of the bullseye. To survive in 101, he needs to learn how to fight. There is graffiti on the house next to his, Kill or be Killed and it is true in the township. Trigg learns how to be a survivor, a leader and a man. Sometimes being a pacifist isn’t enough, your non-action will doom you, while an offensive might just work. You have to fight for what you believe in and those you love to elicit change.

    This was a harsh book, with violence and killings and rape, luckily we are told about, not shown the rape. But it also includes love, friendship and affection. The characters are excellently drawn and I enjoyed both the good ones and the bad ones quite a bit. The ending culminated and was over quite quickly and a little conveniently, but it works. This book is going to stick with me for a long time. If you like YA and can handle the tough stuff, I encourage you to read it. 4.5 stars.

    Our next review is from Ymelda who gave it 4 of 5 Paws. Here’s what she had to say:

    ​Ok, so I picked up this novel, 101 by Margaret Chatwin. It was not by my own accord, as I have never heard of her (it’s cool, she has no clue who I am either). My sister recommended this book to me. I was a tad bit skeptical because this is the same person that told me that Twilight was a wonderfully written love story, and we all know that’s not true. Against my better judgment I followed her advice and I’m thankful I did. **little note here, this does not mean that I will stop questioning her choice in literature** Although I am not an indie author connoisseur, I am now definitely a fan thanks to Ms. Chatwin’s words. 101 is a dystopian novel…go ahead Google it….I’ll wait….. Its ok, I did the same exact thing!
    Ok, now that you are familiar with DYSTOPIA, as am I, (my word of the day… I intend to use it in all of my conversations today!) this book gives us insight to what a world would be like with a no mercy type of law. If you break it, you pay for it. I used to be a firm believer of this idea that there should be no excuses. If you commit the crime then face the consequences and they should always be the same across the board. I failed to recognize the small cases where one must make use of our human instinct and empathize with criminals and have some kind of heart prior to passing judgment.
    101 takes us on a journey of Trigg Hale and his sister Ren. Ren has committed a crime in order to save the life of her brother. Trigg takes Ren and attempts to flee in order to begin a new life elsewhere, unfortunately, they are stopped and arrested. Leading to their sentencing, we learn about the justice system and how each criminal is taken to the same living facility without concern over what crime was committed. All law breakers were cohabitating and basically living a life under a watchful eye, but creating their own laws within. Let me stop here for a second. I loved the introduction of the book and I loved the development of the characters. What made it hard to follow for me was the time that they were sentenced to for the crimes they committed.
    **SPOILER** You see, I love the law and tend to know a bit about criminal law. In the state of Florida, if one shoots INTENTIONALLY another person, you can be charged with life as this is attempted murder (granted if the dude/dudedette survives). In this book Ren was charged with shooting her father and was sentenced to eight years. EIGHT YEARS!!! C’mon now, this is supposed to be a legal system without mercy! Show me no mercy. That is a piece of cake compared to the type of things we deal with on a daily basis. Trigg, who stole his father’s car, and was an accessory to attempted murder only got three years. In today’s society that would grant you at least fifteen years, depending on your attorney. Needless to say that this took me out of the story for a bit and I had to work myself back in and pretend that this was “harsh” punishment.
    Once I did get back into the book, I was introduced to the most hateful Lucifer like human in the world, Ace. This dude was hot. Charismatic like no ones business and someone that you just want the worst pain in the world to rain down on him and soak his body with an acid that will slowly decay every living cell in his body and cause them to pop. As each cell in his body begins to pop, I want his brain to register the pain and there is nothing he can do about it because he is tied down and each acidic rain drop is falling slowly starting with his feet and working its way up. Slow, antagonizing death….matter of fact while we wait for each cell in his body to pop, there should be an army of rabid monkeys biting at him and stabbing him with alcohol soaked daggers to intensify his pain. Yeah, totally hated his character.
    Actually, I hated his demise a little more. I just wish that Ms. Chatwin would have given me a little more insight into his **SPOILER** death. I wanted to see him suffer for the pain that he caused. Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. I really hate Ace.
    Any who, Trigg spends his time hunting for his sister. It takes him forever, but he made a few decent friends while imprisoned. They help him find her and once he has her, all hell breaks loose. He’s number one on Ace’s most hated list and this dude makes sure that Trigg knows it.
    Along the path of survival, Trigg realizes that Ace is up to something. Something that will change the lives of all those incarcerated. There’s nothing he can do, or is there?
    I don’t want to give too much away on this book, but I must say that it’s a must read. There were a couple of grammatical errors (yeah, you’ll probably find some on my review too, but I’m just saying) and the whole legal thing made me loose interest for a second. Overall though, this book is an excellent read. It has a great story line. The characters were well developed (as demonstrated by my hatred toward Ace) and towards the end, her words had me jumping out of my seat. This was my first introduction to indie writing and I have to say it will not be my last. She has a couple of other books available and I believe, that I will be purchasing one right now. On my Jeter scale (Jeter is my pup) I give 101 four paws…
    P.S- To my little sister with a questionable taste in books, stop smiling, I still don’t respect you for reading and loving Twilight. =)

    Now for a chance to win a copy of 101 just fill out the form below: