Essence by Lisa O'Kane- BLOG TOUR

Author: Lisa O'Kane
Publisher: Strange Chemistry (Angry Robot)
Publication Date: 
Blurb Description: Autumn escaped a cult, but now she realizes she's fallen into another.
Growing up in San Francisco’s Centrist Movement, sixteen year-old Autumn Grace has always believed emotions—adrenaline, endorphins, even happiness—drain your Essence and lead to an early death. But her younger brother’s passing and a run-in with a group of Outsiders casts her faith into question.

Ryder Stone, the sexy, rebellious leader of the Outsiders, claims Essence drain is nothing more than a Centrist scare tactic -- and he can prove it.

Autumn follows Ryder to his Community of adrenaline junkies and free spirits in Yosemite National Park, and they introduce her to a life of adventure, romance, sex, drugs and freedom. But as she discovers dark secrets beneath the Community’s perfect exterior, she realizes the more she risks in search of the perfect rush, the further she has to fall. 

**GIVEAWAY**

a Rafflecopter giveaway


**INTERVIEW**

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

At the risk of sounding like a Miss America pageant contestant, I would say my wish would be that we would stop trying to impose our beliefs upon each other. We are never going to agree on everything (religion, politics, personal rights, etc.), so I wish we could be more understanding and respectful of our differences. There is really no such thing as black and white; life is all about shades of grey.


Three places you would die to visit:

There are so many amazing places in this world I haven’t visited yet. Right now, the highest on my list is my family’s ‘homeland’ of Ireland, particularly the Giant’s Causeway and the Ring of Kerry.

IRELAND
Photo Courtesy of Tobias Abel

I am also dying to visit Argentina and explore Patagonia’s Torres del Paine and Parque Nacional Los Glaciares.

ARGENTINA
Photo Courtesy of Christopher Michel


I would also love to just turn off my brain and relax in one of these amazing over-water huts in Bora Bora.

BORA BORA
Photo Courtesy of Benoit Mahe 



Three things nobody knows about you:

1.      I seem low-key and easy-going, but I am actually quite anxious. I grew up believing I needed to prove my worth by ‘doing’ things all the time, so I tend to overstretch and overstress myself. Definitely working hard to overcome that these days!
2.      I am a huge fan of organization. I used to make fun of my father for being anal-retentive and obsessive, and I swear I have grown up to be exactly like him. My life is neatly organized into a color-coded Google calendar, and I can’t even imagine what would happen if that thing suddenly disappeared. *Shivers* I can’t even think about it.
3.      I am nearly 5’9”, and I just started wearing heels within the past year or so. I used to feel very self-conscious about my height, but I have recently decided I am done apologizing to the world about being tall. If my height makes other people feel uncomfortable about their own heights, that is no longer my problem! J


And now, onto your masterpiece:

How did you think of the Essence theory (and the Centrist Movement)?

The inspiration for Essence came to me randomly. I was in Vail with some friends during the winter of 2011, and we were watching a friend get inducted into the Snowboarding Hall of Fame. There were tons of early '90's snowboarding legends there, and I was struck by how poorly many of them had aged. Some had mobility issues (thanks to the beatings they put on their bodies), some had substance abuse withdrawal issues, and many others just seemed ‘different.’

I turned to my friends at one point and said, "It's weird. It's almost like these guys were given a certain allotment of life, and they've already used theirs up."

I imagined how scary it would be to grow up believing you may actually run out of your ‘essence’ and drop dead at any moment. I also wondered how liberated you would feel when you finally broke free from that fear. That’s what my main character Autumn faces when she finally decides to forsake her Centrist upbringing and join the free spirited, commune-like Community in Yosemite.


Your favorite dialogue from Essence:

Easy! Here it is:

Jett’s hand clasped mine. “Autumn,” she said. “You may think we’re wrong about Essences, but we just may be right. And your brother’s death will be meaningless if you don’t have the courage to find out.”


What can we see next from you?


I am always scheming for something new. Right now, I am particularly excited about potentially shifting into the New Adult genre for a little while. I have been drawn to college-aged characters for years, and I am so excited New Adult is finally beginning to gain momentum and credibility in the marketplace.

**My Review**


A brilliant theory, a unique book, and the most realistic descriptions I've read on how to live in a while!

"Neutrality is the key to longevity"- that's what she lived by;what everyone there lived by. That's what the Centrist Movement preached. Happiness, love, emotions, exercise, good food- all of it was banned. They Would drain your Essences, and when it was all gone, you would drop down on the floor *Poof*

Autumn Grace is one of these people. And when her baby brother dies tragically on the side of the road because he was interacting with Outsiders and the Centrist meditation masters refused to let anyone help him, autumn finds herself questioning the very fact her life is built around. 

After meeting a group of free, fun, and charming teens in a park, ones with the means to call the Centrist movement for exactly what it is- Crap- Autumn decides to leave her existence which she called a life and her mother and aunt to join them. 

It's here, in the ruins of Yosemite National Park after the Great Quake, Autumn finds an entirely new lifestyle. One that is the opposite to everything she believed was the truth; where their motto is "Abundance is the key to longevity" 

And that's all I'm going to tell you. Essence was an extremely intriguing book! I LOVED the idea of the Essence theory and the Centrist movement but hated it in practice. For more than half the book I was so intrigued- I literally couldn't stop myself from flipping each page faster and faster!

I loved the way she experienced the change from nothing to everything- her fear, exhilaration- as if I was right there with it. I even loved how the author described how Autumn got drunk and partied for the first time, and of course, fell in love!

Once three quarters were over, I felt that Autumn was losing herself, with her petty fights for Ryder Stone, and just her over dramatic behaviour. The ending redeemed itself, though!

My Verdict:

Recommended to all YA fans- especially those looking for something different! 



Just Sing by Rene Gilley


Author: Rene Gilley
Publisher: The Writers Coffee Shop Publishing House
Publication Date: June 5th 2014

Blurb Description:Sixteen-year-old Lily O’Brien has one goal in life—to sing. Her dream is to get into a topnotch college vocal program, but the summer before her junior year, her high school cuts their awarding-winning vocal ensemble. She might as well kiss her dreams goodbye.

When the snobby new neighbors move into their mansion up the hill, Lily is positive summer can’t get any worse, and she’s determined to hate and ignore them—until she meets Aiden. 
He’s broken and beautiful, and they become reluctant friends. Through her newfound friendship, she finds the strength to step outside the comfort of her plan and follow her dream. 


Available from: AmazonKoboBarnes and Noble, and TWCS PH


Author Bio: 





By day, René Gilley works as a portfolio manager for a Fortune 50 company, but her nights and weekends are spent writing young adult and new adult romance books. Her brain never shuts off—always dreaming up new situations her characters can get into. 
Her California home is often the backdrop for her books. Her debut novel, Just Sing of the SEVEN OAKS SERIES, was years in the making. Like her character, René seeing Just Sing being published is a dream come true.
She’s a wife, mother to two beautiful daughters, and four dogs. She’s proud to be a triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) survivor and believes in giving back through book profits to charities that support breast cancer. 





Connect with René Gilley on: 

Facebook, TwitterWebsite and Goodreads

Video Trailer:



            



**GIVEAWAY**





**Interview** 
 1.   3Things nobody knows about you:
--As part of a prior job I was part of a chocolate tasting panel
 --I’m allergic to bees
--I love to watch shows about Alaska, but don’t think I could ever live there

2.   The sweetest thing you've ever heard or written or been told:

--It’s a tie, the sweetest sounds I’d ever heard was the gasping cry of both my daughters when they were born and pissed off to be removed from their warm home. But hearing them breathe and be okay was the best thing ever.

3.   The weirdest experience you've ever had:
--My husband’s friend was the surgical tech for an minor outpatient surgery I had. Let’s just say it was for womanly stuff and was overall mortifying since I had to see him again socially.



And now, onto your masterpiece:

4.   Describe your main characters in a couple of words: 
•     --Lily- Loyal, devoted, and beautiful inside and out
•     --Aiden- Sexy, protective, and torn apart inside

5.   Your favorite dialogue/ quote from Just Sing:
•    --Man, this is hard to pick one, but if I have to narrow it down, then this one: “I used to think Aiden was an enigma. Now, I simply thought he had walls- a barrier he kept up to protect himself, and when I was lucky enough to catch those rare moments when his guard was down, it was like watching bits of brilliance”


6.   A message to all your devoted readers!

--Thank you for taking a chance on my story. My wish is that you enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it. My story without readers is like a house without a family to make it a home. If you liked this book, I think the series gets better and I hope you stay along for the ride.

**MY REVIEW**


This book can be described in a string of words: a fun, light soap-opera like story.

Just Sing was a sweet book. It had a lot of things going for it- family, friendship, fun, life, problems (with all of the above) first loves, and even a small LGBT element. The characters were fun, especially Aiden- I didn't understand the decisions he made lots of times, but when he was in his nice phase, he's the guy girls drool over, sweet, good looking and troubled.

I should warn you however- contrary to what the title suggests, this book barely has a music element. It starts of with it, has a very few mentions-of scholarships and acceptance letters- in the middle and suddenly comes with bang in the end. There are no lyrics, no instruments, and no music shows. It annoyed me a bit, but mostly because I was expecting it.

It was a nice contemporary tale, a light summer read. It had fun elements as well- like a character called Barbie! It also had loads and loads of drama (Yay!) causing ups and downs in well explained, clear prose. If I were to tell you more, it would probably ruin the book.

And I'm trying shorter reviews so...

The first in a series, I will most definitely be looking forward to the next part!

My Verdict:

THE drama filled book for the summer of 2014- just don't expect so centred around music

The Luthier's Apprentice by Mayra Calvani

Author: Mayra Calvani
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Publishing Date: May 15th 2014
Blurb Description: Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840), one of the greatest violinists who ever lived and rumored to have made a pact with the devil, has somehow transferred unique powers to another… 

When violinists around the world mysteriously vanish, 16-year-old Emma Braun takes notice. But when her beloved violin teacher disappears… Emma takes charge. With Sherlock Holmes fanatic, not to mention gorgeous Corey Fletcher, Emma discovers a parallel world ruled by an ex-violinist turned evil sorceress who wants to rule the music world on her own terms. 

But why are only men violinists captured and not women? What is the connection between Emma's family, the sorceress, and the infamous Niccolò Paganini? 

Emma must unravel the mystery in order to save her teacher from the fatal destiny that awaits him. And undo the curse that torments her family—before evil wins and she becomes the next luthier's apprentice…

My Review: 


The sweet melodies, the harmonious notes that waft out into the thin air played by the renown artists of today- put to paper by the legends of the days bygone. Beautiful, regal and astounding- each tune; each rhythm. In here, however, in this alternate land, everything thrown together becomes a cacophony. A very haunted, eerie cacophony that could be melodious only to the trained year, but just noise to the opposite...

Right. *Enough boring people with your musical jabberings, Aditi* well! here is where I really begin!

The Luthier's Apprentice was a fun book. It was sweet, a little cliche but I really really liked the idea, the musical background and how all the pieces of the puzzle fit right into each other at the end. I like the whole Sherlock Holmes Fan aspect, as well, because I'm well, Sher- Locked! Oh, and I found the cover totally intriguing!

Unfortunately, as nice as some of the elements were, I found there was nothing much to make me recommend it. It was just a one time read, and now that I'm done, it's not likely I'll be picking it up again.The dialogue was a bit stiff- bit maybe that was due to my Arc. Most of all, I hated the way the author tackled women empowerment - in a manner that showed if women were empowered, men would be slaves: I live in India, where we didn't have women's rights or respect up till the near past, and I found it a bit demeaning. 
*i know, I know, she is an evil sorceress, but I just didn't like it* 

And unfortunately, that's about it. I can't say that it was outstanding, nor can I say it was terrible. It was just a book! And maybe, that will be good enough for you!

My Verdict:

If you're into the music aspect of life, combined with strokes of fantasy, this book will be one that you will enjoy! 

Branded by Abi Ketner and Melissa Kalicicki

Authors: Abi Ketner and Melissa Kalicicki
Publication Date: June 2013
Blurb Description: Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best. 
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home. 

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain. 

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me. 
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. 
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

My Review: 



It's a hole. A large one. A very very large one. It's where the waste is thrown away- and kept for all eternity; forgotten, shunned, despised. The waste? They're human beings, living in the most inhumane of conditions.

 Branded for a sin they may or may not have committed, they are sentenced to life in a pit: A huge pit where there is no semblance of humanity (wait, I said that!) where there is no mercy and atrocities like rape and murder and terrorism are just a part of the day to day life. It is in this pit, that Lexi Hamilton is sent- branded blue; branded for lust. 

And this is her story- of the pit, of kindness is ugly times, of love in a hated place, of survival in a place where the odds are stacked against you and of family, how even torn apart it's still the strongest part of us.

Branded is definitely a unique concept. I was very intrigued from the get-go. I loved Lexi's strength, how the writers captured all the characters beautifully, the conceptualization of the Pit and the feeling I got that I just hadn't piñon what the future held! 

The beginning was brilliant; simply flawless! Somewhere along the middle, I felt that we lost track of where we were- in a Human Hole designed to kill- and a story on survival became one on forbidden love with Lexi and her guard, Cole, playing house, or something. Cole, rather than Lexi, came of as whiny, too protective and just plain annoying

Rather soon after, the tale picks up again when they're separated and I feel I liked it better that way!! I won't tell you why, but I suppose it's just better that way!

My Verdict:

On the whole, Branded is worth a read, if only for the brilliant concept!! I highly recommend it for that!

Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton- GIVEAWAY & Release Day Blitz

Author: Sarah Dalton
Publisher: Createspace
Publishing Date: June 2014
Blurb Description: Not many seventeen year old girls have a best friend who’s a ghost, but then Mary Hades isn’t your average teenager. 

Scarred physically and mentally from a fire, her parents decide a holiday to an idyllic village in North Yorkshire will help her recover. Nestled in the middle of five moors, Mary expects to have a boring week stuck in a caravan with her parents. Little does she know, evil lurks in the campsite… 

Seth Lockwood—a local fairground worker with a dark secret—might be the key to uncovering the murky history that has blighted Nettleby. But Mary is drawn to him in a way that has her questioning her judgement. 
Helped by her dead best friend and a quirky gay Goth couple, Mary must stop the unusual deaths occurring in Nettleby. But can she prevent her heart from being broken?

The first in a series of dark YA novels, Mary Hades follows on from the bestselling Kindle Single 'My Daylight Monsters'.



**GIVEAWAY**

a Rafflecopter giveaway



a Rafflecopter giveaway

**EXTRACT**


Sapphire by Sarah Fay Olson- INTERVIEW and Review

Author: Sarah Fay Olson

Publisher: Soul Fire Press

Publishing Date: March 15th 2014

Blurb Description: In the kingdom of Asteria, Layla has dreamt of nothing but royal balls and falling in love. On her sixteenth birthday, she receives the invitation to the annual Autumn Ball and it doesn't seem like life could get any better when the Prince falls for her. But the fairy tale is short-lived as Layla soon learns the truth about her murdered parents and is given a sapphire that changes her life.

**INTERVIEW**

1. The funniest experience you've ever had:

This is actually really hard! There was this one time my sister's dog, Nelly, got out of the yard and she had to chase her across the street and into a church. Apparently there was a luncheon going on and Nelly just ran straight into it. She jumped over a baby and freaked the people out before my sister and dad were able to catch her. It was hilarious!


2. 5 Things nobody knows about you:

- I absolutely love movie soundtracks and have a pretty big collection.
- At heart, I am a star wars geek!
- In a few months I will be moving across the country for graduate school (so excited and nervous!)
- I'm a pretty big Miami Heat fan--basketball is one of the only sports I really enjoy watching.
- My favorite books series is The Hunger Games trilogy.

3. If you had to rule a kingdom, what would your first royal decree be?

Hmmm, it would probably be along the lines of giving people freedom in reference to speech, religion..etc--that is if they didn't have those rights in the first place!

4. This or That:

-- Summer or winter:Winter because I hate being hot (Yes, I KNOW I live in Florida!)
-- swords or arrows: Arrows. I went to an archery range once and it was pretty awesome!
-- Ball Gowns or (Modern) Dresses: Ball gowns! just imagine how much fun it would be to wear them :)


And now, onto Sapphire:

5. What did this amazing book start off as? How did you go from there? 

I've always loved fairy tales and anything with fantasy. I'm a huge fan of Disney and the show Once Upon A Time. Anyway, I wrote a short story freshman year of high school about the lost princess of a kingdom that had been taken over by another kingdom. That story eventually became the basis for Sapphire. Over the next few years I just kept compiling ideas with books I read and movies I watched--anything that sparked an idea for my story. I didn't actually begin writing Sapphire until the end of my senior year in high school (2010). I completed the first draft about a year and a half later.

6.  If you were with Princess Layla when she was in these situations, what would you tell her:

-- when Richard betrays her
 I would tell her that he isn't worth it. In all honesty, as fast as that relationship moved, I would have been warning her from the beginning that she should take it slow. After all, she really didn't know him in the end. But while I wouldn't say "I told you so," I would just be there to help her move forward.

-- when she realizes she is pregnant 
 Well, since she didn't know Richard would betray her (so as a friend I wouldn't have known either), I would encourage her to tell Richard right away. They were engaged at that point and while I'd still be skeptical about him, this was something they needed to work through together.

-- when she realizes she has feelings for James
 FOLLOW THEM! James is probably my favorite character in the book. While he can be a jerk, he has a heart and is a much better choice than Richard. I would tell her to put her past behind her and be with James.

-- when she knows she is going to be a princess
 I'm not sure I'd be much help to her here. I'd probably freak out--especially because she had just learned she is pregnant with Richard's baby and that is just complicated! But once again, I'd be there for her and try encourage her the best I could. She would just need people to believe in her and I would be one of those people.

7. Your dream cast and theme song for sapphire!

I realize the ages of these actors are off....but these are the closest I can get to how I picture them!

Princess Layla: Amber Heard





James Hamilton: Stephen Amell









Prince Richard: Drew Van Acker








**MY REVIEW**


The perfect fairy tale, with a few modernized elements, combined with the coming of age story of a girl, makes Sapphire the perfect summer read!

Before this I begin this, I should tell you that fairy tale fantasies are one of my most favored genres- I love princes and princesses and balls and magic and everything that comes with it! Here we go:    

The most exotic and fashionable ball gowns, the most splendid castles, the most beautiful and unimaginable jewels and, of course, a handsome, agreeable partner to share it all with- that's pretty much what every girl wanted. It's what Layla pined for, secretly- in the pastures of her aunt and uncles farm, in the privacy of her bedroom. 

And for a while, she gets her wish. Invited to the annual royal ball, where she meets HRH Prince Richard, and gets swept off of her feet! For a while, everything in her life is the fairy tale she always wanted it to be. More, even!

Until news that she is the lost princess of Asteria, a place that remains only in the whispers of the loyal ones, rocks her world. Asteria- The centre of the prosperity and kindness, before the uprising ruined it all under a new king who murdered her parents in cold blood- and that the king? He is the father of her beloved prince. 

If that wasn't enough to wrap her head around in a matter of one day... the prince? He now thinks she is a traitor- and she's pregnant with his child!

Made to run away from both the life and the dreams she once had, and into another world of both material and people, only to realize she is the source of their hope; to be their leader, to be the symbol of the rebellion and take over a country she had no idea rightfully belonged to her...

Sapphire was a fun, light book. When I started off, I felt a bit bored and the our protagonist, Layla, with her naïveté and head in the clouds behaviour. Her decisions annoyed me and I put it down once or twice, but picked it up again- and am I GLAD I did! After the betrayal, Layla grows up so much, and realizes that there is so much more to life than some prince, and finds herself in the process.

I found it very refreshing, and I loved the way the author explained Layla's decision making process. Her strength, and the way she rose to the situation, made her SO much more realistic! I LOVED IT!

My Verdict: 

If you've ever fallen in love with a fairy tale, this is one book you MUST read!

Gypsy By Trisha Leigh- Review

Author: Trisha Leigh
Publishing Date: May 13th 2014
Blurb Description: In the world of genetic mutation, Gypsy’s talent of knowing a person’s age of death is considered a failure. Her peers, the other Cavies, have powers that range from curdling a blood still in the vein to being able to overhear a conversation taking place three miles away, but when they’re taken from the sanctuary where they grew up and forced into the real world, Gypsy, with her all-but-invisible gift, is the one with the advantage.

The only one who’s safe, if the world finds out what they can do.

When the Cavies are attacked and inoculated with an unidentified virus, that illusion is shattered. Whatever was attached to the virus causes their abilities to change. Grow. In some cases, to escape their control.

Gypsy dreamed of normal high school, normal friends, a normal life, for years. Instead, the Cavies are sucked under a sea of government intrigue, weaponized genetic mutation, and crushing secrets that will reframe everything they’ve ever been told about how their "talents" came to be in the first place.

When they find out one of their own has been appropriated by the government, mistreated and forced to run dangerous missions, their desire for information becomes a pressing need. With only a series of guesses about their origins, the path to the truth becomes quickly littered with friends, enemies, and in the end, the Cavies ability to trust anyone at all.


My Review:

Superpowers. Haven't we always wanted them? Haven't we all looked up to the variety of superheroes flying across the movie screens or through the glossy pages of comic books? I know I have! These ultra cool abilities that make you stand apart from being just another person in the crowd; that make you feel wanted, special, needed- is pretty much what I always wanted!

So, before I start this, I should say, I am a HUGE fan of special abilities (if that wasn't already clear!!) so I might be a bit partial! (*X- Men fan alert*) oh, and also, Gypsy TOTALLY lived up to my expectations!

Then of course, great power comes with great responsibility, but most of the times, also with a lot of fear and denial, because almost nobody relishes in the unknown. That's what the Cavies are taught- that the world would never accept them, and that they belong here, with the people who stick electrodes in their heads from since when they can remember... and the worst part? It's true and they believe it.

Until, the truth about their captors is exposed to law enforcement bodies, and the Cavies are released into the real world with their real families- the one that they've only seen in the movies. Shocked, and ripped away from everything they knew, but still determined to protect those that kept then captive willingly is all while they try to survive in a world where they will most definitely be shunned, is definitely NOT easy, especially when they learn that everything they've been told is a complete LIE. 

One of them can cause death, one teleported, another changes emotions, one can burn you, twins with super speed and super hearing, three Unstables' and of course, Gypsy, the girl who can see the age at which people will die- and they would all do anything to protect each other...

As they learn that there is no good and bad; that it's all only a matter of perspective, and that everybody wants something in return; some sort of personal goal they want to achieve- loyalties and friendships built over lifetimes are tested, emotions are scattered and lessons are learnt on love, life and family in one unforgettable tale!! 

No more now- you gotta read it to love it!! 

My Verdict: 

This tale is X- Men meets all your favorite superheroes with a teenage spin- you. Have. To. Read. This!!

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith- Review

Author: Andrew Smith

Publisher: Electric Monkey (Egmont UK)

Publishing Date: February 2014

Blurb Description: In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend Robby have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things. This is the truth. This is history. It's the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it.

Funny, intense, complex and brave, Grasshopper Jungle is a groundbreaking, genre-bending, coming-of-age stunner.


My Review:

**I received a copy of this book from The Guardian News and Media, hence this review was first posted there, and is Not a copy.**

Gross yet hilarious, witty, and unimaginably crazily truthful, Grasshopper Jungle, is one tale, completed with the tackling-homosexuality element you do NOT want to miss!

Our history is a series of pictures; a documentation of things that have happened in time bygone, so that we will, hopefully, learn what to do in the future and not make the same mistakes over and over. Everybody believes the version of history they read. Why wouldn’t they? And yet, History is also an abbreviation. Not every single, little minute little detail is recorded for the next generations to discover.

History, to Austin Szezbra, is not this. It is a series of things that interconnect so intricately that you will never find it unless you really look.   

To him, for history to be true, it has to contain everything. How else will a young polish teen who is confused about his sexuality supposed to believe it? How else would anybody believe it? This version of history is true, and complete. It contains everything and more. It is also the only documentation of the end of the world; the end of the world that nobody knew was coming!

The strain plague 412E was genetically constructed in the 1960’s, but only saw the day of light in the 21st century in form of six foot tall praying mantises, that want only two things. Invincible, with the potential to make humans the second on the food charts, you would have to actually look at them to believe that they actually exist. The end of the world is upon us. And only three teenagers know- the polish boy, his girlfriend and his gay best friend that the polish boy may or may not be in love with.

This is their history- The full, uncorrected version. It’s how they survived. It’s everything you need to know…

This book will shock you. For the first half, I had no idea what I was reading to be exact- I just knew I couldn’t put it down! The second half, I think my nose literally fell into the book, that’s how addicting it got. It was hilarious to the point I couldn’t take it anymore, weird to the point I didn’t know why I was laughing and SO strange that I kept wondering What going to happen next. It’s very hard to form coherent thoughts while reading, it feels like another dimension altogether where rationality doesn’t have a place! I LOVED IT!

With crude, gross descriptions about everything and anything, fair warning, if you can’t get past that, well, you might not like this. Definitely for older teens, with the underlying message that it’s okay to be just who you are- straight or not- and learn to love yourself for just that!

MY VERDICT: 

After all, history will show us that this book is a CLASSIC!- You just have to read it!         

ASPEN by Rebekah Crane- GIVEAWAY & INTERVIEW & REVIEW

Author: Rebekah Crane
Publisher: In This Together Media
Publishing Date: June 5th 2014
Blurb Description: One quiet night in Boulder, Colorado, Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor made a mistake.

In the next instant, her life changed forever.

Aspen doesn't want to remember the devastating car accident that killed Katelyn Ryan, a sleek-haired popular soccer player. But forgetting is hard-- because Katelyn may have died -- but she didn't leave. Her ghost is following Aspen around, and heading into senior year, it's kind of a problem. Especially when Katelyn's gorgeous former boyfriend Ben appears to be the only person at school with a clue as to how Aspen feels. 

Popularity, college, Homecoming Court, hot guys - none of these things ever mattered to Aspen. She's been busy trying to rein in her giant mass of blonde curls, keep her stoner mother Ninny away from Toaster, her mom's awful bongo drumming boyfriend, and prevent her best friends Kim and Cass from killing - or kissing - one another. But with Ben sitting next to her in Physics looking all too gorgeous, Katelyn's spirit dogging her steps, and her obsessive snow-globe collecting therapist begging her to remember all the things she wants to forget, Aspen is thrust into a vivid, challenging world she can't control … and doesn't want to.

A darkly funny, emotionally gripping story of opening up, letting go, and moving on, ASPEN is about the best-worst accident of your life ... and what comes next


**GIVEAWAY**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**INTERVIEW**

1. 5 things (pssst...) nobody knows about you:

Five things?! I’m not sure I’m that secretive. Ok… let me see…
1) I’ve been to a nude beach in France.
2) I forget to wear deodorant all the time (which isn’t really a secret when it’s happening).  
3) I sat next to Patricia Field (the costume designer for Sex and the City) at a dinner for a Broadway premier and had no idea who she was. I was like, “what’s up with the crazy dressed woman who everyone wants to talk to?”
4) I have terrible depth perception so I run into walls and doorframes all the time. 
5) My second daughter, Hazel, was named by the waitress at our favorite breakfast place in Chicago.

2. The cheesiest line you've ever heard/ read:
Actually, I’d say the cheesiest lines I’ve ever read were the ones I wrote! Matt Three-Last-Names in PLAYING NICE is pretty damn cheesy. When he sings Led Zeppelin to Marty… MAJOR CHEESE FACTOR.

3. The weirdest and sweetest thing that's ever happened to you: 
The weirdest thing that’s ever happened to me is that I’m a published author. I never thought that would happen!
The sweetest thing that’s ever happened to me is my husband, Kyle. 

4. This or that:
Good boys or bad boys: Good boys for sure
Dictionaries or Encyclopedias: Encyclopedias
Chinese or Italian: Italian
Drums or guitars: Guitars… they get me every time. 

And now, onto your masterpiece: 

5. How ever did you come up with Aspen- the name and the story?
I was talking to my husband on a car ride about the concept for the book and it just came to me. I live in Colorado and aspens are all around. They’re actually my favorite tree.

The story came about because I wanted to write a piece about a girl struggling with PTSD. I hadn’t seen much of it in YA and I thought it needed to be explored. The key was making it funny. The book had to have a comedic factor, which is not an easy thing to do when tackling a tough subject.

6. Your favorite Aspen dialogue:
THIS IS SO HARD! I love all the dialogue in the book. But if I had to choose, I would pick the second scene with Aspen and Ben in physics. I played with that scene over and over until the dialogue hit just right. When I wrote the scene and it ended with:

Ben cocks his head to the side. "Don't take this the wrong way, but this is the weirdest conversation I've ever had.”
I lean in and whisper, "Don't take this the wrong way, but you look weird in that shirt."  

I knew I had something special with the two of them. It was just so Aspen. And the Beta Particle scene. I love the Beta Particle scene!

7. If Aspen was turned into a movie, what would be your: 

--A. Dream cast 
Ok, don’t hate me for this, but I don’t have a dream cast (except for one person) and I’ll tell you why… because I haven’t seen any teen-aged actors who fit the characters. BUT in a dream world with a dream cast, I would beg, on my hands and knees, for Jennifer Lawrence to play Ninny. She’s so damn perfect for the part. She funny and inappropriate and would probably play an amazing stoner. I know it’s kind of weird to think of someone who plays a teenager in the Hunger Games playing the mom of a teenager in ASPEN, but Ninny is young. She had Aspen when she was 16, which puts her at 33 in the book. Jennifer Lawrence could totally do it.

--B. Theme song:
I have so many! I have a sweet/sad theme song and a pump up theme song and a Grateful Dead theme song. Can I list them all? Ok, I’m totally going to:
--Sweet/sad theme song: “Cold is the Night” by the Oh Hellos
--Pump up theme song: “Feel Again” by One Republic
--Grateful Dead theme song: “Scarlet Begonias”

8. What would your own, personalized Aspen Grove be filled with? What would the main characters have in theirs, other than Aspen, of course!?

My family has this thing with taking photos that look like album covers. That’s what would be in my aspen grove—all the album cover photos we’ve taken.

Kim’s aspen grove would be filled with magazine cut outs of all kinds of different looking people. She’d assign names to all of them.

Cass’s would be filled with artwork like Aspen’s but not sketches. He’s more of an abstract artist with lots of colors.

Ninny would never be organized enough to have an aspen grove. Aspen would end up making one for Ninny.

Ben would only have one thing in his aspen grove: a family picture.

9. Signing out, a message to your Ardent Readers:
Thank you from one end of the infinite universe to the other. Thank you for taking this journey of story telling with me. 

**MY REVIEW**



"Sometimes, what we feel can't be described because it would take every word, every sound, every emotion ever created to do it."
And That is how I felt, well feel, about Aspen. Stunned, and held captive from the first word till the very last. When it was over, I had to pull my head up from the pages and the world I found myself so completely immersed in, and wonder for a bit  as to  where I was, because that is how addicting it got!

Have you heard about Aspen groves? Well, let me tell you a bit about them. Each Aspen tree connects to the rest, forming a large, interlinking system, completely entwined with one another, so like our lives with others. So like Aspen's and all the people around her. And this is her story.

So here, I'm going to do is give you a list of reasons as to why Aspen has my five starred review:

1. Aspen Yellow Sunrise Taylor:
Yes, that is our protagonists (full) name. Weird, the first time you read it, and then it becomes a string of words you keep saying together in your head until you end up wishing it was yours. But, that's not all she is. Aspen is, well, Aspen. She's a survivor, experiencing an extreme case of PTSD with an Affinity to tie dyes, who sketches brilliantly, and is addicted to her worn out dictionary. She is fun, strange, sarcastic, different and most importantly, different. You. Will. Love. Her.

2. Un-clichéd, strong characters (Finally!!):
Aspen has a bunch of characters that will leave you thinking, silently smiling and wondering which one you are most like! Her best friends, Kim with her name changing complex and Cass with his green hair, the entire high school, that for once, doesn't shun aspen for surviving the accident without Katelyn, but the one that took me totally by shock was Aspens mother- even though she did drugs she had a high on life manner but not high on drugs, which it Totally new and fresh in the book world!

3. Amazing, definite to make you smile prose:


 4. An Amazing, Simple, Mesmerizing Cover:

     I don't have much more to say, except looking at the cover, you will see that it's pretty much everything I've described in the line above!

MY VERDICT: 

You Simply CANNOT miss this!!