Over at the Escape Book Club we are celebrating this month with Marianne's YA series The Night Creatures. To start off book one, Burn Bright! Here are some posts I've done in the past and if you are interested please visit our club's website http://www.burnbright.com.au/burn-bright-book-club/
This book was everything I was hoping for, and more.
exists as an antidote to the rules and conventions of other places. We
believe that indulging in pleasure will make better people. Self-denial
and discipline and virtue area all myths and invented to control you."
story grabs you from page one and never lets go. No long descriptions,
no chapters of back story. Just jump right in. We follow Retra as she is
escaping from the island of Grave. Running through the pain of the
discipline strip that has been implanted into her thigh. Barely making
the boat as it pulls away from the dock. She knows nothing about Ixion,
it has been hidden from her, but that is where the runaways are taken.
The pirates come....searching for older runaways? The kids that are too
old to go to the island of Ixion? Or, are they looking for something
Retra is looking for her brother who ran away before her. He
went to Ixion needing to escape the contained, disciplined restrictions
of Seal South on the island of Grave.
Ixion is unreachable by
sunlight. It is guarded by the Ripers, it is fed and clothed by the
Uthers. It is also contained by the night for the sunlight does not
reach the island, ever
. "Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do
not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of
darkness you also live with creatures of the dark."
Retra finds many
new things on Ixion. She makes friends from other islands who have come
to Ixion, who know more about Ixion. We learn as we go, following her
every step to discover the island, and its inhabitants and it's rules.
comes here for pleasure, even if they think they don't. Embracing it is
harder for some and they go mad before they truly accept it. Most of
the places they come from are founded with guilt and rules. The Ripers
want us to break away from that-some wish to tear it from us while
others are more subtle. "
They have to register and pick new names
as they enter the island. They are stripped of their old clothes and
given beds and rules. They must schedule resting times between the
partying, the dancing and the music. If you don't rest you will burn out
more quickly. You eat, you take your pills and you dance and then you
rest. You mind the Ripers, the rules and don't stray from the paths.
Your focus is to be happy, seek pleasure and try to ignore the fact that
you will be removed when you become to old.
But there is unrest on Ixion. Gangs are forming and the uneasiness between the Ripers is noticeable.
The rules are changing.
"Rules? Ixion is supposed to be free of rules, yet it seems as strict as Grave in it's own way and more....more dangerous."
Burn Bright is dark, it's creepy and it's fantastic. What a roller-coaster!
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Monday, April 4, 2016
Description from goodreads.com
Cara has always dreamed of being a Populazzi, one of the popular crowd. But it’s not until she changes schools that she gets a shot at it, thanks to her best friend Claudia’s crazy plan. The idea is simple: The rungs of The Ladder are relationships. First get a boyfriend who's ranked low, then climb up through more boyfriends until you're not just one of the Populazzi, but the Supreme Populazzi. Yet what starts off as a fairy tale turns into a somewhat dark comedy of errors. Just when Cara reaches the top, her life hits rock bottom. She wonders why she wanted to be popular in the first place—and if there’s any way to live happily ever after now.
The statement "dark comedy of errors" is a perfect description for this book. It has drama, humor and satire (meaning: a literary term used to ridicule or make fun of human vice or weakness, often with the intent of correcting, or changing, the subject of the satiric attack. ) Definition of satire quoted from this site
In case you were wondering (and I'm sure you weren't) I had to look up the definition of satire to see if I could use another word that everybody would understand (Yes I do have younger subscribers) but I just felt that this word was too perfect.
Cara our somewhat tragic main character is very trusting, very endearing and maybe a little bit of a push-over. She is unsure of who she really wants to be, willing to experiment some and very excitable. She has moved and must attend a new school. Her friend Claudia and her have devised a plan for her to become popular by referring to the steps in a ladder. Although I thought that maybe climbing her way up by stepping "on" guys (aka the ladder is made up of dating different popularity level of guys) to eventually get a guy in the upper populazzi's circle and then having an in to make friends with the popular girls. But this as you can tell will eventually hurt the guys she stepped on to make it higher on the ladder. Which ensues the Drama and the humor. So boys play a big part of the book, the theater gleek, the emo musical pot head and of course eventually the sports player populazzi.
My favorite character was Archer from the moment she meets him they have great chemistry, witty banter and seem to just click. I have to say that the dialogue in this book was fantastic. I really liked all of the characters but the parents really got me thinking. Her father who seems to not have much, if any relationship with her at all was saddening, but all too often that is how most families are today. Her mother was very torn between Cara and her new husband Karl. And sometimes having to actually choose between the two was a little heart breaking. Karl's attitude that he will only talk to and appreciate/care for Cara is if she is a outstanding, admirable student and represents what he views is a perfect daughter. Which I found sad because she's a teenager and nobody is perfect. Cara seems like she not only has this fun game to play at her new school but also has to play another game at home. Split personalities which neither of them are completely her. Everybody likes playing games, but when people's feelings start getting hurt, it really shouldn't be fun anymore. It's no longer a game.
I really recommend this book, I loved the comedy and the errors in Cara's search for who she is, who she wants to be and exploring what it's like to be somebody outside herself completely. A wonderful read that was a lot deeper and more complex than I thought by looking at the cover. (But it is a gorgeous cover and it fits this book perfectly)
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Since mankind began, civilizations have always fallen: the Romans, the Greeks, the Aztecs…Now it’s our turn. Huge earthquakes rock the world. Cities are destroyed. But something even more awful is happening. An ancient evil has been unleashed, turning everyday people into hunters, killers, crazies.
Mason's mother is dying after a terrible car accident. As he endures a last vigil at her hospital bed, his school is bombed and razed to the ground, and everyone he knows is killed. Aries survives an earthquake aftershock on a bus, and thinks the worst is over when a mysterious stranger pulls her out of the wreckage, but she’s about to discover a world changed forever. Clementine, the only survivor of an emergency town hall meeting that descends into murderous chaos, is on the run from savage strangers who used to be her friends and neighbors. And Michael witnesses a brutal road rage incident that is made much worse by the arrival of the police--who gun down the guilty party and then turn on the by standing crowd.
Where do you go for justice when even the lawmakers have turned bad? These four teens are on the same road in a world gone mad. Struggling to survive, clinging on to love and meaning wherever it can be found, this is a journey into the heart of darkness – but also a journey to find each other and a place of safety.(less)
Hardcover, US, 329 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Wow, this story is pretty intense. I think if somebody had taken my picture while I was reading this book I would have a slideshow of variations between heartbroken, shocked/ wide eyed.
With the story being told from several perspectives there is very little down time. The reader travels from one event to the other. From hundreds of schools getting bombed around the nation to random shootings and acts of violence. There was also several earthquakes worldwide which caused tsunamis and all of the things that come with catastrophic events happening all at once. There is no internet, phones and then people start attacking each other. Some are taken over by the darkness, shooting and attacking, seeking out all living people until the "danger" is gone.
I did not quite catch on to why some people had the darkness arise in them and some didn't.
There is nowhere to hide, no one you can trust and where are you supposed to go now?
It was an amazingly dark story, as the title and summary say. There were several gruesome and horrific things happening. I loved it.
I would also like to recommend that if you like horror/darker stories you may want to also pick up Pure by Julianna Baggott and Ashfall by Mike Mullen.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Description from Goodreads.com Goodreads Link
The year is 1856, and orphan Abigail Tamper lives below stairs in Greave Hall, a crumbling manor house in London. Lord Greave is plagued by madness, and with his son Samuel away fighting in the Crimea, the running of Greave Hall is left to Mrs Cotton, the tyrannical housekeeper. The only solace for the beleaguered staff is to frighten Mrs Cotton by pretending the house is haunted.
So when a real ghost makes an appearance - that of her beloved mother - no one is more surprised than Abi. But the spirit has a revelation that threatens to destroy Abi’s already fragile existence: she was murdered, and by someone under their very own roof. With Samuel returned to England badly wounded, it’s up to Abi to nurse him back to health, while trying to discover the identity of the killer in their midst. As the chilling truth dawns, Abi’s world is turned upside down
After I finished reading a couple of thoughts about the story were: It really is amazing how much people can endure and still stand up to fight for what's right. And it's also amazing how cruel others can be to each other. It's a great gothic story that will keep you up at night. Abi is a great main character, she is a fighter and the surmounting need to find out what is going on in this house pushes her to endure the cruelty from Ms Cotton.
Ms Cotton is one of the most evil characters you will come across. She seems to take out on the servants her own confusion of what is happening in the house. She thinks she is losing control, so she focuses her attention on the servants, especially Abi.
There are several mysteries happening at once, and the conflict between Abi and Ms Cotton really has you rooting for Abi. The secrets that the house holds leads up to a very fitting ending.
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Forget prophecy. Make your own destiny.
Sheltered from the outside world with no hope for escape, slave girl Reychel dreads her fifteenth birthday - when her master’s symbol is burned on the back of her bald scalp. Her best friend disappears the night before, leaving her to face the branding ceremony alone. She soon discovers nothing is as it seems when people desperate for freedom beg for Reychel's help.
Can Reychel learn to believe in herself?
I loved the pacing of the story. All of the little pieces unraveling at the perfect time. I sat and read this book all the way through in one day and found it highly enjoyable and different than anything I have read recently. The idea that the slaves/workers had to shave their heads to symbolize their position in the society. Then to actually have their masters symbols burned into the back of their skull? Seriously? Ow.
When Reychel wakes up to find her friend gone from the bed, the rumor starts immediately that she was taken, as this is a common thing. But Reychel spreads the rumor that she just woke up early and is around doing her chores. But the token she finds beneath the bed leads to her know better. That is the symbol that she will not be back. Reychel eventually escapes and must find somewhere to hide but her shaved skull is a dead giveaway that she is a slave and should not be out. There are different characters she meets in her travels. But she has a destiny that must be fulfilled.
There is a mixture of several great characters and magic. Reychel is a strong and feisty main character. I loved the last couple of chapters and the how all of the events eventually end. Very happy that this is only the beginning to a series.
I enjoyed that fact that even though there is a boy, and somewhat of a romantic interest there is not really any romance exactly that overwhelms what is really going on here. I loved that. Cute and funny moments, great writing and it had me hooked.
Monday, February 1, 2016
Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!
Rafflecopter for Release Week Blitz Giveaway:
Michelle is offering up a fabulous prize during her Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows Virtual Tour event. One (1) lucky winner will receive a Kindle Fire 7”! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:
About Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows:
Title: Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Series: Elementals #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eBook and paperback
Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!
When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.
Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.
When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.
Add to your TBR List: Goodreads
For fans of The Sweep Series by Cait Tiernan. A young elemental who has no idea she has any magic powers discovers that she is the missing link to a group of very strong and powerful teens. \
When Nicole begins her first day at a new school she is surprised to find herself in all AP classes. Her homeroom is the most mysterious of all as it only contains other students who have powers. Darius is not only their homeroom teacher, but one who also guides the class into using their powers. It turns out that Nicole is a natural, not only that her presence seems to provide a small group of classmates with stronger abilities, she has been the missing link.
As the group discovers which element fits them and they begin to hone in their powers, Darius gives Nicole a parchment to translate. Together Nicole and the group will solve the puzzles, finding themselves in danger from other worldly creatures and also, maybe find love along the way
About Michelle Madow:
Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.
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