Friday, December 19, 2014

The Letting by Catherine Goldstein -Review and Giveaway

The Letting

Release Date: 12/15/14

335 pages

 Summary from Goodreads:

What if the Devil doesn’t know he’s the Devil?

This is the question Veronica “Ronnie” Billings poses to Phoenix, her sworn enemy, the leader of the Peaceful Revolution, and the one she loves.

Kidnapped by Phoenix’s rebels, Ronnie learns how wrong she has been. She had no idea that her patriotism was wasted on a corrupt government. Ronnie was proud to be a Leader; taking hundreds of harvested girls to the Letting facility. After all, she was saving them from future Couplings and bringing them to the safety of the New World. Or so she thought…

Confused, Ronnie realizes the only way to discover the truth is to trust her heart. Together, Phoenix and Ronnie devise a plan to stop their corrupt government and preempt the dangerous rebel coup which is approaching. But when their plan goes awry, will Ronnie be strong enough to save Phoenix, her country, and herself?

 Buy Links:Amazon

Jennifer's Review:

This story starts with the main character, Veronica "Ronnie"Billings, being a proud Leader (employed by the Government) at a camp for girls to prepare them for the "Letting". As a reader its really vague in the beginning what the Letting actually is - once you find out it will turn your stomach. Ronnie is well-known and praised for her role in preparing these young girls for this ritual. On the flip side she loved by the girls she is preparing and you can see that she truly loves and cares for them. She considers herself a patriot and is happy to help them get through the "letting" ritual  which afterwards they move on to their bright futures in the New World.... At least that's what she thought. When Ronnie is kidnapped by the rebels she discovers that she's been a pawn for a horrible government system and actually played a horrific role herself (unknowingly) in it.  I liked Ronnie has the female heroine -- when she believed in something, she put all of herself and heart into it, whether it was working  to do for her government and people or fighting for the children. She proved herself as clever, brave, and strong. 

The main male character was Phoenix - leader of the Peaceful Revolution. He had the same strong conviction in his ideals that Ronnie did. He believed in a peaceful revolution which was a nice change of pace in a book and in a character.

Ronnie and Phoenix were well matched, but it was too insta-love in the beginning for me. After the whole initial insta love beginning -- I felt the relationship went along at a good pace.

Farnsworth -- the leader of the New World who is using these young poor girls to preserve himself and keep others in the New World young. The whole concept of the letting and the use for the blood was so disturbing that I really couldn't think too much about it. With Farnsworth we get some glimpses into that he might actually have a heart but these glimpses disappear as quickly as they appear. I am interested in what the author will do with his character in the sequel.

The New World set up to me seemed a little like Hunger Games -- a society in this case focused on remaining young at the expense of others. This is a Dystopian novel so that wasn't surprising to find similarities. The plot was good for the most part. It took me a couple of chapters before I was fully drawn in to the story. I felt some of the back story was lacking and even the end I was left with a few questions. This book definitely ends with a all open cliffhanger.... So sequel....come FAST. :-)

About the Author
Given my love for cities and all that is gritty, my new obsession with trees really has me stumped. (Sorry.) Maybe it's because trees are the inspiration behind my new YA/NA novel, theLETTING.
Whatever the reason for my new infatuation, some things remain constant -- like my love for: coffee (although sadly, it's now decaf); yoga; Luna bars (I am petitioning for them to bring back Chocolate Raspberry!); running in my neighborhood; Hemingway; Bukowski... and, above all, my husband and my girls.

I am the author of the bestselling novel, Sleeping With Mortals: The Story of a New York Mistress, and I'm also a playwright. I have my B.A. in English and my M.A. in Theatre. 
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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ruination by Amanda Thome - Reveiw, Tour, & Giveaway

Ruination (Worlds Apart #1)

Release Date: 04/15/14

Summary from Goodreads:

What if everything came down to a single test? If your life was defined at seventeen, could you handle it? Could you accept your fate leaving the ones you love, or would you risk it all and stay?

One test stands between Vanessa and Central. One chance to make the leap across the walls to a better life. At seventeen, Central considers Vanessa an adult. Her labor role, marriage, and housing divisions will be dictated by her performance on the leap.

Dedication and unfaltering friendship has bonded Vanessa to Garrett as they fight for their chance to leap into Central. But what happens when love overtakes reason? When defiance in the name of love creates an unintentional fracture in their nation.

Without warning Vanessa is at the mercy of the nation that’s supposed to protect her. Exiled and abandoned she must fight but she find’s she’s not alone. With her heart divided she seeks her revenge, but will her stand be enough?

Ruination is the next YA dystopian trilogy that will hook you from the start! If you liked Veronica Roth's Divergent series or Suzanne Collins Hunger Games series then be prepared to get addicted to Ruination.


 Buy Links:    AmazonBarnes & Noble

Jennifer's Review:
Nessa is a teen girl in a harsh world. The book starts off with her as a young girl and the first chapter is incredibly sad. So much that I didn't know if I wanted to keep going. I am glad I did as while that chapter was heartbreaking the pace picked up and it took on its dystopian feel. Mid way (once Nessa takes her "leap test" the book takes off & you will have a hard time putting it down) If you have read Hunger Games, Divergent, Matched etc..  you will see some of those "world" qualities in this book (which of course is to be expected since they are all in the same Genre). It is different and unique enough to hold your interest without a doubt and you may find yourself (as I did) enjoying the similarities.

Everyone's future is set and decided by a one day test. Starting at the age of 6 years old they start preparing for this "test" which occurs at 16 years old (10 years of "Education"). In addition to regular school topics, they learn survival techniques.  The test will decide which region they live in, their job, who they will marry, etc... There are three regions - the outer which is the poorer neighbourhoods, the inner - middle class and the central which is the Capital and the rich upper class society. The top male and female student gets the opportunity to move to Central and live a better life. It is the dream of every teen. Nessa hopes to make it with her best friend, and romantic interest, Garrett. They have trained hard for years for this day.

There were a few chapters that were told in the guy's voices, which was nice and I would of loved to see more of their POVs.

There are hints of a "love triangle". I myself am not a fan of the love triangles. So I hope that one just falls into a friendships and the other in the love interest.

All of the characters were well written.
Nessa: Strong & Independent. good lead female character
Garret: Sweet & Charming. Nessa's best friend since they were 5 years old. Would like to see more from his POV in the next book to really understand him better.
Ty: Mysterious, loyal, fierce
 The world leaves me curious to learn more. I am eager to read the next book, especially after the cliffhanger ending this one has. Rating: 3.5 stars

About the Author
Amanda Thome is the Author of Ruination, book one in the Worlds Apart dystopian trilogy. Amanda grew up in Maine and later moved to Pennsylvania where she obtained her bachelor’s degree from Ursinus College. She later received her doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from Columbia University. Amanda currently resides in San Antonio, TX with her husband Clint.

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