Book Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

16069030Genre: 

Young Adult, prescription  Fantasy

Pages: 

355

Part of a Series?:

The first in a planned trilogy, I believe

Release Date: 

March 4th, 2014

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author’s Website

GoodReads Summary: 

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

My Review:

I’ve had this book sitting in my TBR pile for quite some time now and I can’t believe that it took me this long to finally get to it. I received it from Fierce Reads in exchange for helping to promote during their Spring/Summer releases last year and its a signed copy and everything. I was struggling to pick a book to read and my eyes landed on the absolutely GORGEOUS cover and decided, let’s do it.

And I am SO glad I did. I FLEW through this book. While the premise of the book sounded really great, I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. It was just absolutely fantastic. The world that Marie created BREATHES off the page, it feels so real. The minute that you meet both Kestrel and Arin, you’re just sucked in. They both are such deep and compelling characters. Normally I’m not a huge fan of the split POVs but in this case, I loved it. You were given a chance to really get to know each character, to see them both struggle with the complicated friendship/relationship that builds between them. I also think it was a good way to build up to that incredible climax.

The book has a beautiful romance to it but there’s so much more than that. This is a country full of people enslaved to their conquerers. Arin is part of those people and you are so fiercely on his side, wanting him to overcome this life and take his country back. But you are also afraid for Kestrel, and her friends, her father, the people that you grow to care about because you’re in her head. When the climax hits (and I won’t say much more than that because, you know, spoilers), and everything kind of blows up, its incredible. It creates an incredibly complicated situation and you’re torn in pieces. You see everyone’s point of view and you want everything to just…work out and it doesn’t and its incredibly heartbreaking. Its very real and genuine and the characters are just beautiful.

What I really loved about this book is how realistic it felt. The realities of being a conquered country, of war, of a relationship between two people on complete opposite sides…it all felt so incredibly real. There was no fairy tale storytelling and that’s what I loved. You’re sitting here, thinking, how on earth is any of this going to work out…and then it hits you, maybe it won’t.  And that is definitely enough for me to keep turning the page. Now I can’t wait for the second book!

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5 stars

Fierce Reads Giveaway! Prizes from Authors Leigh Bardugo, Marissa Meyer, Anna Banks, Ann Aguirre and Josephine Angelini!

It’s San Diego Comic Con weekend and while I know there a ton of you who are making your way there and having a blast, viagra there’s also a HUGE amount of you that are unable to be there. (Personally, sildenafil I choose NOT to go haha). But I have just the thing to make it a bit better…

ITS GIVEAWAY TIME!

Oh yes, cheapest time to get excited.

Now that I’ve mostly caught up on sending out actual giveaway prizes, I’m ready to jump back in the saddle and start holding giveaways again. I got behind a bit on them, but I scored some seriously awesome stuff at the Fierce Reads Blockbuster event at Barnes and Noble just a couple days ago and I’m ready for an epic giveaway!

Want to see the prize?

Oh, I know you do!

Check it out!

The Prize

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This Fierce Reads Prize Pack Includes:

-One Advanced Reader’s Copy of Josephine Angelini’s Trial by Fire (not signed). This book does not release until September and it is AMAZING.

-One Signed Copy of Cinder by Marissa Meyer

-One Signed Copy of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

-One Sneak Peek Of Poseidon Booklet signed by author Anna Banks

-One Bookmark signed by Ann Aguirre

-3 Bookmarks (Anna Banks, Leigh Bardugo, Marissa Meyer), Unsigned

-6 buttons from The Grisha Trilogy, The Syrena Legacy and The Lunar Chronicles

Pretty epic right?

The Rules (yes, there has to be rules!)

The contest will run from today, July 25th to August 5th!

The winner will be contacted within 24 hours of contest end. If winner(s) do not respond within a 24 hour period of contact, their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.

Come back every day to share on Twitter and Instagram to earn more entries!

If you check off an option on the rafflecopter, please make sure that you have fulfilled that option. Please be honest! I double check every winning entry and if you are dishonest, you will not win the prize!

This giveaway is in NO way endorsed by any authors, their publishers or any other affiliates.

What A Nerd Girl Says is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged prizes. It HAS happened before, but only once!

How to Enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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It’s as simple as that! Don’t forget to share and post this for all your friend’s to see, and good luck!

Fierce Reads Blockbuster Event!

Can you guys believe that its been about three weeks since I’ve done a book event? Yeah! Three weeks! Insanity! Ever since I got back home from ALA in Las Vegas, link I’ve been overwhelmed with work, abortion and my novel, that I just haven’t had much time for blogging or going to book events.

Luckily, that is about to change VERY soon. I had an awesome time tonight at the Fierce Reads event at The Grove in Los Angeles, and will be attending a James Dashner and a Maggie Stiefvater event in the next few days and I’m very excited for those. Things are picking up guys.

Tonight I headed down to one of my favorite bookstores for what was sure to be an awesome event. I love Barnes and Noble in general, but I love going to the one at The Grove because they always have such great events and the event coordinator, Lita, is just a doll. I got there early, grabbed my wristband, and had lunch at Veggie Grill (yum yum!) before heading back to the store for the event.

The authors attending this event were four total YA all stars:

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Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles series, including Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and soon to be, Winter. Winter hits bookstores next year, but before that, a prequel story about Queen Levana will hit bookstores. Yay!

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Leigh Bardugo, author of the Grisha Trilogy, including Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising. She’s currently working on another series, which takes place in the same Grisha world, not long after the end of Ruin and Rising.

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Anna Banks, author of the Syrena Legacy, including Of Poseidon, Of Triton and Of Neptune. She also has a new book called Joyride heading to bookstores next June!

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and

Ann Aguirre, author of the Razorland trilogy, including Enclave, Outpost, and Horde. And soon to be a TON of other books! This includes a new adult trilogy whose titles are Backstreet Boy’s songs. I call that a win.

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I was SO excited because I love all of these authors so much, and I always have a good time going to these events.

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We took our seats, and Lita talked up the event and the authors, and even talked about the moderator, Anthony Breznican and his debut novel, Brutal Youth. She talked it up so much that I immediately went downstairs to pick myself a copy of it. He was so awesome, a great moderator and was fun to talk to after the panel. He seemed happy that some of us grabbed copies of his book; it must be SO nerve wracking to have your debut novel out there!

Then Lita and the fantastic people of Macmillan Teens had a surprise for us early arrivals: ARCs! You know me, I can NEVER get enough of books :) I immediately went forward to check out what they had. I had most of them, from ALA, but they had a copy of Caragh O’Brien’s Vault of Dreamers, which I hadn’t managed to score at ALA. That was exciting. I also had my sister with me, and she was kind of my assistant for the event, so she grabbed a copy of Josephine Angelini’s Trial by Fire. Now, if you guys pay attention at all, you’ll know that I already have a copy of Trial by Fire so this one is going to be up for grabs very soon!

Then the event! Yay!

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All four ladies were so much fun in the panel. I honestly haven’t laughed so hard in so long. Leigh was her usual hilarious self and Marissa had a quirky little sense of humor. Ann Aguirre had a sort of awkward sense of humor, which remind me so much of myself that I just couldn’t stop laughing. And ohmygod, Anna Banks’ dry sense of humor was KILLING me. I could NOT stop laughing. It was too much.

They talked about their books, their inspirations for them, how they tackled them. They talked about books they loved, and what books inspired them. What I really loved is how they dove into the appeal of YA to adults and the growing diversity in YA books. Those are two very important topics and I was eager to hear what they had to say about it!

Then was the signing, of course. I got books signed by all of them, because I’m spoiled that way ;) I got Mortal Danger signed by Ann Aguirre, Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, and my extra copies of Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo.

Because I already have my entire Lunar Chronicles signed (so far), I bought an extra copy of Cinder (and also Shadow and Bone) and those will be up for grabs soon as well!

I think I cleaned up pretty nicely after this event!

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Not a bad haul from the event!

I also managed to get my hands on some extra stuff! Check it out!

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I bought extra copies of Cinder and Shadow and Bone and those are both signed by the author. I got my hands on that extra copy of Trial by Fire, which doesn’t hit bookstores until September! I also got an Of Poseidon sneak peek booklet signed by Anna Banks and a bookmark signed by Ann Aguirre, and ton of other cool bookmarks and pins. Keep an eye out because a giveaway is coming VERY VERY soon!

Leigh’s mom was there, and I’ve met her twice before, at the Siege and Storm release party and the Ruin and Rising release part, and she’s such a doll. She remembered me and gave me a big ol hug and sat next to me during the event. She’s such a sweetheart :)

I also met a “fan” of What A Nerd Girl Says today, named Laura! She was SO cool, and I always love meeting you guys so NEVER be nervous to say hi. I’m kind of a weirdo so please do! Also, she read my excerpt that I posted the other day of The Awakened, and loved it, and that gave me SUCH a boost! Thanks for that, Laura :)

All in all, a super great night and I’m always so glad to go to the Barnes and Noble at the Grove and to go to Fierce Reads events. I ADORE Macteen and they put out so many amazing books and I will go to every Fierce Reads event that I can!

Until next time, folks! And keep an eye out for that giveaway!

Five Reasons You Should Read Katie Finn’s Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend!

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So, rx if you hadn’t already noticed, I’m doing the best that I can this week to promote Katie Finn’s brand new book, Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend as part of the official Fierce Reads Street Team.

I’ve had a BLAST so far doing this.

You can read my review here, and the cool book challenge, including fancasts, playlists and more here.

Now I’m doing my own post, talking about the TOP five reasons you should get your bum down to a bookstore to pick this book up!

1. Its a PERFECT summer read!

Tomorrow will be June. If you haven’t already taken your last finals, and closed up shop on this year’s school year, you will soon. Which means SUMMER. I love summer, and just the idea of it. The idea of all the possibilities and adventures that could be coming. And when its summer, there’s nothing more that I like than a really good summer read. During the winter months (or what barely qualifies as winter here in California), I like to read my science fiction and fantasy but there’s nothing like reading about romance on the beach with the sun shining and the smell of summer in the air.

Broken Hearts has everything you’re looking for in a summer novel, especially when it involves the glitzy, enviable world of the Hamptons. There are awesome parties and mishaps with super expensive bikinis and ice cream and babysitting terror children on the beach, and romances. It makes you hopeful for your own summer and the beautiful things that come with it.

2. Gemma is a great main character

I ADORE Gemma. I love Gemma because while she tries to exude confidence at every turn, she’s kind of a mess, and she’s making mistakes left and right. I think that’s why I love her so much. She’s not perfect, and she’s figuring things out as she goes. She’s trying to get over her ex-boyfriend and navigate the rough waters of a new relationship. She’s trying to fix a big mistake she made years ago with a person that was a great friend to her. She’s trying to have a relationship with her dad, and to just fit in too. I love her for all of that. She’s every single one of the readers, because she’s insecure and figuring it out. I do that every day! Even on my best days, I still walk a little wobbly, and its refreshing to have a character that is so real and so fun, and that you walk the shaky tightrope of life with.

3. It has a fun and juicy story

Gemma retreats to the Hamptons to get over her recent break up with her boyfriend, which was humiliatingly done in Target. She immediately runs into Hallie, who was her friend years ago before she  basically ruined her life, and Josh, Hallie’s very cute brother. When it comes clear that Hallie has not forgiven Gemma for the wrong she’s done, she lies and pretends to be her best friend, Sophie, because, you know, that’s a great idea. What starts off as a small white lie turns into a full time job for Gemma and as she becomes close friends with Hallie and exchanges flirtatious encounters with Josh…its just bound get crazy and fun. And it does! I kept reading because it just kept getting better and better.

4. It’ll make you laugh out loud!

It really does. There’s a particular part of the story where Gemma has a mishap with a borrowed swim suit and it literally had me in tears as Gemma sits there, uncomfortable, unable to do anything to save face. Katie Finn writes with such a humor, and it feels like listening to a fun story from your best friend. Even just hearing Gemma’s thoughts as she navigates being “Sophie” and balances friendships with romances and family is hilarious. This book really does read like a note from your best friend, so it has all the inside jokes and hijinks that you’d expect from your bestie.

5. Its a trilogy!

Come on, that’s awesome! As soon as you’re in love, you’re promised more! The book ends in SUCH a delicious, jaw dropping cliffhanger and I was SO excited to learn that there would be more of Gemma and Sophie and Josh and Hallie and all the rest. Its such a great book and you’ll see that and want the rest, just like I do!

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Seriously, though, why are you still sitting here, reading this? Go out and pick up a copy of this book. Its so fun, it made me laugh and I honestly love Katie’s sense of humor and summer romance. I can’t wait to read the next book next summer!

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend Book Challenge!

For those of you who may not know, about it I was lucky enough this year to become part of the Fierce Reads Street Team. I was SO incredibly excited about this because I adore Fierce Reads and all the amazing authors that are a part of it. I was even more excited when I was asked to help promote Katie Finn (aka Morgan Matson) and her new contemporary YA novel, symptoms Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend.

I was sent a challenge to complete for this book, so I definitely want to do it. Check out the synopsis for the book first:

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Summer, boys, and friendships gone sour. This new series has everything that perfect beach reads are made of!

Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long? 

When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it.

Gemma’s plan is working (she’s finding it hard to resist Josh), but she’s finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is? 

Katie Finn hits all the right notes in this perfect beginning to a new summer series: A Broken Hearts & Revenge novel.

You can check out my spoiler free review here!

Now on to the challenge!

Gemma or Hallie? 

As much I love both of these characters, and the sort of balancing each other out they do and the antics they get into it, I have to say Gemma. I don’t know if its because we’re in Gemma’s head, but I just adore her. I love that she’s stumbling along, trying to do the right things but not always accomplishing that. I love that she knows she makes mistakes and that she tries to fix them, but sometimes, she also messes that up. She’s a very real character and I adore her.

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Favorite Character? 

Oh that’s so hard! I loved so many of the characters in this book. AGH. How dare you make me pick! This is too hard. Sigh. I think I’d have to choose…Sophie. Sophie doesn’t have a ton of “screen” time because she’s back home while Gemma is in the Hamptons with her father, but when she is, she’s fantastic. She’s the kind of best friend that we would wish to have. She’s fun, and she’s ready to step into her best friend duties at any moment. When Gemma is like “I’m you and you’re me”, she just goes with it. She questions it, like a real best friend, but she gives in and helps in every where she can, and she’s just awesome. She’s so much fun. I love Sophie!

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Gemma Fancast: 

“We still had brown hair and freckles, but Sophie tended to cover hers with make-up, and her hair was cut in a stylish, choppy bob while mine was kind of long and shapeless.”

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The first person I thought of was Sarah Hyland because, yes, she’s absolutely pretty but she’s also fun, and sort of fun looking. You look at Sarah and you think, she’s going to be so much fun to hang out with. She would be a really great fit for Gemma. The only thing she doesn’t have is the height for Gemma but she has a good look and I think she’d capture her personality so well that it wouldn’t matter :)

Favorite Quote: 

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This just makes me laugh, just thinking about it. It just hints at the absolutely fun hijinks that this book is.

I also like a quote from the beginning of the novel:

“I could never remember the details of the documentaries Teddy wanted to watch. All I knew was that they were never the ones I wanted to see, which were mostly about penguins.” 

And I swear, it has NOTHING to do with my obsession of penguins ;)

Hallie Fancast: 

“She had the same eyes, green and almond-shaped. Her hair was a slightly darker shade of the bright blond I remembered, but it was still long and curly, and it flowed over her shoulders and down her back.”

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I’m not going to lie, I literally googled young blonde actresses because I didn’t quite know who to pick and Maika Monroe popped up. She has this fun, beautiful look to her and she’s how I’d imagine that Hallie looked. I think Hallie has this beauty and confidence about her, something that both intimates and attracts Gemma to her, and you can see that in just this picture alone.

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend Theme Songs

Here are some songs that I enjoyed listening to during the summer, and they are the ones that immediately came to my mind when reading it. I don’t know that they have anything directly to do with Broken Hearts, but they’re very summer songs, and they are what I thought of. These are  two songs that I listened to when I was about Gemma’s age!

Boys of Summer – The Ataris  

Yellowcard – Ocean Avenue

Josh Fancast

“He had light brown hair, cut short, and eyes that looked greenish, but that might have just been because he was wearing a pale green T-shirt. He had dark eyelashes and eyebrows and though it was hard to tell because I was sitting, but it looked like he was a few inches taller than me, which meant he was pretty tall.”

"X-Men: First Class" New York Premiere

Lucas Till. I think he’s absolutely adorable, you can believe him as the brother of Maika and he would make a really great Josh. He looks like a boy who belongs on the beaches of the Hamptons. Plus I just have a massive crush on him, and its my fancast, so a girl can dream! Haha!

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I hope you enjoyed learning more about Broken Hearts and that you’ll make sure to check it out and grab yourself a copy! Katie Finn is constantly on the road, promoting her books, as either Katie or Morgan, so definitely look out for her, and this awesome book.

And watch out tomorrow for my Top Ten Reasons to Read Broken Hearts!

Book Review: Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend

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This review is based an advanced reader’s copy given to me by Macteen Books as part of the Fierce Reads Street Team in exchange for an honest review and promotion. This in no way had any influence on my review.  

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Summer, here boys, price and friendships gone sour. This new series has everything that perfect beach reads are made of!


Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, site her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long? 

When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it.

Gemma’s plan is working (she’s finding it hard to resist Josh), but she’s finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is? 

Katie Finn hits all the right notes in this perfect beginning to a new summer series: A Broken Hearts & Revenge novel.

My Review:

I had no idea Katie Finn was Morgan Matson when I first got this book. I was SO excited, and am still VERY excited to be a part of the Fierce Reads Tour. Fierce Reads has a ton of amazing authors like Jessica Brody and Leigh Bardugo and Ava Dellaira and all kinds of authors. Being a part of their team has been awesome so far, and I was glad to be a part of it. When I became part of Katie Finn’s team, I was like, okay, I don’t know her, but that’s okay because I’m always up for learning about new authors.

I felt sort of silly when I went to go download my review copy and realized that she was Morgan Matson, one of my favorite authors ever. I urged my computer to download faster, and then cuddled up with my Nook to read this book.

I read it in about 2 hours. I sped through it so fast, because it was so much fun! It was really awesome to see a different writing side to Morgan. As Morgan, she writes sort of serious, dramatic YA, and as Katie Finn, it was a lot of fun, laughs, sort of unbelievable hijinks and I really truly enjoyed it. Whenever summer hits, I’m always looking for some good contemporary books to read, something involving road trips or trips to the beach and Broken Hearts is absolutely perfect in that.

Gemma is a real relatable character. She makes a mistake when she is younger, and she’s constantly feeling guilty about it. When she arrives to spend the summer with her father, and runs into the best friend she had so many years ago, the one she wronged, she genuinely wants to make things better. Of course, she goes about the wrong way, but she really is a genuine person and I think she’s hurt by her ex-boyfriend and just kind of making the mistakes that people make sometimes when they don’t quite know what to do with themselves. Plus, she makes some silly mistakes along the way too, and it makes me laugh. She gets herself into some of the craziest situations and I found myself laughing out loud at many of the parts.

I also love Josh. Josh is the brother of the girl Hallie that Gemma had wronged so many years before, and she has a vague memory of him, but when she returns, of course he’s totally cute and totally sweet, and crush-worthy. I totally developed a crush on him. Despite the train wreck of silliness that Gemma can sometimes be, he obviously cares a lot about her, and they are very cute together. Its a fun, summer romance and I love being along for that ride.

Getting down to it, without spoiling the book…its just fun. Its a really fun book. This is a perfect summer time read because its got the pool parties and the ice cream and the summer dates and all of that, the summer fun and, of course, the summer drama. I wanted to be a part of that world, and it reminded me of the summers I used to have before having jobs and responsibilities. It was juicy and racy and just straight up fun. I found myself laughing over and over and over again.

I will say this too, I wasn’t aware that it was a trilogy at first, because normally with contemporary, there is very little times, a sequel. So when the book ended, I was like “WHAT!” I never knew a contemporary book could leave me with such a delicious and infuriating cliffhanger. I wanted to throw the book across the room because I HAD to know what happened next. I turned the page and saw that there would be more books and felt a slight sense of relief that I would eventually find out what happened next, but I’m not a patient girl and I’m already ready for it!

All in all, fun book, full of everything you’d want in a perfect summer book…or even a book that you’re reading in winter, while dreaming of summer. It has the friendship and romance and pool parties and delicious treats and the rule breaking and all of that. Its a feel good, fun book and its one that I so HIGHLY recommend.

Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars

Fierce Reads Tour Kicks Off in San Diego!

Yesterday was another epic author event under the belt for me, viagra 40mg down at Mysterious Galaxy for the first stop of the Fierce Reads Tour.

This fall Fierce Reads tour features authors Gennifer Albin and Ann Aguirre, what is ed with Jessica Brody and Leigh Bardugo as special guests.

Now, I’m already quite familiar with Jessica and Leigh. I mean, when Jessica Brody tweets you because she saw that you were interviewed in the CBS interview with Cassandra Clare, that’s pretty awesome. Jessica is the author of several contemporary YA novels, like My Life Undecided and The Karma Club, and the Unremembered trilogy, with a sort of Bourne identity storyline but with a kickass girl and a hot guy. Can’t deny that one can you?

Leigh Bardugo is the author of Shadow and Bone, and Siege and Storm, following the story of Alina Starkov in this immense and dark fantasy world, who finds out she has special powers and must be taken under the wing of the mysterious Darkling in order to learn them.

Gennifer and Ann are new authors to my ever growing list. Gennifer writes a sort of fantasy-dystopian where girls called Spinsters literally weave the reality of the world on looms. I just bought the first book of Ann’s trilogy, but I’m very excited to dive into it.

Authors at Fierce Reads

The adventure getting to Mysterious Galaxy was super fun, with my friends Cassandra, and Sylvia from FanGirlFeeels, and when we got there, I was SO happy to be there! I enjoy meeting authors and I love Mysterious Galaxy. They are such fun indie bookstores and they’re great. The authors had arrived at the same time, and both Jessica and Leigh said enthusiastic hellos to myself and to Sylvia, and thanked us for driving to see them.

Fierce Reads Books

The event was SUCH a blast. I already knew that Jessica and Leigh were super fun to meet. Each one of them has their own brand of humor, and I always have such a great time with their events. Add in Ann and Gennifer and it was literally a laugh fest the entire time. Seriously, I swear I want to be an author just to hang out with these super cool ladies. I was literally laughing, with a little bit of tears, every time they were talking. This was the first stop of the tour, and I know that the rest of the stops are going to be just fabulous, because they obviously have a fun and awesome chemistry going on.

Leigh Bardugo

All the authors shared a lot about writing, and about their books. I always love coming to these things because I feel like I get wonderful insight to the authors’ books and I also get priceless writing advice, which is always helpful to me. I gobble up all possible writing advice, anything to help keep me motivated and inspired.

Gennifer Albin

They also addressed the sort of controversy and issues going on with Allegiant. Each author sort of agreed that readers have the right to react as they please, but the reactions can be dealt with in other manners. Ann said she knows that not everyone is going to love her book, but she’d hope they wouldn’t bring it to her front yard. Leigh was extremely passionate about it, and said she would hope that readers understood where authors are coming from when they are writing their novel, and that they’re going to write the novel they set out to write. She also said that expressing all those emotions, like hate and anger, won’t change anything so its a waste of time. I liked what Jessica said, that love and hate come from the same place, and you know you’re doing something right if you get either of those.

Jessica Brody

I’ve also learned from these authors that the second and third books were harder to write. Gennifer Albin said that her first book seemed like a breeze to her, but the second one was a lot harder. Both Leigh and Jessica lamented over their third books, and jokingly called Jessica’s third book “stupidly awesome.” Ann talked about the difficulties of having a successful first book, and translating the story and the audience into the second and the third book.

Ann Aguirre

I found that SO interesting. She really explained how each of her books in her trilogy sort of represented something different: the first book was the quest, the second book was the emotions and building of relationships, and the third was the war. I really bought into that, and I really loved it. I’m writing a standalone sci-fi so I’m not frazzled at how to fit all of that into one book. But I thought it was a good way of thinking of it, and its something I’m definitely keeping in mind!

Then came meeting the authors, which is always fun because you get to interact with them, and I’ve gotten to know Jessica and Leigh, we’ve bonded and can joke with each other. When my friend Cassandra met Jessica Brody, she was like “you came with these clowns?!” and I couldn’t stop laughing. But she was extremely helpful with writing tips, and I’m going to be checking out this book called Save the Cat and creating a book bible for my sci-fi book. I’m going to start working on that now!

Lastly, I LOVED talking to Gennifer about Harry Potter and Doctor Who. She had the cutest Doctor Who lunch box/purse thing, and I showed her my Doctor Who tattoo and she was so excited about it, and she was like “I need to get my Deathly Hallows tattoo” and I just held out my other wrist, and she laughed, and was like “You stole all my tattoo ideas!” I love author bonding ;)

Here is all the awesome swag/signed books I got!

Fierce Reads Bag

Signed 52 Reasons Book Signed Crewel Book Signed Enclave Book Signed Fierce Reads Poster

OH! And of course I had Gennifer and Ann sign my poster of writing advice :) Check out what they had to say!

Gennifer and Ann Writing Advice

I also was really stoked to meet one of my followers, Kayla, who is the blogger over at The Thousand Lives. We talk a LOT online, especially about books, and it was her VERY FIRST book event. You can read about her experience here, and I am so glad to have met her IRL and to be part of her first author event experience!

Last night was just the first stop of their tour (they’re in Albuquerque tonight), and there are SO many more stops. Check out this link to find out if they’re coming near you. You definitely do NOT want to miss out!

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