Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop–Win Above World by Jenn Reese

Here’s a chance to win free books!   I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Author Cindy Thomas are hosting the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop.  The giveaway is March 17 to March 22.   There will be a ton of chances for you to win some new reading material.  Just hop on over to I am a Reader, Not a Writer to see the other giveaways!  Click here to see the list of participating blogs.

I am giving away an ARC of an exciting Middle Grade book: Above World by Jenn Reese!  This is a fun, fast-paced adventure with likable characters and a fierce protagonist.  I really enjoyed, and I think you will, too! 

Entering is easy! Just fill out the widget.  Earn extra entries for following on Twitter and Goodreads, or by subscribing to receive an email with blog updates.  Easy, Huh?!

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Interview with Jessica Therrien, Author of Oppression

Jessica Therrien is the author of Oppression, her debut YA novel and the kick-off of her Children of the Gods series.  I am a sucker for anything based on Greek mythology, so I excited when  Jessica dropped by the virtual offices to discuss her new series.

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Jessica Therrien] I’m a closet goofball, T.V. addict, pajama lovin’ YA book fanatic. I married my crush. I’m 26. I enjoy writing and singing in the shower.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about Oppression?

[Jessica Therrien] OPPRESSION tells the story of Elyse, a seemingly young woman with an extraordinary ability and a unique destiny. Elyse ages five times slower than the average human, which means that even though she appears to be almost eighteen, she’s nearly a century old. When her parents died, she believed herself to be the only one in the world with such a condition. But after moving to San Francisco, determined to keep herself hidden and alone in the middle of the big city, she quickly discovers she’s not alone. On the contrary, there’s a whole society of people just like her, who age five times slower than normal people, and who have strange, almost magical abilities.

Overall it’s a love story full of heartbreaking conflict and that last shred of hope.

[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Jessica Therrien] The concept was just an intriguing thought I had after realizing that some of the places in Greek Mythology are actually thought to exist. What if other parts of mythology were real? What if there was some explanation for the myths, like the Greek gods were never really gods, just a supernatural race of people whose abilities were embellished?

The characters started off being based on people I know. I was falling in love with my husband as I was writing Oppression, so he was my inspiration for William. Once the book got going, though, the characters developed into themselves and my creative brain just sort of took over.

[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the story?

[Jessica Therrien] Editing was the hardest part for me. I had to do some re-writes. It was extremely difficult for me to tear into my manuscript after I had already considered it “finished.” Little did I know, I had yet to write the best parts. The rewrites were well worth it.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Elyse would never have in her backpack?

[Jessica Therrien] A ball gown. Make up. A banner that says, “I’m going to save the world.”

[Manga Maniac Café]  What are your greatest creative influences?

[Jessica Therrien] Most of my creative influences are people….My mother and sister, my husband, my critique partner Holly, Molly the Magnificent (as I call her) with ZOVA Books. Also, amazing authors such as JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, & Moira Young.

And…I really have to say the writers of The Vampire Diaries T.V. show. They are masters of plot.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Jessica Therrien] I need to be in the mood to write, and that’s it.

I’ll write on a napkin in a noisy restaurant if an idea strikes. Eventually, I do need my computer so I can put it all in my manuscript, but that’s obvious.

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Jessica Therrien] Harry Potter. I had never read anything so fast in my life. It officially started my eternal search for the next suck-me-in-go-without-sleep kind of book.

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Jessica Therrien] Watch T.V. J That’s mostly because I’m tired after a long days work. If I had more time, I would concentrate on my other hobbies: playing guitar, sewing, making jewelry, scrapbooking…I know, basically I’m a grandma trapped in this 26-year-old body.

Thanks for a wonderful interview!!

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!


You can learn more about Jessica by visiting her at the following websites:

GoodReads

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Oppression is out now!  You can order a copy from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below:

 

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She’s been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than average people, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she’s closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don’t make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she’s been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning – and she’s not entirely willing to play by their rules.,

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Review: Oppression by Jessica Therrien

 

Title: Oppression

Author:  Jessica Therrien

Publisher: ZOVA Books

ISBN: 978-0984035045

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She’s been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than average people, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she’s closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don’t make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she’s been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning – and she’s not entirely willing to play by their rules.

Review:

I love Greek mythology, so when I first saw Oppression, I immediately added it to my TBR.  Jessica Therrien is a debut author, which added even more weight to my desire to read the book.  I love discovering new titles and new authors, so I was definitely eager to start reading this.

I love the premise.  Elyse is a Descendant, a race of people once considered gods.  She ages much slower than normal humans, and her blood can heal.  Since the death of her parents, she has been alone, keeping her abilities a secret.  Her only friend is Anna, a woman she has known since childhood.  Elyse knows nothing about her background or her people.  All she knows is that she is different.  When she meets William, a mysterious and handsome young man, she is suddenly thrust into a strange and dangerous new world.  William is also a Descendant, and he holds the answers that Elyse is desperately seeking.

While I liked Elyse, I did not feel much affection for William.  He knows all about Elyse, and at first, he refuses to divulge his knowledge.  There is a scary girl stalking her, so I thought that telling Elyse what was going would have been the gentlemanly thing for William to do.  But, no, William flat out refuses to tell her.  He throws little tidbits of information to her throughout the book, which put him in a position of power over her that I did not like.  I did not think he was cute or sexy, and I was hoping like heck that some other guy would suddenly appear and treat her like an equal, instead of like a child.  No such luck.  I can’t tell you how irritating it was for me when he called her “adorable”  because she was confused and apprehensive about her safety.  It didn’t endear him to me. It was mean and patronizing, and it made me wish that Elyse would fall for some other guy.  This particular trope is used far too often in YA, and it drives me batty every time I encounter it.

Other aspects of the story did work for me, though.  Elyse must keep her bloodline and abilities a secret, and she can never help ordinary humans.  This causes one heck of a dilemma for her when her best friend, Anna, is diagnosed with an illness.  Should she use her powers to cure her? Will the Council, the group of individuals who rule over the Descendants, let Anna live if she does cure her friend? 

Over time, the Council has become cruel and corrupt, and they don’t hesitate to severely punish anyone who goes against their rules.  They have taken enormous interest in Elyse because of a prophesy, and they want to keep her firmly under their control.  Kara, the scary stalker girl, works for the Council, and she has been charged with keeping an eye on Elyse and reporting back with every little thing she does.  Kara is even more frightening because she can read minds.  There are no secrets safe from her, which Elyse quickly discovers.  I thought that was an unfair advantage that the bad guys possessed, but, hey, I guess all is fair in love and war.  The Descendant Kara works for is freaky, too.  He’s from the line of Ares, and he is brutally violent.  He takes pleasure in making others suffer.  He is a super scary guy, and I came to dread his entrance into scenes with as much trepidation as Elyse.  Ugh! I kept hoping he would just DIE!  While he was one-dimensional, he was still fun to hate.

While certain story threads didn’t work for me, I am interested enough in the ones that did to read the next installment of the Children Of The Gods.  I think that fans of Bree Despain and Lauren Kate will feel right at home here.

Grade: Waffling between a B and B-

Review copy provided by author

 

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