Interview: Meet Rachelle Dekker, Author of The Choosing

[Manga Maniac Café] Good morning, Rachelle!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Rachelle Dekker] Curious, goofy, free-spirited, and fearful (I hide the last one well, but I’m working on it).

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

[Rachelle Dekker] The Choosing is a story about identity. Carrington Hale is a girl that lives in a society where worth is based on your ability to be picked as a bride. We find Carrington at the beginning of the story having failed to be picked and the turmoil that follows. Is a person’s worth based on the titles and roles society places on them, or can they discover their true worth, given to them by their Father. That is the journey Carrington will go on.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you share your favorite scene?

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Interview and Giveaway: All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Courtney Summers dropped by the virtual offices for a chat, and she brought along a copy of her latest, All the Rage, for you to win!

What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

It’s rare I leave home without my iPod Shuffle, when I think about it. I like having the option of listening to music close by.

If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

Do fictional characters count? I’m going to pick a fictional character. I think it would neat to be Chell, from the Portal video games, testing with GLaDOS all day. Provided it didn’t kill me.

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Review: Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Under a Painted Sky was such a fun read!  The time period is unusual – 1849 America.  The adventurous protagonists, Samantha, a young woman of Chinese descent, and Annamae, a runaway slave, disguise themselves as boys and head west from Missouri, hitting the Oregon Trail and pretending to be prospectors.  I love anything to do with the Oregon Trail, and this book is exciting, suspenseful, and completely engaging.  All I know is that I would never have had the courage to do the things both Samantha and Annamae are forced to do to save themselves after an accident forces them to run for their lives.

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Review: Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Written in the Stars is an emotionally compelling story, and man, did it make me angry!  To think that there are still cultures that value the lives and dreams of girls so little that they would sell them into marriage when they are still basically children makes me so frustrated for the future of all of us.  The protagonist Naila is a hard-working honor student with one goal in life – going to med school and becoming a doctor.  When she lies to her parents and sneaks off to prom, she’s punished in the most demeaning way.  She’s taken to Pakistan, lied to by her parents, and married off against her will.  Good-bye, intelligent, science-minded young woman. You are going to be a cloistered housewife for the rest of your life, and all of those endless possibilities that were once open to you?  Gone.  All of those people your medical skills could have saved?  Nope, your parents thought being barefoot and pregnant at seventeen was a more worthy pursuit for your keen mind.  Sigh.

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Mini Review: Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I read Rot & Ruin last year and loved it.  It was one of my top 10 reads for the year.  I loved how Benny and Tom’s relationship changed as they faced one life-threatening adventure after another, and how Benny grew from an angry, petulant teen in to a courageous young man.  When he learned the truth about First Night, when the zombie plague wiped out most of human population, he finally saw his brother in a new light and forgave him for abandoning his mother.  It’s one best bonding moments in young adult fiction, but really, the whole book is about Benny learning how to come to terms with his feelings for his brother.

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Rachel’s Deception by Karen Ann Hopkins

This morning I have a cover reveal and giveaway for Rachel’s Deception by Karen Ann Hopkins.  I enjoyed the Temptation series, and I’m looking forward to reading the continuation.  Noah’s sister Rachel and Rose’s younger brother take center stage, and I can’t wait to find out what happens.  Check out the cover, revealed below, and then enter the giveaway!

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#Zombies! Novella Review: Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Please Remain Calm picks up right where This is Not a Test left off, but from Rhys’ POV.  At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about that, but I actually liked his narration better than Sloane’s.  Rhys is a straight forward kind of guy, and while he is torn up over what he had to do to his parents on the first awful night of the zombie apocalypse, he has done a fairly good job of moving past the ordeal.  While he does suffer from nightmares, he counts himself lucky to be alive, and he is determined to stay that way, so that his parents’ deaths will mean something.  Unlike Sloane, he is not suicidal, and he strives to find some sort of normal in the new horror of his existence.

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#Zombies! Review: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I’ve had a copy of This is Not a Test moldering in my TBR for a while.  I had purchased a print copy from Amazon, but since my reading preferences have changed and I prefer reading eBooks now, it just sat in a box.  Then I noticed that the library had acquired a digital copy, I was in the mood for a zombie story, so I hit the Borrow button.

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