Mundie Moms

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Review: Prized (Birthmarked #2) By Caragh M. O'Brien

Published by: Roaring Book Press
To Be Released on: November 8th, 2011
Source: ARC from author/publisher to review
3.5 stars: It was a good read
Purchase from: MacMillan | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole? - quoted from Goodreads

Prized picks up right were Birthmarked ends, with Gaia and her new born baby sister alone in the wildness, on the run from the Enclave. With little supplies and not much to protect them against danger, both Gaia and her sister aren't in the best condition when they run into a stranger who helps/kidnaps them and takes them to safety. Once there, Gaia realizes she's in a whole new society and one that ties her to her Grandmother and family, but this society isn't blissful, in fact it gets Gaia in a lot of trouble, changes her, opens her eyes a bit and takes her sister away from her.

Much like Birthmarked, Caragh again creates a vivid dystopian world that was so easy to imagine as the story goes on. I liked the fresh take on a new society which allowed Caragh to tie Sylum with Gaia's family, specifically her Grandmother that was mentioned through Birthmarked. Her Grandmother is no longer here, but her ruling this society and the clues she leaves behind plays a role in what Gaia uncovers as the story goes. Unlike Enclave, this society is ruled by women, which make up a very minor percentage of the mostly male population. There's strict rules in this society, women and men are forbidden to touch unless married, and the women is the one who chooses who she marries. Women are required to have many children to help not only a declining society, but help try and boost the dwindling female population.

I liked the introduction to some new characters, despite being frustrated with how narrow minded some of them were. I liked the possibilities of new relationships for Gaia, and loved getting to know Will and Peter. I was extremely excited when Leon enters the picture and the friction and chemistry that once again develops between he and Gaia was fabulously drawn out. Unfortunately for me Gaia herself wasn't the girl I had excepted her to be, at all. I really felt like she regressed as a character for much of this story. She was this lively, stubborn, strong willed, independent girl who wouldn't bend to anyone's whim and yet in this new society she becomes opposite of all that. While I tried to understand how a new society would change her, I didn't really buy into her changing so much. I felt like I got a completely different character than Birthmarked and I missed the old Gaia. I liked that Caragh even had Leon questioning Gaia and how much she changed since being in Sylum. It isn't until close to the every end did I see a flicker of the old Gaia.

While I didn't love this book as much as I loved Birthmarked, it's still a great addition to this series. I'm very eager to find out what's in store for the third and last book in this trilogy. I'm hoping that Prized doesn't change Gaia and that with the next storyline she'll become that inspiring character she was before. I think this story line's purpose was to place Gaia in the position she ends up in at the end of the book for the sole reason of helping bring change to a society in desperate need of it. I'll definitely be picking up the final installment to this series when it's out.

Don't miss today's Prized blog stop and interview with Caragh here.

UK Cover Reveal: Until I Die by Amy Plum

The UK cover for Amy Plum's sequel in the Revenants series was revealed this week (see cover below) and I have to say, I'm loving this cover. I can't wait to see the US one. While we patiently wait for the US cover to be revealed, I am so EXCITED about a fabulous little treat I'm about to share with you guys. Thank you to the lovely Amy Plum, we're able to share The Until I Die synopsis!!!

Published by: Harper Teen
To Be Released on: May 3rd (in the U.K.) & May 8th (in the US)

Kate has chosen to leave the comfort and safety of her human world in order to join Vincent in the dangerous supernatural universe he inhabits. For his part, he has sworn to go against his very nature and resist the repeated deaths that are his fate as a revenant—even though it will bring him immeasurable suffering.

Heady with romance and rife with danger, the second book of the DIE FOR ME trilogy follows Vincent and Kate as they search—separately—for a solution to their plight, pursuing their quest from the glamorous streets of Paris to the city’s squalid underbelly. Although the experiment that Vincent attempts is progressively destroying him, he insists on seeing it through to the end. This prompts Kate to strike out on her own into the dangerous world of the revenants to find another way. But she unwittingly puts everyone she loves at risk when she discovers a family of ancient healers who hold the key to a secret that could help the bardia—the good revenants—overthrow their murderous enemies, the numa, forever.

And while the lovers search for something they have little chance of finding, a new threat arises among the numa. Kate finds herself in the midst of an ancient and deadly war, not as a bystander...but as a target.

I can not wait for this book to be released!! I loved Die For Me and Until I Die sounds like it's going to be just as thrilling.

Be sure to to pre-order your copy of Until I Die at Amazon & Amazon UK and add it to your To Read Lists on Goodreads.

Clockwork Angel Read Along Day 13: Chapter 12 Blood & Water

It's day 13 of our Clockwork Angel Read Along! Please be sure to visit our link here for our schedule, guidelines and to fill out the form to be entered to win some fabulous prizes. Feel free to answer any number of the questions asked. You don't need to answer all of them if you don't wish to.

Today we're discussing chapter 12. Holy, holy water! Let's talk about that hot kiss between Will & Tessa..... oh wait, there's more to discuss than that. Okay, before we discuss the kiss, there's that important revelation from Brother Enoch about Tessa's power and the confusion over what Tessa is and what Nate isn't.

* I'm completely intrigued with what Brother Enoch sees in Tessa. I'm even more curious at how Tessa is a Downworlder and Nate is not. I don't want to give anything away, but I'm curious at what your theories are with Tessa and Nate.

* Having already CA, this whole chapter with Nate makes me despise him even more. I'm curious on what everyone's take on Nate is so far. Is he a victim or do you think there's something more? If you've already read CA, please keep your answer SPOILER FREE

* Let's talk about that hot little scene between Tessa and Will. WOW. Talk about hot. 1) Do you think Will will be able to fight over what's ailing him or possibly turn? 2) What do you think came over Will at the end of the chapter? Do you think he's fighting fallen for Tessa or do you think it's something else entirely? Could Will be keeping a secret that's keeping him from pursuing something with Tessa?

Prized Blog Tour: Interview with Author Caragh M. O'Brien

We're thrilled to be kicking off MacTeenBooks's blog tour for Prized. Today we're excited to have author Caragh M. O'Brien on the blog to talk about her upcoming release, Prized, the sequel to Birthmarked. This is a series I've absolutely enjoyed reading!

Published by: MacMillan
To Be Released on: November 8th, 2011
Pre-Order from: MacMillan | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole? -quoted from Goodreads

Thank you so much for being with us today Caragh. We're excited to hear a little bit about your sequel, Prized. Which character have you had the most fun writing, and why?

Let me first say, Katie, how delighted I am to be starting my blog tour with a visit to Mundie Moms. I’m sort of stunned, frankly, to realize this tour is starting and Prized comes out so soon. There should be some new word for this feeling, like a combo of Yay! and Yikes!

As for the character who was the most fun to write, there’s this ornery, peg-legged cook in Prized who completely took me by surprise. Norris has wild, bushy eyebrows, and he’s always throwing potatoes into pots or cleaving meat to express himself. I feel like this piratical guy could have become an awful caricature, but instead he’s utterly real to me, and my heart goes out to him. He was unbelievably fun to write.

What's your favorite thing about Prized's setting?
What I like most about the setting of Prized is its layers. At first, it seems like an inviting wooded valley by a marsh, with bountiful crops, cozy cabins, and deep, fragrant shade. In time, though, the setting becomes a kind of death-trap, and how the characters deal with that is surprisingly complex. It makes me think about how place and people shape each other in large and subtle ways.

What was the first children's or teen book you read the inspired you as a reader?
The first book that completely transported me away was Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess, which a librarian gave me when I was ten. I loved being in the attic with Sara when the dinners and warm luxuries began appearing night after night, comforting her when her soul was even more starved than her body. I still feel like Sara’s a friend of mine and she makes me want to be a kinder person.

If you could go to dinner with any author (past or present) who would you want to go with and why?
I’d love to meet Jack London. I’ve visited his homestead in California, with the ruins of his dream house that was destroyed by fire just before he and his wife planned to move in. His survival-of-the-fittest depiction of personalities in Call of the Wild and his portrait of a penniless, passionate writer in Martin Eden continue to fascinate me. I’m also inspired by how determined he was about writing his quota of 1,000 words a day. I could eat burgers and shakes with him. I’d like that.

Where's your favorite place to write?
My couch. I’m on it a lot and it’s very comfy.

Is there anything you’d else you'd like our readers to know about?
As you know, Katie, we’re starting a code that people can try to decipher during the blog tour, and a new letter will appear each day. Details of how it works are on the MacTeenBooks site and here’s the first one: Prized Code #1: G.

My next tour visit is tomorrow on A Good Addiction

Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting with us today Caragh!
Your questions were really fun, Katie. Thank you so much for having me by and starting me on my blog tour!

Please be sure to visit Caragh on her Website, become a fan on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and find her on Goodreads

Don't forget, you can see the complete blog tour schedule & find all the information you'll need to to help you decipher the tour code on MacTeenBooks. Mark your calendars, Caragh will be chatting with fans on November 8th via Goodreads.

Mundane Monday #107

Happy Mundane Monday!!!

image found here

"For a moment their mouths pressed hotly together, Will's free hand tangling in her hair. Tessa gasped when his arms went around her, her skirts snagging on the floor as he pulled her hard against him. She put her hands lightly around his neck; his skin was burning hot to the touch. Through the thin wet material of his shirt, she could feel the muscles of his shoulders, hard and smooth. His fingers found her jeweled hair clasp and pulled at it, and her hair spilled down around her shoulders, the comb rattling to the floor, and Tessa gave a little cry of surprised against his mouth."

- Clockwork Angel, page 291