Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Impostor by Jill Hathaway

Goodreads Summary : Be afraid of your shadow...Vee Bell has witnessed murder. She nearly died trying to track down the killer, all because of her secret condition. She'd tell her best friend Rollins but lately he seems more interested in his colleague Anna than her. Maybe she should confide in her long-lost aunt who's turned up out of the blue? All of a sudden life is happening in reverse: Vee is waking up in weird places not knowing what she's done. The only thing she's sure of is that someone is messing with her. And when a prank goes horribly wrong, this time the hands with blood on them might be hers.

My Rating : 3.5 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : Vee Bell possess a rare gift, or a curse, to slide into the mind of another person and experiencing life, through that person’s eyes, taking control of his or her action. After the horrifying incident of witnessing a murder though the victim’s eyes, Vee finally solved the mystery. But just as she thought her life was going back to normal, someone else started slid into her in occasions, and made her life more complicated.

Vee Bell was very likable character and she made a promising protagonist. She was analytic, the part I most liked about her. She was emotionally strong (well, some point I found it way too hard- core, a bit lack of feelings. Mind you, I ‘m into emotional things.) while dealing with Zane’s death and at one point she realized she had insta-love relation with him, and Rollins was the one who always stood by her. I liked how their best-friendship bloomed into love. It was believable and destined. Hey, I knew it would eventually happen, since the author subtly removed Zane out of the story. And Rollins, I love you man.

Last summer when I read Slide, I enjoyed it. The mystery was well written, blended with the story in layer by layer. However, for Imposter, I’m a bit confused. We were acquainted some new characters that had me confused. I pretty much suspected all of them as the villain. In Imposter, the suspense part was done well, but the big revelation was also unexpected but the reason didn’t justify the book blurb, where it is clearly stated “What if a killer took control of you?” I find it difficult to express my feelings. I liked almost everything about the story, yet somehow I’m not satisfied.

I didn't realize when I finished the book. Yes, it was that fast. I don’t know why I felt so, maybe because the plot was engaging or due to the wispy detailing. I must say the book was well written. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it, from beginning till the end.

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Thursday, 23 May 2013

Exclusive Interview with Imogen Howson , author of Linked

Me : Welcome Imogen to my blog Pages From My Thoughts.

Imogen : Hi, and thank you for having me!

Me : What was you inspiration behind Linked? Would you like to tell us a little bit about your upcoming novel Linked?

Imogen : Linked was inspired by a magazine article I read, about twins who experienced a telepathic link—one of them felt when the other was in trouble. The working title for Linked was Telepathic Twins in Space, which I think sums it up pretty well! Basically, the heroine, Elissa, experiences weird visions, which turn out to be produced by her telepathic link with the twin she never knew she had, and she ends up having to help her twin, Lin, escape from the people who have kept her imprisoned.

Me : What is the most difficult thing about writing a novel? What inspired you in writing?

Imogen : The most difficult thing is sitting down every day to produce a new scene out of nowhere! It’s very inspiring, though, to focus on how, hopefully, my books can give as much pleasure to people as other authors’ books have given me.

Me : How did you overcome writer’s block?

Imogen : Writer’s block can happen for all sorts of reasons, so overcoming it really depends on why it’s happening. If I’m feeling stuck, I usually take my laptop and go and work somewhere outside my house. It’s surprising how helpful it is to be able to sit and drink coffee that I didn’t have to make myself, and to know it’s not my job to wash up the cup afterwards.

Me : As we know Elisa and Lin, the two main characters from Linked look alike, so what makes them different from each other?

Imogen : Lin has not only grown up in an institution, but she’s grown up being told she’s not even human. This has created one of the main differences between her and Elissa, that Lin has almost no natural empathy, no fellow-feeling for other people. This ends up causing real problems for Elissa as she tries to get to know her twin!

Me : What are your favourite YA books?

Imogen : Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and Little Women by L.M. Alcott.

Me : Other than writing, what do you enjoy most?

Imogen : Reading! Also running in the countryside around my house, watching teen movies, and drinking wine with friends.

Me : Any tips for the aspiring authors?

Imogen : Read a lot. Pay attention to what you like reading, what works for you (even if other people don’t like it or say it’s a bad story or bad writing), and then write the book you want to read but that you haven’t found yet.

Me : Thank you Imogen, for you time and consideration. It was such an honour to have you over my blog.

Imogen : Thank you so much for having me!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Exclusive Interview with Amy Butler Greenfield, author of Chantress + Win a copy of Chantress and Swags (Intl)

Me : What inspired you to write Chantress, a historical YA fiction with elements of fantasy?

Amy : I’m fascinated by the past, and everything I write has some history in it. I’ve also loved fantasy fiction since I was small. Chantress is my way of putting those two favorite things together.

Me : Chantress was set during 1600’s England, how did you balance the elements of fantasy and the historical backdrop?

Amy : I set Chantress in the 1600s in part because I wanted to write about a time when everyone—even scientists—believed in the possibility of magic. But in Chantress, magic really exists, and of course that’s had an effect on everything: people, culture, politics, society. So the book is mostly fantasy, set in a world that’s a skewed version of 1600s England, with twisty streets and underground crypts and would-be alchemists—and a tyrant Lord Protector in the Tower of London.

Me : Would you like to tell us about your research on that era?

Amy : I was lucky enough to know the period really well before I ever thought about writing Chantress, so that was a huge help. But I still had plenty of questions crop up as I was drafting the book—about the clothes my characters wore, the foods they ate, the streets they walked on. I could find some answers in books, but sometimes I needed to go to museums and historic houses here in England to see things for myself—which was the best research of all.

Me : Would you like to share your experience in the way of publication?

Amy : Chantress is my first YA book and my first fantasy. I needed and wanted to write it, but it was so different from what I’d written before that I wasn’t certain it would ever sell. But once I was finally finished (which took years), I quickly connected with a wonderful agent, and within days of submitting the manuscript, we had competing bids coming in. It was very exciting!

Me : As Chantress is the first installment of a trilogy, would you like to share few words about the upcoming books?

Amy : I don’t want to give away any secrets, so I can’t say much! But I can promise you that Lucy and Nat will still be at the heart of the adventures to come, and that there are new things in store in Book Two, including one of my very favorite characters in the whole series.

Me : What is most difficult thing about creating a character?

Amy : Figuring out what really makes them tick. Sometimes the answers you get at first are the wrong ones, and you don’t learn the truth until a draft or two later. The other tricky thing is making a character consistent enough to be understandable, and yet unpredictable enough to be real.

Me : The magic in Chantress is based on music. Would you like to share your idea about developing such kind of magic? Is there any particular song that inspired you in doing so?

Amy : I didn’t have any particular song in mind, but I wanted the magic in Chantress to have a visceral power, and to me what expressed that best was music. And it felt right to me that it should be music without words, or at least no words as we understand them. The human voice is an incredible instrument, one that can makes us laugh or smile or shout or dance. It can bring us to tears or make us rejoice. And I loved the idea of a world where Chantresses could hear music in everything.

Me : How long did it take writing Chantress? Would you like to tell us about experience during writing the very first draft of Chantress. How different it was from the final version?

Amy : It took me two years to write the first draft of Chantress, and almost six years to get to the final draft. Part of that was because it was such a busy time: During those same years, I became a mom, I had a major health crisis, and our family made an international move. But what also slowed me down was that Chantress was a new kind of writing for me. The book went through a lot of drafts, and the first was very different from the last—but with each draft I understood the people and the world better.

Me : Any advice for the aspiring authors?

Amy : Read, read, read. Write, write, write. And when you write, be brave and be true to yourself!

Many thanks to Amy for time her time and consideration for this interview. Also, a humble thanks to her for offering a copy of Chantress along with some beautiful stickers and bookmarks. Please enter via the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open internationally.

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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Goodreads Summary : Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past—that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Review : The way technology is advancing in an incredible rate, we can see the reflection of such improvement upon novels, and such thinking is beyond imagination.

A normal girl with no memory of her past, we have heard such stories many times but let me say this one is different. It has blood rushing, jaw dropping Bourne Identity-style detailed action, hi-fi technology that was used well in places, romance that will not disappoint you.
After a losing her father and her memory in devastating fire Mila was trying to build her life anew in a remote town with her mother. But a car accident changes everything. It was revealed that Mila isn’t a normal girl; she isn’t even a human at all. Mobile Intel Lifelike Android-an experimental artificial intelligence created using Nano technology, she is programmed to function like a normal teenage girl, adapting the surroundings and surviving like a normal human does . When her trued identity unveils she has no choice but run from the scientists who created her and they won’t stop at nothing until they get her back.

The pace quickly picked up at the beginning that I hardly got a time to let out my breath during the whole story, a little bit predictable, that’s all. The romance was little off beat, as I felt it, though I will be looking forward to see more Hunter in the next unsentimental. There was a totally, utterly bitchy fried named Kaylee whom I wanted to kill with my bare hands. Seriously, why on earth anyone would like to befriend her? She was evil avatar of Gossip Girl characters. However Mila was very likable, she was naive at the beginning, slowly her character developed as she started accepting who she is and what she is capable of doing.

Undeniably, it was a fast, fun and exciting read. One can easily visualize the action sequences; it was more like watching a sci-fi movie. I will definitely be awaiting for the sequel to come.

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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Exclusive Interview with Polly Holyoke, author of The Neptune Project + Win a Signed ARC of The Neptune Project (Intl)

Me : What was your inspiration behind The Neptune Project?

Polly : I’ve always loved the sea and wondered if we could possibly live in it someday. I’ve also been fascinated by our rapid progress in genetic engineering. I wondered if in the future we might transform ourselves so that we can breathe water and colonize the oceans which cover 5/6ths of our planet. And then I wondered what that experience would truly be like for the pioneers who went into the sea, especially if they were children.

Me : As a great part of the story is set under the sea, would you like to tell us about your research on underwater life?

Polly : I’ve always been a scuba diver, and I think that helped me to describe the world under the waves in convincing detail. I also spent a GREAT deal of time researching oceanography and talking to dive masters and dolphin trainers. My very favorite moments in researching this book, however, came the day I went snorkeling with wild spinner dolphins in Hawaii and listened via a hydrophone to humpback whales singing. Whale songs are one of the most beautiful and mysterious sounds in nature.

Me : What would be the perfect one line pitch for The Neptune Project?

Polly : When the sea has become humankind’s last hope, a group of teens fight to survive beneath the waves.

Me : Would you like to give us a brief preview of The Neptune Project?

Polly : Here’s a short blurb for the book:

The Neptune Project is set in a future where the seas are rising and wars and famines wrack the surface world. Nere Hanson and her teen companions are shocked to learn that they have been genetically altered by their desperate parents to live in the sea. Protected by her loyal dolphins, shy Nere leads the rest on a perilous journey to her father’s new colony. Fighting off government divers, sharks and giant squid, can Nere and her companions learn to trust each other before their dangerous new world destroys them?

Me : During the writing, what was the most difficult thing you faced, world building or character development?

Polly : I’ve read so much science fiction and fantasy over the years, world building is relatively easy and great fun for me. I did have to spend a lot of time thinking about the characters in this book. I wanted Nere’s companions to include interesting, real and diverse kids with strong personalities which could and would generate plenty of conflict. Along the way, I was delighted when many of the dolphins in the story even developed strong personalities of their own

Me : Tell us about your voyage to publication.

Polly : I was fortunate. Once I signed with a good agent, The Neptune Project sold quickly. I did do my homework, though, and spent hours figuring out which agents to query first with this particular project. The research paid off. It truly is KEY to send your work to agent who likes the kind of stuff you write.

Me : If you were given a chance to change something in the world, what would it be?

Polly : Wow, that’s a tough one! I can think of at least a dozen off the top of my head. I would like us to make the transition away from fossil fuels before it’s too late to keep our planet from overheating.

Me : Would you like to give a message to the readers?

Polly : The oceans matter. They are an incredible source of protein for our over-populated planet, but we need to manage their resources more wisely. Right now we have more fishing capacity than we have fish! And if the oceans continue to warm, phytoplankton (which serves as the foundation of the ocean food chain and absorbs just as much carbon dioxide as trees do) will die. Then our entire planet is in serious trouble.

Many thanks to Polly for time her time and consideration for this interview. Also, a humble thanks to her for offering a signed ARC of The Neptune Project. Please enter via the Rafflecopter below.

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