Book Editorial, Book Events, Book Interviews, Books, Editorials, Events, Featured Author Week, Interviews

Featured Author Week: Jennifer L. Armentrout (‘White Hot Kiss’) visits Lytherus!

We here at Lytherus are really excited to bring you a week featuring Jennifer L. Armentrout. She’s taken YA by storm with fun urban fantasy and hot romantic boys. Her newest book, White Hot Kiss, definitely keeps to that tradition. Here’s the summary of the story from Amazon:

whitehotkissOne kiss could be the last

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening this week so you don’t miss a thing:

  • Monday: Introduction to the Jennifer L. Armentrout featured author week
  • Tuesday: Review of White Hot Kiss
  • Wednesday:  Giveaway of White Hot Kiss 
  • Thursday: Interview: Ten questions with Jennifer
  • Friday: Guest post: An editor’s perspective

Looking for more of your favorite authors’ featured author weeks? View our past archive of featured authors, with a stellar lineup including Brandon Sanderson, Leigh Bardugo, Lauren Kate, and more. Also, be sure to stay tuned over the next few weeks, we’re going to be bringing you some more brand new Featured Author weeks!

Book Interviews, Books, Interviews

Interview: Ten questions with Anne Leonard, author of ‘Moth and Spark’

To finish off our Featured Author Week with Anne Leonard, she was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions for us about dragons, fantasy, her characters, and writing. Be sure to check it out below!

moth-and-spark-headline-cover

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1: For those who are unfamiliar with you, tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid, so most of life has been about finding ways to write. I got an MFA and then tried the academic route (Ph.D.), which turned out not to be what I wanted. I eventually ended up as a lawyer, where I could make money by writing. (I used to joke that I got paid for telling people they were wrong.) I continued to write fiction and now am a full-time writer. I live in Northern California with my husband, our teenaged son, and our two black cats, Puck and Theo. For fun I go out on walks and take photographs. I’m also a baseball fan.

2: In your own words, can you give us a little summary of Moth and Spark?

Boy meets girl and they have adventures. More seriously, there are two main plots wrapped together. One is about magically enslaved dragons who are using the male lead, Prince Corin, to get free, and the other is about him and Tam falling in love. It turns out that she has magical power of her own, and the two of them work together to solve the problem of the dragons.

3: Dragons have been written about for ages. How did you approach creating and then writing them, so that they felt fresh and new for readers?

One thing I did was think a lot about my experiences with snakes, so that I could have some very real reptile images to use in the writing. I have never had snakes myself, but a college friend did, and I walked around with a 9 or 10 foot constrictor on my shoulders once. Snakes are really cool. I also knew that I didn’t want my dragons to be very human-like, but I did want them sentient and not wild beasts, so I thought a lot about dragon communication with each other and with humans. They have a language that’s not like human language.

 4: You alternate between the leads of Tam and Corin in the story. Which voice came to you first? Is one easier to write than the other?

Corin was the character I started with, because it had been a while since I’d done a male POV in my writing, but it took a little more writing to figure out exactly who he was. Tam came easier at first, because I was a lot clearer on who I wanted her to be when I started writing about her. Now, every time I’m writing one of them I think the other is easier, so it must be about the same.

5: This book is part adventure, political intrigue, romance, and self-discovery. Is there one element that stood out to you as your favorite to develop and write?

The romance was the impetus behind the story, but the politics is most interesting to me on an intellectual level. One of the reasons I went to law school was that the characters in the fiction I was writing were starting to spend lots of time talking about politics and justice, and it seemed like if that was my interest, I ought to get paid for it. I think the same things that make law interesting to me are what make fantasy literature interesting – it’s about systems of power and questions of justice. Both are about people in conflict in the context of larger forces.

B&W.Anne Leonard.credit Judith Love Pietromartire6: From the beginning of the book to the end both Tam and Corin change a lot. What can we expect from them as the story proceeds?

This is kind of hard to answer without a lot of spoilers, but for her at least it’s really about figuring out who she is and having the courage to stick to it – discovering her own autonomy. For him it’s more about picking out his path among things he can’t control. They both have to learn how to love someone, and they have to learn how to negotiate the various kinds of power that they have.

7: The politics of the land are complicated and intricately interwoven. Take us through the process of creating the lands and the challenges of balancing the various political schemes.

Ack. This was rough and took several drafts to develop into the shape it finally took. One of the hurdles I create for myself as a writer is setting up situations before I figure out the motives that led to them, so I had to go back and back-track a lot. I knew that I wanted an invading army as the fuse that set other things in motion, and I also knew that I wanted the politics of imperialism to play a part, but it wasn’t until I really figured out the role of the dragons that I knew where to go with that. Then with the more local politics I initially created something that was way too complicated to sustain and I had to back down on the intrigue to keep the book from tying itself in knots. I read some history and historical novels, not for specific ideas but just to get a sense of things that could happen, and I did some looking at political philosophy too. I have plenty of job experience working in places with lots of internal politics, so creating it was easy – making it fit was harder.

8: Tell us about your writing process. Walk us through a typical day. Do you outline a lot, or do you try and let the story flow as you’re writing?

I don’t outline much, and I actually want to try doing more of that in the future. I have to do a lot of writing to get to know my characters and what situations will wind them up – I also revise a lot as I go along, so Chapter 1 might be through 3 or 4 drafts before the last chapter is even started. It’s helpful sometimes to write back story or scenes that don’t actually go in just to get a sense of what’s happening. When I get stuck, it usually means something is missing earlier, so I re-read my drafts frequently. I also discuss things with other people I trust, but not much. My husband is a therapist, so sometimes he does therapy on my characters, which is very helpful. One of the most unexpectedly frustrating things about publication now is that as I answer people’s questions about the novel, I see things I want to change, and it’s too late! I try to take walks a few times a week or when I’m really stuck, and if I need to shake stuff in my head around a lot I will read poetry or watch a movie.

9: Can you tell us anything about book 2 to help hold us over?

Well, right not it’s not finished so I can’t promise anything and I am a little wary of talking about it too much, but it’s darker, without so much romance. The characters are all less shiny. And I’m writing some chapters in the point of view of the villain, which I have never done before and which is tremendous fun. The plot involves the fall-out from the events of MOTH AND SPARK, but ideally it too can be read as a standalone. I did not intend to write a sequel at all – I had spent a lot of time living with these people already and wanted something new – but when I created the character of this particular villain, then I had to keep going.

10: What’s on your reading shelf right now? Anything you’ve read recently that you’d recommend? We’re always looking for great books.

I’ve been reading a lot of recent SFF (including some YA) to catch up on the genre, but I’m feeling like I’m at the point where I need to cut down on my reading so that it doesn’t take my focus off my writing, so I’m going to switch my upcoming reading to more mystery/ suspense and “literary” fiction on my TBR pile. I’m not allowed to go to the library again for a while. The most recent book I bought was The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler, but the one I think I’m going to start up again with first is The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt. The writer I’m recommending to everyone right now is Cormac McCarthy, who is tough to read emotionally but is just phenomenal with his language and storytelling. I’m also excited to read Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi, which is just coming out.

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Thanks Anne! Don’t forget to check out the rest of our Anne Leonard Feature Author Week, including entering for your chance to win a copy of Moth and Spark. Want to know more about Anne? Check out her website at www.anneleonardbooks.com, and follow her on twitter @anneleonardauth.

Book Editorial, Books, Editorials

Guest Post: Author Anne Leonard talks dragons!

What is it about dragons? They’re so iconic of fantasy, and have been the inspiration for stories for generations. Anne Leonard has some really interesting dragons in her new book Moth and Spark, and we here at Lytherus wanted to hear about why dragons spoke to her so much. So, without further ado, here’s Anne’s guest post. Enjoy!

What Makes Dragons Interesting

B&W.Anne Leonard.credit Judith Love PietromartireKind of obviously, the big lure about dragons is that they both fly and breathe fire. Flying is something that people want to do. I think it’s pretty primal. It seems liberating to be able to move in three dimensions, plus it gives you the opportunity to see – almost the opposite experience of hiding in a cave from things that might eat you. Fire is similarly primal – it brings heat, and light, and safety, but at the same time it can be wildly destructive. So it’s not very surprising that human imagination would conceive of a creature with both flight and flame, nor that the creature would lodge itself so firmly in stories. The dragon seems all-powerful in a way that other mythical beasts don’t, because it controls air and fire.

The dragon also has significance as a hoarder of treasure and a destroyer of cities.  It’s a great metaphor; one of my favorite scenes in fantasy literature is in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when Eustace gets transformed into a dragon because he was having dragonish thoughts. It works as a metaphor because the dragonish thoughts of greed and revenge and the lust for power are so human. I think the dragon that embodies the worst traits of human beings is probably essential to the human psyche; stories of dragon slaying give hope.

But dragons that are really humans with scales and claws are not as intriguing to me as dragons that are different from humans, so my dragons don’t horde treasure. I like observing animals, and I think that part of it is because animal consciousness is so unknown to me. Mostly I anthropomorphize my cats, but once in a while I get a glimpse of them doing something that is purely animal and instinctive, and I become very aware that these creatures, these beasts, are not like me at all. It’s always a rather humbling experience, because I realize how much mystery there is about life. Dragons, because they are mythical, distant, imaginary, encapsulate the unknown really well.

When I started creating my dragons, I needed to find a way to make them strange, and I thought about their nature as reptiles. A lot of people are freaked out by snakes. I, on the other hand, like them.  I don’t want to encounter any cobras or cottonmouths or large anacondas in the wild, but a five foot long ball python is a really amazing creature to hold. The skin doesn’t feel rough at all – it’s almost silky. And watching and feeling the snake’s muscles moving is fascinating. But it’s also nothing like petting a furry mammal. So when I was writing about dragons, I remembered holding snakes and tried to apply those physical sensations to touching the dragons.

moth and sparkCommunication was another issue. Snakes are a lot more alien to us than cats are. When my cat rubs me, purring, I am almost 100% sure he’s hungry. I’ve never been able to fathom a reptile’s desires or motives or emotions. I tried to impart that sense of strangeness to interactions with dragons. The plot required the dragons to be able to communicate effectively with humans, but if they could actually talk, some of their alien nature was lost. I settled on a language of images, communicated telepathically. There are times in the book when the dragons’ language is expressed in words, but that’s essentially because the characters’ minds are translating the images into words. (The dragons also have sounds which they use when talking to each other.) Speech itself takes place on a deep, non-verbal level. On the one hand, the dragons are animal-like; on the other, their thoughts are too complex for humans to understand. Even though my dragons are able to communicate with people, there is something inherently unknowable about them.

One final aspect of dragon-creation that I considered was magic. Going back to The Hobbit, one sees that there is not much magic in the book (aside from the Ring); the fantasy lies mostly in the creatures of Middle-earth, not in Gandalf doing his wizard-thing. Smaug is mortal and is killed with an arrow. I could have made my dragons purely non-magical beasts, like Smaug, but I wanted to add another layer of mysteriousness, so I gave them their own world, a realm beyond human perception, where time and space don’t function as they do in our earthly experience. There are only hints of this in Moth and Spark, partly because this was one of the places where I ran into my own limitations as an author (how does one describe the indescribable?), but it’s underneath. The dragons you see aren’t the dragons there are.

I want to end with a short quotation from the book: “It did not know compassion, nor did it know evil or selfishness. It had neither loyalty nor blame. She stood in its shadow and watched the sparks flicker along its body. It was terrifying and beautiful, and she could speak to it.” For me it’s this, the terror and the beauty side by side that makes dragons compelling creatures of myth and story. They’re an intersection point between human experience and human imagination. Through their strangeness, they show us what it is to be powerful, and they remind us what it is to be human.

Thanks Anne! Want to know more? Check out Anne’s website at www.anneleonardbooks.com, and follow her on twitter @anneleonardauth. Plus, don’t forget to check out the rest of our Anne Leonard Feature Author Week, including entering for your chance to win a copy of Moth and Spark.

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Review: ‘Moth and Spark’ by Anne Leonard is classic fantasy with more romance

moth and sparkI’ve been getting more into adult epic fantasy lately. I can thank Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings. When I had the opportunity to feature Anne Leonard and her new fantasy book  Moth and Spark, I jumped at the chance after reading the blurb. From the description it seemed to have all my favorite elements for an epic fantasy. And though it took me a bit to get into the book, I’m glad I kept reading.

Though I don’t usually like to, I’m going to use the online summary of the book for your reading pleasure (they say it really succinctly):

A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control. Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen. Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.

The hardest part of this book for me is something I struggle with in general with high fantasy: the unfamiliarity of the world. It took me a bit to sort out what was happening, who was bad, how the government of this world was run, but once I got it I really got it. I say this because I know a lot of people who read fantasy won’t struggle with this like I do, and that’s my main “complaint”, if you want to call it that.

The book starts with some serious stuff happening in a prologue, and so immediately you have some big knowledge that the main characters aren’t aware of at the start. It helps make sense of motivations and political moves, and the whole time I was reading the first half of the book I was so curious how the info given at the beginning was going to play into the rest of the story. It plays out well, and I thought it was a wise choice of the author to start the story like that.

There’s also a great romance element in this book, which I think balanced the heavier political game-playing nicely. At its core this story is an adventure for Corin and Tam, and their story is what kept the pages turning for me.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I’m really glad I read it, and I can’t wait to see what the author does with book two. Between the romance and the way the dragons were presented this book was like a nice breath of fresh air being blown into epic fantasy.

Book Events, Books, Events

Giveaway: Win a copy of ‘Moth and Spark’ by Anne Leonard!

To continue with our Anne Leonard Featured Author Week we’re offering up one hardback of Moth and Spark for your reading enjoyment! Here’s the summary from Amazon:

moth and sparkA prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control. Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen. Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.

Our giveaway process is simple, but unfortunately only open to residents of North America (sorry, international fans!). If you’re under 18, please make sure to get your parents’ permission to enter the giveaway. You can earn a total of six entries in the giveaway:

  • ONE entry for simply entering the giveaway
  • TWO entries for following us on Twitter
  • TWO entries for “liking” us on Facebook
  • ONE entry for talking about the giveaway on Twitter

The giveaway will stay open until Tuesday, March 11th, at 11:59 pm. Winners will automatically be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The first name of the winner will be announced on this post and the winner will be contacted by a member of our staff to begin the process of shipping out your prize.

Good luck!

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Book Editorial, Book Events, Book Interviews, Book Reviews, Books, Editorials, Events, Featured Author Week, Interviews, Reviews

Featured Author Week: Anne Leonard (‘Moth and Spark’) joins Lytherus this week!

 

B&W.Anne Leonard.credit Judith Love Pietromartire

Fantasy book fans, you’re in luck! Anne Leonard, whose book Moth and Spark hit shelves on February 20th, is with us all week to talk about the book! It’s got dragons, romance, political intrigue, and so many other lovely high fantasy elements. Here’s a summary from Amazon to give you a better idea of what it’s about:

moth and sparkA prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control. Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen. Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening this week, to help you navigate the goodies we’re offering up:

  • Monday: Introduction to the Anne Leonard featured author week
  • Tuesday: Review of Moth and Spark
  • Wednesday:  Giveaway of Moth and Spark 
  • Thursday: Guest post from Anne Leonard about dragons!
  • Friday: Interview: Ten questions with Anne

Looking for more of your favorite authors’ featured author weeks? View our past archive of featured authors, with a stellar lineup including Brandon Sanderson, Leigh Bardugo, Marissa Meyer, and more. Also, be sure to stay tuned over the next few weeks, we’re going to be bringing you some more brand new Featured Author weeks!

Book Editorial, Books, Editorials

Guest post: Lauren Kate talks about the ‘Fallen’ movie in this exclusive post!

When I asked Lauren Kate to write a guest post for us, I suggested a few ideas. I mentioned the upcoming Fallen movie, as I hadn’t seen her talk a lot about it. She happily chose this, as she now has stuff to talk about! Fans of the series, get excited. Here’s never-discussed thoughts straight from the author! Take it away, Lauren!
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fallen_book_coverThe first time I saw the jacket art for Fallen, I was horrified.

Don’t get me wrong; I knew it was a stunning cover, the right cover, a cover that would have fans telling me for years to come that it was the reason they first picked up my books. I *knew* that, but what I *felt* was different. I felt like shouting: “You think that’s what Luce’s arm looks like?! That’s not what her arm looks like!!” I worried that having an image embody the character would pin down who she was and reduce her complexities. Imagine what a basketcase I would have been if the Fallen cover showed Lucinda’s face!

I’ve relaxed greatly since that moment, but I use this as an example to convey the sense of terror I (and many authors I know) feel about the book-to-film adaptation process. For so long, Lucinda lived in my mind, an amorphous creation. When the book was published, and readers appropriated her into their lives, I heard from so many people that they WERE Lucinda. They related to her character so much that they became her. And with every reader who assumed Luce’s identity, she changed. She became whoever they needed her to be. And I loved how many different very Lucindas there suddenly were around the world.

The movie changes that. One actor plays Lucinda and her face will become synonymous with the name. Similarly, one setting becomes Sword and Cross; one way of reading Lucinda’s first fight with Daniel gets recorded and seen on theater screens worldwide. One bad boy becomes Cam, the devil character (though in my mind Cam will always be my husband). This is a strange turn of events!

So it takes some really sensitive and creative decisions made at the front end of a movie to convince a writer that his or her book is not being reduced–but enhanced. I’m happy to say that so far I’m very pleased with where the Fallen movie stands. The script is strong. I adore the director, Scott Hicks, who has been generous with me and incorporated tons of my feedback from script to music to setting to costumes. The principal actors (Addison Timlin as Luce, Jeremy Irvine as Daniel, Harrison Gilbertson as Cam) knocked me out with their audition tapes. Shooting begins at the end of this year, and I’m very very optimistic about the final product.

And, in case you’re wondering, I’m finally cool with Addison Timlin’s arm becoming Luce’s arm.

I cannot sign off without adding the fabulous news that the first book in my new series, Teardrop, releases this week. I hope you love it as much as I loved writing it. And you know I’m already thinking about Teardrop’s adaptation….

Breathlessly,

Lauren Kate

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Be sure to enter to win a copy of Lauren’s new book Teardrop

Book Interviews, Books, Interviews

Part two of our SDCC audio interview with Lauren Kate!

LaurenKateCROP1Back in July Lytherus sat down with NY Times bestselling author Lauren Kate to talk about her upcoming new book Teardrop. We split the interview into two parts, saving more Teardrop-spoilery interview until after the book was released. Well, the time has come, fans!  In this second part of the interview Lauren and I discuss the Atlantis mythos (is it really a myth?),  the god Atlas, characters she develops in the series, the protagonist Eureka and writing a new protagonist, and last but not least, the men!

There are spoilers to some general ideas to the book, so if you want to be completely surprised be sure to read the story first! 

Be sure to check out our review of Teardrop. Also, don’t forget to enter to win one of three copies of the book!

Book Events, Books, Events

Giveaway: Win one of three copies of Lauren Kate’s new book ‘Teardrop’!

As part of the Lauren Kate featured author week, we’re giving away three  copies of her new book, Teardrop!  

TeardropWhat’s Teardrop?  Below is the amazon summary. Also, you can see our review here.

The first in a new series by Lauren Kate, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen series, TEARDROP is an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux’s mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn’t, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn’t know Eureka’s darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined.

Our giveaway process is simple, but unfortunately only open to residents of North America (sorry, international fans!). If you’re under 18, please make sure to get your parents’ permission to enter the giveaway. You can earn a total of six entries in the giveaway:

  • ONE entry for simply entering the giveaway
  • TWO entries for following us on Twitter
  • TWO entries for “liking” us on Facebook
  • ONE entry for talking about the giveaway on Twitter

The giveaway will stay open until Tuesday, October 29, at 11:59 pm. Winners will automatically be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The first name of the winner will be announced on this post and the winner will be contacted by a member of our staff to begin the process of shipping out your prize.

Good luck!

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Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Lauren Kate breathes fresh air into YA fantasy with her new book ‘Teardrop’

TeardropLauren Kate is best known for her Fallen series. Here’s a confession from me: I read them, and enjoyed them, but didn’t adore them like books that seep into your soul should be enjoyed. But they were enjoyable enough for me to want to read an ARC of the first book in her new series, Teardrop, which came out yesterday. Folks, let me tell you. I am absolutely, positively in love with this book. Lauren blew me away. I couldn’t put it down, and was giving my non-fiction-reading sister such an enthusiastic play-by-play that she now wants to read it too. This book is something special, and I’m so happy that it’s out in the world so others can share my joy.

What’s it about? That’s a bit hard at first. It’s almost like two stories in one, really. There’s the tale of Atlantis, the mythical city that sunk into the ocean and disappeared. In Teardrop this is the result of a woman crying so much that her tears sunk it. Cool concept, right? That brings us to the main chunk of the story, to the main character Eureka, a girl who was told never to cry by her mother, and who has lived a haunted life ever since her mother died. Enter awesome and mysterious Ander, who seems to appear everywhere and knows things about Eureka that no one should know – that not even she knows. As secrets become revealed Eureka must figure out how to live with this new knowledge, or risk losing everything.

Rather generic summary, I know, but I really don’t want to give away anything from this book. The story was unlike anything I’d ever read before. It’s one of those books that feels fresh and untold. Reading it was like discovering a secret world that has always been there but no one has noticed until Lauren wrote it down for all of us to read. Eureka’s pain, though a common one in YA (the loss of a parent), didn’t feel forced or overdone. And the interaction between Eureka and Ander felt natural and unique.

I loved everything about Teardrop. I have been gushing to Lauren about it since I read it back in July, and I want all YA fans to share my love. I cannot wait to see where the story goes, as Eureka’s adventures are just beginning. Readers who love fantasy, romance, and something fresh and new should get this book immediately. You won’t be sorry!

Teardrop by Lauren Kate released Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013.