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Category Archives: Dystopian

Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

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No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for their chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

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MY REVIEW

The Grace Year is a title that I have been impatiently waiting to get my hands on. From the synopsis alone, I just knew this book was going to be special and that it would be thrilling. I mean, it sounded like all of my favorite dystoptian novels were wrapped into one. So, if you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale or even Lord of the Flies, you are in for a real treat with The Grace Year.

The Grace Year follows the story of Tierney James. Tierney has always dreamed for a better life than the one she knows. She lives in a society where dreams are forbidden and where women are seen as the weaker sex. When a girl reaches her sixteenth birthday, she enters what is called her grace year, a time that no one dares to talk about. Rumor has it that women are filled with magical power that they must accept and eradicate in order to return home pure and ready for their husbands. But, what they don’t tell you is that you will be pitted against one another, that your friends are not who you thought they were, and that there is more to fear than just poachers in the woods….

As a huge fan of YA Dystopian novels, I couldn’t wait to see what The Grace Year would bring to the table. And let me tell you, it does not disappoint. This story is filled with mystery and intrigue. The plot is totally unique, yet has similar elements to some beloved dystopian novels. This story is gritty and intense at times and it will certainly keep you on your toes. This is a story of survival in the worst of circumstances, yet there is also hope for a better life and future. The Grace Year does have some romantic tones, but the romance does not drive the book, the plot does. The Grace Year is filled with lots of fantastic twists and turns and at times will have you questioning what you have gotten yourself into.

Overall, I found The Grace Year to be a very enjoyable read. I thought it was very unique and written well. I found myself glued to the pages and unable to put this book down. I know this is a YA book, but do not let that fool you. This book packs a punch and keeps you guessing the entire time.  If you’re a fan of dystopian novels, I definitely would recommend giving The Grace Year a try.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Blog Tour: North To Nara by Amanda Marin

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Today we have the blog tour for Amanda Marin’s North to Nara! Check out this great new dystopian romance and grab your copy today!

Title: North to Nara

Author: Amanda Marin

Genre: YA Dystopian

About North to Nara:

Neve Hall has always admired the good works of the civil servants who brought prosperity back to the Nation. She especially respects the Sufferers—empaths who, with the help of technology, anonymously bear others’ troubles for them. But when her assigned empath is abruptly retired, she uncovers certain secrets. Like the identity of her new Sufferer, Micah Ward… and the fact that behind his kind smile is a life filled with loneliness and pain.

The closer Neve grows to Micah, the more desperate she becomes to protect him from a cruel and gruesome fate. But in a world where only a few are allowed the luxury of love, saving Micah comes with a price: Neve must choose between her loyalty to the Nation or her heart—a decision that will take them both on a race for their freedom, and their lives.

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Love Is Always Enough: A Character Interview with Neve Hall

Meet Neve Hall, the narrator of North to Nara. She’s 17, enjoys nature and animals, has a promising future working at the local museum… and is in love with the one person forbidden to her: Micah Ward, her Nation-assigned Sufferer. When following her heart is an act of treason, she’s forced to make one tough choice after another.

Q: What was it about Micah Ward that made you fall for him?

A: Micah is pretty much the exact opposite of my last boyfriend. Kael—my ex—wasn’t a good listener and could be selfish. I wasn’t a priority to him at all, and he really hurt me. I think that’s part of what drew me to Micah. He sees through to the real me, and he makes me feel safe. He loves me with his whole heart. If only all girls could date an empath!

Q: What was the scariest part of your adventure in this story?

A: Without giving anything away (of course!), there were so many moments where my heart was beating so fast I still can’t believe it didn’t burst. The obvious answer is toward the end, when Micah and I tried to escape the Nation. Yes, being chased through the mountains was definitely terrifying on the surface—but Micah and I were together, so it wasn’t the worst thing we went through. Instead, the most frightening time for me was when he was attacked during his sentencing. I thought he’d been killed. The idea of a world without him in it was horrifying.

Q: On a happier note, what was your favorite date with Micah?

A: We had to be pretty unconventional with our dates, since… you know… we were forbidden by law to see each other. There was a lot of sneaking around. A lot of close calls. That made everything more exciting, too. My favorite date with him, though, was just slow dancing together in his apartment on a rainy night. He played this old song from before the Nation was formed—“The Very Thought of You” by Billie Holiday. I didn’t expect him—this strong, distinguished guy—to do something sweet and vulnerable like that.

Q: What’s next for you and Micah?

A: We have a long road ahead of us before we can really have our happily-ever-after. For one thing, we’re on our own now, and we have to figure out how to survive in a completely different place, with no one to fall back on for help and a completely different language to learn. It’s intimidating, and everywhere we turn, the challenges keep racking up. We have each other, though, and I hope that’ll be enough. Love is always enough, I think.

The romance and adventure of North to Nara continues with its sequel, Sky to Sea, coming January 2020.

About Amanda Marin:

When Amanda was a child, her father traveled frequently for business, always bringing her back a book as a present. Whether she was getting lost in the pages of a tale about far-away knights, girls with supernatural powers, or kindly giants, she was quickly hooked on stories.

Over the years, Amanda has followed her own yellow brick road of reading and writing, and although her adventures haven’t involved sword fights or saving the planet from certain annihilation, they have involved jobs in scholarly publishing and marketing, a modest amount of travel, and a lifelong love of novels.

Amanda holds degrees in English from Salve Regina University and Boston College. Her favorite things include Starbucks lattes, lazy summer afternoons at the beach, and books with characters that make you go “awww.” She lives in New Hampshire with her family and furbaby, Snickers the Poodle.

Connect with Amanda:

Website | Amazon | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub

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Throwback Thursday: The One by John Marrs

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“What if it turns out our DNA doesn’t Match?” “Then we’ll be mindful that maybe we’ll need to put more effort into our relationship. Like John Lennon said, ‘All You Need Is Love.’” “Yes, but he also said, ‘I Am The Walrus,’ so let’s not hold too much credence to his pearls of wisdom.” 

“If you’ve got the opportunity to love someone as much as they love you, then grab it with both hands and hold on to it for dear life.” 

“Sometimes, the grass is not greener on the other side, and we should stay in the field where we belong. And sometimes we just need to take a gamble and hope for the best.” 

“Maybe when you took it back to basics, that’s what love really was: just being there for someone when the sun rises and sets.” 

How far would you go to find The One?

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

A word-of-mouth hit in the United Kingdom, The One is a fascinating novel that shows how even the simplest discoveries can have complicated consequences.

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Waiting for Wednesday: The Passengers by John Marrs

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Release Date: August 27th, 2019

 

You’re riding in your self-driving car when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and you have lost all control. Then, a mysterious voice tells you, “You are going to die.” 

Just as self-driving cars become the trusted, safer norm, eight people find themselves in this terrifying situation, including a faded TV star, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man.

From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast to millions of people around the world. But the public will show their true colors when they are asked, “Which of these people should we save?…And who should we kill first?”

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~~~~~February New Releases~~~~~

February 1st

Treating Her Right/In the Doctor’s Bed by Lori Foster

February 4th

For Emery by J. Nathan

February 5th

The Tiger Catcher by Paullina Simmons

February 9th

February 11th

February 12th

February 14th

February 18th

February 19th

February 21st

Finding the Fight by Brittney Sahin

February 22nd

February 25th

February 26th

Violent Delights by Jessica Hawkins

Sweet Liar by Laurelin Paige

February 27th

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Run To You by Lara Adrian

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Throwback Thursday: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

“Never forget that we are more than the genetic code. We can be more than labels applied to us. We can be more than what others whisper behind our backs. Free will exists. We need to choose to be the best we can be and we need to help others do the same. Believe in yourself.” 

“Ironic. I’m here because of my inherent dangerousness, but it’s my inherent politeness that makes me put up with this. With him.” 

“Exactly what he wanted me to do. Exactly what they all thought I would do. Everyone in here. Everyone out there in the world. A world so afraid of carriers, it makes killers out of the innocent.”

“Feeling his heart, it occurs to me that it beats just like everyone else’s. Like mine.” 

“My imprint is there for the world to see. I don’t try to hide it with my hair or a high collar. When I got ready for school this morning, I kept thinking of Sean. How proud he appears. Unapologetic. And I want to be like that. I don’t want to look cowed or ashamed. I may not want to be this, but I don’t want to be that girl, either. I don’t want to be afraid.” 

“All my life people have called me gifted. Extraordinary. Blessed. I had all these dreams to become something. Someone. No one ever said I couldn’t. No one ever said Killer.” 

From New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan, Uninvited is a chilling and suspenseful story about a girl whose DNA brands her a killer, perfect for fans of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and Confessions of a Murder Suspect.

Davy had everything—a terrific boyfriend, the homecoming crown, a bright future at Juilliard—but when her genetic tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, she loses it all. Uninvited from her prestigious school, avoided by her friends and family, she is placed in a special class with other “carriers” who are treated like the murderers they someday might become.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life and tells her that she alone controls her actions—not the code embedded into her DNA. But even if she can learn to trust him, can Davy trust herself?

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