Here we are already day 25 of Something Wicked Comes! Less than a week left of spooky stops and giveaways so be sure to enter before it is too late! Here are the haunting spots today:
Nick@Nick's Book Blog: Tara Fullmer: Inbetween
Jenn@Indie Supporter: Lizzy Ford
Heather@Buried in Books: JL Bryan Jenny Plague Bringer
A big thanks to these bloggers and all the bloggers for providing such fun giveaways for you all!
Today I have a gripping debut dystopian: Gravity by Melissa West. This book shows us the dark side of human nature and exposes us to some painful truths and difficult choices. This is a page turner! I am excited that I was able to get a spot on this tour! It was touch and go there for a bit, but I am relieved that everything came together and that I get to share this book with you! After all this deals with a topic that is one of the most frightening to me....losing your family, friends and loved ones in order to make the right decision! Would you be brave enough to stand up against I justices committed against your neighbors even if it meant losing everything? This book explores this terrifying topic. I have Melissa here today to share with us something fun! She is a shoe connoisseur and she is going to tell you all about her love of shoes. But first here is a bit more on Melissa:
I'm not one of those writers that can claim to have been writing "all my life." I haven't. But I have been reading all of my life. Does that count? Probably not. I'm a Southerner, raised in a tiny town in SC. Then after graduate school, I moved to Atlanta, GA with my husband and daughter.
I have a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University.
In addition to all the boring stuff above, I'm addicted to coffee, pretend to like yoga, and am obsessed with shoes. I read frequently, write daily, and adore cooking.
That's about it. Aren't I so ridiculously boring? I need to skydive or something.
Hmmm...Skydiving! Yikes! Now that is a heart pounding thrill ride! Okay on to shoes! I have Melissa here to answer my questions on her shoe addiction.
Shoe Addiction Interview By: Melissa West
Everyone has something that they love, that they get excited about. For me, that something is shoes. I tried to think back to when my shoe obsession began, and I’m not sure “when,” but I do know that I got the obsession from my mom. She never leaves her house without looking put together and polished. That’s my mom. And while I would never describe myself as put together or polished, I for sure inherited her love for shoes. I now have somewhere between fifty and seventy pairs. Though, I haven’t actually counted. All I know is that I have a separate closet for them and it’s overflowing! My husband always says that I can’t buy another pair until I’ve worn out at least one. Let’s just say I’m not much of a rule follower, a trend you’ll likely notice in my books. ;)
What was your favorite pair of shoes as a child?
When I was little, I was completely and totally addicted to the show Punky Brewster, so I insisted upon wearing the same crazy looking shoes that she did on the show. My poor mother couldn’t get me into another pair if she tried. Total dork, I know. J
It depends upon the season. I adore ballet flats and boots for fall, both with skinny jeans.
What was your most disappointing shoe purchase?
I went on a kick where I thought I needed to own designer shoes—a.k.a. Jimmy Choo, etc. I now know that my particular brand of shoe addiction does not work well with expensive shoes like those. I tend to want new shoes each season, and so now I force myself to stay to a strict budget on all purchases. Yes, I realize that’s sad. J Anyway, I found a pair of Jimmy Choo sandals at Off 5th and nearly died of excitement. I couldn’t wait to wear them, only to get home and realize they KILLED my feet, like murder in the 1st degree killed. I had to return them.
I actually refused to buy Uggs for the longest time. Now I <3 them so much!
What is the ugliest pair of shoes you own?
Likely my Ugg Cardys, but I love them.
Do shoes play a role in your books?
Not at all. I actually feel that over describing clothing can really date a book, so I try to steer clear of clothing details except where necessary to support the world building. That said, Ari’s best friend in GRAVITY is slightly fashion obsessed so there is mention of shoes a few times. :)
Finally, what is your most embarrassing shoe incident?
In college (and many years after), I was addicted to really high heels—not like stripper heels, but just higher heeled shoes. It was nothing for me to walk around in 4 inch sandals or boots or whatever. Well, I had just started a new job and of course was all decked out in professional attire and a lovely pair of Ann Klein stilettos. Well, as I’m walking up the stairs to start my very first day on the job, I tripped and sprang both my ankles so badly that I had to go home for the day. Utter failure.
Thank you so much Melissa for telling about your shoe obsession! Be sure to visit Melissa on her website, blog, twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. As part of the Gravity Tour I am able to offer you a giveaway. Just fill out the Rafflecopter to enter. Good Luck! Thanks to Shane @Itching for Books for hosting the tour. Watch for Melissa's book on October 30th. It is a good one!a Rafﬂecopter giveaway Here is my review:
Gravity by Melissa West (The Taking #1)
In the future, only one rule will matter: Don’t. Ever. Peek. Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die. Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war. Paperback, 350 pagesExpected publication: October 30th 2012 by Entangled Publishing, LLC
Ari panics, she can't find her patch. Her Ancient is coming for the Taking and if she doesn't have the Patch over her eyes, serious repercussions will follow. It is too... late he is coming. She flings herself on her bed, terrified to move or breathe. The Ancients come every night to take the necessary nutrients from their human counterparts. As he takes from her body, she can't resist a peek, and she is shocked to find the handsome Jackson Locke hovering over her. Instead of turning her in, he shushes her and promises to explain everything tomorrow. But tomorrow brings a tumult of problems. Soon Ari finds herself mired in a treacherous situation. Who does she trust? Jackson the Ancient or her father? Is everything she has been taught her entire life a lie? Are the Ancients out to destroy humanity, or will humanity destroy itself?
What I Liked:
- I loved that this book took me on a terrifying, heart pounding adventure. We are thrust into a future society in America that has rebuilt after the fourth world war. This civilization has a strange symbiotic relationship with the Ancients an advanced species on another planet who need Earth's water to save their dying world. The Ancients bailed out Earth after the last world war and in return humans must enable them to habituate their bodies to Earth so they can cohabit the planet. Of course, having two different species vying for the same resources creates a whole host of problems. Ari finds herself forced into opening her eyes and questioning everything she knows. Are the Ancients really the bad guys or is her father and the rest of the leaders at fault? Do you go against everything you know to be true and betray your friends and family or trust the boy who stole your heart? I loved that this book presents so many hard decisions.
- This book shows us the dark side of the human nature. How we are so quick to mistrust and hate people who are different. We are exposed to some horrible situations where the Ancients are tortured and experimented on and abused. My heart hurt for these victims and as I tried to reassure myself that it was just a story, I knew it was a lie. For as much as we want to deny that their is much darkness in the human heart, there is and situations like the ones in the book have occurred countless times in history. Ms. West forces us to face the evil nature of man and reminds us the consequences of our actions. The humans so quick to destroy the Ancients may instead end up decimating their own population. I appreciated that this book is thought provoking.
- I liked that this book presents a strong, capable and intelligent main character in Ari. She has trained her entire life to be a warrior so she is quick and deadly. Yet, she takes time to think things through and realizes that not everything falls into the category of right and wrong. She finds herself questioning all of her father's teachings. Ari shows tremendous courage in going against all she knows. Would you be brave enough to step up?
- The romance in this one is difficult...It is a forbidden romance and so that makes it all the more sweet. Of course, it is fraught with complications and the reader is left teetering wondering whether it will work out from one chapter to the next.
- I enjoyed the suspense and edge of your seat feel in this one. It isn't one where you are clutching your book in fright, but it does put you on edge and you have a subtle sense of anxiety throughout the book. I love books that keep me eagerly turning the pages and this one does just that!
And the Not So Much:
- I was perplexed that there was not more explanation regarding the Taking. In the beginning, the reader learns that the humans are subjected to this ritual every night. They must lie on their bed with a special Patch over their eyes while the Ancients come and draw nutrients from their bodies. What are they taking and why? Is it to help acclimate them? Do they need to do this every night? Do the humans feel anything after this event? Are they weakened by the Taking? What happens if The Ancients don't take? This event was confusing and definitely needed more detail.
- The other area where the story was lacking was in the details on the Ancients. So little is known about this species and their world. I kept thinking that details were forthcoming and was disappointed that there was so little to go on. It was apparent at the end of the story that the next book would give us more information on The Ancients. It is frustrating, though when it is missing in the first book.
- The villain, Zeus, remains a mystery. He plays such a little part in the book and I wanted to know more about him.
- Finally, this book ends on a cliffhanger so I was left with a bunch of questions after a nerve racking ending. After a violent episode, I didn't even know the repercussions and who survived. I detest cliffhangers and this definitely lowered my final opinion of the book since that is the last impression I had of the story.
Gravity is a compelling dystopian book that forces us to examine the evil side of humanity. Would you have the courage to stand and fight against popular thinking, against your family and friends and push to do the right thing? Ms. West thrusts us into a world where a girl is forced to make these difficult decisions. It is a thought provoking and suspenseful read. I enjoyed Ms. West's debut and can't wait for the continuation of this story!
"Now...I’m not sure how I feel. While fear is part of it, if I’m honest, completely honest, there is something deeper than fear inside me for this thing that climbs in my window."
“Danger lies with those who ignore the signs.”
"I don’t know. I feel like I’m losing myself. He’s all I can think about. It’s like gravity disappears when he’s around and I’m floating, lost. I think...I think I might be...” I tug at my ponytail, twirling it around my finger again and again."
"I’ve never understood why we send our future into the fight, but that’s how it has always been, and how it will always be...if we survive this."
"I try to look anywhere but at him, knowing that if I allow myself to look into his eyes, I’ll melt. The reservoir will spill over, exposing just how wrecked I am inside."
"I’m sure going to training today will be hard, but that’s what being an adult is, dear. We have to face things that frighten us head on."
"Real is loving someone with so much passion that they anger you as much as they excite you. Real love grips you in a way that never releases, and while you may hate that person in one breath, one look from them melts your heart."
"Sweetie,” she says, taking my hand, “there is a lot of gray between life and death. Life isn’t worth living if you aren’t with the ones you love."
"Another time, I would have called them cowards, but I was ignorant then, not understanding that war is about a lot more than courage. It’s about what’s right, separate from expectation or orders."
A big thanks to Entangled Publishing for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.