Sunday, 8 June 2014

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Book Summary : The war begins...

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable - and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda...

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : Darrow, a Helldiver - what's that? Yeah that's what Darrow, the main protagonist of Red Rising is. A Helldiver—a person who works in mines of Mars. And he is the only one from his hometown, Lykos, a settlement town buried beneath the surface of Mars. You have tunnels in place of streets and alleys. There is no concept of money, only services and commodities that are traded. You don't have antibiotics for burns you get in mine. You have to sell your body to a person of higher Color to get that.

"I grew up with a quick smiling girl of fifteen so in love with her husband that when he was burned in the mines and his wounds festered, she sold her body to a Gamma in return for antibiotics."

And when his love is gone, driven by loss and fueled by vengeance, a Red rose against the Golds' injustice. And to bring down the system, he crosses many obstacles, is helped by some highly techie persons like Dancer, Harmony, Micky, and Matteo—who even possess the capability of saying, "We are forming synapses, my darling."

The world building is vivid and detailed. The principle hierarchy shown in Red Rising reminded me of Caste system once prevailed in ancient Indian subcontinents. Here, the society is discriminated by ranks, and defined by colors. In laymen words Colors are categorization of people from different breeds (by birth as it is) and have a dedicated profession of their own. You have Reds (Lower Class), Browns, Pinks (Pleasure Giving Class), Coppers (Bureaucrats) and the GOLDS (The Highest).

Moreover I got a good explanation of muscle swelling from Gyms-

"The idea of building muscle is to exercise it, which is nothing more than using the muscle intensely enough to create microscopic tears in the tissue fiber. This is the pain one feels in the days after an intense workout-torn tissue- not lactic acid. When the muscle repairs the tears, it builds on itself. This is process the concentration machine is built to facilitate. This is the devil's own invention."

And here, from last sentence, you get my penny - Pierce Brown is an awesome writer.

"They are born with calluses. Born with scars and hatred."

Yeah, the way he smuggles his thinking, and fills emotions in those small sentences, the way he introduces his own words - slingBlade, forceGenerator, knifeRing etc.

The romance was, however, short lived, and Darrow’s driving force. And even in its mere existence, the romance made me swoon and sad at the same time.

"In her eyes, I see my heart. In her breath, I hear my soul. She is my land. She is my kin. My love"

In short, Pierce Brown debuts with an engaging plot weaved in an appraising writing style.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Cover Reveal : MIRROR X

Author: Karri Thompson
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub. Date: June23, 2014
Find it: Goodreads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|iTunes

Summary : I was born more than a thousand years ago. Put into a cryogenic tube at age seventeen, forgotten during a holocaust that decimated the world, I've finally been awakened to a more serene and peaceful future. But things at the hospital are new and strange. And it’s starting to scare me. Everyone is young. Everyone is banded and tracked. And everyone is keeping secrets.
The cute geneticist Michael Bennett might be the only good thing in this crazy new world where “life is precious” but no one seems free to live it. The problem is, I don’t think he’s being totally honest with me, either. When I’m told only I can save the human race from extinction, it’s clear my freeze didn’t avoid a dreadful fate. It only delayed the horror…

Exclusive Excerpt:

Michael took a seat on the edge of my bed, rocking me toward him. When the side of my thigh met his knee, my heart rate doubled, and I drew in a deep breath.
“Before you were awakened I spent hours at your bedside imaging what you were like, how your voice would sound, how you looked when you smiled. When your red lips pulsed, when your chest heaved, and you took your first breath, I kept my emotions in check. But now, now that you’ve ‘awakened,’ everything is different. I can’t sleep. I can’t stop thinking about you.”
I ignored the pain and tilted closer until the space between our faces was less than a foot. My heart, my mind, my soul—everything yearned for his affection at that moment.
“I feel the same way, too.”

I closed my eyes, wanting this handsome, earnest guy to take me into his arms and tell me he’d make them let me go. My lungs expanded with his warm breath and spicy scent. When his lips met mine, every atom in my body danced, urging me to pull him closer and tighten my grip upon his back.
His kissing became more fiery and I reacted by kissing him harder. It wasn’t until his mouth moved to my neck, that I came to my senses and drew away.
“Not yet,” I said, scooting away.
“I know,” he said between breaths, rising from the bed. His wiped his forehead with the sleeve of his uniform and returned to the chair. “I can’t…we can’t. We can never…,” he said abruptly. “It’s against protocol. I-I should go.”

About The Author:
Karri’s debut YA novel, Amateur Angel, was released May 1, 2012. The next book in that series, Hollywood Angels, came out September 1, 2013. The first book in her upcoming dystopian trilogy, The Van Winkle Chronicles, will be released by Entangled Publishing Spring 2014.

Giveaway Details:

1 eGalley of MIRROR X International

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Blog Tour : Interview with Shonna Slayton, author of Cinderella's Dress

Soumi: I’m here with the lovely Shonna Slayton. Hi Shonna, welcome to my blog.

Shonna: Thank you for having me here, Soumi. I love the title of your blog. “Pages From my Thoughts.” I think titles are so important.

Soumi: What was your inspiration behind Cinderella’s Dress?

Shonna: Ha, the title! I saw a picture book by the same name and was captivated by the cover illustration by Jane Dyer. It shows a girl in a ball gown sliding down a banister. My thoughts immediately jumped to Cinderella keeping her dress and passing it down as a family heirloom. (The picture book is actually about the animals making her dress.)

Soumi: Cinderella’s Dress is set during World War II. Would like to tell us tell us about your research process?

Shonna: WWII came into the story after I learned that before the war, department store window dresser were all men. This surprised me because when I was in high school I got to help design windows. Why weren’t women in department stores doing this prior to the 1940s?
These two story threads pulled together and I just had to get the real Cinderella’s dress into a department store window. And where else, but at a high-end department store on Fifth Avenue in New York City?
I wrote the first draft based on the knowledge I already had about WWII just so I could get the basic plot skeleton down. Then I hit the library and read pretty much every WWII book that talked about the home front, especially in New York.
The history books helped fill in some plot holes, and helped form the ending. I wanted the history to be as accurate as I could keep it, so I made sure I had a true event behind almost everything my characters did (not including the bits of fantasy) So, I know the name of the boat the two Polish relatives were on to escape Europe. The band playing the night of the starlight dance was actually playing that night in Central Park. My main character, Kate, meets one of the early women in window design, Cecilia Staples at her actual warehouse. Details like that may go unnoticed for the casual reader, but someone interested in history might look up some of the events to see if they really happened. I think extra details like that make a book fun.

Soumi: In your blog, you have written a post “World War II Books For Teens”, where you have mentioned several fiction and nonfiction books based on WW II. How much these had influenced your writing?

Shonna: These World War II Books for Teens were a great help in keeping balance in my story. The 1940’s were a mix of grave sacrifice and pure joy. Incredible evil and awesome courage. I didn’t want my fairy tale to come off as flippant to the times, but I also didn’t want to mire it down in the darkness of war. Most WWII books bring out the darkness and the courage. Two books, in particular, both memoirs, assured me it was okay to show the joy, too: My Summer at Tiffany, set in 1945 New York, and Hilke’s Diary, which is not as joy-filled, but tells the thoughts of a German girl sent away to a boarding school.

Soumi: If Cinderella’s Dress is optioned for a movie, who would be you dream cast?

Shonna: A movie! Let’s dream, shall we? Well, I’m a debut author. I’ve worked in the shadows for years learning how to write a novel. If my book ever became a movie I’d love to see all new actors get their shot. The ones who are busy now learning their craft, waiting for “the call.” That would be a lot of fun for me to see.

Soumi: One last and fun question. If you were Cinderella herself, what about her story you’d most like to change?

Shonna: My prologue is one of my favourite scenes in the novel, where Cinderella entrusts the dress to the care of her friend and servant, young Nadzia. I would love to write that story—a full-out Cinderella retelling from the eyes of Nadzia, as a prequel to Cinderella’s Dress. Since I never liked the insta-love between the prince and Cinderella, that’s what I would change. Correction, that’s what I will change 

Author: Shonna Slayton
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub. Date: June 3, 2014
Pages: 340
Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Being seventeen during World War II is tough. Finding out you’re the next keeper of the real Cinderella’s dress is even tougher.
Kate simply wants to create window displays at the department store where she's working, trying to help out with the war effort. But when long-lost relatives from Poland arrive with a steamer trunk they claim holds the Cinderella’s dress, life gets complicated.
Now, with a father missing in action, her new sweetheart shipped off to boot camp, and her great aunt losing her wits, Kate has to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.
After all, the descendants of the wicked stepsisters will stop at nothing to get what they think they deserve.

About The Author: Shonna Slayton finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. While writing Cinderella’s Dress she reflected on her days as a high-school senior in British Columbia when she convinced her supervisors at a sportswear store to let her design a few windows—it was glorious fun while it lasted. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona. You can visit her website at


HURRAH. Now the giveaway time.

1 Signed copy of Cinderella's Dress, an Amber sun pendant set in sterling silver a Tatting shuttle and thread, a dress form ornament and bookmark swag. US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't Forget To Visit Other Tour Stops

Week One:

6/2/2014- Zach's YA Reviews- Review
6/2/2014- Dark Novella- Excerpt
6/3/2014- Angelic Book Reviews- Review
6/3/2014- Pages From My Thoughts- Interview
6/4/2014- YA Book Madness- Review
6/4/2014- The Cover Contessa- Guest Post
6/5/2014- Crossroad Reviews- Review
6/5/2014- Such a Novel Idea- Guest Post
6/6/2014- The NerdHerd Reads- Review
6/6/2014- Fire and Ice- Excerpt

Week Two:

6/9/2014- Racing To Read- Review
6/9/2014- Paranormal Book Club- Interview
6/10/2014- The Phantom Paragrapher- Review
6/10/2014- Addicted Readers- Guest Post
6/11/2014- Creating Serenity- Review
6/11/2014- Every Free Chance Book Reviews- Interview
6/12/2014- Si, Se Puede **link with YA Books Central review- Review
6/12/2014- A Backwards Story- Guest Post
6/13/2014- The YA's Nightstand- Review
6/13/2014- Curling Up With A Good Book- Excerpt