Blog Tour + Giveaway: Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott Guest Post

9781492637981-PRTitle: Pretty Fierce
Author: Kieran Scott
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Thriller & Mystery
Published Date: April 4, 2017
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

An action-packed, edge-of-your-seat novel about a teen who, when backed into a corner, fights back, from the author of What Waits in the Woods.

Summary:

Kaia has been on the run her whole life. The daughter of professional assassins, she knows danger—and she’ll do anything to survive. After her parents vanished during a job gone bad, Kaia’s spent the last year in hiding, trying to blend in as an ordinary teenager, and there’s no one who makes her feel more normal, more special, than her boyfriend, Oliver.

But when she’s attacked by someone from her mother’s past and Oliver catches her fighting back, Kaia’s secret is exposed. In a split-second decision, she flees the small town, taking Oliver with her. Stalked at every turn, Oliver and Kaia must protect each other…or die trying.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Kobo | iTunes | Indiebound


guest post

How to create a character:

There are a lot of things to think about when you sit down and start to create a character. I usually like to start with the broad strokes—the things about the character that are going to drive the plot, because to me, plot is an extension of the character. The most important thing to figure out is What does my character want? What is his or her purpose in the story? In the case of Kaia in PRETTY FIERCE, she wants her family back, but she thinks that’s an impossibility, until some crazy man attacks her and implies her mom is still alive. Now, her truest desire is piqued. There may be a way to get her family back—at least part of it—and from that moment on, every move she makes, every decision she comes to, will be in service of fulfilling that desire. In every scene of Pretty Fierce, I had to come at Kaia from an angle of “How can she use this situation to get herself closer to an answer about her mom?” So there were moments when I had to wonder, Would she really stop to grab a burger if she was so close to another clue? Would she keep Oliver with her if she thought he might prevent her from getting what she wanted? What would her next logical move be in her mission to find her mother?

Now, this is not to say that she doesn’t have other wants and needs. She obviously does need to stop and eat once in a while, but someone on a mission like hers would probably grab something quick and not care much what it is. Whereas, someone whose mission is to become a better cook would eat all day, try different things, really think about the experience of tasting and savoring Someone whose mission was to impress a girl who liked spicy foods would seek out the most exotic restaurant he could find and eat the spiciest thing on the menu and try not to cry. Every decision a person makes says something about them, and that’s important to remember when writing a new character.

On a more practical level, one thing I like to do when I start out a story is answer a list of questions about my characters, from the most general, down to the most detailed. I have about fifty of them, and they’re questions I came up with myself., so you can feel free to make up your own list that suits the way you write. On my list, the first are things like name, age, parents, siblings, where they live and things like that. The more detailed are things like “What’s his/her favorite piece of clothing?” “What does he/she never leave the house without?” “What’s on the floor of his/her bedroom?” “Who was the last person he/she kissed?” Knowing these little things about a character helps you make them come alive for the reader and helps you understand the person you’re writing a bit better.

Every writer has their own way of doing things, but this is mine. I hope it helps spark some new ideas. Happy writing!


Author’s bio:

12067_707215_hrKIERAN SCOTT is the author of several acclaimed young adult novels, including the Non-Blonde Cheerleader trilogy, the He’s So/She’s So trilogy, and Geek Magnet. She also wrote the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Private and Privilege series under the pen name Kate Brian. She is a senior editor at Disney/Hyperion and resides in New Jersey with her family. Visit kieranscott.net.

Giveaway:

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Pretty Fierce

Book Review: One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards

51j2weuxgjl-_sx331_bo1%2c204%2c203%2c200_Title: One Was Lost
Author:
Natalie D. Richards
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date:
4th October 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Thriller/ Mystery
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Summary:

Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Are they labels or a warning? The answer could cost Sera everything.

Murder, justice, and revenge were so not a part of the plan when Sera set out on her senior camping trip. After all, hiking through the woods is supposed to be safe and uneventful.

Then one morning the group wakes up groggy, confused, and with words scrawled on their wrists: Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Their supplies? Destroyed. Half their group? Gone. Their chaperone? Unconscious. Worst of all, they find four dolls acting out a murder—dolls dressed just like them.

Suddenly it’s clear; they’re being hunted. And with the only positive word on her wrist, Sera falls under suspicion…

I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.


book-review

You give this book to a paranoid girl, and she will never want to try camping, ever (or maybe that’s just me).

Months ago, I was pulled in by the summary. My initial thought was “Oooh, a survival story with a possible murderer mixed in it.”

I love Criminal Minds you see, and NCIS, CSI… you got the gist of it. So, after reading the summary, I thought it’ll have a Criminal Minds feel to it, minus the investigation part that is. And I got it. The feel, that is. There wasn’t much in terms of a survival story, but I was properly spooked. Well, for some scenes.

I have to confess, I kind of was prepared to be disappointed. Most of the YA books I read that tries to have a lil bit of mystery in them tends to be predictable, or sometimes, the author tries so hard to make it mysterious and keep us guessing that the clues doesn’t fall in place smoothly or information was withheld. I was surprised though (I’m sorry I had little faith, but I was disappointed too many times before) that I wasn’t able to guess who the real psycho was.

Because I couldn’t guess who did that to them, and I wanted to know who it was, I ended up reading everything in one sitting. Well, kind of. I actually read this as soon as my request was approved on Netgalley. But I had to stop halfway, and didn’t read this book again, until now. Today, I started from the beginning again, and read everything in one sitting.

The characters lack character development though, and somehow, I couldn’t get invested in any of them. When I think about the characters, I felt…neutral. I neither like or dislike them. But I guess I didn’t mind much, I got what I wanted from the book: To be properly spooked.

To sum it up, if you want a reason to get out of a camping trip, just read this book. If you want to fast read that will give you all those spooky feelings, this is the book for you. Okay, so I don’t know if it’s just me, but I managed to read it in one day so I’ll consider it a fast read. If you’re a expecting a great survival story, then this book is not for you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross & Mark Perini

you-before-anyone-else-hi-res-cover

Title: You Before Anyone Else
Author:
Julie Cross & Mark Perini
Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS Fire
Published: o1st August 2016
Available Edition(s): Paperback
ISBN: 9781492604921
Source: Netgalley
Date read: 17th April 2016
Rating: 5/5 stars

I received an advanced reader copy of this book in ebook format via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Summary:

Everything she wants. Everything he needs.
The supportive friend, the reliable daughter, the doting big-sister: Finley is used to being the glue that holds everyone together. But while her sweet demeanor makes her the perfect confidant, her wholesome look isn’t landing her the high paying modeling jobs, which are what Finley needs if she is going to reopen her mother’s dance studio.
Enter Eddie. He’s intense and driven, not to mention the life of every party, and he completely charms Finley. The last thing she wants is another commitment to stand in the way of her dreams, but when she’s with Eddie, their chemistry takes over and she can let go of her responsibilities and just be. After all, what’s so wrong about putting herself first once and a while?
Except Eddie is hiding a secret. A big secret. And when it surfaces, he and Finley are going to have to choose between their love for each other and everything else…  


Honestly, I’m not that fond of the cover, but the summary won me over. Aside from that, the font used for the title is cute.

The book is written in the first person point of view, and it alternates between the main characters’, Eddie, and  Finley, point of view in each chapters. In the first two chapters, we are introduced to the main characters, and we get to see some of their personality. There’s no interaction between the two in the first two chapters, although we can see the set up when their lives are going to intertwine.

Eddie and Finley meet up for the first time at a party, and they hit it off after being paired together for a game of beer pong. Finley started a conversation, and from there, Eddie learned that Finley was probably at the same casting he went to earlier that day. Both of them ended up at Finley’s apartment, hooking up for a one night stand, just what Finley intended to do when she decided to attend the party.

Of course, things didn’t go as Finley planned.

The failed one night stand turned into a friendship, or more than friendship because it was clear that they are attracted to one another. At this point, we already know that Eddie is hiding a big secret from his “past”. Hints were dropped, but it was not enough to piece together what happened. Then, there’s also things about Finley’s past that will keep us curious. However, her past isn’t really a big secret, so it was easier to piece things together.

In my opinion, I think the main characters are great. Finley is definitely the type of girl I like to read about. Finley is always labeled as a “sweet girl” because of the way she’s dressed and her hobbies. She’s the responsible type of girl, loves her family and dotes on her siblings. She was also very kind, for example, when she invited Eddie home for the weekend for her younger brothers’ birthday party because Eddie didn’t have anywhere else to go. Despite only knowing Eddie for a few days. Although she is kind, she is not a pushover, and she is willing to try, in order to changer her image as a “sweet girl” so that she could land a better-paying modelling job. I like that throughout the story, Finley’s character developed. And she finally found her passion again.

I also love Eddie. He’s a privileged kid, born into a wealthy family. But he left home, because of things he didn’t agree about. He started working as a model to support himself, and didn’t even use any of his family’s money after he graduated. Okay, so the reason he left is much more complicated than that but I won’t say anything about that because of spoilers. Eddie is always cool, and charming, and he didn’t fawn over this famous actor he met during a job and end up being friends with the actor. I like how that friendship happened, and liked the way it lasted. Aside from that, I also like the development in Eddie’s character, as he finally found what he wanted to do in his life. I also felt that it was brave, and wise of him in the end when he made the choice he made.

I liked the minor characters as well. Despite being minor characters, they were important for Finley’s and Eddie’s character development. Take Summer for example. If Finley didn’t help Summer with the pointe shoes during Summer’s Prada photo shoot, Finley wouldn’t have started dancing ballet again. And then there’s Eve. After she explained to Finley why she used her and not photos of the other dancers from the ballet school for the show, it was probably the last thing she needed to realize that dancing is really her passion. That she wanted to be a professional dancer before settling down and becoming a ballet teacher. And of course, I also like “French Mama”, Elana’s mother. She was amusing, the way that she not only fussed over her own daughter, but Finley and Summer too simply because they share an apartment.

To sum it up, I really enjoy this book, the way it keeps me intrigue. I couldn’t put this book down once I started, and I only put it down halfway through the book because I had to sleep. The “mystery” part of the book is written well, and it didn’t give the feel like the authors try too hard to keep it mysterious. It happens in some YA novels, where authors ended up not revealing anything, and the subtle hints were not enough to piece things together. This book also teaches about responsibility, and that sometimes doing the right thing for someone means doing the hardest thing. Because of how responsible and mature Finley and Eddie are, sometimes I forgot that they are only 18 (or that’s probably because cultural differences between me and people from overseas). I would recommend this to all teens, and everyone else who loves to read YA book.