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Rage

    The Extras: Teasers #4

    There are so many amazing books out there – released or soon-to-be-released – that have certain passages that just captivate.

    Here are just a few of those that caught my attention in the past month.

    ***

    There were quite a few passages in this story that stuck with me, haunted me. I chose a completely different one for my review, and had several I had bookmarked that I loved just as much, if not more than the one I originally chose to include. The writing was just that good.

    This is another of my favorites and is a bit longer of a teaser, but it really says a lot about Chase.

    Chase’s thoughts:

    Being grown-up should feel like a big transition. It can’t be something that, despite my best efforts, I’ve been drifting closer and closer to every summer. It needs to be a shock. I need to know at what point to stop holding on. And that moment will suck, and probably every moment after that will suck, but at least I’ll know that everything that came before really was valid. I really was young and innocent. I wasn’t fooling myself.

    One of my favorite things about this story was the humor. Much of it isn’t quite as “G” rated as I’d feel comfortable with posting on the blog. But this is one of the lines, and it’s a quote, not a passage, that had me chuckling.

    It might not mean quite as much out of context, but it’s silly nonetheless and reveals a lot about society in this dystopian future.

    Melody to Freya in the delivery room:

    “Now, now. With an attitude like that, you’ll never win the FedEx ‘We Live to Deliver’ Scholarship….”

    There are so many passages from Aunt Peg’s letter that are my favorites. But I decided to choose a quote that really stood out to me, instead.

    It’s one that has quite a lot of meaning to the story but doesn’t give away anything.

    Aunt Peg to Ginny:

    “People always say they can’t do things, that they’re impossible. They just haven’t been creative enough. This pool is a triumph of imagination. That’s how you win at life, Gin. You have to imagine your way through. Never say something can’t be done. There’s always a solution, even if it’s weird.”

    This is another book with so many beautiful passages. As I don’t want to spoil anything for those who might not have read it yet, I’m including one which highlights the author’s beautiful style but doesn’t reveal too much.

    Anna’s thoughts:

    The sand had been swept clean; no wood or glass, seaweed or bits of shells. The ocean had washed away everything, leaving behind a calm that spread out in me as I breathed it in. Beyond it all lay the expanse of the ocean, just beginning to sparkle beneath the rising sun as a new day unfurled itself. She’d captured it all perfectly in her frame, and in the pale morning light, it felt like peace.

    I know I already included this passage with my review, but it is still my favorite from the book, so I’m including it here.

    It’s the very first passage in the book and is such a powerful way to introduce and begin the story.

    From the prologue:

    The war had been raging for centuries; a war that breathed beneath human reality, lost in the labyrinth of their legends and folklore. It was a silent war of soundless screaming and invisible bloodshed.

    I don’t yet have the final copy of this as the U.S. release isn’t until May 24th, so this passage and quote are from the eARC and may be changed in the final version.

    I chose a shorter passage for the review, but this one is much more steamy and a definite teaser and is one of my favorites from this book.

    Willow’s thoughts and conversation with Alex:

    There was no way that I wanted him to stop touching me, even for a few hours. My pulse thudded as I glanced across at the camp bed. I cleared my throat. “Well . . . is there a reason we can’t both take the bed? The sleeping bags zip together, don’t they?”

    Alex stared at me without moving. “Would that be OK?” I asked, feeling nervous suddenly.

    I’d already included my favorite passage with the review. But here’s another one about Jacob and Malini that caught my attention and is a definite tease.

    Jacob’s thoughts about Malini:

    Her breath came in huffs as she looked at him. There was a question in her eyes that he couldn’t read but he desperately wanted to be the answer. He wanted to be the thing that made this world better for her.

    There were a lot of very powerful passages in this book. I had only included a short one in my review, but here are two others, with very different messages, that really show just how well the author uses her words to paint a picture.

    Missy’s thoughts:

    Missy’s mouth twitched into a smile as she imagined Death running his long, cold fingers over her, making music on her body. Would his kisses be cold? Or would they be hot enough to burn away her fears, to turn her dead face to ash and reveal her soul to the world.

    (and)

    Yes, she thought, a smile blooming on her face. Trust. It was stronger than power, subtler than influence. She could simply let herself feel, acknowledge the bad and embrace the good – and between the two, come to an acceptance.

    I know I just posted my review and included a short passage that was one of my favorites. But now that I have the finished copy, I thought I’d include one that’s just a bit longer, but won’t be spoiler-y.

    Aura’s thoughts and a brief quote from Logan:

    The music seemed to fade with Logan’s smile as he stared at me with full understanding. I wondered if knowing the truth would change his mind. If knowing the truth would change everything.

    For a moment, his eyes grew inexplicably sad. Then his face relaxed back into a smile. “At least now you know.”

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    Review: Rage

    Rage is the second book in the Horsemen of the Apocalypse quartet. It was released in the U.S. on April 4, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both formats.

    Published by Graphia, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the paperback is 228 pages.

    Goodreads description:

    Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different.

    That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a new kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.

    A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world.

    ***

    Melissa Miller sought release. She sought to relieve the tension that continued to build within her until she didn’t think she could stand it anymore. Until she could no longer breathe from the pressure inside of her, squeezing her lungs, making existence unbearable.

    She sought the calm that came from the release. From the cutting. But somehow it was never enough. The fix was only temporary. The pain only alleviated for so long.

    She thought the razor was her friend. Her comfort.  But what she needed most, and had the least handle on, was control. And where at first she felt that the cutting gave her the control she needed, it was beginning to slip as the cutting took control over her.

    But even though it seems her secret wish is for the escape of death, it is anything but. And when the Angel of Death shows up at her door with a gift and a job offer, she still has enough passion for life to slam the door in his face.

    ***

    Rage is a very real, very intense, gruesome but incredibly powerful and empowering story that deals with the real life issue of cutting in a setting that mixes reality and fantasy.

    It is told with such poetry and beauty that help tame some of the harshness and raw emotion that is presented, but without making light of or taking away from the honesty and integrity of this important and disturbing issue.

    The story focuses on one girl’s struggle with her emotions, on her self-imposed isolation and the outlet she chooses to alleviate her internal pain. When things get too far out of control, Death steps in and gives Missy the option to become one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse – the Red Rider known as War.

    Author Jackie Morse Kessler does an exquisite job of portraying the character’s battle with her own emotional overload as a fight against War who threatens to overtake her. In the process, as the balance of power tips back and forth, little by little she begins to gain back some of her strength and control.

    Don’t be fooled. Rage is not a story to be read lightly. Its meaning and import go much deeper than how the story appears on the surface – that Death, who happens to look a lot like a certain deceased rock star, has chosen one girl to be the next Horseman and that she now has some pretty powerful abilities that allow her to take down not only those that have wronged her, but could wipe out the entire world.

    This story is truly exceptional and one that will certainly help to raise awareness about an issue not often openly talked about. While it might not be appropriate, without supervision, for younger readers, it is a story that can be read by young adults and up. Although this is not the first book in the series, it can be read as a standalone novel.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

    On a personal note:

    I had no idea what to expect when I got a copy of Rage on NetGalley and received a printed ARC through a trade. I hadn’t done much more than glance at a description talking of the Apocalypse and saw the title and thought it would be something I might be interested in.

    When I found out it was the second book in a series I wasn’t sure I’d be able to review it as I hadn’t read the first book, but this book can definitely be read without reading Hunger. But after having read Rage, there is no doubt in my mind that I will be reading that first book. I may just need a little time to sit with this one.

    This was so completely different than what I thought this book would be about, yet so much better than I ever imagined. Whatever I was expecting from this book, it exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds.

    This is not a book that can be gushed over. It’s not about love or sweetness or light. It’s very intense and very dark and deals with ugly truths. This book, while not considered a lengthy read – it’s just two hundred and change pages – is a very strong story dealing with heavy issues.

    I will have to read this story again as I’m sure I missed many of the subtler meanings as Missy had her internal battles with War. I would also like to read the finished copy, which I now own in both eBook and print format, to see if there were any further changes to the story.

    This is also one of those stories where I would love to find out the author’s meaning behind some of the ideas, such as Missy’s relationship with Death.

    I absolutely love the way this author writes. The poetic style of her writing really drew me in and I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn’t just a casual read, but something much more substantive.

    There were many favorite passages in this book, but a shorter one that really resonated:

    Much better to keep everything inside, down in the dark where people never saw or heard the truth. In the dark, you couldn’t see when you were bleeding.

    ***

     

    This review is based on the eARC I received from NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for review and not the printed ARC or finished copy that I own.

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    My Reading Pile #3

    Once again I didn’t quite make it. And so the pile keeps growing.

    As you can see, I have added to my stack of physical books, seriously challenging my status as an eBooks only girl. I now have three towering stacks of books – not including my new signed book collection – and I now think I may need to buy a bookshelf.

    The above are just some of the new reads I’ve received this week to add to my overall toppling reading pile.

    ***

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    This is a day early as I have a few reviews posting this weekend.

    (April 3-April 9, 2011)

    I received Huntress by Melinda Lo through a trade. I just got it, and it’s out in just a couple days here in the U.S., on April 5, 2011, so I probably won’t have it read by release date, but will be (hopefully) reading it this week.

    This is a prequel to Ms. Lo’s book Ash, which I own but haven’t read, but I am excited to see if reading the prequel first makes a difference in the overall enjoyment. I may not know the characters, but at least the timeline won’t be off when I do read Ash.

    Now you didn’t really expect that I could wait to read City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, did you? City of Fallen Angels is a DEAR book – Drop Everything And Read.

    No advance copy for me, so I’ve had to wait just like almost everyone except for that Swedish girl who, even without spoilers, was a bit spoiler-y with her feedback on the book. This will be releasing on April 5, 2011 in the U.S.

    The eBook will hopefully hit at Midnight on Monday and this will be the thing I start to read. I may even buy it at Apple’s iBooks so I can start reading three hours beforehand. I’d like to finish it by the time I head to the book signing on Tuesday night. I am hopeful, but a bit skeptical that I can pull that one off.

    I received The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong through another trade. This is out in just a bit over a week on April 12, 2011, but as I promised the book to someone before its release I must read it this week.

    Regardless, I love Kelley Armstrong and cannot wait to read this book. I miss the Darkest Powers series and can’t wait to see what else happens in this world in the new Darkness Rising series. As per the author’s website we will get a chance to see some of our old friends back in at least one of the book’s in this series.

    I was approved for Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler on NetGalley and also received a copy through a trade. This book is releasing on April 4, 2011, and is the second book in the series – which I didn’t know when I requested it or traded for it.

    I am going to try and read it this week, but if I find that I’m lost without having read the first book in the series, I may just have to bump this and grab the first book and do a read. I’m crossing my fingers as this sounds like something I’d really enjoy.

    I received an eBook of Moon Spell by Samantha Young from the author and plan on reading and reviewing it this week as part of my Indie Author Spotlight. This book is currently available to order online and was released in eBook format on December 31, 2010. The description had me hooked and I am excited to read it.

    It’s gotten some great reviews already by reviewers I trust – although I did not read the reviews, just looked at the starred ratings.

    As I have such a huge reading pile each week I’ve had to be much more selective in the books I commit to review – gosh, did I really say that? – but just glancing at the first few sentences in the book and already I know this will be a pleasure to read.

    ***

    Wishful thinking reads:

    I still have all my wishful thinking reads from last week, though I will be moving up The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos in my pile because it has just captivated my interest. The week of April 19 is a slow (ha ha) week so I hope to add it then.

    Although I have two other books I’m pre-ordering this week, I will not add them to wishful thinking until I clear more space on my eBook shelves.

    As before, these are still on my wish list of reads:

    The Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lemniscate by Jennifer Murgia, Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready and Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany.

    Those left behind:

    Here are the books that have been left behind due to me not keeping up with the schedule.

    Intrinsical by Lani Woodland – but I will be reading this before I go to the RT Convention, Outside Wonderland by Lorna Jane Cook (unread), Night Road by Kristin Hannah (unread), The Poison Eaters by Holly Black (unread), In the Arms of Stone Angels by Jordan Dane (50% read).

    ***

    I have high hopes for this week’s reads. I hope I don’t leave any more behind.

    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your pile this week?

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