Book Blitz: Aberrant by Ruth Silver

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Today I’m happy to be a part of the book blitz for Ruth Silver’s Aberrant! The book looks like a lot of fun.

In the future Dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government’s match in marriage and “The Day of the Chosen”, a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn’t existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she’s arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from “The Day of the Chosen.” The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.

With Joshua’s help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.

Check out an excerpt below:

We rounded the corner and my eyes caught sight of a line of young men stretching around council hall, extending for blocks. “What’s going on over there?” I asked.

Landon’s face perked up, a hint of a smile playing on his lips, “they’re here for you, Olivia.”

“Me?” I felt nervous and swallowed the bile rising in my throat.

Landon patted my back, as if he had the ability to reassure me. His touch was repulsive. I pulled away slightly from his grasp, my gaze still attached to the hundreds of young men lining up along the edge of the building and pushed back down into the street. “They’re submitting their applications to date you.”

“You’re joking?” My eyes wide and mouth agape, I couldn’t believe this was happening.   “This is because of Joshua yesterday, isn’t it?” It had to be the reason they found it necessary to punish me.

Landon sighed. He seemed agitated with me, short-tempered. “We’ve told you, Olivia, you can’t be with Joshua.”

I rolled my eyes, “yes and you’ve also told me I have three years to decide. What’s all this!” I gestured towards the young men as I pushed them aside to walk through the main entrance, they were in my way.

“Hey! No cutting in line,” one of the young men yelled before his voice faltered off realizing I wasn’t there to apply. “Are you Olivia?” His voice echoed against the building as he took another step, further inching towards the foyer.

“It’s none of your damned business!” I shouted back, my eyes glaring as I knocked Landon hard with my elbow. I knew it wouldn’t win me any brownie points but I didn’t care. I was beyond pissed. My feet clanked over the marble flooring. In the center of the room a table had been set up where the young men were fast approaching, one after another. “You’re wasting your time,” I called back to the woman hosting the event as she recorded their information in an oversized book.

“This way,” Landon escorted me away from the line of bachelors towards the open door.

“Please, come in,” the older wiry-haired woman gestured us inside and shut the door promptly behind us. All the noise and commotion from the main foyer disappeared inside the room.

Want to win a copy? Click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens

by Libba Bray

Survival. Of the fittest.

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream Pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.
What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program – or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan – or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?
Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

Book blurb from Amazon

Reviews for Beauty Queens

LATimes

YALSA

NYT

Booklist

Awards for Beauty Queens

Rainbow List 2012 – GLBTQ (ALA)

Audie Awards – Best Author Read Novel 

Best Books for Young Adults 2012 (Booklist)

Amelia Bloomer List 2012 – Feminism (ALA)

2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults (ALA)

Buy Beauty Queens

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Get Beauty Queens at Your Library!

Durham County Public Library

Orange County Public Library

Chapel Hill Public Library

More by Libba Bray

*note: This page was created for my INLS 530 class at SILS UNC Chapel Hill*

Book Review: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

When She Woke By Hillary Jordan

Published October 4, 2011

Mode read: Hardcover

Summary:  Set in the future United States when the extreme right has taken over, When She Woke tells the story of a woman who has committed the crime of abortion but refuses to disclose the name of the father. It follows much the same story as The Scarlet Letter but instead of Hester Prynne’s scarlet A Hannah Payne is forced to have all of her skin turned scarlet. This “melachroming” is the government’s answer to crowded prisons and results in many deaths by citizens who don’t want criminals in their midst. Rather than risk death by vigilantes Hannah chooses to flee the country and soon learns the difficulties of keeping silent.

Bechdel Test?: Passes with flying colors (if you’ll pardon the pun). Hannah lives in a halfway house for the melachromed and has intense conversations about life and death with her housemates.

Rating: 4/5

There are no words for how much I liked this book. From the opening scenes that are reminiscent of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale to the brief mentions of Bowling Green, KY, this book had me turning the pages furiously. Hannah is a loveable character because she doesn’t complain about her circumstances but accepts that her choices have consequences. Though I don’t like to discuss political issues on my blog, this book seems to me to be a must read before the upcoming elections both for its discussion of women’s reproductive issues and its focus on what happens when you take away funding for the arts/start censoring.

Warnings: This book contains very strong political statements and discusses LGBTQ, reproductive rights, and religious issues.

 

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Book Review: City of Women by David R. Gillham

City of Women by David R. Gillham

Published August 7, 2012

Mode read: ARC

Summary:  City of Women is set in Germany during the Second World War and tells the story of a young woman whose circumstances suddenly make it impossible to ignore Hitler’s mission. Sigrid appears to be the perfect Aryan woman, working for the cause and attending Party meetings, but when she begins an affair with an undercover Jew and meets a reckless girl with a death wish she becomes a link in the chain to move Jews out of the country.

Bechdel Test?: The title couldn’t be more appropriate. Filled with anecdotes of powerful women, there are many opportunities for them to discuss politics, religion, family life, and their innermost thoughts. My favorite scenes were when Gillham showed us the ways that the “city of women” learned to function independent of men — developing a new currency, language, and way of doing things.

Rating: 4/5

I positively adored this book! Sorry if I seem to be gushing but I was so pleasantly surprised by this novel. War novels, even when they leave out a great deal of the combat, have never been my thing. I find long descriptions of battle tedious. However this portrayal of life on the ground, of what happens for everyone not on the front lines was exactly what I wanted.

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Book Review: The Pleasures of Men by Kate Williams

The Pleasures of Men  by Kate Williams

Published August 7, 2012

Mode read: ARC

Summary:  Bored with her life in Victorian London, Catherine Sorgeiul begins following a set of recent brutal murders in the newspaper. Her troubled past gives her insight into the killer’s motives so she begins writing an account of the crimes. When the killer begins leaving notes on her manuscript, Catherine must make a choice about how close to the murders she wants to get.

Bechdel Test?: Catherine talks to a lot of her female friends about the murders but the conversations seem wooden. This could just be from Catherine’s distaste for Victorian society but it quickly frustrated me.

Rating: 3/5

Williams tries to create a connection between Catherine and the shadowy Jack the Ripper-type figure but ultimately fails. I was frustrated at how long it took for Catherine’s past to be revealed and when it finally was it was underwhelming. I was looking forward to a strong female character who took charge of a situation — either by having a serial killer past or detective skills, I’m not picky! — but what I got was a teenager with an overactive imagination who dramatized her past.

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Book Review: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  by Rachel Joyce

Published July 24, 2012

Mode read: ARC

Summary:  The book follows the story of one middle-aged man’s journey across England by foot. When Harold Fry finds out that an old co-worker is dying, he immediately leaves his home and begins the journey to say goodbye. Though many people think Harold is crazy — including his wife — he continues his journey, largely without outside help. When the media begins following Harold the purpose of his walk gets distorted and he has to fight to remember why he started his journey in the first place.

Bechdel Test?: With a male main character, this doesn’t really come up. So much of the book is focused on Harold’s inner journey that there isn’t much time to see women conversing.

Rating: 4/5

There are so many things to love about this book: the English countryside, a lovable (if a little silly) man, a broken family, an epic journey and a sweet premise. I was definitely pulled along for the ride (or walk as it were) with Harold Fry and I found myself wanting even more. If I am not mistaken, this is Joyce’s first novel and a rather amazing one at that! The only thing that would’ve made it more enjoyable for me is a little more action during certain chapters; at times I felt as though the contemplative silence Fry was feeling wasn’t quite enough to keep the story going.

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