The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Top Ten Tuesday #49: Authors I’ve Only Read One Book by and Want to Read More September 16, 2014

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Authors I’ve Only Read One Book By

1. CJ Redwine (Defiance)

2. Aimee Carter (Pawn)

3. Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl)

4. & 5. Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner (These Broken Stars)

6. OR Melling (The Summer King)

7. Sophie Jordan (Uninvited)

8. Joy Hensley (Rites of Passage)

9. Michelle Diener (In Defense of the Queen)

10. Victoria Scott (Fire & Flood)

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*ARC Review* Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott February 24, 2014

***I was granted permission to read Fire & Flood by the publisher (Scholastic Press) in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Scholastic Press!***

Rating:4 stars
Pub date:25 February 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre:Young Adult Fiction
Format: ARC via publisher
Status:Book one of Fire & Flood series

Summary:

A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother’s life—and her own.

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can’t determine what’s wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She’s lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying — and she’s helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It’s an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother’s illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there’s no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can’t trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

My thoughts:

I was very excited when I first heard about this title. Victoria had a request form up on her page that she passed along to Scholastic. I immediately filled it out and pushed it from my thoughts. I didn’t want to dwell on it in case I didn’t get approval. My hubby brought in a package one day and held it out to me. It was from Scholastic. I was ecstatic. I wanted to dive in first thing, but I had some other things I had to read first. Mary over at Mary Had A Little Book Blog and I decided to read it at the same time. This was my first book by Victoria Scott and I do plan on continuing this series in the future and checking out her Dante Walker series.

The pacing felt a little slow to me in the beginning. After an initial lull, the pacing rapidly picks up and became a page turner until I finished. I felt a very strong similarity to The Hunger Games if the stakes were even higher. Instead of competing for themselves, the Contenders are competing for a loved one. At a first glance, you would think this was a dystopian, but it is very much a modern day thriller (confirmed by Victoria).

Tella’s world was rocked when her parents uprooted their family from Boston to Montana after her brother fell ill. It’s not clear what is wrong with her brother, just that he’s sick and seems to be fading rather quickly. Tella receives an invitation to the Brimestone Bleed, but her parents try to play it off like a joke and attempt to destroy the evidence of the invitation. She manages to get a hold of the device and listens to the full invitation. Her mom catches her before she leaves and they have a quick talk. Tella leaves to pursue the cure.

The first challenge in the jungle felt a little disappointing. There were a few dangers, but nothing out of the ordinary of if she had gotten lost in the jungle. The biggest question that remained in my mind is what happens if you lose the race? One person gets the cure, but what happens to the other Contenders?

I was not really able to connect with Tella for the better part of the book. She came off as spoiled and selfish even though she was there for her brother. Her internal dialogue was very immature and bratty. I know not all 17 year olds are not all created equal. I was often told I was mature for my age and sometimes I forget that not all teenagers think like I did. Once she hooked up with a group, I started to connect with her more because she started to grow as a person.She still has her moments of wishing she hadn’t come, but who wouldn’t? It’s not an easy thought potentially risking your life for someone. It’s human nature to prefer preserving yourself than others.

I really enjoyed the other characters (Guy, Ransom, Levi, etc) and I can’t wait to see if more of their backstories are included in the future. I’m also excited to see where their budding friendships take them. It’s an every man for himself situation and new friendships will only last for so long… right?

With the first race behind, things really began to pick up and it made me very happy. Right at the end of the jungle race is when it really became a page turner for me. The twists were very well done and I really enjoyed the desert race. The desert race was definitely a five star section. My toddler kept asking me to read to him before his nap and there were sections that I had to skim as I read because they were totally not suited for a toddler’s ears. Once he was asleep, I devoured the last 100 pages.The action and danger shot through the roof and it was amazing.

I loved the idea of Pandoras. They were simply incredible and it was a very well done idea. In a way they felt like the daemons from the His Dark Materials series, but DEFINITELY more badass.Maddox is incredible. His power – whoa. I really hope we get to learn more about how the Pandoras are created in the next installment!

The ending will definitely leave you wanting more. Keep in mind that this race is in four destinations and Fire & Flood only covers two of them. So much more excitement and challenges away in the Brimestone Bleed.

I’m proud to recommend this as a great read! It does not disappoint and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

About the author:

Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Germany, Australia, Israel, Taiwan, Brazil, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.


Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

 

Waiting on Wednesday #20: Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott February 19, 2014

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“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood #1)

by Victoria Scott

Coming: 25 February 2014

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Summary:

A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother’s life—and her own.

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can’t determine what’s wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She’s lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying — and she’s helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It’s an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother’s illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there’s no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can’t trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?


Why I’m excited:

When I first heard about Fire & Flood back in the fall, I instantly became excited. I adored The Hunger Games and the similarity really intrigued me. I was lucky enough to be granted an ARC by Scholastic and I’ve already read it. (It’s fantabulous, btw, and my review will be up next week) It definitely lived up to the excitement like I was hoping it would. I would love to gush on and on for this, but I do enough of that in my review so you’ll have to come back and see how great it is! (; I can’t wait to get my hands on a finished copy! (:

Why I need you to be excited:

I don’t know if you’ve read anything by Victoria Scott, I haven’t, and definitely plan on checking out her other works, but you really should check out this great book! A race in uncertain conditions (we know the arena set ups beforehand, but not what to expect in them), people desperate to help a loved one, kickass created sidekicks, and a killer mystery. It’s full of action and intrigue. It’s chock full of interesting characters with loads of character growth. Each character has a deep background that’s just waiting to be explored. I really recommend this book and can’t wait for it to come out for everyone to have a chance to read it!

What do you think about Fire & Flood? Is it TBR worthy for you?

 

Hello February, Goodbye January! February 2, 2014

I hope you’ve had a great start to 2014! I basically took the month off in January and it was nice. After the craziness of the holidays and trying to cram blogging and family obligations all together, it was nice to focus mainly on my family. I love reading and blogging, but my family comes first. Taking a step back really helped me and I think it’ll help me focus and balance things better from now on. I started getting good at working in advance and scheduling, but I’ve got to get even better. I’ve got to get better at taking a step away from the computer, phone, kindle, books, etc when the kiddos want/need me. Books will always be there to be read. My babies won’t always be babies.

Books I read in January (in order of completion)

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Brooke by Veronica Rossi (novella)

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi (eARC)

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale by Cassandra Clare (novella)

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd (ARC)

Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott (ARC)

These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner (ARC & audiobook)

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Defiance by CJ Redwine

 

Books with the kiddos:

We read a good amount of books, but not as much as I would’ve liked. We’ll work on that in February! The weather in January has been awful, either frigid or snowing so we haven’t gotten to the library nearly as often as we should’ve. Hopefully February will be a bit more forgiving in the weather department!

Events attended:

  • Jodi Meadows web chat for the #Incarnate read-a-thon
  •  Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, CJ Redwine, & Myra McEntire signing in Nashville, TN

Coming up in February

  • 4 year wedding anniversary ❤
  • Family time
  • Dark Days tour
  • These Broken Stars tour

Goals for February

  • Balance mama & wifey things with blogging life.
  • Work on commenting and visiting other blogs
  • Stay ahead of schedule
  • Read more with the kiddos

February releases I’m excited for:

  • Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
  •  Perfect Lies by Kiersten White
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer (the lovely Mary is getting this signed for hubby as an anniversary present to me! Aren’t they the best?!)
  •  Alienated by Melissa Landers
  • Tremor by Patrick Carman

February TBR:

  • The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard
  • Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
  • Mind Games by Kiersten White
  • Perfect Lies by Kiersten White
  •  Cress by Marissa Meyer

Challenge Update:

I’m involved with three challenges officially; I still need to sign up for a fourth.

Edelweiss & Netgalley challenge: 2/25 (Into the Still Blue and Her Dark Curiosity)

TBR Pile challenge: 6/11-20 {I can and most likely WILL be increasing my level on this. I’m also not including ARCs in this unless I complete them after the book is released} (TTEN, Brooke, Vampires Scones & Edmund Herondale, These Broken Stars, Evertrue, and Deception)

Series challenge: 3/4-6 {I can and most likely will increase my level on this as well} (TTEN, Brooke, ITSB, Her Dark Curiosity, Evertrue)

“Real” Book challenge: 5/21-30 {I have to sign up for this one once I get this post up!} (TTEN, Fire & Flood, These Broken Stars, Evertrue, Deception)

How was your January? What’s up for February? I’m excited about things that are coming up this year. 2014 is definitely looking up to be a great year!

 

 
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