Month: May 2015

Nil Unlocked Blog Tour Author Guest Post: If Lynne Matson Had 365 Days to Live + Giveaway

Posted May 22, 2015 by Jana in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post / 10 Comments

Nil Unlocked Blog Tour Author Guest Post: If Lynne Matson Had 365 Days to Live + Giveaway

Welcome to my spot along the Nil Unlocked blog tour, hosted by Macmillan! I enjoyed Nil, and was excited when I found out about this sequel!

Today I’m turning my blog over to Lynne! If you end up on the island of Nil, you have 365 days left to live unless you can get off the island before your time is up. I thought it would be fun to put Lynne in this position. What kinds of things would fly through her head if she knew she only had 365 days left to live? Take it away, Lynne!

This question is one of the coolest ones I’ve ever been asked. What would I do if my days were numbered? I think I like it so much because this question is a HUGE part of the Nil world.

As y’all may know, the teens on Nil have exactly one year, to escape the island–or die. And how they choose to spend their days on the island is a big part of both books. Do they make connections with other teens, risk growing close to someone or falling in love, knowing that they might not have a future together? Do they choose to hope? Do they choose to help one another, or simply fend for themselves? How do they fight the unknown? Do they choose to fight at all? Do they give up? How do they cope every day with the knowledge their clock is winding down?

Those were the questions I toyed with as I wrote both NIL and NIL UNLOCKED. The pressure of time—of dwindling time—adds another layer to each decision the characters make. In NIL UNLOCKED, Rives wrestles with whether to risk his heart again, when his time is short and his responsibilities seem endless. And Skye makes choices that impact everyone’s time clocks, not just her own, ultimately risking Rives’s life in a way she’d never anticipated. The lack of time makes each victory sweeter and each defeat that much more painful.

So how would I spend my life if I knew I only had 365 days to live?

Well, if I was stuck on the island of Nil, I know I’d spend a good chunk of my time foraging for food, running from tigers and other crazy things on Nil, and generally fighting a sense of doom in paradise. I’d like to think I’d stay strong, and help and hope, but I’m certain that at times, it would be HARD. Hard watching people you care about die, hard watching people you care about leave–and live–even as you’re still stuck on the island. Hard to maintain hope as time runs out. But at the same time, hope and faith are a huge part of my life, so I know somehow I wouldn’t give up.

But how would I spend my life here, in this world, if I knew I only had 365 days to live? I should answer that I’d live just like I do now, because you never know when your time is up, right? I mean, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. But I think if I KNEW I had only a year to live, I’d really let the small stuff go . . . the stuff that doesn’t matter. Hug more people, stop to appreciate life’s blessings, both big and small. Tell everyone I love that I love them, thank the people who have touched my life, try something new, read ALL THE BOOKS, go to more concerts, hug and kiss and stay up late with my boys as much as I could, eat more cookies, and take a trip to Hawaii with all my boys and super cute husband…because that’s where the idea for the Nil world was born.:)

Now that I write this post, I think I’m going to live a little more like I only have a year left.:) More hugs, books, and cookies, less worrying about the small stuff. More time with the people I care about, and more thanks to those who touched me. Like all the awesome bloggers and readers who’ve made the world of Nil come alive. *GIANT SMOOSH* Thank you!!!

And thank you, Jana, for having me on your blog today!!!! You’re awesome!


nil unlockedNil Unlocked by Lynne Matson
Series: Nil #2
Published by: Henry Hold and Co. Books for Young Readers on May 12, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 432
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On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die. Rives is now the undisputed Leader of Nil City, but keeping the City united is tougher than ever.

Raiders have grown bolder, supplies are dwindling, and non-human inhabitants have taken a turn toward the deadly. New arrivals cause rifts within the City, putting the Search system at risk, and calling everything Rives knows into question. Desperate for answers, he teams up with the only other person searching for them: Skye, a new arrival with a mysterious past of her own. Soon the duo find themselves locked in a desperate race to save all the residents of Nil—and possibly destroy the island forever. But at what cost? And who will pay the price?

Can’t wait for your copy of  Nil Unlocked to arrive? Read an excerpt!

Lynne is going on the Fierce Reads tour in May! See if she’s coming to you!
Visit Lynne’s website.
Follow Lynn on Twitter!


The lovely people at Macmillan have given me a hardcover copy of Nil Unlocked to giveaway, along with a paperback copy of Nil! If you’ve been wanting to give these books a try, now’s your chance! This giveaway is open to residents of the USA only.

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Top Ten Characters I Wish Would Get Their Own Book

Posted May 19, 2015 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 7 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

It’s freebie day, and I’m excited because I really wanted to do this topic back when it was on the schedule, and I ran out of time! So now’s my chance!

I have adored some of the minor and semi-major characters in the books I’ve read, and would love to see them get their own books so I can learn their stories and their thoughts. Here are my choices, although it’s hard to narrow it down to just 10!

1. Captain Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
He kind of got his own book (ish) in Cress because he’s Cress’s love interest… but I seriously just want a full-length novel (I know he has a novella) of his life before he joined the Cinder bandwagon. He’s full of so much snark and sarcasm. I just know his one-liners will be referenced forever.

2. Gale Hawthorne from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
I might be the only person who is on team Gale… I’m sorry, but I really do not like Peeta. At all. And I wanted Gale to find love!!!! So he needs his own book and his own love story.

3. Nikolai from The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
I don’t think we need much of an explanation here. I LOVED him so much. Can I please read a book alllllllll about him? Please?

4. The Darkling from The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
I dunno. Maybe I like bad boys. But I want his story! We got tiny pieces of it, but I want to know him better and why he became who he became.

5. Captain Chaol from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
Maybe I like captains?

6. Lucien from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
I think I’m beginning to see a trend here… I’m a fan of snarky, swoony guys. I loved Lucien! He’s got the best sense of humor, and he’s so loyal. I’d love it if he was the start of his own book.

7. Perry’s nephew, Talon, from Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Wouldn’t it be cool to have a book from not-so-young-anymore-Talon’s point of view now that they have made it to the Still Blue? Second generation spin-off series, no? Or we could learn about what his life was like during the time he was kidnapped.

8. Reneesme from The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
Seriously. I’d devour this.

9. Edward from The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer.
We were promised this, dangit!

10. Roar from the Under the Never Sky trilogy by Veronica Rossi
Roar is my love. I want him to find happiness!

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud | Mini Book Review

Posted May 8, 2015 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 0 Comments

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud | Mini Book ReviewThe Sculptor by Scott McCloud
Published by First Second Books on February 3, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Romance
Pages: 496
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Mail)
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0.5 Stars

David Smith is giving his life for his art—literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn't making it any easier!

This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of the world's greatest city. It's about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life…and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into great fiction with a breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable new work.

The illustrations are well done, and convey a lot of emotion and add a lot to the story, making it more powerful than if words were used alone. I was initially very attracted to the artsy storyline. I was just expecting it to resonate with me more than it did. Being an artist myself, I connected only a little bit (but then again, I am not the stereotypical starving, troubled, tormented artist). David’s favorite medium is stone… so why is he happy when he can work with it as if it were play dough? The best part of art (for an artist) is the creative process. I would imagine that Michelangelo would have been upset if he’d been forced to mold David instead of carve him. I don’t see this as a good deal, especially since he’s traded his life for it. So basically, the plot just did not make sense to me as an artist. I did like the underlying theme of living on borrowed time and what that means, though.

I did not love the characters. I found David to be whiny and selfish and vain, found his character to be very uninspiring. His deal with Death comes from a selfish, egotistical place, and he only gets worse as the story goes on. He does not learn and/or grow. He turns his love, Meg, into a vessel instead of a person, which bothered me a lot.

(This book contains R-rated content and graphic images of nudity and sexual situations. You’ve been warned!)

0.5 Stars

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher | Mini Book Review

Posted May 6, 2015 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 4 Comments

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher | Mini Book ReviewThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Published by Razorbill on October 17, 2007
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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0 Stars

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

I have not reacted this negatively to a book in years, and I was so unbelievably upset by it that I had nightmares. I disagree with all this book stands for, and would not have even finished it if I were not reading it for a class assignment. Bottom line, I feel like this book glamorizes suicide. It makes it look like it’s ok to kill yourself. I was so mad at Hannah the entire time, and my opinion of her and her decision grew less and less as I heard her snide voice and her petty justifications. She killed herself because people were mean to her (in sometimes awful ways, yes.), and instead of confronting them she went and killed herself and then blamed them for it. She did something much worse to them than they did to her by blaming them for her death. It seemed like a revenge suicide—like she killed herself to get back of them, and it just made me mad. People don’t kill themselves for reasons. They do it because a switch has been triggered in their brain that makes them feel like it’s a necessity. It’s a mental thing.

If I set my opinions and feelings aside, I can agree that the writing was done very well. The author inserts Clay’s thoughts and actions as he is listening to Hannah talk, which is unique and real. I enjoyed being in the moment with him. Clay cares deeply, and his thoughts seem very accurate for someone who has his hands tied and is unable to help. Hannah’s voice, while sarcastic and rude, is very much like an argumentative child who is mad at everyone (which is basically what she is). They both portray emotions that are brought out in the reader, and I was very convinced. There has GOT to be a better book out there about suicide, though, because this one is pretty awful in my opinion.

0 Stars